September 4, 2017: Day 16 – II Timothy 2September 4, 2017
I was going to save this explanation until Revelation, but I think it might fit in well with this chapter in II Timothy. If we were to say that the Cowboys destroyed the Eagles, you would all know that I was talking about football. But if we buried those headlines and dug them back up two thousand years from now people just might think that this land was one where people on horses fought against giant eagles in order to procure the land. They would miss the metaphor and the hidden meanings which all of us understand today. That happens a lot in Scripture.
When Paul speaks to Timothy in the last chapter about Phygelus and Hermogenes and then again this chapter about Hymenaeus and Philetus we simply do not know who they are. But we can guess that they were Christians who were in the flock who then decided to leave the flock because this living in hiding and not letting others know that you are a Christian was not for them. They were certainly people who were apostates (that’s the fancy term for leaving the faith). But it was especially difficult for the first century church when people fled the faith because then the whole community could be susceptible to the authorities. Paul is especially harsh on people who step away from the faith. He basically approaches it as there being no compromise with those people. That’s why Paul states: “The Lord knows who are his.” We can never truly know, and I would argue that we should never question or wonder. But in this chapter the problem was also that they were teaching false principles which were extremely dangerous for this fledgling community.
The problem was found in the false teaching where these two troublemakers were saying that Jesus had already come back again and that the dead had already been raised. So, I often get the question: what happens once we die? Are we immediately resurrected, or is there a period of time where we kind of hang out until Jesus comes back again in the second coming. My understanding of Scripture and my very firm belief is that the moment that we die we are resurrected with a new body, spirit and soul with Jesus in heaven. There is no in between phase, and it isn’t just our spirit or our soul which goes to heaven. All of us, including our resurrected body. Paul wants people to not be uninformed.
I also love the definition of a leader according to Paul’s words: And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness.
I’ve often wondered about our resurrection. Can you explain the basis for your belief that resurrection is immediate? -Mark
How do I know that the resurrection happens immediately and there isn’t some time in between where either we are waiting for the judgment day or we are in some kind of suspended state until Jesus comes back? Let’s begin by the statement that we can agree on: Jesus is coming back. That is attested to in Scripture in various places (http://ipost.christianpost.com/post/15-bible-verses-that-jesus-speaks-about-his-second-coming). When Jesus does come back these same Scripture attest to the fact that he will bring us to his side. Or said in other words, we will be with Jesus when he comes again.
That leaves us with the embarrassment of the reality that Jesus has not come back so what about all those who have died. What happens with them? They have already died, from the time that Jesus was resurrected to now there are nearly 2000 years of dead people who have loved Jesus for whom we have to account. This is where I Corinthians comes in handy. Take a bit of time and read through I Corinthians 15:35-58. There are markers throughout these verses that need to be recognized. These verses address a number of different topics. One which is important for this conversation is the fact that we believe in a bodily/physical resurrection. We don’t just believe that the soul is raised from the dead, but that we will be in physical bodily form when we die and are resurrected. I don’t believe the body that we will acquire will be anything like the body that we have on earth, but it will be a physical body just as we will be physically in heaven. Again, this is my bias, I believe in a physical heaven (and hell) as well as a physical resurrection. Okay, that isn’t just my bias but has been Christian orthodoxy for the past 2000 years, so it is not my own unique belief.
When I read these verses and get to the point in vs.51-52 I read it and understand that we will be changed suddenly and completely in one moment. From that I believe that when we die there will be no waiting period. As soon as we die then suddenly and instantly we will be with Jesus. But how? Jesus hasn’t come back yet.
Then I take you to II Peter 3 and you see that same question asked. Read through it. Once you have then I can say from vs.8 that because one day is like a thousand years to God, that when we die and are immediately taken up to Christ it is as if no time has passes. We are not waiting in limbo, there is no in between stage, in reality and in God’s time, we are taken immediately to be with him.
I hope this helps.
Thanks. I have some reading to do.