Our Heavenly Home

62aaee287cc77d7b5b870b3d60becf15Dorothy really did get it right—there’s no place like home!

Last week, we returned home after traveling nearly 2,500 miles, through nine states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota (our point of GREAT interest—but that’s another post!), Missouri, and Kentucky. What a wonderful country I am privileged to call home, and we didn’t even see half of it!! As the hills turned into rolling farmland and we crossed the Mississippi, I was amazed at the farms AND the flatness. I suppose I’ll always be a Pennsylvanian, but it was good to see another part of the good ol’ USA.

Home—what makes a place become a home? Familiarity, family, ownership, personal items? These may all be true, but the greatest ingredient needed to turn a house into a home is time. If you’ve ever moved from a home where you resided for a long time, you have experienced the uncomfortableness of newness. Where’s my favorite mug, my slippers, my toothbrush?!

Home—surrounded by all those people and things you love. I love to travel, and we’ve rarely been gone for such an extended time, but when we walked into the house, I was surprised at the overwhelming joy that flooded my heart! I was home, and I was so glad!

Just think of stepping on the shore and find heaven,

 Of touching a hand and finding it God’s,

Of breathing new air and finding it celestial,

Of waking up in glory and finding it home.

~ L. E. Singer

In the swirl of confusion and difficulties which crowd into our lives, what joy and comfort to know that one day, we will be truly home! Peace and safety, joy and rejoicing, a place filled with Jesus Christ and all that He is! Will it feel like home? As a born-again believer, heaven becomes home in the same way that a place becomes home—by spending time there. But, you may ask, how can I spend time in heaven? Bring it down to earth! Clip off the rough edges of your person—the words and actions which sprout in the opposite direction of Christ-likeness—and heaven begins to bloom in your heart and life. Train up your children to walk in the goodness of the Lord. Spend time with God’s children. All these things prepare us for that place called our heavenly home!  And the less “world” that you bring into your home, the more heavenly it will be! If you need a few more ideas, check out the wonderful words to this hymn:

Take Time to Be Holy

William D. Longstaff,

 

1. Take time to be holy,
speak oft with thy Lord;
abide in him always,
and feed on his word.
Make friends of God’s children,
help those who are weak,
forgetting in nothing
his blessing to seek.

2. Take time to be holy,
the world rushes on;
spend much time in secret
with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus,
like him thou shalt be;
thy friends in thy conduct
his likeness shall see.

3. Take time to be holy,
let him be thy guide,
and run not before him,
whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow,
still follow the Lord,
and, looking to Jesus,
still trust in his word.

4. Take time to be holy,
be calm in thy soul,
each thought and each motive
beneath his control.
Thus led by his spirit
to fountains of love,
thou soon shalt be fitted
for service above.

 

 

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Lincoln’s Greatness

maxresdefaultThis past week, I had the privilege to visit Lincoln’s hometown of Springfield, Illinois. We toured the house and visited his presidential library and museum. I was nearly brought to tears because of the museum’s wonderful portrayal of this great man, who was destined by God to lead our country through some of its darkest hours.

So, what is the secret of his greatness? As I read and listened to several of his speeches, I began to notice a common thread. Here are just five of his most famous speeches:

  1. Peoria, Illinois: October 16, 1854 “If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that `all men are created equal;’ and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of another.”
  1. Illinois Republican State Convention, Springfield, Illinois:June 16, 1858                  A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (Mt. 12:25)
  1. Farewell Address, Springfield, Illinois: February 11, 1861                                         Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended [George Washington], I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me, and remain with you and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
  1. Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: November 19, 1863                             It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
  1. Second Inaugural Address, United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.: March 4, 1865 Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other… The Almighty has his own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” (Mt. 18:7) If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope-fervently do we pray-that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God will that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.” (Psalm 19:9)

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

Do you see it—all the references to God and all the quotes from the Bible? As I stood in his tomb and read his second inaugural address, just five days before Lee surrendered and ten days before Lincoln was assassinated, I was amazed to see that the entire speech was laced with references to God! I don’t believe the words were added for effect but came from a heart that beat for God and knew the scriptures. Abraham Lincoln never joined a church and didn’t attend regularly (even though his wife Mary did). But he obviously read the Bible and was familiar with its content.

So, what’s my point? You don’t need to be in church on Sunday? Well, sadly, many of you may not be, especially with it being a holiday weekend; however, even sadder still is the thought that there may be a day when there is no church to go to because of today’s lack of interest. No, this post is not about church attendance.

