Archive for the ‘resurrection’ category

Do You have Two Different Blessed Hopes?

January 2, 2019

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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Are You a Success When It Comes to Sanctification?

July 15, 2018

Has your life so far been a success?

At least, is your life finally now a success?

More successful than your parents?

Less successful than your children?

Do you think that “merely” surviving (still existing) is success?

If we read other people’s obituaries to find out what the dead persons did wrong, we should remember that we also are going to die, despite any success we have in eating and exercise. (s every other person’s death (besides ours) really a suicide—they made bad choices?)

-Pharisees have an explanation–unlike me, those other were merely existing, even before they died they were not really living. But I am a success. I myself am really living, not faking it. I am the real thing.
My practical personal righteousness (not for justification but for sanctification and assurance of final justification) exceeds that of the Pharisees.

—-
Our future deaths do not change the imperatives (poor people are too stupid to eat right like I do)

But grace does not mean that we will have success with the imperatives

Grace does not mean that there are no more imperatives

“Should have”—- “Could not” is not an excuse

The gospel is not an excuse for failure and sin

But that being said (and really meant , the gospel of grace is the only solution for failure and sin

Only resurrection is the solution for death

“Successful aging” does not provide a solution to prevent death.

Cherry picking soundbite proof texts out of the bible is not the means for success either.

Philippians 4: 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

but see also

Philippians 3: 10 My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

2 Corinthians 13:4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are WEAK IN HIM, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

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, so that Jesus’ life will also be revealed in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us

This does not mean that Jesus is still dying.

Jesus is NOT still dying, not even in us.

We have either been placed in Christ’s death or we have not.

We are not in the process of being placed into Christ’s death.

We have either been sanctified or not.

Some of the elect have been sanctified, and some of the elect have not yet been sanctified.

II Thessalonians 2: 13 But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning[f] God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

Jesus Christ acted for His own glory. But we are not to act for our own glory. Jesus by His death obtained His own justification. We do not obtain our own sanctification. Jesus does not “help us” to obtain our own sanctification.

Hebrews 12: Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are thine.
Remold them, make us, like thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.
Are ye able? Still the Master
whispers down eternity,
and heroic spirits answer,
now as then in Galilee.

Justified just as i now am
But the future second aspect of my justification depends on my lifestyle

Now i am more sanctified than I was, but now I also have the ability to become even more sanctified

Do you remember that song from some hymn books that says–yes we are able—so many think we (after we get justification out of the way) are able to help God produce our sanctification. We give God all the credit for enabling us to obey as well as we do, and we never claim to obey perfectly–so grace helps us, and then grace cuts us some slack and at least we are a little bit more successful than we were yesterday. We have gradual success , notonly because we are allowing God to transform us each day but also we ourselves are killing sin in us. We are not merely permitting the Holy Spirit to mortify sin in us. WE DO IT.

Ferguson, p 106—if you are led by the Holy Spirit, then you are not under law IN THE SENSE THAT YOU ARE NOT UNDER CONDEMNATION. But you are under the law in the sense that “for whatsoever you sow, that you shall reap.” The more we offer ourselves to the Spirit, the more fruit of the Spirit we will produce. God has given us provisions for victory, and made it possible for us to be more than conquerors

Sinclair Ferguson, Devoted to God, p 107 the Holy Spirit will deliver you from a lifestyle in which you find yourself constantly coming under the condemnation of the law

You and also the Holy Spirit keep you from sinning, and not sinning keeps you from condemnation

Is the new covenant God writing the Ten Commandments on our hearts?

Reformed—God has not changed the law (except God has de-consecrated the temple and the Jews, and now consecrated our children)

question—after God writes the Ten Commandments on our hearts, do we then obey the Ten Commandments?

Sinclair Ferguson, p 182, Devoted to God—“But when they come to Christ, the law that had formerly been a burden they felt unable to carry now seems transformed. It’s almost as though the law itself is carrying them, and not the other way around. What was their burden has now become their pleasure.

