Monday, October 28, 2013

The White Throne Judgement

The Great White Throne Judgment is a trial, set in the future, for all people who have rejected God's call to salvation. Every person who has lived upon earth and has refused to accept God's way to redemption from sin, will kneel before their Creator at this time, and acknowledge that He is God--that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Who will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Who will not enter into the Kingdom of God?
Revelation 21:27 Nothing unclean, no one who does anything detestable, and no liars will ever enter it. Only those whose names are written in the lamb’s Book of Life will enter it.

The Book of Life is a record written by God before the creation of the world, listing people who will live forever in the kingdom of heaven. It contains the names of God's elect. They will experience no condemnation or judgment. They are not among the dead, for they are alive.

Our physical actions may appear to be good works to those around us, but our thoughts in our minds and the feelings in our hearts are seen by God. 

Proverbs 12:22 Lips that lie are disgusting to the Lord, but honest people are his delight.

Mark 7: 21 Evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, cheating, shameless lust, envy, cursing, arrogance, and foolishness come from within a person. 23 All these evils come from within and make a person unclean.”

Matthew 5:28 But I can guarantee that whoever looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery in his heart.

1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates another believer is a murderer, and you know that a murderer doesn’t have eternal life.

What will appear at the White Throne judgement?
Revelation 20:11-15 I saw a large, white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence, but no place was found for them. 12 I saw the dead, both important and unimportant people, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened, including the Book of Life. The dead were judged on the basis of what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead. Death and hell gave up their dead. People were judged based on what they had done.14 Death and hell were thrown into the fiery lake. (The fiery lake is the second death.) 15 Those whose names were not found in the Book of Life were thrown into the fiery lake.

The "dead, small and great" refers to those who have lived throughout history and, regardless of their stature or position, died without acknowledging and accepting The Lord Jesus' payment for their sins. All remains of these deceased will be raised and united with their souls so that they can stand in a resurrected form before the Great White Throne. After death, the soul continues to exist. Before the resurrection, the soul of the believer is in the presence of God awaiting eternal reward. The soul of the unbeliever is in hades awaiting final judgment.

During our time on earth we have a choice! You can either be a child of the God or a child of the devil! 
1 John 3:8 The person who lives a sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does. 9 Those who have been born from God don’t live sinful lives. What God has said lives in them, and they can’t live sinful lives. They have been born from God. 10 This is the way God’s children are distinguished from the devil’s children. Everyone who doesn’t do what is right or love other believers isn’t God’s child.

We were all sinners! There is a choice that can be made while their is breath in our bodies! 
1 Corinthians 6:9 Don’t you know that wicked people won’t inherit the kingdom of God? Stop deceiving yourselves! People who continue to commit sexual sins, who worship false gods, those who commit adultery, homosexuals, 10 or thieves, those who are greedy or drunk, who use abusive language, or who rob people will not inherit the kingdom of God. 11 That’s what some of you were! But you have been washed and made holy, and you have received God’s approval in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

There is no neutral area. There is right and wrong, there is life and death and there are blessings and curses. While God has created us in His own image and loves us all the same, He also gave us all a free will. With that free will, we each have to decide whether to choose God and eternal life with Him, or we turn our back to Him and choose eternity in The Lake of Fire. As parents, we love our children unconditionally, yet as they grow into adulthood, we cannot choose their path in life (even as much as we might sometimes like to). And that is the same way we all are as God’s children. He yearns and aches for us to choose Him, but He will not force us to.

On judgement day will you be innocent or guilty? Will your name be in the Book of Life or will you be cast into The Lake of Fire?

