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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death? (6 of 6) – Carl Nunnery

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“Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death?”
Part 6 of 6
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Center, Farmington, MO

Let me give you some examples of weeping over death:

King David – wept over losing his friend (2 Sam 1:11-12)
King David – wept over Absalom (2 Sam 19:1)
Abraham – wept over Sarah (Gen 50:1)
Jarius – wept over his daughter (Mark 5:38)
Bathsheba – wept over her son (2 Sam 12:22)
Jesus – wept over Lazarus (John 11:35)

You see, we all mourn and wail, we all suffer the loss of what we had and shared with them on this earth.

Now, back to, “How can I be thankful on Thanksgiving with the death of my dad one day before Thanksgiving?” You might even say, “Who can find peace and hope or even joy in death?” It is only those who are joined by faith to the God of eternity, and they know they have eternal life. I take comfort in knowing my dad was saved, and I know where he is now. I know that where he is now my mother is there also. God joined them together in marriage and in Matt 19:6 it says, “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” They are together by his word. God has made his final union with them and joined them together once again in eternity with him and this is where I will be too!!! In paradise!!!

In closing: if you have read this and you have felt a change in your heart and you do not want death to come upon you and find you sleeping in darkness or separated from God and want to be brought nearer to God and want to be certain of your destiny and if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, I urge you to do so without delay. You can be certain of two things:

1. Jesus loves you
2. He is coming again!

When your time comes to die, the most important thing is not the grandeur of your funeral but the greatness of your life! We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future!!

God is the ultimate ruler of life and death (Deut 32:39). How you live now will determine how you will die then. Let me describe each day of life. Yesterday is a cancelled check. We can’t spend our life in yesterday! Tomorrow is a promissory note. We are not promised a tomorrow. If Christ comes now would you be able to cash this promissory note to heaven? Today – this is what you currently have (reality check). Do you have what God requires?

Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death? (5 of 6) – Carl Nunnery

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“Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death?”
Part 5 of 6
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Center, Farmington, MO

This is the Spirit of God used in different ways:

1. Spirit means “breath” (Judges 15:19; 1 Kings 10:4-5; Ps 33:6)
2. Spirit means “invisible” like wind (Job 7:7)
3. Spirit means “wind” (Gen 3:8 – cool of the day or breeze of the day; Ex 10:13 – constant wind; Ex 10:19 – strong wind; Jer 4:11 – gale force or tornado)
4. Spirit means “direction” (Jere 49:36)
5. Spirit means “life” in man (Gen 7:21-22; Eccl 12:7)
6. Spirit means “disposition” (Ps 32:2, 51:12; Josh 2:11; Ezk 12:7)
7. Spirit means “God’s spirit” or trinity (Gen 1:2; Ps 57:12; Isa 63:10-11)
8. Spirit means “angels” or non-material beings (1 Kings 22:21; 1 Sam 16:14)
9. Spirit means “enabler;” it enables man to do a job or quality of man (Deut 34:9; 2 Kings 2:9)

So you see, death does not have to be the end, it depends on the death your soul chooses. As a poet John Donne wrote, “One short sleep past, we wake eternally.”

Which eternity will you choose? Heaven or hell? Death will come as a physically first death where you will be raised in glory to eternal life. The spiritual second death is when the soul remains in hades/sheol (hell) to be tormented for eternity. When we die, we all face the physical first death (our body dying). It’s the second death, the spiritual death that we can avoid. The spiritual death is final!! Game over.

In Rev 20:15 it says, “Those names not found written in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire.” I added the lake of fire here to show the second death. In Matt 25:46 it says, “You will go away into eternal punishment.” The second death is the separation from God, cast into eternal hell fire, where the fire is never quenched, the torment is forever and you suffer for eternity. What that means is you are in a fire but not burned by the fire, but you feel the burning heat causing you torment. This is the second death that can be avoided by the Bible plan we talked about earlier. This is a free gift of eternal life through God’s son Jesus Christ. By accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are saved from that torment. Prov 14:32 says “The wicked are overthrown by their evil doing, but the refuge for the righteous is in their death. Stop and think about what the words Lord and Savior means.

