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Today, Tomorrow, And Forever

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There have been many thoughts and observations concerning these three words. For example, “Live one day at a time. You can plan for tomorrow and hope for the future, but don’t live in it and tomorrow’s strength will come tomorrow.”1 Concerning today, John Dryden pointed out,

Happy the man, and happy he alone
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have liv’d today.2

Sarah Bolton remarked that such happiness can be achieved with a heart at peace despite disturbing circumstances;

Forget the past and live the present hour;
Now is the time to work, the time to fill
The soul with noblest thoughts, the time to will
Heroic deeds, to use whatever dower
Heaven has bestowed, to test our utmost power.

…….

Be glad today, tomorrow may bring tears;
Be brave today, the darkest night will pass.
And golden rays will usher in the dawn;
Who conquers now shall rule the coming years.3

For the Christian this means that they are to live each day in full trust in God, while living in accordance with his will and standards as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

Indeed, the Bible has good advice for proper daily Christian living. Thus Isaiah warns his readers concerning false teachers who maintain that the goal of living today is in accordance with a personal pleasure that is at variance with God’s standards:

Each one says,
“Come on, I’ll get some wine!
Let’s guzzle some beer!
Tomorrow will be just like today!
We’ll have everything we want! (Isa. 56:12)4

Here Isaiah is speaking of rulers who have and advocate an unrighteous way of life. One ruler tells the others that such a way of life knows no limits or bounds. Nevertheless, the Scriptures encourage believers to be receptive to godly teaching. Thus the Psalmist pleads with his readers by citing the Lord’s warnings:

Today, if only you would obey him!
He says, “Do not be stubborn
like they were at Meribah,
like they were at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors challenged my authority,
and tried my patience,
even though they had seen my work.”(Ps 95:7-9)

In citing Psalm 95, the author of Hebrews points out that no one, especially a believer, should excuse himself by referring to the fact that God’s people in Old Testament times did not always conform to holy standards (cf. 3:7, 15, 17; 4:7). As Hughes points out, Psalm 95 “forms the basis a solemn admonitory passage intended to warn them against repeating the folly of the Israelites of old, whose disobedience was met by the judgment of God.”5 Futato observes further that,

As God’s children there are times when we too, doubt his care to some degree. In those times we must be on our guard so that our hearts do not become calloused resulting in our turning away from the Lord. The reality of this danger for Christians today is confirmed by the use of Psalm 95 in Hebrews 3-4. … The reality of the danger and the severity of the warning are not intended, however, to instill doubt but to produce faith.6

Nor should it be should it seem strange for believers to be told to be faithful to live out God’s standards. Indeed, in so doing they will find God’s strength and guidance. As Lina Sandell wrote:

Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each what He deems best—
Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,7
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Our great example is, of course, Jesus Christ, God’s Son. He lived in great faithfulness to God the Father and God’s Word—the Holy Scriptures. One day, “as was his custom, he went into the synagogue in Nazareth, there, “He stood up to read and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him” (Luke 4:16-17). Having read Isaiah 61:1-2 concerning the Spirit of the Lord’s anointing someone to help a needy mankind and an appointment to “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,” and having returned the scroll to the attendant, he said to the waiting people, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read” (Luke 4:21). Christ’s “today” was one of scriptural fulfillment. Moreover, as Marshall, observes, “The ‘today’ of Jesus is still addressed to all readers of the Gospel and assures them that the era of salvation is present.” 8 Although we may not experience a scriptural fulfillment of prophecy in the sense in which Jesus did, we can and should do our best to experience God’s grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit apply, live out, and share the teaching of God’s Word each “today.”

