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“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” Numbers 14:9

breadRemember Joshua?

To him, the giants of life were more than obstacles to overcome, they were nourishment for spiritual growth. That narrow path we walk is not a place free of trials and hardship, but rather a place of refinement where adversities are but fuel for our sanctification.

Truly our giants are bread for us!

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger ; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst . John 6:35

Of course it was Jesus who said that He is the bread of life — we are sustained eternally when we feed on Him and His word. It could also be rightly said that when our lives are submitted to Christ, we are positioned to be nourished by everything that comes down the pike, be it good or evil. The adage is true: in Jesus everything is either a bless’n or a lesson.

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Genesis 50:20

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“Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” (Matthew 26:36-38)

There’s been many a sermon regarding the notion that ‘fear and faith‘ cannot coexist. We have been taught if one is present, the other must be absent. It is a premise I understand, but do not wholeheartedly agree. There is a smidgen of truth in the expression, but I sense it’s been improperly condensed. Frankly, it is an umbrella with too broad a canvas. I chose the Matthew 26 passage to illustrate the point.

Was Jesus afraid?

I am not willing to stretch Scripture in order to justify a doctrinal position; the record only tells us Jesus was ‘sorrowful and very heavy’ (KJV). Other Bible translations describe His situation as grieved and distressed (NAS), anguish and deep distress (NLT), and sorrowful and troubled (NIV). Strong’s Lexicon defines the word ‘heavy’ (as used in the King James Version) this way: to be troubled, great distress or anguish, depressed, and adds, “This is the strongest of the three Greek words in the NT for depression.” For this reason, it is not a stretch to say Jesus was very sad and in deep anguish over the events before Him.

But was His anxiety fear based?

We all want to say emphatically, “No,” there’s no way that Jesus was fearful or changeafraid. I submit to you that we want to say no because Bible teachers and expositors have drilled into our heads that ‘fear and faith’ do not jibe. Just so we’re clear, I’m not saying Jesus was afraid, but I am suggesting it is feasible. I am also suggesting that it is possible to be fearful and faithful in the same space of time. I submit that notion because it appears Jesus did just that. Without any doubt Scripture records Jesus had great trepidation and by faith, He brought it all before the Lord and therein lies the Bible lesson.

Having said that, clearly there are Christians who have become so caught-up in fear and worry, that they become faith-less. Their fear has bound them to the point that they have forgotten and/or neglected the basic components of faith. They’ve turned away from reading the Bible, prayer, church, and communion with Jesus. For these folks, faith is not occupying the same space as fear; it cannot because these individuals, for whatever the reason, won’t allow it to. It is here that some make the mistake of using this group for the basis of the broad doctrine that fear and faith cannot coexist.

Here’s the problem. When we do that, we’re dismissing a whole body of believers who, by Christ’s example, know what to do with their stress and anxiety. This group is not derailed by hardships, but see them as the conveyance which brings them to the foot of the cross. They recognize that emotions, high or low, are little more than crossroads on the narrow-path God has constructed for His children to walk. So while some do go to the left, opting for the faith-less, off-road route, there is a significant group that keeps to the right and stays the course they’re on. These have either never strayed from the path or gained some valuable insight for having done so in the past. The reality is that currently, their anxious burdens now propel them forward and they are more blessed for the experience.

So yes, it’s true for some that ‘fear and faith’ are not existing side-by-side, but theirs is not the model. Jesus is the model, as are the many saints, who by example demonstrate for the church what to do with the extreme highs and extreme lows of life. Let us stop pronouncing a doctrine that is at best only half-true; it only serves to undermine the faith of those Christians who know what to do when trials come. Pigeon-holing these believers into a one-size-fits-all tenet only causes confusion and frustration. Folks who are walking properly in their faith should not be simultaneously instructed they are not because the instructor believes it is not possible to do so. It’s errant to teach that you must first stop being fearful in order that faith might reign.