Lord means creator and master over all.

And means he is both Lord AND Savior.

Savior means he saved us from the penalty of death (our salvation).

Jesus said in John 14:3, “I go to prepare a place for you and I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” What greater peace can one receive knowing where you will spend eternity and knowing you will be reunited with your loved ones! Best of all, you will be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our creator and savior who without him nothing would be possible.

So…how do you defeat death? Jesus did it for you! (1 Cor 15:54) “Death swallowed up in victory” (paraphrased).

So…how do you get to heaven? Through Jesus Christ! (John 14:6) “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

Remember, death is not an end, but merely a bridge to eternity that will be spent in one of two conditions:

1. In the presence of God, eternally in the new creation to come (paradise)
2. In the eternal contempt of God in a place so terrible the Bible calls it hell.

My friends, as you read this, the choice is yours to make – life or death. Make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior while the choice is yours to make. Don’t wait until death, it will be too late (hell will choose you!) Don’t let death and hell be your fate.

Jesus became our Savior by God, “who so loved the world, he gave his only son” (John 3:16). Jesus’ death on the cross was “freely” given.

What a free gift. That cost the most to give.

We are saved by the atoning blood in which he shed for our sins. Matt 26:28 says, “This is my blood poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins.” We are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Our salvation is as simple as A.S.K. (Matt 7:7).

A – Ask and you shall receive
S – Seek and you shall find
K – Knock and the door will be opened

Salvation is what you receive from the Bible plan I mentioned before. So you see, death does not have to be the end, and it does have to be “goodbye,” but should be, “I’ll see you later” in the presence of God in his paradise. Let me quote the Apostle Paul (1 Thess 4:13-14): “Do not be uniformed brothers and sisters about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope, since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.”

I’m not going to pretend to tell you that losing a loved one in death (such as a mother, father or child) does not hurt if you or they are saved, it does!! ! This is life, the pain is real, just as Jesus wept (John 11:35) over the death of his friend Lazarus of Bethany.

To be continued…

Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death? (4 of 6) – Carl Nunnery

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“Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death?”
Part 4 of 6
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Center, Farmington, MO

God knows all of our works good and bad, be assured that nothing is hidden that won’t be revealed on judgment day! In the story of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” in Luke 16:19-31 it gives us yet another answer to a popular asked question: Will you be able to recognize family and friends in heaven?

I will tell you with all certainty, yes you can! Not only will you recognize them, but speak with them as well! I’m going to give you some scriptures which reinforce this claim:

Luke 16:23 tells us when the rich man was in hades/hell he looked over the gulf and saw Abraham (recognized) by the side of Lazarus in paradise. The rich man was begging for water to cool his tongue (speaking) and in verse 28 the rich man wanted to warn his five brothers (memory) so they would repent, so they would not come to this place of torment.

Matthew 17:3. This is on the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus took Peter, James and John with him onto the mount. Jesus showed each of them his divine image, and they recognized Moses and Elijah who appeared with him and they were having a conversation (speaking).

John 20:19-29. Where Jesus appeared to the disciples. They were behind locked doors when Jesus appeared to them (vs 19). Jesus spoke to them (vs 25). The disciples said we have seen the Lord (vs 28). Thomas said, “My Lord, my God.” He recognized him.

John 20:16. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene outside of his tomb. When Jesus spoke to her Mary said, “Rabboni” which is to say “Master.” (spoke and recognized)

Now talking more about John 20:11-18 when Jesus first saw Mary, you recall in vs 15 Mary thought Jesus was the gardener. So why didn’t she recognize Jesus when he first spoke to her? This was due to Jesus’ new glorious body! This is the same new body you and I shall receive.

