Truth Matters     The Bradley Church of Christ
                                       1505 E. Broadway;  Bradley, IL 60915   (815) 932-9014   


Bulletin of the Month

Click here for **Past "Bulletins of the Month"**


It is planned to change this page on a monthly basis. One article from from the previous month's Bradley Banner  weekly bulletin, published by the Bradley Church of Christ and handed out at the Lord's Day assemblies, will be chosen and posted.


 The selection for June 2011 from  May's bulletins


When We See Jesus
...then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

By Jon W. Quinn
Luke records the ascension of Jesus in Acts 1:9-11. The witnesses were told by angels that Jesus would come again in much the same way. There are some differences. When He left, 11 pairs of eyes watched Him ascend into the clouds. When He comes again in the clouds at the end of time, every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7,8). Lets look into what the Word of God says about the next time human eyes behold the Son of God, not in heaven-sent visions such as the apostles Paul, and later John, experienced, for we are not apostles. Nor in our imaginations or dreams, nor in an artist's guess, but literally in truth!

We Will Be Revealed With Him

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4; see vss 1-4). In the context we are told to keep on seeking the things above (vs. 1). Jesus is not coming back to dwell here with us, but rather to take us home with Him. He has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-3). When He appears and descends, it will be a descent into the clouds above; not to the earth beneath (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Then, He will take those citizens of His kingdom who have risen to meet Him in the clouds home to the Father in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:23,24). That will be glory for us (vs.4). It will then be revealed for all the earth to witness: sons and daughters of God rising to meet the Lord in altering states from flesh to spirit; from mundane to glory (Matthew 13:43). It is as if the whole of creation is waiting for that moment when the sons of God are revealed and corruption and death vanquished (Romans 8:18-23).

Keeping the Commandment Without Stain Until His Appearing

...that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Timothy 6:14; see vs. 13-16). Keeping the commandments of God is a part of the process. Obeying Jesus as Lord will have an impact on our situation when He appears again (1 Peter 1:13-16). As we keep His commandments, we are set apart, or made holy. This is the condition we wish to be in when He appears. It is only possible by grace. But grace is not a license permitting us to neglect His commandments. This appearance of the Son will occur when God says it will (v. 15). It is not ours to know when; it is up to the One who holds life and immortality in His hand. He has fixed a day upon which this will happen (Acts 17:31).

Charged by His Appearing, Preach the Word
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: (2 Timothy 4:1; see vss. 1-2). Because Jesus is coming, there are some things we need to do. This charge to preach the word is made by God and Jesus Christ, who will judge all - the living and the dead. He will appear; and He will deliver His kingdom up to the Father after judgment. The judge of the living and the dead will judge the world by His own word (John 12:47-48). In addition to keeping the commandment without stain, a very close cousin is to preach the word in season and out of season. This charge is needed because we all will be encouraged not to preach the word, but to change it more to the world's liking (2 Timothy 4:3,4). But because Jesus will appear, we stay with His word.

Contrasting the Last and Next Appearing of Jesus Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:28; 26-28). Jesus appeared the first time to take away sins by His sacrifice (v. 26). Jesus' first appearance was all about offering Himself as a ransom. It was not an easy task to complete; it was His love for the Father and for us that provided the motivation needed to carry through (John 12:27) The sacrifice benefits those "who eagerly await Him"; that is, those who live by faith. His next appearing is not about offering yet another sacrifice for sin; but rather concerning the final reckoning, or judgment (v. 27) and to grant eternal salvation to the faithful.

The Chief Shepherd's Appearance and the Unfading Crown of Glory

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:4). This speaks of the victory crown of a successful athlete. This is a symbol of our unfading (eternal) inheritance; and the victory we have won in Jesus Christ. It is a crown of glory. What are you going to do with it? May I suggest, when you are before the throne of Almighty God, to take it and cast it before His throne, because you and I know that the victory was only possible by His grace and power. What a privilege of glory it will be to join with awesome heavenly beings in this act. And what will you say?
...the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.'" (Revelation 4:10,11).

We Can Have Confidence When He Appears
Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. (1 John 2:28). The secret of our confidence is abiding in Him. It is the aspect of Divine justice and righteous judgment that he world often chooses to ignore. It will be a terrifying ordeal to go into eternity and judgment while not abiding in Christ (Hebrews 10:26-27; 30-31). Because of God's grace it does not have to be that way. He has offered no sacrifice to cover those who continue in sin; but for those who abide in His Son, there is confidence and no shame. (Remember Peter's shame after having denied the Lord? Don't let similar emotions overtake you at Jesus' appearing!).

We shall be like Him when He appears (1 John 3:2-3). With this hope comes the motivation to purify ourselves. This verse is to Christians - children of God by spiritual rebirth. When an unbeliever sins, he sins against His Creator. When a believer sins, he sins against his Father. Therefore, though we are imperfect children, seek to grow in our faith, and with this growth comes an overcoming of the world with its hatreds and envy and spitefulness and fear; and in its place comes love, joy peace and confidence. Are you His child?

From The Bradley Banner 5/19/2011
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
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