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4 Things to Remember No Matter Who Wins the Election

Presidential ElectionTomorrow is the Big Day. THE election. In less than 48 hours the American people will have a new President Elect. Some of us may celebrate, some may mourn, and some may not care very much.

But the outcome will affect all of us.

A new president will bring new policies. New influences on Congress. A new agenda for his or her administration. We may agree with the changes or we may not. But the changes will impact the direction of our country, the economy, our nation’s security, our lifestyle, our bank accounts, and more. Some effects may be positive. Some may be negative.

These potential changes can easily create concern, worry, and maybe even fear in many of us. What’s going to happen? What will the country and the world be like for my children and grandchildren? Maybe I should just move to Canada…

But, oh believer! We don’t have to allow the circumstances of this world to dictate how we feel. We don’t have to be consumed by anxiety even over potentially very real, negative affects caused by a change in the White House. Our God is bigger than all that! We sometimes simply lose sight of this marvelous truth.

4 Things to Always Remember to Never Forget

No matter what happens tomorrow, we can stand firm on God and His glorious truth. Review the 4 truths below and hold them close. When worry threatens to overtake you, remind yourself of what is true.

  1. God is still – and always – in control – The Bible tells us again and again that our sovereign God is the One who raises up leaders and takes them down again. He alone decides who, when, and for how long. No one takes a worldly position of power without God’s approval. No one. (See Daniel 2:21, Daniel 4:17, Acts 17:26, and Romans 13:1.)
  2. God works through all world leaders to accomplish His purposes – Chaos, greed, and even violence may seem to reign supreme across our planet. But our all-powerful God can and does work through and in all that to bring about His will and ultimate plan for the world. (See Isaiah 45:1-5, Romans 13:1-5, and Acts 17:24-28.)
  3. God’s character – Sometimes we forget just who our great God really is. He is good and just and faithful and loving and trustworthy and powerful and kind. We can rely on Him, His character, and His ways no matter what the circumstances of the world look like to us.
  4. God’s Kingdom is not of this world – The kingdoms of the world are nothing compared to the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom reigns supreme and eternal. And if you have been born again through a saving relationship with Jesus, you are citizen of His Kingdom. His Kingdom trumps all other kingdoms (Did you see what I did there? Pun intended). When all other nations and countries have passed away, God’s Kingdom will remain! (See John 18:36.)

Let’s be honest. There’s a lot at stake tomorrow for the United States of America. I’ve caught myself wringing my hands over what lies ahead. I wrote this post as much for me as for you. I am choosing to stake my future on God and His truth. Not on the oval office. What about you?

 

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Are Christians Obligated to Vote on November 8th?

Christians voteThe upcoming Presidential election creates a major dilemma for many Christians. Here’s the basis for our dilemma: Neither major party candidate exemplifies even the most basic Christian ethics and standards. Neither is worthy of the office of the President of the United States of America.

Some Christians believe the best course of action is to abstain from voting on November 8. Others feel they should cast their vote for the “lesser of two evils.” (Check out this helpful article by Russell Moore, “Should Christians Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils?“) Which action is the right response? Could there perhaps be another option?

Let’s take a step back and briefly lay a biblical foundation for government and our responsibility as citizens.

First, God holds complete sovereignty in establishing, upholding, and removing all nations, rulers, and authorities (Daniel 2:21, Daniel 4:17, Acts 17:26, Romans 13:1). He established government for our good, to suppress evil, and to prevent chaos. Government at all levels provides structure for the country and service to the people (Romans 13:1-7).

The Bible also establishes principles for a believer’s relationship to government:

  1. Intercede Faithfully – God commands us to support the government and our leaders with our prayers. In fact, regular intercession for everyone pleases God (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
  2. Submit Respectfully – Christians should obey the laws of our land and submit ourselves to the authority of our leaders. Paul goes as far as saying that rebelling against our government authorities is the same as rebelling against God. The Bible even says we should submit with a good attitude! (See Romans 13:1-2, Titus 3:1-3, 1 Peter 2:13-17.)
  3. Fulfill Responsibilities – Believers are now and eternally citizens of the Kingdom of God. But while we still live in this world, we are also citizens of an earthly kingdom. As citizens, we have rights to enjoy and responsibilities to fulfill. More than once, Paul exercised his rights as a Roman citizen (Acts 21:25-29, Acts 25:10-12). Jesus not only taught we should fulfill all our obligations to the government, He set the example (Matthew 17:24-26, Matthew 22:15-22). Note: Yes, government is subject to corruption because it is comprised of sinful men. And when forced to choose, we must always obey God rather than man (Acts 4:19, Acts 5:29). However this election doesn’t take us there.

