You Is What You Is


Sunday school from November 8th, 2020


Let's pray. Almighty Father, lead us to your word so that we may find healing of heart, soul, and mind in the gospel of Jesus.
Be near us as we read for ourselves that Jesus has indeed died and has risen again for us.
Keep us steadfast in your grace and your mercy so that we may spread your love to those who haven't heard the good news and to those who have heard but have forgotten it.
Let us do all that we can to win souls for you that they may go out and do the same. We ask this in Jesus' most holy name.
Okay, so our practice here is we not only allow questions, we encourage them.
People learn by asking questions, and I've noticed that the worst pastors out there are threatened by questions.
A question can be a dangerous thing. So, you know, I'm used to having questions tossed in at 101 miles an hour straight at my head.
That's okay. We will deal with that. But let's take a look at questions here.
I transferred them over before I switched the computer over. So, let's see here.
Talking about the weather, Louise. Okay, Louise, this is naughty. We will have to get a message to the weather warrior,
Kat Kerr. I would note that Kat Kerr is another one of the notable people in the charismatic and NAR movement who wrongly prophesied that Trump would win the election.
The number of people who have notable prophets who prophesied that God told them that Trump would win the election.
In Kat Kerr's case, she claimed that God gave her this information that Trump would win the election on one of her many trips to heaven.
So, not only is she a weather warrior, she is a heavenly tourist. Does she have frequent flyer miles?
She might. I'm not sure how the heavenly frequent flyer miles work, but if anyone would have them, she's definitely a frequent flyer.
Yeah, I do think that with people like her, it's a judgment on the church when those who are obviously lunatics are given a platform and they give us the word of God, and all we're getting is really the voices inside of their head.
Anyway, so she'll bring the Harry Potter staff. It's a Gandalf stick.
Come on. It's a Gandalf stick, Louise. Josh is the one who, my son
Joshua, is the one who invented the term Gandolfing. You know, it's long before they actually went and did it.
Yeah, right. And then they go and they think of the thing that Cheyenne did.
They had that lady tell the spirit of racism, thou shalt not pass.
She ended up Gandolfing that. So, yeah, we've added to the lexicon, you know, Gandolfing.
All right, let's see here. Not bad. Okay. Rapture. Elizabeth Beasley says, not so well kept secret when it's written in the most popular book ever written.
Are the Left Behind series really still that popular? The Bible, yes.
Yeah, that's right. The Bible is the biggest one, but yeah, I'm sorry. An old one.
What kind of pastor am I? I'm an old one. Duh, beard. I can play Santa Claus without any makeup at this point.
So, all right, let's see here. Not just oil. Isaiah 55.
New King James. Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. You who have no money, come buy and eat.
Yes, come buy wine and milk without money, without price. Yes, you sound like that crazy
Eddie guy, you know, that crazy Roseboro. Come buy without money, right? Buy wine.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear and come to me and here in your soul will live and make an everlasting covenant with you.
The sure mercies of David. Yep, very, yeah, good point. Yeah, Christ gives it all away, man.
Everything. The food, the oil, the faith, the inheritance, and rightly so.
Let's see here. Pastor Chris, can you please go over the end time parable of the sheep and the goat? Nations.
Now, funny that you would call them sheep and goat nations, Elizabeth. We'll talk about that in a second. And thank you, great sermon with very appropriate worship.
Okay, so let's take a look at... I want to do something really quick here.
I want to take a look ahead in the lectionary. Give me a second to open up Logos and I just need to check my lectionary readings.
What is the lectionary reading for the last Sunday of the church year since we've been working our way through the Gospel of Matthew?
I just have this sneaking suspicion that the sermon I'm going to be preaching two Sundays from now is going to be the one that the question is about.
So, and that's okay. In case you haven't figured it out, I have no problem repeating myself.
That's the joys of getting older is that this just doesn't bother you. You just do it and most of the time you're oblivious to the repetition while everybody else is rolling their eyes.
You just carry on as if you're telling it for the first time. It's just the joy. Nikki's looking at me like,
I can't believe you're saying this out loud. I know where you live.
I've walked there. All right, waiting for my, you know, it might be quicker just to look at my hymnal.
Hang on a second here. All right, in the hymnal, lectionary series
A, proper 29.
Yeah, that's what I thought. So, guess what I'm going to be preaching on in in two weeks.
So, this will be a preview. The answer to the question will be a preview of what's coming.
