The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry Newsletter
&
Bible Study
UPDATED 01/11/2020

Fellow officers, sheepdogs, sp ouses and supporters -- here's your latest Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry newsletter and Bible study:

First off: THANK YOU to all who serve (Thursday being National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day )!

This week's study is designed to answer some questions (perhaps the most important questions that can be asked) that are again coming my way. What happens when we die? What if I'm not a Christian when I die? What is the Rapture? With the understanding that God Himself is emphatic that there is only ONE WAY we can be saved, scroll down to "A Matter of Life & Death."

Miss last week's New Year's newsletter and Bible study? Here's the updated, RESOLVED! (not "resolution"). As always, these studies are re-posted for you on our social media feeds ( Twitter , Facebook ) and (eventually) on our website as well.

Let's stay the course and finish strong in Christ our Captain!

MC
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RESOURCES

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry is affiliated with the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers - USA. Here's their first official newsletter of 2020: January FCPO Dispatch. If you're not already a FCPO member, we encourage you to become one.


PRAYER REQUESTS

(1) Please pray for retired Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Scott Hinshaw who will have his latest surgery on Jan. 16th (stemming from his line of duty injuries).

(2) Pray for all our military brethren serving in harm's way. May God empower us to defend the United States of America, and may He give wisdom to our President/Commander-in-Chief!

(3) Pray for fellow officer/chaplain and teammate, Jim Bontrager , who will be heading to Richmond, VA on Jan. 20th to take part and stand in the gap at the 2nd Amendment rally at the state capitol.


UPCOMING EVENTS

(1) The next Men of Truth men's breakfast and Bible study is set for Saturday, January 18th. Email me for the "411."

(2) The Shelter Foundation 's Bible studies (1 for cops, 1 for their spouses) will be starting again in the coming week. Great resource to boot.

(3) Next Centurion/FCPO-Denver (Chapter 217) fellowship and Bible study is set for Tues, Jan. 21st. Again, email me for the 411.

(4) Planning has already begun for our 2020 Police Week outreach in Washington, DC this May. Stay tuned and hope to see you there!

(5) Time to mark your calendars for the 2020 Breaching the Barricade Law Enforcement Conference and Officer Appreciation Day (video of last year's events via Jim Bontrager) events in northern Indiana/southern Michigan: October 2 and 3, 2020 . Stay tuned for more details soon!



*Have a prayer request, event or announcement you would like included here? Need help/prayer? Email me I also post prayer requests on   my personal Facebook page   ("friend" and message me).   



A Matter of Life & Death

Understanding "the Rapture" and what happens when we die (and where we will spend eternity) comes down to a decision made while we live: choose wisely ("backup" of the eternal kind)!
  _______
As I stated above, some recent events have again prompted some questions about where we go when we die (when this life ends): Where do I go if I die as a believer (a Christian)? What if I'm not a Christian when I die? What is this Rapture thing? Can I "earn" (badge) badge my way into heaven because I serve or served in law enforcement? This week's Bible study provides God's answers to life's most important questions (yes, it's a matter of life and death -- the eternal kind).

First, where do we who know Christ as Lord and Savior (a Christian as only God gets to define the term) go when we die? Let's break it down:

"We...prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."
(2 Corinthians 5:8)

At the very moment Christians die, we immediately depart from this world into the presence of God. How do we know that? Look at what the Scripture says about the immediacy of our entrance into God’s presence. There is no soul sleep (a false teaching at best). Rather, a Christian goes immediately into the presence of God. In Luke 23:43 , Jesus said to the thief on the cross who had just exercised faith, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Acts 7:59 says, “Stephen...called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’” But the seminal passage in the Bible that describes what happens to Christians when they die is 2 Corinthians 5:1 . Paul said in this passage that if our earthly body is torn down, then we have a body from God that is eternal. Paul said our bodies are like a tent. Who wants to live in a tent for eternity? Our bodies are a temporary dwelling, a tent that will be put away one day.

Then Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:6 (NLT), " So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord." We cannot be in two locations at once. As long as we are here, we cannot also be in Heaven with God. That is what Paul was saying. We think this world is our home, but it is not. It is a temporary location. Yes, we have people we love here. Yes, God has given us an assignment here. But it is temporary. As long as we are here, we are not at home with the Lord. Paul went on to say in verse 8, “We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” He was saying, “I prefer to be once for all absent from the body so that I can be once for all at home with the Lord.” That is what happens to Christians when we die. The moment we leave this body, we are forever at home with the Lord.

When you die, your spirit goes to be with the Lord awaiting the final resurrection body you will receive at the Rapture. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 , Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (meaning God told him what to write), said, “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” Who are the dead in Christ? They are born again believers -- Christians -- who have already died. Their spirits (souls) are in Heaven, their bodies are in the ground, but at the Rapture their bodies will be raised and then that generation of believers who are alive at that time will also be caught up, and together they will meet the Lord in the air. The Lord will descend, you and I who are in Heaven with God will descend, and 1 Corinthians 15:52 says at that moment, “in the twinkling of an eye, . . . the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” At the Rapture we will receive a brand-new body that is forever free from suffering and death (for more, see "What is the Rapture?" ).

And what if you die without having ever surrendered in faith to Christ as Lord and Savior (to wit, an unbeliever )? With the understanding that the only people who will end up in hell are those who CHOOSE to go there, here again is God's definitive answer:

"And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side."
( Luke 16:23)

What happens to unbelievers (the unsaved; non-Christians) when they die? Just as believers (Christians) have a current destination (the third Heaven) and a future destination (the New Heaven and Earth; and see What is the Millennial Kingdom? ), so there is a temporary and eternal destination for the unsaved. The unsaved immediately go to a place called Hades. Jesus tells us in Luke 16:23-24, " and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames."

