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Showing posts from May, 2022

Redemption of our Body

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Paul linked the bodily resurrection of believers to the New Creation since both are integral to the promised redemption – Romans 8:1-23 . In Romans , Paul declares that there is “ now no condemnation ” for anyone who is “ in Jesus .” This happy condition is because the “ law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set them free from the law of sin and of death .” And his letter also links the salvation of believers to the inheritance of Christ and the redemption of the creation itself - [ Photo by Terry Tan De Hao on Unsplash ].

Redemption and the Parousia

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At the heart of Christian hope is the future resurrection of the saints at Christ’s return and the arrival of the new heavens and the new earth .  Central to the New Testament concept of salvation is  redemption . God will not abandon what He first created. Instead, He is recovering what was enslaved by sin, decay, and death. But at the end of His redemptive acts, the end state of all redeemed persons and things will be vastly superior to their original state, and this is epitomized in the bodily resurrection - [ Photo by Tim Peterson on Unsplash ].

The Death of Death

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The arrival of Jesus at the end of the age will mean resurrection and the termination of the last enemy, death .  Certain men in Corinth denied the future bodily resurrection. In his response, Paul stressed the necessity for the raising of the dead by appealing to the  past resurrection of Jesus  as the precedent for the future resurrection of believers who will be raised when he “ arrives ” in glory. And that final event will signal the termination of death – The death of Death . - [ Photo by Simeon Muller on Unsplash ].

His Parousia

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The arrival of Jesus in glory will mean the resurrection of the dead, the commencement of the New Creation, and the final judgment .  Several Greek terms are applied in the New Testament to the return of Jesus at the end of the present age, including  parousia (“arrival”), erchomai (“coming”), and epiphaneia (“appearance”). But regardless of which term is used, in each instance, it is singular and refers to only one “ coming ” of the “ Son of Man. ” Nowhere does Scripture refer to two or more comings of Christ - [ Photo by Christian De Stradis on Unsplash ].

Day of our Lord Jesus

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The return of Jesus will be the “Day of the Lord” when the dead are raised, the wicked are judged, and death will cease .  The coming of Jesus is not a major topic in Paul's letters to the church in Corinth. But in the process of addressing several problems, he touches on key aspects of Christ’s return, including its identification with the “ Day of the Lord ,” the consummation of God’s kingdom, the resurrection of the dead, the examination of believers, and the cessation of death - [ Sun Rays - Photo by  eberhard  grossgasteiger  on  Unsplash ] .

Day of Visitation

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Peter exhorted Christians to persevere in suffering and live holy lives in anticipation of the “day of visitation.”  In his first epistle, Peter wrote to Christians who were under pressure to conform to the surrounding society. Their situation was not unique, and they were members of the worldwide suffering community of believers. One of his themes is the necessity to remain steadfast through tribulations until the “ day of visitation ” when Jesus is “ revealed ” - [ Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash ].

Revelation of our Lord Jesus

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At the “revelation of Jesus,” the saints will experience glory, but the wicked will receive “everlasting destruction.”  Most often, Paul labels the future return of Jesus as his ‘ parousia ’ or “ arrival .” But he also calls it his ‘ erchomai ’ or “ coming ,” ‘ epiphaneia ’ or “ manifestation ,” and on two occasions, his ‘ apocalypsis ’ or “ revelation .” By comparing how he applies these terms, it becomes apparent that the same final event is in view regardless of which term is used - [ Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash ].

His Appearance

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When Jesus “appears,” faithful believers will rejoice exceedingly and participate fully in the glories of that day .  In his first epistle, John exhorted his congregations to “ abide ” in Jesus so that “ when he appears , we may have boldness and not be shamed away from him at his  arrival .” John was summoning believers to holy living in consideration of the inevitable “ arrival ” of Jesus and the rewards that he will bring with him – ( 1 John 2:28–3:3 ). - [ Photo by Will van Wingerden on Unsplash ].

Then Comes the End

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The return of Jesus at the end of the age will be an event of great glory, victory, and finality . In the New Testament, the return of Jesus at the “ end of the age ” is an event of great finality. His “ arrival ” in glory will be accompanied by celestial and terrestrial upheaval, the New Creation, the resurrection of the righteous, the judgment of the ungodly, the “ gathering of his elect ,” and the cessation of death. Nothing will ever be the same again! - [ Beach Sunset photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash].

His One Final Return

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The “coming” of Jesus will mark the end of the present order and the commencement of the “age to come,” including the New Creation .  The New Testament promises Jesus will return to the earth at the “ end ” of the present age, and with great power and glory. His “ arrival…on the clouds ” will result in the judgment of the ungodly, the resurrection and vindication of the righteous, the arrival of the New Creation, and the termination of death. Thus, it will be an event of great finality   - [ Photo by Vincent Ledvina on Unsplash ].

The Lawless One

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Before the “Day of the Lord” arrives, the “lawless one” will be revealed who will deceive many with “signs and lying wonders.”  According to Paul, the day when Jesus “ arrives ” to gather his elect will not come until the “ apostasy ” takes place and the “ man of lawlessness ” is unveiled. And in 2 Thessalonians , he also refers to this dark figure as the “ son of destruction ” and the “ lawless one .” He will use “ signs and lying wonders ” and “ deceit ” to destroy all those who “ refuse the love of the truth ” - [ Photo by David East on Unsplash ].

Great Falling Away

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The New Testament warns of the coming “apostasy” that will occur prior to the arrival of the “day of the Lord.”  To the Thessalonians, Paul explained that the “ day of the Lord ” will NOT  commence until the “ apostasy ” occurs and the “ man of lawlessness ” is revealed, two events that are inextricably linked. And in his statement, Paul reiterated the warning found elsewhere in the New Testament about the “ falling away ” of many from the faith in the “ last days ” - [ Photo by Kace Rodriguez on Unsplash ].