Life after death


1 Corinthians 15: 12-20

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up if so be that the dead rise not.

16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

If we believe in Jesus the Christ and His resurrection then we will be raised to life with Him one day. This is the very thing which Paul was writing to the Corinthian church about because some were saying that there is no resurrection or life after death. Jesus said that there was and He proved it by coming out of the grave like He said He would.

WhereAreYouGoingIf there is no life after death or resurrection then our faith in Him is useless and the word which we preach is false. But the Word of God is truth and all of His Words are true so there is life after this one. Whether it is to a heavenly home or to be cast into hell is your choice by choosing to believe in Jesus and His redemptive power for your life or not. It is your choice and it is your decision about this which will determine which eternity you will endure or enjoy…so make the right choice for you.

Don’t turn away from His offer of forgiveness and eternal life with Him because without Him eternity will be punishment and pain because of your own choice of not believing in His redemptive power.

God is always near you whether you believe it or not. Whether you have accepted Him as your Savior or not, He still knows where you are and what you are doing at any time. You cannot hide from Him or get away from His sight, so it is best not to try. Give your heart to Him when you feel His touch on your heart, repent of your sins and follow Him as the disciples did. That way your eternity will be secure and safe in His home which He prepared for you.

Jesus came and died for the sins of all mankind. Whether you accept His offer of salvation through what He did for you or not is still your choice. It is not God who sends people to hell but it is your own choice about believing or not in the One who died for you which will send you to heaven or hell.

God’s Hand


God’s Hand has moved since the very beginning of His Word and recorded history. It was His hand which flung the stars into the heavens and it was His hands which placed the Moon and all of the planets in their orbits along with the Sun itself. It was by the hands of God that the first man was created and formed from the clay and dirt in Eden and by God’s breath, the man became a living soul. It was God’s hands which took a rib from Adam’s side to form a helper for him, perfectly suited for her task.

In the Word of God, His hands have moved nations and kings, people and circumstances, so that His will for our salvation and for the world’s salvation would come about the way that He knew that it should. Does He move in our lives today in small ways and in big ways to bring about that which He knows we should do for His glory and for our good?

I believe that He does exactly that! We may not perceive it before we feel the need to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, but many times each of us could’ve been killed and we weren’t. I believe that it was at those times when His hand or maybe an angel that He sent intervened in our circumstances and kept us on the path toward His usefulness for us.

God used the circumstances of Joseph to save the nation of Egypt and his family too which grew into the nation of Israel while in captivity. If all of the things which happened to Joseph had not happened the way they did, things would’ve been much different. But God orchestrated all of the things, good and bad as we read of them, in order to place him in the position of authority to save his family from starvation. God still does these…adjustments today in our lives each day. Whether we see them or not. A car veers off before we are in a wreck, or an old tire doesn’t blow out on us even when we are driving too fast. All of these “little miracles” which we don’t see or even know about are happening all around us. We may find out about them when we get to heaven.

Why do I write about this today? Because of all the small miracles which do happen and we don’t know about them, God is using them to bring His will to bear in our lives and in the world around us. Would we call them miracles if we knew about them? Probably not because many of them are just small adjustments in our commute to work or in how we swallow our food one night or some other things which, to us would be insignificant but they affect our lives in ways which we cannot know.

Yes, God’s hand is still moving in our universe today and in our immediate lives too. Not just in Christian lives but in every person’s life on Earth. Some are moved in a way which we might see one day as an act of evil and even though God didn’t cause the evil which they did, He allowed it to happen because something else good would come from it. There are many things in our daily lives which we see and don’t perceive as His hand in our lives and we might not recognize them as such but those small decisions which we think were ours, were actually God’s way of moving us in the direction that He wanted us to go.

I pray that your life will be full of some small decisions or adjustments in your routine of work and life so that God can and will use your life to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

Pain and healing


God is with you in all of your struggles, no matter what may be going on. I know that there are many people who are hurting in many different ways today. Some because of the loss of a loved one, some because of health issues, many because of the lack of food and other things. So…why is it so hard for people in the church, regardless of denomination, to help those in need? I know that many churches do have programs and monies given to charities as well as food banks and other charitable functions, but the number of those doing this is small compared to the actual need that is out there.

