Sunday, April 6, 2014

On which side of the tomb are you?

I have been hearing a lot of sermons during this time about the death of Jesus at the cross. It's good to ponder. However, there is an emphasis that is dangerous and can creep up on us. We see it in the relics and holy things preserved by the Catholic church. I read the other day that the Holy Grail used at the last supper was found. Color me skeptical, Of course there is a half ton of nails used at the crucifixion floating around and enough cross fragments to build a very nice house. Thorn crowns of al kinds are everywhere and who can forget the movie "The Robe". Relics.

All this concentration is focused on the left hand side of the tomb. Before resurrection. The only relic that I might give a second thought to is the shroud. I put myself in the mindset of Jesus' disciples and friends. Its the third day. Jesus has been killed. They go to the tomb. Expect to find a dead body. He's not there. BUT they see this wrapping... the shroud. When they SAW it they believed. It's even mentioned. So it makes sense to think someone would gather it up and preserve it.

It's just so hard to grasp the whole idea that someone would stumble back up to Golgotha to gather nails, wood, thorns or wander back to the upper room to retrieve dinnerware after Jesus rose from the dead. WHY? Jesus was (IS) risen. He walked among them. He spoke to and ate with them. Why concentrate on events that no longer were relevant? That is the left side of the Tomb.

It is only a pre tomb mentality that spends time with things that really don't matter any more. Even the whole lenten season in which we are fish eating involved, even the way Communion is celebrated is in a way a RE-Crucifixion of Jesus... as if he had to once more come back and re-die for our sins.

I hate to tell you this, but your redemption, the forgiveness of your sins is not involved in the communion sacrament. That is a flawed understanding of communion. The glory of communion is in fact HIM. We commune with HIM. We sit with HIM, we take his body and blood not as a sacrifice, but as a connection with HIM. As a tangible recognition of his presence among us. A parosia of sorts. We meet with HIM in that act. We regain our conciseness of HIM.

Jesus death and resurrection was sufficient all in all. All your sins, past present and future are dealt with. Nothing else needs to be done. Your sins before you take communion are just as forgiven as the minute after you partake. The way communion is administered in Catholic Churches and many near Catholic Churches is a dredging up of HIS death. What should be happening and doesn't is celebrating this thanksgiving event as an encounter. He shows up... bodily... as least in elemental fashion.

Before I let many of my evangelical friends off the hook who celebrate communion as a remembrance without an encounter, they miss it too. It seems to be that it comes as a holdover from history. We do this because we (the church) always did. It's a weak reason to do so. Time to regain the mystery.

When I hear sermons on the death, suffering and the cross... I want to hear about the empty tomb, the King of Kings, the Hallelujah of the competed work.

Jesus after the resurrection didn't say to his disciples as a mandate, "Go gather up all kinds of artifacts, preserve them, use them to attract people, find some nails, cut up the cross, find my robe and the thorn crown, we're gonna need it".

No According to scripture there was a singularity of the post tomb message. "Feed my Sheep" and the Kingdom of God. Then after 40 days He stepped back into eternity to rule and reign as he does today. KING of KINGS.

Let's fix our eyes on the right side of the tomb. There is life everlasting in evidence there. On the left... we put him to death again and again. Certainly we must preach the cross of Christ and him Crucified, but that is not the whole story... it's his presence in our lives right here right now as the Lord of All that really matters.. He expects us to be partners with him in expanding HIS Kingdom. Let's be about our Father's work and stop trying to nail him once more to the cross. IT IS FINISHED!!
Spanish historians say they have discovered what Monty Python could not - the Holy Grail, the legendary cup Jesus supposedly drank from at the Last Supper.


Anonymous said...

Well you had me until you mentioned present sins. We have the foundational doctrines of judgment and repentance to consider. It is written James 4:17 once we know better it is sin and as john says their is 1 John 5:16-17. As a matter of fact it specifically says concerning communion. judge yourself and you will not be judged but when you are judged you are chastened of the Lord. Is the reason many are sick weak and dead.if future sins where forgiven would God cause sickness weakness and the death of Christians so they should not be condemned with the World. I doubt it, and their are worse judgments in other books of the bible.

