Thursday, May 12, 2016

The great tomorrow

How seldom do you hear people talk about the “hereafter.” How rare is a  sermon on the subject of “Eternity”.

The greatest teacher on the subject of ‘after death’ was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He made it very clear that we are more than body, having soul and spirit.
In this blog, I would like to refer to the Bible teaching about the resurrection. It is referred to in the Old Testament on many occasions, but for brevity I shall concentrate on the New Testament teaching.

It was Jesus, who in the sermon on the mount insisted that heaven was a real, remote place  beyond death. (Matthew 5:12, 6:19)  When confronted by the Sadducees about the resurrection, He made it clear that resurrection was for real, and then He spoke of the mode of existence of resurrected people (Matthew 22:23). The Lord taught that in the resurrection there will be rewards [ Luke 14.14].
In John 5:25-29, the Son of God draws back the curtain concerning the day of resurrection. He Himself will call people out of the graves. He Himself will be the final judge. The will be two resurrections – the first to life, the second to judgement. The involvement of people in these moments of accountability is qualified by verse 24:
“Truly, truly  I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life.” For those who thus receive Jesus as God’s sent Son, the resurrection is unto life. For those who chose evil, the resurrection is unto judgement and eternal damnation.
Again I listen to the voice of the Lord Jesus – “I am the resurrection and the life” [John 11.25]

These outstanding claims by Jesus are significant, but more so when we discover that He Himself has been resurrected from among the dead ones.
He being the first fruits from the dead, assures us of the validity of His claims and the implications for our resurrection.
Perhaps I should interrupt and say – this is not reincarnation. In the resurrection it is the same conscious person, able to recall with vivid memory the detail of the life lived.  [1Corinthians 4, Revelation 20]

Paul , by the Holy Spirit gives details of how the resurrection will be [1Corinthians 15]. The present body is natural,  the resurrected body will be real, but spiritual ( spirit dominated as was the risen Lord Jesus ). The laws of nature will be subject to the power of the spirit. Just as the seed dies in the ground, and a new plant springs up with new life (yet bearing the character of the original), so is the resurrection.
“Our heavenly bodies will be just like Christ’s”  [ 1Corinthians 15.48 ]
This is the note of victory for all believers:
“Death is swallowed up in victory”    [ 1Corithians 15.54 ]
“The Lord Himself shall descend  from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will rise first . The we which are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” [1 Thessalonians 4:16 ]

What a thrilling hope- we do well to say “ Even so come Lord Jesus”

Peter the apostle, looked beyond this present day of suffering, to the future day when all believers will share in HIS glory, when it is displayed to all the world. [1 Peter 4.13]

What of those who do not believe in the Son of God?  - the Lord Jesus called it a resurrection to damnation. He said that only God could destroy body and soul in hell [Matthew 10.28]. Would a loving God do that?   If God is just and true to His word, then He must.
“Their judgement is based on this fact, the light of heaven came into the world, but they loved darkness more than light , for their actions were evil” [John 3:19].
“For God has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man He has appointed , and He has proved it to everyone who this is , by raising  Him from the dead.” [Acts17.31]

This is serious truth – let us ponder it often

Let me close on this joyful note

“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection”

                          [Revelation 20.6]

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Until He comes again   -  John McKee

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