Bible Study

THE CONCLUSION OF THE BOOK  Revelation 22:6-21

Our study of the book of the Revelation has taken us from the days of the early church in the past all the way into eternity in the future. John has been faithfully fulfilling the divine purpose he shared in the first verse of the book, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John,” Rev. 1:1.

        John has been used of the Lord to reveal to God’s people the God’s plan for the future. We have seen the words of Rev. 1:19, where it says, “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter,” fulfilled in the pages of this amazing book.

        The Lord has shown us how the church age will end. It will end with the church in apostasy, cold and dead, with Jesus on the outside. We are steadily moving in that direction today.

        He has shown us what will follow after the church is removed from the world. There will be a terrible tribulation period that will engulf the world. Billions will die from war, disease and the tragedy of divine judgment. This age will also end with the Antichrist and Satan judged and sentenced to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

        We have even been given a glimpse of our own future. We have seen a place called Heaven, where death, disease, sin and Satan will be prohibited. We have been given a small foretaste of that wonderful place we will call home some day, we have arrived at the end of the book.

 

I.  v. 6-10 A CONCLUDING WORD ABOUT THE SCRIPTURES

A.  v. 6  The Scriptures Are Accurate – John is assured that everything he has seen is both “faithful and true”. There has not been a single exaggeration, nor has there been a single falsehood. Every prophecy made in this book will come to pass in the Lord’s time. One of the names given to Jesus in the book of Revelation is “Faithful and True”, Rev. 3:14; 19:11. That name declares Him to be trustworthy and worthy of faith. The Lord can be trusted! When He makes a statement, it is truth. When He makes a promise, it will come to pass. When He issues a prophecy, it will be fulfilled. God has tied the truth of His Scriptures to the integrity of His Name, Psa. 138:2”I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

        You can believe the words of your Bibles! When God speaks, He speaks the truth! Every word in this book is “God-breathed”, 2 Tim. 3:16. You can trust your Bible!

B.  v. 7-9  The Scriptures Are Authoritative – With the statement, “Behold, I come quickly”, the Lord declares His authority! Man can say what he wishes about the Bible and about God’s promises and prophecies, but God will have the final say! The Lord also reaffirms His promise to bless those who “keepeth” the words of the Revelation. That word has the idea of “guarding, protecting, and attending to carefully”. The Lord will bless the people who read, believe and live out the words of this book. That was His promise at the beginning, Rev. 1:3, and it is His promise at the end.

The Bible was not given to us so that we would have something to lay on the coffee table or in the rear deck of the car. The Bible was given to us to read, believe and live out. The Word of God has authority over our lives and we are to heed its words, John 14:15; James 1:22-23.

It is easy to become like the world and become guilt of worshipping this person or that thing. The only Person Who is worthy to be worshipped is the Lord God Almighty! (Matt. 4:8-10; Deut. 10:20)

C.  v. 10  The Scriptures Are Accessible – John is commanded to “seal not” the book he has written. The word “seal” means “to conceal, or to keep secret”. Many years earlier, the prophet Daniel was commanded to seal up a book he had written, Dan. 12:4. The time for the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy had not arrived and it was not time to share it with the world.

John, on the other hand, is not to hide these things away and keep them secret. He is to publish them so that the world may hear the news that Jesus is coming and judgment is about to fall on this world.

The Bible we hold in our hands is a living witness to the God of Heaven. It reveals Him in all His glory, His power and His wrath. The Bible is not a closed book, but it is open and its message is available to all who will pick it up and read with an honest and obedient heart! If this book is closed, it is closed to those who refuse to know the Lord and to those who have been blinded by the devil, 2 Cor. 4:3-4.

One day, this book that is so hated by those who deny the Lord, will be the standard of judgment, John 12:48. If I were you, I would read this book and heed this book! After all, it is the Word of God, and it will stand for all eternity, Matt. 24:35.

 

I.  A Concluding Word About The Scriptures

II.  v. 11-16, 20-21  A CONCLUDING WORD ABOUT THE SAVIOR

A.  v. 12, 20-21  A Word About His Advent – Again, we have the Lord’s promise that He is coming again! That was His promise before He left this world, John 14:1-3, and that is His promise now. He is coming!

