Have You Ever Considered?

Is there really a heaven or hell?  

If you died today and went into eternity, where would you go? Heaven, or Hell?  There is NO in between and if you cannot answer definitively that you would be going to heaven with conviction, you are going to hell!

When asking this question to random people on the street, most people would not be able to tell you one way or the other.  Some would say that they HOPE or THINK that they would go to heaven, but have no reason why or have no basis as to their thought process.

If you stood before the All Powerful, All Knowing, God and He asked you, “Why should I let you into MY heaven?”, what would you tell Him?  If you don’t have any definite reason WHY, you don’t get to go in!

Why would that matter?  Because if you don’t get to go into Heaven, you WILL go to HELL!

Yes. Hell is a very real place.  It is NOT a place where a person will get to party for the rest of eternity. Think about this…

Who is the one that presides over all of today’s parties that are filled with debauchery and drunkenness and sex and filth and drugs and … the list goes on…?  Who is the Father of all of that sinful behavior?  Why, it is none other than the “Father of Lies” himself, Satan – or as he is otherwise known, the Devil.

Why is that important at all?  Because, if Satan is going to be punished for the rest of eternity for revolting against God (along with a third of the angels) by being thrown into the “Lake of Fire” full of pain and sorrow and weeping and gnashing of teeth where a person will want to die but it will never happen, where there will be torment and torture for the rest of eternity (a very long time – NEVER ENDING!)  That is what is in store for Satan and his angels according to Revelations 21.

But, what does that have to do with you?  Well, as it says that Satan et al will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, it also says that death and the grave will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with him (them).

If you were not able to give God the right answer to the question above, then you will be included in the “death and the grave” part of that statement.

There is no purgatory, unlike some might think.  It is never mentioned in the Bible, but rather, it was made up by a pope many years ago as a ploy to get the catholic people to feel sorry for their dead loved ones and the pope allowed the living relatives to give gifts to the church in order to shorten the time that they will have to spend there before they are finally prayed/payed into their heavenly place.  Sorry, it isn’t going to happen that way.  I challenge you to find me one place in the Bible where it says that any of this purgatory stuff will actually happen – you can’t do it because it isn’t there.

Back to the important topic at hand… Where are you going to spend eternity?

Friend, if this were not important, do you really think that I would be wasting my valuable time talking to you about this?  In fact, in God’s eyes, this is the most important topic in the world!

You see, God desires more than anything in this world to have you spending eternity with Him in His heaven.  In fact, since heaven is a sinless place and we humans are very sinful beings, we are not going to be allowed in to God’s heaven the way we are.  In fact, you could be the absolute best role model on the face of the earth but you would still be far from the perfect being that would be required to enter God’s heaven.

See, God knew this ahead of time (He knows everything from eternity past to eternity future – even the stuff that hasn’t happened yet), that is why He devised a plan to provide a substitute sacrifice for your atonement of your sins.  What does that mean?  As we have determined in the last paragraph, we are not good enough to get into God’s heaven, so the alternative is only to go to Hellllllllll!

God’s substitute sacrifice happened to be God the Son – the Second Person of the Godhead out of the “Trinity” (that is discussed in another post),  You see, God the Father was going to send His Son down to live with man for an honest-to-goodness sinless lifetime.

He started with the immaculate conception when the Holy Spirit implanted the seed that was to be Jesus within Mary’s womb.  No, it’s not what you think – contrary to what some religions believe, there was no sexual intercourse that occurred between God and Mary or an angel and Mary.  Mary was a virgin before conception and continued to be a virgin until Jesus the Christ was finally born. After that Mary and Joseph produced a very healthy family in the conventional manner known to man and woman.

Jesus’ mission on earth was to be born as a man-child, to be raised in the normal Hebrew manner, being taught the scriptures that they had up to that time (Moses’ writings and the prophets).  He frequented the temples where he would debate the scriptures with the priests and pharisees, usually ending up with Him teaching them rather than them teaching Him.  He would literally sit with them for days (and we get upset when the pastor of our churches takes more than an hour for a sermon).

He would live out a normal life as a child developing into a man – the only difference is that He was tempted in every sense of the word, just as we are now, but rather than succumbing to the temptations in front of Him, He remained clean and perfect and without sin.  You see, only a sinless, perfect sacrifice could take our place in death.  The death that was the penalty for the one sin that we have committed – yeah, right; I know that you’ve sinned many more times than once.

