Want to do something that people really love? Commit an act of infamy. It doesn’t have to be a mind-boggling evil. Something run-of-the-mill will do. It just needs to be simple, scandalous, and public knowledge. Think Monica Lewinski.
Jesus said it would have been better for this man not to have been born.
Shocking words, sad words.
But they are not the saddest words in Scripture.
As if it weren’t enough that a monumental solar eclipse is one week away, the world is abuzz with ominous predictions of a looming nuclear war with North Korea. None of us might live to unwrap our Christmas presents this year. We might all be blown to smithereens. We might all die in nasty, horrible ways. The world might end in one gigantic kaboom.
Everyone who goes to heaven is there because God chose them to be.
Everyone who goes to hell is there because they chose to be.
This is the mystery of the way God works. And the way we are.
It's beautiful and terrible, comforting and shocking, all at the same time.
Let's face it, Christianity is not for everyone.If you've made such huge strides in holiness that you deem grace a crutch for those still handicapped by sin, if you detect the faint applause of angels clapping their wings at your obedience, if you've led such an exemplary life that you've landed a spot on heaven's honor roll, then you’ll feel like you’re slumming in Christianity.
Once I’m saved, can I become unsaved? Is it possible to lose my salvation? I’ve heard various answers from various churches. And the Bible, in some verses, seems to say Yes, and in other verses seems to say No. So is “once saved, always saved” true or not?
Not German or Latin or Greek, but Hebrew is the language of the Church that preaches Christ crucified. In this language the last is first and the first is last. Everything is read from right to left, from end to beginning, from what will be to what is.
There are questions about ourselves that are easily answered, and there are other questions that present more of a challenge. If someone asks me, “Are you a husband?” I can show them my ring, present my wedding certificate, point to the woman standing next to me who shares my life and my last name. Yes, I am 100% sure that I’m married.
The Christmas pageant in the Episcopal church was a carbon copy of similar pageants around the country. Only in this one, in this year, at a critical moment, a little nine-year-old girl said something that the people would never forget.
People say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. But there are other certainties. Like the daily rising and setting of the sun. And like the fact that life itself has its risings and settings as well.
I’ve had a handful of unusual teachers in my life. A shrimp of a man who’d been excommunicated from the Amish community for owning a stereo—he taught me how to shingle a roof. A wheelchair-bound country music singer and songwriter who penned one of George Strait’s hits—he taught me the fine art of woodwork. An ex-con with a string of DWI’s—he taught me the ins and outs of the work I did in the oilfield.
We don’t just call him Thomas; we call him Doubting Thomas. Why he, of all the apostles, had an insult attached to his name, I don’t know. Peter denied Christ three times, but no one calls him Denying Peter. Even Judas, who committed treason against Jesus, is not given the epithet Betraying Judas. But poor Thomas cannot rest in peace as just Thomas. No, he is Doubting Thomas, forever branded.
There are times when it seems our Father, who is in heaven, is a dead-beat dad. Sometimes it seems He’s even worse. He’s not just a father who skips town to leave us to fend for ourselves. No, He’s right there in our living room, sprawled in an easy chair, asleep, while we’re screaming our heads off, begging for mercy, but all in vain as Dad snores on.
God doesn’t believe in atheists. As they reject his existence, so he rejects their rejection. They may not believe in the true God, but they do fear, love, and trust in Some Thing. And that Some Thing is the deity enthroned within their hearts. All atheists are closet theists.