Wednesday, April 29, 2015

HIS LIGHT


I see things right now as if I am looking into or onto a distorted, reflective surface, but there will come a day and time when I will see all things clearly. My knowledge of things is partial at best right now, but one day it will be complete, just as God knows every single thing about me. (Pritchard Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:12)

Spiritually, I do feel like I am in a fog sometimes. Still, in other instances I feel totally blind. This world of darkness wants to keep you here - in the catacombs of despair, loneliness, stress, non-belief and the list goes on and on.  "Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves." (2 Corinthians 4:4, 7)

In John 12:46 Jesus says about Himself - 
  • I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.
I have come to have a great appreciation for David and his Psalms, one of which describes his love and my affection for the Word of God as our Guiding Light.
  • Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)
In a world that is dark and somehow getting darker by the hour, God's Word, His Light is comforting and reassuring to me. Something that is helping me as I pilgrimage home to Heaven is - just that - keeping my thoughts on things above, especially that shoreline across old Jordan (the great divide in great, old songs).

His kingdom one day will be lit by just the radiance of His Glory. John recalls - 
  • "I did not see a temple in the city [New Jerusalem], because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it." (Revelation 21:22-24
Oh, to live a holy and godly life as I look forward to the day of God and speed its coming (2 Peter 3:11) - to one day see clearly, to know completely, to feel with every part of my essence The Radiant Glory of God - His Light.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CONVERGENCE

In speaking about signs in the latter days or end times before Christ's return for His church, Matthew 24:8 records Jesus saying, "All these are the beginning of birth pains." Then in Luke 21:28 Christ is noted as similarly declaring - "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Both of these verses refer to a time of Convergence of the signs mentioned for the End Times. The fact that the prophetic signs are associated with "birth-pains" or contractions means frequency and intensity of the signs must be accounted for as one studies eschatology. However, not only are the prophetically aware seeing the signs frequent and intense - they are all starting to converge in space and time during our lifetime.

I am a Pre-Tribulationalist. I believe Christ is coming to snatch away His church from the wrath to come. In that flow - the closer I see the world is to The Tribulation Period, the closer I see I am to The Rapture - Maranatha (Come Lord Jesus!)!

So, read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and take it as a personal encouragement from me and The Lord - Be Ready, He Is Coming Back Soon!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

HIS EYES ARE ON THIS SPARROW


Over the course of my life, I have been taught many valuable lessons from my parents. With that knowledge, I can't tell you how many times those lessons have helped me. The real gotcha for me is I have always wanted my parents around at every instance where a lesson I learned from them is passed now with flying colors. At that moment of success I have occasionally said, "I wish mom and dad were here." - or - "I wish mom and dad could have heard/seen that." This desire for my parents to witness that successful moment is more of a reward and thank you back to them. It is not a boastful spirit but one that in essence says - "I did it the way you taught me and it worked, thank you." 

Mom and dad cannot be there for every one of those moments, but of all the people in and out of this world not to grant any privacy - God is the perfect one. Yes, His presence is omni-present - everywhere at once. However, I believe God is a little more intimate than this, especially after sending believers His Holy Spirit.

According to the version of Bible you are reading, John 14:26 translates the title of the Holy Spirit as - Comforter (KJV), Helper (NKJV), Advocate (NIV), and Counselor (another NIV). While the Holy Spirit is all of these things, the original Greek word used is Parakletos meaning another of equal divine quality who will come alongside you and fill Christ's office while we cannot see Him

The awesome characteristic about Christ Jesus through His Spirit here is He never leaves me or forsakes me (Deut. 31:6). The original Hebrew word for "forsakes" is azab meaning to put aside. The original Hebrew word for "leaves" is rapah meaning to let alone, abandon or desert. So, when you combine these two notions - I have a Savior who will Never put me aside and walk off and leave me alone.

I am starting to appreciate God's presence in my life more, even when I mess up. I think the more I get the image of God as a policeman out of my head and replace that with a Father image - I will be thinking correctly. because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. (Hebrews 12:6)

However, I am finding He doesn't skimp on being there during the good times and everywhere in between times either. And as I obey His Word and/or apply a past lesson He taught me - that immediate access to His presence fulfills that desire to say - "I did it your way King Jesus, it worked of course - thank you."