The more appropriate perspective is to see fear as emotional fuel. That is to say, potential energy, that when properly directed moves us forward in faith. If we wallow in the fear, then yes, we are rejecting Jesus and our God-given faith — to wallow is to worry. To that issue Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). But fear (or any other stress-based emotion) if used correctly, is Spiritual food for us.

A Final Thought

Would a Christian ever say that ‘gratitude and faith’ cannot exist in the same place because some of us occasionally reject the opportunity to give thanks to God? That would be nonsense. In that light let us stop declaring that emotional lows and faith cannot either exist, especially when Jesus demonstrated very effectively that they can.

For we have not (a) high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

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Why We Keep it Simple

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive , because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)

This verse explains (among other things) why, when we share the Gospel, the message we present must be kept simple. Going too far beyond, “You’re a sinner and Jesus died for your sins,” and the Bible verses needed to support the doctrine, typically only serves to muddy the waters. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that if you stray too far and too often from the Good News message, your non-believing audience will deem your words as folly.

That’s not merely an opinion — it’s the Bible.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

It’s not that the unsaved soul is simple-minded, but rather, they are natural-minded. Frankly, we’re spinning our wheels when we begin to expound upon deeper theologies and heavier doctrines before the listener has understood and received the fundamentals of the faith. It’s akin to teaching algebra (or geometry, physics, or calculus), before the student comprehends basic math; these weighty subjects are foolishness to the student who cannot yet add or subtract whole numbers.

I like how Pastor Lloyd Pulley puts it. “A hundred gallons of water,” he explains wateris very heavy — almost a thousand pounds! Imagine trying to carry that weight on your head. You can’t. It’s just too heavy. But when you’re fully submersed in water, that same amount of water is nothing to bear. It’s the same way with the things of God — unless we are fully immersed, the notion of bearing such weight is foolish. Like fish out of water, we cannot yet bear the weight of heftier matters. Full immersion; us in God and God in us is the answer.

It’s Not My Fault

What about Jonah and the whale?

How many of us already know the importance of keeping the Gospel message simple, but get dragged into these weightier discussions by the listener, or a bystander? It seems to occur almost every time we begin to share! We’re going along nicely, “And John 3:16 says…” (or something to that effect) and someone interrupts, “But what about contradictions in the Bible, ” or, “What about Jonah and the whale,” or some other issue that takes both listener and teacher down a rabbit trail.

In the same way an elementary-school teacher would reel-in one of her students who wants to distract the rest of the class, it’s your job to bring the discussion back to basics. If you cannot get your listener back, it just might be a sign from the Lord that perhaps you should ‘dismiss the class’ and move on. Failure to do so will just lead to more rabbit trails, confusion, and probably frustration on your part. Often times this where we get into arguments. Reel it in or cut if off — we never want to argue.

Reeling It In

In this regard I believe honesty is the best policy. Explain to the person how you would love the opportunity to explore any and all Bible doctrine with them, but they need to understand and receive God’s grace and plan for salvation before these other matters will make any sense. Be firm and loving and stick to the Good News. The Holy Spirit needs to be in them in order to grasp these other things of God, and at this particular point in time, the Holy Spirit has only come alongside them so that they might understand the Gospel.

How to Share the Gospel Simply

Are you going to Heaven?”

There are many ways to deliver the Gospel message, but I believe there is no better (and simpler) way than using the Bible and the Roman’s Road method. Start with your Bible and a highlighter and mark the following passages:

I like to start a conversation off with, “Hey, can I ask you a question…are you going to Heaven?”

Many conversations stop right there, but most do not. The reality is that most people, if they’re not busy, like to talk. How they answer the initial question will guide how the rest of the conversation goes. If they say yes, ask them why. If they say no, ask them why. If they say they don’t believe in Heaven, ask them why not. Eventually (be a good listener — there’s no rush), use the Ten Commandments as a road sign to point them to the truth: they are a sinner. This is the precise intersection where we pick up the Roman’s Road!

