My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the tag “Religion”

Their Loss

Matthew 7:13
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.

Years ago I knew a man who at first was a nice man. At first we were friends. Then I told him about the Lord Jesus. This man’s then showed me hate. Lots of hate. Hate for most anything Godly. What’s more is he seemed proud of his hate. I finally broke all contact with him. A few years later, he died of heart problems.

I find the end of his life, very sad. He proudly mocked Jesus and all who believes in Him. He would insult and down grade us with much pleasure. Now he’s gone, and not only that, he even lost his soul. Sad. What a waste.

I also known another man who was a Buddhist. He was telling me how great Buddha was. So I told him about Jesus. He was interested and asked me questions. I did the best I could to answer them.

Finally he was telling me that Buddha was every bit of a holy man as Jesus. I told him “No, Jesus is Lord. He is the Son of God.” Then with ‘great authority’ this man told me that Jesus never told anyone to do anything.

I said, “What? What are you talking about?” He added, “Also Jesus never got mad at anyone. he’s just like Buddha.” I told him, “Yes Jesus did get mad.” He answered back again with his ‘great authority’, “NOT IN MY BIBLE HE DIDN’T!” I then told this man about when Jesus made a whip, over turned tables, and drove people out of the temple because, because they were selling animals there.”
John 2:13-16

I continued, “Jesus is Lord. He died for your sins, but rose back to life again in three days, physically, with His own body. So anyone who believes in him, ask for forgiveness, can go to Heaven. Can your Buddha make that claim?”

Since I would not turn from Jesus, this man wouldn’t have anything to do with me anymore.

A third man, also a good man. However he told me he wanted nothing to do with God.

All three decided they did not want God. I understand that it’s their choice. I also understand when Jesus said, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.” I understand most will not make it to Heaven. Most will not have ever lasting life. I also understand America is turning away from God.

So should we stop telling people about Christ? Should we give up? How much time, money and effort should we use, bringing people to Christ?

In the mid 1970s there were billboard signs saying “I found it. And you can too.” It was suppose to be a way of bringing people to Jesus. Most people will say it was a big waste of time and money and that it didn’t work. But is this true?

In about 1972 or 73, people started talking to me about Jesus. In 1976, I saw the I found it signs. I called the phone number on the sign and agreed to meet with someone. That evening I decided to give my life to Jesus. The next day I told many people that I decided to follow Jesus.

More and more people are becoming hostile to God. But please do not give up. There are still a few people around who will come to know the Lord.

Jesus said “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, (or people) baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

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First Love Cooled?

Revelation 2:4-5
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.”

Did you read that? Does this apply to you? I hope not. But think about this. Are you still on fire for God? Or has your love gone a bit cool. I’m not asking if you still love the Lord. I’m guessing you still do. Are you still willing to live for Jesus? Do you still have love for others? Or is it more self-centered?

I know that this is for the church in Ephesus. However I also believe that it could apply to us individually.

About removing your lampstand from among the churches? You can say it applies only to churches, or not. But, do you really want to take a chance? Do you want to disappoint our Lord? I don’t.

There is more written to the church in Ephesus. Most of it is good, but I suggest reading Revelation 2:1-7.

That’s my thoughts.

Earning Your Way To Heaven?

Are you earning your way to Heaven? And if so, how are you doing it? What if you’re wrong?

What if a man murdered someone else, and then is caught, arrested, and put on trial? His defense attorney says, “This is basically a good man. His good deeds out weight his bad.”

The prosecuting attorney says, “He is a murderer and here is the proof. He should go to prison.”

Defense attorney says, “But this man who did murder is a nice guy. He gives to charity, sings in the church choir, he is a pillar in our society. He’s a great husband and father.”

But because the man is a murderer, he went to prison. All the good he did in his life didn’t matter.

