A  SERMON  I  GAVE  AT  THE  2018  FEAST  OF  TABERNACLES  HELD  IN  COLLINGWOOD,  ONTARIO,  BY  THE  CANADIAN  CHURCH  OF  GOD


ABOUT  ADVERSITY…….


TRUN  TO  JOHN 21:  18-22


JESUS  IS  TALKING  TO  PETER,  “TRULY,  TRULY,  I  SAY  UNTO  YOU,  WHEN  YOU  WERE  YOUNG,  YOU  DRESSED  YOURSELF,  AND  WALKED  WHEREVER  YOU  WANTED;  BUT  WHEN  YOU  ARE  OLD,  YOU  SHALL  STRETCH  FORTH  YOUR  HANDS,  AND  ANOTHER  SHALL  GIRD  YOU,  AND  CARRY  YOU  WHERE  YOU  WOULD  NOT  WANT  TO  GO.  THIS  HE  SPOKE,  SIGNIFYING  BY  WHAT  DEATH  HE  SHOULD  GLORIFY  GOD.  AND  WHEN  HE  HAD  SPOKEN  THIS,  HE  SAID  UNTO  HIM,  FOLLOW  ME.  THEN  PETER,  TURNING  ABOUT,  SEING  THE  DISCIPLE  WHOM  JESUS  LOVED  FOLLOWING;  WHICH  ALSO  LEANED  ON  HIS  BREAST  AT  SUPPER….. PETER  SEEING  HIM  SAID  TO  JESUS,  LORD,  AND  WHAT  SHALL  THIS  MAN  DO?  JESUS  SAID  TO  HIM,  IF  I  WILL  THAT  HE  TARRY [LIVE] TILL  I  COME,  WHAT  IS  THAT  TO  YOU?  FOLLOW  YOU  ME” [VERSES 18-22].


JESUS  WAS  BASICALLY  SAYING,  YOU  JUST  BE  CONCERNED  WITH  YOUR  LIFE,  THINGS  MAY  BE  VERY  DIFFERENT  FOR  OTHER  PEOPLE.  YOU  FOLLOW  ME  WHATEVER  HAPPENS  IN  YOUR  LIFE.


PAUL’S  MINISTRY  LIFE


ACTS 9: 10-16


PAUL  WAS  CUT  DOWN  TO  SIZE  SHALL  WE  SAY,  BY  JESUS,  WHEN  ON  THE  ROAD  TO  DAMASCUS  TO  PERSECUTE  THE  DISCIPLES  OF  CHRIST.  GOD  THEN  TOLD  ANANIAS  TO  GO  AND  HEAL  PAUL  OF  HIS  PHYSICAL  SIGHT, AFTER  BEING  BLINDED  BY  THE  PRESENCE  OF  JESUS. ANANIAS  WAS  RELUCTANT  TO  GO [PAUL  WAS  KNOWN  AS  A  GREAT  PERSECUTOR  OF  CHRISTIANS],  SO  GOD  TOLD  HIM  THAT  PAUL  WAS  A  CHOSEN  MAN,  “….TO  BEAR  MY  NAME  BEFORE  GENTILES,  AND  KINGS,  AND  THE  CHILDREN  OF  ISRAEL.  FOR  I  WILL  SHOW  HIM  HOW  GREAT  THINGS  HE  MUST  SUFFER  FOR  MY  NAME’S  SAKE” [VERSES 15, 16].


ALL  THIS  CERTAINLY  CAME  ABOUT  IN  THE  LIFE  MINISTRY  OF  THE  APOSTLE  PAUL.


WE  SEE  IN  ACTS 14: 19-22  PAUL  WAS  STONES  AND  BROUGHT  OUTSIDE  THE  CITY  AS  THEY  THOUGHT  HE  WAS  DEAD;  KINDA,  “WELL  LET  THE  WILD  BEASTS  HAVE  HIS  BODY.”


