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 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘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.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2018 Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:4.   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.

Greetings friends, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He wants us to know that this Thursday morning we are only one day away from our weekend break, and that we have done a good job so far this week, we’ve been ploughing straight furrows, so we should not give up or lose hope, because He is right there alongside us, every moment of the day, and with His help, we will certainly succeed. 

So just hang in there, keep on fighting the good fight, and all will be well! What a reassuring message my people! And Jesus is nothing, if not a ‘reassurer.’ And His promises are ever-faithful and true. So please keep on believing. 

And I have an interesting thought to share from one Erwin Raphael McManus, author, futurist, designer, filmmaker and Pastor of a Los Angeles church called Mosaic. He apparently says in his book, ‘The Last Arrow,’ that ‘The pain of life is the obstacle to our future. Do not let fear and pain limit your freedom to your future.’ 

What wise and truthful words my brethren! In this fallen and sinful world of ours, it is fear and pain that take a dire toll on our freedom to enjoy this earthly life. If we didn’t have fear or pain, we’d be home free. (smile) But we know that that situation will only be rectified after the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when Almighty God births the new heaven and earth. What a joyful day that will be my people! 

And we have that on good info from John the Revelator, who writes, after seeing a vision: ‘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) 

Wow mih breddren, what an awesome promise and time we have to look forward to; living in the New Jerusalem where there will be no night or day, no pain, sorrow, or death and Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit will dwell amongst us in living colour! Mama Mia! I can’t wait for that day when there will be no more pain! (smile) 

Now let’s check out some explanations from the scholars’. ’21:1-2. Chapters 21 and 22 are a description of the eternal state (following the Millennium and the final judgement), centering in the new Jerusalem as the eternal habitation of the saved (cf. Heb.11:10; 12:22-24). 

The first heaven and the first earth are replaced by a new heaven and a new earth, predicted by Isaiah (cf. Is.65:17; 66:22). The present universe will thus be cleansed from all the effects of sin (cf. 2 Pet. 3:7, 10-13). Since there will be no more sea, the increased land space will be fully capable of handling large numbers of redeemed people from all ages. 

The New Jerusalem is fully described in 21:10-22:5. It is a holy city, totally separate from sin (cf. vs, 8, 27; 22:15). It is being prepared (cf. John 14:3) as the habitation of the bride of Christ (cf. v.9). From God shows its divine purpose, and out of heaven its divine origin.’ 

Yeh mih people, a new day is coming, we know not when, that means we have to be prepared and constantly on the lookout for it. As Peter warns: ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief (robber) in the night…Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’ (2 Pet. 3:10a, 13-14) 

Yeh friends, we have that awesome promise of Jesus that after He’s wrapped up, destroyed all the sin and evil in the world, He will bring us to a place of everlasting peace and joy to dwell with Him forever. But it’s imperative that we make the necessary preparations RIGHT NOW, because Jesus can come back at ANY time. Oh, and please read the references in the scholars’ explanations, for they are a treasure trove of scripture. (smile) 

And having read and digested all of that, let’s go home loudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And please remember that those blessings were granted to us not to keep and hoard for ourselves, but to share with others, so let’s go out and share them now nuh. Much LOVE!

…there is awesome power in the word of Jesus…because that’s what created the universe and all therein…