If I Get to Heaven

Sisters Summer Child Girls Childhood Cute(photo from: https://pixabay.com/en/sisters-summer-child-girls-931151/)

 

One of the nice things about my sister living near me is that sometimes we get alone time to talk about things. On Saturday, on our way to one of her favorite stores, she asked me about by last blog. “Why did you write, ‘if I get to heaven’? Do you think you’re not going to heaven when you die?”

I told her I should have explained what I was thinking.

I believe that God keeps those believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who asked Him to be their Lord and Savior, and repented of their sins. In Ephesians 1 it tells us that God seals His followers forever and calls them heirs of His kingdom.

So, realistically, all born again Christians sincerely loving God and obeying His commands are secure in their relationship with Jesus. Colossians 1 tells us we are already seated in heavenly places. The Gospel of John shows us Jesus’ words about belief in Him.

I’ve read the Old Testament time and again. Believers in God, including Solomon, got off track and began worshiping other gods. In Ecclesiastes, it appears that Solomon got through the depression of leaving God and returned to the faith of his father, King David.

So, even though I’m secure in Christ, I’m also aware of letters from the Apostle Paul in the Epistles of the New Testament. He told disciples of Christ to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. He warned the believers in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 not to be deceived. Neither covetous people, neither those having sex outside of the marriage of a male to a female, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, nor men behaving like women will inherit the kingdom of heaven. I would imagine women acting masculine fall into the same category.

Paul, speaking to Christians warns them if they’re living in the aforementioned manner, they will not go to heaven.

I believe Christians have free will to walk away from God, because one of the prophecies of end times is that a multitude of people will come to Christ and a great number of believers will find their love growing cold and will walk away.

The only reason I said, “if I get to heaven,” is because if I get persecuted, I don’t know if I would wimp out and reject Jesus.

I don’t think I’d do that because of God’s promises to keep His own and because I backslid once and I was miserable without God and I promised Him I’d never turn away from Him again. I understand the consequences better now-hell is worse than anything that I’d suffer on earth. Also, I’ve experienced ups and downs in life, and going through many experiences with Jesus makes the joy sweeter and the sorrow bearable.

I shouldn’t have said, “if I get to heaven,” I suppose, but my dad used to say, “only God knows who’s going to heaven.”

He said that because he saw some phonies in his lifetime. I don’t trust myself, but I do trust Jesus. If I get weak I call out to Jesus and that’s not going to change.

“I hope this helps,” my sister.

May God bless each reader!

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Did He Consider the Consequences?

When I read 2 Samuel 23 today I wished I knew President Trump well enough to have him read the following verses: 2Sa 23:1, (ERV):  These are the last words of David: “This message is from David son of Jesse. This message is from the man God made great. He is the king chosen by the God of Jacob, the sweet singer of Israel.

2Sa 23:2  The LORD’S Spirit spoke through me. His word was on my tongue.

2Sa 23:3  The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me, ‘Whoever rules people fairly, who rules with respect for God,

2Sa 23:4  is like the morning light at dawn, like a morning without clouds. He is like sunshine after a rain that makes tender grass grow from the ground.’

Anyway, then I read to the end of the chapter. David recounts his chief men and tells of their exploits. At the end of the list of thirty-seven heroes that fought valiantly for David and their country, I read Uriah the Hittites’ name.

Now whether Bathsheba bathed on her roof hoping to be seen is not clear in the Scriptures. It does say in 2 Samuel 11:2 that David got up from his bed, went up on the roof and then saw a beautiful woman bathing. Perhaps it was hot and very late, so she thought no one would be out and about to view her at home.

When David asked one of his officers who she was, the man told David her name and the name of her husband. Then he sent messengers to her to come to him. When the most powerful man in the country summons a person, that person goes to see him. If she hadn’t, what would have happened to her and/or to her husband?

David was known for being a godly man. He stayed home from war that Spring. Perhaps he was in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Maybe he felt lonely and was at odds with his wives. Possibly the tempter kept at him and when the enemy of his soul realized he was vulnerable, the evil one set a trap and David fell victim to his desires. He chose to sleep with another man’s wife. He chose to try and cover up his sin and it didn’t work. Then, he chose another sin. He asked his captain to set Uriah in the most dangerous location for a soldier and in doing so, other valiant soldiers died along with him so Uriah’s death didn’t stand out as a plotted event.

Do you ever think God isn’t watching what you’re doing with your life? Somehow, David got so involved in all this, that I think he actually forgot that God knew the intents of David’s heart and that God watched him acting on those intents.

2Sa 11:26  Bathsheba heard that her husband Uriah had died, so she mourned for him.

2Sa 11:27  After her time of sadness, David sent servants to bring her to his house. She became David’s wife and gave birth to a son for David. But the LORD did not like what David had done.

