Two resurrections


“…the resurrection of the dead…”
Hebrews 6 :2

When the Christian dies their soul leaves this life and enters into the eternal kingdom. The Christian walks with God, not looking to right or left, and keeping company with the One they love best. All hope is in the Saviour and Lord.

One day, God will call His child home forever. We shall step over from this life’s consciousness, into the full light of heaven’s glory. We shall go gladly as we will be walking with Jesus, as we do, daily. There will be no breaking of fellowship with the Lord nor silence from His Word, but a continuation of the life of faith in this world, and on into the total life in Heaven.

There is physical resurrection and spiritual resurrection. Spiritual resurrection needs to happen first. Our souls need to be brought to life by Christ and our sins confessed and forgiven, and God puts spiritual life into us, and our souls live. This is the resurrected life that we walk in this world, as the redeemed people of God. This life is exclusively for those who repent of their sin and place all their hope in Christ and what He did for them on the cross of Calvary.

This is the resurrection of the soul. It is necessary if we are to experience the second physical resurrection from the dead, when Jesus returns to wind up the affairs of human history. He will put a stop to all our sinful, human society and take His people home to heaven for eternity.

This physical resurrection that will happen to every person is certain and also unknown. Only God will instruct the trumpets to sound and the Eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ will descend from heaven with a shout, calling His people out of the graves and into eternal joy. Soul and body will be reunited and every redeemed person will instantly be changed. They will become immortal, and glorified, so that they will live with God forever, doing what was intended for them from before time began.

The resurrection of the bodies of those who have experienced no spiritual resurrection, will stand before their Saviour, who is now become their Judge. They will listen to the verdict, which they have chosen for themselves, through neglect and unbelief. These people will fall into the second death, and their resurrection will lead to everlasting ignominy.

Christians, we must speak up and reach out to the people all around us. Why are our hearts do hard? If you know resurrection of soul and can know the presence of God in your life, why are you not sharing it? We are too concerned about how other people view us, and not about the spiritual realities that are evident all around us.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”    Hebrews 6: 10-12

The bride of Ophir

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“Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king.”   Psalm 45

The bride is ready. She has been made ready for this great day of destiny. No day is happier for her and her Bridegroom.

She is perfect, beautiful and all she has is interwoven with pure gold. When we read Psalm 45, the atmosphere is filled with joy and expectation, as the queen awaits the Bridegroom. This is the day she has desired for, fought for and kept her faith placed in the certainty of this moment.

The bride enters the palace of the king to never leave, but be in His presence forever. All trouble has been forgotten and all the resisting of sin is now finally conquered. She is bedecked in glory, not her own but shared with Him who she loves. This is the destiny of every child of God.

This Bridegroom is the ultimate embodiment of victory and glory. He is the Prince of peace, the king of the ages, and the eternal God in the person of Christ. No one who trusts in Him will be disappointed. His people will be His glory and His inheritance and He will be theirs. Who would reject Him for the paltry pleasures of this doomed planet? Who would swap this eternal joy of darkness and destruction?

May we enter the palace of the king and love Him with great joy.

The well

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”   Isaiah 12:3

The wells of salvation have no bottom. They are endless waters of peace and refreshment. There is no other place of such access to eternal life. All who draw water from those deep depths are never left unsatisfied.

When we first come to the well, we are laden down with sins and sorrows. We are desperate and unsure about lowering our bucket into the deep dark waters. We know we need to. We feel the guilt of our sin and the strong desire to be rid of it moves us to approach the well.

In desperation we reach for the water. As we draw up the salvation of God, we are immediately changed and a new life rises up in our souls. We have tasted that water and it is good. Forever after, we return to drink deeply of those living waters and drink deeply with great joy.

Every day of our lives as Christian people, we draw water from those wells of salvation. Every day we have the joy of our Lord Jesus welling up in us, since He bought us by His blood. The dreadful price He paid, He paid, knowing the joy set before Him and the certainty of possessing His people for all eternity.

We draw the water, daily, and always will. The well will remain open to us, even in the glory of that eternal city, so that our joy in the Lord will be full.

A green shoot

 

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”  Isaiah 11:1-5

The people of God we’re reduced to a dead stump. They had succumbed to the enemy and faith failed as they became like the godless people around them. God knew this end state and still He loved them. He knows us also, all our failures and faults, and still He loves us.

That dead stump brought forth a living shoot. This insignificant small green shoot produced a mighty root that became a huge plant or tree, bearing fruit. This shoot is a picture of the Saviour Jesus, who would appear in order to save His people from their sins. His kingdom though small at the start, is now spread throughout the whole world. His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, with power that no human can quench or tame. He is the Lion of Judah and He will deliver His people and break the stranglehold of sin in our lives. 

