Do You have Two Different Blessed Hopes?

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared…..12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession,eager to do good works.

Job 19 Then Job answered:
2 How long will you torment me
and crush me with words?
25 But I know my living Redeemer,
and He will stand on the dustat last.
26 Even after my skin has been destroyed,
yet I will see God in my flesh.
27 I will see Him myself;
my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger.
My heart longs within me.

According to the Bible, the “blessed hope” for Christians is the coming of Jesus back to earth, and the resurrection of the age to come. According to almost all traditional funeral sermons, the blessed hope is that our “souls” are immortal and can never die.

Yes,sometimes it is mentioned that “the body sleeps and that there will be a resurrection for the body in the future.” But almost no preacher ever sticks to that hope. In about everry case, the preacher gets back to some idea that “we have a body but we are a soul” Supposedly, the body that dies is not the real us, and this means that the real us “never died”.

When you are trading on falsehoods, and not proving anything from the Bible, you tend to contradict yourself. On the one hand, it’s only Christians whe never die. But on the other hand, it’s all humans who never die so that God and the angels will be there with most humans to torture them forever since even those humans will never die.

On the one hand, the body prepared in heaven for us is given to us as soon as we die, and therefore we go to heaven immediately and everybody up there knows us in this new body. On the other hand, the real us is not the body but the soul, and when Jesus comes, that sould which cannot die will be given a new body prepared in heaven.

No, it’s not consistent, but nobody asks any qustions when God’s spokesman with many years of experience assures us that these things are so. These ideas about the soul and the future are so important that to even qustion them would bring into question everything God’s spokespersons have ever said about the gospel.

And that is precisely why I am asking questions and correcting falsehoods. Our hope is not God’s infinite torture of God the Son. Our hope is God’s love for the elect in Christ’s death for the elect alone. Christ’s death is Christ’s righteousness, and that righteousness is the basis of our hope. False ideas about heaven and our souls are a false basis for hope.

Galatians 5:5 Through the Holy Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

There is no future judgment for God’s justified elect after that coming reurrection. Our resurrection itself is one reward from Christ’s righteousness accomplished by His death

John 5:24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has lasting life and will not come under judgment but HAS passed from death to life.

Luke 9:27 I tell you the truth: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” 28 About eight days after these words, Jesus took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As Jesus was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white.30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Jesus—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His DEPARTURE (his death), which Jesus was about to ACCOMPLISH in Jerusalem.

Christ’s “departure” in this Bible context is not His ascension or His resurrection. But forty days after His resurrection, Christ departed to heaven John 16: 5 “But now I am going away to Him who SENT ME, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.7 Nevertheless,I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t GO AWAY the Counselor will not SOME TO YOU. If I go, I will SEND HIM TO YOU

It was not Christ’s resurrection or His ascension which accomplished the righteousness which God imputes to the elect. Nor is it Christ’s future second coming which accomplishes the righteousness which God imputes to the elect. Hebrews 9:26 -Now Christ has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself…..28 so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Christ was exalted by going (departing)to die for the sins of all the elect, all of whom will be justified. Christ was “lifted up” by His death not by going to heaven.

John 12:23 Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop…..27 Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name!”…32 As for Me, if I am LIFTED UP from the earth I will draw all people to Myself. 33 Jesus said this to signify what kind of DEATH HE WAS ABOUT TO DIE 34 Then the crowd replied to Him, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’?

John 3:12- If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be LIFTED UP, 15 so that as many as who believe in Him will have lasting life. 16 “For God loved the world IN THIS WAY —He gave His One Begotten Son, in order that as many as who believe in Him will not perish but have lasting life.

Our hope is not getting one new body when we die, and then getting a different new body when Jesus comes

John 6:40 As many as who look to the Son and believe in him shall have lasting life, and I will raise them up at the last day”

Revelation 22:20 Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

I Corinthians 15:23 But each in his own order—Christ first, afterward at His coming those who belong to Christ

1 Corinthians 16:22 as many as love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let them be Anathema . Maranatha.

Philippians 3: 20 our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body

After the resurrection, will we have the new body we supposedly got when we died and went up to heaven? Or will we have the new body given at the resurrection when Jesus comes? Or will we have two new bodies then? And if you chuckle an arrogant laugh and tell us that God will figure it all out, that only reminds me that you have confused your contradictions with God’s revelation.

