April 25, 2015

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THOUGHTS to get you THINKING about God, Jesus, Your Life & Eternity!

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“Celebrating Earth Day!” (a new heaven and future earth)

Earth - Earth Day

Earth Day bible verses:

Scripture Readings: Genesis chapter 1; Isaiah 64; 2 Peter 3; Revelation 21-22

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Key Bible Verse – Isaiah 65:17-18a (OT) “For behold, I create a new heavens a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create.”  Revelation 21:5-6 (NT) “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’  And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’  And He said to me, ‘It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”

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Download file: Word, Pdf

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Welcome all Earth Lovers and Enthusiasts.  Happy Earth Day to You – April 22, 2015!
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Who in the world doesn’t love earth??? Who on earth doesn’t love this planet!

Earth Day bible verses
Of all the billions and billions of galaxies and stars and planets and roaming rocks in space, we (science) have only discovered one that can sustain and empower human life –> Earth!

One thing we can agree on, whatever your faith-system (worldview) (creation or evolution), however you believe we got here, whether you believe you live on God’s green earth or a Big bang planet, this is a whiz-bang home for us.  Earth is big and beautiful yet small and systematic, durable yet delicate, forceful yet fragile, moving 1000 mph yet moving slow enough for us to stand still, gorgeous and grand, artistically scientific, evolving yet fiercely designed, simple yet complex, diverse yet interdependent, stable yet unstable, in control yet out of our control, stunning and soul-stirring, full of life and life-giving yet not eternal.  Yes, Earth is an amazing home for us, almost like it was built for our existence, almost like it was made for us and we were made for it.  Someone or something, sometime way before us, created it out of nothing, to be a home for our existence and enjoyment.  Unarguably, Earth has been ‘given’ to us.  Earth is a gift to us from Someone or something.  And, Earth is our responsibility.  Earth and everything in it seems to rely on us, our actions, our behavior, our stewardship.  No other species on earth (or other being in the universe) has been given the capacity and ability to care for Earth like we can.

Incredibly, for as long as we (humanity) have been on this Earth (at least 7000+ years), for all we know about this great home of ours, all the knowledge we have collected, yet still, we are just scratching the surface of all there is to know and discover about it.  So great is the sum of the details on how Earth and Us exist, we have endless things left to learn, including how to live, and how to extend life, and even, how to live forever.

Here is where we may part ways in our thinking.  The Bible says that God created the Earth and all that is in it, and that He created the Heavens and all that is in it.  And the Bible says that God created everything good, in fact, very good – Genesis 1:31 “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.  If you haven’t read Genesis chapter 1 recently or ever, may I encourage you to read it for the first time or read once again!  It is the first chapter in the Bible, and it is a beautifully written, thought-provoking passage.  Alas, we have spent much of human history studying, exploring, and trying to prove or disprove (explain) the outline of information given in Genesis 1.

I hope that as part of your Earth Day Celebration, you will take that challenge.

Here’s a summary of the science of Genesis 1 to get you started:

(3) Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. (6) Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” (9) Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. (11) Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the EARTH”; and it was so. (14) Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years, (15) and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the EARTH”; and it was so. (20) Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” (22) And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the EARTH.” (24) Then God said, “Let the EARTH bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the EARTH, each according to its kind”; and it was so. (26) Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.  Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the EARTH and over every creeping thing that creeps on the EARTH. (31) Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
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How do you believe Earth was given to Us?

Earth Day bible verses
Think thru the history of earth, and the history of the heavens, and the history of us.  Think thru the science of earth and heaven and everything in it.  Think thru the reason and purpose of why we exist.  Think thru the future and what it holds – the future of earth, the future of heaven, and most of all, the future of us.
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What is our purpose, our life, our end, our hope?

Earth Day bible verses
Earth Day is to be a celebration of who we are and what we have been given.  Let Earth Day also be a consideration of what is behind and what is ahead.  Think about it!  As perfect a place as Earth is for us, it’s certainly not perfect, is it?  As good a home as Earth is for us, is this as good as it gets?  As great as life is on this planet, is this life all that life is to be?

No!  According to the Bible, no.

You see, a Perfect God created this place to be perfect.  Our Good God created this world to be very good.  God made our world to be sustainable.  God meant our home to be lived in forever.  God never intended this Earth to end.  Sadly for us, we fell.  We (Adam and Eve and all the rest of us) fell away from a Perfect God, a perfect place, and a perfect way of life.

Paradise lost!

