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August 17, 2020 2:00 am
The apostle Paul very often spoke of a future resurrection. He knew that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. In the message "Groaning for Glory," Skip shares how you can have that same confidence.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
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Now, what is it that we've been given the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and the Holy Spirit has come into our lives. And you've noticed you've changed since you gave your life to Christ.
You have new desires, new hopes, the hope of heaven. All of that is a foretaste. Let's call it a preview of coming attractions. So it's like like what Johnson said, man, the crumbs of joy that fall from the master's table are this good.
Imagine what that great loaf in glory will be like. Do you long for heaven? Recording artist Bill Wickham put his anticipation for glory like this. My soul is getting restless for the place where I belong. I can't wait to join the Angels and sing my Heaven song. Today on Connect with Skip Item, Skip explains why you have a good reason to feel that deep expectation for heaven.
Before we begin, here's a resource that takes you on an intriguing adventure and reveals insight on Middle East affairs.
Here is Skip with Joel Rosenberg to talk about this month's offer. Joel's book, The Jerusalem Assassin.
When Joel Rosenberg releases a new book, I can't wait to read it. He never disappoints. Recently, I was able to talk with Joel about this book from his home in Jerusalem.
It's about an American president who's about to roll out his Middle East peace plan. Jill Rosenberg's novels are dramatic stories ripped from the reality of today's headlines. Wow. A Saudi Israeli peace plan. That would be huge. That would be historic. Let's do it. Let's do a summit in Jerusalem. That's the setup of the Jerusalem assassin. What's amazing about that is this is a plausible scenario.
The Jerusalem Assassin by Joel Rosenberg is our special offer this month. Your hard cover copy of The Jerusalem Assassin is our thank you gift. When you get thirty five dollars or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach with Skip Heintz it. So call now to get your copy. Eight hundred nine to two eighteen eighty eight or give online securely connect with Skip dot com slash offer.
I hope you will order your copy of The Jerusalem Assassin by Joel Rosenberg. You'll get a behind the scenes look at global events and you will be supporting our media ministry.
That's eight hundred nine to two. Eighteen eighty eight were online securely at connect with Skip dot com slash offer.
OK, let's dove into today's Teach-In. We'll be in Second Corinthians Chapter five as Skip High Tech begins this study.
He's groaning for glory. He's eager for Jesus to return so that he can experience his glorified body. He uses the word grown.
It means to sigh with longing. How descriptive. Here's Paul going.
Groaning, sighing with longing. Have you listened to yourself lately when you get up in the morning? You ought to do that fact. A dairy and a tape recorder herself. When you get up in the morning. I bet you sound like that. I bet when you've been lying in a position for a long time, whether taking a nap or going to see if you get up in the morning, you get up. You probably Steph. Now, I notice personally that that groaning becomes more prominent as the years go on. I discover my body is limited and I groan and it's OK to groan at scriptural, to groan. Late in his life, somebody once asked John Quincy Adams how he was doing. He was elderly at the time, and here's his answer. John Quincy Adams as well, sir. Very well. The house in which he has been living is feeble. The shingles are coming off the roof. The foundation is a bit shaky. And he has received word from its maker that he must vacate soon. But Mr. Adams is fine, sir. Just fine. That's our sixth president of the United States. Groaning for glory. Knowing that he will vacate the temporary body. Now back to this controversy of what will look like the moment we die. People often ask me that. I think the best answer is simply to say when they say how well we look, we die. I like to say better, much better. But that usually doesn't suffice or satisfy. Here's how that argument of controversy is framed. Here's Paul saying, look. One thing I don't want to be is disembodied or his words naked in verse three. And so must mean that if if that's such a dread that God's going to give me a house, a temporary form as soon as I die. So here's the presumption. The presumption is that I'll be given a body in place of the body that's being buried on the earth in the ground. It's an intermediate body. It's a temporary body until our physical bodies buried can be resurrected. That's the thought. That's the idea. I just mentioned. I don't lean to that.