The church, the body of Christ on Earth, is responsible for those who need His presence in their lives. Whether it is by food or medicine or whatever it may be, those in need truly need us to be Christ to them. After all, we may be the only representative of Jesus that they ever see in this world.

While it is true that some pain is useful to bring our faith up to a level which we can be more useful to God’s purposes, He doesn’t cause the pain but allows it just as He did with the prophet Job. Job faithfully served God in all of his work and yet the Accuser challenged God in this saying that “he will curse you” if you will allow me to afflict him. Satan could not touch Job without God’s permission as He had placed a hedge about him because of his service to God in being a priest for his family.

Our purpose as Christians is to be priests in the world wherever we may serve. In the boardroom or in hospitals or police stations or whatever job that we hold, we are to be His light in those places. While it is true that today showing your faith in God can get you fired from your job, if that happens then God will place you in a place where you can do His will in that place.

God’s will for each of us cannot be stopped or thwarted by Satan or by anyone else, if God has ordained that you should be His representative in a place then that is where you will be. If He calls you to be an evangelist or a pastor then whether you refuse the calling at first or not, it will come to pass in time when you realize that your running from His call will avail you an escape from it!

In my past, I felt the call to become a minister long before I surrendered to that calling, but I decided that I wasn’t ready for it. The thing which I didn’t know at the time was that my decision of readiness wasn’t mine to make…the call had been made and it wouldn’t be revoked. The only time that God ever repented of anything was in creating mankind, because of their evil and wickedness, yet He still saved a remnant on the ark. God’s call on the church to be what He intended hasn’t been rescinded in two thousand years and it won’t be until He calls us to immortality and we are bound for Heaven.

Today…


For those of us in America, today is Mother’s Day and it was celebrated in most churches this morning.

Mother’s do an amazing job of being much more than just a wife or a mother. They are teachers, housekeepers, taxi drivers, coaches, nurses, chefs, gardeners, and so much more. Do they do all of these jobs? Yes, many of them perform all of these jobs during the school year and every day during the summer too. When do they find the time for themselves? Most of them make the time in small increments…a little bit here or there.

The time which they give to themselves is tiny compared to the time that they give to their children and family, but they manage it in stride usually without missing a beat. God gave women a remarkable amount of strength and fortitude and so many talents until many of them are overflowing with it. Mom’s are the original multi-taskers and they have been doing it for a long, long time!

God shows much of His ability and love through the actions and the abilities of our mothers because that is how we perceive Him and get a small glimpse of His love for us. For many of us, our mother’s love may be the only human manifestation of God’s Love that we feel during our life. Many fathers are too busy or maybe they were raised to not show their emotions to others.

I could tell that my Dad loved me when we were together, but he rarely said so. My grandfather wasn’t so open with his feelings either but I could tell that he loved me and was proud of me. God loves each of us more deeply than we can understand or know until we are in His presence. Yet, God’s love is evident in the Bible because of all of the things which He has done for the world even if most of the world doesn’t love Him or follow Him. God still cares for us which is why He sent Jesus to die on a cross and rise again…just so we could have a hope of eternity!

His love is deeper and wider than we can know until we are with Him, so make sure of your salvation while there is time. Life is short, eternity is not, so make sure of where you will spend it.

 

Believe…


We are asked to do this as little children. Like we are going to do this as easily as a child as adults and it usually doesn’t work that way. Life tends to make us more cautious and cynical as we get older. This one fact of growing up causes us to discount the simple way of becoming a Christian as we get older.

Sometimes it is just easier to believe like a child. Don’t try to analyze and nitpick the decision to become a Christian, like the Nike commercial says “just do it!”. I do realize that there are so many people out there in the world today who are reluctant to give their life and their heart to Jesus. But…what is the alternative? I mean, Jesus is our Savior and the Creator! There is no other “god” who can compete because there are no other gods, period!

