How many must pay the price?


Why do we have to pay the price of being Christians in America? Why should we have to live in fear of expressing our faith in public, just to bless our food? What is going on in our world?

IleftALighton4youTo find the answers to these questions you should read the Bible. Because we are living in the days prior to the Great Tribulation. It hasn’t begun yet, but it is very close. Read the news media of your choice, watch the news on the Internet or TV. All of the small things which are happening around us and many of the larger and more significant prophecies have already happened. Of course, few people are paying attention to these things. Everyone is more worried about illegal immigrants and their children than they are about our veterans or the economy.

I don’t want to get on a soapbox about any of these issues here. But, there are so many issues which are truly outside the reporting of the news today until many of these should be taken up by someone who wants to bring them to the people’s attention. So, back to my point and the title of this piece.

How many must pay the price? I know there are some who will wonder “Which of the “many” are you talking about?”! In truth. I am speaking of those who have put their faith and their lives in the belief in Jesus for salvation. There are many places in our world today, even in America, where being a Christian is dangerous. Christians are put in jail, stoned, killed, taken to court for their beliefs, and the list could go on…all because of their faith in Jesus.

Why?

If you don’t believe in Jesus, I am not going to try to kill you so why would you want to kill me because my faith is not the same as yours? I never have understood why atheists want to argue with Christians about their beliefs when the atheist doesn’t believe what they believe. What is the argument about? I am not going to change my belief in my Savior just because you don’t believe in Him. For many who are atheists, I don’t think my belief in Jesus could change their mind either so what is the point?

Then there are the other religions of the world and I am not going into a description of them because I don’t know enough about them other than they don’t believe the way I do. But, that doesn’t mean that I hate them. I have a love for people which is only explained by the Love of Christ in my heart. He loves you and deemed you worthy of His sacrifice to pay the debt for your sins, therefore I love you in Christ. I don’t know most of you who will read this, but that doesn’t change anything.

WhereAreYouGoingJesus still loves you, God loves you so, in Christ I love you and I pray that you will find salvation in Jesus before the end of your life. Because the alternative is too horrible to imagine. An eternity of punishment in hell because you didn’t choose to believe in and follow Jesus. It doesn’t matter what sins you may have committed in this life, that is the one which will send you to hell! You may be punished for your other sins, but that decision is the one which condemns you to hell and no other.

Which door will you be taking?


Have you ever considered whether you are on the way to Heaven or hell? There is only one way to Heaven and that is with belief in Jesus and His atonement for us which was paid for on the cross.

 

DoorwaytoLife

 

God’s love for us came with the appearance of Jesus and His sacrifice for all of our sins. All you have to do is believe in Him and repent of your old life and your sins. Don’t take the easy way or the way that seems to be the way which everyone else is on. Follow Jesus, ask Him to become your Savior when you feel convicted of your sins, whatever they may be!

There will be many religious people on that broad road and many will be going through the big doorway. Many of them will believe that they have been Christians for years since they attend church semi-regularly, but going through the motions of going to church and giving tithes and reading your Bible isn’t enough. If Jesus isn’t in your heart and if He hasn’t changed your life then all of those things mean nothing!

If it would surprise someone to know that you even attend church then you need to seek your salvation through God’s Word and repentance before it is too late.

Why?


It is a question which we hear, especially parents, when our child or children are young. They ask it…sometimes to the point of getting on our nerves with the number and frequency of the question!

Sometimes we can answer it with a realistic answer and sometimes it is “Because I said so!”! But, this week we have no answer for the shooting in Las Vegas. There is no note or reason or anything that even approaches rationality. Because there is nothing rational about this! Was the shooter insane? I don’t know and few other people have a real clue either. Had he been “radicalized” in some way? Who knows?

Why is a question which we as a nation will be asking about this for a long time. Will we ever find the answer to that question? I honestly don’t know. In my view, my opinion is that only the shooter knows and God and likely we will never find out the actual reason. Because, the behavior to do such a thing defies logic and any human decency.

On the news tonight, Steve Hartman said that there are no real words to describe or comfort this type of event and he is right. We can’t think of anything to say because there isn’t anything that makes any sense when you are talking about an act so dehumanizing and tragic.

Life is precious. Not just one person’s life or a particular skin color or religion, but to God ALL human life is precious because He made us in His image! At one time the rule of law was that “when man kills another man, then by man his life will be taken“; which we have toned down with political correctness so that even when convicted a killer can live out his natural life without ever being killed for his crime! Some even claim that it is inhuman to punish a man in that fashion. Really? If they killed your wife or son or daughter, would you feel that way?

