Guilty, Yet Free

Discovery_News_Paper_HeaderWritten by: Chuck Anderson of Discovery News

Guilty, Yet Free!

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This article was written by Chuck Anderson and published in the Discovery World and reproduced on ChristiansAreUs.com with permission from Chuck personally. Discovery World is provided on a free-will offering basis.  If you would like copies for your friends, or would be willing to help distribute Discovery World to doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, military bases, college and high school campuses, restaurants, motels and truck stops, neighborhoods and many other places, please call the Editor, Chuck Anderson, at (303)564-7581 or email him at DiscoveryNews1@aol.com. Mailing services are also available.
Donations for this ministry will enable them to translate Discovery World into foreign languages and make them available all over the world.
©2015 Mark Davis
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Lost Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah Located Along Shores of the Dead Sea!

Discovery_News_Paper_HeaderWritten by: Chuck Anderson of Discovery News

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Unlike the historical sites found in Saudi Arabia, you can visit the ruins of the “five cities of the plain” in Israel. The ashen ruins of what is believed to be the city of ancient Gomorrah is the best preserved site. It is located at the foot of Masada, the well-known mountaintop fortress of King Herod where nearly 1,000 Jewish patriots took their own lives rather than submit to the tyranny of Rome.

As you drive into Masada from the main road that goes along the Dead Sea, you will notice a large parking lot on the right hand side. Going to the north it is an easy walk to the most striking ruin that stood out above the rest of the city. A large man-made sphinx-like object was apparently set up near the city gates for protection from their enemies. Now it stands there, its ashen remains giving testimony that the pagan idol was powerless against the destructive fires that descended upon the community.

I was quite surprised, when I visited the site, that a pocket knife could easily penetrate the layers of white ash. The material is easily broken off and crumbles in your fingers. As it is rubbed between your fingers it turns into a fine talc-like powder. One cannot help but wonder what kind of fire it would take to turn solid rock into crumbling ash.

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In some areas of the ancient city there are numerous golf ball sized sulfur pellets. Some of them are encased in a hard shell which was the resulting of burning. The sulfur tablets have been tested and consist of 98% pure sulfur and a trace of magnesium which would have burned extremely hot. The samples I collected would burst into an immediate toxic flame when touched with a match. If you visit the site just after a rain storm you will find the brimstone pellets on the flat tops of the ruins. It would appear that a torrential rainstorm of burning sulfur tell upon these ancient cities.

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Nothing Left But Ashes and Brimstone Pellets!

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We should remember, according to the Biblical account, that the area was once a very beautiful and prosperous valley. The book of Genesis records that Lot, the nephew of the ancient patriarch, Abraham, chose to live there because the area was “well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the guarded of the LORD.” Genesis 13:10

It is obvious now, that the entire area came under the severe judgement of God.

What was the sin that brought about the fiery wrath upon these cities? Many other pagan societies survived without experiencing such horrendous judgment. According to the Bible, God destroyed the cities because of their great immorality and perversion.

God apparently preserved the ancient ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah as a warning to other civilizations as we read in 2 Peter 2:6 — “God turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly.”

THE SITES OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH WERE SEEN BY THE ANCIENT HISTORIAN JOSEPHUS

During the first century, the Jewish historian Josephus recorded the visible existence of the ruins in his day — “Now this country is then so sadly burnt up, that nobody cares to come at it; …It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be mow all burnt up. It is related how for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning: in consequence of which there are still the remainders of the divine fire; and the traces of the five cities are still to be seen.” (Josephus in his “Wars of the Jews,” Book IV, Chapter VIII)

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This article was written by Chuck Anderson and published in the Discovery News and reproduced on ChristiansAreUs.com with permission from Chuck personally. Discovery News is provided on a free-will offering basis.  If you would like copies for your friends, or would be willing to help distribute Discovery News to doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, military bases, college and high school campuses, restaurants, motels and truck stops, neighborhoods and many other places, please call the Editor, Chuck Anderson, at (303)564-7581 or email him at DiscoveryNews1@aol.com. Mailing services are also available.
Donations for this ministry will enable them to translate Discovery News into foreign languages and make them available all over the world.
©2014 Mark Davis

True Independence

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Independence is celebrated on July 4th each year in the United States of America.  Of course this independence was won 200+ years ago, giving us freedom from the oppression of England in that day.