Our world has been deceived by Satan and his cohorts for thousands of years and they are getting a bit worried now that the time is getting short for them! Your life does have an expiration date while you are here on Earth and since we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, the time for salvation is today! Please do not put this off. God knows who will come to Him and seek forgiveness and salvation so make it a point to be on His list of folks to listen to and bring to salvation!

The time is today, not tomorrow or next week. You or I could be involved in a car wreck tomorrow and when this life is over, your time to get saved is gone because “now is the accepted time“.

God provides for us each and every day but many people don’t pay attention. They just take it for granted that they have tomorrow and next week and next month too. Hopefully, they do and all the rest of us do too, but if you found yourself standing in front of God tomorrow…what could you say? What would you say about your life? Something like, “I did the best that I could” won’t help you. If you haven’t given your heart to Jesus and asked for His forgiveness of your sins then you are standing on your own righteousness and that is not enough.

Our own righteousness is never enough because if we could be righteous enough to gain entrance into Heaven…then Jesus died for nothing. God doesn’t do things for anything less than His glory and allowing Jesus to die for our sins if we could fulfill the Law perfectly would’ve been useless! God doesn’t do useless!

Consider this: God has known you since you were formed in the womb because He formed you. Whether you have lived your life on your own terms or maybe you have been taken to church as a child, His attention has never been far away from your life. What about your attention? Have you thought about seeking Him out, at least to see if this “Christianity thing” is real? If you haven’t then you are living on a very narrow ledge in this life.

 

 

What would you gain?


This is a question which was asked by Jesus to some who were listening, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26

God places that much value on you and your soul, but it is hard for us to imagine that kind of wealth. What this passage is saying is this: if you had all of the wealth in the whole world, the entirety of wealth and land and all of it, and you haven’t given your heart to Jesus and had been changed by the Holy Spirit…what would you truly have gained? A huge headache and the ulcers to go with it I would imagine. Because, whenever your life ends, all of that wealth will be fought over by those who are desperate to have it. None of it will go with you to the grave!

When you stand before God after having all the wealth in the world, you will be penniless. God doesn’t look at your bank account because He is the Creator of it all and all of it belongs to Him anyway. Your wealth, regardless of how grand it may have been on Earth, doesn’t mean anything in Heaven where the streets are paved with gold. God places that much value on your soul and your salvation through Jesus the Christ.

Money doesn’t buy you a brick in Heaven because man’s wealth doesn’t follow him to eternity. You are no better or worse than the homeless man who knows Jesus as his Savior, in fact, the homeless man is richer than you are because he had nothing but he gained a place in Heaven through believing in Jesus.

The riches which are given to those who believe in Jesus are the kind which never can be taken away. Eternity awaits you when you accept Jesus as your Savior and that is a far richer and more glorious reward than all of the trillions of dollars of wealth that is here on Earth. When you feel the call of God’s Spirit in your life, don’t turn away from Him. Eternity is the reward for obeying His call and following Jesus daily. Reading the Bible, telling other about your Savior, showing them that God’s Word is True and the reward is eternal life with God!

That is worth more than all of the gold and silver that you could get your hands on here in this life. Why are God’s love and grace worth more? Because those rewards never fade and can never be taken from you! Once you have the Holy Spirit residing in your heart and you follow Him daily learning more about Him in His Word, this reward will make you feel unworthy and humble because of the price paid for you!

God’s love for you is available through belief in Jesus and repenting from your sinful ways. No matter what you have done in your life, God can forgive you and He will, all you have to do is believe in His forgiveness and repent, learning more about Him as time moves on.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18

So much needs to be said…


In the days of Noah, he taught his sons about God and His mercies. He tried to preach to those around him about God but they wouldn’t hear the message, not even after a century and more had passed. When God sent him into the ark or boat, whichever you want to call it, the time for repenting was over. God shut the door.

noah-symbolic of JesusOur world is coming very close to that time. There will not be a worldwide flood but when God’s patience has reached its limit, people will know. When believers who have accepted Jesus as their Savior have been taken up into heaven, then the whole world will know. When is this going to take place? I don’t know.

