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Day 85: Science of Persuasion

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 18, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

I was watching a YouTube video on the Science of Persuasion recently, and as I watched them define 6 shortcuts in being persuasive, I saw Jesus. These techniques were already used by Jesus during his ministry to influence others (specifically, in showing his followers how it’s done).

Watch the video below and then finish reading.

Science of Persuasion

The first shortcut to influencing others is Reciprocity. This means that people are more willing to give back that which they also receive.

How Jesus influences through Reciprocity

Jesus told us that there was no greater love than one shows when they lay their life down for another. He demonstrated this by dying on a cross for the sins of mankind.

Though we were yet still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Since he showed us grace in this way, we are compelled to do the same for others.

The second principle is Scarcity¬†People want more of what they can’t have.

How Jesus influenced through Scarcity

People do not have a lot of grace toward people that violate their particular rules. Jesus has rules, but has greater mercy. A woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to him because the law said she must die (so should the guy, but where was he?)

Jesus ignored them for a bit then asked, “You without sin cast the first stone”.

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No on, Lord”

And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you’ go, and from now on sin no more” – John 8:10-11

The third principle is Authority.  People will follow the lead of credible and knowledgeable experts.

How Jesus influences through Authority

Jesus wowed the teachers of the law at 12 years of age. People marveled everywhere asking, “where did this man get so much wIslam and authority”.

With Authority, he commanded demons to flee, drove out money changers in the temple and preached the message of repentance.

The fourth principle is Consistency This is asking for small initial commitments that can be made.

How Jesus influences through Consistency

Jesus picked his disciples with one simple statement – “Follow¬†me”

Jesus preached a simple message, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand”.

Jesus didn’t¬†ask more than one thing from pexpel. It may have been a challenging thing, but it was always a call to a commitment to God and was doable. Salvation begins with a small request of commitment, “believe”.

The fifth principle is Liking. Simple put, people are more influenced by people they like.

How Jesus influences through Liking

The video shows three factors to people liking us:

  1. People who are similar – Jesus, who is God, became a man to dwell among us.
  2. People that give compliments – when someone responded in faith, Jesus would always compliment. Sure he also corrected those that lacked faith, but never missed an opportunity to encourage.
  3. People that cooperate – This is why Jesus didn’t get along with the leaders. He didn’t cooperate with their brand of religion. But when it came to people who brought people to Jesus to be blessed or healed, he never turned them away.

The Sixth principle is Consensus. People will look to the actions of others   To determine their own.

How Jesus influences through Consensus

As mentioned, Jesus exemplified the life we should lead, so all we need to do is emulate him.

However, he also takes this concept in reverse when dealing with others. He says,

Do for other that which you want them to do for you. – Matthew 7:12

Later, when the Church comes into fuller being, Paul talks of the followers of Christ as a “body”, working together for the common good. Unity is critical for all followers of Christ.

If Jesus influences us, we cannot be a follower in a vacuum. We must continue in the ways he showed us with others so that we can also influence in the way he did.

 

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Day 84: Your World View

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 12, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Accidental evolution or Intelligently designed Creation? What happens when we die? Is there a God? Is morality absolute or is it subjective?

Questions like these are more philosophical than driven by data. There is an element of faith involved and can be birthed through your home environments or a personal experience in life.

Answers to these questions will also tamper with¬†the way you look at world events. For example, if you do not believe in God, you might make life decisions that focus solely on the here and now, and death might feel like the finish line. If you do believe in God, then you might look at death as a “speed bump” more than a “terminal situation”.

A world view also drives our sense of purpose. Again, if we believe in God, we tend to see life events through the lens of the divine and less to randomness.

King Solomon, regarded by many as a pretty wise ruler, wrote an entire Book on the meaning of life. He starts his discussion…

Vanity of vanities, says teh Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does a man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?  A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. РEcclesiastes 1:1-3

He spends quite a bit of time basically saying that if your world view is that there is no God, then there is no purpose and why does any of this matter. But if there is a God, then there is a reckoning or final judgement one day and everyone will need to give account.

If we are wrong about there not being a God, then end the end we lose everything. If we are wrong about there being a God then we lose nothing because everything would have been meaningless anyway.

So as Solomon concludes,

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of the man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

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Day 72: Eyes and Ears

Posted by undergroundchurch on February 18, 2014


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

It has been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. There may be an interesting biblical twist to that story. The eyes many times are the avenue that lead to destruction while the ears tend to be the way to salvation.

