Here Today – Where Tomorrow?
By Dennis Huebshman
Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord God is the One who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.”
Psalm 37:27-28, “Turn away from evil. Do what is right. Then you will enjoy lasting security (eternal home with Jesus). (28) For the Lord promotes justice and never abandons His faithful followers. They are permanently secure, but the children of evil men are wiped out.” (emphasis mine)
“Now may the God of peace Himself, make you completely holy, and may your spirit and soul and body be kept completely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) “For I am sure of this very thing, that the One who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Today, I am reminded of just how fragile this life is, and just how soon we could be in the presence of Jesus – a joyous occasion for believers; pure and complete despair for those who aren’t. A person I can truly say was a friend, was killed in an automobile accident on his way to work. Though we never really sat down and talked about our eternal beliefs, I am convinced he believed in Jesus as being our Lord and Savior, and he is in His presence. Only time will tell as the Father is the ultimate judge of this.
With this happening, a prayer by our Savior came to my mind. John 17:20-24, “I am not praying only on their behalf (His apostles), but also on behalf of those who believe in Me through their testimony, (All believers from that moment to the present) (21) that they will all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. I pray that they will be in Us, so that the world will believe that You sent Me. (22) The glory You gave Me, I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are One. (23) I in them and You in Me. That they may be completely one, so that the world will know that You sent Me, and You have loved them just as You have loved Me (John 3:16). (24) Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they can see My glory that You gave Me because You loved Me like the creation of the world.” Jesus was looking ahead at all who would call on Him to be their Savior, from that moment on to the end of the Millennium.
Our Savior, while on earth in human form, was made lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9) in order for Him to be able to say with authority, He experienced all that we do. He never stopped being God, but allowed Himself to become fully human in order to be our perfect sacrifice for our sins. By accepting His death, burial and resurrection as a precious gift to us, we get rewarded when we should be the ones punished. His ordeal at Calvary was in our stead, and He has the right to require that we believe in Him and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. He is the only “person” to have lived a perfect sinless life.
With this being said, we will never be forced to accept Him or this wonderful offer. Yes, Romans 14:11 does say, “For it is written, as I live says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will confess (give praise) to God.” This will be at the final judgment just before we enter eternity after the Millennium. This will include satan, who will be forced to, once and for all, bow to Jesus. However, in this life, we have the choice to accept or reject Jesus, and will not be forced either way. A true believer is already “bowing and confessing” that Jesus is our Lord, and we do so willingly.
Likewise, He will turn no one away who calls out to Him to be their Savior. (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13) There are no special incantations or rituals. We must believe and put our faith in Romans 10:9 that says, “because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is your personal commitment to Jesus that you have faith in Him and you humbly accept His free gift given for you. No one else can do this for you, and you can’t do this for someone else. It is a personal action that each person must decide to accept or reject. With your acceptance, you become a part of His “flock”, and will be at the Wedding Celebration of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9)
There is a time coming that is spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, when Jesus will come for His “Bride”, which is all true believers. At the sound of a trumpet/shofar, and a shout from the arch angel, we will be taken up, “harpitzo” or “Raptured” to meet Him in the air. It will be in the blink of an eye, and we will receive our eternal heavenly bodies that will be pain-free, sin-free and will last forever.
Going back to Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13, you can be assured that if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you will be included in the group that will not go through the Wrath (Tribulation). In the event we take our last breath here and had accepted Jesus before our death, we will be raised first and taken up to have our old bodies (whatever is left) meet with our spirits which were with Jesus, to be converted to the new imperishable body. The ones who are still alive when He calls will be converted immediately upon being taken up.
At any rate, we can all relate to the Fanny Crosby song from 1873, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of Glory Divine.” We will have an eternity of pure fellowship in the presence of our Heavenly Father, Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit. All the saints from the beginning of time on this earth, to the end of the millennium will be there. We will know every one of them without having to be introduced. We will associate with all the Heavenly Host of Angels and personally know Gabriel and Michael.
It’s beyond my comprehension just how wonderful it will be. To not act now and accept this gift from our Savior could be an eternal nightmare. There will be no relief in hell, and it also will be forever. The choice of where you’ll be is entirely up to you. It’s either Heaven or hell and there are no other options.
Also, the call from Jesus could be any day, any hour or any minute now. Twinkling or blinking of an eye is less than one second, which will be how long it will take to complete the Rapture. To be assured not to be in despair, call on Him today. Right now would not be too soon, and could save you an eternity of heartache.