WERE I ASKED to name the greatest tragedy in the history of the world, I would say, “The fall of Adam.” Had there been no fall, none of the things that have since made life so unhappy for millions would have happened.

When our first parents were expelled from their Edenic paradise, they moved away from their home with sad hearts and heavy steps to enter a world blighted by the curse. What a terrible experience it must have been for Adam to witness the corroding effects of his sin for almost a thousand years!
Thank God, the story does not end there. God had a plan ready for the restoration of the human race to the Paradise that was lost.
This is encompassed in the immortal words of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Christ’s death was not an afterthought; neither was it an emergency plan that God devised at the last minute. We read in 1 Peter 1:18-20 that the plan of salvation originated in the mind of God even before the creation of the world. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
The provision of a Saviour was part of God’s eternal purpose. Jesus was the Lamb of God, “slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8). God did not leave man without hope. The plan of salvation was made known. We read in Genesis 3:15 the words addressed to Satan through the serpent: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.”
When Eve’s first baby was placed in her arms, she exclaimed in joyful anticipation, “I have gotten the Man Jehovah.” (Genesis 4:1, Spurrell). Eve thought she had given birth to the promised Redeemer. But she lived to discover that her first-born was not the Messiah, but the world’s first murderer! Four thousand years went by before the angels announced Christ’s birth in Bethlehem’s manger. During those intervening millenniums the sons of Adam marched in unbroken columns into the dark shadows of death. None have returned to tell what life beyond the grave was like.
In 1 Corinthians 15:22 we read, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” What thrilling news this is to dying men! We know from past history and personal experience that men do not live too long. Threescore years and ten is life’s normal span. If we are fortunate, we may reach fourscore years. Life at its best is all too short, and we know that the curse of death lies heavily upon the human race. But as we are doomed to die in Adam, so we are predestined to live in Christ.
Some time ago, while driving to Cambridge from London, a friend of mine took me to see the tomb of Lady Anne Grimstone. Once, when reminded of the Christian’s hope of resurrection from the dead, she is reported to have said, “It is no more likely that I should be raised from the dead than that a seed should grow out of my body.”
Lady Anne Grimstone died in the year 1717 and was buried in an altar tomb. Soon after her death a crack developed in the tomb, and a seedling pushed its head up and through it. During its growth the tree split the tomb and twisted the railings so much that it has left them hanging in the air. Thus what seemed so unlikely to Lady Anne Grimstone actually happened.
In John 5:28, 29, N. E. B., we read: “Do not wonder at this, because the time is coming when all who are in the grave shall hear His voice and move forth: those who have done right will rise to life; those who have done wrong will rise to hear their doom.”
“All” shall come forth. There will be no exceptions. From Abel to the last man who dies before the trumpet sounds, all will come forth. Voltaire, who sneered at the Christian hope, will rise again. So will Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. But not all will come forth at the same time.
The first resurrection will be of those who have died in Christ. ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16). But “the rest of the dead,” that is, the wicked, will not live again until “the thousand years” are finished. (Revelation 20:5). They will live but a little while and then suffer “the second death.” (Verses 6-9).
You might be wondering why God plans to raise all the dead — both righteous and wicked. He is going to raise all men to prove the efficacy of the blood of Christ. God has made it possible for all men to live again. Just how long we live after our resurrection depends on our attitude to Christ. He died that we might live, and live eternally. Let us look at that text again. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” If we die the first or natural death, we die for Adam’s sin. If we die the second death, we die for our sin of unbelief. There is no need for anyone to die outside of Christ, that is, to die without hope, for “God,” we repeat again, “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
How important it is to believe in Him! If we are laid to rest before His coming, how important it is to be asleep in Him and to come forth clad in the robes of immortality at His second advent. If it were not for Him we would have no hope beyond the grave. The angel of death could descend from the courts above and visit every cemetery in the land, and carve on every tombstone the words, “Dead for ever more.” 
I once read the story of a little girl who found this blessed hope in Christ. She was dying of tuberculosis, and her parents were concerned about her salvation. She had left the church of her father and joined one of the evangelical churches. In desperation her parents requested their minister to visit the girl and try to persuade her to return to their church. The minister pleaded with the child, but in vain. Then in desperation, he said, “If you don’t return to our church, we will not be able to bury you in holy ground.” Raising herself on her frail elbows, the child said, “You do not frighten me. Bury me where you will. When the Lord Jesus returns for me, He will know where I am.”
Jesus said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10. The world was lost. You were lost. I was lost. Thank God, Christ came and paid the full price of our salvation. The gospel prophet, writing of Jesus and His mission to this world declares: “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: . . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:4-6. Then “shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” Verse 11.
In Hebrews 12:2 we read, “For the joy that was set before Him” Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The joy that came to the heart of Christ was that of seeing by faith the triumph of His mission. He saw that day when He will lead the sons of men back to the Paradise of God.
In “The Great Controversy,” E. G. White depicts this inspiring scene in the following words: “As the ransomed ones are welcomed to the city of God, there rings out upon the air an exultant cry of adoration. The two Adams are about to meet. The Son of God is standing with outstretched arms to receive the father of our race — the being whom He created, who sinned against his Maker, and for whose sin the marks of the crucifixion are borne upon the Saviour’s form. As Adam discerns the prints of the cruel nails, he does not fall upon the bosom of his Lord, but in humiliation casts himself at His feet, crying: ‘Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain!’ Tenderly the Saviour lifts him up and bids him look once more upon the Eden home from which he has so long been exiled.
“After his expulsion from Eden, Adam’s life on earth was filled with sorrow. Every dying leaf, every victim of sacrifice, every blight upon the fair face of nature, every stain upon man’s purity, was a fresh reminder of his sin. Terrible was the agony of remorse as he beheld iniquity abounding, and, in answer to his warnings, met the reproaches cast upon himself as the cause of sin. With patient humility he bore, for nearly a thousand years, the penalty of transgression. Faithfully did he repent of his sin and trust in the merits of the promised Saviour, and he died in the hope of a resurrection. The Son of God redeemed man’s failure and fall; and now, through the work of the atonement, Adam is reinstated in his first dominion.
“Transported with joy, he beholds the trees that were once his delight — the very trees whose fruit he himself had gathered in the days of his innocence and joy. He sees the vines that his own hands have trained, the very flowers that he once loved to care for. His mind grasps the reality of the scene: he comprehends that this is indeed Eden restored, more lovely now than when he was banished from it. The Saviour leads him to the tree of life and plucks the glorious fruit and bids him eat. He looks about him and beholds a multitude of his family redeemed, standing in the paradise of God.” — Pages 647, 648.
Friend, if you would be with Him in that day then you must be in Him now. Will you just bow your head where you are and repeat with me this prayer of surrender and consecration:
PRAYER: Father in heaven, I thank Thee for sending Jesus into the world to save me. I have learned that He is the way, the truth, and the life — that He is the way from earth to heaven, from death to life, and I accept Him as my Saviour. Whether I live or whether I die, I do want to be among those who will be found in Him at His second coming. As I place my hand in Thine today by faith, do lead me on. Keep me from falling, and grant that through the merits of my Saviour I will at last see Thy blessed face, and be welcomed into the kingdom of glory, I pray in His precious name, Amen.


