Revelation 22:12, 13
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be,” Revelation 22:12.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor.5:10).
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. . . . For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:23-26).
He will not tarry. When the Father tells the Son to go get His bride to the wedding feast, it will be the crowning event of the history of mankind, the most magnificent celebration the world has ever seen. He will not need seven years to judge His people. He is bringing His reward with Him. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. . . . Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:27-30).
There are one hundred sixty-eight hours in a week. How many hours are spent storing up rewards where we live?
He knew not retreat
1876 – George Grenfell, Congo’s Pioneer and Explorer, having just married, sailed with his new bride for Africa. Within a year she succumbed to dysentery, and sometime later George remarried his second wife Rose, who was able to travel with him on many of his most thrilling journeys. George had been reared in a very religious Anglican home in England but was influenced by a Baptist Sunday school at the Heneage Street Baptist Church at Birmingham. It was during this time that he read Livingstone’s Travels and dedicated himself for service in Africa. He then entered Bristol Baptist College in 1873, but learning that his missionary hero, Alfred Saker was in England, after connecting through correspondence, accompanied him to the Cameroons, beginning his work in Africa at twenty-five years of age. In August 1877, Henry M. Stanley, having been sent to find Livingstone, appeared at the mouth of the Congo, and the world was electrified in that it had taken him three years to go from the east to the west coast. Even though the Cameroons were six hundred miles north of the Congo River, Grenfel was immediately burdened to plant the message of the cross through this great waterway. In God’s providence, a wealthy man in England provided a ship to penetrate Central Africa with the gospel that was made available for Grenfell’s use. With untold sacrifices and privations he gave himself to the work. He buried his children in Africa and grieved continually over the deaths of his fellow missionaries. But he wrote, “God’s finger points ONWARD! FORWARD! What caused him the most pain was the indifference of the home churches to sending missionaries. When his mission agency considered receding, he wrote, “It is either advance or retreat; but if it is retreat, you must not count on me, I will not be a party to it, and you will have to go on without me.” Grenfell died on July 1, 1906.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 76.
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I Peter 1:4; Philippians 3:20
Heaven stands for all that is good and enduring. Perhaps the reason so little is given us in the Bible concerning Heaven is that we are of such low thought and so influenced by sin that we can-not understand more than is given. However, there are some things that we can understand, and we can accept by faith all other things revealed about heaven.
I. THERE IS THE HEAVEN OF THE AIR, JUST ABOVE THE EARTH.
This is the atmosphere where the birds fly (Rev. 19:17; Gen 1:20; 7:23).
II. THERE IS THE HEAVEN WHERE THE SUN, MOON, AND THE STARS ARE.
(Matt. 24:29; Luke 21:11; Isaiah 13:10).
1. Paul was caught up to this heaven (II Cor. 12:2).
2.This is where Jesus ascended to (Acts 1:11).
3. This is where Jesus mediates (I Tim. 2:5).
4. This is where He advocates the cause of Christians (I John 2:1).
5. Elijah ascended to heaven (II Kings 2:11).
6. This is where the martyrs wait (Rev. 6:9-11).
7. This is where all saints rest from their labors (Heb. 4:9,10).
8. This is where Jesus is preparing a place for His bride (John 14:1-3; Rev. 21:9-27).
III. THE FINAL HEAVEN OR ABODE OF THE BELIEVERS (REV. 21:1).
Where will it be?
1. Jesus promised the earth to the meek (Matt. 5:5).
2. Evidently, this earth is to be purged by fire (II Peter 3:10-13).
The language used seems to suggest a dissolving – melting – of this present earth and the emergence of a new earth (Rev. 21:1,10).
V. THE FINAL STATE OF THE SAVED AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT.
1. The happiness described in the new earth (Rev. 21:3,4).
2. Employment of those who inhabit the new earth – what they shall do.
a. They shall praise God (Rev. 19:1).
b. They shall perform service to God (Rev. 22:3).
c. They shall worship God (Rev. 21:22).
d. They shall obey God and do His bidding (Rev. 21:24).
e. They shall maintain God’s order among the nations (Rev. 21:26).
This is suggested in the terms used: kings, nations.
3. The Bride will be the center of the Eternal Home (John 14:2,3; Rev 21:10-27).
4. All sin will be forever banned. No sinners are ever allowed to enter (Rev. 21:27).
5. These will be real people, in a real place, doing real things, for a real God, with real happiness that will really last forever!
“We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers; associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel of Christ; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only scriptural officers (only 2 offices) are pastors and deacons; and 2 ordinances, baptism and the Lords Supper.
One will find that I place great emphasis upon the church that Jesus built. The church is the bride of Christ and He has given us a great responsibility if we are members of His Church. Much of the New Testament is written to different churches in different locations. Ephesians 5:25 makes a bold statement “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. If the church is this important to Christ, we should also respect this bride that Christ is one day going to receive as his own. We must get her history correct. We must be able to correctly identify her. We must know her purpose. The Bible reveals these things to us. We simply have to be diligent in our pursuit of the truth. Notice, when the Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper, Luke records this in Luke 22:20. – “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” He did not have all the saved gathered in that room, but he had his church and made the statement that his blood had been shed for them. Shed individually (for each person) for salvation and shed collectively for his church. The next post will use the bible to determine when the church began.Technorati Tags: Jesus, church, covenant blood, bride, faith, gospel, Christ
Let me see if I can work through this problem, with help from you, of course.
You are getting married. You have found the girl of your dreams. She has auburn hair and hazel eyes. When she smiles it is dazzling white with prefect teeth. You have wooed her and she has said yes.
That grand and wonderful day is here. You are standing at the altar in your wedding cloths, looking grander than you have ever looked in your life. The wedding march is playing and you turn to see the lovely lady that has said she would be your wife. As you look to her grand entrance you see a blonde haired, blue eye (because one eye is missing), with a smile that is missing some teeth and are very dull. This is not the woman you selected to be your bride. What do you do? Marry her any way, turn and run, search for your bride to be?
This is the situation many would put Jesus in if they had their way. He walked the shores of Galilee and called out His bride to be. He endowed this future bride with certain things that distinguish her from all the others. He gave her a form, that is local and visible. He gave her function, congregational rule. There are identifying marks that He gave her – baptism by scriptural authority to a scriptural candidate and – the Lord’s Supper which is closed and almost every Landmarker would agree with that.
So where is the problem? There are those that insist upon changing the bride. They do this when they accept alien immersion. They do this when they alter the Lord’s Supper to make it a communal supper. So now we have a blonde instead of a brunette strolling down the isle. We are making Jesus into a Jacob and marrying Leah instead of His beloved Rachel.
Do you really believe that Jesus will be satisfied with anything less than His beloved? Can some one explain this to me?Technorati Tags: Jesus, church, bride, beloved, Landmark