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Sometimes people think eschatology is just for the theologians and pastors, but that could not be further from the truth. The second coming of Jesus Christ should be at the forefront of every Christians mind, life.

I have learned that eschatology is important, because it actually affects your life more than you may think.

What you know and believe about the book of Revelation, or what you don’t know or believe will greatly affect the way you live day to day.

Here’s what I mean…..

When I as at Calvary Chapel in the 80’s the book of Revelation was the most studied and talked about book, Chuck preached about, talked about the return of Jesus a lot, so everyone had their thoughts and conversation set on Jesus’ return. We lived in anticipation of it, and desire for Jesus to come quickly. The result was everyone lived with with a eternal mindset, so everyone was about doing the will of the Father, living out the great commission, we where passionate about sharing the gospel and seeing people get saved. Maranatha was a word spoken by one and all, Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus! was the cry of our hearts, we desired, longed for His return, to be with Him.

If you believe that the next 10 –3 0 years is all you have on the earth to live (whether they end by death or the return of Jesus), you will live very differently than if you know that life is not mainly about this life, but about the age to come, that’s the way we lived back then at Calvary.

The Bible tells us that there is coming a day when heaven is coming to earth.

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”
   
(Revelation 21:1-6 NKJV)

Most people avoid the book of Revelation, I love it, it’s a Revelation of Jesus Christ, it’s the most vivid presentation of He who is, events leading up to His 2nd coming,  it’s what every follower of Jesus hearts long for, because it’s what we were made for!

I began studying the book of Revelation again for a study group I was in, but more because as I mentioned earlier I believe that having a heart rooted in eternity, and the age to come dramatically affects my life on a day to day basis.

Here are some of the ways I feel it impacts my life dramatically whether I set my heart on the age to come or just on this life:

  • The only way I believe I will walk out my life with the correct priorities in life is if I have a revelation that everything I do in this age can carry on into the next and have eternal value.
  • The only way I can make the right choses for career, mate, how I spend my time is through the lens of what will pass away and what is eternal, that Jesus and His Kingdom is coming soon.
  • I will live a live looking for,  being prepared, ready for His return. (Luke 21:36)

“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  (Matthew 24:42-44 ESV)

  • An eternal perspective will guard me from making the American dream my life pursuit, goal. If I know that this life is not to be where I set my heart, then I will not try to fill my life with things that will only pass away. I will spend my time and money differently.

    “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
(Colossians 3:1-4ESV)

  • I will have perspective for pain: I will know that this world has pain and disappointment, and that where I am going, there will be no more pain, sorrow, sadness or death. Therefore any pain I experience in this life I can use to propel me closer to the heart of Jesus, knowing that pain will not always be my portion and will come to an end.
  • It will cause me to set my heart on the great commission, make spreading the gospel the single most important thing in life, my life priority.
  • Maranatha! will be the cry of my heart, come Lord Jesus with fill my prayers, thoughts and desires. Everyday I will eagerly anticipate and look foreword to the return of Jesus.
  • Setting my heart on the age to come will prepare my heart to not fear persecution or death.
  • Setting my heart on the age to come will propel my heart to want to live a life poured out for Jesus and for the sake of His name, no matter what the cost.

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  (Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV)

(This list is by no means exhaustive. )

All throughout the New Testament, you will find the centrality of this theme exhorting us to set our hearts and minds on things to come…

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on things that are on earth.” ( Col. 3: 1,2)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on this earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself.” (Phil. 3:20-21)

I want to live a life on the earth that will have eternal significance. Our culture screams at us trying to convince us that we must store up as much as we can and live life to the fullest in this age. I want to fight against the deception that tries to dull my spirit and make me settle in for a life of comfort and ease.

I am asking the Lord to wake me up, to give me a greater revelation of eternity. I encourage you to find out for yourself what the Word says about eternity and the age to come, and talk to Jesus about what that means for how you should live your life today.

I want to go back to life, fellowship to be like it was at Calvary Chapel back then, all things centered on the second coming of Jesus, Maranatha being the cry of my heart and center of the conversations of Christians.

