“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer, I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days, be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” Revelation 2:10 NIV
We are in the end times and things will get worse. Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and strange weather, wickedness increasing on the earth. It has been that way for some time. But for children of the Lord there is nothing to fear. One day the trump will sound and we will see the Lord coming in the clouds. It will be a day like no other. For we shall see him in all his glory. The dead in Christ shall rise and his followers shall be caught up with him in the air. And then we will all be in heaven together. But what will happen to the many who remain? There will be many who thought they would go too, but will be left with those that made no plans. There will be hard times ahead. The world will be in turmoil as millions of people just disappear. But they will be crowned with righteousness. Rewarded beyond comprehension. Those who remain will struggle just to survive but if you cry out to God it’s still not too late. If you are alive. Right now minutes will matter so much. Marshall law can not be guaranteed because of all that will be going on. We’ve lived through hijackings, shootings, martyrdom because of the evil around us. But with the good, godly people gone it will be much worse. If you cry out to God you can still be saved from hell but persecution to anyone who finds Christ in this time is promised. But God is trying to give you hope. This won’t be a long period of time, but it will be a hard one. But if you are persecuted stand strong, for God is your strength. If you stand strong you will be rewarded for all that you go through. I have watched documentaries about mass shootings and people who survive targeted attacks like bombings or 9/11. So many people draw strength from these times and their courage brings out good in them. People learn so much from these trials and it does make them better people and more resilient. What is of the utmost importance is whose side you are on when this time is over.
Do you want to meet in the air so you miss this time?
A friend of mine was hurting. A close friend of hers was dying of cancer. I promised to pray. But every time I started to pray I was bombarded with thoughts. I felt I needed to write about death. The first thing that came to my mind was a big party I had attended as a girl. A girlfriend of mine’s parents were going on a, well looked forward to trip. It was a bon voyage party wishing them well. As I thought about it, if I was dying, whether from old age, an illness or even COVID 19. I would be packing in my mind. I can’t wait till Jesus comes. Going home! What a comforting thought. When someone I loved died once I felt God say, “they were so precious to me and they did all I asked, but they suffered enough, I want them here with me.” There will be no more pain, suffering, and tears, and joy and rewards to be had. Have you ever heard of a near death case where they go to see heaven. They don’t say, “I want to go back.” They want to stay. The very best day on earth is exponentially better there. There is a big party waiting for them. Friends and family who preceded them are so excited. I know many I miss are waiting. I want to hear that great line. “ Well done good and faithful servant.” I love life and God has blessed me soooo, but here I come. I hope my family can rejoice with me. It is not a sad day but one I have looked forward to all my life. One of the residents in my home got so bad that she just listened to praise music all day. When she died her family held a huge party. So much food, they even brought some for us to enjoy. Flowers too! They were so excited that her pain was over and a party was going on in heaven. So many people get so upset and can hold onto that for a long time. Mourning is normal but at some point you have to see that it is God’s plan. I will see them again. I have hope. No one is going to leave early. God has planned from before we are born the day and just how we will die. It is all planned. God does not make mistakes. He is in control.
“Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whosoever loses their life for me and for the gospel saves it.” Mark 8:35 NIV
We will do so much to have a good life. We join gyms to work out so we can have that perfect body. Spend large sums of money on plastic surgery and the latest treatments to enhance beauty and health. We seldom think about anything after our lives are over. Oh, maybe a beautiful burial plot. To save the family money and grief upon our death. Do you realize that we are only on this earth for a short time, but we will spend forever in eternity. Not just 100 years but millions of years. Most people don’t want to think about it. They choose to think that we just go to sleep permanently. No pain, no troubles ever again. The Bible tells us that a wiseman plans for the future. How do you plan for a future you don’t understand? We need wisdom. God has told all those who want wisdom to ask for it. He has promised to give it to anyone who asks. He has also sent his son to save from all we have done wrong. Even if you have lived a good life, nobody is perfect. We are all sinners and our soul needs somewhere to go when this body gives out. people like to think they will all go to heaven when this life is over. God certainly wouldn’t send a good person to hell. But he has told us that the wages of sin is death. No eternal life. Doing nothing and hoping for the best will only bring eternal death and separation from God. People who do bad things just don’t want to think about it. But there is a way to get eternal life with God and it is not difficult. Just admitting that you are not perfect. No one is. And that you know you need the help of a savior, Jesus Christ. Tell him you do really want to be better and ask him to help you follow his ways. Read his word so you will know his will. Do you know that he loves you and wants you to have the best life. He also wants to spend eternity with you. He can give you wisdom and help you to do what he asks but we need to care more about pleasing God than ourselves. But in pleasing God he will help you to have an abundant life. When you seek to help others and honor God he takes care of the rest.
Have you made plans for your future?