What The Bible Has To Say About:
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33
So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:4
For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84: 11
And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. Exodus 33:17
Thou has granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. Job 10:12
For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. Psalm 5:12
Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. Psalm 30: 7
The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great. Psalm 115:12, 13 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall, obtain favour of the Lord. Proverbs 8:35
Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted. Proverbs 10:6, 22, 24
Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. Proverbs 14:9
And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Isaiah 60:10
For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4: 15
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need। Hebrews 4:16
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:5
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:16, 17
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:7, 13
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the. Holy Ghost, and with fire: Matthew 3:11
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:38, 39
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: Joel 2:28
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:4, 5, 8
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Ephesians 5:18
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:14-17
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Acts 10:44-46a
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. Acts 19:2-६.
Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, 0 Lord, according unto thy word. Psalm 119:65
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:9, 10
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember that everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. Genesis 9:16
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. Genesis 28:15
But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; Deuteronomy 7:8, 9
And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed, of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. Joshua 23:14
Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. 1 Kings 8:56
Thy mercy, 0 Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Psalm 36:5
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Psalm 89:1, 2, 33, 34
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:3, 4
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:13, १९
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:10, 22-23
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Colossians 1:13, 18
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:15-18
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:20-22
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:15, 21
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: Ephesians 5:23-27, 29
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Colossians 2:10, 19
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same of fice: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Romans 12:4, 5
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
But now hath God set the members everyone of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour: and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:12-28
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:7, 17
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:11, 12
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:41-47
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:8-12
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2a
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23, 24
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:20, 21
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. Deuteronomy 28:2-8,11,12
Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. Deuteronomy 29:9
Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: 1 Chronicles 22: 13a
If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. Job 36:11
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself . Proverbs 11:24, 25
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. Mark 10:29, 30
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success। Joshua 1:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, I Peter 5:8, 9a
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast plate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the prepara tion of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-18
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death, for every man.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them whom through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:9, 14, 15
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:10, 15
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Colossians 1:13
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: be cause many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:1-4
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:17-19
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17, 18
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. Matthew 12:28, 29
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Romans 16:20
I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning। I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:13, 14

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
Which also said, Yemen of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:11
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the com ing of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Nevertheless we, according to this promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Peter 3:3, 4, 8-13
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. I John 3:2-3
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are com ing on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:25-28
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:3-14
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to the other. Matthew 24:27, 29-31
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:36-44
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:1-8
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Matthew 24:34
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me। In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. John 14:1-4

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrigh teousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:18-20
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:32
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15, 16
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18, 19


