Are You Guilty of Unjustified Unbelief?

By Russell George

Many people have Christian friends who are encouraging them to trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and to let God have his way in their life. They must admit that those friends are happy and seem to be living a good life. However, they say to themselves, “Oh, I don’t know. I think I’m alright. I think I’ll just go on the way I am. Most people around me think and live the way I do.”

Most people don’t struggle with unjustified unbelief. They know that there are people who don’t believe the way they do but they don’t give it much thought. Since the majority of the people in this world don’t believe like Christians do, they just accept the thinking of the majority. They don’t give any thought to the possibility that the majority might be wrong.

The thinking of many in our day is controlled by what is being called “the bandwagon effect.” It is also called “group think.” People are reluctant to accept a way of thinking that contradicts what everyone around them thinks. They fear that doing so might have a bad reflection on them. Almost without thinking, they accept the thinking of the majority.

In spite of the great advancement in knowledge that we have seen in the last century, there is still abundant evidence that the majority of people are unwilling to face reality in some areas of life. Our society is on a downward spiral that is bringing shame and hardship on a vast sector of our population. We need to take a serious look at what is causing the growing number of deaths from suicides, and alcohol and drug addictions. Why is there a growing number of homeless people living in tents on the streets of our cities? Isn’t that an indication that we are failing to prepare the coming generation to make their way in life? The only logical explanation is that the majority of people aren’t thinking right about the moral values and priorities they should have.

Back in the 1700rds in the history of our country There took place what is often called “the great awakening.” Much of the credit for it should go to servants of God who held crusades around the country and people by the thousands came and stood in the open air to hear them. They were men like John and Charles Wesley, Gilbert Tennent and George Whitefield. By their preaching people by the thousands came to the realization that they were sinners and needed to accept the forgiveness for sin that Jesus made available for them when he died on the cross. They gave their lives to God and started living the way God says we should. They came to the realization that they were unjustified in their way of thinking and needed to give God a place in their life.

As the population expanded they moved west and formed new settlements. They planted churches where they could worship God. They taught their children to have faith in God. The moral values that they practiced and promoted resulted in a peaceful and prosperous society. They had guns but no one ever thought of using them to kill people at random. There were no tent cities of homeless, abandoned people. The transformation that resulted from the great awakening continued to have an impact on society through the 1800rds. In the late 1900rds it began to be abandoned.

If you have already put your faith and trust in Christ to forgive your sin and make you a child of God, then I invite you to pray with me that we will have another great awakening. Some call it a revival.

If you are still on the bandwagon with unbelievers, I plead with you to start thinking seriously and open your eyes to the reality that we are on a downward spiral to ruin and destruction. Are you going to let things get worse without doing anything to stop it? If enough people like you will humble themselves and get on God’s side we can make a tremendous change in our society. You need to accept the fact that your negative attitude toward Biblical Christianity is unjustified.

It’s urgent. Make that decision now. Then you need to get a Bible and start reading it. You also need to find a Bible believing church and start attending it regularly. There you will find new friends who will accept you and encourage you in your walk with God. You also need to start telling your unbelieving friends on the bandwagon that you no longer believe like they do. Make a copy of this article and give it to them. Invite them to go to church with you. You will be surprised that some of them will.

If you have children, start teaching them to put their faith in God. If your children are all gone from the nest you may be able to have a good influence on your grown children and grandchildren. Turning from unbelief to faith in God is nothing to be ashamed of. Some of your old unbelieving friends may criticize you and make fun of you but in the end you will be the winner and they will be the losers. I also encourage you to read my article entitled “Unjustified Unbelief.”

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Unjustified Unbelief

April 4, 2020

Unjustified Unbelief

By Russell George

Friend, I invite you to go with me in your mind to an imaginary scene that I’m going to describe to you that took place 500 years ago. A man, let’s say his name is Fred, arrives out of breath at a potluck supper at his church. He arrives late and the people are already eating their first plate of food. He quickly hangs up his coat and rushes to the fellowship hall. He is excited! He shouts, “Hey everybody, Hey everybody!” When he gets their attention he says, “You won’t believe this, but I just talked to my daughter down in Argentina. Here is how it happened. A friend came to my door and said ‘Hey, I want to show you something.’ In his hand he had a little box about the size of a writing tablet. It had a glass front on it. He said, ‘You can talk to your daughter in Argentina on this.’ He pushed a button on the top of it and it turned on. Then he started tapping on the screen. In about a minute he turned the screen to me and there was my daughter’s face on the screen. I couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘Go ahead and talk to her.’ I felt foolish but I said Hi!” What a surprise it was when she smiled and said, ‘Hi Dad.’ I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. I looked at my friend in astonishment. He looked at me and said, ‘Go ahead, keep talking.’ I did and we carried on a conversation for about 15 minutes.”

