Do you want to be sure?

Waking up on a Monday morning, feeling yucky with colds and cough was nothing when I read the news that my brother shared to me very early in the morning. Another shooting happened in US (Las Vegas) which killed 50 people. It is always heartbreaking to hear this kind of news. More heartbreaking for those families who lost their loved ones.

Just very recent also, the father of one of my best friends passed away. Such event in someone’s life reminds us that death is indeed inevitable. I, myself, experienced also a lost when my sister passed away 11 years ago. And, there are still days I would cry because of longing. But, after those tears is a comfort when I remember God’s promise of eternal life in heaven someday.

I’m not sure how you take the reality of heaven. As for me, I can never take it lightly. The reality of heaven also means there is a reality of hell. When someone passed away, the automatic thinking of people is the person who passed away will go to heaven. Who doesn’t want to go to heaven, right? But if we think heaven is “always” the destination of those who died, what is the purpose of hell, then?

I desire that all my loved ones will go to heaven. God desires the same thing for all of us. 2 Peter 3:9 says, that the Lord is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. However, it is very important to base our statement from Biblical truth and not just declaring it because that’s what we want to believe.

God gave us the assurance of our salvation and eternal life through His Word. It is a life that we can look forward to and a promise that gives us hope that indeed, our life here on earth is temporary and the best is yet to come.

How can we have that assurance? How can our loved ones have that assurance?

From the words of Jesus, Himself…

John 14: 2-3 –  “ My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” 

John 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

Some of us might have known Jesus since childhood, through our parents, going to church or even at school. Some of us might have not known Jesus at all. Whatever we know or not know, the truth remains the same that it is only through Jesus that we can go to the Father and to the place that He has prepared. The question is what to do with that truth? Do we explore or do we take it lightly?

The word “believe” that is used in the Bible is more than just accepting truth.  BELIEVE – PISTUEO – to trust in and rely upon, commit to the charge of, confide in, have a mental persuasion. God wants us to have a relationship with His Son, Jesus. He wants us to believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose after 3 days, and anyone who believes will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). And by having Jesus in our life means we will have the Holy Spirit who will help us live a transformed life – turning away from our old sinful ways. There is so much to know about what it means to live a life for God when we read the Bible.  But we have to take that first step – believe in Jesus. Allow Him to transform you. Let Him take charge. Have a relationship with Him.  That is how we get to heaven! Through Jesus alone.

And, what about hell? The Bible also speaks a lot about hell –  a place that will keep someone eternally separated from God.

Revelations 21: 8 – But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Matthew 25: 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Physical death is not the end. Second death or the spiritual death is. It is the death that we don’t want to experience. (Luke 16: 19-31)

I wish I can fit in one blog everything the Bible talks about heaven and hell. But, it is a truth worth exploring. At the end of the day, all of us want to be assured of one thing. Our life after this lifetime. And God is so loving and gracious that He gives us promises and warnings that we may know, hope and believe based on the truth of His Word.

As I think about those 50 people who died, it made me ask the question, did they believe in Jesus? Are they saved? Will they go to heaven? For that person who shot them, it made me ask a question – what if he had a relationship with Jesus?

Death is only scary when you are not sure where you go after. Heaven or Hell?

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And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)

 

 

 

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Power Outage

It’s 8:39 PM of August 29th. My apartment is in complete darkness. Having no electricity, the only things I can do are to eat and sleep. Reading is not an option anymore. And just waking up from an afternoon nap, I just don’t want to sleep again yet. With a little power left in my laptop’s battery, thus the writing.

Sitting at my desk right now, seeing the lights of the high rise buildings beside my apartment turned on, I feel nothing but envy. I am in total darkness…literally.

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See, this is not my first time to experience power outage. In the Philippines, we always have this. This is not even my first time to witness damages due to storm. I am so used to this back home. However, this is my first to experience it here. And it made me realize that even in  a first world country, there are times that restoration would really take longer than you expect. I thought that if there is power outage, in just few hours, electricity will be restored immediately. Well, I’m dead wrong. The wind storm hit pretty hard that some people here might even find it overwhelming. I’m just hoping that tomorrow will be much a better day. The transition of our weather is just so extreme, from drought to a storm.

However, with all of these happening, I’m still grateful. This outage makes me appreciate the comforts that I have been enjoying – especially the hot shower and oven toaster. 🙂 It also allowed me to rest from online activities. After months of buying my doodle & design book, I was once again able to do some coloring stuff (not that I’m an artist or something – just doing something creative).  

 And I am able to write, like right now which I haven’t done in so many months. And I was able to spend time with God. And I was able to have a complete rest after a full packed summer. Honestly, this is my first Saturday since summer started that I totally rested. And it is really good.
And this darkness reminds me that I may be in a dark place right now, but my life is not. I am connected to a High Power that will never have an outage. As long as I am connected to the Source, I will never have a life outage. There will always be light that will shine in and through my life. These are temporary catastrophes and maybe tomorrow or in the next two days, all will be back to normal. However, there is a permanent darkness that we can never escape once we are there already. And that is the judgment of God when the time comes. The only solution not to be in that permanent darkness is to be connected to Jesus Christ who is the only Source of Light. It is only through Him that we will forever stay in the Light.

Just imagine yourself being in complete darkness right now, then, think that to be eternal, then add to that endless weeping, endless burning, endless thirst. If we complain with little drought or hot weather, just imagine that eternal life apart from God. It’s an endless pain.

Don’t stay in the dark. God gives us the freedom to stay in the Light. Make that decision today.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Just one thing…

Last night in our weekly small group meeting, we studied one of the attributes of God which is being merciful.

Upon pondering my take home last night…

Justice – you get what you deserve

Mercy – you don’t get what you deserve

Grace – you get what you don’t deserve

Just imagine if God is only just but not merciful and gracious…

How will we be able to live?

There’s no even point living because we will totally be separated from God – eternally.

Why?

Because God being just means all of us are bound for hell forever. We will never be able to live up to His standards.

But because God is merciful, He sent His Son Jesus to take the penalty of our sins.

And because God is gracious, He gives us salvation and eternal life through Jesus even if we don’t deserve it.

Do you want to live not just for now but eternally with God?

Just one thing…

Believe, have faith in Jesus. Let Jesus not just be your Savior but also the Master of your life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Isn’t it amazing how one decision can totally impact your eternal destination?