Have you considered…eternity?

Your life here is not all that there is, we were created to have an eternity to go into after this life, but many people don’t consider that to be truth. Why? Because, they can’t see any of it or any of the rewards and work to be done for God’s Kingdom in it now! There are many teachers today on the Internet, in pulpits, on television who are teaching their “version of the gospel”, which Satan does as well. He has had many years to perfect his delivery of his gospel and just as he did when he tempted Jesus, he takes scripture from the Bible and either leaves a portion out or takes it out of context. Some preachers today do that too.

Their teaching is full of partial scriptures, bits and pieces, which don’t really make much Biblical sense unless they are taught in context with the scripture or passage or paragraph that they began in. A partial truth, leaving out a word or taking Scripture out of context, is a lie! A lie that sounds like it came from God’s Word, and it did but without the text around that verse, it can be made to say almost anything. This is how Satan used scripture, by picking a verse and using it to make his point…not God’s point.

Today, not just in America but all over the world, people are being killed or put in to prison for their belief in Jesus. The problem with this is that Jesus is the only solution to our problems, here and now and into eternity! Put down your “self”, bury him or her and take up the cross of Jesus! What does that mean? It means to put others ahead of you, to be kind to one another, to love one another with an unselfish love. The kind that doesn’t say, “what’s in it for me?”!!

Living this way is following the teachings found all through the Bible, not just what Jesus taught. God has always had the answer for our lives, we are just too stubborn to listen or even look for it in His Word! Then, sometimes, when we do find the answer that we were looking for we claim it as our answer not that it came from God. We don’t give Him the credit or the glory for what we find. This is exactly what most “self-help” books do, maybe not word for word because that is plagiarism, but the advice you see in them is exactly the advice you can find in the Bible.

Eternity is going to be there after this life, but it is the experience in eternity that people should be working now to ensure. If you follow your own ways or the ways of the world, and reject any or all of the teachings found in the Bible, then your eternity is going to be very different from a Christian’s eternity.

I know, many of you will say that I am being self-righteous about Christianity but I am not. My righteousness alone is not enough and yours isn’t either, as a Christian I claim the atonement and the righteousness of Jesus that He paid for on the cross! It was the “self-righteous” priests who had Him executed because they felt that they were going to lose their “position” with the people.

Before too long it is going to be more persecution, not just in America but all over the world and it will be against Christians just as it is in Muslim countries now. For many people the prospect of persecution will be enough to keep them from becoming a Christian. For the immediate future, I understand that, but think of your eternity. Once this life is over, however the end comes, you will be faced with that. Eternal unity with God and many friends in Heaven or separation from God in a place of torment and misery forever. Which would you rather endure since while you still live, you do have a choice?

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We truly are…

Vessels of God’s Spirit and we are also where He resides in us and not in a temple.  When  you have given your life to Jesus, you become the home, the dwelling place for the Spirit of God. At this point in time, we are very important to Him because everything that we do or say from that point on reflects on His Kingdom and His Glory. We are His and He is ours because we  have taken His Spirit in to live in us.

So what have you done to let anyone know Who lives inside you? Have you ever even thought about telling someone about your salvation? Many Christians really don’t think about it, but that is exactly what we are told to do by Jesus himself. We are supposed to go and tell the world or as many people as we can. If you are shy, ask God for help in that area.

People should be able to tell if you are a Christian, but in some parts of the world that is a dangerous thing. True, being a Christian is something which takes courage and strength especially today but it has been this way for many years. It is sad that we are walking away from Him and His Wisdom in droves today, many are even running as fast as they can or trying to take as many people with them as possible.

A line has been drawn, from the beginning at Eden, between good and evil, between God and Satan the world that we live in is being pulled and drawn in directions opposing each other. Please, read the Bible. Pray for clarity and understanding so that God can help you to understand His Word and the Truth held within it.

Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we can be forgiven by God. He is the Creator and the One that can see all that is happening today and tomorrow. When we realize this and ask His forgiveness for our sins and then turn to Jesus and allow Him to create in us a pure heart that the Spirit can inhabit, then we can begin to heal our world and our communities.

The only REAL fix and cure for the ills in the world and the problems which are coming in the near future, is Jesus the Messiah. Not Muhammad, nor Buddha or any of the other “man created” saviors of the past few thousand years, but Yeshua is the One and Only Son of God and He is standing at the right hand of God waiting for the order to be given to get the church, the Bride of Christ. When that happens, there won’t be anything holding the real evil in this world back any longer.

God’s Word is True and it is the Truth. Why or how could you get a book written by about forty different men, separated by hundreds or thousands of years and yet their writings all point, in some prophecy contained within, toward Jesus? It isn’t possible today and it wouldn’t have been possible then, but the Hebrew people who kept the records made sure that the Word and the laws that they were writing down were accurate.