In the Bible, God expressly says that it will happen but only He determines the time and the hour when it will occur. Just as He did when it was time for Noah and his family to be saved from the flood, we will be saved from the Tribulation. God has provided a way for us to be saved yet there are still many who either don’t want to believe it or they think they have plenty of time.

God sent His Son to take the punishment which all of humanity deserves so that some could be saved if they would believe in Him. The apostle John writes it so clearly in his gospel, telling anyone who reads it that salvation is possible if you only believe in the One Who provided it.

Repentance is necessary for us to belong to the family of God, yet many do not want to repent. Because it means that they will have to forgo their sinful ways and many do not think they are living a sinful life. The world is being deceived by Satan and his principalities, but they don’t want to believe that he even exists. Which is exactly what Satan wants us to believe. If we deny the deception that many are under today, we will be part of the ones which deny Jesus as the Christ as well.

Life is in Jesus and we need to learn this truth. The whole world has denied that the Bible and its truth is the whole Truth of God because they, meaning the unbelieving world, refused to accept His Word as Truth. God has always sent prophets to bring His Word to those who are perishing, yet most of those who heard them didn’t believe their words even when their prophecies were proven true.

Our job, as Christians and believers, is to let the light of Truth and our Savior’s grace toward all to shine through our lives so that others would want what they see in us. The big question is this: Do we live our beliefs in view of others or do we keep our salvation and our beliefs to ourselves?

God has made our world perfectly capable of being our home forever, yet we are fighting over crumbs and squabbling over doctrines of men! If we could only live as God commanded us to, the whole world would be a much more peaceful place, but we haven’t been able to bring about this utopia. Why? Because we can’t do it on our ideas of good intentions. Mankind has always been incapable of being without greed and malice toward others simply because we want what someone else has.

If it were only coveting the peace of God then we might be able to talk in a civil manner and bring about peace on Earth. But, our greedy, covetous ways extends to many more things than just the peace which is found in Jesus. Pride and vanity, along with greed and a host of other nasty sins drag many into places where God’s influence isn’t felt at all. In most of these places bringing the Truth of God into contact with their way of living causes even more pain and suffering because they can’t stand the Light of Jesus and the Truth of God!

Please pray about your relationship with Jesus and seek Him out because the time which we live in is grievous and coming to an end soon. Don’t ignore the prompting of the Holy  Spirit on your heart, seek Jesus for your salvation.

Is your church part of the problem?


In many churches today, especially within a fifty-mile radius of my home, many visitors feel unwanted and unwelcome. Why is this? Mostly because our churches have become social meeting places rather than places to meet and worship God and Jesus. My church and yours should be places to fall in love with our Savior, but more often than not we talk more about politics and government issues and who should be added to our prayer list this week. Granted, many who are truly in need of prayer for healing and comfort NEED our prayers each and every day.

But the political issues in our government and how it is being run should be part of our prayer ministry, not a part of the commentary and debate in church or Bible study time.

Is the church part of the problem in America today? In some cases…yes it is. We are more concerned about the color of the carpet in the sanctuary and how it looks than we are about drawing more people into the church to hear about salvation through Jesus! So, what can we do about our relationship with Him? I mean, it is our relationship with Jesus which we are supposed to be giving away or at least showing people a Savior that they need to get to know!

Why are churches turning away from their “first love” and trying to be everything to everyone these days? It seems that some churches are trying to attract more people to church just for the numbers in attendance. Having a large number of people attending church is good, but if the message is more fluff than it is substance pertaining to salvation through Jesus, then the message is wrong!

Having 300 or more people attending church every Sunday is great but if you aren’t preaching the love of Jesus and the salvation which He died to provide for those who will believe, then you just have a full church. IF you aren’t following up with those who have attended your services to find out where their beliefs are or if they need prayer for specific problems in life, then you aren’t doing your job as a church. When I say this, I don’t mean that the preacher has to be the one following up with the people. It is the responsibility of those who are Christians in the church who should be doing this as well as the preacher!

