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GUARANTEES AND OTHER SURE THINGS

We all like and want guarantees … the more, the longer, the better. Most of us have heard the saying that the only guarantees we have in this life are taxes and death. We certainly have taxes although many have managed to elude paying taxes . And no one has yet to discover any means of escaping death (and they never will). Sooner or later we will all face death. So I don’t think anyone would argue that neither of these are something we tend to get all excited about. Most of us who pay taxes think that we pay way too much and indeed we do as far as the cost of “Constitutional government”.

Therein lies the problem … government is out of control and the cost is beyond comprehension and beyond any hope of recovery. A major crash is coming soon which will be used to trigger all the rest of the Illuminati’s plan of final takeover of our lives and this world we live in. Extremely difficult and dangerous times are coming soon. We have no guarantees of how life is going to be for any of us. And death may very well come early for many of us at the hands of these evil hearted people.

6 million Jews and many others suffered greatly and died a horrible death at the hands of such people back in the time of Hitler. It is about to be repeated but few are aware of it, believe it or are prepared for it. Most people think life is just going to continue on as it always has been. What a rude awakening awaits them! God has said in His Word that “Men’s hearts will fail them for fear and for looking upon those things which are coming on the earth”. (See Luke 21:26)

In this life we have very few guarantees, but we do have some. Let me list some which come to mind:

1) We all will die and stand before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ and give an account of our lives to Him.

2) We all have eternal life … it is just a matter of where we will spend it.

3) If we die in our sins, we shall surely perish into eternal damnation.

4) If we come to God on His terms He offers us salvation … the forgiveness of our sins and the consequences of our sin removed (the sentence upon us overturned) and the promise of spending eternal life with Him.

5) We should not fear man who can only destroy this body, but we should fear God Who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.

Those are just a few guarantees that come to mind. As to what lies ahead for anyone of us as far as these difficult times I have been speaking of I don’t know and I can’t say I am anxious to find out. But this much I know … Jesus has not appointed me to His wrath. I may have to face man’s evil doings but I will face it with hope of eternal life in Christ and remembering that to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Jesus suffered a horrific agonizing death so that you and I could have eternal life with Him. He demonstrated His love for us in that while we were in the very act of committing sin (showing ourselves to be God’s enemies in rebellion against God), He died for us. There is no greater demonstration of love than one who lays down his life for his enemies. If you have not answered the question yet I put it to you now …

“What will you do with Jesus?”  Someday your heart will be asking, “What will He do with me?”

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BAAAAAA!! BAAAAAAAA!!!!

We are all like sheep! Sheep are a vulnerable creature and quite helpless oftentimes. Left on their own they wander off and get lost. They get themselves into trouble that they aren’t likely to get out of without help. Without a shepherd they most likely sooner or later would die from one cause or another. Most likely they could end up on the lunch menu of some other animal such as a wolf, bear, etc. In short, sheep need a shepherd to watch over them, protect them and guide them along.

Yes, we are all like sheep! We have gone astray. (see Isaiah 53:6) We have wandered off on our own into dangerous territory. We will surely perish if we don’t get help. A shepherd who is watching over a flock of sheep oftentimes will leave the flock and go looking for a single sheep which has wandered off of its own … to rescue it and bring it back to the fold.

God’s Word tells us that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd (John 10:14). He has a flock He watches over. He is out looking for lost sheep and wanting to bring them back to the fold.

Jesus finding lost sheep

It is God’s love for us that compels Him to be the Shepherd Who was willing to lay down His life for us. Upon finding lost sheep there is reason to rejoice for we are so very precious in His sight.

Jesus carrying lost sheep

Yes, Jesus is looking for lost sheep, but the problem is some sheep don’t want to be found. In God’s great love for us He created us with free will. We have the ability and freedom to choose. We can remain lost and wandering if we want to, but we are told that if we make this choice we will have a tragic fate. Jesus is a gentle Shepherd. He won’t force Himself upon us. But understand this … He loves you and I so much that He was willing to lay down His life for us … to take upon Himself the horrible punishment for our sins … in our place so that we would not have to face this ourselves. Only God could have provided the “innocent blood” needed … indeed, demanded and required … to accomplish this for us. Yes, even if one of us underwent the beating and crucifixion Jesus did it would have been in vain as none of us have “innocent blood”. We are all sinners. Only Jesus was without sin in His life. He paid the price so that we won’t have to. He offers us forgiveness and a new life in Him. But it can and will only happen if we come to Him on His terms. So if you are a lost sheep I encourage you to start bleating out … BAAAAA! BAAAAA! so that you may be found. Don’t be like this guy below.

lost sheep

If we choose to do so we can, but we will die in our sins and surely perish into eternal damnation. Jesus is coming back to earth soon. When He comes He is not coming as He did the first time. He is coming in righteous anger to pour out His wrath upon sinful Christ rejecting mankind. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart and ignore and reject Him. Seek Him while He may be found … while He is out looking for you … a lost sheep.                                                                                    BAAAA!