There are far too many scriptures to list here, but a couple key verses should give a good starting point for your own study.

In Genesis 3, sin enters the world because the fruit “was pleasing to the eyes”. David, in 2 Samuel 11, is on his roof top when he sees Bathsheba, and the adultery and murder come forth. Lot’s wife looked back at what she lost and turned to a block of salt. Peter saw the wind and waves when he walked on the water and began to sin.

This may be why Paul states in Colossians 3:1:

1 Therefore, if you have been raised with the Messiah, keep focusing on the things that are above, where the Messiah is seated at the right hand of God.

We have to guard the eyes.

Conversely, the ears more often are the way of faith.

“Faith comes from hearing…” Romans 10:17
Jesus most popular phrase is “He who has and ear to hear, let him hear”
And just add a final note, “we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

By keeping our eyes on Jesus, we guard the eyes and put ourselves in a place to listen much closer to what he says.

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A Look at End Times with Dave Wilkerson

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 28, 2011


The Vision” by David Wilkerson

by Bob Gal on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 7:39am

David Wilkerson received a vision April 1973 and published a book called ‘The Vision.’ (38 yrs ago) Do you think his death will release the fulfillment in the next 2 years? I wonder about the 5th point.

5 Main points were:

1. “Worldwide recession caused by economic confusion”

* “At most a few more fat flourishing years, and then an economic recession that’s going to affect the life style of every wage-earner in the world. The world economists are going to be at loss to explain what’s happening. It’s going to start in Europe, spread to Japan and finally to the United States.”

* There will be a move toward a worldwide, unified monetary system. The US dollar will be hit bad and it will take years for it to recover.

* The only real security will be in real estate (until a somewhat later stage, at which point this apparent security will also disappear).

2. “Nature having labor pains”

* Environmentalists will come under heavy criticism.

* There will be major earthquakes.

* There will be a major famine.

* Floods, hurricanes and tornadoes will increase in frequency.

* “A new kind of cosmic storm appearing as a raging fire in the sky leaving a kind of vapor trail.”[4]

3. “A flood of filth and a baptism of dirt in America”

* Topless women will appear on television, followed by full nudity.

* Adult, X rated movies will be shown on cable television. Young people will gather at homes to watch this kind of material in groups.

* Sex and the occult will be mixed.

* There will be an acceptance of homosexuality, and the church will even say that it is a God-given gift.

4. “Rebellion in the home”

* “I see the new number one youth problem in America and the world as hatred towards parents.”[4]

5. “A persecution madness against truly Spirit filled Christians who love Jesus Christ”

* There will arise a world church consisting of a union between liberal ecumenical Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church, using Christ in name only.

* There will be a hate Christ movement.

* There will be a spiritual awakening behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains.

Shared by
Anthony & Deana

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Day 39: What’s in a Church Service Name

Posted by undergroundchurch on March 19, 2011


Perusing the local Saturday paper, I noticed the assortment of church service titles.

Several church groups have multiple gathering times and each of them have  a name. There are services called:

  • Traditional Worship Service
  • Contemporary Service
  • Informal Worship Service
  • Sunday Morning Worship
  • Sanctuary Service
  • Fellowship Center Service
  • Praise Worship Service
  • Church Service
  • Sunday Adult Coffee Conversations
  • Church School
  • Sunday School
  • Traditional Sunday School
  • Mass
  • Holy Day
  • Liturgy

I’m sure I’m missing something, but its no wonder the world is so confused about the church, we don’t even know what to call our meetings.

What is the difference between “informal” and “contemporary” or “Sunday School”, “Church School”, “Traditional Sunday School” and “Sunday Adult Coffee Conversations”?

How many people actually “serve” at the “service” times? ¬†How much time is spent on the worshiping in the meeting called “Worship Service” versus the time preaching? ¬†Do only “Praise Worship Services” have praise and worship?

Wouldn’t a more accurate title be for many of out gatherings be, “Sit and listen while I talk and sing to you”.

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it seem like we are doing a lot of “people pleasing”? ¬†I mean, we try to fashion the look and feel of our gatherings to pack seats with people so particular about the church they “attend” that we feel we need to draw a distinction between “contemporary” and “informal”.

Paul rebuked the church in Corinth because they did more harm than good when they came together (1 Corinthians 11:17).  They were missing the whole point and I think that point is still being missed today in many of our gatherings.

