|Miles Lewis of Open Air Outreach preaching on campus at UCLA. He takes the presuppositional approach and attacks the unbelieving worldview that says the supernatural cannot exist. Within an hour of the dialogue a man came into the meeting acting violent, blapheming, and was very likely demon possessed. That footage is a little too intense for the general public however.|
Friday, December 29, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.
I do not think there are many Christians in the world today that would say that they never sin. There are of course a few that claim it, yet I would be hard pressed to see such a man or woman of God that kept their heart perfectly pure, their flesh perfectly crucified, and always loved the Lord God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and their neighbor as themselves 100% of the time. Well then why do we fall to it? Most of the time it is simply a matter of pride. We think we have it figured out better than the Lord, try to manage our lives ourselves, and subsequently screw it up and fall to one sort of sin or another. It is part of our flesh, temptation, the world, and the devil trying to drag us away from God. If we took an anonymous poll I am sure we would see this to be true, although few professing Christians would probably publicly admit it.
I will be the first to admit that I do indeed fall to sin. I stumble, fall, get dragged into the pit, and even sometimes get so depressed about it that I grab a shovel and start digging the pit deeper! It is in these times that I know full well that I am going against what our Creator wants me to do and instead do what I want to do. It is only when I come to my senses and realize that I have sinned do I come humbly before my Lord, beg for His forgiveness, and turn back on to the path towards Him. Why do we sin? Because it is pleasurable for a season. Because we want to run our lives. Because we want to be comfortable and happy with our lives.
What is sin? Sin is simply disobeying God. I won't go into particulars, it is well documented in this blog, that lying and stealing and such acts go against God and the conscience He has given us and is sin. When we look at the original sin of Adam what do we find? He simply disobeyed God. God said do not eat of the tree, Adam thought he knew what he was doing when Eve offered the fruit, and disobeyed God. He didn't lie, he didn't steal, he didn't blaspheme the Lord, he just simply disobeyed.
There are two types of sin talked about in the Bible, the sin of commission and the sin of omission. The sins of commission are easy to spot, just a few are noted above, and are usually plainly spelled out in the Bible. The sin of omission is one most Christians don't like to talk about.
Jam 4:17 Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.
In other words, if there is something we know we are supposed to do, but don't do it, it is also sin. Tithing is something we are supposed to do, yet so few people do it, why? Because when you boil it down they want to use the money for their own pleasure, they want to use it on themselves, and they want to use it to make themselves more comfortable. They believe they know how to manage their money better than God and simply disobey, and sin in the process.
Bible reading is yet another. How many professing Christians can say they read their bible without fail daily? Yet the Word says we should meditate on His laws day and night that we do not live on bread alone but by every Word of God. Yet how many would rather enjoy the pleasures of TV or a movie, how many don't have time for it, and how many simply think they know everything that is in there? They believe they know better how to manage their time and intake of knowledge and simply disobey, and sin in the process.
I know some folks are reading and were getting a little nervous but put up a little smile after they read those simply because they do them. If you do then praise the Lord and continue to do what you are doing! I have one more to throw at you however.
What about sharing your faith? How many professing Christians can say they actively share their faith? A poll by Bill Bright says only 2% actively share their faith. Yet saints this is something we are supposed to be doing. We should be a light on a hill yet we seem to be a dead flashlight in the cupboard! Why don't we do it? Because it is hard to do, because someone might think we are a lunatic, because we shouldn't push that on someone, and because it is just plain uncomfortable for us. We choose our own comfort over God's commands and commit a sin of omission by not doing it.
Joh 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
My dear friends, brother and sisters in Christ Jesus, if you find yourself today in the sins of commission or omission do not despair. Come before the throne of the Most High and cast yourself on His mercy. Then get up and repent. Don't simply feel bad because you do or don't do something but do something about it. Call on His strength because only in Him can we live a holy life. There is nothing in us that can beat sin, but, we can choose not to and allow Him to give us the victory by working in us. Friend whatever your sin may be look to your Rock and Refuge to give you strength and do what you must do to finish the race that has been put before you.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Good News! There are two ways into heaven!
