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Judgment Day: The Cure For Fear, Proverbs 24:19-20

Buddy with his cracker at his condo doorway.

Buddy and I moved to an older building without an elevator. Most often he hop skips down the steps on his own; if he is going too quickly, I let go of the leash as he doesn’t run off but scouts out the nearest bush. But he stands at the bottom of the staircase when he wants to return to our condo and waits for me to pick him up. Because he’s a middle-aged dog, I thought it was too hard for him to climb up that high; turns out, he runs up when he really wants to. He’s tricked me into carrying him up the staircase by feigning helplessness.

Unlike Buddy, who apparently is just spoiled, the truth is that we are all helpless to climb the staircase to Heaven on our own. We need someone to carry us up the stairs, Jesus Christ.

Now how does this relate to overcoming fear?

It seems like the demons of Hell are working against our Western culture and American society. Evil seems to prevail and it’s easy to lose heart. However, God doesn’t want us to be cowards but to stand up against evil (see blog post dated June 26, 2020, Proverbs 25:26).

God wants us to trust that He’s in control, even when the world around us seems to be spinning out of control.

“Do not fret because of evildoers…; for there will be no future for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” Proverbs 24:19-20, King Solomon of Israel/Judah

Those who reject the sacrifice of God’s son for their sins DO have to worry about Judgment Day.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him Who sat upon it,…And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds…And if anyone’s name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15

Like Buddy who trusts in me, his master, to carry him safely up the staircase and into his home, so we can trust that our living God will get us safely up the staircase to heaven and into our eternal home.

When a believer trusts in Jesus Christ alone for his/her salvation, they are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8). God has forgiven a believer’s sins and sees them as perfect in His sight, a child of God, accepted and loved. 

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy.” Jude 1:24

“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 (King David of Israel/Judah)

“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach…” Colossians 1:21-22, Apostle Paul

Christian leaders who teach that Christians need to fear death because God will present a slideshow of all their sins are clearly contradicting the teachings of the Biblical Scripture. I believe they do this (consciously or not), because they do not trust the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide a believer (Ephesians 3:20), so they use fear to keep the flock under control. Their motive is good, trying to help believers be an example to a dying world and not conform to this world’s ungodly philosophies and teachings.

“Therefore there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1, Apostle Paul, emphasis mine

Fear is not a lasting motivator. A real life example was when two journalists were captured by Isis; they were forced to convert to Islam as a condition of their release. Apparently they were convincing actors because they pretended to believe, but quickly recanted the moment they returned to safety. True believers don’t need a pastor to scare them into behaving because their hearts have been transformed by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19-20). Anyone who is born again is being led by the Spirit; if a believer is recalcitrant and stubbornly insists on disobeying God, God will discipline that Christian to help them return to “the path of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).

So the question is: Should you fear standing up against evil?

The wicked person is going to perish in the lake of fire. Unless you help them to recognize that they are evil and need repentance.

Or will you stand with God, Who will welcome you into a future too wonderful to even conceive?

Will you choose fear and cowardice–or fear of God and love for the unbeliever who needs to hear the gospel?

“But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and and which have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9, Apostle Paul

If you live in America, have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday.

Love from God and Buddy

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If you’ve read the blog post above and realized that you are bound by fear because you haven’t come to faith in Christ, please know that Jesus can help relieve your fears. Now, everyone has a different experience when they become born again: some people are immediately delivered from bondage to whatever is enslaving them and some, like me, have to go through a gradual learning process to get free. So I cannot promise immediate relief from fear, if your life is presently characterized by it. But faith in Christ can remove the fear of death, for Jesus conquered death when He rose from the grave and promises eternal life to His disciples.

If you’d like to begin a journey into freedom, please pray the below.

Dear Lord God, I have offended you by sinning, by deciding right and wrong for myself. It has only given me a life of fear and inner emptiness. I want you to be my Lord and be my Great Shepherd. I want to follow you. Please forgive my sin. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, God in the Flesh (Matthew 1:23) and rose bodily from the grave. I invite the Holy Spirit into my life to give me a new heart that follows You. Thank you for hearing my prayer. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Please find a Bible-based church or Bible Study. Or if you’re confined at home right now, start reading the Bible. It’s best to begin with the first book of the New Testament, Matthew, because it’s easy to understand. There are also many godly ministries on the radio, TV and internet. I highly recommend Dr Charles Stanley’s ministry at http://www.Intouch.org, Dr Michael Youssef at http://www.ltw.org and Pastor Bob Christopher at http://www.BasicGospel.net.

What Is Hell? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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Buddy is keeping a close eye on me while enjoying the oriental rug I laid down on my bedroom floor. The beautiful rug made the room much more homey and comfortable looking, livening up a lifeless space.

