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Why do so many of God’s children forget that we will give account to Jesus?

Looking around at Christian behaviour today, I have to ask myself if many are aware of why we need to live our lives on this earth with eternity in mind. If we know and understand what God has revealed about the end time, it should cause us to live now with eternity in mind. I have always told my children that what we do with Jesus after we are saved will determine our lives in Heaven forever. How can we specifically focus on living for Jesus with Heaven in mind?

We can share the Gospel regularly. In light of eternity, it is vital that we make time to obey Christ’s Great Commission on a regular basis. Our time here is indeed very limited. It can be gone in the blink of an eye. The missionary, Amy Carmichael, once wrote “We shall have all eternity to celebrate the victories, but we have only the few hours before sunset in which to win them.” And contrary to some opinions, it is not just the Pastor’s or Missionary’s job to “go and tell.” Once we are Saved by Jesus’ blood, we are all His disciples. Mark 16:15-16 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

We will give an account. 2 Corinthians 5:10 During the Tribulation time on earth, we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” This judgment is not the same as the Great White Throne Judgment. It is not to determine if we are going to Heaven or Hell. Jesus’ blood has already cleansed us from all our sin – I John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” It is not to judge us for every wicked thing we have done, those sins were already judged at the cross. It is to test what we have done for Christ.

Just as a competitor in an athletic competition would stand before the ancient bema seat to receive his reward, so we will stand before our Lord to receive our rewards for our faithful service to Him after we took Him as our Lord and Master.The Judgment Seat of Christ is to reward us for the works that we do for God now, but they must be done with pure motives, not fleshly, selfish motives. I Corinthians 3:12-15 “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Have you ever received a ribbon or trophy after you competed in an event? You were rewarded for the skill you did develop, but the moments you could have been training but didn’t, or the moments you spent in a counter-productive way to your training, weren’t revealed during the giving of the rewards. Those moments were simply wasted–the only “punishment” being a loss of a higher reward.

Scripture mentions at least 5 rewards, or Crowns that we can win. Every child of God should have a goal to win each of these crowns. Why? Because we will have the chance to cast them at Jesus’ feet, giving Him the honor He deserves. After all, was it not He who took our punishment on the Cross, is it not He who enables us to serve Him? I will never forget how excited I became when I first learned about the Bema Seat Judgment and the Crowns that I might receive for what I do for the Lord now. I still experience that excitement when I am reminded of these rewards. Not because I want anything for my service, but because I believe when we see our Lord face to face, in His Holy presence, we will immediately be convicted about not having done more for He who took our punishment so that we can live in bliss forever with Him. I will be so happy to take those crowns and lay them at the feet of my Saviour, for without Him, I would not be there.

  1. The Crown of Righteousness: This crown is given to those who look forward to the return of Christ. 2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” I do not know how a true child of God could not be excitedly looking forward to Jesus’ appearing as we are ‘caught up in the air.” It is our great Hope to share with the world!
  2. The Crown of Life: This is the martyr’s crown, but it is also given to those who overcome temptation. James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Revelation 2:10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” I believe that when we are persecuted by evil for Christ’s sake, God bathes us in His Grace to endure.
  3. The Incorruptible Crown: This is given to those who exhibit temperance or moderation in their lives. It is the result of yielding to the Holy Spirit and being a testimony to those around us. I Corinthians 9:25 “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”
  4. The Crown of Rejoicing: This crown is given to those who have given their lives to reach people for Christ. The reason it is called a crown of rejoicing is because there is no greater joy than being used to win someone to Christ. Even the angels in Heaven rejoice when a lost soul turns from sin to newness in life in Christ Jesus! And they do not take part in the honor we have of being an Ambassador for Him as we lead others to God’s Saving Grace. I Thessalonians 2:19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”
  5. The Crown of Glory: This crown is given to those who faithfully help lead people in the Word of God. It is not reserved only for pastors. Every child of God should be actively involved in teaching someone else. I Peter 5:4 “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” The most exciting moment of the Judgment Seat of Christ is what we have the privilege to do with these rewards–cast them at Jesus’ feet in grateful worship. Revelation 4:10-11 “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Every day, we are in the middle of a spiritual battle. satan actively works to resist us and to resist our efforts to live for God. We must always remember, however, that God is greater, and that He has given us the resources to live each day in victory. Here are a few practical ways we can live in light of eternity:

