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Dying and Living

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 1:45 PM

II CORINTHIANS 5:6-11
6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 

     The entire canon of Christianity-the belief in the first eleven chapters of Genesis as historical fact as opposed to myth, to acknowledging with mind and heart Jesus Christ as a personal risen savior rely on the same commitment rooted in unwavering faith. In his message to the church at Corinth, Paul explains in simple detail that we, well, rather our physical bodies are separate from the Lord emphasizes the importance of faith. Jesus when speaking to His doubting Thomas said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

That’s what it is about. You, yes, you, don’t have to be a biblical giant, a seminary degree carrying bible preacher to understand that your fate, eternity after that last breath hangs right now on whether or not you can distance yourself from your pride, your own self-worth, academic intelligence, sarcasm, past experiences, held grudges, perceived wrongs, to see the simplicity in message of the cross and the crucified Christ.

The smart-mouth critic loves to taunt verse eight saying Paul wanted to be suicidal. Now that friends, is simply ignorant.

We miss those who are absent from us and we all long to see our loved ones again. Just as the believer holds onto that thought, so does the knowledge of Christ’s Second Coming resonates a certain celebratory anticipation by His children awaiting the return of a loved Father. Verse 8 also rather cements the thought that after our last breath, we are faced with our decisions. Hebrews 9:27 teaches that there is an appointment to die once, then the judgment. There is no intermediate state for the Christian as some believe to take care of and purge their sins. Jesus took care of that at the cross. And when Christian die they are immediately in the presence of the Lord....Think about that for a moment.

Verse 9 reminds me of the last chapter of Ecclesiastes. The first 11 chapters of that God-breathed book shows Solomon pining away basically about the woes and useless futility of vanity and the fleeting state of things in our lives. In a not so elegant way of speaking, Solomon the original emo stated “Life Sucks.” Then in chapter 12, he says that it does not matter because we live not for ourselves but to live for God and honor his commandments. Paul in Verse 9 restates this. We all are to live for God. The truth is we are saved by the sacrificial death of Christ. We cannot work our way to Heaven, but our actions will reflect our love and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Lord.

Speaking of actions: WE ALL MUST APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, SO THAT EACH ONE MAY RECEIVE WHAT IS DUE HIM FOR THE THINGS DONE IN THE BODY WHETHER GOOD OR BAD."

The Judgment for the non - Christians will be a judgment of sin. They will receive the sentence for their sins eternal death (ETERNAL separation for God and all that is good).

The judgment of Christians is not for sins, Our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ... we are not accountable for them. Our judgment will be to determine our rewards. There will be greater rewards for martyrs like Paul then for softies like most of us. "OUR WORK (THE THINGS WE DO AND THE LIFE WE LIVE FOR CHRIST), WILL BE SHOWN FOR WHAT IT IS.. IT WILL BE REVEALED BY FIRE, AND THE FIRE WILL TEST THE QUALITY OF EACH MAN’S WORK. IF IT SURVIVES, HE WILL RECEIVE HIS REWARD. IF IT IS BURNED UP, HE WILL SUFFER LOSS; HE HIMSELF WILL BE SAVED, BUT ONLY AS ONE ESCAPING THROUGH THE FLAMES." (I CORINTH 3)

 

That’s what happens when we die; our spirit departs and we go to be with the lord -- immediately. Then at the return of Christ we get a new body, we’ll stand before Christ to receive our rewards and then comes perfect existence in eternity with Jesus. Jesus said, "Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in god; trust also in me. In my father house are many rooms; if it were not so, i would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if i go and prepare a place for you, i will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

We can face death with confidence when we:

are assured of our personal salvation....

are eager to go to heaven (walk those streets of gold)

understand what happens when we die,

realize this body is only a tent.

Derrick Johnson is a singer with a group called Regeneration. He often tells the story of when his four-year-old daughter got lost in a crowed supermarket. After an anxious search, she was found only one aisle over from her mother, but she was petrified. For a long time after that she was afraid of crowds.

Shortly after that they had a devotional about heaven one night, and the little girl said, “Daddy, will there be a lot of people in heaven?"

"Yes, there will be a lot of people in heaven, ’ he said. "So many that we can’t even count them, the bible says."

"How will i ever find you and mommy when i get to heaven?" she asked.

He knew that was a childish question, but he wanted to give her an answer. "I’ll tell you what -- when you get to heaven you just wait for us right inside the gate, and we’ll all meet there as a family."

"Daddy" she said, "is there more than one gate in heaven?"

He remembered that revelation said that there are 4 walls and there are 3 gates in every wall. He said, "Yes, there are 12."

She said, "then which gate do i meet you"

he said, "I’ll tell you what. When you get to heaven, you ask someone which way is east. Then just walk and walk until you come to the eastern wall, and then you find the middle gate in the eastern wall. We’ll all meet as a family just inside the middle eastern gate."

That seemed to satisfy her and he kissed her good night. then he said, "Now remember, we’re going to meet inside--"

"the middle eastern gate"-- she interrupted.

Ever since that time he and his daughter who is now grown have hardly ever said good-bye without one saying "meet you just inside", and the other saying "the middle eastern gate."

 

Someday we too will meet our loved ones just inside the gate. We know that to be absent from the body is to be home with the lord. What a day that will be don’t miss it for the world.

 

 

 

 

 

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