Anonymous said...

All your sins, past present and future are dealt with. Why the warning of God judging in communion. Why the warning in revelation about repentance or the removal of ones name from the book of life ? why the warning about those falling away in Hebrews 6 ? Are you sure that's not a typing err ?

Gene said...

The warnings are to examine your attitude about communion, the condition of your heart, how concrete the action of communion really is to you. Your sins ARE paid for. You ARE forgiven. We aren't begging for forgiveness, we are acknowledging our need for it and the fully paid price. It is more a matter of sin conciseness rather than Grace in God conciseness.

To be clear there is a place and a necessity for repentance. It is a lifestyle rather than an event. We need to confess, acknowledge, reject, turn away from our sin (repent) as soon as we are aware. God is FAITHFUL and just... but he doesn't simply forgive, he CLEANSES us from it. He makes us better than we were.

The error is to think that the sacrement is about sin forgiveness. That already happened. It's about encountering the Holy... to do that in a light manner without examination is the danger and can lead to sickness or death.

Just like the Bible never says "God helps those who help themselves" it also never says, "Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sins." Oh you can twist and turn certain verses to mean this... and there is a truth.. if our heart is hardened and we fall away in danger of the Hebrews 6 situation, we can claw our way out of His hand. It's hard to come back.

Repentance is essential, not sacramental.

Fix your eyes not on the sin in our lives but on the full payment made and victory won over sin and death. Living on that side of the cross is where Jesus bought us to be.

Anonymous said...

Not to argue.Really just cause iw ant to learn. You are saying that judge yourself and you will not be judged does not apply to repentance ? It is to judge yourself righteous ? A gain just asking so I can understand where you where coming from. Because I do not know any scripture that says once we are born again we are freely forgiven of any sin we commit from that point... I guessi don't understand I was taught their is a foundational doctrine of judgment and repentance. That applies to evaluating ourselves before partaking..

Gene said...

I will post someone else's essay on this with which I agree. I recall having to debate the effects of sin with bible teachers in the Assembly of God church I attended at that time.. It's a common misunderstanding. What follows is a pretty good analysis. He does not address the communion... I would point to the sons of Aaron and the sons of Levi as examples of someone who treated the Holy casually, unworthily. I maintain that not perceiving the Body Of Christ in true presence (as He is really there)is the essence of unworthiness. Examination must be in that. IS THIS REAL OR NOT? Treating it as less is a death wish.

What Follows are not my words but the words of John Owen. I embrace this view.

A frequent question is “what happens if I sin, and then I die before I have an opportunity to confess that sin to God?” Another common question is “what happens if I commit a sin, but then forget about it and never remember to confess it to God?” Both of these questions rest on a faulty assumption. Salvation is not a matter of believers trying to confess and repent from every sin they commit before they die. Salvation is not based on whether a Christian has confessed and repented of every sin. Yes, we should confess our sins to God as soon as we are aware that we have sinned. However, we do not always need to be asking God for forgiveness. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, all of our sins are forgiven. That includes past, present, and future, big or small. Believers do not have to keep asking for forgiveness or repenting in order to have their sins forgiven. Jesus died to pay the penalty for all of our sins, and when they are forgiven, they are all forgiven (Colossians 1:14; Acts 10:43).

What we are to do is confess our sins: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). What this verse tells us to do is “confess” our sins to God. The word “confess” means “to agree with.” When we confess our sins to God, we are agreeing with God that we were wrong, that we have sinned. God forgives us, through confession, on an ongoing basis because of the fact that He is “faithful and just.” How is God “faithful and just”? He is faithful by forgiving sins, which He has promised to do for all those who receive Christ as Savior. He is just by applying Christ’s payment for our sins, recognizing that the sins have indeed been atoned for.