Created by:
Sis. Jocelyn Jones
Last Days Ministries Apostolic Church

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Half-Hearted Effort

Persistent Faith
by C. A. Brewer

A popular gospel song from the past states, "Prayer is the key to Heaven, but faith unlocks the door." While there is certainly truth in these words, something else could be added.  It is not feeble faith or wavering faith that opens the way into the presence of God.  It is bold, persistent faith that makes the difference.  It is often knocking at the door over and over until the answer arrives.
     Persistent faith is like the widow petitioning the unjust judge day after day until he became bone weary of her coming.  Unrelenting faith is like Elijah on top of Carmel praying "until"---until his servant saw the cloud the size of a man's hand, the portent of a mighty downpour on a desperately dry land.  Importunate faith is like the man who went to his friend's at midnight and pounded on the door until he received the three loaves he needed.
     Motivational speakers of our day often encourage their listeners to persistently believe in themselves, instructing them, "You can do anything you want to do." The truth, however, lies not in what we want to do on our own.  It lies in what we will believe God to do in and through us.  Jesus said, "If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matthew 17:20).
A half-hearted effort will never bring the complete victory God plans for His people.
Those who seek to know God for the value of the relationship itself, who obey His Word in good times and bad, usually develop a passion for God that casual observers can never understand.  That passion compels them to follow the voice of God even when He demands things that seem pointless or unnecessary.  It is as if they, like Jeremiah, have a fire burning inside that demands to be freed and they can shout with the prophet, "But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not" (Jeremiah 20:9, NKJV).  That passion forces entrance into a realm where service and obedience become passageways into holy places not accessible by humanly constructive means.
Our half-hearted ways not only effect us, but they effect others in the body who depend on each member to move in the same direction.. We must strive to have more then temporary gains and victories as a body due to those who may not be as whole hearted as you.  It is obvious in the result how much passion was used during the process.  How strong is your passion for the up building of God's kingdom? 

"And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice" (II Kings 13:19).

We can stay focused on the task at hand and refuse to give up.  Life offers little too those unwilling to struggle.  God's promises do not apply to those who will not fight to receive them.  Steadfastness and determination are essential for every Christian's success.

God hates bland disinterest.  "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16). A passionless believer simply going through the motions may be blessed because of God's covenant with his fathers, but he will have no spiritual heritage to pass on to his own children.  At best his victories, like Joash's, will be temporary pauses in the enemy's march to total authority.  Every believer should earnestly pursue a passionate relationship with God.

Authored by: Sis. Joy Jones

References: Davis, Richard. Lessons from History for Christian Living. Spring 2013 Hazelwood: Word Aflame Publications, 2013. 42-44. Print.

The Wandering Witness

As one reads through the Scriptures, we find that Abraham is a very prominent figure throughout, whether we read about his life directly in Genesis or he is being referred to by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Roman congregations, his life is impacting. We often pull lessons from the obvious things of his life, such as his call to serve the One True God, or the sacrificing of his promised son, but what about the background events, such as his consistent wanderings throughout the land of Canaan? Is there any significance in it? The answer is yes, there’s significance in the whole of Scripture.
            After the call of Abraham by God, then named Abram, he was called to leave his familiar and stable living, to a life of wandering throughout a land he didn’t know and wasn’t familiar with (Gen 12). Some of the various places he pitched his tent while in the land were Shechem, Beth-el, Egypt, and Hebron, and one only needs to look at a map of the land to see that these can be quite a distance on foot. But what’s so significant about this? Although the Scriptures themselves don’t give much background information or details of the in between, the Jewish Oral Law (Torah, body of traditions passed down from one generation to the next) does. It is said that it was in these places that Abraham did his witnessing for the Lord. It was in the places of rest that he taught about the One True God to the people of the land who worshipped idol gods, and from this witnessing he made many disciples. In other words Abraham was God’s witness to the people of that land, and it was in their hands to either accept or reject the message. Now let’s look at the days of Jesus
            As we read about His early ministry, we find that He also did a lot of traveling, mainly around those towns in which He was close to and grew up around, as well as down to the southern parts of the country (Mark 4-6). During His travels, He too was a witness of the Father (The Spirit) and of His ways. Where ever He found Himself, He sought the opportunity to witness and teach about the Good News (Gospel) of what was at hand, the coming kingdom, such as the woman by the well (Jn 4) or the curious Pharisee Nicodemus (Jn 3) or the famous Sermon of the Mount (Mt 5-7). Jesus too, like Abraham and so many in between, found unbelief and opposition to the message or indifference, with people being comfortable where they were and not seeing the need to change (Jn 6-7). So what am I getting at? Well I’m glad you asked.
            Many times we feel very unstable in our day-to-day journey’s, in such unstable times, we may feel like we can’t keep a job, or stay in one place as long as we’d like to, but take comfort that you are walking in the same foot steps of our forefather’s and our Savior. The Scriptures testify of Abraham “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God” (Heb 11:8-10 NLT). So even in his wanderings, Abraham had faith that God had a place prepared for him, even if he didn’t know where that might be. In his wandering’s, Abraham, probably unknowingly, fulfilled New Testament teaching when we were instructed to “ Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today”(Matt 6:33-34 NLT).
            In this life, in these times, things may feel very unstable for the faithful, we may feel like we’re always in transition, or like our Lord who said “But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head” (Matt 8:20 NLT), but we can take comfort that He’ll provide for us. Yet in our wanderings in this life let us be a witness to all that we meet in our journey, teaching them about the One True God and His Salvation, and fulfill the Words of our God and Savior. In doing so we can directly identify with both our forefather Abraham in being a witness to the culture around us in our wanderings and our Savior who stood on the message He was given to be a witness to even in a culture that felt that they knew and lived for God the way He wanted them too. It's okay to be a wandering witness.
            “Behave wisely toward outsiders, making full use of every opportunity- let your conversation always be gracious and interesting, so that you will know how to respond to any particular individual” (Col 4:5-6 CJB)

