..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, May 29, 2015

Donnie Harris

My husband, Stan Harris, is the eldest of 6 children. Peggy had him then a year later she had Kenny, a year later she had Kathi. Two yrs later she had twin boys - Ronnie and Donnie. So she and Billy had 5 children from 5 yrs old down. Angie came 8 yrs later. I married Stan and my sister, Elaine Harris, married Ronnie. Ronnie , Donnie, Kenny's wife Anna, and I are all the same age and were in high school together. Donnie had been suffering from COPD and cancer. On Wednesday morning, May 27th, he wasn't answering his phone so Kenny went to check on him and found him dead. He'd probably died about 4am. He will be missed.

Jeffrey Donald 'Donnie' Harris SPARTANBURG, SC-- Beloved father, son, brother, uncle and friend to many, Jeffrey Donald 'Donnie' Harris, 55, of Spartanburg, SC, died Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at his home. Born September 1, 1959, in Spartanburg County, he was the son of Peggy Prince Harris of Spartanburg and the late William 'Billy' Harris.
Donnie was a graduate of Spartanburg High School Class of 1977 and employed for many years at Hoke Industries.
In addition to his mother, survivors include his two beloved sons, Joshua Harris and Jacob Harris; the mother of his children, Tina West Harris; brothers, Stan Harris (Sharon), Kenny Harris (Anna), and his twin brother, Ronnie Harris (Elaine); and sisters, Angela Harris and Kathi Mumpower (Eddie). He was blessed to have many nieces and nephews who loved him dearly. He is also survived by his special friend of many years, Debra Ward.
A graveside service will be held at 3:00 PM Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 1300 Fernwood-Glendale Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29307, by the Rev. Manning Strickland. Visitation will follow at the graveside.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Spartanburg Regional Hospice Home, 686 Jeff Davis Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29303.
The family is at the home of his mother, Peggy Harris.

Donnie Harris

Death And The Christian

If you have read my Bible study posts, you will know that I believe the only way to be saved and spend eternity in Heaven is through Jesus Christ. There is only one way. I do not believe all religions lead to salvation. I do not believe all "good" people go to Heaven. There is only one way and that is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, to ask His forgiveness and to trust in His work on the cross to save you.

John 6:47 (Modern King James Version - MKJV) "Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me has everlasting life."

The word believe means to embrace and cling to. We are first to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who left the right hand of God to come to earth to save us. He was fully God and fully human, sinless. The only sinless human. He came from the egg of Mary, fully human. The egg was supernaturally fertilized by God, fully divine. Therefore He was fully God and fully human and sinless. He had to be God to do the work that He did for us. He had to be human to pay the price for our sins. His death on the cross, the blood He shed, paid the price for our sins, all of them no matter how vile. We were sinners therefore we could not save ourselves. We were born sinners. We had no chance, hell was our destiny. So God sent His Son to save us. He gave us a chance to be forgiven and spend eternity with God in Heaven but we must accept His offer of salvation. He has done all the work. The only thing left for us to do is to repent, ask forgiveness and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. We must realize that we cannot save ourselves. We must realize our sins are our misery and condemn us. We must believe Jesus is God's Son and He took care of our sins. We must ask His forgiveness for our sins. We must ask the Holy Spirit to come live in our lives to strengthen and train us (asking Jesus into our hearts). We must seek Him and desire Him. He will be found!

Mark 16:15-16 (Contemporary English Version - CEV) Then he told them: Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world. (16) Anyone who believes me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe me will be condemned.

John 3:13-18 (Bible in Basic English - BBE) And no one has ever gone up to heaven but he who came down from heaven, the Son of man. (14) As the snake was lifted up by Moses in the waste land, even so it is necessary for the Son of man to be lifted up: (15) So that whoever has faith may have in him eternal life. (16) For God had such love for the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to destruction but have eternal life. (17) God did not send his Son into the world to be judge of the world; he sent him so that the world might have salvation through him. (18) The man who has faith in him does not come up to be judged; but he who has no faith in him has been judged even now, because he has no faith in the name of the only Son of God.

