Life Is Short, Eternity Is Forever
While waiting in the E.R. my youngest brother says to me, “Tami, I’m dying.” This was already understood by the whole family but he had never said those words before. After a few seconds, I broke the silence with, “Well, we are all dying, none of us get out of this life alive.” I know that probably sounded insensitive but it was true. But I also desperately wanted my brother to think deep and hard about the statements we were both making. I then asked him if he got right with God and repented of his sins. Our conversation pretty much fizzled out after he said, “Yes, I did. “I so needed him to understand that he did need to repent for the sin in his life, he wasn’t innocent, noneof us are. The conversation was awkward, to say the least, but awkward was the…
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People are often angry at us. Sometime they have a good reason; sometimes they don’t. It is important that we respond to the anger in the right way.
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
We can respond with a soft answer or with a harsh word. The Bible tells of two men who responded in each of these ways.
The first was Gideon. God empowered him to drive out the Midianites who had invaded Israel. After he had done this the men of Ephraim, another tribe, were angry with him.
Then the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they accused him fiercely.
And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the grape harvest of Abiezer? God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?”
Then their anger against him subsided when he said this. (Judges 8:1-3)
Gideon gave a soft answer and pointeed out that they had helped by capturing two of the Midianite leaders. This dissipated their anger at him.
Jephthah faced a similar situation but responded in a completely different way. He defeated the Ammonites who were trying to invade Israel. The Ephraimites were angry with him just as they had been with Gideon.
The men of Ephraim were called to arms, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the Ammonites and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire.” (Judges 12:1)
(I wonder why the Ephraimites waited for someone to invite them to join in the fight. It seems to me that they could have simply gathered their forces and taken action against the enemy. I sometimes feel they were more interested in quarreling with their fellow Israelites than defending Israel from its enemies.)
Jephthah didn’t respond the way Gideon did.
And Jephthah said to them, “I and my people had a great dispute with the Ammonites, and when I called you, you did not save me from their hand. And when I saw that you would not save me, I took my life in my hand and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?”
Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh.”
And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan.
At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell. (Judges 12:2-5)
Jephthah’s response led to a civil way in which 42,000 Ephraimites were killed. Earlier he had defeated the Ammonites but we are not told how many of them were killed. It is possible that he killed more Israelites than Ammonites.
When others are angry at us it is natural for us to respond with anger. Christians have the Holy Spirit in us. Our response should be supernatural, not natural.
A lot of people have what they call a bucket list, a list of things they want to accomplish during their lives. If you are a Christian you don’t need to make a bucket list; God has already made one for you.
The Bible tells us that we are saved by God’s grace and not by anything we do.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
We are not saved by our works but we are saved to do the work that God has assigned us.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
In other words, God has prepared for each of us a bucket list of things that he wants us to accomplish during our life.
There have been many times when I have failed to do the work that God has given to me, and I am certain that that is true of others. We need to ask ourselves whether our failure prevents God from accomplishing the work he meant to do through us. The answer to that question is found in the book of Esther. God allowed Esther to become queen of Persia. When an official named Haman plotted to destroy the Jews Esther’s cousin Mordecai told Esther she needed to go to the king and ask for his help. When she expressed fear about doing this, here was what Mordecai said to her.
Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13,14)
If we fail to do what God wants us to do, that work will be done by someone else, but we will suffer for our failure to obey. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes what that suffering will consist of.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it.
Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
Our salvation is the result of God’s grace and not the result of anything we do. If we are not faithful in service we won’t lose our salvation, but we will lose the reward we could have gotten.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown were faithful members of their church and the taught their sons, Harry and Tom, to be faithful too. When the sons grew up Harry rejected his parents’ teaching and stopped attending church. Tom continued to be active in church.
The time came when Harry was about to die. He realized that he was not ready and finally repented of his sins and put his faith in Jesus Christ. His life had been wasted because he had lived for his own pleasure but in the end he was saved.
Tom also reached the end of his life. Looking back he realized that he had tried to live a Christian life but in fact he was not a Christian because he had not repented and believed in Christ. Near the end of his life he finally took this step. His life had been wasted because he had trusted in his church and his service to it rather than in Christ but in the end he was saved.
When we think of deathbed salvation we generally think of someone like Harry rather then Tom. The Bible gives us an example of such salvation. One of the criminals who was crucified with Christ repented and was told that he would be in Paradise that very day. We often forget that all people, regardless of how good a life the live, fall short of God’s standards and need to be saved.
There was a time when I was on the way to ending up as Tom did. I had gone to Sunday school as long as I can remember. When I was 14 years old I got baptized and became a member of my church. I was active in the church and at one time seriously considered becoming a preacher. The only thing wrong was that the church was liberal in its theology and on one there had ever told me how to be saved.
God didn’t wait until I was on my deathbed to save me. About two years after I joined the church I began listening to a radio program called Back to the Bible and through it a learned the true way of salvation.