When most people think of Hell, likely what comes to mind is the Dr. Faustus version or the old Hammer Films of shooting flames and pointy-tailed demons, pitchforks, red skin and goatees.

What Hell actually is, is eternal separation from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the triune God. Which is a total absence of the presence of love, as God embodies true love and is the source of all life for eternity.

There are many attributes listed in the Bible of Who God is, but the two passages below are very succinct in their description.

The most famous passage is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 written by the Apostle Paul, often quoted during wedding ceremonies in the USA:

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, endures all things.”

The second passage from Galatians 5:22-23, also by Apostle Paul, describes the fruit of the Holy Spirit and how, as God works in a believer’s life, helps him or her to grow in these qualities throughout their lifetime:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

What is Hell? A complete absence of these qualities.

An eternal existence with only the exact opposite of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-controlled behavior in one’s life.

“Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”–Jesus to Nicodemus, Pharisee, John 3:3

Please consider Jesus this Christmas season. God came to earth, taking on human flesh, to satisfy the righteous requirements of His Law and to die for our sins, suffering the punishment we deserve for falling short of God’s standards to enter His holy presence.

“…knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance.”–Apostle Paul, Romans 2:4

The Triune God loves you and wants you to spend eternity in His loving presence, “to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy.”–Apostle Paul, Jude 1:24

With love from Dawn and Buddy.

Dogs Go To Heaven, Revelation 5:13

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The day that Buddy dies will be an awful day for me and my family as, the longer he lives with us, the more personality he exhibits as he increasingly relaxes around us. He is the most vocal dog we’ve ever had and is quite clear when he wants something. Naturally, I love the ecstatic joy of greeting Buddy gives me when I return home, even from a short trip.

This wasn’t what I originally planned to write about tonight, but close friends lost their dog unexpectedly last Friday. Poppy, an adopted dog, was older than they had been told by the dog pound and had to be put to sleep for liver cancer. I grieve for them as I understand how much they cared for Poppy. She was a very friendly and loving dog.

Although I will greatly miss Buddy one day, if I don’t precede him in death, I truly believe that he will go to Heaven and join my greatly missed grandmother Vera and beloved Buster (my other Silky terrier pal).

What I can never understand are Christians who delight in telling others that animals absolutely do not go to Heaven. Firstly, I don’t understand why they get pleasure out of discouraging grieving people instead of being silent and keeping it to themselves. But, secondly, why they believe so emphatically that God doesn’t care about animals or love them. So many Christians seem to believe that you can care about people or animals, but not both.

Odd, as God created all animal life and called it “good” (Genesis 1:20-25).

When God flooded the earth, He saved not just Noah and his family, but also “every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you…” (Genesis 6:19). God filled the earth, not just once, but twice with animals. He also made his rainbow covenant promise not to destroy the earth again with a flood not only with humanity, but also with animals too (Genesis 9:11-16).

The prophet Isaiah pictures animals in harmony with humankind and each other in the Millenniel Kingdom. In fact, animals are a key feature of this thousand year reign of Jesus after Armageddon.

“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together. And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra…They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.”–Isaiah 11:6-9

When Jesus is pictured in Heaven he sits on “a white horse” (Revelation 19:11). He also enters Jerusalem upon a donkey’s colt on His final journey toward the Crucifixion (John 12:15).

Authors Gary Kurz and Niki Behrikis Shanahan have ministries from a Biblical perspective comforting people who have lost their pets. I consulted their books in 2009 when my best pal Buster died. They point out that when Jesus went into the wilderness to fast for forty days before his temptation by Satan, “He was with the wild beasts…” This was mentioned only in the book of Mark, but this apostle liked to point out how powerful Jesus was, so he might naturally be thinking about the company the Lord kept while he shunned human companionship.

Just a few examples, but clearly our Lord and Savior has no aversion to animals.

There are quite a few new books on pets and Heaven listed online with far more detail than what I’ve covered above, but the below verse is one I treasure. It shows animals in Heaven praising God:

“And EVERY created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”–Apostle John, vision of Heaven, Revelation 5:13 (Emphasis on EVERY is mine.)

If this verse only applied to humans, it would say “every man and woman” or “humanity”, not “every created thing.”

I can just picture oinks and meows and chirps and quacks and heehaws and roars and…a myriad creatures singing in perfect harmony with their diverse voices, just like a symphony with brass horns and violins and drums and harps, creating one lovely melody in praise of God.

