Heaven or hell – my choice…

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

Heaven or Hell – my choice….

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We are traveling by train,
out the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of children waving at a crossing,
cattle grazing on a distant hillside, row upon row of corn and wheat, flatlands and
valleys, mountains and rolling hillsides and city skylines.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day, we will
pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving.

Once we get there, our dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will
fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle.

Restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes – waiting, waiting, waiting
for the station.

“When we reach the station that will be it!” we cry.

“When I’m 18.”

“When I buy a new 450sl Mercedes Benz!”

“When I put the last kid through college.”

“When I have paid off the mortgage!”

“When I get a promotion.”

“When I reach retirement, I shall live happily ever after!”

Sooner or later, we realize there is no station, no one place to arrive. The true joy
of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

“Relish the moment for His glory” is a good motto, especially when coupled
with Psalm 118.34: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will
rejoice and be glad in it.”

It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and
the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains
for His glory, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers,
watch more of His sunsets, laugh more, cry less, tell more people about Jesus.

Life must be lived as we go along and it must be lived to bring the glory to Jesus
if it is to be eternally meaningful.

Most importantly is that we do all of the above to bring glory to Jesus instead
of living for self and do all things by His power and not our own.

The station is then a place to look forward to rather than complain about or fear. Each of
us will reach one of two stations. The choice is up to us.

1 John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath 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.”

Rev. 20:14-15 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

So, will you be in the heavenly station, and what is your ticket based on?

Differing Definitions – The Bible vs Worlds’…

Differing Definitions – Bible vs World

Do you ever wonder why so many biblical definitions differ from those that our world thinks are correct and teaches? The answer comes from the biblical truth of who is the god of this world for a moment in time and what his objectives are. Listen as God reminds us of why our world is so messed up.

II Cor 4:3,4 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Isa 14:12-14 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

So now you see that the one messing up our world is satan and his philosophies. That explains a lot about the philosophies of our world and most of its leaders. It also explains why we see the garbage on TV and hear the garbage on our communications giants that we do. Our enemy, the god of this world for a moment in time, is actively working to train our minds to feel that sin is normal and ok. One way he does that is to create different definitions for words having importance to our understanding of God and His eternal values. The following are some of the many definitions that we need to search the scriptures about to identify their true meaning.

  • Christian
    • From our Worlds Dictionaries;
      • one who professes belief in the teachings of JesusChrist based on or conforming with Christianity <Christianethics>
      • of, relating to, or being a Christian <Christian responsibilities>
      • professing Christianity <a Christianaffirmation> <a Christian country >
    • May I add that the greater emphasis of our world is on belonging to a Church organization that has the name of Jesus in it. Be very careful with that one. Many churches having the name of Jesus in them do not truly believe what Jesus said and the reason He came to this earth. Reference the ‘Born Again’ definition issue. Those churches teach Jesus plus works to be ‘born again’. If that were the case, then Jesus died in vain because His sacrifice for our sins was not adequate.
      • 2 Corinthians 11:4a,13 “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached…For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.”
      • Gal 2:16-21 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
    • God’s word gives us the truth that any person placing their faith in Jesus alone for their salvation is a CHRISTian. See ‘Born Again’ definition in scripture.
      • Acts 11:26 1st called Christians.
      • John 3:3 You must be ‘born again’ to be a biblical Christian.
    • Saint
      • From our Worlds Dictionaries;
        • Holy person. In the New Testament, The Apostle Paulused the term to mean a member of the Christian community, but the term more commonly refers to those noted for their holiness and venerated during their lifetimes or after death. In Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, saints are publicly recognized by the church and are considered intercessors with God for the living. They are honored on special feast days, and their remains and personal effects are venerated as relics. Often Christian saints perform miracles in their lifetime, or miracles occur in their names after their death. In Islam, wali (“friend of God”) is often translated as saint; in Buddhism, arhats and bodhisattvas are roughly equivalent to saints. Hindu sadhus are somewhat similar. See also canonization.
      • So, you see from the dictionaries of our world that these are spiritually special people having given their life to serving or to martyrdom. Only a few obtain the status and it is obtained via a church proclamation. They become mediators between God and mankind.
      • God says that saints are all those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior or all of those who are ‘Born Again’. Yes, I am a saint using God’s definition even if some around me fail to see it. See the beginning chapter of many of the Epistles in scripture that announce they have been written to the saints. Not one or two people but the whole church at that location. While reading the Epistles it is obvious that they are written to those believing in Jesus and not just to a select group of special Christians. The scriptures are not talking about a select group of persons but to all those who have placed their faith in Jesus. Noted below is just one of the many examples you will find in scripture if you search for them.
        • Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
      • Mediator
        • From Worlds Dictionaries’;
          • one that mediatesespecially :  one that mediates between parties at variance
          • Sin causes a variance between us and God so there is no dispute there.
          • Many churches proclaim that their priests or Pastors are the Mediator between God and man which means the church laity go to the priest to have their sins forgiven.
        • Scripture notes there is only One Mediator between God and mankind;
          • I Tim 2:5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,
          • Based on Jesus sacrifice for my sins I have the awesome privilege of approaching God through His Son Jesus directly without going through a human mediator.

