Tag Archives: heaven

A CHURCH THAT DOES NOT EXIST


William Andrew Dillard

The title is paradoxical. To say that there is a church is to say that it exists, but to say there is a church that does not exist is a contradiction of thoughts. Yet, I have read about such a church, and I am sure you have, too. In newspapers and magazines, it will not be unusual to read of “the Baptist church.” This reflects a thought pattern of the church being universal. Of course, expressions of “the Catholic church,” the Methodist church,” etc. are more nearly correct since Catholic and Protestant churches consider themselves to be universal. Catholic theology points to a universal, visible church while Protestants point to a universal invisible church.
So, to which of these lines of theological thought do Baptist churches generally subscribe? Neither! It is the Bible presentation that the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are both visible and local. Each church is totally independent under the headship of Christ Jesus. There is no ecclesiastical (preacher) authority. There is no hierarchy. There is no little church/ big church difference in the eyes of the Lord. All are local assemblies, answerable only to God, with the full weight and responsibility of carrying out the commands of Christ as though they were the only congregation on earth. The only headquarters of the Lord’s churches is in heaven. His churches have equal authority to win disciples, baptize them, teach them, and administer the ordinances according to the Word. A church simply cannot get any more independent than to have the independence God gave to it to represent Him on earth. But, a church can get a lot less independent by subscribing to false doctrines, practices, and acquiescing to the designs and schemes of men. The purpose of such is usually for the sake of “business advantage” and/or to capture congregational power to enhance economic, political, and strained theological activity that God never commanded or intended.
There is no such thing as a biblically recognized, universal church on earth whether visible or invisible! Jesus set in motion a local congregation and empowered it to do likewise in carrying out the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. I understand “Johnson Street Baptist Church” or a church by some other name that distinguishes it as a local assembly in a specific location or in a specified dedication of service. I do not understand nor will I accept the terminology of “The Baptist Church.” It is a church that simply does not exist.

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HEAVEN


to believe in heaven

Is not to run away from life

it is to run toward it.

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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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Heaven or Hell


It is better to be

frightened into heaven

than

lulled into hell.

Adrian Rogers

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FAITH


Faith is the medium of exchange in heaven.

If you need an answer to prayer,

spend a little faith.

Adrian Rogers

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THE LIKENESS OF THIS GENERATION


William Andrew Dillard

Someone once said the more things change, the more they stay the same. It appears contradictory, nevertheless true. Vaunted progress in most every field of endeavor characterizes the present time, but the universal plight, and the persistent actions of men remain unchanged. Nowadays, good is called evil and evil is called good. Selfishness largely rules, and the unchanging principles of time and eternity are pushed aside for what men want right now.
It was to a similar generation of Jesus’ day that he explained the ministry of John the Baptist, and the subsequent kingdom of heaven. There were those who heard him, and they with the publicans justified God being baptized with the baptism of John. On the other hand, there were many of the lawyers and Pharisees who rejected the counsel of God against themselves by rejecting the baptism of John. Luke 7.
They wanted to pit the ministry of John against the ministry of Jesus. They criticized the person of John as aloft, stoic, antisocial because he was not given to eating bread, nor drinking wine with them. Then they criticized Jesus because He did those things, calling Him a gluttonous man, a winebibber, and a friend of publicans and sinners. In short, nothing could be right in the eyes of these critics but their own twisted formula of life. How that remains. Times have changed, but the more they change, the more they stay the same.
Jesus summarized the generation of His earthly ministry. “They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.” Luke 7:31-32. This is an unchanged status quo, having multiplied exponentially.
Men do not have the qualifications, nor any ability to call upon the substance or perimeters of eternity. God does! Moreover, the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are in covenant relationship with Him, so they have been given the knowledge of eternity by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. They have visited that dimension vicariously, and proven their understanding by the eternal, unchanging Word. It is they who justify God, not only being baptized with the baptism of John, but offering the same to such as bring forth fruit meet for repentance. With them, by God’s grace, I stand! Trusting one’s pompous, but powerless formulations is silly. Trusting the eternal creator of the universe is wise.

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There’s a Divinity that Shapes Our Ends


John Adams: There’s a Divinity that Shapes Our Ends

John Adams 9LIBERTY LETTERS, 1776

Daniel Webster records that in 1776, while some men vacillated as to Independence, John Adams, the “Voice of the Declaration,” arose and stirred the hearts of his countrymen with these immortal words:

Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there’s a Divinity which shapes our ends. . . . Why, then, should we defer the Declaration? . . . You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time when this Declaration shall be made good. We may die; die Colonists, die slaves, die, it may be, ignominiously and on the scaffold.