There is a science of interpreting the Bible, I don't if you know this or not, but there's a there's a solidified science with rules on how to interpret scripture. It's called hermeneutics. You want to impress your friends, say, let's talk about hermeneutics, but it's just means how to interpret the Bible. There's there's five basic rules. Rule number one, you always interpret a text in the light of its context. You don't take a verse out of context. Number two, you always interpret a text in light of the words that are used. Number three, you always interpret a text in light of the grammar, how the words are related to each other. Number four, you always interpret attacks in the light of the background that you find the truth in. Number five, and here's this one. You always interpret any text of scripture in the light of the unity of scripture. That is, you can ever isolate a text. You can't pull it out of the context of the rest of the Bible. There must be a harmony between this text and the rest of the Bible. You don't interpret a passage in a way that conflicts with other passages of scripture. It's easy to understand why. Here's the reason, though, God used different authors to write the Bible, we believe the ultimate author is God himself. He inspired that. So God isn't going to contradict himself. So when you interpret a text, there has to be a unity. So what is the rest of the Bible say? Well, there are several passages. When Stephen died in Acts Chapter seven and he knew he was about to leave this world as they were stoning him to death. He looked up and said, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. He knew that his spirit would leave, be disembodied from the physical body and join the Lord, receive my spirit. Hebrews Chapter 12, verse 23 describes those dead believers as saying they are the spirits of the redeemed in heaven now made perfect. Also, if we receive a temporary body immediately, once we die, why does Paul, in a number of his books, constantly talk about as a major theme, the resurrection of our physical body? What does he make such a big deal? In fact, in First Corinthians 15, in a passage we will get to the apostle Paul says the only time when death is fully conquered. And we receive ultimate victory is when our bodies are resurrected. He says at that point, when corruption will put on end corruption, when mortality puts on immortality, then death will be swallowed up by life. And then it will be fulfilled. A grave. Where is your staying? Oh, death. Where is your victory?
Now look back in verse three at a couple of things. Notice how Paul refers to the moment of death as being naked, if indeed having been clothed. We shall not be found naked. Speaks of Disembody Month. He's not speaking about re embodiment at the moment of death, but he calls it naked. Moreover. Oh, by the way, why would he dread being naked if he was going to be read body immediately after death?
There's no dread. What's the what's the problem. Also verse six and eight. Notice that to be home with the Lord means to be absent from the body.
So here's the scoop, believers get resurrected.
That is their physical bodies buried in the ground will be resurrected when Jesus Christ comes back for the church. That's abundantly clear. First Corinthians 15. And what we read last week, First Thessalonians, Chapter four. Now to say that, well, we die, we get a new body immediately is tantamount to saying the resurrection has already happened. And Paul deals with that. And second, Timothy, chapter two, he mentions two individuals. How do you like to be mentioned in the Bible?
Your name's written down forever as somebody who was in error. Well, he does that. He writes down Highman. There's an awful letus, he says, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past.
So it's not past its future. We wait for it. Irwin Lutcher, I mentioned his name a moment ago, wrote that great book, One Minute After You Die Helps US. This is what he says.
One plausible explanation might be that the souls of the departed dead may in some ways have the functions of a body. If that is the case, it would explain how they can communicate with one another and have a visible presence in heaven. If that seems strange to us, he writes, it may well be that our concept of the soul is too limited.
I agree with that.
I think that's our problem. We have a very limited concept of what our soul is capable of doing and expressing and being like we think, well, it must mean, since I can't relate to it, I only relate to physicality. It must mean that you just sort of wisp away into nothingness and you're somehow in the wisp with the Lord.
That's just a limited view of the soul. So here's Paul groaning for glory. And that's what we ought to be doing. Groaning for glory, wanting Jesus to come back. When that resurrection comes now go back to verse five, because it answers a very important question.
The question is, how can we be sure that's really going to happen? So he looks not ahead, but now he looks back. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the spirit as a guarantee. Can a follow me here?
The word guarantee are a bone better translation downpayment.
First installment, you give it downpayment, it means you're gonna pay the rest off or let's put it in relational terms. You give your girl an engagement ring, that's a ring of promise. If you get an engagement ring, it must mean there's gonna be a wedding and a wedding feast. And the Bible says we're the bride of Christ. We're engaged to Jesus. He's given us a wedding ring, a downpayment, a first installment. It must mean we're gonna enjoy the wedding. Now, what is it that we've been given? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us, and the Holy Spirit has come into our lives. And you've noticed you've changed since you gave your life to Christ. You have new desires, new hopes, the hope of heaven. All of that is a foretaste. Let's call it a preview of coming attractions. So it's like it's like what Uncle Johnson said. Man, if the crumbs of joy that fall from the master's table are this good, can you imagine what that great loaf in glory will be like?
