The more we know about God’s truth, the better we are prepared to secure His triumph. The enemy has spent thousands of years trying to defeat what he knows is the truth. If the number one enemy of Satan is the truth, then it stands to reason why his goal would be the distorting and disguising of that truth. From the very beginning of man, Satan has been on a fervent crusade to destroy the truth of God and His Word. The Bible states that ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). He, Satan, the enemy, knowing the enormous and absolute power of God’s undeniable truth, must race in terror to stamp out its indestructible veracity and influence over man. The Bible refers to Satan as the father of lies and the author of confusion. He must continue his onslaught if he is to have any form of victory.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). For him to be exposed as a deceiver, and for all of mankind to know the truth, would mean his demise. He cannot be where the absolute truth is known, so he will do whatever it takes to distort or destroy it. To dispute the truthfulness and the authenticity of the Holy Word of God is certain condemnation, and will have no good end. Authenticity is the ruination of deception, and if Satan, the enemy, is to perpetuate his evil agenda, he must relentlessly attack what even he knows is the truth. Satan knows the Word of God better than any man on earth, yet is so blinded by his pride that he cannot conceive of his own end. This being said, we can rightly assume that every word that comes from his lying tongue is to be considered false, and that any reference he makes to the Word of God is only being used to confuse or cause doubt. Lies do not stand on their own and must be bolstered by the perpetuation of more of the same. That is to say, one lie only prepares the way for another, and the only way to eradicate or fix a situation is by telling the truth. The truth of any situation is inevitable and will always be the final answer or solution. The truth can always stand on its own, and no matter how offensive or troublesome, it can be dealt with or handled in an authoritative manner. A lie must attempt to run and hide in darkness, and, it will be destroyed whenever the light encounters it.
So many of the citizens of this earth are uninformed or misinformed and are to be considered spiritually illiterate or dead. Without God their condition is hopeless and their souls are without restitution or self-assurance. The enemy wants to keep it that way. He wants to keep everyone in the dark about the things of God, because he knows the power that God’s Word can have over them. It will change their lives, and he will lose his power and authority over them. God’s power is complete, and it is absolute. The act of being spiritual, righteous and holy is gained by faith and trust in the God of creation, not in placing your confidence and affections in the man-made gods of this world. There is only one God that can give you those things that are necessary for your continual survival. The God Jehovah rules and reigns on His own intellect and power; it is He, and only He, that is to be considered righteous and sovereign. All gods that have been contrived in the hearts and minds of man are injurious and fallible. Their abilities are fruitless, and their influence is self debilitating. The ability they have to rule can never be higher than the intellect of the men that created them. The power of God is not achieved or consummated in the hearts and minds of His followers. It is the power of God that draws man unto Himself, and in His power, He will save and preserve His children. What I choose to believe, assert, or express does not maximize or confirm God’s power. It only expresses and affirms it. While God rules up in heaven, the gods of this world’s dominion are on this earth; and they will all soon be condemned to Hell. “The Lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen” (Zephaniah 2:11).
One day, God will be recognized and worshiped for who He is. There will be no option, or choice, or chance to refuse. He will be acknowledged as the One and only true God of the universe. God is the one and only true God, but God is also the God for all humanity. When God died for us, He included everyone. God’s love was intended for every individual that has ever walked the face of this earth. He has excluded no one, and it will stay that way until the very end. Whether you choose to serve Him or choose to rebel, it will not change the fact of who God is. The greatness of God can never be diminished by the foolishness of man, and to refuse His forgiveness is certain condemnation. The choice is yours. It is not my intention to ridicule or do away with anyone’s right to believe or worship as they so choose, but in saying that, I know that it is my obligation to tell everyone He puts in my path about the truth of His Word. Believing there is a God is not enough. It is imperative that you put your faith in the one true God of the universe. It is not what I have done for God but what he has done for me that makes Him so priceless. It is mind-boggling to me how anyone could want to serve a god that is hateful and unrelenting. God, who is all-powerful and loving, has told me to give my burdens to Him and He would carry them. It is inconceivable that I could ever love a god who loves me not and would place more on me than I could ever bear. I could never be worthy of the love of my God, yet He loves me without limits. For God to place many insurmountable trials and hardships upon me to secure my worthiness would seem heartless. If God is as supernatural as He must be to command something as large and complex as this universe, if He did not love me, what possibility could I ever have of gaining His mindfulness? If He did not love me, would He ever ask to bear my burdens?
