GATHERING FRUIT FOR ETERNAL LIFE

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.Matthews 9:37

Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.” John 4:36-38

Jesus made it abundantly clear that all of us are called to make disciples not just the clergy.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Are you gathering fruit for eternal life? Do you even think about rewards in heaven and on the new earth? And yet Jesus taught that being an obedient disciple of Christ brings its reward, even great rewards. You need to be living eternal now not just for eternal rewards but for peace and joy in this life that can only be realised when you are in a right relationship with God, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in your spirit.

Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.Luke 6:22-23

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.Romans 14:17

Don’t you want to abound in the hope that Paul had, as expressed in the above and following two Scriptures. I do!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.Romans 8:18-21

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38

What role will you have in the Kingdom of God during Jesus Millennial reign on earth? What you do on earth in this life will determine that role.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

All successful people set life goals and then stay focused to achieve them. However, very few people set eternal life as there principal life’s goal and yet any other goal is extremely short lived in comparison.

Sadly, very few parents, including many professing Christians, teach their children that eternal life must be their most important goal for life on this planet.

Jesus by way of His death on the Cross made it possible for all of us to achieve eternal life. He also made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to enable us to live eternal life now.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6

Jesus said, ‘I have come that they may have life (zoe) and have it more abundantly.’ John 10:10

Let us unpack these two Scriptures:

I am the way” – the way (hodos in Greek). It means the pathway, the road to the destination. For all mankind, Jesus is the way, the only way to the eternal destination of a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1).  Jesus is more than the door, He is the door and the way, the road.  Our life as Christians is to walk on that road – to be and to become more and more like Him.

The truth” – the truth (aletheia in Greek). It means the truth – not a truth, but the truth, the real truth. For us it means the truth as taught by Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles – all recorded for us in the Bible. The truth is the bricks and mortar of the road, the safe pathway through life.

The life” – the life (zoe in Greek) It means the life that God gives as a gift. It is the life of God Himself that He imparts to all His creation. Each living thing is given exactly the life it needs. (Bios also translated life – is the physical life we live.)

More abundant life” How will we experience Jesus’ promise of more abundant life?  The answer is in unity/union with Jesus. Jesus is the pathway and He calls us to follow Him. (akoloutheo in Greek) It means to be a follower or a companion – going the same way, on the same path.  Jesus won’t deviate from the way – but what about us? To any degree in which we deviate from His path of truth we will lose out on the abundance He promises. You lose the joy, the peace that only God can give.

Today the truth in the Scriptures, is attacked on every side. Even amongst believers and in our Bible Colleges they don’t take it to heart, deny portions of it, preferring satanically inspired worldly ideas. The world completely ignores God and His truth and is on the wrong path altogether. But even we deviate from the path, go our own way, and then we wonder why we don’t experience life more abundantly.  

Now is the moment to consider the ‘new normal for life.’  Consider, am I following my calling in Christ, to walk together with Him who is the way, the truth, the life – at home, at work or business and in every area of my life?

Consider – the teaching of John in his first letter. This is the way to walk – walk in light (the truth), walk in love (just as Jesus demonstrated), this will be a manifestation of God’s gift of life.  Paul to the Ephesians added, walk in unity – that must first be with the Lord and then with each other, putting on the new man, being led by the Spirit of God.

Living Eternal Now is about living an abundant, joy filled life which Jesus promises every believer. Living eternal now is the way Born Again believers should be living every day. Available on Amazon as a paperback and ebook.

CHRITIANS NEED NEVER FEAR DEATH

Those in Christ should never fear death. The love of God continues from temporal life through to eternal life.

The church is the only society in the world that never loses any of its members, even by death.John Blanchard

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:15

The death of God’s people is safeguarded, watched over, protected, and secured. Much as we safeguard something highly valuable, so God safeguards His people when they die. As Jesus protected His disciples in life, so God protects them in death.

While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.John 17:12

For He delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence He redeems their life, and precious is their blood in His sight.Psalms 72:12-14

When the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world we are told that the lost will seek death but it will elude them.

And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.Revelation 9:6

If you are an unbeliever and you are reading this post I hope you will repent of your rejection of God and His values and seek to know what Jesus Christ has accomplished for you when He died on the Cross over 2000 years ago. He died to pay the penalty for your sins so that you might inherit eternal life and not fear death.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18

JESUS – THE WORD OF LIFE

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.1 John 1:1-4

What an amazing Scripture. Do you want life, eternal life? There is only one place you will find it – JESUS.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.1 John 1:5-7

It is only His sacrifice on our behalf, His blood shed for you and me that cleanses us from SIN

What is the matter with the world? War, violence, turmoil, unhappiness ,,, There is only one answer – SIN.

The renowned theologian Martyn Lloyd-Jones reveals addictions provides a picture of all SIN patterns. At first the happiness it causes seems to outweigh the misery. But eventually the periods of misery increase and the periods of happiness fade. This is called the law of diminishing returns. Life is promised; death is delivered. Every drug, alcohol, and pornography addict is living proof the next high is less satisfying than the last.