Monday, April 20, 2015

A FAITHFUL AND WISE SERVANT

I heard many great messages this weekend, but what I want to share one that has been reaffirmed. To the older generation of Christians - be encouraged, know and receive - God is not through with you and not through using you.

I realize "older" can mean a different age or stage in life to different people. So, for this writing, let us assume old is conservatively 75 years of age (life expectancy in 2012 being 78 in the U.S.A.). On a personal level, just because you come to the latter of your days does not mean God lacks lessons to teach you. He is still molding, shaping, and forming you just like He is with other Christians from other generations. I understand that as we age, our bodies will limit us in how we might serve the Lord, but that should not relegate us to The Rocking-chair. 

Ah, the rocking chair. It is a wonderful device for rest and relaxation, I know, I have used one. In fact, I am all in favor of periodically stopping and smelling the roses, while sitting in a rocking-chair. However, as a symbol of inactivity in the Christian walk, it is a lot of wasted movement. One might sit in the chair thinking about what might have been, getting bitter or mad about it, and spinning your wheels (or rocking your chair). This is an analogy Joyce Myer delivered recently that really had an impression on me. 

The imagery and encouragement here reminds me of the saying - "A rolling stone gathers no moss." As I have mentioned before, I'll concede we will slow down as the Lord tarries and our years keep advancing, but I encourage all of us, especially the already advanced in years - let God find you serving when He comes or when you leave to meet Him.  At any age - Let Him find you being A Faithful And Wise Servant.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions." - Matthew 24:45-47 

Friday, April 17, 2015

WHAT WILL YOU ALLOW TO CONTINUE?

I read a saying that speaks truth - "What you allow is what will continue." Of course "what you allow" can be changed, but even after it is changed, that new thing is what will continue - so choose "what you allow" wisely.

Revelation 22:11 says,
  • "Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
The context of this verse is the soon coming of Christ the King. To me this verse says - just as the tares/weeds (evil) of this world grow next to the wheat (good/believers) in the world, they both must be allowed or "let" to continue in their ways until Christ Jesus returns. The good news is that the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit that lives within the believer of Christ has held back and will continue to hold back the full force of evil until the appointed time.
  • "For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way." (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
So, until that time when The Spirit and body of believers is taken out of the way (Rapture) - what do Christians do? How should believers of Christ behave? What should they allow and continue? Consider another well-known saying - "Garbage in, garbage out."

When addressing the believers in Rome, Paul advises if you want kindness to continue toward you, kindness must continue from you. Sound like a Golden Rule you have heard? 
  • "Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness." (Romans 11:22)
Plus, if Christ Jesus were truly our Lord, Savior and King, then our lives would reflect the diligent effort to have Him as so.
  • "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,..." (Colossians 2:6)
However, even if you recognize the reconciliation of your soul to God, provided by the death of Christ's physical body - your faith must continue to the end to legitimize your salvation decision.
  • "But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel." (Colossians 1:22-23)
If you are under good teaching or have been under good teaching - remember the good reputation of your teachers as you "continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of".
  • "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,..." (2 Timothy 3:14)
If you are allowing for faith building, food consumption and fellowship time then Acts 2:46, the New Testament church, encourages continuation.
  • "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,..."
The members of this New Testament church continued with great power so they must have allowed more of God's great power to be received for use. Acts 4:33 states - 
  • "With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all..."
For the good and decent people in this world, the idea - "What you allow is what will continue." - can be a personal check and balance system for the better. For all Christians this same idea could influence the entire globe for Christ! It starts with the individual and his/her relationship with Jesus Christ. If your Allowance and Continuation System is God-based then you will know it and others will know it by the testimony of others. The Greatest Compliment, This Side Of Heaven is something John said to a group of fellow believers - 
  • "It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it." (3 John 1:3)
I hope and pray we can continue to say this about each other in The Faith too, testifying to what we allow in our own lives - Christ's leadership.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

THE PURPOSE/MEANING OF LIFE: THE AFTERLIFE


Want to know the purpose and meaning to life? What you believe about the afterlife will resolve that question. What happens after death determines the purpose of life.  In Other Words - before we get to the point of death and beyond, we need to have lived our life with the personal convictions of what is on the other side of The Veil

Our existence is incredibly fragile and swift. Death is but a breath away. Any saying, song or rhyme that promises tomorrow is a lie. Some have taken this flawed philosophy and wasted their lives away with the eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die plan to life. While each is not bad in and of themselves (eating, drinking and being merry), if they are done exclusively as a lifestyle – that life has no merit, no influence, no purpose, no meaning.

