Devon Dick | When a man dies, will he live again?
That verse from Job 14:14 was used as the basis for a sermon at the funeral service at Boulevard Baptist Church for the late Raymond Peart, better known as ‘DJ Venom’ by his FAME FM fans. That verse came to mind because at the recent Golden Globe Awards (January 6), which recognised excellence in film and American TV, the host, comedian Ricky Gervais, reminded the audience of celebrities, ‘we are all going to die and there is no sequel’. Gervais was encouraging the famous members of the audience that they should relax and not take themselves or his jokes too seriously. But, is Gervais correct to claim that there will be no sequel to life after death? He must be joking. Because if there is no sequel after death, it means no resurrection.
Job wondered, ‘‘ if someone dies, will he or she live again?’ This was not a theoretical question, but had significance for him since all his children died. Paul struggled with a similar issue, ‘if in this life only we have hope then we will be most miserable’ (1 Corinthians 15: 19). Paul was stating that if after suffering these persecutions and this was all to life with no future life or no future glory, then this life would not be worth it. Life would be nothing more than ‘sound and fury signifying nothing’. All life would have a sad tragic ending: death. And death, with its venom, would have the last sting. It would mean that putting confidence in Jesus as the Christ would be no better than believing in Santa Claus or Superman.
No sequel after death implies that life is nothing more than playing a game of Russian roulette. Life is one big hit and miss. Most people will suck salt through wooden spoon, while a few born with silver spoon in their mouths will enjoy life’s bounties.
If this is all to life, then one might as well join the rigged rat race of every man for himself. It is kill or be killed.
GOOD GUYS TRIUMPH
Life would be worse that a movie, because in most movies, the good guys triumph in the end. Life would have no fairy-tale ending of living happily ever after. And, even if you do something good for someone, make sure there is a quid pro quo. When you engage in corrupt activities, do not get caught, or if you get caught, just say ‘it was not me’, or if that does not work, then get a criminal lawyer to get you off on a technicality.
But, suppose there is a sequel after this life? Suppose this is not all to existence? In fact, there are sequels that are better than the first movie. And Christians believe that life after death will be better than this existence. In the second life, there will be no more crying, tears, poverty, disease or death.
This quality life can start now so that not even disease and death can rob us of our joy. This renewed life can start now wherein God brings down the mighty from their thrones, and He exalts those of humble estate. And the greatest reversal of all is when, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was raised from the dead conquering death, sin and the grave. Through the resurrection of Jesus, life triumphs over death and there is, therefore, a sequel.
Since there is a sequel then all should live a righteous, rewarding life. Get right with God and live good with all, as far as it is possible.
Thank God this life is not the end. There is a sequel.
Devon Dick, PhD, is pastor of Boulevard Baptist Church and author of the recently published Enduring Advocacy for a Better Jamaica, in addition to The Cross and the Machete and Rebellion to Riot: The Jamaican Church in Nation Building. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org