Poetry With A Mission



...a thought provoking poetical exercise.

“...and after that He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleeps…’ However, Jesus spoke of his [Lazarus’] death…” (John 11:11,13, NKJV).

"...that he [David] both died and was buried and his tomb is with us today...For David did not ascend into the heavens.." (Acts 2:29,34, ESV).

“ ‘So mortals lie down and do not rise again; until the heavens are no more [until the second coming], they will not awake or be roused out of their sleep [a metaphor]’ ” (Job 14:12). Note Ps 6:5; 104:29; 115:17; 146:4; Dan 12:2; Gen 3:19; 1 Tim 6:16.

“ ‘In My Father’s house [in Heaven] are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you [referring to when Christ ascended to Heaven after the cross]. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again [the Second Coming] and [then] receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also [that’s His reason for coming again]’ ” (John 14:2,3, NKJV).

“ ‘For the Son of Man shall come [at His Second Coming] in the Glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward [with eternal life or death] every man according to his works [see Matt 7:21]’ ” (Matt 16:27, KJV).

“ ‘Behold, I am coming soon, bringing My recompense [either eternal life or death] is with me [will be given then], to repay everyone for what he has done’ ” (Rev 22:12, ESV).

“Finally, there is laid up for me [kept in store] the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day [the Second Coming], and not to me only but also to all who have loved [longed for] His appearing” (2 Tim 4:8). Note Luke 14:14; John 6:40; 1 Thess 5:9, 10; Heb 9:28.

“And all these [faithful Bible heroes of all the ages], though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised [eternal life, immortality], since God had provided something better [much fairer] for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect [immortal. They will have to wait]” (Heb 11:39,40, ESV).

“ ‘When the Son of Man comes in His glory [at the second coming], and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He shall separate people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep [righteous] from the goats [the wicked]’ ” (Matt 25:31,32). Note Matt 13:24-30.

“For the Lord Himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven [at His Second Coming], and [then] the dead in Christ will rise [upwards to heaven] first [out of fairness]. Then we who are alive [the righteous living at the time of Christ’s second coming], who are left [because the dead at that time are already rising upward], will be caught up in the clouds together with them [the righteous dead] to meet the Lord in the air [the Holy Christ does not touch the defiled earth]; and so we will be with the Lord [are then taken to heaven (Rev 20:6)] forever” (1 Thess 4:16,17).

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump [second coming]; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor 15:52,53, KJV).

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die…” (Ezek 18:20, KJV). Note Gen 3:4,24; John 8:44.

“You should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death...” (James 5:20).

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Where Are They?

Dear creator God, life giver — I've been hearing all about a view,
One that's upheld by so many Christians who believe that it is true.
It says that a Christian goes straight to Heaven the moment that they die,
Yet, when I study Your Holy Word, Lord, such a view I cannot buy.

No, I can’t imagine Lazarus, (who lay dead for four earthly days),
Being summoned back to earth from Heaven so that You could him then raise,
For such would surely be unfair, and it seems ridiculous as well,
And it even more confusing if he had been burning in some Hell.

Your Holy Word tells us, Lord, that David who repented in his heart,
Is still buried here in the ground and that he didn’t from Earth depart;
And that the dead know nothing at all, and (metaphorically) sleep
Until Your second coming when You then divide the goats from the sheep.

And Your Good Word also tells us that every sleeping saint “will hear”
Your loud awakening command when with clouds of angels You appear.
And that only then these saints on rising — ascend to Heaven with You,
And not upon their natural death as so many folk think they do.

No, You don’t act unfairly, Lord, such favouritism You don’t show,
But instead, treat everyone the same knowing that's the way to go.
Therefore, the saints of all the ages, immortality don’t obtain
Until they're all gathered up together when You come to Your own claim.

Your Word says that You will be bringing their reward with You, (on that day),
In other words, that it's at Your second coming that such You'll repay.
And it also states that it's only then that the saints their crowns receive,
Which shows that the saints cannot be up there if Scripture we're to believe.

You say that up in Heaven there are homes that You have been preparing
For those ones that You will come to claim at Your glorious appearing.
Now, if they already occupy these homes, (as some folk think is true),
Then coming back to get them would be a very pointless thing to do.

Many say that their departed one has gone to Heaven, even Hell!
But despite where anyone might go, such is dependent on Your will,
For only You, Lord, can read one's life — yes, only You who judges, knows,
So, what right has anyone to think that they know that place that You chose.