Abraham Lincoln knew the Bible. Do you? Do you read it daily? Do you love it? Is it your guide book? Could you…

  1. Name all the books?
  2. Name five authors?
  3. Quote any verses? How many?
  4. Name twenty heroes of the Bible?
  5. Name twelve tribes of Israel?
  6. Name in order the days of creation?
  7. Name the 10 commandments in order?
  8. Name the 12 apostles?
  9. Recite the Lord’s Prayer or the Twenty-third Psalm?
  10. Use verses to lead someone to Christ?

These are just ten random questions off the top of my head. It’s not knowing the trivial facts about the Bible that will change your life, but knowing the God of the Bible, and if you want to know God… know God’s Word!

The message of the Bible came through loud and clear in his speech—he didn’t just tack  “and God bless America”  on the end. It was his guide, his foundation, his focus, and his Friend. AND, the most amazing part is that it can be the same to anyone who wishes it to be true enough to make it happen! Worried about America? READ THE BIBLE!!

 

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God’s Footprint

ID-100144966 (1).jpgWe often use the word “footprint” to describe the area over which something occurs or is effective, e.g. the area where a signal from a communications satellite can be received.  So, how big is God’s footprint?  Some folks just believe that He started this whole ordeal called “life on planet earth” and then went on His way.  If so, then does God have any real effect on my life? I’m so thankful for the godly influences I have had right from the start.  One of my earliest song memories is this:

God sees the little sparrow fall, it meets His tender view;

If God so loved the little sparrow, I know He loves me too.

He loves me too, He loves me too, I know He loves me too.

If God so loved the little sparrow, I know He loves me too!

And that song is based on scripture, which makes it a doctrinally sound little ditty!

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?

and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Matthew 10:29

That is so amazing! How many sparrows fall to the ground in just one day? He sees them all, and God sees me.  He knows when I need a good price on peanut butter.  He sends His angels ahead of me when I’m driving. (My daughter just drove three hours alone to take photos of a wedding, and had stopped at a rest area for just a moment.  Further down the road, a car was pulled over and had just hit a deer. Her comment, that it could have been her if she had not stopped, is exactly right!)

And if songs and live testimonies aren’t enough, look at Proverbs 16:

  • The preparations of the heart in man,
  • and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. (v. 1)
  • A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (v. 9)
  • he lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. (v. 33)

Of course, there are dozens of verses which say the same thing, but here are just four examples in one Proverb!

  How big is God’s footprint in your life?

Do you allow Him to affect every part? Do you ask Him to direct your steps? Guard your heart? Guide your words? Some may say that’s a crutch, but I believe it’s the smartest thing we can do as children of God.  After all, if your toddler was heading for the road, wouldn’t you stop him? You see the danger that he doesn’t see, and you gladly intervene even though he doesn’t ask you to! Oh, how big our God is! He is our infinitely all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, good and gracious heavenly Father; He sees the beginning and end of YOUR life, and every step in between! Why would anyone ever choose to have his or her own way?

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverb 16:3

 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:

where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 

Isaiah 66:1

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Watch your words

Dare to Stand…

Watch your wordsThis week, while subbing in a public high school, I sat and listened to two seniors exclaiming over a senior project. It was a slideshow of all the seniors, showing their lives throughout their school years—quite a project, and well done, I might add.

However, as I heard the Lord’s name over and over again, a phrase of exclamation with no thought to God, I prayed for wisdom.  We “just happened” to be in the same room; I wasn’t teaching them. Finally, I went to them, sat and looked at the project with them, exclaiming what a great job she had done.  Then I asked them if they realized how many times they had used that God-dishonoring phrase.  They sheepishly said, “No,” and then asked me how many times.  (As though I was counting!) I said that I didn’t know, but then read Exodus 20: 7 and briefly talked to them about it, hoping for an open door.  Amazingly or not so amazingly, the phone rang just at that time! Curse the god of this world!!!

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;

for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

I talked with them a little bit afterwards but didn’t sense an open door.

What would you have done? I don’t really know these girls. I’m thankful for the rapport that I have with the students, but it seems to be more and more difficult to speak to them about spiritual matters. So many thoughts went through my mind:

  1. Just leave it alone. They don’t even know you, and you don’t want to push them away from God.
  2. They’ll think you’re some sort of religious freak.
  3. Just pray for someone else to enter their lives and challenge them—someone they know.
  4. Coward!
  5. If you don’t tell them, who will?

