Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This Ain't Heaven

Yes, I’m aware that the title is not good English, but it gets my point across in the following devotion.

I often like to say, “For the Christian, this is the closest to Hell you will ever get, and for the non-Christian (unsaved person), this is the closest to Heaven you will ever get.”

My point is that as a Christian no matter how bad things get, it will only get better when we leave this life (on God’s timetable, not ours). We know eternity awaits us to be forever with the Lord (in Heaven).

My point for the Non-Christian is that no matter how bad (or good) things may be, it will only get worse when you leave this life and pass on to the next. You will have an eternity waiting you, too, totally separated from God’s presence forever and in everlasting torment (in Hell).

So when unbelievers say, “I’m in hell now,” boy, are they sadly mistaken, the worse is yet to come.

Then, you have believers saying, “Why do I have so many trials, I’m saved and I’m supposed to have “abundant life.” My answer, “Yes, as a Christian you do have “Abundant Life.” You have a relationship with Almighty God (whether you “feel” it or not), and it will culminate with you being in His presence forever.

Being a born again Christian and bound for heaven does not mean you will have no trials in this life. I was taught that basically trials were my fault or lack of faith, that I could live free from trials. So when trials came, and they sure did, I thought something was wrong with me (as a Christian). If you’ve been taught that LIE (popular in many Charismatic churches) or are still being taught that lie, it’s time that you get in a true Bible believing fellowship/church.

Let’s get straight on what the Bible says about trials.

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you I Peter 4:12

Why do we think trials are some strange thing, when it is part of the process of life for all Christians.

Job puts it well when he says:
Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Job 5:7
In other words, you can count on it!

Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. Job 14:1
Are you born of a woman? Yep, ALL of us are; thus, we can expect trouble – It’s that plain and simple!

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:6, 7 (NKJV)

What does this verse say? In my wording, it’s saying that we may have various trials. For how long? “A little while”, yeah, no longer than maybe for 70, 80 years (until we die), AND it is a short while when compared to all eternity. How should we rejoice – GREATLY (yeah not too easy, but still true). When all is said and done, the genuineness of your faith will take you through to the Glory of God.

In closing:
Don’t let your trials get you down (especially into condemnation), but let them perfect you as the Lord intended.

We have a great promise to hold to in Hebrews 13:5
“…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
The Lord is with you all the way, and you shall come through it, if you don’t give up….GUARANTEED! AMEN!!!

For a 33 minute audio sermon on this subject go to:

Please be aware that volume will be distorted and loud for just the first 30 seconds.

Hope that you let this devotion speak peace to you as you go through the “normal” storms of life. You’ll be the better cause of it :-)