 How will it all end?

Is the human race going to blow itself and this world to pieces?

It is quite true that for the first time in history we have the means to this. But, whatever people may do, the message of the Bible rings out, ‘OUR GOD REIGNS’. God is in control of everything, and nothing that the human race can ever do will stop God’s will being done. The day is coming and coming fast when He will be seen to be in complete control.

How will this happen? Jesus Christ made it crystal clear that He would once again break into human history, not as a helpless baby, but as supreme king of all creation, heaven and earth. The Bible is full of this on page after page. It has been the confident hope of Christians down the centuries based on Jesus Christ’s own promise, ‘Behold I am coming soon.’ His second coming in power and glory will close the book on human and world history.

When will this take place? The simple answer is that we don’t know – only God knows. Jesus Christ did, however, warn us of the signs of His return:
  • Natural disasters, earthquakes and famines

  • Wars and uprisings, revolutions and cruel oppression

  • Christians suffering fierce persecution

  • Increase in fear and tension, breakdowns in relationships

  • False sects and false religious leaders springing up

All this has been partly happening in the past but never before has it all been happening at once and growing all the time.

Jesus Christ said His return would be sudden. He compared it to a flash of lightning, lighting up a dark sky. He warned that the world would be unprepared. His coming again will be personal – Jesus Christ himself will come, and it will be clearly visible for all to see. He will be given total authority over all other powers, human or satanic.

What will His return be like? It will mean the end of this world as we know it. Its purpose will have been served. Peter describes it in this way: ‘On that day the heavens will disappear with a shrill noise. The heavenly bodies will burn up and be destroyed and the earth with everything in it will vanish.’

Jesus Christ will return as Judge. The whole of mankind will be divided into to - God’s people to eternal life – the rest to eternal death (indescribable agony for ever, eternal exclusion from the God of mercy, grace, compassionate and love). There will be nothing unfair about His judgment. It will be based on what a person in his or her lifetime did with Jesus Christ. That decision will be the basis of what happens in eternity – the choice is ours.

Life as we know it will finish, but a glorious new life is there ready for the children of God – a new heaven and a new earth is how the new creation is described.

In the light of all this what sort of people should we be? We should be:

  • Ready to meet Jesus Christ at any time

  • Living a life that would not cause us shame should He suddenly appear

  • Using the time wisely by sharing with others the good news of Jesus Christ and growing constantly in faith and love.


 Is there life after death?

Human life is a journey that does not end at death.
Christians can be absolutely certain that beyond death is a new life with God.
The coffin is lowered into the ground, the curtain at the crematorium closed - it all seems so final. Can we really believe there is an afterlife? Death is part of belonging to a ‘sinful world.’

We can see ourselves in the following way:
A Body – the physical life
A Mind – the side of us that thinks and responds to the world
A spirit or soul – the side of us that loves, feels and worships – our personality, what we are deep down – our real self.

Our body gets old and one day it will die. It will have done the job it was meant to do for our life here. When we die, or rather when our body dies, our spirit lives on because it can never die or be killed. When we go to a funeral and see the coffin, only the body is there. The spirit of the person we knew is not there.

What happens next? To answer this we have to go to the only one with the answer. Jesus Christ went through the experience of death and came back alive, and He alone can speak with authority on life after death. He tells of two eternal worlds – heaven and hell.

Hell is where God has withdrawn His presence and therefore all light and love. Jesus Christ describes it as a place of darkness, weeping and torment. Certain violent criminals are sentenced to life imprisonment. Hell is eternal life imprisonment with no possible remission. In this life God has provided the remission or forgiveness of sins by letting Jesus Christ take that terrible death sentence. God sends no one to hell. People go of their own choice by ignoring or rejecting Jesus Christ as the one hope of freedom and eternal life. The B-I-B-L-E (Behold I Bring Life Eternal) calls this eternal separation from God.

Jesus Christ describes heaven as the true home of all God’s people. The Christian does not belong here on earth. We are journeying through this short, passing life to our true home that Jesus Christ is preparing. He will be there. God the Father will be there. The Holy Spirit will be there, so too the angels of God and every one of God’s children – all who have loved Him and trusted Him from the dawn of creation.