Be it so. Be it so.

If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready. . . . But while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country.

But whatever may be our fate, be assured . . . that this Declaration will stand. It may cost treasure, and it may cost blood; but it will stand and it will richly compensate for both.

Through the thick gloom of the present, I see the brightness of the future as the sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its annual return they will shed tears, copious, gushing tears, not of subjection and slavery, not of agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude and of joy.

Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, Independence now, and Independence forever.


Source: The Works of Daniel Webster, 4th ed., 1:133–:36 Adams speech was delivered before the Continental Congress.


Liberty Letters is a project of The Moral Liberal’s, Editor in Chief, Steve Farrell.

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A “Nobody” In Hell, or “Who’s Who” In Heaven?


Pope’s Points

Julian Pope

A “Nobody” In Hell, or “Who’s Who” In Heaven?

Had you ever noticed, in Luke 16:19-31, that the rich man in Hell is not named? When he was living, no doubt he was known far and near for his wealth, his lavish parties and, if they had such in those days, was listed in “Who’s Who.” But when he died, he was just a nobody in Hell!

By contrast, had you noticed that Lazarus is named? When he was living, I doubt if the rich man or any of his friends knew his name, being known only as the beggar. When he died, there were no hired mourners and I am sure he was buried without notice in a potter’s field. But when his spirit left his house of clay, he was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom. A nobody on earth, but he knew the Lord, and now he is listed in “Who’s Who” in Heaven!

Which way have you chosen?

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MY LORD AND SAVIOR


He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and The Manager of all times.

He always was, He always is, and He always will be…
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!

He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!

The world can’t understand him,
The armies can’t defeat Him,
The leaders can’t ignore Him.
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, and
The people couldn’t hold Him!

Herod couldn’t kill Him
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse him
And the people couldn’t’ hold him.

Nero couldn’t crush Him,
Hitler couldn’t silence Him,
The New Age can’t replace Him
And Oprah can’t explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.

His ways are right,
His word is eternal
His will is unchanging, and
His mind is on me.

He is my Redeemer,
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and
He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and
He rules my life!

I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light
And His goal for me is abundant life.

I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful,
The ancient of days, the ruler of rulers,
The leader of leaders
And the overseer of the overcomes

The sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.

And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.

His goal is a relationship with ME!

He will never leave me
Never forsake me,
Never mislead me
Never forget me.
Never forget me,
Never overlook me, and
Never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!

When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!

When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody, everywhere,
Every time, and everyway.

He is God, He is faithful.
I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.

So, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, understand this…

He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side, and
That means all is well With my soul.

Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!

I love the Lord and thank Him for all that he does in my life,
He is my source of existence and my Savior.

Without Him, I will be nothing.
Without Him, I am nothing but with Him I can do all things.
Philippians 4:13

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HEAVEN ON MY MIND


HEAVEN ON MY MIND
Parson to Person

The Lyrics of a gospel song include the words: “I woke up this morning feeling fine; I woke up with heaven on my mind.” What an inseparable duo! They are cemented more securely than “love and marriage” or “horse and carriage.” When thoughts of heaven and of the Good Lord are founded solidly on the eternal Word, they become the substantiating of heaven on earth. How else could one feel then but fine, mighty fine! Think about it!
David described the blessed man as one who meditates in His law day and night, Psalm 1:2. That is feeling fine, mighty fine! When others dish out unfair treatment, instead of being discouraged, consider the marvelous meaning of the words in Psalm 119:78, “Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause but I will meditate in thy precepts.” This turns personal hurt and discouragement into feeling fine, mighty fine! When the forces and “friends” of this world bring pressure to think and walk perversely, remember Psalm 119: 15, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” This severs a bad situation and leaves one feeling fine, might fine.
Some folks are comparable to a reed shaken by the wind. They bend and sway with whatever force is predominant at the time. Others are more comparable to a mighty tree, realizing that even though evil winds may not be stopped, one may, but the grace of God, stand strong and not bow down to them. It is incumbent upon every Christian to know who he is through identification with the person and words of the Lord, not by simple, blind acceptance of the tenants of a church where he may belong.
In the classic movie “Gone With The Wind,” Scarlett dealt with unpleasant or difficult situations by procrastination: “I won’t think about that today, I will think about that tomorrow.” That mindset can only make matters worse by creating a vacuum evil is eager to fill. By all means, take the initiative!
Taking the initiative then to be in control of spiritual and mental matters, one will find himself marching in cadence with the Pauline instructions that speak so pungently to this point. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Now there is the subject matter having come full circle. With goodness and heaven on one’s mind, life is fine, mighty fine!

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