THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 5-24-15

LESSON TITLE: “DEATH IS OURS!”

WELCOME

GOOD MORNING, AND THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR THE STUDY OF GOD’S LIVING WORD! WE ARE GLAD YOU ARE WITH US THIS MORNING TO GIVE THIS TIME TO THE THINGS OF GOD. LET’S ALL DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME PROPER AND ACCEPTABLE BEFORE GOD’S PERFECT THRONE. AT THIS TIME MAY WE START OUR PRAISE TO GOD BY TALKING WITH OUR FATHER IN PRAYER. BOW WITH ME PLEASE!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU FOR THIS THE LORD'S DAY AND THE OPPORTUNITY THAT WE HAVE TO APPROACH YOUR MIGHTY THRONE AND TO DO THOSE THINGS AS WE HAVE BEEN DIRECTED IN YOUR WORD, THE BIBLE. AND FATHER, HELP US THAT WE MIGHT DO ONLY WHAT YOU HAVE ASKED - THAT WE MIGHT BE FOUND PLEASING IN YOUR SIGHT - THAT WE MIGHT PROVE OURSELVES IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH TO BE FOUND FAITHFUL. AND FATHER, WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER, GIVE US THE REWARD OF HEAVEN - THAT PROMISED PLACE PREPARED FOR THOSE THAT HAVE DONE THOSE THINGS ACCORDING TO YOUR PERFECT WILL. AND FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR JESUS AND THE SACRIFICE THAT HE MADE WHICH MAKES ALL OF THESE THINGS POSSIBLE. AND IT IS IN HIS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

LET’S BEGIN IMMEDIATELY WITH OUR SONGS OF PRAISE. THE FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING REMINDS US OF THE GREAT REWARD AWAITING THE FAITHFUL AT THE END OF THIS LIFE. SO, WON’T YOU DO YOUR PART IN WORSHIP TO GOD AT THIS TIME AND JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AS WE SING TOGETHER, “THE GLORYLAND WAY!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

MANY SONGS WE SING TODAY FOCUS ON THE THEME OF GOD’S WORD, WHICH IS FOUND IN THE BIBLE. I LOVE THE OLD SONG, “GIVE ME THE BIBLE,” OR AS OUR CHILDREN SING, “THE B-I-B-L-E, YES THAT’S THE BOOK FOR ME, I STAND UPON THE WORD OF GOD THE B-I-B-L-E!” OH, HOW PRECIOUS THIS BOOK DIVINE IS, FOR ITS CONTENTS REVEALS THE VERY WORDS OF OUR CREATOR, AS GIVEN BY HIS SON, THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

BUT CONSIDER FOR A MOMENT, JUST HOW BIG THIS BOOK IS! IT CONTAINS TWO TESTAMENTS, WITH A TOTAL OF 66 BOOKS. ALL WRITTEN OVER A PERIOD OF 1500 YEARS AND THESE MANY BOOKS WERE AUTHORED BY OVER 40 DIFFERENT INSPIRED WRITERS. AND ALTHOUGH THESE THINGS BE THE CASE, IT IS STILL UNIFIED IN IT’S MESSAGE, PURPOSE AND THEME. WHILE IN ALL THINGS GIVING THE GLORY AND HONOR TO OUR CREATOR.

IT’S CONTENTS ENCOURAGES, INSTRUCTS AND CORRECTS. IT’S AUTHORS, HELP US TO BE BETTER FOLLOWERS AND ENCOURAGE US TO PUT GOD FIRST. AND ITS EXAMPLES, HELP US TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT GOD REQUIRES, AS WE LOOK AT THE LIVES AND ACTIONS OF OTHERS - WHO WERE EITHER FOUND PLEASING BEFORE GOD OR NOT.

