The Best Free Book About God Answers Many Questions About God

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Best Free Book About God "Hard to Believe?" Part 1 Chapter 6



 The Lies: Christianity is illogical, unfair, irrelevant and powerless


Because of what Jesus accomplished, the Holy Spirit is now actively influencing the lives of people throughout the world, leading them to a revelation of God's plan of redemp­tion, and then encouraging them to obtain the gift of eternal life by faith - not just a superficial faith which intellec­tually acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior - rather, a saving faith which is procured by the Holy Spirit and involves an act of will and a conscious commitment to follow Jesus.

A prerequisite of this faith is the realization of one's desperate need for a Savior.  A person has to admit that he or she is a sinner before they can earnestly seek a remedy for their con­dition.  Why?  If a person has no realization of sin, then that person will fail to recognize any real need for a Savior. Therefore, the Holy Spirit influences the lives of people to create an awareness of God's supreme ethical standards and to demonstrate within the human conscience how each person vio­lates those standards.  This He accomplishes through various means.

Once there is an admission of guilt, then people must be willing and desirous to regain a proper relationship with God. They must be willing to allow God to remold their lives and transform them into the image of His Son, Jesus.  This attitude involves a decision which the Bible refers to as "repentance." Repentance has a twofold meaning.  It not only means to feel regret for past actions, it also means "to change one’s mind." It comes from an ancient military command which meant to do an "about face."  God asks that we do a mental "about face" by consciously turning our focus of attention away from sin and the old self-centered way of life unto Jesus Christ, who will lead us into a new, abundant life.

To realize who Jesus is and what He has done is essential to salvation, but, such knowledge alone does not constitute a "saving faith."  Each person must also act upon that knowledge by recognizing and admitting his or her own personal guilt and need of a Savior.  Each individual must then consciously turn to Jesus for forgiveness of sins and eternal life and each must also be willing to follow Jesus.  Unfortunately, it is this one prerequisite of faith that prevents many people from obtaining eternal life.

Many people recognize who Jesus is and what He has done. They acknowledge the existence of sin and the need for for­giveness.  But, many who do so have no desire to change! They would rather continue to indulge in their sin, acting as their own "gods" and living according to their own lusts, instead of seeking a renewed relationship with God which is realized when one submits to the Lordship of Christ and makes a sincere commitment to know and serve Jesus.  Our commitment to Jesus is the means by which our volitional relationship with God is re-established.  It is a commitment that merely involves an act of will and is not dependent upon good works or self-sacrifices.  Because of the power of sin, we may not feel that we are able to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God but we must at least be willing to do so.  God will honor our willingness by giving us more ability day by day as we enter into a closer relationship with Jesus.  God wants us to want Him, and our relationship with Jesus demon­strates our desire for fellowship with God.

Since Jesus is revealed as the narrow "way" which leads to God, it is reasonable to assume that those of us who really believe this, and desire fellowship with God, will be committed to follow this "Pathway" no matter how many obsta­cles we may encounter.  The journey may not always be easy, but, God ensures us that He will personally provide suffi­cient strength to overcome any hindrances along the way.  He also reassures us that the rewards and comforts along the path will far outweigh any hardships.  Even when we stumble or stray from the path (as we invariably will) the forgiving Savior will be anxiously willing and able to pick us up and lead us in the right direction.

God's path is safe and it is accessible to all people. Those who commit themselves to the path, regardless of how fast or how far they may journey, receive God's free gift of eternal life at the very moment they step foot on the pathway to heaven.  However, there is only one way that we can gain entry to this path, and that way is through Jesus Christ because Jesus said:  "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6).

We gain access to God and obtain His free gift of eter­nal life by consciously acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the eternal Lord and Savior of mankind who paid a supreme price for the sins of all people by suffering and dying upon a cross on our behalf.  We must then realize and admit to God that we have been guilty of violating His perfect righteous standards and are unable to live up to His requirements by our own strength and power.  Having done this, if we consci­ously submit our lives to Jesus, seeking His unlimited forgiveness and desiring to live a life that will be pleasing to God; the very spirit of the Lord will come to dwell within us and seal us with the gift of eternal life.

At this point we become "born again" because God implants within us His Spirit, and a new nature which enables us to understand spiritual truths and apply those truths to our lives.  Our own spirits, which were previously dead to God, receive a new breath of life.