Someone who lives a life contrary to the Bible doesn’t need to wonder whether he is saved or not. If he thinks about the subject at all he will know he isn’t. But it is possible for someone to live a life that is outwardly righteous and not really be saved. The Bible warns us in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.” Satan uses many tricks to keep people from being saved; one is to convince us we are already saved. Examine yourselves to make sure you are not falling for this trick.
The last two chapters of the Bible describe the creation of a new heaven and a new earth which will be the home of all whose sins have been forgiven through their faith in Jesus Christ. There will be no more sin or temptation to sin. All that is evil will have been removed.
Some people think of this time as being like retirement. We have finished our work and now we are able to begin living a life of leisure. Nothing can be further from the truth. This is not the end of our service to God but its true beginning.
When God created Adam and Eve he had great plans for their future. We don’t know what those plans were because they ate the fruit that God had forbidden and so brought sin and death into the world. All that has happened since then is God’s efforts to remove these two invaders and restore the creation to what he intended it to be. Once that has been accomplished he will begin to carry out the real purpose for which he created us.
The Last Battle, the last book of the Chronicles of Narnia, ends with the destruction of Narnia and with the followers of Aslan being taken to a new and perfect Narnia.
And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can truly say that they lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page. Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever, in which every chapter is better than the one before.
This is an accurate description of what awaits Christians at the end of this age.
If you have not had your sins forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ this is not your future. After death you will be judged for your sins and be sentenced to eternity in the lake of fire. But if you are willing to turn from your sins and believe in Christ you can share in this future. The link below will take you to a site that explains in more detail how you can do this and answers many of the questions you may have on this subject.
I know better than to check social media at bedtime. But, for some reason, I decided to look at Facebook late Saturday evening. When I saw that my sister had shared a poster favoring socialism, my ability to sleep was entirely lost. My first impulse was to reply to her that someone must have hacked her Facebook account, that she could not possibly have intended to share that post. But instead I shut off the computer, went to bed, and tossed and turned for hours, framing the response I wanted to make to her post.
Of course, what I arranged in my head during those hours far exceeded the proper length for a Facebook comment, or even for a single WordPress post. In fact, before I fell asleep, I probably had the makings of a book arranged in my mind. I have taught college history classes. I have addressed socialism…
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Sometimes my imagination runs away with me. Since I’m a writer, that can be a good thing. Stories come from the question, “What if?” and some of those stories are worth sharing. Others belong in the trash bin. This is one of those stories.
I imagine the local police patrolling the neighborhood this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. When they spot a house with several cars parked outside, they look more closely. Especially if they see out-of-state plates, they call for back up… and then they invade. For the good of the people, they arrest those violators of quarantine and put them in a special holding cell for the next fourteen days. Those who remain healthy are released, free to go about their business. Those who fall ill remain in quarantine until they are cured.
Can’t happen, you say? Impossible in this country? Do you remember Elian Gonzalez?
Twenty years ago, Elian…
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“A person’s character matters far more than their anointing.”
Ah ha! I have solved a riddle, found the bone of contention. No offense to the person who wrote the above quote, in fact, I’m quite grateful for it. It is a puzzle piece I needed.
That’s the world. The world is just obsessed with character, reputation, background checks, references. The world thinks “character” is everything. Sometimes people have told me they can’t support President Trump because of his alleged “character,” and I’ve just been left scratching my head! I’ve heard the same thing about many pastors, book authors, neighbors, etc, etc.
I’m a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. I have little or no use for this “character” thing. In fact, I don’t even know what that is! Also, I’m a bit jaded. I’ve earned my right to sneer at the whole idea of “character.” Did you know…
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1 Samuel 16:7, “The LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”
It was a beautiful Sunday morning. People were filling the church to its full capacity! As they entered, each was given a bulletin filled with announcements, topic of today’s sermon, what songs they would sing and who to pray for. At the end of the line stood an older man. His clothes were filthy and you could tell that he had not bathed in days. His face was covered with whiskers, for he had not shaved for a very long time. When he reached the usher, he removed his tattered old brown hat in respect. His hair was long, dirty, and a tangled mess. He had no shoes on his feet, and wore only soiled black socks to cover the sores upon his feet…
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I know a guy who is pretty much John Wayne incarnate. Most who know him agree. His looks, his demeanor, his voice, his values… the inability to mince words or hold in his opinion for too long. Mr. Wayne has made a few people cry. Made others look for an exit door. He may very well tell you to get a better-looking hat but he’ll buy it for you and never ask for a dime. He’s a bit softer around his grandkids but never a push-over for anyone. It’s been known that in the stormy weather of life, some grew closer to him because he was the only one not tossed around by all the nonsense. He’s the one giving the shirt off his back when you least expect it. He won’t say a whole lot of warm and fuzzy, but no one doubts he cares somewhere deep under that…
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“Discouraged, it means, “having lost confidence or enthusiasm; disheartened. ” Oh, I have so totally lost all enthusiasm for this whole game. That’s an understatement. Yep, I have a decided lack of enthusiasm going on.
