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.

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.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TO DO WHAT?

Pray for religious freedom so that we can love God and love our neighbour as we do ourselves. However, as the following Scripture makes clear, this does not necessarily mean loving people as they want to be treated. True love is leading people to the truth about God and His righteousness. This must be the ultimate purpose of our actions. People need to know the hard truths about God and themselves and particularly the need for repentance. Sadly, this is not what they want to hear. They want to hear we acknowledge and approve of their sinful behaviour. The result, they are the victims and we are the oppressors.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.1 Timothy 2:1-7

What we are experiencing should not come as a surprise, Jesus tells us that people will hate us when we stand up for the truth about God and His righteousness.

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

This website Living Eternal Now is all about getting you into the scriptures that reveal the truth about God, this life and history of the world.

Are you born again with the Holy Spirit indwelling your spirit? Without Him you are not saved. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, comforter, teacher. He is the one that produces the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control ) in our lives. He controls the sanctification process, He makes available the gifts of the Spirit for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). Without Him you can do nothing that has eternal value.

Jesus told the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) to reveal that half the church (people who believe they are Christians) in the “last days” do not have the Holy Spirit and He tells them to go ” I do not know you”.

Are you Holy Spirit empowered to Live Eternal Now?

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IS YOUR LOVE ABOUNDING MORE AND MORE?

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.Philippians 1:9-11

Christian growth is built on the foundation of God’s love. This love is the sacrificial love that God showed when He gave His Son to atone for our sins. It is the same love Jesus showed when He went to the Cross on our behalf. It is a sacrificial and giving love. To enable us (believers) to share this love with others God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirits.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27

A lamp requires oil to function. Our Spirit was always meant to be the vessel for the Holy Spirit. At the Fall, the Holy Spirit departed from Adam and Eve. They died spiritually then, their bodies died almost 900 years later.

Notice also that Paul prayed not only for abounding love but discerning love. The heart and mind need to work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment. This a major mark of maturity and evidence of the fruit of the Spirit.

As well, Paul prays that our love may abound with knowledge particularly of God’s Word that we may have spiritual wisdom and discernment. Only then will we be able to walk pure and blameless. To approve the things that matter, to decide the priorities, to spend time on those things that have eternal consequences, to do good works – to live eternal now.

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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