We know that the Lord’s return will happen in two stages. First, He will return in the clouds above the earth to claim His redeemed Bride and take her home to Heaven, 1 Thes. 4:16-18. Then, He will return in power and glory to claim this earth for Himself. He will defeat all His enemies, establish His kingdom and rule in righteousness in this world.

For the saints of God, the thought of our Lord’s return offers peace and hope. Just the thought that we might be able to cheat death and leave here in the Rapture is a wonderful thought. It is no wonder that John prayed for the Lord to come, Rev. 22:20. Every child of God who loves the Lord and believes the Bible is looking forward to leaving this world in the Rapture.

B.  v. 11-12, 14-15  A Word About His Awards – According to verse 12, the return of Jesus will be a mixed blessing. He is going to reward every man according to “his works”. That is, those who have received Him as their Savior will enjoy a time of blessing when He returns. He will reward them for their works and bless them for their service. Many faithful saints of God will hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” What a day that will be!

However, those who do not know Jesus will discover that the day of His return will spell their eternal doom. That is what He means in verse 11. When Jesus returns to this world, there will be no time to “get ready”. When He comes, how He finds the souls is how that soul will remain throughout eternity. If I were you, I would be sure that I was saved and ready to meet Jesus when He comes!

He pronounces a blessing on those who obey the Gospel in verse 14. He pronounces a curse on those who reject the Gospel in verse 15. Those who receive Him will enjoy the blessings of Heaven and of everlasting life, v. 14. While those who choose sin over a relationship with Jesus will be shut out of Heaven, v. 15.

The question you need to consider today is this: where would you be if Jesus was to return today? Are you saved? Are you ready to meet Him? Has your soul been made fit for Heaven by the blood of the Lamb? Is your name in the Lamb’s book of life? Jesus is coming! For some is will be a time of rejoicing. For many more it will be a time of horrible rejection and retribution.

C.  v. 13, 16  A Word About His Authority – In these two verses, Jesus declares His ability to make these statements and to bring them to pass. He reminds us that He was here when everything began and that He will still be here when all things wind up, v. 13.

He reminds us that He is the King of Kings, v. 16. He is the “root” of David. That is, He is David’s ancestor. He is the “offspring” of David too. He is David’s descendent. Jesus is the ultimate authority! He founded the throne and He will occupy the throne.

He is the “bright and morning star”. To be called a “star” in that culture was to be “elevated”. The “morning star” signaled the advent of a new day. Jesus is reminding us that He, Who is greater than all, will return to destroy the darkness of this world forever. The light of His glory will fill both heaven and earth when He comes again!

Jesus can make the promises He made because He has the power and the authority to being them to pass. He is coming and He will rule and reign in righteousness and power some day!

 

l.  A Concluding Word About The Scriptures

II.  A Concluding Word About The Savior

III.  v. 17-19 A CONCLUDING WORD ABOUT THE SPIRIT

A.  v. 17a There Is An Appeal To Appear – Here we find the “Spirit” and the “Bride” inviting the Lord Jesus to “come”.

The Spirit of God desires nothing more than the glory of the Son of God, John 16:14. The Spirit of God longs for the Savior to return so that He might defeat His enemies and occupy His rightful place on the throne of the universe. The Spirit desires the glory of the Son of God. Therefore, the Spirit says, “Come!”

The Bride of Christ echoes the invitation of the Spirit. There is a longing in the heart of the redeemed for the advent of the Redeemer. How many here can identify with that desire? There are times when the burdens of life press us down and we long for Jesus to come. There are times when sin and Satan harass us and they seem so strong, and we long for Jesus to come. There are times when this world seems like a foreign place, and we long for Jesus to return. Well, hang on a little longer sweet Bride of Christ; your Redeemer is coming again to take you unto Himself.

B. v. 17b  There Is An Appeal To Accept – Here on the last page of the last chapter in the last book of the Bible the Spirit of God offers one last invitation to lost sinners to come to Jesus for salvation. Anyone who sees their need of a Savior and understands that Jesus Christ can save their soul can be saved. They can drink the  water of life and “pass from death unto life”, John 5:24. Even as the Lord brings things to a close, people are still being inviting to come to Him for their soul’s salvation.

Have you ever trusted Jesus as your Savior? If you haven’t, let me invite you again to come to Jesus and trust Him to save your soul! If you will come to Him, He will save you and prepare you for an eternity in Heaven, John 6:37-40.