Even a full-time preacher can’t reach out and touch every person who has visited your church or has asked for prayer. The only way that we, as a church, can take care of those in the congregation and those who have visited but haven’t decided to be a part of your church is for the deacons and the elders in the church to go to them and invite them back. If they are searching for Jesus, they will feel His presence in those who are inviting them back IF you are doing it in the power of Christ and with His love shining through.

Numbers and the amount which is given during the offering are not the way which measures a church and its commitment to following Jesus. Telling others about Him, mentoring those who are new to the faith, Bible study and helping others to grow in their walk with Jesus are the ways which the church continues to be the true church in the world today! Praying for each other’s burdens, listening to their concerns about being a Christian and living your walk with Him every day is the way to walk the walk so others might want to know Him too.

Many of these things are what our churches need to be doing but few actually are doing them and doing them effectively.

Belief and faith


The dictionary meaning of belief is An opinion or judgment in which a person is fully persuaded.

The dictionary meaning of faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing:
faith in another’s ability; a belief which is not based on proof: 

Which one do you have that can carry you through the ups and downs of life? Do you have faith which can move mountains and heal disease? Do you believe in the Person of Jesus your Savior who came to save you from yourself and your sins? Do you have confidence in the work which Jesus did to pay for all of your sins and save you from an eternity in hell? Do you truly believe that Jesus did what the Bible says that He did and that we owe Him our lives? Truly, if your answer to any of these questions is anything other than “YES!!”; then your soul is in mortal danger indeed.

God determined that humanity needed to be saved from their sins even before Adam was created and yet many of us still ignore our need for salvation. We seem to think that God needs our help in salvation for us or for anyone who asks for salvation. God doesn’t need anything from anyone! I mean, look at this Solar system! Our Creator placed all of the planets in their orbits and each star in the sky, so how could He need our help?

Faith comes to each of us in different ways, but according to the Bible, it comes through the hearing of God’s Word through preaching or reading it or even listening to an audio Bible. The Holy Spirit activates your faith in order to bring you into God’s family. If you need to know why God would want you in the family, ask Him. It usually has to do with your calling…your job which God has for you to do.

Don’t think that you can’t do anything for God because He has used many different people over the centuries for His purposes. He has also used many different types of people for His purposes, even some who didn’t believe in Him. He raised up the King of Egypt in order to prove that the God of the Israelites was more powerful than the gods of Egypt. God used the Babylonian empire and its king to punish Israel by placing them in bondage for 70 years.

Don’t think that God can’t use your talents and abilities because He gave you your talents. Even if you aren’t a believer, you may be used by God to bring someone into His family in some way. Belief and faith do go together and they work together to accomplish God’s purposes. Praise the Lord for He is good and His mercies endure forever.

On which side are you?


There has always been an attraction between people who have opposite types of personalities and sometimes interests too. The problem with this is that even though opposites are attracted to each other, sometimes very strongly, they don’t mix very well. In the physical world opposites usually don’t mix much if at all, like fire and ice or oil and water.

Different religions in the same house can work if the couple is determined to make it work. Being in opposition to the world’s system or on God’s team is a particularly diametric position which much of the world will not tolerate. The reason is simple, the world’s religions outside of Christianity won’t accept the Bible’s truth, even though it comes from the Creator Himself.

So…which side are you on? Are you living with Jesus in your heart? Walking with Him at least once a week or a couple of days during the week is the least that you can do because He sacrificed His life to give you the opportunity to be with Him in eternity.

Are there sides to this spiritual war that we have no eyes to see? Yes, there are. Satan has been at work in our world for thousands of years. This is evident by all of the problems in our world including the wars and disease and hatred which we see evidence of every day. The evil in mankind’s heart and mind got there by the temptation of Adam in the garden and the ability to lie and steal is inherent in man without anyone teaching it.

You can call it black and white or good and evil or the dark side and the light, but it is a spiritual battle that has been raging for longer than the Earth has been a planet. Make sure of which side you are on.