Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Hope of Life after Life

Acts 13 After his death Jesus showed the apostles a lot of convincing evidence that he was alive. For 40 days he appeared to them and talked with them about the kingdom of God.4 Once, while he was meeting with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there for what the Father had promised. Jesus said to them, “I’ve told you what the Father promises: 5 John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”6 So when the apostles came together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you’re going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”7 Jesus told them, “You don’t need to know about times or periods that the Father has determined by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”9 After he had said this, he was taken to heaven. A cloud hid him so that they could no longer see him.10 They were staring into the sky as he departed. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood near them. 11 They asked, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking at the sky? Jesus, who was taken from you to heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.”  

There is no doubt that Jesus died and rose again from the grave. It is one of the foundations of our faith. In fact, if there was not a resurrection then there would not be a faith known today as Christianity.  The resurrection of Christ brings hope to all who believe. His return to life gives hope to all of those who believe in a life after life. Over 500 people saw Jesus ascend to heaven and the appearance of angels afterwards. Over 500 people seeing the same thing solidifies the truth of Jesus' resurrection to life and that there is hope for life after life. Many people wonder about the existence of a world away from the world we currently know. There are afterlife investigators who investigate phenomena in areas where there seems to be paranormal activity. There is the theory of biocentrism which believes that all humans make their own plain of existence whether here on planet Earth or after life. It is funny to see the world look for proof for an afterlife when the Bible declares that there is one. The human race, due to their sinful nature, does not desire to accept the Bible's version of the afterlife. There is an afterlife. One which exists in the arms of God and one which exists without His eternal presence. This is what Hell is all about. It is not about torment and burning flames; it is about the eternal absence of God's presence. He does not exist there because He cannot exist in the realm of unholiness. This , to me, is what makes Hell an undesirable place. To live eternally with the love of my God would be torment enough. The flames and painful bombardments just add to an already undesirable experience. Embedded into the DNA of the Human Race is the hunger to do more with life even after the reality we currently are exposed too. We passionately desire to make a difference in this life and beyond. Many seek for ways to exist beyond the limitations of the natural. The key to the afterlife topic is living your current life in a way which carries your Spirit into the next. Your current existence must be disciplined to the message of Christ. Jesus made it clear that what we do now determines our life after death. He made it clear that in order to guarantee a life with Him after death, then we must take up our cross and follow Him to a life of Spiritual death. Only through dying to the current life can we exist in the glories of the life to come. There is hope for a life after life. We are commissioned to make a choice on which plain of existence; we desire to live in. The First one is one with eternal purpose and hope with Christ and the Second is one without the Lord in eternal torment. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fear of the Lord

When the world does not fear God then sin becomes more rapid in society. As humanity progresses in technology and other advances; their need or desire for God becomes less. Henceforth, the idea is that gods don't worship God. Many in the world see themselves as a god due to their proposed state of self-evolution.

The fear of the Lord  is quickly leaving the church pews which has vaporized the thought for those on the outside looking in. We need the fear of the Lord to be a topic again within the church. I need the fear of the Lord to be a greater force in my life because in some cases; it has not.

What is the fear of the Lord? The fear of the Lord is the thought of living a life of respect, awe, and submission to the Living God. It is recognizing that there is a true and living God who has created all things and who has wisdom greater than ours. Fearing God means recognizing his true Deity and power over all things. This thought or idea has escaped the human conscience and the church of the living God needs to bring it back. I am convinced that this year. (2014) The church needs to re-harvest the idea and show it to the world.

Below is a scripture study on the fear of the Lord. Let the study give you some thoughts for this year and years to come. We desperately need the Ananias and Sapphira experiences in our churches again.

Fear of the Lord.

1. The fear of the Lord needs to be demonstrated for all to see and hear.
 a. 2 Chronicles 20:29  The fear of the LORD came over the kingdoms in that area when they heard how the LORD waged war against Israel's enemies.
2. The fear of the Lord gives wisdom and shows the evil of the world.
  a. Job_28:28  So he told humans, 'The fear of the Lord is wisdom! To stay away from evil is understanding.'"
3. The Fear of the Lord creates our relationship with the Lord.
 a. Psalm_25:14  The LORD advises those who fear him. He reveals to them the intent of his promise. 
4. The lack of the Fear of the Lord breeds contempt,stupidity and lack of discipline.
 a. Proverbs_1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline. 
5. The fear of the Lord brings true life to those who seek it. 
  a. Pro_19:23  The fear of the LORD leads to life, and such a person will rest easy without suffering harm. 
6. The fear of the Lord comes through a relationship with Jesus who bears it all.
  a. Isaiah_11:2  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of advice and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD. 
Isaiah_11:3  He will gladly bear the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear. 
7. More people come to the faith and follow the Lord when the fear of the Lord is present within our camps.
  a. Acts_9:31  Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace. The number of people increased as people lived in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.