As I look to God, I see someone who is the creator of all things, someone who has the power to create and destroy. I see a God who has set the standard, written the rules to follow and laws to abide by. I see a God who hates sin and will not associate with those that are living in its depravity. Truly there are those things that God expects and demands from His children, but they are for our benefit and not intended to place us into bondage. I see a God who promotes love, not vengeance. I see a God who is impartial, not a respecter of persons, who is in love with all of His creation. I see a God who I can be sure of, who is longsuffering, dependable, and always ready to help. I see a God who is understandable, who takes His time to show this world what He is all about. I see a God who does everything for my good, who is my friend and not my enemy. I see a God who is giving, not stingy, who wants to share with me all the treasures of heaven. Compassionate, kind, loving, peaceful; He tells me to love my enemies and pray for them, not to hate and seek ways to destroy them. I see a God who wants to share my day, to protect me and commune with me. I see a God who has nothing to prove, but willingly shows His love and kindness. I see a God who is merciful, gracious, forgiving, all knowing, truthful, honest, and believable. He can and will answer any question, and solve any problem. I see a God who is always ready to listen, to comfort and cheer. He is a God that does not deceive, a God who is a true friend. When I question God, He comforts me. He gives me hope, fulfillment, and purpose. God is just, holy, righteous, and eternal. Most of all, I see a God who willingly died for my sin, to give me hope of a better day and keep me with Him always. I see a God that I have learned to love and adore.
God is so good; He is what our lives should be all about. He wants to do so much for us that He willingly gave all that He had. He sent us a lifeline, something we could grasp hold of to lift us out of the miring blackness that our sins had imprisoned us in. It is marvelous to speak about how much He loves us, and in that same breath, it is tragic to see how many have rejected Him. We are indeed a miserable lot, powerless to free ourselves from the bondage in which we have placed ourselves, but in His love, we have been given that last hope of a bright future with Him. We can do nothing without His divine leadership, and unless we are willing to surrender to His will, we will remain forever lost. Life is all about choices, and unless we decide to make Him our number one priority, we will be left leading defeated and unfulfilled lives. He is truly what life is all about. It is hard to comprehend, how we can acknowledge the fact that He is the giver of life, but then not instinctively know that He must also be the One who must bless and sustain it. To wander away from His life-giving goodness into the dark hopelessness of this evil world, is somewhat hard to fathom. Where is the rationale for such ill-thought-out actions? In every day life, we choose those things that are only the best, as the phrase goes, because we believe we deserve it, but when it comes to those things that really matter, we just don’t seem to get it. In our arrogance, we think ourselves to be so much more intellectual than we really are. Where is the intellectual reasoning found in choosing to obey the order of man instead of the laws of God? Could this be the reason that so many have conveniently chosen to believe that God does not exist? How do you base something so important on something as frivolous as your just choosing not to believe? If skepticism were a credible method of handling our dislikes and problems, then we could doubt away all of the other things that don’t fit into our list of things that we desire. “I don’t want it or like it that way, so I just won’t believe that it exists.” You think I’m being foolish, right? Well, you are right, but what about those who disregard the truth because it doesn’t fit into their plan for their life? I understand that we all have been given a choice and that there is no way God will allow that right or responsibility to be taken away from us. We all must choose whom we will honor and whom we will allow to direct and guide us. If we choose to forget God, eventually, He will not be there for us when we need Him. Whether that choice is in direct defiance or we choose out of ignorance, we will be held accountable for our decision. If we refuse that chance to accept Him, we have truly lost it all, because without Him, there is nothing of any value left to gain. He is the only possibility or hope of salvation: and without His forgiveness, we will be condemned to an eternity without Him. There is no place more appalling or condition more detestable than that place called Hell. It is inconceivable that anyone would knowingly decide to go there. When we choose not to think about it or choose not to accept our responsibility of accepting Him, we are placing ourselves in great peril. We not only will lose all hope for the future, but we place our present-day living into times of desperation and despair. Simply put, we cannot live abundantly without God in our lives.
The true reason we have been placed here on earth is to make a choice. That choice is not about what we will accumulate, but what we will give. That choice is not about life here on planet earth, but where we will spend our eternity. While living for the moment can be desirable, it can also be destructive. Something as short as life can in no way measure up to eternity. We consider ourselves to be rational, but so many times make decisions that are foolish and ill advised. Thinking that some action or adventure might be exciting does not always make it sensible. Doing things simply for there pleasure, can, in fact be harmful. How do we become wise? How do we know what choices are profitable and prudent? If we often go the way of pleasure and self gratification, we might one day be called upon to pay the debt, in some cases sooner than we expect. Whether you accept it or not, everything has a price, and every expenditure will be collected. This being the case, should we not examine each action to see if we’re getting a just compensation? Would you not consider this an intelligent choice or an act of true wisdom?
