Have you considered…eternity?

Your life here is not all that there is, we were created to have an eternity to go into after this life, but many people don’t consider that to be truth. Why? Because, they can’t see any of it or any of the rewards and work to be done for God’s Kingdom in it now! There are many teachers today on the Internet, in pulpits, on television who are teaching their “version of the gospel”, which Satan does as well. He has had many years to perfect his delivery of his gospel and just as he did when he tempted Jesus, he takes scripture from the Bible and either leaves a portion out or takes it out of context. Some preachers today do that too.

Their teaching is full of partial scriptures, bits and pieces, which don’t really make much Biblical sense unless they are taught in context with the scripture or passage or paragraph that they began in. A partial truth, leaving out a word or taking Scripture out of context, is a lie! A lie that sounds like it came from God’s Word, and it did but without the text around that verse, it can be made to say almost anything. This is how Satan used scripture, by picking a verse and using it to make his point…not God’s point.

Today, not just in America but all over the world, people are being killed or put in to prison for their belief in Jesus. The problem with this is that Jesus is the only solution to our problems, here and now and into eternity! Put down your “self”, bury him or her and take up the cross of Jesus! What does that mean? It means to put others ahead of you, to be kind to one another, to love one another with an unselfish love. The kind that doesn’t say, “what’s in it for me?”!!

Living this way is following the teachings found all through the Bible, not just what Jesus taught. God has always had the answer for our lives, we are just too stubborn to listen or even look for it in His Word! Then, sometimes, when we do find the answer that we were looking for we claim it as our answer not that it came from God. We don’t give Him the credit or the glory for what we find. This is exactly what most “self-help” books do, maybe not word for word because that is plagiarism, but the advice you see in them is exactly the advice you can find in the Bible.

Eternity is going to be there after this life, but it is the experience in eternity that people should be working now to ensure. If you follow your own ways or the ways of the world, and reject any or all of the teachings found in the Bible, then your eternity is going to be very different from a Christian’s eternity.

I know, many of you will say that I am being self-righteous about Christianity but I am not. My righteousness alone is not enough and yours isn’t either, as a Christian I claim the atonement and the righteousness of Jesus that He paid for on the cross! It was the “self-righteous” priests who had Him executed because they felt that they were going to lose their “position” with the people.

Before too long it is going to be more persecution, not just in America but all over the world and it will be against Christians just as it is in Muslim countries now. For many people the prospect of persecution will be enough to keep them from becoming a Christian. For the immediate future, I understand that, but think of your eternity. Once this life is over, however the end comes, you will be faced with that. Eternal unity with God and many friends in Heaven or separation from God in a place of torment and misery forever. Which would you rather endure since while you still live, you do have a choice?

I haven’t been here enough…

This blog was my first blog actually. It started over on blogger.com and I imported its content here a few years ago. I have been concentrating on my other Christian blog, thelivingmessage.com far more than I have here.

God’s love is for everyone, whether you believe in Him or not, it is still available to you. Jesus came so that we might all have eternal life in Heaven, if you aren’t interested in that then your spirit will live eternally in the darkness of hell. Truth is truth and its found in God’s Word. It can’t be undone or ignored just because you don’t want to believe it. We are all going to face a judgement one day, good or bad, whether you believe it here or realize at the judgement that what you have heard is real.

I am a pastor of a small church and I do try to bring the message from God’s Word every Sunday morning. Sometimes I will post those sermons here or on my other blogs, sometimes I don’t, it just depends on whether I wrote them down or not. We are getting very close to a time of great change that is coming, not only to America but the whole world.

The glory of God and His Kingdom will be shown on this world, whether you believe in Him or not.  Seek Him, while you are here because once you have breathed your last breath, there are no second chances. Your life and all of the opportunities for salvation have an expiration date just like I do, but when you die those opportunities are gone.

What do you believe?

