Hell and Paradise are real! When we discuss them outside of church, people do not believe us, saying: “You have not been there; no one has ever returned from there. So what right do you have to bother me with this empty talk?” However, they are ignorant of the fact that numerous stories of people, who experience clinical death, testify about Hell and Paradise. And God Himself edifies us through dreams, visions, signs, and prophecies. But the most important is that He repeatedly tells us about it in His Word. Jesus Christ Himself came to earth to warn us about it.
Today I would like to talk about those of us who know and believe. In what state is our church and each of us individually today? It is written: “…And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment”, Hebrews 9:27. Where do we go after death? My heart aches when I see indifferent, lukewarm Christians, who stand one foot in church, and the other in the world; those who do not treasure God most of all, and whose hearts are filled with the vanities of this world.
Unfortunately, many believers think about the material things of this world more than about things which are above, about heavenly things. They live by the flesh, allow sin in their lives, tell lies, offend, argue, and envy. Their lives are not lights of this world. On the contrary, they give the wrong idea about Christ, His life, and the Gospel. Such believers cannot face Him. He will have to vomit them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). You can compare them to those five foolish virgins, who were left behind the shut gates. Such state – not cold, but warm – is worse than sin. If you are in sin you can repent, but if you are under the spirit of deep sleep, if your first love for God has cooled down, then you will not even notice any changes and think that everything is logical, right, and just the way it is supposed to be.
Our Lord is most of all worried about His children; that is why He is sending us a strong warning: “Therefore watch; for you do not know what hour your Lord comes” (Matthew 24:42) and then again: “Therefore you also must be ready” (Verse 44). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ”, 2 Corinthians 5:10. All of us! It does not matter what titles you have or what you do. God expects us to work hard, be 100% dedicated, have a heart ablaze, and love devotedly.
When a teacher of the law asked Jesus: “What do I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied: “What does the law say?” The teacher of the law knew the laws and abode by them strictly, but it only caused him to neglect God and mock Jesus. “If you want to inherit eternal life, you must love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your understanding.” It is important not just to know about it, but also to act accordingly in order to live eternally. Ask yourself right now: “How am I doing in this respect?” Most probably you will say: “I love God!” Of course you do. But how? Do you love Him the way Jesus wants you to? With all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your understanding?
If you want to fulfil this commandment, make sure that nothing distracts you from Him (not your business, not your family, not fame, not your ministry, not your desire to please everyone). Often they will call you fanatics, crazy, freaks because of such dedication, but it should not stop you on your journey of following Christ! He warned us for a reason: “Woe to you when all men shall speak well of you!” (Luke 6:26). Let the Lord and His Kingdom be our focus and the foundation for all our thoughts, actions, and relationships. Let us keep our eyes set firmly on Him, for the rapture will take place in the twinkling of an eye, and if we are looking elsewhere, and if we are not focused on Heaven, then we may miss Him.
It was for a reason that David said: “I have set Jehovah always before e”, Psalm 16:8. It is important to always realize that God is there; to feel and experience His presence, always walk with God and become His friend. And you never hurt or betray your friends. You trust your friends. “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are”. Our God is Holy. Holy means irreproachable, noble, of high moral standards, lofty, etc. If we do not possess such qualities, how can we be friends with God?
Let us never forget that the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and when all nations gather before Him, He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will say to one: “Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”, and to others: “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:31-46). Some may think that that is too cruel, but that is why the Lord warns us, so we can have time to repent. I set Him before everything I do! Just like David! And he had the boldness to say: “I have set Jehovah always before me”, Psalm 16:8.
Let’s bring to mind the story of the Good Samaritan. It tells us about a priest and a Levite. Of course, those people knew that they should love people, help them, and support them. However, knowing does not mean doing. You may have head knowledge, but what really matters is what you have in your heart. The devil is fighting for your heart to distort and destroy it. The Samaritan had a soft, compassionate heart. It wasn’t cruel or indifferent. As a result, Jesus used him as an example for that same teacher of the law. So let us also become like that! Let Jesus – our Pastor and Leader – be able to use us as an example to others! Let’s start noticing people, paying attention to their pains and problems, grieve with them, empathize with them, offer our help, and share our smiles, a good word, and a prayer. Let’s make a decision to never pass indifferently by. You cannot fulfil the “love your neighbours as yourself” commandment just on words; you will need to subsequently act accordingly.
So who will get to the heavenly dwellings? Who will be with the Lord forever?
1. One who knows Him personally; and you can’t do it without personal prayer retreats. Make them your monthly practice; otherwise the problems of this world will gradually pull you away from your focus on Heaven.
2. One who is His friend; of course, God is merciful and all-forgiving, but if you sin constantly you destroy the friendship.
3. One who walks with and before Him; every day and every minute you must realize that God is there by your side. Hold His hand, be in reverence before Him. Never make a decision or take an action without having asked His advice. Always thank Him for everything: in scarcity and abundance, in happiness and in grief. Remember that He is an invisible listener to all our conversations.
4. One who lives for Him in everything; whatever you do, it must be a result of His desires and His opinion about people!!! You don’t need to cut anybody’s ear for the sake of Jesus! Love people. Love is a state of the heart. For example I have warm feelings even to people who betrayed me. We do not love anything of this world; we have nothing in common with worldly values. You must always be bold enough to firmly say: “Depart from me, you evil doers – I have nothing in common with you”. We are not tolerant to sin, but we love the person, who is sinful, otherwise we cannot help them. “And God does not take a life, but has devised plans so that the outcast is not cast out from Him” 2 Samuel 14:14.
5. One who has made Him the Lord and the Master of their life; someone, who of his own free will has submitted to the will of God and has become His servant. Someone who understands that everything we have has been entrusted to us by the Lord and the time will come when we will have to give an account for the use we made of it.
It’s good to be in the church, but it is utterly dangerous to stay flippant. Let us live in an intimate relationship with God walking the way of a true Christian with strong faith. Let us consecrate ourselves constantly to eradicate whatever else may separate us from the Lord, so that He may see Himself reflected in each of us and take us to the Father’s house.
For a more thorough study of this topic we recommend you read the following books: “Vices, the destroyers of the soul” (Sunday Adelaja); “Rescued”, “Driven by Eternity’ (John Bevere); “Jesus Freaks” Volume 2 (by dc “Talk”); “The Final Quest” (Rick Joyner).
May the Lord bless you and your family!
With love and prayers for you,
Senior Pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Church
Translated by Ekaterina Popova
Edited by Kizito Leacock