John 6:37-40 (Easy To Read Version - ERV) The Father gives me my people. Every one of them will come to me. I will always accept them. (38) I came down from heaven to do what God wants, not what I want. (39) I must not lose anyone God has given me. But I must raise them up on the last day. This is what the one who sent me wants me to do. (40) Everyone who sees the Son and believes in him has eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day. This is what my Father wants."

Romans 10:9-10 (MKJV) Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (10) For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible - LITV) For the grief according to God works repentance to salvation, not to be regretted. But the grief of the world works death.

Philippians 3:7-14 (CEV) But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. (8) Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ (9) and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. (10) All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did, (11) so that somehow I also may be raised to life. (12) I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. (13) My friends, I don't feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. (14) I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

John 14:6 (CEV) "I am the way, the truth, and the life!" Jesus answered. "Without me, no one can go to the Father.

Predicated upon our belief in salvation through Jesus Christ and that the Holy Spirit now lives in our hearts; and, believing the Bible is the Word of God, our standard of truth, now what happens to us when we die?

What happens when someone dies? What comes after death? The Bible is not silent or mysterious on this subject. Let's look at it, using the Bible as our guide.

Luke 16:19-31 (MKJV) There was a certain rich man who was customarily clothed in purple and fine linen and making merry in luxury every day. (20) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores (21) and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. But even the dogs came and licked his sores. (22) And it happened that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich one also died and was buried. (23) And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (24) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. (25) But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted and you are tormented. (26) And besides all this, there is a great chasm fixed between you and us; so that they desiring to pass from here to you cannot, nor can they pass over to us from there. (27) And he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, (28) for I have five brothers, so that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment. (29) Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them. (30) And he said, No, father Abraham, but if one should go to them from the dead, they would repent. (31) And he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead.

Jesus proclaimed the gospel (good news) of salvation through him. He taught for 3 years until His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. We have been sent the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts and lead us to salvation. We have the Word of God, the Bible. We were born with an instinctual knowledge of God. We have churches. We have no excuse for not knowing how to be saved from hell. If we continue to ignore and reject the message until our dying breath, we cannot hold anyone, but ourselves, responsible. If we refuse to believe; refuse to hear and accept; if nothing God has done will change our stubborn minds then we will reap the consequences. God doesn't want anyone to suffer hell. He loves us enough to have provided a way out.

Back to our subject, we see from Jesus' own words that once we die, we are sent to a place. It is one of torment for unbelievers and one of bliss for believers. There is a great divide between the two that neither can cross.

I believe that we go to a place called Hades, the unseen world. Sometimes Hades is interpreted as Hell and others interpreted as the place of the dead. Hades means the place of the dead. Hades as an intermediate state between death and resurrection, divided into two parts: one the abode of the blessed called Paradise and the other the abode of the lost called Torments. Hades, in the Old Testament, was also translated as Sheol in some places.

We do know that there are two places for the UNSAVED:  Hades and Hell. One being present and the other being future. Both are places of torment but Hades is for the unsaved until Jesus comes back. The other is for when Jesus comes back, in the final judgment, when the unsaved will be sent with satan and his demons to Hell, also referred to as Gehenna, the Lake of Fire; the permanent place of punishment. This is sometimes referred to in the scriptures as "the second death".

Suffice it to say, I do not want to go to Torments, Hades' place of conscious suffering and despair. Nor do I want to end up in Hell, the Lake of Fire, the place of eternal torment.

Matthew 8:11-12 (MKJV) And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. (12) But the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The gospel of salvation was preached to the Jews first. Many accepted Jesus as the Son of God and were saved but most did not. Those who do not, Jewish or Gentile, are not saved. But the emphasis for this study is "cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth".

Matthew 13:24-30 (CEV) Jesus then told them this story: The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a farmer scattered good seed in a field. (25) But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and scattered weed seeds in the field and then left. (26) When the plants came up and began to ripen, the farmer's servants could see the weeds. (27) The servants came and asked, "Sir, didn't you scatter good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?" (28) "An enemy did this," he replied. His servants then asked, "Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?" (29) "No!" he answered. "You might also pull up the wheat. (30) Leave the weeds alone until harvest time. Then I'll tell my workers to gather the weeds and tie them up and burn them. But I'll have them store the wheat in my barn."

