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SermonLife versus Death
An all-creatures Bible Message

Life versus Death
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
28 May 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 68:1-20
Jeremiah 21:8

Life versus death sums up Jesusí teaching and the heavenly will of God.
 
We could say that most people would rather live than die, and we believe that animals feel the same way, but far too many humans deprive non-human animals of that choice, and most of the rest of society is indifferent to the pain, suffering, and death inflicted upon billions of animals every year.
 
Every living being deserves to have the God given right to choose life versus death, for besides being moral, it is also in the heavenly will of God.
 
Most of the hard of heart people in this world live in the corrupt and fallen ways of the earth instead of following the teachings of Jesus and the heavenly will of God.
 
They try to justify the Law, or their worldly way of living by the Law, rather than living in the perfect heavenly love of God, which fulfills the Law and the whole of the Bible.
 
Life versus death, or various aspects of it, can be seen throughout the Bible, if we allow ourselves to see it.
 
Letís begin this journey by looking at Psalm 68:1-20Ö

1. Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered;
And let those who hate Him flee before Him.

In other words, donít try to hinder the creation and heavenly desire of God if we want to have an eternal life in heaven, for all who make themselves enemies of God will be choosing death instead of eternal life with the Lord in heaven.

2. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish before God.

Why?
 
Because, they had a free will choice of choosing life versus death, and rather than choosing life, they chose death, which is also what Jeremiah told the people for God in Jeremiah 21:8Ö

8. "You shall also say to this people, 'Thus says the LORD, "Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
NASB.

With this confirmation in mind, letís return to the psalm before us.

3. But let the righteous be glad;
let them exult before God;
Yes, let them rejoice with gladness.

For they will be in heaven with God,

4. Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts,
Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.
 
5. A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
 
6. God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads out the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

If this is the way we see God in our hearts and souls, then we have chosen life, and through the heavenly love of God, we help free creation from its present corruption.
 
And remember that human beings have been making prisoners of billions of animals for thousands of years, and the peacemaking children of God know this and work diligently to help free the animals into the prosperity that God created for them to have in Eden.

7. O God, when Thou didst go forth before Thy people,
When Thou didst march through the wilderness,
Selah.

And there He also set before them the choice of life versus death.

8. The earth quaked;
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
 
9. Thou didst shed abroad a plentiful rain, O God;
Thou didst confirm Thine inheritance, when it was parched.
 
10. Thy creatures settled in it;
Thou didst provide in Thy goodness for the poor, O God.

It is very important for all of us to see that the psalmist recognizes the fact that Godís creatures, the non-human animals, are considered to be as the poor who need the assistance of God, and the people who have chosen to be the peacemaking children of God, which we hope is all of us.

11. The Lord gives the command;
The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host:
 
12. "Kings of armies flee, they flee,
And she who remains at home will divide the spoil!"

Those who are fighting against the heavenly will of God will come to recognize that they cannot win; but instead of repenting and returning to the Lord, they flee in panic leaving their possessions behind, and we hope none of us are among them.

13. When you lie down among the sheepfolds,
You are like the wings of a dove covered with silver,
And its pinions with glistening gold.

We donít believe that any humans should keep animals as a possession.
 
If we do have animals in our care, and protect them from all harm, then and only then will we be like the silver and gold dove of peace as we lie down among the animals.

14. When the Almighty scattered the kings there,
It was snowing in Zalmon.

Zalmon is a mountain that could be in the Bashan region, which makes sense when we see the next verse, but the key point may just be that it was wintertime, or perhaps a time of discomfort, particularly when we consider the scattering of the kings, a separation from God for they chose death rather than life.

15. A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan;
A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.
 
16. Why do you look with envy,
O mountains with many peaks,
At the mountain which God has desired for His abode?
Surely, the LORD will dwell there forever.

God has set before us a choice, life versus death, and we have to choose whether we are going to follow God or the corrupt ways of this world.
 
The many peaks of Bashan seem to be symbolic of the many ways that human beings try to get around the heavenly will of God and try to get the Lord to accept these worldly ways, so the psalmist responds that there is only one way, Godís way.
 
We need to choose life!

17. The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands;
The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness.

We believe that the chariots of God are symbolically representing the strength of God as ministered to by His myriads of angels.

18. Thou hast ascended on high,
Thou hast led captive Thy captives;
Thou hast received gifts among men,
Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there.
 
19. Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation.
Selah.

And this salvation brings us into everlasting life in heaven with the Lord.

20. God is to us a God of deliverances;
And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.

Those who choose life escape death; itís as simple as that; however, in doing this, we must walk away from our former worldly ways, and never look back.
 
And since there is no death in heaven, it means that as children of God who live in His heavenly will, we can no longer remain indifferent to the pain, suffering, and death that are inflicted upon billions of animals every year.
 
Furthermore, since we have been appointed by God to be caretakers of the animals, then we must also realize that the choice of life versus death must also apply to the animals.
 
Thus, as stewards or caretakers of the animals, we must choose life for the animals, just as we do for ourselves, which means that we can no longer eat them or their by-products, or exploit them in any other way.
 
Our choice of life versus death applies to every human being, to every other animal, and to the environment in which we all live.
 
The way most people live on this earth, today, seems as though they are bringing death upon themselves, upon the other animals, and upon our environment, which is on the verge of collapse due to the increase in global warming.
 
And remember that we can see all of these things in the writings of the Old Testament, just as we can see them in the writings of the New Testament; all it takes to see these things is to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.
 
Itís all before our eyes.
 
Just as the choice of life versus death is before our eyes.
 
Itís time we stop this downward spiral of death.
 
Itís time we choose life for ourselves and the rest of creation.
 
We can, if we want to.
 
We can!
 
Amen.

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