Working the third shift has given me a great perspective in the sense that in the darkest hours of night when things are very quiet God provides me with a time to reflect on the life God blessed me with, His church, His community and His world. I was in the process of putting up a post when I noticed John put one up an hour before me. The funny thing is I was going to write one along the same lines, so with that having been said we'll consider this a series.
Recently one of my assignments in school required me to critique a pastor's work on the salvation of those who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ or even heard of His name for that matter. Do these people find salvation? Scripture clearly indicates that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father but through Him. Scripture also indicates that some will be made for election while others for destruction and who are we as the clay to question the Potter (Romans 9:14-24)? Now I might get some comments on this but I must say it... there are two ways into heaven. One is through Jesus Christ, the other is perfect adherence to the law. In Luke 18:18 The question asked of Jesus was "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" I think it is fair and everyone would agree that Christ wasn't here to play word games and He certainly can't lie. He did answer with Truth. In all of scripture you will always find Christ giving law to the proud and grace to the humble. Case in point, the woman at the well, Jesus convicted her of her immoral lifestyle by telling her of her five husbands and her current live-in situation. With the woman caught in the very act of adultery, Jesus did not give her the law, her shame was there in the open public for all to see, but He did however write on the ground and then said "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7 NASB). These are only a couple of examples of law to the proud and grace to the humble. So, in answering the young ruler, what Jesus said was Truth, ""You know the commandments, 'Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'" Jesus was reading the law to this man. Why? God's law is perfect and just, to say it is not is blasphemy. Men are not perfect and cannot keep all of the law. Jesus knew this man's heart as He knows all men's hearts that is why He came here, Jesus knew (being deity), that no man ever could nor ever would be able to keep all of the law, hence He offered Himself up as the sacrificial lamb for the world. Jesus offered the young ruler redemption by showing him that he was in sin and needed a Savior the same as everyone else and that He was that Savior in verse 22. Most people think they are "good" people, ask anyone you meet on the street and they will proclaim their own goodness, the Bible says men will. That is why Jesus asked "Why do you call Me good?" No one is good except God alone." Most men rate themselves on man's standard, in most cases using that standard, they would be good, but God's standard is perfect and we all fall short. Jesus was showing the man this. Webster's defines "good" as morally perfect. So in light of scripture there is none good. Now we know that Jesus is good but He emptied Himself of His glory to be here among us and gave all glory to His Father in heaven, so His statement is True. Roman 3:10-11 clearly states "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God." Jesus again gives us a glimpse at this other way to heaven in Luke 10:25-28 where a lawyer asks Jesus the same question to test Him. Jesus didn't respond with "follow me, I'll give you peace, joy, love and a happy life", no... He asked him what was written in the law. How does it read to you? After the lawyer answered Him, Jesus responded by saying "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."
Now after saying all that, does the person who has never heard of the name Jesus Christ find salvation? I guess my personal belief is that I truly don't know. However, scripture seems to indicate that because Jesus is the only way to the Father, and scripture also indicates that some are made for destruction (Romans 9:14-24), then unless Christ reveals Himself through dreams, visions, etc. I am left to believe that there are people that will perish. I guess this is where I think it gets sticky and people have a tendancy to question God's integrity. The one thing I do know for certain is that God is just and holy. He makes no mistakes. So if there are people that perish, then they were destined to perish whether or not they heard the Gospel. This would also include babies, which is where it can get extremely sticky, because no one wants to believe babies would perish. I certainly don't, but who am I, the clay questioning the Potter? God can see the life of that baby to it's conclusion and thus knows if that baby would repent and turn to Christ. Every fiber of my being wants to think that babies are exempt from judgment, but are they? What I have said in the past, and I will reitterate is we must not first, question the integrity of God and second we must be very, very, very careful not to create a god of our liking/understanding, this is idolatry and God hates it. We broach this when we start forming opinions and personal beliefs. We know that our conscience bears witness to the law. This is for all of humanity throughout the ages past and to come. What seperates us from the unregenerate soul? When the unbeliever wakes up they say "Today is (fill in the day), today I sin", not literally mind you, but in an essance they don't care that they have transgressed the law written on their hearts. To sleep around, or get drunk and high, or steal is not so bad