God's Satisfaction


Because of our faith and trust in Jesus, God is able to have fellowship with us once more, because His divine attributes of justice and righteousness do not have to be compromised. His justice was satisfied by Jesus on the cross of Calvary and His standards of righteousness were met by the life and resurrection of Jesus.  Just as we receive by faith, the benefits of Christ's death on our behalf, we likewise receive the benefits of Christ's righteous life and resurrection by faith.

The Apostle Paul wrote:  "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.  For as through one man's disobedience (Adam's) the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of one (Jesus) the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:18, 19).  The Bible says that we become "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3) and that Christ's righteousness is imputed to us on the basis of faith alone.  (Philippians 4:9; Romans 4:20-25).  It also says:  "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the right­eousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).

Although we temporarily still have a sinful nature within us, a nature that rebels against the ways of God; fortunately God no longer looks upon that old nature because the debt of all its sinfulness has been paid for with the blood of Jesus. According to the Bible our old nature was crucified with Jesus on the cross of Calvary and our old nature has been pronounced dead by God.  Now, God only looks upon the new nature of the believer which is the expression of Christ's life within us.    Understanding this, the Apostle wrote:  "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law (good works), then Christ died needlessly" (Galatians 2:20, 21).


The Persistent Enemy


The resurrected life is implanted like a small "seed" that will only grow and flourish as we nourish it with "spiritual food."  Satan will try to stir up the old nature within us to prevent us from obtaining the spiritual food that is essential to proper Christian growth because he knows that any spiritual growth and maturity will ultimately culmi­nate in the propagation of the Gospel and a fruitful increase of more dedicated Christians.  Because of this, he may work to arouse our old lusts, or, he may try to dissuade us from prayer and meditation upon the Lord and His Word.  He may try to discourage us from meeting with other Christians; and, he will especially try to destroy our faith in God's Word - parti­cularly His promise of forgiveness and eternal life.

Remember, a death blow was dealt to Satan and all that is evil by Jesus Christ; however, the devil is desperately struggling to resist the finality of his inevitable demise. He is lashing back at God with the fervor of a dying man who struggles for his last breaths because he thinks that his lying efforts will somehow nullify the plans of God.  As previously mentioned his only means of fighting against God is to focus his attacks upon god's beloved creatures, espe­cially those who would come to God for salvation.

Although some battles may indeed occur within our lives, as Christians we shouldn't be dismayed because "greater Is He who is in you (Jesus) than he who is in the world (Satan)" (I John 4:4).  It is God's war and He provides us with the necessary weapons and defenses to emerge as His victorious soldiers.  And, as we continue to rely upon Him, He will lead us from "victory to victory and from glory to glory."

We become "more than conquerors" in Christ (Romans 8:37); not by our own strength but by His spirit (Zechariah 4:6). Remember, no matter how intensely or how relentlessly the bat­tles of life may rage, the onslaughts of the enemy will not prevail against a committed relationship with Jesus because "If God is for us, who can be against us?"  (Romans 8:31). Even when circumstances appear hopeless, God will provide strength to overcome those circumstances because God's pur­pose for us is to joyously prosper in all areas of life.  Jesus said:  "The thief (Satan) comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10),

Jesus will provide an inner joy and comfort that nobody can ever take away (John 14:27; John 17:22).  He also promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  Therefore, God wants us to rely upon His many promises of a victorious life in Christ, regardless of what circumstances may dictate.


The Importance of Faith


The greatest defense we have as soldiers in God's army is our faith.  The Bible tells us to take up "the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flam­ing missiles of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16).  In another New Testament letter, the Apostle John wrote:  "... and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith" (I John 5:4).  Jesus often stressed the importance and power of faith throughout His ministry because faith is the quality upon which God wants to establish our relationship with Him; but, He wants our faith to be an objective faith that is grounded in His Word and founded upon the person of Jesus Christ.  Faith that exists apart from Jesus is merely subjec­tive and amounts to nothing more than "positive thinking.”  Although positive thinking is good, and extremely powerful, it cannot achieve the salvation of a person who rejects Jesus Christ, nor can it compare to the God-given faith that stems from a personal relationship with the Omnipotent Creator. Faith is an expression of our love and trust in God and, ac­cording to the Bible:  "... without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

God could reveal Himself to the entire world with a loud voice and a visible manifestation of His awesome glory but, unfortunately, such an appearing would not necessarily lead people into a relationship of deep love and trust.  This fact was established with the Nation of Israel in the record of the Old Testament. No matter how many times God appeared to Israel and performed mighty miracles, there were always those who soon slipped into doubt and mistrust whenever circumstances seemed unfavorable.  Many of those who were awestruck by the radiant-glory of God later turned to "gods" of wood and stone because their faith and love was superficial.  Their relation­ship depended upon a gratification of the five senses or an arousing of their emotions.