Right now many of you are saying, “I didn’t murder anyone, so I’m OK. I’ll still get into Heaven.” But there is one problem with this thinking. This is what Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-22, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”

So now, how many of you believe you’re good enough? Remember in this society, once a murderer, always a murderer. Just like once a sex offender, always a sex offender.

By the way Jesus also said, “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Mathew 5:27-28

Face it, there is no way you can earn your way into Heaven. But what if it was given to you as a gift? Would you accept it? Your sins must be paid for somehow. After all, if you don’t go to Heaven, you will go to Hell.

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

Cross

Jesus came to pay our way into Heaven. It is a gift. We can not earn it. John 1:1-5 and John 1:14 explains that Jesus is God. He loves us enough to go through, being mocked, punched in the face, spit upon, whipped. Imagine having the whip digging into your back and ripping away bits of your flesh. Imagine having a crown made of thorns shoved down on your head. Now there is blood and sweat running down stinging your eyes. Then in front of everyone you cry out in pain, and yet no one helps you. You’re in pain because nails are being pounded through your hands and feet. And then more pain as the weight of your body tears at holes in your hands as the cross they just nailed you to is being righten up in the ground. And as your family and friends watch… you die.

Also keep in mind that Jesus could have stopped this anytime He wanted. Matthew 26:53-54 says:
“Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”

He Is Risen - The Graffiti Bridge, on Facebook

He Is Risen – The Graffiti Bridge, on Facebook

This is how much God loves us. Then three days later He rose from the dead, physically with His own body.

So you have a choice. You can try to earn your way to Heaven, and you will fail. Or you can believe in the Lord Jesus. Ask Him into your heart and to forgive your sins.

Ephesians 2:8-9
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Are You Proud To Be A Christian?

One of the things I have seen on Facebook are “I’m proud to be a Christian. Share if you are too.

I’m puzzled by this. Knowing that we are all sinners, and fall way short from God’s standards, how can we be rightfully proud?

Copper Ridge, North Cascade National Park -National Park Service

Copper Ridge, North Cascade National Park -National Park Service

Let’s say you are lost in the mountains with a broken leg. Or you’re sitting on the roof of your home because of a flood. You are cold, wet and hungry. You have no hope on saving yourself. Finally Search and Rescue finds you. Are you proud that they found and rescued you? There is nothing to boast about here, except for the adventure. The real question, or the correct question is, “Are you grateful?”.

“Proud To Be A Christian”, also makes me think of “The Proud Pharisee” who did everything right. However if you read Luke 18:9-14. you see being a “The Proud Pharisee” who self-righteously did everything right, didn’t make himself right with God. Yet Luke 18:14 says the tax collector who humbled himself before the Lord, was justified before God.

Ephesians 2:8-10 says:
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

So when people say they’re proud to be a Christian, I wonder; are they really proud that Jesus gave up His life so they might be saved from Hell?

I myself am humbly grateful that my Lord would save me. John 3:14-16 says:
And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Soon we will celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. For those who believes in the Lord Jesus, Roman 6:5 says:
Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Are You Sure?

Question_mark_(black_on_white)

When you die, will you go to Heaven? Are you sure? If you say you’re good enough, how do you know? What if you believe that homosexuality is good because Jesus never talked about it. Are you sure that what you believe is correct? I’ve heard Jesus was much like Buddha. The guy telling me this was very sure. But was he correct? If so and if you do believe you can be good enough, then how do you explain Ephesians 2:9 or even Matthew 7:21-23

Two men were arguing about which way was north. Only one was correct. Why? He looked at the compass.

I’ve noticed that many people don’t think about what they believe. They certainly don’t test it. Why?

When I was in maybe eighth grade in school, I had a teacher who told the class that there is no life above the Arctic Circle because it’s too cold. Even as a kid I wonder if she ever heard of Eskimos and polar bears. What about people living in Northern Norway? In my early twenties I was on an ice breaker, and we went north of Point Barrow, Alaska. There’s a lot of life up there.

