There’s a lot of talk (and books) today on the subject of hell (what is it and who may end up there). It’s important to understand what the Bible (God’s inspired word) has to say on it, not just other people’s opinions of it. dig into it, study it out. Here’s a good starting point:
Malachi 3:6 I am the Lord who changes not.
Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
I Corinthians 6:9: Don’t you know that wicked people won’t inherit the kingdom of God? Stop deceiving yourselves!
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 10:28: And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Revelation 21:8: But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
In Jesus own words, not everyone will experience heaven.
Heb 9:27-28Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
This song by Keith Green, wow, it gets me. Am I asleep in the light? I hear a lot about what state the church is in, but you know, the church is made of many individuals, so any change has to start with me and my house.
And then this one. Humbling. He starts speaking at about 6 minutes into it. If you don’t like the music, at least skip to there and listen.
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I enjoy reading so I read quite a bit, often 3-4 books at a time. I recently finished a couple and found myself at a loss of what to read next, so I decided to get out old faithful. We all have one; the book that you can read a million times. It’s like comfort food for the soul.
My “old faithful” is Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” It’s the only book other than the Bible I’ve read at least four times. It’s a story about two boys, Will and Jim, and a mysterious carnival that blows into town. I just can’t get enough of it.
Bradbury’s writing is so playful, and descriptive, I just can’t get enough. Sometimes I will read a sentence or paragraph ten times in a row because it’s so brilliantly flawless: perfect.
The pic for this post is the front cover from the copy I have, a 1970 Bantam paperback that is near the end of it’s life. (Take that ebooks, lol You’ll be irrelevant in 41 years and I’ll still have my paperback!)
So, what’s your “old faithful?” What book keeps you coming back time and again? What is it that you love so much about it?
I can’t get this song out of my head. I think I’ve listened to it fifty times in the past few days. it’s about how we as the church need to repent on behalf of the nation, and pray for mercy on our country. It’s clear through the Bible that the prayers of the righteous can postpone judgement and the negligence of the righteous can hasten it.
Wow, God is awesome. I can say for the first time in quite awhile in my life that there is a fire burning so deep down inside of me that it hurts. I have been praying for months that God would start to show me how He sees people, how He sees the world, and I have never felt such a heavy weight in my life. It makes me angry the way I have passively allowed the devil to dictate the way I see life. I am thoroughly ashamed of my passiveness and tolerance of the devil in me and in my friends making excuses at every turn for our behavior. I believe what I believe, and when others have disagreed I politely have gone my way, but my God will no longer allow such things in my life, He has opened up my heart with a new boldness. Lately I have not been able to shut up, literally. If you know me, I talk a lot, but lately it is on a new plane, almost to the point of excess. If you will give me but 5 minutes of your time, I will tell you what God has said to me, probably the story of my life as a metaphor for the church.
I complain at the way things are today in my life. Where is the “joy unspeakable”? Where is the power of God in my life? Where is the over comer? Where is the one who is called to move mountains? Where is the one who will chose to stand in the gap? Where is the one who will make a stand, a proclamation to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord? Where is the one who will cast out devils? Where is the one who will intercede for nations? Where is the one who will bring revival in the church? Where is the one who will lead nations to the foot of the cross? Where is the one who will heal? Where is the one who will raise people from the dead? Where is the one who cannot be killed by man until his life is fulfilled? Where is the one whom the demons fear? Where is the life? Where is the one with the rivers of living waters? WHERE IS HE!?!?!?!?!
I don’t care what denomination you “belong” to. 1st, 2nd, 3rd Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Mennonite, Calvinist, Wesleyan, or Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (OK, maybe not that one, lol), if you believe without any doubt that Jesus Christ came to the earth as a man born of a virgin, that He lived a perfect life as an example for you and me, that He died as payment for your disobedience (sin), and God raised Him from the dead, then you ARE the one.
There is something deep inside of you that He has placed there that is just dying to get out. For some ridiculous reason though we keep it buried under all that is in us, but all the while there is a deep utterance coming out of our spirit. Our deep crying out for the deepness of God. We must release this potential by the transforming the way we think, the way we live, the way we interact with God and man. I cannot speak for you, but I refuse to hold my spirit down, I will not allow my flesh to win this battle against the powers and principalities of the devil, our adversary. I cannot in my own strength accomplish this goal, but God has promised that He will make the way, He will give the strength, He will live IN me if I live IN Him.
“The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” Colossians 1:26-29
- Father, never let me go and never let me be the same again You are my hope.
Some days at work are a challenge, like today. We are in transition to rolling out a new product line that is still being developed, so there is a lot of “I know we did it that way last week, but now we’re moving in this direction.” I’ve been at CFS for near 11 years, so I’m sort of the old dog that doesn’t like new tricks.
Today there were a few hiccups and I was frustrated, confused, and on the fast track to perturbed.
And I knew it.
A few weeks ago, I was in similar spirits. I threw my Sony headphones at the wall, leaving them in fragments, and stormed out of the building before I did something stupid. Wait, it was too late for that. I regretted it as the door to the office slammed behind me. How could I get so upset? After all, it’s “Just symbols.”
Today a co-worker came around the corner of my cube as the moment of decision arrived. “You must be pretty upset, you’re smiling real big,” she said. Usually she would be right. It’s a weird involuntary reaction I have right before blowing my top, but not this time. It was genuine.
In the nano-second I had to react, I remembered a conversation I had with my friend Christian about how every day presents opportunities for us to pick up our cross, die to our selfish desires, and “put on Christ.” (Luke 9:23, Romans 13:14, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:5-14).
I replied, “You know, someone somewhere lost a child today. This, it’s just symbols.”
I need to remember that it’s not all about me, and that no matter how bad something seems, someone out there is having a rougher day than me. Jesus suffered horrible torture for my sake, is it too much to ask that I, a self-proclaimed follower of His, actually try to be like Him and refuse a self indulgent tantrum?
I know this is a small example, pedestrian at best, but it’s not the “I have a dream…” or “One small step for man…” moments that make us who we are: it’s these trivial moments all strung together and how we react to them that define us.
It’s the everyday grind.
It’s the way I answer my wife when she asks for help with the dishes; do I answer “yes,” but inside gripe about how I believe she should be able to get it done? It’s when my kids want to go out and play or need help with school work; do I tell them I’m too tired and neglect them or get my lazy but off the couch and show them a father’s love? It’s when my neighbor’s mower is broken; do I look the other way or ride over and cut it? It’s when someone cuts me off in traffic then drives below the speed limit; do I point them up to Jesus with my middle finger or just slow up a bit and chill?
A key to winning in any sport is having a great coach, so when I saw this title written by three-time Super Bowl coach and NASCAR championship owner Joe Gibbs, I had to have it. In Game Plane for Life, Joe Gibbs builds a foundation for living a successful life in areas like spirituality, finances, relationships, and career.
Each chapter begins with Joe Gibb’s life lessons in that area, and then finished by a specialist he trusts to teach the nuts and bolts of the topic. At first I was a little turned off by it, like having a friend over for dinner only to find out he invited another guest, but in the end the guest writers are brilliant. As with any team, the way to get the most out of your players is to have coaches that focus on one position (quarterback coach, running back coach, linebacker coach, etc.), and so it is in Game Plan for Life.
I’m in my mid-thirties, married with kids, and I wish I had a book like this years ago. It is very insightful and I will have my boys read it when they are of age.