We will all live forever. The question is … where? Will it be in a place of eternal punishment, where Jesus said there is fire that’s never quenched and the worm doesn’t die? Or will we spend eternity in the presence of God where He will wipe away every tear and where there will be no sorrow or pain?
Isaiah 23 & 24
2 Corinthians 8.1-24
Where Will You Spend Eternity?
Isaiah 23 & 24:
Judge of the Whole Earth
In chapter 24 of Isaiah, the pattern of the book changes. Instead of talking about God’s judgment on specific nations, the prophet begins speaking to the inhabitants of the earth. This prophecy is more general in nature.
It. certainly. had a near future meaning, possibly the devastation brought about by Sennacherib and his Assyrian army or by Nebuchadnezzar and his armies from Babylon.
But it also has a yet future application in the events of the Tribulation. The book of Revelation talks about the incredible destruction that will take place during those terrifying seven years.
The next few chapters of Isaiah will continue talking about God’s judgment on the world, but there is also comfort in these passages for those who belong to Him. Even in the worst of times, God cares for His own! And as for the Great Tribulation, I don’t believe those of us who have made a decision for Christ now will be around to see it. I believe it will be proceeded by the Rapture of the church:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4.16-17).
What about you? Do you know that you will “always be with the Lord”?
We will all live forever (1 Cor. 15.50-54). The question is … where? Will it be in a place separated from God, where Jesus said the fire is never quenched and the worm doesn’t die (Mk. 9.43-44), a place of eternal torment? Or will we spend eternity in the presence of God where he will wipe away every tear, where there will be no sorrow and no more pain (Rev. 21.4)?
Sadly, there will be those who attend church, do good things and think they’re OK with God, who will realize too late that they were not truly saved (Matt. 7.21-23).
What about you? Where will you spend eternity?
If you cannot say that there has been a time in your life where you recognized your need for a Savior, a time when you accepted Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross for you personally and surrendered your life to Him, cry out to God now and ask Him to save you.
Assurance of Salvation
Perhaps, you’ve prayed a prayer or had an emotional experience at some time in your life, but you still have doubts.
First, there is no magic in praying a prayer. We are saved by God’s grace through faith (Eph. 2.8-9). So while many are saved as a result of praying a prayer, it’s still a work of grace as saving faith comes alive in our hearts.
Second, if we’re saved there will be fruit. Is there the fruit of a changed life?
No amount of good works like going to church or doing religious things can save us. We can’t be good enough to deserve heaven on our own. But Ephesians 2.8-10 says we are saved for good works. Good works should be the result of the inner change brought about through salvation (2 Cor. 5.15, 17).
Third, a Christian will experience conviction of sin. When we do, we need to go back to the cross, not to be saved again, but to remember what He did for us, to confess any sin and receive His cleansing and forgiveness (1 Jn. 1.9). When we have some area of sin that we have not truly repented of (confessed and turned away from), we will often have doubts about our relationship with God.
God wants us to have assurance of our salvation (1 Jn. 5.13). If you have doubts, talk to a pastor or mature believer. Or you can contact me if you have any questions. I will do my best to answer them.
Today’s Other Readings:
He Saves Those Who Cry Out to Him
Our reading in this chapter of Psalms talks about the same thing:
10 Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons—
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High,
12 Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
That is a picture of all of us apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “Bound in affliction and irons,” unable to save ourselves because, as I said, no amount of good works or religion can save us, only Christ can do that. But “then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.”
It doesn’t mean that believers in Christ never have difficulties, but we can have peace and joy in our hearts knowing that we have peace with God (Rom. 5.1), that He is in control (Rom. 8.28-29), will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13.5), will walk with us though every event in life (1 Cor. 10.13), and that our eternity is secure (1 Jn. 5.13).
Don’t Wear Out Your Welcome
“Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.”
As my mother used to say, “Don’t wear out your welcome.”
2 Corinthians 8.1-24:
He Gave It Up for Us
Verse 9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
Jesus set aside all the riches of heaven to come to earth as a baby, clothed in human flesh, for you and me, so that we might enjoy the riches of a relationship with Him here and now and for eternity.
In the next few days, we’ll talk about the God who calms storms, how to tear down strongholds and more.
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The Value of Reading Good, Theologically Sound Books
You’ll notice that I often add links to books and resources at the bottom of my blogs. Maybe you’ve never been a reader or you think you don’t have time to read. I just want to say that no one has extra time these days. And many people I know were not readers growing up, but once they saw the value of reading materials that would help them grow in their relationships with Christ, have better marriages, and be better, more godly parents, they became readers.
Someone said, “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years, except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet.” Ultimately, it’s God’s Spirit who is working in us as believers. And “the book” He most uses is His Word. But He does use people and books, especially good theologically sound ones to grow us in our knowledge of Him and our understanding of the Scriptures.
Today’s Featured Resources on Kindle or in Books:
About The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness by Jerry Bridges:
Believers often take for granted the great act of salvation provided to us by the work of Jesus Christ. Beginning with the Old Testament sacrifices and the prophecies that foreshadowed Christ, authors Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington guide believers through the biblical overview of Christ’s atonement. The Great Exchange helps believers see how the Old Testament practices tie in with the New Testament discussion of Christ’s great work of salvation.
As believers work through these principles, they will begin to recognize that even though we deserve condemnation and punishment from a holy God, he has given us the opportunity to experience his great riches through his Son, Jesus Christ. The clear gospel message presented throughout the entire book offers a great appreciation of Christ for believers and an opportunity for salvation for unbelievers.
Eternal Security by Charles Stanley:
Do you ever find yourself wondering . . .
•Is it actually possible to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am going to heaven? Dr. Stanley answers that question.
Agents of the Apocalypse: A Riveting Look at the Key Players of the End Times by Dr. David Jeremiah:
Who Will Usher in Earth’s Final Days?
Are we living in the end times? Is it possible that the players depicted in the book of Revelation could be out in force today? And if they are, would you know how to recognize them?
In Agents of the Apocalypse, noted prophecy expert Dr. David Jeremiah does what no prophecy expert has done before. He explores the book of Revelation through the lens of its major players—the exiled, the martyrs, the elders, the victor, the king, the judge, the 144,000, the witnesses, the false prophet, and the beast.
One by one, Dr. Jeremiah delves into their individual personalities and motives, and the role that each plays in biblical prophecy. Then he provides readers with the critical clues and information needed to recognize their presence and power in the world today.
The stage is set, and the curtain is about to rise on Earth’s final act. Will you be ready?
Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins
An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold.
Yes, it’s a novel, but it is an interesting take on what the Tribulation may very well be like for those who are “left behind.”
You can also Shop for Other Resources