Bible Lesson 82


2nd Corinthians 5:1-11

I would ask that you think for a moment about ‘life’ and what you believe about life, and even how you are living your life at this very moment. The fact that you can read this lesson indicates that you have life, that you are breathing and have a beating heart; but is that real-life’ It is if we consider only the fact that we are awake and aware, but if we think seriously about life we have to know that the life that we live here on the earth is very temporary. The average life expectancy is somewhere in the ’70s, and 70 years (three scores and ten) is the promise of God to those whom God allows living to that point, (See Psalms 90:10). Life at its longest is amazingly short. The Bible uses several metaphors to convey exactly how short it is. Job says in Job7:7 ‘My life is wind’ and ‘My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle’ (Job 7:6).

If you have ever watched a weaver’s shuttle you have to know that it moves so fast that it becomes a blur. In the book of James chapter 4 and verse 14, God inspires James to write, ‘What is your life’ It is even a vapor, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.’ Life is short and we tend to forget how little time we have to make the decisions and the preparations for our eternity. We will each one have an eternity to spend after we die, the question is where will you spend your’s’ Will it be heaven or hell’ Life is so short that the wood of the cradle rubs up hard against the marble of the tomb. The Patriarch Job said ‘Man, who is born of woman, is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away. He flees like a shadow and does not continue’, (Job 14:1-2).
We live in a time and a society that almost pats itself on the back as it considers how far we have come and how much we have learned and how we have improved life and yet we do not have a consensus on when life begins and so we refer to our children in the womb as an ’embryo’ until the end of the eighth week and then it is a ‘fetus’ which distinguishes it from human until it is born and allows us to murder them in the womb without having to make a moral decision.

Is that any improvement in any society’ If our unborn, who have no voice is, as President Obama said in one of his speeches as he was running for election, simple a problem that we can erase by choosing to kill the baby, then we have lost the meaning of life as God gives it to us. It is not uncommon in our society to hear someone say, ‘Well, this is my life and I will live it like I want to’, that normally means they are going to continue in some sinful practice that they are involved in, and they don’t care what anybody thinks about it.

What a wonderful life is the life lived to the glory of God, and lived to remain in His will as we abide by His commandments. God has given us a beautiful world with all kinds of pleasures and goodies to enjoy. Sometimes I wonder why people who allow their animal instincts to lead them into degradation and sin and waste their health, their talents, and their friends, do not stop to look at their lives and know that they are of all people, the most miserable.

The Lord God inspired the writer James to write a short question that should make us all think more deeply about our lives. James chapter four and verses 14 thru verse 17, reminds us that we have no way of knowing about tomorrow, and then asks’. ‘For what is your life” Then God continues to answer that question and God says’.. ‘It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.’ Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that’.

But now you boast in your arrogance, all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. God is here addressing an attitude that many holds, which says without regard for God, today or tomorrow, we are going to go here or there and do thus and so. That hints at practical atheism; because it leaves God out of an equation that is not conceivable or practical without God.

None of us knows what tomorrow holds or even if we will live to see tomorrow. The true Christian, the only person who knows what real life is about, always submits his plans to the Lord and to His will and way. The question for each of us now becomes, who am I’ Where am I headed’ What am I doing’ Who am I serving’ What will be my reward or my condemnation’

To understand life enough to properly answer those questions we have to attempt to find God in our view of life. Since God is the source of all life, in that it was God that made Adam and breathed life into his nostrils; and since the end of physical life occurs the moment that breath leaves our bodies, we must deal with the fact that we are alive only when we are in a proper relationship with God. You are probably thinking ”

‘I’m awake and aware and walking and talking, so I have life;’ and in a sense that is correct, but if you look past the being awake and aware and moving about, you will find that you were born into this world dead in sin and trespass, under the wrath of God; because you were born with the nature of Adam, which is a nature of disobedience, (Ephesians 2:1-4). Your life is that of a dead man because you do not have a spirit that can and will connect with God. You are shut out from anything outside a short life in this world and eternal suffering in the fires of hell.

You will never know the true meaning of eternal life in heaven unless and until you come to faith in the only God that exists and that is the God of the Bible, Jehovah, the great ‘I AM’. You may want to believe that the world and the heavens and the animals and fish and birds and mankind and all that we know and enjoy while on this earth, was simply a cosmic accident or that there was a single cell amoeba that existed eons ago which over time was acted upon by fate and became, first, a worm and then a fish and then a whale and then came out of the water and became a monkey and then evolved into a man, but if you believe that I have some oceanfront property in Arizona that I will sell you.