and sometimes is kind of exciting and fun, and hey they're not as bad as some people, right? Wrong. But this is the mind of the unregenerate soul. When a believer sins, they fall into sin against their desire. They have no desire to anger or hurt the Lord. They know the heavy price He paid. It pains them to sin. Most accept that man is born with a sin nature and that he carries original sin from Adam. Everyone born since Adam and Eve and including them need a Savior. There is not one except Christ that can keep all of the law. Our sin nature deprives us of this ability. Hence our despererate need for a Savior. So if a person dies without knowledge of Christ which means no enlightenment through dreams, visions, stories, etc. Then that person is destined for destruction. This is an extremely difficult subject that challenges solid believer's because there is no text that is clear on either side. Although it would seem that it does lean on the side that some are made for destruction. I think some people have a hard time with that idea because why would a good an just God make people that are set for destruction. I think this is only simantics. It is because He is outside the boundries of time and can see through history, He already knows who is bound for destruction. To not make these people would be in an essence "stacking the deck" for another outcome. It's like saying He wouldn't make Adam because He knew he would fall. I feel that the key is what Jesus commanded us to do in the Great Commission. Are we doing that, or are we doing it in a friendship evangelistic sort of way? We are to seek and save the lost. Who are the lost? I don't know, so that means I need to share the Gospel with everyone I meet. To which I am guilty that I haven't and this is an obvious sin of omission. If anything it would seem that this post should compel people to share their faith, to get out of their comfort zone. Every 24 hours 150,000 people walk off into eternity, heaven or hell as I type this.
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our own hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
As I think about the statements made above I cannot help but see their bold and correct stance on the state of the world today. I not only see the world but also the state of the church of Jesus Christ as well.
We have built churches all around the country; I don’t think we can travel the space of a few miles in any populated area without seeing at least 2 or 3 on every corner. We have been preserved in peace in a country where religious expression is not only allowed but encouraged. We have been multiplied and enriched with churches that would rival many rich people’s houses nowadays. We look at how far the “church” has come and we vainly imagine in our own deceitfulness of heart that we somehow did it, while giving passing glory to the Lord of how He has blessed it.
We look to men that might not even have the power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives to guide us because they appear successful. We gobble up their teachings while the Word lays dusty and untouched. We give glory to the Lord but ignore the commands He has given us to lead holy lives and instead flock to the same men that “tickle our ears” as it says in Timothy.
It’s time church to wake up! It’s time saints to grab the Word and sharpen the Sword that the Lord has given us. It is time as a nation we put aside the deeds of darkness and pray for forgiveness and start walking in the Light. It is time that as “Soldiers of Jesus Christ” as it tells us in 2 Corinthians that we rush into the battle.
But we are you say. We are signing petitions, we are demonstrating, and we are trying to show the world the morality that it is missing. WE, WE, WE but are WE turning to God or walking in our own wisdom? It is time we get back to the Word and see who it is who changes hearts and minds and it is only the Lord alone. Signing petitions and things of that nature are fine, but we first and foremost need to do what the bible tells us to do which is to go out and seek the lost. We need to get out there and tell them the Good News of Jesus Christ. We need to pray that the Lord would awaken the souls of people and bring the convicting knowledge of sin and judgment to come.
We do that you say. We make church inviting and pleasant so that people will be pulled in and join. Does that what the Word says? The Word says that the church is where the saints, the saved, meet for instruction in the Word, not where to bring lost people! We need to go out into the world where they are and speak to them there. That doesn’t seem quite logical you say. It doesn’t have to! The Lord has given us the blueprint in the bible of what we must do; our simple task is to obey it.
Well that was in different days you say. Dear church, sin has not changed. The nature of sin has not changed it has been exactly the same since the garden. There is nothing new under the sun, human nature is exactly the same as it always has been. To quote Leonard Ravenhill “Human Nature is still a sinful nature”. It is only by the blood of Jesus Christ that we can escape that nature, and that will never change. Nothing has changed, we need to reach this world with the message of Jesus Christ.
There is nothing new under the sun as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes. That quote from above that seems like it came from a man of God in the pulpit today was actually spoken by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 declaring a national day of prayer, fasting, and humiliation. Let us humble ourselves saints and realize we must be about the Work the Lord of the Harvest has given us.
