Scripture quotations taken from the
God Delivers (Dan 6:27) and Translates (Col 1:13)
Son of David
Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Ge 3:6). One of God's responses was to the serpent. He said,
"'I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall
bruise you on the head'" (:15). When you consider God had said to Adam, "'Be fruitful and
multiply, and fill the earth'" (1:28), Eve's seed could be anyone. But God had a plan.
Ultimately an angel announced that, "today in the city of David there has been born for you
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord'" (Lk 2:11). Matthew records a "genealogy of Jesus the Messiah,
the son of David" (Mt 1:1). "Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah" (:16). The name "Christ"
means that God had anointed him supernaturally with power to accomplish what he had been assigned
to do. It was further explained that "'the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;
and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end'" (Lk 1:32-33).
Jesus asked the Pharisees, "'What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?'" (Mt 22:42).
They answered, "'The son of David'" (:42).
The Jews believed this because of what Nathan prophesied to King David that, "the Lord also
declares to you that . . . I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you
. . . and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever'" (2Sa 7:11-13). David prayed that
God would "'confirm it forever, and do as You have spoken'" (:25). Even though there is no
eschatological foundation in the Old Testament for a Davidic dynasty, Jews regarded the promise
as God potentially returning to restore Israel's monarchy. There is a Hebrew word "mashah" which
deals with anointing with oil. The word "mashiach" comes from it which refers to the "anointed one"
who would become this messianic king. Paul said to the Thessalonians, "'This Jesus whom I am proclaiming
to you is the Christ'" (Ac 17:3).
Christ and Lord
Peter explained "'that God had sworn to [David] with an oath to seat one of his descendants
on his throne'" (Ac 2:30). "'He was a prophet'" (:30) and predicted "For You will not abandon my
soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay" (Ps 16:10). "Surely the Lord God
does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets" (Am 3:7). Peter said
that David "'looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ'" (Ac 2:31). "'This Jesus God
raised up again, to which we are all witnesses'" (:32). He also said that Jesus was "'delivered over
by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God'" (:23). God's plan is cited by Matthew (Mt 1:22-23)
when he quotes the prophecy "the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child
and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel'" (Isa 7:14). Matthew also speaks of the prophecy
regarding the Messiah being born in Bethlehem (Mt 2:6) quoting "'from you One will go forth for Me to be
ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity'" (Mic 5:2).
At Corinth Paul began "solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ" (Ac 18:5). The angel
had said "there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Lk 2:11). He was "born for you."
Mary was told "'you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins'" (Mt 1:21).
Scripture says Jesus is Lord. Jesus confessed, "'You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so
I am'" (Jn 13:13). Peter stated "that God has made Him both Lord and Christ'" (Ac 2:36). "Every tongue
will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Php 2:11). When a person is referred to as a "lord" it means
he occupies a supreme place.
When Peter explains Jesus' position he shows "'having been exalted to the right hand of God . . . [he]
received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit'" (Ac 2:33). Being exalted would be occupying a "supreme
place" and he can be referred to as "Lord." To prove it Peter explains that from Jesus' position "'He has poured
forth this which you both see and hear'" (:33). This is substantiated because he quotes "'It will come about
after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind'" (Joe 2:28). Even Jesus refers to prophecy to make
a point. He asks the Pharisees, "'How does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,''"(Mt 22:43) for "'if David then
calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his son?'" (:45). The reference is "The Lord says to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet'" (Ps 110:1). Jesus was proving that he was the Messiah and
"no one was able to answer Him a word" (Mt 22:46).
Repent from Sin
John the Baptist began preaching, "'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'" (Mt 3:2).
The purpose of it was "for the forgiveness of sins" (Mk 1:4). It is because "all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God" (Ro 3:23). Then "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of
God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in
the gospel'" (Mk 1:14-15). Paul said, "Having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring
to men that all people everywhere should repent'" (Ac 17:30). Isaiah said to "turn from transgression"
(Isa 59:20) and Ezekiel said to tell him to "turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way" (Eze 3:19).
