A Better Body

Sunday, January 21, 2018

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18 KJV).

Amen!

An elderly friend and coworker in the ministry recently slipped and fell on icy pavement. His resultant severe hand injury required medical attention. Days later, his hip and leg began to hurt and now he limps—probably another injury he sustained in the fall. He will probably have to seek medical help for that as well. Now, likely due to his earlier hospital visit (regarding another sickness), he has the flu! His wife suffers chronic maladies herself. Since her immune system is so weak, she is temporarily living elsewhere so as to avoid contracting her husband’s illness.

Saints, we all have our various bodily afflictions, physical disabilities, limitations, and the like. It is certainly no fun to be sick—especially in life-threatening or terminal situations. Remember, just because we are Christians does not mean we will not suffer. We grow sick, we grow old, and we die. That is the curse of sin, one aspect of living in an unredeemed body. Therefore, we anticipate the Rapture, our gathering together unto Christ and the receipt of our new, glorified bodies that will never grow ill, age, or perish!

“[19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. [20] For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, [21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? [25] But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

Death by Adam, Eternal Life by Christ #3

Monday, November 27, 2017

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12 KJV).

Friends, unless they are for saints of the Most High God, funerals are very depressing. It is a most serious matter when someone dies and goes to Hell! When a Christian dies, however, it is a home-going to meet his or her Saviour Jesus Christ. What a difference eternal life in Christ makes!

It is often enquired, “Why does God punish us because of what Adam did? That is so unfair!” Scoffers, questioning God’s benevolence, especially raise this objection. We would do well, dear friends, to rather inquire, “Why does God save us because of what Christ did? That is so unfair!”

Romans chapter 5 one final time: “[16] And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. [17] For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) [18] Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. [19] For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Yes, Adam’s disobedience brought upon us sin and death. But, there is a balance. Christ’s obedience—His submission to His Heavenly Father’s will, “even to the death of the cross” to pay for our sins (Philippians 2:5-8)—offers us righteousness and life. Those not in Christ—relying on Him by faith in His death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—will be banished to everlasting torment. Sin must be dealt with, dear friends, and it will either be settled at Calvary or in Hell.

God already has the answer to eternal death—eternal life in His Son. May we not delay; may we rely on the Lord Jesus Christ today! 🙂

Death by Adam, Eternal Life by Christ #2

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12 KJV).

Friends, unless they are for saints of the Most High God, funerals are very depressing. It is a most serious matter when someone dies and goes to Hell! When a Christian dies, however, it is a home-going to meet his or her Saviour Jesus Christ. What a difference eternal life in Christ makes!

Romans chapter 5 continues: “[13] (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. [14] Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. [15] But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”

“[16] And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. [17] For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) [18] Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. [19] For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

In the above verses, we see two contrasts. Firstly, there is information about Adam, his actions, and the results. Secondly, there is news concerning Jesus Christ, His activities, and the consequences. With Adam, there is nothing but condemnation and death (physical and spiritual). However, with Christ, there is nothing but justification and life (physical and spiritual). Adam’s disobedience makes us sinners, but Christ’s obedience makes us righteous….

Death by Adam, Eternal Life by Christ #1

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12 KJV).

Friends, unless they are for saints of the Most High God, funerals are very depressing. It is a most serious matter when someone dies and goes to Hell! When a Christian dies, however, it is a home-going to meet his or her Saviour Jesus Christ. What a difference eternal life in Christ makes!

While medical science affords us the ability to discover cures for various bodily afflictions, it is absolutely certain that the scientific method will never equip us to abolish physical death. Why is this so confidently stated? Today’s Scripture says when Adam sinned, he plunged the whole human race into sin and death. Consequently, wherever we find sin, we find death; wherever we find death, we find sin. It is a rule set forth in the Bible, and it is applicable to every age. Science will never be the means whereby we eradicate our sin nature, so science will never be the method by which we obliterate physical (and spiritual) death. We must look beyond the physical world for the answer.

The Bible says in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The “wages” (plural) “of sin is death”—physical and spiritual death. Death in Scripture means separation; never is it annihilation or cessation of existence. Genesis 35:18 reports: “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.” Physical death, as seen here, is the soul leaving, or separating from, the physical body.

There is another death, “the second death.” It is the soul’s separation from God forever in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 21:8 says: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Again, this is separation from God in eternity, the endless ages in the Lake of Fire. We do not have to go there….

Graduated!

Monday, August 21, 2017

“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” (1 Thessalonians 4:13 KJV).

