Episode #154. Today we’ll read 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 together: Paul explains why we should have confidence in life after death and how we are reconciled with Christ.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #154. Today we’ll read 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 together: Paul explains why we should have confidence in life after death and how we are reconciled with Christ.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
You probably know that most of the state of California…for that matter, most of the west…is under a cloud of smoke from all the wildfires raging here. We pray daily for the safety of people and property in harm’s way, as well as giving thanks for the brave firefighters who are working so hard to quench these infernos.
Mitch and I have been admitting to each lately that we’re struggling a little. I suppose the fires alone are reason enough to be somewhat discouraged. But added to that, the Covid crisis is making us a little punchy too. What’s it been now? Six months?
I love my home, I really do, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I have to admit, the cabin fever is starting to set in. But again, God is not surprised by our shutdown and it’s just like Him to have scripture at the ready for a time such as this. Listen to what Paul says in Philippians 4:11: I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. A good reminder. As a matter of fact, the whole chapter is good medicine.
We should never take anything for granted. We should live every day like it is our last and rejoice in the wonder that is this God-given life on earth. My husband and I try to remember this every day. Sometimes, when we need reminding, one of us will sing the first two bars of a favorite hymn: “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it…” (Hey, wait a minute…that’s Psalm 118:24!) Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com if you have a favorite scripture that helps lift you out of the doldrums.
2 Corinthians Chapter 5
Our Future after Death
For we know that if our earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands. Indeed, we groan in this tent, desiring to put on our heavenly dwelling, since, when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. Indeed, we groan while we are in this tent, burdened as we are, because we do not want to be unclothed but clothed, so that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.
By Faith, Not by Sight
So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade people. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who take pride in outward appearance rather than in the heart. For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion, that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.
The Ministry of Reconciliation
From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Christians have the confidence of knowing what happens to us after death: we will spend eternity with Christ. Our earthly bodies, full of decay and death, will be replaced by heavenly bodies that will last forever. I don’t know about you, but this gives me hope.
Unbelievers do not have confidence in the afterlife. For them, this world and everything in it is all that there will ever be. Paul talks about this hopelessness in 1 Corinthians 15:32, remember?: …If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Do you remember that old poster showing a posh home on the river with a fancy car and a helicopter on the lawn? The caption said, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins…”
Jesus addressed this attitude in Matthew 16:24: “For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life?” We are on this earth for such a very short time, but our actions will determine how…and where…we will spend eternity. And so we are persuaded to tell others of this free gift from God, to share the sacrifice of Christ for all mankind and hope and pray that others will come to believe as we do. Let’s pray.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your gift. Thank You for laying down your life as a sacrifice for a sinner like me. I pray that You would create opportunities for all of us to share our faith with others, that Your Holy Spirit would give us the courage and the words to persuade the unsaved to put their faith in You. Draw them to you, Lord. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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