LIVE FOR ETERNITY NOW
LIVE FOR ETERNITY NOW
NOVEMBER 19, 2023
Victory in Jesus, In Jesus’ Name, Crown Him With Many Crowns, Stand Strong, O Praise the Name (Anastasis)
What was the longest time you’ve had to wait for something you were looking forward to (a relationship, a trip, a reward, etc.)
1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-26, 57-58
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death… 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
In our series on MAKE YOUR LIFE COUNT, we pick up from 1 Corinthians 15:17-20 – that it’s really a hopeless case if life will end just here and now. BUT, CHRIST HAS BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD – negating all the negatives from the previous verses… This is our greatest hope! Because Christ rose again, He is the “first fruit”, a guarantee that the rest will follow; a sample of resurrection which we all are to experience. Because of this truth, we must do one specific thing: LIVE FOR ETERNITY NOW!
What is eternity if you are to describe it? Infinite, everlasting, forever, no end, time does not exist anymore – time ceases in eternity! The Bible talks about eternity so often, both in the Old and New Testament. In Daniel 12:2-3, we are told that our life on earth impacts our future. Eternity begins now – it’s just that after death, we begin to comprehend the nature of eternity, whether we spend it in everlasting life or everlasting contempt and disgrace. In the New Testament, Jesus and John both talked about hell. Our job is to remind people to live the righteous life now, because it connects to our life in eternity – that is why we say live for eternity now!
1. LIFE AFTER DEATH – LIVE WISELY
In Luke 12:19-21, Jesus tells a story about eternity – a man who worked so hard and has become successful in life and decides to “eat drink and be merry” – but God rebukes this foolishness with the truth the man did not expect – he will die that night, and he leaves everything behind. Many people today live for the temporal, and some even refuse to think of eternity. Death is not a respecter of persons – we will all die like this man, who did not think far enough. To live for eternity now, we must think very far ahead – plan way ahead! Think of eternity—where are we going to spend it?
Amnon, David’s son, was a man of great desires and wanted everything NOW. He had no self-control and did not think of the impact of his action (2 Samuel 13:12-13). Despite the pleading of Tamar, Amnon raped her, and out of vengeance, Amnon was killed by another brother. It was a mess in the entire kingdom and family of David. Choices made today will always have its consequences.
It was because of Adam that all of us died, and it is because of Christ that we all are entitled to the same resurrection He had (1 Corinthians 15:19-24). We must indeed be wise with how we live now!
2. LORDSHIP OF JESUS – LIVE TO PLEASE HIM
The last enemy that will be abolished is DEATH (1 Corinthians 15:25-28). Because of the resurrection of Christ, He has authority to subject (put under) everything under God. John 1:1-3 tells us the co-equal (not inferior) nature of Jesus, the Son, and God the Father. John 1:14 tells us this Word became flesh – and it speaks of Jesus Christ. Someday, Jesus will literally reign, as Revelation 11:15,17 tells us! Someday, everything will change in His reign – and He is also going to be the one to subject us into judgment (Acts 17:30-31).
God will right every wrong. He says, “vengeance is Mine!” – our role is to please and live for Him. There will be a day of judgment— before God’s throne, and we will be judged by what is written in God’s books (Revelation 20:11-15). There will be judgment we cannot hide from! Many bad things are perpetuated by the rich and powerful. Remember this: God is going to make good what He promised – righteousness and justice will be done, but for NOW, let us continue to live for eternity. Let us not make a mockery out of our faith – we need to understand that Jesus judges fair and square, and we must surrender to Christ completely.
The Corinthians practiced the pagan ritual of baptizing for the dead – Paul argues that if they baptize the dead, then they still look forward to life after death despite their belief that “there is no resurrection from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:29-30). 1 Corinthians 1:17 is clear that our task is to “preach the gospel”.
3. GLORIOUS FUTURE – LIVE WITH HOPE
Nothing compares to what God has in store for us (1 Corinthians 2:9). He has something far better, and Paul spent a lot of verses to describe the indescribable. 1 Corinthians 15:35-44 first lays the reality of DEATH, and the illustration of the seed, various forms of bodies then highlight the unthinkable “super bodies” we gain in resurrection, as we are raised in power and glory! 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 contrasts Adam (first man) and the second Adam (Christ):
|PHYSICAL BODY||SPIRITUAL BODY|
|First Adam- Perishable||Last Adam – Imperishable|
|Sown in dishonor||Raised in glory|
|Sown in weakness||Raised in power|
|Earthy – Mortal||Heavenly – Immortal|
We do not know yet what we will be like, but that for sure, we will be like Him (1 John 3:2-3). If we really believe in the second coming, we must live a holy, pure life! Luke 24:39-43 tells of the shock that the disciples had upon seeing the resurrected Christ in the body, who even ate food! Thomas (John 20:26-28) saw Jesus, in that glorious form. We will all be changed, at the sound of the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:50-52). As the trumpet sounds – we, along with believers who have died, will meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). The best is yet to come!
This great victory we have is secured “through our Lord Jesus Christ” – someday death is going to be nothing, it will lose its sting or power! We are amazingly blessed, so we must “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” – it is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:55-58). Following Jesus will never be a waste of time. We look forward to what was promised — a glorious future (Revelation 21:1-5), and we can continue to hope for this as we live our lives for eternity NOW. What we do for the Lord will count in eternity!
Pray for people in your life who are not aware of or who ignore the reality of eternity that they may understand how eternity should impact our lives now. Faithfully live for God and His calling for you. Share the gospel and the glorious future in eternity that God has for those who accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord!
(Leaders: Please choose questions that are appropriate to the level of spiritual maturity of your members)
What will you do different in your life knowing the truth that there is LIFE after DEATH?
2. Setting It Right.
How will Christ’s own victory over death help you become victorious over your own battles with sin?
3. Living It Out
What do you think you should do to gain eternal rewards in heaven?
Pray for people to heed God’s warning and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
Be compassionate and sensitive to the needs of other people and take action in helping meet those needs.
Share your testimony and the gospel to your family, loved ones, and even those who don’t seem to listen.
• Worship God for who He is, what He has done, and what He will do in our lives.
II. Country and the World
• Upright and moral governance of public servants; repentance and salvation for government leaders and citizens for a Christ-centered Philippines.
• God’s help and comfort, salvation for Israel, wisdom for their leaders in government, military and their soldiers as they defend themselves against terrorists’ attacks.
• Rescue of the Israelites taken as hostages
• War in Ukraine to end, loss of lives prevented; tension in East Asian and Middle East countries to stop.
• CCFers would honor and love God and make disciples.
• Elders, pastors, dleaders, and families (holy, humble, harmonious, happy, heart-working).
• Ministries and churches expansion worldwide.
IV. CCF Facilities
• Worship and Training Center
• Prayer Mountain
V. Personal Concerns
• Deeper intimate relationship with God.
• Righteous living.
• Salvation of family and friends.
I CORINTHIANS 15:58
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.