God is already punishing the killer from Las Vegas since he took his own life as well, so at least he is getting his punishment. His soul and his eternal body will endure that forever and there is no appeal or stay that will come to get him out of hell.

Hell was not created to punish mankind, but when we act like demons and follow the leading of their suggestions in our minds then God has no recourse but to place us in the same place of punishment that they have waiting for them. Please give your heart and life to Jesus and follow Him while there is still time to do so. We don’t know when He is coming back, but it won’t likely be much longer. Will we all live to see it? I don’t know, but I do know that when He comes there will be no doubt about Who it is and what is happening…at least to those who have heard about it or read the book of Revelation.

What is your hope for eternity?


Does your religion or belief tell you that you will live into eternity or do you just die? Some do look at life as being just what we have here on Earth, which honestly is nothing. If you only have this life to live and enjoy then what is the point of going on day by day? Life after the death of our physical body is the only hope that matters to a Christian. If that were not available and promised to us then, again there is no point to this life if it ends when we die.

john317Many stories from our families and friends and others who have been on the edge of eternity before death tell of a place where family lives and we thrive in bodies that are eternal. Where disease and death and other ailments that we have to deal with here on Earth are gone and the bodies which we have will have no limitations! That is the eternity that I long for, that I hope for and wait earnestly for. This life that is painful and stiff and limited, I would gladly give it up in a second for the one that is promised in God’s Word!

I do not mean that we should just give up on this life and commit suicide because that is very wrong too. The point that I am making about the few years which we have to live being nothing is that when you compare even a life of 120 years to ten thousand years or one million years of eternity….120 years is like a few days compared to those! Eternal life with God is not going to be boring because we will be with God, our Creator! All of creation will be laid before us to enjoy and see with our eyes! We will not be ghosts, we will be like Jesus was when He was resurrected! He had a body, but He could appear in a locked room, He could eat and drink too, a spirit can’t do those things.

DarkorLightGod has prepared a place for us to live with Him, in our eternal bodies without disease or pain or fear of death…forever. Believe in Him and seek Jesus out so that you can have eternity with Him because the other side of eternity, with Satan, is completely cut off from God and Life and it is forever too. It is your decision, but it must be made here in this life because when this life is over and your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then you get to step into the Father’s house. If your name isn’t there, then you will be in hell, the Lake of fire, with Satan and everyone else who chose not to believe and give their lives to Jesus.

So….choose which one that you can live with, forever.

Is evil around you today?


You may not work in a place where things could be described as evil, but there is evil in our world. People kill others for no reason or they rape and murder others and this is evil. Deciding to do things your way, regardless of what you feel in your heart is right because you want to do it that way is rebellion and that could be seen as evil too.

Especially if you claim to be a Christian! You have heard sermons and read the Bible and you know what is right or wrong, good or evil, but then you want something or someone so badly that, even when you know it’s wrong, and you know that God wouldn’t agree with you about it, you do it anyway. This is the rebellion that happened in the Garden of Eden.

lifeordeathGod only gave one rule, one tree which they were not supposed to eat from and because Satan made it seem like God was keeping something wonderful from them…Adam and Eve disobeyed God in this one thing. They chose to do it their way!! They chose to see if they would be more like God by being disobedient. It didn’t work out the way that they wanted. God didn’t kill them, but God had made them nearly immortal to begin with, so the punishment of death didn’t overtake them for many years. But it still came nonetheless.

While it was true that they weren’t immortal at the beginning, their bodies were perfect in their function. No disease, no malfunctions, no joint problems of any kind, yet we know very little about their time in the Garden. They may have been there for hundreds of years before they rebelled. In any event, it was their choice and it is that choice which ails all of humanity today. Really, there are only two choices in life…to be greedy and selfish or to help others and to do good for others.

The choice between good and evil, light and dark, greed or selflessness, black or white; it really has always been this simple. Turn to the left or the right, which will it be? Just as in the cartoons of a few decades ago, an angel on one shoulder and a little demon on the other…which one will you listen to? Life, choices, movies and their endings have always had a clear distinction between one or the other, most of the time.

So…will you choose Life with Jesus and in Heaven or will you choose punishment for eternity with Satan and his demons and others who chose to disobey God? It really is that simple…..

Why did you bring me back?


I have read some books from doctors about patients who have asked this question. Patients who had experienced death or as it is called in the media a near death experience. That is not exactly the right name for it, it is death but with a spiritual twist. If God had wanted that person dead then nothing that the doctors or anyone else did for them would matter. God allowed them to return because their story needed to be told, the feelings and experiences which they had in a few minutes or seconds needed to be told.

