Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Wonders of the Millennial Kingdom: Who Will Rule

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Who will rule the earth during the Millennial Kingdom?

On June 25, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we discuss how wonderful life will be during Christ's thousand year reign. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3

Free of Satan

Vic: Nathan, last week you and I were talking about Jesus' coming Millennial Kingdom and you gave us a few scriptural references from the Old Testament. Unfortunately we ran out of time, so I would like to pick up where we left off by talking about all the wonderful things that await us in Millennial Kingdom. Can you tell us more about what awaits us?

Nathan: We can read specifically about the Millennial Kingdom in Revelation 20.

Before the Millennial Kingdom begins, Revelation teaches that Jesus will return to this earth at the end of the terrible time period of seven years called the Tribulation. Upon His return, He will defeat the Antichrist, the False Prophet, Satan, and all the evil armies under Satan's command.

Jesus will then hold a worldwide judgment. We can read in Matthew 25 about this Sheep-Goat Judgment. Those who have rejected Jesus and His salvation will be sent off to Torments to await Hell. Those who have survived the Tribulation and have accepted Jesus as Savior, they will live on into the Millennial Kingdom and have children. Jesus will set up this kingdom, which Revelation 20 reveals, will be for a thousand years.

That's about all the information Revelation 20 gives us, other than the fact that Satan is bound in the Pit. There will be no demonic activity at all for that thousand years.

Jesus Reigns

Nathan: Most of the description about the Millennial Kingdom can be found in the Old Testament, particularly in Isaiah and Micah. If I could read Micah 4:1-5, I think that will give us a really good description of what the Millennial Kingdom will be like. I'll be reading from the New King James Version.

"Now it shall come to pass in the latter days," this is the end times, "that the mountain of the Lord's house be established on the top of the mountains. And shall be exalted above the hills." In other words, Jerusalem will be the capital of the world and that's where Jesus will rule and reign, "And people shall flow to it, many nations shall come and say, 'Come and let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us His ways and we shall walk in His path." We know then that we will be able to see Jesus face-to-face during the Millennial Kingdom, and all the nations of the world that are made of up believers in Christ will stream to Jerusalem to hear Jesus teach.

Vic: Wow! That's really exciting.

Nathan: We'll finally get to see our Savior face-to-face, the very One who died for our sins. He will be our teacher directly, not just through the Bible, but by His own mouth. He'll live in His capital city, Jerusalem, which He's going to rebuild after the current Jerusalem is destroyed during the Tribulation. We'll get to listen to Jesus preach out of His Millennial Temple as well.

Vic: I'm just so excited!

Nathan: Yes, I'm very excited as well!

Back to Micah 4:2,"And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples and rebuke strong nations afar off," In other words, Jesus will be the government of the world. The time will be a theocracy. Jesus Christ will rule and reign from Jerusalem. We won't need congresses or senates or law makers, because we will have one Lawmaker, and the Lawmaker will be Jesus Christ ruling from Jerusalem.

No More War

Nathan: Get this, this passage explains how peaceful the state of the world. Micah 4:3 says, "And they shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." Pastor Vic, there are thirty-eight wars going on in the world right now. Can you believe that? 38! Right now a lot of the world's attention is on the terrorist group ISIS that's conquering Iraq, as well as Boko Haram attacking Christians in Nigeria. There are many other wars happening all over the world, but the Millennial Kingdom will be a time period without war. There won't be people building guns or knives or missiles anymore, for all the money that was spent on war will then be put instead into agriculture for creating crops and making peace.

However, we do read about one last war at the very end in Revelation 20. Satan will be released from the Pit, but we can get more into that later. Overall, for almost the entire thousand years, there will be no war on Earth.

Vic: That's awesome!

Nathan: Micah 4:4 teaches, "But everyone shall sit under His vine and under His fig tree and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken." The Kingdom will be a peaceful time on the earth. It's a time humanity has long been waiting so long for. It'll be a time when you won't have to fear getting mugged or shot or attacked, or worry about wars and economic failure. It'll be a time of peace, righteousness and justice.

Everybody's Evangelized

Nathan: Micah 4:5 reads, "For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of our Lord our God forever and ever." It'll be a time period when everybody will know Jesus as their Savior.

Vic: I love that prophetic quote, "In the latter days." We know that time period is coming, right, Nathan?

Nathan: Oh, yes. The latter days, the last days, the end times — these terms all relate to when we get to the end of the Church Age, which is the age we live in now, just before terrible judgments will come on the world. I'm referring here to the seven-year Tribulation. The Church, which are those of us who've accepted Jesus as Savior, will be raptured up off this earth before that Tribulation comes.

Sure, during the Tribulation many people will get saved due to the twenty-one judgments forcing them to take God seriously, but it still will also be the most terrible time in world history. But then, Jesus will come back at the very end of the Tribulation and He will defeat evil and He will set up His kingdom. That's the kingdom that Bible prophecy is always talking about.

There are five-hundred verses in the Old Testament and one out of every 25 verses in the New Testament that talk about Jesus' Second Coming. God therefore must really want us to know that Jesus is returning to set up His kingdom here on this earth.

Vic: Amen! Yes, God certainly does want us to know about the Millennial Kingdom.

In the second part of our discussion on the wonders of the Millennial Kingdom, Pastor Vic and I will delve a little into Isaiah 35 and 65 to see what it has to reveal about the Millennial Kingdom.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Views on the Millennial Kingdom: The Inhabitants

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Who will be living in Jesus Christ's Millennial Kingdom?

On June 18, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we discuss the different views concerning the Millennial Kingdom and a little on what life will be like during Christ's thousand year reign. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3

The People

Vic: Who is going to enter the Millennial Kingdom period, Nathan? Can you talk to us a little bit about that?

Nate: Sure. The Millennial Kingdom is the time period when those who have survived the Tribulation and who have accepted Jesus as their Savior will live on into the Millennial Kingdom to repopulate it. They'll have children who will also live in Jesus' Kingdom.

