Tag Archives: heaven

BLESSED ARE THE POOR

BLESSED ARE THE POOR
THE BEATITUDES OF JESUS ARE REVOLUTIONARY.

The Beatitudes present a model of happiness contrary to what is usually communicated by the media and by the prevailing wisdom.

Today, what is glorified is success at any cost, affluence, the arrogance of power and self-affirmation at the expense of others. According to the logic of this world, those whom Jesus proclaimed blessed are regarded as useless, “losers”.

BLESSED POOR

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”                                                                                                                             Matthew 5:3

BLESSED ARE THE POOR -WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

It seems confusing because we ought to strive to be rich in spirit, not poor.

At a time when so many people are suffering as a result of the financial crisis, it might seem strange to link poverty and happiness.  How can we consider poverty a blessing? Does Jesus teach material poverty? Jesus is here talking about the condition of the spirit, not of the wallet.

Jesus loves everybody. Jesus wants to bless everyone, so why would he single out the economically poor for some kind of special blessing?

Economic poverty and sociological poverty often overlap, but not always.  There are the “sociological poor”; these include people who are marginalized and oppressed, rendered vulnerable and given over to all sorts of hardships for reasons not of their own making. They are deprived the basic dignities which should be accorded all human beings–and it their spirits are often crushed, they are often broken-hearted, as a result.

It goes far beyond merely keeping the commandments: trying to gain eternal life. It’s undergoing a profound change in all of our attitudes, our value system, to really come to know Jesus, to hear His message, to imitate His way of life, to follow Him. That will require profound conversion.

BLESSED ARE THE POOR

Jesus is talking more about an attitude, a way of knowing one’s need for God, which is a disposition of the heart and not simply economic deprivation.

“When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind. Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”                                                                                        Luke 14:13-14

We understand that material goods are not a be-all and end-all for anyone, or should not be. We understand that we need enough to have a full human life, but we don’t need excess. We understand that God made the world for all and not just for a few, and so we need to find ways to share the goods of the earth and the goods of our world so everyone has a chance for a full human life.

The poor in spirit are those who recognize their total spiritual destitution and their complete dependence on God. So that the logic of being more will prevail over that of having more!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.                                                                                                                              Matthew 5:3

DOES “POOR IN SPIRIT” MEANS TO BE HUMBLE?

Continue reading BLESSED ARE THE POOR

Please follow and like us:

ARE YOU AN ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN?

WHAT IS THEOLOGY?

ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN

Theology is neither a nine-to-five job nor a career. To know and speak truly of God is a vocation that requires more than academic or professional qualifications. The image you should have in mind is not the professor with a tweed jacket, but rather the disciples who dropped everything to follow Jesus. Becoming a theologian means following God’s Word where it leads with all one’s mind, heart, soul, and strength.

Theology is the study of how to speak truly of God and of all things in relation to God. But theologians can’t approach the object of their study the way biologists study living creatures or geologists the earth. God cannot be empirically examined. God is the creator of all things, not to be identified with any part of the universe or even with the universe as a whole. Speaking of God thus poses unique challenges. If God had not condescended to communicate to creatures something of his light, we would be in the dark.

BY GOD, OF GOD, TO GOD

Are you familiar with Thomas Aquinas’s definition? “Theology is taught by God, teaches of God, and leads to God.”

By God. Only God can make himself known. We’re simply children who love their father and want to know him better, who trust their father’s wisdom: And He (Jesus) said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”                                                                     Matthew 18:3

Of God. Theology is thinking hard about what God has taught about Himself and all things in relation to Himself.

To God. Theology is ultimately about cultivating godliness, in oneself and one’s community. A theologian is a certain kind of person, whose created intelligence has been illumined by the Holy Spirit.

It’s true, there is a guild of “professional” theologians—mostly academics who populate colleges, seminaries, and university divinity schools—and there are scholarly journals and awards to be had, not to mention salaries and sabbaticals.

Don’t confuse making a living as a theologian with living out the knowledge of God. If you aspire to speak of God, do so to please God, not people: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?” Galatians 1:10 We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”                                                                                              1 Thessalonian 2:4

When theology proclaims the deep mystery—God’s plan of redemption conceived “before the foundation of the world”: “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”                                                                   Ephesians 1:4

It doesn’t promote cleverly devised myths, but reality. The world is passing away (even scientists agree, acknowledging that our sun will eventually burn out), but God’s Word endures forever:Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”                                                                                                                                          Matthew 24:35

Have you considered whether academic theology is your vocation rather than as a pastor or priest?

ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN

THEOLOGICAL THINKING

Let us begin with four adjectives (Trinitarian, biblical, catholic, and systematic) that qualify Christian theological thinking.

First, becoming a Christian theologian means developing a Trinitarian habit of mind.  God the Father has reconciled the world to Himself in Christ through the Spirit (what Irenaeus calls the “two hands” of God).

