He Waited: A Short Story

He Waited

March 23, 2021

“He Waited” is A Thought-Provoking Short Story about how patient God truly is and how the choice lies with us.

A woman died and walked up to the pearly gates guarded by two, 12 ft. angels. The woman smiled and asked, “Could you let me in now?”

One of the angels was holding a huge book in his hand. He responded, “Please wait while I search for your name in the Book of Life. If it’s here, we will open the gates for you. ”

While waiting for the angel, the woman gazed around and couldn’t get over how beautiful the land was. She gushed, “This is gorgeous! The colors here are so beautiful and vibrant…nothing like anything I’d seen while on Earth!” She then lifted her nose and inhaled the air long and slow, “Mmmm, what’s that smell? It’s the most pleasant scent I have ever smelled!”

“It’s the scent of Heaven,” an angel flying by responded in joy, “It comes from our Lord Jesus!”

“Hmmm, Jesus?” the woman thought.

Getting more excited just thinking about everything else she would see, smell and explore in this wonderful place, the woman ran to the angels at the tall gates, glanced at them back and forth, and asked vigorously, “Find it yet?!”

The angel looked sad, “I’m sorry. Your name is not here” He replied.

“Look again”, the woman pleaded.

JESUS THOUGHT YOU WERE WORTH DYING FOR t-shirt

The angel looked a second time and confirmed, “I can officially say your name has not been recorded in the Book of Life. Again, I’m sorry.”

“What do you mean?!” the woman gasped in shock and disbelief! “This can’t be! What am I supposed to do now?! Where am I supposed to go?”

Realizing the woman’s frustration, the angel holding the Book of Life urged the other angel, “Call the King!”

At the speed of thought, Jesus appeared instantaneously before the woman, face to face. The woman blurted out, “So it is true! You really are God!”

“Yes, I am,” Jesus smiled.

The woman looked into His eyes which were full of love, a love she had never felt before, and with a genuine heart, she asked, “Jesus, why haven’t you written my name in the Book of Life? I want to be here.”

Then Jesus replied, “When I created you, I was so pleased! I made you special. You were My wonderful creation, but you never chose to become my child. This is My home, and when My children leave Earth, they always come home to Me. And here, I have prepared a place for each and every one of them. I have given them mansions, each customized to their personal taste. Every desire of their heart I have fulfilled here…for My children. But you never chose to become My child. You just chose to remain as My creation.”

Trying to take everything in, the woman could only slowly respond with an incomplete, “But…..?”

I Saw God Last Night: Whoever Said He's Dead, Flat Out Lied!

Jesus continued, “Your parents didn’t know me when you were a child and they never brought you to church, but when you got to high school, you heard fellow classmates speak of Me and My name, but you followed the crowd and mocked them. When you got to college, you experimented with things you should not have and lost control of your life. It hurt my heart and I cried. I waited for you to call My name so I could help you, but you never did. I waited.“

“When your parents passed away, that was the first time I heard you cry out to Me. I ran to comfort you because I loved you…as I still do. It wasn’t until 10 years later that I would hear you say my name again, but it was only to criticize your children for choosing to follow Me. When they brought you to church, your children prayed to Me to soften your heart in efforts that you would give your heart to Me…so I did, but you began to battle in your mind whether I really died for you or even if I existed. So you focused on their church and judged them for their many members, the beauty of the architecture, and how much the pastor profited. I waited.”

“You questioned, “How could a loving God send anyone to Hell, or allow someone to go there?” So, I had your friends explain to you that I don’t send anyone to Hell, they send themselves by rejecting Me, the One and Only True God. I am the Way. And as there are only two places for you to go when your Earthly body expires, your soul is either drawn to the home of sin or salvation.”

“You tried filling your life with traveling, activities, material things, and relationships. You remained an empty, thirsting cup waiting to be filled. I was willing to fill it, but you never called on Me. I waited.