May we not forget that we are just pilgrims on this earth passing through, with a eternal mindset, and desire above all the return of Jesus.

When it comes to Calvinism, JD Greear’s short teaching here much of what he says sums up where I am at, but not 100%. I have been revisiting the Calvinism position on election. In this short (8 min) much of JD’s message  gave me clarity of where I am at. I do not claim to be a Calvinist, I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, I am in no mans, any theologian camp, I’m in Jesus’.

Like JD says, there are things that God calls secret, and that drive theologians crazy, things that God did not and will not tell us (read Job sometime). God says there are secret things, and he does not hold us responsible for them. What He does hold us responsible for are the things He has revealed. I find myself to busy trying to understand, apply, live out the things God has revealed, to try and figure out what God says is secret.

JD’s advice that gets a Big Amen from me is: Don’t cut off bible verses that don’t fit your theory, your theology, in order for it to work, expand your theory’s to match all of scripture. Believe what the bible teaches, sit humbly underneath it, and do what it says. That is open you bible believe it and do what it says.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, Not a Calvinist, nor a Arminian.

I was told to preach the gospel, to Go make disciples, baptize them, teach them to do all that Jesus commanded, and so I stay busy doing that.

*New blog post I AM NEITHER CALVINIST OR ARMINIAN, I AM A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

Ask Anything Friday Nov 5 from The Summit Church on Vimeo.

Four minutes of awe-inspiring illustration of eternity by Francis Chan my favorite pastor. If you really get his message it will change your perspective about life and what it is really about, what matters most.

Does making lost of money really matter? No. Does having a successfully career really matter? No. Big houses, expensive cars, fine clothes, lots of material things? No. Which political parties your in, who’s president? No.  In light of eternity none of those things matters one bit, has any effect on the next billion years.

We should ask ourselves is what I am doing right now, spending my time, my life for, matter in regards to my eternity, and the eternity of those around me?

NotAFan2 Just when I was starting to doubt my life choices in my relationship and walk with God do to my life situation. Beginning to think I was wrong for choosing to live by scripture like “Seek first the kingdom of Heaven”  and “Do not worry about what your life, what you eat, nor about the body, what you will put on it…. Seek the kingdom of And and these things shall be added unto you.” Luke 12:22-31

Thinking I had made the mistake of choosing to spend my life seeking after God, ministry over the things of this world, over career, money and pleasures. Just when I was praying to God telling Him that apparently I was wrong in my life choice, that I should have spent my life pursing career, money and pleasures just like everyone else. That apparently everyone else is right, you spend you life making money, advancing your career, not seeking God, not doing ministry. Boom, He lead me to buy and read the book ‘Not A Fan’ by Kyle Idleman.

The main theme of the book is, When it comes to Jesus, are you a fan or a follower? Many claim to be followers of Jesus. They point to their church attendance, tithing, Christian language, etc., as proof. However, most would be surprised to find that when their lives are compared to Jesus’ own words defining a follower, they are really nothing more than enthusiastic admirers at best. Being a follower of Jesus is a 27/7 commitment that will interfere with your life. And define your life, who you are, what you do, hour by hour.

To sum up what God did with this book was show me I was right in my life choice, to put God first, and to live for Him and not for the things of this world. That all the others are the ones who are wrong, they are only mire fans of Jesus, not followers of Him.

I do not want to be a fan of Jesus, a distant admirer of Jesus, just some who confessed Christ, said some prayer years ago, attends a “church” and thinks that’s being a Christian, that that’s following Jesus.

I want to be a follower of Jesus, and according to Jesus own words of who is a true follower of Him.

There is a difference between a fan of Jesus and a follower of Jesus. Just read the bible and compare what it says to how you live your life? Does it look like Jesus’ life, do His words describing a follower of Him match your life? Look a Paul, does your life look like His?

The question for us is not do I have a successful career, big house, nice car, lots of money. But rather, does Jesus know me, Do I know Him, intimately? Am I following Him as He described following Him?