The truth is that in the beginning, God created all things and man is no different now than Adam was. We have not evolved beings, we have created beings and we were created by a loving and gracious God who gave Adam a free will, but Adam failed the course and everyone who has been born since Adam was born with a will that is enslaved to Satan.

We can do many things, but the only things that a will enslaved by Satan can do is evil sinful things because it is not of faith. Each of us made his choice about God when Adam chose to disobey God and brought sin and death upon creation. God took the spirit that He had given Adam, a spirit that could enjoy God and obey God and walk with God in that garden paradise, and left mankind with nothing that could think or act like God.

God had told Adam that in the day that He ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (disobeyed the only command that God had given to Adam), that he would die; and the moment that Adam ate of the fruit of that tree, he was instantly cut off from God in a spiritual sense, and he began the process of physical death.

Adam lived for almost a thousand years, but if we know our Bibles, we know that God has told us that in His eyes, a thousand years is as a day and a day as a thousand years. So Adam died the day that He sinned by disobeying God, (Genesis 2:15-17; 2nd Peter 3:8).

Since Adam, disobeyed God and lost His home in Paradise, every one of us who are born into this world is born separated from God, dead in trespass and sin, under the wrath of God and without help or hope unless and until God begins the work of regeneration and salvation in our lives, (Isaiah 59:2; Ephesians 2:1-4; John 9:31).

Now that we have found out our position and state in this world, we are ready to look at our lives to see who we are and what we are doing and where we are headed.

I know that some will read this that are so taken up with self and science and all that the unlearned have spoken and written, that they simply won’t think about what we are looking into here; but we have to move on understanding that God is working in it all to call a people that He chose before the foundation of the world to Himself, (Ephesians 1:1-4).

There are those and, we will continue to pray for them that they can begin to understand the Word of God, who will not believe the truth because they will not read the Word of God and accept what it has to say, (Romans 8:5-8).

These are people that God says are dead in trespass and sin, they refuse to receive the light of the world who volunteered to leave heaven, come to this sin-sick world to die for those who would believe. Some can and will believe and then some are so dead and happy to be dead in trespass and sin that they cannot believe because they have their father’s (Satan’s) nature and they will continue to do what He tells them to do, (See John 3:13-21; John 8:30-47; John 1:1-5).

We have already established from the word of God that life goes by in a hurry, and the Bible reinforces that fact when it says ‘My days are passed away as the swift ships’ and ‘As the eagle that hasteth to the prey’ and even ‘O, remember that my life is wind.’

None of us knows if we will see tomorrow and God tells us in His word that ‘There is but a step between us and death; We must die, and are as water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; We are but of yesterday, and know nothing because our days upon earth are a shadow; Our days are like a shadow that declines; and we are withered like grass; We are not to boast ourselves of tomorrow; for we knoweth not what a day may bring forth’, (See Job 9:26; Job 7:7; 1st Samuel 20:3;2nd Samuel 14:14; Job 8:9; Proverbs 27:1).

It would be good for us to remember that ‘It is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment’. Many in our day have the mistaken notion that they will live forever, but that can easily be destroyed by taking a walk through any cemetery.

Regardless of what is written or spoken to most people in our time, they act as if they were blind and deaf, as they progress toward death and condemnation in hell. Not only that, but they do many things that damage their physical lives and their ability to live as healthy and happy people until their death and judgment. Take for instance our propensity to drugs (including alcohol) and our nasty habit of smoking and chewing and dipping tobacco, all of which have the potential to destroy our lives by causing cancer and other deadly diseases. Have you ever tried to talk to someone who is a smoker or a drinker or a drug user into giving up their habit or addiction’

Most people have no idea about the value of their lives or about the perfect plan that God has given those who will read and obey His word the Bible. We tend to think that we are just mistakes that were made at birth, and we just have to float along and just do as little as possible.

We feel sorry for ourselves because our lives do not seem to be going anywhere, and we are just too tired and worn out to change anything. Every person that God has given life to has the same potential to live a life that glorifies God and at least shows the dignity of being productive and even joyful.

Every day we should wake up with the expectation that there is more to life than we have admitted, we should, at least if we know God through Jesus Christ, begin each day by reading and feasting on the Word of God and gladly saying’.’This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it’, (Psalms 118:24).

