Our Heavenly & Eternal Reward

The entire letter of 2nd Corinthians was Paul’s expression of thankfulness to the Corinthian believers; at least the majority of them, for their faithfulness to the Lord and the ministry at large in Corinth.  In 1st Corinthians Paul addressed the false teachers who were attempting to sway some of the believers. These false teachers were trying to discredit Paul and his ministry, as a result, Paul sent Titus to Corinth to address this issue.  When Titus returned to Paul, they rejoiced to hear that the majority of the believers there had a change of heart for the better.  In this second letter Paul provided us with some great teaching that is central to good Christian living, doctrine, and theology.  In chapter 5 Paul explains, with greater clarity, what awaits us as believers in Jesus when we die or are raptured.   

It’s one thing to be saved by grace through faith in Jesus, it’s quite another to embrace God’s promises, particularly as they relate to our eternal rewards in heaven.  What we have in this life is as temporary as a vivid dream or fading memory.  What we have in Jesus is a permanent reward that God has laid up for us in heaven for everyone  who has placed their faith in Jesus.  The focus of this study will be on the heavenly rewards that await all those who belong to Jesus and who love His’ (look forward to) appearing.

The Apostle Paul continues his thought in 2nd Corinthians 5,

“For we know that if our earthly house (physical body), this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”         – (vs.1) 

  • As we begin this blog we must come to terms with this thing called ‘death.’  Most people don’t like talking about death, as a matter of fact, too many people say that they will deal with death when they get there.

In this first verse of 2 Corinthians 5 the Apostle Paul references our physical body as an ‘earthly house’ or a ‘tent’ being ‘destroyed;’ meaning, it’s in the process of dying.  Our body is a temporary dwelling that houses our spirit and soul in this world.  God made it for us, He created us, we are His building or house, not made with hands, like construction workers build; rather we are created by God, knitted together in our mother’s womb.  If in this life we come to faith in Christ, then this life that we live in the here and now will continue in heaven for all of eternity.

Death for a believer in Jesus is a doorway to eternal life.  However, death for non-believers, is a doorway to Hell, fire, and a damnation of eternal suffering.  The stark and drastic difference is what defines our faith in God and causes us to yearn to be with Jesus.  We are saved by grace to faith in Jesus. What are we saved from? Hell.

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation (dwelling) which is from heaven,”    – (vs.2) 

  • Paul identifies with his readers that it’s okay to ‘earnestly desire, or even groan’ to be with Jesus and to be clothed in our heavenly body.’  Our eternal habitation or dwelling place is in heaven, not here.  This is something that believers in Jesus anticipate because the Lord promised us what this holy habitation looks like that is waiting for us there.

Jesus said it this way, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions (dwelling places); if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

 – John 14:1-3

Here Jesus encourages His disciples (and us too) about what heaven looks like. He references the Rapture of the Church with the word ‘receive’ (Greek: paralambano) and He assures us of His faithfulness in that one day He will return and receive us and take us home with Him in heaven.

NOTE: This passage occurs at the last supper, after Judas was excused to go and prepare to betray Jesus to the Jewish elders.  Judas was not present when Jesus spoke these particular words, inferring that this promise was only for His disciple and only for true believers (followers) in Jesus.

Believers, especially those who are close to passing away, groan within themselves for heaven, for Christ, and for their eternal dwelling place.  They know it’s real and they know that’s where they’re going.

“if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.”              – (vs.3,4)

  • Paul says that the life we live in this world can be burdensome at times.  He reminds us that our bodies can suffer illness and pain.  It’s not strange that a believer who loves the Lord and His Word would want to be transformed into the image of Christ at the resurrection, especially if they bypass death

The phrase, ‘having been clothed,’ used in this passage has more to do with the promise of our eternal body.  The ‘not being found naked’ pertains to those who are not saved and will have to endure Hell in a body of death, created for their spirit and soul, that retains its gender, is extremely sensitive to pain and torment, and remains naked throughout eternity. 

The same way a physical body cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven, it also can’t survive in the atmosphere of Hell.  However, God has prepared a ‘body of death’ for every person who dies without Jesus.  It is bestowed upon every person who has ever died in their sin, without the blood of Jesus atoning them.  It will house their spirit and soul and be able to withstand the horrific climate of Hell, fire, and damnation there forever.

