I was driving to church the other day when a “random” thought, or rather, question, popped into my mind. What if our God was a part time God? Huh? Run that by me again. What if our God was a part time God?

What if sometimes He was astoundingly Almighty as to do the most unimaginable and impossible of miracles and feats; and sometimes so pathetically powerless and inept that even He would be no help or use to us?

What if sometimes He was in the office, ready to take our call, answer our questions, listen to our heart’s cries and prayers, meet us for our scheduled appointment; and sometimes on vacation at a distant galaxy as to leave us high and dry? What if He really wasn’t an ever present help in time of trouble?

What if sometimes He was so loving, understanding, and forgiving, as to forgive our gravest offence and love us still; and sometimes so angry, hateful, and unforgiving as to damn us and leave us in a solitary moment of His Divine anger? What if our God was bipolar and schizophrenic?

By now you should get the picture and see what I’m driving at. What earthly good is a part time God? We wouldn’t have use of such a God because we couldn’t ever depend on Him—not really. Not consistently.

No, we want a reliable, dependable, unchanging, full time God who’ll always be there, always be present, always be strong and invincible, always be loving, always be forgiving, always be attentive to our prayer, always be our help and hope in time of need.


Then the Lord chimed in, How do you think I feel about a part time Christian? Ouch. No need to repeat the question, Lord. I hear You. Loud and clear.

Sometimes we’re such a model of what a Christian should be that, in a prideful moment, we think we’re an angel. Then, on a turn of a dime, we’re about as nasty and mean as nasty and mean can be.

Sometimes we’re so forgiving towards our child or close friend. But nowhere near as forgiving—in fact the exact opposite—when it comes to a stranger, coworker, or casual acquaintance.

Sometimes we’re so on fire for the Lord that all we can think and talk about is the Lord; we think, live, and breathe the Lord. Then sometimes it’s like the devil turns his fire extinguisher on us and gets us so stone cold, so callused, towards God that He’s nowhere in our thoughts or desires.

Sometimes we’re so dedicated to God that we show up in church every time the doors open and imbibe all that God’s giving us through the church. Then sometimes we’d go for weeks and months not knowing what the inside of the church looks like.

Part time Christians. That’s what a lot of us are. Thankfully, not everyone. If you’re full time, I truly thank God for that. But, at the moment, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the rest of us who are awesomely full time, sometimes; and pathetically part time, maybe most of the time.

Would we like it if our God was a part time God? No way! We wouldn’t put up with such a God. We’d dump Him in a heartbeat.

If God was like us—thank God He isn’t!—He’d dump us too. In a heartbeat! After all, what good is a part time Christian when God’s looking for, when He’s needing, a full time Christian?

Amazingly, God puts up with us part time Christians. Why is that? It’s because His goodness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). God’s giving us time, lots of time, and showering us with His goodness, His mercies, His love, because He’s longing for a time when we’ll reciprocate and give Him all our love, all of our hearts, all of our thoughts, all of our strength, all of our life.

God isn’t like us. He isn’t part time. And I, for one, am so thankful He isn’t.


Not too long ago I was thinking about the many things Jesus did and the many things He could have done with the power that was His as the Son of God. But the one thing He couldn’t do was raise Himself back to life. A dead man has no power to come back to life. If the dead are to live again it will have to be by the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit of God. It was the Spirit, you see, that brought Jesus back to life, Romans 8:11. Christ was dependent on the Spirit to make Him live again. How we need the Spirit in our life to give us life and keep us in the path of life. Don’t fight, reject, quench, or resist the Holy Spirit. Your life is in His hands and you need Him to live. To reject Him and live for Self is spiritual suicide and death, Romans 8:13.


1 Peter 1:12 talks about the gospel and the plan of salvation that’s been revealed to men by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Angels want to know more about the plan of salvation. They don’t know about it because it doesn’t apply to them. The plan of salvation applies to men, not angels. To them, salvation is a wonderful thing. It arrests their attention; it arouses their interest; it piques their curiosity. So they live with the longing to know more, to investigate and look into, this wonderful gospel of salvation.

