Tag Archive: free will


I am posting the comment below (submitted in response to:  ‘Christians, Vampires, and Dragons’) because it summarizes a lot of false beliefs that are popular these days.

Submitted by krakowski@live.com on 2011/03/04 at 10:47 pm

“No mortal man should know the name and will of god. As mortals, we have no right to deem what is suitable for all. Only god will deem each man and woman worthy of heaven.

So many have redone the bible, ripped out sections and tried to adapt it to themselves.

Salvation is found in the true belief and love of god, however you choose to find god. True faith is found in the love and acceptance of all people, as jesus christ taught the masses.

To do other is to do evil.

To believe any mortal knows the will of god is arrogance. To pretend to know it is a blasphemy all it’s own. God never speaks or comes through mortal man.

The words of a page are written by man. The words of faith are written by man. Only a true believer will know god, not by written words or coersion. Only true faith will lead each to god.

To have the love of christ, to share it with others, is to not judge–to accept, love and nurture each as who they are. Jesus Christ didn’t demand his followers to be different. He merely helped them be better people. He nurtured, guided and loved.

How can anyone, as followers of Christ, do less?”

 

When a person has too much pride in himself, he will be offended at the nature of God.

  • If a man prides himself on being ‘tolerant’, he will be offended that God appears to be intolerant.
  • If a man prides himself on being nonjudgmental, he will be offended to learn that God judges.
  • If a man prides himself on being kind, he will be offended at actions of God that he deems to be unkind.
  • If a man is exceedingly proud, he will be offended at any indication that God can be humble.

When man is prideful, he will be offended at the nature of God.  Then, he will set about to create a god in his own image–a god that reflects and protects his prejudices and beliefs . . . a god that excuses his weaknesses and justifies his behavior.  The gods that men create are gods that rubber stamp their beliefs and behaviors.

The ‘tolerant’ man will create a tolerant god, the nonjudgmental man will create a god that does not judge, the kind man will create a god who seems to be very kind, the exceedingly prideful man will create a god who is exceedingly arrogant, etc.

The god a man creates is a window into the man’s soul.

It usually turns out, however, that these ‘nonjudgmental’ gods appear to be quite judgmental towards others who don’t believe in them.  These ‘tolerant’ gods are quite intolerant of those who believe in Jehovah-God.  The kind gods are quite hostile towards those who follow the one, true God.

If your god is truly so tolerant, nonjudgmental, and kind . . . then lets see that reflected in your attitude, throughout the course of your life, towards EVERYONE–including those of us who follow Jehovah (because we surely do not serve the same God!)

And that is the crux of the matter–we do not serve the same God!

My God is not ‘tolerant’.  He is not nonjudgmental.  Nor is He always kind (according to the standards of man) in the short term.  He is a God of black and white . . . truth vs. lies . . . light vs. darkness . . . good vs. evil.  In fact, my God is SO judgmental that He will not just judge men by their actions–but by the intent of their heart!

It just happens that Jehovah/God does not fit  with the current picture of what is culturally acceptable!!

What absurd arrogance, to believe that our grand life experience (all of 120 years or less) qualifies us to know what nature God must have to equip him to rule the entire universe through all the ages!  How short sighted man is!

When men creates gods, they are gods that are relevant to their times and prejudices.  But, how will their god hold up when times and conditions change?  How can their god be fair and equitable, truly kind, righteous, and good, if everything and everyone is tolerated, and no one is ever judged?

What does their weak, ineffective god do or say when some pedophile kidnaps their little daughter, then rapes, tortures and kills her?  Is he tolerant of the pedophile?  Surely their tolerant, nonjudgmental god cannot judge him!  And if that pedophile commits suicide to avoid capture–will he be judged in the hereafter?  Who knows?  According to you,

‘As mortals, we have no right to deem what is suitable for all. Only god will deem each man and woman worthy of heaven.’

How great, and good, and just would you now believe your god to be if he decided not to judge that man?  If there was never justice or recompense for loss?

Or, what if he does judge that man?  Then we have to feel sorry for him, in a way, because (according to you)

‘To believe any mortal knows the will of god is arrogance. To pretend to know it is a blasphemy all it’s own. God never speaks or comes through mortal man.’

How could a pedophile, kidnapper, or murderer know that what he was doing was wrong . . . if man cannot know the will of your god?  If your god does not communicate with man?  Perhaps such actions felt perfectly suitable to him–why should he be judged for doing what ‘came naturally’ to him, if others are not judged by the same standard?

Your ‘god’ is  full of holes.  Have you really taken the time to think this through?

