We're Going Home

1st Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:11 is one of the greatest promises of God ever written and it's about to be fulfilled at any moment. There is nothing in this world that I'm looking forward to more than this. It's just 17 verses. I've studied this passage from just about every English translation that exists and the only modern English Bible translations that have made it easier to read WITHOUT changing what was written are the NKJV, the NASB and the NIV. I've never been a big fan of the NIV, but they got it right this time. Those links will take you to 1st Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:11 in their own Bible translations.

All of the controversy and debate that surrounds this topic would end if people would just read these 17 verses, understand them and then BELIEVE what is being said. It's all there. The call to comfort one another with these words is given two times in this passage. So that's what we're gonna do with this post. We're gonna open this up and take it apart, read it, understand it, believe it and be comforted by it. Nothing else in all the world should comfort us more than what we find in these 17 verses. So please join me as we explore the promises of this passage because I truly believe with all of my heart that they're about to be fulfilled at any moment.

Before this passage was written, the Thessalonian Christians already knew that Jesus had died paying the debt for all of their sins and was resurrected on the third day, so they had no fears of death. They knew as we do that once our body dies, our soul and spirit are immediately carried into the presence of God according to John 3:16, 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 and 2nd Corinthians 5:8. But the Thessalonian Christians were also looking forward to something else that Jesus had promised in John 14:1-3. It's a very famous passage that gets quoted today at almost every funeral.

Jesus personally promised that when He returned to Heaven, He would prepare a dwelling place in Heaven for each of us. It only took him 6 days to create the entire universe, He's had almost 2000 years to create our homes in Heaven. But in that same promise, He said something else that many of us overlook. It's the very thing the Thessalonian Christians were looking forward to. He said, "If I go to prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN AND RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF so that where I am, you will be also." He wasn't talking about what happens to us when we die. He was speaking specifically about what He planned to do when our homes in Heaven were completed. He promised to personally and physically come back to the planet earth and PHYSICALLY pick us up to take us home. This is what the Thessalonians were looking forward to.

I find it interesting that neither Paul nor the Thessalonian Christians believed that there was anything in Bible Prophecy that had to be fulfilled before this event took place. Paul knew the Scripture probably better than any other from his time, both the Old and New Testaments. He wrote much of the New Testament. He never believed or taught that a latter day revival had to happen first. He never believed or taught that a latter day outpouring of the Holy Spirit had to happen first. On the contrary, Paul taught that as the days became later and later, the more ignorant and self absorbed the world would become, including those within Christianity. So the Thessalonians weren't looking for anything else in Bible Prophecy to happen next, other than the return of the Lord to pick them up and take them home. They were never corrected for thinking this way because it was never incorrect for them to do so. It was Biblically sound then and it's Biblically sound today.

After Paul established this Thessalonian assembly and as time began to pass by, older members of their fellowship began to die off. The Thessalonians weren't worried about their loved ones souls, they already knew they were with the Lord. But they were disappointed that they wouldn't be present with them in their physical bodies to enjoy that amazing day when the Lord would come back to pick them all up and take them home. This was something they were all looking forward to together and now they've been separated. So Paul wrote them the following:

I Thes 4:13-14

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

The fact that Jesus would bring with Him those who had already died was new information to the Thessalonians. They weren't expecting this and they didn't know it was possible. A spiritual body can have substance in Heaven but not on the earth, just as a physical body has substance on the earth but not in Heaven. Jesus was the first and only person to wear an immortal physical body with the ability to transverse between Heaven and Earth. Everyone else in Heaven was spirit. So to explain, Paul continues:

I Thes 4:15-17

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This incredible event begins with the sound of the voice of Jesus shouting. Paul doesn't tell us what Jesus will be shouting, but Jesus told us in John 10 that His sheep know His voice and He calls them by name and I remember when I first read that thinking, "When have I ever heard Jesus call me by my name?" and a lot of people think that's talking about a call to salvation and it may be, but I wouldn't be surprised if each of us heard the sound of Jesus calling our name like a loving parent sticking their head out the door calling us home. That's the example we're given in John 11 when He resurrected Lazarus, it's says that Jesus cried out, "Lazarus come out!" or "Lazarus, come forth!" I believe that's what starts this event. We will hear the voice of Jesus cry out our name, calling us home.

