God of the Living
Matthew 22:32 and the Afterlife
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Sermonette; #1495s; 22 minutes
Matthew 22:32 states that God "is not the God of the dead, but of the living." One Baptist minister, failing to look at other Scriptures on the subject of the resurrection and the reward of the saved, argued that the soul is immortal and that the reward of the saved is heaven. However, Christ's comment gives absolutely no mention about a place of the afterlife, but only a condition. We learn in Acts 2:29-34 that David is still in his grave—not in heaven. During his lifetime, this future King of Israel provided us with several resurrection psalms, available to Pharisee and Sadducee alike. Had the Sadducees believed God, they would have accepted the fact of the resurrection. Though the patriarchs are dead, God, capable of declaring the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), thinks of them as alive. Likewise, when God's called-out ones die, God's covenantal promises (of resurrection and eternal life) pass through the grave as we awaken in a glorified state.
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