The HOPE of Resurrection Explained

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The HOPE of Resurrection Explained

THE HOPE OF RESURRECTION EXPLAINED

RESURRECTIONA famous person once said: That there are only two things of which we can be absolutely certain in this life;

1st. that we will die

2nd. that we will pay taxes

As true as this might be, we would hasten to make the point, that if people would only spend half as much time seeking the true means by which they can be saved from death forever, as they do to save paying taxes, then they would become rich in the things of God, which will lead to eternal life.

This is a reward that makes all else in this world fade into insignificance, including paying taxes.

But a lot of people would respond by asking, how can you be sure that there is such a reward?

How can we be sure about anything in this life?

Answer: We have to prove it to our own satisfaction just as we do with everything in this life.

Even before embarking on a detailed study of the Bible we should ponder the question that, if God exists? - and we surely believe he does as is testified by His creation all around us - Then why did he create us?

Surely He hasn't gone to all this trouble just for us to live a mortal life of 70yrs or more and to then die!

Even believers who study the Bible and try to follow its instruction in a way of life pleasing to God, are subject to the weakness of this mortal body who's life ends in death.

What point or what sort of sense does this make to us let alone to an all wise and powerful creator?

What human hope or incentive to life is there.

The universe in which we live is of over-powering greatness and glory; but what is our life by comparison?

It is a very fragile and short existence by comparison to the permanence of the creative works by which we are surrounded.

Our life begins with excitement and promise; but soon fades in the summer sky like the sun setting, writes one writer.

Even the enthusiasm and vigour of youth soon subsides in middle age.

In the passage of time business also loses its appeal and our interest, and the friends we enjoyed in early life disappear one after the other to the grave.

If not before, at last we are now compelled to accept the truth that man is subject to vanity and "is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

Even if we look to the various Hope(s) of mankind we see a conflict of ideas as some would say that Resurrection is our only hope, others that we have an eternal Spiritual existence to look forward too, yet others believe our hope lies in Re-incarnation  or we are left with Evolution that provides no real hope and only a whole lot of unanswerable questions.

In the face of such conflicting philosophies it’s little wonder that a lot of thinking people are left totally confused and provided all is going well in this temporary existence of life as we know it, they prefer to eat drink and be merry and ignore any prospect of hope beyond the certainty of their own death and the grave.

But don't be fooled, for the excitement and pleasure of these escapisms won't last for long.

Well the purpose of this article, is to underline to you very strongly that this isn't the intention or plan of God, that man should end his very short life in the grave permanently.

To the contrary the Bible teaches that there is a very GRAND and JOYOUS HOPE held out to all those who endeavour now to search out the truth of God's word and to live useful lives to Him.

The real tragedy of human life is that man has the real answer to a Hope beyond the grave at his finger tips quite literally.

For those who care and are prepared to take the time the facts surrounding death and a way of escape are presented to us in God's Word the Bible.

It’s the biggest selling book in the world, its currently somewhere in the possession of most people or families, yet it is seldom read regularly and certainly rarely studied.

But to find the real answer to the meaning of our short life, we've got to be prepared to put the philosophies of this world behind us and that includes all the ancient myths and religious philosophies of this world that have been superimposed upon early Christian beliefs.

Firstly lets establish from a Biblical point of view, how our current short life ends without God's intervention?

Job 10:20-22

     20   Are not my days few? cease then,

          And let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,

     21   Before I go whence I shall not return,

          Even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;

     22   A land of darkness, as darkness itself;

          And of the shadow of death, without any order,

          And where the light is as darkness.

 

Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10

4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart…10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

 

Jeremiah 51:57

     56   Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon,

          And her mighty men are taken,

          Every one of their bows is broken:

          For the Lord God of recompences shall surely requite.

     57   And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men,

          Her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men:

          And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake,

          Saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

 

Proverbs 21:16

     16   The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding

          Shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

 

In summary Death is:  Thick darkness, everything perishes, nothing after, silence.

Concerning the wicked:  a perpetual sleep ie. not to awake, deceased, destroyed, and permanent.

The Bible teaches that upon death the body corrupts and decays returning to the Dust from which it was created in the first place.

Why do we die? 

See Gen 2:16-17

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Note from here the dying process commenced.

Genesis 3:19

"in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Death has come upon all men through the disobedience of Adam and our own sin.

Romans 5:12

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.:

The way to the tree of life was guarded and kept from man.

The way to this tree is now preserved for those who find the way to it in Christ.

Christ says: Revelation 2:7

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the believers. To him that overcometh, (sin and disobedience) to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

The Bible declares that there is "no other name under heaven given among men whereby we can be saved."

