Tag Archives: Judgment Day

This Jesus, Who Was Taken Up From You Into Heaven, Will Come In The Same Way As You Saw Him Go Into Heaven…”

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Acts 1:9-11 – Scripture of the Day (January 16, 2014)

The apostle John elaborates:  “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.  Even so.  Amen” (Rev. 1:7).

The apostle Paul had this to say about it:  “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

What an awesome day that will be!!

But only if you are ready for that day to come.

Because if you aren’t ready, the day we all see Christ descending in the clouds will be a terrible day…the most terrible day…for you.  Consider this warning given by Paul:  “…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints…” (2 Thess. 1:7-10).

Do you know God?  You do if you obey him (1 John 2:3).  If you say you know him but do not obey him, you’re lying (1 John 2:4).

Have you obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Here’s what Jesus said about it:  “…Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).  God forgives you of your sins and saves you when you believe with all of your heart in his Son and are penitently immersed (Acts 2:38; 8:12, 35-38; 16:30-34; 22:16).  When that happens, he adds you to his Son’s body, the church of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Col. 1:18).  He will continue to forgive you of your sins if you walk in the light by holding fast to his Word and penitently confess your sins (1 Cor. 15:1-2; 1 John 1:7-9; 2 Cor. 7:9-11).  That’s what obeying the gospel is all about.

When Jesus descends in the clouds in the same way he ascended into them all those years ago, will you be ready?

For God Did Not Send His Son Into The World To Condemn The World…

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 3:17 – Scripture Of The Day (January 8, 2014)

Praise God that this is true!  Two thousand years ago, God out of his great love for us all gave his only begotten Son, as the famous verse preceding this one states.  He gave Jesus to be lifted up on that cross just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved and have eternal life just as the Israelites who looked upon that serpent were saved from death by snake bite (John 3:14-16; cf. Num. 21:1-9).  Believing in Jesus means to actively obey him (James 2:14-26), for the ones who obey him are the ones whom he will save (Heb. 5:9).

Yes, God sent Christ to the world to save the world rather than condemning it as it deserved…but sadly, the majority of the world will reject that gift (Matt. 7:13-14).  As Jesus went on to say, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God” (John 3:18-21).  Most people will not believe in Jesus…and what is very sad is that many of them will be those who thought they did believe in Jesus but who truly didn’t because they didn’t truly obey him (Matt. 7:21-27; cf. 2 Tim. 4:3-4).  Therefore, they won’t be ready when Jesus comes again…and this time he won’t come to save (1 Thess. 5:1-3; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).

Joy In The Midst Of Grief

This past Sunday afternoon, I received a call that no minister wants to receive.  A dear sister in Christ had just passed away after suffering from a grievous illness for many months, and her family was grieving at the house.  Would I please come and be with them?  Two months ago, I sat every day at the hospital with another family from the church who was watching their husband, father, and brother lose his battle with cancer, and I went to their house on another Sunday when I received the call that he had left this life.  Sitting with folks who have lost their mate, their closest companion, the parent who brought them into this world and nurtured and loved them all their lives, the grandparent who had spoiled them as children and had given them advice, privileges, and goodies that they would never get from Mom and Dad, and holding their hands while they mourn and listening to them grieve and weep…it’s hard.  It’s at these times that I feel the most helpless and inadequate.

I’m sure you know what I mean.  Many of you have been there, and will be again.  I’ve found that it’s best to simply be there, to provide that hand to hold, that shoulder to cry on, that listening ear.  Job’s friends sat with him during his darkest hour for an entire week, and none of them said a word during that entire time (Job 2:11-13).  In fact, it turned out that the most comfort they gave to Job was when they were silent; once they started talking, they just added to his pain and sorrow!  (Job 4-37)  What a great lesson for us!

Yet, in the midst of all this sorrow, pain, loss and feelings of helplessness, I cannot help but feel joy and happiness for my brothers and sisters in Christ who have left this life.  The apostle John wrote, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this:  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’  ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” (Rev. 14:13)  Those who die in the Lord are at peace now.  They are receiving comfort alongside Lazarus, Abraham, and the thief in Paradise (Luke 16:23-25; 23:39-43).  When Christ comes again, they will receive a new, imperishable body (1 Cor. 15:50-55) and rise again to meet him in the air (1 Thess. 4:13-18).  When we all stand before God’s judgment seat, Death and Hades will have given them up (Rev. 20:11-13).  They will hear from the lips of their Savior and Lord, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34), and they will be ushered into eternal life (Matt. 25:46).

In this life, they suffered…but their suffering was preparing them for eternal glory in heaven (1 Cor. 4:16-5:5), a place they will be with an innumerable host of their fellow saints, a place where there is no more pain, sorrow, hunger, thirst, or weeping, a place where they will be with God and the Lamb (Rev. 7:9-17; 21:1-4).  They will be in this wonderful place for all eternity not because they earned it or deserved it (Eph. 2:8-9).  No, they were sinners just like all of us (Rom. 3:23).  Heaven will be theirs because of God’s grace and mercy (Tit. 2:11-14; 3:3-7) which prompted him to send his Son to die for us (Rom. 5:6-11; 1 John 2:1-2).  Heaven will be theirs because they chose to obey God (Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21-23).  Heaven will be theirs because of their faith in Jesus (John 3:16), a faith which prompted them to obey him (James 2:14-26).  Heaven will be theirs because Jesus told them to repent of their sins, and they believed and obeyed him (Luke 13:3; 2 Cor. 7:9-10).  Heaven will be theirs because Jesus told them to wash their sins away by being baptized into him, and they believed and obeyed him (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:11-13; Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  Heaven will be theirs because when they were penitently baptized, the Lord added them to his body, the church of which he is the Savior (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4-5; 5:23).  Heaven will be theirs because they walked in the light of God by confessing their sins and striving to put Christ first in all things through their obedience of his commands (1 John 1:7-9; Matt. 6:33; 28:18-20).

And Heaven can be ours as well.  God offers us the same salvation he offered them.  He gives us the same plan, the same grace, the same mercy, the same sacrifice, the same commandments.  When we pass on, our loved ones can also find joy in the midst of their grief (1 Thess. 4:13-18), because we were in the Lord when we left this life (Rev. 14:13).

Are we in the Lord?  God’s Word tells us how to be in him.  Are we doing what he has told us to do?  Are we prepared for eternity?