Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 September 2021   2 Peter 3:13.

2 Peter 3:13.     Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Well, my area finally got our deluge of heavenly water yesterday evening right through till early this morning. Let’s hope that for most of us it was showers of blessings, rather than showers of flooding, which has recently been happening to so many communities around the world. 

Ah friends, our world is currently beset by numerous problems, which we seem unable to rise above, but I do have some good news for us this Wednesday morning in early September. Obviously it’s based on the wondrous promises of our great God. Please read with me this eye-opening and heart assuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This poem is aptly titled ‘Only Goodness.’ 

So let’s read: ‘What glorious words of wonder Come from the Apostle Peter. He wrote, “But we are looking forward To God’s promise of new heavens And a new earth afterwards Where there will be only goodness.” O dear God “Where there will be only goodness.” After centuries of war, greed, and lust After indulgences shamelessly practiced After hatred, hostility Jealousy and abuse. Murder and martyrdom Crime and cruelty Curses and rebellion. After whimpering cries from starving children After tragedy and catastrophe Loneliness and despair At last…at long last “There will be only goodness.” O dear Lord Your promise is Your guarantee But please hurry a little!’ 

Yes my people, after many ages of pain, anguish and all the negative happenings caused by our sinful behaviour, one day, the Lord has promised to eradicate it all, and replace it with pure goodness…yes, nothing else but goodness! The problem though is we have to wait on His timing, and waiting is not one of those things we do well in this modern have it when you desire it society. And yes, it is difficult to put up with all the negatives that still bombard us, even when we are doing the right thing, no wonder we want the Lord to hurry up and bring that time of ‘Only Goodness.’ 

Please note though folks, that every day we cry out to the Lord to heal us, heal our land, heal everything, but we persist in our sinful ways, in total abomination and disregard to the Lord’s desires. However, the Lord has faithfully promised to remove all the negatives from this world in His own time. And this passage of scripture from 2 Peter explains it as best as mortal man can. 

He says: ‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ (2 Pet. 3:9) That’s certainly true, as the scholars explain: ‘3:9. God is not willing that any should perish clearly expresses desire for the salvation of all who will trust in Him. Salvation is equated here with repentance.’ 

And Peter continues: ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (conduct) and godliness. Looking for and hasting (hastening) unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’ (2 Pet. 3:10-13) 

Ah mih people, if we believe in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then do we with all faithfulness and hope look forward to His promises! Because he is faithful that promised! Now hear some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:10-13. The day of the Lord here refers to the return of Christ in judgement, not the Rapture, since this day results in final apocalyptic judgement. The heavens that shall pass away with a great noise are the atmospheric heavens. The elements shall melt with fervent heat certainly could refer to a nuclear holocaust. Thus, Peter urges his readers to look beyond this present world to the new heavens and a new earth characterized by righteousness.’ 

And we certainly should do that my brethren, because it’s what our ever-faithful God promised. Listen to John from the book of Revelation, as it was revealed to him. ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful’ (Rev. 21:1-5) 

What a wonderful time to look forward to my fellow saints! Wow! Just imagine it nuh; no more pain, sorrow, crying nor death, no more negative stuff, no more darkness nor night, but only day, and living in the very presence, the light of our great and wonderful God, being forever His people, and He our God!  And though scholars seem to differ on whether the earth and heavens shall be completely destroyed and replaced by a completely new set, or they will just be refurbished, it really doesn’t matter nuh, because we will finally be with our God in paradise, for wherever He is, is paradise! 

And all of that ought to give us great incentive to live godly and holy lives, so that we can be judged worthy to be amongst those living in the new heaven and the new earth, and not cast into the lake of fire, reserved for Satan and his followers. So friends, I’ve laid it our all there for us. It’s up to every individual now to decide where they want to spend eternity. There are only two options, we’ll call them heaven and hell for easy referral, and it all depends on us, on the earthly choices we make. 