While Jesus shouts, the voice of the archangel is shouting as well to the innumerable ranks of angels on the earth. All of us have had angels following us around all of our lives. It's not for us to communicate with them or for them to communicate with us, but they've always been there taking direct orders from the Lord on our behalf. We may or may not hear the voice of the archangel when he shouts, but we will definitely hear the voice of the Lord.

The next thing we'll hear while Jesus shouts is the sound of what the Bible calls The Trump Of God and it's not to be confused with the Trumpet Judgments in Revelation. The trumpets in Revelation are blown by angels. This is The Trump Of God and the only other time we see this in Scripture is in the Old Testament at Mount Sinai. When the Hebrews heard the Trump of God, it says they trembled. So this is a loud and audible trumpet.

At that moment, the dead remains of Christian bodies under the earth will be immediately rejuvenated, reanimated and resurrected into perfect, flawless, immortal, physical bodies. This is 3rd generation hardware. We're born with 1st generation hardware that wears out and dies. After we die, we're given 2nd generation hardware in Heaven. But what Paul is describing to the Thessalonians is 3rd generation hardware. It's both physical and spiritual, perfectly flawless and eternal. Jesus brings with Him every soul and spirit from out of Heaven to reunite them with their physical bodies, not in decay, but completely restored and upgraded unto perfection.

I don't know what this massive resurrection of the dead will do to the earth when it happens. When Jesus had his resurrection body, He could travel at the speed of thought and transverse through solid walls. The dead in Christ may rise without even disturbing their coffins. Then again, there might be a worldwide earthquake and EMP flash when it happens. I guess we'll find out and see.

Then as our departed loved ones are rising in their new bodies, our bodies are being upgraded and caught up together with them. So we don't have to worry about enjoying this event without our loved ones who have passed away, we're all gonna go up together. According to Paul, we keep going up until we're into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Will we be walking on air or will we be riding in Heavenly vessels of some kind? I guess we'll find out and see.

Paul elaborates on this in 1st Corinthians 15:51-52 when he told the Corinthian Christians that not everyone in Christian history would have to die before being resurrected. But whether dead or alive, everyone in Christ would "be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed." The twinkling of an eye is the speed of light passing through the iris. It's the smallest measurable unit of time that exists. This is when Jesus finally fulfills His promise from John 14:1-3. He comes back just as He promised to receive us unto Himself so that where He is, we will be also. Forever.

I Thes 4:18

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

This is the first of two times in this letter that Paul tells them (and us) to comfort each other with these words. We're supposed to know about this. We're supposed to talk about it and look forward to it. The knowledge of this coming event should fire the imagination, it should bring us peace and excitement about the days ahead.

We aren't destined to just be disembodied spirits in a Heavenly retirement center for all eternity. We're destined to have strong, gorgeous, youthful, perfect, ageless bodies that look and feel just as good if not better than we've ever looked or felt before. Our senses and physical abilities will enable us to do anything and go anywhere in the known and unknown universe at the speed of thought. This isn't a fantasy. This isn't a fairy tale. This is actually going to happen! Friends and loved ones long gone will be with us again as if the years between us never happened. No more death, no more pain, no more separation, no more doing without, no more holding back because of our sin nature, no more misunderstandings, no more broken relationships, no more injustice, no more wrinkles, no more ageing, no more ignorance, no more confusion! Just think of our mental capacity after the upgrade!

And what of the dwelling places that Jesus said He was preparing for each of us? If we're going to be wearing brand new physical bodies, then our homes in Heaven will be physical as well except it will never blemish, age or wear out. Imagine a fresh cut yard that never needs weeding or fertilizing, a house that never needs new shingles or painting, an old 1991 Ford Ranger in the garage that always looks like it just came off the assembly line no matter how much I drive it. I'm sure I won't need a truck in Heaven, but if we're gonna be riding horses just for fun, why not a pickup truck? What is it that you can imagine that the Creator of the universe cannot create? How far can you take your imagination? Will your home in Heaven be like a priceless estate that's grander and more majestic than anything you've ever seen? Or will it be something more precious like a cherished home from your youth that was destroyed by the passage of time. Didn't Jesus say He would make all things new? Is any imagined desire for Heaven beyond our reach when it's the Creator Himself who conquered death that's creating our future home? The possibilities are endless. WHY NOT COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS?

