Category Archives: hope

Called, Chosen, and Predestined–Who Can Be Against Us?

It’s funny how we can read a verse of scripture for decades, thinking we understand it, and then one day, when it is pointed out, we “get the revelation.” We stared at it with open eyes, and we did not get it until it was time.

So it is with what Paul the apostle called “the manifestation of the sons of God.” “Manifestation” means “unveiling or revealing.” This unveiling, this making known of God’s sons for these last days is what this book is about. Certain people, in all likelihood living right now on the earth, have been chosen by their Creator to “overcome all things.”

These are the “elect” of the title of this volume. These have been elected or chosen by their Maker to sit with Him on His throne at the end of this age. They have a royal destiny to become kings sitting alongside Christ when He returns and sets up His kingdom.

They are described at length in Romans 8. They are “free from the law of sin and death” (v. 2). The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them because they walk in accordance with the Spirit of God (v. 1, 4). They are spiritually minded and have the Spirit of God dwelling in them (vs. 5-9). They have received the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of the Father; the Spirit has promised them that He will make alive their mortal bodies. They are “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” if they endure the sufferings that will come because of this commitment. If they suffer with Christ, then they “will be glorified together” (vs. 10-17).

Paul continues to say that “the sufferings” that we endure “are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us” (v. 18). The Spirit of God in Paul is telling these future chosen ones that God will reveal His glory in them! Furthermore, the whole creation is eagerly waiting for them to be revealed during these latter days. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (v. 19 NKJV).

Every living thing in the creation is dying or will die. We all have bodies made of earth that will give up the ghost and melt back to clay. We are all slaves and are in bondage to this mortal fate. Why is the whole creation waiting for the revealing of the immortal sons of God? “Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of decay into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (vs. 20-21).

In a harvest, there are always first fruits. A few human beings will be glorified first, thus showing the way for the rest of the creation. Paul likens it to the whole creation groaning in birth pains, how we are all groaning and travailing, waiting, waiting for somebody to transcend death and decay. We do not want to die, and we certainly do not desire our loved ones to wax cold as the ground that receives them. Impending death is so horrid, that we refuse to think on it. If only we had a  champion to show us the way to immortality. Even we who have the down payment of the Spirit are groaning right along with the whole creation, “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (v. 22-23). We are waiting for the antidote.

We now live and walk around in these aging, decaying bodies, but some of us can take comfort in that we have a measure of His Spirit within. But we “are saved by hope”—hope that though we do not yet see the immortal bodies that God has promised us, “we with patience wait for it.” It is a tough and sometimes lonely road, but the Spirit helps us to pray, and Christ our High Priest makes intercession for us (v. 24-27).

In the last few verses of Romans 8, we get to the meaning of the title of this book, The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. We see that those that love God are the ones He has “called according to His purpose.” He has a definite purpose (v. 28). He foreknew these; He knew them from the beginning, and He gave them a destiny beforehand; He “also predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son” so that Christ would be the firstborn among many sons and daughters (v. 29). The remainder of the chapter insures us of God’s love for us in seeing us through to the end. After all, it is His plan and purpose.

The premise of this book is that the future sons and daughters of God must go through a rigorous unlearning and learning. The false teachings fed to us by the world must be purged, and the thoughts of God, the mind of Christ, must be learned in their stead. For the wide highways of the world are paved with poisoned stones, smooth for the tread of the bygone masses. The way of the elect is a narrow path that winds its way up the mountain of God. It is rocky and rough, and few are able to finish the race. Those that do will overcome all the sufferings and sacrifices and will be the forerunners for the whole creation. They already are chosen and predestined to win. Their confidence is in their Father who created them for the fulfilling of His purpose. They will have a hunger for God’s purpose; they will long to get the truth about why we are here, and why we are dodging death during our earthly sojourn. They will learn of His plan and purpose, His thoughts, His ways. And the old teachings about God they will gladly shed, and they will marvel at how small and suffocating churchianity’s dogmas were.

For these overcomers, soon to be glorified and revealed to the world, will return and “build the old waste places.” They shall be “the trees of righteousness” and the “planting of the LORD.” They shall bring great glory to God through their humble service to Him.

