Tag Archives: Hell

A Prize for the Best Bad Guy

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But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust, wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over the truth.  Open your eyes and there it is!  By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see…  So nobody has a good excuse.

What happened was this:  People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.  They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life.  They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.”  It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out.  And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshipped the god they made instead of the God who made them…

Worse followed.  Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either- women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men.  Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men- full of lust.  And they paid for it, oh how they paid for it- emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose.  And then all hell broke loose:  rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing.  They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating.  Look at them:  mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-haters, bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags!  They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives…   And it’s not as if they don’t know any better.  They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face.  And they don’t care- worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!

Sound familiar?  If Romans 1:18-32 doesn’t describe our modern era, then I don’t know what does.  We applaud those who behave the worst.  We turn our world upside down to accommodate deviance and perversion.  We shame and scold traditional values.  We tolerate what God has called intolerable.  And we are surprised when all hell breaks loose.

We need to repent as a nation and come back to God.  Only through repentance will we ever find satisfaction with this life.  This is why we needed a Savior.  We needed to be saved from our own wretched, filth.  We needed to be saved from the bad choices we made.  It is because we CHOSE SIN that we are destined for hell.  And Jesus died to rescue us from that horrible consequence.  

Thank you Jesus for dying for our sins.  We are astonished at our own sinfulness.  We are astonished that you would still love us.  We honor you as God and put you in your rightful place above all.  We crown you with thanks and worship!  Good Friday is indeed good… for us.  

John Lennon Imagines…

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timeI watched the Times Square New Year’s Celebration on T.V. last night.  I wasn’t really interested in anything they were doing, it was just kind of a cultural tradition to observe.

At one point in the program they had the lead singer from “Train” singing his version of John Lennon’s song “Imagine”.

I thought, “This is a horrible song, but I cannot think of a more appropriate description of what we have become as a nation.  We have realized John Lennon’s Imagine song and look where it has gotten us.”

Lennon crooned: “Imagine there’s no Heaven.  It’s easy if you try.  No Hell below us.  Above us only sky.  Imagine all the people living for today.”

Living for today requires you to deny the existence of an afterlife which might possibly include judgement for our actions.  What a convenient way to negate consequences, just bury your head in the sand.  This is what happens to people who live only with today in their sights.

They rack up debt with no thought to how they will pay it back.

They become hedonists who just live for the next “good time”- party animals.

They get drunk and get behind the wheel of a car.  Every day in America, 27 people die in drunk driving accidents.  Living for the moment makes you reckless with the future.

People who live only for today have sex outside of marriage, get pregnant, and eventually have a legal abortion.  There have been over 53 million abortions in the United States since Roe v. Wade was legalized in 1973.  If there is no heaven or hell, this is no big deal.

There are approximately 34 million people living with AIDS, both adults and children.  I would venture to guess that the majority of them did nothing to deserve this horrific illness.  How cruel do we have to be to deny these poor people the hope of Heaven, a better life after this wretched one?  Only someone who is eager to avoid God’s judgement for himself would rob another of his hope for something better.

John Lennon has been dead for 23 years now.  I would like to ask him if he would care to revise this song now.  He sang what we have become.  We rang in the new year with a self-righteous hymn to our own glorious imagination.  But what if Lennon was wrong.  What if we are wrong.

Here’s to all of us who do not live self deluded.  Here’s to all of us who WANT a Heaven and who FEAR a Hell.  Here’s to all of us who don’t consider living for today to be a noble way to conduct ourselves.  Here’s to all of us who actually care about what God thinks of us.  Let’s do this thing right.  Let’s rip off the blinders and look Truth square in the face.  Here’s to a year where we don’t have to rely on the imagination of a drug addict to find a better way to live because Jesus has already revealed it to us.  Here’s to the year of our Lord 2013.

Not Called?

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I thought this quote was just so powerful that I wanted to share it on my blog.  Just think about this:

“Not called,” did you say? Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell Him whether you will join the march to publish His mercy to the world.   -William Booth

As we have traveled around raising our funds to be missionaries, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a variation of this comment, “I totally admire the sacrifices you are making to do this, I know I could never do that myself.  Maybe if I had a Calling, but I don’t.”  I think the first part of the sentence is more truthful than the later part.  The real reason more people don’t take soul winning more seriously is that it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient.

May people who claim to be Jesus Followers are like the rich young man who asked Jesus, “I’ve followed all the commandments to the letter, so what ELSE must I do to follow you.”   Then Jesus disappointed him by saying, “Sell everything you have and give it to the poor.  Then come and follow me.”  The rich guy was sorely disappointed because he had a lot of nice things.

God will always push us to our limits to show us the idolatry in our lives.  He pushed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (though he didn’t make him go through with it in the end) to test his fatherly love.  He pushed Joseph out of his family and into slavery, separating him from a doting, spoiling father.  He pushed Saul (Paul) to the ground outside of the city of Damascus, breaking his vicious pride.  He pushed Peter to the point of denying his relationship with Jesus, then brought him around again to “If you love me, then feed my Sheep”.

You want to follow Jesus?  Prepare to be uncomfortable.  But I assure you that any discomfort you feel in you walk with Jesus is nothing compared to the discomfort- no agony- being experienced by those lost souls in Hell.  Kind of puts it all in perspective doesn’t it?  Let Jesus push you to your limits and beyond.  You may be surprised at where you find yourself going once you acknowledge your Call.