Saturday, June 23, 2012

Only Two Places to Go

What happens after a person dies? Can we know what happens? Is there anything we can do to prepare for the place we will go? How long is eternity?

    If you have observed History for any length of time, one thing you will have noticed. 10 out of 10 people die. The statistic has always been the same. Every person who has been born has to face death, whether it be only a few minutes after birth, or 95+ years later. No person has a guarantee of when this date with death comes. The Bible says that it is appointed once for man to die, then after that the judgment. But what happens after we die?
  In the book of Luke in the Bible, Jesus tells a story about 2 men. One was poor and lived a very depleted life. The other was rich and selfish. Both men died. The poor one ended up in Abraham's bosom, but the rich man ended up in hell. There was a great gulf between the two places so someone in hell could not cross over to get to Abraham's bosom (place of comfort). The poor man was now being comforted. The rich man was being tormented. He was in the flames of God's wrath. He couldn't get out and will live there for eternity.
   The rich man was selfish and didn't love God, nor did he love people. He loved himself. That is what the Bible describes as our sin. We were created to love God, even more than anything else. But instead, we love ourselves and put our own wants and needs before God. We are more important to ourselves than God is to us. The activities of our lives show what is in our hearts. We lie, steal, cheat, gossip, have snobby attitudes, manipulate, flatter, boast, put others down, lust after people sexually, live for pleasure, etc. You can look at the 10 Commandments and see how well you are keeping them! No one can do it. There is one person who did keep the Commandments perfectly. God's Son, Jesus, lived on earth 2,000 years ago. He lived a perfect life, never sinning. He died a horrible death that He didn't deserve, but you and I did. When He died He took all your sin (and everyone else's sins) on Himself. He also came back to life from the dead and ascended up to heaven and will come back to judge the world one day.
   Every person deserved to go to hell, not because God is mean or strict. It is only because God is holy, and He has to punish sin. Every sin committed has to be punished. All the sins you have committed throughout your life will have to be punished. Either you will pay for your sins eternally in hell, or Jesus paid for your sins when He died on the Cross. You can turn to God in repentance and faith. Trust in God. Turn from sin and living for self. God will give you a new heart with new desires and a love for God and others. Trust in what Jesus did on the Cross for your sins. He paid for them. But you have to turn to Him and trust in Him.
    The Bible talks about heaven as being in God's presence. Jesus says that he is going to prepare a place for those who know Him. God is building a new city with streets of gold. It will have nothing impure in it. In heaven, no one will get sick. There will be no bills to pay. This is where God and His people will live together forever.
   The Bible also talks of another place people go to after they die. It is the Lake of Fire. The Bible says that liars, unbelievers, whoremongers, sorcerers, and the abominable will go there. Satan will be there too, along with the angels that sinned. There is no remedy for the sins of the angels. God did not provide an atonement for them.
   So consider these facts. Knowing about Jesus is not enough though. You have to respond to Him and trust in Him to rescue you from your sins. If you have any questions on this. please send an email at

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's Your Score?

Are you familiar with the 10 Commandments? If so, what kind of score would you give yourself on keeping them? On a scale of 1-10, what would be your score?
  Here is an interesting fact: If you break one of the Commandments, it is like breaking all of them. The Bible says that the 10 Commandments are based the the 2 Great Commandments. The Great Commandments are: 1. Love the Lord your God with all your strength, soul, and mind.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.
The bottom line has to do with our selfishness. Who do we love more; God our ourselves? How is our relationship with God? Is He more important than anything else in our lives? Are we listening and doing what He tells us (do we even know what He is saying to us, and do we really care?). What does our calendar tell us about how we spend our time? Are we spending it on our pleasures or on serving others? What about our check books? What do we spend our money on? Things that we think will make us happy? What if we knew that God was going to inspect our hearts next week. What would change?
   Here is a brief list of the Commandments:
1. Nothing has a higher priority than God.
2. No making idols or creating a god to serve that will make us happy
3. No taking God's name in vain. (using His name in a careless way)
4. Keeping a day holy each week for rest.
5. Honoring our parents
6. Murder is not allowed (this could also involve being angry with someone)
7. No committing adultery ( this includes actively using lust on a person you aren't married to)
8. No stealing (even small things.)
9. No lying ( white lies, dishonesty)
10. No coveting (strongly desiring something that you don't have)
As you can see, there are a lot of details in breaking these commandments. For example, you might not have murdered someone physically, but you may have murdered someone in your heart by being angry with him or her. When another person gets in the way of what we want, we are committing idolatry (see Commandment 1 and 2). You might not be married, and thinking that you can't commit adultery because you aren't married. But, Jesus said, that if a man lusts after a woman, that man is committing adultery in his heart. You probably never robbed a bank, but you possibly may have stolen something from someone else on a smaller scale. Perhaps you have downloaded music from the Internet that wasn't free. Maybe you stole an idea from someone else, and are taking the credit for it now that it has been implemented. Or maybe a towel or salt shaker set from the motel.
   Here is a question you might ask yourself; If there were a microchip planted in your brain that recorded all your thoughts for about a week, would you want that microchip to be taken out and have all your thoughts projected on a screen for everyone to see? Think about that next time you have a questionable thought!
  It is easy for us to break a Commandment. Breaking the Commandments is called 'sin'. The reason we sin so easily is because we are sinners. The reason we are sinners has to do with the fact that Adam and Eve, the first people God created, chose to disobey God. When that happened, they placed the whole human race under sin. Everyone born to them, and to their children, and to all their descendants (which includes all people) are born in sin. Now we are in trouble with God. He must punish all sin. We will be punished for sin after we die. We can't be good enough for heaven. Our good works will not erase our sins. But there is a person who did not sin, and kept all the Commandments perfectly, His entire life. He took God's punishment for our sins. When He was dying, God put all our sin on Him. Every sin that you and I will ever commit or have committed already was placed on the Son of God, when He was dying on the cross. He didn't deserve to die for sin, because He was without sin. But He took our place and died in our place. We don't have to be punished for our sins now. Also, three days later, Jesus rose from the grave. After He died, he came back to life and ascended back to heaven. One day, He will return to earth again and take those people who belong to Him. Those people have repented of their sins, and trusted in Him. Are you ready for when He will come back? We don't know when this will be, but it could be any time. We must be ready, or we will not ever be with Him in heaven.
   How can a person be ready for heaven, or, the return of Christ? By repenting of sin (turning from living for self and violating the Commandments) and trusting in what Jesus did on the Cross.
   Before your head hits the pillow tonight, will you consider what you will do with Jesus Christ? Your eternity depends on it. Will you turn to God and trust in Him? Or will you continue to live for yourself and your own desires, and then die in your sins? You can turn to God right now, and trust in what He did for you 2000 years ago. If you have any questions about this, or would like help, please send an email to: