We Americans love our rights. After all, in The Bill of Rights, we are guaranteed the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to keep and bear arms and more. We think, how dare anyone attempt to infringe upon my rights?
Indeed, while we are provided rights by the United States Constitution, when it comes to our rights, the real question we should ask ourselves is, “Do I have the biblical right to do something?” In other Words, “Does God, in His Word, tell me I can do a certain thing?” The fact is, regardless of what a human government’s constitution says or what it’s laws are, what God’s Word says takes precedence.
Such a question should definitely be asked by a woman who is considering an abortion. Does the Bible give a woman the right to terminate the life of another human being growing inside her?
It is true that the word “abortion” is never used in the Bible. But, God’s Word has plenty to say about life and the fact that He is the Creator of it.
For example, Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For You [God] formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” NKJV
God also told the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” NKJV
If God is the Creator of life, and He is, who are we to take the life of another, even the life of the unborn God Himself has formed in the womb?
Abortion has been defined as “the deliberate termination of a human life while it is still in the womb.”
Political activists have always attempted to insist that at the very least there should be exceptions for abortion. However, according to scripture, there are none. When it comes down to it, a woman should not have an abortion because it is the murder of an innocent human being. And of course, we are commanded in Exodus 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill (murder).” KJV
Those who willingly participate in an abortion will answer to the Creator of the life they abort.
The good news is that if you have had an abortion or participated in an abortion in any way, you can be forgiven. Abortion is not the unpardonable sin.
1 John 1:9 is clear, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Here’s the thing, everyone of us has sinned. Romans 3:23 says, “...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
No matter what you have done, you can come to Jesus today, confess you’re sin and receive forgiveness (John 3:16-18; Romans 6:23).
Read Isaiah 53:5-6; Acts 13:38-39; 1 John 1:22
Why are there so many different religions? Do all of them lead to God?
Romans 1:19-21 gives us some insight into why other religions besides Christianity have been established. There, the apostle Paul wrote, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they obecame futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” NKJV
Simply put, the existence of so many different religions is proof of humanity’s rejection of the one true God. There are some people who do not want to believe in God because He demands that they live holy lives. Others cannot accept the fact that eternal salvation is a free gift. Then there are those who refuse to submit to another’s authority and want to live life their way. For these reasons and more, people have invented their own religions.
Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias wrote in his book, Jesus Among Other Gods, “The desire to recreate God in our own image comes from the sin nature within us—a nature that will eventually ‘reap destruction’” (Galatians 6:7-8). NKJV
So, do all religions eventually lead to God and eternal life? Absolutely not! Such a belief is known as universalism—the belief that if one does his best to be good, follows the rules, observes sacraments and/or participates in rituals, then he will end up in Heaven. Furthermore, such a belief denies that there are no moral absolutes. One who believes that there are moral absolutes knows that only one faith can be right.
The difference between the founders of other religions and the God of the Bible is that the others are dead, but Jesus is risen (Luke 24:1-53; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; 1 Peter 1:3).
Am I saying that anyone who rejects Jesus will be eternally separated from God? Well, what I say matters very little. It is what God says in His Word that really matters. So what does He say?
1. In 1 John 5:12, God’s Word says, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
2. Jesus says in John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
3. Acts 4:12 says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Here’s the deal: Either Jesus is a liar, a lunatic or Lord. Because of the insurmountable proof available, as well as what He has done in my own life, I am certain, beyond the shout of a doubt, that Jesus is Lord!
Do you know Him as your Lord and Savior? If not, reach out to me today and I will share with you how you can enter into a personal, saving relationship with Him.
Read Matthew 7:14; Matthew 28:13; Luke 6:46; John 13:13; Acts 2:36; Romans 10:9; Revelation 17:14
You have heard it said, “Love the sinner; hate the sin.” Today, the problem is some believers, in an attempt not to appear judgmental, go overboard by accepting the sin of those they love. Such a thing is unbiblical and is not displaying love at all.
You see, God’s Word tells us that sin leads to death (James 1:15). So, to love someone in sin by accepting their sinful lifestyle is not showing love. Who among us really wants to see his or her loved one live a life of sin and then spend eternity in Hell?
