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Why You Should Believe in God

Believe-in-God-for-the-Scripture-says-796x477

Why should anyone believe in God? Are there really any good reasons to? I think the answer to that is unequivocally yes!

Should anyone believe in God because of what I say? No…but what God says is another matter altogether.

I know that there are many people who give the excuse that we shouldn’t believe in God because we can’t see Him.

However, while God may not let us see Him directly, He has left us tons of evidence that He’s real and that He does exist.

Click to finish reading my guest post on Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Prayer for Christians


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Prayer for the Persecuted

Prayer for Christians

THERE ARE MANY CHRISTIANS DYING BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT RENOUNCE THEIR FAITH. PLEASE, LET US SUPPORT THEM IN PRAYER.

Have mercy on me, O LordConsider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death.”  Psalm 9:13 (NKJV)

“All Your commandments are faithful; They persecute me wrongfully; Help me!”  Psalm 119:86 (NKJV)

But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.”  Jeremiah 20:11 (NKJV)

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”   Matthew 5:12 (NKJV)

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)

*Fruit:Patience


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The Great Commission

*Fruit:Patience

This is a devotional from my next book FACING STORMS: A DEVOTIONAL FOR THOUGHT AND MEDITATION

We have a great commission in life. We are called to make disciples of all the nations, including our own country. So, the rude co-worker and obnoxious neighbor is part of our assignment. God loves His entire creation and wants every person to accept Him as his or her Lord and Savior. This is every Christian’s most important calling and mission in life.

“It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor.”   ~ Martin Luther

No, this appointment is not an easy one, but neither is loving a people who falls so short of God’s morality. Thankfully, God refuses to give up on us and throw in the towel. He perseveres in demonstrating His love daily and in every moment. He longs for our fellowship and makes Himself available at all times. He creates incredible sunsets for our enjoyment and gives pleasure in so many different ways. His heart and passion belongs to us so, to model Him, our passion should be for the lost…. Be they ever so challenging.

People who rub us the wrong way are the means God uses to sand off our rough edges. They are placed in our life for OUR benefit. For by having them near us, we soon see our shortcomings and identify the weak areas in our character and spiritual walk.

Are you an impatient person? Ask for patience and God will surely send someone your way that challenges your temperance. Only by God’s blessed grace will you see a righteous gift of compassion birthed in your heart. Your self-control and forbearance will astound you. The sincere love and affection you are meant to feel for this person will deepen over time. So profound will it become, if you practice it daily, you will find yourself perplexed at how you ever saw them as a thorn or irritant in your side.

Will you choose kindness over selfish actions of rudeness? Will you overlook an offense and remember the many times God has forgiven you? Through simple acts of love, you can change a stony heart into a softer one, a heart the Creator can easily fashion and mold into something new.

Discernment will be given for the sake of intercession. Do not gawk at their sin or find pleasure in fault-finding. The Spirit will guide you as you pray and witness to them. Once hard to love (only because their wounds had made them fearful and prickly) they will drop their thorns and rest in your company. Reckless words will cause much damage but wise words of encouragement bring much fruit. By establishing trust, they will share another side with you, one only a precious few have witnessed. It will be an honor to behold.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go thereforeand make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15 (NKJV)

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”Luke 19:10 (NKJV)

“Yet if we would know God and for other’s sake tell what we know we must try to speak of his love. All Christians have tried but none has ever done it very well. I can no more do justice to that awesome and wonder-filled theme than a child can grasp a star. Still by reaching toward the star the child may call attention to it and even indicate the direction one must look to see it. So as I stretch my heart toward the high shining love of God someone who has not before known about it may be encouraged to look up and have hope.” ~ A.W. Tozer

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

**Put My Goals In Ur Hands TL 190 DPI


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Bloom Where God Plants You

**Put My Goals In Ur Hands TL 190 DPI

“God’s work done God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”   ~ Hudson Taylor

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

“Commit your works to the Lord 
and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 (NAS)

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’“   Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Do you have specific life goals dictating your decisions and choices in life? Do you consult God concerning these resolutions or do you act independently and forge ahead, without prayer or God’s guidance? Believers should be careful when acting in their own power and strength. Attempting to get ahead of God while on your spiritual journey is just asking for trouble.

