What does the Bible say about preparing for eternity

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12).

Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe
in God, believe also in Me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

The above verses with others and the entire tenor of God’s word tells us of the necessity of making preparation to meet the Lord in heaven and to escape hell. God has made every necessary provision for the salvation of everyone through the gift of His Son. And Jesus was willing to sacrifice in His dying upon that old rugged cross that we might be forgiven of our sins.

Even though God has provided the gift of salvation to everyone as the Bible states, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:14), God requires our faith and obedience.

Jesus stated the necessity of obedience when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Jesus also encourages us to follow the narrow way that leads to life because there are few that do so. But He says there are many who travel the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

It is so true that “Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people,” and that “not everyone talking about heaven will necessarily go there.”

#bible-study, #eternity

The forever church relocated

Steve Preston wrote today on his BibleTalk email list: “The kingdom, the church, will last for ever. However, it will not always exist on the earth.”

What a wonderful distinction! The people of God will participate in God’s eternity. But their passage on earth will be brief. They will be relocated to that place that Christ has prepared, Jn 14.1-4.

The great blessing is that we know where he went, and we know how to get there. He calls us to follow him there.

If you have not yet begun that journey, start now. If you have, call others to join with us.

#church, #eternity, #people-of-god

You – and by you I mean you – will go to Heaven

A huge spiritual question that some wrestle with is, “Will we know each other in Heaven?”

There are two answers, but only one can be right for obvious reasons.

Now each answer can create its own additional questions, but additional questions do not change the original question at hand and whether or not we can know its answer according to the scriptures.

I for one believe that the Bible overwhelming teaches that… Continue reading

#bible-questions, #eternity, #heaven, #personal-concerns

Love for the present age

Demas deserted Paul, “since he loved the present age” 2 Tim 4.10. In his commentary, Wm. Barclay engages in much speculation about what might have happened to Demas. Love for the present age or world comes in many forms. It is opposed to love of the God who rules for all the ages, who is eternal. He who loves the present age hates the age to come. Living in the present age prevents one from living for the next. Whatever form that love of the present age takes, it sucks out of the room all the oxygen of eternal ambition, it crowds out the search for things above, it dampens enthusiasm for spiritual things. Love for the present age puts man in the center and removes God from the throne. The flesh reigns, the spirit dies, and hope in the redemption of Christ becomes but a faint memory.

#Demas #love #eternity #worldliness

What does the Bible say about preparing for eternity?

From the desk of Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12).

Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

The above verses with others, and the entire tenor of God’s word, tells us of the necessity of making preparation to meet the Lord in heaven, and to escape hell. God has made every provision necessary for the salvation of everyone through the gift of His Son. And, Jesus was willing to sacrifice in His dying upon that old rugged cross, that we might be forgiven of our sins.

Even though God has provided the gift of salvation to everyone as the Bible states, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:14), God requires our faith and obedience.

Jesus stated the necessity of obedience when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Jesus also encourages us to follow the narrow way that leads to life, because there are few that do so. But, He says there are many who travel the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

It is true that “heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people,” and that “not everyone talking about heaven will necessarily go there.”

We must make preparation by obeying the Lord as the Bible teaches. Jesus tells us we must have faith in Him as the Son of God; that will lead us to repent of our sins; to confess that Jesus is the Son of God before men; and to be baptized into Jesus death to have our sins forgiven as they are washed away in His precious blood (John 8:24; Luke 13:3; Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:9-10; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21).

Are you preparing for eternity?

#eternity, #heaven, #preparation

Ready or not time is swiftly passing

2015 is here. It will take me a while to get accustomed to writing that date, but I will. Time marches on. It waits for no one. It reminds me of a game we played as children, when we yelled, “ready or not, here I come.” We often ask, “Where does the time go?” It’s moving along slowly but surely. Ready or not, it is coming if the Lord allows the world to stand.

Are we ready? You might think, “Well, what difference does it make?” As time marches on each of us is growing older. We are one step closer to the grave, to eternity. That’s the difference it makes.

When Hayes Funeral Home in Elba has a new body, they send me an announcement by email. I always feel a sense of dread in opening the email, afraid it might be someone I know. Often times it is someone I know. Death waits for no one. Friends and loved ones are going out into eternity, ready or not.

Let’s look at our spiritual growth during the past year. Let’s ask ourselves some serious questions:

Did we grow spiritually last year?
Are we closer to the Lord than we were a year ago?
Did our knowledge of the Word of God increase?
Did we devote more time to doing the Lord’s work this past year? Did we visit more? Did we talk to anyone about their soul? Did we help anyone in need? Did we give of our means as He would have us do? Did we attend the services of the church faithfully? Did we lead anyone to the Lord? Did we try?

