Hell is Not a Penthouse Party

Let’s get something straight, shall we? There seems to be this whole group of people out there who have this belief that hell is the place to go. They talk about how it’s going to be one big party with all their wild friends, since all of us “small minded bigots who just try to control them” won’t be around to stop them. It will be the bar that never gives the last call, the high that doesn’t fade, and the party that never ends. Everyone can do what they want, when they want, and the master of the party, Satan himself, will be right there with the bong, or the keg, or the pill, or the needle, a couple of hot babes on his arms (that he is more than willing to share and they are more than willing). No rules, no laws, no condemnation, guilt, or consequences. They see hell as the devil’s playground and they just want to play.

Here is the truth. Satan was an angel in heaven. Beautiful and stunning and it is believed he led worship to the God most high. He had it all, except that wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted God’s throne, His power, and the worship of His creations. He loved heaven so much, and saw all the greatness of God…and wanted it all for himself.

Lucifer, the devil, Satan, didn’t leave the confines and laws and rules of heaven and go build a penthouse playground where he could be in charge of one big endless party.
He was thrown out of heaven, he tried to take over, he lost, and was cast out! After they tossed him out on his ear with one third of his crazy followers, he didn’t create some evil paradise to go live and party in. He was cast out to earth. He lives here. And he is pissed off about it. He hates people, all people, tattoos, bible thumpers, sadists, and even Satan worshipers. People are God’s special creation. We were created to be just like God and are loved so much. Hell wasn’t made or created by Satan, it was created by God, AS A PRISON! It was never made for mankind. We were supposed to live forever with Him.

Satan knows that his end is prison forever. All spiritual beings (God, Angels, Devils, Demons, People) live forever. God’s will and perfect way is for us to live with Him in the real paradise. Satan, the slanderer, the deceiver, lied to Adam, the first man and said God was withholding the best from him. When he believed the lie and did exactly what Satan said, and what God warned him not to, all people were put under Satan’s rule. Now we live according to his way. There is evil, suffering, war, murder, rape, abuse, addictions, death, sickness, poverty, disease, perversion, and every other horrible thing you can think of because that’s what the devil mandates here in his territory. This is Satan’s handy work, not God’s. From the day that Adam and Eve listened to the Liar instead of God, (the Truth), hell has been enlarged, to accommodate those who refuse to follow God. And when Jesus died and went to hell, He took the keys from Satan. The devil doesn’t even have the keys to his own penthouse! We choose where we spent eternity. Heaven or hell.
We have two beings fighting for us, they both want us with them. One wants to lavish us in His love, provide for our every need, and provides a place where there is NO MORE SUFFERING. The other wants us to suffer forever WITH HIM. Satan’s end isn’t a party. It is eternal hellfire and damnation. It is eternal separation from God. That’s his punishment for trying to harm God’s special creation, mankind. Every other person, human, who spends eternity suffering there, will be doing it by choice. God doesn’t send a single person to Hell. He never will. They choose the lies over the truth. They choose suffering over peace and rest.

Why!? Because they believe the lie. The one that says, “All my friends are going to be there and we are going to party forever.”

A hypocrite says they love you and then abuse you. A hypocrite has two faces. One that is their true face and one they show the world. Our God is one! One love, one truth, one Spirit. He can’t lie. Ever.

Who’s the hypocrite? The people who find themselves in a mess in this evil world, who turn to God for help, and still have some struggles and issues, yet they keep going to church and they press in to God for strength and hope. Or the one who tries to convince the world that God is bad, Christians are all bigots and hate everyone else, and that hell is going to be one big party? Satan is the ultimate hypocrite. He wanted it all, and now tries to convince us all that it isn’t worth having.
We can’t be perfect. God knows that. It’s not God that whispers in your ear that you are worthless, screwed up, a failure, and unlovable. It’s our enemy that tells us God doesn’t care, that He expects you to be perfect, and that you can never measure up. God says, “I love you.” No strings attached.

Who are you going to believe? Who are you choosing to follow? How do you want to spend eternity?

Isaiah 14:11-17 (BSB), “Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol; Maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you and worms are your covering. How you have fallen from heaven,O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?”

Watch and Pray

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Right after the last Passover meal with his disciples where he tells them to eat his body and to drink his blood, they go to the Mount of Olives. Jesus is about to spend His “hour in the flesh” and he asks a few of His disciples to watch and pray.

Mark 14:37-38 (NIV), “And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

When we remember his blood, shed for us in love, when we remember his broken body that purchased our healing, it helps us to watch and pray. It keeps us from temptation. We aren’t so ready to believe the lies of the enemy. When he tries to tell us that God doesn’t really love us, or that we aren’t worthy, we can remember the love that compelled the Father to give His son, or the great love that held Jesus on that cross. We don’t want what He did to have been in vain. He did so much for us so that we could live a transformed life. Shouldn’t we be diligent then to watch and pray? Yes, our flesh is week, but our spirits are willing.