So lost, that according to the Bible, somewhere over the rainbow (Noah’s Flood), God made a promise to Himself, and God made a promise to us.  And the promise was this, Genesis 8:21b-22 Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.  WHILE THE EARTH REMAINS, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.”
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God said to Himself, “While this Earth remains, I will sustain it.”

Earth Day bible verses
After the Flood, God set our world in motion again.  God set the borders of its time.  And, God set the borders of our time.  Good for us, God also set in motion His perfect salvation –> a new way and a new plan to save us from ourselves, to save us from our inability to sustain ourselves, to save us from our inability to sustain this wonderful but broken world, broken home, broken Earth.

Psalms 74:12,15-17 For God is my King from of old, working salvation in the midst of the EARTH.  You divided the sea by Your strength.  You broke open the fountain and the flood.  You dried up mighty rivers.  The day is Yours, the night also is Yours.  You have prepared the light and the sunYou have set all the borders of the EARTH; You have made summer and winter.”  Psalms 29:10 “The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, and the Lord sits as King forever.”

Here is the hope; here is the promise!

The Creator of the heavens and earth, the King of forever, the God of old, is and has been working salvation  the midst of the earth for all these years – “while the Earth remains”.  Better yet, God has promised to us a new heaven and new earth, a new home and a new future, through this salvation of His.  The only thing that could be better than life on this Earth is a better life on a Better Earth.
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God has promised us a future Earth, a perfect Earth, where we can dwell once again with Him.

Earth Day bible verses
In the Bible, in both the Old Testament and New Testament, God wrote His promise down, so that while this Earth remains, we could prepare for the next.  So that, even in our lostness in this paradise lost, we could find salvation.

We can know our purpose, our life, our end, our hope!

And, we can know our future.

Old Testament

Isaiah 65:16-18a He (or she) who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth, and he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth, because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hidden from My eyes.  For behold, I create NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH, and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create.”  Isaiah 66:1-2,18,22-23 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool.  Where is the house that you will build Me?  And where is the place of My rest?  For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,’ says the Lord, ‘and this is type of person will I look on: him (or her) who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.  For I know their works and their thoughts.  It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see My glory.  For as the NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says the Lord, ‘so shall your descendants and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD.”

New Testament

2 Peter 3:1-18 “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”  For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.  But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH in which righteousness dwellsTherefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.  You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.”

Revelation 21:1-7 “Now I saw A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their GodAnd God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’  Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’  And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’  And He said to me, ‘It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  He (or she) who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son (daughter).”
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This Earth Day, you can know your future is secure!

Earth Day bible verses
You can know your purpose, your life cause, your new beginning, and your hope.  Let Earth Day become a celebration of who you are and what we have been given.  Let Earth Day also become a celebration of who you will be eternally (in Christ) and what is ahead – a Perfect God, a perfect place, and a perfect life in a new heaven and our future earth.

Happy Earth Day to You!

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Earth Day bible verses

“How to SURVIVE Death’s Sting!” (Jesus overcame death for us)

Survival Guide jpeg

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Scripture Readings: Romans chapter 5-6; 1 Corinthians 15; 1 Peter 1

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Key Bible Verses – 1 Corinthians 15:54b-55 “Death is swallowed up in victory! O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?”  2 Corinthians 1:9-10 “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, so we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us.”

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Download file: Word, Pdf

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Here’s how to survive death!

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
It’s why Good Friday is so gooooooooooood –> Jesus died so we could live!  There are two things in life that you nor I can overcome.  Death is one of them.  Jesus died so we could survive death. This is the good news of Good Friday –> how to put the ‘Fun’ back in your Funeral.

You see, you and I were created for life.  God made us for life.  In the beginning, God created life in us.  God literally breathed into us the breath of Life and we became a living being (Genesis 2:7).  Furthermore, God wrote eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiates 3:11).  God made us to live forever.  God never intended us to experience death.
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We brought it upon ourselves.

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
Our sin, our wrongdoing leads us to death.  We, each one of us, by our own personal choices, have sentenced ourselves to death.  It is us who created death in us.  Ever since ‘the Fall’, we’ve been falling apart.  God saw our ‘grave’ predicament, and promised that one day He would give Death a deathblow (Genesis 3:15).  Thousands of years later, in 30ish AD, God did exactly that.  God defeated death.  On the cross, and in the grave, and on the third day, thru His self-Resurrection, God triumphed over death.
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Jesus died, was buried, and rose again, so that we could survive death.

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
These are the events that we call Easter.  God promised both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, that through Him, and His salvation, we can escape death, we can be rescued from death, we can survive death, we can overcome death, and better yet, live forever with the One who made us for life!