Paul said it this way, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”                 – Romans 7:24,25

  • In context, Paul’s ‘body of death’ reference is his own flesh, but this translates into an eternal body of death if a person dies without Jesus.

For believers in Jesus, the closest you will ever get to Hell is what the devil can make you believe that you are going there.  Your salvation was decided at the cross, you are sealed unto redemption until the day of Christ; that is the Rapture.  As a believer, you were no more made for Hell than you were, the seven-year tribulation.

Paul says that we as believers ‘desire to be further clothed’ in heavenly garments, and that our earthly, temporal mortality will be transformed into life, eternal life!

In Revelation 4, John describes the 24 elders in heaven as wearing white robes.

“Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones, I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.”                                                             – Revelation 4:4 

Again in Revelation 7, John describes the trib-saints who are sequestered under the altar of the Lord after being martyred on earth, during the seven-year tribulation, as being arrayed in white robes.

“After these things (Greek: meta tauta)I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”                                                            – Revelation 7:9,10

The term ‘after these things’ (Greek: meta tauta) describes that in order for one thing to occur, something must occur before it. We see this term used several times in Revelation; it screams pre tribulation Rapture!

Apparently ‘white robes’ is the style of dress in heaven.  Even Jesus, when He returns to the earth with all of us, will be wearing a white robe, and we also will be dawned in white robe apparel (‘fine linen’). 

John described it this way, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean (pure white linen), followed Him on white horses.”                                                                                                         – Revelation 19:11-14

  • The point here is that we will be further clothed in glory, not found naked.

The Apostle Paul continues, “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (down payment). So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.”     – (vs.5,6)

The Holy Spirit of God being a ‘down payment’ on our home in glory is an understatement.  He is our guarantee that we have from the Lord; it’s His promise to us that we will have a place in His kingdom.

We will be housed in a glorified body, with untold millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ, who have also been given this guarantee of a future, heavenly reward.  They also will be given glorified bodies that are designed for Heaven and will never die.  All of the OT saints, from Adam and Eve forward, will also be there, wearing white robe apparel and worshipping and serving the Lord. It will be an eternal era of limitless glory.

NOTE: This guarantee by the Holy Spirit is like none other.  The Lord has placed His promise of our eternal reward within our heart; we know it’s true.  As we draw closer to the Lord, so He reveals this truth.

The same way that we have confidence that our houses, property, and certain selected people are insured with various property and life insurance policies; so our spiritual posterity is ‘insured’ as it were, with this guarantee that comes from the Holy Spirit of God Himself!  We must choose, they must choose, but God always guarantees His Word and His promises to us as we place our faith and trust in Him.

This promise gives us a confidence, a ‘God-fidence,’ as it were, because we know that while we are here in this body, on this earth, in this life, with all of its heartache and pain, its beauty and opportunity, its setbacks and failures, and its blessings and beauty.  We know beyond the shadow of any doubt that we will have a place in glory just as soon as the Master returns for us or we pass from this life, into death; which for us as believers, is really a doorway to eternal life!

Paul says that as long as we are ‘in the body’ translates, on the earth in this physical body; we are absent from the Lord, that is, we are NOT with the Lord, yet.While it’s true that God doesn’t want us to have a death wish for heaven so much as He does want us to be as productive for His kingdom as we can while we’re here. We know that when we die, we will be rewarded for our faithfulness to the Lord because of His faithfulness to His Word and to us who obey and believe in Him.

Put another way: Most of us have some form of a retirement plan or policy that we are relying on in order to live during our latter years.  For those of us who don’t have a plan, if you’re in Christ, He has a plan for you that is literally ‘out of this world!’ 

Hopefully, we don’t sit around all day thinking about retirement, unless you’re a career cop with 6 months left to serve; or a 30-year bomb tech vet in a terror zone, other than that, we don’t worry about the future because God has arranged our future for us, and it’s waiting for us in glory.

NOTE: They’re a lot of people in the world today who are as successful as they are rich. They don’t worry about retirement because they own it; or so they think.  If they don’t have Jesus, they should be terrified about their future.  All those years preparing for retirement, only to die and go to Hell forever.

Too many people have great retirement plans, but they don’t have Jesus.  These same have a tragic false sense of security.  There is no plan on this side of the veil that can save a person’s eternal soul from Hell except the plan that Christ has to offer us, that is salvation through Him.  This is the plan that Paul is speaking of here; it’s God’s plan and His promise to us.  It’s His guarantee for us, through the Holy Spirit, that we are joint heirs of His kingdom if we are in Christ. 

