The Bulletin
of the
Church of Christ at New Georgia

Tim Johnson, editor

January 19, 2014

 
In This Issue:
When He Shall Appear...We Shall be Like Him
by Jerry Curry

The Smudge on Your Face
by Steve Klein

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When He Shall Appear… We Shall Be Like Him

The scriptures are very clear about Jesus returning and appearing a second time. “And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment;  so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).  Notice the assurance of His return after Jesus instructs the apostles to remain in Jerusalem, and is then taken up into heaven. “And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; who also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11).

The scriptures are also very clear about the fact that we shall be like Jesus. “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this cause the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is.  And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:1-3). As John states, we may not know exactly what our physical body will be fashioned into, but we are assured that we will be like Jesus. Further assurance is given by the apostle Paul in Philippians 3:20-21. “For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself.”

The question of what form our bodies will assume in eternity has been in the minds of men for over two thousand years. “But someone will say, how are the dead raised? And with what manner of body do they come” (1 Corinthians 15:35)? Curiosity about the exact form our bodies will assume is surely overshadowed by the certainty that we will be conformed to the body of the glory of Jesus.

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed,
 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall 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.  But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, and then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

- Jerry Curry


 

The Smudge on Your Face

 

Have you ever had a friend tell you that you had a smudge of grease, food, or make-up on your face?  What did you do?  If you’re like most folks, first your mind races with questions like “How did that get there?”  “How long has it been there?” and “Who else has seen it?”  Then, if you are caught in this kind of situation without a mirror, you rub your face at the point you estimate the blot to be and ask, “Did I get it?”  

   Your friend responds, “No, you smeared it!”  
   You roll your eyes, rub again and ask, “How about now?”  
   “OK, you’re fine,” you’re told; and you believe it.

   As Christians, we may mistakenly try to deal with sin like a smudge on the face.  At first we don’t realize it’s there.  Then we’re not sure how it got there.  Next we blindly try to rub it off before too many others see it.  Our inability to see ourselves and our pride combine to make our spiritual faces into messy smears of sin.  Folks tell us we’re OK, and we believe them without checking a mirror.

   God has a solution to the smudges of sin.

    1. He has given us a Mirror.  God’s word is like a mirror in which we can see our spiritual selves. He wants us to look regularly into the mirror.  When we look into the mirror of God’s word, we can clearly see the smudges of sin.  We can see whether or not we are doing what we ought to be doing.  The person who wants to do right and keep the smudges off “looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it” (James 1:25).  God’s mirror enables us to see what needs cleaning.
    1. He has given us a cleanser.   ”The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7b).
    1. He expects us to clean ourselves up accordingly.  God has provided the means for us to clean ourselves through His grace when we see that we have been stained by sin. When the Psalmist asked, “How can a young man cleanse his way?”  They answer was, “By taking heed according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9).  Even today, by following the instructions of God’s word, and taking advantage of the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood, we can cleanse away the smudges of sin.  His cleansing is applied when we confess our sins! (1 John 1:9).

  So, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).  The Lord has provided the means for us to see ourselves and be cleansed.  We must take advantage of what He has provided.  He is not like some overzealous grandmother with a wetted handkerchief who is always daubing at the grimy faces of unwilling grandchildren.  He has provided the cleansing power of the blood of His Son.  He pleads with us to “cleanse ourselves.”

-Steve Klein