This book speaks of the beginnings of the mind of Christ, the thoughts of God, which are some of the first lessons about God that these future sons and daughters must have “to make their calling and election sure.” They will ask, What is this purpose of God that Paul speaks of? What is His plan to implement His purpose? What are His thoughts that are not our thoughts? Why are we really here? What’s really happening?

[This article will serve as part of the Preface of the above mentioned book that I am finishing at present. Hopefully, it will be published next summer. Kenneth Wayne Hancock]

 

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The Manifestation of the Sons of God–The Hope for Immortality, Christ’s Return, and the “Strong Delusion”

Turn on the news and what do you see? Suicide bombings, children slaughtered, ethnic cleansing, civil wars, domestic violence–the results of hatred at every turn. The “perilous times” that the apostle Paul wrote about are upon us. The Savior said as much. “In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” And He promised that we could overcome also.

But what constitutes this overcoming the world? How did He overcome the world? We will find the answer in the power of His resurrection. This power spearheads the ultimate victory that He promised His followers. “You shall overcome also.”

You shall become like Me, He is promising. You shall walk with Me and be like Me in My immortal state. You shall receive an immortal spiritual body just like mine. John confirms this. “When He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man who has this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3: 2-3). Our hope is to be like Him–immortal.

Let’s savor these words a moment. “When He shall appear, we shall be like Him.” Christ is immortal, and so will we be when He shall appear. So when will that be?

When will Christ appear?

Christ Himself said that He will appear upon His return to earth “immediately after the tribulation of those days” (Matt. 24: 29). Which tribulation? It will be “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be” (24: 21). It will be so destructive that God will have to intervene and stop it before all mankind is wiped out. “But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (v. 22). God’s precious elect, His sons and daughters, will evidently be in danger, for He cuts the tribulation short to spare them from collateral destruction.

Furthermore, during this great tribulation period, deception and delusion will permeate the earth through the teachings of the false Christs and false prophets. They will be so convincing that it will almost deceive God’s elect, who are obviously still here on earth. For they could not be deceived by Satan if they were already with God in heaven. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matt. 24: 24.

This is the environment of Christ’s return to earth. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send his angels…and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds…

It is a time of “great tribulation” in the earth. Christ returns at the end of this tribulation. In fact, His presence brings peace and tranquility to the earth.

And when He shall appear at this time, then “we shall be like Him.” His Spirit will be living in us fully. And this is our hope. We shall receive immortality and become just like Him–right here on earth. Not in the sky by and by. No. Right here. How can I be sure of that? Because He has promised in His word that He is coming back to earth, the same way He left earth!

Our hope is to receive immortality, thus escaping a certain physical death that stalks humans on this earth.

Our hope of everlasting life

Paul admonished the church of the Thessalonians to have this very hope of receiving a new immortal body. He mentions that if you are sorrowful because of brethren who have died, you are acting like you have no hope (I Thess. 4: 13). Hope of what? He speaks of Christ dying and rising from the dead. The same power that raised Him from the dead will give the dead in Christ a new body when He comes back to earth. Those who die or “sleep” in Jesus (Yahshua), “God will bring with Him” (v. 14).

God will be bringing with Him His saints who have died before His return to earth. Where will He be bringing them from? And to where? The answer is found in verse 16: He “shall descend from heaven with a shout.” He is coming from heaven to this earth, and the dead in Christ will be coming with Him.

Those of us who do not die before His return will not precede the Christians that have died. “We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep” (v. 15). Precede them in what? Those of the elect who are still alive at His return will not go before the dead in Christ in getting their immortal, spiritual body (See I Cor. 15: 23). They will get theirs first, then we will receive our immortal bodies, and we will join them, “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (v. 17).

Rapture doctrine erroneously based on one verse

The rapture doctrine has been built upon one major verse: I Thessalonians 4: 17. Of course, “rapture” is not in the scriptures. A closer study of this passage reveals events quite differently than what those waiting for the “rapture” envision. They imagine that they will be conveniently whisked away from the “time of trouble,” the great tribulation period, that shall ravage the earth at the time of His return. They base this primarily on one verse.

But let us dig deep into it and see what it really says. First, He is coming back to this earth. When He gets into the atmosphere of this planet, the dead in Christ will receive a new immortal, spiritual body, rising up to meet Him.  Those of us who are still living will join them “in the clouds…in the air.”

So there is a “catching away,” a rising up into our atmosphere. “Clouds” and “air” are components of the very atmosphere that we mortals breathe as we stand here on earth. The dead in Christ will join Him upon His return, and then those alive in Him will be changed and “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ in the air.” Our change, when “this mortal shall put on immortality,” shall take place in the very atmosphere that we now breathe.

There will be air and clouds there. The Greek manuscripts are clear on this. Now take note of the next line in v. 17: “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This   part of the passage is never quoted. We will join up with Him in our atmosphere rising in our new spiritual bodies from the earth, and then we will come right back down onto terra firma! We will come back down to earth after that short ride because He is immediately coming back to earth. And we are coming back down to earth with Him, for we shall “ever be with Him.”

This is our hope–to be eternally with Christ

We will forever be with Him at this time–all of His people down through the ages and those of His who are alive when He returns. That is our hope! The first step that He will take will be right here on earth.

Paul continues to explain to the Thessalonians about how Christ’s return will be “as a thief in the night” to those who walk in darkness. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Those in spiritual darkness will not know when He is coming back, but the elect will know and not be overtaken. “You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness’ (I Thess. 5: 2-9).

God’s children will be changed into immortals and will not be taken in the “sudden destruction” coming upon all those in darkness. Paul says that at the time of end, the world system will be trying to induce an artificial man-made peace throughout the globe. They will say that everything is fine now. “Peace and safety” will be the talk of the land, but real peace will not reside in the hearts of the earth’s inhabitants. In reality, a godless darkness will cover the land.

Yet, this earth in all of its end time spiritual darkness will be the stage for man’s greatest disaster and greatest triumph. The New World Order and its enforced peace will crumble under the onslaught of God’s missiles, His heavenly bodies that will literally crash down onto this earth, wiping out whole civilizations. It will be a “time of trouble” never seen before on earth.

Rising out of the ashes

But, rising out of the wasteland will come striding God’s chosen ones, His elect, His sons and daughters, His ambassadors–the princes and princesses of God’s kingdom. They will have God fully formed in them. Nothing will harm them, for they are from another dimension–a heavenly one that has transcended earthly matter. They will no longer be of this earth. They will have been “changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.”

This at once terrible and glorious day will come on the world as “a thief in the night.” Darkness will envelop the land, literally and spiritually. But, as Paul exhorts, you are “the children of light…we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (I Th 5: 4-5). The very fact that we have the Spirit within us, will make us where we can see the “thief” who operates out in the night of the world system. God’s elect will know. We will know by the signs of the times, for we will be “sober, armed with the armor of God, “the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.” This “hope of salvation” is the hope of our deliverance  from the dusty tombs of our mortal earthy existence. This “hope of salvation” is the looking forward to us receiving our new spiritual body at His coming–whether we be dead or alive upon His return.

At the end of this present age, the earth, totally immersed in the evil world system, will be a crucible of wrath, bathed in fire and blood. Yet this earth’s most painful travail will with supreme irony give birth to the sons and daughters of the great Father Yahweh. They will be the first immortals to take up residence on this earth since Christ Himself did for 40 days after His resurrection. They will have His Spirit fully residing within, and they “will build the old waste places” (Isa. 61: 1-4). Paul and the Thessalonians looked forward to this day, our day. In fact, their spirit still looks forward to the day of Christ’s return, which will fulfill our hope–our hope for immortality.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes–A Eulogy

This solemn occasion, in which we gather to bury this loved one, brings the age old question to mind: How do we deal with death?  To be human is to have pondered this inevitable enigma.  The death of someone close to us hurls us into thoughts about our own mortality.  Death is that lonely part of the human journey, the ticket to that solitary ride into the mysterious cosmos and the life beyond.

Death, and how to deal with it, is one of the great themes of literature.  It is the constant concern that motivates thinkers, writers, and philosophers to dive into the depths of the human condition.

We want to know what follows this fragile earthly existence.  What really happens?  Not what this man says nor what that group claims, but what really transpires.  What is the truth concerning that first step beyond this dimension?

Being Christians, we will look to the bestseller of all time, the Holy Bible.  We will look to the ancient Hebrew patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and the Savior Himself for our answers.

