Do you raise the dead? Jesus says this is a qualification for salvation or being found in Him

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies”

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.

John 10 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 11 25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;

John 14 6 Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Luke 4 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’

Do you believe these claims of Jesus, the Christ? Do you believe that He is life Himself? Do you want Him or do you only want the riches and enjoyment of what you make up in your mind that heaven will be like? DO YOU DO GREATER WORKS THAN THOSE JESUS DID?

These verses are challenging. They challenge me. I doubt I come close to the last one, but I want to. I want to heal the sick and raise the dead. I want to proclaim the good news to the poor, to set captives free, to recover sight for the blind, and to free the oppressed, like Jesus says He came to do.

Is it possible for simple me in my simple life to do such things? I believe it is. This next thing I want to say is going to sound presumptuous but I want to share it with you because I do NOT believe anyone will enter heaven without this being true of their lives according to what scripture shows: I strive to live my daily life in this way. That is, I fight for this with all my being including but not limited to not taking jobs that would keep me from doing this and attempting to choose a spouse who could help me do this or really asking God for that kind of spouse in order to live my life in a way that sincerely invites God to do His great works-that is GREATER WORKS than even the ones Jesus did during His very short ministry on earth-in my daily walk with Him. I will explain more what I mean. Before I begin, though, I just want to point out that I am using “I” not to say all these mentions are things I personally have been involved in but to try to get you to place yourself in this position- that is the position of someone who does these things or someone who truly IS saved and truly IS going to heaven to be with the Lord when they die because they do even greater works than what Jesus showed the earth when He was here.

When I go to the street where there are drug addicts, prostitutes, people practicing witchcraft (YES I AM STILL TALKING ABOUT THE US! GET OUT AND YOU WILL SEE THIS IS TRUE!), people worshiping the devil in hell (I THINK I READ ON A NEWS STORY YOU CAN FIND GROUPS LIKE THAT AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS NOW-LORD PLEASE BE WITH US, MY GOD AND MY KING!), drug dealers, murderers and thieves am I not going into the heart of the valley of dry bones just like Ezekiel? Does it matter that the dry bones God calls me to prophesy over and speaks the words of life to-namely to speak Jesus Himself over these piles of decay-can walk and talk? Does it matter that these dead, dry corpses often have driver licenses and can drive themselves around the city? Does it matter that many of these dead corpses have great jobs and live in great homes and attend great little Mid-western churches where things are done right unlike the craziness in places like California? Does it matter that these dead bones live in mansions (which I mean to include almost any house or apartment in the U.S. because it IS mansion living compared to how most of the world lives) on nice little streets and have well kept lawns and well dressed children who play games in the front on Saturdays and Sundays?

My impression from scripture is that it does not matter. Jesus called the Pharisees, who were very much “alive” in a physical sense because they were dueling with Him, dead bones. I think this is a safe analogy, and perhaps, more than that a fitting analogy that we ought to use to be in sync with how Jesus saw things.

“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live…On that day you will realize that I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you…Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.'”

Ezekiel 37 1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ 4 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ 11 Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are died up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken and I have done it, declares the LORD.’

Matthew 23 27 ‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead man’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

If I go, or invite such people to my home, to proclaim the words of life-that is to proclaim JESUS-to them, am I not trying to raised the dead and heal the sick and set the oppressed free? When I beg someone to leave drugs and the street behind for the comforts of knowing Christ and of having a sound mind set on Him am I not attempting to set captives free BY THE POWER AND WORKING OF GOD ALONE FOR THE GLORY OF GOD ALONE AND NOT MY DOING? When the people I proclaim Jesus to began to rise up in life from the chaos of a pornography addiction or from the control of a drug dealer or pimp to the light and freedom found only in Jesus, have I not-BY THE LORD’S MIGHT ALONE AND HIS GOODNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS ALONE AND NOT MY OWN-succeeded in my goal. If someone leaves drugs (if only for a few days even) or an abusive relationship or decides not to return to an abusive situation, have I not raised the dead with my preaching of the gospel by the power of Christ living in me?

“…If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 14 15 ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.’

John 15 1 ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 5 ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

James 5 19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Have I not turned a sinner from their ways, when someone hangs up the phone or leaves the chat room, now knowing that they will NOT TAKE THEIR OWN LIFE because of the words of life I have used by my own mouth or messages written in my own hand to proclaim over them-Jesus incarnate in my tongue and my fingers and my very being, raising them from the hopelessness of their own life to the light and glory of God with us and God in us who is JESUS THE CHRIST?

When I beg someone not to “shoot-up” in the bathroom in order to gain favor with a group of students at school or to join a club at college, am I not trying to restore sight to the blind-that is to the one who has become blind because they see acceptance by the world as better than acceptance by God? When I interrupt my Saturday night plans to beg someone-someone who has never done anything remotely similar for me I may add-over the phone not to end their life before Jesus does because they just can’t take it anyone and things aren’t turning out how they thought, am I not attempting to raise the dead because a person who desires to take their life is basically the walking dead in the final moments before they do?

