Posts Tagged ‘Heaven


A Terrible Fate

There have been a few books written about the afterlife concerning the reality of Heaven. We like books like this, don’t we? They go on to be best sellers and they make people and publishing companies a lot of money. Notice that there are far fewer books about the reality of Hell. We love thinking about Heaven, but we tend to sweep Hell under the rug. Here’s the thing about Hell – it is just as real as Heaven. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:17 (NLT):

For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?

Hell is real and people really go there when they die if they do not trust Christ for salvation. If you do not trust Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation and obey the good news, you will spend eternity separated from God in Hell. We will all face judgment one day. Those who have trusted Christ will be found, “Not guilty.” Those who have not trusted Jesus will face a terrible fate. I plead with you today, trust Jesus as your Savior and obey Him as Lord to escape this terrible fate.



You only live once or YOLO is a common idea and phrase among younger generations. It is the idea that since we only have one life, we might as well live it to the full. We only get so many trips around the sun, so we should go for the gusto and have as much fun as possible. We should have as many experiences as possible. Don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Live for today because YOLO! Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:6 (NLT):

That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.

In 1 Peter 4, he was talking about how we all will live forever and be judged by God. We may suffer in this life, including persecution. It may be tempting to give up on our faith because we believe that the suffering isn’t worth it. Peter is telling us that since we will all stand before God in judgment, we must hold on to our faith. We must persevere for the sake of the Gospel. You might only live once on earth, but you live eternally in either Heaven or Hell.


Safely Home

Have you ever driven home in a terrible thunderstorm and wondered if you’d make it home safely? Have you ever been out and about and all of a sudden the tornado sirens go off and you wonder if you’ll make it home? When you finally do arrive home safe and sound, there is a feeling of great relief. We have a spiritual home we are trying to get to and maybe we wonder if we will get there safely. The answer is yes. It is not because of our efforts to get there, though. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:18 (NLT):

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

Jesus suffered and died for our sins as the perfect, unblemished sacrifice to bring us safely home to God. He never sinned, yet He suffered death for our sake. He died once to cover the sins of all believers for all time. We who trust Jesus for salvation do not have to suffer for our own sins, Jesus did it for us. Christ died and was raised back to life. We did the sinning and He did the suffering. We’ll one day make it safely home because Jesus paid it all.


We Don’t Belong Here

Do you know what I find absolutely amazing and awesome about God? He doesn’t play favorites. We all have good days and bad days. We all experience times of blessing and times of need. He doesn’t play favorites. Pastors sure as heck aren’t His favorites, believe me! No, God doesn’t play favorites. Peter said so in 1 Peter 1:17:

And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”

God is going to judge everyone according to what they’ve done while here on earth. Knowing that, it should affect how we live as followers of Jesus. We should live in awe of our God. Remember that we don’t belong here. We’re temporary residents of this world who long for a better place. God has promised that eternal better place with Him. Don’t get so caught up in the things of this world that you forget that we’re merely passing through. The things of this world don’t come close to measuring up to the treasures that await us in eternity.


When You Are Persecuted

Following Jesus will eventually bring persecution into your life. Jesus is threatening to people who want to live according to their own standards. People want to serve themselves and Jesus says, “Deny yourself.” People want to gratify their sinful natures and Jesus says we have to take up our cross. People want to follow their hearts and Jesus says, “Follow Me.” When you live for Jesus, you threaten their lifestyle and therefore they threaten your life. Jesus said:

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad,​ ​because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)

Persecution is nothing new and it will continue until Christ returns. Do not forget that there is a great reward for the faithful. Don’t give up! Persecution is temporary. Heaven is for eternity. We’ll be there soon and we’ll know that perseverance through persecution was worth it.

Giving/Receiving Mercy

I remember growing up in church and learning the definitions of grace and mercy. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve. God’s grace means that we get the gift of forgiveness. Mercy means that we don’t receive the punishment we deserve for our sins. Grace means that we get eternal life. Mercy means that we don’t get eternal death in Hell. Jesus wants us to extend mercy to others. He said:

Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy. – Matthew 5:7 (NIV)

People are going to hurt you. They’re going to lie to you and cheat on you and gossip about you. They’ll do it more than once. How will you respond? Will you try to get revenge or will you show mercy? Jesus’ words remind us that His way is best. When we show mercy to others, we open ourselves up to receive the mercy of God. Author Dave Willis said something along the lines of “We should not treat people the way they deserve. Rather, we should treat them the way we want God to treat us.” If you want God to show you mercy, be merciful to others.

The Shepherd Welcomes

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Psalm 23:6.

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