I hope that this blog post will be a blessing to all of you as I know it will be a blessing to me. We are dealing with a sobering yet hopeful subject today-one that has great importance for everyone living today. God loves us and this is why He informs us of His ways and plans so that we can live in step with them and draw closer and closer to His loving heart. Without further ado, let’s get into today’s topic.
In our last blog post on Bible prophecy, we went over the Old Testament sanctuary. If you haven’t read this and/or aren’t familiar with the Old Testament sanctuary, I recommend that you read this blog post. Having a knowledge of what the earthly sanctuary was like is very helpful in understanding what Jesus is currently doing in the heavenly sanctuary.
Before we discuss the cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven, we will become familiar with how the earthly sanctuary was cleansed. What I am summarizing here can be found in Leviticus 16. Once a year, the high priest would go into the Most Holy Place, which we talked about in our last blog post on Bible prophecy. After washing himself, the high priest would dress in the sacred garments that God had ordained that he should wear. The high priest would then begin the sacred, holy, serious ceremony that only happened once a year.
This ceremony involved sacrifices, earnest prayer, and ceremonial washings. Two notable parts of this sacred event were the distinctions between and the differing roles of the Lord’s goat and the scapegoat. The Lord’s goat was offered as a sacrifice on behalf of the people, who had sins that needed to be forgiven, and their sins were transferred onto a live goat called the “scapegoat” who was then led into the wilderness and left there. The Lord’s goat represented Jesus who died for our sins. The scapegoat represented Satan who will eventually bear all of the sins of those who have confessed and forsaken them. Everything in this ceremony was done in a very specific way.
In conjunction with the sacred service of the high priest, the people also had a very important work to do. A very significant part of their duty during this time was their individual responsibility to earnestly search their hearts before God. Anyone who did not participate in the work of heart-searching was cut off from his or her people. This was a serious matter. (Leviticus 16:29-31 and Leviticus 23:27-29)
We are now living in a day when Jesus is in heaven, officiating as our high priest. How can we know this, and what is our responsibility during this sacred and weighty time?
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22 (KJV)
If you will notice, our responsibilities now are the same ones that the people in the Old Testament had. We need to search our hearts and become cleansed by God from everything evil in them. This is a serious matter. Jesus is truly officiating as our high priest as we speak. Just as people who wouldn’t search their hearts and put away sin long ago were cut off from among their people, the sad, yet loving reality is that Jesus cannot take to heaven anyone who wouldn’t be happy there. Heaven runs on the principles outlined in the law of God which can be summed up by true love towards God and true love towards others. Matthew 22:37-39 Those who have not allowed God to work in their hearts, or who have, but have afterward stopped allowing Him to do so won’t be there. May none of us fall into either of these very sad categories, is my prayer.
Note: There will be people in heaven who never knew Jesus by name and who never had Bibles, but who lived up to all of the goodness that they knew. God doesn’t judge in the same way that human beings do. 1 Samuel 16:7 God is merciful and loving, He doesn’t delight in seeing people become lost. Romans 2:13-15
He gave His ALL for us. He shed His blood for us. How ungrateful of us if we stubbornly and willfully continue on in sin when He has given us such a priceless and expensive gift (eternal life)! I used to struggle with grace, and I think that I sometimes still do, but thankfully to a lesser degree than I did a few years ago. All of my struggles with grace have been due to either pride or unbelief. God has enabled me to see how wicked pride and unbelief are (and when I say “pride”, I’m not referring to the healthy self-respect that God wants all of us to have). None of us can overcome these tendencies on our own, but with Jesus’ strength, we can disown and dismiss prideful and unbelieving thoughts towards God when they come up in our minds. Then we can claim Bible promises such as:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
There will come a day when Jesus will have to end His ministry as our Great High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. “When that day comes, He will stand up with a heart filled with the conflicting emotions of joy and sorrow: joy for the ones whose loving and unselfish hearts are knit with His and sorrow for those whose self-loving, self-centered hearts are now fully knit with sin. He will then pronounce a sobering declaration that is both musical and ominous:
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Revelation 22:11-15 (KJV)
When this time comes, those who have truly accepted Jesus’ loving, blood-bought offer of salvation will have the hope of a beautiful eternal life with Jesus in a place filled with pure unselfish love. At the same time, those who have either never truly accepted Jesus’ loving, blood-bought offer of salvation or who once had but who later rejected it, will have the destiny of being eventually destroyed by God: never to live again.