In Philippians 3:21 it says, “He will transform our vile bodies to be conformed like unto his glorious body.” This will be done at our resurrection from the grave. In Daniel 12:2 it says, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth (hades/sheol) shall awake, some to everlasting life (paradise) and some to everlasting contempt” (torment). In Psalms 49:15 it says, God will ransom my soul from the power of sheol, he will receive me.”

It is here in your grave, your body or the trinity of man separates (1 Thess 5:22). Let me explain the trinity of man. The trinity is made up of body, soul and spirit. The trinity goes back to creation in Gen 1:26 where it says, “God made man in his image.” This does not imply we look like God, but rather in a spiritual likeness.

In 1 John 4:2 it says, “God is spirit,” that makes us (man) a spirit because we are made in God’s image, the likeness of God. Let me describe how God made man according to his words.
Genesis 3:22 – “Body” – God formed man from the dust of the ground; 1 Cor 3:16 The body is called God’s temple.
Genesis 2:7 – “Soul” – man has become like one of us knowing good and evil.” The soul is defined as a human being. The mind and the thoughts.
2 Cor 5:8 – “Spirit” – God breathed into his nostrils, the breath of life” (our life); Romans 8:9 says, “The Spirit of God dwells in you.” 2 Cor 5:8 says, “Away from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

The body, soul and spirit have three separate functions: Man with his “body” contacts the physical realm. Man with his “soul” contacts the intellectual realm. Man with his “spirit” contacts the spiritual realm.

The trinity of man is: body – the temporary house or shell we live in; the soul – the individuality of a person (their mind/choice); and, spirit – the very life given to us by God.

We have an inward man and an outward man. The inward man is a spirit. The spirit has a soul, the soul lives in a body. The outward man is what can be seen (body). It’s just a house we live in. The body will die, but the soul of that man will continue to exist either in heaven or hell.

Man’s threefold being (Psalm 16:9) is:

1. Body = the body in which you are using is completed. It’s like a turtle that leaves its shell. There is no life left in its shell. The allotted time for its use is gone.
2. Soul = this is your mind, your thoughts, your personality. It identifies the person you are. Even though your body dies, your soul continues to exist in hades/sheol awaiting the rapture/judgment.
3. Spirit = this is what God gives us, the very breath of life. Upon death of the body, the spirit goes back to God who gave it.

2 Cor 5:7 “Away from the body, present with the Lord.”

Hebrews 9:28 “It has been appointed for us to die once, after that judgment.”

Body = in O.T. Hebrew means “soma;” in N.T. Greek means “chros”

The body is nothing more than the instrument of life. (Matt 5:29; Matt 6:22; Rom 12:1; Eph 3:6; 1 Tim 4:8; James 3:6)

Soul = in O.T. Hebrew means “pepes;” in N.T. Greek means “psuche”

The soul shows the person’s heart and emotions. (Gen 1:20; Gen 2:7; Lev 17:11; Ps 3:2; Ps 6:3)

Spirit = in O.T. Hebrew means “ruah;” in N.T. Greek means “pneuma”

God’s breath of life.

To be continued…

Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death? (3 of 6) – Carl Nunnery

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“Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death?”
Part 3 of 6
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Center, Farmington, MO

Paradise is for the saved in God’s presence. Paradise can best be illustrated by what Jesus said in Luke 23:43 when he told the other condemned dying man on the cross next to him, “truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus did not tell this man he would immediately be resurrected, neither did Jesus say he would immediately be in heaven. What Jesus promised him was he would in paradise, this is where Jesus would be also. This was the grave/hell (paradise) along with Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, waiting for the rapture or second coming or day of the Lord while in paradise! Without getting into a total slide away from the main topic of death, I do wish to expand further on “paradise” and just what this is and means for understanding.

The definition of paradise means “Heaven” a place of supreme happiness and extreme beauty (such as it was in the Garden of Eden). The Garden of Eden was a paradise, a heaven on earth because God dwelled there, it was a pure and holy place with no sin, no death, no sickness (Gen 3:3).