Heaven is shown as a place of perfect love and happiness, of lasting peace and complete satisfaction – so lovely and wonderful that we cannot even begin to understand it. There will be no more sin, no death, no evil, no violence or hatred, no grief or partings, no devil to tease and torment, no more pain and suffering.

The Christian life here is a preparation for that marvelous life to come. We shall see Jesus Christ face to face. We will be raised from death with a new, spiritual body at the end of time. That resurrection body will be just like Jesus Christ’s resurrection body, perfectly suited for life with Him in heaven. All the puzzles and mysteries of life will be solved.

If you love Jesus Christ you need never be afraid of death. For when your body dies, as some day it will, the real you will go straight to be with Jesus Christ! It will be like falling asleep and then waking up. The first person you will see will be Jesus Christ himself welcoming you home at last.

 Why is there so much suffering?

If God is love why do people suffer so much? Why does not He stop it all?

This is an impossible question to answer. There is so much in life that is a mystery and we have to admit we don’t have the answers. There is so much about God that we cannot even begin to understand, simply because He is far greater in wisdom and power than we are. But as in other dark areas of life the Bible sheds light. Without faith in God the whole question of suffering will become a meaningless tangle of knots.

Suffering can come because of human sin.

A drunken driver can cause untold pain and suffering to innocent bystanders. The pride and greed of Hitler brought terrible suffering to countless millions of people. When God made us He gave us the precious gift of free will. It is this that makes us human, enabling us to love and hate, help or hurt others. Without it we would be robots or machines incapable of love. But this great gift of freewill has been used again and again for evil. What we do affects other people for good or bad.

Suffering can come because of human imperfection.

No man or woman is perfect, and because of this we get ill, grow old and die. This is why deformed children are sometimes born. This is not God’s doing. He is not punishing the parents. He does not send illness. Disease and illness are all part of a sinful world and we are all subject to them – Christians as well as others.

Suffering can come because of human errors.

Hundreds of children were born crippled because their mothers took the Thalidomide drug. No way can God be blamed for this tragedy or others which result from either carelessness or lack of knowledge.

Suffering can come because of natural disasters.

IN some strange way sin has affected our earth and it is out of order. Because of his earthquakes, floods and droughts take place in certain parts of the world. People who live in these areas are constantly open to such disasters.

There are plenty of instances in the Bible of God punishing a wicked nation or person. But God does not send suffering. He allows it as He allowed His only Son to suffer on the cross for our sins. God only acts in love and justice. He cannot do wrong and He never makes mistakes. He can see the end as well as the beginning. We are people looking at the back of a tapestry – lots of threads all over the place and only a vague idea of the finished picture.

God is not controlled by time. We get angry and disillusioned with God if our prayers are not answered at once and in the way we expect. God does hear and answer, but in His way and in His time. We somehow have a built-in belief that God will always keep us from all accidents and illnesses.

God sometimes allows sufferings to test and strengthen the muscle of our faith. The way we react in suffering will determine whether we are growing in faith or slipping back into doubts and resentments. God suffers with us. He comes alongside us, helps us to accept it, live with and overcome it through His power and our own determination. Suffering brings God’s people closer to Him. They refuse to be beaten by it, because they know with Jesus that the suffering of the cross was the prelude to Easter day, and the best is yet to be.

 What about other religions?

‘Surely all roads lead to God, so it does not matter what you believe or which road you are on as long as you are sincere?’

Man alone of all creation is a worshipping being. This is perhaps the main difference between man and the rest of the animal world – this inner feeling that there is someone out there greater than him.

Every civilization, every primitive tribe has had its objects of worship – its gods. Usually they are focused on the sum or moon or river or some animal. Always there is a desire to please the gods by offering sacrifices.

Behind it all is man’s search for God. This search shows itself in many ways in the world’s religions.

Hindus try to get away from the world and its evil influences by relaxing the body and the mind and so coming closer to Brahman – their creator god. They aim to achieve this by extreme concentration and meditation helped by the bodily exercises of yoga.

