Which Direction to Go? Heaven or Hell?

Ever hear anyone say "Everyone wants to go to heaven but NO one wants to die" or same sentence with the last word replaced with "go to hell?" Unfortunately people do not get the choice of not dying, they only get to choose where they end up.  What are the options after physical death?  The places to go for eternity are heaven or hell.  The choice is life in heaven or torment in hell.  

It does not matter if you believe in joys of heaven, but not the reality of hell, the Bible speaks of both.  While He walked on earth, Jesus actually talked more about hell than he did of heaven.  Why?  Christ does not want anyone to go to hell so He warned about the devil's evil plans, and the finality of hell.  Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice made to save mankind from hell.  

"And an highway shall be there, and a way, 
and it shall be called The way of holiness; 
the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: 
the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."- Isaiah 35:8 

Learn more about the Bible scriptures that talk about heaven and hell by studying the 3 video series "Life, Death, Heaven, Hell - Any Questions."  Links to video lessons and noted scripture references  are provided below.  Although there are more scriptures on these topics, those below are a good selection.

  • Video 1 - Ecclesiastes 3:11, Deuteronomy 30:19
  • Video 2 - Psalm 23:4, Deuteronomy 29:29 & 30:19, 116:15, 1 Corinthians 15:25-26, 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Philippians 1:21-33, John 11:35, Luke 16:19-25
  • Video 3 - 2 Corinthians 5:7-8, Psalm 116:15, 2 Peter 3:1 & 8-9, Philippians 3:13, Hebrews 12:1, Ephesians 1: 16-20 & 3:14-19. Luke 10: 2 & 17:6, Matthew 13:29-30 

Looking for a simplified explanation of how salvation through Jesus brings heaven (God) and earth (man) together?  Check out short animation "Heaven and Earth" from the Bible Project. 

Once a Nation Under God

One Nation Under God Whoever says Holy Bible scripture is not relevant today might want to try reading the God's Word again. Scriptures give guidance on individual lives, instruct leaders on how to behave towards the people they serve, provides laws and tells judges how to act, advises countries on what is acceptable, and shows how God disciplines those He loves as well as His destroying evil.   

"In his name the nations will 
put their hope." - Matthew 12:21 (NIV) 

Is America forgetting or ignoring its Christian heritage?  In God We Trust is the American motto on currency (paper money for decades and on USA coins for centuries).  The United States of America has used the line one nation under God in the Pledge of Allegiance for decades.  This was done to reinforce the Christian religion of most of the country.  It was a way of honoring American history and the right to religious freedom.  What does the Bible say about a nation that turns from God?  An Old Testament example that may be applied to current events is the prophet Amos warning his nation to turn back to their God. 

"I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: 
your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; 
and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils:
 yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord." - Amos 4:10 (KJV)

If the scripture was looked at as the USA now, the first line of scripture above would point to COVID and the fear spread about it.  The second line could be a reference to the Afghanistan crisis that aided enemies. The the third line should point to the evil being promoted in by current politicians in DC. Finally, the fourth line is very clear - the country needs to turn from sin and return to God.  

"Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, 
and he delivered them from their distress." - Psalms 107:6 (NIV) 

Just as God blessed Israel when they served Him, He has blessed America.  When most of Israel turned from God, He mercifully waited for them to return.  However, when the sins got too great, then God would have to turn away from them until they realized their need for Him.  Scripture can be applied to modern life.  With that in mind, what will happen to America if too many of its people continue to: drift from God, break His commandments, and support evil actions?  Once a nation under God, America needs to restore their faith and return to their Christian roots.  Pray for the USA to follow Christ again and become the nation  it was originally designed to be.

Let Me Tell You About My Jesus

Love this new song "My Jesus" by Anne Wilson.  It talks of bad/sad times and how knowing Jesus Christ can move you forward into being better.  Listen to the song on YouTube video below and if you are interested in her story behind the song, watch the other video below the music video.  

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: 
for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, 
that the power of Christ may rest upon me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV) 

Anne's lyric video is available on YouTube also.  Anne Wilson's music CD may be purchased or MP3 downloaded from multiple sources through her website.  


Is It Time for an Attitude Adjustment?

