Is Hell real or just a story…

Is Hell real or just a story

In the humanistic or self seeking world we live in Hell is not a popular topic. Outside of a joking context you do not hear about it much. If you go to a Bible teaching church that is faithful in proclaiming God’s word in total you will hear about it. If you go to a lukewarm church looking to increase attendance numbers and build its finances you may never here about the consequences of sin. And worst of all if you do not believe eternal damnation is real you will have no burden to have your sins forgiven or to reach spiritually lost family, friends and neighbors.

What do you believe this morning about the consequences of sin? If scripture is relevant for today, and it is, then those without Christ as Savior who die…

II Thes 1:8,9 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of our Lord and from the glory of His power.”

Remember God and His truths do not change down through the ages like our ever changing technology advancements. His truths are absolute and can be counted on regardless of the age you live in.

Malachi 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I change not…”

There are many who will end up in hell and thought they were ‘Christian’ and even thought their lives and intentions were Godly.

Mat 7:22, 23 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”

The good news is that there is an escape from the consequences of sin …

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life and that life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life and he that has not the Son of God has not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

How about you? Will you hear, ‘Depart from Me’ or ‘Well done’!!?? Will you take the escape route that God offers?

How about the person sitting or living next to you? Where would they go and do they know that there is only one Way to heaven??????

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

How will they hear if we keep silent?

Choose you this Day…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; …”

Choose you this Day!

This morning think of all the people and organizations asking for your
priorities. They request and some even demand your attention, time and monies. Some are worthwhile while many are not.

They include the company you work for, your family, the bank, the local and national charities, your friends, your 401K, your immediate job, your health, your????

Here is the telling question. Did serving Jesus enter into your thought process? And if it did was it first or someplace down the list? If it was there or what place it was on the list says a lot about where our focus in life really is….! God’s desire for us is;

Mat 6:33a “But SEEK you FIRST the kingdom of God and its righteousness…”

Joshua 22:5 “Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which
Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to LOVE the Lord your God,
and to WALK in all His ways, and to KEEP His commandments, and to CLEAVE unto Him, and to SERVE Him with all your heart and with all your soul
.”

In a world demanding your priorities remember only one will last for eternity. I challenge myself and encourage you this morning to…..

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites (your location in this world), in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me!

The choice on who and what we will serve is all up to us. So…………….

Romans 12:1,2 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

First you must start by;

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me”

If you are not sure if you are born again try reading the Gospel of John for the answer! Time is short and it is never to late!

James 4:14 “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

Godly Discipline…

Hebrews 12:11-13a “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet…”

Godly Discipline

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

THINK ABOUT THIS
For two years, scientists sequestered themselves in an artificial environment called Biosphere 2. Inside their self-sustaining community, the Biospherians created a number of mini-environments, including a desert, rain forest, even an ocean. Nearly every weather condition could be simulated except one, wind.

Over time, the effects of their windless environment became apparent. A number of acacia trees bent over and even snapped. Without the stress of wind to strengthen the wood, the trunks grew weak and could not hold up their own weight. Though our culture shuns hardship, we would do well to remember that God uses it for our good that we may share in his holiness”.

Jay Akkerman

James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers’ temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. “

Proverbs 13:24 “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”

The Ant and the Contact Lens – Fear…

Mat 11:28a “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…

The Ant and the Contact Lens – Fear…

A story by Josh and Karen Zarandona

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing.
Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a
tremendous granite cliff.

In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the
rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge
where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the
safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact
lens. Here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her
and hundreds of feet above her.

Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had
landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there. So here she was, far
from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get
upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got
to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens,
but there was no contact lens to be found.

She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting
for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked
out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible
verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the
whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, you can see all these mountains.
You know every stone and leaf, and you know exactly where my contact
lens is. Please help me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom
there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff.
One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be
startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving
slowly cross the face of the rock, carrying it!

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him
the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he
drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord,
I don’t know why you want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and
it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what you want me to do, I’ll carry it
for you.”

At the risk of being accused of being fatalistic, I think it would
probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why
you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully
heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.”

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

Mat 11:28 “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest
Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Integrity and Truth at All Cost…

Integrity and Truth at All Cost!