If your will is aligned with God’s purposes for your life He will bless every step you take, just be sure He is your guide. The time it takes to arrive at your destination and its route may be very different from how you imagined. God sees your entire journey clearly and you see only a fuzzy single footpath.

There are a myriad of pathways and courses available on your journey and He knows the best ways for you to travel. Notice, dear reader, I did not say they were the safest or easiest paths. But with His leading, they are the best roads for you to travel …. Roadblocks and detours included.

In preparation for service, God equips His children by walking them through personalized lessons and trials. He knows the exact destinations to lead us for this purpose. Once we have arrived at a given location, He may ask us to wait patiently for further instructions. Waiting can be quite the challenge, but it cultivates one of the most glorious and useful components of the Fruit of the Spirit, patience.

If you have been given a vision for your future, hold on to it. Don’t toss it out the window if you suddenly find yourself facing a detour! I certainly understand how challenging it is to wait for hopes and dreams to become real. However, you would be wise to remember Abraham’s impatience regarding God’s promise to give him a son.

Abraham tried to make things “work” and interfered with God’s design. Sadly, the consequences for his actions are still with us today. He really made a big mess of things but Bible stories are in the Word for a reason. We would do well to heed the mistakes of our forefathers and learn from them.

Like Abraham, you too may decide God needs a little help getting His plan for your life on its way. Are you looking for avenues to speed things along? Have you considered the possibility that you are exactly where He wants you to be and doesn’t want you to rush or change things?

His ways really are higher and beyond your imagination. You don’t have to understand each stop in your journey. You just need enough faith to trust God has purposed it with good reason. Can you relax in what you consider a detour? Maybe it is not a detour after all! Maybe it was on the map of your life but hidden from view.

Why not purpose in your heart to bloom wherever God has planted you? Forget about being dormant and unfruitful in your pouting. You can bear fruit in any destination He has placed you! It would be a waste if you just grumbled and complained about an apparent delay of your plans. Make a personal determination to grow wherever He plants you.

Eventually, God may transplant you in another location; so don’t lose sight of your vision. Merely accept that you are where you should be for the present moment. Maybe there is a person God wants you to meet who will aid you in your future journey/ministry. Maybe your witness will encourage a fellow believer in their walk.

There could even be circumstances that have yet to be aligned. Is it possible that your “watering hole” has been provided for your health and nourishment, say a place of rest before your future journey or trial? Maybe you need strength to fulfill all He eventually requires of you and now is a time to study and build up your spiritual strength.

Trust God is equipping you for the purpose and vision you are so determined to fulfill. If it is truly God who laid it on your heart, it won’t disappear. This burden will be a constant pressing of the Spirit. Learn to listen to the pressing, but also rest in your waiting. Long suffering and patience transforms into perseverance, a virtue we all need in our eternal race.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in Him. Do not be anxious during apparent times of drought. If you have deep roots of faith, they will find the water He supplies to sustain you in your time of waiting.

Fruit will be evident in your life wherever He plants you, so long as you accept His will and agree to obey His leading. Make the most of every day and sow numerous seeds of God’s love. Maybe you will witness a harvest of new believers before the Father uproots you and carries you to a new location.

So again I say BLOOM wherever He has planted you! He is the vine. The honor of being branches that buds and bears fruit for His kingdom should never be taken for granted. The harvest is ripe but the workers are few. Are you ready? Are you willing? The time is near. Begin!

MEDITATE ON THESE QUOTES AND SCRIPTURE VERSES

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fearwhen heat comes; But its leaf will be green, 
and will not be anxious in the year of drought, 
nor will cease from yielding fruit.”                              Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV)

“Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” Luke 10:2 (NKJV)

Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing!” ~John Wesley

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” ~ Corrie ten Boom

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Does God Exist?

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Please take a minute to watch this short video and then share with friends. 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=798302620188827&fref=nf

No, Albert Einstein was not a Christian or even a theist (one who believes in a personal God), probably because he failed to understand why evil existed. These days, those who fail to understand the purpose of evil not only reject the concept of a personal God, but also reject the concept of God’s existence altogether. If you are an agnostic or atheist, my goal for you would be to recognize what Albert Einstein understood about the universe – that its amazing design demands the existence of a creator God. Then, go beyond Einstein’s faulty understanding of the purpose of the universe and consider the Christian explanation for the purpose of human life and why evil must exist in this world.

Source: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/einstein.html

And here are some facts….

