Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Through the ages there have been other men who taught some wonderful things, other men who stood for God; but God did not raise any of these others from the dead. The prophets of old time were great men. Even though they stood with God, even though they believed God and spoke His Word, God did not raise any of them from the dead. John the Baptist was the greatest of them all before Jesus Christ, yet God did not raise him from the dead. There’s only one God raised — and that’s the Lord Jesus Christ. This sets Christianity apart.
When God raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, death was defeated. If God could defeat death through raising the Lord Jesus Christ, then you and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt we have eternal life. If God had not done this, we wouldn’t have any guarantee. And the guarantee that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and that we have eternal life is that we speak in tongues.
The resurrection is the reason we all became Christians in the first place. It sounded like something better than anything else we had ever heard. Someone said, “Hey, how would you like to have eternal life?” It sounded pretty good. None of us really know what it is all about; we have not “been there” yet. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns, then we will know what it is all about. Right now, it is just a promise of God. And it is something that sounded so great and so wonderful to us, we gave up everything we ever had before. We gave ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ so we could have eternal life. Just two words — eternal life — made the big difference in our lives.
”Eternal life” has put us in a position we can’t get out of. Whether we like it or not, we can’t get out of it. We are born of incorruptible seed. Our standing as sons of God cannot be changed. We are going to be gathered together when Christ returns whether we like it or not. You cannot sit around and hold onto your chair and think you are going to stay here, because you’re “going up” when he returns. That’s what the Word of God says — because God raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. He is the first and the last, the only one. Man can worship a lot of other people if he wants to, and that is basically what religion is all about. People end up worshipping some man in any religion they get involved with — it always comes from some man. There isn’t a “great elephant” somewhere teaching people doctrine. Although some people worship the cow in Buddhism, there’s still Buddha at the head of that religion which man set up and promulgated. There is always some man in any religion who spoke the words that made the doctrine.
We do not worship a man, we worship God. Yet the man who fully declared God by his life is the only begotten Son of God, our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only one that God has ever raised from the dead. The Devil is not in the business of raising people from the dead. He is in the business of keeping them dead. But God raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and because He did, that is our guarantee, our proof that God has complete power over the Devil and over death. There is nothing the Devil can do to stop the power of God and the power of God’s Word.
And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive.
That repeats what we read in Revelation 1:17 & 18. “Which was dead and is alive” refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. “He is the first and the last.” He is the only one God ever raised from the dead, the only messiah, the only savior of the world. Christianity is what God wrought in Christ Jesus — who is “the way, the truth and the life.” It is the only answer. It is the only way to live; it is the only way to believe rightly according to the accuracy of God’s Word.
God called every believer to be His son. He gave His Word so that we could know what is going on around us. Otherwise, without His Word, man would be completely lost. God raised Jesus Christ from the dead so we could live a more than abundant life today and look forward to eternal life in God’s presence. God will never send another savior. Jesus Christ of Nazareth was “the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last.”
By Wayne Clapp