Jesus Contact 25 – Final Contact

You Are a Temple of God

For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Cor. 3:17 ESV

Prior to Jesus’ coming, the Jews gathered in the Temple. After Jesus ascended, His followers gathered in the newly formed Church of Jesus Christ – which began as gatherings in homes and became formal places of worship and instruction. According to the above scripture, while church is translated from the Greek ekklesia, which means assembly, congregation, the whole body of Christian believers, it can also be inferred that a single believer can be a ‘walking church.’  Stay with me, I’ll come right back to this…

In the mid 90s A.D., the apostle John received a series of heavenly Holy Spirit-induced visions that we now know as the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ – the last place we come in contact with Jesus in scripture.

In these visions, Jesus presents Himself to John as He is now:

“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” Rv. 1:17, 18. NASB

We see that Jesus has conquered death and is victorious over the devil.

Next, Jesus tells John to write down what He says in seven letters, to be sent to seven different churches, (the number ‘seven’ denoting a divine completeness). They consist of urgent warnings in how to correct wrongdoings that are taking place in each particular church.

So, given that a church is an assembly of believers, any church is at the mercy of the behavior of its congregants. You then, as a congregant (a ‘walking church’), have a direct influence on your church of assembly, as well as anyone you might come in contact with. You are an image of God, yes?

Thus, we can all learn on an individual level from what Jesus is about to say.

When He addresses the first church, He says that they have become ritualistic – more of a rigid religion than a place of love where Christ can be found. Jesus’ remedy is to return to your initial love and zeal for Him, keeping Christ as your centerpiece and to repent of any behavior that diminishes that.

It’s easy for our faith-related activities to become thoughtless robotic habits. We need daily dips in God’s word to remind ourselves of the infinite love that God and Jesus have for us and have been holding us in since we were all just creative thoughts in Their heads.

Jesus finds no fault in the second church. He recognizes that they are living in material poverty, but He reminds them of the far greater rewards of their spiritual abundance. Jesus also lets them know that He is aware of their persecution by devil-inspired unbelievers. He tells them that if they remain steadfast in their faith in opposition to their detractors, their reward will be eternal life.

Not everyone is blessed with material abundance. As long as your lot in life is not due to sloth, you can seek God, knowing that you’ve done your best, and ask Him to provide what you need:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on….But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Mt. 6:25 & 33. NKJV

The part about the devil’s minions’ persecutions? Unfortunately, that’s a given. The closer you get to God, the more severe and frequent are Satan’s attacks. But don’t forget who’s running the show, and that He’s on your side:

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 Jn. 4:4 NKJV

Jesus speaks to the third church, warning them that they have polluted their doctrine with worldly behavior and false religion. He commands them to exercise immediate repentance.

The only doctrine that belongs in the church is the Bible. As far as repentance is concerned, we all need to have an alarm button in our heart that sounds when we transgress God’s word. Seeing as how we don’t know the time when we will exit this world, we want to make sure we are right with God every second.

The fourth church has allowed a ‘false prophet’ into their assembly, who has been leading congregants down a satanic path. Again He demands immediate repentance, with a full-faith return to Him and His gospel.

You know when a fox is in the henhouse. It’s when they are teaching something contrary to scripture. It is your duty to correct them (or the church make the correction, should your efforts fall upon deaf ears) lest they be expelled.

The fifth church has forced the Spirit to depart from them because of a lackadaisical approach to their church performance. Jesus tells them to repent, return to His truth and live it out accordingly.

Jesus has only praise for the sixth church – encouraging them to remain steadfast on their current path.

Conversely, Jesus had nothing good to say to the seventh church, which was full of ‘lukewarm’ believers who had no conviction and whose focus was on material things. But He didn’t just leave them with admonitions, He encouraged them as well:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.” Rv. 3:18 NKJV

Jesus loves you so much, He cares so much, that if you mess up, He’s going to bust your chops to try to nudge you back onto the right path.

At the end of each letter, Jesus had John pen an encouragement to the churches by telling them what their rewards would be if they remain in faith and obedience:

“To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Rv. 2:7 NKJV

“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.” Rv. 2:10, 11. ESV

“To him who overcomes I will give some hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name which no one knows except him who receives it.” Rv. 2:17 NKJV

“The one who conquers and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations…And I will give him the morning star.” Rv. 2:26 & 28. ESV

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before HIs angels.” Rv. 3:5 NKJV

“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” Rv. 3:12 ESV

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne…” Rv. 3:21 NKJV

Jesus builds a wonderful case for sticking by Him and walking in His footsteps. Later in John’s visions, He lays some urgency on the matter:

“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” Rv. 16:15 NKJV

Why the warning? Because Jesus want you to be there with Him:

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…Then I, John 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 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. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rv. 21:1 – 4. NKJV

And in our final Jesus contact, we see that Christ will spearhead the way:

“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly!” Rv. 22:20 NKJV

Well, okay, let’s clear up that ‘contact’ stuff. This is indeed the last scriptural Jesus contact. I hope you have enjoyed and found value in them.

However, we, the children of God, can also make continual and eternal contact with Jesus Christ through the Spirit. Thank God and hallelujah!

Goodnight and God bless.

What Does God Say About Your Heaven?

The universe as it exists in time is finite. The life you live in this universe is the same. Then what? What happens next? This question has plagued mankind since it was aware enough to ponder it. But, it is only the children of God who possess the truth of the matter. Why? Because the Creator of this universe and all that is in it, the Author of truth and truth personified, has revealed it to them.