Dr. Phil McGraw will often say, “The best way to determine future behavior is to look at past behavior.” I hope that is not true with our spiritual life. I hope that each year we will resolve to grow spiritually by studying our Bibles, by praying, by faithfully attending the services of the church, and by serving our fellowman with the goal of leading them to Christ.

When I was young, the Chuck Wagon Gang sang a song that I love. The chorus Is:

“I want my Lord to be satisfied with me.
I want my life to be what He’d have it be.
And when I come to that great eternity,
His smile will say He is satisfied with me.”

#2015, #bible-reading, #death, #eternity, #new-year

What an atheist did answer, then me (8)

QUESTION: What happens when we die?

ATHEIST: All bodily functions cease, and eventually our bodies decompose. (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21).

CHRISTIAN: From a purely naturalistic perspective this would be true, but there is more to man that just the material substance. There is the mind, and the mind is not material. From where did it originate? An atheist has no answer, but a theist does (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The passage used (3:19-21) is strictly from a physical perspective, but the wise preacher of Ecclesiastes knew there was more than the physical/material. In this there is wisdom.

QUESTION: What if your wrong? And there is a Heaven? And there is a HELL!

ATHEIST: If I am wrong, then I will go to Hell. Under such a circumstance, our choices are limited: 1) Be eternally tortured. 2) Be terrorized into submission in hopes of being allowed to spend eternity with the very being who created this scenario which lead to being so terrorized in the first place. I find neither scenario appealing. (NOTE: The concept of Hell being an old Pagan myth; and the concept of Heaven being “pie in the sky” hopes of defying nature and thereby somehow reconnecting with dearly departed loved ones; neither concept renders itself either a realistic cause for concern or a viable source of consolation).

CHRISTIAN: An atheist chooses to look upon the options as to only two, and he then chooses to value those options according to his own subjective standard. Yet, his standard is arbitrary, and not objective or transcendent. Thus, no reason to accept what he says about it; it can be summarily dismissed. The third option is to change one’s thinking in accordance with the evidence, but many atheists don’t do that since naturalism is a dogma that has to be held onto at all cost. Recently read an article where naturalism has to accept supernaturalism at the outset (see earlier reply). Interesting!

#atheism, #eternity, #heaven, #hell, #punishment

What an atheist did answer, then me (2)

QUESTION: What’s your view of Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris?

ATHEIST: I am not sure who Harris is. Dawkins and Hitchens are brilliant minds who have studied extensively and who present their concerns passionately.

CHRISTIAN: Whatever capability these men have (or might have had) is thrown away because of a willful acceptance toward a naturalistic ideology. It can be said: there are no dead atheists. They went into the realm of death as an atheist, but on the other side of life they are not!

#atheism, #eternity, #science

Learning to please God: Eternal rewards (#13)

The death of a saint is precious in the Lord’s sight. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalms 116:15) The death of an unsaved person is a sorrow and grief to God. “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.” (Revelation 21:8) Continue reading

#charles-box, #eternity, #heaven, #hell, #rewards

He keeps a detailed record, makes history

notesIn his column today, my good friend Mike Brooks writes in “History” that he keeps a detailed record of his movements in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Anybody else do this? I’ve been hit and miss on doing something similar, but then I’m here all the time.

Still, I could have done a better job. After all, nobody’s going to write my biography, so my records are going to be it. And when I’m in my retirement rocker, I may want to recall what happened.

In this article, Mike has a great application of this habit in spiritual terms.

I’ve known Mike since around 1980. Good brother. Ask God’s blessing on his work and family. And do read the article.

#eternity, #history

Only one person's death can change you eternally

Be it a family member or friend or even a stranger, the death of an individual has the power to change people.

It can cause us to better appreciate the little things. It can cause us to become more patient. It can cause us to let go of burdens from our past. It can cause us to strive to be a better person.

But only the death of one man has the power to change us eternally!

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

#death, #eternity, #jesus-christ

Quaking mountains, swaying hills

The Scripture for today, April 24, is Jeremiah 4:24 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“I looked at the mountains and they were quaking, all the hills were swaying.”

We have expressions that something is “as eternal as the mountains” or “as old as the hills”. Perhaps earthquakes are a good reminder to us that nothing on earth is eternal. That also includes things, people, power, position, belongings. Eventually they quake and sway and are gone. Only that which is spiritual is forever.

Mum Katheryn Haddad

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/godfind/info

#earthquakes, #eternity, #spiritual

Transience of the world

Show us, O Lord, the transience of the world in the light of heaven, the shortness of time in the light of eternity and the meaning of death in the light of resurrection; through the merits of Christ the Lord. Amen.

Richard Challoner (1691-1781), Prayer of the Day

#eternity, #prayers, #transience

Answering Jehovah’s False “Witnesses” on What Happens to Us When We Die?