Now let me answer some of your other points . . . based on what I DO know of the nature and will of God–Jehovah.

“True faith is found in the love and acceptance of all people, as jesus christ taught the masses.”

Jesus never equated ‘true faith’ with loving and accepting all people.  Nor did he accept the behavior of all people. He was clearly displeased with the Sanhedrin and the moneychangers.

Maybe you should go back and read a little more about Jesus–you can find the chronicles of his ministry in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Also, much is taught about Him, by the apostles, in the books of Acts, Romans, and Hebrews.

“To do other is to do evil.”

Your opinion and definition.

“To have the love of christ, to share it with others, is to not judge–to accept, love and nurture each as who they are.”

Are we talking about the same Jesus?  God, come to Earth as man . . . born in the flesh, of a virgin . . . lived a perfect life . . . had neither wife nor kids . . . ministered for three and a half years . . . was crucified . . . died . . . then rose again on the third day . . .?

Those of us who believe in THIS Jesus are each called first to REPENT, then to turn from our wickedness, and to follow Him!

Jesus says that if we love Him, we must obey His commands.  He also explained that He is God, and His commands are the spirit of the ten commandments.  If we are loving/obeying Him, we will be living in harmony with the ten commandments.

‘nurture each other as ‘who they are’–no, we are called to correct, rebuke, and encourage each other.  Two of those three terms signify a confrontation of another’s behavior.  According to your jesus, we would only need to encourage one another.

Jesus Christ didn’t demand his followers to be different. He merely helped them be better people. He nurtured, guided and loved.

How can anyone, as followers of Christ, do less?”

Did He demand? No.  Did He teach them to be different?  Yes.  He urged them to understand the spirit of the Law, and to do ‘above and beyond’ what it required of them.

Following Jesus is a free-will choice.  It is not demanded of anyone.  But if one follows Him, then they must submit to His ways.

“Salvation is found in the true belief and love of god, however you choose to find god.”

Excuse me?  You create a god that you can truly love and believe in–then that leads to your salvation . . . How exactly do you define salvation? And what do you  need salvation from, if your jesus just loves and accepts everything about you, as you are  now?

God, through His Word, the Bible, teaches that we need salvation from our SINS.  Which means that everything is NOT tolerable and acceptable.  It means that we are NOT already ok, and just in need of love and acceptance,  nurture and guidance.

The heart of man is sinful and that sinful nature will give birth to acts of sin.  Sinful acts require judgment, from a righteous God.  We need salvation from ourselves–but your religion deifies your self!

“The words of a page are written by man. The words of faith are written by man.”

Yeah, yeah.  Over forty authors, writing over a period of about 2,000 years . . . a multitude of prophecies fulfilled, etc.  . . . just coincidence . . . merely the work of men . . . blah, blah, blah . . . whatever.

“So many have redone the bible, ripped out sections and tried to adapt it to themselves.”

Sadly, it seems this is what you are doing.  Your ‘understanding’ surely has not taken into consideration the entirety of Scripture.  The little bit of what you say that actually seems to have some small relation to the Bible, pertains to Jesus.  Yet even there, I see no indication that you have actually read any of it.  The little bit of what you say about Jesus is the sort of thing one picks up from listening to others’ opinions.

“No mortal man should know the name and will of god.”

No mortal man should know his name–what caused you to develop such a strange opinion?

And how can your god hold men accountable for their actions if they don’t know his will– oh wait, he doesn’t judge does he?  So . . .  we should all just do what seems best to us, and if he likes us we’ll get to go to heaven?

How do you know that what you think is good is the same as what your god thinks is good?  What if your god loves the ways of pedophiles, kidnappers, murderers and thieves–and you aren’t one?

But, here is the conclusion of the matter:

“Only a true believer will know god, not by written words or coercion. Only true faith will lead each to god.”

The god that you talk about is a god that you have created for yourself–and your god is a projection of your own prideful beliefs about yourself.

That pride is what you call ‘true faith’.  But, you are right that your ‘true faith’ (your pride) will lead you to your god, because:

You ARE your god!

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Christians:

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.””  Romans 8: 15

If you are a Christian, and you have to avoid learning the truth about things that are currently going on in our world because they scare you–I would argue that you have not been ‘made perfect’ in Christ’s love.  As God’s child, you should feel safe and secure when you draw near to Him.

It was never God’s intention for Christians to ‘bury their head in the sand’.  God reveals truth, however disturbing, to Christians, so that they can share it with the world!  How else will the world (who can’t ‘hear’ God) ever hear the truth?