Does it seem like more good things are happening for bad people?  Are you really only experiencing the worse in life?  Does it seem like evil is winning the day?  Why do you feel you are losing out?  Do you think you are suffering tight now?  Does the problem or appear impossible to you? Does it seem like God has closed His eyes to what is happening?

When I thought to know this, 
it was too painful for me;  
Until I went into the sanctuary of God; 
then understood ..." - Psalms 73:16-17 (KJV)

Recently, my pastor (sermon video) covered parts of Psalms 73 as a necessary attitude adjustment  for Christians.  Pastor suggested we replace "Israel" in the first verse with our own names to personalize the thoughts and behaviors as we read through the chapter.  In the first half of that chapter, we are lamenting how evil people prosper.  We may be falling for the the lies and propaganda of the devil.  Just as Asaph exaggerated what he saw, we may also wonder about who appears to be in charge of what is going on around us. Are we feeling sorry for ourselves?  Are we wondering where the Church fits in the current situation?  Just as Asaph did, we must remember who is charge of our life and what we have to look forward to.  We must recognize God is in charge and our attitude will change for the better just as it did for Asaph in the 2nd half of the chapter.

"But it is good for me to draw near to God: 
I have put my trust in the Lord God, 
that I may declare all Thy works.." - Psalms 73:28

Are you falling into the trap of self-pity?  Time to change your attitude by remembering who you belong to.  Look to God's word for encouragement , pry for guidance, and remember who really is in charge!  It is not man or satan.  God is on your side!  Your all--powerful, everlasting God always wins!

Rise and Fall of False Kings

How do the wrong people get into leadership roles?  Where do dictators come from?  Does the Bible have any examples of false leaders who should not have been in their role?  Yes, there are many examples of both good and bad leaders in the Bible.  Below are only five examples from the Old Testament.

Saul was originally the chosen king of Israel (1 Samuel).  However, he did not follow God's directions and fell from God's grace to be replaced by David the newly chosen king.  David did not want to usurp God's first king, even though David had already been anointed to take Saul's place, because he respected the elder's position.  David waits until Saul is no longer king to take his rightful place in leading his country and his people.

“For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: 
because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people."
- 1 Samuel 12:22

As David aged, he selected the next king to replace him.  However, during his reign he had two people who wanted to be king even though they were not worthy of that leadership role.   The first false king was Absalom, a very handsome son of David, who at one time had been expelled from the kingdom because of his wickedness (2 Samuel).  When Absalom was finally welcomed back by his father, he began to scheme a takeover of the throne.  Absalom was killed in part due to his vanity during  his attempt to overthrow the rightful king. Adonijah was the second false king as he to tried to take over the kingdom via a coup too (1 Kings).  He had been a selfish son of the reigning king and believed his good looks were all that was required to be the next king. He was unsuccessful at that time and David remained the true king of Israel.  Adonijah tried again to be king by aemoting a coup over David's chosen successor later and was killed in that attempt. 

"Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: 
for consider how great things he hath done for you. 
But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, 
both ye and your king.”
  1 Samuel 12:24-25

King David chose his son Solomon to be the next true king.  As the chosen king, Solomon ruled wisely and kept a genuine covenant with God for most of his life.  Unfortunately, some of the kings that cam after Solomon did not have as close of a relationship with God.  As a result, their country and people suffered.

Leaders selected by God will be true to their country and people.  Leaders who get their positions by wrongful actions of man or via evil contracts with satan, are false leaders 

Take Each Step with Jesus

With all that is going on in the world (increased rudeness/incivility, freedoms being denied, religion being suppressed, racism being promoted, unjust persecution, and even evil called good), it is no wonder people are afraid to speak out and step up.  However, we must remember that Jesus Christ is there to support us in every righteous step we take.  He will lift us back up when we fall  and redirect us if we take a wrong path.  Jesus walks in front of us, beside us, and behind us - He is our leader, support, and defense. 

"For we live by faith, not by sight."
- 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)

Our youth pastor focused on the next step with Jesus in a sermon on Sunday.  He pointed out the following truths about walking with Jesus:

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." 
- Psalms 119:105 (KJV)

You Say, God Says Infographic

When feeling alone or sad, the infographic below lets you know God is always there for you.  If you feel you need a reminder, you might want to keep these scripture references handy.  

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: 
and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; 
yea, the work of our hands establish thou it." 
- Psalm 90:17 (KJV)