“Eventually, you looked at the world and said you believed there was a god, but didn’t know Who He was. I would soon after send many people your way to tell you of My love for you, but you rejected Me. You must understand that I am a gentleman and will never force you to love Me.”

Two days ago, I whispered sweet love songs in your ear as you slept, and you heard. You thought in your heart you would possibly give your life to Me when you reached your death bed, but you never made it there. I waited for you to become My child so I could welcome you home to be with me forever and enjoy eternal life. I waited.”

The woman felt ashamed for being so foolish. “Well, Jesus, can I have another chance?”

“I love you, and will ALWAYS love you, but Salvation is only granted on Earth.”

A tear fell down Jesus’ cheek as He knew He would have to say goodbye to the woman, the beautiful creation that He loved so dearly. She felt His sorrow and realized that it wasn’t His choice. It was hers for 45 years…but she rejected Him.

Then, just as quickly as Jesus appeared, that’s how fast He vanished!

The woman looked down and cried to herself, “He waited.”

-by Jennifer Bagnaschi

Tears in Heaven

April 24, 2016

Street art by Nitzan Mintz, Jerusalem, Israel, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/zeevveez/8765164478/, Author zeevveez https://www.flickr.com/people/29001414@N00 (CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

I curled up on the couch a few nights ago, expecting to watch a good old-fashioned whodunit on television.

Unfortunately, I discovered too late that the corpse in the story belonged to a child molester. A woman sexually abused as a girl had killed him, in her effort to protect another child from abuse.

Suddenly the program was deadly serious — raising all too familiar issues of credibility, deception, violence, guilt, and justification.

The Lens of Abuse

Though this blog regularly deals with the topic of abuse, victims must strive not to view the world through that lens only.

There are countless good things — and good people — in the world. Victims deserve better than to be robbed of those, in addition to having been battered and violated.

A Happy Face

There is a deep and pervasive sadness associated with abuse.  Our childhoods were stolen from us, our lives shattered.  We cannot pretend our abuse never occurred; cannot just wish our depression or PTSD away, and put on a happy face.

The Apostle Paul encouraged believers this way:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Php. 4: 8).

So  we have every right to incorporate good people and good things into our lives. They are a reflection of God’s own love.

The problem is that we cannot do this by act of will alone. The victims of sexual abuse  cannot simply choose to “think less about sex” [1]. If our abuse was sexual, everything has become sexualized, whether we want it to be or not [2].

Tears in Heaven

“Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?”

– Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton

How will heaven handle these issues?

Will we forget all the painful events in our lives, and the people who caused us that pain?  What if those events were formative, shaped our character and aspirations?  What if the very people who caused our pain were, also, our loved ones?

How can the slate be wiped clean?  Will God arrange it so that we can remember the events, but without the pain formerly associated with them?  Won’t that change who we are?

And what role does forgiveness play? Does it perhaps drain our wounds, allowing them at last to heal?

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21: 4).

Scripture promises us there will be no tears in heaven.  The children whose lives were ended too soon by abuse left their sorrows behind.

For now, our aim as abuse victims should be to live our lives to the fullest; to speak out against the evils of abuse, if we can find the strength; and to remember we were not at fault.

The rest we will have to trust to God.

[1]  More information about sexual abuse can be found at:  Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), “Common Victim Behaviors of Survivors of Sexual Abuse” by akulikowski, 3/26/13, http://www.pcar.org/blog/common-victim-behaviors-survivors-sexual-abuse; and The National Center for Victims of Crime, “Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Victims”, http://www.victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/effects-of-csa-on-the-victim.

[2]  In sexual abuse, children, themselves, are objectified, i.e. treated as objects for the sexual use of others.  Victims learn to see themselves in this limited and highly destructive way.  Objects in everyday use can, also, acquire a suggestive connotation.

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How an exorcist priest came face-to-face with the devil himself

By Larry Getlen March 7, 2020

Father Gabriele Amorth, who founded the International Association of Exorcists in 1994, said he can even purge a demonic possession via a Skype session, though most exorcisms take more than a single session. “I am content if, in a mildly serious case, a person is liberated within four or five years of exorcisms,” he said. “I have had rare cases of liberations in a few months.”

