Whether we’re a regular follower of the news or just a casual reader, we can’t help but notice that the world is in a mess! From domestic issues to worldly disasters, it appears as if everything is coming undone at the seams. While we can’t control most of it, we can’t just ignore it all, either. Continue reading
It’s surprising to learn just how many Christians are silent about their faith and feel that it’s not their calling to preach the gospel. And while it’s true that we aren’t all called to be preachers, we can’t ignore our own responsibilities. Every Christian has been given at least one talent, and one day we will each stand before Christ as He asks us what we did with that talent. Continue reading
I love to share the gospel of Jesus with everyone and lead people to Him so they can be saved. Many people think that when Jesus came to earth and died on the cross that all people are just automatically saved, but this is not true. He did die for everyone, but each person must come to Him individually and accept that Jesus is the Son of God; that He came to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb of God and that on the cross He bore our sins and paid the punishment for them so we wouldn’t have to; that He died and rose and is alive forevermore. Continue reading
“Today is Billy Graham’s 96th birthday! We know him as the renowned figure who we’ve watched on television for over 50 years as he preached a powerful gospel message around the globe. Many of us have had the opportunity to attend one of his crusades and the impact of the message still ministers to us today. This man of God is aging, yet he continues to tell us that we need Jesus to save us from our sins. His latest message comes in a short movie called Heaven, and it’s his hope that it will bring people to the cross.
The cross is what life is all about!
We’ve become so caught up with our own personal lives that many of us have actually fallen into the “modus operandi” or process of this world’s system and don’t even realize it. We’ve made our families, our jobs and our careers so important that we literally live our lives for them and only include God when we remember. And while it’s good that we diligently provide for our families and better ourselves, these should never become our reason for living. They should never come before Jesus and what He has waiting for us in Heaven.
Most Christians can’t really imagine how wonderful Heaven really is, and it’s difficult to put the description of the New Jerusalem into our thoughts realistically because it is so magnificent. The Bible tells that there are mansions in Heaven and that He created them for each of us personally.
“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.” … John 14:2
Jesus says that there is peace there; no more pain and no more tears.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” … Revelation 21:4
He says that the lion will lay down with the lamb and that children will be carefree and happy.
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” … Isaiah 65:25
And while all of these things make Heaven so inviting, the most wonderful part of it is that Jesus is there! In fact, the Bible says that we will be with Jesus throughout eternity, so wherever He is we will also be – and that is the greatest part of Heaven.
“…that where I am, there ye may be also.” … Matthew 14:3
Heaven has no boundaries and its size is beyond our imagination —— and yet, there is only ONE door to get in. That door is Jesus Christ.
If any of us could see Heaven or get even a glimpse of what it’s like to be there with Jesus if even for just a few seconds, not one of us would want to return to this sinful earth. We live here now, but our eyes and our thoughts and our hearts need to be focused on where we will go when we leave this earth. God has only promised us a longevity of about 70 years, yet He’s made a way for us to live with Him in eternity forever!
Even in our darkest moments here on this earth, we have never been totally without the presence of God because He is omnipresent. We have no idea what evil would surround us and what terrifying lives we’d endure if He ever left us totally alone for even a second. He has always been here waiting for us to invite Him in.
The future that awaits those who don’t invite Him into their hearts and who don’t accept the salvation that Jesus provided on the cross, is one of complete separation from God. The Bible says in Matthew 8:12 and in Matthew 22:13 that they will be cast out into outer darkness.
According to STRONGS Concordance NT 1857, the Greek words for “outer darkness” are (ἐξώτερος) exóteros and (σκότος) skotos. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says that exóteros means “the darkness outside the limits of the lighted palace (to which the Messiah’s kingdom is here likened)”, and that skotos means “By metonymy, put for a dark place.”
The Bible often refers to hell as a pit, a low place, a dark place – outer darkness – and it’s a place where God does not reside and that no person, if they thought they’d go there, would want to reside, either. But even hell has its punishment, and after the great Judgment Day, death and hell will both be cast into the Lake of Fire and this is where all those who are in them will burn forever.
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” … Revelation 20:14
We learn in John 3:16 that it is not God’s will that any of us should perish. He made people because He wanted a family, and when sin entered into Adam it destroyed that relationship. But God has never given up on us. He came to earth and lived as a man so that He alone could take that sin and put it into hell where it and anyone found with sin would wait for judgment. And He did it so that we would not have to go there.
Our Heavenly Father has never stopped loving us. He hates the sin, but He has always loved us, and when we accept the salvation that Jesus gave on the cross, then we are free of that sin and then He will come and live in us and be with us until we go Home.
Unfortunately, many people are caught up with this world and few believe there’s a Heaven and even less believe that there is a hell. Some people foolishly think they are Christians, but don’t believe that a loving God could send anyone to hell. They believe that everyone is saved because it says in Romans 14:11 that every knee shall bow. Yes, every knee shall bow, but that’s because there’s nothing else anyone can do in the presence of Almighty God. Whether a person believes now that Jesus is real or not, when they die and stand before Him they will know that He is God ….. AND THEY WILL BOW!