If there could be a highway to the moon, it would take 20 months of constant driving at the rate of 400 miles per day to reach the land of the moon. If there could be a railroad stretching up to the sun, a streamline train traveling 90 mph non-stop, day after day and year after year, would require 116 years to reach sunny land. An airplane flying at 500 mph would have to travel non-stop for 500 years to reach the nearest fixed star.
Yet far beyond the starry sky lies the pearly gates of God's great heavenly sky city. No one knows how far it is in miles, and no one will ever develop a space vehicle for going there, but every one of us can get to that beautiful place by taking three simple steps that we're going to talk about in this little book.
In the book of Revelation, John declared that "nothing which defileth" would go through the gates into that dwelling place of God. The only thing which defiles in God's sight is sin. Isaiah wrote that "your iniquities have separated between you and your God." Isaiah 59:2. In order to live again in the presence of God, each individual must be free from the condemnation brought on by sin. The apostle John confirmed this fact by his description of that great multitude whom he saw in vision standing before the throne of God. They had palms in their hands and were dressed in white robes, representing freedom from sin (Revelation 7:9).
So mark it down as the first giant step on the way from earth to heaven: we must have our sins forgiven. This is probably the best-known fact about the entire salvation process. Yet the most perplexing questions are raised about the way to take this step. The truth is that millions have only the vaguest idea about how to obtain relief from the guilt of their wrongdoing. How can a person obtain pardon and be restored to a saving union with God?
It is my belief that countless numbers of people really want to be Christians, but no one has made it clear enough or appealing enough to win their decision. In the next few pages you will read the most simple, bottom-line explanation of the plan of salvation. Even the children should be able to understand what it means to be saved. It is not enough to just tell people they are lost and need to be found. We must show them step by step how to pass from death to life. The doctor doesn't tell his patients that they are sick and need to be well without giving a prescription for their healing. In the same way, we must be prepared to offer a specific cure for those who have been diagnosed with the disease of sin.
Conditions of Forgiveness
Now let's take a closer look at this first step marked Sins Forgiven. How does one obtain the requisite pardon for those sins which have become such a common lot for every human being? We need to understand from the very beginning that there are three conditions to having our sins forgiven-repentance, confession, and restitution. Please do not let those long theological terms confuse you. We shall break them into such simple language that all will know what they mean and how to fulfill their requirements.
What about the first condition? What is repentance, and what are we to repent of? The Bible says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. The meaning of these inspired words is very clear. Regardless of our wealth, sex, or station in life we have all made personal choices to break God's law. The Bible calls it sin. No resolute human effort has been sufficient to overcome the inherited tendencies to have our own way. The results of that original sin by Adam and Eve have been passed along to every succeeding generation, ours included. The inability to meet God's standard is a part of the carnal nature which has marked every member of the human family since the fall of our first parents.
We can better understand how "all have sinned" when we look at the beautiful, innocent little baby throwing a tantrum when its will is crossed. There is no age when the fallen nature has power of itself to control the life and modify the behavior. The Bible declares, "The carnal mind ... is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Romans 8:7. Jeremiah made the interesting observation: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." Jeremiah 13:23.
In other words, not one of us has the ability to change this lost and dying condition into which we have been thrust. We can not lift ourselves by our own bootstraps. Not even education, culture, or any of the other amenities of society are able to reverse the consequences of our sinful heritage.
After recognizing the fact that we have all been condemned by our yielding to the propensities of our genetic natures, we are next confronted with the result of our transgressions. Paul describes it very succinctly in these words: "The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23. With this shocking line, the full horror of our situation appears before us. Not only are we all guilty, but we have been sentenced to die for our sins. Every member of the human family is consigned to a death-row status as a consequence of our willful disobedience.
Is it not more than alarming to be confronted with our own death sentence, realizing that there is not a court or judge in the universe who will declare us "not guilty"? The fact is, of course, that we are just as guilty as sin. Furthermore, the penalty is absolutely irreversible, and God Himself could not cancel it without contradicting His own character and law.
Is there a solution to our dilemma? Someone may suggest that our only recourse is to go ahead and pay the penalty for what we have done wrong. By dying for our sins, we can uphold the justice of God and satisfy the demands of a broken law at the same time. We could do that all right, but where would it leave us? Since we have no power to raise ourselves from the dead, we would be eternally cut off from life, with no hope of a resurrection. Certainly that course does not seem to be a very satisfactory answer to our problem.
Finally, we have to face the truly disturbing fact that we owe something we cannot pay. We owe our very lives for our sin-debt and have no way to pay without forfeiting all future existence. It is as though a man bought all of his month's groceries on credit and then had no way to settle the $200.00 account at the end of the month. Out of embarrassment and shame, the man avoided the store with his delinquent account. But then his best friend heard about the poor man's financial problem. Immediately the friend went to the store and counted out the full $200.00 to settle the account. Wasn't that a wonderful act of friendship and love? Now the man has no reason for feeling shame or guilt. The debt has been paid. His record is clear. What would you think of that reprieved man if he had refused the kindly act of his friend? Would it not be a gross insult to the one who made such a magnanimous gesture?
Now let's apply that little story to our own case. We also owe something we can't pay-our very lives. But a friend, in the person of Jesus, says: "I will assume your debt, suffer death in your place, and put it all to the credit of your personal account." That offer stands behind all three of the steps we are considering in the salvation experience. It constitutes the basis of our receiving forgiveness for our sins. How is the guilt, condemnation, and death sentence transferred from you and me and placed upon Jesus, our divine Substitute? The answer to that question brings us back to the three conditions for taking the big step of obtaining forgiveness. The first condition -What is Repentance?
I promised to simplify that long theological word. It literally means to feel a godly sorrow for the wrongs we have committed. Such genuine sorrow is only possible when we fully recognize that our only hope rests in the death of Jesus on the cross in our place. Helplessly we must turn away from self and "behold the lamb of God," who takes away the sin of the world. What happens as we watch Him bleeding, suffering, and dying on the cross? We realize that He was holy and innocent. We were the guilty ones. We should be hanging there instead of Him. We are overwhelmed to realize that He would have submitted to the torture and death for only one soul, even for you or me. Suddenly our eyes fill with tears as we realize that our sins caused His death on the cross. His heart was broken by the crushing weight of sins that had been taken from us. He was voluntarily suffering the punishment we deserved. We are filled with sorrow that we ever committed those very sins that now are taking the life of the Son of God. That sorrow is repentance.
We must clearly distinguish between a worldly sorrow and a genuine godly sorrow. Sometimes children say, "I'm sorry" when facing punishment for misbehavior, but often they are merely regretful that they got caught. This is not true repentance. When I was in high school one of my teachers was the sports coach. He was a nice enough fellow, but not a very effective communicator. Therefore, it was a treat when a young lady teacher took his place in the middle of the school year. All of us boys were especially delighted because this new teacher was very pretty and not much older than some of us.
In the beginning, we were vying for her attention in ways that were probably very distracting to everyone. One day I stayed after school with two friends to play some basketball. Later, after all the other students had left, we went by our room to pick up our books. Just before opening the door, we glanced through the one clear pane of glass in the door and there we saw our beautiful girl-teacher weeping at her desk. No one needed to tell us why she was crying, because we instantly remembered some of the things we had done during classes. None of us had any desire to hurt that teacher. We liked her very much and had no idea that we were causing her so much grief. We were sick and ashamed of ourselves that day, and it was three very sorry boys who crept down the hall without opening that door. All three of us made a covenant that day that we would never do anything again that would hurt our pretty young teacher. We were truly repentant.
This same principle applies to those who feel sorrow for the pain their sins caused Jesus to suffer, and by God's grace they determine to turn away from everything displeasing to Him.
Why Should We Confess?
The second condition of forgiveness is called confession. John wrote, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. That certainly sounds simple enough. Yet it is on this point that most people stumble and lose their way. The question most commonly asked is this: How do I know I have been forgiven? There is only one correct answer to that question. We know we are forgiven because God said we would be. Here is where the beautiful element of faith comes into the picture. We have every reason to know that God's Word cannot ever fail. Whatever it says will take place. There is built-in, self-fulfilling power in every promise of the Bible.
Could the man lame from birth stand upon his feet? No, it was impossible. He was carried every day to beg outside the temple in Jerusalem. Yet Peter commanded, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." Acts 3:6. Suppose the man had remained on his pallet and said to Peter, "I can't even stand on my feet, much less walk or run. I've been crippled all my life, and have no strength in my feet to move off this bed." Do you think he would have been healed? No, he had to accept as a fact that Jesus of Nazareth had strengthened those ankle bones so that he could get up and walk. When he made the effort as though his feet were normal, they were restored to normal. "According to your faith so be it unto you."
You may not feel forgiven when you ask for it, but the promise is that you are forgiven. So forget about feeling. Believe that it's done because God said it would be. Thank Him for it and then act like it's done, because it is. Your faith makes it a fact.
Someone might say, "Well, I thought Christians got happy feelings as a result of accepting Jesus." Let me assure you, that feeling will follow as a result of your faith and forgiveness, but always remember that faith must come before feeling. Paul had it right when he wrote, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1. Just imagine for a moment that feeling came before faith in forgiveness. In that case you would be a peaceful, joyful unbeliever, and there is no such creature as that.
By the way, what is the real secret behind the confession process? Why do we need to tell God about our mistakes and sins? Doesn't He already know without my recounting them to Him? Of course, it is true that we do not inform God about anything He doesn't know already. Our confession does not change Him either; it changes us. Ask anyone who has been courageous enough to ask forgiveness. You can probably remember having to make something right with an individual in the past. Perhaps you had repeated some exaggerated rumor about the person and he found out that you were responsible. Even though it was hard, you gathered up your courage and stammered out your apology. What happened immediately? You felt as though a great weight had rolled off your shoulders. Tremendous relief flooded your soul. Yet, you told that person nothing that he didn't know before. He was already fully aware of your words which brought him so much pain. You needed that confession more than he did.
The third condition to having our sins forgiven is Restitution. This long word simply means that we make every effort to correct the things we have done wrong. Of course, we recognize that it is never possible to reach into the past and rectify every wrong, every lie, and every dishonest act. In the first place, we can't even remember all the times we were guilty of those things. It would probably drive a person insane to feel the responsibility for such an impossible demand. Nevertheless, the Spirit probes our consciences and reminds us of the matters which can be made right.
If something has been stolen, it certainly should be restored. If lies have been told which damaged someone's reputation, we can apologize and tell the truth in order to remove any stigma on that person's character. Sometimes prison might be a possible consequence if crimes of theft or robbery have been committed, but it is very important to arrange repayment whenever the possibility exists. In cases where restitution is not possible, the repentant one can safely trust the cleansing merits of Christ's blood to provide pardon and restoration.
Is it difficult to confront and correct our past sins? Indeed, it is probably the most excruciating part of the redemptive process. This may explain why so many have convinced themselves that it is not a biblical requirement. But might it not also provide a partial explanation as to why spiritual renewal has been so elusive in the modern church? Many believe that a tremendous revival would sweep the Christian churches if every member made genuine restitution to those they have wronged.
Meeting the three conditions of repentance, confession, and restitution brings assurance that the longest step has been taken in becoming a true Christian. The sins are now forgiven and can no longer crush the conscience with guilt. Here is where we encounter the real answer to the question about the transfer of sin onto the divine Substitute. When we reach out in faith, believing that He truly has taken our place on the cross, a very marvelous transaction is consummated. The death penalty which rested upon us is instantly removed from us and placed on Jesus. It is exactly as though we were with Him on the cross suffering the required sentence, and yet, we were only there by faith. He experienced the pain and punishment for us, but because we confess Him as our Saviour, He actually treats us as though we ourselves had died and paid the penalty for our own guilty acts.
