– Is The
Resurrection Past? –
shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more
ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer.
Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed
concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and
they overthrow the faith of some.
challenges the false doctrine of Hymenaeus and Philetus that was turning
some from the faith "saying the
resurrection is already past." This is the same charge of
'heresy' wrongly brought by those who oppose
failing to realise that the 'Hymenaeus and Philetus' argument rather
than diminishing our approach actually strengthens it, the reasoning is
1st century church expected Christ's 2nd Coming to
be an earth destroying, time ending, history terminating event,
as many today think and await, then how was it possible for some to be
deceived? All someone had to do was look around and ask
other words, if the resurrection [which according to Scripture is
initiated by Christ's return] was to be a "physical event" it would be
self evident, everything "physically" would be changed – a remade world,
people popping up through open graves, and no more physical death. Yet
living were still present and none had been raptured away. Again, had
things been physically reconstituted it would have been self
evident. However, there is no
record of such things occurring.
Obviously, 1st century believers had a concept and belief
about the nature
of 'the resurrection' that is foreign to much popular present-day
Christian teaching. The 'first-fruit' believers [Jas
1:18] understood that Jesus' kingdom did not come with
observation [Lk 17:20],
in fact His kingdom wasn't to be of this "fleshly" world [Jn
18:36] - for flesh and blood i.e., "the natural" could
not enter it [1Cor 15:50].
His spiritual kingdom entered only through spiritual rebirth - looking
not to the "seen" but to the "unseen"
2Cor 4:18. Yet this
confusion over the nature of 'heavenly things' is nothing new,
even the literalistic
Nicodemus could not conceive how it was possible to be "born
again" except but to enter the womb a second time [Jn
does not challenge Hymenaeus and Philetus'
concept or belief as
to the 'nature'
of the 2nd Coming [as they had been Christian], he does
of it. Hymenaeus and Philetus were causing a lot of
trouble, and like most of Paul's opposition they were Judaisers [based
on Paul's constant warnings against "going back" to the Law –Judaism,
this is plausible]. Had Hymenaeus and Philetus been correct, then
adherence to the "Law" would also have become a requirement of faith, as
it was still operative [though it had no redeeming value] while the
Temple stood. The writer of Hebrews declares:
Holy Spirit indicating this, that
into the Holiest of All
was not yet made manifest
while the first tabernacle was still standing.
the Temple stood
the reconciliation was not yet complete; Christ's
Parousia was the manifestation of Christ's completed redemption.
Christ's Coming, The Resurrection, The Judgment, and the consummation
or fullness of The Kingdom were all
[2Tim 4:1; Mt
16:27-28], when one happened they all happened. For the
resurrection to have occurred whilst vestiges of the Old Covenant still
remained i.e., all things typifying the Law – the Temple, the
Priesthood, the Sacrifices, the Worship etc… would thus have required
their full inclusion in the Gospel, as indeed was the hankering of the
Judaisers with regards to a required circumcision etc. However this was
never to be the case, for Moses [the Law] was never to enter the
Promised Land [New Covenant]. The Law served a purpose but was now in
Christ fulfilled. And so this mixing of Law and Grace went completely
against all Paul's teaching on the sufficiency of grace alone apart from
the Law, through the faith of Christ [Gal