So, in Matthew 25, and so, Elizabeth, this is where I'm going to take a quick swipe at something you said because there was a little
NAR language in there, which I thought was fascinating, and so we'll exegete this text real quick.
So, Matthew 25, verse 31, when the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, then
He will sit on His glorious throne. This is what we call the parable of the sheep and the goats, and it's not the sheep and the goat nations.
That's not the right way to put it, but the sheep and the goats will be gathered. All the nations will be gathered.
So, you have to make a distinction, and what ends up happening in the NAR is that they talk about sheep and goat nations, and they're misappropriating
Matthew 28 where Christ says, go and make disciples of all nations, and so we've got to be careful in not adopting their concepts in their language because this is all kind of embroiled up in their dominion theology and in their eschatological view of the church has to conquer, and the bride needs to make herself pure before Jesus returns.
It's this weird form of post -millennialism that they teach, and when
I was in the latter rain movement, my wife and I were in the latter rain movement, it was drilled into our head. Jesus can't come back until the bride makes herself clean and makes herself perfect, and it's like, you know, well, good.
If He can't come back until then, if we just keep a little bit of sin, we can keep Jesus away and keep pushing the eschaton back, you know, farther and farther.
Yeah, sin a day keeps Jesus away. Anyway, it's such a messed up eschatology.
It really is, and at the end of it, it sneaks in. It sneaks in works righteousness, but if we work our way through this text,
I'm going to point some things out here because when you don't properly understand long gospels, sin, and grace, and you have to understand your old
Adam, and this is not something that's just a Roman Catholic thing or, you know, like, you know, Westboro Baptist or something like this.
Your old sinful nature really, really wants to save itself and put
God in its debt, and so salvation by works is your default mode, all right?
I got myself into this. I can get myself out of it, and it's offensive to your sinful nature to hear that you can't get yourself out of your situation, and so our default mode is to steer towards works righteousness.
It's an exotic overreaction in the opposite direction, which is called antinomianism, where you end up in the other ditch.
That one takes a lot of suppression of truth and a complete rewriting of the overarching narrative of scripture, which is it's a little bit more exotic, far more difficult to come up with that, but all that being said, we're going to work our way through this kind of quickly, but point out the major things.
So when the Son of Man comes in His glory, all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Now here's the important bit. The judgment has just taken place.
The judgment, you are judged by what you is, and I always use bad grammar here to kind of make the point.
You are first and foremost judged by what you is. You is either, keep going with this bad grammar, you is either a sheep or you is a goat, and what you is determines which side you're on.
So Christ does the separating, and the judgment has already taken place. So immediately the question is, how are people made sheep, and what does it mean to be a goat?
Now the Calvinists hate this analogy, but I will continue to say it much to their consternation, and that is that we are all born goats.
Scripture says that we are born dead in trespasses and sins, under the dominion of darkness.
Christ says of those who do not believe in Him, you are of your Father the Devil. So you are not born a sheep, you're born a goat.
In order to be saved, there has to be a species change. You have to go from being dead to being alive.
You have to go from being a goat to being a sheep, and you are not capable of doing that.
I'm not capable of doing that. So how does that happen? It happens by the power of God, the
Holy Spirit. In this regard, I think it's very helpful to again return to Ephesians 2, even though I seem to have this bad habit of going to this text often.
But reviewing this is going to help us, because the separation, the judgment occurs by what you are.
So Ephesians 2 is this just wonderful text. The middle portion of it will explain how this is all
God's work, not our doing. So Paul, talking to the church in Ephesus, reminding them of their state before God prior to their salvation.
And he says, and you were, note the past tense, you were dead in trespasses and sins.
That's every one of us, in which you once walked. Always have to explain this, because in evangelical ease when
I was growing up, people would ask the question, how's your walk with the Lord? And so walk is a term that gets stuck into evangelical ease, and it's technically a biblical term, and it comes from a
Hebraism. And so in Hebrew, they don't really deal with abstract concepts.
They think very concretely. And so walking is the daily way in which you conduct your life, all right?
You're on your feet, you know, as you're going about. How do you conduct your life?
So in which you, and it works when you take the concept and you plug it in and replace the word.
So you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you once conducted your life. You see how it actually, it doesn't do violence to the text, it actually helps us understand it.
Following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind.
And watch this, we were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind, okay?
By nature, by nature, we are children of wrath.
That means by nature, we are born goats. And the best part of this text then is in the middle portion.
And I always make this point, and I will continue to make it, that as Lutherans, we are very careful exegetes.