You can be sure that Fred had the attention of all his friends at the supper. Written across the face of all of them was unbelief. They started saying to one another, “What’s happened to Fred? He must be mentally deranged.” Some said, “Maybe we should talk to him and see if we can help him wipe this crazy dream out of his mind before he makes a fool of himself.”

If that happened 500 years ago we could understand their unbelief and excuse them for it. If it happened today people would ignore Fred and go on eating. It is so common with us that we think nothing of it. The unbelief of the people in Fred’s day was justified but it wouldn’t be today.

Most of us today are enjoying the convenience of electronic inventions. We say, “Seeing is believing.” We believe in these things because we have seen that they work. We can’t explain how they work. We could come up with a good argument about why they shouldn’t work, but they do so we have to accept the fact.

When I was a boy, I had to accept some new inventions that I couldn’t understand or explain. At school they started talking about radios. I was convinced that they couldn’t send messages through the air. Maybe on a wire by telephone, yes, but I couldn’t explain how it works. We had a telephone. Therefore I had to accept that it was possible.

A few months later one of our neighbors got a radio. He invited our family to come to their house one Sunday afternoon and listen to the radio. We all went and sat in their living room and listened to the radio. From my understanding, it wasn’t suppose to work, but it did. I had to accept it.

Then they started talking about television. I was convinced there was no way they could send pictures through the air. They said in the minute the television signal left the transmitter the message could be seen and heard by people all over the state. I said to myself, “I’ll have to see it to believe it.” A month or so later I went with my dad into a hardware store. There they had a television functioning. People were standing around watching a world series baseball game on it. Again I had to face the fact that my unbelief was unjustified.

At school our teacher told us that light travels faster than sound. A few weeks later we sat on our front steps one evening and watched a thunder storm coming up. I saw that my teacher was right. The crack of thunder and the flash of lightning didn’t both come at the same time. Therefor the television was contrary to the laws of nature, because the picture should arrive sooner than the sound.

When I was a young man, I was guilty of unjustified unbelief when some young people began talking to me about my need of having a relationship with God. I was convinced that there was no God and I thought, “I don’t have any time or place in my mind for thoughts about God.” That happened in my first months as a student at the University of Nebraska. I was a timid, lonely young man with very few friends. I appreciated the friendship of these young people, so I accepted their invitations to do things with them. They had weekly meetings at the Student Union Building. I started going to those meetings with them because it gave me a chance to meet other young people. The only problem I had was that they always had someone there with a message about our need for God. I said to myself, “They aren’t going to convince me of that.”

As time went on, I began to see that those young people had a joy in their life and a reason for living that I didn’t have. I wanted that for myself, but I didn’t want to accept the fact that it was their relationship with God that gave them what they had. It wasn’t until the spring of my second year at the university that I finally accepted the fact that I too needed to recognize the fact that I was a sinner and needed to accept Christ as my Savior. I’m glad I did. It gave me a new life and I have never had any desire to turn back.

Many people struggle with unjustified unbelief. They are convinced in their mind that they don’t need God. My advice to them is what Paul said in Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” If you do that, you will be amazed at the change that takes place in your life. It won’t answer all the questions you have about God. I still can’t understand how God made this universe out of nothing, but I still believe in him. Neither have I gone through life without watching television because I don’t understand how it works. I just say, “Logically it shouldn’t work, but it does.”

We would miss all the advantages electronic devices offer us if we refused to use them because we can’t understand how they work. Don’t let unjustified unbelief keep you from enjoying all God offers you if you will only believe in him. Psalm 73:16-17 says, When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” You need to start going to a good church and expose yourself to the truth. Then you will understand that God is real and that he can make a tremendous difference in your life.

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Learning by Observation

September 16, 2019

Learning by Observation

By Russell George

There is a mountain of truth that can be learned by observation. Many fail to take advantage of it. Thousands of young people go in debt to get a college education. They still come out ignorant of much truth they could have learned at little cost just by observation.

I recently heard a radio preacher talking on this theme. He told about a professor in a medical school who was trying to teach his students that there was much that thy could learn by observation. On his desk he had a vial of human urine. He told his class that there was something about health that could be learned by tasting human urine. He stuck his finger in the vial and then put his finger on his tongue. Nearly everyone in the class cringed when they saw him do it.

