For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Come My LORD! Take Me Home!

I really enjoy this song called "Take Me Home, Country Roads," but the song makes me long for my home in heaven with Jesus, not in West Virginia :) 

I wrote some new lyrics for the song to express my desires, which are really the desires of every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ:

There in heaven, I'll see Jesus!
Fullest pleasures, joys forevermore!
Life is true there, more true than my pain!
Greater than my sorrows, forgotten memories!

Come my LORD! Take me home!
To the place, I belong!
There in heaven, right beside You!
Take me home! Come my LORD!

All our sadness, will be untrue!
Death is banished, joys will be greater!
Love and dancing, all our tears are gone!
Perfect peace is given, sin is cast away!

Come my LORD! Take me home!
To the place, I belong!
There in heaven, right beside You!
Take me home! Come my LORD!

I hear His voice in the morning hour, He calls me!
The Word of God reminds me of my home far away!
Reading in His Word, I get a feeling!
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday!

Come my LORD! Take me home!
To the place, I belong!
There in heaven, right beside You!
Take me home! Come my LORD!

Come my LORD! Take me home!
To the place, I belong!
There in heaven, right beside You!
Take me home! Come my LORD!

Take me home! Come my LORD!
Take me home! Come my LORD!

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain . . . My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better." Philippians 1:21, 23

". . . so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him." Hebrews 9:28

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

"'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" Revelation 22:20

To know how to make it to heaven - which is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to the Bible alone, all for the glory of God alone - please watch "American Gospel: Christ Alone."

And meet me in heaven!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

"That's My King!" Who Calls Us Into Membership Of The Local Church!

Jesus Came To Save His Bride
The Church He Loves And For Her Died
Then Rose So She'd Be Purified
He Calls Us One So Don't Divide
Join In Membership Abide
Love And Serve And Die To Pride
And Sacrifice For Jesus' Bride
For When You Love Her Side By Side
You're Loving Christ He's Testified
And God Is Praised And Magnified!

That's my King! Do you know Him?!

"That's My King!" Who's Risen And Reigning Over The New Year!

He's the LORD Who creates something new!
He created the new moon!
He's the new King like no other!
He's the Rock Who rules over every new god under the sun and will certainly and finally destroy them all!
He so strong He can't be bound by new ropes or anything else new or old in the universe!
He provides new garments for all of His people, bright and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb!
We shall sing to Him a new song, for He is worthy, and He has done great things!
He shall put a new song in our mouths - for He is God and Man Who died on that cross and rose from the dead, never to die again!
He gives us new friends who will stick closer than a brother!
He grants us new growth in godliness like none has ever seen!
He is that one reality Who is new under the sun - the Eternal God taking on human flesh and dwelling among us!
He's the new thing God now declares to us!
He's the new thing God is now doing in our midst - He's made a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert!
He alone grants new life that lasts forever and ever, for He alone rose up from the dead!

That's my King! Do you know Him?!

He will grant His people who overcome and conquer a new name that will last forever!
He will create a new heavens and a new earth where the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind and all that is sad shall become untrue!
He's the New Gate through which we must pass to inherit salvation!
He's the New Gate Who alone grants salvation - the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one can come to the Father except through Him!
He has made the new covenant a reality where God has put His law within us and has written it on our hearts. He is our God, and we are His people. He has forgiven our iniquity and remembers our sin no more!
His steadfast love never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is His faithfulness!
He gives us one heart, and a new spirit He puts within us. He removes our hearts of stone from us and gives us hearts of flesh, that we may walk in His statutes and keep His rules and obey them. And we shall be His people, and He will be our God!
He puts more joy in our hearts than when our grain and new wine abound!
He ushers in the new world where the glory of the LORD will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea!
He was laid in a new tomb, but death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him!
He is risen! He is risen! He is risen indeed!
He brought new teaching with authority - He commanded the unclean spirits, and they obeyed Him!
He's the New Wine that would burst old wineskins!
The new covenant was ratified by His blood!
He gave us a new commandment that we should love one another - just as He loved us, we also are to love one another!

That's my King! 

He gives new life in the Spirit!
He makes us pure and holy, set apart for Him. We are a new lump, for we really are unleavened. For He is our Passover Lamb Who has been sacrificed!
If anyone is in Him, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!
By faith alone in Christ alone, neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation! 
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, Who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility!
He enables us to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness!
By His perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection He grants us to walk in newness of life!
He empowers us to put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all!
In Him, by Him, and through Him we have confidence to enter into the holy places by His blood, the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water!
He's the mediator of a new covenant that is better than all the other covenants combined!
He makes possible the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, where there will be no more death, no more sin, and no more sorrow, and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes forever!
We will sing a new song to Him, saying, "Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals, for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and You have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth!"
He is making all things new!

That's my King!

He's the new and better Adam!
He's the new and better Ark!
He's the new and better Sacrifice!
He's the new and better Law!
He's the new and better Word!
He's the new and better Passover!
He's the new and better Deliverer!
He's the new and better Judge!
He's the new and better Prophet!
He's the new and better Priest!
He's the new and better King!
He's the new and better Temple!
He's the new and better Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the World!

