01 November 2011

New hashtag: #EternalGloriesWithChrist

by Dan Phillips

Every day is a struggle of one size or another.  Irrationally, we recoil in surprised revulsion to some degree... unless I'm the only one. Though I've been here for 56 years and counting, it still seems as if each new battle with sin, internal or external, offends me. It is always unwelcome, it is always joyless in itself. It always feels like an uninvited intruder. It's always something of a shock.

Yet I know on every level (except that one) that this is simply the status quo for the entire stretch of history from the first crunch of the Garden's dark sacrament until King Jesus takes up His throne on this globe. The world and the devil remain the world and the devil, and thus unalterably opposed to God, to God's Word, to God's will, and to God's people.

And the flesh remains the flesh. Meaning: as long as you and I are this side of glory, though we be every bit as saved as the apostle Paul or John Calvin or John Owen or Charles Spurgeon, will have a daily, miserable grinding battle with our own remaining corruptions (Rom. 7:14-25).

BUT: the status quo for now is not the status quo forever.

The day will come when all that will change for us who have trusted Christ savingly. One day, we will depart and be with Christ, and that will be "far better" (Phil. 1:23). We will be absent from the body, and at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:1-9).

Or, one day Christ will descend, and the dead in Christ will be caught up, and we who live will be caught up as well to meet the Lord in the air, and to be with Him forever (1 Thess. 4:13-18). We will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:51-58). We will go to Him, or He will come for us.

This is a settled, assured fact of history. "Huh? 'History'? But it hasn't happened yet." True enough; but when something is a settled fact to God, it is (or will be) a settled fact to the universe. There is no question of whether, there is only the question of when.

I don't know whether I'll have a job tomorrow, or what it will be. But I do know that those who die in Christ depart to be with Him forever. I do know that Jesus will come, raise and glorify His people, and reign over this universe bodily, in person, visibly, triumphantly and forever. I know it because God has revealed it as His sovereign will for the future, in His inerrant and abiding Word. That gives grounds for hope.

Hope is a big truth in Scripture. Paul preached it (Acts 28:20). We're saved by it, and we live in it (Rom. 8:24-25). We should boast in it (Rom. 5:2).

You need hope. I know you do. In this wide audience, some of you are battling diseases small and horrendous. Some of you are facing miserable tensions in your family, your church. You look at the course of your nation and you despair. You look at the "evangelical" scene and sigh, and pray. Your friendships seem fragile, your economics scary. If in this life only you have hoped in Christ, you and I are of all most miserable.

So, for that reason, because I personally need my hope refreshed, and because I know that you, brother and sister in Christ, need your hope refreshed, I've started a hashtag in Twitter called #EternalGloriesWithChrist. The point is for you and me to boast in our hope in Christ together, before God and everyone.

So let's boast. I know it can be abused — another "thorn" of this fallen creation! But if we approached this together seriously, and it widely-read, mightn't it make a great witness to the church and to the world?

Meta note: I will summarily and without further explanation delete any comment that strays from the things on which all Bible-believing Christians agree. As should be obvious (yet never seems to be), that includes timing and specifics of the Rapture, the Millennial Kingdom, or the timing of end-times events. Those are valid and decent topics, but as a rule they're always unwelcome on this blog, and specifically unwelcome in this meta. That should leave all Bible-believing Christians with plenty to talk and rejoice about together.

UPDATE: I've expanded on the theme of hope over at my place also, today. Do drop by.

Dan Phillips's signature

32 comments:

Jamie said...

Thank you Dan. While reading this it brought to mind Luther's struggle the night prior to his now famous quote"...here I stand, I can do no other." That struggle led him to pen this prayer which I think is timeless in its application. Anyway here it is:

O God, Almighty God everlasting! how dreadful is the world! behold how its mouth opens to swallow me up, and how small is my faith in Thee! . . . Oh! the weakness of the flesh, and the power of Satan! If I am to depend upon any strength of this world - all is over . . . The knell is struck . . . Sentence is gone forth . . . O God! O God! O thou, my God! help me against the wisdom of this world. Do this, I beseech thee; thou shouldst do this . . . by thy own mighty power . . . The work is not mine, but Thine. I have no business here . . . I have nothing to contend for with these great men of the world! I would gladly pass my days in happiness and peace. But the cause is Thine . . . And it is righteous and everlasting! O Lord! help me! O faithful and unchangeable God! I lean not upon man. It were vain! Whatever is of man is totering, whtaever proceeds from him must fail. My God! my God! dost thou not hear? My God! art thou no longer living? Nay, thou canst not die. Thou dost but hide Thyself. Thou hast chosen me for this work. I know it! . . . Therefore, O God, accomplish thine own will! Forsake me not, for the sake of thy well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ, my defence, my buckler, and my stronghold.
Lord - where art thou? . . . My God, where art thou? . . . Come! I pray thee, I am ready . . . Behold me prepared to lay down my life for thy truth . . . suffering like a lamb. For the cause is holy. It is thine own! . . . I will not let thee go! no, nor yet for all eternity! And though the world should be thronged with devils - and this body, which is the work of thine hands, should be cast forth, trodden under foot, cut in pieces, . . . consumed to ashes, my soul is thine. Yes, I have thine own word to assure me of it. My soul belongs to thee, and will abide with thee forever! Amen! O God send help! . . . Amen!
- Martin Luther

Pam said...