And one of the things that's drilled into every seminary student in a confessional
Lutheran seminary is when it comes to exegesis, you ask the question, who's running the verbs?
Or as one of my professors said, who's doing the doing? All right? So if we're dead in trespasses and sins,
I always want to point out that dead here is not a metaphor. Dead means dead, and it's not a
Monty Python thing with that plague in the Holy Grail, you know, where you got the guy out there binging the gong going, bring out your dead, right?
And so some guy throws his uncle who's still alive onto the cart, and he says, I'm not dead yet.
He says, well, you will be in a moment, but I'm feeling better. Okay? That's so, you know, or you think of, you know, the princess bride, you know, he's only mostly dead.
Well, thanks, Miracle Max. You know, that's just great. Okay? It's none of that. You are for real dead.
And the note, the kicker is that we are by nature, children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
So Christ isn't speaking in hyperbolic symbolic rhetoric when he says you are of your father, the devil.
That's how bad it is. So what do we need to do? Well, the revivalist, you know,
Methodist, you know, holiness preacher would say, oh, you need to come down to the altar, and you need to make a free will decision to ask
Jesus into your heart. But the issue is there ain't no text that says that. All right?
So how does one go from being dead to being alive? I assure you that Kongsvinger, there's no line item budget for evangelizing corpses.
Okay? The cemetery is the cemetery and the Cemetery Association takes care of the graves out there, but we don't sell them books or, you know, try to evangelize them or anything like that.
Okay? So the only way you're going to be raised from the dead is if God does something.
And because here's the thing, as a pastor, I haven't got this power. Something's got to happen. So here's the next portion of it.
And let me make the Greek a little bit bigger. And, you know, if I, if there are any of the vicars of Aletheia present, pay attention to the
Greek here, because it's important. All right? So verse four, ha -de -theos.
Now, de here in the Greek, that means but. And so I love this word in the sentence because you'll note that but has this amazing ability to erase the things in front of it.
Okay? This is why we like this word in this case.
But here we have ha -theos. Theos is the word that is in Greek, means
God. And here the noun appears in what's called the nominative case. And in Greek, because it's an inflected language, when a noun is the subject of the sentence, it's in the nominative.
And so there's no way of mistaking it. The noun is always going to be the subject of the verbs.
That's how it works. Okay? And there's just no way around it. So here's, here we, right here in verse four, we know that theos is in the nominative.
That means whatever verbs follow, God's doing the doing.
Right? So, but God being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, and I want to see something here on that, on the, on the loved us here.
Okay. Yeah. Eris active. Okay. So there's a verb right here. God loved us.
We don't have a problem with that. Oh yes. God loves me because I'm so special. You know, it's really easy for us to imagine
God loving us. All right. But, but because of the rich mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, and now we come to the first verb, and here's the thing.
It takes five English words to translate the one verb.
And the verb is, it's a little bit of a, let's just say it's a little bit big as far as it goes.
Made us alive together with, and it's pronounced out. This is not an easy word.
Soon aids. Oh boy. That's a mouthful. Made alive together with.
So that's your verb. Who made us alive together to Cristo with Christ.
Answer. The noun, the nominative noun. God. God made us alive. If I was dead, then
God made me alive. If you were dead, God made you alive. By grace you have been saved.
And here's the next one. Raised us up with him. Soon a gay, soon a gay rain.
And this is, again, tough word in, in Greek. I mean, this word like shows up two, three times and all the scripture, like all of an antiquity.
These, this word kind of shows up. So he raised us up with him. God raised us up with him.
And then the last one is seated us with him. Soon. Raised us up with him in heavenly places in Christ.
So you're dead. God made you alive together with Christ. Raised you with Christ. Seated you with Christ.
What did you do? Nothing. Okay. Okay. So if you go from being dead to being alive, if you go from being, uh, you know, by nature and object of God's wrath, if God makes you alive, are you still by nature and object of God's wrath?
The answer is no. You now is a sheep. If God has made you alive in Christ, you as a sheep and God did all the doing.
You didn't do the doing. So when God found you, you were a cold corpse, full stop.
And he had mercy and he had pity on you. And through the gospel, through the means of grace,
God has made you alive. He has seated you with Christ and he is the one who has saved you, which is why then as you continue in the, in the text that verse eight through 10, for by grace, you have been saved past tense, not, not something in the future.
You, you have already now been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing.
It is the gift of God. So I always ask the question, and this is not your own doing.
