If you are like me, you have a family whom you love. Yet many in that family do not love the Lord. Sure, a few have some good beliefs or theology. To some of my family, saving faith is nothing more than ‘voting for the right team,’ by choosing Christianity as your faith of choice. However, as I have wrote about earlier in the year, the Bible paints a different picture. To receive eternal salvation, one must be ‘born again.’ James 2 points out that even the devils know that Jesus is Lord, and tremble. Mental assertions to the truth are not enough. We must repent of our sins and follow Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »
Ecc 9.11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
Second, we should not be surprised.
We live in an age ruled by darkness, evil and fear. Every day, people around the world die by violent acts. In 2013, nearly double the number of Christians deaths were reported (over 2,100 reported) than the year before for their faith. Experts believe this number to represent only a fraction of the number actually slain for their faith. Last year, in Syria, over 76,000 died in the war, most of them civilians. Lest we think we are safe in the United States, murders in our country tallied over 15,000. And, more staggering than all of this combined, we kill over one million unborn babies, many in the name of convenience, though ‘surgical removal.’
While the coverage of France dominates our headlines, I often wonder why we hear so little about these other deaths caused by murder. I can only imagine that it would not sell many newspapers or draw viewers in. Yet, every day, even all around us right here in the United States, people kill people.
Regardless, we live in dark times. While we think of other periods of history as dark (heck, we even call one of the largest periods of time, “The Dark Ages”), we have plenty of darkness right here, today, and all around us. While our modern, clean cities, and light hearted comedy television work to paint a picture that man heads towards a brighter tomorrow, these acts of brutal evil remind us that the heart of man remains incredibly wicked.
We work together, as a society, to attempt to eliminate, or, at least minimize the impact evil has on our day to day lives. I, personally, remain very thankful that the government, by God’s Grace, does restrain evil, to a degree. Yet, as we see through these (and other) violent acts, the hearts of men continue to beat with evil intentions. The darkness reigns. We can lock them up, take steps to protect ourselves and more, but, at best, we address a few of the symptoms, leaving the disease uncured.
Yet, God did not leave us without an answer. Jesus died on the cross not only to save us from the penalty of our sins, but from their hold on our life, as well. Though Him, we can experience not only salvation, but sanctification. He can, and will, give us a new heart, that beats with love for Him and our fellow man, if we lay down our lives and follow Him. This can melt the hardest of hearts, including a cold blooded murderer like Jeffrey Dahmer. Ultimately, God provides the only true solution for the problem of sin, and the fear it inflicts of those who suffer by its hand.
- Revelation 3:14-16 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Mat 5.14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m working on a short story, A Journey’s End, with help from my friend Laz (and anyone who would like to help edit). As I complete each chapter, I’ll post it up here. Keep in mind, that chapters posted on my blog have not been edited, and the final version may change. Also, as a courtesy, I would ask that you notify me if you do see any errors that need to be addressed. I hope that this story will bless your life and draw you closer to God.
Chapter 5: Spirek – Teenage Angst at Sixty-Something
This morning, I saw the following on the top of my twitter feed. “Andy Bannister @andygbannister The church needs to be a place that makes disciples and not consumers.” I replied ” That’s a significant challenge, given its design.” I would like to take a moment to explain better, and to offer an alternative. Read the rest of this entry »
I Cor 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Read the rest of this entry »