Please read Romans 8, the whole chapter, and see that a man who had tried to destroy the church actually built most of it by his writings and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote 13 books out of the New Testament, he had been trained as a Pharisee, he knew the Torah and all of the writings by memory. Yet, it took an encounter with the glorified Jesus on the road to Damascus to bring him to belief and he did!

A Satanic view

“In Satan, the individual follows their own destiny and choices. Satan only asks that the individual uses intelligent action based upon reason, but never faith, and thus the individual will prosper in this life and the next.” —-satanicviews

This was a comment that I got on a post which I had put up about Jesus coming to us and for us. It seems that this is a feeling or sentiment which many people have. It is one which we, as Christians, cannot understand or even comprehend. Satan is not a benevolent being as they seem to think. He and his demons and powers and principalities HATE us with a hatred which even goes beyond any Nazi or communist or even Islamic hate!

There is no love for us because, to Satan, we represent the image of God which we were created in. Another assumption that people like this make is that the next life is going to be an eternal party, when the sad fact is that it will be torment and punishment. Satan may help you in some ways to prosper in this life in order to draw you away from and keep you away from any faith or belief in God or Jesus. As long as you are not interested in becoming a Christian, then Satan has no problem with you because you essentially belong to him by default, whether you worship him or not.

In many ways, we are very much like Adam in the book of Genesis. We go about our lives doing this and that, thinking that everything is fine until one day something goes wrong. It may be a disease or a diagnosis or a wreck. Then what do we do? Many people blame God or fate for what has happened to them. If it is bad enough, they may even curse God and yell at Someone they may not believe in thinking that will make them feel better. But, it doesn’t.

Your lot in life, just like mine, is to sit here and take whatever life throws at you right? NO! It really depends upon your beliefs or your un-belief, whichever it may be. Consider the person or power that you believe in. Which one actually cares about you and your condition? Satan HATES all of humanity, because they are created in God’s image. It doesn’t matter if you are the high priest of a satanic coven or not, he will happily watch you float around in the lake of fire just as he will anyone else. Satan will allow you to claim all of the worldly success that you can stand and then some, as long as you are not trying to find God. So, in a sense, he will “provide” you with all that the world cares about including money, cars, a nice home, a four-wheeler and horses, land, all the guns that you want. Then what?

One the other side of the spiritual coin, there is God. He DOES CARE about all of His creation. Plants, animals and especially humanity since we are created for a purpose and in His image. God has given us life to live abundantly for Him and He gave each of us a talent in some area whether it is training horses, being a teacher or preacher, a policeman or woman, a mayor or any other type of politician, a truck driver or a farmer. He gives talents to all of us freely, whether we use them to gather wealth to ourselves or not is our choice. So, what is our purpose within this life that we are freely given?

To choose.

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

We have the right and privilege to choose. Not by flipping a “spiritual coin”, but by making an intelligent choice. One that makes sense spiritually and eternally, not one from a point of reason. Why do I put it like that? Because from a reasoning point of view…a scientific point of view, God and belief in Him doesn’t make sense. You can’t touch or taste Him, you can’t put your finger in the wounds of Jesus like Thomas did. Belief and faith go together like PB&J, and you can’t really have one without the other.

It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes or even the type of hair that you have, if you truly believe the Word of God is True and did come from Him then our ancestors were created in Eden by God Himself. We are all children of Eden, of Adam and Eve. We are all of one race, the human race. Culturally we are different, as different as six thousand years give or take will make us, but God can trace all of us back to Noah who is a grandson of Adam. I say is because his faith in God’s promise and his belief that God would save humanity placed him in God’s hands.

Understand that you and I are God’s children and His creation, but you have to choose whether you will serve Him in this life, in order to have true Life in eternity to come. This is not all that there is, working, living, loving your family, smoking, drinking…these are all enjoyable to us now, some more than others. What will you do if you died tonight, if you knew that you would not see tomorrow morning? Would you ask Jesus into your heart?

Would you decide that you would rather take your chances? On what? Have you fed thousands or healed the sick? Can you walk on water? None of us can do those things! We are not righteous in God’s eyes! The only way that you get into Heaven is by accepting Jesus as your Savior, repent of your life’s sinful ways meaning that you will turn from them! Could you do all of this if you were to have a heart attack right now or even on the way home? The time to decide about your eternity is now, not tomorrow, not next week. Make sure that you truly know where your eternity is because this life doesn’t last very long and it seems that the years go by faster every year. Don’t turn Jesus away when you know that you need Him in your life. Another chance may not present itself. Think about it.

The truth of the Bible!

