Radio Broadcast Wednesday 06/17/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love P27 (06-17-20)

Synopsis

This hope we have is in this new glorious body we have been promised and being with the Lord forever. We have this hope, so there is no fear in death, by which we say, “Where, Oh death, is your sting. Where, Oh death, is your victory.” Paul writes to encourage the believers, both those who are still alive when the Lord returns, and those who have already died, of this hope. We will have a new glorious body like His when we see Him like He is, for He says He will transform our lowly bodies into glorious bodies like His because we shall see Him as He is. When we die He has told us that when we are absent from this body, this earthly tent, we shall be present with Him. So the Spirit reveals the truth of these things to us. He does so so that we can know this hope and not weep like those who have no hope. We hold onto what He has said and believe what He tells us, because that is what faith is, believing what He has revealed to us by His Spirit.

Transcript

We have been discussing the main three elements of the Christian life; faith, hope and love.

1 Corinthians 13:13
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

We have discussed that faith is the substance of things hoped for but not seen and that faith must have an object, and the object of our faith, of course, is Christ Jesus and his finished work on the cross. The fact that we walk by faith in Christ’s provision for us. That is what grace is all about. We discussed this in quite detail. Now, we are now embarking on the second part of the Christian life, which is hope.

2 Corinthians 5:7
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

We live by faith. There is the first element of the Christian life, faith.

2 Corinthians 5:8-10
8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

There is going to be rewards for those things we have allowed God to do through us by faith, and then, of course, non-rewards for those things we have done in the energy of our own flesh. God does not honor flesh works. He honors Spirit works. There is not a judgment of punishment. That is just an appraisal of those things we have done as a result of allowing Christ to do through us and in comparison to those things in the energy of our own flesh. It would be like a branch, and the branch abides in a vine and bears fruit. Another branch does not abide in the vine and he hangs artificial fruit on a branch, and everyone oohs and awes over it, but it did not come from the life of the vine but from the energy of the branch. Those things will not be rewarded and things that came out of us as result of abiding in His life will be rewarded.

John 15:1-8
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

The issue is that I prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we learn something through all of this, and that is, that we are going to be away from this body and the scripture says, “absent from the body and present with the Lord”. In Philippians, for example, Paul says this.

Philippians 1:21
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

So, what the apostle Paul is saying in these passages is that, first of all, we are in the body and we are going to be absent from the body some day, and when we do, we are going to be present with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, look at 2 Corinthians 5. We are told something about this body of ours.

2 Corinthians 5:1
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

This is another way of saying, this body is a tent, merely a container of which the real you lives. It is an earth suit. One of these days, we are going to have a heaven suit. In other words, Jesus is saying, “I have an eternal house in heaven for you”. They call this body down here a tent. Why would you not call that a house? The reason is because it is about as stable as a tent, when you look at these bodies of ours, and how frail they can be. It is a tent compared to the remarkable home we are going to have in heaven. We have an earthly body and one of these days, we are going to have our heavenly body.

The question asked is, “When are we going to receive this heavenly body?

Philippians 3:21
21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

The issue is, when is this transformation going to take place? Some people say that immediately upon your death, you are absent from the body and present with the Lord. What they mean is the inner you, your soul and spirit go with the Lord, but your body obviously is in the grave. Then, when do we get our new body? The most obvious thinking to me is that we get it immediately when absent from the body and present with the Lord. This earthly tent is destroyed. We have a building from God. It did not say you are going to get one. It says you have one.

Yet, there is much teaching that takes place that says we do not get a new body until the rapture. Of course, they take that from a passage of scripture which we will deal with in a moment, in order to justify the fact we have soul sleep. The reason they believe in soul sleep is because of that passage that is dealing with the rapture. All of us, our soul sleeps, our body sleeps, until the Lord comes back. The evangelical community does not believe that, and I do not believe scriptures teach that. I believe that when absent from the body, you are present with the Lord, both in Spirit and in body. We are going to be transformed, our lowly bodies like his glorious body. That is an instantaneous thing. When this body is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

2 Corinthians 5:2
2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,

Why would I groan, longing to be clothed with my heavenly dwelling, when I will not get one of those until over 2000 years until the Lord comes back? A longing is something that is going to occur immediately. I can say I am longing for the day I can get rid of this body and get a new one 9000 years from now. That does not make any sense. Why?