Friday, March 03, 2006
A local newspaper here recently asked for people of the community to send in an essay of 500-750 words for possible printing in the weekly religion section of the newspaper. The topic of the essay was to be first person, what you believe, why you believe it, and how it applies to your life. First off I think it is very daring, specially in these politically correct times that we live in, to actually even ask for this type of information. Heaven forbid if we actually say why we believe in something, after all it might go against somebody else and start a riot across the world. Don't worry there are no cartoons in this article. :)
Of course I couldn't just let an opportunity such as this go by so I wrote up and sent in my article. Originally it was somewhere near a thousand words (just a little over the limit) so I had to cut it back a bit. As I look back over it I would be shocked if it got printed, so I thought "It is just way to good to never get viewed" so here it is for you to review and comment on.
"If you were to take a look at me I am sure there is nothing that would outwardly distinguish me as a Christian. Inwardly however I am a new creation in Jesus Christ and born again of the Spirit of God.
I knew I had to be born again, as it says in John 3:3, when I started to look at myself in God's law, the Ten Commandments. Instead of using them as a standard to live by however I used them, as God does, to judge myself. Had I ever lied? Of course I had and I knew in my heart what that made me, a liar. Had I ever stolen anything? Well nothing big of course, after all I hadn't robbed a bank or anything. As I looked at it more closely however I discovered that the value didn't matter, if I had taken $1 or $100 from a wallet I had still stolen something from someone. When I applied that to my life and how I acted I realized that I had stolen things, which invariably made me a thief. Had I ever taken God's name in vain? Yes, I had many times used His Name, the very name of God that gave me life, as just punctuation to a sentence or a cuss word and that then made me a blasphemer. As I looked at these I realized I was a lying, blaspheming, thief at heart and I still had seven other commandments to go! I realized that my breaking of the Commandments, or His law, was sin as it states in 1 John 3:4. I came to realize that I had fallen short of God's standard as it states in Romans 3:23 and I was guilty. If I was guilty then the next question would be would I go to heaven or would I go to hell?
I tried to console myself that God was loving, and kind, and merciful. As I kept reading the bible I came to learn that God does have another side as well though, a side that is holy, righteous, and demands justice. I knew that if God were to judge me by His law I would be guilty and that in order for His perfect justice to be carried out I would have to go to hell for eternity. Just being sorry wouldn't be enough, if I stood in a civil courtroom after stealing something and told the judge "I'm sorry" he wouldn't just let me off. The sentence would need to be carried out or a fine would be paid.
What if however someone did pay my fine? A large fine it was in God's eyes for breaking His eternal law, who could pay such a large fine and satisfy God's requirement on my behalf? I then found the loving, kind, and merciful side of God in the giving of His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the fines for my sin as stated in John 3:16. Jesus Christ paid the fine for me at the Cross. Now that was what He did but was their anything I needed to do? The answer was yes, I had to accept the payment on my behalf by claiming it and by turning away from my lawlessness and instead serve the one who gave Himself for me, in common terms, I needed to repent. I needed to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ just as someone trusts a parachute on a plane that they knew was going down. It simply was not enough to know that Jesus Christ could save me but, like a parachute, I needed to put Him on and get ready for the ultimate jump, death. I needed to follow and trust Him. I needed to be born again of the Spirit.
So how does this show in my life today? I am not the man I once was, the things of this world that once enticed such as money, material things, etc mean nothing. I spend my free time on the streets of Syracuse ministering to people by telling them the Good News otherwise known as the Gospel. To show them they to have fallen short of God's standard and to prepare for the final jump that must come to each and every one of us by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only one who can pay our fine."
Saturday, February 25, 2006
"Who do you think that I AM?"
With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well. Consider what the Bible says about Him
JESUS IS GOD
While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn't decide or didn't care. But Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.
Many people today don't understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They're content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That's why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).
C.S. Lewis observed, "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to" (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).
If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!
JESUS IS HOLY
God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).
