Some call today Black Friday, but it is bright Friday to me, despite the typical, grey winter sky of Northwest Montana. Yesterday, Dennis and Mamie(precious brethren of Active Word Ministries) had me over for a true family Thanksgiving celebration. Dennis drove all the way in to pick me up, and later, delivered me back home. We had a wonderful time, with lots of thanksgiving and laughter. They introduced me to a TV preacher named Creflo Dollar, and a reality TV show called, Duck Dynasty, which was a riot.
Today I slept in til 8:45, then lounged in bed for another half-hour. I quickly dressed and breakfasted—though shamefully unshaven—and for a change, I ate almonds for breakfast to see how long they’d hold off hunger for something more substantial. Now, at 1 pm, I’m still not quite hungry.
Yesterday I found an article titled, The Last Letter of the Apostle Paul, and after marveling at its content, I discovered it was published by a Russelite web site called haroldmag.org. This “Bible Students” organization is the perfect example of a lie made palatable by large doses of truth. Their statement of faith might well have been written by one of the apostles, until the very last line, “We deny that He was raised in the flesh, and challenge any statement to that effect as being unscriptural.” Then it listed: 1Pe 3:18; 2Co 3:17; 1Co 15:8; Ac 26:13-15. After examining those passages and their context, I found nothing that would support their statement denying Christ’s physical resurrection from the dead.
To deny Christ’s physical resurrection is to deny his entire gospel, regardless how accurate the peripheral teachings may be. Many teachings might be spiritualized and still relate aspects of God’s Truth, but Jesus’ physical resurrection from the dead is necessary to wed the timeless God with his temporal, fallen creation. That’s why God’s Word became flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, and went on to suffer the worst man could do to him and die in my place as the accursed sinner that I was.
Like Adam and Esau, I sold my birthright, as a child of God’s creation, for a stiff dose of pride and a belly full of sensual pleasure. I can’t thank and praise God my Savior enough for his unfathomable love and grace in redeeming a retch like me. In fact, just having the privilege of praising God in Christ’s righteousness is an unimaginable blessing. In view of his love, one day of thanksgiving is pathetically inadequate. As Paul wrote to Timothy just weeks before giving his life for the Lord: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(1 Timothy 5:16-18 ESV)