There are many today that would Rob the believer of the great hope set before us of the eternal home of the soul, Heaven. While it is correct that we will be on Earth during the 1000 year (literal) reign of Christ, when the soul leaves the body it goes to the home of its Creator, and awaits the resurrection. When Christ came to earth he prepared the people through His preaching that the blood would be shed and sin taken away instead of being covered and the souls in the earth would have access to Heaven and those who died after the resurrection of Jesus Christ would immediately go to Heaven. Look at Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:. Would Jesus give us a reward in heaven and then not let us go there to get it? Look at Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Compare these sentiments with Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye have heard before in the word of truth of the gospel. And Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth. Hebrews 11:16 says But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. That city of course is described in Revelation 21. Hebrews 12:22 says But are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. Lastly let us look at I Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled and that fadeth not away, prepared in heaven for you. I will end with this: God has made a heavenly city and has your rewards and name up there and your home and even mansions. This is a great hope and comfort to the saved. There are many more verses on this an if you want them leave a comment and I will put it in a future blog.
Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth.
The main problem with Christianity today is that we do not think enough about Heaven. Most modern preachers preach more on coping with earthly cares and fixing problems we bring on ourselves because we do not follow the Bible and the guidense of the Holy Spirit in the first place. Many are preaching a prosperity”gospel” of get it all down here. Christ promised us tribulation and persecution in this life. While God certainly blesses and even gives great wealth to some, many Christians are given the blessing of poverty and martyrdom in this life. The blessings we seek should be those that can only be attained in Heaven. Christ is in Heaven, your ETERNAL reward is in Heaven, and your home is in Heaven. Heaven is as wonderful as Hell is horrible. Will you be obedient to this command? In my next devotion I will show from the Bible that the believer does indeed go to Heaven as many teach that something else happens to the soul of the departed. The Apostle Paul said not to be ignorant about those that sleep in Christ and I believe this will be a blessing to you.
II Samuel 2:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. Most of the time when a Justice nominee is selected the only consideration is does he meet my world view. For instance many well qualified candidates have been voted out simply because they oppose abortion. This is often referred to as the acid test. But the real test should be does he believe that he will give account of his decisions to Almighty God. So here is my set of qualifications: He should have a Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other. He should be well versed in legal precedent and grounded in the faith of those men who framed this country. He should be diligent to give Justice to the parties before him with the understanding that his decision will affect all this nation. He should not respect persons nor fear man nor public opinion. He should follow the letter of the law but in the spirit of which it was given. He should not flinch from the punishment of the wicked but have pity on human weakness. He should stand against iniquity and kneel in prayer to God. He should be well learned in law and lift up his hands to Heaven for wisdom. Most important he must remember and fear that as he passes judgement he will one day give an account to the Supreme Justice of the Universe from which there is no appeal.
I Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. While there are no hard and fast rules on prayer in the New Testament a look into the book of Psalms can give us an idea of what will give us a better fellowship with God. Psalm 55:17 says Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice. So a good start is 3 times a day. But then look at Pslam 119:164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgements. So now we are up to ten. But David goes even farther, which shows why he was the great man of God that he was. Psalms 119:62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgements. Now we are up to 11 and losing sleep in the process. Look at verses 147-148 of the same Psalm – I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches that I might meditate in thy word. Now we are up to 13! Now look at verse 97-O how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day. So the cares and distraction of the day are interrupted by prayer. If David a King and general, a husband and father could make such commitment surely even the busiest of us can. First a commitment, next a step, then practice, then a part of your life. Remember that the most important thing in the world is your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. And nowhere is fellowship sweeter than the Bible and prayers.
II Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord know them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
I recently spoke to some young people concerning the things of God and found they had been taught that a person could basically live as they pleased because the law was eliminated by the cross. The Sunday following I spoke with a traveling preacher who told me that this teaching is gaining much growth all through this country. I would like to briefly address this and will willingly discuss this issue with any who contact me. First note the text. God knows who you are even if mankind cannot recognize you as a child of God. But your Heavenly Father commands you to depart from iniquity. Yes Christ died for your sins. Yes the ceremonial part of the law is done away. Yes you are sealed til the day of redemption. But God expects better behavior of His own. Read Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate. This is very strong language. Also note Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Please read the rest of Romans chapter 6 for God’s demands for clean living. Also read I Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
In summary: God saved you to deliver you from the power of sin as well as the penalty of sin. He gives great detail as to how the New Testament Christian is to live. He will punish you in this life for disobedience, and will judge, not you, but your work in the life to come. I want you to have a good life,a good resurrection, and a good judgement at the Judgement Seat of Christ. Please consider this matter carefully.
On two different occasions all mankind knew who God was, in the Garden of Eden and on Noah’s ark. Since that time the Devil has confused man with his many idols and inventions. So permit me with the Scripture to introduce you to my Saviour.
God reveals Himself by two main means, the Bible and the creation. When He makes Himself known He usually first lets you know that He is the Creator, then the Judge then the Saviour. One example is Genesis- “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” God then finds the sinful man, wife and serpent and passes judgement. Next he slays animals to give them skins to wear thus providing redemption through the shed blood.
Another example is found in Romans One in reverse order as Paul is speaking to the redeemed. Verse 16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For therein is the rightousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” Next He shows Himself the Judge in verse 18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness”. Lastly he shows Himself as the Creator in verses 19 and 20 “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”.
What does this mean to you? There is one and only one God, the Creator of all mankind and your Creator especially. You have sinned against your Creator and deserve His punishment, which is Hell. Read the rest of Romans chapter One for a comprehensive list of sins. Next he sent his son Jesus Christ to die upon the cross for your sins and rose up from the Dead and is in Heaven, ready, willing and able to save your soul. I ask you will you repent and admit you deserve God’s wrath for your sins and call on The Lord Jesus Christ to save your soul? For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.