  • There were divisions among them… We do that with through our different “formats (vs 18)
  • People thought their way got God’s approval more than another’s… We think our format is best (vs 19)
  • They were being selfish and considering their own needs above the needs of the other people there… how many people serve in a service vs. those that receive? I’ve even seen saved seats. (vs 20,21)
  • Do we all use our gifts in our “service” times? ¬† The stage provides a¬†dividing¬†line between the servers and the served. (Chapter 12)
  • Do we all come with a heart of ministry ready to share with and minister to one another (14:26)
  • Actually, as you go through 1 Corinthians, about the only thing we do well is keeping our services in order.

I don’t completely mean to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but I do hope we begin rethinking the way we “do” church and begin “being” the church.

That’s all.

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Sanity in the Midst of the Insane

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 7, 2010


Ever look around and think you are the only sane one in the room?

OK, maybe not.

What about those times that everything around you is going crazy, and the only way to keep from going insane is to act crazy too?

OK, that struck a chord.

However, if you take it to the extreme, which I often do, you can actually out shine the insanity around you and people will avoid you. (That’s the story of my life.)

It’s also the story of David one time when He was hiding from Saul among his own enemies, the Philistines.

David had to come up with a plan fast to save himself, so he fained insanity.

So [David] pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

Achish said to his servants, ‚ÄúLook at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me?¬†Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?‚ÄĚ 1 Samuel 21:13-15

That might seem like a strange ploy, but it worked, and David lived another day.

When we live out our faith, we must seem to the world around us like David looked to the Philistines in Gath. ¬†They tell us, “Your insane to believe that the whole universe was created in 6 days,” or “How can you believe that Jesus is the ‘only’ way to eternal life?”

However, the best laid logic of the human mind just can’t put its arms around an infinite God that stands outside of the time/space¬†continuum.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Р1 Corinthians 1:21-24

It’s not that we know all the answers to the questions, “Why”, “How”, “When” and “What”, but we do have the answer to the question “Who?”

 

 

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Know Your Enemy

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 1, 2010


Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.- 1 Peter 5:8-9

Some suffering is self inflicted.  Choices we make that come back and bite us.

Other suffering is a direct result of an enemy that is out there that wants one thing… your destruction!

Know your enemy

He is not nice or thoughtful nor does he have your best interest at heart.  He will do whatever it takes to bring you down. His best weapon is your ignorance.  So here are some steps to stay on top and overcome.

Be Self-Controlled

We live in a culture with no control. ¬†We eat too much, play too much, complain too much and don’t spend enough time on things that really matter. ¬†We need to prioritize and become more disciplined.

Be Alert

Don’t look for a devil behind every bush, but do be aware that in every situation there is the potential for the enemy to come in. ¬†We are in the last days, and Satan knows it. ¬†He is more active today that perhaps anytime in history, and every believer needs to be vigilant.

Resist Him

Every believer is endowed with the power of Christ, which is the Holy Spirit. ¬†We are bought and owned by God, but because we live in “battlefield Earth”, we are targets of the enemy. ¬†The greatest power God gave us is the power of choice. ¬†We can say, “No!” We can run; we can turn from the enemy and in doing so, stand against him. ¬†He may attack us, but he cannot own us.

Stand Firm in the Faith

Do not doubt, but trust God.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

By standing firm you will gain life. (Luke 21:19)

You are not Alone

One of the hardest things to remember when you are suffering is that you are not the only one.  There are literally thousands and perhaps millions around the world suffering for their faith.  Just hang in there because the hope we have in Christ is not like that of the world.  We have a guarantee from the Lord that we will one day be with the Him and every tear, pain and trouble will be wiped away! (Revelation 21)

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How to Defend the Gospel

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 4, 2010


NOTE: This article contains strategies for believers and is not intended for those of you that do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ because it contains strategic information (trade secrets). ¬†If ¬†you wish to establish a relationship with Jesus prior to reading this article, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to talk with you. Then you can read the article and get more out of it.

Call me a pacifist, if you will, but I do believe that there is a right and a wrong way in which believers defend the good news (a.k.a. the Gospel) of Jesus Christ and that for the most part, we get it wrong.

Do our methods hinder the message?

Personally, I am appalled at the way the world treats the God who came and died in their place, took on their guilt and shame, and made a way back to himself.  I mean, what did Jesus ever do to deserve the bad rap He gets from unbelievers?