Father Gabriele Amorth, who founded the International Association of Exorcists in 1994, said he can even purge a demonic possession via a Skype session, though most exorcisms take more than a single session. “I am content if, in a mildly serious case, a person is liberated within four or five years of exorcisms,” he said. “I have had rare cases of liberations in a few months.”Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

In 1997, when a young, slim peasant man was escorted into the small room where Father Gabriele Amorth conducted his exorcisms in Rome, the priest felt immediately confronted by evil.

Amorth said he asked for the help of Jesus, and the young man began to curse and spit, using English instead of his native Italian.

“His curses and threats were aimed solely at the exorcist; then he began spitting at him and preparing to attack him physically,” writes Marcello Stanzione in “The Devil is Afraid Of Me: The Life and Work of the World’s Most Famous Exorcist” (Sophia Institute Press), out now. “Screaming and howling, the demon burst forth and looked straight at him, drooling saliva from the young man’s mouth.”

Amorth said he returned fire with prayers and other ritual recitations, demanding that the demon reveal its name.

“Unclean spirit!” Amorth bellowed. “Whoever you are and all your companions who possess this servant of God … I command you: Tell me your name, the day and the hour of your damnation.”

The man fixed him with a glare and snarled: “I am Lucifer.”

Amorth was shocked.

He “did not expect to receive such a terrifying response,” Stanzione writes. “But . . . he was convinced he had to keep going as long as he had the strength.”

Amorth, the official exorcist for the diocese of Rome, claimed to have performed about 60,000 exorcisms before his death in 2016. Born in Modena, Italy, on May 1, 1925, he knew from around age 10 he was destined for the priesthood.

In 1986, he began an exorcism apprenticeship with Rev. Candido Amantini and went on to found the International Association of Exorcists in 1994, where he served as its long-term president, while breaking new ground by speaking openly about his work in the Italian media.

Stanzione, a priest and prolific author who collaborated with Amorth on various writing projects over the past three decades, spoke with him extensively over the years about his process.

Amorth claimed his exorcisms lasted about 30 minutes on average, and he would often conduct five over the course of a morning, by appointment only, with breaks in between for paperwork. He thought it just as effective to conduct his exorcisms by telephone or Skype.

Amorth said an exorcism could be anything from a simple prayer to the full-blown casting out of demons, as depicted in the 1973 Hollywood film “The Exorcist,” and noted that an exorcism is not a one-time process, but a practice that is regularly performed on a possessed person, sometimes over a period of years.

“I am content if, in a mildly serious case, a person is liberated within four or five years of exorcisms,” he said. “I have had rare cases of liberations in a few months.”

For in-person exorcisms, Amorth was usually assisted by four laymen who could escort patients to his exorcism room of about 9-feet-by-15-feet, which was situated away from the Roman streets so that “no one can hear the screams.”

He used an armchair for “less agitated patients,” a bed, and a box with “tape and belts used to tie the more robust patients.”

“Unclean spirit!” Amorth bellowed. “Tell me your name.” The man fixed him with a glare and snarled: “I am Lucifer.” – Father Amorth’s tale of how he once confronted the devil himself during one of his exorcisms

A photo of St. John Paul II adorned the walls, since “demons become very irritable before him,” and Amorth always carried “two wooden crucifixes, an aspergillum for sprinkling holy water, and a vial of consecrated oil.”

But when he supposedly met the devil in Rome, Amorth said he mostly used prayer as his weapon, reciting verses of liberation from the Roman Rite of Exorcism.

In return, “the demon resumed his shrieks, making the possessed turn his head back and his eyes roll. He remained like this with his back arched for a quarter of an hour.”

As this continued, “the room became extremely cold and ice crystals formed on the windows and the walls.”

As Amorth continually commanded the demon to leave the host, “the young man’s body stiffened so much that he became hard and began to levitate. For several minutes, he remained hovering 3 feet in the air.”

