Saturday, December 19, 2015

How to Live a Long Life: How Should a Christian Eat, Drink, and Treat Their Body?

Many people have forgotten or just disregard what God says in the Bible about how to treat our bodies and minds.

Some pointers from this video include:
  • Do not eat unclean meat.
  • Do not eat too much.
  • Do not smoke/drink.
  • Be happy and content.
  • Do not hold hatred in our hearts.
  • Keep the Sabbath.
The video is really good, and that is why I want to share it.  God is concerned with our bodies and minds and wants us to live a good life.  It was Him who stated that, if we want something, come to Him in prayer.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

What Does The Bible Say About Death and What Happens After Death? (Bible Study)

Many Christians do not understand what the Bible actually says about Death.  This study is designed to let the reader understand exactly what the Bible has to say about Death.  As Christians, we are to trust the Bible first and foremost to any other word of man.  Read here and see what the Bible says happens to one after they die.

1.  We all die 
Ecclesiastes 7
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

2.  Bible talks about spirits (are they from God or from the Devil?)
King Saul:
  • Tried to get the prophets to talk to him.
  • Looked for a “local witch” and found one in Endor
  • Conjured up the spirit of Samuel the prophet
  • Told Saul he would die in battle tomorrow
  • Saul fell on his sword and died

3.  Was the spirit actually Samuel the prophet?
Revelation 16:14 (Devil has fallen angels that can work miracles)
For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
What does the Bible talk about death?
Job 14:21 
His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.
Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10
For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
There is no knowledge or wisdom in the grave.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

4.  Who has the keys to death and the grave?
Revelation 1:18
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Jesus has the keys to hell (hell means grave and death)

5.  How did God make man in the beginning?
Genesis 2:7
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Breath of life
  • “Man became a living soul” 
  • The Bible does not say God gave man a soul
  • Combine spirit of life and elements of earth to create a living person

6.  At death, what happens?
Ecclesiastes 12:7
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
“Spirit returns to God”
  • Hebrew word for spirit means breath, not a ghost
  • Any creature that dies, a spirit returns to God that gave it.
  • All living things breathe

Job 27:3
All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils

7.  Where do the dead go when they die according to the Bible?
Job 21:32
Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.
John 5:28-29
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

8.  Is King David in Heaven Now?
Acts 2:29, 34
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
“David is not ascended into the Heavens”
For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

9.  Is anyone in Heaven now?
Yes, Mark 9:1-8
1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

Moses and Elijah are in Heaven
Jude 1:9
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Michael came to resurrect Moses
Matthew 27:52
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose
When Jesus died, the graves were opened and many saints were raised

10.  Is the soul immortal?
No verse in the Bible says we have an immortal soul.
Ezekiel 18:4
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
1 Timothy 6:15
Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords
Only God/Jesus has immortality
1 Corinthians 15:51
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed
We do not have immortality until the Lord comes.

11.  How does the Bible refer to death?
John 11:11,14
Lazarus sleeps
These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
Jesus refers to death as “sleep”
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Nobody in the Bible who is resurrected mentions anything about knowing anything while dead!

12.  Why does Satan want us to believe spirits are alive?
Matthew 24:24-25
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold, I have told you before.
William Tindale, Martin Luther, other early Christians knew this and believed it.  This is why graves say “Rest in Peace.”  

Revelation 18:23
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils

Ephesians 5:11
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

The dead will be resurrected when Christ returns.  Until then the Bible says that we sleep. 
13.  What glorious power does God offer his people?
Philippians 3:10
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Christians do not need to fear death
  • “He who has the son has life.” 
  • Christians do not die.
  • Christians sleep, the next thought is a glorified body and the presence of the Lord.  

Remember, a constant relationship with Jesus Christ is necessary!  Ask Christ to come into your heart today!  E-mail me if you would like more information or if you would like prayers or to share your thoughts (or comment below). -

Friday, October 2, 2015

Jesus is Coming Back Very Soon!

I have been following the website lately and I must say, much of it is pretty spot on regarding what I believe to be the truth straight from the Bible.  The website has a lot to say about the news of Christ's return and how the world will be right before Christ comes back.
"Jesus Christ is at the center of end times Bible prophecy. He is our righteousness and salvation. He is the truth. And Revelation 14:12 tells us that the saints are not those who merely have faith IN Jesus. But those who 'keep the commandments of God and the faith OF Jesus'. In other words, Jesus' faith is being lived out in their lives."
We are living in the last hour of Earth's history -- the day of the Lord is at hand, and it is time to get ready. The final calls are going out to the world.
"God is preparing to pour out His Spirit upon His people and we must be ernest in praying for that Spirit to fall upon us. We must depart from sin, humble our hearts and fall before the One who can save us, our Lord, Saviour and soon coming King, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. So many professing Christians do not know the urgency of the situation. The whole theme of the Bible is of urgency to turn to God and turn away from sin, especially in these end times we live in."
Are you ready for what is happening in the world?  Are you preparing for Heaven?  Our job here on Earth is not to accumulate as many possessions as we can.  Our purpose here on Earth is not to be comfortable.  It is to teach our children, our neighbors, our friends, and strangers the truth of Christ.  Each day this gets harder.  Look at the news, there are reports everywhere of religious persecution - from ISIS to the various attacks on freedom of speech.  If you think you will one day talk about Christ to others, but are putting it off, let me tell you, it will not get any easier.

Jesus is coming very soon.  I highly recommend watching this video for yourself and seeing just how soon the Bible predicts Christ's coming.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
We are truly living in the last times, friends.  You can see this all around us.  From the entertainment that we watch to the way we spend our time.  We think so highly of ourselves and call those who do not agree with us fools.  We treat our parents with disdain and forsake our families.  Everything is aimed at getting wealth or sex.  If someone does not agree with your sexual lifestyle they are considered to be a speaker of "hate."  We are living very close to the end now.  Ask Christ to come into your heart.  Ask Him to take away your sin.  Ask Him to open your eyes, give you wisdom and true knowledge.  He is at the door, knocking.  Will you let Him in?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Focusing on Heaven

Images like this are but a taste of what God has in store for us.  
What do you focus your life on?  For me, I have come to realize that the ultimate happiness in the world comes from the Lord, our creator.  He has a promise for all of us that if we follow His precious son, we will inherit the gift of eternal life.  We will be able to bask in His glory for all eternity.  Can you imagine?  An eternity in Heaven?  A place where there is no sickness.  A place where we do not have to fear death?  Where the most beautiful places we can't even imagine spread forth before us?   Where we have an infinite universe to explore and learn about for an unending period of time?