Have you tried many different religions and not yet found the one that you are comfortable with? Have you gone to classes in yoga and felt strange afterward? Today, there are many, many different religions and belief systems which you can try out for a while and many of them actually seem to be saying the same thing, for the most part. Which is why, in my opinion, people seem so confused about religion and its place in our life. Why is it so important? Why is religion or any belief system important to us? Because God created us to need something or Someone in this way.

We tend to feel it as an empty place or feeling like something is missing, but we don’t really know what is missing or why we feel this way. I noticed it when I was a teenager and I had no idea what was missing. I thought at the time it was because my parents were divorced when I was really young but that wasn’t it. It took many years for me to really find out what I needed or rather Who I needed. Even when you find out about God and Jesus and try to put them in that place, you eventually realize that you can’t put them there.

It has to be a mutual call, a knock on your heart’s door so to speak. Then you can ask Jesus to come in and change your life and your heart. Once you do that, you will find that empty place is not empty anymore. If you were sincere in your decision to ask Jesus into your life then you will always have Him there regardless of where you are or what may be happening. God loves you and He wants you to be His representative to the world. All that you have to do is ask Him into your heart and ask His forgiveness for your life before He came into it.

The only rules that He asks you to follow is to follow Jesus in obedience by telling others about Him and what He has done for you and your life. There is no war to be fought, no people to be conquered, and He doesn’t force people to worship Him because forced worship isn’t real worship, because you can force someone to love you and that is what worship is! God does love you deeper and more completely than anyone and all that He asks is for you to return His love willingly.

Any relationship is this way, if it is based on true love, but some people think that God won’t love them unless they love Him first. That is backward because God loved ALL of us before He made this world that we live on, all that He expects is to be loved in return for the grace and mercy that we have been given! When we love Him in return it is because we were loved first!

Seek Him out in the Bible and learn of His ways because He loved the world and all of His creation before any of us were ever created or born into it.

Pickin’ and choosin’

Religion is an easy thing in America. We have the freedom to pursue and
worship whoever or whatever we wish to or even to not worship
anything at all. Being religious is very easy and there are many
people who are very religious about their chosen religion, some even
to the point of being fanatical about it. So what is it about this
trend in America? Mainly it is because for the past fifty or sixty
years, we have been searchers and seekers. Not so much as seeking out
God and His ways, but seeking that which suits us the best in a
church or religion.
That is not such a bad thing because many times in this searching, people
will be called to faith in God and give their hearts to Jesus.
Although, some may not listen intently to the messages that are
presented to them and they want to pick and choose whatever they want
to believe. This is a dangerous way of doing things and for an
illustration of this I propose this:
A man was building a platform from pipes and boards so that he could have some
people singing and just presenting music for those who wanted to hear
it. He went through the hardware store and picked out the most shiny
pipes and bolts and nuts that he could find because they would look
good in the lights. He didn't pay any attention to the sizes that he
chose, just that they looked nice and shiny. When he got home to put
it together he found that he couldn't get anything to work very well
together because even though they were pretty and shiny, their sizes
didn't match well. A few were the same size and would go together,
but the next one in line would not. What went wrong?
Well, he had some that were quarter inch and some that were a half inch in
size, these were mixed and matched and he even had some bolts and
nuts that were in the same shape, being different sizes so that few
would work together. It doesn't work in construction and it works
even less efficiently with religious beliefs. 

Picking and choosing one or two verses from the Bible to believe and then
discarding much of the rest of it doesn't work, just as choosing
parts because they look good rather than because they fit together
doesn't work. Except, that is what many people seem to be doing
today. Why are people trying to “make their own god” as some
claim? Mainly because they don't like the message that they have
heard from the Bible or they don't want to be told that their
lifestyle is wrong or sinful.
God Himself is Holy and He won't allow an unclean sinner into Heaven
unless they have repented (turned away from) of their sins and the
lifestyle that went with them AND they have asked Jesus into their
life and their heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to change them
spiritually so that they can be a true Christian. Christianity is not
based on going to church at certain times or participating in rituals
once every month or every six months. You can go to church for a
century, every time the church has services, and if you haven't
accepted the call of Jesus in your heart and life then you haven't
changed much. You may know the Scriptures and have read the Bible
through and taught a class or two in that time, but if you haven't
given your life to Jesus then you aren't saved!

