Sunday, September 13, 2015

September 14, 2015

"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Hebrews 9:27-28

Each of us have an "ever after". It is not just the stuff of fairy tales. But unlike fairy tales, a happy ever after is not a given.

Let me ask you, "How is your ever after looking?" Are you staring at a happy ever after or is it scaring the stuffings out of you?

Here's the really important thing about "ever" - it is never-ending. We are talking about eternity. You and I have a date with our "ever after". That is what these verses are telling you! You had best pay attention.

If you spend your "ever after" with Jesus in Heaven you will know a joy that is unimaginable. But, if you miss Heaven the only other destination is Hell and that, too will be unimaginable - unimaginable horror.

The good news is that you get to determine your "ever after" by the choices you make in your "here and now". It is within your power to determine your eternal destination. So, if you can determine your destination and choose Heaven or Hell, why wouldn't you? Who would choose to go to Hell?

From my experience working with people for many years, I would say that those who fail to choose Heaven do so because they fail to choose. By not making a clear commitment they revert to their default setting - sinfulness, separation from God and a very unhappy "ever after." I think they miss it by assuming they will have another opportunity to choose. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they don't. You can't afford to be wrong because you could be dead wrong.

Today is the best time to to assure that your "ever after" will be happy is RIGHT NOW. Christ was sacrificed for your sins. He paid the price for your forgiveness. He took your sin and your guilt upon Himself on the cross. He died as a sinner so that you don't have to! Why not receive His wonderful gift?

You don't have to wait until forever to be happy. Your "happy ever after" could begin today.

September 13, 2015

"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.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first-fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. II Thessalonians 2:7-17

Paul's counsel to those who would be facing the perilous days of the end times is worthy of your attention.

There seems to be a growing sense of foreboding that we may be in the end times.

Think about it. Not just Evangelical Christians are sensing the approach of the last days. 

Secular progressives who believe and promote the Climate Change doctrine warn that the rise of the oceans will usher in the destruction of civilization as we know it. In addition, the radical Islamic terrorists are motivated by their belief that attacking "Infidels" and destabilizing the world can usher in the return of "The 12th Imam" in their version of end time theology.

As dramatic as those various end time scenarios may be, that is not the focus of this portion of Scripture.

The concern of the Great Apostle was not the chaotic evil of the End Times but rather, how Christians should believe and behave in the midst of those days. I want to focus you on his wise counsel.

1) Be Thankful!

Despite the dark and difficult days, remain thankful to God and for fellow believers.

2) Be Faithful!

Demonstrate a strong and uncompromising belief in God's Word and the certainty of your salvation.

3) Be Hopeful

Depend on your faith and you will not get overwhelmed by the fearfulness that will be rampant in those days! Remember that you walk by faith not by sight.

Meditate on these verses and commit them to memory. You may very well need them and it could be sooner than you think.