Philippians 1:20-I hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor FOR ME. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

What are we hoping to gain? The Roman Catholic tradition assumes that “to die is gain” is hope for Paul to get off earth and straight to heaven, and rushes right past any idea of “fruitful labor” FOR ME. 2 Corinthians 4:10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, in order that the life of Jesus also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, in order that Jesus’ life also be revealed in our mortal flesh.

Instead of preaching a message that could lead to martyrdom and death, most preacers support large armies killing for the sake of their “religious freedom”, and use a Bible text about apostolic suffering to assure their comfortable clients that they will go straight to heaven when they die. Don’t wait. Order it today from Amazon. No need to wait for the “hope that comes from resurrection”, when you can be assured of the hope that comes from having an “immortal soul”. You get a body now as soon as you die, and since no body is the real you, then you can trade that body in for that different new body you get when Jesus comes. But since you are created in the image of God, no body will ever be you, because you are like God. This is the message which is supposedly safe and non-controversial and which will allow us to agree on other more important things.

John 8: 21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I’m going away; you will look for Me, and you will die in your sin. Where I’m going, you cannot come.” 22 So they said: “He won’t kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I’m going, you cannot come’?” 23 “You are from below,” Jesus told them, “I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world. 24 If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

John 17:15 I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one.
John 17:24 Father, I desire that those You have given Me be with Me where I am. Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation.

Revelation 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, 2 I saw the Holy City coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:
Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.

I Corinthians 15:39 Not all flesh is the same flesh; there is one flesh for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly bodies. 41 There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; for one star differs from another star in splendor. 42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead:
Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption;
43 sown in dishonor, raised in glory;
sown in weakness, raised in power;
44 sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.
45 it is written: The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit… 47 The first man was from the earth and made of dust;
the second man is from heaven.48 Like the man made of dust, so are those who are made of dust; like the heavenly man, so are those who are heavenly.

2 Corinthians 5: we have a building from God, a lasting dwelling from the heavens, not made with hands. 2 Indeed, we groan in this body, desiring to put on our dwelling from heaven. 3 wHEN we are CLOTHED we will not be found NAKED . 4 Indeed, we groan while we are in this tent, burdened as we are. WE DO NOT WANT TO BE UNCLOTHED but clothed, in order that mortality be swallowed up by life. 5 And the One who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment. 6 So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in this body we are away from the Lord and the Lord is way from us.

7 Because we walk by faith, not by sight, 8 and we are confident and to be out of this body and at home with the Lord.
NOTICE that the text does NOT say–“to be out of this body is to be at home with the lord”. Our hope is the Lord’s coming and our resurrection in the new spiritual body from heaven

In 2 Corinthians. 5:8, in context,
1. The hope expressed in the context is that of resurrection (2 Cor. 4:14);
2. The “earthly tent” is our present mortal body (5:1a);
3. The “building from God” , the house from heaven” (5:1b) is our future resurrection body;
4. The clothing metaphor (2-4) elsewhere is used of the resurrection (1Cor. 15:53-54);
5. The “swallowing up” of the “mortal” by “life” occurs at the resurrection (1Cor. 15:54);
6. It is in anticipation of this hope that we “groan” (2,4 Rom. 8:22f);
7. Paul’s use of such terms as “naked” (c.f. 1Cor. 15:36-27 with 42 and following) and “unclothed” describe the intermediate state and it is clear from the passage under consideration that Paul does not desire to be in this state (3,4) despite how Paul’s Greek contemporaries may have thought

2 Corinthians 5:10 Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, in orer that eachbe repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless. 11 Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade people.

Those who teach an universal atonement (which then fails to atone!) use II Corinthians 5:15 to try to prove that Christ died for everybody. They assume that we want to tell everybody to live for Christ. The false gospel tells us, that, in order to tell everybody what to do, we first need to tell them that Christ died for them. But 2 Corinthians 5:15 is about a substitutionary representation. The same all for whom Christ died is the all who died. This death is not light and life for those who are already born justified. This death is death by legal imputation.

Since the judgment for all whom God loves (the elect) has already happened in Christ’s death, there will no future judgment for Christians. There will not even be a side-judgment where extra goodies and rewards are passed out. Why then is the text, II Corinthians 5, which is talking to Christians, bringing up the judgment? The answer is that Christians are being told in this text that they are “ambassadors” to those who are still in condemnation.

