Rejoice in Hope

With the tragic death of a friend this week I am saddened yet I can still find reason to rejoice in hope because sin and its consequences cannot exist in the place Jesus is preparing and I plan to be there based on the promises of my Lord Jesus. How about you friend? There will be no more mourning, no tears, no funerals or memorial days to remember dead loved ones. More than this, “No one living in Zion will say, ‘I am ill’; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.”--Isaiah 33:24 NIV

One rich tide of happiness will flow and deepen as eternity rolls on. Notice this vivid portrayal of the peace that will exist there: “The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation.” -The Great Controversy p. 678   Think of this, and rejoice. 

Jesus has promised, “I will come again and receive you unto myself” -John 14:3 KJV. The prophet Malachi confronts us with an important question: “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? -Malachi 3:2 NIV. The prophet goes on to say, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier…” Malachi 3:3 NIV. How does the Lord do this? He rebukes and reproves us through the Word and the Spirit! In the same chapter Malachi addresses a sin that will keep many out of the kingdom. A lack of surrender to the Lord evidenced by unfaithfulness in tithes and offerings: "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.” - Malachi 3:8, 9 NKJV.

But the Lord does not only purify through reproof and rebuke, He inspires, motivates and empowers through the Word and the Spirit as well, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” -Philippians 2:13 NKJV. Here is how Paul describes God working in his own experience and His choice to cooperate with God: “...striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”-Colossians 1:29 NKJV 

We are urged, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 NIV. Is this how you choose to live? A holy life? Jesus will bring this attitude to you just as He did to Paul if you don’t resist. Can’t you sense Him moving you to be faithful every day? Just yield to Him and strive according to His working in you right now and you are safe! 

Do you feel hopeless? Christ is the champion of the hopeless. There is no sinner Christ will not receive and no sin he cannot forgive, no life He cannot transform! 

The question we should wrestle with is whether we are prepared to meet our Lord, or are we placing our affections upon the things of earth. The careless and indifferent, whose chief care is for their personal and earthly interests, will be left in outer darkness, but those who are waiting for their Lord with their lamps trimmed and burning , will enter the eternal joy of the Lord! (See Matthew 25) “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” -1John 2:28 NKJV.  - Pastor Mike

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