But not only does God accept the atoning sacrifice of His Son as a total satisfaction of the universal death sentence against every member of the fallen race, He imputes to each one who chooses to accept it the credit for living a life just as holy as Jesus lived. In other words, they are not only declared "not guilty"; they are declared to be just as righteous as the sinless Saviour who lived here in the flesh for 33 years without committing a single sin. It is in this amazing manner that all degrees of transgression are canceled, and "whosoever will" may stand without condemnation before God. His faith alone has opened a door to a new "standing" in relation to God. It is called justification, and it provides forgiveness for every wrong-doing of the past which has been repented of, confessed, and forsaken. And even though it can be said that the death of Jesus, in one sense, made a corporate reconciliation of all men to God, it is only through personal acceptance of the sacrifice that anyone can experience "justification by faith."
Does the totality of salvation, then, consist of a mere "accounting" on the part of God? Is our part only to believe that God does everything for us, and then wait for Him to waft us on rose-tinted clouds into the kingdom of heaven? Indeed not. So far, we have described that part of righteousness by faith which flows from outside ourselves. It is called justification and is based wholly upon the objective acts of God in our behalf. It is true that we cannot work for this imputed credit for being righteous. We can only accept the atoning merits of the blood of Jesus, which bears witness that somebody else paid the penalty for our sins. By exercising faith in this divine Substitute, who took our place in death, we acquire a certain "standing" of righteousness before God.
But it is most necessary that we understand that God does not ascribe some legal fiction to us by calling us righteous when we really are not. Righteousness by faith includes more than just a "standing" or "accounting." God not only imputes righteousness to us through justification to take care of our past sins, but He imparts righteousness to us through sanctification to keep us from future sins. In other words, there is a "state" of righteousness before God as well as a "standing" of being righteous. We'll have more to say about these two aspects of righteousness by faith as we move into the next chapter. Keep in mind, though, that whether imputed or imparted, all true righteousness originates with God and resides in us only as long as Christ abides in us through faith.
The Necessity of the New Birth
Now we are prepared to consider the second large step in this exciting journey from earth to heaven, and it is very closely tied to the faith transaction we have considered. That moment of acceptance not only brings an objective change of standing before God, but it also produces a fantastic subjective transformation in the heart and mind of the believer. Jesus referred to this dramatic experience as being "born of the Spirit." The necessity of it was revealed in the urgent words of the Master to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3.
There is no possible way to analyze or diagnose the miraculous, and often instantaneous, change which accompanies this act of faith. The apostle John seems to express it as simply as it can be communicated: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." John 1:12. But even though we can't understand the mystery, we can observe the results of it very clearly. Paul described it in these words. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Like a gentle brush of the invisible wind, God's Holy Spirit enters the life to replace the surrendered fleshly things with the exact opposite. Although the inherent fallen nature is not removed by the new birth, the carnal mind is replaced with a spiritual mind which has the power to subdue all the desires and passions which might arise from that fallen nature. It is this progressive work of conquering self and constantly submitting the will to Christ which leads us to the third giant step on our heavenly pilgrimage. We call it sanctification.
Again when we reduce this long theological word to its elementary meaning, all confusion evaporates. It simply means loving obedience to all of God's revealed will. The word "loving" distinguishes those acts of obedience from the legalistic forced conformity of those who might be trying to earn salvation by mere law-keeping. Some liberal-minded religionists equate obedience and legalism. They ignore the difference between heart service and head service. One is the very finest demonstration of true religion and the other shows forth the most dangerous counterfeit. Someone has suggested that millions will miss heaven by just eighteen inches-the distance from the head to the heart. Complying with God's law in order to fulfill a legal requirement for salvation is the head approach, but true heart obedience is the spontaneous outflow of a personal love relationship with Christ. When we talk about sanctification here, we are referring solely to the heart approach.
There has been much debate over the way justification and sanctification relate to each other, so let's clarify it with a few simple observations. We need both of these experiences in order to be ready for heaven. Justification imputes the perfect victory of Jesus to cover our past sins, but sanctification imparts the victorious power of Jesus to preserve us from committing further sin. We can't have one without the other. Anyone who exercises true faith is justified. All who are truly justified are converted, or turned into a new creation; and all who have experienced the new birth will walk in obedience out of love. The cause-effect is instantaneous and inseparable. There is no justification without sanctification and no sanctification without justification. Nevertheless, it is very important to keep in mind that justification, as the very first approach to God, is freely bestowed and is not granted in reference to our good works. This biblical principle requires that the believer receive the gift of justification before sanctified obedience is possible. Then the conformity to the law is recognized as the result of the born-again connection with the Saviour.
As you have probably realized by now, there are many professed Christians who consider step number three to be optional in the salvation experience. But unless we ignore many plain statements of scripture, it is impossible for us to come to such a conclusion. The Bible says, "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Hebrews 5:9. Obedience is truly one of the spiritual requirements for entrance into the kingdom. John declared that "there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth." Revelation 21:27.
Sin, of course, is the only thing that defiles in God's sight, and it is specifically excluded from entering the gates of Paradise. Sin is defined in the Bible as transgression of the law. This means there will be no thieves, murderers, adulterers, etc. in heaven. Should it frighten us to learn that willful sin must be put away in order to be saved? Incidentally, we are not saying here that the good works of obedience are the grounds for our acceptance by Jesus, but they are the necessary accompaniment of a freely bestowed gift to all who believe.
None who have accepted that gift will be discouraged by the requirement to stop deliberately transgressing the revealed will of God. Converted hearts are eager to please the One they love supremely. They delight to walk in obedience because God's law has been written into their hearts and minds.
Why is it easier for most Christians to take the first two steps of the three we have dealt with so far? Is it because forgiveness and conversion are largely accomplished for us and in us by the power of God in response to our faith alone, while sanctification demands strong effort in addition to our faith? It is entirely possible. For that reason, I want to share, in the next few paragraphs, the greatest secret I ever learned about living the Christian life. How does one turn away from sins which are rooted in strong physical or psychological addiction? What about smoking, alcoholism, and drugs?
Claiming the Victory-Sanctification
Total victory over all sin has been promised through scores of Bible texts, but four of them will suffice to bring deliverance to every one who will claim them in faith. May I address you personally about your besetting weakness, problem, or addiction? The simple, practical steps you are about to learn could make the difference between life and death in your future. Let nothing divert you from this biblical formula which is guaranteed to break any chain or habit in your life that you are willing to relinquish.
The first text contains a most important principle about victory over sin. "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57. May this glorious truth grip your mind. Victory is a gift! It is not something you can earn or deserve. Neither is it bestowed as a reward for hard effort and struggle. It is freely granted to those who ask for it in the right way. But, you may inquire, what is the right way to ask God for this gift? The answer is contained in just one word-faith. Jesus said, "According to your faith so be it unto you." Everything promised in the Bible is yours for the asking, but you must believe it in order to receive it.
Now let's illustrate that principle by moving to the second text. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matthew 7:11, emphasis added. Notice that this verse is also talking about asking for gifts, and the previous text told us that the gift is "victory" over sin. From these words of Jesus, we learn that His Father is more willing and eager to give us the "good things" we ask for than we are to feed our children when they are hungry!
Next question: "Is victory a good thing to ask for?" Of course, and victory is also a "gift," as we were told in 1 Corinthians 15:57. And on the authority of Jesus' own
words, if we ask for this good gift, God will give it more freely than loving parents would feed their children.
By the way, we don't even have to incorporate the phrase "If it be Thy will" into this prayer request, because the Bible already assures us that it is His will to free us from all sin. If we were asking for some physical gift, such as healing or a better job, we would certainly have to include that phrase in our prayer.
We are now prepared to make an observation. Whatever gift of victory over sin you ask for, it will be immediately bestowed. If you do not believe that with your whole heart, then do not pursue this plan any further. If you do believe victory will be yours the moment you ask, then drop on your knees and ask Him now, calling the sin by name. As you rise from your knees you will not feel that anything has changed, but your feelings have nothing to do with it. A wonderful thing has happened. The instant you prayed, God placed a mighty reservoir of power into your life. That power is the victory over your sin! You have it now!
Some might ask, How can I know the victory has been given? Simply because God promised to give it when you asked Him. In some cases God actually removes the taste or desire for the activity, but that is not the usual way He does it. The appetite may remain strong in the majority of those who seek deliverance, but they still have the power from God never to yield to that craving again. The secret is to accept without question that what God promised has indeed taken place.
Do you remember how Peter walked on the water? Jesus assured him that he could do it, and the big fisherman stepped out of the boat and began to do the impossible. Nobody can walk on water, but Peter did it-for a while. How long did he do it? The Bible says the wind and the waves were boisterous, and he became afraid. What was he afraid of? Obviously, of sinking and drowning. But wasn't that doubting the word of Jesus? The Master had told Peter that he could come to Him.
In the same way, He has promised to give us the victory as a gift. He invites us to come to Him. What should our response be? Whatever our spiritual infirmity, we should "step out of the boat" and affirm that we have power from God never to yield to that sin again. We can tell anybody or everybody that God has set us free, and we no longer are bound by that habit. Our faith will grow as we bear witness to what God has done, and also as we constantly thank and praise Him for the gift of victory.
Paul wrote: "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin." Romans 6:11. These are the most important words for those following the faith plan of overcoming. The word "reckon" means to count it as done. There must be no reservation in considering the sin as "dead" on the basis of God's promise. Our greatest temptation, at this point, is to think about the many times we have tried and failed to put this sin out of our lives. Satan will attack our faith by suggesting that we cannot possibly survive without indulging this particular sin, and that we are much too weak to give it up. Our greatest test will be to overwhelm and drown that "trying" argument of the self-nature and focus by faith on God's gift-plan of total victory.
Faith Makes No Provision To Fail
The final text in claiming deliverance is found in Romans 13:14: "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof." This lays the final timber in God's fool-proof, perfect plan of giving the victory. How can a dead person lay plans to keep sinning? If you knew you would be dead tomorrow morning, would you make any provisions for tomorrow afternoon? If you "reckon yourself dead" to any sin through the power of the Word, it would be a contradiction of nature to act as though the sin was still in control. It would also be a denial of the promise of God. If He says you have the victory, believe it!
Now we have clearly before us the uncomplicated scheme of salvation as it has been described in the Bible. The three big steps are Sins Forgiven, New Birth, and Obedience. Every child, youth, or adult can take those steps right now and pass from death to life. There is nothing mysterious about coming to Jesus to be saved. Sins are forgiven by meeting the three conditions laid down in the Bible-repentance, confession, and restitution. We have reduced these long words to an equation that the most simple can understand.
We have shown that the second large step to Christ is the new-birth experience. This profound change takes place when an individual accepts Jesus as a personal substitute and Saviour. It often happens in conjunction with the imputed justification which is credited when sins are confessed. The resulting relationship of love, with its attendant obedience, fulfills the last step in the process of becoming a Christian.
If you haven't entered fully into this joyful relationship with the Lord Jesus, don't hesitate to take the three steps right now. And if there is any confusion about what to do or how to do it, just forget about protocol or procedures and tell the Lord exactly how you feel and what you desire. He will be there to lead you into the most satisfying experience you've ever imagined.