Although humanity has not had many to come back from death, it was the individual's renewed commitment to make a difference after experiencing the other side that has made me and others pause. The witness to something eternal, like eternal destinations with eternal rewards (good or bad), begs lives worth living and dying for an eternal purpose, for eternal meaning.


Jesus paid to high a price, His own life, for our salvation and knowledge of another life - an afterlife - to have any other journey and ending. Jesus taught of literal places, not a state of mind, that the person (minus the body) travels to upon death. For believers, Paradise and eventually the place He is preparing for all believers - Heaven. For non-believers, Hell then The Lake of Fire (the eternal place of the damned). Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who lived, died and displayed the right and power to rise again for our redemption – loved us this much so that our life would have meaning. 

Christ Jesus gives purpose and meaning to life. He is the reason for every season. In Him believers live and move and have their being (Acts 17:28). I encourage my fellow brothers/sisters in Christ to continue Realizing Him, Accepting Him and Acting/Living Him out. Realize your salvation He has purchased and keep that on the front-burner of your mind. Accept His new mercies and Scriptural promises every day - praying them back to Him as confirmation. And Act or Live out His life, by the Holy Spirit, so that the compassion of Christ may continue to be spread throughout the earth. Thus you step into Colossians 1:27 and do your part in fulfilling it - 

  • "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." 
The “hope of glory” which is “Christ in you” and me – is getting sparse these days. If Christ Jesus said in His days – “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37) – imagine today’s status! You have heard the saying - Workers Needed, Apply Within? How true it is of humanity today, the need for all to peer inward, recognize the need for a Savior, accept Christ's sacrifice and apply His blood and Spirit to our life. Then go tell others The Good News - there is meaning and purpose to life only if you live with the conviction of an afterlife with Christ Jesus as your Lord, King, Savior, and Friend.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

THE GARDEN (OF CONTROL)


I imagine many view the events with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to be an intense prayer time, the manifestation of His betrayal, and one last compassionate miracle given (healing of the servant's ear) - save the resurrection. When I follow Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane in the Scriptures I see Jesus' submission, power, revelation, and ultimate control.

The actions of Jesus in the Garden were and still are His clear message - 

  • "No one takes it [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:18)

Jesus said to Pilate - “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above." (John 19:11) This statement was proven true just hours before in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas led a "detachment of soldiers" (John 18:3), which equated to 600 armed Roman soldiers and the temple police, to arrest Jesus.

The decision to arrest Him, try Him, beat Him, and kill Him met a taste of power Judas had seen for three years. Jesus displayed His power to the military might, officials, and disciples gathered on the Mount of Olives that night when He answered a question.

  • Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Notice the response at the identification of Himself as "I AM". In the original Greek the phrasing for "drew back and fell to the ground" is just as you might think - a staggering knock out punch! With just these words Jesus took down a whole hillside of armed men and officials. However, something else miraculous happened - a resurrection.

The Gospel of Mark records - 
  • "A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind." (Mark 14:51-52) 
According to a study by Rick Renner, some scholars have attempted to name this naked man as Mark himself. They have Mark hearing about this event in the middle of the night, getting up out of bed and running to the scene, which was a great distance away. But evidently this was a physical impossibility due to the remoteness of the location.

So, who in that day and time wears nothing but a linen garment? The dead! In fact, the only other time "linen garment" is found in Scripture is when it is used to describe the cloth Jesus' body was wrapped in after He was removed from the Cross. Jesus' self-identification not only knocked out the imposing military threat, but it raised the life of a young man in the cemetery located at the foot of the Mount of Olives. I would be following Christ too!

In another display of His power in The Garden, Jesus heals the ear of the servant of the high priest (Luke 22:49-51). According to Rick Renner's study of the original Greek in this text, Peter did not just nip the servant's ear, he lopped it off with a downward motion of his sword - apokopto. The interesting thing about this healing was that the high priest, Caiaphas, and his servant Malchus, were part of the sect called the Sadducees that did not believe in the supernatural. Knowing the rest of Malchus' story would have been interesting, especially after Jesus' resurrection.

