In a Reader’s Digest interview, Muhammad Ali states, “One day we’re all going to die, and God is going to judge us, our good deeds and our bad deeds. If the bad outweighs the good, you go to hell. If the good outweighs the bad, you go to heaven.” That was the philosophy he lived by. At the end of each day Ali would ask himself, “If God were to judge me based on just what I did today, would I go to heaven or hell?” To live one’s whole life with the uncertainty of never knowing whether one’s final destiny is that of heaven or hell is not only sad, it is unnecessary. It is tragic to live one’s life without the assurance that faith in Jesus Christ can bring. For those who place their trust in Him, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 brings a word of confident assurance.
Scripture reference: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Throughout the New Testament, the Bible describes the relationship of the church with Christ by using the analogy of a bride and groom. This bride-groom relationship plays itself from the beginning to the end of the New Testament, prophetically as well. Identifying the stages of the ancient Jewish wedding can enhance our understanding of prophecy and our own role in it. We are all familiar with the phrase, “Here comes the bride,” but the New Testament emphasis is “Here comes the groom!”
Scripture reference: John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
What difference would it make if you woke each morning with the daily expectation of Jesus’s return — His coming for His bride the Church, the Rapture? What difference would it make if you made a conscious effort every day to lift your eyes to the sky and seriously ask, “Will this be the day?” It would keep you consciously living in light of eternity, living on the edge of this world and what’s coming. It would lead you to live expectantly!
Scripture reference: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Contending that suffering is inevitable, the apostle Paul encourages us to embrace suffering with an eternal perspective. We are tempted every day to have a temporal perspective, to live as if our current life is all there is. Whatever our sufferings may include, it is good to put them in perspective — to remember that our lives are but a tiny speck on the timeline of eternity. For those who are “in Christ” an eternal perspective is the key to overcoming.
Scripture reference: Romans 8:18-25
Today’s parallels to Elijah’s day are striking! What is so desperately needed in our day today are men and women who, like Elijah, can have and Elijah-like impact on this society. Elijah was used by God in his day to turn the hearts of the people back to God. In the New Testament book that bears his name, James is careful to note that Elijah was a man, a human being, with a nature just like us. So what was it that enabled him to be so used of God in his day of spiritual and moral decline? It was his prayer life!
Scripture reference: 1 Kings 18:1-46
In this passage Paul gives a remarkable description of his life. Looking back over his life, he offers a description few could boast. In essence, he says, “No regrets!” This message examines what it looks like for a Christian to live with no regrets, or, at least as few as possible. Everyone’s life is being poured out into something. What is your life being poured out into?
Scripture reference: 2 Timothy 4:6-8