Saving Grace

There is no redemption after death

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-39

Separation of any kind is most painful. It is an unwelcome experience that we face in this world of sin and woe.

There are many different kinds of separation. People are separated voluntarily and involuntarily. Whatever the separation, it causes great pain, unpleasantness, and suffering.

The most painful and final separation prevalent to the human experience is that of death. Once a loved one has passed from this life into eternity, the separation is complete. Yes, it is final. The grave separates the living from the dead.

Except for death, many of the separations we encounter in this life, here on Earth, for the most part, are temporary. As we live out our life, we have opportunities to reunite with those from whom we have been separated.

However, a separation from God is devastating, without the chance of unification. This separation comes to those who die without Christ. They choose to separate themselves from the Lord. In choosing to separate ourselves from the love of Christ during our living, brings condemnation in the resurrection, or the life to come. There is no redemption after death.

Our hope of neutralizing death is found in Christ Jesus. In his cross, his suffering, death, and resurrection, we can hope for unification with our loved ones in Christ in the resurrection.

In our text, the apostle Paul raised the question, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

In this text, the apostle asks the question: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Paul is not suggesting that the people of God will live free of complications in life.

We go through numerous afflictions and tribulations in our daily living. Notwithstanding this, the stumbling blocks or obstacles of life do not separate us from the love of Christ.

No, not death, the great separator, can separate us from the love of Christ. Not the angels above, not earthly rulers, not the things present or powers to come.

The terrible things that happen to us in this life – sickness, cancer, diseases – do not mean that we are separated from the love of Christ. Yes, these are the things that afflict the followers of Christ, but that does not mean that we are separated.

In verse 37 of the text, the apostle reassures us who are in Christ Jesus, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Our victory is not secure because of our hold on Christ, but by his hold on us. Therefore, we may live each day, including today, confidently trusting in the love of Christ, our redeemer, to save us. Amen.

 
  • Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.  

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