It is the gift of God. What's the, it salvation itself, the whole package that's going to include grace.
It's going to include mercy. It's going to include even the faith to believe God. It's not your own doing.
It's the gift of God. The whole kit and caboodle is the gift of God. And if that's not enough, it's not a result of works that's totally ruled out so that no one may boast.
We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works. So no, now we get to the reason as to, you know, at least some explanation as to why
I would do this. We are created. We are God's workmanship. And no, this is not talking about being
God's workmanship in creation. Genesis one, this is talking about being
God's workmanship in regeneration created in Christ Jesus.
And what are we created for? Not a dream destiny, not a unique purpose. We are created in Christ for good works, plural.
That's what we're created for. And God has prepared them in advance that we should conduct our lives in them.
Okay. You see the idea here. So now we can get at least the thumbnail sketch. How does one go from being dead to being alive?
How does one go from being a goat to being a sheep? How does one go from being an object of God's wrath to be an object of God's mercy and grace and created in Christ and given good works by God to do?
All right. So those are the big deal. So all of that being said then, if I were a goat and I were to stand before God and say, but I fed homeless people on Thanksgiving, are my good works good works?
No. They are all tainted with sin. And in Hebrews 11 is so clear on this regard.
I can point this out because in exegeting this text, you have to work this out. Faith is the assurance of things that are hoped for.
It is the conviction. And here, a leg hoss, you could also say it is the certainty of things that are not seen.
For by faith, the people of old receive their commendation. By faith, we understand the universe was created by the word of God.
So that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith, Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous.
God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
By faith, Enoch was taken up so that we should not see death. And he was not found because God had taken.
Now before he was taken, he was commended as having pleased God. Verse 6, and without faith, it is impossible to please
God. Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
All right? So works righteousness doesn't require faith.
It is this satanic belief that you can please God without faith by your works.
That didn't work so well for Cain, by the way. Didn't work for him at all. All right? And when you hold up your good works to God and say,
I deserve to be in heaven because I did this, that, and the other thing, your works will damn you. All right?
But here's the thing. Sheep do what sheep do because they're sheep. Goats do what goats do because they're goats.
Why do you do good works as a Christian? Because you are a Christian. Because you are created in Christ.
You are God's workmanship created for good works. That's why you do them. All right?
And so here's the thing. When sheep do sheepy things, are they aware that they're doing sheepy things? No. You know, they're just doing what sheep do, you know?
Sheep go bad, you know, and sheep, you know...
By the way, sheep are stupid. But anyway, that's a different sermon.
Predators of everyone. All right. So coming back then. So Elizabeth, note the judgment takes place by the separating of the sheep from the goats.
And you're going to note that when Christ gets to the goats, nothing they did right is even mentioned.
Christ in this parable just goes with all the sins of omission. Okay? And stops them in their tracks.
So he placed the sheep on his right hand, the goats on his left, and now comes a discussion of good works after the judgment.
Now, because remember, what did Hebrews say? Without faith it's impossible to please
God. Whoever would draw near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Does God reward good works?
Yes. But without faith it's impossible to please God. So no works that you do are going to God.
But if you have faith in Christ, then any measly little work that you do, Christ is going to reward.
You know, I always like to point out to people that if you've spent time in bad churches, you've always felt that somehow you were inadequate in the good works department.
Because you weren't flying around the world and digging fresh water wells in Africa. You hadn't started an orphanage in Haiti and all this kind of stuff.
And I always, when people, when they talk to me like this, I'll say, how many kids have you got? Well, I got three kids.
All right. Tell me about your day -to -day routine. Well, the youngest is still in diapers. The middle child is in kindergarten and my oldest is in third grade.
I sit there and go, oh boy, you are rich in good works. Well, what do you mean? You changed diapers?
Yep. God gave you that child. Changing their diapers is a good work. You help with homework? You betcha.
You bathe the kids? You feed them? Yeah. This is huge. These are all amazing, powerful good works that Christ has prepared for us to do.
How do I know they're good works? Because the tail end of Ephesians makes it clear where we do our good works. We do our good works primarily as husband, wife, father, mother, then employer and employee.
And so all of your good works are done in what many churches despise and disloathe.
And the things that they believe and preach are the things that are keeping you from achieving your dream destiny.
Those are the very good works that scripture commends. And we know from scripture that they are good works because Ephesians, the last chapters of Ephesians make it clear that they are.
