I was talking with a friend the other day when he brought up the fact that today's times seem much worse than in years past. We agreed that this world does move faster and there is evil all around us. Many will ask where is God today? The truth of the matter is, God is omnipresent which means He is everywhere. God has no boundary lines nor GPS coordinates.
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. (Colossians 1:17 NLT)
He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, (Acts 17:24 NLT)
So, by taking a macro view of God's presence among us, we see that whether you and I can agree or disagree on the fact that our world is getting crazier and more evil by the day, we can know that God is always among us. Yes, evil is present and allowed to rule on this earth for the time being, but like a dog on a leash, it can only go as far as the owner (God) allows.
So, why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? We need to go no further than the Garden of Eden before the fall of Adam and Eve. In Genesis 2 we see that God created the perfect Eden which included the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. The first led to life and the other to evil. Adam and Eve were perfect however they chose to disobey God's instruction in hope of self-fulfillment. So, from the beginning of time God has allowed evil to exist for us to seek life through Him. Evil drives us toward Him.
Our world has a problem with authority, so running to anyone or anything is not palatable to them. God loves you and this world. So much that He sent His son Jesus Christ as a payment, substitute, and ransom for the evil we do so that we may turn from it and turn to Him. The bible calls that repentance.
So in wrapping up, God created this world including you. He loves you and is in control, yet He wants you to love Him willingly, not against your will. He makes His presence known by being the good you run to when evil strikes.
Before you leave, let's take a look at the micro view of God's presence. God's presence is not only found in our world, He lives in the hearts of those who believe in Him. So, to find God means you need to look no further than the hearts of His people. Your heart!
'Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16 NLT)
Yes my fellow friend and believer, to see God you need to look no further than inside your heart. If you are not as close to God as you wished you were, seek Him and He will find you. If you think the world is too evil, share the good from God that is inside of you. Keep your heart contrite, confessed and clean before Him.
Where is God? He is within the hearts of those who believe. Christians we must share the reason for our hope, offset evil with God and share the good news of Jesus Christ. Remember today believer, God did not intend for you to live your life alone! He is with you.
If you are reading this and don't quite get the whole, "God is in my heart" thing then I invite you to check out this post by the Billy Graham Association. There are steps you can take to be a peace with God today. He wants to live in your heart today!
Survey Says . . .
I was watching Family Feud last night with my wife and noticed something in one of the questions. The question was something like, "What happens to people after they die?"
Out of 100 people surveyed, no one said, "They die and go to Hell". Really, out of 100 people?
|Even Steve had a hard time believing that one!|
Some of the answers on the board were, "We sleep forever, We go to Heaven to see our loved ones, We Rot" and so on. When one family member mentioned the four letter "H" word, it got the "X".
My heart broke for a few reasons:
#1 . There are so many in our world today that do not have the hope of Heaven. They think that when this life is over, they just cease to exist.
There is more to life than what this world offers, eternal life is forever!
- (John 14:1-4) “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
#2 . There is a false theology circulating among many that says, "Hell is not a real literal place." I do not understand this?
Paul warns his young protege' Timothy about people craving theology that agrees with their misguided behaviors
- (2 Timothy 4:3) 3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
Jesus himself references Hell. Here is one of them:
- (Matthew 10:28) “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
The Apostle John states in the book of Revelation:
- (Revelation 20:13-14) 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death.
- Jesus gives us a peek into the contrast of our two eternities can be seen in (Luke 16:19-31) The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
Even in the answers given by those 100 surveyed they had no problem envisioning Heaven but not Hell.
We cannot have Heaven without Hell.
Hell is the whole reason Jesus came to this earth and died for our sins so we wouldn't have to. God takes sin so seriously that He sacrificed His son to keep us from going there. To say there is no Hell is to cheapen the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins.
#3 . Regardless of what people think, everyone is not going to Heaven and sharing that fact is not hate speech but love.
Randy Alcorn in his book entitled Heaven says, "“The reality of Hell should break our hearts and take us to our knees and to the doors of those without Christ.”
As I was telling a group the other day, "What if we found out there has been a cure for cancer that has been kept locked away for ten years? If the scientists and pharmaceutical companies were to go public with it the monies lost in research, treating and drugs would be to great a hit on the health industry"
Many would be outraged because their loved ones death could have been prevented! As hard as that is to imagine, believers do this everyday. When we refuse to share the gospel message of Jesus to those we supposedly love, we are keeping the cure from them that will make the difference in their eternity.
Saying the bible teaches of a literal Hell and Jesus came to rescue from that place is not hate, it is love!!!!!!
Jesus said Himself that those entering Heaven would be few.
- (Matthew 7:13-14) 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
I have dedicated my life trying to convey what the scriptures say to people about living, dying and spending our never ending lives in Heaven or Hell. Some may read this and say I am old fashioned or that I am taking the scriptures to literally. I will just say this, "If I am wrong, I have lost nothing because my life in Christ has been so much better than when I lived without Him. If I am right, oh what a day that will be!"
As one of my friends has said, "It was hotter than forty hells" that week. Here is a picture of the temperature from my phone one day when we were building a fence for someone. Yes! It say it feels like 110 degrees.
Some of the guys and I took a Walmart trip to get some supplies and I found this hat to not only keep the sweat out of my eyes but also provide a little shade for my face. It didn't hurt that it had a huge firebird on the front of it!
Now, this hat has primarily become my "work" hat! Whether it be the gym or in the yard, if I'm wearing it, I am working!
When I look at this hat, I think of that week in Richmond and remember fondly all those I served with. They are all out of college now and living their own lives which makes me very happy. I am grateful that God gave me an my friends a week to remember forever. So that's the story behind the hat.