Pastor Max Solbrekken declaring the Word of
God at the Empty Tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ
ABSENT FROM THE BODY
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.” (2 Cor.5: 8)
Death is universal and inevitable. Death is man’s final battle before entering his eternal abode. Death can come suddenly, or it can come slowly. And it always wins! Death is known as an enemy or a friend! To the youth, growing families, and those in retirement, it can be a very real enemy. To the aged and terminally ill, death can almost seem like a friend! To everyone, death is the termination of life on earth!
The Bible says: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb. 9:27, 28)
St. Paul wrote: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb.10: 31); “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.... (2 Cor. 5:8-11)
CHRIST’S LIFE IN ME!
St. Paul wrote: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I know not. For I am in a straight betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more needful for thee.” (Phil. 1: 21-24)
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. For He hath made Him to be sin (offering) for us, who knew no sin; that we might be the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor.5: 14, 15, 17)
SOLOMON DEPICTS DEATH!
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
“Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Eccl. 12: 1-7)
St. James writes: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4: 14)
Jesus declared: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this? She sayeth unto Him, Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ the Son of God, which should come into the world.” (John 11: 25-27)
Here is the most important confession one must make to become a member of His Body. Martha made that Confession and so did Simon Peter! And the Holy Spirit witnessed the same to the Samaritan woman: “Come, see a man, which told Me all things that ever I did: Is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29)
St. Paul declared: “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; a\\nd whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end, Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be the Lord both of the dead and the living.” (Romans 14:8,9)
I SHOW YOU A MYSTERY!
“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
“So when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor.15: 51-58)
Here is the Bottom Line: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.” (2 Cor.5: 8).
FOR THOSE WHO MOURN!
I have some good counsel for those who have lost a loved one to the grave. St. Paul writes: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope.
“For if believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thes. 4:13-18). Amen.