Life after Life!

Our Risen Lord

Our Risen Lord

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4: 16).
There is a song I love by Chris Tomlin called; I Will Rise.  It is a very moving song and each time I hear it and sing it, it not only brings tears to my eyes, but it makes me want to stand up and shout to the world; This life is not the end! There is hope for the hopeless! There is life after life! Listen to God and live!
The day is coming when this life as we know it will be gone. Every single person born into this world will die someday. Not only will we die, but the day is coming when this earth as it stands will no longer exist. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare (2 Peter 3: 10). God has promised it and it WILL happen.
No person on this earth knows when it will happen, No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24: 36) but we do know it will happen because God has promised it and His promises never fail. Many times people have predicted the date/time of the end of the world. They have always been wrong and they always will be wrong. They aren’t wrong about the world ending – only about claiming to know WHEN it will end.
People who try to predict when the world will end are mocking God. This is His answer to them; why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain…against the Lord and against his Anointed One…The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them (Psalm 2: 1,2). Yes, God laughs at men with proud hearts who claim to know more than He. If they don’t fall to their knees in repentance and humble themselves before God, they will experience the full force of His wrath either at the time of their death or when this world comes to an end – whichever comes first.
God did not create humans to die. He created them to live forever in His beautiful world. Everything He created in this world we live in was at one time beautiful. He created humans in His own image. The first man and the first woman were perfect. There were no flaws on their bodies and their hearts and minds were perfectly in tune with God. They were beautiful inside and out – until they sinned.
After man’s fall into sin, God’s world began to deteriorate. He told Eve – with pain you will give birth to children (Genesis 3: 16) and to Adam – Cursed is the ground because of you…by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food, until you return to the ground…for dust you are and to dust you will return(Genesis 3:17-19). Sin brought death, but it did not destroy God’s love for us.
The Fall

The Fall

Because of His deep love for His people, God devised a plan for us. He would send His Son Jesus, who was holy and sinless to suffer the punishment we deserve for our sin. Jesus came into the world to live among us. He was born of a virgin mother (Luke 1: 26-38).
We are told first of His birth, and then eight days later how his parents brought Him to the temple for circumcision. We know nothing of his childhood between the time He was circumcised and age 12, when His parents took Him again to the temple in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. After the Passover feast He accidentally got left behind.  When His parents realized He was missing, they returned to Jerusalem and searched for Him. After 3 days of searching, they found Him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions (Luke 2:46). We are told he then went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them (Luke 2: 51).
Jesus began His three year ministry at age 30 (Luke 3: 23). The details of His ministry, and His suffering, death and resurrection are recorded in each of the gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He was approximately 33 years old when He suffered and died on the cross. Three days after His death He rose from the dead, proclaiming victory over sin, death and Satan. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:56).
We have His own promise; I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die (John 11:25). Those of us who believe this promise and have faith in Jesus are covered with His holiness and made fit for heaven. We can now stand before a holy God.
From the day of our birth, the shadow of death looms over us. As we live our lives here on earth we see others die and know that our day will come also. None of us knows what it is like to die because no one has ever come back to tell us about the experience, but we have the promises of Jesus that for those who believe in Him, death is only a sleep. Our body and soul will separate for a time, but on the last day they will be reunited and we will live with God forever.
Our human mind cannot comprehend the joy and beauty of heaven. It is beyond our understanding, but when we step over the threshold of death into life it will be clearly understood. 
Yes, my heart and flesh will fail someday. None of us lives forever here on earth, but because of Jesus I can say to myself just like the song writer; all is well. Jesus is the anchor for my soul. He has overcome the grave for me. When He calls my name I will rise as on the wings of an eagle. I will fall to my knees before Him in worship and thanksgiving. There will be no more sorrow or pain. I will hear the voices of the angels and join with them to sing; worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! (Revelation 5: 12)
Right now it is difficult for me to understand. I believe and trust and hope, but the apprehension is still there. When the day comes – when He calls my name – I will see it all clearly. The darkness and shadows of apprehension will be gone. My faith will be my eyes! I will see Him face to face.

 Martin Luther College Choir, New Ulm, MN

I will Rise!
By Chris Tomlin
 There’s a peace I’ve come to know,     
though my heart and flesh may fail.
There’s an anchor for my soul.
I can say; it is well.
Jesus has overcome
and the grave is overwhelmed.
The victory is won!
He is risen from the dead,
And I will rise when He calls my name,
No more sorrow, no more pain.
I will rise on eagles wings;
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise – I will rise!
There’s a day that’s drawing near,
when this darkness breaks to light.
and the shadows disappear,
and my faith will be my eyes.
Jesus has overcome,
And the grave is overwhelmed.
The victory is won!
He is risen from the dead,
And I will rise when He calls my name;
No more sorrow, no more pain;
I will rise on eagles wings;
Before my God fall on my knees,
And rise – I will rise!


Gloria Dei!
by Christine

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