Back from the Dead: Back from the Dead – A Repost

As I said last week, I am taking a break from the blog to recuperate from much school, work (at a school!), and ministry. Here is a reminder that there is great wisdom to be found at Proverbial Thought. The post for today comes from November 1, 2011. It seemed a good idea for the holidays celebrated this week!

Back from the Dead

Today is All Saints Day, Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos, All Hallows, or Hallowmas. No matter what it is called, today is a day that celebrates those who have come before and moved on to the next life. No matter the history of today and Halloween (All Hallows Eve, the day before All Hallows/Hallowmas … think what Christmas Eve is to Christmas), there is a rich history all over the world of honoring or venerating the dead.

I will not get into whether or not it is okay or even good to do such things or celebrate holidays here. That is for later.

I want to discuss death.

The picture I have above is from the website zombiejesus.com, and it is definitely satirical but not theologically sound. They quote two verses from the Bible:

1) He came back from the dead Acts 2:24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him

2) He encourages zombie like behavior John 6:53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have  no life in you”

As someone said elsewhere, “While precocious PKs (Pastor’s Kids) may try to pull off the Zombie Jesus costume, passionately asserting that Jesus did rise from the dead, a quick-witted parent will counter that He did NOT, however, rise from the UNdead.” The point: A zombie is the walking dead; Jesus defeated death. Zombies are in a state of perpetual death, never satisfied and never resting; Jesus was freed “from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him” and satisfies all our needs and gives us rest.

I have to point out that it should be “zombie-like,” with a hyphen. Other than nitpicking grammar, zombies do not drink blood. That is vampires. Therefore, they would have to include that Jesus is a Vampire. However, they are both undead creatures.

Ooh! There is a good point. These things are still creatures – CREATED THINGS! Jesus is not created, He is “begotten” or comes directly from God and IS GOD!

Moving on, I actually agree with this point for the humor-value (after fixing the small grammar issue), especially seeing as this very point is what kept many from becoming Christians in the first few centuries of the Church’s temporal existence. Though it is misguided, since we eat bread as Christ’s body and drink wine/juice/water as Christ’s blood.

Jesus is not a Zombie.

You might still here me (if you know me personally) occasionally refer to Christian Zombies, but it is slightly different (but only slightly).

Also, do not worship the dead or pray to them in the sense that you expect them to actually help you. They might hear you ask them to speak to God on your behalf, but if they do hear prayers (pray essentially means “ask”) I must confess to not thinking it matters much (sorry Catholic friends and family, but I have a point). We have a mediator: Jesus Christ. As I said above, He is God and is our connection to God through the Holy Spirit.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/28/2012

Do not forget to get your daily dose of wisdom from Proverbial Thought.

Perhaps you have heard the saying “Freedom is never free.” As carriers of the gospel message, we share with others how the price was paid for our sins by Jesus Christ. Many times, we carriers also must pay a high price.

price to be paid

for goodness to spread
for Truth to be proclaimed
for love to be known
for God to be famed
there is a need
a price to be paid

a price for all of this
is paid frequently
though not as often
as there could be
the price to be paid
needs to be paid by you and me

the Name advances
by this special price
it is a price that
no one could deny
it is the ultimate love
that we lay down our lives

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 179.

I do not know Chris Jordan, and I only found his blog through a great blogging brother, but check out this. Whether you are a preacher, a listener, or a doer, this list of 15 quotes on preaching should convict you.

Back from the Dead: Merciful Death – A Repost

As I work on finishing up my degree (especially Calculus, at the moment!), I need a break from some things. As you saw last week, I had a guest blogger, and there will be more in the future. For this week, I am taking us back to one of the more popular posts from my blog last year. I also found it fitting leading up to my birthday and All Hallows’ Eve next week! Feel free to comment and add to the discussion!

Merciful Death

Cross Walk 2008

Me doing the Cross Walk in 2008

If we honestly looked around our world, we could see plenty of good reasons why people would want to take their lives. Sad? Definitely.

Sorry to be gloomy and maybe even a bit sick, but what if they are on to something?

Sweet Death

I read an article recently in Christian Research Journal (Vol. 34, No. 2, 2011) titled “A Christian View of Human Nature“. The author, John S. Hammet, had this to say about death:

Moreover, may not the end of life in this world be a severe mercy from God? True, death entered the world as the punishment for sin, but a punishment that opened the door to mercy. For once humans had fallen and become like God in knowing, not just good, but now evil, God intervened: “He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and live forever” (Gen. 3:22). It was the mercy of God that established the limitation of life as a fallen human; as redeemed persons, we are welcomed to the tree of life (Rev. 22:3).

Not only could God have allowed death as a mercy to get away from the suffering we brought upon ourselves (and for the record, I am not making any arguments today about the afterlife for all people; this is just about this life), but He used death to defeat death!

