Posts Tagged ‘Deep Thoughts’

Missing The ‘Mark’

21 August 17

Last year, South Korea’s 24-year-old Kim Woo-jin set a 72-arrow world record in the 2016 Olympic archery competition for the recurve bow—700 out of a perfect score of 720 points.

Of Kim’s 72 arrows, 52 were in the 10 ring (which is the highest score), and 20 were in the 9 ring. Brady Ellison, of the United States, who finished second with a score of 690, said that it “Should’ve been five or six points higher, too,” since the platform they were standing on was “a bit shaky.”

The tournament ‘arena’ for recurve bows sets the target 70 meters away (which is about 77 yards). The target face is about 48 inches in diameter, which looks like it’s about the size of a thumbtack to the archers standing 70 meters away. The inner-most gold ring, which is worth 10 points, is 4.8 inches in diameter. That’s about the size of a coffee can lid, which, from 70 yards away, looks like a dot in the middle of the thumbtack!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAjaEL-vUjY

 

About a dozen years ago, I had just been given a “Bear” recurve bow and took my daughter, 15 years old at the time, to the Detroit Archery Club for her to try out shooting a bow for the first time in her life. I had her shoot at a target 25 meters away. She hit the target EVERY TIME—she DIDN’T MISS! (even I missed a few times). The gentleman next to us asked how long she had been shooting. I said this was her first time out ever. He commented that she was “a natural.” Well, now she naturally hits ‘the mark’—putting her arrow thru really big carp in lakes around the area while night ‘fishing’!

Now, there’s a very popular saying that originated with archery: “Missing the mark.” The thing is, for the professional archer, like Kim Woo-jin, it does not mean that they missed the actual target ‘face’, but that they missed the “sight point” (the bulls-eye that they are pointing the arrow at).

However, in ‘general’ usage, “missing the mark” it is a bit broader means that there was a failure to achieve the result that was intended, failing to take advantage of an opportunity, or failing to attain some specified goal or target.

In last month’s Life’s Deep Thoughts post, I talked about a specified result, opportunity, or ‘target’ that most people want to attain when they die—to go to Heaven. [ https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-place-to-retire-v221/ ]. So, this month, I want to discuss the reasons why one will “miss the mark” and NOT GET TO HEAVEN.

 

As I mentioned last month, the Bible says that the only way God will allow someone into His Heaven is if they are ‘PERFECT’: “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees [ that you are perfect ], you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven” [ Matthew 5:20 ]. A little later in this chapter, Matthew is a bit more direct: “that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven”… “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” [ Matthew 5:45, 48 ].

As all of us know—as well as God—none of us is perfect, nor will we ever attain it. So, how can any one of us get into Heaven? Well, God did provide a ‘solution’—His Son, Jesus.

While teaching His Disciples, Jesus boldly proclaimed to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me” [ John 14:6 ]. Well, some say that is pretty ‘narrow’, and Jesus would agree with them: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” [ Matthew 7:13-14 ]. Just a bit later, Jesus further ‘restricted’ who would make it to Heaven by saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” [ Matthew 7:21-23 ].

What Jesus was saying is the fact that the Kingdom of Heaven is not for those who ‘call’ Him “Lord,” but for those who ‘acknowledge’ Him as “Lord” over their lives—those whose ‘hearts’ that have become a ‘place’ where Jesus abides, rules, and reigns.

 

Most people don’t like ‘restrictions’, and resist when told they have to do something a certain way. Why is that? Well, the Bible is pretty clear about it—it’s because of their ‘PRIDE’—and it also says that pride is the PRIMARY ‘ATTITUDE’ why one will NOT GO TO HEAVEN. Pride also happens to be the ‘reason’ that the Pharisee “Saul of Tarsus” (later the Apostle Paul) and all of Israel rejected Jesus Christ as the “Messiah.”

The Pharisees were a sect that had arisen during the Intertestamental Period in response to growing secularization in Israel. They were most zealous for the law of God. Saul, one of the ‘top dogs’, hated any departure from the Pharisaical code. He was a ‘model’ Jew.

When Saul became aware of the group called “The Way,” (the followers of Jesus), he unleashed his fury against them. Departing from the counsel of his mentor, Gamaliel (Acts 5:35–39), he went after the Christians with passion, going house to house to find them and jailing many men and women (Acts 8:3), voting for their executions, and compelling them to blaspheme (Acts 26:10–11). He was even prepared to pursue them beyond Jerusalem.

But while God was making use of Saul’s persecution of the saints in Jerusalem to impel the believers to leave Jerusalem, He would not permit Saul to pursue His people elsewhere. Besides, Saul had received gifts from God that were designed to be used for holy purposes. So it was that Saul, on the road to Damascus, came ‘face-to-face’ with Jesus—and was converted to a “Christian” (and was then called “Paul”).

However, because of the now Apostle Paul’s previous great learning, he had a tendency to be prideful. So, God ‘afflicted’ him with a “thorn in the flesh” to keep
Paul humble. Paul did actually understand why God did this: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations” [ 2 Corinthians 12:7a ].

 

Just as the Apostle Paul did when he was a Pharisee (before becoming a “Christian”), most of Israel also refused to trust in Jesus, and rather pursued a righteousness based on doing good works and trying to keep the commands of God. In doing this they “stumbled over the stumbling stone” (Romans 9:32). The Apostle Paul is making reference to Old Testament Scriptures in which Jesus was figuratively described as a “stone that causes men to stumble” (Isaiah 8:14). In other words, people are going to be spiritually ‘tripped up’ by Him.

Paul then tells the Jews why they ‘missed the mark’ in a healthy relationship with God: “because they pursued it not by faith (trust) but as if it were by works.” In other words, they rejected a right relationship with God on the basis of just trusting in Jesus and His ‘Gospel’ message, and instead insisted on ‘working’ their way to Heaven.

 

Why would anyone insist on working for something which they could get for free? The answer is PRIDE! Also, why would anyone refuse God’s offer of help? Again, Pride! In our pride, we do not want to admit that we need anyone’s help.

Paul continues by saying that he knows how hard the Jews worked at being right with God. They put great effort, time, and sacrifice into having a right relationship with God—and as a former Pharisee, Paul could testify, from is own experience, that they were “zealous for God.”

But, the problem was not their hard work or zeal, but that their hard work was based on a false presumption. As Paul says, “there zeal is not based on knowledge.” By knowledge he means knowledge of the ‘truth’. They were zealous in their efforts because they falsely believed that by their good works or religious deeds they could establish a righteousness of their own making: “seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” [ Romans 10:3 ].

 

So, just like the Jews, ANY ‘GOOD’ PERSON will not go to Heaven, because they are fundamentally deceived about their true condition. The prophet Isaiah used a very graphic picture to describe the truth: “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” [ Isaiah 64:6 ]. That’s what God sees when He looks down from Heaven at our lives. Even the “good” things you do are ‘polluted’ with sin. We say, “Look at me, God, I’m so good.” But, God says, “All I see is a pile of dirty rags.” Pretty harsh you may say, but just think back to God’s requirement of being ‘perfect’, and it makes sense.

Most ‘good’ people try to keep the law so they can be “good enough” to go to Heaven. But they have it backwards. The Law is meant to show people that no one is good enough to go to Heaven. The Law is like a schoolmaster to ‘lead’ people to Jesus. The Apostle Paul explained it this way: “The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” [ Galatians 3:24-26 ].

Many times in the Bible, Jesus clearly indicates that people are not good enough to be right with God, and BECAUSE OF PRIDE, people will MISS HEAVEN. Many will insist on trying to work their way to Heaven instead of admitting that they are ‘messed up’ sinners in desperate need of a Savior. Their pride rejects the idea that Jesus said He is the “only way” to Heaven.

 

So, even though people are PRIDEFUL in their relationship with God, this attitude toward Him is not new—it’s been around since the ‘beginning’. Pride is the reason that Adam and Eve were tempted in the Garden of Eden, and before that, was the reason that Lucifer ‘fell’ from Heaven.

Lucifer is described as an exceedingly beautiful angel (Ezekiel 28:12-15). He was likely the highest of all angels, the anointed cherub, the most beautiful of all of God’s creations. His wonderful qualities caused him to become proud. He was no longer content with the gifts God had given him, and was not content in his position. He wanted a throne that would be higher than all the other angels. Being in God’s presence was no longer enough for him, Lucifer wanted to be as great as God! In five different ways, Lucifer said “I will be like the Most High God.” Lucifer wanted to rob God of the praise that ONLY God deserves.

Lucifer desired to ‘be’ God, and not to be ‘a servant’ of God—wanting to essentially “kick God off His throne,” and take over the rule of the universe (Isaiah 14:12-14). In his own eyes, he equated himself with God, and in time, he thought of himself as greater than God—a very perverted comparison, since he was a ‘created’ being.

 

How then did Lucifer fall from Heaven? Well, actually, a ‘fall’ is not an accurate description. It would be far more accurate to say that God ‘cast’ Lucifer out of Heaven (Isaiah 14:15; Ezekiel 28:16-17)—he was ‘pushed’ out. The Bible tells us that this prideful angel did not leave Heaven quietly. In fact, many of the other angels sided with Lucifer, and rebelled against God (about one-third of all the angels followed Lucifer, now called “Satan”). Satan’s lofty feelings of superiority, PRIDE, corrupted him—and it will you, too! Pride changed the ‘course’ of the world!

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) wrote, “Pride is the commencement of all sin;” because it was this which overthrew the devil, from whom arose the origin of sin; and afterwards, when his malice and envy pursued man, who was yet standing in his uprightness, it subverted him in the same way in which he himself fell. For the serpent, in fact, only sought for the door of pride whereby to enter when he said, ‘Ye shall be as gods.’ Truly then is it said, ‘Pride is the commencement of all sin;’ and, ‘The beginning of pride is when a man departeth from God.’”

 

All of us have a tendency to become prideful. Our basic inclination is toward self-gratification—however religious or moral we may appear on the outside—and this tends to turn into a hostility toward God. Even most of our ‘good’ deeds are produced for selfish reasons.

Our ‘heart’ is ‘naturally’ in rebellion toward God—coming originally from our ‘parents’, Adam and Eve. We seek to usurp God’s authority, and put ourself in His place. This is, at the core, an act of pride. Pride says, “Move over, God, I’m in charge, I’ll do what I want.” C. S. Lewis, author of the Narnia books, calls pride, “the complete anti-God state of mind.” This is a very accurate description.

When we are prideful, we think we have all the answers and we cannot see our need for God. The Bible says, “In his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” [ Psalm 10:4 ]. Scripture tells us that pride deceives us (Obadiah 1:3). Pride is a lie. Pride is thinking too highly of oneself. It makes us think we are more than we are.

The sin of pride is a preoccupation with self. It is thus very fitting that the middle letter in the word is an “i.” Satan’s enmity against God began with “I”, and so it is with us. If you are preoccupied with yourself, you are suffering from the sin of pride.

 

Psychologists tell us that pride is actually a mark of inner inferiority and uncertainty, and such people compensate by over-emphasizing and flaunting the qualities that they think they possess that will make others think well of them. This feeling of superiority is highly relative since each person is capable of setting his own standards of comparison, regardless of their real accomplishments.

 

Now, pride can come from a lot of things—it does not have to be ‘intelligence’, ‘beauty’, or ‘power’ as it was with Satan. It could be things like money, job position, social position, natural ability, social status, knowledge, physical strength, clothing, a house, furniture, or a type of automobile—the list is virtually endless. In the New Testament, the Greek word is “huperephania,” means “to show oneself above.” It does not imply one who others look up to, but one who stands on his own self-created ‘pedestal’.

 

Pride leads the list of attitudes that God hates. Throughout the Bible we are told about the consequences of pride. Proverbs 16:18-19 tells us that “pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”

God is pretty ‘adamant’ about this—there are plenty of Scripture passages condemning pride. Proverbs 16:5 says: “The LORD detests all the proud of heart”; and Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”; and Romans 12:16: “Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” In 1 Corinthians 13:4, the Apostle Paul tells us that love “is not proud.” Wisdom, says Proverbs 8:13, hates “pride and arrogance.” (All these quotations are from the New International Version. Other translations use other words for pride: haughty, arrogant, glory, conceit, self-glory, etc., or rephrase the verse and use the word “boast”).

There is no shortage of other disapprovals of pride, by whatever name it’s called. For example: Job 40:11f; Psalm 10:4; Proverbs 3:34; 8:13; 11:2; 15:25; 21:4; 29:23; Ecclesiastes 7:8; Jeremiah 13:15; Ezekiel 16:49; Mark 7:22; Romans 11:20; and 2 Timothy 3:2. In fact, 2 Timothy 3:5 even instructs Christians to avoid and have nothing to do with proud people, and both James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 tell us that “God opposes the proud.”

 

So, why is pride so sinful? Well, pride is giving ourselves the credit for something that God has accomplished. Pride is taking the glory that belongs to God alone and keeping it for ourselves. Pride is essentially self-worship. Anything we accomplish in this world would not have been possible were it not for God enabling and sustaining us. “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). That is why we should give God the glory—He alone deserves it!

 

Now, there is a difference between the kind of pride that God hates (Proverbs 8:13) and the kind of pride we feel about a job well done. The kind of pride that stems from self-righteousness is sin, and God hates it because it is a hindrance to seeking Him. Psalm 10:4 explains that the proud are so consumed with themselves that their thoughts are far from God: “In his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” This kind of ‘haughty’ pride is the opposite of the spirit of humility that God seeks: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:3). The “poor in spirit” are those who recognize their utter spiritual bankruptcy and their inability to come to God aside from His divine grace. The proud, on the other hand, are so blinded by their pride that they think they have no need of God or, worse, that God should accept them as they are because they ‘deserve’ His acceptance.

 

Pride separates us from God, but God draws near to those who are humble (2 Kings 22:19). To be humble is to have a correct view of oneself, and a correct view of God. Being humble is NOT thinking we are terrible, lowly creatures. The Bible says we are wonderfully made because God knit us together (Psalm 139:13-14). The Bible also says that God delights in His people and even sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17).

Jesus was the picture of humility—our perfect example. Jesus knew the Father and He completely trusted the Father’s plan. Jesus ‘remained’ in His Father, and He spent time with His Father (John 10:15, John 12:50, Mark 1:35). To believe in, trust and remain with is called “abiding.’ When we abide in Jesus, we will have the correct view of ourselves. When we abide in Christ, it is impossible to be proud. Christians are ‘called’ to live in a way that evidences a similar service and thereby demarcates us as those whose ‘citizenship’ is in Heaven (Matthew 20:25–28).

 

In the Book of Proverbs (6:16–19), there is a list of seven traits that God despises: A proud (vain) look; A lying tongue; Hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that devises wicked acts; Feet that be swift in running to mischief; A false witness that speaks out lies; and He that sows discord among the brethren. Pride is mentioned first since it is the greatest sin.

