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Grab to eternal life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus is the way,
 the truth, and the life

 

 

THE judgement is coming!

 

 

 

Subjects that many people of our time downright refuse to consider are life after death and the Judgement. People may think themselves to be so enlightened and civilized that considering life beyond death's border, or Heaven, or damnation and the Judgement, is much too childish an activity. They think that these matters are the product of old-fashioned viewpoints and should not be taken into consideration nowadays. They have this opinion even though Jesus often taught about them.

   However, life after death and – especially – the Judgment should both be considered carefully because we will each die one day. The day of your death and the death of others is coming and there are no exceptions. One hundred people out of a hundred will die, and one thousand out of every thousand; everyone must eventually face death. That is why it must be considered. In the Letter to the Hebrews, we read:

 

- (Hebr 9:27) And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment.

 

It has also been written:

 

- (Rom 14:12) So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

 

- (Rom 14:10) But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nothing your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

 

Warnings. When considering the Judgement, it is good to keep in mind that we have not been set as judge of our neighbours. For that we should be thankful.

   However, the warning about the Judgement and our damnation is quite another matter. When one speaks with others about these subjects, one can easily get branded as being narrow-minded or ultra-conservative. This can easily happen, especially when speaking about the sinful or evil nature of specific activities. During such occasions we may be immediately told, "Do not condemn," or "You must not be narrow-minded." Because of these attitudes, one can reject the whole message of the Gospel.

   The whole debate can be resolved by asking one question: “What is the truth?” For, if the message of the Bible and (especially) of the New Testament is really true – that fornicators, adulterers, murderers, homosexuals, etc. will not inherit the kingdom of God – then should not these warnings be taken seriously instead of rejecting them straightaway? Neglecting them can be a fatal mistake.

   We can make the same kind of mistake that those passengers aboard the ship Titanic made. As the ship neared America its officers received one warning after another about icebergs. People on the ship were warned that there were icebergs ahead and there was a danger of collision. However, they carelessly continued the journey and ignored the risks and possible outcome. People did not take the warnings seriously because they believed the ship was unsinkable. Was this wise? Everybody knows the consequences that followed their refusal to react to the warnings.

   In the same way, we reject warnings about the Judgement and damnation. It is important for us to take warnings seriously, just like it was important for those people in the Titanic to take their warnings seriously. In the same way, it is important for us to take warnings about weak ice very seriously.  When someone says, "I am worried about you. Under no circumstances should you walk on the weak ice. Something bad may happen to you," we should listen and respond correctly.  Consider the following verses, which teach us about the destiny we will face if we are unrepentant:

 

- (1 Cor 6:9,10) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.
10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

 

- (Rev 22:14,15) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.

 

BASIS FOR the judgement

 

Just as the Judgement will come according to the Bible, there are some basic matters that will affect its quality. The following should be mentioned:

 

·        Acts. The Judgement will take place according to what we have done in this body. Each of us must reap what we have sown just like farmers (Gal 6:7,8: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.). Everyone will be paid according to his or her acts; in other words, there will certainly be judgement of different degrees for different people. There will be a different punishment for a hardened sinner and a decent person, and for a Hitler and an “ordinary” person. All of them will be judged according to their acts:

 

- (Col 3:25) But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done: and there is no respect of persons.

 

- (Rev 20:12-15) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15  And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

·        According to information. The Judgement will occur according to the light and information people have. Many ask what will happen to people who have never heard about Christ. The following verses surely apply to such people:

 

- (Luke 12:47,48) And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

 

- (Matt 11:20-24) Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

21  Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22  But I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

23 And you, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

24  But I say to you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.

 

·        Words. One of the areas where we are held accountable is our use of words. This means that even our perfunctory words in online forums can be significant and important. We will be justified or condemned based on them.

 

- (Rev 22:15) For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.

 

- (Matt 5:22) But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

 

- (Matt 12:36,37) But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37  For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.

 

·         Have you led others astray? Another point upon which we are judged is whether or not we have led others astray. The greatest sinners are not necessarily criminals or people in prisons, but are those people who through their own example and speech led others to go astray. This could include opinion leaders who advocate wrong positions and thereby lead others astray; or liberal theologians or professors who through their teaching destroy the faith of thousands of young students; or women who intentionally tempt men; or men who intentionally tempt women. It could include mass media (television, radio, etc.) spokespeople who defend or advocate wrong actions and who influence hundreds of thousands of people. According to the Bible, the judgement of this type of person will be more severe because the misled people are their responsibility.

          

- (Luke 17:1,2) Then said he to the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe to him, through whom they come!

2  It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

 

- (James 3:1) My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

 

The state of man without God. We mentioned above some matters that influence our judgement. We noted that our actions, our spoken words, and the information we understand will all be of significance. They will all somehow contribute to our Judgement.

   What about getting into Heaven and being released from the Judgement? Many people believe that their entry into Heaven depends upon how they lived: good people will get into Heaven and bad people will go to Hell. They consider it obvious that the quality of their lives will determine whether or not they deserve to get to Heaven.