God has, and still does use various supernatural means to provide proof of His power and existence.  He still appeals to the human emotions and intellect in order to draw the at­tention of people unto Himself.  However, His main purpose for using various means to reach people is to ultimately establish a proper relationship with them.

Unfortunately, there is an element within sinful man that always seeks for greater excitement of the senses and the emotions because things which at first seem exciting to us soon become commonplace.  For example, the thrill of driving a new car soon diminishes and sometimes even our interesting relationships with other people can become boring.  The truth is, if God visibly appeared to every person in the world every single day, there would undoubtedly be many who would soon take His appearing for granted and seek to become their own "gods" as Adam and Eve did.  This fact is obvious because we live in a complex, organized universe that is permeated with evidence of a creator and designer, yet, millions of people say that “there is no God.”  Many people have taken God's innumerable proofs and manifestations of His existence for granted and demand further evidences before they will even consider a relationship with Him.  Others search diligently for answers to justify their disbelief in the God of the Bible because inwardly they really want nothing to do with Him.

God wants to abundantly satisfy all the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of His children.  Indeed, His heaven will provide an ever-increasing joyful existence for those who will dwell there.  He wants to give His children good gifts and establish a relationship that is marked by His constant pre­sence , but, He doesn't want that relationship to be solely built and dependent upon that foundation alone!  Would an earthly father want a "love" relationship with his children that was dependent solely upon a continuous showering of gifts which appease the senses?  Or, would he want to have chil­dren who completely forgot about him and all his constructive rules every time he had to be away from them?  Obviously not, that is why the Lord often tests our relationship with Him.

God is in the process of developing a love within His children that transcends the realm of superficiality.  After all, which is a deeper love, one which is based only upon a person's power, appearance, and generosity or one which is based upon a person's inner nature and total character?  God has revealed much about His nature and character in the conscience of each individual, in the beauty of His creation, through the witness of His many servants, and in the testimony of His written word.  He has granted a sufficient amount of proof of His existence.  And He has made this information readily available to all people on earth.

Although human minds have been infected by sin and are basically alienated from God's pure unadulterated truth, God does at least insure that each individual receives enough truth to act as a stimulus to discovering greater truth.  Those who honestly acknowledge the limited evidences of God's ex­istence will be shown even greater evidences of His existence.  Those who accept and respond to God's limited revelations of Himself will be progressively  led into deeper revelations; including His plan of redemption through Jesus Christ.

Our walk with God depends greatly upon faith and trust in Him.  By our faith we demonstrate our love for God even if we do not visibly detect His presence or even if our circum­stances appear to be against us.  The entire Bible is pervaded with numerous demonstrations of this type of faith in God.  For example, when the patriarch, Abraham, was seventy five years old, God promised him that he and his wife Sarah would conceive a child although they had been unable to do so throughout their many years of marriage.  Both Abraham and Sarah were long past the physiological age limits of fertility.  Yet, when Abraham was one hundred years old, Sarah gave birth to their promised child.

The Apostle Paul, in reference to this event stated:  "In hope against hope he (Abraham) believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.’  And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able to perform.  Therefore also IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Romans 4:18-22).

The writer of the book of Hebrews likewise endeavors to cite many examples of faith in God.  He states for example:  "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out things which are visible" . . .  "By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith" . . .  "By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised" . . . .  "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, 'IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.'  He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type" . . .  "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of pharaoh’s daughter; choos­ing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt" . . . "By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians when they attempted it, were drowned." . . . "And what more shall I say?  For time would fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jephthah, of Daniel and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness we’re made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight" (Hebrews 11:3,7,11,17-19,24-26,29,32-34).

