The other morning as I knelt down to pray, I immediately experienced fellowship with the Lord. I was thankful, but it was beyond my ability to express that emotion adequately to Him. No fellowship among mankind approaches this level of friendship. I find this biblical truth spoken by Jesus stunning:

“You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14).1

The restriction Jesus places on His friendship may seem odd to us. What kind of friend would say, “I’ll be your friend, but in order for that to happen, you must do whatever I tell you.”

I think most of us would say, “Um, no thanks.”

But it’s different with Jesus since He is God Himself. Let’s think about this for a moment.

We are talking here about being friends with the Creator of the universe; the Creator of everything that exists, including you. His power is so immense that the human mind cannot comprehend it. His knowledge and sovereignty are so expansive and perfectly all-encompassing that we, with our feeble minds, want to reject it as impossible.

He names every star and knows how many there are.

“He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names” (Psalm 147:4).

We know, don’t we, that stars are so numerous and that multitudes exist beyond our ability to discover them so it is impossible for us to count them?

He knows about every sparrow that falls.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29).

There are more than a billion sparrows on the earth.2

Would you like to try keeping track of fallen sparrows? Sounds like a full-time job. With a lot of overtime.

He knows how many hairs are on our heads.

“Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7).

It is estimated that there are an average of 100,000 hairs on the human head.3

Multiply that by the over seven billion people on the earth. Would you like to start counting now?

He provides food for lions and ravens.

“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket? Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?” (Job 38:39–41).

Didn’t we think that was, like, evolution and chance, or something like that? No, that silly calf or fawn that wandered away from the herd? That’s Him, doing what He said He does.

So, I trust you will agree with me that we simply do not know how to be friends with such a Being. So, it makes sense that we are only able to know this friendship if we do what He commands. He will tell us how to be His friends.

He will do this with boundless joy. He is a friend that will always stand up to help Christian believers, even when we are foolish. Forgiving us after we sin. Providing for us abundantly. He is the all-powerful friend who laid down His life so we could be friends and have His life within us—eternal life in His wondrous kingdom. Let’s take His offer of friendship and obey Him. Blessings are sure to follow.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

2https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57150571

3https://www.healthline.com/health/how-many-hairs-on-a-human-head

Gif courtesy giphy.gif.

I was not at all surprised at the reaction of the members of the two major political parties when the Supreme Court, according to a leaked document, decided to overturn Roe v. Wade. This issue has fallen along party lines for almost fifty years. However, for my own knowledge, I watched the reactions of members of the Senate to this ruling, which was again, not surprising. Members of the pro-abortion party were very angry that the rights and privacy of women would now be violated, and their health care would be negatively impacted. Not one word, of course, about the children who were being killed by virtue of the Supreme Court decision in 1973. After a few of them had spoken, I clearly saw another reason these men and women were angry: The number of babies being killed might be reduced. What kind of person would be angry about the possible reduction of the killing of children? That is when I began to understand that these were not just people who had a difference of opinion about pregnancies, they were powerful leaders who were evil.

Please allow me to explain.

It is illegal in the United States to kill eagles or destroy their eggs. It is also illegal to kill loggerhead sea turtles or destroy their eggs. The reason for that is if the egg is destroyed, the animal is destroyed. Eggs are how eagles and turtles come into being. This is logic that a six-year-old child can comprehend. Why can’t these political leaders grasp it? They cannot grasp it because they think they possess answers to moral issues, but they are living in darkness and cannot see. Their hearts have been hardened by sin because they are far away from the life that is in God. Their idea of what life is, is dark and without understanding.

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Ephesians 4:17–18).1

They suppress the truth. In this case, about the murder of innocents. Instead of murder, they attempt to redefine this horrendous act, calling it health care.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18).

These folks don’t want moral purity or chastity. Don’t have intercourse unless you’re married and thus reduce abortions? They would laugh at you in derision. They despise sexual innocence. They prefer sensuality.

“They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity” (Ephesians 4:19).

Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28).

Here is the constellation of meanings around the word “debased” from a Greek-English lexicon:

Unqualified. Unfit. Worthless. Failed.2

Yet, these dark, lifeless, debased folks are powerful leaders in our nation.

What is a righteous man or woman to do?

First, knowing God is compassionate and that we were also once lost and in darkness, we should pray that the Lord will forgive and save them. Second, we can vote them out. Barring that, we will pray to our Father and ask Him to give us a righteous government that gives heed to His law. Pray that the breaking of the Lord’s sixth commandment will no longer be tolerated anywhere in the land. Ask Him to forgive us and be merciful to us for this horrible sin that has caused millions of helpless babies to be slaughtered and to bring massive repentance to this nation.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

2Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). In A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 21). University of Chicago Press.