   This is not what the Bible teaches, however. None of us is so good by him- or herself that he or she can escape damnation. Even if someone no longer does wrongful things, or even if someone has always been a morally good person, this cannot keep them from facing damnation. This is not be possible under any circumstances, simply because we are each deemed sinful and guilty before God:

 

- (Rom 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

- (Rom 5:12) Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned:

 

The metaphor we used earlier of the Titanic illustrates this, too:  When the Titanic sank, there were sinners of different degrees onboard but they were still all victims of the same accident and their destiny – death -- was the same. If one person was morally a little better than the others, it did not help him. He suffered the same fate as the others on the sinking ship. The only way that those people on the Titanic, both good and bad, could avoid drowning was to get into a lifeboat. The people that were saved were not saved because they were better or because the others were worse than them; it was because they received grace in the form of a lifeboat. This was the only form of rescue possible for great and small sinners alike.

 

Can we BE RELEASED from Judgement? If the Judgement is coming and each of us is guilty before God, can we be released from judgement and escape it? Is it possible that we do not need to be damned for our sins whether they are many or few? Have we any hope of escaping Judgement?

   The Bible teaches us that even though God is our judge, He is also love (1 John 4:8 … for God is love). Fortunately for us, God does not want anyone to suffer damnation. He wants everyone to be saved. We learn this from the following verses:

 

- (1 Tim 2:3,4) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

- (2 Piet 3:9) The Lord … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 

In concrete terms, God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son Jesus Christ to show us how to avoid being eternally damned. Jesus is our lifeboat; by believing in Him we rescue ourselves and enter into safety, in the same way that people aboard the Titanic used lifeboats to rescue themselves. If you turn to Him before it is too late, you will avoid certain drowning and damnation, regardless of how good or bad you have been. Nothing in your past, nothing bad that you've ever done, can ever prevent you from receiving God's grace. Turn to Him now before it is too late; He will save you from certain damnation:  

 

- (John 3:16,17) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

 

- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40  And you will not come to me, that you might have life.

 

Receiving GRACE. Even though everything is ready and eternal life is true according to the Bible, we can turn our backs on God and refuse His call for salvation. This is possible if we are indifferent to the whole matter and refuse to consider it. Grace is available to us, but we can reject it.

   Do not reject God's grace and turn your back on eternal life! After we die there is no way to change our fate or erase our bad choices; that is why we must make the decision to turn to God immediately. Today.  It has been said that most of the pain of damnation comes from our grieving for wasted opportunities, regretting our sins and suspecting the existence of Heaven and Hell. It is certainly true. Therefore, take this important matter into consideration!

 

”Oh, damnable, nasty! Damned for ever! How foolishly have I done to myself! Of what stupid absurdity was I guilty as I chose the pleasure of sin for a short time at the price of high eternal torment? How often to me was said that it would happen like this? How often was I warned to give up the paths of sin that certainly would lead me to cells of eternal death! But I, like a deaf, did not listen to those warnings even though they warned so wisely. They said to me often that my short pleasure will soon change into eternal torment. And now my too sad experience says to me it, it really says, but it is too late to help because my eternal part has been determined for ever.

   "Why was I given the chance? Why had I been equipped with an immortal soul? Why did I not care about it? Oh, how my own neglect pierces me so dreadfully and I still know that I cannot and will not die. But to live a deadly life is worse than ten thousand deaths, and I still could have been helped once but I did not want to! Oh, this is the gnawing worm that never dies. Once, I could have been happy; once I was offered salvation but I rejected it. If it had happened only once and I would have rejected it, even that would have been unforgivable foolishness, but it was offered to me a thousand times, and I resisted it as often (so lousy I was). Damn the sin, which with its deceitful enjoyment enchants mankind to eternal destruction! God called me often but I resisted Him as often. He reached out his hands but I did not care. How often did I go against His commands, how often I resisted His reprimands! But now, the situation has changed, for now He follows my accident and mocks the ruin that has come for my part. He could have helped me then, but I did not want His help. Therefore, these eternal pains are just a reward for my own deeds and I am condemned to suffer."  (John Bunyan, Näkyjä taivaasta ja helvetistä [Visions of Heaven and Hell], p. 67)

 

So, if you want to receive eternal life and get into connection with God, it is possible. The following actions are important:

 

1. Turn to Jesus Christ and give your life to Him

 

The first step in being saved is to turn to Jesus Christ because, according to the Bible, He is the mediator, the way to God and to Heaven and only in Him is there eternal life. You can tell Him that you are a sinner who needs salvation and that you want the plan of God to come true in your life. At first, there is no need to try to become better, just go to Him as you are with all of your faults.

 

- (1 Tim 2:5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

 

- (John 5:40) And you will not come to me, that you might have life.

 

- (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

 

2. Receive

 

The second step is simply receiving. Eternal life can be received as a gift through the Son of God, Jesus. You must receive Him into your life (You can simply say, " Lord Jesus, come into my life!). According to the Bible, He already stands behind the door of our heart and waits for a chance to step into our lives: 

 

- (Rev 3:20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

 

If you do this, then – according to the Scripture – you are a child of God and you have received eternal life. You have this eternal life, no matter how you feel at the moment. Do not base your knowledge of salvation on your ever-changing emotions, but rest in the word of the Bible and on Jesus Christ, in the same way that sailors set the anchor of a ship outside the ship, not inside.

 

- (John 1:12)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

 

 - (1 John 5:11-13) And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12  He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.

13These things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.

 

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION: Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and to follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jari Iivanainen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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