On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
This year 2022, we pray that the Lord will bring more Filipino souls to be secured of their eternal place in God’s paradise! Thus, we are thankful for the revival of our evangelistic work of winning people to Christ. As heaven-bound men and women, we desire as many of our relatives and countrymen to go with us. Below is the second part of Crisa Zagado’s article which we published last month. Let us read this and know for sure whether we are heaven-bound.– Bro Jose
Characteristics of Heaven and Hell-bound People – 2/3
The Vocation They Embark
Heaven-bound people are committed to obeying God’s word no matter what. It is because they know what vocation they have to do. Philip is one of the examples. He was willing to deny himself and be away from his family without doubting that God had called him to preach the gospel. With this, a believer who knows his final destination would do the Great Commission Christ has told (Book I, In Quest of the True Peace, 20). It is a humble thought that the given duties will lead us to be like John Sung's conviction saying, “because God is with me, my mouth is His mouth. My feet, ears, eyes, heart are also His. With these I can only do His will” (Book IV, My Testimony, 9–10).
Crisa conducted a Christmas Gospel meeting for children in Gingoog City. True Life BPC-FilBF is supporting her as our missionary starting this year.
Hell-bound people have no compassion for souls. They only want to make some bellies out of their money and pleasures. For them, they are to satisfy their lusts of the flesh, eyes and the pride of life. On the other hand, heaven-bound people have a united profession to do that is to be an evangelist for the Lord. Noah and his family did that. People may have despised them for their faith. Noah had good points that believers should follow if doing their vocation is for the eternal. The first is to unite his family in the faith by the grace of God. Secondly, it is to store up treasure in heaven rather than on earth. This is willingness in sacrificing for the Lord to finish the work He has entrusted us to do. Despite the rejection, he was focusing on the Lord. A good principle to imprint in our hearts is to never look at the present but the future. Truly “one day the whole world will be burnt up. But to witness for Christ, to preach to bear fruit, remains forever.” (Book II, Noah and the Building of the Ark, 18–20).
Furthermore, the unbeliever will pretend that they believe but in reality they do not. Why do they profess? Two of the reasons are money and fame. This was how Simon thought. He had been living in hypocrisy. He should have known God’s grace, yet he abused it (Book VI, The Abundant Saving Grace Despised, 8).
The Hobbies They Delight
The unbelievers are most likely living a hypocritical and “holier-than-thou” life. For them, traditions and practices are more superior rather than the Word of God. These are the Pharisees. They are stressing the outside that breeds conceit. So they judge Jesus Christ with pride. They are gossipers. They are dumb and deaf. Why is it? Because they rather have the words of man than God’s Word (Book I, Purifying the Heart Within, 25–27). This is deliberately a work of the devil. John Sung further describes these kinds of hell-bound people, as adultery, thievery, murder, jealousy, slandering, lying, conceited devils which are to be cast also in the believers' life ((Book II, Purifying the Heart Within, 29–30). These people like to gamble, smoke and drink. They live a very carnal life (Book II, Noah and the Building of the Ark, 16–17).
On the other hand, heaven-bound people are prayerful such as how Peter and John went up to the temple together to pray. This kind of hobby is the most ideal to do as a Christian. Indeed, prayer increases our faith (Book II, On Faith, 12). It signifies an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. With this, when the lame man begged, the disciples gave him not money but Jesus Christ. This implies that God’s children must only trust in the Lord Jesus Christ in every opportunity whether in prayer or preaching. Fear will be cast away (Book II, On Faith, 12). With this, people must lead to a satisfying life in the Lord.
Another thing they like to do is that believers tend to disregard the temple of God, which is known as the church today. Most of the time, believers fall into this kind of sickness. They are more focused on themselves rather than the works of God. Thus this is what happened in the time of prophet Haggai where he must relay God’s word to consider their ways. This would help heaven-bound people to think through their ways. Do we spend our time and money for the Lord or the lords of this world? We may not build the temple just how the Israelites did. But it is worth being reminded of what we ought to do. It is to read our Bible, to have a devoted life for God’s glory and willingness to give for the Lord unconditionally (Book III, On Building the House of God, 11–13).
