WHERE DID THEY GO?
First a quick note-
As of right now I’m not able to regularly hook up to the internet- so I’m going to write these posts- and then post them when I get a chance.
If I don’t comment- or ‘like’ a note a friend may give- that’s because I can’t.
Sometimes I get a quick- week- wireless connection in my area- and you might see me post a note- and then I lose the connection when I try and ‘like’ something- or return a comment.
So- don’t feel bad [which happens quite often in social media venues!] if that happens to you.
Ok- this week I had a few people ask me about the resurrection- what does the bible teach about a person when they die.
I explained the ‘normal’ Christian belief- found in 1st Corinthians chapter 15.
I also left room for a few other Christian groups- that have different ideas about what happens between death and the resurrection [like those who believe in soul sleep- that the Christian is simply in a state of unaware ‘waiting’ until the Return of Christ].
And I told my friend that I don’t see these other Christian groups as really bad- or heretics- because they have a little different view.
Ok- my view [the classic view- for both Catholics and Protestants].
We believe that when a believer dies- their Spirit/Soul go right into the presence of God [To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord- Apostle Paul said this].
The body goes into the grave and at the Return of Christ- what we call the 2nd coming- the Body and soul of the believer who died- are re-united and they are raised from the dead.
The Christians who are still alive at this point- they don’t ‘see death’- but are also transformed and receive a Glorified body [a resurrection body] at this point.
The main bible chapters on this are 1st Corinthians chapter 15- and 1st Thessalonians 4.
My friend also asked about the present state of the dead believer- are they aware? Do they know what’s going on?
Yes- even though they do not yet have their resurrection body- they are in Gods presence [what we call the Beatific vision- ‘seeing God’] and they know what’s going on.
That’s the basic Christian teaching- for both Catholics and Protestants.
In Protestant circles- there are varying degrees on some aspects [some hold to a belief in the Rapture- a teaching that comes from a different reading of Paul’s letter- 1st Thessalonians 4. These believe that the second coming is in 2 stages- and this puts a little different spin on when the resurrection occurs- but for the most part these hold to the basic teaching about the actual resurrection body].
What about it?
The resurrection body is the same type of body that Christ had after he rose from the dead.
What we refer to as a glorified body.
In the bible we read about others who were raised from the dead- but these people died later- and their bodies- though raised from the dead- were not resurrection bodies.
A common question is ‘what are these bodies going to be like- will we recognize each other’?
Yes- but at the same time the apostle Paul gives a response to this question in Corinthians 15.
He says that when you plant a seed- the seed dies- but the plant that comes out of the ground is not simply a bigger seed!
But it is a whole new type of thing.
He uses this analogy to describe the resurrection body- the body believers will get when they are raised from the dead.
So- that’s the basic Christian teaching.
Though there are various Christian groups who interpret some of these verses a little differently- as long as they still hold to the actual belief in the physical resurrection of the body- I think they are ‘safe’ [safe= still basically holding to sound truth].
There are some though- who deny the actual resurrection [that is they spiritualize it- and say the resurrection is simply the reality that we as believers have already experienced a sort of resurrection- which is true- but this does not negate the actual physical one to come].
Believers in this camp- are in danger- in my view [as well as the apostle Paul’s- that’s why he wrote the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians].
There were some in the church at Corinth who were denying the belief in the resurrection- Paul told them-
‘if you say there is no resurrection- then that means you also don’t believe that Christ was raised- and if you don’t believe that Christ was raised- then you are still in your sins and your faith is vain’
Strong words indeed.
So that’s the scoop- we- as believers- believe that our loved ones who have died in the faith are now in Gods presence- conscious- and in pain and sorrow no more.
At the second coming of Christ- they will be re-united with their bodies- raised from the dead- to die no more.
This is a major Christian doctrine- the resurrection from the dead.
Once again- in chapter 15 of 1st Corinthians- the apostle Paul- speaking to the believers who were beginning to doubt the resurrection- said
‘If our belief in Christ is for this life only [meaning there is no after life] then we are of all men most miserable’.
The resurrection gives us hope- it also gives us hope for our loved ones who have died- they might be ‘gone’ right now- but we will indeed see them again some day.
NOTE- this is the first ‘official’ post from New Jersey.
Being I don’t have a good internet connection- I’ll try and add stuff at times at the bottom of the posts.
I’m able to catch a Wi-Fi hook up every now and then- but it’s very weak.
Of course the big ‘news story’ for the past few days is the Zimmerman thing.
To be honest- I have not followed this case much at all- the amount of news coverage was silly- we did [do] have lots of much bigger news stories to cover- but much time was wasted on this.
Okay- my opinion?
From the start- I tried not to take sides- many in the media saw this as a ‘right/left’ issue- that’s a mistake- in my mind.
I said I thought that Zimmerman was sort of a Wannabe cop- and that he did go much further then he should have as some neighborhood watch guy.
As I listened to the arguments- from both sides- there was some credence to the prosecutions closing arguments that showed that Zimmerman was following Trayvon- and they did a good job at showing that when he got out of the car- he more than likely already knew the street name/address- but said he was looking for it because he knew the person from the PD said not to follow him.
But- as I was discussing this with someone- I said even though I’m not a defender of Zimmerman-yet- there was enough reasonable doubt- that at the time he shot Trayvon- it just might have met the criteria of self defense.
And that’s indeed what the jury thought as well.
So- at the end of the day- I feel bad for the poor mom- she is a good Christian lady who did want justice for her son.
Even though Trayvon was demonized by some on the right- he was a human being- a kid from a home without a dad- and his mom loved him- very much.
His mom also chose to not make this a racial thing- they were the ones [his parents] that forced their side- the prosecution- to not go down that road.
I commend her for that.
As of today- there is much talk about doing the federal charges- the hate crimes thing.
Now the way this justice dept. is under Holder- they just might do it.
I don’t say that simply because Holder is Black- but because he has a record of using the justice dept as a sort of an arm of the civil rights agenda’s of people like Sharpton and Jackson.
So- he might just go for it- which I think would be a big mistake- and be an injustice to those who are really victims of true hate crimes.
Okay- that’s it for now- I’ll try and post this today if I get a connection.
P.S. I’m still settling ‘in the land’ but in time might try and do some home bible study type things.
If so- when I start some- I’ll simply see if any of you in the NY/NJ area are interested to host one [just open a living room for an hour- maybe make coffee- pretty simple].
Keep that in mind and pray about it if you want to host one.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook] - I have posted lots.