(Go to Meeting)

Tom Fannin—April 25, 2020

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Here is a Scripture we often turn to when we refer to baptism and have an understanding of Who does the calling.

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

We know that this is a process that for those who are baptized went through. God called us, worked with us and revealed Himself to us. We answered that call and became baptized and with the laying on of hands, we received God's Spirit.

Christ goes on to say, "…and I will raise him up at the last day" (v 44).

That's what we have to look forward to as we live this life and walk as Christ walked; that some day we will be raised on "…the last day."

  • Do you believe that?
  • Is that something that you have confidence in?
  • That Christ will raise you at the last day?

This something we look forward to, because it is part of our calling and something that we should have confidence in and something that we should be thinking about daily, that is God's Kingdom and our part in it.

Paul gives us a reminder of what we should have our mind on; Colossians 3:1: ": Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ… [which we have been through baptism] …seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth" (vs 1-2).

With the lives we live and the cares of this world, it's easy for us to get involved with what's going on, but the instruction here is that we should have our affections and feelings set on the things that are above where Christ is sitting on the right hand of God.

Verse 3: "For you have died, and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory" (vs 3-4).

This is the process and what's going to happen. What our God and Jesus Christ's will is toward us; They call us and we become part of the Body.

  • What's their will?
  • What are Their intensions?

John 6:39: "And this is the will of the Father Who sent Me: that of all whom He has given Me, I should not lose any, but should raise them up in the last day. And this is the will of Him Who sent Me: that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (vs 39-40).

When God calls us and we answer that call, the intension is that we make it, that we fulfill this calling and will be in the Kingdom. That's God's will when He calls us that we do this so we will be raised at the last day.

1-Thessalonians 5:23: "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly; and may your entire spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He Who calls you, Who will also perform it" (vs 23-24).

God is faithful and Christ is faithful in what They tell us and what They're going to do with us! They perform this in us, and we have our part in doing this. But again, it is Christ and God's will that we be in the Kingdom when we start this process. God wants us to have confidence in this; He doesn't want us to lose faith or get disheartened about these things; God wants us to be confident in what He tells us.

Gen. 28—what God said to Jacob and we will see that the promise made to Jacob is the same promise for us today.

Genesis 28:12: "And he dreamed. And behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven! And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, 'I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your seed. And your seed shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south. And in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed'" (vs 12-14).

What an incredible blessing here, and an incredible promise given to Jacob. Hard to fathom, I'm sure at that time, what that meant and how great a blessing that is.

Verse 15: "And, behold, I am with you, and will keep you in every place where you go, and will bring you again into this land, for I will not leave you until I have done that which I have spoken of to you."

What was told to Jacob is the same thing being told to us. God will keep us, God will take care of us and make sure—as long as we're doing our part—that we will read the Kingdom.

Paul writes about these very words that were written for us; Hebrews 13:5: "Do not allow the love of money to influence your behavior, but be satisfied with what you have; for He has said, 'In no way will I ever leave you; no—I will never forsake you in any way.'  So then, let us boldly say, 'The Lord is my Helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" (vs 5-6).

It's good for us to think about ourselves and attitude. Do we think this way? That God will never leave us or forsake us and we don't have to worry. He is with us! What can man do to us? We can lose our physical lives, but our spiritual lives and inheritance comes from God and Christ! That's what our mind needs to be on!

1-Corinthians 15:20: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit; then those who are Christ's at His coming" (vs 20-23).

God's Word is true and this is exactly how it's going to happen. We know that Christ has been resurrected, and He was the first one! Our time will come, whether through change or through being resurrected! Our time is going to come! This is God's Word and it's true, and this is exactly how it's going to happen! We need to have confidence in that.

Hebrews 11:6: "Now, without faith it is impossible to please God. For it is mandatory for the one who comes to God to believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Through God's Word, His instructions and what He tells us, we have to believe that; we have to have faith that God will fulfill all these things in us, all these promises.

But we need to be believing God. If we don't, it's not possible to please Him! As it says here: "…He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." For us, we know what the ultimate reward is, and that we are raised up at the last day, as Christ said.

Now we're going to read a little bit about the faith of Abraham and what comes with Isaac, his son, and what occurred there.

Verse 17: "By faith Abraham, when he was being tried, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son of whom it was said, 'In Isaac shall your Seed be called'; because he reckoned that God was able to raise him even from among the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative way" (vs 17-19).

When we read this, it's hard to think about the situation that Abraham was put in: asked to sacrifice his only son.

  • What was Abraham's mind on?
  • Was it on the killing of his son?

or

  • Was his mind on the promises of God?
  • What God said that He would do through Isaac?