Emperors like Diocletian have decreed its extermination, atheists like Voltaire have railed against it, agnostics through the years have cynically sneered at it, and liberals strive to remove the miracles from the Bible. Materialists have simply ignored it. How is it that the Bible still stands after centuries of attempts to destroy it? Because the Bible is eternal, settled in heaven.

It is, very simply, God’s Word to mankind! Breathed by the Holy Spirit into the minds of men who wrote the words down so that we can benefit from its wisdom. There is no way of getting rid of its timeless wisdom or ignoring it in any way. You may do so, if you wish, but it will gain you nothing except a life of missed chances to be of any worth to the Kingdom of God. You can ignore it, but when you face your judgement in the presence of God, it will convict you of your ignorance and your reluctance toward the message that it carries.

It is a book of knowledge and power, and one which contains historical words of wisdom and the history of the Jewish people. It contains the story of creation, betrayal, murder and redemption, adultery, incest, and savage cruelty and slavery. But…it also carries a line of hope and love beyond measure and a promise that your life and mine can be made whole again regardless of the way we may have been before coming to Jesus!

God’s Word contained in the Bible has all of these elements in it as well as the hope that we can come back into the perfect relationship that was intended at the beginning. For that, we shouldn’t give up on its wisdom or dismiss it as an old book which is outdated for our time. We should use it, every day to bring new meaning and purpose into our lives and to learn the wisdom contained in its pages as well. If for no other reason than to teach it to our children and our grandchildren, that is why it exists.

God gave all of the books of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, to us for instruction and learning, for wisdom and for the Truth that it contains. We cannot ignore it or deny its existence and we can’t just throw it away. It is a Holy Book and truly should be treated as such. In reality, we should treat the Bible at least as necessary as our cell phones which people can’t live without these days. We should carry it with us every day and miss it if we find out we have left it behind. Its wisdom is necessary for our existence and we should use it and treat it as being important to us, especially if we are born-again Christians!

Although today people who don’t believe the words contained in it are very vocal with their opinions, some are even belligerent to the point of being rude and obnoxious. Just because the Word of God tells the absolute Truth and has been the model for much of our nations laws is no reason to be this way. It does step on people’s toes a bit because it brings to light their sins and their nature that is opposite of the Word of God and many people can’t handle their faults being brought into the light this way. The Bible is still and will always be the Word of God!

It has been established in Heaven and the words in it were given to the writers by the Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity. The Word of God, contained in the Bible, has been around for over three thousand years and it is NOT going away, EVER!! You can get rid of them, burn them, destroy them, but the Word is still around in the hearts and minds of Christians and Jewish people! These two faiths contain the entirety of the Bible and the Word of God cannot be destroyed and never will be, regardless of the feelings of many who don’t go along with its words and beliefs.

What will you do?

We will soon have a new year to start or begin again in, so what will you do with it? Will you just hope for a little less waistline or maybe a better job? Maybe you will decide that you will be a better person this year and be nicer to people who you would’ve ignored in years past? All of these good things…these good intentions are wonderful, but if you haven’t changed, if your heart and your soul hasn’t changed, how will you do this?

I am not writing this to criticize people in general, it’s just that problem of character that all of mankind has. If our character hasn’t changed in the past year or two, how can you just decide to be better, when you aren’t really any better than you were? Making resolutions to lose weight or to be a nicer person is great, but if the person doing this or attempting to do this hasn’t truly changed, then it is impossible. Man cannot change himself just by willing it, just as you can’t grow any taller or change your hair color by wanting to do so.

God is the only One Who can change your heart, which changes your character and allows you to be that better person and live a better more productive life through Him. We can’t do it on our own nor can we seek help from someone else to achieve our goal! Being associated with Jesus every day, praying for strength daily, reading God’s Word daily, is the only path that leads us toward Him and being the person that He knows we can be.

Many people don’t like and won’t like the things which I have written here and I really don’t care. I am tasked with the job of telling people, all people, that the only way to get to Heaven and be a better person here and now is by asking Jesus into your life and your heart. Then living it out daily!! You can’t just say the words to the sinner’s prayer without conviction in your life and your heart, and then just go back to doing what you were doing before! Living a changed, ransomed life through Jesus every day, praying and asking for His strength to get you through every day, reading and learning more about Him every day from the Word, that is the life of someone who is seeking to know God and Jesus! Not just say, “Hi!” one morning in church or in your living room, and then go on as if nothing happened!

How can anyone truly and honestly meet the Creator of the universe and not be changed?! It shouldn’t be possible but many people do it every Sunday or whenever they go to church. They hear the message and seem to agree with it and sometimes they even respond to it physically by walking down and bowing their head and maybe even getting wet in the baptismal pool, yet they go back to their lives without much of a change inside and sooner or later, the lack of change becomes evident. How? Because, there was no conviction from the Spirit that brought them to their knees and made them realize how far away from God they really are, that is how you can go through the motions and still not have Jesus or a change in your life! How do I know this? Because I did it. Three times I went down front and three times I went through with the baptism in water, but nothing changed because God had not made that evident in my life that I needed the change!

