Would Jesus Have Joined The Assault On The Capitol?

Please give Pierri’s article a read and see if you agree, or not.


Can Nationalism Really Be Christian?

During the siege of the Capitol, you didn’t have to look hard to see invading protestors carrying Bibles or waving “Jesus Saves!” signs. This was not an atheistic attack on democracy, but a religiously-motivated one. Yet the question remains: can this religion be rightly called Christianity?

I do not doubt that those who stormed the Capitol this past Wednesday earnestly believed they were fighting on behalf of democracy—and I also do not doubt they believed they were somehow fighting for Jesus.

In the Midwest, a group erected a cross in front of the Michigan Capitol in solidarity with the D.C. protestors. After seeing an image of the demonstration, a friend of mine messaged me, “And with that is the clear final nail in the coffin that holds what remains of my Christian faith.”

I won’t attempt to unravel the ways conspiracy theories, QAnon, “fake news,” and Trumpism have so tightly bound together Christianity and nationalistic fervor (others have already done this with much greater depth and clarity). This is not the first time Christianity and nationalism have been mixed—and it most certainly will not be the last.

A quick scan of history reveals other examples of followers of Jesus confusing the heavenly kingdom promised by God and the earthly kingdom promised by demagogues. (Let’s not forget that Nazism was birthed in the home country of the great reformer Martin Luther.) Yet the mixture goes back much further to the time of the apostle Paul.

Paul’s Religious Nationalism
Paul of Tarsus was an early Christian leader, missionary, and church planter who wrote most of the Christian New Testament. But his biography reveals a different starting point.

As a Jew, Paul believed that one day God would establish an earthly kingdom that would endure forever.¹ As time went on, this promise seemed less and less likely to be fulfilled. After a long period of exile, they were now living under the Roman Empire.

A group of Jews known as the Zealots believed that force and violence were sometimes necessary in pursuit of the establishment of God’s kingdom. They saw themselves in the tradition of Phinehas, an Israelite who had long ago purged evil from an Israelite camp by plunging a spear through two sinning people.²

Paul watched approvingly as his compatriots killed a Christian named Stephen, and then he began a Zealot-esque campaign himself: “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”⁴ When his ancestors’ religion was threatened by this new Christian movement, Paul believed that violence was necessary to preserve the tradition.

Christian Nationalism Today
I cannot help but notice the similarities in the motivations of Paul and those who assaulted the Capitol.

If you believe that the election has been unlawfully stolen from a man that God has appointed to preserve the influence of Christianity in this country, then the threat isn’t small. To many, a Democrat-controlled government means increased abortions and forced lock-downs to cancel church services. And when every lawful political channel has failed to undo the perceived robbery, only one action remains. Someone zealous like Phinehas needs to step up and grab the spear.

And yet Paul’s story didn’t end with his violent zeal. Paul had a miraculous vision where the resurrected Jesus spoke to him directly. And the message completely re-framed Paul’s understanding of how God’s kingdom was established in the death and resurrection of Jesus. While Paul had been expecting a political kingdom that would free the Jews from the rule of Rome, Jesus brought a heavenly kingdom that freed humanity from the rule of sin.

When Jesus is on trial to be executed, he says, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” Like Paul, Jesus could have used force to bring about the kingdom. But instead he chose to use love and humility.

How To Respond
Christians need to repent of ways we have looked to political powers to do what only God can do. We must label the actions of those storming the Capitol while carrying Bibles as “anti-Christian.” This is not the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, because “Christian nationalism” is an oxymoron. The growth or decline of the Christian kingdom is not dependent on who is in positions of earthly power and it cannot be achieved through force.

We must remember that any “persecution” we endure as Christians pales in comparison to what the early Christians experienced. They didn’t face social ostracization or the loss of church tax exempt status—they faced imprisonment and execution. If there was ever a time to invoke a “violence is sometimes necessary argument,” it was then. Yet they knew this was not the way of Jesus… and this is still true for followers of Jesus today.

References

¹ 2 Samuel 7:16

² Numbers 25:6-9

³ Galatians 1:14

⁴ Acts 8:1-3

⁵ Acts 9:1-19

⁶ John 18:36


AMEN!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

 

The “REAL” Reason For The Season!

I’m sending this post a little early for two reasons:

  1. From my family to yours, we’d like to wish everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a very healthy and prosperous New Year.
  2. Most importantly, I’d like to encourage all of us to take a deep breath, put all of our fears and stressful circumstances on the shelf for a few days, seriously count our blessings, and reverently celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the One God sent to give the world hope for a new life and a new relationship with the Creator of the universe.

I know I’m going to be “preaching to the choir” for some reading this. However, for those who either don’t know the “real” Christmas story or who just don’t believe it, I thought it was the perfect time to share the “real” story once again hoping the power of God’s Living Word, the Holy Bible, might move some to a new relationship with Him.

Much of what I’ll share below is taken from a book I’m currently reading, Turning Everyday Conversations Into Gospel Conversations, written by Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright.