The Behaviours They Show
Hell-bound people are accusers in the faith because they follow the chief accuser, Satan. They only see what’s wrong with others yet are so blinded by their own sins (Book I, Burden of Sin Lifted, 15). Sadly when these people are confronted with the Word of God, they do not repent. They leave though they know they are sinners. Many indeed take the Word for granted. They are still hard-hearted and light-resistant. Others may repent yet there are still stumbling stones and hidden sins beneath. So when tribulation comes, he cannot stand. He stumbles and falls. Some would be busy with their concerns like their business. That is why there is no time for the Word of God. It also implies no time to witness and no courage to testify. Whereas, believers must be people who delight to listen to God’s Word, be convicted, be changed and bear much fruit for the Lord (Book V, The Field Under Sowing, 23–25). If not, note that what is considered the greatest sin in the world is fruitlessness. It is because no repentance means no fruit. It reminds us not to be that fig tree that despite good cultivation, there is no bearing of fruit (Book V, Out and Out Repentance, 28–29)
Heaven-bound people are to cast away this unrighteous judgment against others, and instead lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ that they may see their sins as how we experienced when Jesus opened our eyes. Praise the Lord for the attitude the woman had shown to Jesus. She dared not leave. She wept, knowing that if she left, she will surely die (Book I, Burden of Sin Lifted, 17). Thus believers must live a life of true repentance. There was a woman, named Rahab whose faith and courage must be followed for every generation of believers. She had faith that never shrank despite the risk she might have faced. Praise the Lord for her in keeping the two spies but letting God use her as a providence to the spies. At the same time, it was also a blessing to her to know and experience the God of Israel. This best describes that when a man has Jesus, he has life. No Jesus, no life (Book VI, A Harlot Found Salvation, 2).
Some mock fearlessly the Lord Jesus, rather than seeing themselves as more worthy of condemnation (Luke 23:39). But people who by the grace of God believe the Person and Deity of Jesus Christ will defend and testify Him. He would see himself as nothing and worthy to be punished rather than Christ. This other thief had reverence in the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, he has put his trust in the Lord by asking Jesus to remember him. What great faith he has that in that time of death, he was sure that Jesus can bring him into paradise (Book V, The Thief, 18–19).
It is also the same as what happened to the Eunuch where though he has everything he could live on earth yet he lacked peace (Acts 8). Indeed, man cannot deny that we are in thirst and hunger for peace. However, it is a good sign when a man is looking for peace in the right place which is the Bible. The Lord is good to graciously provide an evangelist to let that sinner be enlightened. Hence, it would encourage us again to be humble in repentance and confession of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, he then experienced a complete change for a life of joy and peace (Book #1, Burden of Sin Lifted, 22–23). It is taste of heaven on earth if we have this kind of experience. It would be then a great challenge for all the believers to never stop preaching to the lost souls. It is because we never know who the elected people are. As for Philip, it teaches us that our service in the Lord is all by His providential guidance.
A Heaven-bound person is not a seeker of unrighteous money or treasure on the earth but heaven (Book I, Heaven and Hell, 3). This reflects that a believer who knows where he ends, know his purpose in life. Then he knows what to do. One of these is to rely on the working of the Holy Spirit. It is true that if one is willing to be led by the Holy Spirit. He will surely find the marvelous and fruitful way (Book II, The Unfathomable Grace of God, 23– 24).
This would not be difficult to live a life of obedience just like Abraham who is willing to leave the comfort zone to follow God’s leading. This should be the believers' attitude too. Though we cannot deny that there will be failures that lead to sins, disappointments and doubts along the way. God may chastise us to pull us up to continue in moving forward. It is because believers who are bound to heaven are not quitters. They do not stop halfway. They go straight forward and glorify God. But whenever believers fall to sin we must be ready to repent. (Book III, The Story of the Hero-model of the Old Testament, 1–3).
For the unbelievers, they are described as fearful to confess and repent of their sins. They are unbelieving because they deny God, His Word, the judgment and the existence of heaven and hell. They are full of self-exaltation and pure conceit because they are no more thirsting for the everlasting mercies of God. They are murderers, whoremongers, idolaters and liars. These are the attitudes of the Devil (Book III, A New Hope, 22–29). On the other hand, believers must have the attitude of the lad. He gave hi loaves and fishes to the Lord Jesus. It challenges dedication to the Lord and His works (Book IV, On Dedication, 16–17).
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