Right now we are in our bodies so we are absent from the Lord, but it is only for a ‘short time.’  Do you realize that we will spend ions of millennia on the other side of death?  Getting our heart right with God in this life is as critical as it is essential. We will be there a whole lot longer than we are here. Too many people never even consider the light of God’s Word or the promise afforded to them in the Gospel.  However, it should be of paramount importance. 

Paul continues, “For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”               – (vs.7,8)

  • Faith in God is the ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for and the evidence (confidence) of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 The guy who said that understood that we as believers need to have a faith in God in order to benefit from the guarantee of eternal life that God has given to us by His Holy Spirit.

Substance is to realization what evidence is to confidence.  It’s in this realization and confidence that we walk with Jesus by faith.  It’s not what we can see so much as it is what we are hoping for in what we can’t see, but read about in God’s Word.

Can anyone here see…

…what their eternal home in glory looks like?

…what their glorified body looks like?

…heaven’s beauty, and what the wonderful smells, sights, and colors look like?

…how much God’s love permeates the kingdom of heaven and encompasses it?

None of us can see any of this, but we can believe it by faith because the God who promised it to us gave us a guarantee by His Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirit that we’re saved by grace and joint heirs with God in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:16

The Judgment Seat of Christ: “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.”          – (vs.9-11)

  • The ‘Bema Seat of Christ.’  The word ‘judgment’ (Greek bema) used in this passage is likened to a judgment tribunal that is raised above the subjects being rewarded for their efforts in games or other sporting events. 

Much like the tribunals seen at the Olympic games or after a NASCAR race where the three top competitors stand on a platform specifying first, second, and third place; or where gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded; so the bema is also.

The idea of the Bema being more about rewards or loss of rewards earned in this life is a greater truth.  The Bema Seat judgment doesn’t determine your salvation because that was decided at the cross of Jesus. The very fact that you will be standing at the Bema Seat solidifies the fact that you are saved. The ‘good or bad’ things done in this life are not sin issues so much as they are non-sin issues that covey a negative attitude, a selfish spirit, or an arrogance displayed that is not honorable to the Lord or consistent with a good Christian testimony.  In other words, all the ‘wood, hay, and stubble’ in your life will come to nothing.  There will be no reward for ‘burnable’ actions.

The word used for ‘bad’ in this passage (Greek: fallos) refers to ‘worthless things.’  That is, something done that is a non-sin issue but will yield no fruit for you at the Bema Seat Judgment. 

Paul says that ‘knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men’ to get saved.  We ourselves, because ‘we are well known to God, and we know good and well in our consciences’ that we are saved, we anticipate the Bema Seat with joy, knowing that Jesus is the One who will be rewarding us at this judgment.

“For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.”                                                                                     – (vs.12) 

  • We don’t boast in ourselves or our goodness, but we do give opportunity to boast the goodness of the Lord and to share His goodness with all who ask.  

Furthermore, we don’t ‘showboat’ our goodness to display our faith, as if to look spiritual or religious; but we do show God’s love toward others from the heart.  Our display of faith must honor the Lord and be something that compels others to be reconciled to God.  The more ‘God answers’ we can give to them, the better.

Paul continues, “For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.”                     – (vs.13) 

  • The phrase, ‘beside ourselves’ implies that we are out of our minds. There are people who think that Christians are crazy and that the things that we do are peculiar at best.  Unfortunately, for many of them, they are right.  Some of the examples that believers have given have been less than stellar.

Any believer who displays a bad testimony of the Christ by their conduct or words may have inadvertently caused someone else to stumble.  This is probably true with all of us to some degree, but the good news is that we can learn and grow from it.  As we mature in our faith we can improve our testimony of God’s grace in our life.  The burden of another person’s soul is not on us if we warn them (watchman), but we must do it well.

Paul says, we are of ‘sound mind’ for the betterment of our witness and the glory of the Lord. Our good conduct is a testimony for the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ.  We’re not ‘beside ourselves,’ we’re just saved by grace through faith in Jesus. Truth be told, crazy is part of the ride for believers in this world.

