ALL HAVE DIED
by Michael McPherson
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.” All have died. What sobering words. All of us were dead men walking in the dawn of light and the gaiety of mirth thinking we had life. Yet our Lord tells us all are dead. “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” Revelation 3:1.
Again he tells us, “follow me and let the dead bury their own dead.” Matthew 8:22. All have died unto their sins and trespasses. All have fallen short of the glory of God. All have been condemned. On the Cross when he died, all died, for not only did he die for us but the Scriptures say “he died as us.” As sin was judged and condemned on the Cross, so it was for mankind. The Lord Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it. Why? Because the world and all its nations, and you and me, were already condemned.
In a dream I was in triage room with survivors of a horrific train bombing. They lay on tables and were wrapped in shrouds to protect their burned bodies. All were shaking and moaning from shock and pain. And on the outside of the triage room were dead bodies, horribly disfigured, piled on each other. Before I entered the triage room I was standing in another room where a speaker was describing the details of what happened. I felt I was on the outside looking in.
Then the speaker came up to me and with a pointer he touched the side of my head and ear, nudging me twice. He said to me “Go in, Go in.” Thus I entered the triage room, full of those in the throes of death and tragedy. I knew I needed to pray for them but I didn’t know where to begin.
And the Lord somehow led me to say “Father let your Spirit come upon those here, suspend their pain for a moment, wake the unconscious for a moment, so they may hear the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ.” I said this in my head. And the Lord came to me again and he said, “Declare the Word I give you aloud, so all may hear.”
Fearful, but bold I then spoke the Word of God in this room filled with people embraced in a shroud of death. Those worried about dying, leaving loved ones and possessions. Men and women filled with distraught, loss of limbs, and consumed with fear and pain. In that moment the Lord wanted them to hear the only thing that really mattered.
Thus saith the Lord, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil." We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. We appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” You have forsaken God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ all your life. You have rebelled against the Lord and crucified Him. Yes, you crucified Him; he died for your sins. Yet now this is the day, this is the hour, to see him and reach out with hand to plead forgiveness, and mercy, to surrender heart, mind and soul to the Lord Jesus.
Now is the time. Now is the day of salvation. My God is here, right now in this room, ready to listen and receive you. I plead with you to give him your life. Those that give up their life for the sake of Jesus will save it.
He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. You need not utter a word if tongue is unable, but in your mind plead with the Lord for forgiveness for your rebellion and sin. Surrender to him in the time you have. May God Almighty have mercy on your soul.
The Burden of Christ
What to make of this dream? Alas the burden of Christ is upon me. I have seen the heart of Jesus and it mourns for those perishing. Joy in Christ, yes, but I mourn for those perishing. I know now the anguish of the prophets of Israel. Proclaiming the Word of the Lord to their brothers and sisters, who they loved, and who they knew were dead men walking; they mourned over sin and their brethren. How wretched they were, while knowing the peace of the Lord.
The resurrection of those unto life eternal from dead bones begins with the new birth. Yet blindness hides truth from those that are dead in sin and trespasses. The power of Satan we are told is at work. Powers and principalities in heavenly places that seek the everlasting damnation of mankind. And in this war, men and women of God are called to stand in the gap, so that some may be saved for the glory of God.
Standing in the gap
You see I believe many a soul is in Hell today because there was no one to intercede for them. No one to stand in the gap and plead mercy for them. The Lord Jesus says he does not pray for the world but prays for the children of God, that they may be kept from the evil one. So who is to pray and plead for the lost, the walking dead? It is you and me. This is the supreme responsibility given to every believer by the Lord. To step in the gap and plead to him, as advocates, lawyers for those perishing.
And with authority given us by the Lord we are to repel the forces of darkness that oppress so many with blindness and illness of the spirit and mind. Oh what a tragedy, what shame there is when a Christian refuses to go on to perfection with the Lord and exercise his God-given authority. How many souls have perished because there was no one to stand in the gap?
You see my friend there is one thing that cannot be counterfeited, the heart of Jesus. “By this shall men know you are my disciples, my followers, true Christian; if you have love for the brothers in Christ.” What does this mean? I’ll tell you what it is not. Meaningless platitudes like “hate the sin, love the sinner.”
You say you love the sinner? Have you been burdened to go to an AIDs ward, to the bedside of a man, a man you did not know, a man you once were offended by, and then wept over him. Not tears of disdain but tears of mercy. And cried out to the Lord to have mercy on his soul; “Oh Lord, you have had mercy on a wretch like me, Oh dear God have mercy now on this poor soul, for you have said you desire that none shall perish.”
