Nuggets of Fudge – The Resurrection of Jesus and the end of the world.


When God raised Jesus up from death, the Resurrection started. It was as if God paged “Dead Person #1,” and Jesus came out. But the Resurrection is an End-of-the-world event, which means that when Jesus rose from the dead, the End of the present age (end of the world as we have experienced it) began. Unexpected and unannounced, the age to come burst suddenly on the scene, interrupting plans, confounding expectations, breaking into a present age still in full operation, racing full throttle open.

No sooner had the shock of that surprise settled slightly in, than a second surprise equally startling sent everyone reeling again. The Resurrection, which had just started with Jesus, temporarily stopped. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the Father’s right hand in heaven to occupy the seat of second highest honor–temporarily.

I say that Jesus’ present position is temporary, because both the Old and New Testaments tell us that. The Old Testament says that Jesus is at God’s right hand—until (Psalm 110:1). The New Testament tells us that heaven has received Jesus—until (Acts 3:21). This “until” represents a pause in the end of the world. When the until has fully run its course, the pause will also be over.

When the purpose of the pause has finished, Jesus will reappear. God will page “Dead Person Number 2” and the Resurrection will continue. Final Judgment will take place, followed by eternal reward and punishment. But until then, like a baby’s birth interrupted in mid-delivery, there is a pause in the End of the world. The present age goes on, though clearly in a state of decline. The Age to come is sometimes visible, but obviously not fully here. We live with one foot, as it were, in both ages.

Edward Fudge

Advertisements

“Not Condemned”


 

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Roman 5:1)

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

In Romans 5:1 we have the promise that  we presently “have” peace with God. This is not speaking of the “peace of God” which we can also claim. But rather it is the opposite of being at odds with God because of sin.

We are in this joyful state of being at peace with God “through” our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the ground and basis of our peacefulness with God. There can be no peace with God except through him.

Then there is the first part of the promise “we have been justified by faith”. This is bedrock truth stated in the past tense. Paul’s letter to the Romans begins by giving his own apostolic credentials and he then mentions those to whom the letter is addressed.

“…you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:6)

” To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.”
(Romans 1:7)

So the letter is not addressed to all Roman citizens but to those specific ones who are “called ” to be Christians, “called” to belong to Christ. Next Paul tells them why he thanks God for them…

“…because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.” (Romans 1:9)

He was not thankful for them because of their charitable work or that they had a big missions budget, but rather because their “faith” was well-known across the whole world!

And so it is, we have been called to Christ and have been justified by faith in Jesus Christ. Christ alone is the ground of our faith and hope. He alone is the way to God the Father. It is his worth and work that set us (past tense) right with God so that by his saving and satisfying acts we right now have peace with God. This is one of the “Gospel Bookends”. The other now follows.

In Romans 8:1 the same truths are stated in a different way. In Romans 5:1 we are told what is present. In Romans 8:1 we are told what is missing.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

Condemnation is missing! The one who puts his whole trust in Jesus at once goes from “condemned” to “uncondemned”. Isn’t this precisely what Jesus told the Jewish leader Nicodemus when he came inquiring about him?

“Whoever believes in him(Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:18)

Jesus clearly laid out two conditions, two states in which a man could find himself. He did not mention religion, He did not mention the Law, and He did not mention good works. What He did say is so very clear.

Not Condemned? “Whoever believes in him (Jesus).”

Now Condemned? “Whoever does not believe…”

It is true that those who put their whole trust in Jesus are not condemned, but more than that they will never be condemned. Jesus said these words as He addressed a huge gathering at Capernaum.

37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

Jesus states the Father’s will twice.

“…that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.” (vs 39)

“…that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (vs 40)

And in those two consecutive verses Jesus makes it plain that every person who trusts in Him will be raised from the dead. Eternal life is a present, permanent, possession.

It is not possible to be “condemned” and at the same time have “eternal life”. And it is not possible either to “not condemned” and maybe miss the resurrection. The two “I wills” of Jesus in passage are conclusive. There can be no other legitimate meaning to what Jesus promised.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

This old hymn states it well. Edward Mote wrote these truth filled words in the year 1834. In the following 176 years no one has discovered any Bible truth that is more foundational, that make us more secure.

We have been justified, we now have peace with God, and we have no condemnation because we are in Christ Jesus the Solid Rock.

Agape’

Royce

Jesus is not dead!


What is the big deal about Easter?

That he (Jesus) was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (1 Corinthians 15:4-8)

The big deal is, Jesus is alive! He is in heaven. And, He is coming back. Yep, the same Jesus his followers had seen and touched, shared meals with, and heard make promises went up into the clouds as they watched. And, this promise was given by two messengers from God.

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

The truth that again and again got the Apostles in hot water with the church crowd was that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is the bedrock of the Christian faith. Paul said it this way.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead,how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)

Make no mistake, everything depends on the factual account of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead!

If Jesus was not raised from the dead there is no hope for any of us.

What appeal does dying and staying dead in a grave have to you? It has none to me either. If Jesus was not raised, we will not be raised, and after all, the goal is to live eternally.

If Jesus was not raised from the dead there is no Christianity!

Paul says it like this, If Christ has not been raised from the dead his “preaching is vain and your faith is vain“. And, “Your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

The cross and its significance is very important but if Jesus’ death was the end of the story He would be no different than any other man who died for his faith.

HE IS ALIVE! CELEBRATE!

This Sunday Christians around the world will celebrate and remember an empty tomb and a risen Saviour. It is His life everlasting that we celebrate. His life is our life if we are in Him.

WILL YOU LIVE FOREVER? EVEN AFTER YOU DIE AND ARE BURIED, WILL YOU LIVE AGAIN?

There are many, many promises that you can, or that you will. One I really like is this one.

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.’ (Romans 8:11)

Easter is the believer’s celebration of everlasting life. It is the acknowledgement that death has been defeated, that sin will finally be eradicated, and once again Peace will rule in an eternal kingdom.

He Himself is our blessed hope, and our blessed certainty! Happy Easter to you.

Agape’

Royce


Spring Forward!


Setting the clocks ahead one hour, Bradford Pear trees blooming in the yard, and annual plants peeking through the soil make me smile. I love spring!

Bass and crappie are moving into shallow water, I’m planning my garden, and looking forward to dinners on the back porch. Soon humming birds, blue birds, and purple martins will show up to enjoy our part of the world. Long, warm days fit me to a tee. No shirt, no shoes, no problem.

I have tried very hard to not complain about the cold weather this winter. It still hurts my feelings to be cold. Why would anyone want to be cold? I don’t get it.

Spring reminds me renewal. There is beauty everywhere. The drab, bleak, landscape of winter is transformed into amazing beauty in a matter of a few days. It also reminds me of the resurrection of Jesus. The hopeless and helpless now have hope and help and eternal life springs forth like an endless fountain. Everyone is invited to drink deeply and live.

Christ is not in a tomb, he is not on a cross, he is alive and is life for all who trust him. The resurrection of Jesus promises an eternal spring for those who take God at his word and depend wholly upon Him.

Agape’

Royce