Will We Rise?

Christ Arose – Low in the Grave He Lay

1 Corinthians 15:50-58

He Lives

Thus reads the French inscription on the tomb of Edward the Black Prince, in Canterbury, England, who died in 1376.

Such as thou art, so once was I. As I am now, so shalt thou be.[1]

Whether written or not, such are the silent words of every man, woman, and child in every cemetery, every mausoleum, and every inch of land and sea in which a mortal has passed into immortality.

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When God Arises

Look for God to arise and do great work in our days. But beware, we will get more than we bargained for when He does.

Believers in the Living God since the Exodus have prayed that God would arise, smite evil, and deliver them from their troubles. In His patience, the Lord delays His judgement, giving each man every opportunity to believe. But eventually, He brings to people what they deserve: disaster to the wicked and blessings to the righteous. Asking God to arise is a dangerous business. We may discover, as Habakkuk did, that God’s plan is neither what we like nor what we want. We will also discover, as Isaiah did, that we are not as righteous as we think we are. When God arises, though our salvation is sure, we will encounter pain and trouble, just like those we oppose.

Do you ever wish that God would arise and oppose evil? Do you wish you could see it? How do we know that God will arise? How do we know that the wicked will be punished? Why does it take so long? This article will examine Isaiah 33:1-17 to discover what happens, and what Christians must do, when God arises.

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Zedekiah – Discontent, Disobedient, and Destroyed

The last king of Judah, Zedekiah, was discontent and disobedient to his God. It destroyed him and his whole nation with him. How does his tragic experience inform and challenge us today?

Few Christians look at Jeremiah or the Old Testament prophets for guidance in modern life. Fewer still look at the wicked kings of Israel and Judah. But their folly and failure contain powerful lessons for followers of Christ today. Zedekiah is a good place to start.

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Christians and Civil Disobedience

Should Christians disobey their government? When? Why? What about the consequences?

The United States has no official church as is common in Europe, but individual states had official churches for centuries. People debate whether the United States was established as a Christian nation, but it was founded based on the Judeo-Christian worldview and governance. As a result, Christ-followers in America have faced little overt persecution for four hundred years.

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Unbelief

Our worries and fears are not uncontrollable emotions, they are decisions, they are unbelief, and they are sin. Our God deserves better. The answer is to praise Him.

“Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness.” (Psalm 95:8)

Exodus 17:1-7 records the Israelites, camped at Rephidim in the Sinai desert, complaining to Moses that they had no water to drink. This was no little grumbling, as they were accusing Moses of plotting their deaths and preparing to stone him. Moses appealed to God for a solution to the problem and for protection from the mob. The Lord provided water, and things simmered down for a while.

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Whose Will?

Do we trust God to do our will for our lives, or His will? Do we know what is good or wise better than He does?

The teenaged son of a good friend seems to be wasting away; not of cancer, AIDS, or drug addiction, but of an inability to keep down what he eats. The boy has seen the best specialists in the US, has had every reasonable medical test, and has tried a panoply of medications, procedures, exercises, and behavioral health interventions. Hundreds of people have prayed earnestly for his healing. Still, the food comes up and his weight goes down.

The middle-aged wife of our music minister was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. She had surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and a variety of experimental therapies. Christians in churches across the country prayed for her healing, and hundreds of us joined hands in a prayer chain around her house. Nonetheless, in Jan 2017, this wonderful woman slipped the bounds of this earth and into glory.

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When Obedience Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense

The old song tells us to Trust and Obey, but trust often doesn’t seem to make sense, and neither does obedience. What do we do?

The air in southern Belize was hot and sticky as I saw Maya and Garifuna villagers in my jungle clinic in June and July of 1987.  Having only a stethoscope, some donated medications, the books Where There is No Doctor and Merck Manual, an undergraduate biology degree, and a little experience, I had come to Belize before medical school as a volunteer with Central American Outreach Ministries (CAOM). Dozens of patients lined up for care before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in between we farmed the banana plantation and orange tree nursery, fed chickens and pigs, took eggs, pumped water, and built a new clinic. John Collier was the founder of CAOM, and he worked on the ranch with two long term volunteers, a man and a woman in their late 20s. The four of us hosted a volunteer team from West Virginia. Once per week we took a side trip, hiking to the ruins of a Mayan temple, swimming in a jungle pool, or relaxing on the Belizean beach near Dangriga.

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