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WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
Explanation of Being Saved.
What Does It Mean To Be Saved? Chapter 1
Why Do I Have To Be Saved? Chapter 2
What Takes Place When We’re Born Again? Chapter 3
How Can We Be “Crucified With Christ”
. . . And Still Be Alive? Chapter 4
What Does It Mean To Be Lost?
. . . Who Are The Lost? Chapter 5
What Happens To Those Who Reject Jesus?Chapter 6
How Long Is Eternity?
. . . How Can ‘Destruction’ Be Eternal? Chapter 7
Is There Really Life Beyond The Grave? Chapter 8
Is There Really A ‘Place’ Called Heaven? Chapter 9
Is There Really A ‘Place’ Called Hell? Chapter 10
As The Wind #424
Life Beyond The Grave #491
His Saving Grace #494
City Of Gold #125
Why Would He Spare You? #77
The Gates of Heaven, Or Hell’s Fires #292
Only Bible Used [KJV] King James Version
Verses with words in red bold italics is Jesus speaking.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [KJV]
THIS BOOK IS NOT COPYRIGHTED,
AND IS NEVER TO BE COPYRIGHTED.
This book is free and not to be sold.
IT MAY BE USED BY “WHOSOEVER”
TO EDIFY THE CHURCH, AND TO
HONOR AND GLORIFY GOD.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SAVED?
So, exactly what does it mean to be saved? To be saved is to have salvation, which is deliverance from the guilt and the pollution of sin, and the eternal judgment of that sin. And that is found only in Christ Jesus.
To be saved is redemption, to be redeemed by the precious Blood of Jesus. There are many passages in the New Testament which represent Christ's sufferings as a ransom or price; the result thereby secured is a purchase or redemption (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Gal. 3:13; 4:4-5; Ep. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Tit. 2:14; Heb. 9:12; 1 Pet.1:18-19; Rev. 5:9). The idea in all these texts, is that of payment made for our redemption. The debt against us is not viewed as simply canceled, but is fully paid. Christ's Blood or Life, which He willingly surrendered, is the “ransom” by which the deliverance of His people from the bondage of sin and from its condemning consequences is secured. It is the plain doctrine of Scripture that “Christ saves us neither by the mere exercise of power, nor by His doctrine, nor by His example, nor by the moral influence which He exerted, nor by any subjective influence on His people, but as a satisfaction to Divine justice, as an expiation for sin, and as a ransom from the curse and authority of the law. This reconciles us to God by making it consistent with His perfection to exercise mercy toward sinners (Ro.5:1-10; Ex.12:13).
To be saved is regeneration (new birth) only found in Mat.19:28 and Tit. 3:5. It is actually “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21). It is a change of heart elsewhere spoken of as a passing from death to life (1 Jn. 3:14); becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17); being born again (Jn. 3:5); a renewal of the mind (Ro. 12:2); a resurrection from the dead (Ep. 2:6); and being quickened (Ep. 2:1, 5).
This change is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. It originates NOT with man but with God (Jn. 1:12-13; 1 Jn. 2:29; 5:1, 4).
The necessity of such a change is emphatically affirmed in Scripture (Jn. 3:3; Ro. 7:18; 8:7-9; 1 Cor. 2:14; Ep. 2:1; Ep. 4:21-24).
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
1. What does it mean “to be saved”? (ch.1)
2 How are we ‘born again’? (ch.1)
3. Can anyone go to Heaven without Jesus? (ch.1)
4. Saved from what? (ch.2)
5. Why do I have to be saved? (ch.2)
6. What takes place when we are born again? (ch.3)
7. How can we be “crucified with Christ” and still be alive? (ch.4)
8. What does it mean to be ‘lost’? Who are the lost? (ch.5)
9. What happens to those who reject Jesus? (ch.6)
10. How can ‘destruction’ be eternal? (ch.7)
11. How long is eternity? (ch.7)
12. Is there really life beyond the grave? (ch.8)
13. What happens (immediately) to the soul of a ‘believer’ when that person dies physically? (ch.9)
14. Is there really a ‘Place’ called Heaven? (ch.9)
15.What happens (immediately) to the soul of an unbeliever (one who has rejected salvation) when that person dies physically? (ch.10)
16. Is there really a literal ‘place’ called “Hell”? (ch.10)
The above are some questions that will be answered in this book. There are fewer and fewer people turning to Jesus (Lu.18:8) in these “last days” (2 Tim.3:1). The devil is extremely powerful, and also very crafty and deceitful. He masquerades as an “angel of light” (2 Cor.11:13-15), and he has many, many children (1 Jn.3:10; Ep.2:2; Col.3:6). Do people not think that there is actually ‘life beyond the grave’? What do they think? Where do they think they will go? Many flatter themselves into thinking that they will go to Heaven. The Bible does NOT teach that all go to Heaven. Quite the contrary . . . the Bible teaches that there will be just a “FEW” that make it to Heaven (Mt.7:13-14). . . just the opposite of what most people think and believe!
Are you saved and on your way to Heaven? OR . . . are you lost and on the way to an everlasting Hell?
As you read the words of this book, PLEASE CONSIDER ETERNITY! We are NOT permanent residents of this Earth. We are just passing through, to our eternal home. God has graciously given us this time (our life on earth) as a time for us to make the biggest decision we will ever make! WHERE will we spend eternity? The Bible is very clear on the destinations! There are only two places we can go: Heaven or Hell! You are on the road to one of those places right now! God gave you a free will. He allows you to decide where you will go. Only YOU can choose your eternal destination! Please choose wisely! CHOOSE JESUS!
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
What Does It Mean To Be ‘Saved’?
Have you ever felt like you wanted to start life all over again? If you do not know Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, you can do this by accepting Him into your life. A whole new life will begin for you.
John 3:1-2 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (KJV)
The Pharisees were a group of religious leaders whom Jesus and John the Baptist often criticized for being hypocrites. Most Pharisees were jealous of Jesus because He undermined their authority and challenged their views. But Nicodemus was different. He was looking for answers, and he believed Jesus had some. A learned teacher himself, he came to Jesus to be taught. No matter how intelligent and well educated you are, you must come to Jesus with an open mind and heart so He can teach you the truth about God. The simplicity of the Gospel makes it very difficult for some to believe it. But God made it that way so that even a child or retarded person can experience the tremendous joy of salvation. I have a retarded lady in one of my classes, and this wonderful soul knows Jesus as her Saviour and Lord!
Why did Nicodemus come at night? He most likely was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ. What about all those today, who are afraid or ashamed at what their friends or family will think of them? Are there not many Nicodemites? But, even though he came at night, Jesus graciously welcomed him, and by doing so, taught us that beginnings, although weak, are good. And though he came by night, he later took a stand for Christ publicly (Jn.7:50-51).
Nicodemus came to Jesus personally (as we must do) although he could have sent one of his assistants. He wanted to check out Jesus for himself. Like Nicodemus, we must examine Jesus for ourselves—others cannot do it for us. Then, once we believe He is who He says He is, we will want to speak up for Him like Nicodemus did!
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (KJV) . . . Jesus tells us "Unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.”
This verse makes me think that the reason Nicodemus came to Jesus was to talk about the Kingdom of God. What did Nicodemus know about the kingdom? He was very educated in Scriptures (Old Testament). He knew it would be ruled by God, that it would be restored on Earth, and that it would include God’s people (the Jews). But Jesus revealed to Nicodemus that the Kingdom would come to the whole world (Jn .3:16), and not just the Jews, and that Nicodemus couldn’t possibly be a part of it unless he was personally “born again” (Jn.3:5).
This was a whole new concept: the Kingdom is personal, not national or ethnic, and its entrance requirements are repentance and spiritual rebirth. Jesus also later taught that God’s Kingdom has already begun, in the hearts of believers (Luke 17:21), and it will be fully realized when Jesus returns again to judge the world and abolish evil forever (Rev. 21 & 22).
John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (KJV) . . . All that Nicodemus could think of was physical birth, that of which we are born of our mothers. But Jesus was NOT speaking of that at all. We must be born ‘spiritually’ into God’s family, or we shall NEVER even “SEE” Heaven!
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (KJV) . . . This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan . . . this rebirth comes from God. We must believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13) and accept Jesus to be God’s children!
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [KJV] . . . Jesus tells us that no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.
Jesus is speaking about the concerns of the soul and its salvation. Jesus spoke of the necessity and nature of regeneration, or the new birth. Birth is the beginning of life; and to be “born again” is to begin a brand new life. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new attitudes and new aims. By our first (physical) birth we are corrupt and sinful; therefore we must be made new creatures. We must be entirely different from what we were before. Our new birth is from Heaven, and its course is Heaven. This new life makes a great change in the heart of a sinner, by the wondrous power of the Holy Spirit. This ‘new life’ is something that is done in us, and for us, which we can in NO way do for ourselves!