Another ‘listing’ of the most egregious sins was originally developed by the fourth-century monk, Evagrius Ponticus, which then became a part of Western Christianity tradition’s “Spiritual Pietas” (Catholic devotions), and are referred to as the “Seven Deadly Sins.” They are: Lust (Mathew 5:28); Gluttony (Proverbs 23:21); Greed (Ephesians 4:19); Sloth (Proverbs 5:19); Wrath (Proverbs 15:1); Envy (1 Peter 2:1-2); and Pride (Proverbs 16:18). Pride was noted as being the most egregious.

[ Note: Later “Seven Virtues” were recognized corresponding inversely to the Sins: Chastity; Temperance; Charity; Diligence; Patience; Gratitude; and Humility ].

Reinforcing pride’s egregious nature, author C. S. Lewis said, “The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea-bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” God DESPISES the sin of pride especially because it’s totally ‘MISSING’ His purposes for us.

 

We have all had the experience of MISSING something, but usually we can handle it pretty well. If we miss the bus, we catch another one. If we miss an appointment, we make another one. If we miss a phone call, you can call them back. If you miss a meal, you can always eat a little later.

However, all ‘misses’ are not as easy to correct as these. If you miss the April 15th deadline for filing your income taxes, there is usually a penalty that must be paid. Sometimes a sick person who misses taking their medicine will suffer because of it.

BUT, there are some ‘misses’, in the spiritual realm, that will have implications far beyond your life here on earth! What if you ‘miss’ going to Heaven? (Just think about that for a minute…).

 

Hopefully by now, you are realizing that the sin of PRIDE WILL CAUSE YOU TO MISS HEAVEN!

The sin of pride is the sin of sins. As was mentioned previously, it was the sin of pride which transformed Lucifer, an anointed cherub of God, the very “seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” into Satan, the devil, the father of lies—the one for whom Hell itself was created. The Bible constantly warns to “guard our hearts against pride” lest we too “fall into the same condemnation as the devil.” A bit later in the Biblical narrative, it was the sin of pride which first led Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. In Genesis we read, “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”

Satan’s outright lies and cunning half-truths brought something to the surface of Eve’s mind that fateful day. She realized that to “be like gods” meant not having to serve God, it meant being equal to God. It meant that she felt as if God had deliberately kept her and Adam in the dark regarding their “divine potential.” Why should they tend God’s garden in Eden when they could be as gods themselves? The sin of pride that led to Satan’s fall had now infected the hearts and minds of Adam and Eve, and continues to ‘INFECT’ ALL OF US today!

 

Let me give you a few ‘reasons’ why the Bible says that you DON’T WANT TO MISS HEAVEN…and GO TO HELL:

– The gnashing of your teeth (Matthew 25:30), represents the anguish that will be found in hell.
– You will never have any rest (Revelation 14:9-11).
– You will feel great pain (Matthew 25:46), and everlasting fire (Matthew 25:41).
– You will feel you are in torment (Luke 16:19-26).
– You are in outer darkness (Matthew 25:30).
– There is no hope of getting out (Luke 16:26)
– There will be nothing but frustration and pain for eternity (Revelation 20:10).

 

So, if a person ‘MISSES’ HEAVEN, it is either because they’re unwilling to admit that they can not save themselves and therefore need a Savior, or because they’re unwilling to relinquish control of the lives completely to Jesus. In either case, THE PROBLEM IS PRIDE!

 

‘Good’ people won’t go to Heaven as long they trust in their goodness to get them there. They have trouble understanding their ‘need’ for Jesus. The Bible notes that here will be no one in Heaven who can boast of their goodness. The Apostle Paul said: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” In Heaven the only boasting we will do will be about how Jesus saved us from our sin!

As long as you cling to the slightest shred of your goodness, you’ll never see the gates of Heaven. Once you let go of the rags of your own righteousness, you can be saved. That’s what Jesus said in the “Beatitudes”: One must be ‘poor in spirit to see Heaven’—recognizing one’s utter spiritual bankruptcy and their inability to ever be in God’s presence aside from His divine grace!

 

BUT, I’ve got good news…and better news. The good news is: You can be ‘saved’—no matter how bad you’ve been. The better news is: You can be ‘saved’—no matter how good you’ve been! [ Previous Life’s Deep Thoughts post discussing how to be ‘saved’: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/ ].

 

Most of us will be on this earth a maximum of 80-100 years. How does that compare to the multiple ‘quadrillion’ years that eternity will be (and it’s way more than that). The Bible says that “our days on the earth are like a shadow” (Job 8:9) and “just a vapor, then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

The thing is, only on this earth will you have the opportunity to repent of your sins and believe that Jesus is the ‘substitution for your sins! Might I strongly encourage you to put your ‘pride’ aside and ask God to be merciful to you and for Him to reconcile you to Him and accept you as one of His children? [ Please consider what the “Prayer of Repentance” below has to say ].

 

We’ve always known the Gospel can save sinners. Now we know it can even save good people if they are willing to let go of their goodness. You can HIT THE ‘MARK’. You DON’T HAVE TO MISS HEAVEN!

 

[ Excerpts from: John MacArthur; Larry Sarver; Josh Squires; John Piper; Bob Deffinbaugh; John W. Ritenbaugh; Troy Lacey ]

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying the the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

—————-
Don’t Miss Heaven
By: Dr. Michael McCann

A book that gives insight into eternity in heaven. Covers subjects such as suicide, eternal security, what will heaven be like, etc.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963819534/

—————-
Are You Going To Heaven?
(Booklet)

Do you know for sure you are going to Heaven?

Check below what you think you MUST do to get to Heaven:

1. Turn from all my sins.
2. Keep the commandments in the Bible.
3. Be willing to forsake sin.
4. Do my best in life.
5. Love others and treat them with respect.
6. Be water baptized and attend church.
7. Contribute to church or charity.
8. Trust Jesus Christ as my Savior.
9. Trust Jesus Christ and serve Him.
10. I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell.

#1 Sorry. Though you may turn from some sins, you cannot turn from all of them. You were born with a sin nature.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

#2 Wrong. Trying to keep the commandments cannot make you perfect; it only points us to Christ.

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Galatians 3:24).

“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

#3 Incorrect. Being willing to forsake sin cannot take away your sins. God says the penalty for sin is spiritual death.

“For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). The word “death” implies eternal separation from God in hell.

#4 and #5 No! Doing your best in life, loving and respecting others are good deeds, but they aren’t good enough. To stop sinning completely is impossible because we are sinners by nature. Yet, Heaven is perfect.

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

#6 and #7 – Sorry! Water baptism, church attendance, charity, contributions to church and other good deeds cannot make you perfect or save you from hell.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

So far it sounds quite bad: you are a sinner, you deserve Hell, Heaven is perfect, and you are not. Yet, God wants you to go to Heaven! How then is it possible?

“When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:25,26).

#8 Exactly! Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from the grave to pay for the sins of the world. To be specific: He died for you! He shed His blood to save you.

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 4:5).

As Jesus told Nicodemus, a wealthy religious man who visited Him at night: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). When Nicodemus did not understand, Jesus told him plainly, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18). The name Jesus means “Savior.” By trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you will receive eternal life. You will be declared righteous, which allows you to enter Heaven. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5).

#9 Sorry! Nothing you can do, even if it is serving God, can add to the finished work of Christ on the cross. Though serving God is important, it does not save you. Your faith for salvation should not be in Christ plus yourself; it must be in Christ alone. Grace means getting something you don’t deserve; it is not earned by works.

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6).

Serving Christ should follow salvation, but they are not part of salvation. To be saved you must repent (“change your mind”) and trust in the Savior Jesus Christ.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

This is a one-time life decision. When you do, you will be born into God’s family, and He will be your Father.

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).

As a child of God, you may be disciplined, but God will never kick you out of His family. Once you have eternal life, you are secure. You cannot lose or forfeit it. It is God’s unconditional promise.

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

#10 Friend, I cannot make you believe that God, Heaven and Hell exist. Perhaps you don’t believe because you cannot see. Neither can you see the air you breathe; yet, without it you would die. Your lack of faith will not change the reality of Heaven or Hell, but it will condemn you. Why not investigate God’s Word and see that God loves you and wants to save you.

If you are ready to be saved, trust in Christ as your personal Savior. Acknowledge that you are a sinner and deserve hell; then believe in Jesus Christ as the One Who died and rose again to pay for your sins. If you do, you can KNOW that you are going to Heaven!

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

[ Moments With The Book ]

https://mwtb.org/products/pmt-are-you-going-to-heaven-kjv-en

—————-
Can You Be Sure You Are Going To Heaven?
(Booklet)

Is it possible for someone to know that they are going to heaven? How can someone be certain of where they will spend eternity? This booklet presents the problem of sin, the remedy provided through Jesus Christ, and the certainty that the believer has in taking God at His Word.

[ G. Michael Cocoris ]

https://mwtb.org/products/can-you-be-sure-you-are-going-to-heaven

—————-
Will You Miss Heaven By 18 Inches?
(Booklet)

How can you miss Heaven by 18 inches? Well, that is the distance between your head and your heart. When you say you believe in God, what does that mean to you? Think about this: God says that the devils—who will one day be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10-15)—believe in Him, too! “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). So, ask yourself: if the devils believe in God and are subjected to Hell someday, will I also go to Hell even though I, like the devils, believe in God?

Do you trust God? Do you have faith in God? Do you believe in your heart that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven? “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

It’s one thing to believe in God, but to have full faith and trust in Him is something else. To have full assurance of your faith and trust in God is a matter of the heart. Well, you know the Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

The Bible also says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). Trusting in God is not head belief, but a matter of the heart.

So you see, it is one thing to believe in God and another to believe in God with all your heart. Oftentimes, belief could end up being head knowledge: “Well, of course, I believe in God. I have heard His story a thousand times over. Trust me, I know.” You may know the facts, but do you know God? You may go to church on Christmas and Easter, but did you ever fully grasp the importance of trusting in God, and what He did for you? You often hear that Jesus Christ died on a cross for you, rose again from the dead, and so forth. But the thing you have to come to realize is that what you have learned about God requires another step. You must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

What you have learned about God in your head has to make its way to your heart. Think about it like this: when you met the love of your life (boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse), there was a time when you didn’t know much about him/her. There was a time when you started learning some basic things about this person and then you took it another step further: you started a relationship. So all of the things you have come to learn about this special person developed into a love; your head knowledge of this person had taken root in your heart. Well, the same goes with your belief in God. What you learn about God must transfer from your head to your heart.

Just like your loved one, God desires to have a relationship with you.Here’s what the Bible says:

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God says that we are all sinners, and come short of His glory (Romans 3:23).

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The payment of sin is death, and Hell is the place to receive it. But because of what Jesus did for you on the cross, you don’t have to receive that payment. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus Christ died for you! Today, are you willing to trust Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you willing to believe in your heart?

Pray to God: ask Him to save you from your sin, and put your total trust in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. Confess to Him that you’re a sinner, in need of saving grace. Ask Him to come into your heart today and save you.

“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6).

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

[ Moments With The Book ]

https://mwtb.org/products/pmt-will-you-miss-heaven-by-18-inches-kjv

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Road Map To Heaven
(Tract)

Not long ago, the normal flow of traffic on a busy freeway was interrupted by a deafening crash: two automobiles had met head on. Except for one survivor, the occupants of both vehicles were killed instantly. The badly-injured survivor related that the driver of the car in which he was a passenger had entered the freeway, being completely unaware of the plainly marked sign which read, “Wrong Way, Do Not Enter.” He further related that all in his car were fully convinced that they were on the right road heading safely toward their destination.

The above incident parallels a spiritual truth of even greater importance.

Many sincere persons trust that they are on the right road to heaven. But if the way is dependent on anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ, they are on a road “which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of [spiritual] death” (Proverbs 14:12).

The Lord Jesus declared emphatically that “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Other ways, however appealing, be they church membership, good works, etc., can only end in spiritual death, separation from God.

You and I, dear reader, cannot trust our eternal destiny to our own judgment and good intentions but must be guided by God’s infallible “road map” and “sign”—the Word of God. The Bible clearly states that man is at a distance from God because of sin and that the correction for this separation has been provided by the Lord Jesus Christ when He died on the cross as your substitute, bearing the judgment of God against your sin. You must accept the fact that because you are a sinner, you are going the wrong way; the Bible says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). When you confess to God that you are the sinner for whom Christ died, and receive Him as your own personal Saviour by placing your trust in Him, you will be saved.

Tragedies like the one above happen suddenly and without warning. Should death come to you, where will you spend eternity? Will you not in simple faith accept Christ’s offer of pardon, peace, and a home in Heaven?

“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

“God’s word” is the road map to heaven,
It tells you the way straight and plain;
How your sins may be all forgiven,
And never be remembered again.

So now if you’ll only pursue it,
Read the gospel of John chapter three;
And see how God’s love for the sinner,
Shows “Jesus,” God’s Son on the tree.

He died on the cross for the sinner,
That all who believe might be saved;
And not be condemned with the godless,
In darkness go down to the grave.

The Pharisee, ruler, and teacher,
Through learned in the book of the law;
Found that he, himself needed salvation,
If ever God’s heaven he saw.

That Pharisee learned from the Saviour,
He needed a heavenly birth;
To fit him for God’s holy heaven,
As his first one did for earth.

You, too, are in need of salvation,
For God’s road map is clear and plain;
That all who accept the Lord Jesus,
Have surely been “born again.”

So now if you only will trust Him,
He’ll cleanse you from all of your sin;
For His blood was shed for the sinner,
Whose heart’s door will let Him come in.

[ R.A. Robertson ]

https://mwtb.org/products/pmt-road-map-to-heaven-kjv

 

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about “how good must we be to qualify for heaven,” visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d1_1of10.html

 

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ARTICLES
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A New Level of Archery

Do I Hit Everything?
I use a LOT of time practicing, and every time I set out to learn a new skill, a new trick or how to handle a new type of bow or arrow, it takes a long time, with plenty of misses. When I got the idea of grabbing an arrow in flight and firing before I landed, it took me months to learn. For a long time, arrows flew everywhere!
But there’s no trick in the video that I haven’t done many times (except for splitting the arrow in flight – after I’d done that once I finished the video). The one with hitting the blade I’ve only done three times, though. All that running hurt my knees. ;-)

The Back Quiver
Hollywood of course did not invent the back quiver, but they spread the myth it was proper archery! Many asked why I do not use a back quiver and that is why I am showing my own experience, how bad it is in motion. There are many different historical variatoner of back quiver and they have of course been used, but presumably belt quiver was more common and some archers did not use quiver.