At the same time, 1 John 1:9 does indicate that somehow forgiveness is dependent on our confessing our sins to God. How does this work if all of our sins are forgiven the moment we receive Christ as Savior? It seems that what the apostle John is describing here is “relational” forgiveness. All of our sins are forgiven “positionally” the moment we receive Christ as Savior. This positional forgiveness guarantees our salvation and promise of an eternal home in heaven. When we stand before God after death, God will not deny us entrance into heaven because of our sins. That is positional forgiveness. The concept of relational forgiveness is based on the fact that when we sin, we offend God and grieve His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). While God has ultimately forgiven us of the sins we commit, they still result in a blocking or hindrance in our relationship with God. A young boy who sins against his father is not cast out of the family. A godly father will forgive his children unconditionally. At the same time, a good relationship between father and son cannot be achieved until the relationship is restored. This can only occur when a child confesses his mistakes to his father and apologizes. That is why we confess our sins to God—not to maintain our salvation, but to bring ourselves back into close fellowship with the God who loves us and has already forgiven us.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Well sir thank you for clarifying.. I really do appreciate that and for sure like several things he expanded on. However this assumes all sin is the same to God. it is not. John states their is a sin unto death and a sin not unto death. The bible mentions the searing of the conscience and decfilement therof.. I guess these where the things my teacher always said to consider keeping in mind as the auther elangantly states. if you know you did wrong repent. you have a conscience. or ignore it til you sear it. God will leave you a choice.any way these are the scriptures that where provided.At some time we must when teaching Christians the foundational doctrines of repentance layout Gods options of judgment on Christians. Sin must be classified to a degree.1 John 5:16
The Beareans searched the scripture daily ! As such they probably new first of all who was speaking to the seven churches and Paul was in agreement as He ordered the reading of the letter to the ladocian church in another church. Foundational doctrines repentance judgment Revelation 3 :16 Revelation 3:5 To not understand this the milk of the Word as listed in Hebrews 6 which as the above verses state a believer can push God to far and Hebrew 6 states at that point it is impossible to renew them unto repentance…as Jude would say they are twice dead plucked up. Which Jesus himself warned about..

Some examples of the need for repentance and God judging believers…
Please see the following examples of God punishing believers for their sins in the new covenant:
Ananias & Saphira—Acts 5:1-14 The Galatian church—Galatians 6:7-8
The promiscuous church member at Corinth—I Corinthians 5:4-5; Corinthians
Christian brothers who maintain certain sins—I Corinthians 5:9-13
Hymenaeus & Alexander—I Timothy 1:19-20; II Timothy 4:14
The younger widows—I Timothy 5:11-15
Sinning brothers—I Timothy 5:20
Believers who become lovers of money—I Timothy 6:9-10
Demas—II Timothy 4:10 (see also Colossians 4:14 & Philemon 24 for
confirmation he was not only a believer, but a one-time preacher)
Also note God’s
divine judgment illustrated in the death of Herod (Acts 12:23), Elymas the
sorcerer being struck with blindness (Acts 13:8-12) and God’s use of civil
government to punish evil (Romans 13:1-6
James talks about confession of sin bringing healing-it affects the heart of man ! keep a good heart remember Job

Paul talks about turning from Sin and Peter about those presuming to teach yet not understanding the Word. This as the bible states is rampant today...

the six foundational doctrines enough to warn and teach and yet still teaches on grace having revealed what conviction is verse condemnation...the effects of no repentance resulting in a seared conscience a hard heart and a form of religion....and was caring enough to teach on the Holy Spirit and danger of mistreating Him and ignoring scriptural principles by just looking at the letter and never considering the Spirit. While some of the most severe warning to Christians in the new testament .Pertain to conduct toward the Holy Spirit and the death and lifeblood of our Lord. Stating it's not good enough and contrary to what many teach the offer as defined by Jesus and Paul concerning eternal life was to Know God.

