Escape From Hell

One of the arguments people use to say that there cannot be a God is the existence of evil. They say that if an all-powerful, good God existed, He would not permit the pain and suffering we see all around us. People who say such things fail to recognize that if God is to give us freedom, He has to allow us to do what is wrong. If we have genuine choice, it is possible that we will choose things which are against God’s will. Yes, God could prevent evil, but if He did, we would no longer be free to choose. As long as some choose to do wrong, there will be suffering.

New Birth

Every birth is special. It’s a time of wonder and amazement. I suppose that when he or she first holds a newborn, just about every parent thinks about the potential of this new life. What is this child born to do? Who will this child become? Will this child live up to its potential?

We can hope. We can dream. We can speculate, but except in very rare cases, we don’t know what lies ahead for a child. We don’t know the direction he will take. We don’t know the path that God has chosen for him. We don’t know what he was born to accomplish.

Suicide

I don’t know what drives people to commit suicide. I’ve never been particularly tempted to take my own life. However, I imagine that the major cause of suicide is despair. Someone feels so hopeless; he feels that the situation is so beyond his ability to cope that there is no way out. Death is preferable to any other option he can see. So he chooses death as a way of escape.

Forgiven

In Christian circles you hear a lot about belief and faith. There is a certain body of knowledge that a person has to accept as true in order to become a Christian. When teaching – even when going verse by verse through a book of the Bible – it is easy to just concentrate on facts. For example, these are the attributes of God; the church at this or that place was having this particular problem; Jesus said such and such. However, James points out that true faith is much more than acknowledging facts. Faith is acting on what we say we believe. We must apply what we know.

Seeing Reality

Have you ever had the experience of walking somewhere at night and being scared by something you saw? You saw a shadow and thought that something, or somebody, was going to jump out at you. Or, perhaps you saw what looked like eyes staring at you. Your fight or flight mechanism started to kick in. You took another step only to discover that the shadow you saw was cast by some harmless object or the eyes you thought saw were really only a harmless reflection. You feared because you couldn’t see things as they really were. Your perception was distorted.

Reenacting the New Covenant

No doubt we are all very familiar with the passage in 1st Corinthians 11: “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NIV)

Number One

Many people live by the philosophy that you have to look out for ‘number one.’ Number one, of course, is themselves. They justify it by another saying. “If you don’t look out for yourself, no one else will.” What it really boils down to is selfishness. We want to have our own way. We want to satisfy our own desires. We want to live for ourselves.

Unless a Seed Dies

No one likes to go through pain and suffering. But sometimes pain and suffering is absolutely necessary in order to obtain a desired outcome. Jesus put it this way, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25 NIV)

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