Aloha Friday Message – November 13, 2015 – What’s Next?

1546AFC111315 – What’s next?

Read it online here, please.

Daniel 12:2Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Mark 13:32 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea. This is a message that took a long time arriving. We’ve passed the 500 mark in posts. I’ve been thinking about how to proceed from here – what’s next? Should I cap it off at 501? Should I continue as we have been? Should I trim it back to twice a month or even once a month? I don’t have an answer to any of those questions. I will wait on the Holy Spirit and pray for guidance and discernment. What do you think? I suspect that out of the nearly 200 people to whom I email this, perhaps less than a quarter read it – maybe even only a handful. That’s not what’s important though. What is important is that thanks to a dear friend who hosts my blog-site, it’s out there in the ethers for everyone and anyone to find. Since I also post it to Facebook, it can be found and shared as well. We shall see what the Lord requires and then I can answer that question – what’s next?

The topic presented itself as I looked at the readings for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – a fancy way of saying “for this coming Sunday.” That passage from the Book of the Prophet Daniel is actually one I remember pondering about many years ago. It is one of the earliest and clearest statements of the concept of life-after-death, and in the view of some is also a prefiguring of the belief in the Kingdom of Heaven – although that, the Kingdom of Heaven, is not exactly what we mean by “Heaven.”

I think all of us who believe in God also believe that there’s something more after we quit this Earth. Several times in the past few months I have told you that all of us are going to live forever – some of us will live with God in glory and some of us will not. Today I want to give you about a ton of scripture (I know, that’s a deal-breaker for some of us) and I want to show you that it is dangerous to declare there is no hell, there is only heaven.

If you believe there is a heaven, then believing in hell is part of the picture. I’ve heard many people say, “God would not create people just to populate hell. He would never bring someone into the world predestined to spend eternity suffering. The can be no hell because God will eventually forgive everyone.” Well, there is a hell, God will not ultimately forgive everyone, and the only people predestined to hell are the people who refuse to believe that God is just enough to allow us to choose to ignore the fact that there is a hell and we can earn it. So here’s where the ton of scripture comes in.

For some of them I might attach a short comment – depending on what the Spirit requires. For some, it’s enough that you read it. As always, I encourage you to use the links. They will take you to two parallel translations of the Bible. One is an “International” type of translation. That is, it is accepted by many non-Catholic denominations even though it has the words “Catholic Edition” in the title. All that means is that it is a faithful translation approved by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. There are 37 denominations that are members of that group, so chances are good that if you are a Christian, your church has something in common with that group. The term “Catholic Edition” means that the volume of Biblical writings includes all scriptures canonically approved by the Catholic Church which are not included in non-Catholic Bibles. Other than that, every chapter, verse, line, and precept in the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition is exactly the same for all the 36 other denominations. The other version is the Authorized King James Version aka the Authorized (AKJV) which many Evangelical Christians use as their primary source of study and preaching. That said, let’s begin with the world’s most famous Bible verse:

John 3:16-17 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Jesus himself said there is a continuation of life after death. We now know it as Heaven or Paradise. Admission to eternal, everlasting, glorious life with God is attainable through a belief in Jesus that is sufficient to constitute true faith.

In addition, Jesus referred to God the Father as “God of the living and not of the dead. He is the God of the living, not of the dead is found in …

 

Matthew 22:32 Mark 12:27 Luke 20:38

 

As such God will award the righteous with eternity with him and will award the unrighteous with eternity without him. It is Christ who will be the judge. It is God who will grant the awards.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering. For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be marveled at on that day among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

Jesus told his disciples – especially those he chose to be Apostles – that there were good outcomes and bad outcomes based on how people lived.

Matthew 13:49-51 49 “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.”

Now, here some object that there is no literal “furnace of fire.” We don’t know for certain how that experience of being separated from El Shaddai Olam (Almighty Ever-Living God) will manifest, but it is clear throughout scripture that it will be extremely unpleasant and unrelenting.

Jesus will send angels who are assigned to gather into two groups all the souls that ever lived (remember, we all live forever).

Matthew 13:41-42 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Not all of the angels will be with “the good guys.”

2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell[a] and committed them to chains of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment;

If we decide, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that there is no God, no Christ, no Salvation, and no sin then we condemn ourselves.

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

In addition, if we succeed at convincing – or even attempt to entice others to sin as we sin – then that will also bring separation from God. Jesus declares this in two of the Gospels:

Mark 9:42 42 If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.

Matthew 18:6 “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Yet God has planned all of this from the first Word of creation, and part of the plan is that we should choose to love him. As the Prophet Isaiah said,

Isaiah 64:4For since the world began no one has seen or heard of such a God as ours, who works for those who wait for him! Living Bible (TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

How, then, can we get to heaven? It is only through the Grace of God who gives eternal Joy to all who will believe in the Christ of God. One must repent, believe the Gospel, be baptized, love God and Neighbor, and be a witness (testify) to the Salvation granted by our God through Christ Jesus. Outside of those criteria, only at the Day of Judgment before Christ will we know. I encourage you to follow this link to read Matthew 25:31-46. This is the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, the division of the nations (all humanity) into two groups: The Righteous and the Unrighteous. Christ will judge. God will award. That is what’s next. All of us will go down to the dust of the earth. All of us will be raised up on the last day. Some of us will spend the rest of eternity with God and all the Angels and Saints. Some of us will not. What’s next for you? Is it Philippians 2:9-11? I sincerely hope so!!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

 

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Remember The Black Dot from yesterday (the belated Terrific Tuesday Message). Focus on the Light, not on the Darkness:

1 Thessalonians 5:3-5 When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.

The Apostle Paul perhaps said it best;

Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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