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Resurrection: Theology of Hope 2

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Last week we started our study in John 5:25-30. I encourage you to open your bibles there this morning.
As we have been working through John 5, we have Jesus responding to his critics with some important teaching. We know it is important because he begins his teaching points with “Very truly I tell you.” In the original Greek in which John wrote his Gospel, it is “Ἀμὴν ἀμήν λέγω ὑμῖν,” ‘Truly, truly,’ or ‘Most assuredly’ I tell you.
It is important, and he wants us to hear and learn.
The first point he was making is that the Son is God just as the Father is God. What the Father does, the Son does. They work in complete unity.
The second point is that whoever hears the message of the Son and believes the Father (because to hear the Son is the Hear the Father, and to believe the Father is to believe the Son) HAS eternal life. Not might have. Not in the future will have. Rather, right now, has eternal life.
Eternal life is knowing God the Father and the Son, and being in relationship with them for all eternity starting now.
They will not be condemned at the final judgment. They have crossed over from death to life. Done. A very important point.
The third point he is making we started looking at last week. This point is summed up in verse 25.
John 5:25 NIV
Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
A time is coming - something in the future.
And has now come - something right now in the present.
What is coming in the future, and is happening right now?
The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
Last week we looked at the aspect of the Resurrection that is happening right now.
Right now, Jesus is wanting to give life to those who are dead in sin. Sin is anything that is contrary to the character and standards of God. Every thought, word and deed that is contrary to God’s character and righteous standard is sin.
We looked at the scriptures and saw that we all are born as sinful human beings. We go on and continue to sin.
We saw from James how sin starts as a something we desire. Then, when we give into that desire, we sin, and are enslaved to that sin. And then sin leads to death.
James 1:13–15 NIV
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
I shared last week how we only tend to use the word ‘sin’ in church or bible study. The word that we use in our everyday language which James describes as being ‘dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed’ is the word “Addiction.”
What the Bible described in this way so long ago, our society has hijacked. They have taken this description of sin, and said that we are not responsible for our behaviors because we are being dragged away by some ‘addiction’. It’s not my fault! I am addicted!
This is the lie of Satan to pull us away from the truth of God’s word. This is the lie that keeps so many from finding the true cure for these sinful, addictive behaviors. Because when it isn’t my fault, when it isn’t a matter of sin, people no longer need the Savior.
The truth is, the root of the sin, the root of the addictive behavior is our own evil desires. We are ultimately responsible.
When we by into the lie of the world, our own flesh and the devil that it is not our fault, we miss out on the only cure, our Savior!
Instead of saying, “Wow! God describes me! That is me! I have desires that I give into, and then I feel like a slave to that behavior! I am a sinner! I need a savior!”, they say, “I need a pill and rehab.”
Pills and rehab may help to suppress a behavior, and temporarily remove us from the situations in which we are tempted, but they are not a cure for the sin that underlies the behavior.
No, the cure for sin, the cure for our addictive sinful behaviors, that cure is found in Jesus. Our society wants us to think that the cure is going to come through some drug or rehab. Unfortunately, that is why people go through rehab 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… times. They do not find a cure. The problem is they are not treating the root of the sin. Our own evil desires that lie at the root of the sin. Those desires which need to be crucified with Christ, and replaced with Him and His desires.
The cure for sin is only found in Jesus, the one who can give life to those who are spiritually dead in sin.
John 5:26 NIV
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
The Son has life. He is not created. And, he is the author of Life. He has the ability to give life to us now. He will raise us up out of our sin, and give us eternal life when we believe in Him.
That is the Theology of Resurrection that brings Hope to us today!
We do not have to live in addiction to our sinful desires and addictive behaviors. We do not need to stay in that same old rut.
We need to confess those sinful desires to Jesus. We need to come to him for salvation in His name. We need Him to renew our minds and remake us in His image. He is the one who can give us life!
The Resurrection that brings true Hope has now come to those dead who hear the voice of the Son of God and listen!
John 5:25 NIV
Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
That is what Jesus was talking about when He said a time has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son and God and those who hear will live.
Now, we will look at the aspect of the resurrection that is yet to come.
We see this in verses 27-30.
John 5:27–30 NIV
And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Notice that this section has bookends in 27 and 30. What do verses 27 and 30 have in common?
Both verses speak of the Son judging.
Jesus is warning those who are opposing him of the judgment to come.
Let’s break this down and work through it.
John 5:27 NIV
And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
Okay, we need to make sure we understand who is doing what here.
Who is the ‘he’ that has given whom, the ‘him’, authority to judge?
We can see from the context. Look back at verse 26.
‘He’ is the Father. ‘Him’ is the Son.
The Father has given the Son authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
Why is that a reason? What does it mean that ‘he is the Son of Man?’

