You Will Get In Eternity Depending On How Well You Prepare

I have been blessed to share my story with individuals and groups over the years. Many have asked: “What do you believe causes people to be successful?” I cannot stress enough; it is due to more than adequate preparation. I have coached and worked with a few thousand people and find that this is an area that many fail to do what is the necessary preparation for a good job performance.

Whether you were an athlete or an employee many just showed up to do whatever had to be done. I found that many individuals lived and worked with a complacent attitude. It appeared their thoughts were more on what was going to happen after work than concentrating on what needed to be done at the present time. As a Christian lay-leader and on a number of church boards it seemed the same attitude persists with Christians, concerning eternity, they were also complacent in their preparation for life-after-death. So what should we know about life-after-death that should motivate us to be more diligent in preparing?

Revelation 20:4 & 6 – “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.”

Those who came to life, (we believe those raptured and those coming from heaven) will rule with Christ a thousand years on this earth. And, they will not die a second time for they will rule with Christ during the thousand years. We believe the earth will have its curse removed and it will be an environment similar to what it was like before Adam’s sin. As Peter says, if God promised it, He then knows how to do it.

At the end of the thousand years Satan is let loose once again. Rev. 20:7 – 10 – Satan will convince millions to go to war against Christ and His people. Scripture says a fire will burn them up and the Devil and his followers will be thrown into the “Lake of Fire”. From the beginning of time, anyone whose name was not entered in the “Book of Life” was hurled into the “Lake of Fire”. This is where all non-believers will end up. (2nd Peter 3:7, 10, 12 – Luke 21:25-27 – Malachi 4:1.)

Rev: 21:1 – 4 – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Gone will be our present earth, destroyed by fire according to 2nd Peter 3:7. The new world is prepared for God’s people. God, Christ and the Holy Spirit will live with His people as God did with Adam and Eve in the garden. There will be no more pain, mourning or death for the old order is gone. Our diets will be different as we eat fruit from the Tree of Life. Maybe from the same tree that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat. There will be no sun and sin is banished. Christ said that He was going away to prepare for us a mansion. Keep in mind that we are talking about the new earth. Our present heaven, the third heaven as Paul describes in II Corinthians 12:2 where God dwells now, is not necessarily paved with streets of gold. In this heaven, it doesn’t talk about eating or describe how we will live.

Rev 21: 5 – “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

God says He is making everything new. Those who are victorious will inherit all these blessings and He will be their God and we will be His Children. Those who do not accept Christ, as their Savior will spend eternity separated from God.

Revelation 21:15 – 18 – “The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold.”

The angel measured the city, its gates and its walls. It was 1400 miles square. Its walls were 200 feet thick. The new earth will be a perfect cube. The Holy of Holies in the Old Testament temple was also a perfect cube. The measurements are all in multiples of 12. The number 12 in the Bible stood for perfection and completeness. There are 12 tribes, 12 apostles and the walls surrounding the earth will be 12 by 12. The walls will have 12 layers. There will be 12 gates. It will be large enough to hold in excess of one billion people. The walls being 200 feet thick symbolize security.

Everything on the new earth will radiate the presence of God. It will have no impurities; nothing will impede its ability to transmit God’s Glory.

Revelation 21:19 & 22 – “The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”

The picture of walls made of jewels reveals that the New Jerusalem will be a place of purity and durability. On the new earth there will be no need for a temple because God’s presence will be everywhere. He will be worshiped throughout the city.

Revelation 21:23 – 25 – “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.”
The nations will walk by its light and the earth’s kings will bring in their splendor. Its gates shall never be shut because there is no night. In the new earth there will be no need for a sun or a moon. The temperature will be very comfortable the year around. There will be no darkness because it cannot exist in the presence of light. Since there will be no sin in the presence of God there will be no need for darkness or a need to lock the gates. We will walk in the light of God.

Revelation 21:27 – “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

The glory and honor of the people will be brought into the city. Nothing sinful will enter the city and no one who defiles (does shameful things), or deceives; only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be able to enter. The Holy City will be beyond one’s imagination when it comes to beauty. God’s kingdom will remain forever for those who are believers. God’s foreknowledge is absolute. He has known from the beginning of time who would worship Him and who would not. Scripture tells us if we die with Christ we will live with Him forever. (Matthew 19:28-30)

Revelation 22:1 – 2 – “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

We know there was a time when humans ate only vegetables and fruits. We believe this will be our diet in the new earth. Water, which is necessary for life will come from a river that is crystal clear. The leaves of trees will cure all the hurts of nations. We will have no fears for God will provide all of our needs.