Time…

Years ago, before many of you on the Internet were even born, many people who were looking ahead to this time period said that we would be working 20 hour weeks and making more money. That we would have plenty of leisure time because of technology and the advances that came with it.

What happened to all of that TIME that we were supposed to be saving?

A song from when I was growing up in the late ’60’s and early 70’s, had a line in it that went like this: “Ti-i-i-ime is on my side. Oh, yes it is.” Well, when you are in your teens or twenties, you can easily say that because you likely do have more years ahead of you than behind you. But, what happened to all the time savers and the easy work that we were going to have? Computers and electronic mail systems were supposed to simplify things and make our lives easier and less stressful.

Do you feel any less stress these days? I don’t. Is there anything that we can do to get to the point where technology will solve all of our problems and give us that utopia that we were expecting? Absolutely NOT! Technology may make things worse than they are, but it won’t fix any of our human frailties or the human condition.

No amount of technology, new or old, genetic or artificial intelligence will ever fix our REAL problems. Only the second coming of Jesus will do that. He is coming soon, so be ready. If you aren’t ready, then you might consider getting to that point in your walk with Him. If you don’t believe anything that I say or what the Bible says, then I will pray for you that soon your eyes will open to the Truth.

God loves you and all who are on the Earth, but He isn’t going to wait much longer because the signs are coming together that are in all of the prophetic books of the Bible. Like a door which is about to close, time itself is counting down toward the closing of the age. When that comes, there will be no do-overs, no fix for your life’s neglect of learning or hearing the Word of God. That doesn’t mean that people won’t be able to come to Jesus during the last seven years on Earth, but with the persecution of Christians that will be happening, identifying yourself as a Christian could be a death sentence so many will opt for something else.

Eternity is a long time to pay for a decision which was not made because you were too busy or you just didn’t want to believe in Jesus. Hell was not created for us to spend eternity in, it was created for Satan who tried to overthrow God in Heaven! “Why would my lack of belief put me in the same place as Satan?” is a question that gets asked a lot.

The reason is that sin entered the world through Satan’s temptation of Eve and Adam. You are part of their line of descendants and you have sin imprinted upon your DNA. If you don’t believe me, see how many toddlers will own up to eating something or breaking something that they had been told not to. They will lie to your face with icing on their fingers and their faces and tell you that they didn’t eat that doughnut! You didn’t teach them to lie, they knew how to do it all on their own.

When we decide to not believe in Jesus when we have heard the sermon or read the story, then we are in the same camp as the fallen angels and Satan. If you continue in your sins, whether it is telling lies or stealing a pen from work or whatever it may be, you are still going against the commandments of God and are a sinner. You are counted as guilty right along with the rapists and murderers and all of the pedophiles and sex traders in the world. Sin is sin and carries the same weight in God’s court no matter how little it may seem against someone who has killed thousands of people in a genocidal massacre.

Consider that when you look at your life. Try to see yourself as God sees you, filthy and covered in sin and unrighteousness…unless you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Then your life and all of the sin in it is covered by His righteousness! When you are called forward to give account of your life, Jesus will be with you and give His testimony of your life and that all of your sins are covered with His blood and therefore, you belong to Him.

A Satanic view

“In Satan, the individual follows their own destiny and choices. Satan only asks that the individual uses intelligent action based upon reason, but never faith, and thus the individual will prosper in this life and the next.” —-satanicviews

This was a comment that I got on a post which I had put up about Jesus coming to us and for us. It seems that this is a feeling or sentiment which many people have. It is one which we, as Christians, cannot understand or even comprehend. Satan is not a benevolent being as they seem to think. He and his demons and powers and principalities HATE us with a hatred which even goes beyond any Nazi or communist or even Islamic hate!