How should these biblical principles impact my vote?

So, how do these principles apply to the upcoming presidential election? The United States of America is a republic. Citizens have the right and responsibility to elect the government officials who will represent us.

But this go around, that responsibility seems much heavier. I am struggling with this myself. I am praying and thinking about the right thing to do. I understand why many have decided to simply not vote at all. Yet, that won’t prevent a new president from being inaugurated in January. That won’t fulfill my responsibility as a citizen of the United States.

There is another option. One I am contemplating. We can fulfill our responsibility as citizens and not vote for either of “them.” There will be other candidates on the ballot. Or we could cast a write-in vote. Yes, we can exercise our right and vote our conscious.

Without bashing or endorsing any candidate, how are you dealing with this weighty responsibility?

Find out who is else will be on the ballot:

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The American Divide: A Prayer Guide

prayer guideThere’s a great divide in America today. Misunderstanding, hate, and violence separate black, white, and blue.

This divide has grown larger in just the last couple of weeks. We’ve watched it on the news. We’ve seen it in the streets of our cities. Perhaps we’ve even taken sides.

I feel helpless. The problem is far greater than my wisdom and ability.

But I do know One who is able. He knows exactly how to foster understanding, transform hearts, and bring peace.

I feel compelled to pray. To petition the Creator to do what only He can do. Will you join me?

10 Prayer Prompt Categories

The following list of prayer prompts is not exhaustive. They are broad requests to help guide you deeper in petition before our Lord. Use them right from this page or print the PDF and put it in your Bible.

  1. Dependence – Express your grief and helplessness before God
  2. Repentance – Acknowledge any prejudice and hate you harbor. Ask God to eliminate it from your life and make your heart right.
  3. Families – Ask God to comfort and heal Pray the families of those killed, the Dallas police officers, Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, and all victims of this American Divide.
  4. Communication – Ask God to open and strengthen lines of communication between all parties – between the black and white community and between the black community and law enforcement.
  5. Leaders – Ask God to raise up leaders for peace from every group. Pray for voices of calm, reason, and wisdom that will help build bridges instead of walls.
  6. Truth – Ask God to reveal truth in every altercation and situation. Pray against false witnesses. Ask God to hold the media to the highest possible standards and ethics.
  7. Justice – Ask God to guide lawyers, juries, judges, and prosecutors to act with integrity and honesty. Ask God to protect the process from politics and pressure from outside groups. Ask God to help all sides accept the result of fair legal proceedings.
  8. Protection – Ask God to protect Police Officers during duty and off. Ask Him to protect the lives of those in interactions with officers. Ask Him to keep all protests and demonstrations peaceful and productive.
  9. Stereotypes – Ask God to break down stereotypes on both sides. Ask Him to build respect and appreciation for Police Officers among the black community. Ask Him to help officers respond without prejudice in each and every encounter.
  10. Encounters – Ask God to cover every encounter on the street between police and the public. Ask Him to give police officers discernment, calm, and wisdom. Ask Him to help the public respond to police with respect. Ask God to diffuse highly explosive situations.

How have you been praying about this American Divide? Please share something specific you have prayed in the comments.

Other articles you may find helpful:

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Where is Peace?

peaceOur country is in turmoil. Peace alludes us. One group pitted against another. Hatred, violence, and fear feed an ongoing stream of tragedies.

Thursday night, snipers fired on police officers during a protest in downtown Dallas. Twelve were shot, five of them died. Two more police officers were ambushed Friday in two separate incidents in Georgia. Philando Castile killed by police in Minnesota. Alton Sterling killed by police in Baton Rouge under questionable circumstances. And these things happened just last week.

One sinful act fosters another. Grief, pain, and loss overwhelm us. We seem to be caught in a downward cycle with no escape. What is the answer? Where can we find peace?

In America today, tension and even open hostility exists between races, political parties, economic groups, and faiths. But this is nothing new. Divisions and hatred like this have existed since creation in every generation.

