At the Instant of Death, Do Believers in Christ Go Directly to Heaven?
When the dying thief, on the cross, confessed his faith in Jesus as his Savior, Christ promised, "Truly I say to you, today shall you be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). There is no delay, detour or stopping off point. Jesus is the Speedway to the glories of heaven! "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain . . . having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better . . . to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (Philippians 1:21,23, 2 Corinthians 5:8). Faith in Jesus reserves for you a specially prepared place, far beyond the grave, a dazzling mansion in heaven (John 14:1-3). And it is ready for instant occupancy!
After Christ died on the cross to pay for the personal sins of each believer, He rose from the tomb victoriously. When the few days that God has given you on this earth are over, and His plan for your life is completed, you will be, "carried by the angels" to see your Greatly Beloved face to face (Luke 16:22). Your soul goes into His Royal Presence, but your body "sleeps" in the narrow grave until the first resurrection (Revelation 20:1-6). "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Death is the separation of body from soul. Our mortal body returns to the dust, but our immortal spirit or soul returns to the Sovereign Creator. "It is appointed for men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Your soul's swift, non-stop entry into heaven at death, is a strong incentive to believe in Christ.
Missionary Update: April 2012
Winnie Shelito - retired
Blessed be the Lord, who daily leadeth us with benefits." Psalm 68:19a
Dear Bethel Friends,
I trust that the above verse is real to you too. The Lord continues to take care of me and my needs, and I thank Him for that and I appreciate all the benefits He sends my way.
Not much really new since I last
wrote. I'm slowing down and it takes longer to do things, but I can still attend church and other church activities and I praise Him for that as I'll soon be 89.
Your faithful support over the years is much appreciated and I thank you so much.
I trust that the Lord will give each of you and the church a blessed 2012.
God bless you,
Love Winnie Shelito
Odds & Ends : Update April 2012
Friendship Sunday - April 29
Make plans now to join us on Sunday, April 29, for a special Bethel Friendship Sunday, and invite your friends to come to church with you! The morning message will be an encouragement to each of us, especially those without a close relationship to our heavenly Father. Following the morning worship service, a covered dish dinner will be served. Begin now to pray that God would point out to you those whom He would have you invite, and that He would work in their hearts so that they would join you for this special morning. To help us make the necessary preparations, please indicate your planned attendance and the dish you will bring using the sheet on the notice board. Last names beginning with A-L sign up to bring a salad/vegetable/side dish, names beginning with M-Z are asked to bring a main dish/meat
The Heart is the Root
On the 17 acre farm where I grew up, we had a large yard with acres of grass to be mowed, and well over a hundred trees to mow around, not to mention a creek running through it! I’ve mentioned here before that it took six hours for two riding mowers to mow it, and then Dad, Todd, and I started trimming with push mowers, gas trimmers, and hand whips. About the time we finished, we needed to start with the riding mowers again. Of the various types of trees present in the yard, we had a number of large, beautiful beech trees. Beech are known for their root system that is quite immense, both below and above ground. This left us having to steer clear of large swaths of grass because of roots, only to have more to push mow or trim.
THE GOD WHO IS ABLE : meditation on Jude 24,25
Now to him who is able to keep you from
stumbling and to present you blameless
before the presence of his glory with great joy,
to the only God, our Savior,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority,
before all time and now and forever.
This is one of the most wonderful doxologies in the Bible and it comes at the end of one of the shortest books in the Bible, Jude. The book of Jude is a call to believers to contend earnestly for the truth which the Lord has given to them. The reason this was so urgent in the first century was that there were false teachers who had infiltrated the church and people were being deceived by them. Jude has been relevant for every age, including our own, because there have always been false teachers and today they are everywhere and their voices are broadcast everyday all over the world. Jude's warning is stern and terrifying . . . God will not spare false teachers from His everlasting wrath nor will He spare all who follow their teaching.