The Holy Spirit is the down payment. It gives us that yearning, we know this is going to happen because of what has already happened. Well, let's end this. Here's the third main thing that Paul brings up, and that is when we're confident this is the affirmation. So he says so we are always confident knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith and not by sight. We are confident, yes.
Well pleased, rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord is what he's saying. Even though I already have a downpayment, I want more.
Even though I have some contact with God, I can pray to him. I can fellowship with him and his word. I have that inner dwelling of the spirit. I want the full meal deal. And so even if it means a certain temporary nakedness, I want to be present with the Lord. I'll be confident whether I'm in this body alive.
Or I'm in heaven. See, this is Paul the Apostle. Groaning for glory. This is Paul the Apostle. Clicking his heels, saying, there's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home. Longing for heaven. And the reason that God's people can be so confident again is very simple.
Because there are only two places that God's people are at. And that is either on earth or in heaven. They're not soul sleeping somewhere. They're not in purgatory somewhere. You're either on earth as a believer. And the moment you leave this earth, you are in God's presence.
That's why he says, I'm confident to be away from the body and present with the Lord. Friday was a very sad day for some of us, self included, I. I did a funeral for a four month old baby. It was very difficult.
You can't even imagine the kind of grief that parents go through. And I was very dear to our hearts because I had performed the wedding for the grandparents and dedicated the father of this baby years ago.
And now we're burying his daughter.
And I remember at the end of the service, it was a well-meaning statement. I don't fault anybody for it. One of the funeral directors, it's just a typical thing that is said at a funeral, but it just sort of left me with that down feeling, as he said. Now, we will go to the cemetery, to the final resting place of this baby. So at the cemetery opened up by saying, with all due respect, I just want to modify a statement. This is not the final resting place of this baby. This body will raise again. This is a seed that is being planted. As Paul said, that's why we sleep in Christ. If you go to sleep, you'll get up again. This baby will awaken to resurrected glory and in full glory, be once again with her parents in the future. That is a guarantee. And that's why Paul says we are confident.
Let's let's just sum up what we know so far. At the very moment, at the very instant a believer dies, the body will go into the ground and be buried. Number one.
Number two, at the very moment a believer dies, the soul or the spirit. Same thing goes directly into the presence of God. There's not a believer in heaven today who's not there in spirit, only awaiting the resurrection. Number three, at the moment of death, when the spirit or soul leaves and goes to be with the Lord, there is a perfection, an instantaneous perfection of the soul and God's presence.
Again, I refer you to Hebrews 12 23 that describes those dead believers as the spirits of the redeemed. Here it is in heaven now made perfect. So if I die today, I keel over dead. My soul will instantly be in heaven. My body will probably be placed in a local cemetery. My perfected soul will be in God's presence. And what will my perfected soul be doing in God's presence, seeing in God's presence? Well, let's see. The devil won't be there. The world won't be there. The flesh won't be there. So there'll be no temptation. There'll be no persecution there. No. No mockery from the world for what I believe in. There'll be no disharmony, no disunity, no fights, no quarrels among believers. Perfect harmony.
There's not going to be any effort in heaven. Nothing I need to pray about. Nothing I need to fast for nothing. There'll be no repentance. There's nothing I need to repent of at that point. There'll be no evangelism, no crusade in heaven. No witnessing, no need. Everybody's saved. I'll be very conscious, very aware. Able to express, able to articulate in some fashion, able to remember.
And one day I will reunite with my body, which will be glorified in resurrected form, something we'll talk more about in future studies, because God designed us to be both spirit and body, not just soul, not just spirit, not just body, but both together.