Some of those who are still lost are the elect, who even though God loves them and has always loved them, are right now ignorant of the gospel. And since the ambassadors to whom Paul is talking don’t know which of the lost are elect or not, they are to present the good news to all sinners, and to command all sinners to “ be reconciled”. The ambassadors do NOT say—-some of you have already received the reconciliation but just don’t know it. The reconciliation is received passively (by imputation) and that has not yet happened for those who are still ignorant of the gospel and still living in legalism. Look back at the time language of Romans 5:10-11—“now that we are reconciled, we shall be saved by His resurrection. We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

So why is Paul bringing up the judgment seat, when Christians have already passed through the judgment by imputation? Paul brings up “the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 5:11) because the justified ambassadors need to remember that there are lost people around them who have not yet been justified who need to hear the gospel and be commanded to be reconciled.

We don’t say: well if Christ died for them, then they are already reconciled and justified. They are not. Nor do we say: well, anyway, it’s sure to happen. God works in history. God imputes in time what Christ has paid for in time. And God uses the gospel as the message heard and believed by the elect as they are being justified John 5:24 As many as who hear My word and believes Him who sent Me has lasting life and will NOT COME UNDER JUDGMENT but has passed from death to life.

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that H e shall stand at the latter day
Upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall
I see God. (Job 19:25-26)

For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that
Sleep. (I Corinthians 15:20)

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18 Comments on “Do You have Two Different Blessed Hopes?”

  1. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Matthew 10: 28 Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body

    29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. 30 Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. 31 Do not be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.

    I Corinthians 15: 51 We will not all fall asleep,
    but we will all be changed,
    52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye,
    at the last trumpet.
    For the trumpet will sound,
    and the dead will be raised incorruptible,
    and we will be changed.
    53 For this corruptible must be clothed
    with incorruptibility,
    and this mortal must be clothed
    with immortality.
    54 When this corruptible is clothed
    with incorruptibility,
    and this mortal is clothed
    with immortality,
    then the saying that is written will take place:
    Death has been swallowed up in victory

    I Corinthians 15: 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is
    worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have
    fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 23 But each will be made alive in his own order—–:Christ, the firstfruits, and then after. , at His coming, those who belong to Christ.

  2. Mark Mcculley Says:

    CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory—“there are no ordinary people. You have
    never talked to a mere mortal”

    no Christian ever really dies, or no human ever really dies?

    Warfield—“the Old Testament never falls into the error of supposing
    death to concern merely the body. Every soul that departs to Sheol is
    a dead soul. Quite irrespective of any and everything else that may be true of any and every soul gathered here, this is the fundamental
    thing that is true of them all–they are all dead. The immense stress
    that the OT lays on sheol as the place of death is certainly justified
    in the nature of the case, and its effect was to throw the eyes of the
    OT saint for his hope, not across the gulf that divides ‘this” from
    the ‘other’ world, but on into the future. This made the OT faith
    emphatically eschatological. It is resurrection, not mere immortality,
    that we long for.

    Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will
    shepherd them; He will guide them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

    Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death
    will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
    because the previous things have passed away.

    Psalm 73 :4 For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as others are——even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, grant us Lord, to hold fast to those things that shall endure

  3. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Moses and Elijah were not alive at the Mount of Transfiguration—if
    they were, then there would be no need for Jesus to come again or for them to be raised from the dead. If Moses and Elijah did not have
    bodies, how could they be seen by the disciples? Was it a vision, or
    was it a separate resurrection so that Abraham and Moses do not have to wait for that day with the rest of us

    Calvin—Christ rose the same person, the same Jesus Christ, very God and very man, which had died; he rose according to the nature in which he had suffered, which was his human nature, his true human nature, the very same which it was in essence and properties, not deified, but glorified, having laid aside all the infirmities to which it was subject. “Behold my hands and my feet, it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have” (Luke 24:39.) And truly nothing different from that which had died, could rise again. The very same body, therefore, which had fallen a victim to death rose again; and it is this which affords us such great consolation. For it was necessary that he should be one, and the same mediator, who would merit for us those blessings which we had lost by sin, and who would restore them unto us, by applying them to each one singly. Indeed, had not the flesh of Christ risen, ours could not rise.

    p110, “What’s At Stake in Current Debates Over Justification?”,
    professor Bruce McCormack, Princeton Theological Seminary

    “I do not participate in the historical humanity of Christ (a thought
    which would require an unity on the level of ‘substance’. Rather, I
    participate in the kind of humanity which Jesus embodies. That is why
    I John 3:2 says that when we see Him as He is, we shall be LIKE him. The individual Christ’s humanity and my own was thought by the early church to be transcended in terms of a Platonic realism which holds that universals are more real than particulars (substance and accidents)…

    “Nowadays, we are suffering from ‘creeping perichoresis’, that is, the
    overly expansive use of terms which have their homes in purely
    spiritual relations between humans who do NOT participate in a common ‘substance’ and who therefore remain distinct individuals. This surely has to be the relation of the human believer to the human Jesus as well.