Many people experience peace and joy and a feeling that everything is fine. Some experience a horrifying and agony-filled few minutes which may change their beliefs after they return for their second chance. The point of this is that the veil which separates this life from the next is very thin spiritually speaking. We can’t see through it, although at times we feel things or see glimpses of someone or some place. We just brush it off as “it’s because I am tired” or “I didn’t really see that, did I?”.

Most of us forget those glimpses through the veil after a day or two, but for those who have crossed through the veil during a heart episode in the hospital or died on the operating room table and are brought back, the experience is too real to forget.

Is there life after death? YES! Jesus said so and He was and is alive now to prove it! He also told His disciples that He would return to take His church to be with Him. The veil which separates our earthly bodies from that eternity is thin and we are surrounded by spiritual beings all of the time. Do I have proof of this? No, I just have faith in God’s Word and it seems that the realm of the spirit was always there, even when Elisha was facing an army in the Old Testament. He asked God to show his disciple that they had more protection than the ones coming against him and he saw them!

The demons were and are everywhere in our world, yet thankfully we can’t see their form and their actions as we go about our daily lives. In Jesus’ day, a whole legion of them had taken over one man and when He told them to get out, they entered into a herd of pigs and the pigs drowned themselves in the lake.

My point is this: don’t discount the words of someone who has come near to death or has been brought back. They have seen something which few people see and live to tell of it. Does life continue after this shell of our bodies dies? Yes, it does. The enjoyment of life with Jesus is there but there is also a place without Him and it is a terrifying place without Jesus.

Our minds can barely imagine a few hundred years forward or back from our point of reference. One thousand years is a long time, but if you begin to think of one million or try to consider it then you can’t take it in. Any amount of time beyond one thousand is just a number to us, our minds can’t process it.

Why would someone who has been brought back to life be angry about having another chance at life? Because, for a believer the other side of the veil is so much more than we can comprehend now! Even a few seconds of life with Jesus away from the pain and mental anguish in this life would make you long to be with Him even more! But, when God sends a person back to this life, it is for a reason…His reason. Others need to know about the spiritual life that waits for them whether it is a life with Jesus or not!

john317Please, read God’s Word prayerfully. Seek Him out and His Son’s Life which is in His Word. Ask Jesus to come into your life and open your eyes so that you can experience His Life for eternity. God doesn’t want you to go to a dark place where He is not, because it is your choice if you refuse to allow Him into your life.

Do you question?


There are many, many people today who have questions about a great many things. So, do you ever question God?

I would imagine that many of us have, although hopefully not in a disrespectful way. Some people have angrily questioned Him in times of trouble wondering why He didn’t save them from what they are in. Questioning God is something which has been done for many hundreds of years if not thousands, but the best way to do it is by asking a simple question. One like, “God, will you save me and cleanse my heart? Make me a new creation so that I can be in your family. Amen.”

If we believe that God is Who He says in the Bible, then that question is settled already if you have sought Him out and asked Him to be your Savior. Questions are good things for the most part because they help us to learn things. Questioning authority by rebelling against it or protesting against it is wrong.

I don’t mean that we should be like sheep and follow our leaders without knowing them and where they are going, but learn about them and know who you are following. Don’t follow anyone who is untrustworthy or someone who is like a wind-tossed wave which goes one way and then another. If you aren’t sure of them and you feel in your heart that something isn’t quite right, then find another preacher, teacher or leader.

Questions are good for learning things and for teaching, but when you use questions as a way to incite violence or stir up trouble then you are following in some dangerous paths. These paths have been trod by demons and Satan himself who questioned God’s motives and His love for us and for the angels. God loves us all. He even loves Lucifer/Satan but his rebellion toward and hatred for God and His rule, especially when Satan said that he would exalt himself above the stars of God, that is what God will not tolerate. It is the sin of pride which brought Satan to his estate that he has now and it is pride which infects all of mankind.

We are as guilty of having more than our share of pride in our lives as he was. Some people even think of themselves as gods, although I don’t think they could create something from nothing as our God did. He loves you and me and all we need to do is seek Him, learn His ways from the Word and believe that His Grace has saved us because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. There is nothing that we can do to help God to make us better, just believe in Jesus and ask His forgiveness for your own pride and your life before you knew Him.

All of Heaven will rejoice when you come into the family, especially God Himself.

Amen.

Time waits for no one


eternityEvery year you hear someone on television saying that their resolution for the year is to spend more time with their family. It is usually a different person saying this every year but the sentiment and the reality are the same…we feel as if we don’t have enough time. As you get older, the days and weeks seem to go by faster and just mush into one another until, if you are like me, you can barely tell one day from the next.