As a slight side note:

I’m sure you are familiar with the 10 commandments that are referenced in Exodus 20.  Among those are: killing, adultery, idolatry, lust, envy, putting any god in front of the only One and True God, disobeying your parents. Did you also realize that the Bible also tells us that if you were to even think in your heart about any of these commandments to break them, you are guilty of breaking that commandment.  In fact, it goes further and says that if you are guilty of one, you are guilty of all of them.

According to that statement, where does that put you?  Did you know that you are surrounded by a group of mass murderers?  That might sound a bit comical, but in God’s eyes it is totally true!  And, as we established earlier, the penalty of any sin – regardless what sin it might be – is DEATH!  This doesn’t mean that you die and then that is it.  NO! That could not be further from the truth.  Rather, when we die physically, our bodies might be buried or cremated or whatever your preference might be, but someday there is going to be a resurrection.  In fact there is going to be two resurrections. One for the ones that are truly on their way to Heaven and the other will be for those who will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with Satan.

As I said, Satan is not the ultimate party DJ, although he might be the loudest of the screams of pain that will be emanating from the pit of hell.  This trip to hell is not going to be a vacation.  It will not be a party with 72 virgins (or however many they think they will get).  In fact, even though, as the name depicts, “Lake of Fire”, it isn’t going to be like it is here on earth where when something encounters fire of differing temperatures, it will be consumed and that is that – no more existence! In fact, the Bible says that it is a place of eternal torment, where the thirst is not quenched and the “worm dieth not” – you’ve just become a worm….

What is my point in telling you all of this morbid stuff?  You see, we only seem to think that it is morbid because it is depressing since all we want to do while we are on this earth is to make lots of money, have lots of fun, travel, even have as much sex as possible (I only say that because it is true).

The thought of interrupting our plans of doing all of this to just stop and turn around and start making dramatic changes in our lives and start actually following Jesus and doing the things that are commanded us to do in the Bible – I can’t list them all here.

The main thing is that we were not put on this earth, much less to become a Christian, but to serve ourselves and make our existence on this ball of dirt to please our own desires and pass into eternity to be punished in hell for not serving God.

Why do we need to serve God so badly?  Many years ago in the Garden of Eden, God created two beautiful humans that were sinless and faultless and naked without shame.  Why did He create them?  He wanted to have some intelligent companionship that WANTED to be with Him.  And He even gave them a choice of being with Him or death if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Satan tempted them, they gave in to his temptation and they eventually died.  The worst part of it all was that they didn’t only die physically but they also died spiritually – and that is why we are put on this earth.

I know that this world has a way of sugar-coating evil to make it look like it is fun – and it may be, but that fun wears off after a while and then there are penalties and consequences that must be paid. These payments may be in the form of a traffic ticket fine or you may do something that requires you to have a physical impairment for the rest of your life, or even worse yet, someone else might have that impairment or even lose their life.  Or, your penalty may only be the eternal penalty of death in hell.

Friend, if you couldn’t tell God why He should let you into His heaven, you need to get this taken care of between you and God.  Please, get on your knees before Him and beg for Him to forgive you and that you want to receive the gift that Jesus is willing to give you of eternal life in heaven with God and then give your life over to God to let Him use you to help show others about how God wants them to go to heaven too.

You know, you could walk away from reading this and go back to doing the same old sinful things, but God has a much bigger plan for you. And, trust me when I say to you, that being in God’s service and doing the things that God wants you to do, you could never get more joy and happiness from anything else that this world has to offer you.

In John 14, Jesus tells us:

John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 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. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

What many people don’t quite grasp about being a Christian is that even though Jesus is not walking this earth right now, He will be coming to get us soon so that we can spend eternity with Him.  He said that this is a word of encouragement that in His Father’s house (Heaven) are many mansions – these mansion (of whatever sort they might be) are made for us!  I don’t see these being apartment buildings or condos, but mansions!  He is going, at that time until He comes back, to be preparing these places for us.  We get our very own mansions.  These aren’t time shares either – we aren’t just buying a week or a year out of eternity to be there.  He continues and says that He is going to come back again and get us and take us to where He lives (Heaven) so that we can be with Him as He intended for mankind in the first place.

