SermonTransfigured Lifestyles
An all-creatures Bible Message

Transfigured Lifestyles
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
14 February 2021
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

2 Kings 2:1-14
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
 
Transfigured lifestyles, we believe is what God really wanted when Jesus showed some of the disciples the transfiguration that took place in the Bible.
 
The disciples saw Jesus being transfigured into His spiritual being when He met with the spiritual beings of Moses and Elijah on the hilltop.
 
This wasnít to be a mere curiosity for the disciples to see, it was to be a life-changing event so that they would live a spiritual lifestyle.
 
Even if they were not transfigured, they were to truly understand the heavenly will of God.
 
Thus, by living in the spiritual realm even while still upon the earth, the disciplesí own lifestyles would be seen as being quite different from others, so that what they taught would be more believable, even if some people didnít believe because of their hardness of heart.
 
We also believe that we can have what the angels are reported to have said about Jesusí birth: peace on earth and good will to all living beings.
 
Think about what it would be like if we had none of the violence and corruption that cause millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
 
We would no longer have all the chronic diseases that come from raising animals for food, and our healthcare costs would dramatically go down.
 
We would no longer have most of the pollution and global warming that is causing massive problems all around the world.
 
And we just learned recently that global warming and pollution are causing premature births.
 
We would have enough food to feed everyone upon this earth.
 
We would no longer have the wars and terrorism that have been plaguing this world; we would have peace.
 
Letís think about these things, and in particular transforming lifestyles, as we look at 2 Kings 2:1-14.
 
1. When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
 
From the above statement, we learn that Elijah has a transfigured lifestyle, otherwise the Lord would not have been planning to take him up to heaven.
 
Elisha was Elijahís assistant, and a lot more as we shall see as we read on in this passage.
 
2. Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel."
But Elisha said, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel.
 
Elijah understood that the Lord was about to take him into heaven, and he didnít want Elisha troubled by what he might see.
 
However, here is where we see the bond that Elisha has with Elijah.
 
3. The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?"
"Yes, I know," Elisha replied, "but do not speak of it."
 
The company of the prophets, whoever they may have been, obviously were prompted by the Lord about what was about to happen, which indicates that they were most likely living transfigured lifestyles to some extent.
 
And from what Elisha said, he also knew, but didnít want to talk about it, because he didnít want Elijah to go.
 
4. Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho."
And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went to Jericho.
 
This is the second time that Elijah told Elisha to ďstay hereĒ but he refused to leave him.
 
Elishaís bond to Elijah was very strong, but we are told nothing about his bond with the Lord.
 
5. The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?"
"Yes, I know," he replied, "but do not speak of it."
 
Again, we are told about another company of the prophets who told Elisha the same thing, and he replied the same way.
 
6. Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan."
And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So the two of them walked on.
 
This was the third time that Elijah told Elisha to ďstay hereĒ and again Elisha replied the same way.
 
7. Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan.
 
However, some of the prophets of Jericho, who obviously knew from the Lord what was about to happen, stayed at a distance to observe.
 
8. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
 
To do something like this requires a lot of faith which is proof that Elijah had a transformed lifestyle.
 
9. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?"
"Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied.
 
This is where we believe that Elisha really wanted to be like Elijah and accept the same responsibilities and be one of the people with transfigured lifestyles, even if not as completely as we believe that Jesus points us toward, and as we discussed in the beginning.
 
10. "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours-otherwise not."
 
Elijah knew that what Elisha asked for was not his to give; it was up to God, and that is why he answered him in this way.
 
11. As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
 
12. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.
 
This was a way of expressing mourning because Elisha had lost the father figure he loved.
 
We also need to think about the fact that Elijah was taken directly into heaven without having to pass through death.
 
13. He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
 
14. Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.
NIV
 
Elisha didnít seem to be completely sure that the spirit that was upon Elijah was upon him, and we believe that was the main reason that he said what he said.
 
And most importantly, we all need to realize that the God of Elijah is also our God, and that together, we all need to have transfigured lifestyles.
 
In 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, Paul writes about having transfigured lifestyles, even though it isnít by that name.
 
1. Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
 
When we have transfigured lifestyles, we do not lose heart when faced with adversity; we just keep plugging away at whatever ministry God has blessed us with.
 
Then Paul goes on and stated some of the things that were required to have transfigured lifestyles.
 
2. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
 
To do this, we need to have heavenly love, compassion, and empathy, for we need to feel what others feel, whether humans or other animals.
 
3. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
 
Even if parts of the gospel message and the heavenly will of God are unclear to us, they are even moreso for the unbeliever.
 
Remember that these things were unclear to Elisha after Elijah was translated into heaven.
 
4. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
 
Paul was referring to the spiritual image and not the physical image, for God is all spirit.
 
5. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
 
This happens when we are truly born again and are filled with the Holy Spirit.
 
6. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
NIV
 
If we truly believe and accept this heavenly light, we not only shine this light into the darkness of this world, but this is what gives us transfigured lifestyles.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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