Those who rejected God during the Tribulation, say by taking the Mark of the Beast which is swearing allegiance to Satan, they when they die will be sent to a waiting place called Torments. There they'll await final judgment which occurs at the end of the Millennium Kingdom. This is the second judgment called the Great White Throne Judgment. That judgment is for the unredeemed who have rejected God. After the Millennial Kingdom, they will be resurrected. They will then face God to be sentenced in judgment. Because they haven't accepted Jesus as their Savior, their sins were never forgiven. And so, they fall under the punishment created initially for Satan, which is Hell.

Vic: We know that Hell is not what God had originally intended for Man.

Nate: Not at all.

Vic: That's why we encourage people to repent and come to the Lord today.

The Animals

Vic: Do you have descriptions regarding other passages concerning the Millennial Kingdom that you can read for us, such as there in Revelation 20, as we talk about the Millennium?

Nate: Sure. One of the most famous passages is Isaiah 65:25, "'The wolf and the lamb will feed together and the lion will eat straw like the ox and dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,' says the Lord." From that and other verses about the Millennial Kingdom, we know during that time period that the animal kingdom will no longer be attacking each other. That curse from Adam's sin that was placed on the people and the animals will be partially lifted. That's why we read in other passages where the child will be able to play with the cobra.

People always ask us why Lamb & Lion Ministries symbol is a lamb lying down next to a lion? Well, that's not the story in Isaiah 65:25. We read there about the wolf and the lamb. But, basically, the animal kingdom and the people kingdom will be at peace with each other and there will be no more killing. It'll be a time period of such peace that even the animals and people will be getting along.

Vic: I love that! Just think, that's the world God has in store for his believers. I can't wait to get there. There's still so much to discover about God's creation.

That's why we encourage people to keep their eyes on Jesus. He has wonderful things in store for you. The time is coming when we won't have to deal with death and the killing and the wars here anymore. Just the thought that a child will be able to play with a dangerous animal and it won't be carnivorous anymore, isn't that exciting?

No Wars

Nate: Yes, it is. And get this, in Isaiah 65:22 it says, "No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat." Did you know there are 38 wars going on right now across this planet?

Vic: Thirty-eight, wow!

Nate: Thirty-eight. We read about even today the horrors going on in Iraq and in Nigeria. Can you imagine living in a place where people beat their swords into plowshares? In other words, there won't be war during that time.

However, there will be a war at the very, very end of the Millennial Kingdom. Still, we're told in the Bible that most of the Millennial Kingdom will be a time of absolute peace. You won't have to worry about invaders, crooks and thieves stealing your stuff anymore. I am looking so forward to that!

Vic: That's so true. And the fact that animals won't be dangerous anymore amazes me. You hear about so many accidents today with animals biting people and children in their homes. But, a time is going to come when they are all going to be our pets, even lions, right? My family has a dog named Flower, but I would love to have a lion as my pet.

Nate: We'll just have to ask Jesus if He can give you a pet lion during the Millennial Kingdom. You can ride him up to my house.

Vic: That would be super cool!

The Whole Word

Vic:I also really want to encourage people to read the whole Bible and not just parts, because there's so much there. Sometimes we find Christians who skip Bible books here and there and only read one chapter or one book, and yet they never read through the whole Word of God. The whole Word of God is littered with prophecy, right, Nathan?

Nate: Yes, it is, as 31% of the Bible is God wanting us to know what is going to happen in the future. It's filled with Bible prophecy. When we flippantly say, "Forget Bible prophecy; it's not important." That's like saying 31% of the Bible is not important. All 100% of the Bible is important for our walk with Jesus Christ.

Vic: That's right. I've even heard Christians who say, "I don't really read the Old Testament. I'm more into the New Testament." But, Nathan, there are so many wonderful prophecies in the Old Testament.

Nate: Yes, and if you really want to understand the New Testament, you have to read the Old Testament as well because it's the foundation for the New. For instance, you wouldn't build a house without a foundation, right? The foundation of the New Testament is the Old Testament.

Vic: That's right. So, Nathan, what would you say to the individual who is not into Bible prophecy nor wants to know about the Millennium?

Nate: Like you said, Pastor Vic, the life with Jesus Christ starts by surrendering your heart to Him. In your heart by faith pray, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Jesus promises to give you the Holy Spirit as a guide in your life. You will walk with Him. You will have a new life. Your sins will be forgiven, and all the guilt will be gone. And, you can grab hold of the promise that Jesus is coming back for you to take you to Heaven before the Tribulation. He'll give you a life of peace and blessing during His Millennial Kingdom, and an eternal life with God in the New Jerusalem forever. That's exciting! You have an amazing life ahead of you, but you've got to give your life to Jesus Christ.

Vic: That's right, life begins with Jesus. Time goes so fast. That's why we want to encourage people. That's why we do these programs, because we want people to understand the love of God. Jesus loves you. That's why the Bible says in John 3:16, "That God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life." That eternal life is with Jesus Christ, and it's an absolute joy to have this relationship with Him.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Views on the Millennial Kingdom: It's a Wonderful Life

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

What will life be like during the Millennial Kingdom?

On June 18, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we discuss the different views concerning the Millennial Kingdom and a little on what life will be like during Christ's thousand year reign. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3

Life During the Millennial Kingdom

Vic: Do you know what's so exciting about Heaven? The fact that there's so much there that awaits us there. So many people have the mentality, "I'm a Christian and when I die I'll go to Heaven and just fly around as a spirit playing a harp forever." But, that's not what the Bible says, right?

Nate: No, not at all. The Millennial Kingdom to me is the most exciting part about Bible prophecy, and certainly the eternal state after that as well. The Bible, except in Revelation 21 and 22, doesn't give us too much information about what our eternal life will be like. However, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is talked about throughout the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament.

The book of Isaiah is a great example of a teaching on the Millennial Kingdom. Isaiah 65:17 says, "See, I will create new heavens and a new earth." Now that is not talking about the the New Jerusalem or the New Earth as in the eternal state, but it's saying that the Tribulation will trash the world so badly that when Jesus comes back He will have to rebuild the earth. He will set up Jerusalem as His capital city on the earth. He will revitalize it so that it's fresh and bright and clean again from the wars and ravages of the Tribulation.