In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul is talking to the Thessalonian church.  They were concerned that they would never get to see their loved ones again that had passed into eternity before them.  He tells them this:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant (or unknowing) about those who have died already, that you don’t weep and feel like you will never see them again like those who are unsaved do (they have no hope of eternal life).  If you truly believe that Jesus died and rose again, then you will see them again if they were saved when God brings them with Him.  Paul speaks this by the authority of the Lord, that those of us who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will not keep this from happening to those who have already died.  Verse 16; For the Lord Himself (not angels or Michael the archangel) will come down from the heavens with a SHOUT, with the calling of the archangel and with the trumpet sound of God, Himself: and at that point, faster than we can even imagine, the dead that had been saved before they died, will rise to meet Him in the clouds: then the rest of us (who have been saved up to this point) will be caught up (modern term is “raptured”) into the clouds to meet them all even including the Lord – or Christ – and from that point on, we will always be with the Lord!  Because of this, brethren, comfort each other with these words.

How much more beautiful could you imagine it?  If you want a wonderful description of the “New Jerusalem”, you should check out Revelation Chapter 22. … No more sorrow, no more pain … I can’t wait!

My friends, the point in this article is not to, necessarily, get you saved, but to try to light a fire under you to sense the urgency of making sure that anyone and everyone that you come in contact with in the future, that you spend a few minutes and ask them what lies in store for them in eternity and give them the Gospel news that they could spend eternity in heaven with Jesus – and you and me.

Consider this …

… the cashier at the local grocery store is checking your groceries out and all you have to do is ask them that if they died today, would they go to heaven?

… the waitress at your favorite restaurant may have a car accident on the way home from work and end up in hell because you didn’t share Jesus with her.

… the friend you have had since childhood that has never accepted Christ as their personal Savior and you may be the last person that they get a chance to hear it from.

… maybe your parent(s) have never heard God’s plan of salvation and you are just the person that they need to hear it from so that they can make that final decision for Christ.

Remember that we, as Christians, are not out there to twist arms of everyone that we know and force them into a decision.  All we are required to do is tell them what God’s Word has to say about their eternal future.

Some sow the seeds; some water the seeds; but God makes them grow. Occasionally, we have the distinct pleasure of actually leading someone to Christ and verifying with them that they are on their way to heaven with you.  Even if you don’t get to do that, you – if you have done your duty – have done your duty.  Just present God’s Word to them.  If you need help knowing what to share with them or how to do it, there are quite a few different approaches listed in the “Salvation” section of my blog site here – or you can follow the links that I supply to you below.

Christian, I really hope that this has made you think about how you can spread the Gospel.  The time is getting near when the Lord is going to come back for us and we don’t want to have to stand before Him and try to give Him excuses about why we didn’t do our job and why, now, that person is in hell.

God bless you and your soul-winning efforts.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or you can go to my Contact page to contact me privately.

©2013 Mark Davis

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HELL

Psalm 9: 17
“The wicked shall be turned into hell,
and all the nations that forget God.”

— Matthew 3: 12
“Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly 
purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner;
but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 13:42, 50 —
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire:
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 5: 21, 22
“21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
“22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Matthew 25: 46
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:
but the righteous into life eternal.”

Proverbs 9: 17, 18 —
17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there;
and that her guests are in the depths of hell.”

2 Peter 2: 4
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned,
but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness,
to be reserved unto judgment;”

— Matthew 7: 13
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:”

Hebrews 2: 3
“How shall we escape [Hell], if we neglect so great salvation;
which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,
and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;”
[emphasis mine]

Mark 9: 43, 44 —
43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off:
it is better for thee to enter into life maimed,
than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that
never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

Matthew 22: 13
“Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot,
and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness;
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

— Luke 16: 26
“And beside all this, between us and you there is
a great gulf fixed
[between Heaven and Hell]:
so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot;
neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence
.”
[emphasis mine]

Luke 12: 4, 5 —
4 And I say unto you my friends,
Be not afraid of them that kill the body,
and after that have no more that they can do.
“5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear:
Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell;
yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

Matthew 25: 41
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,
prepared for the devil and his angels:”

2 Thessalonians 1: 9
“Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Revelation 19: 20
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

©2013 Mark Davis

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Continued Reading:

The Unhappy, Ungodly

Ps. 1:4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.”

Ps. 1:5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous”.

In Hebrews 11:25, it tells us that sin has its pleasures for only a season. The sin, whether anyone sees us do it or not, God still sees it, and there is ALWAYS a penalty for sin. Sometimes it is something that we get while on earth, such as: time out, grounding, monetary penalties, maybe jail or any number of other penalties that could be out there.

