Wake Up And Die Right!

There is the only right way but many wrong ways to leave this world to go into eternity. It would do each person well to take to heart the admonition of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.
Wake Up And Die Right!
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

I started dating Dorcas Yoder of Grantsville in the early part of 1973 and we were married almost a year and a half later. There were times I was relaxed or even dozed off in an easy chair at her parents’ house then, all of a sudden, just for fun Dorcas would poke me and exclaim, “Wake up and die right!” That startling sentence had been coming to my mind in the past few months and I felt the Holy Spirit tell me that it was a message for our times. There is even a passage in 1 Corinthians that

somewhat brings out that directive.

The first church at Corinth was plagued with numerous spiritual issues so the Holy Spirit moved upon the Apostle Paul to send them a letter (epistle) known as 1 Corinthians. Directed by God, Paul pointed them to corrections they had to make. One thing needed to be resolved was the truth of the resurrection. By the spirit he writes (15:12), “Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”

After discussing that issue to a degree, he was then moved by the Holy Spirit to write as recorded in verses 33 and 34 (Lexham English Bible [LEB]), “Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Sober up correctly and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame.” The Authorized Version along with a number of others puts it this way: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”

So you see why that passage reminds me of that playful scare, “Wake up and die right!” However, there is nothing playful when it comes to whether one will be damned or blessed in eternity. Verses 33 and 34 have an important warning for today and we may consider those two verses to contain the following directives.

I. Stay Alert

“Do not be deceived!”

Whether it is Jesus or one of the Apostles we will see warnings in various parts of the New Testament (NT) for true disciples not to be deceived. Looking ahead to the return of Christ the Holy Spirit in the NT at times presents an insight as to what will happen just before He returns. 2 Timothy 3:13 warns, “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

Another term that can be used to describe those of 2 Timothy 3:13 is “false prophets." In the previous article {1} it was noted that in a general sense “prophet" can refer to anyone speaking about God or the things of God. The average person (neighbor, relative, friend) can be a false prophet to a degree. They might proclaim or insinuate anything contrary to sound doctrine like, “the Bible is outdated," or it is not practical, or something like “they have been saying Christ is coming back for years and nothing has happened," or all religious paths lead to God.

Each person should guard against any level of pride that would make them think and feel that they could never be deceived. Those who claim to belong to Christ need to make sure they know His voice {2} and obey His written and spoken Word.

II. Stay Away

"“Bad company corrupts good morals.”"--LEB

If one tends to predominately listen to people instead of God they will be infected with non-Biblical teaching about God, develop a warped understanding of God and His ways, become spiritually estranged without knowing it, and fall into a spiritual stupor. Such spiritual poisoning does not always happen all of a sudden, but often occurs bit by bit over the course of time.

Because people do not know, listen to, and obey the written and spoken Word of God they develop a spiritual stupor to the Truth. In the case of the Corinthian church some had disregarded the Word and believed others who said there is no resurrection. There are some that say that today but, sadly, that is not the only untruth we need to stay away from.

In our time there is an over-emphasis upon the love of God at the expense of seeking after, knowing, and having His holiness. There is also a lack of understanding that a true Christian needs to have lively fellowship with God through His Son all of the time. Cheap grace, the prosperity gospel and very much more is proclaimed.

By the Holy Spirit Paul quotes from the Greek poet Menander’s comedy Thais, "Bad company corrupts good morals." {3} {4} Haggai 2:11-14 and many other passages support that point. Essentially what is brought out in Haggai 2:11-14 is the fact holiness is not contagious, but sinfulness is. This is why the true Christian needs the cleansing blood of Christ daily and throughout the day {5}.

Now, all this is not to say we must not have any dealings whatsoever with the unsaved, the spiritually week or corrupt. We must attempt to win the lost to Christ and edify His disciples. However, we are not to have a level of fellowship with them. In fact, Ephesians 5:11 states, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; . . .". If you dig a little deeper into the Greek you will discover “expose them" includes the possibility of shaming them.

III. Stay Awake 

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God:"--KJV
“Sober up correctly and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God—”--LEB

The word for “righteousness” in AV is more accurately presented as “rightly,” or as in the case of the LEB and other, “sober up.” Another word is used by the Holy Spirit elsewhere for terms like “the righteousness of God.” Strong indicates {6} that the Greek word here in verse 34 means, “to return to one’s self from drunkenness, become sober." Albert Barnes {7} suggests, “as it is right and just that you should be.”

