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  • Writer's picture DaRhon Conner, D.R.E.

Heaven Is Not an Escape

Heaven is not for escape artists. It’s not for people who are looking to leave before their purpose has been served. “I’m down here drinking, smoking, high everyday, not doing anything with my life.” Others say, “I’m making six figures, but I don’t like my marriage, got a lover on the side; I’m just existing.” The various stories and scenarios go on and on, with the same rhetoric at the end, “GOD can just take me now. I’m done with planet Earth. Being in heaven has to be better than this!”

Heaven is not an escape. Jesus tells us we were left on Earth for a purpose. He didn’t take us with Him for a reason. “15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” (John 17:15, 18 King James Version).

Jesus prayed for us! Hallelujah! He prayed that GOD would leave us here and keep us from the evil that is in the world. Peter confirms that GOD answered HIS Son’s prayer. “5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5 KJV). The only reason that we’re still breathing, the only reason that we have not succumbed to the temptations and trials of the world, the only reason we haven't lost our minds, the only reason we've made it this far, is because the LORD has been keeping us! Praise GOD!

Jesus goes on to say that He sent his disciples into the world just as He was sent into the world. What did Jesus do? He preached and taught the gospel of the kingdom, healed, delivered, and set free, and sacrificed Himself to reconcile us to GOD. He sent the disciples to do the same (Matthew 10:1, 7-8).

Take a guess at what we who are still here are meant to do. In addition to the list above, Jesus prays for our unity.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17: 20-21, 23 KJV).

In addition to preaching and teaching the gospel, and healing, and sacrificing our lives in order to do what GOD has called us to do instead of what we want to do, although when we yield ourselves to GOD we find that HIS will is all that we truly want to do anymore. Notwithstanding all of this, we are also to be unified as one body. No dissension, rivalries, or conflict, but operating as one, in perfect unity with GOD, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and each other.

At this point, Jesus says the world will believe that GOD sent Him because of the impossible unity that will have occurred between foreign nations, tribes, and peoples from all over the land. The reconciliation of differences and the agreement to come together as one, according to Jesus, will cause the world to believe that He is the Son of GOD. My LORD!

Jesus said, the world will know that GOD loves us, as HE loved Jesus, when we are all made perfect in one. That means made whole, complete, and matured, as one body in Christ. This is agape love, the sacrificial love that GOD has for Jesus, that Jesus has for GOD, that they both have for us, and that we are to have for them and each other through the power of Holy Spirit. Agape has nothing to do with how we feel. It has to do with loving GOD with our whole mind, heart, soul, and strength, and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. When that day comes, the world will be won over completely for GOD!

Jesus adds, “14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14 KJV). Earth is an assignment for us. Are you on assignment?

To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain

“20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Philippians 1:20 KJV). Paul said Christ shall be magnified in his body, whether it be by life or death. Will we magnify Christ in our bodies? Will the way we carry ourselves show the world that Christ is the biggest thing in our lives? Will we do this as we live each day, or even at the point of death, will Christ still take precedence over everything?

“21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21 KJV). Paul had the attitude that his life was given over to Christ. It wasn’t his anymore. After his Damascus road experience he was fully committed to the Lord (Acts 9:1-31). Have you had your Damascus road experience? Has GOD so intervened in your life that you have given your life to HIM? If not, seek HIM for it. It will come. GOD has commissioned us to do good works. If we are alive, it is to do the will of GOD. If we die, we get to be with GOD and Jesus. It’s a win win.

“22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.” (Philippians 1:22 KJV). As long as Paul was alive, the fruit of his labor was to live for Christ and to do His will, to magnify Christ in his body. Is that the fruit of our labor? Are we living solely to do the will of GOD? If not, what or who are we laboring for?

“23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” (Philippians 1:23 KJV). Paul is having a hard time deciding if he wants to stay alive and serve Christ, or die and be with Christ. If he dies to be with Christ, it’s not because he’s looking to escape the world. The possibility, the idea, the notion of being able to see Christ face to face, the one Who saves is overwhelming for Paul. Have we been there? Have we desired Christ so bad that we were ready to die just to be with Him?

“24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith.” (Philippians 1:24-25 KJV). Paul makes his decision to stay based on his mission. He was ordained by GOD to preach to the Gentiles, to those who didn’t know Christ. His mission was not complete. He also knew that they needed his guidance and teachings on this new faith. He didn’t want to leave them until they had been fully indoctrinated and able to stand on their own in the faith without his help.

Paul said that his staying would help to further their faith and joy in trusting Christ. That was the deciding factor for him. Will we decide to live for Christ until our mission is accomplished? Will we walk uprightly for the sake of someone else coming to the faith? What is your specific assignment? Have you talked with GOD about it lately?

I encourage you to turn your focus from your problems to what GOD created you to do. The bible says HIS grace is sufficient to get us through (2 Corinthians 12:9), and that we can do all things through Christ Who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). Won’t you call on HIM today? Receive the grace to get through your problems, and the strength to carry out your kingdom assignment. Take care of GOD’s house and HE promises to take care of yours (Haggai 1:4-11). Be blessed, family. Amen (it is so, may it be fulfilled).

How to be Saved

Romans 10: 9-13

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (KJV).

9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (NLT).

Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!” 11-13 Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help. (MSG).

Romans 5:8

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (KJV)

8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)

It is your belief that saves you, family. If you believe, you will speak what you believe and not be ashamed or embarrassed to do so, whether you are alone or among others. Simply talk to GOD. Say aloud to the LORD:

“I confess all my sin known and unknown, and ask You, GOD, to forgive me. I believe Jesus was born of a virgin, crucified, died for my sins, and rose from the dead. Jesus, come into my heart and make me new in You. Save me, Lord! Jesus, you are Lord. Be Lord over my life. Thank You, GOD for Your forgiveness. Thank You, Jesus, for making me Your own. Amen.”

You are now saved. You may not feel different or you may. Just know that the internal change is taking place once you uttered that prayer in faith. Day by day, you will begin to be transformed into whom GOD wants and created you to be. You will care more about the things of GOD than your own personal desires, and you will want to share the word of GOD when you have the opportunity. Begin to read your bible daily, and learn about GOD's will for your life. If you are not already a member of a local church, I encourage you to pray and allow GOD to guide you to the right fellowship for you. The pastor will help you grow in your gifts and talents so that you can begin to use them for GOD’s glory, and you and the other members will encourage and help each other along this journey with GOD.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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