Young Adults Tell God Why They’re Dropping out of Church

God:  I read the LifeWay Research Survey published Tuesday about your top reasons for dropping out of church.

Young Adults:  Yeah, the biggest one was moving to college … 34%.  Life changes accounted for 96% of our top reasons.

God:  Yes, life changes happen.  Real big ones are coming and I want you to be ready.   “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).

Young Adults:  Yeah, but we have so many work responsibilities! … 24%.

God:  “There is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work … these pleasures are from the hand of God” (Eccl. 2:24 New Living Translation).   But never forget my Fourth One to “remember” my Sabbath day, on which you must do no work (Exo. 20:8-10).

Young Adults:  Yeah, but we just don’t feel connected to people in church … 29%.  Issues with pastors and members account for 73% of our top reasons for quitting.

God:  The Church is your Mother (Gal. 4:26).  Did you get to choose which womb you showed up in?  Your chatty sister?  Your ornery brother?  I do not request anybody’s permission when it comes to whom I call into the Body of Christ (John 6:44).  I expect my children to become one body.  One family.  Edifying in love until you become fully like Us (Eph. 4:1-13).

Young Adults:  Yeah, but we want to be spiritual, but church members seem so judgmental … 32%.

God:  I’m the one who exhorts them to “iron sharpen iron” (Prov. 27:17).  That takes both the giver and the receiver to be strong enough to appreciate reproof and humbly act on it, like I advise in My Proverbs.   And I’m the one who instructs the spiritually mature to “admonish” and mentor the younger (Tit. 2:4-6).  It can make them feel guilty of shirking their commanded responsibility to you.

Young Adults:  Yeah, but you saw what they did!

God:  Here’s my solution which hardly anybody ever does:  “go and tell him his fault between you and him alone … if he will not hear, take with you one or two more … And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church” (Matt. Matt. 18:15-17).    This is opposite of telling everybody you know and quitting church!

Young Adults:  Yeah, but so much of the time we disagree with church stances … 25%.  Disagreement over religious, ethical or political beliefs accounts for 70% of our top reasons.

God:  Stay true to my Bible and I’ll guide you.  I challenge everybody to “speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10-12).   There is always somebody new to “be of.”  How about be of Me!

Young Adults:  Yeah, but we find ourselves only going to please others … 22%.

God:   Hey, unselfish outgoing concern is better than only going to please self!  “Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).  We’ll be there!

Young Adults:  Thanks for talking!  Somehow all our good reasons are starting to sound like limiting excuses.

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Should We Even Concern Ourselves with the “Appearance of Evil”?

Switching from the old King James Version to the New King James Version … sure, good riddance to the thees and thous!  Woudst thou agree!

But switching can have some unintended consequences.

1 Thes. 5:22 in the KJV says:  “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”   This compares with the Jubilee Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible, Webster’s Bible Translation and Young’s Literal Translation—which you probably don’t read either!

But the New King James Bible—and modern translations becoming very popular such as the New International Version, New Living Translation and English Standard Version—say “Reject, stay away, or abstain from every form [or kind] of evil.”

What’s Vine’s say?

vinesThe Greek word EIDOS means “external appearance, form, or shape”—Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, “Appearance.”

Regarding “We walk by faith, not by sight [eidos]”—2 Cor. 5:7, Vine’s says “eidos can scarcely mean the act of beholding.”  Regarding 1 Thes. 5:22, Vine’s says “not ‘appearance,’ KJV.”

So the relatively short amount of commentary in Vine’s gives the decided impression that eidos means avoid all evil that appears to you but no need to worry about how what you do might appear evil to others.

♦    So maybe we think: “Look, I keep the Sabbath whether others like it or not.  I just have to worry about obeying God and doing right.”
♦    Maybe we think:  Christ ate with publicans and sinners and didn’t worry about finger wagers.   [Did Jesus Eat Regularly with Tax Collectors & Sinners?].
♦    Maybe you think: “It’s not my problem whether somebody lusts over the way I dress—that’s their responsibility!”   And then there’s the rest of us:  “Nobody would lust after me no matter how I dress!”

