Archive for August 21st, 2019

Double Punched

August 21, 2019

Sometimes we think the Devil has been turned loose on the world, or ourselves, and has no limits, but this is not true.

He (the devil) can only do what God allows him to do.  This is important for Christians to understand, as there are some misconceptions about this in the Christian believing world.

Misconception #1 – the devil has no limits.  I can refute this by simply saying if this statement were true, then we’d certainly have a lot more chaos, confusion, destruction, and hurting in the world, and in our own lives.  While, at times, it appears evil is unrestrained and turning the world upside down, this is also untrue.  For even in the darkest places God has placed certain limits on the enemy.

Misconception #2 – the Christian has an invisible shield that the enemy cannot penetrate.  This one is a bit more complicated.  It is true that God protects the believer, and there are things the enemy cannot touch.  However, it is also true there are times when bad things do happen to Christian believers.  Hurtful things.  Lies told.  Liberties stolen.  Finances impacted.  But, and here’s the catch – there is nothing that happens to the believer God does not know about, or has allowed.  This is a hard concept for some believers to accept, as it seems to indicate a lack of caring or love on the part of God.  But, any examination of the New Testament writings in the Book of Acts, or fourteen epistles of Paul, will show there are times when believers go through trials and tribulations.  Once again, though, the enemy is limited in what damage he can do.

All of this does not mean the world is exempt from the forces of evil.  But, at present time, most of the evil inflicted by the devil is manifested through his manipulation of unbelievers.  In other words, he creates the pain, confusion, and chaos we see in our present world indirectly, through unbelievers, and if we are not careful, through unaware believers, also.

There appears to be only two places in the scriptures where we see the devil unleashed on the world with very few limitations:

  1. During the Tribulation period (7 years)
  2. A short time after the 1,000 year reign with Christ

Going back to my title ‘Double Punched’ I loosely define as the two-fold hit the world will receive during the Tribulation period:

  1. Punch #1 – during the early part of the Tribulation the devil is loosed on the world and its inhabitants, through the Anti-Christ and his key subordinates.
  2. Punch #2 – during the latter part of the Tribulation (also called the Great Tribulation) God will pour out his judgments on the world, its inhabitants, and the Anti-Christ and his cohorts.

I cannot tell you when the believers will be lifted out of this world, or during what phase of the Tribulation.  I can tell you it is not God’s practice to judge the righteous with the wicked, and, therefore, we can expect to depart this world before the final judgments of God are poured out during the last half of the Tribulation period.

So, let these few words be an encouragement to you, and your faith.

What Heaven Lacks

August 21, 2019

We normally think of heaven as containing everything, even things that are not available or possible here on earth, and that is partially true.

I say ‘partially’ true, as there are some things that are missing from heaven.  Look as hard as you want, search, turn over every stone and there are some things you won’t find in heaven.

Here’s a short list of some of those things:

  • Pain and suffering – pain and suffering come in many forms here on earth, such as physical pain, mental or emotional pain, stress, anxiety, relationship pain, separations, loss of loved ones, etc…
  • Death – there will be no death in heaven.  No one knows how deeply death affects individuals than Jesus.  That is at least one reason why Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb.
  • Fear – fear from the future, fear of the unknown, fear of what lies in darkness, fear for our family, our nation, and future of the world.  Fear of failure.  Fear of death, itself.
  • The Curse – we live under a curse that was ushered into our earthly existence from the time of Adam and Eve.  It has never left us, but will not be part of our heavenly existence.  We have become accustomed to the curse, so it is hard to image it being lifted and done away with, but it will not follow us into heaven.
  • Sadness and grief – these are as much a part of life here on earth as joy and rejoicing, but they will not follow us into heaven.
  • Failure – sometimes we face failure in our own lives, and in the lives of those we love.  This will also not make it into heaven.
  • Rejection, Hatred, and Violence – while we will be part of God’s army, it will be a different situation than those armies and conflicts experienced in our heavenly existence.  War and violence here on earth bring sorrow and suffering, while any fights as part of God’s heavenly army will only bring victory and joy.

This list is not complete, as there are other things that won’t make it in.  Nothing unholy will enter in.  This normally would exclude us, too, but we will be washed and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, and we will enter wearing His righteousness, not our own.

Aren’t you glad there are some things that won’t make it into heaven?