THIS WAS YOUR LIFE!

am sure many of us have seen the Chick tracts before. They are often found laying around here and there. They are the comic book type tracts. I used to see them laying around aboard ship when I was in the navy. I looked at a couple of them while aboard ship but I didn’t pay much attention to them and really didn’t have much interest in them at that time. There is a reason for that which I won’t go into at this time. Chick has many very good tracts but there are two or three that really stand out in my mind. One of them is what I write about today. I invite you to read this tract now. It might be your last opportunity as we have no assurance of our next breath or heartbeat. It would be most tragic to die without ever dealing with the most serious problem we all have  …

THIS WAS YOUR LIFE!

This_Was_Your_Life

This Was Your Life
©2002 by Jack T. Chick LLC

WHAT TO DO TO GO TO HELL

WHAT TO DO TO GO TO HELL (although I don’t know why you would want to)

If you really want to go to hell here is what to do:

Apparently you scrolled down here so I assume you are looking for something. You didn’t see anything further up for a very good reason. There isn’t anything anyone needs to do to go to hell. Every human being who has reached the age of accountability or has the mental capacity to be held accountable is going to hell. It is a sure thing. Why not? We have all earned it. We all deserve it. And God most certainly has given us ample warning and instruction concerning the matter.

In this modern day of technology we have the common term “by default” or “default setting”. Using either of these terms is fitting here … by default we are all going to hell upon our death. This is because we are all sinners and God can not allow sin in His presence for He is holy. Our sin separates us from Him. We have a problem here … a very big problem. And there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. We are doomed! Between man and Satan there have been and are numerous concepts about trying to remedy this situation, but none of them work. We can try and try to be acceptable to God but nothing will work for us. God says that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags. We have nothing to offer Him which is acceptable to Him.

So what can we do? Is there hope? Is there a way … a means of our being acceptable to God? It should be obvious that no one in their right mind would want to go to hell. This puts us in a most desperate situation. We need help! God knows this and He in His great love for us provided what we need. “While we were yet sinners Christ Jesus died for us.” (Romans 5:8) “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name…” (John 1:12) We are “by default” children of Satan (because of our sin), but God wants to adopt us and have us join His family. It is not complicated. In fact, it is as simple as ABC …

A = Acknowledge before God that you are a sinner and need His forgiveness and salvation He alone offers.

B = Believe on and accept Jesus as Savior and allow Him to be Lord of your life. This means we must repent of our sin … turning away from it and desiring to follow Jesus Christ in total obedience.

C = Confess with your mouth what you embrace in your heart concerning Who Jesus is … Savior, Lord and soon coming King. Tell others about Who He is … share about His love, goodness, grace, faithfulness, and this salvation He offers.

Nothing is required of us to go to hell, but something is required of us not to go there. We must come to God on His terms. We have no assurance of our next breath or heartbeat. If we die in our sin our fate is sealed. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. You may not have another opportunity.

RESOURCES

MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY

GOD HATES RELIGION!

Religion is the opium of the people”. This is a well known quote attributed to Karl Marx. From what I read he did not actually say these exact words, but they are credited to him anyway. Regardless I want to go on record saying that I could not agree more. Religion is something most dangerous. I want to further go on record saying that GOD HATES RELIGION! Satan, on the other hand, loves religion. You see, Satan is all about deceiving people and keeping them in spiritual darkness and ignorant of the Truth. His goal is to ensure that people end up in hell. He is a master at it. He doesn’t care what church organization a person belongs to although most certainly he prefers some over others. I say this because some preach and teach the Truth according to God’s Word while others do not. Obviously Satan would much rather see a person be a part of a church which does not present the Truth than one that does. Being in a church where one is exposed to the presentation of the Truth just might result in that person coming out of spiritual darkness and into the Light.