What is Independence?

  • Freedom?
  • Self-determination?
  • Potency?
  • Resilience?
  • Self-reliance?
  • Liberty?
  • Self-governing?
  • Sovereignty?

The United States of America formally declared their independence from England on July 4th, 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

What most people don’t understand is that they are also under the tyrannical reign of none other than Satan himself.  Just because they don’t see him in front of their noses doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist and doesn’t reign.  The people of the American colonies did not see the king of England.  In fact many of the colonists had never even stepped foot in England, but yet they were under his rule and oppression.  In fact they might, on occasion, even see a British soldier and at times even squads and whole armies of them.

We, no matter where you might live (this applies to you too), don’t see Satan himself or even his soldiers that we would normally call his demons, which are usually in spirit form.  Frequently, most people are influenced by one or more of his demons and some people have even made their bodies the homes of some (one or more) of these demons – we would normally say that these people are possessed by the demons. And, yes, it is very real.  It is not something that was made up in a story book or movie or t.v. show.

Why is this so important?  Because if we follow, or even allow ourselves to be controlled by Satan and his minions, we will follow him to eternal death. Some will call this HELL!

Why is Satan so bad?  Think about what Satan is related to in our own terms today.  What is he known for? He is the “Father of Lies”;  he is behind everything evil and bad.  How far down on the “ruler of bad” does his influence go?  All the way down! Even to the smallest white lie or even a bad thought.

Why should it be so important to us?

You see, Satan is so crafty that he makes bad (henceforth referred to as SIN) look so enjoyable and fun – not to say that all things enjoyable and fun are sins – that most people that do it don’t even think twice about it because it doesn’t seem wrong.

But when you look at the outcome of sin, it always comes out bad, sometimes even to the point of the death of themselves or even someone else.  Immediately, it might seem or even be harmless, but, you see, the evil has already been done.

When a person starts smoking a cigarette it doesn’t kill them.  But maybe, many years later, after that person has smoked all of their life since, one day a doctor tells them that they have lung cancer.  But at the beginning it didn’t seem so bad.  It didn’t seem to hurt anyone.  It did smell up the house quite a bit, so maybe it would be a better idea to smoke outside. Hmm.

He didn’t realize that while smoking obviously causes damage to the lungs, the “bad” that the cigarettes do in the lungs doesn’t stop there. It gets into the bloodstream and it gets into other organs and tissues and starts killing them too.

He didn’t realize that because he smoked, it makes his likelihood to contract any other type of cancer 50% more. In any organ or tissue in his whole body.

He didn’t realize that just the exposure of the smoke to others who might not smoke, increases the other person’s chances of contracting cancer as well as many other diseases (and deformities).  He didn’t even think that he might be hurting someone else at the same time.

I write this passionately because some of this has happened to me, you can read about some of it here.

You see, I may not have total liberty and freedom from the effects of the sins that I have committed in my mortal body, but I have the awesome promise that when I no longer have this human body and my soul lives on in eternity, I will have a beautiful and perfect body (Phil. 3: 21; 1 Cor. 15: 42-44; 1 John 3: 2);  I will experience no pain – at all! (Rev. 21: 4)

I suffer on a regular and constant basis as a result of my sin but it serves as a reminder of the grace of God.

You see, just as sin will eventually lead to death (physical and eternal), eternal life requires a penalty as well.  Because God cannot live in a place where there is sin, and because of the fact that everyone has sinned (Rom. 3: 23; Rom. 3: 10), there is no way that any person on earth – past or present – has lived a perfect and sinless life so that we could warrant entry into God’s presence.

Time for celebration now – God figured out a way that we can get into heaven (His home).  He figured out a way that someone else could take the penalty of sin – death – for us!  What joy!  But who would be able to do that?  It would have to be none other than God Himself.

How could that be?  How would He do it?  It just so happens that God has 3 parts to Him (just like we have 3 parts – body, soul and spirit): God the Father (Who lives in Heaven), God the Son, Jesus (the One that has the physical body); and God the Spirit (the spirit that is in all places at all times).  God determined that He would send His Son to die for us – to take our place in death, so that we could have eternal life.