Paul reminds us that, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”             – 2 Timothy 1:7

  • There may be days where you feel like you’re fear is getting the best of you; but be encouraged, God has NOT given us that spirit, but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind

Paul continues, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”     – (vs.14,15)

  • The ‘One who died’ is Jesus, and He died for everyone.  It was because of His love for us that He chose to die for us so that we could be saved through Him, it wasn’t enough to seal the deal. 

Even though Christ died for everyone, not all will choose to receive Him.  Everyone will die someday, this is part of the curse, but there is a remnant of believers who have received Jesus and have chosen to live for the Lord and not for themselves.  They chose to received Christ’ atoning sacrifice on the cross and be forgiven!

These same will one day rise again with Christ because they are hidden in Christ.

Paul continues, “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.”                                                                                         – (vs.16) 

  • We are to see individuals as either a brother or sister in the Lord, or a potential brother or sister in the Lord.  We must not look at them at ‘flesh’ value, but as a fellow traveler to the grave and a potential resident of God’s kingdom.

Some people possess more flesh appeal than others, but Christ died for all of them.  We must not judge others by their outside appearance, physical attributes, sex appeal, life status, or possessions.  We must see them as God sees them, His beautiful children.  As we separate ourselves from the worldly flesh appeal and observe others for who they are, for who God sees them as, we will be in a better place to witness or be a good example.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”                                                                      – (vs.17) 

  • If we are in Christ, and we are if we are saved, then we are a new creation in Christ.  All of the old stuff, the bad stuff, the dark stuff in our past is gone baby!  That face that we are in Christ, He has made all things new.  Ha-kuna-ma-tata!

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing (reckoning) their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”                         – (vs.18,19)

  • This passage is code for, ‘because we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, from a great debt of sin, we must compel others to be saved and reconciled to God through Christ and ‘made right’ in His sight. 

Paul is saying that God has reconciled (made right) us to Himself through Jesus; as a result, we too should minister to others this same reconciliation.  God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. He didn’t hold their trespasses against them, but made a way of reconciliation for them to Himself in spite of their sin.

Sometimes people say they are too much of a sinner to be saved.  They have done too many bad things to be saved.  This is a lie from the pit.  If this were true than Jesus died in vain.  The truth be told, Christ’ death and resurrection is more than enough to save us from our sin.   

Jesus said it this way, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”        – Mark 2:17b

Paul continues, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”    – (vs.20)                                                                                                                              

An ambassador is a representative of a king or a kingdom.  They act in the interests and agenda of the king they are representing, and they must give an account of their actions to the king. 

Our ambassadorship to Christ is afforded us when we received Him as our Lord and Savior.  His Word is in us and He has called us to share it to the world.

NOTE: Before any king goes to war with a nation, he first removes his ambassadors from the nation he is in conflict with.  So it is with us, God is about to go to war with this world, before God begins His judgment on this world, He will first remove His ambassadors from this world.

This being the case, we must be about the Master’s business, occupying and doing business until He comes.  Our commission of reconciliation is part of our faith mandate and a reasonably expectation that God has for us.

Because we are Christ ambassadors, we are saved.  Because we are saved, we want others to be saved.  God is pleading with this world through us to be saved and reconciled to God through Jesus because God knows what happens to a person who dies without Jesus.

The Prophet Ezekiel said it this way, “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine (waste) away in them, how can we then live?” ’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’                                                                     – Ezekiel 33:10,11

  • While the context is OT, the principle applies to the NT also.  We need to be reconciled to God through Jesus; to do this we must repent of our wickedness and turn to the Lord for His salvation.

Ezekiel continues, “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’                                                      – (vs.12)

  • Ezekiel exposes the lie of ‘eternal security’ in this one verse.  People who think they are saved because of a one-time experience at an altar or as a baby in a church infant christening ceremony and such, but who live their life in sin and degradation are lost, and many don’t even know it.

It’s bad theo to believe you’re saved without living a life of obedience to the Lord. People who have fallen away from grace and returned to a lifestyle of sin and degradation are equally lost, even if they do good things.  The good that we do in this life can’t save us from Hell no more than the bad that we do keeps from the heaven. 

Listen UP! People go to Hell when they die, not because they were bad, but because they didn’t receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  People who are ‘bad’ (unsaved) and repent of their wickedness and come to faith in Christ will go to Heaven when they die, not because of their goodness, but because of their confession of faith in Jesus. 