I have been given four prophetic utterances in my decades-long walk with Jesus. The first ended up revealing a sin, unknown to me and everyone else, that resulted in the total upheaval and dispersal of a fellowship which my wife and I were thoroughly enjoying and thankful for. The second ended up being a warning of a difficult time for two missionaries headed to Indonesia. The third was positive and concerned the assurance for a couple that they would get the two young orphans they were trying to adopt and bring to the United States. The fourth and last was a warning about God’s judgment to come about which you may have read here previously. Unlike prophets in Scripture, I have not been persecuted for these prophesies. I do not consider myself a prophet. I would never compare myself to those we read about in Scripture. It is difficult for me to imagine the experiences they had as they wrote down what the Lord was revealing to them.

The prophet Jeremiah had warned Judah repeatedly that unless they stopped worshiping idols and disobeying God, they would be destroyed. He even told them what nation would destroy them: Babylon. The people and leaders ignored him completely. When Jeremiah encouraged the inhabitants to go over to the Babylonian army in order to save their lives, they accused him of treason and threw him into a muddy well.

Prophets are sometimes rejected. Jesus prophesied, too. His prophecies were often warnings about judgments to come. One of them in particular was the last straw for the legalistic religious leaders who hated Him and wanted to kill Him. When they demanded that He tell them if He was the Christ, the Son of God, He responded,

“‘You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death’” (Matthew 26:64–66).

Prophecies are troublesome. Controversial. Messy. Despite this, Peter stood up on the Day of Pentecost and said,

“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17–18).1

Since that Pentecost was in the last days as was evidenced by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and if we are still in the last days, the prophecy from Joel is still in force. No biblical evidence suggests otherwise. Those who reject prophecies should wonder why Paul would write these two following verses.

“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

“Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20–21).

As troubling and controversial as prophecies can be, the Lord Himself commands them to continue. We are told how to deal with them during the gathering (1 Corinthians 14:29). I can only deduce that the Lord wants things a bit messy in His Church and is unconcerned about it. However, ignoring this, large swaths of the Church have rejected prophecies entirely. Yes, false prophets abound, but they did in the Old Testament, too. Thus, there is no excuse to reject the gift entirely. Let’s be honest and admit that it is easier and “safer” to follow the service program without interruption. Ricky ticky, ricky ticky. Everything must be nice and everyone must be happy.

What, then, shall we do with this from the prophet Amos?

“For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secrets to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7–8).

It appears that the Church would rather leave prophets in the mud. We do so to our peril.

Lord, please continue to reveal your secrets to Your servants the prophets, as You told Amos. Please give us the discernment to know the false prophets from those that are true.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

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Babylon. What does that word mean to you? Perhaps very little. However, after reading this article, its importance may be increased in your eyes, if only something to consider as we face the state of our world.

Babylon was the nation that conquered Judah and took them captive.

The word is also associated with the ancient Tower of Babel. The Lord confused the language of mankind there because they were trying to reach heaven by means of their own strength.

“Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9).1

This is the origin of the English word “babble,” which means confusion and meaningless talking.

Therefore, this article is going to focus on captivity, confusion, the arrogance of mankind, and sin.

Last of all, Babylon appears in the final book of the New Testament. This is how she is described. It is not a happy portrayal, neither for the world or the Church.

“The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: ‘Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.’ And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Revelation 17:4–6).

This is what is coming. In fact, is already here.

Christians who oppose sexual abominations are called hate-filled bigots who are somehow opposed to people just “loving one another.”

Babble on to Babylon.

One’s gender is not determined by one’s DNA and biological reality.

Babble on to Babylon. 

People, mostly men, who are overcome with sexual lust, rape women and children. No one seems to understand how people can be so evil.

Babble on to Babylon.

Biological males are allowed to compete against biological females.

Babble on to Babylon.

Media promote nudity, sexual immorality and abominations because they can.

Babble on to Babylon.

God is called a monster, a fiction, or a superstition, and is judged by those whom He has created in His image.

Babble on to Babylon. 

Christians are murdered because they are Christians.

Babble on to Babylon.

Prostitution is legal in twenty-two major countries around the world.

Babble on to Babylon.

People murder one another in the pursuit of money, revenge, power, or simply out of hatred and rage. No one seems to understand how people can be so evil.

Babble on to Babylon.

However, this will be Babylon’s end:

“Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more; and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more, and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth’” (Revelation 18:21–24).