But now Paul shifts his focus on the timing and conditions of the world when we can expect this event to happen:

I Thes 5:1-4

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Paul didn't tell them that they didn't need to know, he told them that they didn't need him to write them about it because they already knew. What did they already know?

They had already been taught about a future time in history known as The Day Of The Lord. This was not a minor topic. It was mentioned and discussed under many titles all throughout the Old Testament and even in portions of the Gospels. The Day Of The Lord is also known as the Time Of Jacob's Trouble, the 70th Week Of Daniel, the Day Of God's Wrath, the Time Of Indignation and the title we're probably most familiar with today, the Great Tribulation. It's like no other time period in history. No matter what we've read in the Old Testament about God's judgment against places like Sodom & Gomorrah or even the Great Flood of Noah's time, this world has never seen God's wrath like it will be seen during the Great Tribulation.

The Thessalonians also knew, as Paul did, that the Day Of The Lord would begin with Sudden Destruction. Paul compares it to when a woman goes into labor. Women estimate the timing of their child's birth, but they don't know the day or the hour. Even when it's the very day and hour they go into labor, they still don't know the day or the hour until they are actually going into labor. But they shouldn't be surprised if they've been monitoring their pregnancy. There are many signs to watch and follow so they aren't caught off guard.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:36-44 that no one knows the day or the hour and it's because we don't know the day or the hour that Jesus also said we should always keep watch and pay attention. Pay attention to what? Chuck Missler used to say, "We are being plunged into a period of time about which the Bible has more to say than it does any other period of time in history including the time when Jesus walked the shores of Galilee and climbed the hills of Judea." That's absolutely true. We may not know the day or the hour, but the Bible has given us more than enough information so that we would know what the day and the hour would look like and if we're paying attention, we would know when it's getting close. And folks, it's close! It is so close!!

Notice how Paul used the words "they" and "them" in the above passage? The day of the Lord's return and the Great Tribulation will not come as a thief in the night to those who are awake and paying attention. It only comes as a thief in the night to those who dwell in darkness and THEY shall not escape. We, on the other hand, will escape as Paul makes clear in the rest of the passage:

I Thes 5:5-10

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

We have not been appointed to endure the Great Tribulation because God has not appointed us to His wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. We're saved SPIRITUALLY from God's wrath when we trust in His blood to pay for our sins. We're saved PHYSICALLY from God's wrath when we hear the Trump of God and the sound of Jesus shouting out our name. This doesn't have to be confusing, it's all right here nice and neat.

I Thes 5:11

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

For the 2nd time, Paul tells them (and us) to comfort each other with these words, to build each other up as we watch and wait for this wonderful event. I don't know how we're supposed to be comforted by any of it if we have to endure the Great Tribulation first. That's rather ridiculous isn't it? Always pay close attention to what God says in His Word and not what pastors, preachers and even internet Bible nerds like me are saying online. Ask God yourself for the truth. If your heart really wants the truth, He will make sure that you get it and it will never contradict His Written Word.

Folks, this is the 1st in a series of posts that I'll be writing to monitor where we are in history and how close we are to getting out of here. We don't have long. We are so close folks that I don't even know if I'll be able to write another post before we hear the trumpet sound. If I am able, I'll keep posting no matter how long we have to wait. I'll continue to occupy until He comes as we're commanded to do. But we're on borrowed time.

Don't pay any attention to Christians who don't see it coming. It's impossible to see anything when the eyes are shut. A lot of them don't want to see it coming. Truth be told, they want Jesus to stay right where He is. If they're saved, they'll still get taken home with the rest of us. But it'll probably scare the crap out of them when it happens because they aren't ready for it. I honestly don't know why because there isn't any good thing going on down here that can't continue in Heaven when we get there.

Well, I'm Back

I don't even know where to begin except to say that I've missed you all and I'm happy to be back. I've had so much difficulty writing this post because I don't know where to begin or how much I should share. How on earth do I summarize the last 5 years? I'd love to tell you everything but it would be a waste of time for me to write it and an even bigger waste of time for you to read it. I can get pretty long-winded.