The Holy Spirit of God rests on Him. He is full of power to choose the right and reject the wrong. He has wisdom and understanding, to decide the will of the Father in all circumstances. He has the Spirit of council and power, because He is the holy One from God.

This Saviour fears the Lord and delights Himself in that holy fear. This is the mark of faith and the knowledge of who God is. The foolish have no such fear.

The insight of this Saviour does not depend on human or physical ability. He judges in righteousness and equity. Those who are down-trodden will come to Him, because they are needy and humble. The rich and mighty have no such need. They judge with eyes and ears and have no spiritual understanding.

Those who refuse this Saviour will be condemned by His mighty Word. They will feel the chill of His breath that judges all humankind and yet still, these futile people will never seek the heat of His love.

The authority of such a Saviour is from eternity to eternity and never fails because He is the righteous One. He will rule forever and those who bow to His sweet rule will also rule in the everlasting kingdom. For those who believe, these words bring joy, for they already know these things, as they read His perfect Word.

We who believe seem like dead people, until the life of God works in our soul and the green shoots appear. May we live for Him and grow up in Him so that we become like He is, perfect in every good work and in love and faith. Anything less is unbelief.

Real hope

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“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”         Romans 5: 1-5

The Christian could not be more safe and secure, in the grace they have been given, through the faith they have exercised in what Jesus the Saviour has done for them. Jesus has paid the most terrible price, so that we could enjoy this life of faith and the hope that we can boast in. All other boasting is false.

If you are a Christian, you will already know that there are troubles that you have gone through for the sake of Christ. This pain and trouble will build our hope in Christ, as we fight against it and overcome in His name.

Our characters are built through the perseverance we use as we overcome in the name of Jesus Christ.

We can overcome by the power of God, because the Holy Spirit has been poured into the Christian and changes them into courageous and powerful people. This is our true state, and the beautiful presence of the Spirit of God, flows through us. We become strong and as we face increasing trials, we only get stronger. Our hope becomes sure and true and heaven and home is our destiny.

Let us bind ourselves to this precious promise, and believe the promises that never fail.

Many hardships

“They (Paul and Barnabas) preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.” Acts 14:21-22

God’s people have the privilege to preach and tell others the gospel of salvation, that they might be saved. If we do not speak the gospel as laid out for us in the Scriptures, human souls cannot be saved. Unless we hear, repent and believe, we can never find eternal life. When we are faithful in this message, there will be faith and salvation. In this Scripture, a large number were saved.

When Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, they encouraged the Christians there to be strong in the Lord and to remain true in the message of the gospel and God’s eternal truth. Paul did not hide the truth, that all those who walk worthy of Christ, will suffer persecution.

When we reach out with the gospel, we will also suffer the same offence of the cross, for the sake of Christ. We must put on our bravery and throw off the coward spirit, and obey the Lord.

This hymn by Isaac Watts, brings home to us our calling..

“Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through raging seas?”

Isaac Watts 1721

We save ourselves, and unbelievers are not saved. We keep silent and the lost people around us, slip into a deadly grave. We are saved by God’s grace alone, but somehow our Christian service is bound up in our salvation. No fruit, no faith. No works, no faith.

Being a Christian is not a comfortable lifestyle choice, but the most challenging way to live in this life. Our consolation is that we walk with God and have the power of God living within our souls. We have ultimate power and comfort and we will be over comers.

The kingdom is coming and also has already come. Whatever hardships we face as we live for God, we will enter into our inheritance with great joy..

The shelter of your presence

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“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow ine the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.”

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”    Psalm 31: 20, 24

The fear and heartfelt humility we have towards the Lord Jesus, is the one thing that will hold us in faith and love. We have faith in Christ because of who He is and the multitude of proofs we experience of His goodness and blessing. These good things, Jesus our Saviour has bought for us at great price, as the result of His infinite love to us.

The good things are not necessarily the physical provision of this life, but the deep spiritual knowledge and trust in His name. There are eternal blessings that the Christian knows, even in this life. We will see these blessings as we draw close to our Lord, and appreciate what He is doing in our lives. They will be seen by other people, and His power will protect us from wagging tongues.

The Christian who is steady and strong in the Lord, will not mind the accusations and gossip of people who don’t value God’s blessings. The Word holds little attraction for them and prayer is tedious. To know the felt presence of Christ is of no value, and to walk a forgiven life is not attractive.

This eternal life is the strength of the believer and the refuge of every redeemed heart.

We need not fear, but be strong, as we rest in the sovereign power of the Lord of everything that exists, and forget the intrigues of godless people.

Women who glorify God