The last argument won out, and here’s why:

At times, when I’m teaching piano lessons, a student will play something incorrectly.  It may be just a little thing and I’m tempted to overlook it; but this thought goes through my mind: How will they learn if you don’t tell them that it’s wrong?  Seems like a no-brainer.

How much more serious is taking the Lord’s name in vain! Not learning how a phrase of music should sound will not affect that student’s eternal soul, but vainly using God’s name will!  Take another look at the verse, especially the second line:

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;

for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

GUILTY IN THE FACE OF GOD! That’s pretty serious.  Satan laughs as EVERYONE, even professing Christians, vainly spew forth this phrase or its abbreviation. (This is another of my pet peeves.  If I write PA on an envelope, everyone knows it stands for Pennsylvania.  It’s not weaker, not even a substitute—IT MEANS THE SAME AS ‘PENNSYLVANIA!’ So, isn’t the same true for THAT God-dishonoring phrase?)  Students are never corrected about this phrase.  They will be rebuked for the “four letter words,” but glibly using God’s name goes unchecked.  Even the teachers interject God’s name into their comments. It’s just another word, but is it? I think the little clue that is given for kids to remember the Commandment Number Three, is pretty effective.  Hold up three fingers, trace the ‘W’ you see, and remind yourself to WATCH YOUR WORDS!

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When will l learn?

“Do it now, don’t delay,

Don’t put it for another day.IMG_7886

Go ahead begin it, right this very minute,

You better DO IT NOW!!”

For you wonderfully blessed people who grew up with Patch the Pirate singing words of wisdom in the background, you will recognize that little ditty.  So much truth!!  Are you a procrastinator? Some of the best advice I ever received was this:

If it takes less than two minutes to do, do it now!

BECAUSE, if you do then…

  • You don’t have to use up precious brain power to remember to do it later
  • It’s done!
  • You won’t have to suffer the possible consequences of putting it off until later.

As you can see by the photo, my procrastination involved my bird feeders. I know a lot of bird feeders (people :)) stop feeding the little fellas once spring is here. Once the flowers appear and the snow is gone, there’s food for them to eat.  But spring is also the time when a lot of migrating birds pass through.  It’s the season when I have the most variety of birds, so I choose to bring my feeders in at night; and for the past few weeks, I’ve been telling myself to do just that!  Facebook even reminded me by showing the same scenario two years ago almost to the date!  Even last night’s conversation was a reminder:

“Do you really have a lot of bears in this area?” asked Ivy.

“Oh, yes.  I don’t always see them, but I see the results of their prowling!”

Now, I’m out a feeder. What is the cost of your procrastination? You can get a finch feeder for under $10, and believe me, I get the cheapest one I can find! But what if my procrastination is of a more serious sort: I keep putting off building the habit of daily Bible reading. I keep meaning to build the habit of prayer, but there are so many demands on my time.  I would really like to be faithful to church, but… I know I shouldn’t use that language, but the kids drive me to it! I know I should discipline my children, but I’m so tired.

What does it cost us when procrastination invades our spiritual walk? God is eternal and we are as well, but there will be a day when this life is over. DONE! Then, as I stand before my Lord and Savior, all my lame excuses will crumble into meaningless dust.

Is procrastination keeping you from becoming the wife, mother, sister, daughter, child of God that you long to be? What can you do about it? One thing…

Once again, writing this post has been a blessing to my heart!  When I searched for the phrase “one thing,” seventeen verses came up.  Some were unrelated, but look at the following sweet nuggets:

And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. Joshua 23:14

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Mark 10:21

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13,14

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2Peter 3:8

There’s so many blessing in these verses, but we’re trying to focus on fixing our procrastination problem.  Philippians 3:13,14 are the verses that I go to for help. Choose that one area, habit, character trait that you really need to fix.  One thing!  Make it a priority! Do it NOW! Ask for the Lord’s help.  Now, beware: if your problem is impatience, He may send you a “patience-building” exercise which may seem like the opposite of what you think you need! But remember, God is the Master builder.Believe me, I am struggling myself with some of God’s learning building-blocks, but, once again, I fall back on His Word which reminds me that His way is perfect.  Psalm 18:30

And then, be encouraged by the other verses: Joshua reminds us that God keeps everyIMG_7887 one of his promises. David tells us that his “one thing” was to be in God’s house (a worthy goal!); Jesus puts his finger right on the pulse of the rich young ruler and said, “Your ‘one thing’ which stands in the way of truly worshipping me, is your money.” Paul urges us to press on, and Peter gives us an eternal perspective!

