He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:26–28, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” Never a popular subject, but in these uncertain days it’s the “elephant in the room.” The recent events has placed it squarely before us. We all have that appointment “to die once.” But one appointment we need not face is the second death.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11–15, NIV 1984).
Second death, another unpopular subject. And if we avoid this subject now, it will be unavoidable in the end (“after that to face judgment“). The old adage, born once – die twice, born twice – die once, is true.
“Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them.” (Revelation 20:6, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Are you one of “those who are waiting for Him?” You are if you’ve been born twice (born again). If not, what’s waiting for you is the second death. This need not be. Check out my “The Born Again Experience” musings to find out how.
“Since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:29–31, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Of course we are much too enlightened to believe in graven images (or at least much of the world is) these days. Our idols, the things we “worhsip” and run after, are much more sophisticated. Power. Prestige. Possessions. Pleasure. Professions. We should not think the divine life can be found in any of these things. We are God’s offspring, yet we search for and chase after these things rather than a relationship with Him. In fact there are many who regard belief in God, and belief in the death and resurrection of His Son, are just as ignorant as believing in images made out of gold, silver or stone.
My Advice – “When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, ‘We want to hear you again on this subject.’ At that, Paul left the Council. A few men became followers of Paul and believed.” (Acts 17:32–34, NIV 1984).
Just like in Paul’s day, there are three ways people respond to the message of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. We can reject it (“some of them sneered“). We can postpone consideration (“we want to hear you again“). We can accept it (“a few became followers…and believed“). How about you. This really is not something we can remain neutral about (postpone) forever. Eventually, we will choose one of the other two. Either we will accept the Him or reject Him. But we must remember, “he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.” We will be judged by the One that we either accept or reject. How about you? How will you be judged? With justice, for sure. But about who you are, or what He has done?
Today’s musing was inspired by Lead Teaching Pastor Kevin Rutledge’s sermon on February 2, 2020. Check it out at https://www.fbcsycamore.com/sermons. If you live in or are visiting the area, come and join us Sundays at 10:30 a.m. We’d love to be partners in the Gospel with you.
1 Corinthians 15:17 – If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – The resurrection is essential to the Christian faith. If Christ was not victorious over death, then we certainly cannot be either. But He was and we are.
My Advice – Many people will try to water down the Gospel by saying Jesus is not really God in the flesh, He is not the only means of salvation or that He really was not raised from the dead. Do not believe them. All these are essential to your faith and hope in life eternal.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 – “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV 1984)
My Musing – Originally I had “dyer’s” block with respect to today’s musing. It is, after all, Easter morning and how does one do an amusing on such an important topic without seeming sacrilegious? Without participating in the diversion and dilution of the message of this Holy day that modern culture has been so successful in perpetuating?
I’ll start by recounting a memory from my early childhood. My first memory Continue reading “Hollow Promises?”