You can’t depend on the media to be the world’s watchmen! Very few people, who are in spiritual darkness, are going to be willing to expose the unfruitful (destructive) works of darkness.  You can expect them to be slaves of darkness, through fear, because they have not been given the protection and power of God.  But you  have been given that Spirit of courage and power–and you  have an obligation!

Even if the media discovered, and were willing to report on, all that happens in the world–they do not share God’s unique perspective on the meaning of these events!

How can the world see their need for repentance, if Christians are too timid to warn them that what they are doing is wrong, and they are being judged by God?

And by ‘warn’, I don’t mean to try to scare–that doesn’t work anyway.   You’ll have to find a way to share your peace and faith that, even through perilous times, God will protect His children.  (If you don’t have that peace or assurance, it is time to draw close to God and find it.)

Your obligation is not to twist arms or persuade men to accept truth.  Your obligation is merely to lay it before them and let them decide. Will they listen?  Most won’t.  But still, you are obligated!

” . . . From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  Luke 12: 48

As Americans, we have been ‘given much’!  As Christians, we have been given everything!!

When Jesus commissioned Christians to go to all the world and make disciples, He wasn’t saying to go and compel them to become disciples.  Entry into God’s kingdom is always by free will!!   He meant that we should continue to mentor those who want to become disciples.

In fact I believe that many today, who profess to be Christians, made that decision while under duress.  I would argue that God is still patiently waiting for them to make their decision from a pure heart, that feels no compulsion from fear or from men.  (In our justice system, confessions made under duress do not have legal standing.)

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to draw men to God, and that drawing by the Spirit reveals the nature of God–much as ‘courtship’ should reveal the nature of one’s suitor.

It is no wonder that many who say they are Christians do not live as Christians, or reflect the character of God.  If they were drawn to God by men, using fear to motivate them, then their understanding of God’s nature is warped.   Therefore I believe that they do not truly know God (nor trust Him).

 

If you are a Christian, you should not be burying your head in the sand about things that are happening today.  How will you follow Jesus’ admonition to “let no man deceive you” if you spend your days in willful ignorance?

It is the fear of what you hear that you must battle–not the truth itself!  Jesus did not teach us to run from things that scare us, but rather to be bold and confront the forces of darkness.  Courage is not a feeling, it is a choice–a choice to act in spite of fear.

So, what is the point of my sharing all these things, for the last 15 months?  Is it to incite fear?  No!

What is the point of my telling you these things if you are not going to be here when they happen? Because you ARE going to be here for an awful lot of difficult events that will unfold in the coming months!

Knowing the truth will hopefully accomplish three things:

  1. It will cause you to repent and draw near to God
  2. It will cause you to seek God, as to what course of action you should take, on behalf of yourself and your family
  3. It will cause you to warn, and intercede for, those you love

If you refuse to listen to the warnings that God is giving to His watchmen, because the truth scares you, you will go on being numb, ignorant, and complacent–and disaster will overtake you like a flood!!  This is not God’s will for His people!

Now that America has shoved God aside, and most Christians have gone along with it, God has withdrawn His protection that covered America.

Yes, America was founded on Christian principles–but Christianity is not a ‘state religion’.  It is the right of America to ‘show God the door’ (at their own peril), but God is looking to Christians to stand firm in the practice of their faith.

Instead, Christians have gone along with the new rules, setting aside their conscience, and putting more importance upon being ‘politically correct’ and obeying men, rather than God.  We should have ‘drawn a line in the sand’ a LONG time ago!

Repentance begins with the people of God. Intercession for a nation begins with the people of God.  God’s favor rests upon the actions of His people within the nation. When God was ‘shown the door’, He looked back over His shoulder on His way out.  Christians stood still and shrugged.  Then God shook His head and shut the door behind Him.

God is not coming back to America.  Now, anyone who still wants to live under His blessing will have to (spiritually) come out of America.  You will now have to choose whether to continue living your comfortable life (without the presence of God) or whether you will pursue God, though it may cost you everything.

Fear is not something to try to escape.  It IS appropriate to fear God, and to fear His judgment.  When God judges a nation, it touches everyone.

Because God has departed, many things are converging on America.  I can see why people want to deny this: it is too hard to believe how many things are coming at once, and the impending disasters are too huge to comprehend

    Our paradigm (understanding of how life ‘is’), as Americans, has been built on a 200 year history of living under the protection and blessing of God.  Most of us have no comprehension of how it is to live in any other way.  As Americans, we have been blessed with peace, safety, abundance, knowledge, justice and opportunity.

    Aside from a few brief periods, we have laid our heads on our pillows at night without fear of an enemy’s attack.  Aside from a few economic downturns, most Americans have had food.  The justice system, until recent years, has worked for most of us.

