Sometimes I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write about until I actually sit at my desk, in front of my computer. In this case I’m at my seldom used desk at our actual church building.
This is a rare event, indeed! With the advent of the automobile, and electronic communications the church office has, by and large, been replaced by the home office. At least this is my personal experience.
Well, that brings me to a sort of “writing crossroad.”
Do I talk about the resources available for study – without the need access a voluminous physical library? By the way; I love hard copy books! Being before a physical collection of good books is something I look forward to. But, I digress.
Or, do I talk about the reason that I’m sitting at my seldom used desk this July morning?
I think I’ll talk about the second option, and save the first for a future article.
Our church meets in an old fashioned New England church building, which was built in the 1800’s. I think the current building, which replaced an earlier one, was erected in 1898. But, don’t quote me on that.
The section of the building, where I’m at as I write, was constructed in 1946, or so. I know. I know. 1946 seems like ancient history in regard to buildings. This part of the building ushered in running water, and oil heat. Before, there was no water, and more than likely a coal stove to keep people somewhat warm.
Well, the oil tank decided that it would spring a leak. This leaky tank had been installed in 1977. It was a mere 45 years old, and it gave way to old age. In a very short time this leaky, old tank will be replaced by a brand new tank, which will then begin the same process of decay. If it lasts for 45 years I’ll be 105 when it needs to be replaced. 🙂
A building, though a temporal structure, needs to be maintained.
By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. – Ecclesiastes 10:18 KJV
Yet there does come a time when a physical building becomes beyond repair for varying reason. The building materials themselves give way to the same effects as do our physical bodies:
OUR HUMAN TANKS (BODIES) SUFFER DECAY
Please allow me to refer to our human body as a tank – at least in this illustration, rather than tabernacles, or tents (let the reader understand). I have learned about what creates leaks in oil tanks. If you are familiar with oil, you know that there is sludge that develops in the tank. This sludge is heavier than the oil itself, and settles on the bottom of the tank.
Well, bacteria makes a its home in the sludge, and eats away at the steel of the tank. The sludge actually seals the tiny microbial holes – until it is stirred up by something – usually the rush of fresh oil into the tank!
The leak was merely a symptom of a more penetrating issue.
Likewise, human infirmities are symptoms of something greater. Sin, and the effects of it, are upon all. Young, and old. Rich and poor, etc. Each, and every, person bears the effect of sin, with its symptoms.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: – Romans 5:12 KJV
Homework – Note the parentheses in verses 13-17 – This is an explanation of verse 12.
OUR HUMAN TANKS (BODIES) WILL BE PERMANENTLY REDEEMED
Many claim divine healing, etc. Yet, even if one is healed now, it is a temporary thing. Lazarus was resuscitated by Jesus, but died once again. Let me simply end here with Scriptural edification regarding the “redemption of the body.”
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 5:19-21 KJV
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 KJV
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? – Romans 8:22-24 KJV
Bob Picard, Pastor God’s Grace Bible Church, Millbury, MA 01527