Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hell Is Real

Image result for images of Revelation 20:15

“Go to hell!” he angrily exclaimed.
“Where is hell?  Please… do explain.”
“Hell is here.  Don’t you feel the pain?”
If that’s so, what’s the Bible’s claim?

The Bible records there’s such a place,
For hope therein there’s not a trace,
Created for the Devil and his demons
And all who refuse God’s salvation.

Some scorn at the very thought,
Others mock reducing it to naught,
Many regard it with great contempt,
Following are reasons why they resent.

Of a loving God it doesn’t make sense,
For a short life span no fit recompense,
Such won’t be justice, just victimization
If God could stoop to such damnation.

What depth of evil could merit hell?
Somebody, please, I’m listening, do tell.
These are some, not by any means all
Reasons why hell’s a poor judgment call.

God must be vindictive to go to this length
To demonstrate His power and His strength
And then rate such as abhorrence for sin!
I wonder what could be the matter with Him.

How could God be loving and gracious?
How could God be merciful yet so vicious?
How could he be so holy and righteous?
How could an eternity in hell be just?

Listen up and I will tell you how,
Disabuse your mind of your ranting now!
Do not dwell on your semblance of truth,
Let’s go to the Bible and get the real proof!

The Bible does declare there is a hell,
In Matthew 13 we hear Jesus clearly tell
The wicked will be cast into a furnace of fire,
Later he spoke of torment that doesn’t expire.

Image result for images of Revelation 20:15
The book of Revelation keeps us on track,
Revelation chapter 20 verse15 to be exact,
Read of God’s judgment concerning the issue of sin
And regarding all who object to be united to Him.

Hell really comes down to a matter of choice,
Choose Jesus and the reason to rejoice,
He that chooses otherwise is already condemned
Because he has denied the Son the Father did send.

Bear in mind what God placed on His Son,
Who died in our stead and that work is done,
He murmured not but in humility bore
Our sins on the cross and opened heaven’s door.

Hell need not be an issue for anyone
That will come to Jesus and be reborn,
For he that comes he will in no wise cast out;
Hallelujah to the Lamb!  That one can shout.

Just like heaven is, hell’s a real place too
But it was not created for the likes of you,
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost,
The evidence was displayed on Calvary’s cross.

Think if you may what Jesus went through
To prepare a way of escape for me, for you;
How will you escape if you reject the Way?
Choose Christ now!  Do it today!

“Go to hell!” may not be so bad today
But there is coming a time when Christ will say
I never knew you, depart from me!
And hell will be yours for all eternity.

A word to the wise is sufficient they say,
Turn to Jesus now and no longer delay,
Today may be the last chance that comes you way,
No more opportunity when in the ground you lay.

Opinion and feeling do not alter the fact,
Neither does diplomacy nor any amount of tact,
Once in hell there is no coming back,
My brother and sister, time to get off that track.

Stewart Russell© 2015

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Sequel to God's Magnificent Best

Image result for images for the resurrection

As sure as the day follows night
Sunrise always follows sunset,
One is sure to follow the other
How beautiful can a sunrise get?

I suppose it’s one’s preference
That determines the winner,
Or perhaps what really follows
That decides which we prefer.

There is a sense of emptiness
As the sun disappears from view,
But joy comes in the morning
As we hail the day, brand new.

But how might we compare
The colours and their hues,
Bearing in mind the spectrum
With its yellow, reds and blues?

For every sunrise is distinct
And every single sunset too,
God the magnificent Artist
Paints them with colours true.

Maybe it’s the sunset’s splendor
Contrasting with the darkness
Or a yearning for a longer sunset
Before the parting brightness.
Maybe it’s the coming light
With that great anticipation,
That heightens the sunrise
Reminding of God’s creation.

For while I’m urged to remember
The beauty of the sinking sun
The brilliance of the sunrise
Is gone before the morning’s done.

The impressions of a sunset
Often linger through the night
But the radiance of a sunrise
Is lost with the brilliant light.

So my vote goes to a sunset
For it is clearly obvious to me
No comparison between the two,
The sunset’s a thing of beauty

But where is the satisfaction?
Is the choice I made correct?
Where is the sense of justice?
What is this feeling I detect?

Could it be that we the judges
Are clearly out of our league?
Or our personal preferences
Cloud the way we perceive?

So back to the drawing board
And back to the stated question,
Can the beauty of a sunset
Eclipse that of the rising sun?
Is there additional evidence?
Tell me where I should look,
“Yes there is,” I heard Him say,
“Look into my Holy Book.”

That God is the only Artist
Evidence from the Bible shows
He paints the sunset and sunrise,
From His hand each one flows.

The question now before us is,
Is He better at one, can you tell?
Certainly not must be the answer,
For God performs all things well.

With His deft strokes and artistry
He paints each sunset and sunrise,
Ever since the beginning of time
They sing the heavenly reprise.

Tell me, can God out do Himself?
Does perfect have a comparison?
He is the designer of them both
So a ‘dead heat’ is the decision.