Matthew 13:49-50 (CEV) That's how it will be at the end of time. Angels will come and separate the evil people from the ones who have done right. (50) Then those evil people will be thrown into a flaming furnace, where they will cry and grit their teeth in pain.

Matthew 18:7-9 (CEV) The world is in for trouble because of the way it causes people to sin. There will always be something to cause people to sin, but anyone who does this will be in for trouble. (8) If your hand or foot causes you to sin, chop it off and throw it away! You would be better off to go into life crippled or lame than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the fire that never goes out. (9) If your eye causes you to sin, poke it out and get rid of it. You would be better off to go into life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fires of hell.

Matthew 25:31-33 (CEV) When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. (32) The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats. (33) He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Matthew 25:34-46 (CEV) Then the king will say to those on his right, "My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. (35) When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, (36) and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me." (37) Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? (38) When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear (39) or visit you while you were sick or in jail?" The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." (41) Then the king will say to those on his left, "Get away from me! You are under God's curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! (42) I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. (43) I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me." (44) Then the people will ask, "Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?" (45) The king will say to them, "Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me." (46) Then Jesus said, "Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life."

2 Peter 2:2-4 (CEV) Many people will follow their evil ways and cause others to tell lies about the true way. (3) They will be greedy and cheat you with smooth talk. But long ago God decided to punish them, and God doesn't sleep. (4) God did not have pity on the angels that sinned. He had them tied up and thrown into the dark pits of hell until the time of judgment.

Revelation 20:10-15 (CEV) Then the devil who fooled them will be thrown into the lake of fire and burning sulfur. He will be there with the beast and the false prophet, and they will be in pain day and night forever and ever. (11) I saw a great white throne with someone sitting on it. Earth and heaven tried to run away, but there was no place for them to go. (12) I also saw all the dead people standing in front of that throne. Every one of them was there, no matter who they had once been. Several books were opened, and then the book of life was opened. The dead were judged by what those books said they had done. (13) The sea gave up the dead people who were in it, and death and its kingdom also gave up their dead. Then everyone was judged by what they had done. (14) Afterwards, death and its kingdom were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) Anyone whose name wasn't written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:1-8 (CEV) I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. (2) Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband. (3) I heard a loud voice shout from the throne: God's home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. (4) He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever. (5) Then the one sitting on the throne said: I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. (6) Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty. (7) All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (8) But I will tell you what will happen to cowards and to everyone who is unfaithful or dirty-minded or who murders or is sexually immoral or uses witchcraft or worships idols or tells lies. They will be thrown into that lake of fire and burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Again, I reiterate - GOD DOES NOT WANT ANYONE TO GO TO HELL! He paid the price for our sins so we wouldn't have to go to hell. But we do have to choose His way. We have to believe in Jesus, believe that His sacrifice covered our sins, ask for forgiveness and ask Him to be our Lord and Master. Our part is repenting, believing and trusting. Everything has been done to save each and every person.

What happens to Christians? To those of us who are saved, believers, who are true disciples of Christ? What happens when we die?

There are some different ideas on what happens to immediately after death.

1) We go to Hades, the intermediate place of the dead but on the side of the chasm that is bliss and blessedness, a Paradise. When Jesus comes again, our physical bodies will be resurrected as immortal bodies to join our spirit. Our names will be found in the Lamb's Book of Life and we are given to live in a new Heaven and new Earth with God for an eternity of glory!