Paul said "the Lord will . . . bring to an end . . . the activity of Satan . . . with all the deception
of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth to be saved"
(2Th 2:8-10). The disciples told Jesus about the Galileans who Pilate had killed. He replied, "'Unless
you repent, you will all likewise perish'" (Lk 13:3). To perish means to die or be destroyed. God said
to Ezekiel, "'Warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live'" (Eze 3:18). Jesus said, "'Whoever
believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life'" (Jn 3:16). Also, "'I give eternal life to them,
and they will never perish'" (10:28). The Lord is "patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but
for all to come to repentance" (2Pe 3:9). "Do you not think . . . that the kindness of God leads you to
repentance?" (Ro 2:4). "The sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret,
leading to salvation" (2Co 6:10). It is "repentance toward God" (Ac 20:21).
How would you answer a person who asked, "Why would I have to repent if I didn't sin like Adam?" (Ro 5:14).
Adam sinned because he broke God's commandment (Ge 2:17). He disobeyed (even rebelled) because he was not
deceived (1Ti 2:14). Perhaps he ate the fruit Eve gave him because he just wanted to keep her happy. Maybe
he rationalized that death would be only a temporary disciplinary action. It's possible he considered knowing
more and becoming wiser would be worth it. "Through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners"
(Ro 5:19). It's as though we, as descendants, have inherited the "original sin." Since "by a man came death"
(1Co 5:21), through solidarity with Adam, "death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Ro 5:12). "Like Adam
they have transgressed the covenant" (Hosea 6:7). Our guilt is imputed in a legal way as if a contract has
been violated and a judgment has taken place because the ground has been cursed (Ge 3:17-18). This is the
Adamic Covenant where Adam, as the representative of the human race, causes God to introduce physical death
saying, "'You [will] return to the ground, because from it you were taken'" (:19). Others may say that Adam's
nature became corrupted by the sin and that we inherit the corruption and sin automatically (Ro 5:19).
Calvinists believe that we are incapable of being spiritually saved except for God's grace. So if you repent
for these reasons you acknowledge that "through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous" (:19).
Why is it necessary to repent from sin? Sin originated in the Garden of Eden. God had
commanded Adam, "'From the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the
day that you eat from it you will surely die'" (Ge 2:17). But Eve "took from its fruit and
ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate" (3:6). However "it was not Adam
who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression" (1Ti 2:14). Transgression
is defined as lawlessness and it is against God's instruction because God asked, "'Have you eaten
from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?'" (Ge 3:11). Consequently the sin had to be
dealt with. The serpent was "more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" (:1)
and deceived Eve (:1-5). God told him Eve's seed "'shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise
him on the heel'" (:15). This person who was promised was the seed of Abraham "that is, Christ" (Gal 3:16)
because "'in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed'" (Ge 22:18). Christ came "to destroy
the works of the devil" (1Jn 3:8). Christ died that "He might render powerless him who had the power of
death, that is, the devil" (Heb 2:14). This was all necessary because Adam was "the one who sinned" (Ro 5:16)
and "by a man came death" (1Co 15:21), but "in Christ all shall be made alive" (:22).
"In Adam all die" (1Co 15:22). Paul says "you were dead in your trespasses and sins" (Eph 2:1).
"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts
of his heart was only evil continually" (Ge 6:5). These are the works of the devil that Christ had to
overcome. Humans are "by nature children of wrath" (Eph 2:3) because they live in a worldly way
"according to the prince of the power of the air" (:2). We "lived in the lusts of our flesh" (:3)
and a person who indulges in "the desires of the flesh and mind" (:3) "is dead even while she lives"
(1Ti 5:6). When Paul became aware of sin through the Law he said "it killed me" (Ro 7:11). But
there is a way to "save his soul from death" (Ja 5:20). "When we were dead in our transgressions, [God]
made us alive together with Christ" (Eph 2:5). Jesus said, "'You have no life in yourselves'" (Jn 6:53)
so we are saved "according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit"
(Titus 3:5). "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Ro 12:2).
"Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away" (Ac 3:19). God accomplishes this because he said,
"'I will put My Spirit within you'" (Eze 36:27). John said that Jesus "'will baptize you with the Holy
Spirit'" (Mt 3:11). "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature" (2Co 5:17). "'That which is
born of the Spirit is spirit'" (Jn 3:6). We are "born again to a living hope" (1Pe 1:3) "through the
living and enduring word of God" (:23).