So all of those around me who live as fans of Jesus, I say No thanks, I choose to be a Follower of Jesus, on His terms and by His definition of a Follower of Jesus.

I went to the book store Saturday and they had a book I have wanted to get on sell”Jesus + Nothing = Everything” by Tullian Tchividjian. Pastor Tchividjian is one of the pastors God has been using to speak to me. I hard his sermon series the book was based on, loved it, God has been giving me a deeper and wider understand of the gospel through Pastor Tullian.

The surprise of the day was there was another book on sell also, that caught my attention, called “ Not A Fan, by Kyle Idleman. I scanned through it and what I read caught my attention, I felt lead to  buy it to, but put it back. Well all night and Sunday I thought about the book, so I looked it up on the Web and found a host of reviews say how great it was, a must read. So I went back on Monday and bought it.

After reading just three chapters last night, I was blown a way, put on my knees, God was speaking to me with ever sentence it seemed. The writer is talking about things that have been on my heart. Answered questions I have been asking myself and God. God is using it to cut me to my sole, cannot wait to finish reading it. I can tell you for sure, this book is a must read for everyone who is, or thinks their Christian.

The book is about asking the question are you just a Fan of Jesus or are you a Follower of Jesus, the two are worlds apart. And Jesus does not want Fans, in fact He rejected people who just wanted to be fans,  He wants Followers only. And we must chose if we are going to just be a Fan, or a Follower of Jesus.

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I became aware yesterday of just how thankful I should be of the mercy of God towards me, as it was brought to my attention just how many people whom called themselves Christians I have known over the years. That ether no longer walk with Christ, have left the faith completely, in other beliefs now. That have traded the truths of God for the lies of others. That now follow another Jesus, one created in their own image, a god to their own liking, one who agrees with their beliefs. So many that have stop believing the truths of and about God because of events in their lives, or just a shift in how they wanted to live their lives, the lifestyle they want to live out, what they want to be truth for them.

I thank God that I have never left Him or forsake Him or His truths, that I have by His grace and Spirit have stood firm on the bible and what it teaches. Clung to biblical Jesus, the real Jesus, and have not made a Jesus in my image. (more…)

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Hell exists; the Scriptures reveal this with the testimonies of the apostles, and of the Lord Jesus Himself. Hell is vividly described in the pages of the New Testament, but yet I can not think of the last time I have heard a pastor preach of it in the last few years. In fact any Christian who even dares speak of it is chastised by other Christians for doing so.

Here is a great quote from Thomas Brooks on hell, thought it worth posting:

Oh, but this word eternity, eternity, eternity; this word everlasting, everlasting, everlasting; this word forever, forever, forever, will even break the hearts of the damned in ten thousand pieces…Impenitent sinners in Hell shall have end without end, death without death, night without day, mourning without mirth, sorrow without solace, and bondage without liberty. The damned shall live as long in Hell as God himself shall live in heaven.”

Hell should make every Christian want to weep, and what to preach the gospel to every living soul. Maybe it is time for us to revisit what the scriptures say about it, let it sink in that it is real. And the final destiny of everyone not found in the Book of Life, whom rejects Messiah Jesus as LORD. Maybe it is time to put Hell back in Sunday morning messages and Christian conversations with others.

51ma-qyg1lL“The Kingdom Life” edited by Alan Andrews with several authors contributing to it, explores the practical theology of spiritual formation. The book brakes down  spiritual formation into two parts, process and theological. The books begins with the seven process elements and three theological elements.

The book does not go into great detail on all the steps for spiritual formation, and I would have liked for it to have more steps/examples than those given. I for one like to have more that the destination given to to, I like a good road map to get to the destination.

Several parts do overlap, but over all it is a good overview of discipleship and spiritual formation. A good recommended for a new Christian as well as for mature Christian to keep your mind refreshed and on keep on track with your spiritual formation.

Your life will truly be changed as you apply the truths of this book to your life. Put into practice what it says, it is a worthy read that you will benefit from no matter where you are in your walk with Christ. Here is a quote from page 119 that I like.