But if justice has been served,
Why is there still this feeling?
I feel there is something greater
That the Holy Word is teaching.

Father, show to me the lesson
I should learn from all of nature,
Every sunset and each sunrise
Teach to me to what they refer.

And then His sun begins to rise,
His light shines upon my reverie,
The Bible documents God’s work
And reveals about the Almighty.

Neither of these works is better,
The sunset stands not on its own,
In that sunset the Saviour died
But his resurrection is the dawn.

Image result for images for the resurrection
That sunset was really not about
The sun’s departing radiance,
But was meant to be the herald
Of the Son’s uprising brilliance.

Even God could never exceed
His glorious magnificent best
When Jesus went to Calvary
And our hopes upon Him rest.

And so from the grave He arose,
We echo that triumphant song,
The sunrise we look for is coming
To the heavenly, believing throng.

O what a sunrise it’s going to be
When Jesus returns for you and me,
Goodbye Old World I’ll be out of here,
Will you join me in the land over there?

More than a sunrise or sunset, you see,
They both speak of an eternity to be,
Many will scoff at this mystery
But the promise will be a reality.
The work of God some don’t accept,
They spurn His love, His Son reject,
Creation’s story not fit for a school,
To believe in such one must be a fool.

Whatever shadows obscure the mind
The refusal of God is no excuse,
Those who reject recreation’s story
Are also them whom God will refuse.

Resurrection power has been revealed
In the form of the empty tomb,
He is not here but risen in deed
And now He asks us, “Is there room?”

Is there any room for the Saviour?
He conquered death and the grave,
And now he sits on heaven’s throne,
Why not accept him and be saved?

Good Friday evening and Easter Morn,
The sinking sun and the crack of dawn,
The crucified Jesus and the risen Christ,
All speak of the Lamb and His sacrifice.

Stewart Russell © 2014

Saturday, March 26, 2016

God’s Magnificent Best

Image result for images for barbadian sunset

Standing on the beach
Looking across the sea,
Feeling pleased as punch
As on a bun I munched.

The sun was sinking low
Setting the water aglow,
‘Twas a splendid sight
As the sky came alight.

My eyes held to the line
Separating sky from sea,
My mind on its accuracy
Showing God’s ability.

Artists try to illustrate
The beauty that they see,
But always falling short
Of God, His Majesty.

Yes, I was overwhelmed,
This work of the Supreme,
Captured my entire being,
This feast my eyes had seen.

It was absolutely fabulous,
Not that I could be a judge
Of the handiwork of God,
My eyes won’t even budge.

I stared in trapped oblivion,
I could not look away,
The view held my attention
There at the close of day.

I was frozen by its beauty,
In my mind I heard a voice,
Have your eyes seen better?
“No,” was my spoken choice.

My greatest desire that time
Was to be truly locked away,
With this rich phenomenon
I was viewing from the bay.

Then I attempted to analyse
This scene before my eyes,
I was aware of my limitations
And struck by God’s creation.

The many rulers it would take
To draw that straight horizon,
And the steady hand to make
It flow with such precision.

I thought of those great artists
Who then and in the past,
Had painted many a sunset
But this had all outclassed.

No doubt these artists too
Had given God much praise,
When in one such moment
Their eyes on a sunset gazed.

The colours were resplendent,
Their numbers I couldn’t count,
They cascaded in the ocean
And form a magnificent fount.

Even as the ripples danced
In the gentle evening breeze,
I stood transfixed in a trance
My attention God had seized.

Suddenly I wanted to scream
“God, you are so very great!”
But I contained my ecstasy,
Allowing reason to dictate.

Again came the inner voice,
“Must you dissect everything?
Won’t you ever understand
How much there is in listening?”

This was not for examination
But simply for me to enjoy,
I had wasted time in analysis
Now I felt like the errant boy.

In a moment the sun was gone,
The spectacle had disappeared,
And with it that thing of beauty,
At which I could no longer stare.

I knew I had missed that moment
When the sun had slipped away,
I had been caught in my analysis
That had worked to my dismay

Image result for images of the crucifixion
But in my depths of solitude,
That voice had said to me,
“That’s not my magnificent best,
For that, just look to Calvary.

That was a sunset too you know,
The disciples sure thought it so,
They too had missed the beauty
Of the blood for sin that flowed.”

God’s Son was on that cross
And for our sins He did atone,
‘Twas such a glorious sight
And Jesus did it all alone.

For God so earnestly desires
To paint upon every heart,
That picture of the Saviour
Today you should let Him start.

Just view that greater Light
As you gaze upon that scene,
See where Jesus hung in agony
There, you and me to redeem,

At his back was the sinking sun,
God’s Son silhouetted in its light,
For the disciples a horrid sight
But God was displaying His might.

Many have wondered at this
And have called it a mystery,
In the midst of apparent defeat
God had painted the victory.

Jesus cried out, “It is finished!”
Many thought it was the end
But the painting was that sunset
Before the sunrise God did send.
“That was my magnificent best,”
God said, the painting yet unfinished
Was marked “to be continued”,
As the Light would be diminished.

