The Integrity of Job


So often, when I have a conversation with unbelievers and skeptics they will bring up the book of Job.  Their argument is, why did God single out Job and bragged about him to Satan?  Job did all the right things and loved the Lord, yet He allowed Satan to take everything that Job had, his family, servants and possessions.

Why would God do that to someone who loves Him. Isn’t He suppose to be a loving God?  At first glance I admit, it might look that way, here is a guy just going on about his day thinking about his sons and daughters when tragedy strikes him out of nowhere.  In one day he looses it all,  his sons and daughters and his livelihood. Everything that he worked and lived for, up in smoke. Job had no clue what was going on and why this came upon him. He did not have the benefit that we have when we read the story in the Bible.

The first two chapters give us a unique look behind the scenes, a look into the spiritual world unseen from the human eye. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6, 7. Satan was most likely prowling the earth as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.

“Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”Job 1:8. Poor Job, he had no idea that God and Satan had a conversation about him. It almost seems like God may have been bragging a little bit about Job. Satan seized the moment:  “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “Does Job fear God for nothing? “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” Job 1:9-11.

It is interesting to hear Satan say that God had a hedge i.e a protection around Job, he was blessed by God in all he did. I believe that believers in Jesus Christ have a hedge around them just as Job did. Satan in his arrogance challenged God by stating, hey if you take everything away that he has, he will not love you and curse You to Your face. Satan thought that Job or for that matter any other believers only love God when He blesses them, but turn from Him when tragedy or tribulations arise. God in His sovereign will gave Satan the permission to hit Job with afflictions.

“And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.” Job 1:12.

That was the moment when Jobs world would be turned upside down. We read that Job lost his seven sons and three daughters in one day as well as all of his livestock. What a terrible day in the life of poor Job. Yet in all this tragedy, he did not curse God. As a matter of fact, he praised God.

“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:20-22.

I don’t think that was what Satan intended, he was hoping that Job would blame God and turn from God. The opposite happened, although deeply grieved, he did not forsake or denounce the Lord. I can only imagine that Satan was a bit furious.  Some time later Satan appeared before God again and we have the same conversation in chapter two of Job.

“And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Job 2:2, 3.

We need to read this verse very carefully, God allowed it because Satan incited Him and God allowed Satan to destroy everything that Job had. I believe what we can glean from this is, that without God’s permission, Satan can’t do a thing to harm believers. This second time around Satan wanted even more.

“So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. “But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” Job 2:6.   It was Satan’s  desire to physically harm Job in hope that he would curse God.

Again, God only allowed Satan to strike Job, but not to kill him.  “So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” Job 2:7. Here is Job, covered in painful boils and now even his wife asked him to curse God. “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:8.

In ancient times, people thought that the person that was punished so severally must have done some kind of sin to deserve something like that.  This time even his wife wanted him to curse God and die. But Job just answered: “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:9.

Even now Job does not curse or blame God for his sufferings. Now I don’t know how I would have reacted if I were to be in the shoes of Job. As the story goes on, three of his friends come to comfort him, but as it turns out they were no comfort at all. They either blamed Job for everything that happened to him, because they thought that he must have sin in his life and lost favor with God. In the end however it turns out that these three wise men  weren’t all that wise. At the end God intervenes and rebukes his friends. What happened to good old Job? God restored everything to Job and more, He restored everything ten fold.

I think we as believers can learn a lot from the story of Job. We do have a hedge around us that protects us from many things of the world. At the same time, we are not immune from pain and suffering. Many Christians are going through various hardships, from persecutions and tribulations to financial issues to many other tragedies in their life’s.  We are not exempt, but ultimately, God is in control of all things and nothing happens without a purpose and His permission. Sometimes God uses sufferings and tribulations for His divine purpose and to work in people’s life’s. I may not understand why sometimes, but God knows and nothing is done without a reason and a purpose.

Even the Apostle Peter was subject to Satan on more than one occasion.  “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Lk 22:31.

Peter had to go to some trials, He denied the Lord three times and he had hardships and was imprisoned and crucified upside down in Rome, just as the Lord told him when He was still with them. So were many of the other disciples. All of the Apostles except John died a martyrs death. The Apostle Paul experienced many afflictions, beatings, imprisonment and ultimately death by beheading.  This is what Paul thought about sufferings in his lifetime:  “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”Rom 8:18.  

