There were several questions concerning the resurrection yesterday! Some of them I can only guess or hypothesize about. Some I can give a Biblical answer too. So I will list the question and give a Biblical response if there is one and lastly what I think (if that matters at all). Some of your questions are personal and mean a lot to you I don’t mean to offend. My view point may be different than yours and that is OK I will be clear when it is an opinion of mine and when it is Scripture.
- What happens to people who believe that “Mother Earth” is the Supreme being and also believe that Baptists and Christians hate anyone who is not Christian? Well not necessarily a resurrection question but here we go… In John 14:6 Jesus said he was the only way to heaven – not anything or anyone else. The “New” age philosophies deny God as God and of course Jesus as Savior. We can pray that God opens their eyes to the truth. As to the second part, I do have to agree that sometimes Christians and yes even Baptists are a little zealous in their belief. Sometimes we yell and scream our message and it has a way of being perceived as hate and not loving. Jesus said we are to have love for one another. I for one do not hate those who have different viewpoints – I want people to know truth and treat them with love and grace. I want other to see Jesus’ love by the way I live my life. I also realize that no one can see truth unless God removes the blinders. So I continue to pray that God will reveal himself to whomever. Great Question.
- Two questions about cremation – paralyzed – fat – what I will look like - and the resurrection. We did answer this in service but the simple answer was found in our text in 1 Cor 15. This earthly body will not inherit the kingdom of God. This flesh must put on the imperishable. All flesh will have to be transformed by an All Powerful All Mighty God. Who is capable and will give us a brand new body, so cremation – disfigurement – age – all will not matter to God. What you will look like depends on what God wants you to look like - Another question that goes along with this that was asked. Will I be able to recognize my loved ones in heaven? Using Jesus as the example after his resurrection those followers were able to recognize him. In addition, in Matthew 17 the disciples recognized Moses and Elijah after them being dead. John MacArthur states Describing the Lord's appearing and the resurrection of the saints who have died, Paul writes, "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 thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:17) Paul's purpose in writing was to comfort some of the Thessalonians who evidently thought their dying loved ones would miss the return of Christ. He says in verse 18, "Comfort one another with these words." The comfort comes from the prospect of reunion. Little comfort this would be if in the reunion we could not even recognize one another. But Paul's promise that we will all be "together" forever implies that we shall renew fellowship with all whom we have known. We will be reunited not only with our own families and loved ones, but also with the people of God from all ages. In heaven we will all be one loving family. The immense size of the family will not matter in the infinite perfection of heaven. There will be ample opportunity for close relationships with everyone, and our eternity will be spent in just that kind of rich, unending fellowship. I hope that helps.
- The question about the order of the resurrection and when will things happen? So let’s assume you die today. The question is what happens next? Do I wait for the return of Christ and then go to heaven? Here is what the Bible says in 2 Cor 5:8 and Phil 1:23. That when we die we go (In spirit form to heaven) to await the return of Christ to earth where he will raise the dead in Christ and give them a new body. There is a popular view point out there called soul sleep while I’ve experienced this in my personal life; I had a 45 minute operation that turned into 9 hours – I woke up thinking my operation was 45 minutes and was missing 8 hours and 15 minutes. Someone who dies the next thing they will realize is that they are appearing in heaven while that may be true physically it goes against the 2 scripture verses above.
- What happens to unbelievers when they die? – The very hard answer is unless they are born again they are permanently judged and in hell for eternity. I know the truth is hard sometimes. John 3:3
- How will resurrected non-believers become followers of God. They won’t. There will be no second chances after one dies. Hebrews 9:27 and Luke 16 the rich man and Lazarus. I know another positive response.
- Is it possible that Jesus only fainted/swooned on the cross and was not truly not dead? I did answer this but here you go… NO! If Jesus did not die than the prophesies about his death burial and resurrection did not come true and EVERYTHING we believe is a joke and not true. The LAMB of GOD had to be SACRIFICED for the payment of SIN! Great theory that if was credible would deny the entire Christian belief. Remember they were not removed from the cross of the Roman Crucifixion unless they were DEAD.
- Why did some, who had died before, resurrect when Christ arose and not all? Matthew 27:52 That is a great question! Why did Jesus heal some but not all? I know this is a cop out but here is my opinion because there is no biblical answer. Jesus showed those who saw that he had authority over death and the grave by raising a few to those who saw. That’s all I got. By the way they were saint/believers interesting I’m not sure that they were resurrected instead of being brought back to life. Maybe temporary maybe only to die again. Hmmm, good question but I believe to show his victory over death and the grave. He did ascend/descend into hell too.
- When Jesus is reining for the millennial reign will there be children born and marriage? I said yesterday I thought there would be? However, I was approached by one of my elders; that is an opinion not based on scripture. I believe so yes! However, there is no scripture to correspond either way about marriage or children in the millennial.
- Marriage in heaven? NO Luke Chapter 20:34-36 and other places by the way! Pets in heaven? (LOADED QUESTION which I know I will receive immediate flak from my mom). The plan of salvation was for mankind who chose to go astray. Mankind has a body and a soul/spirit. Animals do not have a spirit. So no spirit means… NO! OK if God gives us the desire of our hearts than maybe but wait shouldn’t the desire of our heart be Jesus! Just saying.
- Will people from the OT be part of the resurrection? Great question! People in the OT were saved by their faith just like people today. They were saved by there faith in God we are saved by our faith in Jesus. So OT characters are in heaven in their spirit form awaiting there resurrected transformed bodies at the appearing of Christ.
- Can a love one appear to you after they die? There is a biblical OT example of this in 1st Samuel I would be very careful here because God can do anything he wants… We are to test everything to determine if it is of God or not. The rich man asked to go back and warn his family and was told he could not. This area we should be very careful because demons can take on the appearance of good and we can open ourselves up to some very scary stuff etc… Anytime we begin messing around with medium(S) or attempting to talk with the dead we flirt with some pretty powerful things that we are told to stay away from. Can God send someone for you to see or talk with that has died? He could yes! But I’m not sure why he would. There would be no biblical support to this.
- Can I be saved through another person? NO the process of salvation is a personal choice. One cannot be baptized on behalf of another person nor can one make that decision for another – It is an individual decision. Can expound on that if necessary.
OK the rest of the questions fit into those above somewhere. There are 3 that I withheld I will talk personally with one, and use 2 of them in our upcoming series “ASK YOUR QUESTION.” If I didn’t answer the question or went off on a tangent, then let me know. BTW it is OK to disagree with me on opinion stuff. There is room for that at the cross… BTW if I didn’t answer your question ask God and see what He reveals to you as well. Have a great week! Pastor Bob