Mark Frankian joins Dan Jarms to discuss the resurrection, ascension, and return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this episode we address what these truths mean for our understanding of the "big picture" storyline of the Bible, and the future, as well as our current daily lives.
Dan Jarms 0:00
Today on faith matters, we are continuing our series faith basics where we are covering basic doctrines. And Mark Frankian is going to be in the studio with me talking about the return of Christ and how essential that is to the gospel into our future hope.
Dan Jarms 0:21
I'm Dan Jarms. And you're listening to faith matters a podcast to help update you on matters of faith Bible Church, as well as equip you in matters of the Christian faith.
Dan Jarms 0:40
I have Mark Frankian with me. And as we get started, we have a couple of things to say about the resurrection, ascension and return. And they have to do with one of the themes of the exaltation of Christ. And Psalm two, verse seven. Today you are my son gets quoted in Hebrews. And Psalm 110, one and two, get quoted all over the New Testament. As the Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand and until I make your enemies a footstool, especially again, Hebrews. And then in Daniel, chapter seven, the Son of Man comes forward who has given the reign over all things. And those all have to do with the exultation where God has full and final victory over all his enemies. Mark, you had some other thoughts too, about the the big picture of these three?
Mark Frankian 1:35
Yeah, yeah, I was just trying to think through how to look at this as part of the big picture of Scripture and the storyline and what God is doing. And I think consummation is a good word for that to kind of, you know, God, God's in control over everything from the beginning of time to the end of time, and but with these last few pieces of events in time, that would be kind of the consummation of his plan. Yeah,
Dan Jarms 2:01
one of the most simple frameworks for the gospel is creation, fall, redemption, consummation. And that's what we're in here. So we're in the consummation category. And it's important to cover this not not just to refresh ourselves, but in contemporary Christianity, there is one stream of thought that we are in the kingdom right now. And it's spoken of as an over realized eschatology or ever realized in times in that we're experiencing all the blessings of resurrection now. And that's not the way the Bible speaks of it all the blessings of resurrection and return and the kingdom will come at His return. So right now, we're still we're still living in the waiting in the exile. So that's a major stream. So we've got to get these topics, right. So that we know what we're expecting here on Earth and what's to come?
Mark Frankian 2:59
Yeah, I think I've heard it and used it. A lot of people talked about that as the already but not yet. Some things of what was promised in the Old Testament in the kingdom are here already, but some things are not yet.
Dan Jarms 3:12
Yeah. So let's break it down in the pieces. Mark, let's talk about each different piece resurrection, ascension return. So when we thinking of the resurrection of Christ, what are we focusing on?
Mark Frankian 3:26
I think a couple of the big things would be how God confirmed who Christ is and the work that he did, and that the atonement for sin and justification for those by faith is complete.
Dan Jarms 3:39
I think that's an essential reality on Easter Sunday. We love the reality that there is life after death. And that's true, and it's glorious. Jesus can't promise eternal life unless there's life after death. But resurrection, in order to, in order to secure our place requires atonement and atonement is proven by the resurrection. There would be another no other proof. If we didn't have Jesus bodily rise, we wouldn't know if the sacrifice was accepted by God the Father. So that's, that's really good confirmation. What are some of the other benefits? We talked about life after death? What are some of the other big ideas that come with resurrection,
Mark Frankian 4:20
the end of death, the death is defeated. Christ has victory over death, that that's a real thing. It matters now. It's mattered to me the last few days, if it's some of the details of life, so yeah, that's a real hope and comfort and encouragement.
Dan Jarms 4:34
Yeah, in this in this side of Jesus coming back, all of us have to face the horrors and tragedy of death. We don't have to be overwhelmed by it. We don't have to be people without hope, but we still have to face it. Okay, then on the ascension. This is one that doesn't get as much press, you know, among Christians, although it's exciting. nificantly important, what's the ascension? A couple
Mark Frankian 5:02
of words or ideas with the ascension in my mind are specifically the exaltation. The word exalt is used if Christ Philippians two and others that He is exalted, on the throne of the right hand of God. Another would be, he reigns. And I think, read a quote from Augustine and how he viewed he called them festivals, the incarnation, the crucifixion and resurrection. And then the third festival would be Ascension Day would be how they're all connected and all part again of what God's plan and His grace and completing the work so, so yeah, just God's grace and again, proving who Christ was in Christ reigns now that's the ministry we have now is with Christ draining the Ascended Christ.
Dan Jarms 5:51
Yeah, there's one one key sense where the resurrection and the ascension are linked together for the exaltation of Christ. But in other sense, they're, they're different in that the resurrection, proved that Jesus was alive. The Ascension is where he begins his heavenly rain. And Hebrews one three, says he sat down at the right hand of God. And that sitting down is not Oh, he finally finished his job. And now he can relax, put his feet up. No, he's, he's on the throne raining, so it's essential to his reign. It's also part two of the inauguration of the new covenant. Yeah, the
Mark Frankian 6:36
Atonement is complete Christ. The the work on the cross has finished, you know, he said is it's finished on the cross, so that that's completed. But the the part that's continuing now is the gathering together the people in the kingdom, by faith through grace. So I think that's the work that's ongoing. Now. We're part of that mission, as part of our mission here, all biblical churches would be would be part of that.