With a military force of 600 plus on the hillside in front of Him and with correcting Peter's violent mistake by healing the servant's ear, Jesus reveals to all there - 
  • "Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?"
Wow! As if one legion (6,000) would not suffice, Jesus had at His ready - "more than twelve legions". So, the least amount of legions available was twelve (72,000 angels). So, what kind of killer power is that? Well, Isaiah 37:36 says, that one angel, albeit - the angel of the Lord (the pre-incarnate Christ) took out 185, 000 men. If the angel of the Lord is the example of the rest of the Heavenly host then one legion of angels could take out 1, 110, 000, 000 (one billion, one hundred ten million men) and twelve legions could take out "twice the number of people living on the planet right now" (Renner, p.229, Sparkling Gems From the Greek).

The Garden of Gethsemane was a pivotal time and place for Jesus in His life and ministry. We get a glimpse of who is really in control with these displays of power and compassion. Let us revisit John 10:18 once more - 
  • "No one takes it [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:18)
Notice the word I highlighted in this verse? The original Greek word is Exousia meaning permission or right. So, Jesus received from Father God the right, permission, authority and power to pick His life up from death and the grave. The price was great, but the victory was greater! In the Garden, Christ hinted at the amount of power He had to go different routes - (1) could have 72,000+ angels wipe out who He selected, (2) could have used the power of His Word to flatten His foes, or (3) could fulfill Father God's plan for salvation - The Cross and Resurrection. I am so thankful Jesus said, "Not my will, but your will be done." to Father God, because through Christ I am redeemed.

Max Lucado said it best in the title of one of his books - He Chose The Nails

Friday, April 10, 2015

TO EFFECT CHANGE


There are some things we can't change, like the day of the week, the time of day, the short-term weather, the color of our skin, our birth family, or everybody over to our perspective. As Gandalf said in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring -  "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” The wonderful addition is God helps us out with this decision.

"Given" implies a Giver. David said to God Almighty, The Giver of time itself -  "all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:16) James adds a qualifying remark about anything we receive in life, when he said, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)

So, we have an Ordainer of Days who has nothing but good and perfect gifts that He desires to distribute. How do we make good on the time God has allotted for our lives? How can we best make a lasting influence while we exist in this chapter of life? One of the Scriptures to help nurture the believer in Christ toward a decision of action in The Faith is 1 Peter 4:10.  This verse talks about how the Christian has the responsibility as the representative and administrator of God's many variations of grace by utilizing the gift given in him/her to serve others.
  • "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms."
So, God helps us decide "what to do with the time that is given us" - serve others. Here is a part we can effect. Here is a role to get used to quickly because Christ not only teaches us to emulate Him in this manner, but a reward is promised for faithful stewardship.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:19-21)


Even though the parable speaks to the overseeing of money, that is not all the Lord has entrusted to us in this life. As evident in the 1 Peter 4:10 verse there is a call to action for all Christians to use the gift The Giver has given So That you can show God's favor to others. I believe all believers have a gift the Lord has bestowed upon them. If you have not discovered what that sharable gift is then I encourage you to search and seek God about it.

Believers in Christ have been given a command, an example and a reward for effective stewardship of our Heavenly gifts. It is a nice package that requires our obedience To Effect Change.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

AUTHORIZATION PLEASE


Mark 14:44-45
And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead [him] away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.

From a study in Rick Renner's book Sparkling Gems From the Greek (pages 216-218), I will share with you quotes and condensed information of what it means to authorize God in your life.

Rick mentions how the word Master in our main passage of study is the original Greek word didaskalos, meaning teacher. The Hebrew equivalent is Rabbi - "a teacher who is honored and respected because of his understanding of and ability to explain the Scriptures." (Renner, p.217) So, Judas greets Jesus in the Garden, at the head of a small army, with the title/code words "Teacher, teacher" and a kiss.

In light of titles Mr. Renner mentions something incredibly interesting - "...there isn't a single occurrence in the Gospels where they [the Disciples] called Him "Jesus". They were always respectful, honoring, and deferential when they spoke of Him or to Him." (Renner, p.217) However, there is a title you never hear Judas utter and it is the most important one of all - "Lord".