Yes, God hates religion. Religion is something contrived by man and Satan. Satan is quite guilty of leading people astray and keeping them lost. But we need to be careful not to give too much credit to Satan. Man is quite capable of accomplishing this all by himself. We have churches full of people who warm the pews (seats) on a regular basis who go thru all the motions and feel good because they have done their duty or spiritual service unto God (at least that is their thinking). They might even be very involved in their church serving in one capacity or another. They might be involved in community service and affairs. There is nothing wrong with any of these things and, in fact, more of us should do so. However, if we are only religious and notBORN AGAIN as God requires then it is all for nothing. We will remain lost and eventually die in our sins and spend eternity in torment of hell fire. God hates religion. He is “into” and is all about PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. He wants us to know Him personally and be “in relationship” with Him.

I can say that I knew various things about President Ronald Reagan, but I never met him and established a personal relationship with him. Knowing things about someone is not the same as knowing them personally. A lot of people know things about God (Jesus), but they have never met Him and established a personal relationship with Him. We must come to God on HIS TERMS.

I mentioned earlier that Satan is a master deceiver. It stands to reason that he will always try to thwart God’s plans and God’s ways. When someone attempts to share about being BORN AGAIN you can bet that he will try to explain it away and convince people who are trapped in spiritual darkness that they are ok and that they are or will be BORN AGAIN when they are not. This is very prevalent in the Catholic church.

In closing I just want to say that we can hear and read lots of things from many different sources. They may sound good, convincing, authoritative, etc., but if these things are not in accord with God’s Word (and a proper understanding and application of it) then it is all very dangerous poison we should steer clear of. Everything needs to be carefully examined in the light of God’s Word. Our eternal soul is at stake.

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (but not necessarily in that order)

good, bad & ugly drawing

Ah yes, those good ol’ Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. Who can forget them? I am sure many can if they aren’t fans of Clint Eastwood, but for those of us who like his movies/his acting they remain high on the list. Certainly they did launch his career.  Then there was Charles Bronson who also got a big boost by succeeding in Europe before making it big here. This article I am writing is not about either of these actors, movies, or anything of the sort. If fact, as often is the case I don’t have a clue what I am going to write about as I start typing away here. I was just sitting here when the words “THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY” popped into my head followed by “not necessarily in that order”. Now all I have to do is make something out of this. Does that sound strange to you? Sometimes things just happen this way for me when it comes to writing something for this blog … and not just this blog, but all the blogs I have had before. I guess it is just the way my mind works … at least some of the time.

When I look at those words … good, bad and ugly … I really don’t think of the infamous western movie so much as I do “good news”, “bad news”  and “ugly truth” or “ugly situation”. And when I think of good news, bad news and ugly truth/situation I then think of “but not necessarily in that order”. I would imagine that this isn’t making much sense to you but I will further explain it. I will try to make it a short explanation. Good news  equates to the “Gospel” (of Jesus Christ) as that is what the word gospel means … good news. Bad news is the fact that hell awaits all mankind. And that is the ugly truth! In order to grasp and appreciate the good news (the gospel) one has to first grasp and understand the bad news. The good news is just not good news unless one has become aware of and is concerned over the bad news. Are you following me? The bad news is we are hellbound! The good news is we don’t have to go to hell! And with that the ugly truth is changing dramatically into something beautiful.

what is the gospel

Resources

My Personal Testimony

good, bad & ugly

Perhaps the next time you think of this movie title you might think beyond

hollywood sign

as there are far more significant matters to concern ourselves with.

GOD LOVES AND GOD HATES

One of the search terms someone used resulting in visiting my blog was “God hates”. I Googled this and when I looked thru the search results I was quite saddened by much of what I saw. There were so many people who have grossly misquoted and misapplied Scripture and in thus doing have painted a very wrong picture of Who God is. They will be held accountable for doing so, but it concerns me greatly the damage people like this can do in influencing others. For instance, when people say things like God hates homosexuals they are most definitely guilty of misquoting and misapplying God’s Word. God does not hate homosexuals. He loves homosexuals. What He hates is the sin of homosexuality. There is a difference … a major difference! Nowhere in God’s Word does He say that He hates anyone. He loves everybody. He does, however, hate all sin. This is such a key thing. People are good at taking God’s Word out of context and misusing it. Another often misquoted passage of scripture is 1 Timothy 6:10 … “for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”. We often hear/read “money is the root of all evil” … leaving the “love of” off. Again, there is a big difference.