Almost….

Ferguson, 221–Is your “knowledge” merely informational” or is yoiur knowledge transformational?

In us, but also through us, by our efforts also

John Murray–“God works in us and we also work. But the relation is that because God works we work” His understanding of progressive sanctification entails that man cannot claim anything good “in and of himself”. “What the apostle is urging is the necessity of working out our own salvation, and the encouragement he supplies is the assurance that it is God himself who works in us” (Murray, 149).

But unless John Murray assumes the command to be given only to those who have the ability to perform the command in some sense, then the ability of the regenerate is not relevant.

“God’s working in us is not suspended because we work, nor our working suspended because God works. Neither is the relation strictly one of co-operation as if God did his part and we did ours so that the conjunction or co-ordination of both produced the required result” (Murray). Murray would see both full divine participation and full human participation in the sanctification process. This is synergism

I agree with Ed Boehl (The Reformed Doctrine of Justification- notice the critical preface in which Berkhof claims Boehl is too Lutheran).

Boehl–“If conforming into the image of Christ is truly the work of the Holy Spirit alone, then it is difficult to claim a a new ability, in the regenerate man. The regenerate man is not given an improved ability from the Holy Spirit to obey God. This position does not deny that the regenerate man bears fruit. Nor does it deny that the Holy Spirit sometimes enables the believer to overcome sin. However, it not the case that this is an ability found within justified sinners.”

Why do so many Reformed say that the Sabbath has been fulfilled but also that the Sabbath has not yet been fulfilled?

Maybe some of the reason is that they think they were born in the covenant before they had been justified yet.

And maybe some think that those who have already been justified have not yet lived a lifestyle that will escape condemnation when the second not yet aspect of justification arrives.

Ferguson–you cannot have Christ as your Saviour without having the Spirit as your leader. And being led by the Spirit will deliver you from a llfestyle in which you constantly find yourself coming under condemnation of the law Devoted to God, p 107.

I Peter 2: 24 He Himself bore our sins
in His body on the tree,
so that, HAVING DIED TO SIN
we would live for righteousness

245—Haldane holds the view that the only sense in which Paul could say that “Christ died to sin” is that he died for sins imputed. Haldane–“Our Lord never felt the power of sin, and therefore could not die to the power of sin?” Smeaton held a similar view–dying to its guilt.

246 Ferguson—My view however is that Christ died to Sin as a power. He died for sin but also to the dominion of sin. In Christ therefore we have died to sin’s reign as well as its guilt.

Mark McCulley— Haldane and Smeaton and Hodge argue that the power of sin is the guilt of sin.

Ferguson—Slaves, masters, “freed from sin” is the language of the marketplace not the legal courts. Paul is not dealing with justification from guilt as our motivation.

Ferguson, p 256, Devoted to God —“Only when we know the proportions of Christ’s deliverance. will Paul’s imperatives strike home and we know that we CANNOT go on living as though we were subjects of sin’s reign.”

Mark Mcculley: So, if we don’t see it the way Ferguson and John Murray see it, then we are not really Christian, because it turns out that we can and do live a lifestyle that is condemned by the law? But if we live a lifestyle that is not condemned by the law, only then, and as we continue to live that way, will we know that Christ died to sin for us, and that we are Christians?

I guess success is always relative. You could always have more success. If you wanted to.

Resurrection is not Ascension to Heaven

January 7, 2018

John 3: 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.

Christ is there, and in that sense absent from here, and we are not there or going there.

John 5: 24 “I assure you: As many as who hear My word and believes Him who sent Me have the lasting life of the age to come and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

This is passing from condemnation to justification.

Romans 6 explains how Christ Himself began in condemnation for the imputed sins of the elect, and then satisfied for those sins, and was vindicated and justified—now dead to sin and death.

John 5: 25 “I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. 27 And the Father has granted the Son the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

This is passing from being unable and unwilling to believe the gospel to being born (from above)
If we say “born again”, the contrast is between our first birth in corruption, with no will to believe God.