And the barks of dogs, of course.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

PS. I miss you Buster. You were my soulmate dog. I’ll see you again one day. For now, you’re keeping Grandma and her beloved pets company, along with my other past pals (Louie and Penny and Peaches and Rambo and Gumby and Pokie and Spunky and Skippy and Squeaky and…)

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God loves animals–and He loves you and wants a relationship with you. He wants to be Your Heavenly Father, advising you on the best way to live. But as long as you insist on deciding what is right and wrong for yourself, you cannot fellowship with Him. He wants to be your Lord. Are you ready to give your life and commit to Him so that you can stand in Heaven one day, listening to the symphony of animals praising God, “blameless with great joy” (Jude 1:24)? If so, please pray the following:

Lord Father, I acknowledge that I’ve offended You by my sin. I want to change. I confess that Jesus is the Lord, God in the flesh, who died for the punishment of my sin in my place and was resurrected to give me eternal life. Please forgive my sin and enter into my life. Be my Lord and Great Shepherd. I want to follow You. Make me a new creation through the power of the Holy Spirit. Help me to understand how much You love me and care about me. Be my life, my Helper, and my strength. In the mighty name of Jesus, the name above all names. Amen.

If you said this prayer, congratulations for entering God’s kingdom. Please find a Bible believing church and an accurate translation of the Bible so that you can grow in an understanding of your salvation and who God is, not what the mainstream media or Hollywood says He is. See you upstairs.

God’s Compassion, Ezekiel 18:32

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Anyone who knows me knows that I adore my little Silky terrier, Buddy. He has a unique and spunky personality and I’d miss him terribly if anything ever happened to him. I don’t love him because he’s perfect, but because he’s my pal.

Do you ever consider that God would miss you terribly if you didn’t go to Heaven after you died?

There is a mistaken idea that the New Testament God is kind and compassionate, but that the Old Testament God is cruel and uncaring. But that’s not true.

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”–Ezekiel 18:32 (Old Testament)

Because God is perfectly holy and cannot tolerate evil, He won’t permit us to enter Heaven because we’ll mess it up, just as we’ve messed up earth. Just listen to the news every day: Do you want that in Heaven?

However, He found a way to fellowship with unholy people by sending Jesus to die for our sins.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”–John 3:16-17 (New Testament)

God the Father has no desire to see us perish eternally. He wants us to be with Him. If we are willing to humble ourselves–forsake our pride and admit that we have fallen short of His holy standards–He covers our sin with the blood of Jesus and no longer sees it.

“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”–Psalm 103:12 (Old Testament)

God the Father loves you. And so does Jesus. He suffered a terrible death to pay for your sins. And the Holy Spirit loves you too and will live within you and help “guide (you) in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake.”–Psalm 23:3b

All you have to do is believe that Jesus is God in the flesh, admit you’re a sinner and cannot meet God’s righteous standards, and ask Him to forgive you and enter into your heart.

And He’ll do it immediately because He loves you and wants you to be with him–for eternity.

When An Evil Man Dies: Ezekiel 18:32

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Discussing the topic of death, I didn’t want to utilize a picture of my beloved Buddy. This photo is of the moon peering through our cloudy, Northwest sky.

It’s ironic that an anti-capitalist Marxist, Fidel Castro, died on Black Friday, the biggest sales day of a capitalist country, one pundit commented yesterday. Understandably, the Cuban community in exile in Miami celebrated. I pray that Raul Castro will allow, not only economic freedom to continue to expand, but also personal freedom. He is permitting Christians to worship more freely (so I’ve heard earlier this summer), which is wonderful.

But how does God feel about the death of an evil man, such as Fidel Castro?

‘”For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”‘–Ezekiel 18:32

“God is love.”–1 John 4: 8b

Once a person dies, they no longer have the option of repenting of their sins and entering into a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Because God is loving, He doesn’t rejoice when someone dies without having a relationship with Him. He isn’t happy when someone is separated from Him for eternity. No one knows us as well as He does and loves as deeply and sincerely as He does.

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”–Jesus, Matthew 6:44, 48

All of us are considered sinners in God’s eyes before we repent, for “There is none righteous, not even one;” (Romans 3:10). He alone is perfect; we cannot consider that we’re more worthy of God’s love than any other person. Once we declare our need for Jesus to cover our sin and advise us how to live, then we’re covered by Christ’s righteousness. We’re considered holy by God only because we’ve received the Holy Spirit and our hearts have been circumcised by faith. It’s not our righteousness, but that of Jesus, that God sees when He looks at saved Christians.

In other words, no one has the right to strut about, thinking they’re so much more wonderful than anyone else. In God’s eyes, we’re either saved or not.

“Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”–Provers 25:26

I’m not saying we’re supposed to rejoice when a wicked person rules or passively accept evil behavior. But to avoid self-righteousness, thinking we deserve salvation and someone else doesn’t. Because we don’t earn it: It’s an undeserved gift from God of His mercy.

I pray that the Cuban people may experience increased freedom now that Fidel Castro is gone.