Lively Hope

The Feast of Trumpets is Monday, October 3, 2016.

The Feast of Atonement is Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

The Feast of Tabernacles is October 17-23, 2016.

Opening services for the Feast are Sunday evening, October 16, 2016.

The Feast of the Last Great Day is Monday, October 24, 2016.

Dear Brethren,

Did you ever stop to calculate how many people now on earth will have died by the time the Feast of Trumpets will have seen its fulfillment in the Plan of God?  Nearly everyone who is alive on earth at this moment will perish, including a great many Christians who will die in the Great Tribulation.  We read of those unprepared Christians being overcome in the tribulation here:

“The dragon was enraged with the woman [Church brethren], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  (Revelation 12:17)

“One of the elders answered, saying unto me, Who are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of Great Tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  (Revelation 7:13-14)

Satan’s wrath will be quelled by God’s wrath as the blast of the final trumpet sounds.  The great majority of those who will die in the final carnage have an entirely incorrect notion of the afterlife.  Their expectations range from, “When you die, it’s all over,” to heaven or hell as their final reward.  We know the truth of the matter.  The hope of Christians is eternal life as Jesus described it to the Jews of His day.

“Jesus said unto them, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.   Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”  (John 6:53-54)

Jesus Christ was speaking of the first and better resurrection of the qualified Christian saints.  The question we should be asking ourselves is, “Which resurrection will I be a part of?”  It is God the Father’s will that everyone who sees and believes Jesus Christ may have everlasting life.  The evidence of that belief in Jesus is how we live our lives now.  Speaking of the resurrection, Jesus said:

“This is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”  (John 6:40)

There will be a resurrection to immortal spiritual life of all those called, chosen, and faithful saints who have ever lived, at Christ's return – this is the first resurrection  (Revelation 17:14).  Peter referred to the resurrection of the saints as our viable expectation or “Lively Hope.”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  (1Peter 1:3-5)

There is good news for all men on earth.  Those who have not been called by God have not lost their opportunity for salvation.  At the end of the one thousand year millennium rule of Christ, there will be a second resurrection for those who have lived throughout the ages, and who have never had the opportunity to see and believe Jesus Christ  (John 6:40).  That resurrection will be to physical life during the Great White Throne Judgment period.  In this second resurrection, all will be called to salvation and spiritual birth into the Kingdom of God.

Then, there is a third general category that befalls the incorrigibly evil ones who reject and rebel against God.  The third resurrection, also to physical life, is for those who were once converted, had God’s Holy Spirit, but were not faithful to the end.  Their judgment is death in the lake of fire – the resurrection of damnation.

The Bible shows that there are resurrections to fleshly physical life, and to spiritual immortal everlasting Life.  These resurrections occur in their own order.

“The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”  (John 5:25)  “… there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”  (Acts 24:15)

The First Resurrection is to spiritual immortal Life.  It pertains to Jesus Christ and the saints.  Jesus Christ is the first resurrection:  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”  (John 11:25)  That is our Lively Hope.

Sermon:  "Lively Hope"