C.  v. 18-19  There Is An Admonition To Avoid – People are warned not to tamper with the words of this book. The Lord pronounces a curse on those who would add to or take away from the words of the Bible. This is not a new warning, but it is a warning that runs like a thread through the pages of Scripture, Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Pro. 30:5-6. In fact, the warning given here is two-fold.

·         Men are warned not to add to the Bible – The Bible is a complete book. When the Bible was finished, the revelation of God to man was brought to an end. There are no more new revelations being given today! Every person who stands up and claims to have a “new word from the Lord” is guilty of adding to the Word of God! They are bringing the threat of divine judgment upon themselves.

One of the hallmarks of the charismatic movement has been the inclusion of new revelation. Someone will stand in a service and claim to have a word from God. That is dangerous and it is heresy! We have all the words from God that we will ever have, right here in the Bible!

These verses also let me know that every book written by man that claims to be Scripture is a lie of the devil! The book of Mormon; the writings of Mary Baker Patterson Glover Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, which is neither Christian nor scientific; the so-called “lost books of the Bible”; are all attempts by Satan to undermine our faith in the Word of God.

Those who add the Word of God will face divine vengeance and judgment. God does not want His Word tampered with!

·         Men are warned not to subtract from the Bible – Many people are guilty of picking and choosing what they want from the Word of God. They may not add to the Bible, but they are guilty of subtracting from its words. For too many are guilty of diluting the message of God. They deny its truth; water down its doctrines; and ignore its warnings. They too will face divine judgment!

Many years ago J.A. Seiss, in his commentary on Revelation, said, “O, my friends, it is a fearful thing to suppress or stultify the word of God, and above all ‘the words of the prophecy of this Book.’ To put forth for truth what is not the truth,—denounce as error, condemn, repudiate, or emasculate what God himself hath set his seal to as his mind and purpose, is one of those high crimes, not only against God, but against the souls of men, which cannot go unpunished.” God does not take it lightly when people tamper with His Word. And, neither should we!

Let every preacher of the Gospel, every Sunday School teacher, everyone who leads in a devotion, take heed to how you handle the Word of God! It deserves our best effort! We should study it, meditate over it and present it in the power of the Spirit. If you lack that power, prostrate yourself before the Lord until He gives you that power! When you have found the meaning of His Word, then stand forth and proclaim it in the authority of the Spirit, being careful not to add to or take away from its divine message!

 

Wade’s Wednesday

Prayer: Our Time Saver

By Dr. Charles Stanley

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up? Are your thoughts instantly focused on the day ahead, or are they centered on the Lord? Although most of us have busy lives and are involved in activities that consume much of our time and attention, the most important and timesaving part of each day is that which is spent in quiet solitude with God.

Yet many of us feel so rushed that we don’t think there’s enough time for the Lord. We immediately jump onto the treadmill of life and then wonder why we’re so frustrated, confused, and dissatisfied. Even if our desire is to follow God, we don’t know where He’s going since we haven’t stopped to get directions for the day. Without daily communication, no one can have intimacy with Christ.

Perhaps the problem is our own human logic. We think spending time reading the Bible and praying each morning will result in having less time and lower productivity. However, when we seek Christ’s direction and wisdom for the day and invite Him to control our lives, He’ll accomplish more through us than we can do by ourselves. He will give us wisdom for good decisions, increase our strength and energy, and free us from time-wasting anxiety.

Ask yourself, Am I too busy for the Lord? If the answer is yes, then you’re denying yourself the blessing of an intimate relationship with Christ. When you make time for Him, He’ll fill you with peace and joy, guide your decisions, grant you wisdom, empower you to obey, make you more productive, and comfort you with His love.

Tuesday With Karen

IMG_1139

Our Cup Runneth Over

Our cup runneth over, by blessings He gives,

He shows us His wisdom each day as we live;

He is our Shepherd, we’re the sheep He leads,

Watching over us daily, meeting every need!

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Our cup runneth over, by the Shepherd Himself,

He blesses us with more than our tongue can tell;

He guides our footsteps every day coming along,

Never one time will He leave His children alone!

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Our cup runneth over, from being in His will,

The needs within our heart, only He can fulfill;

He bestows gifts on us by His awesome hand,

Giving us much more than we can understand!

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Our cup runneth over, it’s abundantly blessed,

He gives us strength, even in facing our tests;

Goodness & mercy will follow us all our days,

Until we go Home, to give Him glory & praise!