Finally, the man dropped into a chair, Stanzione writes. Amorth said he left for the day but continued to regularly visit the man and pray over him until he was met with no resistance. When he at last sensed the man was at peace, Amorth asked how Lucifer had left his body.

The man said he “began to howl like never before. Then, at the end of this, he felt new and light,” Stanzione writes.

In his line of work, Amorth said he has seen all manner of surprises, and claimed that spitting has long been a tool used by demons of possession.

“There are very many who spit, and they try to guess the exact moment to get you,” Amorth said.

“An exorcist with a little experience learns to defend himself from the spitting, so he tries to put a handkerchief or tissue in front of his face. I recall one who always spit, and I would see it coming in time, so I would put a hand in front of my mouth.”

Once a possessed person spit at Amorth and “three nails materialized in his mouth. I still have those nails,” he told Stanzione.

Amorth also claimed that people become possessed in a variety of ways.

“The most frequent case — I put it at 90 percent — is that of the evil spell,” Amorth once told an Italian journalist named Marco Tosatti.

“It happens when someone sustains an evil caused by the demon that has been provoked by some person who has turned to Satan or someone who has acted with Satanic perfidy,” he said. “The remaining 10 to 15 percent regard persons who have participated in occult practices, such as seances or satanic sects, or have contacted wizards and fortune-tellers.”

Early in his career, Amorth heard from Rev. Faustino Negrini, a priest near Brescia, Italy, about a 14-year-old girl named Agnese Salomon, who had been “struck by demonic possession.”

Amorth accompanied Negrini to one of his sessions with the girl. When Negrini asked the demon, “Why have you taken this girl?” it responded, “Because she is the best of the parish.”

Negrini said he was unable to liberate the girl until she was 26 years old.

Today, exorcisms are on the rise worldwide, including in the United States, with the Catholic Church reportedly sending their exorcists to a new institute that trains spiritual warriors. Though no statistics are available, Catholic leaders say there are more exorcists in the US now than in any time in recent memory. And, in his lifetime, Amorth laid part of the blame on pop culture.

“Forms of Satanism are . . . spread by stars and celebrities who have a huge following, such as Marilyn Manson and other satanic rock musical groups,” he said. “I have nothing against rock music; it is very respectable music. I am against satanic rock.”

Amorth also believed that wizards shouldered blame for satanic influence, including everyone’s favorite: Harry Potter, who he worried could push kids “toward a morbid interest in the occult,” Stanzione writes.

“If we truly wish to help children and young people turn away from books poisoned by occultism, it is necessary that parents and teachers have them read good books … where the presence of magic is solely an instrument for the moral of the story and not the substance on which the story is centered.”

By the end of his life, Amorth, who died at age 91 of pulmonary-related illness, had helped discussions of exorcism become more widespread in his home country. Stanzione’s book is intended as a memorial tribute, and a way to keep his memory and teachings alive.

“I always say to whoever questions my way of doing things that I wish to bring Jesus everywhere, even to the doors of hell,” Amorth once said. “Only in this way does one build the Kingdom of God bringing Him everywhere, without fear.”

https://nypost.com/2020/03/07/how-an-exorcist-priest-came-face-to-face-with-the-devil-himself/

VIDEO The Reality Of Heaven

By Jack Hibbs

Heaven – you’ve heard about it. You might have even read about it. But do you believe that it’s real? Join Pastor Jack as he looks at what the Bible says about the Christian’s eternal home, the proof for its existence, and how to live, in light of Heaven.

VIDEO The Reality of Hell

What you believe about hell shapes the way you live your life. Some people believe that hell is not such a horrible place, but they are deceived. Join us for this week’s program to discover what the Bible says about the reality and nature of hell.

VIDEO Evidence For Heaven

By Jack Hibbs

Skeptics continue to debate whether Heaven is real, yet there is undeniable evidence for its existence. In this program, Pastor Jack examines the witnesses that God has given us as proof for the reality of God’s eternal dwelling place.