“Put on” the whole armor of God. Every day, think through the various pieces of the armor of God, and make a decision to “wear” each piece. Ephesians 6:10-20 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth (Belt of truth-Believing in God’s truth to protect us from deception and lies; having honesty and integrity about our lives), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (Doing right); And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Being conscious of our testimony, ready to witness and bringing the gospel to others); Above all, taking the shield of faith (Trusting God), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation (Remembering God’s grace that saved us and being assured of His promise), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of GodPraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Praying for others); And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Tell others about Christ, and invest in their spiritual growth. The most important way we can prepare for eternal rewards to cast at Jesus’ feet is to lead others to Christ, and invest in their spiritual growth.

We must live every day looking forward to Jesus’ return. Like a bride anticipating her wedding day, remember Christ’s coming. This thought brings both joy and diligence!

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2016 in God's Truth

 

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Are We Preparing for our Service in Heaven?

I have to wonder, with the state of affairs in the U.S., how many of those who claim to be children of the one and only God Jehovah, truly understand that we will give account to Him for what we have or have not done for the cause of Christ after accepting Him as Lord, and that how we live our lives in this short time on earth is to prepare us for eternity in Heaven.

Matthew 25

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2016 in God's Truth

 

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“With Long Life Will I Satisfy Him”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part V of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

V. “With Long Life Will I Satisfy Him” I get a good deal of comfort out of that promise. I do not think that means a short life down here, seventy years, eighty years, ninety years, or one hundred years. Do you think that any man living would be satisfied if they could live to be one hundred years old and then have to die? Not by a good deal. Suppose Adam had lived until today and had to die tonight, would he be satisfied? Not a bit of it? Not if he had lived a million years, and then had to die. You know we are all the time coming to the end of things here, – the end of the week, the end of the month, the end of the year, the end of school days. It is end, end, end all the time. But, thank God, He is going to satisfy us with long life; no end to it, an endless life.

Life is very sweet. I never liked death; I like life. It would be a pretty dark world if death was eternal, and when our loved ones die we are to be eternally separated from them. Thank God, it is not so; we shall be re-united. It is just moving out of this house into a better one; stepping up higher, and living on and on forever. There is a verse – probably you have never noticed it – that came to me with great sweetness some time ago. It is in the 21st Psalm, the 4th verse: “He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days forever and ever.” Think of that, length of days forever and ever! Do you think Moses is dead yet? He never lived as he does today, never; and he is going to live on and on forever. What does Christ say? “If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.” Never! Don’t you want to live forever? You can if you will. Eternal life is as free as the air that you and I take into our lungs. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that send me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” Yes. “With long life will I satisfy him.”

Is there anyone here who has not got eternal life? I do not like to pass over this, and leave anyone outside the kingdom. If you are not in, my friend, take my advice; do not eat, nor drink nor sleep until you get eternal life. Then this body may be taken away, but if it is, you will make something out of death. “If our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

When a young man, I was called upon suddenly, in Chicago, to preach a funeral sermon. A good many Chicago business men were to be there, and I said to myself, “Now, it will be a good chance for me to preach the Gospel to those men, and I will get one of Christ’s funeral sermons.” I hunted all through the four Gospels trying to find one of Christ’s funeral sermons, but I could not find any. I found that He broke up every funeral He ever attended! He never preached a funeral sermon in the world. Death could not exist where He was. When the dead heard His voice they sprang to life. He will smash up the undertaking business when He comes to reign. “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth inn me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

The 23rd Psalm is more misquoted than anything else in the whole Bible. It is known in all the Catholic churches; it is known in the Greek church; it is in the Jewish synagogue: they chant it in a great many denominations, burying the dead; and armies went to battle chanting the 23rd Psalm. And yet I believe it is more misquoted than anything in the Bible. People will weave it into their prayers, and conversation, and chapel services. They will say, “Yea, though I walk through the dark valley.” They will always emphasize the word “dark,” and send the cold chills running down your back. “Yea, though I walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death.” I want to tell you, my dear friends, the word “dark” is not there at all. The devil sticks that in there to confuse believers. It is, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” What is the difference? Must not there be light where there is shadow? Can you get a shadow without light? If you doubt it, go down into the cellar tonight without a light, and find your shadow if you can.

