THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO LIFE

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~ Matthew 7:13

This is a sobering verse and it is obvious that there is only one gate that leads to eternal life. The answer Jesus gave to Thomas makes it crystal clear there is only one way our Heavenly Father provided to break the curse of death that Adam brought on mankind.

“For our sake He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

The narrow gate is the gate of His righteousness!

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

It is very significant that David was given a vision of the gate even before Jesus paid the price of his and our salvation – “you have become my salvation”.

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.Psalm 118:19-21

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.” Psalm 118:17-18

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit that now indwells your Spirit but strive to do as Jesus did and pray daily to the Father “not my will but Yours be done.” God the Father will answer that prayer ensuring that the Holy Spirit directs your steps and you are an instrument of righteousness to God.

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” Romans 6:11-13

“By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1 John 2:5-6

CITIZENSHIP IN HEAVEN

Christians in the west, in particular, have by and large lost any interest in heaven except when a loved one dies. But hope for heaven, “citizenship in heaven,” longing for heaven, has largely gone away from evangelical churches and homes. Where are the songs about heaven? They used to be common in evangelical churches, on evangelical radio, in evangelical devotional life. The problem: we became affluent and comfortable here on earth and forgot all about heaven—except as a lovely place to go when we die. But we rarely ever sing about it anymore nor hear sermons about it or Jesus soon coming return.

Years ago and possibly still in some evangelical churches the theme of “heaven is my true home” (“My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue”) was very popular and powerful. Another popular song of that time, among evangelicals, was “I’ve got a mansion, just over the hilltop” by Ira Stanphill, a prolific gospel song writer of the 1950s.

The Book of the Martyrs of Jesus

Martin Luther strongly believed that Jesus was going to return in his lifetime. He expected the return of Christ at any time. He thought he was living in the biblical “end times.” But when someone asked him what he would do today if he knew Jesus would return tomorrow he is supposed to have said “Plant a tree.” In other words, strong belief in heaven and in the return of Jesus Christ does not have to take our minds so completely off this world that we become “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. My contention is that we should start living eternal now knowing that Jesus is going to return to this earth exactly as the many prophecies in His Word the Bible said He will. In fact, I have said many time before that there are more prophecies about Jesus second coming than there were about His first coming and there were about 300 of those and yet most of the church is blind, living like the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus day. Moreover, Jesus and the Bible give us a lot of information about the time of His return particularly about the great tribulation that will occur when the Satanically empowered person known as The Antichrist reigns on the earth for a period of 3 1/2 years. The church will be under intense persecution but it will also be its finest hour. It will be church operating in the power of the Holy Spirit just as it was in the early days of the church as described in the Book of Acts.

Every person who wants to know what true Christianity is like and follow in the footsteps of Christ should take time to read this precious document, THE BOOK OF THE MARTYRS OF JESUS by Joh Foxe.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

What does Covid 19 do to death? It certainly does not make it more frequent; 100 percent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased….Yet [the virus] does do something to death. It forces us to remember it….[The virus] makes death real to us: and that would have been regarded as one of its blessings by most of the great Christians of the past. They thought it good for us to be always aware of our mortality. They were right.

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The future is in God’s hands whether we leave it to Him or not. We just need to get on with whatever work God has put in our hands. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord”. It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received. How are you living your life now? Is your focus on building up treasure on earth or treasure in heaven

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6 :19-21

WHAT COMPELS YOU?

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again2 Corinthians 5:14-15; NIV

Christ died for us, we must no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ Jesus, and let his love flow through us to others. Will we respond as vessels for God’s love in the present Coronavirus context? Let’s step up, not down, as God’s new normal for us is what it has always been for Jesus’ church in the Spirit—engage with all those Jesus connects us, our family, our church family, our workplace and our community.

The following reflection highlights the way one pastor and church, Mark Nicklas and his community Beaverton Foursquare, are stepping up and participating in the triune God’s normative mission in the face of the Coronavirus.

They are partnering with other churches, the school across the street, and civic authorities. They understand that we are all in it together. They clearly comprehend that this is no place or time to be lone rangers. We need to work together in solidarity. This pandemic truly affects us all.

We are called to be ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), Mark highlights that the love of Christ is to compel us, like it did Paul and his ministry team. Mark says, “Love is lapped up wherever it is spilled.” God’s love is lavish, so it never runs out. Since Christ died for us, we must no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit guide and direct our every step in love.

Are you living your life with eternity in view? The following scripture is tough but it is true.

