Heaven or Hell?

Someone said to me recently that they believed that Hell was here on earth and that everyone goes to Heaven.  Even those who had committed horrific crimes would go to Heaven because they had been tormented their whole life here on earth.

I was completely and totally dumbfounded. What?!  Huh?! The only words I could utter was “Then why did Jesus have to be crucified?”

Their statement has not left my mind, it’s been bouncing round and round.

heaven-hell

There must be a Hell because without Hell there would no God.  There would be no reason for God.

There must be a Hell because without Hell there would be no Satan.  There would be no reason for Satan.

There must be a Hell because without Hell we would not exist.  God created each of us for His pleasure. Colossians 1:16 states, “All things were created by Him and for Him.” It gives God great pleasure to create, just read Genesis 1!  Why would God create you if He really didn’t care what you did?

There must be a Hell because without Hell we would not need a Heaven. Why would God create you, give you free will and then still accept you with open arms when you choose not to come to Him and to do things against His ways? Do you give a reward to a child who is disobedient?  Do you get a “reward” just for being created and living your life?

There must be a Hell because without Hell we would not need to have a personal relationship with God. It gives Him great pleasure to have a personal relationship with you.  The way to have a personal relationship with Him is to come to Him…in love, in fear, in awe! If you don’t have a personal relationship with God why would you care if you spent eternity with Him or not?

There must be a Hell because without a Hell there would be no punishment. How do you feel when others do things wrong and get away with it?  We see it everyday and our response is we want justice!  We want things made right!  So why wouldn’t God want justice?

There must be a Hell because without a Hell there would be no “place” for the evil of this world.  There would be no “place” for those who followed Satan to go.

There must be a Hell because without a Hell there would no “place” for the ones who did good, in this world, those who have a personal relationship with God and followed His ways.

You cannot have good without evil
You cannot have Heaven without Hell.

This is for eternity, people!

Eternity – 1. infinite or unending time.  2. a state to which time has no application; timelessness; endless life after death.

Suppose you were standing before God right this second and He asked you, “Why should I let you into Heaven?”

What would you say? Remember, this question is for eternity!

God tells us in His instruction manual to us exactly how we get to spend eternity with Him!  Yep, He’s that amazing! Yep, He loves us that much to give us the answer to the question!

You must understand what’s keeping you from Heaven, from God.  It’s YOU!  It’s your sinful nature that keeps you from having a personal relationship with God.  We were born sinners and remain sinners by OUR choices.  God tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.  Notice the “all”?  All of us fall short.  Everyday…

We can’t save ourselves… not by good deeds, doing the right thing, or being a good person. “For by grace you are saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves – it is the gift of God.  Not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.

God is holy, God is just, and because of this He must punish us for our sin. So if we all sin, if we all fall short of the glory of God then we all deserve death and Hell. God tells us, “For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23.

God loves us and has provided forgiveness for our sin. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6.  See the emphasis on “no one comes to the Father except through me”?  I have heard so many people who proclaim that they “have God” and they don’t need Jesus.  Yet, Jesus is clearly telling us… Only through Him may we have a personal relationship with God, our Father.

God sent Jesus to take our sin, all our sin ~ past, present and future when He died on the cross.  “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God”  1 Peter 3:18.  How many people would go through what Jesus went through for you?  The pain, the humiliation.

Romans 4:25 says: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

Believe in the Lord, Jesus Christ!

“To all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  Acts 16:31

Eternal life is a free gift!  “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Once you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior your life will be filled with fullness and meaning beyond what you will ever comprehend!  Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

You can spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven, for He promised: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am,” John 14:3.

If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and receive forgiveness from God, here is a prayer you can pray.  Saying this prayer will not save you.  Only by trusting Jesus can give you forgiveness of your sins can.  Praying this prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him.  Thanking Him for providing for your forgiveness through His Son, Jesus.

“God, I know I am a sinner.  I have sinned against you and I deserve punishment.  Thank you for sending Jesus to take the punishment that I so rightly deserve so that through faith in Him I can be forgiven.  I place my trust in You for salvation.  Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness!  Amen!”

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.” John 17:20-22

Fruit of the Spirit – Faith

faith

Faith means: 1. adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; loyal. 2. worthy or trust or belief; reliable. 3. consistent with truth or actuality; a faithful reproduction of the portrait.

Faith is more than just believing.  Faith is trusting with our lives to what we believe.  Faith in God says that we are willing adhere to the His Word for living because we believe He knows what’s best for us.   Faith in God means we are to act consistently in our faith.  Faith in God is surrendering our will for His will for us.   Faith in God means we are willing to endure ridicule and persecution for our faith in Him because we are sure that the Christian life is what’s best for us eternally.

Wow, God sure is asking much from us, isn’t He?  Why should we have faith in Him?