Paul looked at the eternal not the temporal. In this life, Christians who follow the Lord will face opposition, trials and tribulations. The Lord told us so. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

We as Christians have an enemy that is relentless, the world, the flesh and Satan. I believe that most of our afflictions are not caused by Satan but by our own flesh. The flesh is warring against the Spirit. Many people want to blame Satan for everything that is going on in their life’s, but I think many times it’s just the flesh and the world. Of course we should never underestimate Satan, he is called the prince of this world and if Christians are living in the world as if the world were their home, then they are subject to Satan. The Bible speaks of Satan as the accuser of the brethren, he accuses us day and night before God.  (Rev 12:10)

Sufferings and pains are not easy, but they do strengthen a believers faith and draws them closer to the Lord. That’s what happened to Job, Peter and Paul as well as many others throughout history. In the end everything turned out well for Job and Satan was proven wrong.

That’s what Satan wishes to happen to the believers today. He wants us to curse God as soon as some kind of trial, sufferings or pain come our way. Most of us may never face the kind of tragedy Job was confronted with, although there are many that have had tragedies of various degrees in their lives. The question becomes , if any one of us who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior gets confronted with tribulations and trials similar to Job’s, will we keep the faith and integrity that Job demonstrated?

I hope and pray that none of us will ever face something like Job, but if we do I hope that we will stand tall and firmly rooted in the Lord. There is a spiritual warfare raging. Satan knows that he only but a short time left. We need to fight the good fight and stand against every fiery dart that the enemy may throw at us.

No matter what happen in this life, the destination of the believer is to be with the Lord. God will never leave us nor forsake us as long as we abide in Him, no matter what may come our way.  Satan is already defeated and he will try anything to distract or harass the believers. We need to stand on the promises of God. We as believers are secured in Christ and nothing can take that away.  The book of Ephesians is all about our position in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Rom 8:38, 39. 

We are secure in Christ and we are not of this world. The world can’t touch us, unless we allow the cares of this world to dominate our lives.  As long as we abide in Christ to live after the spirit rather than the flesh and we resist the Devil and his temptations and lies, we can overcome every obstacle and tragedy that we may face. All things here on the earth are temporal and will fade with time, our destination as believers is eternity. We need to set our eyes on the eternal and look up, our redemption draws close. Maranatha Lord Jesus. 

The coming war of Gog and Magog?


Looking at the headlines today about the unrest in the Middle East makes one wonder, what’s next?  It all started with Tunisia when one man set himself on fire. That set off a wave of protest throughout the Arab world what the media calls the Arab spring. Sudan became two countries, the North and the South with a border along the Nuba mountains. There are reports that came out just recently that a Bible college and 4 churches that are set up by Samaritan Purse have been bombed by radicals Islamist in South Sudan. Sudan is an ongoing battle to this day.

Next came Egypt and the removal of Mubarak after long and heavy fighting of the people against the regime. No one is really certain what the new government will finally look like. Egypt has been a long-standing ally of the US and had a peaceful existence with Israel, which seems to fade fast.

And who can forget Libya and Qaddafi’s regime? He and his son vowed a long and bloody battle. Many people died until Qaddafi was captured and killed by his own people. Now the Syrian regime is in the news and has killed at least 5000 protesters since the unrest by the people started.  Just recently the UN failed to come to a resolution to oust Assad, even though the people of Syria are crying out to the world for help. Russia and China are the two countries that are opposed to the ousting of Assad.

The UN has been ineffective many time and is in my opinion irrelevant. They are headquartered in New York City. It might be a good idea to vacate the building and set up shop somewhere in the Middle East. At least it would be much easier traveling for Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez who hate the US anyways. And now Iran again is threatening with the annihilation of the state of Israel. Just recently the supreme leader came out with a statement why it is religiously justifiable to wipe out Israel.  http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/ 

Israel is under tremendous pressure and it seems that the world has abandoned Israel. A nuclear Iran with a rogue regime like Ahmadinejad would be world-changing. Israel cannot allow for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon that would be aimed at them. Just today the Israeli Ambassador to the US declared that Israel will act unilateral if necessary. There are many speculations floating around if and when Israel will attack Iran. Many believe that it could come as early as this spring. Although sanctions have been imposed by the UN and the US, they have not deterred the Iranian regime from developing a nuclear weapon.

The Bible has prophesied many of these things and I believe we are at the verge of an all out war of biblical proportions. Could this be the Gog and Magog war spoken off in Ezekiel 38 and 39? I don’t know, I don’t want to make any predictions, but we are seeing some events unfolding as we have never seen them before. I have a strong sense that by this summer, we will see some events happen that could possibly cause an all out war in the Middle East. The escalation of Iran vs Israel could be the trigger for biblical prophecy to unfold right in front of our eyes. Iran wants to create chaos, in the Shiite religious belief, chaos will usher in the 12th imam or the Mahdi. It is Islams version of the Messiah, which is the Antichrist in Christianity.