    “What has prevented us from seeing this is, I think, the degree of
    residual Catholic content in the Reformation understanding of
    eucharistic feeding. It is in the context of his treatment of
    eucharistic feeding that Calvin borrows rhetoric from the early church
    that brings him into conflict with his own doctrine of justification.

  4. Mark Mcculley Says:

    resurrection (when Jesus comes) does not make death good

    1 Samuel 28: 11 “Who is it that you want me to bring up for you?” the
    witch asked. “Bring up Samuel for me,” Saul answered. 12 When the
    woman saw Samuel, she screamed, and then she asked Saul, “Why did you deceive me? You are Saul!”

    13 But king Saul said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?” “I
    see a god coming UP OUT OF THE EATTH,” the wItch answered. 14 Then Saul asked her, “What does he look like?” “An old man is coming up,” she replied. “He’s WEARING A ROBE.” Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed his face to the ground and paid homage. 15 “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Samuel asked Saul.

    “I’m in serious trouble,” replied Saul. “The Philistines are fighting
    against me and God has turned away from me. gOD doesn’t answer me anymore,either through the prophets or in dreams. So I’ve called on you to tell me what I should do.”

    16 Samuel answered, “Since the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy, why are you asking me? 17 The Lord has done exactly what He said through me: The Lord has torn the kingship out of your hand and given it to your neighbor David. 18 You did not obey the Lord and did not carry out His burning anger against Amalek; THEREFORE the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will also HAND OVER Israel to the Philistines along with you. Tomorrow you and your sons WILL BE WITH ME and the Lord will hand Israel’s army over to the Philistines.” 20 Immediately, Saul fell flat on the ground. He was terrified by Samuel’s words

  5. Mark Mcculley Says:

    If heaven by itself were superior, then Jesus would not have raised
    Lazarus from the dead. Earth is the best place for humans, because
    this is where God made us to live. The problem of “better place” will
    not be resolved until Jesus returns and unites heaven and earth. Until then, we should be careful not to unequivocally call heaven “a better place,” as it isn’t better in every way and saying so promotes the Platonic idea that heaven is our final home. Who would want to leave the better place to come back here?

    When we say “to die is gain” is a promise, we risk confusing good and evil. David Platt makes this mistake in Radical, when he says that we must “see death as reward.” He explains that a missionary’s death was a reward rather than a tragedy because she immediately went to heaven (p. 179-81).

    Revelation 22:20 Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

    1 Corinthians 16:22 as many as love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let
    them be Anathema . Maranatha.

    I mention in the book about going to visit my friend in hospice. She
    was suffering… But even there, we didn’t pray for Jesus to take her
    but for Jesus to come. He didn’t,…. My concern is that when we connect these benefits to the place rather than to the person we breed Platonists who think going to heaven is the goal, rather than heaven coming here. As my wife says, directions matter!

    • mjfogal Says:

      If earth is the best place for man, then why does Jesus instruct the disciples to place their treasure in heaven along with their heart?

      19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,
      20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
      21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21

      • Mark Mcculley Says:

        Christ is now in heaven, Christ is our reward

        Psalm 73 :25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you”

        Colossians 3 Since you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 WHEN the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, THEN you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

        Revelation 22: 12 My reward is with me

        Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and exceeding great reward

        Philippians 3: 7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, in order that I GAIN CHRIST 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ

        Philippians 3: 20 our citizenship is in heaven, FROM WHICH we also eagerly WAIT FOR a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body,

  6. Mark Mcculley Says:

    After lazarus was raised from the dead, he could have sex again. Lazarus did not receive the new spiritual body we will receive at Christ’s second coming. Lazrus received a mortal body and died again . He could stay married or become married, but Lazarus was not raised to immortaality

    After our resurrection to immortality , no more sex, and no more death

    Jesus did not become aa life-giving Spirit when He was born incarnate
    Jesus did not become a life-giing Spirit until after His resurrection

    Adam was not given a nephesh but “became a living nephesh.” Nephesh then is better understood as person, seeing that Leviticus 21:11 and Numbers 6:6 speak of a “dead nephesh.