A classic example of Christ’s “”today” is displayed at the time of his crucifixion. As Jesus hung on the cross, crucified between two criminals, one of them turned and pled with him, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom” Luke 23: 42).9 Jesus immediately turned to him and said, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (v. 43). It is of interest to note further that the author of Hebrews declares that although Jesus was God’s son, “He learned obedience through the things he suffered. And being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb 5:8-9). As Michaels remarks with regard to those who obediently follow the plan on salvation, “Through the perfecting of Jesus (see also 7:28), they, too, come to God and access to heaven (see 7:19; 9:9; 10:1, 14; 11:40; 12:23).”10

Moreover, as united to the risen Christ we have full access to the throne of grace not only for salvation, but for daily help to live godly lives. Indeed, we should,

Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you;
Beneath his wings of love abide, God will take care of you.
God will take care of you through every day o’er all the way;
He will take care of you, God will take care of you.11

As Whittle adds, “Moment by moment I’m kept in His love, moment by moment I’ve life from above.” 12 May we believers therefore live each ‘today” in full dependence on the Lord and his leading rather than by following selfish desires.

Today and Tomorrow

Many relations between today and tomorrow have been suggested. Among those that are most familiar are those that say something like; “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”13 and “Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow.”14A bit of compromise can be felt in Smith’s observation: “We know nothing/..g of tomorrow; our business is to be good and happy today.”15 Along the same lines, but with a more spiritual tone is Carpenter’s observation that yesterday is past and,

Tomorrow sits shrouded near God’s throne,
And her veil none can tear away;
But today is the golden day for men—
For God’s work may be done today.16

Likewise Cowper declared:

In holy contemplation
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation,
and find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow
Bring with it what it may.17

The Scriptures also record various things about tomorrow. For example, in prophesying concerning God’s coming judgment of his people in Jerusalem, due to their lack of faith and trust in the Lord, as well as the people’s philosophic bent toward self-satisfaction, Isaiah chides them, reminding them that the Lord had called for their “weeping and mourning” (Isa. 22:12):

But look, there is outright celebration!
You say, “Kill the ox and slaughter the sheep,
eat meat and drink wine,
Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (Isa. 22:13).

As Oswalt observes, “Instead of a deep grief over a long series of offenses against a holy God…, Jerusalem responds with an outburst of hilarity and self indulgence.” 18 As Oswalt goes on to point out, although there might be some rationale for such a style of life in the face of a certain and final death, nevertheless, “If there is life after death, it behooves us to do everything possible to discover the nature and conditions of that life and to be sure that we have met those conditions).”19 Elsewhere Isaiah records God’s condemnation of Israel’s selfishness by saying that,

Each one says,
“Come on, I’ll get some wine!
Let’s guzzle some beer!
Tomorrow will be just like today!
We’ll have everything we want!” (Isa. 56:12)

As Smith adds, “It was bad enough for Israel’s selfish leaders and people to assume that life’s pleasures would not end soon but, “This deluded optimism is present in the exaggeration that ‘Tomorrow will be great beyond measure.’”20

Unfortunately, such a hedonistic view is too often characteristic of mankind and is certainly present, if not prevalent, in today’s world. The old proverb remains true today that, “Righteous exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Prov. 14:34). As was the case for Israel in Isaiah’ time, how tragic is a nation’s condition where there is corrupt, selfish, and incompetent leadership! How greatly it’s people suffer under such conditions! May the Lord soon come and bring his righteous oversight and care for all people.

It is fitting that the author of Proverbs observes,

“Do not boast about tomorrow
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Prov. 27:1)

Similarly James delivers a warning to those who live for self and expect that everything in their future will be one of personal gain and contentment:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit” You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes. You ought to say instead, “If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

Osborne remarks for worldly minded businessmen such as these is that,

A business career is as much a calling as being a pastor or a missionary. The goal must be to follow God’s leading and glorify him in the business world, then use the profits not just to buy more and more “things” but to enhance kingdom values in the church and among the downtrodden…. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, so the only possible reaction must be to allow God’s providential care to be in charge of all decisions.21

Although James’ warning is certainly presented a good warning for those in business (and is yet appropriate for today’s businessmen) the principles here are applicable to all manner of living. One should not live in a way that is merely self-pleasing and devoid of God’s will and leading, or is wrong-headed and arrogant (cf. v. 16). Moreover, people should desire to live with concern for others and do their best to help them (v. 17).