There is no love for us because, to Satan, we represent the image of God which we were created in. Another assumption that people like this make is that the next life is going to be an eternal party, when the sad fact is that it will be torment and punishment. Satan may help you in some ways to prosper in this life in order to draw you away from and keep you away from any faith or belief in God or Jesus. As long as you are not interested in becoming a Christian, then Satan has no problem with you because you essentially belong to him by default, whether you worship him or not.

In many ways, we are very much like Adam in the book of Genesis. We go about our lives doing this and that, thinking that everything is fine until one day something goes wrong. It may be a disease or a diagnosis or a wreck. Then what do we do? Many people blame God or fate for what has happened to them. If it is bad enough, they may even curse God and yell at Someone they may not believe in thinking that will make them feel better. But, it doesn’t.

Your lot in life, just like mine, is to sit here and take whatever life throws at you right? NO! It really depends upon your beliefs or your un-belief, whichever it may be. Consider the person or power that you believe in. Which one actually cares about you and your condition? Satan HATES all of humanity, because they are created in God’s image. It doesn’t matter if you are the high priest of a satanic coven or not, he will happily watch you float around in the lake of fire just as he will anyone else. Satan will allow you to claim all of the worldly success that you can stand and then some, as long as you are not trying to find God. So, in a sense, he will “provide” you with all that the world cares about including money, cars, a nice home, a four-wheeler and horses, land, all the guns that you want. Then what?

One the other side of the spiritual coin, there is God. He DOES CARE about all of His creation. Plants, animals and especially humanity since we are created for a purpose and in His image. God has given us life to live abundantly for Him and He gave each of us a talent in some area whether it is training horses, being a teacher or preacher, a policeman or woman, a mayor or any other type of politician, a truck driver or a farmer. He gives talents to all of us freely, whether we use them to gather wealth to ourselves or not is our choice. So, what is our purpose within this life that we are freely given?

To choose.

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

We have the right and privilege to choose. Not by flipping a “spiritual coin”, but by making an intelligent choice. One that makes sense spiritually and eternally, not one from a point of reason. Why do I put it like that? Because from a reasoning point of view…a scientific point of view, God and belief in Him doesn’t make sense. You can’t touch or taste Him, you can’t put your finger in the wounds of Jesus like Thomas did. Belief and faith go together like PB&J, and you can’t really have one without the other.

It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes or even the type of hair that you have, if you truly believe the Word of God is True and did come from Him then our ancestors were created in Eden by God Himself. We are all children of Eden, of Adam and Eve. We are all of one race, the human race. Culturally we are different, as different as six thousand years give or take will make us, but God can trace all of us back to Noah who is a grandson of Adam. I say is because his faith in God’s promise and his belief that God would save humanity placed him in God’s hands.

Understand that you and I are God’s children and His creation, but you have to choose whether you will serve Him in this life, in order to have true Life in eternity to come. This is not all that there is, working, living, loving your family, smoking, drinking…these are all enjoyable to us now, some more than others. What will you do if you died tonight, if you knew that you would not see tomorrow morning? Would you ask Jesus into your heart?

Would you decide that you would rather take your chances? On what? Have you fed thousands or healed the sick? Can you walk on water? None of us can do those things! We are not righteous in God’s eyes! The only way that you get into Heaven is by accepting Jesus as your Savior, repent of your life’s sinful ways meaning that you will turn from them! Could you do all of this if you were to have a heart attack right now or even on the way home? The time to decide about your eternity is now, not tomorrow, not next week. Make sure that you truly know where your eternity is because this life doesn’t last very long and it seems that the years go by faster every year. Don’t turn Jesus away when you know that you need Him in your life. Another chance may not present itself. Think about it.