stating the tense in the Greek affect scripture example past continuing present and future and understanding that we can now gain a better understanding of how God views things according to His Word and not our own thoughts. A race with the offer of relationship under Lordship folks some will be led astray others continue for awhile just as Jesus taught in the heart parable and from beginning to end one must consider and judge soberly. As even Paul himself said an act of mercy in Gods sight is as listed in communion for this reason many are sick weak and dead. yet not all will get that mercy. so here are some things to consider always realize God allows grace for growth yet He is God and Jesus himself said count the cost...

part 1 of

Anonymous said...

scriptures given
part 2
Here are a few more scriptures that demonstrate the promises and covenants of God are conditional: God is for you but it is a race pay attention to Him not just the letter but the letter and the Spirit. relationship not religion !
John 5:14; John 8:31, 34; Revelation 2:4-5, 10, 13-16, 20-25; 3:1-4, 11, 15:19

Here are several scriptures concerning faith and faithfulness to the end to be saved: Acts 14:22; Romans 1:5; 16:26; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38-39; Romans 3:3; Romans 11:20-24; I Corinthians 16:13; II Corinthians 1:24; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:23: I Timothy 1:19; 4:1; II Timothy 3:8; Hebrews 3:6, 12-14; 4:11; 6:11-12; 10:23-39; I Peter 1:5, 9, 13.

When one is born again. They have the exact same right as Adam. obey the Lord or rebel. As such God has every right to move in any of these manners -
on top of that Romans 9 enforces that right. If you are supposed to be a minister and do not understand a man can be born again become twice dead and be plucked up by God...get off the pulpit until you do !

Here are several more plain scriptures that demonstrate men have to
continue to the end to be saved: Don't fall for the heresy all future sins are forgiven you have a conscience do not sear it. Confess and turn away if it bothers you.. Check it against the Word if you can as it may be a weak conscience until you grow..

Matthew10:22; Romans 6:21-23; Hebrews 3:6, 12-14; 6:11-12; I Peter 1:5, 9, 13;Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; Hebrews 10:23, 35-39; Mark 10:29-30;Luke 18:29-30; Matthew 19:28-29; Romans 2:7; Romans 6:21-23; Romans 5:21;Galatians 6:7-8; I Timothy 1:16; I Timothy 4:8; I Timothy 6:12, 19; Titus 1:2;3:7; I Peter 1:5, 9, 13; 3:7; I John 2:25; Jude 20-24; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28;Matthew 25:46; & Matthew 7:13-14.

Here are several other sample scriptures that reveal eternal life is not an eternal possession now and will not be until the end of a life of holiness: The letter kills the Spirit gives life ! another name of the Holy Spirit is The Spirit of Holiness remember He is alive grace is the outworking of God and an act of will out of relationship. Empowered by the Spirit of Grace who is the Spirit of Power. Do not treat grace as something but someone..The Law of the Spirit gives life ! get to know Him .

.be balanced in this area It's a warfare study the life of Paul as a good guideline do not get caught in godliness as gain doctrines ! maintain a balance God will bless according to His plan seek Him for His plan and wage warfare at His direction !.

Anonymous said...

part 3
Hebrews6:4-6; 10:26-29; Mark 16:15; Matthew 12:31-32; Acts 5:3, 32; 7:51; I
Corinthians 3:16-17; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 18:29-30; Matthew 19:28-29; Romans2:7; Romans 6:21-23; Romans 5:21; Galatians 6:7-8; I Timothy 1:16; I Timothy4:8; I Timothy 6:12, 19; Titus 1:2; 3:7; I Peter 1:5, 9, 13; 3:7; I John 2:25;Jude 20-24; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28; Matthew 25:46; Matthew 7:13-14; etc.