Look at your schedule. How did you spend your time? Did “filthy lucre” come in the way of worship? Did self precede family? Did perfection trump precious moments with a child?  Consider the cost of procrastination!

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Proverbs 31:28

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We need the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation)

 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2Timothy 4:8

BookCoverImage for A moment in timeWell, I’m at it again—trying to take off those extra pounds that crept back on throughout the winter months; however, this time is different.  There’s no wedding or graduation on the horizon to motive me to do this.  There’s no scheduled doctor’s appointment looming in the near future.  It’s just time to do it, and to be quite honest, I’m not sure that I will be successful without those deadlines!  I’m really a deadline person.

The Apocalypse—the word exudes doom and horror!  It means disaster, catastrophe, destruction.  To the world, it is Judgement Day or Armageddon.  The Book of Revelation often takes that name as well, and rightly so—Revelation 1: 1 begins with these words: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass…  And if you’ve have read any of the last book of the Bible, then you know that there’s a lot of doom and destruction written in its twenty-two chapters.

Does the knowledge of those prophecies help us to live a better Christian life? I mean, as Christians, the doom and gloom are not for us but for those who are left behind at Jesus’ Coming.  So, it’s not the doom that pushes the born-again believer, but the thought of seeing our God and Savior face to face which prompts us to live a life that pleases Him.  You remember that feeling: Dad and Mom have gone out and left specific instructions for you—the list!  You look at the clock and figure how long it will take to get the jobs done, and then either you choose to do the jobs first OR (most likely), you do what you want to do until the absolute least amount of time is left to finish the list!

The problem with Jesus’ return is that there’s no clock, not even a calendar to go by.  Paul and the other apostles looked for Him to return in their lifetime, and here we are, over two thousand years later, doing the same thing!  Did God not disclose the time and date of His appearing because He wanted to keep us on our toes?  I think not.  He created us; He knows us; He is constantly doing what is best for us.  We walk by faith, and if He gave us the due date, that would take a huge part of our faith out of the equation.

Reading about the Rapture and what it may be like should sharpen our desire to live for God, as well as hone our desperation to parent godly children and polish our vision to reach the lost.

In A Moment in Time, Carrie Spangler, a pastor’s daughter, has heard all her life BookCoverImage (1)that Jesus was coming; she just didn’t think He would come when He did. What was she doing?  Was
she looking for His return?  Not in the least.  She was busy living her life the way she wanted to live it.  She disregarded the years of Bible teaching which she had received at church and at her Christian school.  Notice, I didn’t say in her home.  The following is an excerpt from Chapter Five which gives us a glimpse into the Spangler household, but before you read it, may I give you several reasons why I wrote the Strong Delusion Trilogy(Book One: A Moment in Time; Book Two, Angel of Light; Book Three: Thy Kingdom Come):

  1. To see life through the eyes of a troubled “Christian” girl
  2. To learn about the End Times from a layman’s point of view
  3. To gain a burden for the lost
  4. To take a “salvation” check
  5. To understand the Lost’s way of thinking
  6. To be entertained

Chapter Five excerpt:

Betty turned to face him, propping herself on one elbow. “Charles, how do you think [Carrie’s] doing spiritually?”

The question hung in the air for a moment before he found the answer, “I guess that’s your department.” He sighed deeply. “Betty, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I can successfully lead ten pastors in an area-wide revival, pastor a church of six hundred, and run a Christian school, but I can’t talk to my own daughter. I guess I just don’t understand girls.”

“Don’t say that, Charles. I’m afraid for her. I’m not even sure that she’s saved.”

“But she said she was, and every time it comes up, she’s defending her decision.”

“That’s just it, that’s why I wonder if she really is. And we never talk about spiritual things with her.”

“Yes we do,” he said defensively. “At dinner, we often talk about…”

“…about church activities.”

“Yes, but we talk about what God is doing.”

We talk, Charles, but does she?” Betty could hear the hall clock ticking as Charles mulled the words over in his mind.

“Can’t you talk to her?” he asked.

“I’ve tried. I think I was getting somewhere tonight until you walked in.”  It was a simple statement, but it charged the room with energy by all the messages it carried.

“You always make it sound like it’s my fault.” The defenses were up.

“Charles. You come floating into the room on your own pride and never even see…,” but she didn’t get to finish.  Betty knew she had said too much.

“How dare you,” he shot back, getting off the bed and pacing the floor.

Carrie heard the conversation escalating and went to her door, cracking it just enough to catch their voices.