Target Plates
Past archers obvious used fixed targets, but not the modern round divided two dimensional.

On My Bows and Power
Many people talk about how what I do is only possible because I use bows that are less powerful than English longbows. They are correct. I’m 50 years old, and have been doing archery for only ten years. I’ll never be able to shoot really fast with 100 lbs+ war bows. I tried, but it just produced injuries. Had I started at age 10, it would have been a different story. ;-)

There is also a tendency from critics to assume that bows were always shoot against plate armour (as at Crecy in 1346 and Agincourt in 1415). This was very much the exception. Many opponents had little or no armour at all, and Stone Age findings show that many animals were taken down by multiple shots. Also, in 1923 Saxton T Pope examined a number of historical museum bows from around the world. His conclusion was that most only had a tensile strength of 45-50 pounds.

The Chainmail Test
Around 04:22 I penetrate chainmail. The arrows had bodkin tips, and the chainmail is riveted. However, while the gambeson is thick, it’s not as thick as some I’ve seen elsewhere. But one reason the arrows penetrate is that I sharpen not only the tip itself, but also the edges of the bodkin tip.

Shooting on the Right Side
There are archery traditions alive today which shoot the arrow on the right side of the bow, as I do. However, the places where most people come into contact with archery (Hollywood, The Olympics, archery clubs) do it left around the bow.

The Three Levels of Arrow Handing
It is obvious much more complicated, We can not know what the first archers did, some of the earliest pictures show arrows in the bow hand, but the arrow is much older than the bow so the quiver may be used and it is impossible entirely exclude that the first archer held his shafts in the draw hand. In some parts of history is progress gone in the 3 levels, but other times the opposite has happened. Some archers are gone from arrows in the draw hand to the avancerde rapid fire quiver that was developed just before war archery disappeared.

Hit an Incoming Arrow!!
You don’t have time to aim or think, but can only do it if your reactions are completely instinctive. First of all, you need to be convinced that you WILL hit it, so you can “feel” the incoming arrow and fire at it instead of just flinching away.

I was also in doubt whether it was smart to show this, because I don’t want anyone to get hurt trying to copy the trick. I trained for years with soft boffer arrows and spent a LONG time before I tried it even the first time. And the arrow shoot at me was not shoot with a very powerful bow, though it was definitely dangerous enough!

I didn’t think it was possible to split an arrow!
It was a light bamboo arrow with a metal tip, and the arrow I shot back was a heavier aluminum arrow. That the arrow split was just pure luck, and I’m not certain I could repeat it without first training for a long time. I believe it split because it hit just behind the head and made the shafts fluctuate against each other, causing the bamboo shaft to split lengthwise.

I hope to try it again using a proper high-speed camera!

Final Words
Thank you for watching my videos and for reading.
I will remove rude and dumb comments.
I will also remove dumb “archery experts” comments.

[ Lars Andersen ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEG-ly9tQGk

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Seven Deadly Sins

Seven Sins and the Early Church
Please note, the early church classified the seven deadly sins as cardinal sins or capital vices and taught that they could not be forgiven. However, according to the Bible these 7 deadly sins are completely and totally forgivable by God, but this doesn’t give free license to commit these sins. Biblically, the only sin that cannot be forgiven is complete rejection of God’s grace which is outright rebellion against God, also known as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Seven Deadly Sins List and Meanings:
– Envy = the desire to have an item or experience that someone else possesses
– Gluttony = excessive ongoing consumption of food or drink
– Greed or Avarice = an excessive pursuit of material possessions
– Lust = an uncontrollable passion or longing, especially for sexual desires
– Pride = excessive view of one’s self without regard to others.
– Sloth = excessive laziness or the failure to act and utilize one’s talents
– Wrath = uncontrollable feelings of anger and hate towards another person

The Root Cause of These Sins
gluttony: one of the seven deadly sins. Each one of these deadly sins listed above has its root in the desire for more and the human need for excess. Each sin goes against the root of Christianity which is: love for God, love for our fellow man, and love for our bodies (keeping them as clean temples for God, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-12, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” This strikes at the root of each of these deadly sins. Paul in effect is saying that God can take care of our needs and there is no need to lust or desire after excessive things.

What Cures These Deadly Sins?
The cure for these sins is the gift of a new heart that acts in accordance to the love and law of God. This new heart can only come from God. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Humanity’s only hope is the miracle of a regenerated heart that acts according to the direction of the Holy Spirit to walk in God’s statutes and judgements.

Power does not come from self to change the heart. On the contrary, this verse clearly points out that God alone gives you a new heart and causes you to walk in His ways. As this event becomes a reality in your life, the seven deadly sins of gluttony, envy, sloth, wrath, pride, lust, and greed will lose their power in your life. With the indwelling Holy Spirit in your life, you will instead desire to live a life based upon the principles of the Bible.

History of the Seven Deadly Sins
The seven deadly sins were first compiled by Pope Gregory I around the year 600. They are pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Gregory also compiled a list of the seven virtues: faith, hope, charity, justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. The Bible would validate all of these concepts, but nowhere are they recorded in a list like this and nowhere in the Bible are they specifically referred to as the seven deadly sins or seven virtues. They do not pre-date the Ten Commandments which were given at Mt. Sinai around 1450 B.C. It is probably true that they were used extensively to teach principles from God’s Word, particularly in the centuries before the invention of the printing press when the Bible was not available for the common man to read and study.

Seven Deadly Sins in the Bible
As mentioned before, the list of seven deadly sins in question does not appear in any Bible verse. However, a slightly different set of sins can be found in Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
and one who sows discord among brethren.”

Additionally, Galatians 5:19-21 mentions several more sins to be on our guard against: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

The Seven Virtues
The seven virtues were originally defined in the poem, Psychomachia, by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, a Christian governor who died around 410 A.D. Because of the poem’s prevalence the concept and idea of the seven virtues spread throughout Europe. The following is a listing of the seven virtues and how they cure each of the seven deadly sins:

Kindness = cures envy by placing the desire to help others above the need to supersede them.

Temperance = cures gluttony by implanting the desire to be healthy, therefore making one fit to serve others.

Charity or love = cures greed by putting the desire to help others above storing up treasure for one’s self.

Chastity or Self-control = cures lust by controlling passion and leveraging that energy for the good of others.

Humility = cures pride by removing one’s ego and boastfulness, therefore allowing the attitude of service.

Diligence or Zeal = cures slothfulness by placing the best interest of others above the life of ease and relaxation.

Patience = cures wrath by taking time to understand the needs and desires of others before acting or speaking.

[ Bibleinfo.com ]

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Dante’s “Inferno”

Inferno (Italian for “Hell”) is the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. The Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth; it is the “realm … of those who have rejected spiritual values by yielding to bestial appetites or violence, or by perverting their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen.” As an allegory, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul toward God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin.

1 Introduction
1.1 Cantos I–II
1.2 Vestibule of Hell
2 Nine circles of Hell
2.1 Overview
2.2 First Circle (Limbo)
2.3 Second Circle (Lust)
2.4 Third Circle (Gluttony)
2.5 Fourth Circle (Greed)
2.6 Fifth Circle (Wrath)
2.6.1 Entrance to Dis
2.7 Sixth Circle (Heresy)
2.8 Seventh Circle (Violence)
2.9 Eighth Circle (Fraud)
2.9.1 Central Well of Malebolge
2.10 Ninth Circle (Treachery)
2.10.1 Centre of Hell

[ Dante Alighieri ]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferno_(Dante)

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How, Why, and When Did Satan Fall From Heaven?

Where did Satan come from? Why did Satan decide to rebel against God?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pk18AXcbQE

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The Problem With Pride

[ Adrian Rogers ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efEIsPWfafc

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Man And His Pride

A Christian is a man who lives only to the glory of God; what did Jesus claim for Himself? man’s pride caused the Fall; the modern Pharisee.

Man and his Pride – Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Sermon

John 7:18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

[ Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ7-rgf2QwI

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Pride And Humilty

Proverbs 18:12: “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.”

[ Charles Spurgeon ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWUueggR8xA

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Indiscerned Spiritual Pride

Psalm 25:9: “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.”

[ Jonathan Edwards ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blbvUOuEFWg

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“‪The Battle With Sin: Pride‬”

Tim talks about putting to death pride in our life and be humbled under the mighty hand of God.

John 5:44 – glory from one another…
Pride is the greatest root cause
You seek applause from one another.

[ Tim Conway ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ohs1FZ8V50

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Missing Heaven by Eighteen Inches

[ Harry Clark ]

(Part 1):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmZqddoaT-k

(Part 2):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKFm5FN1RtU

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Missing Heaven Unaware” (Part 1)

The first part in a three part sneak preview dealing with the deception that has infiltrated the church and society. See why most people will not make it to Heaven, even some of those that think they will.

[ Mark Charboneau ]

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=E09C1NNU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmwlhvUlAFU&index=1&list=PL78ED17707613A2EE

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Don’t Let Me Miss Heaven

I’ve got so many dreams
Sometimes in my sleep, they come and talk to me
But I pray to the lord my soul he will keep and help me to stay humble
I used to pray for fortune and fame
But now I just pray for his mercy and grace
To keep my soul every night and everyday and help me to stay humble

CHORUS:
Don’t let me miss heaven shooting for the stars
Help me to keep my feet on the ground while I chase my dreams so far
If I ever meet your presence, I know I’ve gone too far
Don’t let me miss heaven shooting for the stars
I’ve seen people make it to the top
And wonder from the flock as soon the blessings stop
And that is why I got to watch and pray that I stay humble

CHORUS AGAIN

God has been so good to me
If I never get another blessing, I thank him for chivarly
Cuz I know that he promised if I stay like tree
He will supply all my wants and my needs

CHORUS AGAIN

Don’t let me miss heaven shooting for the stars (8 times)

[ Bryan Wilson ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO0PjVFMXtU

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Prepare to Meet Me There

[ Glen Graham ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SARdCk1eAw

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If You Miss Heaven

If you’re tired of sinnin’ take your Saviour’s hand
There’s a mansion worth winnin’ in the great Promised Land
Many debtors are grinnin’, don’t you slip and fall

If you miss Heaven you’ll miss it all
If you miss Heaven you’ll miss it all

For me to reach Heaven, I’d gladly crawl
The smallest and weakest who love him or toss
If you miss heaven you’ll miss it all

Our loving Saviour gave us a sake of birth
And his salvation frees us from the sorrows of earth
Forever with Jesus may life seem so small

[ Loretta Lynn ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACzE0cJgFSw

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I Wouldn’t Miss Heaven For The World

I wouldn’t miss Heaven for the world.
A mansion waits for me inside
those gates of pearl
I’ll gladly trade this worlds glory
for the One that’s waiting for me,
I wouldn’t miss Heaven for the world
This world is a wonderful place
but I’m not here to stay
I’m just a pilgrim passing through
but I’ll keep traveling ’til the time
that I make His home mine.
The world can’t keep this dream from coming true

I wouldn’t miss Heaven for the world.
A mansion waits for me inside
those gates of pearl
I’ll gladly trade this worlds glory 
for the One that’s waiting for me
I wouldn’t miss Heaven for the world
Some day when I get to my home
I’ll stand before the throne
and join His children in a song.
We’ll sing about His amazing grace.
How sweet to sing it to His face
Heaven is the place where I belong.

I wouldn’t miss heaven for the world.
A mansion waits for me inside
those gates of pearl
I’ll gladly trade this worlds glory 
for the One that’s waiting for me
I wouldn’t miss Heaven for the world.

[ The Ball Brothers ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpuP3BnCFkk

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If You Miss Heaven

[ Bill Crowe ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9sWdsiLTLk

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Don’t Miss Heaven

Though you missed breakfast, you’ll make it up at the noon meal,
Then too, you missed taking your medication, but what’s one pill.
Running a little late, you missed your bus, for it has passed you by,
That’s alright, there’s always other ways to get to work if you try.

Later you missed the forecast to check the weekend weather wise,
No problem, you can just get it tomorrow morning before sunrise.
There is the sports report you missed, this you sure wanted to get,
You’ll just have to look in the morning paper to check on that bet.

Then you missed a dental visit, being wrong about the date and time,
Oh well, they’ll reschedule and put you somewhere on down the line.
These are things you missed with some of them on the important side,
Although you took care of each one when a little effort was applied.

When these things were missed, they didn’t cause you pain or sorrow,
However, if heaven is missed, be assured, there will be no tomorrow.
If you are unsure about going to heaven, now is the time to prepare,
Then in time, you’ll know you didn’t miss it because you are there.

[ Robert Hedrick ]

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Ways To Miss Heaven

[ Danny Castle ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzfhTzaGY1s

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Don’t Miss Heaven

We continually face important decisions. By far, the most vital decision is choosing the course that leads to heaven not only in the future, but also here and now. It determines eternity, starting with a meaningful life on this earth.

There is only one way to heaven. I’m not speaking only about the future heaven to come; I’m talking about the reality of heaven in our everyday lives. It’s not a choice of here or there, but now and then. It is present tense and future tense.

Believers who have experienced the spiritual new birth and the reality of its transforming power have been left here on this earth to be faithful, bold, Spirit-filled witnesses. We are not only to live the life we find in Christ, but we are to also share it freely and consistently. The Great Commission is not simply to get people out of hell and into heaven. The reality is, we are also to help get hell out of people and heaven’s reality revealed in their lives.

I’m convinced many people who profess to have a relationship with God have actually missed it as far as the east is from the west and have often substituted it with some form of religious practice or dead traditions of men. If all on this earth who claim to know Christ would really live full of heaven’s reality, far more people would be anxious to experience that life in the here and now, and not just think about then and there.

There is only one way to heaven and abundant life here on earth. The greatest person who ever walked on this planet—the man in whose life even the harshest critics could find no legitimate fault—made the pathway of life very clear. Jesus boldly proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” Jesus said, “I am the way; there is no other.” To praise Him for His exemplary life and not accept Him as the way to life and the way to heaven is the most foolish denial of truth and reality a person can construct.

When people compliment Christ’s character but deny Him as the Lord and Savior He claimed to be, they have no understanding of who He is. As C.S. Lewis concluded, “Jesus is either liar, lunatic or Lord.” Lewis is 100 percent right. Jesus’ assertion that He is the way indicates He is the door leading to life, now and forever. He is the only way to the Father and to heaven.

Further, He is the only way to experience the reality of life in all of its fullness right now. “There is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved.” “God has given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus is the only exit from death and entrance into life. Critics and skeptics will say it is pompous arrogance, intolerance of other views, or even unkind to tell people there is only one way. Remember, this pronouncement came from the One who said He is the way and the only way.

Consider this example. If a crowd was trapped in a burning building and someone shouted, “Here is the only safe exit—the only way out!” and the facts proved that the statement was true, it would be preposterous to accuse that person of being guilty of hatred or intolerance. The fact is, they should be exalted as the champion of life and a faithful witness. Those who escaped the blazing fire should spend the rest of their lives expressing praise and thanksgiving for that discovery.

