Two Paths

Everyone has to walk their own path, make their own choices, and deal with the consequences along the way; unfortunately our paths cross with others and we can be affected by it…like getting into an accident in an intersection – sometimes the damage is minimal and repairable, and other times…not so much.
I think the hardest thing for me, however, is to watch someone and not be able to help them; to see them making choices that will hurt them, and walking down a path that leads to destruction, and I have to accept that it’s their choice.

Imagine the incredible aching of God’s heart as He also has to watch so many of His creation turn and walk away from Him and all that He has offered them…

Over the past several years there’s been a popular teaching that people want to accept because it makes them feel better, however, it is contrary to what the Bible teaches. Some say that God is a God of love so therefore he wouldn’t send anyone to hell, and everybody gets to go to heaven. They are right, that God is a God of love, but he is also a God of perfect justice Who judges with perfect righteousness and holiness, and he has prepared a place for the wicked who hate him and who rebel against his ways; people who think their ways are better than God’s ways.

My reply to this false concept of “everybody gets to go to heaven” is, why would “they” want to? If they want to live life their own way according to their own “rules and morals”, and ignore the fact that God created them, and established “laws” to live by, they reject everything about him, mock him, insult him, etc,- why would these people want anything to do with spending eternity with someone they hate?

The beautiful part is that God does still love them, he just doesn’t force them to believe in him, or love him back. And, he’s waiting for the day that they will respond to His love and turn from their wickedness SO THAT He can save them before it’s too late.

“Hebrews 9:27-28 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Notice how it says those “who are eagerly waiting for him”)

Hebrews 10 describes how God’s enemies will be destroyed along with all those who turn away from him to their own destruction (their choice). I think the problem is that the enemy of God has deceived many and distracted them from the truth that there is a spiritual war going on, and we each have to choose sides.

Hebrews 10:37-39 “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.”

Which side will you choose?

Choose Love

If part of my purpose is to love no matter what, then the hurtful things that others do, whether intentional or unknowingly, should not matter to me…unless I take offense. One goal of a follower of Christ should be to NOT be easily offended.

I must always keep in mind that the One I follow and learn from, came to a broken and lost world to bring healing and restoration, and as He went about fulfilling His purpose He didn’t get caught up in the politics of the day, or theological arguments, or whether or not one sin was “worse” than another.
He came to teach the truth and to set the captives free.
He wasn’t mad and bitter when others disagreed with Him or didn’t understand His mission; He wasn’t even bothered by His own mother, brothers, and sisters who called Him crazy. And while He may have seemed a little ‘annoyed’ with His closest friends who were a little slow in ‘catching on’ to what His purpose was, He still loved them and ‘put up with them’. And even though he called the people of that generation, ‘wicked and perverse’, He chose to take the punishment for their sin so that they wouldn’t have to. The night that He ate His last dinner with those who knew Him best, He spoke many words to them in an effort to prepare them for what was to come as they fulfilled their purpose on the earth as they continued the work that He began.
Twice He said to them, “This is my command: Love one another”.

This seems so simple in words but clearly, we are living in a time when people do not know what real love is. The word ‘love’ has been overused and misused. We say things like, “I love chocolate!”…”I love sports!” …”I love horses!”…”I love pizza!”
But real love, according to the source of Love, is when you are willing to put someone else’s needs before your own; to lay down your life for another, unselfishly and sincerely concerned about the well-being of another.
We have allowed a wicked and perverse generation to twist and distort our understanding of true Love. What a sad time we live in; but what a perfect time to choose the Way of Love and start living it out every day.

We are all created in the image of God but we certainly don’t reflect that. One person came to make a difference and bring hope for a lost and dying world. He asked His followers to do the same; it’s a perpetual commandment to all who choose to follow Him and to be like Him.

Love is not easily offended.
Love is patient and kind, not jealous or rude.
Love is not boastful, prideful, or selfish.
Love is not easily angered and it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not gloat over someone else’s faults, but
Love rejoices in the truth.
Love always bears up; always trusts; always hopes; always endures.
LOVE never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)love

Truth is a Lifeline

I’ve always questioned everything. Just because “everyone” accepts something as true doesn’t make it so. Most people are too lazy, I suppose, to question and think about stuff, or maybe too stupid to think for themselves.

I could never just go along with certain things just because “that’s what’s always been done”, or “traditions” and “teachings” of men. Likewise, I can’t continue doing anything, or “believing” anything that has no eternal significance.

We live in a world that is under the influence of evil and deceptions of all kinds. It’s mind-blowing to me how many people don’t want to know the truth because they enjoy the “pleasures” of living in the deceptions.

Over 2000 years ago Pilate asked Jesus, “What is Truth?” We live in a postmodern world that denies that truth can be known, but that’s a lie because Jesus said, “I AM the Truth…” and we can know Him if we want to. But once we begin to live in relationship with him, he opens our eyes to the deceptions all around us and we have a choice to make; trust and follow Him or, continue living in the world and believing the lies. Jesus also said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…” Which means we are set from free from sin, free from condemnation, and free from death (Romans 6:22; 8:1–2). The foundation of knowledge and understanding is established when we believe in who Jesus is and what He came to “do”:
“You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:23–24) (The words of Jesus)

However, simply believing who Jesus is, isn’t enough because the Bible states that “even the demons believe and tremble..” but, obviously they are evil.
Once we have a foundation laid by acknowledging and confessing who he is, then Jesus says we must “hold fast to his teachings” which means we not only believe but also obey his teachings.   As it is written in the word of God:  “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16, ESV).

If we really know Jesus we cannot live as the world lives, trying to conform to their thinking and adapting their “beliefs”, teachings, and traditions. I’ve tried.
It doesn’t work.  It only brings inner struggles and frustrations, and lack of peace and joy.

It takes courage and determination to not only live in the truth, but more so to live OUT the truth. Because once a true disciple starts living as he is called to, ridicule and rejection abound. This is when you need to be more concerned about remaining in pure faith then caring if people “like” you or not, or whether or not they “understand” why you do what you do, or more so why you WON’T do what you don’t do.

I write this from a place of spiritual grief. I see so many people caught up in wrong thinking and pointless living; strangers and people I care deeply for. I’ve lived in the dark, and I’ve lived in the light. I hate the dark. The hardest thing for me to accept is that although I know the Light brings Life, some people still love the darkness and choose to stay away from the Light, rejecting the Truth and embracing deception and ultimately, eternal death and darkness.

I can’t understand why anyone would do this, but I can respect that we all are free to make our choices, and I can still love people where they are.

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