Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Life Everlasting (A.C. #9)

Hope = joyous expectation - not idle sentiment.

I.  Eternal life is more than endless existence.
Dan. 12:2  Matt. 25:46 - duration.  Same word = eternal sin/fire/judgment  2 Thess. 1:9
Therefore:  we have evangelism responsibility.
Everlasting life - everlasting death.  Cannot build a doctrine of no hell/judgment out of the scriptures.

II.  Eternal life begins here and now. - it will be consummated/completed/fully realized in heaven.
John 5:24  1 John 3:2 - If don't have it here and now, won't have it in heaven either.   Eternal life happens when you cross over and can only happen in this life.   No second chance after death.

III.  Eternal life is a gift from God.  It's a gift we have to receive.  Rom. 6:23  John 10:27-28
Salvation/security is not found in heaven but in Christ!!

IV.  Eternal life is obtained (secured) by knowing God in a relationship, submission.  John 17:1-3 (contrast Matt. 7, James 2 - demons)   Way more than intellectual assent.  Salvation = head, heart, and hands.
Summary verse:  1 John 5:11-12

So, Heaven is A.  included in the package
                       B.  defined by:  1) what's there (God/Christ/glory/etc.) and Rest - Rev. 14:13 - "no tears"
                                                2) what's not there!!  Rev. 21:3-5

NOTE:   "I believe in Everlasting Life" - is not the end of the creed. 
The end is:  "Amen" - when God says it, means "it is and shall be so"
                                 - when man says it, means "so let it be"

Closing:  Rev. 1:18 - - - Rev. 22:17

Rev. 22:21

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Resurrection of the Body - A.C. #8

THE APOSTLE'S CREED (updated language)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day He rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  AMEN


Definition:  the physical body.....
a) Raised - from the grave, death, corruption
b) Restored - to a form/semblance of its original!
c) Revised - more than improved.  It is glorified
d)  Reunited - with the soul
Physical continuity but with great change!!!

This belief/doctrine:
(1)  Preceded Christ - not fully developed in the Old Testament but it is there.  Job, Hosea, Isaiah, Daniel
more importantly - 
(2)  Confirmed by Christ - John 5:24-29
(3)  Taught by the Apostles - example:  Phil. 3:20-21
(4)  Accepted by the Church - (examples:  creeds, councils, confessions)
(5)  Ridiculed by non-believers - then:  Jesus and the Sadducees, Paul and the Greeks
                                                - now - philosophers of religion
And, unfortunately,
(6)  Largely ignored by many Christians today.   Many people have been in church all their lives and have never heard teaching on the resurrection of the believer's body.
IF the Bible is God's Word, and IF Jesus is who He said He was, and IF the Apostles taught and recorded it right, then there is a bodily resurrection.


#1. The Resurrection occurs at Christ's Return.  1 Thess. 4:16 - examples:  Paul - "absent from the body = present with the Lord";  thief on the cross; Book of Revelation
Meanwhile, Christians are alive, awake, aware - after death.

#2.  The Resurrection includes all people.
Some see 1,000 years between resurrection 1 and resurrection 2.   Others see symbolic imagery.  Either way ALL are resurrected.   Rev. 20:13-15

Question?  With what body??  form?  appearance?  age?  ability?
Answer:  don't know ... BUT  1 Cor. 15:42-44, 49-55 - talking of a spiritual body.  Spiritual is an adjective.  Body is the noun - it is material, but not natural material.

Question?  How can this be?
Answer - don't know - "mystery" - BUT .... Matt. 22:29

Question?  Why do this?  isn't heaven enough?
Answer:  don't know ... BUT...Rom. 8:19-21 - Christ did not die just to save your soul.  He died to redeem ALL of creation.

"This doctrine is largely ignored by many Christians today".  Not so in the past .... many headstones from old cemeteries testify to the hope of the bodily resurrection.
Examples from Jamestown, VA - original cemetery site - William Sherwood -"A great sinner waiting for a joyful resurrection";  Mrs. Mary Knight -  "waiting for a joyful resurrection";  John Clough -  "departed this life January 15 1684 and waits in hopes of a joyful resurrection"

A.  this s Biblical language - not just sentiment
B.  this is an INTEGRAL  part of the Christian hope - (integral meaning essential to completeness)
Resurrection of the body is part of your spiritual heritage and spiritual inheritance.
C.  These passages are to instruct, encourage, comfort, prepare us... for this life and the next.
D.  We do ourselves and loved ones a great dis-service when we ignore this doctrine.

Final Point:  The Resurrection finds it's source, possibility, promise in Christ!!!
Apart from Christ there is NO HOPE of Resurrection!!!  (Restoration, reunion)
BUT in Him there is Hope for ALL.  John 11:21-27 - Jesus said, "I am the resurrection...."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Apostle's Creed - 7


 2 major themes.... Sin & Forgiveness

The Creed Assumes:  1)  Sin (initial sin) exists  2) Sin needs forgiving  3)  forgiveness is available

Question:  What's the biggest issue facing mankind today?  You? - Sin.  - always been true since the world began.  Central issue of the Bible from beginning to end.

Sin is: 
1.  Real (not) a man-made concept - it really exists)

2.  Contrary to God's will for your life - 1 John 3:4 - ie:  violation of God's written laws (Mosaic) and/or unwritten laws (nature, conscience, heart)
Definition of SIN:  any failure to conform to the moral law of God ... in act, attitude, or nature

3.  Destructive (not just arbitrary rules!)  All sin destroys, tears down - may hurt you, others, generations to come.  Satan has duped us into thinking that sin will make us fall up
4.  Therefore, wrong.  (in a moral sense because it's gonna end in harm!)
and, also,
5.  Evil - because it is a conscious, deliberate choice to (a) do wrong  (b) act in a harmful way (c) rebel against God's will.

6.  Universal   Rom. 3:23  1 John 1:8 & 10

7.  separates from God eternally.  God does not tolerate sin in His presence.  Separation after death is called Hell.

8.  Beyond human remedy  (a) can't reverse the effects  (b) can't prevent additional acts (future).
We can't fix this!!

So,  Problem #1 - Man can't fix the sin problem.
Problem #2 - God won't overlook it. (deny it, excuse it)

Remedy??? - a substitute sin-bearer
A.  Lev. 16 - 2 goats - picture prophecy
B.  fulfilled in Christ - God Incarnate, perfect, holy, able to pay the price. - Eph. 1:7 - "redeemed" (redemption - buy back)

 Forgiveness is found in Christ ie:  crossing the bridge (bridge illustration) AND WITH forgiveness comes:

#1.  Pardon - ie:  canceling of debt
But, it's more than a pardon.  It's redemption.  Sin requires payment.  Costs somebody something.  Costs the death of Christ.  Gal. 3:13

#2.  Remission (removal) - example in OT - scapegoat (removed never to be seen again) - 1 Pet. 2:24

#3.  Reconciliation  Rom. 5:1  (not a subjective peace)  Just because you feel it doesn't make it true.
Justified means made just as should be, in good standing regardless of how you feel.

#4.  Restoration  (a) to righteousness - positional (imputed:  "Abraham believed God...."
(b) to favor  - example:  the prodigal son

Note:   Sin always followed by punishment or pardon.  (no middle ground in scripture)

For those who've not yet accepted Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, your sin is real.  It needs forgiveness.  Forgiveness is available.

For those who've already accepted Christ, have knowledge of, and experiencing the Gospel should lead to (1) humility  (2) thanksgiving  (3)  submission to Him  (4) commitment to our calling