The enemy of life and truth consistently and unceasingly attacks the way, truth, and life that can only be found in Christ. The sincere seekers in that burning building who did not decide to move toward and through the only safe exit but rather mistakenly looked for another would not escape the consequences of refusing the only safe way. They would perish. Why would anyone want to resist our Creator’s warning? With love and compassion, He is seeking to save us from death and give us everlasting life.

Jesus also said, “I am the truth.” He defines truth and demonstrates it perfectly. He shows what it looks like in life and its effect when applied to all areas of our lives. It works when we face challenges, valleys, heartaches, disappointments, great success and horrific tragedies. When we lose our life in His eternal purpose, we actually begin to discover it in all of its magnificent beauty. When we abide in Him, we know the truth that sets us free. We’re not freed from the battle, but rather to the battle with the ability to win because “He has sent His Spirit, another of the same kind” to live in us.

Please remember, God is not willing that “any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” We have been left here to allow the kingdom of the heavens to be revealed in us. This is promised life now. We are to overflow with His Spirit of love, peace and joy, abounding in fruitfulness in the land that flows with milk and honey. This is heavenly peace and security in the shelter and shadow of the Almighty. We can consistently live following the Lord, who is our Shepherd. We can live on this earth with heaven filling us and someday live in heaven, free from all adverse effects of sin. Free from pain, disease, and death forever and ever.

Living for Jesus has been so fulfilling I would want to be a Christian if there were no heaven or hell. It is sad to observe people trying desperately to find life and meaning in all the wrong places and the wrong ways. The emptiness in life can only be filled with the presence of the One who offers it freely.

Whatever decisions you make in life, do not miss heaven, both here and now, then and there. Please accept His invitation to trust Him—Jesus—as Lord, and experience grace found in the sacrificial death of the lamb of God. He not only died for you, He has been raised to live in you. It is not mere religion but a personal relationship with Jesus and with God as your Father. Jesus said we must all come to Him with childlike faith. Ask Jesus to forgive you, cleanse you and change your life so you can live to give honor, glory and praise to the name above every name.

[ James Robison ]

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Don’t Miss Heaven!

[ Dr. Homer G. Lindsay, Jr. ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7mLpOAEwrI

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Drop of Lucifer
(Parody of “Drops of Jupiter” by Train)

Now that he’s back in the atmosphere the drop of Lucifer is severe
He acts like somehow his worldwide reign
Reminds him of his diamond days
Till the return of the Way and the Truth
He’s livin’ like a king and he talks like it too
Tell me, are you sad you crossed the Son
Did you fake it so the millions may believe
Your light’s not faded and that Heaven is overrated
Tell me, did you fall like a shooting star
One day you’ll be burning in fire
I’m glad you missed me while you were booking your hotel down there
Now Christ came back with our soul salvation
Saving the day to your consternation
I checked out Romans, found He loves my soul
Reminds me that He’s assumed control
Now that He’s back and the coast is clear
I’m afraid that we might think of you as
A plain old angel you’re scarier than that
Though I’m not afraid to die still the devil’s pretty bad
But tell me, did your sin sweep you off your seat
Did you finally face the fact you’ll stand alone in latter days
Get paid back for your filthy ways
Tell me, did Jesus blow your mind?
Did you ever think He wanted to die?
I read your history while I was lookin’ at 14:12 in Isaiah
I do imagine you love tryin’ to deep-fry Christians
You get them always slippin’ up for you
Even when they know you’re wrong
But you’re no match for that verse 10:8,9 Romans
Find out from Revelation
You’ll get yours later but you’re never havin’ me
But tell me, did your sin sweep you off your seat
Did you finally get the chance to glance at all the Bible says
Will happen to you anyway
Tell me, are you sad you crossed the Son
Did you make it through the gilded page to see your final fate in
Chapter 20 in Revelation
Tell me, did you fall like a shooting star
One day now the serpent gets squashed
In Romans 16 verse 20 lookee for yourself
And did you finally get the chance to check Ezekiel 28
And did you fall like a shooting star, fall like a shooting star
And now you’re only booking your hotel down there

[ ApologetiX – “Grace Period” album ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zsIwUjMtmg

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Fly Away From Hell
(Parody of “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC)

It was easy, it was free
Jesus said, You know, you must decide
Asked Him nicely, Save me please
Make my every single sin washed white
So many reasons – for me to fry
Because of all the bad I do
Slow me down, throw me a line
I never wanna barbecue
I wanna fly away from hell
Wanna Fly away from hell
Fly away from hell
I wanna fly away from hell
Won’t drop by, won’t even visit
Nobody’s gonna point me down
I’ve been sealed – by His Spirit
I’m headed for the best place around
He saved me, paid my dues
Though I was a rotten man
Hey, Moses, wait for me
I’m on my way to the promised land
Whoa!
I’m gonna fly away from hell
Fly away from hell
I’m gonna fly away from hell
Fly away from hell
Mmmmm
Don’t drop me!
Hey, hey, ow!
LEAD
I’m gonna fly away from hell
Gonna fly away from hell
I’m gonna fly away from hell
Gonna fly away from GUITAR
Fly away from hell (I’m gonna fly away from hell)
Fly away from hell (fly away from hell)
Fly away from hell (Mama, I’m gonna)
Fly away from hell
And I’m glory bound … up and away!
Whoa!
Gonna fly away from hell

[ ApologetiX – “Chosen Ones” album ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63KFlQ08lj0

 

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“One does not miss heaven by a hair, but by constant effort to avoid and escape God.”
[ Dallas Willard ]

“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home.”
C. S. Lewis

“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words ‘Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.’ There is always something they insist on keeping, even at the price of misery.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“A man may go to Heaven without health, without wealth; Without fame, without a great name; Without learning, without earnings; Without culture, without beauty; Without friends and without ten thousand other things—but he can NEVER to to Heaven without Christ.”
[ Moments With The Book ]

 

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

 

FOCUS VERSE:
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
[ Proverbs 16:18 ]

 

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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A ‘Place’ To Retire

10 July 17

The Senior Pastor of my church and his wife ended their full-time ministry of 42 years a few weeks ago, and selected Minnesota as the ‘PLACE’ for their retirement.

They had many places to choose from, since they had ministered at churches in Ohio, Minnesota, Washington, New York, and finally here in Michigan—and they chose to return to Minnesota.

Many couples like them, in their mid-60s, are considering where they would like to live out the last days of their lives—and there are many resources to aid them in selecting the best place for them, based on their ASPIRATIONS and DESIRES.

For just over a quarter of a century, “International Living” has rated, ranked, and named the best retirement destinations in the world. Their 2017 “The World’s Best Places to Retire” list provides detailed data and thoughtful insights under a total of 10 categories: Buying and renting; Benefits and discounts; Visas and residence; Cost of living; Fitting in; Entertainment and amenities; Healthcare; Healthy lifestyle; Infrastructure; and Climate. These tend to be the sort of data points that make sense for potential retirees to consider. At the core of the research is an ‘eye’ on good value, and on comfortable, safe, and healthy living.

Their top 10 places for 2017 are:

10. Malta
9. Portugal
8. Nicaragua
7. Spain
6. Malaysia
5. Colombia
4. Costa Rica
3. Ecuador
2. Panama (2016 best place)
1. Mexico

 

Well, if you want to stay in the U.S. and are a golf ‘fanatic’ (like my previous pastor), then THE PLACE to go is “The Villages” in Florida—the world’s largest golf community. It currently has 579 holes (over 10,000 tee times available each day), with plans to have a total of 621 holes dispersed over 44 courses!
[ FYI: Detailed golf facts: https://thevillagesflorida.com/?page_id=206 ].

BUT, there are also lots of other things to do, too—like pickle ball, tennis, basketball, softball, polo, water skiing, swimming, horseback riding, dancing, archery, bowling, shuffle board, drawing and painting, sculpture, music, pottery, Zumba, and “dragon boat racing”—over 2,000 ‘activities’ are available! Many residents call it a “summer camp for seniors.” [ FYI: It is the fastest growing retirement community in America ].


https://youtu.be/sIVAJUk73Io?t=37

 

Ah, this must be what retirement is all about…golfing (seven days a week, of course), a ‘restful’ activity, eating dinner out every night, kicking back with friends, maybe a little dancing or a movie, and getting up late every morning—the IDYLLIC LIFE! Is this as close to “UTOPIA” as we can get?

Well, even though Americans devote a fair amount of energy to planning ahead so they can enjoy all of the benefits of retirement, statistics show that 2/3 of Americans are UNPREPARED FOR RETIREMENT, and unable to retire to a place like “The Villages.” They are currently struggling financially, have a lot of debt, they are caring for their elderly parents, both spouses don’t agree on the details, and most importantly, they DON’T HAVE A ‘PLAN’.

 

The thing is, I have heard of a ‘plan’ that you can invest in that has never ‘failed’ their retiree—one in which the Originator guarantees exorbitant ‘returns’ on the most meager of investments. What plan is this, you might ask?

Well, I’m talking about the ‘retirement plan’ God is offering to you—by far the ‘top-of-the-list’ BEST ‘PLACE’ you could ever imagine—HEAVEN!

 

It so happens that the subject of Heaven is talked about by all people—religious and non-religious. Everyone wants to ‘go’ there, and all are curious to know where it is, how it looks, who’s there, what they will wear, and what they will do.

The thing is, ideas about Heaven are often no more than vague hopes, on par with “maybe I’ll win the lottery some day.” Most people think of Heaven as the “better place” where “the good people go” when they die—and, of course, everyone they know and love (including themselves) is included in the category of “good people.” However, most people don’t give Heaven much thought until they attend a funeral or a loved one dies.

There’s a 100-year-old tombstone, in an Indiana cemetery, with the following epitaph that suggests that there might be a bit of ‘PREPARATION’ to be done before we get to Heaven:

“Pause stranger when you pass me by
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you will be,
Prepare yourself to follow me.”

Well, a young man that happened to read the epitaph, added his ‘concern’ just beneath it:

“To follow you I’m not content,
Until I know which way you went.”

Funny, but insightful. There are so many ideas about what Heaven is all about. Well, one ‘source’ to consider is the Bible, and it has a lot to say about where we all go after death.

 

Simply put, Heaven is where God ‘is’. Now, of course, since God is a ‘spirit’, He is everywhere—but Heaven is His “Kingdom,” where He rules and reigns.

The Bible also says multiple times that it is a “REAL PLACE.” Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” In the original Greek, it refers to a ‘physical’ location. While Jesus was on the cross, the thief next to Jesus asked Him to remember him when Jesus entered His Kingdom. Jesus replied by saying, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” That should gives us a clue that Heaven is a real place where Christians go to.

In addition to that, when a “believer” dies, their spirit goes immediately to Heaven (“To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord” – 2 Corinthians 5:8). But, when a “non-believer” dies, their spirit immediately goes out of the presence of God into an area of eternal punishment. “When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish and his hope will perish” [ Proverbs 11:7 ]. That’s it. For the person that goes to hell, there’s nothing to look forward to—NO HOPE—just perpetual agony without relief. Those who did not ‘trust’ in Christ in this life will be separated from God, and enter a reality completely devoid of His “common grace” and blessing.

Randy Alcorn, author of the book, “Heaven,” summarized this better than I can: “For Christians this present life is the closest they will come to hell. For unbelievers it is the closest they will come to Heaven.”

When a person dies, the body stays here and decays, since it is mortal. However, the soul ‘consciously’ goes directly into Heaven, and the soul of the believer will be made perfect and cleansed from all sin. Heaven is fully pure and free from any ‘tarnish’.

For a ‘time’, the soul exists without a body—in a ‘separated’ state—but this is not the end of our ‘personhood’. This ‘disembodied’ existence is not God’s ultimate and final purpose for us! (more about this later).

 

So, right now Heaven is filled with the spirits of those who have been previously justified by faith and are now in the presence of God. You might ask, “Do you think they’re kind of ‘hanging around’ saying, ‘I wonder when are we going to get our bodies?’” Well, you have to understand that in the ‘dimension’ of Heaven, there is no time. I don’t think anybody is ‘waiting’ for anything. I really don’t understand what it means to live in an environment where there is no time, but the Bible says they’re “absent from the body, present with the Lord”—though they are still not ‘complete’ because they don’t have their ‘glorified’ bodies yet. There will be a time when God reunites our soul and our body, but in the meantime, what will we be like?

Well, you will not be a nondescript ‘floating’ spirit. You will be a ‘person’, and will actually be given a new ‘name’. “To him who overcomes, I will give a new name written on stone which no one knows but he who receives it” [ Revelation 2:17 ]. So, you will have a new and wonderful personal identity! Even with our new ‘name’, we are also going to be able to recognize each other, and have wonderful reunions.

There is also a ‘continuity’ of personal existence. There is no interruption of life at the end of this life, and we will continue to be alive and conscious. As the story of the “rich man and Lazarus” states (Luke 16:22-26), both men were self-consciousness and aware.

Now, in the parable of the “rich man and Lazarus,” Jesus speaks of Lazarus as being taken to “Paradise” when he died, but the rich man, because he did not heed what was said in the Scriptures, immediately entered into great torment and was ‘excluded’ from the blessing of Heaven (though he requested that his brothers be told about this place—which was impossible to do, because of the great ‘chasm’ between Paradise and Hades, that cannot be crossed under any circumstances). The Bible speaks often of the painful reality that awaits those who do not place their faith in Christ to be rescued from their sin (Matthew 13:30; 25:41; Luke 12:5; John 3:36; Romans 2:8-9; Hebrews 10:29).

Also, the Bible is clear that there is no ‘intermediary place’ where you get another chance to ‘make up’ for your sins (like “Purgatory”), or a or ‘holding tank’ where people can ‘pray you out of’ to help you get into Heaven. There’s no state of unconsciousness or semi-consciousness, and there’s no “spiritual coma.” There’s no remediation—you have ONLY THIS LIFE to place your trust in Jesus to be able to go to Heaven!

So, when one dies, there then are a few other events that are going to happen before our souls are ‘joined’ with our glorified bodies, and we really ‘begin’ our eternity with God the way He originally intended it for humanity.

 

At an appointed time set by God, He will finally start His “end times” clock ‘ticking’ with what has been termed as the “Rapture”—or more accurately, the “carrying off.”

[ Note: This is imminent and could happen at any time. There are no prophetic ‘things’ that need to take place ].