How To Stay In One New Normal Rather Than Many?

March 5, 2021Author: Nehemiah Zion

Are you in the new normal the world is talking about or in the new normal since you were born again?

The world keeps moving to newer enhancements with technology. Body upgrades that are attempting to do better than what God already did. We are slowly entering into a bionic world. Where humans and artificial intelligence is merging.

Prosthetic limbs, brain-machine interfaces, bionic organs, are all in the works. Some have already begun identifying themselves as cyborgs. Tens of Thousands of employees have chip implants, ushering in a new way of life. Sadly, enslaving themselves in a way never to return to God.

What is the believers new normal?

For believers the new normal is heaven on earth, a new walk that begins on earth and leads into eternal life. While innovations are useful, nothing is new under the sun.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

The word of God will always remain a decisive truth for mankind to escape from the machinations of greedy men unwilling to submit to God.

We are in a time of great uncertainty. But, we have a God whose every word is certain and everlasting. When we gave our lives to Jesus, we stepped into the glory in which Adam and Eve enjoyed before sin. Let’s stick to the truth found in Jesus alone. The truth that sets us free from wickedness and evil religious people.

The truth that will help us enter into a normal which is possible only by the true creator, God Himself. Heaven and Earth will pass away, but His word will never fail. His very Word keeps us joyful and hopeful no matter what happens on earth. For believers, to live is Christ and to die gain.

Maranatha, Praise God and Amen!

AUDIO Battle Of The Ages

By Rev Bill Woods

1ST CANDLE=PROMISE

2ND CANDLE=PROPHESY (HOPE)

3RD CANDLE=OBEDIENCE

4TH CANDLE=LOVE

We look at the Advent Wreath and think how beautiful it is because it reminds us of how wonderful Christmas is with all the beauty, joy and peace of the Season.

Most people don’t really understand the significance of what is represented in our quiet worship of Baby Jesus, and the complex story of the Nativity.

John 3:16-17 (NASB)
16  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
17  “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

There’s a side to the Christmas Story that we usually fail to recognize. 

  • We forget the battle that raged through the ages just to get Jesus here to be our Savior.
  • Jesus was willing to leave Heaven and step into history to be our Savior and save us from sin and Hell.
  • He was opposed by demonic forces every step of the way.

Let’s look at history, or more accurate, HIS STORY.

  • Here’s a scripture we don’t usually associate with Christmas.

Revelation 12:3-4 (NASB)
3  Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
4  And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.
And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

It’s intensely interesting to read how Satan tried to prevent the birth of Jesus Christ and then after His birth to destroy Him before He could reach the Cross and purchase our Redemption.

Satan had accomplished the Fall of Adam and Eve.  (Gen. 3:1-15)

  • Now Satan found himself under the Curse of God and was told the “Seed of woman” would bruise his head. (Gen. 3:14-15)
  • This aroused the enmity of Satan. 
  • He was determined to stop the birth of the promised “Seed,” or if he couldn’t stop it he’d destroy the “Seed” after He was born.

Watch Satan’s line of attack trying to stop the “Promised Seed” that would destroy his work.

Abel was born, the “Seed” was to come through him, Satan schemed for his destruction and finally got his brother Cain to kill him. (Gen. 4:8)

Then the “Sons of God” (fallen angels) doubtless at Satan’s instigation, married the “Daughters of men.”  (Gen. 6:2)

  • Their sin and the evil character of their offspring (Nephilim) caused God to send the flood to destroy life on earth.
  • This fit into Satan’s plan—it would be a victory for him and a defeat for God.
  • God decided to spare the human race and begin again with His one righteous servant, Noah. (Gen 6:8-9) 
  • God spared Noah and his family.

After the flood, Noah planted a vineyard and got himself drunk on the wine. 

  • The result—the curse of Canaan, the son of Ham. (Gen. 9:18-27)

After the flood the people began to multiply and Satan filled their hearts with pride and presumption. 