“Charles, I’m sorry; I’m just so worried. But I shouldn’t have said that.” She came around the bed to him, but he wasn’t ready to give in that easily.

Carrie could see the scene in her mind, and it sickened her. Dad is huffing and puffing while Mom grovels at his feet.  I hate him!

“Charles. Let’s not fight,” Betty whispered realizing how loud their voices had become. She reached up and ran her fingers down his arm, squeezing his hand. She knew how to melt him. He was a good man, and she loved him so!

 

A Moment in Time is fiction but it is not a fairy tale in which everyone lived happily ever after.  This book was written with a heart and burden for Christian families.  It was written for us to take a good hard look at what is really going on in our homes and in the hearts and minds of our children.

Jesus is coming—we know that.  A Moment in Time just put’s it into a realistic setting.  What if He did come back right now, today?  Where would our children and grandchildren be?  Would we be glad to see Him?  What will it be like?   None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  My prayer is that the

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  My prayer is that the Strong Delusion trilogy will help my readers to see the End Times events just a bit clearer and perhaps encourage them to take a look inside themselves as well.  It’s an exciting book—the plot continues to thicken until we reach the ultimate climax, and the characters are real, but that’s not the point.  Reading even a Christian novel gains merit when we take the lessons sewn into the fabric of the content and apply them to our hearts.

 

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The Saddest Verse in the Bible or Who Goes to Hell?

ID-100170122 Matthew 7:23:

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 This is not only the saddest verse in the Bible, but it is also the most frightening verse as well. As a point of reference, this chapter is part of what we call “The Sermon on the Mount.” Many had gathered there beside the sea to hear the Master, and Jesus talks about a lot of things: The Beatitudes, This Little Light of Mine, how to do relationships, how to worship, how to pray.  Chapter seven begins with “judge not” and includes the lesson on the mote and beam, and ends with the Wise Man Builds His House Upon a Rock, but sandwiched in between these two familiar passages  are these two verses:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (22)

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.(23)

  • Who is saying this? Jesus
  • Where? By the Sea of Galilee
  • To Whom? His disciples and many of his followers AND TO US!
  • How did they react:

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.(28,29)

I have to admit, when I first read this passage, I was shocked for two reasons: One, because the message was so strong, and two, I had never heard it before in my church, even though I was a regular attender and really paid attention. Think about it: have you ever heard your pastor preach on this verse?  Has he ever read it as part of the weekly New Testament reading? If the answer is “yes,” then you are blessed to be in a church that preaches the whole council of God; however, if the answer is “no,” you may ask yourself or your pastor why.

And here’s the real question: Who goes to hell? According to this verse, a person can be a pastor (prophesied refers to preaching the Word), an exorcist, or a person who does really amazing things in Jesus’ name! Jesus is not talking about a C&E Christian—someone who only comes to church on Christmas and Easter. He’s talking about a person who is really plugged in to “religion.”

Does that frighten you? Does it make you wonder about your own spiritual state?  It should, and that’s probably why Jesus said it.  He was talking to many really religious people.  They would make the average twenty-first-century church attender look like a heathen.  They knew how to “do God,” but something was missing.  When Jesus says, “I never knew you,” He’s not saying that He doesn’t know this person. He knows everyone and is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”2(Peter 3:9) He’s saying that this person is not His intimate friend. It’s someone who is busy about God but misses the whole relationship idea.

This is a real “heart-check” passage.  Don’t look to the other guy who seems to fit the bill, in your estimation: he’s all show and no heart.  He may indeed fall into this eternally fatal category.  But what about you? You say you’re a Christian, but is there any fruit to prove it?  You say things like, “I’m good, me and God, we have an understanding.” Yikes! Are you sure? I hope the understanding falls under God’s requirements, and indeed, He has requirements!

I suppose the real question can only be answered by you and God. Are you real? Is your love for Christ unfeigned, or is He just tacked on at the end of the day, like the idol worshipper who just wants to add Jesus to his god shelf.  Jesus won’t do that. You must tear down the god shelf (which, in our day can take the form of success, wealth, pride, sports, career, houses and lands… all those things that place such harsh demands all our time and attention!).  Only Jesus.  Jesus first. Jesus is All the World to Me…

Do you know Him?  Does He know you? If you have trusted Him as your Savior, your life will show it.  Others will know, you will know, and Jesus will know!  What a wonderful, peaceful place to be!

BUT, if this post causes you to question, perhaps it is God’s Holy Spirit knocking on your door. Get the answers you need. Salvation is available to all who will speak the truth in their heart. (You may need to check out What is Salvation?)

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