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  (Revelation 21:4)
I think it sounds amazing, don't you?

Sadly, while this thought is very pleasing for most, many do not focus on God enough.  Many are content with going to church once a week and cracking open the Bible when told which verse they should read by a pastor.  God is everywhere and He has such an interest in the lives of all, yet so many are not interested in Him.  Or, if they are, it's only a fleeing interest that disappears when their favorite television show comes on the air.

Many people say that they want to be in Heaven, but their actions tell another story.  If asked, they say that they believe in Jesus and are happy for what he has done for them, but also take the stance that life in the world is meant to be enjoyed in ways that are not in harmony with the Lord.  Ask yourself: "Would I do what I do here in Heaven?"  If the answer is "no," you should not be doing it here on Earth.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8).
Many have turned from God and replace Him with things of this world such as drugs, alcohol, entertainment, strange vices, gambling, television, games, and other distractions that have nothing in them that could be called Holy.  Instead of reading the Bible, taking in the meanings, and contemplating the things that Jesus has done for us, many would rather let their mind be distracted on silly things that have no real place in the life of a Christian.  It may sound harsh to you, but watching people kill each other or smoking marijuana is not going to open any doors to the promised land.   And just because something is legal does not make it right in God's eyes.  Are you starting to hear me?

There is much beauty in the world - but it does not compare to the beauty that will exist on the New Earth.
We are to savor the things that God has given us.  There is a lot on this Earth that points towards Heaven, and we should savor those things.  We are given the ability to create.  What can we create that points to our Lord?  We have been given nature in its glory.  Although nature is disappearing, there is still areas for us to explore and behold.  We have been given the ability to comfort others and spread God's love.  Many of us have children that long to spend time with us.  We have stories about our lives that we can share with others.  We have been given the ability to reason - why not pick up the Bible and use our minds and go deep into our imagination, allowing us to understand more deeply the stories of Noah, Adam and Eve, Jesus and the disciples, or the patriarchs and prophets?

Every day the world slips further and further away from what Heaven will be like. We are to come out from the world and partake in a Godly life. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17). Gay marriage has overtaken the news, and if you do not believe in gay marriage, you are told that you are a hate-monger. Marijuana has become legal all over the United States, and while it may have some health benefits in the plant itself, smoking marijuana, just like smoking cigarettes, is not healthy in the slightest. Remember: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19).   People are arguing about what rights others should have.  Freedoms are being lost and fought for every day.  We are growing so materialistic and prideful that all we think about is fashion, new devices, technology, and ways to pacify ourselves while showing off to the rest of the world.  Everyone is involved in a war over being popular, "liked," and looking better and feeling smarter than everyone else.   Many spend years in college only to rack up debt and find that their degrees are useless in society.  Greed has overtaken the world - money is on the minds of the masses - and people will do just about anything to have more and more money, no matter how rich they are.  Look around you - people are sick and dying while others live in opulent mansions that cost tens of millions of dollars - and many don't even seem to care about their fellow human beings!  Jesus said "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15).

Places like this on Earth are a fantasy for many - on the New Earth, the entire earth will be covered in far greater.
We are to focus our time and our minds on the things of the Lord. We should be spending time daily meditating on God, Heaven, Jesus, and things that go beyond the cares of this world. Why spend your days building up treasures on a planet where death is the end result, where vice and crime run rampant, where greed permeates like a rampant disease, and where pride and envy fight like beasts? Why not come out of the world and walk as Christ did? Can you truly say you are better than that? If not in words, look to your deeds? Pray that the Lord will guide your mind, to help you know right from wrong, and to let you focus on the eternal prize. Ask the Lord to remove unnecessary want from your life and to be content and thankful for the things that you have been blessed with. Ask Him to take away your want to partake in senseless and violent entertainment and speculation, and instead, fill your heart and mind with the things that are pure and Holy. Open your Bible again and begin to understand just how amazing of a book it is. No other book or form of media comes remotely close.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What Does the Bible Teach About Love and Friendship?

What is a friend?  

It can be said that a friend is a person who we feel deep love for.  Many would say that they are willing to die for their friends.  A friend can be someone we have known all our lives, or a person we just met.  Sometimes a friend is someone who has gone a separate way in life.  Even if you no longer talk to that person due to distance and life changes, you are still friends.

Jesus is the ultimate friend.  He died for you and me.  He did not come here to live a comfortable life or to gain earthly power.  He could have had those things.  Instead, he took on a humble existence, traveling from town to town, eating what others would give Him, sleeping wherever he found a place to sleep.  He stated: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58). 

What does the Bible say about Love?

“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.”  (1. Corinthians 13:3-5).

Nothing is worth doing without love.  It is said that God is love.  “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (John 4:8).  Like God, we are to show love in all we do.  Jesus would have never died for us if He did not love us.  His crucifixion and death would have been empty without love.  Think about it, why would a man chose to be tortured and die if He did not love those who He died for?  Jesus gave everything for us because He loves us.  In order for us to be like Jesus, we are to do our best to love everyone - even those who we have fought with in the past.  I can tell you from personal experience, life is a lot better when we treat people with love, respect, and the same courtesy that Jesus showed for others.

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:44-45)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3: 16)
What does it mean to love?  Jesus gives a good example in Luke:

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31).

The Ten Commandments are about love.  The first four are about loving the creator, God.  The last 6 are about loving our fellow man.  (Shown below are a shortened form of the 10 Commandments - for a more thorough study of the 10 commandments, see this page).  
1. I am the LORD your God. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not worship idols, for I am the LORD your God.
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your Father and Mother
6. You shall not murder
7. You shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal
9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's possessions.
God gave us the commandments so that we can know how to love Him as well as each other.  While it is hard for us to always follow the commandments, and sometimes we make mistakes, Jesus, like a good friend, forgives us of our sins.  