2) We go into a "soul sleep" where we are unconscious until Jesus comes again. Then we are raised from the dead. During this "soul sleep" there is no sense of time so it will be, to us, like we just closed our eyes and opened them again to see Jesus. No matter how much time has passed on earth, to us it will seem as though we blinked. Then we will be called and our names will be found in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Let me tell you one thing... No matter which of these occurs, our eternity is assured. Our spirits will live forever with God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are promised that Jesus has redeemed us (paid the price for our sins) and we will live in glory forever. We are promised that our physical bodies will be resurrected as immortal bodies to re-join our spirits. We are told in the Holy Bible that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, then our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. So how or when or where doesn't concern me at all - I know I am forever taken care of by God. But I believe we go to Paradise to await the Judgment Seat of Christ where our works are judged and rewards are assigned. This judgment has nothing to do with our salvation. We are saved and we go to Heaven. We receive rewards based on the works that survive the fire. After this we go to Heaven and our eternal and permanent abode with God!

2 Corinthians 5:1-6 (Amplified Bible - AMP) (1) For we know that if the tent which is our earthly home is destroyed (dissolved), we have from God a building, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2) Here indeed, in this [present abode, body], we sigh and groan inwardly, because we yearn to be clothed over [we yearn to put on our celestial body like a garment, to be fitted out] with our heavenly dwelling, (3) So that by putting it on we may not be found naked (without a body). (4) For while we are still in this tent, we groan under the burden and sigh deeply (weighed down, depressed, oppressed)—not that we want to put off the body (the clothing of the spirit), but rather that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal (our dying body) may be swallowed up by life [[a]after the resurrection]. (5) Now He Who has fashioned us [preparing and making us fit] for this very thing is God, Who also has given us the [Holy] Spirit as a guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].

2 Corinthians 5:1-6 (BBE) For we are conscious that if this our tent of flesh is taken down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in heaven. (2) For in this we are crying in weariness, greatly desiring to be clothed with our house from heaven: (3) So that our spirits may not be unclothed. (4) For truly, we who are in this tent do give out cries of weariness, for the weight of care which is on us; not because we are desiring to be free from the body, but so that we may have our new body, and death may be overcome by life. (5) Now he who has made us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a witness of what is to come. (6) So, then, we are ever without fear, and though conscious that while we are in the body we are away from the Lord,

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (MKJV) And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (51) Behold, I speak a mystery to you; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed; (52) in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) But when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and when this mortal shall put on immortality, then will take place the word that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" (56) The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. (57) But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) So that, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not without fruit in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (English Standard Version - ESV) Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (53) For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (54) When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." (55) "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (56) The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (AMP) (51) Take notice! I tell you a mystery (a secret truth, an event decreed by the hidden purpose or counsel of God). We shall not all fall asleep [in death], but we shall all be changed (transformed) (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed). (53) For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us, this nature that is capable of dying] must put on immortality (freedom from death). (54) And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory. (55) O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? (56) Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law. (57) But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (ERV) But listen, I tell you this secret: We will not all die, but we will all be changed. (52) It will only take the time of a second. We will be changed as quickly as an eye blinks. This will happen when the last trumpet blows. The trumpet will blow and those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we will all be changed. (53) This body that ruins must clothe itself with something that will never ruin. And this body that dies must clothe itself with something that will never die. (54) So this body that ruins will clothe itself with that which never ruins. And this body that dies will clothe itself with that which never dies. When this happens, the Scriptures will be made true: "Death is swallowed in victory." (55) "O death, where is your victory? Where is your power to hurt?" (56) Death's power to hurt is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (57) But we thank God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (58) So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Don't let anything change you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted.

Let's look at more scriptures that talk about what happens to Christians when they die.

Luke 15:4-7 (CEV) If any of you has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, what will you do? Won't you leave the ninety-nine in the field and go look for the lost sheep until you find it? (5) And when you find it, you will be so glad that you will put it on your shoulder (6) and carry it home. Then you will call in your friends and neighbors and say, "Let's celebrate! I've found my lost sheep." (7) Jesus said, "In the same way there is more happiness in heaven because of one sinner who turns to God than over ninety-nine good people who don't need to."

John 14:1-6 (MKJV) Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. (2) 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. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also. (4) And where I go you know, and the way you know. (5) Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You go, and how can we know the way? (6) Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.

Hebrews 11:16 (Young's Literal Translation - YLT) But now they stretch forth to a better, that is, a heavenly land. Therefore, God is not ashamed of them, for Him to be called their God; for He prepared a city for them.