“Born of water and of the Spirit” confuses many people. Remember we are talking of our “spiritual birth” and NOT our physical birth. Some think the “water” is the water that is in the womb at the time of physical birth. I really don’t think that is what Jesus meant. And some say the “water” is baptism. Again, I do not think so. Both of these are ‘physical’. Jesus is talking about how to be born from above. I think the “water” is the Word of God.
Rom. 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. [KJV] (Also see previous verses 13-16).
Water is symbolic of God’s Word (the Bible). John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. [KJV]
There is a deep cleansing power in God’s Word. John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. [KJV] . . . God’s Word is compared to water over and over again (Ep.5:26; 1 Pet.1:22-23; Tit.3:5). Dan.12:10 tells us that only the “wise” shall be purified and understand. How wonderful it is that God does not consider wisdom as mankind does (1 Cor.1:26-31). Wisdom to God, is believing His Word and turning to His Son to save you!
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [KJV] . . . Humans can reproduce only human life, but only the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. Jesus explains the importance of a spiritual rebirth. We do NOT enter the Kingdom by living a better life, but by being spiritually reborn.
Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the third Person of our triune God. God became a Man (in Jesus). This was necessary, for God CANNOT die! Jesus then came to Earth, to die for our sins, for He had NO sins of His own (2 Cor.5:21; Heb.4:15; 7:26; 1 Pet.1:19, 22; 1 Jn.3:5). Jesus rose from the dead, to offer salvation to ALL people through spiritual renewal and rebirth. When Jesus ascended into Heaven, His physical Presence (Man) left the Earth, but He promised to send the Holy Spirit so that His spiritual Presence would still be among mankind (Lu. 24:49; Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit first became available to all believers at Pentecost (Acts 2), whereas in Old Testament days the Holy Spirit empowered specific individuals for specific purposes. Now all believers have the power of the Holy Spirit available to them. This is not brought on by any wisdom or power of our own, but by the power of the blessed Spirit. We are “shapen in iniquity” (Ps.51:5), which makes it necessary that our nature be changed.
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. [KJV] . . . We should not be surprised at Jesus’ statement that you must be born again. We are not to marvel (be surprised) at being “born again” for when we consider our depraved nature, and the happiness that God sets before us, we know that this can come only from our holy and amazing God. We should not think it strange that Jesus places so much stress on being “born again”!
John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. [KJV] . . . The wind is an awesome thing! It can cause tremendous damage and destruction, IF God so desires! It comes in the form of tornadoes, hurricanes and torrential rain and hail storms . . . OR a soft gentle breeze on a hot summer’s afternoon heat. God is in COMPLETE control of the wind, just as he is in COMPLETE control of the Holy Spirit! The Spirit’s job is to nudge us in the direction of Christ Jesus. Just as we can hear the wind but cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going, so too, we cannot explain how people are born of the Spirit. We cannot control the direction of the wind, nor can we control the work of the Holy Spirit. He works in ways we cannot predict or understand. You did not control your physical birth, and you cannot control your spiritual birth. But you do have a free will and a choice . . . to accept OR reject that birth into God’s family (through Jesus). But as for the “birth” itself, only the Holy Spirit can regenerate us.
“The wind bloweth where it listeth” for only God can direct it. The Spirit works in much the same manner as the wind; where, when, on whom, and in what measure and degree, that pleases Him. Although this is a mystery to us, the effects are plain, whereas our soul mourns for sin, and pants after Christ (Ps.42:1). Christ’s stating the necessity of our being regenerated should have made it clear to Nicodemus, but it seems it did not, for the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man.
1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [KJV]
To the well-educated, divine things that cannot be proven, so they will not believe; but God’s Word recommends that we search out the truth (Acts 17:11-12). Christ Jesus is in every way able to reveal the will of God to us; for He came down from Heaven, and yet is in Heaven. Christ has two distinct natures in ONE Person. While He IS the Son of Man, yet He IS God in Heaven. The knowledge and understanding of this must come from above, and can be received ONLY by faith.
John 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? [KJV] . . . Again Nicodemus thinks physical, and not spiritual.
God is a Specialist; specializing in finding and changing people we consider out of reach (Mt.19:26). It took a while for Nicodemus to come out of the dark and into the Light, but God was patient with him, as He is with us today. We know little about Nicodemus, but we know that he left that evening’s encounter a changed man. He came away with a whole new understanding of both God and himself.
AS THE WIND
Colorful leaves it twirls in the air,
They flutter about, both here and there.
In any direction, it can blow,
But we can’t see it come, neither go!
It leans heavily on grass and trees,
Movement from it, is all that we see!
Great pow’r it has, making humans fear,
It roars in the storms, as it comes near!
As the wind, is the Spirit of God,
Present everywhere, this world abroad.
We can never detour, nor control,
When the Holy Spirit has a goal!
His works, as the wind, we can’t understand,
And of both, God has complete command!
God’s Spirit can touch the sinful soul,
Making the most wicked person whole!
Christ’s Spirit can touch your heart today,
Be receptive to Him, don’t turn away!
God’s Spirit, as the wind, is wondrous,
And we, thru’ Him, are victorious!
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Nov.7,1997 # 424
(Jn,3:1-8; 6:63; Rom.8:9, 14; 1 Jn.2:27; 3:24; 4:13; Acts 2:38)
WHY DO I HAVE TO BE SAVED?
John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [KJV] . . . When Israel was wandering in the wilderness, God sent a plague of poisonous snakes to punish the people for their constant rebellious attitudes. Those doomed to die from snakebite could be healed by obeying God's command to look up at the elevated bronze snake and by believing that God would heal them if they did (Num. 21:8-9). Our salvation happens in a similar way when we look up to Jesus, believing He will save us. God has provided this Way for us to be healed of sin's deadly bite. When the bronze snake was hung on the pole, this was looking forward to Jesus. Just as the Israelites were healed of their sickness by looking at the snake on the pole, all believers today can be saved from the sickness of sin by looking to Jesus' death on the Cross. It was NOT the snake that healed the people, it was their BELIEF that God could heal them. This belief was demonstrated by their obedience to God. In our obedience to God, we should continue to look to Christ.
(1) The Israelites were bitten by snakes. There was little initial pain but intense suffering.
(2) We are bitten by sin. There is little initial pain, but then, intense suffering.
(3) Israelites suffered physical death from snake's poison.
(4) We can suffer spiritual death from sin's poison.
(5) A bronze serpent was lifted up in the wilderness; looking up to it (believing) spared one's physical life.
(6) Christ was lifted up on the Cross. Looking to Christ spares us from eternal death. We shall not perish, but have eternal life, with Him, in Heaven! Praise His Holy Name!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [KJV] . . . We must consider two things:
(1) WE must be “born again”.
(2) JESUS must be lifted up.
It takes the death of Christ AND His resurrection. HE must be lifted up! Since this has already taken place, since He has already bore the penalty of our sins on the Cross, and ascended to Heaven, the Holy Spirit can regenerate us, giving us birth into God’s family. John 3:16 is the Gospel in a nutshell. God’s love reaches out and draws others in. In this verse, God sets the pattern of true love and the basis for all love relationships. When you truly love someone, you are willing and ready to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of His Son, the highest price He could pay. On the other hand, Jesus accepted His mission, taking upon Himself our punishment. He paid the price for our sins (death on the Cross), and then He offered to us the new life that He had bought for us.
Some people have such a miserable earthly life that they don’t think they want eternal life. But eternal life in Heaven is NOT an extension of a person’s miserable, mortal life on Earth; eternal life is God’s life embodied in Christ, which is given to all believers. In eternal life there is NO death, NO sickness, NO sorrow, NO crying, NO enemies, NO evil, NO sin, etc. NO more bad things will ever happen to you ever again!
When we do not know Jesus, we make choices as though this life is all we will ever have, but in reality, this life on Earth is just where we decide where we will spend eternity, and that is one of two destinations: Heaven OR Hell! When we receive our new life by faith and begin to evaluate all that happens, both now on this Earth, and in blessings eternal, we see things from a whole different perspective.
To “believe” is much more than our admitting that Jesus is God. It means to put our complete trust and confidence in Him; that He, and He alone can save us. It is to put Christ in charge of our present plans and eternal destiny. BELIEVING is both trusting His Words as completely true and reliable, AND relying on Him for the power to change us to the person He wants us to be. If you have never trusted Christ, this Promise of everlasting life be yours . . . if you believe, in faith! Believing “in Him” is a very ‘personal’ thing! NO one can believe for you! Each and every one of us must believe that Jesus bore the penalty for our sins, and we must believe He died in our place on that Cross. YOU must believe that Christ Jesus died for YOU!
