It seemed like an ordinary promotional email from an online outdoor gear store, but there was an eye catching question in the subject matter: “Will the dead rise?”
The eerie picture drew me into two more questions that followed: “What if it’s this weekend?” and “Will you be ready?”
Immediately, I thought I missed something. Was there a natural disaster or some impending doom that had been scheduled for this weekend?
As I scrolled through the items of backpacks, knives, and axes I found out the company wanted me to prep for a Zombie Apocalypse. While this has never been on my “fear radar,” I then made the connection: Halloween is coming. While I always have been partial to costumes, candy, and parties there is something about evil, fear, and death that has never really appealed to me. I hope I am not spoiling someone’s weekend about warring with Zombies, but I believe the true threat of a Zombie Apocalypse to be non-existent.
The question is still poised: “Will the dead rise?”
The Bible covers the narrative of God and His creation and subjects of death and life are quite prominent themes. God made his creation to be in a loving relationship with him, but as the human race chose to disobey, there was separation. When Jesus came to earth, fully God and man, he lived a perfect life and spoke of the coming of God’s kingdom. Jesus ushered in this kingdom through his death and resurrection and made it possible to be back into relationship with God as described in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
So, even as all will face physical death, there is hope beyond the grave in believing and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Paul describes how little power death has when he echoes the scripture “Death has been swallowed up in victory” and “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54b-55).
Those in Christ do not need to fear death and can look forward to being united with Christ for eternity. We look forward to the day when “…the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
So, yes, the dead will rise if they are alive in Christ. I’ll let you answer the other question on my email: “Will you be ready?”
Frank Alioto is the pastor of The River Covenant Church: “An Alaskan church for people who would rather go to the River.” We gather on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary in Soldotna. Call 252-2828 or visit www.therivercovenantchurch.org.