When Paul wrote the book of Ephesians, there was no stronger example than the hostility between Jew and Gentile. But even with them peace was possible.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Ephesians 2:13-18, NIV

Lasting peace is not possible outside of a saving relationship with Jesus. Our sinful humanity keeps getting in the way.

Plus, peace is not simply a state of being. It is a Person. No matter how vast our differences or great our hatred, all people can find commonality and peace in Christ Jesus. When individuals are reconciled to Jesus, they are also reconciled to each other.

When we enter into a saving relationship with Jesus, His Spirit begins to transform our hearts and minds. He begins to chisel away the hatred, fear, and pride and fills us with His love, security, and selflessness. Walls break down. Relationships form.

Yes, let us both preach and practice peace. Let us reach across the aisle with hands extended. But let us also share the Gospel message of Jesus. Because without Him there will be no lasting peace.

 

 

 

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Grace or Truth? Yes

Grace or truthIn the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, an ongoing debate in the Christian community has once again taken center stage. Should Christians extend abundant grace to all or should we stand firm on the truth of God’s Word?

What is the answer? Grace or truth? The answer is a resounding “yes!”

It’s not grace or truth. It’s grace and truth. As Christians, we cannot leave either by the wayside. Jesus, “who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), is our example.

Yes, the suffering world desperately needs the love and grace of Jesus. But it’s sin that has caused the suffering in the world. Our culture is saturated with its devastating consequences.

Grace Covers Every Sin

Sin is a cancer eating away at the fabric of our society. We see its effects everywhere. Our prisons overflow. The family is disintegrating. Sex fuels the popular culture. This cancer needs a cure before it’s too late for the patient. We need God’s grace and His truth.

A few years ago when this same issue heated up over a controversial interview with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, one well-known Christian author wrote that she chooses to “preach the scandalous love of Jesus in the face of any issue, demographic, or debate.” Yet, how can we share the love of Christ without sharing His greatest act of love.

“But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The Gospel isn’t the Gospel without the “Jesus died for our sins” part (1 Corinthians 15:3).

Jesus died for our sins. Without the acknowledgment of sin, there will be no recognition of a need for a Savior. And there will be no salvation. No spiritual healing.

The world needs both grace and truth, but they also won’t respond to a dogmatic diatribe of right and wrong. While we must not hesitate to share God’s truth, our conversation must always be “full of grace” (Colossians 4:6), presented with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). (For more on how Christians can interact with a lost world read “Should Christians be the Morality Police?”)

Of course, there will be times – no matter how graciously we present God’s truth – that the hearers will respond with anger and hate. The message of the Cross is foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18). For some, it is a sweet aroma of life, but to others it is the smell of death (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). But that should not keep us from sharing the Good News. And we should not water it down to make it more palatable.

The Gospel is good news because Jesus will receive any and every sinner! There is no sin too great, no background too sordid, no heart too rebellious. Jesus’ sacrificial death covers it all. The cross is able to heal all wounds.

Jesus Calls Believers to Holiness

Yet on the redeemed side of the cross, He calls us to live holy lives. Just as He lifted the woman caught in adultery and said, “Go and sin no more,” He raises us up in new lives and tells us to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Sadly many today who proclaim Christ embrace a form of “Christianity” that looks more like our culture than like Christ. (Read more about cultural Christianity in this excellent article by Stephanie Shott.)

Yes, Jesus invites us to come to Him just as we are. But, He doesn’t want us to stay just as we are.

God calls the prideful to humility.

God calls the selfish to give.

God calls the gossip to speak only word that build up and encourage.

And calls the sexually immoral to purity.

In other words, God calls believers to holiness (Ephesians 4:24). We cannot sweep continued, unrepentant sin under a “rug of grace.” Jesus died for our sins because they were heinous enough to separate us from God. Our sins cost Jesus His life. How can we simply continue to live in them? But that’s what we do when we ignore the truth about what God calls sin.

Yes, Jesus is loving, but He is also just. Jesus is merciful, but He is also holy. We must not misrepresent Jesus to either the world or the Church.

It’s not grace or truth. It’s grace and truth. Both/and. Amen and amen.

 

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A Christian’s Response to Terrorism

terrorismEarly Sunday morning a man claiming allegiance to ISIS entered an Orlando nightclub with a gun. The terrorist killed 50 and wounded dozens more making this the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil since 911.

