Victory Over Death

Bible Book: Revelation  14 : 13
Subject: Death; Eternal Life; Life, Eternal; Heaven

Victory Over Death

Dr. J. Mike Minnix

Revelation 14:13

Death is not a pleasant subject but it is a necessary one for us to consider, because every person eventually dies. According to several sources approximately 65 million people die every year in the world, which is about 5 million per month, which is over 100 every minute, and almost 2 every second that ticks on the clock. During this service in church today about 6,000 people will die somewhere in the world.

Death has been portrayed as the black camel that kneels at every family tent, or the grim reaper dressed in a black foreboding robe and carrying a sharp sickle to go forth to slice the life from every living person. However you describe death it is a reality and we must deal with it properly and spiritually.

One rather foolish man said, “If you don’t think there is a divine plan to life, just read the newspaper and note how everybody dies in alphabetical order.” Actually they don't list those who have died in alphabetical order in the newspapers anymore, but they used to. You will note that fewer and fewer people even put a bio of the deceased in the newspapers at this time, and that is because the cost to do so has become ridiculously expensive. Besides, most funeral homes will place one online for the family as part of the funeral planning, and they will add the bio without any additional cost. Needless to say, however, dying is expensive.

Occasionally it is the very young who die, and then it may be the very old that pass. Death may come while one is eating breakfast, at work, while at play, or during exercise. Death may come in the night or in the middle of the day. Death may occur in the hospital or in your automobile. Many people are killed while shopping or taking part in normal activities every year in America and around the world. Many who die had no idea that it was time for them to meet God when they left home to enjoy their day.

You can even die while at church. While I was pastoring at the First Baptist Church, Cherryville, North Carolina, I noticed a disturbance and shortly afterward a man was taken from the balcony of the church in an ambulance. He was dead before they got him to the hospital. He died before the invitation to come to Christ was given in that service.

Are you afraid to die? I don't think any of us really look forward to dying, in fact one actor said that he wasn't afraid to die, he just didn't want to be there when it happened. An honest preacher once said, "I'm not afraid to die; I'm just ashamed to die. There is so much more I could have done that I did not do that it makes it a bit ashamed to die and meet the Lord." One thing is sure. you will die; I will die; we all will die - unless, of course, the Lord comes for us before that occurs.

It is interesting to note that different parts of the world have different ways of honoring the departed dead. One man was walking out of the cemetery where he had just left flowers on his wife’s grave. He passed an oriental man who was leaving rice on his wife’s grave. The man who left the flowers said, “When do you expect her to come and eat that rice?” The oriental gentleman answered, “When your wife comes back to smell those flowers!”

The most important question about death revolves around what happens to us after we die. Someone said, “A man’s life is made up of twenty years having his mother asking him where he is going, forty years of his wife asking him where he has been, and a number of years after his death with everybody wonders where he went."

Maybe you heard about the preacher who woke up one day to read his obituary in the morning paper. Somehow the newspaper had gotten him mixed up with another minister who had died. The preacher thought he had better quickly get word to his congregation that all was well. He phoned the chairman of deacons and asked if he had seen the morning paper. The deacon said that he had. The preacher asked, “Did you see that it is reported that I died?” The chairman of deacons said, “Yes, I did.” Then there was a pause and the deacon asked, “By the way, preacher, where are you calling from?”

Actually, that is the most important question surrounding the subject of death. What happens to us after we die? Today I want us to concentrate our attention of Revelation 14:13 where we read about the saved and what happens to them at death.

Please note with me three important truths in Revelation 14:13 that reveal how a person can have Victory Over Death.

I. The Voice That Enlightens Us About Death

Revelation 14:13a ...

13a "Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.'"

There are many strange voices speaking about death in our world today. We read about those who have supposedly experienced death and have come back to tell us of their out-of-body experiences. Others tell us that death is simply a part of life and when we die we merely cease to exist. Others tell us that we go on to live in other worlds, or that we return to the earth to be another person or an animal. Some people even claim to have lived another life hundreds or thousands of years ago, and now they are back to live on the earth again. It is a strange thing to me that those who claim to have lived a former life always claim to have been a prince, a king, a queen, or some important person. I have never heard anyone say, “I lived 2,000 years ago and I was a thief and murderer.”

The question becomes, who can you trust when it comes to the subject of death and what happens to one after death? We better go to the expert and that would be the Lord Jesus Christ.

A. The Voice of Accurate Information

When we listen to the Jesus we get accurate information concerning this subject. God’s Word tells us that it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). You can be sure that when a person dies, that person will not come back as a shoe salesman or a frog. You are appointed to die only once on this earth.

A business man who had a long ordeal with the IRS died. He left instruction in his will that his body was to be burned and his ashes sent to the local Internal Revenue Service office with a card that reading: “Now you have it all.”

In truth, even if you could send your ashes to the IRS, they would not have it all. They would simply have the remains of your physical body. The fact is that you are going on to live somewhere after your life here had ended.

The Lord has left loving words to instruct believers in the joy and truth that death has been defeated for the child of God. He has informed us of the blessings that await those who have trusted Him through repentance of sin and faith in His saving work at the cross of Calvary. His voice is the voice of accurate information.

B. The Voice of Authoritative Inspiration

Note that the Holy Spirit joins in and states, “Yes,” to what God the Father has said. Why does the Spirit speak at this point? Remember, it is the Spirit of God that convicts and convinces us of truth. He inspired those who wrote the words of the Bible. He presses home the truth of these words to the listening heart. He seals those who are saved. He indwells the child of God in this life. He is the third person of the God-head. He speaks with authoritative inspiration.

