Sunday, April 30, 2017
 

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon A Foretaste of Glory Divine ]


GOD'S POWERS IN THE WORLD TO COME
Lonnie Branam
Hebrews 6:1-9

Hebrews 6:1-9 tell us of some wonderful things that have happened to us in this world of sorrow and sin. We have been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift which most likely is the new life we have in Christ. Christians have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, have tasted the good word of God, and we have even tasted the powers of the world to come. It speaks of the world that we are now in, and it excites our minds by speaking of the powers of the world to come. Two worlds are mentioned in this passage, the world that now is and the world which is to come.



Let me first say a few words about the present world in which we live, which has often been referred to as, “this low ground of sin and sorrow.” The old world in which we live is a failure. The word of God speaks of Adam as the first Adam, and he started out in a good world.
But Adam and his descendants fell into sin, and the good world became a bad world. In fact, the earth was wrecked in the flood, and the world started over again with only eight people... Life in this world is now regulated by the law of the survival of the fittest, and we are all to blame because we submitted to the Devil. Even in its ruined condition as a result of the catastrophic flood of Noah, it nevertheless retains much of its original splendor and natural beauty.

The first Adam disobeyed God and introduced sin into the world, but God created a second Adam who started a new godly race on the earth. Two distinct races now inhabit the earth–the Adamic race and the Christian race. The word of God speaks of Jesus as the second Adam, the originator of the Christian race of people. God so loved mankind that He sent His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life. The word of God says of the Christian race, “Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God.”(John 1:13} The question that faces all people now is, “Are you only a member of the natural race that sprang from Adam, or are you also a member of the spiritual race that sprang from Christ?” All become members of the Christian race in one and the same way--by faith in Christ, by turning away from all sinful conduct by a great change of mind (repentance), and by immersion in water for the forgiveness of sins. Faith alone is dead, , without repentance, baptism and a change of life James 2:18 says, “Show me your faith apart from your works, I will show you my faith by my works.” He went on to say , “faith without works is dead.”

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Secondly, the passage informs us there is a world to come. The world we live is not the only world. There is another world, a future world for the saved people of earth. It is called by various names. Most often it is called heaven, God's dwelling place. It is also called the everlasting kingdom of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus called it God's house. The Lord said, “In My Father's house are many mansions.” I go to prepare a place for you.” In 2 Peter 3:10-13 the apostle said that the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and both the earth and the works in it will be burned up. Nevertheless, said Peter, “we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” Many feel certain that the new heavens and new earth will be this old heaven and earth made over and renovated, but that is only speculation. John saw a vision of the new heavens and earth in the Revelation visions, and he said the new earth had no sun and no sea. If all the water were removed from the earth, it would lose most of its beauty. It may very well be that the description of the new heavens and earth in Revelation 21,22 is only a symbolical description of heaven. Christians are on their way to God's house and the many mansions.

Thirdly, I call your attention to the verse in particular that will be our primary study in this message. Hebrews 6: 5 says that Christians have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come. Some versions translate it, “the powers of the age to come.” Whether you want to call it the age to come or the world to come, it is the future world in which the redeemed and saved of earth will live forever, world without end. The Christian race of mankind is looking for and expectantly waiting for the new world to come. Something is said about this new world that excites Christians and arouses their interest. It speaks of, “the powers of the world to come.” The emphasis is on the powers that will be used the future world. It is not one power but a plurality of powers. The word power is from the Greek word dunamis, for which is derive the English word dynamite. No one doubts that dynamite is a power. Power is the ability to do, act or produce. The apostle Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation.” God has put some of His power in the message of the gospel, and He saves people by it. I think we can now understand what this expression means, “the powers of the world to come.” As the gospel is one of God's powers in this world, the powers in the world to come are God's many abilities to do, to act or produce as He pleases in the world to come. When Mary asked Gabriel how she could have a son without the help of a man the angel said, “With God nothing is impossible.” With the great reasoning powers God has given
to the human we can recognize several specific examples of the great powers God will have in the world to come.


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One of those powers is His creative power. He created our present world out of nothing. The Bible distinctly says that God did not make this universe out of stuff that was already in existence.( Hebrews 11:3 ). God created the matter in the universe out of nothing, and He created life that had no previous existence. Man cannot destroy or create the matter which God has brought into existence. Neither can man create life. Life can only come from life. The world to come will be a higher world with greater powers than the earth, and its powers of nature that can produce only natural effects. This is a natural world; the world to come will be a spiritual world for immortalized beings of a highly complex and spiritual nature.