Gives Eternal Life
In nature a person tries to survive. Even Jesus said, "'I came that they may have life, and
have it more abundantly'" (Jn 10:10). Are you supposed to do anything necessary to survive? Jesus
warns, "'Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it'" (Mt 16:25). There was a situation in Smyrna
where Jesus instructed through John, "'You will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life'" (Rev 2:10). This "momentary, light affliction is producing
for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison" (2Co 4:17). It depends upon your perspective.
"Things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2Co 4:18). "The one
who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Gal 6:8). "We have a building from God,
a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2Co 5:1). So our focus should be on eternal things.
The "free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 6:23). "This is the promise which He
Himself made to us: eternal life" (1Jn 2:25). "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (5:11).
"'This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent'" (Jn 17:3).
Christ "died for sins once for all" (1Pe 3:18). "Having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey
Him the source of eternal salvation" (Heb 5:9). Therefore "'he who believes in the Son has eternal life; but
he who does not obey the Son will not see life'" (Jn 3:36). Jesus cautioned the Jews, "'You think that in
[the Scriptures] you have eternal life . . . [but] you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life'"
God "alone possesses immortality" (1Ti 6:16). "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Ro 5:8).
He "abolished death and brought life and immorality to light through the gospel" (1Ti 1:10).
How do you pursue and possess eternal life? "Those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and
honor and immortality, eternal life" (Ro 2:7). "Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal
life to which you were called" (1Ti 6:12). "'He who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal'"
(Jn 12:25). "'There is no one who has left [house, family, business] . . . for My sake and for the gospel's sake,
but that he will receive a hundred times as much now . . . and in the age to come, eternal life'" (Mk 10:29-30).
"The dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed . . . for this mortal must put on immortality"
Eternal life is having a relationship with God. Moses spoke to God face to face. "Whenever Moses went
in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take off the veil until he came out" (Ex 34:34). "Whenever
a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" (2Co 3:16). When Christ was resurrected "the veil of
the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Mt 27:51). It is "a hope both sure and steadfast and one
which enters within the veil" (Heb 6:19). "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace"
(4:16). It is a proactive decision. James said, "'Do not trouble those who are turning to God from among
the Gentiles'" (Ac 15:19). "Behold, now is 'the acceptable time,' behold, now is the 'day of salvation'" (2Co 6:2).
Early church councils determined that Jesus was one with the Father, and as incarnated, was
of the same essence as human beings. They described it as a hypostatic union. The spirit of man
is mentioned in the New Testament, and on the cross, Jesus cried out, "'Father, into Your hands I
commit My spirit'" (Lk 23:46). Humans have a soul. Paul said "may your spirit and soul and body
be preserved complete" (1Th 5:23). In Gethsemane Jesus exclaimed, "'My soul is deeply grieved, to
the point of death'" (Mt 26:38). Hebrews explains "He had to be made like his bretheren in all
things" (2:16) being "tempted in all things as we are" (4:15). He shared in an existential humanity
as experienced by normal people and was not given an "ideal" humanity where he would be
immune from temptation. "Since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also
partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death,
that is, the devil" (2:14). He "canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against
us, which was hostile to us" (Col 2:14). An elder said, "'The Root of David, has overcome'" (Rev 5:5).
Jesus said, "'I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and have the keys of death and of Hades'" (1:18).
When you redeem something you buy it back as if retrieving it from a pawnshop. We've all seen movies
where someone is kidnapped and a ransom is demanded. There is a price for releasing a captive. Mankind has
been in bondage to sin. But Jesus "became a curse for us" (Gal 3:13) and we are "bought with a price"
(1Co 6:20). His "death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions" (Heb 9:15) and it is
he "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col 1:14). He is the "one mediator also between
God and man . . . who gave Himself as a ransom for all" (1Ti 2:5-6). We are "justified as a gift by His
grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Ro 3:24). "In Him we have redemption through His
blood" (Eph 1:7). "You were not redeemed with perishable things . . . but with precious blood" (1Pe 1:19).
"Through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (Heb 9:12).
God has "saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works" (2Ti 1:9).