8-15-16

Bump

from ladies devotional

Bump In The Night 
Julia Bettencourt


What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”   Psalm 56:3 

Well, that old “holiday”, Halloween is getting closer and I’ve already seen lots of Halloween decorations in the stores. Another thing we have to look forward to this time of year is all those scary movie advertisements. What’s with that anyway? Actually most of them don’t look scary, just full of violence.

When I was little, those old black and white vampire movies were scary enough for me. Just the look in that vampire’s eyes would send me right under the blanket. I didn’t even need to see any blood. I’d hide my head under the covers until I thought it was safe to come out. Actually I still hold the blanket up in front of my face if I don’t want to see something gorey or scary on television. When I’m smart, I just turn it off. Yes! I admit it. I’m a scaredy-cat!

I got to thinking about being afraid and some of the things that we as Christians are afraid of.

  • Things of Our Own Making
    Adam in the Garden of Eden comes to mind. Well, what do you know. I guess humans have been scaredy-cats from way back. Here it was at the very beginning of the earth and Adam was “afraid”.Remember Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit that God told them not to. They weren’t hiding under the covers but they were hiding in the garden.And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Genesis 3:8-10

    Breaking fellowship with the Lord is a scary place to be. I know some people live right there most of their lives, getting farther and farther away from God.

    There are other consequences of our own making too, not necessarily all rooted in sin. It may be that sometimes we have to make decisions that are hard because we know there are going to be consequences that come along with those decisions.

    Sometimes these things of our own making seem to be lurking there like a big shadow in the dark that comes right up to us and shouts, “boo!”.

  • Things That Are Bigger Than We Are.
    Are you familiar with Goliath and the challenge he gave Saul and the Israelites in 1 Samuel? Here comes that big giant of a Philistine and it sent shivers through those big strong men that were in the army. When I read that chapter I can just hear Goliath’s words of challenge just bellowing out of him. It says that,“When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.” 1 Samuel 17:11Ever have something come in your life that was just bigger than you are? An extremely heavy burden that you’ve had to bear? It looks like a monster in the dark with its big fangs looming over you.

    Things that are way bigger than us and make us feel tiny in comparison are one of those things that make us afraid.

  • Things That We Don’t Understand.
    Look at Mary, the mother of Jesus in Luke chapter 1. The angel came to her and told her that she was chosen to carry the Christ-child. Certainly Mary had reason to be afraid. She didn’t understand what was happening.“And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. ” Luke 1:29, 30I think that the things we don’t understand sometimes are the scariest. It’s hard to deal with those things because we don’t know how to process it or see it in a tangible form.

    It’s like the howling sounds of the wind on a dark and stormy night shrieking at us.

  • Things That Give Us Immediate Danger.
    That story of Peter walking on the water comes to my mind. Remember how he got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. He was fine until he started looking around and took his eyes off of the Lord.“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Matthew 14:30, 31 Peter’s fear was of immediate danger. He thought he was going to drown right then and there if the Lord didn’t help him. Don’t you hate those immediate danger situations? They are scary. You might be in the middle of one right now.

    It’s like those big old waves are staring at you in the face and starting to cover you until you feel you can’t breathe anymore.

Beetle

from ODB

Like many towns, Enterprise, Alabama, has a prominent monument. But the monument in Enterprise is unlike any other. The statue doesn’t recognize a leading citizen; it celebrates the work of a beetle. In the early 1900s, this boll weevil made its way from Mexico to the southern US. Within a few years it had destroyed entire crops of cotton, the primary source of revenue. In desperation, farmers started growing another crop—peanuts. Realizing they had been dependent on one crop for too long, they credited the beetle with forcing them to diversify, which led to increased prosperity.

The boll weevil is like things that come into our lives and destroy what we have worked hard to accomplish. Devastation results—sometimes financial, emotional, or physical—and it is frightening. We witness the end of life as we know it. But as the people of Enterprise learned, the loss of what is old is an opportunity to discover something new. God may use hardship to get us to give up a bad habit or learn a new virtue. He used a thorn in Paul’s flesh to teach him about grace (2 Cor. 12:7-9).

Instead of striving to preserve old habits that are no longer effective, we can view every hardship as an opportunity for God to cultivate a new virtue in us.