Jesus, in human form (actually we are in His form, but that is another story), was sent to earth as a baby, to be born of a virgin – Mary.  He was raised by Mary and her husband Joseph until He was around 30 years old all the while Jesus didn’t sin one time – He lived the perfect life that we couldn’t live.  Then Jesus started His ministry years – about 3 years. During which time, He did many miracles such as: Turning water into wine; Healing the sick and disabled people; He raised dead people.  He proved that while He was still man and sinless, He was still God and All Powerful!

But then came the penalty.  Remember that Jesus was sent to earth by The Father to take the penalty for our sins which would be death!

He would have to die for us.

You know, Jesus, being God still, had the ability to call it quits at any time He wanted to while He was still on earth – and with everything that He went through, I would have called it quits early in His life, I think. But He didn’t!  He stuck it out here on earth and dealt with all of the cuts and bruises and all the temptations that we would go through.  But He was still sinless, perfect and still a man!

God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us – so that we don’t have to. (John 3: 15 – 16; Rom. 5: 8)  Could you imagine, willingly handing your only son over to have him blatantly murdered?  There would be no one left to pass on your family name.  All of the love that you have given and received from/to your son… gone – as a human, never to return – forever!

Jesus knew why He was there.  He knew what He had to do.  DIE!

He died in the most horrific, barbaric and painful way that they had at that time – the cross.  Two pieces of good sized trees, cut to go one across the other.

One of the tree poles was longer so that it would stick up in the air and so that they could put it in a pretty deep hole to prop it up. Furthermore, they publicly humiliated Him by forcing Him to lift up His own cross and drag it along the path, up the hill to Mt. Golgotha (meaning: the place of the skull).

Once they got to the top of the mount, they then took His hand and held it to the other piece towards the end and used a spike that was about 9 inches long to drive through his hand and then into the wood so that it wouldn’t pull off.  Then they did the same to the other side, stretching His arms as far apart as they would go.

They took his feet and, using the same kind of nail, drove the spike through both of His feet together and then into the wood.

Since the Jews hated Him, thinking Him to be a heretic and full of blasphemy because He called Himself the Son of God and God Himself, they mocked Him calling Him, “The King of the Jews”.  Because of this, they fashioned a crown out of thorn branches.  The thorns were said to be nearly 2 inches long.  They then put the crown on His head and then shoved it into His scalp as far as it would go.  They then put a sign at the top of the cross above His head that said “King of the Jews”.  They mocked Him and tore His beard out of His face by the clumps.  They gave Him vinegar on a sponge to drink, which, of course, He couldn’t drink or even swallow.  In fact it stung His face in the wounds that had been given Him through His beatings.

After all that, a group of soldiers lifted Jesus, being attached to the cross, up, putting the bottom of the pole into the hole and let it drop – probably a couple of feet – and it fell down.  Then it stopped, ripping and tearing at His flesh on His hands.  In fact, when He hung on that cross, His rib cage was lifted up into a position to where He couldn’t get a breath of air.  He had to push Himself up with His nail-torn feet.  Oh, what excruciating pain that must have been.  And it was for you and for me.

While on this cross, Jesus took upon Himself the weight of ALL of the sins of the world – past, present and future (Is. 53:4, 5; 1 Peter 2: 24). In fact, for a period of three hours, the skies turned dark, like an eclipse except it lasted for three hours (Mark 15: 33). During those three hours, God the Father turned His back from Jesus, likely, because He couldn’t look upon all of that sin.

Mark 15:34 says, “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 

After that He said, “It is finished.” Then He bowed His head and died. Soon after He died, the soldiers came to Him to make sure He was dead. Instead of breaking His leg like the other two that He was crucified with, and seeing that He was obviously dead already, they just took a spear and jabbed it into His side and blood and water gushed out.

He was buried in a borrowed tomb with a huge round stone rolled in front of the doorway so that it couldn’t be rolled away without much effort.  In fact, it took two to three men to move it in or out of place.  Once it was in place, the Romans placed 2 soldiers at the tomb to guard it because they had heard that Jesus said that He would rise again after He was crucified, so they figured that if they placed guards there for a few days (He said that it would happen on the third day) to make sure that the disciples didn’t come to rob the grave and make it look like He had risen.