Jude 22-23 says, “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (NKJV)
If we really love those who are sinning, we should show them our love by refusing to condone, ignore or excuse what they are doing. We must warn them that what they are doing will destroy them.
James 5:20 says, “...you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.”
Think about it! God loved us so much that when seeing us in sin, He gave Christ to show us that there is a better way to live (John 10:10), and to die on the cross to deliver us from the bondage of sin (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-10).
If God did what He could to rescue us from sin, shouldn’t we do the same for others?
Read Proverbs 27:5; Galatians 6:1; 2 Timothy 4:2
When some people think of God, they picture in their minds a grandfatherly figure with a long white beard ruling the universe from the sky.. They believe that because He is loving, He approves the lifestyles of everyone and would never punish anyone. Others imagine God as an angry figure who is ready to pounce on them with a lightning rod the moment they break a rule. Both views of God are wrong.
The Bible, God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible Word, shows us God in a much different light. God’s Word teaches us the following about God:
1. He is spirit (John 4:24) and nothing we could ever create, be it an image or a figure of our imagination, could ever properly represent Him.
2. God never changes (Malachi 3:6). Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus, God the Son, is “the same yesterday and today and forever.”
3. God knows everything (1 John 3:20).
4. He is everywhere and is not confined by time (Psalm 139:7-13; Isaiah 57:15).
5. He is holy—perfect and separated from sin (Isaiah 6:3).
6. He is just (Deuteronomy 32:5). Because He is just, He must and will judge all sin and unrighteousness (Jude 1:15; Revelation 20:11-13).
7. He is gracious. He gives us unmerited favor and offers us eternal life (Romans 5:17; Ephesians 2:8-9).
8. He is merciful. He withholds from us what we rightfully deserve—eternal punishment and separation from Him (Isaiah 55:7; 1 Timothy 1:16).
9. He is sovereign, that is, He is in control of all things. Nothing happens unless He causes or allows it to happen, even the things we don’t understand. Because He is the Sovereign of the Universe, He is under no obligation to tell us why anything happens. We are to simply trust and obey Him, remembering that He has a plan. He sees the big picture where as we only see the tiny brushstroke on the canvas.
10. He is one God in three persons—the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1, 26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
As Rich Mullins sang in his song, “Our God is an awesome God.”
Do you know God? Have you entered into a personal relationship with Him? If not, contact me today. I’d be glad to better introduce you to Him.
Read 1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Samuel 7:22; Revelation 19:6
Have you ever been falsely accused? If you have, then you know how terribly troubling and hurtful it can be.
For example, there are those who excuse and even enjoy their sin. When confronted about their sin by a believer in Christ, those who take pleasure in their sin might falsely accuse the believer of being judgmental, hypocritical or even hateful. What they fail to realize is that the believer has an obligation from God’s Word to be a preserving influence in this world of that which is holy, as well as an obligation to show others the way out of the darkness of their sin.
Today, the world has grown increasingly hostile toward Christians and the truth for which we stand. When we are falsely accused, we should remember that we are in good company.
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent falsely accused God, Himself (Genesis 3:1-24). Then, there was Potiphar’s wife, who falsely accused Joseph (Genesis 39:1-20). Of course, Jesus was accused of being a glutton and drunk (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34), and even accused of casting out demons in the name of the ruler of demons (Matthew 12:22-32).
So what are we to do when we know we have been falsely accused? How are we to react?
Instead of following our natural inclination to get mad and retaliate, we should follow the great example the psalmist set for us in Psalm 4. There, he shows us that we are to do the following;
1. Cry out to the Lord. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 4:3, “The Lord will hear when I call to Him.” (NKJV) God cares for us and will comfort us when we have been falsely accused.
2. Be angry, but refrain from sinning (verse 4). Anger is a real emotion that rises inside of us when we are falsely accused. It is righteous indignation. The challenge for us is to feel that anger but keep from sinning in response to it. We can only do so when we are under the control of the Holy Spirit.
3. Meditate (verse 4). It is important that we get alone with God, sit quietly and allow Him to direct our thoughts and actions. We should ask for wisdom in terms of what to do. He will always guide us to do the right thing.