The bottom line is simply that unavoidable circumstances and priorities tore me away from Founding Word, from blogging and even an online presence on social media. When I say it tore me away, I mean it tore me away kicking and screaming. I was deeply engaged in what I felt was my purpose in life and then suddenly, things went into a direction I never could have predicted. I kept seeing it as a coordinated attack from the enemy, but it was always the Lord who kept insisting that it was HE who was behind this unavoidable detour.

It seemed that everything I had ever learned or believed as a Christian was being put to the test. Would I practice what I preached? Would I trust the Lord? Would I wait for His timing? If I really believed what I was sharing with people online, then how would I respond to this impossible situation? I prayed for it to go away, but it wouldn't go away.

Before I completely disappeared, I realized that I wasn't the only one going through something like this. Reading many of your comments and posts at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube seemed to imply that a lot of us were being hit extremely hard with intense trials, much more intense than usual. It's as if we were all being given some FINAL EXAM before being let out for the summer.

I must apologize for the way I left. I never intended to just silently disappear without so much as a goodbye. So many of you reached out and asked what was going on and I tried to share it with some of you. But the situation was too detailed and complex to explain and I just got tired of trying to explain it, especially since all the Lord would do is refer me to Proverbs 3:5-6 when I asked Him to explain it to me. I expected the Lord to get me back out there much sooner than He did and so I never felt it necessary to make some big public statement about leaving.

Then in 2019, I suffered a tragic loss that was extremely painful. You know how grief can be, it makes you feel like nobody else in all the world has ever felt what you're going through or could ever understand your loss or even care about it. The last thing I wanted to do was devalue the relationship I was grieving by sharing my loss with people who wouldn't understand or even care. I certainly didn't want to read hundreds of those generic "sorry for your loss" responses. I was going through all the stages of grief and so I just turned it all off and walked away to focus on where the Lord wanted me to be until further notice.

In 2020, a job involving animal care and rescue fell into my lap that no one else would do and it had to be done. There was no way out of it. It required heavy lifting, lots of cleaning, lots of standing, lots of walking, lots of crawling and occasional back-breaking work. It also required lots and lots of praying. Prayer was the most important thing I did each and every day. For the first 21 months, the job was 7 days a week without weekends or holidays. It was also emotionally draining because of the love and care that was required. It also required an hour on the road every day.

In 2021, I began having health problems starting with a kidney stone which lodged itself in my ureter requiring emergency surgery. After that, I developed a swollen lymph node from Cat Scratch Fever and an intense episode of food poisoning. I can't remember which happened first but a strong antibiotic took care of everything. After that, I began having severe tooth and jaw pain which led to the removal of all of my teeth. After that, my jaw pain intensified with pressure and pain in my ears, eyes, neck and head with extremely loud ringing in the ears, dizziness and nausea. I had to take a muscle relaxer for a couple of months to settle it down. After that, my eyes started to hurt and eventually hemorrhaged and I was diagnosed and treated for Dry Eye Syndrome. After that, something strange happened to my right knee which led to being bound to a wheelchair for 4 months. Then I was diagnosed with some digestive problem which limited me to what they call a low-FODMAP diet. All of this between 2021 and 2024. I never caught Covid. I caught everything else, but I never caught Covid. I kept remembering the book of Job. While I never felt that I had reached his level of persecution, I could definitely relate to his ordeal. What in the world was going on?

During the pain and anxiety of everything that was happening, it made me hold onto the Lord and surrender to Him in a way that nothing else could. It was amazing. Right before the worst of my health issues, the Lord intervened and made my job less demanding so that I could endure those health problems which followed. As of today I'm still toothless, my ears still ring whenever the Barometric Pressure drops, my knee still hurts every now and then and I'm still having to stick to that low-FODMAP diet, but I'm walking, I'm eating, I'm hearing and I'm seeing. I've survived and mostly recovered from everything else that's happened. My mother stepped up and proved once again that she's probably the greatest blessing in my life next to the Cross itself. No man on this earth deserves a mother like the one I've been blessed to have. I've also been blessed with the love and support from two very wonderful people and amazing friends from overseas who have kept me in their prayers continually and have always been there when I needed someone to talk to no matter the time difference between us.