THE  DISCIPLES  STOOD  AROUND,  AND  PROBABLY  TO  THEIR  SHOCK,  PAUL  STOOD  UP  AND  HE  WAS  ALIVE!


IN  OTHER  PARTS  OF  PAUL’S  WRITINGS  HE  RELATES  HOW  HE  SUFFERED  PERSECUTIONS,  HUNGER,  SHIP-WRECK,  LASHES  MANY  MANY  TIMES.


PAUL  CERTAINLY  DID  COME  TO  KNOW  WHAT  YOU  CAN  SUFFER  FOR  CHRIST;  BUT  HE  ALSO  SAID  HE  LEARNT  TO  BE  CONTENT  IN  EVERY  SITUATION  OF  PHYSICAL  LIFE.


TURN  TO  MARK  13: 5-13


AT  TIMES  BEING  A  DISCIPLE  OF  CHRIST  CAN  PUT  YOU  IN  POSITIONS  OF  PERSECUTION “…..BUT  TAKE  HEED  TO  YOURSELF;  FOR  THEY  SHALL  DELIVER  YOU  UP  TO  THE  COUNCILS;  AND  IN  THE  SYNAGOGUE  YOU  SHALL  BE  BEATEN [PAUL  SURE  KNEW  THAT  REALITY];  AND  YOU  SHALL  BE  BROUGHT  BEFORE  RULERS  AND  KINGS  FOR  MY  SAKE  FOR  A  TESTIMONY  AGAINST  THEM…..NOW  THE  BROTHER  SHALL  BETRAY  THE  BROTHER  TO  DEATH,  AND  THE  FATHER  THE  SON;  AND  CHILDREN  SHALL  RISE  UP  AGAINST  THEIR  PARENTS,  AND  SHALL  CAUSE  THEM  TO  BE  PUT  TO  DEATH.  AND  YOU  SHALL  BE  HATED  OF  ALL  MEN  FOR  MY  NAME’S  SAKE: BUT  HE  THAT  SHALL  ENDURE  UNTO  THE  END  THE  SAME  SHALL  BE  SAVED” [VERSES 9-13].


HISTORY  BEARS  WITNESS  THAT  DOWN  THROUGH  THE  CENTURIES,  TRUE  DISCIPLES  OF  CHRIST  HAVE  SUFFERED  PERSECUTIONS  AND  EVEN  UNTO  DEATH.


TURN  TO  REVELATION  6: 9-11


WE  SEE  HERE  IN  PICTURE  FORM,  THE  LIVES  OF  ONES  SLAIN  FOR  THE  WORD  OF  GOD,  AND  THE  TESTIMONY  THEY  HELD  FOR  THE  TRUTHS  OF  GOD.  AND  IN  PICTURE  FORM  THEY  CRIED  OUT  SAYING “HOW  LONG,  O  LORD,  HOLY  AND  TRUE,  DO YOU  NOT  JUDGE  AND  AVENGE  OUR  BLOOD  ON  THEM  THAT  DWELL  ON  THE  EARTH?  AND  WHITE  ROBES  WERE  GIVEN  UNTO  EVERY  ONE  OF  THEM [INTERPRETED  IN  CHAPTER  19: 5-8]. AND  THAT  THEY  SHOULD  REST  FOR  A  LITTLE  SEASON,  UNTIL  THEIR  FOLLOW  SERVANTS  ALSO  AND  THEIR  BRETHREN,  SHOULD  BE  KILLED  AS  THEY  WERE,  SHOULD  COME  TO  BE  FULFILLED.”


