Jumat, 25 September 2009

Living In Resurrection Hope

Living In Resurrection Hope

By Terry Somerville www.totalchange.org

Dear friends

After my last newsletter a friend from England responded and said I should read Surprised By Hope, by N.T. Wright. WOW What a great book. It focuses mainly on the hope of bodily resurrection, which I'll get to shortly. For those of us who suffered through the bizzare education of liberal theology, you know they teach that the resurrection of Jesus, and ultimately ourselves is a myth, or an inner experience only. Wright delightfully answers their arguments with skill and humor.

Just as an aside for those of you who avoided liberal theology, I'll give an example. One of my professors in seminary taught "modern science tells us people can't rise from the dead, therefore we know Jesus didn't rise from the dead." I and my friends just sat there going, "Duhhhh.Thats why it's a miracle!" But don't put that on a term paper! Such is modern liberal theology. Anyway, it made me dig in to my faith and become stronger in Christ!
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.....
Romans 1:28

As I talk about resurrection I am not going to touch on things like the anti-Christ, the rapture and millennium. Let me focus on the life we will enjoy eternally with the Lord.
Our Hope Of Resurrection
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
I Peter 1:3
Until now, the only time I would articulate our hope of resurrection was when I conducted a funeral. But Jesus resurrection, and our own, has everything to do with the Kingdom of God. Here are twenty five important points.

1. Death is still an enemy, the last enemy to be defeated. 1 Cor. 15:26

2. Jesus' death and resurrection took "the sting of death" (sin) away, so we can enter eternal life. 1 Cor. 15:56

3. All who belong to Christ have entered into Kingdom life now, here on earth.

4. The fullness of the Kingdom will be realized when Jesus creates the new heaven and earth and rules here.

5. Never the less, Jesus is Lord of ALL THINGS NOW. He rules on earth now, though man lives in rebellion. He is served on earth now by those who are born again and have His Spirit. We still see wickedness because He extends grace not wanting any to perish.

6. Jesus will return and set up His Kingdom in the new heaven and earth. He will be seen. He will rule with justice and judgment.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation of John 1:7

7. Heaven is not in the sky. Up and down is part of this creation. To use a science fiction explanation, the Kingdom of Heaven is more like a co-existing parallel universe that is here with us now. We walk in the Spirit here with us.

8. Heavenly reality (the spirit realm) is MORE REAL than earthly reality. We don't see it because we are limited in our creation, and by sin. (we cannot see God and live) Jesus resurrection body is physical but MORE than our experience of physicality.

9. When Jesus returns, and creates the New Heaven and Earth, heaven and earth come together.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev. 21:3

10. The disembodied soul going to a disembodied spiritual heaven is a pagan idea. It mixed into Christianity over many centuries.

11. Eternal life in Heaven is when we will live eternally in bodies on a new earth having bodies like Jesus had at His resurrection.
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Philippians 3:21

12. The Holy Spirit has been given to us now as a down payment of our coming resurrection!
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30

13. There is a time of waiting with the Lord after a Christian dies, and before the resurrection day. This the "many mansions" and "today you will be with me in paradise" spoken of in scripture. The words in Greek literally means a temporary place of abode, a garden. But Heaven is life after life after death.

14. The resurrection day will be a day of justice. All will be set right by our Lord ON THIS NEW EARTH. All things that cause offense will be removed, all wrongs will be righted.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; Matthew 13:41

15. The physics of the new creation will not be subject to decay. The cosmos itself will be resurrected like we will be.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its will, but_because of the One having subjected [it] in hope 21 because even the creation itself will be set free from the slavery of the corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that all the creation groans together and labors together in birth-pains until now.23 But not only [this], but_even ourselves, having the first-fruit of the Spirit, we_also ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly awaiting the redemption of our body! Romans 8

16. We will enjoy physical life on earth in the resurrection. Look at what Jesus did after he rose from the dead.
• We will touch (Thomas touched the resurrected Jesus)
• We can build a fire ( Jesus built a fire and cooked fish)
• We will eat (Jesus ate fish, and other meals with the disciples)
• We will walk and talk together ( Jesus walked and talked on the road to Emmaus)
• We can meet and share with one another (Jesus explained the scriptures)
• We will reign with Him - have meaningful things to do!
I like this great hope. As I grow older there are many things I would like to do. I love the tropics and diving on reefs. I'll be able to enjoy that as much as I like in the resurrection. Creation will be perfect and wonderful. We can enjoy the rivers, and fish and trees spoken of in Rev. 22. There are many losses that will be recovered.

Finally, have you ever wondered at some of the visions people receive? My daughter Megan is handicapped. A number of times when people have prayed for her they have seen her running and playing in a vision. She has had many miracles, but so far is unable to walk without difficulty. I believe these visions are of the resurrection. She WILL run and play. The resurrection is the only hope and sense we can make of life and it's painful times.

Friends, we have entered this Kingdom life now. The Kingdom is forever. Enter in and enjoy the hope.

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