King Jesus is coming back to set up His Kingdom and make a new heaven and a new Earth. Only perfect people will share in His eternal Kingdom.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. – Revelation 21:1-2, 27
The Problem: We are not perfect and judgment is coming.
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” – Hebrews 9:27-28
Some say “My good works will outweigh my bad”. However, God’s Word tells us:
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” – James 2:10
We are not “good” people:
“…as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’” – Romans 3:10-12
We won’t stand before God and enter heaven based on our own “good works”:
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. – Isaiah 64:6
It is by the law that we realize our need for God:
“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” – Romans 3:20
Perhaps you will say “But, I’ve never done anything really bad. For example, I haven’t murdered anyone or cheated on my spouse.”
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” – Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28
Perhaps you will say “But all people sin. For instance, all people have told at least one lie. That’s not that bad!” God’s standards are not our standards. In the end, only His standard will matter and He will even punish a lie:
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:8
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
“These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!” – Psalm 50:21-22
You may say “God is a forgiving God. He’ll just forgive me.” What would you think of an earthly judge who just forgave a criminal who had killed your family? Would you call that judge “good”? No! You would demand justice! God is forgiving, but He is also just.
Therefore, there must be a penalty for our sin debt.
There is GOOD NEWS!
The Good News (“Gospel” means “good news”) is that God can be both just and forgiving in Christ:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it– the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. – Romans 3:21-26
What must I do to be saved?
- Just believe in God? The demons believe in the existence of God and they are not saved from the wrath of God: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!”- James 2:19
- Understand Who Christ is. He is the Almighty God, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1, 14
- Trust in Christ, in His death and resurrection, in His righteousness. Don’t just believe in His existence. Repent (turn from sins) and believe (trust in Christ). “…but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3
- Believe that Jesus paid the penalty for your sins in His own body. “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Repent of your sins and trust in Christ.
Please do not delay!
“Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. – 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. If I can’t answer your question, I’ll do my best to find someone who can!
I am praying diligently for all who read these words. You are loved and I want the very, very best for you. I want your eternal soul to prosper both now and always. May the Lord draw you to Himself.
I’ve been making Bible study notes on old-fashioned paper lately, as I work on the back-end of my websites. I’ll be back to posting regularly soon, Lord willing, but until then, here are some links and resources that may interest you.
- In this short article, Scott Aniol gives some illustrations to back the argument that music is not morally neutral. Because humans are communicating something with music, both with style and content, it cannot be morally neutral: Is music a neutral thing?
- Music minister Dan Cogan writes about why he excludes songs from Hillsong and Jesus Culture (a ministry of Bethel Church) in his church’s worship: Why I Don’t Sing the Songs of HillSong…
- What are some criteria to be used in deciding whether or not to use certain songs in worship? Not just any song will do
- A beautiful worship song and one of my favorites: Complete in Thee – YouTube
I’m adding some tech notes here, as they may help others that need to move their blog.
If you are moving your site to a self-hosted version of WordPress, you may find these tips useful:Continue reading “Tech Update – WordPress migrations”
Today I’ll be moving this blog to the self-hosted WordPress platform. I’ll have more control over the look of the site and am hoping to make it more accessible for low vision users and those who rely on screen readers.
Things may look different but hopefully everything will keep running smoothly as expected. If not, you’ll know I messed up somewhere in the move (haha!) You can also keep in touch with me through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gospelwine/
For anyone else looking to move to self-hosting, there’s a pretty good guide here: https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-move-your-blog-from-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/
I would add that I had trouble moving files with another website that I manage as the importer tool didn’t seem to work with the latest version of WordPress. I had to install an OLDER version of WordPress, import my files, then update to the latest version. Research and pray!
Blessings to all!
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.Genesis 1:3-4 Day One of Creation
As I mentioned in a previous post, the light written about in these verses does not appear to be the same as the creation of the sun, moon, and stars which God brought into being on day four of creation week.
Searching for references to creation, light, and darkness in Scripture yield many, many results which aids in our understanding of the “light” and “darkness” that God created. Reading about the passages throughout the Bible that have to do with these terms gives us not only a better understanding for interpretation purposes, but also for practical application.
It is difficult to narrow down which verses to feature here! As I read verses about light, darkness, and creation, I was diverted for quite some time, thankful that the LORD is pleased to show us something of His glory in His Word.
The story of God in the Bible begins with God. It ends with God. It is filled with the work and nature of God. The LORD created man and blessed him, but God is, was, and always will be supreme. We are created for His purposes.Continue reading “Light and Darkness”
I’m wanting to continue posting as I read through Genesis, but before I get back into that, I wanted to encourage anyone who had read about the 25 Day Bible Reading Plan to seriously think about doing it if you haven’t already.