What did they say about death?  Not what someone said they said, but what words did they actually write down to explain to us about this experience called death?  Moses reports to us that the LORD (Yahweh in the Hebrew) said to the fallen Adam, “In the sweat of thy face shall you eat bread, till you return unto the ground, for out of it were you taken.  For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3: 19).  Later in Genesis, Abraham said, Look at me.  Here I am about to speak to Yahweh my Creator, and I am only “dust and ashes” (18: 27).  King David says to God, “You have brought me into the dust of death.”

And some say that that is all there is.  We are born; we walk around the earth for a moment in time; we laugh; we cry, and then we cease to be.  But according to the Hebrew authors of the Bible, that is only half of the story.

Yes, our bodies are composed of dust and ashes.  But another very special ingredient must be added.  Take the dust, mix it with water, and add the special spark of the spirit through the miracle of the Master’s touch, and you have the human being–what the apostle Paul called, “the glory of God.”

“There is a spirit in man…”

The prophet Job confirms this when he writes, “There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives man understanding” (32: 18).  Inside this miraculously fashioned body of dust lies a spirit given to us by our Creator through which He enlightens us.  Job goes on and says that God speaks to us “in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then God opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that God may withdraw man” from his own purpose, and hide pride from man.”

God reaches out to us as we walk “through this valley of the shadow of death.”  Job later explains how our “soul draws near to the grave.”  Then God says to his messengers, “Deliver them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.”

God promises to restore us to our youth if we say to our Maker, “I have sinned, and perverted that which is right…then He will deliver us from going to the pit, and his life shall see the light” (Job 33: 15-28).

Hope in the Resurrection

Who will deliver us from the grave?  2,000 years before the Savior walked the streets of Jerusalem, Job wrote, “For I know that my Redeemer lives,  and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth,” and though my body be destroyed, “yet in my flesh shall I see God” (18: 25-26).

The prophet Daniel confirmed this hope of life after our earthly body passes away.  Michael the archangel told him that the resurrection will take place after the great “time of trouble” that will befall the earth in the latter days.  At that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (12: 1-2).

So, there it is.  In these few passages, we see a resurrection that will lift us up out of the dust of our graves.   The resurrection is our only hope, and that hope hinges on our Redeemer and Savior.  Christ said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
It is now left up to us the living to seek out and find our own way with our Maker.  It is a personal thing.  We all must find the path that leads out of the dust and ashes of death and be reconciled with God.  We can help each other, of course, but we cannot “walk that lonesome valley” for someone else.

And so, now, we commend Scott Kenneth Hancock’s spirit back to the Heavenly Father from whence it came, and in fulfillment of scripture, we place his dust and ashes back into the earth from whence it came.

May God’s grace and mercy help us all on our journey back to the heart of God.  Amen.

[Remembering my Dad with these words spoken over his grave ten years ago.]        Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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A Lesson in Wisdom

Who is that one person that you love so much that you would give all your assets and possessions, even your own soul, so that they could live on for ever and never have to taste death, never have to lie there cold and ashen, prepared for burial?

We all have someone, surely, that we would give everything to redeem them from the inevitable decay that awaits them in the belly of the earth.

But we cannot make them live on for ever.  We do not possess the power to save them.  They will die; the graveyards are full of people that someone loved dearly yet could not prevent their demise.

I remember the scene at the graveyard.  Most of the mourners had left.  Hugging the casket of the 20 year old young man was his grandfather, sobbing and moaning, “But I loved him.  My darling boy.  But I loved him!”  And in that instant I knew that he would have given his very own life in exchange for his grandson’s.  But he could not.

We mortal human beings cannot redeem, for any price, someone that we love.  Our riches cannot be brought and given to God as a ransom paid in order to purchase the life of our loved one and thus prevent them from dying.

It is only God Almighty, the Giver of life to our loved one, who will take back that life at a certain time.  We are not in control of life or death.  God is, and He will take our lives back to Himself. And there is nothing we can do to alter this fact.  Rooms full of gold cannot purchase a ticket out of death.

And God has ordained this so, as a lesson for us to learn, a lesson to teach us wisdom and understanding, a lesson for all people in the world, rich and poor and high and low.  The lesson lies in us facing up to this truth: that God is sovereign and in complete control of our scheduled descent into the dusty tomb of the earth.