So keep that in mind then. Again, sheep do what sheep do because they're sheep. All right, coming back to then our text, and I know
I'm kind of meandering through here, but you might as well. See, be careful what you ask for.
Questions, because you might end up getting a long -winded Roseboro answer. It's like, he went an hour answering one question.
Yeah, I do that. All right. All right. So then the king will say to those on his right, come you who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
A little bit of a note here. What's our word? Inherit.
An inheritance is a gift. The only thing you need to receive an inheritance is for somebody to gift it to you and then crump.
Okay. So who crumped that you can receive this inheritance? Christ did. He died on the cross.
So note then the inheritance bit rules out salvation by works because they're receiving an inheritance.
And inheritance is a gift. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
And then here come the good works. I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty.
You gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me.
I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. And then the righteous, watch the phrase here.
The who? The righteous. How are they righteous? Well, Philippians 3 makes it clear.
We don't have a righteousness of our own. This is the righteousness of God that is given by faith, right?
And that's what Christians are. They are the righteous. Then the righteous will answer Jesus saying, Lord, when do we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink?
I told you sheep are stupid, man. Okay. What are you talking about, right?
When do we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink? When do we see you a stranger and welcome you or naked and clothe you?
When do we see you are sick and in prison and visit you? Now, here's an important bit of exegesis.
Because the SJW left and the woke and the people out there trying to eradicate systemic poverty all in the mean name of Jesus.
Not that helping the poor is an evil thing. It is a good thing. But the ideology behind this is bad.
They will see this text and say, well, you're not even saved unless you help the poor. That's a form of works righteousness.
And it's a twisting of what Jesus says here. So pay attention to what he says. So the king will answer them. Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers.
To Adelphon Mu. My brothers.
You did it to me. Well, in the same gospel, how does
Jesus define who his brothers are? Okay, let's let's let's you're right.
But let's take a look at this. And I'm going to just do a quick search for brothers.
And we're going to go into the gospel. Hang on a second here. All right, see here.
All right, here we go. Matthew 12, 46 through 49. While Jesus was speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside asking to speak to him.
I don't know. Jesus had brothers. Seems like the Virgin Mary didn't maintain her virginity, you know, forever.
Just saying. Okay, I have an issue with Rome here. And with some people who call themselves
Lutherans who want to just die on that hill. Anyway, so they stood outside asking to speak to Jesus.
He replied to the man who told him, who is my mother? Who are my brothers?
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, here are my mother and my brothers.
Same gospel. Okay, and that's an important bit. So this is, you know, 12, 13 chapters prior.
But this is an important bit of information now. Because as we go back to here, truly
I say to you, as you did to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me.
This is not a command to, in general, care for the poor, which we are called to do by the fifth commandment.
All right, you shall not murder is an implication is you shall meet, you help meet your neighbor's needs in his body.
Okay, that's, so that's part of the commandments. But here, Christ is talking about how did you care for, how did you treat those who were his disciples who brought the gospel to you?
All right, when you see it in that light, go back through the list. When did we see you hungry?
So you have disciples of Jesus who are experiencing hunger, and they are his brothers, and you feed them, caring for your
Christian brothers and sisters in their bodily need. Thirsty, give you drink. We see you a stranger.
Ah, so a disciple of Jesus shows up in your town and preaches the gospel, and you receive him, all right, and welcome you, or naked and clothe you.
Yeah, well, I can think of Christians suffering these kinds of calamities. And when do we see you sick and in prison and visit you?
You're sick in the hospital, we can't visit you. You were in prison, we can't visit you. Prison for the, note here, as you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
So how we treat each other, this has implications on our good works, is how we are treating
Christ. All right, and what does
Christ do? He rewards it. They're not saved by this, they're rewarded for this.
Then he will say to those on his left, and remember here, they're goats, they don't have faith, depart from me you cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and all of his angels.
And yes, eternal fire tells us how long they're going to be there. Okay, I'll talk about that in a minute.
I was hungry, you gave me no food. Now we know these are disciples of Jesus. So when Christians show up and Christians are in need and Christians are bringing the gospel and Christians, you know, how do the unbelievers, how do the goats treat them?
With neglect, with contempt, right? I was hungry, you gave me no food. I was thirsty, you gave me no drink.
I was a stranger, you didn't welcome me. Naked, you didn't clothe me. Sick and in prison and you didn't visit me.
And then they also will answer saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?
Then he will answer, truly I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And then these, the goats, and then you're going to note there's a parallel here.
