End Of The Road 

Revelation 20:12
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”

Have you ever heard someone say, “All roads lead to God”?  While it is not true, according to Jesus Himself, that all roads lead to heaven, it is true, all roads lead to God. Whatever road you choose to travel in this life, it ultimately ends at the throne of God. John explains that he saw every person who had ever lived, the good, the bad, and the ugly, all standing before the throne of God and awaiting judgment for sin. There is no road you can travel that will not ultimately lead to the throne of God. Even those who stubbornly resist the Spirit of God and refuse to accept Him, will stand before this throne, along with those who refuse to believe He even exists. There is no way of escaping the throne, but there is a way of avoiding judgment.

John records that a book was opened which contained a list of all the sins that each person had ever committed. One sin is enough to condemn, and every sin is recorded. However, there is a second book; the Book of Life, which contains the names of all who have received Christ and His forgiveness of sin. Those whose names are in the Book of Life have had all the charges against them erased. Paul put it like this,

Colossians 2:14 “. . . having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

The most important decision you will ever make is the one regarding Jesus. If you choose to accept Him as Savior and Lord, your sins will be forgiven and you will be excluded from judgment. If you choose to reject Him, for whatever reason, you are left in your sin. One day you will stand before the throne of God and the book of deeds will be opened, read, and you will be sentenced. It seems like a pretty straightforward decision. Joshua put it like this;

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Pastor Jim

 

Heaven’s Door 

Revelation 4:1
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’”

John looked into the future of mankind and saw the day when the heavens will open, not to speak, but to call home all who have trusted in Christ for salvation. Paul explained that the dead in Christ would rise first, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up together in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). What a day that will be, when we are no longer looking through a glass dimly, but we are face to face with Christ (I Corinthians 13:12) steeped in His glory.

John gives us a glimpse of what we have to look forward to. He writes of a radiant throne, encircled by a rainbow, and surrounded by elders. In front of the throne, a sea like glass, and flying around the throne angel beings, ever declaring the Holiness and mighty power of God. The beauty of the throne is only overshadowed by the glory of the One sits upon it. Whenever the angels begin to sing, the elders cast down their golden crowns in homage and worship.

One day, not too far in our future, we will hear the sound of the trumpet blast, watch as the door opens in heaven, and the believers are called home to meet the Lord in the air. Live expectantly, who knows how soon, before that day appears.

Pastor Jim

 

Throne Of Grace 

Isaiah 30:19
“He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you”.

At the time of Isaiah’s prophecy, Israel was resisting the Lord. They decided following God restricted them from really moving forward, so they began a quest pursuing the gods of other nations. Sadly, their pursuit not only left them empty, but at odds with God. Part of the Prophet’s ministry was to remind the people of the blessings that would become theirs once they returned to the Lord. One of the greatest of these benefits was experiencing grace.

It seems the focal point of heaven is a throne. Whenever we are given a glimpse into eternity, we see God, His throne and the multitudes engaged in worship. While the cry of the angels is “Holy, holy, holy is The Lord.” The throne itself is called “the throne of Grace.” Heaven wants us to know that grace begins the moment we cry out to God.

Grace might best be defined as the giving nature of God. His grace drives Him to give only that which is best for us. James wrote,

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Instead of thinking that following God will restrict life, we must realize God has a ‘best’ for our lives, and that best is found when we choose to follow Him. It must sadden the heart of God when we constantly rebel against His word, do things our own way, and endure unnecessary pain and suffering in our lives.

Whatever challenges you might be facing, whether they are self-inflicted or not, turn to the One who sits on a throne of grace. Cry out for Him to do a great and marvelous work in your life

Pastor Jim

 

Request

Esther 5:2-3
“So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!”

Esther was given access to the king. She was allowed to make a single request that seemed to be limitless. With all the wealth of the Persian kingdom at her disposal, her request was for the salvation of her people. Imagine if you had access to a wealthy and powerful king, who allowed you to ask for anything up to half of all he possessed. What would your request be? Now stop imagining. If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, the Bible promises you have access to the King of Kings. You can make constant requests before God. You have continual access to God and are exhorted to come regularly to His throne.

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Whatever our needs are, we are invited to come to the throne of grace and receive. The Apostle James declared, one reason we find ourselves in want, is because we simply fail to come to the throne and ask. Jesus explained, we should ask consistently and persistently, until our requests are answered. If your need is physical, spiritual, emotional, if it has to do with provision, strength, guidance, comfort or anything else, the answer will be found at the Throne of Grace.

When Esther approached the throne, her request was for something bigger than any personal problem she was facing. Her request was for the salvation of her people. While it is necessary to spend time at the Throne of Grace praying for our personal needs, it is also important that we spend time praying on behalf of those who have not yet received Christ. Make a list of people that you know personally; people from your family, work, neighborhood, and places of recreation. Pray daily for their salvation. Pray for their hearts to soften to Christ, and pray for opportunities to share Christ with them, and invite them to church.

Pastor Jim

 

Coming Soon! 

1 Chronicles 11:1-3
“Then all Israel came together to David at Hebron, saying, ‘Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in time past, even when Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord your God said to you, “You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over My people Israel. “‘ Therefore all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel.”

My father-in-law uses the phrase,“So soon,” to chide anyone who is late. I personally have heard the term more times than I care to admit. The basic idea behind it is “I am glad you are finally ready, but what took you so long.” I cannot help but think of that phrase as I read of David finally sitting upon the throne as king of all Israel.

It had been seven years since Saul and Jonathan tragically died in battle. A fraction of Israel rallied behind David, recognizing him as king, while the remainder of the nation clung to the family of Saul, and placed Ishbosheth on the throne. Those loyal to the family of Saul, fought desperately to keep Ishbosheth on the throne. After seven years of civil war “All Israel came to David at Hebron…,” finally recognizing him as Israel’s rightful king. By their own admission, they knew David was God’s chosen king. When they finally allowed God’s king to sit on their throne, the nation began to experience the fulfillment of the promises of God.

I wonder how many of us are currently fighting against God. We know He is our rightful King, but we stubbornly fight to sit on the throne of our lives. With each day, we refuse to surrender to Him, we are only doing harm to ourselves. Wouldn’t it be so much better to allow Him to have the reins of your life, rather than continuing to trot along on the path you have chosen. The fulfillment of the wonderful promises of God are all linked to allowing Christ to take His rightful place.

Pastor Jim