So what’s the truth? Does 1 Thes. 5:22 mean that we don’t have to be concerned about how we appear to others?

Let’s look at context

Some claim that Paul throughout the entire chapter of 1 Thes. 5 only talks about what you need to be doing and not about how others perceive what you’re doing—so why should verse 22 be any different.

♦    Verse 11 says “edify one another” which requires you to figure out what they appear to need.  Paul eloquently wrote in Php. 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.   Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
♦    Verse 14 says  “Warn those who are unruly”—not worried enough about how they appear to others!
♦    Verse 15 says “always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.”  In that I can hear Paul saying he wouldn’t do something allowable if it would offend a brother.   “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify” (1 Corinthians 10:23).

e-Sword commentaries

♦    Matthew Henry:  “We should therefore abstain from … all appearances of evil, from sin, and that which looks like sin, leads to it, and borders upon it.”
♦    Clarke’s:  “Do not drive your morality so near the bounds of evil as to lead even weak persons to believe that ye actually touch, taste, or handle it.”

So, parents still tell their dating teens to study hard—and keep the door open!   Ministers bring a wife—their own, preferably!—or assistants along on a visit with a lone female.  ER actress Vanessa Marquez was shot and killed by South Pasadena police for pointing a BB pistol at them.

The complete meaning of 1 Thes. 5:22 is abstain from every form of evil including how we appear to others and impact them.

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So Great a Salvation We Must Not Neglect!

How thrilling in our Bible study where we suddenly see new light on an old scripture!

In the previous post we discussed Heb. 2:3 and how we must “Not Neglect So Great a Salvation” By Using Our Spiritual Tools.”  I always saw that we must not neglect.  But the emphasis should be on:

So great a salvation!

This insight incubated over the past year as I was writing a condensed version of the Bible.

Genesis to Revelation really impressed on me how awesome is the great salvation God has in store for us! 1) Us becoming part of the Family 2) Us helping others become part of the Family.

When you see what a great salvation is offered you, you don’t have to fight so hard about neglecting it because you want it so much more!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11).

In John 1 we learn about how

God and the Word—lived together in love, joy and harmony for who knows how long.  Their favorite joke might have been:  “We’ve gotta stop doing this!”  And then the other would laugh:  “We never started!”

The givers of abundant living surely were living it (John 10:10).   Those promising  “fullness of joy [and] pleasures forevermore” no doubt live a good, fun life (Psa. 16:11)!   Paul says They promised us eternal life before time began (Tit. 1:2).

God and the Word wanted to share their life with other God Beings including us!  So They came up with their glorious plan of salvation and the Holy Days that picture it!  They would reproduce themselves!   Two God Beings will become billions.

Adam & EveGod created them to live in the Garden of Eden with the Tree of Life and told them to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).   At His return Jesus will begin transforming the earth into a Garden of Eden (Isa. 51:3) with access to the Tree of Life (Rev. 22:2).  The Tree of Life symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and we are the temple of God with the Holy Spirit actually living in us!  (1 Cor. 6:18-19).

Abrahamdesired a “better … heavenly country … a city” (Heb. 11:16).  God will bring the New Jerusalem where the Bride of Christ will live down to the new earth (Rev. 21:2).

Moses & Joshua—led Israel to the promised land.  We can be in the first resurrection with them to assist Jesus in establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth for the meek.

David—His throne and dynasty would continue unconditionally (Psa. 89) until the Messiah of the Davidic branch would come sit on the throne of David!

David said “The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His Temple” (Psa. 27:4, New Living Translation).   But he said he’s be happy to be a doorkeeper (Psa. 84:10).

Jesus will make the resurrected David king over the 12 Tribes of Israel (Ezk. 37:24).  David knew that eventually “all things” [the universe!] would be put under man’s feet (Psa. 8:6).

