Tag: judgment

Everyone Appears

The rich, the poor, the athletic, the genius, the gay, the straight, the down and out, the up and in.

All have at least one thing in common.

Nerds, cool cats, gun toters and gun haters, socialists, communists, neo-nazis and Jews.

All face the same appointed time.

Preacher, sinner, agnostic, atheist, universalist, Jehovah’s Witness, and Latter Day Saint. Those who kill others, and those who kill themselves.

It makes no difference. There’s a throne that must be faced.

Dark skin, white skin, tatted or pierced skin, stretched and pregnant, wrinkled and worn. Skin is skin; nothing more, nothing less.

Remember that.

Bald headed or buzzed, white haired or gray.

Corporate executives, Army privates, movie stars and star gazers; what will you do?

You can’t dodge it forever.

No matter who you are or think you are, there is no way you can avoid the divine interview when your life is finally over.

Everyone appears before God.

Whether you’ve been sweeter than candy, or mean and nasty.

You may live to be 120 or never see your thirtieth birthday.

But what will you do when your life is over?

How will you answer when questioned by the Creator of the universe?

How will you hide from the Judge Who’s eyes pierce your very soul, and Who knows your life without you saying a word, when there’s absolutely no place to hide?

While you still have breath in your lungs, consider your future appointment with God Almighty.

Be honest with yourself: you have NOT been THAT good; good enough to keep from shrinking before His Holy Presence.

Consider –

“And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people…” (Hebrews 9:27 – 9:28 NLT)

The ONLY way you’ll stand before God without hearing Him say, “Depart from Me and spend eternity in the Lake of Fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” is if Jesus Christ is standing with you.

The only way.

“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6 NLT)

Let Him stand with you now.

You’ll be glad you did.

“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:12 – 1:13 NLT)

Drunk with Power

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A long time ago there was a king. A king who was drunk with power.

But one night he had a strange visitation from God.

It changed everything.

“Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lamp-stand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote.” (Daniel 5:5 ESV)

Opposite the lamp-stand.

The lamp-stand is the source of light for the room. It also can represent the source of revelation, or knowledge of the Holy One, for a group of people or society as a whole.

In the Book of Revelation, the Church is the lamp-stand.

I find this passage very intriguing. I believe it speaks prophetically to our day and age; to the nation we all know as the United States of America. At the very least, it should speak to our nation’s leaders – political, civic, and spiritual.

King Belshazzar was so full of himself he couldn’t see anything or anyone else. In his eyes he was all knowing and all powerful. One night he “made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.

“Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.” (Daniel 5:1-4 ESV)

I’m not going to try and get you to believe King Belshazzar was responsible for all of Babylon’s wickedness. It simply isn’t so. However, as the ruler of the Babylonian Empire, Belshazzar was the one God would hold accountable.

That’s how it is with leaders.

That’s how it is with President Obama. But more about him later.

Belshazzar was drunk. Drunk with power and with the fruit of the vine. In front of his thousand lords he began to mock the God of Jerusalem; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As he led his sycophants in praise to the gods of the land, the God of Abraham sent him a message.

In fact, it would be the king’s last.

Notice where the message was written. On the wall, opposite the lamp-stand.

I remind you of the lamp-stand’s purpose.

Throughout the centuries, God has had various “lamp-stands” through which he would speak.

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3 ESV)

Jesus, a Lamp-stand to reveal the will and nature of the Father. The Church, the Body of Christ, is also referred to as “the light of the world”.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 ESV)

As the hand suddenly appeared before Belshazzar, the particular wall on which the message was written had great significance.

The wall opposite the light.

Belshazzar stood for everything that opposed the one true God. He was the leader of a kingdom that had openly opposed Israel, and the God of Israel. Yes, God had used Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar’s grandfather, to bring correction to His people. But Belshazzar went beyond the intent of the Lord, and helped lead his nation in ways completely contrary to the revealed will of God.

And the writing appeared, with its meaning interpreted by the prophet Daniel.

“Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

“Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.””(Daniel 5:17-23 ESV)

The king’s opposition to light, God’s revelation about Himself AND about mankind, ultimately judged the king and brought down his kingdom.