In the midst of all these trials, I've learned a great deal that I'm very excited and anxious to share, some of which impacts all of us. ALL OF US!! I've been nagging the Lord for a long time for His permission to let me back on here. In recent weeks, He's finally given me the clearance that it's OK to come back. So I've been busy getting things in order behind the scenes. I've updated both websites to make them more mobile friendly. I've updated the notes under each podcast at Founding Word and YouTube to make them easier to follow. I was very angered to learn that YouTube is now airing commercials on my channel, even though I've never monetized it. Apparently, there's nothing I can do about it. So anything you want to hear without YouTube's stupid and untimely commercial interruptions, you can get it at my blog or Founding Word.

Lord willing, I'll be posting articles and headlines as quickly as I can at the blog, Facebook, Twitter and on my YouTube Channel's Community Tab. I won't be returning to the podcast just yet, I'm gonna stick to writing for now. Time is short. There's a lot to cover. I hope I can get it out there in time.

Understanding Biblical Forgiveness

The need to forgive is something we hear a lot about but very few can explain how it's done. Even our dictionaries run around in circles attempting to define the word forgiveness without any real success. Psychology has built an empire on counseling because of our collective inability to heal from past hurts. Many of us in an attempt to heal through forced forgiveness wind up hurting ourselves even more without really knowing why.

From God's perspective, the ability to forgive is dependent upon the blood of Jesus Christ. Without Christ's blood, it is impossible for even the Father to forgive. So if God Himself cannot forgive without the blood, then how can we? The Scriptures indicate that the transfer of our transgressions onto the cross, brought God personal satisfaction. But how? How did the Father receive healing from the blood? And if God Himself cannot heal from his own hurts without the blood of Jesus Christ, then how can we be expected to?

Satan has done a masterful job of covering up and completely hiding the truth about what it takes for anyone to be able to forgive and heal from past hurts. The key ingredient, the fuel that makes it possible, THE ONLY WAY TO BE ABLE TO FORGIVE ANYONE OF ANYTHING requires the blood of Jesus Christ. Without the blood of Christ, attempting to forgive actually causes us more harm. It's unhealthy both physically and spiritually. Forgiveness is not about the other person, it's not even about the transgression. Forgiveness is about healing from the hurt that a transgression has caused which only the blood of Jesus Christ can heal. But how is the blood applied? How does that work? Folks, I've been studying the Bible since 1995 and it wasn't until THIS VERY YEAR that I learned what I'm about to share with you in this session.

1 Hour 23 Minutes
August 23, 2012

Click Here To Download This MP3


A Future Where Death No Longer Exists

There is a future without death that was made possible by the personal sacrifice of Jesus Himself, who permanently gave up His former life as a non-human, transcendent member of the Trinity, to become a physical human being with flesh, blood and bone. He came to personally take upon Himself the judgment and penalty for all of mankind's transgressions against God so that those who wish to be forgiven of their part in humanity's transgressions could accept Jesus' death as a "balance transfer" so that their own personal sins would be punished at the cross, and Jesus' personal righteousness would be imputed to them in exchange.

He exchanged our sins for His righteousness and then He bought our freedom from death and decay with His own blood. Jesus paid that debt in full and then after suffering the most brutal death in recorded earth history, He got up and walked out of His grave three days later as if nothing had happened. This is the bottom line of Christianity. It's how we became members of God's family and it's the ultimate destiny of every one of us who've been adopted into it.

When death comes to someone we know and love, all we can feel is the fact that, "They're gone!" Despite what we know from Scripture, despite everything we've been promised, we're just not prepared. There's a good reason for this. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God has implanted "eternity" in the hearts of humanity. So even though we live in temporary dwellings, we still think of everything in life from an eternal perspective. Even though we know everyone dies, we can't imagine our lives without the people we love. Even when we think we've prepared ourselves, when it finally happens, we realize we just aren't prepared. No matter how much we know about death both physically and Biblically, we still live with a perspective of "eternity" which is why interruptions in our linear time-line always catch us off guard whether it's the loss of a job, the sudden betrayal of a close friend, an unexpected automobile accident, news of terminal cancer, or the death of a loved one. We all know these things exist in our world, but it always catches us off guard as if "it could never happen to us". That's because deep inside we know that death and loss, while part of life, weren't meant to be part of life. We also know they won't always be part of life, but they still are now, which gets in the way of eternity.