Israel didn't apprehend it because "they did not pursue it by faith, as though it were by works"
(Ro 9:31). "Seeking to establish their own [righteousness], they did not subject themselves to
the righteousness of God" (10:3). "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that
we would be holy and blameless before Him" (Eph 1:4). He called us "according to His own purpose
and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity" (2Ti 1:9). Jesus "was foreknown
before the foundation of the world" (1Pe 1:19). But don't "neglect so great a salvation" (Heb 2:3).
At a banquet there was a person "not dressed in wedding clothes" (Mt 22:12). The king said, "'bind
him . . . and throw him into outer darkness'" (:13). "'Many are called but few are chosen'" (:14).
What guaranty is there that you can follow through with your commitment? Paul's confidence is
"that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Php 1:6). It
depends on God. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal 2:20). It works because
God has "sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts" (2Co 1:22) "as a pledge of our inheritance,
with a view to the redemption of God's own possession" (Eph 1:14). Because Jesus "continues
forever . . . He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him" (Heb 7:24-25).
"Who will separate us from the love of Christ?" (Ro 8:35). Nothing "will be able to separate us
from the love of God" (:38). "'This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me
I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day" (Jn 6:39).
Where does the threat to a believer come from? It is because "they themselves are in the world" (17:11).
Therefore Jesus asked the Father to "'keep them in Your name'" (:11). As a result, "'My Father, who has
given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand'" (10:29).
Paul was "convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2Ti 1:12).
Peter said we "are protected by the power of God through faith" (1Pe 1:5). Also, "your adversary, the devil,
prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (5:8). "But He who is born of God keeps him,
and the evil one does not touch him" (1Jn 5:18). "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the
Increase in Knowledge
It is important for each person to take to heart what the Bible says. With Israel "their heart was not
steadfast toward Him" (Ps 78:37) and they "did not believe in His wonderful works" (:32). The elders "had known
all the deeds of the Lord which He had done in Israel" (Jos 24:31). "They quickly forgot His works" (Ps 106:13)
"nor were they faithful in His covenant" (Ps 78:37). "The Lord said to Samuel, . . . 'they have rejected me'"
(1Sa 8:7). Paul said that "he who rejects this is not rejecting man but God" (1Th 4:8). That is why John says
of Jesus that "the Word was God" (Jn 1:1).
A writer on theology wrote that God has placed something in each man's heart to want to know
him. Paul said "I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ"
(Php 3:8). In man's current state "we see in a mirror dimly" (1Co 13:12). I attended church
once with a man I saw recently who told me that he had died during hip replacement surgery and
went to heaven and saw his parents and others he knew. His wife prayed for him in the operating
room and he returned to life and now gives his testimony at church meetings. When I asked, he
explained that even though the people there didn't have earthly bodies you knew who they were.
It's as if on earth you see as if in a mirror's reflection, but in heaven "face to face . . . [and]
know fully just as I also have been fully known" (13:12). The purpose is to be "increasing in the
knowledge of God" (Col 1:10) and have "grace and peace be multiplied in you in the knowledge of God
and of Jesus our Lord" (2Pe 1:2). Paul prayed you would "abound still more and more in real
knowledge and discernment" (Php 1:9) and that God may give you a "revelation in the knowledge of
Him" (Eph 1:17). At the basic level you "come to the knowledge of the truth" (1Ti 2:4). More
accurately you "believe and know the truth" (4:3) because you are "to be saved and come to the
knowledge" (2:4). It is a "true knowledge" (Col 3:10) by understanding "the grace of God in truth"
(1:6). Also, it is "the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image
of the One who created him" (3:10). We then "attain to . . . knowledge of the Son of God, to a
mature man" (Eph 4:13).
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature" (2Co 5:17). Must you, then, act differently?
God told them, "'Be holy, for I am holy'" (Lev 11:44). To be a certain way means you have to
live that way. How do you know what is required? Jesus prayed, "'Sanctify them in the truth;
Your word is truth'" (Jn 17:17). Sanctification in Greek means setting apart, and in Hebrew
it is making something ceremonially clean. Jesus participated and said , "'For their sakes I
sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth'" (:19). Jesus "that He
might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate" (Heb 13:12). In the
Old Testament tabernacle "the blood of bulls and goats . . . [was used in] sprinkling those who
have been defiled" (Heb 9:13). It was to "sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh" (:13). In
the same way it is "by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled
by His blood" (1Pe 1:2). Jesus did this for his church "that He might sanctify her, having
cleansed her by the washing of water with the word" (Eph 5:26). Paul referred to "the church of
God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling"
(1Co 1:2). He said "you were washed, . . . sanctified, . . . [and] justified in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (1Co 6:11). "Both He who sanctifies and those
who are sanctified are all from one Father" (Heb 2:11).
