Tag Archive | dying

I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO DIE FOR CHRIST or Allah! (Part II)

Part II of …..DYING FOR CHRIST or Allah

 

 

Phil 1:23

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Webster

23 But I am pressed by both, having the desire for (thedeparture and being with Christ, [for] [it is] very much better,

Darby

The following is taken from Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved:

[For I am in a strait betwixt two] Namely, the dying now, and being immediately (in a sense of time at the Rapture) with Jesus; or living longer to preach and spread the Gospel, and thus glorify Christ among men. ( if I died right now. the next thing I would be aware of is the Rapture!)

[Having a desire to depart, and to be with ChristTeen epithumian echoon eis to analusai. It appears to be a metaphor taken from the commander of a vessel, in a foreign port, who feels a strong desire analusai, to set sail, and get to his own country and family; but this desire is counterbalanced by a conviction that the general interests of the voyage may be best answered by his longer stay in the port where his vessel now rides; for he is not in dock, he is not aground, but rides at anchor in the port, and may any hour weigh and be gone. Such was the condition of the apostle: he was not at home, but although he was abroad it was on his employer’s business; he wishes to return, and is cleared out and ready to set sail, but he has not received his last orders from his owner, and whatever desire he may feel to be at home he will faithfully wait until his final orders arrive. (Nicely put, eh?)

 

The word depart, analusai, is only used in one other place in the Bible in Luke 12:36 in regards to Christ’s return, specifically his 2nd Coming for Israel:

36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
KJV

 1 Thess 4:13-17 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep (dead), that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep (the dead). 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. NASB

God can’t bring anyone with Jesus back to heaven, if everyone is already there! Come on people, the Bible has to make sense. There is no life immediately after death; there is no transmigration of the soul. (I’m not sure this knowledge would make any difference to the Islamo-facists group called ISIS, but it should).  When Jesus drew his last breath, BAM he was dead! His soul no longer existed anywhere; no breath = no life. Anyone teaching anything contrary to this is in error. Every mortal who has ever lived and died with the exception of Jesus Christ is Resting in Peace.

R.I.P.

(TBC)

 

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I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO DIE FOR CHRIST or Allah! (PART I)

In light of the many recent be-headings and murders of Christians by radicalized Muslims or Islamic Extremists, some in the Church are teaching that if you are in the place God wants you to be and this happens to you, then it is “gain,” because even Paul said it was better to be with Christ than to be ministering here on earth or so it is taught. Who really benefits when a Christian dies? Both Muslims and Christians hold the erroneous belief in life immediately after death. I think there would far fewer suicide bombers if they knew the truth.

 Paul said in Phil 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” When we look at this verse as it stands alone it leaves us with the impression that death is something to be gained, yet we know that death is and always will be an enemy; the greatest enemy of life. No one gains anything by being dead; not God, not Jesus and certainly not you. In order to “gain” a proper understanding of the preceding verse it must be seen in its context. In its context we must go back and read from the beginning of the chapter to the end of the Epistle. In verse 6 we read:

Phil 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 

Phil 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

 

Phil 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

 

We can see that the context preceding verse 21 is “the day of Jesus Christ” when he returns to gather us together to heaven. This was Paul’s earnest expectation and hope and should be ours as well. The words “earnest expectation,” is the Greek word apokaradokia, to watch with intense anticipation, and is used in one other place in regards to the creation:

 Rom 8:18-19 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. NKJV

When are the sons of God revealed? When they/we return with Jesus for the Battle of Armageddon.

The second word Paul uses in conjunction with earnest expectation is his “hope,” elpis. Hope is often associated with the return of Jesus Christ:

 Col 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, NASB

 1 Thess 2:19-20 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy. NASB

Phil 1:23
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Webster

(TBC, see Part II)

The Question of Hell?

Everyone with the exception of Jesus Christ, who has lived and died is now in Hell. Yes, all dead Christians, Jews, Muslims, and everyone else are there. The problem is that most people do not understand Hell. In both the Hebrew and the Greek, hell is the grave and is not to be confused with the Lake of Fire. No one is burning in hell  at this moment and no one will be conscious of being in the Lake of Fire (at a future date) except the False Prophet, the Beast and the devil. If this were not so, the whole Bible would fall apart. Jesus Christ is the only person who has ever lived and died and is alive anywhere today. Everyone else is dead and in the grave.

For believers in Jesus Christ, the next thing the dead will “know” is the Rapture. For the dead of the faithful of Israel the next thing they will be aware of is the Awakening of the Just, 7 years after the Rapture. For anyone religion to teach anything contrary to this is false and very dangerous. Think about the torture it would be for our dead loved ones to be living somewhere else without us? They would be hoping and praying for us to die so we could join them. And, here on earth we might be wishing the same thing. Christians teach the same thing as Muslims do in this regard, but thank God they don’t go around killing themselves and others to get there!

If you want scriptures to back this up, read my book at http://www.fredswolfe.com/works/rightly-dividing-the-word-of-truth-a-fresh-perspective-to-understanding-the-bible/ or study it for yourselves. As usual, all comments are invited. God bless,

P.S. As a friend of mine recently said, “there is a Hell in Michigan and it does freeze over!” 🙂

 

Crying or Dying?

Sometimes I feel cursed with always wanting more, doing more, whether its for myself or others. I am unfulfilled and I don’t know why. One of my grandfather’s died when I was twelve or thirteen. I can’t remember what I felt about it. I’ve seen pictures of me at the the funeral and I look sad, but don’t remember what I felt, if anything. I don’t remember thinking he went to Heaven or somewhere else. I know I loved him and still brag about him every chance I get.

Alcohol played a big part of my life when I was a teenager. I drank and drove all the time. All my friends did. All of us made it through those years alive. I didn’t know how or why, at that time.  In 1967 I could have been drafted but decided to join the Navy, where I thought I stood the least chance of being killed. One reason that pushed me in that direction was hearing my parents argue one night that they weren’t going to pay for me to go to college so I could party the whole time. Can’t blame them for that. So I snuck off and enlisted.

My thinking then was being a live to see my 21st birthday, so I could legally do something I had been doing illegally for the past four years. I still went to Vietnam, but never had to shoot at anyone and better yet, no one was shooting at me. Even though I worked hard supplying ammunition at sea to aircraft carriers, destroyers and battleships, I think I skated through,  especially when so many others my age were dying.

After two years in the service I began experimenting with drugs. I had a mentor who had done everything, who very soberly told me that if I did certain things, like shooting, I would do them again. I guess the high was so unbelievable that it would be nearly impossible to stop. Taking his advice, I never did. But, I did just about everything else for the next five years. People were dying from some of the things I was doing, but as I said, I had a mentor who walked me through everything, held my hand. He was a good teacher.

I quit doing all drugs when I accepted Jesus as my savior in 1974. I also learned to limit my alcohol consumption. During the next year when I was serving as sort of a missionary my favorite grandfather died. I had not seen him much since leaving high school after serving 4 years in the military and 3 years in college and now on the mission field. One of my biggest regrets was not leaving the field to go to his funeral. He taught me how to fish and enjoy life and the thrill of hooking a largemouth bass when it was so dark you couldn’t even see the jitterbug skittering across the top of the water! This was the grandfather I was named after.

I was 26 then and now I am 62. I have a lot to be thankful for. My life is very simple, but it seems like I am always looking for ways to complicate it. Can anyone relate to what I am saying?

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