Category Archives: Judgment

What’re Your Plans for 300 Years from Now? ( Part 4)

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Did the thief who died on the cross next to Jesus, and who asked to be remembered by our Lord, receive the same eternal rewards as the Apostle Paul? If your answer is “maybe” or “I don’t know,” then let’s see what we can learn from the Bible.

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible)

Whether it was the thief on the cross or me on the bathroom floor or anyone else, salvation is a one-time act that secures our entrance into the Kingdom of God. But we are no more than little babies, standing at the starting line, when we are saved. None of us are born again in one moment and then walk straight into maturity the next. It’s a process —

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Romans 6:22)

Sanctification is the life-long process between salvation and our death (or glorification). It’s a day-by-day, step-by-step journey of consecrating ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ and being purified by the Holy Spirit.

How are we sanctified?

By prayer. By studying His Word. By grace. By faith. By the Holy Spirit. By staying faithful in trials. And more. It basically comes down to following the Apostle Paul’s words —

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

If the Apostle Paul had to keep pressing forward in his quest of being all he could be in Christ, then shouldn’t we do the same?

I am not belittling last second or deathbed salvations because spending eternity in  heaven is far, far, far better than being tormented forever in Hell. But those of us who can choose to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith all the way to our last breaths, I believe we should go for it! Why not, right?

Why is endurance so important?

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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What’re Your Plans for 300 Years From Now? (Part 3)

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When the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation, he was instructed to send special messages to seven churches in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

Most of us know that two churches – Smyrna and Philadelphia – received no corrections while the other five did, with Laodicea receiving the harshest rebukes of all.

I know your [Laodicean Church] works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)

How many times have we heard these two verses spoken about the American church and its members? Probably, more than enough. It always sounds so bleak for us when the words are voiced, right?

Jesus then went on to say the Laodicean Church and its members were not only luke-warm, but were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

Yipes!

Jesus next gave the Laodicean Church specific instructions on what they needed to do to turn themselves around, but I’m sure most of the members were limp rags by then. How could they possibly pick themselves off the floor and attempt to make changes to please Jesus?

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:20-21)

Wow!

Jesus offered the Laodicean Church and its members the greatest promises, as compared to the promises given to the other churches in Asia, if they would overcome their faults. They were offered intimacy and a chance to sit on Jesus throne with Him  – even the apostles James and John were not offered that position.

So, what happened to the Laodicean Church?

The Laodicean Church became the most dynamic and vibrant of all of the Asia churches. A bishop was martyred there seventy years later. An important Christian council was held there over two hundred years later. Archaeologists have discovered over twenty chapels and churches near the Laodicean Church, which took up a whole city block. The church continued into the fourth century.

The testimony of the Laodicean Church shows us what believers must do:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19)

If we want to rule and reign with Jesus, we need to be zealous and repent.

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.

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Geezer Up (Part 9)

Jane

Jacob Cohen (J.C.) Bates and his wife, Shira, waited for me in their BMW outside San Francisco International Airport in the passenger arrival zone. I noticed J.C. packed on twenty extra pounds to his five-foot seven-inch frame, but it did not detract from his rugged good looks. Shira stood a couple of inches taller than him, but the difference seemed even greater because of her model-like figure. Both were Messianic believers and servants of Yeshua the Messiah.

“Shalom, Jane,” said J.C., jumping out of the car and greeting me with a hug and a kiss. “Here, let me put your suitcase in the trunk.”

“Thanks and shalom to you, J.C.,” I said, handing him my black suitcase.

“Even though this may not be the best of times for you,” said Shira, standing outside the BMW’s passenger door, and also hugging and kissing me, “I was so excited to see you again that I went out and spent J.C.’s money on this new black sweater. But as usual, you win the fashion prize with your blond hair, Levi jacket, and khaki slacks. You look fabulous.”

Her gracious words should have reddened my face, but instead, I broke down and wept. Shira hugged me even tighter.

“God will turn your mourning into dancing,” she whispered.

“I sure hope so.”

“Let’s keep moving,” shouted a TSA agent, walking toward J.C.’s car. He pointed at us with a black baton to emphasize his point.

We obeyed and took off for their home.