The Lord Jesus is the supreme example of one who lived for God the Father and with a sincere concern for mankind. As well, Jesus reminded his hearers that people ought not to be overly anxious about the future. Rather,

Above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6:33-34)

France points out that in context Jesus is emphasizing to his disciples that,

God’s care and provision are assured, but that does not mean that the disciple’s life is to be one long picnic. Each day will still have its “troubles”; the preceding verses simply provide the assurance that by the grace of God they can be survived.22

In his classic commentary on the gospel of Matthew, Broadus remarks that here is good advice for all believers in any age:

It is concerning the future that we are most likely to be anxious and tomorrow is the nearest future; and yet there is special reason for avoiding this, since tomorrow will have its own anxieties and if we anticipate them, we uselessly add to the burden of today. Whether tomorrow’s anxieties will be proper or improper, is not here the question; they will be felt be felt then, and so should not be borrowed today. 23

How easy and quite normal for us to be overly anxious for what lies ahead. How will our plans work out? Will we have what we need? (cf. Matt 6:25-32). Our trust must be in the Lord, his guidance, and provision for what is best for us. As the hymn writer expresses it:

I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day;
I don’t borrow from its sunshine, for its skies may turn to gray.
I don’t worry o’er the future, for I know what Jesus said;
And today I’ll walk beside Him, for He knows what lies ahead.
Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.24

As the old children’s chorus proclaims, “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow.”

Jesus employs the imagery of today and tomorrow in speaking of his own ministry. When some Pharisees warn Jesus that Herod Antipas intended to kill him (Luke 13:31), Jesus replies,

Go and tell that fox, “Look, I am casting out demons and performing healings, today and tomorrow and on the third day I will complete my work. Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is impossible that a prophet should be killed outside Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:32-33)

Jesus’ ministry was perfectly plain to him so that he knew that he would be killed in Jerusalem. Indeed, it was inevitably cast before him that he should die there (v. 34). Meanwhile his ministry must continue not only on the day when he spoke to the Pharisees, but throughout the coming “tomorrows,” which will reach their climax and earthly end on “the third day.” As Trite observes, “The mention of the “third day” here is a strong pointer to Jesus’ resurrection.”25

Indeed, the “third day” is a familiar and oft used motif in the Scriptures.26 Thus, on his final journey to Jerusalem declared to his disciples,

Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and experts in the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles. The will mock him, spit on him, flog him severely, and kill him. Yet after three days, he will rise again. (Mark 13:33-34)

Jesus’ “third day” was the capstone of his earthly ministry and stands as a ray of hope for all true believers. Thus the apostle Paul emphasized the strategic and crucial significance of that “tomorrow,” pointing out that without Christ’s resurrection there would be no hope for mankind. Moreover Paul declares that without the surety of the resurrection his ministry would have been wasted, saying “If from a human point of view I fought with the wild beasts at Ephesus, what did it benefit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Cor. 15:32) As Paul explains throughout 1 Corinthians 15, Christ’s resurrection is a proven fact. Therefore, those who trust in the living Christ can look forward to life after death (cf. vv. 20-22, 51-58). As the familiar hymn expresses it,

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow—
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!27

Meanwhile, as did Christ, let us live each day with the full knowledge of our blessed hope—the great “tomorrow.”

Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning,
When with our Savior heaven is begun;
Earth’s toiling ended, O glorious dawning,
Beyond the sunset, when day is done.28

In addition, with such an assured hope for “tomorrow,” let us labor tirelessly, serving as Jesus’ ambassadors (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14-20) so as to reach others in order that they also may have a share in the great “tomorrow.” As Paul told Timothy, “I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God, that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory” (2 Tim 2:10).

Today, Tomorrow, and Forever

The Scriptures make it clear the God who existed before the world began (cf. Gen. 1:1; John 1: 1-5) truly lives and reigns forever (cf. Exod. 15:18; Pss. 9:7; 10:18). He exists from eternity past to eternity in the future. Accordingly, a psalmist can exclaim: “May the glory of the LORD endure forever” (Ps.104:31; HCSB). Indeed, he is the One who is unsurpassed in faithful love and kindness:

I will sing about the LORD’s faithful love forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
For I will declare,
“Faithful love is built up forever;
You establish your faithfulness in the heavens.” (Ps. 89:1-2; HCSB)

So great is his loving-kindness that David can praise him not only as the “Shepherd” of his life but as such David can expect that:

Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
as long as I live. (Ps. 23:6; NET)

Although the psalmist is speaking about his life-long expectation of living with God, many have suggested that there is a hint here of life forever with God (cf. ESV; KJV; NKJV; NASB). The concept of life after death is indeed present elsewhere in the OLD Testament (cf. Job 14: 14-15; 19:26-27; Pss. 49:14-15; 73: 23-24; Dan. 12:2). Thus Kidner remarks,

Since the logic of God’s covenant allows no ending to His commitment to a man, as our Lord pointed out (Mt. 22:32), the Christian understanding of these words does no violence to them. “Neither death, nor life, … will be able to separate us from the love God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 29

In many versions of the Bible Jesus’ “model prayer” contains these closing words: “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever” (Matt. 6:13; HCSB). It is a full acknowledgement of God’s eternal kingdom. Thus the position and authority of God presented in the Old Testament is here repeated in some manuscripts of Matthew. Whatever the status of its authenticity, as Osborne correctly observes, although it may not be authentic, “It (and other endings) is based on 1 Chr 29:11-13 and is meaningful, so it is not wrong to utter the ending as a personal prayer.”30 In any case, it is certain that believers can well join in with Paul in saying,

Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!

For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has first given to God
that God needs to repay him?

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.

(Romans 11:33-36)

As Harrison remarks, “Paul asserts that God is the source, the means, and the goal of all things.”31 Hodge observes further that,

It is the radical principle of the Bible, and consequently of all true religion, that God is all and in all; that of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. It is the tendency of truth to exalt God, and to humble the creature; and it is characteristic of true piety to feel that all good comes from God, and to desire that all glory should be given to God.32

Today’s believers may likewise affirm with Paul that all glory belongs to the eternal, omniscient (and omnipotent, and omnipresent) God with this added truth: “To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever!” (Rom. 16: 27). For the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, abides and will with the Father reign forever. As the writer to Hebrews declares,

Of the Son he says,
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
and a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.
So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions
with the oil of rejoicing. (Heb. 1:8-9)

Here the author draws upon Psalm 45, a Davidic psalm (Ps 45: 6-7 [MT, 7-8]). Although the original setting of the psalm centered on God’s anointed earthly king as well as a member of the Davidic line to come, it is especially relevant to “The greater descendant, Christ himself (Luke 1:68-69 and Acts 13:32-37).” 33 As Bruce observes in his commentary on Hebrews, “This Messiah can be addressed not merely as God’s Son (verse 5) but actually as God, for He is both the Messiah of David’s line and also the effulgence of God’s glory and the very image of His substance.”34

Believers are especially blessed, for as united to Christ, the living bread and source of the believer’s nourishment and strength (John 6:47-51), they have the assurance not only of salvation in this present life, but life forever with the Lord (John 6:47-51). And not only this, but they have full access to God. As Paul declares to the Roman believers,

For I am convinced that neither death not life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, not height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38-39)

Thus the hymn writer exclaims with great praise,

To God be the glory—great things he hath done!
So loved He the world that that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

…….

O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory—great things He hath done.35

In John’s first Epistle John warns his readers not to “Love the world or the things in the world,” because “The world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever” (1 John 2:15, 17). In contrast to the world as we presently know it, the future holds the terrors of coming judgment. Therefore, to be passionately attached to worldly desires is both meaningless and dangerous. Indeed, John denounces three common worldly desires: fleshly desires, the lusty desires of the eyes, and the pride of possessions (v. 16). Moreover, “In contrast to the three passing lusts of the world, the doer of God’s will has three abiding goods, ‘riches, honour, and life’ (Prov. xxii: 4).” 36 This has its reward in a life that lasts forever. As Marshall remarks, “ It is foolish to desire the world because the world and its desires are passing away…. Permanence belongs to the person who does the will of God. He will remain standing amid the storms of judgment (Mt. 7:21, 24-27).”37 What is important, then, is God’s will and leading in one’s life. Moreover, we should be faithfully committed to God and desirous of his presence. As Lyte says,

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day,
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.38

A wise believer, then, rather than being carried away with thoughts of life’s possessions, will find his riches in the will of God and strive to live in accordance with the word of God. In so doing, believers will not only live righteous lives, but will have a genuine love and concern for others (cf. 1 Pet. 1:22). This they can do, for true believers,

Have been born anew, not from perishable but imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. For

all flesh is like grass
and its glory like the flower of the grass,
the grass withers and the flower falls off,
but the word of the Lord endures forever

And this is the word that was proclaimed to you.

