Is there any benefit in our yearly commemoration of the dead? PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 October 2017 13:04

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The hand of the Lord was on 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... He asked me, `Son of man, can these bones live?’...Then he said to me, `Prophesy to these bones’…” (Ezekiel 37:1-4, the Holy Bible).

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IS THERE ANY BENEFIT IN OUR ANNUAL COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD? As the Filipino nation commemorates All Saints’ Day 2017, I would like to remind our readers here of an article we wrote on 01 November 2014 about how we remember the dead. Let us read it again: “Is there any benefit at all, for the dead and the living, that a day in one year be devoted to remembering the dead or the departed?

“And assuming that there is some benefit to these annual remembrances, are Filipinos doing it—the current manner of remembering the dead, I mean—correctly, as it were, so that the supposed benefit is achieved by both the living and the dead?

“I believe, and so does the `Simbahang Anak ng Diyos Kadugo Ni Kristo’ (Children of God Blood Kin of the Christ Church), that there is indeed a great benefit for remembering the dead, and, if we are correct in this belief, we are similarly convinced that the practice of remembering the dead just once in a year, on every first day of November, may not really be enough to receive that benefit.

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THE EXAMPLE OF HOW THE DEAD SHOULD BE REMEMBERED: “What is the benefit in remembering the dead that I am talking about? The Bible specifically mentions this benefit when it says that there is something that can be done to snatch away the dead who died as sinners from eternal fire, to enable them to still live in the presence of God in eternal life, together with all the other obedient believers.

“This would of course be a shocking point of view to many, but let me explain. In one passage in the Bible, we are told that Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, went, after His resurrection, to a place where the spirits of dead men and women were being held in prison (significantly, the Bible did not give a specific name to this place).

“What did Jesus do while He was in that `prison of spirits’? He preached to the spirits which were already there. The New International Version says: `After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built…’

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PREACH TO THE DEAD, NOT JUST PRAY FOR THEM:The obvious intent of Jesus in preaching to the ‘spirits in prison’ was to cleanse them of sin even if they are already dead, so that they would still be redeemed and thereafter given eternal life in Paradise. Wonderful display of God’s love, if you ask me, even if totally disconcerting to many Christians.

“But that is not all there is to this `preaching to spirits of the dead’. It is likewise clear from the Bible that it was not only to the dead sinners during Noah’s time that preaching should be made, but even to all the dead of the world up to this time, so that these dead `present-day’ sinners—or those who died after Noah’s flood—could also be enabled to live in Paradise in the presence of God even if they died as sinners.

“I am referring to the Biblical passage which says: `For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit…’ From this, it is beyond doubt that preaching to, not just praying for, the dead would yield a better result.

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WATCH ANG TANGING DAAN” AT FACEBOOK: “Ang Tanging Daan” is a Bible exposition and prayer session for everyone, in English and Filipino, 24/7, worldwide, that can be viewed at www.facebook.com/angtangingdaan. Please see the video section. Reactions: 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0977 805 9058. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.