God has given us the gift of life, but it is our decision to choose what we will do with it. The decision we make will determine how we will respond, and, how we will govern our behavior and actions. In truth, it will determine whom we will serve. Doing those things that are selfish and self-centered, while many times thought rewarding, really gives us no true fulfillment or satisfaction. Thinking and living for the moment is not always a way of gaining true peace or contentment. Jesus said that He was the way, the truth, and the life; and He, being God, was the only one who could give us those things that we truly needed. The way; He is the only way into Heaven, and the only way unto God our Heavenly Father. The truth; He is the one who shows us the true reality of life, the one that sets us free from the bondage of sin. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Being the truth, Jesus, the true lover of our souls, will give us that perfect hope of eternal life. The life; He is the one who died for our redemption, giving us true life in Him. He is the one who has come to give us that abundant life, a life of true joy and fulfillment. Choosing to follow Him can only prove to be rewarding and resourceful.
The enemy, the deceiver, does not want you to make the choice to follow God. His approach will be to immerse you in lies and anxiety. He then cunningly distracts you so that before you realize it, your eyes are off of God. You are then given that sinking feeling, that feeling of pulling away from God. His desire is to put you on a path that will lead you to destruction. He wants you to feel so much shame for losing your way that you believe you are beyond redemption. He will do what he must to see that you do not witness God’s truth. Seeing everything the way it truly is will draw you unto your Heavenly Father, your Creator. The devil has no power to build and nothing to build upon. That is to say, his agenda is not to build up but to tear down. He only desires the destruction of the righteous and the death of holy living. The truth or reality of life will show God in His true compassion and goodness, while exposing the enemy in his true horror. So much of the time, we look at only the moment and forget the true reality of eternity. The lust of the flesh and the pride of life seem to be all there is, and, in their brash forcefulness, cause us to diminish our true value and worth. To sin only takes us deeper into that pit of worthlessness and emptiness, and without the power of a loving God, we will be consumed.
If we are to consider that life is just to be lived for the moment, and we are not to take anything too seriously, then why don’t we just abolish government and any other restraining forces and just live it up? I am sure there are a few things we would all like to do if it were not for the consequences. So, if we are not to take things seriously, then why not just go for it? First of all, life is too precious and important to be lived without any type of restriction or goal. When you have something that is valuable, you learn to treasure it and hold onto it. Everyone considers his or her own life to be paramount, but God considers all of His creation priceless. When you think as God does, then you can see the true value of life. When you place value on your own life and diminish that of others, you do not see life in its true perspective. All life must be considered precious, simply because it is the beloved of its Creator. The quality of life does not transcend the true value of life itself. The personality or character that becomes a part of that life, does not possess the right to determine whether it will live or die. That right belongs only to the giver of life: God. Most of the restrictions God has placed upon life are not there to crush or defeat us, but to protect and nurture us. God’s intent is not that we be under bondage, but that we are allowed to flourish and abound.
The evil that is in this world is in direct defiance to what God has intended for all of His children. When we consider ourselves to be bound because we cannot do those things that God says are an abomination, we are unaware of the true goodness of God. The enemy’s only desire or intent is to destroy and pervert everything that is good, righteous, and holy. Very little can function or survive in a place of total depravity. Those who are self-seeking or one-sided can mar even the best of intentions. It is not for our good that those who are evil minded seek to liberate us. We are not made free when we delve into the evil and depravity of this world. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son there fore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”(John 8:34). The only freedom to be found in this world is found in the Son of God.
I could easily write a thousand pages about the goodness of God. If I did, I would only be telling you something you should already know. The real importance or significance of God is found when we take who He is and what He has done, and apply it in our own lives, as He has intended for us to do. God is a personal God, and He wants to be a personal friend to all. Once we have found out about Him, and know Him, it is then, and only then, that He can make a real change in our lives. That is the reason He has told His children to tell others about Him and His love for them. God’s intent is not to physically control and dictate to us. His desire is not to rid us of all things pleasurable and agreeable. If God had wanted to force His desires upon us, He would not have given us the ability to choose, but that does not mean that He will not hold us accountable for our sinful behavior. Retribution is not God getting even; it is His expression of love to draw us back into His righteous will. God’s intent is to show us His magnificent love. His desire is that His love be eagerly returned. Pause for a moment. Do you believe that God needs our love? God, who is the greatest of all, the creator of all, the one who has set everything into place and is in control of it all, is in need of our love? If we try hard enough, we might seize a glimpse of what He is about, and of His enormous love for us. We can offer Him nothing, but He has promised us all the eternal riches of His glory, if we will only allow Him to give them to us. He has made His forgiveness available to all by the sacrifice of His Son upon a tree.
