Whenever addressing a topic as misunderstood as this one, it is helpful at the outset to reaffirm the fact that God loves everyone. He loves those who struggle with this or that temptation, as well as those who feel unlovable. "God is love." (1 John 4:8)
It sounds so positive and affirming. After all, everyone deserves to have a ton of self-esteem, right? With all the bullying and other belittling behavior which takes place these days, doesn't it just make sense that we should want all people to hold themselves in high esteem?
Who wouldn't want to sleep in on Sunday morning rather than getting up to go to a church service? Especially after a long and tiring week of work. It makes a lot of sense to sleep in. There would have to be plenty of motivation for someone to get out of bed on the weekend.
What person or what incident caused you to think that God doesn't love you? Who mistreated you? What happened? We can't change the past, but we can choose to think straight today.
It really isn't politically correct these days to talk about Jesus in public, or even to speak about Satan in public. Both figures bring Christianity into the spotlight, which is right where it belongs. Your response to the Christian Gospel will reveal whether you are listening to Jesus, or to Satan. There is no getting around it. Whether you take a public position on the matter or not, you are in one camp or the other. That is because there are only two camps to which souls can belong.
So you are having a hard time wrapping your mind around Christianity. Join the club. Many people have been there, and have since crossed over into the light. They now get it. So what made the difference?
What really happens with prayers to the departed that are prayed everyday by religious people all over the world? Simply put, some prayers which are assumed to be prayers of "intercession" are in reality prayers of "interception." That is, these prayers do not reach the intended "receiver." Instead, they are intercepted by fallen angels. One of the many activities of evil spirits is to encourage religious people to pray to "dead" believers. The Bible does not encourage such a thing, but instead warns against it.
No one in their right mind would ever exchange "peace like a river" for "chaos like a volcano." And yet, that sadly seems to be the daily experience for more and more families today.
When was the last time you watched a little child listening and responding to the comments of a parent? The simplicity of a child's worldview is astounding. Sure they have their moments of rebellion and fussing, but don't we all? Their innocent faith, on the other hand, is something we adults seem to rarely exhibit in our own lives.
No one loves Jesus before he gets converted. No one. That's because only the Holy Spirit dwelling on the inside of you can give you a love for Jesus Christ. It is impossible to have that love without the work of the Spirit. Period.
We all tend to live with certain preconceived notions. Some of our notions have few consequences, while others impact our eternal well-being. You don't want to be wrong about heaven and hell, trust me. There are no "do-overs" once your soul departs your earthly body at the moment of your death.
The city of Boston is like a family in a way, and this family has just been through the ringer. They welcomed a couple of guys into their fold who in turn decided to stab their fellow Bostonians in the back. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan betrayed the very community that had opened their arms to receive them. It seems unbelievable that this could happen, and yet it did.
Oswald Chambers described it this way: "The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience."
If Gosnell were to stand in front of a mirror, what we would see staring back at us is the face of America. Our nation has given "cover" to abortionists who go into wombs in order to literally rip innocent unborn babies from their mothers. One cannot look at Gosnell without seeing the face of America. This is why many in the media don't plan to say much about the murderer from the Philadelphia abortion mill. They would prefer to have you think about other things instead.
A recent article by The Associated Press states that Pope Francis is not making the liturgical "traditionalists" in the Catholic Church very happy. Apparently "the last straw" was his "decision to disregard church law and wash the feet of two girls – a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic – during a Holy Thursday ritual." I guess when you elect a pope who rode the bus to work as an archbishop, you better be prepared for a guy who thinks outside the box.
Jewish and Christian students of the Bible have been given a detailed historical timeline in Scripture. We know that God created Adam and Eve about 6000 years ago. The biblical timeline reveals that Noah was born roughly 1000 years later. Abraham was born close to 1000 years after Noah. David was born around 1000 years after Abraham. And Jesus was born close to 1000 years after David. Christ's miraculous birth took place roughly 2000 years ago, which was about 4000 years after God created Adam and Eve. Do the math. It is laid out clearly in God's Word.
Some Christians in their witness consistently invite unbelievers to "make a commitment to Christ." Other Christians seem to mainly invite people to "believe in Christ." Which approach is correct?
There are plenty of people, especially in America, who feel that Christians place too much emphasis on eternity. But is that a legitimate criticism? Or is it simply man's attempt to try to make Christianity only apply to this life here and now? Interestingly, those who are uncomfortable with the supernatural are also uncomfortable with the biblical teaching about eternity.
Jesus won't mean much to you until you are able to speak about Him in a personal way. It's one thing to say, "This is Easter weekend." It's another thing altogether to say, "Jesus died for me, and rose again for my eternal salvation." So are Good Friday and Easter personal for you, or not so much?
That hypothetical patient represents a dominant mindset in our world today. Many people have become extremely resistant to the idea of propositional truth, not in the area of medicine, but when it comes to God, eternity, sin, and forgiveness. You sound like an "absolutist" if you are overly dogmatic on religious assertions. That was actually the term someone used years ago when suggesting that I present God's Word with less certainty. In fact, people who don't believe that God's Word is "God-breathed" may even think you are arrogant if you present propositional truth with assurance and conviction.
In his book Love Wins, Rob Bell challenged the traditional biblical teaching regarding hell as simply being wrong. Rob's spiritual journey continues to evolve as he now has come out in favor of same-sex marriage. He believes the traditional biblical teaching about marriage is as wrong as hell. So is Rob Bell correct, or is he misguided?
A similar thing happens with temptation and sin. It flashes before us with its appeal and its promises. But the fine print is easy to miss. Adam and Eve missed it, and the "interest rate" in their case was a whopper. King David came to find out how high the interest rate is on sin. Judas had 30 pieces of silver flash before his eyes, and he took the deal. But it cost him so much more than he ever anticipated.
We see it happen everyday, where people walk away from the ones who love them the most. It is mind-boggling. Why would anyone leave a situation where he or she is loved so deeply? And yet, it occurs time and time again all over the world. It is a universal problem.
Your parents played a huge role in what you believe today, and what you choose not to believe. Their presence, or their absence, along with their teaching and their training, have all worked to shape you into who you are today. That's not to say those are the only factors, but they certainly play a major role in whether or not you have been connected to God through faith.
We all have issues, and that includes you. We go through life with these issues, some of which become apparent to us, while others not so much. So the question is, do you realize some of your issues?