Now, for those of us who have decided to choose the straight and narrow path that leads through Jesus to our heavenly Father, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Remember though, that if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! That’s how faithful and wonderful our God is to those who truly LOVE, reverence, and cling to Him in true faith! Much LOVE!

…the choice between heaven and hell…that’s a no brainer…for heaven wins out every time…                                                                                                   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 September 2021 Matthew 6:21.

Matthew 6:21.     For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, on this Labour Day Monday, may ‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord (and Saviour).’ (2 Pet. 1:2) Yes friends, we do need a lot of grace and peace in these trying times, times when everyone seems to be angry, displeased and dissatisfied over some thing or the other. And the only way to get those two precious commodities is through sincere belief in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary to pay our sin debt in full! 

All praise and glory be to that wonderful Saviour of ours! He’s promised that despite our circumstances, if we believe in Him, the Father will grant us His divine grace, and thus peace, through all the vicissitudes of life. And let’s remember that it’s by God’s divine grace that we are saved, through faith; and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) Or as Saint Therese of Lisieux so wisely put it a while back: ‘Everything is grace!’ 

And it certainly is friends, for all that we are and do, all that we have and will ever have, from the breath of life flowing through our bodies, to the eternal life we receive through believing in Christ, is based on the divine grace of our heavenly Father. That’s God’s unmerited favour, that nothing we can ever do will be good enough to deserve it. And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Thank You Lord for Your awesome gift of grace!’ 

Sadly though, too many of the earth’s inhabitants don’t know of Jehovah God and His wonderful goodness to the children of men. And even worse yet, too many of those who do know of Him, refuse to accept that divine grace He offers, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Now that’s to their detriment, for it will only lead to eternal separation from God, which is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul. 

Oh my people, how many times do I have to reiterate that eh, before you all believe me? Eternal separation from God means not being in heaven with Him till eternity, but with Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub, or whatever name you choose to call him, facing damnation in the fiery halls of hell, and eventually being cast into the lake of fire with all the other unbelievers. Now tell me, are the sinful pleasures of this world truly worth such a terrible end? I don’t think so friends. And if you stop for a moment and really consider the situation, you will also realize that the pleasures of this world are not worth such a disastrous end, and can never be better than those found in heaven. 

That’s why in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus adamantly warned: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:19-21) 

And we all know that’s the gospel truth friends, for wherever we store whatever we treasure, we will always be thinking of and contemplating on it. So, it’s much better if we store up treasure in heaven, that is, rewards for faithful service, where moth and rust nor any negative thing can destroy them, than store up earthly stuff, that’s useful today and old and rusty or stolen tomorrow. Yes my brethren, earthly things don’t last. Just look at any junkyard nuh. Everything in there was once brand new, shiny and useful, but like the shine on all earthly things it soon wore off and they became old and rusty, of no further use to anyone. 

And to further illuminate us, please listen to the warning James gave to the rich, those who stored up earthly treasures. ‘Go to ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted (have rotted), and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered (corroded); and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.’ (James 5:1-3) 

Sadly my brethren, that same earthly treasure that the rich have laid up for their retirement, is what the Lord will use against them in the last days, for a lot of it was treacherously and deceitfully gained; robbing the poor and not paying the labourer a fair wage. That’s the basic story friends; don’t store up too much useless earthly stuff, which you will die and leave here anyway. But try and store up as many rewards for faithful service as you can in heaven, where you will eventually go and enjoy them – providing you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, because He is the ONLY Way to the Father in heaven! 

Now, let’s talk to the Father, pour out our troubles and problems to Him, the ONLY One who can help us to put a lasting fix on them. So as one strong voice, let’s invoke our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s remember that all our prayers will fall on deaf ears, if we don’t keep the promises we just made. Much LOVE!

…earth’s treasures are temporary…short lived…but heaven’s treasures are eternal…run from everlasting to everlasting…                                                                                                  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2019 Revelation 20:15.

