I’m amazed that this phenomenally popular show has a scriptural basis (but I’m more amazed this phenomenally popular show is phenomenally popular). In fact, the Bible says, quite clearly, that we can be physically alive and spiritually dead at the same time.
Every human being on the face on the earth today or since the beginning of time–except Jesus Christ–was born dead to God. That’s somewhere, according to various calculations, between 106 to 108 billion people! Everyone reading this, no matter how good you’ve been, good things you have done, or who your parents or grandparents were, or anyone else in your generational tree, et al, at one point in time was part of the family of The Walking Dead:
2 And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you once walked. You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God]. 3 Among these [unbelievers] we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind]. 4 But God, being [so very] rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of our sins, He made us [spiritually] alive together with Christ (for by His grace—His undeserved favor and mercy—you have been saved from God’s judgment) (Ephesians 2:1-5 AMP).
We can learn a number of things from this section of Scripture about the walking dead and also the walking living. Verses 1-3 are the bad news. But beginning with verse 4, we have good news for everyone who will receive it. We’ll discuss this a bit more later on.
- Every human was at one point spiritually dead. (This means they were deadened to God. If they were dead in their spirit man, they were dead – in heaven or hell.)
- These same folks were also the objects of God’s wrath because of their transgressions and sins.
- Because of this state they were all completely under the influence of the prince of the power of the air (Satan); these unbelievers (those who have never repented and accepted Christ as their Savior) are referred to as “the sons of disobedience.”
- And unless these people’s spirits are born again (receive the Holy Spirit by faith), they will remain forever the objects of God’s wrath and remain separated from Him and heaven forever. He doesn’t desire this but wants everyone to come to repentance:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9 NIV).
Dead is Dead
People who have rejected Christ, or who are religious but clinging to their own righteousness, are plain and simply, spiritually dead. They are dead. They are Not sort of dead or sort of good-doers to whom God will someday say, “Ah, gee, look what you did. I’m going to let you in my heaven.” These folks are separated from the Lord Jesus who has paid the ultimate price for every sinful act, thought and desire of the heart. Think back — that’s the sins of those 106 to 108 billion people we discussed earlier.
A good friend and evangelist, now deceased and enjoying the glories of heaven, once made this abundantly clear by playing off the first line of an old Gospel tune, “Love Lifted Me.”
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,?
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,?
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,?
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
He made a point to focus on the error of this very sweet old hymn. No one was ever “sinking deep in sin” — they were on the bottom of the ocean!
A lot of our struggles in life are caused by not understanding the ultimate sinfulness of our lives. Like Avis, we try harder, but we have NO righteousness of our own, so Satan has a field day playing the role of The Accuser, constantly reminding us that we are not like Christ, no matter how much we do or know. The truth is he’s right. We only have ONE righteousness, and that is the righteousness that Christ gives us when we believe on Him and are born again. Here what the Apostle Paul wrote about himself:
The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness (Phil 3:7-9 The Message).
Outside of heart knowledge of this, we are nothing but a target for our own or Satan’s condemnation. Once you’ve repented and believed in Jesus’ sacrifice, knowing you’re righteous in Christ in your head definitely will suffice for heaven but not for everyday life. It is with the heart that we believe unto the full righteousness of Christ (Rom. 10:9-10). Much spiritual warfare is defeated by embracing and KNOWING this truth!
The Walking Living
Some Christians really enjoy living the LIFE; many don’t and fake it until they make it. Most of this kind of theological unhappiness comes from NOT knowing they’re the walking living – really alive and just waiting for a change of address one day (go to heaven). I must say this thing gets better as the years roll on, and we figure out WHOSE we are. And, to be realistic, the Christian life ain’t no joy ride every day – we have troubles just like everyone else, the same stinking temptations, same heartaches, same relationship failures, etc., that plague those outside of Christ. BUT we have the God of the universe living on the inside of us who has the answers, and we simply just need that revelation!
We are at the End of the whole shebang. If you don’t believe this, you need a Starbucks’ mega-caffeinated double espresso! You are either the walking dead or the walking living, who is so absolutely deceived that you need to leave the church you’re in and find one that’s awake:
14 For this reason He says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine [as dawn] upon you and give you light.”
Eph. 5:14 (AMP)
Millions on Planet Earth, as I write this, are in the zonked position. They watch day after day roll by and do nothing about the most important question they’ll have to answer: Where am I going to spend eternity? Or if they have made the choice of Jesus’ sacrifice for themselves, what did they do about it? Live for themselves? Play religious games? “Hey, let’s pray church.”
There is coming a rude awakening for many who have at this point decided life is just about them. It’s about eternity and what we do with it.
Joseph Beckham is the author of Overcoming Bipolar Disorder & Other Mental Difficulties: A Christian Perspective.
Get the print version today at https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=overcoming+bipolar+disorder+%26+Other+mental+difficulties&type=. The print version also will soon be available on Amazon, ITunes and other book distribution websites along with the epub version, which is already available. Joe is also the author of Deeper Water for Thirsty Souls – http://amzn.com/1493781286