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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Education / Eric Rajaniemi's Blog: James 1:22; Romans 1:20 Welcome Guest
    Eric Rajaniemi's Blog: James 1:22; Romans 1:20
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    Fri, Nov 28th - 12:57PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "And as some spoke of the Temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, He said, As for these things which you behold, the days will come, in which there shall not be one stone left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.  And they asked Him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be?  and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?  And Jesus said, Take heed that you will not be deceived; for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draws near: therefore do not go after them.  But when you shall hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is still not yet.  Then said Jesus to them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and there shall be fearful sights and great signs from heaven (21:5-11).'

       As you may know, this chapter is well known as the Olivet Discourse.  It deals with three great subjects that were future events at the time Christ predicted them.  They are the destruction of Jerusalem, the Lord's return, and the end of the current world.  On your own you ought to read Matthew and Mark's account of what happens in this passage in order to achieve a clearer understanding.  

       Above everything else we read here, we must remember that Jesus was preparing all of His disciples for His imminent death, resurrection, and departure from this world back up into heaven.  He was preparing them as well to carry on after He was gone back to be with the Father.  He knew that His immediate disciples were to face some daunting situations and persecution, everything from personal trials up to national judgment involving the utter destruction of their nation.  Additionally, it would be generations stretching into centuries before He would return to earth to fulfill His predictions.  None of His disciples understood this, but He did.  He needed to also prepare His future disciples as well, for they would face all kinds of trials and tribulations for believing in His name.  They might naturally begin to doubt that He would ever return to reign supreme upon the earth (II Peter 3:4).

       So what did Jesus do?  He chose to utilize this occasion to reveal some of the events that were to take place upon the earth during these "last days," the days of the church age (Acts 2:16-17; I John 2-18).  With this knowledge, His disciples would be better able to endure and to keep their hope for His return alive.  Here are some of the things they, and we also, gained by having this extra knowledge:  They would know that God is never caught by surprise.  God is still on the throne and still in complete control of all world events.  they would not be caught by surprise themselves.  They would know what to expect in this corruptible and sinful world.  Therefore, when events happened, they would not be as likely to become discouraged by them.  They would be challenged to keep themselves ever so close to God in order to be as strong as possible to face the trials coming upon this earth.  They would be encouraged to place their hope in God and in the new heaven and earth and not in this corruptible world.  They would be "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)."  

       We must remember that Jesus was dealing with two questions put to Him here.  Jesus was dealing with the end of the temple and the end of this world.  He was covering the signs, the events that cause and occur during the judgment of both the temple and the world.  Why is this important to note?  Simply because the Scriptures teach us that the same sins and events cause the judgment of anything.  The events (sins) that cause judgment upon one thing are the same events that will bring judgment upon everything else.  As such, the signs that surrounded the destruction of Jerusalem were much the same as the signs that will surround the end of the world.  It has a double meaning and application.  

       As long as the earth stands, the disciples of "the last days" will face many of the same signs faced by those who experienced the fall and destruction of Jerusalem.  But there is to be one big difference.  At the end of the world, the signs will increase in frequency and in intensity.  A day is approaching in our future, so horrible, that in Matthew 24:8 it is described as the beginning of sorrows, and the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21).  The present age in which we live is considered by God to be "the age of the last days" or "the last time."  According to God's time-table, the history of the church, its presence on earth takes place in "the last days" or "the last times."  "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:16-17)."  "God has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the world (Hebrews 1:2).  It also helps to do a quick overview of the other passages to be found in this chapter of Luke.  Please go ahead and quickly read the remainder of the chapter to gain a better feel for what Jesus is doing here.  