The Restoration Business

By Adrian Rogers

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.” Joel 2:25

Hosea had a wife whose name was Gomer. She not only committed immorality, but she finally ended up as a prostitute on the street.

In the strength of the Lord, Hosea went to her, reclaimed her, forgave her, remarried her and restored her as his bride. What a picture of the restoration of our Lord with us!

God has promised to restore all the pains of our past, the heartaches from broken relationships, the struggles from defeat, and the frustrations of our lives. All the times we felt broken beyond repair, God has promised to restore.

God is in the business of restoring His children into beautiful works of His holiness.

Is there someone in your life who has wandered from the faith and felt the abandonment of friends and family? If so, go to that person today and encourage them in the love of Jesus.

Friday Funnies

Strange Goings On in the Portchester Graveyard

Roger Letzer was visiting the cemetery near Portchester Castle in England and he couldn’t help noticing a man kneeling in front of a gravestone, clasping his hands and sobbing.  Roger went a bit closer and could hear what the man was saying.  ‘Why did you have to die?’ he was repeating, ‘Why did you have to die?’

Feeling he ought to do something to alleviate the man’s obvious distress Roger laid his hand on the his shoulder saying gently, ‘Was it someone you loved very much?’

The man looked up at him and said, ‘No, I never met him, he was my wife’s first husband.’

DOCTOR’S VISIT

Nora Bone was delivering a new plastic skeleton to the doctor’s office.  As she waited at the main desk Nora was aware that the waiting room full of patients was staring at her.  So she smiled and said,” I am bringing him in to doctor Henderson.” 

An old lady said sympathetically, “My dear!  Isn’t it a bit late for the doctor?”

KIDS CORNER

Q: Why do skeletons have low self-esteem?
A: They have no body to love.

Q: Know why skeletons are so calm?
A: Because nothing gets under their skin.

Q: Why did the headless horseman go into business?
A: He wanted to get ahead in life.

Joe: What do you call wood when it’s scared?

Bob: I don’t know.

Joe: Petrified!

Numbered Grocery List

My father was completely lost in the kitchen and never ate unless someone prepared a meal for him. When Mother was ill, however, he volunteered to go to the supermarket for her. She sent him off with a carefully numbered list of seven items.

Dad returned shortly, very proud of himself, and proceeded to unpack the grocery bags. He had one bag of sugar, two dozen eggs, three hams, four boxes of detergent, five boxes of crackers, six eggplants, and seven green peppers.

Bible Study

CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME  Revelation 21

I.    SORROW, YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME   v. 4   

A.  There is no denying that this life is a life of trouble, trials and tragedies.  Every day we hear accounts of diseases, distresses, discouragements and deaths.  This is how the Bible said it would be, Job 14:1, Job 5:7; John 16:33, 1 Peter 4:12

B.  There isn’t a person in this room who has come this far in the journey unscathed by the troubles of life.  

C.  According to verse 4, the troubles and trials of this life cannot follow us home!  When we leave this world, whether it be by the rapture or the graveyard, there are just some things that cannot go with us!  

      1.  Death – In heaven, no one will ever die and no graves will be dug.  Never again will grief stricken loved ones stand beside the body of a departed loved one. (1 Cor. 15:53-56)

      2.  Sorrow – This word refers “to sorrow or grief of any kind.”  It speaks of the all the pains, troubles and heartaches we experience in this life.  Disappointments, trials, problems, loss of friends and property, death of loved ones, persecutions, our own failures, all are in view here. 

      3.  Crying – This word has the idea of “an outburst or an outcry.”  It refers to those times when we are absolutely overwhelmed and broken by the events of life.  It speaks about those times when we are at the very end of our ropes and do not know what to do!  

      4.  Pain – This word refers to “labor, toil or great trouble.”  It refers to all the diseases, disappointments and disasters we encounter as we move through this world.  Well, the good news is that none of these things will ever follow us home!  No hospitals, no broken homes, no broken hearts, no trials and no tribulation will go with us to glory!

      5.  Tears – This is the sum of our blessed, promised state in Heaven.  All the things that drive us to weeping and sorrow here will not be found over there!

  

 II.  SATAN, YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME   v. 8               

A.  While it is true that much of what happens in this life is just part of living in a sin-cursed world; it is also true that a being called “the devil” causes the saints of God much grief.  Satan’s desire is to defeat and destroy you, 1 Pet. 5:8, and he will stop at nothing to see you fall and fail.