2 Corinthians 5:3
3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.

Would that mean we are going to be naked for 2000 years if we are going to say someone died 2000 years ago until today, and are still found naked? We have been talking about what happens to our bodies at the time of spiritual death. Not only our spirits go to be with the Lord but he says that we also have a building from God.

2 Corinthians 5:1-4
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

How can you say that, when according to some teaching, you are unclothed until the Lord comes back? If you died right after Jesus rose from the dead, that would be 2000 years you are naked. How can Paul say we are burdened and groan because we do not wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life? How is this mortal body going to be swallowed up when we do not get what swallowed us? One of our dear sisters in Christ, Helen, during a Sunday service commented on this. “According to that teaching, while here on earth we have a home, but as soon as we die we are homeless”. So in other words, we are a bunch of homeless people wandering around until we get a brand new home from heaven 2000 years or more later. So, God has made you complete down here, giving you a home, but the minute you die, you are incomplete because you are homeless again? So what is mortal may be swallowed up in life.

2 Corinthians 5:5-10
5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

There is a lot of teaching that teaches contrary to this, but again, as I have explored scripture and the totality of scripture, and especially in Philippians and Corinthians that are not talking about end times. They are talking about questions everyone wants to know, not about what happens 2000 years from now, but what is going to happen to me when I die? It does not make sense to me as to what has been taught to people, that spiritually you are going to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, but you will be floating around up there for a long period of time. So does the Lord teach that you will have a home up there, but you are not going to get it until the Lord comes back? That makes no sense and it is not even consistent with the character of God Himself, who says, “I have given you everything here”, but when you go up there you are not going to have everything? That makes no sense at all.

Let us move on in John 14:2-3.

John 14:2-3
2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Did we not finish studying that he has a house available for us up there? We know that when this earthly tent is destroyed, we have a building from God? Jesus told us the same thing here. Jesus is already there and he has already prepared a place for us.

The issue to me is this. In my understanding of the scripture, on the day that this heart of mine stops beating, the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come for me and take me to be with Him forever. He has got a home prepared for me. My glorified body is the house that I am going to live in. That is already prepared for me. I believe that is what happens at death. I do not believe it is a lonely experience. I believe that the Lord Jesus comes. I think he says, “Let us go home”. And He takes me home and He escorts me home. That is what I believe is true.

I believe that is not only true spiritually but I think that at that moment, I will receive my eternal house, the dwelling I am going to live in, this heavenly dwelling talked about in 2 Corinthians 5. “We know that when this earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God”. It is already there. And He tells us this. “I have already prepared it for you. I have already gone to do that and one of these days I am going to take you to be with me”. I do not know about you, but that to me takes away all the fear of death. It takes away the sting of death. It takes away the wonderment. I do not like heights. Will I be frightened when I go up? All these fears in my mind are alleviated when you realize you are going to be in the bosom of Jesus, carried tenderly by Him into the presence of God, receiving all the things He has already promised us we are going to receive and to be with Him forever, that sting of death that has been totally taken away in Christ Jesus.

In 1 Thessalonians is where some of the passages are confusing. Now, we are declaring in 1 Thessalonians with the end times. So, let us see the contrast between this passage and what we just talked about, and see if you can make them come together.

