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Monthly Archives: July 2014

What is Eternal Life?

John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

In recent years, the concept of an afterlife has captured many minds. The story of young Colton Burpo’s death and trip to heaven, entitled Heaven is For Real, is a best-selling book and a top-grossing movie. Several years ago, a man named Don Piper wrote of his death and subsequent journey to the afterlife in his book 90 Minutes in Heaven. Piper traveled the nation, speaking in churches and other settings about his experience.
Is there an afterlife? Is heaven for real?
To be honest, there is no way to be sure in this life. There will remain too many unanswered questions. Even the Bible states that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) In spite of the fascinating stories of heaven, and even some accounts of going to hell (see Bill Wiese’s book 23 Minutes in Hell), life after death is still a mystery.
According to Jesus’ words, however, the true meaning of eternal life has nothing to do with flying angels, reunions with deceased loved ones, heavenly choirs, streets of gold or mansions just over the hilltop. Jesus said that eternal life is not about a place. Eternal life is about God. More specifically, eternal life is about knowing God and having a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
If you are born again, and therefore know God and His Son Jesus, then you possess heaven already. You have already received “eternal life”. You and I can be in “heaven” right now, in spite of our circumstances and trials. What is eternal life? Eternal life is a personal relationship with God, not a destination that we are headed to.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

The World Hates Jesus

John 15:18: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”

Militant Sunni Muslims, under the name of ISIS, have taken over much of Iraq. One city in particular, Mosul, is totally dominated by this terrorist group. Christian believers in the city were given an option: Either renounce Christ and convert to Islam, or face heavy taxation or execution. Thousands have left their homes, businesses and churches and fled for their lives. They are hated because they are followers of Christ. Most, if not all, of the church buildings have been destroyed in Mosul.
Jesus said that the world hates Him and that the world would hate his followers. Creation does not hate Jesus; creation worships Jesus and is subject to Him. The millions of Christian believers in the world do not hate Jesus, they love and serve Him. When Jesus spoke of “the world”, He was referring to unregenerate, sin-sick humanity, men and women who are alienated from God and serve their father, the devil.
In the same way that these God-haters hate Him, they will hate all those who live for Jesus Christ.
But fear not, brothers and sisters. Jesus has already promised victory to those who love Him and are hated by the Enemy and his family. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,”Jesus said. The apostle John put it best when he proclaimed: “And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith.” Keep on loving the One whom the world hates.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2014 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

Thoughts from a Gray Head

Thoughts from a Gray Head.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

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Thoughts from a Gray Head

Proverbs 20:29: “The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head.”
This summer I have attempted to look young. At 52, I can feel the aches and pains of middle age setting in and I don’t like it. In response, I have gotten a tan and let my hair bleach out a little bit. I have attempted to re-capture my younger appearance.
To this point, my experiment has been a miserable failure. While the tan is looking pretty good, it covers the flabby belly of a grandfather, not the flat, tight torso of a 20-year old stud. And the hair? Well, let’s put it this way: As I was getting my monthly cut two days ago, I watched it fall to the floor. There wasn’t a blond hair in the pile.
About two days a week, I stumble into the gym for a workout on the treadmill. I jog three miles each time. It never fails. As I stand there on the treadmill, huffing and puffing to avoid heart disease, some young whipper-snapper is on the treadmill next to me, breezing along at six or seven miles an hour. And then I look over and see my elders sitting on stationary bikes, reading magazines or watching FOX News. My point in all of this rambling? Getting old is not sissies.
And yet, getting old is not such a bad thing. Three weeks ago, I attended the funeral of a 21 year old man, young, strong and dark-haired, who was killed in a car accident. His beautiful girlfriend will grow old without him. Today I must write the funeral sermon of one of my finest friends. He died of cancer at age 57; just five years older than myself. His lovely wife will grow old without him.
James stated that life is a “vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14) I intend to fully embrace this age thing. I intend to make the most out of what time I have left. Wasting time is not an option. No, I am not as strong as I used to be. To echo the “legendary” Toby Keith, “I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.”
And, by the way, I am full of splendor. The Bible says so.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Daily Verse & Prayer