At the end of the Book of Revelation and the end of the Bible, Jesus said, “Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20a).

John responded, and I join my voice with his:

 “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20b).

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

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You will not get much help from the media or other mainstream sites on understanding what Easter is. They are too involved in hyping eggs, rabbits, and candy. What on earth these things have to do with the resurrection of Jesus, I  have no idea, except some connections to some strange European traditions. For example, I found out just this Easter morning that the tradition of colored eggs came from Poland. People would dye eggs red to symbolize the blood of Jesus. Despite the fact that believers are indeed cleansed by the blood of Jesus shed in His sacrifice, what the connection to eggs from that exquisite sacrifice is, I have no idea whatsoever.

Easter. So much confusion. So much ignorance.

Many years ago, I heard a talk show host wondering why it was a big deal that Jesus died on the cross. His understanding was that He was just a man. He was a good man, to be sure, but many other men had died on crosses. So, what was so special about Him? Many of our responses might be that He was the God’s only Son. True, but I don’t think most unbelievers would be moved by that. They know almost nothing about God, so why should they be impressed with His Son? I think their response would be, “So?”

However—and this is my opinion—I think telling a person who is wondering about Jesus dying on the cross that He is the Creator of the universe may be more impactful. That is quite a thought to chew on. Ever since the discovery of the Big Bang, scientists have been flummoxed by this creation event. They know that nothing comes from nothing, and there seems to be only one sensible conclusion: God created the universe. It is true, nonetheless, that scientists and lay people alike have opted for the multi-universe theory, for which there is zero scientific evidence.

The lengths mankind will go to avoid the obvious truth of reality. Stunning.

However, some, in their foolish, darkened minds, who know a little about the Bible have concluded that God is a horrible being. They are not likely to be swayed by any argument whatsoever. In an opinion piece The New York Times published on April 15, 2022, entitled In This Time of War, I Propose We Give Up God, Shalom Auslander wrote, (These are excerpts.)

“God, it seems, paints with a wide brush. He paints with a roller. In Egypt, said our rabbi, he even killed first-born cattle. He killed cows. If he were mortal, the God of Jews, Christians and Muslims would be dragged to The Hague. And yet we praise him. We emulate him. We implore our children to be like him.”

“Perhaps now, as missiles rain down and the dead are discovered in mass graves, is a good time to stop emulating this hateful God. Perhaps we can stop extolling his brutality. Perhaps now is a good time to teach our children to pass over God — to be as unlike him as possible.”

“Killing gods is an idea I can get behind.”

Killing the Creator of the universe. Killing God Himself who offered Himself in sacrifice for Mr. Auslander’s sins. Great idea. However, tossing God out of our culture and from the town square is futile. His great and wondrous creation always speaks.

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19–20).1

Please pray for your unbelieving friends and relatives. Pray for those in positions of influence and power. Please pray for the United States. We have rejected our Creator and Savior. We must repent.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

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It happened about six years ago. But the event that preceded it has a much longer history. Around fifty years.

The account of these happenings may seem strange to you. Whether it does or doesn’t, it happened nevertheless.

The first occurrence was around 1971. I was a pagan. A former drug user. I use the word “former,” because I no longer hung with that Friday night, drug-using crowd. They were back in the Midwest. My friend and I were visiting San Francisco at that time, The Mecca for hippies. Before we drove down there from Washington State, the Lord had sovereignly made Himself known to me in two separate incidents. However, I was very ignorant. Light had come into my life, but I was still wandering around in the dark. So, despite those two incidents, I bought a few foolish, evil books at a physic bookstore when we were there. While I was sitting in the shotgun seat of my friend’s old pickup truck, a wind stirred up in an old, dried-up bush next to house at which we had been staying. The Lord made Himself known to me in that event. He spoke just one word to my heart:

Trouble.

In my ignorance about almost all things Christian, I knew that the Lord spoke to Lot out of a whirlwind. I had heard it in a rock song performed by the group, Sea Train, entitled Job’s Song. The lyric was, “And from the whirling wind, God Himself spoke.”

The Lord knew that I knew that.

He spoke that word “trouble” to me, but I didn’t know what He meant. It didn’t seem that He was saying that I was in trouble. I was, but that would soon change, and He knew it.

Eventually, thankfully, I became a Christian after two more sovereign acts. These wonderful things were necessary because my heart was hard and dark. I was a lost, sinful man.

However, after those early days, sometimes when the wind would blow, I would get a sense of trouble that gave me a fuller understanding of what He had said that day in San Francisco. That understanding was that judgment was coming. These experiences led up to the event six years ago, the incident I mentioned earlier in this article.

