LIVING ETERNAL NOW

All that is not eternal is eternally out of date,’ said C. S. Lewis. It is one of those fresh and startling comments from Lewis that made him notable.

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However, we live in a world that is increasingly moving away from God and His Instruction Manual, His Commandments. A world controlled by unbelievers that have no concept or interest in eternity. The here and now is all that matters. It appears that the Prince of the World is reigning supreme. Thankfully, God has revealed in His history book, the Bible, that He allows mankind to be dysfunctional for a time, but He calls His children to be part of the Kingdom of God and to pray that His will may eventually be done on earth as it is in heaven. Even the smallest acts of kindness that we do here on earth has eternal significance.

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 10:42

It is God’s bigger picture which enables us to live better in our own little picture. This is how John Wesley pictured the world: “I seek another country, and therefore am content to be a wanderer upon earth. More graphically, he wrote: ‘I desire to have both heaven and hell ever in my eye, while I stand on this isthmus of life, between these two boundless oceans’.

The Bible reveals that indeed God’s will, will be done on earth when Jesus returns to earth to fulfill the covenants He made with the nation Israel. The nation He established for His purposes. Jesus will rule and reign the nations on this earth for one thousand years. It is only after His Millennial reign that this earth will pass away. Then, after the second resurrection and the White Throne judgement God creates a new heaven and earth.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… 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.Revelation 21:1-3

Since the Fall, this world has always been in a state of rebellion and dislocation. The result: Hitler, Marx and Mao to name a few of the madmen in my lifetime. Augustine of Hippo described unbelievers as those who are left to ‘wander in a circuitous maze finding neither entrance nor exit.’ To the lost unbeliever, Utopia is always elusive – one problem is replaced by another and yet another.

In many places there is near-panic about Covid-19 and the possibility of death. God uses catastrophes such as this to challenge unbelievers and provide Saints with opportunities to give them the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

NOW IS THE TIME TO LIVE WITH ETERNITY IN VIEW

This catastrophe (Covid 19) is a perfect opportunity for the church to remind people that the kingdoms of this world are not where our hope is found, and that we preach a kingdom that is coming and has come: the kingdom of God with Jesus on the throne. First, Jesus will fulfill the Abrahamic covenant and rule and reign on this earth for a thousand years.

They (resurrected believers) came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:4-6

In this kingdom there is perfect rule, although we are told Jesus and the resurrected saints will need to rule with a “rod of iron” (Rev. 2:27, 19:15) and at the end of the thousand years when Satan is released from the abyss where he has been chained for the thousand years he is still able to raise an immense army to come against Jesus and the saints.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.Revelation 20:7-10

It is only after this final battle will this earth be destroyed with fire. The second resurrection of the rest of the dead (mostly unbelievers) will take place followed by the white throne judgement. It is only then John sees the new heaven and new earth where the saints will dwell not only with Jesus but also our Heavenly Father.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.Revelation 20:11

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,..” Revelation 21:1

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.” Revelation 21:2-3

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Preface to my book LIVING ETERNAL NOW

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, maybe 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 fulfil 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Jesus commands us: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28),  We can’t do this in our own strength. It takes yielding to God’s Holy Spirit within to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,” and “pray for those who abuse you.”

I am sure Abraham did not completely understand what God was doing by asking him to sacrifice his son, but he was prepared to do it anyway. Likewise, there are times when I cannot understand why we are commanded to pray for our enemies, do good to those that hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us but, I do it anyway. And never have I ever regretted it.

I might not precisely understand what God’s Word tells me to do in some cases, so I must trust the Spirit and yield to His influence. The Spirit might prompt me to do something that I would not ordinarily do, and even though my own flesh says, “No,” I sense it’s what God wants me to do, and more often than not, I discover that, in His sovereignty, God had placed me in such a place and time to do just what He willed for me to do. I know that if what I do helps others; if it glorifies God, and it’s revealed in the Word of God, then I must do it, even if I don’t fully understand it at the time.