    We forget, that this is not the case everywhere in the world.  It is not because Americans are ‘special’ that we have had these blessings–it is because, for the most part, we were obedient to God’s laws and sought to uphold those laws!  Although it was by no means perfect, we made America a place where a holy God was content to dwell.

    “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him”  Nahum 1: 7

    But, our system was meant to govern a people that were moral.  We became complacent and discontent and, over time, we allowed those who were immoral to lead us in their ways.

    Through the generations, our focus turned from God to our community–then from our community to ourselves.  We became a godless people who sought to satisfy our own appetites and lusts.  The ‘me generation’ then gave birth to a generation who seek to exalt themselves as gods and goddesses.

    In their attempts to infuse this generation of children with a positive self esteem, they raised a generation of prideful, arrogant fools.  They not only indulge all of their appetites and lusts, but see themselves as invincible and infallible.  A deep sense of entitlement is pervasive.  In their attempts to be gods, they war with one another.  This generation will be America’s leaders tomorrow!

    Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the multinational corporate elite and wealthy political families have taken their ‘robber baron’ mentality and exploited people around the globe. These elite comprise the majority of our government, which operates now, not for the good of the American people, but for their own profit.

    “You have increased the number of your merchants till they are more than the stars of the sky, but like locusts they strip the land and then fly away.”  Nahum 3: 16

    Simultaneously, and fueled by the injustices committed by these emissaries of ‘Christian’ America, radical Islam has spread as an opponent to the American version of capitalism and Christianity.

    And, last but not least,  our government has been seized by rebels, who seek to overturn the elite.  But their war is not just with the elite–they are also against middle and upper class Americans, whom they feel have been complicit in the schemes of the elite and have profited from having an unfair advantage, based on centuries of exploiting others.

    In their attempt to ‘even the playing field’ they are bringing America under international authority vs. treaties, taking control of private corporations, and nullifying our Constitutional rights.  They are creating a government that will rule by fear and force.

     

    America has many enemies.  They have been circling, like vultures, awaiting their opportunity.  That day is at  hand.

    “The shields of his soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the horsemen rush to and fro.  The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning.”  Nahum 2: 3-4

    “The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses.”  Nahum 2: 6

    “Nineveh is like a pool, and its water is draining away. “Stop! Stop!” they cry, but no one turns back. Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The supply is endless, the wealth from all its treasures! She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale.” Nahum 2: 8-10

    What we took for granted, when we laid our heads on our pillows each night, was that God was there to watch over us while we slept.

    FOR THIS REASON God is calling His watchmen to spread the word that He is no longer watching over America!

    “I am against you,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame.I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.”  Nahum 3: 5-6

    But, this is only one aspect of the ‘perfect storm’ that is converging on America!

    God’s is a fourfold judgment:

    1. famine–drought, flooding, problems with food distribution, poverty
    2. sword–attacks on our troops overseas, increased violence in homes and communities, terrorist attacks, war on our own soil
    3. pestilence–pandemics (manmade and natural), food borne illness, water borne illness, STDs, plagues on agricultural crops and animals
    4. wild beasts  (one watchman believes this refers to demonic entities)

    And, as Revelation spells out, there will be ‘natural’ disasters as well:  tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, fierce storms, changes in the sun . . .

    How can we comprehend what we have never known?  Most of us have a paradigm of peace, safety and abundance (this is why we experience ‘culture shock’ when we go to other places that aren’t under God’s protection).  And how can we conceive of all these things happening simultaneously?

    Nevertheless, the wise one heeds the watchmen.  The wise man sees, and prepares.  But there is no way we can prepare for all of these things! So, what is the point of knowing–especially if it just frightens us?  And doesn’t God protect His people anyhow?

    Your knowing what is coming is a matter of life and death!! I can say, with near certainty, that you love people who are not children of God!!  Will their blood be upon your hands?

    You need to see how much is coming, and how there is no way we can save ourselves–so that you can see how IMPERATIVE it is that we Christians repent, intercede and warn!! God is listening for His people to repent and intercede.  Perhaps then He will turn back His wrath!

    Will many listen?  No.  Americans, including Christians, are so  skeptical, that it is nearly impossible to penetrate their hearts with the truth.

    “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” II Peter 3: 3

    Most Americans are so independent and self-sufficient that they proudly assume they can handle, by themselves, whatever comes along.  Others blindly put their unfailing trust in their leaders to take care of them.  Many believe that life will always revolve around them, that nothing bad can befall them, and that this is their entitlement.