The answer to that question may lie more with His followers more than in His own life. ¬†While it is true that Jesus saidthe world would hate us because of him, we aren’t making that attitude any better with our public pulpit¬†indiscretions, our internal disputes played out on the world’s stage where we are mocked, our church splits, and even how poorly we drive when we cut off another driver while we flash our “I love Jesus” bumper sticker.

We can learn from Paul in Philippians 1:7 that there are three basic ways to reflect the good news: in chains, defending and confirming.   We spend a lot of time on the second, and not much on the other two.

In Chains or In Battle

What does it mean to be in chains for the Gospel?  And more importantly, what does that look  like in America?

Paul represented this aspect of his testimony by being shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned and stoned all of which only reflected Jesus attitude on the Cross when he forgave his killers while they were killing him. ¬†This is a lost art with the Christian world in America. ¬†There is a¬†proverb that reads, “in doing so (being nice), you will heap burning coals upon their head”. ¬†Our tactic tends to display defensive¬†aggression¬†and not much offensive conversion.

We followers of Jesus need to follow Jesus. ¬†We need to understand that the world is lost and they don’t need to Adopt godly standards, they Need God.

I was reading an article about an artist showing his “art” where he depicted Jesus in, shall we say, non-biblical ways. ¬†Now here is the question for all the believers reading this article; how should followers of Jesus respond?

A) We can respond the way the Christians are reported on in the article and protest.  What does this do though to the witness for Jesus? If we get them to take it down, then what? Do people come to Christ because the art is not longer there?

B) We use the opportunity to show people what Jesus was really like. Oh, you might need to turn the other cheek, but in so doing, you may make them look away long enough to show them a better way.

What is the intent of our defense?

I guess it comes down to this. ¬†We can make noise and protest the world’s…. uh, worldliness. In so doing, we might even change the look of things… less strip clubs, less bars, less cheesy art exhibits, but are people coming to Christ, or have we just won moral victory that makes us feel better, but really does nothing for the advancement of the Gospel?

I’m not saying that we should just let the world do their thing and build strip clubs on every corner. ¬†We have an American right to live in a place that reflects morals (Constitutionally¬†backed), but the¬†dilemma¬†we face is that moral legislation, moral victories, moral indignation, does not bring people to Christ. ¬†Sometimes, we need to put on the chains for Christ in order to set people free. Through our chains, we confirm Jesus’ good news.

What does our testimony reflect?

Is our testimony to the world reflecting Christ or leaving a bitter taste that becomes a stumbling block to the message?When they think about the church of Jesus, what image comes to their mind?  Is it the image of a group of zealots that want to change their laws and restrict their freedoms?  Is it a group of holier-than-thou people that live paradoxical lives?  Is it a church that burns books from other religions, protests funerals of soldiers or removes evolution from text books in public schools?

Or… should it be the image of a church that first and foremost ministers to widows and orphans and feeds the hungry, helps the needy? ¬†Is it an image of a church that has hope for eternity and knows where they are going and knows how to show them the way? ¬†Is it an image of a church that spends less money on their buildings, parking lots, sound systems and salaries than they do on their outreach to communities through helping others and ministering Christ to a lost and dying people?

The Calling

As a church, we are called to take on the image of Christ and to reflect Christ to each other and to the world.  When we defend the good news He brought us through the cross, does our defense become an offense to those that need to know the news?

A lost world is lost and trying to find their way in darkness.  By default, they are going to do things that repulse believers. It is the nature of the world.

We carry the light of Jesus Christ and have to use that light to bring people to Christ FIRST. If we change the heart, we change the world.

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Where Faith and the World Collide

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 29, 2010


With all these¬†ridiculous¬†“religious knowledge” surveys going around, I got to thinking about “faith” and just what it is.

I think there are two primary pieces to the “religious” experience with which some just don’t understand– Faith and Hope. I will address faith here.

There are two facts about faith that must be understood:

  1. True faith is not blind
  2. True faith is not void of substance

Those that steer clear of faith in God tend to do so because they see it as a futile, wishful-thinking belief system empty of reason, understanding and wisdom. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Faith is not a childish look into a fantasy world, but a childlike trust in a revealed reality.  The goal in faith is to connect with God through relationship.  The problem is that if you try to prove God to yourself first, you fail to take the path God intended for you to take to produce faith in you.

Faith follows a specific path РObedience to Jesus first, revelation of Jesus second and finally faith in Jesus is born.  Notice that all three have their source in Jesus.

