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23 August 2019

Sorrow Not – Resurrection Hope in Thessalonica

In the opening section of his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul praises the church for its excellent example of faith for other churches of the region.
The Thessalonians had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who is delivering us from the coming wrath.” The Apostle links Christ’s present exalted status to his past resurrection “from the dead,” a feature prominent in Paul’s gospel (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

Everlasting Glory - Resurrection Hope to Timothy

Dawn over a lake
The resurrection is not a major subject in Paul’s “pastoral” letters, but he does raise the subject in the course of dealing with false teachers.
In his opening comments, the Apostle reminds Timothy that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” The theme of a “sound mind” is common in the pastoral epistles.

Firstborn of the Dead – Resurrection Hope in Colossae

Photo by jakrawut ouiseng on Unsplash
(Colossians 1:18-19) – “And he himself is before all things, and in him all things adhere. And he himself is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
The pronoun rendered “he himself” (twice) is emphatic in the Greek text; the stress is on Jesus and what God accomplished in his death and resurrection. Jesus is now “before all things” (present tense) and in him, all things “adhere” or “hold together.”

Perfection - Resurrection Hope in Philippi

(Philippians 1:1-10) – “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment; so that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ.”

22 August 2019

Plight to Solution – Resurrection Hope in Rome

The Resurrection - clipart.christiansunite.com
The Apostle Paul presented his most comprehensive explanation of the Gospel in his letter to the churches of Rome. His immediate purpose was to deal with conflicts between Gentile and Jewish members. Longer-term, he was preparing the ground to take the Gospel to Spain by using Rome as a support base for this missionary effort. In the process, Paul touches on related topics, including death, the Law or Torah, and the future resurrection. For Paul, “everlasting life” is above all resurrection life.

A Rapture in Revelation?

John sees New Jerusalem
By “Rapture” is meant the interpretation that Jesus will rescue his church by removing it from the earth and transporting it to heaven. “Without benefit of science, space suits, or interplanetary rockets, there will be those transported into a glorious place more beautiful, more awesome, than we can possibly comprehend.”[1]
        A key problem with this proposition is that the New Testament never mentions the “Rapture”; neither the term nor the concept is found in it. Instead, this interpretation must rely on passages where the idea is, at best, implicit.