As English observes, This word is “The Word which has been preached to us, the Word that we should be preaching to others, the Word by which we have been born again to new life, incorruptible and which liveth and abideth forever, the Word which causes us to love the brethren with fervent hearts.”39 Charles comments further, “The link between community and new birth is not to be lost on the readers. Mutual love cannot exist in unadulterated, unfeigned fashion without the element of purification that only comes by way of a new (i.e., spiritual) life.”40

So it is that by God’s love and grace believers are not only blessed forever, but while they remain on the earth they are to be so concerned for others that they freely give to help them:

Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way and at all times, you will overflow in in every good work. Just as it is written, he has scattered widely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever. (2 Cor. 9:7-9; cf. Ps. 112:9).

Here the “forever” of which Paul speaks is a state of natural affairs. If a believer is truly righteous, he shall always be able and willing to come up with something or some way to be of help to others, whether monetarily or in some practical way. Helping others or doing good, however, should not be done simply with the thought of gaining greater favor with God. Rather, that which is eagerly done with an unselfish desire to be service to others is a testimony to personal righteousness in Christ and will thus earn God’s blessing (cf. Matt. 6:1-4). As Hughes observes, “Once again we see that it is the heart of the giver that matters, as distinct from the quantity or the outwardness of the giving.”41 Although Paul’s “forever” here speaks of a consistent holy walk here and now, it blends in with and leads to that eternal “forever” to which we look forward with eager anticipation.

As we look forward to an eternal “forever” in the presence of the Lord, let us consistently conduct ourselves in righteous living with a concern for the testimony of God and the needs of others. Doing so will reassure us of the Lord’s guidance, presence, and provision.

Application

We have noted that each “today” should be spent in full dependence on the Lord for his guidance and provision. Moreover, we should be concerned to follow his will and to find instruction in his holy Word, the Bible. We noted as well that today soon leads to “tomorrow.” And as Jesus taught we must not be overly consumed with our plans and desires for “tomorrow” (cf. Matt. 6:33-34; James 4:13-15). Surely we know that it is the Lord who holds the key to all our “tomorrows.” We should therefore place our full confidence and trust in him, for he knows what we really need and what is best for us. Assuredly, then, it is his plans, which we must desire. We noted as well that in accordance with our bright hope for “tomorrow” we should have a burning desire to help others and communicate our hope to others so that they become fellow members of God’s family and experience his provision for them.

We also saw that our “tomorrow” leads to an eternal “forever” when we shall enjoy the visible presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and join with the heavenly throng in living praise, worship, and adoration of him. This surely reinforces our need to live in full dependence of the Lord and live in eager anticipation of that glorious future.

Just think! As earthly believers we lived yesterday in hopeful expectation of today. Yet our “today” blends into our “tomorrow” and that in turn to the blessed “forever,” in a new regenerated, refreshed, holy, and everlasting “forever.”

And there will be no more be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him, and they will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever. (Rev. 22:4-5)

Meanwhile, therefore, let us quiet our fears :

Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul! when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last. 42

Yes indeed, for believers all of this is certain, because God’s Son and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is he who “is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8)

Ah, fellow believers, whatever today’s trials and how great they may seem, by committing them into God’s care we may eagerly anticipate tomorrow and look forward to that grand, glorious, and awe inspiring forever in the presence of the Lord.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of his dear face all sorrow will erase
So gladly run the race till we see Christ.43

As the Apostle Peter tells us, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him belongs the power forever” (1 Pet. 5:10-11). As Osborne points out, “It is likely that these future tense verbs present inaugurated eschatology—that is, the strength that is available now begins a process that will continue until consummation at the return of Christ.”44 Truly we may agree with Jude that all praise, today tomorrow and forever belongs to our Lord:

Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing without blemish before his glorious presence, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. (Jude 1:24-25)


1 Charles W. Shedd, as cited in Lloyd Corey, Quotable Quotations (Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press, 1989), 403.