I share this same hope with Billy Graham and I want people to turn to Jesus and know that He is their ONLY hope; that He is their Savior and that He loves them. Too many people push Him away or plan to make it right later on in life. But, there is no guarantee that any of us have a “later on” and when we look at what’s going on in the world around us, we can see that a very “dark” future lies ahead. The time is now!
The opportunity to know Jesus is now. The time to repent is now. The time to turn away from the world and follow Jesus is NOW!
Please watch this short video called Heaven; it’s only 30 minutes long, but it’s 30 minutes that will bring you into the realization that Jesus is real, Heaven is real, and that Jesus wants YOU to be there with Him forever!
The message in this short video called Heaven will bless you, I promise!
Have you ever wondered just how it is that Christians got saved in the first place? What turned them away from a worldly lifestyle that seemed to offer everything and drew them to the foot of cross? How did that atheist ever find God in a world of denial? It happened because it’s not their doing; it’s a miraculous call for salvation that begins with a gift of faith.
The very first step toward anyone getting saved is hearing the message of Jesus and how He died for our sins. He has instructed us in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This is our commission, our ministry as Christians. We don’t want to keep the goodness of God to ourselves – and we can’t because the love of God within us compels us to share it. The more we know Jesus, the more we want to share His love with others, and so we live our lives as testimonies of His love and we joyfully tell others about Him.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:6 that salvation is a three-step process: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” In other words, one person preaches and plants the seed or the interest about Jesus in someone, another person comes along and elaborates on that message so the interest is sparked to the point of submission, and then God gives the increase. What is the increase?
The increase is the gift of faith that is needed to actually believe in God, in the cross and the gospel of Jesus. It’s one thing to hear it and be interested, but it’s another thing to actually want it. When the message makes sense and the heart wants to try it, God gives that person a gift of faith. And this is called grace.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” … Ephesians 2:8
We cannot come to the cross on our own even if it sounds like a great idea. We cannot become a Christian on our own enthusiasm or good intentions. It is a gift that God gives to each and every person who hears the true gospel of Jesus and who decides in their own heart that they want it instead of the world. At that point, God gives them the gift of faith that allows them to accept the truth so they can repent and invite Jesus into their heart.
It’s an overwhelming feeling to know that Jesus died for all of us while we were still sinners and didn’t even care about Him. When He was nailed to the cross, He took upon himself every sin that we have ever committed or will commit. Regardless of what it was; whether we stole something, cursed someone, mocked God, killed an unborn baby or abused someone, He took it all for each and every one us and He paid the price of death for it all.
Some people would easily give their lives to protect the ones they love, but no one would give up their own life so that the evil people of the world could become good, or so that a brutal murderer could have a second chance. No one has that much love in them to want anything good for them. Yet, Jesus did that for us.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus is the Son of God; the lamb that God sent from Heaven to save all of us and He did it because He loves us. God knows that no person can come to Him without faith, and so to all those who hear the Word and want to change and become saved, God gives this special gift of faith.
Does this mean that once we accept salvation we’re always saved? No, and this is a lie that many people believe. It means that when we heard the truth and wanted it, God gave us a gift of faith to accept it. But not everyone will keep the gift and use it wisely. In Matthew 25:15-30, Jesus refers to the gift of faith as talents:
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
What He’s saying in a nutshell is this: when we are given the gift of faith to believe, we can lose the salvation opportunity that was initially given to us through this gift if we don’t act on it.
Some people, like the servant with ten talents, will spend his or her life living a Godly lifestyle and preaching and teaching others – and a good example is Billy Graham. He is committed to God and so God gave him a very large responsibility to preach to millions, and Mr. Graham accepted the responsibility and spent his life serving the Lord.
The second servant was given five talents and he could be compared to a husband and father who loves the Lord, but who has to work and provide and care for his family so he can’t be as committed as the first servant. Yet, he loves God with all his heart and lives a Godly lifestyle, so he preaches and shows God’s love to everyone around him and gives what he can to help others.
The third servant was given two talents, but sadly had the attitude of, “once saved, always saved”, and he didn’t care to live for God or to tell others about Him. This selfish person thought that the gift of faith to believe was sufficient to get him into Heaven, and he didn’t care about sharing it with anyone else. He continued to live his own life and felt that as long as he was saved that was all that mattered. This same lie and deception of false preaching affects many people who think they’re saved, but are not. And this is why God says, “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Yes, you CAN lose the initial gift of grace if you don’t truly appreciate that it cost Jesus His life to give it to you. It’s a priceless gift that comes around to every person at least once in a lifetime; some people are given it several times and it’s usually because someone else is diligently praying for their salvation.
As we share the gospel of Jesus with others, we need to pray that their hearts be opened to accept this precious gift of faith, and that they’ll treasure it. The message goes out to so many, yet only a few will hear it, accept it and thank God for it.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” … Matthew 22:14
Let’s keep the message going out and pray for a harvest.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised;19 to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” … Luke 4:18,19
**An encouraging book of faith is one that I wrote under God’s anointing last year when I cried out to Him to make my faith strong during a nasty battle with cancer. It’s a daily devotional that’s loaded with scripture and it brought me through a very dark place in my life and into victory – and I want to share it with you to help you get the victory over situations in your own life.
You can visit my website for more details.