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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



 A simple little piece of prose seen on the tombstone of Mr. Peas reminds us of the momentous Bible truth that life does not end at death: "Here lies Peas under the sod. Peas not here, only the pod. Peas shelled out, gone home to God." What happens when the pod is put under the sod, that is, when life on earth ends and the body is buried? One of the most awesome teachings advanced in the Bible is that God will raise human beings from the dead to give account for the way they lived while on earth. For two thousand years Christianity has confronted men and women with Jesus' claim in John 12:25-26: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" The apostle Paul believed there would be a resurrection of the dead, and that belief powerfully impacted the way he chose to live his life. While on of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience trial before the Roman governor Felix, Paul stated: "I have hope in God ... that there will be a resurrection without offense toward God and men" (Acts 24:15-16). Paul believed that when the pod is put under the sod, Peas shells out and goes home to God.

But not everybody believes that. A few days before Jesus' death, He was confronted by some Sadducees in Mark 12:18-27. Mark makes a telling statement about this Jewish sect in verse 18 when he records that the Sadducees "say there is no resurrection." That statement is repeated in Acts 23:8 where we are told that they also "say there is no angel or spirit." The Sadducees believed that when you put the pod under the sod, Peas stayed in the pod! The Sadducees' spiritual descendants are still with us. Modern day naturalists/materialists insist that when a person dies, life is over. Period. As in "stick a fork in them" because they are done. The modern naturalist insists there is no God, no judgement, no eternity, no Heaven, no hell. Just the grave. Their belief that there is no God forces them to the same conclusion the Sadducees reached: when you put Peas' under the sod, he stays there with his pod. British theologian R. C. Sproul summed up the mindset of millions when he said, "Modern man is betting his life that this is it, and that there is no judgement and that there is no eternity." Do you believe there is life after death? If you do, how is that belief affecting how you are living your life before death? Unless Jesus returnsfirst, we will all have to die. What will happen when your pod is put under the sod?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