Those words, “keep watching and praying” are just as important for us today as they were for the disciples that went with Jesus to the garden. Our flesh is still week. Satan’s desire is still to “sift us like wheat.” When we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, when we “set our faces like flint,” we can withstand every temptation.

I Corinthians 10:13 (NIV), “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Today let’s purpose to remember His blood, the atoning blood that took away all of our sins, those from our past, those for our present, and those in our future. They are all gone. And let us remember His stripes, the lesions from the thorns, the holes in his hands and feet, and that cut from the spear. Those wounds that He “received in the house of his friends” and let us accept all the redemptive gifts that they purchased for us.

Father, we thank you for your perfect plan of redemption. We choose to remember and accept the finished work of Your Son, Jesus Christ and to cherish His great act of love in our hearts.

Don’t be a Fool

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Galatians 3:1-4 (NIV), “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?”

The Galatians had been let to Jesus by the Spirit of the Living God. They had accepted Jesus as crucified, their penalty paid. They had gloried in their new freedom from sin, begun a Church family, and behaved like all new believers. Then something terrible happened…

They went back to the confines of the law!

Paul calls them fools. Elsewhere in the scripture (Proverbs) it says, “A fool says in their heart that there is no God.” That sounds harsh, but let’s think about this for a minute. After having been set free from the law and sin, why would anyone want to go back? In my own experience it is because we believe the lie that God hasn’t done it, won’t do it, or can’t do it. Or even worse, the lie that says we don’t deserve it. So we try to manipulate, and work our way into His Grace. That is someone who doesn’t know God intimately. I’ve been there! I thought I knew Him, but when hit with something hard, I doubted and believed those lies. Of course He came through like He always did. It took me accepting what He had already done! How did I get to that point of acceptance? I allowed the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me into all truth. I listened to His voice and stop listening to the lie.

God isn’t withholding anything from us! That was the original lie that Satan told Adam and Eve in the Garden. After all this time, shouldn’t we recognize that lie for what it really is? I know God. Personally! I am in relationship with Him. Be guided by the Holy Spirit. Not by your flesh, not by your reasoning or intellect, and certainly not by any lie.

Don’t be a fool!

God loves you and He wants only good for you. He gave Jesus, why would he withhold anything else?

Book Review for “Journey into the Deep”- Christian Fiction

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Guy Stanton III has begun a new series “Water Wars” with “Journey into the Deep.” I have to say there are still some grammar and editing issues with Guy’s writing, but again I must also say the writing is good. The story line is interesting and from an unapologetic Christian view. Guy’s characters are flawed and his writing never comes across as preachy. Good for men and women as it includes action, fighting, and romance. In this story a treasure hunter with a death wish finds more than he wants to in a strange artifact. I give it 4 stars. Didn’t love this one, but I liked it and it was a good read. I am sure I will read the rest of the series as I have read all of the other two series. Just a warning, if you like your Christian fiction without talk of passion, killing, and or imperfect people, these books aren’t for you. However, if you like it to be real…

Moving Forward Through Adversity

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Job 23:10-11
“But He knows the way that I take [He has concern for it, appreciates and pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I shall come for the as refined gold [pure and luminous]. My foot has held fast to His steps, His ways have I kept and not turned aside.”

Poor Job. There his is minding his own business, being a witness, doing good, praying for his kids…and then the enemy enters the scene. With God’s permission! His world tumbles down around him, literally. He is tried and refined in a way that most of us wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies.

Why did God allow it? (He is even the one who pointed out Job to the enemy to begin with!) Job figured it out. After self pity, after anger, after getting rotten advice and false counsel from three so-called-friends.

Only the fire can refine precious metal. Only great pressure can make a precious stone.

We go through what feels like Hell. There is a saying, that I particularly like, and have quoted, “You may have to walk through the valley of death, but you don’t have to set up camp there!”

What would “setting up camp” entail? Self pity, anger at God, SITTING DOWN, or just plain giving up. Don’t drive in a single tent stake. Job said he stayed on the path, that means he kept moving forward. Command your feet to hold fast to HIS path. It leads to life, to righteousness, to Love. Don’t let Satan distract you. I know, Job went through big stuff! But ultimately it was all just meant for a distraction. He was trying to force Job to take his eyes off of God, and put them on his circumstances.

We live in a fallen world, with a real enemy seeking who he may devour. Bad stuff happens to good people. But continue with Jobs story. His ending was better than his beginning. He came out better! Stronger! And he came out Praising God!

When you come out of the other side, when the valley is behind you, tell someone!

