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For What Are You Preparing Yourself? 10

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For What Are You Preparing Yourself? 10

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (II Timothy 4:3—NIV)

I guess common sense is not as common as one could wish, when we see people rushing to the Bible book store to buy the latest book that gives the date of the "rapture." People make a lot money writing and selling these books. If the Christian book stores had integrity they would offer a money-back guarantee in case it didn't take place!

The author should give back every penny of royalties if it doesn't happen. He should not be getting rich telling people something is going to happen and getting them all excited when he doesn't know what he is talking about. Don't you agree? People get sued today when something they sell doesn't work like it is supposed to.

Maybe we enjoy having our ears tickled and don't mind wasting a few bucks. Do you suppose this is the case?

There is this about it: If you have itching ears there always is someone at hand to scratch them for you.

There are two visions of the land of promise. One is Heaven. The other is the earth. One of these is not the Bible vision. The only way we are going to find out which is the true vision is to read the Bible.

Does the Bible speak of parks, trees, flowers, children playing, mansions in Heaven where we sit and talk small talk with our friends and relatives?

Does the Bible tell us the Lord is coming to catch us up to Heaven where we will spend eternity?

Or does the Bible tell us the Lord is coming to the earth to establish His Kingdom so justice will prevail among the nations? Will the meek, the teachable of the earth, inherit Heaven or the earth? What does the Bible say?

Do both Testaments stress the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth or our eternal life in Heaven?

We spend our whole life learning to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He changes us into the image of Christ. Are we being changed so we will more effectively live in Heaven or rule the nations on the earth?

Think about the resurrection from the dead. The resurrection from the dead is a central act of redemption. Today we are stressing the ascension because we want to get out of here as soon as possible. But the ascension is not an act of redemption, it is only one of our first steps in the Kingdom after our resurrection. If we don't have a decent resurrection we certainly do not want to be caught up and then have to face the Lord Jesus!

It is the resurrection that is central to the Gospel of the Kingdom. The Christian churches seem to be unaware that our behavior today is having a direct effect on the kind of resurrection we shall experience. As we are sowing we are going to reap.

Now, why are we going to be resurrected? Why is our mortal body going to be redeemed, made alive by the Spirit of God?

Is our body going to be raised from the dead so we can go to Heaven? This does not make sense. We go to Heaven by dying, by leaving our body, not by gaining it back. The truth is, the resurrection of the mortal body has nothing at all to do with going to Heaven.

We are raised from the dead so we can live on the earth. Once we lose our body to physical death we are not permitted to live on the earth and bother people from our position of invisibility; at least most people are not allowed to do this.

To be continued. For What Are You Preparing Yourself? 11