God is love! That doesn’t mean He can’t and doesn’t hate. What it does mean is that He is just and fair in all things. We hear people say that  they can’t believe in and follow a God Who would send someone to hell. All I can say to them is … “you don’t have to”. However, if you continue to take your position on this, you will be the loser as your ignorance and stubbornness comes at a very high price. You will stand before Jesus Christ in judgement and have no excuse … at least none that is acceptable. First of all it is not God Who is responsible for anyone going to hell. We are! God in His great love for us has done all He can do to keep us from ending up in hell. He loves us so much that He left heaven to come to earth to show us His love and to take upon Himself the punishment we deserve. He suffered and died on a cruel cross … the most terrible form of death devised by man. Yes, I said “we deserve”. You see, that is the problem! With the position some take concerning God they are not willing to own up to the fact that they are responsible for themselves … for their sin … and accountable to Him. They want to blame God and make Him responsible for their sin. That is ludicrous! It ain’t gonna’ happen!

God is holy and perfect in every way. We are sinful and our sin separates us from Him. He can not allow sin in His presence. That is why we must deal with the sin problem. We have nothing to offer Him other than ourselves. All of our own efforts are unacceptable to Him. We must come to Him on His terms. He requires of us that we acknowledge our sinfulness and that we are willing to turn from sin (repent) showing Him that we desire to follow Him and obey Him … to give ourselves in total surrender to Him. This is the only way we can receive His pardon and the death sentence over us. In doing so we not only receive His forgiveness, but we are adopted into His family with full benefits including eternal life with Him. That is a great deal! That is the ultimate expression of a loving God. He did not have to do this for us. Our sin condemns us and He could have left us in that state … without any hope … assured of eternal damnation in the lake of fire and anguish and torment forever and ever.

Here is another excellant video 28 minutes in duration which you can watch if interested:

I encourage you to READ what Jesus went thru to provide salvation for you and I so that we don’t have to go to hell. If after reading this about what God did for you I would ask you … do you still hold the same view and position? And if you do I would further ask you … how can you?

Yes, God loves and God hates but we need to understand things right. Sin is sin, however God calls some sin an abomination before Him. There is much difference between the word sin and the word abomination.      SIN VS. ABOMINIATION

Solomon spoke of the things that God hates, and the things that are an abomination unto Him in the book of Proverbs: “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes (a proud look), a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)  “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is His delight.” (Proverbs 11:1)

The Greek word for sin is HARMATRIA or HARMARTANO. The meaning is “to be without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong; to wander from the law of God, and to violate God’s law”. The Hebrew word for sin is CHATA and means “to miss the way, to err, to miss the mark, to wander from the way, to become unclean”. Another Hebrew word used for sin is PESHA and means “transgression and rebellion”. It refers to those who rebel against God’s intended way in their lives.

The word for abomination in the New Testament, it is the Greek word BDELUSSO or BDELUGMA and means “to abhor, a foul thing, a detestable thing, to stink, smell bad, odious, wickedness, and to turn one’s self away from on account of the stench”. In the Old Testament there is more than one word used for abomination. The main word used is TOWEBAH and means “a disgusting thing, a thing of wickedness”. God hates all sin but there are certain sins which God has listed as an abomination before Him. Certainly the sin of homosexuality is one of them. Sexual perversion is an abomination in the sight of God. There are many forms of sexual perversion and mankind is involved in all of them. Most, if not all, are found in the church. God spoke to Moses, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Leviticus 18:22 Homosexuality and lesbianism are abominations in the sight of God, a stink in His nostrils, that He will turn His face away from. All types of sexual sin defiles a society and will incur God’s judgement and wrath. We tend to forget Sodom and Gomorrah … two cities and their citizens God totally destroyed because of sexual sin. It is only by God’s grace that we too are not destroyed … yet. We live in a day and age where those who practice this wickedness boast about their disgusting sin. We even have the term “gay pride”. As a society we not only tolerate this in our midst, but a very large percentage of the population fully support the idea of such sin. How sad this all is. We even have homosexual churches and ministers. What an oxymoron!

Homosexuality is not the only sin going on in our midst that God is extremely displeased with so I don’t want to come across as singling out this sin and ignoring all others. And truthfully God is far more upset with sin among those who call themselves Christians that He is those that make no such profession.

