Theology of Paul, Part 11 (The Study of God #77)

Welcome to the Study of God Podcast. This is episode #77

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to give you a basic understanding of God, the Bible, and Christian beliefs. J. Dwight Pentecost said, “There is no higher activity in which the mind may be engaged than the pursuit of the knowledge of God.”

Let’s start out reading the Word of God Itself. Today’s passage of Scripture is James 2:23 which reads: “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”

Today’s words from a theologian are from J. I. Packer. He said: “There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them.”

Our topic for today is titled “Theology of Paul (Part 11)” from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Dr. Paul Enns.

Dr. Paul Enns writes…

Last Things
Regarding the church. Since Paul has provided significant new teaching concerning the nature of the church, it is appropriate that Paul should bring that teaching to a consummation, describing the future of the church. Paul refers to the translation of the church in which some living believers will not die but will be transformed more quickly than an eye can cast a glance. At that time, departed church-age believers will rise to receive resurrection bodies and the living, transformed believers will be suddenly snatched up to be with Christ.

Paul emphasizes the practical nature of this doctrine: “comfort one another with these words”. Following the rapture of the church, believers will stand before the bema, the judgment seat of Christ, to be recompensed for deeds done in the body, whether good or worthless. Salvation is not the issue; rather, it is the works of the believer. One whose works were done in the flesh will be burned up; there will be no reward, but the believer will be saved—with no works to show for it. One whose works are acceptable by the Lord will be rewarded—not in terms of salvation, for that has been established. Rewards are spoken of in terms of crowns.

Regarding Israel. Paul deals with Israel’s election in Romans 9–11, lamenting Israel’s rejection of Messiah. Israel had great privileges but scorned them, yet since God has sovereignly elected Israel, He will not fail in His purpose for the nation. The fact that God has not abandoned His people is evident by the fact that there is a remnant of believing Jews, of which Paul was one. However, while Israel has been blinded, it is temporary. Paul envisions a future day when Israel’s blindness will be lifted and “all Israel will be saved”. There will be a future national turning to Christ in faith. Paul relates that event to the return of Messiah: “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob”.

Regarding the world. While Paul has referred to future hope for the church and the future conversion of Israel, he deals extensively with the future judgment of God upon an unbelieving world. Paul uses the term wrath (Gk. orgï) to describe the judgment of God that will descend upon the world. This term is decidedly a Pauline term, being used twenty-one one times in his writings while only fifteen times in the remainder of the New Testament. Paul frequently uses orgï to describe a future “day of wrath” that the stubborn and unrepentant people will face. Paul warns that the wrath of God will come upon those who are morally impure. Paul, however, takes great pains to show that believers will not endure the wrath of God. They will be saved from that day.

Paul also identifies the period as a time the “man of lawlessness,” also called the “son of destruction”, will appear and exalt himself as God. He is unable to exalt himself in this present age because of a restrainer—whom many identify as the Holy Spirit in this church age. When the restrainer is removed, the “lawless one will be revealed”, deceiving the people through his Satan-inspired miracles. But at the second advent of Christ, the lawless one (popularly known as the Antichrist) will be destroyed.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that while it is important to engage in the study of God, it is far more important that you have a relationship with God. I fear that there are a lot of people who will die knowing a lot about God, but not really knowing God. You don’t want to be one of those people.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

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