Back To the Original Plan

Bodies of Flesh and Bone

We Will Know Each Other

City Mansion and Country Estate

No Sickness and No Death

Unimaginable Beauty and Happiness


Millions of people are anticipating, although for different reasons, a time when they can leave this planet and migrate to another happier, less cluttered world in space. Many believe that time is running out for this overcrowded, polluted planet which has been so misused for 6,000 years. For survival purposes only, they hope to move into an orbiting satellite, made scientifically secure by fail-proof technology. There, in an artificially sustained, friendly environment, they hope to become pioneers of a new space world for restless earthlings.

Millions of others look heavenward and lay their exciting plans for more distant space travel, far beyond the edges of our solar system. Their expectations are not grounded in the scientific production of laboratory landscapes and recycled chemicals. They look for a space home totally independent of human error and influence; a home free of corrupting pride, selfishness, and sin; a home called heaven, which they believe is now in preparation for them. They expect to travel there long before the white-smocked scientist develops his satellite colony.

It is easy to empathize with those who are fed up with the distressing problems of planet earth and who want to immigrate to some more pleasing environment. But will the artificial conditions in a self-contained space colony be greatly superior to our worn-out earth? True, the chemically-created atmosphere could be more easily regulated and maintained, but what about the basic, ultimate problems of survival?

Death and disease can be no more avoided in space than they can right here. Crime and injustices would follow human beings wherever they might travel in the universe. Disappointments and heart-wrenching sorrow would continue to mark the brief course of human existence, simply because man's greatest problem is man himself. He cannot elude his own selfish nature by fleeing to another location - even to another planet. Neither can he escape from his mortality by changing environments.

What man really needs is a perfectly integrated, sinless nature which would not be subject to sickness or death, plus a perfect environment in which to live for eternity. Such an ideal arrangement is the only one which will solve all the problems and fulfill all the dreams of all the people in the world today. Perfect health, a beautiful home, an ideal climate, and eternal life - what else could anyone really wish for?

Could all these incredible conditions ever become a reality? The scientists say No। They can promise better health and a longer life span, but never immortality। They hope for cleaner air and improved working conditions, but no germ-free environment. That is the best they can do. But listen, there is a place now in preparation that will exceed all the extravagant words I have used in describing it. Most scientists deny its existence, because they don't believe there is a God who lives in a place called heaven.

Back To the Original Plan

I want you to see that this future home now being prepared for us will actually fulfill God's original plan for man's perfect happiness. It will match the exquisite beauty and glory that God incorporated into the Garden of Eden. Isaiah described it this way: "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." Isaiah 64:4.

The prophet here declares that "since the beginning of the world" men have neither heard nor seen the fullness of God's plan. The intimation is clear - men once did see, hear, and know of the wonderful things God has prepared for His people. In fact, that plan was revealed to Adam and Eve in all its glory. God wanted the earth to be like Eden, the Garden of the Lord. He gave four tremendous gifts to our first parents - life, a righteous character, a beautiful home, and dominion over the earth. They could have possessed those gifts forever by simply choosing to obey God in the matter of the one forbidden tree. Through obedience to His will, God intended to make the human family ideally and eternally happy.

Angels must have wept when they saw sin come into the human family for the first time. Immediately, all of those original provisions began to be withdrawn. Adam and Eve began to die according to the pronouncement of God; their dominion passed for the time into the hands of Satan; the image of righteousness was marred within them; and they were driven out of the garden home. The first three chapters of the Bible present the picture of this great loss. The entrance of sin and the story of the fall of man is graphically told in Genesis 1, 2, and 3. But the last three chapters of the Bible picture the exact opposite by telling of the restoration of all things. The exit of sin and Satan, and the removal of the curse is depicted in Revelation 20-22.