God provides sanctification at salvation in that "'they may receive forgiveness of sins and an
inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me'" (Ac 26:18). "We have been sanctified
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb 10:10). To make it possible God
said, "'I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you'" (Eze 36:26). He also said,
"'I will give them one heart . . . for their own good'" (Jer 32:39). "'The Lord your God will circumcise
your heart . . . in order that you may live'" (Dt 30:6). Will not "the blood of Christ . . . cleanse your
conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:13). Therefore "present your bodies a living
and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship" (Ro 12:1). God told
Moses, "'Go to the people and consecrate them . . . and let them wash their garments'" (Ex 19:10).
A person must "possess his own vessel in sanctification" (1Th 4:4) and you must "sanctify Christ as Lord
in your hearts" (1Pe 3:15). Then "do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit"
(Ro 8:4) and "walk in newness of life" (6:4). "Walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light . . . and
the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1Jn 1:7). "May the God of peace Himself sanctify
you entirely . . . [so you will be] without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Th 5:23).
"They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev 7:14).
Peter said "they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ" (2Pe 2:20). "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (1Jn 5:11).
But Jesus said, "'If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up'" (Jn 15:6).
Branches "were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith" (Ro 11:20). You persevere by
"keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their
faith" (1Ti 1:19). Therefore be careful "that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart
that falls away from the living God" (Heb 3:12). "The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some
will fall away from the faith" (1Ti 4:1) and will "have fallen from grace" (Gal 5:4). Jesus said, "'There
are some of you who do not believe'" (Jn 6:64) and "many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking
with Him anymore" (:66).
If "they are again entangled in [defilements] and are overcome, the last state has become worse for
them than the first" (2Pe 2:20). "It would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness,
than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them" (:21). But "we have
become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance" (Heb 3:14) and "our confidence
and the boast of our hope firm until the end" (:6). Even Paul said "I discipline my body and make it my
slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified" (1Co 9:27). "Jesus said
to the twelve, 'You do not want to go away also do you?' Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we
go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One
of God'" (Jn 6:67-69).
Why did the person who named it call it a "dead end street?" There's no place to go
when you get there, but for a Christian there is. When you're "absent from the
body . . . [you're] at home with the Lord" (2Co 5:8). This would be in heaven. But is
it right to be visualizing this with your imagination just using your mind? Consequently
it takes faith to comprehend. We rely on the Holy Spirit who "testifies with our spirit
that we are the children of God" (Ro 8:16). We have "strong encouragement" (Heb 6:18)
and "an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast" (:19). We "take hold of the hope
set before us" (:18) "which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27). "Everyone who has
this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1Jn 3:3).
"God created the heavens and the earth" (Ge 1:1). There is no second-class status with the
earth because God is "in heaven above and on the earth below" (Dt 4:39) and "everything that is
in the heavens and the earth [is Yours]" (1Ch 29:11). Heaven is not out of touch. Man must
"seek first His kingdom [of heaven]" (Mt 6:33) and pray "Your kingdom come . . . on earth as it
is in heaven" (:10). You might say that there is even a third dimension. There are "those who
are in heaven and on earth, and under the earth" (Php 2:10). There are creatures "in heaven and
on the earth and under the earth" (Rev 5:13). Therefore "set your mind on the things above" (Col 3:2).
Jesus will give you "the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 16:19) and then "an inheritance . . . in
heaven for you" (1Pe 1:4). But there must be forward progress and not just a biding of time. Hope
and expectation are synonymous. You gather with others "as you see the day drawing near" (Heb 10:25)
which is a "full day" (Pr 4:18). There is "a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1Pe 1:5).
"Knowing the time . . . salvation is nearer to us than when we believed" (Ro 13:11). Christ will "appear
a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him" (Heb 9:28).
Therefore "hold fast . . . [because] He who promised is faithful" (10:23).