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The Christian Hope – Lockdown Service

10/05/2020

The Christian Hope

Welcome to our 8th Coronavirus ‘digital church service.’

Lockdown Tapes UPLOAD

Opening Prayer.

Praise,    Psalm 33:9-12 (Tune: Irish)

9 For he did speak the word, and done it was without delay;

Establishèd it firmly stood, whatever he did say.

 

10 God doth the counsel bring to naught which heathen folk do take;

And what the people do devise of none effect doth make.

 

11 O but the counsel of the Lord doth stand for ever sure;

And of his heart the purposes from age to age endure.

 

12 That nation blessèd is, whose God Jehovah is, and those

A blessèd people are, whom for his heritage he chose. 

 (Scottish Metrical Psalms)

Bible Reading John 5

Prayer.

Sermon

The Resurrection of the Dead

Text.  John 5:24ff

I thought this week, we’d look at a simple passage in John, where Jesus talks about the last day, and what will happen on that day, and it’s especially good for Christians to understand what Jesus is teaching in this passage. 

1 A Present Day Resurrection – Life or Death.  24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

Here’s the first resurrection, when we pass from death to life! Lets analyse this verse:-

  • As sinners, we are DEAD!  Sinners are not just sick, with a sickness that can be cured, they are DEAD, spiritually dead.  Now that has consequences, because:-
    • Dead people don’t know that they are dead. How many people do you meet in everyday life who think they are ‘good’ people, that they’ll go to heaven when they die, because they’ve done their best etc…   
    • Dead people can’t hear.  You can shout as loud as you like, for as long as you can, there will be no response whatsoever.
    • Dead people can’t, by their own efforts, bring themselves to life. They remain dead, they have no inclination whatsoever to return to life, nor have they the ability to do so.
    • Dead people can’t make decisions about their life, or their future. This is vitally important to understand.  As evangelicals we often insist, and rightfully insist, that baptism cannot save, but it is equally true that ‘making your decision’ cannot save either.  Dead people, don’t make decisions. So how does a dead sinner become a living saint?
  • At conversion we pass from DEATH TO LIFE!  Ephesians 4:2   Salvation is all the work of God.  In Jonah we read, “Salvation is of the Lord!’. Now how does this happen? Jesus tells us here, ’he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent me’.  
    • It is by the voice of God that we are awakened to our lostness.  God speaks to us THROUGH HIS WORD.  The voice of God is conveyed to us through the word, read and preached.  1st Corinthians 1:18 -21
    • It is by the application of Christ’s atoning work that we are restored to life!   He gives us, dead sinners faith to believe, Ephesians 2:8   
  • In Christ we have NEW LIFE!  Paul again reminds us that is anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, that old things have passed away, and everything is new.  

So as Christians, at the New Birth, we have passed from death to life.  The resurrected life has already begun within us.  So Jesus followed up his teaching on this first stage resurrection by saying,  25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.   The future is coming – and it is here already!  New life has begun within us and will last for all of eternity. 

2 The Future Resurrection – Life or Judgement. 

But the fact that Christians have entered into their eternal life right now,  does not in any way change the fact that there will be a day coming when the Lord Jesus shall return to this earth, and a physical resurrection of the living and the dead will occur.   In our text, we see the basis for this biblical belief.   So in our text we see:-

  • The Source of Life.  How can God raise dead sinners to life, and how can he bring dead people from their graves to face him on the Day of Judgement?  Well, because he is the source of life itself.  He made Adam out of dust and breathed life into him.   26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,  and The Source of Justice. 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
  • The Separation of those Destined for Life, and Those Destined for Judgment.  28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice  29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 
    • The timetable of resurrection.  Speculation about when the Lord might return is pointless.  It will happen at an appointed time, known only to God – There is an HOUR when this event will occur.  It is very precise!  It is already decided.
    • The universality of resurrection.  ALL who are in the graves shall rise.  In this one event every human being that ever lived, saved and lost will together be raised, the wicked dead to face God’s awful wrath on their sins and the righteous dead to enter into the new heaven and the new earth.  No secret rapture of the church in the teaching of Jesus!  

(BTW, this verse was often used as an argument against cremation of remains, how could they rise if they’d been burned?  That was before Christians knew about DNA, but even so, Matthew Henry, hundreds of years before DNA was discovered, understood that not being literally in a grave will not prevent the resurrection of the dead.  Even those that are not put into graves shall arise; but, because most are put into graves, Christ uses this expression, all that are in the graves. The Jews used the word sheol for the grave, which signifies the state of the dead; all that are in that state shall hear.’)

    • The method of resurrection.  They shall HEAR HIS VOICE.  remember that we learned that  salvation comes by HEARING and hearing by the word of God.  In salvation, conversion, we are raised from death to life, and here again, it will be the voice of God that will command the dead to rise and come forth, just as Jesus did at the tomb of Lazarus, when he commanded him to come forth.
    • The result of resurrection.  There will be a separation.  The saved will live again!  The lost too will live again, to be ever dying, to be ever eternally separated from God.
    • The righteous judge. 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

So here we have Jesus own words about the day of resurrection.  It’s really very simple.  Christians are spiritually resurrected when they are converted, raised from death to new life in Christ.  But everyone, saint and unrepentant sinner alike will be raised from the prison of the grave το life at the resurrection, the real question then becomes, ‘On that resurrection day, will I be eternally saved, and with the Lord forever, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, or will I be raised to stand before God in judgement, under the condemnation of the broken law, and guilty before God. 

Hebrews 3:7  

To listen to this service as a podcast please click this link:

PODCAST LINK

  

Prayer and Benediction

Please remember that all our meetings remain cancelled until medical authorities and government advise otherwise.

From → Bible Study, John

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