       In understanding what Jesus Christ was saying, we have to be very, very, careful not to add to or take away from what He said.  This is critically important.  Both of these mistakes were made by the religionists of Jesus' day concerning Jesus' first coming, or Advent (Matthew 2:4-6).  Keep in mind that the disciples did think that all three events would happen at about the same time.  They did think in terms of the Messianic Kingdom of God (compare Matthew 1:1, 1:18; 3:11; 11:1-6, 11:2-3; 12:16; 22:42; Luke 7:23 with Acts 1:6).  When Jesus said that the temple would be destroyed, the disciples assumed it would happen at the same time that He returned and ended the world, during the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.  But jesus gave no time-table.  He never said when these events would occur.  He simply gave signs that would occur before the events, signs that would point toward His return and toward the end of Jerusalem and the end of the current world.  

       It must be kept in mind, beloved, that most of the signs happen all through church history.  But the signs increase and intensify right before the end of Jerusalem and the end of the world.  There will be a period of time known as the "beginning of sorrows" and a time launched by the "abomination of desolation" known as the "great tribulation", such as has not been seen nor experienced since the beginning of the world (Matthew 24:21).  In our current passage the signs of the present age are provided to us:  

     1.   False Christs
     2.   Conflict of nations
     3.   Natural disasters

       Are any of these things happening today?  Yes they are.  Have they been happening since the time of Christ?  Yes they have.  Are they occurring more frequently now compared to years ago?  Perhaps.  The disciples obviously admired the Temple's magnificence.  They were good Jews.  It was magnificent in fact.  It sat upon the summit of Mount Zion.  It was built of white marble plated with gold.  It could hold thousands of people.  It had several porches such as Solomon's Porch and the Royal Porch that were supported with huge, towering pillars.  The pillars were so large that it took three to four men to reach around each one.  It appeared to be indestructible.  The disciples were very proud of their Temple, and directed Jesus' attention to it.  

       Jesus used this moment to direct His disciples' interest towards coming events.  In predicting the Temple's utter destruction He caused the disciples to become shocked, which then lead them to ask two questions of Him.  To understand why these two questions popped into their minds first, we have to remember what were their beliefs.  They were thinking of Israel's glory as the greatest nation upon the earth.  They had finally accepted the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, God's appointed instrument to free Israel and to raise the nation to its destined glory.  Therefore when Jesus began talking about the Temple being destroyed they were slammed emotionally to the ground with their Temple.  They wanted to know when this horrific event would happen, they needed to know.  Their lives had revolved around the Temple for as long as they could remember.  For them, this was the end of everything that they knew to be Jewish.  It had to be, well, the end times!  In their world view the Temple could only be destroyed when all things were to be ended.  Their hopes had been ratcheting up over the glory of Israel finally being set up, and now they had been punched in the gut.  So, when will this happen?  What are the signs we must watch out for?  

       Did Jesus immediately answer their questions?  No, He warned them (and us) not to be deceived.  What does this mean?  It could mean that people can easily be deceived when dealing with end time prophecies.  Or it could mean people can be easily deceived when facing the end time events.  People may be deceived into believing that certain catastrophic events are infallible signs that the end is now upon us.  Too often today cataclysmic events result in wild guesses about the end times which then result in universal predictions, deception of other people, and discouragement of one's faith when the end does not come as predicted.

       The first sign Jesus gives us is that there will be false messiahs.  There will be many of them throughout history, making the claim to be Christ and that the end time has now come.  We must take to heart Christ's words:  Do not follow after them.  Follow after Christ who has already come, died, and been resurrected.  Keep our eyes upon Him and trust in the words that He has given to us.  Christ spoke these things to His disciples, people who obviously were going to be tempted to listen to false teachers and believe their words rather than those of the Living God.  This remains unchanged from the original temptation in the Garden of Eden.  Believe what God has already said to me, or else choose to believe what someone else is telling me God really meant by those words.  