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Go directly to the highlighted portion of your Bible and tell them to read it aloud, asking, “What does that mean?” trusting the Holy Spirit (which has come along side them) to give them understanding. I have never had anyone tell me anything other then, “It means all have sinned and fallen short of God,” or something similar. I might ask them to elaborate, “What does it mean to fall short of God,” and eventually they come around to the issue of separation. Occasionally someone will say, “I dunno,” but I just have them read it again until it clicks. And click it will.

At this point one of two things will happen: the Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin and you’ll be able to move onto the next Bible verse or the Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin and they will attempt to end the conversation. You can lovingly try to re-engage them. If they’re adamant about leaving, let them go, but know this: you have done well. You may not have gotten to the Good News portion of the Good News message, but you planted the most important seed: the seed of conviction. Your listener will never be the same again. Trust that the Lord will send another to ‘tend’ that seed; a waterer, a fertilizer-er, and eventually a harvester. You never know, He might send YOU back to do all those things!

The remaining portions of the Roman’s Road method is self explanatory. Read over each passage and as you highlight, formulate in your mind (and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit) how you would easily move from one to the next. I actually wrote in the margins of my Bible where the next step was so I could quickly find it. Remember, the convicted soul is likely feeling very uneasy and may attempt to hijack the conversation with obscure questions in an attempt to stump you and throw you off your game. See these distractions for what they are and don’t allow them. Be focused and stick to your simple Gospel presentation. The Holy Spirit is on your side, inside and out.

Finally, remember this is all a work of God. He has provided all the components towards salvation — the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the script. We’re just willing vessels having made ourselves available to Him and for Him. The results are entirely up to God. It’s His plan and He’s responsible for it. We don’t need to fret about our presentations and appearances, we just need to show up ready on game day.

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;reprove , rebuke , exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2

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“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of (counselors) there is safety…Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding (walks) uprightly. Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of (counselors) they are established.” Proverbs 11:14 & Proverbs 15:21-22

Well there you have it; according to God’s Word, counselors win. Debate over. But hold on a moment, the Bible has more to say on the issue. The Apostle Paul reminds us that we need to consider the Bible in its entirety, as it pertains to any given matter. We simply cannot take a Bible passage (or two, or three) and twist them in such a manner that would justify a particular agenda — no one should proclaim (for example), “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry,” before digging a little deeper into the full counsel of God.

 “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:22)

Regarding Wisdom

Essentially there are two types: worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom. One is from above and the other is base. One regularly changes with the tide of an emotion-centric culture, while the other never changes. One is self-centered and the other is Christ-centered. One leads to everlasting death and the other to life everlasting. Both will claim they only have your best interest at heart, but only one of these claims can be true.

I believe we see a clear distinction between the ‘worldly vs Godly’ counsel throughout the Proverbs. Beginning in Proverbs 2:16 the writer [Solomon] lucymakes reference to ‘the strange woman,’ aka the ‘adulteress who flatters with her words.’ Literally speaking, seductresses are a reality and we should take heed lest we fall, but I submit to you that Solomon is figuratively directing our attention towards the charmer, the one that leaves the companion of her youth, forgets her covenant with God, and leads men (mankind) astray with wisdom that tickles the ears and caters to carnality. This wisdom screams, “It’s all about you (and) you deserve a break today (and) if it feels good, do it.”

Solomon continues, ‘her house sinks down to death and her tracks lead to the dead; none who go to her return again, nor do they reach the paths of life.’ In other words, she and her words are to be avoided like the plague. Our Father in Heaven would not have us go that way, which is why He chose to begin that blessed Proverb with these wise-words:

“…If you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you” (Proverbs 2:1-11)

See the picture that God is painting: any counsel which is not steeped in His Word, His Commandments, His plan, and His good will, is errant counsel. Run away from it. Short term there may be some benefit, but long-term it leads to destruction. If the wisdom you receive is based on worldly logic, focused primarily upon your emotions, well-being, and self-discovery, that counsel (and counselor) should be summarily rejected. Arguably, you might save your marriage, you might sober up, you might be free of that porn-addiction, but I ask you, “Where is God in that equation?” God is the only One by whose stripes we are truly healed. Any solutions we proffer in our flesh are short-lived at best; a bargain-store bandage that covers temporarily, but does not heal.

