“The world is going to Hell in a hand basket.”, my friend Mary Alice used to say. There is always bad news and good news, it is the same old thing day after day. There are many approaches to how you view the world. I choose a Biblical world view.
Years ago a Catholic priest taught the world the power in thinking positively. The problem was that it did not change the bad news, people still got murdered, robbed and had their property destroyed. The government still was corrupt, though perhaps more covertly than it is now, and even though the 1950’s was a time of “God, mother and country”, in a lot of places evil reared its ugly head, especially on the coasts and in the big cities. It is worse now than then.
A child is born into a family. In most cases, the family rejoices in the birth and looks forward to growth, celebrating each milestone along the way. In our family the oldest grandson and his fiance have announced that they will be married in the near future. Jordan and Ali have been “going together” for several years now. It has been the natural expectation in our family that our children will find a mate and marry. Not too long after the marriage we expect that children will be born to the couple. The older family members die and children are born, it is the cycle of life.
Another thought….have you noticed that you don’t have to teach a child to do what is wrong? Just tell him not to touch the stove because it is hot, and it is the very thing he will do, however, once he has touched it he won’t do it again, for then he will know what hot is.
As a person ages, he learns that he can cross the line his parents set and not die or be punished, so he begins to explore his boundaries. He pushes hard against them and unless his parents push back, he keeps expanding the boundaries farther and farther past the mores of his parents, and each generation after him does the same until evil prevails over good. The Bible speaks of a time when good is seen as evil and evil is seen as good. Are we there yet? Good and evil are cumulative, did you know that?
All of this points us to the need of a savior. Someone who will rescue us, our world, from the miasma that we find ourselves in. If you think the world is in sad shape today, just wait five years. The world is looking for a superman, someone to fix it. The opinion of some is that they don’t have long to wait.
It is written: “I have been young and now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25
Have you ever wondered why most people don’t think about death or dying until it comes close to home? Why are we so surprised when a young child dies of cancer, or a mother of five children is killed in a car accident or the husband of a newly married couple is killed in Afghanistan? We are shocked because when God created us He put eternity in our hearts. We “feel” like we will live forever, and we will, just not on planet earth. The question is where will we live after death of the body? In order to get the correct answer you have to ask the right question.
The big God Story concerning human beings began in a garden. God had a plan and He implemented it. Two people, a man and a woman, were created. The man was formed out of dirt. He was created first; his body lay lifeless upon the ground until God blew the breath of life into him and he became a living being. Soon after, God took bone from the man and made a woman, a human with a womb for the purpose of bearing the fruit of their union, children. God had a plan and He had a purpose.
God wasn’t lonely, but He loved to come into the garden where the man and his wife lived; and as we in the Midwest say, visit with them. It was lovely until the day that evil crept in, for in that day everything changed forever. Suggestions were made by the evil one. “Did God say you couldn’t eat it?” “God knows that when you eat it you will be like Him.” In other words, “God is holding out on you. He doesn’t want you to be wise like He is.” Well, she took the bait. She was deceived. Her man was standing right there, He should have thrown that snake out of the garden, but he didn’t. He took the fruit and he ate. Paradise lost.
Remember what I said about the child and the stove? This is where it all began. We think we know what is best for us. We choose to do what we know is wrong and then blame someone else because everything fell apart. The man and his woman pushed against the will of God and when stuff happened, as God said it would, they pointed the finger at someone else and refused to take responsibility. The curse came upon them and the whole earth because of sin.
The very thing God said would happen if they ate of the forbidden fruit is what happened. They lost paradise. Cast out and the way into the garden barred, they were forced to make their own way in a hostile world. So it has been ever since. If the story ended there it would be a tragedy; thankfully that is not the end of the story. Many, many years went by. and then…..
On a hill far away there stood a cross. It was at an intersection where many people passed to go into the city. On that Roman cross there hung a man named Yeshua. The sign above his head read…”King of the Jews”. The governor had it written that way to irritate the leaders who pushed him to crucify this man who claimed to be the son of God. His wife warned him, “Don’t have anything to do with that righteous man, I have been warned in a dream about him.” He washed his hands in a bowl of water, like that would wash away the guilt of innocent bloodshed.