Does God exist? The universe had a start – what caused it?

Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.

Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, “The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion…The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen.”9

Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, “the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade…and the universe was filled with light.”

The universe has not always existed. It had a start…what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light

And….

The eye…can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages — simultaneously. Evolution focuses on mutations and changes from and within existing organisms. Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain — the start of living organisms from nonliving matter.       Source: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html

EVIDENCE FOR GOD http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/einstein.html

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT HOW WE KNOW GOD EXISTS

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-How-Do-We-Know-God-Exists/

1 Corinthians 2:14 
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The Bible. Paul wrote that “all Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). The Bible itself is proof of God’s existence because He used 40 unrelated people over a period of 2,000 years to write His unique love letter to us. There is nothing like the Bible because it carries the same consistent message throughout all of its 66 different books. Atheists can laugh at this idea, but those who have read the Scriptures and experienced God through its pages know why it is the best-selling and most-translated book in all of history. (Fact: 100 million copies of the Bible are sold every year. Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion has sold 2 million. http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/43192-seven-things-that-prove-god-is-real

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXDDZrYOuAE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4EaWPIlNYY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4EaWPIlNYY

Heart of Love


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Is Your Life A Living Love Song For God?

 

Heart of LoveA love song always includes praises for the object of our affection. Would you like to make your life a living love song for God? What would that look like in your eyes? Starting today, how can you make your life a living and growing praise song to your heavenly Father?

A good way to answer this question is to look at Jesus and His disciples. How did Jesus demonstrate His love for us and how did His followers demonstrate their love for Christ? I assure you there were deliberate actions and a concerted effort.

Consider all the gifts and talents God has given you. Every child of God has received a spiritual gift(s) and is supposed to use it/them to edify the body of Christ, which in turn glorifies and pleases God. What are your gifts and how are you using them?

When we step out in faith, believing God has equipped us to help those around us, we are walking through an open door He has provided. This open door is an opportunity to serve, witness, and praise the name of Jesus. Our trust in His provision and our willingness to minister to others, even our decision to put aside our plans for the day in order to follow His purpose, is a means to shower Him with our love and appreciation.

“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NKJV)

A.W. Tozer wrote, “You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.”  

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-love-25-awesome-scripture-quotes/#ixzz2yBHCie00

Your love song to God will be spelled out over your entire lifetime. It will not be one continuous melody. Rather, it will have different movements, like a symphony. There will be pauses. There will even be moments of silence. Different tempos will occur depending on your measure of obedience and submission to His will.

Some movements in your life song will be full of joy and speed, appropriately marked ALLEGRO. Other movements will be very slow. LARGO is a time when you may be required to endure a sorrow or time of suffering, preferably with the dignity and grace God promises to provide. How you carry yourself through a trial can be an incredible opportunity to show God your love for Him. Observers will find themselves amazed and curious when you praise God during your storm, speaking of His unfathomable love, mercy, and grace.

Jesus called us to be the light of the world. If we dedicate our lives to becoming messengers of hope, love, and grace we will get attention. Light demands attention. Light gets noticed, especially in a dark world full of sin and hate.

Goals and ambitions, when aligned with the will of God, will always come to pass. If you find your fulfillment and joy in Christ His passions will become your delight.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)

Will every breath you exhale be a praise offering that honors His glorious name? Will you dedicate every act of service to Him and for His glory? Can you agree to be an extension of His love from this day forth? If so, your life will be a unique and astonishing love song to the one and only God.

“I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently will find Me.”Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV)

“’And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NKJV)


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Ethel Waters

images[7]When I was sixteen-years-old I attended a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in Winnipeg, Manitoba that profoundly changed my life.  Of course, the world-famous articulate and persuasive ministry of the great evangelist, anointed by the Holy Spirit, was enough to make an indelible mark on my life forever.  Even though I had given my life to the Lord at the early age of four, I was totally awed by the thousands of people who thronged forward to make decisions to follow Jesus.  In addition, I will never forget watching Mr. Graham’s pianist, Tedd Smith, warming up on the keyboard and accompanying the crusade choir made up of men and women from many churches.  I thrilled to the voice of George Beverly Shea and enjoyed Cliff Barrows’ congregational song leading.  The whole experience left me in awe.