C. The Voice of Attracting Invitation

One further word is needed about God’s voice enlightening us in regard to life and life everlasting. Throughout Revelation God has a purpose, and that purpose is to call the lost to salvation and redemption. We will see this very clearly in our last message from Revelation some weeks from now. The Lord reveals the glorious blessing of being saved so that the lost person will be attracted to His Son and can experience salvation. It is not God's will that any perish, but that all might come to repentance. In other words, God is attacting you to His Son so that you may live your best life now and eternal with Him in eternity.

Now let's consider ...

II. The Vitality That Encloses Us In Death

Revelation 14:13b ...

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

The saved have life and a vitality which cannot ever be taken from them. Death will never have victory over a child of God. Even in death, God promises vitality for the Christian.

The Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. is an imposing structure. It is a black granite wall upon which are craved the names of 58,156 young Americans who died in combat during that conflict. Since 1982, this memorial has stood as a silent, dark reminder of the price of war. The name of one of my friends who served with me in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966 is on that wall - he died in 1966, just before I was allowed to come. I flew home to my wife and daughter thinking that he was not allowed to experience a homecoming. Yet, there is a true homecoming for every saved child of God. But, let me tell you something interesting about the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

There are three names that appear on that wall which are of great interest: Robert Bedker, Willard Craig, and Darrall Lausch. These three names were carved on the wall by mistake. They are listed as dead, but they are alive. For the child of God, death may carve your name on a tombstone, but you will still be alive and well. How is this possible?

A. We Have Vitality in Death Due to our Position in Christ

A Christian has a position in Christ. Note that the text speaks of those who die "in the Lord". We live because He lives!

Look at Colossians 3:1-3 ...

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."

You are hidden in Christ. It is not enough to be in a church. It is not enough to be committed to some religion. It it not enough to have your name in a church membership file. You must be IN Christ! When you are in Christ, you are as secure as Christ is secure. You cannot die as long as He lives. Believe me, He is never going to die. It is appointed for the human family to die once, and Jesus did that. He rose from the dead to never die again, and gave all who believe in Him the promise to do likewise.

In Revelation 1:18 we read these words from Jesus, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hell and of Death.” Our vitality in life is the vitality that raised Jesus from the dead.

B. We Have Vitality in Death Due to our Permanence through Christ

Your life, then, is as permanent as the life Jesus possesses. If He can cease to exist, so can you, but if He lives, you will live. That is glorious, for He will never die again.

Everything in this life is so temporary. Everything wears out, including our bodies, but Jesus provides something that will never grow old. When a person is saved, he or she has life in a place where neither rust can corrode, nor moth consume, nor thief steal.

C. We Have Vitality in Death Due to our Presence with Christ

More than anything else this passages speaks of the presence of Christ with us. Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).” He also stated, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Whether in life or death, we are the Lord’s. Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you.

Death is not a pleasant thought, regardless of how wonderful heaven will be. That is because our bodies were made to live and to desire to live.

I heard about a man who had to shoot his dog to put him out of his misery. When he told a friend he had shot his dog, the man wondered in the dog had rabies, so he asked, “Was the dog mad?” The owner replied, “I don’t know if he was mad, but he sure wasn’t too happy about it.”

Be assured of this, when the time comes for you to die, if you know the Lord as your Savior, you will close your eyes here and open them to see Him there. He has been with you here, and you will be with Him there. What a Savior we have!

III. The Victory That Encourages Us Concerning Death

Revelation 14:13c ...

“... that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

A. This Speaks of Reunion

Note the use of the plural form ...THEY shall rest ... Death takes us who are saved to be with those Christians who have gone on before us. Heaven is called a home, and people in a home know each other. We will have a great reunion day in heaven one day in the future.

B. This Speaks of Rest

We shall rest from our labors. The word for “labors” is a very important word. It speaks of being beaten or oppressed. Some of you here today feel trampled upon.

  • If it isn’t temptation and sin attacking you, it is depression and weakness.
  • If it isn’t financial troubles, it is physical pain.
  • If it isn’t sorrow and bereavement, it is loneliness and worry.

One glorious day you are going to lay down all your burdens.

  • Satan will never tempt you again.
  • You will never fail your Lord again.
  • You will never feel oppressed and harassed again.

One day you are going to sit down beside your Jesus and no one will dare accost you there.

C. This Speaks of Reward

Lastly, your works will follow you. You will see that all you have done for the Lord has paid off. Your sacrifice and dedication will rebound to the glory of God forever. You will delight to see that His name is glorified because of your feeble efforts.

You have felt like a failure and often times you were, but God will take your pitiful little lunch and multiply to it bless the thousands. He will take your brief testimony spoken with trembling lips and use it the same way He has used the words of the thief on the cross to redeem multitudes. He will take your tithes and offerings, as small as they may seem, and He will show you how He encouraged others with it the same way He has motivated millions to give two mites, just like the poor widow described in the New Testament. He will take the perfume of your love and worship, and waft it over the world in the same as He did the alabaster box broken by a poor sinful woman. He will take our stumbling efforts and glorify His name the same way He used the trembling and weak disciples to shake the world. Be assured that your labor in the Lord is never in vain.


Are you ready to die? You can be and you should be. Jesus died and rose to give you eternal life. But, you must repent of your sin in order to receive this wonderful gift, and you must confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Trust me, when the time comes for you to die, this will be the question that is in the forefront of your mind: What did I do with Jesus? After your death, the question will be: What will Jesus do with me?

Receive Jesus today. Come to Him as He calls you. Repent of your sin and accept His gift of redemption - a gift paid for with His blood at Calvary.

For those of us who have settled the issue through repentance and faith, let's live for Him. No sacrifice will go unrewarded and no commitment will be wasted. What a day that will be, when we see Jesus. The Christian is promise Victory Over Death.