If we by faith, willingly accept what He has done, then He has promised to forgive us of our sins and to accept us into that eternal Paradise with Him. Do you believe that a loving Father would not intensely love His only Son? We who do not really know how to love, would we give our lives to protect and defend those we presumably love? God has given us the way through the atoning blood of Jesus, His son. We are born into sin, poor and unworthy; but He wants to redeem us and make us truly rich, making us co-heirs of His eternal abundance. Wanting to be our friend but having to sacrifice His only Son to make it possible would only be thinkable to a gracious and loving God. Crossing that line could only show the magnitude of His love for us. To man, such actions are incomprehensible. If God was willing to do all that was required to save us, He must first be convinced that His sacrifice was worth what He wanted to achieve by making it. Even though He knew that the return on His love would not be 100 percent, He willingly sacrificed everything for the few that would accept His forgiveness. Such actions should not cause us to arrogantly overestimate our true worth, but humbly thank Him for His indisputable grace. To me, that is powerful stuff, and only a powerful and loving God could have accomplished it. It rattles my mind how anyone could doubt or refuse such an awesome love, especially when the consequences of doing so are so severe. Part of His love is showing us what is good for us and warning us of those things that are destructive. The laws of God are for our guidance and protection. True freedom is not the ability or opportunity to do that which is irresponsible and self-destructive, without the threat of reprisal or incarceration. Freedom is not the absence of personal responsibility or a state of lawlessness; it is only a conveyance given to promote personal creativity and responsible action. Every action has a desired purpose and carries with it the reward or burden of its performance. It is only rational to predetermine the consequence of our actions. God’s laws are intended for our deliverance, not our destruction. It is intended to direct us into His kingdom and not to condemn us to hell. By His grace, we have been given a chance of gaining what we do not deserve. By His mercy, He has forgiven all our sins. He has willingly died so that He can restore our birthright. Our unwillingness to believe does not excuse our behavior or give us a free pass. We will all be held accountable for those things we do, good or evil.
The life of Jesus is only an exemplary story until we realize its truth and power, and apply it to our own lives and our own living. The true magnificence of God and His Son, Jesus, is only realized when we make Him our personal friend and Savior. If by our defiance we refuse His love and do not accept Him, we will one day know His wrath, which will be upon all who refuse His salvation. The life of Jesus, no matter how great a story it is, can only find relevance when we realize it was written for us, and is intended for our benefit. No matter how good God is or how much He wants to redeem us, it really doesn’t accomplish anything until we invite Him into our lives and allow Him to do what He came here to do. When it comes to our worldly lives, it really doesn’t matter how truly great Jesus is or how much He wants to save us. It will really never be significant until we ask Him into our hearts and permit Him to become Lord and Master over us. Jesus is who He says He is. He can do the things that He has promised He will do. Thinking that Jesus was only a good teacher and nothing more, reduces His eternal value and leaves us without any hope. Why is it that so many who think themselves to be wise leaders of society, are truly ignorant of any real knowledge or understanding? Is it that in their arrogance, they wish to justify their inappropriate behavior? In the search for knowledge, we must not approach its obtainment hoping to substantiate our evil opinions. True knowledge is not the justification of our evil desires, and to pervert wisdom into the defense of sin, is deadly. Satan has twisted our perceptions into accepting what he gives as desirable and lovely, and as we are drawn into his deception, we are left with only the promise of true satisfaction. The gifts of Satan,—gratification, self-indulgence and pleasure— are only temporal and can never truly supply the needs of the human heart. They are intended for our momentary gratification, to take our minds off of the many necessities that God in His goodness has provided us. When you have a loving Savior, why would you want or need a deceitful adversary? Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:13-15
The dumbing-down of civilization is an objective of the enemy, and he’s here to glorify and laud his evil agenda. True riches are not found in the encumbrances of this world but were sent to this world by our Heavenly Father in the form of His beloved Son.
Once we realize the truth of who God is, we must then be willing to allow Him to make us what He wants us to be. He said He came to give us life and to give it more abundantly. This hole earthly experience is not about us. It is about what God has done for us through the atoning blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus. Unless we allow Him to fill our lives with His perfection, washing away all of the dirt and filth of this world, our time on this earth has been for naught. No matter how famous or wealthy we become, we have gained nothing. To gain this world means nothing, when you understand that one day, it, and all who reside upon it, will be destroyed. There is nothing eternal about this world, and there never has been. The only thing that will live forever is God and everything that is His.