That's what Romans 8:20-23 is talking about when it speaks of us groaning inwardly for eternity through every moment of pain because we're wanting the curse of death and sin to get out of the way, finally, once and for all. We want what's promised to start now with all of us together, no sin, no death, no disease, no negativity, no pain, no striving, nothing but the good forever and together. That day is coming. But until it gets here, we hurt when someone we love dies. We don't hurt for them, we hurt for ourselves because now we have to pick up the pieces of our life without them as we push onward with our temporal lives on this decaying planet, which even now we continue to get glimpses of God's glory and eternity, but with the interference of death and decay.

The only hope... Our only way of pushing onward... is to force ourselves to remember the truth... Jesus promised us and the Apostle Paul reverberated that promise that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. That presence with the Lord isn't an abstract, formless void of spiritual vapor. It is a physical existence of spiritual hardware in a spiritual domain just as solid and real as our domain here, only separated from us because of sin. That separation isn't permanent. It is temporary. Jesus is not forever leaving this planet to Satan to do with as he pleases. Jesus is coming back. To not believe that Jesus is coming back is to call Jesus a liar. That's what Jesus promised when he said, "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house (Heaven) are many mansions (estates, places to dwell): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And since I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you will be also." John 14:1-3

I think it's important to note that when Jesus said He was going away to prepare a place for us, He was speaking to a group of people who were standing in front of Him in the flesh. They weren't reading what Jesus had said from a passage in the Scripture, Jesus was standing there in the flesh, right in front of them when He said He was going away to prepare a place for them. So they didn't think Jesus was talking about preparing a place for the souls of the dead. Jesus hadn't died yet and no one Jesus was speaking with had died. So they interpreted His promise as a literal promise to go up into Heaven, prepare a place for them, and then come right back down to pick them up and take them there.

Before Jesus had this conversation, His followers were expecting Him to fulfill all of the Old Testament's prophecies as well. It was foretold that He would tread down the wicked, establish an earthly Kingdom bringing in universal peace, not only between peoples and nations but even among all the animals. This coming kingdom was promised by God to King David to be a Jewish Kingdom.

God is always good on His promises and those to whom Jesus was speaking were expecting Jesus to keep these promises during His first coming. But in the famous passage from John 14:1-3 that I just quoted above, He has introduced to them something new... that before He fulfills those long awaited prophecies, He's got an errand to run. The 1st part of the errand was going to the Cross. The 2nd part of the errand was rising from the dead. The 3rd part of the errand was doing exactly what He said He would do, to go to Heaven and prepare a place for them and then He would come back and pick them up. These folks got to see Jesus go to the cross, rise from the grave and then ascend up to Heaven to go do exactly what He said He went to do.

So then after He left, some time went by. As the years progressed, they continued expecting Jesus to return and pick them up, just as He promised. While they were waiting and anticipating the Lord's return during the years that progressed, some of them died. So the Thessalonian Christians became upset that their departed loved ones would miss out on the exciting event of the Lord's return.

That's when Paul reassured them in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1st Corinthians 15:51-52 which explained to them how God would fulfill His promise to both those who have died and those who remained on the earth.

1st Generation Hardware: The Physical Body
All of us are born wearing 1st generation hardware. We live with it all our lives. When we become reborn in the Holy Spirit, our software is fused with the software of the Holy Spirit, making us a new creation. But we remain in our 1st generation hardware until it wears out and dies.

2nd Generation Hardware: The Spiritual Body
When our 1st Generation hardware dies, our software is immediately uploaded into 2nd generation hardware in Heaven. Our place in Heaven is the place that Jesus spoke of in John 14:1-3. Our 2nd Generation hardware is a spiritual body. How it moves and works is not something I fully understand, except to say that whenever it was seen by human eyes as recorded in Scripture, these spiritual bodies looked just like normal human bodies except they could only exist in the domain of Heaven. These Spiritual bodies do not function on the earth, they can only function in Heaven.

