It’s war! It’s already been declared, on us! We have no choice in the matter. There’s no negotiating for peace. We’re caught in the middle, and there’s no escape. Battles are being fought in our streets from house to house at this very moment. Casualties are high. The enemy is ruthless, merciless, bloodthirsty. He is not limiting his vicious attacks to able bodied men. Women and children equally are being lined up in his crosshairs, and many are dying. He will accept no appeasement., no compromise, no truce. Only our total destruction will satisfy him. Confusion reigns. Many are in agony. Death is everywhere. The stench of decay fills the air. We must fight relentlessly. We must hold our ground. We can never surrender. We must win or die, forever...
A great deal is said these days about values. Family values, life values, the value of life itself. What do people mean when they speak of such values? And where do these values come from?
Jesus went to the cross to die to pay the price for the guilt of the sins of all humanity for all time (Heb. 9:27-28). For all humanity? Yes, for all humanity. For all time? Yes, for all time. But Jesus’ dying on the cross holds its greatest meaning for you when you view it as having been done for you. You personally. You cannot make the death of Jesus have meaning for all humanity. You can only make His death have meaning based upon how you personally react to it. So, are you worth the death of Jesus?
Everybody wants to be happy. In fact, there may be more emphasis in our society right now than ever before on finding happiness. There’s a lot of focus on having a job you can be happy with. Some people move to different locations in the pursuit of happiness. Wives leave husbands and husbands leave wives because they’re just not happy. Teenagers are committing suicide at a staggering rate because they’re unhappy. Happiness seems to be elusive to many people. But a profound question should be, “Where do you look for happiness?”
The state of being described in the scriptures as “in Christ” is unique. It describes a special, personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a relationship so deeply meaningful that I’m not sure we can fully understand all that goes with it. It is not simply having a relationship with Christ, it is truly being in Him. Indeed, the scriptures speak of being “baptized into Christ” (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
There is an exhortation in scripture that is appropriate for all people of all ages seeking truth on any subject: “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord…” (Isa. 1:18). Truth need not fear examination. Indeed, genuine truth shines all the brighter under the microscope of scrutiny. The apostle Peter instructed to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” (1 Pet. 3:15).
A Christian should stand out in the crowd. Not in the sense that he should purposely call undue attention to himself, but from the perspective of character a Christian should be distinct from the world.
In a previous article we noted that many people are very uncomfortable with the idea that there could be a place called Hell wherein God would assign to eternal punishment the souls of the unrighteous. Looking to the scriptures, God’s word, we learned that the Greek word most commonly rendered “Hell” in our English translations is “Gehenna.,” a specific word that identifies a definite place. “Gehenna” is used twelve times in the New Testament, eleven of those by the Lord Himself. Repeatedly it is used in phrases such as “cast into Hell” (Matt. 5:29, 30; Mk. 9:45; Lk. 12:5), “destroyed in Hell” (Matt. 10:28), “cast into Hell fire” (Matt. 18:9; Mk. 9:47) and “to go to Hell“ (Mk. 9:43). Reading objectively, it is nearly impossible to conclude anything other than Hell is a real place!
Many people are most uncomfortable with the concept of a place of punishment called “Hell” in scripture. Many believe Hell to be inconsistent with their concept of a loving, kind, merciful God of grace. Well, is Hell real?
I enjoy watching the Olympic games. Besides the enjoyment factor, they have at least a couple of good effects for society as a whole that may not get much notice. First, they’ve provide television programming that’s pretty family oriented and also rather compelling to watch. What a change that is! Second, they provide repeated and emphatic visual lessons that demonstrate that being ever so close to victory is still defeat.
Gary L. Hutchens