BUT AS WE LOOK INTO THIS MAGNIFICENT BOOK, WHICH GOD HIMSELF PREPARED FOR US - JUST WHAT TYPE OF RESPECT DO WE SHOW IT. JUST HOW WELL DO WE HONOR AND OBEY THE THINGS PINNED WITHIN IT’S PAGES. DO WE REALLY RESPECT THE AUTHORITY FOUND WITHIN IT, WHICH OUR GOD HAS GIVEN THROUGH HIS ALMIGHTY WORKS.

LET ME ENCOURAGE US ALL TO LEARN TO RESPECT THE BIBLE MORE. AND NOT BECAUSE IT IS JUST ANOTHER BOOK WHICH HAS MONETARY VALUE. BUT BECAUSE IT IS THE VERY WORD OF GOD, REVEALED TO US AND MADE POSSIBLE SO THAT WE MIGHT KNOW HIS WILL AND KEEP HIS PRECIOUS COMMANDMENTS. JUST HOW MUCH DO YOU RESPECT THIS BOOK OF BOOKS, JUST HOW WELL DO YOU OBEY IT’S PRECEPTS?

IN JUST A FEW MINUTES IT WILL BE TIME TO BEGIN OUR MAIN STUDY OF THE DAY. AS FAR AS OUR SERIES, WE WILL BE CONTINUING TO TALK ABOUT OUR SERIES ENTITLED, “FOR ALL THINGS ARE YOURS!” THE SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY WILL DEAL WITH THE STATEMENT, “DEATH IS OURS!” SO, PLEASE STAY WITH US THIS MORNING AND AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME I WILL BE LEADING US IN THIS STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE DAY. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “STEPPING IN THE LIGHT.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE'RE GLAD YOU'VE CONTINUED WITH US THIS MORNING AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AND CONSIDER ANOTHER LESSON FROM OUR SERIES, WHICH WE HAVE BEEN TAKING FROM FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 3. YOU MIGHT RECALL WITH ME THAT WE'VE BEEN LOOKING TOGETHER FOR NOW ABOUT A MONTH AT THE IDEAS OF THOSE THINGS WE HAVE IN CHRIST, AS THOSE WHO ARE FAITHFUL. AND PAUL ACTUALLY MAKES THE STATEMENT THERE IN VERSE 21 THAT ALL THINGS ARE YOURS. AND CERTAINLY AS THOSE LATER IN THAT SAME TEXT, WE ARE CHRIST'S CHILDREN. AND THEREFORE ALL THINGS ARE OURS AS WE STRIVE TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL. AND SO WE'VE LOOKED AT SEVERAL OF THOSE THINGS TOGETHER THAT PAUL SAYS ARE OURS. SUCH AS, HE SAYS, THOSE WHO ARE OUR BRETHREN - OR WHO ARE AROUND US THAT WE CAN COUNT ON. THEY ARE THERE FOR OUR SAKES THAT WE MIGHT KNOW GOD AND FIND STRENGTH TO OBEY AND FOLLOW GOD. AND IT'S TALKED ABOUT THERE IN THAT TEXT THE IDEA OF WHETHER IT MIGHT BE THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN OR THE LIFE THAT WE HAVE, AS WE LOOKED AT LAST WEEK. BUT THERE'S ALSO A CONTRAST TO THE IDEA OF LIFE THAT IS GIVEN THERE THAT IS OURS - THAT LIFE IS OURS, THE WORLD IS OURS, PAUL OR OTHERS ARE OURS, AND THEN HE SAYS AND DEATH IS OURS.

YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF DEATH SOMETIMES IT MIGHT BE A LITTLE BIT STRANGE OR EVEN NEGATIVE TO US, OR EVEN SCARY IF YOU WILL. BUT REALLY WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE IDEA OF DEATH IN THE SCRIPTURES IT'S NOT ALWAYS A BAD OR SCARY THING IF WE REALLY CONSIDER WHAT THE RESULTS OF A FAITHFUL LIFE MEAN TO THE ONE WHO DIES AND LEAVES THIS LIFE. YOU SEE, WE CAN GO ALL THE WAY BACK TO GENESIS THERE IN CHAPTER 1 WHEN WE SEE GOD MAKING ALL THINGS, INCLUDING MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE. AND THEN AS WE GO INTO CHAPTER 2 WE BEGAN TO SEE THAT GOD GIVES THE COMMANDS - WHAT IS REQUIRED OF MAN; ADAM AND EVE THERE IN THE GARDEN. AND WITHIN THAT TEXT WE NOTICE SPECIFICALLY IN VERSE 17, THAT GOD TELLS THEM NOT TO EAT OF A CERTAIN TREE. HE HAS GIVEN THEM ALL THE VEGETATION AND ALL THE TREES OF THE GARDEN TO HAVE SUBSTANCE AND TO LIVE OFF OF, BUT HE WARNS THEM ABOUT ONE TREE THAT THEY SHOULD NOT EAT OF AND IT'S MENTIONED IN VERSE 17. AND HE SAYS, “BUT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL YOU SHALL NOT EAT. FOR ON THE DAY THAT YOU EAT OF IT, YOU SHALL SURELY DIE.” SOMETIMES THERE'S A DISCUSSION OF - WELL, IS THIS A PHYSICAL DEATH OR IS THIS A SPIRITUAL DEATH? WELL, THERE MIGHT BE SOME OF BOTH IMPLIED BUT HE, TO ME, WAS REALLY TALKING ABOUT THE PHYSICAL DEATH.

AND THE REASON BEING - BECAUSE LATER WHEN WE GET INTO CHAPTER 3 AFTER THEY HAD SINNED AGAINST GOD AND EATEN OF THE FRUIT - THE WOMAN AND THEN THE MAN - WE REMEMBER THAT THEY WERE CAST OUT OF THE GARDEN IN VERSE 22 AND GOD SAID THIS TO THEM, “BEHOLD THE MAN HAS BECOME LIKE ONE OF US, TO KNOW GOOD AND EVIL. AND NOW, LEST HE PUT OUT HIS HAND AND TAKE ALSO OF THE TREE OF LIFE, AND EAT, AND LIVE FOREVER.” WE WILL REMOVE HIM FROM THE GARDEN. AND SO GOD THERE IN VERSE 24 ACTUALLY DRIVES MAN OUT OF THE GARDEN. WELL, WHAT WAS IN THAT GARDEN? THE TREE OF LIFE, NOT JUST THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE - OF GOOD AND EVIL - BUT THE TREE OF LIFE. THEY HAD ACCESS TO A TREE THAT GAVE LIFE. A TREE THAT LATER, EVEN IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND OTHER PLACES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, IS SPOKEN OF AS A PART OF PARADISE OR HEAVEN, WHERE WE WILL LIVE ETERNALLY AND NEVER DIE.