Paradise is recorded three times in the Bible; Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7. In each of these references, they refer to heaven. Paradise is also referred to as “Abraham’s bosom” in Luke 16:22 as a place of peace and hope.

The “Tree of Life” (Gen 2:9) that was in the Garden of Eden was in all truth of the word, in paradise, that is until sin entered into it, and because God does not permit sin in his presence and in his paradise where he dwells (lives), he cast the sinners (Adam and Eve) out of his garden paradise (Gen 3:23). In Rom 5:12 it says, “Death came through sin of one man and spread death to all.”

Obedience = life; Disobedience = death

God, through his son Jesus provided all mankind with a new paradise in Rev 22:2. In Rev 21:4 it describes this new paradise as a place where there is no more pain, sorrow, crying, darkness or death!! The tree of life will once again be made available to the saved and redeemed (bought back). In Rev 2:7 John writes, “To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat of the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.” How awesome is this promise of God?!!!

In Rom 10:9 it says, “Everyone who confesses with their lips that Jesus is Lord and believes in their heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Jesus himself said in John 5:24, “Anyone who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.” Proof of resurrection is in Matt 22:32 where Jesus said, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

As we continue in death, and what happens thereafter, we have learned that death is a natural end to human life, the body is in the grave, which is sheol/hades and is translated “hell.” I will now continue to explain further. Hell is like a big waiting room after you die, and if you know where you are going (the saved) you go directly into the paradise side of hell. If you don’t know where you are going (the unsaved) you remain in hell awaiting judgment. The saved alive on earth and those saved who have died waiting in hell (paradise) where they will be caught up in the clouds together and meet the Lord in the air, so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thess 4:17)

Many have a lot of confusion or misunderstanding about being saved or salvation, For instance, “What if I get saved but then sin?” Will I go hell (torment)?” You have to ask yourself, am I truly saved? If you are, that salvation can’t be lost.

My friends, our God is not a “one strike” and you’re out God! He is merciful and forgiving. God knows we are unable to be sinless in perfection. God does however expect us to recognize our sin and confess it to him, then the sin is removed and salvation is intact!

Isaiah 45:17 says, “Saved with everlasting salvation.”
Romans 1:16 says, “The power of God to salvation.”
Hebrews 9:28 says, “Christ bore the sins of many, them that look for him shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

This being said, being saved is not a free ticket to sin! We will all face judgment. The saved will stand before Christ and be judged for their deeds they have done in the body after being saved. The unsaved will be facing God on the great white throne (Rev 20:12).

The Bible says, “We are judged by the books.” In Rev 20:12 it says, “And I saw the dead, great and small standing before the throne and the books were opened, also another book was opened, the book of life, and were judged according to their works in the books.” Did you notice the words “books” is plural? This is because we are judged by three books.

1. The book of destiny (Ps 139:16) or The book of law (Galatians 3:10)
2. The book of remembrance (Ps 40:17) or The book of works (Rev 20:12)
3. The lamb’s book of life (Rev 21:17) or The book of life (Rev 20:15)

To be continued…

Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death? (2 of 6) – Carl Nunnery

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“Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death?”
Part 2 of 6
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Center, Farmington, MO

Look at these supporting scriptures…

1 Cor 15:2 “If Christ rose from the dead, how can you deny resurrection.”
1 Cor 15:22 “As all will die in Adam, we will be made alive in Christ.”
1 Cor 15:26 “God tells us our last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
1 Cor 15:42 “What is sown perishable is raised imperishable.”
1 Cor 15:44 “What is sown a physical body is raised a spiritual body.”
1 Cor 15:54 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

The resurrection of the Christian body, the scriptures foretold that Christ would be resurrected hundreds of years before it happened. Ps 16:10-11 and Isaiah 53:10-12. I can’t stress enough, it is through Jesus’ death and resurrection that it is our own “blessed hope” as pointed out before in Titus 1:2 and 1 Cor 15:4. In Rom 8:24 it says, “We are raised in hope.” The hope we receive through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection gives us our “hope” or our own resurrection and victory over death. Victory in Jesus!

