My Personal Christian Blog

Thanks for sliding into my blog site. This blog bog is a spin-off from my website at Call me a Night Owl, as my full-time mission and hobby are jabbering from midnight until 8 a.m.ish with chatter bugs across the world. Hoot, hoot! Being a retired newspaper guy and a Curious George, I've written and assembled a whack of stuff that I hope you'll find interesting and thought-provoking. Check out the Stories bar on the right side, below, for all my articles - from my web site and this blog.

November 20, 2015


By Harold Smith

QUESTION: If I turn over a new leaf, will I not be saved?
ANSWER: That act only covers up the “old leaf” and God require that more.

God does not cover sins and judge us on the basis of how we live since “turning over a new leaf.” Sin must be completely removed from His holy eyes

God has provided a way to do this. 

In the Old Testament, He had believers make animal blood sacrifices for their sins. This atoned or covered their sins until Christ came and completed the job. Hebrews 10:4 says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” 

These sacrifices were made every year for the same sins, but they did not take away the sins. It was only when Christ came and died that sin was put away. Hebrews 9:26 says, “....but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” The words “put away” means to disannul or abolish.

God does not judge us for the way we are when we die, but He looks at our life from the cradle to the grave. He knows all our sins, past present and future.  He took them all and laid them on His Son and poured His righteous judgment on Christ. 

In this way, He provides forgiveness - or dismissal - of all sins to those who trust in Christ as their sin-bearer. We cannot trust Him and our own efforts at the same time. 

In order to trust, we must let go of everything else and look to the Savior alone for salvation.

Have you ever come to the Lord Jesus Christ as a sinner, guilty, lost and hopeless?  Have you ever trusted Him 100 per cent to save you?  Do it! It works!

November 13, 2015

Will There Be Sorrow in Heaven?

By Paul Tatham

Heaven will be place of eternal bliss. No crying, no injuries, no disease, no suffering, no mosquitoes, no greed, no envy, no taxes, no crime, no problems. Utter joy will be the order of the day. It will be, quite simply, heavenly.

But some Bible passages seem to indicate that Paradise Found might not fully unfold the moment we arrive in Heaven, whether that moment is at the Rapture or if we die sometime prior.

Heaven’s complete glory may not be revealed in its entirety until sometime after we are buzzed in to the Pearly Gates. Up to that point, there may be some sorrow intermingled with our joy. Perhaps guitarist Eric Clapton was right; perhaps there will be tears in Heaven.

There are three significant prophetic events that have yet to transpire:

1.The Rapture of the church--when both living and dead Christians will suddenly be beamed up to Heaven.

2.The Tribulation--seven years of Hell on Earth, for those left behind at the Rapture. At the conclusion of the Tribulation, Christ will return to earth, accompanied by His raptured saints, and establish His Millennial Kingdom. This is known as the Second Coming and is sometimes confused with the Rapture.

3.The Millennium--1,000 years of Heaven on Earth in which Edenic conditions will return.

Until the end of the Millennium, when what is commonly referred to as the Eternal State is ushered in, there may be a degree of sorrow experienced by those who inhabit Heaven. There might be occasional tears shed up until this point, despite the fact that we will be in Heaven.

Then, at the end of the Millennium and the onset of the Eternal State, God will “wipe away all tears” (Rev. 21:4). No more sorrow, no more tears. Period. It will be at this point that Heaven will be everything—and much more—that we had ever imagined it to be. It is not until this point, the end of the Millennium, that sorrow in Heaven will cease entirely. Rev. 21 is the last time we read of God wiping away all tears.

So what about those tears?

So what would be the reason for any eye-dabbing prior to the end of the Millennium? May I suggest a few?

1.Although the Millennium will certainly be a tranquil situation in which the “wolf shall dwell with the lamb” and “neither shall [nations] learn war any more” (Isaiah 11:6; 2:4), sin will still occasionally rear its head. Toward the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be paroled from his imprisonment in the Bottomless Pit and allowed by God to roam the Earth and win followers (Rev. 20). He will definitely cause sorrow.

2.During the Tribulation, people will continue to come to Christ, acknowledging Him as their Savior. (These are folk who likely never had the opportunity to hear the gospel prior to the Rapture.) For these Tribulation saints it will be a time of sorrow, with many being persecuted and martyred for their faith. Revelation 6 says that their souls, now in Heaven, sorrowfully cry out for revenge.