WELL, YOU SEE THERE THE IDEA THEN, THE CONCEPT OF THE DAY YOU EAT YOU WILL DIE. WELL, CERTAINLY YOU WILL DIE BECAUSE YOU HAVE BROKEN THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD. BUT IT SEEMS LIKE ADAM AND EVEN LATER RAISED A FAITHFUL SON AND FAITHFUL CHILDREN WHO CERTAINLY HAD DONE WHAT GOD SAID AND IT SEEMS LIKE THAT THEY WERE OBEDIENT TO THEIR GOD LATER IN LIFE. AND SO IT'S HARD TO SAY THAT THEY LITERALLY - SPIRITUALLY DIED ETERNALLY. THEY WERE ABLE TO REPENT OR CORRECT THINGS ALSO IN THEIR LIFE. SO IT HAS TO BE ALSO REFERRING TO THE PHYSICAL DEATH - THE REALITY THAT AS A MAN IS BORN AND COMES INTO THIS WORLD, AS CAIN AND ABEL AND LATER SETH WERE THE FIRST CHILDREN BROUGHT ONTO THIS EARTH, AS THEY WERE BROUGHT INTO LIFE, THEY AS WELL WOULD DIE. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? ADAM DIED AND EVE DIED AND CAIN EVENTUALLY DIED AND ABEL DIED AND SETH DIED, AND EVERY ONE FROM THAT POINT ON WHO HAS LIVED HAS DIED - BARRING TWO INDIVIDUALS - AND THE BIBLE TELLS US ABOUT ELIJAH AND A MAN CALLED ENOCH WHO WERE TAKEN BY GOD. OTHERWISE WHAT WOULD THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED WHAT? THEY WOULD'VE EXPERIENCED DEATH, “FOR IT IS APPOINTED TO MAN ONCE TO DIE.” - HEBREWS CHAPTER 9:27. AS THERE IS AN APPOINTMENT TO LIFE OR TO BIRTH INTO EXISTENCE AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION THAT ONE IS BROUGHT INTO THIS WORLD - THEN THERE ALSO IS A POINT OF DEATH WHEN ONE LEAVES THIS WORLD.

NOW THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS USUALLY AT THE POINT OF CONCEPTION OR GETTING PREGNANT AND EVENTUALLY HAVING A CHILD IS USUALLY A VERY JOYOUS AND EXCITING THING. WHEREAS IF WE THINK ABOUT DEATH AGAIN SOMETIMES THAT'S A LITTLE DEPRESSING OR SOMETHING THAT WE REALLY DON'T LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE FLESHLY STANDPOINT - WE THINK ABOUT HOW IT'S GOING TO FEEL OR WE THINK ABOUT BEING BURIED AND PUT INTO THE GROUND. WE THINK ABOUT THINGS THAT AGAIN ARE VERY CREEPY MAYBE TO US OR ARE STRANGE IN SO MANY WAYS AND SO WE MIGHT EVEN DREAD IT FROM A FLESHLY STANDPOINT. THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT PAUL WAS SAYING TO THE CORINTHIANS. HE WAS SAYING TO THEM ALL THINGS ARE YOURS, WHETHER LIFE OR DEATH. ALL THINGS ARE YOURS.

I'D ASK YOU TO TURN WITH ME OVER TO THE BOOK OF THESSALONIANS. I THINK PAUL DOES A GREAT JOB THERE IN DEALING WITH A - REALLY A PROBLEM THAT THE THESSALONIAN BRETHREN WERE HAVING IN RELATIONSHIP TO WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AFTER DEATH, SPECIFICALLY FOR THEIR LOVED ONES WHO HAD DIED. AND SO NO DOUBT THERE IN 1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 4 THE BRETHREN THERE WERE PERPLEXED AT THE THOUGHT - WELL, I HAD A FAITHFUL FATHER, OR A MOTHER, OR A FAITHFUL BROTHER OR SISTER, ONE WHO HAS PASSED FROM THIS LIFE AND WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN TO THEM? THEY WERE FAITHFUL - AND THEY'RE DEAD SO WHEN THE LORD COMES AGAIN IN THE AIR HOW ARE THEY GOING TO ENJOY THE PROMISED REWARDS OR RECEIVE THE BLESSING OF ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE THEY'RE ALREADY DEAD? THEY'RE NOT ALIVE. YOU SEE, THAT'S THE WAY WE LOOK AT IT BECAUSE WE SEE THE ONE SIDE OF FLESH AND LIFE AND BREATH IN OUR BODIES.