Christ Himself was born as “also human now”, but never born with any possibility of not believing or doing what God does or commands to be done.

John 5: 28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—

Notice that the text does not say that only our bodies (or souls) come out of the graves. We ourselves come out of the graves, on the last Resurrection day, when Christ comes to earth again a second time.

Christ Himself was raised in this way, coming out of the grave, as the first-fruits of we who will come out of the graves on that last day.

I Corinthians 15: 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. 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…. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep

I Corinthians 15: 23 But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits; afterward, at His coming, those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death.

Romans 5: 17 Since by the one man’s trespass,DEATH reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation …., so also through one righteous act there is LIFE-GIVING justification… just as sin reigned in DEATH, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in the lasting LIFE of the age to come through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Those who have now already been justified NOW HAVE the lasting life of the age to come, but they do not yet have immortality. Those who are born condemned into this world include the elect, but none of them has been given the “second death” yet. Those who are justified will never be given the second death, but those who remain condemned will not only be ruined or excluded but will terminally die, permanently perish. John 3: 16 “For God gave His One and Only Son, so that as many as who believe in Him will NOT perish but have lasting life. John 3:36 the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God REMAINS on him.”

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and to the ages.”

I Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Romans 1 Paul a servant of Christ Jesus called to be an apostle set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Now Christ is seated in heaven (Acts 2:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:13). None of the justified elect are now in heaven.

Psalm 110:1–”The Lord says to my Lord; Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” Except in their representative, the justified elect do not share God’s throne and do not sit at God’s right hand. The heavenly glory Christ had enjoyed in the Father’s presence before His incarnation has now been “crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death. (Hebrews 2:9)

Christ was first resurrected (the first-fruits) and then He ascended to heaven. Sitting there at the right hand, Christ does not simply wait but intercedes for the justified elect Romans 8:34–“What judge will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus who died, and more than that, was raised to life, who indeed is at the right hand of God, and who is pleading our cause?”

An ascent directly into heaven from the cross without a resurrection would be Plato’s pagan idea of death as the release of an immortal soul. But going to heaven is not resurrection. Gnostics teach going to heaven without resurrection. Gnostics teach that the only resurrection is going to heaven. Some of these gnostics are preterists, but most of them simply do not think straight about the need for the second coming of Christ.

They also hold onto unbiblical ideas about what “soul” is. Since they do not know that the living soul is body plus breath (Genesis 2:7), they tend to think of the “immortal soul” and they cannot deal with reality of Christ the servant pouring out His soul unto death (Isaiah 53). Since they change Christ’s death into “spiritual death”, they also tend to confuse Christ’s bodily resurrection with His ascension (“going to heaven.”)

Some “not going to think about it” preachers go so far as to say that Christ’s “spiritual death” (which some locate “in the time before time”) is the real and effective death. They say that the physical death is only a demonstration of that timeless before time “real spiritual” death. Other preachers do not go as far as that, but they prefer talking about Christ’s “infinite soul suffering” instead of the death Christ died in history which was demanded by God’s law for the sins of the elect imputed to Christ.

Acts 3:15–”You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead.

Ephesians 1:20 describes God’s mighty power “which He exercised in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and enthroned Him at His right hand in the heavenlies.” See also I Peter 1:21, 3:22; Ephesians 4:8-10; and I Timothy 3:16 (“He was taken up into glory”)

https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1116142239324

We are citizens of heaven who are not going to heaven, because heaven is coming here. Now we are a colony of heaven, with the law of Christ FROM heaven. To paraphrase George Steiner (My Unwritten Books, p 122): The Christian does well to keep a very loose relationship to any one place. If he is forced to resume his wondering, he will not regard this experience as a lamentable chastisement. It is also an opportunity. There is no society not worth exploring. And no nation not worth leaving if we need to. Exile means exodus, and new beginnings. Let us survive, if we survive, as guests among men. We will not kill them, but if they kill us, our hope is that the earth belongs to the Lord, and the Lord will resurrect us, even from death.

