Monday Club Sermons
2 Kings 2:1-15
And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.…
The translation of Elijah means more than an historic statement. The theme is concerned with the great scriptural doctrine of immortality, in whose light we consider it. Observe —
I. THE DUAL NATURE OF MAN. This truth is directly implied in the account of the Creation. The bodily form was made "of the dust of the ground"; but when the "Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, man became a living soul." It is of this dual nature Paul speaks, "there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body; howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural." A denial of this fact asserts that man is on a level with the brutes. The more common belief, however, asserts the existence of the two natures, yet clings to the idea that, somehow, the two are interdependent. This idea is unscriptural, since, in such a case, death could not be a gain. The spiritual body controls the material and earthly, but is not controlled by it.
II. FLESH AND BLOOD ARE NOT IMMORTAL. The apostle calls this the corruptible body, and then declares that corruption cannot inherit incorruption; that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. What is perishable cannot enter heaven.
III. THE NATURE AND MINISTRY OF DEATH. "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned"; this is the sad history. "The sting of death is sin"; this is the law. In the translation of Elijah we behold what would, perhaps, be the type of death but for sin; but, aside from such a consideration, we turn to a few important lessons in the scene.
1. The power of the human purpose to perpetuate itself. It is in this manner we see the power of Elijah in his care for the schools of the prophets. These organisations were to continue, after his departure, what his unwearied efforts had begun. "I am left alone," was his early cry; yet when upon the cloud of flame he ascended, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, with their throngs of prophets, were left. The theocracy which, in spite of Ahab and Jezebel, he had founded was perpetuated in these schools. There is a future for all men on the earth if they will only plan wisely. As Elijah had been the founder and defender of the faith, so did he become, by these centres, the conserver of that same faith.
2. The unwearied activity of the good man. The true life has no spare hours apart from its purpose. It was "as they still went on and talked" that the chariot came. The last hours were as full of service as if no change were coming. The invisible world needed no further special thought.
3. The immortal life. The history of Carmel's prophet seems hardly complete without the scene on Hermon. A thousand years had passed since the chariot of fire swept the sky. The three favoured disciples had fallen asleep even in their Master's prayer. Nought but that wondrous voice broke in upon the stillness of night. By some revelation the disciples caught the accents of the heavenly visitors. The one, fifteen hundred years before, had trodden the crest of Sinai and spoken face to face with God. It was he who had surrendered his claim to Egypt's crown for the reproach of Christ. It was he whose face had shone with a borrowed glory he wist not of.
(Monday Club Sermons.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.