Read “The Living Hope” in 1 Peter 1:3-4. At your death, your body is laid to rest in the ground where it is called your “grave.” In Eccl 3:20 it says, “We all go to one place, all from the dust, and all turn to dust again. “ No one goes to the grave and stays there. The body turns to dust, the spirit is what leaves the body. The grave is just an intermediate state between death and resurrection.

We are not asleep in the grave. We are awake. We are not suffering. We are in a disembodied state and disembodied state is awake and alert. Some call this state as being in “purgatory,” but not one time does the Bible mention anyone as being in purgatory. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, purgatory means an intermediate state after death for “expiatory” purification. The word “expiatory” means service to expiate and “expiate” means to give satisfaction for atone. What this is saying is while in purgatory or your grave you will atone for your sins (pay for your sins). For the saved, Jesus Christ has become our atonement for sins (Rom 5:11). For the unsaved the penalty for sin is death! (Rom 6:23). Once your body dies, your destiny is decided, not by God, but by yourself! I might also add, the Bible at no time tells us to pray for the dead. Why? No prayer for the dead will ever do any good because after death, your body goes into a final separation. Those who are now with the Lord from those who are with the devil. It is at that point you have made your own to bed to lie in, so to speak!

In the Old and New Testaments of the Bible the grave is referred to as “sheol” or “hades.” Sheol and Hades are translated words meaning hell. Some people thought hell was just an expression word to mean something bad and did know or believe hell was in fact a very real place of existence. Sheol and Hades (or grave), which are all translated meanings of hell. It is used as a place of conscious existence after death. It is an undesirable place for the wicked and a refuge for the righteous. So how can that be? Hell is a divided place for both and are separated forevermore.

For the “wicked,” Job 24:19 says, “Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters, so does Sheol and hell for those who have sinned.” As the “refuge,” Job 14:13 says, “O that you would hide me in the grave, that you would keep me secret until thy wrath is past. That you would appoint me a set ime [rapture] and remember me.”

Remember that Jesus was in the grave for three days before his resurrection. Jesus’ grave was a “tomb,” while most of us today are entombed in a coffin and placed in the ground. In Rev 1:18 Jesus says, “I am he that liveth and was dead, behold I am alive for evermore and have the keys of hell and death.” Jesus is saying those who have died, he will unlock the gate of hell (grave) and bring you out when he returns!

The grave is a place of conscious existence after death one side of which is occupied by the suffering (torment) the unrighteous dead, separated by a great chasm from the other side which is people by the righteous dead enjoying their reward.

Besides hell being a real place created by God, Jesus in his gospels talked more about hell than he talked about heaven. When you die, you enter into a “conditional state” of hell. As I have previously stated, hell is an intermediate state between life and death.

Hell is divided by what the Bible calls a gulf or chasm as it is recorded in Luke 16:26. This gulf is the dividing line of hell. This by being on one side a “hell everlasting” and on the other side a “paradise everlasting.” This gulf is described as being a great pit, an uncrossable divide, if you will. This gulf is only mentioned in Luke 16:26 in the story of “The Rich Man and Lazarus.” The rich man is in hell (torment) and Lazarus is in paradise (heaven).

To be continued…

Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death? (1 of 6) – Carl Nunnery

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“Death: What is Death? What Happens After Death?”
Part 1 of 6
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Center, Farmington, MO

What is death? Is it the end, or is it the beginning? Many share different views on this subject as to what death is such as it being the end of life or the beginning of life. In either case, the manner of death depends on two things: the condition of your soul and which spirit dwells in you.

Whether it is the end or beginning, it is entirely up to you. I will explain this more as I continue. The Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines death, a term which when applied to the lower orders of living things such as plants and animals means the end of life. With reference to human beings, however, death is not the end of life. The Bible teaches that man is more than a physical being. He is also a spiritual being. We associate death with a lot of: sadness, heavy heart, sense of loss, emotional distress, coping problems, state of confusion, and deterioration of existing family (drifting apart).