Updike, Self-consciousness, p 215—-Paul rejected the Gnostic idea that the resurrection had already taken place (II Tim 2:18) and in I Cor 15;14 rebuffed doubters within the early church—if Christ be not rise, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain, The church insisted no less firmly than modern materialism that the body is the person, and taught the resurrection of the dead.

Updike–If we picture the afterlife at all, it is heretically as the escape of something impalapable—the essential “I—from this corruptible flesh, occurring at the moment of death and not “at the last trump”. The thought of a long wait within the tomb afflicts us with claustrophobia and the fear of being lost forever. Where is our self during the long interval?. The winged heads on Puritan tombstones do not represent ascended angels but souls hovering in that abyss between death and resurrection. The idea that we sleep for centuries and centuries without a flicker of dream, while our bodies rot and turn to dust and the very stone marking out graves crumbles to nothing, is terrifying.

Updike–Every attempt to be specific about the afterlife, to conceive of it even the most general detail, appalls us. Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe. We cannot imagine a Second Coming that would not be cut down to size by the televised evening news.

The Priority of Christ’s Second Coming–Notes for a Watch Night New Year’s Eve

January 6, 2018

The apostle Paul’s desire was to be with Jesus not by dying but by the second coming of Jesus. Paul’s cry of “Maranatha!” (1 Cor. 16:22) echoes the closing prayer of Scripture, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). “Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have the lasting life of the age to come , and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:40)

In the age of the old covenants, Christ’s people were looking for His first coming. In the new covenant, Christ’s people are looking for His second coming

We individual Christians are often separated from each other now. We don’t even know now many sinners who will be gathered with us one day in the body of Christ. But we know that all who are justified before God by Christ’s death will all be resurrected together when Jesus comes again

Acts 2:23 Though Jesus was handed over according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Jesus to a cross and kill Jesus. 24 God raised Jesus up, ending the pains of death….David says of Him:

I saw the Lord ever before me;
because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart was glad,
and my tongue rejoiced.
Moreover, my flesh will rest in hope,
27 because You will not leave me in Hades
or allow Your Holy One to see decay.

29 “I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David. David is both dead and buried, and David’s tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since David was a prophet, David knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing this in advance, David spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah:
He was not left in Hades,
and His flesh did not experience decay.
32 “God has resurrected this Jesus.

Hebrews 11: 39 All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.

Hebrews 9: 26 now Christ has some one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, the judgment— 28 so also the Messiah, 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.

Jesus not only came to earth but became incarnate.
When Jesus comes again to earth, He will already be incarnate—is now and forever incarnate.

Is the second coming part of the gospel?
Can you deny the second coming and still believe the gospel?
Can you not know about the second coming and still believe the gospel?

I Corinthians 11:25 after supper He also took the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood.DO THIS, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, YOU SAY the Lord’s death UNTIL HE COMES

I Corinthians 15: 17 And if Christ has not already been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished…20 But Christ has already been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep….each in his own order–Christ, the first fruits. Afterward, at His coming, those who belong to Christ.

Romans 6: 5 Since we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death,we WILL certainly also be in the likeness of His RESURRECTION.

Romans 6: 8 Since we died with Christ, we believe that we WILL also live with Him,

Romans 8: 11 He who raised Christ from the dead WILL also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.

I John 3:2 We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.

Did Abraham believe a gospel in which the Messiah was coming to earth?

Or did Abraham only believe a promise about some of his children always owning the land?

John 8: 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham who died? Even the prophets died. Who do You pretend to be?” 54 “If I glorify Myself,” Jesus answered, “My glory is nothing. My Father—you say about Him, ‘He is our God’—He is the One who glorifies Me.55 You’ve never known Him, but I know Him. If I were to say I don’t know Him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know Him, and I keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he WOULD SEE MY DAY. Abraham saw my day and rejoiced.”

Abraham and Job and David maybe did NOT see the difference between Christ’s first and second coming?

