Absent from the body….

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:3. 

In his sermon entitled: “TRUE SAINTS, WHEN ABSENT FROM THE BODY, ARE PRESENT WITH THE LORD” Jonathan Edwards argues for the great future privilege and hope of believers in Jesus Christ. He first buttresses 2 Cor.5:3 with Phil.1:20,22-24: “…so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death….But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor. Yet what I shall choose, I know not. For I am in a strait between two; having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ for it is far better: yet to abide in the flesh is more needful for your sake.” For our citizenship is in heaven and not of this earth.

Moses, Enoch and Elijah, all appeared together at Christ’s transfiguration. “He, being  full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God….And they stoned Stephen, who called upon God saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Acts 7:55

Edwards says: “The souls of true saints, when they leave their bodies at death, go to be with Christ, as they go to dwell in the immediate, full and constant sight of him in his blessed and eternal employment of glorifying the Father.” Only then are we released from the bondage of our sinful flesh, eternally glorifying the Father without hindrance in His glorious presence.

What a wonderful hope we have indeed! Are you excited?

Jim Richardson

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