The Old Testament saints were by no means perfect. They suffered from the same human frailties and inadequacies that we all suffer from.  Fortunately, God remained faithful even at times when they were unfaithful, just as He remains faithful to us at times when we are unfaithful (II Timothy 2:13).  The patriarchs all had their moments of wavering doubts but they eventually learned to trust in God's word regardless of what their five senses perceived.  They re­lied upon Him even when it seemed as though He had deserted them or had failed to keep His promises.  They learned to "walk by faith and not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).

The Bible gives us a very good definition of the word "faith."  It says that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). The "Amplified version" of the New Testament expresses this same verse as follows:  "Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do not see and the conviction of their reality - faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses."  In other words, faith believes the word of God to be an already established fact, even though that fact may not immediately be perceived by our human intellect, our five senses, or our emotions.

When we come to Jesus as believers, we should come to Him on the basis of faith in His word and not on the basis of demanding some immediate emotional experience as proof of our salvation; or expecting an abrupt transformation of our outward character.  Some people do indeed experience such immediate results of their salvation when they commit them­selves to God but many others do not.

The new birth has been previously likened to a small "seed."  Some people may immediately detect the implanta­tion of this "seed" but others may not immediately experience or "feel" anything.  However, a lack of outward emotion upon acceptance of Christ does not mean that God has not kept His word concerning salvation.  The gift of eternal life is given at the very moment of our sincere appeal to Jesus.  That is why it is important to base our salvation upon God's word rather than upon our own fleeting emotions.  Our continuous faith and trust in god's promises will indeed ultimately cul­minate in a relationship with God that is filled with high emotions and a growing sense of God's comforting presence as we undergo spiritual growth; but, it must first be based upon faith, and upon faith alone.

Our salvation is obtained solely on the basis of faith. It is obtained by faith in who Jesus is and what He has done for us through His death and resurrection.  It is by faith that we turn to Him for forgiveness and eternal life with the confident expectation of receiving such gifts.  It is by faith that we choose to follow Jesus with an anticipation of His help and an assurance of His presence in our lives.  Faith is the "catalyst" of our salvation.  Our salvation is obtained through faith and it should likewise be sustained by faith. Satan will attempt to destroy our faith by trying to create circumstances that will cause us to doubt the reliability of God's promises; just as he caused Adam and Eve to question the integrity of God's word in the Garden of Eden.  That is why it is important to continuously meditate upon God's word and learn what He has spoken.  As we do this, even though our faith may be weak, God will continue to strengthen us with His own faith through the reading and hearing of His word.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, our Lord rebuked him by quoting scriptures from God's word.  We must learn to do likewise as redeemed children of God.  For example, if doubts concerning our salvation arise, we must fall back on such promises as:


"Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20)



"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12)


"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life" (I John 5:13)


"Truly truly I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not-come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life" (John 5:24)


"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast"  (Ephesians 2:8,9)


". . . if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10;9)


If we have misgivings about God's willingness to forgive our sins, we need to rely upon such promises as:

"come now, and let us reason together" says the Lord, 'though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they will be like wool' '  (Isaiah 1:18)


"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us"  (Psalm 103:12)


"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"    (Romans 8:1)


"All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him" (Isaiah 53:6)


"... the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (I John 1:7)


"If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unright­eousness."  (I John 1:8, 9)


If it seems as though God is reluctant to provide us with sufficient strength to live for Him, we can remember such promises as:


"... those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary  (Isaiah 40:31)


"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right Hand" (Isaiah 41:10)


"My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:9)


          "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13)


Gaining Strength


Our relationship with God should be based on faith and trust in Jesus and His word.  Just as we come to Him for salvation by faith, we must also learn to live for Him by faith.  There is no Christian on this side of eternity who lives a completely blameless life.  In fact some Christians, who have neglected their spiritual nourishment and failed to exercise their faith, have found it even more difficult to live a pure life than it was before they came to Christ. This is because they previously didn't have to contend with an en­emy who desperately wants to destroy their Christian witness.  Christians can make mistakes just as other people do; however, God considers the Christian life to be spotless because a Christian is continuously being cleansed by the blood of Jesus.  When we stumble during our journey with God, all that He asks of us is to admit our faults, then to push onward toward the goal of a Christ-controlled life.

When a baby first starts learning how to walk, he doesn't give up the hope of accomplishing his goal every time he falls down.  He remains absolutely convinced that he is capable of walking and only regards his failures as mere lessons from which he will learn how to make the nec­essary corrections to attain his goal.  A spiritual baby in Christ may stumble, but, should never lose faith in his or her capability to overcome any obstacle through Christ Jesus.

