Category Archives: dillard

ON GOING TO HEAVEN


William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

I’ve noticed that a lot of folk want to go to heaven when they die, but they don’t want to go to church while they live. Could it be that they really don’t want to go to heaven, but just want to escape hell? Hummm.
What really happens to a saved, never-dying spirit the moment death comes? The scriptures are very clear: to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. How long does it take to go to heaven? Just the twinkling of an eye. There is no process; there is no purgatory.
But just here is where things seem to get a little confused in the minds of a lot of nominal Christians. It is thought that St. Peter will greet one at the golden gate; that the departed will be in a bodily form; that all manner of activity occurs in heaven and a tear drop will never be shed. Is this really the way it is? Think with me!
While confessing freely that I have never been to heaven, there are still some things that may be known, according to Bible revelations. It must be emphasized that since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, (I Cor. 15:50) only departed spirits may go to heaven upon physical death. The breaking of the fifth seal in Revelation gives one extremely rare insight into the state of saved departed spirits. They are seen as being under the altar of God, not running around all over the place. It is furthermore stated that the meaning of death is a rest from all labor. Moreover, it is revealed that the departed spirits of righteous persons cry for the Lord to avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth. This is a subliminal cry of sorts for these departed spirits to be clothed with resurrected bodies. Oh, it is a blessed state to be sure, but not in keeping with common visions of that state and place.
When the Lord Jesus returns to earth, when the resurrection and rapture has occurred, all of God’s people will have new, incorruptible bodies. They will live again on this earth for one thousand years with Jesus ruling from the throne of His father David.
When the 1,000 year rule of Jesus is completed, the kingdom will be yielded up to the Father that God may be all in all. I Corinthians 15:28. At that time, the universe will melt with a fervent heat and pass away with a loud noise. 2 Peter 3:10-12. Then God will recreate new heavens and a new earth. 2 Peter 3:13. There will be a great and unimaginably marvelous city on the new earth: New Jerusalem. God’s saints will inhabit this new city whose street is of gold, and whose gates are of a single pearl, and whose foundations are precious stones. Revelation 21. How long will it last? Forever and ever. Now this is more like the vision of heaven that most Christians have. What a blessed eternity that will be! I would not miss it for anything, even my life, but, sadly, there are multitudes who will because they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. There are two things All men should know 1) that all God requires of man was fulfilled in Christ Jesus, and He may be had by faith! 2) that no man may come to God except through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

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ALL TOGETHER NOW REJOICE IN


  • THE LOVE THAT SOUGHT US
  • THE BLOOD THAT BOUGHT US
  • THE SPIRIT THAT WROUGHT US
  • THE WORD THAT TAUGHT US

W.A. Dillard

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WHAT DID ABEL DO THAT WAS SO RIGHT?


William Andrew Dillard

Abel was the first person to be murdered. A debate precipitated his murder, and a proper act of worship precipitated the debate. Important details surrounding this incident are not spelled out in so many words, but they are present in the construction of the ancient language.
“In the process of time” is a phrase that may envelope years or decades, but it probably indicates these men were heads of households, since in early history patriarchial priesthood was the consistent practice. Cain and Abel brought an offering unto the Lord. Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock, but Cain brought of the fruit of the field. God had respect unto Abel and unto his offering, but He did not have respect unto Cain and his offering. Cain was terribly angry, and as he and Abel walked in the field they talked. “Talked” in the Hebrew is in the intensive stem of the verb meaning they talked intensively and heatedly. It could be called a debate. Of course, Cain was wrong. When one is wrong there are only two options: repent and get right or become angry. Cain chose the latter, and in his anger he sought to silence the voice of truth by killing his brother.
But what did Abel do that was so right? He was a sinner as are all men, and as his brother Cain was. However Hebrews 11:4 tells us “By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. . .” There is the answer. It is still the answer that makes a difference in men today. Now faith is the belief in a promise. This tells us that both Cain and Abel had correct instructions about how to worship and sacrifice unto the Lord. Abel believed and carried out those instructions. Cain did not, but chose to substitute his own way of worship rather than follow the instructions of God.
It must be noted that after six long millenniums and voluminous instructions and experiences, men still choose the way of Cain which is labeled in the Bible as “Iniquity.” Its judgment is certain, as illustrated by Cain.
It is infinitely more important to follow God in all things rather than substitute the faulty reasoning of sinful men. Abel got a quick ticket home in the ordeal, but by it he also continues to speak to the condemnation of iniquity in men. On the other hand, it is Cain who really lost his life, and the things that count for all eternity.
Truly, God gives us all the opportunity to believe Him and to follow Him. This is the thing sinful men must do if they are ever to be right in the sight of God. Abel did, and he was so right!

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FREEDOM AT ALCATRAZ


William Andrew Dillard
Philemon 1:10

A few years ago, my family toured the state of California from the Oregon border to San Diego. Of course, this included a couple of days in San Francisco. While there, a boat tour was enjoyed in the bay and around the federal prison on Alcatraz Island. As the tour boat circled the island of rock, one could see why this now-closed maximum-security federal prison was once known as “The Rock.”
There was row after row of cage-like cells that housed well-known inmates such as Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz.” One visitor there was left with some unforgettable images.
For decades, men imprisoned there as just punishment for their crimes, longed to be free. Evidence still told the story. He saw the name “Jesus” scrawled on a wall. In another, a Bible lay on a shelf. Together they quietly spoke of the greatest of all freedoms, even for a physical prisoner.
Paul knew such while imprisoned in Rome. Regarding himself as a “prisoner of Christ,” he used his incarceration to help other inmates discover what it means to be an eternally forgiven, dearly loved child of God. Paul wrote to Philemon,“ I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds (Philem. 1:10).
Barred windows and doors represent one kind of confinement. Physical paralysis, inescapable poverty, and prolonged unemployment are others. Perhaps you endure another. None are to be desired—yet who would trade “imprisonment” with Christ for life “on the outside” without Him? For Jesus is truth, and the truth shall make you free, indeed.

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