How Do You Tell Others About the Good News from God?

First, you have to ask them if you can share it with them. 

You may come up against objections. They might reply with, ‘I don’t believe in that stuff.’ 

You’ll never get anywhere if you make them wrong. Instead, you could simply say, ‘Got it. Would you like to tell me your thoughts about how we got here and what happens when we die?” Somewhere in their response, will be an opening.

You could say, ‘I’ve heard that said before as well. For me, I found out a different way of looking at life and how you can get more of it, or, what may cause you to lose it. Would you like to hear about that?’ 

If they adamantly refuse, they’re too attached to this world and the little ‘god’ that corrupts it. Walk away and tell yourself, ‘Next!’ 

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” Mt. 7:6 NLT

They might say that they have had a bad experience – either in a church, or having been targeted by some so-called ‘Christian,’ who made them wrong for their beliefs. 

You might reply with, ‘I’m really sorry you had to suffer that experience. Unfortunately, some people mess up. That was certainly not in line with the true Christian approach. May I quickly share what that is and how it has changed my life?’

Okay, you’ve got your foot in the door. Let me offer you one path of evangelism:

‘I’ll bet you are similar to all of us on this planet, in that we all want to know the answers to the big mysteries of life. That is because God put an innate hunger in our hearts to seek out our Creator, how He does things, and what He has in mind for us:’

“I will imprint My laws upon their minds [even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding], and engrave them upon their hearts [effecting their regeneration. And I will be there God, and they shall be My people.” Heb. 8:10 AMP

‘God’s words constitute His ‘laws,’ which are found in the Bible. He gave these to 40 different people, from all walks of life, in three different languages, from three different continents – over a period of 1500 years.

He sent this knowledge by way of His Spirit, which tells us how to have the greatest life possible, and one without end. And in reading HIs word, we come to know Him and His Son – Jesus. 

The Bible’s historical accuracy has been proven archeologically; and unlike other religious writings, it presents God’s prophecies about future events, that actually came to pass. Also, many scientific facts are presented within it – long before their human discovery. 

It is, in reality, a love letter from God to all of His children – His ‘Good News.’ That good news is that God loves us, He created all of the goodness on this earth so that could have a great life. He planned it in such a way that you can have that best life when you learn from Him how to live it.’

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Is. 55:9 NASB

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11 AMP

‘This God we are talking about, is too vast to describe with a name. In fact, He refers to Himself as ‘I Am,’ because He is all-encompassing and indescribable. The original Hebrew has been anglicized to two different names: Yahweh or Jehovah.

God is eternal, and He designed the entire universe and all that is in it. Then He spoke it into existence through Jesus, who is referred to as the ‘Word of God.’ Jesus was created by God before time, from Himself as a Spirit-being – exactly like His Father, and unified with Him in every way.

God loves us and all He wants from us is to love Him back, which we do, when we live by His ways. God’s ways for living our best life, which also glorifies Him, can be boiled down to two commands:’

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’” Mt. 22:37 – 39. AMP

‘Think about it. If we follow those instructions, we’d have a love-filled life and world. They constitute our most holy moral compass.

That’s exactly what God wanted from Adam and Eve when He created them. Unfortunately, they listened to the lies of a corrupt angel, who convinced them that they too could be gods. So, they disobeyed God (which is called a ‘sin’), and their souls (personalities) became corrupt; and the seeds of that corruption have been passed down to every succeeding generation.

This is why we have a fallen world with so much evil and suffering and death. There was never supposed to be death, but it is a price that we pay for our sin; and we all sin. God does not allow evil to exist – we generate it when we rebel against Him. God is allowing this phase of time to proceed, to show all generations of peoples that we, by ourselves, cannot attain the perfect, pure and holy goodness that He originally created us with.

Yet God loves us with an undying love:’

‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back (change your way of thinking), turn back [in repentance] from your evil ways! For why should you die…? Ezek. 33:11 AMP

‘Yet thousands of years have proven that we are unable to do this on our own. So, God in His infinite compassion, sent His Spirit-Son to the womb of the virgin Mary, to become Jesus Christ the Messiah, (also called the Son of Man), to reveal God in human form. He is the only human ever to live a sinless life. He spoke for God, taught us all about His Father, set a perfect example for how to live by God’s will, and most importantly, gave His life for all of humanity throughout the ages – giving HIs blood to cleanse us from our sins.’ 

