Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Is Pleasure the Aim of Life?
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure (delight) in them”:” (Ecclesiastes 12:1, NKJV)
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures (delights) forevermore.” (Psalms 16:11, NKJV)
“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures (that which gives enjoyment) of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26, NKJV)
The Future
Lately I have been studying the future as found in the Bible.  There is one future for those who have trusted in Christ and who worship Him.  There is another future for those who have rejected Him and the sacrificial love that He has shown them by bearing the punishment that their sins deserved.
For the Believer
For the believer, there is persecution, rejection, and ridicule by the world.  We find out rather quickly after we have publicly identified with Christ that the world (including the religious world) really has no place for Him and they have no place for His followers.  But in a coming day, there will be pleasures for evermore.   That will have to wait, however, until the Lord comes or until we cross that line between the now and the hereafter.   
For the Unbeliever
For the unbeliever, the word that keeps popping up in my studies is the word WRATH.  We have an oxymoron in Revelation 6:16, where all classes of unbelievers are saying to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17, NKJV)
I suppose a ram could picture a mad or angry Lord but an angry lamb is not our normal picture of anger.  But the Lord is telling us that the Lamb who died for our sins, is going to get really angry with those peoples and nations who reject Him.  And as the Lamb He has the right to be angry. The Lamb’s anger will be seen during the judgments of the seven years called THE tribulation.  It will also be experienced by unbelievers who wanted to be judged by their works instead of by the work of Christ and who are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15).
I have been criticized for preaching about eternal conscious punishment and for talking about God’s wrath and anger.  Instead, I am told to dwell on God’s love.  I believe in preaching about the love of God, but I don’t think I have preached about the Lamb’s wrath and anger as much as I should have.  We are told a lot more about the persecution and rejection associated with being a true follower of the Lord than we are told about how great our lives are going to become if we believe the truth. Moses had a choice to make and so do each of us.  
I understand that the fruits of the spirit are enjoyable and we who are saved have a hope that the  world does not have, a peace that the world does not have and reason for living that the world does not have.  But a Christian is a square peg in a round hole and we don’t fit in this world of lies and wars and corruption and immorality.  We cannot make the world a better place through force or politics.  But we can give people hope for their eternal future.  Making the world a better place will have to wait until the Lord comes and cleans up the mess that this society, energized and deceived by Satan, has made.
I am glad that I have been delivered from the “wrath to come.”  “For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, NKJV)
I am glad that God is not presently angry with me.  “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”” (John 3:36, NKJV)
The love of God is real.  The peace that passes understanding is available and is real.  But the wrath of God is real as well.  Please avoid it at all costs.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the weeks of July 10 and 17

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