Tag Archive: Heaven


There is no middle ground in God’s universe. Too many people-even professing Christians-think that the events we celebrate at Easter are insignificant. In reality they represent the most important events in the history of mankind, and the most important truths we could ever consider…

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WE CAN BE FREE FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

So many efforts have been made by enemies of the true gospel to wipe this fact from history and the minds of men. Despots, communists, atheists, politicians and even large organizations purporting to be spreading the gospel have been attempting to destroy it. Why is the sacrifice of Christ so important, and why is his death so vital?

Our sin has separated us from God, because he, being perfect, cannot tolerate sin. He can’t wink at it or ignore it and live with it. Imagine a heaven in which everyone acts as they do in our world today: it would not be heaven, would it? And contrary to popular belief here in the politically-correct twenty-first century, he doesn’t change his views to suit ours. Neither do his standards evolve-they are not “fluid”.

The end product of sin, according to Old and New Testament scriptures, is death, both physical and spiritual. This fact affects us all, no matter how good we may think we are: none of us can match up to God’s standards. God has to be true to his own nature, and he can’t deny his justice any more than he can deny his love.

However, God loved his creation, fallen though it is, and had a plan to destroy sin and ultimately its outcome, death. God’s plan was to send his son to earth as a man, and to die as a perfect sacrifice for sin. Only Jesus Christ could fulfill that mission, because only he was sinless and perfect. When he died on the cross he satisfied God’s holy justice, and paid the penalty, the “price” of our sin.

This doesn’t mean we don’t sin any more, it means that there’s nothing standing between us and our creator, except our own reluctance, and  determination to continue in sin. If we turn from our sin we’re completely forgiven and in a right relationship with God. Paul said:

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8: 1).

Other religions, denominations and organizations have piled more and more requirements, laws, regulations and commitments onto their followers, claiming that these are necessary to gain God’s acceptance, or that only commitment to the organization and its rules can ensure salvation and eternal life. According to the original gospel, which I wrote about in parts one and two, this is totally false and is really an attack on the gospel, because the death of Jesus Christ has entirely paid for our sin. It’s not possible for us or for any human go-between or organization to pay the price of our sin. It’s arrogant and futile to think that we can, and it is an insult to the sacrifice of Christ.

Jesus said “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11: 26). He did NOT say “whoever believes and goes to “XYZ” church and gives at least ten percent of their income…”! I’m not saying that we can live however we want to live and get away with it-we can’t. But if we turn from sin and to him we are completely forgiven.

“According to the Scriptures…”

The Old Testament scriptures foretold the sacrifice of Christ hundreds of years before it happened. As an example, read Isaiah chapter 53.  An entire copy of the book of Isaiah, known to have been written before Christ’s life on earth, was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. There’s virtually no difference between it and what we have in our Bible today.

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OUR SIN WAS BURIED WITH CHRIST

“…He was buried…”

Jesus “became sin” for us. He was buried in a tomb, contrary to many modern attempts to write another version of his life. You don’t bury someone who isn’t dead. His disciples witnessed his death, and the Roman guard sealed and guarded the tomb, at the request of those who wanted him dead and who gloated over his death. They would have all ensured that he was dead and buried, and had the disciples attempted to claim that he was resurrected when he wasn’t, the authorities would have displayed the body for all to see.

Our sin was buried with him, and baptism is symbolic of our association with him, and with the burial of our sin and our past sinful lifestyle.

WE CAN HAVE NEW LIFE NOW, AND ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST

“…he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

The doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus has been under constant attack, even from within the church. No wonder, because it’s one of the most essential doctrines, perhaps the most essential. Without it the gospel is empty. The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates his power over death, his divine nature, and his ability and willingness to give us eternal life with him as he promised very clearly many times. It’s the resurrection which gives us hope for the future, and which puts our earthly life into its proper context and perspective. Our present physical body is very temporary and weak, but our resurrected body will be full of eternal life force. Again, his resurrection was foretold in Old Testament Scriptures (see Acts 2: 27 – 31 and 13:34 – 37, with Psalm 16:10).

HE DEMONSTRATED HIS POWER OVER DEATH

“…and that he appeared…”

Paul listed those who had seen Jesus alive after his resurrection. Paul was the last to see him. Those who went about spreading the good news had nothing to gain except persecution and death. Yes, people do give their lives to become martyrs to other religions, but no-one will die for something he knows is untrue. Neither did they kill in order to spread their beliefs or agenda. Instead they risked and in many cases lost their own lives.

For example Paul, when converted, voluntarily gave up his position of influence and power to become a hunted and hounded man. His enemies complained that he had “turned the world upside down”. There was no timid cowering in quiet corners for Paul: he wanted to tell the world, not that he had a new set of principles and rules to teach them, but that Christ had risen from the dead, and that he had seen him. He suffered multiple attacks and attempts on his life before finally being executed–such was his conviction that the gospel was true. He was prepared to die, as they all were, because they were convinced of Christ’s resurrection, and that His resurrection ensured theirs, just as Christ had promised. The promise is available to all who accept the gospel.    