Some people say that if Jesus was here right now He would be a Democrat. Are you sure? Really sure? Right now I’m guessing that there people that are grinning, thinking “Of course not. He’d be a republican.” Really? Are you sure about that?

Here’s a question for you. With everything that’s been happening, why would The Lord of the universe be impressed with either party?

If Jesus returns right now, what would He do about the Middle East? Would He split Jerusalem and give half to the Palestinians? Would He insist on a two state solution? Maybe even destroying Israel? And are you sure? If you say ‘Yes’, are you sure the person would even be Jesus?

Revelation 19:11-21 talks about Jesus returning and fighting for Israel. And He wins.

Also when He returns, He wouldn’t be interested in our petty little political system. He Himself, will be king. Mark 15:2 Revelation 1:4-6

So how can we be sure of things? More important, how can we be sure we’re going to Heaven? John 3:16 says For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

So do you really believe in Him? Only you can answer that question.

Let me ask you this. Do you believe in Hillary, or Trump? If you’re an American, you’ll either say “yes” or “no”. If you say “yes”, that would mean you believe in everything that person stands for. You’ll stand by that person through thick and thin.

This is how you should believe in Jesus. Even more so. Please get to know Him if you don’t. Start in Matthew and read through Revelation. Then to know Him more, read the Old Testament. Be sure.

Persecuted

Good news! On January 16, 2016 Pastor Saeed Abedini was finally released from an Iranian prison. Here are two links. Link 1 Link 2 While this is very good news, him as well as the others who were released, still needs prayers as they recover from physical and mental abuse.

The sad news is that there are so many more people who are or have been persecuted. And there will be more persecution, even here in North America. Even in the United States. There are also more people being lead astray. Why?

I read that there Christians who believes that Jesus was not Jewish. Why? Either people don’t read their Bible, or someone sucked their brains out. Jesus was born from a very long line of Jewish people. Every year Jesus and his family would go to Jerusalem for the Passover festival which is a very Jewish thing to do. When Jesus healed the man with leprosy, He told him to go to the priest and take along an offering as required by the law of Moses. Clearly Jesus is a Jew. Even Pilate acknowledged Him as King of the Jews. Why would a Christian who reads their Bible say that Jesus is not Jewish, is beyond understanding. Unless they don’t read.

Another time, many years ago someone told me they were a Christian. I was a little suspicious so I asked if he believes in Jesus. That He died on the cross and rose again physically three days later. He said “No, I don’t believe you have to believe in Jesus to be a Christian.”

How does that work? How can you be a Christ-ian and not follow Christ? When the time comes, these people will escape most if not all persecution that may be coming. Me, my wife, many of my friends and family as well as many of you, will be persecuted. Some of us may be murdered. If you believe and admit that Jesus is Lord, Son of God, and that He has risen physically from the dead, if you say Jesus is the only way to have eternal life; you’re in trouble.

Things are going to get worse. I believe, in the United States there will be more persecution towards Christians. More mocking, getting fired, more bigotry. Families will be divided and friendships broken. Our rights of free speech will be taken away while those who oppose us will keep theirs. For an example: it’s getting where if you speak bad about Jesus people will believe it’s OK. But if you say the same thing about Mohammad, then people will get upset and call you a hateful bigot. A few may try to kill you or at least punish you somehow.

In the past I have been lied about and mocked and other things, only because I’m a Christian.

As bad as things may get, please keep this in mind. Matthew 5:10-12
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Guns

Ruger AR-556

Ruger AR-556

First let me say that this article is neither pro-gun nor is it anti-gun. Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile knows I think a little differently than most people.

A few months ago when the gunner shot and killed 9 people in Oregon and wounded many more, everyone said this was very terrible thing to have happen. And this is very true. But I saw two things very interesting. First the gunman asked people if they were Christian. Those who said “yes” were shot in the head. Those who said “no” were shot to wound and not to kill.

