Today I feel very sad for all of the families who have lost loved ones in the recent school shootings in Texas.
My prayers go out to all of them and to our nation as well, for such horrible violence affects each of us at the core of our souls, though we may try to desensitize ourselves and pretend it doesn’t affect us because no bullets directly hit our flesh or wounded someone in our family.
But evil and violence affects every soul in our society whether we admit it or not.
And it begins with anger.
Consider Jesus’s words:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:22 KJV
Anger breeds hatred.
John the apostle wrote: “But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 2:11,3:15 -KJV
Had the eighteen year old murderer in the recent shootings been taught to respect and love his grandmother, to love, glorify, trust, and believe in the God who had created him, and in whose image he and all other humans were formed, he most likely would not have dreamed of committing such an evil crime.
What is hell like?
I imagine it as an abyss where God’s name is blasphemed, reviled and ever taken in vain; a dark maze of interminable suffering, unrelenting pain, hunger, self delusion, fighting, dissatisfaction, greed, anger, hatred, covetousness, envy, vanity, idolatry, narcissism, lust, hypocrisy, addiction, sickness that never ends, cold hearted souls who abuse and condemn and manipulate others, poverty, bigotry, war, egotism, arrogance,shame, riches with no satisfaction, ingratitude, and relationships without love, constant bickering and dissembling and every kind of deceit; souls forever stealing caring nothing for the value of other’s property, hopelessness, despair, frustration because no one is ever happy and they can’t figure out why, and everything and anything that is against God’s will is committed all the time and championed because it is an endless night dominated by malevolent spiritual forces.
Since hell is a territory governed by sin, and God’s Word reveals that the wages of sin is death, then I reckon that it’s a place whirling on a blind path towards its own self destruction.
The Apostle Peter wrote that the earth is just going to erupt into a ball of flames someday.
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:7,10,12 – KJV
Sin is a corruption of something that will never go the right way and achieve its goal. It is an arrow that constantly misses the mark. And that mark is God’s will.
God’s will is revealed in His Word. When people stop fearing and respecting God; when they stop believing in Him, they stop loving Him.
If I stop fearing the Lord, I will also stop loving and believing in Him. If I lose any one of those three necessary components of love for God, then I lose all three of them.
In other words, I will have no faith, love, nor fear of God.
Faith is more than just believing that God exists.
James 2:19 asserts “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19 – KJV
While they might be afraid of God, those devils blaspheme, disobey, and dishonor the Lord through people all the time. They neither love, respect, nor glorify Him.
John the Apostle wrote: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 – KJV
The soul who desires to live for God and do His will, and who walks in love obeying Christ, no matter what their outward circumstances might be, has heaven in their heart.
Paul wrote in Colossians 1:13 that the soul who trusts Jesus Christ for salvation and who loves and obeys Christ is delivered by the Heavenly Father from the power of darkness, and “translated into the kingdom of His dear Son.”
Faith not only believes in God’s existence, but it means trusting Him to keep His word, to be faithful, to live up to everything He promises to be and more, no matter what they might have to endure.
I can attest to God’s faithfulness on this score as I live with chronic daily migraines. I know what hell is like and heaven too. Jesus Christ is a RISEN, LIVING Lord and Savior. He does not forsake us in our suffering.
Faith is not ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is not embarrassed to be called a Christian. It does not substitute a cause for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then delude itself into thinking that God is pleased, because causes do not save souls. Christ’s blood is the only thing that ever saved a soul.
Causes come and go.
If we want to glorify our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross to save us from the power of sin and hell, triumphing over our souls and our own ultimate self destruction, then we have to believe He exists and that He is watching everything we do, and hears every word we say and write, that He cherishes us more than we can ever comprehend and that He really and truly will speak to us if we will listen.
He will guide us and teach us His will and enable us to do it.
He absolutely will forgive all our sins because His blood paid the price for every wrong thing we ever did against Him. If we are sorry for it and turn away from it He forgives us.
We might be ashamed of it but He won’t ever hold it against us. He washes our sins away as far as the east is from the west. The only one who ever brings our sins back up in our face is the devil and his allies.
The Bible refers to the devil as “the accuser of the brethren…” (see Revelations 12:10)
When we accuse, slander, libel, scorn, condemn, etc, we are throwing the ball in the wrong court.
