Family Bible Study lesson for August 7, 2005: Once and Future Life : Friday, July 15, 2005
July 15 2005 by Chadwick Ivester

Family Bible Study lesson for August 7, 2005: Once and Future Life : Friday, July 15, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for August 7, 2005: Once and Future Life

By Chadwick Ivester
Focal passage: 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10

The biblical doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is the glorious hope the word of God promises every Christian.

Christ demonstrated this doctrine by raising His good friend, Lazarus, from the dead (John 11:40-44). He ultimately proved it through raising Himself from the dead (John 10:17-18).

The biblical doctrine of the resurrection is sneered at by secular humanists who deny the hereafter. But Jesus taught this amazing doctrine and told His disciples, "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 -- those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29).

To the believer, the resurrection of the dead is a comforting doctrine. Yet to the unbeliever it is perplexing and foolish. We should not expect the world to believe it now because the world didn't believe in Paul's day. When the philosophers of Mars Hill heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to ridicule him (Acts 17:32).

Death is not the end

2 Cor. 4:16-18

Life is so fragile. You can be here today and gone tomorrow. Being confronted with death always brings the reality of the hereafter - a reality the Lord instills within every heart.

In the book of Jonah, the sailors thought they were on the verge of dying and each cried out to his god (Jonah 1:5).

Yes, even the most ardent atheist, when confronted with death, will cry out to a higher power.

As a former rodeo cowboy, I never met one bronco or bull-rider, whether non-Christian or Christian, who was not concerned about the hereafter just before he crawled onto his mount. That same was true for me, especially when crawling onto the back of a 1,200 lb. bucking horse. Everyone has a philosophy on the hereafter. The question we must ask ourselves is, "What do I base my views on concerning the hereafter?"

Our views concerning the hereafter should begin with the Holy Writ and end with the Holy Writ. The apostle, inspired by the Holy Spirit, made it clear that what we see now is only temporal and what is unseen is eternal.

Long for something better

2 Cor. 5:1-5

The graveside funeral service is a symbol of hope in the resurrection for every Christian.

David Brainerd was a missionary to the American Indians in the early part of the 18th century. His parents were so convinced of the resurrection of the dead that when they died, they sought to be buried toe to toe. They desired to unite hand-in-hand, face-to-face together at the "last trump," when they shall ascend to be united with the Lord forever. That is an example of longing for something better.

Prepare for death

2 Cor. 5:6-10

It is impossible to be prepared for the hereafter apart from faith in Christ.

As my wife and I visited her cancer-stricken father at the hospice center during his last days on earth, there was an Epicurean (pleasure-seeking) patient a few doors down who seemed to be sarcastically jubilant concerning the hereafter.

This patient was not preparing for the hereafter with faith but with pleasure-seeking parties and obnoxious humor. Dear reader, will this be you on your deathbed? How sad it will be for the multitudes who will appear before the judgment seat of Christ with "unacceptable preparations" and lacking faith. Are you prepared? May this sobering thought remind you that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. It is there that your every action will be judged.

How can I have peace about the hereafter in the here-and-now? This question must be pressed upon every soul.

Jonathan Edwards was a great American theologian and philosopher. A few minutes before he died, his friends were by his side talking worriedly about his approaching death. They thought Edwards could not hear them. Edwards, being aware of the conversation, spoke out with confidence, saying, "Trust in God and ye need not fear!"

7/15/2005 12:00:00 AM by Chadwick Ivester | with 0 comments

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