Soon afterwards my wife was watching a TV show and they were talking about the shooting and about shooting the Christians was because of mental illness. I found this to be very interesting. If shooting a Muslim is a hate crime, and shooting a minority is a hate crime, as well as shooting a homosexual a hate crime, why is shooting and killing Christians not a hate crime? Why would shooting someone like me, only be a sign of mental illness? Why?

When it comes to guns as well as other things, some people seems to stop thinking.

However this last shooting at San Bernardino, California were rightfully called a terrorist attack.

One day while looking through Facebook I saw an interesting post. Some guy replied, “Thankfully Peter was not armed with a gun in John 18:10.”

When I answered, “Even if he was, I know Jesus could heal the guy who was shot. Luke 22:51”

The same guy answered back, “Really? This is a fun story to do the ‘what if’ game we can do with history, mythology and scripture. If Peter had had a gun, the centurions would have as well. We’ve seen enough shootouts to know the typical outcomes. People killed; bystanders shot….; the author would have had a much more complex story to tell. Heck, maybe even JC could have been shot and died. No crucifixion, no resurrection. Thankfully, sword isn’t as deadly as gun play…even in the same hands.”

I really wanted to reply to that, but I resisted. Please hear me out on this. Most likely I will not say what you think I’ll say.

Even though he may be a Christian, I know he’s wrong. I know there would not have been a shoot out even if the Roman solders as well as Peter had guns. It would have been impossible for Jesus to have been shot.

Why would I say that? One reason is when people tried to push Jesus off a cliff, they couldn’t. He just simply left.

Once in John 7:44-46 they wanted to arrest Him, but didn’t. And in John 10:39 they tried again to arrest Him but couldn’t. They couldn’t do it, no matter what. It wasn’t time.

And this brings us to when Jesus was arrested. According to John 18:1-11, He was met in the garden by Roman soldiers, Temple guards, and others. Then Peter chopped off someone’s ear. At that time Peter would have been considered as a threat. So, why didn’t the trained armed Roman soldiers, kill the fisherman who may not really know how to handle a sword? And while they were at it, kill Jesus right then and there? Because they couldn’t. Even if they had guns. They were not allowed because Jesus is LORD!

When Peter had the sword, Jesus told him to put it away. He also said that if He wanted, He could ask God for a thousand angels for protection and it would have be done. But He didn’t because then prophecy would not be fulfilled as it was told in the Scriptures. Matthew 26:50-56

Think about this. Soon we will be celebrating Christmas. Remember that this is not just about some kid born in a barn. I’m sure that’s happened many times over the years. No, this was not just some ordinary little baby. This is the LORD, and he is in control.

Are We Getting Into Trouble?

If we’re getting into trouble, who are we getting into trouble with?

This post is written mainly to those who are followers of our Lord Jesus. Though of course everyone is welcome to read this. But first I must lay out some ground work.

Exodus 20:13 says You must not murder. Since most people have not murdered, we’re OK with that. Yet in Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus said “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Now we have trouble. I believe everyone is guilty of this.

Exodus 20:14 says You must not commit adultery. A lot of people have done this. Yet in Matthew 5:27-28 Jesus said “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Wow every man I know of, has committed this sin. And to make things worst, Matthew 5:32 says if he divorces his wife, he often causes her to sin. Jesus is not being kind or relaxed on sin. Not at all. But he does forgives and often. If you ask.

Kim Davis – Wikipedia/Carter County Detention Center

Kim Davis – Wikipedia/Carter County Detention Center

Kim Davis was thrown in jail for awhile for not granting homosexual marriage licenses. She says it was against her Christian beliefs. Many people agree with her and many do not. But who is agreeing and who is not agreeing? I must say I was a little surprised by the answer. I was surprised that there were Christians who were against her.

One of the most common reasons I’ve heard was: Jesus never said anything about homosexuals or same sex marriage. Therefore it must be OK. Really? Are you really sticking with that reasoning? Then your point is nulled and void.

