All Who Die in Christ Are Alive
These are the readings for the Third Sunday of End Time—Saints Triumphant.
God’s Word for This Week
“Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest,” a favorite hymn assures us. Everything is peace right now for the saints above.
“But then there breaks a yet more glorious day:
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on his way. Alleluia! Alleluia!”
First Lesson – Isaiah 65:17-25
When will the saints be triumphant according to God’s first promise? (See 65:17.)
The saints will be especially triumphant on judgment day when God makes new heavens and a new earth.
What will the new heavens and the new earth be like? (See 65:18-25.)
In summary, God’s pictures seem to say that the new heavens and new earth will be full of joy and life. No work will end up worthless. God will be close at hand to each of us. Perfect peace will reign in Christ.
Traditional Second Lesson – 2 Thessalonians 2:13–3:5
Can you be sure God chose you in eternity to be his child? (See 2:13.) Why or why not?
You CAN be sure that God chose you in eternity to be his child. That certainty is not because of anything in you, but because the Holy Spirit baptized you with water for the forgiveness of all your sins. He brought you to trust in Christ’s merits rather than your own.
What prayer priorities does Paul give us? (See 3:1-2.)
Paul urges us to pray that many others may hear about Jesus’ death in their place and honor what they hear in their hearts. He tells us to pray that missionaries and other church leaders stay safe from evil men.
Supplemental Second Lesson – Revelation 22:1-5
We cannot see life as a concept, but God showed John life itself. What two things did it look like to John? (See 22:1-2.)
John saw a) the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, and b) the tree of life, bearing fruit monthly, with even its leaves giving healing to the nations. In other words, God’s gift of life, like a river, flows constantly. It is beautiful and pure. It is refreshing. Like fruit, it is bright and good-looking, sweet and sustaining.
We will see God. We will serve God. We will belong to God. What thing will we not go through in eternity?
In eternal life, we will no longer live under the curse that is the result of our sin. There will be no more night. We will not need any light, not even the sun. God himself will be our light. And all of this will never end.
Gospel – Luke 20:27-38
Since the Sadducees of Jesus’ day rejected all but the first five books of the Bible, why was the source of Jesus’ answer to them very fitting?
Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees comes from Exodus 3, the account of Moses hearing the Lord speak from the burning bush. Sadducees officially accepted Exodus as God’s Word, so they ought to have agreed with Jesus.
Jesus quotes a verse from Exodus 3. How does that verse show that believers live on with God after death, and that believers will rise from death with new bodies?
Jesus proves his point that believers live on now, and will rise on the Last Day, by quoting himself. God, the Angel of the Lord and the second person of the Holy Trinity did not say to Moses, hundreds of years after his three servants died, “I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” He says, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”