Dead While She Lives

Dead While She Lives

"Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives"(1 Tim. 5:5-6). Dead and yet alive? Hum!

Why is the second woman "dead while she lives"? Because she lives in pleasure. Enjoying life is not evil, rather, this is a problem of emphasis. "Pleasure" is not the focal point of life; fun does not define life. For her, pleasure is all there is to her life. Fun is her absolute demand. 

Now, contrast her with the “widow who trusts in God.” God is her core of life; faith is her solid connection to Him. Even if she is poor, or alone, or old, she has God. God is her life. He does not fail her. 

The "dead while she lives" woman stakes all on pleasure. Her trust in God comes in a distant second best --if at all! Her choice is fatal! How bad is this "living in pleasure" problem? Just a little flaw? A slight glitch? No! She missed life, living in pleasure killed her. 

Of course, this woman is not gender specific. Men are plagued with the disease of seeking pleasure as well. Further, this deadly blight often results in spiritual death before physical death. All types of living in sin (life characterized by the practice of any sin) have the same fatal result. A drunk eventually dies from drinking, but he has already destroyed his own spiritual life long before he passes away. An immoral man suffers numerous ills and consequences from carousing, but his "sins against his own body" (1 Cor. 6:18), already killed his inner man. Lying is normally not a life-threatening matter, however it is always fatal to the soul.     
The idea of being “dead while they live" may also apply to a church. Some churches are spiritually dead, or already dead, and no one notices. Nothing seems amiss; everything proceeds as it always has. The church died, but no one grieves, nor laments, nor even cries. Sadly, there are no efforts at resuscitation. 

I’m going to talk about three ways a church is “dead while alive.” First, the ability to edify the members is lost. They aren’t mean or rebellious-- but no one edifies one another! No one is "equipping the saints for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:12). They will not grow stronger, but they will eventually weaken, and wither away. By then, they will have been dead a long time, just waiting to be buried.

Second, a church is “dead while alive” when a sense of worship has died. It could be that awe in God’s presence has been forgotten. Maybe the hymns sound like dirges; prayers are by rote. The bread and grape juice are consumed without remembering. The "acts of worship" are all in place, but worship is gone. The church is dead --just waiting for the doors to close.

Finally, a church is “dead while alive” when a zeal for souls is gone. At that very point, the church is as good as dead. Sooner or later, people move, die, or desert the Lord, until finally, no one is left. The building is an empty monument. The church has been embalmed for many years. 

We can find hope and live as children of God when we turn to Him in prayer and live a life in service and devotion to Him.  

“Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise...” (Eph.5:14-15).


Rickie Jenkins