Job 19: 25 But I know my living Redeemer,
and He will stand on the dust at last.
26 Even after my skin has been destroyed,
yet I will see God in[l] my flesh.
27 I will see Him myself;
my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger.

Luke 2:27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus,
Simeon took Jesus up in his arms, praised God, and said:
29 Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in PEACE as You promised.

34 Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed– 35 and a SWORD will pierce even you— the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”

Every king and politician has opposition, but this King has everybody (all of us) for His enemies—He reveals the thoughts of our hearts
Will Mary also be an enemy of Jesus? Or is the sword for Mary to see all His enemies?

Luke 2: 36 There was also a prophetess, Anna
Hannah, favored one….SHE WAS OF GREAT AGE, a widow for 84 years. She did not leave the temple complex, SERVING God night and day with FASTING AND PRAYERS. 38 At that very moment, she came up and began to THANK GOD and to speak about Him to all who were looking forward to the REDEMPTION OF JERUSALEM

Psalm 2: Why do the nations rebel
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand,
and the rulers conspire together
against the Lord and His Anointed One:
3 “Let us tear off their chains
and free ourselves from their restraints.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord ridicules them.
5 Then the Lord speaks to them in His anger
and terrifies them in His wrath:
6 “I have consecrated My King
on Zion, My holy mountain.”

7 I will declare the Lord’s decree:
He said to Me, “You are My Son;
today I have become Your Father.
8 Ask of Me,
and I will make the nations Your inheritance
and the ends of the earth Your possession

Psalm 22 But I am scorned and despised by people.
7 Everyone who sees me mocks me;
they sneer and shake their heads:
8 “He relies on the Lord.
let the Lord rescue him.”
9 You took me from the womb,
making me secure while at my mother’s breast.
10 I was given over to You at birth.
You have been my God from my mother’s womb.
Many bulls open their mouths against me—
lions, mauling and roaring.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are disjointed;
my heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15 My strength is dried up like baked clay;
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You put me into the dust of death.
16 A gang of evildoers has closed in on me;
they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones;
people look and stare at me.
18 They divided my garments among themselves,
and they cast lots for my clothing.

Psalm 110–This is the declaration of the Lord
to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

1. Jesus was not saved from dying, because Jesus did die. 2. Jesus was saved from death after Jesus died. 3. Jesus did not die spiritually. 4. Jesus never needed to be saved after “spiritually dying” 5. Jesus was saved THROUGH death.

Romans 6: 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised FROM THE DEAD, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all

1. Jesus died because of the sins of the elect imputed. 2 Jesus was not saved from having a human body. 3. Jesus was saved from being dead by His bodily resurrection

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

The elect are justified through Christ’s death when God imputes that death to them.

Romans 4:25 died because of our sins, and raised because of our justification

If all the elect were not going to be justified, then Christ would not have been raised, but Romans 4:25 does not prove that all the elect have been justified

http://www.opc.org/os.html?article_id=65

2 Cor. 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 “lasting house in 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” (5) occurs at the resurrection (1Cor. 15:54);
6. It is in anticipation of this hope that we “groan” (2,4 c.f. 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 thought.

http://kenfortier.com/site/images/dickinson/XXXV%20No%2011.pdf

In 2 Corinthians 5 , Paul does not want “nakedness”. He wants the body from heaven, which is the resurrection body. And Paul’s not going to get that body until Jesus comes again. If Jesus does not come again, if there is no resurrection, then we would all perish.
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

Until the day of Christ’s second coming arrives, dead Christians sleep, which means that they are dead. It does not mean that only their bodies are dead, because their minds are also dead until resurrection. Genesis 2:7 teaches that dust plus breath (life from God) results in a “living soul” ( a living person).

The one thief asked to be remembered (favored) on the last day, in paradise. But Jesus promised him that very day, that the thief would enter the kingdom on that day. It’s not only a matter of “moving the comma” but a matter of remembering where Jesus was when Jesus died that day. Acts 2 clearly tells us that Jesus was in Hades (Sheol, the grave), and so we need to think about what the thief asked and what Jesus answered.

