A great day

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10.31

How do you bargain with the Creator of all things? How do you argue for justice when God’s son was sacrificed to redeem your soul if you obey God? What excuse can you give to justify yourself when your actions do not obey God’s commands?

God is loving. He will not condemn anyone. He is merciful. In the end, he will save everyone. These are the things that Satan wants us to believe, if we believe in God at all.

Yes, God is loving and alive! He is not an image made of stone or wood that has been made by a man’s hands to be worshiped. He has executed a plan whereby all men might be saved. However, he has warned that not all will be saved, Matthew 7.13-14.

Once you know the truth and insist on continuing to sin, there is no sacrifice left for you, Hebrews 10.26. In your rebellion, be aware that there will be a day of judgment when you will answer to God for your lack of obedience to him and it will be terrifying.

There’s a great day coming!

#risingjoy #devotional #judgment-day

Hugh’s News & Views (Only Six Shopping Days Left . . .)


(Note: I am indebted to my friend and fellow gospel preacher, Steve Kirby, minister of the Hilldale Church of Christ in Clarksville, TN, for the idea behind this issue of “Hugh’s News & Views”).

TV, radio, and print media remind us that there are only six (or whatever the number) shopping days left until Christmas. The Bible tells us about the great day of final judgment, but it does not tell us how many days there are until that day comes. Of His second coming and the day of judgment, Christ said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36). Continue reading

#hughfulford, #judgment-day


6-23-2017 The Final Say

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity’” (Luke 13:24-27 NKJV). Everybody will not be saved just because Jesus lived and taught on Earth! God’s Judgment will be final and complete. Obey Christ today and be ready.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.


Get ready for the appointment before the appointment arrives

I have a dentist appointment for a cleaning today. Too late to prepare for it now!

Preparing for a dentist appointment (i.e. brushing teeth, flossing, rinsing, etc.) the day of an appointment isn’t wise. Why? It should be obvious. Taking care of our teeth is something that needs to be done on a daily basis; getting ready for the appointment well before the appointment is the wise way to do it.

No, I will not be going to my appointment today without evidence of past mistakes. The oral health of my past is my past and I can’t change that (all I can do is trust the repairs my dentist has made and take care of them), but I will be going knowing full-well what kind of efforts I have made before during the last six months to be ready for today.

I do not think any reasonable person will disagree with any of this advice. Personal experience proves it to be true. So how beneficial would it be to take this advice and apply it our spiritual lives?

We all have an appointment that we will keep and no phobia will prevent it (Hebrews 9:27). Preparation is key. And proper preparation doesn’t mean waiting until the day before. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not your judge, but your Judge and my Judge has been imploring people for millennia to use all of our life to prepare for eternity…not the day before (Ecclesiastes 12). Hence, we would all do well to follow his advice to prepare ourselves for the great appointment day (Acts 17:30-31).

Today is the day of salvation because tomorrow may be too late. And it’s much better to live these words than to sing them.

We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)

#judgment-day, #spiritual-analogies, #spiritual-preparation

Never a Promise Broken

By J. Randal Matheny © 2016

What a Savior, heaven’s love descending!
Grace and mercy flow to us unending!
Joy of joys, with all our sins forgiven,
Far our fears and nagging doubts are driven. Continue reading

#judgment-day, #poetry, #promises-of-god


7-14-2015 Near Death Is NO Death

The Bible description of death is: “the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26 NKJV). Our physical body may be so close to dying, that it doesn’t register on our medical charts, but if it is revived, then the spirit did not leave it! When death does occur, it cannot be reversed until the Judgment Day, for “the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7 NKJV). Paul had “hope in God” that “there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15 NKJV). God has promised that, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV). Near death is NO death!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.


#body, #dying, #judgment-day, #near-death, #resurrection, #revived, #spirit


(#141) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:16-Do or Die

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:16: “He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of his ways will die.”