Isaiah also says, "The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." In other words, our human history up to that point, which is filled with evil, strife and death, will totally be forgotten during the Millennial Kingdom.

Verse 18 says, "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people." From that we know that Jesus is going to set up His Kingdom in Jerusalem, which literally means the country of Israel and Jerusalem will be there during the Millennial Kingdom.

Vic: How awesome is that?

Nate: Isaiah says, "The sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more." Just think about that. All the suffering of this world will be gone. No more weeping and crying will be heard anymore, because we will know such joy in the Lord.

Vic: That's so cool! I pray people will understand what this means, because this is really something to be excited about. The time will come when God will wipe away every tear, and the world we will live in will be like nothing we've ever experienced. It's going to be so awesome and beautiful. This is why we want people to understand that this is what we are looking forward to when we talk about Bible prophecy. The Millennium is going to be a period where illness, sickness and war will be no more.

Nate: That's exactly right.

Another amazing fact about the Millennial Kingdom is that people's life spans will increase. The people who will populate the Millennial Kingdom are those believers in Christ who survived the Tribulation in their earthly bodies. They are called the Tribulation Saints. However, there will very few left after the Tribulation because the Antichrist — the one world ruler who is coming — will martyr many of them. But, after the Tribulation, there will be enough believers to populate the Millennial Kingdom. They will be in earthly bodies. Without all the sicknesses and diseases we have today, the populations will spread greatly.

We read in Isaiah 65:20, "Never again will there be an infant who lives but a few days, an old man who does not live out his years, the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed." We know from the Mosaic books that before the Flood the life spans of humanity were very long. Consider Methuselah. He lived to be almost 1,000 years old. During the Millennial Kingdom, humanity will live hundreds and hundreds of years again, just as in those ancient days.

Vic: That's so encouraging, and something I know a lot of people who understand the Bible are looking forward to. Just look at all the people today trying to extend their lives. They go through all kinds of weird treatments to try and prolong their lives.

Nate: But, you know we can't beat the elements. Every day we are blasted by radiation from the sun. The body just can't keep fixing itself all the time, so we age and get old. But, during the Millennial Kingdom, the life spans of the people will be how they once were.

For those of us who were Raptured before the Tribulation, that is you and me and all the believers in Christ, we get our glorified bodies as we go up to Heaven. During the Millennial Kingdom we will be in our eternal, glorified bodies. We won't age. We'll serve the Lord as teachers and administrators. We will be on the earth for a thousand years with all the people born during that time, teaching them about Jesus Christ.

Vic: That's so exciting that we'll get a new body. So, Nathan, when people get to Heaven and during the Millennium, they shouldn't be looking for a short Dominican like me who's balding, right?

Nate: Right, but I'd bet you'll have a full mane of hair then.

Vic: Oh, yeah, a full mane of hair, wow, Man! You're going to be totally transformed, too, right?

Nate: Hopefully I'll be a few inches taller. But, no, the Bible says that in the afterlife we will be recognizable. So, hey brother, you might look perfected, but I'll be able to look at you and say, "That's definitely Vic Batista." Maybe baldness is a big thing up there in Heaven. I don't know. Well, I'll still have my hair, by the way.

Vic: Oh, no, that's right. Well, we're going to have to touch on some of these topics on other programs about the Kingdom of God — the Millennium Kingdom — and the things to come because there's just so much to talk about.

God has a wonderful plan for your life, and it doesn't end here. When you come to know Jesus personally, true life just starts to develop and open up for you. And so, we want to encourage everyone that the main thing is that you have to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to have eternal life. That's where it all starts.

Nate: Yes, the key to life is having a relationship with Jesus Christ. That's why humanity was created. We were created to have fellowship with God. We can choose God. He made a relationship possible through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. Or, we can reject God and He will leave us alone, but we are still under the punishment for our sins, and that punishment is Hell. So, yes, life begins with Jesus Christ.

In the third and last part of Pastor Vic and my discussion on the views of the Millennial Kingdom, we'll continue our look at how wonderful life will be like during that time.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Views on the Millennial Kingdom: Four Main Interpretations

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

What are the main views concerning Jesus Christ's Millennial Kingdom?

On June 18, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we discuss the different views concerning the Millennial Kingdom and a little on what life will be like during Christ's thousand year reign. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3

Views on the Millennial Kingdom

Vic: Today's subject is going to be about the Millennium. I'd like to start off by reading 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 20:4-6. Nathan, could you read those passages for us?

Nate: Sure, Pastor Vic. Second Peter 3:13 is actually quite parallel to Isaiah 65, which I hope we can also get into because it talks a lot about the Millennial Kingdom. Second Peter 3:13 reads, "But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new Heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells."

Revelation 20:4-6 says, "And I saw thrones in which were seated those who were given authority to judge, and I saw the souls of those beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the Word of God. They had not worshipped the beast, or its image and not received its mark on their forehead or hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years was ended, this was the first resurrection. Blessed and Holy are those who share in the first resurrection, the second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for thousand years."

Vic: Those are excellent passages. We did a few programs earlier this month where we talked about the Day of the Lord, but we never got to talk about the Millennium and about what will be happening during that time. Could you explain the different views on the Millennium?

Nate: Sure. We talked about the Tribulation previously and about how it would be seven years of judgment coming on this earth, how God is going to deal with the corruption of human society, and how Jesus is going to come back at the end of those seven years to defeat Satan. We read in Revelation 20 that Satan is cast into a deep pit while his demons are likely sent ahead to Hell. So, during the Millennial Kingdom people will be sinning on their own without Satan there to tempt them along.

And we also read in Revelation 20 where it says it over and over that Jesus is going to set up his kingdom here on earth to rule and reign for a thousand years. This will really be an amazing time period.

We read so much in Bible prophecy about how terrible the future is going to be. It makes people scared of Bible prophecy because they get caught up thinking about the seven-year Tribulation. They forget that the real joy of Bible prophecy is knowing that Jesus Christ is coming back to set up His Kingdom. And, what an amazing Kingdom it will be!