We know that in Abraham's mind he had already sacrificed Isaac. He had made his mind up that that was going to be done. That is the spiritual battle we fight is in our mind. Abraham had already decided that he would sacrifice Isaac, but his mind was also on the promises that God said that He would do.

That's what our mind should be on, as well; what we're told. We're going to be raised up the last day. Remember that promise! What we go through in life or what occurs in life, that we remember that we're going to be raised up the last day.

Let's go over some things that we can be doing that bring us confidence. We need confidence and believe this. There are things that we can and should be doing that help us with our confidence.

  • Building the Love of God within

1-John 4:16: "And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment. And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God" (vs 16-18).

We know that God and Christ dwell within us through Their Holy Spirit, and God is love. There is a perfecting going on in us through the love of God. We strive all the time to grow in our mind and Who They are. But God's love needs to be developing within us. We know that if it is we can have confidence and boldness.

But if we're lacking that love, then we'll have fear and doubts about things. We want to cast those things out and be developing the love of God within us! We know that Paul wrote about the very traits of God in 1-Cor. 13, and these should be things that are within us. It really takes a converted mind to fully understand the depth of God's love, and the things Paul talks about here and what they mean and how they apply for us.

For those of us who are spiritual and have an understanding of God's Word and the purpose of God's Word for us, we have a deeper understanding of this, and the love of God. I think that as we read through these, it's kind of good to size yourself up:

  • Where do you stand with these?
  • How do you measure up with some of these attributes that are of God?
  • That are supposed to be within us and that we are developing?

1-Corinthians 13:4: "Love is patient and is kind; love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil" (vs 4-5).

A lot there for us to think about and is this where we're at? When you think about having a mind where you don't think evil, it takes a lot of work!

Verse 6: "Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth." The world as we see today, it truly does rejoice and has joy in sin and iniquity! But that's not how we should be. That's not how we should view what goes on in this world. We should be rejoicing in Truth; that's where our joy is, in the Truth!

Verse 7: "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…." (vs 7-8)—attributes of God; Who God is! If we have these things within us, then we do have confidence!

  • Building Confidence

Proverbs 28:1: "The wicked flee when no man pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion."

We know that we're looked at in a different way from God. We have imputed righteousness, and we should be acting righteously. "…the righteous are bold as a lion." Why can we say that we're this way? Or should be this way? Like a lion that has no fear! The king of the jungle! A lot of that comes because

  • we know the Truth
  • we know the outcome

of this world and for ourselves! We can have boldness in God and Jesus Christ! This should give us great confidence, because we know the future. In Rom. 8 we get an idea of how much God and Jesus Christ care for us and love us.

Romans 8:31: "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He Who did not spare even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not also grant us all things together with Him? Who shall bring an accusation against the elect of God? God is the One Who justifies. Who is the one that condemns? It is Christ Who died, but rather, Who is raised again, Who is even now at the right hand of God, and Who is also making intercession for us" (vs 31-34).

How nice is that, to have an elder brother—Jesus Christ—be our example and being there with God making intercession for us?

Verse 35: "What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Accordingly, it is written, 'For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are reckoned as sheep for the slaughter.' But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 35-39).

When you think about how much has been done for us, it should give us great confidence and just how much God and Jesus Christ love us! It's no wonder that when God calls us and we are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit—that we are begotten sons and daughters—that He wants to see us completely through. His will is not to lose any!

We've talked a little bit about having the love of God in us, working on that and developing that, because it brings us confidence. The next thing I want to talk about—that helps our confidence in this—is enduring, having endurance!

  • Building Endurance

Maybe it's hard to understand how endurance helps us have confidence, but as we read through this, we will see that it does. Let's see what Christ says that in the end-times how things will be. We know that it's going to be a difficult time, and maybe some of the things talked about here are already happening now in this world.

Matthew 24:6: "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you do not let these things disturb you. For it is necessary that all these things take place, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places. Now, all these things are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to affliction, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be led into sin, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another; and many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many; and because lawlessness shall be multiplied, the love of many shall grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved" (vs 6-13).

There are lot of things that are going to be happening, and are happening now. A lot of things happen in our lives to try and test us. Problems with health, problems within our families, all sorts of things that come upon us. These things are difficult and trying. As Christ says here: "…the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved." That one shall be raised up!

We know that enduring is part of our calling, part of our conversion!

James 1:2: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you are beset by various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, not lacking in anything" (vs 2-4).

That's what we need to have our mind on. We need to be complete, not lacking in anything! This is what endurance helps us with in having this confidence.