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

But:

Since the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

From the beginning, God showed us mercy through death. Even if you do not hold to Hammet’s take, here are some examples:

What do you think? Is death God once again showing His grace in the midst of our punishment?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/21/2012

[Your usual reminder to check out Proverbial Thought]

My wife and I had our first date at a church dedication ceremony, and we started our relationship by dedicating it to God. Good start, eh? (Yes.) We built our relationship for the next year and a half, and then we got married establishing a lifelong commitment. Now we are working on decorations and reinforcing our foundation and walls.

That is not the point, though. The real point is that God sets things apart in eternity, then builds and establishes them in their proper time.

Including us. This poem talks about me, but it is about each and every person who comes to God in faith.

daniel michael klem
Designed: Before Eternity Past – I think it was a Saturday
Constructed: October 26, 1983, 6:03 am – Wednesday
Established: January 9, 2000, 6:42 pm – Sunday

established date

thought of in eternity past
loved and thought of through all time
held in His arms until
the moment had become right
now created and moving
but merely existing
the big change to come
true life yet to begin
finally years after construction
the Truth gets inside
the real change beginning
to make things right
while it has taken time
to get from what was made
when Christ enters in
that is the established date

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 177.

The Rapture and the End Times

When Daniel asked if I would like to post a topic on his blog, my first thought was what an honor it is. Daniel is an amazing man of God, trustworthy, reliable, has a soft heart, and you can count on him to never put God in a box – because Daniel never thinks inside the box anyway.

My name is Jesse Walker, I’m the host of a radio program called “The Unwinding Path” on KXEG 1280AM in Phoenix, and do a lot of guest speaking at churches, conferences and college groups. Some of my most requested messages are “Proving the Resurrection of Jesus,” “The Science of Genesis,” and, with the uproar about December 21st 2012, “The Rapture and The End Times,” among others.

I have been studying what the Bible says about the end times (aka Eschatology), for years, and, though God’s Word makes it clear that no man knows the day or the hour of Jesus’ return (whether the rapture or the second coming), I have often wondered how I would live differently if I knew Jesus was coming back at a specific time. One of the main ideas I have is that I would sell most of my possessions and give the money to the poor and hungry (Luke 12). Another is that I would tell as many people as I could, as fast as I could, about Jesus (Matt 28).

To get to the basics then, the rapture and the second coming are two separate events and are often times confused and mis-understood. On top of all this, there are many differing views about this subject. For the sake of time I will condense this blog to focus on the rapture, and the view that the majority of Christians believe about the rapture, namely pre-tribulationism.

The rapture is an event that will occur sometime in the future at which time Jesus will come back in the clouds (and will not come down to the earth) and call all Christians up to heaven. Sometime after this event, Jesus will come back to earth and set up His earthly kingdom. Please note that they are not the same event but two totally separate events. First the rapture happens then the second coming (where Jesus will actually come back to the earth).

Years ago I ask God to show me the truth about the rapture since there are so many views held by many good Christian people. On any issue I simply want to know truth, whether it’s good or bad. Here’s what God allowed me to believe: That the rapture (where Jesus comes back in the clouds and calls all Christians up to heaven) would occur before the 7 year tribulation period.
However, in the last few months I started digging even deeper into God’s Word. As I did, I forced myself to question, not only my beliefs about the rapture, but also everything I had ever heard from Bible prophecy teachers. Let me stop right here and say that I still believe that the rapture will occur, but after careful study of God’s word (consulting even the Greek New Testament), what I found is nothing like any of the teachings out there. In fact, the pre-tribulationists will probably call me a pre-wrather and the pre-wrathers will probably call me a heretic. After God showed me this new information, I asked Him why He allowed me to believe something that wasn’t fully accurate. His response was “You asked me to show you the truth, but you weren’t strong enough to handle it until now.”

I believed and taught the “typical” pre-tribulation rapture doctrine for more than a decade. I still call myself a pre-tribulationist when it comes to the rapture, but it does not occur in the timeline of Revelation the way most pre-tribulationists teach it.

Having said all that, I see Revelation, and what the Bible teaches about the end times more clearly than I’ve ever seen it before, and am currently working on the teaching about the subject for one of our upcoming radio programs.
I would appreciate your thoughts. I know this can be a sensitive subject and I want everyone to remember that salvation is not based on what one believes about the end times, but that Jesus is our risen savior!

I might also like to use some of your thoughts on one of our upcoming programs so please post your name and town if you comment.

You may read Matt 24 and 25, 1 Thess 4, and Revelation (among many others) for scriptural basis.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/14/2012

Life is not always easy. In fact, for Christians at least, we are promised problems (John 16:33). We should accept that blessing, even when it is hard and a struggle to get through. (This also qualifies as a “stupid prayer”.)

the only way to move

i want to go where You want me
i want to be where You send me
help me get there quickly
keep me struggling through things
so that i always seek You
it is the only way to move

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 175.