  • They built the Tower of Babel causing confusion of tongues breaking up the unity of the race. (Gen. 11:1-9)

God called Abraham and the fight narrowed down to his seed, but Sarah was barren.  (Gen. 16:1)

  • God waited until they were too old to have children.
  • Sarah was 65 and barren, Abraham was 75 and they had no children. 
  • Satan probably played a role in Sarah’s inability to conceive. 

Finally when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 God caused Sarah to conceive and Isaac was born furthering the “Promised Seed.”

When Isaac was 12, Satan challenged God to test Abraham’s faith by sacrificing Isaac. 

  • Similar to the test Job went through.  (Job 1:6-12 and 2:3-6.)
  • The plan to destroy Isaac failed — God saw Abraham was willing to obey, and God intervened and provided a ram. (Gen. 22:11-13)

Isaac married Rebekah, who was barren. (Gen. 25:20-21)

  • Finally twins were born.
  • Satan stirred enmity between the brothers hoping to cause Esau to kill Jacob (like Cain and Abel).  (Gen. 27:41)

When the time came for Moses to be born, Satan inspired Pharaoh to kill all the baby boys at birth, hoping to wipe out the male line of descent altogether. (Exodus 2:5-10)

And so it continued until the death of King Jehoshaphat — his son Jehoram killed all his brothers with a sword reducing the “Seed” down to one life. (2 Chron. 21:13)

  • Jehoram had children.
  • The Arabians killed all of his children but one, Ahaziah, the youngest.          (2 Chron 21:17)

Ahaziah had children (2 Chron 22:1).

  • These were slain by Athaliah who thought she got them all. (2 Chron. 22:10-12)
  • God interceded and saved Joash. (2 Chron. 22:11-12 )

During the Captivity Satan tried to destroy the whole Hebrew nation at the hands of Haman — (Esther 3:5-9)

  • The story’s too long.

God sent prophets to warn people to turn to Him.

  • The last prophet was Malachi.
  • God went silent!

For 400 years there was no Word from the Lord, but He was still faithful and knew what was happening to His people.

  • Sometimes we think God’s silence means He’s deserted us, but trust Him, He’s still aware of your circumstances.

During those 400 years, persecution of the Jewish people continued.

  • In 168 BC Antiochus Epiphanes invaded Jerusalem and marched into the Temple, set up a statue to Zeus, and sacrificed a pig on the altar of incense.

This sparked the Maccabean revolt as the Jews fought to remove the sacrilege from the Temple.

  • Under the leadership of the Maccabees, the Jews drove Antiochus and his army out and gained control of their land for about 100 years.

In 63 BC, the Roman General, Pompey, captured the Holy Land and brought it under Roman rule.

At last the “Promised Seed,” Jesus was born.

  • Satan couldn’t prevent His birth, but he’d destroy Him before He could get to the Cross.

Satan prompted Herod to kill all the male children at Bethlehem under 2 years old in an effort to stop the “Promised Seed.”

  • God warned Joseph. 
  • God’s always one step ahead of Satan.

When Jesus entered the ministry Satan met Him in the Wilderness and suggested He throw Himself from the Pinnacle of the Temple. (Matt. 4:1-11)

Satan tried to get the townspeople to throw Jesus over a cliff after He’d proclaimed to them who He was. (Luke 4:29)

  • 2 storms on Galilee (don’t rebuke a thing only a person)

Satan tried to use the Priests, Pharisees and Sadducees.

  • Judas……..
  • Physical and  Spiritual exhaustion in Gethseme………
  • Arrest, flogging, crucifixion……..

After His death, Jesus spent 3 days in Hell. 

  • Jesus had to experience everything a sinner does in order to fully pay the price of our sin.  (He had to bear our sins and our punishment in order to be our Savior).