Death is a subject that no one ever wants to talk about. The word itself has an eerie sound about it, but, it is something we will all face whether it be our own death or the death of a loved one. Some even try to avoid the subject matter entirely. Either they themselves are afraid to die, or out of fear of losing a loved family member, to a downright “I could care less” attitude. Nonetheless, death of your body will happen! Death is an inescapable fact. Just as there is life there is death. The truth is, after your birth (physical birth) your body begins a dying process. Yes that newly developed body at birth begins to start the aging process and in this aging process, there are health factors that contribute to the length of life.

Let me ask you: “Have you ever thought about death?” “Have you ever thought about what happens after death?” The fact of the matter is, death is a sad and painful experience we endure when it’s someone you love. Most of our understanding is that when you die, you go to heaven. While that statement may be true in one respect, there is still yet another undesirable destiny. There is a lot to understand about what happens to the body after death.

The Bible teaches us (Eccl 3:2) “There is a time for every matter under heaven. There is a time to be born, and there is a time to die.” Through my study of God’s Word, and the pain I felt the day I lost my dear mother to cancer, and then again with the death of my dad one day before Thanksgiving, I learned just how real and painful death can be to lose a loved one. You might ask, “How can you be thankful on thanksgiving when you lost your dad the day before?” I will discuss this with you later. First, let me tell you what I do know about death.

Death can come upon us by:

Natural causes (age)
Accidental ways (accidents, acts of nature)
Violence (murder)
Medical sickness (diseases, infections)

What I do know about death is:

I do know death will not escape anyone. (Heb 9:27)
I do know death can happen anytime, day or night. (Luke 12:40)
I do know death can happen to the young or old. (Ps 89:48)
I do know death can happen in the blink of an eye. (1 Cor 15:52)
I do know death can happen to the saved and unsaved. (Num 16:29)
I do know death can happen in many different ways. (Hosea 13:14)

Whatever the cause of death may be, you can be assured of two facts: someone grieved over that death, and death is something we will all face at least once. Eccl 9:2 says, “The same fate comes to all” (our first death). I know the day before death comes (and it will). You better be ready for it!!

In Thess 5:2 it says, “The Lord will come like a thief in the night.” Just what is that saying? Let me explain it by quoting a bumper sticker I once saw. It read: Warning. On the day of Rapture this vehicle will be unattended. This is simply saying, when the day of the Lord comes (the Rapture) it doesn’t matter where you are or what you may be doing, he will take you at that very moment (without any warning) like a thief!

Yes, having an insurance policy and a burial plan are a great necessity that will relieve the burden on your loved ones left behind, but there is another greater plan. It’s the plan God gives us. It’s called the “Bible Plan.” You may have heard of this plan as I did at a young age. It goes like this…

B – basic
I – instructions
B – before
L – leaving
E – Earth

The Bible plan is also known as the “Plan of Salvation.” This plan tells us what we must do to be saved at your first death. In John 8:51 it says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” This means that even though your body may die, you shall live. Now you may ask, “After your first (physical) death can a person still die again?” Yes indeed!!

Death occurs in two different ways: Physical death – separation of life from the body (1st death) and Spiritual death – separation from God (2nd death). You may hear some say, “Death is death, You’re dead and gone forever.” To think this way you either don’t believe in God or you have never read God’s holy word. This thinking error goes against God’s word in Titus 1:2 where it says, “In hope of eternal life, that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.” So if you think that when you die you are dead and gone forever, my friends nothing could be further from the truth.

To be continued…

Living Proof – Lyndon White

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“Living Proof”
By Lyndon White
Farmington Correctional Facility, Farmington, MO

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to walk with Jesus as the apostles did? Just think getting to witness firsthand the teaching and seeing the many miracles that Jesus performed before their very eyes – the many healings, the feeding of the 5,000, calming storms, walking on water, and the list goes on. Think about being Peter and witnessing firsthand the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain as described by Matthew in Chapter 17. Imagine seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead in John Chapter 11.