The urgency of that revelation was instilled in the identical messages of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ as each began their ministries:

Repent (change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mt. 4:17 AMP (see also 3:2)

The coming of this same kingdom was prophesied 600 years prior by the prophet Daniel:

…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed… Dn. 2:44 NKJV

The ‘kingdom of heaven’ is biblically interchangeable with the ‘kingdom of God.’ It is a spiritual kingdom, an inner kingdom that can only be entered through one’s change of heart (through earnest repentance and by choosing Christ for salvation) – a spiritual state to be lived out on this earth and shared with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a kingdom on earth composed of God’s children: a family dedicated to forwarding that kingdom by lovingly attempting to gather as many others into that family as possible.

Yet it is also a kingdom that we aspire to spend eternity in, when we transition from our life on this present earth to our heavenly destiny.

And this kingdom is personified in Christ.

So, the kingdom is here now and at the same time it is coming in its full eternal manifestation:

For the outward form of this world (the present world order) is passing away. 1 Cor. 7:31 AMP

But the end and culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for [the practice of] prayer. 1 Pt. 4:7 AMP

Don’t panic! This transition is going to be a good thing!

For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off. Pr. 23:18 NKJV

A good name is better than a good ointment, and the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Eccl. 7:1 NASB

In fact, Jesus Himself has already prepared for your arrival:

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Jn. 14:2, 3. NASB

Jesus also forewarned us of the urgency to get right with God now because if we don’t do that before we take our last breath or if Christ returns first (and we don’t know the date and time of either) we will have lost our chance to do so:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Mt. 24:36 & 44. NKJV

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Lk. 21:34, 35. ESV

When we get right with God, (repent and receive Christ and do our best to live by His word) the coming of the ‘Day of the Lord’ will hold no terror:

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 Jn. 2:17 ESV

“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” Jn. 8:51 NKJV

…a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Mal. 3:17 NASB

…since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. Rm. 6:22, 23. AMP

…having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Rm. 5:9 NASB

God will pour out His wrath in that last Day; yet His wrath is not like the mindless vengeance of a rabid dog. It is instead a ‘sifting’ that comes from the tender love of a merciful Father – that He must apply after having given a multitude of chances to His creations: a profusion of pleas to return to His love. God can only save those who come to Him through Christ:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” Mt. 23:27, 28. NASB

Before this world as we know it comes to an end, tumultuous events will transpire because of the continual spiritual degradation of the inhabitants in it:

…in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. 2 Tim. 3:1 – 5. ESV

Thus, we see the cesspool that the majority of earthlings will become. God has told us that bad things will come against those who rebel against Him; and as usual, God does not leave us guessing. He reveals them to us in sequence:

The first thing we learn is that many of the churches will have lost their way. (Rv. 2:1 – 3:21.) The second is that tribulation (the wrath of God / Day of the Lord) strikes the earth. The Bible strongly suggests that those who have already chosen Christ as their salvation and took on a godly life will be spared from these events. (1 Th. 4:16, 17 & 5:9; Rv. 3:10.)

The tribulations begin with the coming of the Antichrist, Israel being invaded by an ‘army of the north,’ (which God Himself thwarts) and a series of partial disasters set upon the earth to try to motivate the rebellious to return to their Creator – consisting of a burning of a portion of the earth, pollution of a third of both the seas and the fresh waters, darkening of a third of the sun, moon and stars and demonic mental and physical torment. (Rv. 8, 9 & 11:15 – 19.)

Following these ‘plagues, an ‘army from the east’ marches towards Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon, killing 1/3 of mankind during that journey. (Rv. 9:13 – 18.) These are the last warnings the strays will get. There will be no salvation available for those who have not come to Christ by this point of the tribulation period.

The devil then wages war against those who did choose to become children of God during the first half of the tribulations. He acts through the Antichrist (who was aligned with a ‘church’ of false religion but then destroys it) who claims to be God and has a false religion built around him by Satan’s ‘false prophet.’ And yes, the rebellious worship him – all of whom will be cursed to damnation. (Rv. 12:10 – 12; 13:3 – 8 & 11 – 18; 14:9 – 11.)

During the second half of the tribulations, God gathers up all of His children who accepted their salvation, to keep them safe from His ‘final judgments’ that He unleashes upon the earth against those who have kept their hearts hardened against Him. (Rv. 14:14 – 19 & 15:1 – 3.) Thank God we don’t have to experience the plagues against the flesh, the loss of fresh water and all amphibious life, severe earthquakes and other topographic destruction. (Rv. 16)

On the last day of the tribulations, Christ leads His saints into battle against Satan’s armies at Armageddon and He vanquishes them with the word of God. Afterwards, He imprisons Satan for 1000 years. (Rv. 19:11 – 21; 20:1 – 3.)

Jesus then sets up His kingdom with His saints on a new earth and reigns for a thousand years with all of the resurrected children of God. (If there are any unbelieving people who survive the tribulations, they too will inhabit this new paradise and propagate over this millennium.)

At the end of that time, Satan is released once more to try to convince those who will listen to follow him and gather for war against the saints. Yet just as they begin to pounce, God takes the devil and his followers out of the picture forever – lining up all who followed Satan since the beginning of time in front of the judgment seat of Christ to receive their eternal condemnation. (Rv. 20:7 – 15.)

But that’s not what’s waiting for the children of God is it? No…

Next time.
Goodnight and God bless.