All that death can do to a true believer is to throw a shadow across his path. Shadows never hurt anyone. You can walk right through shadows as you can through fog, and there is nothing to fear! I pity down deep in my heart any man or woman that lives under the bondage of death! If you are under it, may God bring you out today! May you come right out into the liberty of the blessed Gospel of the Son of God. Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy death, and we can say with Paul, if we will, “O death, where is they sting?” and we can hear a voice rolling down from Heaven saying, “Buried in the bosom of the Son of God.” He took death unto His own bosom. He went into the grave to conquer and overthrow it, and when He arose from the dead He said, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Thank God, we have a long life with Christ in glory!

My dear friends, if we are in Christ, we are never going to die. Do you believe that? If sometime you should read that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead, do not believe a word of it. He has gone up higher, that is all; gone out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint, a body fashioned like unto His own glorious body. Moses would not have changed the body he had at the transfiguration for the body he had at Pisgah. Elijah would not have changed the body he had at the transfiguration for the body he had under the juniper tree. They got better bodies; and I too am going to make something out of death. (Oh how I look forward to seeing and fellow-shipping with this great man of God, D. L. Moody, when I too trade this earthly vessel for the glorified body I will receive as I am transported from this world into God’s Blessed Eternal, Heavenly City! Anna)

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in God's Love

 

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Please DO NOT Wait! The Time Is Now!

I call to all who have been or are being deceived by satan and the false doctrine of his minions. There IS a Hell and you will spend ETERNITY in its torment if you continue to reject the Saviour we all need in Jesus Christ.

This is my plea today and every day till my death for those who continue to WAIT…

“Prayers: Too Late”

“Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.” Jeremiah 7: 16 (Something our country must understand before it’s too late.)

“There are two great prayer meetings in the Bible, where none of the participants got their requests. One took place in Hell (cf. Luke 16:24) and the other will be in the future, and will include some very important people (cf. Rev. 6:15-17). The rich man was praying to a saint, Abraham; and the people in the Tribulation are praying to rocks and mountains. Isaiah said these were “…a god that cannot save” (Isaiah 45:20).”

“It is a tragic station to arrive at when God has been so ignored that He will not acknowledge one’s prayers. P. T. Forsyth said, “Prayer is the greatest use of language possible.” Prayer is the key that unlocks the vaults of Heaven for the needy saint. Prayer is the prospector that discovers the golden vein of spiritual prosperity. Prayer is the powerful, personal possession of the redeemed. Prayer was the main course of study and lesson the disciples desired to learn (cf. Luke11:1).”

A young woman lay dying and said to her father, “why did you not tell me there was a lost world?” “Oh,” he replied, “God is merciful; there is not such place as Hell.” “Ah! But I know there is,” she moaned, “I feel it now, my feet are slipping over the brink. Why did you not tell me?

You may be careless in your prayer life, but conscience will awake sooner or later–Don’t wait too late to pray!” —Dr. Tim Green

It is totally your choice:

Eternity in Heaven with the Saviour OR Eternity in Hell and torment with satan!! ETERNITY IS FOREVER!

golden-city-of-heaven                     

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in God's Truth

 

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Living for God Until we Go to Heaven