In Hosea 8:7 it tells us that those who “sow the wind”, or just throw your seeds into the wind to land in totally random places instead of planting them in fertile ground, will “reap the whirlwind”, or they will be very disappointed at the harvest – if there is a harvest. The seed had been thrown into the wind randomly landing on hard dirt or on rocks or shallow dirt in which the roots of a new plant will not be able to take hold and the plant ends up withering in the sun and dying. What I am trying to say is that the things that they do while they are “sowing to the wind” is worthless. Our time is wasted and, to top it off, there are potentially harmful if not devastating consequences.

In Romans 6:23 it says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Our sowing our wild oats and saying to ourselves that “no one has seen us” or “everyone is doing it”, is going to ultimately give us the death penalty. The problem is, as we look at that verse again, we see that later it says “eternal life”, therefore the “death” is also eternal. That death is eternity in The Lake of Fire or as most people refer to it, “HELL”.

There is an alternative:

Back to Ps. 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night”.

BLESSED“, it says, Blessed is the man that walketh NOT in the counsel of the ungodly,” we aren’t even supposed to ask ungodly people for advice or, even more harmful, just casually hang around people who are ungodly. We become guilty by association. Their bad attitude has the ability and likelihood of rubbing off on us and corrupting us.

In the book of Proverbs alone, there are 45 references to the word “good”. When it is used it usually says do this but don’t do that and if you do good you will get this good result but if you do bad you will get this result. Almost all the time it refers to something bad, it will say that the result is devastating and destructive. It just doesn’t make any sense that we continually choose the bad things – and we wonder why we end up with so much bad happening to us. We need to look closer at our choices!

WHY? The word “Blessed” in this context is referring to an eternal blessing, not always is it something that we see here on earth. We might not see a reward for doing the right thing when others aren’t while we are still on this earth. Personally, I’d rather go without something for a little while here on earth and then be able to “have it all”, and more, for the rest of eternity while in the other place, the Good place, HEAVEN. If you would like to have more information regarding how you can take advantage of that “free gift” mentioned above, follow this LINK to I’M DEAD – NOW WHAT?

Let this be an encouragement to you all when you think the world is “raining” on you when you do the right thing and they don’t want you to. You will receive your blessing – that is a PROMISE! Straight from God Himself. You can count on it.

Prayer: Lord, while we live our day to day lives, I ask that you give us extra strength to be able to turn away from the counsel of the ungodly and all that goes with it, because we really do want to do the right thing and ultimately, since we are doing what You tell us to do, we are doing Your will, and You have said that You will bless this with eternal blessings. Lord please carry us through the rough times and cover us when the world rains down its ridicule on us. Let us look toward Your comforting promises.

Thank you Lord for Your promises and we look forward to seeing You work in our lives and how you work in the lives of those around us so that we might be able to share the good news of Your blessings. Thank you again, Lord. In Jesus’ name we ask these things. AMEN

©2012  Mark Davis

How Many Ways Are There To Get To Heaven?

Dear God,
It’s O.K. that you made different religions, but don’t you get mixed up sometimes?        – Arnold (age 10)

Well, dear Arnold has been just as deceived as 98% (just an estimate not a fact) of the world’s population. Last I saw, there were over 10,000 separate distinct religions in the world today. Is it really logical that a God that is totally perfect – from eternity past to eternity future infallible – could make a mistake 10,000+ times over?

Surely, if all of the religions out there led to Heaven, God would be really contradicting Himself a lot. So many of these religions have conflicting doctrines and beliefs; so how can they be right? Some of them have to be wrong, right?

What is the definition of “religion” first?

Noun:

      1.) The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
      2.) Details of belief as taught or discussed.

Synonyms: faith – belief – creed – denomination

Which ones are right and which ones are wrong?

When you consider this question, you have to think about what you would consider to be the “gold standard” of thought. What can you compare all else to that would be unfailingly right (correct)? How do you go about trying to figure that out? Wow, what questions…

Most people would boil it down to morals.

Q: Well, where do people get their morals?
A: Their parents and the people around them and they just figure right from wrong from there.

Q: Where would they have gotten their standards and ways of thought from?
A: What/who gave them the morals that they have now (or had)? And it goes down from generation to generation. Back to the beginning of time.

It all leads back to the first man and woman; and even before that. God is the only “gold standard” that you can look at that is totally unfaltering and unwavering and infallible and the only One that can be considered “perfect” without refutation.