 

  • Born Again
    • From Worlds Dictionaries;
      • of, relating to, or being a usually Christian person who has made a renewed or confirmed commitment of faith especially after an intense religious experience
      • having returned to or newly adopted an activity, a conviction, or a persona especially with a proselytizing zeal<a born–againconservative>
      • Origin ofBORN-AGAIN is from the verse “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3–AV)
      • Webster’s did pretty good job on that one. Our world’s definition of a Christian differs from God’s definition. The definition is again slanted by the enemy (satan the god of the world today) to suit his means. Just listen to those around you when the topic is brought up.
    • God’s definition of ‘born again’ is;
      • John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
      • Heb 9:22 According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. It took Jesus blood to cleanse us. We cannot provide that cleansing by any of our sacrifices or works.
      • John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
    • Angel
      • Let’s see, there are the little angels shooting arrows to create love. We see them as fluffy little beings that our world creates figurines of to place on our bookshelves, but scripture tells us a very different story.
      • The following are some biblical examples of angels;
        • Psalm 91:11 God gives His angels charge over us or sends them as protectors. There is no better health plan than that!
        • Daniel 6:22 God’s angels shut the mouths of the lions to protect Daniel and He can do the same today.
        • Daniel 12:1 Michael the arch angel will have the task of tossing satan out of heaven. Angels are warriors’ not fluffy little creatures.
        • Luke 1:26-35 An angel was sent to Mary to help her to be not afraid and to understand what a great blessing to our world God was doing.
        • Revelation 1:1 God sent an Angel to tell John what will happen to our world during the tribulation period and what to record so we have God’s truths.
        • Acts 27:21-25 An Angel appeared to Paul and told him not to be afraid of the storm that threatened his life and lives of those aboard the boat he was on while being sent to a Roman prison where he was appointed by God to be a witness for Him.
        • I Chron 21:15 God sent one of His angels to destroy Jerusalem and stopped the angel from totally doing so. It was as a judgment because of the unfaithfulness of God’s people. One angel is as strong as an army.

 

So, what have we learned from this exercise? Do not take my word for it. The only truth or teaching you should trust totally are those absolutes that come from God. To find truth you must;

  • 2 Tim 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth
  • Acts 17:10, 11 “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. “

Hell and your E-mail Address…Caution…

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. “

Hell and your E-mail Address …Caution…

A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida for a long weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. Because both had jobs, they had difficulty coordinating their travel schedules. It was decided that the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday, and his wife would follow him the next day.

Upon arriving as planned, the husband checked into the hotel. There he decided to open his laptop and send his wife an e-mail back in Minneapolis. However, he accidentally left off one letter in her address, and sent the e-mail without realizing his error.

In Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister of many years who had been “called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow checked her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted and fell to the floor.

The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

From: Your Departed Husband

Subject: I’ve Arrived!

I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then. Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

That’s the humor for the day.

Now back to reality. Hell is real. Never forget that. And of course, there is someone who would wish that we did.

Prov  27:21a “Hell and destruction are never full…”

 Rev 20:14,15 “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

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?

Body, Soul, Spirit and Eternity…

Body, Soul, Spirit and Eternity….

It’s easy for us to think that maybe there is only this life and nothing after. The world around keeps trying to pull us into that thinking. And of course if that is our thinking then there is no need for a Savior. Sounds like a philosophy that satan would subscribe to. According to scripture he does actively blind people so that the Gospel has no meaning or effect on them. The beauty is that God’s truth can overcome those blinders.

II Cor 4:3, 4 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

 John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The truth from God’s word is that our bodies temporarily house the soul and spirit that make up our real person. The real person is a nonphysical being who began existence when God…

Gen 2:7 “breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul”

God reminds us that we are body, soul, and spirit and our value is not based on our income, 401K and the toys we accumulate. Yet mankind ignores God’s wisdom and persists in pursuing the accumulation of wealth and the possessions and pleasures it will buy, none of which last beyond death. I enjoy my material toys but hopefully not too much. When they become my priority or my love than the line has been crossed and my priorities are out of God’s will for my life. That’s a dangerous place to be.

Luke 12:15″A man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses”

I must understand that I am an eternal being living temporarily in a physical body. Those who believe that the body is all that we consist of spend their entire lives trying to fulfill the desires of the flesh. You know, it’s that theme that you only go around once so live it with all the gusto you can. As ‘born again’ believers we must recognize these lies or we will not seek God’s will in our lives and we will not have a burden for those who have not yet heard that you “must be born again”. Eternity awaits everyone either with God or satan.

Our Savior asked, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul” (Mt 16:26; Mk 8:36)? Jesus showed us the folly of a materialistic outlook in the parable of the rich farmer, where his crops were so abundant that he told himself, “I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” But God said unto him, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Lk 12:16-21).

