Read: Deuteronomy 5-7, Mark 12:1-27
Have you ever heard an unbeliever say, “Why should I believe in God? What has He ever done for me?” Well, first of all, if you’re questioning what He has or hasn’t done for you, the first question is moot because there must be a measure of belief in someone in order to question their motives. Second, aside from offering a plan of salvation that leads to eternal life, He hasn’t done anything for you. Why should He? He’s not your God.
Before you get all that’s heresy! on me, let me explain.
This was Jesus’ response to the Sadducees question regarding eternal life. It’s like someone who doesn’t believe in God asking why God hasn’t done anything for them. The Sadducees said there was no resurrection. No such thing as eternal life. Yet they put Jesus on the spot with a question about life after death.
So what then did Jesus mean when he said that His Father was the God of the living, not of the dead?
Then he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
Exodus 3:6 (NIV)
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says this:
God implied that the patriarchs were still alive and that He had a continuing relationship with them as their covenant-keeping God, even though they had died long before… He is still the patriarchs’ God which would not be true had they ceased to exist at death, that is, if death ends it all. And His covenant faithfulness implicitly guarantees their bodily resurrection.
Jesus was not talking about physical death, but of spiritual death. No matter how good you think you may be, we are all born spiritually dead, and there is only one way to overcome that death—to be born again.
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
John 3:5-6 (NIV)
I cannot make my point better than the character of P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman:
‘Cause you’re just a dead man walking
Thinking that’s your only option
But you can flip the switch and brighten up your darkest day
Sun is up and the color’s blinding
Take the world and redefine it
Leave behind your narrow mind
You’ll never be the same
Come alive, come alive
Go and ride your light
Let it burn so bright
Reaching up to the sky
And it’s open wide
Come Alive, words and music by Justin Paul, Benj Pasek
The dead cannot have the same experience as those who are alive. It’s impossible. There are certain things that God has reserved solely for His children—those made alive in Christ through the rebirth. Anyone who has not accepted salvation through Jesus cannot experience those things—those who remain spiritually dead having either not yet received Christ or having rejected him altogether. Again, it’s impossible.
If you want God to do something for you, you must first do something for Him. Accept Him. Believe in Him. Trust that His Word is true and that all of His promises are guaranteed because of His covenant with His children.
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 our transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-7 (NIV)