All posts by PastorBob

Eternity is Forever

Reflect on the title for a few moments. “Eternity is Forever.” These three words SHOULD have a profound impact on your life.

For the ungodly these words will provoke fear, denial, or a mixture of the two, depending upon how honest they are, and how well they have buried the reality of sin, righteous, and the judgment to come of which the Holy Spirit convicts them (John 16:18).

Fear SHOULD be the reality in light of the fact that those who fail to measure up to God’s perfect standard, and also reject the free gift of forgiveness and mercy through Jesus, will spend forever receiving punishment for their sins. Hell will not be a place of parties, but a lake of fire. Having been briefly trapped in a fire, I can tell you that it is not a pleasant place to be. Being trapped in a fire forever should be avoided at all cost.

In fact, as Jesus speaks he offers this advice:
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than [having] two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than [having] two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. (Matthew 18:8-9 NKJV)

The reality is that is not our hands, feet, or eyes that cause us to sin. It is the sin which has infected our hearts. Jesus is not calling for dismemberment of our extremities. This will not solve the problem. His statement does make perfectly clear just how serious our sin problem is. We should do anything necessary to avoid the everlasting fire and the associated torment.

We need a new heart! We need a heart that is free of sin. You don’t have to ascend in to heaven to find this new heart. God is wanting to give it to you. God has provided a way to give it to you, a way with which He can be both just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Christ.

Listen to the simplicity of how to receive the gift of life:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10 NKJV)

Think back to the title again: “Eternity is Forever.” Reflect on Jesus’ illustration of just how important it is to avoid everlasting fire. You should be willing to do ANYTHING to avoid such a fate! The good news is that freedom from such a fate is a free gift for anyone who is willing to bow before Jesus and confess Him as Lord.

As imperative as it is for the ungodly to face the reality of their peril, these three words are good for all of us to reflect on. “Eternity is Forever.: This really puts the distractions of this life into perspective. The things that we often spend so much time and energy on will soon pass away. How well are you spending the precious days of your life in light of this eternal truth?

Marriage: God’s Plan from the Beginning

Even in its current fallen state we see a marvelous beauty and design in God’s creation.  When we look to the heavens, we see the artistry, the perfect timing and spacing of stars and moon hurtling through space, yet unveiling a beautiful choreograph of days, months, and seasons.  If we take a microscope we see the marvelous hand of our Creator in the smallest details of even the simplest organism.  When God does it, He does it right!

In Genesis Chapter 2, which recaps in greater detail the sixth day of creation, we find God unveiling His perfect plan for man.  We know that it is His perfect plan because this is before the world was marred by the fall.   Everything that God made was good, and this is no exception.

God provided a powerful lesson for the first man, Adam.  God first said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper comparable to him.”  He brought every creature before Adam and let him name them.  At the end of this process we read:

Genesis 2:20 (NKJV) So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

Out of all the multitude of marvelous creatures that God had made, there was not one that was the perfect companion for Adam.  After revealing to Adam that none of the other creatures completed him, God then provided that missing perfect companion for Adam.

Genesis 2:21-24 (NKJV) And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

And Adam said:
"This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Here is the perfect lifelong companion for Adam.  From his very side was made woman.  She is distinct, and yet part of him.  Adam did not “leave his father and mother,” but states what God’s plan is to be for all future men.  They are to find in a woman, their perfect lifelong companion and helpmate.  They are distinct and yet would become “one flesh.”

The fall did not change this perfect initial plan of God.  Our sinful selfishness makes it harder to live out that “one flesh” relationship, but countless peoples and cultures have shown that this is the only plan that works and is blessed by God.

Here’s praying that you find that perfect person to be your lifelong soul mate as you glorify God by joining together, one man and one woman, for a lifetime “one flesh” relationship in marriage.

Say NO to Idolatry

Idolatry is the placing of anything or anyone as first place in our lives and thinking.  That place which is reserved for God alone.  He is a jealous God and will not share His glory with another.

He is jealous with a cause.  Only when He is in first place in our lives will all other things fall into their proper order.  He wants the best for us.  That best can only occur when He is on the throne, ruling as the sovereign of our lives.

No wonder the Scripture says, “… put to death your members which are on the earth … and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  Colossians 3:5  Indeed we are urged, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 10:14

It is for our good, indeed our very best, that we say NO to idolatry.  If as a Christian we set up anything else as the supreme object of our affection, God will remove it in order that we may more clearly see Him.

John Flavel the Puritan put it this way:  Whatsoever we have over-loved, idolized, and leaned upon, God has from time to time broken it, and made us to see the vanity of it; so that we find the readiest course to be rid of our comforts is to set our hearts inordinately upon them.

Want to enjoy the nicer things of life?  Keep them in their proper place!  Make sure God is Number One.  Give Him thanks for the many things He has given us richly to enjoy, but don’t idolize them.  Just say NO to idolatry.

Thank You Father

Dear Father,

I wanted to thank you for Christmas.  We had a really fun time giving gifts to each other.  I got some really neat things.  Sister got just what she wanted too.  We even had a paper ball fight with the wrapping paper.  It was really fun.  We had to quit because mom said we were getting too carried away and were going to break something.

Dad said that giving each other gifts was to remind us of the best gift ever.  He said that You gave us Your Son Jesus.  He said that we can call You Father because You sent Jesus to die for our sins.  Thank you so much for that.  I like having a Father in heaven.  Dad says that one day we will all get to live with You like forever.  That will be so cool.

I sure hope You had a good Christmas in heaven.  I bet that it was even better than ours because You have the best gift up there now.  Dad says we don’t know when, but some day You will send Jesus back to bring us all to heaven.  Then we will all have the best Christmas together.

Yours truly,

Bobby

And His Name Shall Be Called …

The celebration of Christmas is like no other in our country. For at least a month in advance people are preparing and looking forward to December 25.

Christmas is the celebration of a baby born over 2000 years ago. Oh, but what a baby. This child born in Bethlehem was no ordinary child. Over seven hundred years in advance of His birth, Isaiah prophesied of His coming. What a first Christmas God was planning! This child would be special in so many ways. This child would be among other things the "Mighty God," the "Everlasting Father," and the "Prince of Peace."

As you celebrate Christmas this year. Be sure to celebrate who this baby really is.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.