THE LIFE TO COME

"Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them." Revelation 21:3

“Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them.” Revelation 21:3  (Image from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel)

Many people in the USA are discouraged in these times. The increase in racial tension has been unexpected. The political differences within the nation have become sharper. Honesty and truthfulness have suffered. The brightness of a world, that we might have dreamed of, has lost much of its luster. Study the history of the world from 4000 B.C. to the present. We have never given up taking the property of others, killing and slaughtering one another, even rejoicing in the damage that has been caused. God warned us with the 10th Commandment:

“You shall not covet your neighbors’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant or his ox, or his ass nor anything that is you neighbor’s.”

God teaches us so that we may have better lives, and avoid the things that damage us. Do we value his teaching?

Of course, we should do our best in this life to make things good for others as well as for ourselves. We should be honest about our limitations. We need large sections of the teachings of the Bible to find as much truth and understanding, as is possible. The book of Revelation is the last book in the Bible. There are pictures and words in it that we may find difficult. However, it is a forward looking book that warns us of danger, but offers to us great hope.

1. Heaven is a holy place. Because God is holy, everything about heaven must be appropriate for enjoying the presence of God.

“But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” Revelation 21:27

2. Heaven involves being a new person. The Bible teaches us that we each have a unique identity. We will surely retain that uniqueness in the life to come. Nonetheless, God begins a new work in our lives.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now, and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:22,23

3. The life to come is being like Jesus Christ, not in his Divine nature, but in the quality of life that he represents.

“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13

4. Heaven is being with God.

“I heard a great voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them.” Revelation 21:3

Our knowledge will increase immeasurably. God is the greatest scientist. He is the mathematician par excellence. He is the consummate musician and artist. The expansion of one’s knowledge and capacity to reason in the future life will be absolutely incredible. Surely our senses will be greatly enhanced. Our Savior said that “we will be like the angels in heaven”. The gospel means “good news”.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

THE VALUE OF TRUTH

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by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has

eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

What a wonderful promise from our Savior! As we hear his word, and believe in him we have eternal life, and do not come into judgment! We are assured again and again that the word of God is absolutely reliable. We know that we can depend upon our Savior; that his words are true. God does not deceive us. How frightening and terrible it would be if we could not depend upon the word of God! Reliability and truth are the very essence of our Savior. The word of God is always fulfilled; sometimes immediately; certainly in the future.

If we cannot trust God, in whom and in what would we trust? He is the one who has all power and authority; the future is in his hands. We are strengthened when we read: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. (Revelation 21:1-4)

When we think of these promises and the assurance accompanying them—we recognize that we are to be Christ’s witnesses; we are to be his representatives. How appropriate that we speak the truth as we bear witness of our Savior—and indeed that we seek to be like our Savior speaking the truth in all things. It has always been that many people will speak the truth when it pleases them, and resort to falsehoods when they think it not convenient. We are servants of our Lord—let us honor him.

Our Savior said, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32) He also spoke of the opposite when he disputed with the Jews: “[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.” (John 8:44) Surely we do not want to be in the company of the evil one.

“So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (II Corinthians 5:19) An ambassador is one who represents his nation to another. How he goes about that representation has a great deal to do with his effectiveness. May we grow in the grace of our Lord. May we gladly bear witness of him. May our witness always be couched in the truth that honors him. We live in a day when many choose to lie so that you will buy from them or vote for them. How freeing and refreshing it is to speak the truth!

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!