Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New life and new bodies

    “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”  1 Thess 4:13-14 (KJV)
    What Paul had said about a life that pleases God likely has something to do with their misunderstanding of Christ’s Coming.  Some part of the preaching of the Gospel had been twisted into a reason why they should not live a quiet and active life.  And why they were sorrowful about those Christians who had died.  Their sadness had its roots in their belief that the dead would not share in Christ’s Heavenly Kingdom.  Paul’s reasoning is this: We believe that Christ raised from the dead.  Therefore we believe the dead will be raised through Christ when He Comes.
    1. The Lord’s Coming
    “We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.”  1 Thess 4:15-18 (NLT)
    a) Personal existence continues after death.   “Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."  Luke 23:42-43 (NKJV)
    b) Those who have died await the resurrection.  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.”  1 Cor 15:22-23 (NKJV)
    c) Paul does not prohibit grief (cp. John 16:6,20; Phil 2:27) but calls Christian mourners to abandon the kind of grief typical of those who have no hope in God.  “For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.” Phil 2:27 (NKJV)
    2. Our faith in Christ.
    a) The central Christian faith, that Jesus died and was raised to life again, is the foundation for hope in the face of death, guaranteed by the resurrection of Christ.
    “Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."  Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"  She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."  John 11:24-27 (NKJV)
    “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Cor 15:20-22 (NKJV)
    b) God will bring back refers to the resurrection of believers.
    “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”  Matt 24:31 (NKJV)
    “This strong hope characterized the outlook of the early Christians. They were able to endure their suffering because their eyes were fixed on what lay beyond this life (2 Cor 4:16-18; Heb 12:2). They expected Jesus to return and resurrect their bodies. They looked forward to living with him forever (1 Pet 1:3-6, 23). Jesus' own bodily resurrection was the foundation of their Christian faith (15:12-20; Acts 4:33; see also 2 Cor 4:14).
The resurrection body will be fundamentally different from the body we experience in this life, with all its limitations and failings. Our resurrected bodies will be glorious, strong, immortal, and spiritual, like Christ's own resurrection body (1 Cor 15:35-58).”  —NLT Study Bible
    “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  1 Cor 15:50-52 (NKJV)
                c) And so we will always be with the Lord.  The Lord’s Church does not terminate, but is united to Christ as a bride to her husband.  The Heavenly Wedding Feast continues forever without end.  Revelation 19:5-9

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Don’t waste your pain.
    "These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.  They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.  And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.”  John 16:1-3 (NKJV)
    “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  John 16:33 (NKJV)
    “God never promised He would prevent every difficulty, but He promised He would use every difficulty.  (1 Cor 10:13)”  Osteen
    “Don’t just go through it – grow through it.”  Osteen
    “The Gospel without Hope is not the Gospel.”  Wright
    “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”  1 Cor 13:13 (KJV)
    1. Paul speaks of his experiences.
    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  2 Cor 1:3-4 (NKJV)
    “The source of afflictions is the sin of humanity.  The purpose of afflictions, if we use them properly, may be our comfort and salvation, as the Father Himself preserves us through them.  The means of facing our afflictions is a hope in God, which allows us to enter into the afflictions of others in actual, experiential knowledge.  In this case, this means people empathizing with their apostle’s trials.  The communion of the saints, spiritual solidarity, is to begin now in the pains of this life.  The godly suffer, in part, so that having experienced God’s comfort they in turn can comfort others.”  Wallerstedt
    2. Paul’s qualifications.
    “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?--I speak as a fool--I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.”  2 Cor 11:22-23 (NKJV)
    “Using his opponents’ level of argument, Paul lists his Jewish and Christian credentials.  If genealogy means anything, which it does to the Jews, Paul has it.  If Christian experience means anything, no one can compare with him: his sufferings; his compassionate, involved concern for his people, even his bizzare adventures.”  Wallerstedt
     “I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong!”  2 Cor 12:11-13 (NKJV)
    3. The Joy set before Jesus.
    “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Heb 12:1-2 (NKJV)
    “The cloud of witnesses includes not only the OT saints mentioned in Hebrews 11, but also the saints and martyrs of the Lord in all ages.  If they made it, so can we.  We persevere by 1) getting rid of sin, the weight which keeps us from heeding the truth.  2) setting as our destination the heavenly City, running the race of faith.  3) Keeping our attention focused on Jesus Christ our Lord and King.  This race is not a sprint but a marathon of endurance: It does not end until we fully enter the age to come (1 Cor. 9:24-27).”  Wallerstedt
    "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:25-27 (NKJV)