TURN  TO  REVELATION  12


THIS  IS  AN  OVERALL  SHORT  CAPSULE  OF  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD.  A  WOMAN  IN  PROPHECY  IS  EITHER  THE  FALSE  CHURCH  OR  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD.  THE  WOMAN  BRINGS  FORTH  THE  MAN  CHILD  WHO  IS  TO  RULE  ALL  NATIONS——  JESUS  THE  CHRIST!  AND  THE  CHILD  WAS  CAUGHT  UP  TO  HEAVEN [THE  ASCENSION  OF JESUS  BACK  TO  THE  FATHER  IN  HEAVEN].  THE  WOMAN  FLED  INTO  THE  WILDERNESS [VERSE 6],  WHERE  SHE  WAS  PREPARED  OF  GOD  TO  LIVE  AND  BE  LOOKED  AFTER  FOR  1260  DAYS— A  DAY  FOR  A  YEAR  IN  PROPHECY— 1260  YEARS  IN  THE  WILDERNESS.  GOD’S  PEOPLE  WERE  IN  THE  HILLS  AND  VALLEY  AND  FORESTS  ALL  OVER  EUROPE  AND  EVEN  FURTHER  EAST,  AND  ALSO  IN  THE  BRITISH  ISLES;  AWAY  FROM  THE  PERSECUTIONS  OF  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  CHURCH——  THE  SO-CALLED  “DARK  AGES.”


THERE  WILL  BE  ANOTHER  WAR  IN  HEAVEN,  YET  TO  COME,  BETWEEN  THE  RIGHTEOUS  ANGELS  AND  THE  FALLEN  ANGELS,  WE  CALL  THE  DEVIL  AND  DEMONS.  WE  SHALL  NOT  SEE  THIS  WAR,  BUT  AFTER  IT  HAPPENS,  AFTER  SATAN  AND  HIS  ARMY  ARE  THROWN  BACK  TO  EARTH,  COMES  SALVATION  AND  THE  KINGDOM  OF  GOD.  SO  WE  KNOW  THE  TIME  SETTING.


THE  DEVIL  WILL  COME  WITH  GREAT  WRATH  TO  AGAIN,  IN  A  HUGE  WAY,  PERSECUTE  THE  WOMAN [THE  TRUE  CHURCH] THAT  BROUGHT  FORTH  THE  MAN  CHILD [VERSES 10-13].


THE  TRUE  PEOPLE  OF  GOD,  THE  WOMAN,  ARE  GIVEN  WINGS  LIKE  AN  EAGLE [SEE  EXODUS 19:4], AND  SHE  FLIES,  OR  MOVES  AGAIN  INTO  THE  WILDERNESS,  WHERE  SHE  IS  NOURISHED  FOR  A  TIME,  AND  TIMES,  AND  HALF  A  TIME— 1260  DAYS— AS  MOST  KNOW  THREE  AND  A  HALF  TIMES  IS  THREE  AND  A  HALF  YEARS,  OR  1260  DAYS,  THIS  TIME  AROUND  IT  IS  LITERAL  1260  DAYS  OR  42  MONTHS [SEE  OTHER  PART  OF  THIS  BOOK  MENTIONING  42  MONTHS]  OR  3  AND  1/2  YEARS—— THEN  COMES  SALVATION  FULFILLED,  WITH  JESUS’  LITERAL  RETURN.


THE  EARTH  HELPS  THE  WOMAN,  TO  SURVIVE  AGAINST  THE  DRAGON  OR  THE  DEVIL’S  PERSECUTION [VERSE 16].  AS  DURING  THE  DARK  AGES,  THE  “WILDERNESS”  IS  ANYWHERE  IN  THE  HILLS  AND  VALLEY  AND  FORESTS  OF  THE  EARTH  IN  DIFFERENT  COUNTRIES.  AS  IT  WAS  BEFORE  SO  IT  SHALL  BE  AGAIN  DURING  THE  LAST  42  MONTHS  OF  THIS  AGE.


BUT  NOT  ALL  OF  GOD’S  CHILDREN  WILL  MOVE  TO  THE  WILDERNESS!


NOTE  VERSE 17. 


“AND  THE  DRAGON [SEE  VERSE 9]  WAS  WROTH  WITH  THE  WOMAN,  AND  WENT  TO  MAKE  WAR  WITH  THE  REMNANT  OF  HER  SEED,  WHICH  KEEP  THE  COMMANDMENTS  OF  GOD,  AND  HAVE  THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CHRIST.”


