Not Worthy To Be Compared…

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.(Romans 8:18)

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.(John 11:43)

Being a Christian in this fallen world is a lot like the experience of Lazarus, in John chapter 11. He had died and was already buried, when Jesus commanded that his tomb be opened, so that He could call Lazarus back from the grave!

“Lazarus, come forth!”

Suddenly the onlookers are amazed, for there in the mouth of the tomb stood their friend Lazarus, he who had been dead four days!

In that moment, as Lazarus’ friends watch in shocked awe, and as Lazarus stands there, shrouded with the trappings of death, yet very much alive, and waiting at the threshold of the tomb, Lazarus stands as a type of what it means to be a Christian in this world.

We were all “dead in our trespasses and sins”, totally separated from and insensitive to God. We also, as Lazarus did, heard the voice of “the Son of God” and as a consequence, were raised from the dead.

And Like Lazarus, we also stand at the threshold, between two worlds, actually two ages. In Lazarus’ case, he stood momentarily between death and life at the mouth of that tomb. Behind him was all of the sorrow, stench, decay and defilement of death.

Death’s influence was yet  around him, for he was still bound in his grave-clothes, as He stood at the mouth of the tomb awaiting his total freedom.

But before him was the “land of the living” from which he had recently been “cut off” for four days. The sunlight and fresh air. the crowds of onlookers, must have been quite a contrast to the smell and aura of the tomb. And of course, there was Jesus, he was there also, obviously.

But for a brief moment , Lazarus stands in the middle, with something of each world about him. He is yet clothed with grave-clothes, and he is yet somewhat bound. But inwardly He is alive, and belongs to the world that is just past the threshold!

The Bible teaches us that God has set for man two ages; the present “evil age” and the “Age to come”.  The present age is marked by human sin, ignorance and rejection of God. and the resultant death, decay, and all of the miseries that go with it.

The Lord Jesus came into this world to deliver us from this “evil age”,

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,  who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,  to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.(Galatians 1:3-5)

The age to come is the Age of Righteousness, it will be marked by the renewal of the world and of all things. In the Age to come the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, Jesus will rule the world in Righteousness and the Nations will have peace.

The Rabbi’s believed that the  age of death would yield instantaneously to the Age of Righteousness, at the intervention of the Lord, the “Day of the Lord”. But they didn’t realize that God was pleased to overlap them!

As Christians we are living between these two Ages. We have been raised from the dead, but yet we live in the age of death and decay. We hate sin now, but our age is dominated by sin. We are ruled by Jesus, but “the whole world lies in the wicked one”.

In short ,we stand in the door of a tomb,still shrouded by the residue of death, but full of life and righteousness, having been resurrected by Jesus himself.

Everything behind us is death and defilement, decay, stench, and vanity. Everything before us is life, light, fresh, beautiful, and of course Jesus is there!

We are people of tomorrow, the Age of Righteousness is dawning but for us, we have already been in it, Hebrews tells us that we have “the powers of the age to come” within the church.

But it is still today…the last spasms of the Age of death and decay, suffering, unbelief God ignorance and rejection, selfishness and sin, even persecution for truth and righteousness.

We know we don’t belong here, we look for another city, even for a better country.

We groan now for we no longer belong. We hurt for the sins, the Christ rejection, the lies and perversions, the deliberate repudiation of all that God has instituted.

We know the outcome of the perverted “order” being instituted by godless men, the so-called “Kings of the earth and their rulers” . The least christian knows that rather than humanistic “progress”, we are instead witnessing the last flourish of their doomed rebellion against the Most High.

But we must bear witness to the truth of another, better, purer and higher prospect, The Kingdom of Jesus. We must remember Romans 8:18 and realize that we stand between two ages, and that whatever loyalty to Jesus costs us here, it will pale in comparison to the glories He has prepared for us there. Maranatha!

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.(2 Corinthians 3:16-18)

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8 Responses to Not Worthy To Be Compared…

  1. ali says:

    As I prepare for colon resection surgery on Saturday your words are a comfort and a strength to me. I know in Whom I am believing and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I commit to HIm until that day. Thanks for the good word.

    Would appreciate your prayers as the L-RD leads.

    • billrandles says:

      Ali count on our rayers and please keep us posted-pas Bill

      Psalm 30

      1I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

      2O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

      3O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

      4Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

      5For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

      6And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

      7LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

      8I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.

      9What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

      10Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.

      11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

      12To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

    • By His stripes we are healed

  2. jay martin says:

    Ali my deepest prayers for a safe, successful operation and a healthy recovery.
    A word of advice. Do not overlook the benefits of natural healing. In my opinion and personal experience, there is definitely a time for western medicine but we are given a lot of natural remedies in plants, good diet etc. Please check out the following documentaries- very much worth a free trial on Netflx to gain the valuable information in them:
    The Gerson Miracle
    Cancer is Serious Business by Dr. Burzynski
    Food Matters
    Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
    Also check out herbal remedies such as Dr, Schulze etc. Email me if you need more info
    jeromymartin77@yahoo.com

  3. jay martin says:

    Pastor Randles,
    Maranatha! Your messages really are published at the right time, every time. “We know we don’t belong here, we look for another city, even for a better country.” This is me completely. As California and the rest of the USA falls into the very hand of the devil more and more every day with all of the political wickedness, social rebelliousness and mockery of Christ, the poking fun at those who stand up to say “Hey that’s not right”, and the coming persecution that is inevitable, one can not help but look to go elsewhere. We see the courts here reject the gay marriage ban, stating that “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” wrote Judge Stephen Reinhardt – wow! I can’t believe THIS is the representaion of the people, of America! So utterly backwards, but this is our legal system now. Perjury, falsifying documents, cheating, stealing etc is basically rewarded in our courts and rarely punished, our system is clearly failing and falling at a very fast rate.
    Clearly as believers and followers of Christ we can relocate but cannot run from this because if our conscience and our willingness to stand up for what is right even if it falls on deaf ears and sometimes even jail time or violent hands as we are increasingly seeing, there will be consequences for what we see as doing right no matter where we go. But we have more hope even in the worst times, than any unbeliever can ever have. Hope has a name and it’s Jesus Christ who’s overcome the world!

  4. Mark says:

    Thanks for the awaome word! Minor typo last scripture ref should be 2 Cor 4:16-18 , not 3:16-18

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