Who Is This Jesus?

Jesus is God’s one and only Son. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a woman, a virgin, as described in the Bible, the REAL Christmas story:

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the Child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through His prophet (Isaiah 7:14): “Look! The virgin will conceive a Child! She will give birth to a Son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her Son was born. And Joseph named Him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 – NLT)

Jesus is God. This is difficult for us to comprehend. He is both God and God’s Son. He is co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He has no beginning and no end. He has always been.

Jesus is fully God. He is all knowing, all powerful, and in all places at all times. He is coequal with God the Father and God the Spirit. There is no hierarchy in the Trinity. There is order and submission, but there is equality.

Jesus is also fully man, God with us. He took on human flesh and lived life just like us. He got tired, hungry, thirsty, sad, and happy. He was, and is, a real person just like us.

There is one major distinction between Jesus and other humans: Jesus never sinned, not one time! He knows what it’s like to be tempted to sin. He was tempted in every way we are, but He never sinned. This is how He is able to help us in our time of need. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 – NLT) It’s also what qualifies Him to do the work God the Father sent Him to do.

Jesus Died For Our Sins

Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21 – NLT) When Jesus died on the cross, God the Father took all of our sin, shame, and guilt and put it on Jesus. Then He took all of Jesus’ righteousness and put it on all those who repent and believe. Jesus died the death of a sinner so believers can live as righteous people. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 – NIV)

God’s Word reminds us that, In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (of sins). (Hebrews 9:22 – NLT)

God’s holiness requires the blood of a lamb without blemish, in other words, a perfect lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish. . .(Exodus 12:5 – ESV) This is why it’s important to understand the essence of Jesus. He is a sinless man, and it’s only His blood that could cover and cleanse us of our sin once and for all.  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10 – NIV) Jesus shed His blood and died for our sins so we can receive this free gift of life forever in God’s perfect presence.

He Was Buried

When one of the Roman soldiers pierced His side as Jesus hung on the cross, one eyewitness testified that water and blood flowed out. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. (John 19:34,35)

Then His body was taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb. He took the death penalty we deserve. It’s not a hoax or a trick, and what happened next is the lynch pin of the hope we have in Him.

God Raised Him From The Dead

This is the best part. It’s proof that Jesus is who He claimed to be and will deliver on His promise of eternal life. There were plenty of eye witnesses to this event. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him. (1 Corinthians 3-8 – NLT)

Jesus isn’t dead. He is alive. This makes Him unique among all other well known religious figures.

Buddha lived an exemplary life and then he died, and he stayed dead. Muhammad lived a very religious life but when he was sixty-three years old he died, and he stayed dead. Swami Prabhupada started a form of Hinduism called the Hare Krishnas. Prabhupada was still striving to attain a higher state of mind in 1977 when he died, and he stayed dead.

Jesus also died but He did not stay dead. Jesus is alive, seated in the heavenly realms with His Father. He will return one day to judge the living and the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the One whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. (Acts 10:42 – NIV)

He will judge based on the answer to this question alone: “Who do you say I am?”

God says, Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves His Child as well. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:1,12,13 – NIV)

“Having” Jesus means believing He was born “God With Us”, He died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead.

This in a nutshell folks is the gospel (the good news) of Jesus Christ: Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and God raised Him from the dead. It’s His finished work that makes us right with God. Jesus did something for us we could never do for ourselves.


What you choose to do with this “good news” is solely between you and God.

One option is to dismiss all this “good news” as just a bunch of childish myths, and go on with your life as usual.

The other option is to believe all this “good news” is absolute life-changing truth. Confess before God that you are a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. Ask the Spirit of God to come into your life to change your heart and mind and help you turn from your brokenness, your old ways of thinking and living (to repent).

The Bible says, If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 – NLT)

This may be the best news your friends and family members will ever hear. It certainly has eternal implications.

Don’t miss an opportunity to share this “good news”!


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

The Perfect Halloween Nightmare Isn’t A Nightmare!!!

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Even though it’s a little early and my family doesn’t celebrate the usual gory Halloween festivities, the message below by Andrew Klavan seemed very appropriate as Halloween draws near.

Unfortunately, and right now, it truly is a nightmare dressed up in reality!


2020 — Most Implausible Story Since ‘Lost’

   DailyWire.com

In what Shakespeare called “the dark backward and abysm of time,”—or 2004 to you and me—I began watching what was then the new television show “Lost” with my wife and son. After around five episodes of following the adventures of plane crash survivors on a mysterious island, I turned to the family and said, “I’m done.” As a professional teller of tales, I explained, I could guarantee them that there was no plausible way to explain the story’s twists unless it all turned out to be a dream or the characters were in some supernatural afterlife where the rules of logic didn’t apply.

As good writers know, every amazing twist in a story comes with a price in explanation. “Lost” simply borrowed so far against future credibility that the debt could never be paid.

