Some things are too scary to contemplate so we reorient our reality. We want it to be true so badly that we’ll shuffle the deck so it works in our favor regardless of the price. Continue reading “The lost, the saved and the good people”
One hour’s worth of work in the skin-scouring cold wind, and all I had to show for it was one six-pack of pansies planted under the cherry tree.
It’s not that I’m slow; well, not really. It’s not that I was digging great big holes for each one, and carefully spreading the roots around a soil mound concocted of a precise mix of humus and organic fertilizers and soil conditioners. Continue reading “Prep work”
Belief in the afterlife is a universal trait shared by people throughout history. No matter our beliefs about God, we all imagine something to come.
God’s people live between heaven and earth (Philippians 3:20) and we’re portrayed as family (Ephesians 2:19) with spiritual heroes (Hebrews 11). Therefore, how could we not ask whether we will know one another in heaven? Continue reading “Will we know one another in heaven?”
Job’s question, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14, NKJV) still resonates today. People throughout history have been convinced that the afterlife exists. It’s only a matter of what form it would take.
God says that when we die, we’ll enter the afterlife (Matthew 25:46) either to paradise or torment in the Hadean realm (Luke 16:19-31; 23:43). This will be followed by judgment day based on how we have chosen to live (Revelation 20:11-15). Continue reading “Is there life before and after death?”
A popular evangelical writer stated that the goal of Christians ought not to be getting to heaven, but to God. He has a point, if we think of heaven as some magnified, enlarged earth-style existence, minus all the problems and suffering. Continue reading “Getting to God”
The comic strip character Pogo said in 1970, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” This adage is quite true. However it never carries as much weight as it does in the spiritual realm. Let’s examine why. Continue reading “We stand between ourselves and heaven”
Over the past two weeks I’ve attended two funerals. The first was a young man who I was privileged to study with after he became a Christian around 10-15 years ago. He was a smart, enthusiastic young man who wanted to serve Jesus. Sadly, he lost his way and took an overdose, as he could not see any reason to continue living.
The second funeral was a woman in her 70s. She, too, became a Christian when she was young along with her husband. She and her husband had several children. Many of these became Christians and are still faithful today along with their spouses. Sadly, she was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and later had a stroke and pneumonia.
Both funerals were packed with those who mourned the loss of their family and friends. It is not my desire to compare their lives – I am content to leave them in the hands of a just and loving God. Continue reading “Victory over death”
Carrie Berrian of Louisville, Georgia died just short of her 120th birthday. We’ll remember her longevity, energy and persistence. But her greatest achievement was her faith in God and she’ll receive her eternal home in heaven, as a result (Revelation 21:1-8).
It doesn’t matter what we have accomplished early in our lives, because in the end our eternal home will be determined by where we wind up spiritually (Matthew 25:31-46). Continue reading “It matters where we finish”
With sadness, Jesus announces his imminent death, Peter’s denial (John 13:38) and a betrayal by one of his own (John 13:21). Accordingly he says he will go and prepare a heaven filled with “mansions” so his spiritual family can be together (John 14:1-2).
But will there be literal mansions? Mansion means something completely different to people in various cultures. A shack would be a mansion to some while only Buckingham Palace would suffice for others. Continue reading “Will there be literal mansions in heaven?”
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard” (Matthew 20:1-2 NET).
This chapter of Matthew gives us a little insight into work practices in first-century Palestine. One of the first things we learn is that not all people had a regular job – these men who wanted to work would go out in the morning to a designated area, identified in verse 3 as the marketplace, and wait for landowners to come hire the men they needed for the day. The standard wage was a denarius. In Jesus’ story, this landowner went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. Continue reading “Is it fair?”