Many also think that from the body a ‘soul’ at one's death departs,
Continuing on wherever — that is, without its bodily parts.
But in those words that are translated as “soul,” there’s nothing that implies
That a conscious entity of some sort leaves the body when one dies.

Intriguingly, Your Word says, Lord, that the “soul” that sins will surely die,
Yet, the devil, as he did with Eve, tries to tell us that’s just a lie.
Plus, Your Word also tells us that those who stop a sinner from straying
Will save that “soul” from dying, which is most unlike what Satan’s saying.

But of course that “soul” is just us, and not some separate entity,
For once Your “breath of life” has gone from us, we simply cease to be.
Yes, often “spirit,” “soul” and “body” are just figuratively used,
And hence why there's a need of caution here, lest they somehow be misused.

Well, I’m so glad that You, my Lord, have my blueprint safely in Your care,
And that You — the creator of this earth — can make dead saints reappear.
Thus, may it be that at Your coming, immortality I'll receive
Along with all the others also, who this sad old world, then, will leave.

By Lance Landall


This poem was upgraded on the 8 May 2016.

The idea of an immortal soul and an immediate afterlife originated in the ancient pagan religions and philosophical systems of Greece and Egypt. This pagan belief is the cornerstone of almost all eastern religions and the new age movement. This pagan belief became established as a Christian precept via Greek influence.


The theories of Plato (b428 - d347 BC) heavily affected Western Civilization, including Christianity, (especially in the Latin West). Plato claimed there was an immortal and spiritual soul, which was said to exist prior to, and as separate from, the material body.

The theory of the immortality of the soul was one of those false doctrines that Rome, borrowing from paganism, incorporated into the religion of Christendom. Martin Luther classed it with the "monstrous fables that form part of the Roman dunghill of decretals."
E. Petavel, The Problem of Immortality, page 255.




2.  That Trumpet Blast And Shout

It’s clear the dead haven’t gone anywhere if it takes a trumpet to wake them.
No, they can only awaken if they’re here, not up in Heaven, or elsewhere.
The dead rising first, then us, we all caught up together to meet Jesus,
And so, as far as the dead go, Christ’s currently also building homes for them.

If a soul had departed from their body, how would the body hear the shout,
Which, only the dead in Christ need to hear, so that they’ll awaken and come out.
Their grave no longer holding them, the giver of the breath of life having come,
And therefore, those harps provided up in Heaven, they will be able to strum.

Those of us still alive able to see Christ coming, but not those in their graves,
Hence why they have to be awakened, and hence those soon ascending human waves.
Both the dead in Christ and the living who’re saved caught up together in the air,
On that glorious coming resurrection day, which together, we’ll all share.

After all, Christ would hardly just resurrect bodies, or should I say just bones,
Many humans having been annihilated given those dreadful war zones.
No, Christ’s coming for the complete person, and why, in the twinkling of an eye,
They’ll be remade, given immortality, as upward to Heaven too, they fly.

And this why all the saved of all the ages will have to wait for that blast and shout,
Christ’s arrival surprising most, who’re still caught up in their busyness or doubt.
Though alive at His coming, their scoffs or sinful indulgence catching them out,
Like a thief in the night, who likewise, might blast on a trumpet and give a shout.

That thief's intention to scare, but not Christ, His blast and shout bringing life and joy,
The dead rising first, then the saved who’re still alive; a heavenly bound convoy.
None of us already up there, ’cause that would be unfair, and why soon we’ll hear,
An exciting trumpet blast and shout, and then immorality we’ll share.

Yes, that trumpet blast and shout is what it’s all about, ’cause Scripture tells us so,
No soul flitting to Heaven beforehand, death kind of like a sleep, knockout blow.
And hence that wake up call, that signal Christ has arrived, that trumpet blast and shout,
That rousing return of Jesus that the Word of God has warned us all about.


By Lance Landall




3.  Surely Enough Said

Imagine if the dead were alive and we able to speak to them somehow,
And perhaps we saying, “It’s alright for you, you’re not the ones suffering.” WOW!
Yes, pretty rough stuff, we having it tough, and resenting still being down here,
Which is why no one’s up there, and why even Scripture says that such wouldn’t be fair.

