NO SHARE IN HEAVEN

The universe (all that is) fascinates me. From the heights of the sky to the depths of the ocean. From the smallest particle seen under a microscope to all of creation that travel will allow me to see. The reason is that I understand the God of the Bible to be the King of the Universe and I want to know Him as well as I can during my journey in this life. Enlarging our universe only happens through knowledge and understanding. So let the journey begin or continue.

God created the universe through His Son Christ Jesus. John 1:3 speaks of this pre-incarnate work of Christ. Even the great mind of Albert Einstein said that “God does not play dice with the universe”. His awareness of probability mathematics did not allow for an evolutionary chance model of creation. Those who disagree we call Epicureans. They who have always believed a ‘do your own thing’ model and are slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe (Galatians 4:3) and have not this mature understanding.

My understanding is at creation we have been given the sky (that which we can see and study), paradise where souls rest until the gates of the final Heaven are opened to us to live eternally with God. Until then God through the angelic world and in our lives has allowed for free will and Lucifer, as a fallen angel, took advantage of this introducing sin to mankind both in our physical and moral universe.

We must know though that God has not abandoned us. He is still active in the world (James 5:7-8). The laws of science we have today is how God is currently running the universe. These laws cannot say how God might eventually change them. What we can say for certainty is that if you are not born again of God in the present you will have no reservation in the future Kingdom for the unrighteous have NO SHARE IN THE THIRD KINGDOM OR HEAVEN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Understand the universe and you better understand God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 1:3 “God created the universe through His Son”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for opening Your universe to me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK  ABOUT:

  1.  What is probability mathematics and how does it relate to the universe?
  2. Who are the Epicureans today?
  3. Where are the rules of the universe found?
  4. Is Revelations the key to the universe?

LET THE NEW LIFE BEGIN

We play games at Halloween time with the idea of spirits. A favorite animation appearing on television is the comical story of Charlie Brown and the ‘Great Pumpkin Spirit’. Truth be told there is a very real spiritual resurrection and it is ours now. By the power of Christ (Ephesians 5:14) and the transformation aided by the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19) we take on a new personality which will give us eternal life as Christ shared in John 5:24. If knowing this opportunity can be ours isn’t enough to get a person excited I don’t know what is.

Knowing this it is important we be obedient to Paul’s teaching in Romans 5:13. Our bodies, souls and spirits are no longer enslaved to sin but now must be prepared to be presented to God as holy and righteous. Our lives will change here and now in such a manner that we will turn from a wilderness to a beautiful forest as Isaiah 33:15 puts it so well.

For me great comfort is mine every time I hear the words of Christ that “he who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). LET THE NEW LIFE BEGIN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Spiritual resurrection restores us to our risen Savior.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 5:24 “our spiritual life leads to eternal life”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your uplifting Spirit.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Has your life been transformed?
  2. How do you understand spiritual resurrection?
  3. Why do many choose to remain dead in their sin?
  4. Are you a wilderness or a beautiful forest?

EXPERIENCE ETERNAL LIFE NOW!

As a proponent of living each moment of each day to its max it seems only natural to incorporate eternal life into those moments. For myself and all believers that comes in knowing the one true God through Jesus Christ Whom God sent (John 17:3). This requires obedience to His every command as Christ Himself spoke recorded in John 12:50.

That promise of eternal life is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:1) and Christ Jesus only (John 14:6). Our world places numerous other gods before us who can be very enticing but they lead only to an unpleasant eternal separation from the one true God.

The best part of eternal life is that it is a gift from God (Romans 6:22-23). The worlds richest person can not buy it only receive it. For most in this world they choose not to receive this gift as they are unwilling to love the Son of God (1 John 5:11-12). A Son that is made known to us through the Scripture.

What makes each moment special is that this is my inheritance (Matthew 19:29). Knowing this I can begin to live today in faith, hope and love. In my possession of the Holy Spirit within me I can experience the Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and see the world guided by the Holy Spirit in all truth (John 16:13). This is how I EXPERIENCE ETERNAL LIFE NOW.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Eternal life is everlasting available to everyone.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 19:29 “Eternal life is a believers inheritance”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your free gift.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How do you live each moment of each day?
  2. What other gods are before us?
  3. Why do so many choose not to follow Jesus Christ as the Son of God?
  4. Why does the Christian Bible remain the #1 selling book in the world?

ETERNAL DEATH!

There are a great many in the world who will experience what the Bible calls a Lake of Fire and sulpher (Rev. 20:15). They are those who in this life did not live such that their names would be written in the Book of Life. Sadly, I believe, there are many who affirm our Lord and Savior but it is simply an intellectual affirmation and not a saving faith affirmation. Satan himself believed in our Lord and Savior as seen in Matthew 4:1-11 but did not understand or chose not to understand what it means to truly worship Him.

God is indeed a God of mercy but He is also a God of judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).  It is important as Christians we understand this. If we accept the Bible as God’s Word then we have to know that from Genesis to Revelations this understanding of a Lake of Fire and judgment are mentioned and illustrated. We all need to deal with it now or face its consequences later.

