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Welcome back friends and family! Time seems to be flying by this year. There is so much – good and bad – happening that our minds are most often on overdrive. So much in fact, that it is becoming more and more difficult for us to concentrate on the important tasks before us. At times like these, I look back at Matthew 24 where Jesus tells his disciples to watch and beware so that no one deceives them – a warning He gives multiple times in chapter 24, a warning He is giving us today. We can not let ourselves be distracted, pulled off on this tangent or that tangent. We must remain focused on the prize. This is a race with many winners and I blog, by the grace of God, so that I can help others focus on the race and cross the finish line with all God’s children. We can help others if and only if we keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our work, Amen!
Let’s pray. 🙏 Father in Heaven, we bow down before you in humble repentance of any wrongs we have done and ask that you forgive us as we forgive others. Lead us in the paths of righteousness and keep us diligently focused on Jesus. Guard us from the enemy of our souls so that we are not pulled from our purpose – from our surrender to Your will. Be with us through Your Holy Spirit and lead us into a holy understanding of Your truth. Thank You for hearing and answering our prayer today as You have in the past. In the faithful name of Jesus, Amen!
In this blog, I want to briefly discuss the journey, With Jesus, to Heaven. Again, I want to review His spectacular 2nd Coming and scripture concerning that event. Following the 2nd Coming, I want to talk about the 1000 year reign in Heaven.
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they [also] which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” (Revelation 1:7) All eyes shall see the return of Jesus. Let their be no doubt about this visual – the time of His coming is a secret, but the actual event will be spectacular, with lightening, shouts of acclamation, and the loud voice of an archangel. It will be seen by every living creature, even those that took part in crucifying Jesus will be raised from the dead to witness the “King of the kings” in all His glory. At this moment in time, those that scoffed at our witness and refused to give themselves over to Jesus and eternal life, will cry out and ask the rocks to fall on them and hid them from His tremendous light – a light that will change the saints over to perfection and will destroy evil. The saints’ hearts will be quickened with an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude never heretofore felt, but the wicked hearts will fail them for fear of His glory and judgement.
In Matthew 24, Jesus strongly councils us not to be deceived for we will be told Jesus is here, no He is there. But we must not follow these false gods. “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) I want to emphasis that Jesus will not step upon the earth at this time, rather, He will remain in the clouds and we will rise up to meet Him. This scripture is very clear that His coming will be seen by all and He will not secretly appear on earth somewhere, but will stay in the clouds in the air. At this time, the wicked will have died, we will be on our way to heaven, and Satan and his angels will be bound to this earth for 1000 years with no one to tempt.
I love the depiction of Heaven in the picture below. I know that a mere human rendition can’t compare to the fantastic view we will receive when we arrive, but it gets my imagination going. I love to daydream about the many adventures we will have, the many wonderful truths we will learn, and being face to face with Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. But before we can really embrace the wonders of Heaven, we will be busy judging with Jesus for the first 1000 years.
“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them (the saints) , and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4-5) These texts tell us we will sit in judgement with Jesus during the 1000 year reign. But, we must go deeper in our exploration and understanding, because God has already given judgement. He has already commanded that the wicked be wicked still and the righteous be righteous still. (Revelation 22:11) We need to discover what or who we will be judging.
“The millennial judgment does not decide who is to be saved or lost. God makes that decision before the Second Advent; all those who were not either resurrected or translated then are forever lost. The judgment in which the righteous participate serves the purpose of answering any questions the righteous may have as to why the wicked are lost. God wants those to whom He has given eternal life to have full confidence in His leadership, so He will reveal to them the operations of His mercy and justice. Imagine you were in heaven and you found that one of your loved ones whom you certainly expected to be there was not. Such a case might cause you to question God’s justice—and that kind of doubt lies at the very base of sin. To lay to rest forever any occasion for such doubts—and so to ensure that sin will never rise again—God will provide the answers to these questions during this review phase of the millennial judgment. In this work the redeemed fulfill a crucial role in the great controversy between good and evil. They will confirm to their eternal satisfaction how earnestly and patiently God cared for lost sinners. They will perceive how heedlessly and stubbornly sinners spurned and rejected His love. They will discover that even seemingly mild sinners secretly cherished ugly selfishness rather than accept the value system of their Lord and Savior.” ( Maxwell, God Cares (Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1985), vol. 2, p. 500)
In actuality, we will be judging God’s judgements. We must know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is good, He is righteous, He is longsuffering, He is the one and only God. We need to clearly see that God did all to save souls, left no stone unturned in seeking the lost, and that the wicked dead chose to disobey God in spite of all His wooing. This nightmare of our earth embroiled in sin can never take place again, we can not have another evil twisted being lead souls astray. God has done all to make sure it won’t happen again and that is why He allowed Satan’s evil to play itself out, that is why He allowed sin to get so horrendously evil, that is why He was so long suffering. And, that is why He is so worthy of our Praise! God loves us with an everlasting love and that love will shine upon us every day of eternal.
A few years back, while studying about Moses and freeing the Israelites from Egypt, I pondered on the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. My desire to understand more about God hardening Pharaoh’s heart led me to a conclusion. Let me first share some of my research First, I looked up the Biblical definition; “The heart, in effect, is the whole person in all of his or her distinctive human activity as a thinking, planning, willing, feeling, worshiping, socially interacting being. And, of course, when the person is not living according to God’s will, it is the heart that is described as darkened, rebellious, callous, unfeeling, or idolatrous. It is within the heart that God works; hence the human heart may be tender and soft or as hard as stone.” (This is a current definition) (www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries) When speaking about the human’s thought processes, decision making abilities, morality, and choices; the Bible refers to the heart of a person rather than the brain. We often refer to the heart when talking about emotions and feeling – basically the same idea. Also, I searched for other Biblical references to the heart and its condition – I found there are more than 1000 references. After my research and prayer, I came to this conclusion. When the righteous Light of God shines upon the heart, it either softens or hardens. I further concluded that each person has preconditioned themselves for one of these outcomes. A heart of wax melts in the fervent heat of God’s Light, whereas a heart of clay hardens in that same Light. Pharaoh was so pre-inclined, pre-conditioned to reject God and choose self that his choices hardened his heart in the presence of God.
I have shared my thoughts on heart condition because I have struggled with the thought of loosing loved ones to sin. When I look at it from the perspective of my conclusions about the heart condition, I am able to understand that these loved ones would not be happy in Heaven, they are not drawn to Godly ways, they are not inclined to adopt the lifestyle of Heaven. Is it fair of God, is it fair of me to subject them to Heaven just because it would make God, make me happy? Trust me, I mourn daily at the thought of such an outcome and it drives me to prayer. This is what we will judge and reconcile during the 1000 year reign with Jesus and I am sure it will bring us to tears as we love, regret, but let go. Just the thought brings me to tears right now. Soon and very soon, pain and sorrow, hurt and suffering, death and loss will be behind us and we will live in peace and harmony forever and ever, Amen!
Thanks for reading my blog today. Until next time, may God preserve you for the day of Jesus 2nd Coming! (Psalms 25:20)
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