For the past few months, the matter of eternity has heavily been placed upon my heart. A topic that was quite unknown to me prior, I began to learn what eternity means for our King and how it relates to our lives here on Earth. While I had previously heard and read fascinating stories of near-death experiences of people seeing Heaven, as well as seeing our Beautiful Savior and God, and had even heard and read about people seeing hell, that was really the extent of my knowledge of eternal life and death and how it relates to our lives today.
Almost as if I was in shock, my eyes began to be opened to the reality of eternal judgment and the seriousness of our sins today. I began to learn about how, even though we are now washed by the Blood of Jesus, our actions after the cross still matter greatly and we cannot simply continue to sin freely after receiving Jesus and claim that we are going to Heaven. That our actions here on Earth truly matter, and that things that we consider small, such as judging another person for something, holding someone against some way they wronged us, a jealous stare at someone, or the like are truly sins that we need to expose of and bring to the light, choosing to repent of any actions that are not of God’s nature and adopting the positive counterpart instead.
“I have learned how seriously our Beloved views our choices once we have accepted Christ and how we must consider not only our own actions, but those of our fellow brothers and sisters, as well, considering that we are truly one Body…”
Repentance & Holiness
With complete earnestness and weightiness, God has highlighted to me the importance of repentance and holiness: truly apologizing to God for anything we do that is not found in Him, turning away from that action, being an advocate against such actions with love, and adopting the positive instead. I have learned how seriously our Beloved views our choices once we have accepted Christ and how we must consider not only our own actions, but those of our fellow brothers and sisters, as well, considering that we are truly one Body:
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27)
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)
As I started to learn about the severity of sin, eternal judgment, and staying within God’s righteousness and love, I started to notice the plethora of verses and passages in the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, about such themes, imploring us to leave all sin behind as urgently as possible and run into the arms of our loving Father, giving Him our absolute everything. It seemed as though everywhere I looked in God’s word, I would see passages I had not fully taken heed to prior, all discussing sin, eternal judgment, the great falling away, and His coming.
I know what you are probably thinking. That this topic of focusing on sin and repentance and the reality of hell is not the most pleasing thing to read or focus on. And I probably would have thought the same thing previous to these topics being placed on my heart. I would very much rather focus on God’s love and His absolute beauty and majesty and wonder; on how He is so loving and forgiving, accepting us with arms wide open, ready for us at any time; on how completely lovesick I get when I simply think about Him. And I very much will continue to focus primarily on the absolute love and goodness of our glorious Lover, our beautiful and faithful Jesus, the Messiah and God of all. However, I will also, with the same passionate love, urgently make sure to maintain a life of holiness and eliminate anything that removes me from God that either He highlights to me or that I become aware of. Similarly, I have decided to become a bit bolder and not only warn myself of the reality of these sins, but also warn my fellow sisters and brothers of the complete gravity of such actions on our souls eternally.
Warnings from God
So, what are these sins that God warns us about so adamantly in His word? Below, I have included two verses, out of the many, that highlight just some of these actions:
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.” (1 Corinthians 5:9:11)
As you can see in the above two verses, these lists of actions do not merely include more commonly known sins such as murder, stealing, lying, etc. No. In fact, the above sins are ones that may be more common, perhaps even in a Christian’s life, such as a simple attitude of arrogance, being ungrateful, boasting, or gossiping. Personally, God has been speaking to me about the importance of not holding offense when wronged, not judging another, not fearing what people think, not being prideful or thinking I am better or less than other people, and getting rid of all selfish ambition, along with other qualities, I am sure. Instead of these, I have decided to throw myself into His perfect love, attempting to live in humility and lowliness and seeing everything from His love-filled perspective.
“…sin is much more serious than we realize, that we need to wake up as the body of Christ, completely and vigorously disown any ways in us that are not in God, and violently throw ourselves into the hands of our Everything, giving Him our everything and allowing ourselves to be holy vessels able to completely host the Spirit of God, the Spirit of our Messiah, our Yeshua HaMashiach.”
Thus, due to these matters being placed upon my heart repetitively, I am urging the Body of Christ, my fellow brothers and sisters, to enter and stay in a lifestyle of greater repentance and utter holiness. I urge us to let go of any little thing that hinders us, any “small” matter that we have pushed aside, either thinking it is not important, it is not relevant anymore to today’s culture and time, or that God will not care and will simply let it go. I am here to say that sin is much more serious than we realize, that we need to wake up as the body of Christ, completely and vigorously disown any ways in us that are not in God, and violently throw ourselves into the hands of our Everything, giving Him our everything and allowing ourselves to be holy vessels able to completely be temples of the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of our Messiah, our Yeshua HaMashiach.
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
“When we continue to get rid of these obstacles faithfully, not putting ourselves down when these are exposed in us, but simply and swiftly letting them go step by step, we are then able to enter into a state of holiness that allows us to more fully carry the fullness of all that Jesus has for us.”
What is the purpose of this? Why would God repetitively and pressingly, throughout the Law and the Prophets, as well as through Jesus and the apostles’ letters and revelations, discuss the reality of sin’s consequence, the great falling away, His second coming, eternal judgment, Heaven and hell, and the New Jerusalem? Is it to condemn us and belittle us? Is it to make us feel bad about ourselves and to make us recognize how far we are from who God has called us to be? No, I do not think it is. It is through His boundless and abandoned love that He has done this. Over and over, it is His overwhelming love that has decided to show us the ways we have gone astray in order to completely and fully bring us back into His Shelter. When we continue to get rid of these obstacles faithfully, not putting ourselves down when these are exposed in us, but simply and swiftly letting them go step by step, we are then able to enter into a state of holiness that allows us to more fully carry the fullness of all that Jesus has for us. Living a life of complete holiness, deeply ensconced within the nook of His vine, is absolutely necessary. We are then able to come into the heart posture of completely and utterly allowing our God, our Beautiful Jesus, to live in us, living as He lives, seeing as He sees, thinking as He thinks, being as He is. But it requires our willingness, our “yes”. Our repentance and turn toward His Holiness.
Father God Almighty, in Jesus’s name, I ask You to give all of us, me included, the gift of conviction and righteousness, deeply and purely and powerfully convicting us of our sins right away and placing us on the path of righteousness. I ask for such a gift of conviction to be placed among all of us in that whoever is within our vicinity will also be deeply convicted of their sins and brought into deeper intimacy and union with You. Jesus the Messiah, I ask You to prune and strip away from us anything that does not belong and give us clean hands and pure hearts. I ask that You set us all on the narrow path, the narrow gate, the narrow way. Let us please be brought into such deep union and intimacy with You, completely abandoning ourselves into You and Your love, letting go of our own agendas and living entirely for You. Jesus our Love, thank You so much for Your goodness and love. You are Everything.