What exactly will happen in the near future is uncertain, but I believe we have never been closer to the escalation of Gog and Magog. Many Bible scholars believe that Magog is Russia and as many of you know the former Soviet Union has changed dramatically over the last years. Many of the southern states are Islamic and are at the north of Israel with other Islamic countries virtually surrounding Israel. I have spoken to some Jewish scholars and some believe that China is part of Magog as well. That of course is a possibility, China sides with Russia on many decisions made at the UN. One thing is for sure, Israel has many enemies that surround her.

Coming back to Syria for a moment, there is a prophecy about Syria in the book of Isaiah that declares Damascus will be a heap of ashes. “The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1.  That has not happened yet, Damascus is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Seeing what’s happening in Syria, maybe that prophecy is not too far off? Whatever happens in the near future, we need to look at the Middle East, especially Israel. Israel is the center of the world,  Jerusalem is the center of Israel and the temple mount i.e Mount Moriah is the Epicenter.

It is also time for us Christians to stand with Israel, our current administration has thrown Israel under the bus and Israel will once again face the threats virtually alone. But on thing is for sure, Israel is the apple of God’s eye and God will not allow anybody to wipe them off the map. His promises to Abraham, Issac and Jacob will be fulfilled and the predictions about Gog and Magog will be fulfilled. God is in control and He will preserve and protect His chosen people. Let us all pray for the people of Israel that face a constant threat of annihilation from her enemies. If this escalation will result in the war of Gog and Magog or maybe a precursor, who knows. The stage is set. We are in the final act.

“For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”Psalm 83:2-4.

Seven Churches



In the book of Revelation Jesus had the Apostle John write a letter to each of the seven churches in Asia minor. These seven churches were literal churches that existed at the time when John wrote these letters from the island of Patmos. Asia minor is modern-day Turkey and some of the remnants of these churches can still be seen to this day.

The seven churches were: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.  Five of the churches were rebuked by Jesus for tolerating sin in their midst.  Ephesus was the loveless church, they had left their first love.  Smyrna was the persecuted church, they endured and kept their faith during fierce persecutions.  Pergarmos was the compromising church.  Thyatira,  was the corrupted church.  Sardis was called the dead church by the Lord.  Philadelphia was not rebuked, because they kept His word and faith.  Laodicea is known as the lukewarm church.  This church I believe got the worse rebuke from the Lord. They were neither hot nor cold. A terrible condition to be in.

There are various viewpoints on the seven churches.  Some believe it was the seven churches at the time of John and Jesus was addressing them regarding their short comings and called them to repent.

Another viewpoint is that these churches represent the church age,  beginning with Ephesus the first century church,  Laodicea the church of toady in the last days of the church age.  I believe that both viewpoints have some truth to them. The seven churches as mentioned before were literal churches at the time of John’s writing and these seven churches also represent church history for the last 2 millenniums.  Many books have been  written about the seven churches, who they were in the past and throughout the church age.  I don’t want to go into a big study on the churches, which time they represented and possible denominations etc. There are many good commentaries available.

I would like to look at the churches from a different view.  I do believe the above, that the seven churches were literal and that they represent the entire the church age.
I  also believe that each of these seven churches represent individual believers throughout history and  for the last 2000 years.
The true church is not a building or denominations, the true church, the bride of Christ is every true believer that is an individual stone making up the temple of God.

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1Pe 2:4, 5.

That is what we as believers are, living stones with Jesus as our head cornerstone.  Our foundation is Jesus on which we must built on. “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1Cr 3:11.

Jesus is the head cornerstone that was rejected. Bob Marley even cited that verse in one of his songs. “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.” Ps118:22.

With this in mind, Jesus being the cornerstone on which I as a believer  built on, which church am I?  Paul the Apostle exhorted the believers to examine their faith.

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified.” 2Cr 13:5.

I examen myself from time to time and ask the question, which church am I?  Have I left my first love which is Jesus? Am I enduring persecutions and mocking because of my faith in Jesus? ( not a bad thing considering many were persecuted before us).  Have I compromised with the world, sitting on the fence?  Or have I become corrupted and polluted by the things of the world?   Maybe I’m as dead as the church of Sardis was? Have I become lukewarm the worse condition to be in?  Am I on fire for the Lord or just ride the wave as it comes?  What is being lukewarm?  No real commitment to the Lord or passion for others.  Not being on the alert just as the 5 foolish virgins were and just being a Christian by name only with no fruit to show for.  I’m afraid that many of today’s churches have become lukewarm.  There are many so-called followers of Christ that have no discernment at all about the signs of the time or know the word, they have become sleepy and are not watching.

