IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED: "WHO IS GOD?" In deep, wide divergence from the worship of all other deities, Israel worshiped one God alone. He is the Creator of the sun, moon, stars, and all other existing realities, including angels and human beings. He is invisible, absolutely sovereign, utterly holy, all powerful, with unyielding righteousness, yet completely a God of compassion and mercy who enters into a covenant with all mankind who come to Him in faith believing in Him and the teachings of His Word. He is a God to be feared yet loved. He draws near to us, seeking our worship, obedience and fellowship. Scholars have estimated that God is at least 100 million times smarter than man, stating that this would be the minimum intelligence required to create something as complex as humans, along with all of the other living creatures and the environment of the earth and universe necessary to sustain life. God created all things so that mankind could exist as living being.
The purpose of the Bible, though written by men, is not to propound a philosophy of man. Its concern is exclusively man's relationship to God; not what humans are in themselves, but rather what they mean to their Maker. It conveys the truth that mankind was made for fellowship with God. In contrast with the lower animals, humans have a unique relationship with God.
YOU ARE A SPECIAL CREATION OF GOD! Mankind is a special creation out of a special deliberation of God. "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...'" (Genesis 1:26). There is nothing like this proclamation elsewhere in the account of the beginnings. Humans were to be special, unique, and different from all other earthly creatures.
Nowhere is there even a hint that this truth applies to the creatures lower than man. That is why God gave mankind "dominion" over all the other creatures. Although humans are similar to other creatures in their physical life, they are not the same in their spiritual nature. Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created man in his own image..." That completely distinguishes man from all other creatures. That is why we have intellect, a reasoning power far above all mere animal instinct and intuition.
The mind of an animal cannot reason beyond instinct. The human intellect can reason, know, and grasp realities beyond Earth, time, and
sense; and can contemplate the spiritual, eternal and divine. That is the difference in nature. Those attributes of human intellect are not something which we merely have more of than the lower animals; all creatures other than mankind are absolutely without them.
Humans have a moral consciousness. We are God-conscious beings. We can know God, respond to Him, and commune with Him. The lower animals cannot. The most exhaustive animal psychology has never found the faintest hint of either moral awareness or awareness of a Supreme Being in animals.
You have been uniquely made in the image of God. You are special to Him. You have a special personality unique in all God's creation. He loves you deeply! So much that He literally had His son die for you so He could fulfill His desire to have you spend eternity with Him in a place He has prepared for all His creation, a place called "Heaven."
The Bible knows nothing of extinction-the idea than when the body dies, the human soul also is extinguished. The Bible's teaching of a coming resurrection, and the warning of a coming Judgment Day, all imply that the departed are still alive.
Humans were not meant to die as they now do. We were created to live. And, although mankind fell away from God due to the tragedy of man's sin, the Bible presents God's hope of restoration. It teaches very clearly that when we part from life on Earth, the soul, the spirit of man, the real person continues to live in a places of consciousness.
Paul says that "...the things which are seen (here on Earth) are temporal; but the things which are not seen (in the beyond) are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:18 KJV). It is here on Earth that we are among the short-lived; it is there in the beyond that we will find abiding realities.
When Christian believers die, there is an immediate transportation into the Savior's presence, which is to Heaven "...to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (II Corinthians 5:8 KJV).
In Heaven, the wonderful bodies we have on Earth will be the same in structure, yet they will be altogether different in texture, instead of being perishable, they will be imperishable.
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