Son of Man

Remember who the audience is. Jesus is speaking to the Jewish religious leaders, the Pharisees who have studied the Bible. They know the scriptures they had at that point, what we call the Old Testament today.
In the Old Testament, Daniel was a prophet who spoke much about God’s plan for the future.
In Daniel 7, Daniel speaks of the coming Messiah, the Chosen One who was going to come and establish God’s Kingdom.
Now, while I would love to just study through Daniel 7 with you right now, I think it best to stay on target with answering our question from John 5:27. Why does Jesus say, Son of Man?
The answer is in Daniel 7:13. Let’s read just a little bit of the context… Daniel has seen a vision of the kingdoms of the world from the Babylonian Empire on. The Babylonian Empire, Persian Empire, Greek Empire, Roman Empire and eventually the kingdom of the anti-christ who is yet to come.
After all of that occurs, Daniel sees that anti-christ thrown into the blazing fire, and then says in 13,
Daniel 7:13–14 NIV
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
The Jews knew from this and other prophecies that this one ‘like a son of man’ would be given authority, and the kingdom.
Jesus knew that they were familiar with what had been revealed through Daniel and used that to show them that He was the One who was prophesied! Jesus is that Son of Man who was given authority! And having dominion and authority, as Jesus says here in John 5:27, he will have the authority to judge, or more literally, to condemn those who are not receiving Him and His message.
It is just a guess, but can you imagine what these Jewish leaders’ response would have been when Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man, the One given authority and dominion over the kingdom of God?
I’ll bet their jaws dropped! They thought Jesus was bad for breaking their rules of the Sabbath, and now he was claiming to be the Son of Man!?!
I imagine that is why Jesus goes on to say...
John 5:28 NIV
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice
Do not be amazed at this! Or, do not be astonished by this! But Jesus isn’t stopping. As the Son of Man he has all dominion and authority! And, a time is coming when he will exert that authority and all who are in their grave will hear his voice and come out!
Notice how Jesus says again, “a time is coming?”
The Resurrection that has come at this time is a spiritual resurrection. It is the resurrection of the spiritually dead to spiritual life!
Now He is giving more detail about the resurrection to come in the future. Where the resurrection that has come now is a spiritual resurrection, this future resurrection is physical. Notice for the future resurrection, it pertains to those who are in the grave—that is, those who are physically dead.
Let’s look at the details Jesus gives.
John 5:28–29 NIV
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
Those who are in the graves will hear his voice and come out. This is a resurrection, as Jesus later demonstrates when He calls and Lazarus comes out of his grave as recorded in John 11. But this resurrection is not just for one man. No, all who are in their graves will hear and come out.
The resurrection of the dead is not a new concept Jesus was sharing. No, God had revealed that there will be a resurrection in the Old Testament.
Abraham knew about resurrection.
Hebrews 11:17–18 NIV
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
Job knew of resurrection.
Job 19:25–26 NIV
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;
David knew of resurrection.
Psalm 16:10 NIV
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
The Levites sang of the resurrection.
Psalm 49:15 NIV
But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.
The prophets foretold the resurrection.
The Jews were familiar with the fact that God would, in the end, resurrect the dead.
Every single person who dies in this world will rise again. Physical death is not the end. There is life after death. And, even our physical bodies will be resurrected again.
The question is not who will rise. All will rise. The question is, “Of which resurrection will you be a part?”
What do I mean?
Notice that there are two types of resurrections. the first type is a resurrection to life. and the second is a resurrection to condemnation.
This also is not a new concept. Daniel spoke of this in Daniel 12:2.
Daniel 12:2 NIV
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
From here in Daniel, and in John, we see that some are raised to everlasting life. Others will be raised to shame and everlasting contempt, or condemnation.
We also see this in Revelation 20.
Revelation 20:1–6 NIV
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
Satan being bound is what was foretold in Daniel 7. Then, the Son is established in His kingdom as also foretold in Daniel.
Then, onto the point of John 5:25-30, we have the first resurrection. Notice, not all are raised.
Verse five makes it clear that not all are raised in the first resurrection.
Then, in Revelation 20:7-13, we have the rest of the story.
Revelation 20:7–13 NIV
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.
After 1000 years of Christ ruling in this world, Satan is released, and those who do not want to receive Christ, for Jesus forces no one to believe in Him and be saved, they will rebel.
After that final rebellion, Jesus will resurrect all who did not receive Him. He will resurrect, judge and condemn. This is the second resurrection.
Notice, in all of the scriptures, there are two resurrections—two in type, not in number.
Why do I say two in type and not in number? Well, Jesus rose again to eternal life. Was that the first type or the second type? First Resurrection.
Then, well, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 15 briefly.
1 Corinthians 15:20–24 NIV
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
The words each in turn are what are used of a military procession in which divisions come in turn. Paul also uses the term, firstfruits, which speaks of the phases of the harvest. The idea here is that it is one harvest, but phases or gleanings in the harvest. There is a progression.
The procession of the first resurrection is:
When he comes, those who belong to him. Which Paul speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 4, the coming of Jesus for His bride.
Then the end when he has destroyed all dominion authority and power. I believe this is what happens in Revelation 19, Jesus returning on His white horse, destroying the armies of the world and establishing the kingdom, right before Revelation 20 which we read.
These are the parts, the processions or gleanings of the harvest of the first resurrection, the resurrection to life!
John 5:29 NIV
and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