3.Prior to the beginning of the Eternal State is scheduled a momentous and most sobering event called the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20). Unbelievers, only, will be on trial. The GWTJ is designed as their day in court, and perhaps God may call upon some Christians to be witnesses for the prosecution. God will address each lost soul individually and ask why He should allow that person to enter His Heaven.

No doubt, most will produce their accumulated good works, hoping against hope that they will appease almighty God. But none will offer the correct answer: “I should be allowed into Your Heaven because I accepted your Son’s payment for my sins by His death on the cross.”

With each name unable to be located in the Lamb’s Book of Life, they will be banished to Hell with the words “depart from Me” ringing in their ears for all eternity. For any believers who may happen to be involved in the proceedings it will undoubtedly be a most sorrowful, gut-wrenching experience.

Another heavenly ceremony probably scheduled for the conclusion of the Millennium will be the Judgment Seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; I Corinthians 3:12-15). Meant only for believers, it is described as the great heavenly awards ceremony.

The JSOC deals with our service, not our salvation, and we will be rewarded commensurate with the treasures we have sent on ahead. Some will need to rent a large U-Haul truck to haul away their awards--crowns, plaques, trophies, and the like. They have taken seriously the old adage that “only one life, ‘twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”

For others, a small envelope will suffice to hold their “participant” certificate. Some will rejoice; others will shed tears of regret. The passages cited above use sobering language and certainly imply that not everyone will be gleeful.

Someone has rightly stated that although Christians may not be afraid to die many may be ashamed to die. John warns, “Abide in Him, that when He shall appear we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (I John 2:28). The Apostle Paul cautions us to “be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 1:8), i.e., the Rapture. Some of us will “suffer loss.”

At the end of the Tribulation, we read of a “great multitude” in Heaven standing before the throne of God (Rev. 7:9). They are in tears. We know that because God wipes their eyes (Rev. 7:17). Then, in Rev. 21, at the conclusion of the Millennium, there are more heavenly tears. God opens another box of Kleenex and for one last time dries their eyes.

That concludes the reign of sorrow, initiated in the Garden of Eden, and we can finally rejoice in the fact that the “former things are passed away.”

Summing up

There are several other examples of tears in Heaven, but these will suffice. We can rest in the fact that those tears are temporary and will one day be done away with entirely. Heaven is not yet in its final state.

November 7, 2015

Are There Degrees of Punishment in Hell?

By Paul Tatham 

Most evangelical Christians have a fairly clear understanding of the concept of varying degrees of reward in Heaven. They are familiar with Scriptures which speak of crowns, and the like, that will be awarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ and seek to live their lives with that prospect in mind.

Not as many evangelicals, however, grasp the reality that there exist similar variations of punishment in Hell for the lost. Although Hell will be a place of horrific anguish for all its residents, some will suffer worse than others. Without delving into the exact meaning of the following Bible passages, it is clear that they all speak to the fact that there are degrees--perhaps literal -- of punishment in Hell.

The degree of punishment seems to be predicated upon just two factors: the amount of gospel light, to which one was exposed, and one’s works. If someone, during his life on earth, had the privilege to be presented with a clear presentation of God’s plan of salvation, and dismissed it, his punishment will be greater than for someone who had no such exposure. Furthermore, although only one sin is needed to condemn a person to a lost eternity in Hell, some sins are worse than others and will be punished accordingly.

Luke 12:47-48 

And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Romans 2:12 

For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law

Luke 10:14 

But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

Matthew 10:15 

Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

2 Peter 2:20-21 

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

Hebrews 10:26-29

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Mark 12:40 

Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

Matthew 23:15 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of Hell than yourselves.

Matthew 18:6-7 

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Matthew 16:27 

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works

Deuteronomy 25:2-3 

And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.

1 Samuel 2:3 

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

2 Samuel 3:39 

And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

Ezra 9:13 

And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this.

Psalm 28:4 

Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

Hosea 4:9 

And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.

Hosea 12:2 

The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.

Obadiah 1:15 

For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Jeremiah 17:10 

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Luke 23:41 

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

Revelation 20:13 

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

John 19:11 

Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

1 Peter 4:17 

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Matthew 16:27 

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Proverbs 24:12 

If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

Revelation 20:12 

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Deuteronomy 32:22 

For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest Hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains

Psalm 86:13 

For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest Hell.