       The second sign will be conflict of nations.  We will hear about wars and commotions all around our world.  This means tumults, uproars, riots, terrorism, insurrections, civil wars, treasons, confusion of governments.  We will witness uprisings within governments, governments will be overthrown.  It will be potentially very disturbing.  Believers are to not be terrified.  We are not to allow our hearts to become troubled.  World violence still does not overpower God's might.  God does not sit upon His throne and put His hand up to His mouth and say, "Oh no, didn't see that coming!"  Our life must be centered upon Christ, trusting His presence, care, and security for all eternity.  Our bodies will not live forever but our souls will.  Jesus informs us that world violence must come to pass, it is not optional.  Mankind can't prevent world violence from happening.  The Church can't usher in the kingdom of heaven nor can she prevent the end of the world from coming.  It is futile to work against the will of God.  World violence does not come to pass because God destines it, it comes to pass because men's hearts are gripped by passion, lust, greed, and evil.  World violence can dominate the news so that people are led to believe that the end is here and it is hopeless.  

       Natural disasters will increase and become ever more destructive.  Five were specifically mentioned by Jesus.  Earthquakes cause great damage to buildings, roads, and lives.  We witness these on a fairly regular basis all around the rim of the Pacific Ocean.  They will simply become stronger and more destructive in the end times.  Famines result from the lack of food.  Food being one of the basic necessities of life, a lack of food arises from more than one cause.  It can be due to lack of water, lack of arable land, flooding, drought, fire, war, or pestilence.  In Jerusalem's fall during 70 AD people starved to death for lack of food.  They died by the thousands.  Evidently there will be terrible famine in the last days.  In the Book of Revelation we discover the black horse of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse which indicates global famine.  Dying of starvation is not quick, it lingers over days and weeks.  A third disaster is pestilence.  The first two disasters inevitably create conditions that favor the development of pestilence and disease.  Disease is a respecter of no person.  Illness strikes the rich as well as the poor.  As population increases globally so does the risk of disease that will race through the human race.  The wealthy may be able to purchase food during a famine, but they can't buy their way out of a pandemic.  Death by disease or other natural cause shows no partiality, it is an equal opportunity attacker.  Pestilence will be a global phenomenon during the end time.  It is represented by the pale horse in the Book of Revelation.  Finally, there will astronomical happenings that all people will be able to see.  Quite practically, earth experiences astronomical happenings today but just on a small scale.  In the end time the sun will be blocked and objects will fall from space and impact the earth's surface.  These occurrences will create panic, anxiety, fear, hysteria, and chaos.  

    It will be beneficial for anyone reading this post to go and study the book of Revelation in order to understand what Christ was referring to here in Luke's Gospel.  What is forcast to happen in the future could easily freak people out to the point of hysteria.  What is needed is to focus upon Christ and the promises that He has made to those who choose to believe in Him.  What is needed is to not waste time attempting to stop the end times or attempting to create the kingdom of heaven here on earth.  Those are items that God has said that He will do.  We are to do His will and only His will.  Grace and peace be with you this Black Friday.  Perhaps you are preparing your heart for the beginning of Advent this Sunday, if so, may Christ' Spirit fill you to overflowing and shine out through your face to all whom you encounter this weekend and beyond!

    ~Eric


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    Fri, Nov 21st - 3:50PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.  And He also saw a certain poor widow casting in to it two mites.  And He said, "Of a truth I say to you, that this poor widow has cast in more than all of the rich men: For all those have cast of their abundance into the offerings of God; but she has cast of her penury all the living that she had (21:1-4)."  

       Today giving to the church and charity is a thorn in the flesh of very many people.  Most people give a little bit of money or a few worn out items, but very few give much of value.  But, if the needs of the world are to be met, many people must begin to give and to give sacrificially.  Giving may be debatable among men, but it is not debatable with Jesus Christ.  Every person must give everything he/she is and has in order to meet the needs of our world.  Thousands upon thousands of people are dying each and every day, dying because they lack the very necessities of life and have never heard the Gospel of Christ's glorious love and deliverance.