 

If you have ever wondered what type of home three million dollars would purchase in San Francisco, J.C. and Shira’s condo on the fourth floor of a prestigious address in Nob Hill would be the answer. Twenty-three hundred square feet, three bedrooms, two baths, hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, dining room, large family room, and captivating views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge through floor to ceiling windows. The furniture and decorations looked like they had been selected by a top Bay area interior decorator.

Shira served a tossed salad with grilled chicken for dinner, but I only moved the food around on my plate without eating much. As soon as possible, I excused myself and headed for the guest bedroom. There I unpacked, hung up my clothes in the closet, and sat down on the bed without changing out of my traveling clothes. Somehow, I closed my eyes and dozed off.

Then, I had a terrifying vision.

In it, I stood before the Judgment Seat of Christ. I wasn’t alone because hundreds of other believers stood there in numerous rows, waiting for the Judge − Jesus − to appear in front of us. I watched Him off to my left walking down my row with a torch in His right hand. He stopped in front of each believer, looked down, and lit piles of what looked like grass and sticks at the feet of each person with His torch. The piles burst into flames. Then, the piles quickly burnt out to reveal gold, silver, precious stones, or nothing but scorch marks on the ground. Those who had precious metals and stones bowed down and worshipped the Lord. Those who had scorch marks wailed and screamed like they were in hell, even though they were in heaven.

I looked down at my feet and saw a puny pile. I knew this small heap represented all of my works done on earth for the Lord. Not much for a whole lifetime, I thought. A holy fear enveloped me.

I turned and looked at the person next to me and realized it was a successful Christian businessman, whom I greatly admired. He was an elder at Jedidiah Smith Community Church, Sunday School teacher, weekend street evangelist, and well-known benefactor. The newspapers were always reporting on his philanthropy and works.

I watched Judge Jesus bend over and light the businessman’s pile with His torch. The pile quickly burnt out to reveal nothing but scorch marks on the ground. The businessman fell to the ground and wailed at the top of his lungs. His screams echoed through my mind.

Oh no, I thought. If this businessman’s life did not please the Lord, how will mine be any better?

The Lord stood in front of me.

I looked into His eyes and knew His love was not on trial, but mine was at that moment. He bent over, ready to touch my puny pile with His torch.

“Lord, give me a second chance,” I pleaded.

He looked at me without straightening up. His torch remained close to my pile. “And what would you do differently?”

“I will serve you night and day without complaining. If need be, I will crawl across San Francisco on streets filled with broken glass to be Your ambassador. I will gladly carry cups of cold water to people and minister to them as Your servant.”

He straightened up and looked me squarely in the eyes. His love melted every hindrance in my heart. “Remember to do your works to please Me, not to please others like the businessman did during his life. He received his reward on earth. Go and be My servant.”

I woke up and immediately slipped off the bed onto my knees. I worshipped the Judge, King, and Lover of my soul − my Lord Jesus.

(Continued in Part 10…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.) 

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Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (10/18/2016)

The door burst open and Quon stood in the doorway, his face red with anger.

“Next time, you better have a baby boy or I’ll send you back to North Korea. You’ll end up in prison, and this time, you’ll die there,” he screamed with his fists clenched, ready to strike.

Twenty-year old Soo Jin flinched, lifting her arms to protect her face from the expected blows by her elderly Chinese husband. She said nothing, knowing her excuses would only provoke him to greater wrath.

“And don’t even spend time thinking about your baby,” Quon said, “she’s dead.”

“How? Can I see her?” said Soo Jin, looking up at his gray whiskered face, but revealing little response in her vacant eyes.

Quon shook his head.

“I told you if you had a girl baby I’d throw her in the river and I did,” he exclaimed as he turned and partially closed the door. He added, “Tomorrow, you’ll clean the barn. It smells like you. You’re such a loser.”

He slammed the door and locked it.

Soo Jin leaned back against the wall with her knees pulled up near her chest. Her breasts ached from engorgement, but the vaginal discharge from the delivery had ceased. She hoped to wash up in the morning after finishing her chores and then change into clean clothes. Yet, changing clothes presented a problem as Quon would watch on and might be aroused by her nakedness, something she could not bear to think about.

Although exhausted and filled with grief for her dead daughter, Soo Jin braced herself and refused to curl up on the mat. She needed to make decisions, ones she had postponed until after her baby was born. It now was time.

“Oh Jesus, if only You could help me today and not just when I’m dead and in heaven,” she whispered, not waiting for an answer or expecting one.

