Will I ‘See’ You Again? [v150]

AUGUST 2011

Will I ‘See’ You Again?

A close acquaintance of mine, Eric Miles, passed away a few weeks ago. He had just thanked me, the day before, for the birthday card I had sent him for his 50th birthday—I was in total shock!

We knew each other through a business networking group for about 6-7 years, and we also helped some charities out together over that same time period (Alzheimer’s Association and Make-A-Wish Foundation).

He was a reasonably fit person that watched what he ate, didn’t smoke or drink, had a supportive wife of over 24 years, Lisa, and three great kids (Evan, Chad, and “Niki”). Why so young?

He was a real ‘gentlemen’ of great integrity and generosity; owner of a commercial Real Estate company; a coach of a few of his children’s sports teams; a board member of the “Dad’s Club” at Detroit Catholic Central High School; active member in his community, and at St. Patrick’s parish; the ‘Co-CEO’ of his family’s “manners camp”; and a loving spouse. I was ‘touched’ by his life.

At his showing at the funeral home, though Lisa didn’t actually say this to me verbally, she seemed ‘peaceful’—a sort of peace that ‘transcends all understanding’.

I’m sure, deep down, she was very much ‘saddened’, but just like “Ric,” she is a person of deep faith in the God of the Bible, and knows, for sure, that she will be ‘seeing’ him again in the ‘near’ future—in Heaven.

Do you have that confidence Lisa has?—that you will be seeing your loved ones someday in the future in Heaven?  What are you basing that on?

According to a few recent polls, the popular idea is that all “good people” go to Heaven—and the majority of those polled rated their own chances of getting there, “very good.”

Art Linkletter was asked by talk-show host Larry King about heaven. King prefaced his question by referring to Billy Graham, who had recently just told King that “if he died right then and there, he would be very happy. He knew what would be ahead. It would be paradise. He’s going to heaven.”

King then asked Art, “What do you believe?” Art replied, “It would depend on what’s going on. I’d like a lot of activity. Heaven sounds too placid to me. Now, there’s a lot to do in hell.” He wasn’t kidding!

Sadly, Art Linkletter is not alone in his thinking that an existence in Satan’s realm is a ‘preferred’ destination. I’ve heard people say that they’d rather be in hell because all their friends will be there. One person wrote, “If hell was real, I don’t think it would be bad. There would be a lot of interesting people there.”

Now, the polls did mention that there are “very few” people who don’t want to go to “heaven,” but most base their expectations on their ‘performance’ in this life—irrespective of their relationship with Jesus. Do they have a valid hope?

Well, even the little I know about what hell is, does not ‘entice’ me one bit to want to be anywhere near that place! Since I care enough for people that I don’t want them to be deceived in this way—that hell and its horrors that should be avoided—I will attempt to convince you otherwise!

All of us have to determine what ‘truth’ is, and I believe the Bible is the ‘premier’ source for it. “Truth” is definitely an important component of the Heaven/hell issue, but is something I have already investigated fully. So, if you are interested, click on these links for past “Deep Thoughts” on the topic:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/feb-09-v120/
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mar-09-v121/
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/apr-09-v122/
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/may-09-v123/

So, perhaps by telling you of the realities of hell that are presented throughout the Scriptures, it may give you a better idea of what I’m so concerned about. In Daniel 12:2, it is described as a place of “shame and everlasting contempt.” In Luke 16:23, it talks about “torments.” In Matthew 8:12, it describes “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And in Revelation 14:11, it says there will be “no rest.” Nowhere in the Bible does it allow anyone to think that hell might be a good place to be. Clearly, in my ‘humble’ opinion, rejecting Jesus and facing an eternity in Satan’s kingdom is a ‘bad’ choice!

[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about HELL, visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.com/sfm_pres/sp_q5_d6_1of10.html ].

So, the real question for most of us is how do we want to spend the next 5, 10, 50 or even 100 years here on earth (but I’m thinking that even 100 years ‘pales’ in comparison to where you will spend eternity).

Jesus talked more about hell than He did Heaven—so it must be important. Even though He did talk a it about the ‘glories’ of Heaven, He more so described the ‘horrors’ of hell. Maybe a story would help here.

Jesus told about a rich man who neglected the needs of the poor man Lazarus at his ‘gate’. Finally, the rich man died, and here is Jesus’ account as to what happened next:

The Rich Man and Lazarus
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” [Luke 16:19-31].

This story teaches us that:
– Hell is a real place
– Hell is a final destination
– Hell is a place of agony and torment
– Hell is a place you can’t leave
– Hell is a place God will ‘allow’ you to choose

I’m thinking this is not a place I want to end up—for any about of time—especially for eternity! The thing is, it’s not that God sends us to hell, but that we ‘send’ ourselves there when we don’t heed His warning and receive His forgiveness for all our sins, and His free gift of eternal life.

It has been said that people put more effort in planning a vacation than they do for what will happen to them after they die. How foolish it is to make all sorts of preparation for this life, but none for the next [Consider reading what the wisest man that ever lived, Solomon, said about death in the Bible: Ecclesiastes 9:1-12)].