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? (read Hebrews 11:39-40)

These two old songs are simply not biblical—
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there”

(The Old Rugged Cross) “Then He’ll call me some day, to my home far away….

Calvin—the conclusion usually drawn is, that believing souls were shut up in an intermediate state or prison, because Christ says that, by his ascension into heaven, the place will be prepared. But the answer is easy. This place is said to be prepared for the day of the resurrection; for by nature mankind are banished from the kingdom of God…. we will not enjoy this great blessing, until he come from heaven the second time. The condition of the fathers after death, therefore, is not here distinguished from ours.

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom35.iv.i.html

Being Human Does Not Mean Being a Sinner

April 23, 2017

I Corinthians 15: 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.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.

47 The first man was from the earth
and made of dust;
the second man is[n] 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.
49 And just as we have borne
the image of the man made of dust,
we will also bear
the image of the heavenly man.

How did Adam sin in the first place without being a corrupt sinner?
I don’t know

But I do know that Jesus became also human and is still also human
without ever sinning or even being able to sin

“being able to sin ” does not define “being human”

to be “human” is to be “in the image of God”

Does this mean that God has always been “human” like?

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 13 God the Father has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. 14 We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in God the Son.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
16 For everything was created by God the Son,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through the Son and for the Son
17 God the Son is before all things,
and by Him all things hold together.
18 God the Son is… the firstborn from the dead,
in order to come to have
first place in everything.
19 For God was pleased to have
all His fullness dwell in the Son
20 and through the Son to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace
through the blood of His cross—
whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Romans 6 is about Christ the public representative of the elect first being under condemnation, being under sin and death. Romans 6:7 “For one who has died has been justified from sin. 8 Now since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death NO LONGER has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died HE DIED TO SIN once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

Christ was never under grace and is still not under grace. Christ was under the law because of the imputed sins of the elect. Romans 6 is about Christ’s condemnation by the law and His death as satisfaction of that law. Christ after His resurrection is no longer “under law”. Christ’s elect, after their legal identification IN TIME with Christ’s death, are also no longer “under law”.

The death of the justified elect is the SAME legal death that Christ died. The “definitive resurrection” of the elect in Romans 6 is the result of being set apart with Christ (and His death) from being under law.

Christ was never under the power of sin in the sense of being unable not to sin. Christ was always unable to sin. The only way Christ was ever under the power of sin is by being under the guilt of sin. The guilt of the elect’s sin was legally transferred by God to Christ. Christ’s death to sin was death to the guilt of sin, and since the elect are IN TIME united with His death, the death of the elect is also a death to the guilt of sin. Romans 6:7: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.”

Docetism Says that Jesus was Not Really Human and Did Not Really Die

October 6, 2016

When Jesus was a baby, He didn’t sleep all that well at the beginning. The baby Jesus kept waking up his mom

Jesus was tortured to death, but Jesus is not still being tortured, and Jesus was not tortured for three days after He died.

Jesus had told his disciples that He would not be asking the Father to save him “from this hour,” because it was “for this reason” that he had “come to this hour” (John 12:27). What Jesus did ask was that the Father glorify his name, and the Father answered: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again,”

Jesus told them that this voice had spoken for their sake because the time had come for “the judgment of this world, “when the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when Jesus was “lifted up from the earth,” he would “draw all people to himself. That was his way of indicating the kind of death he would die In the garden of Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword in an effort to protect Jesus from arrest, but Jesus told him: “Put your sword back into its sheath,” because Jesus willed: “to drink the cup that the Father has given me” (

Calvin said that the physical death of Jesus would not save anybody, Calvin said it was God’s torture of Jesus that saved but Calvin also said that the torture was before Jesus died

Calvin: “If Christ had died only a bodily death ,it would have been ineffectual. No—it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God’s vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgment.” 2.16.10.