Why did God choose to save sinful men, but not sinful angels? Both men and angels are rational beings with a mind to think freely. They both have free will to choose to obey God or disobey Him; free will to follow Lucifer, or stay true to God (Isaiah 14:12-14, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6).

Both have bodies, though of a different sort or composition. If Adam had not sinned, death would not have entered the world. Adam and Eve, and their posterity, would have lived endlessly without suffering, sickness, or death. Because of sin, their bodies became subject to death. Angels live endlessly. When many of them sinned against God and followed Lucifer in his rebellion against God, their bodies, I’m sure, underwent change. For those of us who’ve seen demons and angels, demons don’t look anywhere near as nice or angelic as angels. They’re rather ugly, frightful creatures (Revelation 9:1-10). And it’s certain that God did not make them this way. They became what they are now because of their rebellion. So their bodies changed appearance, but, unlike men, they didn’t become subject to death. They live endlessly in a tormented existence.

Good angels are ministering beings that assist believers (Psalm 91:11, Hebrews 1:14). They’re with us here on Earth, though, for the most part, they’re unseen by us. They have free will and a mind. They see things. When they see a man and woman kiss, do they long to know this sort of love? When they see a man and woman consummate their love, do they long to feel such oneness, and wonder, and ecstasy? When they see a family playing together and having gobs of fun, when they hear the laughter of children, when they see the tight hugs of parents and children; do the angels long to experience such happiness and joy? These God-sent angels see countless things, both good and bad. Do they ever wonder what it would be like to be human? Do they ever covet, or envy, being human? Can these good angels sin at any time, being tempted by all the enticements of humanity? Are good angels sinning right now and becoming damned demons?

I don’t know the answer to these questions. I just know that, for whatever reasons, God—in His sovereignty—decided not to save sinful angels or demons. He chose to provide salvation for sinful men, conditioned on their faith and repentance. But He made no such provision for demons. He extended no such offer to fallen angels. Demons live without the hope of redemption and salvation from hell. Fallen, sinful angels live tormented with the fact that they’ll never know the heavenly bliss they once knew many eons ago. They live eternally damned without hope.

That’s why I’m glad I’m not an angel. If I was, would I have followed Lucifer or God? If, as an angel, I see all the things humans do, would I follow suit and sin in the process? I don’t know. Do you? What would you have done if you were an angel? I look at myself today and ask, Do you know how temptable I am? You ought to know because I’m just as human as you are. We’ll all temptable. We’ve all fallen at some time or another. As humans, we at least have a chance at repentance, forgiveness, and salvation. We have a shot at Heaven. But for angels that sin even once, they have no such chance. They had their chance and they blew it. Now they live tormented for all eternity without the hope of redemption or reconciliation. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. I wouldn’t want to take that chance. Yeah, I’m thankful I wasn’t created an angel. Infinitely more, I’m thankful for a God who loves me immeasurably. He made a way for me—and countless others—to be saved. Because of Him and the Christ who died for our redemption, we can spend eternity with Him. Yes, the human experience is filled with tears and troubles. Heartaches and pain. But as long as I have hope of Heaven, I’ll always be thankful I’m human and not an angel.

dummer den devils

I was reading some of James the other morning when my entire being was transfixed by the familiar verse, Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble (James 2:19).

The word tremble literally means what it means: to tremble, to shudder with fear, to be really really afraid that it shakes you up good.

I got to thinking about why the devils would tremble. They not only believe—they know for a fact—that there’s only one true God. They know that the Devil they follow is not the one true God. They know the vast extent and power of God. They know His great wrath. They know their ultimate end in the Bottomless Pit and Lake of Fire. They know where they’re going and they know they’ll be spending eternity locked away in torment without any hope of escape, redemption, or relief. They know what’s coming. They know what’s ahead. And they shudder in fear.