But the one thing that literally moved me to tears, and I shall never forget the experience, was a sweet, elderly African-American woman by the name of Ethel Waters, who sang “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”.  She prefaced the song with, “Listen, children….”, and from the first line, “Why should I feel discouraged...” which she articulated with such a nuance of feeling, tears began to come to my eyes!  As she proceeded through several choruses of, “I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free; His eye is on the sparrow; And I know He watches me!”  with the mass choir singing along in the background, I really thought I might be raptured at any moment!  The sheer ecstasy of the whole performance left me feeling like I had been sitting at Jesus’ feet.  It wasn’t even that her voice was the most elegant or dynamic that I had ever heard, but the fact she was able to project to her audience something we all felt way down deep in our souls, that intangible quality that literally brought us into the presence of God!  It was definitely the anointing of the Holy Spirit!

Ethel Waters didn’t always use her talents to sing anointed songs of praise and worship to God.  In fact, she didn’t surrender her life to the Lord until she was in her late 50’s.  She was born in Pennsylvania around the turn of the century, the unwanted product of a rape!  Her mother, Louise Anderson, was raped at knife point when she was only thirteen years old by a middle class mixed-race pianist and family acquaintance by the name of John Waters.  Raised in poverty by her grandmother, Ethel grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and neighboring cities, seldom living anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time.  She later recollected in her autobiography,  His Eye Is On the Sparrow, “No one raised me; I just ran wild.  I never was a child.  I never was cuddled, or liked, or understood by my family.”  She married at age 13 but soon left her abusive husband and became a maid in a Philadelphia hotel working for $4.75 a week.

However, God had His hand on Ethel.  She soon began singing and dancing, as well as performing at church functions.  In 1917 she made her debut on the black vaudeville circuit and performed in Harlem nightclubs in the 1920’s.  Soon she entered the “white time” vaudeville circuit, becoming one of America’s most celebrated and highest-paid entertainers.  At New York City’s “Cotton Club” she introduced what would become one of her #1 hits on the Billboard charts, “Stormy Weather”.  She wrote of her performance, “I was singing the story of my misery and confusion, the story of the wrongs and outrages done to me by people I had loved and trusted.” Later Irving Berlin, impressed by her soulful performance of this song, wrote “Supper Time”, a song about a lynching, for Ethel to perform in a Broadway revue.  She became the first African-American star of a national radio show, was cast several times as a dramatic actress on Broadway and in the movies, and had three of her recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Still, with all of her success, and even a wonderful husband whom she married in 1938, Ethel knew something was missing!  In the late 1950’s Ethel walked down that famous aisle in a Billy Graham crusade and gave her life to Christ!  Her life was never the same! After becoming a born-again Christian, she dedicated the remainder of her life, until her death in 1977, to touring with and singing at many of the Billy Graham crusades, as well as recording several albums of sacred music for Word Records.  Her life was transformed by the power of Jesus Christ!

Talented musicians have always made a deep impression on me, but for this sixteen-year-old girl sitting in that audience so many years ago, the anointing and impact of the music of Ethel Waters would never leave.  God used her to bless a teenager who decided to use her talents in the same way to influence many for Christ!  I hope to see her and share her music in Heaven one day!

Moved w:Compassion


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Compassion Is Love In Action

Moved w:Compassion

Compassion is love put into action. In Greek “Compassion” is defined as “Inward Affection, Pity or Sympathy, Yearning.” What compassion really means is “Suffering With Another!”  It does not stand still or permit us to ignore problems. It will never turn away when someone is in need.  With sympathetic hearts, we are to put tender kindness into action and work to ease the suffering of others.

Because of our Lord’s mercies we are not consumed.  His mercies are endless and His compassions never fail.  As the sun rises with every new dawn, His compassions and mercies are new every morning.  Faithfully, Jesus is actively moved with pity and sympathy to heal and ease our sufferings.

“Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)”

Do you have an ache in your heart when hearing about families affected by tornados, hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters? Are you one who volunteers to sift through the ashes of burnt homes with hopes of finding some object that survived the blaze?  If yes, you are acting out of compassion for those who lost so much, hoping some small familiar object will bring a measure of comfort to them.

Maybe you have volunteered to rebuild homes that were lost in a recent hurricane.  This is an act of mercy and compassion as well. You put your concern into action…. Free of charge! Have you ever volunteered to raise money for a cancer patient or accident victim?  This again is compassion. Acts of love and mercy can be as simple as making a meal for a senior citizen who is lonely and in need of company.