God created everything.  God knows about everything.  God  knew the end before the beginning, before He even began to create. God never changes. God keeps His promises.  God, by His Word, give us a solid foundation to build our lives on.  God’s standards of right and wrong does not change. God is present in all the places at all times.

If God was NOT all these things, we wouldn’t have a reason to faith in Him.

But real faith is still more than that… it’s not just knowing, it’s accepting it as true for You.  Our faith is only as good as in where you place it. We need to make sure our faith is in something that does what it promises to do.  No matter how much trust you have in others, your church, etc., they maybe able to help you in the here and now but they can’t help you afterward.  The only one who can help you is God Himself.  He proved He has the power to give us eternal life because He sent His son to pay for our sins, who conquered death.

God did what He promised He would do when He sent Jesus to pay for our sins.  God can will do what he promised He would do for you ~ give you eternal life if you would only just believe.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 ESV “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, …”  that faith is a responsibility.

Faith is not about innocence, but dependence.  Children are dependent upon others with faith that others will care for them and their needs.  That is how we have to have trust and faith in our Jesus.  As Jesus tells us to come to Him as a child, He asks us to be good children.  A good child accepts their responsibility to learn and grow.  As a child of God we must express humbleness and trust so we can grow in our faith.

As we grow in our faith, we should be evaluating ourselves by His standards, not the worlds.  Childlike faith helps us to see who we are in Christ.  We must always humble ourselves, we cannot come to the Lord if we don’t; we will never admit our need, surrender to Him or grow.

Faith is the what we do and what we bring to everything we do in our Christian life.  Faith means trusting, being humble and not forcing our wills on others.  Are we good examples to others, pointing the Way? Or are we causing others to stumble?

Faith is exactly what it takes to get through uncertainty.  Faith is not necessary when you know how things are going to work out, – that’s knowledge.  It’s in the time of unknowing that having faith is what sees you through to the other side.  Faith is what gives you strength.

Faith is that light in your heart that keeps on shining even when it’s all darkness outside. Now is the time to keep that faith alive!

Faith in Christ is not faith, until He’s all you’re holding onto.

Christ is able to hold you forever and never let you go all the way through eternity.

It’s not the strength of our faith that matters but the strength of what we put our faith in.

Do you have faith in Jesus to hold you up forever?

 FORSAKING       ALL     I   TAKE    HIM

FAITH

your love never fails

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlrBZgc60tQ

 

Weeding

Today, during my quiet time, God told me “Come unto Me.  There is the thing you must do and you will go no further in your walk until you do, that is why you walk away after prayer feeling alone.” (My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Roberts)  He then went on to say my foundations must be laid on Jesus and I must give God everything that belongs to Him.   I must stop my sinning and obey Him and He will cancel out the disasters against me; follow His word.  I have to admit I was a little frightened and a little confused.  What is God talking about?  What is He trying to tell me?

As I was going through my faith feed on Facebook this morning, Stormie Omartian’s post made my heart race, ““Lord, I want to care for my body, my mind and my heart. Today, enable me to ______.” Your body—including your heart and mind—is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because God lives IN you, caring for yourself is something you must do as much for Him as for yourself.  Today, ask God to be in charge of these areas. Whether it’s asking for help to eat right, or asking God to give you positive thoughts or a heart filled with love, lift it up to Him.”  And then this,

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God was telling me to take care of my health!  I haven’t been talking care of myself very well.  Even after having a full physical and being told what I should and should not be doing.  I haven’t stopped smoking, I haven’t been eating right.  I haven’t been exercising.  This wasn’t the first time that God has touched me about this, but never was it as  forceful as today.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Then I remembered a conversation I had with my bestie, over at Restoring to Health, she said, “I really don’t mind pulling weeds.  It’s very therapeutic, and God showed me something about weeds and sins once.  I was in my beg garden, pulling weeds, and God said “See those weeds you are pulling? They are just like the sins in your life.  Some of the weeds come our easily, they are sins that pop in and out of your life.  The weeds whose roots go deep, are the deep sins in your life.  The ones that are with you constantly, choking out what I’m trying to do for you.  Will you let me weed the gardens of your heart?” so that’s why I love to garden and pull weeds.”

I’ve been dealing with some issues (sins) that are deep within, issues that I haven’t really confronted which have been holding me back from taking this step.  God is telling me to confront them, deal with them and obey Him.  It’s always, “I’ll do better tomorrow.” Then as the night comes, there really hasn’t been a change.  Yes, I’ve thought about it but I haven’t taken any action.

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.”  Acts 17:30

Father, help me to be a person who takes care of herself.  Help me to make wise decisions and to be a good steward of myself, the “temple” You have given me.  Help me to stop abusing my body, but to care for it as You would want me to.   Father, I want to be in balance. Your word says, “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin (or food), which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” Romans 6:14-16   Father, I choose to obey You. Please weed the garden of my heart.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

 

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I will…

off the moutnain

Since God has taken me off the mountain, telling me I’m not longer a child, I find it more difficult to express my thoughts and feelings.  It’s back to the real world of everyday things.