Sins will occur in the life of a believer but they should not be taken lightly.  Our sins may be forgiven by God but we will nevertheless reap the unfavorable conse­quences which, as a rule, accompany a continuous practice of sin.  The Bible says:  "Do not be deceived, God is not-mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." (Galatians 6:7).

It is an undeniable fact that one of the most miserable people in the world is a Christian who indulges in a life­style that is contrary to what he or she knows to be right. This is not to say that our relationship with Jesus depends upon our good works or our self-sacrifices-because it doesn't!  It does however; greatly depend upon an attitude of willing­ness to serve Him.

We may not feel able to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God but we should at least be willing.  Once we, as Chris­tians, desire to please God, then God will begin to re-shape our lives and conform us into the very image of Jesus; yet, without destroying our own personal identities.  This transformation is a process that occurs throughout the entire life of a believer.  The degree of our transformation depends partly upon our responsiveness to God’s many instructive lessons in our lives; it depends upon our desire to know and follow Him; it depends upon our faith and trust in Him; it depends upon our witness to others; it also depends greatly upon our consumption of the spiritual food which .God has made available to us (the study of His word, meeting with other Christians, prayer, baptism, the Lords supper, etc. . .). But, more than anything else, it depends upon the grace of God, of which there is an immeasurable supply.

Those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus can boldly proclaim with the Apostle Paul: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38, 39).


Prolonged Symptoms


God’s cure for the infection of sin in the world was administered through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  The power of death, suffering and all evil was broken when Jesus shed His blood on the cross and rose again from the grave.  Now God’s cure is made available to all people who want to receive it.

The only reason that suffering and evil still exists is because there are still millions of people who have not come to God for salvation through Jesus.  Because of this, even God’s own people are sometimes affected by the influences and effects of evil; however, God is ever-present in their lives providing strength and victory over the power of sin until evil remains no more.  After all, the worst effect of evil in this world is death; and yet even in death the Christian can say; “0 death, where is your victory? 0 death, where is your sting?” (I Corinthians 15:55).  
        When Jesus arose from the grave, God could have totally abolished all evil and set up His own Kingdom with all the Old Testament saints and a few disciples who followed Jesus during His ministry.  However, God postponed His return because He knew that there would be multitudes of people, not yet born, who would one day be willing to come to Him for salvation and eternal life. He also knew that a day would come when Israel, as a whole, would cry out “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:39) and acknowledge that Jesus (Yeshua) is indeed their Messiah.   Therefore, the effects and influences of evil remained so that man could learn and experience the adversities which result from being separated from the Source of all life.  They also remained so that man could exercise his volition and choose between serving God, or serving sin and self.  And they remained so that people could learn lessons of faith and trust before being allowed to enter into an existence that is void of all corruption.       
        Of course God will not tolerate evil forever.  He has an appointed time in which He will return and establish His Kingdom.  Until that time however, the world is a spiritual “proving ground” upon which man can either return to God, or be separated from Him for all eternity. And, although it sometimes seems that evil is being allowed to continue forever, in reality the whole human scene is just a flicker in the light of eternity.  The Bible says that this life is like a “vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14).        
        Life is short, therefore evil should be contemplated and dealt with from a finite human perspective; but, it should also be considered from an eternal point of view.  For example, when we realize that innocent children suffer cruel deaths while vile criminals sometimes live relatively long lives, our finite minds should tell us that there is something terribly wrong in this world and that it needs to be corrected because we perceive a drastic difference between the short life of the child and the long life of the mature adult.  However, from an eternal standpoint, the child’s life span differs from the adults’ life by only a “twinkling” in the light of eternity.  We must also realize that if God allows a child to die as a result of this evil death producing system that exists throughout this world, the child actually becomes the recipient of special grace because God accepts that child into His Heavenly Kingdom.  Although the child is born with the same sinful nature that infects all human beings, the Bible contains several indications that children are covered by the grace of God; probably until they are capable of making a cognizant decision to either accept or reject God.  And, since God has all foreknowledge, the premature death of a child may be permitted by Him to occur because God knows that the child would have indeed accepted Him if allowed to reach the age of accountability.  Also, the untimely death may often serve to draw others closer to God and, if nothing else, it is definitely a conspicuous sign of a world that is “sick” and needs some type of “cure”.    