Well, ok, if God boils down to being the only One that can be considered; then God it is. Now, how does He give us morals? How does He even talk to us? The way He talks to us is through the Bible. The Bible is the only history book ever written that has never had any contradictions to itself. There might be some oxymorons in there but when you get down to the original manuscripts and the true meanings of those texts, we find that they really don’t contradict themselves.

2 Timothy 3:16 KJV
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

So, the Bible (God) gives us morals or at least He is the “gold standard” in which we can look to and compare anything else to find out if it is right or wrong.

The concept of “right” has been around since before creation because God is inherently “good”. So then, what is the source or beginning of “evil” or “sin” or “wrong” (all being the same thing)?

When Adam and Eve were created, they were originally sinless. They had never done anything wrong at that point. God told Adam and Eve that they could do anything that they wanted to do EXCEPT eat of the fruit of only one of the trees that were in the Garden of Eden. Out of all the different trees that were there, they could only NOT eat of ONE of them. Well, I think we all know human nature well enough that, eventually, when someone tells us not to do something, it only makes us want to do it even more.

Eve was in the Garden wandering around one day when she was approached by a serpent. This serpent was the incarnation of Lucifer (Satan, the Devil, etc). Mr. Serpent told Eve that she should eat of the fruit of the Knowledge Of Good And Evil which God had told them not to eat. Oh, the fruit looked so good. Mr. Serpent said “God only told you not to eat it, because if you did, it would make you just as smart as God. Now, you want to be as smart as God don’t you”? Well, Eve thought that that sounded pretty good. She wanted to be smarter, after all, Adam had been the one that named everything not her. She wanted to be as smart as God. She went to Adam and told him about the proposition that she had been given by Mr. Serpent and, with the lures that she had, tempted Adam and they both ended up eating from the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  (**Color added for readability**)

Well, they sure knew Good from Evil at that point. They immediately knew that they had done wrong in the sight of God (yes, God saw them – He sees everything at all times-did then and still does today) and they realized that they were naked and they hid from God. Just like a parent playing hide and seek with their child, knowing right where they were hiding all along, God went looking for Adam and Eve.

One thing led to another and God threw them out of the Garden of Eden, never to return again. He took it a step, or really a bunch of steps further and cursed; the animals (primarily the Serpent); the land would, from then on, have weeds; woman would have pain in childbirth; and man would now have to labor. Couldn’t you just hate Adam and Eve about now?This story can be found in The Bible in Genesis 2:16-17 and Genesis 3:1-24. I’ll not post it here since it is rather long. I have a feeling that this post will be long enough as it is.

Right and wrong were conceptualized from that point on. It has been passed down from generation to generation and none were skipped. It went through Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, Noah and the Ark (that God told him to build) and so on and so forth down to you and I now.

You know, life would have been a whole lot better now if Adam and Eve had not sinned. We wouldn’t have sickness or disease or have to pull weeds out of the garden and our wives would actually look forward to having children (just kidding ladies). I don’t think that we could really be able to imagine life in a perfect world.

I regress; we wanted to know about how many ways there were/are to get to Heaven.

Looking through the Bible, I have never read anything about any “religions” besides idol worshiping, maybe. Then to top it off, the idol worshipers in the Bible were always on the wrong side of God. God commanded that there be no other gods before Him and no graven images – idols. Well then, if “religion” isn’t the way to Heaven then how does it work out that we can all have the opportunity to go to Heaven?

The Bible tells us through history that there would be a “savior”*, someone to come to earth – a King that would deliver us from all oppression and the penalty for doing wrong. Oops! Did I not say anything about a penalty? Hummm. *There are many prophecies about that in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus’ coming to earth.

Looking through history, when someone did something wrong, there has always been a penalty. The first five books of the Bible are filled with rules and laws that God’s people were supposed to follow but, there, along with the laws are also the penalties for breaking the laws. Most of the penalties are really severe – the most severe was/is, obviously, DEATH! Yikes! That’s pretty bad!

Along with the laws and the severe penalties, God also made a way that they can have forgiveness by Him for their sins, restoring favor in His sight, or restoring their “friendship” so to speak. It used to be that the penalty was a sacrifice of a lamb but, we don’t seem to be doing that much anymore, right?

When God created us, He wanted to spend time with us (in our perfect state). He still wants to spend time with us, it’s just that there seems to be omething in the way. We have a barrier between Him and us. The barrier is called “sin”. While we are sinful we can’t be in God’s presence.

