Eternity of the Soul

November is the month we focus on practicing gratitude. As believers our hope and eternal assurance is in the Living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Redeemer Savior, Lover of my soul!

We have confidence this world is not all there is to life – this time is just our beginning. We do not know what heaven holds but we do know there will be no pain or sorrow.

Your soul.
Do you know where your soul is destined?

2014 Pew Research Center Survey in 2014
Overall US Adults: 58% believe there’s a hell / 72% believe there’s a heaven
Evangelical: 82% hell / 88% heaven
Atheists: 3% / 5%
Agnostics: 9% / 14%

There is the spark of God even within an Atheist.

In Jesus’ story of the farmer with the extra abundant harvest (Luke 12:16-20) God’s word to the farmer who was planning to horde his goods and live a self-satisfied life was “Tonight your soul will be required of you!”

Your soul will be required! Non-negotiable. What will happen when God requires your soul?

God, the one who breathed life into our bodies, creating our souls is the owner of our souls. He requires our souls after our earthly body dies.

Jesus talked of God’s severe judgment in Luke 12:5, 10 as well as in
Matthew 25:31-46 The gathering at the day of judgment where everyone considered as either sheep or goats. The sheep are welcomed into the “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
The goats are the wicked who’ve only cared about their own pleasure and self-gratification. The goats are cast into “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Rev 20 :10 and the devil, the beast, and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire where they are tormented forever.
20:11 – 21:4 There is a separation of the followers of Jesus into eternal life in God’s Kingdom, the evil will be cast into the lake of fire – their 2nd death.
As believers we are assured that our eternal place will be in God’s kingdom!

1 Thessalonians 5:1-10
5 About the times and the seasons: Brothers, you do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in the dark, for this day to overtake you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. So then, we must not sleep, like the rest, but we must stay awake and be serious. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.

Are you thanking God for the saving work of Jesus who died and paid the price for your soul?

Gratitude for influence of the saints in our lives

Today, November 1st is celebrated by Christians around the world as “All Saints Day” to acknowledge people who’ve lived victoriously for Jesus.

A little boy attended a church with beautiful stained glass windows depicting the apostles St Matthew, St Luke, St John, St Paul, St Peter. Onde day he was asked, “What is a saint?”
The boy replied, “A saint is a person that the light shines through!”

Often there’s too much emphasis on “All Saints Day” devoted to honoring the dead in ways that aren’t glorifying to God, and some cultures take it to a demonic level – in the name of “Christianity”.

Perhaps one reason Luther posted the 95 theses (or, statements of faith) on Oct 31st was declaration that we’re saved by grace alone instead of the focus on canonized saints and their works – which can be at the heart of celebrating past “Saints”. He was well aware of the extent that many people tended to worship and idolize the saints.

While we don’t want to worship or idolize any human, there is validity in remembering and celebrating people who have spiritually influenced our lives, after all the Bible is filled with stories of people whose lives God used.

While Wikipedia, and many people, define saint as “a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God.”, the true meaning of the word in the Bible,“hagios / ἅγιος”, means “set apart” “sanctified” “holy” “true believers”. The word hagios appears 229 times in the Greek New Testament.

“Holy ones” was a known identifier to the Jews. Exodus 19:5-6 God described the Israelites as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. He’d set them apart, chosen as His people.
Daniel 7:18 God showed Daniel a vision of heaven and of God’s kingdom to come. In the vision a messenger said to Daniel, “But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.”
Matt 27:52 when Jesus died on the cross the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised…
Acts 9:13 Annanias refers to the saints that Paul had persecuted
Six times Paul addresses letters to the saints at…”
Rev 14:13 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus!

Why? Why contemplate the lives of other Christians? Because their lives show us what can happen

because of faith!

Hebrews 11 Is often called the Roll Call of Faith Every single person exemplified / lived their faith through obedience! The author begins Hebrews 11 with “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” He goes on to list person after person who obeyed God because of faith!

Heb 12:1, 2 exhorts us to be faithful by fixing our eyes on Jesus.

This week I encourage you as you fix your eyes on Jesus to give the desires of your heart to Jesus in order to live as a “Set Apart One” a Holy person as He calls us, to also be mindful of, and grateful for, those who have affected and influenced your walk with Jesus, because of their faith.

How is your spiritual walk influencing anyone?