Death Warmed Over
(by Bob Pulliam)
You've probably heard the expression, "You look like death warmed over." Although I've never seen "death warmed over", I imagine it must look pretty bad. I've seen people sick enough that you might well imagine that they looked like "death warmed over". I've even seen a few people that looked bad enough while in good health that one might say they looked like "death warmed over". But surely all of this has Bible ramifications, or it would not be in this article.
Christians must be a living people who defy the spiritual death brought about by Satan and sin. If they are unwilling to live a life that defies that death, then they are not Christians (i.e. followers of Christ). When "Christians" who will not follow the Master live a life that seeks the death of sin, they are "death warmed over." They walk among us, talk among us, but are spiritually dead. They do not long for the life given by Jesus. They long for the life offered by this world. Their physical pursuits have them distracted away from spiritual treasures.
The apostle Paul made a very strong point concerning the Christian's death to sin in Romans six. He wrote: "Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:11) In baptism, we buried the old man that longed for sin, and arose to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:3 & 4). We are now to be alive to God in Christ Jesus. Unfortunately, some want to warm over this death to sin and walk in the ways of the world. Perhaps they can comfort themselves with the fact that they are not stealing, or killing, or committing adultery; but what of their lack of concern for spiritual matters? We are to be alive spiritually, and dead to the world. Somewhere along the line these have been raised up to live for the world, and are allowing it's "respectable" pleasures to distract them from the Lord. It may be seen in attendance, or giving, or lack of attention when attending. There is no zeal for the things of God, or at the least, there is more zeal for secular activities than for God. Many of these activities may be good and right within themselves; but when they take precedence over service to God, they become a stumbling block.
The Principle of Sacrifice...
The apostle Paul also told the Romans to present themselves as a "living sacrifice" (Rom 10:1). Now I'm not sure what some people have in mind when they think "sacrifice", but it certainly isn't the same as that expressed in the Bible. Perhaps many have the same idea as the priests spoken of in Malachi 1:7f. Don't give God the best. Give Him what is convenient for you. If you have a few animals in your flock that are inferior, "sacrifice" them to God. But by all means, do not make your "sacrifice" a sacrifice.
Jesus died for us. He was God's sacrifice for our sins. Characterize that sacrifice for me... Did it hold value? Was there anything (anybody) inferior around that could have been substituted to make it more in line with the living "sacrifice" given by many today? If you were to meet the Lord face to face tonight, would He call any of your sacrifices into question. If all of your service to God is only offered at your own convenience, you have only served yourself.
If you died to the world and Satan's devices, then see to it that you do not engage them in desire or practice. Death warmed over is not a pretty sight. And you wouldn't want to meet Jesus in judgment with such an undesirable appearance. The bottom line?... Live for Jesus!