Thanks for words of hope, Dan. Strange and wonderful words: "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes..." Rev.21:4

musicfrombrokenchords said...

Thank you so much for posting this Dan. Some days I need a little push in thinking about my real home, and a reminder that no matter the challenge of this life, I am really just a pilgrim passing through. God bless you, thanks for the reminder to keep looking up!

Robert said...

Let us also not forget that through these trials that God is actually building us up in Him. And let us also not forget the lesson that Paul has laid out for us:

"And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 9-10)

And Paul maintained this attitude by remembering what Jesus saved him from and what Jesus saved him to...may we all have this hope firmly planted in our hearts/minds so that we can keep Christ the center of our lives.

Barbara said...

In our ladies' Bible Study we are going through Kathleen Nielsen's wonderful study, Isaiah: the Lord Saves. This one study has been adding significant depth and weight to my understanding of the New Testament. One of the passages she recommends for memory, which for me has also become a prayer, is Isaiah 2:2-5. To see that promise wrapped through the rest of the book (at least so far, we're on chapters 24-27 now)and to keep coming back to that one passage over and over again while looking ahead to Revelation 19 and 21 and 22 is everything to me, especially when I look at the news. To study of God's sovereignty over the nations and His bringing the wicked kings to justice, and then to look at the news and see Ghaddafi come to the end that he did even as we are studying that very thing - it is a fearsome thing. And yet for His people, His judgment is redemptive and cleansing even as the enemies of His people will be brought to justice. It is all for the good fo His people and it is all from His hand. He is true and faithful. He has said this thing and He will do it, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Praise be His name!

donsands said...

"...unalterably opposed to God..."

So we need to get used to it, and we never do.

The hope we have in Christ can crush Satan under our feet, if we pray and seek His power and love to fill our hearts with this hope in believing. Thanks for the good truth this morning.

lee n. field said...

Amen, Dan. Thank you.

"This is a settled, assured fact of history. "Huh? 'History'? But it hasn't happened yet." True enough;"

Where I was last Sunday, the preacher was preaching on Psalms. He noted that lament psalms often ended this way, on a confident note that God had heard and acted in anticipation that it would be so. I'll have to watch for that.

Already. Not yet.

DJP said...

Jamie, very timely.

Pam, one of my very favorite.

JackW said...

I'm new to the tweetin' stuff, so thanks for introducing me to what a hashtag is.

Sort of glad that it's a struggle, calm seas do not a skillful sailor make.

For those who actually care about what the creepy work verification is ... waters

Robert said...

Also wanted to add that what is written in this post is a reminder of why the following is true:

"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." (Revelation 1:3, emphasis mine)

When we look at what the future holds, it truly is a blessing that God made all of this known to us. We're not just pawns in a never-ending game that is out of control.

Matthew Hoover said...

God bless you, Dan. I heard a great sermon this weekend on Romans 7-8 regarding the battle against the flesh. The preacher said that we should all say "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" when we're in the midst of the battle. The battle is the sign of our freedom and deliverance now and in the future. The peace and ease the flesh longs for in this world is the thing that would kill our souls.

tingleberries said...

I, the hopeless sinner, am redeemed by Christ's ultimate act of submission. I, the hopeless sinner, now find hope in the fact that my sins are forgiven. One day sin will be abolished, and I, the hopeless sinner, will live eternally in unhindered fellowship with Christ my Savior and my King.
#EternalGloriesInChrist

I don't have a twitter account :)

DJP said...

Too long, anyway. (c:

So here's the perfect place!

Sarah : ) www.crumbsundermytable.blogspot.com said...

I really needed to read this today and I thank God for the reminder of the hope in so great a salvation! And I thank God for using you and this blog to edify and encourage me at this time! So often some of the situations around me right now can feel overwhelming and neverending and yet there is an end and it is always in sight thanks to the precious Word of God! And the end is always and ever will be Christ our God and Savior and the gospel that reconciles us to our Father and Creator God through His Holy Spirit! I am reminded of Psalm 73 (especially verses 25 & 26) "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
Thank you again, you'll never know how much a blessing this has been for me at this particular time! Love in Christ!

Solameanie said...