How else can we love?  The Bible has a lot to say about loving each other:

1. Listen Without Interrupting.

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

2. Speak Without Accusing.

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
(James 1:19)

3. Give Without Sparing.

"He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.” (Proverbs 21:26)

4. Pray Without Ceasing.

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”
(Colossians 1:9)

5. Answer Without Arguing.

"Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.” (Proverbs 17:1)

6. Share Without Pretending.

"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Ephesians 4:15)

7. Enjoy Without Complaint. 

"Do all things without murmurings and disputings:” (Philippians 2:14)

8. Trust Without Wavering.

"Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1st Corinthians 13:7)

9. Forgive Without Punishment.

"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13)

10. Promise Without Forgetting.

"A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.” (Proverbs 13:2)

Reflect on those verses often as you go through life.  How we treat people here on earth prepares us for how we are to treat others when we are together in Heaven.  Write these verses in your heart and make them a part of your life.  Remember, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Amazing Facts Video About Revelation and Heaven

If you are curious as to how the Bible states the world will end and how we will spend eternity in Heaven, this is an amazing video to watch.  I hope that many take the chance to see this video and think about it.  Heaven with the Lord is going to be a glorious place.  I can not wait to be there, yet there is so much work here to still be done.  Let's keep preparing and telling others about Jesus and what He has in store for us.  Let's keep praying that he is with us in our hearts and minds.  Remember, friends, it is, in the end, our own actions that we are held accountable for.  While we are to try to bring others to Christ, we have to remember that we, as Christians, need to be watching how we say things and how we think before we try to change others.  Look to how Christ lived His life and how he treated others before speaking.

He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. (Proverbs 13:3)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Dangers of Straying From Our Lord

I have written before how I believe that we are living close to the end of the world. We can see it, not only in the signs of the world around us, but in the signs of those around us. I believe that one important part of life is preparing ourselves to be citizens of Heaven. We are to overcome temptation and sin in order to be like Jesus. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21). Then, we are to be more like Christ and focus on overcoming and following Him in life.
We are told that we all come short of God's glory. Can any of us truly be like Christ? Surely, no man can equal the greatness of our savior. I will not even pretend that I could become as great as the one who died for my sins. While we may never be able to match Christ, we can emulate Him in every way.

I used to not spend much time with my Bible. I thought that other books were more interesting. However, once I became fully convinced that the Bible is accurate and realized that pretty much every fictional work has been derived from the Bible, I grew much more interested in studying it. The Bible, in short, is an amazing Book. It is truly a gift that many people cast aside or say that they like. But, do you read the Bible? Do you really read it and get to know it?

I have had some problems lately in my own family with people straying from God and going after other religious beliefs. I can not help but feel immense sadness when I think about this. Sadly, this is a result of straying from the Bible, from straying from The Lord. If you leave the Bible behind, you are going to eventually walk away from our Creator. Daily communion and prayer, a lifelong walk with God, is what makes you more like Jesus. We can not hope to become like someone we do not spend time with or do not know well.

When I was young, I grew up as a Christian. We went to church every week, talked about God, worshipped, and lived in a Christian household. Many of the beliefs I learned back then I have found to be unbiblical in nature, but my family tried, and The Lord was with us (I believe that He is with those who seek after Him). We had a close family and life was good. It was a good childhood. Then, one day, we just kind of stopped going to church. We lost sight of our Lord and went through life. Things started to fall apart. Eventually my parents got divorced. Without the Lord in our lives there was chaos. Those years were difficult for us all. The family broke up and I found myself wanting to run away. After I graduated from high school I disappeared one night and took a bus to the west coast, about 1000 miles from where I lived at the time. I decided I would live there as an adult instead. That did not last and I found myself back home. I eventually was married and began to study the Bible deeper. I realized that life had real meaning. However, it would take me over a decade longer to truly walk away from being a part of the world.

I honestly believe if we would have continued to spend time with The Lord, my family would have been better off. One can not hope to live a truly happy life without God in it. We try to replace Him with material possessions, false religions and idols, and entertainment. Those things do not measure up to the promise of a savior who loves us and eternal life. What good are the things of this world? In the end, they only bring us sadness. In the end, we only desire more. Our greed is unstoppable. We become unthankful, thinking about what we lack. Without The Lord in our lives we grasp at anything and everything that we think will bring us happiness. I have long ago learned that anything that is not of God does not bring true happiness.

Many people are turning away from our Creator and instead worshiping the world or false gods and idols. Many people have no clue what danger exists when one steps away from God's side. The world is a terrifying place without our Creator. Many of us can think back to situations in which something horrible almost happened, but some unseen force saved us. Maybe it was a near death experience or some calamity that almost took everything we had. Perhaps it was something that would have left our lives in ruin. I believe that unseen force is none other than our Lord. His hand is there to guide those who love him. That does not mean that bad things never happen to those who follow and love Him. I believe that He also helps us grow through allowing bad things to happen. But, I also believe that He does not let more happen to us than we can handle.

I truly wish that my family did not stop going to church.  I know that things would have ended up differently.  By leaving faith behind, we start to look for other ways in which we can "improve" our lives.  We believe that our life is lacking.  Our lives are lacking when we stop walking with Christ.  Nothing else can take His place.  If you want to truly live a happy life, there is nothing that can replace Jesus.  The rewards for following Him and immense - both in this life and in the next.  No other man can claim to take away the sins of the world.  No other man can give the promise of eternal life.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18 NIV)
And a few verses later Jesus continues, saying “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life…” (John 3:36 NIV)
Many people choose not to believe in Jesus as their personal Savior from sin and an eternity in hell. But there is no other way to heaven except through faith in Him. Jesus said,"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)
Jesus died for the sins of every person who ever lived—yours included! That’s how much He loves you. If you believe in Him as your Savior, full forgiveness and salvation in heaven is yours. You don’t receive those gifts by anything you do or don’t do. It’s a free gift, given by grace (undeserved love).  The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
I pray that those who read this blog will grow closer to our Creator.  I pray that those who read these words will understand that there is no substitute for the love of Jesus.  There is no other life that brings happiness.  Most of Jesus' disciples were willing to die for him.  And they died in gladness for Him.  They followed Him throughout their lives.  Paul found it to be an honor to die a martyrs death, hung on the cross, upside down.  When you follow Jesus, you will find that calamity in this life does not matter.  You will find a peace that nothing else in the world can give you.  You will see that the things in life that used to be important to you, or used to bother you, will slowly but surely disappear.