That night.

In this great nation called the United States of America, there are a lot of men and women who openly and vehemently oppose God’s light. It’s not a new thing; no, not at all.

But the blatant defiance and utter disregard toward anything remotely “Christian” is no longer tolerable by God. It has far surpassed the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah. How can I say that, since I didn’t live back then?

Mankind is judged by what they do with the revelation they have. Sodom and Gomorrah had some revelation, enough to bring God’s judgment.

But America, that “city on a hill” (as described by Puritan John Winthrop in 1630) has done everything within its power to snuff out the light of God.

And no other nation, ever, has had so much “revelation”, so much light. Churches on every corner, books and bibles available to anyone and everyone. Leaders are sworn in to office with the Word of God.

It appears the leadership of this once great land is drunk with power. They have called for the treasures of the Christian Church to be paraded in front of all while they mock and demean the ones they oppose.

President Barack Obama, and his administration of thousands, will soon see the handwriting on the wall. Their opposition to the lamp-stand has been noted by God. They are responsible; they will be held accountable.

As prayer can avert judgment, it is not an automatic fix. Daniel was a praying man in the Babylonian kingdom. But Daniel could not change the heart of the leaders.

The arrogance of the nation’s leaders has called for judgment. The public mockery of all things holy has demanded judgment.

God will remember mercy in judgment; but mercy will not alleviate true justice.

As the hand wrote those infamous words on the wall opposing the light, so shall the Lord reveal His final message to America’s leaders.

May America have time to hear and repent.

Belshazzar didn’t.

Reincarnation? Please!

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Reincarnation: the idea or belief that people are born again with a different body after death.

I’ve been a Christian for a lot of years; almost 39. I’ve never believed in reincarnation once I became born again, and still don’t. But every lie, for it to sell real well, needs to have an element of truth in it. Maybe there’s something I’ve overlooked where reincarnation is concerned. Well?

My understanding of the subject is limited, I must confess. Here’s the extent of my knowledge.

Let’s say, for instance, I am a vacuum cleaner salesman. The job sucks, but that’s what I am. However, in my previous life (my most recent life) I was a homeless person. I made my living standing on a busy street corner with a “Need help. God Bless” sign, and my three-legged dog.

Before that, I was a ballet dancer in Vienna.

As the belief goes, my “karma” determines what I’ll be in my next life, and how well I’ll be treated. And I guess, according to the belief system, I keep getting reincarnated until I reach a level of perfection, at one with the Brahman (supreme being); Nirvana.

One thing I don’t understand: nirvana means different things to different religions. To some, it means to be blown away, or blown out; like a candle. The end of all suffering, is what others believe it to mean. Other interpretations, from what I can gather, seem to indicate nirvana means “at total peace” and “total calmness and liberation from cravings, lusts, and evil desires”.

I haven’t a clue how many lifetimes it may take to reach Nirvana. Part of me even wonders if it’s worth the effort!

Like I said before, I don’t believe in reincarnation. I have never been someone else. I have never had a past life. Not in a “reincarnation” definition of past life. Not going to be anyone other than who I am. In this body or out of it, I am me, only and forever.

But here’s the “element of truth” I referred to earlier. I am born again. I will have a new, different body after death. I won’t “come back” as a dog, or butterfly, architect, or even a televangelist! In fact, I won’t come back as a community organizer, a lawyer, or a politician; even if I’ve been real bad.

I will be back, though. I’ll be back with Jesus’ heavenly host as mentioned in the book of Revelation.

“They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14 ESV)

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)

I am born again, and the life of God is in me.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.'” (John 3:3-7 ESV)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36 ESV)

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13 ESV)

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 ESV)

I will have a new body when I die. But it will still be me, in my eternal body.

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened – not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”
(2 Corinthians 5:1-5 ESV)

“I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Philippians 1:23 ESV)

I have only lived once. I never existed before I was conceived back in 1954. I never was once a fly, a fish, or a loon. I’ve been called a pack rat before, and also an ass; and even though I may have acted like one, it was still just good old me. No one or nothing else.

