Mt 5:3 - "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." NASU
Some of the teachings of Jesus were certainly paradoxes. The passage above about the Kingdom of Heaven belonging to the "poor in spirit" can't be correct.
Are you kidding me? The teachings in the time of Christ were very clear that God blessed those who were rich not those who were poor. The ones clearly going to heaven were the rich. You are poor because you have been cursed by God. Your poverty is a testimony as to where you stand with God.
Jesus comes along and teaches something totally contradictory to this first century belief. He teaches that the "poor in spirit" will be residents in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Now that my friends is a paradoxical lesson taught by our Savior Jesus.
You can be the richest man or the poorest man on earth and be "poor in spirit". How is that possible?
The person who is "poor in spirit" is the one who knows he/she is bankrupt spiritually without God. They know that if they are ever going to get to Heaven they are going to get there with God's help (His Grace and Mercy) and not their money or good works.
If someone asks you are you going to Heaven when you die there is a way to know for sure. I have asked that question to many people over the years and the majority of the people always say something like "I hope so!"
That is the wrong answer my friend. Getting to Heaven is not based on "our hope so" it is based on our faith in Jesus Christ.
It is possible to know if you are going to Heaven. It all starts with the realization that we're totally bankrupt spiritually. We are in need of God's help.
Do you believe you have sinned? If you answered yes that you believe you have
sinned then you need to know that your sin has separated you from God. It was your sin that separated you. You have not inherited anyone's sin.
We can't get to Heaven on our own. We need to have faith in God's plan and that plan is that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners.
Do you believe that Jesus accomplished what the Bible says He accomplished?
Do you believe He made atonement for our sins and the sins of the world? If you believe that He did accomplish His mission or purpose for coming to earth then my recommendation is do what He says.
John 3:3-6 - Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
A person is born of the water and the spirit when he has been baptized. Acts 2:37-38 - Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
A person who has faith in Jesus will do what He says and in being obedient to His commands you will receive the forgiveness of your sins and the Holy Spirit. If you do what Jesus says you will know you can enter into the Kingdom of God aka Kingdom of Heaven.
Think About These:
We cannot do everything we want to do, but we should do everything God wants us to do.
The atheist can't find God for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Exodus 5:1-2 - And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ' Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.'" 2 But Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, NASU
What is about to happen to Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the Israelites is the Lord's answer to his question. The 10 plagues that the Egyptians are about to experience and the Israelites are about to view is the Lord's answer.
He is the one and only true God of all creation. The Lord says, "For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth…."But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth." Exo.9:14, 16
It has been said that each of the 10 plagues were attacks of Egyptian gods.
The Lord started with the Nile River. The Egyptians worshipped Hapi, the god of the Nile River as one of their gods. She was helpless when the Nile River was turned to blood, the fish died, and the Egyptians could not drink from these waters and there was nothing Hapi could do to help the Egyptians
The sacred bull Apis was likewise disgraced when the fifth plague brought the death of cattle. The sun god was named Amen-Ra or just Ra; he was discredited by the plague of darkness which lasted for three days.
He is the LORD God Almighty, Maker and Creator of Heaven and Earth. He not only freed the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt. He has made it possible for us to be free from the bondage of sin.
In John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word with God, and the Word was God…." In John 1:14 it says, "And the Word became flesh…" The Word was in Heaven with God and when the Word comes to earth He will become Jesus.
In the Old Testament God sent Moses to be the deliverer of the Israelites. In the New Testament God sent the Word, who became Jesus to be our deliverer.
God wants us to be freed from our sins so that we can be with Him for all eternity. Have you accepted Jesus' invitation to be your Lord and Savior?
It is so easy even I was able to do it 46 years ago. All you have to do is say, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of the living God. We call that your confession of faith and then have someone immerse (Baptize) you into Christ. If you can't find someone to baptize you call on me by replying to this email and I will help you.
You will remember the Israelites had to put lamb's blood over the doorpost and down the sides. This same picture takes place when you are baptized. The water represents the blood of Jesus and when you go in the water it is like going into the blood of Jesus and having your sins covered by the blood of Jesus.
"Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice?"
He is the one who is able to free you from your sins and has a place in heaven waiting for you.
Think About This:
The person who expects to go to heaven must take the time to study the route that will get them there.
FYI - January 30th I will be preaching at the Severn Christian Church at 10:30 am in Severn, MD. I hope to see some of you there.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God’s Word
Galatians 2:16 - "…nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified." NASU
We are not going to be allowed entrance into Heaven because of our "good deeds".
In 1964 J. Frank Wilson and The Cavaliers had a hit song entitled "Last Kiss" I have included some of the lyrics of the song:
Well, where oh where can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me.
She's gone to heaven, so I got to be good,
So I can see my baby when I leave this world.
These lyrics may be romantic but theologically they are horrible. God gets blamed for taking her away because of his carelessness while driving. Then he has to be good to get to heaven to see her.
Well, nothing could be further from the truth. You CAN NOT be good enough to get to heaven. No one and I mean no one is going to get to Heaven because of their good works and if you try, you will fail.
Here is how one of my college Professors, Jack Cottrell, explains justification:
[The meaning of justification: It is the same as having the debt of penalty for your sins forgiven. It is a legal term. It refers to standing before the Judge of the universe in the divine courtroom and having him declare, “NO PENALTY FOR YOU!”
This happens not only on the future Judgment Day. It is happening now, and will be happening throughout our lives as believers. This is why we have assurance of salvation. We know we are justified; we know our sins are forgiven. It is not a question of how good we are, but how forgiven we are. It is hearing God say, “No penalty for you! No condemnation for you (Rom. 8:1)! No hell for you! No fear for you!”]
The choice is ours.
We can depend on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ or we can do like the lyrics of the songs says try being good enough for God to allow us entrance into Heaven.
Gal 3:24-27 - Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
The people who try to obey laws are trying to get to Heaven on their own merits. Paul says the purpose of the Law was to lead us to Christ and it is our faith in Jesus that will bring about our Justification.
Think About This:
Choice, not chance, determines your destiny.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
1 Corinthians 2:9 - However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"— NIV
No More Pain, No More Sorrow, No More Tears, No More Temptations and No More Suffering, but I am here to say it is going to be all of that and much much more.
Our eyes have NOT seen what Heaven is going to be like.
Our ears have NOT heard all the joyous noises and praises to God that will be there.
Our minds have NOT even begun to conceive how awesome Heaven will be.
Go ahead I challenge you today to sit somewhere very quiet where you can't be disturbed and try with all your mental strength to conceive how great you believe Heaven is going to be and I am going to tell you right now: You Don't Even Come Close to how great it will be.
When you listen to people speak about Heaven that is generally what we hear them say. They tell us, "They can't wait to be reunited with their loved ones that have preceded them in death."
I am not trying to be argumentative here but being reunited with one of your loved ones will not be the big hurrah. Oh, don't get me wrong it will be amazing, but you must remember we are going to be changed. Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 -
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. NASU
We are going to be changed. We are no longer going to be mortal human beings. We are going to be immortal. We will have put on immortality. We will never ever be capable of dying again because "death" our enemy has been defeated by Jesus Christ.
We are on His Team. Therefore, we likewise will share in all the victories of Jesus.
Amazing! Absolutely, Positively Amazing will be our next life. It is going to be so awesome, it will be beyond your wildest dreams. Our puny mortal brains can't even conceive how great Heaven will be.
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"—
Just let that passage roll around in your brain all day.
Think On This:
Heaven is a state of Thankfulness for having received what we did not deserve, and for not receiving what we did deserve.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Gary A Serago.