Merry Monday by Parris:
Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” NLT
Funny how you can read a scripture a million times but all of a sudden something pops out almost as if you have never heard it before. That my friend is called a Rhema word or God’s word to you. My word from the Lord that came to me is RAISE THE DEAD. Or in other words, “ones dying, awaken”.
Funny most of the commentaries looked over it. Some said it wasn’t in the original manuscripts, others said only Jesus did that or didn’t even give it a second thought. But they forgot about the book of Acts. I do believe we will see this more and more in our day because the dead are all around us and literally their breath is being taking away suddenly! I am talking about both physically and most certainly spiritually we will be RAISING THE DEAD for they are all around us.
If you take it straight from the Greek, the scripture lays it out this way.
“One being sick, serve! Ones dying, awaken! Rough ones, cleanse! Demons, toss out! Freely, you get. Freely, give!”
When Christ tells his disciples this, it was as if this sudden turn of events must have made them wonder. In a moment they were going to be able to do things they had never done. These are the gifts that have freely been given to us so we ought to give to others freely. What an amazing gift! RAISE THE DEAD – ONES DYING AWAKEN! Have you ever been around the rough? God gives us the ability to transform them? What about people that have darkness inside of them? Christ tells us to expose it. What a ministry that we all have been given! The more we glorify Christ in our lives the gift just keeps giving! You can’t tell me God can’t bring the dead back to life. They will awaken and God will give them their voice back to praise him all the days of their life. Every human being has the right to experience resurrection from the dead.
Rev. 5:12 “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hath redeemed us to God by his blood to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Matt. 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
When was the last time you thought about hell? Even more terrifying, when was the last time you heard it mentioned in church, especially from the pulpit? I guess hell is not part of the church growth formulas, most pastors and Christian leaders stay as far from that topic as possible. The problem is this, hell is very real. Jesus said hell was real. He described it as a place of fire that never stopped burning. Either Jesus is wrong or our culture has it way wrong. Jonathan Edwards preached about hell during the Great Awakening in the 1700’s. He also preached about heaven, the Holy Spirit, revival, and everything else an orthodox minister would preach on. His sermon, ‘Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God’ is one of the most famous sermons of all time. Here is a small blurb from it.
“So that it is, that natural men are held in the hand of God over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to appease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold ‘em up one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, and flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up; the fire pent up in their own hearts is struggling to break out; and they have no interest in any mediator, there are no means within reach that can be any security to them. In short, they have no refuge, nothing to take hold of, all that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted unobliged forbearance of an incensed God.”
The good news is this, because hell is real Christ came to save us from certain destruction. All of the human race has rebelled against God. All were justly heading toward eternal destruction as a result of their sin. Because of God’s love for us, even in our sins, He sent His Son to suffer the consequences of sin on our behalf. Christ died to save sinners. Who escapes this place called hell? Those who come to Christ recognizing their need of a Savior. Accept His love and forgiveness today, He has a better plan for your life.
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
I recently read Heaven is a World of Love By Jonathan Edwards again, it is one of my favorites. This sermon is a glimpse of Edwards’ vision of what heaven is like. He mentions the golden streets, the gates of pearl, and the foundations of precious jewels but you know early on that that has very little to do with the picture Edwards begins to paint. His heaven is all about the Lord. It is a devastating view of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and the love that flows from the Father to the Son. It is all about God. Have you ever stopped and really wondered what He is going to be like? Imagine for a moment standing (probably falling) before the throne and gazing into the unrestrained majesty of Christ in His glory. Flowing out from Him is a love that is beyond any force that we have ever tasted in this life. This force of love is not really a force at all, it is the Holy Spirit. He is the love of God flowing from the Father to the Son and flowing out to each of us. The person of the Holy Spirit is actually God’s love pouring over each of us. Here are some of Edwards’ words on this incredible scene.
“Every saint in heaven is as a flower in that garden of God, and holy love is the fragrance and sweet odor that they all send forth, and with which they fill the bowers of that paradise above. Every soul there, is as a note in some concert of delightful music, that sweetly harmonizes with every other note, and all together blend in the most rapturous strains in praising God and the Lamb forever. And so all help each other, to their utmost, to express the love of the whole society to its glorious Father and Head, and to pour back love into the great fountain of love whence they are supplied and filled with love, and blessedness, and glory. And thus they will love, and reign in love, and in that godlike joy that is its blessed fruit, such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath ever entered into the heart of man in this world to conceive; and thus in the full sunlight of the throne, enraptured with joys that are forever increasing, and yet forever full, they shall live and reign with God and Christ forever and ever.”
So if you are not ready for a place like this it’s time to get ready. Heaven is near to us and the beginning of our eternity is at hand.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN HELL?
Matt. 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Without much thought, many Christians would say that they believe in hell. The problem becomes apparent when you start bringing hell into the real world where all of us live. Suddenly, many will show themselves as closet universalists, not understanding the just and the justifier thing. Christ died to save sinners, that is obvious. The problem is you have to recognize your sinfulness before you can receive His mercy. Hell is where all mankind is heading without the intervention of God that comes with repentance and the gift of salvation. Hell has been a hot topic (excuse the pun) for a long time. Jonathan Edwards received much criticism about his sermon, “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God”. People don’t want to admit they are sinners and their version of God is not ever angry. Here is a short excerpt from Edward’s famous sermon.
“There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell’s wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of: there is nothing between you and hell but the air; ’tis only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up. You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but don’t see the hand of God in it, but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it. Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock.”
The most powerful evangelism tool The Lord has ever given us at Victory Fellowship is the production “Beyond the Grave”. What started as a weekend production for the youth at our church has taken on a life of its own. It still going on fourteen years after the initial production. Over 300,000 have seen it and over 65,000 have made decisions for Christ. What has been the key to its longevity. To me it has to do with the fact that inside of all of us we know that heaven and hell are very real. When people are confronted with the possibility that they could experience eternal hell fire, the results are staggering.