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WILL EVERYONE GO TO HEAVEN?

I used to marvel at people who were convinced that everyone, except perhaps the likes of Adolph Hitler and one or two present-day politicians, and the person who stole their car stereo a few years ago, will be going to heaven….

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However, I’ve been made aware in recent times that some people are certain that even Adolph will be there. No-one will be left out, because, well, God is just too loving to leave someone out. And what makes these philosophers make such statements? They think! They “think” that God will do things their way. So allow me to do a little thinking here too…

For mass murderers to make it to heaven there can be only three possible options. One is that heaven will be just like earth is now, oozing with slander, violence, murder, lies, corruption, war, snobbery, division, and just about every human weakness you can think of. Those who, in our day, murder as a way of ensuring their place in heaven would also be there. After all, they only do it because they’re so badly treated-isn’t that what we all do when we don’t have things our own way? And the murder doesn’t really matter does it, because the people they murdered would get there anyway, right?

The second option is that many people will have lost the bad part of their character, thought-processes, free-will, drives, vocabularies, prejudices preferences and proclivities, so that they would be virtually unrecognizable. Adolph would smile sweetly while kissing a buttercup, and say with gentle conviction, “I just don’t know what came over me to make me kill six-million innocents and prosecute a world war resulting in the horrible deaths of tens of millions more! I’m very, very sorry, and I promise I’ll never do it again!”

The third option is that Hitler and many others-perhaps all of us- will have lost our memories of wrongs committed while on earth. Hitler would not be in heaven, because he wouldn’t be Hitler.

If none of us are to be robbed of our own minds and memories, and so remain identifiable, along with Adolph you will see all the people who wouldn’t now choose to go to heaven if you paid them to go. Some people hate the very thought of worshipping God or mixing with “deluded”, “insane” believers, and writhe in anguish and gnash their teeth at the slightest mention of anything they can’t see with their eyes. Imagine the spiteful, nasty humor of a God who would create such a place and send everyone there, including those who never wanted to go, for ever and ever.

What about the people who “think” that God will send everyone to heaven. Where do they get their convictions from? Where is their evidence? How do they know? What is their authority? When did God tell them such a thing, and why didn’t he tell the multiplied millions who’ve lost their lives believing and attempting to spread an alternative message- a warning that there are standards to meet before gaining access to eternal life? Isn’t it rather risky to ignore the concept that there may be standards to meet, and so to fail to seek those standards?

If we “think” that God “probably” has standards matching our own, and that we, being such “good” people are bound to go there, isn’t God just like us, and so fallible, unpredictable and imperfect? Is it not possible that we are fooling ourselves? What if God is perfect, and none of us meet the standards?

If God is God he may be very different to what most of us “think” he should be like. Isn’t it just possible that a God who would and could create heaven would have his own ideas about who would qualify to go there?

Rather than thinking my own thoughts, I’ve invested my eternity in what the God of the Bible thinks, because I’m convinced that he knows. He knows much more than I do, and he knows enough and is able enough to send a message outlining his own standards, quite independent of anything we mortals may “think”.

You can read my post, “How to Go to Heaven” here…   https://nickyfisher.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/how-to-go-to-heaven/

BECOMING A KID AGAIN

While my faith is strong, there are still one or two things that trouble me about my God and the Bible…

We all have questions and issues with our faith, whether we admit it or not, don’t we? And that’s not surprising, because as finite beings we only “see through a glass darkly” as Paul put it: there are some things we just can’t know about an infinite and eternal being and the place where he lives. This is where humility comes in, because the man who thinks he should understand and prove everything about God before committing himself is putting up a giant roadblock to his own salvation, peace and happiness. That’s why Jesus said we must receive the kingdom of God as a little child:

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4 NIV)

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(Photo by Thomas Schoch)

It doesn’t mean we have to “check our brains at the door” as skeptics try to claim, it means that we have to admit to ourselves and to God that we don’t know much, we can’t do much without Him, and we don’t have any kind of leverage over our own mortality or with him, besides his own mercy.

So the problem I’m referring to here is kids-or rather the lack of them. If, as Jesus said, people don’t marry in heaven, does that mean there will be no children? Perhaps I-we are missing something, and perhaps we will reproduce. But the reason the thought of no children being in heaven bothers me is that I love children. Most particularly I’ve loved having my own, who’ve given me as much joy as anything in life has given me. The thought of seeing no kids in heaven, of never having kids, and having nothing but boring adults around me, really bothers me.

I’ve written about this before, and I know others have also, so the following is likely not an original thought on my part. But if you take away from an adult his fears, his hang-ups, his prejudices, his animosity and aggression, his disappointments, his selfishness, his bad habits and his grouchy attitude; if you could take out of him all the yucky mannerisms and dark, unhappy experiences he’s collected since he left the womb-it’s difficult to imagine I know-you would be left with an altogether different person, would you not? And make no mistake, that’s what will happen when you and I are transformed to be like him. Yes, we who love God want to live in his ways, but we’re still fallible, and we still need a make-over.