  • God is working with us
  • God is working in us

So, we can have what we need in our spiritual development and growth! What does Paul say about enduring?

Hebrews 10:36: "For you need to have endurance, so that, after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. For it is but a short time until He Who is coming will come, and will not delay. Now, it is written, 'The just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul does not delight in him.' But we are not of those who draw back unto destruction; rather, we are of faith unto the saving of the soul" (vs 36-39).

We need endurance, and let it be said of all of us that we are not those who draw back. That's not who we are. We are the ones of faith, which is the saving of our soul, the resurrection!

Hebrews 12:1: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance, having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith…" (vs 1-2).

We need to continually have our mind fixed on Christ, just like Paul talks about in Colossians, to set our affections on things that are above, having our mind fixed on Christ!

"…Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God" (v 2).

We know that Christ's mind was on the fulfilling of what He came to do.

Verse 3: "Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin. And you have already forgotten the admonition that He addresses to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor grow weary of being reproved by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He severely disciplines every son whom He receives.' If you endure chastening, God is dealing with you as a Father with His sons. For who is the son whom the Father does not chasten? But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons" (vs 3-8).

We are sons and daughters, and this is how God works with us! He tries and tests us, and He works with us in this manner so that we can grow and develop. There's a reason and purpose for enduring. That's what we need to have our mind on, what God is doing with us and through us as we go through these things in life.

Hebrews 13:20: "And may the God of peace, Who raised our Lord Jesus from among the dead—that great Shepherd of the sheep—through the blood of the everlasting covenant, perfect you in every good work in order that you may do His will; accomplishing in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 20-21).

Hopefully, we have that mind that God is working in us, perfecting us and leading us through the way! This brings confidence that as we go through these things in life and we see these things happening, there is a purpose for it. We need to have our mind fixed on that, and it sure us difficult when we're going through trials, difficulties and things that we see to have our mind on the current problem. We need to have our mind fixed on what is going to be fulfilled in us! That's where our mind needs to be. It's going to be worth it; the suffering and things that we go through in life enduring!

  • Is it worth it?
  • Is there anything that compares to what we will have in the future?

Romans 8:17: "Now, if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (vs 17-18).

At this time there are things that happen in our lives, and some things we don't understand. But what goes on in our lives now, the suffering that's talked about here that we have with Christ can't be compared to the glory that we will have some day! No comparison!

  • Giving Encouragement & Comfort

Another way that we have confidence is by encouraging and comforting one another. As brethren, how important is it that we have love for one another and, as much as we possible can, we try to comfort and help one another. Certainly, brethren, we need each other for support and help.

When we get together on the Sabbath and Holy Days, when we keep the Feast and in the meetings such as this tonight (Go to Meeting) and fellowship and talk, it means a lot to us. It brings us comfort and confidence. That's what we should do for one another. We know that it's not just us doing this for one another, but it's God and Jesus Christ working through us to help one another and be able to give the right comfort, the right words!

Hebrews 3:12: "Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God. Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today,' so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence that we had at the beginning steadfast until the end" (vs 12-14).

That's what we need to be doing for one another, supporting and helping each other in every way we can. We don't want to be bickering with one another, have bitterness toward one another, be devouring each other. That doesn't bring confidence; there's no profit in that! Our mind should be having love for one another, supporting each other and bringing confidence in this calling that we have and the fulfillment. That's what we should be doing for one another.

2-Peter 1:10: "For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things, you will never fall at any time."

It is our responsibility to make our calling and election sure! We own that call and we have God the Father and Jesus Christ there to help us. But it's our individual calling to make our election sure!

Verse 5: "And for this very reason also, having applied all diligence besides, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, Godliness; and to Godliness, brotherly love; and to brotherly love, the love of God" (vs 5-7).

Verse 11: "For in this way, you will be richly granted an entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, I will not neglect to make you always mindful of these things, although you already know them and have been established in the present Truth. For I consider it my duty, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by causing you to remember these things" (vs 11-13).

That's what we should be doing. Teachers need to continue to stir people up and remind people of what need to be doing. These are things our mind needs to be on and admonished to do these things. If we do these things we can have confidence. If we do these things we can have boldness in that day.

Verse 14: "Knowing that shortly the putting off of my tabernacle will come, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has signified to me. But I will make every effort that, after my departure, you may always have a written remembrance of these things in order to practice them for yourselves" (vs 14-15).

We all need to be stirring each other up in these things that we have read about here, because it helps our confidence. Especially teachers need to be reminding the brethren of these things we need to be doing, just as Peter did.

