Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What are you captivated by?


This past Sunday morning while driving to church, the car ahead of me had a bumper sticker that said, "So mote it be" (which is an archaic phrase meaning "So must it be," and which originated in the rituals of Freemasonry, and is common today in Wiccan and ceremonial magick rituals. For those who don't know, 'Wicca' is a polytheistic Neo-Pagan nature religion inspired by various western European beliefs, whose central deity is a mother goddess and which includes the use of herbal magic and benign witchcraft).



Sunday night, again on the way to church, a van in front of me had a bumper sticker which said something like, "One nation under goddess."



If Religion were simply a matter of opinion, like what brand of toothpaste you prefer, then there would be no problem, and everyone would basically be equally correct in whatever they believed.



If it were a matter of race or culture or nationality, then I would say we need to respect people's differences and realize that any Religion, like any race or any culture or any nationality, should not be seen as better than or superior to another one.



However, it is a matter of a person's eternal destiny. It is a matter of their soul. It is a matter of whether a person spends eternity in Paradise/Heaven, or whether they spend eternity in that incinerator, that eternally-burning garbage pit, called Hell.



What about you? Do you know what will happen to you after you die? Do you know where you will go? That should really be the highest priority of anyone's life: to look into it, research it, ask questions, and make sure you know for sure, finding the most definite and truthful answer you can. Anyone who says about death, concerning their eternal destiny, "I'm not gonna worry about it; when it happens, it happens," is a fool. Anyone who says, "Well, if I'm wrong, I'm wrong; and I'll take my punishment like a man," is a fool. Thankfully, it is possible to know for sure where you will spend eternity.


Most people, if asked, "Would you consider yourself to be a good person?" would answer "Yes." However, see how many of the following questions you can answer 'no' to:


-Have you ever, in your lifetime, told a lie? Even a white lie?


[If a person lies to you, what do you call them? A liar! One of the Ten Commandments---God's Law---is "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." (i.e., lying.) If you have ever lied, then you have broken one of God's Laws!]


-Have you ever, in your lifetime, stolen anything, no matter how small, and no matter the value?


[If a person steals something from you, what do you call them? A thief! Another of the Ten Commandments, God's Law, is "You shall not steal." If you have ever stolen anything, then that's another of God's Laws that you have broken.]


-Have you ever looked at another person and lusted after them?


[Jesus said, "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28) Another of the Ten Commandments is "You shall not commit adultery." If you've done this, or if you have slept with anyone outside of marriage, then you have broken yet another of God's Laws.]


-Have you ever used God's Name as a curse word?


[Another one of the Ten Commandments is "You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name." If you have ever said, "Oh my G-d!" or "G-d D---it!" then you are guilty of breaking still another of God's Commands.]


-Have you ever hated anyone or held anger against them?


[Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." (Matt. 5:21-22) Have you also broken this Commandment as well? Your sins are stacking up higher and higher!...]


-Have you ever loved anything---your car, your house, your wife, your kids, your TV, your boat, your computer, sports, money, sex, or even yourself---more than you love God?


[The Ten Commandments say, "You shall have no other gods before Me." This is idolatry. Can you honestly say that, every single second of your entire life, you have always loved God more than anything else? If not, then that's yet another Law you have broken.]


Jesus said, "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:20) He also said, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:48)


Are you perfect?


The Bible says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) "Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one." (Psalm 53:3) Jesus said, "For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' " (Mark 7:21-23)


All of us have broken God's Law. All of us are sinners. All of us fall short. All of us have mutinied against our Creator, and selfishly followed our own way, instead of walking in perfect obedience to Him. All of us are wicked and have rebelled against and offended a holy, righteous God...the God Who created us.


One day you will stand before God. Based on God's Law, the Ten Commandments, would you go to Heaven or Hell? Every one of us deserves to go to Hell.


You might say, "But isn't God a loving God? Isn't He a forgiving God?"


Let me ask you this: If a Judge lets a criminal go free, and just excuses his crime, is that a good Judge? Of course not! God cannot merely excuse your sin. Would you want God to just freely allow sinners into Heaven, no matter what? Would you want God to let Hitler into Heaven? Would you want God to let unrepentant mass murderers into Heaven? Would you want God to let those who have raped and brutally murdered little children, and would do so again if they could, into Heaven? If He did, that would be evil. He would not be a good Judge. He would not be a good God. What about those who have done 'lesser' sins? Would you want God to allow liars, robbers, manipulators, dictators, slave owners, wife beaters, drunks, drug users and cruel people into Heaven? Not only would it be unfair and unjust for God to do so, but Heaven would then no longer be Heaven...it would become no better, and no more enjoyable, than Earth, because it would be filled with corrupt, evil people.


The Bible says, "Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." (Luke 18:26-27)


"In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3)


There is good news. God the Father sent Christ Jesus, Who is God the Son, to pay for our sins on the cross. But you must turn away from your sins and follow Christ in order to accept this payment. Jesus said, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32)


The Good News is, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)



The All-Important Question

Have you been captivated by God through the gospel?
Have you been taken captive by Christ Jesus, the Son of God?
Have you been regenerated? (not just converted, but re-created.) "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (II Cor. 5:17)
Has your life been radically and dramatically transformed
and changed through the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit?