Will the person who knows and obeys the Lord always feel like a million dollars and see nothing but a pleasure and good things’ not but they will have the assurance that if they are called by God for His purposes and we are submitted to Him, that ‘All things will work together for good because they love the Lord’, (Romans 8:28).

That doesn’t mean that everything that happens to us will please us at the time or even that it will seem good at the time; however, we know that God is working out His perfect plan in our lives and that we are simply pilgrims passing through this world and we are moving toward a better home a home not built with hands.

So, how is life with you, are you joyful, in other words, are you stable and pleasant and satisfied even when things go wrong and you may not even feel well’ Or are you having an extended pity-party’ Do you wake up every day with a smile, ready to meet the day with Jesus, and do whatever good you can for the Kingdom’

Do you look forward to every day, knowing that God will have many opportunities for you to minister to others’ Is your assurance in the knowledge that God has given you the new birth and that you are now, that new creature that has all the old things passed away and all things being new’ Do you know for certain that your sins are forgiven and that you belong to Jesus’ Do you live every day knowing that it is not you that is living but Jesus is living in you’ (See Galatians 2:20).

Know that God gave you life so that you could enjoy this short span here on the earth as God fits you for eternity in heaven serving the Lord. God makes us all to work and to be a living part of our society. God did not make people be slackers and God inspired the Apostle Paul to write and tell us that people who will not work should not eat, (2nd Thessalonians 3:10).

That means that those who are fit to work but too lazy to work should not be fed by those who do. Yes, we have people who are not physically able to work and we should provide for their needs, but not for those who are parasites. The person who is truly saved is a person, who has the power of God indwelling them giving them the will and the power to do all that pleases God,(See Ephesians 1:13; Philippians 2:13).

If there is no ground to plow, then cut the grass from the crops, and if there are no crops then plant and water some so that there will be a harvest. God’s people must never lie down and call it quits, we have a Great God and He says that He will provide for our needs; but that does not mean that he will bring food and put it in your mouth.

Just as God provides for the birds of the air, He will provide for us. What we have to notice and remember is that God provides bugs, insects, and worms for the birds of the air, but they have to go out and find it.

Mankind was formed of the dust of the ground by God, then God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, (Genesis 2:7). That means that man has great value because He was created by God’s hand and lives.

After all, God instilled life into his body. We should think more highly of ourselves because we are the workmanship of God. God made us productive and placed us high on the chain of command for God’s creation. As soon as God made Adam, God placed him in a garden paradise’.not to be retired and lay around doing nothing but to keep and tend it, with one specific command; and that was that Adam was not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God also honored man by giving him dominion over the animal kingdom, (See Genesis 1:28). Adam and Eve lived and walked with God in the cool of the evening in the garden until Satan came on the scene and influenced Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit and she offered it to Adam and he ate. God had told Adam that in the day he ate of the fruit of that tree, he would die, and so on the very day that Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he separated himself from God.

God cannot abide sin and now Adam and Eve were the first sinners and so they would no longer have the privilege of communing with God. Adam may have thought that simply tasting of the fruit of the tree that God had forbidden him to eat of, was so slight that God would not even notice; but we need to take note that God does not pass by any sin that we commit.

God will forgive but we must repent and give up the sin for God to forgive it. What is real life’ Real life is knowing God and having Him to rule over our lives as we love Him and obey His commandments (See Deuteronomy 30:20; Psalms 30:3; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Isaiah 38:15-19).

Remember now, we are born to our parents, lost and undone, dead in trespass and sin and under the wrath of God, ( Ephesians 2:1-4), and we will die and go to hell for eternity unless God calls us to regeneration and salvation, (John 3:16-21).

Joining one of the visible churches makes you a church member but only God can make you a Christian, so be sure that you never rely on salvation except by faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and by His shed blood applied to your life, which always results in a radical change in the person who is truly saved, (2nd Corinthians 5:17).

God is love but love is not God, so remember God never saved anyone just because of His love, He saves those who have faith alone in Christ alone and rests in that alone. Jesus did not die for everyone but for those who would obey Him, (John 14:21-24; Hebrews 5:8-9). We must love Jesus Christ more than we love our parents, our wives, our children, and anyone or anything on the earth, (Luke 14:26-33). Think on these things”

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob