Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. When disaster strikes with a vengeance, Americans strike back with generosity. Thanks to your monetary donations, the Salvation Army is there from the very beginning and remains until the healing is complete, serving the physical and emotional needs of disaster victims and emergency responders.
Give today at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or SalvationArmyUSA.org and help the Salvation Army continue doing the most good. Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Bernie Dake.
And I'm Cheryl Gillum. This is our final episode in this series, We Believe. It began on January 9th, and we're studying the 11 doctrines of the Salvation Army with our friend, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Starrett. We want to say thank you again to Dan for sharing this series with us.
We know so much work goes into a study like this, and on behalf of our listeners everywhere, thank you for your time, your passion, and your talents. Especially for those of you who are not members of the Salvation Army that we call Salvationists, we pray that the series has been an eye-opener to you, learning more about the Salvation Army as a church. We'd love to have you come and join us for worship. And so we invite you to visit SalvationArmy.org to find Salvation Army Corps or the Salvation Army Church that's near you, and we'd love to see you there. And don't forget to join us next week on Words of Life as we begin our new Easter series. God bless you.
We'll see you then. If you're enjoying Words of Life, we want to invite you to check out another show brought to you by the Salvation Army. The Holiness Podcast is a monthly Bible study with Lieutenant Colonel Vern Jewett. This show is a deep dive into the scriptures, studying with the Word of God says about holiness. With each episode, there is also a corresponding study guide.
Listen wherever you get your podcasts or visit SalvationArmySoundcast.org. Welcome to our continuation study of the doctrines of the Salvation Army and how they apply to our everyday life. When we come to our last doctrine, doctrine number 11, we believe in the immortality of the soul, in the resurrection of the body, in the general judgment at the end of the world, in the eternal happiness of the righteous, and then the endless punishment of the wicked. Doctrine number 11 is a discussion of heaven and hell and of last things.
Let's look at what some of it addresses. It addresses, for example, that every human ever born will live forever somewhere, that everlasting life is for the just and the unjust, that all bodies ever born of every person who ever lived on earth will be resurrected. It teaches in the general judgment of all believers, that is non-Christians at the great white throne of judgment. And those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb will be in eternal happiness.
And then six, those who have rejected and never accepted or did accept and then rejected it will be in the endless punishment of the wicked. In this last session, I would like to try to focus on the key principles of the doctrine of last things. The Christian belief in life after death depends upon your and our belief in the resurrection. The teaching of the resurrection tells that God has the last word, not death, that Jesus conquered death and so will the redeemed.
We need never fear death, as death has been beaten by the resurrected life of Jesus Christ as we celebrate at Easter. While the current heaven and earth will pass away, every human ever born will be resurrected to either heaven or hell. There is no end of eternal happiness. That's forever. There is no end of eternal punishment. That's also forever. There are no second chances or do-overs.
There's no praying and pleading or begging. The minute you breathe your last breath, a series of events are put into place. One, sinners remain in the grave awaiting resurrection to the general judgment at the end of the world. Their rejection of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and by their lives they will be condemned to endless punishment.
And guess who is the judge? Jesus, not God. The Jesus that they so rejected, cursed, said square words in his name, live lives of sin or just without Christ will stand before Christ. Watching their own lives, words, and actions condemn them to endless punishment.
We seem to think the wicked are, quote, not really bad people, or maybe they're just a little bad, but that is simply a lie of the devil. Those who don't know Christ and live a life pleasing in his sight are wicked people, and they are included with all the others whose lives have not been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb to endless punishment. And they will stand before the wounded hands, side, feet, and head of Jesus and know why they were not chosen for everlasting life. Number two, this doctrine talks about a discussion of heaven. When the believer breathes his last breath, they immediately are with the Lord and begin eternal life of the eternal happiness of the righteous.
That is, those redeemed by the blood of Jesus the Lamb. But our life with the presence of God starts when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, and then begin a life pleasing in his sight. Eternal life comes after death. Everlasting life starts now. We don't have to wait till we die to have a relationship with God again because of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
We can have it now. Death for the believer is never an end. It's just a new beginning of eternal life with Jesus, living forever with our redeemed loved ones, and in the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, in a new heaven and a new earth. Not this old heaven and old earth trying to make it new or make it better, but a brand new heaven and earth, not spoiled or degraded because of sin. And God's going to make it for us. It is not a popularity game or how many times you went to church, read the Bible, helped somebody, gave money, worked a church.
It's all based upon accepting Christ as our Savior and Lord and living a life pleasing in his sight. We will be held accountable. Some think that because they did get away with something once and nothing happened, that everything will work out in the end. But the Bible is careful to say, be sure your sins will find you out. This is no joke. This is no game.
This isn't a fear tactic. It is the day of the Lord as told to us in Joel chapter 2. So where does all this judgment, accountability, and day of the Lord come to? It all comes down, folks, to heaven and hell. The Bible is very clear about heaven and hell.
Cartoons and comedians and Hollywood have always and will continue to make fun of heaven and use hell as some sort of joke for bad people. Jesus spoke more about hell than any other person in the New Testament. He described it and does everything he can to warn us about what happens and will happen in the end times.
He was trying to do everything he could to warn us to accept his sacrifice and live a life pleasing in his sight so that we can enjoy the endless happiness of the righteous. But as the doctrine focuses on last things, it is both a message of hope and it's a message of warning. The return of Christ briefly mentioned in doctrine number 10 right at the end where it says, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Doctrine 11 deals with those events after our death or after Christ returns, but we look forward to the second coming of Jesus and his thousand-year reign on the earth. While there are differing views about the time of Christ's return, the sequence of these events, where they are on a timeline before this or after that, they all agree that the King of King and Lord of Lords is coming again. When he does, the Bible describes that a significant number of events will take place.
Bible prophecy will reinforce that the Bible is the only book of any religion that has made and continues to make clear predictions that are coming true every day. We should be looking out the window to see if Christ is coming. As a church, the Salvation Army is deeply and eternally concerned for the lost, the redeemed, the unbeliever, and those going to hell. We are concerned about those who once knew Jesus as Savior and Lord but have turned their back and backslidden. We want to shout from the mountaintops those who have never heard of Jesus' saving grace or to call those back to repentance who once knew the Savior. We look forward with great expectation to the trumpet call of 1 Thessalonians 5, calling us to meet Jesus in the air and forever be with the Lord.
So what call are you listening to? Man's call of empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from spiritual powers of this world, or are you listening to call from Christ? Are you listening to call from the wisdom of the Father or from the ways of man? Are you listening and responding to the sacrifice and atoning blood of Christ?
Are you listening and sensitive to the infilling of the Holy Spirit documented in the Word of God, not man? So what's our last pick and choose? Is it the message of hope or is it the message of warning? The eternal happiness of the righteous or the endless punishment of the wicked? One way or the other, you'll have chosen or it'll be chosen for you. You can't play the game of an old rock and roll song that said, I swear there ain't no heaven, but I pray there ain't no hell.
There is a heaven and there is a hell and at the last breath, the decision is done. I pray that you've enjoyed these brief times as we've looked at our doctrine and how they relate to our life today. May God continue to richly bless you as we focus our attention on His Word and our life in Christ.
God bless you. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support.
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Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake, inviting you to join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life.
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