So, WHY must you be saved? Because without Jesus, you are doomed to be a servant of Satan and of sin, and you shall bear the penalty of that sin, which is eternal destruction in and everlasting Hell.
2 Thes. 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; [KJV] This is why you and I, must be saved! And, once you do come to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus, you MUST obey Him and tell others about Him! (Mt.28:19-20).
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [KJV] . . . When Jesus came as “Man” all those years ago, He came for a specific reason. We must remember to whom Jesus is speaking in this verse (Nicodemus). The Jews believed that when the Messiah came, He would come as Judge. But Jesus says here “Not so, Nicodemus.” The first coming of Jesus did not bring Him as a Judge, but instead a Saviour . . . of the world! I cannot understand how certain ethnic groups and cults can possibly say that Jesus came to save a certain, specific group (them)! I cannot understand how certain so-called Christians think they have a ‘right’ to hate anyone who is not the same as they are! Hatred of other races and colors; hatred of Jews is NOT taught in God’s Word. Jesus came to save the “world” (everyone, whosoever)!
One thing we must consider in this verse; although Jesus did not come as Judge the first time, when He comes the second time, He WILL come as Judge, and He WILL condemn the “world” at that time. The world consists of ALL who reject Him as Saviour. That is why you must be saved!
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [KJV] . . . Jesus tells us that there is NO judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do NOT trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only begotten Son of God.
To me (and all those who know Jesus), this is an extremely comforting verse. ALL those who “believe on Him” (JESUS), is not condemned (sentenced to Hell). Our eternal destination is NOT Hell, it is Heaven! But, to all those without Jesus, this is a very sobering verse, if they would just take time to read it. All too often people attempt to protect themselves from their fears by putting their faith in something they do or have: the good things they do, their skills or intelligence, money and/or possessions, etc. But only God can save us from the one thing that we really need to fear . . . eternal condemnation. What is condemnation? It is God’s passing judgment, it is God declaring “guilty”, it is God convicting. And once God condemns a person to Hell, there are NO reprieves, NO appeals, NO more mercy!
WE ALL NEED TO BE SAVED!
We “believe in God” by recognizing our own efforts are entirely insufficient to achieve salvation, and by asking Him to do His Work in us. When God’s Word talks about unbelievers, it is speaking of those who reject or ignore Jesus completely, not those who have momentary doubts. I think even the strongest and most faithful Christians at times do have some doubts. Prayer and Bible study will erase those doubts; too, fellowship with other Christians.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. [KJV] . . . Jesus tells us that unbelievers’ judgment is based on the fact that Light from Heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness (their sin) more than the Light (Jesus).
Jesus tells us here just EXACTLY who will be judged or condemned; ALL those who love the “world” more than they love Him. My friend, Jesus is the LIGHT! But the world (unbelievers) love the “darkness” (evil world) rather than turn to Him! All dark and evil things are completely controlled by the devil. Jesus calls Satan the “prince of this world” (Jn.12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Eph. 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: [KJV] . . . All God’s children used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air . . . until they felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit and opened the door of their heart to Jesus (Rev.3:20). Paul calls the devil “the prince of the power of the air” here. This verse tells us plainly that before we know Jesus, we walk in the ways of the world (in darkness). I hope you are not like some people, and say there is no devil. There is absolutely a devil, and he is very powerful, cunning and deceptive! Please be warned. You do NOT want to end up in the ‘place’ God has made for him.
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: [KJV] . . . There IS a devil, AND there IS a Hell. If you are not following Jesus, you are following Satan . . . right into Hell! http://www.hisservants.org/hell_h_s.htm
Many people do not want their lives exposed to God’s Light because they are afraid of what will be revealed. They do not want to be changed. We should not be surprised when these same people feel threatened by your desire to obey God and do what is right, because they are afraid that the Light in you may expose the darkness in their lives. Do not give in to discouragement, keep praying that the lost souls around you will one day come to see that it is better to live in the Light of Jesus, rather than in darkness.
John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. [KJV] . . . People hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed.
Today we hear so much about ‘positive thinking’. What about the power of ‘negative speaking’? Jesus taught many times in a negative way, (in verse 3:17), in this verse, and in the following verses, to name a few.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (KJV)
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. [KJV]
Jesus says that everyone that does evil hates the Light! They hate Jesus (as the Light), and they do their dastardly deeds in the dark of night, so as to ‘hide’ them. They do not want their deeds (sins) exposed for fear of punishment. We can ‘hide’ a great many things from mortal man, but there is NO way, ever, to hide anything from Almighty God. God even knows your thoughts (Eze.11:5-C).
John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. [KJV] . . . All who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God desires.
Anyone who is living in obedience to God, have no objection of having their deeds brought out into the open, into the light. They are living in the Light of Jesus, and have no need to hide in the darkness, for they are doing right in the sight of God and man!
Error, evil and darkness are always in contrast to right, truth and light; as is a true Christian and an unbeliever.
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. [KJV] . . . God tells us there are only TWO groups of people: His children and children of the devil (1 Jn.3:10). As you read these words, whose child are you? God’s child OR Satan’s child?
WHAT TAKES PLACE WHEN WE ARE
BORN AGAIN is SPIRITUAL REBIRTH
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [KJV] . . . All who accept Christ Jesus as Saviour, and welcome Him as Lord of their lives are reborn spiritually, into God’s family; receiving new life from God. It is only by faith in Christ that brings about this new birth, and we are changed from the inside out . . . giving us right attitudes, right desires and right motives. Being born physically places you in your parents’ family, being born of God makes you spiritually alive and places you into God’s family. Have you asked Christ to make you a new person? This fresh start in life is available to all who believe in Christ.
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. [KJV] . . . Those who have been born into God's family do not sin, because the Holy Spirit is in them (Rom.8:9), and He convicts them when they sin. We ALL shall sin, BUT when we do, we must go to God and confess it to get rid of it (1 Jn.1:9).
We are “born of God” when the Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us Jesus’ new life. Being born again is much more than a fresh start; it is a rebirth, receiving a new family name based on Christ’s death for us (Christian). When this happens, God forgives us and totally accepts us; the Holy Spirit gives us new minds and new hearts, and He lives in us, and He helps us to become like Christ. Our outlook on life changes, for we now have a mind that is renewed day after day by the Holy Spirit. We begin to think and act differently. “No one who is born of God will continue to sin” means that TRUE believers do NOT practice sin, and they do NOT become indifferent to God’s moral law. All believers will still sin, but they work constantly to gain victory over sin. “God’s seed remains in him” means that TRUE believers do not make a practice of sinning because God the Holy Spirit lives in us. When we sin, He convicts us of our sin.
Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [KJV] . . . God saved you by His grace when you believed. You cannot take credit for this; it is a GIFT from God (Rom.6:23). Salvation (eternal life) is NOT a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
When someone gives you a gift, do you say, “How much do I owe you?” No, we normally say, “Thank you.” Because our salvation, and even our faith, are gifts, we should respond with gratitude, praise, thankfulness and great joy. We become Christians through God’s unmerited grace, not as the result of any effort, ability, or act of service on our part. However, because we are so grateful for this “gift”, we strive to help and serve others with kindness, love, compassion and gentleness. While no action or work we do can help us obtain our salvation, God intends that our salvation will result in acts of service to Him. We are not saved merely for our own benefit but to serve Christ and build up the church. If you are “born again” . . . tell others of Jesus, and what He can do for them!
Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. [KJV] . . . You have a free will, and you are free to choose between two masters. Each of the two masters pays with his own kind of payment. The payment of sin is death (eternal death, Hell). That is all you can expect or hope for in life without God. The “gift” (payment) of God through Christ Jesus is eternal life in Heaven. This “life” begins here on Earth and continues with God, forever.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. [KJV] . . . Jesus tells us that those who hear the Gospel and believe in God who sent Him have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. Please notice what this verse states: “hath = have”. We HAVE eternal life the moment we accept Jesus! What choice have you made?
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. [KJV] . . . Again, hath = have, all who believe in God's Son HAVE eternal life . . . BUT . . . those who do NOT believe in God’s Son will never have eternal life, because the wrath of God remains upon them.
Another tremendous verse that states we HAVE eternal life NOW! Jesus says that those who believe in Him have eternal life NOW (not will have later on). To receive eternal life is to join in God’s life, which is eternal. Thus, eternal life begins at the moment of spiritual rebirth. Jesus is the true Son of God. He sets before us the greatest decision we will ever make in this life. We are responsible to decide today whom we will obey (Josh. 24:15), and God wants us to choose Him and life. Here the “wrath of God” is God’s final judgment and rejection of the sinner. If you put off the decision to choose and follow Christ until tomorrow, it may be too late for you (2 Cor.6:2). Tomorrow, for you, may never come! Indecision could be a fatal decision.
Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. [KJV] . . . When a person dies to the old life and belongs to Christ, a new life begins. An unbeliever’s mind-set is centered on his or her own personal gratification. Those who don’t follow Christ have only their own self-will as their source of power. By contrast, God is at the center of a Christian’s life. God supplies the power and wisdom that the Christian needs for our daily lives. Believers have a whole new way of looking at the world.
Believers are delivered from the power of the law, which condemns us for the sins we commit. And we are delivered from the power which stirs up and provokes the sin that dwells in us. We are no longer under bondage to Satan or sin. We are under a covenant of grace, and not under a covenant of works; under the Gospel of Christ, not under the Law of Moses. By death (to the old self) we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as is a wife from her vows to her husband. The day of our believing, is the day of being united to the Lord Jesus. We enter into a new life of dependence on Him, and duty to Him. Good works we do are from union with Christ. Our fruitfulness is the product of our being united to the Vine (Jn.15:4-5). There is no fruit to God, until we are united to Christ. The greatest efforts of one under the law (an unbeliever), cannot set the heart right to the love of God, cannot overcome worldly lust, cannot give peace and joy in the heart. These wondrous blessings come only by the special sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit who abides only within born again believers. If we do not have the Holy Spirit, we do not belong to God (Ro.8:9). An unbeliever cannot possess the Holy Spirit without Jesus (Jn.14:16).
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [KJV] . . . A new life has begun! Born again Christians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them a new life; they are not the same anymore. We are re-created (new creations), living in vital union with Christ. At conversion we are not merely turning over a new leaf; we are beginning a brand-new life, a life that should imitate that of Jesus.
Col. 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. [KJV] . . . When you receive Christ as Saviour and Lord of your life; this is just the beginning of your new life. You must then continue to follow His leadership. You must be rooted in Him, build on Him, and let Him strengthen your faith. Christ Jesus wants to guide you and help you with all your daily problems (large or small). You can live for Christ by:
(1) Committing (give Him charge of) your life and submitting (yielding voluntarily) your will to Him.
(2) Striving to learn from Him, His life and His teachings.
(3) Recognizing the Holy Spirit’s power in you, and allowing Him to work in you. Don’t ever quench the Holy Spirit of God (1 Thes.5:19).
We are rooted in Christ. Just as plants draw nourishment from the soil through their roots, so we draw our life-giving strength from Christ. The more we draw our strength from Him, and depend on Him, the less we will be fooled by those who falsely claim to have all life’s answers. Our soul prospers when we have a clear knowledge of the Truth that is in Jesus. We should not only believe with the heart, but we should be ready to confess Him to others, any place, and any time. If we are ashamed of Jesus, He will be ashamed of us (Mk.8:38). Knowledge (of God’s Word) and faith in Jesus make a soul rich. The stronger our faith, the warmer our love, the more comfort and peace and joy we will realize. The treasures of wisdom are hidden, not from us, but for us, in Christ. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in Him, unless we are first rooted in Him and founded on Him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more every day. God will withdraw this benefit (and rightly so) from all those who do not receive it with thanksgiving. We must be grateful for all His mercies. And we must grow as Christians, not stay ‘babies’. We do not stay babies physically, we must not stay babies spiritually either!
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. [KJV] . . . We are not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world, with its behavior and customs that are usually selfish and corrupting. TRUE Christians wisely decide that much worldly behavior is off limits for them. Our refusal to conform to this world’s values, must go deeper than its behavior and customs. We must be transformed, our mind must be renewed. We should not be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects our minds are we truly transformed.
Every single day we receive from the Lord the fruits (blessings) of His tender mercy and gracious love. Let us render (give) of ourselves; all that we are, all that we have, all that we can do, for we can never, ever, return to Him the richness we receive from Him. It is very wise of us, and it is highly acceptable to God to give unto Him a reasonable service.
Conversion and sanctification (being set apart for God) are the renewing of the mind. The progress of sanctification, dying to sin more each day, and living to righteousness more each day, is our renewing work. Do not fall in with those who walk in the lusts of the flesh. There must be a change in the whole new us, we must be in the likeness of God; in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness. To be Godly, we must give up ourselves to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with His power and wisdom!
Eph. 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. [KJV] . . . People should be able to see a difference between Christians and unbelievers. We are to live as children of light (Ep. 5:8). We are to leave behind the old life of sin, and follow Christ. Living the Christian life is a process. Even though we receive a new nature, we do not automatically think all good thoughts and express all right attitudes and do all good things. We should keep changing all the time, for the better. As you look back over last year, do you see a change for the better in your thoughts, attitudes, and actions? Change may be slow, it comes as you trust God to change you. How much do you trust God?
Our old way of life is completely in the past. We should put it behind us, like old clothes to be thrown away. This is a once and for all decision when we decide to accept Christ’s gift of salvation (Ep. 2:8-10) and it is also a daily commitment. We should not to be driven by desire, lust, greed and impulse. We are playing a new role now, we need to head in a new direction, and have a new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives.
Imitate Jesus in His beauty, meekness, obedience and love. This is what we should strive for. The corrupt nature with sinful desires and deceitful lusts promise men happiness, but give them misery and destruction. These must be subdued and mortified. We must have new, Godly desires. The new man has a new regenerated nature, enabling us to lead a new life of righteousness and holiness. This can happen only through the power of Almighty God.
HOW CAN WE BE ‘CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST’
AND STILL BE ALIVE?
Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. [KJV]
How have we been crucified with Christ?
*****(1) Legally, when we accept Jesus and are “born again”, God looks at us as if our ‘old self’ had died with Christ. And because our sins died with Him, we are no longer condemned by the law.
Colossians 2:13-15 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. [KJV] . . . Before we believe in Christ, our nature is evil. We disobeyed, rebelled, and ignored God, and we certainly did not love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind (Mt.22:37). God crucified that old rebellious nature and replaced it with a new loving nature.
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. [KJV] . . . The penalty of sin died with Christ on the Cross. God has declared us “Not guilty”, and we are no longer under sin’s power. God does not take us out of the world of sin, so we will still feel like sinning, and sometimes we will sin. But the difference is that before we were saved, we were slaves to our sinful nature; and actually we really didn’t care that we sinned, but now we are free from the bondage to sin and Satan, and free to live a new life for Christ. We have joined Him in His death and resurrection. Our evil desires, our bondage to sin, and our love of sin died with Him. Now when we sin, we feel a sense of mourning, and we repent and confess that sin (1 Jn.1:6-10) receiving forgiveness from God, for our sin debt has been paid in full; our sins are cast to the bottom of the sea and forgotten by God (Mi.7:18-19; Heb.8:12).
*****(2) Relationally, we have become ‘one with Christ’. Our Christian life began when we died to our old life, and were united with Him. Romans 6:5-11 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [KJV] . . . In our daily life, we must, on a regular basis, crucify sinful desires that keep us from following Christ. This is also a form of dying with Him.
Luke 9:23-25 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? [KJV] . . . Our “cross” is to deny (say NO) to our selfish desires and ambitions and say “YES” to Jesus. The focus of Christianity is not dying, but living. Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have also been raised with Him. We have been reconciled with God.
2 Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [KJV] . . . God brings us back to Himself (reconciles us) by blotting out our sins and making us righteous.
Eph. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. [KJV] . . . Praise be to Jesus; for His love, His compassion, and His willingness to make a way possible for us to become God’s friends. God no longer considers us His enemies.
Romans 5:9-11 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. [KJV] . . . The love that Christ exhibited, to die in our place, is the same love that sends His Spirit to live in us and guide us every day. The power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that saved you and is there for you to live your daily life. Because we have been reconciled to God, we have the privilege of encouraging others to do the same. We must tell others of Jesus. It is our duty to tell others what Christ has done for us!
The Spirit of Christ lives within each and every believer. He is our power for living, and our hope for the future! It pleases God the Father to tell His children that the riches and glory of Christ are there for us!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE LOST?
WHO ARE THE LOST?
To be “lost” is to be without Christ Jesus. We were ALL at one time “lost”. To be lost is to be a child of the devil, or a child of disobedience (1 Jn.3:10; Ep.2:2).
Matthew 25:32-33 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. [KJV] Jesus used sheep and goats to picture the division between believers and unbelievers. Sheep and goats often grazed together but were separated when it was time to shear the sheep. God will separate His obedient followers from pretenders and unbelievers. God’s children are “sheep” and the devil’s children are “goats”. True evidence of our belief is the way we act and live. Do your actions separate you from pretenders (hypocrites) and unbelievers? Ezekiel also refers to the separation of sheep and goats.
