Commands of Jesus for His Bride According to the Gospel of John: Life Amid Death

Jun 25, 2024 | by Captain Kristin Coriston

Scripture: John 20:1-8

A Culture of Death

          Last fall, I had the joy of doing a Bible study with my parents and sisters called The Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent. What a wonderful treasury of truth and beauty! Throughout it, my faith was renewed, my heart was filled, and I was inspired by the simple truth of the gospel message. Easter is by far my favorite time of year; every season, my hope increases, and my soul is stirred. This year, I was reminded yet again that Christians are an Easter people living in and amongst a culture of death. Just this week, I saw an article about a young girl from the Netherlands that chose to be euthanized in May 2024. In 2023, around 9,000 people have been euthanized in the Netherlands, and euthanasia has increased in Canada by 32% since 2018, with those willingly dying numbered at around 13,000. Likewise, in the United States with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion has been in the news almost every single day. Women and men alike are championing the right to kill babies in their mother’s wombs. It is estimated that 1,026,700 babies were killed by abortions in 2023. If you spend any time online, you will witness the increasing call to allow for children to mutilate and destroy their bodies so they can “feel aligned” in their minds. In its wake, the culture of death begets more suffering, pain, shame, fear, and yes, even literal death.

          The worldview behind the culture of death has been pervasive since the dawn of time. In John 8:44, as Jesus speaks to the Jews, He says of Satan, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Today, this worldview persists through evil organizations such as Planned Parenthood, through certain so-called medical professionals, and through entire governments. When I consider the wickedness of putting to death the unborn, the disabled, the mentally ill, the physically ill; when I consider how children are being led astray and harmed, when I see people lose the will to live – I mourn and am filled with sorrow. Oh, how grieved the Father’s heart must be. How can we hope to even fight against such sin and death? How can we shine a light in such darkness? I find my answer in the gospel.

Transformative Power

          Milton Vincent says in his sweet little book that by preaching the gospel to ourselves daily, “Non-Christians might have less trouble comprehending its message, for they would see its truth and power exuding from believers in indisputable ways.” Unfortunately, many times we see the gospel as simply what we need at the beginning of our spiritual journey – that which saved us – rather than recognizing the transformative power of it in our everyday lives. Vincent shares that preaching the gospel to himself “made more of a difference in my life than any other discipline I have ever practiced.” How and why? Vincent gives 31 reasons to rehearse the gospel daily, and as I studied them last fall, my own heart was uplifted and relieved. He says “as you preach the gospel to yourself in dependence on Him [the Spirit], the gospel will come to you afresh by that same Holy Spirit. The Spirit will seize the opportunity to pour out God’s love in your heart (Romans 5:5); and He will, through the gospel, disclose the heart of the Father towards you (John 16:14-15).” In this way, we not only will be drawn closer in relationship to the Triune God, but we will also be bolstered to bring light and hope to the surrounding culture of death. It is through the gospel alone that we will be able to fight against spiritual wickedness (Ephesians 6:12).

          One of the reasons Vincent outlines the cruciality of reciting the gospel to ourselves daily is so that a heart for the lost will be cultivated within us. After Paul rehearsed the gospel in the book of Romans, he says in chapter 9 he had deep sadness in his heart that his fellow Jews continued to reject Jesus. Coming to the depths of our own sin, understanding again and again the sacrifice of Jesus and the transformation and freedom that we then experience - it should move us to consider that thousands around us are perishing in their sin and will certainly be condemned to hell if they continue! Do you see what’s happening around us? Is your heart grieved? Let the gospel open your eyes to reality so that you might be so moved. 

Remembering Our Purpose

          Another reason Milton Vincent gives to rehearse the gospel daily is so that we may remember our purpose to do the Father’s work, just as Jesus reminded His disciples in John 4. He came to do the Father’s will, and we are called to work for His will in the same way. As we allow the gospel to fill our hearts and transform our minds, we will be moved to act on His behalf. We will bring light into dark places, meet tangible needs, and show God’s grace and mercy to a culture hell-bent on going to hell. Vincent says, “the more I embrace the saving work of God on my behalf, the more I find myself embracing the works for which God saved me.” Oh, that we would be a people bringing authentic joy and refreshment to others, that we would tend to the spiritually and mentally wounded and nurse the sick back to health. Lord, let us remember Your saving work in our lives that we might work steadfastly for You!

          The culture of death, destruction, and despair is at war with the light and life of Christ, and yet, He has won the victory! Daily reminders of this are certain to guard us against any lies of the enemy. The truth of Jesus in John’s gospel is that the tomb is empty! Hell has been defeated, and as such, we – an Easter people – are compelled to fight against the wickedness of this age. If we do not, who will? Are we willing to stand before Christ and have Him ask us why we did nothing when innocent children were being killed or why we were silent when the culture of death came for those confused about their identity, lost in hopelessness? What will we say when we see King Jesus, and He asks us why we were too afraid to share the good news with those hurting, living in shame and pain? Or when we closed our eyes to what was happening around us, too cowardly to confront darkness head on?

          If we take up the challenge of preaching the gospel to ourselves daily, reciting what happened that very first Easter, I know it will change us. It will lift our eyes to our Savior, relieve us of sinful attitudes, and laser focus us on living out a culture of life, hope, and freedom in Christ. May it be so in each of our lives!

Our Corporate Prayer

Gracious Father, we accept that death came as judgment for the sin of our original parents. But we are grieved that sin has so blinded humanity that death is sought for the unborn and for the sick, the weak and the despairing. O, dear God, let us be a beacon of Your light, Your hope in this darkened world! Help us to be so close to You as our Living Flame that we carry Your light out to this hurting, misguided and dark world. Kindle a fire in us, O Lord! We give ourselves anew for Your glory and Your purpose. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Our Worldwide Prayer Meeting
Southern Africa Territory

Thinking It Through

The culture of death is deeply rooted in the idolatry of the self. If I matter more than anything, then a baby inside of me is disposable. If my suffering is inconvenient, then my suicide is only important to me. What answers do believers offer a world that exalts personal rights over everything else?

Notable Quotables

The Christian on his knees sees more than the philosopher on tiptoe. God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves. - Dwight L. Moody


We have so many reasons to praise and proclaim our Lord! This song says we have “10,000 Reasons.”


We would appreciate any feedback and/or suggestions on how to improve these devotionals. Please email comments to: or by going to our website:
We would love to hear from you.

Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee
Territorial Spiritual Life Development Officer/THQ Chaplain
USA Southern Territory


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