Laurie and I were helping her dad’s widow, Esther, sell or give away the contents of her house, years of accumulation. She was moving to a small, retirement apartment. A Craig’s List connection had just left with his treasure, and I was standing on the small concrete porch outside the front door of Esther’s home. Across the street was a house that was nicely landscaped, and in the front yard was a large deciduous tree. As I was standing daydreaming, a wind blew up in the tree. The sense of coming judgment in that event was so strong that I broke down and wept. I went back inside the house, and the tears were unrelenting. It was a good cry. A holy cry. However, I cannot express specifically why I was crying. I saw no vision. I experienced no horror or terror, just that judgment was coming. It was true and a reality that was inevitably to come.

So, I am telling you what was made known to me. I am compelled to do so.

When Isaiah wrote about the time to come when “the lion will lay down with the lamb,” he wrote,

“He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked” (Isaiah 11:3b–4).1

This is reinforced by the Apostle John:

“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (Revelation 19:15).

Judgment is coming. That is the real, hard truth, as true and durable as God Himself and His eternal word. I firmly believe that the Lord is withdrawing His hand of restraint in preparation for the return of Jesus. The world, morally, is getting darker, and it seems there is no turning back—unless there is massive repentance. And that is what we should pray for.

Father, please be merciful to us and forgive us. Please give this nation the gift of repentance. We have sinned against You. Please help us. We are blind and in darkness.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

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I am unsure if this is a “thing” or not in the church in the United States. It seems pretty harmless at first glance. What is this “thing”? The word “mistakes.” It is the word that caused me to snap to attention when I heard it being inserted into a message about the salvation of Jesus. Everybody makes mistakes, the speaker said, and that’s where the narrative took us. Yes. Everyone makes mistakes. Obvious truth. One to which we can all agree. However, there is great danger here. I just hope we don’t fall for this like we did with the word of faith movement, prosperity gospel, seeker-sensitive movement, and worldly leadership principles.

Pardon me for the rant. I strayed a bit from the topic at hand.

As stated, everyone makes mistakes. We all know this and are comfortable with it as truth. The problem here, however, is omitting the word “sin” and replacing it with the word “mistake.” A mistake is when you smack your thumb with a hammer. A mistake is when one submits a paper with a typographical error. A mistake is when one claims the Pittsburg Pirates won the 1927 World Series.

But there is no comparing sins and mistakes. A sin is when one has sex outside of marriage or with another person’s spouse. A sin is when a child disrespects his or her parents. A sin is when one commits murder or theft. A sin is when one kills or helps to kill a helpless infant. Sin of any kind brings death, death to a life of thriving while on earth and death eternally. The Lord has provided a glorious remedy. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).1 Our sinful condition is the primary reason Jesus came to earth and the Creator of the universe shed His own blood to cleanse us of our sin. “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15).

To maintain that mistakes equal sinfulness is an affront to our loving Jesus. It degrades Him and His sacrifice.  

Please permit me to say that the sins I listed earlier are rampant in our nation. This may explain our reluctance to call them out during a church service. Who wants to offend anyone? That’s no way to bring people to Jesus, is it?

Well, Jesus is offensive.

“So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense’” (1 Peter 2:7–8).

Sin is a reality. People feel guilty about it or should. We should, without angrily condemning people with unforgiving language, allow the Holy Spirit to convict people of sin when we share the good news about eternal life in Jesus. Concerning the Holy Spirit, Jesus said,

“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:8–11).

Let us, the Church of the living God, speak the truth and watch as the Holy Spirit does His convicting work. Unless, of course, we just want to fill the seats of our churches and thus seek the glory of men because we want a large church. If that’s the case, we must face this truth:

“How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

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Jesus is not a God who always meets our expectations of what a God should be. True, He is the God of love, unlike any other gods in all other religions. He cares, is watchful, shepherds us, forgives and is merciful, and is all-powerful and all-knowing. However, He is more than this.

He is the God who will dig us deep.

Let’s look at this scenario. Jesus has just performed one of the great miracles of His ministry, the resurrection of His friend Lazarus. Previously, He had healed a man who was born blind. Before we go on, I must add here Jesus’ extraordinary answer to His disciples’ question before this healing miracle, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind” (John 9:2).1 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3).

 I just want that to simmer in our brains for a while as we proceed.

His most recent act before the event which we will address was His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem riding on the foal of a donkey.

Afterwards, some Greeks came to Philip and wanted to see Jesus. Their request was simple. “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” (John 12:21).

Now, if this question had been asked of you or me, we most likely would have said, “Sure. Bring them here. I’ll talk to them.”