B.  His names reveal his nature and his desires toward you and me.  He is called:

      1.  The Accuser of the brethren – Rev. 12:10 (Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5)

      2.  The Adversary – 1 Pet. 5:8

      3.  The Devil and Murder – John 8:44

      4.  The god of this world – 2 Cor. 4:4

      5.  The Tempter – Matt. 4:3

      6.  The Ruler of Darkness – Eph. 6:12

      7.  The Serpent – Gen. 3:4

      8.  The Wicked One – Matt. 13:19

      C.  He has many other names and they all tell us how evil he is.  But, the saints of God can just call him “Gone” some day, because as evil as he is, he cannot follow us home!  (Rev. 20:1-3; 10; Rev. 21:27)

  

III. SIN, YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME    v. 2, 8              

A.  Verse 2 tells us about the city of God, the New Jerusalem.  Verse 9-11 tells us that this city is the Bride of the Lamb.  As far as I can tell, the church is the Bride of Christ, 2 Cor. 11:2.  Here, the city is associated with the inhabitants.  Here, the Bride of Jesus is pictured as a glorious, spotless and sinless Bride, Rev. 19:7-8.  This means that one of these days, we are going to be changed.  This vile flesh will drop away and there will be no more appetite or ability to sin!

B.  Let’s face it, everyone in this room; even those of us who are saved have trouble with this flesh we carry about.  This was the experience of Paul, Rom. 7:14-25; and it is our experience as well. 

            You see, when the Lord saved us, He saved us from the Penalty of sin, John 5:24; Rom. 8:1.  He also saved us from the Power of sin, Rom. 6:14.  We have also been saved from the Presence of Sin, but that great blessing will not be realized as long as we live in this world.

C.  According to the Bible, there will come a changing day for the saints of God, 1 Cor. 15:48-54.  One glorious day, this flesh with all its appetites, affections and allurements will drop away forever.  When that day comes, all the saints of God will be forever delivered from the presence of sin and will be in bodies that cannot possibly sin!  We will be in a body and a land that is free from the blight and temptation of sin!  We will be free!  Free to worship.  Free to praise!  Free to live perfectly for the glory of God!

 

IV.  SINNER, YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ME HOME   v. 8               

A.  All of the things I have told you about today are wonderful and glorious for those who are saved.  But, there is a sad note to this message.  Verse 8 tells us that those who die in their sins will not be allowed inside that city.  That bothers me, but that is the price of refusing to believe on Jesus.

B.  Notice the fifth word of verse 8.  It is the word “unbelieving.”  This word refers to those “without faith, to those without trust in God.”  It speaks about those who have never been saved through a personal relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus Himself said that those who would not believe in Him would not be saved, John 8:24.

C.  Friend, you may have listened as I tried to preach about Heaven and about some of the things that will not follow us to that perfect land.  You might have thought, “That’s a place I too would like to go to when I leave this world.”  I just want you to know that unless you come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, you will never go to Heaven!  You will instead go to Hell, Ps. 9:17; 2 Thess. 1:8-9!

 

A WONDERFUL HOME CALLED HEAVEN  Rev. 21:9-27   

I believe the Bible.  I believe in taking this book literally.  Therefore, I believe in a literal place called Hell.  I also believe in a literal place called Heaven.  Some people think we are foolish to believe in some city far above the earth, where people are happy, holy and home.  I may be foolish for believing that, but I am in good company!  

      

I.    LET’S TALK ABOUT A PLACE CALLED HOME

A.  It Is A Prepared Place – John 14:2 – Ill. Creation, John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17, and the fact that it is marred by sin.  Imagine what Heaven will be like. (Ill. “Prepare” – Speaks of the man who went before the king to make sure the way was clear.  Ill. A bridegroom making everything ready for his bride.  Jesus Has cleared the way and made ready the place.)

B.  It Is A Perfect Place – Rev. 21:4; 9-21 – None of the things that hinder here will enter there.  (Sea, v. 1; Tears, v. 4; Pain, v. 4; Sorrow, v. 4; Crying, v. 4; Sin, v. 8, 27; Satan, v. 8, 27; Temple, v. 22; Sun, v. 23; Night, v. 25; Curse, v. 22:3.)  (Heaven will be glorious!  Not just for all that is there, but for what isn’t!) (The sorrows of this life.)

