There are many reasons for Christians to be persecuted at this time. One is because it was foretold by our Lord Jesus Christ. Another reason is because our belief in Jesus and the Truth of the Gospel and God’s Word is offensive to many religions because of our claim that it is the only Truth. One other reason is because there are many people who don’t want to believe in Jesus and they fervently believe that their religion is the “right” belief to have in order to enter into eternity. The problem that is present in our world today is that God designed us with an eternal soul regardless of our belief in Jesus or not we will have an eternity ahead of us after death. Our eternal problem is our destination after death, will it be in Heaven or will it be in the lake of fire, not for any sin that we’ve done in this life but for rejecting the Savior that God sent into the world to save us!
Whether you believe in Jesus for your salvation or not doesn’t change the fact that eternity is still out there ahead of you. Oh, some people may tell you that there is nothing after death. You’re just dead!
That isn’t what is taught and shown in God’s Word. Jesus spoke many times about Paradise or Abraham’s bosom and hell, so if the Son of God speaks about a life after this one then the end of this life isn’t the end at all. But there are many religions and beliefs that don’t teach about an eternity beyond this life, let alone that you will experience it as a living soul! The soul that comes from God Himself, the breath of Life that was breathed into Adam, is eternal. When this body, this “temple of the Holy Spirit” is dead, your soul goes back to its Maker. If you have given your life to Jesus and followed Him, even if it was only for a few days or weeks, your soul will be in His Presence from the moment of your death into eternity. If you did not give your heart to Jesus and you lived like the end was going to be the end…period, then your soul will go into eternity to be judged by God without the blood of Jesus covering your sinful life.
Which one of those situations would you rather be in? The one where your soul is welcomed into eternity or the one where you are facing the Judge of all, God Himself?
It is an easy choice to make while you are alive here but it has to be made before you draw your last breath. This life is a “proving ground” in a way because God proves each of us while we live. Whether we will obey Him and follow Jesus and repent of our sinful lives or not. Those are the only choices in this life that have real eternal consequences. When you feel convicted of your sins, whether you are in church or in your car or at work, begin to pray right then and ask Jesus to forgive you and come into your heart and change you so that you can be useful to Him for the rest of your life regardless of how long that may be.
You and I are not guaranteed tomorrow, so when that conviction does come on your heart please don’t ignore it. Immediately begin praying for Him to come in and save you from your sinful life and it’s consequences. Don’t wait until Sunday because you may not make it to Sunday!
10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
The angels told His disciples, “This Jesus…”, will come again! What a truth and a promise! Jesus had told them that He would come and receive them unto Himself one day and this saying from the angels confirms this. Many years before the book of Revelation was written, we confirm His second coming and where He will be when He sets foot on Earth again.
We know that His word is true because of the predictions and prophecies that He fulfilled in His first “coming”. The statement of His second “coming” in regards to His setting foot on the Mount of Olives is a prophecy that I am looking forward to witnessing. God’s Kingdom coming to Earth and being ruled by Jesus for a thousand years is a fulfillment of prophecy that I am anxious to see and be a part of.
So much has happened in the past thirty years of my life. I got married to a wonderful woman. We had a child, my son, who I thank God for every day. I became a pastor of a small church and I got to know my Savior more intimately than I thought possible through His Word. There have been other blessings that the Lord has blessed me with that are more than I can include here but I am thankful for them all.
The world is changing rapidly and coming to the end of this age much faster than I thought possible but God is in control and I know that it is part of His plan. What is next? I’m not sure but I am sure of Him and His love for us. We will see, and I think much sooner than most would believe, what God has prepared for our eternity.
Some may ask if this is just a dream of mine or just some fantasy that I have dreamed up while reading the Bible? It is neither. I look forward to the prize of my Savior and Lord and I humbly lay my crown and my blessings down at His feet because I could not be more blessed than I am with my family and with Him. The world would only see the material things in my life but I am looking for the reward that is not seen here but it is in my home in eternity. Thank you, Lord.
What do you picture when you think of eternity in Heaven? Honestly, I have a lot of trouble picturing it at all. The descriptions of Heaven which are given in the Bible are hard to imagine but they all describe a place that is so beautiful and beyond anything that we have ever seen on Earth. This fact alone makes it hard to use our imagination to even consider how it will be. I have read fictional books which try to describe the majesty and beauty of cities and homes made by our Creator for us and even those are beyond anything that we can think of.
Why am I writing of a place which is nearly impossible to imagine with our limited human minds? Because one day in the near future we will go there and see the home which God has prepared for us. Imagine the Builder of the universe creating a home which fits each of us perfectly. The rooms and the furniture and the interior and everything that we would love to have but can’t have here.
Why would Jesus build each of us a place like that? Because He loves us that’s why! I mean He created the universe, don’t you think creating a home for each of us would be a simple, loving gesture that He would enjoy doing for you or me? I am looking forward to being in His Presence, whether I get a tent or a house, I don’t really care. Seek Him and His Kingdom because the kingdoms of this world will be going away one day and He will rule here for a thousand years!