Matthew 25:31-34 (CEV) When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. (32) The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats. (33) He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. (34) Then the king will say to those on his right, "My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created.

Luke 23:33-43 (CEV) When the soldiers came to the place called "The Skull," they nailed Jesus to a cross. They also nailed the two criminals to crosses, one on each side of Jesus. (34) Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people! They don't know what they're doing." While the crowd stood there watching Jesus, the soldiers gambled for his clothes. The leaders insulted him by saying, "He saved others. Now he should save himself, if he really is God's chosen Messiah!" (35) (36) The soldiers made fun of Jesus and brought him some wine. (37) They said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!" (38) Above him was a sign that said, "This is the King of the Jews." (39) One of the criminals hanging there also insulted Jesus by saying, "Aren't you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us!" (40) But the other criminal told the first one off, "Don't you fear God? Aren't you getting the same punishment as this man? (41) We got what was coming to us, but he didn't do anything wrong." (42) Then he said to Jesus, "Remember me when you come into power!" (43) Jesus replied, "I promise that today you will be with me in paradise."

John 5:26-29 (CEV) The Father has the power to give life, and he has given that same power to the Son. (27) And he has given his Son the right to judge everyone, because he is the Son of Man. (28) Don't be surprised! The time will come when all of the dead will hear the voice of the Son of Man, (29) and they will come out of their graves. Everyone who has done good things will rise to life, but everyone who has done evil things will rise and be condemned.

John 10:27-30 (CEV) My sheep know my voice, and I know them. They follow me, (28) and I give them eternal life, so that they will never be lost. No one can snatch them out of my hand. (29) My Father gave them to me, and he is greater than all others. No one can snatch them from his hands, (30) and I am one with the Father.

Romans 5:16-19 (CEV) There is a lot of difference between Adam's sin and God's gift. That one sin led to punishment. But God's gift made it possible for us to be acceptable to him, even though we have sinned many times. (17) Death ruled like a king because Adam had sinned. But that cannot compare with what Jesus Christ has done. God has been so kind to us, and he has accepted us because of Jesus. And so we will live and rule like kings. (18) Everyone was going to be punished because Adam sinned. But because of the good thing that Christ has done, God accepts us and gives us the gift of life. (19) Adam disobeyed God and caused many others to be sinners. But Jesus obeyed him and will make many people acceptable to God.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (AMP) (13) Now also we would not have you ignorant, brethren, about those who fall asleep [in death], that you may not grieve [for them] as the rest do who have no hope [beyond the grave]. (14) For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him through Jesus those who have fallen asleep [in death]. 15 For this we declare to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede [into His presence] or have any advantage at all over those who have previously fallen asleep [in Him in death]. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! (18) Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (CEV) My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won't grieve over them and be like people who don't have any hope. (14) We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died. (15) Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won't go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died. (16) With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. (17) Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. (18) Encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (ERV) Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those who have died. We don't want you to be sad like other people--those who have no hope. (14) We believe that Jesus died, but we also believe that he rose again. So we believe that God will raise to life through Jesus any who have died and bring them together with him when he comes. (15) What we tell you now is the Lord's own message. Those of us who are still living when the Lord comes again will join him, but not before those who have already died. (16) The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the people who have died and were in Christ will rise first. (17) After that we who are still alive at that time will be gathered up with those who have died. We will be taken up in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. (18) So encourage each other with these words.
Hebrews 12:22-25 (King James Version - KJV) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (23) To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (25) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Hebrews 12:22-25 (AMP) (22) But rather, you have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering, 23 And to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect, (24) And to Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance]. (25) So see to it that you do not reject Him or refuse to listen to and heed Him Who is speaking [to you now]. For if they [the Israelites] did not escape when they refused to listen and heed Him Who warned and divinely instructed them [here] on earth [revealing with heavenly warnings His will], how much less shall we escape if we reject and turn our backs on Him Who cautions and admonishes [us] from heaven?