It doesn’t have to be 25 days. There’s my 35 Day Plan. You can even make your own schedule.
In this article from missionary Tim Berrey, he gives lots of practical advice and encouragement for completing a fast read through the Bible and why you really should consider it. He links to another good article about binge reading the Bible, too.
Think of all the time spent with social media, tv, and being distracted by advertisements and mindless web surfing. If you can trade that time for Bible reading, you can truly be redeeming the time, and being a better steward of it.
Instead of binge watching a tv series or movies, binge read the Bible! If you do it, please share with me about your experience.
Here’s a little game to play. Let’s call it “Music Match-up”
I’ll post several pictures divided into three groups. Here what to do: Using the labels “Rock Concert“, “Worship“, and “Church Service“, match the appropriate label to the set of pictures.
I use several websites that house royalty-free image collections, for use in my own websites. One group of pictures was found searching for images about “worship”. Another group of pictures is from searching using the term “church service”. Still another group was put together from the search words “rock concert”. Can you guess which label goes to which set of pictures? Keep in mind, these aren’t necessarily the images that I would choose to match with each label — these are simply the groups of images I found when searching for each of those terms. It is said “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
I shared some Bible verses after the groups of pictures that came to mind after putting all these together.
So, can you guess which label yielded which set of pictures? Were you surprised at all, or were you expecting to see more variety in the groups? What are your thoughts? Any Bible verses come to mind?
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.1 John 2:15-17 ESV
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.John 15:19 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”2 Cor 6:14-18 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2 ESV
Sometimes the reading got very difficult to work through in the 25 day plan, especially in the Old Testament, so I added 10 days to spread the reading out, while still (hopefully!) preserving the experience of getting a great overview of the Bible in a short period of time.
In my plan, I didn’t write it with specific dates, so you can start it whenever you want. I would highly recommend setting a date to start and then counting ahead to find what the end date will be if you don’t miss any days. Try to go by those dates! If you don’t, it becomes too easy to miss a day and restart the plan over and over. Set a specific date in mind and stick to it!
I am often starting projects that I don’t finish. It was SO satisfying to finish this short, fast-paced reading plan. By God’s grace, I even finished a day early. My husband is doing the plan, but at a slower pace. He is using a Bible app with narration. He listens to the narration as he reads along. This has kept him from becoming distracted and slowing down too much.
May God bless all your efforts to get into His Word. Happy 2020!
Edit: Image updated; there was a typo in the original. I had spelled the last book of the Bible as “Revelations” hehe
Gen 1:1 – 2:3
- Day One – heavens*, earth* , waters*, and light
- Day Two – heaven (or sky), to separate the waters
- Day Three – waters gathered into seas, dry land appears, vegetation
- Day Four – sun, moon, and stars
- Day Five – sea creatures and birds
- Day Six – land animals and humans
- Day Seven – God rests from His work
In the first couple of chapters of the first book of the Bible called Genesis, we find many action words describing God’s work in creation. God created, spoke, saw (or observed, considered), separated, called (or named), gathered, placed, blessed, gave, completed, sanctified, formed, breathed, planted, caused to grow, and commanded.
- God speaks and it is done! The Word of God is powerful!
- As the sun was created on the fourth day, the “light” on the first day was something else. The light in verses three, four, and five, and the darkness in verses two, four, and five was different from the light of the sun and the darkness resulting from the turning of the earth away from the sun. This is something to explore more for sure. I’ve read much in the commentaries, but I think I’ll search out other creation passages before getting back into the commentaries.
- We read that God made separations– light from dark, day from night, waters above the heavens from waters below the heavens, dry ground from waters. Even the repetition of “evening” and “morning” point out a division or separation. Also, the seventh day was “sanctified”, or set apart as holy.
- I find so many terms dealing with life and abundance: sprout, bearing fruit, fruitful, fill, teem, swarms, multiply. God commands fruitfulness, multiplication, and filling.
- We see a pattern of life bringing forth more life, first with the seed bearing plants, then with sea creatures and birds, next with the land animals, and finally with humans.
- On each day of creation except the second day, we are told that “God saw that it was good”. On day one, we’re told specifically “God saw that the light was good”. This wording isn’t used of the second day when he made the vault or expanse of heaven. Gen 1:31 does tell us though that “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
- In Gen 2:3, we’re told that God rested on the seventh day and that he blessed that day and sanctified it.