Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Where Will You Be Going?


If you have ever doubted Hell's existence or think it's just a place bad people go to party and break all the rules, I have to tell you (and so does the Bible) that you are wrong.  I say this because I want all people to be able to go to Heaven one day, though I know some won't. I say this because I just read a blog by another woman named Leah Adams who wrote about this very topic and inspired me to get off my butt and do the same.

I had an aunt who had an out of body experience, and she told me about what happened when she died multiple times due to surgical complications.  She told me about the tunnel you go through, and she told me that outside that tunnel she felt an overwhelming darkness and loneliness coming from it, a place where a person could barely stand one second of the place, let alone all eternity. She instinctively knew if she stepped into that place that she'd never get out. She also saw the light at the top where she was heading until she came back from death's grasp.  She mentioned watching a show on television where another guy had felt the same thing when he died and was brought back to life. That same tunnel was there with the same things my aunt described. They are not crazy, only changed from the experience. My aunt said it was the worse place we can ever imagine, and then it's even worse than that. It's beyond human comprehension to describe it in our terms.

There are plenty of other documented cases of people who have died or had an out of body experience and came back.  Each one has their own story, and there are things that are so closely described as the same that even the most skeptical person would have to at least wonder about the afterlife.  It isn't like those who have told their story are making it up. That would just be crazy because they knew how it will sound to others. Read "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper, the minister who died and came back.  Another book called "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, describes his trip to Heaven and back.  If anyone had a reason to be skeptical, Eben did, yet he knew when he came back he had to tell his story.

Satan is not some devil with a red cape and pitchfork.  He's not some sexy guy that Hollywood likes to portray as the intriguing bad boy.  He thinks of the human race as nothing more than cockroaches.  He wants to bring us down and destroy us.  He isn't our friend or someone we can rely on or party with in Hell.  He's real, and He's worse than we can possibly imagine.  Think about it.  Those who go to Hell are out of the sight of God.  This means there is no joy, peace, happiness, love, or friends and family to run to for help. It is a permanent place full of dread, darkness, pain, and unimaginable suffering.  I honestly don't understand why in the world anyone would choose that for them-self.  There is a quote that tells us "You can choose God now or later." I choose now. I hope you do too.  Don't wait until the decision is made for you just because you ignored making the choice in life.  Don't put off the most important decision you'll ever make. Who you choose to follow says a lot about who you are.  Please, choose Jesus. I BEG you to choose Jesus. 

Please, I implore you, don't think you have forever to make the choice about accepting Jesus.  The Bible clearly tells us He is the only way to get into Heaven (John 14:6; see Leah Adam's link below too).  He is "the gate" (John 10:9).  You can't do it on your own through "being a good person" because nobody except Jesus is perfect.  Even Mother Teresa, one of the greatest women that ever lived, was a sinner because we "all sin and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We were born with the stain of sin, and it takes more than what we can ever offer God to get rid of it. Look at this crazy world and all its horrors that go on everyday. Those horrors aren't caused by people who are perfect. If we had the capability to be perfect then there would have been no need of a Savior to take our sin penalty.  I mean, why in the world would anyone actually want to leave Heaven and come here to this fallen world and die for us unless He knew what was in store for us when we die without his intervention on our behalf? Only an insane person or Someone Who truly knows the repercussions of sin would die for all of humanity and then rise again in victory. A crazy person can't rise again or save us, but Jesus did and still does.  Please, think about it.

Nobody likes to think about the day they'll die, but one day, when your time is up, you won't have the luxury to choose anymore.  If this scares you, good.  It would scare the crap out of me if I didn't have Jesus' saving grace on my side. I used to be afraid of death, but now I know without a doubt that I will go to Heaven one day.  That makes me not have to fear death (see 1 Corinthians 15:55, NIV), and who wouldn't want that?

I'm not some religious nut.  I am someone who knows the truth, and I want everyone else to too.  The Bible also says in James 4:17 "if anyone... knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it...(commits) sin," and I don't want to be guilty of that.  I want everyone to experience joy and salvation through Christ.  He has changed my life for the better.  I know He will change yours too if you just make the decision to follow Him.  Pray for forgiveness of your sins, and ask Him to come into your heart and make Him your Lord and Savior.  Then, you can be assured about where you will be spending eternity.  A repentant heart is one that God loves.

God bless you all!

Please check out the article Leah wrote at http://www.leahadams.org/hell-4-things-jesus-wants-you-to-understand-about-hell/

Help with Bible verses from http://biblehub.com/james/4-17.htm and others.  Also, internet searches gave me information about Don Piper-"90 Minutes in Heaven" and Eben Alexander- "Proof of Heaven"

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Childlike Faith

1/4/16--- Happy New Year!

