– Charles Spurgeon
Dust to Glory
The saying “ashes to ashes and dust to dust” has been read at many funerals and is based on Genesis 3:19 after the fall of mankind where God is telling Adam, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Not very promising, is it? But for the believer, there is hope in this life and most of all in the life to come because God ever lives. Many thousands of years ago, Job had hope even after death but not in himself. His belief was in God, as he said, “That my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me” (Job 19:25-27)! Even though we’re wasting away, day by day, this life is “not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18b).
Dead to Life
In Ephesians 2:1-3 it says we “were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” So what changed that death to life in us? It was not because of anything we did but only “because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Perishable and the Imperishable
Whatever we do in good works for Christ’s glory will be treasures in heaven waiting for us, and they are free from rust and decay. So when we receive our rewards, they have not diminished with time. But even greater, we ourselves will be free from corruption. Paul speaks of the new birth required to enter the kingdom, as “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50). But for the born-again by God, it will be “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52). I can’t wait for that!
God never changes, thankfully, like we do. We’re all so unstable as we change our minds and change our jobs. We might change our spouses, homes, or cars. But God has never changed once and never will, just as He says, “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6), and neither were we. We were more than dead in our sins. We were four days dead like Lazarus, and this required the very power of God.