Jesus was frequently moved with compassion before healing others. In Matthew 1:40, we read about a leper who approached Jesus in a humble and imploring manner. While kneeling down to Christ he said, “IF You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus was moved with compassion and reached out to him. Immediately the leprosy left the man and he was cleansed.

How then can we grow in our compassion for others?  First, we can lay aside all judgments and walk in their shoes.  We can also attempt to look at matters with the eyes of Christ.  Ask yourself, “How would Jesus react?” With eyes of unconditional love, what assistance are you able to provide?

Many of us, in order to gain a heart of compassion, will have to suffer through personal trials.  Weathering a difficult storm allows us to view things with a Godly perspective. Past personal struggles will propel us into action when we see others suffering heartaches that we know all too well ourselves.

I encourage you to act when the Holy Spirit gives you a heart of compassion.  Don’t quench the Spirit by sitting…. Move! Love in action is full of sensitivity. True compassion is not complacent or lazy.  Some effort and time are required, but the investment you make will be worth any inconvenience you may endure.  Indeed, you will not only bless those you reach out to but yourself as well.

“Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.”  Mark 1:40-42 (NKJV)

“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14 (NKJV) 


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What You Need To Know About Hell And The Reality Of Salvation

Originally posted on: The Olive Branch Report

heaven-or-hell

The truth about hell

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

In Matthew 10:28 the body and soul are in view. The body is easy it is our fleshly body, and can be destroyed by any man and God as well. The soul is different…the Greek word for soul: psuché, means life. Our soul therefore is what makes us “us”. The soul cannot be destroyed by man but by God alone. Our soul is eternal the body can be kept alive with or without the soul as evidenced by todays machines. But no soul; no you.

Notice that in Matthew 10:28 Jesus says “able” to destroy both body and soul, not will. When we see passages that seem to conflict with each other we must then look to other passages to seek the meaning as well as reading in context.

There are many places in the Bible that speak of eternal punishment.

Isaiah 66:22-24 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

It is important to note here the wording used: the NEW heavens and the NEW earth…eternity is in view here
(Revelation 21). This gives us a clue to this phrase:
for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched–permanent, not stopping.

Daniel 12:1-2 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

“Many” may refer to the Jews, but much more likely it refers to all people that have died. Other places in Scripture “many” is used to convey a great multitude, not to mean some of all. As well, we know from the Word that all will stand before Christ at the end; therefore all will be raised from the dust not just some. All will face judgment before Christ but not for the same reasons. The Saints will be judged according to what they have done with that which God gave them, and unbelievers will be judged for their sins. The “book”  (Revelation 20:15) mentioned in verse 1 is the book of life.
(2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10-12, Revelation 20:12-15)

Matthew 18:6-9 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Obviously Jesus is speaking using parabole, similitude, or comparison when He says to cut off your hand or pluck out your eye to avoid sinning. Note verse 8 speaks of “everlastingfire”;this then is the comparison we need to see here, in other words sin is very serious and has an eternal consequence: hell.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Everlasting and eternal…self-explanatory.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed ) in that day.

Note the wording of verse 9 “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” everlasting destruction…meaning without end. The destruction of the body and soul does not end it continues eternally. The second clue to note here is the word ”from”. Meaning that those who are placed in hell will be separated from God forever, this is the second death and the one truly in view when death is spoken of in (Romans 6:23) and supported by Revelation 20:14-15

Revelation 20:10; 14-15 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire

Forever and ever…self-explanatory.

Then there are passages used to deny the truth of hell and the inerrancy of the Bible:

Luke 16:22-26 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

This would seem to be a parable at first glance a warning to get our attention, but lets take a closer look at it. First when Jesus is speaking in parables we see in the text that He is noted as speaking using a parable or that He uses terms such as “likened”, or something is “like” this or that (Matthew 13 has some good examples of this). Second when Jesus spoke in parables He NEVER used real names. Later in the text Abraham is using the name of Moses and refers to the prophets. The rich man asks for a drop of water to cool his tongue which seems improbable, but the rich man knows full well that IF he were to have this relief it would only be momentary as evidenced by his request (Luke 16:27-31) for Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers that they would not wind up in this place of torment.