Now let me assure you that the home of the righteous is going to be right here on this earth. Jesus tells us this in Matthew 5:5. In giving His Beatitudes He said: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Mark it down well. God's people will finally dwell in this beautiful world, not as it is today, but as it shall be prepared for the saints.

This is really most natural when you think of it. God planned for His children to live here when He created the world. He placed our first parents in a paradise without spot or blemish. Now it is true that the devil came into the picture and interrupted God's plan, but he did not change that plan. God will finally carry out His great original purpose as it was revealed in the Garden of Eden. He will restore this earth to its first dominion. He will make it sinless and perfect again, and His people will live here in the beauty of Eden restored. The wicked today have more of the earth than the righteous, and I suppose the finance companies have more than both groups together. But some day, God says, the saints will inherit the earth.

Surely no one would want the earth in its present condition, because it's quite a mess now. We can thank the Lord that when He gives it back to us it will be altogether different from what we see around us today. In Isaiah 65:17 we read these beautiful words: "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth." That is the Old Testament account, but turn to the New Testament and you will read the same thing in Revelation 21:1. "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth."

This old blood-soaked world of ours will be replaced completely, and all trace of sin will be removed forever. Peter describes it in these words: "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Peter 3:13. That is the kind of world I want - a world in which righteousness dwells! God is going to have a pure, clean planet again. Listen, if a man should neglect to take the opportunity to live there, he will commit the most colossal blunder of his life! That is the most tragic mistake anyone could ever make. May God help us to make that home a glorious assurance without fail.

It is shocking how many weak and twisted concepts of heaven people have accepted. Most folks think of it as some far-off ethereal place - and that is about all the average man knows about heaven. He believes it is "up there" somewhere. Yes, it is "up there," and we can agree with him that far, for when Jesus went away, He went up. (Acts 1:9. ) And He said: "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:2, 3.

Please notice that Jesus called heaven a place. New York is a place, and heaven is going to be just as real as New York. Jesus declared that He is going to get a place ready and then come back to take us with Him to that place. This is not some ghostly, unreal idea. The righteous will not sit on clouds out there in space, playing harps and singing hallelujah choruses all during eternity. This is a very false and unbiblical picture of heaven.

The only reason a few people do not want to go to heaven is that they don't know what it will be like. You may find a person now and then who will tell you plainly that he doesn't care to go to heaven, but that is only because he has a misconception about it. Popular myths have made heaven seem dull and uninteresting.

The truth about heaven makes it one of the most exciting places imaginable. The capital city of that future glory land is called the New Jerusalem, and it is currently under construction according to the testimony of Jesus and Paul. It will cover an area greater than Virginia, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Rhode Island combined. If you find that unbelievable, don't take my word for it. Here it is in the Bible: "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:16. Here we are told that God is getting a city ready for His people. He is preparing one now.

This raises some questions. What kind of city is God building for His faithful ones? Where is it being made ready? Revelation 21:2 answers: "And I John saw the holy city ... coming down from God out of heaven." In paradise at this moment, far above the stars and planets, God is preparing mansions for you and me. Someday that gleaming white city will descend right down to the earth and settle here as the eternal home of the righteous. How big will it be on completion? Revelation 21:16 tells us: "And the city lieth foursquare, ... and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs."

You will notice that the city is perfectly square and the circumference is 12,000 furlongs, or 1,500 miles. Since a furlong is one-eighth of a mile, this means the city is 375 miles on each side. Believe it or not, 450 New York Cities could be placed inside its gigantic walls. The streets are pure gold, and the gates of it are solid pearl - not merely composed of pearls, but actually made of one solid pearl. Imagine, if you can, a city of these dimensions being right here on this earth!

Bodies of Flesh and Bone

I want to present in human language, if possible, some of the beauty, glory, and reality of heaven. Mark it down that heaven is very, very real. This reality is its most wonderful quality. We are going to have real bodies and take up real activities. In fact, in Isaiah 65 we are told that the redeemed will plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them; we are going to build houses, and live in them. "And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." Verses 21, 22.

Now it may surprise you to learn this, but we are going to have bodies of flesh and bone in heaven. That is what the Bible teaches. Two texts will prove this point beyond question. In Philippians 3:21 we read: "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." How exciting it is to know that our present physical natures will be changed. We will have bodies just like Jesus had after He was resurrected! There is no mystery here because Jesus explained to His disciples all about that body. He said, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Luke 24:39.

First, He appeared to them and said He had flesh and bone. Then He ate with them, and finally, He ascended bodily right out of their midst. This sequence of events in the life of our Lord answers many questions concerning our own nature in the hereafter. We will have a body made like the very same body Jesus possessed after His resurrection.

We Will Know Each Other

This raises another interesting question which has perplexed millions of people: Will we know each other there? Will we be able to recognize one another in the hereafter?

Many people have the misconception that heaven will be very impersonal. The Bible reveals exactly the opposite. Although the former troubles and sorrows will be erased from the mind, we certainly will not forget our friends and family. No one will be known only as an animated number! The truth is that we will know each other better in heaven than we know one another now. Paul wrote, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12. If I understand the English language at all, this means that we will know one another better when we get up there than we do here. We see things very dimly here, and we misunderstand each other often. This will never happen in the new earth. We will know each other clearly and plainly.

Jesus said that "many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 8:11. Surely this indicates that we will recognize those great stalwarts of the Old Testament. Not only will we be forever united with those we loved on earth, but we can make the acquaintance of those mighty spiritual giants who inspired us from the pages of the Bible.

Most people love reunions and homecomings. What a delight it is to meet old friends after many years and to renew nostalgic ties of the past. Heaven would not be enjoyable if no one recognized anybody else. I have had the joy of leading thousands of people to Christ, and I anticipate meeting them around the throne of God. It is unthinkable that I would never have the assurance that even one of those souls actually held faithful to the end and received the crown of life. We will undoubtedly meet people there who were won to Christ by those we won, and we will be able to see the endless cycle of influence as it vibrated from heart to heart and life to life.

Can't you imagine the thrill of hearing someone say to you in that day, "It was you who influenced me to follow Jesus all the way. Thank you! Oh, thank you for making it possible for me to be here"? Surely that will be a great part of the reward for soul winners.

Paul wrote to the Philippians, "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life." Philippians 4:3. Here is very interesting evidence that earthly names are recorded in the books of heaven. There is no reason to believe that those faithful workers with Paul received some kind of new, angelic names after they were converted. The very same names were written in the book of life that had been given by their Judean mothers. The same is true today. John, Bob, Tim, Betty, and Dana are faithfully recorded as being worthy of eternal life through faith in Jesus.

We get another insight into this subject in the book of Revelation. In one of his visions, John was shown the glory of the New Jerusalem. It was so dazzling that the prophet was almost overwhelmed by the glory of it. As he drew nearer to the shining walls in his vision, John saw that the foundation of the city was composed of 12 precious stones, all of different colors. Then he saw that a name was inscribed in each of the glittering foundation stones. Imagine his feelings at the moment he recognized his own name on one of those stones! All the apostles will be honored throughout eternity by having their simple Galilean names etched into the massive support stones of the New Jerusalem. What a thrill that must have been for John!

After the New Jerusalem descends to this earth at the end of the thousand years, the earth will be re-created in its original, perfect form. God's dwelling place will be among men, and the saints will dwell in both the city and the new earth. We will have a city home as well as a country estate. The mansion in the New Jerusalem is being prepared right now by Jesus. (John 14:1-3.) We will build our own house in the country to our own specifications. (Isaiah 65:21, 22.)