Hebrews 12:22-25 (CEV) You have now come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the city of the living God, where thousands and thousands of angels have come to celebrate. (23) Here you will find all of God's dearest children, whose names are written in heaven. And you will find God himself, who judges everyone. Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect. (24) And Jesus is here! He is the one who makes God's new agreement with us, and his sprinkled blood says much better things than the blood of Abel. (25) Make sure that you obey the one who speaks to you. The people did not escape, when they refused to obey the one who spoke to them at Mount Sinai. Do you think you can possibly escape, if you refuse to obey the one who speaks to you from heaven?

1 Peter 1:3-5 (CEV) Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, he has given us new life and a hope that lives on. (4) God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear. (5) You have faith in God, whose power will protect you until the last day. Then he will save you, just as he has always planned to do.

Luke 12:8-9 (KJV) Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: (9) But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Luke 12:8-9 (ERV) "I tell you, if you stand before others and are willing to say you believe in me, then I will say that you belong to me. I will say this in the presence of God's angels. (9) But if you stand before others and say you do not believe in me, then I will say that you do not belong to me. I will say this in the presence of God's angels.

Revelation 2:7 (MKJV) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

When Jesus comes back to establish His Kingdom, satan, his demons and the unsaved end up in the Lake of Fire. He will have the Great White Throne Judgement. It is here that those lost will be raised out of the Torments part of Hades to face Jesus. He will open the books and their works will be revealed. They are then sent to the Lake of Fire. They only thought Torments was horrible, but this will be worse, much worse.

For believers, we are raised from the Paradise part of Hades at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. We are saved. But our works are judged through fire. Our rewards are based on what survives the fire. We are then welcomed into Heaven. What we thought was bliss and joy in Paradise will pale in comparison to what He has prepared for us. He introduces a new Heaven and a new Earth. And this is our final destination. He has prepared a place for us where everything is perfect. Do you know why the streets of Heaven are gold, the foundations are precious stones and the gates giant pearls? Because we will finally understand what our real treasure is - God! We will never be tempted to covet, steal, hoard such things again. No more greed or selfishness. God can give us anything and everything because we no longer idolize THINGS! God will be first and always our one true love, The one we desire with all our hearts.

Revelation 21:1-5 (ERV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared. Now there was no sea. (2) And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride dressed for her husband. (3) I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, "Now God's home is with people. He will live with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and will be their God. (4) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. All the old ways are gone." (5) The one who was sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted."

Revelation 21:11-27 (CEV) The glory of God made the city bright. It was dazzling and crystal clear like a precious jasper stone. (12) The city had a high and thick wall with twelve gates, and each one of them was guarded by an angel. On each of the gates was written the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. (13) Three of these gates were on the east, three were on the north, three more were on the south, and the other three were on the west. (14) The city was built on twelve foundation stones. On each of the stones was written the name of one of the Lamb's twelve apostles. (15) The angel who spoke to me had a gold measuring stick to measure the city and its gates and its walls. (16) The city was shaped like a cube, because it was just as high as it was wide. When the angel measured the city, it was about fifteen hundred miles high and fifteen hundred miles wide. (17) Then the angel measured the wall, and by our measurements it was about two hundred sixteen feet high. (18) The wall was built of jasper, and the city was made of pure gold, clear as crystal. (19) Each of the twelve foundations was a precious stone. The first was jasper, the second was sapphire, the third was agate, the fourth was emerald, (20) the fifth was onyx, the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was chrysolite, the eighth was beryl, the ninth was topaz, the tenth was chrysoprase, the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst. (21) Each of the twelve gates was a solid pearl. The streets of the city were made of pure gold, clear as crystal. (22) I did not see a temple there. The Lord God All-Powerful and the Lamb were its temple. (23) And the city did not need the sun or the moon. The glory of God was shining on it, and the Lamb was its light. (24) Nations will walk by the light of that city, and kings will bring their riches there. (25) Its gates are always open during the day, and night never comes. (26) The glorious treasures of nations will be brought into the city. (27) But nothing unworthy will be allowed to enter. No one who is dirty-minded or who tells lies will be there. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life will be in the city.