Time and time again God has told us in His Word (the Bible) that there is a Heaven for all who have accepted His forgiveness, and a hell for all who haven’t. As Jesus said, “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [Matthew 13:48].  Whoa!

Just as God warned ancient Israel (in the “Old Testament” times), His Word also applies to us today: “Prepare to meet your God” [Amos 4:12].God’s Word also reminds us that, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him” [Hebrews 9:27-28]. Additionally, God is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” [2 Peter 3:9].

It is not God’s will that anyone should go to hell. To ‘prove’ that, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins, so we can be freely forgiven and delivered from hell. So, please, whatever you do, don’t neglect God’s warning regarding the terrible doom of hell for all who have never accepted Jesus as their Savior, and God’s forgiveness and gift of eternal life!

I don’t want all of what I discuss here to be a ‘downer’ (I just want you to see how really important it is to know what will happen if you don’t choose to follow Jesus). So, let me share with you how God has painted a beautiful ‘picture’ of Heaven that, in the ‘mind’s eye’, when fully opened, we can clearly see its ‘wonder’.

No More Death, Grieving, Crying, Pain, Hunger or Sadness:
“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth’, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’ He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” [Revelation 21:1-4].

Beauty Beyond Compare:
“The wall [of Heaven] was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass” [Revelation 21:18-21].

Now, nobody can ‘prove’ that there is a Heaven or a hell. Neither can anybody prove there isn’t! In my eyes, the evidence, however, confirms that there are both, and as you can probably deduce, just as Billy Graham said, “I’m going to Heaven!” The thing is, if I do believe, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. But if I don’t believe, I have everything to lose and nothing to gain (credit to Blaise Pascal). [You may want to reread the previous sentence just to be sure you get what it said].

The choice to believe or not to believe is each individual’s decision. The critical issue is, God’s Word makes it plain that there are only two places where we will spend eternity after death—either with God in Heaven or in Hell with Satan and his evil demons.

Every one of us needs to make a choice as to where we want to spend eternity (Just remember, not deciding is a ‘choice’!). Though Heaven is something we can only guess about (and I’m ‘betting’ it won’t be “boring”), I urge you to make absolutely sure you get to see it (so you can decide for yourself)!

One way to help you make absolutely sure that you do, visit the following link to make ‘peace’ with God today!:
http://tinyurl.com/find-peace

The wonderful thing is that God’s invitation to Heaven is OPEN TO EVERYONE—and I’m sure ‘Ric’ is just WAITING TO SEE YOU!!!

[Excerpts from: Dick Innes; Reimar Schultze]

[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about how to GET TO HEAVEN, visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d5_1of10.html ].

Blessings…Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v150) for AUGUST 2011

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

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MISS ME, BUT LET ME GO
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me—but let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss me—but let me go.

[Author unknown – In the funeral ‘program’ for Eric Miles]

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FROM HERE TO HEAVEN…A Word at a Time!
Seven short words can lead you from where you are right now and show you how to arrive in heaven for eternity!

CHASE
We all chase the wind with a heart of sin.

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
[Ecclesiastes 1:14]

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
[Proverbs 16:25]

SPACE
Sin has put a space between us and God’s face.

Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you….
[Isaiah 59:2]

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
[Romans 3:23]

ERASE
God gave up His only Son to erase sin’s debt for everyone.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
[Romans 6:23]

God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
[John 3:16]

EMBRACE
Admit your sins and believe; embrace Jesus and receive.

Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.
[Acts 10:43]

To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
[John 1:12]

GRACE
God’s grace shown to man is His eternal life plan.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.
[Ephesians 2:8-9]

REPLACE
Let God replace your debt of sin, then your new life can begin.

Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
[1 Peter 3:18]

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
[2 Corinthians 5:17]

PLACE
God has a place for us–in heaven–when we trust!

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
[Jesus, John 14:2]

After paying for your sins with His life, Jesus rose from the grave and returned to heaven to prepare a place for those who embrace Him and receive God’s gift of grace, eternal life. If you truly believe that Jesus is the only one who can erase your sin debt, this prayer can help you put your desire into words:

DEAR GOD,
I admit that I have sinned against you many times. But now I’m convinced that when Jesus died He was taking the punishment that I deserve for my sins. I believe that Jesus is the only way that my sin debt can be erased. I accept your wonderful offer of eternal life. I want to be your child and to live in heaven with you when I die. Thank you for letting me find out how to know you!

If you have placed your trust in Jesus or have questions about what you’ve just read, please write or email us for spiritual help.

[Authors: Dan and David Davidson with Doug Salser,(c) 1997,Cyrano de Words-U-Lac. From Home & Heart Improvement for Men by Honor Books].

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VIDEO: ”Are you Sure You’re Going To Heaven?”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuadeVAg6Kk

[YouTube channel of “MJoftheday”]

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DEEP THOUGHT:

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

[Desmond Tutu – From Eric Miles’ funeral program]

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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!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
[John 14:1-4]

Mark

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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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