Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last Things

I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting

The two last tenets of the Creed deal with the last things. That is, they are about death, judgment, and eternity.

"The resurrection" in this phrase does not deal directly with the resurrection of our Lord. It is about our own resurrection. Our resurrection will occur because Christ has already been raised. As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. We will all die. But we also all be raised. This resurrection will occur when our Lord returns to judge the living and the dead. When we are raised we will be judged. Those who have done good will receive the resurrection to eternal life, but those who have done evil will receive the resurrection to eternal torment (see Jn. 5:28,29).

There is a teaching that those who are Christians will not be judged for their works since they are saved by faith. This is not entirely true. Jesus said we will be judged by our works and so did Paul. In fact, virtually every passage of Scripture dealing with judgment says we will be judged by our works. However, what is necessary to understand is that our works must flow from faith. We are not saved because of what we have done, but because of what Christ has done. If we truly believe that we will do good works in obedience and gratitude to our Lord. As James says, faith without works is dead.

If we remain true to Christ until death we have His promise of eternal life. We believe that we will be with Him forever. This is eternal life, to know God (Jn. 17:3). To be with Him forever is eternal life. This is the goal of our faith. It is the end for which we strive daily in our warfare against sin. It is why we struggle to indeed be holy as our Lord is holy.

No one knows the day or the hour in which our Lord will return. So we must live each day, indeed each moment, as if it is our last. We must always have an eye on eternity and live with kingdom values in view.

This is our Faith. May all who read these posts be brought near to our God to receive His love and mercy in our time of need!

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