Revelation 22:1-6 (CEV) The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear, and its waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated. (2) Then it flowed down the middle of the city's main street. On each side of the river are trees that grow a different kind of fruit each month of the year. The fruit gives life, and the leaves are used as medicine to heal the nations. (3) God's curse will no longer be on the people of that city. He and the Lamb will be seated there on their thrones, and its people will worship God (4) and will see him face to face. God's name will be written on the foreheads of the people. (5) Never again will night appear, and no one who lives there will ever need a lamp or the sun. The Lord God will be their light, and they will rule forever. (6) Then I was told: These words are true and can be trusted. The Lord God controls the spirits of his prophets, and he is the one who sent his angel to show his servants what must happen right away.

Revelation 22:14-15 (CEV) God will bless all who have washed their robes. They will each have the right to eat fruit from the tree that gives life, and they can enter the gates of the city. (15) But outside the city will be dogs, witches, immoral people, murderers, idol worshipers, and everyone who loves to tell lies and do wrong.

Romans 2:5-11 (ERV) But you are so stubborn! You refuse to change. So you are making your own punishment greater and greater. You will be punished on the day when God will show his anger. On that day everyone will see how right God is to judge people. (6) He will reward or punish everyone for what they have done. (7) Some people live for God's glory, for honor, and for life that cannot be destroyed. They live for those things by always continuing to do good. God will give eternal life to them. (8) But others are selfish and refuse to follow truth. They follow evil. God will show his anger and punish them. (9) He will give trouble and suffering to everyone who does evil--to the Jews first and also to those who are not Jews. (10) But he will give glory, honor, and peace to everyone who does good--to the Jews first and also to those who are not Jews. (11) God judges everyone the same. It doesn't matter who they are.

I don't know about you, but it begins to look a whole lot better to be saved rather than to be unsaved! Let's compare: Heaven vs. Hell
What would you choose? For me, it's a slam dunk! Heaven! I choose Jesus Christ!

Heaven is not about getting a pair of wings and a harp which you strum and and sing while sitting on a cloud! That's about as ridiculous as the picture of the devil, red with a barbed tail, horns and a pitchfork. Heaven is not boring and Hell is no party.

There is a final reckoning between every human being and our Maker. Those of us who are saved through Jesus Christ, will go to Heaven. But we also will receive rewards based on our good works. Those who are not saved will receive appropriate punishment forever. God rewards us for the good things we did; the good attitudes we maintained; the kindness we showed others; the faithfulness even when others didn't understand, mocked, persecuted, made fun of. God sees our hearts and knows every thought and action so we will all be perfectly judged. There will be no misunderstanding. There will be no variable that God does not consider. He is the perfect Judge. And, as His Children, we should desire to do good works not only because we love God and, therefore, His creation (including human beings whom He created). But also because we want rewards in Heaven. We want to to store up treasures in Heaven. We are saved by faith in Jesus based on His Work and nothing we can do will save ourselves. We only believe. But our works will be judged as to give us rewards. We don't know what those rewards will be. Some call these rewards "crowns".

1 Peter 5:4 (CEV) Then when Christ the Chief Shepherd returns, you will be given a crown that will never lose its glory.

2 Timothy 4:8 (CEV) So a crown will be given to me for pleasing the Lord. He judges fairly, and on the day of judgment he will give a crown to me and to everyone else who wants him to appear with power.

Matthew 6:19-21 (MKJV) Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. (20) But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Mark 10:17-31 (CEV) As Jesus was walking down a road, a man ran up to him. He knelt down, and asked, "Good teacher, what can I do to have eternal life?" (18) Jesus replied, "Why do you call me good? Only God is good. (19) You know the commandments. 'Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Do not cheat. Respect your father and mother.' " (20) The man answered, "Teacher, I have obeyed all these commandments since I was a young man." (21) Jesus looked closely at the man. He liked him and said, "There's one thing you still need to do. Go sell everything you own. Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come with me." (22) When the man heard Jesus say this, he went away gloomy and sad because he was very rich. (23) Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "It's hard for rich people to get into God's kingdom!" (24) The disciples were shocked to hear this. So Jesus told them again, "It's terribly hard to get into God's kingdom! (25) In fact, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God's kingdom." (26) Jesus' disciples were even more amazed. They asked each other, "How can anyone ever be saved?" (27) Jesus looked at them and said, "There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything." (28) Peter replied, "Remember, we left everything to be your followers!" (29) Jesus told him: You can be sure that anyone who gives up home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for me and for the good news (30) will be rewarded. In this world they will be given a hundred times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be mistreated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life. (31) But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.