God has made the difference between sin and abominations very plain in His Word. Sins are those things in our lives that cause us to miss the mark of the high calling in God. Abominations are those things that are an abhorrence unto Him, and a stink in His nostrils.

Yes, God loves but He also hates. Understanding the truth about both is essential. Acting upon that understanding of the truth is also essential.

FIRE !! FIRE !!

Navy FireFighters

These are U.S. Navy firefighters. I spent 8 years in the Navy and among other things I was a firefighter. I was a shipfitter/hull maintenance technician. I was well trained in firefighting and damage control and taught many others aboard ship. Fortunately during those 8 years the only fires I had to deal with were relatively small. Another one of my jobs in the Navy was welding. It is very common for welding operations to create fires so we had to always be alert and act quickly to extinguish the fires before they grew out of control. I have been a weldor thruout my civilian life as well so I still had to deal with fires. Fires are a very serious matter and even more so aboard ship. Although it is true there is no shortage of water available (saltwater) there is the matter of placing water inside of the ship as it can only hold so much before it affects the ship’s buoyancy and stability. And besides, there is a whole lot of stuff that any water and especially salt water can destroy. Another factor is that unlike dealing with a fire on land there is no place to escape to so the fire must be contained and conquered quickly as the personnel aboard are in grave danger.

Navy FireFighters 2

When I look at these pictures it is almost too much for me to fathom as it wasn’t like this when I was in the Navy. We had no special firefighting clothing or high tech equipment. All we had is our work uniform and an OBA (oxygen breathing apparatus). Today navy firefighters have pretty much the same equipment and protective clothing as civilian firefighters.

Here is the old technology. Now they use compressed gas cylinders as seen in the images above.

OBA 3

I was usually either the number one OBAman or the Scene Leader. The number one OBAman is the one who is actually most upfront dealing with the emergency at hand. The number two OBAman is directly behind him and his job is to provide protection for the number one OBAman. The number one OBAman is more less in charge of dealing with the scene of the fire since he is the one there. The Scene Leader is in charge overall of the entirety of the scene, but he remains back where it is safe until such time as the actual scene of the fire has been made safe for others to go to without special safety equipment such as wearing an OBA. He can send in orders and  suggestions to the number one OBAman so that is why I said the the number one OBAman is more less in charge at the actual scene. Obviously since he is the one right there dealing with what is going on he has to call the shots according to his training, knowledge and best guess. And obviously sometimes someone who is further back has a different perspective than someone who is right on top of things. There is also a number three OBAman whose job it is to help handle hoses and assist on the scene in anyway needed including running messages back and forth to and from the scene leader. The scene leader, although in charge of the scene, is functioning under the authority of the Damage Control Assistant (DCA) who is an officer. The DCA is under the authority of the Damage Control Officer and he is under the authority of the captain. So as you can see there is a chain of command.

Anyway, my Navy training helped me considerably in civilian life as I have had to put it to use more in civilian life than I did in the navy. Fire which is under control can be a real friend but out of control it can be a horrible terrifying enemy.

A basic fire consists of three elements … fuel, oxygen and heat. All three must be present in order for a fire to occur.

Fire Triangle

Firefighting consists of removing one or more of these three elements. If you remove the fuel source the fire will go out. Physically removing flammable materials, shutting off fuel (liquid fuel flowing thru piping or leaking tanks, etc.) are means of removing fuel sources. If you remove the oxygen the fire will go out. Displacing the oxygen with CO2, Dry Chemical, Steam, etc. are common means of dealing with the element of oxygen. If you remove the heat the fire will go out. Water removes the heat. Of course, once the fire is out it is important that the source of fuel be totally removed or extinguished as otherwise the fire can restart. Any remaining “hot spots” need to be eliminated. This is done by raking apart embers and using water on them to further cool them so they won’t reignite.  Obviously there isn’t much that can be done about the presence of oxygen since the atmosphere is about 21 percent is oxygen.

