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The Generous Thief

God's Promises Death Resurrection

Source: The Defiance Crescent News, Feb. 19, 1985

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2019-05-01

Scripture: John 11:25 ; Job 1:21

Author: Stephen Kingsley
4

ILLUSTRATION

Back in the 80s, I worked for a kind-hearted man who owned a small sign shop. He was far from the most successful businessman I'd ever met, but he treated his customers with respect and fairness. I remember how downhearted he was when he told me his pickup had been stolen. A couple of months later, the truck was returned but in a very unusual way. The story, which made national news, was featured by Paul Harvey.

Here's how it appeared in the local paper:

DEWITT, Mich. (UPI) -- Kelly Terrell says the person who stole his 1975 Chevrolet pickup truck can take it again "any time he wants to." That's because Terrell, whose truck was taken from a shopping mall in December, got the vehicle back Sunday --with a fresh coat of paint and a number of other repairs. Terrell told police Monday he had received a call from a stranger who lectured him about his truck's poor condition. The stranger then told Terrelll he could find the pickup in the parking lot where it had been stolen.

When Terrel arrived at the lot, he found his truck and a three-page list of repairs made by the thief. In addition to sanding and painting the pickup, the thief performed bodywork and made a number of mechanical repairs. 'It is not a practical joke,' Terrell said. 'I have no idea who the man is. It is all very strange, but that man can steal my vehicle any time he wants to.'

APPLICATION

The Bible tells us that God gives but He also takes away (Job 1:21).  Our health, our earthly treasures, and even our life will all one day be taken. But there's nothing that God takes away that He will not return to us, only in much better than it was before!

"Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live" (John 11:25, ESV). 

Illustration Exchange

The Town That Banned Death

Death Sin Nature Victory

Source: “DEAD COLD Inside remote icy town where you’re NOT ALLOWED TO DIE,” By Susannah Keogh, The Irish Sun, March 10, 2018

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-04-25

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:54

Author: Illustration Exchange
8

ILLUSTRATION

Susannah Keogh, with the Irish Sun, reports: 

Longyearbyen, [Norway], a tranquil town in the middle of nowhere, is so remote that residents are not allowed to die there. 

Dying has been banned on the island since 1950, when it was discovered that bodies in the local cemetery were not decomposing because of the chilly temperatures.

The island’s climate is so arctic that in the 2000’s, scientists ... tested corpses buried there who succumbed to the 1917 influenza virus – and to their amazement, retrieved live samples of the virus.

Residents had been living among the deadly virus for decades, without even realizing it.

The graveyard no longer takes any new inhabitants because of fears disease will spread throughout the island, meaning that even those who have lived their whole life on the island, cannot be buried there.

Instead, terminally ill residents have to be shipped to the mainland to prepare for death.

APPLICATION

This little Norwegian town had a big problem, but it wasn’t really with death. It was with the fact that death was not allowed to finish its job, to complete the process of mortification.  

The same is true with us.  Our biggest problem isn’t with death but with everything that falls just short of death.  If we are to overcome sin, we must die completely to sin.  Anything that falls short of that, allows sin to live on.

Of course, dying to selfish impulses provides momentary relief, but real victory only comes through the grave.  

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). 

Death Makes An Appearance

Death Denial Assurance

Source: “Decaying foot horrifies grieving family as they bury grandfather,” By CHRISTINA CARREGA, Daily News, August 11, 2017

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-11-09

Scripture: Psalms 23:4 ; 1 Corinthians 15:55

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

Daily News reports:

After a graveside eulogy and a few prayers, the scene morphed quickly from silence to Stephen King with the appearance of the foot.

“We all looked down and we were looking at what apparently was a human foot and leg wrapped in plastic, with cloth wrapped around it, sticking out on top of my father’s casket,” said Alonzo Butler, 53.

One of the mourners snapped a cellphone photo of what looks like an outtake from “The Walking Dead.”

Relatives later griped the cemetery workers ignored the dangling foot and quickly filled in the grave.

... Mount Holiness owner James Shmergel felt that the attention to the ghoulish grave mishap was overblown.

“Is it newsworthy? In a cemetery?” asked Shmergel. “Not really.”

The Butlers may hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit seeking compensation for pain and suffering.

But cemetery caretaker Bill Plog, who started at Mount Holiness in 1983, said he was surprised such incidents were so rare.

“There was a casket,” he said. “It deteriorated. You can purchase a concrete vault, but people don’t. That grave there is from 1969 . . . It’s unfortunate that this happened, but this is a graveyard.”

APPLICATION

Death is disturbing, so we do our best to literally bury it.  We don’t want to see it, not even at a graveside! But is denial really the best way to deal with this reality? 

King David, in the 23rd Psalm, suggested that we, “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (v. 4).  This may seem like a pretty negative outlook on life, but although David was a realist, he was not a fatalist.  Even though he recognized the presence of death, he did not live in “fear” (v. 4). Rather, he found comfort knowing that God was always with him (v.4), and he possessed the assurance that one day he would, “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (v. 6). 

Death is meant to be disturbing; it is designed to get our attention.  But most importantly it’s intended to draw us closer to God, the only place where comfort and assurance can be found. 

Remember, this is a graveyard! But according to King David, God's comfort and assurance are the ultimate reality, even in the graveyard!

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55). 

Cancer Research Confirms the Curse

Sin Death Salvation

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2017-07-11

Scripture: Genesis 2:17 ; Galatians 3:13

Author: Brian Thomas
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No Grave Can Stop Him!

Death Revenge Second Coming

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-19

Scripture: Ezekiel 44:3 ; 1 Corinthians 15:55

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Roller Coaster Lines

Death Fear Judgment of Believers

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2016-10-26

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:54 ; 2 Corinthians 5:10

Author: Thomas Bevers
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Death and Dying Quotes (part 1)

Death and Dying Quotes Death Mortality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-27

Author: Various
5

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Death and Dying Quotes (part 2)

Death and Dying Quotes Death Mortality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-27

Author: Various
0

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The Corpse Flower

Death Sin God's Judgment

Contributed By: John Reed | Date Posted: 2016-07-29

Scripture: Proverbs 14:12

Author: John Reed
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Corpse Brides In Demand In China

Church/Bride of Christ Death Superstition

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-05-23

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:55 ; 2 Corinthians 11:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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