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Showing posts with the label Death

The Last Day

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Paul outlined the events that will occur at the “ arrival ” or ‘ Parousia ’ of Jesus in his first letter to the Corinthians. The Greek noun ‘ parousia ’ is one of several Greek terms Paul applied to the future coming of the Lord. Regardless of which term he used, he always described one “ coming ,” “ appearance ,” “ revelation ,” or “ appearance ” of Jesus at the end of the age.

We Shall Live!

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In 2 Timothy , Paul discusses the future resurrection of believers as he responds to denials of this “ sound teaching ” by deceivers who were disrupting the Assembly, denials he treats as little more than idle chatter . In doing so, he demonstrates that his later theology remains well within the Apostolic Tradition and the teachings of his earliest letters. From the beginning, belief in the resurrection was central to the doctrine of salvation taught by Jesus, his Apostles, and the early Church.

Abolishing Death

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Paul responded to false teachings about the resurrection of believers in his second letter to Timothy. Certain voices in the Church were denying this essential truth. “ God did not give us a spirit of fear but of a sound mind ,” including our anxieties about death. Jesus overcomes death and gives life “ through the Gospel .”

The Death of Death

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Certain members of the Corinthian congregation denied the future resurrection of the righteous. Paul responded by stressing how necessary our resurrection is and by appealing to the past Death and Resurrection of Jesus. His resurrection was and remains the precedent for our future resurrection. We will be raised bodily when he “ arrives ,” and his appearance will mean nothing less than the termination of Death itself.

Sorrow Not

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Foundational to the believer’s future hope is the bodily resurrection of the righteous dead when Jesus arrives in glory . Paul’s description of the “ arrival ” or ‘ Parousia ’ of Jesus in his first letter to the Thessalonians was written to comfort the Assembly concerning the fate of their compatriots who died before that event could take place. They needed not to sorrow “ like the others ” since the righteous dead would be resurrected when the Lord “ arrived ” from Heaven.

The Final Day

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Jesus will return from Heaven at the “ end ” of the present age accompanied by great power and glory. His “ arrival ” or  Parousia  will result in the consummation of the Kingdom of God, the judgment of the ungodly, the resurrection and vindication of the righteous, the unveiling of the New Creation, and the termination of Death. Thus, the coming of the “ Son of Man on the Clouds ” will be an event of  GREAT FINALITY .

Christianity's Vanishing Hope?

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The biblical faith is forward-looking and foundational to its doctrine of salvation is the future resurrection of the righteous dead. That event will also mark the arrival of the New Creation. The New Testament links this to two events. First, the past Resurrection of Jesus. Second, his future arrival at the end of the age. Our salvation remains incomplete without our resurrection.

Fourth Seal

The fourth seal releases “Death,” and “Hades” follows gathering the dead in its wake  –  Revelation 6:7-8 .  The “victims” harmed by the first three seal openings have not been identified, although details from the tasks assigned to each “ rider ” provide clues. Nothing has been said about the enemies of the “ Lamb ,” or about judgments against the “ inhabitants of the earth .” Moreover, the actions of the “ four riders ” are never labeled “plagues,” “wrath,” or “judgments.”

Meeting Jesus

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Paul responded to concerns about the dead in Christ by pointing to the resurrection that will occur when Jesus arrives from Heaven .  In his first Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul reassured the congregation concerning the participation of saints who die before the ‘ Parousia ’ in the glories of that day. According to him,  BOTH  dead and living saints will assemble and “ meet ” the Lord as he descends from Heaven. Thereafter, they will be with Jesus “ forevermore .” He wrote these words in response to believers who were sorrowing over the deaths of fellow saints.

Final Events

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In writing to the Corinthians, Paul outlines the events that will occur at or shortly before the “ arrival ” or ‘ Parousia ’ of Jesus on the “ Day of Christ .” ‘ Parousia ’ is one of several Greek terms applied by the Apostle to the future coming of the Lord. Regardless of which term is used, he always refers to one “ coming ,”  “ appearance , ”  “ revelation ,” or “ appearance ” of Jesus at the end of the age, never two (or more).