Nothing that belongs to God will ever be destroyed without Him allowing it. There will never be anyone powerful enough to take away that which belongs to Him. Satan, in his attempt to overthrow God, was defeated and cast out of heaven for his sinful behavior. He has only been given a short time, and then he will be condemned to hell, he and all of his angels. In the ever abiding truth of God, it is impertinent that we, as God’s creation, could suggest that man possesses the ability to destroy what God has created without His approval. God created this world and has given man dominion over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth (Genesis 1:26) but He has not given man the ability to destroy it. All will be done in His time. God’s intent for creating this world was to fulfill His purpose, and man has no jurisdiction when God is present. It is to be considered prudent that we, as the occupants of this planet, take care of what God has provided us. But God’s creation should never be worshiped before Him, the creator of it all. Although we will all one day leave this earth, the time and the place that it occurs, is within the omnipotent hands of a sufficient and unrivaled God. It is He, and only He, who will determine the fate of this universe and all within it. Everything that God has created, He has created in adequate supply. Any failure to meet our needs, is only due to our insubordination, or our unwillingness to depend upon Him to supply our daily needs. God has provided us every necessity, but He has also promised chastisement upon those that disobey His commandments. He has asked for our trust, but He has commanded our obedience. He will not reward those who are in defiance of His eternal truths.
God should be included in everything that we do. He has given us certain obligations or duties that we have been required to perform, and they are what our primary concerns should be focused upon, things like taking care of my duties as a father, or keeping up my duties or responsibilities to Him as my Heavenly Father, doing my daily Bible reading or praying for His leadership and guidance. If we are doing all those things He asks of us, we shall find that none of our time will be wasted. Truly, I can do very little if I do not seek His will for my life, and allow Him to work within it. It is my duty to seek His will in all that I do, like in my work time, as well as my idle time. When I am doing what is required of me, I should desire to give it 100 percent, or do it to the best of my ability. It is impossible to be good at what you do and only do it halfway. There is really no such thing as a part-time Christian, who is accomplishing much for the Lord. Living the abundant life is not something that can be done just part of the time; the Christian life is something that must be lived every moment of every day. It takes total desire and dedication, but with determination and the help of the Lord, you can do all things. It has been said that a busy mind does not have time to get into trouble, and God has required me to be responsible in everything I do. All my time, when I am working and when I am at rest, belongs to God. I should see that none of it is wasted. God’s truth is forever a constant, and He will require me to make it the driving, as well as the sustaining force in my life. What I am saying can be difficult to do, and to many, it seems impossible. I have been there and I know that without a determined effort, most things will not get done. The enemy is very good at distractions and causing us to doubt. If we allow him to interfere, we are sure to fail. God has given all life a harmony and order; and if we are to live orderly lives, that order must be maintained. It is not my job to determine what God has set as His responsibility, and He does not expect me to do those things that only He is capable of doing.
If I am to be successful and achieve what He has appointed me to do, then I must intensify my concentration and efforts in doing only those things He has determined as my responsibility. I never need fear if I am doing what is required of me, and as I let all other things take their proper course; everything will go as it should, as God has planned. God has made me capable of doing many things on my own, and under my own power, but I must not forget that my strength comes from Him. He expects me to perform those duties without any pro-test or fanfare. If God has not given me a particular duty or responsibility, then it is likely something beyond my ability to accomplish. He will not expect me to do the impossible. Impossibilities are only in His job description. I must exhibit faith in Him and in His ability and in His promise to do those things I cannot.
Like an airplane without wings, I won’t even get off the ground without having faith to believe He will meet my needs. If I rely upon my own power and values, I can do nothing but fail. That is a truth everyone must acknowledge. The sooner it is accepted, the better it will be. God did not create bumpy roads, so the more we allow Him to work, the smoother the road will get. In truth, everything depends upon Him. Let’s say that again. Everything depends upon Him. I must get out of His way and allow Him to work, to accomplish those things needed in my life. I cannot accomplish it on my own. Many have said if you want a job done right, then you must do it yourself; but I contend that there are many jobs we cannot do on our own; and if they are to be done right, God must do them. Life here on earth is not simple; it is not easy. No matter how successful you become in life, the really important things are the intangible things you learn. When it comes to eternity, everyone has been given the same choices, and no one has been given an advantage in making those choices. Many times, success has become a deterrent in making wise decisions and can be considered a hindrance instead of an advantage. To die and be sent into hell has no profitability, no matter how much or how little you thrive in this life. To consider the notion, living with very little in worldly possessions, but dying and going to heaven, has an immeasurable advantage. That is not to say only the poor will be allowed into heaven or be kept out of hell. Salvation is an expression of the heart and condition of the soul. It has nothing to do with anything of this world. All men are dying. All men have been given the same opportunity to live again, rich or poor. To illustrate your life here on earth, place a dot on a piece of paper. In about as much time as it took for you to place that dot on the paper, you would have lived more than a thousand normal lifetimes, if you would compare it to eternity. Now, draw a circle. Considering one point on the continual line as your beginning point or birth, place a pencil on that point and begin tracing the circle, going past the point where you began. Continue going around until you reach a point where the pencil line is broken. What? There is no place the line is broken? Exactly, and eternity is the same way: there is no stopping point. If you were to continue to do as my example has requested, you would never lay the pencil down. You would need every pencil ever manufactured since the beginning of time, and that would only be enough to get you started. Eternity, in and of itself, is an enormous word. It is a word that you can never fully comprehend while living here on this earth.
