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.

CHRISTIANS MUST EXPECT PERSECUTION TO ESCALATE

It is important to remember that persecution come with the territory for Christians doing what God has called us to do. You are a Kingdom warrior in a spiritual war so expect demonic attacks. Moreover, Jesus tells us we should rejoice and be glad for we are blessed and our reward will be great in heaven.

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.2 Timothy 3:12

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.1 Peter 4:14

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Matthew 5:10-12

Many times demons work through unbelievers to insult, attack, degrade and persecute believers. This should be expected and how we respond is of course key to our ability to influence them for God. We know that they cannot understand the word of God without the Spirit of God. All we can do is love them, pray for them and return good for evil

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:28

It is also important to remember that Satan is a created being under God’s control. He is limited by God as to what he can do to you. Read the story of Job again.

Demons do know your weaknesses, particularly long standing addictions and will challenge you again and again to exploit that weakness. The Holy Spirit will convict you and hopefully repentance is quick in response. Make sure you have a mentor with whom you are committed to confess your sins and will hold you accountable to the path of righteousness.

As we approach the last days before Jesus returns, He has told us that spiritual warfare intensifies. Satan knows his time is short. God uses the time of tribulation to purify His church. Many people who call themselves Christians will fall away and compromise with the world and its changing values.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 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 24:9-13

But just as Satan intensifies his effort to deceive and destroy, God likewise intensifies His efforts in the natural and supernatural. Joel testifies to this “prior to the great day of the Lord comes”

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:28-29

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Joel 2:30-32

FEW FIND THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).

Sadly, many churches are turning away from the true gospel of repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Saviour, They have compromised with the world’s values – gay marriage, even acceptance of transgender leaders. There are many who deny Jesus is the only way to inherit eternal life.

The following Scriptures describe their fate.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Peter 2:1-2).

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:13-15).

“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (2 Peter 3:7)

The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O LORD, are on high forever. For behold, your enemies, O LORD, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. (Psalms 92:6-9)

“The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked He will destroy.” (Psalms 145:20)

“But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.” (Psalms 37:20)

Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace. but transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.” (Psalms 37:37-38)

“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:7-9)

WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT

God’s Word is truth: we will all stand before Jesus Christ and be judged for what we have done with our lives on earth. Even the saved, who are raised in the first resurrection, rewards will be given to those who have served faithfully. The unsaved will be raised at the second resurrection and face Jesus Christ at the White Throne Judgement. Their fate is in the Lake of Fire where punishment and eventual destruction, as the above Scriptures describe, is their end.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Colossians is a great book for helping us to live eternally now. Paul instructs us to concentrate on the eternal realities of heaven. “Set your minds on things above” The Greek verb for set emphasizes an ongoing decision. Christians must continually discipline themselves to focus on eternal realities instead of the temporal realities of this earth.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:1-11

Use of old self and new self. These two terms do not refer to the Christian’s fleshly and spiritual natures. Instead, Paul describes our former unredeemed life as the old self and our life as God’s child as the new self. The new self has the image of the new creation in Christ, just as the old self bears the image of our fallen nature. The old self is under an old master, Satan, while the new self has a new master, the Holy Spirit of God living within.

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END TIMES TEACHING FOR GOD’S CHILDREN

Author and artist Janet L. Willis has recently had her children’s book published on the coming New Jerusalem, God’s Got a House and It’s Coming to Earth. It is full of beautiful artwork and more importantly an accurate portrayal of biblical truth of the coming kingdom. It is also consistent with the prewrath view on the day of the Lord as you can see in the video below. It is wonderful how God raises up His people to provide the resources needed for this time in history. Get your children excited about God and what He has in store for them. Eternity with Him on a new earth.

God has revealed much about the future! He gives great comfort when you pay attention to the details He has graciously provided. Jesus said when He comes back, He will bring His Father’s house with Him (John 14:1-3). We are told that after the final White Throne judgement, John saw God’s heavenly city, New Jerusalem land on a new earth. It will be the future home of all those who put their faith and trust in God’s Messiah (Romans 10:13). And it will be the capital city of King Jesus on the new earth. Let the rhyme and rhythm carry you through this visual overview of the plan of God. Bible references give background, and stir the mind to think deeper. For a fuller treatment of this subject, you can examine the author’s research in What on Earth Is Heaven Like? (2015).

DO NOT FEAR SUFFERING FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE

Let Peter reassure you, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled…” 1 Peter 3:14 

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:13-14

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”  1 Peter 5:10.

Most of us don’t know the kind of death we face but there are many in our generation who are losing their lives because they follow Jesus. How are they are received in heaven?

“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:14-17

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”  Revelation 12:11.

WHY THIS WEBSITE IS CALLED LIVING ETERNAL NOW

This website is called Living Eternal Now for a reason. Eternity on a new earth needs to be your focus. Look at these Scriptures which are written for Christians. They clearly show Christians will appear before the judgement seat of Christ. “If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved”

Are you living for heavenly reward?

“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthian 5:9-10

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:10

“Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward2 John 1:8

Listen to John Bevere on Driven by Eternity. He will challenge you on how you live your life from this day forward.

REALITY OF CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP

Good to see this video from Torben about the reality of his experience when sharing the GOSPEL on the streets. When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples His instructions were:

EXPECT PERSECUTION

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they malign those of his household.” Matthew 10:16-25

HAVE NO FEAR

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.Matthew 10:26-33

NOT PEACE BUT A SWORD

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.Matthew 10:34-39

ETERNAL REWARDS

?Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.Matthew 10:40-42