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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

***

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.

The Holy Spirit, Your Ticket to Heaven, Ephesians 1:13-14

Buddy looking over the impassable path.

Buddy is examining the branch which is one of many blocking his path around the lake in our old neighborhood. As he could not navigate through each obstacle, I had to pick him up and climb over the branches or move them out of our way.

Jesus is the good Shepherd Who came to earth to help us out, to pick us up and carry us over that impassable divide to Heaven. Like Buddy, we have an obstacle in our path that is preventing us from getting to Heaven without assistance: sin. God hates evil: even the tiniest lie separates us from Him. Our wickedness prevents us from fellowshipping with Him.

But the problem is even worse: We are “dead in our trespasses and sins,” Ephesians 2:1. Jesus came in order to give us life.

“I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus, John 10:10

You see, we were designed to reflect God, Who is a Triune being. We are supposed to be Triune beings, also: body, soul and Spirit. But when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, declaring that they wanted to decide what was good and evil for themselves and not have God tell them, the Holy Spirit left humanity. As a result, all of their offspring are born incomplete, broken: no longer triune beings but only soul and spirit.

The way to become complete once again is to receive the Holy Spirit back into our lives. But that is impossible to achieve in our own strength: We can never be good enough to earn God’s presence and blessing. The path is impassable. Jesus said to enter the kingdom of heaven, “you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Jesus, Matthew 5:48

Everyone is imperfect, no matter how sweet and kind we think they are. No one can earn their way into heaven, because “the person who sins will die” (Ezekiel 19:20). Everyone must die for their sin to pay the penalty for not living a perfectly loving life.

So humanity was in a terrible bind. God hates sin and must punish it, but loves us and doesn’t want to be separated from us. So He sent Jesus, God in the flesh (Matthew 1:23), to live the perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Because Jesus did not have to die for His own sins, having none, He was able to die to take the penalty for our sins instead.

All we have to do is reverse the curse of Adam and Eve by admitting we’ve grieved God by sinning against Him and humbly ask Him to be our Lord, that we want to follow His ways instead of our own. That we believe that Jesus is the Lord and died in place for our sins. And that He was resurrected bodily to give us eternal life.

And then you receive your ticket to heaven: The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who will change your heart and make you a new Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). You will become whole again, a triune being: Body, soul and Spirit of God.

“After listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14

The Holy Spirit seals you as God’s promise that you have eternal life with Him. Without this indwelling presence of God, you cannot get into Heaven. You will still be incomplete, separated from God.

The Holy Spirit is your ticket to Heaven.

And it’s a ticket you cannot earn, but to receive as a gift of grace by casting aside your pride and humbly asking for His salvation.

God bless you in this time of crisis.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

If you’d like to get that ticket to Heaven, please pray the following: Dear Lord, I’ve sinned and grieved You. I no longer want to decide what is right and wrong for myself but follow You as my Good Shepherd, Who knows perfectly the correct path to follow. Please forgive my sin. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, who died for my sin and was resurrected bodily and returned to Heaven. Please grant me the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me into all righteousness.

If you prayed this prayer, congratulations. May God bless you richly. Please ask the Holy Spirit to guide your understanding as you read the Holy Bible. I suggest starting with the book of Matthew in the New Testament as it is easy to understand. And please find a godly, Bible-based church because it is hard to stand strong alone in our ungodly culture. There is strength, and encouragement, in numbers.

Take care!

What Is Hell? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Buddy.WhatIsHell?

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.

What Is Heaven? Revelation 4:2-3, 5, 11

Bud.N.Vac.WP.11.21019

For some reason Buddy is always getting in the way when I vacuum. He’d let me run over him if I didn’t make him move. Although Buddy can be a pain in the behind at times by frequently getting in the way and causing me to nearly trip over him, I cannot imagine my home without him. He’s great company with his unique personality.

The book of Revelation describes God the Father in all His majesty:

“Behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.  And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance…Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder…” (Revelation 4:2-3,5)

And the beings in heaven, the elders and four living creatures, were saying,

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

Heaven is God’s home. Where this great and mighty Creator sits on His throne, ruling over all creation.

There are many persons who are deceived. They reject God their entire lives, despising His restrictions and rules, thumb their noses at Him, and mock or persecute His followers. They don’t want to spend time worshipping Him or praying–unless they’re in trouble–and ignore Him.

Then, when they die, they believe they can knock on God’s front door and demand that He let them into His heavenly home.

Most people would hate being in heaven. They’d have to spend eternity with people they’ve mocked and despised during their earthly lives. They’d also have to follow God’s rules–as given in the Bible–for the rest of their existence.

Most people don’t want to go to heaven.

***

If you feel a deep emptiness inside, consider Jesus. We were created in God’s image and intended to be triune beings just as He is: mind, body and spirit. But when the first couple rejected God, His Holy Spirit left the human race, so that everyone since Adam and Eve were, and are, born incomplete: only mind and body. Nothing can fill that void but God’s Spirit. People use drugs and alcohol, popularity, shopping, food, etc to fill that emptiness, but that inner void can only be filled with God’s Spirit. It is the only way for a person to be made complete.

If you’re ready, please pray:

Lord, I feel empty inside. I’ve tried everything to fill that void except for Jesus. I admit that I have sinned and disobeyed your rules. I’d like to change and experience new life. Jesus died for my sins, taking the wrath that I deserve for my disobedience. Please forgive my sins. I want to be in relationship with You. Please grant me the Holy Spirit and grant me new life in Jesus. Thank you.

If you prayed this prayer, please find a godly, Bible-based Church to fellowship with other believers. It’s difficult to go it alone in a society that rejects God’s existence.

God bless.

Dawn and Buddy