I pray to the Lord that I will not be lukewarm or compromise with the world.  No physical church or denomination can save anyone. No certain Priest or Pastor can save anyone.  I can talk a lot of Christianise, play Churchanity or appear to be highly spiritual. All of those are just outward things and the Lord does not look on the outside as people do, He looks at the heart.  God knows our heart.  I think it is very wise and important to examine ourselves from time to time, to see if we are truly in the faith or if we have left our first love.  There is one thing Jesus said that should concern all of us who are confessing believers in Christ:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Mat 7:21.

The letters to the seven churches can be found in the book of Revelation, chapter 2 and 3.  

To be absent from the body…


“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2Cr 5:8.

This is one of the verses that many use to explain that as soon as a person dies that they will be with the Lord in an instant. Are they? I was thinking about that the other day and it is only a theory of mine and I am not dogmatic about it. Maybe some of you have a different view and I love your feedback on this. I was just thinking, a person that has died a thousand years ago, has that person been with Jesus for a thousand years by the time I get there? I don’t think so for several reasons.

I believe that once a person dies, they are no longer bound in a time continuum like we are. I was looking at it in this way, if a person goes to sleep at 8pm and awakes at 8am, those 12 hours went by in an instant for the person sleeping. They fell to sleep and woke up. If I would have sat next to the bed awake for 12 hours, time would pass slowly because I was in real-time. I wake up sometimes during the night and to be honest, I could not tell what hour it is. Is it 3am or 5am? I lost all sense of time and how many hours I might have slept before I woke up. What I believe is that we as believers will arrive at the same time to meet the Lord, no matter what century a person may have died.

We will all be there for the marriage supper of the lamb, dressed in white linen. What about the thief on the cross you might ask. Well,  Jesus did say to him that today he will be with Him in paradise. The thief died on the cross and time ceased to exist for him. I think he will be there with us at the same time. I’m not sure about the OT Saints, like Abraham, Moses and Elijah for example that died before Christ went to the cross. Most of us know the passage when Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a mountain and they saw Him transformed before them and Him standing there with Moses an Elijah.

Maybe God worked differently with His chosen people in the OT times. I don’t have all the answers, but it is something to think about and as I said, I cannot be dogmatic about any of this.  It just makes not a lot sense to me that some have been with the Lord for many centuries, and when I get there, I’m the newcomer, the new kid on the block. Well, however it may be, it will be glorious to be with the Lord and spend eternity with Him. Let me know what you think, or if you have something to add.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25, 26.

As in the days of Noah


“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; “but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. “Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” Luke 21:17-30.

Jesus is talking about the judgment that will come upon the whole earth. Biblical evangelical Christians believe that this day is very near. The signs of the time and the many prophecies that have come to pass confirm this. There are many prophecies yet to be fulfilled concerning the end of days, but every day we watch the news and see the  stage set for the final act. One of the “super signs” was fulfilled when Israel became a nation in 1948. For almost 2000 years there was no nation of Israel. The Romans under Titus destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem in AD 70.  Many Jews were brutally slaughtered and others were dispersed all over the known earth.

This was a judgment of God on the nation of Israel because they had forsaken Him. Jesus said this to His disciples when the were admiring the beauty of the temple in Jerusalem. “These things which you see, the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.” Luke 21:6.

This prophecy came true about 40 years later, when the Romans literally destroyed the temple and threw every stone of the temple mount and they are still lying there to this day. Not one stone was left upon another. They were scattered all over the earth and the nation was no more, until 1948. Many believe that this date is very significant because Jesus on the Olivet discourse said among many other prophecies concerning the end times, something about a fig tree.  Please read Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13.  “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: “When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near, at the doors! Mark 13:28, 29.

The fig tree as many scholars believe is a symbol for Israel. You may remember that Jesus cursed the fig tree because it bore no fruit and the next day it was withered.  Jesus was showing that Israel had failed the Lord and did not bear any fruit as He had desired. Because of it God threw them out of the land. When Israel became a nation again in 1948, the fig tree back in the land, the summer is near and the return of Jesus is very near. Jesus goes on to say: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” Mark 13:30.

This generation, what generation did Jesus refer to? It could not have referred to the generation of the disciples, because Jesus obviously did not return in their life time. It is also possible that the word generation can be understood as a race or people. This may be a promise that the Jewish race will not perish before history ends. Of course many people mock Christians concerning prophecies and the coming judgment of God. They are mocking and scoffing because it’s been almost 2000 years and Jesus has not returned to judge the world. 

The Apostle Peter wrote: “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder, that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,  not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” 2Peter 3:1-10.