Calvin–“Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. … … Hence there is nothing strange in its being said that he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God. It is frivolous and ridiculous to object that in this way the order is perverted, it being absurd that an event which preceded burial should be placed after it. But after explaining what Christ endured in the sight of man, the Creed appropriately adds the invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he endured before God, to teach us that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price—that he bore in his soul the tortures of condemned and ruined man. ”

Calvin argued, that In ADDITION TO his physical suffering, Christ endured an “invisible and incomprehensible judgment” and paid “a greater and more excellent price in suffering in his soul the terrible moments of a condemned and forsaken man.” 2.16.10.

Calvin does not deny the physical death of Christ but Calvin assumes that Christ went straight to heaven, and Calvin adds something else to the human physical death of Christ. Some today teach that there would be “no hope without” vicarious law-keeping imputed ADDED TO Christ’s human physical death. Calvin taught that it was the pre-death sufferings of Christ which really made the propitiation, and NOT the human physical death.

What happens to the “Calvinist extra” (deity not united to humanity) if Christ’s deity is present in two places, not only with His dead body but also with his “human spirit in heaven”? Why object to Lutheran ideas about the ubiquity of the humanity (by communication of attributes with the deity) once you have agreed to humanity present with deity in two places?

F F Bruce–One symptom of the docetic tendency appears in the description of our Lord’s manhood as ‘heavenly humanity’…Writing in 1901, W. B. Neatby said, ‘A year or two ago I heard an address from a Brother of the Open Section, who actually taught that Christ did not die from crucifixion, but by a mere miraculous act. Or C. F. Hogg’s pamphlet, The Traditions and the Deposit: ‘What He did not know, He knew that He did not know’

http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/ffb/humanity_bruce.pdf

Smeaton, Atonement As Taught By Himself, p 78—The Son of God took sin upon Him, and bore it simultaneously with the taking of the flesh, nay, in a sense even prior to the actual fact of the incarnation. The peculiar character of the Lord’s humanity, which was, on the one hand, pure and holy, and yet, on the other, a curse-bearing humanity, plainly shows that in some sense He was the sin-bearer from the moment of His sending, and, therefore, even prior to His actual incarnation.

Smeaton–And when it is said that God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, we have the very same thing…Sin was borne by God, not alone in the sense of forbearance, but in such a sense that it was laid on the sin-bearer, to be expiated by the divine Son. Thus the Lamb of God appeared without inherent sin or taint of any kind, but never without the sin of others. The sin of man was not firsti mputed to Him or borne by Him when He hung on the cross, but in and with the assumption of man’s nature.

Smeaton—The very form of a servant, and His putting on the likeness of sinful flesh, was an argument that sin was already transferred to Him and borne by Him; and not a single moment of the Lord’s earthly life can be conceived of in which He did not feel the harden of the divine wrath which must otherwise have pressed on us for ever.
Because He bore sin, and was never seen without it, it may be affirmed that the MORTALITY which was comprehended in the words, “Thou shalt surely die”—that is, all that was summed up in the wrath and curse of God,—was never really separated from Him.

Smeaton–As the sin-bearer, He all through life discerned and felt the penal character of sin, the sense of guilt, not personal, but as the surety could realize it, and the obligation to divine punishment for sins not His own, but made His own by an official action; and they who evacuate of their true significance these deep words, bears the sins” allowing Christ to have no connection with sin, and only dwelling on His purity and spotless innocence as our example—they who will not have Him as a sin-bearer—are the most sacrilegious.

There are dangers to describing sin as corruption instead of guilt, because guilt is cause of inability. There is great error in describing “made sin” as the “spiritual death” of Christ. Christ did not become corrupt, and Christian do not become righteous by infusion or by imparting (one more extra nature ) but by God’s legal imputation. …..

If Christ died spiritually, then Christ Needed to be Regenerated

Glenn Peoples—many reject the view that Jesus atoned for sin by suffering in hell after death . The problem, however, is that they still assume that the punishment for sin is suffering the wrath of God in the form of torment, and so the solution, whatever it is, is assumed to be that Jesus suffers that torment somewhere, either on the cross or in hell – and since it wasn’t in hell it was on the cross.