Yes, we all having to wait ’till Christ’s coming, and thus the dead kind of sleeping,
No loved ones up in Heaven pulling back the curtain and anxiously peeping.
They worried about how we’re getting on, even terribly upset to see
Miseries and hassles that may see us fall and miss out on eternity.

No, not good for them, not good for us, all why God would hardly do things that way,
And hasn’t done, and hence His pointing to that glorious resurrection day.
A day when we’ll all be ascending together, the saved dead having been dead,
And not copping complaints and wails from us who’re still stuck here — surely enough said.

Yes, some having been up there thousands of years before us, or maybe forty,
We doing it harder if living longer, Earth full of the evil and naughty.
Those others up in Heaven having a ball, Christ there in person, but not here,
And how much would that say about His love and care, being impartial and fair?

And why the dead are still dead — surely enough said.

So much for the wedding banquet, half the bride already up there, and how long?
And still waiting; the other half of the bride that coming resurrection throng.
They waiting too, it all sounding like public transport, head office in a spin,
But so the story’s spun, a Greek one, that as far as God goes, must’ve worn thin.

Yes, surely enough said.


By Lance Landall


“And all these [faithful Bible heroes of all the ages], though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised [eternal life, immortality], since God had provided something better [much fairer] for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect [immortal. They will have to wait]” (Heb 11:39,40, ESV).




4.  Christ Won't Be Back Tomorrow

No, Christ won’t be back tomorrow, and nor any other date that man has set,
But sometime very soon, though when, even Christ himself doesn't know, don’t forget.
’Cause that’s what Scripture says, and if Christ doesn’t know, nor do we, obviously,
Given that we’d hardly have the drop on Him, and thus it’s a secret, clearly.

Hence why we’ve been told to be ready in the sense of being right with Him, so,
We all need to get our act together, in other words, for when He does show.
We not to procrastinate, hold off, but be ready as if it’s tomorrow,
Lest we get caught out, and thereby, just like the devil, have much cause for sorrow.

Yes, God’s no fool, He knowing that giving a date wouldn’t be wise, but silly,
For many wouldn’t get their act together until the last minute, you see.
And meantime, their witness faulty, their wilful sinning hardly put behind, and,
They hardly genuine, but in step with that worldly, lukewarm and saltless band.

Yes, their last minute efforts much like those death bed confessions, such born of fear,
Not genuine repentance, and thus their entrance into Heaven hardly fair.
And as for the committed, those who’re ready and waiting — well, they’re told to endure,
Such proving their loyalty, their trust in God, and thus their eternal life sure.

Therefore, going by Scripture, any who say otherwise are false prophets, and,
Such we’ve been warned of, false messiahs too, for lies, signs and wonders, Satan’s planned.
Oh, how he loves to deceive, some secret rapture hardly biblical, you know,
For all will see Christ returning, He surprising most like those thieves in the night,

Oh,

But not the prepared though, who know Christ's return is the end of the world, and woe.

And they without fear, joyful at Christ’s return, His judgment having taken place,
His reward coming with Him, and punishment too, which only the wicked face.
Yes, the saved of the ages all gathered up together, and the wicked struck dead,
It all playing out exactly as Christ, His apostles and the Good Word said.

And there's another thing:

It appears that Christ’s coming has been delayed that more might be saved, and therefore,
How long that delay? Ops! For there goes man’s calculations, which all should ignore.
And that date being far too critical to leave in the hands of fallen men,
Who’d only fiddle, and who’re so prone to getting things wrong, time and time again.

But what about this text?

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that this day should overtake you like a thief.”

Oh, how folk get things mixed!

The reason that we’re not in darkness is, because we’ve been warned to be ready,
And thus we not caught out by that date that we haven’t been informed of, you see.
Hence it only the non-believers that will get caught out — well, hopefully so —
Because we’ve been warned, they scoffing at a second coming, for Christ they don’t know.

And believe me, Christ won’t come in secret, for the Scriptures make that very clear,
But rather, in spectacular style, and with lightning flashes, He’ll soon appear.
Yes, He surrounded by hosts of angels, and thus in great glory will be seen,
He descending from the heavens as His trumpet blast disturbs Earth’s final scene.

By Lance Landall


"And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?' " (Matt 24:3, KJV).

“Look! He is coming with the clouds [angels]; EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM, even those who pierced Him; and on His account all the tribes of the earth will wail [the remorse of the wicked]. So it is to be. Amen” (Rev 1:7).

“But concerning that day or that hour, NO ONE KNOWS, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Mark 13: 32, ESV).

