Monday, April 26, 2010

The End Of The World, Part 4

Below are the notes from this past weekend. I ended this incredibly interesting series by talking about Heaven. You can listen to this message online by clicking here!
Also, you can read answers to many of your questions about heaven by clicking here!
I also highly recommend these 2 books for your personal study: 1. Heaven, by Randy Alcorn, 2. One Minute After You Die, by Erwin Lutzer

WEEK 4- HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” Ecclesiastes 3:11
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4

WITH GOD, EVERY END BRINGS A NEW BEGINNING! (REVELATION 21:1-4)
…"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9
Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you” John 14:2.

Urban Legend #1: When We Die, We Bill Be In Heaven FOREVER.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… Revelation 21:1
Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. Isaiah 65:17 (see also Isaiah 66:22)
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 2 Peter 3:13
God will establish a new heaven and a new earth. When we die we go to be with Christ it will be wonderful, but incomplete. Unless you’re raptured, you will be in a pre-resurrected state, anticipating Christ's return to earth. After the 1,000 year reign of Christ, God will renew (2 Peter 3:11-13) the earth. The place we'll live forever will be where God comes down to dwell with us, on the New Earth (Revelation 21:1-3).

Urban Legend #2: Heaven will be BORING!
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Psalms 84:10
…you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalms 16:11
Everything good, enjoyable, refreshing, and exciting comes from God. Jesus is creative, fascinating, and anything but boring. Heaven is going to be full of surprises and adventures as we learn more about God and explore His new universe.
God says that on the New Earth “His servants will serve Him” and “they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:3,5). Servants are always active with things to do, places to go, and people to see. Rulers of the earth will have plenty to keep them busy!
We will LAUGH in Heaven
Jesus promised we will. “Blessed are you who weep now, because you will laugh... Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! Take note—your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:21,23). The Bible promises God will wipe away all of our tears (Revelation 21:4). Heaven will be full of joy. Do you think God ever laughs? In the Bible, God is said to enjoy, love, laugh, take delight, and rejoice. 
We will EAT, DRINK & PARTY.
Think about the food you most enjoy. Maybe your idea of Heaven is eating that food for thousands of years. After His resurrection, Jesus asked His disciples for some food and ate a piece of fish in front of them (Luke 24:41-43). He proved that resurrected people can and do eat real food. Other Bible verses say that we will eat at feasts with Jesus in an earthly kingdom.

URBAN LEGEND #3: IN HEAVEN WE WILL BE LIKE ANGELS OR GHOSTS.
"And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another" Job 19:26-27
“We know that when He appears we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2
Resurrection means we will retain our identities and be forever reestablished as individuals, liberated to see God and worship him as our primary joy. Many people, including children, are put at ease about Heaven when you explain that we will not be ghosts. Jesus in His resurrected body proclaimed that he was not a ghost but that He had actual “flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39).
Christ’s resurrection body was suited for life on earth. As Jesus was raised to come back to live on earth, we, too, will be raised to come back to live on earth (1 Thessalonians 4:14; Revelation 21:1-3).
You will be you in Heaven, and I will be me. Think about it. The resurrected Jesus did not become someone else; He remained who He was before His resurrection. When John was fishing with some of the other disciples, he saw Jesus on the seashore and said, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:7). So you will still recognize friends and family, and they will recognize you, too. Angels and human beings are entirely different creatures (Hebrews 2:5-9). Angels will always be angels and people will always be people. Relocation to Heaven includes becoming better humans (Romans 8:23), not space aliens.

URBAN LEGEND #4- MOST PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HEAVEN.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14   

WILL YOU HAVE A “HAPPILY EVER AFTER?”

Monday, April 19, 2010

The End Of The World, Part 3- Study Notes

This past week I talked about the judgement of God. Here is an article about this important topic.
Bema Seat - What Is It and When Is It?
The concept of the Bema Seat comes from the ancient Olympics, where a judge would sit on the Bema Seat at the finish line. The judge's purpose was to determine what position the runners came in-first, second, and so on-and then to give out the appropriate rewards. That is the imagery behind what is known as the Bema Seat.
Also known as the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Bema Seat is described in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, "If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." Your gold, silver, and costly stones are works done for the glory of God, with the right motive, and in dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit.
There is some debate as to the exact timing of the Bema Seat. Some understand it to occur at the moment of death for each believer. Others believe the Bema Seat to occur during the end times, with all believers being judged at that time. It does not truly matter when the Bema Seat occurs. It is far more important that we be prepared for the Bema Seat. Read more of this article by clicking here.

Excellent article's about what we can expect when we stand before God-
click here
click here
2 Fantastic Books-
1. A Life God Rewards by Bruce Wilkinson, purchase here
2. Your Eternal Reward: Triumph & Tears at the Judgment Seat of Christ, by Erwin W. Lutzer, purchase here

The End Of The World, Part 3

Yesterday I talked about the reality that there is an ever after. Each of us have a blind date with the creator where we will be having an end of life evaluation. We will all be judged. The Bible talks about 2 different judgements and what will happen. God let's us know the test in advance and even gives us the answers so that we can be ready. If you missed the message, you can listen online via itunes. Below are the notes for your study.