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 19:21-23

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

Living Eternal Now: Ready for Jesus Return – Now in paperback – February 4, 2021 on Amazon

Author Mr Ronald William Edwards 

 See all formats and editions

Living Eternal NowReady for Jesus Return is about living our lives knowing that everything we give ourselves to will be judged in the fire of Jesus’ coming. Everything. If it isn’t yoked to eternity, it will burn up. The book provides abundant proof God exists and His Word (Holy Bible) is inerrant from Genesis to Revelation providing an accurate history of this Cosmos. It includes direct links to videos and articles that support this thesis which make eBooks particularly useful. It provides testimonies of prominent people, PhD scientists, famous actors like Denzel Washington. that are already living life with an eternal focus clearly in mind. The essential elements for living eternal now are covered in detail, so you can live with an eternal perspective knowing God’s purpose for your life. The last chapter, Discerning the Times, establishes we are living in the last days hence there is an urgency for you to know His will for your life.

If you would like an autographed copy of my book then you need to email me on ron@bakb.com.au providing your home or shipping address and donate equivalent of US$12.99 (includes postage anywhere) by clicking on the Donate icon on the Home Page.

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

Living eternal now is only possible through prayer. Do you realise “prayer is life’s greatest joy, highest privilege and most powerful venture.” Nothing can compare to it. This gem was extracted from the “Love to Pray” course by Dr Paul Cedar.

God wants to use you to do great things but it is only possible through prayer.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11

David understood the truth, go to the Psalms for abundant wisdom.

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.Psalms 16:7-9

We were created to be in fellowship with God and we get a glimpse of that with Adam and Eve walking with God in the Garden of Eden before The Fall. Jesus sacrifice for us made it possible for the Father to send the Holy Spirit (third person of the Trinity) to indwell all believers and thus renew our fellowship with God the Father. We need to acknowledge the fact Jesus made it possible for us to pray to our Heavenly Father and we do so by saying “in Jesus name we pray.”

Hopefully, you will come as David did to realise that prayer is the talking part of a love relationship with God. Sadly, many see it as a spiritual discipline, something I need to do to get right with God.

What does God do for those who relate to Him in love? David said it well when he said, “in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

I hope you do not mind me giving a plug for my book here:

Contents: Chapter 1: Why, Living Eternal Now – Ready for Jesus Return, Chapter 2: Existence of God, Chapter 3: Evidence for Creation & Genesis as History, Chapter 4: Evidence for an Inerrant Bible, Chapter 5: Testimonies of PhD Scientists, Chapter 6: Powerful Testimonies of People (from all walks of life) Living Eternal Now, Chapter 7: Holy Spirit’s Role in Living Eternal Now, Chapter 8: Role of Prayer in Living Eternal Now, Chapter 9: Discerning the Times.

One of the good things about the book is you can choose any chapter/topic of interest and start there. Each chapter is independent from the rest of the book.

Available as an eBook on Amazon. Also available as a trade paperback book by donating AUS$10. Click the Donations icon on the Home Page to do so. You will also need to email the delivery address to ron@bakb.com.au. The donation will cover delivery to anywhere in the world.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Jonathan Edwards resolved “that I will live so as I shall wish I had lived when I come to die.” Before he died, he helped spark the First Great Awakening, became president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), and is widely considered America’s greatest theologian.

Edwards was right to live each day in light of his death: he died at the age of fifty-five from the new smallpox vaccination.

If you knew that you would die next month of COVID-19, what would you do to prepare? What would you do or stop doing? What changes would you make to prepare to meet God?

Can I suggest you start living now with an eternal mindset Not only is the prospect you can die at anytime but also we now have the prospect of Jesus returning, perhaps in your lifetime.’

Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.1 Timothy 6:12

Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for My sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.Mark 10:29-30

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HUMBLE OURSELVES AND PRAY

REPENTANCE BRINGS  HIS JOY.  

There can be no better witness to others who are in fear. You and I were born for this very time, to be anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit. This was only possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. He alone made it possible for us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit to those needing hope all around us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us today. He is our counsellor, teacher, and comforter He provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry as we go He will lead and His power is evident.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1

That is a wonderful “assignment” each day from the Lord. As we submit our will to His will, we are perfecting holiness in Him and truly living eternal now.

The LORD is in charge.  He’s allowing the Covid 19 pestilence and the economic and political chaos to shake us like never before, certainly in my lifetime. Hopefully, it will awaken Christians in all nations, so that His people called by His Name will repent and pray.

 “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our prayers and daily repentance will support this process for His Will to prevail.