Sunday, June 27, 2010

Good enough for Heaven?

Before I start, it is important for me to mention that the word ‘HEAVEN’ has been used to describe so many things, places and events. For e.g., we read in the book of Genesis, that,’ In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth’. This is probably why some of St. Paul’s letters mention wars in the heavenlies and we hear people talk about 2nd heaven, 3rd heaven e.t.c.

Also, heaven in everyday English is used to describe a state of bliss, pure joy e.t.c. But for the purpose of this post, am going to be talking about the Heaven where God dwells with His saints.

First of all, where or what is Heaven? A lot of people can answer that one. ‘Oh, that’s easy. Heaven is where good people go when they die’. Wrong!!!

Before I go further, let’s look at what the Scriptures say about Heaven. ‘But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;’ Matt 5:34 (NKJV).

So first point, Heaven is God’s throne. You know what a throne means right? In earthly terms, a throne is that seat which a king or queen seats on.

In all the books I’ve read on heaven, books written by men & women whom Jesus had given the rare privilege of seeing the other sides of eternity, heaven & hell, almost always described heaven as a place of indescribable beauty, which human words cannot adequately capture.
We also know that the streets of heaven are paved with gold! See that, gold! Pure gold that shines like polished glass! Wow! Rev 21:21. (NKJV).

Jesus also describes heaven as His father’s house.'In my father’s house, there are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am that you may be also’. John 14:2-3 (NKJV).

So by now we know that heaven is God’s throne and that Jesus is preparing many mansions for His children and also that He WILL SURELY COME AGAIN TO TAKE US HOME TO BE WITH HIM. I think this last Bible portion explains a lot.

So how do we get to this Heaven? This place where Jesus is preparing many mansions for His children? This place of joy, eternal rest and indescribable beauty?

The world says when a ‘good’ person dies, they go to heaven or heaven is a place where ‘good’ people go when they die. So if goodness will get me to heaven, how good must I become before I can get there? The truth is we will never be good enough. ‘For there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good and sinneth not’. Ecc 7:20. (KJV).

As humans, we have our definitions of goodness and this varies depending on where you stand and what your beliefs are. For instance, a suicide bomber believes that by blowing himself up at a wedding he is doing an act of goodness, but you may say ’how can such a person be described as good?’ Being ‘good’ as the world describes it cannot save us, for the bible says,’ all our righteousness are like filthy rags before Him’.

So how can I get to heaven? Simple answer, by being SAVED. This means deliverance from sin and eternal damnation. Because surely as there is heaven so there is hell, where the souls of the eternally damned languish forever in sorrow. So who can save me? Only JESUS. ‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’. Acts4 :12. (NKJV).

So we can see that being pious, law-abiding, tax-paying, kind, loving, giving (not that these are bad) will not save anyone, for it is not by works but by His mercy. ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us’. Titus 3:5 (KJV).

So brethren, we can see that only Jesus can save, because He paid the ultimate price for all our sins, by shedding His blood at Calvary, ‘And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission’. Heb 9:22 (NKJV).

Don’t listen to the lie from the pit of hell that says, ‘there are many paths to God’. That is a big lie that is leading so many souls astray! Jesus says, ‘I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH & THE LIFE, no one comes to the Father (God), except through me’. John 4:6 (NKJV).

This means saints cannot save us, angels cannot save us, Pastors, priests, ministers cannot save us. Only Jesus can. Confess Him today. Ask Him to come and be Lord of your life. Tell him to wash you with His blood and save you. He cares and He listens. Jesus is Lord! Shalom!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When it hurts...

So many of us are familiar with the Kirk Franklin song, 'My Life Is In Your Hands'. That song has ministered to me so many times, on so many occasions when I just wanted to give up. But somehow when I hear that song, even if the feeling doesn't  go away immediately, I feel better.

My favourite lines are ''joy comes in the morning, troubles they don't last always,  for there is a FRIEND in JESUS, who will WIPE YOUR TEARS AWAY...'

You see no matter who you are in life, you must face trials. Some trials are tougher than others, but tough nonetheless. Sometimes it gets so tough, you just want to give up.  Maybe someone hurt you deeply or you made a mistake that keeps haunting you. 

Sometimes we grieve and we mourn and we feel as if God has forgotten us,  but  I can assure you that He hasn't.

Sometimes we face failures, disappointments,discouragement. We may feel heartbroken, rejected or unloved.
But isn't it amazing that we have a God who understands and cares?

He holds your hand and lifts you up when you fall.

He carries you in His arms when your strength has failed you.

He walks beside you when you feel you are alone.

He gently guides you when you are confused.

He mourns with you, rejoices with you.

He gives you the Grace to go through trials, because He knows they will make you stronger.

I can go on and on, you see, Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. He would still have gone to the Cross even if you were the only one on earth.

JESUS LOVES YOU...  no matter what you've done, no matter how far you've gone from Him. He is always there with His arms open wide. When we take a step towards Him, He takes 10 towards us.

 God loves unconditionally.  This means that, you don't have to fulfill any obligations or requirements for Him to love you.

''But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us'' Romans 5:8 (NKJV).  

Isn't it great?! that we serve and worship a God who loves us so much!!!

So remember, when it hurts, Jesus is always there, He is the Balm of Gilead. He who has loved us with an everlasting love.
''Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are always there for me. Through the darkest nights and the fiercest storms you are there. Lord Jesus, help me remember each day that you died for me. Lord I commit my pain, my struggles, my trials into your hands. I ask that you strengthen me and heal me. Dear Jesus, you are the Balm of Gilead and you are Jehovah Rapha my healer. Touch me Lord and make me whole. Amen''

Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers, Amen!