Pastoral Chat Calendar

8 October 2017

My dear readers,

(Extracts from “HEAVEN – a place, a city, a home” by E M Bounds in RPG March 1992, Edited by Dr SH Tow)

1. THE PREDOMINANT COLOR OF HEAVEN (Luke 9:28,29; Revelation 1:7-19)

On earth every celebration is with colour; in Heaven the chief colour is white. White is the predominant colour of Heaven and Heaven's inhabitants. At the Transfiguration our Lord appeared in raiment which was "white and glistering" (Lk 9:29). Not only was He, the Lord of Heaven, arrayed in white, but His angelic messengers from Heaven were also dressed in white (Matt 28:3; Acts 1:10).

When our Lord appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos, "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow." At the last judgment, He will sit on "a great white throne" (Rev 20:11). When our Lord comes again, He will ride on a white horse, and the armies of Heaven will follow Him "upon white horse, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (Rev 19:11,14). White is the particular colour of Heaven, the mark of holiness and purity.

Isaiah the prophet was given a vision of God's throne, "high and lifted up". The seraphims, those celestial beings of highest heavenly order, which served God before the throne cried one unto another, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory" (Is 6:3). Into God's presence no unholy thing may intrude. Earth's pollutions and uncleanness are barred forever. Earth's inhabitants whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life are also forever excluded.

Who then may enter God's Heaven? Only those who come to Him who alone can clothe them in the white robes of His righteousness. Heaven will not admit those dressed in anything else. The righteousness of men's own contrivance is as "filthy rags" (Is 64:6), stained, mottled and unclean. Heaven admits only those who conform, only those made holy, pure, and white.

THOUGHT: "Wash me in the blood of the Lamb,
And I shall be whiter than snow"

2. THE ALTERNATIVE TO HEAVEN (Mark 9:43-38; Luke 16:19-31)

After death what? Are there many destinations for departed souls,? such as "purgatory", "nirvana", "annihilism"? Do you know? Of speculations there is no lack, but of known destinations after death there are two, just two. How do we know? Answer: The Man who came back from the grave said so. Only one Man in all history broke the "tomb barrier". Only Jesus rose again from the dead and lives for evermore. He has left us authoritative information on the "after life", worthy of our careful and serious study.

Consider the account of Lazarus and the rich man. In life one was a hopeless beggar, the other a heartless magnate. One was a believer and child of God; the other was a man of the world. One had faith and little else; the other had material wealth and nothing more. At death there was a separation: it was instantaneous, decisive, irreversible, permanent Lazarus was carried by angels into God's place of rest ("Abraham's bosom"); the rich man woke up in hell. Lazarus was comforted while the rich man was tormented.

Our Lord Jesus had more to teach about hell in Mark 9:43-48. Two things are mentioned there: fire which is not quenched, and worms which burn but do not die. Hell is the place of punishment until the Great White Throne Judgement where hell will be emptied and all will be resurrected and faced God to be judged. All who are without Christ as Lord and Saviour will be judged and cast into eh Lake of Fire where they will spend eternity with the Devil, Antichrist and the False Prophet (cf. Rev 20:10-15). In Revelation 20, hell is described as the "lake of fire and brimstone" (verse 10-15), reserved for the devil and all those of the human race "whosoever was not found written in the book of life." All who are found written in the Lamb's book of life have their place in the new Heaven and new Earth. The rest will be cast into the lake of fire, without exception. There the worm dieth not, and the fire is never quenched.

Both Heaven and Hell are eternal and unchangeable. It is "either or". The choice is yours, today!

INVITATION: Come now and receive Christ as your Saviour and Lord. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

3. NO PAIN OF PARTING IN HEAVEN (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

The next life for Christians will be forever free from the sorrow and pain of parting because our Risen Lord has won Heaven for us who trust in Him. Today our weeping and grieving over a departed loved one who has died in Christ ought not to be like the unbelievers who have no hope beyond earth. Christians have a sure hope in Christ whose promises are "Yea and Amen".

How will our hope of Heaven be realised? This hope is founded on the great fact of our Lord's resurrection (verse 14). He who ascended on high will one day, soon return to earth at His Second Coming, bringing with Him the souls of those who have died in Christ, and their bodies will be raised from their graves at the command of Christ (Jn 5:28,29), and the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God (verse 16); then body and soul will be re-united in glorious transformation (1 Cor 15:51,52; Phil 3:20,21).

Christians who are alive at the moment of our Lord's return will be similarly transformed by the power of God, without having to taste death. The change which will come over all believers, both dead and living, will be "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor 15:52), by the same power which raised up Jesus from the dead at His resurrection (Phil 3:21). With supernatural, spiritual, immortal, transformed bodies, all believers will be "caught up" (raptured) together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord (verse 17).

In Christ all believers shall be united, and remain together for ever with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), to live together and enjoy Him for ever, never to be separated. The pain of parting will be a thing of the past.

THOUGHT: With Christ an endless hope;
Without Christ a hopeless end.

God bless all readers.

Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Dr SH Tow, Founding Pastor