Sadly, a lot of people have no such faith, knowledge, or fear. They don’t fear God because they don’t believe He exists. For them, there’s no Hell. Death ends it all. There is literally nothing to be afraid of. So we’re told. Regrettably, and tragically, they’re wrong. And in this way, they show themselves to be dumber than devils. God have mercy. Help us not to be this dumb.


As we grow older and we go through life’s manifold experiences and trials; as our bodies go through the degenerative aging process; I’ve learned this much—we all need the Lord. Every human being without exception needs the Lord.  Not everyone realizes, acknowledges, or accepts this basic fact of life. Many live and die rejecting God and ridiculing the absurd notion of God. As far as they’re concerned, they have no need for God. I am so glad to be contrarily minded.

  • When we’re sick in a serious way, we need God to heal us.
  • When the doctors give us no hope, we need God to fill us with hope.
  • When we’re confronted with life’s greatest fears, we need God to calm our fears and fill our mind with His peace and the knowledge that everything’s going to be alright. He’ll take care of us.
  • When the tragedies of life overtake us and our soul is disconsolate with grief, we need God to bring peace to our troubled soul.
  • When we’re tormented and driven to insanity by our inner demons, we need God to set us free and give us rest.
  • When the trials of life assail us on every side and we just can’t find any reason to hold on and live, we need God to shine the sun of His love upon us and show us a better morning coming.
  • When everything we’ve tried just isn’t working and we’re at our wits’ end to find an answer or solution, we need God to give us wisdom and show us the way.
  • When we’re confronted with so many conflicting opinions, beliefs, and philosophies—each one sounding singularly good and right; we need God to show us the light of truth and deliver us from the damning lies of men and demons.
  • When we’re driven to the point of despair and hopelessness where taking our life is the only remedy we know; we need God to intervene and stop us. We need Him to give us hope and a reason to live for just one more moment. And for each moment after that.
  • When our strength is gone and we lie at the mercies of others to care for us, we need God to fill us with strength beyond our years; and if not that, then to give us a sense of our dignity and worth.
  • When our mind fails and leaves us, we need God to be with us still and let us know He’ll not leave or forsake us.
  • When we’re staring death in the face and are on the verge of passing into “The Great Unknown,” we need God to let us know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He’ll be there to usher us into a better world and a better life.
  • Finally, when our life is over and we stand before the Judgment Seat of God, as every human being will surely stand; we need God to be merciful to us and grant us a place in glory. How we’ll need Him to deliver us from a pained and tormented eternity in the fires of Hell—indescribable pain for time without end. O how we all need the Lord!

I am blest to believe in God and to be His child. I am a recipient of God’s many, and daily, mercies. Yes, I’ve known life’s many trials and I’ve cried my share of tears. But God’s been there for me and I’ve made it this far because He’s borne me in His arms of love. I face an unknown, uncertain future. But this much I know. God will be there for me. And, with Him by my side, I can face what lies ahead with peace, hope, and joy in knowing that He’ll never leave, fail, or forsake me. I praise Him. And yes, I need Him. As much, and more, now than ever before.


And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, {40}  And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. {41}  Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, {42}  He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. Matthew 27:39-42

I started teaching Bible while I was still in Junior High School on the island of Guam. I taught mainly in our church youth group. It wasn’t until I was in High School that Pastor William Rife (this is Francesca Preston’s dad for all my fb friends) would, on occasion, ask me to preach to the entire church from the pulpit.

I remember very well one Sunday Morning service when I preached from the text of Scripture cited above. The sermon centered on the fact that, while the religious leaders wanted Jesus to come down from the cross, Jesus nevertheless stayed on there—and died—to save us. We’re saved…because He stayed. That was the gist of my sermon. And I used it to ask the congregation if we’re staying on the cross, or else, giving in to the religious leaders and coming down from the cross. I guess I could almost preach that sermon here. It was that good, praise God.

