Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
What does it mean to set your mind on things above?
This means that we as Christians should always be thinking about Christ’s imminent return and it’s implications on not just ourselves but also our neighbors, family members and everyone that we have daily contact with.
What does the bible mean when it says “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ“?
It means that your life on earth is effectively over and that Christ has your new life with Him and is ready at any moment to reveal it to you when He comes.
Provide one example of how we can set our mind on things above?
By putting our lives daily activities into perspective, If you spend the majority of your day worrying more about things below then how can you succeed in setting your mind on things above?
Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I’m going to prepare a place for you. And when I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also.
Why do you think that Christ is preparing a place for us?
So that we can stay where He is staying and also so that we can have a place to rest during the great tribulation.
When He comes again, name one thing that He will do?
He will receive us to Himself.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God … and what we will be has not yet been revealed: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we will see Him as He is. And everyone that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.
(1 John 3:1-3)
What is the hope discussed in 1 John 3:1-3?
This is the catching away of believers that was discussed in the previous verse.
Why do you think that this hope would serve as a purifying factor in the Christian’s life?
“Those who believe that they must take over the world and establish the millennial kingdom for Christ in His absence either reject the Rapture or relegate it to such a distant and unimportant position that it has no practical value in their lives.” (TheBereanCall.org) On the other hand, those that believe it is imminent and could happen any second would prepare themselves like the servant in the Matthew 24:45 parable.
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ will all be made alive. However, this will happen to each person in the proper order: first Christ, then those who belong to Christ when he comes. Then the end will come.
(1 Corinthians 15:21-24)
How does 1 Corinthians 15:21-24 change your perspective about death?
For the believer, it renders death meaningless and something to actually look forward to.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all 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. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory, O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?
(1 Corinthians 15:51-55)
What does the bible mean by the word “sleep”?
What is the mystery? Is it the fact that we shall not all sleep or the fact that we shall all be changed; or is it both?
I don’t think that the mystery is the fact that we shall all be changed, after all, this is spoken of in the old testament in places like Isaiah 26:19-21
Now I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you will not grieve as the others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the Lord’s coming, shall not go before those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain, will be snatched away at the same time together with them in the clouds for a meeting with the Lord in the air, and so shall we be together with the Lord forever. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Why do those with no hope grieve and should 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 cause us not to grieve?
Where are these individuals that meet God in the air going to?
…waiting for God’s Son whom He raised from the dead to come back from heaven. This Jesus is the one who rescues us from the coming wrath.
(1 Thessalonians 1:10)
What does Jesus do to rescue us from the coming wrath?
Your dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, you that are in dust: for your dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into your rooms, and shut your doors behind you: hide yourselves for a little while, until the fury has passed by. For, behold, the LORD will come out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their sins: also, the earth will reveal the blood that has been shed on it, and shall no more cover her slain.
Who are these dead men and when shall they live?
God calls them “His people”
Where are these “rooms” that allow God’s people to hide from the coming indignation (fury)?
The ones that are in the mansions of John 14:1-3
Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that Day; and not to me only, but also to all those who love His appearing.
(2 Timothy 4:8)
Name some excuses that you think would prevent people from loving His appearing?
We just got married and I want to spend some time with my wife on our honeymoon; My 401K is doing great and I’m about to realize my dream of retiring in comfort; I just got accepted into a elite university so my life has just begun; I have a great job, a great house, and lots of money so I cruising through life.
Would you love His appearance if He came right now?
I have been a christian all of my life but five years ago, if you would have asked me this question my response would have been “no” or “not yet”. However, today, my response is a big YES, in fact, every night, I pray for Jesus to hasten His return. Not because I’m in any trouble that would be solved by Christ coming to snatch me up and away from my misery, actually, it’s quite the opposite. I have young kids that I want see grow, I have dreams and aspirations, there are things that I would like to do before I die; yet, despite all of this, I have finally understood what Christ has been communicating in the scripture about this world and where it is heading. The future of the world is grim. The end of the world’s story has already been written and it is not pretty. Things are getting worse everyday for follower’s of Christ. We are inundated with immorality and there is no way that we can remain pure in a society that is getting more evil in a hurry. America, that is supposed to be a Christian nation has no idea what Christianity is about anymore. Our churches are saturated with preachers that are afraid to teach the weightier matters of the bible for fear of losing congregation members. Unsound doctrine is rampant in the church. Even, most (probably 90%) of the Christians that I personally know are biblically illiterate and almost useless for encouragement, fellowship or spiritual growth (I speak this to their shame – 1 Corinthians 15:34). Our leaders are immoral and there is virtually no hope of turning this country around. So, yes, even though I am living in the most prosperous country on earth and I am in a comfortable situation with dreams of doing things that I have never done; I understand that the plans that Christ has in store are glorious and unbelievable. They are filled with the hope of a new body that is incorruptible, no more pain, no more hunger, no more sorrow, and most importantly, I will live under the rule of a righteous king, the Lord Jesus Himself. No longer will I have to worry about work, or taxes, or my health, or any evil that may befall me. I will relinquish this cursed body for one that is just like the one Christ has Himself. I would love His appearing!