It was a beautiful Sunday morning as we gathered to worship at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Jerry Abercrombie greeted the congregation and opened our service with prayer. Special prayers were requested for the Ebenee Munoz family, Jimmy, Bobby, Danny, Jim, Wes, Greg and Donna.
The adult Sunday school class studied Luke 22:7-20 in Sunday's lesson, "Remembered," taught by Rick Lett. It was the study of remembering Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, and the sacrificial death of Jesus when observing the Lord's Supper. Believers can look forward to joining Jesus for a great banquet in His Kingdom.
Linda Abercrombie read Job 23:10 and shared the devotional, "Testing." Satan likes to test the saints, but God is in control. All authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Jesus Christ. When we are tested or deal with temptation, remember that God will never let us down and will be there for us.
Tyrel Lett and Rick Lett served as ushers and collected the offering. Congregational hymns led by Karen Gardner included "Revive Us Again" and "Lord, Build Me A Cabin in Glory." We were blessed with special praise music from Jerry and Linda who sang, "Farther Along."
Our pastor, Brother Mark Hall, began God's message for us about heaven, "Heaven Week," in answering the question if we go directly to heaven when we die. He read 2 Corinthians 12:2-3 which talks about the third heaven. Brother Mark told us that the third heaven is the only one with Jesus where the presence of God lives through faith. As Brother Mark talked about heaven, he told us that "Heaven is a real place. More people talk about heaven than live like there is one." Brother Mark addressed when do we go to heaven? He read 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Luke 23:43 and Acts 7:54-60. He told us that there is a fine line between life and death and Jesus is on that line. "Before we cross the line, we see Jesus. When we pass from this life, we are immediately in the presence of God." He read Philippians 1:21-26, referring to verse 24 "Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you" and told us that we are still here because someone still needs us, not in a worldly sense but in a heavenly sense. "We never know how we affect someone in a spiritual way."
Brother Mark told us that we will know our loved ones in heaven. He referred to 1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." He told us that we think we see clearly, but when we get to heaven, we will see things we never imagined there were to see. "We will know each other. When we pass, we will be gathered with our people in heaven. We will be known as we are known." Brother Mark referred to Genesis 49:33 and Mathew 17:1-10.
Brother Mark told us that heaven is a place of perfection. "In heaven, there will be no sin, sorrow, suffering, death, disease and no doubts. Heaven is the presence of all that is good and the absence of all that is bad. We all have different ideas of heaven, but whatever it is, heaven is better than that. The Bible tells us that 'eyes have not seen and ears have not heard the beautiful things in heaven.' It will be greater than anything we have experienced or imagined."
As Brother Mark talked about who's not going to be in heaven, he read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. He told us that there will be those there who were formerly unrighteous if they have been washed by the spirit and saved. He talked about one group in the scripture, the idolaters, and told us those are the people who put a physical object ahead of God. "It is not just money; it could be anything. God doesn't mind us having things as long as we keep them in perspective. One reason for being in church today is to thank God for those things. He provided them for us and they are our blessings. However, your blessings can become a curse if you put them ahead of Jesus Christ."
As Brother Mark talked about how you get to heaven, he told us first you have to be registered. "Once you are saved, you are in the Book of Life in Heaven." He read Revelation 20:11-13 and verse 15 which says, "And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." Brother Mark told us that the Book of Life is in the palm of God's hand the day we get saved. "In the palm of God's hand is the only place you are safe. No one can take it from there." In John 10:28, Jesus says, "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."
Brother Mark told us that it is important to let our family know we are saved. "Just because someone you love isn't in heaven, is not a reason for you not to go to heaven. To get registered for heaven; you must be heaven-born to be heaven-bound. Only those who are born again by trusting in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary will enter into heaven. You only have to give your trust and heart to Jesus. It doesn't cost anything. Jesus has already paid the price. You never know when your number will come up. Are you registered?"
Our hymn of invitation was "Where the Roses Never Fade," and Wayne Emanuel gave the benediction.
We invite you to worship with us at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Worship service beings at 11 a.m. and Sunday school at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome. We are located three and one-half miles east of Noel just off Highway 90.
Opinions expressed are those of the author.