The only way to keep (save) one’s “soul” is to keep (obey) God’s commandment. The only other choice one has is to lose one’s soul by refusing to keep God’s commandment!

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given a charge with consequence: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). When they ate what was forbidden, they “died,” since death is a separation from life and they were separated from the “tree of life” (Genesis 3:22-24). When they left Eden, God gave them a way to worship Him acceptably (Genesis 4:3-7), and Abel did but Cain did not (Hebrews 11:4).

Those who lived under Moses’ Law had the same decision placed before them. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

Jesus Christ summed it up in His first recorded sermon: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). The Apostle Peter pointed out the better of the two choices when he said: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Saul of Tarsus was told: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

The Judgment Day will be simple, also: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Don’t care-less, accept the invitation: Do or Die!

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

#bible-study, #careless, #choice, #consequence, #decision, #faith, #jesus-christ, #judgment-day, #keeps-commandments, #obedience, #proverbs, #salvation

A Poem about The Lordship of Jesus

Here’s a little poem that I wrote about the Lordship of Jesus this morning. I didn’t really have enough time to come up with a proper title, so if you can think of one that fits really well pass it along in a comment. I hope you find it useful for something.


It goes without saying, there is no doubt

Jesus is Lord of all, He’ll return with a shout

He’s the Light of the world, shining brightly for all

But have you closed your eyes, sadly ignoring His call?


If your answer is yes, then with your heart repent

Quit fighting His grace; allow your resistance to relent

For if we remain stubborn, spurning the grace-filled call

Then we’ll one day we’ll see, that He’s truly Lord of all!


So walk in the light, for that way is safe

He’ll help us along, He’ll watch over our fate

But if we delay, and walk not in the way

We will still take a knee, but in a whole different way!


And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)

#christian-poetry, #jesus, #jesus-as-lord, #judgment-day, #poetry


(#103) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:1-2-What’s Wrong With Me?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 16:1-2: “The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. 2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the spirits.”

Verse 1: We all do what we plan to do, that is, we act according to the decisions of our heart. However, God reserves the right to oversee, overrule, or overtake our plans to let us see when our thinking is wrong. Other proverbs emphasize this fact: “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9); “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’S counsel-that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21). Long after our plans have failed, God’s plan is still active and better. Saul of Tarsus (later the Apostle Paul) was persecuting Jesus’ church, and Jesus commented to him: “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:15). No spiritual salvation ever came by “the will of man” (John 1:12-13), nor has God’s prophecy come from “the will of man” (2 Peter 1:21), so for a person’s “will” to be right, there must be a dependence upon God’s revealed Will, for “the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). “The answer of the tongue” means God will have the final say about all of our plans. Jesus said, “the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

Verse 2: No one does what is right or can be saved by doing only what they think is right! In the days when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), sin abounded. The sad fact is, we are the worst judges of the morality of our own behavior! Another proverb says: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2). Hardly any human behavior begins without some “justification” in a person’s heart. Jesus condemned Pharisees with: “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). Even the Apostle Paul recognized this when he said, “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). The Bible stresses that righteousness only comes by doing right as defined by God, Himself! “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7).

No one can “testify” to his or her own salvation and Christian character without heeding the Word of God on the subject. God’s plan throughout the Bible was “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:26-28). Are you saved by Jesus Christ? “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

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

#bible-study, #heart, #judgment-day, #justify-yourselves, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #pure, #truth, #will-of-man


(#84) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:19-The Wicked Should Take A Bow!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:19: “The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.”