Revelation 20:15.    ​And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

Come Sunday morning…I will be going to church! Come Sunday morning…to fellowship with other believers…to hear God’s word…sing His praises…give Him thanks…and receive strength and guidance for the upcoming week! That’s what I’m going to do, come Sunday morning! Yeh friends, Sunday is the day most believers set aside for going to church, so let’s do just that this morning nuh. 

And you know we always begin the proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving, so let’s belt out this 1893 hymn by James Milton Black that’s still a crowd favourite.  It’s titled: ‘When the roll is called up yonder.’ ‘This hymn’s central theme is being in Heaven when your time has come and not missing out on the eternal salvation of God.’ And since all of us expect to be there, let’s sing it in loud voice, with the appropriate enthusiasm and sincerity and all the background voices that makes it such a sweet hymn. (smile) 

 As one harmonious choir: ‘When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there (Chorus: When the roll…when the roll… is called up yon-der, When the roll…when the roll…is called up yon-der, When the roll…when the roll…is called up yon-der, When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.) 

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, And the glory of His resurrection share When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. (Chorus…When the roll…when the roll…I’ll be there) Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun, Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. (Chorus: twice. When the roll…when the roll…is called up yonder, I’ll be there.)’ 

What a joyous day that will be my fellow believers! There’ll be singing and dancing and joyful shouting as each name is read from the Book of Life. Unfortunately though, some of us might be disappointed when we don’t hear the names of some friends and family. But they will only have themselves to blame, as they had every opportunity like we had to come to Jesus and surrender their souls to Him. And before we get into the scriptural aspect of the Bit, let’s get some idea of how the hymn came about, as per the web site God Tube. 

They say it ‘was inspired by the idea of The Book of Life mentioned in the Bible, and by the absence of a child in Black’s Sunday school class when the attendance was taken.  The thought of someone’s being not in attendance in heaven haunted Black, and after visiting the child’s home and calling on a doctor to attend her for pneumonia, he went home and wrote the song after not finding one on a similar topic in his hymn collection.’ Ah mih people, these wonderful old hymns we sing nowadays have such diverse and inspirational backgrounds, and sadly we don’t know the inspiration behind many of them. 

Now let’s check out some relevant scripture. Those of us who get to heaven will have complied with the messages Jesus sent to a couple of the churches in His Revelation to John. In the message to the church at Thyatira, He promises: ‘And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over nations.’ (Rev.2:26) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘3-26-29. The obedient believer will be given a reward of power or authority in the millennial kingdom as he reigns with Christ (12:5; 19:5; 20:4).’  

And to the church at Sardis, the conclusion of the message was: ‘He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment (garments); and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.’ (Rev.3:5-6) And this is the scholars’ explanation: ‘3:5-6. The one who has genuine faith in Christ has the righteousness of Christ accounted to him through the redeeming blood of the Lamb. This is the white raiment (cf.7:14). 

The book of life is a list of the saved of all ages (cf. Phil.4:3; rev.20:12, 15). The promise not to blot out his name out of the book of life is an emphatic assurance of the eternal security of the true believer. The statement in Greek contains a double negative, which may be translated, “I will be no means blot out his name.” Christ will confess the name only of genuine believers (cf. Matt.10:32-33).’ 

Oh my people, hopefully we will be in the first resurrection (Rev.20:5) which includes the resurrection of Christ, of the Church (the dead in Christ), and of Old Testament and Tribulation saints. The second resurrection though will be for all the unbelieving dead of all ages. ‘And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.’ (Rev.20:12-13)  

And the scholars explain. ‘20:12-13. The unbelieving dead are judged from two sets of books. The books contain the record of every unsaved person’s life. Each unsaved person is judged in accordance with his works (cf. Rom.2:6; 16), which clearly show that each one is a guilty  sinner (cf. Rom.3:9-19) deserving of eternal death (cf. Rom.3:23; 6:23). The book of life contains the name of every saved person who has received eternal life through faith alone (cf. John 20:31; 1 John 5:11-13). These unsaved people are shown that they did not take advantage of the offer of eternal life through faith (cf. Rom.9:32; 10:3) Death and hell (Hades) are the temporary holding places of unsaved men’s bodies and souls, respectively (cf. Luke 16:19-31).’ 