       Recalling all that Christ had experienced and been forced to deal with over the past few hours, it is no wonder that He sat and rested here.  The authorities had baited Him time and time again with trick questions.  The first verse tells us that He was seated.  He had moved from the court of the Gentiles over to the court of the women and was sitting down near the treasury of the Temple.  Can't you picture it?  Sitting with elbows on His knees, face cupped in both of His hands, eyes closed.  Listening to the clink and clang of coins being tossed into the collection boxes.  Remember, it was Passover week and thousands of people would be passing by the boxes making their contributions.  Christ opens His eyes and beholds the rich men tossing in their offerings from out of their made profit.  And there, coming along among them, is a poor widow.  She stops and tosses in two mites, all of the money that she owns.  Mites were the smallest of coins, had the least value monetarily.  Jesus understands the importance of what she is doing and makes an illustration to teach the people a truth.  

       In the court of the women there were thirteen trumpet shaped collection vessels.  Each had written on it the purpose for which the offerings were to be used.  People simply had to drop their offerings into the vessel of the ministry which they wished to support.  God teaches us that giving must be done in the right spirit.  Jesus used two different words to describe how poor this widow was.  In using the word penichran in verse two He pointed out that she was a person who earned only a meager, pitiful wage.  In verse three ptoche is used which means abject poverty, utter destitution, poverty that is visible and unquestionable.  So poor that begging is not out of the question in order to survive.  This was the situation of this poor widow when she came and threw in all the money that she had.  Christ pointed out that she was giving to God's work because she obviously wanted to give.  She was not giving grudgingly or reluctantly. (II Corinthians 9:7).  Quite obviously her trust was not placed in money.  Her trust was in God.  Her message to everyone who was willing to look at her:  Everything I have belongs to God to use for His work (Luke 11:41; I Timothy 6:17; Psalm 34:22; 37:3,5; Jeremiah 17:7).  

       I find here a message concerning stewardship.  Giving must not be based upon the amount given, but on the amount kept back.  This concept is difficult for people today to accept, especially wealthy people.  Wealth and money are not for the purpose of hoarding, storing, and banking.  The imperative of the need and command of God is unequivocal and irrevocable.  Christ claimed that the widow threw in more than all of the wealthy men combined!  Wouldn't you have been shocked to hear such a statement?  All of the wealthy had thrown in an enormous sum of money compared to the widow.  Very simply, God looks at what the person has kept for themselves while throwing in an offering for Him.  The wealthy still had much money in their pockets, the widow had none.  Percentage-wise the widow gave a hundred percent while the others gave a much lower percentage of what they had.  Being good Jews, they probably threw in one tenth of what they had earned.  They kept 90% for themselves.  How are we being any different today?  Stewardship giving must be sacrificial, given because someone has a need.  It is a critical point in looking at the plight of our culture today.  Why don't the wealthy give more to charity and to church?  In Christ's time the rich believed in God and trusted Him, and they were appreciative and thankful for the blessings of God.  They did give large offerings.  But they gave from out of their abundance of money.  They did not go without any of their wants or needs.  But that widow gave all of the living that she had on her person.  She understood that God would supply her needs for food, water, clothing, and a place to sleep.  In giving all to God, God would not deny anything to her.  As stated in Matthew 6:33 God would provide all the necessities of life to her.  

       Another thing that must be noticed in this short passage of Scripture.  Two needs are being met.  God's Temple (church) had need and the poor widow had need as well.  When we choose to give we are meeting two needs: the church's and our own.  We need to be involved in helping others through the tough times in their lives for we never know when such tough times will enter into our own lives in the future.  Or perhaps we have already passed through just such an arid time in our lives and we want to help someone else manage their way through one as well.

    That is all for today my friends.  Next time I shall cover verses 5-11, the disciples admiring the beauty and permanence of the Temple.  Grace and peace be with you all!

    ~Eric


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    Thu, Nov 20th - 7:40PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "Then certain of the scribes replied, Master, You have said that well.  And after that they dared not ask Him any question at all.  And He said to them, How do they say that Christ is David's son?  And David himself said in the book of Psalms, The LORD said to my Lord, sit on My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.  David therefore called Him Lord, how is He then his son?  Then in the audience of all the people He said to His disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows' houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation (20:39-47)."

