Category: Site News
By Warren302, 2018-02-24
How, in the Hell?
Every unbeliever that dies an unbeliever will find themselves in a literal hell. Every person whether we are a believer or unbeliever has experienced or will experience their own figurative hell – situations and/or conditions we all go through or have gone through that were so painstaking, tumultuous and discomforting that we likened them to hell.
The question I present in this article is, “How, in the hell, do we praise and worship God?” Is there some equation or formula that enables one believer to retain the praises of God while another, going through the same thing, looses their praise?
Scripture is one of the places we will find the strength and inspiration to draw from the examples of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone through a figurative hell and yet shined in the midst of it holding on to their praise. David had his ordeal with Saul and in the midst of it says, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalms 34:1). David did nothing and said nothing that deserved him the pursuit for his life. He was just being who God made him to be, a shepherd boy ordained to be king of Israel.
It can seem that the flames of our hell are intensified when we didn’t contribute to the cause of the fire. Not that they are, but it seems to be because when innocence is attacked the attack bears a stronger offense. And what about the hell we catch for standing up for what is right. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood for God and didn’t bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue and were thrown into a fiery furnace. There response was, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18 NLT). We also draw strength and inspiration from our fellow brothers/sisters that have impacted our present era such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who stood up for civil rights and didn’t bow to the immoral and uncivilized treatment of white supremacists. He and others like him had a hell to go through for standing for what is right.
So what is it that empowers these men and women alike to praise a God that is so good even when they are surrounded and directly impacted by all that’s bad? Before I answer the question I want to venture down another road, the road of those who have caused their own hell and yet still have managed to retain a worship and praise. We’ve ALL been there.....in the belly of a figurative hell and as we look around as we look up and down we are ultimately compelled to look nowhere else but in the mirror. We find ourselves in situations and conditions where we are our own authors. Remember Jonah.........but in the belly of the whale he capitulated and prayed, “...I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone” (Jonah 2:9 NLT). Jonah authored his own hell by being disobedient, but he also authored his own deliverance by praise. God will get you out of even what you have put yourself in!
It is the degree of love for and faith in the Almighty God which empowers a continual praise and worship from a saint of God catching and/or going through hell. No equation, except for that which is comprised of the degree of your relationship (love and faith) with God. David loved and had unspeakable faith in God. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego loved and had faith in God. In one breath they say, “He will rescue us from your power...” and in another breath they say, “But even if he doesn’t....we will never serve your gods...” This may appear to be a contradiction of their faith because at one time they proclaim that he will rescue them and at another time they entertain the possibility that he might not rescue them. Actually, they have faith that he will, but also there is realization that it may not be in the way expected, but despite what He does they still have faith and their love seals the deal to make it known that it is Him we will serve no matter what. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. continued to preach despite the continued threats to him and his family’s life and the bombings of his house. He continued to proclaim love and racial equality in a time where racial tension ran high. And what is it that kept him praising and worshiping and doing the will of God? His love for and faith in God. Indubitably we can say there has been a change to this nation as a result of his influence and others like him.
Saints it is the degree of your faith that preserves your praise in hell, it is the degree of your love for God that preserves your worship in hell, it is your Praise and Worship that God uses to preserve you in hell.
Come hell or high water PRAISE HIM, WORSHIP HIM, PRAISE HIM!
“...the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!”
- Daniel 3:27 NLT
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth”
- Psalms 34:1 KJV
By Warren302, 2018-01-29
It’s Not Debatable
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
There are many topics that are debated. Debates are derived from different opinions, interpretations and beliefs. As Christians there are topics that are debated such as whether baptism is being sprinkled, poured, or immersed in water, whether miracles do or don't occur today, and the list continues.
This article is not to debate that which is debatable, it is to ensure that the crux of the gospel is understood as not being debatable. What is the crux or the “most important point at issue”? That Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God (John 14:6 - "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."). John 14:6 is compelling proof that Jesus is the only way, but to the non-Christian it is debatable because they do not believe. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:15, “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” So, we must remember that when witnessing or asked of our faith that we give answers gently and respectfully without wavering in what we know to be a fact that Jesus is the only source of salvation, the only way to the Father, the only source of eternal life.