This event “snatches away” all believers from the earth in order that they will not experience the next event called the “Great Tribulation”—a seven-year period of God’s righteous judgment that is poured out onto the earth. Horrendous worldwide hardships, disasters, calamities, famine, war, pain, and suffering will consume the final 3-1/2 years, since there is no ‘restrained force’ on the earth—the Holy Spirit and all the Christians are gone. This will wipe out a total of 50% of all life on the earth before Jesus comes back again (the “Second Coming”) to defeat God’s enemies at the “Battle of Armageddon” (sometimes referred to as the “Apocalypse”).

[ FYI: For more info about Jesus’ “Second Coming,” view a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/greatest-comeback-ever-v217/ ].

 

Then, after the “Tribulation” period, the Bible teaches that God’s ‘children’ will experience a period of perfect peace and prosperity for 1,000 years—referred to as the the “Millennium”—where Jesus will set up His Kingdom on this earth, and He will reign as our benevolent King (with David being His “Vice Regent”).

There are a few purposes for the Millennium:
– To reward the people of God (for faithful service on earth)
– To serve Jesus in a new and special way (see the “Parable of the Talents” – Matthew 25:23)
– To fulfill the predictions of the Old Testament prophets
– To receive the answer to the “Lord’s Prayer” (“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven”)
– To re-emphasize man’s depravity, and the necessity of Christ’s death

 

So then, specifically what will it be like on this earth when sin is no more, and Jesus, our righteous King, is ruling with “truth and grace”?

Well, first of all, it will be a time of great peace:
– All man-made implements of mechanized warfare will be eliminated; Even the natural kingdom will be at peace (Psalm 72:7; Micah 4:2–3; Isaiah 11:6-9)
– War will be unknown; There will be no soldiers or armaments
– All nations will be at perfect peace with each other

It will be a time of ‘prosperity’ (Ezekiel 34:26-27; Amos 9:13; Zechariah 8:12; Isaiah 35)
– There will be no famine
– Trees will continually increase their harvest
– Grains will multiply
– There will be no more desolate lands; The desert will ‘blossom’

It will be a time of purity (Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 66:23; Zechariah 13:2)
– Sin is no more
– We will have tremendous knowledge
– There will be no idols or unclean spirits
– We will continually worship God

It will be a time of prolonged life (Isaiah 65:20)
– Many will live for the entire Millennial period

It will be a time of personal joy (Isaiah 9:3; Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 14:7; Isaiah 30:29; Isaiah 42:10-12)
– An exhilarating era of contentment and happiness
– There will be much joyous singing
– There will be no more tears or sorrow

 

Even though these are only a few ‘highlights’, can you even imagine all this? Whoa! I can’t wait! BUT, the thing is, IT WILL GET EVEN BETTER…after one final ‘test’.

As wondrous as the millennial time will be—being in a perfect environment— some people will still become ‘rebels’ (just as Adam and Eve did). The Bible says that it’s not the environment, but our ‘hearts’ that is the problem.

So then, at the end of the millennial period, Satan will be “released for a time.” However, Jesus ‘squashes’ Satan’s rebellion, and the “Great White Throne” judgment takes place. This is where Satan, his angels, and all the wicked, from all of time, will be judged—and all are then cast into the “Lake of Fire”—where they will actually experience agony and torment day and night for ever and ever! (Revelation 20:7-15).

At this point, God ‘refashions’ the earth with fire, and it will consume the bad but refine the good—exposing things as they were intended to be. The Greek word used is “kainos,” which means “new” and “fresh,” in the sense that what was old has become obsolete, and it will be replaced by what is new in quality, superior in character, and have a renewed state of pristine purity—totally delivered from the previous bondage to entropy, never again to decay. Earth will now experience a glorious new beginning! “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared” [ Revelation 21:1 ]. Proving that the Bible is ‘supernatural’ and can be trusted, all of this was prophesied by Isaiah about 700 years before the Apostle John’s ‘revelation’ (Isaiah 65:17-25).

 

Just before Jesus left this earth, He gave His disciples (and us now) a GREAT HOPE to hold on to when He said that He was going to “go prepare a place for you.” In the original Greek, it refers to a ‘physical’ location, a REAL ‘PLACE’ we will go to. The “New Heaven and the New Earth” will be the final eternal dwelling place of our glorified ‘embodied’ spirits (when our souls are finally ‘combined’ with our perfected resurrected bodies). This place is going to be TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

First off, the “new heavens” is likely an indication that the entire universe will be recreated, and that we will probably be able to ‘access’ it with our glorified bodies—being able to be ‘transported’ to anywhere we want (just like Jesus did in His glorified body after His resurrection when He just ‘appeared’ to His disciples in a locked room).

Secondly, since the Apostle Paul noted that we will be “joint-heirs” with Jesus (Romans 8:17), this would indicate that we will be given an ‘inheritance’, which in turn would also indicate that we will need to ‘maintain’ it—therefore actually having to DO THINGS throughout Heaven. Whatever our work is going to be, it’s going to be a joyous work, an exhilarating kind of work, a level of joy the likes of which we have never known or could even imagine.

To reinforce this concept, Jesus told a parable that indicates we will be rewarded with more if we properly use the resources we are entrusted with here on earth: “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities” [ Luke 19:17 ]. These ‘cities’ may just be scattered across the universe!

 

Now, these things are conjecture on my part, since they are not definitively expressed in the Bible. But, there are LOTS OF THINGS THAT ARE MENTIONED—mostly about the “New Jerusalem.” The Apostle John wrote: “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” [ Revelation 21:2 ]. Upon this newly refashioned earth will descend an enormous, dazzling ‘city’.

The Bible tells us that “the city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal” [ Revelation 21:16 ]. According to most theologians, the physical dimensions described here are astonishing—a cube that measures about 1,500 miles in each direction! (length, width and height).

To try to give you an idea of how large a city this is, Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in the continental United States, and is 875 square miles—pretty big, since Chicago is only 234 square miles, New York City is 305, Los Angeles is 503, and Houston is 627 square miles (my city, Detroit, is 143 square miles in size). The ‘first floor’ of the New Jerusalem is 2,250,000 square miles—2,571 times bigger than Jacksonville!

This city is 10 times bigger than Germany or France, 20 times bigger than all of New Zealand, and 40 times bigger than all of England. Again, this is ONLY THE FIRST ‘LEVEL’! It’s an enormous ‘continent’ all by itself! (For comparison, the United States is 1,582 miles north to south and 2,680 miles east to west). This is ONE BIG ‘CITY’!

Now, remember, it’s also 1,500 miles HIGH! For an idea of how high that is, the International Space Station orbits 250 miles up, and the Hubble Telescope is at 370 miles above the earth!

The tallest skyscraper in the world (2016) is the “Burj Khalifa” in Dubai, UAE. It is 2,722 feet high (to the tip of the communications antennae), and has 163 ‘usable’ floors. The “New Jerusalem” is almost 3,000 TIMES HIGHER, and if we use the same floor-to-floor height, it would have almost 500,000 ‘FLOORS’! So, all the cities of the world are mere ‘villages’ compared to the city God is preparing. (Might this be as big as all of the cities in the world combined? Hmmm.)

[ FYI: Many theologians believe that the New Jerusalem is modeled on the “Holy of Holies” (God’s ‘dwelling place’ in the sacred inner sanctuary in Solomon’s temple), since it also was a cube 20 cubits by 20 cubits by 20 cubits, or about 30’ x 30’ x 30’ ].

 

In addition to being a ‘structure’ that is impossible to understand based on our current construction methods, it is made of various ‘materials’ that are familiar to us, but at sizes we can only imagine—superseding the laws of physics as we know them now.

There are twelve gates, each made up of a single pearl. The Bible says they are “144 cubits” which would make them about 216 feet high! [ Now, that’s one big oyster! ;^D ]. Angels stand at these gates, each named after one of the 12 tribes of Israel. If evenly spaced in the wall, these ‘gateways’ would be some 375 miles apart from each other! (These gates may be there just to show a connection with the ‘old’ city of Jerusalem—a ‘continuation’ of the city of God).

 

Other amazing materials are also used for the construction. The foundation is made up of 12 ‘layers’—each being a different precious jewel—and they carry the names of the apostles (Revelation 21:14). The walls are made up of jasper, and the streets a made of pure gold—but, they both appear as clear glass (Revelation 21:18-21).

With the wall and ‘streets’ being transparent, “the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb [Jesus] is its light” (Revelation 21:23). The combined shining brilliance of God and Jesus will provide light in all directions throughout the city. (This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no sun or moon, rather that the city doesn’t need their illumination).

Continuing the pattern of a dozen, there will be “trees of life” (like the one in the Garden of Eden) that will produce 12 different kinds of fruit—a different one each month. The Apostle John also seems to be indicating that the tree’s fruit will have life-sustaining or life-enhancing properties that will help people maintain health and energy. Just as in Eden, the tree appears to have been a source of ongoing physical life. The presence of the “Tree of Life” suggests a supernatural provision for Adam and Eve when they ate the fruit God provided. Our physical life and health, even our healing, will come not from our intrinsic immortal nature, but from partaking of God’s gracious provision in the fruit and leaves of the tree of life. Hence, our well-being is not granted once for all, but will be forever sustained and renewed as we depend on God, and draw from His provision.

Flowing between the trees down the middle of the “great street” is the “river of the water of life,” coming out of the Throne of God. The “water of life” referred to here is not necessarily physical water as we know it. Rather, it may be symbolic of the ‘water’ of eternal life. The fact that the stream emanates from the Throne tells us that eternal life flows from God to His people.

 

All this defies human comprehension, but it will all PALE IN COMPARISON to this being THE ‘PLACE’ THAT GOD DWELLS!!! (Psalm 73:25). The city will be the capital of Heaven, the place of God’s special presence. It will even become the new ‘residence’ of God the Father Himself, and become the capital of the entire universe!

God will live with us on the New Earth. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God’” [ Revelation 21:3 ].

Here we see that God the Father’s new place of residence will be the New Earth, dwelling with His human-made-immortal family. It is most interesting to realize that while “the Third Heaven” is God’s current dwelling place, earth is destined to become GOD’S FUTURE ‘HOME’!!! He is also depicted as giving a very intimate and personal attention to us.

 

So, what difference should all this make for you right now? HOPE!…that God will MAKE ALL THINGS ‘RIGHT’: “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes and there shall no longer be any death, there shall no longer be any mourning or crying or pain, the first things have passed away” [ Revelation 21:4 ]. The Apostle Paul adds, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” [ Romans 8:18 ]. If we don’t understand this future glory of Heaven that awaits us, we won’t see our present sufferings shrink in comparison to its greatness.

So then, what is your life? Well, the Bible says that “You do not know what tomorrow will bring” [ James 4:14a ]. It continues, “you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” [ James 4:14b ]. Scripture is constantly trying to get us to look at this life in this way. Our life is but a blip on the eternal ‘time clock’. Pain will be erased and will be eclipsed by greater understanding—a glorious result! Something so superb, so grandiose is going to happen at the world’s finale, that it will suffice for every hurt and atone for every headache we even had in our lives! “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” [ 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ]. We should live our lives fixed on this future!

The Apostle Paul summed up his whole approach to life by saying, “This one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” [ Philippians 3:13-14 ]. He lived with a heavenly perspective—A FIXED HOPE. We should take his ‘advice’ and live the same way!

Let the things that happen in this world ‘fall’ where they will. The sufferings of this life are trivial, meager, and insignificant compared to the glory of our future! They are not worthy to be compared with that glory which awaits us. “Fix your hope on the grace to be revealed” [ 1 Peter 1:13 ].

 

If you live with a heavenly HOPE and a heavenly ANTICIPATION, you will begin to understand the fullness of all that that means—nothing in this world that brings about suffering can really be ‘debilitating’. The truest path to life—a life of joy and endurance through very trying times—is to have such a ‘shining’ hope for Heaven, and understand that nothing that happens here can be compared with what is waiting for you in Heaven!

To wish for Heaven is to love God above all. To wish for Heaven is to desire Christ above all. To wish for Heaven is to long for pure fellowship. To wish for Heaven is to hate sin and the weakness of the flesh. To wish for Heaven is to resent Satan and his world system. To wish for Heaven is to long for perfect holiness and perfect joy. So, set your “affections on things above,” not on the things here on earth.

 

Knowing we will live forever as resurrected people on a New Earth should help us realize that the choices we make today—like personal holiness and how we act toward others—will make an indelible mark on eternity. God is ‘watching’ and keeping track. Jesus said that in Heaven He will reward us for acts of faithfulness to Him, right down to a cup of cold water we have given to the needy in His name (see Mark 9:41). The Bible is consistent in saying that what you think about Heaven determines how you should live today.

Also, there’s no need for a “bucket list,” since the adventures awaiting us in the New Heavens and on the New Earth will FAR EXCEED the greatest thrills of this life! Just when things are going REALLY WELL in our lives and we think “it can’t get any better than this”…let me assure you that IT WILL! Author C.S. Lewis summarized this well: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

 

So, if the Bible is right about what happens to us after death, every day, hundreds of thousands of people go to either to Heaven or hell. Polls indicate that over 80% of Americans believe in Heaven (37% were atheists and agnostics!), and over 60% say they expect to go there after they die. BUT, I can’t help but think of the old spiritual that says, “everybody talkin’ ’bout heav’n ain’t goin’ there.”

As I mentioned previously, it is becoming a common belief in our society that “all good people go to heaven.” But, based on what the Bible says, that’s not true. The only people that get to go to Heaven are those who ‘belong’ to Jesus—and who have confessed that He is Lord of their life and truly believe that God raised Him from the dead. No one can ‘earn’ their way into Heaven, because no one is perfect and truly ‘good’. Because Jesus is perfectly good, He ‘transfers’ His perfect righteousness to a believer when they put their trust in Him—making them perfectly ‘good’ in the eyes of God the Father.

The “New Jerusalem” will be filled with God’s “redeemed” children. If you believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died and rose again and have asked God to save you by His grace, then you are a ‘citizen’ of the New Jerusalem. “God raised you up with Christ and seated you with Him in the Heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” [ Ephesians 2:6 ]. You have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” [ 1 Peter 1:4 ]. In order to dwell in New Jerusalem, you need to respond to GOD’S EXPECTATIONS of us.

If you have not yet trusted Christ as your Savior, then I urge you to REPENT and BELIEVE HIM NOW! The ‘invitation’ has been extended to all: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” [ Revelation 22:17 ].

 

I don’t know all of what God has planned for eternity, but I’m thinking that He has some AMAZING THINGS planned for this little ‘theater’ in the middle of His infinite universe. What God has in store for our future is so fantastic we cannot yet fully grasp all the details (1 John 3:2). The future we have to look forward to in the New Earth and New Heavens is truly beyond our ability to comprehend. Apostle Paul says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him” [ 1 Corinthians 2:9 ].

 

Beyond all of what I’ve presented, we must accept the fact that God has not chosen to reveal all the details about earth’s amazing future, so we can merely speculate. Even though we do not know everything about God’s future city, we can confidently believe what God said through King David: “In your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). This is what we look forward to experiencing in the New Jerusalem!