Psalm 16:10 (KJV)
10  For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 2:27 (KJV)
27  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Apostles’ Creed

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

10. The forgiveness of sins:

1l. The resurrection of the body:

12. And the life everlasting. Amen.

Jesus didn’t come to do a half-way job!  – He came to completely redeem us from sin!

The history of the Church has been one long struggle.

  • Satan is still trying to defeat God’s purpose, but Satan will fail at every point!
  • Let’s celebrate the real meaning of Christmas!
  • Not just the financial hemorrhage that so many people dread……

The Angels told the shepherds:  Luke 2:10-11 (KJV)
10
 Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Talk about a wonderful Christmas Present!                                                                       .   – Not just some trinket that will soon be trash, but forgiveness of sin, fellowship .     with God Almighty, Eternal Life in Heaven with Jesus!

Today we light the last candle representing LOVE! — GOD’S LOVE!

God’s LOVE that constrained Jesus to leave Heaven, step into the human race knowing full well what He had to do and doing it anyway!

He left the Splendor of Heaven
Knowing His destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha
there to lay down His life for me.

if that isn’t love
the ocean is dry
there’s no stars in the sky
and the sparrow can’t fly
if that isn’t love
then Heavens a myth
there’s no feeling like this
if that isn’t love

even in death He remembered
the thief hanging by His side
He spoke with love and compassion
then He took him to Paradise

there’s no feeling like this
if that isn’t love.

No wonder we can sing, JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD IS COME!


PODCAST THE BATTLE OF THE AGES STILL RAGES

https://www.buzzsprout.com/824359/8690961


The updated version of Rev Bill Woods’ book “There Is Still Power In The Blood” will be available soon.

He Waited: A Short Story

He Waited

“He Waited” is A Thought-Provoking Short Story about how patient God truly is and how the choice lies with us.

A woman died and walked up to the pearly gates guarded by two, 12 ft. angels. The woman smiled and asked, “Could you let me in now?”

One of the angels was holding a huge book in his hand. He responded, “Please wait while I search for your name in the Book of Life. If it’s here, we will open the gates for you. ”

While waiting for the angel, the woman gazed around and couldn’t get over how beautiful the land was. She gushed, “This is gorgeous! The colors here are so beautiful and vibrant…nothing like anything I’d seen while on Earth!” She then lifted her nose and inhaled the air long and slow, “Mmmm, what’s that smell? It’s the most pleasant scent I have ever smelled!”

“It’s the scent of Heaven,” an angel flying by responded in joy, “It comes from our Lord Jesus!”

“Hmmm, Jesus?” the woman thought.

Getting more excited just thinking about everything else she would see, smell and explore in this wonderful place, the woman ran to the angels at the tall gates, glanced at them back and forth, and asked vigorously, “Find it yet?!”

The angel looked sad, “I’m sorry. Your name is not here” He replied.

“Look again”, the woman pleaded.

The angel looked a second time and confirmed, “I can officially say your name has not been recorded in the Book of Life. Again, I’m sorry.”

“What do you mean?!” the woman gasped in shock and disbelief! “This can’t be! What am I supposed to do now?! Where am I supposed to go?”

Realizing the woman’s frustration, the angel holding the Book of Life urged the other angel, “Call the King!”

At the speed of thought, Jesus appeared instantaneously before the woman, face to face. The woman blurted out, “So it is true! You really are God!”

“Yes, I am,” Jesus smiled.

The woman looked into His eyes which were full of love, a love she had never felt before, and with a genuine heart, she asked, “Jesus, why haven’t you written my name in the Book of Life? I want to be here.”

Then Jesus replied, “When I created you, I was so pleased! I made you special. You were My wonderful creation, but you never chose to become my child. This is My home, and when My children leave Earth, they always come home to Me. And here, I have prepared a place for each and every one of them. I have given them mansions, each customized to their personal taste. Every desire of their heart I have fulfilled here…for My children. But you never chose to become My child. You just chose to remain as My creation.”

Trying to take everything in, the woman could only slowly respond with an incomplete, “But…..?”