The judgment will come upon the whole earth, that’s why it should be on every Christians heart to warn the world. I’m not talking about standing on the street corners and preach fire and brimstone messages like for example the Westboro Baptist church does. That kind of approach turns people away from God, rather than drawing them near. Messages like God hates you, or you are going to Hell will accomplish just the opposite. The unbelievers will think that Christians are nuts. We are living in a world that changes by the minute. We are seeing the worldwide economy in decline, geopolitical events and problems are in the news every day and much of the focus is on the Middle East.  Israel, a small country about the size of New Jersey is in the news almost every day, they are surrounded by enemies just as foretold in the Bible.

The last days or the end times revolve around Israel and her neighbors. Israel is the center of the world,  Jerusalem is the center of Israel and the temple mount is the Epicenter.  The Bible says that in the last days the armies of the surrounding nations will come against Israel, the economy of the world will collapse and people are struck with perplexity. We see all of these things come to pass. Iran wants to wipe Israel of the map, the EU, US , UN and Russia want to divide the land which is spoken off in Joel chapter 2. I believe sincerely that we are living in the very last minutes of the last days which began by the way at Pentecost. Now more than ever do we need to talk to our neighbors, friends and family members that do not know the Lord. I know, many will call us crazy, just as the people did when Noah build the Ark. The scoffed and mocked him, laughing while he was building the ark.

It took Noah about 120 years to finish the ark. God gave people plenty of time to repent, Noah preached about the judgment of God to come, but they would not listen and instead it was business as usual. We see the same things today, the handwriting is on the wall, but people can’t read it or understand it. With everything that is happening around them, it business as usual. Noah warned the people, God gave them time, but one day, God closed the ark. The judgment came and it was too late for those who mocked and laughed. Same thing today, we warn people, God is giving them time and they continue to laugh, reject and mock us. One day the door will close and it will be too late. It’s no longer business as usual for them.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” 2Ti 3:1-4. 

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”  Romans 1:28-32.
“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” John 3:16.

The Atheist Dilemma


Atheists or Anti-theists love to make the statement, “there is no God!” I had numerous conversations with anti-theists which lead nowhere except around and around in circles. An Atheist strongly believes that there is no God, just as I strongly believe God exist. Sometimes I wonder why atheists are so outspoken against something they claim does not exist. They even have their own symbol and hold conventions, and meetings of  “Free Thinkers”.  Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, who recently expired,  and many others have written numerous books on their belief’s.

Before I was a believer, I never thought of going around mocking Christians and their faith and belief’s in God. Atheists,  however,  go out of their way pushing their godless agenda. Atheists  can get pretty upset when I call atheism a religion. Their statement  of “there is no God” is an empty statement, because they cannot for a fact disprove God. Neither can I necessarily prove the existence of God.  In my view an atheist has thoroughly examined  all the evidence and has come to the conclusion in his or her mind that God does not exist.

Since the atheists can not disprove God for a fact, their belief that God does not exist is by faith. As a believer I know with an absolute certainty that God exist and that God is the creator of all things. I have not seen God, but I believe by faith just as the atheist believes by faith. When I say God, I mean the God of the Bible, YHWH, the only true and living God. God is only a title and there are many god’s. It can get confusing sometimes because people have made so many of their own god’s in the past and present. The Bible speaks very clearly about the natural man, which in this case, the atheist is, a natural man without any kind of true spiritual understanding. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 2Cr 2:14. 

It is a fact that unbelievers and rejecters of God have no spiritual understanding or relationship in any way to the true and living God. The dilemma for the atheists is that they can not be sure that there is no God. One thing believers and unbelievers share is that,  at one point in our life, we will have to face death. One out of one dies and that is reality. The question for the atheist is, what happens at the moment of passing?  Blackness, darkness, nothingness?  The light switch just get’s turned off? What if you are wrong,  my dear atheist? What if there is something that happens at the moment of death?  The writer of Hebrews wrote this: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment..” Heb 9:27.

What if he is right,  my atheist friend? Can you stand before God on your Day of Judgment having rejected Him? The only unpardonable sin is the rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I would not want to be in your shoes on that day. Are you 100% sure that God does not exist? Because if not, I would really take some time to learn about Jesus. Meet the real Jesus, not the one portrayed  on the History Channel or Discovery channel. Start with the gospel of John. Jesus said,  “seek and you shall find,” Matthew 7:7.  I think that the atheist community  is in a dilemma because,  if their theory proofs to be wrong, there is much to fear: Eternal separation from God. Even the unbelievers are still getting blessed by God, which will end one day, either when they die or on Judgment Day, at the end of the age.