And that's why Paul makes a big deal about the resurrected body of the Christian. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. You're thinking, goodness, that that's such a long time to wait. You think a poor Paul. But up there, you know, not wanting to be naked, not wanting to. Vicent does Disembody. He's been up there 2000 years. Goodness, what a bummer he got. Oh, my goodness. What a shallow way of thinking about eternity. Here's an analogy. Remember when you were a little kid? How times seemed like so long? Your parents said. Just wait one week a week. That sounded like years to you. OK. Now, as you get older, you notice the time for Shorten's, doesn't it? Just like a week. A year, a decade. Who cares, right? Doesn't time change? Your perspective of time changes rapidly. And it seems that time gets faster and faster the more mature you get. I've got to believe that eternity is like that on steroids. And that what seems like a long time is instantaneous in heaven. See, in heaven, in eternity, we're not limited by a time space continuum any longer. There's no time. And so Moses had it right in Psalm 90 when he wrote for a thousand years in your site are like a day that has gone by or like a watch in the night. I think what it's going to seem like is death. Presence of God's spirit made perfect resurrection. It's what it's gonna seem like. Paul is simply making the analogy.
Don't get hung up on the tent. Let it go. Traded in for a building as you wait for resurrection. I want to close with this. It's something that I typically pull out at a funeral service. But it fits the text so well. And I want you to listen to it. It's a conversation between a human being and God. Now, God is called Mr. Tent Maker in this little story. And it's a story of a person who obviously ages and goes to the hospital to listen to how it's how it's trip. Tetteh maker. It was nice living in this tent when it was strong and secure. And the sun was shining and the air was warm. But Mr. Tent Maker, it's scary now. My tent is acting like it's not going to hold together. The polls seem weak and they shift with the wind. And a couple of the stakes have wiggle loose from the sand. And worst of all, the canvas has a rip.
It no longer protects me from the beating rain or the stinging flies. It's scary in here, Mr. Tent Maker. Last week I was sent to the repair shop and some repairmen tried to patch the rip and my canvas. It didn't help much, though, because the patch pulled away from the edges and now the terror is worse. What troubles me most, Mr. Tent Maker, is that the repairman didn't even seem to notice that I was still in the tent. They just worked on the canvas while I shivered inside. I tried out once, but no one heard me. I guess my first real question is why did you give me such a flimsy tent? I can see by looking around the campground that some of the tents are much stronger and more stable than mine. Why, Mr. Tent Maker, why did you pick a tent of such poor quality for me and even more important, what do you intend to do about it?
Now God speaks.
Oh, little tent dweller as the creator and provider of tents. I know all about you and your tent and I love you both. I made a tent for myself once and I lived in it on your camp ground. My tent was vulnerable to in some vicious attackers, ripped it to pieces while I was still inside. It was a terrible experience, but she'll be glad to know they couldn't hurt me. In fact, the whole occurrence was a tremendous advantage because it's this very victory over my enemy that frees me to be a present help to you. Little tent dweller, I am now prepared to come and live in your tent with you if you will invite me. You will learn as we dwell together that real security comes from my being in your tent with you when the storms come. You can huddle in my arms and I'll hold you when the canvas rips. Will go to the repair shop together someday. Little tent dweller. Your tent will collapse. For I have only designed it for temporary use when it does. You and I will leave together. I promise not to leave before you do.
And then free of all that would hinder or restrict. We will move to our permanent home and together forever.
Rejoice and be glad. If you don't believe that.
You've taken the blue pill.
You'll just wake up and believe whatever you want. This is the red pill.
This is Wonderland. This is the really real world. And Paul saw it. He visited the third heaven. No wonder he was groaning.
That's occupies it with the conclusion of a message from the series From the Edge of Eternity. Now here's Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way as you help connect others to God's word.
The apostle Paul said that all scripture is God Bre-X, meaning God inspired it and wants us to understand it even in today's day and age.
That's why I teach line upon line through every book of the Bible. And that's why this radio program exists, to share biblical teachings with friends like you across the country and around the world. You can help further that mission by sharing your gift. Today, here's how to do that.
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Eight hundred nine two two 1888. Thank you. Tomorrow, Skip Haisong shares not only about your future resurrection as a believer, but how resurrection is active in your life now.
He counteracts that idea that there is no resurrection to see the gospel must have the resurrection. The Gospel of Jesus died, was buried, rose again from the dead. There's no good news. And Jesus died. The good news comes in, Jesus rose and conquer death.
Connect with Skip Heitziged is a presentation of connection communications connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.