Not everyone believes in Jesus Christ and not everyone will. It is not our responsibility as Christians to convince people that there is a God because that responsibility is designated for God. (1 Corinthians 3:6-8 “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who mad it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed to grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.”) But we do plant and water seeds of redemption that God increases. No wonder we get so frustrated when we try to persuade people into believing in God…it’s like talking to a brick wall. Anything or anyone used for a purpose they are not purposed for will always yield heartache, frustration, dead ends, etc.…
In my past I have been in heated debates about the existence of Jesus and how to receive salvation to only find myself fueling the reasons some people don’t believe in Jesus. I became more of the problem than the solution. “Our” efforts to do the work of Jesus never yields fruit without Jesus being in those efforts (John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”). When we operate within our own power to plant and/or water seeds of redemption we risk debating what is not debatable and falling prey to seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”). We put ourselves in a position to entertain the idea that maybe Jesus is not the ONLY way, maybe it is debatable.
I have never seen anyone board a plane without a ticket. You must have a ticket before you get on the plane. It’s a non-debatable fact. You can get to the gate and try and reason your way on to the plane, but it’s futile. Eventually airport security will be called and if the situation is escalated local police will get involved. You can even argue your point to the local courts, supreme courts, all the way to the President of the United States. Of course, this issue wouldn’t make it that far, but let’s just say it did. At the end of all the reasoning and debating your case would be lost because you need a ticket to board the plane. This holds true for receiving eternal life…. without Jesus Christ no one will receive it. It is God’s desire to say, “All aboard!” and EVERYONE gets aboard, but not everyone will have Jesus. GOT JESUS?
By Warren302, 2018-01-18
We all may not feel the presence of God, but it’s our faith that enables us to know that He is still there and that He is still God in the midst of our situation.
Sometimes I feel like God isn't even around. Then there are times when I feel the manifestation of God's power. At those times, I know without a shadow-of-a-doubt that God is present. At those times, I know that I am in right standing with God and that He is happy with me. It’s not the times that we can feel God that our faith is put to the test, but it’s the times that we don’t feel God that our faith is put to the test.
We’re all familiar with the story of Job. Job was the man!! Even God Himself referred to Job as “a perfect and an upright man” (Job 1:8 KJV). He was a wealthy man; the Bible notes that he “was the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3 KJV). God’s presence and protection was evident in Job’s life. THEN…..old “slew foot” [the devil] shows up!!
Job has no idea of what is going on behind the scenes. He doesn’t know the dialogue between the devil and God. All Job knows is that he is going through a major storm that consists of wave after wave of troubles. He loses his possessions, then he loses his children, then he loses his health. As a direct result of his previous losses, he loses the respect of others. He questions God and even blames God, but he keeps his faith. Naturally, when we face adversity, trials, and tribulations, we seek to cast the blame. If it’s not on God, it’s on someone else. Remember Adam and Eve? Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent.
It’s not what we go through that’s critiqued by God, but it is how we go through what we go through. What is our hearts position when we face opposition? Do we stand on the Word? Do we keep the Faith?
The Apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh and asked the Lord three times to remove it from him:
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto
me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most
gladly will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in
distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.
(II Corithians 13: 8-10 KJV) What an outstanding ATTITUDE!!!! To know that the times when we are going through that God is at His best and strongest in our lives. Let’s go back to Job’s story. After Job loses his possessions, his sons, and his daughters, the Bible says Job "feel down upon the ground, and worshipped" (Job 1:20 KJV). After he was afflicted in his body, his wife told him to "curse God, and die," but he didn’t (Job 2:9 KJV).
We must have an unmovable spirit in the midst of our storms. Sure it’s easier said than done, but it’s doable. We have the Power; we have the Holy Ghost. We're not always going to feel saved or feel anointed, but it’s keeping the faith that enables us to know that WE ARE despite the external circumstances. We all are going to go through, but what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the Saints from the Aints are the ones that keep the faith and endure till the end.
Keep your head up and stick your chest out through those times, because you have the Lord on your side. Saints, you have to talk and walk this life or it will be as faith without works... DEAD.
Will you keep the faith? Will you know that, "No weapon that is formed against you shall be able to prosper..." (Isaiah 54:17 KJV)? Will you be like Job in the midst of your trouble and be able to say, “For I know that my redeemer liveth…” (Job 19:25 KJV) ?
“…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” ( Hebrews 13:5 KJV)