My immediate response to the news was shock, grief, and anger. Then questions. Lots of questions. How can a person be filled with so much hate and anger? Why can’t someone stop this? When will world leaders join forces to fight this?

And what in the world do I do with this? I feel so helpless.

So, I’ve been thinking about that. How should I – how should a Christian – respond in the wake of terrorism. Whether here in our country or around the world, how do we deal with it and what should we do?

I absolutely don’t have all the answers. Not even some of the answers. But God did bring a few key things to mind as I reflected on the questions. Maybe they will be some comfort or encouragement to you. And maybe you can share some insight here with the rest of us.

4 Responses to Terrorism

  1. Trust in God’s Character – No matter what the circumstances, no matter how bad things look, God is still sovereign. He still knows all, sees all, and is in control of all things. No, I still don’t understand why He doesn’t stop some things from happening. But I do choose to trust God’s truth rather than my emotions.
  2. Pray – The morning after the terrorist attack in Brussels I felt drawn to pray. But I wanted to get specific, I was tired of trite generalities. I asked God to help me know how to pray. He guided my prayer time that morning giving me specific things to pray for the victims and their families, the medical personnel, law enforcement, and even the terrorists themselves. Let’s pray and let’s be specific. (Download the PDF Prayer Guide.)
  3. Support – The victims and their families are hurting. The law enforcement community and medical personnel are overwhelmed. Let’s think about ways we can reach out to comfort and give practical aid. For instance, if we live in the area, we could take food to hospital waiting rooms.
  4. Act – We may not have the power to command troops or call international summits, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing we can do.
  • We can vote – if our elected officials are doing nothing, elect someone who will.
  • We can write – contact everyone and anyone who has the power to do something.
  • We can speak out – if you suspect something, tell someone. Do not remain silent.

I would love for you to share your thoughts, prayers, and feelings in the comments below. How can Christians respond to this kind of evil in the world?

 

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Muhammad Ali Versus Jesus: Who’s the Greatest?

Muhammad AliBoxing legend Muhammad Ali passed away late last week after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s. Often referred to as “The Greatest,” Ali had a long and illustrious boxing career. He won a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics in Rome and earned the boxing title “Heavyweight Champion of the World” three times.

Ali was also famous for making many bold – and poetic – claims about himself. Here are a few you’ve probably heard:

  • “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t.”
  • “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”
  • “I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning. And throw thunder in jail.”
  • He also called himself “the greatest” and the “king of the world.”

Many people around the world also thought Ali was indeed “the greatest.” Former President Bill Clinton will be giving the eulogy at his funeral on Friday. And in the wake of Ali’s death, President Barack Obama released a statement, which reads in part:

“Muhammad Ali was The Greatest. Period. If you just asked him, he’d tell you. He’d tell you he was the double greatest; that he’d ‘handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder into jail’… Like everyone else on the planet, Michelle and I mourn his passing. But we’re also grateful to God for how fortunate we are to have known him, if just for a while; for how fortunate we all are that The Greatest chose to grace our time… Muhammad Ali shook up the world. And the world is better for it. We are all better for it.”

Ali was a strong, disciplined athlete. He was a unique poet and showman. He raised millions of dollars for charities and worked to promote peace around the world. He spent time with both presidents and dictators and was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

But was Muhammad Ali “The Greatest?”

Yesterday, our small group talked about the divinity and eternality of Jesus. Jesus Christ. God come to us. The self-existent One, with no beginning or end of days. Yet the world does not proclaim His greatness. Presidents do not declare His praises.

So, today I feel compelled to give Jesus a little glory due His name.

He paints the butterfly and shapes the bee (Colossians 1:16). He commands lightning and cuts a path for the thunderstorm (Job 38:25). He holds all things together, sustaining them by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3), yet He willingly humbled Himself to bring life to mankind (Philippians 2:6-8). He opens the eyes of the blind, heals the sick, and raises the dead. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13). One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:11-12).

Muhammad Ali may have been a great man as far as men go. But Jesus Christ is our great God and eternal King. Praise His name!

 

 

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3 Biblical Principles to Guide Your Vote

voting principlesFor weeks now I have thought about writing a post about the presidential election, but have talked myself out of it every time. Until now. After all, the whole process has been so explosive already.

