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