Some who will not be named did not believe me. They had to spend five years discovering the truth of what I told them after five weeks.

Which is why you should all listen well when I tell you: I’m done with 2020. The story is just too implausible. The end can never be reasonably guessed. Either I’m going to wake up next to Bob Newhart’s wife or I died and am now either in Purgatory or a state run by Democrats—in either one of which the rules of logic don’t apply.

As I write, the President of the United States and our lovely First Lady have tested positive for the Chinese Flu. My first thought when I heard this was, “Wow! I didn’t see that one coming!” As if I were watching some TV show with one plot twist too many. Afterward, of course, I recovered my wits and prayed for the quick recovery of the first couple. But I have to admit, there lingers in the back of my mind a question I have asked myself during many a movie and television show: “Who wrote this crap?”

Our story so far is both absurd and awful. A bumptious and philandering businessman and TV personality wins the presidency against every possible odd. A malignantly corrupt deep state tries to bring him down with the help of a dishonest media. He still manages to restore the economy, promote constitutional judges, and bring sanity to a foreign policy mired in the unfathomable idiocy of experts.

Then, a pandemic hits. The economy tanks. Leftists riot with the approval of the establishment. The opposition nominates a walking houseplant to run against him. And suddenly, the president comes down with the big disease.

Perhaps the most dispiriting thing about the whole implausible mess is that when I asked myself: “Who wrote this crap?” The answer came back at once: “We did.”

It’s on all of us really. The Left is to blame for following a failed philosophy into hatefulness and evil. The Right is to blame for standing by while the Left took over our cultural institutions, and for failing to stop the economic and social decadence the Left brought on. And, of course, those teachers, journalists, and artists tasked with holding up the mirror to reality have instead shattered that mirror on the rock of their nonsensical materialist theology.

Like most people, I thought the debate this week was an embarrassment. The president was a bully. The challenger was a liar. The moderator was a sham. But weren’t they also acting out what all of us have become?

Donald Trump is the president we need, but he shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t take a rude belligerent to speak the truth. It does because too many of us have been silent, afraid to lose votes or sponsors or Twitter followers. The Democrats need Joe Biden, but they shouldn’t. They need to hide behind a career empty suit with failing faculties because they’ve sunk into an oppressive radicalism the voters don’t want. And journalists like Chris Wallace are simply the tools of large corporations who profit off globalism, big government, and societal decadence. And they get those profits from you and me—because we want the phones and the one-day deliveries, not to mention the nude scenes on premium cable.

So no wonder 2020 is preposterous. It’s like one of those chain stories where each person writes one chapter before passing it on to the next person. All stories like that become increasingly ridiculous and it’s the impossible job of the last author to bring it all together and make it make some kind of sense.

We wrote ourselves into this mess. Let’s just hope the last Author finishes the story with more mercy than justice.


The Truth be told, the very good news is the “last Author” (in Klavan’s words) has already finished the story. . . . Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30 – NIV) Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 – NASB)

When Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross the sins past, present, and future of all those who have put their faith and trust in Him, have been forgiven and forgotten in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22 – ESV)

However, we must still wait patiently for the end to be fully played out. And you can be sure, as Mr. Klavan hopes, that God will extend His mercy and justice on all humanity when we stand before Him on judgement day.

His mercy will be extended to all who have placed their faith and trust in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as their personal Lord and Savior. They will inherit eternal life in a new heaven and a new earth with Him. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27,28 – NIV) Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:1,4 – NIV)

Consequently, God’s justice will be poured out on the guilty, those who have rejected a personal relationship with Jesus and have chosen to live in and love their sinful ways. They will be destined to eternal damnation in the pits of hell. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might. (2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 – NIV) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 – NIV)

With certainty, a very peaceful and happy eternal ending for some, and a very sad and painful eternal ending for others!

Still praying for God to change hearts and minds.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Archbishop Viganò’s powerful letter to President Trump:

Re-posted from a Facebook post this morning.


Eternal struggle between good and evil playing out right now!

Archbishop Viganò’s powerful letter to President Trump: Eternal struggle between good and evil playing out right now

            Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

June 7, 2020

Editor’s note: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has released this powerful letter today to President Trump warning him that the current crises over the coronavirus pandemic and the George Floyd riots are a part of the eternal spiritual struggle between the forces of good and evil. He encourages the president to continue the fight on behalf of the “children of light.” Read the letter in PDF form HERE.

Mr. President,

            In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness.

            These two sides, which have a Biblical nature, follow the clear separation between the offspring of the Woman and the offspring of the Serpent. On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by the desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family and the nation, exploit workers to make themselves unduly wealthy, foment internal divisions and wars, and accumulate power and money: for them the fallacious illusion of temporal well-being will one day – if they do not repent – yield to the terrible fate that awaits them, far from God, in eternal damnation.