Are you going through something hard?
Here are some resources I found helpful (after the bible)
“What To Do When Everything Falls Apart” by Van Crouch
“Throw Yourself a Party” by David Duell
“The In-Between” by Jeff Goins

Book Review for “Breaking Free”- Christian Woman’s Non-fiction

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Free-Discover-Victory-Surrender-ebook/dp/B004NNV3VU/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

This was a wonderful Woman’s Bible Study! I think everywoman should read it. Beth Moore gives insight into some of the common problems that women have gone through from infancy and how to break free from your past. I give the book 5 stars. The writing is simple, yet in depth. This book will change the way you think. Great for individual study or for a group study. I highly recommend this book. Appropriate for high school age and up.

What’s Stopping You?

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“Your eyes saw my embryo, and on your scroll every day was written that was being formed for me, before any one of them had yet happened. God, your plans are incomprehensible to me! Their total number is countless! If I tried to count them—they outnumber grains of sand! If I came to the very end—I’d still be with you.”
Psalm 139:16-18 Common English Bible

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:17-18 NKJV

God says the plans and the purposes that he has for you are more than the sand of the earth. There is no way we could ever count every greain of sand. We tend to thing, “God has a plan for me.” Plan-singular. Then we make a wrong choice somewhere along the way and thing, “I missed God’s plan!” But don’t despair, that is another of the enemies lies. God doesn’t have a plan for you, he has plans-plural, and they are limitless! If you have ever stayed at or near a beach you know what sand is like. We went to the Hateras Islands, in North Carolina one summer and I’m telling you-that sand was invasive. Just when you thought you had gotten rid of it all, it was between your teeth, sheets, in your shoes, and even clogging up the sinks. That sand was everywhere and it just kept coming. Sometimes in handfuls, and sometimes just one more grain. Stop and think about that for a minute. Those are like God’s plans for us.

“If God has so many plans for us, why aren’t I seeing them come to pass,” you ask.

There are many things that can hinder, or even stop His plans and purposed in our lives. He’s planned it all out, equipped you with gifts, talents, and His word to fulfill them, so we are clearly the issue. First of all you have to accept Him as your Lord. We call it “getting saved” or “being born again.” We have admitted our sin, have conceded our need for someone else to come in and clean us up, and then surrendered our lives to His perfect will, and those wonderful plans. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). In salvation we become His children, dearly loved. God says if we are His children, we will do what He says. Which leads us into the second reason that those plans may be hindered. We have to be living in His will, or at least attempting to do that. Salvation is not just a prayer, one that you say once, or even over and over, without a life change. We can’t be “like dogs who return to their own vomit.” (Proverbs 26:11) Salvation is constant choice to surrender to Him, to not give into temptation, and to build a relationship with Him.

Proverbs 26:11 leads us to another reason-sin. We all mess up, but all followers of Christ, we should be quick to ask God to forgive us, and then move on. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again : but the wicked shall fall into mischief,” Proverbs 24:16 KJV. If a married couple or a family has strife in their home, their prayers can be hindered. It goes to say the same thing can happen in our churches. We need to try and live peaceable amount each other so we don’t hinder God’s plan for our family or the Body of Christ. Matthew 18:19-20, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” We need unity.

Fear keeps us from seeing God’s plans come to pass. I dealt with fear for more years than I would like to remember until I was delivered. Fear paralyzes you. It keep you in confusion and constantly worrying. It drowns out the voice of God. God says that “perfect love casts out fear.” I used to struggle with that, because I bought into the lie that my love wasn’t perfect enough. Then I got the revelation that He was never talking about my love, but His. When we realize how much He loves us, we can have confidence in Him and what He says, that gets rid of fear! We hear Him loud and clear when we begin by hearing Him say how much He loves us!

There are so many things that seemingly creep in that can hinder God’s perfect will in our lives.
So we need to be able to hear His voice clearly, then do what He says. Our world is noisy! TV’s, radios, ipods, ipads, computers, and the list goes on! Sometimes it is hard to hear that “still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:11-13). The last week of January our church is “fasting” noise so that we can purposely listen for that voice. Corporately, we always fast and pray together in January for the new year. This year God has laid in on the heart of our Senior Pastor, William Hohman, to lesson the distractions. For some of us that might not be too hard, I love my quiet and the TV, or the radio are hardly ever on. But for some, who have either or both running 24/7 as “background noise” this will be hard. Unfortunately we can’t control our work or our school environment, but we can control our home, or our own rooms. I encourage you to fast with us the last week of January. Shut off and shut out as much noise as you can. Then talk to God. Now here is the clincher, then shut up and listen!

God in His wisdom and perfect love, seeing the end from the beginning, seeing you righteous and accepted, has many plans for you! Not plans to harm, but to bless! So what is stopping you?