Archive for the ‘Heaven’ Category

Waiting for a Mansion

Hello all,
It’s cloudy and mild at the lake this morning. The trees have lost most of their leaves, and it’s looking like we need to be getting ready for winter.

Last week, as we were busy putting up new cabinets, and planning other improvements to the house, this comment was made: “It’s not a mansion, but it will do.” In this, I was reminded that this world is not my home; that there is a far better place to which I will go at the end of this life. This is true of everyone who has placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Hebrews 11, that great chapter on faith, the faithful listed there are called aliens and strangers on earth. In describing the faithful who had died, the writer said, “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:15-16).

The fine mansions people pride themselves in for this life, will someday disappear. Those whose hope is in the Lord will receive their reward. Listen to the words of Peter: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare (you talk about global warming)…That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:10-13).

You have heard these words of Jesus many times: “In my Father’s house are many rooms (some versions say ‘mansions’); if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).

Be it a mansion or a room, it will be infinitely better to be in the presence of the Lord for all eternity! The old song has it right. This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through. Scripture reminds us we will walk on streets of pure gold (Revelation 21:21).

Looking for that city,
Pastor Jerry

What’s New?

There are flowers, leaves on the trees, green grass and warm breezes, Can spring finally be here? I believe it is so! Now, as the Lord provides rain, things will really be looking up.
We celebrated some birthdays this past weekend. My wonderful wife and two of our dear friends were the birthday people, and we three couples got together for an evening of dining and fellowship. Our long-time Christian friends are just the best!
This time of the year always reminds me of God’s promise to someday bring renewal to the earth, in a grand and glorious way. There are so many scriptures that come to my mind in the spring. I’ll share a few, and I trust they are some of your favorites as well.
God, through the prophet Ezekiel, makes this promise to Israel regarding a time when he will gather them from among the nations: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26) Talk about a new beginning!
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
In Hebrews 10:30 we are told of a “new and living way”, made possible by the death of Christ on the cross. Though His death, burial and resurrection we are given new birth into a living hope (1 Peter 1:3).
In 2 Peter 3:13, we read, “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”
And, finally, some verses from Revelation, as the apostle John recorded his vision of heaven: “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” The He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5).
All of this, and we are also given a new song to sing (Revelation 5:9). And it begins with the new birth that occurs when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Praise His Name!
Welcoming spring,
Pastor Jerry
Note: As always, I welcome your thoughts on these weekly articles. Send them to: lakecitynews@gmail.com

Going Home

It is the Christmas season, a time when people everywhere make plans to go home for the holiday, and reunite with family members. For the past week I have ministered to families who have experienced a loved one take the ultimate journey home. Their departed ones have gone to be with their Lord at Christmas time.

As hard as it sounds, I believe Christians have reason to celebrate Christmas, even in the midst of mourning the loss of a loved one. I will explain why I believe this is so.

First, scripture tells us that as believers in Jesus Christ, as we live here on earth, we are strangers in a foreign land (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11). The word used for strangers can be understood as “aliens, or temporary residents”, meaning that this world is not our home. Philippians 3:20 states, “our citizenship is in heaven.”

And, Jesus came to earth as a baby; God taking on human flesh, come to save His people from sin. The truth of this is what we celebrate at Christmas. However, He did not come to remain a precious infant in a manger. He came to die on a cross for our sins, and to be raised from the dead, in order to make a way for our salvation and to give us eternal life. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life.”
So, at this joyous season of the year, we can celebrate in the midst of sorrow, knowing that our loved ones are finally home. We will miss them, but we rest secure in the knowledge that they will be spending Christmas in the presence of their Savior and Lord, and we who know Him as Savior will be reunited with them, when we, also, are “finally home.”

Believing Heaven’s Promise,

Pastor Jerry

Visiting Hours in Heaven?

Dear friends,
I experienced another birthday anniversary last week. There was no major celebration, but Alex took me to the cafe for breakfast, and my beautiful wife prepared a tasty lunch. Then, of course, there were a few cards in the mail, along with many Facebook greetings from friends. All in all, it was a good day.

Some time ago, I saw a comment that said something like this: It’s too bad there aren’t visiting hours in heaven. This brings several images to my mind, but really, how could this possibly be true? It is a nice sentiment, but “it ain’t gonna’ happen”. I know there are times we would like to visit those who have gone on before us, but let’s face it, there can be no such thing.

First, the only way anyone gets to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ own words, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Second, for anyone to enter heaven, they have to die. In the words of the old song, “I’ll never get out of this world alive.” The Bible says, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that to face judgment. The judgment determines a person’s eternal destination. For the believer, that destination is heaven. For the unbeliever, the one who rejects God’s salvation, the destination is hell.

Thirdly, even if there were visiting hours in heaven, who would want to come back to this old fallen, sin sick world? You would want to stay there, because that is where Jesus is.

Last, but not least, if our reason to visit heaven is to see our loved ones, we are wanting to go there for the wrong reason. God gave us memories for a purpose. It’s because there are no visiting hours in heaven. Those memories are how we visit our loved ones.

When we enter heaven’s gates, it is forever.

Waiting to see Jesus,
Pastor Jerry

Married in Heaven?

This week, I’ll share a few thoughts from my Sunday message. The text was from Matthew’s gospel, and based on Jesus’ response to a question concerning marriage in heaven. I have observed that there are many people with ideas about heaven that just are not found in the Bible. I pray this will shed light on at least one of those.

Some religious leaders, Sadducees by name, came to Jesus with a story about a woman who had been married to seven different men, all brothers. Their question was, “Who’s wife will she be at the resurrection?” These men did not believe in the resurrection, that is why they were sad, you see…

Anyway, Jesus answered them with this: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:29-30).

Marriage was ordained by God for the purpose of procreation, that is to produce children who would grow up to be godly adults. It is strictly for this life and in the earthly realm. In heaven there will be no place for man/wife relations, nor any need for any new life to be born there. There will be no exclusive relationships there. Jesus said we will be like angels. The angels do not marry.

I’m certain that we will know old friends, acquaintances, and family members, but all our focus will be on worshiping God, and the Lord Jesus Christ. That will be heaven, and that is the Truth.

In the apostle John’s vision of heaven recorded in Revelation, we read, “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!'” (Revelation 19:6-7).

Sharing His Truth in love,
Pastor Jerry