            In society, Mr. President, these two opposing realities co-exist as eternal enemies, just as God and Satan are eternal enemies. And it appears that the children of darkness – whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days – have decided to show their cards, so to speak, by now revealing their plans. They seem to be so certain of already having everything under control that they have laid aside that circumspection that until now had at least partially concealed their true intentions. The investigations already under way will reveal the true responsibility of those who managed the COVID emergency not only in the area of health care but also in politics, the economy, and the media. We will probably find that in this colossal operation of social engineering there are people who have decided the fate of humanity, arrogating to themselves the right to act against the will of citizens and their representatives in the governments of nations.

            We will also discover that the riots in these days were provoked by those who, seeing that the virus is inevitably fading and that the social alarm of the pandemic is waning, necessarily have had to provoke civil disturbances, because they would be followed by repression which, although legitimate, could be condemned as an unjustified aggression against the population. The same thing is also happening in Europe, in perfect synchrony. It is quite clear that the use of street protests is instrumental to the purposes of those who would like to see someone elected in the upcoming presidential elections who embodies the goals of the deep state and who expresses those goals faithfully and with conviction. It will not be surprising if, in a few months, we learn once again that hidden behind these acts of vandalism and violence there are those who hope to profit from the dissolution of the social order so as to build a world without freedom: Solve et Coagula, as the Masonic adage teaches.

            Although it may seem disconcerting, the opposing alignments I have described are also found in religious circles. There are faithful Shepherds who care for the flock of Christ, but there are also mercenary infidels who seek to scatter the flock and hand the sheep over to be devoured by ravenous wolves. It is not surprising that these mercenaries are allies of the children of darkness and hate the children of light: just as there is a deep state, there is also a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God. Thus the Invisible Enemy, whom good rulers fight against in public affairs, is also fought against by good shepherds in the ecclesiastical sphere. It is a spiritual battle, which I spoke about in my recent Appeal which was published on May 8.

            For the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship. Your participation in the March for Life, and more recently your proclamation of the month of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, are actions that confirm which side you wish to fight on. And I dare to believe that both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons.

            For this reason, I believe that the attack to which you were subjected after your visit to the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II is part of the orchestrated media narrative which seeks not to fight racism and bring social order, but to aggravate dispositions; not to bring justice, but to legitimize violence and crime; not to serve the truth, but to favor one political faction. And it is disconcerting that there are Bishops – such as those whom I recently denounced – who, by their words, prove that they are aligned on the opposing side. They are subservient to the deep state, to globalism, to aligned thought, to the New World Order which they invoke ever more frequently in the name of a universal brotherhood which has nothing Christian about it, but which evokes the Masonic ideals of those who want to dominate the world by driving God out of the courts, out of schools, out of families, and perhaps even out of churches.

            The American people are mature and have now understood how much the mainstream media does not want to spread the truth but seeks to silence and distort it, spreading the lie that is useful for the purposes of their masters. However, it is important that the good – who are the majority – wake up from their sluggishness and do not accept being deceived by a minority of dishonest people with unavowable purposes. It is necessary that the good, the children of light, come together and make their voices heard. What more effective way is there to do this, Mr. President, than by prayer, asking the Lord to protect you, the United States, and all of humanity from this enormous attack of the Enemy? Before the power of prayer, the deceptions of the children of darkness will collapse, their plots will be revealed, their betrayal will be shown, their frightening power will end in nothing, brought to light and exposed for what it is: an infernal deception.

            Mr. President, my prayer is constantly turned to the beloved American nation, where I had the privilege and honor of being sent by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Nuncio. In this dramatic and decisive hour for all of humanity, I am praying for you and also for all those who are at your side in the government of the United States. I trust that the American people are united with me and you in prayer to Almighty God.

            United against the Invisible Enemy of all humanity, I bless you and the First Lady, the beloved American nation, and all men and women of good will.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò

Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana

Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

God vs. Satan – Continued

I came across a Facebook post from a friend of mine that sited some very appropriate and timely information I hope will highlight the battles we are all facing in the spiritual realm, whether we believe it or not.

To quickly recap, my post last Sunday talked about a research study that revealed more Americans believe in Satan than in God. If you missed it, please check it out.

With that fact in mind and the information below, I hope you’ll begin to see more clearly why America, and the entire world for that matter, is in such a chaotic mess dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as every other painful and fearful circumstance we may face in life.

I believe Satan is real and he can only do what God allows him to do. When Satan and his angels were cast out of Heaven, God allowed him to become ruler of the earth for a time.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him . . .Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:7-9,12 – NKJV)

The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he (Job) has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger’. . .The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he (Job) is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’” (Job 1:12, 2:6 – NIV)

“The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.” (John 12:31 – NLT)

NOTE: The Scripture verses sited are my contributions and not part of the Facebook post I am referencing.