Scripture refers to Heaven in three different ways: the vast expanse of space that surrounds the earth; the unequaled celestial universe; and the longed-for dwelling place of God. The reality that Christians will one day live forever in the presence of the Lord is a fundamental doctrine of the faith. The Bible only gives us a few glimpses of this Heavenly abode. It is a place prepared for Believers – John 14:1-3. It is a place without sorrow, darkness, or any kind of sin – Revelation 21:1-7. In Heaven, we will be like Christ; yet we will be able to recognize one another – 1 John 3:2. The most important thing about Heaven, however, is the presence of God. We will be forever with Him. Heaven is not meant to be an ethereal concept that we store in some mental safe-deposit box until we feel the need for it. We are to live now in the light of eternity. The values and perspective of eternity should guide our lives in the present – 2 Peter 3:10-12:

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

This is a subject that has been on my heart for some time now because I so wish for more of us to understand that just getting saved is not all there is to going to Heaven. Being saved by the precious blood of Jesus is all that is needed to be able to call Heaven our future home, but I do not believe the “rest of the story” is being taught in our churches today. I believe that there are very many who accept Jesus as Saviour, but that is the end of the journey for them; they have their ticket to Heaven. Salvation is just the beginning of a new life in Christ in which we all need to grow in and strive to be more like Christ each and every day while we are still present in this world. The purpose for that is to so shine our lights for others to want to come along with us. “God would that none should perish.”

I regret to say that not many “Christians” in this day even know what the Bema-Seat Judgment is, or they equate it with the Day of Judgment. The Bema-Seat Judgment is for the Saved in Christ, immediately upon our translation into Heaven. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). This Judgment is not for Salvation, but rather our works – what are we doing with Christ since we received Him as our Saviour? When we are saved, we are led by the Holy Spirit to live for Christ, if we are growing in the Spirit and trying to become like Christ. When we let this world lead us astray, we turn from our quiet times with God in our prayer closets, we turn from searching His Word so that it may mold us to be more like Christ and reveal His will for our lives, we leave God’s church family and the support that can be found there to help us through life’s trials and give us a place to serve the Lord.

Do we not understand that living in and for this world, or sowing to the flesh only leads to a life of sin and corruption? Galatians 6:5-8 “For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” A life led sowing to the Spirit of God leads to a life of righteousness and holiness. Those who sow to their own flesh do not lose the Spirit, but they lose the fruit of the Spirit. What kind of a testimony do we have for a world of lost sinners if we are living in the flesh? (I struggle each day against my fleshly sin nature that we all have as humans. Some times I win and some times I lose. I usually lose when I try to fight the battle on my own instead of calling on the Lord and His Holy Spirit to help me die to my sinful flesh.) Those who sow to the Spirit experience a harvest of righteousness and peace, the abundant life that God wishes for His children to experience in this world.

“Oh, well,” we think, “it’s okay, I am still going to Heaven, and God will forgive me.” Yes, of course both of those thoughts are true, but too many have forgotten that each and every one of us will stand before Christ at this Judgment and give account of what we did for Christ after He saved us. I have spent times in my life in the world, though saved, and when I came back to a walk with Christ, I felt such great remorse for those wasted years that could have been spent shining for Him. While on my knees crying out to God for forgiveness for those wasted years, I could not help but think how each of us will be so terribly overwhelmed by the remorse of not having done more for the cause of Christ, when we go into His presence, that we will weep uncontrollable tears of sorrow. I believe that those are the tears that the Lord God will wipe away from our eyes.

Every Believer has the choice to build with the valuable and lasting relationship with Christ, or the worthless and fleeting corruptness of this world and its ruler, satan. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

Not only is this Bema-Seat Judgment a time for our works to be held in account, but it is also a throne where Christ will give rewards to His faithful servants. Now, I know that we all love getting recognition for doing good or doing right, but I believe when we received these rewards from Jesus, we will with all our hearts and souls want to turn right around and lay these rewards at the feet of Jesus. We will fully realize that anything we may have earned would not be possible if not for Him-we will not even be in Heaven if not for Him, and it is He who truly deserves all rewards.

Scripture calls these rewards crowns, which comes from 2 Greek words: 1. diadema – a crown worn by a king and bestowed by birthright, 2. stephanos – refers to the crown bestowed an athlete in the athletic games or on the field of battle for personal victory.