    And others, most ‘Christians‘ sadly, believe they are righteous and not deserving of any judgment, and  that God will whisk them away just as things really get difficult in America.  Never mind that their Christian brethren, all over the world, have been persecuted and martyred for their faith, for two thousand years!!  Their paradigm simply does not allow for that possibility in America.  Persecution will close on them like a trap! Those that they have bent over backwards not to offend will be hunting them in the streets!

    If God’s people in America don’t repent and intercede then we are consigning America to the fate that God has planned.  At the very least, they should be warned–so that perhaps someone might repent and turn to God!

     

    America’s judgment has begun in earnest, in two places:  Michigan and California.

    Michigan is the seat of Islam in  America.  God’s first command is that we have no other gods before Him.  (Exodus 20:3Allah is not God.  When we take care not to offend Allah, or his followers, we are putting another god before our God.

    Islam brings desolation everywhere it goes.  Part of this is because of the demonic entities associated with Islam–the other part is because it invites God’s judgment upon us.

    California has consistently been at the forefront, introducing all manner of sexual perversion to America, and legislating for its acceptance.  Through its seductive spokesperson (Hollywood) it has spread the deviancy worldwide.

    We have not yet felt the full impact of God’s judgment.  But through Michigan and California, He has warned us and given us a taste of what’s to come.  Through Hurricane Katrina, He has shown us that the unimaginable CAN happen–and without warning!

    Is God Judging Indonesia and Pakistan?

    (cont’d from: We Are Living In Revelation)

    Believer-there will be nowhere to run, no place to hide.

    We have been living in the ‘Dispensation of Grace’.  It is coming to a close.  Meanwhile, we have moved into the Dispensation of Revelation.  It is God’s will and time to reveal, uncover, disclose, and make manifest, the works of darkness.

    Persecution will come to Christians, no matter what we do because ‘everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.’  True Christians embody truth and light.  Jesus was the first light, and this was said because of Him:  ‘ . . . Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.’

    The majority of mankind still prefers darkness and evil to light and truth.  Therefore, they will do all that they can to extinguish light and truth–and this means ridding the world of Christians.

    In the days and months ahead, satan will grow increasingly angry with Christians.  Consider: his time is short and he is so close to seeing the fulfillment of what he has been planning for thousands of years!  For him, everything is riding on this.  He really believes he can do a better job of running things on Earth than God does.  He will do anything to have the opportunity to prove it.

    That’s all well and good . . .  completely understandable–but the ‘pawns’ in this game he is trying to engage God in, are the lives and souls of billions of people! This is a gross injustice!  Anyone with a conscience, who knows the truth (this should describe all Christians), cannot just sit by while billions of people are led to destruction!  We have a moral obligation to share the truth with everyone.

    We can’t stop the game, and we can’t make anyone’s decision for them.  All we can (and must) do is to lay the facts before them and let them decide.  The game must be played fairly!  Granted, most people will turn their back on truth and life.  That is their choice.  But they at least deserve the opportunity to make an informed choice!

    Our ‘intrusion’ into satan’s plan will  throw him into a panic.  After all, God (in His mercy towards mankind) is allowing satan only a brief time to prove his point and the clock is ticking!

    (Lest you think we are bringing trouble upon ourselves, what would you recommend Christians do differently and still remain true to the will of God?)

    In case I need to remind you–when you chose to become a Christian, you enlisted in God’s army.  You chose the side of good, in the ongoing war of evil vs. good.  You have already enlisted!

    If you thought you were just signing up for God’s ‘reserves’ and would never be called up, I’m sorry.  You were misinformed.  This is a voluntary army–100%!–but EVERYONE in this army must fight!

    If you have woken up to find that you are on the wrong side, walk away.  No one is keeping you here.

    If you know you are on the right side, but are afraid to fight, it’s understandable.  We are all human, and we all have a basic instinct for self preservation.  Jesus had to face the same inner battle, in the Garden of Gethsemane, before He submitted to His arrest and crucifixion.  You see, He was a human being, with human instincts– and He had free will too.  What temptation He must have faced, to just walk away and save Himself!  He fought his inner battle to the point of sweating blood!

    When Peter, a ‘co-conspirator’ with Jesus, faced his choice, he chose to lie to save himself.  Three times he lied–to the point of even denying that he knew Jesus!!  Just a few hours earlier, he had been so sure of his loyalty that he had promised Jesus that even if everyone else deserted Him, he never would.  I’m sure he surprised himself when he realized what he had done–because he underestimated his basic human survival instinct. (This is one example of what the Bible calls ‘the flesh’.  As Christians, we are not to live by our natural instincts and primal desires, but by God’s Spirit in us, we are to overcome them.)