God is real and Jesus is the Way

In life and in death, Jesus is the Way to a life more abundant. I did not say a life of riches and wealth or fame, an abundant life is one that has hope, abundantly and steadfastly in Jesus! You might say to me, “Why can’t I be good enough to get to Heaven on my own initiative?” Because the Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. God had to kill animals in Eden to cover the sinful situation that Adam and Eve had gotten themselves into. Jesus died and shed His blood, as the Son of God, in order to cover the sins of the whole world. Everyone in the whole world is covered by His blood, all of your sins are covered by it, all of my sins are covered by His blood and it is offered to all to claim in belief and repentance with no other requirement than believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for them.

Simple faith and belief, like a child, is all that is necessary. When you feel the Spirit telling you that you need Him, that you need Jesus, don’t turn away. Don’t walk out on Him and the salvation that is being offered. God does love you, more deeply than you can know and He wants to call you, if you are willing to answer. The gods that are in temples all over the world will not help you. Belief in yourself and your ability to be a good, moral person is nice but it won’t take you into the gates of Heaven.

Doing all of these things, other than believing in Jesus, is like building a bridge over a huge river out of cardboard and paving it with paper. As long as the river is dried up and there isn’t any water (troubles) to cross, it may hold up pretty well for foot traffic. But, if there is a flash flood or lightning strikes it, your bridge is gone. Another analogy would be like standing on sand, it is fine and it feels good until the waves start raking it from under your feet. Then, you either go with it or you back away from it but it is no longer stable.

The only solid foundation for faith which can save your soul from hell, is Jesus Christ. Believe in Him and repent of your old ways, following Him by seeking Him in God’s Word every day. Pray about the things which are wrong in the world, ask Him to help you to understand the Bible and its wisdom. Look to Him for your strength in sickness and in health, on good days and bad because He is always near if you have asked Him into your life and into your heart. God and Jesus both know what you have done, when it was done and where. There is nothing hidden from them.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

Still preaching

“Many of us might die in this crash,” he called out, “so there’s something you need to know.” Andy then began explaining the Gospel simply and urgently, moving to each part of the cabin so that everyone would hear. He invited people to place their trust in Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. A flight attendant heard Andy’s words, bowed her head, and asked Jesus to forgive her sins and come into her heart. She watched many more respond and, along with another survivor, later told the story. Of the 175 people on board, 125 died, including Andy, who was still on his feet preaching the Gospel as the plane hit the water.

Read more: http://www.crossmap.com/news/franklin-graham-still-preaching-the-gospel-as-the-plane-went-down-17644#ixzz3Ws1qfeu2

Would many of us done this in this situation? Knowing that in a few minutes we would be dead along with most of the people in the plane with us, could you have preached to them and tried to save their souls?

It is a testimony to this man and it shows us the kind of Christian that he was and the kind that we are supposed to be, especially in times of need.

“Lord, please give us the courage and the words in good times and in troubled times so that we can be bold enough to proclaim You and Your grace and mercy to others in their times of grief and pain and fear. Give us the grace to be the kind of disciples that we need to be in the situations that we find ourselves in in the future. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

The truth of the Bible!

Emperors like Diocletian have decreed its extermination, atheists like Voltaire have railed against it, agnostics through the years have cynically sneered at it, and liberals strive to remove the miracles from the Bible. Materialists have simply ignored it. How is it that the Bible still stands after centuries of attempts to destroy it? Because the Bible is eternal, settled in heaven.

It is, very simply, God’s Word to mankind! Breathed by the Holy Spirit into the minds of men who wrote the words down so that we can benefit from its wisdom. There is no way of getting rid of its timeless wisdom or ignoring it in any way. You may do so, if you wish, but it will gain you nothing except a life of missed chances to be of any worth to the Kingdom of God. You can ignore it, but when you face your judgement in the presence of God, it will convict you of your ignorance and your reluctance toward the message that it carries.

It is a book of knowledge and power, and one which contains historical words of wisdom and the history of the Jewish people. It contains the story of creation, betrayal, murder and redemption, adultery, incest, and savage cruelty and slavery. But…it also carries a line of hope and love beyond measure and a promise that your life and mine can be made whole again regardless of the way we may have been before coming to Jesus!