SOME  OF  THE  TRUE  PEOPLE  OF  GOD  WILL  AT  THE  END  TIMES,  SUFFER  PERSECUTION  AND  SOME  WILL  HAVE  TO  DIE  FOR  THE  FAITH   ONCE  DELIVERED  TO  THE  SAINTS.


NOW  THAT  IS  THE  VERY  ULTIMATE  OF  ADVERSITY  THAT  TRUE  CHRISTIANS  CAN  HAVE  COME  UPON  THEM;  BUT  IN  THIS  PHYSICAL  LIFE,  TRUE  CHRISTIANS  CAN  HAVE  A  VARIETY  OF  TROUBLES,  TEST,  AND  TRIALS.


AND  WE  OFTEN  DO  NOT  KNOW  WHEN,  OR  WHERE,  OR  HOW,  THEY  MAY  COME!


I  WAS  AT  A  FEAST  OF  TABERNACLES  IN  1980.  IT  WAS  THE  FIRST  MORNING  OF  THE  FIRST  DAY.  IT  WAS  ANNOUNCED  A  HUSBAND  AND  WIFE  WITH  TWO  CHILDREN,  WERE  DRIVING  TO  OUR  FEAST  SITE;  THEY  WERE  INVOLVED  IN  A  HEAD-ON  COLLISION—— ALL  FOUR  OF  THEM  WERE  KILLED!


WE  HAVE  NO  ANSWER  IN  ANY  SPECIFIC  WAY  WHY  IT  HAPPENED  TO  THEM.


WE  DO  HAVE  AN  OVERALL  TRUTH  IN  THE  BIBLE  FOR  ALL  OF  US.


TURN  TO  ECCLESIASTES 9: 10-12


“WHATSOEVER  YOUR  HAND  FIND  TO  DO,  DO  IT  WITH  ALL  YOUR  MIGHT,  FOR  THERE  IS  NO  DEVICE,  NOR  KNOWLEDGE,  NOR  WISDOM,  IN  THE  GRAVE  WHERE  YOU  WILL  GO…… FOR  MAN  KNOWS  NOT  HIS  TIME;  AS  THE  FISH  ARE  TAKEN  IN  A  NET  OF  EVIL,  AND  AS  THE  BIRDS  ARE  CAUGHT  IN  A  SNARE,  SO  ARE  THE  SONS  OF  MEN  SNARED  IN  AN  EVIL  TIME,  WHEN  IT  FALLS  SUDDENLY  UPON  THEM.”


NOTE THE  LAST  WORDS  OF  VERSE  11 “…..BUT  TIME  AND  CHANCE  HAPPEN  TO  THEM  ALL.”


WE  MUST  LIVE  EACH  DAY  AS  IT  COMES,  FOR  MOST  OF  US  NEVER  KNOW  IF  WE  SHALL  SEE  THE  NEXT  DAY.


EACH  DAY  IN  THIS  AGE,  SAD  TO  SAY,  BUT  MANY  LEAVE  HOME  IN  THE  MORNING  FOR  WORK  ETC.  AND  THEY  DO  NOT  KNOW  IT  IS  THEIR  LAST  DAY  IN  THIS  LIFE’  THEY  DO  NOT  SEE  TOMORROW!


TIME  AND  CHANCE  CAN  HAPPEN  TO  ANYONE!


LIVE  EACH  DAY  BRETHREN  AS  IF  IT  IS  YOUR  LAST  DAY!



TROUBLES - ADVERSITY  CAN  BE  OUR  DOING


WE  CAN  BRING  TROUBLES,  TRIALS,  CONFLICTS,  UPON  YOURSELVES,  BY  NOT  HAVE  THE  WISDOM  WE  NEED  TO  NAVIGATE  SMOOTHLY  THROUGH  THIS  PHYSICAL  LIFE.