I bring this up in my Musings only because of what happened after the sermon. It was something totally unexpected, even unseen, in our little Barrigada church. I gave an altar call and, to my utter surprise, it seemed like the whole church came forward and kneeled at the altar. There were at least three rows deep of folks who came, mostly to rededicate their lives to God. Most touching and heartfelt of all, my mother came to the altar and had her a good talk with God.

It was a life-defining moment for me as I saw the power of a sermon to change lives and make a positive impact or difference in the lives of people. I have to admit it was a good feeling. Almost like a feel-good kind of drug that makes you want to have more. No, I’ve never been after the feeling. I’m not looking for a feeling, as good as the feeling may be. But since that time, I’ve always wanted to preach sermons that touch people’s lives. Sermons that make a difference. Sermons that will be long remembered by the people for what it did for them.

Anyways, back to my Musings, after the last soul got up from the altar and returned to the pews, I closed the service with that ole familiar hymn, Blessed Assurance. What a rousing, anointed closing song that was—both for me and the entire congregation. We sang our hearts out as tears flowed freely from our eyes. God was good that day and we had us a good old-fashioned meeting with God Himself.

Maybe now, in the autumn of my life, God will give me another soul-stirring, life-changing sermon and we’ll have us another chance to sing that familiar refrain…this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.


Recently, in preparation for a  forthcoming blog on Free Will and Christian Liberty or Freedom, I was thinking about how God created us as free moral creatures. We are created with the freedom to make our own decisions. With the capacity to choose what we will. Since we are created in the image of God, then, in a single moment of time and Divine illumination, I saw that God Himself is a free moral Being. He has free will. And He has the freedom or capacity to choose evil and sin if He wanted to. Of course, we’re trained to think that God can’t do that, it’s impossible for Him to do that, because He’s God. He’s totally righteous. And He would never choose to sin. Therein is the point. He would never choose to sin—not because He can’t. The fact of the matter is, He can if He wanted to because He has free will. No one’s forcing Him to be sinless. No one’s stopping Him from sinning. God wouldn’t, He doesn’t, choose to sin because He chooses to be—and remain—absolutely righteous, pure, and free from sin. He’s sinless by an act of His will, by a choice He makes.

Just think how profoundly human life and history would be changed if God, like Satan, chose to sin. We wouldn’t have a just, righteous God. We wouldn’t have a true, infallible Word on which to base our faith and hope. We wouldn’t have a Savior. We wouldn’t have salvation. We would be doomed to an endless eternity in Hell. Why? Because a sinful God cannot save anyone, including Himself. As the Biblical story of Christ teaches us, IT TOOK A SINLESS SAVIOR TO SAVE US FROM SIN. IF GOD CHOSE TO SIN AT ANY TIME–IN THE INFINITE SPAN OF TIME THAT ETERNITY IS–WE WOULD ALL BE DOOMED!

Our present quality of life and future eternal well-being hinge on God choosing not to sin. Thank you, God, for not ever choosing to sin. We’re saved and we have a hope because You always choose to be holy, sinless, and right. Help us, O God, to be like You. Help us choose not to sin.


Hell is no picnic. I always marvel at how many people don’t care that that’s where they’re going when their life is over. They act like Hell doesn’t exist. If they say it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. It’s as simple as that to them. I wish it were that simple. But God is true. And everything He’s said about Hell is true. It doesn’t matter that I’ve never been there. I’ve never seen it. I can’t prove it exists. But, then, no one can prove it doesn’t. So I guess it’s either your word or mine. I say it exists because God says it does and I believe God. I guess we’ll all find out for sure once we die. But I sure hate to find out the hard way. That’s why I choose to live my life doing everything I can to stay out of Hell.

I don’t like pain. And Hell is pain like you’ve never known. Like you’ve never imagined. It’s so painful that you don’t even know what pain is till you get there. I can’t believe you want to go there.

Here on Earth you hurt a little. So what do you do? You take a pain killer. You run to the doctor to take the pain away. You want to feel better. Right away! Come on. Be honest with me. You don’t want pain. You don’t like pain. Well, Hell is pain. And there ain’t no pain killers in Hell. It’s one excruciating pain like you’ve never known before. And it never goes away, it never gets better, it never never ends.