Jesus continued, “Your parents didn’t know me when you were a child and they never brought you to church, but when you got to high school, you heard fellow classmates speak of Me and My name, but you followed the crowd and mocked them. When you got to college, you experimented with things you should not have and lost control of your life. It hurt my heart and I cried. I waited for you to call My name so I could help you, but you never did. I waited.“

“When your parents passed away, that was the first time I heard you cry out to Me. I ran to comfort you because I loved you…as I still do. It wasn’t until 10 years later that I would hear you say my name again, but it was only to criticize your children for choosing to follow Me. When they brought you to church, your children prayed to Me to soften your heart in efforts that you would give your heart to Me…so I did, but you began to battle in your mind whether I really died for you or even if I existed. So you focused on their church and judged them for their many members, the beauty of the architecture, and how much the pastor profited. I waited.”

“You questioned, “How could a loving God send anyone to Hell, or allow someone to go there?” So, I had your friends explain to you that I don’t send anyone to Hell, they send themselves by rejecting Me, the One and Only True God. I am the Way. And as there are only two places for you to go when your Earthly body expires, your soul is either drawn to the home of sin or salvation.”

“You tried filling your life with traveling, activities, material things, and relationships. You remained an empty, thirsting cup waiting to be filled. I was willing to fill it, but you never called on Me. I waited.

“Eventually, you looked at the world and said you believed there was a god, but didn’t know Who He was. I would soon after send many people your way to tell you of My love for you, but you rejected Me. You must understand that I am a gentleman and will never force you to love Me.”

Two days ago, I whispered sweet love songs in your ear as you slept, and you heard. You thought in your heart you would possibly give your life to Me when you reached your death bed, but you never made it there. I waited for you to become My child so I could welcome you home to be with me forever and enjoy eternal life. I waited.”

The woman felt ashamed for being so foolish. “Well, Jesus, can I have another chance?”

“I love you, and will ALWAYS love you, but Salvation is only granted on Earth.”

A tear fell down Jesus’ cheek as He knew He would have to say goodbye to the woman, the beautiful creation that He loved so dearly. She felt His sorrow and realized that it wasn’t His choice. It was hers for 45 years…but she rejected Him.

Then, just as quickly as Jesus appeared, that’s how fast He vanished!

The woman looked down and cried to herself, “He waited.”

-by Jennifer Bagnaschi

How wonderful is heaven really going to be?

September 14, 2020 by Dr. Jack Graham

Think about the most beautiful places you’ve seen on earth. Maybe you’ve had the opportunity to visit a palm-fringed island in the South Pacific, or ski the Alps of Switzerland, or wander through the stark beauty of the Grand Canyon. 

But even the most beautiful things on earth pale to what we’ll experience when we first see Jesus and the beauty of heaven. He’s been preparing heaven for you and me, for all who believe.

Can you imagine how wonderful, how beautiful it’s going to be?

The apostle John described the beauty of heaven in the Book of Revelation, and chapters 21 and 22 provide a virtual tour of the new heaven and the new earth. You might ask whether these scriptures describing streets of gold, gates of pearl, and a crystal sea are literal or figurative. 

The answer is yes—they are both.

Every image in Revelation illustrates something even more real than we can know or understand. Heaven is beyond our comprehension and imagining, but it should not be beyond our contemplation.

And that is what John shows us in Revelation 21:1: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth has passed away, and the sea was no more.”

Of course, some will say, “Well, I like the ocean.” But this description is actually about separation.

John was in exile. He was a prisoner placed among the insane and the criminals on an island separated from the world by the Aegean Sea. He was alone. And when he saw heaven, he saw a place where he’d never be separated again.

In heaven, we will be with other believers and our loved ones in Christ forever and ever. No more sea… no more separation!

Heaven is going to be more wonderful than anything you can imagine on earth. May the expectation of eternity there give you hope and peace in Jesus Christ today!

https://resources.jackgraham.org/resource-library/articles/how-wonderful-is-heaven-really-going-to-be/

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