POEMS

Lamb'spoet... and pundit

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Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Lamb'spoet... and pundit






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For punditry see/click dated Blog Archive

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POEMS




POEMS

Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI
Book VII
Book VIII
Book IX
Book X
Book XI
Book XII
Book XIII


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Complete Poetry Index of ALL TITLES















Believest thou this?

 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him." John 3:16-17


Fundamental has been an adjective applied to a certain part of the church, mostly in America, mostly in the Bible belt, and mostly to Baptists. But fundamental is not a bad word. A dictionary definition of fundamental is:

FUNDAMENT'AL, a. Pertaining to the foundation or basis; serving for the foundation. Hence, essential; important; as a fundamental truth or principle; a fundamental law; a fundamental sound or chord in music.

FUNDAMENT'AL, n. A leading or primary principle, rule, law or article, which serves as the ground work of a system; essential part; as the fundamentals of the christian faith.

I'm writing this as a preface to what I see as fundamental and essential matters and meanings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth..." Genesis. 1:1.

The fundamentals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be understood without it being believed that God is the CREATOR.  Everything that exists was created by God in the beginning. After that time men and women have made many things out of what God made. It is essential that we believe God is the Creator of all things including human beings. The book of Genesis is truthful and real. Adam and Eve are not characters of a fictional allegory, not are Cain, Abel, Methuselah or Noah. Believest thou this?

Settle it in your mind: 1. God is the CREATOR of all things. 2. You are one of the things God has created and you were CREATED by the CREATOR.

After God completed the creation he looked on it and saw that it was truly good. But sometime after this all creation was corrupted! The man and woman God made disobeyed Him. And as he had warned them beforehand the man and woman died. Disobedience is sin. The labor of sin is compensated by death. All have sinned and all die. Yet the image and likeness of God in which we were created are not entirely destroyed by our sins. Even terribly evil people are capable of acts of kindness. Yet for our sins and our corrupted nature we all, even the kindest of us, are under God's condemnation. BUT...

God is able to redeem us and restore us to godliness now and in eternity to sinlessness.  HE HAS MADE THE WAY FOR US TO BE REDEEMED AND RESTORED. Jesus IS THE WAY. God is our ENABLER. Satan was the DISABLER. Believest thou this?

Settle it in your mind that your faith in Christ and your desire for that redemption and restoration have released the grace which does save, heal, deliver you from destruction. Through faith in Christ by the gracious gift you are a REDEEMED AND RESTORED child of God.

Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.” 
  — Revelation 4:11 (ASV)


Believing The Gospel

Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25-26

If we do not believe and trust God, our minds and souls will be troubled from within and without. Our own thoughts will be confused and fearful. The voices of enemies, human and angelic, will harass us. Our greatest need is to be assured of our salvation and of everlasting life. “... whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die.” Again: Settle it in your mind that your faith in Christ releases the saving grace of Almighty God. 

"because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame." Romans 10:9-11

"but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus: for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them."  Ephesians 2:4-1

And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each man's work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear: knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ: who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of the times for your sake, who through him are believers in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently: having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth. 1Peter 1:17-23


Overcoming

To each of the seven  churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 Jesus speaks of "he that overcometh..." For those who will overcome Jesus make a promise. These promises are to those who have ears to hear. Believest thou this? The promises:

1. to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God. 
2. he that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
3. to him will I give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it. 
4. And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to shivers; as I also have received of my Father: and I will give him the morning star.
5. He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6. I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out thence no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and mine own new name. 
7. I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne. 

Who is it we are to overcome? None other than Satan who is "the accuser of our brethren."

Revelation 12:10-11 (ASV)
And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying, "Now is come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accuseth them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death.” 

Believest thou this?

Have you overcome Satan? 

Revelation 12:11 (ASV)
“And they overcame him [Satan]

*  because of the blood of the Lamb, and
*  because of the word of their testimony;
*  and they loved not their life even unto death.”
***

1. "... the blood of the Lamb"

To many the Bible's accounts of sacrifice and the blood of sacrifices is a mystery. It need not be. The first blood shed was that of animals with whose skins God clothed Adam and Eve. Because they disobeyed God they hid and clothed themselves with fig leaves. But God was not satisfied with fig leaves. And so:

... Jehovah God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21

Cain's offering of fruit was not acceptable to God but Abel's offering of young animals was accepted. And strangely Abel's blood was shed by Cain! When Noah disembrked from the Ark he made a burnt offering to God and God made some changes:

Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; as the green herb have I given you all. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it: and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man's brother, will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” Genesis 9:3-6

Genesis 9:4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Genesis 9:4  But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 

We see later:

Leviticus 3:17  It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

Leviticus 17:11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

The blood of animal and their sacrifice is not without significance.