Rather than “sit in the seat of the scornful…” (See Psalm 1:1-2) Christians are to look for the true, good, just, excellent, pure, noble, and praiseworthy things in ourselves and others (see Philippians 4:8)
Christ tells us to abide in Him in our prayer closets and allow His Holy Spirit to guide us as He promises in His Word.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26 – KJV
May we not allow anger to guide us. Anger does not accomplish Christ’s will. “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:20 – KJV
“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Psalm 37:8 – KJV
Evil is defined as everything that opposes God’s will no matter how righteous it may appear on the surface.
May we ever give our anger to our Lord Jesus Christ. For He is the righteous Judge.
May we be guided by His love. For to love is Christ’s command —His will. May we ever remember that Love is how we are defined as Christ’s disciples.
Heavenly Father, we mourn and pray for the families who lost loved ones in the Texas school shooting and ask that You comfort every precious family, every heart that has been shattered by this evil.
We pray You will hold them in Thy everlasting arms and fill them with rivers of Thy infinite love, mercy, and grace.
Comfort every fearful heart.
Lord, may we not grow insensitive and cold toward our fellow human as so much evil and iniquity abound in our world.
Help us to conquer evil by doing Thy good will on this hell bound earth that the reality of Thy heaven might live and be displayed in our hearts so all can see Thy light in us and You be glorified in our lives when we do Thy will to love and serve each other.
Help us always to say with Jesus who prayed while being tortured on the cross for our sins, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing,”
In Jesus’s name, amen.
Suzanne ❤️ …created through the Indwelling Risen Lord Jesus Christ, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, to the Glory of God the Father, in Jesus’ Name, amen. (*See John 14:20, 21, 23)
Jesus Christ said, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
23 Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” ~ Matthew 5:21-24 -NASB
“…do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice.
Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:26-27,31-32 – NASB
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21 -KJV
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20 – KJV
Jesus Christ said, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:37-44 KJV
The Days Of Noah ~Genesis 6:5-12
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man
was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.
And the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, And Noah walked with God.
And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Genesis 6:5-12 KJV
Jesus Christ said, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8 KJV
Enoch was carried away from this earth, so he never died.
The Scriptures tell us that before he was carried off, he was a man who pleased God.
Later, no one knew where he was, because God had taken Enoch to be with Him.
This all happened because he had faith. Without faith no one can please God.
Whoever comes to God must believe that He is real and that He rewards those who sincerely try to find Him.
Noah was warned by God about things that he could not yet see. But he had faith and respect for God, so he built a large boat to save his family.
With his faith, Noah showed that the world was wrong. And he became one of those who are made right with God through faith.”
Hebrews 11:5-7 ERV
MORE ENCOURAGING SCRIPTURES
For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him. But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and are saved.” Hebrews 10:37-39 CSB
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.
These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.
But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 NLT
Jesus Christ said, “And when he had called the people unto Him with his disciples also, He said unto them, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” ~ Mark 8:34-38 KJV
Paul the Apostle wrote, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 10:11 KJV
Some Bibles translate this verse as they shall not be put to shame. But the sense of the original word is that the author meant the person who puts their trust in Jesus would not be ashamed, embarrassed to believe in Him, or confounded and sorry that they trusted in the Lord. It can be read both ways.
Just as Jesus said, His disciples would not be ashamed of Him or His words because they would know that would make their Master ashamed of them.
If a soul really has faith that Jesus was raised from the dead and lives inside of them they will not be ashamed to confess this Paul said in Romans 10.
“…that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 10:9-11 KJV
It is when we stop confessing our faith that we not only lose it, but we also lose our love for Christ and our fear of God.
We are in danger of becoming mere professors crying “Lord Lord,” doing many good works perhaps but maybe none of them God’s will, not one truly motivated by His Holy Spirit but by man. (See Matthew 7:21-23)
We will have no true love for the Lord nor belief in Him, for we will love and lust after the world more than we love and worship the One who died to save us from our sins.
It is then that we should meditate on Psalm 36:1-4 and pray earnestly in our prayer closets and seek The Lord with all our heart with fear and trembling. (See Isaiah 55:6-8)
That is why Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
For Meditation and Reflection:
Do we care more about what other people think of us than what the Lord might think of us?
Who’s opinion of us matters to us the most?
