In the past, I’ve written about things people who claim Jesus believe, from the extreme legalistic, to the most anti-Christian stuff I’ve ever seen (and they claim to be believers!). This morning, I was asking myself “Why? Why do people attempt to add to or take away from the message of Christ?” Funnily enough, the answer I’ve received is simple: We all want Jesus on our own terms. Some of us want Jesus in a way that our salvation depends on His approval of the works we do, while others want Jesus and to continue the lifestyle we’re living, no changes, no strings attached. Yet we don’t know that, either way, we’re drinking poison with eternal consequences. When we try to have Jesus on our own terms, we don’t get Him at all. What’s the solution? Keep it simple! Know what He wants. Read the Bible, and it, pretty straightforwardly, tells us what it’s all about.
And what is that message? Simply put: we’re all hopelessly lost in our sin, that is, rebellion against our designer, God. Because of that sin, we’re destined to die. Yet God had compassion on us in this way: He sent His Son, Jesus, who was born of a virgin, lived a life without sin (perfectly obedient to the Father in every way), and was nailed to a tree because people couldn’t handle the truth of His message. In doing so, however, He nailed our sins on the cross with His body. He died, putting our sins to death with His perfect sacrifice. He was buried, and on the third day rose again, conquering the consequence of sin: death, and, in so doing, proved we could rise as well, both now, and after our earthly bodies have worn away. It’s not “open to interpretation,” it’s not “too simple.” This is the simplicity of the Gospel message. We need to embrace it, submit to God and allow Him to conform us in to His image (stop being rebellious) by following Jesus and being born again. And the God’s word IS simple. Stop taking things out of it, or adding things to it that are not there. Keep it simple.
1 Corinthians 15:35-58
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.