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God’s Word for You

Luke 14:15 the joy and promise of eternal life

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, September 21, 2018

15 One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

This exclamation came from one of the invited guests, almost certainly a Pharisee. His statement would lead Jesus to present the Parable of the Wedding Banquet and many further things. Notice how wonderful his words are, and how full of faith. This Pharisee certainly meant heaven when he says the kingdom of God, although Jesus used the term kingdom of God both as a synonym for heaven and for the gathering of men into the kingdom, the working of the gospel, in many of his parables. This verse shows proof that the Pharisees believed in the resurrection and eternal life in heaven, both of which the Sadducees denied (Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27; Acts 23:8 and perhaps 1 Corinthians 15:12-13).

We especially remember the promise of the resurrection at Christian funerals, when it’s good and right to remind one another of the reunion we will have in eternity. Yet the teaching of the resurrection should also be an important part of the way we share our faith, because it’s certainly something that people want to know about and need to hear. If the Bible only taught ethics for this lifetime, it would be a dead letter. But the Bible’s teaching about life after death is a critical and central part of our teaching.

1, God did not create us with the intention that we would die but created us to be able to live forever (Psalm 16:11; John 3:16)

2, Sin brought death into the world, and with it all sorts of temptations and troubles (Romans 5:12; James 1:15).

3, Man cannot atone for his own sins, and therefore stands condemned before God, damned to eternity in hell (Matthew 18:8). “Each is to die for his own sins” (2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:4).

4, Jesus Christ took our sins upon himself to be punished in our place. “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous” (1 Peter 3:18).

5, Because our sins are forgiven, everyone with faith in Christ will be raised up by Christ on the last day and be welcomed into heaven (1 Corinthians 15:52). “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up” (Psalm 71:20).

6, Raised by Jesus, we will live forever. “Whoever lives and believes in me,” Jesus said, “will never die” (John 11:26).

7, We will no longer grieve over what happened in our lives, because “the past troubles will be forgotten” (Isaiah 65:16).

There might be those who do not take the Pharisee’s words here at face value. But it’s important that we don’t read anything into what he says. This is the heart of the Eighth Commandment, not to give false testimony, which Luther taught this way: “We should fear and love God that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, or give him a bad name, but defend him, speak well of him, and take his words and actions in the kindest possible way.” Live today in the joy and promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ and take things people say and do in the kindest possible way.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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