Monday, June 1, 2009

In the Midst of Pain and Death We Rejoice!

For ease of reading, you can place your cursor over the referenced verses to read a pop-up of the verse. In most instances I've typed out at least part of the verse, but you can use the pop-ups if you wish.

Last week in reading in the New Testament the words in Luke 10:20 jumped out at us. Jesus had sent seventy disciples to go out into the villages, etc., to teach and to heal. When they returned the seventy were rejoicing that "even the demons were subject to them".

But read Jesus' response in Luke 10:20...""Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."

Names recorded in heaven? Where? And for what? Let's check further!

In Psalm 139:16 David speaks of God having chosen him from his mother's womb, before he was born. He says this...."Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

Daniel 12:1-2 speaks of a book as well..."at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued."

In Philippians 4:3, Paul is instructing the brethren to love and be of help to one another. He describes his fellow believers as those "whose names are in the book of life."

In Hebrews 12:23 the writer describes believers as being members of the "church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven.."

The Spirit of Christ is speaking to the disciple John in vision when he states in Revelation 3:5 "He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

In Revelation 13:8, we see that not all are written in the book of life. This verse speaks of those who worship the beast (those who do not worship God). And it speaks of them "whose name has NOT been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb..." Also see Revelation 17:8 in regards to those whose names are Not written in the book.

And now we go to Revelation 20:12 wherein it states, "And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds." Follow that verse with Revelation 20:15 and you will see it is Not Good to not have your name written in the book of life! Then Revelation 21:27 speaks of the New Jerusalem (the heavenly city) when it says that no one shall come into the heavenly city except those "...whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."

Now I want to take you back to Luke 10:20. Jesus instructs the disciples (and believers) to rejoice! And he says in regards to experiences, even miraculous experiences, that we are to rejoice not in those experiences but in the fact that our names are recorded in the book of life from the foundation of the world.

We can rejoice that God, before Creation itself, had already prepared a kingdom, a New Jerusalem, heaven if you please, for His people. We see that in Matthew 25:34 where Jesus is speaking of Judgment Day. He says this: "Then the King (that's Jesus) will say those on His right (believers) 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'"

Regardless of our earthly circumstances those who follow Christ are to rejoice! Our names are written! Christ's redemptive work was put in place before the foundation of the world...the plan of salvation was a sure thing...our salvation was a sure thing...and now we walk with joy. Ephesians 1:4 and Hebrews 4:3.

Rejoice! Even in the midst of cancer, I can rejoice!


Debra said...

Thank you for this beautiful post.

Glynis said...

Absolutely thought provoking. This surely offers comfort and cause to seek His face and delve into the Word of God! I am refreshed. Thanks for making me think tonight. Blessings and joy to you!

Forrest said...

I certainly rejoice in your general subject and truth. But for all of us “archaic” King James Bible users…some of the theology developed on “before the foundation of the world” from other versions doesn’t fit. Things that are different can’t be the same, right?

So as usual it becomes an issue of “which Bible” out there is the inspired, preserved, and written WORD of God. Which Bible can you trust? Is God’s word really God’s word? In my understanding, for us today, the only thing that assures eternal life is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. I know you agree with that and that we must simply preach Jesus and Him crucified.

If one believes he is chosen from the foundation of the world and that God annihilates the will, that’s their right to do so. But I know you agree our message today is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I believe, as you have said in the past that Jesus died for all people, the whole world, and for every person. His atonement is not limited. He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the scriptures. I know you believe that. For what it’s worth, here’s what the King James Bible says on some of the verses you referenced.

(KJB) Psalms 139:16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

[In context David is referring to his creation as a human being.]

(KJB) Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

[The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world.]

(KJB) Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

[The Bible says the kingdom was prepared for you, NOT that you were prepared for the kingdom—from the foundation of the world.]

(KJB) 1 John 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that BELIEVETH that Jesus is the Son of God?

Renna said...

I rejoice with you!

Marian S. said...

Amen, Amen, Amen!
It is an amazing thing that God chose to save any of us and even, as Scripture says " while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
His sovereign choice of depraved individuals like myself is a great cause for rejoicing, comfort, and security no matter what the circumstances, as you wrote.
The fact that it was secured "before the foundations of the world" just blows my mind!

....just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself... Eph. 1:4-5
Praise God for HIs Spirit in you, Judy, who reminds you of these things and gives you great cause to rejoice and great peace that surpasses all understanding!
I rejoice with you!