God’s Word contained in the Bible has all of these elements in it as well as the hope that we can come back into the perfect relationship that was intended at the beginning. For that, we shouldn’t give up on its wisdom or dismiss it as an old book which is outdated for our time. We should use it, every day to bring new meaning and purpose into our lives and to learn the wisdom contained in its pages as well. If for no other reason than to teach it to our children and our grandchildren, that is why it exists.

God gave all of the books of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, to us for instruction and learning, for wisdom and for the Truth that it contains. We cannot ignore it or deny its existence and we can’t just throw it away. It is a Holy Book and truly should be treated as such. In reality, we should treat the Bible at least as necessary as our cell phones which people can’t live without these days. We should carry it with us every day and miss it if we find out we have left it behind. Its wisdom is necessary for our existence and we should use it and treat it as being important to us, especially if we are born-again Christians!

Although today people who don’t believe the words contained in it are very vocal with their opinions, some are even belligerent to the point of being rude and obnoxious. Just because the Word of God tells the absolute Truth and has been the model for much of our nations laws is no reason to be this way. It does step on people’s toes a bit because it brings to light their sins and their nature that is opposite of the Word of God and many people can’t handle their faults being brought into the light this way. The Bible is still and will always be the Word of God!

It has been established in Heaven and the words in it were given to the writers by the Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity. The Word of God, contained in the Bible, has been around for over three thousand years and it is NOT going away, EVER!! You can get rid of them, burn them, destroy them, but the Word is still around in the hearts and minds of Christians and Jewish people! These two faiths contain the entirety of the Bible and the Word of God cannot be destroyed and never will be, regardless of the feelings of many who don’t go along with its words and beliefs.

The Dark side….

In my last post I spoke about being self-righteous and many people seem to feel this way, although if you told them this they would be offended.

Self-righteousness was and has been a problem in religious circles for many generations but that is not what I have seen in the news or on talk shows lately. What is cropping up is apathy and a lack of respect between parents and children, teachers and their students and those who claim to be Christians and those who don’t.

(Darth Vader breathing)

This is the shadow of the dark side, not so much from a science fiction point of view, but the dark side of Creation. There was always a dividing line between light and dark and there really is not grey area in that spot. It is either one or the other, dark and light don’t blend in nature nor in the spiritual realm.

It seems that many people don’t exactly believe that the Bible nor anything referred to in it are real today. As if a few thousand years has obliterated Satan and his demons as well as God and His angels. That is fine if you want to believe that, I have no problem with your beliefs or lack of belief.

But…just hypothetically speaking, what if all of the things prophesied in the Bible really come true one day in the not too distant future? Would you change your thinking or your beliefs? Or would you cling to blissfully being an unbeliever and just disregard anything that your eyes see as nonsense? When your life is over on this plane of existence, what do you think will happen to you?

Many people seem to think that they just stop existing and that is that. Some say they go to a place of happiness and bliss. I don’t claim to have gone over the threshold to see what is there, but according to what is in the Bible you stand before God to be judged for your life. What you did while you lived, if you came to believe in Jesus or not and the sins that you committed during your life will all be judged either for you or against you.

How do you think your life will look to God, if you chose to go through it without Jesus or believing in Him either? The Bible says this about our life and our righteousness, “Our righteousness is as filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6. The expression there is like unwashed clothes that have been worn for weeks and are so filthy that they are coming apart.

The dark side of the spiritual realm, where Satan and his fallen angels are, is at war with God and all of His angels and those of us who tell of His love and compassion for you. Satan has no love for man, he hates us because we are made in the image of God and that is only one of his reasons. He hates us because God loves us and because we were placed above him in responsibilities in God’s kingdom.

Please, don’t go over to the dark side. Give your heart to Jesus and live for Him. Make Satan uncomfortable and angry because when you work for and with Jesus, that is what you will do.