Have you noticed that life is better following Jesus?  Have you seen the results of straying away from our Lord?  Do you think that the things of this world are truly better than Heaven?  Please share your thoughts.  May you be blessed by what you have read today.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Are We Living Near The End?

An interesting video appeared today on Amazing Facts, and I wanted to share it with everyone:
Hello, friends! Amazing Facts has just released a brief but very important analysis of a remarkable new video message from Pope Francis to a gathering of Christians in which he uses language that echoes striking biblical imagery. Could it be a fulfillment of prophecy? Click the link below to learn more ...…/breaking-deadly-wound-healed.…

From Amazing Facts:
Pastor Doug shares, “The Bible predicts a false religious movement will arise in the last days to force the world to follow after unbiblical teachings, all cloaked in the forms of ‘united Christianity.’ It will present itself as the one true church, a religious power that was ‘mortally wounded,’ but whose ‘deadly wound was healed.’ The whole world will marvel and follow this beast power at the expense of Bible truth. Christians need to know their Bibles and draw as near to Jesus so they can to avoid this deception.”

Are we close to the end?  If you follow the Bible, it seems closer than ever.  Look at what the Bible has to say about evil in the last days:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good... (2 Timothy 3:1-3)
Does the above Bible verse seem true in these days?  I think so.  I have noticed that people are becoming more hateful and self centered now than ever.  Both online and offline.  In fact, I wrote about it today in my journal:
ignoring parents, fighting, being hateful, unthankful, bitter and remorseful when “life does not go our way.”  I have seen more of this in the last few years than I have ever witnessed before in my life.  To be honest, the changes have been profound.  Has social media been a cause?  I think so.  The internet?  I think so.  Culture.  Most definitely.  We see movies showing people living great lives and expect our lives to be full of the same riches.  We expect too much.  We get mad when we do not get our expectations. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. ( 1 Timothy 6:5-8) 
We are to be watching.  Jesus told us to watch at signs for his return.  Heaven is very close.  If you are not devoting your life to Jesus, now is a good time to start.  Many think that they are missing out on the things of the world by giving their life to Jesus... And they are right!  You are missing out on the things of the world - pride, sin, gossip, arrogance, chasing after the wind, an empty life, boastfulness... Why would you want those things - things that are not of God - in your life?  

Want to read more about End of the World Signs as mentioned in the Bible?  See:

I like the above website because it lacks the conspiracy that is present in many websites that talk about the end.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Creating a Heaven Here on Earth

The Earth is full of beauty that is marred by sin and destruction
In response to my last post (Heaven on Earth is a Fantasy), someone said the following:
I would to some extent disagree with this article. The Bible says, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ," Philippians 3:20 So even though we are not walking the golden streets, etc. I believe that we can live in the atmosphere of Heaven and in the presence of Jesus everyday.
The author of this comment has some good points. I agree that we should live in an atmosphere of Heaven every day here on Earth.  Yet, at the same time, we need to guard ourselves from trying to make Earth our home.  A couple of Bible verses come to mind that state this.  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4). And, If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

The Danger of Making Heaven on Earth

Many people long to have the things of this world, so much so that they put off the more important spiritual matters.  Many people still work hard for riches and glamor and the things of this earth that impress others.  They buy lavish homes and large pieces of land, and expensive cars and long for the material pleasures and large bank accounts.  The reasoning is that one should have as great a life as one can have here on earth, and part of that greatness is having a lot of money and wealth.  Worldly wealth has a way of replacing spiritual wealth, and while not everyone who is wealthy is not blinded to God, the truth is that it is a very hard road to walk down.  Most of us are susceptible to greed and want.  Many of us crave more than our neighbor, but are we truly more deserving of wealth while others are suffering and starving?  If we have wealth, how do we use it?  Do we tithe and give offering?  Or do we hoard it, hoping that we can hedge against a disaster with our wealth that we could hedge against with trust in God?
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
The Earth is Not Heaven, No Matter How Hard We Try To Make It So

This is not Heaven.
The Earth is full of war, pestilence, disease, competition, pride, murder, sin, death, deformities, vice, divorce, fear, prison, torment, rebellion, slavery, strife, want, hunger, confusion, insanity, desire, rage, hate, lustfulness, disasters, pollution, and toil.  This is not Heaven.  Heaven will lack every one of the above terms.  It is a paradise, far better than even the greatest day of your life here on earth.  No matter how much you have in your life, you will still see your loved ones die.  You will watch your friends pass away as you grow older.  You will witness your body break down as years pass.  You will see your children stray away from the life you hoped they would live.  You will lose money to thieves and those who want what you have (I, myself, lost $1500 yesterday in a similar way).  You will be involved in arguments with others or watch family members fight each other.  You will see pride and arrogance tear at the lives of others, and it may eat at you as well.  You will fight sickness, disease, and possible chronic conditions during life.  You will, at times, feel depression.  You may fight addiction, whether it be to the internet or to drugs or food.  No matter how hard you try, you can not escape the fact that earth is not Heaven.

We Can Make Our Lives as Close to Heaven as Possible

With that said, the Bible is full of information on how we can live as good a life as possible.  There are many rules for Health and getting along with others that the Bible instructs us on.  Many of these claims are backed by conventional science.  For example, the Bible speaks against alcohol, which has caused countless deaths and discord in people's lives.  The Bible also talks about avoiding certain foods and blood.

Also see: Did the "Clean and Unclean Meat" rules end with Jesus?

The Bible says that the body is the temple of God.  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:10).  One way in which we can make our lives better is by watching what we put in our bodies.  God created us, and we are His property.  God gives the commandment "Thou shalt not murder." This applies to slowly killing ourselves through what we consume.

The Bible talks about loving our neighbor in great detail.  "The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:31).  The life of Jesus shows how important it is for us to love both God and our neighbor.  God comes first, and God states that we are to love man.  This means swallowing pride (which is not of God), putting away envy, hate, anger.  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44).  How can we expect God to forgive us for our sins if we can not forgive our brother for his sins against us?  We may harbor strong feelings for certain people, but it is imperative that we put those feelings away.  We will find ourselves living better lives and be pleasing God.  This is another way in which we can make earth a better place as we await Heaven.