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results, SIN not only leads to insanity – it is insanity. Regardless of your drug of choice, materialism, cocaine, pornography, power, anger, slander – the nature of any SIN is saying. “This time it will be different.” Yet it just keeps killing us – all in the name of happiness.

The only answer to the SIN problem is Jesus. Repent of your SIN problems and ask Him to takeover your life as Saviour and Lord. Find meaning and purpose for your life, knowing you now have eternal life.

Martin Lloyd-Jones share these gems on SIN in his book Life in Christ in 1 John

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available on Amazon as a trade paperback or eBook or trade paperback from me at ron@bakb.com.au and making a donation. of $15.00 AUS or $20.00 USA to cover shipping

EASTER – ALL ABOUT ETERNAL LIFE

During this Passion Week, it’s fitting that we turn our eyes to the cross. No tragedy could be greater than God’s blameless Son being slaughtered without mercy in horrid crucifixion. Yet as a result of His suffering, countless people will spend eternity with God in joyful celebration and endless pleasure. Jesus Himself will be forever exalted, and all will recognize Him as Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Eternal benefits are ours, all because He suffered.

He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:5-7 NIV

When they came to the place called “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.”  Luke 23:33 GNT

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”  1 Peter 2:24-25 NIV

My entire theology can be condensed into four words, “JESUS DIED FOR ME.”  Charles Spurgeon

DO NOT LOSE HEART

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Where is your focus fixed? On the things that are transient or things that are eternal. Up to the age of 47 my focus was totally on things of this world. I was managing director of The Ramsay Group, at the time, the largest surgical, dental, scientific and medical educational company in Australia. I had a waterfront home and all the trappings of success. You can read my story in the book Build a Kingdom Business – Empowered by the Holy Spirit. What is my current focus? It is on living eternal now.

available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback from me ron@bakb.com.au

As Jesus return to this earth is not too far distant we need to start preparing to rule and reign with Jesus during the Millennium. Jesus has unfinished business with Israel. Every O.T. prophet was given a vision of their Messiah ruling and reigning the nations from a new Jerusalem. This will happen, but not prior to Christians being tested through a time of tribulation unlike anything experienced previously. Jesus told us to watch and be prepared (1 Peter 4:12-14).

God has also revealed that the resurrected saints will rule and reign with Jesus. The thousand years is a transition period from this current world which is largely ruled by Satan. He will be defeated at the end of this period, chained and cast into the Abyss for 1000 years. Even though Satan is not around to tempt people during the Millennium we are told that Jesus and the saints still need to rule with a rod of iron. At the end of the thousand years Satan and His minions are released and He is still able to raise an enormous army to come against Jesus and the Saints. Jesus of course destroys the army and Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire. God then destroys this earth with fire. The White Throne Judgement takes place after all the dead have been raised to life. Then what? John was shown the following vision.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4

And he (Angel) carried me (John) away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia (2000 km/1250 m). Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 21: 10-27

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

It is time to rejoice, time to be thankful, time to speak the praises of Him who is faithful even when we are not.  It is time to know and to look forward to dwelling with Him in the eternal realm. It is time to know that the things of this world are unreliable, and not to trust in them, but to trust in Him who alone is entirely reliable, in all of life! 

Bible prophecy tells us that in the last days before Jesus returns the world is going to turn away from God and His Word. It is already happening. God has also said that many who think they are Christians will fall away.

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:10-13

Hence, it is important we remind ourselves of God’s promises and to not grieve the Holy Spirit.

available on Amazon or request a copy from me ron@bakb.com.au

Having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of His purchased possession” Ephesians 1:13b-14

Christ … who has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:22

Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God who has also given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  2 Corinthians 5:5

“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

“The Lord Jesus Christ will confirm you to the end.”  1 Corinthians 1:8

“The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29

“Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“Begotten, born again, into a living hope, an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4

“Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:38-39.

That’s it – a cast iron guarantee!  It leaves only one question – is my guarantor reliable?  Can He be trusted?  

If we are faithless, He remains faithful.”  2 Timothy 2:13

ETERNITY – WHERE WILL YOU SPEND IT?

For over twenty five years, from 1930 to 1956, the people of Sydney woke up each day to a one-word sermon—”Eternity”—handwritten in white chalk or yellow crayon (when raining) on footpaths, train station platforms, and perimeter walls lining the city’s many walkways and streets. Each day a fresh batch of graffiti rendered in beautiful copperplate lettering style  would appear at places where there weren’t any the previous night. Somehow, for twenty five years, a mysterious figure had managed to sneak into the city every night and leave his presence on the city’s walls and sidewalks. It attracted the ire of Sydney City Council at first, but as the weeks become months, and the months became years, the “Eternity” graffiti became an iconic symbol of the city. Pedestrians stepped around and over the words, and street sweepers and cleaners left the elegant writings untouched. This is some way explains why the “Eternity” graffiti illuminated on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of new year’s eve celebration in 2000. The real explanation, God orchestrated it so that many worldwide would be impacted by the “Eternity” message. Arthur Stace was illiterate so it was obvious, certainly to Arthur, that God had initiated it. “I couldn’t understand it, and I still can’t,” Arthur later told in an interview.. But Arthur did know that God had asked him to do it. Arthur was obedient to go out on the streets of Sydney everyday, rain or shine, until the day before he died.

eternity-sydney-1
The “Eternity” graffiti illuminated on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of new year’s eve celebration in 2000. Photo credit: National Geographic

The mysterious figure behind the phenomenon, who was to become the most famous graffiti artist in Australia’s history, managed to keep his identity a secret until one morning in June 1956, when he was caught in the act. That morning, Reverend Lisle M. Thompson, who preached at the Burton Street Baptist Church, saw a church cleaner sneak out a piece of chalk from his pocket and write the word on the footpath.

