As I thought about this I wondered, “Why does Jesus have to return at all?” Couldn't He just plan it so when people die they go to heaven or hell and then, when the divine Timekeeper says time has run out, it's game over?
Like the apostles, we live during the same in-between time and have been equipped with their apostolic testimony recorded in Scripture and clothed with the same Spirit of power to carry out the same plan of reaching the world with Jesus’ message.
You are among our friends who’ve made us a braided cord, not easily broken…partners who’ve enabled us to proclaim the Good News to a needy world.
As believers, how often do we live out this same intentionally in our communities? These days it seems like we don’t invest in each other’s lives much, either because we’re distracted or don’t make the time.
Be honest: when was the last time you said something or gave something or wrote something or did something with the single motive of encouraging someone else?
It’s impossible to measure the worth of mutual encouragement. Whether spoken or written, a few encouraging words can make an enormous difference in the outcome of a single event or, in fact, someone’s entire life.
Every Christian has a story of when her faith changes from head knowledge to heart knowledge, when she becomes convinced Jesus is the only possible way to be saved.
The teaching of Jesus and the apostles is unmistakable. Heaven is for those who have been saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus. Heaven is not a mythical place for all people regardless of their background.
Too many churches have forfeited their charm and become places of shame, not grace. Let’s put an end to that!
Shame and pride keep our disabilities safely tucked out of sight. In shame, we fear the humiliation of finger-pointing when others see our weaknesses, and in pride, we suppose that a show of perfection will elevate us to heights of success and acceptance.