But, I feel as though America is about to throw herself off a cliff and “evangelical Christians” are leading the way. What I can’t figure out is why? God should be Lord of every area of lives, including our vote.

So, what does the Bible say about voting, government, and the Christian? Honestly, I couldn’t go straight to any chapter and verse, so I did a little digging into Scripture. Although the Bible doesn’t say anything directly about a Christian voting for government leaders, I did find some solid principles we can apply to the responsibility of the Christian voter.

First, let’s take a quick step back and look at God’s intent for government. God establishes all rulers and government (Romans 13:1). God’s original purpose for all human authorities is the good of the people they govern (Romans 13:4). Of course, the best “good” for us is God’s good for us. In a perfect world, as God’s representative, a good human leader would be one that reflects God’s character, principles, and purposes in his or her governance.

But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world warped by sin. Many leaders are in it for themselves. Sometimes leaders even purposefully seek to harm those they govern. (God has a lot to say about this, but that will have to wait for another post.) So, how do we decide who to vote for? The following three principles can guide our decisions.

Three Helpful Guidelines for the Christian Voter

  1. Vote for the man or woman who will seek to further God’s will on earth – In Matthew 6:10, Jesus directed His followers to pray for God’s will to be “done on earth as it is in heaven.” No one who follows Jesus should knowingly vote for anyone who stands for values, actions, or goals that directly oppose God’s will. In fact, we should cast our vote for someone who has clearly stated goals and activities that align with God’s will.
  2. Vote for the man or woman who will work to secure religious freedom in our country – In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul told Timothy to pray for those in authority in order that Christians “may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Christians must vote for leaders who will purposefully provide a government framework that allows Christians to openly live out the tenets of our faith.
  3. Vote for the man or woman who displays godly character and values – It’s easy to talk a “godly game.” People can say anything they think the voter wants to here. The proof is in their behavior. The candidate doesn’t even have to be a Christ-follower to have “godly” character. And on the flip side, the candidate can claim to be a Christian but not display godly character. The Bible tells us that God has written his law on the hearts of all people because they know right from wrong and instinctively keep God’s commands (Romans 2:14-15). Leaders who consistently and flagrantly behave in ways contrary to God’s character show themselves to be rebellious toward God. Again, it’s not enough to accept what a candidate says. We must look at their behavior, including the way they treat other people.

What should godly character and values looks like for a leader? Considering the principles above, I think it’s appropriate to apply the qualifications God gives us for church leaders to the realm of government. The following list was compiled from three passages which give us qualifications for church deacons, elders, and overseers. (See 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:6-11, and Acts 6:3.)

  • Above reproach
  • Self-controlled
  • Respectable
  • Not a drunkard
  • Gentle
  • Not quarrelsome
  • Not greedy
  • Manages family well
  • Holds to godly truth and values
  • Not overbearing
  • Not quick-tempered
  • Not a “mere talker”
  • Full of wisdom (See my post “8 Characteristics of Godly Wisdom”)

How does your candidate measure up to this list of godly characteristics? Can you apply the 3 principles above and in good conscience vote for the candidate you’ve been supporting? 

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8 Characteristics of Godly Wisdom

8 character wisdomI’ve been watching the presidential campaign with interest and, quite frankly, concern. Will we be able to see through all the political junk and elect the person who has the ability and wisdom to best lead America?

Last week, I prepared a Bible study lesson on the wisdom of God for our small group. I thought about these candidates. Which of them possess the wisdom that comes from God?

Whether we are deciding how to vote or seeking to live our own lives with God’s wisdom, it’s important to know what His wisdom looks like so we can recognize it, live by it.

What is Godly Wisdom?

Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. We can know a lot of stuff and still be foolish. You don’t have to look far to see examples – just listen to a presidential debate. I love this description of godly wisdom from Wayne Grudem in his book “Systematic Theology.” (By the way, this is a staple for your library if you want to study God’s Word!)

“God’s wisdom means that God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals. This definition goes beyond the idea of God knowing all things and specifies that God’s decisions about what He will do are always wise decisions: that is, they always will bring about the best results (from God’s ultimate perspective), and they will bring about those results through the best possible means.”

Applied to us, if we want to be truly wise, we will make decisions and act in ways to move toward God’s ultimate best.