If you’re smart, like you say you are, you’ll do everything you can to stay clear of that damnable place. It starts with receiving Jesus as your Savior. He died to save you from Hell, so that you won’t have to go there, but go to Heaven instead. Now that’s where you really want to be!

Anyways, getting back to Hell, there are different places where the damned go after they die. Hell as we know it is the same as Hades or Sheol. It’s a place of torment where wicked men go right after they die. Jesus gives us a graphic picture of what it’s like in Luke 16:23-26,  And in hell the rich man lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  (24)  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  (25)  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  (26)  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. So there’s fire, flame, and heat in Hell. What’s more, you’re going to be conscious and alive in Hell. You’re going to be able to feel. And think. And talk. Just like you do right now. So if you think you’re going to sleep forever and not feel a thing after you die, you’d better think again. God says you will. Hell is a place of torment where you’re not going to get any kind of relief whatsoever.

Besides Hell, there’s a place called Gehenna or the Lake of Fire. Hell, you might say, is temporary in a sense. There’s a time coming when the damned and wicked are going to get resurrected and stand in judgment before God. This judgment hasn’t yet occurred. The dead in Hell haven’t yet been judged. Revelation 20:11-15 tells us this. Anyways, when the wicked are finally judged by God, they, of course, will be found guilty. And they’ll be sent to their final place of punishment which will be forever. That’s where the wicked are going to spend eternity. In the Lake of Fire. If you can imagine a huge fire burning with flames reaching as high as the eye can see, if you can imagine being in the middle of this fire and not ever get burned up or die, you’ll live forever in the fire, feel it, and not ever get a nanosecond of reprieve or relief; you’ll get a small idea of what this fearful, gruesome Lake of Fire  is going to be like. It’s going to hurt bad—so bad that Hell is going look like a picnic in comparison.  

Besides Hell and the Lake of Fire, there’s a place call Tartarus. There’s only one place where it’s mentioned in the New Testament, in 2 Peter 2:4 where the word is translated ‘Hell’. Tartarus is where the angels who sinned before Earth was created are locked up. It’s a prison. And it’s a place of total darkness, Jude 6 & 13.  One of these days, they too, just like men, are going to be judged by God and sent to their eternal place of punishment which will be the Lake of Fire.

The Bible also talks about a place of outer darkness. I’m not sure where this place is. It may be Tartarus. Or it may be a compartment of Hell where darkness—not fire and heat—is the main instrument of punishment and torture. Maybe it’s the Abyss that we’ll be looking at next. Anyways, Jesus talked about this place in Matthew 8:12, 22:13 and 25:30. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be in total darkness? Where you can’t see a single thing? That’s scary for a lot of people. In this place of darkness, Jesus says, people are going to cry, scream, and gnash their teeth. It’s pure misery and torment.

Lastly, there’s a place called the Abyss or the Bottomless Pit. Revelation 9 and 20 talks about this place. It may be the same place as Tartarus, but I’m not sure. All I know is what the Bible says about it. It’s a bottomless hole where bad angels are confined. It’s a prison. They can’t get out. There’s a door, or a gateway, that can be opened from the outside. And Jesus has the Key. During Tribulation, the prison door of the Abyss is going to be opened and a whole host of these bad boys are going to be let loosed on the Earth to really mess men up bad. But until that time comes, they’re locked away in this place of darkness and torment. Now, for some people, darkness isn’t that big a deal. It’s not pain, torment, or suffering, like Hell and the Lake of Fire are to people. But for these fallen angels, being confined in darkness and not having any place to go is their Hell. They absolutely hate it and dread it.

All the demons know about the Abyss. Let me back track for just a moment here and say that not every bad angel is in Tartarus or the Abyss right now. Some bad angels, by God’s permission, were not sent to their prison hole, but were allowed to roam throughout the Earth and the universe to do their thing—which is make trouble for men. These bad angels are demons. And there are an awful lot of them on Earth today, possessing people and making people do all sorts of really bad things.