WELL, NOTICE WHAT HE BEGINS TO SAY TO THEM IN VERSE 13, “BUT I DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE IGNORANT, BRETHREN, CONCERNING THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP,” OR HAVE DIED, HE'S SAYING, “LEST YOU SORROW AS OTHERS WHO HAVE NO HOPE.” HE SAYS THEY HAVE HOPE. THEY MAY BE DEAD IN A FLESHLY SENSE BUT THEY HAVE HOPE. FOR IF WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN - DID JESUS DIE? YES. DID HE RESURRECT? YES, HE CAME BACK FROM THE GRAVE. EVEN SO, GOD WILL DO WHAT? BRING WITH HIM THOSE WHO SLEEP IN JESUS. IS RESURRECTION POSSIBLE? JESUS PROVED THAT IT WAS POSSIBLE, NOT ONLY FOR SOME THAT HE BROUGHT FORTH BACK FROM THE DEAD, BUT WHEN HE BROUGHT HIMSELF BACK FROM THE DEAD. WELL, RESURRECTION IS POSSIBLE. DON'T FRET, DON'T BE AFRAID, DON'T BE IGNORANT. AS JESUS BROUGHT HIMSELF BACK HE HAS THE POWER TO DO WHAT? TO BRING ALL OF HIS CREATION BACK WHO HAVE DIED IN THE LORD, AND FOR THIS HE SAYS, IN THE WORDS OF THE LORD, “WE WHO ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN,” VERSE 15, “UNTIL THE COMING OF THE LORD WILL BY NO MEANS PRECEDE THOSE WHO ARE ASLEEP.”FOR THE LORD HIMSELF WILL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF AN ARCHANGEL, AND WITH THE TRUMPET OF GOD. AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST WILL RISE FIRST.” WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN? THE DEAD IN CHRIST WILL RISE - THEY WILL RESURRECT - THEY WILL COME BACK FROM THE GRAVE. AND THEN IT SAYS THEY, AS WELL AS YOU AND I WHO ARE ALIVE, IF THE LORD COMES IN OUR LIFETIME, WILL GO TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR.

THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT THAT WE THINK ABOUT EVEN LIKE 1 CORINTHIANS 15 WHERE IT TALKS ABOUT HOW THAT WE'LL BE CHANGED. YOU KNOW, FLESH AND BLOOD...THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. GOD IS A SPIRIT - THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS SPIRITUAL - AND SO HE SAYS THERE IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15 THAT IN THE MOMENT OF A TWINKLING OF AN EYE WE WILL ALL BE CHANGED BECAUSE THIS CORRUPTIBLE MUST PUT ON INCORRUPTION AND THIS MORTAL MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY. DO YOU SEE THE IDEA THERE? IN LIFE AND IN DEATH - ALL THINGS ARE OURS WHETHER WE ARE BREATHING IN THE FLESH AND WE HAVE THE BLESSINGS OF GOD OR WHETHER WE ARE EVEN DEAD BECAUSE ARE WE REALLY DEAD? THE ANSWER IS NO. DO WE EVER DIE? IN THE FLESHLY SENSE MAYBE BUT OUR SOULS ARE PERSONS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND NEVER DIES.

THAT'S ALSO WHAT PAUL DEALT WITH EARLY IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15 WHEN HE SPOKE ABOUT THE MAN OF DUST MADE IN THE FLESH LIKE ADAM. BUT THEN HE SPOKE ABOUT THE MAN OF GOD OR THE MAN WHICH IS OF A SPIRITUAL SENSE - TAKING THE NATURE OF GOD OR THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF GOD. AND THEREFORE, WHEN WE DIE AND OUR FLESH CIRCOMES TO THE REALITIES OF LIFE - THE SOUL, THE ESSENCE OF MAN, THE SPIRITUAL MAN MADE AFTER GOD AND HIS IMAGE NEVER DIES. ISN'T THAT COMFORTING? AND THAT'S WHY, WHEN WE THINK ABOUT ALL THINGS ARE OURS IN DEATH EVEN WHEN OUR FLESH DIES, WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR SPIRIT? IT GOES TO BE WITH GOD IN PARADISE. ISN'T THAT WHAT THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS TELLS US THERE IN LUKE 16? WHEN LAZARUS DIED WHAT HAPPENED? WELL, THEY BURIED HIM AND HIS SOUL WAS STUCK IN THE GRAVE? NO. STUCK WITH THE FLESH THAT WAS NOT DEAD? NO, IT SAYS IMMEDIATELY HE WAS IN ABRAHAM'S BOSOM. HE WAS BEING CARED FOR IN THE VERY BOSOM OF ABRAHAM AND GOD WAS COMFORTING AND CARING FOR HIM INSTANTLY BECAUSE OF HIS LIFE THAT HAD BEEN LIVED ACCORDING TO FAITHFULNESS.

