Monday, February 23, 2009

Will we know each other in Heaven?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, (died) lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then those who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.

In the book, "Death, Life and the Hereafter" by Herbert Lockyer, George MacDonald was asked if we would recognize each other in heaven. His response was, "Shall we be greater fools in Paradise than we are here? Yet if you have ever had a conversation with someone about Heaven, that seems to be the most sought after question. First let me put my personal 2 cents in: I sure hope so and believe we will because I have a precious Mom and Dad there, I have a sister whom I've never seen there and I have many family, friends etc; who have died and I believe they will be there. What good would it be, how great could heaven be if we just lose all our memory concerning all the people we love? You see, many people believe that when we get to heaven, we all will just be spirits floating around in a place called heaven and we will have no identity nor will we have memories

When Jesus was resurrected and he found his disciples fishing, they recognized Him on shore as He was cooking their breakfast. They recognized Him when He appeared to old doubting Thomas. He was also recognized when He appeared to five hundred people.

Some argue that even his own Mother didn't recognize Him. But in reality that's not true. Let's see why. Jesus found Mary in the Garden crying. He ask her,"Woman, why are you crying"? "Who are you looking for"? Scripture says that Mary thought she was talking to the Gardener because she said, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him" You see, here's the scene; Mary is crying, eyes filled with tears, knowing that her Jesus was dead, she probably didn't even look up to see who was talking to her. She was distressed to say the least. Just as soon as Jesus called her by name, she recognized Him. She turned towqard Him and cried out in Aramic, "Rabboni" which means teacher.
Some say his disciples didn't recognize Him on the Emmaus Road however in Luke 24:16 scripture tells us that they were restrained from recognizing Jesus, but just as that restraint was removed they recognized Him immediately.

On and on we find evidence throughout the Bible that recognition is prominent. Scripture tells us that Jesus disciples recognized Moses and Elijah and they didn't even know what these two men looked like.

Scipture gives no evidence of memory wipeout Paul spoke of being with the Thessolonians in heaven even though he would never see them. Paul spoke of our heavenly reunion with loved ones in 1 Thes. 4:14-18. How we comfort or console someone with these words if we won't ever recognize them. How would we even know if they made it to heaven if we won't recognize them. Pauls tries to cheer wearied Christians with the hope of meeting their loved ones again.

In fact, I personally feel that in heaven, I won't forget names and or faces like I do now. We are created in Christ image and He never forgets us, never leaves us and never forsakes us, therefore in this breif blog, I'm voting that we will know each other as we are known and that we will be reunited with our family,and friedns.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How our real Government works

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House in D.C. One from Kentucky , one from Tennessee , and a third from Jersey . They all go in to examine the fence with a White House official.

The Tennessee contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. 'Well', he says, 'I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me.'

The Kentucky contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, 'I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me.'

The Jersey contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers,'$2,700.'

The official, incredulous, whispers back, 'You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?'

The Jersey contractor whispers back, '$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire that guy from Kentucky to fix the fence.'

'Done!' replies the government official.

And that, my friends, is how it all works!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Biblical Practicality or "Get the log out first"

Had pretty much a sleepless night. Not feeling real well and for some reason sleep was far from me all during the night. I purposely slept in (more like laid in) a little while this morning just because I was doubly tired. Got up, still felt terrrible, took a shower and shaved and got dressed, took my medicine, drunk a cup of coffee, took the dog out and got in my old trusty Honda and took off to the office. Yes, your right, you didn't see anywhere in this introduction that I began my day with a quiet time of any kind. NOt even a smudgin. Now I must tell you this is not normal for me, but this morning, I was stupidly tired and couldn't get it all together. I found myself putting my car keys up in my closet when I needed them to start the car. Yes, I losing it fast and this is just one of many stupid things I catch myself doing, but nonetheless, I get in my car and warm it up before I take off. Did I mention that it's real cold in Georgia and it was 12 degrees at our house this morning. Not sure what the wind chill was, but it was cold and my lttle Honda moaned and groaned prior to starting. OKAY, I'm on my way to the church and my car is warming up and it seems like everybody is going in slow motion. I'm thinking to myself, these crazy people need to just get out of my way. Why are they creeping along. The speed limit is 65 and they should be going 75 at least, but NO, they are doing the 65-66 speed limit. Well, obviously, I'm already late to work and I just need to speed up, so I do, I start passing everybody and I mean everybody. You just don't know how fast my little 91 Honda Accord can go. I'm doing the speed limit plus 10 + 15 +20 and believe it or not here comes a green jeep wagon and he passes me and cuts me short. Come close to hiting that dude and in my mind, I thought, man! if I was a cop, I would pull you over. Driving like that can get somebody killed. Where's the cops when you need them? Right! Having breakfast or lunch with who knows who I guess!. Well, I steam a little bit, get to the church, park in my parking space and go straight to my office. By this time, I realize that something is missing. OH YES! I didn't have my quiet time and I really need that. I just really need a quiet time with God everyday and especially this morning. I don't feel all that good, I've been held up by slow traffic and someone just about caused me to wreck and I really just need a touch from God or something!
In my quiet time which is a late quiet time for me, but at least, give me credit, I did stop to spend time with God. I started reading in 1st Timothy and just as I began to read, my mind immediately went to that dude who almost run me over. OH if I could have gotten hold of him, Iwould have not let loose. Then I go back to reading and just as I reached verse 8, here's what God said to me. "But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully. Now I don't really want to take this verse out of context but I believe God had something to say to me because, I've now slowed down and I'm emotionally stable again and here, God reminds me that I just complained about somebody else breaking the law and I sped to work going sometimes as much as 20 miles over the speed limit. Now Greg, I didn't get a ticket but I should have, but believing in GRace, I'm glad I didn't. Then if that wasn't enough to say, Eddie, you hipocrit, you sped to work and then your mad because somebody else went faster than you. Verse 9 says this: "knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust." Why do we need speed limits (law) Because of idiots like me. Why did I get upset because someone else broke that same limit. I didn't see myself as being a law breaker. Now I know someone will say, well, this scripture is referring to God's Law and not necessarily Man's Law. Either way, folks, I broke the law and I too could have caused someone else to wreck or to get hurt or even killed.

Why have I said all this, well just perhaps you too, look at the sins of others and take a pious stance and think, "I hope someone catches them" or "I'm glad I'm not like them" or on and on and on. I have a log in my eye and I couldn't see if for seeing the log in anothers eye.

I'm really gratful that God' Word is so plain and on target for everything that you and I experience. In 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 it says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete throoughly equipped for every good work."

Needless to say, I had some repenting to do and some forgiveness to ask for. Yes, even speeding is breaking Man's law and God tells us to be submissive to those who are appointed over us and to render to Ceasar (Government) what they require, which is obedience to the state laws.

Will I ever speed again? I don't want to tell you, because I may have to repent for lying but I do believe that God wants His children to obey His laws and Man's laws
(for the lawless and insubordinate). I should have had my quiet time when I got up this morning like I normally do and perhaps I wouldn't have felt so guilty for being a law breaker. Let's learn to see our sins like God see's our sins and then just maybe we will be somewhat less sinful.