In a place called Sheol the murderous adversary of God rejoiced, he had seen to it that the High Priest and his cronies carried out his wishes, murdering Yeshua by crucifixion; the Son of God was now in his domain and under his control, it was party time. He had finally touched God where it hurt the most, His own Son. His victory was short-lived however, for in three days a light brighter than a thousand suns filled that cavern as God’s Spirit came into Yeshua. Satan was shocked, the torment he was inflicting upon Yeshua was now turned upon him, as the victim became the victor.
Yeshua fulfilled the plan of God, He bruised the head, the power, of the evil one and took him captive. From that moment on, any human being who would reach out and take that victory as his own, would nevermore be terrified of death or dying for upon his death he would bypass Hell, go directly to Heaven and collect the full inheritance that Yeshua provided with His life, death and resurrection from the dead.
Though “the beat goes on” and on and on….There is an end, a stopping place. There is a time when God, the righteous judge, will stop time. Thrones will be set, people will be gathered and judgment will begin. No one will be excused for any reason. The books will be opened. The most important book, the “Book of Life” will be opened, and if your name is not in the family album, you will not make it into Heaven. Your destination will be Hell.
The gathering judgment is for “all the marbles”, forever, no end.
Those who find themselves in Hell will not be having a party, and they will not be with their friends, they will be alone in darkness so deep you cannot see you hand in front of your face. There are some who have been taken there that they may come back and tell the people not to go there. They have described putrid odors that sicken you, the screams of the damned who realize that they will be there forever, every soul tormented constantly with no end, forever.
God’s children serve Him in obedience because they love Him. He gives them peace, joy, harmony and family. When the separation is made between the sheep and the goats, the sheep whose names are written in the family album will be told, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34
God calls the people who have chosen not to follow Him goats, and as we know goats butt. God permits no buts. The first commandment makes it plain, “You shall have no other gods before me”. He is God and there is no other. He commands obedience to His will. In the hour of judgment He will say to these who chose to go the way of the devil, the world or their own flesh: “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41
According to the written word of God, sheep hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and they follow Him because they know His voice. He leads them and provides for their needs. They are blessed with relationship, with fellowship, as were the man and his woman in the garden. God is their God and they are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Paradise was restored and is the place you come into when you get to Heaven.
Two kingdoms exist. The kingdom of light and the the kingdom of darkness. You belong to one or the other. The kingdom of light, also called the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, has a king and His name is Yeshua. (English: Jesus) He is also the door to the Kingdom of light, and no one gets by the door or comes into heaven by any other means. “All roads lead to Rome”, does not apply to the Kingdom of God, There is only one way and that way is Yeshua. “The way is narrow and few there be that find it.”
It would be well for you to consider where you are headed. Where will you spend eternity?
There are benefits for those who are part of the Kingdom of light. Not the least of which is “glorious liberty”. When the burden of sin is removed from your soul you feel lighter, you are free at last. You become part of a great family. You have a Father in Heaven who is crazy about you; He truly desires to bless you. You learn His right way of living and being, and peace and joy fill your soul. Following this road will take you to Heaven.
The Kingdom of darkness has a low road and a high road, with Hell as its destination. Money, power, and fame has lead many to debauchery, defilement and suicide. These are only some of the benefits of the high road to Hell. Addiction, disease, loneliness, abandonment, rejection and suicide are the payoffs on the low road to Hell, to name a few. Hopelessness, despair and depression are part of this kingdom, and that is just the beginning of the torment you will experience…forever.
There is really no comparison of the two kingdoms. The head of one is a liar and a murderer. The head of the other is the Savior who is the way, the truth and the life. It seems like the choice is clear. You can choose blessing or you can choose a life where you are under wrath, under the curse of sin. Life or death, your choice!
“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
I choose life and blessing sixty two years ago. Life is better and better as the days go by because God is faithful! Yeshua said that we would have tribulation in this world, but we were not to concern ourselves with it, rather we are to turn to Him for He has overcome the world. We receive what He did as though we did it ourselves. That is imputing to us His righteousness, we become right with God through what He did for us. Praise God!
Someone wrote this song:
“He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed someone to wash my sins away. And now I sing a brand new song “Amazing Grace” the whole day long. Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.”
How about you friend, have you chosen the Kingdom of Light and its King, Yeshua? If not, today would be a good day to do so.