GOD  IN  HIS  WISDOM  KNEW  THAT  WOULD  BE  A  WEAKNESS  MANY  OF  US  WOULD  HAVE;  SO  HE  WROTE  A  WHOLE  BOOK,  TO  GIVED  US  KNOWLEDGE  AS  HOW  TO  WALK  THROUGH  THIS  LIFE.


THAT  BOOK  IS  THE  BOOK  OF  PROVERBS!


YOU  NEED  TO  READ  IT;  MEDITATE  UPON  THE  WISDOM  IT  CONTAINS;  APPLY  IT  IN  YOUR  EVERYDAY  LIFE.


THE  WISDOM  IT  CONTAINS  IS  TO  HELP  YOU  AVOID  UNNECESSARY  TROUBLES,  THAT  YOU  CAN  BRING  ON    YOURSELF,  BY  NOT  HAVING  WISDOM  IN  YOUR  DAILY  LIVING,  WORKING,  AND  CONVERSING  WITH  OTHER  PEOPLE,  AS  YOU  GO  ABOUT  YOUR  PHYSICAL  LIFE.


THEN  WE  SHOULD  ALSO  BE  LEARNING  FROM  OUR  MISTAKES  AND  ERRORS  OF  JUDGMENT. 


I  WAS  RIDING  MY  HORSE  SOME  YEARS  BACK,  WITH  THE  STIRRUPS  TOO  LONG;  I  PUT  HER  INTO  A  FULL  OUT  GALLOP,  THEN  I  WANTED  HER  TO  SLOW  DOWN,  BUT  SHE  WAS  WANTING  TO  STILL  GO  AT  FULL  SPEED.  IN  PULLING  BACK  ON  THE  REINS  TO  SLOW  HER,  SHE  WAS  DOING  A  KIND  OF  “BUCKING”  MOTION—— SHE  BLEW  ME  RIGHT  OUT  OF  THE  SADDLE,  I  HAD  NO  PRESSURE  OF  MY  FEET  IN  THE  STIRRUPS—— OUT  I  WENT  LIKE  A  COW  JUMPING   OVER  THE  MOON  AS  WE  SAY.  I  LANDED  IN  THE  GRASS  AND  FORTUNATELY  WAS  NOT  HURT,  EXCEPT  ONLY  MY  EGO. 


I  LEARNT  A  VALUABLE  LESSON—— NEVER  RIDE  WITH  STIRRUPS  TOO  LONG,  ESPECIALLY  IF  GALLOPING.


SO  THE  BOOK  OF  PROVERBS—— READ  AND  STUDY  IT,  AND  LEARN  FROM  YOUR  MISTAKES!



Trials, Troubles, Afflictions, and Adversity 


If Joseph had not been Egypt's prisoner, he would have never been Egypt's governor. The iron chains about his feet ushered in the golden chains about his neck.—William Seeker


Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.—African proverb


Times of trouble have often been times of triumph to a believer. Suffering seasons have generally been sifting seasons in which the Christian has lost his chaff, and the hypocrite his courage.—William Seeker


Problems = Opportunities


In 2700 B.C. Emperor Whing Tee asked his wife Ce Ling Shee to try to find out what was damaging his Mulberry trees. The Empress first noticed that a drab-colored moth was laying tiny eggs on a Mulberry leaf, each hatching into a caterpillar that ejected a thread for three days which it wrapped around its body until it formed a cocoon. She dropped the cocoon into hot water and saw a single thread begin unwinding itself. She had discovered silk. The Empress observed that fineness and beauty of the silk thread. She unbound it completely and found it to be V2 mile long from that single cocoon. And she thought that these fine threads might be made into cloth.

Soon a loom was developed on which they could be woven. That silk cloth that was woven on their loom was in such demand that later Romans are said to have weighed the silk before buying it and then paid an equal weight of gold for it.