And before I explain the parallel, I have yet to run across a single human being who does not believe that eternal life is eternal.
When you talk about heaven, oh yes, we will be singing in the choir invisible and immortal for ages upon ages in a world without end.
Okay, so heaven is forever, right? Yes. But there are a lot of people in today's
Christian circles who will sit there and say, but it's just, it's reprehensible. It's grotesque to believe that God would cause human beings to suffer eternally in a hell without end.
And so there's a growing number of people who call themselves Christians, who they call themselves conditionalists, where they basically say, you will only spend as much time as hell as is necessary to be punished for your sins and then you will cease to exist.
So eternity. Yeah, but they claim that God, you know, basically, you know, his wrath kind of burns out and then you just, you don't, you no longer exist.
But here's what the scripture says. These will go away into eternal punishment.
Eternal, Ionean here is an adjective, and it is modifying the
Greek noun, Colossin, which is punishment. And it tells us how long the punishment is.
How long is the punishment of hell? It's eternal. So these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into Zoane, Ionean.
Zoane is your noun, life. Ionean, eternal. The two are bracketed together.
You can't tear them apart. To deny that the lake of fire and hell is eternal is to basically say that, well, maybe eternal life isn't eternal either, you know, because now you're playing word games to get out of what the text says.
And Christ is the one who said this. And by the way, Christ is the one in scripture who preaches and teaches the most and the clearest on the concept of eternal punishment.
And we recognize that each and every one of us, we have earned eternal punishment. We were all goats when we were born.
And we still have a sinful nature that has the appetite for garbage that a goat has.
You know, my inner goat is just bad, you know.
People are rolling their heads over here. Sorry. Yeah, anyway, you get the idea.
So that's the exegesis of that text. And again, when you work your way through it carefully, you can see how that works, how it works out.
Okay. But Elizabeth, I hope that that answers the question. Okay, so Hannah asked, my husband explained to me that in regards to Calvinism, he believes that in the elect and that God is all -knowing and he knows who will be there at the end and choose him, not that God chooses the elect.
Is that still Calvinism? I'm confused. That doesn't sound quite like Calvinism. It sounds like Calvinism mixed with something else and I'm not sure what that is.
Justice, you're from Swansea. We need to talk,
Justice. We need to talk because we have a church plant in Swansea and so we definitely need to talk because you have a congregation that would love to get to know you further.
Since you're in Swansea, it's like, yeah, you need to meet with Aletheia in Swansea and get to know them as well.
But send my wife, send us an email to the secretary email address to Kongsvinger and we can set up a time we can talk further.
Okay. All right, so my husband explained to me that, okay, we got that. All right, so I never saw the
Lord of the Rings. Apologies. Only two demerits for not seeing the Lord of the Rings, but we expect you to have fixed that problem by next week.
Okay, so. All of them? Yeah. Just the
Lord of the Rings, don't even watch The Hobbit. Just read The Hobbit. Yeah, read The Hobbit and then watch the extended director's cut of The Fellowship of the
Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. It's well worth it. If you start at the end of Sunday school, you should be wrapping up by this time next week.
That's right, that's right. So, yeah. Okay. I know that they are nuts, but the election may honestly be flipped.
It happened with Bush -Gore. I, yeah, I, you may, I, it's not looking that way, but we'll see.
Anyway, seeing that the separation is like separating goats and sheep, which is done before all nations and people.
Thanks for clearing that up. Good. All right, so if the goats have rejected God's grace before judgment, then they would not be able to receive an end, an end if punishment in hell and the punishment being a form of grace in that context.
Correct. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day of God's grace. So, when it comes to forgiveness and punishment, it's a binary couplet, okay?
If you don't want to be forgiven, that's just foolish. Again, it's utter foolishness.
You're bled for, you're died for. So, why would you not want to be forgiven? I don't know.
I like being my own God. You know, you kind of get the idea. All right, so all of that was just intro.
So, yes, Nikki. So, I have a question. In the sermon, you mentioned a little bit about soul sleep, and I think that I don't quite understand the concept and why it's wrong.
Could you expand on that a little bit? Sure. So, soul sleep is a doctrine taught primarily by the
Jehovah's Witnesses and the Seventh -day Adventists, and it's, if you would, they do not believe that death is a tearing or separation of the body and the soul.
In fact, they might even have, in some degrees, a deficient understanding of what the soul is.