This tells us a whole lot about how much faith we really have in the living Lord Jesus Christ.
If we truly believed He is real we would tremble to care more what other people thought than what the God who upholds the universe by the word of His power thinks about us.
If we really believed that the Father and Christ have the power to not only destroy the body but cast our spirit and soul in hell for eternity, then would we not fear and respect and honor them?
Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” ~ Matthew 10:28 KJV
Grace can be trampled on and Christ recrucified according to the book of Hebrews in chapter 6.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV
2 Peter 2 alludes to the Christian who loses his salvation comparing them to a dog who returns to its vomit.
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” ~ 2 Peter 2:20-22 KJV
Hebrews 10 talks about those who lose their blood sacrifice Christ made for them by negating it.
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know Him that hath said, “Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense,” saith the Lord.
And again, “The Lord shall judge His people.”
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV
I did not make these scriptures up.
There are bible teachers who reinterpret them to fit their denominational systems.
However, the apostles repeatedly said to hold on to what you have been taught from the beginning.
And these are the teachings that have been handed down from the beginning.
Jesus said that he who endures to the end shall be saved.
He said that the way of life is narrow and that few there be that find it. But broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that would go in that way.
Salvation is not a done deal once a soul commits their heart to Christ.
Just ask Judas.
Jesus said to the disciples at the last supper “One of you is about to betray Me. It would be better for that soul if he had not been born.” Then the disciples each asked if he were the one.
Even Judas dared to ask since all the others were asking. If we come to Jesus wanting a revelation He will give us the answer. Jesus told Judas it was him. But it did not stop him from committing his sin. Even though Jesus had plainly stated that it would have been better for that soul if he would not have been born rather than to betray Him. Unbelief is at the core of every sin against Christ.
Judas went out and committed his fatal sin against the Lord anyway. He betrayed the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. (See Matthew 26:14-16; 20-25,)
One cannot worship idols and God too. Jesus pointed this out in Matthew 6.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (*Mammon can be anything including money that we love more than God) Matthew 6:24 KJV
One either loves Christ or the god of this world. Christ knows every heart. The Lord wants each heart that professes to love Him to seek Him in their prayer closet, apart from social media.
That along with anything else that distracts our mind away from the Lord, is not holy.
He wants us to set ourselves apart unto Him.
Holy means set apart.
Christ will tolerate no idols.
Please don’t take my word for it. Go in to your prayer closet and pray and seek Christ without distractions.
Meditate on the Word of God without the constant interruption and intrusion of the internet or social media, work, hobbies, or anything that takes your mind or interest away from the Lord.
Jesus said, ““My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” ~ John 10:27-28 KJV
Those who really want to come back to Christ will listen and hear Him speaking in this message to them.
They will recognize the voice of their Good Shepherd. For they belong to Jesus and are His true sheep. Jesus said the voice of a stranger they would not follow.
But Jesus said that those who do not believe and who have no faith, do not belong to Him. Those who are His want above all else to please Christ and do His will.
Jesus told the Pharisees who kept questioning Him despite all of the amazing miracles they saw that witnessed to His deity:
“…I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.” John 10:25-26 KJV
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 KJV
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, “To day if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, In the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, And saw My works forty years.
“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; And they have not known My ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) “
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
While it is said, “To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:7-19 KJV
For God so loved the world A world condemned and lost That He gave His only Son To die upon a cross; His one and only spotless Son Who had no sin in Him, Who bore the sins of every soul And was condemned for them; He suffered sickness, grief, and shame, Wretchedness, unending pain, Betrayal, persecution, death, The curse of hell in the end… He took upon Himself the curse God’s righteous Law said we deserved Because all souls from Adam’s race Are born in sin and must be saved. Adam is a word that stands For each and every soul of man Women, children it includes, ~Adam sinned for me and you. Though we were never born as yet His sin affected all his race.
When Jesus died upon the cross He bore the sins of all the lost, That all who might believe in Him By faith be made righteous within. Adam disobeyed God’s Law And all in Him became sinners… Jesus Christ obeyed God’s will To take upon Himself man’s sin… And all who will believe in Christ Who in His cross choose to abide Have their sins by Him removed In Christ by faith they are made pure For Christ, their Adam, God obeyed And by His act many souls saved Through faith in Him and by God’s grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.