Death is never easy, but the death of a Christian is easier. It is somewhat easier when an aged person dies, but a young person’s decease is quite difficult. Yet, if that young person was “in Christ,” that death is easier to bear.

Recently, an online friend passed on to Heaven after a long battle with cancer. She was only 18 years old. Even though she suffered much, she was a strong testimony for God’s grace. As her friends struggled with trying to reconcile how God could let His saint grow so horrifically ill, she reminded them that, while Father God has redeemed our souls, He has yet to redeem our bodies from sin’s curse. A firm foundation in the Bible rightly divided caused her to rejoice even in the midst of great trouble. While we are secure in Christ, there is no guarantee we will meet our Lord without first experiencing unspeakable bodily infirmities. An aged ministry coworker just told me his aching body was “falling apart.”

I just read the obituary of a dear saint whose Bible studies benefited me. The article was certainly written from the grace perspective. It began by saying that the brother “‘graduated’ on… to be with his Lord whom he loved and served so faithfully.” He was an evangelist for 40 years: “He loved preaching in Rescue Missions, proclaiming the Gospel of the Grace of God to the lost. His passion in life was leading people to Christ and encouraging the body of Christ.” After preaching the Gospel for so long, he at last experienced its hope. Doubtless, he is still enjoying the Lord’s presence all these years later!

Yes, we sorrow, but we sorrow not as those which have no hope. We have a sure expectation that our loved ones in Christ are not lost forever. Father God has them in His loving care, and we will see them (and Him) in His own time. There will be an endless eternity to fellowship with them around the Word of God. For now, dear brethren, we must remember that they want us to continue being ambassadors for Christ down here! 🙂

Not Worthy

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 KJV).

What hope in such a hopeless world!

Our world abounds with sickness, suffering, and death. My family recently learned a relative has been diagnosed with malignant (and terminal) brain cancer. Another relative’s great-granddaughter, age 2, just died of a defective lung. I have an online teenage friend whose cancer has returned. One elderly sister in Christ, after suffering bronchitis for days, has now developed pneumonia. Her husband suffered internal bleeding—losing half of his body’s volume!—and nearly died weeks ago. An elderly neighbor has bronchitis (which may turn to pneumonia). Another elderly neighbor died of pneumonia weeks back. Horrible!

Physical sickness and resulting death undoubtedly make this fallen creation most painful. While we should take care of our bodies, they are only temporary. No matter how much we diet or exercise, or take medications, we all have to die of something eventually (mostly true). That parenthetical statement is very important, for surely there will be a group of Christians living when Jesus Christ comes at the Rapture to take His Body to Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:15,17). They will never, ever see death: their bodies will simply be transformed. We may be that generation of Christians—or, maybe not. I know of many Christians who have been waiting for 40 or 50 years, and they, because of advanced age, may very well go the way of death if the Lord tarries much longer. (We may find ourselves there in the coming decades.)

Remember, brethren, every day of the Dispensation of Grace holds back the wrath of God from being poured out on our world. There has been nearly 2000 years of God offering His grace, and yes, that grace will have to be withdrawn someday. Let us not be selfish. Lost souls still need to be saved in Christ before that righteous judgment comes. The only way this is possible is if God extends the curse another day, postpones the Second Coming of Christ for another day, delays that earthly kingdom of healing and restoration another day. Deliverance will come, but there are more important things on God’s schedule at the moment.:)

Crown of Thorns

Thursday, May 11, 2017

And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,…. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! (John 19:2,5 KJV).

Why was the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus Christ?

Throughout the Bible, man functions as a free agent. He is not a puppet, God controlling His every thought and movement. Rather, man does just about anything he wants—God permitting, of course. At times, God has selected an event in someone’s life, and made a note of it in His Book. While the performer is often unaware of the spiritual truth expressed by the deed, God will record it in order to convey that information to the reader. For example, take today’s Scripture. What can we glean from it?

God’s Word refers to the “crown of thorns” on four occasions. Two instances are found in today’s Scripture. The other two are in Matthew and Mark; notice these parallel verses. Matthew 27:29: “And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!” Mark 15:17: “And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,….” The soldiers braided thorny branches to form a crown, and then jammed it on and into Christ’s scalp. They intended it as degradation and torture. However, God the Holy Spirit documented it to provide us a glimpse of why Jesus Christ came to Earth at all

It always does us well to remember “the law of first mention” when studying Scripture—the first occurrence sets the Bible’s tone about a particular subject. Thorns first appear in Scripture immediately after Adam’s fall into sin. Genesis 3:18 says: Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;….” Why did the Lord Jesus wear the crown of thorns? For all the crowds to see that He bore the curse of sin for you and me!