Isaiah 59:2 KJV
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

If you look at God as Light and Sin as darkness; when you bring light into a dark room, it is no longer dark. Light cannot be in the same place as darkness. The above verse indicates that God has hidden His face from you because your “iniquities” or the sins that are in your soul – all the way back to when we were born and started sinning to the present time.

John 8:12 KJV
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Romans 3:10 KJV
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

Romans 3:23 KJV
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Being sinners, we are in need of a way to pay the penalty for our sins, which would be eternal death without a payment.

Mind you, I said Eternal Death. That is different than just death – being dead at the end of your life here on earth, buried and six feet under the ground. Eternal Death is what happens when we die and our soul continues on into eternity without any salvation.

Since sin cannot be where God is in Heaven, there is another place for sinners to go and that is ultimately into the Lake of Fire – a place where the fire never goes out and those there will be in excruciating pain but unable to just die and get it over with. Such PAIN and AGONY! They will have to stay like that for the rest of eternity.

Any idea how long eternity is? It Never ends! Eternal Death is separation from God – in the Lake of Fire. The alternative is eternity WITH God, in Heaven.

Matthew 25:30 KJV
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Mark 9:42-48 NASB
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
43 “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,
44 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
45 “If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell,
46 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
47 “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
48 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.”

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

The alternate payment for our sins is only something that God can give. He gave His only Son so that we can have Eternal Life:

John 3:16 KJV
“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.”

His only Son’s name is Jesus. He came down to earth to live as a man. He was born of a virgin (Mary) – conceived of the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit). He lived a sinless life – unlike anything that anyone else could do. No one else has done it before or since. He did many miracles and cast out evil spirits (demons) and raised some dead people. He did things that only God could do. Because ONLY He is God. Only God could take our sins away or pay the penalty for our sins.

Jesus was crucified on a cross – one of the most excruciating deaths that they had for people in that day. When He went to the cross, He took with Him all of the sins of everyone that had ever lived and even all of the sins of everybody that would live from that day on. He paid the price, or redeemed us, from our sins. We were convicted of being sinners and sentenced to eternal death, and He, God, through Jesus Christ’s blood, paid the full price for our pardon. His blood was the only thing that could ever forgive our sins and remove them from the sight of God so that we can go to Heaven and so that we can have that continued fellowship with God.

Colossians 1:14 KJV
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Psalms 103:12 KJV
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Wait, it doesn’t end there. I know I am boring to listen to and I like to ramble on and on, but you have got to hear this.  Jesus took it a step further because, you see, anyone could say that they are going to die and take away our sins but if it stops there, that person is no different than you or me and, in reality, couldn’t take away my sins or anyone else’s.

Jesus died. They buried Him in a tomb and three days later He was gone from the tomb. He rose from the tomb and was alive again. Not just any man could do that. Only God can do that.

John 20:11-18 KJV
11 “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 “And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne
him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18 “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

John 20:24-29 KJV
24 “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

A short time after He rose from the grave, He ascended back into Heaven. He stood and started raising into the sky until He couldn’t be seen any more.

Acts 1:9 KJV
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”

Before He left, He promised that He was going to prepare a place in Heaven with Him and He would come back and get us and take us home to be with Him.

Wow, this is really starting to sound like an alien movie or something. I assure you that it isn’t. Have you ever read a book or story that was so crazy and outlandish that there was no way that anyone could have made it up? None of this story is made up and can all be corroborated from the Bible, as you can see by the scriptures listed.

John 14:1-4 KJV
1″Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 “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.
3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

John 11:25-26 KJV
25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this”?

1 John 5:12-13 KJV
12 “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 “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.” 

If God went to all the effort to make a way available to us to get to Heaven through His Son, why would He let there be more than one way to get to Heaven? Let’s take a look at some of the things that Jesus said while He was still on earth:

John 14:6 KJV
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 10:9 KJV
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

John 8:24 KJV
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

John 1:12 KJV
“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 3:36 KJV
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Revelation 20:15 KJV
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 3:20 KJV
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

You know, God made it so that there was only ONE way to get to Him for one reason and one reason ONLY!

That reason is that “man” has a real bad problem with pride. So much so that, if it were possible, we would do anything and everything that we could to be able to get to God/Heaven by doing any imaginable thing, such as: going to church, donating money to charities, volunteering at the homeless shelter, being baptized (yes, that’s what I said – I’ll touch on that in another post), becoming a missionary to another country to propagate a “religion”, being a pastor or employee in a church, being born/raised in a Christian home, and the list could go on and on.

