Monday, May 9, 2011

Jesus Plans To Raise Many To Life

God the Father’s plan was to have many more sons and daughters, to be like His Son
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." [John 5:24]
The Father makes Himself to be the Father of all who believe in the Lord Jesus. Belief gives evidence to the presence of the Father's word in that person, and the Father's love in that person, just as the Father's word and love are in Jesus.

If you have put your faith in the Lord Jesus then you have this life now God’s purpose is to change you and me, to enable us to learn to live by His living power, to mold us into people who will bring His love and healing to all those around us.

You and I who have put our faith in Jesus don’t have to be afraid of death. Everybody dies. We don’t like to think about it. Most of us secretly hope there’ll be an exception in our case! But death is not the end of existence for us. For every believer: we do not see death, we see the Lord, standing ready to welcome us with open arms, to bring us into our full inheritance of life.

In the following verses, the Lord described two resurrections. Here’s the first:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live." [John 5:25]
Jesus had already begun to give life to people,
* to His disciples,
* offering it to Nicodemus in new birth,
* offering living water to the woman at the well.

The time was coming when Jesus would pour out His Spirit on the 120 believers gathered in Jerusalem during the feast of Pentecost. You and I live in this time right now. This is a spiritual resurrection

Jesus can do this because He is God. But the real kicker was His next claim:
"And [the Son, Jesus Himself] has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man." [John 5:27]
He has the authority to execute judgement. He is the Judge of all the world, and will preside over the Day of Judgement. He is the prophesied Son of Man, a technical term that connects with judgment and dominion, and which the prophet Daniel had spoken of. If the Judge is Jehovah God, then Who does that make Jesus?

This stunning jaw dropper must have taken the breath away of every scribe, every teacher of the law, every Pharisee standing there, and Jesus responded to their expressions of shock
"Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment." [John 5:28-29]
This will be a physical resurrection. Hang onto this vision of the dead coming out of their tombs, because something kind of amazing happened when Jesus was crucified (You'll have to stay tuned for that one).

“Doing good” and “doing evil” in these verses relate back to what the Lord had just said
"That all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." [John 5:23-24]
Doing good is to honor the Son and to believe in Him.
To do evil is to not honor the Son, and to not believe in Him.
Jesus is equal to God the Father, the Judge of all the world
One day you and I will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, that day of resurrection, and He will be the judge of all people.

When the Apostle Paul was writing about this day he said what a wonderful thing it is that for those who have put their faith in Jesus there will be no condemnation of any kind. The only person Who can judge us is Jesus, and He loves us! He’s our Savior, He’s on our side! For every believer there will only be welcome and treasure.

But for those who rejected Jesus in this earthly life, who refused to accept His gift of eternal life, this will be a dark day.

Who is Jesus to you? Is He your Savior, or your Judge?

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