It is true that Jesus never said the word homosexual in either Mathew, Mark, Luke or John. But guess what. He never said rape either. Are you going to tell your wife and daughters that it’s OK to be raped? I hope not. That would be stupid and evil.

Genesis 19:4-7
But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing.”

In Luke 10:12 even Jesus said the town Sodom was evil.
“I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day.”

But like I said earlier, this post is mainly for those who follow Jesus. So here are two more passages:

This from Paul, who said: Romans 1:26-27
That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

This is what Jesus said about sexual sin to the Pergamum church in Revelation 2:14-16. Read it carefully.
“But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”

No matter what we do, we’re going to be in trouble with someone. We have to follow someone. Now here is a question that we all know the answer to. Do we follow the world, or do we follow our Lord? We follow our Lord of course.

Seattle Christians

Meet Nicole, my guest writer. My wife and I have known Nicole and her husband for a few years. Both of them love the Lord just as my wife and I do. Hopefully this is only the first of her writings.
Steve

Seattle Christians
by Nicole

Seattle – Photo from Google

Seattle – Photo from Google

Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words. -St Francis of Assisi

I recently heard someone not local to the Seattle area use this quote in reference to Christians in Seattle. I don’t know if the person repeating it was aware that these are the words of Saint Francis, not to be confused with the current Pope of the same name. And to clarify, I think the person who said this was still making a fairly valid point about Seattle area Christians in general, and I respect this person a lot. To paraphrase, he said that Christians in Seattle tend to be quiet about their faith, and keep it private. Yes, I try to be quiet about it most of the time, but I am also aware that Christians do live in Seattle, so I’m not quite a minority, religiously speaking.

I keep my faith quiet for several reasons, but first and foremost is because so many in the Seattle area who are not followers of Christ tend to have strong opinions about Christianity, whether they understand the Bible, the religion, or not. Most of the arguments I heard against the Church didn’t have anything to do with the faith I was brought up in, but had everything to do with other Christian sects or an historical viewpoint. Those don’t apply to me, for the most part, since I belong to a lesser-known branch of evangelicals, and well, I live in the 21st century and not the crusading Middle Ages. And then in the lime-light there are the Bible-thumping “evangelicals” who adhere to very strict ideas of how Christians ought to live and aren’t shy about declaring who will be “saved” and who is going to be damned to hell. With those ideas, why on earth would I actually publicize that I’m a Christian… with my words?

I love these words of Saint Francis of Assisi about witnessing: Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words. Another way to phrase it is, “Actions speak louder than words.” I believe that the reason my acquaintance criticizes Seattle area Christians is not because we don’t talk enough. It’s because we don’t act enough. We are called to be people of action. Not just Christians, but everyone! That’s not to say that we need to live more in the moment, or that we should act first and think later. No. But we can’t just stand around and talk about stuff, and then call things good.

I’m fine with people not talking about what they believe. I almost wish more would do that. It’s difficult going to downtown Seattle and watching so-called Christians demonstrate with signs that “God is Love” and then see right next to them, or written just below, “God hates Gays” and worse. Those are very cringe-worthy signs and actions. I have no idea where their hearts are, or what God thinks about them, but I don’t identify with that as being part of “Kingdom work.”

The best personal action I can think of recently happened on the night before Thanksgiving last fall. I volunteer for an organization that works with local prostitutes, giving them a hand-up and there was a new girl there that night. For the first time ever, I was someone’s first point-of-contact at the center. She was scared that telling me she’s a lesbian would lead to me asking her to find someplace else to go. My response? “Would you like anything to eat before we get into the rest of these in-take forms?” I heard last week from the center director that this young woman has returned to us several times during the daytime and has asked about me. Wow! Do you see what I’m getting at? My words helped my actions, and reflected more strongly with them. Even more, they have impacted the organization so that she and others feel welcome to come in and get the assistance they are looking for.