God is so much more powerful than that.  He caused the guards to fall asleep and then God’s angel rolled the stone away from the tomb and Jesus was risen from the dead.  Not because of the angels but because He is God and He caused Himself to be risen from that grave.

Mary Magdalene was the first to come to the tomb to pay her respects to “the dead”, Jesus, and when she got there, she saw that the stone was moved and she looked inside and saw two “men” – actually angels – sitting in the place where the Lord was laid.  They asked her why she was crying and she told them because they had taken her Lord and she didn’t know where they had taken Him.

After that she turned around and there was a man (Jesus) standing at the tomb opening and, Mary supposed that He was the gardener.  He then asked her why she was crying and whom she was looking for.  She asked Him if they had taken Him somewhere and that she would like to know where.

Jesus said to her, “Mary”.  She recognised His voice and said, “Master”! He told her not to touch Him yet because He had not yet ascended unto the Father.

Mary ran and told everyone else – the disciples.  The same evening, all of the disciples were sitting in a room together and the door was closed then Jesus just appeared in front of them and He told them to be calm and not worry.  They recognised Him and He showed them His scars in His hands and feet and his side and they knew that they had seen the Lord. (John 20: 11 – 20).

You see, Jesus was truly God!  If He wasn’t, He couldn’t have raised Himself from the dead just like He told everyone before He died.

The fact of the matter is here, that Jesus did all of this for you and for me. To take our sins away from us so that we are no longer looked at by God as sinners, but as redeemed or bought back by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus’ blood was shed to cover all of the sins of the world, so that God no longer sees them as sin that we are accountable for.  We can now go to Heaven to be with Him when we die.

We are now set free from the sin and the eternal death that goes along with it (Romans 6: 23).  We are now able to be called “Christians”.

But wait!  It doesn’t stop there!

God wants to give us this independence from sin, but He doesn’t just give it to everyone and they don’t know it.  He wants us to come to Him and ask Him for it (Romans 10: 9 – 10; Romans 10: 13).  That is why “everybody” isn’t saved from the eternal death in Hell.  That is why it is so important that I tell you this story.  That is why we, as Christians, have an obligation to spread the Word about Jesus Christ and what He did for us.

You see, that is True Independence!

Just like our soldiers went to war and fought and died (some of them) so that we can have the liberties that we have and the independence from the oppression of an evil dictator, Jesus went to war against sin and the Devil and died – but as He died (and rose again), He won the war against the Devil and paid the price so that we can have independence from the penalty of sin.

Friend, if you have not yet asked Jesus for His salvation, His independence, I urge you to do it right now.  Please, with all sincerity, repeat this little prayer (talking to Jesus) after me:

Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner . . . and I deserve the penalty of death and hell. . . . Jesus, I’m sorry for my sins, . . . and I want you to take away my sins . . . so that I can go to Heaven to be with you when I die. . . . I want you to be the Lord of my life . . . and make me a new and better person . . . so that I can reflect the changes . . . that you have made in my life. . . . and so that I can share the great news . . . to my friends and family and everyone I know . . . so that they can see You in me. . . . Thank you, Jesus . . . for removing my sins from me  . . . so that I can have eternal life. . . . In Your name, Jesus, . . . Amen.

Christian, if you just prayed that prayer with me, I’d like you to just make a comment at the bottom of this page or go to my Decision Made page and just let me know what you have done.  It is something that all of us can rejoice about and we want to rejoice with you about it.  It shouldn’t be anything embarrassing to you to let me/us know about this life changing decision that you have just made that is going to change your life and who you are, for the rest of your life.

The wonderful thing about being a Christian is that when we ask Jesus to take away our sins and to forgive us, He comes in to live in our life (some people even say that He comes in to your heart – same thing) and He will NEVER leave you, no matter what you might do that might displease Him. If you do something again that is a sin, just ask God to take that sin away and forgive you of it, and He will.

Let’s all live a life of True Independence!

In Christ’s Name and in His love,

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading – These articles are strongly recommended:

How Many Ways Are There To Get To Heaven?

Dear God,
It’s O.K. that you made different religions, but don’t you get mixed up sometimes?        – Arnold (age 10)

Well, dear Arnold has been just as deceived as 98% (just an estimate not a fact) of the world’s population. Last I saw, there were over 10,000 separate distinct religions in the world today. Is it really logical that a God that is totally perfect – from eternity past to eternity future infallible – could make a mistake 10,000+ times over?