    Genesis 1: 20 Then God said, “Let the water swarm with lliving
    nephesh 21 God created every living nephesh tthat moves in the water

    24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce living nephesh according to their kinds:

    30 for everynephesih the earth—everything having the breath of life in it. I have given every green plant for food.”

    Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man BECAME a living nephesh

    • mjfogal Says:

      If nephesh is best understood as “person,” then why refer to fish and animals as “persons?”

      • markmcculley Says:

        a fish is not a part of a fish, an animal is not a part of an animal. Now we can and should discuss what makes a human person human, instead of being a fish or something “non-human”. We cannot assume that we know what “image of God” means. I do not think it means “free-will” or “potential for immortality”, but what does “in the likeness of Christ” mean? How is Christ now “in the likeness of the human”?

        But what we can’t say is that humans are “souls” but that “other kinds of flesh” (I Corinthians 15) are not “souls”.

  7. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Have you confused your future death with the rapture?

    Have you confused your future death with Christ’s second coming?

    Do you hopes for two second comings?

    or do you believe Satan’s lie? — that the soul that sins shall not die?

  8. mjfogal Says:

    “The false gospel tells us, that, in order to tell everybody what to do, we first need to tell them that Christ died for them.“.

    Amen Brother! I completely agree, which is why I was confused by reading this today from Peter’s 2nd major preaching to the unconverted Jews:

    19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
    20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ APPOINTED FOR YOU , Jesus,
    21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. – Acts 3:19-21

    I want to say Jesus is“appointed” to only the elect. If Peter were on Facebook I would send him a face palming emoji for his lack of clarity in his gospel presentation.

    It turned out that Many (5000) really did have Jesus appointed to them, but I cannot help but think there were still a few who heard that message and did not repent nor believe.

  9. Mark Mcculley Says:

    The Christ proclaimed to you in the teaching of the word, not only by the old testament prophets but now, FOR THOSE WHO LISTEN AND BELIEVE.

    Acts 3: 18 But what God predicted through the mouth of all the prophets—that His Messiah would suffer—He has fulfilled in this way. 19 Therefore repent and turn back, in order that your sins be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord,

    Is the teaching of the gospel grace to those who do not believe the gospel? no

    20 and that He send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah.

    Is Christ the Lord even of those who do not believe the gospel?

    21 Heaven must welcome Him until the times of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about by the mouth of His holy prophets from the beginning. 22 Moses— The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to Him in everything He will say to you. 23 And everyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from the people.

    24 “In addition, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, have also announced these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your seed

    26 God raised up His Servant and sent Him FIRST TO YOU to BLESS you by turning EACH OF YOU from your evil ways.

    2 Corinthians 2: 14 But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life. And who is competent for this?

    John 3: 17 For God did not send His Son into the world in orer that He condemn the world, but in order that the world be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God. 19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids the light in order that his deeds may not be exposed.

    John 9: 39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and asked Him, “We aren’t blind too, are we?”
    41 “If you were blind,” Jesus told them, “you wouldn’t have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see’—your sin remains.

    John 12: 46 I have come as a light into the world, in order that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears My words and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects Me and does not accept My word has my word as his judge:The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak. 50 I know that His command is lasting life.

    john Gill on Acts 3 — “that he may send Jesus Christ”—– not in person, for this regards neither his first, nor his second coming, both which might be terrible to the awakened Jews; the former, because he had been sent, and was come, and was gone again; and therefore might fear there was no hope for them, who had denied him, and crucified him; the latter, because they might conclude he would be sent, and come to take vengeance on them, when they should look upon him whom they had pierced with horror and trembling; but here it regards his being sent, and his coming in the ministration of the word,

  10. […] the gospel of sins imputed to Christ « Do You have Two Different Blessed Hopes? […]

  11. Mark Mcculley Says:

  12. Mark Mcculley Says:

    “For the Christian, death brings a better inheritance, a better fellowship, and a better body.”34