Dan Jarms 7:03
Yeah. So the New Covenant ministry is going forward. The New Covenant when Jesus inaugurated it, part one, he said, This is the new covenant in my blood. So that was part of it, and that new covenants announced Jeremiah and Ezekiel. And the second part has to do with renewing work of the Holy Spirit that is now going on in all life. So when Jesus ascended the throne, I he, he told the disciples, I have to go so that you can have the Holy Spirit. And we see on Ascension, Jesus going to the right hand of the Father, and then they all waited for Pentecost in which He poured out His Spirit. So part one, the blood of Christ, part two, the Spirit that He sent, and now we're being gathered in. Yeah, so the New Covenant ministries going on. So that's critical. Without Christ ascending, we don't get the Holy Spirit. So it's essential, essential connection.
Mark Frankian 7:54
I think another part of it, that we'll talk probably more about later, in terms of impact on our lives is that Christ now on the throne, yes, king, but also as high priest, and is an accessible high priest who identifies with the human condition, and that accessibility to the high priest and to the king is a big deal in terms of daily life.
Dan Jarms 8:19
First Timothy 254, there is one God and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time, so that his death allows him that high priestly place now he sits as mediator for us as that high priest of that new covenant. Now, let's talk about the return. So we what we're doing is we're laying out here's what they are, and then we're gonna talk about the significance in a moment. Talk about the return
Mark Frankian 8:51
reminds me of Psalm 24. Cain glory, who is the king glory, the one spoken of who is the glorious King and the return who will set everything right. I think there are different words that come to mind for that glory, obviously, one hope we talked about in preparation for this, but I think also even things like victory, peace, the Hebrew word shalom, you know, everything is in its place. That's part of what's in my mind when I think of the return of Christ and setting things right.
Dan Jarms 9:24
Yeah, we lots of congregations saying it but we finally saying Is he worthy, great, Andrew Peterson song quoted out of revelation five, and John the Apostle at the thought that nobody could open the scrolls and it would be eternity that we would suffer under sin and Satan wept and then finally the lamb steps forward. So back to your original word on consummation. That's where Shalom is brought forward to us on the return of Christ, it's it's important to think that that all three of these topics resurrection, ascension and return are essential gospel elements. If you don't believe Christ is returning, you're not yet a Christian. Because it's it's essential to see him as reigning and victorious. And believe those promises, so the return of Christ has always been part of from the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, all through the earliest. This is an essential portion, a portion of it. And in fact, apostolic preaching, they show up and preach to a bunch of Gentiles who didn't know a lot about Christianity. They would preach about Christ crucified, Christ raised and Christ returning. And I think of one of those in first Thessalonians chapter one, and the Apostle Paul commends their faith. He says, in 194, they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God into wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the rat to come. So essential in Gospel hope, and essentially gospel preaching is the fact that Jesus is going to return. So if you're talking to a friend who's not yet a Christian, and you want to say, can I tell you the story of the Bible, you need to finish the story of the Bible of Jesus coming to return to judge the living in the dead to rescue his own. That's that's essential gospel preaching. And it's essential for our hope it's essential for our and so that language, used in the Creed's and used throughout church history comes from Acts 10. First Timothy four I preach because of this impetus that Christ is going to return to judge the living and the dead Second Timothy four one. So that's a significant part.
Mark Frankian 12:03
Yeah, I think that's part of why I prefer the term conservation over a term like redemption or even restoration is the final part of the Gospel story and God's plan because it includes judgment. And it's more you production is huge, obviously, but it's not all there is there is judgment. There is an issue for people who don't accept the redemption in Christ. Yeah, yeah. But at first Thessalonians bashes grace, speaking about several aspects of things we're talking about. Turning from idols to a living God, Christ came bodily, the incarnation he was resurrected bodily, he'll return bodily, and wait for your Son from heaven, verse 10, whom he raised from the dead, who rescues us from the wrath to come. Yeah. Great, great passage.
Dan Jarms 12:50
So that's briefly what the doctrines are, very briefly, what what are some of the significant aspects to these for our life?
Mark Frankian 12:59
I'll start with the resurrection, I think, Second Timothy 281, of my favorite verses, where Paul starts to give a little more detail to his church to Timothy about how to disciple he, in the beginning of chapter two of Second Timothy talks about discipling, faithful man who can disciple others and then in verse eight, he says, Remember Christ Jesus, risen from the dead, and, and that's, that's power over life and death. He's the living one. He's there's all kinds of stuff wrapped up in that, that he's faithful. He's fulfilled the promises the Old Testament, just like he promised he would. And he has power over life and death, all the details of life and death, and is alive and enthroned, exalted to prove that, so that's a big, big deal in real life, I think,
Dan Jarms 13:50
what are some of the significance as to the ascension?