       It is easily seen here what the remainder of the religionists' response to Jesus' words was.  Some of them were impressed with His answers to their questions.  They shared very honestly with Him in verse 39.  Despite being out to kill Him, they nevertheless were forced to admit His answers were well stated.  While attempting to trip Him up with crafty questions they came face to face with truthful answers in which they could find no fault.  As a whole, the religionists were finally silenced.  They had tried, and failed miserably to trap Jesus into making false or treasonous responses to their choreographed questions.  

       In this passage we can see that they misunderstood the Messiah's relationship with King David.  The religionists felt that the Messiah was David's son.  It is why they persisted to believe that Jesus was simply another man among many.  To even consider that the Messiah could be of divine origin, of God Himself, was unacceptable and still remains unacceptable to many people today.  But Jesus makes Himself perfectly clear here.  He is not the son of David, not born of man.  He is the Lord from heaven.  Please follow along with me here.  David said in Scripture, inspired by the Holy Spirit, that God called the Messiah, 'Lord.'  By inspiration God directed David to call the Messiah 'My Lord.'  David's Lord sits at the right hand of God's throne.  The Messiah has been exalted by God and so He lives in heaven by God.  David in fact did call Messiah 'Lord.'  Thus, how could Messiah be both David's son and his Lord?  Jesus was pointing out that to think of the Messiahonly in human terms is totally inadequate.  One can't think solely in terms of earthly power, of national, political, military, and institutional leadership.  No mere human being can bring perfect deliverance and peace, leadership, and utopia to this earth of ours.  The Messiah can because He comes to us from heaven's throne.  We also can see that Jesus claims to be the Son of God Himself.  God loves this earth; therefore, God sent His Son to earth, sacrificing Him in order to save it and all those within it.

       Through reading of Scrpture we come to understand that the common title for the Messiah was the Son of David.  The Old Testament definitively states that the Messiah was to come from out of the line of King David.(Psalm 89:35-36; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-5)  The Messiah was to do four specific things.  1.  He was to free Israel from all enslavement.  Enslavement was to be abolished all people set free under God's domain.  2.  He was to give victory over all enemies.  Israel, and Jerusalem more specifically, was to be established as the seat of God's rule.  3.  He was to bring peace to the entire earth.  All people were to serve God under the government established by the Messiah.  4.  He was to provide plenty for all people.  He was to provide the necessities of life and in bringing utopia (the Kingdom of God) to earth.

       Jesus gave clear warning to all of the people about exactly who the scribes were and what they valued above all else.  They coveted self-esteem and praise.  They dressed themselves in order to draw attention to themselves.  Long robes were the dress of the nobility, the rich, the well-known, the person of style.  A man could not perform physical work while wearing such a robe, he was part of "higher society."  Jesus was not speaking against fine clothing, no, He was warning us to aware of those who love fine clothing to the point of using it to get attention and praise.  Jesus condemned those who are extravagant and wasteful, whose minds are set on attracting attention, applause, and envy on self and appearance.  I am not to focus my mind upon clothing and accessories but upon those things spoken of in Philippians 4:8.  My life does not consist of the things I have, but in the service I render to others.  Our world is swamped with enormous needs.  God wills for each person to be wrapped up in meeting the needs of others.  It is not just the government's job, it is for each person to labor upon as well.  My concern is to be righteousness.  I am to work for Christ Jesus and His kingdom, not for expensive, flamboyant, ostentatious clothing and possessions.  

       Another thing that was going on in Jesus' time was that certain people changed their clothing and appearance in order to attract attention.  The religionists loved to get into the seats of highest honor and prestige at all of the feasts in town.  They were invited to come and dine by people who desired to curry their favor.  In the synagogues the leaders and distinguished persons sat on a bench in front of the ark, and they sat facing the gathered people.  Position and recognition were of paramount importance to these people, as they are to so many people even today.  Today we continue to notice those who love the special seats and places of recognition: clubs, boards, committees, councils, and the preferred lists.  What is condemned by God is not the being in these positions but in the love of them.  

