LAZARUS, THE DEAD MAN.
Now, reader, for sometime we have been looking at Lazarus, the sick man, but now we have come to the second stage in the history of this remarkable man. Just as truly as Lazarus the sick man is a type of the child that is born into the world with the carnal mind in its heart, Lazarus, the dead man, is a type of the child when it comes to the years of accountability, and chooses sin and dies; and now the child is dead in trespasses and in sins; and just as turyly as Lazarus was dead physically the child is dead spiritually, or morally. As you look at Lazarus you don’t see a sick man, you see a dead man; and as you look at your boy you don’t see a child with only the carnal mind in him, you see a sinner dead in trespasses and in sins. The teaching of the old Book is that the sinner is dead. We first saw the child a sinner by nature, and now we have before us a sinner by choice; quite a difference. So you see the child chose sin and died.
We read in Romans 7:8, “That being dead wherein we were held.” That is a picture of a dead man bound by death. What an awful thought! A double death it seems. Again in Romans 7:11 we read, :For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” You see the thing put the man to death. It slew him. What was it that slew him? Well, he says that it was sin. When did it slay him? Just at the time that it slew you. When he came to the years of accountability and chose sin, he died morally,; now he is dead – not a sick man, but a dead man. He was not dead physically or he could not have written this letter; he was dead spiritually, and sin, the old man, killed him just like he has all the rest of the human family.
We read again in Eph. 2:1, 2: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Reader, just see what all the apostle says about these people: First, they were dead, and they were dead in sins. That proves that they had died somewhere back down their trail, and he said that in time past they had walked according to the course of this world. He also said that they had walked according to the prince of the power of the air, and that these children had in them the spirit of disobedience. What was that spirit of disobedience? Nothing more or less than the old man or the carnal mind, or the indwelling sin, as Paul calls it, or the old Adam, or the roots of bitterness, as he calls it in another place in the old Book.
Now we will turn to Paul’s letter to the Colossians and read the thirteenth verse of the second chapter. Notice what he says: “And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” In this text we have before us a dead man, and then we see him quickened, or made alive, which proves that the man was dead. You see a dead Lazarus and a dead sinner. Lazarus was dead physically and the sinner is dead spiritually. One is without physical life and the other is without spiritual life. The sinner is as bad off spiritually as Lazarus is physically; there is no difference in them. If Lazarus ever gets out of that grave there will have to be a miracle performed, for he is a dead man; and if that sinner ever gets out of the grave of spiritual death there will have to be a miracle performed, for he is a dead man – just as dead spiritually as Lazarus was physically. He is dead to God and to holines, to rightousness, eternal life, and to all that is good and pure; and he is alive to all that is bad. What a pity. Oh my, how many I have seen just like that.
Now in I Tim. 5:6 we read: “But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” There is the picture of a worldly woman, a society-runner, a pleasure-seeker, a fun-lover, a God-forgetter, a Christ-despiser, and a blood-rejecter. Paul says that she is dead. Yes, and so was Lazarus; so you see that the type still holds good. She is alive to everything that belongs to this world; she is alive socially, she is alive mentally, and she is alive financially; she is only dead to her eternal welfare. What an awful thought; dead to eternal life and alive to eternal death! Somebody may say poor Lazarus. Yes, and somebody ought to say poor woman; she is as bad off as Lazarus ever wasl how could she be in a worse fix than she is in? Paul says that she is dead while she liveth, and so was I and so were you, my friend.
There is nothing beautiful about death; nothing lovely, nothing that looks encouraging or hopeful. If it were not for the fact that our blessed Christ has promised us a glorious resurrection, I don’t see how I ever could bear the thought of going down to the grave for it makes my very blood run cold when I think of the grave. If it is my Father’s will, I would rather preach holiness until Jesus comes and then go up with Him and not go by the grave at all, but I may have it to do, as my brethren have had to do.