Jesus revealed another one of the powers of the world to come in Mark 10:29,30, “Assuredly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother, or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions–and in the age to come, eternal life.” Jesus spoke of certain blessings faithful Christians will receive in this present world, and then mentioned they will receive eternal life in the world to come. One of God's powers or abilities in the world to come will be His ability to create life that will never end. One one of those abilities God will haved in the world to come. In the future world God will create bodies possessed of eternal life, life that will never end, bodies with a ceaseless existence. This is an ability that does not exist in the natural world. We count it a near miracle to live to be a hundred. The world to come is the resurrection world, that world in which the redeemed will be called out of their graves and receive glorified bodies before they rise to meet Jesus in the clouds, and continue their journey to the Father's house in heaven with its many mansions. The powers of the world to come are well summed up in Revelation 21: 3- 4, “I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell among them, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” These are the powers of the world to come, these are some of the abilities God will manifest in the world to come. None of these things exist in this natural world because no one has the ability to create such conditions of life.

The text reveals one more mind-boggling truth about these powers of the world to come. Hebrews 6:5 says, “We have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come.” He clearly stated that

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Christians have tasted the powers of the world to come. What a thought! Do you realize what this means? Christians are enjoying some of powers of the world to come as they live in the kingdom Christ on the earth. The world to come is future, but we don't have to wait till that future world comes before we can enjoy any of it. We enjoy some it in this life. Christians are presently enjoying some of the powers of the world to come. Most of the wonderful things that are to happen to us belong to the future, but not all of them. God has done a wonderful thing for Christians and for the whole world. God has given the church and the world a foretaste of the glory divine that will be seen in the world to come. Some of it can be seen in the Christian age of the world right here on the earth. A foretaste is a slight experience of something to be enjoyed in the future. When scripture says we have tasted the good word of God and have tasted the powers of the world to come, it means Christians have a slight experience in the present life of the good things we will enjoy in the world to come. Christians can have this experience if only they have eyes to see and ears to hear. Even some who are not Christians can see some of these powers if they only had eyes to see and ars to hear. We cannot taste the word of God with the tongue, nor can we taste the powers of the world to come with our palate. This is metaphorical language. We taste the word of God with our mind and understanding. In like manner we can experience the powers of the world to come by our mental ability as creature made in the immage of God. If only people would us the power of the mind which God has given us. The mind is the eye and ear of the soul.

By the use our minds and intelligence, every miracle we read about in the Bible is a foretaste of the powers to be seen in the world to come. The powers in the world to come are great miracles that will take place, and every miracle we read about in Bible history. is simply a foretaste, a slight experience of the glorious things to take place in the future world. The great miracles recorded in the Bible concerning the creation of the world, the marvelous miracles performed by God when He saved Israel from Egypt and created the Old Testament church, and the magnificent display of miraculous power demonstrated in the birth and life of Jesus, and the miracles peformed by the apostles of Christ and by ordinary Christians who received supernatural charizmatic gifts in the first century are all a foretaste of what we will see in the world to come. When these miracles are acknowledged and rightly appreciated, they are indeed foretastes of glory divine. All these wonders and miracles and supernatural events are just a foretaste of what awaits us in the world to come. In all these supernatural events God has given us a limited enjoyment of the powers to take place in the world to come. Those Christians to whom the book of Hebrews was written still lived in the miraculous age of the Christian religion, and all

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Hebrew Churches of Christ had miracle-working people in their congregations. Those Christians had really tasted the powers to come. Those who cannot see this truth in the miracles of the Bible have missed one of the true purposes of God in allowing them to happen. The days of miracles ended at the close of the first century. God has ended His miraculous activity on earth, and there will be no more miracles.. We need no more, and they are all recorded in the Bible for our study. . Those miracles were recorded to convince us that God exists, that He is the author of the Bible and that we are all accountable to Him. If you cannot believe in the miracles of the Bible, you will never see the glories of the world to come, but you will meet God at the judgment.

Fanny Crosby, the famous hymn writer, wrote the beautiful Christian hymn, “Blessed Assurance.” The first verse says, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.” What is the foretaste we sing about in that hymn?. It is the blessed assurance of eternal salvation. We first tasted the powers of the world to come when we dedicated our lives to Christ, turned away from all past sinful living and were immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of all our sins. Among these experiences that are a foretaste of glory divine are said in Hebrews 6:4-6 to be: enlightenment, , to have tasted the heavenly gift, to have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, have tasted the good word of God and to have tasted the powers of the world to come. All who read and believed the wonderful miracles of Christ, and have allowed the power of the gospel to wonderfully change their lives have indeed tasted of the powers of the world to come, and they are on their was to the Father's house..

I close with Paul's statement in Romans 8:22,23, “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the redemption of our body.”
This passage speaks of the world to come, and declares that the sufferings in this present world are not worthy to be compared with the future glory that awaits us. Christians are eagerly waiting and longing for the dawn of the new world that awaits us. In verse 19 he states, “The earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits for the revealing of the sons of God. This is when the world to come will begin. The bodies of most of the saved people of earth are in the grave, and their spirits have passed into the unseen world. They will be revealed when their bodies come from the grave and are immortalized with their new heavenly bodies. That will be a proud day when the sons of God in all ages will be revealed.

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