Psalm 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy

It needs to be noted here that this verse is pulled from a Psalm that’s main theme is praising the Lord. In the preceding verse the psalmist is reflecting on the fact that God will hear the cry of those who fear Him and will save them and satisfy them. We can infer then that “destroy” likely means the death of those who appose God and His design and at the most eternal destruction may be in view but likely the former. This does not refer to God destroying anyone permanently. God did indeed destroy many who apposed Him by killing them. Israel made war on many and was victorious through the blessing of God in the Old Testament.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

This verse does NOT represent a second chance to accept Jesus. Once we die, there are NO second chances. We all must choose to serve and accept Christ in this life.

Lets look at the preceding verses so that we can see this in context:

Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

I know this is a long set of verses, but there is an important point to be made here.

First we see the Lord will sit upon His throne and separate the nations, this implies judgment; keep this in mind for a moment. The nations will be divided into 2 groups: the sheep and the goats. To make this distinction, Jesus needs a basis for His decision. If there were a second chance after death or even if you were yet alive at the return of Jesus, presuming a person had not accepted Jesus as Lord…what would Jesus base his judgment on? Jesus in fact tells us what He bases His judgment on: those that helped the poor, had compassion on others etc. will inherit the Kingdom of God, love thy neighbor as thyself should come into view here. Those who did not do these things thereby disobeying the commandment love thy neighbor as thyself will go into everlasting punishment. In other words, the decision is based upon how we lived out our life here on earth, not a last second decision to accept Christ when those who stand before Him realize that they made a huge mistake in not doing so in life. All people will be resurrected and live eternally, but not all will live with God spiritually alive, some will be spiritually dead (separated from God for eternity) and will spend eternity in hell.

This is why we need to understand the truth of Scripture and realize what will happen if we choose NOT to accept Jesus.

The reality of salvation

It is said as well that all we need to do is accept Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9) and we will be saved. This is both true, and misleading but let me explain that. It is important to note here that people are mislead NOT because of God or the Bible but rather because their own perception of God and the Bible is incorrect.

I could site many verses to back this up but will use only one set.

James 2:14-18 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

In other words if we are truly saved, there is more to it than a simple confession. Yes believing in Jesus Christ saves us, at the same time if we are truly saved then our life will show forth the fruit of the spirit, and we will do good works. Many are those who miss this truth or simply choose to dismiss it to their own peril. Works cannot save us only Christ can, yet if our life bears no fruit are we really saved?

This applies as well to the living in sin arguments and once saved always saved. If a person is truly saved are they always saved? Yes I believe so but there is a “but”.

Consider the person who accepts Jesus but falls away for a time into sinful living but at some point returns to the fold repenting of what they have done are they saved? I would say yes. Now how about the person who accepts Christ (supposedly) and falls away into a sinful lifestyle never to repent of their sin and showing no fruit are they saved? No I do not believe they were ever saved to begin with and that is the whole point.

Matthew 7:19-23 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Verse 19 describes what will happen to bad trees, (unbelievers) they are destined for hell. Verse 20 describes good trees as they produce fruit (Believers). The rest of these verses 21-23 describe those who think they are saved but are not.

The above passage is serious and frightening…it describes many today that say they are saved and yet live lives that say otherwise. Only God knows for sure who is saved and who is not, still the Bible does make it clear how the blessed ones of God will behave. Praying a prayer in and of itself does not save you. The guy that says he is saved because he prayed a prayer, but drinks like a fish and cares not a rip for the less fortunate is not saved. We will behave in the manner prescribed by God if we are truly His son or daughter, not the way of the world living always for self.

The time for truthful self-reflection is now, today. Christ is coming soon and we need to be ready for Him or risk being left behind. We can choose to ignore what the Bible says to our own peril, in so doing we fool only ourselves not the Lord.

No one that takes God seriously is going to look at His Word and say that some parts of it are not true. That attitude speaks of someone who is unsaved, or honestly very ignorant and that perception will change in time and relatively soon. Choosing what parts of God’s Word are true or not is opening a door for Satan to walk through…very dangerous.

If you do not agree with what the Bible says, change your opinion. The Bible is right and you are wrong, it’s that simple. Understand that the Bible contrary to popular belief was NOT written by men, the Bible was written by the Holy Spirit operating through those men. Men can be wrong, God cannot.

Choose Jesus while there is yet time and choose life, God looks after His own.

 

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