At the critical time God provided Abraham an animal  substitute for Isaac so that he would not have to sacrifice his own son. Yet at a more critical time God the Father did not provide an animal substitute for His only begotten Son! Instead in this critical time Jesus became the substitute for all who would believe and become the sons and daughters of God!!! Most all  sacrifices are made because a sin or sins have been committed. The sacrifice takes the place of the sinning man or woman. The wage for sin is death and the sinner would be put to death if the sacrifice was not put to death in the place of the sinner.

Him [that is Christ] who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him. 2Corithians 5:21 

Christ Jesus who NEVER sinned was MADE to be the ULTIMATE and FINAL SACRIFICE to taake away the sin for which we should die eternally. And the life, the eternal life was in HIS BLOOD. That is why now we drink the wine at the Lord's Supper. 

He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him. John 6:54-56

The Jewish priests of Aaron ate the flesh of the sacrifices brought to the Tabernacle and the Temple. They were also sustained by offerings of corn, wine and oil by the 11 other tribes. Now all believers are saints, and kings and priests. We still need food to sustain our mortal bodies. But we also need spiritual food. Without the body and blood of Jesus the best natural diet is a futile exercise. 

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled. Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal lifewhich the Son of man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God, hath sealed.  John 6:26-27

Think of the many sacrifices that the children of Israel brought to the Tabernacle and the Temple and very many. How strange that the place where God dwelt was the place where untold gallons of blood streamed out of the bodies of animals. God wanted these animals to be the best the people owned. These animals were valuable. But even these sacrifices ordained by God we're not enough to bestow eternal life on those who brought them! Not even the sacrifice of these precious animals were enough to restore human beings to God in life and life eternal.

In John Ch. 6 we see the people miraculously fed by Jesus. Jesus mysteriously disappears in the night. They seek Him out the next day across the Sea and finding Him ask how He got there. He doesn't answer their question. Instead He reveals to them what is in their own hearts. Jesus answered them and said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled. Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God, hath sealed."  John 6:26-27 Soon enough He says much more.

Jesus therefore said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he that eateth me, he also shall live because of me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven: not as the fathers ate, and died; he that eateth this bread shall live for ever."
John 6:53-58

John Chapter Six is a most powerful chapter. Jesus clearly exposes the carnal nature of men. "Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled." They has seen five barley loaves and two fishes feed about five thousand people. But they were not impressed by the sign, the miracle. But they were happy to have had their bellies filled. Then He speaks to them, and the religious Jews and the disciples in a manner that can only be understood spiritually and prophetically. 

To the disciples this was made more clear at the last supper.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, "Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins." Matthew 26:26-28 

The next day Jesus, called some three years earlier "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" was sacrificed. He became our substitute, and a better substitute that the animals had been for the children of Israel. His sacrifice was the beginning of the New Covenant with it's power to forgive and save whoever will trust Yeshua the Messiah believing His words and promises are from God above. We are born from ABOVE. 

Today as Christians gather in homes and churches the blood upon their altars is wine! The body is now bread! There is no more loss of life, animal or human. There is the saving of life, the healing of life and the delivering of lives into the care of the Creator of those lives! And yet now we are ourselves living sacrifices. 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but so to think as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith. Romans 12:1-3

It's not for nothing that some are calling the Kingdom of God the UPSIDE DOWN Kingdom. Or is it humanity that is upside down? Are we thinking right side up? "... be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind ..." Jesus shows us as the folks in John Ch. 6 that it is our nature to think carnally, selfishly, even narcissistically. Yet this comes out of our fears, anxieties and lack of spiritual knowledge. 

For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, In the midst of the congregation will I sing thy praise. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold, I and the children whom God hath given me. Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:11-15

If people knew the love God has for them, if they knew His death has stripped the devil of ALL his powers, their fear and anxieties could evaporate in a second. 

Believe this. 


2. "... the word of their testimony"

Since this is about testimony, here is part of mine. I have been through difficult times when my walk with Jesus was not very pretty. Yet more than once in the midst of depressed and even a backslidden states I have found myself speaking up for Jesus and sharing the gospel. I don't believe the Lord or the Holy Spirit ever leaves us. We may put ourselves in a place that seems distant but that is only how it appears to us. They are right there every time and all the time. His law is being written on our hearts day by day producing our testimonies.

And he saith unto me, 'Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he saith unto me, 'These are true words of God.' And I fell down before his feet to worship him. And he saith unto me, 'See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren that hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' Revelation 19:9-10

The Angels also holy the testimony of Jesus. I believe that whenever we speak truly of Jesus we must be reiterating what the prophets have said.