The Bible teaches that today is the day of salvation. Seek God before it is too late. I hope and pray that any proclaiming atheist reads this to at least investigate who Jesus is, why He came and died on the cross for the sin of the world. The glorious promise of eternal life He gave to all of those who believe in Him by faith. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Mat 7:13, 14.  Jesus does not want anyone to perish but to have everlasting life.  Are you sure that when you die there is nothing?  Think about it.

“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.” Psalm 14:1

Believers in Jesus are not any better than anybody else. We are sinners just like everybody else. We are fallen creatures that were forgiven by Jesus Christ through His sacrifice on the cross. Heaven is not full of good people, but of forgiven sinners.

“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.” John 3:16.

Revised by Tikvas Garden.

Looking unto to Jesus…


Peter-on-waterMost people are probably familiar with the story in Matthew 14.  It’s the story where Jesus walks on the water. 

It was just before the break of dawn when Jesus walked on the water towards the boat were the disciples spend the night crossing the Sea of Galilee.  At first they thought it was a ghost and they started to fear.  Jesus called out to them, “Be of good cheer, it is I; do not be afraid.”  Peter was the first to react, I think maybe with a little bit of doubt asking Jesus, “Lord if this is You, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus answered, “Come”.   So Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water.  I wonder sometimes when I read that passage, what must have gone through Peter’s mind that very moment, realizing that he was actually walking on water? 

Peter stepped out in faith and was walking towards the Lord.  As the story goes on, Peter got very afraid seeing the boisterous wind and the waves coming towards him.  He became fearful and started to sink.  He cried out to Jesus, “Lord save me.”.  Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and caught him.  After this Jesus said to Peter, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”.  

I think Jesus said this with a little chuckle.  Why did Peter have fear and doubts?  He stepped out in faith and walk a short distance on the water before he started to drown.  I think the reason is because Peter took his eyes off the Lord.  His faith turned into fear.  Instead of believing Jesus Who said to him “Come” he became fearful. 

Fear and Faith are mutually exclusive. Faith and Fear cannot co-exist. The one cancels out the other.  One cannot have faith and fear at the same time.  That’s what happened to Peter, he was walking on the water and the moment he took his eyes of Jesus, he started to sink. The lesson we can learn from this is to keep our eyes on Jesus.  As long as we stay focused on Jesus and do not fear whatever wave or storm may come our way, we will not sink as Peter did. The world is full of fear and doubts, people are scared about the economy, geopolitical events and many other things in their daily life’s. 

We as believers in Christ should not fear or doubt.  We can firmly stand on God’s word and His promises.  We cannot please the Lord by fearing.  Jesus said many times, “Fear Not!”  The Bible says in Hebrews: “..looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….” Heb 12:2.  Looking onto Jesus… Without Jesus we can do nothing and without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus, He is the shinning light unto our path.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phl 6:4.

Sojourners


As I was driving on the freeway looking at all that traffic, the noise and the chaos, I thought to myself, man this is unreal. There are cars everywhere, in front of me, behind me and on both sides.

The freeways in San Diego can get pretty crazy at times, not as bad as Los Angeles but bad enough. Some people drive so fast that they zip in and out of lanes, passing cars at over 90 mph. Everybody seems to be in such a hurry all the time. Just looking at all this craziness made me think of times when things were different.

I grew up in a small town in Germany and things were pretty slow there. When I moved to San Diego in the early 80’s although San Diego was a larger city, there was still a more relaxed a more peaceful atmosphere. Things have changed quite a bit in the last 30 years. Sometimes I wonder, why?  Why are people so stressed out, so unhappy?  Are they still chasing the American dream or are they so stressed out and unhappy just to make ends meat?

Whatever it is, it gets me frustrated and I have to admit that sometimes I get angry about the busyness around me. It’s easy to get caught up in this world from time to time. Seeing this craziness everyday around San Diego, made me think of Father Abraham. Here is a man who lived about 4000 years ago in the land which is now known as Israel. I’m sure that in his time the world wasn’t as stressful or filled with so many distractions as we see them today, but even Abraham had to deal with many things. Like for example the pagan nations and hostile enemies that came after him and his descendants.

He lived in a world that was fallen and extremely hostile towards the people of the true and living God.  It made me think of Hebrews chapter 11, the Hall of Faith. It talks about several people who were before us like Abel,  Enoch, Noah and Abraham. They all walked by faith and believing that the were just sojourners on this earth. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Heb 11:3. 

They all believed in a creator, and an eternal future by faith. “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;  for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb 11 :9, 10. 

Abraham and his descendants lived as a “sojourner” in the land God had promised him, never owning any of it except the plots that he purchased for  him and Sarah. He “dwelled”, the Greek word is paroikos. In today’s terms he would have been like a “Resident Alien” living in the land but without permanent residency. I need to remember that when I get frustrated about the world with its busyness, hectic and stress. I am only a sojourner passing through this temporary world. This world is full of many different things, violence, hate and wars to name a few. It is not always easy as a believer to live in this fallen world with all its problems.