One of my favorites is when Jesus walked on the water in Matthew 14, and also called Peter to “come (Matt. 14:29). So Peter not only saw the miracle but participated in it firsthand. So why would this Apostle who has seen so much during Christ’s ministry deny him three times? After all the teachings and miracles Jesus did, one would think Peter would never deny the Lord. Yet fearing for his life, Peter denied the Lord not once, but three times.

In Acts Chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost, who is it we see preaching to the crowd? It is the same Peter who denied knowing Jesus. So what took place that Peter went from denial to boldly preaching God’s Word, causing about 3,000 souls to be added unto them (Acts 2:41). This Apostle went forward preaching and doing many signs and wonders (Acts 2:43).

So what changed Peter? One obvious reason was the he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). I would like to point to an area that many overlook and fail to recognize the importance of. I speak of the 40 days prior to Jesus ascending to heaven. It was during this time Jesus appeared to the Apostles, to the women, to Thomas, to the two disciples on the road to Damascus, to over 500 at one time (1Cor. 15:6).

I believe that it was during this time Peter and the others finally understood who Jesus was. They now knew for a fact that Jesus had defeated death and is the Son of God. Why else would these men endure horrible beatings and death? As most legends have it, all the apostles except John were martyred. It is said that Peter was crucified upside down. That is a very significant change from the Peter who denied Jesus three times.

If Jesus was just a good man and was not resurrected, do you believe Peter would have made the change? Would the other apostles have also suffered horribly for a man? Now it is your turn. What do you choose to believe?

God is Good – William Walker

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“God is Good”
By William Walker
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

Today is a wonderful day just like any other day. However, sometimes we must ask the Father to give us the strength to overcome the temptations of Satan. The devil is so cunning he uses lost souls to keep us distracted.

I will be the first to admit that I have many imperfections that I struggle with everyday. However, I have learned that after the wilderness God has the power to change the tides. God is so amazing that he’s working in my life in so many ways.

I always had this vision in my head that not only God shall release me from prison but also help me form a new family. How was I supposed to do that? I receive this book entitled “The Meanest Man In Texas,” donated by Message Of Hope. The book is informative about the pros and cons of prison life. Here is Clyde Thompson, a young teenager sentenced to die in the electric chair, “got another body” in Texas and released from federal prison with the help of Julia Perryman.

This story spoke directly to my heart. It illustrated that you cannot give up despite what’s going on around you. Additionally it told that when you want to meet a suitable woman to come into your life you must make room for her. What good is having a relationship with someone when it isn’t based on trust, respect, understanding and compromising? I’d rather have a woman that will push me, motivate me and encourage me to carry out God’s mission as opposed to one who doesn’t care about my best interest.

Can you also pray that God heal my mind, body, soul and heart? I’m going through a tough time with immediate family members and I need all the help I can get big or small. Nevertheless, keep in mind that whatever God is compelling you to do he’s entitled to all the praise, glory and honor.

Getting Rid of Worries – Carl Nunnery

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“Getting Rid of Worries”
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Facility, Farmington, MO

Greetings my friends in Christ. My name is Carl Nunnery. I was in the Taney County Jail in Forsyth, Mo. I was facing a lot of time in the state of Missouri prison system. I was in jail there since 1-31-11 between being housed in two separate counties.

It was a long, difficult process preparing for this trial. At first, after being put into the county jail, I was bitter, worried and confused – three time bombs.

One night in my cell, I was lying on my bed when I thought to myself, “Where did I go wrong? What did I do to deserve this? Why am I here? Who can I talk to?”

As tears came down my face, the answers to my questions were clear. It was from the choices that I had made in my life I had chosen to stray away from God and his direction. This is why I was feeling so alone and worried.

