Pod Prep: 12-8-17
Did Paul State That He Wished to Die and Go to Heaven Upon Death ?
WHEN USING TUNNEL VISION PAUL IS EASILY MISUNDERSTOOD
Did the Apostle Paul say that he was in turmoil deciding whether to remain or die and go directly to Christ in heaven? Tunnel vision is used by those who approach the Bible with Protestant doctrines and then try to view only those verses that seem to support what they inherited from Roman Catholicism and centuries of paganized human customs. Note the following scripture for just one such example.
Phil. 1:23 For I am pressed together by the two: having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.
24 But to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
If one would look at this verse and overlook clearer scriptures with regard to when we receive our rewards and when to see Christ we can misunderstand. It is always best to use the clear straight forward verses first to set basic doctrine.
2Ti 4:6 For I am already being poured out, and the time of my release is here.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.
8 Now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that Day; and not to me only, but also to all those who love His APPEARING.
Note in the above scripture the terms 'at that day' and 'His appearing'. These inform us clearly that our rewards come at that day which involves the second coming of Christ. This agrees with other clear verses.
WHEN DO WE RECEIVE OUR REWARD AND SEE CHRIST ?
A wonderful event is schedule to happen at the revealing of Jesus at his second coming. The revealing of Christ will not only give the world the true leader it has needed but will usher us into the God family. We will be able to see God face to face. Wow! Even the great prophet Moses could not see God's face, but we will at His appearing .
1Jo 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
When is this event? It is part of what is known as 'that day' or the day of the Lord. Note Rev. 22:12.
Rev 22:12 And behold, I am coming quickly, and MY REWARD IS WITH ME, to give to each according as his work is.
God's time standard have him returning soon and quickly to give us our reward THEN. We will receive our reward's when Jesus returns to save the planet. Paul knew this as we can see from his letter to Timothy. Paul simply meant that in his next moment of consciousness after death, would be the wonderful union with our true Messiah Jesus.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE LAST TRUMP ?
Paul wrote about the last trump which we celebrate on the Feast of Trumpets. It is called the civil new year by Jews who know that it will be a new world at the sound of the Last Trumpet.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him all those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.
15 For we say this to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
What did Paul teach regarding those brethren that have passed away. When we will meet the Lord? This occurs at the last trump, prophesied to be heard at the second coming of Jesus Christ. These statements by Paul are clear and simple and straight forward. These are the statements one must base doctrines upon. Further note what Paul also wrote to the Corinthians. Paul is comforting the brethren with knowledge of those resting or asleep in Christ.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I speak a mystery to you; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed; 52 in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the Last Trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead saints are clearly in a sleep mode until the return of Christ.
Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 And those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the sky; and those who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever.
The final reward for the saved brethren or those who passed away securely in Christ is to rest until the time when we all shall shine like stars. Wow! Paul knew we sleep first then get our rewards unless we are alive at His second coming. Some of us may well be in that situation. Christ could be returning in the next ten to twenty years or less. Many of us would still be alive. Tunnel vision overlooks and does
not view the clear information that would lead one to the truth. People often see only what they wish to
see and ignore, like a perception tunnel, other clear qualifying information. They avoid some passages of scripture like the plague.
THE DEAD ARE SLEEPING AND KNOW NOTHING
We all have seen movies where the departed look upon their own dead body while they rise to a new heaven. They never loose consciousness. But is that what the Bible reveals ? No it is not.
Ec 9:5 For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; nor do they any longer have a part forever in all that is done under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor plan, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you go.
Ps 146:4 His breath goes forth; he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
One more often misunderstood verse is Philippians 3:20. Some words have changed meanings since the King James Translation.
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: KJV
All modern translations now render it ' citizenship is in heaven '. Yes God is running things from heaven where His throne is and we are told to gain favor in our heavenly accounts. Politeuma which is a Greek word, means citizenship. This does not counter the clearer verses. It simply means that this is not our world. Our world is in heaven and Christ will bring the Kingdom of God to Earth on His return. Ultimately God's throne will come down to Earth as well. Maybe the spiritual and physical world will then become one. See Revelations chapter twenty one.
Those of us who have been called and have our chance at salvation now when we pass will either be slated for the family of God or the Lake of fire and extinction. But we all will sleep until we are resurrected. God is not going to fail. Most of us will become sons of God. But some will fall away and be lost. By the grace of God most of us will remain faithful and be saved by Christ. We will eagerly awake to the happy return of Christ for us.