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SUFFER2  5'?m2f Faith, suffering, and resurrection bodies

LIZ -- (enters carrying Bible and notes, crosses to podium) Hi,
welcome to the Bible Study. Last week we left off at Hebrews
eleven and verse thirty-five. Let's turn back to verse twenty
seven for a quick review of the great things these Old Testament
characters were able to accomplish by merely trusting in the
Lord. Hebrews chapter 11, verse 27. (reads)

"By faith Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he
persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept
the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer
of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By
faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but
when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. By faith
the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around
them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she
welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were
disobedient. And what more shall I say? I do not have time to
tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and
the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered
justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of
lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of
the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became
powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received
back their dead, raised to life again."

Isn't it wonderful what faith can do?! (flips page) Okay, let's
move on to chapter 12.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by..."

AMY -- (stands in audience) Excuse me.

LIZ -- Yes?

AMY -- You didn't finish chapter eleven.

LIZ -- I know, but we're moving on to chapter twelve. (reads)
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by..."

AMY -- Excuse me.

LIZ -- (irritated) Yes?

AMY -- There's a lot more stuff on faith at the end of chapter
eleven.

LIZ -- Yes. I suppose there is. But we're going to skip over
that. (reads) "Therefore, since we are surrounded by..."

AMY -- Excuse me.

LIZ -- What!

AMY -- You only read half of that last verse. Shouldn't you, at 
least, read the rest of the verse?

LIZ -- No.

AMY -- It's okay, then, I'll read it.

LIZ -- That won't be....

AMY -- The last part of the verse says (reads) "Others were 
tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a 
better resurrection."

LIZ -- I really don't like those passages.

AMY -- Listen, while I'm reading, I might as well read the rest
of the verses in the chapter.

LIZ -- I really wish you wouldn't... (holds abdomen, reacts to
each word of violence with increasing nausea and disgust)

AMY -- (reads with emphasis on the words of violence) "Some
faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and
put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two;"

LIZ -- (groans) Gruesome.

AMY -- "they were put to death by the sword. They went about in
sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated--
the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and
mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground."

LIZ -- Stop! Stop!

AMY -- What's the matter?

LIZ -- I think I'm going to be sick. That's what's the matter. I
hate those passages. I get nauseated every time I read them. I
have no idea why they're even in the Bible. Christianity is
supposed to be about (sings the words) JOY and PEACE and
KINDNESS and GENTLENESS. How can a person have JOY and PEACE,
when he's... when he's...

AMY -- ...being sawed in half?

LIZ -- (holds stomach) Stop that! (steps back from podium, looks
around the room) Does anybody have any Rolaids? Aspirins?

AMY -- There's good news here, you know.

LIZ -- Good news. What's so good about.... About...

AMY -- ...being sawed in half?

LIZ -- I think I'm going to be sick.

AMY -- Wait. I'm still not finished with Hebrews eleven. There's
good news here. (reads) "These people were all commended for
their faith, yet none of them received what had been 
promised...."

LIZ -- That doesn't sound like good news to me.

AMY -- Here's the very last verse in Hebrews eleven. Listen.
(reads) "God had planned something better for US...."

LIZ -- ...I certainly hope so.

AMY -- (reads) ... "so that only together with us would they be
made perfect."

LIZ -- That's ridiculous! How can somebody be made perfect after
he's been... (holds stomach) after he's been.... (points
to Amy) Don't say it! Don't you dare say it! (looks around the
room) Anybody got any Tums or Alka Selzer? Anybody?

AMY -- Well, that's the whole point of Hebrews, isn't it?

LIZ -- What's the point? Getting nauseated? (looks around the
room) I think I'd better find a place to lie down.

AMY -- The point is that if all these Old Testament people
endured hardships without the advantage we have of knowing the
savior personally, the LEAST we can do, since we know the
savior, is hang in there until Jesus comes again and brings our
resurrection bodies.

LIZ -- (exiting, holding head and stomach) I sure hope my
resurrection body doesn't need Alka Seltzer. (turns) Oh, class
dismissed. (turns, exits)
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