God’s Voice              Ψ Satan’s Voice

Stills You                                        Ψ Rushes You

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 – NIV)

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19 – NIV)

Leads You                                       Ψ Pushes You

“He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them His way.” (Psalm 25:9 – NLT)

“…He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3 – NKJV)

Reassures You                                Ψ Frightens You

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 – NIV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2Timothy 1:7 – NLT)

Enlightens You                                Ψ Confuses You

“There was the true Light (Jesus Christ) which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” (John 1:9 – NASB)

“Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death.” (Psalm 13:3 – NKJV)

Encourages You                               Ψ Discourages You

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” (2Thessalonians 2:16,17 – NIV)

Comforts You                                   Ψ Worries You

“But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name (Jesus Christ), He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” (John 14:26-WBT)

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6: 31-34 – NIV)

Calms You                                         Ψ Stresses You

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7 – NIV)

Convicts You                                    Ψ Condemns You

“…The Lord is coming with countless thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 1:14,15 – NLT)

“And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” (John 8:11 – NKJV)


I hope and pray the Scripture verses above will bring comfort to your soul as we continue to battle the invisible forces of the coronavirus, and more importantly, the invisible powers and principalities of the air know as Satan and his demonic forces.

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 – NIV)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

Never Say “I Can’t”!

Inspiration, Motivation, Determination, Perseverance, Courage and Guts!!!

That’s what you’ll witness in the short video one of my high school classmates sent me.

I’m sure everyone of us is more than tired of all the emotional, and maybe in some cases, the physical pain being caused by this invisible coronavirus pandemic. Not only in our own lives, and the lives of our loved ones, but in the lives of most everyone in the entire world!

Just as my high school classmate encouraged me to share the video below with everyone, I’d like to encourage you to do the same. I hope you’ll agree that it’s a keeper for those moments when things don’t seem to be going so well.

When you think you’re having a tough day, view this video for some inspiration.

Such a struggle, yet always a smile on his face! A real Superman!

By the grace of God, one day in Heaven, that little boy will run with perfect new legs into the arms of Jesus and give Him a big hug with his perfect new arms and live happily ever after in eternity with Him! “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4 – NLT)

Things may not be so bad in our lives after all! And, even if they are, a new perfect body and new perfect life are waiting for you too if you’ve given your life to Jesus Christ and have received Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

Please take some time to remember and pray for others you may know who are struggling to make it through another day. While you’re at it, say a special prayer for the little boy in the video even though we don’t know his name or where he lives.

God bless his big heart, and God bless you and yours as we weather the storms of the coronavirus.

And most of all, let us not forget to count our blessings each and every day, no matter how big or small they may be. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2,3 – NIV)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

 

The Greatest Day On Earth!

Happy Easter to all!

Even though the coronavirus (COVID-19) has crippled and stifled normal activities everywhere, Christians around the entire world will still take time today to enthusiastically celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from His grave. He is King and Creator of the Universe, Lord and Savior of all who believe and trust in Him alone for salvation to eternal life. “On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16 – NIV)

Easter Sunday truly is “The Greatest Day On Earth” for those who believe Jesus Christ is who He claims He is. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” (John 14:6 – NIV)

Through the blood Jesus shed on the cross our sins are forgiven once and for all. And, because Jesus defeated death when He arose from the grave, He also promised that all of His followers, past, present, and future, would also be raised from the grave to eternal life with Him and God the Father. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)

Sadly, many today still believe He was a liar and/or a lunatic when He walked the earth more than 2000 years ago. Along with the biblical proof there is additional historical proof that He is who He says He is. You can read Josephus-Complete Works to learn more about his accounts of the historical Jesus.

Josephus was born in 37 A.D., about three or four years after Jesus was crucified. I think it’s safe to say that by the time Josephus was a young teenager he certainly would have heard about Jesus’ grotesque death and miraculous resurrection from many people still living in Jerusalem. Josephus visited many of the same cities and towns that Jesus spent time in, and he spent a great deal of time in Jerusalem.

It is said that historical scholars down through the centuries continue to look up to his writings as the only contemporary reference in history containing valid references to Christ, with a description of Him in minute detail.

In the third paragraph of the eighth book of Antiquity of the Jews, Josephus writes, “Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ (Messiah, God’s Anointed One – my words, not Josephus’ – nevertheless accurate); and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

Yes, by the grace and power of God, that “tribe of Christians” is still not extinct, and has been growing by the millions ever since Christ left this earth to prepare a place for us. In fact, some of the largest numbers of conversions to Christianity today can be found in places where the persecution and death of Christians is running rampant. Especially in Muslim and atheist countries on the continents of Africa and Asia.

Why would anyone be willing to suffer, and even die, for expressing an unrelenting faith in a liar or lunatic?

Whether or not the coronavirus is the beginning of the end for this fallen world we live in, Christians and non-Christians alike should do their part to help defeat this invisible enemy we are fighting against.

However, Christians know that humankind can only do so much. Although we are all rooting for doctors and scientists to come up with a cure for this virus, Christians also know that the final outcome of all things and all events are ultimately in God’s hands.