It's not about my opinion, or a philosophy, or a way of thinking,
or being religious, or even converting to a Religion.
It's about being accepted by God the Father, which only comes
through completely surrendering your life to Christ Jesus.
It's about having the righteousness of Christ imputed to you. It's about God the Holy Spirit coming and living inside of you, so that you, having been cleansed of all sin, then become God's temple...a living temple.


God commands people to accept Him as their treasure. "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed..." (Psalm 2:12a) Let Him pay for your sins, or else pay for them yourself; but if you pay for them yourself, it will take forever---literally---because a sinner can never fully pay for sin. Surrender to Jesus Christ or burn in Hell forever. "...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve..." (Joshua 24:15a)


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8 comments:

zewt said...

Hi Jeff... u must be Jamy's friend.

yeah... i do wonder, does hitler goes to heaven? after all the killing of God's people...

Jeff said...

Thanks for your comment, Zewt! I appreciate and am grateful for your stopping by and checking out my blog. Yes, I am Jamy's friend. And yeah, with all the murders of Jewish people that Hitler is responsible for, it would not be just for God to just say, "Don't worry about it, Hitler. No big deal." So God can't just let anyone into Heaven. On the other hand, every one of us has done things wrong in our lifetime. Heaven displays God's mercy, and Hell displays God's justice.

Daikazu said...

I’m captivated by the ongoing ignorance and illogical thinking that you seem to be applying to religion. Religion by definition IS simply a matter of opinion and the “correctness” of what one believes should be founded on truth and not just ones own personal opinion. The differences in religions around the world is a matter of culture and nationality and in turn is much like toothpaste. Marketed, packaged and branded differently according to where on the planet one is born. One is more likely to use the brand that their parents used. In turn passing that suggestion on to their children at an age when children are not old enough to make decisions for themselves and are genetically pre disposed listen to authority figures thus becoming a self perpetuating Idea.
This matter of a person’s eternal destiny, a soul, and burning in hell, is also a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of your own opinion. One not based on any factual, submit able, or provable evidence which is only arguable by more opinions. My Opinion is that religion is a virus of types self perpetuating and contributing to the destruction of humanity. It is the fundamental bases for all wars, hate, and all things deemed as evil in the world. It is the constant that strives to separate us as a society and I believe will be the fulcrum of our eventual destruction.

Jeff said...

Daikazu,

When I said, "If Religion were a matter of personal opinion," I meant "if all Religions were equally true or equally false." Since Religions contradict each other, they cannot all be true. And it appears that you have chosen to believe that they are all false. Do you consider yourself an atheist or an agnostic?

Jeff said...

Daikazu,

If you are right, and all Religions are merely a matter of personal opinion, then, when I die, I will merely cease to exist.

However, if I am right, then, when you die, you will suffer in Hell for all eternity. Are you sure that you're making a safe bet?

human rorschach test said...

I receive many miracles on a daily basis from my religion. I am the god of this religion. My god feeds me, washes me and 'takes care of the hucklebuck'.

I know what you're getting at, but I don't think this jewish fellow can 'save' me.

He just isn't for everybody, and no number of circular arguments will make it so. Is it more a matter of personal pride to attempt the conversion of a 'soul'?

A question- Do you believe in ghosts and other supernatural creatures, or just gods and angels?

I believe in an invisible bunny who eats marshmallows.

Anonymous said...

You Atheists amaze me, you can' stand he one true God and his ways because you know him and what he wants from you. So you cleverly design your own that conforms to your way of thinking.

Jeff said...

human rorschach test:

No, I don’t believe in ghosts.

As far as “attempting the conversion of a soul,” I believe that people are dying and going to Hell every day. Hell is a place I would not want my worst enemy to go to. Therefore, I am trying to tell people how to escape that place. In addition to that, Jesus commanded that Christians tell others this good news of how to escape eternal damnation.

As far as you being the god of your own religion, that is idolatry. One of the Ten Commandments is, “You shall have no other gods before me.” You are guilty of doing the same basic thing that Satan did; namely, making yourself out to be God. One day you will stand before God---whether you believe in Him or not---and you will have to account for your actions and thoughts.

Have you ever lied? (even a ‘white’ lie?) Have you ever stolen? (even something small?) Have you ever lusted? (Jesus said to lust is to commit adultery in your heart.) Have you ever cursed or used God’s Name in vain? Have you ever hated anyone? (Jesus said that, to hate someone is to commit murder against them in your heart.) All of these are breaking God’s Law, the Ten Commandments; and, you have already said that you are your own god, which is idolatry. The Bible says that he who sins and is outside of Christ is under God’s judgment and under God’s wrath and condemnation. When God judges you by your works, based on His Law, the Ten Commandments, will you go to Heaven, or to Hell?

I pray that one day you will fall on your knees in repentance before Jesus and will surrender yourself to Him as the Lord of your life, and as your Savior, so that you will not have to spend eternity in that eternally-burning incinerator which is Hell.

"For you say, 'I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,' and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see."
(Rev. 3:17-18)