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Welcome Home

My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD.
Psalm 84:2

In his best-selling book, Seeing the Unseen, Joe Beam described what he thought his first moments in heaven might be like. “I’ll see angels of all kinds, godly people singing, and the Loving Light streaming from the throne. Somewhere, sometime, in that introduction to the home of God, I expect to hear an angel call my name. He’ll know me, though I won’t yet know him. ‘Joe. Good to see you here. Welcome home.’”

When we study the biblical descriptions of heaven, we realize such a scene isn’t far-fetched, and Joe’s eagerness for heaven is healthy. Heaven is a precious place, and we should anticipate it to the utmost. On weary days, it can energize us. Amid anxiety, it can console us. In sickness, it provides an anchor of hope. In poverty, it reminds us of our coming wealth.

The Bible tells us to look forward to His coming (2 Peter 3:14) and to long for His courts (Psalm 84:2). One day, we’ll hear an angel call our name and say—“Good to see you here. Welcome home!”

I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years. -Martin Luther

Suggested Reading:

Seeing The Unseen: Preparing Yourself For Spiritual Warfare

This book describes, in a way you won’t find anywhere else, the unseen world around us. The world of angels, the spiritual forces that are invisibly at work and how prayer is involved. In this newly revised and updated bestseller, Joe Beam reveal Satan’s powerful weaponry — his lies, deceptions, and manipulations — and unmasks his strategy to destroy your life and those you care for. This is not a book of wild sensationalism; rather, it is a dedicated study of God’s Word and a sharing of stories of tragedy and triumph. You’ll gain a better understanding of how the unseen world around you works and how to see more than you thought possible. BUY NOW!

Suggested Reading

The-True-Heaven

The True Heaven

by Joe Beam

Do you want to know what Heaven will be like based on what the Bible actually says rather than wild speculation or cliches?

If so, best-selling Christian author Joe Beam and Lee Wilson have teamed up to provide a fast-paced, exciting book on Heaven and the afterlife. They answer the tough questions, such as:

  • Will we have bodies in Heaven or just be spirits?
  • Will we be able to recognize loved ones there?
  • Will animals and pets be in Heaven?
  • Where is Heaven?
  • Are the dead aware of what is happening on earth now?
  • Will we still be male and female in Heaven?
  • Will there be romance in Heaven?
  • What is the New Earth and what will be its use?
  • What will life be like on the New Earth?
  • Will we keep our memories of this life in Heaven?
  • Who will be in Heaven?
  • If we still have free will, what will keep us from sinning again?
  • And other questions you might not have even thought of! BUY NOW
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The Reformers Favorite Bible Verses

Martin Luther's 1534 Bible.

Joe Barnett, and old preacher friend of mine, put me on to F. W. Boreham a couple of decades ago. He even sent me my first copy of Boreham, who was a minister in New Zealand and then in Australia in the early 1900s. One of Boreham’s 50 plus books lists most of the great reformers and well-known evangelists. And in this volume he reveals these men’s favorite Bible verses. I wish to share with you the great texts that changed the lives of these men and gave them a burning desire to preach the gospel.

Thomas Chalmers“Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Chalmers was a well know British theologian and scholar who taught philosophy and theology as a full professor at St. Andrews and Edinburg. This verse changed his life as a young man seeking God. The context, of course, is the conversion of the jailor of Philippi. This verse, as we know, does not teach faith only as our means of salvation. For in the story of the jailor we see Paul and Silas teaching this man the gospel of Christ and then baptizing him and his household the very same hour of the night.

But the very beginning point of salvation is faith. We have learned that without faith it is impossible to please God. But we have also learned from James that faith without works is dead. We are told that demons have faith, but it is not the kind that saves. Saving faith, the kind that changed Chalmer’s life and set him on the road to evangelism, is the kind of trust and belief that is willing to obey the Lord in everything. For Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” Saving faith does just that.

Martin Luther's 1534 Bible.

Martin Luther’s 1534 Bible.

Martin Luther“The just/righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). We know of Martin Luther (the copy of the Bible he owned is pictured to the right) as the great reformer and the iconic figure instrumental at the forefront of the reformation that led to the protestant movement. Luther was a German Catholic priest who could not abide the drifting of Roman Catholicism that included such things as the selling of indulgences. He had 95 issues with his own fellowship. He was severely persecuted by the church for his candor.

His life-changing scripture is one from the Old Testament as well as the new. It is a quote from Habakkuk that is found three times in the New Testament in Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. It tells us that if we are to be righteous we will live by our faith. That is, faith is the key to being found just in God’s eyes. Since we cannot earn our own salvation by being good enough, our only hope is to put our faith in Christ and his atoning sacrifice at Calvary when he died to set us free and make us just before Father God. The only hope we have for eternal life is our faith in Jesus as Redeemer.

John Franklin“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2). Franklin, another well known evangelist of his era found great comfort in this amazing text from the prophet Isaiah. Life is filled with so many challenges and obstacles that some simply give up out of despair. Birth defects, calamities of all kinds, social injustice, and the burgeoning criminal elements seem to challenge the very best of us. It is difficult not to be overwhelmed by the injustice and disparity that surrounds us. It was no different in Franklin’s life and times.

Isaiah was referring to the hardship of Israel as they tried to escape their captives. Standing at the Red Sea with the Egyptian army at their backs must have been a harrowing experience, yet God brought them through the sea on dry ground. The journey through the wilderness was in itself a tremendous challenge to this wandering band of Jews. Yet God saw them through every encounter.

When I think of walking through the fire those three Hebrew young men come to mind: Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego. They were tossed into a fiery furnace and not so much as the smell of smoke was on their clothes after they were delivered. Franklin did, as we also should, take great comfort in knowing that no matter what fiery ordeals would come his way or whatever floods of adversity would befall him, the Lord would always be there to rescue and console. We have this same great assurance as Christians.

Thomas Boston“Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). This wonderful preacher of the gospel found great strength in this verse that most every Christian has memorized at one time or another. Of course, it is the occasion when Jesus comes to his cousin John for baptism. It is the comment made by John the Baptist concerning Christ as John saw him approaching. What a magnificent thing to say about his biological relative, especially since John had his own amazing ministry as the forerunner of Jesus. Yet John said, “I must decrease and he must increase.” John is the great introducer. His own ministry was to point to the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. Jesus was that Messiah, that Christ, that anointed one who came to take away the sins of humanity by bearing those sins upon himself at the cross. This verse was the driving and motivating text that caused Thomas Boston to choose gospel ministry as his calling.

Hugh Latimer“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). Educated at Cambridge, Latimer was the Royal Chaplain to King Henry the Eighth. He was later martyred because of his zeal for the gospel and the Reformation. His favorite and motivating text was this statement by the apostle Paul where he refers to himself as the “chief/worst of sinners.” Paul surely must have felt great guilt because of his persecution of the church. But the saying that is true and acceptable was that Jesus came into the world to save rascals like Paul and Hugh Latimer and the rest of us.

Many of us have a hard time getting rid of our own guilt. We have done things that are shameful and sinful. But Jesus’ blood covers all of that. Yet we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. Latimer and Paul were no different than we in that regard. Some of us must, at times, feel like we have done things that should be unforgivable. Is murder forgivable? It must be. Paul was forgiven and used in a mighty way to preach to the Gentiles. Is lying and cheating forgivable? Adultery? Fornication? Stealing?

A trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance is that there is no sin that the blood of Jesus cannot cover. Latimer, full of self guilt and loathing, embraced this text from Paul to launch an amazing evangelistic ministry. He died for it.

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