Ways in which we can bring some of Heaven to our lives includes keeping your body in good shape, staying clean, living in clean, sanitary surroundings, spending time in nature, praying and communion with God, reading and study of God's word, avoiding things which are not of Heaven.  This includes certain websites, television shows and music.  Perhaps one of the most important quotes from the Bible about making life as enjoyable as possible is the following:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8).
We want to avoid anything that makes us feel thoughts that are not of God.  Why fill your mind with thoughts of murder, hate, sin, death, sadness, depression and the like?  Why not fill our minds instead with that which is pure and good?

Heaven is not here on this Earth.  Heaven is where the Lord lives.  One day we will join him in Heaven through the grace of Jesus Christ.  I hope to see you there!  There are things that we can do to make our lives as close to Heaven as is allowed on earth, but no matter what we do, we can not make our lives Heaven.  We must remember that and look forward to the day when our Lord and Savior brings us home to where we truly belong. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Heaven On Earth is a Fantasy

The result for many who aim at finding Heaven on Earth.
 I grew up learning that if I worked hard enough I could have anything I wanted in life.  Was this advice the true "secret of life?"  I could not help but daydream of a future life in which I had a lot of money, a nice home, vacations all around the world, and everything I wanted.  I figured that if I worked hard during school and set out to find the job of my dreams afterwards that the money and lifestyle would just roll in.  In short, I was looking to create my heaven on Earth.  To tell the truth, I was sorely disappointed when I found that such a thing does not exist.

After spending ten years in college and going out to look for my dream job, I found that such a thing is a fantasy.  This fantasy is propagated by television and the media as well as the cultural myth that college + hard work = success in life.  I have seen countless movies that show images of college graduates and hard working people rising to the top.  They have fast cars, huge homes, beautiful gardens, luxury surroundings, and pretty much all that you desire.  We grow up, being bombarded with these images and start to believe that they are obtainable if we just work hard enough.  Yet, day by day we toil and years pass by and we wonder why we are not obtaining the things we saw on television and in the movies.  We find ourselves quickly growing older and oftentimes cynical at the idea that we will likely not obtain the things we dream of.

Yet, sometimes a cog is thrown in the wheel.  We may see a 'get rich quick scheme' or something that says that we can have it all.  Maybe an e-mail appears in our inbox or a seminar is advertised where others have done what we wanted.  There is hope! we cry, thinking that such a lifestyle will be ours finally.

Sadly, the "get rich quick" mentality has appeared on the internet as well.  Websites and blogs tell of people who make vast incomes using methods on the internet.  If you work hard enough, the claim goes, you can get rich using methods of making money online.  Now, I do realize that some people have been able to make a lot of money by creating websites and offering online services.  However, the lifestyle that is portrayed I have found largely to be a fantasy.

Many people are graduating college with the expectation that they will be wealthy and have the life that they grew up dreaming about.  I was once one of these people and the reality that manifested itself to me was unemployment and regret.  I found that a college degree does not equal wealth.  In fact, there are many variables to consider when it comes to earning wealth in this life.  Consider the following quote in Ecclesiastes, which explains it better than I can:
I returned and saw under the sun that-- 
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.
(Ecclesiastes 9:11) 
How true this is.  I have seen men and women who have little skill rise up in riches and people of great skill and talent who die in poverty.  Educated individuals sometimes never find the wealth that they educated themselves to obtain while those who never bothered with education have been handed companies and inheritances that make them rise to the top echelons of society.  This is how Earthly life is, and it shows to me that Heaven is not on Earth.  Even all the hard work and talent in the world does not guarantee you wealth and success.  This, of course, does not mean that you should not try, after all, the verse before says: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10) and Proverbs speaks greatly about not being lazy and being wise. For example, Proverbs 6:6 states "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise."  However, one can not go through life and expect to gain the riches that the media has promised you.

Heaven on Earth Does Not Exist

Even the greatest mansions become ruins.
Many of us are jealous of those who have wealth and success in life.  Yet jealousy and want are not of the Lord, who has promised us everything we ask of Him.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:16).  In fact, I have found that I was often jealous of those who had lives that I would never want to live.  Some people are blessed with great wealth and success, but lack the wealth that a life of service to Jesus offers.  Some people are blessed with huge homes and large tracts of lands but have diseases and family issues that they battle all of their lives.  What good is an expensive fast car when, like all material things, it will one day be lost?  What good is the biggest mansion in the world when one day you will die?  What good is the fame that you crave when one day you will likely be forgotten?  Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief (Proverbs 14:13).

Look around at the world and ask yourself, who is truly happy?  Do you see the people who obtained wealth and influence?  Are they truly happy with their lives?  Presidents and people of power are often overstressed and long for time to be free.  Celebrities oftentimes turn to drugs or find themselves in jail.  Many people crave love and fellowship with people and find themselves purchasing that love which they crave.  Men of business find themselves exhausted, not able to spend time with their loved ones.  Sure, they have huge homes, but some also have strong addictions to alcohol and drugs.  We ask ourselves, "why? -- Why if you are so rich and have so much would you turn to drugs?"  Even the material things of this earth do not bring happiness.

Think back to when you got something that you wanted for a very long time.  Perhaps it was a new iPhone or maybe a certain car.  Maybe you closed on the home that you had been dreaming about.  Did you find that you were always happy after that purchase?  Or, did a better phone come on the market?  He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase, this is also vanity. (Ecclesiastes 5:10).  Did you find that your car eventually broke down or had to be sold?  Did the home bring you lasting happiness, or did you find it to be a burden?  Did you have to sell or lose sleep over the idea that it could be foreclosed upon or broken in to?  One of my favorite verses in the Bible is: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. (Matthew 6:19-20).  Jesus Himself spoke this and it is to be a reminder that the things of this Earth, the material things, are to not concern us.  Jesus even stated that "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4).  Even bread, one of the most basic foods that we eat, is not important compared to the Word of God.  How less important than is the lifestyle that many of us spend years toiling over?  I find myself ashamed to think that I spent ten years making an idol out of education and of obtaining a cultural myth instead of storing up treasure in Heaven and serving the Lord.