Revelation 22:3 & 4 – “No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”

The throne of God and the Lamb will be at the center. His servants shall worship God and offer their services. They will see His face and His name will be on their foreheads. Nothing cursed will be in God’s presence for He has lifted the curse that He placed on earth banishing Adam & Eve from the garden. God and His children will never live in an imperfect setting. Our relationship to God in eternity means there will probably be duties that we are required to perform. God’s face has not been seen since Adam and Eve were in the garden. However, we will see the face of God and we will be sealed with the Spirit of God. Our character and our behavior shall be the same as Christ’s. We shall have a close relationship with Him. He will not always be on a throne but walking among His people.

Revelation 22:5 – “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.”

No one will need lamplight or sunlight for God will be our light. This indicates there will be no more evil in the world or need of darkness. The night and day was to mark the passage of time. In the New Jerusalem, in eternity, there is no need to measure time. We shall rule with Him forever and ever, which has been the promise and hope of every Christian. This is what it is all about. Is living a disciplined life, saved, totally surrendered, having repented and committed to Christ for eighty some years or however many, worth forever and ever?

Revelation 22:6 & 7 – “The angel said to me: ‘These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.’ ‘Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.'”

An angel said these are dependable and accurate words for everyone. God has sent His angel to tell you what must take place and soon. “Tell them I am on My way.” Blessed are those who keep the prophecy of this book. An angel is attesting that what John has written is trustworthy and true.

Throughout history God has told His prophets what the future holds. God told Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and the other prophets what would happen at the end of the age and it was told to John so that a comprehensive presentation could be put into this one book, the Book of Revelation. The word ‘soon’, as I will return soon, could be interpreted to mean imminent, implies with certainty and suddenly. It has also been interpreted to say that when these events occur, as described in Revelation, they will happen in quick succession.

Revelation 22:8 – 11 – “I, John saw all of these things with my own eyes and heard them with my ears. I fell down to worship the angel that showed me. He objected saying, I am a servant just like you and all who keep the words of this book. Worship God! Then he said not to put this book away on a shelf for time is near. Let those doing wrong continue; the one who is evil, let him be; the one who is good should continue to be good and the one who is holy should continue to be holy.”

John, (We believe John’s mother and Mary were sisters and John was Jesus’ cousin.) didn’t just imagine what he had written. Could an Apostle of Christ, one that Jesus had in His inner-circle, possibly make this up? Daniel had seen many things in heaven and he was commanded not to tell what he had seen because it was not a message for Daniel’s time. John is being told, everything you have seen and heard you are to make sure it becomes published. God wants His promises available for everyone to read. This is also how we will know when events unfold so we will not allow the Antichrist to deceive us. The angel is not recommending evil living. Do not be swayed by how others live. The consequences of how we live will determine the choices we make and the heavenly rewards that we will receive.

Revelation 22:12 – 15 – “I’m on my way. My reward is with me. I will reward everyone according to what they have done. I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end. How blessed are those who have washed their robes. The Tree of Life is theirs for good and they will walk through the gates of the city. All the evildoers will live outside the city.”

We believe this is an illustration that nothing evil will enter the city. Scripture tells us that the evildoers were cast into the Lake of Fire. The reason for walls around the city was to denote security. Walls are not needed if the gates are always open. In the Old Testament rewards were often immediate for living according to God’s principles. In the New Testament the rewards in most cases were to be deferred until Christ’s judgment. Otherwise all good Christians could become rich based upon Old Testament history. Rewards probably will be based more on one’s heart and attitude, their love for God and others, rather than having been a teacher, minister or never missing a church service. However, it is very clear in verse 12, “My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” This is why our church emphasizes serving, giving of our time and money, being in a small group and becoming connected to God and others. But it is not works but deeds that will receive rewards. Works is defined as expecting something in return for what we do for others. Deeds meaning we serve with unconditional love expecting nothing in return for our service.

Mark 13:24 – 31 tells more about the second coming. How can we know that we will go to heaven? I John 3:14 – “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” These verses tell us if we love our brothers and sisters we will have life. If we have hate in our hearts and not love we will die. If you want to know what true love is, Christ gave us an example. He laid down His life that our sins could be forgiven. Real love may require real sacrifice.

How much are we willing to help others? What does it mean to lay down our lives for another? It may mean giving up our rights; it may mean putting others’ needs or interests above our own. Love produces being selfless and sacrificial giving. It may mean serving others without any expectation that they reciprocate. Two Christians who marry and have this kind of love in their hearts can have a lifetime of happiness. Their lives are not dead, they are children of God and they are alive.

I John 3:21 & 22 – “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.”

I John 3:24 – “Those who obey his commands live in him and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us. We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” The Apostle John tells us there are ways to know we are going to heaven: We have unconditional love in our hearts and we do not hate fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and we know by seeing Holy Spirit inspired supernatural events taking place in our lives. The Holy Spirit teaches us, we receive fruits from the Holy Spirit and we are led or checked by the Holy Spirit.

Is all of this worth living a holy life? If you want a heavenly reward, lay up your treasurers in heaven. There is no earthly reward comparable.

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