Although it is heartbreaking to hear of a child who suffers an agonizing death, it can also be comforting to realize that the child’s pain becomes an infinitesimal moment of anguish in a timeless eternity.  In fact, God eliminates any memory of pain; He forever wipes away all the old tears; and the child enters into an existence filled with everlasting and ever-increasing joy and ecstasy.  This of course does not mean that the suffering of children, or any person in the world, should be taken lightly because God has commanded us to do whatever is possible to alleviate human suffering and the very real horrors of the world.  He has placed us in a position of responsibility for our fellow man and He wants us to become instruments through whom He is able to touch an evil world with His goodness. 
        Much of the suffering in the world could be eradicated if people were truly concerned about the misfortunes of others.  It is ironic to hear people, who always have their bellies stuffed with food, voice their disgust in a God who would allow little children to starve to death when in fact; they themselves are allowing it by remaining in their gluttony and by refusing to offer any kind of assistance whatsoever.  We must never forget that evil was brought upon mankind by man himself.  If it were not for the loving spirit of God there would be no goodness at all in the world.
        Another tragic symptom of a sin-infected world is manifested in the form of physical handicaps.  However, many people with severe handicaps have learned to live above and beyond their circumstances, by committing their lives to God and receiving His special help and strength to cope with any problems which they are confronted with in this world. Because of this, many “handicapped” people live far more joyous lives than others who have been blessed with perfect health.  Not only have they gained assurance that God will grant them a perfect existence in the life to come, they have also learned that God will provide them with an abundant and meaningful life in this present world.  And, in some cases, handicapped people have even received complete physical healing in conjunction with the psychological healing that God provides.
        Mental deficiencies are another sign of an imperfect world.  Unfortunately, many people are so mentally incapacitated that they are totally unable to care for themselves.  If a mental handicap is so severe that a person is unable to comprehend or respond to God’s provision for eternal life, then that person, like the innocent child, is covered by God’s special redemptive grace because of their inability to cognizantly accept or reject Him.  However, God’s requirement for salvation is so simple that many mentally deficient people have come to Jesus out of simple faith and entered into a joyful, saving relationship with the God of love.     
        Any type of handicap, physical or mental, represents an unfortunate “symptom” of an imperfect world.  However, it is important to remember that there is no problem that is too great for the God of the Bible to deal with.  The God of the Bible is a God of miracles and He is more than willing, and able, to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of His children.        
        Although the world is also full of social injustices, God’s salvation is able to transcend the inequalities of any earthly circumstances.  It is unfair when some people have to be raised in an environment of poverty, hate and brutality while others are given an abundance of love and material blessings; yet, no matter how unbalanced the scales of worldly justice may be, the merciful power of God is able to correct any inequity and His love is able to penetrate any barrier.  Many people have arisen from the depths of human despair into a glorious new existence by faithfully trusting in God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  On the other hand, many others have rejected God’s love, even though they never had to endure any real hardships or adversities in life.   
        A person’s response to God’s love depends more upon that individual’s own will rather than upon his or her circumstances.  The sons and daughters of preachers have grown up to become scoffers of God’s plan of salvation while the children of atheists have grown up to embrace it.  Many people who have had unlimited exposure to the Gospel have rejected it while those with seemingly impossible opportunities have received it.  Even people from the darkest corners of the world have received revelations about God’s plan of salvation before they were ever visited by Christian missionaries.
        In spite of such miraculous evidences of God’s ability to save people from any walk of life, there are still those who contend that their concern about the unfairness of the Christian Gospel is the main reason for their rejection of it.  They express their inability to comprehend how Jesus could be the only way to Heaven when there are so many other religions in the world. Although this may be a valid concern, it by no means constitutes an honest excuse for their own rejection of the Gospel.  How many of these same people, if offered a million dollars gratis, would say; “I’m sorry I can’t accept that because it’s not fair to others. What about all the poor people in the world who aren’t so lucky.”  By comparison, God is offering a gift of far greater value than a million dollars. And, not only is He offering a greater gift, He tells people that if they are really concerned about others, they can take this same wonderful gift and distribute it to as many people as will receive it; without ever diminishing the quality or the supply.