Why are these things so bad? They aren’t. But none of them together or by themselves will do anything to repay the debt we owe to God for our sins. Many of the “religions” out there today will try to lead you to believe that one or more of those things are required for salvation. NOT TRUE!

The reason that He made it impossible for us to do special things to get to heaven is very simple – and if you try to make it more than that, you are trying to legitimize and justify your own well-doings – God wants ALL of the credit for you getting to Heaven. He wants you to go there because you love Him; because you would give your life to be with Him and to make Him pleased with what you do (for Him). He wants us to give Him the glory for the things that He has done for us, not for the things that we do to try to get to Him by earning His good favor.

Someone once explained the difference between “religion” and “true Christianity” as this: True Christianity is God trying to get to us, whereas, Religion is us trying to get to God.

The people that tried to build the tower of Babel in the Old Testament were trying to make it so high that it would reach God. Remember that that was when God got very upset with them and scrambled their words (creation of different languages) so that no one could understand each other (hence the word babel). The tower was destroyed as will anything else be that we use to try to get to God.

Isa. 64:6a KJV
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness (good works) are as filthy rags”

Romans 5:8 KJV
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

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

Romans 10:9-10 KJV
9 “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.
10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Friend,

If you have never received God’s gift of salvation before today, I trust that you won’t hesitate to do it now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, nor for that matter, another breath. Take care of this ASAP! Hell is a very real place and I’d really hate to find out someday that you had the chance to receive His gift and didn’t take it.

If you would like to receive God’s free gift NOW, please pray the prayer below and let me know that you did so that I can rejoice with you for your new-found hope (promise) of ETERNAL LIFE. I would really love to hear from you by email to let me know of your decision. My email is listed at the bottom of the right hand column of this page, please write to me. 

“Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner and I know that I don’t deserve to go to Heaven. But, Your Word says that if I ask You to forgive my sins that You will forgive me and let me become Your child so that I can go to Heaven. Lord, I ask You to forgive my sins, right now, and take them away. I want to become Your child so that I can please You and so that You can become my best friend. Lord, thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins to take them away and to enable me the right to become Your child and go to Heaven to spend eternity with You. Thank you for forgiving my sins, Lord. I ask you this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.”

Christian, new or old, thank you for reading this far. I will be posting follow up articles relating to different things that the Bible teaches us and what it tells us that we should/n’t believe and do. Become a reader/follower at the top and keep up to date on my postings. You can also keep up to date by subscribing to my updates via email on the right side of the page as well. 

If you have gotten anything out of this post or if you have a comment (please keep them nice), please leave them in the space provided at the bottom. By all means, feel free to pass this article along.

©2012  Mark Davis

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YOU’RE DEAD — NOW WHAT?

Mark 8:36 KJV
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Ok, most of us have asked ourselves this question at least once in our lifetime.  I’m not talking about your earthly body.  Of course, our physical body will be buried, cremated, tossed into the sea or any other manner of things that could happen.  All of us have three parts to our being:  Body (the physical part that we see when we look into the mirror), Spirit (the part of us that is inside of us – our thoughts) and our Soul (the part of us that lives on for the rest of eternity – whether we want it to or not). It is just like water has three parts: Liquid (Water), Solid (Ice) and Gas (Steam).

The part that I am working with right now is the Soul – the part of us that will continue on into eternity unknown whether we want it to or not.  Whether we are aware of it or not right now.

Back to the question… Where will your soul go once you die? The Bible says:

Hebrews 9:27 KJV
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

This means that when we die, we will be immediately “judged” to see if we will spend eternity in Heaven with God or Hell with the Devil and his angels.

Yes, these places really do exist; again, whether we want them to or not! Whether we acknowledge it now or not!  Our soul will go to one of those two places.

What determines where we will go?  That is a choice that we have to make now, while we are still here on earth.  Where do we start?

When we are born, we inherit the penalty of DEATH.  Why? Because we are sinners.  How do we know?

Romans 3:10 KJV
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”

Not one person has gone without sinning at least once in their lifetime. Not even YOU. Not even ME.  No one in the past (nor future) has been without sin besides Jesus.

So now we are sinners – what then?

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

The “come short of the glory of God” part of that verse means that God is not happy with our sins.  Because He is not happy, He “judges” us to spend eternity in HELL or ETERNAL DEATH!