“Truly I say to you, if you do not turn and become as little children, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  For whoever humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven…”     Matthew 18: 3-4

Faith is one of the most important things anyone can have.  It takes us to places we never think are  possible, and it’s by trusting and believing in something higher than ourselves that we are able to let go of the limitations of our mind’s eye and see what happens.  Faith is like an unopened gift given to us by our best friend.  We wonder what’s inside the package, and though we can only guess at what we’ll get once we open it, the wait is well worth it. Faith produces expectation, and like at Christmas time when children open presents knowing they’ll be happy with their newest toys and treasures, those with persistent faith know they are in for a nice surprise too, and the great thing about faith is even a small amount of it goes a long way (NIV, Luke 17:6).

God wants us to be like children when we come to Him (Matt. 18: 3-4). Children accept a loving parent’s words without a doubt because they are young enough to still be innocent. They speak from a heart that isn’t jaded by the world’s lessons yet.  As we age, our views about what to expect in life becomes more tainted with every disappointment, loss, or betrayal we experience.  Slowly, over time we forget how to be like children.  We forget the comfort of knowing everything will be okay and work out for us.  It isn’t until we learn about Who God really is and what He offers us that we are able to revert back to having the faith of a child.

Unfortunately, there are those who have gone through a childhood where they never experienced the feelings trusted parents or family members should have offered.  For some, life gave them a crash course in disappointment and pain, and having faith in God becomes so much harder when bitter memories are cemented deep inside, glued to the pain that put them there.  It’s never easy to let those memories go.  It’s so much harder to break through to faith’s freedom when an anchor of past disappointments has consistently weighed a person down.  Even the good things that happen create a mistrust in the person’s thoughts because they are always thinking something bad is coming for them around the corner.

The Bible tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).  If we don’t trust that He is there listening and is always ready to answer our prayers, then we are essentially bouncing our wishes off unhearing walls. That just doesn’t make any sense. The good news is that God does hear us, and the world opens up for someone who has faith in God.  Without faith, our world is so small, and our perceptions of what defines freedom learned by trust is sorely lacking. This lends a darkened view to our minds and beliefs, places that were never meant to be dark in the first place.  Just because our belief may be lacking, perhaps due to growing up in a place that didn’t know God for Who He is, doesn’t mean we have to stay in that place of unbelief. Things can get better!

Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice on the cross, has given us the power to take back all that we have lost.  Jesus is not just some guy from long ago in history Who lived and died the way a normal person did.  Instead, He is the Son of God, a force to be reckoned with, One that frees anyone who seeks the truth He offers.  I know.  I wallowed in loneliness, regret, and a secret pain I wouldn’t share with anyone, until I met Jesus.  By setting aside behaviors that were killing me in more ways than one and asking Him to take over as the Savior I so desperately needed to heal the many broken parts of my psyche, I have not regretted inviting Him into my life even once.  I had to have faith in Someone higher than me, though at the time I didn’t even truly know the meaning of the word 'faith'. I grew up scared out of my mind half the time that I’d do something that would give away the fact that I wasn’t perfect.  I didn’t want to show anyone the side of me that they didn’t need to see.  I didn’t want anyone to know I secretly hated men, and at first it wasn’t even something I’d admit to the Lord.  But He healed me of that pain and so many other issues I’ve carried with me over the years so that now I can say I honestly don’t hate men anymore.  Instead, I try to understand where everyone comes from, what makes them who they are.  I think that is the biggest reason why I chose to go into Psychology, to help me understand human nature in its rawest form.

Without childlike faith we are unable to let go of all the reasons we shouldn’t trust, reasons that could then float off into the wind.  It feels so good to let go of the past.  I’m not saying it’s all roses and sunshine, but it has been so worth the time it takes to give it to the Person Who knows me inside and out and Who teaches me more about myself each day.  I have even learned to have faith in myself, and believe me when I say that is so rewarding!  Tears come to my eyes just thinking about all the things I have worked through with the Lord, and I know for a fact that if I hadn’t taken that step of faith from my heart to reach out to Jesus, that most likely I’d be in a horrible place in my life right now engorging myself on anything I’d assume would offer me a taste of fulfillment, however temporary.  But I want what lasts.  The Lord has held me in His arms through the pain of different types of past abuse, and issues of abandonment from a man I thought wanted to be my dad, and crippling depression, just to name a few issues.  But, none of that matters now.  It is through faith I know I have a Father Who will never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:8), and to be accepted for exactly who I am is the greatest comfort I will ever know.