Have you ever wondered this to yourself? Who am I? I don’t know you, but God does. Have you ever thought about that? Why would God want to know me or love me? I’ll tell you why…because He LOVES you! He has loved you and me and everyone else who has ever lived with a love that we can’t understand. Because He is our Creator! He knit your molecules together in such a way that there is no other person nor has there ever been another person exactly like you!
Who are we? If you are a believer in Jesus as your Savior, then you are a child of God and an heir to everything that God wants to give you and He will give it to you. When it is His time to do so. We want it now, today, but God knows that much of His love and the blessings which He has prepared for you and me are not useful right now. Our heavenly home is waiting for us but we can’t live in it right now. The horse that we will ride behind Jesus is waiting in heaven for us but we can’t ride him or her right now. The city which has streets of gold is there but we can’t experience it until we are there. We are blessed and loved and highly favored in God’s sight but we won’t know how much until we get there.
We are blessed and loved and sanctified in Jesus and we are each part of God’s family and it will be a BIG family gathering one day. When that day comes, the world will mourn our disappearance but we will be in the most wonderful place in the universe! We will be with God! How amazing will that be? Living in heaven with our Father, our Creator and our Savior for eternity. Will we be doing anything? Of course we will. God doesn’t save you from the punishment of hell and then condemn you to a life of boredom. We will be working for Him in every capacity that He can give us the ability to do. Consider Who He is. Our Creator and our redeemer. We will have any ability that He wants us to have whether we lived that way in this life or not. Whether we have been a leader or a carpenter or a welder or a police person or a doctor, God can give each of us the knowledge and ability to do His will all through eternity and He will!
Who are you? We are whoever God says we are. We are able to be whatever He says we can be. We are able to do whatever He says we can because He loves us and He never leaves us. He is our Creator and our Redeemer and He is able to give us abilities which we would never have unless He gave them to us and gave us the knowledge to accomplish them. We are His children and we need to be grateful and thankful for each breath we take. Yes, we are loved and we are forgiven and we are His!
And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the Lord , who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/2sa.22.2-4.KJV
Why should Christians be afraid of anything that man can do when we have a Deliverer Who is our Lord and Savior? While it is true that in today’s world there are evil men and we are experiencing evil times with diseases and wars and natural disasters happening all around us, God is still in control. He knows what is happening and He is allowing it to happen true enough, but His plan and the outcome of His plan will be glorious beyond our imagination. Consider living in squalor today but you have faith in God and in Jesus. What a wondrous joy it will be to walk the streets of purest gold one day!
Jesus said that He was going to prepare a place for us and that He would come again and take us with Him to be there in that place. We look at all of the “things” which we can have in this life and we usually think that “life couldn’t get any better than this”. But, eternity is going to be so much more than we can imagine now until it will likely be days before I can pick my jaw up from the floor! God would not have made those promises to us if He wasn’t going to fulfill them. So, we need to make sure that our life is in His hands and that we are ready when that day comes. Amen?
Regardless of which day you believe that Jesus was crucified, the night before was His worst. It started out good with the meal with His disciples but then as the hours passed, He knew the time was getting closer. The time in the Garden of Gethsemane stressed Jesus to the point of sweating blood while He was praying. I mean, come on, sweating blood! You know that had to be some serious stress!
No, I’m not being trite with this. Jesus’ human side was truly scared and wishing, even praying that He didn’t have to go through with this. But, He did and He did it for you and for me and everyone else in this world. Why? Because His sacrifice and death on the cross was necessary to pay for ALL of our sins. He was the only man who could do this. Not the Pope nor any other religious figure in the past could pay for our sins because none of them could live a sinless life.
The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That is Who Jesus was and who He still is. So why do people have so much angst over His name? Is it because He claimed and proved that He is the Son of God? Maybe. His suffering was prophesied many years before He was even born and yet the prophecies all were fulfilled in His Life and His death on the cross and by His resurrection after three days. Regardless of how you calculate His death and the feast which was taking place, He still fulfilled the prophecies about Himself. No mere man could do that!
Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of Man and the Son of God is the only man who could be the Savior of the world and the only begotten Son of God! If this bothers you enough that you never want to read this again…then don’t. Walk away from His Spirit which is touching your heart and letting you know that you need Him as your Savior. It will be the worst mistake of your life if you do. Why do I say that? Because you have no idea if you will ever have the chance to give your heart to Him and ask Him into your life. We are not given a guarantee of a certain number of years on this planet. You or I may die tonight before the sunrises tomorrow.
Don’t turn away from His call in your life because that is a call you don’t want to miss. It is like a call from a “lottery” about a number that could make you rich, it will likely come only once in a lifetime. Don’t pass it up. Giving your heart to Jesus is more valuable than any amount of money you could win because in eternity the money you have here is worthless. Please, don’t turn away from Jesus.
As God’s creation, we are loved and we have been loved by Him since before the Earth was formed or even before light came into the universe. Isn’t that amazing? God loves you and me! The depth of His love toward all of humanity was not known until Jesus came into the world about two thousand years ago and He embodied God’s love toward humanity. He went around the sea of Galilee with His message of love, forgiveness, healing and the promise of an eternity with Him. What more could we need or ask for?