NOW LET'S GO BACK TO THE WRITER THERE OF ECCLESIASTES, THE WISE MAN HIMSELF. AGAIN, BY NOT ONLY THE DECLARATION OF GOD, BUT ALSO THE PROMISE OF GOD. BUT THERE IN ECCLESIASTES CHAPTER 12 WE SEE HE'S TRYING TO CHALLENGE HIS SON PERHAPS AND CHILDREN WITH SOME FINAL THOUGHTS HERE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT REALLY LIFE WAS ALL ABOUT BECAUSE HE HAD EXPERIENCED AND TRIED EVERYTHING. AND AT THE END OF THE DAY HE SAYS REALLY, LIFE IS JUST ABOUT FEARING GOD AND KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS. BUT BEFORE HE SAYS THAT THERE IN VERSE 13 OF ECCLESIASTES 12, IN VERSE 6 NOTICE WHAT HE DEALS WITH - AFTER HE TALKS ABOUT ALL THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER, ALL THAT BREATH AND FLESH CAN GIVE US AND ALL THE MAYBE FLESHLY SATISFACTION THAT WE CAN TEMPORARILY HAVE. HE SAYS WELL - THEY'RE ALL VANITY. AND THEREFORE IN VERSE 6 OF CHAPTER 12 NOTICE WHAT SOLOMON SAYS, “REMEMBER YOUR CREATOR BEFORE THE SILVERCORD IS LOOSED,” BEFORE DEATH, “OR THE GOLDEN BOWL BROKEN, OR THE PICTURE SHATTERED AT THE FOUNTAIN, OR THE WHEEL BROKEN AT THE WELL.” YOU KNOW WHY? REMEMBER YOUR CREATOR BECAUSE DEATH IS IMMINENT. IT WILL HAPPEN. IT IS APPOINTED FOR A MAN ONCE TO DIE AS CERTAIN AS IT WAS APPOINTED FOR A MAN ONCE TO LIVE FROM A FLESHLY STANDPOINT.

BUT WHAT HAPPENS IMMEDIATELY AT THAT MOMENT OF A FLESHLY DEATH? LOOK AT VERSE 7, “THEN THE DUST WILL RETURN TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS.” YOU SEE, THE FLESH GOES BACK TO THE DUST AND THE SPIRIT WILL RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT. IMMEDIATELY OUR SPIRITS ARE A PART OF THAT WHICH IS OF GOD. THAT'S WHY IT'S SO SIGNIFICANT, SO IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE ALREADY MADE BY GOD IN A SENSE OF THE SPIRITUAL MAN TO LIVE FOREVER. TO EXIST WITH GOD FOREVER OR TO BE PUNISHED ETERNALLY. AND THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO BE AWARE AS THE HEBREW WRITER ALSO ADDED THERE AGAIN IN HEBREWS 9:27, “IT'S APPOINTED UNTO MEN TO DIE ONCE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT.” 2 CORINTHIANS 5:10, WE'LL STAND BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. WHO? ALL MEN. AND WE'LL BE JUDGED IN THIS BODY OR ACCORDING TO WHAT WE'VE DONE IN THE BODY. HE SAYS WHETHER GOOD THINGS OR BAD THINGS, WE'LL BE JUDGED BY WHAT WE'VE DONE IN THE BODY. AND SO WHEN WE STAND BEFORE THAT JUDGMENT SEAT, WHEN WE HAVE ALL BEEN CHANGED IN THE MOMENT OF A TWINLKING OF AN EYE TO A FORM THAT IS IMMORTAL THAT WE MIGHT LIVE FOREVER, WE'LL EITHER RECEIVE THE REWARD OF GOD IN PARADISE OR THE PUNISHMENT OF ETERNAL HELL FIRE BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT DONE THOSE THINGS THAT GOD COMMANDS.