It is with great sadness of heart that I must say much of today’s Church or church {8} needs this admonition today. There is a high level of corruption. For example, ignoring what Christ said about loving titles, many fellowships and denominations relish the usage of terms like Apostle, Prophet, Doctor, First Lady, and more. Yes, there are prophets and apostles today but too often it is used to give glory to man and not God. Another example is when sisters in Christ are referred to in worldly terms like “Miss” and the accursed “Ms.”

Then, like the Corinthian Church, sexual immorality often goes unchecked. Worldly ways have entered into worship. Pastors and teachers are weak with sound doctrine. Some time ago I heard a Presbyter in the Assemblies of God say, “If


God is going to err He will err on the side of mercy.” What!? God NEVER errs! I used to be credentialed with the Assemblies of God but God told me to leave as they increasingly interpreted the Holy Bible according to the thinking and wisdom of the world.

All need to heed the command in this verse to “stop sinning." That should be done out of love for God, respect of His majesty, and in godly fear of His righteous judgment, and by the grace of God with sorrowful repentance in light of the price His Son paid for us upon the cross. One of the worldly thoughts that run through the minds of many who claim the Name of Christ is “I am only human.” Instead they need to reckon themselves dead to sin and alive unto God through Christ (Romans 6:11).

Very sad is this phrase: “for some do not have the knowledge of God." Barnes indicates the “some" referred to some within the Corinthian church. Personally knowing God through Christ is essential for Eternal Life. Those that spiritually slumber do not have that. Therefore the title I have for this message is “Wake up and die right!”

In the context of this passage, to have the knowledge of God is not merely knowing about God, nor does it mean the one knows more about God the more spiritual they are. It means to personally know Him through a surrendered life in Christ Jesus. Such a surrendered life will love God in such a way that one obeys His written and spoken Word.

IV. Stay Aglow

“I say this to your shame.”

Shame has become a very unpopular concept in recent years. One reason is because sin is on the increase. Shame is first mentioned in the Holy Bible when Adam and Eve sinned. When done properly, shame is a corrective spiritual reaction that helps to make a person sorrowful in such a way as to lead them to true repentance.

Directed by the Holy Spirit Paul administers this loving rebuke in order that they would seek, cherish, and develop the personal knowledge of God through Jesus Christ in the way that he just mentioned. When a true Christian seeks, cherishes, and develops their direct personal knowledge of God they glorify Him.

When this happens Christ, the light of world (John 8:12), shines brighter in a true Christian’s life. As a result, the Christian fulfills their mission to also be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). In this manner we are to be aglow, and following the directives of 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 we can remain aglow.

By the Holy Spirit through the Apostle John, in 1 John 2:28, we are encouraged to “. . . abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming." There will be no need for shame, or to cause shame to the Name of Christ, as we dwell in Him and He in us. Whether you die or go in the rapture, if you are saved and remain in Christ your life here gives glory to God and will continue to give Him glory in eternity. If you have not surrendered your life to God through Christ, or have fallen away from His grace, please wake up and die right!

Notes:

{1} Please read Every Christian Ought To Have A Mighty Big Nose at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/every-christian-ought-to-have-a-mighty-big-nose .

{2} Please read To Hear The Voice Of God at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/hear-voice-god .

{3} As indicated in a footnote of the Lexham English Bible which states, “A quotation from the Greek poet Menander’s comedy Thais, 218.”

{4} The AV and some other translations have, “evil communications corrupt good manners.” However, checking the Greek, the LEB et al. give the more accurate rendering.

{5} Please listen to Dynamics Of The Door by selecting its link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M146 .

{6} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{7} From an electronic version of Barnes’ Notes, by Albert Barnes, incorporated into the Online Bible computer program.

{8} By “Church or church” I mean the true Church or the nominal church, those that are truly surrendered to God through Christ and those who say they are but bear no fruit.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by February 28, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M438 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 28-01-2017 66 1

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  • nbillett  06-02-2017
    This article has touched upon many points which have been occupying my mind over the past weeks. The first is the rising number of women being killed in my country. At first it seemed random, but over the past weeks it seems more organized, and the women killed are younger even in their teens. This morning while travelling work in a taxi, the other passengers and drivers were discussed on of the women, a teenager, who was found yesterday. All the women, when found were naked, and were either chopped or shot. They were all found in the bushes. The conversation in the taxi summed it up that these killed were of demonic nature. I wonder how ready these women were to die, and I pray that though they were taken abruptly from this earthly life, that they are at peace. It is quite shocking and the numbers are rising quickly.
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