Anyways, back to the Abyss. Every demon that’s roaming loose outside the Abyss know about the Abyss. They know it exists. They know what it’s like there. And they don’t want to go there. Luke 8:26-31 tells us this. And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.  (27)  And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.  (28)  When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.  (29)  (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)  (30)  And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.  (31)  And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

Now this word deep in verse 31 is the Abyss. The demons weren’t talking about the deepest part of the Sea. They were talking about the Abyss. So with this in mind, let’s read the verse again: And the demons besought Jesus that He would not command them to go out into the Abyss. You see, the Abyss, the demons’ Hell, is so bad that even demons don’t want to go there! They know the Abyss is real. They know what it’s like there. And they don’t want to go there.

It seems to me that an awful lot of people just aren’t as smart as demons. They just don’t care about going to Hell. They will. Believe me. They will once they get there. Folks, don’t join the crowds that are rushing to get into Hell. You won’t like it there. Believe me. You won’t. Get saved. Give your life to Jesus. Serve Him. You’ll agree. Heaven’s a lot better place to spend forever.


While studying through the Book of Acts recently, an old, familiar question came to mind: Did Saul ever meet the Lord personally prior to his conversion? He says nothing of it, so, as a matter of conjecture, I don’t think he did. However, because Saul was a self-proclaimed defender of the Jewish faith and defended it zealously to the death, I think it’s highly likely that Saul saw the Lord and heard Him speak on occasion in Jerusalem prior to His crucifixion. As adamantly opposed as Saul was to the followers of Jesus, I personally think, again as a matter of conjecture, that Saul was present at Jesus’ trial and was numbered among those who called for His death and crucifixion. It is inconceivable for me to think otherwise.

Be that as it may, Saul was so totally convinced that he was right: Jesus of Nazareth was definitely not the promised Messiah; He was a deceiver who threatened to lead the entire Jewish nation away from the teachings and traditions of Israel’s esteemed rabbis; Jesus, His teachings, and His followers needed to be eradicated and stamped out!

But all this changed one day on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Saul “met” the Lord personally, believed in Him, and went on to become the leading evangelist and apologist of the very Church that he once sought to kill and destroy. Meeting the Lord personally changed his entire belief system. It changed his vocation from devoted Pharisee to devoted Christian. It changed his life forever.

Meeting the Lord personally has this drastic, life-changing impact as many of us can testify. Let me hasten to say that not every one who meets the Lord personally believes in Him. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day is ample proof of this tragic fact. But for those of us who are ordained unto eternal life, an encounter with the living Christ changed us forever. And it’s still changing us to this day. The point I’m trying to make, based on Saul’s conversion, is this. (Remember that I’m only talking about those who are preordained by God to eternal life.) WHEN YOU MEET THE LORD YOU BECOME A CHANGED PERSON. YOU BECOME A BELIEVER. You espouse the Person, doctrines, and lifestyle that you once hated, rejected, and opposed. Your Damascus Road becomes the beginning of a changed life.

In a sort of way, EVERYONE WHO MEETS THE LORD BECOMES A BELIEVER. Hear me out because I’m not being contradictory or heretical here. James 2:16 reads, Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. The Devil and his demons believe many truths that countless humans reject. They believe in God. They believe Jesus is the Son of God. They know that salvation is found only in Christ. They know the Bible’s true. And more. But for all their knowing and believing, the Devil and his demons aren’t saved because they’ve chosen to reject the very Person they believe. So, in a manner of speaking, the Devil and his demons are believers, but damned believers because of their rejection of Christ.