2 John Dryden, Imitation of Horace, Book III, ode 29 [1685] line 65 as cited in John Bartlett, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, ed. Justin Kaplan (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1992), 274-75.  

3 Sarah Knowles Bolton, as cited in James Dolton Morrison, ed., Masterpieces of Religious Verse (New York: Harper, 1948), 302.

4 Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural citations are taken from the NET.

5 Philip Edgecombe Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977), 140-41.

6 Mark D. Futato, “The Book of Psalms,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, Il: Tyndale House, 2009) 7:307-08.

7Lina Sandell, trans. by A. L. Skoong, “Day By Day and With Each Passing Moment.” 

8   I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, in The New International Greek Commentary (Grand Rapids:  I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, in The New International Greek Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 185.

9 David Brown, “Luke” in A Commentary Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the O)ld And New Testaments, 6 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948) 5; 339) emphasizes the significance of Christ’s words to the dying criminal for today’s believers as being an assurance of their immediate entrance into paradise at the time of death, where they taste “the bliss of heaven in substance.”  

10 J. Ramsey Michaels, “Hebrews,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, Il; Tyndale House, 1009) 17: 369. 

11 Civilla D. Martin, “God Will Take Care of You”

12 D. W. Whittle, “Moment By Moment.”

13 Philip Donner Stanhope Chesterfield, “Letters,” as cited in Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, op. cit., 503.

14 William Bright Rands, Lilliput Levee,” ibid.

15 Sydney Smith, Lady Holland’s Memoir, 1 :2: 12, as cited in Bartlett, op. cit., 380.

16 W. Boyd Carpenter, “ Three Days,” as cited in Morrison, Masterpieces of Religious Verse, op. cit., 359.

17 William Cowper, In Him Confiding,”  ibid., 96.

18 John N. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, in The New International Commentary on the Old Testament 2 vols.(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986) 1:414.

19 Oswalt, ibid.

20 Gary V. Smith, Isaiah 40-66, in The New American Commentary, ed. E. Ray Clendenen (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2009), 445.

21 Grant R. Osborne, “James,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W, Comfort,18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2011) 18: 96-97.  

22 R.T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, in The New International Commentary on The New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), 272.

23  John A. Broadus, Matthew (Philadelphia: The American Baptist Publication Society, 1886), 151-52.

24 Ire F. Stanmphill, “I Know Who Holds My Hand.”

25 Allison A. Trite, “The Gospel of Luke” I Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2006)12: 208. 

26 See Richard D. Patterson and Michael E. Travers, “The Third Day Motif,” Biblical Studies Press, 2009.

27 Thomas O. Chisholm, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

28 Virgil P. Brock, “Beyond the Sunset.”

29 Derek Kidner, Psalms 1-72, in Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, ed. D. J. Wiseman (Downers Grove: IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 112-13.

30 Grant R. Osborne, Matthew, in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 231.

31 Everett E. Harrison “Romans,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, 13 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008) 11: 181.

32 Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), 381.

33 Richard D. Patterson, “A Multiplex Approach to Psalm 45,” Grace Theological Journal, 6 (1945), 40-41.

34 F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 20.

35 Fanny J. Crosby, “To God Be the Glory.”

36 A.R. Fausset, “1 John,” in A Commentary Critical, Experimental and Practical on the Old and New Testaments, eds. Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, 6 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948) 6:634.

37 I. Howard Marshall, The Epistles of John, in The New International Commentary on The New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 144.

38 Henry F. Lyte, “Abide With Me.”

39 E. Schuyler English, The Life and Letters of Peter (New York: Publication office “Our Hope,” 1941), 171.

40 J. Daryl Charles, “1, 2 Peter, Jude,“ in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, 13 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) 13:171.

41 Philip Edgecombe Hughes, Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962), 334.

42 Katherine von Schlegel, Tr. Jan L. Borthwick, “Be Still My Soul.”

43 Esther Kerr Rusthoi, “When We See Christ.”

44 Grant R. Osborne, “1-2 Peter,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort, 18 vols. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2011) 18: 263.

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