 

Fourteen months earlier, a frail woman at the prison camp near Hoeryong, North Korea, just across the Tumen River from China, told Soo Jin about Jesus. The woman quoted John 3:16 and stated that if Soo Jin believed in Jesus she would go to heaven when she died.

It was an easy decision to make because heaven sounded better than any future Soo Jin could ever have dreamt for herself. She asked Jesus into her heart. Peaceful warmth comforted her, but agony and hunger soon dimmed its effects. It was now a distant memory hidden in the recesses of her heart.

A friend convinced Soo Jin to escape the prison camp with her. This was another easy decision. Eating rice husks, having electric cattle prods stuck in every body cavity by guards, and watching mothers boil young children for food had driven her close to the edge of insanity and suicide. Escape seemed to be her only answer.

The two girls’ plan was simple: avoid the guards, cross the Tumen River at night, and live happily ever after in China. Their plan succeeded on two out of three counts.

As soon as they crossed the river, two traffickers captured them. Soo Jin’s thirty-year old friend was sold for 3,000 yuan ($761) to a Chinese prostitution ring. Soo Jin was purchased by the elderly Chinese bachelor, Quon, for 7,000 yuan ($1,066).

Thus began her yearlong ordeal at Quon’s farm. Farm chores. House chores. Constant sexual assaults. Beatings. Verbal abuse because she was a North Korean, a loser in Quon’s eyes. It all blended itself into a living Hell for Soo Jin.

Soo Jin made up her mind. She would no longer be a slave and a sperm depository for Quon. She would escape and take her chances. Maybe, this time, she would make it to South Korea.

“Oh, Jesus, why did You create me to be such a loser?” Soo Jin whispered.

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2013, Amazon eBook)

Although the above is a fictional story, it is totally based on facts. And sadly, this nightmare continues for thousands and thousands of women in Asia.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us American believers to realize we will reap in the future what we sew today so that our hearts will be broken and opened up to praying and fasting for female prisoners in Asia. (Based on Galatians 6:7)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for  prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 600 million people live in abject poverty in the slums of Asia.

6. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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Why Prophesy if Hardly Anyone Pays Attention? (Part 14)

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Jeremiah’s career cresendoed in intensity until an aide came from King Zedikiah to beg for the prophet’s help. “Ask the Lord to help us. Maybe God will do a mighty miracle for Judah like He has done in the past.”

Jeremiah’s answer has to be one of the all-time, end-of-argument answers from the Lord:

“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will make your weapons useless…I myself will fight against you with a strong hand and powerful arm…I will hand over King Zedekiah, his staff, and everyone else in the city who survives the disease, war, and famine. I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar…He will slaughter and show them no mercy, pity, or compassion.

“Tell all the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: Take your choice of life or death! Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will live. Their reward will be life! For I have decided to bring disaster and not good upon this city, says the LORD. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will reduce it to ashes.’” (Jeremiah 21:4-10)

King Zedekiah and his men considered Jeremiah’s words as an act of treason. They threw him into a muddy cistern where eventually an Ethiopian, Ebed-melech, rescued him and placed him in protective custody.

A little later, a so-called prophet named Hananiah disagreed with Jeremiah’s judgment prophecies. He prophesied peace for Judah and that all of the Temple’s vessels and the people would be returned to Judah from Babylon within two years.

Jeremiah listened to Hananiah’s words and said, “That would be great if it happens, but it won’t because God is bringing judgment on Judah. And if you are going to prophesy peace for our nation, it had better come to pass because then the people will know you are a prophet of the Lord.”

Then, Hananiah broke the yoke that Jeremiah wore around his neck as a sign to other nations about King Nebuchadnezzar’s strength. “Just as this yoke was broken off Jeremiah’s neck so will the Lord break the yoke of Babylon off Judah,” said Hananiah.

Jeremiah replied that the Lord had replaced the wooden yoke with a stronger iron one and he prophesied:

“Listen, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the LORD.’” (Jeremiah 28:15-16)

Hananiah died two months later.

Is today’s America like backslidden Judah? If so, where are the Jeremiahs?

(Continued in Part 15…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)

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Why Prophesy if Hardly Anyone Pays Attention? (Part 9)

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“Jeremiah, you need to know something before you say ‘yes’, there are no back-up prophets to take your place once you have committed yourself to the task. If you walk away during your training or later on because of persecution and hardships, the city will not be warned.”