Such a great salvation includes that we have been given “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).  We can have the mind of Christ! (Php. 2:5).

We have the blessed hope of being in

The first resurrection

which is the better resurrection (Heb. 11:35)—a double blessing for the firstborn (Deut. 21:17).  Only those in the first resurrection will become unveiled as the Bride of Christ!  It appears as if sons and daughters to come will be considered a product of that marriage.  If we think marrying our spouse changed our life, wait until we’re married to Christ!

A second huge blessing will be to get in on the ground floor of the Millennium and the Kingdom, like if you had started working for Microsoft at its beginning which would have meant great reward and opportunity for growth and promotion.

Speculation abounds about what comes after the end of the Bible.  If God and the Word spent so much detailed thought preparing their plan of salvation for up to Rev. 22, imagine what they have intricately planned for the rest of eternity!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9 NLT).

God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20).

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:18-19).

So let’s put nothing above

♦   “eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (Rom. 2:7).
♦    building our relationship with God and building the Family of God.

Yes, we must not neglect using the five spiritual tools in our Christian toolbox:  daily Bible study, fervent prayer, fasting, meditation and Sabbath/Holy Day assembly.

But we won’t have nearly so much trouble fighting against neglecting so great a salvation if we keep ever in mind how great a salvation is offered us!

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“Not Neglect So Great a Salvation” By Using Our Spiritual Tools

do & teachFor those of us following a one-year Bible-reading program, we have just two days to go to finish (today is Dec. 30)!  On a chronological program, just Rev. 12 to 22 to finish reading the Bible cover to cover!

Several times during the year, I’d get two or three days behind and have to read about 10 chapters to catch up.  Man, what am I doing neglecting my daily Bible study! It always makes me think of Heb. 2:3.  Curry, what are you doing neglecting so great a salvation!

toolboxWe must not neglect using the

Five spiritual tools in our Christian toolbox:

Bible study—do regularly each day.  Give God your best time.  Put God first in all aspects of your life if you care enough to control the “cares of this world” (Matt. 13:22).   We must eat our daily bread (Matt. 4:4).

Prayer—Enhances if you combine with Bible study.  Ask God for understanding of what you will study and commit to putting it into practice (Psa. 111:10).   So few realize this key principle of the Bible:  When you understand God wants you to do something, you must obediently begin doing it to really come to understand!  And the corollary:  If you stop doing something you once faithfully did and understood, in time you will forget everything.

Talk to God in prayer and He talks back to you from His Word.  If not sure where to turn in the Bible, no need to stall in frustration:  if it’s the 30th of the month, read Psalm 30—and way to go!—even 60, 90, 120 and 150.  Do that pattern each day and you’ll read all the Psalms each month!

Give God thanks for a new day as you’re waking up in bed.  End your day with prayer and you’ll likely sleep better because God gives to His beloved sleep (Psa. 127:2), probably much better than melatonin.  Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17)—being in an attitude of prayer all day long.  But two of God’s greatest servants—David and Daniel—set the example of praying three times a day (Psa. 55:17, Dan. 6:10).

Effective Bible prayers have one common ingredient.  Follow this link to make sure you are taking advantage of it!

Fasting—If there is a power tool, this is it!  Some things “come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).  Jesus said “when you fast” but didn’t say when.  Fasting is commanded only once a year on the Day of Atonement.   After 48 years in the Church of God, the consensus from ministers and faithful brethren was that a good guideline is:  once a month.   An ideal formula is one hour prayer, one hour Bible study, one hour meditation—repeat.  But don’t ever become robotic or clock-bound in place of being a child of God sharing precious time with your Father and Older Brother!

Meditation—This is not chants, mantras, or twirling beads.  This is focused thinking about spiritual matters or a Bible topic.  David said he meditated “all the day” on God’s law—obviously not about how it was supposedly done away! (Psa. 119:97)—and about God’s majesty and wondrous works (Psa. 145:5).