“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1). These are not the questions discussed here. Rather, this proverb brings to our attention the fact that not all goes well with the “evil,” and that we ought see, many other times, it is the other way around! Though Joseph’s brothers had “meant evil against” him by selling him into slavery, but when famine forced them to go into Egypt, “Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth” (Genesis 42:6). Another such occasion was when wicked Haman sought to kill Mordecai, but his evil scheme was revealed by Queen Esther, and then King Ahasuerus ordered Haman, who was pleading for his own life, to be hanged on the 75-foot “gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai” (Esther 7:1-10). In Philippi, a slave girl was freed from her masters who profited by her “divination,” Paul and Silas were mistreated as “the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods…they threw them into prison” (Acts 16:22-23). Later, however, those same magistrates “came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city” (Acts 16:39)! The church of Christ in Philadelphia was promised by Jesus Christ: “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie–indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you” (Revelation 3:9). Other proverbs which teach this include: “The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, And the unfaithful for the upright” (Proverbs 21:18); “The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the faithless” (Proverbs 22:12). This humbling of the wicked is because of their own sins, but will not always be brought about in this life. Though “life isn’t fair,” God is just, and will see to it that evil fails and right prevails!

The ultimate bowing of the evil wicked will be on the final Judgment Day, for God decreed through Isaiah: “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath” (Isaiah 45:22-23). The Apostle Paul used this very language to show what the future Judgment will be: “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God’” (Romans 14:10-11). Jesus was seeking to prepare “every creature” when He said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Bow before the good before it is too late!

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

#bible-study, #bow, #evil, #good, #judgment-day, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #righteous, #sin, #wicked, #wisdom

What reasons for urgency in becoming a Christian?

Besides the return of Christ and the possibility of death, both of which will seal our eternal destiny before the judgment of God, what reasons would you give someone to obey the Lord as soon as possible?

I thought of a couple close to home: one, our parents (and other relatives, uncles and aunts, etc.) are getting older, and if we want to reach them before they’re gone, we must obey ourselves; and, two, our children are growing up, so it’s urgent we obey and teach them the Way as well.

I’m anxious to hear from you on this question.

#eternal-destiny, #judgment-day, #obedience, #salvation


Psalm 75

Vs. 1 thanks God for being near;

Vs. 2-5 give God’s warning to sinners in their pride;

Vs. 6-8 give superiority to God, who is Judge;

Vs. 9 praises God;

Vs. 10 gives God’s final Judgment.

There is nothing to indicate exactly when, or to whom, this Psalm should apply, but it is included in Asaph’s collection. Certainly, God has rendered rightly in His past judgments that affected the World: Flood over all the earth (Genesis 6-9); Divided Languages over Tower of Babel (Genesis 11); deliverance of Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19); preservation of Israelites in Egypt (Genesis 41-50); deliverance of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 7-14). Psalm 75 could easily be foreshadowing the final Judgment of mankind (Hebrews 9:27-28).

Verse 1: God is praised for stepping in with miraculous judgments in the past.

Verses 2-5: God speaks out as to “why” He has done so: (verse 2) it was “the proper time” for a proper judgment. Such a time when He sent Jesus to earth (Galatians 4:4), and also when He sends Jesus to call everyone up to Judgment Day (John 5:28-29; Acts 17:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18); (verse 3) it will be when the Creator destroys His created Earth (2 Peter 3:10-12); (verses 4-5) it will be the take-down of the uplifted! Boasting in oneself is the product of “bitter envying” and “self-seeking” creating “arrogance” and is “a lie against the truth” and “evil” (James 3:14; 4:16). Hence, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate” (Proverbs 8:13). It has always been true “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up-And it shall be brought low” (Isaiah 2:11-12). Surely, the defeats of evil forces in recent history are not wasted on us: European National Socialism (Nazi), Facsism (Italy), European Marxist Socialism, Iraqi (Babylonian) conquests. When evil arises, God can (and has!) leavened it.

Verses 6-8: There is no direction on earth from which “exaltation” of this magnitude can come (verse 6). Only “God is the Judge” (verse 7), and in the “high offices of men,” it is “the Most High God [who] rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses” (Daniel 5:21). Jesus reminded a representative of government that “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11). Today we are reminded: “by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).  The cup of red wine (verse 8) represents God’s condemnation and judgment against those who participate in the arrogance of power (Revelation 14:9-10).