 

Most of us have some questions about our eternal destination, but we may say, “That is a ways off, so why worry about it now. There’s still plenty of time for me to decide.” Well, there’s a proverb in the Bible gives us a warning about that: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” [ Proverbs 27:1 ]. None of us is promised tomorrow, so “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” [ 2 Corinthians 6:2b ]. Make ‘peace’ with God today!

 

Imagine yourself standing at the door of an open elevator. How do you decide whether or not to get on? Your choice is influenced by two factors: the elevator’s direction, and where you want to go. You wouldn’t want to end up in the basement if you intended to go to the top floor. Now imagine yourself standing at the ‘doorway’ to eternity. Where will you go? Will it be Heaven—or hell?

The decision you make now, before you die, will determine whether you are headed for the resurrection of the righteous or the resurrection of the condemned, whether your judgment will be joyful or miserable, and whether you will spend eternity with God or eternity separated from Him. The choice is yours. There are only two options!

 

Scripture makes clear that one of the central ‘purposes’ of this life is to PREPARE FOR THE NEXT LIFE. We need to be heavenly-minded people who see human beings and the earth not simply as they are, but as God intends them to be.

The great Puritan preacher, Jonathan Edwards said it this way: “Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey towards heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives, to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for, or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?”

C.S. Lewis said it this way: “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.”

 

As awesome as Heaven will be for those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, hell will be that much more awful for those who reject Him. One cannot read the Bible seriously without seeing that over and over again. The ‘line’ is drawn. The Bible says there is one and only one way to Heaven—‘thru’ Jesus Christ. Jesus made this clear by saying: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13–14). Faith in Jesus is the only ‘means’ of going to Heaven. Only those who have faith in Jesus are guaranteed to get there!

Some will argue that it’s extremely narrow-minded of God to provide only one way to Heaven. But, frankly, in light of mankind’s rebellion against God, it’s extremely BROAD-MINDED for Him to provide us with ANY WAY to Heaven! We deserve judgment, but God gives us a way of ‘escape’ by sending His one-and-only Son to die for our sins. Whether someone sees this as narrow or broad, it’s what Jesus said. The Good News is that Jesus died and rose again—showing what we will do one day—and those who are going to Heaven have received this Gospel by faith.

[ FYI: A previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post will give you more details about what you need to do to be assured of Heaven:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/ ]

 

There is a whole lot of preoccupation with how Jesus is supposed to ‘fix’ life here and make it idyllic. That is really not what the Bible promises us at all. In fact, the Apostle Paul warned all his young churches, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom” (Acts 14:22), and his protégé Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Then Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). So, our GREAT HOPE is not here on earth, it’s ahead of us—the GLORY OF HEAVEN.

Heaven will be ‘fantabulous’, and it is the ULTIMATE RETIREMENT ‘PLACE’—because it’s WHERE THE TRINITY IS!!! (God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit).

Just remember, in the story Jesus told of the two men where there is a great ‘gulf’ fixed between them, and whatever decisions you make about eternity will be made in this life. The Bible teaches that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27)—there is no ‘holding place’ (“Purgatory”) where there’s a possibility that you can come out of that place and your destiny can be changed.

 

As Christians, our purpose for being here is not to try and make this “heaven on earth,” but to be “ambassadors” for God while we are here—to help people properly ‘PREPARE’ to go to Heaven. C.S. Lewis said, “I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.” Personally, my overarching ‘life goal’ is to “take as many people to Heaven with me as I can.”

So, again, if you are not yet a Christian, repent and believe—become “born again”—so you can come with me to Heaven!!!

 

Let me strongly encourage you to make Heaven your GREATEST ASPIRATION and DESIRE! It is too GREAT A ‘PLACE’ to miss out on because of POOR ‘RETIREMENT PLANNING’!

This will truly be the ‘IDYLLIC’ LIFE! Finally, ‘UTOPIA’ REALIZED!!!

 

[ Excerpts from: Martin R. De Haan II; Randy Alcorn; David Jeremiah; Tony Evans; Joe Mack Cherry; John MacArthur; Greg Laurie ]

 

“PRAYER OF REPENTANCE”
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying the the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2017

For just over a quarter of a century, International Living has ranked, rated, and named the best retirement destinations in the world. Each year we’ve refined and improved the process, bringing new categories and considerations into play, gathering new data, and asking more and better questions of a greater number of expats.

We’ve added countries to the shortlist as they moved into the limelight, Malaysia in 2000…Colombia in 2007…and let others drop away. But the winner this year has been constant. For the past 14 years, this country has consistently ranked in the top 10 retirement destinations on the planet. And—for the fifth time—it takes the top spot once again in our Annual Global Retirement Index.

This year sees our most comprehensive index yet, with a list of 24 top retirement destinations, all of which have been put under the microscope and examined as regards their cost of living, retiree benefits, climate, healthcare, and much more.

https://internationalliving.com/the-best-places-to-retire/

—————-
12 Big Questions Behind The Retirement Question

– Will I have enough money for retirement?
– Will I need to continue working past age 65?
– Is age 70 or 75 the new 65 for me?
– What about my recessionary-affected IRAs, CDs, or 401(k)s?
– When should I begin collecting my Social Security supplement?
– Will I be able to make the emotional, mental, and physical transition to a life without work?
– What will I do about benefits after retirement?
– What about my medical care and long-term needs?
– What will I do with all the additional time I will have?
– Will I need to relocate my residence?
– Will I lose my identity as a person?
– Will I still have friends?

[ Christian Retirement ]

http://www.christianretirement.com/content.asp?id=369148

—————-
Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ
By: John Piper

Finishing life to the glory of Christ means
finishing life in a way that makes Christ look
glorious. It means living and dying in a way that
shows Christ to be the all-satisfying Treasure that
he is. So it would include, for example, not living
in ways that make this world look like your treasure.
Which means that most of the suggestions
that this world offers us for our retirement years
are bad ideas. They call us to live in a way that
would make this world look like our treasure. And
when that happens, Jesus is belittled.

Resolutely Resisting Retirement
Finishing life to the glory of Christ means resolutely
resisting the typical American dream of
retirement. It means being so satisfied with all
that God promises to be for us in Christ that we
are set free from the cravings that create so much
emptiness and uselessness in retirement. Instead,
knowing that we have an infinitely satisfying and
everlasting inheritance in God just over the horizon
of life makes us zealous in our few remaining
years here to spend ourselves in the sacrifices of
love, not the accumulation of comforts.

https://document.desiringgod.org/rethinking-retirement-en.pdf

—————-
Heaven
By: Randy Alcorn

Have you ever wondered . . .

What is Heaven really going to be like?
What will we look like?
What will we do every day?
Won’t Heaven get boring after a while?

We all have questions about what Heaven will be like, and after twenty-five years of extensive research, Dr. Randy Alcorn has the answers.

In the most comprehensive and definitive book on Heaven to date, Randy invites you to picture Heaven the way Scripture describes it-a bright, vibrant, and physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and brimming with Christ’s presence, wondrous natural beauty, and the richness of human culture as God intended it.

God has put eternity in our hearts. Now, Randy Alcorn brings eternity to light in a way that will surprise you, spark your imagination, and change how you live today.

If you’ve always thought of Heaven as a realm of disembodied spirits, clouds, and eternal harp strumming, you’re in for a wonderful surprise.

This is a book about real people with real bodies enjoying close relationships with God and each other, eating, drinking, working, playing, traveling, worshiping, and discovering on a New Earth. Earth as God created it. Earth as he intended it to be.

And the next time you hear someone say, “We can’t begin to imagine what Heaven will be like,” you will be able to tell them, “”I can.””

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Randy-Alcorn/dp/0842379428/

—————-
Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven
By: David Jeremiah

This website is designed to enhance your study of Dr. Jeremiah’s new series, “Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven.”

Heaven is the most encouraging subject in the Bible and the happiest location in the universe. You should know about it.

If you begin with the first verse of Genesis and go to the end of Revelation, you’ll find more than 600 references to the word heaven. Each of these uplifting texts affords “insider information” about God’s glorious habitation and the eternal home of His children.

The reality of heaven doesn’t just help us die more peacefully; it helps us live more joyfully and productively.

C.S. Lewis said, If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.

What we think about heaven determines how we live today.

I can tell you from my own personal experience and from my years of pastoral ministry and Bible teaching, when you study the biblical doctrine of heaven it will stir your heart and change your thoughts.

The heroes of Scripture thought of heaven constantly, confessing they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, seeking a homeland, desiring a better country—a heavenly one—and looking forward to the city with foundations whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10-16)

Jesus, too, longed for heaven as He approached the end of His earthly life, telling His disciples, If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father.’ (John 14:28)

This teaching on heaven will whet your appetite and direct you to key passages in the Bible you’ll want to study on your own.

Yes, goodness and mercy will surely follow us all the days of our lives. But what we’re really looking forward to is dwelling in the house of the Lord forever…and seeing what’s up with heaven!

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/revealingheaven/home.aspx

———–

Messages:

What’s Up With Heaven? Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbM43iVekMQ
What’s Up With Heaven, Part 2 :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSrwno-vWcQ
What’s Up With Heaven:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7la-XPBTCg4
What’s Up With Heaven:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggKK2N2ZS40
Where Are They Now? Part:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rtpe1NRofY
Where Are They Now? Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMBkPLhKiEc
Won’t Heaven Be Boring? Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKAnfFc2VtA
Won’t Heaven Be Boring? Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdxuqLRa_A4
The Ultimate Extreme Make-over, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a50p3AH1jqI
Where Are They Now?:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xHJDYM_INs
Where Are They Now?:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUNhNlnEd9U
The Ultimate Extreme Make-over, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXNPUNafzgw
Heaven’s Oscars, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHrhXAKj-54
Heaven’s Oscars, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOpg3-Mpi9w
The Heavenly City, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXyoy2cdKGE
The Heavenly City, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCNX284jSec
The Ultimate “Extreme Make-Over”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naocLprDW_4
The Ultimate “Extreme Makeover”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs8xRamtTxM
Worship in Heaven, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Gj58043Fc
Worship in Heaven, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq7QkrbINA0
The New Heaven and Earth, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_ny73gIaqQ
The New Heaven and Earth, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZxBY730Tj0
What on Earth is the Millennium? Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzKRkAu7nZc
Heaven’s Oscars:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmY2W-Ogrqk
What on Earth is the Millennium? Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr8VU2EmtIE
What About the Children? Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdc7jFh4Cok
What About the Children? Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0on3A-cJmc
Tough-Minded About Heaven, Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wT2Vu9RWD8
Tough-Minded About Heaven, Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeHZSo5fZ9U

[ David Jeremiah ]

—————-
We Shall See God: Charles Spurgeon’s Classic Devotional Thoughts on Heaven
By: Randy Alcorn

No author in history has more material in print than Charles Spurgeon. During his lifetime, Spurgeon and his writings affected the world far and wide. Today, nearly 120 years after his death, countless people continue to have a passion for this London preacher, and more and more discover him every day. Some of Spurgeon’s most powerful sermons were those that he preached on the topic of Heaven. Up until now, however, very few of these sermons have been accessible to a mass audience. In what is sure to become an instant classic, best-selling author Randy Alcorn has compiled the most profound spiritual insights on the topic of eternity from these sermons and arranged them into an easily-accessible, highly inspirational devotional format complete with his own comments and devotional thoughts. Whether you are familiar with the works of Charles Spurgeon or not, you are in for a treat, as Alcorn invites you to sit at the feet of the Prince of Preachers and discover timeless pearls of wisdom from one of the greatest theological minds of all time.

https://www.amazon.com/Shall-See-God-Spurgeons-Devotional/dp/1414345542/

—————-
The Glory of Heaven: The Truth about Heaven, Angels, and Eternal Life
By: John MacArthur

If you’re going to call it “home” for eternity, don’t you want to know what it’s like?

Our pictures of heaven range from comical to curious, mystical to fictitious, with bits of biblical truth thrown in. But if heaven is our future, and we are to be living with an eternal mindset in the present, a Hollywood scriptwriter’s interpretation of the afterlife just won’t suffice. Quite simply, we need to know more about what lies ahead for the sake of what lies in front of us today.

In this newly updated and expanded edition, pastor John MacArthur takes us through the pages of Scripture, exploring the wonders of heaven and the truth about angels and eternal life while addressing current debates and issues. Come along with this best-selling author for an in-depth look at every Christian’s future—heaven, our eternal home.

https://www.amazon.com/Glory-Heaven-Second-Angels-Eternal/dp/1433538687/

—————-
Heaven

Are your ideas about heaven based on hearsay or hard fact? How do the amazing claims of people who say they have been to heaven line up with the Bible’s own description? And what will we do once we’re in heaven?

Finding the answers is simple: piece together the biblical details, sift out the popular myths, and you have an amazingly accurate picture of heaven, angels, and the afterlife.

That’s what John MacArthur does in his classic, best-selling study with the simple title—Heaven.

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/topical-series-library/175/heaven

—————-
Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards’s Vision of Living in Between
By: Stephen Nichols

Heaven isn’t only about the future. It has everything to do with life on earth-life “in between.” Jonathan Edwards understood this well. His writings are full of his thoughts on heaven and how those thoughts should make a difference in our lives.

