Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wanting Heaven and Wanting Christ: Is There a Difference?

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Wanting Heaven and Wanting Christ:
Is There a Difference?

Perhaps the most important thing I can say to you today is that heaven is not a place to go to when you die, but rather it’s a Who. John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Where ever Christ is, that’s heaven. So whether Christ is on earth or in heaven or in hell… that’s where heaven will be as well. Right now, heaven is on earth in our hearts through our relationship with Christ, even though it is always up in the clouds. This makes it seem awful silly why people would put off an obedient relationship with Jesus, because it is literally the same thing as a person saying that he/she does not want to go to heaven (yet). If you don’t admire Jesus’ rules and his way of life “now,” then you cannot expect heaven to be great when you die! Right? It makes more sense than most people care to admit, and it's the sole reason why we are here. Earth right now is a proving grounds for how we want our lives to be: To be our own lives or to give our lives to Christ. Even the angels in heaven had this choice and not all of them were so happy with heaven either. One-third of all of heaven's angels chose to rebel against God, so earth is no different.
So now that you know that heaven is not entirely what you think it is, let's think some more. To be “in heaven” is to be committed to God in total submission, but that is possible (and expected) now through the washing of yourself through Christ. If you don’t submit your flesh 100% to God on earth then you are not worthy of heaven, as Christ says many times that Matthew 10:37-39, Luke 9:23-26, Psalm 23:1, Luke 6:43-49, 1 Peter 2:21-25 and more that those who want Christ must deny themselves, follow Him and the example that He set for us by living and dying for us when we did not deserve it or even want it at the time. Jesus and the Apostles all say this over and over and over again, and I have several articles on this issue alone with watered down Christians today in 1. Christ Died For You, 2. Giving Up Your Life and 3. Going to Heaven?. This is why Christ says in the verses below from Matthew that if any man does not give up his life now then he is not worthy to be his disciple nor will he enter heaven. That IS heaven. Heaven IS submission to God willingly and lovingly. 
Giving in to God’s will and forsaking all sin in earnest is heaven as well. So if you hear anything I say to you in this email then hear this: If you want heaven then you will need to seek Christ in earnest now. Do not let yourself be so easily deceived any more by the lies and false promises of the world for happiness and security in the treasures here on earth. When you think of heaven from now on, you must think of it as a "choice" to follow God to obtain it. Heaven will not magically make you perfect  when you die, and neither will it make you what God wants you to be suddenly because the earth is meant to be a testing grounds for your true love for God, and so many fail it because the world is a very powerful lie…only you can choose God and heaven here and now brother, which demands immediate action here on earth. Do not be like Pharaoh in Moses' day, who waited so long that his heart hardened and lost everything in the end. In the end, everything will be lost anyway, for all men are born naked and all men will die naked as well. The only clothing we have is Jesus Christ! So die with Jesus, and be covered from your sins.
The thing is, heaven also has become some watered down fantasy of some weird paradise for "good" people or "moral" people. But that's not heaven either. Heaven IS Jesus Christ, and like the Pharaoh who had a hardened heart from waiting so long to obey God when he kept the Jews as slaves in Egypt, so you too will have a hardness of heart the longer you continue you life without Christ knowing full well you should be pursuing Him now. The longer you take to decide if you want God, the harder it will be to turn to him in the end. And your intelligence will be a stumbling block to you because understanding God is done by your heart alone:
1 Corinthians 1:19 19 ”For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate’”[a]

… you must learn to live through your heart, brother. And anyone who asks forgiveness for sins s/he regularly commits without trying to fight that sin cannot be forgiven. Do not be lukewarm.

Revelation 3:15-20
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

That person is called by Christ one who is “dead to sins.” If any man is shackled to sin, he does not have the Light of God in him which is talked about in all of 1 John. You (and others) have mixed up forgiveness and mercy with the idea that we are destined to fail in a fight against sin and therefore it is ok not to progress in our fight against sin. Some even feel acceptable of their sins, as if forgiveness were meant to be used over and over like some towel that cannot get dirty. Well, Jesus isn't some towel to wipe yourself with!

Unfortunately, most Christians today think of forgiveness as some kind of BBQ sauce that they can just ask get more of from their waitress over and over again without a charge, but then they get their tab and they see that the sauces they ordered were never completely free to begin with…1 Corinthians 6:20  20 “You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.Honoring God with your body is not an option. I see no "if" statements in that command above. It does not say to honor God a little bit or honor God when it is convenient nor to honor God only when you truly need him. There is nothing optional in that verse.

Here are my sources (among many more if you want more)

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 18 ”Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1John 3:9-10     No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child

1 John 2:3-6 and 15-18      3We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did…15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

Matthew 10:38-39     38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 16:24-27     24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
What are people like when they disobey and continue sin, then?

Matthew 7:16-27  16  ”By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

These two verses explain what will happen to the devil and all who follow him (along with hundreds of other verses).

Revelation 20:10-11 10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Matthew 25:41 41 “Then [God] will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

The people on the “left” in that verse are all of the people on earth who did not love Christ.

Easily one of the worst sins is knowing that God is Christ yet a person does not humble himself before Him every day. If God appeared to you now in person, you’d fall to your knees. This is the reaction people should have before Christ even when he is not here visibly. A hardening of your heart will occur to those who acknowledge Christ as God yet do not obey his ways, and when the time comes for action you will be paralyzed with indecision and doubt. Rejecting the ways of Christ now will cause you to completely reject Christ later when the time suddenly comes to change your ways.

Your brother in Christ,
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.