Obtaining Good from Evil

Regardless of a person’s background or environment, eternal life is available to everyone who is willing to come to God on God’s own prescribed terms.  Of course, just because God’s love reaches beyond circumstances does not mean that people should be unconcerned about correcting injustices and inequities.  It does not mean that parents can neglect their God-given responsibility to provide an atmosphere of love and proper spiritual guidance for their children, nor does it mean that God’s people can neglect their duty to reach the entire world with the true Gospel because the greatest positive response to God’s plan of salvation will only be attained if God’s instruments are working in accordance with His guidelines.  If we neglect our God- given responsibilities, the influences and effects of evil will become stronger and more prevalent.  As this occurs, the Gospel itself becomes hindered, but not stopped, and people reap the unfavorable consequences of living outside of God’s protective guidelines.   
        It is important to remember however, that no matter how many spiritual obstacles have been placed in an individual’s life, there is no barrier which the power and love of God cannot penetrate.  Nobody will be able to justly attribute his or her rejection of God to unfavorable circumstances because many people have indeed come to God for salvation in spite of seemingly impossible odds.
        Unfortunately, the presence of adverse phenomenon is often instrumental in effecting a cure for the infection of sin.  This is because any type of serious illness or disease needs to be detected before it can be cured.  In order for a disease to be detected, it usually requires the recognition of certain symptoms.  Once the symptoms have been recognized a person can then seek a competent physician to obtain a proper diagnosis.  Then, once the physician makes a proper diagnosis, he sometimes has to emphasize the seriousness of a patient’s disease before that patient will be motivated enough to submit to the required treatment.  If a patient does then finally realize the gravity of his or her condition, and agrees to be properly treated for it, the administration of that treatment will often depend upon the individual’s stature and the degree of his or her infection. In other words, the application of treatment for one individual may slightly vary from that of another individual until they both realize the final cure.
        In a similar manner, the infection of sin needs to be dealt with in each individual before a final “cure” can ever be realized.  First and foremost, people have to come to a realization of their spiritual condition.  Unfortunately, this usually requires the presence, and the awareness, of adverse “symptoms” which affect their own lives and the world around them before ever realizing that all is not well with humanity.  Unfortunately, some people require a bombardment of adverse symptoms before they will awake to this realization and seek outside help.  If these evil symptoms did not exist, it would be difficult for anyone to detect the problem of sin, much less to seek a cure for it.  If there were no symptoms associated with the spread of cancer in the body, people would suddenly die without ever knowing that they were sick.  Symptoms like pain, fever, nausea etc. . . . , as unwanted and as uncomfortable as they are, serve as warning devices which indicate that all is not well within the body.  Likewise, symptoms such as hunger, war, disease, crime, pain, depression, guilt, and even death itself, all indicate that this world is imperfect and needs to be cured.       
        In many cases, even though people become aware of an imperfect spiritual condition, they will not submit to the proper treatment until they are made to realize just how detrimental that condition really is.  Sometimes this realization is a little frightening; but, unfortunately, fear is often what it takes to create any positive motivation toward a cure. When Christians try to warn others about the disastrous finality of sin, they are often accused of being insensitive, or even hateful.  Such an accusation is as ludicrous as saying that a mother is being insensitive and hateful when she warns her children about such dangers as fire, or poisonous snakes.  How loving would a mother be if she neglected to impress upon her children an awareness of the dangers in life, merely for the sake of not wanting to create any “fear” within them?  By the same logic, how loving would Christians be if they earnestly believed that failure to receive God’s cure for sin would result in everlasting tragedy, and yet they failed to warn others for the sake of not wanting to create fear or to “hurt their feelings?”  There is nothing wrong with fear, if it is used to bring forth proper responses to potentially dangerous situations.  Unfortunately, “scare tactics” are exactly what is required to motivate some (not all) individuals into receiving God’s remedy for sin.     
        The Bible issues a warning about a very real place called Hell.  Nobody knows exactly what Hell is; but it is revealed in scripture as a malignant place that should be avoided at all costs.  It has been likened to unquenchable fire, outer darkness, and everlasting torment.  It is a place where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” with no hope or joy whatsoever because those who dwell there will be eternally separated from God and His life-giving spirit.  Satan and his fallen angels are going to hell by Divine decree; man will go there by his own choice.  God does not place people in hell; people will place themselves there by willfully refusing to come to God under God’s simple prescribed terms.   
        Nobody will have an excuse for not coming to God for salvation because within each cognizant individual is enough God-given light to reveal some basic truths about man and his need for a savior.  In the first chapter of the book of Romans the Apostle Paul wrote:  “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have’ been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools…”      
        As each person accepts and responds to God’s basic inner revelations, God will insure that that individual receives enough light to ultimately illuminate the one and only pathway to heaven.  Unfortunately, many people continue to extinguish any degree of light which may be revealed to them and, in doing so, they willfully follow the “broad highway” that leads to destruction and hell.