Heaven on Earth does not exist.  Jesus knew that.  He preached it both in word and in his lifestyle.  He did not secure Himself a home.  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Luke 9:58).  Jesus was born the son of a carpenter, not at an inn, but in a manger.  He did not toil to earn money or wealth.  He aimed only to glorify His father in Heaven and to teach others how to gain eternal life.

All around us we see death and destruction.  Wars and famine come and go.  Droughts cause the land to dry up.  People battle each other for possessions in and out of court.  Divorces tear apart marriages.  Families argue and bicker.  Our most beloved possessions are sometimes the target of thieves.  Disease eats at us.  Accidents break us.  Agility and stamina is whittled away by age.  We grow slower over the years, looking back at all we obtained and realizing it was all vanity.  We can not take what we have to the grave with us, and for some, it may cost us more than the time we put into it.  Some people have chosen material goods over Heaven.  The story of the Rich Young Ruler is a good example of this.
17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. 
23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus *answered again and *said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:17-27)
This story has a lesson.  Many people find that wealth is more important than walking with Jesus. Some would trade eternal life for the things of this Earth.  Perhaps God has not given me the wealth I once desired because it would be a burden for me.  In short, God has done the greatest thing He could do for me - shown me that there is no Heaven here on Earth.  That the true Heaven is with Him. There is no Heaven where death and disease are present.  Where sin is present God will not establish His eternal kingdom.  Sin and God do not coexist, and I would never want to spend eternity in a place where sin was present.  There is no Heaven on Earth.  The idea that Heaven is on Earth is a myth, one that the devil has been exceedingly cunning in propagating and fooling people, especially (but not only) young people into believing.  Age shows to most that none of it matters.  The wise realize that it is all vanity.  The most wise will understand this when they are young, before they chase all that is vanity under the sun.

This is but a glimpse of what God has in store for us.
There is a Real Heaven

Do not fret though.  You can have everything you have always wanted.  Jesus promises: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).  This applies to you right now.  God will answer your prayers if you ask.  Will He answer every prayer?  Not in the way we think that He will.  For example, I do not believe that God answers prayers that go against Him.  For example, you can not ask for your worst enemy to die and expect it to be answered.  I also do not think that someone who comes to God and prays for something that will cause them to stumble or lose faith in Christ will have their prayer answered.  And not every prayer is answered the first time.  Sometimes we have to ask over and over again.  Sometimes, as we ask God for something we find that we no longer want it.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit shows us that what we thought we wanted is not good for us.  Sometimes our own studies lead us to the conclusion that what we thought we wanted is not what we should ask God for.  Yet Jesus promises that we shall have what we desire if we ask.  We should all be asking, right now, that we can be with Jesus in Heaven.  We should ask that over and over again and seek first the kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33)

There is indeed a real Heaven, and that is where we should be longing to go.  Our time on Earth, compared to eternity, is very short.  It may seem long right now, but in 300,000 years it will seem like a blink of an eye.  In 1,000,000,000,000 years it will seem as nothing at all.  And in 10100 years we will marvel at how we could have wanted what we did in this life.  These numbers may seem mind boggling to you.  Many homes do not last 150 years.  Many people do not keep a car longer than 10 years.  Most people probably trade it off well before it gets to that point.  Why not look forward to a mansion that will last you for eternity?  Why not look forward to the ultimate friend who will never betray or fight with you?  Why not look forward to a body that will never break down? Why not long for a mind that will always increase in knowledge instead of eventually falling prey to senility?

If you are longing for Heaven, you are not alone.  Avoid the temptation to make your Heaven here on Earth.  It is important to make your life as good as it can be, but storing up possessions on Earth will never bring you happiness.  Instead, your life should be spent on trying to be helpful, thoughtful and being an overall blessing in other's lives.  You do not need to fan the flames of pride or manifest envy towards the things that others have.  Your time on Earth should be spent in being a beacon for God, a helpful and caring individual.  This does not mean that you should not have nice things, but realize that they are merely things and that they will not last.  They should be tools in which to make you a better person - not to make you feel better than others.  Do not lament your life if you do not obtain the riches of this world.  They are not worth your time.  Prepare yourself for Heaven - after all, that is what we are to do on this Earth.  Follow Christ's example and pray to Him that you will overcome the idea that life is for accumulating wealth.  You will likely see, over and over again, the cultural myth that "you can have it all" here on Earth.  Nobody has it all, and sometimes those who have the most on Earth care nothing at all about the things of the life that we should all be looking forward to.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What Will The New Jerusalem Be Like?

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)

The city of New Jerusalem is the Holy city of God.  It is a gorgeous city, more gorgeous than the most beautiful cities existing on Earth.  Like all of Heaven and the New Earth, the human mind in its current state can not even begin to comprehend its immense beauty. However, the Bible has a few things to say about this city and we can glean quite a bit from the Bible's words. New Jerusalem will be where God dwells with mankind, the capital of the New Earth and of the Universe.   "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." Revelation 21:3.

The city is radiant, of pure gold. John states that it is of "pure gold, like clear glass." And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. (Revelation 21:21). It shines under God's radiant glory. Imagine walking on the streets of this fine city, not fearing any of the crime that exists in today's cities. Instead of seeing class imbalances which is all too apparent in many of the world's great cities, where opulent penthouses rise above abject poverty on the streets, mankind will partake in perfect harmony that is only possible through God. Instead of witnessing beggars on the street suffering and wanting for crumbs, we will see every citizen healthy, happy, and radiant.  We will all be rich in God's glory.  Instead of being mugged by those who are wanting in life we will all be without want.  Buildings will not crumble, taggers will not cover the walls of alleys in profanity, and trash will not cover the streets.  Glass will not be broken and we will not have to fear traffic.  Children will be able to play in the center of the streets without any fear.  Jealousy and discord will not exist.  The piercing sounds of cars honking or arguing will not be heard.  The sounds of nature will exist in the city along with the singing of happy people, conversations, and gladness.  Men will still create and work, but it will not be in servitude towards others.  Instead, we will create for ourselves and share as we please without expectation of reward or threat of punishment.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Jesus is Preparing a Place for Us In Heaven Right Now

Walking along the transparent streets, of pure glass, we will look up and see towering mansions.  These mansions will have architecture more beautiful than Earth's finest structures.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2).  Jesus Himself states that He has gone to prepare a place for us.  Imagine, the creator of the universe, preparing a mansion for us.  Could you possibly imagine a greater architect?  The creator of the most beautiful mountains, coastlines, gardens, and the infinite splendor of space creating our personal dwelling place?  Many of us can not even imagine hiring one of Earth's most prominent architects to create a home for us on Earth, yet Jesus Himself states that He will create for us a dwelling place that will be eternal.  How can we even feel at want here on Earth for material gain when we have this to look forward to?