“ ‘For FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS WILL ARISE and will show GREAT SIGNS and WONDERS, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect ’ ” (Matt 24:24, NASB).

“Here is a call for the endurance [faithfulness] of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God…” (Rev 14:12, ESV).

“And all these [faithful Bible heroes of all the ages], though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised [eternal life, immortality], since God had provided something better [much fairer] for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect [immortal. They will have to wait]” (Heb 11:39,40, ESV).


See my poem What Rapture? which is in the orange box that's under the
one you used to view these poems.




5.  Fairness All Part Of God's Love

No, God’s not coming back for bodies, many blown to smithereens, and therefore,
Our Saviour is coming back for the complete person, just as they were before.
So, blueprint in hand, and with His supernatural ability, they’ll rise,
The dead first, then the living, and no one saying, “Here, try this body for size.”

No, God’s not coming back for smelly, rotting flesh, nor millions of pieces, and
He more than capable of redoing us, in an instant, and there we’ll stand.
The breath of life re-entering, not some soul, and off we’ll go to those homes above,
We all made perfect and immortal together, fairness all part of God’s love.

Oh where oh where have Christians got the strange idea from, that as soon as we die
It’s down into some cavernous, fiery Hell, or up to Heaven that we fly.
Such nothing but pagan in origin, and what is rightly termed heresy,
Just like that man-made, superimposed, spare us our cross, untrue rapture theory.

“Here’s a call for the endurance of the saints,” the Bible cries, no opting out,
We bearing that cross of ours right up until that time of Christ’s return, and shout.
No one having gone anywhere, up or down, every piece of them still here,
’Till that time when both the living and dead meet their Lord and Saviour in the air.

If Christ took Christians to Heaven at death, He’d take their bodies too, not just souls,
Because souls we are; thus that lone soul flitting to Heaven belief, full of holes.
All why God’s Word says the dead in Christ sleep — it meaning, that they’re dead to the world,
Until that coming, beautiful, prepared for, resurrection scene is beheld.

By Lance Landall





6.  No One Can Exit Or Enter

We’ve been quarantined due to sin, are unable to leave our own galaxy,
Hence why we’re not allowed visitors from other galaxies, obviously.
They not having fallen, and thus our contamination a serious threat,
And this being why not a soul from another planet an Earthling has met.

Therefore,

Those UFOs folk have seen are no doubt engineered satellite holograms,
And Satan’s clever trickery designed to fool — yes, even Christ’s little lambs;
You and I, that is, because Satan and his mates are stuck in our galaxy,
And with nothing better to do than engage in trouble and chicanery.

So any aliens are simply disguised evil angels who’re aiding men,
Men who’re behind those holograms, that daft fantasy and science fiction pen.
It all creating a distracting curiosity, and misleading too,
Men not turning to the Word of God anymore, when there’s a greater need to.

Hence that warning of a coming “lawless one" with his signs and wonders, and hey,
Those UFOs playing their part; and maybe Satan disguised as Christ, one day.
So keep this in mind, those UFOs not from other planets, nor those green men,
Who’re nothing but the doing of the Father of Lies, and that deluded pen.

But men not beyond making UFOs, and there’s their own trickery, of course,
And don’t forget quadcopters, innocent or not, aiding Satan’s evil force.
And what other clever inventions of men might be involved? So please take care,
Because the territory of the devil is nothing but a trap and snare.

Meantime, no one can exit or enter our sin marred, quarantined galaxy,
Where Satan and his cohorts devilishly plot and plan Earth’s grand finale.
And midst it all,
No space probe finding life elsewhere, none at all, and should it near our galaxy’s end,
The unseen hand of God would stop it in its tracks, for oh, how it must offend.

So don’t be fooled by UFOs and aliens, ghostly apparitions too,
For they’re nothing but the work of Satan, or men who also evil pursue.
And NASA on a collision course with God, for God’s glory isn’t its end,
Nor those evil doings of the Usurper who loves to deceive and pretend.

In the beginning God created the heavens and Earth, the glory all His,
And thus He not to be upstaged by usurpers or any technical whiz.
So no matter how clever man gets, and no matter how busy Satan be,
Our Creator God will have the last say, and until He says differently,

All will remain restricted to this galaxy and fallen territory.