Here on Earth, many people search for more money or fame or stuff but what good does all of that do? All that it does for us is cause more worries and headaches and stress and at the end of your life…someone else gets it and most likely they will sell it or auction it off. The eternity which God offers us is worth far more than anything we can have here. We will have a home and a life with most of our loved ones. I say most because there are going to be some who either didn’t accept Jesus in this life or they walked away from Him and His offer of salvation. I know, that sounds like the same thing but it isn’t.
Some people won’t accept His offer of grace and salvation but they may finally accept it right before their death (if they have the time). Many will hear the message at some point but they will determine that it just isn’t for them and they will walk away and likely never darken the door of a church again. The thing is that only God knows your heart and their hearts so whatever choice you may make in this life, make sure that it is a sure one by walking with Him during your life and leaving your old sinful life behind. Why do I say this? Because other people need to know that your life has changed and you have changed! Your life should be a witness to others for Jesus whether you say anything to them about salvation or not.
That is what Jesus meant when He said for us to “take up your cross and follow Me“. In the passage which is linked here, He says to “deny yourself” which is exactly what you think it is. Deny or turn away from your old ways of living and follow Him by prayer and study of the Bible. People usually look at me funny when I say that they need to study the Bible, but I am not saying that you have to write it out word for word. I only mean that you should pray over what you read daily, just a chapter or two a day and you will read all of it in about a year. If you make it a habit like I have, going a day without it will feel strange.
Reading God’s Word daily is like walking with Him every day because you learn more about Him as you read His Word. Granted there are two books which are very difficult to understand or even know what they offer for our life today but they are necessary. Those books are Leviticus and Numbers. They deal with the Priesthood of Israel and the number of people in each tribe and how much is to be sacrificed to pay for certain sins, etc. What are they good for today? These two books show us how impossible it is to live a holy life, blameless before God without the Holy Spirit guiding us every day.
Make sure of your relationship with Jesus while there is time and opportunity to do so, because after your last breath the chance is gone.
It seems that there are more commercials on television about making you look young again or at least younger than you are. Why do we have such a fascination with youth? When we are young, we can’t wait to get older and when we are older we want to be young again…does that make any sense to you?
We are born needing help with everything, then we grow to a point where we think we are doing everything for everyone else, then when we get old we are back to the point of others helping us with everything all over again. It seems to be an endless circle. But honestly, I don’t want to be young again! Yes, there were many things which I could do when I was younger that I can’t do now but are those things really useful today?
Some of them may be but most of my younger days and nights were spent doing things which I would consider counter-productive today. Many of those which I thought I enjoyed way back when were sinful and dangerous. Like drinking and then driving home or smoking two and three packs of cigarettes every day. Those behaviors are thirty years or more in my past now, but some people seem to want to go back to that point.
Being young is a good thing but why can’t we look ahead of us instead of behind in our life here? Many of us see a life ahead with pain and the maladies which come with old age but I am talking about eternity…immortality with Jesus in Heaven! That life will not have the ailments and frail body which all of us have now. We will be in a body which will never die with no contacts or eyeglasses needed to see the world around us! We won’t need a cane or a wheelchair to get around in or with.
The life that believers will have in Heaven will be one of worship and praise and working in God’s Kingdom forever! There will be no night or heat or suffering or pain and anything which we associate with getting old or being old!
I know, it sounds too good to be true! But, just think about this a minute. Anyone can be saved through the name of Jesus and by His Spirit just by believing in Him and what He did for you and me. You don’t have to be a deacon or a church member for decades, just answer the call of the One Who calls you to be saved. That is all that is needed. God prepared the way for you through Jesus and all that you need to do is believe in Him and accept the atonement provided through His shed blood.
You can get baptized and become a member of a church when you accept Jesus as your Savior but the church membership isn’t a requirement for salvation. The baptism isn’t a requirement either but it is a public statement showing that you are raised to walk into a new life with Jesus. God loves you, don’t forget that bit of information. Seek Him earnestly and you will find Him.
Have you ever considered whether you are on the way to Heaven or hell? There is only one way to Heaven and that is with belief in Jesus and His atonement for us which was paid for on the cross.
God’s love for us came with the appearance of Jesus and His sacrifice for all of our sins. All you have to do is believe in Him and repent of your old life and your sins. Don’t take the easy way or the way that seems to be the way which everyone else is on. Follow Jesus, ask Him to become your Savior when you feel convicted of your sins, whatever they may be!
There will be many religious people on that broad road and many will be going through the big doorway. Many of them will believe that they have been Christians for years since they attend church semi-regularly, but going through the motions of going to church and giving tithes and reading your Bible isn’t enough. If Jesus isn’t in your heart and if He hasn’t changed your life then all of those things mean nothing!
If it would surprise someone to know that you even attend church then you need to seek your salvation through God’s Word and repentance before it is too late.