Think about the most physically debilitating, painful thing you have had to experience. I imagine you could not have experienced it for long without administering some form of painkiller or drug to alleviate the pain. Now, as you remember, I am sure you are not ready or willing to experience it all again. I am sure I can hear you now saying, “I don’t ever want to go through that again.” As your friend, I hope you do not have to experience it ever again. But be prepared, because if you have not given your life to God, it is going to be un-imaginably worse, so much more agonizing that your mind can never grasp the total agony of it. You will not have any medication available to numb the pain, and the pain will never ever stop. I am not trying to frighten you, but that is the reality that we must all accept. Do your homework. Read God’s Word. It is not going to be a beer brawl or frat party in hell. There is going to be nothing that is pleasant or desirable; only total separation forever. The good news is that Jesus, the Son of God, came to deliver us all from that dark place. He has come to give us life. You do not have to do something spectacular to gain His redemption. You need simply ask, believing that He can and will forgive you. Being a good person isn’t life’s true meaning; the word good is relative to God, for He has said there was no good person here on earth. The only One who was truly good was the God man, Jesus Christ. Good works are meant to show that we are saved, not be performed in an attempt at gaining our salvation. God is the one who is doing the forgiving, and to be forgiven, you must follow His commandments. To be difficult and rebellious gets you nothing but pain and nowhere but hell. God has never been fooled, but He also has never turned away anyone who was genuinely sincere about their lost and rebellious condition. There has never been any man who has been so charitable and virtuous that he needed not to be saved. Furthermore, there has never been any man, no matter the atrocities he might have committed, who is beyond forgiveness. God is not concerned about good and bad. He is only concerned about saved or lost. God cannot make you a good person, but through His Son, He can make you a better person. He can give you the fiery passion to want to be more like Him.
It’s sad to say, but there are many people who will never make it into heaven because they refuse to follow His rules, or will deny His absolute power and ability to redeem. Unlike a gala at the White House, everyone is invited, though many will refuse their invitation to attend. There is only one door that has been left open. There is only one way to enter. There is only one person that can allow you in. Knowing that He is the one and only way is and of itself, simplistic and reassuring. “Then said Jesus unto them again, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:7). Once you have accepted Him, you need not be in doubt of your eternal home. Once you have given your heart to Jesus, you have a guarantee of a home with Him. Salvation has nothing to do with the church you attend or the people you associate with. If you are truly saved, you will, by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, want to assemble with those who also hear His call, those who believe what God, our Father, teaches in His Holy Word. There are some churches today that preach heresy and should be avoided. Those churches have only been organized to justify their inappropriate actions and have nothing to do with the truth of God’s Word. If you will read God’s Word and ask Him in your daily prayers to guide you, He will provide your needs and lead you where He wants you to go. God is truthful and faithful and will not allow His children to be destroyed. We must have faith in Him and allow His will to direct our daily walk with Him.
If you are in doubt of your salvation, then you are probably not saved. Knowing whether or not you are saved should be simple. It’s a lot like knowing what you had for breakfast five minutes after you ate. Salvation is something that is impossible to forget and grossly offensive to deny. When Peter denied Jesus three times at His betrayal, Peter knew that he was saved and that he had sworn never to deny Jesus as his personal Savior. He denied his association with Jesus because of his fear of what the people would do to him. When Peter denied Jesus, he was deeply convicted and wept bitterly for his refusal to acknowledge Him as his Lord.
And Peter said, “Man, I know not what thou sayest.” And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, “Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” And Peter went out, and wept bitterly, Luke 22:60-62. The Bible also says that God will chastise His children. If you are living your own way and do not feel the chastisement of God, then you should be in doubt of your salvation. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:8-11
If you are living your life without any desire to read God’s Word or pray to God, or if you live your life without any conviction of sin, you are probably not saved. We are not to judge; but if we do not examine our own lives, we become as fools and are subjecting ourselves to the chastisement of God. Having God’s salvation is far too important a situation just to sur-mise. It is, without doubt, the most important question we will ever be called upon to answer. There is nothing for us to determine in our lives that is more crucial and consequential than our faith and acceptance in Christ, God’s holy Son. God has said that if we deny Him while here on earth, then He will deny us at that final judgment. There is no denial that is more foolish or judgment more severe.
