"Jesus said unto Mary and Martha, 'I am the resurrection and the life; He that believes in me though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall have eternal life."
"That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death, if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."
For some time I have wanted to write an article about 'Living with Eternity in mind'.....
living not just for today and all of our tomorrows, but for Eternity!
There is no better time than Easter when we observe the Crucifixion .....
and the Resurrection.....
by which Christ can give us victory over sin, the flesh, the devil, death and the grave.
It is amazing how the word 'Eternity' can be misused.
I enjoyed the Men and Women's NCAA basketball games....
for there were close games and even some went into overtime.
In one game, the announcer said, "Twelve seconds to go, but that's an eternity!"
I knew she meant that a lot can happen in that short time-span, but I sure want Eternity to be more than 12 seconds!
We also know that when our time here on earth is up, there is no overtime!
We want to be sure that we know Jesus, the only One Who ever rose from the dead and ever lives to make intercession for us! (Hebrews 7:25)
Jesus is truly the Christ of our Past, Present, Tomorrow and Eternity!
Helen Mallicoat speaks well of this in her poem:
"My Name is I AM".
I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking.
"My name is I AM"
He paused.....I waited.....He continued.
"When you live in the past with it's mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WAS.
"When you live in the future with it's problems and fears, it is hard.
My name is not I WILL BE.
"When you live in this moment, it is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM".
We would do well to study the Gospel of John and see the I AM's of Jesus and the different pictures of Jesus in each of the 21 Chapters. These show the sufficiency of Christ in all things!
Jesus' own words are very important here. In Matthew 12:38-41, He said to the Pharisees who were asking for a sign concerning the Resurrection, "There shall be no sign but the sign of the prophet Jonah. As he was 3 days and 3 nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man (Jesus' favorite name for himself) be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth."
I Cor. 15 is perhaps Paul's greatest chapter of his inspired writings.
It deals entirely with the Resurrection of our Lord and ends with our own resurrection.
Here is my outline of this great chapter. Please read it along with this discussion.
THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION (Vs. 1-8)
1) It must be preached and please remember that 'special ministers' are special only as they prepare you (the basic ministers) for proclaiming the Gospel.
2) It must be received to do any good. This has to be personal for no one else can receive it for you! By it, we are saved, for Acts 4:12 says, "There is no other name under Heaven given among men whereby we may be saved."
3) The Gospel of Jesus is our foundation upon which we stand, for there is no other adequate foundation. (I Cor. 3:11)
4) We must deliver the Gospel to others (Vs. 3)
5) Verses 3-4 tell us to be clear about what is the gospel.
"Christ died for our sins; He was buried and He arose!"
He was also seen by many during the 40 days from the time of His Resurrection to His Ascension. (Vs. 5-8)
THE GRACE OF CHRIST (Vs. 9-11)
Paul said, "It is by the grace of God that I am what I am."
If Paul could be saved, anyone can! But like Paul, it must be by the Grace of God and NOT the works of man.
Grace was sufficient for Paul, in life and in death....and will be for us also!
As I have said before, Grace saves us, shapes us, secures us, sustains us and is to be Sovereign in our lives.
THE GREAT CONTRAST BETWEEN LIFE OF NO RESURRECTION...
AND LIFE WITH THE RESURRECTION (Vs. 13-19)
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable.
But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruit of those that will follow."
"IF EASTER BE NOT TRUE" (by Henry Barstow)
If Easter be not true,
Then all the lilies low must lie;
The Flanders poppies fade and die;
The Spring must lost her fairest bloom
For Christ were still within the tomb....
If Easter be not true.
If Easter be not true,
Then Faith must mount on broken wing;
Then Hope no more immortal spring;
Then Hope must lose her mighty urge;
Life prove a phantom, death a dirge....
If Easter be not true.
If Easter be not true,
'Twere foolishness the cross to bear;
He died in vain who suffered there;
What matter though we laugh or cry,
Be good or evil, live or die,
If Easter be not true?
If Easter be not true....
But it is true and Christ is risen!
And mortal spirit from it's prison
Of sin and death with him may rise!
Worthwhile the struggle, sure the prize,
Since Easter, aye, is true!
THE GLORIOUS CERTAINTIES (Vs. 20-58)
The rest of this chapter is so tremendous and no matter how I tried,
I could not add to it's depth and meaning!
If you have ever been to funerals, you have probably heard much of the last part of this chapter used. Please spend some quality time studying this great chapter.
We have been studying together the Great Expectations concerning the future and Eternity.
They are as bright as the Promises of God and by His Crucifixion and His Resurrection,
He underlined them all as TRUE!
Jesus is not only the Savior Who saves, but the Great Shepherd Who keeps us and never leaves us!
His Promise to us is in John 10:10-11:
"I am come that you may have life and have it more abundantly right now.
I am the Good Shepherd and I give my life for the sheep.
"My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. I give unto them Eternal Life and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck out of my hand. My Father which gave them to me, is greater than all and no one is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one!"
I would like to close with these words from Charles Billingsley's song, 'Holy One':
"I want to die so You can live.....resurrect my heart again.
I will tell the world that You are the Holy One"
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