Attending One’s Own Funeral

South Koreans have taken the world by storm with their k-pop culture, Korean drama series and fashion. Seldom you will find Asian and even some Western women not well aware of the latest Korean drama or the up to date news of well-liked and well-known Korean artists. This is the commercial aspect of Korea being projected to the world; a glittering utopian paradise of sort where women and men are beautiful and good looking living up the good life.

However, one Korean King James Bible believing preacher called the capital of South Korea Seoul, “Sodom”. A recent documentary presented South Korea in a very different light from what the world is known to have understood. It is a cruel society that has lost its soul where suicide occurs every 33 minutes. That is quite astounding and unflattering for a nation of significant economic prowess where big corporations such as Samsung is giving Apple a run for its money on electronic and digital products. So stripping away the phenomenal facade of success, South Korea is just another country where many are left behind and the elderly are abandoned and left to die alone.

The documentary portrays attending one’s funeral as some therapeutic remedy for those afflicted with suicidal thoughts where participants are reborn after the experience to get back to life with a new found meaning and a new perspective in life. Sadly, the cold and cruel reality of the world around them won’t change and the constant slavery of making a living will still continue to plague them for the rest of their lives living out a meaningless existence. This rebirth experience is definitely not going to change reality on the ground.

The Bible however, also talks about dying and being born again.

Firstly, every sinner in this world is born dead in trespasses and sins regardless of whether the sinner is conscious of this fact and reality. Every living human is already condemned to death and waiting for the final execution to come; that is the reality.

Ephesians 2:1: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

For a Christian however, he has been quickened which means he no longer remains in this state stuck dead in trespasses and sins. He has moved on from that state and has acquired a new status and a new course of life. This is done by God who quickens the new believer with Christ being saved by the grace of God. While physical death is still true for a Christian, it is not an execution of condemnation awaiting for the wrath to come but a translation into the presence of the Lord continuing in this new life eternal.

Ephesians 2:4: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Ephesians 2:5: Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

This theological fact is further explained by the apostle Paul writing to the believers in Rome.

Romans 6:7: For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 6:8: Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Romans 6:9: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Romans 6:11: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Once a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepts Him as Lord and Saviour, his condemnation is already passed. He has been judged and executed together with Christ and died with Him on the cross of Calvary. When Christ rose from the dead, the new born child of God is likewise raised and he now lives together with the Lord in newness of life.

The apostle Paul also explained to believers in Galatia he had already been judged by the law and was already executed and dead to the law. He had then been reborn to live unto God.

Galatians 2:19: For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

In like manner, the apostle Paul also expounded to believers in Colosse concerning their death experience and the subsequent rebirth in Christ.

Colossians 2:13: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

The apostle Paul also wrote to Timothy to remind him of this theological fact that as believers, we are already dead with Christ in the past but are now alive to live with the resurrected Lord.

2 Timothy 2:11: It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

Hence the new birth experience for a Christian is completely different from a man-made funeral event that leads to a psychological rebirth experience for suicidal persons. Christian new birth leads to hope and eternal life while the man-made psychological fake death experience simply provides an emotionally charged experience seeking to alter attitudes and change of mind concerning the struggles in this life.

Without a biblical new birth experience, there will be no hope and no eternal life to look forward to for a sinner struggling hopelessly in this fallen cruel world. As such, the Lord Jesus Christ requires a sinner to be born again in order to live. Every other sinner will remain dead in trespasses and sins struggling to find meaning in this life with no true life thereafter.

John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:4: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

John 3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The first water birth by the flesh cannot see life and enter the kingdom of God. It requires the second birth by the Spirit that will accord life eternal. This process cannot be obtained by a man-made fake death experience. No middle man can facilitate the process to confer this second birth of the Spirit. It requires the sinner to simply come to Christ without any merit of his own but receives the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:13: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The born again sinner is conferred the title as a son of God. This new birth experience is not born of blood and of will of man through a gestation period but is an instantaneous event because it is effected by the Spirit of God. The Lord Jesus Christ confirms this fact that the reborn sinner has been passed from death unto life, explicitly mentioning everlasting life.

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

So the apostle Paul practised the art of dying daily to remind himself that he was already dead in Christ been judged by the law and then live on with Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:31: I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Thus Christians should reckon themselves to be already dead but are now alive with Christ and awaiting for redemption of a new body to live on eternally. Man-made psychological death experience in order to get an emotional high has no place for a child of God. Pity lost sinners wallowing in the mire of sorrows and despairs and may the Lord be merciful to draw many more struggling sinners to experience the true new birth in Christ.


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