I found a pamphlet in my door the other day left by a neighboring religious group in my county. I’ve had a few conversations with them in the past, and I suppose I will do so again in the future if the opportunity arises, but this time I wasn’t home so the “paper work” got left behind.

The pamphlet addresses several spiritually natured questions inside. The title is actually labeled “Would You Like to Know the Truth?” So that at least lets me know what they intend for me to learn from its pages, and on the front page they do reference the right source for finding the truth (the word of God, the Bible – John 17:17) so I’ll give them that much – but one thing that the pamphlet does not give is the truth concerning the answers to the questions that it addresses.

For example, one question that it asks and answers is “What Happens to Us When We Die?” Here’s the excerpt from the pamphlet that deals with that issue:

WHY THE QUESTION ARISES: Most of the world’s religions teach that something inside a person continues living after death. Some hold that the dead can harm the living or that God punishes the wicked by condemning them to eternal torment in a fiery hell.

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES: At death, humans cease to exist. “The dead . . . are conscious of nothing at all,” states Ecclesiastes 9:5. Since the dead cannot know, feel, or experience anything, they cannot harm-or help-the living. – Psalm 146:3,4.

see also Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 9:6,10

There is one statement/sentiment in this quote that I take no issue with. Although I strongly believe in life after death, I don’t believe in “ghosts” in the way most of the world believes in them so with I’ll agree with them on that topic for the most part. Although I do wonder how they deal with Acts 19:13-16. But anyways, that’s where the no issue and the big issues begin and end.

Here’s what I want you to get from the point that the pamphlet was trying to make. When a person has to lean heavily on the book of Ecclesiastes to support their doctrine concerning life after death and the condition of the soul that should be an indicator. I’m not putting down the inspiration of Ecclesiastes at all. I’m just saying that Christianity is a religion that is based upon a certain individual who died and then rose from the dead to die no more! You would think that this person’s point of view and teaching on the subject would carry a little more weight in this pamphlet. And I suppose it would if it weren’t for the fact that the words of Jesus would be too much weight for their answer to support.

Jesus himself drew a clear line in the sand when he boldly said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 – NKJV) Sounds like this one verse knocks out both claims: 1) something does in deed live on after death, and 2) there is a place of punishment for the wicked called hell.

But now you may be quick to point out that the pamphlet never denied that we will eventually live again after death, or that the pamphlet didn’t deny the existence of Hell, it only addressed the duration of it. Fair enough point, so let’s keep listening to what Jesus said concerning those two issues.

Continue reading

#bible-questions, #christianity, #death, #doctrine, #eternity, #false-doctine, #false-witness, #god, #hell, #jehovahs-witnesses, #life-after-death, #religion

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Psalm 146 What Has God Done For Me, Lately?

These last 5 Psalms are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm is undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned.

Verses 1-4 urge when God should be praised;

Verses 5-10 explain why God should be praised.

Verses 1-4: Praise should be given to God “while I live.” Duh! This is a statement of the obvious. The Word of God nowhere encourages anyone to not praise God until after death. Trust should not be transferred from God to “princes” (government leaders) or “a son of man” (humans in general), for deliverance. The middle verse of the entire Word of God says this: “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). Humans die when the spirit goes back to God and the body is left on earth (Ecclesiastes 12:7), so that “in that very day his plans perish.”

Verses 5-10: “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, because He:

1. Is The God over History (verse 5), Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” (Genesis 32:24-30), and God watched over those people (Isaiah 48) through the coming of Jesus Christ in the New Testament (Galatians 3:5-29);

2. Is The God over Creation (verse 6), which shows absolute, total wisdom in its very existence and orderliness (Proverbs 8:12, 22-31). All scientific factual discoveries, whether in Physics, Biology, or Chemistry are simply the uncovering of God’s Wisdom behind this World’s constitution;

3. Is The God over Justice (verse 7), evening the suppression or oppression of the hungry and imprisoned (Luke 4:16-41);

4. Is The God over Perfecting the Needy (verse 8), with physical healing through Jesus Christ (Matthew 15:30; Luke 13:11-13), then spiritually through His Word (Acts 26:12-19). God loves the righteous, those who do His will (1 Peter 3:8-12);

5. Is The God over Benevolence (verse 9), for He has always made rules for His people to help strangers, orphans, and widows (Exodus 22:21; Hebrews 13:2; Psalm 68:4-5; James 1:27);

6. Is The God over Eternity (verse 10, a quotation of Exodus 15:18), Who is timeless (Isaiah 57:15; Acts 15:18).  

“Praise the LORD.”   

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,  unless otherwise noted.

#benevolence, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #creation, #daily-bible-reading, #eternity, #faith, #god, #history, #justice, #needy, #obedience, #salvation, #wisdom