The word "Lord" means a sell-out of trust to another for control in all areas of your life. The idea of submission to someone who knows better and can help you out in all areas is the line of thinking. Judas did not use this word or know Jesus in this manner. Judas seemed to keep Jesus at an arm's length and just know Him as Teacher.

"Jesus knew what was in the heart of Judas, yet continued to work closely with him, extending mind-blowing mercy, amazing grace, and astounding patience toward him! Jesus graciously extended His time and attention to Judas to correct the fatal flaws in the disciple's character and to get things right. But even with all of the Jesus' love and patience, the ball was in Judas' court. He was the one who ultimately determined the  level of relationship that would exist between him and Jesus. Jesus was willing to be his 'Lord' - but Judas was never truly willing to be in submission to Jesus' authority. Instead, Judas only authorized Jesus to be a gifted Teacher in his life." (Renner, p.217-218)

So, many of us - me included - have trusted Christ with our Salvation, but we have failed to authorize Him as our Lord or Master. Jesus was and is the perfect Teacher. However, my favorite quote of anybody and C.S. Lewis emphasizes our decision concerning Jesus should reflect something more than an excellent teacher.
  • “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
The ball is in our court, as it was for Judas. Will we keep Him at arms length as just a great moral compass? Or will we grant Him rights to every dimension of our lives? Christ is requesting - Authorization Please.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

AN UNEXPECTED PERSON IN HEAVEN


If Father God had not thought you worthy of His Son's sacrifice, Jesus would not have been sent. Jesus paid it all, including the payment for betrayal.

After careful observation of the Scripture and other Biblical scholars, Judas' relationship with Christ was flawed from "Go!" 
  • So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. - John 18:3
According to a study by Rick Renner, the original Greek for the "detachment of soldiers" ("band of men" in other translations) is spira. This word describes a fully dressed, fully fit, fully capable group of 300 to 600 armed Roman soldiers that were lead alongside "some officials". These "officials", in the Greek, huperetas, translates to temple police officers. Plus, the torches and lanterns spoken of here are the kind that were meant to illuminate a large area. Therefore, you have a picture of the Mount of Olives blanketed with armed Roman soldiers and Temple Mount Police with enough light added to the Passover festivities to create an artificial sun on the earth. And at the front of all of these men was a man who really - Did Not Get It - Judas. 

The signal to give away who Jesus was among the Disciples was even hypocritical - a kiss.
  • "Judas knew beforehand that he could give Jesus such a kiss. This lets us know that he and Jesus were not strangers but had a unique, friendly relationship. As the bookkeeper and treasurer of the ministry [John 13:29], Judas had assuredly met often with Jesus to discuss ministry finances and disbursement of funds. It seems that during their three-year working relationship, they became dear and cherished friends - so close that Judas had the privilege of giving Jesus a kiss of friendship, a privilege reserved only for the intimate few." (Sparkling Gems From the Greek, Rick Renner, p.213)
Jesus could have passed Judas off as just the fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 11:13) and not cared to teach Judas, love Judas (washing his feet at Passover), and discipline Judas (when he complained about the use of the expensive perfume on His body). But Jesus did have compassion on Judas in all these areas, the same as He had toward the other Disciples. Jesus, knowing the role Judas would play in the end, still poured into his life. Even when Judas lost all control and Satan entered Judas, Jesus was simple and direct - "What you are about to do, do quickly." (John 13:27)

I admit - I have been disloyal and unfaithful to Jesus. I have violated His authority in my life by disobeying Him. I have dragged Him into unholy situations that I got myself into. I know I have been unfaithful to Him, but God is always faithful to His Word and love relationship with me. This does not give me an excuse to keep on being unfaithful. On the contrary, it challenges me to want to please Him more and gives me a healthy appreciation for the price Christ paid for my betrayal.

The death of Judas preceded that of Christ (Matthew 27:1-5). This places Judas in the place of death, Hades, as a "captive" audience for Jesus just hours later when Christ descended to the depths to visit, teach about Himself, and conquer (Ephesians 4:8-9; Colossians 2:15). I would like to think and believe Judas was numbered in that train of captives that was led to freedom by the victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, especially observing he felt remorse at his actions right before he hanged himself. Betrayal was paid for by my Savior. So, perhaps we will see An Unexpected Person In Heaven.