It’s the first official day of March break. The kids are off school for a week. The teachers get the break, the parents…? Well, that’s a different story! Maybe that is why so many plan to take a holiday at this time of year, heading for warmer days and sunnier skies. Traveling through airports to reach your holiday destination has become a nightmare, turning many off the whole airline travel option completely. Have you heard the latest fiasco where one of the country’s main sunny destination airlines had to ground several of its planes due to financial problems! This happening at the start of one of the busiest travel seasons of the year! Imagine getting to the airport with bags and kids in tow, filled with excitement and the eagerness to get a well deserved break, and finding out that your flight will not be leaving today!!! I can’t imagine the angst and anger of the entire family. Think about it! You’ve been planning and saving, preparing and packing, anticipating the big day. You even went on the internet to confirm your plane reservations, choose your seat, check your baggage, pay any additional exorbitant fees for anything going on the plane larger than a carry-on suitcase. You drove to the airport, parked your car in the park & fly parking lot (exorbitant fee number 2), shuttled to the airport, everything in tow – cranky kids, and tired parents – waited in the long lines to check in, only to be told the plane and all of your plans are CANCELLED! You protest - BUT I HAVE MY CONFIRMATION NUMBER!!! The attendant responds, “due to unforeseen circumstances….” You try not to lose it! I’ll let you finish the rest of this story, a true story for many this passed weekend who tried to go on a family holiday after 3 months of winter!
I have good news – literally! There is one destination trip that is doubly confirmed, which Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 1. It is the confirmation given by God to those who are called and sanctified in Christ Jesus (vs. 2). Here’s the passage:
I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance (speech) and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1Corinthians 1:4-9 NKJ)
We’ve been doubly confirmed, not by computers, nor misguided humans, but by God Himself. Confirmed for what? For our destination to the promised land – the day when Jesus returns to come and rapture us out of here, and take us to be with Him forever! Take a moment to read this passage (1Cor. 1:2-9) in as many translations as you can. The first thing that you will see is that this trip was not our doing, but God’s. It was He who chose us, called us and sanctified us, that is set us apart for this future travel. It is by God’s amazing grace that we have been saved and placed into Jesus Christ. This was and never will be our doing; it is all God! That’s grace! Our reservation has been set by God!
Secondly, verses 4-7 speak of spiritual gifts, which will be addressed in chapters 12-14 of this letter. This Corinthian church was fighting and arguing over who had the better gifts and they missed the whole point of the gifts in the first place. The gifts are given by Holy Spirit. A true believer is one who possesses Holy Spirit, for if anyone does not have Holy Spirit, they don’t belong to Jesus (Rom. 8:9). What is the evidence of having Holy Spirit? Heavenly speech and heavenly knowledge. The presence of Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts are a confirmation of our guaranteed arrival to our destination. Speech and knowledge gifts are: tongues and the interpretation of tongues; prophecy, teaching, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, discernment, etc. All those gifts that the church needs to build itself up in the teachings of the Lord, provided by Holy Spirit, are evidence that Holy Spirit is in us. The presence of the person of Holy Spirit in a believer’s life is confirmation that that person belongs to Jesus. As Paul says in Ephesians, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:13-14 NIV)
We may say that not only have we been confirmed because God chose us, called us, and set us apart for our heavenly voyage; not only did He confirm the arrival by sealing us with Holy Spirit as evidenced by our spiritual gifts; but as verse 9 states, God has to confirm our arrival to our final resting place because He is God who cannot lie, and always faithful to His word: “God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9 NLT).
Is this a triple confirmation that we will arrive at our much anticipated destination – meeting the Lord in the air, taken back to our mansion in the sky? Sure sounds like it! Friends, there are many confirmations in scripture made by God, about our arrival to our resting place. Remember, nothing can separate you from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:35); Remember, Jesus has given us eternal life, we will never perish, and nothing can snatch us away from Him (John 10:28); Remember, the One who raised Jesus will also raise us and present us to Himself (2Cor. 4:14); Remember, “He is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy” (Jude 1:24). There are many, many more confirmations God makes to His saints. About the only thing that can stop you from arriving to your destination is you – unbelief in Christ, falling away, defecting, deciding to get off the shuttle to the airport. Even if you should go through that faith crisis, God’s grace is more than sufficient to keep you until you finally reject outright, which I pray you never do. This destination will be better than the prettiest earthly paradise, and well worth the wait. Hold on! Jesus is coming to take us there! Your reservation is confirmed!
“keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 1:21)
Have a blessed week thinking of Paradise!