For more than 3000 years only the Chinese knew the secret of silk. Then in a.d. 522 Roman Emperor Justinian sent two monks to buy silk ffom China. The monks brought back more than silk. They personally broke Chinese monopoly on silk by smuggling back into Europe two silkworm eggs and Mulberry tree seeds in their hollow monks' staff. They were apparently the first industrial pirates. From these two silkworm eggs the Roman Empire acquired enough silkworms to make it partially independent from China.

Like so many serendipitous events, the discovery of silk came while trying to solve a problem. Before long the business of growing Mulberry trees was for the sole purpose of providing moths with leaves on which to lay their eggs so that the production of silk could be increased.

Nothing like silk had ever appeared before in fine fabrics. It brought about a world of revolution in fashions. The very word silk brings to mind something that is soft, lustrous or luxurious. The wealthy of the world have always dressed themselves in silken clothes. It's important to look for solutions instead of trying to avoid problems.


Frank Morgan "Rambling through Time," Fort Lauderdale Tribune.


Mud


Why did Jesus send the blind man to the Pool of Siloam to wash his eyes? Jesus could have just said, "Be healed," and the man's sight would have come to him on the spot. But he wanted the man to do something, to exercise obedience, so he sent him to the Siloam Pool to wash his eyes. But there's an interesting little detail to the story. Before sending him off, Jesus smeared mud on his eyelids.

The intriguing question is: Why? Have you ever seen anyone spit it into the dirt, twirl it around with his finger, then take the mud and smear it over someone's eyes? How would you like it if someone did that to you?

It's obvious. The mud made the man want to obey. It was a nudging, an additional motivation for the man to go to the pool of Siloam to wash his eyes. The mud provided the motivation for the obedience Christ required.

We don't always understand why mud gets in our eyes, but sometimes if it weren't there, we would never bring critical areas of our lives into obedience to Jesus Christ. And without obedience, the work of God can never be displayed in us. God, in his infinite grace and wisdom, sometimes uses mud to restore our sight. 


Robert J. Morgan




When I see the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, I remember that an engineer must take into account three loads, or stresses, while designing bridges. These are: the dead load, the live load, and the wind load.

The dead load is the weight of the bridge itself. The live load is the weight of the daily traffic that the bridge must carry. The wind load is the pressure of the storms that beat on the bridge. The designer plans for bracings that will enable the bridge to bear all these loads.

In our lives, too, we need bracings which make it possible to carry the dead load of self, the live load of daily living, and the wind load of emergencies. When we place our trust in Christ, He gives us the strength we need to withstand these various stresses. He thus gives our lives usefulness, stability, and durability.


—Wilbur Nelson, Anecdotes and Illustrations



Four guys decided to go mountain climbing one weekend. In the middle of the climb, one fella slipped over a cliff, dropped about sixty feet and landed with a thud on the ledge below. The other three, hoping to rescue him, yelled, "Joe, are you OK?"

"I'm alive ... but I think I broke both my arms!" "We'll toss a rope down to you and pull you up. Just lie still!" said the three. "Fine," answered Joe.

A couple of minutes after dropping one end of the rope, they started tugging and grunting together, working  feverishly  to  pull  their  wounded

companion to safety. When they had him about three-fourths of the way  up, they suddenly remembered he said he had broken BOTH his arms.

"Joe! If you broke both your arms, how in the world are you hanging on?"

Joe responded,  "With  my TEEEEEEEEEEEETH...."


—Charles R, Swindoll, Standing Out


Free Me, Lord

Lord, just today I read That Paul and Silas were 

Stripped and beaten with wooden whips.

Again and again the rods Slashed across their bared backs,

But in their desolate dungeon, Their feet clamped in stocks

They prayed.

They sang.

They praised.

In this musty midnight of my life

Imprisoned in a dungeon of confusion

Bound by chains of anguish

Help me, please help me

To pray

To sing

To praise

Until the foundation shakes

Until the gates fling open

Until the chains fall off

Until I am free

To share the Good News

With other chain-bound prisoners.