Like the Devil and his demons, every human being at the moment of death and continuing endlessly to the Day of Judgment and Eternal Punishment, becomes a believer. They finally meet the Lord face to face and realize, all too late, that what the Bible says is true after all. There is only one true God and one true, saving religion. Jesus is the Son of God. He is the only way to God and Heaven. There is a Heaven and there is a Hell. There is life after death. There is eternal torment and suffering in store for all those who refuse to believe in Jesus and who live defiantly and disobediently to the moral precepts of God’s Word. In a word, AT THE MOMENT OF DEATH AND ETERNALLY THEREAFTER, THE LOST AND THE UNSAVED BECOME BELIEVERS…BUT BELIEVERS TOO LATE. They refused to become believers while alive on the Earth. And so, as a Divine consequence, they become damned believers for all eternity in Hell and the Lake of Fire.

Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus is sobering proof of this sad and profound truth. The parable is found in Luke 16:19-31 if you’d like to read it. I encourage you to read it. It’s convincing proof of my contention that all men will eventually become believers. Some believe before they die and henceforth live forever with the Lord, even after death. And some believe after they die and henceforth live damned and tormented forever after. But this one thing is sure: THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS OR AGNOSTICS IN HELL. FORMER ATHEISTS AND AGNOSTICS, YES. BUT IN HELL THEY ARE NOW BELIEVERS. BUT BELIEVERS TOO LATE.

Seeing therefore that all of us will, sooner or later, eventually, become believers; the goal is to become believers now—while we’re alive—lest we die in unbelief and become believers too late. Hell is a million times more hellish than you can imagine. It is your absolute worst nightmare, only a million times multiplied. Take the worst pain you’ve ever felt, multiply it a million times, and you’ll have just a faint notion of what the suffering in  Hell is like. It’ll definitely be worse than that once you get there. Hell is irreversible. There is no way out. I do not wish this fate for anyone. If you don’t believe in Jesus right now, please reverse course and give your life to Him while you have a chance to do so. Mark my word. You’ll end up believing Him anyway. But if you wait too long to believe, then, after you die, you will be a believer too late. A damned believer. Friend, don’t let this tragic fate be yours.

Life-Changing Images: Conversational Carnage

I’m not gifted with visions. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a vision. What I have had, though, are a handful of really powerful mental images or pictures that the Lord has given me. They’re all so vivid and all of them have had such a profound, life-changing effect on me. Here’s one of them.

Sometime during my pastoral ministry, as I was teaching on the tongue, the Lord allowed me to see a heart-rending scene that has haunted me ever since.  In this scene I was a witness and bystander.  Two men were standing apart at a distance, as in a duel. One of the men pulled out a gun and summarily shot the other man in the head. As the wounded man fell to the ground, I ran frantically to assist him. As I sat on the ground and held him in my arms, I was crying and screaming. The man’s brains were spilling out of his skull. Blood was gushing out at a furious pace. I was rapidly becoming a bloody mess. But I was nowhere near as pitiful as the dying man who laid there, powerless to resist the inevitable reality that now faced him: he’d be dead within a minute. I felt so utterly powerless to save him. As I sat there crying, trying to comfort the dying man, the murderer, still at a distance, walked away.  He never saw—not close up—the carnage and bloodbath that I now held in my hands. He didn’t see the gory mess, he didn’t feel the pained emotions, that were a direct result of his pulling the trigger. He just shot and then walked away.

When we say an unkind word—a critical, judgmental, hateful word, a false accusation, an untruth, an unloving word—we are like the murderer. We just shoot at the mouth, then walk away without really seeing all the pain, suffering, and damage that our hurtful words inflict. Brethren, as long as you shoot and walk away, you never really know the full extent of the hurt and damage you’ve inflicted. And it’s what keeps you shooting time and time again. You can keep on shooting, keep on hurting, keep on killing, because you never really see what a wounded, dying person goes through after you’ve shot them. But when you as a murderer linger around, come up close, and see the damage for yourself, hopefully, you’ll change. Hopefully you’ll cry in anguish at the pain you’ve caused and the life you’ve taken. And, hopefully, you’ll change. Friends, we all have got to quit shooting and killing one another. We’ve killed too many people already. Ours is a ministry—not of death, but of life.  Put the gun away and help me bandage up the wounded. Together, let’s work to save a life. That’s what we’ve been called to do.

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