That's my King! That's my King!

I wonder if you know Him today?!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

"That's My King!" Who Was Born As A Babe But Will Return As A Lion!

Isaiah told us 700 years before He was born that He would be conceived in the womb of a virgin!
And just like God said, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary!
He's Immanuel, which means God with us!
He's the child Who was born, and the Son Who was given!
His name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!
His name is Jesus for He did save His people from their sins!
The mighty angel Gabriel announced His coming into the world!
The impossible is made possible through Him!
He's worthy of all our songs of praise!
He's the Mighty One Who has done great things!
His mercy is from generation to generation!
He's scattering the proud!
He's toppling the mighty!
He's satisfying the hungry with good things!
And sending the rich away empty!

That's my King!

He has visited us to provide redemption for His people!
He is the Horn of Salvation raised up to save us from our enemies and all who hate us!
He'll bring us the knowledge of salvation and forgiveness of our sins!
His light is going to shine in darkness!
He's the Light of the world!
He upheld Caesar Augustus by the Word of His power so he would send out a decree that would determine His own birthplace!
The Prophet Micah declared the exact place of His birthplace hundreds of years before He was born!
The wicked Herod would try to kill him, even as a young child!
The beautiful, bright star would shine over His presence in the world!
Angels spoke of His glorious appearing!
Shepherds rejoiced in the coming of the King!
Yet no room was found for Him to be born in the inn!
No bed was available where He could lay His head!
He was homeless!
He was laid in the feeding trough of a cow!
He was wrapped in cloths and laid in that stone trough!
Later He died, was wrapped in cloths again and buried in a stone tomb!
But three days later He rose up from the dead and burst out from behind that stone rolled over the entrance to that tomb, never to die again because He conquered death forevermore!

That's my King! I wonder if you know Him today?!

His glory is magnificently shining!
Good news of great joy for all people is being proclaimed!
A Savior Who is Christ the Lord is born!
Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth!
The shepherds are preaching about the glory of my King!
All who hear them are amazed!
Mary is treasuring and meditating on the wonders of her Son!
Wise men are seeking Him!
The star He created and upholds by His own power that can't compare with the brightness of His glory is leading them to the Savior of the universe!
They shower Him with royal gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh!

That's my King!

Though wickedness is abounding, He will be victorious!
Though sin had no remedy, He will make all wrongs right!
Though Herod was killing all the little babies, He will cause all baby murder to cease!
Though mothers wept then, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes!
Though fathers were stunned and stumbling in disbelief, He will recover all sanity and stability!
Though there was no peace, He will restore peace on earth like none has ever seen!
Though there was no justice, He will cause righteousness, justice, and the glory of the LORD to cover the earth as the waters cover the seas!
In Him, hope is born!
In Him, salvation has come!
In Him prophecy has been fulfilled!
In Him, God has become man!
Yet He's the Sign Who will be opposed!
And a sword will pierce Mary's heart!
Because His cross is coming!

That's my King! Do you know Him?!

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation!
Glory to the new born King!
He rules the world with truth and grace!
See within a manger laid, Jesus, Lord of heaven and earth!
Oh come let us adore Him!
Let every heart prepare Him room!
And go tell it on the mountain!
That Jesus Christ is born!

That's my King! 

But He's not a baby in a manger anymore!
He lived a perfectly obedient life!
He never sinned at all!
He loved perfectly!
He served perfectly!
He did all that His Father asked Him to do!
And then He died on that cross and endured the fury and curse of Almighty God toward sinners!
He died and was buried!
But on the third day He rose from the dead, conquering sin, death, and hell once and for all time!

That's my King! 

He's the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!
He's going to return to make war on all His and our enemies!
People will cry out for the mountains and rocks to fall on them to shield them from the wrath of the Lamb!
He's coming back riding on a white war horse!
He's coming back wearing a robe dipped in blood!
His name is The Word Of God!
The armies of heaven will be with Him!
He will have fire in His eyes and a sharp sword coming out of His mouth!
He will strike down the nations!
He will rule them with a rod of iron!
He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty!
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: "King of kings and LORD of lords!"

That's my King! That's my King!

Are you ready for the return of the King?!

Do you know Him?!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Go To Hell!

Go to Hell! by Lieutenant Colonel Art Athens, United States Marine Corps Reserve was originally published in the April 1997 issue of Command magazine, Vol. 46 No. 3, by Officers' Christian Fellowship of the United States of America, Englewood, Colorado. Reprinted/used with permission. For information on OCF:

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels . . . ." (Matthew 25:41)

How do you react to the title of this column? Are you offended, shocked? Don't we strive to avoid saying these three words? From the mouth of a [mere] human being, they are profane, blasphemous speech. There is one person, however, who has both the authority and power to pronounce this judgment on a man or woman.

Jesus Christ claimed this right when He spoke to the disciples about the fate of the unsaved on Judgment Day. He said they will be sent "into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Jesus, the King of kings, will one day justly and authoritatively proclaim, "Go to hell," to those who have rejected Him as Lord and Savior.