City Mansion and Country Estate

Will we be satisfied with the home Jesus is getting ready for us? He said, "I go to prepare a place for you." I go to prepare a place for whom? For you! You may put your own name in there if you would like, because it is true. He went to get a place ready for you, and your name will be on it. I like that, because the Lord is a builder who knows just exactly what I would like the most.

I believe the Lord will meet each one of us and show us through the Holy City. He will escort us down those golden streets to show us all the different places of interest in the New Jerusalem. We will walk along the river of life, and He will tell us all about the tree of life, which grows over the river and bears a different manner of fruit each month. He will take us down one street after another, and finally, as we move along, we are going to see a certain mansion. As soon as we see it, there will be a responsive chord in our heart and we will think, "My, that's just what I've always wanted. That's the kind of mansion I'd like to have!" And Jesus will interrupt our thoughts and say, "This is yours. I've prepared it exactly as I knew you'd want it. This one is especially for you."

In addition, we will be able to build ourselves a country home. Remember that Isaiah promised we shall build houses and inhabit them? And we can pick ourown location. There is the whole beautiful new world before us, and we can find the choicest place that will fit our own personality and put up our house right there. I close my eyes sometimes and try to think of a place that would please me, and I can think of a lot of them that would make me happy. It will be without any spot of sin, for there will be no more curse upon the land. We will never be bothered by thieves or lose the house by fire. I have talked to poor people whose home had burned, destroying their every possession. Others have lost their life's savings to embezzlers and thieves.

Somebody says, "Well, I don't know how to build. I don't think I want to build houses." Listen, don't think it will be the kind of laborious work you see the poor carpenters in this world doing. No, it is not going to be like that at all. As for your knowledge of how to build, don't worry about it for a moment. There will be no limit to what you can learn. You will have a whole eternity before you to learn and understand. If you don't know anything about music, take a music course. Join the heavenly choir. You can go into the bass section one day and learn to sing bass, and then you can go into the tenor section and sing tenor. You can sing all the parts and learn just as much about music as you want to learn.

You can learn architecture. You can learn to build. You can learn about nature. Or maybe you want to study astronomy. Sometimes, when we look up into the heavens and see a little yellow star glimmering in the southwest sky, we say, "My, I wonder what that little star is away up there?" Listen, someday we won't need to wonder; we can just say, "I think I will go and find out." Then we can visit that star. That is what the new earth will be like. We can travel with the speed of light. Angels can do it now. Daniel started praying one day, and before he ended his prayer an angel had come all the way from heaven to his side. The angel said, "Daniel, when you began to pray, God sent me from His throne, and now I'm here in answer to your prayer." We will be able to travel like that. We can go out to visit the great, expansive universe of God and understand things that no human mind has been able to comprehend before.

Oftentimes people ask me if there will be animals in heaven. The Bible has a surprising number of references to this question. Pet lovers will have a field day there! "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain." Isaiah 11:6-9.

Sometimes we have heard of lions that have been domesticated and will allow children to play on their backs. Too often, though, we have read stories of family pets which suddenly turned upon children, attacking them like wild animals.

The ravages of sin have made animal nature unpredictable at best. But in the restored Eden of God there will be absolutely no danger of violence from lions, leopards, bears, or snakes - much less from the beloved animal pets of earth.

In this world, all of created life has to be on guard against attack at any time. The reign of tooth and claw has created an atmosphere of constant fear in the animal kingdom. Birds seem never relaxed as their heads dart from side to side, watching for potential attackers.

Tragically, it is only in that restored paradise that we will be able to relax our own guard against criminal violence from fellow human beings. For the first time since Eden men will be able to trust other men. No one will be there who could inflict harm or unhappiness on any creature.

No Sickness and No Death

Since there will be no sickness, pain, or death, some occupations and professions will be totally out of place. No doctors, nurses, morticians, or insurance agents could find a soul to do business with. Financial problems will be banished forever. The very issues which cause the greatest grief now will not even exist in the minds of the saints. They will forget eternally the troubles of this life.

Won't we grieve for loved ones who are not there? No doubt we will weep when the discovery is made that they are missing, but then God shall wipe all tears from their eyes.

One of the greatest promises in the Bible is found in Revelation 21:3, 4. "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Isn't that wonderful? I tell you, if heaven were no more than these two verses describe, I'd want to be there! Wouldn't you? No more cause for sorrow - no pain, no death, no separation.

In Isaiah 33:24 we read something else about the people who will live in that new world. "And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick." Sometimes when I meet people on Sabbath morning I ask, "How are you today?" And every once in a while someone says, "I'm not feeling very well. I probably should have stayed in bed." Well, maybe they should have, but they loved the Lord so much that they wanted to come out to His house of worship. Yes, people here get sick, but in heaven we'll never have to use that expression. It will be done away with altogether. We will never even ask, "How are you this morning?" We will know how they are. They are fine. They are not sick. They feel perfect. The immortal bloom of youth will be upon every face. No one will say, "I am sick." No one will feel the desperation of seeing loved ones suffer and then slip over the brink into death.

Oh, I long for this experience more than for anything else. Children will be safe in this new kingdom God is preparing for us. Let me tell you this, parents, and you may take great comfort from it - your children will never be in danger of getting hit with automobiles. I will never forget the scene in front of the tent in our Louisville crusade. Right in the middle of the street I saw a little girl who had been hit and killed by a car. I have never been able to blot out of my mind the scene of that little girl lying all crumpled up.

The Bible says children will be there, and they are going to play in the streets and never get hurt. "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof." Zechariah 8:5. Won't that be wonderful? Parents, have you ever heard squealing automobile brakes which made you freeze in your tracks? Then you ran to the window with your heart in your mouth to see whether your child was in the street? You have done that more than once, haven't you? But there will be no fear that your children are not safe in the new earth. And even when they play alongside the river of life, you are not going to be worried about them at all. They will not fall in and drown. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord." Isaiah 65:25.

Children are going to grow up there. The Bible says they will grow up as calves in the stall, and I think we adults are going to grow up, too. We will grow up spiritually and intellectually.

Now I'm going to say something that I can't prove from the Bible. I can't give you a text for this, so you just take it or leave it; but I think we are going to have a little trouble conversing with Adam in the beginning. He was made in the image of God, and our poor minds have become dull by the inherited tendencies and weaknesses of 6,000 years of sin. We will have to develop quite a bit to catch up with Adam, but we will learn quickly.

No doubt we will grow up physically, too. I'm sure Adam was a lot taller and stronger than any man today. The Bible says there were giants in the earth in those days. One man is described in the book of Genesis as being 10 feet tall. I can well believe that Adam and Eve were 12 or 15 feet tall. I believe the entire, final curse of sin will be taken away as we grow up into the image of God, as it was reflected in Adam and Eve. What a transcending thrill it will be to walk up to this great big giant of a man and put out my hand and say, "My name is Crews." Adam will put his hand down and look at me like a child and say, "Well, I'm Adam." I want to get acquainted with Adam.

Writing in the context of the end of all things, Malachi said: "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." Malachi 4:2. We often interpret this to mean that parents can watch their children grow into holy adulthood, but could it not also apply to all of us as we grow out of the stunting effects of sin? Although we cannot be dogmatic on this point, it seems likely that this could happen.