My understanding is that those who die in sin until the end of time will find themselves in Hades (Sheol) which will have a torment all its own. Christ shared this with us in Luke 16:23. At an appointed time history will end and all demons, beasts and satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire experiencing a second (Revelation 2:11) and eternal death.

Satan and the beast will be released prior to this time for a short period when there will be tribulation on earth (Revelation 17:8) but that will be short lived before the final ETERNAL DEATH!

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: A lengthy life truly committed to the Lamb of God will keep us out of the Lake of Fire.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Revelation 20:14 “Death itself will be cast into the Lake of Fire”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I desire to live with You eternally.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  What is intellectual affirmation that some Christians mistakenly show?
  2.  Are there degrees of righteousness and judgment?
  3.  Will hell be a place of intense fire or as some believe simply separation from God?
  4.  Why is fire more powerful than water and its significance?

WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN DEATH AND RESURRECTION?

Jesus through the Gospel writer John (John 11:11-14) describes death as simply a state of being asleep though physically dead. As Christians we often comfort ourselves in times of death with words such as “the deceased is in a far better place”. Indeed Paul in Philippians 1:23 speaks those very same words. In fact death puts us in the presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

This presence is somewhat defined by Scripture beginning with our ability to identify others. At the transfiguration of Christ (Matthew 17:3) Peter experienced this in carrying on a conversation with Moses and Elijah who were a part of history years earlier. Two figures among many whom I hope to meet some day in eternity. As Christ’s words express in Luke 16:25 it would also seem to be a time of comfort and enjoyment. Certainly nothing to fear unless we are choosing a life contrary to Scripture. The chasm that cannot be crossed (vs. 26).

In this moment we will be souls without our new body (Revelations 6:9) awaiting the resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) when we will all have a new body like unto the Lords. This is WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN DEATH AND RESURRECTION.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The intermediate state is one of inheritance and all that which identifies us with our Lord and Savior.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 2 Corinthians 5:8 “immediate presence with the Lord after death”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your presence.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What does it mean to be in the presence of the Lord?
  2. Are all ‘others’ you want in your eternal presence aware of a saving faith?
  3. Is your life being lived out according to Scripture?
  4. How do you understand death?

THE HOSTS OF HEAVEN!

Occasionally you hear the expression ‘hosts of Heaven’. It is a term used of sun, moon, stars and of angels. Generally looked upon with favor as part of God’s wonderful creation. When used as objects of worship as some soothsayers, cultures and faiths do  it then becomes idolatry. We are warned in Deuteronomy 4:19  to “take heed…lest we feel driven to worship them”. We were created by God and meant to worship Him only so what we should do is appreciate how God set the sun, moon and stars in the expanse and did so in such vast numbers each uniquely placed. Admiring this and all their beauty we see the greatness of God’s might and power (Isaiah 40:26). What to me is especially interesting is how each was given a name by God many noted in Job chapter 9.

Angels also are looked upon as hosts in Heaven. They too of course were created by God as Nehemiah 9:6 tells us to worship our Creator. In addition they were meant to minister positively to believers and to Christ with a more active role when Christ returns (Matthew 13:41). In addition I believe as 1 Kings 22:19 tells us that angels will join us at the Throne of Heaven. Indeed when understood properly we can truly appreciate THE HOSTS OF HEAVEN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The hosts of Heaven help us raise high our Hallelujahs.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Isaiah 45:12 “hosts of Heaven created by God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for the hosts of Heaven.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Who look upon the sun, moon and stars in an idolatrous fashion?
  2. What is special about the sun, moon and stars?
  3. Have angels been a part of your life?
  4. Do you take time to appreciate God’s Heavenly creation?

POLAR OPPOSITES

In a previous post I spoke about Heaven and so today I want to address a few thoughts from the Bible on hell. We tend to not want to think on hell but it is a reality and must be understood. Just as darkness is the absence of light, so also is hell the absence of heaven and important to understand.

Yet hell is so much more than the absence of Heaven or God. As Isaiah 66:24 declares it is a burning fire of punishment for the unrighteous. This everlasting fire was confirmed by Christ’s own words in Matthew 25:41. The Bible is full of words used to describe hell such as burning, sorrowful, destructive, wicked and more. None of them pleasant to think about.

Some who choose to live contrary to God’s Word may find some finite benefits that the earth and devil offers in this life but the way they have chosen is not the way of life (Matthew 7:13-14). Many of those believe that their physical death will end in non-existence and death will be their ultimate end. Truth is as Christ shares in Mark 9:48 their physical death is only the beginning of an eternal sorrowful existence.

