Two Paths, One Leader

I was told this by a very unusual source yesterday,  “There are two paths before you, but only one of them is the right one”. If this advice had come from my pastor or a friend, it would have been profound. It came from a ten year old boy and it is just as profound as if it had come from anyone else. The wisdom is beyond his years, but I think the advice came to him from God.

The leader, of course, is Jesus. The two paths could be to life in eternity or in hell or they could be leading someplace else. I still have a lot of searching and praying to do. I already have accepted Him as my Savior so I am assured of eternity. It is the two paths which I have before me yet that concerns me. If your pathway in life is coming to a fork in the road, consult with the One who knows all paths and their destinations. Don’t rely on your own understanding nor on the so-called “wisdom” of others. Put your trust in the Creator of all things and since He is the Creator of time, He can see your future when you cannot.

God cares for all of us and does not wish to see any perish. He loves all of His creation and extends the invitation to all who will accept the gift of life through His Son, Jesus, who paid the price for all of our transgressions past, present and future. Give your heart to Him daily, you will not be disappointed. Even though the road may still have a few bumps and ruts in it after accepting Him, eternity will be so much better. We are not promised a smooth ride even after choosing to follow Him, but the ride will be better regardless.

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First American missionary, Adoniram Judson

I pray that this post finds all who read it in good health and not under persecution for believing in Christ. I read about this Christian brother who was such a genius in his youth that he was teaching the adults in Sunday school at the age of twelve. Later, he turned his intellect toward debating the validity of the Christian faith and persuaded many to renounce their faith while he was in college. He later, became one of the most influential missionaries ever to come from the United States. Here is a portion of his story….it will bring tears to your eyes, if it does not there is no hope for you.

Adoniram Judson served in Burma in the early 1800’s along with his family. He was arrested and falsely accused of being an enemy agent. While imprisoned he was forced to stand so that others could lie down and sleep. In tropical Burma, the sun was unbearably hot and since they were not allowed to bathe the stench was incredible. The officials in the prison decided that he was not being punished enough so they hoisted him up by his thumbs….pain filled every fiber of his body.

When he was finally returned to his cell, his precious wife, Anne, would creep in after dark and tell him, “Hang on Adoniram, God will give us the victory.”  Week after torturous week, Anne came by with the same encouraging words, “Hang on Adoniram, God will give us the victory.”  One night, she didn’t come, and another night passed without a sign of her returning. Weeks went by and the loneliness grew to an unbearable level. No one told him than Anne was dying.

Months later when he was released, a man whose body was so broken it was miraculous that he could walk at all, yet he began searching for his beloved wife, Anne. Returning to the place where they had lived, he saw a girl so covered in filth that he failed to recognize his own daughter. He picked her up and staggered into the tent, his eyes squinting in the darkness. It was then that he saw her lying on the cot, a bundle of bones and rags so weak and frail that she  looked like a skeleton. Her hair had fallen out and her bright blue eyes stared blankly at nothing. Hugging his daughter to his chest, he knelt and began calling her name over and over— “Anne, Anne, O my darling Anne.”  As his tears fell on her face, slowly her eyes moved with recognition and she struggled to speak. Her last words were, “Hang on Adoniram, God will give us the victory.”

That day, he lost his sweetheart, but not his faith or his courage. He began preaching again and was soon building churches. When he died, he left scores of churches and hundreds of Christian converts in that Muslim nation. He had fought the good fight and finished the race and kept the faith. Adoniram Judson will receive a crown of righteousness for his work for Christ.

Always on or barely burning?

Is your faith in Jesus on 24/7 or is it an occasional faith that only manifests itself when you need Him? Are you like the church that Jesus said was lukewarm at Laodicea and because it was lukewarm He would vomit it out of His mouth? The faith that is being shown by the churches in our time is fickle. Many of them want to hear things which make them feel good about themselves instead of the truth.

