Glen Campbell was a very talented singer; and in 1982 he released a song called, “I Love My Truck.” To a person who is from the country, and especially from Texas, this song made perfect sense. It was a song about how his truck was more faithful than his relationships. This is all fine and dandy as long as our “love for things” is put in perspective.
Joshua 24:15, “If you have no desire to worship the Lord, choose today whom you will worship; whether it be the gods whom your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But I and My Family will worship the Lord” (New English Translation – emphasis mine.)
The “gods” mentioned by Joshua refer to anyone or anything that we place above our Lord and Savior Jesus in our lives. It’s perfectly ok to enjoy the nice things the Lord has provided for us, but our dedicated worship is to be reserved for Jesus, period.
James 4:4, “Adulterers (those who break their marriage vows to God), do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So, whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy.”
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are “betrothed” to become His “bride,” which is a part of His “Church” that consists of all believers. It doesn’t matter what sign is over the door of the church building, synagogue, parish or whatever that you may attend, it’s totally an individual thing to accept the free gift from the Savior that He paid dearly for at Calvary. His act of mercy for us becomes a “dowry” that we cannot buy or earn. To have something or someone in our lives that is more important than our love for the Messiah is like committing adultery against Him. Putting one’s faith and trust in worldly things and not Him is to accept Satan and reject the Lord.
He paid for our deserved punishment with His blood. He has the right to call for our loyalty.
There are different degrees of love, and God understands them more than we ever possibly could. In Deuteronomy 6:5, Moses tells the Israelites, “You must Love the Lord your God, with your whole mind, your whole being and all your strength.”
This is reinforced in Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27. For humans, it is difficult to “Love” something or someone that we can’t see, feel or touch in any way. Therefore, we need to pray daily for the Father to provide the capacity to Love Him (and the Trinity) more and more each day. Over time, we will begin to develop a relationship that is not possible without some communication with Him.
James 4:2-3 tells us we don’t have because we don’t ask, or we ask with the wrong intentions. If I were to ask God for a new high-priced vehicle, which I don’t need, it probably would be turned down. But, if I ask the Father to increase my Love for Him and the Holy Spirit and Jesus more and more every day, it will happen, and already has happened in my life.
For the record, my wife is my absolute best friend on this earth, and I love her dearly. I also love our kids, grandkids and even great-grandkids that we have never seen in person. We are supposed to love our families; but on the spiritual side, we are to love God more. This does not take away from our family or friends, but actually increases our love for them. We come to realize every person on this earth was created by the Heavenly Father, and we need to love everyone for their souls, and love Him for creating us.
This does not mean we have to like them. Before you say I’m double-talking, even Jesus didn’t “like” some of the people He had to deal with. He had love in His heart for everyone; but as I’ve pointed out previously, His biggest adversaries were the religious leaders of His day. They were supposed to be totally “religious,” and should have even known who He was, but He had to call them out frequently for the “errors of their ways.”
When He was on the cross, Jesus asked for forgiveness for those who were crucifying Him, which included the Pharisees and Sadducees, along with the Romans who were carrying out the execution. If any of these repented after His resurrection and accepted Him as being the Messiah, we will see them again in Heaven.
As mentioned, All Believers are to become the Bride of Christ. Revelation 19:6-9 tells about attending the “Wedding Celebration of the Lamb.” This takes place just before Jesus actually returns to the earth to first put down the Tribulation, and then to rule and reign for 1,000 years in Jerusalem. Those who were taken up in the Rapture will be there and return with Jesus in our new glorified immortal bodies. No more temptation, pain, suffering or death – Halleluiah!
After the Millennium, the old earth and Heaven will be destroyed; and Isaiah 65:17-19 says, “For behold, I create a new Heaven and a new Earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create, for behold I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people. No more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.”
We will be in our “Forever,” and the bad things of this earth will be forgotten.
Revelation 21 and 22 describe what the new Heavens and Earth will be like, and especially describe the “New Jerusalem.” It will in no way be crowded, as it will be approximately 1,500 miles long, 1,500 miles wide and 1,500 miles HIGH! That just about covers the area of today’s United States, and it goes up 1,500 miles into the sky. It will be located in the Promised Land that God gave to Abraham and “all his descendants.”
We will live peacefully forever, worshiping and serving the Lord. It will not be a chore, but totally pleasurable. Imagine being able to sit down and have a conversation with Moses, Jonah, Daniel, Esther, Ruth, David and all the other faithful believers from the earth from the beginning of time here.
One thing I look forward to After I am able to bow at the feet of My Jesus, is to see all our loved ones who believed, and have been waiting for us. How can anyone not wish to be a part of this? God Loves us so much that He has made all this and a lot more possible, and longs for us to be with Him forever (2 Peter 3:9). He will not force His will on anyone who chooses not to believe in or accept His Son. He allows “free will” to everyone to make their own choice, and He will accept whatever choice we make. As with Joshua, My Family and I will worship and choose the Lord, and we look forward to eternity with Him.
For those who choose to be separated from the Father, Revelation 20:11-15 tells the sad end for them. Only, it’s not really an end, but misery forever. Total darkness; constant reminders of all the times a person could have chosen not to be there. There will be different degrees of punishment, as Satan will be tormented a lot more than someone who lived “a good life” but didn’t accept Jesus. Being “good” does not save anyone.
People make jokes about Hell, but actually are showing their ignorance as they don’t really understand the seriousness of decisions they make here. There will be no laughter, no joy, and worst of all no Hope there. Furthermore, it’s so unnecessary.
Call on Jesus today to be your Savior, and it will be the most important decision you will ever make. Look in the Bible and read John 3:16-18; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13; Romans 8:1; Romans 3:23; Romans 10:9 and Ephesians 2:8-9. Seems like a lot of reading, but worth every moment you spend looking them up. To wait may just put you in line for the Lake of Fire. If you leave this earth without accepting Jesus as your Savior, there will be no second chance. It will be final and forever – just as accepting Jesus will also be final and forever, but in a totally wonderful way.
For now, the choice is yours; but He could return at any moment, and we are not guaranteed to live even another hour. Satan will lie and tell you that there’s plenty of time, but even his time is short. Call on Jesus – He will not turn you down.