This week's message was given by David Cooper, a Miles Ahead Crusade speaker and Rock member. To introduce his topic, he asked everyone to rub their hands together and whisper the famous line from the movie The Sixth Sense, "I see dead people." It sounded very spooky when everyone did it at once.
He then showed a short clip of the movie, which portrays a little boy who has the ability to see dead people. In reality, the only people with the ability to see dead people are believers.
Ephesians 2:1-3 states, As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
Paul speaks to the Ephesians, telling them that they were once like the world, dead in sin. Only Christ saves humans from being walking dead people. Ephesians 2:4-5 states, But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.
Cooper shared four keys that help to discern whether someone is spiritually dead or alive.
The dead show no signs of life.
A spirit is the sign of vitality. People who train wild horses must first break their spirits. The spirit is the driving force, the vitality of life. Christ gives that life to those who believe. Colossians 2:13 states, When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.
To determine if there are signs of life in the people around you, look for the pulse, like a paramedic, to see what makes them get up in the morning. Look for their ambition and what they are driven to do.
Next, look at their home, not just the size, but the quality of relationships within it. This may lead you to their hurt. Many people have something in their life that has hurt them so much that they hurt others around them. Finally, look at their health. Emotional hurt always takes a toll on the physical appearance, whether through posture, countenance, or actual illness.
The dead look like the dead.
In the Bible, there is a story of a group of people who begin to realize that things in their lives are causing them to be spiritually dead. Isaiah 59:10 states, Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.
They say that they are "like men without eyes." Without eyes to see, you can be easily misled. Sin will deceive you, captivate you, and lock you up. The spiritually dead are locked into sinfulness.
The verse also describes them as "blind." The light of their spirit is turned off and they are like sleepwalkers. They are locked into darkness.
Even at midday, they "stumble as if it were twilight." In your own life, do you know people who have stumbled, even successful leaders? Often, when tragedy strikes, it makes people stumble as if it were dark, because something inside of them has shattered.
The dead live life in moral chaos.
Our culture says that it is okay to do whatever is necessary to get what you want, regardless of right and wrong. It is a culture of moral chaos. To be moral is to have good character and standards of right and wrong. Today there is great confusion and complete disorder when it comes to moral standards. James 3:16 states, For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
The dead do not have standards to live by, so they make choices leading to calamity. Choices always have consequences and choices made out of desperation and confusion can result in great loss or misfortune. The dead also make choices distorting destiny. By making bad choices, they are choosing not to fulfill their destiny.1 Corinthians 14:13 states, For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. God gives spiritual gifts for specific purposes. Speaking in tongues without an interpreter is disorderly, so God commands that this gift be interpreted if it is used.
God is not a God of chaos and disorder, but a God of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:13
The dead demonstrate a life screaming for CPR.
Do you see people around you crying out for help? Do you see people with great personal voids, or with real emergencies that need immediate attention? Or do you see these things in your own life? Many people around us everyday do not realize that they are dead. They have no idea what real life is about.
But we have a God that specializes in death. He can raise people from the dead, and even raised Himself from the dead. Colossians 2:15 states, And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
The Bible says that if you forgive men, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. God loves you and is concerned about your life. God wants you to experience life, and has a wonderful plan for you. Choose to follow Him and choose life today.