THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION
In our article on hastening His coming, we said that the September 11th terrorist attack on the US marked the beginning of the season of His coming in us and the dawning of the great and terrible day of the Lord.
The purpose of this message is to alert us to dress up spiritually for this season. We must put on the whole armour of God, now and having done all to stand, stand in this evil day.
In particular we must put on now the helmet of our armour, which is the hope of the resurrection:
Romans 13:11-12 (KJV): And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
1Thessalonians 5: 8-9 (KJV): But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
I John 3:2-3 (KJV): Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
The hope of our resurrection and life after death removes from us the fear of death and consequent love of this world.
1 Corinthians 15:30-32 (KJV): And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
1 Corinthians 15:19 (KJV): If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable
This will cause us to purify ourselves to do the will of God and overcome the mental pressures of fear and anxiety that are currently assailing the hearts of men in the world at this time of gross darkness:
Luke 21:26 (KJV): Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Isaiah 60:2 (KJV): For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Putting on the helmet of salvation
To put on the helmet of salvation is to have a mental attitude that overcomes the fear of death and inordinate love for this world: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
This is not to say that we should just be careless and throw our lives away like the terrorists do. Even the Lord Jesus protected His physical life by avoiding danger when it was revealed to Him:
Matthew 12:14-15 (KJV): Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
However, we must live our lives in such a way that we are ready to risk losing our physical lives in order to do the will of God as exemplified by the 3 Hebrew boys and Esther:
Esther 4:16 (KJV): Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Daniel 3:16-18 (KJV): Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Observe that neither Esther nor Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego lost their lives, but rather were supernaturally delivered by God.
Esther 4:1-3 (KJV): Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.
Daniel 3:23-30 (KJV): And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
Notice also that Esther’s protection and deliverance was just as supernatural as that of the 3 men but not as spectacular.
God has promised us supernatural protection and long life of 70-80 years, however there are certain conditions attached to these promises:
Psalms 91:1-16 (KJV): He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Psalms 90:10-12 (KJV): The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Basically the conditions for divine protection and long life are loving God, by keeping His commandments and showing forth His character and applying our hearts to wisdom.
We put on the helmet of the hope of the resurrection daily by daily prayer (see our article on keys of the Kingdom for more details) for revelation in this regard like Paul prayed for the Ephesians:
Ephesians 1:16-20 (KJV): Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, ich he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
This daily revelation of the reality of the resurrection will keep you from the fear of death and inordinate love for the things of this world that are causing men’s hearts to fail them as this day of the Lord dawns.