Vic: That's awesome! I'm really glad that you mentioned the fact that Satan and his demons will be locked up, because that will be a time when people won't be able to say anymore, "The Devil made me do it."

Nate: You're right. Neither Satan nor his demons will be there during the Millennial Kingdom. It will be utopia—the perfect society—that humanity has been longing for. The 1,000 years will finally be made true when the Prince of Peace comes to bring peace upon this world.

You did ask me what other views say about the Millennial Kingdom. First, let me tell you where we get the word Millennial. It comes from millennium which means "thousand years". That then is where we get the title "Millennial Kingdom".

There may be lots of views about the Millennium, but just because they're out there doesn't make them all right. There can only be one view that's right, and that's the view of the Bible.

Historic Premillennialism — Some people take the view that is called Historic Premillennialism. That would be the view of the early Church Fathers. That's the idea that the Church would be here for a certain amount of time called the Church Age, or the Age of Grace, then the seven-year Tribulation would come. At the end of that seven-year Tribulation, Jesus would come back to set up His Kingdom for a thousand years. After the thousand years, we would enter the eternal state.

Historic Premillennialism is pretty much the view that people held for the first 300 years of Church history. They didn't think or write too much about the Rapture, so we don't really know what the Church Fathers taught in the way of the Church being raptured, or taken up off this earth before the Tribulation comes. The Historic Pre-Millennial view puts the Rapture at the end of the Tribulation when Jesus comes, which would be called a Post-Trib Rapture view today.

Amillennialism — Then there's view called Amillennialism. "A" means "non or not," so "not a millennium."

This view came about when people started spiritualizing the meaning of the Bible, especially back in Origin and Constantine's time. The view was brought into prominence by Augustine and the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.

They got so tired of waiting for Jesus that they decided there couldn't be a literal thousand year Kingdom coming after all. They thought we must be in the Kingdom right now, so it's not a literal 1,000 years. Thousand just means a general time period. Eventually Jesus will come back and we will all go to Heaven and that's all there is to it. So, they spiritualized the thousand years to mean absolutely nothing.

Post-Millennialism — Another view is Post-Millennialism, which was started in the 17th Century by Daniel Whitby. He believed that the Church was going to usher in a golden age, a thousand year kingdom of the Church, but not necessarily a kingdom for Jesus. No, the Church after it conquered the world for Christ would usher in Jesus, then was going to hand the evangelized world over to Jesus when He came back. Then we'd all go to Heaven.

The teaching had a huge impetus towards mission work back in the 17-1800's. I don't agree with the view that the Church is taking over the world and the earth is getting better and better. Just turn on the news and you'll see all the terrible things happening today. You'll realize that Post-millennialism makes no sense whatsoever.

Modern Pre-millennialism — The view today, which I hold as well, is called Modern Pre-millennialism. It's the idea that we are living in the Church Age now and that Jesus will come back to Rapture the Church and take them to Heaven, which will be the event which ends the Church Age. Then there will be a seven-year Tribulation period on the earth. At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will come back, He'll defeat evil, He'll set up His Kingdom for a thousand years, and at the end of the thousand years we'll move into the eternal state. That is Modern Pre-Millennialism.

These are four main views.

Vic: Yes, you and I hold to the Pre-Tribulational Rapture, Pre-Millennial view.

In the second part of Pastor Vic and my discussion on the views of the Millennial Kingdom, we'll look a little at how wonderful life will be like during that time.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Importance of Israel: Not an Apartheid State

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Why is it outrageous for our politicians to label Israel an apartheid state?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Jim Fletcher, the founder and director of a ministry in Arkansas called Prophecy Matters. Jim has been an author and book editor for many years, and when in the 1990's took his first trip to Israel to do some book research, he became hooked on the nation and people. Jim is now a strong advocate for Israel.

Jim Fletcher

Not an Apartheid State

Dr. Reagan: Israel is always being accused of being an apartheid state. What would be your defense of Israel on that?

Jim Fletcher: First of all, it's an effective political cudgel to use against Israel, because people want to make the comparison of them to South Africa in oppressing their citizens. But, in fact, there's no such comparison to be made. Israel is the only open society in the Middle East. There are Arabs serving in the Knesset and the Supreme Court. They work in Israel and hold high positions. The standard of living for a Palestinian in Israel is dramatically higher than it is in the rest of the Middle East.

Dr. Reagan: Certainly they are not practicing apartheid, because they have Palestinians living in their own land, whereas the Jews have been evicted from all of the Arab nations. Most people don't know that after the 1956 Suez War most of the Jews were ejected from Arab lands and given as little as a week to get out. All their belongings were confiscated. Israel ended up with millions of refugees.

Jim Fletcher: That's exactly right. A friend of mine, Lela Gilbert, wrote a book called Saturday People, Sunday People. In it, she talked about the fact that many people are unaware that Israel absorbed more refugees than the Arabs that left Israel proper.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, and the reason the Arab nations won't absorb Palestinian refugees is because they want to use them as a political pawn on the world scene.

Trading Land for Peace

Dr. Reagan: Another question I have is, what's your attitude about the current policy that the United States of America has forced on Israel. That's the policy of trading land for peace?

Jim Fletcher: That policy really goes back to the Johnson administration. All American administrations since Johnson basically have called for the "land for peace" scenario. It depends on the friendliness of the sitting president as to how much pressure is applied on Israel. The problem is that this process has gone on for so long that the pressure is now intensifying on Israel.

Dr. Reagan: The one who put the real hammer on them though was the first President Bush, because they had this influx of emigrates from Russia. In fact, Israel absorbed more people in about a two year period of time, which would be equivalent to the United States absorbing the entire population of France in a year's time. They were overwhelmed. And so, Israel went to the World Bank wanting a ten billion dollar loan. The World Bank said, "The United States will have to underwrite it." So, Israel came to the United States. The first Bush said to the effect, "Okay, tell you what, I'll underwrite it under one condition. You must go to the Madrid Conference and start trading land for peace." We're the ones who forced them to do that.