Disciple-Based Counsel

If we’re to combine discipleship and counseling, both must adhere to a strict interpretation of God’s Word. Then and only then are we in God’s will and grace. When Jesus said go and make disciples of all nations, it was the discipler’s understanding that they were to go and counsel the unsaved in this manner. My point is this: wise counsel is true wisdom only if it’s given in the spirit of Christian discipleship. Anything short of that, even counsel that might be seasoned with occasional Biblical morsels, is worthless, at least as far as the big picture is concerned.

Where in the Bible did you come up with that?”

If you are a Christian and your counselor is not a Christian, or they profess to be a Christian, but routinely omit Biblical doctrine from their advice, you should politely dump that adviser. And if you’re not sure the wisdom they’re spewing is Biblical, ask them. Simply say, “Where in the Bible did you come up with that?” If they can’t adequately respond, you have identified a problem that needs correction – you need a disciple-er, not a counselor.

Start With a Basic Premise

Are you a Christian struggling with sin? Is your marriage in a shambles? Are you addicted to alcohol, drugs, or pornography? First things first – are you sure you’re a Christian; you may in fact just be a believer. That is to say you believe in Jesus Christ, but you’re not a follower. It’s the difference between believing in parachutes and actually putting one on and jumping out of an airplane. You might be surprised to learn how many professing Christians only believe in Jesus, but do not adhere to (follow) any of His teachings. Where do we get such a notion? From Jesus. He said…

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do…If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:12 + 15)

Simply put, love for Jesus is revealed in obedience. Conversely, disobedience of the habitual sort is a sure sign you have no love for the Messiah. It’s also a good indicator that you’re not being discipled, or you’re being discipled very poorly, or you’re not paying attention in class.

Discipleship 101

Let’s assume that your salvation is real — did you know you possess the power to not sin? Did you know that sin only imprisons non-believers, but believers have been freed from these bonds?

In regard to your addictions, your failures, and your sinful shortcomings, the shackles have been removed, the jail doors have swung open, and the prison walls have been torn down. You are a free man. Don’t take my word for it, consider the source: God’s Word…

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life… knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:3-4, 6-7)

The last portion gives us this assurance: ‘he who has died (that is to say, the born-again believer/follower of Christ Jesus) is freed from sin.’

“Then,” you may ask, “Why do I still sin?”

The answer is simple: you still have access to your body of sin. In other words, you are freed from the bondage of sin, but you can choose to return to that jail cell if you desire. For this reason the Romans passage exhorts us to constantly consider ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ, and to not let sin reign in our bodies so that we obey its lusts. In other words, remove every sinful thing from our lives. If you’re prone to drink, get rid of the alcohol.  If pornography is your thing, trash the PC. If you can’t control your anger, stop harboring violence on your TV. As Romans 6:13 says…

“Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

Still caught-up in habitual sin?

Then please tell me how you’ve been presenting your members as instruments of righteousness to God?

You know what? You won’t be able to, because you haven’t been. If you’re a chronic sinner, you’re not following Jesus – you’ve dug up your ‘old man’ and performed a little CPR on him. You have revived that which you formerly crucified with Christ. It’s not huge problem though – confession will put him back in the grave.

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:20-23)

For this reason Jesus instructed His students (disciples)…

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

Picking up our cross signifies that by faith we have been baptized into His death. It’s like recalling our baptism everyday. Jesus counsels us to do this daily because He knows our penchant towards sin and earthly pleasure.  The fact that some (many) Christians still have a desire to sin addictively is not news to Him. Jesus is not surprised that bodily pleasure often rules the soul. This is why He tells us beforehand, “Deny yourself and follow Me!”