Surely, if all of the religions out there led to Heaven, God would be really contradicting Himself a lot. So many of these religions have conflicting doctrines and beliefs; so how can they be right? Some of them have to be wrong, right?

What is the definition of “religion” first?

Noun:

      1.) The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
      2.) Details of belief as taught or discussed.

Synonyms: faith – belief – creed – denomination

Which ones are right and which ones are wrong?

When you consider this question, you have to think about what you would consider to be the “gold standard” of thought. What can you compare all else to that would be unfailingly right (correct)? How do you go about trying to figure that out? Wow, what questions…

Most people would boil it down to morals.

Q: Well, where do people get their morals?
A: Their parents and the people around them and they just figure right from wrong from there.

Q: Where would they have gotten their standards and ways of thought from?
A: What/who gave them the morals that they have now (or had)? And it goes down from generation to generation. Back to the beginning of time.

It all leads back to the first man and woman; and even before that. God is the only “gold standard” that you can look at that is totally unfaltering and unwavering and infallible and the only One that can be considered “perfect” without refutation.

Well, ok, if God boils down to being the only One that can be considered; then God it is. Now, how does He give us morals? How does He even talk to us? The way He talks to us is through the Bible. The Bible is the only history book ever written that has never had any contradictions to itself. There might be some oxymorons in there but when you get down to the original manuscripts and the true meanings of those texts, we find that they really don’t contradict themselves.

2 Timothy 3:16 KJV
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

So, the Bible (God) gives us morals or at least He is the “gold standard” in which we can look to and compare anything else to find out if it is right or wrong.

The concept of “right” has been around since before creation because God is inherently “good”. So then, what is the source or beginning of “evil” or “sin” or “wrong” (all being the same thing)?

When Adam and Eve were created, they were originally sinless. They had never done anything wrong at that point. God told Adam and Eve that they could do anything that they wanted to do EXCEPT eat of the fruit of only one of the trees that were in the Garden of Eden. Out of all the different trees that were there, they could only NOT eat of ONE of them. Well, I think we all know human nature well enough that, eventually, when someone tells us not to do something, it only makes us want to do it even more.

Eve was in the Garden wandering around one day when she was approached by a serpent. This serpent was the incarnation of Lucifer (Satan, the Devil, etc). Mr. Serpent told Eve that she should eat of the fruit of the Knowledge Of Good And Evil which God had told them not to eat. Oh, the fruit looked so good. Mr. Serpent said “God only told you not to eat it, because if you did, it would make you just as smart as God. Now, you want to be as smart as God don’t you”? Well, Eve thought that that sounded pretty good. She wanted to be smarter, after all, Adam had been the one that named everything not her. She wanted to be as smart as God. She went to Adam and told him about the proposition that she had been given by Mr. Serpent and, with the lures that she had, tempted Adam and they both ended up eating from the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  (**Color added for readability**)

Well, they sure knew Good from Evil at that point. They immediately knew that they had done wrong in the sight of God (yes, God saw them – He sees everything at all times-did then and still does today) and they realized that they were naked and they hid from God. Just like a parent playing hide and seek with their child, knowing right where they were hiding all along, God went looking for Adam and Eve.

One thing led to another and God threw them out of the Garden of Eden, never to return again. He took it a step, or really a bunch of steps further and cursed; the animals (primarily the Serpent); the land would, from then on, have weeds; woman would have pain in childbirth; and man would now have to labor. Couldn’t you just hate Adam and Eve about now?This story can be found in The Bible in Genesis 2:16-17 and Genesis 3:1-24. I’ll not post it here since it is rather long. I have a feeling that this post will be long enough as it is.

Right and wrong were conceptualized from that point on. It has been passed down from generation to generation and none were skipped. It went through Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, Noah and the Ark (that God told him to build) and so on and so forth down to you and I now.

You know, life would have been a whole lot better now if Adam and Eve had not sinned. We wouldn’t have sickness or disease or have to pull weeds out of the garden and our wives would actually look forward to having children (just kidding ladies). I don’t think that we could really be able to imagine life in a perfect world.

I regress; we wanted to know about how many ways there were/are to get to Heaven.

