In Revelation 12, we find a battle in heaven where Michael the archangel and the devil are fighting it out. These two powerful angels are warring against each other, which is ironic because they once served on the same side.
The ninth commandment, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," can be a little harder to keep than the others. We are not to lie. There are bald-faced lies, of course. (I resent that term, by the way.). But there are times when you don't want to tell the truth because you know it will hurt someone.
My granddaughter Stella loves to pick flowers. She will come to me and, with a smile of her beautiful face, say, "These are for you, Papa!" It always warms my heart.
Stealing is such a widespread problem in our culture today. And among those who know stealing is wrong, it is interesting why they think it is wrong. A study was done among those who stole or thought about stealing, and the question was asked, "Why don't you steal?" The number one reason given was, "I might get caught." Number two was, "The other person might try to get even." And reason number three? "I might not need the item."
"You shall not murder." If ever there was one of the Ten Commandments that was ignored, it was this one. This commandment forbids the taking of another human life for no justifiable reason. Yet we live in a violent world. Our culture is awash in violence and killing. Two million people a year become violent crime statistics in the United States.1 comments
There is a movement afoot in our country to redefine marriage and family. Media and modern culture are pushing for same-sex marriage. The normalization of homosexuality is also gaining momentum, illustrated by television programs such as Modern Family and The New Normal.2 comments
It has been said that a family can survive without a nation, but a nation cannot survive without the family. God established the family by bringing a man and a woman together in marriage. Then came children and grandchildren. That is His order.
There was a time when probably the best-known Bible verse would have been John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." It seemed as though everyone either knew this verse or knew a little bit about it.1 comments
Have you ever thought, If someone were raised from the dead, I know people would believe? Or, If I could do a miracle for my friends, I know they would believe?
In Mark's gospel, Jesus made a fascinating statement that some have misunderstood. Speaking of believers, He said, "They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark 16:18). Some, of course, have misunderstood this and have held snake-handling services. But that is not trusting the Lord; it is testing the Lord.
Peter's denial of Jesus did not happen over a period of seconds or minutes, but over a period of hours. An hour passed from the time the first person said, "You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean," to the time Peter denied his Lord for the second time. He had ample opportunity to hightail it out of there, but for some reason he hung around.
Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes of Babylon, which meant that he was in close proximity to the king at all times. A cupbearer would drink what the king was about to drink. If it was poisonous, then that was the end of his job—and his life for that matter. But the cupbearer was more than someone who simply tasted what the king drank. He often would become an advisor to the king, someone who influenced him. It was a very prestigious position in the palace. A cupbearer would have lived in affluence and influence.
Have you ever eaten something that was sweet going down but made you sick later? Let me restate the question: Have you ever eaten eight Krispy Kreme doughnuts in one sitting? I have. I got a little carried away. They were great going down. But less than ten minutes later, I was asking, What have I done?
Pastor Chuck Smith once told a story about a Papua New Guinea tribe that had a widespread birth defect. Everyone had one leg shorter than the other. Interestingly, the idol they worshipped also had one leg shorter than the other. They had created a god in their own image.
Someone once asked the great British preacher C.H. Spurgeon if he could put into a few words his Christian faith. "Yes," he replied, "I can give it to you in four words: Jesus died for me."