Going to Heaven or going to Hell is contingent on our faith in God through Christ and our walk with the Lord in this life, or lack thereof.  It’s not about good or bad so much as it is about receiving Jesus; only Jesus saves!

This being said, good or bad shows up as a reflection of our love for the Lord or our distain of Him.  Our eternal heavenly reward can only be found in Jesus.  How a person dies doesn’t determine where they go, Heaven or Hell, but how they lived when they died.   The real question is, did they die in Christ; were they saved by grace?

Luke reminds us, “…there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”                – Acts 4:12b

  • That name that Luke is referring to here is Jesus!  Their will be a test at the end of this life!

Paul concludes his thought in this chapter with this final verse, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”                                                                                                         – (vs.21)

  • God made Jesus who knew no sin, that is, Christ who was perfect, actually became sin for us. That is, the sin of the world was placed upon Jesus when He was on the cross. He became the personification of sin and died a sacrificial death with sin. 

Jesus Dies on the Cross: “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”                                                                                            – Matthew 27:45,46

  • Many people don’t realize that Jesus was actually quoting from Psalm 22, a psalm of David.  When He cried out these words; it was a prophetic utterance as it this entire psalm.

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?”                                                   – Psalm 22:1

  • God had ‘forsaken Jesus’ because He had become sin on that cross.  As He hung on the cross, between heaven and earth, the sin of the world was imputed into His bosom to be forever nailed to the cross. Jesus died once for all the sin of the world.  The remains no other sacrifice for sin. 

When we receive Jesus as Lord and His atoning sacrifice for our sin, we are saved.

Matthew continues, “Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. 49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”                                                                                                                                – Matthew 27:47-50

  • While there is a lot we can say about this passage, the major point is that Jesus gave His life; He ‘yielded up His spirit’ and died.  The sin of the world died with Him; your sin, my sin, the world’s sin was absolved at the cross of Christ.

Some people teach that because of this, nobody dies and goes to Hell because Jesus paid the price for all sin.  This is called the ‘inclusion doctrine’ and it’s another doctrine of a demon.  This doctrine says that everyone is saved and included in God’s heavenly kingdom.  They says that nobody goes to Hell because of what Jesus did here on the cross.  This is another emergent lie from the pit.

Jesus did His part, and we must do our part by receiving what Jesus did on His part. We can’t save ourselves, be good enough, or even attempt to acquire eternal life apart from the Christ. We need the Messiah, we need Jesus!

The old hymn of the church says it best,   ‘Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.’

The truth is that what Jesus did on the cross only works for us if we choose to believe in the Christ; that He is God, and that His sacrifice on the cross was for our sin if we place our faith in Him.  Salvation only works for us if we receive Jesus as our Lord.

NOTE: This is a pretty big ‘if.’

The Apostle Paul said a big ‘if’ too,

“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”                                                                                        – Romans 10:9,10

We must confess our sin to Jesus to be saved.  We must believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, both are necessary! It’s not enough that Christ died for our sins, we must receive the Christ, repent of our sin, turn from our old life, and live for the Lord.  A heart change is necessary.

Matthew continues, “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”    

– Matthew 27:51-53

  • The evidence that God accepted Christ’ sacrifice was the veil being torn in the temple at the moment of His death and three days later, His resurrection from the grave along with the resurrection of the OT saints from Abraham’s Bosom, with Jesus at His resurrection.

Jesus died on the cross for our sin. If we believe and receive Him as our Lord and Savor and live for Him according to His Word, we will be saved.  This is the gospel!  What Jesus did on that cross was remarkable.  He provided a way for mankind, if they choose to receive it, to be freed from the consequence of their sin, and to be welcomed into His heavenly kingdom.

Paul said it this way (in a different letter), “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”            – Ephesians 5:4-10

  • Jesus did the work of redemption on the cross of Calvary.  He has provided us a way into His heavenly kingdom through our belief in Him and confession of our sin.

If we only hear about what Jesus did for us, but don’t believe and receive Him as Lord, than we are not saved. The only way we can become the righteousness of God in Christ is if we repent of our sin, receive Him into our heart, ask His forgiveness, and live for Him by obeying His Word and growing in our faith.

It’s not a works righteousness plan, it’s a faith in God through Jesus plan that has been afforded us by God’s grace.  If we want to go to heaven, Jesus is the only way!

This is the Word of the Lord!


Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Northern Missouri.  He lives with his wife of 33-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren).  Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate.  He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry. 

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