What is Purgatory?

What is Purgatory?

Purgatory is a false teaching that says that after people die they get a second chance to go to heaven. Supposedly, after death a person enters a state of limbo between heaven and hell where a purging takes place and that there are things a person can do, or that others can do for him, that will get him out of limbo and onward to heaven. This false teaching denies that only through the death and resurrection of Jesus, is there a pathway to heaven.

The bible says that after we die there are NO second chances. It is only by accepting the gift of the forgiveness of sin that can put us into a right relationship with God. That acceptance must come during this lifetime. There are no second chances. God gave us this life in which to make our decision and, as in Jesus’ teaching in Luke 16:19-31, we read that death is final.

Purgatory is never mentioned in the Bible. The false doctrine was introduced into church teachings 1200 years after the death of Christ and remains a teaching of the Catholic church. All protestant churches some of the major orthodox Christian churches reject the teaching of purgatory.

The bible is very clear, when we die, if we have believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we will be with Him in some new bodily form, recognizable, knowing others, and able to communicate and worship HIM for eternity.

How about you? Have you made that decision for a new joy-filled life here on earth and knowing without any doubt that you will be with HIM forever? Learn more at our post: How does one become a Christian?

In a world of disinformation, how do we know what is true?

In a world of disinformation, how do we know what is true?

Disinformation, also called lying, is as old as man…and woman.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:1-5

Unlike God who speaks only truth, the serpent (Satan, devil, evil one) spreads lies continually, the biggest of which is the same one he used on Eve in the garden of Eden:

You can be like God.

You are in control of your own destiny.

The pleasures of the world are yours to enjoy without boundaries.

What Satan cannot do is tell the truth: “If you do what I say you will never know peace, in this world or in the next.”

So then, what is truth?

This question has been tackled by man forever. Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato, sometimes called the sages of the ages, along with other philosophers spoke and wrote volumes about to how to know what is true. It wasn’t until Jesus Christ came to earth that it was answered clearly and directly.

Jesus said, “I am the truth.” (John 14:6) He is the embodiment of truth about all of creation and life’s really important and significant matters; life and death, heaven and hell, sin and righteousness, creation and evolution, good and evil and so many more including even the little things in life.

Webster defines truth as, “that which is true; that which conforms to fact or reality.” Jesus’ life is a fact and He is the ultimate reality. In order to know the truth one needs to know Jesus, not just know about Him.
A few of Jesus’ profound truth statements for you to carefully consider are:

  •  “You must be born-again to gain eternal life.” (John 3:3)
  • “No one comes to the Father (heaven) except through Me.” (John 14:6)
  • “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)
  • “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born I Am.” (In this statement Jesus confirmed He was God, I Am, and eternal, i.e., He existed before Abraham in eternity past.) (John 8:58)

Remember, truth is always truth. Two plus two is always four. Jesus’ words are truth although many choose to believe otherwise at their own peril.

One final thought on truth. Every human being ever created that does not repent of his or her sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior when they die they will face God as Judge on Judgment Day. Since He cannot look on sin, he will turn away all who have not repented. They will live forever separated from the loving, compassionate God and will never find peace. Think about an eternity spent in fear, disappointment, unhappiness, pain and sorrow. That’s a sobering truth that needs to be remembered and considered seriously. It’s a truth that should be a life changer. The ‘Good News’ is that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Examine the Gospel of John to discover more of Jesus’ surprising truth statements. You won’t be disappointed.  

If you are ready to discover the truth for yourself, read our post:  How does one become a Christian?

Why do Christians believe Jesus is the only way to eternal life and Heaven?

Why do Christians believe Jesus is the only way to eternal life and Heaven?

It was Jesus who declared in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

When Jesus prayed in John 17:3, He again declared, “And his is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, one of the most religious Jewish leaders of his time, Jesus explained, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

True followers of Jesus understand the uniqueness of Christianity. It is not a box into which individuals must fit. It does not require one to rigidly adhere to a set of rules or rituals. Christians understand that there is nothing they can do to attain the perfection required of a perfect God in order to dwell with Him throughout eternity. All human beings must pay the penalty of death for all their thoughts and actions that have kept them separated from God. However, God’s plan from the beginning was to provide a way for these wrong actions and thoughts–what we call sin–to be covered over. That happens at the cross where Jesus paid the price, once and for all, for every sin ever committed and for all those yet to be committed by men and women.

Christians declare what Jesus declared and that He, Jesus, is the only way to eternal life. The evidence for Jesus’ claim as the only way is his resurrection. Jesus did not stay dead. The only assurance for eternal life and an eternity with God in heaven is found in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and only those who accept what he did on the cross, and then trust in him as Lord and Savior, will also be raised to new life when Jesus returns for all believers.

Remember, the founders of all other religions that made claims for eternal life
are now dead. Jesus is alive and has given humanity Proof of this fact. We all have a choice to accept
it or not. It is life’s most important decision. Choose wisely!! I you would like to learn more about what it means to be a Christian with assurance of eternal life, please read our post, How does one become a Christian?

What does it mean that God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth?

What does it mean that God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth?

What does it mean that God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). God saw at all he had made and it was very good (Genesis 1:31). Everything was perfect without a blemish anywhere! Think of a park with beautiful trees, manicured lawns and amazing flowers in full bloom with not a single weed to be found. It was truly a Paradise. Then unfortunately sin came into the world through Adam’s disobedience and God’s perfect creation became corrupted, so much so that God destroyed the earth with the flood, and only Noah, his family and the animals were saved to make a fresh start.