4. Allow God to take care of those who falsely accuse you. There is a payday in the future for all false accusers. The psalmist recorded in Psalm 5:5-6, “Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil. You will destroy those who tell lies.” (NLT) And the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:19, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (NKJV)
Being falsely accused comes with the territory when we live for Jesus. The truth is, as Christians, we have to develop a thick skin and remember that “...we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).” (NKJV) Those who falsely accuse us are simply tools being used in the hands of Satan, under his influence, to attack us with his fiery arrows. He is our real enemy.
So, put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) and remember what Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (NKJV)
Read Isaiah 54:17; 1 Peter 3:16; Revelation 12:10
You have probably heard the question asked, “If you saw a blind man walking toward the edge of a cliff wouldn’t you stop him?” Hopefully, if I were to ask you that question, your answer would be an emphatic, “Yes!”
However, there are spiritually blind men and women, boys and girls walking toward destruction and some who know Jesus are doing absolutely nothing to help them. We fear that we might come across as judgmental, we are afraid that we might offend them, we think they might become defensive or we simply don’t care as we should.
The worst thing that could ever happen to a person is for him or her to spend eternity separated from God in Hell. Still, the majority of all who are alive today will do just that—spend eternity separated from God in Hell.
Oh, don’t take my word for it! Jesus said it Himself in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (NKJV)
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are being a friend by not warning a lost sinner to turn around and come to Jesus. Failing to help a person see that he or she is headed for destruction is failing to love that person as the Lord has instructed you.
Hell is real! The punishment of those who reject Jesus as their personal Savior is spoken of throughout Scripture (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 3:12, 25:41; Mark 9:44-49; Luke 16:23-24; Revelation 14:10-11).
As a believer in Christ, it is your duty to lovingly warn those who are blindly heading toward the edge of a cliff spiritually to repent of their sin and come to Christ for salvation.
James 5:20 says, “...let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (NKJV)
Bill Cates asked in his hymn,
“Do you really care?
Do you know how to share
with people everywhere?
Do you really care?
Will you take the dare?
Spread good news everywhere?
The cross of Christ to bear?
Do you really care?”
Who do you know who is blindly heading toward the edge of a cliff spiritually?
Will you help them turn around and come to Jesus today? Do you really care?
Read Mark 16:15; Romans 1:16; 10:13-15
In one sense, everyone has eternal life. The two options we are given in God’s Word are to spend eternity in Heaven or to spend eternity in Hell.
However, when Christ and others spoke of eternal (everlasting) life in the New Testament, they were referring to spending eternity with God.
According to John 3:16-18, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (NKJV)
The Lord also said in John 14:1-6, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
The world would have us to believe that one gets to Heaven by being a good person. Actually, that is a Satanic lie. We can never be good enough to make it to Heaven on our own. The apostle Paul made clear in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (NKJV)
Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins (1 Peter 3:18). The Lord was then raised from the dead defeating death, Hell and the grave so that we could have eternal life (Romans 4:25).
So, how can you know that you have eternal life? Here’s what you must do:
A - Admit. Admit to God that you are a sinner. Repent, turning away from your sin.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
B - Believe. Believe that Jesus is God's Son and accept God's gift of forgiveness from sin.
"While we were sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
C - Confess. Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
"If you will confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive forgiveness from God, following is a prayer you can pray. Saying this prayer will not save you. It is simply a way to tell God that you are trusting in His Son, Jesus Christ, who paid for your sins by laying down His life for you on the cross, and ask for His forgiveness.
“Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that I am a sinner and deserve to be separated from you for eternity. But, I believe that Jesus Christ paid for my sin on the cross, so that I could be forgiven. I believe that you raised Him from the grave so that I could have eternal life. I now turn away from my sin, turn to you and place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Amen!"
Read John 3:36, 5:24, 6:40, 11:25-26, 17:3; Acts 4:12; Romans 8:38-39; Romans 10:23; 1 John 5:1-13
When I was much younger, I recall asking my mother if we ever come to a place in life where we feel like we have arrived. She told me, “No, because we are not home yet.”
No truer words could have ever been spoken. Albert E. Brumley was correct when he wrote in his song, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.”