As God, Jesus embodied every element of God's character. Colossians 2:9 says, "In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form." He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn't prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)
God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
JESUS IS THE SAVIOR
Our failure to obey God--to be holy--places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion "sin." According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: "There is no man who does not sin" (1 Kings 8:46). "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."
That doesn't mean we're incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we're utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, "There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one" (Romans 3:10-12).
God's holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: "The soul who sins will die" (Ezekiel 18:4). That's hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That's why simply changing our patterns of behavior can't solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy
Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Even though God's justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: "Christ ... died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). Christ's death satisfied the demands of God's justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." He alone is "our great God and Savior" (Titus 2:13).
JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH
Some people think it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless
If you take poison--thinking it's medicine--all the faith in the world won't restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you're trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.
Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6). He didn't claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God--
then and forever.
JESUS IS LORD
Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him
The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.
Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection--the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (John 14:15); and "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine" (John 8:31).
It isn't enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don't love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn't mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.
JESUS IS THE JUDGE
All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: "God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31).
Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."
HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?
Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.
Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you--free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
©1991 by Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Printed copies of this tract are available for purchase. Call 800 55-GRACE for information.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I was pondering a question... I once asked a guy who said he didn't believe in God, "if I didn't believe in trucks does that mean I could go stand on a highway and not get hit by one...?"
When you see a picture, you know there was a painter. When you see a building, you know there was a builder. So when you look at all of CREATION you know there was a CREATOR
CONSCIENCE... con = with, science = knowledge, so we were born with knowledge. The conscience tells us it is wrong to steal, lie, cheat, murder, commit adultery, fornicate, so when we do, we do it with knowledge that it is wrong.
So if we can agree that there is a Creator and that it is wrong to do those things I just mentioned, then we must agree that the Creator gave us that conscience to begin with, which means He finds those things disagreeable as well. So is it fair to say that punishment must be handed down for those people that have down wrong?
For example, should murderers get away with murder? Let's make it more personal, should a murderer get away with raping and murdering your mother, daughter, sister, grandmother... you get the picture? Have you ever hated someone, or gotten angry with someone out of unrighteousness? Jesus said in Matt 5:22 "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." Hate and unrighteous anger is the same as murder in the eyes of God. He looks at our thought life, not just our deeds.
Should God punish these people?
How about stealing, should thieves be left unpunished? What if it was your house that was robbed and it was your children that were helded at gunpoint while you were away at work? There was no harm that came to them, the robbers left with your belongings, you feel violated, your children are scarred for life, but you have your health. Havent we all stolen something in our lives at somepoint regardless of value, a Ream of paper from work for the kids school work. a paperclip, a piece of candy when someone wasn't looking, money from our parents wallets when we we children...?
Should God punish these people?
What about liars? You are in a courtroom fighting in a case that will cost you your dignity, your life savings, and future income, and everything is contingent on the testimony of one person and whether or not the jury believes her or you. But, the difference is YOU ARE INNOCENT! and have not been lying, and this person has been. Now we all know we have lied at one point or another in our live haven't we? We know that white lies and fibs count as lies or when we teach our children to lie when we tell them to tell the bill collectors/telemarketers we're not home because we don't have the money this month to pay them.
Should God punish these people?
What about Homosexuals? Does God love the sinner, but hate the sin? Let's look at scipture to see exactly what the Word of God says to see what happens to homosexuals on the Day of Judgment. 1Corinthians 6:19-10 says "9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." This does not single out ANY one group of people as some Christian group like to do but the scripture says ALL sin will be punished. homosexuality is a sin the same way that sex outside of mariage is a sin, and adultery is a sin. While we are on the subject let's define "adultery". Jesus said in Matt 5:27-28 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Have you ever looked at a woman or a man with lust? If you haven't do you have a beating heart in your body? How many people in this day and age have not committed fornication outside of marriage? How many of us have gone out partying and gotten drunk, or used illicit social drugs...?Just because it feels good and it's excepted by society doesn't make it right... How about abortion? Oh, we might want to make ourselves feel ok by saying life doesn't begin until a certain "week"..., but in our hearts we "know" that's not true we have knowledge, a CONSCIENCE. IT'S MURDER! God will punish it! This is what a late term abortion looks like... We're all guilty...
Should God punish us?