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [paying the price to set them free from the penalty of sin].” Mt. 20:28 AMP

‘That penalty, as we’ve already seen, is death. And Jesus is the only way to be free of it:’

“I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Jn. `14:6 AMP

“Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced]…” Jn. 3:18 AMP

‘What we are being told is that if we have faith in Christ, in who He is and what He’s done, and do our best to walk in His ways, all our sins are forgiven. Why is that important? Well, as you can also see, there is coming a ‘great sifting’ – which will occur at the end of time.

Three days after Jesus died on the cross, He was resurrected from the dead; and 40 days after that, He ascended to Heaven to reunite with His Father. But, He’s coming back!

When He does, He will separate those who did their best to obey God and kept their faith in Christ, from those who chose not to:’

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory and majesty and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of HIs glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him [for judgment]; and He will separate them from one another, as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right [the place of honor], and the goats on His left [the place of rejection].” Mt. 25:31 – 33. AMP 

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come you blessed of My Father [you favored of God, appointed to eternal salvation], inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Leave Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels (demons)…” Mt. 25:34 & 41. AMP

“Then these [unbelieving people] will go away into eternal [unending] punishment, but those who are righteous and in right standing with God [will go, by HIs remarkable grace] into eternal (unending) life.” Mt. 25:46 AMP

‘Obviously, it seriously behooves us to be on the side of Jesus. But here’s the urgent caveat: unless you accept Christ either before He returns, or you die, (nether of, you have any knowledge of the time), whichever comes first, you have lost your ticket to heaven. 

So, I’m standing for your salvation and I am offering you the chance in this moment to allow me to pray with you, so that Christ can enter your life and we can be children of God together for eternity…’

As I said in the beginning, this is just one way – just saying. And you know, we are all called by Jesus Himself to do this. (Mt. 28:19)

Goodnight and God bless. 

What Is So Important About Easter?

Everything. It celebrates the singularly most important event in human history…

Christ came to save us from ourselves – to unite us with Jehovah, through Him, for all of eternity. Here’s how the process began:

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the light of men. Jn. 1:1 – 4. AMP

So, there was nothing existing, not even the universe itself, before God spoke it into existence through His Word (Jesus). We see then that Christ precedes time, existing as an eternal Spirit-being, who was exactly like His Father in every way:

He is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator] of all creation…And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [He is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.] Col. 1:15 & 17. AMP

The ‘visible representation’ did not manifest until God sent His pre-incarnate Son, (by way of the Holy Spirit), to quicken Mary’s womb.

God originally ‘begat’ His firstborn Son as an aspect of Himself, with all of His characteristics and powers, yet Jesus is distinctly separate from Jehovah – while at the same time, remaining in perfect unity with Him.

Our heavenly Father sent His only Son to His children so that they could experience their Creator up close and personal, and so as to be delivered from their sins, that otherwise would have led to certain death. (Jas. 1:15)

All peoples throughout time became to be potential recipients of God’s merciful grace:

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [paying the price to set them free from the penalty of sin].” Mt. 20:28 AMP

Before He did that, God sent the Holy Spirit to speak to His prophets to spread the hope of redemption through the eventual coming of His Son – the Messiah: 

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25 NASB (1400 years before Jesus showed up.)

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. Is. 9:6, 7. NKJV (700 years before Christ’s coming.)

…with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Is. 11:4 NKJV

So, the Messiah (Christ) will bring the light of God to everyone who has suffered at the hands of darkness (Satan), and we all do. He will establish an eternal kingdom of peace and righteousness and decide who gets to inhabit it. But everybody has the potential to get in:

“…and My God shall be My strength), indeed He says, ‘Is it too small a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” Is. 49:5, 6. NKJV

Even Christ’s journey to the cross was prophesied:

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed…and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter… Is. 53:5 – 7. NKJV

The Messiah would take on all of our self-made godless burdens and willingly yield up His flesh to pay the price, so that all would have the potential for redemption.