I am so totally discouraged. These second draconian lockdowns that Jake the Snake just issued are kind of like a death blow to small businesses. He doesn’t want churches to meet either, and no singing of course. Thanksgiving is supposed to be canceled, too.
The restaurant I work at has now been doing take out for several months, just barely, on a skeleton crew. I hardly work 10 hours a week anymore. My heart is just breaking for some others that clearly aren’t going to make it at all. We had another suicide this week, too.
We’re already 7 months into this nonsense about, “two weeks to flatten the curve.” Everybody is masked and gloved…
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The last few months saw a great deal of attention on the United States Supreme Court. The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the subsequent hearings that led to the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett actually distracted the nation from the presidential election cycle for a few weeks and turned the focus on the Supreme Court. This was of course related to the presidential election in that both sides recognized the significance of this selection and would have loved for a candidate of their party’s persuasion to be making the choice.
Ted Cruz had obviously been working on his new book, One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History, for some time before this period, but he could hardly have chosen a better time to release it. Ted’s experience with the court, both as a clerk and as…
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So, I recently had a bit of a spat, a bit of a conflict with a couple of people on social media and on the ground too, all while our Governor has decided to flex his foolishness by locking us all down even more.
For some people this means nothing more than taking another trip to Mexico or spending a few weeks warm and cozy in in their fancy homes reading a good book. For the rest of us it means businesses we’ve invested everything in will collapse, people will be unable to feed their kids, and those we love with mental health and addiction problems will not get the help they need and may not survive any of this.
You’re darn right, I’d rather just die of covid then watch people I care about suffer and lose everything due to government incompetence and draconian lock downs.
I have zero…
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John 10:30, “I and My Father are one”
Philippians 1:9-10, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth”
God, our Creator, has a way of turning the tables on evil. The French philosopher Voltaire predicted that Christianity would be swept from existence within 100 years. Yet just 50 years after he died in 1779, the German Bible Society had occupied Voltaire’s house and was using his printing press to produce stacks of Bibles.
During World War II, Adolf Hitler erected a massive stone structure in Monte Carlo. It was to be a radio station from which to broadcast Nazi propaganda into North Africa. Today from that very building, Trans World Radio proclaims the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus…
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Overswamped with ministry specifically with talking to people online outside my church going through various things and late night discussions. All of it the last few days resulted in me yesterday falling asleep early hence this late post.
Piggybacking off yesterday’s post Big Tech Interference with Veritas Domain in 2020 I want to share a post I wrote for an apologetics group in the context of many Christians talking about leaving Facebook.
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Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! As promised, I have another book review for you. This one was a joy to read, as the writer has a knack for Biblical truth and turning a phrase. It’s no wonder John MacArthur wrote the forward for God Doesn’t Whisper, published by Kootenai Community Church Publishing in August of this year. Rarely do we see this type of theologically sound rebuke to the popular belief in HVG or hearing the voice of God. In this 281 page book, pastor and author Jim Osman expounds upon his own journey from believing in HVG through the Scriptural reasons he no longer does so. While he explains this disastrous teaching, he boldly calls out those preachers and teachers that promote it.
Coming from the Word of Faith movement I frequently heard it repeated, “God spoke to me, in that…
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I have some Thanksgiving advice for President Trump. It’s a message whose foundation penetrates to the heart of Thanksgiving, despite disrupting an ingrained ritual of the season.
My message for the President is short and sweet:
Eat the Turkey!!!
What turkey do I mean?
The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation has happened for decades shortly before Thanksgiving at the White House. In this meaningless ceremony, the president “pardons” the National Thanksgiving Turkey that has been presented to him.
Don’t “pardon” the National Thanksgiving Turkey, Mr. President. Eat it!
Last year President Trump “pardoned” Butter, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, along with the alternate turkey named Bread. The previous year he “pardoned” both Peas and the alternate Carrots.
Some point out…
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Matthew 7:29, “For [Jesus] taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”
2 Timothy 1:13, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus”
The Famous 18th-century philosopher and skeptic David Hume was chided by some of his friends because he went to church on Sundays’ to hear the orthodox Scottish minister John Brown preach. Defending himself, Hume replied, “Well, I don’t believe all that he says, but he does! And once a week I like to hear a man who believes what he says!”
Jesus’ confident and very clear presentation of the truth impressed people (Matthew 7:28-29). His authoritative tone commanded their undivided attention. Gracious, yet dynamic, He fed their hungry souls as He spoke.
In striking contrast, the scribes were uninspiring. They delivered their messages mechanically and with little true concern…
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This post was prompted by Lauren’s post here. What a strange time we are in. You might have hear discussions about Big Techs censorship. I don’t think I’m a Conspiracy type of guy but this year its evident Big Tech has been bias against Christians. I don’t mean bias against Christian Conservative with politics. There is that. But they are against things Christians too, outside of direct politics.
Let me give you three examples from things affiliated with our blog (Veritas Domain) in different platforms.
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