This book focuses on key sermons by Edwards, showing readers how his insights can be applied to the challenges of living the Christian life in the twenty-first century. Edwards reminds us of our duty to live on earth in light of heaven and to endeavor to bring the realities and the beauty of heaven to earth-even if only in miniature. This book is for all believers wondering how to live on earth with a view of heaven, and those familiar with Edwards’s works will have a special appreciation for this study.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Earth-Capturing-Jonathan-Edwardss/dp/1581347855/

—————-
Heaven: Your Real Home
By: Joni Eareckson Tada

Step back a moment, focus your eyes of faith, and then come with Joni into a world you’ve heard about from your youth but have never seen: heaven. You just might discover that heaven is closer–and more real–than you’ve ever thought. In this joyful best-seller, Joni Eareckson Tada paints a shining portrait of our heart’s true home. Joni talks about what heaven will be like, what we’ll do, and whom we’ll see. She shows how heaven will be the satisfaction of all that our hearts cry for, something more real than anything this side of eternity. And Joni tells how we can prepare now for the reality of heaven. With hope for today and vision for those who struggle in life, Heaven invites us to a refreshing and faith-filled picture of our glorious destination. Once you’ve caught a glimpse of heaven, you’ll see earth in a whole new light.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Joni-Eareckson-Tada/dp/0310219191

—————-
A Place Called Heaven: Answering 10 Questions About Your Eternal Home

Sermon Series:
– “Is Heaven a real place or is it a state of mind?”
– “Have some people already visited Heaven?”
– “Do Christians immediately go to Heaven when they die?”
– “What will we do in Heaven?”
– “Who will be in Heaven?”
– “Do people in Heaven know what is happening on earth?”
– “Will we know one another in Heaven?”
– “Will Heaven be the same for everyone?”
– “How can I prepare for my journey to Heaven?” Part 1
– “How can I prepare for my journey to Heaven?” Part 2

[ Dr. Robert Jeffress ]

http://www.firstdallas.org/heaven/

—————-
The Heaven Answer Book
By: Billy Graham

God’s Word says heaven awaits all the saints of His kingdom, but how many of us really know what heaven will be like? The Heaven Answer Book is a biblically based book written in Q&A format with answers to commonly asked questions about our future and final home. Topics include what we’ll do, what we’ll be, what we’ll see, our rewards in heaven, and more. Billy Graham’s trustworthy Bible knowledge offers interesting insight and enduring truth about how believers can prepare their hearts for spending eternity with their Maker and Lord.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Answer-Book-Billy-Graham/dp/1400319382

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As It Is in Heaven: How Eternity Brings Focus to What Really Matters
By: Greg Laurie

Our lives here are so often cluttered with the “cares of this world” that we fail to consider heavenly priorities and how they should be reflected in our earthly ones. At the beginning of Jesus’ most famous prayer, He teaches us to pray that God’s will “be done on earth as it is in heaven”. What heaven is up to is critical for us to understand if we’re going to live biblically. Pastor Greg Laurie explains that heaven is anything but a long, boring church service. People in heaven know about the time and place of ongoing events on earth. They are rational and recall everything from their earthly days, but most importantly for us, they have a unique perspective from which we can learn a great deal.

In this rich and relevant study, Greg sheds scriptural light on the sensational books and stories about people going to heaven and coming back, answers the nagging questions we are all dying to ask, and guides us to focus―right now―on what really matters.

https://www.amazon.com/As-Heaven-Eternity-Brings-Matters/dp/1612915698/

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Heaven: The Undiscovered Country
By: Ron Rhodes

Every person who has ever lived has wondered about that place beyond mortality-Shakespeare called it the undiscovered country. People have longed to uncover the secrets that shroud death and the afterlife . . . asking questions such as: What actually happens at the moment of death? Will we know our loved ones in heaven? What will we do in eternity? What happens to babies and toddlers when they die? Will we interact with the angels in heaven? Because God wrote the Bible for the sole purpose of helping men and women prepare for eternity, there’s no better place to go for trustworthy answers. Bible expert Ron Rhodes takes us to the Scripture to provide an incredibly clear and inspirational picture of the next life. Explore the wonder of heaven and the afterlife. Anticipate what is to come on the other side of eternity . . . in ‘Heaven: The Undiscovered Country’

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Undiscovered-Country-Exploring-Afterlife/dp/1592442102

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The Saints’ Everlasting Rest
By: Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter’s The Saints’ Everlasting Rest (1650) has long been recognized as one of the great classics of Christian devotion, and it is by this book that he is best known. The original work consists of some eight hundred thousand words-a clear example of Baxter’s prolific pen-yet in Baxter’s own life-time it reached twelve editions! First abridged in 1754 by John Wesley, in the Christian Library, five years later another abridgement was made by Benjamin Fawcett, and innumerable reprints of this have since been issued. The book has also been translated into Welsh, Gaelic, German and French. The purpose of this abridgement, first published in 1962, was to present the work in a form suitable to the modern reader. No change has been made in the text of the passages selected from the original work, and the spirit and language of Baxter have been so preserved that the movement of his thought and style not only remains unimpaired but stands out even more clearly.

https://www.amazon.com/Saints-Everlasting-Rest-Richard-Baxter/dp/1573832839/

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Heaven

When the Bible speaks of the new heaven and the new earth,it is not speaking of an alternative to this world; it is speaking of the healing and restoration of this world. This gives Christians a reason to participate in restoring this fallen world. Furthermore,because Christians know that there is a perfect world coming,they don’t put all their hope in the current world. Christians can sacrificially serve others because they value the things of the coming world more than the things of this world.

[ Tim Keller ]

http://www.gospelinlife.com/heaven-5941

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Eternal Perspective Ministries
Founded and directed by author Randy Alcorn. We are a Bible-believing, Christ-centered nonprofit organization with two objectives:

To teach the principles of God’s Word, emphasizing an eternal viewpoint and
to reach the needy in Christ’s name, calling attention to the needs of the:
– unreached, who’ve never heard the gospel;
– unfed, unclothed, unsheltered and poor due to circumstance (not choice);
– unsupported, Christians suffering in hostile spiritual environments;
– unborn, targeted for abortion, and their mothers deceived and exploited by the child-killing industry;
– unreconciled, those of different races and cultures who are alienated, hostile, or suspicious of each other;
– untrained, a generation growing up in a society without moral absolutes and eternal values, who need to hear God’s truth spoken in love.

http://www.epm.org/

 

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FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDESWEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about how good one must be to qualify for Heaven, visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d1_1of10.html

 

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ARTICLES:

 

The Pearly Gates

A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a man who’s dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans.

Saint Peter turns to the first man and asks, “Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?”

“I’m Joe Jones, and I was a taxi driver in New York.”

Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the man, “Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter into the Kingdom.”

When it’s the minister’s turn, he stands erect and booms out, “I am Joseph Snow, pastor of New Covenant Tabernacle for the last 37 years.”

Saint Peter consults his list. “Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter into the Kingdom,” he says.

“Just a minute,” says the minister. “That man was a taxi driver and he gets a silken robe and golden staff. How can this be?”

“Up here, we work by results,” says Saint Peter. “While you preached, people slept; while he drove, people prayed.”

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Does the Bible tell us what heaven will be like?

When I was in seminary, I studied under an extremely learned professor who I was convinced at the time knew the answer to every possible theological question. I remember I was so in awe of him that I asked him one day with stars in my eyes, “What’s heaven like?” I asked him as if he had been there and could give me a firsthand report! Of course, he steered me immediately to the last two chapters of the New Testament, Revelation 21 and 22, in which we get an extensive visual image of what heaven is like. Some dismiss it as being pure symbolism, but we must remember that the symbols in the New Testament point beyond themselves to a deeper and better reality than they themselves describe. It’s here that we read of the streets of gold and of the great treasuries of jewels that adorn the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven. In the description of the New Jerusalem, we hear that there’s no sun and no moon, no stars, because the light that radiates from the presence of God and from his Anointed One is sufficient to illumine the whole place by the refulgence of their glory. We are told that there’s no death, there’s no pain, and God wipes away the tears of his people. I remember as a child having that tender experience (not often accessible to adults) in which I would scrape my knee, or something would go wrong, and I would cry and come into the house, and my mother would stoop over and dry the tears from my eyes. I received great consolation from that. But of course, when my mother dried my tears, there was always the opportunity the next day for me to cry again. But in heaven when God wipes away the tears from people’s eyes, that’s the end of tears—there are no more tears after that. And so heaven is described as a place of utter felicity that is filled with the radiant majesty and glory of God, where God’s people have become sanctified, where justice has been brought to bear, and where his people have been vindicated. There’s no more death, no more disease, no more sorrow, no more sickness, no more hatred, and no more evil. And then there is an experience of healing in that place. And that’s just a glimpse, but it’s enough to get us started.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/does-bible-tell-us-what-heaven-will-be/

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Which Way to Heaven?

The biggest question that will ever be answered is the question, “Which way to heaven?” The most important decision that anybody will ever make is the decision that they make regarding their eternal destiny. Life here, says the Bible, is a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away. It is like steam off a cup of coffee, nothing more, compared to eternity. Everyone will live somewhere forever without end. Where you live forever is absolutely critical. There are two options: hell and eternal punishment, or heaven and eternal joy. The question then is…which way to heaven? [ more…].


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogzpMpY7R8g

[ This video is excerpt’s from John MacArthur’s sermon “The Only Road to Heaven”:
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-325 ].

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What’s Up with Heaven

It can be very easy to get caught up by the things of this world, and we begin to lose sight of the greatest days ahead that God has promised to His children, but God wants to renew within us a fresh sense of the reality of hope in an eternal home for those who are in Christ Jesus.

[ James MacDonald ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrbFQGTBn1g

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The New Heaven and New Earth

Sermons via Gospel in Life: The historical event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ means everything, yet it is only the first installment on something to come, and this is it—new heavens, new earth, City of God.

[ Tim Keller ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ5h_HB5rbQ

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Joy To The World

Few people realize that Isaac Watts’ famous hymn, “Joy to the World” is really not referring to the birth of Jesus, but about Jesus’ Second Coming and the Millennium. It was actually inspired by Psalm 98, where David praises the Lord as our Savior, King, and Judge: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises” (Psalm 98:4), while the song says, “Let Heaven and nature sing.” The Psalm continues saying that “He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity” (Psalm 98:9), compare that with verse 4 in the song” “He rules the world with truth and grace.” Now, read the following verses with that in mind:

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing”

This did not happen when Christ came the first time. He was not readily received by everyone, but was despised and rejected.

Secondly, the world is now not void of sorrow.

“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found”

Only in the Millennium will sins and sorrows be no more.

Finally, the Bible tells us that the following will only happen during the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-7):

“He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love”

[ Mark Besh ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4KTzoxzx9Q

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This World Is Not My Home

This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore…

They’re all expecting me and that’s one thing I know.
My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go.
I know He’ll take me through,
though I am weak and poor.
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore…

Chorus
O Lord you know I have no friend like you
If Heaven’s not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Just up in Glory Land we’ll live eternally.
The Saints on every hand are shouting victory.
Their song of sweetest praise drifts back from Heaven’s shore
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqRpyG0W96k

[ Composer: Albert E. Brumley ]

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The Last Thing We Talk About” (Excerpt)

“I cannot prove the existence of heaven. I accept its reality by faith, on the authority of Jesus Christ: “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn. 14:2)

For that matter, if I were a twin in the womb, I doubt that I could prove the existence of earth to my mate. He would probably object that the idea of an earth beyond the womb was ridiculous, that the womb was the only earth we’d ever know.

If I tried to explain that earthlings live in a greatly expanded environment and breathe air, he would only be more skeptical. After all, a fetus lives in water; who would imagine its being able to live in a universe of air? To him such a transition would seem impossible.

It would take birth to prove the earth’s existence to a fetus. A little pain, a dark tunnel, a gasp of air— and then the wide world! Green grass, laps, lakes, the ocean, horses (could a fetus imagine a horse?), rainbows, walking, running, surfing, ice-skating. With enough room that you don’t have to shove, and a universe beyond. What is heaven like?

For the tired, it is a place of rest. For the sorrowing, a place where “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no
more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain” (Rev. 21:4).

Or war or greed or evil of any kind. It is a place of total happiness: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).

Heaven is also a place of activity, of work (but without the curse of toil and sweat and barren ground), of sharing in the responsibility of divine government.

I sat with a friend recently in his hospital room. The diagnosis is terminal cancer. If death comes, it will interrupt a distinguished career as a leader in training young men to serve Jesus Christ. “When we think of heaven,” he said, “I don’t think we give enough consideration to what we’re told in Revelation, that ‘His servants shall serve Him’ (22:3), and that their service is ‘day and night’ (7:15). We talk too much about rest—our rest will be found in serving God.” In heaven we will be freed from our present fragmented intellectual knowledge, and see truth and beauty with greatly expanded vision. “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Cor. 13:12).

Heaven will be supremely beautiful. The biblical descriptions include walls of precious stones, gates of pearl, streets of gold. (My mother used to say that she didn’t find any particular attraction in golden streets. I had no answer for her until I read a comment by F. B. Meyer, that in heaven all earth’s values are turned upside down. “What do we count most valuable on earth?” he asked. “Gold. Men live for gold, kill for it. But in heaven gold is so plentiful that they pave the streets with it . . . .”)

“But,” someone says, how could I enjoy such a place? I’m not made for it.” Neither is the fetus made for earth until he goes through the tunnel. Is there another place? Yes, but if the reality of heaven is questioned today, the reality of a place of eternal separation from God (hell, as it is usually called) is ignored. I accept its reality by faith, on the authority of Jesus Christ:

“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Lk. 12:4-5).

Jesus Christ described it as a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt. 25:30), of remembering the past with its lost opportunity to repent and turn to God, of the loss of those gifts men enjoyed on earth without a thought of their Source: “From him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Mt. 25:29).

Jesus Christ defined hell’s reality in stronger language than any other person in the Bible. But He also had compassion on the multitudes, wept over an unbelieving city, and defined His mission as coming not to condemn, but to bring life.”

[ Joseph Bayly ]

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The Way to Heaven

Enter through the narrow gate,for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction,and there are many who enter through it.
For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life and there are few who find it. [ Matthew 7:13-14 ].

[ John MacArthur ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KcZibPO6pg

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Heaven

In teaching His disciples about heaven, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” But what did Jesus mean? In this series, R.C. Sproul provides clear teaching about heaven, explaining that Christians have the greatest hope—the hope of glory. In examining Scripture, he shows that heaven is the home of God’s chosen people, the church.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/heaven/

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When We All Get to Heaven

Heaven. It’s the last and greatest chapter in the story of God’s love for His children, the pinnacle of what Bible scholars refer to as glorification. Yet while heaven is marvelous to think about, you may be wondering, “What difference can my future glorification make today for my family, relationships to other Christians, and day-to-day responsibilities?”

In When We All Get to Heaven, John MacArthur stirs in you a longing for the glory awaiting you if you’re in Christ. He explains the glorification process–and it is a process. He shows you what you’ll experience in heaven, and what you won’t. Most important, he helps you understand why Christians should have a constant interest–right now–in the glory that’s ahead.

Get forward focused. Listen to these three messages and be refreshed today by seeing what your eternal tomorrow holds.