We, on the other hand, may commit sin by expressing this condemnation indirectly - as when we fail to show interest in the eternal destiny of those whom God places in our paths. If we are unconcerned about their salvation, are we not saying by our silence, "Go to hell"? Why, when we know the way to heaven, don't we seek every possible opportunity to proclaim this "good news" to others?

Nine years ago, while attending a week of refresher classes, I struck up a relationship with a Marine captain sitting next to me. Our friendship grew, and I sensed by the end of the week that I should share the Gospel with Steve. I hesitated, and failed to tell Steve about Christ's sacrifice for him. My silence really communicated, "Steve, go to hell." About two weeks later, Steve lost his life in a helicopter collision over the Arizona desert. I grieved over Steve's death and my own impotence as an ambassador for Christ. I reconsidered my view of hell, my compassion for the lost, my approach to praying for the lost, and my readiness to present the Gospel. Think about the "Steves" in your life, as you consider these four questions:

First - Do you appreciate the horrors of hell? Have you forgotten the dreadful description of it in Scripture - the weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the everlasting torment. This is the place where God is present (Psalm 139:7,8), not in love and mercy, but in wrath and judgment. Is this a place you are willing for your friends and neighbors to go without so much as a warning from us? 

Second - Do you have a burden for the lost? While attending the 1995 Army/Navy football game, I noticed that during the fourth quarter my wife, Misti, had tears running down her cheeks. Knowing Misti couldn't be that distraught over the game, I asked her why she was crying. She responded that as she looked at the thousands of midshipmen and cadets, she was grieving over how many were destined for hell. She had "great sorrow and continual grief" for the lost.

Third - Are you praying for boldness? It is fascinating that one of the Apostle Paul's primary prayer requests was for his own boldness in presenting the Gospel. He often risked his life to speak of Christ, but still considered it essential to have others praying for him to act boldly. We need to pray and to have others praying that we would witness boldly to the world. 

Finally - Are you ready and able to articulate the Gospel? In 1 Peter 3:15, we are commanded to be ready to share the reason for our hope. We must know the Gospel as it is presented, for example, in 1 Corinthians 15: (1) Christ died for our sins; (2) He was buried; (3) He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; and (4) He was seen by many after His resurrection. This Gospel must be so ingrained in our hearts and minds that we are ready to proclaim it at any time.

Our responsibility is not to make Christians - only the Holy Spirit can accomplish that. Our task is to be ready, available, loving and faithful. We are to be "ambassadors for Christ." The next time God places someone in your path who needs to hear the Gospel, may you say with great boldness, "Go to HEAVEN, and let me share with you how!"

Lieutenant Colonel Art Athens


Watch: American Gospel: Christ Alone

Read: For Your Joy, by John Piper

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Wrapped And Laid In A Stone Manger And In A Stone Tomb - For Us And Our Salvation!

Announcing the birth of Jesus Christ, God's Word says:

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Notice Jesus was laid in a manger. Most popular depictions of the nativity scene portray Jesus lying in a wooden feeding trough. But this is not accurate. It would have been a stone trough like the one pictured above. 

Wayne Stiles writes:

Thanks to Christmas cards and holiday movies, we usually think of Christ's manger as a wooden crib with straw. But it wasn't so. Mangers were carved from stone, like the one above. Archaeologists have found mangers at a number of sites in Israel, such as Megiddo, Tekoa, and Ramat Rahel.

This is amazing! At His birth, the God-Man, Jesus Christ, was wrapped in linen swaddling cloths, and laid in a stone manger where (probably) no one had ever been laid (Luke 2:7). At His death, Jesus was buried in a borrowed stone tomb, wrapped in linen cloths, and laid on a stone slab where no one had ever been laid (Luke 23:53). 

How appropriate that the great Messiah and King of kings and LORD of lords, the One Who provides eternal living water (John 4:14) and spiritual food (John 6:35), was laid as a baby in a watering trough - in a feeding trough.

Sinclair Ferguson says that Jesus was laid in a feeding trough because He came to feed the spiritually hungry with good things (Luke 1:53).

From the very beginning, the events of the life of Jesus Christ point to and foreshadow the most important part of His life: His sacrificial death for sinners where He suffered the wrath of God to make atonement for their sins and His resurrection from the dead where He conquered sin, death, and hell forever!

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Purity We Will All Need On The Last Day

There is a purity we will all need on the last day, the day of judgement. And thankfully it is free and available to every nation, tribe, people, language, and ethnicity through the perfectly obedient life of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, and through His death on the cross for sinners, and through His resurrection from the dead. You must turn from your sins and believe in Him in order to be freely given this purity by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to the Bible alone - all for the glory of God alone!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved! Acts 16:31

If you repent and believe in Him, this purity will be yours:

Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. Daniel 12:10

Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. Revelation 3:4-5

They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. Revelation 6:10-11

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Revelation 7:9-10

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?" I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Revelation 7:13-14