Rev. Thompson approached the cleaner and asked, “Are you Mr. Eternity?”, to which the cleaner replied, “Guilty, your honour.” Soon after that encounter, the Sunday Telegraph published an interview with the artist and the mystery that had baffled Sydney for over 25 years was finally revealed. The cleaner’s name was Arthur Malcolm Stace.

arthur-stace-1
A rare photo of Arthur Stace – “Mr. Eternity”.

Born in 1885 in Redfern, Stace’s childhood and much of his adulthood was marked by abject poverty. His parents were alcoholics, and his sisters ran a brothel. In order to survive, he resorted to stealing bread and milk and searching for scraps of food in bins. At the age of 12, Stace became a ward of the state and worked briefly in a coal mine. As a teenager, he became an alcoholic and was subsequently sent to jail at 15 for drunkenness. His twenties were spent running liquor between pubs and brothels, and working as a lookout for gambling dens. During the First World War, Stace found work as a laborer with the Australian Imperial Force, but his recurring bouts of bronchitis and pleurisy led him to be discharged.

Stace finally found his calling in November 1932, when he went to listen to a Baptist preacher named John Ridley give a sermon. In a homily titled “Echoes of Eternity“, Ridley declared: “Eternity, Eternity, I wish that I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney. You’ve got to meet it, where will you spend Eternity?“. The words so captivated Stace that at that very moment, Stace pulled a piece of chalk he had in his pocket, bent down and wrote the word “Eternity” on the church floor.

Even though he was illiterate and could hardly write his own name legibly, the word ‘Eternity‘ came out smoothly, in a beautiful copperplate script. Arthur had to ask the person next to him what he had written.

God has a calling for each one of us, what is yours? Don’t know, then get into prayer until you do. Also, will you be obedient as Arthur was to carry it out regardless of the cost?

The story of Arthur Stace (Acorn Press, 2017)

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

I picked up the first printed edition of my book Living Eternal Now from the printer yesterday.

Preface for the book

The Bible is full of fulfilled prophesy which is testimony of its divine inspiration and inerrancy. It is estimated that as much as 75% of the 2,500 prophesies in the Bible have already been fulfilled, and most of those yet to happen are “last days/end time” events.

How many churches today are preparing their congregations for Jesus’ second coming? Do you realise that there are more prophecies about Jesus’ second coming than His first. The Pharisees and Sadducees did not get it with His first coming, and the church is not getting it, with His second coming which may be in your lifetime.

“For this reason, you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” Matt. 24:44

Equipped with the knowledge of the Bible’s “last days” prophecies, we will see many of these events unfold in our time. We will look at these unfolding “end times” events in the last chapter, Discerning the Times. It is an exciting time for a Christian who is prepared to live eternal now. For both the unbeliever and believer alike “great tribulation” is ahead, but the discerning believer understands the times and is prepared.

I would like this book to help equip Christians to fulfill God’s assignment for them in these last days. You will only be able to do that, if you are aware of the times we are in, submit to the indwelling Holy Spirit, have total confidence in God’s Word, and are able to defend it to an unbelieving church, atheists, and agnostics.

The book is available as an ebook on Amazon but not as a printed book as yet. If you want a printed copy email me on ron@bakb.com.au.

GOD’S WRATH

God is in control of His universe, anyone who does not believe this will face God’s wrath. His Kingdom will come. Jesus will rule and reign on this earth.

Why do the nations rage and the people’s plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then He will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in His fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.
Psalm 2:1-6

Jesus will rule and reign in a new Jerusalem that will be on the highest mountain on earth

ETERNAL LIFE OR THE WRATH OF GOD ARE THE ONLY TWO OPTIONS:The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.John 3:35-36

WE ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE – HIS CREATION REVEALS THE TRUTH: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.Romans 1:18-29

GOD POURED OUT HIS WRATH ONCE PREVIOUSLY WITH NOAH’S FLOOD:The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.Genesis 6:5-8

Replica of the Ark built by Johannes Huiber located in Holland. Answers in Genesis have also built a life sized Noah’s Ark in Cincinnati USA

GOD KNEW THAT THE WORLD WOULD IGNORE HIS SECOND WARNING OF COMING WRATH. WILL YOU?:Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His (Jesus) coming? For, ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.2 Peter 3:3-6

JESUS GAVE US THIS WARNING ABOUT HIS SECOND COMING AND WRATH: “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in His day. But first, He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation (Jesus was speaking to His disciples just prior to His crucifixion. They were asking Him about the “end times”) . Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:24-27