Spiritual Zombies

“And you were once dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…”
Ephesians 2:1-2

Have you noticed lately the prevalence of Zombie talk in the news, papers, and movies?  This Halloween season there is a new selection of Zombie movies to choose from.  There has been a surge of viral videos on the web in this genre.  Even in today’s paper there was a report of man in Iowa City who was approached by another man who called him a zombie, then proceeded to hit him in the eye and nose.  The walking dead have a certain appeal and fascination today.

Did you know that the Bible mentions Zombies as well?  They aren’t called Zombies by name, but the walking dead are clearly there.  Paul says in Ephesians 2: “And you were once dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…”  Have you ever really thought about what the Apostle Paul is saying here?  You – and this is a plural you which would include, you, me, and everyone else who has read Paul’s letter – even though you were spiritually dead in your sins, you continued to walk through this life. 

I first brought this up at my Junior and Senior High bible studies – I think they thought I had lost my mind.  I showed them Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Video (which I remembered being a lot scarier when it first came out).  I really liked this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a6YdNmK77k.  We watched the movie trailer for ZombieLand.  Then we talked about Paul’s description of our lives before Christ.  Then just this week, in the my Men’s Bible Study on the Gospel of John this mornng we read this paragraph from John MacArthur:

A person who is spiritually dead has no life by which he can respond to spiritual things, much less live a spiritual life.  No amount of love, care, and words of affection from God can draw a response.  A spiritually dead person is alienated from God and therefore alienated from life.  He has no capacity to respond.  As the great Scottish commentator John Eadie said, “it is a case of death walking.”  Men apart from God are spiritual Zombies, the walking dead who do not know they are dead.  The go through the motions of life, but they do not possess it.  Above all else, a dead person needs to be made alive.

This is the condition of the human spirit, of your heart, before being made alive in Christ.  Jesus said, “No one can see the kingdom of heaven unless he is born again” (John 3:3).  Paul goes on to write in Ephesians that God, “being rich in mercy… made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5).  Those who place their faith in Christ Jesus, have been made alive by the grace of God and have been given the promise of really living.  We are resurrected from the dead, awakened from our slumber, and given new life to live today!

This Halloween, as the children (and some adults) dress up for Trick-or-Treating, be on the lookout for Zombies.  No, not the walking dead who are out to eat your brains.  Instead, watch for those who think they are alive, but are truly lost without Christ.  You were once one of them, but someone shared a word of promise with you, someone shared the Gospel, and you found new life in Jesus.  Rather than giving the Zombies candy and sending them on their way, do you think you could share a word of love, hope, and promise?

Grace and peace,

SDG (Sola Dei Gloria)

Not in Vain…

What does a man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 1:3

There are times when I really agree with the Preacher of Ecclesiastes.  Lately it seems that the more work I do, the further behind I get.  Trying to find a way to balance all the plates I have spinning, and all the hats I have to wear, the “woe is me” inside of me cries out, “It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.  I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after the wind” (Ecc. 1:13-14).

Still I know that there is meaning and purpose to life.  I was not put here for vanity’s sake.  I was created and called to glorify God, and so were you.  He has put eternity into our hearts (Eccl 3:11) so that we would long for God.  He has created us to know Him, to praise Him, and He has made us to know Him.  God has created us in such a way that we will not find our rest until we rest in Him, that we will have no lasting joy until our joy is found in Him. 

The way we live sometimes tries to deny this reality, but God is the center of the universe, all things were made by Him and for His glory.  When we scramble around frantically we act as though we are the center.  We soon find, though, that when we put ourselves in the center, we are merely in the eye of the hurricane – and we are powerless to still the winds.  The sooner we remember that this life is to be lived for God, we find He has the power to calm the storms we face.

Wonderfully, the flip-side of living for the glory of God is that we also get to enjoy His presence.  When God is at the very center of our lives, we our ultimate fulfillment is in honoring Him and living for His glory, we quickly discover the joy and blessing of God’s awesome presence.  We are overcome by His love.  We are stilled by His peace.  We are comforted by His mercy.  We are strengthened by His might right hand. 

What a promise we’ve been given.  This world is not “Vanity, Vanity!”  In spite of the busyness of our lives, we have a purpose and promise from God.  Maybe we simply need to stop and hear Him say again, “Be still and know that I am God.”

 Almighty God, bring our busyness to a crashing halt.  Remind us of the purpose and promise you’ve given.  My we find you in the center of our being, that we might live for your glory and know the joy of your presence.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

SDG