But not Jesus. In fact, His response seemed to have nothing whatsoever to do with the request. Here is how He responded:

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:23–25).

If I were one of His disciples, my next question may have been, “So, you’re not going to see them, right?”

That, of course, didn’t happen.

Jesus is making it known that if these Greeks or anyone else wanted to follow Him, they must die to themselves. We are not to love our lives on this earth, He said. This, of course, is culturally abject nonsense. We love our lives on this earth. This self-centered belief system, which all the world clings to, is the mother of a great variety of heinous sins. Abortion. Greed. Drug and alcohol abuse. Murder. All manner of sexual sins, some of which are abominations. Sex outside of marriage as well as divorce, which has produced millions of sons and daughters without fathers, leading to the dissolution of the family. The West is drenched in this roiling, nasty stew.

So, reader, what do you think about following Jesus? Are you willing to give up your life and turn away from loving it? The cost is great to do this. You will be a culturally misplaced person. An oddity. You will experience loss of friendships. Eighty years, give or take, of cultural discomfort and separation from what the majority of people are doing. However, such a life bears much fruit, Jesus said. The one who hates one’s life in this world as opposed to loving it will keep it, Jesus promised, for eternal life. Eternal life, trillions of years without end, when one leaves the earth.

Without doubt, if we can take Jesus’ eternal view, which makes sense, since He is an eternal being, it is worth it. But think this is easy? No, not at all.

Jesus will dig you deep.   

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

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I know that many in the world consider Christians to be simple-minded, believers in fantasies like dragons, fairies, and a giant bearded Daddy in the sky. When we lived in China, those who were “educated” thought the farmers who believed in Jesus were just ignorant, unlearned, superstitious peasants.

How little the world knows about Jesus. And how little they know that, God willing, He will dig them deep, which will be to their benefit.

To prove my point, let’s look at a conversation between a religious leader in Israel, Nicodemus, and Jesus. The man had seen something in Jesus that he’d never seen before.

He said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).1

Please see here that an educated man believed in miracles. In fact, the miracles Jesus performed were so wondrous that most everyone who saw them knew they were acts of God. No dragons, fairies or superstitions here. Just real, beneficial, merciful works of the Creator of the universe.

Here is Jesus’ immediate response to Nicodemus’ statement, and it is something that no one but He could have offered:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

The man’s response was, if I may paraphrase, “Uh? What in the world are you talking about?” Actually, the account in John reads, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (John 3:4).

What would you have said?  

Because of the religious leader’s ignorance, Jesus said, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?” (John 3:10).

Jesus was digging this man deep.

 As deeply as Nicodemus had been exposed, he didn’t walk away in a huff, never to return. Look at what he did after Jesus had been crucified. He was hanging out with one of Jesus’ disciples and decided to help with His burial.

“After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:38–40).

 What does this tell us? We are not clear about Nicodemus’ salvation. Scripture doesn’t tell us. But I think he was on the road to belief if not already there. The path to salvation is different for everyone. It may take time, or it may happen quickly. Everyone’s story is different. This is what Jesus told Nicodemus in that first encounter.

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

Do you want to know this remarkable God? Or are you convinced you are well-educated and would never fall prey to superstitious nonsense? Regardless, when your time comes, if it does by His mercy, Jesus will dig you deep. He will ask you questions you cannot answer.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Edge images.

I am ill. I won’t go into specifics, but it is sufficient to say that the pain and discomfort I am experiencing are so great that my ability to think in any substantive way are too diminished to offer anything of value to the reader.

I often write about suffering, and the passage below is one of my primary sources on this topic:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).1

I have written that this is easy to say but difficult to do. The last few days have borne that out. It is understandable that the Christian sufferer may question God’s love and will. So, to encourage others—and me—I offer this small piece I wrote a while back. May the Lord bless you as you read.

“God is not in a muddle of conundrums. It is impossible that He does not know and understand everything, and thus somehow not know the right and wrong of it all. The Lord Almighty is the referent for what is right and good. He created the concept of good. He is good in the highest sense of that word “good.” All that is good has God as its origin. He is, in truth, the only One who knows what good is, in the ultimate, eternal sense of things. There is no evil intent or betrayal whatsoever in the heart of God, only loyalty, love, and steadfastness. He is holy: morally pure and spotless without sin, error, or flaw. No darkness dwells in Him. He does not submit to wickedness, treachery, or perversion. He lives only in purity. He grasps no selfishness and displays no arrogance.”

Bless His holy name.

1Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

 Gif courtesy giphy.com

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