We may not understand it or like it but we place our faith in the One who created the entire universe and all that is in it and on it. And, we trust God for the outcome because His way, His will, and His timing is always perfect. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40 – NIV)

This is what Christian faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and our risen Savior, Jesus Christ, looks like.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:1,2,13-16 – NIV)


He Is Risen! THANK YOU JESUS!!!

During this Easter celebration, may the Grace, Mercy, and Peace of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit be with you and your families now and forever.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Have You Lost Your Focus?

I hope and pray this message finds you and your family safe and well as we all continue to weather the storms of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

As we remain hunkered down in our bunker, my wife and I just finished watching several online church services with great and timely messages given by pastors we have come to personally know and love. The worship music was also awesome and very uplifting, just what we needed!

One message in particular seemed very fitting for the times we find ourselves in right now. The theme of the message was “Learning to see better in the dark, or in the dark times in our lives.”

Today is Palm Sunday. It is the day Christians around the world celebrate the day Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem to face His enemies who were preparing to arrest Him and ultimately crucify Him for crimes He never committed.

He knew very well the painful future He was heading toward, and He knew very well how excruciating the pain would be until He took His last breath. Nevertheless, He kept obediently moving toward that dreadful end rather than running from it. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42 – NLT)

In our pain, whatever it may be, the lens of faith can get out of focus. In our pain, we can find it very difficult to focus on much of anything else but our pain! And unfortunately, that can lead to a myriad of other problems if left unchecked.

Here are four points we should all try to remember when it comes to dealing with pain and the dark times in our lives:

  1. Pain has the potential to push us closer to God. A couple of great ways to start drawing closer to God are committing to daily prayer and reading the Bible.
  2. Pain has the potential to point out changes we may need to make. Whether it is physical pain, financial pain, marital pain, or anything else, we have to seriously ask the hard question, “What do I personally have to do to help resolve this pain in my life?”
  3. Pain has the potential to be the greatest platform God may use to impact someone else’s life. Many years ago, before becoming a Christian, my gambling habit led to serious financial pain in our household. Once I was delivered from my gambling habit, I used that experience to help many other individuals and families work their way out of the painful reality of debt and the mismanagement of their finances.
  4. God has the power to change our perspective in the midst of our pain. We live in a fallen imperfect world, therefore no matter how hard we try to run or hide from pain,  some painful event will always catch up with us sooner or later! It’s how we ultimately deal with it that counts. Will we include God in the process of working through it, or not? “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12 – NIV)

Dark days in our lives and pain usually go hand-in-hand. My prayer is, today, you will make Jesus Christ the Light of your life. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2Corinthians 5:17 – NLT)

Do what you can to address the pain in your life, and let God do the rest. And, may the peace of God that surpasses all understanding be with you and yours always.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

The Power Of God & The Coronavirus

I don’t believe anyone living today has ever witnessed anything with the potential to completely devastate and wipe out the world’s entire population like COVID-19, better know as the coronavirus!

It was on December 10, 2019  in Wuhan, China that a seafood merchant in this city’s Hua’nan market, first started to feel sick. Thinking she was getting a cold, she walked to a small local clinic to get some treatment and then went back to work.

Eight days later, the 57-year-old was barely conscious in a hospital bed, one of the first suspected cases in a coronavirus epidemic that has paralyzed not only China but practically every other country around the world, and has crippled the global economy in many ways.

The first known U.S. coronavirus case was announced on January 21, 2020 in the state of Washington.

It’s a flu-like virus that spreads very quickly and it appears no one is immune from it. However, as we have learned thus far, seniors with current chronic and severe health issues are at the greatest risk and most vulnerable to contracting this virus.

The good news is much is being done quickly by both the private sector, governments around the world, and especially the United States government at the local, state, and federal levels, to provide the policies, equipment, and tests needed to combat the spread of this virus.

I think we can all agree the coronavirus has caused a lot of anxiety, fear, and pain in more folks than just those who have been diagnosed with this virus.

Anxiety and fear of the unknown, of sickness and death, and of having our lives turned upside down with school closings, business shutdowns, childcare issues, travel bans, food, medicine and healthcare shortages, and the list goes on and on!

So, how and why did all this happen in what seems to be the blink of an eye, and what does the coronavirus have to do with the Power of God?

Well, in my opinion, it all depends on who you ask.

An atheist or humanist would probably say it’s just a random occurrence (stuff happens), or look for someone to blame for failing to anticipate such a catastrophic event, or try to find a way to blame it on climate change.

Panic, chaos, and uncertainty would run rampant. Without a belief and trust in a Sovereign God, the remedies and solutions to problems are left in the hands of imperfect humans without Divine guidance!

A Christian or God-fearing individual would say something quite different. We understand that all of God’s creation is under His complete and sovereign control. Nothing that happens in this entire universe He created, good or bad, escapes His eyes and His ability to control the outcome if, when, and how He desires to deal with it.

Christians also understand that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not the author of evil and does not will bad things to happen to His created order. However, He has temporarily given limited power and authority to another who is the author of evil, lies, and deception, and allows him to wreak havoc on individual lives and world events with God’s permission.  His name is Satan, along with his band of fallen angels!