The fact is, the Christian will never feel at home in this world. Our home is in Heaven with our Heavenly Father. The apostle Paul wrote In Philippians 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (NKJV)
Because of our faith in Christ, the gospel message we share and because we are citizens of another country dwelling in a foreign land, we will rejected by this world (Matthew 10:22; John 17:14).
As we live on earth, like non-Christians, we will experience many of the unpleasant things this world has to offer such as conflict, sickness, pain, loss, death and grief. But, that’s okay! We are not home yet.
The apostle John wrote in Revelation 21:3-4, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (NKJV)
So what are we to do in the meantime? How are we to live in this foreign land?
First of all, we wait (Titus 2:13).
Secondly, we hope (Romans 5:5).
Finally, we do what we can to bring others into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, so they too can look forward to an eternal home in Heaven (Matthew 28:18-20).
In his book, “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis said, “If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next world.”
Eternity is a long time, and that is where a Christian’s focus should really be (1 Peter 5:10).
No, we are not home yet, but Jesus is coming soon! Are you ready?
Read James 4:14; 1 Peter 5:10; Hebrews 13:14)
When our loved ones or we are wronged, offended and hurt by others, it is sometimes difficult to forgive. Often, our first inclination is to do just the opposite of what we are taught in the Golden Rule. Instead of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, we sometimes have the urge to do unto others as they have done unto us. But it is not right for us to seek revenge. Romans 12:19 says, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (NKJV)
So how do we do it? How do we forgive others?
The first step for the child of God is to remember the extent to which you have been forgiven. Those of us who have received God’s grace have no right to withhold that same forgiveness from someone else. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (NKJV)
The second step is to pray for the person who has offended you. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you...” (NKJV) The fact is, God will soften your heart toward the person who has wronged you when you pray for them. It’s hard to stay mad at a person for whom you are praying.
The third step is to stop rehearsing the hurt that another has inflicted upon you. I remember vividly years ago, that I had a lot of time to think while driving to seminary. As I drove down the road, I kept replaying in my mind what a man had done to someone I dearly loved. I had tried to forgive the man, but the incident kept popping up in my head. I recall asking God to help me forgive the man and telling Him, “Lord, I forgave him, but I’m mad at him all over again.” In that moment, in His still, small voice, the Lord said, “So, forgive him again.” I did exactly as the Lord instructed me, and today, I have a good relationship with the man I had such a hard time forgiving all those years ago.
For us, sometimes forgiveness takes time, but when God forgives, it is instantaneous. Once a person repents, God gives His grace—unmerited favor (1 John 1:9). We should strive to do the same for others.
Does this mean that we are to forgive and forget? Well, the truth is, sometimes it is impossible to truly forget. When the prophet Isaiah wrote that God does not remember our sin, what he was saying is that when we repent, our omniscient God forgives us and chooses not to act in light of the sin we have committed. He does not hold our sin against us or treat us according to what our sins deserve. For this, we should be thankful and offer the same grace to others.
Are you having a difficult time forgiving someone? Remember that God has forgiven you. Talk to Him about the situation and He will give you the strength to forgive.
Read Mark 11:25 and Colossians 3:13
Recently, on my personal Facebook page, I posted the following, “We have now reached the point in America where people will deny you friendship if you dare disagree with them. I find that troubling.”
I also encouraged those reading my post to not discard others from your life because of disagreements, to be a friend to the end.
Today, I want to follow up on those thoughts by saying there are those in life who will not allow you to be their friend. For whatever reason, be it a grudge, jealousy, pride or a number of other things, they will refuse to show themselves friendly. They are toxic people.
Toxic people are narcissistic, confrontational, people-pleasers, liars, love drama, think they are always right and enjoy playing the victim.
If you have someone in your life who is toxic, the best thing to do might be to close the door on your relationship with that person and move on.
Proverbs 22:24-25 says, “Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” (NLT)
Psalm 1 also gives instruction about keeping away from wicked fools.
However, having said that, never give up on anyone. Pray for them. God can change anyone’s heart. Stand ready to welcome those God has forgiven and made new back into your life. After all, the Father’s arms are open wide to anyone who will repent and place their faith in Jesus.
Jerry Fulton's goal in life is to share the love of Jesus, so others might become followers of Christ.