Resurrection to Life

Jesus speaks of the resurrection to life by saying those who have done what is good will rise to live.
Does this mean people are saved by doing good things?
Let’s keep in mind the context. Jesus has just told us in John 5:24, that it is those who listen to his message, and believe the one who sent him that will have eternal life. They will not be condemned. They have crossed over from death to life.
What is better than listening to Jesus and believing? Nothing!
And, quite literally Jesus addresses this in John 6, which we will be getting to shortly. But let’s jump ahead for a second.
John 6:27–29 NIV
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
There is only one good work you can do to be a part of the first resurrection. Believe in Jesus, the One the Father sent to be our savior!
We have seen this over and over in John, and we will see it more!
John 1:12 NIV
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
John 3:15 NIV
that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
John 3:16 NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:18 NIV
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:36 NIV
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
John 5:24 NIV
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
And more in John which we will get to at a later time.
Those who do good, are the ones who actually listen to Jesus and believe.
Have you?
Have you listened to Jesus, the one and only savior, and believed when He says He died for you and rose again? Do you believe when He says you will have eternal life the moment you believe?
If you have, you will be a part of the first resurrection, a resurrection to eternal life!
But, for those who will not, Jesus warns of condemnation. For just as He has the power to give life, He has the authority to condemn.
John 5:27–30 NIV
And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Resurrection to Condemnation

Those who have not received Jesus as their savior will be condemned for all eternity.
This is what we read of in Revelation 20:11-14.
Jesus is warning these men who were so religious, who lived really good lives, that if they would not receive Him, if they would not listen and believe Him, He would one day have to condemn them to everlasting contempt.
And this is not because He is spiteful. This is not to please Him, but to please the Holy standard of the Father.
Jesus is not like us. Have you ever said or felt, “If you don’t like me, then I won’t like you!”
That is not how Jesus judges. He judges by the Holy Standard of Righteousness.
We have all sinned. We all fall way short of being righteous. No matter how good we are, we are not 100% righteous.
We are all condemned by our sin, the wages of sin being death, eternal separation from God.
However, Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to take our punishment.
He taught and pleaded for people to receive Him as their savior. To listen to his message, and believe.
He does not take pleasure in the death of anyone, rather he wants them to repent and live!
Have you done good? Have you believed in Jesus, your only savior and hope?
If so, you have eternal life now, and will one day be a part of the resurrection to life! And that is our hope for today, and tomorrow!
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 NIV
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Read John 5:1-30. Pay attention to the Very Truly I say to you sections. Summarize in your own words what Jesus is teaching in each of these three sections.
This week, study the resurrection passages, and find your hope that God will not abandon us to the grave, but will resurrect us, to live with Him forever in the New Earth!
Hebrews 11:17-18; Job 19:25-26; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 49:15; Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2-3; John 5:27-30; John 11:24; 1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20.
How does the resurrection that has come today give you hope?
How does the future, physical resurrection give you hope?
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