The spiritual heart can be strengthened, it’s passions made greater. Can we imagine that by engaging God in the way He recommends in Scripture, we can have a passionate spiritual heart that directs our transformation? That it would keep the internal and external in balance? That would bring congruency to all of life? It is crucial to understand that one does not arrive at such a state by wishing and hoping.”

That is what the book is about, knowing, applying, doing.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

42910Why does it seem that everyone who claims to have the secrets of God want’s me to buy their book to find out what it is. It seems like today even just to hear a bible teaching / sermon it will cost you five bucks.

A man just recently claims that the churches belief in the rapture for the last 2000 years is wrong. And he can prove it by the scripture, only one catch, when you go to his site. All you find is a marketing plot, great sales pitch to lure you to buy his book to get the “truth” of God. Really.

Today We have to many pastors who sell their sermons, if you go to their church websites and you want to hear one of his sermons, it will cost you $2.99 to download the mp3 or $5.99 to get the CD. Really!

I recall the words of Jesus every time I see these things, “Freely you have received, freely give” Mat 10:8. And being these guys always claim God gave them the secret, the truth about the bible or whatever, but you must buy their book to learn what it is. Pastors claim that it is God who gives them their messages. That they are under the leading of the Holy Spirit when they preach. As any pastor should be. Then the message is not theirs to begin with is it, it was “freely” given to them, so they have no right to sell it anyway, it’s Gods given to them to freely give to others.

Did Jesus go before a crowed and say do you want to know the secret of prayer. Then Pick up my latest scroll “The Lords Prayer” at the tables as you leave, only 5 denarius today. Do you want to know Gods truth about being happy get my scroll “The Beatitudes” on sell for 6 denarius, today only get both for only 8 denarius.

Image Paul on Mars Hill saying to the crowed “To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you” that for only 10 denarius for my set of scrolls you can learn about who this unknown God is, learn who the real God is. Act now they are going fast.

Or him saying to a church body; If you really what to know how to live as a Christian in Christ pick up my scroll titled Ephesians for only 9 denarius, you can’t live without it.

How about: “And the eunuch answered Philip and said, I beg you, of whom does the prophet speak this? Of himself or of some other man?” Image Philip saying for 3 denarius I will teach you what that verse means.

You might say those are ridiculous scenarios, not so fast, what men are doing today I feel is just that. I always think of Jesus cleansing the temple every time I go to a seminar or even some church and see all the tables of book, CD’s and DVD’s for sale. “And Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple

Something to think about.

I have asked myself the question many times the last year… “What is the normal Christian reality or “Kingdom reality” that we are to be living?” I do not mean what is the popular belief today, not what is being taught from most pulpits, in most books today, but what scripture says is, that is what God says is. I keep wondering why do I read of one kingdom reality in scriptures, but see most living another reality around me. I mean if you pick up the NT read it and define what the normal life for a Christian. Then I asked myself the question, “Am I living in this reality? Are most believers living in this reality compared to that?

My answer to this question is, No. I believe that for to long we have allowed ourselves to live to far from living in true Kingdom reality. Christians, have taken themselves so far from living in Kingdom reality in order to embrace the American (Christian) Dream instead. What do I mean? I mean that the so-called impossible, miracles, healing, deliverance, preaching the gospel, making disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit and all His powers and gifting’s, etc. Act 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you“, John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do“. How many live in that reality day to day? Seek to live that way?

With the recent outpouring of the Spirit happening at IHOPU and other places I pray it will open eyes to God’s original plan, life for His people, what is to be normal. So many scoff at those whom the Holy Spirit and His gifts are being poured out on in power, at those who are living as the scriptures say we are to, doing what Jesus said we will do when the Spirit comes upon us. While defending a lifestyle not seen anywhere in scripture for a follower of Christ.

I feel as though this is the time for us to re-define what is “normal” Christianity; and lining up with God’s definition of normal. That we read the scriptures and say that is “normal”, the way my life is to look, the way I am to live, read Acts and say that is the way my life is to be, that’s normal Christianity and I want it.