Below is the Bible's answer to those who accuse God of being an angry kind of God that sends people to Hell. He in fact begs people to change their ways before punishment befalls them. Change your hearts He pleads. Change your hearts.
Joel 2:13 NLT Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead." Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.
The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be
laid bare. – 2 Peter 3:10 (NIV)
Oftentimes the Lord suggests in scripture that
people condemn themselves with their own words. Many in this world seem to be
pre-occupied and alarmed by what they call “Global Warming”.
With each passing day, the earth (and many of it’s
inhabitants) are indeed moving closer to the scripture prophecy above. The
earth is getting warmer indeed.
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2:13 NIV)
I hear all the time how much America is a "Christian nation". I see how people perform in church on Sunday mornings...shaking hands, lifting "holy hands" etc.; then I see how people behave during the rest of the week...no eye contact or even acknowledgement when we walk past each other in the grocery stores or perhaps jointly pump gas at the gas station. No "hello how are you" before declaring our custom order at Starbucks. No "thank you" to the over stressed cashier after finishing our order at Starbucks. Lamenting how much we "need a drink" while dealing with a difficult circumstance at work. No desire to participate in a corporate prayer meeting during "off-peak hours" (i.e. non Sundays) at church. Not giving thanks in a restaurant before eating the food that God provided. I could go on and on and on...but you get the point.
God' word says that we will be "salt and light to the world" (Matthew 5:13). Are American Christians that obvious to spot in a restaurant? How about at the traffic light while their car idles next to the person begging for a dollar?
God's word says that "no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bed or a table" (Luke 8:16). I see a lot of supposed Christians walking around with tables over their heads indistinguishable from non-believers.
Does this all sound very disturbing, maybe even judgmental? It should be. I guarantee it is disturbing to the Lord. To believe he actually was punished to the maximum for all of these behaviors…as if he was the one who committed them. God punished Jesus for all of these non-righteous acts of us self-righteous people. Don't let him take your punishment in vain. Be grateful to him for it. Repent of those things that you have done. Ask him to help you to avoid doing them in the future. He is faithful. He will forgive you and separate them from you as far as east is from west (Psalm 103:12). Then...become "salt and light" within your world.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrowsthat weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6 NLT)
(Exodus 23:24 NLT) You must not worship the gods of these nations or serve them in any way or imitate their evil practices. Instead, you must utterly destroy them and smash their sacred pillars.
God will not tolerate those opposed to him. He is God, creator of all things. He simply does not have to. Our decision is do we want to walk with Him or oppose Him?
The scripture above refers to an Old Testament directive of God to the Jews (His people) to destroy those nations and the people of those nations around them who God knew would never worship and serve Him. He is God. He knows who will or won't ever worship Him.
If you haven't yet turned to God in worship. Do it today. Don't delay. Don't harden your heart because perhaps He might seem intolerant. He is actually VERY tolerant to those who love Him. He is very tolerant to those who don't fully know Him yet. He asked His Son our savior Jesus Christ to die in our place so that we can live forever with Him. Would you ask your child to suffer in the place of someone else even when you knew that person would never appreciate it or be grateful? Jesus died for the sins of every person who will end up in hell. They just would have refused to accept His offer of Heaven.
That is the God who created you. He is worthy of your worship. Don't harden your heart. Turn to Him today.
Scripture:It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit offaith, we also believe and therefore speak... (2 Corinthians 4:13 NIV) I was communicating recently with someone who represented themselves as a Christian, but who stated they were very "uncomfortable" with sharing their faith publicly. This is a very common mindset but one that does not line up with anything that I have found in biblical scripture. I include the scripture above as an encouragement to those who may be feeling this way. The world and Satan the "unseen" god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) want nothing more than for people to "keep their religion private". If you are a Christian, don't fall or remain in this trap. Read all of 2 Corinthians Chapter 4 for encouragement!
The lottery fever comes around a few times a year when the nation’s Powerball lottery swells into the hundreds of millions of dollars. This was the case previously when a group of eight ‘ordinary’ people who worked for the same company in Nebraska won $365 million dollars by selecting the winning lottery numbers. Each person in the group ended up with approximately $15 million dollars each.
This is generally the dream of the millions of people who buy lottery tickets each week. The chance to instantly become millionaires with all the ‘benefits’ that it supposedly brings. To be certain, there are many who don’t play the lottery “religiously” (a curiously common term used here purposefully), but who can’t resist the lure of the big jackpot. Most of these probably invest a relatively small sum, proportion to their income (say less than $20), for the chance at millions. Others however are probably a lot more liberal in their pursuit investing hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.
As a Christian, how do you feel about all this? Do you participate? Perhaps in the office pool at work or with the ‘spare’ dollar in your pocket or purse as you buy your cup of coffee? Have you ever wondered what God thinks about this? Would you want to know?
There are many who say that there is no clear directive in the Bible against gambling. Sure, there is scripture about much that surrounds the mentality that accompanies gambling such as greed: Then he (Jesus) said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (Luke 12:15 NIV parenthesis mine). I dare say however that the lure of wealth and material gain is so ingrained in our culture (an idol perhaps), that Jesus’ words are probably not enough to dissuade the average American Christian from resisting the lure of the Powerball’s millions.
As you ponder all this, here is some scripture for thought for the next time the Powerball is once again above $100 million, and you just happen to have 4 quarters staring at you from the center console of your car or jingling around in your purse: What will I, the LORD, do if any of you reject me and my holy mountain? What will happen to you for offering food and wine to the gods you call "Good Luck" and "Fate"? Your luck will end! I will see to it that you are slaughtered with swords. You refused to answer when I called out; you paid no attention to my instructions. Instead, you did what I hated, knowing it was wrong. (Isaiah 65:11-12 CEV)