Today is Saturday September 11, 2010 and we are reading through the Bible in a year. Today's message comes from the reading of the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 37-39. If you would like to read the chapters along with us here online you can Click Here to read them or copy & paste this link onto your browser: http://www.imfollowingjesus.com/bible-september-11
Today's Message: The Resurrection
I remember when my nephew was smaller that whenever he did not obey he would say, “I wanna be good”. He knew he did wrong and that he was going to get punished so, he pleaded with us to forgive him and not punish him and swore that he would be good. As Christians, when we sin we often do the same thing, we plead with God to forgive us and say to Him, “I wanna be good” and promise not do it again. The amazing thing is that no matter how many times we do not obey, just like parents, God always forgives us, even if we do the same thing over again. However, that does not mean we will not face the consequences of those sins, but at least they will be less severe for admitting them. Praise God for His mercy and grace! It is only by His mercy and grace that we are even saved. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” - Ephesians 2:8. Praise God!
Perhaps one of the most controversial and often misunderstood topics of the Bible is the resurrection. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” - John 11:25,26. It is only by our faith in Jesus that we have eternal life and will be resurrected when He returns. I can say that I do not completely understand all that is going to happen when Jesus does return, I do not think that anyone does, but I can say that I do understand that Jesus is returning and that all will be resurrected at some point. Jesus said, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” - John 5:26-29. When Jesus returns we all have to face Him. If you ever had to face a judge before you may know how this feels, he has the ultimate authority of your life. Well, Jesus is the judge who will decide whether or not we truly believed in Him or have been lying about it the whole time.
This topic is not something that we just learned about over the past 2000 years, it has been prophesied centuries before. God showed Ezekiel an amazing prophecy concerning the resurrection, “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:..Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” - Ezekiel 37:1-5,12-14. The vision that Ezekiel saw was one that foreseen a desolate nation coming back to life through the Power of God and all His people receiving a new, godly, spirit filled body. God is life and without God we have no life in us. The second we call on Jesus to save us God renews a new spirit within us and give life to our dead flesh. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” - I John 5:11,12.
When the Lord shall have mercy on the whole house of Israel, by converting them to Christianity, and when they shall have born the shame of being cast off for their sins, then the nations shall learn to know, worship, and serve God. “After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.” -Ezekiel 39:26-29. Israel also shall know the Lord, as revealed in and by Christ. Past events do not answer to these predictions. The pouring out of the Spirit is a pledge that God's favor will continue. He will hide his face no more from those on whom He has poured out his Spirit. This is not also true for the people of Israel, but for all who believe in Him. Christ suffered on the cross for every person created by God and offers salvation to all, “That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.” - Acts 26:23.
Since Christ suffered for everyone, that means He judges everyone, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” - Matthew 25: 31-36. Now, this is where all our good works help, we will receive our reward according to what we have done after we are saved. Most of all, the most important thing we can do and are commanded to do is to tell others about Christ. All should have the opportunity to hear the Gospel, even if they do not choose to accept it. Christ will show us opportunities that we missed concerning this. Above all, we are saved and will inherit the promised land that God will give to us. Praise God!
Enjoy the rest of your day/night and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,