A person’s disbelief in the existence of hell will not change the fact that it does indeed exist.  Just because a man doesn’t believe in a force called gravity doesn’t mean that he will not fall to his death if he leaps from the top of a skyscraper.  Some people claim to be “enlightened” enough to know that there is no hell; yet such people are confronted with the undeniable fact, that the most enlightened person who ever walked upon the face of this earth frequently warned people about the reality of such a place. Jesus Christ was love incarnate.  He embraced the social outcasts, He healed the sick, He raised the dead, He performed many great miracles to satisfy human needs, and yet this same enlightened person adamantly warned humanity about the horrible torment of hell.  He did this because He loved mankind and not because He was insensitive or full of spite.  He wanted people to avoid hell at any cost because it is a place of hopeless finality.        
        There are of course some people in the world who are not motivated by love when they speak of hell.  Some like to create fear for monetary gain or sensationalism and others seem to receive a morbid pleasure from telling people that they are going to hell.  Such people will be accountable to God for their motives, but their ill motives do not nullify the existence of hell.   
        The subject of hell should only be mentioned in conjunction with God’s loving provision for escaping such a horrid place.  Failure to do so would be as cruel as telling someone about the destructive, agonizing effects of a disease which they had contracted, without also informing them of an available cure.        
        It is far better to lead someone into God’s Kingdom through an outpouring of Christian love than it is to try to scare them into the Kingdom.  However, since some people don’t respond to God’s love, they may need to be familiarized with the eternal dangers of refusing to do so before they will ever be motivated enough to seek a cure for their spiritual condition.  However, even if people initially come to God out of fear, their fear will soon be turned into deep love, trust, appreciation and respect as they come to know God through Jesus Christ.    
        God will use whatever means are necessary to draw people unto Himself.  The guiding influences of His Spirit will often vary from one individual to another because of the many differences in human personalities and social environments. That is why some individuals may require subtle, gentle persuasion and others may require a sudden drastic awakening before they will willingly turn to God for salvation.  Some people may need to be saturated with divine love and others may need to experience fear before willfully submitting their lives to God through Jesus Christ.  God’s influences may vary, but, they will not usually transcend the limits of human volition within each individual.  The Holy Spirit persuades people to come to God for eternal life, but that persuasion should not be misconstrued as coercion.  In other words, God does not want to force anybody to come to Him.        
        It doesn’t really matter what factors or influences are used to motivate a person toward receiving a renewed relationship with God.  What is important is how each individual responds to those factors and influences.  Unfortunately, many people willfully suppress any of the divine stimuli that would ultimately lead to salvation.  Such people would rather be their own “gods” than to acknowledge the existence of a personal, omnipotent God to whom they will one day be accountable.  Some would rather live debased lives, full of short term selfish pleasures than to admit the futility and ultimate dissatisfaction of such living.  People offer many excuses for their refusal to accept God's remedy for sin but in most cases, the underlying cause behind such a refusal either stems from egotistical pride, or some form of immorality.  Either a person is too proud to admit his need for God or else he is desperately trying to justify some type of behavior in his own life which he inwardly knows is wrong.  There are certainly no intellectual reasons for refusing God’s remedy for sin because some of the greatest minds in history have accepted it without sacrificing one iota of their intellect.

Wouldn’t it be foolish for a terminally ill man to refuse the one and only free cure for his condition, simply because he didn’t want to go to the doctor to receive it?  Then why refuse God’s free remedy for the terminal infection of sin?  The remedy is available to all who are willing to go, by faith, to the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, to receive it.  Those who come to Jesus by faith, will enter into an eternal living fellowship with the GOD OF EVERLASTING LOVE. (By Robert Linkey)


The Truth:



"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30)


“So He told them this parable, saying, What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15: 4-7)


“….If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of  Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Romans 8: 31-39)


“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

Proverb of the Week

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23 NASB)

Psalm of the Week

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 121 NASB)

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