For if you live according to the flesh, you will die.--Romans 8:13a (ESV)
Not very many people laugh at funerals. More than that, I've never heard of a person so much as smiling during his own memorial service. It's a physical impossibility.
Sin causes funerals. Living according to the flesh is the cancer that slowly kills your soul. Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death." James 1:15 says, "Sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." The righteous and just punishment of God is death. The Bible is very plain in this: "If you sin, you will die." The lightest profanity, the whitest lie, the littlest lustful glance, the smallest robbery--they kill.
Now, we know that grace is all-sufficient, but we also know that sin is a killer. So, while we affirm that "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1)," we also remember "the works of the flesh are evident... those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19, 21).
But all too often, I have, figuratively speaking, laughed at my own funeral. For example, I have literally laughed my way through movies which glorify sexual sin. I have smiled while a friend and I gossiped about another friend. I have enjoyed that which should I have been killed for. I have never heard of someone smiling while knowingly injecting himself with HIV, indeed, we would commit such a person to the insane asylum. But that is who we all are: people who enjoy killing ourselves.
If this post sounded a bit hopeless, I think you'll have to wait one more day for hope. In my next post, D.V., I'll take a look at the second part of Romans 8:13, where we find the secret to life.