There are two things I have determined in my life to be true. One: there is nothing on this earth of any significant value that I can accomplish on my own. Two: God has told me he will provide all those things I need. If I desire to accomplish anything important while on this earth, and I willingly give all that I have, then anything that happens is either God’s responsibility or His accomplishment. It all belongs to Him, and it is all about Him. From the hour that I asked Him into my heart until now, I have never been alone. Undoubtedly, there have been many times that I have disappointed Him. I have not always been what I should have been or done what He wanted or expected of me. So many times, I would have given up, but He did not leave me because He loves me and wants to teach me those things I must learn. This has nothing to do with anything I have done, or have been worthy of; it is all about who He is and what He wants me to be. His love for me has proven to be so much stronger than my faith in Him has been. When I do not stay close to Him, the desires of the flesh become increasingly strong. Many times, the desires and weaknesses of the flesh have caused me to give up those things of eternal value, and settle for the insignificant carnal things of this world. It is so easy to live for the present and forget about what we will experience in the future. The rewards of the future will be those things we are building upon today. So many times, my weakness has ruled my actions and I have found myself being defeated. Only by the power of His love am I given the desire and the strength to get up and once again continue on. So many things of this world are depressing and self-defeating. To live life here on earth alone, without His strength, would be impossible; and without that inner strength that He provides, I would be totally consumed. Giving in to your selfish desires does not make life easy and will not afford even a moment of rest. How do you fulfill those desires that cannot be fulfilled? How can you be at rest when you are constantly being driven to feed the flesh? When I am driven to doubt, He will be my only salvation. Without His continual mercy, I would be forever lost. We do not look at things the way God does. Our intentions are not as selfless and righteous as His. He has it all, but He is longing to share it with all those who will heed His forewarning. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Romans 8:17-19
Living a life here on earth that is pleasing and honoring to Him, will not be without reward. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). We do not always see God working. His ways are far above our intent or understanding. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)
It has been said that God’s ways are mysterious and great their judgment, and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. People want things to be immediate. They want everything to be understandably simple. God does not always provide our needs in an instant. He does not always use the same manner or method. His intention is not just to give us what we want, but to teach us to rely upon Him, and to increase our faith. So many people are not willing to trust someone or something they cannot see. When we trust in God, worldly problems and circumstances do not adversely affect us. When we are secure in His protection, we can have peace, knowing He will not allow us to be destroyed. When we seek His assistance, we must exercise our faith and then trust that He will do as He has promised. We must all live in this world, but we are not to become a part of this world. As Jesus said it in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” As we allow the beautiful light of God’s redemption to shine forth from our lives, it will, through the power of the Holy Spirit, draw men unto our Holy Father who is watching over us all up in Heaven. The sharing of the eternal truth of God’s unconditional mercy propagates abundant living, just as a hunger for the things of God can uplift the human spirit and enrich the soul. Life should be all about an unselfish desire to be loved and then fulfilling a need to share that love with all those around you. As God has commanded, we should love one another. Because of Him, I am made to become a better person. Because of Him, I am given hope of a better day. There has never been anyone who has not been made better because of Him; there is no one that has not been given a better chance because of Him. Through His life, we are given a chance of His abundance. Through Him, we can live lives that are truly fulfilled. We are promised longer lives, and we can live better lives (see Ephesians 6:1-3). “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12). “Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 5:16). Without having to carry all the cares and the stress of this life, we can live more abundant lives. It is our choice, though it is all about Him and is accomplished through Him; He did it all for us. No one has been excluded, no one has been left out, and everyone has been given the same promise. Somehow, this seems out of balance in that He must give if I am to receive. There is really nothing I can do in my own power to inherit eternal life. It is an absolute gift from Him. He has done it all, and I must only be willing to accept it. Not only has He been willing to take care of all the truly difficult responsibilities, He is willing to supply the strength that I will need to do what is required of me. I can do nothing but fail without Him, and to even consider going it alone, is nothing more than a waste of time and total foolishness. As I think about my life and all my past accomplishments and failures, everything that has been worthy has been because of Him and my willingness to obey. When I have been in rebellion and seeking only to satisfy the flesh, I have found myself left shamefully disappointed and unfulfilled. It is in those times that I have failed; it is in those times, I have sinned. In the plan of God, man has been created the weakest link in the equation. To fulfill His plan and for everything to be workable, there must be one leader and many followers. God would not have wanted to create man an equal. Because, no matter how perfect we are to become, we are still created beings. And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:22-24)
God has placed Himself under His own laws. That is to say, He has chosen to follow His law of order, and He has chosen that man should also abide by them. To the responsible goes the blame. God is blameless, but He is also responsible. God is our pattern or example. It is not my wish to second-guess God, but if He did not do everything responsibly and in order, I do not believe He would require His creation to follow in His footsteps. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to place my faith and trust in someone who was not immaculate and infallible. The fact that God is love does not allow Him to respond in any way but in love. That does not mean that He will overlook evil, but that He will forgive it. It is not God’s will that any should perish. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The choice to follow or to rebel has been given to all. God’s will is to abide by what we, as individuals, have chosen. Think for a moment: if everyone, good or evil, were granted the same eternal abode, then what was Jesus’s purpose for dying? If the love of God were misinterpreted to infer no chastisement, then why is it that many will be sent to hell? If there were no penalties for disobedience, would you be compelled to obey? If God was not concerned about our actions, what was His purpose in giving His commandments? I have attended many funerals where I have heard it said that the deceased had gone to heaven, and I hope that to be the case; but so many times, I am afraid that a lie has been perpetrated to protect and calm the living. I guess it is not particularly important to prove the place where our loved one has gone. There is nothing that can be done about it when their fate has been sealed. But when you consider the fact that such an insignificant value has been placed upon it, it causes me to doubt its sincerity. To aimlessly suggest that everyone will go to heaven is not a deterrent, nor does it cause any concern or needed soul searching. The most important decision we will ever make is that of our eternal security, and when we are never challenged to consider its importance, we might never make that important decision or take that final necessary step. Everything in life has an intent or purpose, and to just avoid or dismiss everything as circumstantial or of no value, is foolishness. Here is a poem that I wrote at the death of my mother. Its intent was to cause its readers to pause and ponder upon life and the true importance of it.