As we contemplate this, it is God’s hope that we distill drops of sorely needed wisdom, which is the “fear of the LORD (Yahweh).”  Wisdom is being in reverential awe of this God, who is in control, who has given us a short time in these earthly bodies to learn of Him and His love, who will someday soon take the spark of His spirit back, and our fragile shells will fall to the ground, taking nothing with them, no matter how richly arrayed they once were.

Wisdom is being in awe of Him.  And understanding is “to depart from evil.”  He hopes that these thoughts will awaken His people to His saving power, for He is the only power in the universe that can and has trumped death.

And when we realize all this, that He has already paid the price for our resurrection, then this meditation on our weakness and His power over death will have done its job on us.  For the above is the lesson found in Psalm 49.  Read it all again.  It is addressed to you, to all of us.  “Hear this, all peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world…my mouth shall speak wisdom.”      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Patience–Enduring the “Sufferings of This Present Time”

As the sons and daughters of God, we are to add certain spiritual attributes of God’s “divine nature.”  This is how we become “partakers of His divine nature” (II Peter 1: 4-7).  This assures our inheritance as His sons and daughters. These attributes are added in sequence–in layers, if you will.  To our faith we add virtue, and then knowledge onto it.  Then we add temperance to that knowledge.  Then we add patience onto the temperance.

Patience.  Patience.  Oh, how we all need patience in this hurry-scurry world!  This world that careens through our conscious hours robs us of this important godly essence–patience.  The swirling, rushing pace of our 21st Century lives conspire against us in our search for truth.  Patience is needed to even read this simple article on patience.

For all that we see and hear is temporary.  We will be able to temper the appetites of our earthly bodies more easily when we realize how transitory–how utterly perishable our bodies are.  When we believe this and wholeheartedly acknowledge the need for God’s promise of our immortal house from heaven, we will more easily shift our focus from the temporary to the eternal.

The Next Step in Adding the Divine Nature

And that next step is adding patience to the temperance.  But in order to add patience, which is the ability to endure the sufferings of Christ, we must understand just what those sufferings are.  Paul speaks of them when he writes, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8: 18).  This “glory” is, of course, that destiny of God’s elect after they have grown spiritually to full maturity, which is the evidence of them partaking of the divine nature.

But those “sufferings” spoken of by the apostle is the sojourn we are experiencing in these mortal earthly bodies.  For “we have this treasure [of the Spirit] in earthen vessels” (II Cor. 4:7).  And that is the root of our current spiritual problem.  Our bodies are, alas, mere temporary bottles holding the water of the Spirit.

“This present time” in which these sufferings are being endured is our time now  in our earthly bodies.  Our perishable fragile mortal bodies will too soon return to dust.  Now is our time of waiting with long patience, trusting God will deliver us from the long sleep that awaits us, tucked in dust in the tomb of the earth.

Temporarily housed in our earthly tabernacles at “this present time,” we have a universal thirst that yearns to be quenched.  And that desire is to live on.  And whether cognizant of it or not, we are waiting in “earnest expectation…for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8: 19).

And so we who have a portion of His Spirit, for a dry season at present, find ourselves trapped in a shell that will die soon.  And so we wait for our forerunners, the sons of God to be unveiled first, for they are the firstfruits.  And so we are waiting for these offspring of the Almighty to come onto the scene.

For they will give His other children great hope when they are seen striding this earth–a hope that they, too, can be “delivered from the bondage of corruption,” which is the cruel slavery that our present mortal bodies inflict on us in our new spiritual journey.

Slaves to Our Own Mortality

Our earthly bodies are decaying as they grow older each day, and we are not free to ascend and descend at will.  We are on a timetable, slated to expire, most likely before the age of 80–whether we want to or not.  That’s slavery; that’s being in bondage to our own mortality.  That is the “bondage of corruption.”  In the earthly sense, we are slaves to our own decay and impending death.

In our youth we were not aware of this impending decay of our earthly body.  Hence, we thought ourselves invincible and immortal.  But as we get older and see our bodies deteriorate, we see that we become the slaves to our own bodily limitations.  We begin to admit that we cannot do what we once did.  Our age, brought on by the ravages of time, becomes our master and limits us and dictates to us what we can and cannot do.  This is the “bondage of corruption.”

Aging is the accumulation of many miles and years on the human body.  Aging is that onerous sign announcing our impending physical passing.  But this daily physical decay of our bodies does not work on our spirits.  We can take heart in this, that “though our outward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4: 16).  And this renewing is the “partaking of the divine nature,” the adding to our faith of which we speak.