Peter spoke about a time that he knew was coming up shortly, that he had the putting off of his tabernacle; in other words, his death that was coming up!

Paul writes about this for himself, because there is a time of departure for all of us, a time when we're going to be leaving this flesh and we can say, either through death and a resurrection or a change, we're going to be departing from this life that we have. It comes for all of us. Let's see what Paul said about this:

2-Timothy 4:5: "But as for you, be vigilant in all things, endure hardships, do the work of an evangelist; fully carry out your ministry."

I really appreciate how Paul worked with Timothy, and Titus and others, continually reminding them of what they needed to be doing and his encouragement.

Verse 6: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith. From this time forward, a crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who love His appearing" (vs 6-7).

Yes, we know just as Paul did here, that there is crown laid up for all of us, "…all who love His appearing" That's a good question for all of us to ask ourselves:

  • Do we love His appearing?
  • Is that what we think about?
  • Is that what our mind is on?
  • The return of Christ and our preparedness for that?
  • Do we love that?
  • Do we love the thought of Christ returning?

OR

  • Is our mind on other things?
  • This world and what's going on?
  • The lust of the flesh?
  • The physical things?
  • Are those the things we love?

It's something we need to think about with ourselves!

Certainly our mind should be on the return of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom! We should love the thought of His appearing! That's where God wants us to be spiritually in our mind.

  • Giving Hope

1-Thessalonians 4:13: "But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, that you be not grieved, even as others, who have no hope."

There's a lot of people in this world and down through history who have no hope! They don't know the things that we know, that have been revealed to us! We have hope because we know the Truth!

Verse 14: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep" (vs 14-15).

We know that many have fallen asleep already, in Christ, and they're just waiting for that time when their name will be called.

Verse 16: "Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words" (vs 16-18).

As we talked about earlier, we are to encourage one another with these words, because this is how it's going to happen. Christ is going to return, and there's going to be a shout, a trumpet and a resurrection, the first resurrection and we will be a part of that.

We need this confidence! I know that for myself I've been able to anoint people who were at the end of their lives; they had reached the point where it was time for their departure. That's a hard situation to be in, because you're there, often times with family members, and God has mercy and allows them to go on to sleep.

One thing I've tried to do in that situation when anointing, is to be able to talk to them and sometimes they're not conscious, but I believe they can hear what's being said. If you're in that situation someday with loved ones or with those in the Church, it's good to remind them that God and Jesus Christ love them. It's good also to remind them that you love them. Also, you can remind them that you will see them in the Kingdom, and you can have confidence in saying that, because they have remained faithful to the end.

Sometimes we're in that situation when we have to do that, but remember that, because that is helpful and encouraging and that's what we need to be doing. Some of these Scriptures we read at funerals, because we know that they do bring comfort to the families. Also, to the ones who are there listening, sometimes they get to hear the Truth about what this is, this hope that we have.

Job 14:14: "If a man die, shall he live again?…. [we know the answer to that: yes] …All the days of my appointed time in the grave I will wait, until my change comes."

There is an appointed time that God has ordained when this will happen, when Christ will return. As written about here in Job, Job's is going to wait for that time, because he knows it's coming just like we do.

Verse 15: "You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall have the desire for the work of Your hands."

This kind of sums it up! We're called and we walk this life with God's Spirit, walking toward the Kingdom and we wait for this time when our names will be called. It says here that God shall have the desire for the work of His hands.

When we think about the resurrection, a lot of times we're thinking about ourselves and our part in the resurrection and the Kingdom, and the glory that is going to be revealed in us and what we'll be doing. But it's good to remember that this is what God is doing! This work in us! To remember that God is going to have the work of His hands.God is going to have spiritual sons and daughters. This is something that He is looking forward to. It's good for us to think about that. Not only us but what God will have, a finished work in us.

Philippians 1:6: "Being confident… [that's what a lot of this message has been about; we're going to be raised up the last day] …of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Scriptural References:

  • John 6:44
  • Colossians 3:1-4
  • John 6:39-40
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
  • Genesis 28:12-15
  • Hebrews 13:5-6
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20-23
  • Hebrews 11:6, 17-19
  • 1 John 4:16-18
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
  • Proverbs 28:1
  • Romans 8:31-39
  • Matthew 24:6-13
  • James 1:2-4
  • Hebrews 10:36-39
  • Hebrews 12:1-8
  • Hebrews 13:20-21
  • Romans 8:17-18
  • Hebrews 3:12-14
  • 1 Peter 1:10, 5-7, 11-15
  • 2 Timothy 4:5-7
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
  • Job 14:14-15
  • Philippians 1:6

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 9/24/20

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