On that day when we’re transformed “in the twinkling of an eye”, everything bad in us will be gone, since sinful man and sinful, fallen ways, cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. We will be like Jesus, not in the sense of having unlimited power and knowledge, but in terms of our character. John, writing to believers, said:

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (2 John 3:2).

If you could take away from a man or woman all those ugly ways and thoughts and habits, and the sin-nature that causes such things, then add a new heart, a new environment and the presence of a holy righteous God… you would end up with a loving, caring, light-hearted, happy, joyful, playful, warm-hearted person. Also take away that used, tired, flabby, spotty, weak, fallen physical form and replace it with a brand new incorruptible one-lean, healthy, vibrant, active, energetic, powerful and submitted to the Creator-and the person in front of you would be like a happy, well-adjusted young man or woman, as free in spirit as the most unspoiled child you can imagine.

And that’s no surprise either, because Jesus Christ, the Son of God said:

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

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HOWLING WOLF MINISTRIES PRESENTS….

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO NOBODY IN PARTICULAR!

(This was previously published in one of my “Mind Burp” posts)

And the Person did walk among the people, and did begin to teach, saying…

“Believe in me, or in that other prophet (umm…what’s his name?)…or believe in anyone you like, because after all, we’re all “god” really aren’t we? I mean, when you shut your eyes you can see little stars, which proves we’re all stardust and just a part of the cosmic oneness, doesn’t it? Just as long as you’re sincere– that’s what’s important-you can believe anything, because, well, we’re all on the same “road” aren’t we? And yes, there may be one or two bends in the road, and the occasional “no entry” sign here and there, or one of those little squashed birds that someone ran over…perhaps the odd Mc Donalds wrapper…but we’ll all get there eventually. There…that place…that…place.

What’s it called?

FOR THE ANTIDOTE TO THE UNPARTICULAR GOSPEL POST, READ THIS:

https://nickyfisher.com/2013/08/13/what-is-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ-2/

 

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I’m writing to you from my bed today…

No, I’m not ill, but when I attempted to get out of bed this-morning the “Start the Day” software prompted me to enter my “Get out of Bed” password, but I couldn’t remember it, and it wouldn’t let the sheets roll back.

I couldn’t remember the password because yesterday the software demanded that I select a new one, one with at least 36 characters including 16 symbols recognized by the Start the Day software as being “uncommon”, nine characters in both lower and upper case from at least three different oriental languages, and eight numbers whose product has a square root greater than five thousand but less than seventeen thousand and twenty-three.

The other day I was talking to someone at work about the state of our world, and I asked him what his ideal world would look like: how would things be in that hypothetical world of his making? (Have you ever tried to imagine a world with no hypothetical situations?). Being a gamer, and an extremely cynical kind of person too, his answer involved the hunting down and eradication of ninety-nine percent of the population of the planet, and the conversion of all remaining persons to the state of cyborg-including himself.

The discussion made me realize that I no longer had an idyllic world in my mind to play with. Oh, I believe in a heaven as surely as I believe in the earth, but for my unbelieving colleague, that’s “cheating” and irrelevant: it had to be a world where God either didn’t come into the equation, or where He had not yet intervened to bring about His own idyllic society.

I remember I had a dream world in my mind when I was a teenager and in my early twenties. It involved-I have to admit with some feeling of guilt and shame-the complete absence of human beings, apart from my one “true” lover, the girl who would bring me joy and fulfillment for all eternity. Not that everyone else had been “eradicated” by me or by anyone else-they just “weren’t there”.

Well, many years of reality has faded that little vision to the point of extinction. So, what would my utopia look like now?

Any efforts I may make to imagine a perfect world is hampered and clouded by the realization (and this is my thought but I’m sure I’m not the first to define it this way) that one man’s utopia is another man’s dystopia. Whatever may fit your perfect world may be an intense irritation to me. If you have your “great music” played at high volume everywhere in your world, I may just want to destroy that sound system at the earliest possible moment. My perfect scenery and urban layout may be hideously ugly to you. The Muslims would be fighting everyone else (sound familiar?); those attempting to meditate would be unhappy with the guys revving up their hot-rods, and dog lovers would be perpetually at odds with the cat lovers.

I have to say that I’m probably in the totally opposite camp to the humanist who believes that human nature is fundamentally good, and that given the right circumstances, people will come through to produce the kind of world we would all like to see. I can’t help popping that particular hypothetical bubble in no time at all with a multitude of realities, one insurmountable one being my own experience and observation of human nature. And my experience only agrees and confirms the very clear message of the Bible, which is that:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).

The need for ridiculously long passwords is only one of the multitude of evidences in support of the Bible’s teaching that we humans are incapable of saving ourselves from ourselves. We need someone bigger than our human nature. We need someone who isn’t plagued with fallen human nature, we need someone with much more power and imagination than we have, and we need someone who has a much greater utopia in mind than our own. We need Jesus Christ.

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