Dan,

Can't express how much this ministered to me today. Thank you.

Manfred said...

Since there ain't no such thing as coincidence, I can only thank and praise God that you wrote this, within two days of a wonderful forward-looking sermon on Sunday from Romans 13:11-14. Something I didn't expect but am most thankful for: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=11111101261

Most excellent reminder, Dan, of where and in Whom our only true hope lies. Blessings in Christ to you, and many thanks for your work to bring glory to God and good to His people.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thank you, Dan. Encouragement floods in when most needed. Piggybacking on last night's rehearsal...

Wonderful counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlastiing Father,
the Prince of Peace...

King of Kings,
and Lord of Lords...

and He shall reign
forever and ever


How can I keep from singing?

Rita Tomassetti said...

Ame! Thank you for this post Dan. We cannot remind ourselves enough of the Eternal Glories that we have with Christ.

D. C. said...

I will not boast in anything, no gift no power, no wisdom. But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and ressurection! Why should I gain from His reward, I can not give an answer. But this I know with ALL MY HEART, His wounds have paid my ransom.

Stefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stefan said...

And further to D.C.'s point, think of all the hymns (both old and new) whose opening verses deal with God, our sin, and Christ's work on the Cross...then conclude resoundingly with the hope of things to come!

"When we've been here ten thousand years bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we've first begun."

"When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim, 'My God, how great Thou art!'"

"When I stand in glory, I will see His face, and there I’ll serve my King forever, in that holy place."

"All hail, Redeemer, hail! For thou hast died for me; thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity."

This is all based upon the truth that Jesus Christ was raised bodily from the grave, as the firstfruits of our future resurrection. Without that, we have nothing to hope for either in this life OR the next, and Christianity is just another nice, ethical system that does nothing to solve the problem of sin and evil.

Allison Gray said...

Amen, Dan! Thanks for that post. I currently am facing every struggle you mentioned and was in dire need of encouragement. Funny how as we grow in Christ that we welcome the struggles more and more, because it is these that cause us to cling to Christ ever more tightly.
You are a gift to the body of Christ, Dan, and this blog has been such an encouragement to me! God bless you and the rest of the Pyro team :)

D. C. said...

Adding to Stefan's list:

When Satan tempts me to dispair, and tell me of the guilt within; upward I look and see Him there, who made an end to all my sin. Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free. For God the just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me!

Daryl said...

Great timing Dan.

Having one of those days/weeks/months work-wise.

I needed to be reminded of what is to come.

Thanks.

The Bible Christian said...

Dan

One thing I have learned from the word of God is, despite my sin, or my lack of devotion to God at times, despite my pride... He is faithful and that hope you're talking about never never disappoints in-spite of myself. And that is a beautiful thing! Rejoice in the Lord, again I say rejoice.Come Lord Jesus come!

It was great to come home from a long day and read this... Thank You

lee n. field said...

"Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. "

slave4Christ said...

When I get discouraged and impatient , I remember a song that we sang years ago "This World Is Not My Home, I'm Just A Passin' through...
My new favorite is,There Is A Day by Phat Fish

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=m0W6O6ZYadc#!

John Dunn said...

Aaaahhh then let us, in our battle against sin, rejoice in the indwelling resurrection power of the Spirit of Christ in us, allowing Him to triumph in us by His exceeding great power and endless life. Rejoicing as He produces in us an abundance of heavenly fruit, thereby transforming us into Christ's resplendant image from glory to glory. Exulting as He triumphs over the world, satan, and the flesh, making us more than conquerors In Himself. We are New Covenant saints *in Christ* by the living and vital communion of the Holy Spirit. Let us then live as true sons and daughters of Pentecost . . . true sons and daughters of the Promise, filled with the Spirit of Christ, ravished with the wonder of His redeeming person and work!

Avelyn said...

It's good to see something fresh and more hopeful (quite literally) following posts that give us much reason to sigh (esp. over the evangelical scene, as mentioned).
There's much identification with your thoughts expressed in this post. The struggle with all things unholy can really drain one physically, mentally and emotionally. Yet I have to say that in these struggles I see a deepening of character and maturing of spirit, surely the sanctifying work of God.
I'm only in my early 20s, but I'm already longing for my new body. Years of vigorous dance training can do that to you. But I'm thankful. It means I can appreciate the wonder, splendor and beauty of God's promise of a new body earlier. Otherwise, I'll probably tag it as one of those promises that are "reserved for future" :)

Rachael Starke said...

There is no question of whether, there is only the question of when.

That's where every other question about whether, and why or why not, go to get answered.

Thomas Louw said...

Sanctification is the proof of a work already completed.

jrcannedy said...

Dan, your post brought to mind this:

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

I will stand, I will stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground (x2)
Is sinking sand (x2)

So I'll stand!