Are you alive or dead?
If biblically life and death is defined by our relationship to God, where do you stand my friend? Do you have life, that is do you have communion with the living God, the Father, Son and Spirit or are you dead - that is totally estranged from him, not knowing his voice, knowing nothing of the comfort of His Spirit nor the satisfaction of the death of his Son. Are you alive or dead?
Ah you might now say that you are dead. That as things stand you are completely alienated from him. You may have heard of him through speech and know something of his counsel and have a degree of knowledge as to his being, but you do not know him at all. By way of an example - I am sure that you have heard of the queen, you have seen her pictures, and perhaps you are accustomed to her behaviours and manners but knowing all this does not imply that you know her at all. Supposing you was walking down the aisle in Sainsbury’s and the queen is shopping for her beloved goats cheese, and you were to walk by her, will she say ‘hey Fred how are you’ - no. she would not pause. You might pause but she would look at you a stranger, that is because you have no relationship with her. Suppose it was William or Harry whom passed by her at the aisle, would she not have stopped and greeted her grandchildren. Of course she would have. Likewise if God should pass by you, and yea, when he came in His Son, the world did not recognize him and I suppose that you would not recognize him either because you have no relationship with him. God would say hello but you would look at him with a blank expression - it is because you are dead in your sins - or your reaction might be like that of the apostle Paul when blinded by the Lord, he could only say ‘who are you Lord’.
Contrast Paul’s reaction to Peter’s when Peter sitting upon his own sorriness was once again called upon by the Lord. Peter upon hearing the voice of the beloved disciple saying to him that it is the Lord, immediately put on his outer garment and threw himself into the sea. Then the disciples all sat and ate with Jesus and none of them dared ask him, ‘who are you,’ for they knew it was Jesus. You see, they all knew it was Jesus because they were alive but Paul did not know that it was Jesus because he was dead.
Are you still dead, still stuck in the graveyard of life? Because if you are, you are in danger; there is a storm that is coming your way and unless you can rise from your casket and escape to the safety shores, you will perish in the storm forever. My friend, you are as to say it ever so gently, hopeless, for you are without God in this world. My friend you may say that I am very comfortable and need not to be alive; but if you had eyes to see you would know of your awful situation. This world as to say will be all of your heaven and what a poor heaven it is. It is a heaven laden with strife, envy and jealousy. I am sure that your own soul bears witness of a better place, of another season where this dreary earth is replaced with the everlasting presence of God’s unimpeded goodness. It is coming I tell you and there is a very solid reason to believe this, that is, that Jesus Christ once came in the flesh to suffer and rise again therefore He is coming again to make a renewal of this despondent earth; and do you not will to come into his rest? You may say my friend that you desire no such thing, that is because you are dead. If you had eyes to see, or if you were alive and had any communion with the living God, you would say and curse your own soul for swimming in a mud puddle laden with skin eating bacteria when you could swim in a clear blue warm ocean with all the beautiful creatures of the sea to your hearts content.
You see my friend, whilst you are dead you cannot see or rather you set at nought the excellencies and glory of Jesus Christ. You give him no honour to whom all honours are due, you are not sensible of his deserving of praise therefore you do not seek his glory and praise in anything that you do. All day you shut him out, while he knocks at your door. You show him a great contempt by refusing to accept him, you will not believe his words especially when he says that He has come to give life to the full. It is all because you are dead.
But contrast your position to that of a person who his alive - you see they are very sensible to the excellencies and glory of Christ. They know that Jesus is of better worth than gold and silver, that in fact He is the holy one of God and they make everything of it. They sing of his praise, they open the door for him, they rejoice in him and give him the honour and glory due to his divine person. They have hope as sure as the sun rises in the morning, they have left their filthy puddle for his ocean, they know of joys and happiness in this world in as much as it comes from him, and they walk this hell with both eyes fixed on the heaven to come. A soul alive to God is much happy in God but a soul dead to God thinks nothing of him; they only think of him perhaps in what benefits he can do to them as in a business dealing but never actually love him for who he is. Their best enjoyments here have no room for him, no, he is looked upon as they looked upon him at first, a man of sorrows and of no joy. It is because they are blind and dead, unmoved to his wonderful sweetness and heartful promises made in his book. Those alive are contrary, they read of his steadfast promises and bind it upon their hearts, they feast upon it in the dry seasons.
O I wish that you were alive, that you were like me sensible to the sweet things of the Lord. O I wish that you could see the folly of your desertion that like me you can come to his house to dine. But you are dead, dead in sins and transgressions and my hope for you are anchored in my heavy prayers for you, that God, who is the one that calls the dead to live may call your name with an effectual call that at last you may beat your chest and mourn the years you have spent away from him and rejoice in the many eternities you will spend with him.