The Resurrection of the Dead part 2 by Pastor Don
See Part 1 here.
1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Paul had a feeling of unworthiness. Sometimes our feelings of unworthiness haunt us, and eliminate the goodness of God in our lives. If we don’t feel we qualify for good, or don’t deserve good, it creates an atmosphere around you that will annihilate the good. An ugly babe could be dated by a handsome man and if she keeps talking about how ugly she is, she won’t be a pleasant person to be around and the handsome man may choose not to date such a negative person. In his eyes, she may be beautiful, but she does not believe that, and her negative talk would lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Pastor Don told us that in job interviews we can destroy the interview with our negative opinions of ourselves. The person may have been attracted to something on our resume, but we persist in pointing out our flaws and negate the positive impression. What if we don’t believe we deserve the job, and the Holy Spirit tells us to put on that black dress, and we negate that impression from the Holy Spirit and think we’ll be more comfortable in jeans because we are not going to get the job anyway. We don’t get the job because we did not listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. By wearing the jeans, we help our feelings to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The apostle Paul had different feelings of unworthiness. We might ask ourselves why didn’t I come to Jesus at 10. You are not 10 anymore, so what. You have come to Jesus now. Make the most of now.
Pastor Don pointed out those who hate God, and don’t want to be around God, God will grant their wish. They will be away from God, and when you are away from God, that is hell. Pastor Don was asked about those who were never taught he Gospel. He told us God will give everyone a chance to hear the Gospel. God will give all a chance to have a choice. Even creation speaks of the existence of God – Romans 1.
Peter went to Cornelius’s household and taught the Gospel. Peter opened his heart to these people saying in truth I perceive…He had a Rhema word about these people, and under the power of the Holy Spirit people were saved and filled by the Holy Spirit simultaneously.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
These people Peter was talking with were in chaos and confusion. He brought to them the truth that Jesus is the Way. These people were looking for God in the wrong place, they were going to hear the truth. Jesus showed no partiality, he came to the Gentiles and the Jews.
Acts 10:35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
Jesus is to be preached to the whole world, and then we know the end is near. We are so close to that time. God doesn’t function on tick-tock time, he is operating on revelatory time – and when certain events occur, then God acts. All the prophecies Jesus spoke about are fulfilled except for the rapture of the church and the manifestation of the antichrist. Israel is in the land. That happened in 1948.
Pastor Don asked us if it was possible for us to take another 50 years of life like it is now? He doesn’t see how it is possible. We need to look up for our redemption draws nigh. Theology is narrow, many only see Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth – a narrow aspect of Jesus, but Jesus is far more than that. He is the WORD become flesh. The Word of God incarnate. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and returned to Glory. Aborigines and Mongolians who have never seen the Bible, never had a radio or TV, never heard an evangelist have still had encounters with Jesus. People have had divine visitations and when evangelists come to their area, they have already met Jesus. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
When Dr. Livingston came to a town, a witch doctor wanted him dead, but another person said to leave him be because the Creator sent him to the tribe. American Indians have seen the Great Spirit. Peter saw that other tribes feared God, and knew there was a creator. All it takes is the birth of a baby to have a person experience the miracle of creation.
1 Corinthians 15:9-11 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Paul felt unworthy, but he – like us, had to get past this unworthiness. The grace of God helped him to get past this, and now he served. The true Heavenly recognition of God is not for us to put our self down, but so that we can serve Him. Jesus did not let anyone put Him down. He served God, and showed God to people, but when they tried to put Him down he described those people as dead man’s bones and white washed tombs.
FALSE HUMILITY IS INVERTED PRIDE. We have to let go of our particular misery and go on with God, and what is good for us. It is perverted pleasure to say it is right to stay in misery, or to (as Pastor Don put it) piss in our own shoes. That is the work of satan. satan tries to convince us we are too smart to believe in the simplicity of the gospel, we say we are unfit for ministry because of our past and that is just inverted pride. satan wants us to spotlight the worst in us and point out how twisted we were, what goodness is there in that? If good is doing what God says, we have to replace that inverted pride and sense of unworthiness with who we are in Christ, and realize God can use even what was worst in us for His Glory. We are God’s fertilizer.
1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
Pastor Don said this is a scathing rebuke of anyone who says they are a disciple of Christ and do not believe in the resurrection of the dead. It is impossible, to be a disciple of Christ and not believe in resurrection. Pastor Don spent some time talking about the book 90 Minutes in Heaven by John Piper. It is a book I plan to get and read. Don Piper was pronounced dead at the scene of a car accident. He was so badly damaged that the EMTs decided to take his body out of the car in pieces, not even bothering to get the jaws of life – and he was pronounced dead. A passing pastor was told by God to pray over Don Piper’s body, and the only way he could get near the body was to climb in the back seat of the severely crushed car and reach his hand around the seat to touch the only intact part of Don Piper’s body, a shoulder. The pastor touched the shoulder, prayed and ultimately sang a hymn – “What a friend we have in Jesus.” As he was singing, the “dead” John Piper started singing with him. Now he spends his time going around talking about his experience in Heaven, and the Baptist pastor who prayed over Don Piper’s body now believes in signs and wonders. The pastor obeyed God in obedience, and God brought about a miracle. Don Piper also tells people, if they ever come across his dead body again, please do not pray that he returns to life. Heaven is awesome.
1 Corinthians 15:13-18 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen, and those who died in Christ are dead, and there is no more. It would be empty faith.
1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
It would be pathetic to believe in something that is not so. The Gospel assures us Christ conquered death, and so will we. Our faith is not empty. When we really begin to believe this with our heart what happens here on earth won’t bother us, for the real world is not down here. If we truly believe this, we will realize life is not all there is down here, but there is life beyond our world.
Someone asked about their relations who are blinded to the truth about God and Pastor Don suggested praying the following prayer from Ephesians over them, praying and inserting their name in the appropriate places.
Ephesians 1:15-23 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
When we meet someone who really does not like God it is important to ascertain what it is that the person has against God or the Church. Sometimes they have something against God, sometimes it is just against the Church. You need to help them realize God and the Church are not the same. Institutions can hurt people, and beat you up terribly, but it is wrong to assume God had anything to do with an institution hurting you.
Pastor Don talked about a person, long since dead, who told Pastor Don he could never go to church, that he was too sinful and God would reject him. He spent 20 years staying out of churches. Pastor Don told him one day, he hoped that the man had the courage to share with Pastor Don why. One Sunday the man came and told him he couldn’t come to church because he was going to hell. Why? As a farm teenager he once succumbed to bestiality with a cow, and one Sunday it was preached that was an abomination to God. He figured he was going to hell, so avoided church from that time on. Pastor Don was able to speak with this man about the forgiveness of God, and salvation from our sins. The man responded and asked for forgiveness from God, was brought back to the church and spent his remaining years as a blessed man of God.
There are so many out there who are believing their sins keep them from fellowship in Christ, believing God can’t forgive a particular sin. We need to listen and speak with people and find out the reason why they are rejecting God or fellowship with Christians. Only when we find out what the cause is, can we speak the words of truth to them and help them realize the incredible love of God.
I pray we all begin to listen to others who reject God and reach out to them with the Love of God.
Hoping this blessed you.
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