And then finally, 400 years after the final prophecy concerning Him, Christ came:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Jn. 1:14 NKJV

He Himself taught us about His holy nature and purpose:

“No one has gone up to heaven, but there is One who came down from heaven, the Son of Man [Himself – whose home is in heaven].” Jn. 3:13 AMP

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jn. 3:14, 15. NKJV

Jesus is establishing His heavenly authority for speaking in spiritual matters. He’s also referring to a time when Moses had lifted up a bronze statue of a serpent on a cross for the healing of backslidden Hebrews. Likewise, Jesus is saying that He too would be raised on a cross, to trade His life for the healing of the sins of man. He says again:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send Hs Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world though Him might be saved.” Jn. 3:16 NKJV

Again, He speaks to His purpose:

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive and recovery of the sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Lk. 4:18, 19. NKJV

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but has given all judgment to the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Jn. 5:21 – 23. NASB

THIS IS HUGE! Jesus possess both the power to initiate and perpetuate God’s resurrection plan; and Christ solely decides the final outcome of those who are raised from the dead:

“…for an hour is coming when all those who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” Jn. 5:28, 29. ESV

It is up to us to bring out faith to the table to be included on the side of the living:

“Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Jn. 6:47 NKJV

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” Jn. 6:35 NKJV

And out of our faith, comes our proper actions to guarantee our heavenly arrival:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, He shall never see death.” Jn. 8:58 NKJV

With Jesus’ help of course: 

“…without Me you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:5 NKJV

Jesus, like His Father, only speaks the truth. And He says that He’s coming back:

“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” Mt. 16:27 NKJV

Jesus stepped up to the cross, and our way to salvation was made. How big an event was His resurrection (Easter)? Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to His apostles after He ascended to His Father, to tell us:

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Gal. 1:6, 7. NASB

For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Rm. 3:22 – 26. ESV

And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn of the dead, that in all things He may have preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Col. 1:18 – 20. NKJV

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all… 1 Tim. 2:5, 6. NKJV 

And all of the aforementioned, is what’s so important about Easter – God sacrificing His Son on the cross, so that we may all be made righteous to be able to stand side-by-side with Jehovah God and His Son for all of eternity in heaven. Such love…

Goodnight and God bless.   

The Final Destinies of the City of God and the Earthly City – part 3

Last time, we ended with the saints entering the threshold of eternal bliss with their Creator, and the citizens of the earthy city entering their own new domain – the city of the devil. 

“…and they will come out – those who did good things [will come out] to a resurrection of [new] life, but those who did evil things [will come out] to a resurrection of judgment [that is, to be sentenced].” Jn. 5:29 AMP

“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Mt. 13:41 – 43. NASB

“Then these [unbelieving people] will go away into eternal (unending) punishment, but those who are righteous and in right standing with God [will go, by His remarkable grace] into eternal (unending) life.” Mt. 25:26 AMP

So, regardless of what many people want to believe, (that there is no hell, no consequences for sin), here is the validation of the truth – right out of the mouth of our Savior.

We see that the punishment is permanent. We also know that the unbelievers / willfully rebellious will suffer everlasting retribution in their bodies, which cannot be registered unless the owner of that body is contiguous with his or her soul. Therefore, whatever the nature of their corrupted bodies, they can suffer their penal wounds and yet remain sustainable. That is truly hell.

“If your hand causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It is better for you to enter life crippled, than to have two hands and go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out.] Mk. 9:43, 44. AMP

You see now, the urgency that we, as Christ’s followers, have in sounding the alarm to the unbelievers – to show them the way to salvation. 

Many unbelievers and lukewarm Christians would protest, saying that an all-loving God could not produce such a hell. Ironically, they are right, but not in the way you might suspect. Satan perverted his environment and God banished him to it, as well as those who choose to follow in his footsteps.

And the devil who had deceived them was hurled into the lake of fire and burning brimstone (sulfur), where the beast (Antichrist) and false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Rv. 20:10 AMP 

These same doubters may again profess opposition to what they think is the ‘unfairnesses’ of the eternal aspect of this punishment. There are a couple of things to consider. First, there will be no time. Thus, the length of the sentence of the punished, will not be able to be discerned. Two, and most importantly, God has warned all of humankind since the beginning of their presence on earth, of this outcome, should they steadfastly reject him. Moreover, He gave each of them a lifetime to come around.

…he who destroyed in himself a good which might have been eternal, became worthy of eternal evil…for he who at first gave entrance to sin has been punished with all his posterity who were in him as in a root, so that no one is exempt from this just and due punishment, unless delivered by mercy and undeserved grace… – St. Augustine 

Moreover, God must keep His word, in order to maintain His truth.

Whoever, therefore, desires to escape eternal punishment, let him not only be baptized, but also justified in Christ, and so let him in truth pass from the devil to Christ. – St. Augustine

Thank God that His children in the eternal city of God have a far different destiny…

That destiny begins with having God Himself in their presence. 