Looking through the Bible, I have never read anything about any “religions” besides idol worshiping, maybe. Then to top it off, the idol worshipers in the Bible were always on the wrong side of God. God commanded that there be no other gods before Him and no graven images – idols. Well then, if “religion” isn’t the way to Heaven then how does it work out that we can all have the opportunity to go to Heaven?

The Bible tells us through history that there would be a “savior”*, someone to come to earth – a King that would deliver us from all oppression and the penalty for doing wrong. Oops! Did I not say anything about a penalty? Hummm. *There are many prophecies about that in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus’ coming to earth.

Looking through history, when someone did something wrong, there has always been a penalty. The first five books of the Bible are filled with rules and laws that God’s people were supposed to follow but, there, along with the laws are also the penalties for breaking the laws. Most of the penalties are really severe – the most severe was/is, obviously, DEATH! Yikes! That’s pretty bad!

Along with the laws and the severe penalties, God also made a way that they can have forgiveness by Him for their sins, restoring favor in His sight, or restoring their “friendship” so to speak. It used to be that the penalty was a sacrifice of a lamb but, we don’t seem to be doing that much anymore, right?

When God created us, He wanted to spend time with us (in our perfect state). He still wants to spend time with us, it’s just that there seems to be omething in the way. We have a barrier between Him and us. The barrier is called “sin”. While we are sinful we can’t be in God’s presence.

Isaiah 59:2 KJV
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

If you look at God as Light and Sin as darkness; when you bring light into a dark room, it is no longer dark. Light cannot be in the same place as darkness. The above verse indicates that God has hidden His face from you because your “iniquities” or the sins that are in your soul – all the way back to when we were born and started sinning to the present time.

John 8:12 KJV
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Romans 3:10 KJV
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

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

Being sinners, we are in need of a way to pay the penalty for our sins, which would be eternal death without a payment.

Mind you, I said Eternal Death. That is different than just death – being dead at the end of your life here on earth, buried and six feet under the ground. Eternal Death is what happens when we die and our soul continues on into eternity without any salvation.

Since sin cannot be where God is in Heaven, there is another place for sinners to go and that is ultimately into the Lake of Fire – a place where the fire never goes out and those there will be in excruciating pain but unable to just die and get it over with. Such PAIN and AGONY! They will have to stay like that for the rest of eternity.

Any idea how long eternity is? It Never ends! Eternal Death is separation from God – in the Lake of Fire. The alternative is eternity WITH God, in Heaven.

Matthew 25:30 KJV
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Mark 9:42-48 NASB
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
43 “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,
44 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
45 “If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell,
46 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
47 “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
48 “where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.”

Romans 6:23 KJV
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The alternate payment for our sins is only something that God can give. He gave His only Son so that we can have Eternal Life:

John 3:16 KJV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

His only Son’s name is Jesus. He came down to earth to live as a man. He was born of a virgin (Mary) – conceived of the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit). He lived a sinless life – unlike anything that anyone else could do. No one else has done it before or since. He did many miracles and cast out evil spirits (demons) and raised some dead people. He did things that only God could do. Because ONLY He is God. Only God could take our sins away or pay the penalty for our sins.

Jesus was crucified on a cross – one of the most excruciating deaths that they had for people in that day. When He went to the cross, He took with Him all of the sins of everyone that had ever lived and even all of the sins of everybody that would live from that day on. He paid the price, or redeemed us, from our sins. We were convicted of being sinners and sentenced to eternal death, and He, God, through Jesus Christ’s blood, paid the full price for our pardon. His blood was the only thing that could ever forgive our sins and remove them from the sight of God so that we can go to Heaven and so that we can have that continued fellowship with God.

Colossians 1:14 KJV
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Psalms 103:12 KJV
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Wait, it doesn’t end there. I know I am boring to listen to and I like to ramble on and on, but you have got to hear this.  Jesus took it a step further because, you see, anyone could say that they are going to die and take away our sins but if it stops there, that person is no different than you or me and, in reality, couldn’t take away my sins or anyone else’s.

Jesus died. They buried Him in a tomb and three days later He was gone from the tomb. He rose from the tomb and was alive again. Not just any man could do that. Only God can do that.