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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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LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Have you contemplated why I called this blog Living Eternal Now?

How do we live in the light of eternity and see beyond the moment in a world of increasing darkness?

God has enabled us to look beyond today to see what lies ahead.

Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. All believers have received the Holy Spirit to be their counsellor, comforter and teacher. We are Holy Spirit enabled.

We have a spiritual lens through which to view the world from God’s perspective.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Considering we are living in the “last days” when persecution of Christians will increase. It is essential we live Holy Spirit enabled lives. He may not reveal what immediately lies ahead but we live our lives knowing He is in control of coming events. Moreover, we will not be taken by surprise, His Word tells us exactly how the “last days” play out before Jesus returns.

Living eternal nowis a way of travelling in the here and now, with our spiritual vision fixed on God and eternity so we are submitted to His will.

Remember, our days are numbered. The psalmist says, “So teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12 Hopefully, this admonition, will affect how we use our time, how we decide our priorities, so we don’t waste time..

Paul also tells us, we are now alive to the spiritual realm, we see what is important from an eternal perspective, we don’t dwell on earthly matters which are temporary:while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:18

The preceding verses tell us how being Holt Spirit enabled, we know that whatever God allows into our lives, we will be able to see it as “light affliction” because we know it is for His glory.

Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

If we are living Holy Spirit enabled lives then the fruit of the Spirit (9) will be evident in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. The fruit of the Spirit demonstrates how far along we are in the sanctification process, submitted to God’s will.

As well, we will be operating in the gifts of the Spirit (9). The gifts of the spirit are the ammunition that the Holy Spirit provides for our use as we walk Holy Spirit enabled lives. The miraculous will truly be evident.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Note the counsel Paul gives concerning neglecting and quenching the Holy Spirits work in our lives.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Do not neglect the gift that is in you… Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 1 Timothy 4:14

Are you living eternal now? If not why not?

One aspect of living eternally now is based on what our expectation is of the hereafter. Where will you be, and what will you be doing? Sadly, most peoples view of eternal life is not that appealing. They view it as an eternity in heaven but have no idea of what they will be doing there e.g. plucking harps and praising God. As a result, not to many are anxious to leave this life and go there. In future posts, we will explore what the Bible really says about where we will be (new heaven and new earth) and what we will be doing there.

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.

SIN DESTROYS BODY, SOUL & SPIRIT

When we are silent about our sin and shortcomings, our bodies and souls suffer. What begins as intentional minimising of sin turns into blindness to both the sin and its effects. Our view of ourselves is skewed. We begin to say, “This is just who I am.”

Sin not only damages our connection to God, but our connection to others.

When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. Psalm 32:3

David learned this firsthand when he tried to cover up his sin with Bathsheba. When the prophet Nathan confronted David, the cure for sin’s poison was revealed. As we confess and repent, God welcomes us back. Although the consequences of our choices remain, God’s forgiveness and the penetrating light of His truth bring life and restoration to our souls and relationships.

God’s arrows of affliction are sharp and painful so He can get our attention. He won’t let His beloved children get away with sin because He knows it robs us of blessings, opportunities, and even character refinement.
Charles Stanley

Sadly, the world increasingly, by denying the existence of God, has no concept of the eternal consequences of SIN – separation from their Creator forever, i.e. HELL. Likewise, they don’t recognise that God has provided the solution to the SIN problem (rebellion against God and His Commandments) i.e. JESUS, God’s own Son. Nor will they repent of their SIN, acknowledge His sacrifice on their behalf and let Him be Lord of their life.

The Bible provides the only history of this universe that makes sense of what we see in the world today. The initial SIN of Adam and Eve brought death, pain and suffering into what once was a perfect world. God has provided one way back into a renewed relationship with our heavenly Father – JESUS.

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

“Therefore, I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24

Will you reconsider? Your eternal destiny hangs in the balance.