But we can overcome this world,  Jesus even told us that it will not be easy: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.  While we sojourning here, we will face many challenges and trials in our life’s.  The world around us is getting crazier by the minute and people are desperate and struck with complexities. For many there seems to be no hope,  the economy, geopolitical events and no certain future for them or the children. Those of us who speak out about God and His plan of salvation are getting mocked and ridiculed because of our faith in Him. They seek peace but can’t find it. They seek satisfaction, but nothing satisfies.

Real peace and satisfaction can only come through knowing Jesus Christ. He gives the believers comfort,  a hope and a future that is eternal. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27.  The world will always be in conflict with the believers. The world has nothing to offer, all things will fade over time. We as believers are not of this world. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:19.

Jesus left us with a promise and a great hope, a hope that the world does not give: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many mansions;  if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2, 3. 

In the meantime we live in this world and Satan is on our tails day and night, trying to entice us and get our focus of the Lord.  Abide in Him and we are kept by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:15-17.

God’s word is the truth, Jesus is the way the truth and the life. If we abide in Him, we will see Him face to face one day and our joy will be complete. All things will be forgotten. Thank you Jesus for your finished work on the cross. Thank you for dying in my pace. Maranatha Lord Jesus.

“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.” Jhn 3:16.

You reap what you sow…


Just as any good parent, our Father in Heaven has given His children guidelines which to live by. Are these rules there to exercise power and control over His children, or are they there to prevent pain and hurt that can last a lifetime? God gave only one commandment to Adam and Eve in the garden. They were not to eat of that one tree that was in the midst of the garden. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

As responsible parents we teach our children not to cross the roadway because they could be hit by a car. We set rules, don’t touch, don’t eat that, don’t talk or go with strangers etc. The child may not fully understand why parents make those rules.  The parents know from their own experiences that one can get hurt doing certain things. Although these rules of the parents are established, kids will break them.  Adam and Eve did the same in the garden. They knew not to eat the fruit of that one tree, but were deceived and tricked through the lie of the Serpent/Satan.

God told Adam that the day they would eat of that fruit, they would surely die. Satan challenged the word of God and deceived Eve with a lie, “has God really said?” He went continued by saying to her,  “you surely will not die”.

Eve believed the lie Satan told her and did what God had forbidden them to do, she ate of the tree. Adam also ate of that forbidden fruit. Did Adam and Eve die the moment they ate it?  No. Was Satan telling them the truth? No. When God said that they would die, He meant spiritual death. Because of their disobedience and not listening to God, they reaped the consequences of their disobedience i.e. spiritual death and eternal separation from God. Just as any good parent would punish and discipline their child when they break the rules, God had to punish Adam and Eve for their disobedience.

God knew the consequences to come if they would eat of the fruit and as a loving Father He warned them. Through this one-act,  sin entered the world. The result, Adam and Eve being were cast out of the garden.  The consequence of this one-act of disobedience, caused a spiritual separation  from God, Who once walked with Adam in the garden.  Things only got worse from their. The first recorded murder, as Cain killed his brother Abel. Can you imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt when they realized the consequences their disobedience?  Seeing the blood of Abel shed by his brother? Adam and Eve reaped what they sowed.

Parents have their best interest for the children. They know that when their children disobey and break the rules, that certain consequences will follow. Ever action has a reaction. We reap what we sow. Parents should teach children not to experiment  with drugs and alcohol and everything else society i.e the world offers them. Today’s the world is driven by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.  Many have fallen into that trap and have bought into the lie. I’m sure that many of us who read this know that to be true. Early in my life I drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, did drugs, had sexual relations  before marriage etc. We are taught by society that it is all in good fun, seeking pleasure and self – fulfillment.

Looking back at my life today, I have to admit that some of the things were pleasurable, but with these pleasures also came consequences later on in my life, I was addicted to alcohol and drugs and because of sexual behaviors outside of marriage went from one relationship to another. Nothing ever really satisfied. There were always the next days, hangovers, another break up you name it. None of these pleasures that the world has to offer ever satisfy. People are searching for the next best high, but will never really find it.  God our heavenly Father knows the consequences sin can bring into our lives and warned us just as He warned Adam and Eve.