DATE WITH DEITY FOR BELIEVERS
(is called the Bema seat of Christ)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV)

“...his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 (NIV)

POTENTIAL REWARDS
The Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8), The Victor’s Crown (1 Cor. 9:25-27), The Crown of Life (James 1:12, Rev. 2:10), The Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess. 2:19), The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:1,4)

THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST
The Second Coming. This event is different from the Rapture. The second coming of Christ is the visible, bodily appearance of Christ as He returns to the Mount of Olives from which He ascended back to heaven after His resurrection. After the marriage between the raptured saints and the Lamb in heaven (during the Tribulation), Christ, the Groom, goes forth to claim all of His kingdom. He rides on a white horse, followed by the saints, also on white horses (Revelation 19:11,14). It will be a sight of great wonder and majesty as Christ descends with His followers to reclaim that which Satan has temporarily wrested from His hand. The ensuing conflict between the world of righteousness and the world of darkness is called the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16). At the conclusion of the battle, defeated Satan is bound and cast into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20).

THE MILLENNIAL (1,000) REIGN OF CHRIST
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years. (Zechariah 14:5, Matthew 24:27, Matthew 24:30, Revelation 1:7; 19:11-14; 20:1-6)This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel, (Ezekiel 37:21,22; Zephaniah 3:19,20; Romans 11:26,27) and the establishment of universal peace. (Isaiah 11:6-9, Psalms 72:3-8, Micah 4:3,4

DATE WITH DEITY FOR UNBELIEVERS
(The White Throne- Final Judgement)
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8)

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” Revelation 20:11-14

YOU WILL MEET JESUS... AS SAVIOR OR JUDGE! YOU DECIDE (Phil. 2:9-11)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The End Of The World, Study Notes

I wanted to share with you some of the sources & resources that I use & have used in regard to my studies of the end times. Below is a video from Dr. George Wood, who is the leader of the Assemblies of God, our parent/affiliate organization. It's well done & he does a great job of explaining the second coming of Christ.



I also included some links to various authors that I'm learning from as I teach this series. We are highlighting some of these books during our series. The authors are well-respected scholars and Bible teachers and have a unique perspective in relation to end times events.

What In The World Is Going On? by Dr. David Jeremiah- click here for more answers to questions in regards to the second coming of Jesus Christ, messages and other resources
2012 The Bible and the End of the World, by Dr. Mark Hitchcock- click here for an interesting blog filled with discussions related to the end times and current events.
Understanding The Last Days, by Dr. Tim Lahaye- click here for more information about this best-selling author, scholar & bible teacher & his vast resources regarding the end times. Great stuff!
Dr. John Walvoord is one of the most respected & highly regarded teachers in relations to prophecy & the end times. You can read articles & find his books by clicking here!
*Though not a scholar, Joel Rosenberg has a unique insight & is a trusted voice in relation to the end times and current events. Click here to read more of Joel's material!

There are many other great prophecy teacher and others that tend to be a bit sensational. Always use caution, test the teachings in relation to scripture and remember that balance is the key to life! Most importantly, whatever you believe in regard to the specifics of Christ's return, remember that He has told us to go into all the World and to share the good news of Jesus Christ! (not pack up our bags, move to North Dakota & live in a cave to escape the end of the world :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

THe End Of The World, Part 2

Below are the notes from this weekend. You can listen to the message from this weekend by clicking here!

WEEK 2- ARE YOU EVER READY FOR THE EVER AFTER?
“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

1. We are living in the END TIMES.
“The end of all things is near” 1 Peter 4:7
"... Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:6-10

2. God’s TIMETABLE is different than ours.
We know that we don’t know when Jesus will return

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come... So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:42-44
 “... you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised?... 8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10... the day of the Lord will come like a thief.” 2 Peter 3:3-10

3. What’s next on God’s prophetic calendar?
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20
Jesus will come to RAPTURE His people (the church).
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thess. 4:16-17
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV)
“... we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed...” Titus 2:12-14 (*see also 2 Peter 3:11, 1 John 3:2-3)

ARE YOU EVER READY FOR THE EVER AFTER?

The End Of The World, Part 1

What Do You Do When You FEEL Like It’s The End Of The World?

This past Easter Sunday we launched our new series called, "The End Of The World." Have you ever felt like your world was coming to an end? I know that I sure have! We all have really bad moments in life that can cause us to wish that life was over. We can learn some incredible truths from the life, death & resurrection of Jesus that can help us in those 'end of the world' moments. Obviously, I'm speaking of a figurative end of the world and not a literal one in this particular message. Below are the notes and some key thoughts from that Easter Sundays message. Next week I'll be talking & posting about the literal end of the world and how you can survive it!

Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-44)
Jesus taught us that even in our worst hour, we should turn to God and trust in His strength for every issue in our lives!
“… the floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me. Death itself stared me in the face. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord and, I prayed to my God for help.” Psalm 18:4-6 (NLT)
“God is my savior. I will trust Him and not be afraid. The Lord gives me power and strength.” Isaiah 12:2 (TEV)

On The Road To Golgotha (Luke 23:26)
Even Jesus needed help to carry His cross! In your darkest hour is when you need God & OTHERS the most!
“…Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.” Romans 12:5 (NLT)

Death On The Cross (Luke 23:32-34; 39-43)
When Jesus’ world was coming to an end, He refused to become bitter & He extended grace to others-- even until His last breath!
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him... Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:33-34
“Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you... it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.” Hebrews 12:15 (LB)
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” 1 John 3:17 (1 Sam. 12:23, Galatians 6:2)

With God, Every End Brings A New Beginning! (Luke 24:1-8)
The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ Brings Hope Even When You Feel Like It’s The End Of The World!
"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." Revelations 1:18