And so, as a result of it, they see when Christ and other passages of Scripture, like our
Epistle text, talk about death as sleep, and they ignore, and I would even say overtly oppress and suppress passages that say to be absent from the body is to be present with the
Lord. And they even ignore the fact that God brings back with Christ those who have fallen asleep.
And so, soul sleep is, if you would, it's a tenacious emphasis on the word sleep while excluding the concept of the separation of the body and the soul.
And so, in the soul sleep scenario, there is no heavenly worship, there is no great cloud of witnesses, there are not those who are present with Christ in heaven.
And in the case of the Jehovah's Witnesses, they'll even argue that heaven was not made for human beings, therefore humans shouldn't and couldn't be there.
They're very, very dogmatic about this. But let me give you some texts here, and let's see here.
Present, and I want Epistles. Okay, I'm gonna just see if I can hunt down a couple of passages here.
I particularly want the Philippians text here. Okay, let's see here.
Do -do -do, almost there. All right, let me do this.
I'm gonna, sometimes the best Bible searching tool is
Google. Absent from the body, present with the
Lord. There we go. Second Corinthians 5, for we know that our earthly house.
Okay, so let me go here, 2 Corinthians 5, 2 Cor 5.
All right, let's see here, and let me double check something here.
Okay, all right, so here's the text. We know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, all right, okay, yeah, or wears out, or gets bloated, in my case, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling. If indeed by putting it on we may be found, may not be found naked.
For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened, not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the
Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the
Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the
Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please
Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
All right, well, everybody does. And in the case of Christians, we do not get punished for evil because that's all bled for and died for.
But everybody appears before the judgment seat of Christ. So to be absent from the body is to be present with the
Lord. And let me see if I can do this from memory, because if I remember in like the opening concepts of Philippians, let's see.
Yeah, here we go. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation hope that I will not be at all ashamed.
But with full courage, now as always, Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain. So that's another passage that rules out the concept of soul sleep, because if I'm just gonna sit sleeping in the grave, what gain is that, you know?
So the part of it that is why it's rejected is they think that the soul like itself literally is a sin.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So death itself is just a total unconsciousness, you know.
Yeah, that's a terrible way to put it. A dirt nap. You're the one that taught it to me.
Yeah, yeah, but you think I would have raised you better. Clearly I didn't. Okay. Yeah, now watch what he says.
If I'm to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I cannot tell. I'm hard -pressed between the two.
My desire is to depart and to be with Christ. That is far better.
But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
You get the idea. So the intermediate state for the Christian, and I think we talked a little bit about Sheol last week, how in Sheol there's two compartments in the
Old Testament, but Christ has evacuated Abraham's bosom. And the idea, what does it say in scripture?
That when Christ ascended, he led a host of captives in his train. And so the idea then is as Christians, we recognize that the intermediate state for us is not in Sheol, at Abraham's bosom, but in the presence of Christ in heaven.
And you can see this then in the theology in, let me see if I can pull this up here.
In fact, I don't think I'm going to be able to, because I'm on, this is a new computer. But in the
Tzedem, let me, I'll have to go this route. I'm going to go old school.
We got a hymnal here. In the Lutheran service book, there is an order of service called matins.
It is the service that is historically conducted at nine in the morning.
So you have matins at nine in the morning, you have vespers at three. And in the matins service, there is an extremely old hymn.
And the name of the hymn is the Tzedem. And this thing goes way back.
Some of the earliest copies of the Tzedem that we have are from the 300s.
So from the fourth century, this thing goes way back. It's a little difficult to sing just because of how the antiphonal structure of it works.
And then there's a major key change in the middle of it. So, but you may have heard it. We praise you,
O God, we acknowledge you to be the Lord. All the earth now worships you, the
Father everlasting. To you all the angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein.
To you cherubim and seraphim continually do cry.
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth. Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise you. The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise you.
Now I'm going to kind of fast forward just a little bit here to the key change in the middle. And there's some very interesting statements in here regarding what ends up happening.
When you took upon yourself to deliver man, you humbled yourself to be born of a virgin. When you had overcome the sharpness of death, listen to these words, you open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
And this goes way back. So the belief then of Christians is that when it says that when
God, when Christ ascended, he led a host of captives in his train, that the intermediate state for believers then changes from Sheol to the presence of Christ.
And so, and you can see this in the hymnity, you open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. And so we recognize then that the intermediate state is one in the presence of Christ.
And that's the great cloud of witnesses that is referred to then in Hebrews 12.
They're the ones who have finished the course. They're in the stands. And the picture in Hebrews 12 is that they are there cheering you on, if you would, as you are running your race, as you are finishing your course.
