“Bema Me Up, Scotty!” – One Year Bible Reading – August 31

Old Testament:  Job 37:1-39:30

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

Intro:

Elihu gets to finish his stance.

Job finally with God gets his chance.

God educates Job on what is.

He finishes him off with a thirteen-point quiz.

 

Job 37:1-39:30

Job 37:1-39:30   Quiz Time

Elihu finished his defense of God in chapter thirty-seven.  Then, what we’ve all been waiting for.  Job gets to defend himself before God.

In chapter thirty-seven, Elihu marches on with his declaration of God’s greatness.  Verse 24 (“No wonder men everywhere fear him! For he is not impressed by the world’s wisest men!” LB) is reminiscent of Jer. 9:23-24, ” . . . Let not the wise man bask in his wisdom, nor the mighty man in his might, nor the rich man in his riches.  Let them boast in this alone: That they truly know me, and understand that I am the Lord of justice and of righteousness whose love is steadfast; and that I love to be this way.”  This really was Job’s problem.  Pride.  Why are so many Christians prideful?  Shouldn’t they be the most humble of men?

In chapter thirty-eight, Job gets his chance before God.  He speaks out of the “whirlwind” (v. 1).  Yahweh proceeds to ask Job a series of about 28 questions by count.  All involve Job’s understanding of His power.  I know I would be intimidated.

In chapter thirty-nine, Yahweh continues with a 13-question quiz on nature.  I’m feeling kind of dumb.  I’m imagining Job is, too.  Yahweh is going to make a point.

Summary:

Elihu finishes his defense of God.  He, unlike Job’s other friends, actually got some things right.

Job finally gets his chance to defend himself before God.  God whips out a bunch of stuff from nature that He created to shrink Job’s inflated brain.  God continues to quiz Job, putting him in his place.

 

New Testament:  2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

Intro:

Believers some day from the grave will lurch.

All their suffering for Christ will be used to spread the Church.

Believers are either on earth or Heaven, away.

Everyone will be evaluated for rewards that will affect their stay.

 

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10   Bema Me Up, Scotty!

The reason Paul ministered and endured trial was because he believed (v. 13-14) and what he believed was that someday he would be resurrected.  He quotes Ps. 116: 10 to that end, “I believe and therefore I spoke.”

All of Paul’s aforementioned suffering was for the sake of the Corinthians and the church.  It causes the gospel to spread to more and more people in glory to God (v. 15).  Although Paul’s body was breaking down, he is being “renewed” internally every day (v. 16).  He is enduring suffering temporally but will yield a great glory in the future (v. 17).  He is not looking at the world around him but he is looking to eternity (v. 18).

I had a pastor friend who used to go for rides around the rich neighborhoods outside of town and look at the houses.  I could never figure out why.  He was never going to have one.  There’s no use even looking to things that we don’t need and can’t have.  However, now he has gone on to be with the Lord and I’m sure he’s living in nicer digs than were in that neighborhood.  Paul is saying something like this in the first five verses of chapter 5.  God has even given us a downpayment for our new abodes, the Holy Spirit who lives in us now (v. 5, cf. Rom. 8:9, 11).

There are only two places believers can live.  One is at home on earth and the other  is away in Heaven with the Lord (vv. 6, 8).  This is why we should walk by faith.  We won’t be able to see ahead by just looking around us in the world (v. 7).

Many people live as if they are going to be here forever.  We know, as Christians, that’s simply not true.  Paul doesn’t act like he’s going to be here forever.  He lives as if his life will end and he is looking forward to eternity.   This makes complete sense but is this what we are doing every day?

Paul says that everything he does is to please God (v. 9).  Are we always asking ourselves if what we are doing is pleasing to God?  We should?  Why?  Because there is going to be a judgment for Christians at the bema seat of Christ.  This is not being taught today.  Preachers who don’t know about this and don’t teach it should be sued for malpractice.

We have mentioned the bema before (Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:10-15).  Christians can not go to Hell (Rom. 8:1).  But they can lose rewards in Heaven (cf. “whether good or bad,” v. 10).  A better way to look at the bema is that it is the place we will receive rewards.  Scripture says some will only make it by the skin of their teeth but will be saved (1 Cor. 3:15).  Others will receive rewards.  If we always are trying to please the Lord, do you think we’d receive rewards?  (ans: Yes!).

Summary:

Paul believed he would be resurrected someday.  All that he has suffered since becoming a Christian was for the spread the church.   Believers are in either one of two places, on earth or in Heaven.  Most Christians don’t realize that there is going to be a judgment for Christians after they die to evaluate their lives for rewards in Heaven.

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