What is the Gospel for today?
The Resurrection of the Dead
Just as Jesus was raised, or resurrected, from the dead in order to complete His work, we, too, will one day be a part of the Resurrection of the Dead. Christ was physically resurrected into a new perfect and physical body, as we will be also. For any of us to preach otherwise would be akin to preaching in vain; therefore, making repentance a vain action.
This is why it is so fundamentally important that, just as a child grows and matures from infancy to adulthood, so must we in the Word and as Christians. My children weren't born knowing how to act as adults. When they were born, their every need had to be provided for. When they were hungry, I fed them. When their diapers were dirty, I changed them. When they needed to go from their crib to their high chair or wherever, I had to carry them. As they grew, they learned to walk on their own and use spoons on their own. Eventually they were able to dress themselves and even go to the potty by themselves. As they grew older still, they learned even more skills and learned more responsibility for themselves. It is the same for Christians. A person is not born a Christian, it is a personal choice each one of us has to make. You are fed the Word, and the seed is planted in your heart. This seed will compel you to God's throne and to a walk with Him in a more personal way. You have to study and learn the laws that God has set forth for mankind. You grow daily drinking in what God would have you to learn. Repentance is something that can happen in an instant but growing in God takes time and patience for a new "baby" Christian.
Hebrews 6:1-2--"Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, no laying against the foundations of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment."
Our Future Glory
Romans 8:18--"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
What was the glory that Paul was referring to?
The glory of Jesus Christ!
Have you ever...
Have you ever wondered what it will be like to have a perfect body? I can speak from first hand experience that I have.
I'm not talking about the perfect height; although, if I could be taller than five feet tall I wouldn't have to keep using stools to reach things on the top shelves of my cupboards!
I'm not talking about the perfect weight; although, losing another 30 pounds would be awesome!
I'm not talking about the perfect tan; but, it would be nice to actually tan and not burn, peel, burn, peel, etc.!
No, I'm talking a perfect body! No scars, no blemishes, no hearing loss, perfect eyesight, internal organs working at 100%. Won't that be awesome?!!
I have a multitude of scars, from my shoulder when I had my rotator cuff/meniscus surgery to the index finger on my right hand from where I broke my finger by smashing in a car door (yeah, ouch!) to so many stretch marks from the eight children I carried and gave birth to (I call them my blessing marks). But one day, some day, all those marks on my body will be gone.
I have severe hearing loss in my right ear and a mild hearing loss in my left ear. I struggle with ear aches and ear infections constantly. Cotton balls become my best friends when the wind is high. Some day soon I will have perfect hearing. I will carry a perfect pitch when I sing.
I wear glasses, bifocals to be exact. Yes, as most of you know, glasses are a bother a lot of times; but, for me, they go on in the morning and they are the last thing I take off before saying "hello" to my pillow for the night. There is coming a day when my vision will be perfect as it should be.
Philippians 3:20-21--"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
NIV (New International Version)
I prefer to use the NIV (New International Version) Bible, and this is where all of the above Scriptures came from. For me, the language is a little simpler; I sometimes have a difficult time with "haveth" and "thou" and "thine". This is a personal choice, as is yours to which translations you use...as long as you neither take away from the context of the Bible or add your own beliefs to what has been written.
Revelation 22:19--"And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."
The NIV is known as a "functional equivalent translation"; meaning, it is not so concerned with the grammatical form of the original text as it is with the meaning of the original text. It is more of a phrase-for-phrase translation, and its translators leaned more on the conservative side of issues. The one major flaw of the NIV is the simplicity of its language usage. The editors, in making it an easier to read Bible, sometimes had to sacrifice its accuracy; the sentences are shortened and conjunctions have been deleted.
The NIV was first authored in 1978, and is a counterpart to the NEB (New English Bible). Whereas the NEB is more of a British product, the NIV is an international product.
"The Christian army is the only army in the world that shoots its wounded."--Author unknown. This is especially true for Christians when it comes to choice of which Bible they choose or prefer. No matter the textual changes within the various translations, the major doctrines remain intact (Jesus' divinity, Jesus Christ being born of a virgin, the free gift of salvation, etc.).