So why death?

And so we ask God, Why do we have to die?  Why give us a mortal body, God?  Why subject us to all this suffering?  The short answer: God created us “subject to vanity.”  He deliberately subjected us to mortality in hope that we would be delivered into immortality.  He made us to suffer this mortal existence in hope that we would seek Him, who is Life Himself, and in so doing find eternal life, which is the fulfillment of His promise to them who seek Him and love Him.

God has dangled death ever before us so that we would seek Him.  He reasoned that our looming demise would spur us to seek Him for answers to our dilemma.  Surely we would call on Him, the Giver of Life, to help us solve this problem of mortality if we were confronted with the sadness of first, the loss of loved ones and then, finally, ourselves.

God provided a law ingrained into the universe, as sure as gravity, that if we seek Him for the truth, we would find it.  “Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you,” Christ promised (Matt. 7: 7).

And so, confronted by the sufferings of our mortal worries, we turn to God.  And His words resound through the ages to our hearts and tell us the answer to the riddle of our faint existence.  He tells us that He is the Fount from which the blessing of immortality flows.  And it starts with believing in the resurrection of His Son.  And latching onto that faith in Him begins our own new life, ending in the complete inheritance of a new spiritual body that will swallow up this old earthly one (I Cor. 15).

He seems to be saying, Surely when they see my Son arise from the dead, they will turn to Me in great hope that My resurrection power will one day raise them up as well.

His resurrection is our hope to escape the dusty tombs of death.  And yet, the sufferings continue.  And as He teaches us and helps us to endure all things, we add patience.  For patience is that part of God’s nature that endures.  It lasts.  And as we continue our sojourn in these earthly vessels, He grants to us patience by infusing us with experiences that helps us endure, that gives us rather things to endure.

Yes, “tribulation worketh patience” or “suffering produces endurance” (Rom. 5: 3).  Earthly wisdom shuns all sufferings.  The wisdom from above prescribes it.  That is why He allows us to suffer–so that we can become like Him.  For He planned those very steps of suffering for Himself, and if we want to be His sons and daughters, we must suffer with Him.  That’s a tough one.  That is why “few are chosen” (Matt. 22: 14).  Those chosen are the elect, and they will submit to the plan along with its sufferings, much like those chosen for our Special Forces endure the sufferings that the training entails.  It all comes with the territory.  To reign with Him we must suffer with Him (II Tim. 2: 12).   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Receiving Immortality and Overcoming Death, Our “Last Enemy”

The saddest, darkest, and most hopeless day is to believe that when we and our loved ones die, then that’s it; there’s no tomorrow.  Death is our “last enemy.”  And Death stalks us, and our minds scurry away from it.  Our mortal condition haunts us and causes us to at times run and hide from having to think about Death.

But God has made a promise–that all those who believe in the Savior will be rewarded in receiving immortality.  This is our hope (1).    Our day of adoption into this immortal realm is when we receive our immortal spiritual bodies in the future on a certain date (2).

Many of His followers will have to face the fact that their earthly bodies will expire before that glorious date comes (3).  The encouraging part is that He has given a portion of His Spirit to them.  They carry His Spirit within their mortal bodies.  And with it, they not only “put to death” old deeds of the flesh, but also bear spiritual gifts to the unenlightened–to help them enter into the truth.

For His promise to us is that even if we die this earthly death before that certain date in the future, He will grant unto us a new immortal body and with it everlasting life.  So whether we die or whether we live on till He come back, we are assured in our hearts, when we believe that He will do what He said He will do in granting us immortality.

He grants unto us His mortal believers His Spirit, which is a down payment, a kind of spiritual earnest “money,” if you will, until that day (4).   We then wield the Spirit as a sword, cutting off every thought of minds that come against the truth.  Every grudge, every insincere gesture, every fear do we deal a death blow.  In so doing, we shall have an abundant door provided unto us to enter His Kingdom of the Immortals (5).       Kenneth Wayne Hancock

  1. Romans 8: 23-24
  2. Romans 8: 15
  3. II Cor. 5: 1-4; 4: 7
  4. II Cor. 1: 22
  5. II Peter 1: 11

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Filed under death, glorification, hope, immortality