       Finally, the terrible sin of the religionists was that they devoured widows' houses, they used widows for personal gain.  This was and still is a gross sin, and it remains commonplace today.  There are preachers, pastors, priests, who curry and court the the attention and favor of people (especially widows) for the purpose of securing money.  They are the ones who seek large donations, endowments, trusts, investments, and gifts to promote themselves and their institution.  Such false and hypocritical hearts use the "clothing" of religion to con people out of their hard earned money and do not share the love of Christ with those who make the donations.  Money and recognition is what they seek, not the well-being of others who are in need.  Their call to people is to institutional religion, not to the honor of God and the spirit of self-denial.  Using religion for selfish ends is one of the most vile sins in existence.  It is directly harmful to those who get conned out of their money but it is indirectly harmful to true believers in Christ Jesus for it makes their witnessing that much more difficult.

    Well, that is all for today beloved.  I did not squander as much time in between posts this time around!  Hopefully I can continue on this path and get back to posting three or more times each week.  Keep me in prayer.  Keep all the saints of Christ in prayer.  These are uncertain times: economical negativity, political turmoil, terrorism, lack of sufficient drinking water, food shortages, natural disasters, etc.  Pray for your own governments to have wisdom and patience in all of their deliberations and decision-making processes.  Grace and peace be with you all.

    ~Eric


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    Thu, Nov 13th - 9:17PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



       Let us pick up with verse 28 of this twentieth chapter of Luke.  In Levite marriage, when a husband died without a son, the Levite law said that his brother was to marry his wife and bear a son.  By law, the son was considered the first-born son of the deceased brother.  This secured two things: (1) that the family name continued, and (2) that the property holdings were kept within the family.  This was a law that had been given to help preserve and enlarge the nation of Israel (see Ruth 4:5).

       But there existed two worlds, the natural and the spiritual.  Marriage differs in these two worlds.  In this, the natural world, there is marriage, but in the other world there will be no marriage at all.  Why will there not be any marriage in the spiritual world?  It is because love is perfected.  Future life and relationships will exceed earthly relationships and life, Even the bond of marital relationship will be exceeded.  The strong union and bond of earthly marriage will not be less, it will be greater and stronger in heaven, as will all other relationships.  In heaven our relationships will cease to be as they were here on earth.  They will be changed in an absolute sense: selfishness and sin will not affect our love and lives.  Our love will have been perfected; therefore, we will love everyone perfectly.  A spouse on earth will not be loved as she was on this earth - imperfectly.  She will rather be loved more, loved perfectly.  Everyone will love everyone else perfectly.  God will change all relationships into perfection, even as the relationships between angels and God are perfected.

       Dropping down to verse 35 we can notice that there is a difference of how one enters into each of these two worlds.  A person has nothing to do with their entrance into this natural world.  They are conceived and born by the act of a man and a woman.  It is an event totally beyond their control.  But we should notice three facts about this next world.
     1.  Only those who are accounted worthy shall obtain that world.  A person does not work or earn their way into the next world.  They are not worthy; they are only counted worthy.  Worthiness is accounted to them, simply laid to their account.  Scripture says that it is their faith that is counted as making them worthy.  God takes a person's faith and counts it as "righteousness" or justification (Romans 4:22; 5:1).  "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)."  "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it (righteousness) was imputed to him; but for also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification (Romans 4:23-25)."  "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Galatians 3:6)."
       2.  Jesus was speaking of the resurrection of believers only.  He did not say "the resurrection of the dead" which would mean all of the dead, but He said, "the resurrection from the dead" which means the resurrection of believers from among the dead.  "Truly, truly, I say to you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live (John 5:25)."  "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (Acts 24:15)."  "Blessed and holy is the person that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:6)."
     3.  Every person continues to exist after this natural world, but all will not enter "that world,"  that is, heaven.  Those who have not lived a life of faith in Christ, who are not counted worthy, will not enter "that world" but will enter hell. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2)."  "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come out, they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28-29)."  