And wept and labored in prayer for hours at his bedside, a man you did not know, until the Lord came down and broke through his heart. And as his eyes were closed, under sedation, breathing tube stretching from his nose, you see his lips moving. You lean down and put your ear near his lips and you hear the words, “nothing but Jesus.”
And you breakdown, crying, praising God for what he has done. Have you commanded the Lord in such a manner? The Lord desires His children to put him to the test. “Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:4
You say you have faith, as James states I’ll show you my faith by the works of God I do; interceding for the lost; and knowing the terror of the Lord, persuading men. These are the works of the righteous approved by God. Not the works of religious men involved in charity. For even the heathen are kind and generous to their children and brothers and sisters. Is this true of you? For the Lord has said what reward shall you expect if you do what can be done by the heathen. There will be no reward.
Thus saith the Lord, (Matthew 5:48) “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” What is he saying? Be complete, be filled with His Spirit, and grow up in maturity in Christ Jesus. Be holy as he is holy. For in this is God glorified. That it is no longer you that live, but Christ that liveth within you created to do the works of God. For only God can glorify God and no man shall gain glory in his eyes, for none is good, no not one.
The division of the human race
My Lord sees not as man sees; divides not as man divides. Man sees male and female, gay and straight, Protestant and Catholic, Muslim and Christian, Black and White, liberal and conservative, rich and poor. My Lord sees the human race divided into two lots. The once born and twice born: the dead and the quickened. The carnal man, who professes to know Christ, bickers over the morality and lifestyles of the walking dead.
The Lord shows no partiality to denominations, family values, lifestyles, charity and the great works of the dead. He has said “follow me and let the dead bury their own dead.” The Lord disciplines and chastens only those who he loves; the resurrected sons and daughters of God.
What difference does it make; the religion or politics of a man if he is a dead man walking. All have died. Our Lord Jesus only hears the prayers of repentant sinners, the twice born, the elect, those raised unto life. That is the concern and plea of Paul and the man of Christ that knows the terror of the Lord; that the Lord has mercy on those dead bones around us, that some may be raised unto life eternal; and this is life eternal, that they may know thee the Lord God, Jesus Christ.
Judge not lest ye be judged
We are not called to judge and condemn the walking dead; for once we too were dead in sin and trespasses. And through the mercy of God Almighty and the miracle of the new birth we were resurrected unto life. This experience leads the child of God into a deep love and submission to the Lord, a fear of God and mourning and pitying for those dead in sin. Do you believe there is a Hell? How can you say “yes” and not be concerned over the horrific fate which awaits your neighbor. But more so how can you not be emboldened to proclaim the mercies of Him who brought you up from the miry clay and death?
A servant to all
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Liberal I became as a Liberal, in order to win Liberals. To the Conservative I became a Conservative that I might win those under that banner. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some for the glory of Christ. It matters not the walk of the man as he is today for all have died. I seek to resurrect what is dead by the grace of God. I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. All to the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, a new creature, made of Spirit. 2 Corinthinas 5:16
Yea, as my mind is renewed in Christ and I look from the right hand of our Lord I see so many things done in vain, in the name of Christ. The only thing that matters is the resurrection unto life eternal for the glory of Christ – and thus we persuade men, knowing the fate which awaits. Are you twice born? Is the seed of Christ in you?
Be holy because I am holy
Dear friends the Lord has commanded that His children be holy as He is holy. Surely this is a sign of the true Christian. The Lord Jesus has said he will deliver to His Father children blameless and perfect. The righteousness of God will be upon you if you are his child. Whether he has to chasten you through the loss of money, children, spouse, loved ones, job or great affliction he will make his children holy as he is holy. “And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.” Zechariah 13:9.
There is no escaping this truth. In churches across America there is the acceptance of professing followers of Christ who live life like a man dead unto God. This cannot be. Examine yourselves to see if indeed you are in the faith except you be reprobate, the Apostle warns us. Are you a dead man walking or have you been resurrected to life?
Why the command to be holy
If we consider our bodies as the temple of the Lord, then the Scriptures clearly teach that the dwelling place of the Lord must be sacred: “Remove your shoes for the ground you stand on is holy.” And it is only through the holy, the righteous minded that have utterly abandoned themselves to the Lord Jesus that God Almighty can use our bodies and lives as intercessors or instruments to resurrect and bring salvation to those dead in sins and trespasses. He has said you will be holy as he is holy, if you are a child of God.
The Child of God
“As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise.”
2 Corinthians 6:4
“We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:8
“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
And the Lord has tested us, His servants. “Indeed some have been so utterly burdened beyond their strength that they despaired of life itself, feeling that they had received the sentence of death. But that was to make them rely not on themselves but on God who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:8
A Pleasing Aroma
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:15
Blessed be the Lord
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.” 2 Corinthians 1:3
Michael McPherson, LLG Ministries