The City of New Jerusalem is Huge

New Jerusalem is a huge city.  Revelation 21:16 states that the height, length, and width are of equal dimensions.  The measurement stated is 12,000 furlongs (which is approximately 1500.3 miles).  This is a very large city that will please mankind for eternity.  Imagine strolling on boulevards which seem endless, exploring new areas of this great city as you please?  The city will have a home for every human being that accepted Jesus and followed his commandments. (Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23) (see also Luke 18:18-23)).  This should give you somewhat of an idea of its size, density and population.  The city takes up much space on the New Earth, but also rises quite high.  From reading the description in the Bible, I am not sure if the city is a cube or a pyramid in shape, with the center rising up where the throne of God sits high at the pinnacle of the tallest structure.  Perhaps it is something else entirely, some shape that we can not even comprehend at this time.  Explaining the New Earth and New Jerusalem in mankind's language and ways of thinking was perhaps a challenge for those who had knowledge of it.

The city is quite huge, and it is home to every human who walked with and accepted Jesus in life.
Imagine taking a long walk through the city:

"I step out into the city of New Jerusalem.  I can not help but not miss the old world, and sometimes I can not even imagine living there.  When I think back to it, it all seems surreal.  There was nothing even close to the beauty that exists here.  The peacefulness in this city makes the calmest morning on the old Earth seem chaotic and full of stress.  Walking though this city for even a second is infinite times greater than taking a walk on the old Earth's most splendid beach or the oldest forest that had survived mankind's thirst for destruction.

I still can not get over the smells here.  In this huge city there is no smog.  In fact, I have never even imagined what the world would have been like before smoke, fire, and the smell of pollution.  It was something that people in my time could have never even imagined.  I think back to the smell of car exhaust or the stench of alleyways where people had relieved themselves.  Here the alleyways are corridors of trees that rise ever skyward.  My eyes gaze upward, seeing the spires rise higher than anything I have seen built before.  There is no smog to block their golden gleam.  Instead, my eyes are stronger than they were in my former life, and I can see distances that were unimaginable on Earth.  I no longer need the prescription lenses that I once needed in the old world.  Such things do not exist here.

I have been walking for hours and my legs do not tire.  I do not long to go back to my home and turn on air conditioner due to the stifling heat.  I do not sweat.  I see animals playing with children at every turn.  There is no deification left behind.  There are no stray dogs or cats fighting for food.  There are no sounds of suffering or dying.  As I walk by the splendid mansions I take in the scent of food being prepared and eaten.  My senses are acute.  I never smelled a strawberry tree from across the street before.  Now I can smell everything.  In fact, everything dazzles the senses here, but I do not exhaust from it.  I can not even imagine the old world where so much was masked and still made us tire from overstimulation. 

I am in a new part of the city that I have never explored before.  Everything is new here and will probably always seem that way to me.  People are tending their gardens and they grow more beautiful every day.  I still find myself looking down sometimes at the golden streets which shine under my feet.  The transparent gold is more beautiful than any that existed in the old world.  I do not know why I bother compare it anymore.  The things of this world I could have never even imagined before.  
The flowering plants here are truly spectacular.  There are colors that never even were fathomable to my mind.  Some are something between a red and a purple, but, no, that is not even the way I would have described it.  It's something completely new.  There are no thorns on the plants here and I have no desire to rip them off of the bush and keep them for myself.  I am content in knowing that they are here for me to see again, perhaps in thirty or perhaps in 30,000 years.  I am content in knowing that it may be eons before I see a similar plant again, as there are infinite varieties in the universe, and even with eternity, I wonder, will I ever see them all?

I am told that there is so much to see outside of the city, and I have done a bit of exploring.  Yet, I am still in awe at the small part that I have seen.  If the universe only consisted of the things I have seen here, in this glorious city, I would be thrilled to have it.  Yet, I can see that it goes on forever.  There are infinite planets for me to explore.  I hear that some have mountains so grand that they make Everest seem like a bump in the sand.  And I have been told of canyons with thousand feet deep water that you can see to the bottom of.  I have been told of forests with twisting trees that climb upwards for miles.  Forests that have existed ever since God created the universe.  Forests that existed while I was alive on the old Earth that I could have never imagined were out there.  

I have been learning so much since being in new Jerusalem.  There are libraries full of information about the universe, libraries so huge that I can not even fathom reading all the books.  I could spend all of time just soaking up knowledge and would be, comparatively, no smarter than I am on this very day.  These books contain information on science that we thought we knew before and were actually so wrong about.  Even the most simple things, which we thought we had all the answers to, were so far deeper, so greater, than we even imagined.  Yet, there is so much left of us to discover here, for us to find.  I am told that we are free to inhabit where we chose, and one day I am going to go build myself a on a hill somewhere overlooking the forest of clouds and emerald mountains.  It was the first place I went to when I left New Jerusalem, and it was the first natural area of the New Earth that I saw.  It will always hold a special place for me, and I know that is where I want to create my natural home."

Of course, the above story is something that I created in my own mind.  Again, I should stress that Heaven, the New Earth, and the New Jerusalem is far more great than anything we can even imagine. While writing the above paragraph made me day dream and long for Heaven, the truth is we can not even begin to formulate in our mind how wonderful it will be.  I did not even mention inviting Jesus to my house to speak with him and personally thank him for everything He did for me. But, I do imagine that Jesus will come to our house and maybe tell us a bit about why he built our mansion for us the way He did. After all, He said "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered." (Matthew 10:30).  Jesus knows what we desire, what we long for, what we crave, what our interests are, and what pleases our senses.  He knows the things on Earth that appeal to us and he will make for us far better in Heaven.  We could not describe our true wants and dreams to an architect here on Earth, yet Jesus knows our wants without us even having to try to fumble around with creating blueprints and trying to explain our innermost dreams and wants.

