ETHEL’S EYE was caught by an advert in the paper. “I must buy that—it will solve all my problems!” “No, mother” exclaimed her longsuffering son, “it’s a funeral plan. It won’t stop you falling over or getting ill or worrying about the state of the world. Pass it here. Oh, you can’t buy it anyway, you’re too old.” It may be a comfort to know that your funeral expenses are paid in advance. However, this comfort is limited in its scope and only lasts for your lifetime. The ‘for ever’ is relatively short. In contrast the Bible talks of things, including life, which really can last for ever. God has always existed and always will exist. Jesus, now raised from the dead, cannot die and shares God’s divine nature (Romans 6:9). This all-powerful God offers us a peace beyond our natural experience: And the peace of God, which surpasses all
THE GOSPEL is about the Kingdom of God. That is what Jesus and the apostles preached (Mark 1:14–15; Acts 28:30–31). It is what disciples died for. We know the names of some people who will be in the Kingdom. For example, Jesus named ‘Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets’ (Luke 13:28). He also said of the faithful apostles: … when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). Hebrews chapter 11 lists faithful people (in the Old Testament) who were, and still are, dead awaiting the fulfilment of God’s promises. They will be in this kingdom (Hebrews 11:4–16 and 39–40). Immortal Saints In order to live in the Kingdom, all of these named, and many more unnamed, faithful people need to be raised from the dead.