Sunday, August 19, 2007

church notes (and then a tangent about church and YIM)

Things that are in []'s are what I thought about as I listened, and if you have any thoughts on what was said, feel free to post them.

*Note: Later I go into a tangent about YIM, and door-to-do0r evangelism.


doctrine: eschatology

what happens after death for Christian?

New Testament teaches soul goes to heaven right away

Luke 23:42-43

Philippians 1:21-24

2 Cor 5:6-8

Acts 7:59-60

new body:

1 Cor 15:35-44

1 Thess 4:13-17

We do not long for immortality.

Longing of hearts is resurrection--there's a difference.

[The way I see it, immortality means you just keep on living, uninterrupted. Resurrection is you get rid of your earthly body first--by dying--and then get a new one, and then continue living.]

Matthew 22:31-33--Abraham, Isaac, Jacob were living

Hades=realm of the dead (Greek, generic term)

"intermediate state" [not to be confused with purgatory]

gehenna=full realm of torment

[seems that gehenna is just a more specific part of Hades. And if your version of the Bible says hell, then that's not necessarily close to the original. I sure hope what I just said is correct.]

Jesus descended into Hades--but thief was also with him that day in paradise

[if Revelation is Jewish literature of the oppressed (like African American spirituals), and should not be taken literally, but rather symbolically in this genre, what about chapter 20 and onward? How should we interpret the passages about a new heaven and a new earth? Should those be interpreted within that genre as well, and not as they've been commonly interpreted?]

It won't say, "Joe Doe, Nazarene or Baptist." It'll say "Joe Doe, Christian, believer" [emphasizing cognitive action, rather than "Follower of Christ"? I don't know. but that IS Biblical, so I'll leave that alone.]

[my thoughts about hell are the following: I know that I am going to be with Jesus, so details are not really my concern. Why bother trying to figure out what hell will be like, since I don't plan on going there? I don't agree with scaring people into Jesus's arms, or having "fire insurance". But whatever/wherever it is, my thoughts are that it's a place of suffering apart from God's love, apart from God's plan, apart from the Kingdom of God. I don't know that I could explain those concepts, or what they would be like, exactly, because it would probably take a while.]

Where was Jesus between His death and resurrection? He was in paradise, in the abode of God.

1 Peter 3:18-20: Pastor focused on the mention of baptism in here.
[Water seems to, so I hear, represent chaos in Scripture. "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." Then God brought order of the chaos (doesn't matter if you believe evolution was the mechanism, or seven-day creation. It was God. Somehow). Noah and his family were delivered from the chaos of the waters/sin in the world that had caused chaos and disrupted God's movements by an ark that was above the waters. Jonah was swallowed by a large fish/whale/something that rescued him from the water, from drowning. But this water could also represent the chaos that his life was going to be if he kept running away from that which God had called him. Jesus walked on the water, and calmed the storm. He had dominion over water, over the chaos that is in our lives.]

Revelation is battle between Heaven and hell, and God wins.

[there is a theme of hope within it. even if you take it as literature of the oppressed.]

life in the intermediate state

it's in the spirit, may be given a body

2 Cor 5:1-4 ["not built by human hands"--probably not built with human materials, either]

Greek thought: Spirit
Hebrew thought: Body

Luke 9:28-32 (Transfiguration)
[how in the world did they recognize them without any record of their appearance?!?! guess it's a matter of recognizing their spirit, their essence (and I'm trying to say that without getting into any connotation of new-age stuff)]

[what does this stuff really mean for us right now?]

in prayer: "Thank you that we'll be going to heaven...." [something like that. But what does this mean for us reaching out to others, how do we put this into action? I refuse to accept simply that Christians go to heaven, everybody else goes to hell. What do we do, Rev. McDonald? What is our responsibility in the world, with this in mind? I am not asking because I don't know, I am asking because I want to hear from you.]

[One of my beefs with these sermons/studies is that I end up frustrated during the sermons. Here's what I wrote this morning:

"What does this mean for my life? How does it tell me to live in this world? How does it help me to love God and love others? This doesn't seem to beteaching Scripture. {and by that, I mean, he doesn't necessarily continue going back to Scripture thru his sermon. Today it was on "Who are the heroes and models in your life?", and he simply talked about those in his life. What the heck.} How does it teach me to grow closer to Christ?"

I refuse to leave the church on the basis of these sermons that I don't like (don't get me wrong, they are put together well and are interesting to listen to. The trouble is what I just wrote a few sentences ago, that is how I feel a lot. I probably should talk to him). I am committed to this church, I am a member, and I want to do as much as I can while I'm home to help out and encourage. This is reminding me of this summer. Cuz right now, I want to get in some sort of leadership position, so I can *really* change something, and have authority. But see, the thing is, I am home for maybe 10-15 weekends out of the year {in 2007, I'll have been in MD 11 Sundays}, and cannot establish myself for such a short time. And I think that I am not doing much. But I guess my going on a YIM trip can be encouraging to people.]

Some more of a tangent....

I can also speak out more, and get involved where possible, and encourage others to reach out. We talked about evangelism in Sunday School, and how one person we know is very bold in handing out copies of the Bible. Being bold enough to be willing to hand out Scripture like that, especially in our culture, is a big thing. But my style is definitely to be more personal, build a relationship.

If I go back to Juarez, and am asked to do door to door evangelism, I will maybe say something along the following lines, "I do not speak much Spanish, but I will try and talk to others. I will try, and do it as if I am doing it for Jesus." I probably won't be able to understand what the people are saying to me--but before heading out, I could pray for understanding, and when I meet the people, to ask them to speak slowly and clearly for me. And you know, God just might answer that request. I'm willing to give it a try. I want to ask them their names, and how many kids they have, and what they do for work, and THAT'S building a relationship. Easy questions. AND I can share about myself (ok, but not in a vain way. you know.)!

I'm ready to have another try. I'll try it.

I'm not sure if I was just writing that about door to door evangelism en espanol, or if I was writing it about doing YIM again. Cuz I am considering it for next summer. I know that if I return to El Paso, I will have both familiar and new faces. The sad/cool thing is that I will see familiar places, and laugh at memories, and remember fondly my times there.

If God wants me to do YIM again, I'll do it. I'm open to whatever He's got for me.

I need to write to Gedeon. He gave us his address, and I don't want to leave him hanging.

I'm really glad I got one of these reflection things out. I've been thinking I needed to write something out, and tada! here it is. I think that's all for now. Kbye.

1 comment:

Jonathan Mills said...

Okay, here's a question for you: if, when we die, believers' souls go "to heaven right away", then why is it necessary for the dead in Christ to rise first (I Thess. 4:16) when Jesus returns? If we die before Jesus returns, do we get two trips to heaven?

Paul says that the dead are only asleep.

Consider this: Maybe the issue is not a matter of timing. I think that God views time different than we do. We look at things in kronos time; everything happens chronologically. God views time as one giant now. Everything happens at once.

If you'll try to think in terms of an eternal now, it will really mess up some of our traditional ideas and concepts about when and how things happen (predestination, atonement, eschatology, etc.)

Just a thought.