God calls us to a path that begins with him.  Faith is not based on my understanding but His understanding.  I have to trust Him first, demonstrated through obedience, and then I can receive a faith that comes from God, for He rewards those that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

Abraham is a perfect example. ¬†He walked with very little faith for most of His life. ¬†Yes, he followed God’s leading and that was out of obedience, but never really trusted him. ¬†God said, “leave your family”, but Abraham took his father. ¬†God promised him that his children would be plentiful, but he lied about his wife to protect his life.

It wasn’t until Abraham was challenged to give back to God the only son he had been given by God, through a black and white act of obedience,¬†that Abraham achieved the level of obedience to God that God was looking for. ¬†Just as Abraham was about to plunge the knife into his son as a sacrifice to God, and angel stopped him and said these powerful words, “Now I know that you fear me, for you did not withhold your son from me.” (Genesis 22:12). It was during the trek to the altar that Abraham answered his son’s question concerning what they were going to sacrifice with, “God will provide”. (Genesis 22:8)

The scriptures say multiple times that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“. Strangely enough, the path to faith comes through a fear in God which produces in us obedience.

Once we obey, God can then respond in building up our faith.

You see, if the faith you have is your own, it is bound to fail.  But if the faith you have comes from God, then the source is solid and produces in you a revelation of God that makes Him real in you.

Nature cries out that there is a God, but it doesn’t tell you how to establish relations with Him. ¬†Only when God reveals himself to you through faith, do you discover that your faith is a sure foundation.

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Why does God Destroy Heaven?

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 16, 2010


I have searched for this answer, and I can’t find it anywhere in any commentary or blog I’ve seen.

What did Heaven Ever do to Deserve being Destroyed?

Revelation and Peter (2 Peter 3:7) both tell of God destroying heaven and earth in the end, but why both.  What didheaven do to deserve that fate?

Like me, you probably never even thought about ‘why’. ¬†You just accepted the fact that God was going to do it to “start over”, so let me ask the question this way, “If heaven is so… uh, heavenly, why is it scheduled to be destroyed? ¬†What makes it undeserving of a future as it is?

The answer might surprise you, and it can be found all over scripture from before man walked the earth through today to days yet to come.

Evil in Heaven

I really can’t say this any other way, “Heaven has known evil”. In fact, it is safe to say that evil is probably hanging out in heaven as you are reading this message.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. – Job 1:6,7

In Job 1 and 2, we see Satan presenting himself a couple times before ¬†God in heaven. ¬†This is an interesting situation. ¬†I mean, if you read Luke 10:18 and Revelation 12:4, you would think Satan was permanently out of heaven, but just because he was cast out, doesn’t mean he can’t return.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:¬†“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,¬†and the authority of his Christ.¬†For the accuser of our brothers,¬†who accuses them before our God day and night,¬†has been hurled down. – Revelation 12:10

Most would agree that God is in heaven right now. ¬†We know that Jesus sits (and sometimes stands) at His right (Acts 7:55), but are you ready for this. ¬†It looks as though Satan is in heaven too standing before God spending his entire time accusing us. The passage above hasn’t happened yet.

We know that there was a rebellion in heaven when a third of the angels followed Satan in his attempted takeover (Isaiah 14:13), So there has been strife and battles, sin and rebellion in heaven.

Only One Thing Makes it Through

Here’s your question; what is the one thing (not person) that makes it through the destruction of heaven and earth?

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions…” (John 14:2)

The place Jesus is talking about is not heaven but the place where you will be living. ¬†Revelation 21 tells you exactly where that is… the New Jerusalem.

This huge city with streets of gold and gates of pearl will be your eternal home. (Read the chapter yourself very carefully).

The New Home Never Saw Evil

The New Jerusalem is the one thing that makes it through to the end, and there is a really special reason why it is the only thing.

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. – Revelation 21:27

This cannot be said about any other spot in all of creation… not heaven, earth, hell or anything. ¬†Evil has entered everywhere except this special city.

Heaven must be destroyed because it has known sin, evil and the prince of shame and deceit.

Peter clarifies why….

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. Р2 Peter 3:7

He wraps both the earth and the heavens in the same judgement.  It is because of sin that Heaven must be destroyed.  The same reason that earth must be destroyed.  Just so you know, there will not even be a hint of sin anywhere in the new world to come.  That is some serious purging. That is far better than heaven, and it will be your new home if your name is found written in the book of Life

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