I realized that when things were going well for me in my life, I failed to see the need for God. I thought I had things in control. I failed to realize the one who was responsible for the things I had in my life – God. I was a Christian, I thought. I believed in God but that was not enough. I later learned that even Satan believes in God. I drastically fell short. I realized I had to surrender all to God. I prayed a sinner’s prayer I found in the back of a Christian book that had been given to me. I asked God for his forgiveness and to take control of my life. God knew my prayer was from my heart. I read this prayer to God. The peace that came over me was like someone shaking the dirt out of an old rug. That quick, I immediately felt the change. I knew I was in God’s care and control.

Even though I sat in jail, knowing I’ve lost everything I had (wife, house, car, even my dog) I was now unconcerned or worried about it. This reminded me of a story I read in the book of Job. I learned that material things can be replaced. Trusting in and having faith in God for everything is the most important thing I could do.

At that moment, I was set free of my worry. I didn’t even care if they did send me to prison. God knows our destiny. I ask every day for God’s will to be done in my life, not mine. That means wherever I go or may be, it’s God’s will and purpose for me. Knowing that alone gives me an indescribable sense of joy, love and peace – and yes, even excitement. I didn’t realize God at work in my life fully until some other men in that jail kept asking me, “Why are you so happy?” I told them I didn’t have to worry about anything anymore. I gave that part of my life to God.

I told them Christ can give them this same feeling of joy, love and peace that I feel. It’s one thing no one can take from you and it’s free. God was showing His love and power of the blood through Jesus Christ, our Savior, in me for all to see.

Note: This is based on when I accepted Christ as my Savior on June 1, 2012. I could have added many things to show Christ at work in my life now, but I wanted to show the feeling I had when I accepted Christ into my life.

Hope and Faith – Stephen Wright

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“Hope and Faith”
By Stephen Wright
Kinross Correctional Facility, Kincheloe, MI

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” For a long time I wasn’t sure what that meant. I’d hear preachers and other Christians quote it but never really explain it. I’d always nod and say “Amen.” I mean it sounds like something a Christian should say so it has to be right. Yet while I’m saying “Amen,” in the back of my head I’m thinking, “I have no idea what that means.”

Then God spoke to my heart over that verse and lead me to dig deeper into the meaning of that verse. God told me, “The evidence of your hopes (desires) you don’t yet see is the substance of your faith.” Basically He just rearranged the words of the verse but it makes so much more sense. Still a little confusion, though, right? I mean, how can you hope or have faith for something that isn’t seen? Well, let’s go to Romans 8:24-25, “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”

If you’re hungry and want to eat, you go eat, right? But what if you want something like steak? If you don’t have any, you’ll go to the store and get one. You’re probably thinking what does this have to do with Hebrews 11:1, so let me explain. You desire steak, so you go to the store hoping there is steak. Once you get there and see steak, you stop hoping for it. Why? Because you see it! You don’t have to hope for it anymore, it’s right there.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Substance is something that is solid. It can be seen and substance also implies some kind of action. If you hope for something and have faith for it, you’re not going to sit around and do nothing. You’re going to act (in faith) and move toward that hope. Remember our steak illustration? You wanted steak, you hoped the store had some. So what did you do? You went to the store because your faith said the store has steak. You couldn’t see it, but you hoped the store had it and you had faith they did so you acted.

James 2:17, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” Some people use this verse as a way to say if you’re not doing anything with your faith, it’s dead and you’re not saved. That’s a very damaging, inaccurate interpretation of this verse. The word dead in this verse is from the Greek word ‘nekros’ which means inactive, inoperative, or useless. If you have faith but no works, your faith is useless for yourself, others, and God. You’re saved, but you’re not doing anything.

Remember this: The evidence of your hopes that you do not see is the substance of your faith. Whatever you hope for in God, your faith will help you move toward that. You won’t always be able to see it, but God will sometimes allow us a “glimpse” of our hope, something to strengthen our faith and keep us moving. So whatever it is you’re hoping for, reach toward it. Use your faith and act.