    No, for the Christian, Christ brings all these things. But he will do so at the proper time, and in the proper order. The resurrection order is “Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.”35
    The Greek mystery cults glorified death, but Christianity did not. For the Christian, death remains a part of the curse upon humanity. The LORD warned Adam that the consequence of sin would be death.36 Death would not be a gateway to another life or location. It would be punishment for sin. The LORD spoke of death as a prison, with “gates of deep darkness.”37 Those gates will not be opened until our Saviour returns with the keys. That is why John’s vision of Christ in Revelation depicted him with keys in his hand.38
    “For the believer, when he departs from this life he goes to be immediately in the presence of Jesus Christ and as the believer stands before Jesus he receives his reward.”39

    Not quite. The prophet Isaiah said “Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him.”40 Jesus applied that text to himself and his return when he said “behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”41 So, according to the Rewarder, our reward is not coming at death, but at his second coming. Who should we believe? I choose to believe the rewarder as to the timing of the reception of his reward.
    “while we are on this earth, our life belongs to Christ; after this life, because our life belonged to Him here, we gain the reward of eternal life with Him there.”42

    Yes, our reward will be eternal life. But not only will our reward be when Christ comes, it will also be where Christ goes. He is not coming back to take us to heaven. He is coming back to take his rightful place as the rightful “ruler of kings on earth.”43 His capital will be the new Jerusalem, which John sees coming down out of the sky from God “like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”44 To place the bride in heaven when her groom is reigning on earth would be a cruel thing. It would also make it impossible for us to do what the New Testament affirms that we will do. We will reign with him.45
    “He (Paul) had served the Lord faithfully and now looked forward to receiving ‘a crown of righteousness’ (II Timothy 4:6-8).”46

    Pardon, your slip is showing. Paul was referring to the day of Christ’s return. He specifically stated that the crown of righteousness would be rewarded not only to him that day, “but also to all who have loved his appearing.”47 We will all receive the reward of eternal righteousness at the same time – not at various times as we each die. The specific day is clear: it is the day of Christ’s appearing (epiphania).
    “For every believer there will be one final promotion – Death. That is why we are told not to fear it.”48

    Nowhere ever in Scripture is death called a promotion. It is a curse, a prison, and an enemy.49 It is never a friend. Paul could not have contradicted himself as an author of Scripture, inspired by the Holy Spirit to produce God’s infallible word. His assertion that his death would be gain cannot be explained by interpreting it in such a way as to make him recant something that he has already said about death. That would be bad theology. Positing that Paul meant that death would be gain in a way that denies its enemy status is bad hermeneutics.

  13. Mark Mcculley Says:

    As far as the OT, the emphasis on placing the body in the “promised
    land” has everything to do with the Covenant. That no longer applies.
    The buying of a burial site for Abraham and Sarah, as well as bringing Joseph back from Egypt is all part of this. Isaac and Jacob and the Kings like David the same. None of those were placed underground but in caves, hollowed out stone, or tombs of other construction. Part of the problem as I see it is that the word bury and buried are assumed
    to mean put into the ground, that is, put under the surface of the
    ground. I can not find any evidence of this in the NT! In fact in
    several texts it seems that it is a term referring to the act of
    dealing with a dead body, regardless of the mode. For instance, In
    Acts 2:29 Peter speaks of the bones of David, “that he both died and
    was BURIED, AND HIS TOMB is with us to this day. Also in I Cor. 15:4 in speaking of Christ THAT HE WAS BURIED, and we know that he was placed in a Tomb. Cf. John 19:41 etc. Cf. Matt. 26:12, and 8:21,22. In speaking of Ananias and Sapphira, it just says they were buried. Acts 5:6,10. Now they could have been put into the ground, but with other references above, the word itself does not necessarily carry that meaning.

    All are agreed that there is no didactic teaching as to the mode of
    burial, but I can not find EVEN ONE instance of anyone being place
    beneath the ground in the NT. Jesus, Lazarus, David, and on and on
    were not put under the ground.

    The root of the Greek word for buried or bury is the very same root as the word death. Which leads me to conclude that it is a term for
    dealing with a body that is dead. ( The Heidelberg Cat. Question, “Why was Jesus buried?, answers “To prove that He really died.”