—Ruth Harms Calkin, Tell Me Again, Lord, I Forget

A bar of steel worth $5, when made into ordinary horseshoes, is then worth $10. If this same $5 bar is manufactured into needles, the values rises to $350. And yet if it's made into delicate springs for expensive watches, it is worth more than $250,000. The same bar of steel is made more valuable by being cut to its proper size, passed through one blast furnace after another, again and again, hammered and manipulated, beaten and pounded, finished and polished until it's ready for those delicate tasks.

—M. R. DeHaan, Broken Things


Day by Day

Day by day and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here. Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment, I've no cause for worry or for fear. He whose heart is kind beyond all measure Gives unto each day what He deems best — Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Linda Sandell


Adversity


Farmers in southern Alabama were accustomed to planting one crop every year—cotton. They would plow as much ground as they could and plant their crop. Year after year they lived by cotton. Then one year the dreaded boll weevil devastated the whole area. So the next year the farmers mortgaged their homes and planted cotton again, hoping for a good harvest. But as the cotton began to grow, the insect came back and destroyed the crop, wiping out most of the farms. The few who survived those two years of the boll weevil decided to experiment the third year, so they planted something they'd never planted before— peanuts. And peanuts proved so hardy and the market proved so ravenous for that product that the farmers who survived the first two years reaped profits that third year that enabled them to pay off all their debts. They planted peanuts from then on and prospered greatly.

Then you know what those farmers did? They spent some of their new wealth to erect in the town square a monument—to the boll weevil. If it hadn't been for the boll weevil, they never would have discovered peanuts. They learned that even out of disaster there can be great delight.


Change, God's Goodness


……….


TURN  TO  HEBREWS  11: 24 - 40


WE  ARE  TOILD  ABOUT  MANY  OF  THE  SAINTS  OF  THE  PAST;  HOW  THEY  ENDURED  HARDSHIP,  AFFLICTION,  PERSECUTIONS,  AND  EVEN  DEATH;  WE  ARE  TOLD  ABOUT  THEIR  ENDURANCE  AND  FAITH;  WE  ARE  TOLD  ABOUT  MIRACLES  THAT  HAPPENED  IN  MANY  OF  THEIR  LIVES—— ALL  “….THAT  THEY  MIGHT  OBTAIN  A  BETTER  RESURRECTION” [VERSE 35].  YES  GOD  TAKES  NOTE  OF  OUR  WORKS,  AND  OUR  “REWARD”  IN  THE  KINGDOM  IS  ACCORDING  TO  OUR  WORKS — REVELATION 22: 12.


WHAT  SOME  WENT  THROUGH  IS  KINDA  MIND-NUMBING  AS  YOU  MEDITATE  ON  VERSE 36-38.


THIS  CHAPTER  ENDS  WITH  “AND  THESE  ALL,  HAVING  OBTAINED  A  GOOD  REPORT  THROUGH  FAITH,  RECEIVED  NOT  THE  PROMISE [OF  ETERNAL  LIFE].  GOD  HAVING  PROVIDED  SOME  BETTER  THING  FOR  US;  THAT  THEY  WITHOUT  US  SHOULD  NOT  BE  MADE  PERFECT” [VERSES 39, 40].


THEY  AND  US  WILL  RECEIVE  GLORIFIED  ETERNAL  LIFE  IN  GOD’S  KINGDOM,  ALL  AT  THE  SAME  TIME—- AT  THE  RESURRECTION  DAY  WHEN  JESUS  THE  CHRIST  RETURNS  TO  GIVE  US  IMMORTALITY  AND  OUR  REWARDS  ACCORDING  TO  OUR  WORKS.



Afflictions



A hand-lettered sign nailed to a telephone pole said, "Lost dog with three legs, blind in left eye, missing right ear, tail broken, and recently castrated. Answers to the name of Lucky."

—Barbara Johnson (Attitude, Trouble)

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