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.
While most Christians look forward to celebrating Christmas, there are those who dread its arrival. Some believers have said goodbye, at least temporarily, to a loved one in the past year. This year at the family table, there will be an empty chair where a grandparent, father, mother, son or daughter once sat.
Scripture is clear that grieving is acceptable, even anticipated. When a love one dies, their presence is missed. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, "To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die...A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn..."
Even so, the apostle Paul wrote words of comfort in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, "And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died." (paraphrased)
If you are one who has experienced the death of a loved one within the last year:
Thankfully, we do not have to bear such a burden alone as Christ has instructed us to bring our burdens to Him. He is more than able to lift your burdens and give you peace. Then, when you arrive in Heaven someday, He promises to wipe away every tear from your eyes. At that moment, you will never again experience grief.
No matter what loss you have experienced in the past year, remember there is reason to celebrate Christmas. Knowing that God loved you so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that if you would believe in Him, you would not perish but have everlasting life, is reason enough to celebrate. Burdens are lifted at Calvary. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there. Jesus doeth all things well!
Jerry Fulton's goal in life is to share the love of Jesus, so others might become followers of Christ.