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

If you notice at the end of that verse, there is HOPE.  There is a “GIFT of God” that is the opposite of eternal DEATH – ETERNAL LIFE or otherwise known as Heaven – in God’s presence for the rest of eternity.

Romans 5:8 KJV
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Contrary to popular worldly belief, God actually LOVES us. He made a way of escape for us – so that we don’t have to spend eternity in everlasting HELL. That LOVE; that GIFT is His son Christ Jesus.  God sent His Son to earth to live a sinless life so that He could die a very painful death (the worst sort of death known to man at that time) on the cross.  He took our sins with him to that cross and paid our debt of death for us so that we won’t have to spend the rest of eternity in HELL or eternal death.

John 3:16 KJV
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.

This verse has to be the most popular verse in the whole Bible, and for good reason.  God Loves the world (you and I) so much that He gave His only Son so that if we believe in Him (Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross) we won’t perish, or go to HELL, but now we have the opportunity to have ETERNAL LIFE or go to Heaven!

He made a way of escape for us so that we don’t have to go to HELL.  As was stated above, this “GIFT” is just that; a GIFT! All we have to do is accept that Jesus did pay the price for our sins on the cross and ask Him to take our sins away from us and to allow us to be able to go to Heaven instead of HELL!

How do we “ACCEPT” this gift?

Romans 10:9-10 KJV
“9 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.
“10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

We have to “confess with our mouth” the Lord Jesus.  We have to confess that we are a sinner and that we believe in Jesus Christ and that he was our substitution for our debt of sin – ETERNAL DEATH – and that God raised Jesus from the dead three days later – after all of that we will be saved!  Without “heart” – the Spirit part of our earthly being – we believe unto “righteousness” – righteousness is an expression that means God doesn’t see our sin anymore and now are sinless in His sight (Ps. 103:12) so that we can finally go to Heaven – and with our mouth “confession is made unto salvation” – we need to actually say (to Jesus) that we accept His sacrifice so that we can have salvation from death and hell.

We need to pray and ask Jesus to take our sins away and to make us sinless in His sight so that we can go to Heaven when we die.

Psalms 103:12 KJV
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Acts 4:12 KJV
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

WAIT – does that previous verse mean that there isn’t any other way to get to Heaven besides by doing what is talked about here?

YES!  God doesn’t want us to be able to brag or boast about how we got to Heaven except by the “GIFT” of God that He gave us.  Leave it to “man” to be so proud that we would say “I was a real good person” or “I went to church every Sunday” or “I gave a lot of money to the church” or “I was raised in a Christian home – My parents were real good Christians.”

That’s all fine and dandy but it does absolutely zilch, nada, zip to get us to Heaven.  We are still on our way to HELL!  There is NOTHING that we can do to finally get to Heaven besides putting ALL of our trust in God and His gift of salvation.

Why do I say this?

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

Titus 3:5 KJV
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost”

Have you ever asked Jesus to come into your heart and life?  Is there something missing in your life and you just can’t explain? You need to ask Him to come into your heart and take your sins away and make you a “new creature”.

Let Him take control of your life.

Pray this prayer with me:

“Lord Jesus, …I know I’m a sinner and I would like to ask you to take my sins away …and make me a new creature.  …I want to go to Heaven when I die, …just like the Bible says will happen.  …I want you to take control of my heart and life …and I would like to live for You and please You from now on.  …Thank you, Jesus for taking my sins away …and for the free gift of eternal life that You have offered.  …In Your name, Jesus, …I pray all of these things. …Amen.”

Now that you have asked Jesus for forgiveness for your sins, you have become a Christian (Christ-like or Christ-follower). You are on your way to Heaven, now, and now nothing that you can do or say, and nothing anyone else can do or say can take that away from you.  You can NEVER lose your salvation and you will always be going to Heaven.  You now have nothing to worry about when it comes to the “afterlife”.  You DO have life after…

I praise God that you have chosen to make this decision.  I would really love to know that you have done this and I would like for you to contact me so that I can follow-up with you and help you on your new journey as a Christian. The road is not going to be easy but now you can have peace and hope, where you didn’t have it before.

I will be following this post up with other things that might answer some questions that you might have.  If there is a specific question that you might have (that is legitimate), I will do my best to answer them for you.  I’m sure you aren’t the only one with that question.

 Thank you for your time and God bless you.

–Mark

 

Other Really Great Verses To Know:

2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

John 10:28-29 KJV
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Matthew 7:14 KJV
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

John 14:27 KJV
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

©2012  Mark Davis

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