Heaven Pt. 4

 “And God called the firmament Heaven.” Ge. 1:8

God made the firmament of the heavens as a protective cover for the world He loved. Adam and Eve didn’t have to pay for it or earn it. They didn’t ask for it or even seek it. God gave it to them as a gift…as a part of the world He made for them.

“If… onlys” are perhaps the saddest part of man’s fall into sin:

“If only I hadn’t taken that first drink I wouldn’t be an alcoholic.”

“If only I hadn’t given that woman a second look, I would still be married.”

“If only Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten from the tree, our race would have reached  immortality. The firmament would still protect us and we wouldn’t die!”

But Adam and Eve did eat the fruit. The firmament did dissolve. Now we do die.

“But God” is perhaps the most hopeful phrase ever heard since the fall.

“I was a sinner but God in His mercy rescued me!”

“By Adam sin entered into the world but God sent His only son to die on a cross to break the power of sin!”

We couldn’t pay for it or earn it. We didn’t ask for it or seek it;  God gave us Heaven as a gift…part of His plan to redeem mankind.

But there is a difference between the firmament and the Heaven of Heavens. the firmament covered everyone no questions asked. The Heavens of heavens  can be an eternal covering for anyone who chooses to repent… who chooses to turn from their sin and walk towards God…who chooses to believe in Christ Jesus.  But not everyone is covered because not everyone chooses to repent… to turn towards God…to believe in Christ. So many would rather try to earn their way into the Heaven of heavens because in the economy of fallen man it is easier to attempt feats of heroism than to say your sorry. But penance will never break us through to eternity. The only way is through humble acceptance of Christ’s atoning death on the cross.

Have you received assurance of Heaven by believing in Jesus?

Passion: With All the Love That Is In Me

This is the end of my study through the sayings of Jesus on the night of His arrest! If you wish to read them all look in my archives under “Passion.”

“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”  John 17:25-26 NLT

     Something happened that night so long ago. I had spent six months denying I was a sinner in need of a Savior…Heck I thought I was the Savior!

     But that night as our pastor preached, something changed inside of me. I felt the conviction of the Holy Ghost. I knew in that moment what sin was, what righteousness was, and what judgment was. I knew I was a sinner; I knew Jesus alone was righteous; And I knew I was slated for judgment.

     Needless to say, I walked the aisle and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my heart. I don’t know how it happened. I can only say it was a God experience. I came crashing into Jesus. It wasn’t the words of a man that changed me. it was my confrontation with a spirit…The Spirit! He was there that night and He chose me…and then I chose Him.

     True to his words, Jesus revealed the Father to me. He put God’s love into me and He put himself into me! Since that day I have been possessed by God. You might not like that terminology but I find it the truest representation of the Scripture “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine!” Sng. 6:3 NIV

     I have found that  the occurrence of a sinner coming to Jesus is one of life’s defining moments…one of life’s powerful moments. I love to tell my story as far as I understand it. I would love to hear yours.

So…How did Jesus come to you? How did you come to Jesus?

Passion: The Step To Glory

“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” John 17:4 NIV

Religion is man’s attempt to get to God…his futile attempt. How many foolish things have we done as a race to try to win our way back into the presence of the Divine?  There was the failed attempt at Babel, the worship of various idols down through the centuries, the sex cults of Ashtoreth,  and Aphrodite and even the horrific practice of child sacrifice, called Molech . But religion could never do what only Christ had the power to accomplish. All of it only pushed us farther and farther away from God and caused us to bring Him less and less glory. Even the righteous pursuit of religion practiced, under God’s direction,
by the Hebrews failed to bring men closer to God. The writer to the Hebrews wrote
that the laws and sacrifices of ancient Israel were only a shadow of the things to come. He went  on to state “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”  Hebrews 10:4 NIV
Without the removal of sin there is no restoration of our relationship with God.  And there is nothing man can do to remove his own sin. So it is that Jesus in the fullness of time came into the history of mankind and completed the work God the Father gave him to do. Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead has brought glory to God. God receives glory every time a sinner is forgiven of his sins and is brought back into
relationship with God through the blood of Jesus. God receives glory every time a Christian chooses  righteousness over wickedness by the power of the cross. Jesus’ work was completed on the cross. He is still completing His work as His cross is applied to our lives when we cry out for it through prayer!

Tell me about when Jesus brought glory to God by rescuing your life!