But interesting. All right. All right. Let's see here.
Mike says, what about the souls in heaven who ask how long, O Lord? Okay, so Mike, that's a great text, because again, this is a perfect picture.
I think if we're looking at the, you know, like, was it Revelation 6, I think?
I'm doing this from memory, so I could be off. Okay. Let's see here.
Well, maybe not. Maybe like a little bit later. I'd have to look.
But you're right. In the worship in heaven, you have the saints crying out to the
Lord. They want their blood avenged. They, you know, how long,
O Lord? And Christ, I kind of jokingly say that he gives them a really nice white bathrobe and puts them on a chaise lounge and gives them a pina colada and tells them to rest a little longer.
It's a weird way of putting it, but I think, hang on, now I've got to find it. Let's see here.
This is worse than the passion translation. This is the pirate translation.
Let's see here. Where is this picture? Maybe it's 9. Now, see, I've got to hunt this down.
Okay. Let's see here.
Maybe if I just do a search for the word robe. Hang on. Robe. And I want it in Revelation.
It is in 6. Yeah, it is 610. Yeah, I was right at first, and I missed it.
That's again, glories of getting old. I can hide my own Easter eggs. So when the fifth seal, you open the fifth seal,
I saw under the altar the souls of those who have been slain. Souls. And this is psuche in the
Greek. Okay, it's another way of talking about, you know, spirits, but here are the living souls of those who have been slain for the word of God and for the witness that they have borne.
They cried out with a loud voice, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?
Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer. See, I told you, the only thing missing is the pina colada in the
Shades Lounge. Pirate translation stands. But you're going to note then, these martyrs, these saints, what are they doing in the presence of Christ?
Resting. All right, they've already entered their Sabbath rest. Hopefully you found all this helpful.
I really enjoy the questions that we have. And as we look at eschatological themes, and even after the beginning of the new church year, we're going to continue to work our way through the book of Revelation.
But at the moment, I'm being very flexible on the questions because I remember coming out of evangelicalism having to wrestle with eschatology.
What do I do with it? Because everything was so terrifying and scary, and there was no comfort in it at all.
And yet, in our epistle text today in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul says, encourage one another with these words.
So eschatology is one of these things that is designed to give us hope and confidence in our salvation, so that we can patiently endure all the trials and tribulations that we're in.
Tony says, as an artist who does lots of sports art, I've wanted for some time to explore the great cloud of witnesses, the attraction to sports tradition and fandom, in good sense that it is, the idea of playing field and those who have gone before.
Exactly. I think that's a good, you know, it's a great way to put it. It really is. They have already finished their course.
They were down on the field, and they ran, and they did their events, and now they've taken their place in the stands, and they are cheering us on.
Indeed. So, all right. Ed Riajas has a really amazing piece, not exactly, you know, in the sports aspect of it, but I believe it was a commissioned, like, altar piece for a church, and it opens up for All Saints Day, and actually has members of the church who had died.
Yeah. Okay, so, I'm not, I don't know if you're talking about the same piece.
I've seen his Taddaeum mural. It's in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and in Missouri.
There are two that I think are kind of similar. Yeah, and in the Taddaeum mural that Rojas did, he depicts the saints before the presence of Christ, and he did a self -portrait.
He put himself, even with his, like, balding head, you know, he put, I hate the fact that he depicted himself with a balding head, but, you know, because I like to think that when
I finally am resurrected in the presence of Christ, I am not going to be an overweight old guy, you know?
I just don't want to be that anymore. I want to see my feet again. Anyway, so, but yeah, no, but yeah, you're right.
You know, he works off of those themes, and his art is just, it is the bomb diggity.
He is, it is so confessionally and biblically solid that God has given the craftsmanship and the gift to be able to depict the art, but his name is
Ed Rojas. If you, if you, you could probably google Ed Rojas and then Taddaeum mural or something like that.
There's R -I -O -J -A -S, I believe. R -I -O.
Riojas. Riojas. Okay, Riojas. R -I -O -J -A -S? I believe so. Okay, all right, so you all have homework.
If you, you know, you'll be blessed if you, if you find it on Google, but good artwork. So this is where we are going to end off today.
So peace to you, brothers and sisters, and Lord willing, we'll see you next time. Today's day 14 of my having to be quarantined after being exposed to COVID and no symptoms, and so day 15 is tomorrow.
Normal life for me resumes. Got to do a muppet dance for that one.