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Previous Message From Virtual Church

Welcome To 2001

FUTURE FACT: WORLD WILL FACE THREATS OF INCREASING NATURAL DISASTERS, NUCLEAR WAR, FAMINE, THE SPREAD OF UNTREATABLE DISEASES, TERRORIST ATTACKS, ECONOMIC DEPRESSION, EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND MORE

FUTURE FACT: THE GRACE OF GOD WILL NOT CHANGE, DIMINISH, OR BE ALTERED

Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (NIV)

Matthew 23:33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. (NIV)

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)

You are saved from the fires of hell or the horror of outer darkness by the grace of God. It is the grace of God that keeps you from falling into the fire...the fire that burns the soul forever and ever. No matter what happens in your physical world you are covered and immersed in the grace of God, if you want it. This protection by God depends upon your turning away from your natural and inborn life of sin. You are a sinner at birth. You are a fallen creature before God. You have no way of changing your fallen nature on your own except by repenting and turning away from your fallen nature. After repenting and turning away from your sinful self, you can inherit eternal life by accepting Christ into your life as your Savior. It is the blood of Christ, poured out for you because of what you did to Him that saves you from falling into the fire of hell. The hand of God protects you because you have accepted Christ into your heart and life.

Look at the lives of those who have not accepted Him. When tribulation comes, they are devastated. The life of someone who has not accepted Christ is a burning fire of pain and hopelessness. You do not have to be a genius to see this. When death comes to them or to someone they love they have no hope. Without Christ, there is only darkness and uncertainty ahead. Who would want to face only darkness and uncertainty? When you have Christ, you have His grace and His protection. Even when disease and sickness attack your body, the grace of God sustains your soul. When you have Christ in your heart, you have a hope that permits you to see Christ in this life. You also have a vision that permits you to see Him waiting for you when He calls you home to be with Him in paradise. With Christ, your future is certain. Your future is full of Light not darkness.

FUTURE FACT: PROTECTION WILL BE NEEDED BY MILLIONS

Psalm 6:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (NIV)

As the great wheel of fate turns over and over in the coming days, millions will want to be protected. Even if disaster does not strike your life, you need and want protection from God. You want His hand to keep you safe and secure. You want His hand to keep the ones you love safe and secure from whatever the future brings. When the great wheel of the future grinds onward, many will be crushed beneath its weight. Christians and non-Christians are vulnerable to the forces of our dark world. However, for the Christian there is a spiritual protection. For the Christian, the present pain and suffering is of little importance for there is a land full of Light, Love, and Joy just ahead. In this world and in this reality, whether you receive God's protective love is entirely up to you. You decide your own future.

FUTURE FACT: ONLY A FEW WILL BELIEVE, THE REST WILL WANT TO BELIEVE, OR THEY WILL REJECT CHRIST ENTIRELY

Romans 11:5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. (NIV)

Luke 18:8 However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (NIV)

Millions of persons do not want to accept that God would permit them to fall into a place of fire or into the hell of outer darkness. In 2001, it is not fashionable or acceptable to tell people they have a future of hellish proportions. It is not fashionable in 2001 to tell people they can spend eternity in the suffering of hell fire. Today many persons want to believe that God will save them from burning in hell no matter what they do or how they act. These persons have no reason to grip or hold tightly to the word of God, grip or hold tightly to Christ, or grip or hold tightly to the teachings of Christ. You can believe anything you want about God and about life after death. You can choose from many theologies, religions, and beliefs. What you must realize is that there is a consequence to what you believe. No matter what you believe today, at the hour before you die, you will most surely want to believe in life after death. You will at that last hour want to be able to see over the horizon of death's darkness. At the last hour of life, you most certainly will want to see Jesus waiting for you with open arms. However, you do not know when your last hour will be. Your last hour may come at any minute. A nuclear war or a natural disaster can strike at any time. A drunk driver may take your life tomorrow. Today is not just the first day of the rest of your life; today can be the first day of eternity in paradise or hell, depending upon your decision. Decide now. Accept Christ into your life and heart right now. He is calling you this minute. He has been calling you but you have not listened. In spite of the great horror of His crucifixion that you put on Him, He forgives you. He loves you dearly. He loves you more than any words can express.

FUTURE FACT: FEAR OF DEATH TO GRIP MILLIONS

Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (NIV)

Innate to human life is a fear of our future after death. You are right to fear your future after your death because you do not have what a scientist would call "hard data" on what is beyond your last breath. However, when you accept Christ, you have no reason to fear your future beyond death. When you accept Christ, you have a hope and a certainty that you will live forever in a new mansion in Heaven.

Every human being hangs above the darkness of death by a slender thread. The thread is not the thread of DNA. The slender thread is the energy that activates the DNA...the energy we call life. Generally, you are not even aware of hanging by a slender thread above the dark pit of death until your life is threatened. When your life is threatened, by whatever circumstance, you then begin to realize you are vulnerable. When you realize you are vulnerable and you realize how vulnerable you are, there can be feelings of desperation, fear, and even panic. However, as you hang by the slender thread of life, those of you who have accepted Christ as Savior, are not feeling any desperation, fear, or panic. Instead of looking forward to darkness and uncertainty, those of you who have accepted Christ look forward to Light, Love, and the certainty of living in God's heaven for all eternity.

Many people refuse to accept the certainty that they will die. When you finally see that you surely can die, then you get serious about surviving death. You, along with every other human being, are vulnerable to the moving scythe of the grim reaper. You are vulnerable because your life is not permanent. Although life is terribly fragile and can slip away from you at any moment, you need not have any fear of what happens after you die. Although your life is temporary, you can have an assurance that no matter how vulnerable you are now, you can live forever through Christ who died for you.

FUTURE FACT: MILLIONS WILL BE CALLED TO ACCOUNT

Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (NIV)

Death takes its annual toll around the world. Millions will die from old age, or disease, or plague, or war, or natural disaster. At some point in the future, you will also die. When you die you will be called to account. It will be your judgement day and you will stand before God. You will stand before God and be judged. God will ask you, in whatever manner He chooses, to give an account of your life. When you give your account, you will also explain how your sin placed Christ on the Cross. What will you say about your putting Christ on the Cross? Will you say to the Lord that you really did not know you were part of Christ's death? No, you will not say this because you cannot lie to God. Will God show you your life and will you see a life too busy to love the Lord? Will you look at your life and see so many people you could have touched with the love of Christ but whose lives were diminished because you had other priorities? On your day of judgement, will you stand before God with Christ at your side and will Christ speak for you? On your day of judgement, will Christ proclaim that you belong to Him? On your day of judgement, will this time be a time of joy as the Great Shepherd wraps His arms around you and welcomes you home? Think about it today. What kind of account will you give in 2001 if the Lord calls you?

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018