Parson to Person
noticed that a lot of folk want to go to heaven when they die, but
they don’t want to go to church while they live. Could it be that
they really don’t want to go to heaven, but just want to escape
What really happens to a saved, never-dying spirit
the moment death comes? The scriptures are very clear: to be absent
from the body is to be present with the Lord. How long does it take
to go to heaven? Just the twinkling of an eye. There is no process;
there is no purgatory.
But just here is where things seem to get
a little confused in the minds of a lot of nominal Christians. It is
thought that St. Peter will greet one at the golden gate; that the
departed will be in a bodily form; that all manner of activity occurs
in heaven and a tear drop will never be shed. Is this really the way
it is? Think with me!
While confessing freely that I have never
been to heaven, there are still some things that may be known,
according to Bible revelations. It must be emphasized that since
flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, (I Cor. 15:50)
only departed spirits may go to heaven upon physical death. The
breaking of the fifth seal in Revelation gives one extremely rare
insight into the state of saved departed spirits. They are seen as
being under the altar of God, not running around all over the place.
It is furthermore stated that the meaning of death is a rest from all
labor. Moreover, it is revealed that the departed spirits of
righteous persons cry for the Lord to avenge their blood on those who
dwell on the earth. This is a subliminal cry of sorts for these
departed spirits to be clothed with resurrected bodies. Oh, it is a
blessed state to be sure, but not in keeping with common visions of
that state and place.
When the Lord Jesus returns to earth, when
the resurrection and rapture has occurred, all of God’s people will
have new, incorruptible bodies. They will live again on this earth
for one thousand years with Jesus ruling from the throne of His
When the 1,000 year rule of Jesus is completed,
the kingdom will be yielded up to the Father that God may be all in
all. I Corinthians 15:28. At that time, the universe will melt with a
fervent heat and pass away with a loud noise. 2 Peter 3:10-12. Then
God will recreate new heavens and a new earth. 2 Peter 3:13. There
will be a great and unimaginably marvelous city on the new earth: New
Jerusalem. God’s saints will inhabit this new city whose street is
of gold, and whose gates are of a single pearl, and whose foundations
are precious stones. Revelation 21. How long will it last? Forever
and ever. Now this is more like the vision of heaven that most
Christians have. What a blessed eternity that will be! I would not
miss it for anything, even my life, but, sadly, there are multitudes
who will because they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. There are
two things All men should know 1) that all God requires of man was
fulfilled in Christ Jesus, and He may be had by faith! 2) that no man
may come to God except through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to person
It was once commonly believed, at least in the South, that no education was complete that did not include a sound and comprehensive understanding of the Holy Bible. It is not clear just when or where that fell by the wayside, but it is still cornerstone truth.
Centered in the first floor hallway of the old facilities of Missionary Baptist Seminary on Asher Avenue in Little Rock, Arkansas was the embedded seal of the school bearing the slogan: “Eraunata Tas Graphas” or “Search the Scriptures.” The well known admonition of 2 Timothy 2:15 is “Study” in order to be approved a workman who need not be ashamed, but who rightly divides the Word of Truth. That was heavily emphasized as the sole purpose and mission of the institution. Accordingly, for decades, it has been the pleasure of this writer to further emphasize Proverbs 25:2, “ It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” Correct Bible knowledge does not come easily or quickly, but its acquisition is the greatest treasure any mortal will ever have, and it is not mortal! My friend and esteemed brother in Christ, Jim Harris of Florida wrote the following words that I am pleased to pass along to you.
“God planted a vineyard of truth that requires the believer to harvest its fruit. God buried gold in the mine of the Bible that requires the believer to dig it out. God embedded light, direction, and guidance in Scripture that requires the believer to search for it.
The Bible is not fast food for the drive-thru Christian. It is not slogans and terminology coupled with pictures of the sunrise or the beach posted on social media. The Bible requires work to understand. It requires time to get to know. There is reward beyond comprehension in the understanding of this book. It is not a delicate, fragile volume. It is the foundation upon which the world stands. It is the work horse of human history. It has been attacked, berated, belittled, and hated, yet it stands as true and trustworthy as it was in the days the ink was still wet. It speaks the truth because it is the truth. It can be completely, fully, eternally trusted.”
Amen, Brother Jim Harris! I could not have said it better!
Philippians 4:6, 7
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God,” Philippians 4:6.
“Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” ( 1 Thess. 5:17, 18).
God created mankind in His image that they might communicate and fellow-ship with Him. Many references in the Scriptures imply that we are to live prayerfully in daily life, mentally communicating with God as a lifestyle. There was a man who finally attended church with his wife and heard the preacher promise that, if we pray to God, He hears us. The next week he angrily confronted the preacher because he had left his headlights on at a football game and his car would not start. He had prayed and prayed for God to start the car with no result. The preacher asked him if he prayed to God at least once a day. He said, “No.” “Once a week?” “No.” “Once a month?” “No.” “That’s your problem. God heard your prayer; He just didn’t recognize your voice.”
How many Christians, going about their lives, keep God in the closet? Then, when something traumatic occurs, and they run out of resources, as a last resort, they consult God and even blame Him for picking on them. “What have I done to deserve this”? When a Christian stays in constant fellowship with his Creator, his life is aimed in the right direction. Then the believer makes decisions that are anointed by the Holy Spirit because he is seeking God’s will in his daily life.