So what happens after that? ‘And death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.’ (Rev.20:14-15) That says it all people! As the scholars explain: ‘20:14-15. The second death is eternal punishment in the lake of fire, experienced only by the unsaved. Once this final judgement occurs, there is no further need for either death or hell (Hades) (cf. 1:18, 6:8; Is.25:8; 1 Cor.15:26, 55). An eternal separation is now made between those who have life, and those who have “death” (cf. Dan.12:2; John 5:29).’ 

Oh friends, there are a lot of scripture references and plenty stuff that will happen when the time comes, but all you need to worry about is basically getting saved through faith in Jesus, obeying His words, and thus having your name written in the Book of Life! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will surely feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2014 Proverbs 2:5

Proverbs 2:5. Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
 
Well hello there you beautiful people, it’s Friday, our favourite day!
 
And all hard working people joyfully declared: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday yes! Don’t know if I could have handled another day nuh. Praise the Lord! Thank Him ever so much that it’s Friday!’
 
Yes Friends, we have to be ever so thankful to our wonderful God for bringing us through another dark night into the glorious sunlight of His Son Jesus Christ and showering us with the many blessings He has planned for us today.
 
And while we’re in the praise and thanks mood, (smile) let’s chant our Friday Chant to give us a right perspective for the upcoming weekend. As one now, in unison and harmony. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
And yuh know what Friends? Once we get on the right track, then a whole new world opens up to us. A world of opportunity, of peace, LOVE, joy, grace, strength and faith like we’ve never imagined! That’s what knowing God does for the human spirit.
 
Like our Bit so wisely says: ‘Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.’ 
 
And in today’s crazy, evil, ungodly, troubled world, do we ever need to hold Almighty God in reverential awe, and embrace His freedom releasing knowledge! For without that awe inspiring knowledge, we’d be just like a small boat being tossed to and fro on a big, stormy sea, that will eventually disintegrate and sink when we can no longer take the constant jamming and battering.
 
But my brethren, with the wisdom and knowledge of God circulating within us, we’ll instead stand steadfast and strong, like a big ship on those same stormy seas and successfully ride out the storm, ably guided by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 
Yes Friends, as Cousin Sol so eloquently says in Proverbs 4: ‘Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: LOVE her, and she shall keep thee.
 
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4:4-9)
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth? It surely is!
 
And furthermore, re the subject of wisdom, James cautions us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting).
 
For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8)
 
And the scholars have an interesting take on verse 5: ‘1:5. This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of the believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’
 
But sadly my people, the truth is that nowadays too many of us are either double minded, wishy washy in our attitude towards God, and thus unstable. Or if not, then we’re single minded in the foolish pursuit of the lust and idol worship of the things of the world, and have little or no regard whatsoever for Jehovah God.
 
That my Friends is an untenable position, for eventually you will pay a whopping price for your gross disobedience and lack of reverence to your Creator, even to the point of facing eternal separation from Him…and that’s for all eternity. And believe me, that is the worst thing that can ever happen to a soul, since that means being eventually cast into the lake of fire with Beelzebub and all his other evil and foolish minions. (Rev.20:10)
 
Now I’m sure none of us wants that to happen to us or to anyone close to us. But the only way to avoid that judgement is by sincerely embracing the ONE TRUE and LIVING GOD; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as soon as possible, preferably RIGHT NOW, for none of us knows when we will be called to the other side.
 
And if we continue to put it off, to vacillate and make excuses, we could end up being like the rich fool in Jesus’ parable. ‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
 
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:19-21)
 
Therefore my brethren, on this crucial Friday morning in August 2014, I implore us to take a serious look at our personal relationship with Almighty God, and make sure that we are properly aligned in His court, otherwise crapaud smoke we pipe, we’ll end up eternally separated for Him.
 
And that’s definitely not heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to have ears…and not listen to what God says…is the wisdom of a fool…