5 Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment. 6 Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord —
9 So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil.
12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may be able to answer those who take pride in outward appearance and not in what is in the heart.
13 For if we are out of our minds, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, since we have concluded this, that Christ died for all; therefore all have died.
15 And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised. 16 So then from now on we acknowledge no one from an outward human point of view.
Even though we have known Christ from such a human point of view, now we do not know him in that way any longer. 17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away — look, what is new has come!
20 Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God!" 21 God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.
The 21st verse says it all! God made the one who did not know sin That could only be Jesus. to be sin for us, If we review Isaiah 53 and other Scriptures it becomes evident Jesus came to take our punishment for sin.
Verse 18 … has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Verse 19 … given us the message of reconciliation . Verse 20 … Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ. How are we to accomplish our task? We try to persuade people, …. "Be reconciled to God!"
Why do we strive to please God serving as Ambassadors for Christ, fulfilling our ministry by spreading the message of reconciliation? So that as many people as possible receive their eternal home in the heavens.
5 And the one seated on the throne said: "Look! I am making all things new!" Then he said to me, "Write it down, because these words are reliable and true." 6 He also said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
8 But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death."
10 So he took me away in the Spirit to a huge, majestic mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 The city possesses the glory of God ; its brilliance is like a precious jewel, like a stone of crystal-clear jasper .
The first foundation is jasper , the second sapphire , the third agate , the fourth emerald , 20 the fifth onyx , the sixth carnelian , the seventh chrysolite , the eighth beryl , the ninth topaz , the tenth chrysoprase , the eleventh jacinth , and the twelfth amethyst .
21 And the twelve gates are twelve pearls — each one of the gates is made from just one pearl ! The main street of the city is pure gold , like transparent glass . 22 Now I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God — the
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb . 24 The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their grandeur into it.
2 Corinthians 11:23 NET Are they servants of Christ? (I am talking like I am out of my mind!) I am even more so: with much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with more severe beatings, facing death many times.
24 Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with a rod. Once I received a stoning. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent adrift in the open sea.
2 Timothy 4:8 NET Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day — and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.
A man who likewise suffered hardship. 1 Corinthians 4:9 NET For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to die, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people.
10 We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, poorly clothed, brutally treated, and without a roof over our heads.
12 We do hard work, toiling with our own hands. When we are verbally abused, we respond with a blessing, when persecuted, we endure, 13 when people lie about us, we answer in a friendly manner. We are the world's dirt and scum, even now
A man who suffered tribulation and exile. Revelations 1:9 NET I, John, your brother and the one who shares with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus.
14 So I said to him, "My lord, you know the answer." Then he said to me, "These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!
15 For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them. 16 They will never go hungry or be thirsty again, and the sun will not beat down on them, nor any burning heat,
We have read the words of those like Paul, Peter, and John. What if they could return and speak to us today? What if our loved ones who died in Christ could return and speak to us today? Would they not tell us, "Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All"?