Who do I think I am that I could possibly be used as a messenger of God for such an important task? I thought. What are my qualifications? Maybe the mission is too tough for me? Maybe the Lord should send someone else?

“Lord, I’m young and not a good speaker. Who will listen to me?”

“Do not say that. You will go where I send you and you will speak whatever I command you to speak.”

“But what about churches and pastors? Can’t they warn the city?”

“The traditional churches have made so many compromises with the world system and religious spirits that they can no longer be trusted with razor-sharp prophecies from Me. And Jeremiah?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“You must never enter a traditonal church again. Not for a wedding. Or a funeral. Or for any holiday services. You must never submit yourself under the religious spirits in a traditional church for any reason. Your prophetic voice will be weakened if you do.”

“Yes, Lord.”

“If you decide to take on this task, My grace and anointing will be more than sufficient for you.”

How could I argue after what I had just seen and heard?

“Okay, Lord, send me,” I whispered.

A hand reached out of the light and touched my mouth.

“I have put My words in your mouth.”

The second living light went out. It was dark and quiet once again. The angel touched my shoulder.

“Stand up,” he said.

I obeyed and stood up.

A third light came on, off to my left. I turned toward it.

There I saw an open coffin, next to an empty grave. My parents, grandparents, other relatives, and friends stood in a semi-circle around the grave site. Everyone wore black and wept rivers of tears. Flowers and wreaths covered the coffin.

The foul stench, which I smelled earlier, increased in strength. It reeked. I covered my nostrils with my hands, hoping this would help, but the smell worsened. It came from within me. Something was dead inside me.

I pointed at the scene and looked at the angel.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a funeral.”

“Whose funeral?”

“Yours.”

“My funeral? Why?”

“If you are going to warn San Francisco about upcoming judgments from the Lord, you need to be a Two-Twenty believer.”

His words flustered me.

“What?”

The angel looked at me. His two emerald eyes radiated a depth of passion I had never witnessed before in my life.

“Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

He paused for a moment.

I bit my tongue and kept quiet.

“Every plan, every hope, every dream of yours that conflicts with the calling Christ has placed upon you, needs to be buried here tonight. You cannot come back later and dig them up,” he said with a divine authority which sent shivers up and down my spine.

“And,” he added in a hushed tone, “this is the most painful part of the night. If you are not able to bury what needs to be buried, you will be disqualified from the mission.”

I looked at my parents, relatives, and friends. Seeing the anguish and misery they suffered at my funeral, I needed to know something.

“What if I’m disqualified right now? Will the Lord find another person to take my place?”

“Maybe. Maybe not. You are the Lord’s first choice. You are the one He has groomed and prepared for this assignment from the moment you were formed in your mother’s womb. There are no guarantees another prophet will be as effective as you or can be readied in time.”

I sighed. His words hammered my heart.

“So,” he said, “are you ready?”

I blew out a deep breath and nodded.

Excerpt from Jonah by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2012, Amazon eBook.

(Continued in Part 10…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (6/16/2016)

The maturity level of most American believers is so shallow that if one describes 911 or Katrina as possible judgments of the Lord, we become offended and are quick to lash out with out tongues. “How dare you say something like that! Who do you think you are? A prophet? If so, you’re a false one,” we shout in unison.

The tumult continues until the person who has voiced such ridiculous beliefs is cowed back into his little box or his reputation shredded to pieces. This is what happened to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson when they voiced their beliefs about 911.

What does the Bible state?

Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has done it? (Amos 3:6)

We believers declare the Lord as the sovereign King over America, but when a 911 or a Katrina occurs, we quickly wrestle the divine scepter out of His grasp and place it in the hands of someone else.

But why do we assume the Lord, who is also our Judge, would not chastise America? Didn’t He use enemies and calamities to chastise Israel all throughout the Old Testament? Shouldn’t we expect to be treated the same as God’s chosen people?

Our immaturity resembles that of Jerusalem and Judah when Jeremiah prophesied to them −

Thus says, the Lord: “When men fall, do they rise again? If one turns away, does he not return? Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man relents of his evil, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but My people know not the judgment of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 8:4-7)

Maybe it’s time for us to grow up before it’s too late.

(Excerpt from Common Sense 2016 by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2016, Amazon eBook)

My prayer today:

Lord, reveal our hearts to us American believers and show us what we have done or failed to do that has contributed to the problems in our nation today.

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

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