Verse 9: Believers will reaffirm their commitment to God.

Verse 10: “Horns” represent the strength of creatures who possess them (Deuteronomy 33:16-17), thus God will “cut off” the “horns of the wicked,” but exalt the “horns of the righteous.” Justice is found in the Judgment of God, not in the judgments of men. Only when men are guided by God’s judgments are they right!

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

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #judgment-day, #obedience, #sin

Sermon Outline for Eternal Judgment

I’ve been doing a series on “elementary principles” based on Hebrews 5:12-6:3, so this barebones outline can be used with that section of scripture. Don’t expect anything profound (it is a barebones outline on elementary principles after all), but I hope you do find it useful in some way.

Eternal Judgment


  • An unknown day (Matthew 24:36).
  • A surprising day (2 Peter 3:10; Matthew 7:21-23).
  • A single day (Acts 17:30-31; Jude 6).
  • An Earth shattering day (Romans 2:5; 2 Peter 3:5-7).


  • No purgatory, second chances, or pushing back the trial date – it’s either Heaven or it’s Hell (Matthew 25:31-33).
  • The day one dies, his or her destination is sealed (Hebrews 9:27-28).
  • For God’s people, judgment will bring mercy, and mercy will bring a crown (1 John 4:17; 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; James 1:12).
  • For the wicked, Hell is the destination! There’s no Hell you say? You make Jesus a liar (Luke 12:5).


  • Everybody who has ever lived will be judged together (2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 20:12-15).
  • Everybody who has ever lived will be judged individually: Our personal secrets, personal works, personal words and our personal faith toward God (Romans 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Revelation 14:13; Matthew 12:36; Romans 1:16-17).
  • The evidence presented against or for us will be God’s word (John 12:48; Romans 1:16-17; Revelation 20:12-14).


  • Simply put – it’s eternal!
  • Duration will be in Heaven – we will not be found innocent per say, but we will be found not-guilty of sin by the blood of Jesus.
  • Duration will be in Hell – we will be found guilty of sin and given a life-sentence, with no chance of parole.
  • Some say Heaven is eternal, but Hell is not. Same Greek word is used in Matthew 25:46 for the duration in Heaven and in Hell.
  • When it comes to eternal judgment, there are two different destinations, but the same amount of time will be spent in each.

#eternal-judgment, #judgment-day, #sermon-outine

What Jesus doesn’t teach about the judgment

This is my sermon idea for Sunday in Taubate, about several things that Jesus’ judgment passage in Matt. 25.31-46 doesn’t teach. Rarely do I go on the negative like this, but this passage is so maligned and misused, and after I got into it, I thought my hearers might find it a novel approach from what I usually do. Of course, after each point, I’ll state what it is teaching and make application.

  1. What will happen in the so-called millenium;
  2. That the church should begin social programs;
  3. That we can earn salvation through good works.

If I can get all this fleshed out and then translated, I’ll post it on my website. So consider this either a teaser, or, lacking the future article, seeds for the sower.

#gospel-of-matthew, #jesus-as-judge, #judgment-day, #sermon-ideas

Confidence in judgment & news

At PCYC, we had been talking all week about running the Christian race. In the teen girls class I was teaching, we were talking about how bad attitudes can hinder us in that race. We tied each of the attitudes to a lack of repentance. Yesterday morning, we closed by talking about the great judgment day, when the books will be opened and every man judged according to his works — how there is a record of our lives and that record will be compared to God’s word, which endures forever. Last evening, at the close of PCYC, two young ladies came forward because as they said, they wanted confidence on the day of judgment.

In total, we had 5 responses. One an adult, who is of a Catholic background and has asked for a Bible study. We additionally have two tentative Bible studies set up with families from the community. One teenage girl is begging to come back on Wed nights to be a part of our teenage girls class. I am so blessed to have been a part of this camp.

I will be following up with an article for Brotherhood News.

#1-john, #bible-camp, #christian-camp, #judgment-day