They say only good things when people die
Be it the truth or be it a lie
The wrong that they did is to be forgot
No longer remembered or not to be sought
This way it is done for when it’s your turn
To go up to heaven or downward to burn
That you may be thought of as the godly old kind
And may be forgiven and not left behind
But the truth of the matter that’s not how it works
We’ll always be known without all the perks
We’re still who we are Forgiven or not
And our final home can never be bought
It’s built here on earth each day we are living
By deeds we have done and what we have given
By putting our faith and trust in our God
We will be prepared when we’re put to the sod
My friend don’t be shaken or misunderstand
Just where you are going is left in your hand
And so don’t be foolish and waste all your time
By doing what’s selfish is really a crime
For one day you’ll look back and wish you had spent
More time doing good deeds, have you taken the hint,
It’s time to be happy and not to be bad
By living uprightly you’ll never be sad
And one day you’ll never regret what you’ve done
When you’re headed toward heaven to meet God’s dear Son
Everything today is treated so callously. There is very little that has been left that is considered valuable. We look at life as just a short time that we have been given to experience and acquire the unregenerate pleasures of this world. Life has become all about things when the true value is life itself. Is there any question why Satan has chosen to prematurely end what God has considered most priceless, aborting it before it has a chance to flourish? When we allow such an abominable action to go unabated, we minimize the importance of life and cause serious doubt as to what we consider as possessing true value. The destruction of what God has created is sinful, and all will be held accountable for their actions. There is no justification for sin, only justification from sin. If we do not repent for our immoral actions, we must then pay the greater price, which is our spiritual death. Material things can be acquired, bought, or attained, but the gift of life is given of God and is in His complete control. God has given us that life so we can worship and praise Him, the giver of life. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). God’s infallible Word says that God has given us good gifts, gifts such as life here on earth and the prospect of eternal life up in heaven. When God speaks of His good gifts, He does not talk of material possessions, but of life itself. All of the many material things of life we receive are to be considered as God’s blessings, but all of the very best of His gifts are eternal, not temporal. When you consider that God has used many of those things deemed precious on His earth to build His heaven, you can begin to relate to their importance. It is not God’s intent that we go to heaven to worship those things that heaven is made of but that we are to worship the One who has created heaven itself. (Read Revelation 21:10-23.) “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37,25). God will provide for all those who honor Him, and He will see that the life they lead is truly abundant. If we but see things in their proper perspectives, we will not only honor our Creator, but we have a guarantee of His eternal presence, a life that is constantly being fulfilled by our sharing and giving to meet the needs of others, instead of being selfishly squandered upon our wants and desires. The number one thing we should be sharing is the Lord to whom we have dedicated our lives.
When we allow our lives to be given in meeting the needs of others, all our joy and prosperity is compounded as God blesses our rightful giving. In this world, good deeds can go unnoticed, but God will not let them go unrewarded. “I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). The true blessings of God are those things that we are to share. Without exercising our love one toward another, we are not showing our love for our God. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35). “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Without proper love, we allow those things of this world to possess and rule our lives. It is time we follow the Master and live lives that are holy and dedicated unto Him. It is time that we acknowledge the eternal presence of His ever abiding truth and the undeniable wisdom of His Holy Word. A life lived in the search for the truth has been lived for a good and noble purpose, while a life live knowing the truth and espousing it has gained the true promise and hope of a glorious Heaven.