But many do not listen, ignoring God, even denying God. They have gone the way of Cain, seeking what the world has to offer. The world follows the deceiver and his lies. Today we see the devastation from disobedience in our society and many other places around the world. I think Paul puts it best when he wrote in Romans: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:28-32

That sounds just like today’s society. This is the direct result of not heeding God’s word and trying to remove God and His wisdom from everyday life. We see the consequences thereof, “You reap what you sow.”
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7, 8

God has given all of us a free will to choose, but certain choices that one makes in life will bring also consequences that may last a lifetime. It is never to late to turn from a life of the flesh and turn to God our heavenly Father. You may say, I am too far gone and God is so far from me. How far is God the Father from you? All it takes is to turn around and He is right there, with open arms and willing to forgive and love you. How can you know that God loves you? Just look at the cross and see how great God’s love is, He gave His only Son, that through Him all of us may have forgiveness and eternal life. All it takes is to believe by faith in Jesus and His perfect sacrifice on the cross. He died and He rose for us, defeating Satan and his lies. Those who believe are forgiven of their sins, past present and future.

We are all sinners, but by the grace of God and His free gift we can all be forgiven no matter how great the sin. We all have missed the mark and come short of the Glory of God. Faith in Jesus reconciles the believers with God. It is the righteousness of Jesus that is imputed onto those who believe. Thank you Lord Jesus for loving us enough. Thank you for humbling Yourself to become one of us. Thank you for willingly giving your life for us so that we may live with You for eternity.

“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.” John 3:16

Eternal Life


Some days I find myself contemplating about life, death and eternity. What is life and what is the purpose of our being here for an appointed time and then we die? Last year my good friend Don passed away and went to be with the Lord. It came suddenly and unexpected and no one was really prepared for it. I just had lunch with him not too long before and we had a great time conversing about many things. He was a good man, a very gentle soul. He always had a smile and a kind words of encouragement to anyone he would meet.

I guess you could say we were the odd couple, he was about 25 years older than me and sometimes people would ask me, is that your Dad? We had an instant bond from the day we met about 6 years ago and our friendship grew stronger year after year. I will miss him a lot and I will always keep him in my heart until I will see him again in heaven.

As believers in Jesus Christ we have the blessed hope of eternal life. We don’t have to fear death. Jesus said: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” John 11:25. Jesus is the life and all those who believe in him have the promise of eternal life. 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.” John 3:16.

That is what sets Christianity apart from all other man made religions, the promise of eternal life through the the Savior Christ Jesus. Jesus died on the cross and He rose on the third day, defeating death. That is the blessed hope Peter spoke off: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5.

This is the blessed hope that the Christian enjoys. Of course we mourn the loss of a loved one. We miss that person, the husband, the wife, the brother the sister or friend. But we as believers don’t have to be sorrowful as those who do not believe and have no hope because of their unbelief.

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” 1Th 4:13, 14.

Unfortunately many will reject this truth and call it nonsense. They mock the Christians and call us names. Jesus gave us the reason why so many will not believe and will perish. These are the following verses of John 3:16, which many people leave out:

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” John 3:17-20.

Jesus makes it very clear why so many will reject the truth and the free offer of salvation by faith in Him and that they are already condemned because of it. Many people want to live their lives as they please and they do not want to be accountable to anyone. That is their choice and free will which by the way is given by God. One thing is for sure, there is one thing the believer and unbelievers have in common, all of us have to face death at one point. The statistics are not good, one out of one dies. There is not one that has lived forever, no matter how rich or famous that person may be, death has no partiality.

It’s always easy for an Atheist to say, there is no God and that Christians are delusional and worship the flying spaghetti monster. That’s easy to say when someone is still somewhat young and healthy, who writes books, makes it on the media circles and earns a pretty good penny by denying the existence of God. Life takes funny turns and I would like to see that person one day lying on their death-bed facing death. I assure you that they are in fear of death. They may deny it now, but one day every knee shall bow and confess Jesus is Lord. No one will escape death. And those who do not believe, can they say for sure that there is nothing after death? I don’t think so. Can I prove that there is life after death? No, but I do believe God and He cannot lie. I know in my heart that the believers will be with God for eternity, just as my friend Don is now.

That’s why I believe the words of Jesus, that those who believe in Him have eternal life. I will miss Don and his friendship, his wife Beverly will miss him as well as his children, but we all know and are comforted that Don is in a much better place now and one day whenever the Lord decides, we will see him again, that smile and his humor. Thank you Don for your friendship, you have touched many people and I know that you do not want me to be depressed and sad, but to press on and run the race until the Lord calls me home. Farewell my friend.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mat 11:28-30

Choose Jesus today before it is too late because death can come so suddenly. If your are not sure what happens after death, maybe you should consider the words of Jesus. Receive Him now, because you will meet Him one day no matter what. I encourage you to at least learn about Jesus. Pick up the Bible and start with reading the Gospel of John. Seek Him and you shall find Him.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom 10:17.

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