I WANT NOW TO TAKE THE LAST FEW MINUTES OF OUR TIME TOGETHER HERE THIS MORNING IN THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS BECAUSE I THINK IT HELPS US TO MAYBE WELL, SUMMARIZE WHAT WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THIS MORNING IN CONNECTION TO THE SAME STRUGGLE THAT PAUL HAD. I'VE HEARD OF A FEW DIFFERENT IDEAS CONCERNING THE LIFE THAT PAUL LIVED AND HIS WILLINGNESS TO DEATH BECAUSE HE OFTEN MAKES THIS STATEMENT THAT IS FOUND HERE IN VERSE 21, “FOR ME TO LIVE AS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN.” BUT AS WE THINK ABOUT THAT IDEA, IT SEEMS TO ME CLEARLY AS WE LOOK AT THE TEXT, HE WAS PERPLEXED. HE SAYS I'M TORN. SOME PEOPLE SAY WHY, HE JUST REALLY WANTED TO DIE. WELL, HE SAYS HE WASN'T SURE BECAUSE IN ONE WAY HE WOULD LEAVE THOSE WHOM HE LOVED AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH THE TRUTH AND THE WORD OF GOD AND TO ACCOMPLISH A LOT FOR THE CHURCH - BUT ON THE OTHER HAND - HE KNOWS I'M GONNA GO AND BE WITH THE LORD. I'M GOING TO BE BLESSED WITH THAT PROMISED REWARD THAT GOD HAS GIVEN ME. AND SO THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE BEGINS TO DEAL WITH HERE IN THIS TEXT, AS HE WORRIES EVEN TO A POINT ABOUT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO HIM IN RELATIONSHIP TO SOME THINGS THAT PERHAPS THE SPIRIT HAS SHOWN HIM.

LOOK AT VERSE 19 FOR INSTANCE, “FOR I KNOW THAT THIS WILL TURN OUT FOR MY DELIVERANCE THROUGH YOUR PRAYER AND SUPPLY OF THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST, ACCORDING TO MY EARNEST EXPECTATION AND HOPE THAT IN NOTHING I SHALL BE ASHAMED, BUT WITH ALL BOLDNESS, AS ALWAYS, SO NOW ALSO CHRIST WILL BE MAGNIFIED IN MY BODY, WHETHER BY LIFE OR BY DEATH.” YOU SEE, I'M GOING TO BE ABLE TO SHOW HIM IN LIFE HIS WORTHINESS AND TO EXEMPLIFY CHRIST AND BRING OTHERS TO CHRIST IN LIFE OR IN DEATH. IF I DIE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OR THE SAKE OF CHRIST. I'M STILL IN MY BODY - IN DEATH HAVE GIVEN HIM GLORY AND HAVE GIVEN HIM HONOR. AND THEN HE SAYS, “FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST, AND TO DIE IS GAIN.” VERSE 22, HE EVEN GOES SO FAR TO SAY, WHICH I SHALL CHOOSE I CANNOT TELL.

