June 30, 2017 Brethren Letter
Recently, I was talking with one of our members on the telephone. His beloved sister died just yesterday. Once again, I will share some of the words her loving brother wrote.
“After putting up a valiant fight, my sister Penny died at 7:04 this morning peacefully in her sleep. Though we know Penny has a wonderful future at the resurrection, I Corinthians 15 calls death a sting and so it is. With that in mind please remember us in your prayers as we loved Penny deeply and still do.”
Penny’s family can rest assured they will continue to be in our prayers. Yes, death is a “sting” that can be felt sorely. Yet, at the same time God gives us real hope. Penny has the hope of a promised resurrection, and a glorious future in the Kingdom of God.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
(51) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
(52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
(53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
(54) So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15:50-54).
Soon Penny will be raised immortal. We look forward to that day Penny, a day just ahead!
For the rest of tonight’s letter, I will include a few paragraphs from Mr. Armstrong’s booklet, What is the Reward of the Saved? Have a good night’s rest brethren.
Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made …. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” The Christian is not yet a possessor of his reward — he is an heir — and what he shall inherit, if saved, is the PROMISE made to Abraham.
When will Abraham and his children through Christ come into the promised reward? When will be the resurrection? The answer is found in I Corinthians 15:50-53 — that inheriting the promises occurs at the same time the living Christians are to be changed from mortality to immortality. And Paul said it would be at the last trump — remember?
All right, let’s turn now to I Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ [not out of Christ] shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” And so the resurrection shall occur at the second coming of Christ — when He comes as the King of kings and the Lord of lords to reign and to rule all nations of the earth for the first time. When He comes to set up His Kingdom, then Abraham and his children in Christ who have died shall be resurrected to immortality, to inherit the kingdom, a world ruling government headed and ruled by Christ, occupying the very land promised to Abraham — the land of Israel, and from the Nile to the Euphrates river. And this Kingdom composed of immortals, which flesh and blood cannot, enter, shall rule over all the other nations of the earth the other nations made up of flesh-and-blood mortals!
What a glorious promise! Jesus promised He would COME AGAIN to earth. And He promised further, when He has returned to earth, that He would, as He said, “receive you unto myself.” Where? Why, of course, right here on this earth! The saints, both dead and alive, resurrected and changed to immortality, shall rise to meet Him, as He is returning to this earth. They meet in the clouds. And, Zechariah 14:4 states that Christ’s feet shall rest on the Mount of Olives, in Israel, the Promised Land — and those who meet Him as He comes will ever be with Him, where He is. “
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory …. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Yes, the Kingdom of God is the place prepared. Jesus said He went to prepare a place for us. He also said He went to get for Himself a kingdom, and to return.
And when He returns, as King of kings, and that Kingdom is established (we find it is the place prepared), then it is that the joyful call goes out, “Come! ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”