       In verse 36 we are instructed that death differs in these two worlds.  In the next world there is no death.  Jesus said a man "cannot die any more."  A man is locked in, given an incorruptible body and existence, living forever with God.  (I Thessalonians 4:17, I Corinthians 15:53-54, II Timothy 4:18).  For believers their reward is eternal life in heaven in the presence of God.  There are a couple of things said about a person's nature when they obtain heaven.
     1.  They shall be "equal to the angels."  The Greek word isangelloi means that believers shall have a nature like the angels: be glorified, be their peers, living in the joy of working and serving God just as the angels do, and have done.  It means that believers will have all of the glorious being and privileges and responsibilities that angels have (I Corinthians 15:42-44, 49-53).
     2.  However, there is even more than what angels have.  Believers are the children of God, the adopted children of god (Galatians 4:5-6, romans 8:15-17, Titus 3:7).  

       How is life different in this other world to come?  In this other world, it is a resurrected life, a real life, a life that is more real than the life of this present natural world in which we walk, talk, eat, drink, and breathe.  It is a perfect life that lives for god perfectly.  Again, here are three things to understand about this life.
     1.  God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Jesus meant at least two things in this point.
     a.  God's relationships are active ones, not inactive.  God always says, "I am the God of ...", He speaks in the present tense and not the past tense.  His relationships with people are maintained even after they die and depart from this natural world into which they were born.  God is eternal, therefore His relationships remain eternal.  
     b.  God's relationships are good and rewarding.  The patriarchs of old were promised very personal rewards.  There has to be a resurrection if our relationship with God is good and rewarding.  For it to be otherwise would be unrewarding and not good at all.  
     2.  God is, God exists.  There are two simple words found in verse 38 that show this.  The fact that God is, that God exists, proves the resurrection.  The Greek term ego eimi means the self-existent, eternal One.  

     Since God exists, He is God with omnipotent power, power that is perfect and eternal and limitless.  God can do anything and all things, perfectly and eternally.  Nothing is impossible for Him to accomplish, nothing beyond His abilities.  This discovery here in Luke must be combined with a similar discovery to be found over in Ephesians 1:11-12.  There we are told that we have obtained an inheritance...that we should be, or exist.  The resurrection is a fact and it will be experienced by all people of all ages because God is.  God has willed to give us an inheritance, and inheritance to be, that is, to live eternally with Him.  We will undergo a metamorphosis, a transformation,  of nature, a transformation of perfection and permanency.  Thus, we must pay close attention to what Scriptures say to us.  We must pay close attention to the message God has sent to us.  
     3.  God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the God of dead and decayed corpses.  When Moses wrote these words, the three patriarchs had been dead for centuries.  If they were dead, God was not their god.  Since He was their God, they were alive; they were living in God's presence and in a relationship to Him that was perfect and eternal.  There is one point that we ought to come away with from all of this.  Since God is, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  He is the Living God.  If this then be true, all believers shall also live.  They live unto God, for God is the God of the living.  Death can't break the believer's relationship to God.  Amen.

    That is all for now, beloved.  May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ fill you and overflow abundantly in your daily walk.  May this study today provide you with blessed assurance of what your future reward in heaven shall be.  Know that God is the God of the living and that that means you shall live eternally alongside God.  Did He not say, "For where i am, there shall you also be?"  That is sufficient for me.  

    ~Eric


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    About Me

    Name: Eric Rajaniemi
    ChristiansUnite ID: ejroyal
    Member Since: 2007-09-08
    Location: Bedford, Virginia, United States
    Denomination: Born-again, Church of the Brethren
    About Me: I refrain from any denomination as much as possible since my faith has to do with Jesus Christ and not denominations. My wife and I are charter members of Lake Side Church of the Brethren for they desire to follow the New Testament precepts. We hav... more

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