While I was on the mountain, the ideas came from every angle… a song, a post, a thought, a Bible verse.  The words coming from my fingers so quickly from my heart to the page.

I feel as if this valley is a testing place for me. A place God has put me to see if I can continue to follow His word and His ways.  But how do you come off the mountain back into the normal ho-hum life you have and not feel a sense of being let down?

When God took me off the mountain things changed,  I didn’t feel Him in quite the same way, my emotions calmed down.

In a way this was a good thing.  There were many times when I was on the mountain I had to ask Him to slow down.  There was just too much coming at me all at once; thoughts, feelings, changes. God answered my prayers and He would pull back just a little, giving me some space to absorb and contemplate everything.

Now that I don’t feel Him in quite the same way, there are times I long for those highs.  Elijah had a similar experience. 1 Kings 18 describes the amazing display of God’s  power and victory over false gods.  Elijah is ecstatic. He taunted the priests of these false gods on the confidence that his God would show up in a powerful way. And God did. It was an experience like non-other.  Fear, depression, and doubt enter in. So Elijah seeks God. He expects the mountain experience. He looks for God in the spectacular.  Spectacular is not the norm.

But where does Elijah find God? In the quiet whisper.

God does still show up in powerful, emotional ways, the key is to find Him and enjoy Him in the quiet.  Life is normal. It’s filled with normal fears, normal anxieties, normal questions, normal tasks of life.  I’m learning to enjoy and trust God, both up on the mountain and in the valley; during the spectacular and the quiet.

I’ve come to realize this valley is a fork in the road, where many believers lose their walk.  A place where they turn away.  The world begins to invade with the spectacular. This  is a time to make the critical choice in who and what you will follow.

I will remember my experience on the mountain.  I will continue to live my life in faith, practicing faithful obedience to Him.  I will remember God has changed me.  I will continue find my strength and sustenance from God.  I will remember the truths God has spoken to me. I will continually meditate on His word day and night. I’ve will continue to spend time before in praise, worship and prayer.  I will continue to speak what I think and believe.   I will follow  His ways in faithful obedience.   I will not turn away, struggling until the next mountain high.

Will you allow the world to come back in, pushing God to the side?  Will you begin to doubt the feelings and thoughts you had while you were on the highest points with Him?

  

Wonder

Today is the day … another hitch begins.  Though we’ve been doing this for over a year now, I’ll never get used to Hubs leaving.  The six days  seem to last forever, some times dragging so slowly.  So many prayers for the crews safety.  The wait for the phone call, the texts.  It’s difficult and I don’t believe I’ll ever get used to it.  

“Let your hearts not be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.”  John 14:1

Today I stepped outside a sense of wonder filled my heart, my soul. I looked around me at the sun shining so brightly, the soft gentle breeze, Hubs loading the car for this hitch and felt so blessed, so loved.  I had the sense of God right next to me showing me all the blessings in my life.

The sense of peace, awe and utter contentment filled my heart, my soul. Knowing all this was given to Hubs and I through Him.  Not because we deserved it but because we obeyed Him.  Following Him blindly into a world we were unsure of.  A world that we knew nothing about.  Yet we obeyed.

I know that God led us here… here to this new life.  This life filled with Him.  This life filled with love.  A life not without trials yet a life knowing He is with us, guiding us, His way.

I am so utterly in wonder that He brought my other half to me… the love of my life.  He knew just what I needed in a husband.

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”  Colossians 1:16

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.” John 17:1

May we glorify Him in all we do!  Being examples of His Love for us!

love

Offerings

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVxerUJrKeA

Magnificent Holy Father

I stand in awe of all I see

Of all the things You have created

But still You choose to think of me

And who am I that You should suffer

Your very life to set me free

The only thing that I can give to You

Is the life you gave to me

This is my offering, dear Lord

This is my offering to You, God

And I will give You my life

For it’s all I have to give

Because You gave Your life for me

I stand before You at this altar

So many have given You more

I may not have much I can offer

Yet what I have is truly Yours

This is my offering, dear Lord

This is my offering to You, God

And I will give You my life

For it’s all I have to give

This song has been touching my heart and soul for the past few days, causing tears to shed.  It is so true, all we have is our lives, our beings to offer to the most glorious God!  There is nothing that He wants more, than all of us!  Praise Him for all He is and will continue to be!

 

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He is Coming Back!

I used to be afraid of Jesus’ return.  Not that I wasn’t going to walk in the clouds with Him but that I would be alone without my family. I wanted to rejoice with them to know that we were good and faithful servants to Him.

My heart aches for those who will have to go through the tribulation.

I don’t feel that way anymore ~ I know I will be hand and hand with those who are my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I long for that day…the day of His return!

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