The true spirit of prophecy always shows itself in bearing witness to Jesus. “Any teaching of prophecy that takes our minds and hearts away from Him is not being properly communicated.” (Hocking)

This means that prophecy at its very heart is designed to unfold the beauty and loveliness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Walvoord)

Our testimony too should “unfold the beauty and loveliness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Our testimony is true and it is to be believed. When we give our testimony to another we can ask, "Do you believe this?"

Being able to give our testimony shows that we believe this. 

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you or be absent, I may hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing affrighted by the adversaries: which is for them an evident token of perdition, but of your salvation, and that from God; because to you it hath been granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer in his behalf: having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. 
Philippians 1:27-30

... your manner of life ...”

It is critical, fundamental, essential that we understand that the way we live is a large part of our testimony. We are judged by those to whom we speak our testimony. If we say we are Christ's and are seen to be practicing sin we are defeating a very important purpose for which God saved us, that is, to demonstrate the power of God to make us good, even godly, holy and Christ-like.

Again: “... be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

We were being fashioned according to this world when we were apart from the Lord. We had no knowledge of God's Spirit and His ways. We had no faith or we had faith in some false god. We were sinners but likely did not believe it or even know it. But we were given a gift from God to hear and believe in His only and uniquely begotten Son Jesus. Now we must think through what this means for our lives. It will mean we will change. And that is just exactly the same as saying we will repent. To repent is to change. We will change how we think and how we act. People observing our change, our repentance may see that it is Christ who has caused it and then themselves believe and change.


3.  "... they loved not their life even unto death."

We can be confident all the days of our life in the flesh that we have escaped eternal death and that we are destined for eternal life! This means that we have no fear of death. Dying is simply the necessary event to bring us into full and everlasting life in the presence of God! In the flesh we may tremble, but in our spirits we have confidence in this! For that reason we don't love our lives in the flesh as unbelievers of the world love their lives. The world's people are led about by Satan, the god of this world. They are in peril. Though some seem healthy and sane and reasonable they are under God's condemnation for their unbelief in His Son and for their sins. 

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due. And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practice them. Romans1:18-32

Believest thou this? 

If you dare, show these verses to someone who does not believe Christ. I think they will be shocked and offended. I pray they would be convicted and saved. But unbelievers do as they wish. Some act within self imposed boundaries only erected to keep them out of trouble. Others get in trouble when what they wish harms others. We are created in the image and likeness of God and we are saved and change being transformed into the beings God created us to be. Jesus is the pattern Son whose heart, mind, soul and strength we are to absorb into our own persons. More and more we see the criminal chaos and satanic tyranny resulting from Godlessness: "unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful." All this madness is a result of their failure to glorify, to honor God, to be grateful to God. God has revealed Himself as Creator. That of God which we cannot see is made known to us all by the creation. We enjoy His creation. In spite of the troubles sin causes we see life as a good thing. But is it enjoyed as God intends? Not always. That which God made for noble use and for pleasure has been perverted. In order to obfuscate God from their consciousness they make gods of images of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things, images of things created by God! in this way the unbelieving people of the world love their lives. 

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples. Even as the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you. Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye may love one another. John 15:8-17

Jesus is a giver. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are givers. They not only created all things; they gave meaning and purpose to all things. If we exist in living accord with God's purpose we will enjoy righteousness, peace and joy. These things spring out of God's gift of Himself to us. God is LOVE and in giving Himself He gives love from which flow righteousness, peace and joy. 

for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Romans 14:17

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1John 4:7-8

And to support the idea that the Kingdom of God is an UPSIDE DOWN Kingdom we read:

Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: but I say unto you, Love your enemiesand pray for them that persecute youthat ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same? Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Matthew 5:43-48

The world's people love money, pleasure and luxury and people who give them pleasure. The Lord and His Church love each other, their neighbors and their enemies. 

The world's people hate, murder and destroy their enemies.
The Church 
does good to them that hate them, blesses them that curse them, and prays for them that despitefully use them. 

The world's people will do almost anything to preserve themselves in money and luxury. The church will do almost anything to help those in need of food, clothing and shelter. 

The world cares little about the health and well being of others, even turning hospitals which at the first were Christian missions into profit making business. 
Christians at their own expense still bring medicine and medical services to the very poor.

 This is not boasting of our own righteousness, it's simply acknowledging that some christians are acting according to God's will and character... >>> LOVE and GRACE. UNDESERVED AND UNCONDITIONAL!

Why then are Christians hated by many in the world? Why was the best giver of love, Jesus, despised for the love He came and gave to the people? He was hated by his own relatives and countrymen! I think it is because men then and today are in darkness. Darkness cannot comprehend, apprehend or overcome the light. Jesus is the light of the world and the world might have rejoiced in His light. But the people of the world had chosen the darkness of false gods, perverse pleasures and willful ignorance of the light. 