    All that to say:  if you’re afraid, you’re in good company.  But you’ll have to move beyond that, because a choice awaits you.  You aren’t judged for how you feel, or what you are tempted with–you are judged by the decision you end up making.

    Trying to ‘play it cool’ , keeping your Christianity hidden, or not living or speaking in a way that’s consistent with God’s Word, is compromise!  This battle is much bigger than you.  Your compromise will change virtually nothing, in the grand scheme of things–but it will profoundly change you!

    If you are afraid for your safety, pray to God to keep you safe!  God can hide you in plain sight!  He can hold your enemies at bay!

    Jesus disappeared into a crowd. Daniel spent the night in a den of hungry lions.  Paul and Silas were released from jail by an earthquake.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego survived being thrown into an roiling furnace!  Elijah was provided a hiding place, by God, so that he could rest awhile (not dwell there!), and ravens brought  food to him!

    Angels led Lot and his family to safety, just as God rained judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah.  God gave Noah instructions and time to build an ark for his salvation.  Paul was bitten by a venomous snake and merely shook it off–this was right after he survived a shipwreck!

    God led the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea on dry ground–then He brought the waters down on top of their pursuers.  He fed them, every day, in the wilderness, for forty years!  Their shoes lasted through forty years of walking!  In a dry and barren desert, He had already stored up water for them–in a rock!!  These are just some of the stories that are in the Bible.  (I wonder how many more have not been told?!)

    And, when all is said and done, if you do face death as a Christian–remember that all things work together for good for those that love God!  God told King Hezekiah to get his affairs in order, because he was going to die.  He wept, and plead with God for his life, and God granted him another fifteen years.  However, in that time he became foolish and prideful.  Decisions that he made then brought serious trouble to his family later.  (He himself would have endured God’s wrath, but he repented in time.)

    At the end of his life, God tested him to see what was in his heart, and I don’t believe He found the same zeal and devotion that he had fifteen years earlier.  God was giving him the opportunity to make a peaceful exit–to die with honor at the zenith of his spiritual life.   God was protecting Hezekiah and his family by allowing Hezekiah to die–but Hezekiah clung to his will, rather than submitting to God’s.

    There comes a time for each of us to depart.  God determines the best time. We should trust Him.  He knows what lies ahead, and what He may be sparing us from.

    Dying as a martyr is a special honor in God’s kingdom.   It is usually a choice.  I believe that, to even be faced with that ‘opportunity’ means:

    1.  that God trusts that you will remain faithful until the end.  (Remember, He has promised He will not lose you.  If you are truly one of His children, He will not allow you to be placed in a situation, at the end of your life, that would cause you to deny Him and spend eternity apart from Him.) Any of His children, whom He allows to face martyrdom, He has already strengthened enough to endure it, or He will supernaturally strengthen them through those final hours.

    or

    2.  you have ‘played Christian’ for so long that you have convinced yourself you are one–but you aren’t.  In that final hour you will either seek Him with your whole heart, or you will deny Him.  But, either way, He will reveal your heart to you.

    Believer–God has a job for you to do!  About face!

    The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against Us!

    The God Factor

    God Wants Us To Go To War!

    Only One Way? How Intolerant!

    How can I say there’s only one way to God?  Because it’s true.

    • The truth stands alone, but it takes a million lies to cover it up.
    • The truth is simple, but the lies become more and more elaborate.
    • The truth is unchanging, but the lies bend to conform themselves to every shift in society.
    • Contrary to popular opinion, there is only one explanation that is 100% truth.

    Consider these things:

    • If there is a God, and if He is good–would He give people free will, or would he control and manipulate them?

    That may seem pretty straightforward, He’d give them free will–but have you ever stopped to think about this:

    • How would He prevent bad things from happening, yet not interfere with anyone’s free will?

    I don’t believe that’s possible.  So, bad things happen to us all.

    And how could everyone NOT love Him, if nothing bad ever happened to any of us?

    Lets put it in human terms.  Suppose someone is obsessed with you, but you don’t know it.  They want you to love them, because they ‘love’ you.  So, they lure you into a date, a nice daylong cruise on their private yacht.  But, through a series of unfortunate events, the boat sinks and they save you from drowning.  You end up stranded, alone on a desert island with this person–and for some reason, there is no hope of rescue, ever.

    Not knowing that this was all staged, you eventually come to love this person, who is brave and strong and always looking out for you.  You come to depend on them, and they go out of their way to provide what you need.  Yet, it is love based on a lie.