How Do We Get Godly Wisdom?

Wisdom is found in and begins with God. We find true wisdom on the basis of our relationship with Him. We find true wisdom by humbly submitting to God and obeying His commands.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding.” Psalm 111:10

Here’s the kicker – the flip side of that is also true. If we don’t yield to God and His good leadership, but instead follow our own will, way, and “wisdom,” then we are really foolish.

What does Wisdom Look Like? 8 Characteristics of Wisdom

We could scour the book of Proverbs and come up with a long, long list of characteristics. But there’s this great passage in James that packs a lot into just a few verses. The following characteristics are based on James 3:13-18:

  1. Humble – Wise people don’t constantly brag, boast, or display a prideful attitude.
  2. Good deeds – Wise people live an upright and moral life.
  3. Gentle – Wise people treat others with care and respect.
  4. Considerate – Wise people put the needs of others ahead of themselves whenever possible.
  5. Peace-loving – Wise people don’t foster division. Instead they work to end strife and turmoil.
  6. Merciful – Wise people demonstrate compassion, forgiveness, and kindness to others.
  7. Sincere – Wise people are genuine, real, and honest; not deceitful, hypocritical, or false.
  8. Impartial – Wise people are fair and just. They do not show partiality to others for their own benefit.

This is a serious and specific list. Do you know anyone who is wise? Do any of the presidential candidates measure up to this list? If their life demonstrates these characteristics then I would say “yes.” If not, then maybe not. I must admit, this list challenges me. I want my life to demonstrate godly wisdom. What about you?

Do you know anyone that is truly, biblically wise? I’d love to hear about them.

You may also be interested in this post: “Wisdom: Why, Where, and How”

Check out Wayne Grudem’s book “Systematic Theology”

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Special Place in Hell?

A little over a week ago at a rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright made a bold declaration about hell:

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

HellThis is not the first time Secretary Albright has used this line. She’s recycled many times over the last ten or twelve years. It’s even appeared on the side of  Starbucks cups. But the underlying message this time was specific and unique. “Women who don’t vote for Hillary for president will experience special punishment in the hereafter.”

Now, I don’t think Albright really believes that. She’s merely using the statement to shame any woman who dare not vote for the female presidential candidate. But I do think it’s foolish to speak about hell so casually. Hell is no joke. And it’s certainly no laughing matter.

I have no idea what Secretary Albright really believes about hell. But her statement last week got me thinking. I don’t think I’ve ever written a post about hell before so I’ll keep this really basic – for your sake as well as mine!

3 Primary Truths the Bible Teaches about Hell

  1. Hell does exist – Numerous New Testament passages speak of the reality of hell (Matthew 10:28, Luke 16:19-24). Jesus Himself clearly taught about two distinct eternal destines (Matthew 13:40-43, Matthew 25:31-46).
  2. Hell is a place of eternal punishment – In hell, God’s righteous wrath will be poured out for all eternity (Matthew 25:46, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 14:9-14). But back to Albright’s “special place” statement, are there “special places” in hell? The Bible does seem to indicate more severe punishment for those who’ve had greater opportunities to believe in Jesus (Matthew 11:20-24, Luke 12:47-48).
  3. Hell is reserved for those without a saving relationship with Jesus – Here’s the biggest thing Secretary Albright got wrong. We won’t go to hell if we don’t vote for Hillary. We won’t go to hell if we aren’t “good enough.” No, the thing that sends us to hell is rejection of the one true Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, John 3:16-18).

But the Good News is…

I know, we need some Good News about now. The Bible says that God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. God wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9). Our sins have separated us from God and earned us the death penalty (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). Without Jesus we all stand condemned (John 3:16). But because of His great love for us, God sent His Son to take our punishment (John 3:16). Jesus’ death is sufficient to cover the sins of the world. God extends this forgiveness if we will but receive it through Jesus. Anyone who believe in Him is NOT condemned (John 3:18). Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).

Yes, hell is real. Yes, hell is horrible. No hell is not reserved for those who don’t vote for Hillary. But it is reserved for those who don’t call on Jesus. You can know Him today!

Have you called on the name of Jesus for eternal salvation?

To learn more about what the Bible teaches about hell, an excellent resource is “Erasing Hell” by Francis Chan.

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