Regular fellowship—“Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25 New Living Translation).

Sorry, the Bible does not support “I hate organized religion!”   There might be valid reasons why you have to stay home such as health, but church services via the Internet cannot remotely compare with fellowshipping together in person.

geese flyingAnd God expects more of us than to just show up and warm a seat.  “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (v. 24).  Ask God to guide who you talk to and inspire you to say what they need.

When I think about not neglecting so great a salvation

I think first about making sure to use these five tools in our Christian toolbox “left we drift away” (Heb. 2:1).

When I was about 10 years old, at Blue Lakes north of Las Animas, Colorado, floating in an inner tube safely near shore, suddenly the wind came up and I just drifted farther and farther from shore!   I knew how to swim but I was afraid of deep water.  My double-minded paralysis left me drifting out to waves getting bigger every second!  My Dad rescued me, roaring out to me in our power boat, plucking me from the inner tube and reminding me of how God the Father rescues us!

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it”—George Orwell.  Drifting is one of the

Seven Ds in Hebrews

The other six are departing (3:12); diligent (4:11); dull of hearing (5:11); despising truth (10:26); draws back (10:38); and discouraged (12:5).

It’s thrilling in our Bible study

when we suddenly see new light on an old scripture!

With Heb. 2:3 I always focused on the part about not neglecting.  But in part two we’ll see that the emphasis should be on:  SO GREAT A SALVATION!  

You won’t have so much trouble fighting not to neglect so great a salvation if you see what a great salvation is offered you!

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Four Years as a Blog!

Shall We Go Another Year?

It makes you think when you ring in another year with a blog.  After 295 posts, is there anything left to say about building the Family of God?

Yes, because we all should keep learning and growing.  After 48 years of learning God’s way from the Bible, it seems like there’s more I don’t know than early on when I knew everything.   And I keep forgetting so much that I need to restudy.

You find out how much you don’t know when you try to teach others.

Thanks so much for shares.   You probably don’t realize it but you have a vital part in God granting readers in 88 countries (Matt. 24:14, 28:18-20).  Note the spots on the world map below where there are no red pins yet.

Shall we go another year?  You, as a cherished reader, have a big say in that!

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Chapter 44: What Comes After the End of the Bible?

New heaven, new heavenly Jerusalem, new earth with God the Father dwelling there, billions of Spirit Beings!  That’s already exceedingly more than we can imagine as the Bible ends in the greatest grand finale ever!

Except it’s just the beginning as the God Family takes on eternity!

Ninth Day plans?  We don’t know yet because God hasn’t given us any additional Holy Days (Lev. 23:36).

Rev. 23?  God said nobody better add anything to His Word (Rev. 22:18).  So much for the idea you’ve probably heard that perhaps new exploits of the Church and influential shakers and movers might be added to the book of Acts.  It looks like the Bible will be the bestseller for eternity just as it is!

What enticing hints does the Bible give?

universeGod was “bringing many sons to glory” to have “all things [the universe] put under him” (Heb. 2:8-10).  God had warned Israel “Take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven … which the Lord Your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage” (Deut. 4:19).   The meek would inherit more than the earth if we don’t sucker for astrology!

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:18-19).

God the Father and Jesus Christ have always worked (John 5:17), and God Beings will always work and produce.   They may “sing aloud on their beds” (Psa. 149:5) but Gods don’t slumber or sleep (Psa. 121:4) and there won’t be any couch potatoes!

The latest estimate is that the physical ever-expanding universe is filled with 2 trillion galaxies and more stars than sand particles!   And you’d expect the spiritual universe to be even grander.  Isa. 51:16 mentions “That I may

Plant the heavens”

A popular guess is that God Beings may be sent out to a far-flung part of the universe to renovate it like Lucifer and his angels were supposed to do on the earth.

