3-25-2016 Does He Have To Repeat It?

Doing good for the poor brings a blessing, “for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14 NKJV). There will not be two resurrections, because one time, Jesus said, “all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29 NKJV). A familiar verse says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV). No one can be saved by faith only, however, for the resurrected Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Denying the necessity of baptism denies Jesus’ resurrection. If not, why not?

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#faith-only, #resurrection

The Absurdity of “Christians” Denying a Literal Resurrection

They’re out there…the wolves in sheep’s clothing that deny the Bible-based literal interpretation of a bodily resurrection. Their deceptive and destructive appetite even goes so far as to deny Jesus’ resurrection from the grave.

When I think of these sort of “Christians” I am reminded of a retortful rebuke given by Christopher Hitchens (yes, the well-known and noted and quoted late atheist) to a “Unitarian Christian”, who attempted to dodge the age-old derision of skeptics toward the fundamental Christian elements taught in the Bible by saying the she did not believe in a literal interpretation of the scriptures. His response was simply, “I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

That’s not exactly an “out of the mouth of babes” moment, but it would be hard to get any closer to the real thing.

The truly astonishing thing to me isn’t that denominational ladened “Christians” two millennia on this side of the empty tomb deny the resurrection (don’t confuse my lack of astonishment with a lack of disapproval), but rather that Christians two decades on this side of the empty tomb were doing the same thing! Such was the reason that we read, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?…For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-17, 19) And the continuation of such denials to this day is the very reason why 1 Corinthians 15 is as applicable today as the day it was written.

If one desired to see the word absurdity played out in real life, all one has to do is watch a “Christian” try to deny that the Bible teaches a belief in a real resurrection.

Related Article:

#denominational-errors, #false-doctrine, #jesus-resurrection-from-the-dead, #resurrection

7-14-2015 Near Death Is NO Death

The Bible description of death is: “the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26 NKJV). Our physical body may be so close to dying, that it doesn’t register on our medical charts, but if it is revived, then the spirit did not leave it! When death does occur, it cannot be reversed until the Judgment Day, for “the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7 NKJV). Paul had “hope in God” that “there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15 NKJV). God has promised that, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV). Near death is NO death!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

 

#body, #dying, #judgment-day, #near-death, #resurrection, #revived, #spirit

The Qur’an and Jesus

Perhaps you are not aware of what the Qur’an says about Jesus. That which is taught, one can learn in Surah 2 (a “Surah” will correspond to a “Book,” or perhaps a “chapter” in the Bible). For instance, in Surah 2:87, one learns that Jesus was mortal. One won’t read that in the verse, but Islamic commentators will declare it. “Maulana gives some instruction concerning the Qur’an’s use of the Arabic word for Jesus (Īsā), followed by the epithet ‘son of Mary,’ ‘to show that he was a mortal like other prophets of God’” (footnote 128 in Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation and commentary on the Qur’an; from RT’s personal study notes of the Qur’an).

The significance of this is in relation to what the Scriptures teach relative to Jesus. Note what charge the apostle Paul gave to Timothy, a young preacher he left in Ephesus: I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time–he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen (1 Timothy 6:13-16, ESV).

One does not need any other reason to oppose Islam, though there are untold numbers more!

#eternal, #islam, #jesus, #muslim, #quran, #resurrection

The Resurrection and the Thief on the Cross

There are many in the denominational world who quickly go to the “thief on the cross” to negate what the Lord said with regard to the importance/necessity of baptism in water for salvation. That we might have in front of us what the Scripture teaches, note what Peter said: “Baptism, the counterpart of that, saves you to-day (not the mere washing of dirt from the flesh but the prayer for a clean conscience before God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21, Moffat’s Translation).

We see the godly importance of water baptism. Many deny this, however. What is normally asserted by those with a taught disposition against the Lord’s command is that baptism (in water) is a “figure” (KJV), and not really actual. In other words, baptism for salvation is figurative, not actual. To support this assertion, the remark will be made concerning the thief on the cross: “He was not baptized, but asked the Lord to remember him when he went into paradise. That means that one does not have to be baptized in order to be saved.” (cf. Luke 23:39-43)

This is, sadly, a mistaken way of thinking. The Lord said that baptism saved, and shall we listen to anyone who speaks contrary to this? Some do, and they feel justified with that which they have been taught regarding the thief on the cross.

Consider what Paul said about salvation, and how this applies to the thief. “…because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NET). There are two things required by Paul in this passage. First, one must confess that Jesus is Lord; that is, acknowledge His “Lordship” over one’s personal life. Second, one must believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Looking at Luke 23:42, one might easily agree that the thief on the cross did confess Christ, but what about the second requirement the Holy Spirit puts forth for salvation? Could the thief have believed that? Hardly!

What this goes to point out is that the thief on the cross was not amenable (accountable) to what the New Testament teaches for salvation.

#faith-only, #resurrection, #salvation, #thief-on-the-cross

Something We’ll All Have in Common with Lazarus

What we will all have in common with Lazarus?

It won’t be:

  • that we all lived in the town of Bethany
  • that we all had sisters named Mary and Martha
  • that we all got to spend personal time with Jesus while living upon the Earth
  • that we all experienced a sickness unto death
  • that we all were buried in a tomb converted cave

It is (save the Lord’s return during our life):

  • that our bodies will come forth from the grave when Jesus calls our name! (John 5:28-29)

Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”” (John 11:43-44)

#authority-of-christ, #death, #jesus, #lazarus, #resurrection

Was Lazarus sad or glad?

In John chapter eleven, the Bible gives us the historical account of Jesus raising His friend Lazarus from the dead. To this point in Jesus’ ministry, it was His most wonderful and undeniable miracle. Because of Christ’s mighty works, the plan for His execution was expedited (John 11:45-57). The chief priests even sought to kill Lazarus, since his resurrection at the hands of Jesus caused so many people to believe (John 12:9-11).

But there is something else here to consider.

What happened to Lazarus when he died? Did he go to paradise (Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22; 23:43)), or did he go to torments in Hades (Luke 16:23)?

It could be speculated that he went to either of the two places. If he had been a faithful Jew, turned disciple of John the Baptist, now currently a disciple of Jesus — as most information leads one to believe, it is assumed he would have gone to paradise. On the other hand, if he had been simply listening to Jesus as a friend, and had not yet committed himself to the commands of God under the Mosaic system, it is possible, God knowing his heart, that he would have been sent to torments.

For a minute, consider the ramifications for Lazarus concerning his earthly resurrection:

1. We have heard for years about “near-death experiences.” Nothing can be factually documented about the claims of these cases. But the facts surrounding Lazarus are quite different. He would have certainly learned something about the afterlife when he died.

In Luke 16, Jesus taught that when the other Lazarus (the beggar) died, angels were waiting and accompanied his soul to Abraham’s bosom. So immediately upon death, Lazarus of Bethany would have gone somewhere. Since his earthly remains had been in the tomb four days (John 11:17), he would have seen some things that others have not seen.

2. It may be that Lazarus could tell Jesus what to expect. Six days before the Passover, Jesus sat at the table with the risen Lazarus and talked (John 12:2).

We know not of the content of that conversation. Could it be possible that Lazarus shared his experience with Jesus? Was he sad to be back here on earth because he had been in paradise, or was he glad to have a second chance to get his life right? Did he have comforting words for his friend, Jesus, concerning the place where Jesus had told His disciples He was about to go? Did he have discouraging words for his unfaithful and disobedient acquaintances about the horrors of death for those who know not God? Continue reading

#lazarus, #resurrection