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While We Were Yet Sinners!

Yes, God loves us while we are sinners and He does not ask us to “clean ourselves up” before coming to Him for forgiveness and salvation. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” I am much comforted to know God’s unconditional love more each time I think on this verse. I love Easter more with each passing year, as I reflect on how great a love my Lord has for me and all of mankind.

I am humbled every day of my life by the fact that Jesus was tortured, mocked, spit upon, and murdered for my sins, but I see no need to repeatedly crucify Him. To me the miracle of His resurrection is most important to stand firm on as my hope for my place in eternity in His presence.

I enjoy reading each of the apostles’ account of Jesus’ Resurrection, but the one that speaks most to my heart and soul is John’s (the disciple whom Jesus loved). I do not believe that Jesus loved John more than the others, but I do believe it highly possible that John loved Jesus more than the others did.

AN EMPTY TOMB!

John 20: “1   The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2   Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3   Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4   So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5   And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6   Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7   And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8   Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
9   For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
10   Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
11   But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12   And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13   And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
14   And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15   Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16   Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17   Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18   Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
19   Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20   And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.
21   Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22   And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23   Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
24   But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25   The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26   And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27   Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28   And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29   Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30   And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31   But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

English: Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene

English: Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in God's Love

 

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The Great White Throne Judgment

English: Saint Michael parish church in Unterg...

The Great White Throne Judgment

A. Resurrection of the Wicked Dead – Let us look at the facts of this resurrection and judgment:

1. This will take place right after:

a. The Millennium Reign of Christ on earth – “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:1-6)

https://i0.wp.com/www.davidwesterfield.net/images/wrath.jpg

b. The final overthrow of satan – “And when the thousand years are expired, satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Ma-gog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:7-10)

Vision from Book of Revelation

c. The final war – “and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Ma-gog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” (Revelation 20:8, 9)

2. There Will be a Great White Throne – “And I saw a great white throne;…” (Revelation 20:11a) The word “great” is a very general word (Greek meaning megas) which, appropriately in this text, means large.

3. God Himself Sits Upon this Throne – “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:11, 12) The earth and the heaven fled away from the presence of the great God. See Daniel 2:35; Isaiah 34:5; 2 Peter 3:10-12; Revelation 6:14.

4. This is a Judgment of the “Dead” (Revelation 20:12 above) – This refers to those that are dead in their trespasses and sins, not the saved. See Ephesians 2:1, 2; Romans 5:12; 6:23.

5. Both Small and Great Shall be There

a. Small (Greek – mikros) – Meaning small in size or dignity. Sometimes translated “little” in the English (for example: Matthew 10:42 and Matthew 18:14 – references to children).

b. Great (Greek – megas) – This is the same word as used in point 2 above, describing the White Throne. Great in dignity or stature (sometimes referring to adults).

6. They Will Stand Before God Himself (Revelation 20:12).

7. The Books Will be Opened (Revelation 20:12) The Bible is the “books” mentioned here. “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set and the books were opened.” (Daniel 7:10) See also John 12:48. The word “Bible” means “library.” It contains 66 books. God is going to judge man by the Bible. Man is responsible to know God’s Word and is accountable for what it says. Having rejected the finished work of Christ, the dead will be judged according to their works. No man’s works are good enough to save his own soul. Read Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5.

8. Another Book is Opened – the Book of Life (Revelation 20:12)

a. Those written in the Book are God’s people – “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”  (Daniel 12:1) “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20) It is the present condition of the saved to have their names in the Book of Life. Also see Philippians 4:3; Hebrews 12:23.

b. Those in the Book have a passport to the New Jerusalem – “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27) Having one’s name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is a passport to enter the New Jerusalem, God’s Holy City.

c. To be written in the Book of Life, one must be saved – Compare Revelation 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” to 1 John 5:4, 5 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” Those who are saved have had their sins cleansed in the Blood of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5) and the Lord does not impute sin to their account (Romans 4:7, 8).

d. Sinners Will be Blotted Out of the Book of Life – Exodus 32:33 tell us that initially the name of every human being is in the Book of Life – “And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” But any person who has one sin imputed to them will be blotted out of this Book. Sin is imputed to those who reject Jesus as God’s Son, because they are also rejecting God and sinning against Him.

e. Those blotted out of the Book of Life are the devil’s people – “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8) and “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Revelation 17:8) I have heard this explained in this way, everyone’s name is penciled into the Book of Life, and when we get saved, they are written over in ink. Those who reject Jesus are not in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

9. The Resurrection of the Dead – “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Revelation 20:13)

a. The sea gave up the dead. This is a reference to the resurrection of the body.

b. Death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them. This is a reference to the resurrection of the soul. “Death and Hell” are inseparable for the unsaved. See Psalms 55:15; Proverbs 5:5; Revelation 6:8, and Revelation 20:14. These are delivered up to the Great White Throne Judgment.

B. The Second Death

1. Death and Hell are Cast into the Lake of Fire. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14)

a. Death – 1 Corinthians 15:26 tells us that death is the last enemy that shall be destroyed “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

b. Hell – Hell has been the “holding center” for the dead lost, before they are cast into the Lake of Fire.

c. This process is called “the second death.” “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14)

i. The first death is physical death

ii. The second death is eternal punishment – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:11); “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6); “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8); “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” (Jude 1:12)

Lake of Fire

2. All Unbelievers are Cast into the Lake of Fire. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Eschatology

 

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