Nice to see you. It's been a while.
When I read those words of Peter, I think he was talking to the first century Christians about the trials that they were suffering under the domination of the anti-Christian Jews who fulfilled the words of Christ:Mark 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.Obviously, the Jews will never again have power to drag Christians (in general) into synagogues to be beaten. The times that Peter spoke of are now long past, though the encouragement he offered them can be applied to Christians suffering at any time.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode (mone, mansion) with him.Jesus was not promising to take believers elsewhere. He promised to go to the cross to make a "place" for believers before God, so God/Christ could come back and indwell them. I explain this in some detail in my post called An Exegesis of John 14.
Are we already resurrected? Paul said we have already been "raised up" - "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6).
What does it mean to be seated with Christ in the heavenlies?
Where are those who sleep in Christ? Paul says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. So are the dead awake or asleep in the Lord?
Have we already come to the heavenly Jerusalem? Hebrews says yes and adds that the heavenly Jerusalem is the Church:Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,And John says the New Jerusalem is the Bride of the Lamb and Paul says the Bride of the Lamb is the Church. So there's lots of mutual confirmation amongst all these ideas.
Yet there is so much confusion! What is that? Why can't people who believe the Bible agree about what it says?
Don't want to get lost in words games. Is there a "plain message" that folks can all agree on in the Bible?
- Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
- Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?
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