A corollary to that is that they might even be commissioned to create their own Adam and Eve and go through the process God the Father and Jesus Christ did—except that they can be comforted knowing they don’t have to b be crucified because Christ’s sacrifice was “once for all … For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:10, 14).

Maybe being celestial astronauts isn’t for everyone.  God promised the Philadelphians “He who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.”  I have always had a headquarters mentality and my personal desire will be to serve in Jerusalem where everybody comes back sooner or later to visit or receive training.  God is our Personnel Director who knows how we should be employed and developed!

Will God be forever adding to the number of God Beings?  Are there limits to spiritual Family like there are for physical?   Does God have something else in mind?

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

We can be sure that the Father and Jesus Christ, who did such magnificent intricate planning for this temporary world, have thought up some wondrous plans that will be even grander.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9 New Living Translation).

God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20).   God has “given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).

God has in store for us

“Such a great salvation” that we must not neglect (Heb. 2:3)

For you to have read all this book, you are called, and you are responsible for what you have been given and what you know.  Please choose and be faithful (Rev. 17:14).   Make your calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:10).

“In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psa. 16:11).

So let’s put nothing above “eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (Rom. 2:7).

Let’s put nothing above building our relationship with God and building the Family of God.

If you want to start reading from the beginning of this book

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Chapter 43: You Need to Be There for Your Loved Ones!

What about loved ones you care most about who you worry died unsaved?   What about all the people who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ, the only “name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)?  What about the millions of babies whose lives have been aborted [58 million since Roe Vs. Wade in 1973]?

Are so many lost forever?

The joyous answer is NO!  All of your loved ones will have their opportunity.  You will have yours if you don’t become a firstfruit or live into the Millennium!

The last Holy Day, the Eighth Day (Lev. 23:36), immediately follows the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles just as the Great White Throne Judgment comes right after the Millennium.   You won’t find anybody other than the spiritual Church of God, thanks to keeping this Feast Day (Psa. 111:10), who understands the astounding truth about this.

The Second Resurrection

“The rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (Rev. 20:5).   All who ever lived and never had their opportunity for salvation will be resurrected back to PHYSICAL life to have it with no Satan around!

So much for “you only go around once”!

valley-of-dry-bonesDry bones will rattle and receive sinew, flesh and breath and stand on their feet (Ezek. 37:1-14).   This “exceedingly great army” is the whole House of Israel but also represents what will occur for the estimated 140 billion people who have died since Adam and Eve and will suddenly populate the earth!   It would seem like about half of those would be babies and children.

You’d have to think they resume right where they left off.  Ponder that thought and you can see what a challenge it’s going to be to serve all these people!   For example, if the person is still beset with the same dilemma that led them to commit suicide?   Many resurrected will have to be healed so they can respond to their opportunity for salvation.

Since life begins at conception, stillborn and aborted will apparently be resurrected.   What a shock for so many!  New sons and daughters, brothers and sisters!   How is God planning to care of them?  How ironic if the women who thought their bodies were their own find themselves back with child!  Yes, but what about a woman who had multiple abortions?  What about a baby whose mother is now a God Being!  It’s interesting to speculate but a just God has it figured out.

The Great White Throne Judgment

“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened” [biblios]—the Bible.  And they were judged “by the things which were written in the books” (Rev. 20:11-12).   For the first time for these people, God removes the “veil” (2 Cor. 3:16) and opens their minds to understand and choose His Way (Luke 24:45).  His prodigal sons and daughters “come to themselves” (Luke 15:17).

The Beatitude “peacemakers” matches up with this GWTJ because what could be more necessary when you bring together the Hatfields and McCoys, Hitler and the Jews he gassed, divorcees and their lawyers and scads of others who couldn’t get along!

This has been called the Last Great Day (John 7:37).  The Holy Spirit will be flowing with rivers of living water that was pictured by the water ceremony.  Jesus will be the light that was portrayed each night of the Feast in the Court of the Women.   To all the people resurrected, Jesus will say “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin not more” (John 8:11).