Walking dead. Isn’t that a popular tv show? SO then, you are already familiar with dead people who can walk around. Well, I need not explain it further. Jesus’s call to come to Him and truly be found in Him, is a call to do the works He does, like raising people from the dead. If you do NOT do the works Jesus does YOU WILL NOT BE FOUND IN HIM AND YOU WILL NOT GO TO HEAVEN. If you want to dispute this, I suggest you read the New Testament a few times and that you not waste your time arguing with me but rather go to God and see what He is about. Please, America, care about your own salvation instead of always worrying about your neighbor when your life looks nothing like scripture either! What I am saying is in the Bible!

2 Timothy 1 8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. 13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

Paul, an apostle, teaching Timothy to guard the gospel? Does the gospel itself need guarding? Certainly not! Rather, it seems we need guarding to be faithful to the gospel. Other parts of scripture confirm this.

Philippians 2 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

1 Timothy 4 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Notice I am not saying- and really scripture is not saying- to assume we are believers and then attribute all these scriptures on believers to ourselves. Rather scripture encourages us to examine our lives to see if these scriptures are true of us and then we will see whether we are a true believer or not.

1 Corinthians 9 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a away as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Hebrews 3 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’ 16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Hebrews 4 1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

1 John 2 28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

It makes so much sense from scripture that a person who truly has Christ in them, which includes access to this power, would EASILY be able to do greater works than the ones Jesus did because of the mighty power living and working in them, with the first great work God does in them being the resurrection that God does on that believer’s own walking dead corpse. If Christ is in someone how can they not be lifted from lifeless apathy in devotions and church attendance, from selfish use of their money and talents, from addictions and anger and lust and greed. IF CHRIST IS LIVING IN YOU, HOW CAN YOU STAY IN THESE THINGS THAT THE BIBLE SAYS ARE DEATH TO US.

Jesus offers us Jesus. If that offer doesn’t sound like the best news you have ever heard then you do not know God and you are not saved.

Ephesians 1 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Scripture says that a believe does not stay in sin. Scripture says that a believer is not continually in things that bring death but continually pursues life or the things of the Spirit.

1 John 3 6 No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are:  Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

Romans 8 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

To be born again means to see this with all your heart, mind, and being. The one who does not see it this way, does not have Jesus, and is not born again and so is not saved.

Notice I am not saying- and really scripture is not saying- to assume we are believers and then attribute all these scriptures on believers to ourselves. Rather scripture encourages us to examine our lives to see if these scriptures are true of us and then we will see whether we are a true believer or not.

1 John 3 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies themselves, just as he is pure.

The beauty of what God offers us when He offers us eternal life is that the offer is really of Himself. Jesus offers us Jesus. If that offer doesn’t sound like the best news you have ever heard then you do not know God and you are not saved.

When we are like Jesus, or born again like it says in John 3, it means we see Jesus as He is. Jesus is THE BEST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN TO US. To be born again means to see this with all your heart, mind, and being. The one who does not see it this way, does not have Jesus, and is not born again and so is not saved. Scripture shows that we will live or die (not by our perfection in the fight against sin) but by the treasure we hold in our heart. We will be saved based on this.

1 John 3 1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Heaven will be a place of continual worship of God, If your highest delight in life is NOT the worship of the one true God whose name is Jesus, you would not want to be there anyways. Heaven will be worship of God our Savior 24 proverbial hours a proverbial day, 7 proverbial days a proverbial week, and 365 proverbial days a proverbial year for an ETERNITY.

Revelations 4 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6 Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’ 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’ 

Isaiah 6 1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’

If worship of God is not your highest delight during your time on earth, what makes you think you will be invited to the greatest ever AFTER-earth party since time and memorial? Allow me to spoil the ending for you… you will by no means be there.

Being a believer means that if you ever face a choice between something other than God and God – where you MUST choose one or the other – then you choose Jesus-over your life, over your money, even over your happiness. It is scary, but it is exactly the kind of reckless faith we see in scripture that pleases God.

Luke 5 17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’

It was dangerous to lower a person through someone’s roof! But they did it anyway because they were desperate for Jesus.

Matthew 8 6 ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.’ 7 Jesus said to him, ‘Shall I come and heal him?’ 8 The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, ‘Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

It was crazy to ask Jesus to say a word and not even be near the person to heal them! This man’s “craziness” led to a major compliment from God.

Matthew 9 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ 22 Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment. 

It was downright reckless for this women to approach Jesus with the audacity she approached him with. She did it anyway and was publicly commended by God.

Matthew 15 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.’ 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.’ 24 He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel,’ 25 The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. 26 He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ 27 ‘Yes it is, Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.28 Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.

This examples really goes without saying but just in case you really need the point driven home, referring to oneself as a dog is humble and right before the God of the universe and shows He truly is the object of your affections. She acknowledged Jesus as her God and Master and she was not ashamed to lose her composure in order to let the world know how important He was to her.

God will be glorified! I am hoping and praying He will do His good work of belief in whoever reads this as He glorifies His name in all the earth.