2 Corinthians

The Most Important Thing God Wants You to Know About Death

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Remember that passage in 2 Thessalonians where Paul says, Beloved ones, I want you to be in the know concerning the return of Jesus, and concerning those people who have died before Christ has come back? Wait now! Is that what he said, “Those who have died?” Let’s look at the verse: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do those who have no hope” (2 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Does verse 13 say, “They have died?” No, it does not! It says they have “fallen asleep.” 

When it comes to a believer dying, we no longer die, we go to sleep. Think about that! The word sleep isn’t used in the New Testament to refer to the soul or spirit of a person, it's used to refer to the body. So, our soul or spirit ejects out of that body and goes to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the body that's left behind and it doesn't really die, at least not from a Christian perspective. It's called sleep. Look at these verses: 2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” And Philippians 1:23 says, “having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is much better.”

And so in the early church, the teaching from the spirit of God was, it's no longer death, it's just sleep. Fascinating! So let’s dive into that a little further and circle the word sleep in your Bible. It’s the word koimaomai, and it means to sleep. And as I studied that word, it led to another word, called koimeterion, which means a dormitory, or a sleeping place, and from that word we get our word “cemetery”. 

The whole world uses the word cemetery today, but Christians started to use it for the place we bury those who have gone to sleep. A cemetery is a place where you put people whose bodies have gone to sleep and the word was later used to refer to a hotel. Isn't that cool? 

How many of you have ever checked into a hotel thinking you're going to stay there forever?! No way baby! You're checking in, because you're checking out, and that's what the Holy Spirit of God says to a believer who has died. They're checking into that cemetery, but they're checking out very, very soon. Isn't that cool? I love that. For the believer, the grave is not the end of the story.

Take your pen now, and circle that other little phrase “having fallen asleep.” That's an incorrect translation. It's actually a passive tense, an action that has been done upon them. It should have been translated “having been put to sleep.” Think about that, who “puts people to sleep?” Parents! And who do we as parents put to sleep? Our little children. Do you get the word picture, friends? The Holy Spirit's trying to communicate Father's perspective, and that is that He took that child and put them to bed. Now here's the key, as a parent have you ever put your child to sleep thinking they were going to sleep forever? No, you knew they were getting up soon and we're getting up out of that grave real, real soon! 

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Knowing This Habit of God Will Change Your Life

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It says in the verses of Psalms that there are snares out there; there are traps. Let’s look at one of those verses: “For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence” (Psalm 91:3).There’s a feeling of very real danger here of capture and binding and the verses say that there's deadly pestilence, but did you notice that he didn't define it? He left it open. There are lots of pestilences on any given day of our lives. Do you realize that one little germ, one little virus can rob us of our health and even kill us? Do we really understand what James said, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away”(James 4:14)? 

What's the instantaneous promise though that we are given? “He delivers you!” And we need to park there for a minute and really look at what this means. This does not mean that those who trust God are never going to succumb to the enemy or die by disease. We must interpret these verses in light of the rest of the Bible. Hebrews 11 gives us a list of lots of people who put their faith in God but didn't get delivered from their struggle but instead were delivered to God personally in heaven. That was faith too: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us” (Hebrews 11:39).

So what is the psalmist saying? I think what he's saying is this, if you will look at God in His recorded history, if you will look at God over the history of your own personal walk with Him, you will find that God is in the habit of delivering His kids. He does it all the time! 

We could go to 2 Corinthians 11:26 and look at Paul's personal testimony. He tells us that he endured shipwreck, and robbers, and disease, and famine—and through it all, God preserved him. We could go to Philippians 4:13, and the promise for us is, “I can do all things through Christ.” I can have a lot, I can have a little, I can be healthy, I can be sick, but no matter what the circumstance I have found that He is sufficient. 

Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me.” He doesn't say, “He'll get me out of the valley,” he says “He will walk with me through it. 

I think the message is clear, and one writer (George Whitefield) put it this way, that we who abide in Him are immortal until our work is done. Let that one sink in for a little bit! Until God is finished with you laboring on His behalf in this world, nothing can take you home until He says it’s time.

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The Freeing Truth that Can Radically Change Your New Year

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Listen to what Jesus said, “I came that they may have Life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). He doesn’t make it hard, He said, “Whoever believes in [Me], shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). He said, “I am the way, the truth, THE Life” (John 14:6). And I love 1 John 5:12, “Whoever has the son, has the Life.” That’s a definite article, THE Life.

That's why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that are adequate in ourselves.” We're not! We're not right in ourselves and if we're going to have adequacy, if we're going to be made right, it's from God, who when we look at the tense of the verb, has made us adequate. He made us right; not from the Old Covenant, not from the law, not from performing, not from resolutions to do right and not do wrong. Throw all that out! It’s by the One who made us right by the Spirit who gave us Life. 

Paul tells us in Philippians 3:7-8, that whatever things were gain to him—the fact that he was a Pharisee, the fact that he was zealous in trying to keep the law, and the fact that he made resolutions ad infinitum and kept them—none of it brought him Life. That's why he continues and says, “I now count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” So it’s not from performing, or from resolutions. No, no, no! It’s through faith! 

Listen beloved, did you hear what he said? The moment you say yes to Jesus, God says, “You are now right.” And you are right. Oh my goodness. Is it any wonder that it's called good news?! 

Paul continues, saying, “This is my one thing: I forget what lies behind and I press on for the prize of God in Jesus Christ.” In the moment we place our faith in Jesus, we are removed from the economy of performing to achieve. We are delivered from resolutions, and placed instead into an economy of the saving Life directly from God, and now, having found Life, we enter into true revelry. The definition of that word revelry, is noisy partying and merrymaking and that's what the Church of Jesus Christ should be known by!

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Believing in a God You Can’t See When Life is at its Hardest

In this short video Frank talks about the great tenacity required to believe in what we cannot see and reminds us that if we’re hanging onto Jesus, we’re secure, no matter what is happening in our lives.

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Believing in a God You Can’t See When Life is at it's Hardest

The Christian life is not easy, and it's not for cowards. The Bible says, “We believe that which we do not see,” and that requires tenacity friends!
Read “Believing in a God You Can’t See When Life is at its Hardest” here":

Heavy Upon Us

He oppresses us with His glory, forces His glory upon us so we can bathe in and share it with Him.

He oppresses us with His glory, forces His glory upon us so we can bathe in and share it with Him.

God will not let anyone compete with His glory, He is jealous of what is rightfully His. This is fact! Remember the "god" Dagon? It had to bow before the ark of the covenant every day. God will not let anyone or anything rob Him of His glory. However, He gladly and willingly shares His glory with his kids...

In II Cor 4:17, God calls this phenomenon an eternal WEIGHT of glory. Amazing choice of words. IT IS HEAVY UPON US! Dare I put it this way: He oppresses us with His glory, forces His glory upon us so we can bathe in and share it with Him.

WOW!!! Bring on the oppression!!!

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