My Hope for Heaven
When God moves He moves in big ways. Philip was God move mightily in Acts.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:5-8
Satan tries to corrupt the movements of God's hand on earth. In this case a sorcerous saw the hand of God. He wanted the power that he Philip moved in.
But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is the great power of God." And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. Acts 8:9-13
Simon saw the power of God and he wanted to buy this power. He wanted to use his own resources on this earth to steer the hand of God. Simon the sorcerer wanted to buy the Holy Spirit. He wanted to gain salvation through his own works on earth.
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-19
But there is nothing on this earth that can be done to receive the gifts of God. No riches, no works and no deeds can purchase the grace of God. Peter told Simon that he could not purchase God's gifts.
But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Acts 8:20-23
Our Salvation is a free gift. But each new generation tries to purchase the Gifts of God with the things they have on this earth. Our works cannot purchase the gift of Gods forgiveness. We try to do a good work and live a good life. But our view of good is faulty. Only God is good. Our righteousness can never compare to the perfection of God.
No. Our salvation has to be purchased with something bigger then who we are, what we do and where we live. We are imperfect men and women.
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7
When I was a Hutterite girl living in the colony I believed with all my heart that living in the colony was the way to heaven. I believed that going to church seven days a week and twice on Sunday made me righteous. I believed that getting up early, cooking, baking, milking and running after every call of the community bell made me good in the eyes of God. I believed that living according to the rules of the Hutterites, living a clean life was my salvation. I remember the sorrow I felt for the outside world because I believed they were floating on a ship to hell. But I didn't realize that I was on the same ship to hell.
But praise God, Jesus turned my ship around. He has become the master of my ship. I know now that salvation was already purchased by the blood that my precious savior shed for me on the cross. I know now that it is by grace alone that I am made righteous before God through Christ Jesus. I know now that my hope for heaven is secure through the resurrection of Christ Jesus.
And now my heart goes out to my people, the Hutterites. They need Jesus. I pray for their eyes to be opened today.