Does it not make sense that if we’re going to take-up our cross daily, we must first put-down whatever is currently in our hands? The teaching is so elementary. We might recall that Jesus said His teachings are easy and His burden is light. If you do not find this to be the case, then you’re not doing it right! This is discipleship 101 and some of the wisest Biblical counsel you will ever hear!

You’re not a special case and your particular addiction is not unique.”

If you’re struggling with these fundamental doctrines it simply means you need more discipling and you need to start practicing that which you already know. You’re not a special case and your particular addiction is not unique. You’re a sinner just like everybody else and you need to stop doing things your way and start doing things His way. Fire your worldly counselors and seek out some Godly ones through a pastor and church with the same mindset. Find a Bible-thumping, God-fearing church, and jump in feet first. Read your Bible, do your devotions, seek the Lord through prayer, plug-in to church activities, do what Jesus would do in every instance, and pick up that cross every day and hold onto it firmly with two hands.

*If you enjoyed the blog, please like it, share it, subscribe to it, or leave a comment below. If you’re a non-Christian counselor, I’m not here to argue, but please feel free to leave your remarks.

“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:6-11)

Let No Man Deceive You

“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic… No religion condones the killing of innocents.” President Obama, September 10, 2014

The argument that ISIL is not Islamic is ludicrous: every single member of ISIS/ISIL 91014claims to be a true Muslim.  What the president is trying to falsely establish is that ISIS (or ISIL, as he prefers) may say they are Islamic, but they are not. His agenda is to propagate the fictitious tenet that Muslims are a peace-loving people. In the light of massive amounts of horrific evidence to the contrary, that is a boldface lie. The POTUS can repeat the ridiculous comment, “No religion condones the killing of innocents,” until he is blue in the face, but the Islamic Quran contradicts him over one hundred times.  As an alleged student of the Quran, President Obama would know this — according to Islamic doctrine, it condones, supports, and encourages the killing of innocent people.

Reprove Them

You may not be a student of the Qur’an (I’m not, nor do I recommend it), but finding directs quotes from their manual is straightforward. Read these snippets for yourself and you decide if Islam is evil; you determine if the Islamic religion condones the killing of innocents.

  • Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them (2:191)
  • Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an (8:12)
  • Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood (9:123)
  • When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5)
  • Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax  (9:29)
  • Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable (3:85)
  • The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30)
  • Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam. (5:33)
  • Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin (22:19)
  • Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them (47:4)
  • The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65)
  • Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28)
  • Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels (8:60)

Here’s the reality. There ARE peace-loving Muslims, but the REAL Muslims hate them and want to kill them [because] they aren’t true Muslim believers. I would agree — a peace-loving Muslim is a Muslim in name only. In other words, if you are a Muslim and you love Christians, Jews, and the notion of residing in peace with them, you are not following the directives of the Quran, you are a false Muslim – true Muslims kill (or desire to kill) Jews, Christians, and whoever they perceive to be false Muslims. In this particular case these true Muslims have gathered as a militia and collectively call themselves ISIS. They also go by other names, such as: Hamas, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Iranian Revolution, Islam Hadhari, Salafism, Taliban, and Islamic State (IS/ISIL/ISIS)

Who Cares?

So the president lied (again) — what difference does it make? After all, doesn’t the Bible say…

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” (Psalm 37:1-2)

It most certainly does! I’m not calling you to fret, but to be informed. God has reminded us that we are in the last days and there will be those (like our president) preaching peace and security (where there is none), and luring us with their lies towards false gods. We must not slumber, but watch and be sober, and maintain our vigilance for we don’t know the hour of the Lord’s return. We have been called to recognize the signs of our times and to warn others.