Aboard ship there are special fuels and concerns which go beyond a simple basic fire like I have been talking about up until now. Magnesium is one of those special fuels that pose a very serious threat. When magnesium burns it produces it own oxygen and so it burns intensely. It can literally melt steel and burn it’s way thru … going thru bulkheads (walls) and decks (floors) … sometimes one after another. Theoretically an intense magnesium fire could burn thru the hull of a ship and possibly sink it. Magnesium which is on fire can not just be sprayed with water like a common fire. To do so would cause it to explode violently and cause much further damage and threat including great harm to personnel. Burning magnesium requires huge amounts of water to put it out. The best thing is to toss it overboard into the ocean … submerging it is a large quantity of water. I don’t know if it has changed or not, but when I served in the Navy helicopters had a lot of magnesium in their construction. Our training in firefighting a crashed helicopter was to lay down fire fighting foam up to the burning helicopter to try to control burning fuel on deck and then quickly approach it wearing a special aluminumized proximity suit to rescue personnel from the helicopter. The priority of rescue was always: pilot first, co-pilot second and others afterwards. Then the helicopter was to be shoved over the side of the ship into the ocean.

aluminumized proximity suit

Again, fortunately we never had to deal with this scenario. It is a good thing to as many times the helicopter came and left before we could even get ready as a firefighting team. We were not given sufficient notice to “set the helo detail”.

Yes, fire is a most serious thing. It can be a real killer. At the very least it can do tremendous damage and we can suffer great loss. We should always be on guard and careful as a fire is all too easy to start and get out of control quickly. Many years ago when we lived down in Georgia we were awakened early on a Sunday morning by someone banging loudly on our front door. I got up and went to the door but no one was there. I looked over to the other side of our home (a mobile home) where a sliding glass patio door was at and had vertical blinds installed. I  noticed it was  sort of a bright orange in color … unusual. It caught my attention so I went over to it and peeked out between the vertical blinds. I was not expecting what I saw. Our next door neighbor’s mobile home was on fire and as mobile homes go it was spreading quickly. I yelled at my wife to alert her so she could get dressed and be prepared to do whatever we needed to do ourselves as certainly it was possible for the fire to spread to our home. The firefighting training kicked in and after quickly dressing I ran outside and grabbed our garden hose. It isn’t sufficient to fight such a fire but it would help until the fire dept. arrived. I turned on the valve and nothing … no water. I couldn’t believe it … as in this can’t be happening. So I couldn’t do anything as far as fighting the fire. The police showed up first and made us move further back away. The fire dept. showed up and fought the fire and got it under control and eventually put it out. The mobile home was a total loss. The saddest part of it all is that our neighbor died of smoke inhalation. She was an elderly widow. We had just had her over to our home a few days before this for Thanksgiving. There is good news in the midst of this sad story. She got saved just two or three weeks  before her death. She gave her heart and life to Jesus. She was ready for death even though I am sure she was not expecting it that morning. We never know what a day will bring forth. It could be our last day … any one of us could suddenly die. Are you ready for death?

I have been talking about fire. There is another fire God’s Word speaks about. This one can’t be put out and it will burn forever …

HellFire

HELLFIRE !!!!

HellFire 2

The billions of souls who will spend eternity there will be in great torment and anguish. The fire of hell will not burn out like those here on earth we deal with. And those who go there will not be destroyed (burnt up). The torment will be everlasting. No one has to go there however. God has provided the means to escape such a fate. All we have to do is come to Him on His terms.

Truly it is better to turn than burn!

HANGING BY A CHAIN

It is said, and rightfully so, that a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. Keep this in mind as I delve into an illustration of those who are trusting and/or hoping in anything else other than coming to God on His terms to save us and obtain entrance to heaven when we die. I am talking about such things as keeping God’s Commandments, trying to be a good person, doing good works, counting on the good in our lives outweighing the bad as if this is on a balance beam scale, etc.

One illustration I like to use is this: God is in heaven above, man is on earth below, and man is suspended by a chain made up of links. Hell is below man and the only thing keeping man from plummeting down into hell is the chain. The links represent God’s Commandments. Man is depending upon the chain to be used to pull him up to God in heaven. This means that man has to keep all of God’s Commandments all the time for his entire life. If man could do this God would honor it and this would work. The problem is we can’t keep God’s Commandments. We fail miserably at this starting as a little baby. So trusting in this is futile and foolish. The second we fail in keeping a Commandment that link is broken and we are doomed. This same illustration could be used with any of the other things I already mentioned above that man trusts and hopes in.

chain illustration          broken link 2

That is why we can’t make it on our own effort and merit. We need a Savior. God has said that “all of our righteousness is as filthy rags”. Isaiah 64:6 reads: “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” In short, we are totally bankrupt. We have nothing to offer God other than what He requires … ourselves (a completely surrendered heart and life).

