THE STRASBURG CHURCH OF CHRIST
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Prayers are requested for Trent Wiliams, a little 7 year old boy. Trent was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumer a little over a year ago. After a year of surgery and treatments, he was determined to be cancer free. However, in January, five more tumers were found on his brain and spinal cord. He is in the hospital after surgery, and will undergo tratments, soon. He needs our prayers!
What About The Resurrection?
February 26, 2012
Last week: Twenty-four Or A Thousand Billion?
Most Christians expect to one day be raised from the dead to be forever with the Lord. They see this life as time of preparation for an eternal reward in Heaven. Others believe that this is all there is. For them death is the end. Who is right? What does the Bible say?
The first hint of a resurrection from the dead is found in the book of Job, probably the oldest book, though it is positioned later in the Bible. Please read Job 14:13-15. In verse 14, Job says, "If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come." Clearly Job expected a better time to come after this life was over. The psalmist expected to see the Lord after his death. He sang in Psalm 17:15, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." In Psalm 49:15, he sang, "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me." Daniel prophesied, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2). See also Job 19:25-29; Psalms 16:11, 73:24; Isaiah 26:19.
Jesus was encountered by a group of Saducees in Mark 12:18-27. Saducees didn't believe in the resurrection. Here they attempt to trick Jesus by posing a question that they thought would put Him in a delemma. Jesus answered them by correcing a misconception on their part, and concluded in verses 26-27, "And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err". Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were dead at the time God spoke to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6). But God told Moses, "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob". He didn't say, "I was their God." Jesus says that the present tense indicates that though their bodies are in the grave, yet they live, and will one day rise again.
In John 5:20-29 (NKJV), Jesus gives a lesson on eternal life. In verse 21 He says, "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will." In verse 24 He says, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life...." So clearly everlasting (eternal) life awaits the Lord's people (See also Matthew 25:45-46; John 3:15-17; 12:49-50; Romans 6:23). Jesus goes on to say, in verses 28-29, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Notice that Jesus says, "all that are in the graves shall....come forth." So, "the hour is coming" when all the dead shall raise!
Now please read 1 Corinthians 15. Paul begins the chapter by reminding the Corinthian brethren of the meaning of the Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for our sins. He then proceeds to give evidence of our resurrection based on the fact of Jesus' resurrection. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Jesus did not rise. This would make our faith vain, and we are yet in our sins, with no hope. Those who have died in Christ have perished. There will be no eternal life for them. Further, those who have been risking their lives, and suffering persecution, preaching the Gospel are doing so pointlessly, if there is no resurrection. In fact, he argues, the whole Christian life is pointless if there is no resurrection. He says in verse 19, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." In verse 20 Paul says, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." Jesus died and rose again so that we might rise again to eternal life!
Peter writes of the hope that awaits us in 1 Peter 1:3-4: "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, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." One day the Lord will come again. Please read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Here Paul writes to comfort the Thessalonian brethren who were concerned that their loved ones who had already died had missed the opportunity of being with christ when He returned. Paul assures them that when the Lord comes, "the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." He concludes, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." How comforting those words are!
We don't know when the Lord will return (See Matthew 24:35-37). But, we can be sure that He will return, and that when He does, whether live or dead, if we have been faithful, we will be with him in eternity. As Paul says, the dead in Christ shall rise first, then the living shall rise with them to meet the Lord in the air. "And so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Are you faithful to Him?
The members of the Strasburg Church Of Christ would love to have you join us as we lift our voices to God in a capella song and study God's Holy Word. You are welcome at any of our services. We meet at 467 Aileen Avenue in Strasburg, VA, off Queen Street, behind the plants. We have Bible Study at 9:30 and worship at 10:30 and 6:00 on Sunday. We also have Bible Study at 7:00 on Wednesday evening. We hope to see you there!
L. John Bost
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