The next chapter in 2 Samuel starts out with Nathan the prophet telling a story that relates to David but it’s hidden from him until David reacts. Then Nathan tells him what the consequences are going to be. When the consequences finally hit, David is so humble as he loses many things that are important to him. It’s no wonder God calls David a man after His own heart, in 1 Samuel 13:14, (KJV). David saw the wrong that he did and he repented before the Lord. He accepted the punishment.

2Sa 15:25  Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place.

2Sa 15:26  But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.”

He totally surrendered to God.

When I totally surrender to God, day by day, my life goes better and I’m less stressed.

The Case for Christ(photo from Christian Book Distributors website: https://www.christianbook.com)

My youngest brother told me he picked up Lee Strobel’s book, A Case for Christ just lately and then another book on quotes from famous Rock ‘N Roll musicians to keep things balanced. 🙂

I’ve been praying that he’ll find Jesus as his Lord and Savior so he’ll be less stressed for now and for eternity. It’s hard to imagine that God made us so we could be in His family and talk to Him and learn from Him.

As I thought of the opening to this blog and President Trump, I looked for verses in Proverbs about God setting kings into places of power. I found the surrounding verses too good to ignore. So to read Proverbs 8:15-16 in context, I included the verses from Proverbs 8:12-24.

Pro 8:12  “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.

Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

Pro 8:14  I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.

Pro 8:15  By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;

Pro 8:16  by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.

Pro 8:17  I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Pro 8:18  Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.

Pro 8:19  My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

Pro 8:20  I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,

Pro 8:21  granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Pro 8:22  “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.

Pro 8:23  Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

Pro 8:24  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.

God gave David and Bathsheba’s son, Solomon more wisdom than any man on earth. Solomon asked God for wisdom to rule God’s people in a dream and that pleased God. It’s found in 1 Kings 3: 5-15.

I pray for wisdom because we are living in perilous times. I heard on the news yesterday that robots are being made to act as security guards at shopping malls and they should be in service in a year. They weigh 300 lbs. What consequences of that invention will Americans find?

God help us.

I didn’t expect this blog to go this route, but, “it is what it is,” as the saying goes.

May God bless you and protect you. I have some friends that absolutely love Ps. 91, as did my mother-in-law. She was a smart lady.

Jesus Doesn’t Say or Do Things for Popularity

 

Jesus spent three years in the public eye doing ministry and early on He called men to follow after Him as disciples. He cared about these men, but He certainly didn’t sugar coat things. When Peter speaks out, Jesus corrects him.

Matthew 16:20,(ESV)  Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Mat 16:21  From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Mat 16:22  And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

Mat 16:23  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Mat 16:24  Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Mat 16:25  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Mat 16:26  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Mat 16:27  For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

I remember many years ago when my husband worked for a company, we attended a conference. We met up with someone who used to work for the company, but now they hired out to help someone with the same business many states away. When they finished helping the owner of the business he was going to give them their own business as a thank you for getting his enterprise on the right track.

I felt as if the Holy Spirit spoke to my inner most being: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?”

I got very quiet. I didn’t pray, I thought about it. Then I prayed, “Lord, am I supposed to tell them that or is that for me?”

I didn’t get a leading either way. So, I let it go. After that I prayed for them. I still pray for them, because I have no idea what their relationship with God is. I pray when they come to mind. It’s not often, but I trust God to remind me if they need a current prayer and I count on Him answering prayers that I’ve forgotten about.

I’ve seen Him do that in my life. The town I live in has some nice features that I heard about in the 1990’s. I prayed that if we should ever move, I’d like to live here. I totally forgot about it. Then ten years or more later, we got the opportunity to pastor a church here. I only remembered my prayer a few years ago. God amazes me.

Sometimes I wonder if I pray something because He wants that for me, or if I pray and then He graciously answers. I’ve had so many wonderful blessings from God over all these years. I’ve found He’s incredibly trustworthy, even if I don’t see it at first. In other words, I don’t always get my way. I praise God for that. I’ve thanked Him for not answering certain prayers with a yes when at the time I was sure I wanted that yes. Then something would come to my attention and I’d understand that a yes would have been painful.

He’s a perfect Father.

I’ve been asking God for wisdom because Proverbs three talks about all the benefits of wisdom. Solomon wrote much of Proverbs and he was supposed to have been the wisest man ever. As God answers that prayer, which He tells us in James  1:5, (ESV):  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him,” I  know that He wants to answer it because it tells me to ask in the Word.

The next verse does remind the readers to ask in faith and without doubt.

I’ve been thinking if God supplies me with His wisdom, then I’ll know whether the Scripture about being careful not to lose my soul because of gaining the world is for me alone or for me to share with my friends.

Jesus spoke the truth in love. Even when He spoke forcefully to the Pharisees about not being hypocrites, He was livid that they were taking their positions of authority and hurting people that lived under their rules. Some of them became His followers.

God is love!

Be blessed.