The dark bare branches of the trees slowly begin to turn green as well as bushes and many flowers. For months they have seemed as dead, but the warm days of Spring are bringing forth new life. Slowly the flowers start blooming in the woods, fields, road sides, around homes and businesses. The large variety of colors and the different kinds of flowers has a calming and comforting effect upon us as we enjoy their presence. There is an important lesson to be learned from each of the seasons, and particularly the Spring time. Life from the dead speaks loudly to us and is a great reminder of the eternality of man.
Will the dead live again, has been the often asked question down through the centuries. Loved ones succumbing to the pains of death have left many hearts sad, with a wish we could be together again someday. In the oldest book of the Bible, Job tells us of his belief about the future and life;
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. Job 19:25-27
Job talked about his body being consumed in the grave, but he still believed one day in his flesh he would see God.
This is an awesome thought. Death of the body is not the end. Though life is gone for the moment, there is the promise it will arise from the dust of the ground, to live again forever. Just as the trees and flowers shed their blooms and leaves, and stand stripped of their beauty, come next Spring, life shall come forth from them, once again.
Could this be God in his wisdom, reminding us of a future resurrection? Could this be God's way of speaking to us of his love and power?
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28-29
Here Jesus is telling of two different resurrections that are going to take place in the future. He said there would be a resurrection of life for those who had believed in him. Then he said there would be a resurrection of damnation, for those who did not believe in him as their own personal savior. A study of the scriptures tells us that these two resurrections are separated by one thousand years.
The resurrection of life is for the saved when the church is raptured out. This is clearly taught in the Bible in many different scriptures. Below is one of the more familiar passages dealing with the rapture;
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18
This is when we who have been saved will receive our new bodies that will be suitable for us to live in forever. These new bodies will never tire, have disease, sickness, or sin. They will be fashioned for us to live in the heavenly life, rather than the earthly life as we know it now. Life in heaven is going to be far more superior than this life. In no sense will the next life be a demotion or a loss of anything good. In the resurrection of life, we will have the highest quality of life possibly given by God to all of his children. This is the life we receive because, while here on earth we repented of our sins and trusted Jesus as our own personal savior.
It troubles me that so many are going to miss this new life. Too many do not understand that this life here is a time for us to get ready for real life. Today, we have life as a living, breathing person, and we who have been saved have a taste of life in Christ. But, real life is yet to be experienced fully!
Those who are living for this life do not understand the consequences of their decision. To live this life and die, to never have another smile, or another friend, is sad indeed. Yet, literally billions of people have made, and are making that choice to the loss of their souls. Jesus warns of this;
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26
We are going to know loved ones when we get to heaven. We are always going to be who we are now. We are not going to be something or someone else. Consider what the Apostle Paul said;
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Yes, when we get our new bodies they are going to be more glorious than the beautiful flowers of Spring time. And best of all we will enjoy them forever!
We are told there will not be any marrying in heaven, but we will be married to the Lord Jesus Christ as the eternal bride of Christ throughout the endless ages. Jesus tells us this;
For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven.
Friendships and relationships will be so wonderful in heaven. No disputes, or disharmony, but love and unity among all of God's children throughout eternity.
God created man as a male, and female as a woman to produce children. Then to the children of men God sent his Word inviting all to live with him one day. The Lord did not tell any of us how long he would allow us to live in this world, but did tell us to be ready at any moment for this life here to end. However, Satan the deceiver, has come along and suggested to man that God is too good to allow them to go to hell. Sometimes, he tells men there is no hell. Sometimes he tells men that any religion will be alright. And, sometimes he even tells people if they are a good person, God will certainly take them to heaven when this life is over. Just remember, Satan is a liar and always has been. He is cheating people out of their soul every day.
So all the children of men who call upon the Lord for salvation will be given a home in heaven. Satan will not be allowed, and neither will there be anything unpleasant or unlovely. Our aesthetic nature will always be pleased at all the sights we see. Let me say again. Heaven is for all the saved, and is more exciting and beautiful than any Spring time we've ever known.
One of the reasons Spring time is so appreciated by many people, is the long, cold, dark days of Winter have passed. People have been shut indoors for weeks and months, and out door activities have been curtailed. People like going places, cooking, working in their yards, or getting a sun tan. Heavy clothes are cumbersome, and most of us like light casual clothing.
The Bible talks about this world lying in darkness. It is ruled by the Prince of Darkness; Satan! With his diabolical power he attempts to keep people under his dominion. Man is doing Satan's will, if their lives are indifferent to the Lord Jesus Christ. But what do the scriptures say?
O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Psalms 96:9
While we as people love beauty, so does our Lord. To him, the most beautiful sight is to behold those who have trusted him as their Lord and Savior, and are serving him with excitement.
If this world with the curse of sin upon it, and creation groaning because of it, can have the beauty of flowers, how do you think the home of God is going to look? The only adequate way to describe it is to say; " It will be out of this world!"
So as I sit here writing these thoughts, looking out the window at the flowers, I watch the blue birds, the red birds, and the robins in the yard. I thank the Lord for such a wonderful sight to enjoy. Although, I am a little homesick for that land where there is no pain, sorrow, or death. How about you? In heaven, there will not be a winter time when everything is bare and appears dead. No, it is always going to be Spring time, continuously.
Have you made plans for Spring time forever? In the land where we never grow old, tired or weary. A land where we can enjoy real life that it will never cease.
The good news I have to tell you is, it's free! A place for you and me, paid for by the Great Creator by giving his only Son to die for our sins upon Calvary's cross. To go to that celestial city, we must recognize our need for salvation, because of our sin. Trusting Jesus as our Savior is the only requirement to enter the home of our Heavenly Father.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3
Finally, lets not forget about the resurrection of damnation that Jesus spoke about we have mentioned earlier. There is another place for all of those who have no interest in heaven and the things of Christ. This other place doesn't have any flowers, birds, singing, or Spring time. No, it is a dreary, eerie place of torment.
There will not be singing or laughing, and no one there will care about you, or for you. A kind word will never be heard, only cries of anguish, as souls of the damned moan in their eternal misery. The sun will never shine there. Precious drops of rain will never fall, in that God forsaken place assigned to all those who had no time for God and his Son, in their earthly life.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psalms 19:1
Please do not be so foolish as to think this will not happen to you, my friend. It can and will if you do not repent of your sin and trust Jesus Christ as your Savior. He is our only hope. Jesus is, "The Blessed Hope."
Heavenly Father, thank you for the beauty of Spring time. How glorious is your creation. With awe, we look upon the flowers and the wonder of new life springing forth. Thank you most of all for the life we have in Christ and the promise of enjoying the sunshine of your love forever. Bless our readers, I ask, and pray in Jesus' name. Amen, Preacher