Buddhists see the body as full of evil but believe it can be overcome by acts of self-denial and self-discipline. Only so can they hope to reach the blessed state of eternal bliss-Nirvana. They therefore believe in an elaborate system of reincarnation to achieve this – coming back into this world again and again, hoping to get better each time.

The Muslim stress total obedience to the laws of his holy book, the Koran, as the only way to please God. All the great religions of the world have in common:

  • A desire to come to God
  • A desire to live a good and holy life
  • A desire for life after death

The founders of these religions were looking for God. Jesus said he was God. “He who has seen me has seen the Father,’ He said.

Other religious leaders have pointed the way to God. Jesus said He was the only way to God – ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.’

The other religions claim no personal knowledge of God, no certainty of forgiveness of sins or of life after death. They all stress the only way is by trying to get better, trying to obey moral laws and religious rules.

Jesus promises complete forgiveness because of His death for our sins on the cross.

Jesus promises victory over death. He also promises life with Him in heaven after death because He rose again.

Jesus promises power in our lives to grow more like Him because He gives the Holy Spirit to all who trust in Him.

Being a Christian is not a case of desperately trying to find God. The heart of Christianity is God so loving us that He sent Jesus to find us and bring us into a close and loving relationship with Him now in this life and throughout the whole of eternity. Christianity is trusting Jesus Christ and what he did, rather than trusting our good deeds to bring us to God.

 What is prayer?

The Christian life is two sided friendship. And prayer is the way that our friendship grows and develops.

Prayer is speaking to Jesus about anything, anywhere, anytime. It is to the Christian what breathing is to the human body.

Prayer is your direct link with headquarters, rather like a walkie-talkie, where you can keep in touch all the time. Prayer links you directly with your leader, Jesus Christ. Advice, help and guidance are constantly available to you.

If God knows everything, why pray?

By praying you deepen your friendship with Jesus. But prayer is not just asking for things. Prayer is being with Him, sharing things with Him. God is almighty. He does know everything. He is in full control and He loves you and cares for you very deeply. Just as a human father likes to hear all that his children have been doing during the day, so our heavenly Father loves to hear all we do – all our hopes and joys, our fears and worries. While He was on earth Jesus prayed to His Father. If He felt the need to pray, how much more should His followers?

He taught us to pray and promises to answer every prayer. Sometimes, though, His answer is ‘no’, for He knows what is best for us. Wise parents will not always give their children what they ask for. Sometimes the answer is ‘wait’, for they know it is not yet the right time. Sometimes the answer is a clear ‘yes’.

How should I pray?

Prayer should follow naturally from your reading of the Bible. Try to find a quiet place and, if possible be alone.

Remember the one to whom you are coming. Sometimes it helps to read a hymn of praise or a psalm such as Psalm 95, 98, 100, 147 or 150. Just enjoy being in His presence. He loves you to come to Him in this way.

We always come to god as people who need forgiveness. Ask Him to show you your sins and failings. Ask Him to forgive you and to help you overcome them in the future.

Thank Spend a few minutes thinking of all that you have to thank Him for: forgiving your sins; His love for you; the Lord Jesus; the Bible; the Holy Spirit; Christian friends; your family; your health and skills; answered prayer.

Pray for others Get a small note and make a list of people to pray for – your family and friends, leaders in the state and in your Church, missionaries. Pray for a few each day. Be definite; do not just make vague requests for God’s blessing. As you pray use your imagination, picture the person and their situation. Pray as you read the newspaper and watch the news.

Pray for yourself Pray about every aspect your life – the day ahead, any problem, duties or fears, your witness as a Christian at home and at work, God’s will for your life. Talk naturally as to a close friend, but remember, too, that you are in the presence of God Himself.

Pray with other Christians Jesus gives a special promise of answered prayer when just two or three meet in His name to pray. It will also bring you closer to other members of God’s family.

The church is not about building but about people who know and love Jesus Christ and belong to His family.

Pray at all times The lines are always open and you can talk to Him at any time of the day or night.

 What about Church?