C.  It Is A Pleasant Place – Rev. 21:22-27 – The size, the appearance and all that will be missing in glory. (1500 miles on each side!  Walls 216 feet high.  Gates of pearl.  Walls of jasper.  Foundations of twelve precious stones.  Streets of pure gold.) John is attempting to describe the indescribable.

D.  It Is A Permanent Place – 1 Pet. 1:4 – Everything in this world is fading away.  That world is free from decay, destruction and degeneration.  The Bible uses four phrases here to describe Heaven.  It is “incorruptible”.  It will never be invaded by enemies, Matt. 6:19-20.  It is “undefiled”.  It cannot be “soiled or stained”.  It is free from the taint of sin and corruption of sin.  It is a place that “fadeth not away”.  Unlike any place or thing in this world, Heaven cannot decay or wear away.  It is “reserved”.  It is guarded and kept under lock and key for us!   Psa. 145:13.

 

II.  LET’S TALK ABOUT THE POPULATION

A.  They Are A Redeemed People – Rev. 21:24; Psalm 107:2; Eph. 1:6-7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9 – Heaven will be populated only by those who have been to Jesus for the cleansing power.

B.  They Are A Resurrected People – 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-56 – Heaven will be populated by those who have been delivered from the grip of death and the grave.

C.  They Are A Rescued People – John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52 – Heaven will be filled with people who never had to go through the doorway of death.

D.  They Are A Resting People – Rev. 14:13 – Free from the burdens, care and labors of this life.

E.  They Are A Rejoicing People – Rev. 4:1-11; 5:11-14; 7:9-17 – Every glimpse into Heaven reveals the same thing: rejoicing!

 

III.   LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PATH

A.  It Is A Plain Path – John 14:6; Acts 16:31; 1 John 5:12; John 8:24 – The Bible is clear about the road to glory.  There are only two ways in life, Matt. 7:13-14, and you are on one path or the other!

B.  It Is A Peculiar Path – John 10:9; Acts 4:12; John 14:6b – There are not many roads to that city.  There is only ONE, and His name is Jesus.  That may sound narrow, but it is still the truth!

C.  It Is A Personal Path – Rom. 10:9, 13; Luke 13:3; Pro. 9:12 – No one can walk that path for you.  You must take the step of faith for yourself.  

Victory Baptist Church 23 October 2019 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Becoming Invisible

By Julie Ackerman Link

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity
under the heavens. 
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Where I live, this is the time of year when plants defy death by remaining underground until it is safe to come out again. Before the snow comes and the ground freezes, they let go of their beautiful blooms and retreat to a place where they can rest and save energy for the next growing season. Contrary to the way it looks, they are not dead; they are dormant. When the snow melts and the ground thaws, they will again lift their heads toward heaven, greeting their Creator with brilliant colors and sweet fragrances.

The seasons of life require that we sometimes enter a period of dormancy. We are not dead, but we may feel we’ve become invisible. During such times we may feel useless, and we may wonder whether God will ever use us again. But periods like this are for our protection and preparation. When the time is right and the conditions are safe, God will call us once again to
service and worship.

Moses experienced a period of time like this. After killing an Egyptian who harmed a fellow Hebrew, Moses had to flee for his life to the distant land of the Midianites (Ex. 2:11-22). There, God protected him and prepared him for the biggest assignment of his life (3:10).

So be encouraged. We are never invisible to God.

Reflect & Pray: Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care; in Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.  —Dorothy A. Thrupp

No one is invisible to God.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

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Every Step Of The Way
 Every step of the way, the Lord is there to lead,
 He stays right beside us, meeting our every need;
 He carries us within His strong & able grace,
 Answering our prayers, if we just seek His face!
 Every step of the way, He is holding our hand,
 When we get weary, He helps His children stand;
 Even when He sees us with much heartache & pain,
 His love and mercy will give us joy that remains!
 Every step of the way, He sees the choices we make,
 He’ll also forgive us, when we make bad mistakes;
 When Jesus’ crimson blood covers our heart’s sins,
 He never reminds us of them one more time again!
 Every step of the way, He will be there to abide,
 If we need love & comfort, He’s there to reside;
 He protects us as we walk life’s path each day,
 And we need to trust Him every step of the way!