Mark Frankian 13:52
Well, continuing that same thought, I mean, he rains now he's, he's sovereign. He's over the details of life, over empowerment, as you mentioned, to put off sin and turn to Him in faith in difficult circumstances, pain, suffering, whatever it might be. But he he is accessible, even now on a throne of heaven, through prayer and the ministry of his spirit and word, powerful, powerful Jews,
Dan Jarms 14:21
as Americans who have perpetual election cycles. If it's not a local election, or a state election, Senate, Congress, its presidents. And so we're always thinking about change in power. We're always thinking about who is reigning on the throne and that's one of the things I love about the ascension when it comes to who rules the world. So Jesus, starting in Daniel seven, you see this. You see it all over but you see this really clear sign when Israel is wondering about their future Sure, they're under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, their exile in Babylon. And here comes this vision of Christ, who is the exalted Christ, who is the Ruler of all things and, and that's what is such a great comfort about about Ephesians, the end of Ephesians one because he is he has been placed as head over all things, he has been given his head over all things. And he just talked about nations rulers, principalities, demonic and, and worldly of Christ is the head over all things. That's a huge comfort that He's sovereign over at all. Amen. So that's a that's a glorious truth. And add to the fact that the Christian has the intercessory work of Jesus, who is at the right hand of the throne of God and right now, we should be people who have inner Shalom.
Mark Frankian 15:51
Yeah, yeah, I don't think about that enough. Christ was praying for us. Now. He's interceding for us now. Yeah. And then
Dan Jarms 15:57
what's the significance as you think about the return,
Mark Frankian 16:01
the return is, again, continuing the same thought. I mean, he, as he has fulfilled his promises in the incarnation, the crucifixion, resurrection, and essentially, He will be faithful to complete his his plan, fulfill his promises, set everything right on his return, hope, there's hope and that there is justice and that all will be right.
Dan Jarms 16:26
One of the incredible hopes about Christ's return is he's the one who essentially sets all things straight. There are streams of Christianity, that make it seem as though we have to make all things get set straight. So we have to work hard and do our job and repent enough and get, get the city to repent and the government to repent and, and change all of those things. And then we will have done enough and Jesus will come and finish. But according to the Bible, and the passages that we just talked about, we simply are faithful gospel Proclaimers, and we live faithfully to the gospel in the world that we interact with. But we're still in exile. Right? And so from Peters, talk about exiles, to Hebrews talking about exiles, it's it's important to know that we're really not assuring in the return of Christ, he'll come in his time, and set all things straight. All we have to do is be faithful, we don't have to make anything happen.
Mark Frankian 17:34
Yeah, we cannot. I mean, I can no more change myself than I can change someone else. So foundationally by the grace of God with his plan, his work, that's the foundation for for all things. He initiates salvation, He complete salvation. Not not that were irresponsible, or don't do anything. I know. You're not saying that. But no, no, we have responsibilities, but it is to be faithful to accomplish the works God has for us. And First Corinthians three, trust Him for the fruit that he might bring to that and the timing of the ultimate return of Christ.
Dan Jarms 18:12
Yeah, if I were to wrap up, I think one of the great benefits to my soul, about the resurrection is the fact that the resurrection is life giving we have hope. When Jesus says if you believe in me, you'll have eternal life. It's because there's a resurrection, that we know that that life is not going to just be a ghostly spiritual existence, it's going to be a real body in a real new heavens and a real New Earth. So there's there's a life giving truth to that. The Ascension is awe inspiring, because everything about the ascension means that we have an exalted preeminent Messiah, who by His grace is mediating for us is interceding for us. And then it's hope giving the return of Christ is hope giving to us, He will come, He will judge he will rescue. So these these are essential and they're designed to for our to know them for our salvation and for our transformation. How does this kind of thing transform us? Mark?
Mark Frankian 19:20
I think it transforms us by the grace of God to shift our focus from ourself to Christ for one, and from a life in this world to to the glory of the next so, we may be blessed and I have been blessed throughout my life in various ways, but they're all just passing blessings, the passing pleasures, even blessings, that point to a greater blessing in the greater glory of eternity with Christ. So, but I think Philippians two and be with Christ ending His humiliation of becoming human being exalted to the position he's in now rightfully at the right hand of God on the throne, that we can now looking to Him, emulate his life on Earth with the power that He gives the grace He gives the work he does in us, however imperfect I am, and we are, he will complete His work in us individually and corporately and throughout time. And that's a huge encouragement and blessing.
Dan Jarms 20:31
Thank you, Mark. Thank you. Thanks for working through this with us. powerful truths, it shapes the trajectory and it helps the soul knowing what we're looking for eternally. These truths mean that there is a hope for those who have fallen asleep in Christ, our beloved loved ones who have passed away in Christ that we will be together with the Lord again. So they ground us in in all areas of life. So, if you have any other questions that tie into this, feel free to email us at info at FB church.org And we would love to handle more questions like this
Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.View Resources by Dan Jarms