A Christian is someone who has been born into God’s family by trusting Jesus Christ. The Church is another name for God’s family.

The Church is not a building. It is a family of people who belong to God here on earth and in heaven. It is a family in which all are brothers and sisters bound together not by flesh and blood but by the Holy Spirit, Who gives us love for Jesus and love for one another.

The Church is not a sect or denomination – Catholic or Protestant. It is a great world wide body of people whatever their color, background or intellect who trust and follow Jesus. There are many local churches, part of the one universal Church – Anglican or Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal – to name just a few.

To be a Christian means you belong to the world-wide Church, but also to a local church.

For a Christian to talk about ‘going to Church’ is really rather ridiculous. He or she is already in the church. What is meant of course is going to a local church to worship God.

‘But must I go to church every Sunday?’

Put the question another way, ‘Must I visit my parents or friends?’ The answer is ‘no, you do not have to, but you do because you love them.’

The Christian faith is built on love – on a love relationship. God loves us – that is why He sent Jesus. We love Him – because He first loved us. We love one another – because we are in God’s family and because He has poured His love into our hearts.

If you really want to follow Jesus, you will want to worship God and meet with fellow members of God’s family to thank Him for all His love and goodness to you.

You will want to show openly that you belong to Christ – going to worship God each week marks you out as a follower of Christ.

You will want to learn more about Him as the Bible is read and explained and so grow stronger in faith.

You will want to join with other Christians to pray together.

You will want to give generously to support God’s work at home and abroad.

Paul the apostle said that the Church was like a body with Jesus as the head.

There are many parts to the human body – arms, legs, eyes and ears, to name but a few. All are important and all have a special job to do, each dependant on the others. And this is how it is with the body of Christ, the Church. Each member is important with a special contribution to make for the proper functioning and growth of the whole body.

This means that every Christian is vitally important to the whole Church. No one is unimportant.

Romans 5:5 (Result of justification is the outpouring of Holy Spirit and God’s love into our hearts)

 How can I overcome wrong?

‘I know what I’m like – I could never keep it up!’

When you become a Christian you do not become perfect overnight. Nor does your heavenly Father leave to muddle along as best you can. You are now a child of God and He wants you to become more like Jesus. For this reason He has given you His spirit – the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not a vague, ghostly creature. He is a person in every respect, except of course He does not have a human body like us. He has a mind and a will. He can love and guide, protect and help. He possesses great power and authority, for He is God. He is all-powerful, all-knowing and is present everywhere.

When you felt a need for God it was the Holy Spirit prompting you.

When you became a Christian it was the Holy Spirit who led you to accept Jesus.

The Holy Spirit comes into your life when you open your heart to Jesus. He is Jesus’ promised gift to every Christian. Jesus Himself is in heaven, but He lives and rules in the lives of His followers by His Spirit.

The Holy Spirit brings to the Christian the calm confidence that he or she is a child of God and in his family. His special work in every Christian is to help them become more like Jesus.

He will strengthen to overcome temptation and bad habits. You still have your old self-centered nature as well the new nature God has given you now. It is as though a tug of war going on inside you. The devil is tempting you to do wrong and to pull you away from God’s love. The Holy Spirit is there to help you overcome wrong and to stay on God’s side. The Holy Spirit is far stronger than the devil and victory always is there for the asking.

Only the Holy Spirit can change human nature and make a self-centered person unselfish and thoughtful.

Only the Holy Spirit can give power to control the tongue.

Only the Holy Spirit can turn anger and resentment into love and compassion.

He will develop in your life the character of Jesus – His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control.

He is always there to guide you in times of difficulty and uncertainty. He will help you to understand the Bible. He will help you to pray. He will lead you to discover God’s will and purpose for your life.

He gives gift and abilities to enable you to serve God at home, in the Church and in the world.
His task is to prepare every Christian for that great day when we will see Jesus Christ face to face in our eternal, heavenly home.

John 16:8 to 11 Conviction by the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:14 to 17 (son-ship, adoption, calling God Abba Father)

1John 3:1 to 2 (Like Jesus)


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