If God uses the standard of His Ten Commandments to judge us, and His Word says He will, How will you fair on Judgment Day? Will you be one that thinks they will be self righteous before a holy and perfect God and declare yourself to be GOOD? By who's standard? yours? Man's? Man is imperfect and fallible.
Here, try this on a civil judge. You've just been stopped for speeding through a blind childrens convention doing 55 mph when there were 10 clear warning signs that the speed limit was 15 mph. You could have killed someone. You are at court and the judge is about to pass sentence and you know you are about to be sent to prison for a very long time. you decide to show how contrite you are and throw yourself on the mercy of the court. You say "Judge and I am very sorry for what I have done, can you please forgive and let me go?" The judge knowing that you are sorry responds with "Sir/Madam, You should be sorry, what you did was extremely dangerous, you put the lives of many disabled children at risk with very little thought at the time. I have no choice but to give you time to think about that. My hands are tied, you must pay for your crime." or maybe you have heard of this judge's "goodness" and you are going to appeal to that so you respond with: "Your Honor, I am very sorry for what I have done, and I have heard that you are a fair and good judge, can you let me go and give me a break this time?" This is how the judge would respond. "Because I am a good judge I cannot be bought or bribed, I am fair and just and I must pass out sentances that the people entrust me to pass out that are consistent with the crimes that have been committed by the perpetrators. Sir/Madam you must pay for your crime."
If an earthly judge is going hold us accountable for the crimes we commit, how much more is a holy perfect judge going to make us that much more accountable on our court day with Him?
So, we're back where we started, JUDGMENT! God's justice will be equally dispensed, giving no exceptions to those who obey or disobey by reason of intent or abilty. His justice is equally applied to everyone in all it's punishments and rewards, it is all inclusive, no one can be excluded, it will be impartial, it will not be administered by emotion, decision, or conditions outside other law itself. God's judgement will be decisive and it will be understandable to ALL to whom it applies, which is EVERYONE!
Have I lost you yet?
Let's read what Jesus said about the Judgment. Rev.20:10-15 "10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 The Great White Throne Judgment Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."
But there is hope...
We all need a SAVIOR... and his name is in Acts 4:10-12 "10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Jesus said in John 3:3 "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
What does all this mean? It means we must see our sin as God sees it. As vile behavior. Unacceptable. Detestable. Just being sorry is not enough. We must turn from it. Believing in Jesus is not enough either. Satan believe in Jesus and as you've read he will burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity with the demons and those who's names are not written in the Book of Life. You must put all of you FAITH and TRUST in Him the way you would in a parachute if you had to use it to save your life from a plane that was going to crash and you had to jump to save your life. We all know we'd cling to that parachute and believe it would save us. That is the same saving faith you need to have in Christ to save you from sure death.
But there is Good News yet...
When Jesus came to this earth and in an essence made Himself what would be like you or I making ourselves into slugs... and was trampled on, beat, whipped, scourged, laughed at, mocked, spit on, and then hung on a cross to be torchured until He died... He then did something miraculous... He DEFEATED death!!!When you die as a "born again" believer in Jesus Christ you inherit eternal life... Why? It is not only because your fine has been paid by Jesus Christ... it has!!! But God... your Father in heaven no longer sees you as a unregenerate sinner... but He sees you as He sees His only begotten Son... He sees you as "perfect", "without blemish". Please understand, we don't deserve this... there is no amount of "goodness" we could ever do to deserve God's grace. If we got what we really deserved, we would all get hell. That's what makes Jesus' Good News truly Good News, in while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Oh, I beg you please do not miss this point...
Then you need to read your Bible everyday, if you don't have one, get one. Go to church. Find a good Bible teaching church. BE CAREFUL NOT TO GO TO A CHURCH THAT IS TEACHING A MAN CENTERED GOSPEL! What is that you ask? A lot of churches are preaching things about how you can improve your life, or improve your finances, improve your mind... STAY AWAY FROM THAT GARBAGE!!! Jesus said in Matt. 16:24-26 "24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. " 25"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. " 26"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Study God's Word, let it be nourishment for your soul. I can promise you, you will not be sorry. I can also promise you if you don't heed these word...
you one day will...