Don’t Be Fooled

The president’s words serve to deceive.  Oh not that these (or any) singular remarks unto themselves can change the course of history; no the danger lies in their rapid accumulation. If we allow ourselves to be fooled, or lulled into a false sense of security, or worse, buying into the heresy that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, we will find ourselves in the midst of a one-world government and a one-world religion. Again, don’t fret – these things are inevitable; they are going to occur and we cannot prevent it, but we mustn’t be caught unaware; we must be wise to their development. In these last days we must ramp up our resolve to reckon our flesh dead and to function in and by the Holy Spirit.

People die every day believing the lie – what efforts have we made in seeking the Lord to identify these lost souls and to share with them the truth of the Gospel? Our days are numbered and the lies are heaping up so fast, we quickly forget what the last one was! Be alert, be vigilant, be loving, be bold in your faith, and exercise your religious liberty while it is still a liberty.

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables…be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:2-5)

*DISCLAIMER: It sure sounds like I HATE Muslims. I don’t. I love them. I desire that they repent and turn to Jesus for salvation. I have no desire to kill or behead them if they refuse to believe the truth of the Gospel. I share the message in love, and if they receive and embrace it, good for them! If they don’t, they have been lovingly warned.

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Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep , we should live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10

The Evil Ploy

Terrorism is a psychological tactic of the enemy, the purpose of which is to instill crippling fear in those who have a [real or imagined] personal attachment to its victims. Therefore, the terrorist, given a choice of killing ten men with a gun or savagely beheading just one with a dull knife, will opt for the latter because of its horrifying, emotional impact. Of course modern terrorism has gained greater momentum because there exists a media that will transmit these images around the globe within minutes of their occurrence; audio and video snippets awash with fear-filled analysis from an equally fearful commentator. We watch, we pause a moment to consider the future, and typically, we succumb to this evil ploy of the enemy – we are afraid.

Is there a remedy?

The terrorist knows we will pause to speculate upon the future, trusting our imaginative gaze will likely freeze at a point where his heinous acts could affect us most directly. Oh, he wants us looking forward, but only so far; he wants to keep our projections inside the box; a house of horror designed by satan himself. The enemy also knows if a Christian looks too far into the future, the fear he has will subside and eventually disappear. Therein lies our solution.

We’ve heard it said, “The next time satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.”

To that I say, don’t waste your time; satan knows Bible scripture better than you and I rom 8– he knows perfectly well what his future holds. This time could be better used to remind ourselves what our future holds, skipping over the ‘box’ entirely and gazing full-throttle into eternity, considering the reality of a blessed infinity. Thankfully, the Bible has much to say on the matter (click on the hyperlinks as needed).

First off, we have a future and a hope, our strength will be renewed, our Lord and Savior has overcome and so shall we, and we have a promised rest and a promised inheritance prepared by God Himself! This is no secret, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed…The dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with (us).”

Need more of a glimpse?

Right now we are God’s children and when Jesus appears we shall be like Him. Our citizenship is most assuredly in heaven. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit…the guarantee of our inheritance. We are fellow heirs with Christ Jesus, adopted by God, grafted into the vine, and made the very bride of Christ.

We need not fear!

Remember in Luke 8 how Jesus instructed his disciples to set out in their boat to go over to the other side of the lake? They obeyed, but a great storm came about and they immediately panicked. Jesus said to them, Where is your faith?” Where was their faith indeed! Didn’t Jesus say they were going to cross the lake? Jesus cannot lie. When Jesus tells us that He is going to prepare a place for us, He was telling the truth – like the disciples, we will cross over — where Jesus is, we will be too!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

What do we do in the meantime?

Keep doing what you’re doing (unless of course you’re doing nothing). Go to work, go to school, be a parent, be a friend, be a loving and outspoken Christian, and do it all for the glory of God, praying constantly for opportunities divine, and most importantly ‘teaching all nations (and) baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ Remember, in the darkness of terrorism, you may be the only light in the room.’

Our future is so bright the light of eternity can be seen on our faces, so let’s not cover it with a veil of fear.

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