Friday, June 14, 2024

Wishing You Were Here

Wishing You Were Here
by David Brenneman 

‭"But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while—in person, not in spirit—were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us. For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy." 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20.
Many years ago there was a song by Mark Wills called "Wish You Were Here". Interesting that I heard it again the other day and read this today.  

Oh how the exact polar opposites that exist between the foreboding of Hell vs the beyond imagination of Heaven!

We cannot fathom nor begin to understand how wonderful Heaven is. We cannot know the levels of joy at being in the presence of Jesus. I imagine that when Jesus arrived in Paradise in that 3 day window after being crucified, the sounds of rejoicing there drowned out those attempting to get Jesus's attention from those in Sheole.

We cannot know, but, we can imagine to some degree. There's no pain, no suffering of any kind. There's continual worship going on. There's the anticipation of Jesus getting up to return to get His Church.

People, in their current state arriving moment by moment. Not yet having received their glorified bodies.

It's really unfortunate that so many so-called churches and people in our world believe and teach others that good deeds would get people into Heaven. This isn't what the Bible says. Only a life that has placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation by faith will ever see Heaven.  

There's nothing anyone can do on their own to be good enough to get into Heaven. Being baptized doesn't open that door either.  

Jesus Himself said that there will be many people who will claim to have done many things in His Name but whom never came to Him to be saved who will be told to depart from Him for He never knew them.

Focus on that last part. Never knew them. This is way more than an implied requirement. A close, personal relationship is what Jesus wants with us. No casual relationships. No use of name dropping that bears no fruit. 

Jesus had an intimate relationship with Adam and Eve before the fall of them through sin.  

Jesus's sacrifice on the cross opened the door to each of us for a vibrant intimate relationship with our Creator.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, my Dear Reader, you will not see Heaven. 

Biblical truth be told, those who have not come to Christ for salvation, only find themselves entering Hell when they die. 

That place that Jesus describes as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. His description of the Rich man in torment is what every single person is greeted to upon arrival.  
Eternal agonizingly painful existence with no end. Paying for their own sins for eternity because they choose to reject Jesus's free gift of salvation. 

My Dear Reader, the Bible says clearly to be sure of your salvation. 

You will never see Heaven or those whom you knew who are Christians again if you yourself are not in the body and family of Christ Jesus. 

Jesus is at the door of your heart knocking. But you must be the one to open it for Him to enter. 

For those who are Christians...stop hiding that light of Jesus Christ in you. Let your light shine before men in such a way that people see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. 

This present darkness is getting darker still because both the times in which we live and the growing silence of Believers.  

Jesus will return at such a time as the last person who is to be saved is saved. The Church's mission is to preach the Word. To make disciples. There's a line drawn in time by the Father between those of this generation coming to Christ for salvation and those who will be saved throughout the Great Tribulation.  

Being sure of your salvation is of paramount importance. Do not try to rely on how good a person you think you are. There's no chance at all that people who do not have Jesus as their Lord and Savior will ever find a peaceful afterlife. None. 

If you are on the fence about coming to Christ, realize as well, there's an enemy of Jesus Christ who's trying to keep you there. He owns that fence you sit on. He doesn't want to lose anyone else. 

His name is Satan and he started this rejection of Jesus Christ before history began. Worldly fables show him as reigning in Hell. Truth is he's never been there, has never seen it, and he himself wants nothing to do with it.  

But this is about you. 

You need to be sure of your salvation. You need to be in a right relationship with Jesus. You need to develop that relationship daily through talking to Jesus. Through reading His words to you in your Bible. Making the changes His Spirit wants of you to grow you in Christ.  

If you want to see Jesus's Heaven...salvation through Him is the only way.  

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.  

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