Hence why I wouldn’t waste time on those UFOs and little green men, ghosts too,
But put every ounce of energy into glorifying God who’s true.
Yes, He no angel disguised as an alien, no spook, maker of UFOs,
But the God of truth who’ll soon return in glory and deal with His and our foes.

Oh happy day! All those deceiving signs and wonders gone, the “lawless one" too,
Satan no longer able to lie, deceive, nor any of his motley crew.
Thus no more false miracles, no more earthly agents of Satan deceiving,
But love and truth combining, that heavenly healing balm of God relieving.

And God fair, logical and systematic, because,

When He returns, “the dead in Christ will rise first,” and then us, if still alive then,
And midst “the dead in Christ,” past Bible heroes, all those faithful women and men.
Thus no one leaving Earth until Christ returns, other than the odd exception,
Like Moses and Elijah, so mind that, “Our loved one’s in Heaven,” deception,

Because even David’s still here, His reward coming with Christ, who’ll soon appear.

By Lance Landall


“Has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Heb 1:2, NKJV).

“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light”
(2 Cor 11:14, NKJV).


“And all these [faithful Bible heroes of all the ages], though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised [eternal life, immortality], since God had provided something better [much fairer] for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect [immortal. They will have to wait]” (Heb 11:39,40, ESV).

Meantime, no one exiting or entering.

“That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? They shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. Who shall declare his way to his face? And who shall repay him what he hath done? Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb (Job 21:30-32, KJV).

"...that he [David] both died and was buried and his tomb is with us today...For David did not ascend into the heavens.." (Acts 2:29,34, ESV).

“ ‘In My Father’s house [in Heaven] are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you [referring to when Christ ascended to Heaven after the cross]. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again [the Second Coming] and [then] receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also [that’s His reason for coming again]’ ” (John 14:2,3, NKJV).

“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” (1 Thess 4:16, KJV).


Meantime, no one exiting or entering.



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Eleven commonly Misinterpreted Texts, each with an answer.

(More texts may be added as time etc permits, but those already covered serve as samples. Sources available)


“And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise
[Heaven. Jesus here, was speaking to the thief on the cross] (Luke 23:43, NKJV).

Answer:
Notice that the comma in this text has been placed correctly [by me], unlike the bias of the translators who put it this way: ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise’. The comma, that has been placed between the words ‘you’ and ‘today,’ was put there by the translators. The original Greek text has no punctuation. After Christ arose from the grave, He told Mary that he had not yet ascended to his Father (John 20:17). He ascended to Heaven some time later. Therefore, how could the thief have gone to be with Christ in heaven, immediately after his death, when Christ himself hadn’t even gone to Heaven? Here in Luke 23:43, Christ is clearly referring to the time when He will return (John 14:1-3).

“He [Saul] said to her [the medium], “What is his appearance?” She said, “An old man is coming up; he is wrapped in a robe.” So Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance” (1 Sam 28:14).

Answer:
1) “Knew” — Saul’s questions, together with the woman’s replies, are in themselves evidence that Saul did not see Samuel. He “perceived” that it was Samuel. The NKJ and KJ versions read “perceived.” If anything was to be seen, it would have been a Satanic apparition.
2) “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up” (verse 15) — If the doctrine held by most Christians, that a righteous man ascends to heaven at death, had been held in this ancient period, the summons would have been to bring Samuel ‘down,’ not up.
3) The Lord would not have spoken to Saul by a medium, a practice He had outlawed (Lev 20:27;19:31), after He had refused to communicate with Saul by legitimate means (1 Sam 28:6).
4) If the spirits of the dead were disembodied souls, they obviously would not need to be wrapped around with cloths (verse 14)
5) If the doctrine held by most Christians, that a righteous man ascends to heaven at death, had been held in this ancient period, “Tomorrow you and your son shall be with me” (verse 19) would mean that God’s prophets and apostate kings share the same living quarters after death.
6) “Samuel said to Saul” (verse 15) — This clause must not be interpreted as meaning that it was actually Samuel who spoke. The Writer simply describes events as they appeared, which is the normal way in a narrative.
7) “Your enemy” (verse 16) — These words identify their author. Satan has always endeavoured to paint the character of God in false colours, as a revengeful tyrant. He depicts God to men as their enemy.

“And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ (John 11:26, NKJV).

Answer:
The reference here is clearly to the second death (Rev 21:8; 2:11; 20:6). From this experience those who live and believe in Jesus will be delivered (Rev 20:6).