John 20:11-18 KJV
11 “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 “And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne
him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18 “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

John 20:24-29 KJV
24 “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

A short time after He rose from the grave, He ascended back into Heaven. He stood and started raising into the sky until He couldn’t be seen any more.

Acts 1:9 KJV
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”

Before He left, He promised that He was going to prepare a place in Heaven with Him and He would come back and get us and take us home to be with Him.

Wow, this is really starting to sound like an alien movie or something. I assure you that it isn’t. Have you ever read a book or story that was so crazy and outlandish that there was no way that anyone could have made it up? None of this story is made up and can all be corroborated from the Bible, as you can see by the scriptures listed.

John 14:1-4 KJV
1″Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

John 11:25-26 KJV
25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this”?

1 John 5:12-13 KJV
12 “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 

If God went to all the effort to make a way available to us to get to Heaven through His Son, why would He let there be more than one way to get to Heaven? Let’s take a look at some of the things that Jesus said while He was still on earth:

John 14:6 KJV
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 10:9 KJV
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

John 8:24 KJV
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

John 1:12 KJV
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

John 3:36 KJV
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Revelation 20:15 KJV
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 3:20 KJV
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

You know, God made it so that there was only ONE way to get to Him for one reason and one reason ONLY!

That reason is that “man” has a real bad problem with pride. So much so that, if it were possible, we would do anything and everything that we could to be able to get to God/Heaven by doing any imaginable thing, such as: going to church, donating money to charities, volunteering at the homeless shelter, being baptized (yes, that’s what I said – I’ll touch on that in another post), becoming a missionary to another country to propagate a “religion”, being a pastor or employee in a church, being born/raised in a Christian home, and the list could go on and on.

Why are these things so bad? They aren’t. But none of them together or by themselves will do anything to repay the debt we owe to God for our sins. Many of the “religions” out there today will try to lead you to believe that one or more of those things are required for salvation. NOT TRUE!

The reason that He made it impossible for us to do special things to get to heaven is very simple – and if you try to make it more than that, you are trying to legitimize and justify your own well-doings – God wants ALL of the credit for you getting to Heaven. He wants you to go there because you love Him; because you would give your life to be with Him and to make Him pleased with what you do (for Him). He wants us to give Him the glory for the things that He has done for us, not for the things that we do to try to get to Him by earning His good favor.

Someone once explained the difference between “religion” and “true Christianity” as this: True Christianity is God trying to get to us, whereas, Religion is us trying to get to God.

The people that tried to build the tower of Babel in the Old Testament were trying to make it so high that it would reach God. Remember that that was when God got very upset with them and scrambled their words (creation of different languages) so that no one could understand each other (hence the word babel). The tower was destroyed as will anything else be that we use to try to get to God.

Isa. 64:6a KJV
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness (good works) are as filthy rags”

Romans 5:8 KJV
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Romans 10:9-10 KJV
9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Friend,

If you have never received God’s gift of salvation before today, I trust that you won’t hesitate to do it now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, nor for that matter, another breath. Take care of this ASAP! Hell is a very real place and I’d really hate to find out someday that you had the chance to receive His gift and didn’t take it.

If you would like to receive God’s free gift NOW, please pray the prayer below and let me know that you did so that I can rejoice with you for your new-found hope (promise) of ETERNAL LIFE. I would really love to hear from you by email to let me know of your decision. My email is listed at the bottom of the right hand column of this page, please write to me. 

“Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner and I know that I don’t deserve to go to Heaven. But, Your Word says that if I ask You to forgive my sins that You will forgive me and let me become Your child so that I can go to Heaven. Lord, I ask You to forgive my sins, right now, and take them away. I want to become Your child so that I can please You and so that You can become my best friend. Lord, thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins to take them away and to enable me the right to become Your child and go to Heaven to spend eternity with You. Thank you for forgiving my sins, Lord. I ask you this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.”

Christian, new or old, thank you for reading this far. I will be posting follow up articles relating to different things that the Bible teaches us and what it tells us that we should/n’t believe and do. Become a reader/follower at the top and keep up to date on my postings. You can also keep up to date by subscribing to my updates via email on the right side of the page as well. 

If you have gotten anything out of this post or if you have a comment (please keep them nice), please leave them in the space provided at the bottom. By all means, feel free to pass this article along.

©2012  Mark Davis

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