Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Like It or Not, He's Alive and Will Return Again to Planet Earth!

He Is Risen!

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. --- Philippians 2:5-11

It has been one of the most bitterly contested and opposed events in human history -- the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, the One Who was brutally crucified and Whose body was placed in the tomb of a wealthy man from Jerusalem. Three days later He came back from the dead and appeared numerous times to quite a few people over a period of 40 days. As a chosen few assembled with Him on that last day He gave a few instructions and then visibly ascended up in the air as He returned to His heavenly Father.

A bit of a shock set in as a couple of angels appeared and reassured those followers of Jesus that the moment would come when He would return to earth, "in like manner" as they had seen Him go from them.

For a few of us, this Sunday will be yet another time to celebrate the greatest victory ever won over the greatest enemies of the human race -- the enemies of sin, death, and Satan and his vicious forces of evil!

We celebrate because we know:

  • On basis of repentance of our sins, He in mercy has forgiven us.
  • We now experience His peace -- condemnation and guilt have been removed!
  • We experience His presence with us on a 24/7 basis!
  • We experience His power to overcome the world with its many pressures and tempations -- that is, the promise of His Holy Spirit to dwell in our lives.
  • We experience His purpose on a day by day basis -- life is not a "fate" whatever will be will be kind of thing -- Jesus Christ has a customized plan for us!
  • We experience His promises, which are many, including His intention to return to this earth and establish His Kingdom -- this is referred to as the "blessed hope and the glorious appearing" -- see Titus 2:11-15 -- the Gospel in a nutshell and the responsibility of every Christian as he or she lives in expectation of Jesus' return to earth.

    • He will put down all opposing forces -- an international military machine which will be obliterated faster than a mosquito hitting the windshield of an 18-wheeler rolling at 80 MPH on Interstate 80 in Clarion Co. PA (I mention that due to traveling that section of I-80 from Brookville to Clarion occasionally and have nearly been blown off the road as those guys flew by me!).
    • He will judge all nations -- that is why it is good news that one of these days all politicians will be out of a job -- Jesus Christ will be in charge of the affairs of this world!
    • Jerusalem will be the "world capitol" -- another reason for reading the prophets of the Old Testament to see promises about the future glory of Jerusalem -- e.g. Jerusalem will be called a city of truth, a city safely inhabited, where nations will assemble to be instructed in the ways of God, etc!
    • Peace will be universal -- the dismantling of all military weapons -- no need for a military anywhere nor all the implements of war -- totally eliminated!
    • Even the animals will be at peace with one another -- the lion will eat straw like the ox, the wolf lying down with the lamb in peaceful co-existence! This isn't fairy tale stuff, folks -- it's promised in the Book -- see for yourself!
    • Just lots and lots of good things to look forward to -- because Jesus loves us, died for our sins to make forgiveness possible, rose again from the dead, and He's coming back again to earth -- AND no one will delay His return by even 1/10 of a second!

Yes, we will be assailed and the hostility coming from the world and sometimes from within the ranks of those who profess to be "Christian" will increase as time moves ahead. Jesus guaranteed that His followers will be hated and persecuted -- you can review that in John 15 and into John 16!

BUT there is one thing those who hate and despise us can never do -- they can't put Him back into the grave as much as they would like to -- and they can deny He is alive (and strange as it may seem, some preachers and church leaders even entertain this streak of raw unbelief) but when "He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own..." let the fools ramble on -- they won't be dead more than 2 seconds until they realize He is none other than King of kings and Lord of lords and the One Who will ultimately judge every human being born into this world from the time of Adam and Eve!

So, if you know Him personally as Savior and Lord of your life, celebrate that mighty victory anew this Sunday -- and rejoice with fellow believers -- we are a distinct minority, but numbers aren't the real issue -- the real issue is to be right with God, seeking to fulfill His purpose for our remaining days on earth while He tarries in His glorious return!

If you don't know Him -- ask His forgiveness and repent of your sins, in whatever form that rebellion presently exists -- ask Him to come into your life as your personal Savior and Lord. In the right column in this BLOG near the top is an area devoted to becoming a Christian and statements from God's Word as to how that can happen in your life, if you have not yet made that very critical decision.

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. --- John 1:10-13

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