All defects will be left behind when we go there. In Isaiah 35:5, 6 we have a beautiful promise: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." One of the greatest joys will be to hear voices on every side saying, "I can see again!" and "I can hear!" and "I'm strong!" All the infirmities of old age will disappear forever and ever, and we will see only the bloom of eternal youth. Every mind will be keen and alert.

While living in India I often saw heartbreaking scenes of human suffering and human wretchedness. Beggars lined the streets in certain places - crippled, twisted in body and mind, leprous, and blind. Not even a memory or reminder of such an experience will afflict the inhabitants of this glorious earth made new.

The Bible says, "They shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31. With bodies that will never tire we may explore the majestic expanse of the City of God. It will take only a tiny fragment of eternity to traverse every street of that New Jerusalem with its 1,500-mile wall of purest jasper. Every square inch of this reconstituted planet will scintillate with the rarest beauty and appeal. Those who love to travel will find heaven a special place. The entire unfallen universe will be open to our study and observation. We will be able to visit the billions of exciting planets, solar systems, and galaxies that were never spoiled by the touch of sin. We may go where we like, stay as long as we please, and return as quick as a flash. Is anything more wonderful to contemplate?

Maybe you are interested in people, as I am. Have you ever thought of the joy of getting acquainted with folk you have read about in the Bible? In my library is a book in which a man tries to explain on a natural basis how Noah got all those animals into that ark. I can't quite understand the man who tries to explain it, but I would like to sit down with Noah and talk to him; wouldn't you? That is what we will do some day. We will be able to ask him about it and find out just how he did get all those animals in, and how they stayed for over a year.

Then, I have thought about Abraham and that terrible day when he took his own son, at God's order, to kill him on top of Mt. Moriah. Oh, what an experience that must have been for Abraham! I have tried to imagine what that father felt as he toiled up the side of the mountain, knowing that with his own hand he had to kill his beloved son. Someday I want to ask Abraham about that awful experience, and he will explain just what it meant when he was about to take his own son's life.

Then, I want to talk to the centurion who stood by and saw Jesus crucified - the one who said, "Truly, this was the Son of God." I'd like to know more of the details of that terrible day, wouldn't you? And, mothers, wouldn't you like to talk to Mary? Thirty years of Jesus' life we know nothing about. Wouldn't you like to ask Mary about Jesus as a child and as a youth?

Even in our wildest imagination we find it difficult to envision those special contacts with Bible characters we have learned to love and respect. Nevertheless, it is thrilling to anticipate how it will be when we actually meet them.

Unimaginable Beauty and Happiness

In 1 Corinthians 2:9 we are told, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Now, to me that is a promise without parallel. There is nothing quite like it in all the Bible. When it says that I have never seen anything to compare with heaven, that is great enough, because I have seen some wonderful things in this world.

I have visited many countries and seen things that I have felt to be absolutely unsurpassed. I saw the beautiful Taj Mahal in India. I have seen the towering mountains of Switzerland and the lovely tulip gardens of Holland, but heaven will be immeasurably more beautiful than any of those sights. Some of my friends went up into the vale of Kashmir, over the great passes of the Himalaya Mountains. I wanted to go there, too, while living in India but there was no opportunity. They tell me that nothing on earth can compare with those beautiful valleys!

Some friends of mine in Pakistan went out into the Shangri-La country of Hunza, and they told me about the placid lakes and the beautiful mountains. It sounded wonderful; but, listen - the Bible says we have never heard about anything that would give us even the faintest idea of what heaven is really like.

The text goes on to say that we have never even imagined the true beauty of it. It has not entered into the heart of man. I have a fertile imagination and I can imagine things that are just out of this world; but still the Bible says it won't even begin to approach the beauty and glory of heaven.

One of the most pleasing aspects of that holy habitation is that it will be a clean city and a clean country. "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:27. Can you picture an entire city, much less a planet, in which no foul smell of stale cigarette smoke will ever be known? In that day God will have a limitless universe where no chemical poison can exist. The golden streets will never know the litter of beer cans and tobacco butts. Defiling the body, defiling the air, and defiling the street will be unknown in God's royal capital city.

I grew up near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the noisome smell of tobacco hung in the air of those city streets. As one of the world's largest markets for the filthy weed, it exuded the familiar, permeating odor of aging tobacco. What a joy it was to get away from the area where so much natural beauty was negated by the miasma of nicotine pollution.

Later I responded to a mission call to India, and our family located in the beautiful city of Bangalore. After settling into our cozy rented bungalow, an east wind sprang up and we found out what lay on the other side of the red wall across the street. A tobacco factory! For a few more years we had to endure the unpleasant odor of the processed poison.

After returning to the United States I responded to an invitation to pastor a church in Louisville, Kentucky. Just as we crossed over the city line our nostrils were assailed by a very familiar smell. Tobacco again! But this time it was combined with the stench of fermented alcohol. Louisville, we discovered, was famous for its tobacco and distilleries. I am now convinced that there can be no real relief from these corrupting influences until I take up residence in that clean city of New Jerusalem.

We have alluded to many of the dramatic changes in life style that will mark those who inherit the new earth. We have tried to portray in human language the joy and delight of dwelling in a perfect environment, free from all sin and its despoiling influence. Each circumstance has been challenging and exciting. It makes us eager to leave this vale of tears as soon as possible.

Our senses are stirred by the prospect of such physical benefits as no sickness, no pain, and no death. Yet the very highest pleasure reserved for the redeemed will have nothing to do with their life style, their food, or their immortal nature. The sweetest delight of heaven will be to see Jesus face to face and to live with Him throughout eternity. What a prospect! To see the nail prints in His hands, and to open our minds to His own divine instruction in the science of salvation.

Now the question I want to leave with you is this: When that day dawns and the saints of God march into that city, will you be among them? Abraham will be there; Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Peter, and Paul will march inside the gates. When they are inside, will you be inside, too? We can make a reservation now if we so desire.

During World War II a lot of Americans were caught in Singapore, and even though the American government provided a means of helping them, they had difficulty getting out because of the vicissitudes of war. One day a very fine, well-dressed man walked into the American Embassy and said, "Book me out of here; I want to get out as quickly as possible." The ambassador said, "All right, where is your passport?" The man said, "I don't have a passport." The ambassador asked, "Aren't you a citizen?" He said, "Well, no, I really never did take out any papers, but I've lived there all my life. I have a business over there, and my bank account is there, and I love America. I'm an American." The ambassador said, "I'm sorry, but I can't do a thing for you. If you are not a citizen, I can't help you." The man went away sick with disappointment.

A little while later another man came walking in, dressed in old, shabby clothes. He spoke with a heavy accent as he asked to be booked up to leave on the next plane. The ambassador asked, "Where are your papers?" The man replied, "Here they are. I had them taken out just before I left America." And the ambassador put out his hand and said, "All the power of the United States government will stand behind you in getting out to safety."

Both of those men loved America very much. Both of them claimed to be Americans, but only one of them had his papers; only one had his passport. Only one of them could make a reservation. And you can make reservations if you want to, but you must be a citizen of that heavenly kingdom before you can do it. If you want to do it, you can make your reservation right now. When that day comes, you can join with God's people of all the ages and dwell in this beautiful city under the ideal conditions which we have described. You must not miss it.