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Clowne Christadelphian Ecclesia

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Promises
February 2024
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We expect to hear a lot of promises being made in the run-up to an election. But do we expect all of those promises to be kept?

 

When a man called Abraham was promised a land for himself and his descendants, he believed what he was being told. Yet he died without inheriting any of it. Was this just another broken promise?

The Bible explains that it was not. The book of Hebrews chapter 11 lists people who were godly and says that “they all died in faith, not having received the things promised.” That sounds very negative, but it is explained later in the same chapter that the promises they had been given are also extended to us. Abraham lived about 4,000 years ago, and he will benefit from God’s promises at the same time as people living in the 21st century, and in all the centuries between. How can this happen?

When the Lord Jesus returns to this earth, the dead will be raised, and that will include Abraham and the others on the list of faithful people in the book of Hebrews. At last they will be given the inheritance that they were promised all those years ago. The fact that meanwhile they have been sleeping for hundreds or perhaps thousands of years won’t matter at all. If God has made a promise to someone, He will ensure that they are alive to see it fulfilled. Jesus said that God is the God of the living and not the dead, and he listed Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob among those counted as “living”, although they had already been dead for centuries.

Jesus himself died, but was raised to life after only 3 days and nights. This gave his followers the certainty that God would do the same for them when it was time for His kingdom to be set up on earth.

When can we expect those ancient promises to be fulfilled? We are not given a date or time; in fact, Jesus told his followers, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority”. He said this immediately before he ascended to heaven, and his followers were assured by two angels that “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (You can find these words in the book of Acts chapter 1.)

With this assurance, the followers of Jesus went on to tell as many people as they could about it, even risking their lives to do so. They committed themselves to sharing the hope of the kingdom with as many as would listen to them. God’s kingdom is in the future for us too. We only have our lifetimes to do something about it before dying in faith as Abraham did. Or perhaps it is in our generation that those promises will be fulfilled.

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