Psalms…do they matter anymore?

The entire book of Psalms is quite big compared to other books of the Bible, but they contain comfort, advice, wisdom, and praise. All of the other books of the Bible contain those things as well, but not as well understood as those in the Psalms. Do we need them today? Do they matter to you? Yes, we need their wisdom and comfort and truly the Psalms should matter to all of us, especially those who claim to be Christians.

God gave the words and the wisdom to David who wrote most of them and to the other writers as well, so why not acknowledge His involvement in His Word? He inspired the writers of the entire Bible and He still inspires writers today. Many Christian writers don’t come by their wisdom that they impart to us through books or blogs by their own knowledge. College degrees don’t impart wisdom, they impart knowledge to the extent that you can absorb it.

My degree is in Clinical Laboratory Science which is totally UN-related to what I write here.

Psalms has helped me to get through the early months of depression that I have been going through and I am sure that God’s Word will provide much more comfort as time goes by. Despite what some agnostics feel or believe or rather don’t believe, God does exist and one day they will bow down and confess that He is Lord.

Why do I think this? Because the Bible tells me that it will happen! Time has gone by for the past couple of thousand years and He hasn’t returned BUT when He does…the skeptics will understand and they will tremble! Because they didn’t believe when they should have.

Psalms is a wonderful book and it has an abundance of wisdom in its chapters and it is useful for wisdom for life and being able to make it through many problems. But, you will never know that the wisdom is there unless you read it. Just as the book of Proverbs is an excellent book for living life and for business too, you will not realize it unless you read it. The entire Bible itself, from Genesis to Revelation, is a wonderful book of historical facts, wisdom, laws, love, and prophecy. Yes, there are times that there are wars, death, plagues, incest, and a whole lot of things that demonstrate that the humans that are written to by the prophets are just that…human. We still have all of those things and more today, but the message that is contained in the words of the Bible is that there is hope and it is in the form of Jesus Christ.

He is spoken of from beginning to end, not only of the book of Psalms but of the entire Bible itself. Life is lived through the Bible, through the entirety of the Psalms. We can see the hope that is spoken of hundreds of years before He is born. He is Life and He is Lord.

The very idea that is being tossed around in the world today is that Jesus was just a man, a prophet, a teacher and nothing more. He was foretold to be the Son of God and He was and is the Son of God. Belief in Him is necessary for Christians, not so much for everyone else. But, the demons believe in Him, Satan believes in Him. They know Who He is and why He came, they just chose not to obey Him as the other angels do.

I know, all of you who don’t believe in God don’t believe in any of these other “beings” either. Well…tough, because one day, if you don’t change your mind and finally believe in Jesus as the Christ, you will get to meet them all. Your meeting won’t be a happy one, nor will it be one that is a brief one either. It will be for an eternity. Read the Bible, the Psalms, the prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel and then Revelation. If you still don’t believe, then I am sorry.

Arguing about God’s existence

I was challenged the other day in a way that I, as a pastor, did not understand. It was that I was using “circular reasoning” in my writing. The thing about this is that with circular reasoning you are simply stating a fact twice, once at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph and once at the end and they could both be swapped with no one being able to discern the difference. OK, I concede that writing about God and Jesus and their love for us it circular reasoning. You can interchange God and Jesus in any part of a sermon and you would be saying the same thing. There is nothing wrong with it, regardless of the grammar police and their position on it.

It is a fact, Biblically speaking, that the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are in effect interchangeable. What one of Them can do, all of them can do, separately or together.

The argument from those who choose not to believe in God is that they “want certified proof, something that can be scientifically proven and tested”. How can you test something that is beyond your comprehension? How can you prove something that you can’t touch or feel or smell or taste? Can you prove that love exists? Can you show me a jar with darkness in it? These are things such that cannot be proven, just as God’s presence in our universe cannot be proven by our natural senses, yet He is there.

My faith says that He is there. I don’t need a paper or a proof to show it. What is lacking in the eyes of those that don’t believe is…faith in God. If you don’t have it and He hasn’t called to your heart, then you can’t just decide to get some. It is not something which is in your control, being a Christian today is just like being a disciple when Jesus was beginning His ministry…you have to be chosen first.

I am not saying this to make it seem that Christians are special, but until you feel the call of the Spirit on your life you won’t know that you truly and desperately need Him.

Just as proving God’s existence is futile, your need for Him is there but until you need Him, you won’t seek Him. But when you do seek Him, you will always find Him.