Did Jesus Talk more about Gehenna than He did about the Kingdom from Heaven?

January 18, 2016

http://rightreason.org/2010/did-jesus-preach-hell-more-than-heaven/

Walvoord—All the references to gehenna, except James 3:6, are from the lips of Jesus Christ himself…” [ “The Literal View” in William Crockett (ed.), Four Views on Hell (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 19-20.]

Glenn Peoples—“all the instances” of gehenna, in the Gospels actually amounts to very few. As it is a very Jewish word (a Greek term derived from a Hebrew word referring to the Valley of Hinnom),

Matthew 7:19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Glenn Peoples– I’m inclined to think that it’s not even a reference to the afterlife, but to the false teachers in Judaism who are going to be cut out of the kingdom in a judgement culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem. But – in spite of no obvious indicators in the context – let’s say that it’s a reference to punishment in the afterlife. If that’s what it is, then bear in mind that there’s also teaching here about acceptance in God’s kingdom too—“the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 13:30, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” In verses 44 and 45 Jesus gives a couple more parables of the kingdom of heaven where only the positive side is mentioned. Then in the same chapter, in verses 47-50, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a fishing net that caught good and bad fish. The good fish are kept and stored, but the bad fish are thrown away. Jesus says that this is like the way the evil will be thrown into a “fiery furnace.”

In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast…. Most of the people in the story get to remain at the wedding banquet. But the king orders his servants to take one guest and “cast him into the outer darkness.”

In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), two of the master’s servants, who used what he had given them wisely, are told to enter the joy of their master. The last one is sent “into the outer darkness.”

At the conclusion of the story of the sheep and goats, we read of the two types of people, “and these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into the lasting life of the age to come,

That’s five examples, plus the four contexts where the actual word gehenna is used, so we have nine in total. For three years of public teaching, nine times is not very often. Jesus taught on final punishment, but he didn’t say about it what many evangelicals believe about it.

It would hardly be fair to do a search for a subject in the letters of John and a search for a subject in the Gospels to see who cared more about a subject– John or Jesus! Jesus taught more about most of the things that he taught about than he did about hell, things like showing love to our neighbor, for example, or the importance of concern for the poor and outcast, the way we use money, or even the historical judgement of God that was about to come upon Jerusalem.

Glenn Peoples–“It’s a very Stoic sounding approach—not only did Jesus talk more about hell than other people, but also Jesus talked more about hell than about the kingdom of resurrection and lasting life and His gift of the forgiveness of sins, The beatitudes of Matthew 5 alone would tip the scales heavily. Then we have the treasures in heaven that \in Matthew 6, in others Gospels we have the party thrown for the returned prodigal son…””

Mark McCulley: Preachers (often more into rhetoric than truth) beat their chests and say, “I don’t like it either but it’s the truth.” Most of the preachers, including the “Reformed”, justify it all by saying that God also desired the salvation of the non-elect, and that Jesus was “available” to everybody but that “hell was the default” unless you “accepted Jesus”. Saying that Jesus talked about the destruction of the non-elect more than Jesus talked about resurrection life is NOT THE TRUTH!

Jesus talked more about gehenna than the apostle Paul did because the apostle Paul never talked about gehenna. But almost every reference by Jesus to gehenna in Matthew’s Gospel is coupled with a reference to entrance into the kingdom. Repent, the kingdom is at hand! So the count is about even between blessing and curse when we add up the texts that do refer to gehenna. But there are plenty of other texts that refer to God’s gift of salvation to the elect. For example, the non-elect are not even mentioned in texts like Romans 5 or in Romans 3:22-24. When we think of “judgment”, we must not only think of the condemnation of the non-elect but also about the fact that God’s justification of the elect is also “judgment”

John 5:21 And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to anyone He wants to. 22 The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. 25 “I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. 27 And He has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man.