"If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause."
John 15:18-25


"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to councils, and in their synagogues they will scourge you; yea and before governors and kings shall ye be brought for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you. And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child: and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household! Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak ye in the light; and what ye hear in the ear, proclaim upon the house-tops. And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father: but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."  Matthew 10:16-31

It is noted by historical records that Christian martyrs in the early Common Era did not shrink back from those who persecuted them and put them to death. See Acts chapter 5 verse 41 and it's context! They rejoiced because they were  counted worthy to suffer the same dishonor that Jesus suffered! Christians have lost their lives in every century since the Lord's first visit. Paul wrote:

Philippians 3 (ASV)
⁷ ... what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.
⁸ Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ,
⁹ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, [even] that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith:
¹⁰ that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death;
¹¹ if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead.

More Christians have been martyred in the last 100 years then in all the preceding years CE. Were all of them as eager to attain the resurrection as the apostle Paul? Probably not. But they might have been had they thought it through as Paul did.

As human beings we are more likely to desire things than to count them as garbage. If we have food and clothing and shelter most all of us begin to labor for other things.

Be ye free from the love of money; content with such things as ye have: for himself hath said, 'I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee.' So that with good courage we say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear: What shall man do unto me?' ” Heb 13:5-6

1 Timothy 6 (ASV)
⁶ But godliness with contentment is great gain:
⁷ for we brought nothing into the world, for neither can we carry anything out;
⁸ but having food and covering we shall be therewith content.
⁹ But they that are minded to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown men in destruction and perdition.
¹⁰ For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

And from Jesus:

And he said unto them, Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
  — Luke 12:15 (ASV)

And:

Matthew 16 (ASV)
²⁴ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
²⁵ For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.
²⁶ For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

Believest thou this?

We full of complaints. We complain about everything from the taste of our supper, to the price of the food in it, to the chore of doing the dishes after we eat it. We complain about the weather almost every day except in Hawaii. Perhaps more than anything we complain about the government. We not only want things, we want them our own way. But what can we get and what can we possess that will make us live forever? Death is an appointment that all human beings must keep. Jesus was God's only Son and was also human! He died. And we die. One man arranged to be buried with his $400,000 Mercedes-Benz. I quite imagine it's engine cooled off entirely and is still cold today.

If we are without Christ we are afraid. We do not know what happens after we die. We see people die and the world continues to live without them. Many religious teach about what happens at and after death. "All the major world religions hold the belief that how a person has conducted himself or herself while living on Earth will greatly influence his or her soul's ultimate destiny after physical death."  Encyclopedia.com Atheists insist they are not a religion. But they religiously deny than God exists. As Dostoevsky wrote: “If there is no God all things are permitted.” That surely explains the horrors of the Atheist nations, the USSR, China, Cuba; and also the horrors of atheist organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Democrat Party USA.

Jesus has brought "him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Hebrews 2:15


"whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life." BELIEVE IT. 

If you gain the whole world, but remain unbelieving you will forfeit eternal life. Eternal life is a gift from God. Will He give it to those who deny His BEING? Without God what can you do to gain eternal life? No one has come by his or her own power back from the dead. Can you become by human effort the sinless person that God will accept? 

John 3:16 is one fundamental and essential expression truth and blessing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him.  John 3:16-17 AMPLIFIED 
BELIEVE IT. 

But there is much more to the fundamental truth, the foundational truth of the Gospel. If the only scripture you can recite from memory or find in the Bible is John 3:16 may I say your spirit is starving? 

Jesus, being the Son of God the Father, has accomplished by His obedience to God His Father what we ourselves can never accomplish; He has opened to us the way to the Father and to eternal life. If we deny that God and Christ live, act and save then He will deny us His Heaven in which we might live and act in sinless painless eternity. If we deny Him He will deny us. 

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. 

And he saith, Write: for these words are faithful and true. And he said unto me, They are come to pass. 

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. 

And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were laden with the seven last plagues; and he spake with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. 

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: her light was like unto a stone most precious, as it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal: having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: on the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 

And he that spake with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 

And the building of the wall thereof was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof. And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb. 

And the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there): and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it: and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they that are written in the Lamb's book of life.  Revelation 21:1-27

And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall serve him; and they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 

And he said unto me, These words are faithful and true: and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly come to pass. And behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book. And I John am he that heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that showed me these things. And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets, and with them that keep the words of this book: worship God. 

And he saith unto me, Seal not up the words of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand. He that is unrighteous, let him do unrighteousness still: and he that is filthy, let him be made filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him do righteousness still: and he that is holy, let him be made holy still. 

Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to each man according as his work is. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to come to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. 

Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie. 

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star. 

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely. 

I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book. 

He who testifieth these things saith, Yea: I come quickly. Amen: come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen. 
Revelation 22;1-21