The same is true for you. You have never been a monkey, no matter how many times you’ve acted like an ape. You’ll never be a dragonfly, or a talking horse. You’ll always be you. One life. You begin with your physical body, and when that fizzles out, you have another one already prepared.

It DOES matter what you do in this life, but not because of “karma”.

Karma has nothing more to do with where you spend eternity than Caramel Corn has to do with how a movie will end.

Your eternity depends on who is the Lord of your PRESENT LIFE when it’s time for you to check out.

He who has the Son has life.

“…it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”
(Hebrews 9:27 ESV)

Demand Justice!

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What do these things have in common?

20140213-085226.jpgRainbow – beautiful colors leading to a pot of gold, an arch of promise arrayed in the sky

20140213-085237.jpgSalt – a seasoning, a preservative added to foods to reduce contamination and spoiling

20140213-085245.jpgGold – soft and heavy precious metal, perpetually used as money, jewelry, and one mystery use

20140213-085252.jpgDrought – long periods without rain or dew, seasons which cause famine and death

20140213-085302.jpgWhip – cat-o-nine-tails, leathery tool with long, thin leather straps for striking objects

20140213-085313.jpgNail – iron pegs used for fastening one object to another, a peg used to pierce an object

20140213-085320.jpgWorm – little creatures that are long and skinny, simple creatures that live in dirt and other things

20140213-085326.jpgLake – a large hole in the ground which is filled with a liquid like substance, a pool of liquid

20140213-085333.jpgCross – a charm on a bracelet or necklace, symbol of Christianity, the place where justice was executed

Many people today are lifting their voices and screaming, “We want to see justice! Justice in the home and the return of the father. Justice among children, and an end to child abuse. Justice among women and the end of sex trafficking. Justice within society, with racial, sexual, and gender equality.”

“Justice!” The world is demanding justice, as though justice is an answer for mankind.

Actually, it is. Justice is the answer for man, and a necessity for world peace.

Did you figure out what those things have in common?

Justice. Each one has something to do with justice.

Please follow my line of thinking: Justice requires judgment – Judgment requires sentence – Sentence requires execution – so, Justice requires execution.

Execution – Death. Justice requires death.

Everyone of the things mentioned are symbols of justice being meted out. Justice.

The rainbow, the promise of God to never destroy the earth by water, was positioned in the sky after all the earth’s inhabitants DIED except for 8 people and a bunch of birds and critters.

Salt, more specifically, a pillar of salt, signifies the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the whole surrounding valley. Everyone DIED except for 3 people.

Gold, a wonderful metal for creating jewelry, but not so great when making a milkshake. Moses, upon seeing the golden calf Aaron had made, ground up the gold and made the idolaters drink it. Afterward, the second part of justice was executed, along with the idolaters. They all DIED.

Drought, a sad weather related phenomenon. Especially when it’s used as a judgment against a group of people who worshipped the god of rain and fertility; Baal. Many DIED, but not Elijah.

Whip, used for motivating horses and cattle to move along. Also used for punishment, making the recipient of such a lashing wish they had DIED.

The nail was used for building things, piercing ears as a sign of ownership, and attaching a sinless savior to a cross. He didn’t die directly because of the nail, but it held him there long enough until he DIED.

The worm? Along with its friends and family, consumed the insides of a proud king until he DIED. An angel of God used worms to mete out justice.

This lake isn’t one most people would choose for a vacation. Hardly. This lake is filled with fire and brimstone, into which everyone whose names aren’t written in the Lamb’s book of life are thrown. In THAT lake they will forever WISH they could no longer exist.

The cross is where justice was executed for all mankind. One man, Jesus, DIED, for the sins of us all.

The penalty for all sin, big or little, is DEATH. But Jesus took our sin, our punishment; and justice was served!

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16 – 3:17 NASB)

Do you want justice? Are you screaming for justice?

Come to Jesus and find it!

Life Is Short

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Life is short. So brief. It’s like an early morning mist covering a quiet, peaceful valley. For as soon as the sun rises, casting its illuminating rays into the valley, the mist and shadows are gone.