Jim Baker, who was the Secretary of State at the time, was one of the most anti-semitic Secretaries of State we've ever had. In fact, I think it was interesting that the very first thing he did after he ceased being Secretary of State was he arranged to have Arafat come to Houston, Texas and receive an honorary degree from Rice Institute. To me, that's like Hitler receiving an honorary degree.

Jim Fletcher: We make a mistake if we think that American leadership has always been friendly to Israel. In fact, it's often as you said — been very unfriendly. Our current administration has an unfriendly relationship with Israel at this very moment.

Dr. Reagan: Is Israel going to gain peace by trading land?

Jim Fletcher: No, obviously not. Look at former Prime Minister Sharon's decision to pull out of Gaza in 2005. He did that to curry favor with George W. Bush. But, the plain fact is that there's no amount of concessions that will satisfy Israel's enemies. The core issue is Arab rejection of Israel as the Jewish state.

Dr. Reagan: That's right. People evidently have forgotten history, because history has shown us that appeasement does nothing but whet the appetite of the aggressor. The Arabs just think, "Hey, if I pressured them into giving me that, then I'll just do it again and get even more."

The Arabs in the Middle East are following the plan that was developed a long time ago by Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat together. That plan was this. They schemed, "We'll never defeat Israel militarily, so what we'll do is we'll attack them diplomatically and we'll just keep making demands until finally we'll have enough land to launch a final attack."

Jim Fletcher: That's right. A lot of people are unaware that the Soviets schooled Arafat and Abbas in ways of attacking Israel diplomatically and politically. They literally brought them in and gave them a blueprint for how to do it. They basically said to Arafat, "Look, you are blowing planes up and you're killing people and there's blood on TV. You have to change your MO and become a freedom fighter." And, that's exactly what they became.

Dr. Reagan: Then you get Arafat receiving the Noble Prize for being the greatest terrorist of the 20th Century. This is just mind boggling to me that this happened.

Jim Fletcher: Yes, it is. It's as Isaiah said, "good is evil and evil is good."

Dr. Reagan: And that's where we are in the world today. We call good "evil" and evil "good."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Importance of Israel: Indefensible Borders

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

If Israel were to go back to pre-1967 borders, wouldn't that leave Israel indefensible?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Jim Fletcher, the founder and director of a ministry in Arkansas called Prophecy Matters. Jim has been an author and book editor for many years, and when in the 1990's took his first trip to Israel to do some book research, he became hooked on the nation and people. Jim is now a strong advocate for Israel.

Jim Fletcher

Indefensible Borders

Nathan Jones: If Israel were to go back to pre-1967 borders, wouldn't that leave Israel almost indefensible? There's only like a nine mile stretch between Tel Aviv and what would be Palestinian territory. To go back would basically be committing suicide, right?

Jim Fletcher: Yes, they would be strategically indefensible. Last year I was driving to the north part of the country and I passed Tulkarm, which is a Palestinian city, where a suicide bomber in 2002 had bombed a place in Netanya on the coast. Those two cities are so close to each other. It's a very narrow band and so the borders would be very indefensible. I'm afraid that a lot of our Western diplomats are aware of that.

Dr. Reagan: That reminds me of a funny thing that happened to me one time on a flight from Egypt to Israel. I had gotten on the plane and this guy sitting next to me saw me reading. He asked, "What are you reading?" I answered, "I'm reading about Israel." Then we got into a huge discussion. He said to me, "I just don't understand those Jews. I don't understand why they are so implacable. Why don't they just give the West Bank to the Arabs and be done with it and have peace." I asked him if he knew where the West Bank was because I sensed he didn't know what he was talking about. He confirmed it with, "It's the West Bank of the Nile."

Nathan Jones: What?! He actually said that?

Dr. Reagan: Yes, this guy had no idea where the West Bank was, and yet he was pontificating about the Jews needing to give that piece of land away. The West Bank is the very heart of their land.

Jim Fletcher: Yes, it's the biblical heartland. But, you are right, geographically people have no understanding how tiny Israel is.

Nathan Jones: We saw what happened when they gave up Gaza in 2005. It became a launching point for attacking Israel constantly, even to this day. Almost every day a missile comes flying over the border, and now for a second time Israel has had to go in and deal with the thugs who control the Gaza Strip with an iron fist — the terrorist group Hamas.

Jim Fletcher: Absolutely! Israel giving up Gaza imperiled Israel's southern population, and yet the illogic of what they do continues. If they make another concession by giving up the West Bank, we'll have the same Gaza scenario all over again.

Dr. Reagan: I like how Clarence Wagner who used to be head of Bridges for Peace puts it, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." The Israeli's keep doing the same thing over and over. For example, they release murderous prisoners thinking it'll make them okay with the Arabs. They'll understand they want peace. And, in 1967, the Jews took the Old City and immediately turned the Temple Mount over to the Arabs. They thought that would appease them, but the Arabs took that as a sign of weakness.

Jim Fletcher: As you rightly point out, there have been several times since the Six Day War that the Israeli's attempted to give back the West Bank, but the Arabs rejected their offer every time.

Dr. Reagan: In the year 2000 at Camp David, the most liberal Prime Minister in the history of Israel, Ehud Barak, who I think would have even given away his own shirt, said to Arafat like, "You can have it all. Everything you ever asked for. Here it is." Instead, Arafat got up, walked out of the room, and went back and started an Arab uprising. The reason for his odd behavior is because he knew if he settled for anything less than the annihilation of Israel, it would mean his own life at the hands of his followers.

Jim Fletcher: Mahmoud Abbas did the exact same thing in 2008.

Dr. Reagan: As Abba Eban, who was one of Israeli's greatest Diplomats once said, "The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity." Their own leaders have been their worst enemies. There is so much corruption there today.

Jim Fletcher: Absolutely, and he also called the shrunken Jewish state "Auschwitz borders."

In the fifth and last part of our series on the importance of Israel, Jim Fletcher why it's outrageous for our politicians to label Israel apartheid.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Importance of Israel: Palestinian Myth

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Is there really such a thing as a Palestinian?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Jim Fletcher, the founder and director of a ministry in Arkansas called Prophecy Matters. Jim has been an author and book editor for many years, and when in the 1990's took his first trip to Israel to do some book research, he became hooked on the nation and people. Jim is now a strong advocate for Israel.