Christians don’t need to be preachy or try to act all righteous. They need to forgive and act from places of grace. This still applies to me. I might do things “right” from time to time, but I need correction too. I don’t want to be remembered for my words when I’m gone from this world. I’d far rather be remembered for my actions. Hopefully good ones! I am mostly speaking to the Seattle area, but this call to better accountability in action could be for other pockets of the USA and world as well.

So many speak about their beliefs without considering if their actions measure up. We talk about helping the poor but won’t help the homeless guy begging on the corner. We say it’s a shame that people don’t have clean water in southeast Asia and Africa, but won’t donate the money to help them build proper wells. Instead, we scream that women who abort their unborn children are murderers when what we should be doing is asking them if they need counseling, or if they would like better access to birth control. There is so much inaction in the world. What can you or I do today to speak with our actions, instead of our mouths?

Revelation 22

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas

Here we are at the last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22. Revelation 22:1-2 talks about the new Jerusalem as a city and in Revelation 21:2 it’s called the Holy City. How did I miss this before? I don’t know but I did. This is why, so many times I say please, PLEASE check out what I say. I am not trained in this. In fact I have never gone to a Bible college, or had any other kind of training in this. Be wise. Do as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. I pray that I am very accurate, but I’m afraid I will make mistakes and I do not want you to be mislead.

There is a river of life flowing down the center of main street, with a tree of life growing on both sides of the river. And it bears fruit each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. Revelation 22:1-2 How this will work, I don’t know, but it will.

There will no longer be a curse, for the throne of God and the lamb will be there, and His servants will worship Him face to face. His name will be on their foreheads. They will truly be His. Now Revelation 22:5 says there will be no night, so there will be no need for lamps or even the sun! For the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign for ever.

Much of Revelation is very difficult to understand. But remember an angel told John all he has seen and heard is trustworthy and true.

We are at the tail end of the Bible, and Jesus Himself says these things: He is coming soon, and blessed are those who obey the prophecies written in this book. I believe He is talking about the prophecies told to the seven churches in Revelation 1:4 through Revelation 3:22.

He also says He is coming soon and will bring His reward to repay everyone according to what he or she has done. After all, He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega (or the A and Z), the First and the Last. He was in the beginning in Genesis 1:1 as explained in John 1:1-14 and after the Amen in the end of Revelation 22:21. He has known everybody, past and present.

Jesus says also says, He is the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. In other words He created man, and therefor King David, and and He is also the descendant of King David. We just celebrated His birth a few days ago on December 25th.

Now for Revelation 22:14-15. I have so many thoughts about this. I don’t know where to begin or even if I should. It would take way too must space and time. And if I get it wrong… that would be very bad.

So much of prophecy is a mystery because we’ve never seen it. I have read in commentaries at times that Israel and Jerusalem must be a spiritual place or an idea. They thought this because for over 2000 years there was no Israel. But there is now.

A few weeks ago, like myself, many of you bought and paid for your Christmas gifts in you home and maybe even in your pajamas. You mailed no letters and wrote no checks. You did not make any phone calls or even looked at a paper catalog. But you still picked out a gift and even paid for it. Today because of the Internet, this is no big deal. Yet fifty years ago, people would have no understanding of this paragraph. Prophecies in the Bible are the same way. They have to be seen first to be fully understood.

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas (I would have taken more, but the battery in my camera died)

Photo taken in Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas (I would have taken more, but the battery in my camera died)

Revelation 22:17-19 is both a welcome and a very stern warning. Basically it says, if you change anything, you’re in trouble. I do not want to be in trouble. I have prayed for wisdom the whole time while writing the Revelation series. This is way so often I have been saying that I am not trained in this. This is also why I have often told you to read, and to check this out for yourself. I want nobody to be misled on account of me. (I don’t want you to be misled at all) So please pick up a Bible and read Revelation yourself. It won’t take long. You may agree with me or disagree. Just read.

Remember Revelation 22:20. Jesus said He’s coming soon.

And now for the last verse: The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

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