Ezekiel 34:17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. [KJV]
John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. [KJV] . . . Many who hear the Word of Christ, do not understand it, because they will not. Christ is the Door! And what greater security has the church of God than that Jesus is between it and all its enemies? He is a Door open for passage and communication. Jesus gives us plain directions how to come into the fold; we must come in by Him, the Door.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [KJV]
Jer. 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. [KJV] . . . Leaders are held responsible for those entrusted to their care. Has God placed someone in your care? Remember that you are accountable to God for those you influence and lead, whether you are a pastor or teacher or just a believer.
God brings you in contact with many of His “lost sheep” during the course of your lifetime. You are responsible to bring the Gospel to these lost souls. There are many leaders today who are responsible for scattering God’s “sheep” and also feeding them on a devil’s diet (teaching falsely). BEWARE!
Eze. 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. [KJV] . . . God’s children must be careful not to pursue self-development at the expense of lost souls. When we give too much attention to our own needs and desires, we may push God aside and abandon those who depend on us, and not have compassion on the lost ones.
Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. [KJV] . . .
Jesus compared the crowds following Him as a field ripe for harvest (Jn.4:35). There are many ready to give their lives to Christ, IF someone would just show them how. We must respond to this need for workers. It’s our duty and we should be more than willing to do so. Be prepared for God to use you to show another person the way to Him. Maybe you are the only one that person will listen to.
Matthew 12:11-12 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. [KJV] . . . What is your attitude toward others? If you won’t help certain people, you may not be in tune with God’s Word. God loves ALL people; He wants you to reach out to ALL!
1 Pet. 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. [KJV] . . . Sinners, before conversion, are always going astray. Their life is a continued error. But too, believers can backslide from God’s goodness. If you have, turn back now! Remember, if you notice a distance between you and God, it is YOU that has moved!
WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO
John 12:44-48 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. [KJV] Jesus again states that He is the “Light” of the world (Jn.1:4-9). Everyone who believes on Him, as His true disciple, does not believe only on Him, but also on the Father who sent Him. Within Christ Jesus is the glory of the Father; and in Him we learn to love, obey and to totally trust. If we look to Him (the Light) daily, we are freed from the darkness of ignorance, error, sin, and misery. We learn that through our Saviour is everlasting life. But this same Jesus, holds in His Hands the judgment of all who despise Him and His Word, and all that it stands for.
THE FINAL JUDGMENT is the sentence that will be passed on our actions at the last day. The Judge is Jesus Christ. All judgment is committed to Him (Acts 17:31; John 5:22, 27; Rev. 1:7).
Who will be judged?
(1) The whole race of Adam without a single exception (Mat. 25:31-46; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Rev. 20:11-15); and
(2) The fallen angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6).
Scriptures represent the final judgment as:
- Certain (Eccles. 11:9),
- Universal (2 Cor. 5:10),
- Righteous (Rom. 2:5),
- Decisive (1 Cor. 15:52), and
- Eternal as to its consequences (Heb. 6:2).
We should be concerned for our immortal interests, flee to the Refuge set before us (Jesus), improve the precious little time we have, depend and trust in our Redeemer, and His Divine Word.
Pro. 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. [KJV] . . . The “day of wrath” refers to the time when God settles accounts with all people. On Judgment Day, each lost soul will stand alone, accountable for ALL their deeds. God’s mercy will have ended, only His wrath remains. Only our love for God and obedience to Him (accepting His Son) will count.
Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. [KJV] . . . This final event of history has two aspects: (1) the last judgment on all evil and sin (unbelievers) and (2) the final reward for faithful believers.
1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. [KJV] . . . The Day of Judgment is that time when ALL people will appear before Christ and be held accountable for their actions. It will be the Judgment Seat (2 Cor.5:10) for believers, and the Great White Throne for unbelievers (Rev.20:11-15). Believer’s destination (Heaven) has been decided and is secured by the Blood of Jesus. They shall be judged as to what rewards they shall receive, for the penalty of their sins has already been paid by Christ.
Unbeliever’s destination (Hell) has also been decided by their willing rejection of Jesus. They shall be judged for EVERY sin they ever committed. YES! God does keep records! And you can be assured that they are excellent records! There will be NO mistakes whatsoever! The judgment you receive will be fair and just. Many of the things you will be judged on, you will have forgotten long ago, but the record books will bring them out, also any sins you have tried to hide. They will no longer be hidden, but will be made public (Num.32:23; Ecc.12:14; Jer.16:17; Lk.12:2). There will be NO appeals, NO second chances of any kind! When Jesus hands down the verdict that is the end of it!
Because He lives in us, God’s children have no reason to fear this day. We can look forward to the beginning of a Face-to-face relationship with Christ Jesus in blissful Heaven.
HOW LONG IS ETERNITY?
HOW CAN ‘DESTRUCTION’ BE ETERNAL?
2 Thes. 1:7-9 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; [KJV] . . . We can gain relief in the fact that one day everyone (NO one will be exempt) will stand before God. At this time, all wrongs will be righted, judgment will be pronounced, and evil will be terminated for eternity!
ETERNITY . . . just how long is eternity? The dictionary says: continuing without end; without beginning or end; endless; infinite time; existing through all time. I cannot explain eternity to you!
God inhabits eternity. Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. [KJV]
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. [KJV]
God rules eternity. Jer. 10:10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. [KJV]
The “everlasting destruction” that Paul describes is the lake of fire (see Rev. 20:14) . . . this place (Hell) is that of eternal separation from God. It is endless (eternal) punishment of the impenitent and unbelieving. To reject this TRUE Doctrine may make you feel better now, but it does NOT make it any less true. Judgment is readily taught in the Bible, and eternal punishment is also readily taught (Isa. 34:8-10; Dan.12:2; Mat.3:12; 10:28; 18:8; 25:41; 25:46; Mark 3:29; Luke 3:17; John 5:29; Heb. 6:2; 10:28-31; Rev. 14:10-11; 19:3; 20:10). Eternal death is the miserable fate of the wicked in Hell. http://www.hisservants.org/death_then_what_1.1.htm
Scriptures clearly teach the unending duration of the penal sufferings of the lost (unnbelievers) (Mat. 25:46), and the blissful “everlasting life” of the righteous (believers). The idea that the “second death” (Rev. 20:14) is absolute destruction or annihilation has NOT the slightest support from God’s Word. Instead, it always represents the future of the ‘lost’ (unbelievers) as one of conscious suffering which endures for ever. Also to suppose that God will ultimately secure the repentance and restoration of all sinners is equally unscriptural. God does NOT tell us, anywhere, that everyone will go to Heaven. http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_f_d%20_universalism_not_biblical.htm
There is not the slightest trace in any of the Scriptures to back up this false doctrine. People who are separated from God (those without Jesus) have NO hope whatsoever for salvation. The certainty of future recompense is proven by the righteousness of God. Thoughts of this should be terrifying to wicked men (yet it seems not to be). Although sinners may be long spared (in this life), they shall be punished at last. They did sin’s work, and must receive sin’s wages (Ro.6:23). Are you “born again”?
Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [KJV] . . . At the Judgment, the books are opened (Rev.20:12). In these books are recorded the deeds of all unbelievers, good or evil. Your life is completely recorded, and Jesus has the tape! When He plays it before you when you stand in His awesome Presence, you will most likely be searching for a hole to crawl into. WILL YOU GET A FAIR TRIAL ON JUDGMENT DAY? Absolutely! God is righteous and just, and you are assured of a fair trial. The book of life contains the names of those who have put their trust in Christ to save them. The “lake of fire” is the ultimate destination of everything wicked . . . Satan, the beast, the false prophet, the demons, death, Hades and all those whose names are NOT recorded in the book of life.
The Bible does NOT have any gray areas in God’s judgment, it’s either black (unbelievers, goats) or white (believers, sheep). If faith has not identified a person with Christ, and that person has not confessed Him as Lord, there will be NO hope, NO second chance, NO other appeal, NO mercy, NO grace; only condemnation to an eternal Hell. BUT . . . if you believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord (Jn.3:16), ALL your sins have been forgiven and forgotten by God. What a vast difference! Have you been saved by the Blood of Jesus?
2 Thes. 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; [KJV] . . . AGAIN, I place these sobering verses before you. “Destruction” is the “lake of fire” which is HELL! Hell is a place of EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION, a place of eternal agony, from which the glorious Presence of God and all His goodness the occupants will never ever see or feel again. God is good! Please consider how much He loves you that He sent His only begotten Son to save you from this horrid place. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [KJV] . . . Whosoever is YOU! No one has to spend eternity in Hell! NO one! Please turn to Jesus today! Only Jesus can save you.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. [KJV]
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [KJV] . . . Jesus is Heaven’s Key! The ONLY Key!