So short. So brief.

Even someone blessed to see their years extend into the 80’s, 90’s, and 100’s, have only had a brief pilgrimage here on earth.

But length of life does not equal value or importance.

The Lord has revealed to mankind the things He values in a life. Some things we know inherently, such as moral laws. Other things are revealed in His Word.

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV)

“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 ESV)

Mankind has a tendency to live as though this life is without end, like they’re indestructible, and any mention of an eternal reward or judgment is simply a myth.

What a shame! What a waste!

What are YOU doing with YOUR life? What will you leave behind when your life on earth is over?

Who are YOU devoted to? Who are YOU investing in? What will be YOUR legacy?

You are writing your obituary; you are living out, demonstrating, how you want people to remember you. So, how WILL people remember you?

What kind of conversation will you have with God, when your short life is all used up?

“…you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14 ESV)

Hey, Jude!

20130807-223048.jpgEver hear of the rock and roll group called The Beatles? Of course you have! As a teenager, and like millions of other teens, I listened to them every chance I could. And, like it or not, their music spoke directly to the heart of their generation, the culture of the day.

From simple songs about love, to complex pieces laced with veiled references to the drug world, their lyrics told tales of people with names like Rita, Lucy, Michelle, and Maxwell. They gave the world a new way to sing “Happy Birthday”, revealed a thing or two about Walrus’, took us on a Magical Mystery Tour, and encouraged us all to just “Let It Be.” And we can’t forget the cryptic cover of the “Abbey Road” LP; the one with Ringo as the preacher, John as God, Paul as the deceased, and George as the grave digger – as the story goes.

Yes, they spoke to their generation, for better or worse, and most of us listened and bought their message.

Ever hear of a guy named Jude? Not the guy the Beatles sang about; this guy was a brother of Jesus and a writer of a very small letter in the New Testament. He had much to say to his generation, as well. And although his letter is about 2000 years old, the message he gave then is probably better suited for this generation!

Ever read his letter? It begins nice and friendly; cordial, in a way. But things get pretty hot real quick. I mean, he starts writing and warning people to stand up, contend, for the faith. Fight for the Truth, the Gospel. Why, because there’s a time coming when all “hell is gonna break loose!”

He warns of judgment to come, the danger of “backsliding”, and the need to keep “built up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” He uses the word “ungodly” so many times you begin to get the idea God isn’t very pleased with a lot of people who call themselves Christians; the ones who act like they’ve never met Jesus. For instance:


“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

“Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” (Jude 1:5-13 NKJV)

See what I mean? “Having saved people…destroyed those who did not believe”, and “while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.” These people hung out with the believers, but…

Jude, poor Jude. He’s not a very popular guy! Definitely not as popular as the Beatles! And his message doesn’t attract too many people today, either. In fact, most of the “church world” would just as soon ignore the message of Jude.

Here’s a little ditty that resonates with a lot of the modern “saints”. Feel free to sing along!

Hey, Jude,
I can’t believe
You’d take a Good God
And make Him bitter
Remember,
God is love and so kind
I am offended by your letter

Hey, Jude,
Why are you mad?
Where’s the love, man
Why be so hateful?
Remember,
God’s love and grace is for all
He wouldn’t send a soul to hell.

So why the angry rhetoric,
You know, I’m sick
Of people who always speak so ugly
Why can’t we all just get along
Would it be wrong?
To talk of the good, and not the ungodly

Hey, Jude,
You’re such a fool,
To believe those tales of fiction,
Remember,
The thought of angels in chains
Is but a vivid imagination

So let them out and let them go
Those words of woe
They only embarrass Christian brothers
Lighten up your voice of gloom
Your words of doom
And let’s all love one another…

Hey, Jude,
Though I’m your friend
Feel that church has made you bitter
Remember,
It’s not as bad as it seems
So take your sad notes, and make them better, better, better…

Yep, poor old Jude. Too bad he didn’t realize this generation doesn’t care for such negativity. If he’d only gotten the memo, and had a dynamic agent, he just might have connected to the believers of the 21st Century.

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, hey Jude!

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