“...I saw under the alter the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on earth?” (Rev 6:9,10, NKJV).

Answer:
Here we have a ‘symbolic’ representation. This representation is simply designed to reassure those who are facing martyrdom and death, that ultimately, they will be vindicated by God. These martyrs may be thought of as sacrifices presented to God, their blood shed on earth poured symbolically at the heavenly altar (2 Tim 4:6; Phil 2:17), just as the blood of sacrificed animals was poured at the base of the Old Testament Hebrew sanctuary altar, the alter of burnt offerings (Lev 4:7,18,25,30) .

“And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin (Gen 35:18, NKJV).

Answer:
“As her soul was departing” — Gen 35:18 is simply stating the fact, that Rachel, in her last moments of consciousness and with her last fleeting breath, gave her son the name Ben-Oni.

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with Him [with Jesus, from the grave] those who sleep [have died] in Jesus” (1 Thess 4:14, NKJV).

Answer:
Here Paul is speaking about those who are “asleep” [metaphorically speaking] in Christ (verse13) — those who have died and are awaiting the Second Coming resurrection.
Paul makes it very clear (in verse 16) that the resurrection of the dead believers only occurs at Christ's second coming.
In other words, through Jesus "God will bring" them.
What Paul is saying here is, that Jesus is the instrument through whom God will raise the dead believers at the end.

“so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (1 Thess 3:13, NKJV).

Answer:
A) “Saints” — God’s angels. The Greek word for “saints” simply means ‘holy ones.’ God’s angels pertain to that category, and thus this verse parallels such texts as Mark 8:38, which describe Christ’s coming “in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Or,
B) The saints who are united at the time of Christ’s appearing (1 Thess 4:13-17) and with whom Jesus will be associated at that time — those alive at Christ’s coming, and those raised from the dead at Christ’s coming, gathered up together.

“It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—how he was caught up into paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I forbear, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me” (2 Cor 12:1-6, NKJV).

Answer:
Paul here, is clearly speaking of himself. He uses the ‘third person’ in order to avoid the appearance of boasting.
“Whether in the body...or whether out of the body” — A clear reference to being in ‘vision.’ Paul often received visions (Acts 9:4-6; 16:9; 18:9; 22:17,18; 23:11; 27:23; Gal 2:2). In vision there is complete absence of sensibility to earthly surroundings. The perception of things seen and heard in vision, and at times participation in the scenes presented, are fully as real to the consciousness as the normal sensory experiences of life.

“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8, NIV).

Answer:
“Away from the body” – that is, from life in the present world. Paul here, is simply using poetical language.

“For I am hard pressed between the two: having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you” (Phil 1:23,24, NKJV).

Answer:
“In the flesh” — that is, tied to earthly, fleshly life. Here Paul is simply stating his “desire”, which is to leave his present troubled life on earth and to be with Christ without reference to a period of time that may occur between these two events. Paul here, isn’t giving some doctrinal exposition of what happens at death. The failure to recognize that the apostle Paul is speaking about two different modes of existence and not about the state of the body or soul after death, has led to unnecessary, misguided speculations about the afterlife.

The rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).

Answer:
A) Not every time that Christ told a parable did He state that it was one. Clearly, the story of the rich man and Lazarus, is a parable, as, according to the account given, Lazarus received his reward and the rich man his punishment, immediately after death and before God’s judgement day. God’s Word clearly states that rewards and punishments, as well as the separation between those who are saved and those who are not saved, will only take place at Christ’s return (Matt 25:31-41; 16:27; Rev 22:12; 2 Tim 4:8; Heb 11:39,40).
(B) According to the account given, very little distance separates Heaven and hell, so much so, that they are within speaking and seeing distance from each other. According to the account given, the saved and unsaved can see and communicate with one another. Imagine it! How would you feel watching a loved one agonizing and burning. That would certainly destroy your heavenly joy and peace.

The purpose of this parable was to simply teach that future destiny is determined by the use we make of the opportunities of this present life. Christ met people on their own ground, capitalising on certain things that they sometimes erroneously considered to be so [e.g. things that the Pharisees already accepted as fact], in an attempt to teach them vital truths.
The details of a parable must not be pressed as having a literal meaning in terms of spiritual truth unless the context makes it clear that such a meaning is intended. In a parable in Judges 9:8-15 we have trees talking to each other yet we certainly don’t conclude that trees actually do. That would take the parable farther then it was intended to be taken.




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