IS THERE REALLY LIFE BEYOND THE GRAVE?
YES, the Bible teaches (very clearly) that ALL who have ever lived shall one day be bodily resurrected.
Daniel 12:2-3 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. [KJV] . . . This is the clearest reference to the resurrection in the Old Testament. Both the righteous and the wicked shall indeed be resurrected, although not at the same time (Rev. 20:5-6). The eternal fates of each group will be quite different. This reference to a bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost is a sharp departure from many common beliefs. (Job 19:25-26; Ps. 16:10; and Is. 26:19) are other Old Testament references to the resurrection.) The multitude that sleep (bodily, NOT spiritually) in the dust shall awake; many shall rise to eternal life, and many to eternal shame. There are those who teach that the ‘soul’ sleeps, and not the body. I cannot find anywhere in God’s Word that will back up this false doctrine. The soul (spirit) is eternal. “God created man in His own image.” God is eternal! When God created us, He created us to be eternal, the same as He. It is the soul of man that especially bears God’s image. To be “created in His image” means that we have the capacity to think, to reason, to feel and to know God, whereas the other creatures of the Earth do not have this capability. God made both man and woman in His image. Neither sex is made more in the image of God than the other. From the beginning, the Bible places both man and woman at the top of God’s Creation. Neither sex is exalted, nor is either debased, for the soul is eternal, and in the “resurrection” we will be “as the angels” (neither male nor female).
Matthew 22:30-32 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.  But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. [KJV] . . . The Sadducees asked Jesus what marriage would be like in Heaven. But it is more important to understand the power of God than know what Heaven will be like. We tend to base our ideas of eternal life on images and experiences of this earthly life. We must not make up our own ideas about eternity and Heaven by thinking of these future events and God in human terms. We should concentrate on our relationship with God. Eventually ALL God’s children (those who have been saved) will find out, and it will be far beyond our greatest expectations. We cannot argue from the state of things in this world, as to what will take place in the world to come. Jesus proceeded to show the truth of the resurrection from the books of Moses. God told Moses that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All of whom had died long before. God is revealing to us that they were in a state of being (although they were physically dead). Jesus is clearly showing that the doctrine of the resurrection is clearly taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New.
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, [KJV] . . . The Lord Jesus is declaring His authority as the Messiah. The time will come when the dead shall hear His voice and live! Our Lord shall raise the dead by the power of the Spirit. He is Judge of all men, and only He can exercise His almighty power. May we believe His testimony; and may our faith and hope rest in God, and we shall not come into condemnation. And may His tender, loving voice reach the hearts of the lost souls, that they might turn to Him to be saved; and thus be prepared for that solemn day that absolutely shall come!
Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. [KJV] . . . There shall be a resurrection to a final judgment, both of the “just” (believers, those who are saved, God’s children), AND of the “unjust” (unbelievers, those who are lost, children of disobedience.) If there is any sight pleasing to the God of our salvation, and a sight at which the angels rejoice, it is to see a lost soul acknowledging that he is a sinner.
Have you admitted you are a sinner?
Rev. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. [KJV] . . . In this, the great day of Judgment of the Great White Throne, the persons to be judged are the spiritually dead, (those who are lost), great and small, old and young, high and low, rich and poor. This is the second resurrection, for the first resurrection belongs only to believers (Rev.20:5-6). ALL people there will account for everything they have done, whether it be good or bad. Every person shall recollect all past actions, although he had long forgotten most of them. Everything will be judged in God’s majestic Presence!
1 Cor. 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? [KJV] . . . There are those (then and now) who do not believe that people’s bodies will be resurrected after death. Some see the afterlife as something that happens only to the soul. Christianity affirms that the body and soul will be united after resurrection. Christ did rise again bodily after death (Lu.24:13-31; Jn.20:19,24, 26), so, how can people say there will be no resurrection? There could not be any justification or salvation, if Christ had not risen. And if He rose, then we too, shall one day rise! Believe it! Faith in Christ is vain, and of no use, if He is still among the dead! The proof of the resurrection of the body is the resurrection of our Lord. All who believe in Christ, have hope in Him as a Redeemer; hope for redemption and salvation by Him; but if there is no resurrection, or future recompense, our hope in Him could only be held to this brief life on Earth, and not eternal life. This would indeed be sad. But Christ is alive! He arose from the grave! There shall be a bodily resurrection for us too. Praise His Holy Name!
Acts 26:8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? [KJV] . . . We as God’s children are to be ready and willing to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Pet.3:15), and also to give honor to whom honor is due (God), without flattery or fear of man. Christ and Heaven, are the two great Doctrines of the Gospel; that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (Jn.3:16). The thought of eternal life should make us diligent and steadfast in all our witnessing and worship exercises. Yet today, there are still stubborn Sadducees (if you will) that hate those preaching the resurrection. Jesus is risen and is the promised Redeemer of Israel and the Gentiles. There are many things that people think are beyond belief, and this is only because the infinite nature and perfections of Him that has revealed, performed, or promised them, are overlooked. Trust and believe God!
Mark 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? [KJV] . . . None of us really and truly know the power of God. When we study God’s Word, we receive a right knowledge of the Scripture. And as the fountain from whence all Truth is revealed and the foundation on which our life is built, it is the best preservative against error and falsehoods. What life will be like after the resurrection is far beyond our ability to understand or imagine. Those who have been saved have no need to be afraid of eternal life because of the all the unknowns. We should just take God at His Word that Heaven will be absolutely wonderful, and we should (here and now) concentrate on our relationship with Christ Jesus, for one day we shall live where He lives. If we love and trust Christ now, there is no reason whatsoever to be afraid of what He has in store for us in the future.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [KJV] . . . We can enjoy our new life in Christ (now Jn.5:24) because we are united with Him in His death and resurrection. Our lustful desires, our bondage to sin and Satan, and our love of sin died with Him. Now, united by faith with Him in His resurrection life, we have unbroken fellowship with God (Rom.5:1-2) and freedom from sin’s hold on us. And too, one day we shall be resurrected just as He was, and live with Him!
1 Cor. 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. [KJV] . . . There are many questions concerning what our new bodies will be like. How are the dead raised up? By what means? How can they be raised? Which bodies shall rise first? What will be the shape, form, stature, members and qualities? It is foolish to question the power of Almighty God to raise the dead, and to question what will the bodies be like. The bodies of the saints, when they rise again, will be changed, for we cannot enter Heaven in a sinful state. We shall receive glorious, sinless, spiritual bodies, fitted to the heavenly world where they are forever afterwards to dwell. Our present human body with its wants and weaknesses, cannot enter or enjoy the kingdom of God. Let us not sow to the flesh, of which we can only reap corruption, for the body follows the state of the soul. He who neglects the life of the soul is in grave danger, and he who refuses to live to God, squanders all he has. Are you born into the family of God? Are you going to Heaven?
Phil. 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. [KJV] . . . “Vile body” implies our present mortal, sinful body. The bodies we will receive when we are raised from the dead will be glorious, like Christ’s resurrected body. Those who struggle with pain, physical limitations, or disabilities can have wonderful hope in the resurrection.
We will be made glorious; not only raised again to life, but raised to great advantage. Keep in mind the power of our God, by which this change will take place. May we be always prepared for the coming of our Judge; looking to have these vile bodies changed by His Almighty power, and allowing Him to daily recreate our souls unto holiness; to deliver us from our enemies, and to employ our bodies and souls as instruments of righteousness in His service.
LIFE BEYOND THE GRAVE
There is life beyond the grave; indeed,
So the Gospel of Christ we must heed.
Trust Jesus as your Saviour today,
Only with Him will you go the right way!
For certain, there’s life beyond the grave,
List’ to the Gospel; be bold and brave.
To access God, you must go thru’ His Son,
Or the gates of Heaven can’t be won!
Beyond the grave, there’s eternity,
All souls are eternal; both you and me.
There’s two destinations, where we could go,
To blissful Heaven, OR Hell below!
As we on this Earth, our lives do live,
A free will; our gracious God does give.
He will not force us, to go His way,
He gives us freedom, to decide each day!
Accept OR reject Jesus, God’s Son,
This decision is an eternal one.
Only Christ, your soul from Hell can save,
For friend, there IS life, beyond the grave!
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Aug.30,1998 # 491
Scripture references for above poem: Jn.3:15, 36; 5:24;
6:40; 17:3; Gal.6:8; Ro.6:23; 8:6; Jam.1:15; 5:20;
Rev.21:8; 2 Thes.1:8; 1 Pet.4:17; Jn.14:6; Mt.7:13-14
This poem was given to me by the Lord when I was writing the book ‘LIVING WITH ETERNITY IN MIND’.