Crown of Rejoicing – reward for winning souls to Christ – 1 Thessalonians 2:19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”

Crown of Righteousness – given to those who have lived life as if Jesus may return at any moment (our great hope) – 2 Timothy 4:5-8 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Crown of Life – awarded to those who have suffered persecution or martyrdom for their faith – James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” And Revelation 2:10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

Crown of Mastery – for those who have disciplined their bodies and have been victorious over them – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Crown of Glory – this is the crown that will be given to those church leaders who have faithfully cared for the Lord’s sheep – 1 Peter 5:1-4 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

Our Great loving and merciful God richly rewards those who have persevered and lived in obedience: Matthew 5:5,12; 19:27-30; 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27

Can we all just imagine what this world and our country would be like if God’s people would fully understand what comes after the Salvation of Jesus Christ in our hearts and lives? I dare say, it would not be as wicked and corrupt as it is today, and becoming more so every day. Yes, I know we are living in the end times, and satan knows that his time is short. Should we not also realize that our time is short as well, and live a life that makes those lost ones want what we have in Christ? Why do we let the evil ruler of this world be so successful in taking as many souls as he can to Hell with him? God did not create any of us for Hell, nor He did create Hell for mankind! He would that NONE should perish! 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

If we are not living for Christ, we are living for satan.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in God's Truth

 

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Where Will You Spend Eternity?

EternityEternity – We have seen the eternity of the dead (those lost in sins) described under “The Great White Throne Judgment” portion of this study. This posting will refer to the eternity that will be enjoyed by the Saved. It can best be described by the word “new.”

A. The New Heaven – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (Revelation 21:1)

1. A Place the Lord is Preparing for Us Now – “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

2. A Place of Treasure Laid Up for Us – “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matthew 6:20)

3. A Place where the Names of the Saved are Written – “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

The following pictures were taken from here.

4. A Place of Many Mansions (John 14:2)

5. A Place where the Glory of God and Jesus can be Seen – “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55, 56)

6. A Place where All the Redeemed live in the Presence of God and Christ – “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” (Revelation 7:9) This will include people from all nations, kindreds, people and tongues.

B. The New Earth – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (Revelation 21:1)

1. No More Sea (Revelation 21:1)

2. The Place where the New Jerusalem will be Transplanted (Revelation 21:1)

3. A Place where God Himself Will be with Us – ” And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)

4. A Place of No Tears, Death, Sorrow, Crying or Pain – “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

5. A Place that will Continue to have Nations and Kings – “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it…In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 21:24-26; 22:2) Christians who have earned the right to do so will continue to reign forever – “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:…And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 2:26; 22:5)

C. The New Jerusalem – “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14) See also Hebrews 10:9, 10; 15-16.

1. Names

a. New Jerusalem – “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (Revelation 3:12) “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2)

b. The Holy City (Revelation 21:2)

c. The Holy Jerusalem – “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:10) Note: the present Jerusalem has become very unholy – “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” (Revelation 11:8)

d. The Tabernacle of God – “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)

2. Location – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:1, 2) It will be transplanted from heaven where it is being build (John 14:2) to the New Earth (Revelation 21:9, 10) – “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” It is compared to twice as a bride prepared for her husband. Everything is perfect.

3. Description – (All told in Revelation 21) “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3   And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4   And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5   And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6   And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7   He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8   But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9   And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
10   And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11   Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12   And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13   On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14   And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15   And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16   And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17   And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18   And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19   And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20   The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21   And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22   And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23   And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24   And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25   And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26   And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27   And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

a. Lighting (Revelation 21:ll, 23, 24); and “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5) The brilliancy of God’s Being will light heaven.

b. An Outer Wall (Revelation 21:12, 13) This wall goes around the city, on the outside.

i. It is four-sided (Revelation 21:13)

ii. There are three gates on each side (Revelation 21:13) Each gate has a name of one of the tribes of Israel on it. Angels are stationed at the gates at all times.

iii. It is approximately 216 feet high (Revelation 21:17) A man’s cubit is about 18 inches.