Time spent worrying is time wasted.
šagāh [and] āwōn [and] peša‘
Is the issue of sin really all that important? Yes—it is mentioned approximately 900 times in the Bible. In addition to the most commonly used Hebrew word, chātā’, we find several others used to picture the seriousness of sin (see July 11 for another).
One such word is šagāh (H7686), “to go astray, to deceive, to wander, to make a mistake, to reel.” It’s used primarily to express the idea of straying or wandering and frequently describes a wandering or aimless flock, both figuratively and literally (Eze_34:6). Isaiah used this verb to suggest “swerving, meandering, or reeling in drunkenness” (Isa_28:7, “erred”). It also describes moral corruption (Pro_5:23, “to go astray”). It is also translated sin in Lev_4:13, “sin through ignorance.”
Another word is ‘āwāh (H5753), which is equivalent to the Arabic ‘awaya, “to bend or twist,” and so reflects not only those ideas but also to “distort” and “pervert,” whether intentional or not. Men pervert what is right (Job_33:27; Jer_3:21) and commit “iniquity,” which is to bend God’s revelation (Psa_106:6). The word ‘āwōn (H5771), which appears more than 230 times, speaks of Israel choosing to return to the “iniquities of their forefathers,” that is, twisting and perverting God’s Word to “[go] after other gods to serve them” (Jer_11:10). This word is also translated sin in 1Ki_17:18, where a widow speaks to Elijah in fear that her son died because she bent or distorted some requirement.
One other word for sin is peša‘ (H6588), which appears over ninety times to indicate “willful deviation from, and therefore rebellion against, the path of godly living” (e.g., Isa_58:1; Isa_59:12; Amo_5:12).
Is there now any doubt as to the answer to the question, “Is the issue of sin really all that important?” Indeed, sin is the problem, salvation is the provision, and the Savior is the path. After salvation, however, is sin still a problem? Positionally no, but practically yes. While we are freed from the bondage of sin as the rule of life (Rom_6:1-7), “the flesh” (“our selfish properties,” sarx, G4561) still rears its ugly head and wars within us (Romans 7). Thankfully, we can have victory over this by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8), and we have the assurance of forgiveness through confession when we do sin (1Jn_1:9).
Scriptures for Study: Read David’s prayer of confession and restoration (Psalms 51). Note the words for sin in Psa_51:1-4 : “transgressions” (peša‘), “iniquity” (‘āwōn), “sin” (chattā’t, a derivative of chātā’), and “sinned” (chātā’). Praise God today for His forgiveness (April 16).
Earnest Study of Gods’ Word Will Make You Baptist
King charles the Second was proclaimed King of England on May 8, 1660. He was known as the “Merry Monarch,” and some religious toleration dotted the political horizon during his rule in which several interesting Baptists came to the fore. Mr. John Gosnold had been a minister of the established church, and during the civil unrest, he made the Scriptures the center of his thinking. Following earnest study he converted to Baptist convictions, and was chosen pastor of a Baptist congregation at the Barbican in London. His preaching was very popular, and he drew vistors from every denomination. His audience was usually composed of three thousand.
Carolus Maria DuVeil, a man who had been born into a Jewish home in Mentz, France. He was educated in Judaism, but as he began comparing the prophetical books of the Old Testament with the New, he was convinced in his heart that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah! When he embraced Christianity, his father was incensed, and attempted to kill Carolus with a sword. Carolus became quite well known and the bishop of London sought his friendship which procured the use of the bishop’s library. There he discovered writings of the english Baptists, and being an honest inquirer, he discovered that the Biblical hermeneutics of the Baptists caused him to realize that they were in agreement with the Word of God. At that time Carolus sought an interview with reverend Gosnold. In the course of time Carolus was immersed by the Baptist pastor, and became a member of the Baptist church.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 266 – 268
Rev. Larkin always exhibited a gracious spirit.
Clarence Larkin died on Jan. 24, 1924 at age 74. He was born on Oct. 28, 1850 in Chester, PA. He was converted to Christ at age 19 and became a member of the Episcopal church. Knowing that his sins were forgiven, he desired immediately to preach but it was a few years before he left employment at a bank and entered college. He had a methodical mind, and graduated as a mechanical engineer and later became a teacher of the blind. As an engineer and a teacher of the blind, the Lord was preparing him for his life’s work of organizing the scriptures into visual charts on prophecy and doctrine that people were able to understand clearly the great truths of God’s Word. At 32 he was immersed and united with a Baptist church. Two years later he was ordained. He became pastor of the Baptist church in Kennett Square, PA. His second church was at Fox Chase, PA where he remained for twenty years. At the time of his ordination Larkin was not a pre-millennialist, but as he studied the scriptures literally he was forced to come to that conclusion. For years the postmillennialists had taught that the world was getting better and better, and that the church would convert the world and Christ would then return. Rev. Larkin made huge wall charts describing his views on this subject and great numbers would come to hear him present these prophetic truths. He reduced his teachings to Dispensational Truth (or God’s Plan in the Ages), which was his crowning work. The Book of Daniel, The Spirit World, and The Second Coming. Often it has been said that one can be dispensationally correct while being dispositionally mean spirited. Those who knew him best reported that Rev. Larkin always exhibited a gracious spirit.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 49-51.