It is in that book, but I thought it worthy to be placed here as well, for it fits right in with what is being discussed. As my brother in Christ, Steven says: “GOD IS GOOD!”
IS THERE REALLY A ‘PLACE’ CALLED HEAVEN?
The spiritual meaning of Heaven is the place of everlasting blessedness of the righteous (believers, God’s children, the saved, the born again ones); the abode of departed spirits.
***** (1) Christ calls it His “Father's house.” John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [KJV]
***** (2) It is called “Paradise.” Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. [KJV] 2 Cor. 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. [KJV]
Rev. 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. [KJV]
***** (3) “The heavenly Jerusalem” Heb.12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, [KJV] Rev. 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. [KJV]
***** (4) The “eternal kingdom” 2 Pet. 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. [KJV]
***** (5) The eternal inheritance” Heb. 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. [KJV]
1 Pet. 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, [KJV]
*****(7) “Abraham's bosom” Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: . . . . . . . . [KJV]
*****(8) “Rest” Heb. 4:10-11 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. [KJV]
***** (9) Called a “Garner”(barn). Mat. 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. [KJV]
***** (10) The Kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph. 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. [KJV]
The wicked excluded from Heaven.
Rev. 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. [KJV] . . . NO bad or evil or wicked things or people shall ever enter Heaven, only those who have trusted Jesus to save them! In Heaven the blessedness of the righteous consists in the possession of “everlasting life” (Jn.3:16), “An eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17), an exemption from all sufferings for ever (2 Cor. 5:1-2), deliverance from all evil (2 Tim. 4:18), bliss without termination, and the “fulness of joy” for ever (Luke 20:36; 2 Cor. 4:16, 18; 1 Pet. 1:4; 5:10; 1 John 3:2). The believer's Heaven is not only a state of everlasting blessedness, but also a “place”, a HOME “prepared” for those who trusted Jesus and are saved. YES! There absolutely is a PLACE called HEAVEN! Praise Him!
What immediately happens to the soul of a “believer” when that person dies physically?
The Bible has the answers to all your questions.
All we need do, is to want to know the answer! God will be gracious enough to supply those answers!
Luke 16:19-22-A There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: [KJV] . . . I am going to stop in the middle of verse 22. I will continue it in the next chapter. Godly people have evil things only in this life, for at their death all evil shall be gone from them forever. This poor man, Lazarus (not the same one Jesus raised from the dead), had a miserable earthly life, but he had to have been a God fearing man. To fear God is to reverence and respect Him; hold Him in a place of awe. I feel sure Lazarus did this. Many people say, “This is just a parable. It’s not true!” So, what is a parable? It is a story, yes, but it has an obscure (not clear) truth that most people cannot see or comprehend. I really do not believe this story is fictional. Jesus used parables quite often in His teaching. I believe Jesus used illustrations that were quite familiar to those to whom He was speaking. This parable, to my knowledge, is the only one that has a man’s name in it. Jesus would not use a name of someone if that person didn’t exist.
Jesus takes us from this world we know, to a mysterious, future realm of which we know very little; in one sentence! (vs. 22) “The beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.” Jesus shows us Lazarus arriving at the door of death, and passing through to the other side, as if it were nothing unusual. Lazarus “passed from death unto life” (Jn.5:24), in the blink of an eye. The beggar died (physically), his body died, but His spirit did not die! Notice what this verse states: Lazarus was “carried by the angels into Heaven”. How I love this verse! This will be our last journey. I believe the angels are our guardian angels (Mt.18:10; Heb.1:14; Ps.91:11-12). They “carry” us (our soul, spirit) into the Presence of God. “Absent from the body, present with the Lord” (2 Cor.5:8).
Death is simply separation. Physical death is separation of the body and soul. The body goes back to the Earth from which it came. Ecc. 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. [KJV] . . . Life is fragile. Death can come to us swiftly and very unexpectedly. We shall one day return to the dust from which we came (Gen.2:7; 3:19). Our soul will be separated from our body and it shall “return unto God who gave it.”
So, what happens to the soul of one of God’s children (the saved) the moment we experience physical death?
It goes back to God in Heaven, to await the resurrection.
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, [KJV] . . . The time will come when the physically dead (in Christ) shall hear His voice, as the Son of God, and live.
We will discuss the wicked dead (unbelievers) in the next chapter. Below is Scripture telling us of the new bodies that God’s children (the saved ones) will have.
1 Corinthians 15:35-54 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. [KJV] . . . NOTHING is impossible with God (Mt.19:26). Trust Him always! Taking all this into consideration, we should therefore recognize that life is such a precious resource, and we should use wisdom in living it; and not squander it frivolously for we must consider eternal consequences.
HIS SAVING GRACE
Do you one day want to see God’s Face?
Then you must receive His saving grace!
By our faith, we must trust and believe,
Then wondrous salvation we achieve!
His saving grace can relieve all fear,
But just thru’ our faith, will it appear!
Trust and believe God with all your heart,
His saving grace makes all fears depart!
Tho’ many burdens and trials we face,
Our God is there, with His saving grace!
We’ll encounter temptations ev’ry day,
But God’s saving grace, He does portray.
The devil does lay some crafty snares,
But God’s saving grace is always there!
Tho’ backs are bent ‘neath a heavy load,
Praise Him! Saving grace, He has bestow’d!
Of His saving grace, we’re NOT worthy,
Yet faith brings it, to both you and me!
His saving grace, a ‘GIFT’, beyond compare,
He gives abundantly, because He cares!
By: His servant, Connie Kramer # 494 Sept.24,1998
CITY OF GOLD
One day I’ll walk on those streets of gold,
For I am His child, and in His fold.
I’ll go to that golden city so high,
And be so joyous, ne’er more to cry.
Christ has gone on to prepare a place,
Someday soon, I’ll see His glorious Face.
He will come again for me and you,
For all who believe, and to Him are true.
That city of beauty, made of pure gold,
And the glory of God we’ll behold.
No need for the sun or moon to shine,
The glory of God will lighten so fine.
That holy city, New Jerusalem,
Will come down from God, as a fine gem.
He shall be our God, holy and true,
We shall be His people, me and you.
If you know our Saviour, Christ the Lord,
You’ll see this city on your own accord.
You too will walk on those streets of gold,
Heir to His Kingdom of beauty untold!
By: Connie Kramer Feb.12,1996 # 125
(Rev.21:1-27; 22:1-5; Jn.3:15-18)
IS THERE REALLY A ‘PLACE’ CALLED HELL?
YES! There certainly is a “PLACE” called Hell!
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: [KJV] . . . Just as God created a Heaven, where He resides, and too, where ALL His children (those who are saved) will shall reside for eternity; He also created a Hell, for the devil and all who follow him (his children). If you are not a child of God, you are a child of the devil! It’s just that simple according to the Bible. Don’t believe me . . . believe God! Check out everything that I (or anyone else) say with God’s Word. I heartily encourage you to do this! There is no ‘gray’ area! You CANNOT straddle the fence! It’s either black (unbelievers, the lost, the wicked, the devil’s children) OR white (believers, the saved, God’s children) in God’s eyes! You either ARE or you ARE NOT saved! Hell is prepared for the devil and his followers (the unsaved).
“Hades” (the present day, or prelude to Hell) means ‘that which is out of sight,’ it is a Greek word used to denote the place of the dead. “Hades” is the same as the Hebrew word “Sheol”. In Luke 16:23 it is most definitely associated with the doom and misery of lost souls.
To my knowledge, there are not yet any in the permanent “Hell” (Rev.20:1-3). Until the Judgment, Hades will be where all lost souls (unsaved, wicked) are held. Other names for Hell are: the Bottomless Pit (Rev.20:1), Lake of Fire (Rev.19:20; 20:10, 14-15), Furnace of Fire (Mt.13:42, 50; Jude 7), Everlasting Punishment (Mt.25:46), Eternal Damnation (Mk.3:29),
Fire and Brimstone (Rev.14:10; 19:20), Second Death (Rev.20:6, 14-15; 21:8), Outer Darkness (Mt.8:12; 13:42, 50), Eternal Destruction (2 Thes.1:9). There are others.
HELL signifies the place of God’s wrath and judgment (eternal torment) Mat. 5:22; 5:29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15; 23:33; Mk. 9:43; 9:45; 9:47; Luke 12:5; Jam. 3:6.
Following are some things to consider about Hell.
DESTRUCTION is NOT annihilation, but simply the realm or territory of the wicked dead. The Bible does NOT teach annihilation!
Job 26:6 Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering. [KJV]
Ps. 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. [KJV] . . . God considers “the wicked” to be ALL those who reject His Son (unsaved, unbelievers).
Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. [KJV] . . . The longer you stay on that “broad road”, the harder it will be to retreat from it. It’s like a very slick surface, on a downward slope. You just keep sliding, inch by inch, closer and closer to Hell!
Matthew 13:49-50 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. [KJV] . . . This is the parable of the fishing net. The world is like a giant ocean, and mankind are like fish. When you preach the Gospel, or witness for Jesus, it is like throwing a net into the sea, to catch something out of it. So it shall be in the judgment, unbelievers and hypocrites (those who profess Christ, but do NOT possess Him), and true Christians shall be separated, as fish are separated when the net is pulled in! I would have you to consider just how miserable is the condition of those that shall then be cast away (into an eternal Hell).
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: [KJV] . . . God will separate his obedient followers from pretenders and unbelievers. This is a description of the last judgment. It explains the former parables. There absolutely is a judgment to come, in which every man and woman shall be sentenced, either to a state of everlasting happiness, OR to everlasting agony. Christ shall come in great glory! The wicked and the righteous (those who have accepted Christ and His righteousness) dwell together here on Earth; in the same cities, churches, and families. But in that great day they will thus be parted for ever. Christ Jesus is the great Shepherd; and He will shortly distinguish between those that are His, and those that are not!
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. [KJV] . . . Those on Jesus’ left Hand (vs.41) will be cast away into the eternal agonizing state of Hell; but the righteous (the saved) will make their eternal home in Heaven (God’s Home).
We shall now continue from the last part of verse 22 in the 16th chapter of Luke, where we left off in the last chapter. Scripture taken from [KJV].
Luke 16:22-B . . . . . . the rich man also died, and was buried; NOTICE: he died and was buried! So, what happened to his soul (spirit)? . . . . Let’s continue.
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. . . . We are not told how the rich man got his wealth, by fraud, theft, oppression or honestly. But here, Jesus is showing that a man may have a great deal of the wealth, fame, and pleasure in this world, yet perish for ever under God’s wrath and curse. WHY? Because those who are rich have their god . . . MONEY! We cannot put anything before or above our awesome God. God MUST come first in every aspect of our lives. It is not impossible for a rich man to enter Heaven, but it is very rare (Mt.19:23-24). It is made clear here that the sin of this rich man was his providing only for himself. The rich man, immediately upon his death, found himself in Hell! His body was buried, as reported by Scripture, but his soul, or spirit (the eternal part of man) was NOT buried, but went “back unto God who gave it” (Ec.12:7). http://www.hisservants.org/what_happens_to_souls_h_s.htm
What did God do with this soul of this wicked man? He certainly would not permit it entrance into Heaven! He sent it to Hell (the present day Hades) to await the future judgment. Again, NOTICE: “He lifted up his eyes, being in torment.” Immediately upon arrival in Hades, this man is in misery! This parable shows the hopeless misery and fruitless desires, to which all condemned spirits are brought. The damned in Hell will not have any reduction of their torment. Sinners (unbelievers) are now called upon to turn to Jesus to save them; but they do not, they will not, and they constantly find ways to avoid it. Rejection of Jesus will place a person in Hell, no matter how good a person is morally. Many “wicked” people have only good things in this life; but at death they shall be for ever separated from all those good things. So too, godly people have many bad things in this life, but at death they will for ever be put away from them.
Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. [KJV] . . . Please NOTICE: the rich man in Hell, now becomes the ‘beggar’! Think of the agony that this man experienced in Hades (holding place until Judgment Day), and will experience after the final judgment, in the eternal Hell! The heat must be intensive! He begs Abraham to send Lazarus with just a drop of water on his finger! That’s not much water! Poor Lazarus is no longer a beggar; but indeed a very “rich man” (Ro.8;17; Tit.3:7). Every time I consider those who keep rejecting the “gift” of salvation (Rom.6:23; Eph.2:8), made possible through Christ Jesus; and their not being able to tolerate the summer’s heat (they must have that air conditioner); I shudder at what awaits them in Hell.
Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. [KJV] . . . I don’t think it is likely that there will be discourses between glorified saints and damned sinners. I think Jesus is trying to make it plain to us the agony and hopelessness of Hell!
Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. [KJV] . . . Heaven is a “place” where all the saved ones (those who accept Jesus) will one day be, just as is Hell a “place” where all those who reject Jesus will go!
“There is a great gulf fixed.” Jesus makes this perfectly clear! We cannot go from one to the other! Once a person is in Hell, they are there to stay! No amount of prayers on your behalf will ever give you access to Heaven, once you are in Hell! You must make your decision NOW, here on this Earth! No one else can make this decision for you!
The rich man did not go to Hell because of his wealth, but because of his attitude toward that wealth. The amount of money we have is not as important as the way we use it. What is your attitude toward your money and possessions? Do you hoard them selfishly, or do you use them to help others?
2 Thes. 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; [KJV] . . . Remember, death is separation. Eternal death is being separated from God and all His goodness and love for eternity! What a horrible thought! If you who are reading this are spiritually dead (separated from God by rejecting His Son); I humbly beg you to consider the end results, which is eternal death or everlasting destruction in an eternal Hell! Jesus loves you . . . no matter who you are . . . or what you have done! If you will just turn to Him this day, He will see to it you never spend a moment in Hell! Trust Him, for He is the only Way to Heaven!
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [KJV] . . . The Father is in His Home (Heaven). Accept Jesus and you can one day be there also!
If God did not spare the angels that sinned, but cast them to Hell, reserved for judgment. If he destroyed the world with a Flood, saving just Noah and his family, and if He totally destroyed the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, except for Lot and his daughters, why would He spare you?
WHY WOULD HE SPARE YOU??
If God spared not the angels that did sin,
But cast them to Hades; all chained within.
Reserved in the darkness; judgment to wait,
Why would He spare you? for His Son you do hate.
If God spared not the old world, way back then,
But brought a flood, where the ungodly had been.
Saved just Noah’s family, out of respect,
Why would He spare you? For His Son you reject.
If God spared not Sodom and Gomorrha,
But turned them to ashes from brimstone and fire.
Made them an example, to not live in sin,
Why would He spare you? For His Son you won’t win.
God won’t spare filthy dreamers of today,
That preach Heaven by some other way.
And the ones that listen, and take it all in,
Won’t be spared either, for it’s all sin!
God made just one Way of salvation for man,
We must BELIEVE Him; accept His only plan!
God sent His own Son to take away our sin,
Unless you believe and accept Christ; you can’t win!
By Connie Kramer Dec.27,1995 # 77
(2 P.2;4-9; 1 P.4:17-18; Jn.3:15-18,36; 8:24; 14:6)
THE GATES OF HEAVEN, OR HELL’S FIRES
The gates of Heaven, or Hell’s fires,
Which of these two, is your desire?
Most folk have not thought, much ‘bout this,
The terror of Hell, or Heaven’s bliss.
Most go thru’ life, not thinking of God,
Just their ev’ry day life, as they trod.
Just the comfort of each new day,
Is in their thoughts, as they go their way.
This Earth is not our perm’nent home,
We’re just pilgrims, as we do roam.
We’re given this time to decide,
Where for eternity, we’ll abide.
God does live in Heaven above,
Where there’s peace and joy, and such great love.
Those gates of Heaven have just one key,
Christ Jesus, is His identity!
Without our Lord, there’s just Hell’s fires,
On your own, that’s what you’ll acquire.
Only Christ has the awesome power,
To deliver us, at the right hour.
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Feb.4,1997 #292
(Heb.11:13;13:14; 1 P.2:11; Is,66:24; Mt.18:8; 25:41; Mk.9:44; Rev.14:10; 20:10; 21:8;
As you read the words of this book, please consider eternity!
We are not permanent residents of this Earth. We are just passing through, to our eternal home. The Bible is so very clear on the destinations! There are only TWO: Heaven and Hell! You are on the road to one of those places right now! God gave you a free will. Only YOU can choose your eternal destination. Please choose wisely! Choose Jesus!
Books You Should Read
Amazing Grace of God, The
Atonement of Jesus Christ
Believe, What does it Mean to Believe?
But I Say To You
Characteristics of Christ
Christ Is The DOOR
Come Unto Me
Crucial and Important Doctrines in Romans
Do You Want To Go To Heaven?
Eternal Security . . . Once Saved, Always Saved!
Faith in the Bible
God's Kind of Love
God's Will, What Is It?
God Controls His Creation
Heaven vs Hell
Hungering and Thirsting for God
Living With ETERNITY in Mind
Our Awesome Triune God
Parables of Jesus
Pride, Violence, Sexual Lust
Privileges of Believers
Security of Believers
Sin and Forgiveness
Sovereignty of God
The Great Tribulation
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
For our other web sites:
Poetry . . . http://www.hisservantsministry.org . . . Poetry