Because most Christians believe the Holy Bible (God’s Word) is infallible (cannot err) and believe it is absolute truth, here’s what Christians know for sure.

The Bible tells us one day a great tribulation, or great distress, is coming before God ends all life on earth.

Jesus answered His disciples: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect (Christians) those days will be shortened.

Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect (Christians) from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.'” (Matthew 24:4-14,21,22,29-31 – NIV)

So, why did God allow the coronavirus to impact the entire world at this time? Your guess is as good as mine. He’s God and we’re not!

Did He allow it because it is the beginning of the end? Who knows!

Did He allow it to give us a glimpse into how quickly something can happen that turns the entire world upside down and into mass chaos? Who knows!

Or, did He allow it for either or both of the above reasons to powerfully grab the attention of those who are still lost and wandering aimlessly and fearfully through life without any hope or purpose for what tomorrow may bring?

If that happens to be you my friend, here is the most important question you should be asking yourself right now: “Where do I want to spend eternity once God does pull the plug on my life, and on the entire world, to end it all”?

The “Good News” is you can secure your place in eternity living with God and His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, in the new Heavens and new earth He has promised. Or, you can roll the dice and keep doing what you’re currently doing, hoping for a different outcome. Someone once said that’s the definition of insanity!

Here are the next steps you can take right now to secure your relationship with Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. It’s as easy as ABC:

  • Acknowledge you are a sinner in desperate need of a Savior who can forgive your sins and offer you eternal life.
  • Believe Jesus Christ is fully God, fully man, sinless in nature who came to earth through a miraculous virgin birth offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice, shedding His blood on a cross for the forgiveness of your sins, and was raised from the dead so you too will be raised to eternal life with Him. Put your faith and trust in Him, and Him alone.
  • Confess your sins to the Almighty God who created you and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6)

Then, ask God’s Holy Spirit to come into your heart and mind as your Comforter, your Encourager, and your Guide to convict you of evil temptations and sin and empower you to repentance (changing your heart and mind to turn from sinful thoughts and actions).

If you have prayed to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, let me be the first to welcome you into His Kingdom as my new brother or sister in Christ!


May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

What Is Sin?

The Bible teaches that all of life is to be lived to glorify our Sovereign Creator. There is a moral order to all of creation, and violations of that order only lead to adverse consequences!

A famous contemporary movie star was once asked in an interview, “What is sin?” I should have cut out the article, but I did jot down the response: “I don’t even know what’s considered a sin anymore, nothing feels like a sin!”

In the Bible, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you do eat of it you shall surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16,17)

At the very moment when Adam and Even took a bite of that forbidden fruit, sin and death were introduced into the perfect world God had created for them! Consequently, they were banished from Eden by a Holy God who cannot and does not tolerate disobedience to His commands and principles. Plain and simple, this is God’s definition of SIN whether we like it and agree with it or not!


How To Live a Life Pleasing To God:

Since I believe God’s Word is absolute and infallible truth, let’s start with a refresher course of the Ten Commandments,

(Exodus 20:3-17):

  1. “You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

So, if like the movie star, you too don’t know what a sin is any more or nothing feels like a sin to you, the Ten Commandments are a good starting place.

However, there are some grey areas in life where it’s not as easy to discern sin from activities that are just controversial or poor decisions. I’ve come up with a list of mostly familiar topics we find people dealing with or engaging in today that are Biblically defined as sin or can lead to sin.

It’s also important to understand that no sin is worse than any other in God’s eyes.  Your sins and my sins may be very different, however, all sin is equal on God’s scale of justice and worthy of death! “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a)

I sincerely realize some of the information below will be provocative and even anger some readers. I have tried to keep my personal comments to a minimum and let God’s Word speak for itself. I’m just the messenger, so let’s take a look at this list from A to Z:

Abortion: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Anything growing is ALIVE! Man-made laws legalizing murder of the unborn at any age is an abomination in God’s eyes! This sin ushers in a myriad of consequences on those deciding to have the abortion, to those who market and perform abortions, and to nations and governments who make despicable laws legalizing abortion.

Addiction: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). When a habit begins to consume one’s thoughts and actions, and then gives way to dependency, it has become a god in one’s life. The consequences of addictions are many. From job loss, fractured families, costly rehab and recovery expenses, to all sorts of criminal activities, jail time, and even death.

Adultery:You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). The consequences of extramarital relationships range from broken marriages and families to domestic abuse and violence leading to jail time and sometimes even death.

Anger: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger” (Ephesians 4:31a). Controlled anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can lead to positive outcomes. Getting angry at the way certain people groups are treated and doing something for positive change is a good thing. But when anger spirals out of control, the consequences can lead to mental and physical abuse of others, violence, and even death.