3rd Generation Hardware: The New Physical Body (a.k.a.) The Resurrection Body
1st Generation hardware can only exist on the Earth. 2nd Generation hardware can only exist in Heaven. 3rd Generation hardware will be able to exist and maneuver in both Heaven and Earth simultaneously! This final upgrade will be necessary for every Christian when Jesus returns and joins Heaven and Earth, fulfilling all of the prophecies from both the Old and New Testaments. Paul explains how this will happen in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1st Corinthians 15:51-52

1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 (JPA Paraphrase)
"I wouldn't want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who have died in Christ, that you do not grieve for them in the same way that others do who have no hope beyond the grave. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we know also that those who have died in Christ will God bring with Him. For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have died. For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout (calling everyone by name), with the voice of the archangel (calling every guardian angel by name), and with the sound of the trump of God (declaring victory): and the dead in Christ (coming with Jesus in 2nd Generation hardware) will rise first (being given their resurrection body) and then we which are alive and remain on the earth, still wearing our old 1st Generation hardware, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort each other with these words."

1st Corinthians 15:51-52 (JPA Paraphrase)
"For behold, I show you a mystery which was hidden before. Not every Christian will have to die first to get their final upgrade. But every Christian both in Heaven and on Earth will be upgraded. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet of victory shall sound and those who have previously died will be raised into their new physical bodies while we who haven't died will be changed into our new physical bodies.

This is the bottom line for Christians, the blessed hope of the believer! Death is no longer death!! Thanks to what Jesus did for us 2000 years ago, we can know with assurance that when our loved ones die, they are merely being upgraded into superior hardware for a new environment. But as awesome as that is, what's really awesome is the fact that we will receive that same upgrade when we die, or possibly........ WE MIGHT NOT HAVE TO WAIT THAT LONG.

It is the blessed hope of the Christian that we shall not all sleep, but in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we will hear the Lord Jesus shout our name out loud accompanied with the music blast of God's trumpet and we will instantly find ourselves in 3rd Generation hardware with abilities and powers transcending both physical and spiritual dimensions for which immediately after this moment, we will join in progress THE FAMILY REUNION TO END ALL FAMILY REUNIONS!!!

My Aunt Tina, Aunt Jane, Uncle Walter, my Nannie, my Papaw, Grandparents and Great-Grandparents, several teachers and neighbors from my childhood, countless pets and animals are presently in Heaven today, right now as I type this post. One day, we will all be with them. "And so shall we ever be with the Lord." AMEN AND AMEN!!!

Forgiveness VS Reconciliation

The primary reason why forgiveness is such a challenge for most Christians today is because we've been falsely taught that it should always result in reconciliation. But Jesus shows us in Matthew Chapter 18, that this simply is not the case. The most obvious example is the forgiveness of the cross. The Scriptures teach that the blood of Jesus Christ covered the sins of the entire world and yet, not every sinner has been reconciled to God. Why not? Didn't God forgive them? Forgiveness and reconciliation are separate things, they are not the same. While Jesus commands us to be forgiving, he also gives us an example of when it's justifiable for Christians to reject reconciliation. It's surprising to discover that in spite of all we've been told, Christians are given the authority by Jesus Himself to exercise discernment concerning whether or not we should be reconciled with someone who's committed an offense against us.

36 Minutes
February 10, 2012

Click Here To Download This MP3


A Prayer For The Remnant In America

Inspired By Psalm 35 & Psalm 143

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with us; fight against those who fight against us! Stand up for our help! Close up and block off the way of those who pursue and persecute us. Say to us, "I AM your deliverance!"

Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek and require our lives; let them be turned back and confounded who plan our hurt! Let them be as chaff before the wind, as you Lord drive them on. Let their way be through dark and slippery places, as you Lord pursue and afflict them.

For without cause, they have hidden for us their net; without cause, they have dug a pit of destruction for our very lives.

Let that same destruction befall our enemies unaware; let the net they have hidden for us catch them.

Then we shall be joyful in the Lord, we shall rejoice in Your deliverance and all of our bones shall say, "Lord, who is like You, You Who deliver the poor and the afflicted from those who are too powerful?"