iv. It is made of jasper (Revelation 21:18)

c. The City Wall – The city is encompassed by a wall inside the outer wall. The dimensions of that wall are much greater than those of the outer wall.

i. It’s height, length, and width are equal (Revelation 21:16). They are 12,000 furlongs. A furlong is approximately 1/8 mile. Thus, the dimensions are foursquare: 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles long, 1500 miles high.

ii. It has 12 foundations (Revelation 21:14). Each one has the name of one of the Apostles of Christ on it. (Do not confuse this with the outer wall!)

iii. Each foundation is made of a different type of stone (Revelation 21:19-21).

d. Inside the City – Described in Revelation 21:18-27 – What is there?

i. Pure gold and streets of gold (Revelation 21:18, 21)

ii. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Revelation 21:22)

iii. Pure river of water of life – “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Revelation 22:1)

iv. The tree of life – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7) and “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations…Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:2, 14)

v. Many Mansions – “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

vi. The Saved (Revelation 21:24) and (Revelation 22:3, 4) – ” And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”

NOTE: A comparison of Revelation 22:14 – “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” and Revelation 22:19 – “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Seems to indicate that not every Christian is going to have total access to the Holy City. Only those that have earned it in this life. Let us strive to keep His works until the end – not for salvation, but for reward’s sake. “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:” (Revelation 2:26)

D. New Everything – “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5a) Compare Isaiah 65:17 – “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

E. A New Name – “Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 56:5) See also Isaiah 62:2 – “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.” and Revelation 2:17 – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” and Revelation 3:12 – “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” In the Bible, whenever God gave a new name to something or someone, it was an accurate description of that thing or person. What may God name you?

F. A New Song – “And they sung a new song…” (Revelation 5:9a), and also “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” (Revelation 14:3)

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in Eschatology

 

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Jesus Cares for Widows

Ronald Rae Widow Woman 1992. Ragley Hall

Ronald Rae Widow Woman 1992. Ragley Hall (Photo credit: amandabhslater)

 

Jesus raises a widow‘s son from the dead”

Luke 7:11-17 “11. And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him,and much people. 12. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.  14. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about.”

As we see in the passage, there was “much people” with this widow, making much ado, grieving the death of her son. Though it is human to grieve for those who pass, I should think it would have been more of a solace to the widow if someone had stepped up and offered to take her in or give her aid. Instead, the crowd of mourners would go home, having accomplished their all-important ritual, and she would be left destitute and alone.

Back in those days there was no such thing as Medicare or Social Security. Women, especially elderly, were dependent upon their husbands and their sons to take care of them. Not only did Jesus care that this woman was in pain over her loss, I believe that He felt her pain. He also knew that her situation was dire, and that it required drastic measures. She had lost her husband, and now her last avenue of support through her only son. She was most probably past the age of childbearing and would never marry again. I would guess that the widow found Jesus’ words, “Weep not,” much more consoling than the raucous commotion that the crowd was causing. He knew that He was her only hope, and “he had compassion” on her and immediately brought her son back to life.

The Jews had many traditions they were bound to and their display at funerals was an important one to them. The family of the dead person followed the body as it made its way through town.  There were hired mourners who cried out drawing bystanders to the procession as well. The family then continued their mourning for 30 days. One thing the scribes and pharisees hated about Jesus’ ministry was that he chastised them for their many traditions and laws that were too hard on the people. Instead of seeking to know God and have a relationship with Him, they made stringent rules that only burdened the people. Jesus taught that those rules and traditions will not secure our home in eternity. He is the only Way.

Jesus also never missed an opportunity to glorify His heavenly Father. He used this event to illustrate salvation to a world that is lost in sin, just as the widow’s son was dead. We, like the dead, can do nothing to help ourselves. But God had compassion on us, while we were yet sinners, and sent His only Son to raise us to newness of life in Him. As the woman’s son could not earn a second chance at life, so we cannot earn our new life in Christ. We can, however, accept God’s gift of eternal life, praise Him for it, and live our lives to do His will.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

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