Antipodean59's Blog

Restored New Testament Christianity

Archive for the tag “life”

Thought for the week

I Shall See God

Job, that ancient patriarch and prophet issues forth words of confidence that the grave is not the end of life with these words: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27). How could this man, whom modern scholars wrongly consign to a people of superstition and ignorance, know about a redeemer who would buy back his soul in an all too obvious resurrected form? I say obvious because the man himself says his skin will be destroyed. Could it be that the Hebrews’ writer has, among others, Job in mind when he pens, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1)? Could it be that Job, like his fellow patriarch Abraham, was confident of mind “… that God was able to raise… even from the dead…” (Hebrews 11:19)? The answer to these questions is the same as that recorded in faith’s chapter of fame in Hebrews 11 that each of the faithful have these precursory words “By faith” attached to their actions. By faith Job knew there would come a time when a High Priest will come and sympathise with our weakness because he would be tempted “as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15) and therefore have all the necessary qualifications to redeem. By faith Job knew as the only way to please God, for “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6), for this it has always been “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17; cf, Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 10:17).

Our confidence in the resurrection is boosted by this man of knowledge so-much-so that we, too, “shall see God” by following the words of Christ “…whom [God] hath appointed heir of all things…” (Hebrews 1:2). He is the “chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (I Peter 2:6). The apostle Paul maintained that the resurrection was at the heart of the Christian faith. He questioned the futility of some by taking on the way without this fundamental objective in mind by saying, “if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (I Corinthians 15:13-14). Paul’s confidence was firmly entrenched in the resurrection of a man’s soul with these words: “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus… For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Corinthians 4:14; 5:1). This should not surprise us since Jesus emphatically promised such to those worried they might not find the way home to heaven, for after assuring them He was going to prepare for them a place to reside in the resurrection, He promised, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). Oh, and just in case you need a little more reassurance then, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27). For the apostle Paul, the resurrection of Christ is solid proof that He will indeed keep His promise, for he says that Christ not only appeared to the twelve apostles but “…he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (I Corinthians 15:6-8). Jesus said he that “seeth” (John 6:40) is one that is able to discern God is proved as unchangeable in the past (Hebrews 6:17) and will prove unchangeable in raising the faithful to an imperishable state in the future according to I Corinthians 15:33, for we that “seeth” trust by faith in the witness of God’s word that “…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

The ancient paths of the Bible conscript men and women of faith in all dispensations to testify of the resurrection’s reality. Just as they had faith and confidence in seeing God so too, we, through faith can confidently say, “I will see God”.

Graham

Thought for the week

What The Rich Man In Torment Would Have Us To Know

Have you ever stopped to consider what the rich man in torment would say to us if given a chance? Make no mistake about it, he would speak to us if he could, but he can’t (cf. Luke 16:26-31). God gives us all the information we need in His Word and it’s up to each of us to find those facts and apply them to our lives (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3)! But let’s suppose for a minute that it were possible for him to speak to us. What would he say?

The rich man would tell us that our time on earth is limited and that death is inevitable. He’d fared sumptuously every day. He had it all, and I’d dare say that death and eternity were the furthest things from his mind, as they are with many still today. But despite the comforts and pleasures he’d enjoyed in this life, time ultimately came for him to cross over into eternity. We’re all going to die (cf. Heb. 9:27; Jam. 4:14). Cemeteries are proof that our time is limited. People of all ages and from all walks of life can be found buried therein! Thus, what time we do have in this life should be spent in preparing for that life to come!

The rich man would tell us that hell is real! It’s amazing to hear people talk about there being a heaven, but in the same breath reject the notion of there being a hell. Hell is a prepared place for an unprepared (spiritually) people, make no mistake about it (cf. Mat. 25:41; 2 The. 1:8-9; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 21:8). Because hell is real we must fear it and use it as motivation to keep us on the straight and narrow (Mat. 7:13-14).

The rich man would tell us that earthly things have no eternal value. What do you suppose his fare and sumptuous life before death meant to him after death? Those things he had enjoyed in this life could not help him, comfort him, or aide him in eternity! It’s what we do in this life that will follow us into eternity, not what we have (cf. Rev. 14:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Mat. 6:19-20; 2 John 2:15-17; 2 Pet. 3:10-14).

The rich man would tell us to quit making excuses and obey God today! He will spend eternity in torment thinking about the excuses he made and the subsequent opportunities he squandered to obey God’s Word. Opportunities to obey God’s will are quickly passing and will soon cease! Today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:15)!

Where we spend our eternity will be determined by how we spend our time on earth. Let’s not make the same fatal mistake as did the rich man. Let’s spend our time in this life preparing for and looking forward to that life in the hereafter.

Terry R. Townsend (October 9, 2012)
Terry preaches for the Curry Street church of Christ, Jasper, Alabama
http://www.currychurchofchrist.org/

Thought of the week

Preparation

As I sat in my favourite coffee shop drinking a cup of vanilla chai latte this afternoon, I watched many people going about their daily business and I got to thinking that many, of whom I feel certain, would be blissfully unaware that this life is a preparation for that which is to come. They were laughing and frowning; playing and toiling and just living life as though this is all life has to offer. But what if there is something more to this life as we know it?

The Bible tells man there is definitely more to life than that which he experiences in the here and now. The wise man said, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes” (Proverbs 16:2) but the God of the Bible thinks and says differently, for just as He warned the Israelites to “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12) so, too, the warning is just as relevant for man today to be prepared! John the Baptist said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). He was of course speaking of the realization of the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) as foretold by Isaiah 750 years beforehand. This same Lamb of God says to “Repent or perish” (Luke 13:3). That word “repent” is given meaning by the Apostle Paul’s preaching as he recalls to King Agrippa in Acts 26:20 that men “should repent, turn to God and do works fitting to repentance.” That is to say, do due preparation to turn and meet God or you will, as Jesus says, “perish”.

What do you need to do in this preparation? Well, here is a web site that will be a good start: www.churchesofchrist.net/authors/David_B_Brown then click on “How to become a Bible Christian”.

God bless you as you travel and study through His word.

Graham

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