It’s the big day. Thousands of years went into the details of this big moment. As families we spare no expense to have that one perfect moment. A wedding, a graduation, a birth, so many special moments. But this day was planned for longer and harder than others. Think of this family, for a moment, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. They were together for so long before the world ever began. They spent time talking of all the details. What would it be like to have a huge family to love. Their expertise was love and they had to share it. It had to be free to be, not required. A love given and accepted and given in return. What would this world need. I can image the hours of chats and the special times as a family together planning. Then what would we do when they rejected us and did their own thing. What about sin? Sin had to be dealt with. Someone or something had to pay. God is just and he is perfect, so he needed a perfect plan. I imagine them putting there heads together to come up with a plan. Dad why don’t I go to earth as an example of your love. I can live with man and teach them so much about you and your ways. I can do so much good. Sin means death so I will pay for everyone’s sin with my life and go to hell for them. This was a good plan. But it would take time. So when Adam and Eve sinned God took an innocent lamb and slaughtered it to cover their shame. He taught the people how to cover their own sins by taking an innocent lamb, perfect and precious and slaughter it in their place. God was so proud of his son. He would do this willingly so that we could be together forever. One day everyone would be together where death was no more and everything would be perfect just as it was meant to be. This plan would have so many details but it would be worth it. They also knew that Satan would just give anything to destroy the son of God. That would work to their desired end. Satan would never envision that he was working right into their hands. Then that special day came for Jesus to leave. They had been together for so long. The big three had shared so much it had to be hard. Saying by for now. Jesus was giving up so much. His power, his glory, the closeness they all shared. He was starting out as an innocent, helpless baby. His new family was young, poor, scared and alone. They were to be a part of this great plan. How exciting! It was hard but God was with them. As Jesus grew he always spent time with his family in prayer. He needed that strength now more than ever. As a man he had trials and needs that could easily distract him. He had to stick to the plan perfectly. It was easy to have compassion as he did have that perfect love living in him but the physical challenges of being about all his fathers business could wear him out at times. These people really were messed up. They really needed help. Couldn’t they see. Our ways are so much better. If they just tried it they would know. It was frustrating at times. But Friday came and the overwhelming responsibility came and was hard it was real and scary. If there could be any other way. No, he grew strong in God his father. He would do this and God would be with him. He looked out into the future. Lives flashed before his eyes, not one, not two, but billions. His joy was real. He did this for us. It made him stronger. With each lash and each second he had eternity on his mind. Then came the moment when sin was so great upon him that his own father could look no longer. He turned away. All of heaven was hushed as they watched him take his last breath. The earth rumbled and the veil was torn once and for all. It was finished. Sin would no longer have control. He was placed in the tomb. Jesus the sinless lamb carried all the sin of the world. Every last one into death for each of us. Something too impossible for us to imagine. Death, hell, torment forever was taken away for us never to experience. Jesus did not deserve this but he would do it again if he had to. We were worth it. With the belief in Jesus work and when we are sorry for the sin that has control over our lives he has offered us his gift. We can be born again. We have the opportunity to be new. To be brothers and sisters, to have access to the three 24/7 everything they are is ours. Joy is the greatest. We are no longer a nobody, but are somebody to the king. We receive power and authority as children of the king. Our lives will never, and should never be the same. And we can live in the house of the Lord forever.
Do you wish to accept this awesome gift? To die to the old you and be made brand new?
“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:17 NIV
Heaven for a Christian is your final reward. For a life lived for the Lord. We don’t have to fear death. We are going home to a wonderful family. A father who loves us more than we could ever imagine. Relatives and good friends you have lost in the past will be there waiting. Maybe you lost a child or had a miscarriage, they will be waiting there to meet you. People whose lives were changed because of you. I once heard of a doctor talking to his patient about death. The patient had reached the end of his life and wondered what was waiting for him on the other side of that final door. The doctor went to the door and opened it. A big shaggy dog came barreling in the door almost knocking the doctor over. “My dog was waiting outside.” He did not know what was going on inside but he new his master, whom he loved, was inside and he couldn’t wait to be reunited with him. Do you know what’s awaiting you when you pass through that door? There is still forever when you cease to exist in this life. You see it’s not knowing what’s on the other side, but knowing who is on the other side. I can’t wait to see my master. Can you? Who’s your master? If you don’t know Jesus, and he gladly longs to get to know you. He is the most awesome one you will ever get to know. You don’t need to worry. He loved you before you were ever born. He knows just how many hairs are on your head. He knows all about you and loves you. He is standing before you with his arms open wide. He says, “Come home.” He doesn’t expect anything from you but love. If you do not know him it’s easy to meet him. Then you will know who is waiting for you. He anxiously waits for you to want him to be your Lord and Savior. All he asks is that you believe in him and his son Jesus. Believe that he died just for you. And that he was raised to life again. The best gift you can ever receive is Jesus Christ. Receive that gift by asking Jesus Christ to come into your life. Asking him to forgive all of your sins. And to live a life devoted to loving him. If you believe that with all your heart. Now you are a child of this King. Get to know him now by just talking to him like you would to a good friend. He loves you so much and wants to get to know you today. Get a Bible and start to read about this awesome God who loves all of his children the same.
Are you ready to meet this God?
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NIV
When things are difficult and seem to consume us we can only fix our eyes on him. Jesus is working in each of us and is perfecting us even if we can not see it. Just as a little baby grows bigger and learns so much you often don’t see the changes until one day you all of a sudden say wow! What happened? I remember her sitting there playing with play doh on the floor and now she’s grown. His plans for us are good. But through the hard times we grow. More than you know. Because everyone are not all knowing like God we can not see the growth from day to day, but it is there. One day we will be able to see the change. That it really was doing in us to make us better. When Jesus came to this earth he had to live a life just like ours. He had to stay focused on his father. He was here for a very important mission. He was all knowing though. He knew he would be loved by some but he also knew that he would be rejected and scorned by many. It was not important though to convince everyone that he was who he said he was. Getting his point across was not his agenda. Many would not understand. His life would be difficult. He knew that not everyone would accept him. But he did it with such love and concern for all. It brought him joy to look toward the future. All of us who would accept him as our savior would come to live with him forever in a perfect world. He kept his eyes on his father and eternity. Just like us that would give him enough strength to persevere through it all. It brought him so much joy to see what would be done when this life was over. It really is such a short time of striving compared to eternity. With him in that perfect place. We also have rewards (our crowns) waiting for us. He wants us to look forward to that day with anticipation. The day of our graduation with honor. We can’t take anything from this life with us, but all we do for the cross of Christ will be deposited in our heavenly bank account. I look forward to blessings in this life, but even more are those blessings waiting for me in heaven.
What do you look forward to?