This sunset was really not about
The sun’s departing radiance,
But was meant to be the herald
Of the Son’s uprising brilliance.

God’s magnificent best was no sunset
That adorned that evening sky,
Rather, it was the life that Jesus gave
As that Passover evening drew nigh.

Good Friday evening and Easter Morn,
The sinking sun and the crack of dawn,
The crucified Jesus and the risen Christ,
All speak of the Lamb and His sacrifice.

Stewart Russell © 2014

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Not This Man

Image result for images for the crucifixion

“Not this man” was the boisterous cry,
“Give us Barabbas but let Christ die!”
They preferred a robber to God’s Holy Son
Whom they mocked and ridiculed for their fun.

“Not this man”, they shouted with intent
Blinded to the fact they needed to repent,
Under the curse of the law, death their wage
“Give us Barabbas!” They requested in their rage.

“Not this man” who came unto his own,
Creator of the world having laid aside His throne,
He came to his own but they received him not
“Give us Barabbas; Barabbas is all we’ve got.”

“Not this man!” Pilate heard their refrain
As they shouted in his ears again and again,
“So what shall we do with him the Christ?”
“Crucify him! Crucify him for his blasphemous vice!”

“Not this man!” The then world had renounced him
As in today’s world urged on by their sin,
Jesus the Christ was reviled and bewailed
While Barabbas an insurrectionist was publicly regaled.

“Not this man!” They cried then as also today,
“Give us Barabbas!  Give us our own way!
His blood be on us and on all our children.”
Pilate yielded to their cry and gave into them.

“Not this man” was the choice made by man
And yet it fitted in well with God’s divine plan,
Planned before earth’s foundations were laid
That the price for man’s sin by this man would be paid.

“Not this man”, rejection and approval agreed in one,
The darkness of night would soon give way to dawn,
Man’s rejection of Christ and God’s approval of the same
Redounded to man’s benefit, Glory to God’s name!

If not this man then who else can there be?
Who else, tell me can rescue you and me?
“Not this man” was the rant of a misguided crowd
But today this heart beats for Jesus unceasingly loud.

Do you still say “not this man” when ever he calls?
Are you still goaded on by man’s applause?
“Not this man” could come back to haunt you some day
If you continually refuse to let Christ have his way.

 "Not this man", he could not have done what they said,
"Not this man", who healed the sick and raised the dead,
"Not this man", they said give them Barabbas instead,
For me "not this man's" precious blood was shed.

"Not this man" has become the man on my throne,
"Not this man" has made my heart his home,
"Not this man" will rent the clouds as he comes again
And though undeserving with this man I shall reign.

Stewart Russell © 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Trinity’s Operation in Ephesians

Image result for images for Ephesians 4:-6
In one hope of your calling”; it’s in the Bible do read it
Even as ye are called” there’s “one body and one Spirit”,
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all
Who is above all and through all and in you all” the apostle recalls.

Verses 4 through 6 of Ephesians chapter four
Show three in operation; no less and no more,
One God, one Lord and one Holy Spirit that are co-equal
And are involved in much activity throughout the Bible.

The letter to the Ephesians is profoundly doctrinal
Written not only for them but also for us modern day people,
Throughout this epistle there is the Holy Trinity
Frequenting its message with unmistakable clarity.

Now turn with me to Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 18,
Time and again you’ve read this but had not really seen
That through Christ we have access by one Spirit to the Father
So that Father, Son and Spirit are prominently the theme.

 Image result for Ephesians 1:17

Let’s look at other references for the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Ephesians chapter 1 verse 17 is a verse of such merit,
Paul prayed that the God of Jesus, the Father of glory
May give revelation and knowledge in the wisdom of the spirit.

He also prayed to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
That he would strengthen us inwardly with might by His Spirit,
And that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith
Being filled with the fullness of God would be the believer’s limit.

Go and check verses 14 through 19 of Ephesians chapter 3
And you will see the Divine three-in-one operate in unity;
The Father grants that the Spirit would strengthen the inner man
And that Christ may dwell in our hearts; this completes God’s plan.

Consider “whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption
So “grieve not the Holy Spirit” as in Ephesians 4: 30 and 32
But “be ye kind one to another tenderhearted and forgiving
Even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”.

Image result for images for Ephesians 5:18, 20

Be not drunk with wine”…”but be filled with the Spirit
Giving thanks for all things unto God and the Father” commit,
All this “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” submit
Accordingly as Ephesians chapter 5 verses 18 and 20 depict.
The conclusion of this triune matter is so very clear to me,
It indicates God’s tri-unity in us and in Him our unity,
In the word of God we read of a magnificent mystery
But in our hearts, right there lives out a wonderful reality.

One God, Father of all, above all” speaks of the Father above,
He that is through all” speaks of the Son, God’s expression of love,
He that is in you all” the Spirit once descended like a dove,
And there you have the Trinity indwelling us yet in heaven above.

Stewart Russell © 2015