Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Two Resurrections - John 5:24-29

Today's blog deals with a very serious issue. According to statistics compiled by Barna.org, many people who call themselves Christians do not believe that anyone will go to hell. This is troubling to me and as such I will present what the Bible has to say about this. (This by no mean are the only Scriptures that deal with eternal destination.)

John 5:24-29 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation."

In the text of Scripture, Jesus is speaking. He stated that who ever hears His word and believes will have everlasting life. (v.24) The Barna Group have surmised that a Christian who believes that everyone is going to Heaven is the same as saying that, "God is somehow going to change His requirement for eternal life and let everyone in."

Jesus then stated that the hour will come when the dead (spiritually dead) will hear the voice of the Son of God and for those who hear - they will live. (v. 25) It is important to stress that this a choice for all of mankind--there is a choice made to believe or not to believe in Christ. While it is every Christian's responsibility to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, how can we share what we do not know? We must be able to first tell others that Jesus died that ALL who believe in Him may not perish!!! (John 3:16) It is also the responsibility of every Christian to speak the truth of the Bible and to give a defense for the "hope that lies within us." (I Peter 3:13-18) The Bible is our only authority when it comes to these matters. We must never lean on our own understanding. (Prov. 3:4-6)

Jesus then re-stated that in Him was eternal life. He has the authority to execute judgement, which was given to Him by God as the Son of man.

Jesus alone will execute judgement. (v. 27) It is not possible for a preacher, bishop, minister, Pope or anyone to know for sure that anybody is going or has gone to heaven or hell. Please understand that I am trying to make clear that although we may share Christ with someone, witness them receive Christ, we still may not know for sure that they are saved. There have been many persons who have stated that they just "went through the motion" to get the person to leave them alone. This is truly sad but unfortunately it is very true. Therefore, the eternal destination of each of us will be determined by Jesus Himself. I say this because Jesus said it, yet we allow others to tell us differently! Only Christ has The Authority to judge. While understanding that Christ will be the judge, we must still do our part. He has commanded of us in Matthew 28:11-20, 18 "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the end of the age."

Jesus then stated "do not marvel at this."(v. 28) He did not teach, nor should we think that this would be a delightful event when Jesus has to judge. After all, He wants us to believe in Him and not perish. Finally, Jesus stated that the hour is coming when all these things will come to pass and He will do as He must. He will call everyone "in the graves" to come forth and those "who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." (v. 29) Christ drew a clear contrast of two resurrections. How can I say anything different. Can I or you say that everyone is going to Heaven when Christ does not????!!!!!

There is a choice that we all have to make in this Life. We cannot believe that God will change His plans for eternal life, to suit us. We must believe and teach what the Bible says. I pray that you choose LIFE this DAY....Choose Christ and believe on Him with your heart...and He shall give you ETERNAL life.

To God be the Glory!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Peace, Love and Joy

There is only one constant in all of our lives and that is God. In God, there is peace, love and joy. Trying to find these things in anything or anyone is a complete waste of time. We all have experienced the peace that only God can give us, but we rarely thank Him for it. We know of the love of God because He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. Yet we do not meditate enough on why would He love us that much to send His Son to do this for us. We have experienced the joy that only God can give us. We can never experience true joy outside of knowing Jesus Christ as our redeemer. His joy never fails, His love never fails, His peace is enduring. Trust Him today or tell someone about His Peace, His Love and His Joy!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Be Encouraged to have Courage

As I prepare to facilitate Bible Study today, I am reminded of a dream that I had as a little girl.
I once wanted to become a pilot. I even stated this publicly on stage the night I became queen. Now as is watch CNN news this morning featuring a news story on Kimberly Anyadike- A native Compton, California who at age 15 in the youngest "black" female to fly cross country, I am reminded of several things. As children we are fearless. Fear comes from adults and situations that scare us. The Bible teaches that fear is not from God. (I Tim 1:7) At some point (after witnessing a few plane crashes), I developed a fear of flying and there went my desire to become a pilot. So now I tell others that if God wanted me to fly he would have given me wings.