1 Thessalonians 4:13
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

In the book of Thessalonians, you are dealing with this subject of the return of the Lord. If Jesus was there talking to me, or Paul was talking to me about the return of the Lord, and he is going to come and take you to be with Him, and telling you just what we are talking about, what Jesus has already prepared for you, and one of these days when you die, you will be absent from the body and present with the Lord and you will be with Him forever. He is going to give you your home and you are going to have the house you are going to live in. Your most natural question will be, what about those who are already dead? What is going to happen to them? You say that the Lord comes back, which you say you are going to do, and this will happen to me, but the Lord did not come back yet when my mom and dad died, so what will happen to them? That is the most natural question to ask. What about those who already died and who died before the Lord comes back, you are talking about? This instruction would have come to people with the idea the Lord could come back right now. So 2000 years ago, this instruction to those in Thessalonica. This could happen tomorrow. So the most natural thing to ask is what will happen to those already dead?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Jesus rose and God is going to bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. Is this anything at all that is contrary to what He talked about in John we talked about. “I go and prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”. That is all he is saying. God is going to bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. Paul is just amplifying that, that we believe Jesus raised the dead, and so God will also bring back those who have fallen asleep in him. You are going to be in the arms of Jesus and you are going to be receiving your new glorified body.

1 Thessalonians 4:15
15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

In other words, we are not going to go first. The ones who are dead, they are already there. What else can that mean except for when people come down and think that is, that at this rapture, because the next verse, something is going to happen to the dead.

1 Thessalonians 4:16
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

That is true. It just got through saying the dead in Christ will rise first. So we will not precede those who are dead in Christ because they are going to rise first. So what is going to happen at your physical death? The Lord is going to come down from heaven, with a loud command, the voice of an archangel and the trump call of God. He will do exactly what he said he was going to do. I have prepared a place for you. I am going to come back. I am going to take you with me so you will be with me forever. We can look at that and say that is going to happen at the time of the rapture.

I believe the context is that is what happens at death. The reason I say that is let us look further. After that, after this event takes place. If, at the rapture, it takes place in a split second, how could you be talking about before and after? It will be so fast there will not be any before and after. When two things snatched away at the same time and one happened a split second earlier, you would not say, “he went first”. There would be no need to mention that. In context, remember what this is answering. It would be answering a person who is asking about what is going to be taking place at the time the Lord comes back, and asking the question when, about what about those who are dead. This is what he is answering. Certainly, those of us who are left until the coming of the Lord. So you have those who are left and then you have those who died before the coming of the Lord. Those who are left will not precede those who have fallen asleep. When you tell somebody that those of us who are left will not precede those who have fallen asleep, that means everyone who have fallen asleep have preceded those who are still alive. Those who are left will not precede those who have fallen asleep. Those fallen asleep in the Lord are absent from the body and present with the Lord. We are told that. That is what we live by faith in. I prefer to be absent from the body but as long as the Lord wants me here in this body, I will serve him. But my desire is to be away from here and in the presence of God. In other words, those who have died over these past 2000 years certainly have gone before those that will be here when the Lord returns.

1 Thessalonians 4:15
15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

Just as Jesus said in John 14, I will come to get you.

John 14:2-3
2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Then after that, those who are still alive and are left. If the rapture occurred instantaneously, there will not be anybody left, those who are still alive and left. That means those who are still around the time of the Lord’s return will be caught up together with them. So if you are caught together with somebody, that means someone is already there and you will be caught up with them. Now if all of that happened in a split second, this is nonsensical talk. It is ridiculous, mundane talk. You are already there. The loved ones, the saints, are already there. Paul is not in heaven without a body. He has received his heavenly body just like those of us who will die before the coming of the Lord have received our home in heaven. He has a place prepared for us. We are not homeless up there. We have our body.

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

I do not know about you, but those are great encouraging words. Those who are dead already in the presence of God. Are they up there incomplete? No. They are complete. How can you be complete down here and be incomplete up there? How can you have a home down here and be homeless up there? You are absent from the body. Your spirit has gone to be with God and immediately it says, “clothed with heavenly dwelling”. So we have our bodies. We are complete up there. “We see him as he is and become like him”. Another marvelous passage of truth. We are going to be like him. That is amazing.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

The older you get, you realize that outwardly you are wasting away. You cannot stop that. You can do tummy tucks and all that, but that body is going to the grave.

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A Closer Look at Faith Hope and Love

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