Second, the best way to stay focused on the subject matter of theology is to stay focused on Scripture.  It’s no coincidence that the most important figures in the history of theology—Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Barth—also wrote biblical commentaries.

C. S. Lewis’s distinction between looking at a beam of light and looking along it clarifies what’s at stake. Those who look at the biblical text analyze it from a critical distance. They see the text, but not necessarily what it’s talking about. In contrast, those who look along the text enter into its strange new world.

God addresses us in Scripture and requires our response. It involves reading all the books in the Old and New Testaments as parts of an overarching story. The theologian is a kind of cartographer of this new world.

The third thing you must do to acquire a theological habit of mind is to read the Word of God with and for the people of God.

The best theologians are apprentices to Scripture and to the consensual tradition of its interpretation. Catholicity is a well-known mark of the Church; it ought also to characterize theologians. Let the gospel be the center of your thinking, but let catholic tradition fill out its content and fix its circumference. Know this: evangelical and catholic are bedfellows, not rivals.

The fourth theological habit of mind involves thinking systematically  as we read the Word of God with the people of God. What unifies Scripture is the story of God’s determination to see through His purpose for creation to the end, a story in which Israel and the Church loom large, with Jesus Christ as its hinge and center.

PERSONALLY

Let’s turn to your question about the kind of person you need to become. The short answer is “wise”: a person with understanding who knows how to live out what he knows with three pairs of contrasting qualities. Continue reading ARE YOU AN ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN?

Please follow and like us:

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS: the TRUTH

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS

Most people know little about the Seventh-day Adventists beyond that they worship on Saturdays, not Sundays. But there’s more to this unique sect. 

The Seventh-day Adventist church traces its roots to American preacher William Miller (1782–1849), a Baptist who predicted the Second Coming would occur between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. Because he and his followers proclaimed Christ’s imminent advent, they were known as “Adventists.” 

When Christ failed to appear, Miller reluctantly endorsed the position of a group of his followers known as the “seventh-month movement,” who claimed Christ would return on October 22, 1844 (in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar). 

Ellen White gained recognition in Adventist circles as a prophetess and became the church’s leader; she claimed to receive the first of several hundred visions in December of 1844.

Often Adventist-related publishing houses conduct mass mailings of their literature to every home and post office box in a community. Much of the published material comes from White’s single most popular volume, The Great Controversy. Continue reading SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS: the TRUTH

Please follow and like us:

CRASH INTO HEAVEN

CRASH HEAVEN

HERE’S A SEARCHING QUESTION? 

“If you were to die tonight, and “St Peter” or “Elijah” or “Mohamed” was at the “Pearly Gates of Heaven” and asked you, ’Why should God let you into His Kingdom?’ – what would you say?”
   1) What would your own personal answer be?
   2) What do you think the answer would be from a true believing Christian

THE MOST COMMON RESPONSES ARE:

     a) I am not perfect, but in all honesty, I think I’m a good person.
    b) I sincerely try to keep the 10 commandments,
    c) I always try to do my best ( – although I sometimes fail)
    d) I know I am a good person ( – and at least better than one of my neighbors !)

The answers assume that if a person rates high enough on a divine “scale of goodness”, then that person SHOULD get into “heaven” based on their performance (or merit). The answers from people in other religions have a lot in common with these same answers.

CRASH INTO HEAVEN Continue reading CRASH INTO HEAVEN

Please follow and like us:

OUR LIFE IN HEAVEN

OUR LIFE IN HEAVEN

A NEW LIFE IN HEAVEN

We tend to look at the resurrected life in heaven as a great mystery. Yet, the resurrected life is to be found in the present moment.

When the fetus leaves the womb, we call this birth. Once born into the world, the child is more fully alive in new way of living. In the same way, it would make no sense for people of this world not to be born into eternity. The swift aging of our bodies tells us that our hold on earthly life is short.  Our bodies speak to us about impermanence. This tells us that we may not be really at home in this world: our destiny lies elsewhere.

Perhaps the most powerful image of transformation in nature is the butterfly, which is really a transformed caterpillar. Caterpillars appear to have a fairly pleasant life feasting on an almost inexhaustible salad bar right under their feet. One day the caterpillar spins a web around itself. Slowly a change takes place. Suddenly, the tomb-like cocoon opens to reveal a creature that has been totally transformed. The butterfly actually looks quite beautiful. Now instead of only a view from the surface of the leaves, the butterfly sees the entire garden.

OUR LIFE IN HEAVEN Continue reading OUR LIFE IN HEAVEN

Please follow and like us:

DEMONS & SPIRITUAL WARFARE

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: 25 TRUTHS

Christ is speaking to St. Faustina who lives in a convent about the 25 truths about demons and spiritual warfare.