Malicious and unrighteous witnesses rise up; they ask us of things that we do not know.

They reward us evil for good to our personal bereavement.

But as for us, when they were sick, when they were troubled, we hurt for them and prayed for them. We behaved as if grieving for friends and family members. We bowed down in sorrow, as one who bewails his mother.

But in our stumbling and limping, they rejoice and gather together against us; they slander and revile us, and we don't even know them; they cease not to slander and revile us. Day in and day out, they rage! Like profane mockers at feasts, they gnash at us with their teeth.

How long, O Lord, will You look on without action? Silence them! Rescue our lives from their destructions, and our dearest precious lives from these blood-thirsty lions! We will give You thanks in great assembly; we will praise You among a mighty throng.

Let not those who are wrongfully our foes rejoice over us; neither let them wink with their eye who hate us without cause.

For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful matters against those who are quiet in the land.

Yes, they open their mouths wide against us; and they say, "AHA!! AHA!! Our eyes have seen what you did!!"

You have seen this, O Lord our God; don't be silent! Don't be far from us! Arouse Yourself and awaken to the justice that is long overdue, even to our righteous cause. Judge them and vindicate us according to Your righteousness and let not our foes rejoice over us!

Let them not say in their hearts, "Aha, that is what we wanted! We have swallowed them up and utterly destroyed them." Instead, let THEM be put to shame and confusion together who rejoice at our calamity! Let THEM be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify and exalt themselves over YOU and over us!

Let those who favor our righteous cause and who have pleasure in our uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, "Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants and His children." And our lips shall speak of Your righteousness and justice, and of our reasons for Your praise all the day long.

Hear our prayer, O Lord, give ear to our supplications! In Your faithfulness answer us, and in Your righteousness.

Do not enter into judgment with Your servants, for in Your sight no one living is in themselves righteous or justified. All of us have contributed in some way to our nation's sins. All of us have gone astray in one way or another. But we remembered your promise in 2nd Chronicles 7:14.

For many years now, a remnant of us who are called by Your Name, we have humbled ourselves, we have prayed, we have sought Your face, and we have turned from our wicked ways; so that You would hear from heaven, You would forgive our sin, and You would heal our land. So please hear our prayer, O Lord, give ear to our supplications! In Your faithfulness answer us, and in Your righteousness.

For the enemy has pursued and persecuted our souls and the very soul of this nation, he has crushed our lives down to the ground; he has made us to dwell in dark places as those who have been long dead. Therefore is our spirit overwhelmed and faint within us. Wrapped in gloom, our heart deep within our chest grows numb.

We remember the days of old when we used to follow You as a nation; we meditate on all You have done for us throughout the centuries, despite our sins and shortcomings, we see where You have remained faithful even when we were unfaithful, we ponder the work of Your hands.

We spread forth our hands to You; our soul and the soul of this nation thirsts after You like a desperate thirsty land for water.

Answer us quickly, O Lord, for our spirit fails; hide not Your face from us, lest we become like those who sink down into the grave.

Cause us to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on You do we lean and in You do we trust. Cause us to know the path we should take and the way we should walk, for we lift up our inner selves to You.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our enemies, both physical and spiritual; we flee to You to hide us.

Teach us to do Your will, for You are our God; let Your good Spirit lead us into a level country and into the land of uprightness.

Save us, O Lord, for Your name’s sake; in Your righteousness, bring us out of trouble and free us from distress.

And in Your mercy and loving-kindness, cut off our enemies and destroy all those who afflict us, for we are not only Your servants, but we are Your adopted sons and daughters, purchased and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Hear our cries, O Lord our God, for we pray all these things...


True Greatness Defined

Jesus overheard a debate between his disciples about who among them would be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. So Jesus sat down a little child next to him to use as a visual aid to represent the child of God and then proceeded to give a lecture on (1) how to get into the Kingdom, (2) how to be great in the Kingdom and (3) how to receive the King's favor. Regarding greatness, he explained that it's the humility of our heart before God as our Father that makes us truly great. We examine what this means and unravel how Jesus defined true greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven.

18 Minutes
July 30, 2011

Click Here To Download This MP3