Jim Fletcher

Stolen Land Myth

Nathan Jones: Jim, you hear from Palestinians and some Christian leaders that Israel stole the land that they now have. Is there any truth to that?

Jim Fletcher: No, there really isn't. In fact, Jews have been purchasing land from Arab owners for decades prior to the establishment of the state.

Nathan Jones: They historically got swindled in the process, too.

Jim Fletcher: The UN in 1947 voted to partition Palestine. A key plot point in this is that the Mandate Palestine included what is today Jordan. So, the Jews took the deal, but the Arabs rejected it outright, and now we have this Palestinian situation today.

Dr. Reagan: That's really one of the biggest lies told about Israel today — that they stole the land. First of all, it belongs to them forever. The Bible makes it very clear that God gave it to them. He said it was an eternal covenant. There's no ands, ifs, or buts about it. It was not conditional. The promise was unconditional. The Holy Land belongs to the Jews forever.

When the Jews began to come back in the early 1900's, there were only 40,000 of them in all of Israel. They came back to a land that nobody wanted. It was filled with malaria-infested swamplands. Almost all the trees had been cut down. There were only 17,000 trees left in the whole country. The Arabs laughed all the way to the bank as they sold them this land at exorbitant prices.

Also at that time, Arabs were not Palestinians. If you had asked an Arab living in Israel in 1900 what he was, he would have said he was a Syrian. The whole idea that "there was a Palestinian state before the Jews came back in and took all the land away from them" is a myth. There wasn't a Palestinian state at that time.

Nathan Jones: That would mean then that there's no such thing as a Palestinian at all, right?

Jim Fletcher: Yes. You're right. The nationality of there being a Palestinian is a myth. The Palestinians of today identify as such primarily after the Six Day War. When the Arabs realized they couldn't defeat Israel on the battlefield, they switched to political propaganda. The invention of the Palestinians has served them very well.

Another fact is that the Jews in 1948 took what in essence was only half of the land they have today because it was the best deal they could get. And still, the Arabs rejected the deal outright.

Dr. Reagan: What people need to realize is that in 1917 when the Balfour Declaration was issued, the British spoke of making Palestine a homeland for the Jews. At that time Palestine, as you pointed out, was all of Jordan and Israel. But, in 1921, the British saw the handwriting on the wall. They were discovering oil all over the place and they decided they needed to curry the favor of the Arabs. So, they gave two-thirds of what they had promised the Jews to the Arabs.

In truth, there is a Palestinian state, and it's called Jordan. 75% of the people who live there are Palestinians. The king, who is from Saudi Arabia, runs around with Bedouin guards because he's scared to death of his own people. So, there is a Palestinian state, and yet they keep saying, "We need a Palestinian state."

All that was left for Israel was a little sliver of land about 10,000 square miles in length, but then in 1947 the United Nations divided that in half. The Jews were doubled crossed twice, but still they said, "Okay, we'll accept it." On that day when they declared the existence of Israel — May 14, 1948 — the Palestinians could have declared the existence of their state. They could have had a second state ever since that time, right?

Jim Fletcher: They absolutely could have. What people don't realize is that there are 22 Arab states in the Middle East, all created out of artificial borders by the Western powers.

The problem in the Middle East is Arab rejectionism of the Jewish state. The single Jewish state that as Yasser Arafat said, "They want to push into the sea."

Dr. Reagan: Exactly! Their real goal is not the establishment of a second Palestinian state, but the utter annihilation of Israel.

In the fourth part of our series on the importance of Israel, Jim Fletcher will explain how indefensible Israel would be to go back to the pre-1967 borders.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Importance of Israel: To the United States

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Should the United States be supporting Israel?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Jim Fletcher, the founder and director of a ministry in Arkansas called Prophecy Matters. Jim has been an author and book editor for many years, and when in the 1990's took his first trip to Israel to do some book research, he became hooked on the nation and people. Jim is now a strong advocate for Israel.

Jim Fletcher

Reasons to Support Israel

Dr. Reagan: Let's talk about the political significance of Israel. Why should the United States support Israel, and not just from a spiritual viewpoint, but from a political viewpoint? Is there really any reason why we should support them?

Jim Fletcher: I'm glad you brought that up, because there are multiple reasons to support Israel. One would be that they are the outpost in the Middle East and a bulwark against Islamic terrorism. The Israel Defense Forces are extraordinary. Some people, such as the critics of Israel, complain about all this aid that we are giving to Israel, but in fact, we've received more from them in intelligence value. They are our eyes and ears. So, those are a few main reasons to support them.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, they are a great intelligence gathering operation in the Middle East. And, they are the only democracy in the Middle East. All the rest are dictatorships. For that reason alone, as the only bulwark of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, we should be interested in their survival.

Also, most people don't understand the degree to which they are democratic. For example, the way they treat the millions of Palestinians who live in Israel and who are citizens of Israel.

Jim Fletcher: If you talk to the average Palestinian, as I have many times, and you ask them privately where they would rather live, they will tell you Israel. The reasons are because their standard of living is much higher and they are not afraid of Hamas and groups like that. The Palestinian people themselves by in large prefer to live in Israel.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, but they don't want that known.

Jim Fletcher: You're right. It's a sticky situation for them to be in. The Palestinian Authority still controls those territories, so obviously it's a big problem.

Dr. Reagan: But, the Palestinians who live there who are citizens, which most people don't realize that there are Palestinians who are citizens of Israel, have all the same freedoms of the people of Israel. They have freedom of speech, they can run for the Knesset, and there are even members in the Knesset representing them. Just how many Jews are there in Arab parliaments? None.

Jim Fletcher: That's a very good point and it's one of the answers to the charges from the critics who say Israel is an apartheid state. The judge that sentenced former Israeli President Katsav to prison is an Arab Palestinian, but most people are not aware of that.

Dr. Reagan: No, not at all. In fact, as I understand it, the Palestinians in Israel today have all the same rights except one — they cannot serve in the military.