Together, let’s take a look at ALL of the Old Testament and New Testament bible verses where God promised He would save us from death.
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Old Testament

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
Psalm 68:20 “Our God is the God of salvation, and to God the Lord belong escapes from death.”  Psalm 102:18-20 “This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.  For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary, from Heaven the Lord viewed the Earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death.”  Isaiah 25:7-9 “And God will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering [death] cast over all people, and the veil [death] that is spread over all nations.  He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.  And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us.  This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”  Hosea 13:4,14 “I am the LORD your God, and you shall know no God but Me, for there is no Savior beside Me.  I will ransom them from the power of the grave.  I will redeem them from death.  O Death, I will be your plagues!  O Grave, I will be your destruction!”  Amos 5:8b He turns the shadow of death into morning … the Lord is His name.”
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God promised one day that He would destroy death for us.

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
It is on Good Friday that God’s promise became reality.  Just before His death, Jesus promised that His death and resurrection would result in life for us, if we believe.
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The Gospels

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
Matthew 20:18-19  Jesus said, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify, and the third day He will rise again.” Mark 10:33-34 Jesus said, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles, and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him.  And the third day He will rise again.” John 5:24-29  Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.  For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself … do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth— those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 8:51  Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, he or she shall never see death. John 11:25-26  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He or she who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?
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Great question from Jesus –> Do you believe this?

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
Do you believe God’s  promise? Do you believe that Jesus came to die so you could live?  It’s God’s survival guide on how to survive death.  It’s God’s solution for recreating life in you and I.  His death = Our life.  If we believe.  How simple He made it for us.  It’s why Good Friday is so gooooooooooood!
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Jesus death can become your life!

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
It is through Him and His salvation that you and I can overcome sin and death.  You and I can survive death.
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New Testament

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
Acts 2:22-24 Hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God (Old Testament), you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death, whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”  Acts 13:29-30,34  “Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.  GOD raised Him from the dead, and He raised Him from the dead no more to return to corruption“. [see Psalm 16:9-11]

Romans 5:8-21 [excerpts]  “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life … for if by the one man’s offense (Adam) death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.  Therefore, as through one man’s offense (Adam) judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation and death, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life … so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:5-23 [excerpts]  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.  For he who has died to self has been freed from sin … now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him … for the death that He died, He died to sin once for all, but the life that He lives, He lives to God.  Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord … but now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-4,21-26,54-57  “Moreover, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which you are also saved … for I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures … now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death: “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  2 Corinthians 1:9-10  YES, WE HAD THE SENTENCE OF DEATH IN OURSELVES, THAT WE SHOULD NOT TRUST IN OURSELVES, BUT IN GOD WHO RAISES THE DEAD, WHO DELIVERED US FROM SO GREAT A DEATH, AND DOES DELIVER US.”

Ephesians 2:13-16  “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that He might reconcile us to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” [again see Genesis 3:15]  2 Timothy 1:10  “It has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.”  Hebrews 2:9-10,14-15  “We see Jesus, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons and daughters to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings … inasmuch then as we have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death, He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”  1 Peter 1:3-4,18  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you … for Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
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The Gospel – the Good News – is our Survival Guide to surviving death!

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
It is the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that gives us the hope of life.  It is this that makes Good Friday so great.  It’s how we put the ‘Fun’ back in our funeral.  Jesus died so we could live.  God’s promise to us remains secure, “Through Me, you will survive!”  Here’s the final chapter in God’s Survival Guide for surviving death’s sting – the last book in the Bible.
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Revelation 1:18  Jesus said,  “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.  And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
Revelation 2:11  “He or she who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says, he or she who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”  Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he or she who has part in the first resurrection, over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him.”  Revelation 21:5-8,27  “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.  And He said to me, “It is done (it is finished)!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him or her who thirsts.  He or she who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he and she shall be My son or daughter.  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death … there shall by no means enter the new heaven anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”  Revelation 22:17  “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”  And let him or her who hears say, “Come!”  And let him or her who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him or her take the water of life freely.”
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Do you have the desire to survive death?

Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
Jesus died to overcome death for us.

And if you will believe it, you will survive!

You will overcome death too.

And live with Him forever!
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O Death, where is your sting?

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Jesus overcame death sting bible verses
Read more on how to have Eternal Life:
“You Must Be Born Again!”

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Death Where Is Your Sting Bible verses

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Jesus overcame death sting bible verses