YOU THINK PAUL WAS HUMAN? CERTAINLY HE WAS! IF I WERE TO SAY HOW MANY WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN TODAY? WELL, IN THE SPIRITUAL SENSE WE WANT TO GO TODAY. BUT WHAT ABOUT SEEING YOUR GRANDCHILDREN SOMEDAY? WHAT ABOUT SEEING YOUR CHILDREN GETTING MARRIED? WHAT ABOUT SPENDING MORE TIME ON THIS EARTH WITH THOSE THAT YOU LOVE AND THOSE BLESSINGS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU? YOU SEE, WE'RE TORN, WE'RE PULLED TO THE FLESHLY BLESSING THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US AND WE'RE TORN AND PULLED BY THE PROMISES OF THE SPIRIT, BODY, AND ETERNAL LIFE FROM GOD. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. PAUL'S NOT CONDEMNED FOR HIS FEELINGS HERE. BUT IT DOES AGAIN REMIND US HOW THAT ALL THINGS ARE OURS NO MATTER WHAT. AND THAT'S WHAT I HOPE YOU'LL TAKE AWAY FROM OUR THOUGHTS THIS MORNING. LIFE IS GOOD AND IT IS A BLESSING FROM GOD AND GOD DOES SO MUCH AND HAS GIVEN US SO MUCH AND WE ENJOY IT. AND CERTAINLY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO ENJOY THAT BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT GOD WANTS FOR HIS CHILDREN.

BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, IF DEATH, IF DEATH - OH, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL THING AS WELL. WHAT A GIFT FROM GOD. WHAT A REWARD BECAUSE THOSE WHO DIE IN THE LORD WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN AND ARE NOT FORGOTTEN AND ARE REWARDED BY THEIR GOD FOR THEIR FAITH AS WELL. IT'S ALWAYS BEEN AMAZING TO ME AS A MINISTER TO BE ABLE TO INTERACT WITH SOME IN THE LAST MOMENTS OF THEIR LIFE AND HOW MANY PEOPLE THAT I COULD TELL YOU HAVE TOLD ME THEY WERE READY TO MEET THE LORD. THEY WERE TIRED OF THE STRUGGLE. THEY WERE TIRED OF THE FIGHT. THAT MIGHT BE HARD FOR YOU OR FOR ME OR MAYBE THOSE WHO ARE YOUNGER OR WHO ARE MORE TIED TO THE EARTH TO UNDERSTAND, BUT THERE'S A POINT IN LIFE WHERE YOU UNDERSTAND THAT CERTAINLY WHAT PAUL IS SAYING IS TRUE.

WHAT AWAITS US BEYOND THIS LIFE IS FAR GREATER IN EVERY WAY - AND THEREFORE, WE CAN KNOW THAT LIFE IS OURS. BUT ALSO DEATH IS OURS. IT IS A BLESSING, IT IS A REWARD, IT IS A GIFT, IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE DO NOT HAVE TO FEAR BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT GOD WILL DO HIS PART. HE IS TRUSTWORTHY. HE DOES NOT LIE. AND HE WILL GIVE US THE REWARD THAT IS PROMISED IN HIS PERFECT AND INHERRANT WORD. SO TODAY UNDERSTAND THAT YOU NEED TO BE IN CHRIST - AND UNDERSTAND THAT IF YOU ARE IN CHRIST, ALL THINGS ARE YOURS, WHETHER THOSE AROUND YOU, WHETHER THE WORLD, WHETHER LIFE OR WHETHER DEATH - ALL THINGS ARE YOURS. SO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE CHRIST CHILD TODAY AND THAT YOU'RE DOING EVERYTHING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL TO BE FOUND FAITHFUL IN THE END.

CLOSING COMMENTS

MAY I AGAIN TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND THUS A BLESSING TO US ALL. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE INVITED BACK TO JOIN US EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS TIME OF WORSHIP BEFORE GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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WON’T IT BE GREAT TO SEE GOD SOMEDAY WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER? LET’S LIVE TODAY AND EVERY DAY WITH THIS GOAL IN MIND, THAT WE MAY NEVER FALL SHORT OF THE WONDROUS PRIZE OFFERED BY OUR LORD. ARE YOU FAITHFUL TO YOUR CREATOR?