Your dead will live; their dead bodies will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy! For your dew is a dew of [celestial] light [heavenly, supernatural], and the earth will give birth to the spirits of the dead. Is. 26:19 AMP

“Now at that [end] time Michael, the great [angelic] prince who stands guard over the children of your people will arise…at the time your people, everyone who is found written in the Book [of Life], will be rescued. Dan. 12:1 AMP

‘…the saints (believers) of the Most High [God] will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’ Dan. 7:18 AMP

How are we going to be when we enter heaven on earth?

“…not a hair of your head will be lost.” LK. 21:18 NKJV

…we all reach unity of faith and of the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Eph. 4:13 CSB

…He was conformed to us by assuming mortality, we shall be conformed to Him by immortality… St. Augustine

…equal to the angels in immortality and happiness… St. Augustine

…deformity shall perish… St. Augustine

In the city of God, we are complete, whole, happy and immortal. It doesn’t matter what happened to your earthly body: buried in the ground, cremated, eaten by a bear, etc. God gives you an immortal, incorruptible body. We were condemned on earth due to Adam’s sin, but in our eternal house, we are made ultimately clean by the blood of Jesus:

…it is sown a natural body [mortal, suited to earth], it is raised a spiritual body [immortal, suited to heaven]. As surely as there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15:44 AMP

Our new body is vibrant and healthy – physically and mentally, and it is subject to the spirit, no longer given to sin. Even our free will won’t go there, thank God.

When this promise is fulfilled, what shall we be? What blessings shall we receive in that kingdom, since already we have received as the pledge of them Christ’s dying? In what condition shall the spirit of man be, when it has no longer any vice at all; when it neither yields to any, nor is in bondage to any, nor has to make war against any, but is perfected and enjoys undisturbed peace with itself? Shall it not then know all things with certainty, and without any labor or error, when unhindered and joyful it drinks the wisdom of God at the fountainhead? What shall the body be, when it is in every respect subject to the spirit, from which it shall draw a life so sufficient, as to strand in need of no the nutriment? For it shall no longer be animal, but spiritual, having indeed the substance of flesh, but without any fleshly corruption. – St. Augustine

And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. Phil. 4:7 AMP 

At total peace, filled with the knowledge and love of God:

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. 1 Cor. 13:9, 10. AMP

For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. 1 Cor. 13:12 AMP

And, we’ll get to meet Jesus!

Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory]. 1 Jn. 3:2 AMP

Doesn’t that just fill you with awesome expectation? 

“Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.” Mt. 5:8 AMP

Are you getting excited yet? 

And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of HIs glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people)… Eph. 1:18 AMP

How great shall be that felicity, which shall be tainted with no evil, which shall lack no good, and which shall afford leisure for the praises of God, who shall be all in all!  St. Augustine 

And, there will be gifts / honors bestowed upon everyone in accordance to their good deeds. 

There shall be the great Sabbath which has no evening…There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. Thais is what shall be in the end without end. St. Augustine

Finally, we get with the Father and the Son – forever:

…when all things are subjected to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One (the Father) who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [manifesting His glory without any opposition, the supreme indwelling and controlling factor of life]. 1 Cor. 15:28 AMP

Such a wonder awaits. Spread the news…

This marks the end of our 5-month journey through the City of God, written by St. Augustine of Hippo, and translated by Marcus Dods. I hope that our excursion through this deeper theology has brought you value.  

Goodnight and God bless. 

The Final Destinies of the City of God and the Earthly City – part 2

Since the beginning of the commingled history of these two cities, God has judged the citizenry – beginning with Adam and Eve. This continual judgment could have been avoided had the citizens adhered to the word of God. But alas, we have human weakness and a proclivity towards self-indulgence:

…no man acts rightly save by the assistance of divine aid; and no man or devil acts unrighteously save by the permission of the divine and most just judgment. – St. Augustine

‘For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ Jer. 29:11 AMP

God’s plan is bigger than we can fully comprehend. We see some good people live difficult lives while we also witness many of dubious character live lives of wealthy excess with a continual satiation of sinful appetites – where it seems that no apparent penalty is being applied. 