    All which leads me to ask how does one interpret Romans 6:4 and
    Colossians 2:12 ?? How were we buried with Him? . The tradition of
    burial in the early centuries after Christ, was to place the body in a
    Sarcophagus, (Google it) a Greek word meaning to “eat flesh”. In other words to allow the flesh to decompose by way of natural inflammation.
    These were above ground stone coffins. This tradition continues in
    churches to this day. Westminster Abby is full of Kings and Nobel
    people like Darwin and Generals etc. The popes are in them in St.
    Petes, and J.S. Bach in St. Thomas Church in Leipzig

    A reoccurring statement in opposing cremation is that it is pagan,
    therefore Christians should not have anything to do with it. But the
    same logic can be turned around. In most “Christian Lands” where the Christian traditions have been followed, the majority of people are Pagan! And most do not cremate, but place their dead beneath the ground.

    Also, the pagans embalm. True Joseph was embalmed according to the traditions of the Egyptians, but this I think was providential to get
    his body back to the Promised Land, during a long hot trip. But this
    is THE MOST PAGAN PRACTICE ONE CAN DO. What is the point of that, if not to preserve the body as long as possible. Or perhaps make it easier for God or resurrect it? Anointing the body with oils and spices as they did with Christ was to prevent odor and disease. Which they would not have had to do if he were put underground. Of course they did not understand that he would not see corruption and rise, even though he told them.

    The critics of cremation always seem to mention that the ashes are
    then “thrown to the winds”. Not so. Of course some do, but most
    countries that practice cremation keep the ashes in tombs. In China
    and Japan and Korea the second most important holiday after New Years is the annual Tomb Sweeping Day during the first week in April where everyone goes the the cemeteries to keep up the tombs of family members. Talk about respect for the dead!! Our national holiday for the dead is only to honor the murderous war criminals.
    the word “cemetery” comes from the Greek word koimeterion meaning sleeping chamber, from koiman, to put to sleep. (

    So what is the bottom line?
    1. There is no teaching in the Scriptures as to how Christians are to
    bury their dead.
    2. It is a matter of liberty.
    3. It is also a matter of stewardship of our money.
    4. There is no need to identify cremation with paganism, anymore than
    to identify placing the body into the ground with Christian teaching.
    5. Both can be done with respect for the body and honored with faith
    in the resurrection.

    Mark 14: 6 Then Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a noble thing for Me. 7 You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for the poor whenever you want, but you do not always have Me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed My body in advance for burial. 9 I assure you: Wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her.

    Romans 15:26 Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.

    Galatians 2:10 They asked only that we would remember the poor, which I made every effort to do.

    Hebrews 13:15 Through Christ then let us continually offer up a
    sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that
    acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share
    what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

  14. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Matthew 25: 46 “And they who did not do stuff will go away into lasting punishment, but the righteous who did do stuff (naturally and unintentionally) into lasting life.”

    ‘Maathew 25: 34 Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.

    since punishment by death is lasting
    and life is lasting
    thus proves that punishment by death is really life
    as satan told us from the beginning, nobody ever dies, although some who want to go to a separate location

    Hebrews 9: But now Christ has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
    preacher explains—Christ is timeless, and therefore Christ has always had sins removed
    27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment—
    preacher explains—-even in the humaanity of Jesus, there was a part that never died, so also you may die once, but you won’t really be dead, because as many times as you die, death is a process which will never be complete (just like progressive sanctification)
    preacher explains—-those people who deny that humans are immortal like God, they say that there is no judgment, that humans just die, some of them even say that the second death after the judgment means that humans are mortal and that humans will die

    Satan taught the benefits of segregation from God. . No, you won’t ever die, but you will become separate from God, and that’a good thing. Yes, your soul will separate from your body, but that also is a good thing, according to the preachers at the funerals, because it means you really never die, and besides that, you can be way more spiritual if you don’t have a body but only a spirit.

    Arnobius—What is the difference between all humans having some part which is immortal by nature and all humans having some part which is divine by nature? When God puts death and Hades into the lake of fire (Revelation 20 ), does that mean that God puts “separation” into a place of “separation”?

    How can Jesus honestly say that He has the “keys to death and Hades” (Revelation 1) when 1. Jesus has already given those keys to ‘the church” and 2 when both death and Hades are defined as being separated from Jesus. ?
    –since they don’t stay dead after the first death, of course they won’t stay dead after the second death, and there is a reason for this, because death is never really death
    death is a process, like justification—already justified, but not yet justified, and never more justified enough—already holy, but not yet completey sanctificed, and never holy enough—-the fire destroys without ever destroying—no more dead now than when you died in the first place, that is, not really dead, still sinning, still being tortured

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