Resurrectio n and Life

Resurrection Implications

We’ve spent the past few weeks talking a little bit about Resurrection and Heaven and Hell – but you may have already asked the question to yourself or to others: “Why does this matter?” • • Read 2 Timothy 2:14-19 What does Paul say about useless theological banter? What does he say about the subject of the Resurrection?

Assurance and Hope
All theology, especially Lutheran theology, comes down to an assurance of hope. The way that the Bible uses this term “hope”, is not an uncertain hypothetical, but an unseen certainty. The job of theologians is to clarify the certainties of the Bible. As a theologian, your job is to clarify the certainties of the hope that you hold. Unfortunately, when we get so distracted by uncertainties that we begin to wonder if they are certainties, we are setting ourselves up for a future failure. • Read Hebrews 11:1-3 • How do you think wrong thinking about the Resurrection, Heaven, and Hell might lead to

uncertainties about the truth or certainty about untruth?

Implications of purpose
N.T. Wright, one of the leading theologians on the subject of the Resurrection says that one of the most important reasons to get our thinking about end times correct is that our ideas about the end actually help to form our purpose. Another pastor named Francis Chan puts it this way, “If you believe in the Resurrection, that you will someday be with Jesus forever and that this is temporary, you will have to live your life differently.” The implications of purpose that we can form from the Resurrection then, have to do with concepts of • Eternity • Physicality • And Permanence

Implications of eternity
First of all, we believe that the Resurrection will be an eternal state that is different than our present temporal state. The implications of that eternal state is that our time here, no matter how long it may seem, will not compare with the eternity we • Read Romans 8:18-25 • Paul’s implication of eternity here is that a little suffering is nothing compared to the glory to be revealed. What is the reverse of this implication?

Implications of Physicality

Probably one of the most wide spread errors in our understanding of the nature of the Resurrection is that it will be “unphysical”. While it does appear “other-physical”, to say “unphysical” would and has led us to some wrong assumptions about the physical – namely a dualism that teaches that physical=bad and unphysical=better. • Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 • Paul makes a big deal out of mentioning that our hope is not to be “naked”, that is, without a physical body, but to have a heavenly body. What would be “naked” about having only a “spirit” in the Resurrection?

Implications of Permanence
Unlike the Hindu afterlife concept of samsara, where the soul is subjected to fluctuation based on moral behavior and fate, the Christian idea of the Resurrection – and of hell – is a very permanent thing. We look forward to an eternal banishment of evil and all those who cling to evil and wickedness rather than to Christ. This permanence, though sometimes difficult for us to think about, does form our purpose and behavior in this world, especially when it comes to our Christian witness. • Read Luke 16:19-31 • While it is worth noting that this appears to be a parable of Jesus, not an actual depiction of what heaven is like, the permanence aspect does seem to carry some freight. What does the permanence of the rich man’s place and of Lazarus’ place lead us to consider?

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