Authored by:
MIT. Christopher Bateman
Last Days Ministries Apostolic Church

Monday, October 14, 2013

Passion for souls

"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest". John 4:34-35
Some of you may have great ambitions to do great things for God or to do wonderful exploits for the Kingdom of God. To have a reputation as one of the "greats" like the Apostles and Prophets. A desire of every true believer is to be used by The Lord on some level. We want to do great things for God because we figure that it would bring him glory and honor through these wonderful works. To an extent it does, but I want to look at this from another angle and say that God doesn't need you to perform miracles for him, people do. 

People need things from God, not the other way around. God's desire is to dwell with his creation so it's only proper to meet the needs of the people he loves. That's the reason souls are saved and miracles are released, It's simply because of the unconditional and unchanging love of Jesus Christ.

A burden and love for souls has to be the second greatest driving force next to Loving God in any ministry. Without this burden for souls your ambitions for doing great exploits and works for God is at extreme risk. Pride, doctrinal error, and a whole host of various sins will be birthed out of bad motives. All of our motives must be grounded on the right foundation. It's is my belief that with any great work there must be someone that has a heart and burden for the saving of souls exemplified by Jesus in the opening verse. That is where the need is, and where there is a desperate need miracles will happen. There is a great misconception about the word "minister" floating around. The word means servant, so my question is, who are the servants serving? Without a doubt we serve God but how do we do that? Let me remind you of this one kingdom principle. 

Mark 10:43-45 "..but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
I am convinced that the greater your ministry, greater service, greater the love, greater labour, and suffering is required of you. The mindset of this world is that the greater the ministry the greater the celebrity and popularity and in consequence the less work and love you have to show others by reason of your elevated social status. Such pride should not be found in any of God's Churches.

There was a discussion about healings in the church at our recent prayer service, our Pastor asked the question, "why do you think the church does not see healing on a consistent basis?" Many of the saints gave great answers. Some said that there needed to be more unity, some said that unreconciled relationships is the cause, some said that the church has put God as a plan "B" and doctors as plan "A", and others said that luke warmness as well as entertainment has stolen our attention away from God. All of those answers were great. My answer to why the church as a whole does not see consistent healing miracles is that it "could" be possible that we don't need it because God often works in areas of need. We have become so blessed that we are almost independent when it come to our needs, we can take care of them ourselves "almost". But that kind of cultural mindset can be detrimental to a God centered Kingdom. Surely we need to acknowledge him in ALL of our ways. Yet there are some things God will not do for us, we should strive to be temperate in all things to achieve a balance so that we do no quench the Spirit of God by trying to outwork him or by becoming so slothful in life that we refuse to perform any work. 

So I pose this question to you. What would happen if soul winning become just as important as eating? What if we craved after winning souls like we do our next meal? God did not call us to be lords over his heritage nor to be side show gospel entertainers. God has called us to be laborers in his vineyard. Great things happen when we take on a great burden for the work of God in total submission and obedience unto him. God bless.

Authored by:
MIT. John W. Jenkins
Last Days Ministries Apostolic Church