Jim Fletcher: That's right, but there is talk of the Druze in the north who want to serve.

Dr. Reagan: Oh, yes, they are loyal to Israel. They are serving as trackers for the Israeli army. In fact, the Muslim world looks upon them like the Christian world looks upon Mormons, as a cult that is to be despised, right?

Jim Fletcher: Yes. And again, when you talk to them privately you see a much different picture than what is portrayed in the media.

Dr. Reagan: Okay you've just given us some reasons why the United States should support Israel. One that you can't emphasize enough is not only the intelligence Israel provides the West, but the tremendous technical information they provide. These people are geniuses. They're developing all kinds of technology all the time that we want.

What about Christians? Why should Christians support Israel?

Jim Fletcher: Well, I think one of the reasons is to show people that God is sovereign and keeps His promises. If one doesn't sanitize the Jewish history from the Bible, then they won't understand that God is working through the Jews in history to bring history to culmination. We see the story of the Jews bleeds through in every page of the Old Testament in particular. And so, as I say often, an important subject to God should be an important subject to Christians.

Dr. Reagan: It should be, and yet, we find a great silence in the churches today.

Jim Fletcher: Yes, and we see that many Christians still have an interest, but the problem is the disinterest at the leadership level.

In the third part of our series on the importance of Israel, Jim Fletcher will explain why there's really no such thing as a Palestinian.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Importance of Israel: Focus of the Whole World

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Why is little Israel the focus of the whole world?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Jim Fletcher, the founder and director of a ministry in Arkansas called Prophecy Matters. Jim has been an author and book editor for many years, and when in the 1990's took his first trip to Israel to do some book research, he became hooked on the nation and people. Jim is now a strong advocate for Israel.

Jim Fletcher

Focus of the Whole World

Dr. Reagan: Why in the world is such a tiny nation, smaller than the state of New Jersey, such a focus of the world? If anything happens in Jerusalem, it's in the headlines all over the world the next day. Why is that?

Jim Fletcher: About 20 years ago I was listening to Dave Hunt and he basically said, "Because God said so." It's important to God and He intends to reveal Himself in the last days to everyone through the nation of Israel. Also, the story of Israel dominates Scripture which shows it's a big subject for God and therefore should be a big subject for us.

Dr. Reagan: When you said Israel is important to God, the thought suddenly popped into my mind that it's very important to Satan, too. Satan doesn't want certain things to happen in Israel, and he's certainly not very happy about the Jews being regathered.

Jim Fletcher: That's right. This all started with the Fall in Genesis 3. We see the drama played out all throughout the pages of Scripture right up through Revelation.

Spiritual Significance

Dr. Reagan: What's the spiritual significance of Israel? Why is it that so many Christians and Bible prophecy ministries focus on the Jewish people?

Jim Fletcher: The Lord said that He chose the Jews, not because they were greater in number or anything like that, but He choose them because He loved their fathers and intended to reveal himself through them. That's the foundational reason. He chose them for the establishment of His Word and to go forth throughout the world as a living example of God's redemption.

Dr. Reagan: I'd also add that through the Jews the world can bear witness to the many, many promises God made to them thousands of years ago which we are seeing come true before our very eyes today.

Jim Fletcher: That's right. Prophecy concerning the Jews today really dominates the pages of the Old Testament. For instance, look at the end of Deuteronomy. God tells Israel in quite astonishing detail exactly what's going to happen to them should they forget Him.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, He tells the fledgling nation of Israel that if they are unfaithful He would put certain curses upon them like teenage rebellion, divorce epidemic, loss in wars, economic problems, and loss of crops. Then He says to the effect, "If that doesn't bring you back to me in repentance, then the ultimate curse I will put upon you is you will be ejected from your land and you'll wander the earth for a long period of time."

Jim Fletcher: That's exactly correct. Like I say to people often, "What you read in the Bible is what you see in reality." And, what is utterly amazing, God in fact said that after many days He would bring the Jewish exiles back to their land in a second regathering. We are seeing that very thing happen today.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, God promised to bring the Jews back into the land a second time. And yet, many people say to me, "The regathering of the Jewish people from all over couldn't be a supernatural act of God because the Jews have never repented and are still in rebellion against God. So, why would He regather them?"

Jim Fletcher: They're saying that because they're reading Scripture through the lens of an anti-Jewish bias, which I think is the foundation for that kind of opinion. We know otherwise because as you often say, "The plain sense of Scripture is very clear."

Dr. Reagan: Yes, and to me what God is doing today as He brings the Jewish people back in unbelief is a magnificent illustration of His grace and mercy. They don't deserve it, they haven't earned it, but He's giving it to them anyway. The same could be said for us. What have we earned, or what do we deserve? The only thing we deserve is death, but God in His grace and mercy gave His Son to die on the cross for us and made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. And, what He's doing among the Jewish people today is a glorious illustration of the grace of God.

Jim Fletcher: I have some most fascinating conversations with people today who are critics of the return of the Jews. They'll often declare, "Those people aren't even religious." My answer is, "What would you expect them to be doing at this moment in history? They are exactly where they're supposed to be. God said He would bring them back in unbelief, physically to the land first, and then He would restore them spiritually.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, and that's exactly what's happening. One of the most remarkable Scriptures in the Old Testament is found in the book of Jeremiah where he says that when history is over and done with and the Jews look back on their history, they will no longer swear by the God who delivered them from Egyptian captivity, but they'll swear instead by the God who regathered them from the four corners of the earth. But wait, it's the same God, so what's he saying? He's saying that they are going to consider what's going on right now with the regathering to be a greater miracle than their deliverance from Egyptian captivity. We're witnessing that today! But, the average Church member has no idea how important it is or that it's even a work of God.

Jim Fletcher: That's right. They have no clue. There isn't much teaching about this in churches and most of the big ministries today purposely leave this subject alone. And yet, you're right, Israel's glory is ahead of her. They have a wonderful and marvelous future that the Lord is going to provide for them. We are so privileged to be able to watch it unfold.

