Week of: November 15, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharing by: Pam Crawford
A MOMENT IN TIME
On Friday evening 11/13/15 young and old alike headed out in Paris to enjoy a dinner, catch a soccer match, or listen to their favorite band in a concert venue. They did what so many of us do; they headed out to enjoy their weekend. None of them had any idea that time would be up and they were facing their last day on this earth. As I have been reflecting on this tragedy, I can't help but ponder in my own heart the words of the prophet Isaiah found in the Holy Bible: "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:6-9
It is my prayer that many had settled the issue of eternity before being called into it. Tomorrow is not promised, today is a gift. This life is not a game and we have no idea when more evil acts such as the ones carried out in Paris will touch our soil again as an act of free-will. Although we are not to live in fear, we are to be prepared. I cannot think of anything more important to settle than the issue of our future.
September 11, 2001 gave us a glimpse into the hatred that is brewing against America and especially Christians all in the name of Allah, a god very different than the God of the Bible. I encourage you to take time to get familiar with the enemies of our current culture led by non other than Satan, the god of hell.
Because Satan knows his time is short, the battle rages on. False teachings and many false gods surround us on every side. We better know the character of the ones we claim to have faith in so we can recognize deception. You have to have something to compare these deceptions to and I suggest that you explore the God of the Bible as your plumb line. If I'm wrong about the God of the Bible, you have nothing to lose. But if I'm right, there is everything to lose.
The reality is one day this life does end and according to the inspired Word of God, those who place their faith in Jesus Christ need not fear death because death is the first moment of eternity. But, for those who continue to reject; that same inspired Word says hell awaits. In the book of Revelation chapter 21:5-8, we can discover how it ends. "And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making all things new! And then he said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true. And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge! And who are victorious will inherit all the blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. But cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars - their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.
According to the Life's Application commentary the "cowards" are not those who are fainthearted in their faith or who sometimes doubt or question but those who turn back from following God. They are not brave enough to stand up for Christ; they are not humble enough to accept his authority over their lives. They are put in the same list as the unbelieving, the corrupt, the murderers, the immoral, the idolaters, the liars, and those practicing magic arts. People who are victorious "endure to the end" (Mark 13:13). They will receive the blessings that God promised: (1) eating from the tree of life (Revelation 2:7), (2) escaping from the lake of fire (the "second death," 2:11), (3) receiving a special name (2:17), (4) having authority over the nations (2:26), (5) being included in the Book of Life (3:5), (6) being a pillar in God's spiritual temple (3:12), and (7) sitting with Christ on his throne (3:21). Those who can endure the testing of evil and remain faithful will be rewarded by God.
Friends, when you understand the destinations called Heaven and hell; I cannot imagine choosing the latter. Isaiah tells us to call on he Lord while you still have breath in you. God is not planning to move away from us, however we often move away from him as we erect sin barriers between us. One final word from the Life's Application commentary: "Don't wait until you have drifted far away from God to seek him. Turning to him may be far more difficult later in life. Or God may come to judge the earth before you decide to turn to him and there will be no more chances. The people of Isaiah's time were foolish to act as if they knew what God was thinking and planning. His knowledge and wisdom are far greater than any human's. We are foolish to try to fit God into our mold - to make his plans and purposes conform to ours. Instead, we must strive to fit into his plans."
What is God's desire for your life? That you turn to Him and live. Choose well and be blessed.
In Christ by faith
Good good Father by Chris Tomlin
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