This is the time when Jesus said it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorra (Matt. 10:15), Ninevah and the Queen of Sheba than for cities like Capernaum that didn’t listen to Him.

This is the great fall harvest pictured by the Holy Days.  This is when two God Beings become billions!

Monte MarkhamHow long will it last?  The Bible may hint at it lasting 100 years (Isa. 65:20), bringing back memories of Monte Markham in the ’67-’68 CBS sitcom “The Second Hundred Years.”

We must be there to find out! 

You’d have to think the God Beings will have the privilege and joy of participating in the resurrection of those special to us, and in working closely with them and others whom we rubbed shoulders with in this life.   “Mom, you showed me the truth, and if only you would’ve had the courage to pursue it for yourself.  Now you can!”

The Book of Life will be opened for these billions (Rev. 20:12) and names are added at baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit.

After the GWTJ, “Anyone not found written in the Book of Life [will be] cast into the Lake of Fire” along with death and Hades [the grave].

The third resurrection

lake of fireThis is necessary so that all wicked experience “the second death” in the Lake of Fire.   Pity the Beast and False Prophet who already got incinerated once before the Millennium!  God is so merciful but He is also just.  Unforgiven sin always demanded the penalty of eternal death (Rom. 6:23).

Hinnom ValleyTragically, the comparative few who snub their noses at God and His Way and commit the Unpardonable Sin, will be mercifully and quickly burned up in this Gehenna Fire.  This Greek word refers to the Valley of Hinnom where Jerusalem trash was burned up.  I’ve been to Hell and back twice on visits to Jerusalem!  This will be eternal punishment not punishing.   Thank God the supreme power of the universe is love not sadistic!  If you worry that you might have committed the Unpardonable Sin, you haven’t!

The Lake of Fire purges the earth of all things physical, material and sinful.  The only thing left is all spirit—God Beings!

It’s time for

The new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1)

new heaven and new earthAnd with sin gone that separates man from God (Isa. 59:2), it’s time for God the Father to come make His home on the earth.  No wonder it was always privileged with such a worthy tenant coming!

Thinking back to the great innumerable multitude, John saw them in vision “standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9)—where God the Father, the Lamb, “the elders and the four living creatures are” (v. 11). “They are before the throne of God [the Father since this God is distinguished from the Lamb] and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them” (v. 15). “The Lamb … will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters” (v. 17).

When will this occur? Not likely before the Seven Trumpets begin because the first resurrection does not occur until the Seventh Trumpet (11:15). This could certainly apply to when the Father comes down to dwell with men on the new earth (21:3). “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (7:17) matches with 21:4.

The Holy City, New Jerusalem—prepared as a bride for her husband Jesus Christ—will be the eternal home of the saints.  God paves His city (1,500 miles long, wide and high) in gold!  Read all the exciting details in Rev. 21-22!  The Bible ends as it began—God offering access to the Tree of Life (Rev. 22:2) to “those who do His commandments” (v. 14).

Canonization of the New Testament

While the Old Testament was canonized in five steps, God canonized His New Testament in two remaining steps (for a complete and perfect seven) through His Apostles.  Near the end of his life, Peter like Paul came to see that Christ wouldn’t be returning in their lifetime.  “I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease” (2 Pet. 1:15).   Evidently he had Paul collect “the books, especially the parchments” (2 Tim. 4:13, Acts 16:4).

Then God used the last of the Apostles, John, to conclude the canonization about 95 A.D. by warning don’t add to or take away from these words (Rev. 22:18-19).  Now “all scripture” was inspired (2 Tim. 3:16-17) and “truth” (John 17:17)!

Two God Beings have increased their Family and Kingdom by billions of God Beings.  You’ll be there … won’t you … what a shame if your loved ones are … without you!

That ends the Bible but what’s next?

Chapter 44: What Comes After the End of the Bible?
If you want to start reading from the beginning of this book

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