The River of Life and the Tree of Life

New Jerusalem is a dazzling city.  It will have much in terms of precious metals, but also likely be as a garden.  The "River of Life" will flow from the throne of God, and will perhaps flow right through the city.  I imagine that beaches will line the banks of the river and this will be a place where people will come to worship, to play, and to take the city in.  I imagine the views from the river are spectacular, with the tower of God at the beginning of the river.  I picture grand waterfalls falling down the structure, a structure that is about 1,500 miles high, mind you.  Imagine seeing God's glory radiate from that pinnacle.  You can not really, but it is awesome to even consider in one's mind.
"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.…" (Revelation 22:1)
The tree of life grows on each side of the river.  We are not told how huge the river is.  It mentions it in the middle of the street, but again, we are not told of the size of the street.  Like the city, it is probably of grand scale.  The tree of life is likely a massive tree, maybe the most massive tree in existence.  It is used for all mankind and all mankind eats from it.  It grows on each side of the river, but is one tree.  I tend to imagine it as a tree that joins somewhere in the middle, high above the river, with its trunk and limbs twisting together to form into the most spectacular tree one can fathom.  One can climb upon the tree and sit on its many branches and look out at the city while eating its monthly fruit.  And the fruit is like none other we ever consumed.  It is a fruit that is so great that it gives life to those who eat it.  It is a fruit so wonderful that every Earthly fruit pales in comparison.  It is a fruit that man longs to eat and returns to eat, every month.  A fruit that mankind looks forward to eating and tasting.

A City Free of Sin

The book of John states that the New Jerusalem will be free of sin. The servants of God will have theosis, or communion and unity with God, and "His name will be on their foreheads." Night will no longer fall upon the city, and the inhabitants of the city will "have need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light." John ends his account of the New Jerusalem by stressing its eternal nature: "And they shall reign forever and ever."

Even with its splendid beauty, The New Jerusalem would not be the same with sin existing.  With sin, man would grow greedy and want more and more.  People would argue and death would result.  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23).  Yet, there is no death on the New Earth.  Mankind shall reign forever and ever with Christ.  We will be with our creator and not have to worry about the affects of sin.  We will still have free will, as we do on Earth, but we will remember the chaos and calamity that sin has caused here.  We will see the New Earth in front of us, and a life so perfect that none of us would dare even consider sinning.  We will hear the account of Jesus and see how great his sacrifice was that we could never imagine hurting our best friend in such a way.

We will not fight against neighbor, but commune with them and give them unconditional love.  The days of neighbors feuding over noise, territory or silly things such as a tree in the other person's yard that they do not like are over.  No more will you have to worry about the person upstairs telling you that you are too loud.  You will not have to fret about the leaves from your tree blowing into your neighbor's yard.  Instead, neighbors will finally have learned to come to love each other as fellow human beings, all created by the same loving creator, instead of looking at each other as a source of competition.  Cultural differences will be set aside and celebrated at the same time.  We are all part of God's perfect culture, yet He has made us different and beautiful in various ways.  Racism and classism will be gone.  Dark skin, light skin, and skin variations in between will be seen as beautiful, all painted by God Himself.  Mankind will marvel at how they could have hated another man based on the color of his/her skin.

New Jerusalem Is A Splendid City

We are told that New Jerusalem will have twelve gates.  These gates will symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel and symbolize the city as one of inclusion.  "All humanity is welcome into the city."  We will all have a home prepared there.  We will all worship there.  We will all return there to eat of the Tree of Life.  It is a home we are all welcome to and we all long to return to.

Each gate is made of a single pearl and are often known as or referred to the the "pearly gates."  The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are written on the gates.
"18: And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19: And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20: The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." (Revelation 21:18-20)
As you can imagine, the city is splendid.  The gems that were hidden deep in the Earth are now a part of the city.  While on Earth we have historically employed the use of slave labor to have a glimpse of these marvelous stones, in Heaven, they will be for the enjoyment of all.  If such a city was built on Earth, mankind would undoubtedly plunder the gems for his/her own private use and gain.  Yet, in the city of God, without sin, mankind will know that it is far better to share in the beauty of the city - after all, it belongs to us all.

Infinite Resources - No More Competition With Each Other

A limited lifespan coupled with finite resources has created competition on Earth.  Yet, in Heaven, there are no limits to life or resources.  Competition will cease.  Many of us enjoy competing with each other or trying to be better than others.  Yet, on Earth we all grow old and our time and memory fades away.  "All is vanity," says Solomon.  "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." (Ecclesiastes 1:14).  Humanity craves the things of this Earth, a chance to increase possessions or to be stronger, faster, and ever better than our peers.  We crave the glory that those things bring us and attempt to take the glory from God.  Yet, all glory belongs to our creator.  He has blessed us with strength, vigor, skill, and the means in which to acquire skill and possessions.  In Heaven, we will finally realize that.  

In short, the New Jerusalem is a marvelous city, more grand than words can describe, and more grand than even the Bible portrays it.  I imagine that Jesus did not speak as much about it as we would have liked him to, as human words make it impossible to portray the city in its full glory.  Yet, I think that we should all sit back and imagine ourselves walking through the city, living in the city, and being free from sin.  We should all look forward to Heaven and desire strongly to be there.  This earth is not our home, and while it is full of beauty, all of that beauty has been marred by sin.  Everything that you see would one day be destroyed if mankind lived on this Earth long enough.  The great places of nature are slowly disappearing.  The amount of open spaces and natural spaces that existed in the world when I was young are were far more than exist now.  Mankind is quickly accumulating land and converting it to private use.  Forests are reserved for logging, rivers are polluted, and great parks are overrun with people and litter.  Population is quickly expanding while nature is quickly shrinking in size.  This Earth is not our home.  Our home is with our creator, in a place where we will not mar the landscape and where we will not hoard vast tracts of land for personal and private use.  Mankind on Earth does not know how to share, but in Heaven, we will know that everything is ours forever.  That there is truly enough to go around and that there is no reason to try to be better or greater than those around us.  I truly can not wait for that day.