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.gty.org/library/topical-series-library/295/when-we-all-get-to-heaven

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Home

This world is not what it was meant to be
All this pain, all this suffering
There’s a better place
Waiting for me
In Heaven

Every tear will be wiped away
Every sorrow and sin erased
We’ll dance on seas of amazing grace
In Heaven
In Heaven

I’m goin’ home
Where the streets are golden
Every chain is broken
Oh I wanna go
Oh I wanna go
Home
Where every fear is gone
I’m in your open arms
Where I belong
Home

Lay down my burdens, I lay down my past
I run to Jesus, no turning back
Thank God Almighty, I’ll be free at last
In Heaven
In Heaven

I’m goin’ home
Where the streets are golden
Every chain is broken
Oh I wanna go
Oh I wanna go
Home
Where every fear is gone
I’m in your open arms
Where I belong

Blinded eyes
Will finally see
The dead will rise
On the shores of eternity
The trump will sound
The angels will sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I am
Goin’ home
Where the streets are golden
Every chain is broken
Oh I wanna go
Oh I wanna go
Home
Where every fear is gone
I’m in your open arms
Where I belong
Where I belong

I’m goin’ home
I’m goin’ home
I’m on my way home
I’m goin’ home

[ Chris Tomlin – “Never Lose Sight” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twL3v5r8s6o

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Everybody Talkin’ ‘Bout Heaven

Chorus:
Everybody talkin’ ’bout heav’n that ain’t goin’ there
Everybody talkin’ ’bout heav’n that ain’t goin’
Everybody talkin’ ’bout heav’n that ain’t goin’ there
Oh my Lord

Repeat Chorus (x2)

Well I read about the streets of gold
And I read about the throne
Not everybody callin’ “Lord, Lord”
Is gonna see that heavenly home

Repeat Chorus

Additive Parts:
1 – But those who do the will of my God will enter heaven
2 – If you wanna go to heaven, you gotta do more than talk about it
3 – Oh heaven, to heaven, to heaven
4 – If you wanna go to heaven, to heaven, to heaven
5 – Heaven, I wanna go to heaven

Repeat ad lib

There will come a day
When we will all stand before the throne
On that day, some will say
“Did we not prophesy in your name?”
And they’ll say:
“We drove out demons in your name”
I know some will say:
“We performed many miracles in your name”
Some will say
“So many works we’ve done in your name”

Then the Lord will say:
“Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity
I never knew you”
That’s why I know

Repeat Chorus (x2)

Oh my Lord
Oh my Lord
Oh my Lord

Scriptural Reference: Matthew 7:21-23


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DGuG5O8X6A

[ Acappella Spirituals ]

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Heaven Isn’t Like That
(Parody of “Shine” by Collective Soul)

Do some good works and lead a good life
Always go to church and try to be really nice … really nice
Say a couple prayers and finally when you die
Go to Saint Peter, tell him, “Let me come inside
“At least I tried”
Yeah?
No! Heaven isn’t like that, child! (now) (pal) (now)
Learn to play the harp, you’ll need it while you’re there
Pick yourself some wings; I’m sure you’ll get a lovely pair
A lovely pair
Reach for a halo, keep it in your hair
Lead a wimpy life eternally with nothing there
But fluffy air
CHORUS
Get in God’s word; see what you find
Only place to look to tell you how to get inside
Let me tell you now; you gotta go through Christ
Open up your heart and tell Him He can come inside
Come inside
Yeah!
Yo! Let Him in your life right now (Repeat 3X)
You know what Heaven’s like?
It hasn’t entered your mind
Heaven is the best place that’s ever been
You wanna get in? Let Him
Let Him in your life; that’s the only way
C’mon … Nowwwwwww … come on in, in
C’mon Nowwwwwww C’mon inside!

[ ApologetiX – “Ticked” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udQjLApnlJw

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Heavenly Hill
(Parody of “Beverly Hills” by Weezer)

Where I come from there’s a tall flat place
It’s out on a hill where a ski slope’s at
My master went for a little walk
With His friends there just to do a retreat
He didn’t go with some big group
Just three guys, James and John and me
While we prayed I saw the Son of God talking with the prophets

Heavenly hill — that’s where I want to be (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill
Heavenly hill — Moses, Elijah, Jesus, and me (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill

Looking brighter than a star, His clothes so beautiful they gleamed
Don’t know how they scrubbed His wardrobe but His face it seemed to beam
I wonder if He’ll look like that whenever Jesus Christ is king
Maybe this ain’t quite as cool but it’s the next best thing

Heavenly hill — that’s where I want to be (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill
Heavenly hill — Mark n’ Luke 9, Matthew 17 (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill

The truth is … I can’t stand the suspense
There’s someplace that I’m more into
And I guess it won’t be long
No, it won’t, I guess you know that deep down too
And I will always dream of that day
When I will dwell in Paradise, but till that starts, hey

Heavenly hill — that’s where I want to be (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill
Heavenly hill — Second Peter verse 1:18 (John and Jimmy, John and Jimmy)
Living on heavenly hill

[ ApologetiX – “Wordplay” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5DRQkKzljs

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Narrow Way to Heaven
(Parody of “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin)

There’s a way Jesus showed all us sinners must go
And He called it the narrow way to Heaven
If to get there’s your goal — with a pure heart and soul
In His Word you can get what you came for
Ooooooh and he described it right there in Matthew 7
There’ve been signs all along but you want to be sure
Cause the road sometimes swerves as you’re reading
In the free Bible book, there in John 3:16, come find how all our faults are forgiven
Two ways to ponder — two ways to ponder
There’s a freeway of death and it hooks to the left
And the steering and driving is easy
It is not quite as seems — see that smoke, feel the heat
Hear the voice of the Lord who stands knockin’
Ooooooh … it takes you under. Ooooooh … it really takes you under
And it’s His Word that’s true — if we all follow through
Then the Bible will lead us to Jesus
And the true way will dawn — on those who’ve read John
Chapter 14 verse 6 and thereafter Ooooooh …
If there’s a possible dead end road — don’t be a lost man
It’s best to think before you take it
Yes, there are two paths you can go by — but there’s a wrong one
But there’s still time to change the road you’re on
Ooooooh … can it take you up there?
You’re headed somewhere but it won’t go the place you wanna go
If Christ has called and you avoid Him
The way to Heaven’s very narrow, and did you know
It’s very wide on the way to Hell? LEAD
Where will you wind up down the road — a shadow land or street of gold?
There is a Way that we all know — He shines bright light on words that show
How every man will turn to dust — but if you let Him in your heart
The Truth will come to you at last — and our Lord warned us where to go
And He was God — He ought to know
And He called it the narrow way to Heaven

[ ApologetiX – “Chosen Ones” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm9PAIYF7Ag

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”
[ C.S. Lewis ]

“I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years.”
[ Martin Luther ]

“If God hath made this world so fair
Where sin and death abound,
How beautiful beyond compare
Will paradise be found.”
[ James Montgomery ]

“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

O Lord, you know I have no friend like You.
If Heaven’s not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
[ Albert E. Brumley ]

“A large set of pearl-studded gates will welcome you to Heaven, but be careful of slippery roads that are paved with gold. Topping the list of scenic points is a sea of glass. However, local conditions preclude sunsets, sunrises, or full moons. [ Since God’s glory is continuously illuminating everything ]. Do not miss the spectacular New Jerusalem, a striking city of the future, employing award-winning architectural design. Marvel at its twelve foundations. Stand amazed before its twelve gates, each made of a gigantic single pearl. For sheer spectacle, the New Jeruslaem eclipses even the Emerald City of Oz.
[ Joni Eareckson Tada ]

“If you should see a man shut up in a closed room, idoizing a set of lamps and rejoicing in their light, and you wished to make him truly happy, you would begin by blowing out all his lamps; and then throw open the shutters to let in the light of heaven.”
[ Samuel Rutherford ]

“When I shall reach the more excellent glory,
And all my trials are passed,
I Shall be like Him, I wonderful story!
I shall be like Him at last.”
[ W. A. Spencer ]

“The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with out friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”
[ C.S. Lewis ]

“The freedom of Heaven, then, is the freedom from sin; not that the believer just happens to be free from sin, but that he is so constituted or reconstituted that he cannot sin. He doesn’t want to sin, and he does not want to want to sin.”
[ Paul Helm ]

“The local church isn’t a piece of the heavenly church-like a tiny chunk is broken off a big cookie. Instead, it’s a miniature realization of the whole heavenly thing.”
[ Bernard N. Howard ]

“The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it’s who you become. That’s what you will take into eternity.”
[ Dallas Willard ]

“It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward Heaven … to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?”
[ Jonathan Edwards ]

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven… to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?”
[ Jonathan Edwards ]

“When the followers of Jesus Christ lose their interest in heaven they will no longer be happy Christians, and when they are no longer happy Christians they cannot be a powerful force in a sad and sinful world. It may be said with certainty that Christians who have lost their enthusiasm about the Savior’s promises of heaven-to-come have also stopped being effective in Christian life and witness in this world.”
[ A. W. Tozer ]

“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to—a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“Cultivate, then, your hope, dearly beloved. Make it to shine so plainly in you that your minister may hear of your hopefulness and joy, cause observers to take note of it because you speak of heaven and act as though you really expected to go there. Make the world know that you have a hope of heaven…that you are a believer in eternal glory and that you hope to be where Jesus is.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Though Christians believe in heaven, sometimes they act as though going there were a calamity.”
[ Henry Jacobson ]

“Earth is an in between world touched by both heaven and hell. Earth leads directly into heaven or directly into hell, affording a choice between the two. The best of life on earth is a glimpse of heaven. The worst of life is a glimpse of hell. For Christians this present life is the closest they will come to hell. For unbelievers it is the closest they will come to heaven.”
[ Randy Alcorn ]

“When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there: The first wonder will be to see many people there whom I did not expect to see; The second wonder will be to miss many people whom I did expect to see; the third and greatest of all will be to find myself there.”
[ John Newton ]

“I have a home above
From sin and sorrow free;
A mansion which eternal love
Designed and formed for me.”
[ Henry Bennett ]

“The heavenly country is full of light and glory; having the delightful breezes of divine love, and the comfortable gales of the blessed Spirit… Here is a freedom from body subject to diseases and death, and from a body of sin and death, from Satan’s temptations, from all doubts and fears, and unbelief, and from all sorrows and afflictions.”
[ John Gill ]

“Heaven ought to so fill our hearts and hands, our manner and our conversation, our character and our features, that all would see that we are foreigners, strangers to this world, natives of a nobler clime, fairer than this.”
[ Edward M. Bounds ]

“Yes, there will be work in heaven! … Our work in heaven will be restful because it will fit us perfectly. It will be exactly what we are fitted for and love to do. It will have none of the pressures we experience in work today. There will be no outlandish deadlines, stressful coworkers or bitter competition. Things will not go wrong; Murphy’s Law will have been repealed. We will feel truly fulfilled because we will work in a manner fitting to the way God designed each of us. We will be free to work for the benefit of God, others and ourselves.”
[ Josh and Sean McDowell ]

“When Earth’s last picture is painted,
And the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded
And the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it—
Lie down for an aeon or two,
‘Til the Master of All Good Workmen
Shall put us to work anew!”
[ Rudyard Kipling ]

“In heaven we will be permitted to finish many of those worthy tasks which we had dreamed to do while on earth, but which neither time nor strength nor ability allowed us to achieve.”
[ Wilbur Smith ]

“There will be new planets to develop, new principles to discover, new joys to experience. Every moment of eternity will be an adventure of discovery.”
[ Ray Stedman ]

“Around us, all shall be at peace; within us, all shall be in harmony. There shall be nothing in us, as now, to jar or clash with the mind of God. All that we now feel stirring in unhallowed warfare against Him shall be purged out as dross, and be no more any part of our eternal being. We shall be full of Him; and we shall be conscious that we are what He would have us (to be) … ‘It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know what we shall be like Him.’”
[ Anonymous ]

“Will we know one another in heaven? Will we love and remember? I do not think anyone need wonder about this or doubt for a single moment …. For if we think for a minute, we know. Would you be yourself if you did not love and remember? … We are told that we shall be like our Lord Jesus … and does not He know and love and remember? He would not be Himself if He did not, and we would not be ourselves if we did not.”
[ Amy Carmichael ]

“Hell is the highest reward that the devil can offer you for being a servant of his”
[ Billy Sunday ]

“Of the many things heaven will be, it will not be boring. Our heavenly perfection, for example, will not be a matter simply of never making a mistake. Nor will it be always making a hole in one or a home run, as it were. Rather it will be a time of ever-expanding and increasingly joyous service, and the saints who then will serve the most and rejoice the most will be those who have served the Lord most steadfastly while on earth. Every soul in heaven will equally possess eternal life and will be equally righteous, equally Christlike, and equally glorious. Everyone will be equally perfect, because perfection has no degrees. The difference will be in opportunities and levels of service. Just as the angels serve God in ranks, so will redeemed men and women, and the degree of their heavenly service will have been determined by the devotedness of their earthly service.

“Heaven will not involve differing qualities of service, because everything heavenly is perfect. Everything done for the Lord will be perfectly right and perfectly satisfying. There will be no distinctions of superiority or inferiority, and there will be no envy, jealousy, or any other remnant of sinful human nature. Whatever one’s rank or responsibility or opportunity, those will be God’s perfect will for that individual and therefore will be perfectly enjoyed. In a way that is beyond our present comprehension, believers will be both equal and unequal in the…eternal state.”
[ John MacArthur ]

“The new universe will surely be as big or bigger than it is now — and it is mind-blowing in its immensity now! Billions of galaxies, far larger than our own galaxy of the Milky Way, fill the heavens as far as the eye can see by means of the greatest telescopes we have, and still we have not reached the end. That means that there will be new planets to develop, new principles to discover, new joys to experience. Every moment of eternity will be an adventure of discovery.”
[ Ray Stedman ]

“This world is only an anteroom of the next. This short life is incidental compared with eternity. This world is not home to the Christian. Here we are only sojourners, temporary dwellers in a foreign land. Our citizenship is in Heaven. Our treasure should be in Heaven. Our thoughts should dwell lovingly and longingly on that sweet home of the departed saints, of our Savior and of our Heavenly Father.”
[ John R. Rice ]

“…The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.”
[ John Bunyan ]

“I shall rise from the dead…I shall see the Son of God, the Sun of Glory, and shine myself as that sun shines. I shall be united to the Ancient of Days, to God Himself, who had no morning, never began…No man ever saw God and lived. And yet I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen him, I shall never die.”
[ John Donne ]

“In the truest sense, Christian pilgrims have the best of both worlds. We have joy whenever this world reminds us of the next, and we take solace whenever it does not.”
[ C. S. Lewis ]

“And, after death, what cometh? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight?…Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Give me to know that heaven is all love,
where the eye affects the heart,
and the continual viewing of thy beauty
keeps the soul in continual transports of delight.

Give me to know that heaven is all peace,
where error, pride, rebellion, passion raise no head.

Give me to know that heaven is all joy,
the end of believing, fasting, praying,
mourning, humbling, watching, fearing, repining;
And lead me to it soon.”
[ “The Valley of Vision” A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions ]

“In heaven ‘tis the directly reverse of what ‘tis on earth; for there, by length of time things become more and more youthful, that is, more vigorous, active, tender, and beautiful.”
[ Jonathan Edwards ]

“When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there. The first wonder will be to see people there I did not expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many persons whom I did expect to see; and the third and greatest wonder of all will be to find myself there.”
[ John Newton ]

“Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before.”
[ Dwight L. Moody ]

“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to—a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
[ John 14:2-3 ]

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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