Friday, December 20, 2013

THE THING IS.......

The thing is I do not want anybody to be ignorant about those who fall asleep (die), or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. (1 Thessalonias 4:13) Many people are living as if there is no Heaven or Hell.  People are living like there is no eternity with God or an eternity without God.  A lie has been believed here - hook-line-and-sinker.  Some people are living like they know Heaven and Hell exists, but choose the torture of eternal solitude in Hell (a very big place with a very broad road to it), over eternity with their Creator.  The heart has been calloused by people, environment, and the enemy of our soul here.

In both cases there is no hope.  Without hope for an eternity WITH God, there is only this earthly life - the here and now.  So, many are living "Good lives" with no hope of eternity with God.  That does not get you anywhere either. With life being but a vapor compared to eternity, it is who you know, love and serve, while here, that will echo throughout eternity.

There is a Heaven and Hell and a reason for them.  Originally, Heaven was the only place that existed and in a perfect condition.  Heaven, angels, and the spiritual realm were created first.

  • "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7)  

Then Hell was created sometime after the fall of Lucifer and a third of the angels of Heaven (Revelation 12:4) for the banishment of the fallen angels.

  • "God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment." (2 Peter 2:4, 9)

The thing is God desires humanity, who He made in His image (Genesis 1:26), to spend eternity WITH HIM in Heaven.  However, He hates sin and kicked it out of the privileged presence of God, also known as the Third Heaven.  He Will Not allow sin/pride/rebellion back into His Heaven.

  • The Son of Man will send out his angels,and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:41-43)  

So, God made the provision for us because He loves all of humanity - past, present, and future - that much. God gave up the one thing that means everything to Him - His Word.  He allowed His Word-made-flesh - Jesus - to be mistreated, misunderstood, beaten, ridiculed, and killed for our sake and display of His love. Afterward, God raised His Word-in-flesh back to life.  His Word conquered death, Hell, and the grave.  There is victory here.

The thing is Christ's victory over death, Hell, and the grave gives hope. Those who place their sole/soul trust in Christ have an anxious expectation about a better place (Heaven), a better existence (renewed body), and a better relationship with God (redeemed).  This better hope (Hebrews 7:19) is such a hope (2 Corinthians 3:12) that it purifies us when we hope (1 John 3:3). The writer of Hebrews calls hope an "anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19). Not only is this hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7) something we are to be joyful in (Romans 12:12), but Colossians 1:15 given to you via the Pritchard Paraphrase says, Hope in heaven is a springboard for faith and love that you have already heard about in The Gospel. And why not hold on to hope (Hebrews 10:23)? Our hope is in the LIVING GOD (1 Timothy 4:10), not in the riches or wealth of this world (1 Timothy 6:17). So, it is my prayer "that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." (Ephesians 1:18-19)