    If this person is manipulating and deceiving you, they don’t really love you, aren’t looking out for your best interests, and can’t be trusted. They are not who you thought they were-they are the worst kind of person.   This person has robbed you, for the most part, of your right to choose!  Knowing that, your love would turn to hate.

    What kind of a person would be so desperate for your love, that they would go to such great lengths to entrap you?  In fact, don’t we become a bit suspicious of someone who is nothing but devoted to us?  Don’t we eventually perceive their desperation?

    Now, if the God who created Heaven and Earth never let anything bad happen to us, and so completely sheltered us–isn’t it possible that we would begin to see Him as desperate and needy, and capable of manipulating and deceiving us?  Could we really trust Him?

    And what kind of character would that show Him to have, if He would do that to you?  He would not be a good God, worthy of love and devotion–He would be a desperate, needy, lying, deceiving, evil ‘god’.  (Oh wait, there is someone like that . . . ever heard of someone ‘making a deal with the devil’?  That’s when someone trades in their free will for the promise of all their dreams coming true . . . )

    Yet, how many of you blame God when bad things happen to you?  What do you want–free will, or a perfect life that’s free from pain? If He chooses to give you free will, you’re angry when bad things happen.  But, if He took away your free will in order to spare you pain, could you love or respect Him then?

    So, assuming we’ve gotten past the question of God’s character . . .

    • Why would He only make one way?

    My question to you–why should He make more than one way?  If He is Lord of all, and good, doesn’t He have a monopoly on the ‘product’? (truth and eternal life)

    Does Amtrak advertise?  No.  Why not?  Because there is no one else you can turn to for that product.  If you want to ride a train across the U.S., you have to go to Amtrak–on their terms!  You pay the price they require, and you accommodate your schedule to the times their train is going to where you want to go.

    And they know this, so why should they waste their effort trying to persuade you?  (And because they’re government run, they don’t really care if they make a profit, or if you’re satisfied with the service–think Post Office, DMV, etc.)

    Like Amtrak, and the Post Office, God has a monopoly.  If you want what He alone can provide, you’ll go to Him on His terms.  Not to mention, you are a mere mortal, formed from the dust of the Earth–and He is the Creator and Lord of everything that exists!  Who are you anyway, to think you can negotiate the terms?

    Among us Americans, the roots of capitalism are so deep in us, that we don’t even realize it.

    • ‘There’s no free lunch’–yes and no.  Someone has to pay, that’s true–but it might not be you.
    • We are used to dealing with companies that are needy, for us to choose them–because, if we don’t, they die.
    • We want to be convinced, persuaded, wooed–I am the one with the power (the $$ to spend)–beg me to spend it on your product.
    • We are used to hearing lies and exaggerated claims.
    • ‘You get what you pay for’–this one causes us to judge the value of a product by what it costs us.  If it’s free, it can’t be worth much . . .

    These are some of the attitudes that make it hard for us to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But these attitudes don’t apply in the relationship between God and man, because:

    • God made everything–we were born into a world that contained everything we needed.  Is that not a ‘free lunch’?  It is not God, but man, that has taken it upon himself to decide who is entitled to have, and who isn’t.  God made enough of everything we need, for all of us.  It is men who refuse to share.
    • God doesn’t need us.  He is complete without us.  He is not needy.  He was, long before we were, and He will continue, even if we should all perish.  Because He does not need us, there is no reason for Him to beg, lie, woo, persuade, exaggerate or deceive us.  And, as I said before, He has a monopoly on the product.  If you choose God, you win.  If you don’t, it’s your loss, not His.
    • You get what you pay for–maybe, where people are concerned (but most of the time you get less).  God is not greedy–everything* is His.  He can make more of whatever He chooses.  He has no costs to cover, no shortage of supplies.  He has no need to hoard.  It pleases Him to share freely.  He isn’t going to gauge ‘how much it’s worth to you’ to exact that much in payment from you,  for the things you need.  He doesn’t deny you, based on your inability to pay.  He is not trying ‘to create a brand for Himself’, that He should only sell things to the highest bidder.  With Him, things are free–that’s God’s economy.  He only asks that you be a good steward of what He provides.

    *Actually, I wasn’t completely accurate. . .  in saying that everything is His.  You aren’t.  No man is, unless they choose to be.  Your spirit and your will belong to you–that was a gift to you from God.  You didn’t ask to be born, and He won’t burden you with eternal life, unless you ask for it.

    After you have worn out the body He loaned you for your life on this earth, you return it, along with your soul and spirit, to God.  He’ll give your body back to the dust He made you from.  He’ll judge you (by the laws He set down for mankind, and based on how you’ve lived your life).  Then He’ll dispose of what’s left of you.