It may be just me, but I do not think so. It seems like one of our biggest enemies we battle on a daily basis is truth, honesty and integrity. Daily especially in our politics this vital quality is missing from most of our politicians. Closer to home can those around us really trust that we go out of our way to be honest? I hope and pray so. As I think of why the battle is so intense the Holy Spirit reminds me of what happened in the Garden. Adam and Eve were lied to by the master deceiver and ever since he has been actively trying to convince us that honesty is not all that important. You know, especially if no one gets hurt. But of course, that ignores the fact that a loving God is watching and is hurt when we sin. And that little white lie is as big of a sin as any of the other sins.

James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

 Proverbs 8:7 “For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Can people take you at your word?

Mat 5:37 ” But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”

Evil or lies are started and continue today with the father of lies
(satan) whispering, “it’s ok, you’re not hurting anyone”. It’s not hurting anyone.

Listen to who we are associated with when we take that course;

John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the
desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does
not stand in the truth because – there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

When I meet God…

Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

When I meet God…..

What will it be like? The question is, what will it be like when I pass from this life and meet God? Did you know that each of us will someday stand at one of the Judgment Seats of God? Yes, it’s true.

For believers or those who are ‘born again’ our sins are covered by Jesus blood so we will not stand at the Judgment seat with salvation as the topic. All unbelievers will stand at that Judgment seat which in scripture is called the “Great White Throne Judgment” with its verdict based on what or who was being trusted in for salvation.

Believers will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ where we will be judged and receive crowns for our service for our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What did we do for Jesus after we were ‘born again’. There are no works I can do to be saved. But after I am saved my works for my Savior are very important. That is why He left us on this earth after He saved us.

So, how is your service this morning? Did you give it any thought before heading off to work or planned your day at home? How will you serve Jesus today? We live in a blasphemous world with little to no intent on serving Jesus during the day. Our God and His name are much abused but some day every knee will bow to Jesus and confess that He is Lord.

Phil 2:9,10 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”

So, once again, how do you think you will act at that meeting with Jesus on your Judgment Day? And maybe more importantly which one of those Judgment Seats will you be at? The scriptures offer some great examples of believers and their reactions when they experienced God interacting directly with them;

The martyred believers during the Great Tribulation period awaiting Jesus return to earth…

Rev 19:1,2a ” And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments:…”

One example of worship that occurs in heaven while awaiting Jesus 2nd coming…

Rev 19:4,5 “And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.”

Abraham’s reaction when he meets God…

Gen 17:1-3 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face:”

When God gave Isaac direction, he in turn gave all the credit to God and worshipped Him only…

Gen 26:24,25 “And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. And he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.”

Jacob and his encounter with God…

Gen 46:1-3 “And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:”

Moses meets God…

Exodus 3:5,6 “And he said, draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover, he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”

John meets God…

Rev 22:8 “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.”

We have the awesome privilege of access to God the Father through God the Son in the power of God the Holy Spirit at any time through the day. The question is, how do I react to that……………..?

John 4:23, 24″ But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Some reminders to our world!

Romans 14:11 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

God’s Mercies are New Every Day – Give Thanks…

Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; because His mercy endures forever.”

God’s Mercies are New Every Day – Give Thanks…..

Thanksgiving week is here and for the believer, this time of the year has special meaning. Our Lord said.

Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; because His mercy endures forever.”

This is one of the hallelujah Psalms that was a part of the Passover celebration. For Israel, this was thanksgiving for deliverance from Egypt and death at the first Passover. All believers are to be marked by a spirit of thankfulness, all the time, not just on Thanksgiving Day.

May I suggest that this Thanksgiving you ought to be thankful that we already have Thanksgiving!  Think of the difficulty we would most certainly face today in trying to start a day of national thanksgiving to God for His bountiful blessings like the Pilgrims did in 1621. It might be impossible! And surely would be a political war when you express Who you are giving thanks to.

The first thanksgiving feast was held in a public place and the A.C.L.U. and People for the American way, who consider themselves the self-proclaimed protectors from all things religious, would certainly object. The menu would even present greater conflicts, with so many turkeys, deer and other animals prepared for eating.

The original Thanksgiving holiday lasted three days. Given all these factors and most importantly given Who is our God and what He means to our lives, we ought to first be thankful for all the blessings from God and then be thankful that we have a day set aside in our nation for giving thanks. Based on current state of affairs if we tried to do it over again, we might not succeed.

I trust that your Thanksgiving Day will be a blessed time of reflecting again on the gracious goodness of God and for His mercies that are new every day.

Remember to stop before you dig into that meal and GIVE THANKS!!!!!

I Thes 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore, Pray without ceasing, In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”