"You Are Already Dead"
You died when Christ died (Colossians 3:3).
The World War II Allied invasion of France in 1944 to defeat Hitler's Nazis was epic in scope and costly in human lives.
Thanks to the great sacrifices of many brave souls, many of whom did not return home and are buried in Europe, the world, including you and me and our families, was again saved from evil tyranny. Our continued freedom has helped provide the greatest explosion in evangelism in history. Just 2-3 years after World War ended, Billy Graham's ministry was launched, Campus Crusade for Christ followed in 1951, and other world ministries began at about that time.
A fact-based television documentary about the invasion was extremely realistic and graphic in depicting the horrors of war. It portrayed the paratroopers of our heroic 101st Airborne Division, who were dropped behind enemy lines in advance of the Normandy coastal assault. The danger was unimaginable.
During the height of one bloody battle, an older American soldier counseled a young private who was petrified with fear as he witnessed the carnage of dead and mangled Germans and fellow Americans strewn all around him. The young man feared an almost certain, similar fate for himself in the days ahead of sometimes building-to-building fighting, bullets flying and grenades and artillery shells exploding everywhere.
The older soldier's counsel was chilling but poignant: "Accept the fact that you are already dead. The sooner you accept that the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function... All war depends upon it."
Oh, what a biblical truism in the life and spiritual war in which we find ourselves as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ! Truth in the natural often portrays truth in the spiritual. The apostle Paul used similar words:
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20, NIV) -- "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3) -- "If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness" (Romans 8:10).
We are in a spiritual war. "We are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world" (Ephesians 6:12, NLT).
A Christian cannot be an effective soldier in this fight and live for our Lord until he has died to self. As the older soldier advised during World War II, "Accept the fact that you are already dead. The sooner you accept that the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function... All war depends upon it."
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.