Heaven Hell Spiritual Warfare

Jesus began, “My daughter, I want to teach you about spiritual warfare(Diary 1760)(The Lord’s words are in bold text; commentaries follow.)

spiritual warfare

  1. Never trust in yourself but abandon yourself totally to My Will.

Trust is a spiritual weapon. Trust is part of the shield of faith that St. Paul mentions in the following chapter six of Ephesians: the armor of God. Abandonment to God’s will is an act of trust; faith in action dispels evil spirits.

  1. In desolation, darkness and various doubts, have recourse to Me and to your spiritual director. He will always answer you in My name.

In times of spiritual warfare, immediately pray to Jesus. Invoke His Holy Name that is feared in the netherworld. Bring darkness into the light by telling a spiritual director or confessor and follow his/her instruction.

  1. Do not bargain with any temptation; lock yourself immediately in My Heart.

Continue reading DEMONS & SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Please follow and like us:

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL

 WHERE WILL YOU READ ABOUT A VISION OF HEAVEN, HELL AND PURGATORY?

heaven

Here are three accounts of visions of heaven, hell and purgatory. Try to be open to these stories.  Try not to be so skeptical this time. It is very revealing and it will be to your benefit.

Heaven is for Real

A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.

Heaven is for Real Souls in Purgatory

Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us, and how Colton was able to pray for his father on earth . Continue reading HEAVEN IS FOR REAL

Please follow and like us:

GOD’S WAY TO HEAVEN

WHAT IF THEY ARE SINCERELY WRONG?

So many people today are sincere about what they believe regarding Heaven.  

God way to heaven

They pray but to what effect?GOD’S WAY TO HEAVEN

SHORTFALL  of these FOUR LAWS

SHORTFALL ONE: “THESE FOUR LAWS” FORGET THAT FAITH WORKS AND THAT FAITH ALONE CANNOT SAVE
Romans 1:5 speaks of our “obedience to the faith.” Obedience and true faith in God always go together. You can’t have one without the other:”You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone”.                                                                    James 2:24

SHORTFALL TWO: THESE 4 LAWS FORGET BAPTISM.
The New Testament teaches that water baptism is very important. It 
A. Puts you into Jesus Christ: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” –                       Galatians 3:27
B. Saves you: “Baptism,… now saves you”                               1 Peter 3:21
C. Forgives your sins: “Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins” Acts 22:16  “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”                                                  Acts 2:38

GOD’S WAY TO HEAVEN

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”                                                                                                     2 Corinthians 9:8

Start believing that God can supply the things you need today. Start thanking Him in advance for them. It is important to start NOW. If you want a change, then make a change.

KINGDOM OF GOD

Continue reading GOD’S WAY TO HEAVEN

Please follow and like us:

REAL HELL EXPERIENCE

Hell experience

THREE CATEGORIES OF HELL EXPERIENCE

The problem of evil exists in every single world-view and religious tradition. The devil really has no power over us unless we give it to him. Jesus identified these demons: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”                                                              John 8:44

When we die, unfortunately all our choices become eternal. They have eternal ramifications.

There are three categories of experiences that (Near Death Experience) NDEs have experienced:

HELL EXPERIENCE

  1. HELL ON EARTH: it was like a great battlefield. Everywhere people were locked in what looked like fights to the death, writhing, punching, gouging… “”And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”                                                                      Matthew 25:30
  2. THE PIT being trapped in a dark cave accompanied by a putrid smell like feces, sulfur or death in extreme cold or extreme heat and even fire. The demons resembled humans but they were ugly and grotesque.
  3. THE VOID: described as a falling experience through outer darkness. “It became horrific, no feeling, no sensation, no sense of light. Underground laborers, performed some endless, brutally monotonous task. “I saw hell, and I’m not going back. I want to find the God that pulled me out of hell.”

Continue reading REAL HELL EXPERIENCE

Please follow and like us:

WILL CATHOLICS GO TO HEAVEN?

Was my Catholic friend merely a devoted husband, a wonderful friend, and a good man?

CATHOLICS HEAVEN

Catholics who are “devout” and “inconsistent” can be saved.

“There are genuine Christians who are devout and inconsistent Roman Catholics. Devout is in the sense that they’re earnest, serious, and sincere. Inconsistent is in the sense that their true heart embrace of Jesus is better than their mental ideas or doctrines.

CATHOLICS HEAVEN

A person will be saved — even if many doctrinal ideas are confused or erroneous:

  • “If a person has a genuine encounter with the living Christ and recognizes the hopelessness we are in without grace and without Christ,
  • and if they see that “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 

CATHOLICS GO TO HEAVENCatholics believe they are justified by God’s grace which is a free gift but it is received through baptism initially, through the faith which works by love in the continuous life of the Christian and through the sacrament of reconciliation if the grace of justification is lost through mortal sin. The Church teaches that we can be saved only by God’s grace.  Continue reading WILL CATHOLICS GO TO HEAVEN?

Please follow and like us: