Monday, June 2, 2014

Eternal Life

By Alan Smith

    The joke is told about three nurses who died and went to Heaven, where they were met at the Pearly Gates by  Peter.  To the first, he asked, "What did you used to do back on Earth?  Why do you think you should be allowed to come into Heaven?"
    "I was a nurse at an inner city hospital," she replied.  "I worked to bring healing and peace to many sufferers, especially poor, helpless children."
    "Very noble," said Peter. "You may enter." And in she went.
    To the next nurse, he asked the same question. "What did you used to do?"  "Why do you think you should be allowed to come into Heaven?"
    "I was a nurse at a missionary hospital in the Amazon basin," she replied. "For many years, I worked with a skeleton crew of doctors and nurses who tried to reach out to as many people across numerous tribes, with a hand of healing and peace, and with the message about God's love."
    "How touching," said Peter. "You, too, may enter."  And in she went.
    He then came to the last nurse, to whom he asked, "What did you used to do back on Earth? Why do you think you should be allowed to come into Heaven?"
    After some hesitation, she replied, "I was a nurse at an HMO."
    Peter pondered this for a moment, and then said, "Ok, you may enter, too."
    "Whew!" said the nurse. "For a moment there, I thought you weren't going to let me in."
    "Oh, you can come in," said St. Peter, "but you can only stay for three days."
    Some of you personally know the feeling of being pushed out of a hospital room faster than you would like to have been.  But while there are a lot of adjectives that the Bible uses to describe heaven -- incorruptible, undefiled, glorious -- one adjective that is never used is "temporary."
    As I look back over my life, there have been some wonderful moments that I wished would never end.  But everything we experience in this life is temporary.  No matter how much we enjoy doing something, going somewhere, or being with someone, it is all only temporary.  But, in heaven, we have the opportunity to be with God and His redeemed for all eternity!
    "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." (2 Cor. 4:18-5:1)
    I hope you've made your reservations for the party that will never end!
    Have a great day!

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at alansmith.servant@gmail.com



1 comment:

  1. DID THE 1ST CENTURY CHURCH HAVE NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES?

    The prevailing thought of many is that since the Bible was not canonized until sometime between 300 and 400 A.D. that the church of Christ did not have New Covenant Scriptures as their guide for faith and practice. That is simply factually incorrect.

    The Lord's church of the first 400 years did not rely on the man-made traditions of men for New Testament guidance.

    Jesus gave the terms for pardon 33 A.D. after His death and resurrecting. (Mark 16:16) All the words of Jesus were Scripture.Jesus did not have to wait for canonization of the New Testament in order for His word to be authorized.

    The terms for pardon were repeated by the apostle Peter 33 A.D. on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-42) The teachings of the apostles were Scripture. The words of the apostles were Scripture before they were canonized.

    The apostle Peter said the apostle Paul's words were Scripture. (2 Peter 3:15-16...just as also our beloved brother Paul , according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand,which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures...

    The apostle Paul's letters and words were Scriptures when he wrote and spoke them. Paul did not have to wait for canonization to authorize his doctrine.

    John 14:25-26 'These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to you remembrance all that I said to you.

    The words and writings of the apostles were Scripture and they did not have to wait for canonization to be deemed authoritative. The apostle did not use man-made creed books of the church or man-made oral traditions to teach the gospel of the New Covenant.

    Did the early church have written New testament Scriptures? Yes, and they were shared among the different congregations. (Colossians 4:16 When the letter is read among you, have it read in the church of the Laodiceans and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodica.) Paul's letters were Scripture and they were read in different churches.

    They were New Testament Scriptures long before they were canonized.

    WRITTEN

    Matthew A.D. 70
    Mark A.D. 55
    Luke between A.D. 59 and 63
    John A.D. 85
    Acts A.D. 63
    Romans A.D. 57
    1 Corinthians A.D. 55
    2 Corinthians A.D. 55
    Galatians A.D. 50
    Ephesians A.D. 60
    Philippians A.D. 61
    Colossians A. D. 60
    1 Thessalonians A.D. 51
    2 Thessalonians A.D. 51 or 52
    1 Timothy A.D. 64
    2 Timothy A.D. 66
    Titus A.D. 64
    Philemon A.D. 64
    Hebrews A.D. 70
    James A.D. 50
    1 Peter A.D. 64
    2 Peter A.D. 66
    1 John A.D. 90
    2 John A.d. 90
    3 John A.D. 90
    Jude A.D. 65
    Revelation A.D. 95

    All 27 books of the New Testament were Scripture when they were written. They did not have wait until they were canonized before they became God's word to mankind.

    Jesus told the eleven disciples make disciples and teach them all that He commanded. (Matthew 28:16-19) That was A.D. 33, They were teaching New Covenant Scripture from A.D. 33 forward. The apostles did not wait to preach the gospel until canonization occurred 300 to 400 years later.

    THE WORDS OF JESUS AND THE APOSTLES WERE SCRIPTURE WHEN THEY WERE SPOKEN AND WRITTEN. THEY DID NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR CANONIZATION TO BE THE AUTHORIZED WORD OF GOD.

    MAN-MADE CREED BOOKS AND MAN-MADE ORAL TRADITION WAS AND IS NOT SCRIPTURE.

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