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Lesson # Matt. 16:28
Study Material - Matt. 16:28
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
28 Verily [amen] I say [lego] unto you [humin] , There be [eisi] some [tis] standing [histemi] here [hode] , which [hostis] shall [geuomai] not [ou me] taste [geuomai] of death [thanatos] , till [an] [heos] they see [eido] the Son [huios] of man [anthropos] coming [erchomai] in [en] his [autos] kingdom [basileia] . KJV-Interlinear
28 'Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.' NAS
Ok, this verse is generally confused with the establishment of Gods Kingdom immediately following the Second Advent. Some even see this as a reference to the Rapture generation. Not the case. Neither of those events have occurred and all those who were alive in Jesus day, have long since died.
The problem lies with the word 'kingdom', 'basileia.' This means the manifestation or representation of royal splendor. It does not mean the literal setting up of an actual kingdom here on earth.
There are two instances in which this manifestation occurred. The first takes place in the next chapter - generally referred to as the 'Transfiguration.' The next takes place in the revelation to John, which is recorded in the book of Revelation. In both of these places the glory and royal splendor of Christ is revealed to Peter, James, and John in the first instance. The second revelation came to John alone.
The first manifestation of Christ in his royal splendor came just a few days later, after this verse. The second came to John in the mid 90's A.D. All three of these individuals were alive and had not died when they witnessed Jesus' splendor to come. It is no wonder that these three were referred to as the 'rock', as with Peter, the first to be martyred as was the case with James, and the last to write what was to be the final book of the Bible - John, also the one who was referred to as the disciple whom Jesus 'loved.'
These three representing three very important characteristics of the spiritual life. First the recognition of the truth. Though all three men had their faults, they eventually over came their faults by their persistence in their faith. They did not look to excuses. They did not look to convenient reasons for not following Gods commands. They did not look to others to whom they might blame for their circumstances in life. But they grew up spiritually and looked only to themselves for overcoming whatever faults they encountered in their personal lives. They saw the truth - the rock - and did not rationalize it out of their lives.
Second, came James demonstrated willingness to go the distance in the Christian life regardless of the cost. James left, as they all did, his former life style behind. He took on the life style which God intended for him and for all believers. This is all in the study we have just been going through in this chapter. Do you not remember - 'lose ones life to find ones life?' Lose the former life style, that of the sin nature, and to take on a new life style, the spiritual life. Do we read these Bible studies out of habit, or are we reading them, and contemplating their impact on our individual lives? Are we trying to make the Bible study fit that life which we have become accustomed to, or we going to change ourselves to fit that which the Bible teaches?
Remember the mirror. It tells no lies. The mirror reflects the truth. It is the viewer who needs to read that truth and interpret it correctly, rather than ignore their true reflection. The Bible is that mirror, and your soul is the real you.
Why is this all so important? Your life is not confined to just a few years here on earth. Your life will extend out into the future for trillions and trillions and trillions of years and more. If you are thinking only of your 20 or 50 or 100 years here on earth, then you are not focusing correctly. You could slip or trip tomorrow and your eternity will begin immediately, and your preparation opportunity will cease.
What you do in time (this life here on earth) will determine the nature of your future. If you are an unbeliever then you have but one decision to make - believe in Christ. To believe means eternal life in heaven. To reject Christ means to receive eternal condemnation in the lake of fire. There is an infinite difference between these two destinies. Believing in Christ is the better of these two choices.
If you are a believer then your decisions become daily ones - 'What do you think of Bible doctrine?' The result of these cumulative decisions will determine your spiritual status - immature vs. mature or somewhere in between. Your spiritual status determines the degree of 'additional' blessings, rewards, privileges, crowns (symbols of honors) which you 'may' receive when you are evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The difference between the maximum of blessings and the minimum of additional blessings is similar to the difference between heaven and hell. The difference is infinite. You can probably comprehend the difference between a destiny in heaven or hell, so you should similarly consider that there is a huge difference in the blessings which believers may receive depending on whether they are mature or immature.
Thus our objective in this life is to advance as far as possible in our spiritual life. A lot is at stake.
Moses is an example given to us from the Bible. Moses was the crown prince and was to be the next Pharaoh. Egypt at that time was tremendously wealthy. Consider the USA in our time. We produce over 9 trillions dollars in new goods and services each year. Over a third of the entire production in the entire world - with less than 5 percent of the population of the world. By the way that should teach you something of the difference between a Christian based nation and other religious based nations.
Anyway, assume for the moment that the leader of the USA is Pharaoh, that you are the crown prince and the heir to all of this wealth. You in effect own the USA. Sort of boggles the mind! This is where Moses was in his day. Heir to tremendous wealth. He could have had anything, done anything. His every wish would have been only a command away. But ...
Heb. 11:26, 'considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.' Moses looked to the riches in heaven as far greater than the wealth of Egypt.
Why do we harp on our responsibilities in this Bible study? Am I afraid of losing people from the study? No. It is far better to offend folks and have them eventually overcome their offended nature an to grow up spiritually, than to appease folks from which they learn nothing. Eternity is on the line. I would rather meet you in heaven one day and see you buried in wonderful blessings, than to meet you and see you with very little extra blessings. Won't be my fault if you fail! So we hammer and hammer until we learn.
Ever have kids and tell them to go clean up their room? You check the room and have to tell them to pick up the socks, 'But you didn't mention socks.' Then you check again and tell them to pick up their toys, 'But you didn't say toys.' Well they know what you meant, they just have convenient little excuses for not doing what they were supposed to do. So it is with believers. They often act like little children and argue over the smallest of details in order to escape some responsibility, or think they escape it, or they just ignore their responsibilities and hope that no one will catch them.
God catches everything. If you ignore your responsibilities then it is your loss, not Gods. All have had fair warning. You know the facts of life. You know that your life will end and that you will go into eternity. You know that you have responsibilities. So back to verse 26, are you willing to exchange your eternal status for the convenience of laziness (head in sand) in this life?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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