In complete contrast to flying, I now know that I am doing what God has called me to do, because I am fearless. Proclaiming the Word of God energizes me and it gives me joy to see others come to know Christ. I love hearing, reading, teaching, and sharing the Word of God. I thank God for what He has allowed me to do thus far and pray that He gives me more time. But this one thing I am sure of---when it is time for me to go--He will find me busy.

Be encouraged to have courage to do what He has called you to do. Step out in faith and allow Him to take all the glory that is due His name. If you receive praise----Praise God!!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

God- Blessed day

Now that we have gotten a little pass all the Michael Jackson drama, I pray that all of you enjoy each day that God gives us.

I have started to breathe a little deeper, laugh a little harder and hug my hubby and daughter harder. Can we stop sweating the small stuff and think of all the kinds things we would say after a person leaves us????? I have already told my husband that if he goes before I do---I have said everything I needed to say. I will have no regrets. Of course I will keep his body in the house for months......that was a joke.

Anyway, I am busy preparing to facilitate a Bible Study on Stephen----Acts 6&7. He was a courageous fellow. He reminds me a little of myself. I am fearless. I had a man try to give me his Christian literature yesterday. I was in a hurry so I told him "no thank you. " He responded: "Many are called few are chosen"-(in a derogatory way). I kept going to my destination and then returned to ask him to repeat himself. He said it again. I asked him what did his statement mean. He said that I was rejecting Christ. This was the most disappointing experience I have ever witnessed. I told him that he should be very careful when he judges people. I told him that he was judging me and didn't know anything about me. I told him that people like him actually keep people from coming to Christ. I informed him that I was on my way to do something important and that is why I had politely told him "no thank you." I also informed him that he was a bad witness. He should never offend people who don't accept Christian literature. I informed him that I was a recent Seminary graduate who was extremely disappointed in his actions. He then told me that he didn't want to hear anything I had to say. I then told him that his talk wasn't lining up with his literature. A true disciple of Christ must live what he preaches. He was ugly and judgmental. I will always believe that if Christ is shared with anyone they have a right to refuse Him. We should never judge them. How disappointed was I to have experienced this on a Sunday afternoon. It was ridiculous.

Keep me in your prayers.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back home safe and sound

I am truly thankful to God for keeping my daughter and me safe during our recent road trip.
We visited Nashville, Tennessee and stayed with my childhood friend and her family. We then visited Louisville, Kentucky and attended the Alumni luncheon for Luther Rice University and Seminary. On last week we travelled to Connecticut via Maryland for one night each way. As we returned home, we were excited to experience great weather and safe travel.

I pray that all is well with you this week.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Through: No Test, No Testimony

I bring you greetings in the name of our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ and from the state of Connecticut. As my daughter and I were driving to Connecticut, I began to reflect on the abilities of God. It took me a total of 17 hours total to drive first to Maryland then to Connecticut yet it only took God seconds to create the whole world. "Is there anything too hard for God???"

On last Sunday, God used me to preach a sermon entitled "Through: Where there is no test, There is no testimony." The scripture used was Psalm 23. Although this text of Scripture is familiar to most, God allowed me to expose three points of the Psalm. They were, Acknowledge who God is and His abilites -Ps:23:1-3, Affirmation of the evidence - Ps:23:4&5, Acceptance and Conviction to stay in God's will -Ps:23:6. David first acknowledged that God was his shepherd. He knew that God was his Jehovah-Jireh---his provider. He knew who God was and he fully trusted and understood that God was taking care of him. He acknowledged that God was ordering his footsteps. He knew that he would go through-----and that he would fear no evil as he went through----. In the end, he knew that God's goodness and mercy would be with him all the days of his life. What a testimony for us today. No test, No testimony. As we are tested, we must remember that just like Job, we do not know what God is trying to do in our lives. We must seek to understand God's purpose for the test and "lean not unto our own understanding".

Thank you for your prayers as I prepare to preach this Sunday from Luke 16:19-31. The sermon is entitled: "A testimony from Hell"