But, sin was still in the world. God gave his people laws and commandments but no one could, or was willing to, keep all the commandments or be obedient to all laws. People continued to sin and disobey God. But God had a plan. He sent his only son, Jesus, to be a sacrifice for all the sins of the world; a Savior to fulfill God’s promise of salvation and eternal life for all who would trust in him. In the final book of the Bible, the apostle John describes a vision in which he hears Jesus say, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5)

In a letter written by one of Jesus’ closest disciples we read: “but in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and the new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13) Six hundred years earlier, the prophet, Isaiah recorded these words that God had spoken to him: “for behold, I create a new heaven and new earth and the former shall not be remembered, or come to mind.”

A new heaven and a new earth are more than just a promise. The Apostle John actually saw what God has prepared for all those who love him and have placed their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. God gave John a glimpse into the future as recorded in Revelation 21:1 “ then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth has passed away.” The new earth will be a Paradise beyond human comprehension. In 1Corinthians 2:9 we read, “what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard and what no mind has conceived are the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

So, have you trusted your life to Jesus so that you can experience this promised eternal new earth paradise? If not, why not? Remember, this new creation is only the eternal dwelling place for those who are God’s children in Christ.

Is the war in Europe a sign of the End Times?

Is the war in Europe a sign of the End Times?

When we are confronted with the terror of war either personally or vicariously through the media and stories told by others, we begin to wonder if these are the last days described in the Bible. They could be. Certainly, for those killed in the conflict, they have experienced their end time on earth. But as to knowing if we are living in the end times, we must remember what Jesus said to his disciples as recorded in Matthew 24.

He said that no one, including Himself, can know the date or time but God The Father. Both Paul and Peter reminded us that the end will come “..like a thief in the night..” In his letter to Timothy, Paul writes “..the appearance of the Lord which God will bring about in His own time…” (1 Tim 6:13) In Revelation 22: 7,12 & 20 Jesus says He is coming soon. So how are we to know if we are in the end times? The Bible gives us some clues.

Paul describes signs that will precede the return of Jesus and the end of the Earth as we know it.

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

2 Tim 3:2-5

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”.

2 Tim 4: 3-4

Also foretold was the restoration of the Nation of Israel which happened on May 14, 1948. This after 1878 years of dispersion is truly a miracle and a fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel for the end times, a key event that needed to be in place before Jesus returns for believing Christians.

Yes, we could be living in the End Times. SO, what does that mean to you and me? BE READY, place your faith and trust in our Jesus Christ AND BE ALERT and live that new life He has promised for you on this earth and for eternity. If you would like to know more about how to enjoy peace in the midst of this conflict and be ready to live on with God beyond the end times, please check out our post, How Does One Become a Christian.

Why is the birth of Jesus “Good News”?

Why is the birth of Jesus “Good News”?

In a world where daily headlines shout bad news 24/7, there remains one story that is not just good news, but the best news for all of mankind for all time. That good news of Christmas dates back to the creation of the world by God and the creation of man, the only creature who was made in God’s image. God intended that the man and woman he created, Adam and Eve, and all of their offspring, would live in perfect harmony with Him. In this ideal world, humans would enjoy perfect fellowship with God by obeying His commands which would, in turn, allow them to experience perfect joy.

The problem is that man rebelled against God, breaking the fellowship and learning that what men and women thought would be freedom, turned into slavery to sin. That brought all the negative consequences that humans experience today–the bad news that that assaults us from without and the pain, suffering, broken relationships, lack of peace and death from within. This is the natural result of breaking fellowship with a perfect God who could not be in fellowship with imperfect humans. Their sins separated them forever from God and ensured that they would suffer throughout eternity for their continued rebellion from God. This is where the Good News breaks through.

God loved his creation so much that he provided a way for men and women to be rescued from the consequences of their sin. God asked his son, Jesus, to take on the sin of all mankind–a substitute sacrifice that would be acceptable to God. Jesus acceped the task, leaving the glory of his father in heaven to come to earth as a baby, live among sinful men, lay down his life on a Roman cross, rise from earthly death, and return to his fathers side.

Jesus, the baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, did all this so that that those who willingly accepted his substitutionary sacrifice might have their relationship to God restored. That brings with it the promise of an eternal life free of the consequences of sin. That’s the good news of Christmas, because Christmas is the celebration of the arrival of Jesus on earth in the form of a human. It’s the celebration of a life that culminates in death on a cross where the sins of all men and women–past, present and future–are paid for by the shedding of Jesus’ blood allowing us to be redeemed through the subsequent resurrection of Jesus.

What does God expect us to do with this knowledge that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s wrath against our sins? He expects us to accept the sacrifice of His son Jesus, turn away from our sin, and have faith that we will experience peace in this life and an eternity of contentment with Him. Christmas is a celebration of this good news, “For unto you a Savior is born who is Christ the Lord.” The final question is, have you believed it and accepted Jesus as your Savior? It is the most important decision a person ever makes.

If you would like to learn more about how you can enter into a relationship with the eternal God who sent his son, Jesus, we encourage you to read our blogpost: How does one become a Christian?

Merry Christmas!