Tag Archives: Heaven

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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What’re Your Plans For 300 Years From Now? (Part 1)

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If we don’t think about heaven rightly, we won’t think about it at all. (Mike Bickle)

Many Christians who are my age are pulling the plug and slowing down, taking it easy, enjoying their silver-haired years, resting on what they have done with their lives, and hoping that’s good enough. They believe it’s too late to put the pedal to the metal and keep charging forward in seeking the kingdom of God.

That’s not my thinking!

Yes, my 72-year old knees may be creaky and other parts may take a while to warm up in the mornings, but I still have breath in my lungs and a beating heart. So, instead of slowing down, I plan on picking up the pace because I’m not satisfied with what I have done with my life so far.

Why?

Over the last eight to nine months, I have devoted most of my time to studying the End-Times, the Great Tribulation, and the upcoming thousand-year (Millennium) reign of Christ here on earth.

This studying has opened my eyes to the realization that our 70 to 80 years of life here on the earth in our physical bodies are basically internships, preparing us for our roles in the Millennium with Christ and for His eternal kingdom afterward.

How many of us would advise our children or grandchildren to slack off before a final examination? None of us, right? We would urge them to work hard right up to the last moment.

Do you realize we have a final examination date awaiting us sometime in the future? It’s called the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is where we’ll learn how our qualifications stack up in His eyes and what roles we’ll have in Christ’s reign on earth.

Maybe you don’t care because you think you’ll just be sitting on a cloud strumming a harp and praising the Lord for billions of years.

If this is your thinking, you need to read the upcoming parts to at least consider that you might be wrong.

 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

(Continued in Part 2)

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