Friday, March 14, 2008

Is the road getting rough to travel? -- Have you decided to throw in the towel?

President's day is viewed by some as just another day off. Although gone for now, that day will come around again next year. Still, it is fitting that we set aside a day to honor a handful of 43 men. These 43 special men were selected and elected by a process and privilege, which we in the United States enjoy. That process says, we want this one man (or woman) to represent us as a nation. One individual with power and authority to lead and guide our country in many areas of decisions.

Over the years, we have been blessed with godly men who took charge to keep this nation strong and free. Presidents who were not afraid to call upon God for guidance and wisdom, and to use that wisdom even when it went against the grain of opposition. When I think of these men who took charge of this nation, one such man comes into mind more than any other.

A man whose odds of becoming president were so great, you wonder why he even kept trying. He was born into a very poor family. At 7 years of age, his family was forced out of their home and this boy had to work to support them. At age 9, this shy backwards boy's mother died. At age 22, he lost his job as a store clerk. He wanted to attend law school, but his education simply was not good enough. At age 23, he went into debt to be a partner in a store, but 3 years later, his partner died leaving him with a huge debt. At age 28, a 4-year romantic relationship with a young lady ended when she turned down his marriage proposal. Still, an earlier courtship ended in heartache with her death. At age 37, after a third try, he finally became elected to congress, but 2 years later failed to win reelection. At the same time, it was observed that he had what many today would call a nervous breakdown. At age 41, adding to the heartaches of an already unhappy marriage, his 4 year old son died. At age 42, he was rejected for land officer. At age 45, he ran for the Senate and lost. At age 47, He was defeated for Vice Presidential nominee. At age 49, he again ran for the Senate and lost.

Can you imagine how he was probably criticized, misunderstood, had periods of depression, and snubbed by his colleagues - certainly he was not the envy of his peers. Nevertheless, in spite of all his heartaches and setbacks, he did not let it deter him. He kept going forward, not looking back. Thankfully, he did not give up, because at age 51, he was elected to the highest office of President of the United States.

You have probably guessed who this man was. Defeated repeatedly by personal, business and political failures, yet he never gave up. Born in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12, 1809, next year marks the 200th anniversary of his birth. Shot in the head by an assassin's bullet on Good Friday, he died the next day on April 15, 1865.

Abraham Lincoln, who became perhaps the most revered of all Presidents, never gave up when circumstances were against him. He kept his focus on the good until he won the prize. There is a prize awaiting you too. Paul the Apostle declared in the Epistle of Philippians - His desire is to know Jesus and counted all things as dung that he might win Christ. "Forgetting those things, which are behind, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Just as Abraham Lincoln did not give up at 7 years old, 9 years old, 22, 23, 28, 37, 41, 42, 47, 49 years old amidst failures and heartaches and attained the prize of President; and, as Paul pressed on until he reached his mark of his high calling; we too must set our sights toward and endeavor to persevere in our quest of reaching the highest office that anyone could ever reach - not as President of the United States, but as kings and priest in the house of our God in Christ Jesus forever.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Would a Loving God Really Send Anyone To Hell?

The question goes something like this, "Would a loving God really send anyone to hell? This is how the argument is verbalized to dispel the fact that God made hell for those who sin. While this doctrine is ever growing and even some outstanding Christian pastors have jumped on the bandwagon. However, no matter the status of the one spewing the dispute, a Christian must not go by what they say or hear say, but totally by the Word of God. That indeed is the only standard to abide by when confronted with things of the unknown.

In today's society, many believe hell does not exist or is hell here on earth. Another thought injects the suggestion that death is simply the grave without any consequences for this life's actions - condensed into total annihilation when we die. Yes, and the list gets even longer as time passes. To understand why people believe these things, you need to read "my interview with Satan" on this blog site.

From a biblical perspective, not one of these views line up. Let's answer these one by one. Why would a loving God send anyone to hell? This question might best be worded as: Why do I want to send myself to hell? You are accountable for your own actions. God gave you a free-will to make choices. Whatever choices you have made did not come from God. Each of us are responsible for our individual actions in life.

God did everything He could do to set us free from the wages of sin. He died in our place so we would not have to pay the price ourselves. Does that sound like a God who does not love us? We must quit blaming a loving God for what we do. If we reject God's way of salvation, we are saying, I want to pay the price for my sins myself and I want to live an eternity with Satan and not with God.

In the Book of Revelation 20:14, it declares that death and hell shall stand before God to be judged according to their works, after which both death and hell are sent into the lake of fire. Meanwhile,a previous verse 20:10 describes the lake of fire as the place where the beast and the false prophet are sent to be tormented day and night forever and ever.

So the question is: Why does God (in verse Revelation 20:14) judge those in hell according to their works if they will only be dead or annihilated?  Doesn't it seem counter to reason, if one person did a lot of works during his life and another person did nothing, that they both should get the same reward if death simply means annihilation. Would not a better summation be that each are judge by their works, meaning that there are various stages of punishment and each receives their punishment as each one deserves according to what works they did while on earth..

Will hell cease to exist if we refrain from talking about it? Should we take our chances simply on the premise that we heard someone say there is no hell? On the other hand, is there a reason for not believing the Bible, which teaches repeatedly of a literal hell? I am sure you have checked out every avenue before you made your decision. The Bible says God is faithful and wishes no one to perish, so how can we blame God for our rejecting Jesus?.

The key to being sure you make the right decision, comes from what Jesus told us. He said: "He who comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out." If you have not come to Him, or thought you did at one time, I urge you to do it again to be sure. God only accepts a willing vessel. That is why many do not receive the love He offers. God searches the heart for sincerity. Do not give up on God. He loves you and sent His Son Jesus who died to show you of His love. See more at on this topic on: The Unveiling of the Trinity.