In the second part of our series on the importance of Israel, Jim Fletcher will explain why the United States should be supporting Israel.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Heavenly Rewards: Longevity

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

Are heavenly rewards temporal or permanent?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Glenn Meredith, senior pastor for 30 years of Brookhaven Church in McKinney, Texas. Pastor Meredith is a very gifted communicator who is able to present the depths of God's Word in simple to understand language. Last fall he presented a sermon about heavenly rewards that deeply impressed Dr. Reagan, and so he was invited to share some of what he's learned about this topic.

Glenn Meredith

Temporal or Permanent

Dr. Reagan: Glenn, the most fascinating part of your sermon on heavenly rewards was the last section where you talked about whether or not these rewards would be something temporary or permanent. The traditional teaching has always been that the rewards are very temporary. You receive them, then you put them back down at the feet of Jesus to honor Him. That's it. You walk away and that's the end of your rewards. This imagery is based primarily upon one scene in the book of Revelation, where in chapter four it shows some elders in Heaven who have some golden crowns and they place them at the feet of Jesus.

Glenn, you shared your view of eternal rewards not being temporary in nature, and that really got me to thinking. So, I want you to share with us your thinking about how long our heavenly rewards last.

Glenn Meredith: That's always sort of been my understanding. It was certainly what I was taught, or at least what I kind of picked up through the years. That was we would get these crowns if we'd live faithfully and we'd be given a crown perhaps at the Judgment Seat, but then very shortly thereafter there would be this great worship service there in Heaven where we'd take off our crown and we'd casted it at the feet of Jesus. Then, from that point on, everything is just the same for each of us. We got nothing else going forward.

As I was reading the Bible, one day I'm looking at 1 Corinthians 9 where Paul is exhorting the Corinthian believers to run this race to win this crown. Paul says to them, "That the runners who runs in the games run to get a crown that is temporary, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." And so, while it seems a little strange that his whole point there is not to run for a temporary crown, if our heavenly crown was temporary, then that takes away some of the motivation I think of why we should strive for it. But, Paul says the opposite. H says, "You ought to run for this crown that will last forever."

Get over to 1 Peter 5 where he talks about the Crown of Glory that is given to faithful pastors and shepherds of the flock. It says, "When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, He will bring with Him a gift to you — an unfading Crown of Glory." That word "unfading" really means "perpetual" or "forever," and it's the same word that is used earlier in 1 Peter where he's talking about our inheritance in Heaven which is unfading and imperishable.

And so, I believe that the rewards are going to be permanent. I believe as you've already pointed out, Dave, that this authority that we're given to rule and reign is in the Millennial Kingdom, but He also says that we will reign with Him forever and ever in the eternal sate. That's why I believe this authority is permanent.

Dr. Reagan: What's wonderful to me is to think about the fact that we will have as he puts it, "the mind of Christ." I'm not sure what all that means as that's a mighty big statement, but it says we're going to have the mind of Christ. We'll be in glorified bodies and will be in such a state that we will not be the least bit jealous or envious of any other person's crown or any glory that is given to them. Instead, we would want to go up and hug them and say, "I'm so glad for you. It's so wonderful that you did all these wonderful things for the advancement of the kingdom." Isn't that wonderful to think of having an existence like that?

Glenn Meredith: Exactly! Think about how you feel when your children or when someone that you love excels or does something that is honored. You are happy for them. Well, I think that's how it's going to be in eternity. We are going to love one another there. We are all part of the same family. We are going to love one another, so I think that's exactly right. I believe rather than being jealous I think we are going to look and say, "Man, I'm just so blessed by you."

Dr. Reagan: I think in our fallen state right now that's very hard to imagine. We think we're just going to be consumed with jealously and envy.

Glenn Meredith: Yes, that's correct.

Nathan Jones: There's a beautiful scene in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia. It shows I think C.S. Lewis believed what you do, Pastor Glenn, that these crowns we're given we keep. You use them as acts of worship. You'll take them off and bow before the Lord, but then you put them back on.

There's one scene where the four children each get a crown and each get an area of the kingdom to rule over. They're beautiful crowns. The prop designers did such a good job making the crowns for the movie. You watch the kids put them on again throughout what is the remainder of the movie.

Because of the Bible's teaching on crowns, I believe we will continue to keep our crowns, because we are all living examples of God's workmanship through us for all of eternity. We know we don't get our rewards only to just give them back to Him, No, forever we are praising God based on the works that He did through us here on this earth. That's a heavy burden to bear, but it's also a wonderful burden.

Glenn Meredith: I really think what it all boils down to, therefore, that really what God says is that it really matters how we live our life now.

Nathan Jones: Yes, too true, amen!

Glenn Meredith: Too many Christians I believe are just sort of passing through this world and not really intentionally trying to make a difference in the world. They are not using those spiritual gifts that God has given them. They are not taking advantage of the opportunities that God lays before them. So, it's really important we get such a brief time. This life that we live is like a vapor that appears for a little while and vanishes away, and yet it has eternal ramifications. Not just where we're going to spend eternity, but really what our eternity is going to be like and the rewards that we will have matter. I believe the service that will be performed for Christ in the Millennial Kingdom and Heaven is all dependent upon how we live right now.

Dr. Reagan: I'm glad to hear you say that, because I was going to ask you to wrap up this particular section by saying, "What's the message?" Well, you just gave the message. The message basically is that once you begin to believe in what the Bible really says about rewards and what it really says about good works, you begin to be motivated even more than ever before to really get serious about being more than just a back pew Christian who sits there and absorbs and never does anything for the advancement of God.

Glenn Meredith: That's exactly right.

Dr. Reagan: Well, that's a tremendous message and I appreciate you sharing it with us, Glenn. I remember the day that you delivered it. I just got so excited.

I recommend people get a copy of this particular resource which is entitled Heaven: Its Nature and Meaning. It contains three programs that we did about Heaven that people have always been enthralled by, particularly one of the subject in there, "Will your pet be in Heaven?" We go into great detail about what all the Bible has to say about that, but people just love to watch that program. In fact, we have pets on the program. We even have a cat. I don't care for cats too much, but we had a cat so the cat lovers would be happy as well as the dog lovers.