There are days that I have had to pay attention to the television set or the computer screen just to keep the days separated, so I will know what day it is. I know that those of you who are going to school or work don’t really have this problem because your days revolve around your schedule. But, it is true that time doesn’t wait for anyone. Consider that on New Year’s Day at midnight when the year and the date changed, that specific time period will never happen again.

A few years ago before we got out of the first decade of the 21st century, you could have months where the day, month and year were all the same number. Those won’t recur until another century has passed, and even when they do technology will have changed, our culture and society will not be the same. Nothing repeats itself exactly because once a minute is gone, the things which happened in that minute are in the past.

The best part about our life today is that we, as Christians, serve a God Who can see those seconds and minutes and hours and years even when they have past. Time is not the same for God because He lives outside of time. Just as we will when we are in Heaven. Eternity begins the second that you take your last breath here. One year will be nothing when you are there. Ten thousand years will seem like a day or two, maybe.

Consider where your time will be spent and how much time that you think you have now. Think about your family and friends, where will they be in eternity? Have you considered it for yourself? Don’t put this decision off because you think you have plenty of time, that is a lie from Satan himself and he gets plenty of people to believe it. Those who died the next day thought they had more time. The only time that you have is right now. Make sure that you are absolutely sure and positive about your eternal home. One of them you will enjoy, the other you will not.

One breath away


onebreathaway

Every day each of us is only one breath away from meeting God personally. Why can’t people realize that their lives aren’t guaranteed? You are not granted 80 years on the day you were born. If you make it to the next day then you were under the grace of God and that grace continues until the day you take your last breath. It may be tomorrow or tonight, it may be next year or seventy years from now but there is a day and a date which God knows will be your last. Are you ready to meet Him? Have you given your heart to Jesus and secured your eternal home?

We live in a temporary world and it is on the fast track toward an ending. We don’t know the day or the hour when that ending will come and your life’s end may come sooner than you expect. Consider this before you head out the door for a trip in a car or plane. Think about what may happen should you die before coming back home. I know that these are not easy thoughts to have, but if you don’t consider it and you haven’t prepared for it…where will your eternity be spent?

God is closer than you think and He hears the prayers which are sincere in their petitions for repentance and salvation. Seek Him out while you can because there is never a better time than right now to give your life to Jesus.

Is your life yours?


This is what we think of our lives mostly…that we own it, that it belongs to us and we can do whatever we want with it. If you are not a Christian and you don’t believe in God nor have you given your life to Jesus and asked Him into your heart, then maybe you do own your life. Unless your parents do or your wife or your boss at work does. They do have a certain amount of “ownership” of your time and your life, up to a point. Our life, as we live it, is ours to do with as we please…until we realize that we need Jesus in our life and in our heart. Then we are His.

Why do I say it this way? Because He purchased us with His blood, His death and His resurrection! He paid all of our debts in regards to sin and we are His creation because He knew us before we were ever born into this world! Our purpose in this life, our REAL purpose is to serve Him in whatever way we can. Whether it is as a missionary or a teacher or a preacher or an evangelist. Our work for His Kingdom is to tell others about the gospel, the Good News of His gift of salvation! You cannot earn this gift nor buy it with any amount of work that you claim to do for Him, particularly if the work is done without Him in your life and heart.

Everything that is done prior to repentance from your sinful life and asking Him to cleanse you and make you a new creature if Him has the same value as garbage. In other words…it is worth NOTHING in relation to eternity! Life in eternity is only granted by belief in, and living your days with, Jesus. Remember the story about the thief on the cross? He didn’t have a chance to be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit nor did he have a chance to witness to many people, he only asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. Jesus said to him, “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” Because of his belief in Who Jesus was and is, his faith and belief in Jesus saved him from an eternity of punishment. He recognized the Messiah when very few did at that point.

Truly, because of God’s grace toward us, we belong to Him whether we have accepted His grace and mercy through Jesus or not. The unpardonable sin is that we go through life, having heard sermons or read the Bible and know the way of salvation and yet refuse it, sometimes you or someone you know has felt the pull or the voice of the Holy Spirit and just walked away. That is the unpardonable sin which will not be forgiven, especially if you die without ever repenting and turning to Jesus! Think about this, seek Him in His Word, listen for the Spirit speaking to your heart, pray about it and ask Jesus to come into your life and change you. Then live your life as a testimony to Him and about Him until you are called to Heaven by death or by the Angels. Just don’t wait like Satan wants you to, because his lie is that you have plenty of time yet your time may be up tonight or tomorrow!