In spite of what looks like an unresolved imbalance, (which somehow fits into God’s design), at the end of all present things, God has wondrous things in store for His children in the city of God, of whom all receive His promised eternal rewards:

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to HIs plan and purpose. Rm. 8:28 AMP

So, regardless of our difficulties in this earthly life, we must do our best to stay on Jehovah’s path:

…in these days of vanity it makes an important difference whether he resists or yields to the truth, and whether he is destitute of true piety of a partaker of it – important not so far as regards the acquirement of the blessings or the evasion of the calamities of this transitory and vain life, but in connection with the future judgment which shall make over to good men good things, and to bad men band things…For whosever has real existence is this, is a keeper of God’s commandments; and he who is not this, is nothing. For so long as he means in the likeness of vanity, he is not renewed in the image of the truth… – St. Augustine

When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, of this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil. Eccl. 12:13, 14. AMP

To better understand that end, we must visit the events in the book of Revelation. Accordingly, however you view the concept of the ‘rapture,’ there will be a time when many of God’s children will be sequestered from the tumultuous events during the tribulations. In addition, there will be some holdouts that come to salvation through Christ as that time.

Thus, the city of God, (which we must remember is also the ‘kingdom of God’, exists in the present, but has its full realization at the end of time), is co-existing with the city of the earth during the tribulations. 

The resurrection of the ‘two witnesses’ signals the end of the tribulations, and the last chance for any of the city of the earth to change citizenship is then lost…

Following will be the ‘first resurrection,’ that is when the elders, the dead and still living saints, the Jewish converts to Christ, the ‘great multitude’ and the two witnesses come to reign with Christ on the earth for 1000 years

Note that nations are still existing on the earth (those unbelievers that managed to escape death during the tribulations – still having babies). All other dead unbelievers will stay dead during this ‘millennium.’  So, in effect, the city of God is again co-habituating this earth with the living remnant of the citizens of the city of the earth, all of whom are existing in their ‘soul state.’

During this 1000-year period, remember that the devil is bound up with the rebel angels in the abyss. (Rv. 20:1-3). And so, he has no direct influence in this time.

Thus, all without exception, were dead in sins, whether original or voluntary sins, sins of ignorance, or sins committed against knowledge; and for all the dead there died the only person who lived, that is, who had no sin whatever, in order that those who live by the remission of their sins should live, not to themselves, but to Him who died for all, for our sins, and rose again for our justification, that we believing in Him who justifies the ungodly, and being justified from ungodliness or quickened from death, may be able to attain to the first resurrection which now is. 

For in this first resurrection none have a part save those who shall be eternally blessed; but in the second, of which He goes on to speak, all, as we shall learn, have a part, both the blessed and the wretched. The one is the resurrection of mercy, the other of judgment. – St. Augustine (see Jn. 5:28,29.)

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love… Col. 1:13 NKJV

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such, the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Rv. 20:6 NKJV

After the 1000 years have elapsed, the devil is loosed, whereupon he seduces those outside of the church to make war against Christ and His followers. Thank God, the devil and his minions lose this final battle in a big way and are devoured by divine fire.

We have now come to the end of time, the day of the LORD, judgment day. Those citizens of the now eternal city of God are not subject to a ‘second resurrection,’ but enter into their eternal promise with their new immortal, incorruptible bodies, living on a new earth, resting in new heavens, in the city of God, New Jerusalem, which has come down from heaven.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not come to mind. Be glad and rejoice in whatever I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” Is. 65:17 – 19. NKJV

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [as their God,] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Rv. 21:2 – 5. AMP

Now they themselves, when they have been purified, shall be sacrifices of complete and perfect righteousness; for what more acceptable offering can such persons make to God than themselves? – St. Augustine

Unfortunately, those who have steadfastly rejected the Father and the Son, are resurrected for a second time – to judgment, damned to the ‘second death.’ They do not get incorruptible bodies, but rise with bodies that are changed in such a way that they cannot truly die, but must suffer eternal anguish:

“For just as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, will remain before me” – this is the LORD’s declaration – “so you offspring and your name will remain. All mankind will come to worship me…they will see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me; for their worm will never die, their fire will never go out, and they will be a horror to all mankind.” Is. 66:22 – 24. CSB

Yes, this is the final judgment, where everyone meets Jesus:

For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment [that is, the prerogative of judging] to the Son [placing it entirely into His hands]… Jn. 5:22 AMP

It is at this point that the two cities are finally separated into two distinct final destinies: the city of God to heaven on earth, and the city of earth (now the city of the devil), to Satan’s damnation. How does that look? We’ll take a look see next time…

Goodnight and God bless.