Luke 6:35 (CEV) But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel.

1 Corinthians 3:8 (CEV) The one who plants is just as important as the one who waters. And each one will be paid for what they do.

Colossians 3:24-25 (CEV) In fact, the Lord Christ is the one you are really serving, and you know that he will reward you. (25) But Christ has no favorites! He will punish evil people, just as they deserve.

Matthew 16:27 (CEV) The Son of Man will soon come in the glory of his Father and with his angels to reward all people for what they have done.

Luke 8:17 (LITV) For nothing is hidden which will not be revealed, nor secret which will not be known and come to be revealed.

Luke 12:2-3 (LITV) But there is nothing which has been completely concealed which will not be uncovered, nor hidden which will not be known. (3) Therefore, whatever you said in the darkness will be heard in the light; and whatever you spoke in the ear in the secret rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.

1 Corinthians 4:4-5 (LITV) For I know nothing of myself, but I have not been justified by this; but He judging me is the Lord. (5) Then do not judge anything before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both shed light on the hidden things of darkness and will reveal the counsels of the hearts. And then praise will be to each one from God.

Acts 17:31 (CEV) He has set a day when he will judge the world's people with fairness. And he has chosen the man Jesus to do the judging for him. God has given proof of this to all of us by raising Jesus from death.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (CEV) After all, Christ will judge each of us for the good or the bad that we do while living in these bodies.

Romans 14:10 (CEV) Why do you criticize other followers of the Lord? Why do you look down on them? The day is coming when God will judge all of us.

Psalms 96:13 b  He is coming to judge all people on earth with fairness and truth.

Psalms 9:7  He is coming to judge all people on earth with fairness and truth.

So now we know, as Christians our eternity is sure in the Hands of God! Our eternity will be full of love, glory, rewards. So shall we ever be with the Lord. His Kingdom forever and ever. No more sadness, no more tears, no more sin, no more bondage to sin, no more evil. Things will finally be the way they were meant to be. Our habitation will be beauty that is beyond our imagination. There is no more separation in our relationship with God. We will have fellowship with all those Christians who have gone on before. No more goodbyes, no more misunderstandings, no more relationship problems with each other. No more darkness, no more sickness, no more hunger or thirst, no more limitations to exploring the wonders of God and His creation.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Our Last Day In California And The Trip Home

Sunday morning we had to get ready to leave. We had breakfast together at a local McDonalds. Jenny and the children went on to church and we headed to the airport. This is always the hardest part for Stan and I... the goodbyes. I tried not to cry but did a little and was very depressed for a few days. But it was worth the trip. Brett didn't want us to leave either. He got a little grumpy. I know Brooke had some idea the fun was over. Jenny was choked up. I just hate thinking their little family is way on the other side of the nation.

This is the last photo I took of them. You can tell Brooke isn't happy. Neither was I, Brookie Cookie.

Scenes from our airplane out of Salt Lake City, UT.

Our Seventh Day In California

On our last full day in California, Jenny took us to San Francisco.

We passed neighborhoods of old houses. Most are multi family housing. Some were very nice.

Gas was very expensive in San Francisco. But it was more all over CA compared to here.

We also went through Chinatown.

She drove us right down to Fisherman's Wharf. We parked (parking cost $40!) and walked to Pier 39. It was very cloudy and gray when we first got to San Francisco but after lunch the sun came out and so did the people. We had lunch at the Wipe Out Bar and Grill.

After lunch, here came the sun.

Sea Lions

There all kinds of people doing things to get money - mimes, dancers, singers, sword swallowers, etc.

I would have loved to have taken a tour on segways.

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