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EXAMINING  OUR  FAITH,  part  21  quotes

1)     “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5.

2)     The Scriptures describe a time when the dead will be with the Lord, and then concludes: “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

     “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus”. 2 Corinthians 4:14.

     There will be life after death, and Jesus Christ being raised from the dead was proof of this fact.

3)     What purpose does the resurrection serve?
     “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Corinthians 15:18-19.

      “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the word of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58.

     Many good people suffer in this life just as much or more than evil people.  Many wicked people prosper in this life far above the righteous. Many criminals and sinners are neither caught nor punished.  Justice demands a resurrection so the righteous may ultimately be rewarded, and the wicked can be ultimately punished.
     “Thou shalt be recompensed (rewarded) at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:14.

     “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27.

     The righteous dead have not yet been rewarded with heaven.  All are still waiting in their graves for the judgement and the end of the world.
     “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his works shall be.” Revelation 22:12.

4)     When will the wicked receive their reward for all their sins?
     “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.” 2 Peter 2:9.

     Where are the wicked reserved?
     “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29.

5)    Each and every one of us are judgment bound, and we will be judged according to their works!
     “...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27.

     “For we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10.

     “Let us here the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (see also Matthew 25:31-46.)

6)    Since there are two different kinds of rewards – either eternal life or eternal death, so there are be two different resurrections.
     “...there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Acts 24:15.

     Which resurrection occurs first?
     “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (see also 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; John 14:1-3; Matthew 24:30-31).

7)    What happens to the lost on the earth at the second coming of the Lord?
     “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.

     “...whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved...but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.

     “And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Jeremiah 25:33.

     When Christ comes, the first resurrection occurs and all the righteous dead are raised to life to receive their reward of immortality, and then together with the righteous living are taken to heaven.  But all the wicked living on the earth will be slain by the brightness of His coming. This means that the earth will be littered with the bodies of the wicked dead, and all the scavenger birds will feast on their corpses until no flesh is left of them (see Revelation 6:14-17, 19:11-18).  But even these scavengers will eventually run out of food and will die, thus leaving the earth completely desolate (see Jeremiah 4:23-27; Isaiah 24:1,3).

8)    How long will the earth remain completely empty and desolate?
     “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished...” Revelation 20:5.

     After Christ comes and the first resurrection takes place there will be a period of 1000 years, and none of the wicked will be resurrected back to life until after these 1000 years are completed!  But the Devil or Satan or Lucifer is bound upon this desolate earth during these 1000 years, and he cannot escape! (See Revelation 20:2-3).

9)    What will the righteous be doing in heaven with Christ for these 1000 years?
     As priests and kings they will be reviewing all the cases of the wicked dead – including the wicked angels and Lucifer, and in unison with Christ, will pass judgment upon all the wicked so they can receive their just reward when the second resurrection takes place (see Revelation 20:6, 4; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3).

10)    Now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2.

     “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7.

     Today is the day of our salvation, not tomorrow or next week, month, year, because by then it may be too late!

11)    God has true lasting comfort for all who have lost loved ones.
     “But I would not have you be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

12)    “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:21-26.

     The last enemy that Jesus Christ defeats is death.  Then “death will be swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54), and the resurrected righteous will then say:
     “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55.

     This glorious hope of life after death is only made possible by our Lord and “Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).  Soon, death itself will die by being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14) to nevermore afflict the children of men!

     This means that there is indeed hope of life after death – but only through Jesus Christ.
     “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” John 11:25-26.

     Jesus is the only way any of us can have life after death. Not Buddha, Christna, Mohammad, Maitreya, or any other spiritualistic medium or shaman can grant you eternal life. And neither can any pope, priest, minister, elder, teacher, nor church grant you eternal life either!  Life after death can only be found through Jesus Christ, and if we should reject Jesus Christ as our Saviour, or if after accepting Him we choose to deny and walk away from Him, then we are eternally lost!