Such is the price of cherished sin. It is deadly business. God is VERY longsuffering and merciful (2 Peter 3:9), but He will eventually have to destroy sin, and His heart will break as those who have clung to sin are destroyed with it (Nahum 1:8-10). God is not looking forward to seeing the people He loves so much being burned to ashes. He will do this work as swiftly as possible in His great mercy because He hates seeing people being tortured (Isaiah 28:21-22; Ezekiel 18:32).
But now I must return to hope; “…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Hebrews 3:15 (KJV)
There is hope for you now...today. Jesus loves you. He doesn’t hate you; He never has and He never will. The one thing you can choose to do that will break His heart so much is the following: to reject His loving offer of salvation. Even if you have once loved and served Him, but you now have turned your back on Him, you will only hurt His heart by entertaining the thought that He doesn’t want you back now. The devil and your own heart are lying to you if you believe this! Jesus is ACHING for you to come back (Romans 10:20-21; Ezekiel 18:31-32; John 6:37)!
So, whoever you are, whatever you have done, whatever you look like, however you smell, no matter what other people say and/or think about you, please do come to Jesus.
‘…I invite you to just come to Him as you are, as I have. You may feel scared and ashamed, but Jesus’ arms are open to you. He will not refuse you if you come. He promises not to cast you out if you come (John 6:37). He promises to give you rest if you will come (Matthew 11:28-30). He promises to forgive you of your sins and to cleanse you from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
If you don’t know how to pray, that is okay. Here is a sample prayer that you can use, but it is okay and right for you to talk to Jesus as you would respectfully talk to a close friend.
I want to know You. I know that I am a sinner and I ask Your forgiveness for my sins. Please give me a new heart and help me to be like You. Please help me to know You.
In Jesus’ Name Amen
I promise you that Jesus will hear your prayer and that He will help you.
God says that He loves us (Jeremiah 31:3). He says that He wants to save us and that He can save us (John 3:16). He says that He has created us for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). He says that even when we have messed up, He still wants to sanctify Himself before those who have seen our messes, by living out His holy life through us. This will happens as He changes our hearts (Ezekiel 36: 23-27). God says that there will be people from every people group in heaven (Revelation 5:9-10). I welcome all of us who are repentant before Godto hold our heads high in humble humility. We have the privilege of believing what God says about us… and ultimately…. what He says about us is what really matters’ (copied and pasted from this blogpost). ” (I copied, pasted, and slightly adapted the paragraphs in quotations marks from this blog-post.)
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14 (KJV) What will it be cleansed from? It will be cleansed from all of our sins that had been transferred there.
This is the truth. Sin is not immortal. It will end, and everyone who clings to it will end with it. Eternal life with Jesus is a gift that we can choose to accept by confessing our sins to Jesus and then by choosing to surrender to and cooperate with Him each day as He lovingly and patiently leads and guides us. We lose out on eternal life by either not intentionally deciding to follow Jesus or by rebelling against Him. A serious reality is that indecision is a decision in God’s eyes and in Satan’s eyes too. God won’t force us to follow Him, but if we don’t choose to follow Him, Satan will automatically take advantage of us, and if we wake up from our stupor, we will discover that we’ve been serving him.
“…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Hebrews 3:15 (KJV)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (KJV)
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)
I’m in the struggle against sin, and although it’s a difficult struggle, it’s a worthwhile struggle, and it is savored with times of heavenly peace, joy, and comfort. I struggle with Jesus’ help and I struggle for His sake and for the sake of every person I meet too. I continue to need to be transformed by Jesus so that I can give Him the gratitude and love that He deserves and so that I can love every human being He places in my life as He knows I should. I would appreciate your prayers, and I will pray for all of you who read my blog posts too. Jesus loves us and He WANTS to save everyone!
I hope that this blog post will be a blessing to you all. I invite you all to check out my next blog post, which won’t be on Bible Prophecy, and then the following blog post I will write which will be on Bible Prophecy again.