For the atheist, human destiny is a hoped-for oblivion upon death, whereby one escapes God’s judgment. Remember that an Atheist is simply a person placing his or her faith in self, world and things that can be seen. They are just as lost as the person who is placing their salvation hope in a Church denomination and self and the good they perform in this life. This is the vain hope and faith of the godless. Will that hope be granted? Never! Death is not the end of man’s existence, for God has declared,
Heb 9:27 “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

Though the body decays when it dies, the soul and spirit are destined to exist forever because we are eternal beings. The death of the body offers no escape. After death, Christians stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards or to suffer loss for their level of service after being “born again” where our eternal destiny was determined. The damned will face Jesus at the Great White Throne judgment and from there will be cast into the Lake of Fire, which is called “the Second Death.”

“What is my purpose in life?” is the logical question every reasonable person must face. This realization does not arise from an evolutionary development in the brain or DNA but from the reasoning of the nonphysical mind. And most importantly by our faith in our God and His recorded truths. We live and must walk by faith not by sight.

Everything in the universe points to the Creator. How can we help but exclaim with the Psalmist, “As the heart pants after the water brook, so panteth my soul after thee O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God….”

Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”

Daily Warfare within…

I Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from
fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

 Daily Warfare within…!

An old Cherokee is telling his grandson about a fight that is going on
inside him. He said it is between 2 wolves.

One is evil: Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness,
benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied,

“The one I feed.”

Romans 8:3-5 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through
the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after
the Spirit the things of the Spirit
.”

Gal 6:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” 

Finding the Real Problem in America…

Eph 6:10-12 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

 Daniel 12:4 “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

Finding the Real Problem in America

Progress and change. How would you define them? Do they apply to technology only or to God’s truths also? Does truth change down through the ages? Think about it. The answer drives a lot of our decisions.

The past few generations in particular have been viewed as very progressive. While they have been on the technology side how have they stacked up on the spiritual side and do values and truths change in God’s eyes? Let’s look at some of the changes in values over just the past few years.

The 1960’s were the time everyone broke out of the family mold of “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver” because those were “old fashioned” molds. For those of you too young to remember those were TV programs with zero obscenities or sexual innuendos. And they were wholesome and fund to watch.

The 60’s taught, “You are free to do whatever you want”, and, “if it feels good, do it”. Those years taught that nothing should stifle your creativity. After all, what you do only affects you. Right? We turned self needs and accomplishments and material things into our gods. And if you look down through history mankind has always done that, so it was not exclusive to the sixties. The battle cry of many is the fad of what to collect or keeping up with the neighbors because after all, I deserve it! What we forget is;

Ex 20:5 “you shall not bow down to your god, I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.”

The 1970’s was the decade of elevating self or the “me” generation. The most important
thing in the world is me and my situation and I view. I wonder where this all started? Sounds like a natural progression. And again it started way back roughly 4-6000 years ago with Adam and Eve. They first decided that their way was best for them and we have kept pace ever since.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

There really is nothing new under the sun! Look where we first see this attitude!

Isa 14:12a, 13 “How are you fallen from heaven O Lucifer son of the morning! For you have said in your heart; I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, on the farthest sides of the north.”

The 1980’s were the escalation of all that was learned in the 6000 years preceding them. The cry was, “I am most important and I can do whatever I want. No need for commitment as long as I am happy. If I am not “happy” in marriage I can get out. If a church is convicting I will find one that meets my needs. I am most important and I can do whatever I want. My job and my career come first and I will run over anything and anyone that gets in the way, family included. Sounds terrible and it is.

Listen to God’s word describe it.

II Tim 3:1-4 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, without self control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

So what did we see in the 1990’s and 2000? More and more kids are growing up in single parent families, with the family under heavy attack. 50% of both and Christian and non-Christian marriages ending in divorce. Our nation struggles with what is the makeup of a family and continues to murder millions annually. In the interest of making sure everything and every person’s thoughts are accepted our nation has legalized sin and has outlawed God from our education systems and government. Many children of the people who grew up in the 60’s-80’s feel there really are “no wrong answers”.
You can say anything you want, dress any way you want, pierce anything you want, just make sure you take care of you. Discipline of children was labeled as abuse. But yet a loving God continued to say if we do not love our children we do not discipline them.

With the concept of no absolutes people were taught that there were no authority figures to be accountable to. They turned to emotions, feelings and human teachings or philosophies as their source for direction. The doctrine of no absolutes and ever changing truths was applied to self, family and religions. I wonder why business doesn’t buy into that? Children and adults were taught that there are no consequences for their actions beyond themselves. And of course with no absolutes then everyone’s ideas are correct and every religion is heading in the same direction.

Can that possibly be true or is it a strategy to keep the creation from seeking the Creator?

Revealing passages not well received by our world are;

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes unto the Father, but by Me.”

So much for all religions leading to one God.

II Cor 4:3, 4 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to those who are lost, in whom the god of this world (satan) has blinded the minds of those who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

That reveals the source of these errors.

Might this description fit the age?

Romans 1:21-23 “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four footed beasts and creeping things.

Not a pretty picture! But, there is hope!

II Chronicles 7:14 “if My people (are you one of His?) who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn (revival) from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

And it starts with_______?

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”