We are living in the age of the Laodicean church. Believing that we have everything that we need and yet we are poor, blind, and naked in relation to our faith in Jesus. New age, social norms, humanist views all point people in the wrong direction. It doesn’t matter what you call it, if it is not from Christ it is wrong! Your eternal future depends on your belief in Him, nothing more! Any rewards you may receive in Heaven are based on your service to Him and for Him. If you did nothing, you get nothing except life everlasting with Him which will be a reward itself!

Our culture today, especially in the last twenty years, has been exposed to great advances in communication technology. We can communicate with anyone, anywhere and at any time in a matter of seconds through the Internet or over cell phones. This has also caused many to question our belief in God or lack of it. If you have an always-on connection to the Internet you are never out of reach. If, like some people, you are still using dial-up you are only on-line occasionally.

Like someone who only goes to church on Sunday morning or when there is a crisis that they need God’s help with. You “dial God up” and ask or plead for His help, then when He answers your prayer you hang up and don’t come back until He is needed again. This is not how our life with Him is supposed to be! God loves us all and He never hangs up or gives up on any of us, so why do we?

Islam, a religion

There are many websites which compare Islam and Christianity but if you read the Bible and read the Koran, they are nearly identical in many respects. The only glaring difference is that the prophet who wrote the Koran is dead. The God of the Bible is not and neither is His Son, Jesus. I know that this post is going to inflame many who are practicing Muslims and I do apologize for this.

The principal reason that I am posting this is not to put myself in jeopardy but to bring to light some of the similarities of the two religions which seem to be unable to get along with each other. Many of the principles taught in the Koran are the same ones which are taught in the Bible. Why is there such enmity between these two religions? I believe it goes back to the time of Abraham and the enmity between Ishmael and Isaac.

There are many similarities between Judaism, Christianity and Islam but because of their differences in practice, these three religions seem to be at odds with each other all over the world. The Jewish religion doesn’t regard Jesus as their Messiah, Christians do and Messianic Jews do as well. Muslims regard Him as a great prophet but not the Son of God.

As for the prophet, Mohamed, being the messiah or the one who will bring unity, that notion is ridiculous. No mere man, prophet or leader can fulfill the position of the Messiah, only Jesus can do that. When He comes in His glory, the world will see, even those who hung Him on the tree.

Useful salt

Jesus called us, as believers, to be the “salt of the earth” which would make others thirsty for His “living water” of life everlasting. Are we doing that? Is the church doing what our Lord commanded us to do with our time on earth?  Some churches are preaching and teaching the Bible but many are not. They are being led and “talked” to by “pastors” who are just telling them what they want to hear, not what they NEED to hear.

Regardless of the time since Christ’s resurrection, He is coming back! He said it, the angels told His disciples that He would so there really isn’t any discussion of whether He will but when. I know that my blog here is not as big or as popular as I would like it to be but that is expected. Our country is moving in the direction of not being a Christian nation. We have already moved away from being a friend to Israel, which puts us in some dangerous territory. God said that He would bless those who blessed Israel and curse those who cursed (turned their back on) Israel and I believe that our country is beginning to reap the fruit of that decision.

We will not like the result and it is likely to get far worse before it will get better, if it ever does. Our lives are to be in service to Him, and to those who God knows will answer His call really don’t have much of a choice. His call on your life will be answered eventually, though it may be on your death-bed, but it will be answered hopefully in acceptance of Jesus. The alternative answer is not something that I would wish on anyone, enemy or not.

To be salt as a Christian you have to show your faith on a daily basis, not just holidays or funerals or even on Sunday morning. Part-time service is not service at all. How would you like it if cable or the Internet were only available two or three days out of a week? Or if some channels were available on Monday, but not Tuesday and Wednesday?  That is what being a sometime Christian is like. That is why the Church has always been accused of having so many hypocrites. It is because during most of the week, no one can tell the difference between you and anyone else, then on Sunday you go to your church. What type of message is that sending to those who are watching you like your children or the people you work with?  Think about it.

John 3:16,17