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Sunday before last the pastor at my church did a sermon that I believe is in dire need in every church… a sermon on satan and hell. So few churches today will even touch either topic… why? Likely because it's not politically correct (deemed by who else --> society) for anyone to discuss it. It seems so many folks today are afraid of speaking the truth that they've turned into spiritual sissies so to speak. If more churches began speaking about the reality of the devil and hell would many of the people who attend church flee?
But to not preach about the reality of hell is to do us all a disservice. To not share the true existence of hell is to just take tithes and pat people on the head… that doesn't save souls that desperately need saving. Instead we subscribe to the idea that good people are automatically getting in Heaven… that those who show up every Sunday for church service are good to go, that those who just "sin a little" or "sin differently" or "try everyday" or those who aren't going around shooting up stores, bombing buildings or trafficking humans are who will get in through the pearly gates. Or maybe those who have money wrongly believe their money will elevate their sin… that the fact they own x,y,z and "live superiorly" to their peers certainly means they are getting a ticket into Heaven, right?… because who notices that they are shacking up with their girlfriend or boyfriend or committing fraud or drinking and driving when they present the shiny facade of financial perfection? Doesn't that money "clean up" their sin and make it prettier than someone who commits the same sins and lives in the less desirable areas and rides the bus? Some folks actually believe that poisonous Kool-Aid.
Were so afraid of offending others that we don't speak the truth when it's needed… we bite our tongues, we waffle, we shuffle our feet and stammer… we turn red, or we pull back and become uncomfortable… one example of this is when it comes to homosexuality we often don't want to acknowledge what the bible says because were terrified that if we do we will be accused of being intolerant versus just simply being truthful.
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (NKJ, Leviticus 20:13) via christianbiblereference
Some people, namely perhaps heterosexual Christians may struggle when it comes to those of a homosexual nature and the battle going on in society today regarding legalizing marriage. Yes, we are to love everyone. Period. Yes, we are to extend grace. Yes, as Christians we are to be a representative of Christ. We know this. One dilemma that may be confusing for Christians is… are we to give equal rights to those of a homosexual nature out of love for them yet KNOWING the bible states it's an abomination? It's kinda hard to sit there and tell one group of people they can have equal rights but oh wait… this one can't. That's some form of insanity… rationally, it doesn't make sense at all. So by giving people rights (equality to marry) out of love for them are we also in the form of permission condoning their sin and just becoming indifferent to their possible consequences? As Christians we should be concerned with each other's salvation. It's a worrisome issue to ponder and it should be for each and every one of us.
We can extend love to others and yet not agree with their actions no matter what they are.
We have free will when it comes to making choices that promote life and glorify God or choices that bring darkness and death. Free will… we have it in this country to get an abortion which is a sin yet people choose to end the lives of their unborn children everyday. As my pastor said two Sundays ago… "Why do we call it murder when someone shoots and kills a pregnant mother but when she decides to abort her own baby we say it's not really a baby?" That stuck with me. He's completely right. We can't have it both ways, folks.
So often people who don't believe in God question what kind of god would allow rape, death, murder, etc? The are tossing the realities of human sin having entered this world onto God… they are playing the "blame game" so to speak. The truth is… God warned Adam and Eve to not eat the fruit of the one tree but they did not listen. They had ample other choices and yet they chose to disobey… they listened to the deceitful lies spewed by the devil… they let evil into the world by their actions and thankfully God already had a plan to save our wretched souls through His son Jesus Christ. If we go to hell it is it by punishment served up by a mean and angry God?… it could be argued that it's at least partly due to ourselves and our own blindness… to us not accepting Christ as our Savior, being prideful and defiant… us rejecting Him and continuing a sin-filled life without sorrow or repentance.
What comes out of you is what defiles you. For from within, out of your hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile you. (TNIV, Mark 7:20-23) via christianbiblereference
We each have the choice to begin our eternal sentence here on this planet… to willingly sign up ahead of time and have our name reserved beside satan; to WILLFULLY choose to sin and never turn from it… it pains God to see us make this choice… it brings Him sorrow. The bible states the sexually immoral and arrogant, the wicked and deceitful will not inherit the kingdom of God -----> the unrepentant… we may know someone like this… we may be praying for them… we may unfortunately be married to someone of this nature or divorced from them. We may wring our hands in despair that they are headed on the route they are… it may certainly bring us sorrow that the parent of our child is consciously making choices that bring heartache, pain and grief. If we are or were married to someone of a narcissistic nature we can know that the destruction they create is huge… like the devil (the word itself means destroyer) someone of narcissistic or even sociopathic character… their primary purpose is to destroy. Maybe someone in your life is trying to destroy you and your family. The narcissistic sociopath is not much different than the devil himself when it comes to traits… they are both deceitful by nature… they are not repentant, they are not empathetic and they both spew lies.
Unfortunately not everyone believes the devil (or hell) exists. Yet he does. Even many who do believe in Christ don't believe there is a devil. But satan does exist, he's a reality. The truth is… no amount of denial, no amount of glossing over sin, no amount of money or even ego will keep you exempt from hell. Merely believing in Christ; is that truly sufficient for life here on earth?…shouldn't we want more than just going through the motions? Are we sadly more concerned with our quick ticket and guaranteed admittance to Heaven than we are loving and obeying God? Are we living for Him, are we shedding sin and beginning fresh? Are we asking God for forgiveness and yes, even transformation in our lives? Are we asking to be chiseled? None of us… not one of us wants to see someone we know endure the wrath of hell… to love one another is to not just share the word that Christ loves them and died for their sins but that we want to see them in Heaven one day alongside Christ.
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