Anxiety: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7). Anxiety grows when we don’t have peace with the circumstances we find ourselves in, or with the decisions we’ve made or need to make. We all want to feel like we are in control of our lives, but when things start spinning out of control, anxiety and stress can grow to unhealthy levels and work against us. God wants us to place our trust in Him and His ability to know what’s best for us. Without a belief and trust in Him to do His part, we are left to our own devices.

Bestiality: “Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile (ruin-my insert) yourself with it” (Leviticus 18:23a). You can decide for yourself what the consequences of this sin may be!

Bi-sexuality: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body” (1Corinthians 6:18) “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another” (Romans 1:24). Needless to say, sex with multiple partners can bring on all sorts of unforeseen consequences!

Bitterness: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger” (Ephesians 4:31a). See Anger.

Cheating: “skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales” (Amos 8:5b). “Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong” (1Corinthians 6:8a). Cheating can bring on all kinds of consequences and tarnish one’s reputation in irreparable ways!

Covetousness: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17). Being content with what you have will bring peace to your soul. Discontentment breeds needless anxiety and stress, as well as other possible consequences.

Debt: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” (Romans 13:8a). All debt must be repaid. Filing bankruptcy to avoid repaying a debt does not excuse your responsibility. You have sinned against your debtor. “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

Deceit: “Do not deceive one another” (Leviticus 19:11b). “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:…a heart that devises wicked schemes” (Proverbs 6:16,18).

Divorce: Jesus replied, I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9). This sinful act leads to broken marriages, broken families, and psychological issues arising from trying to cope with feelings of abandonment. There are many other emotional issues that can arise from this one sinful act including anger, rage, bitterness, stress, and anxiety. All these emotions, if not properly controlled, can also lead to a myriad of other sins.

Fornication: A sexual act between unmarried individuals is known as fornication. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery (wickedness)” (Galatians 5:19).

Greed: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:…evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5b,6). “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).

Hate: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (1Thessalonians 5:15). Hating what is evil or wrong in the world can lead to positive change if addressed properly with love. However, when hate burns uncontrolled and then turns into violent acts and death, we have crossed the line into sin.

Homosexuality: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable” (Leviticus 18:22). “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable” (Leviticus 20:13). “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:24-28).

Idolatry: You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them” (Exodus 20:4). “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5,6). Anything or anyone we worship or elevate above the God who created the universe and all that is in it and on it is idolatry. Consequences are sure to follow!

Incest: A sexual act between family members is known as incest. “If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They are to be publicly removed from their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible. Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible” (Leviticus 20:17,19).

Kidnapping: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15). Criminal acts bring obvious consequences.

Lust: Jesus said, You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27,28). See Adultry. Jesus is saying here that even our evil thoughts are sins in God’s eyes! It is wisdom to assume that if we don’t let our thoughts get out of control, then there’s a very good chance our actions won’t either.

Lying: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). “The LORD detests lying lips” (Proverbs 12:22a). “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:…a lying tongue, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16,17b,19).

Murder: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

Pedophilia: A similar sin to “lust” where evil sexual thoughts of children can lead to evil activities. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). God does not take lightly the abuse of children!

Pornography: Jesus said, You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27,28). See Lust and Adultery.

Profanity: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7). “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these:…filthy language from your lips” (Colossians 3:8).

Rage: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger” (Ephesians 4:31a). See Anger.

Stealing: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

Terrorism: You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Regardless of one’s reasons for maiming and murdering innocent men, women, and children it is still sin in the eyes of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and severe consequences are sure to follow.

Transgenders: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20,21). There should be no argument or confusion concerning one’s birth gender! When we attempt to play God and make changes to the way He has created us, we are asking for consequences to follow.

There are some additional activities and issues we may face in life that fall into that grey area. Biblically speaking, they are either not considered outright sins or not specifically talked about in the Bible. Only when we have made any of them a god or idol in our lives do they cross over into the sin category. Also, we can fall into sin when any of these bring us to a place where we are mentally or physically hurting ourselves or others. These grey areas include:

Bullying, Complacency, Conceit, Criticism, Depression, Discontentment, Drinking alcoholic beverages, Drugs (legal & illegal), Ego, Envy, Fear, Frustration, Gambling, Guilt, Hoarding, Intolerance, Judgmentalness, Laziness, Narcissism, Obesity, Physical Abuse, Prejudice, Pride, Procrastination, Racism, Selfishness, Self-righteousness, Sleeping, Smoking, Sodomy, Unforgiveness, Vanity, Verbal Abuse, Work


This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope you get the point! God does not tolerate sin. And when we sin, there are painful consequences of varying kinds and magnitudes that God will either rain down on us or allow us to wallow in for a time at His discretion. This may sound harsh, but He’s God and we’re not!

What IN The World Is Wrong With This World? The sin IN you and me!

Unless there is a real heart and mind change, brought on by a new life in Jesus Christ, nothing morally and ethically will change in people’s lives, in our nation, or in the world, and the days will continue becoming darker for greater evil to prevail.

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!