The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
Satan is known by many names – the Devil, the Prince of the Power of the Air, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Son of Perdition, the Thief, and many others. Whatever you call him, know that he is desirable and beautiful, that he is alive and well and a very real adversary. His goal is simple. He wants you to suffer and then he wants to destroy you and all that you love.
Hell is a real place of eternal suffering where the souls of the lost will be in agony and tormented day and night forever. This is God’s punishment for sin but thankfully, through Jesus Christ that we can escape that fate and exchange hell for heaven. Jesus tells us clearly that after you finish your life on Earth you will spend the rest of eternity in one of two places – either with Satan in hell or with him in heaven.
For by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works let any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
There is nothing that man can do to earn salvation, it is a gift from God. Good works during your life do not bring salvation, only faith in Jesus Christ does that. We are saved for good works, not by good works. Read Galatians 2:16
The only thing you can do to be saved is to believe there is nothing you can do to be saved other than cast yourself on the mercy of God.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
This is the miracle for which we are eternally grateful! Jesus, the perfect lamb of God, was the final sacrifice as the substitutionary atonement for our sin. We who believe have his righteousness imputed to us while he bears our sin. We escape condemnation and the wrath of God because of his love for us.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Sanctification is the progressive setting apart of the believer from sin. This is the work of the Holy Spirit to make us more like Jesus Christ. As we pursue the will of God, submitting to his direction and guidance we continue to transform to be more like Christ during our time here on earth. I have experienced sanctification and can attest it amazingly transforms who you are. Believe and trust in Jesus, submit to the will of God, and you will be changed.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
The veil of the temple was the barrier that separated men from God. Once a year the high priest would pass beyond the veil to make a temporary atonement for the sins of the people. The moment that Jesus died on the cross (the permanent atonement), the massive veil was torn in two. Read Matthew 27:51 From this point on man is able to boldly approach God through Jesus. There is no longer a need for a priest of religion to come directly to God for mercy and grace. The only mediator between us and God is Jesus Christ.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
There is only one way to heaven and that is trust and faith in Jesus Christ. This is the reason we are Christians, to come to Jesus and attain what no other path can offer, to receive salvation. This message of exclusivity carries a heavy weight of terrible consequence for most of humanity.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18
We who are in Christ, both those who have passed and those still living will be taken (or “caught up” which in Latin is “rapturo”, in Greek “harpazo” meaning to snatch or take away) from the earth to be with Jesus forever. This is the rapture of the church where the spirits of the dead will be united with their glorified, immortal bodies and we who are alive will also be swept up to Jesus in the same way.
This is the end of the church age, all those who abide in the word of God will be taken from the world. The salt and light are removed. The pain and suffering experienced to date will pale in comparison to what is coming. Also, know that right now there are no unfulfilled bible prophesies that need to occur before the rapture of the church. This can happen at any time . . . please be ready!
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:27
Jesus came to earth as the suffering servant, arriving in obscurity, in the humblest of circumstances. He came not to judge but that the world may be saved through him. Mankind has had the opportunity to turn to Him and be saved from the coming wrath of God for these thousands of years since he left.
When Christ returns it will not be as the humble servant to save, but as the conquering King to deliver God’s wrath to the unrighteous world! This will undoubtedly be the most dramatic and momentous event in human history. Read Revelation 19:11-16
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
All those who are not in Christ are raised (referred to as the second resurrection) to face their fate. Every person who perished in sin will be judged for all their deeds, good and bad, in their life. If anyone thinks they lived a life good enough will learn that the standard of measure is the perfection of Jesus Christ. No matter how good they thought they were, they were not good enough without Christ. I suspect that all these will have realized this before they are ushered in. All those whose name is not in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15
Thankfully, believers will be saved from this terrible day. Instead, we who are in Christ will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. This judgment will be an assessment of our lives serving Christ. It is not a judgment to determine salvation but one of reward, as opposed to the punishment that the unbelievers will endure. This will determine the kind of heaven we will experience, and it is our motivation to serve Christ well during our time on earth!
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 Corinthians 5:10