Here are several scriptures about saved men falling into sin and becoming lost: Luke 8:13; Romans 11:11-24; I Corinthians 10:13; I Timothy 3:6; 6:9-10; Hebrews 6:4-6, 11; II Peter 3:17; Galatians 5:4; Romans 14:4; Jude 20-24; Romans 11:22; Acts 1:25; II Thessalonians 2:3; & Revelation 2:5-6. Obey the Holy Spirit you do not tell Him He tells you. If you do not know how to pray ask of God do not demand of Him Ask for help pray in the Spirit ! you're good works offerings and church attendance will not save you. You are born again to respond to God He is not a dead letter but a living God !

Here are several sample scriptures that are examples of how eternal life can be lost and that the saved die again when they commit sin:
old testament Genesis 2:17; Exodus 32:32-33; Leviticus 18:24-30; 26:13-39; Numbers 25:1-8; Deuteronomy 4:23-31; Joshua 7:, 10-12; Judges 2:1-23; I Kings 14:22; II Kings 17:1-17; II Chronicles 36; Isaiah 5:24-25; Jeremiah 2:5-37; Lamentations 1:8-9; Ezekiel 13:1-23;
new testament Hebrews 12:28-29; Psalm 69:28; Revelation 3:5; Matthew
7:21; I John 4:8, 12, 16, 21; Galatians 1:6-8; Mark 11:25-26; I Corinthians
3:16-17; Luke 8:13; John 6:66; II Corinthians 5:17; Romans 11:16; Acts 1:20, 25; Colossians 2:8-19; Jude 12-13; II Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16; Philippians 3:7-14; I Thessalonians 3:8; James 5:19-20; & II Peter 1:4-10.
Repent and remove yourself from it realize conviction vrs condemnation sometimes we go thru seasons of battle and testing.. Not all problems are because you sinned but make sure if at all possible they are not because of sin...

Here are several scriptures about saved men falling into sin and becoming lost: Luke 8:13; Romans 11:11-24; I Corinthians 10:13; I Timothy 3:6; 6:9-10; Hebrews 6:4-6, 11; II Peter 3:17; Galatians 5:4; Romans 14:4; Jude 20-24; Romans 11:22; Acts 1:25; II Thessalonians 2:3; & Revelation 2:5-6.
Folks anyone that says God will not or does not judge Christians. Something is wrong give all diligence seek God that is not what His Word states don't fall pray to imbalanced seductive doctrines that itch the ear and please the flesh. !!!
I suppose has some points to I guess thank you for the time

Gene said...

Thank you for your comments. I of course am well familiar with the theology you propound. At one time was taken with the idea that one had to live at the end of a rotten stick over hell.

Thank God for being delivered of what is a religion of abuse.

I will agree that one can go to hell after salvation, I am not one of those who believes in once saved always saved. I do believe however in the power of the Holy Spirit to draw one who sins back, to cause them to find a place of turning back. It's not where you are but what direction you are facing.

IF you decide to go to hell you have to really reject the sufficient saving grace of Christ.

Only dead religion keeps dragging a person back to focus on what's wrong with ME rather than what's right with HIM. IF I am hidden in Him, if I am the righteousness of Christ, If I am his beloved, If His sacrificial death and Resurrection was imputed to me.. then I'm not going to argue with that.

People to come to Christ have to understand that in themselves they can do NOTHING. I have studied long and hard the teachings of Martin Luther... and he taught the fullness of the work of Christ. By grace are we saved... not by anything we do (or don't do). We are not either condemned because of something we did or didn't do.

But you already knew that Matt

Anonymous said...

it's a way lengthy subject thank you for a kind response. I do believe your right a firm understanding of the Spirit of grace is essential.. I think maybe when the list was given it was in response to Andrew wommack and josepeh prince. Gods not judging won't judge no repentance or self evaluation needed. That warning in communion and revelation Jesus would not do that teachings and for those two I found the list very helpful.. I think you have a brilliant assessment relationship not religion and if the relationship is right and we love God then we just follow the Spirit... what confuses me is how come I see so little of the Holy Spirit in the churches nowadays...