Are You The Living Among The Dead?

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Luke 24:5 KJV) And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

In the above verse we read a part of the testimony of the angels in the tomb of Christ that He was not there but that he had risen. Basically, the angels were asking a question of the women who went to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus for proper burial. Isn’t it interesting what man was going to consider an end, God made it a beginning. Well the women were very surprised and they went and told the Apostles. When we look at verse 8, we read:
(Luke 24:8 KJV) “And they remembered his words,” The women remembered the words of the Lord Jesus that He was going to rise on the third day. I think it was also interesting that the Apostles, who saw all the miracles including the raising of Lazarus, thought that the message the women told was idle tales.

Well I am not going to write an article on the resurrection today but what I want to do is to look at the incredible principle for living found in our text. The Lord Jesus was physically dead and was now resurrected to life. Before someone becomes saved, they too are dead, they are not physically dead, but spiritually dead. Salvation happens only on this side of the grave and no amount of praying or donating will ever get anyone into Heaven after they die. Their eternal fate is sealed on this side of the grave. The principle which I want to enunciate is found in the second part of the text, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”

Man is dead toward the things of God and is unable to regenerate himself in any capacity. Therefore, the only way a person becomes saved is when God regenerates them to spiritual life. Once we have become born again Christians, our lives drastically change and there is a new set of standards which the Christian must live by. No longer are we to do the things of the world nor are we to live by the standards the world sets down. We lived in those ways before we became saved but no longer do we live unto the world but unto God. That is why when we live in the ways of the world, we become “the living among the dead.”

Many Christians still feel it is fine to do things which the world does such as drink beer or even smoke. They will categorize it as Christian liberty. That is the wrong usage of Christian liberty. Christian liberty is the fact that Christ fulfilled all the demands of the law on behalf of His Elect and we are no longer required to keep them. It has nothing to do with continuing to fulfill our lusts of the flesh.
(Rom 13:14 KJV) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Whenever we continue to partake of the satisfying of the flesh we are then the living among the dead. God wants His people to be holy and not be following in the ways of the world. What right does a child of God have to go into the world and continue to partake in the very sins which they have been delivered from?

Too many Christians are living their lives as close to the edge of hell as they can, to try and bring excitement into it. The excitement of the world is always a sinful path. Christians need to be doing the work of the Lord and not seeing how close they can live their lives to the world of sin. Not only must Christians halt themselves from living wrongly, they must also halt themselves from absorption of false teachings which are plaguing Christianity to death. Many of the teachings which permeate Christianity are coming from false systems and Christians must be very discerning that they are not walking among the dead in the arena of false teachings.

How about you? When Christians look for you, do they look for you among the dead or among the living? When God sees your life, does He see you living among the dead or among the living? In Mark 5, we read a very compelling event. A man who had many demons living in him was living among the tombs. He was to be heard screaming and yelling, and seen cutting himself with stones. He was unable to be fettered with chains as he broke them with his demonic strength. You see when we lived in the world, we would never place any chains on our life which could not easily be broken. We shouldn’t fornicate but if we do we should practice safe sex. Take things from our employer, after all the company has enough money. If life gets too tough, start drinking and if that doesn’t help then start doing drugs. You see the chains of the world all come with an open lock so we can get out of any situation using rationale.

Once this demon possessed man was delivered from all the demons and was saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, his first response was to follow Christ but the Lord gave him a task to return to his home town and be a testimony to the grace of God right there. He was once the dead living among the dead but after the Lord raised him to newness of life, he was now among the living. We too have a responsibility to be a witness to our family and friends. What kind of witness would we be if we were found to be the living among the dead?  (4/23/04)