Hades is the temporary waiting place of the unsaved dead. It is a place of torment that begins the moment an unbeliever dies. That is where the unbelievers go right now, but that is not their final destination (no, we can't "pray them out" -- see "What does the Bible say about praying for the dead?" ). Their final destination is the Lake of Fire (hell). In Revelation 20:12-15, John said, “I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” The Lake of Fire is a righteous sentence to a place of forever suffering (with the understanding that God's loving desire is that you CHOOSE not to go there).

When an unbeliever dies, he/she goes immediately to this terrible place called Hades. Notice in Luke 16:24 , the rich man says he is in agony because of the flames. Right now, those who choose to die without Christ are in Hades awaiting their final judgment, the Great White Throne Judgment. And at that judgment Hades will be emptied and all the unsaved who have ever lived will stand before God. And because their names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, they will be judged by their deeds. Again, this is a choice they made in this life. On that day, every unbeliever will see that his works (including our service in law enforcement or the military) do not meet the standard of perfect righteousness that God requires and understand why he/she has been sentenced to the Lake of Fire.

Here is the basic truth everyone needs to understand: when we die we immediately begin experiencing God’s blessing or God’s judgment. While it is true that at some future day believers will change location from the third Heaven to the New Heaven, and unbelievers will also change location from Hades into the Lake of Fire, a change of location is not the same as a change of eternal destiny. Heaven and Hell are eternal choices. If you wait until you die to choose your destination, you will have waited one second too long. Hell and Heaven are forever choices!

My friends, with the understanding that there is no such thing as "Vahalla" and there is no "other" way we can be saved , I pray you will choose wisely (with no humor intended) -- it's a matter of life and death!

* In addition to God's Word (the Bible), thanks to Dr. Robert Jeffress and our friends at Got Questions Ministries whose work served as resources for this study.

So it is again with all the love in my heart (and God's), it is with a "Code 3" (lights and siren) sense of urgency that I ask you the most important question I can ask: If you died today, where will you ultimately spend eternity? With the understanding that today may be your last day in this life, what is your answer? And are you sure (you can be)? Scroll down to the Know God? section below and make sure you get it right (and please reach out if you need help or have more questions)!
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KNOW GOD?

(1) Do you hold to an utterly false hope that you can "earn" or otherwise "badge" your way into heaven and escape hell because you consider yourself to be a " good " cop or "good" person? That you can be "good" enough without God? That you "deserve" heaven because of your so-called "good" service? Take  the   Good Person Test   and see how you do!  

(2) Jesus' first recorded words in His earthly adult ministry included, " Repent and believe in the Good News " ( Mark 1:15 ). To  repent  is a "180" -- a complete,  radical  change of mind and heart as it relates to our sin (as God defines it). To "believe"  ( pisteuo  in the original Greek) as Jesus intends it here is to wholeheartedly trust and  surrender your life to Him in faith in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job against the rounds it is intended to stop; that a well-maintained weapon will function properly when used in defense against criminals intent on destroying us or others; or that our parachute will open when it is supposed to on a combat jump (we stake our very lives on it)! For more, see What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

(3) This same concept of " believe " (the saving kind) is further revealed in  John 3:1-21   where Jesus says, " ... you must be born again ." Again, note our Lord's emphasis on the word " must " (not "may" or "should" or even "someday"): this is ultimately the life-saving AND life-changing  personal relationship (and NOT "religion") with Jesus Christ that I stress here every week (see  What does it mean to be a born again Christian ? [hint -- there is no other kind]).

(4) NOW then, with this in place, go to:   How can I be saved?  

(5) Need more? Then check out this powerful, short video message that also comes to us from Travis Yates  Cops and Salvation

(6) Have you now said "yes" to Jesus as Lord and Savior but are wondering what to do next? The "now what" is also an important part in dealing with the issues that can lead to suicide and sin in general. Click on,   Now what?   

Questions? I'm here to serve --  contact me .    
MC



ABOUT US


The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry is a national, FCPO-affiliated, non-denominational, evangelical Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and profession-focused Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our website and our social media  feeds. Our desire is (1) to be used of God to WIN the lost in our profession to a saving faith in Christ; (2) to DISCIPLE the Christian officer; (3) SEND out discipled (trained) officers to "repeat" 1 and 2; (4) to SUPPORT police marriages; (5) to transform our God-ordained profession by infusing it with all-in Christian officers; and (6) to IMPACT (reduce) police suicides and PTS with the Cure found in Christ Jesus alone. In keeping with these 6 points, please feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and share them with others. 

The Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (FCPO-USA) exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and  iron sharpens iron  fellowship for Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our Denver-area FCPO chapter ( FCPO Chapter #217 ) is a  Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry  affiliate. Locally, we meet approximately twice a month in the south Denver-Metro suburb of Highlands Ranch for profession-focused, sound (uncompromising) Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior fellowship (and spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO).  Contact me for complete details.

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry and FCPO-Metro Denver ( Chapter 217 ) are led by veteran Police Officer, Chaplain and Evangelist Michael "MC" Williams . MC is an active (32-years and counting) sworn police officer/investigator and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches (including the popular  Centurion Church Security Seminar ), retreats and both police and civilian training conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via  email  for details on how to book him for your event.

Finally, we covet your prayer and financial support for this vital ministry outreach. Reference the latter, you can give in two ways:
(1) Send a check to the address posted below.
or
(2) Go the the FCPO giving page and designate " FCPO #217 " or the "Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry."

* All donations are tax-deductible.

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry , P.O. Box 630854, Littleton, CO 80163 | Email Address | (720) 371-1022 | Website