Traveling the road that will lead to hell are: the devil and his angels, the wicked and disobedient, false prophets and all who reject the Gospel. For those who are on this path they need to be aware they are facing 3 deaths. The first is a spiritual  death brought on by a life of sin (Isaiah 59:2). This to be followed by a physical death which also locks in the spiritual death into an eternal death. An eternal death that can only be prevented through a saving faith by grace. These are the options we have that are POLAR OPPOSITES.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Hell is the inheritance for those who do not heed our Heavenly Father’s warnings.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Matthew 7:13-14 “two ways”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord help keep me on the straight and narrow.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What is your view of hell?
  2. Is there an intermediary place for dead souls to wait until the White Throne judgment (see Acts 2:27)?
  3. How do you build up character to resist the devil?
  4. Where will your death take you?

WATCHING THE HEAVENS

I enjoy observing the skies. For me it is better than anything man can do. It is like watching a movie produced and directed by God 24/7. The casting includes the sun, moon, stars and clouds and for special affects we have wind, moisture of various sorts and an occasional bird fly into the scene. This is just one of 3 major productions God has given us with the earth and the waters the other two.

As humans we often take for granted these wonderful miracles of creation so today for a moment we will look at some facts about the ‘natural heavens’ most important of which that they were created by God (Genesis 1:1). They did not come out of nothing without purpose. Not only did God create them but He “stretched them out at His discretion” (Jeremiah 10:12). As mankind in its limited wisdom tries to define space, time and matter, I believe God simply toys with us who think our knowledge is above or the match for that of the Infinite.

Time, space and matter are God’s to control and one day before introducing the New Heaven to His followers He will destroy the old heavens and earth (2 Peter 3:10). It is possible that signs of this are already in place. When this happens our future as believers is assured for we will experience an even more glorious New Heaven and New Earth where only righteousness will dwell (2 Peter 3:13). Sin and evil will be no more so keep WATCHING THE HEAVENS.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Happiness awaits those whose  spiritual heritage includes the New Heaven.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 2 Peter 3:13 “a new and much improved Heaven and Earth”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I await your return.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What is the purpose for God’s creation?
  2. Are there indications of the existing natural heavens and earth being in trouble?
  3. Where do we see God’s wisdom in the natural heavens?
  4. How do you appreciate creation especially the heavens?

GOLD!!

There is something about gold that has fascinated people since the beginning of time. For some it’s the value we place on it or perhaps its appearance. The key is to understand it from a Scriptural perspective.

When understood incorrectly it can be both destructive and evil. Examples of this are when the people of Israel made an idol by building a golden calf (Exodus 32:31). Today, for many, gold (exemplified in the pursuit of wealth) continues to serve as an idol replacing the one true God in our lives.

A second way that gold is dangerous is in its use to destroy. Hammon for example offered millions if not billions in gold value for the defeat of the Jewish people. Today those same sums are spent on destroying what is good, be it through conflict or some other means.

What is important to understand is that gold when used as a unit of measurement can serve a purpose. We carry it in our pockets for its economic value but it should be a reminder that our treasure we receive in Heaven is of greater value (Luke 18:22) than all the gold and goods we can accumulate on earth. In fact when we die we carry with us to God’s Kingdom nothing but His Word we have planted in our hearts and a sum total of the good works we have done in furthering His Kingdom that come out of our saving faith.

Gold is perishable yet it still is used in Scripture as describing the fullness and completeness of God’s Kingdom plan for us. On earth the holiest was built or covered with gold (Hebrews 9:4) and one day we will walk the streets of New Jerusalem which will be of “pure gold like transparent glass” (Revelations 21:21). It is then we will experience the ultimate spiritual GOLD.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Gold is great as a holy adornment that glorifies God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Revelations 3:18 “Christ’s doctrine is pure gold”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for filling me with spiritual gold.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How are large sums of money used today to defeat God’s people?
  2. What is more valuable than gold that we are to store up for ourselves on earth?
  3. How are we to use gold today?
  4. What does gold remind you of?

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO KNOW GOD!

The heavens are fascinating to many including myself. Why should it not be since Genesis 1:7 tells us “God made the firmament”. The great expanse between our universe and God was created so that we may know God. In fact if we do not know God it is our fault as God and His attributes are clearly evident in the firmament He has given us (Romans 1:18-20). It shows us God’s eternal power and nature. To not see and understand this makes us the fool as Scripture attests to.

As a fan of all things natural, I am constantly fascinated by how nature acts and how each element of it no matter the size is placed so precisely and operates with such precision and efficiency that only an omniscient God could have done it (Psalm 19:1). The evolutionary slime theory much of mankind has bought into is for me the ridiculous.

One day the firmament we have before us will signal the end times have arrived (1 Corinthians 15:52) and then those who acknowledge Christ as their Lord and Savior will ascend above the firmament (Ephesians 4:10) to God in the highest Heaven. Indeed IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO KNOW GOD.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The firmament is the finger of God pointing us to His Divinity.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 19:1 “the heavens proclaim God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:  Lord help me understand You  better through Your creation.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Is it possible God’s Word has reached all people by the mere existence of His Creation?
  2. What makes the expanse of space (firmament) so fascinating?
  3. Are you a weather watcher in its fullest definition?
  4. How will the firmament declare the end times?