Christ declared:

"God hath given me power over all flesh that I should give eternal life to as many as He has given me"  (Jn.17:2)

Today while we have the opportunity, we must search out the WAY to obtain this Great Hope of Life Eternal.

But having done this we will still die as all those before us have, this being the case - just how are we to receive the promise of Eternal Life?

Through the HOPE of RESURRECTION

"I am alive for evermore; and have the keys of the grave and of death."  (Rev.1:18)

"I am the resurrection and the life he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live...and never die"  (Jn.11:25)

The Apostle Paul says: Romans 6:3-9

"Know ye not, that  so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead...we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection...knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him."

Christ is the First example and a prime witness to resurrection!

It has been said that "Christ is the answer" to mans hope beyond this life of vanity, and "his resurrection the pledge".

Christ is a fact of history that none can dispute!

THE BIBLE

The Bible is claimed to be the inspired and infallible words of the living God. It was written by forty independent writers over a 1,500 year time span across 10 different countries and 3 different languages.

We are told that these men spoke the words "as they were moved by the power of God" so that the words themselves are as if God Himself was speaking unto us.

The Bible both predicted and records the Birth, the Life, the Death and the Resurrection of Christ.

It is the primary source from which we can learn of Christ and the Hope of Resurrection.

THE APOSTLES

It is worth noting that all the apostles who were eye witnesses of the Truth of Christ's Resurrection, were martyred for what they witnessed and believed and testified too.

Now as one writer correctly points out "Men only lie when they stand to gain something from it. What did the apostles gain from their testimony to the Resurrection? IMPRISONMENT - TORTURE - DEATH!

Men do not lie for rewards such as these."

Certainly 12 men don't all do this without any wavering as did the 12 apostles of Christ, who preached the truth of his resurrection for 60yrs.

We can be certain that their testimony is TRUE.

HISTORY

The only recorded history known to man agrees with the biblical record.  Evolutionists even refer to their theory of time before the biblical record as prehistory. ie. before the time that can be supported by written historical facts.

Christ is a fact of history that none can deny. You personally may chose to ignore him but no one can remove him as an historical fact. He has left an indelible impression on the condition and institutions of mankind.

Every church is in some way a memento of him. His name is ingrained in the fabric of our daily life to the extent that you can't issue an invoice or even write a letter without Christ appearing on the face of it in the date.

("As this remarkable scientific deduction became generally accepted, humanity's short past was stretched a thousandfold, and to the future, present, and immediate past of the historical period was added prehistory.")

DATING SYSTEM

Our whole dating system is centred around Christ.

B.C. = before Christ

A.D. = Latin Anno domini or year of our Lord.

ALL THESE WITNESS TO THE EXISTENCE OF CHRIST AND TO HIS RESURRECTION! 

Every time we write the date we should be reminded of this very fact.

Resurrection was the Hope of the OLD TESTAMENT teaching:

Isaiah 26:14

     19   Thy dead men shall live,

          Together with my dead body shall they arise.

          Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust:

          For thy dew is as the dew of herbs,

          And the earth shall cast out the dead.

 

Abraham - Christ said "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God saying, I am the God of Abraham...God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."

God made Great and Precious Promises to Abraham that require him to be raised from the dead for them to be fulfilled.

Genesis 12:1-3

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 13:14-18

Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.

How can we be sure that these promises will really happen?

In Hebrews 6:13-20 we have God’s assurance of this very thing:

13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

In 1Corinthians 15 the Hope of Resurrection is fully explained by the Apostle Paul in versus1-8, 12-28

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles…

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

This future time is reveal to us in the Bible, the Prophet Daniel spoke of it like this;  "The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed; the kingdom shall not be left to other people: it shall break in pieces and consume all nations, and it shall stand forever."

We read of this time in the Old Testament Prophets.

Micah 4:1-4

1       But in the last days it shall come to pass, That the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains,

     And it shall be exalted above the hills;

     And people shall flow unto it.

2    And many nations shall come, and say,

     Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

     And to the house of the God of Jacob;

     And he will teach us of his ways,

     And we will walk in his paths:

     For the law shall go forth of Zion,

     And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

3    And he shall judge among many people,

     And rebuke strong nations afar off;

     And they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

     And their spears into pruninghooks:

     Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation,

     Neither shall they learn war any more.

4    But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree;

     And none shall make them afraid:

     For the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

And we can all share in these promises as the Apostle Paul explains in:

Galatians 3:27-29

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

OUR CONCLUSION  - The Resurrection is indeed a Great HOPE and Eternal Life a Great Reward for seeking God now!