What will you do with Jesus?

YOU ONLY DIE TWICE

In 1967 the James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice, was released. I, like many others, have always been a James Bond movie fan. This has nothing to do with what I am writing about today other than the fact that the title of this article is very similar to the title of that movie. Obviously I used the word DIE in place of LIVE. There is no truth to You Only Live Twice ** but there certainly is truth to You Only Die Twice. How do I know? The bible tells me so. I don’t think anyone would argue that we all eventually die. No one has ever managed to escape it with two exceptions and even those two will die physically in God’s timing. God’s Word (the bible) tells us ” And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27 Amplified Bible) Yes, we will all die and then face God in judgement. So that is one death. Upon judgement those who have never repented of their sin and come to Jesus Christ for His forgiveness and salvation He alone offers will face a SECOND DEATH. There are various passages of scripture which speak of this, but probably the most profound is in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 20:11-15 we read … “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Those who die in their sin will face Jesus Christ as their judge. This judgement is called the Great White Throne Judgement. As you can see experiencing this second death is not good news. It is, in fact, bad news … the worst! It is a horrific fate everybody faces if they ignore and reject God’s salvation He offers freely. It is called death but it is not death at all … not as we understand death. Actually it is eternal life where one will experience a horrific fate in the Lake of Fire where they will be tormented and in anguish forever. They w ill wish they would die and end this punishment for their sin.

There is good news however … “JESUS SAVES!”

“Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” – Revelation 20:6

Those who have turned to Jesus Christ in repentance and received the eternal life He offers will not face the Great White Throne Judgement. Instead they will face a different judgement known as the Believer’s Judgement.

So we all have a choice. We can choose door number one or door number two … to say it is modern day vernacular (game show style). But this is no game. It could not be more serious!  We will either face God in judgement on our own and find ourselves in deep doo doo as we will have to pay the penalty of our sin … or we can repent and call upon the Name of Jesus Who suffered and died in our place so that we would not have to face this horrific penalty for our sin. Jesus will not only be our Savior but He will be our Advocate (our defense attorney) representing us before God the Father as the charges against us are read. Those who have rejected Christ as Savior are on their own and will have no defense. And they will have no excuse which is acceptable. We have been warned!

What will you do with Jesus? 

** I said that there is no truth to You Only Live Twice. What I mean by that is there is no such thing as reincarnation. We are born and die physically one time. There is, however,  the matter of being born spiritually … born again … which some call a second birth. Truly those who are born again have a New Life in Christ. Never the less, we are still living only one life (one physical birth) and facing at least one death. Most will face this second death I am writing about.

YOU CAN MISS HEAVEN BY 18 INCHES

Did you know you can miss heaven by 18 inches or less? It is true! That is the distance between our mind and our heart. Quite simply it is not enough to simply believe in our heads  in God and even the gospel message of “Jesus saves”. Satan believes in God and knows God’s Word but he won’t be going to heaven. We must embrace the gospel and the Savior deep within our innermost being. We must be “born again” and become new creations in Jesus Christ. Yes, it goes way beyond just simply believing in our heads.

I am reminded of the song “Born Again” sung by Evie Tornquist back in the 1970s.

Here are the words to the song:

You May Think It’s Foolish What I’m Going To Say,
I’m Not Ashamed, No Not Ashamed,
One Day I prayed Jesus, Take My Sin Away,
And That’s When I was Born Again,

Born Again, there’s Really Been A Change in Me,
Born Again, Just Like Jesus Said,
Born Again, And All Because of Calvary,
I’m Glad So Glad, That I’ve Been Born Again.

One Man Came To Jesus, John and Chapter 3,
Oh So Afraid, Oh So Afraid,
Master Your From God, I really Do Believe,
And Jesus said, Be Born Again.

Born Again, there’s Really Been A Change in Me,
Born Again, Just Like Jesus Said,
Born Again, And All Because of Calvary,
I’m Glad So Glad, That I’ve Been Born Again.

It is so true … God wants to recreate us from what we are and have become apart from Him and mold us into His image having the “mind of Christ”. Truly when we “receive” Jesus we will never be the same again. We will have a new life in Christ. And that brings to mind another song by Evie …

Please don’t miss heaven … not even by a mere 18 inches.