    If, however, while you journey through this life, you come to love truth, righteousness and justice, and long for fellowship with God, there is a way.  One way.  And that should not surprise you.  After all, how many keys can open your front door?  Just one. (Sure, you may  have some exact duplicates, but there is only one configuration of dips and ridges that will line up correctly inside the keyhole to open the lock.)

    That way is through genuine repentance, and faith in Jesus’ death on your behalf.  None of us is ‘good enough’ to get there without Him.  We have all sinned and ‘missed the mark’.

    An honorable man knocks at the front door–he doesn’t look for a window he can sneak in through.  So it is with the kingdom of God.  If you truly seek God’s mercy, you will go to Him in humbleness, and accept His terms (not with your head held high in haughty pride, demanding that He make you a way that appeals more to you).  And, if your repentance is genuine, the way you live the rest of your life will prove it.

    Go to the one who died for you, and ask Him for mercy.  Once you leave this life, it will be too late.

    Believe That Allah Is God?

    Believe There Are Many Ways To God?

    Was Jesus A Prophet?

    The day has arrived that we must ‘shake the dust off our feet’ in regards to some of the people in our lives that we have been trying to persuade to Christ.  When the time arrives to ‘shake the dust off’ in regards to a specific person, the Lord will speak to your heart.  It is important to  listen, because God knows the heart and He knows the point at which a person has decided that their ‘final answer’ is ‘NO’.  Beyond that, you are wasting precious time.

    He may already be speaking this to your heart about some of the people in your life, and you may have found it very confusing–but He does not call us to devote our life to persuading anyone to turn to Him.  When He sent out the twelve disciples to different villages, two by two (as their first ‘solo flight’, as Christians ministering the gospel through the power of God) Jesus gave them specific instructions. Part of that instruction was:

    ‘if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.’

    His desire is that we present the truth, live the truth, and minister in what ways we are able.  We are not to so heavily invest ourselves in someone that we bind ourselves to them and make their choice our responsibility.  The Lord wants people who truly desire to walk with Him–who choose Him out of their own free will,  not from constant badgering or guilt.

    He called us to be witnesses–to the truth and to what He has done in our lives–not salesmen.  It is the job of the Holy Spirit to persuade men of their sins and personal need for a Savior.  In fact, if we go beyond presenting and living the truth and ministering as we are able, we may very well have the opposite effect and actually get in the way of the Holy Spirit and cause a person to harden his heart!  People come to Jesus out of hunger!  Force feeding has the opposite effect.

    And that brings us to the unfortunate situation of people who are ‘unequally yoked’.  If you are married to an unbeliever, you need to prepare your heart.  The day is soon coming that you will be confronted with a choice: will you choose to join your unbelieving spouse and turn your back on God, or will you stand firm in your faith, and lose your spouse?

    When the time to choose arrives, the Lord will speak to your heart

    ‘Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.’

    Will you heed His voice?

    There comes a time when you have to let go of your hopes for someone and accept things for what they are.  I am not saying you should leave your spouse–that is a choice for the Lord to direct you in.  I am saying, don’t be surprised if your spouse leaves you.

    Prepare your heart for the possibility that your spouse will leave you, in the not too distant future, if you continue to serve God.  Evil has greatly increased on the earth and people are now, consciously or not, making spiritual decisions.  As things get more difficult, they will act out of what is in their heart, and the spiritual decisions they have made.

    Make up your mind now, what you will do when that time comes.  You will be very vulnerable to making a choice you will regret, when that horrible day arrives.  There are few things more agonizing than being left by the one you love.  But the Lord will sustain you through that time, if you choose to remain in Him.

    The hour that Jesus spoke of has arrived:
    ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

    ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

    Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’

    There has recently been a shift in the spiritual realm. It seems that people are no longer restraining the evil that is within their hearts.  Evil wants nothing to do with good, and good wants nothing to do with evil.  Everyone seems to be choosing one side or the other.  The Lord is calling us again, to devote ourselves fully to Him, and to begin to emotionally distance ourselves from those who have rejected Him.

    [Here is a word to those of you who think that you can hide behind your  unbelieving spouse:
    Do not listen to the lying whisper that tells you you can just keep quiet about being a Christian, find some way not to get ‘The Mark’ and be ok, (because you know your spouse will take it and will still be able to buy and sell, thus providing for your needs)!  The Lord knows your heart and is not pleased.  Repent and put your faith in Him.]

    It’s Time To ‘Shake The Dust Off’ (Part 2)

    You Only Die Once–Make It Count!

    Here’s The Deal . . .