Passing Greatness or Permanent Glory?

4550347934_dd896acdc7_z

In preparation of the construction of the Tower of Babel, the people declared, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth” (). This people had departed from God’s original command for humanity. God commanded Adam to be “fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” () Continue reading Passing Greatness or Permanent Glory?

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Recommended Reading (10 August 2015)

Recommended Reading

WHERE ARE THE MEN? By Conrad Mbewe

This is a must read for all men. Conrad points out the areas where men a refusing to stand up and be men. In this post he says, “I am asking where the men are in the families, in the churches, and in the nation. To be sure, I can see many of the male species in all these spheres but what irks me is that so few of them seem to be rising to the calling that God has given to them as men in society.” Continue reading Recommended Reading (10 August 2015)

The Glory of Heaven

Clouds

Over the years there have many ideas and beliefs concerning what heaven will be like. Sadly, many of these are based on someone’s experience, desire or some TV commercial. As a result of this, some of the descriptions have been bizarre and frankly unbiblical. Well, can we answer the question, what is Heaven like?

 

In order to answer this question our attention must be directed toward Scripture. It is only there where we can find a reliable and truthful portrait of this glorious place.

 

When it comes to this topic the Bible is not silent. In-fact, there are many passages Continue reading The Glory of Heaven

The Persecution of the People of God

chains and prison

Among other things, hatred, hardship and hostility have beaten against the people of God throughout history. The Bible makes it clear that in the Christian life these things are inescapable on this side of glory. Way back in we learn about the hatred Cain displayed towards his brother Abel. This hatred led to the murder of his very own brother. Why did he do this? John tells us that it is “because his deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous” (). Continue reading The Persecution of the People of God

4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19 And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives:

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
24 If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold,
then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.

12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.

The Search for Satisfaction

Searching for Satisfaction

It is a natural desire for people to seek and search for satisfaction. A baby cries for milk because he or she wants to be satisfied. What do people pursue in order to be satisfied? Here are just a few things that many strive to obtain so as to be satisfied – money, sex, health, beauty, fitness, friends, promotion and security. Of course this list could go on and on, but you get the point. For the sake of brevity, we could summarise all these things (and the many others) into three categories: possessions, pleasure and popularity. Continue reading The Search for Satisfaction

What Will Heaven Be Like?

Over the years there have many ideas and beliefs concerning what heaven will be like. Sadly, many of these are based on someone’s experience, desire or some TV commercial. As a result of this, some of the descriptions have been bizarre and frankly unbiblical. Well, can we answer the question, what is heaven like?

In order to answer this question our attention must be directed toward Scripture. It is only there where we can find a reliable and truthful portrait of this glorious place.

When it comes to this topic the Bible is not silent. In-fact, there are many passages Continue reading What Will Heaven Be Like?

Where are you Going?

Direction

Where are you going? Sometimes due to distractions and busyness it is easy for people to think about the immediate and not the whole. As Christians, it is important that in the midst of daily routines that we don’t lose perspective.

The Christian is on a journey. This journey has an ultimate destination that is glorious and will provide a state of eternal bliss and reward. This is all possible because of God’s grace putting them onto this pathway by means of faith in Jesus Christ (cf. ). In-order to reach that final destination, a journey must occur. The duration of this journey will not be the same for all, but the call to walk and the expectations of conduct are the same for all of God’s people. On this journey, the believer will have times of sorrow and times of rejoicing (cf. ). It is not an easy path to walk (cf. ), and there will even be times when enemies will do all they can to stop and thwart the journey.

John Bunyan brilliantly likens this journey to a pilgrim’s progress. The main character in his allegory (Christian) enters into a journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. It is with great excitement that he embarks on this journey, and yet discovers the many difficulties that are before him. Along the way he receives those necessary resources for help.

If you are a believer you are on this same journey. Your final destination is Heaven where you will be with the Lord Jesus Christ for all eternity. But this journey will not be easy and it is essential that you are preparing yourself to walk it in such a way that your conduct is honouring to the Lord.

The Christian is called to walk. The term walk occurs on many occasions in Scripture. In fact, on forty-seven of its forty-nine occurrences in the New Testament, it is used figuratively referring to one’s conduct or behaviour. The believer is placed on a journey and it required by His Master to conduct his life in a particular way. Your walk is with the view of going to that place where you will spend eternity. For this reason, everything you do here must conform to where you are going. We are to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” () as we await the day when we will be with Christ (cf. ).

Where are you going? If you are a believer it is Heaven. So walk in such a way that your life is a testimony to this reality.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

What is the Believer’s Future Resurrection?

6235534846_5406198871_b

The time is coming when the Lord Jesus Christ will issue out an authoritative command and all who have died will be raised up to be judged. This is an incredible thought. This will occur because the Father “has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man” (). This reference is an allusion to , where we read about Daniel’s vision of the Ancient of Days (God the Father) seated with power and authority (). In this vision Daniel also sees “one like a son of man” (The Lord Jesus Christ) approach the Ancient of Days and is given dominion, glory and a kingdom that is everlasting and expands over all the earth (; cf. ). This is why Jesus says this, namely because it has always been the Father’s intention to grant this authority of judgment to the Son.

Jesus continued by saying, “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment” (). The reality behind what we read in is amazing. Every single person in history will one day be raised up and will stand before God. With authority and command, the Lord Jesus Christ will speak and the dead will be raised. Note that Jesus speaks of two different kinds of resurrection – “the resurrection of life” and “the resurrection of judgment“. The first is in reference to believers and the second to unbelievers. Back in the book of Daniel we read, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (). From the perspective elf the believer, this future event is something the people of God for centuries have anticipated with great excitement. Concerning the resurrection of life the apostle Paul wrote,

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord()

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” ()

This will be a spectacular event. At the return of Jesus Christ His people will be changed instantly. They will receive resurrected bodies and will be fitted out to enjoy the eternal kingdom of their Lord. Next time I will consider the topic of the unbeliever’s future resurrection.

27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.

7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

“As I looked,

thrones were placed,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
his clothing was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
its wheels were burning fire.
10 A stream of fire issued
and came out from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
and the books were opened.

11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

13 “I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. 16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. 17 ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’

19 “Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, 20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

23 “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,

there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
24 As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
25 He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
26 But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
27 And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’

28 “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”

“As I looked,

thrones were placed,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
his clothing was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
its wheels were burning fire.
10 A stream of fire issued
and came out from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
and the books were opened.

13 “I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

Daniel 2:44-45

44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

God is in Heaven

Father in Heaven

Our Father in heaven” ()? In this post I want to dwell on the two words “in heaven” because they are filled with glorious truth that ought to greatly encourages us when we pray. The Scriptures teach that God is everywhere (omnipresent). Yet in a special way, His abode is located in Heaven. It is the place in which He rules and governs the universe. In the book of Isaiah we read these words, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool...'” (Is. 66:1a).

Continue reading God is in Heaven

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.