September 25, 2018

A Moment of Astounding Glory

Among the more commonly known passages that describe the glory of God would be those near the end of the Word of God in the book of Revelation, especially in the final 2 chapters as it describes the new heaven, the new earth, and the new Jerusalem.

One of the earliest descriptions of heaven in the Bible is in the second of 66 books: “Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity” (Exodus 24:9-10).

In John 13 Jesus is telling his disciples about his imminent departure when “the Son of Man will be glorified as God is glorified in Him” (13:31). He specifically describes what's to come as “The moment of this astounding glory” (13:32).

If you don't know the story, you might expect some streets of gold, the room turned into shining gemstones, or light and music filling the air. That's not what happens next.

April 13, 2017

How the Day will declare it

How exactly does one “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”? (Matthew 6:20).

One of the most vivid and thorough descriptions of eternal rewards in all of Scripture is found in one of Paul's letters to the Church in Corinth.
Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
Most times I have heard this taught, there's a dichotomy drawn between the “gold, silver, precious stones” and the “wood, hay, straw.” I've explained it that way myself. This is quite natural considering those words are immediately followed by “the fire will test each one's work” and if you were to literally put all six of those things in a fire, the “gold, silver, precious stones” will endure and the “wood, hay, straw” will burn.

The next question is, How do you distinguish between “gold, silver, precious stones” and not “wood, hay, straw” in a spiritual, non-material sense?

I went back to the text looking for the answer to the question. I looked. I didn't find anything. I don't see anything in this text that teaches us how to distinguish between “gold, silver, precious stones” and “wood, hay, straw” in a non-material sense.

However, there must still be a basis for differentiating between the work that “endures” and the work that “is burned.” What is it?

November 14, 2015

A Better Resurrection

I have wondered about Hebrews 11:35 before, and since it was part of today's reading, I decided to read some commentary on the verse.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35, NKJV).
Whenever I had read this in the past, my understanding had always been that when they refused to be released, that it was simply an option they had, to be released, but because they could have a better resurrection by being tortured further, that they did not. I assumed that better resurrection was more eternal reward in heaven because they had been tortured.

December 23, 2013

Time in Heaven

An angel giving John a tour of heaven showed him "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month" (Revelation 22:1-2).

"Every month" directly implies time in heaven.

After an introduction to "the great city, the holy Jerusalem," and a detailed examination of the city, its 12 gates, and its walls, John observed, "But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it" (Revelation 21:22-26).

Two key important parts of this are restated a few verses later: "There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light" (Revelation 22:5).

These do not say there is no sun or moon, but that there is "no need" of the sun or of the moon. The second instance contains an additional word that implies we won't have a desire to hold on to a light as that will be completely unnecessary.

September 6, 2013

24 Thrones

Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
Revelation 4:4

August 30, 2013

He who is in you is greater

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

August 23, 2013

They think it strange

In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
1 Peter 4:4

August 16, 2013

Makes himself an enemy of God

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:4

August 9, 2013

God rested on the seventh day

For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”
Hebrews 4:4

August 2, 2013

Turned aside to fables

and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2 Timothy 4:4