Then he said, “Now I’m going to pass the vial around so you can all taste it.” No one wanted to do it, but out of respect for their professor, they did it. After everyone had tasted it he picked up the vial and went back to his desk. He asked the class, “Did you learn anything from that?” They all looked at him with a blank look on their face. No one said anything. Then the professor said, “If you had been observing you would have observed that I put my index finger in the vial but I put my middle finger on my tongue. Now let me tell you what can be learned about health by drinking human urine. It will make you sick.

There is much that we can learn by observing the people around us. Let’s suppose that you are doubtful about whether genuine Christians who consistently live the Christian life gain anything by it. You may think that they make a great sacrifice and get little in return for it. However, if you will carefully observe their life, in contrast to others who aren’t Christians, you will see that they do gain by it. For example, you will notice that:

1. They don’t get arrested and put in jail for not obeying the law.

2. They never fall under an addiction.

3. They too suffer from afflictions, but they have a cheerful spirit in spite of it.

4. They have a reason for living and have goals for their life.

5. They are happy and seem to be enjoying life.

We also learn much by observing what is written. Psalm 119:18-19 says, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.” There is no end of what we can learn by reading. In our day we have access to an almost inexhaustible quantity of books on almost any subject. Many can be had at little cost. Those who have a computer can go to the books section in the Amazon store. There they can buy used books, new books, books in hard cover or paper back, as well as e-books. There are e-books by older authors that are out of print but they are still available as e-books. Many can be down loaded for free. Others only cost “.99. Many good used books can be found at yard sales or Good Will stores.

Many great truths can be learned by reading history. We learn by observing what has happened in the past. It is unfortunate that history is often omitted from the curriculum of secular public schools today. If history is taught it is often taught from books that give a distorted version of the facts. History books written for public schools today are often written by authors who distort the truth to make it agree with their ideology. By reading history we learn what has had good results and what hasn’t worked. If we refuse to learn from history we will go on making the same mistakes that our forefathers made.

People who learn by observation are not ignorant of the fact that the more people depart from God the more immorality there is. The more God fearing people we have the less civil unrest we have in our society. For example, 50 years ago we never heard about people with a gun going into a place were people are assembled and start to shot people at random. What happened? It isn’t guns that have changed. People have changed. People who believe in God and respect his laws don’t go out and kill people at random. They know and obey the commandment that says, “Thou shalt not kill.”

God fearing people don’t decide what they should or shouldn’t do by finding out what is socially acceptable in our culture. They ask, “What does God say?” They decide what moral values they should have by reading what the Bible says. The less Bible believing, Bible obeying people we have, the more social unrest we have.

Wouldn’t you agree that reducing social unrest and making our society better is a cause worth getting involved in? If so, here is what you can do.

If you aren’t 100% sure that you are a born again Christian here is what you need to do. You need to put your faith in the sacrifice Christ made for us when he died on the cross. Stop thinking you will get to heaven by your own merits. You will never be good enough. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You need to pray and confess to God that you are a sinner. Then you need to ask him to forgive you and make you one of his children. That’s what Romans 10:9 says. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” If you do that, and surrender to God, he will begin his transforming work in your life.

After that you need to start telling others what God has done and is doing in your life and encourage them to do the same. Being in a good local church will be a tremendous help to you. If enough people do this we can change our country and make it great again,

Open your eyes and see what God has done. He will give you joy in life and use you to help others open their eyes to see what God can do in and through them. Some think that living the Christian life would be boring. It would be if you didn’t start by having a genuine personal relationship with God. He is with us every hour of the day and night. Through prayer we can talk to him at any time. We can share our joys with him and call upon him to supply our needs. We live the Christian life to please him because we love him.

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Are You a Skeptic?

October 27, 2018

Are You a Skeptic?

If you are a skeptic, you may be saying, “I hope you aren’t going to try to make a fool out of me.” No, I’m sorry, but you are already a fool. I just want to try to help you get out of the dilemma you are in. I’m sure you will say “I’m not in a dilemma.” But, are you sure?

Skeptics like to say, “You can’t be sure about anything.” That leaves them in a realm of insecurity. If that isn’t a dilemma, I don’t know what is. The more we let skepticism control our thinking, the more insecure we are.

It can’t be denied that there are insecurities in life. At times we have to make decisions, knowing that we may not get the results we want. If we let skepticism control us, we won’t make the decision. That leaves us with no solution for the problem we are facing.

Before making a decision we need to deliberate. Yes, there is a chance that I won’t get the desired results. Then we ask ourselves a number of questions such as the following. Have others had good results from making this decision? Yes. How many have had bad results from making this decision? Maybe you say, “I have heard of some, but I don’t know any of them personally.” Is this the only possible solution to this problem? Is there anyone who could give me advice? After getting the answers to these questions we can make our decision with more confidence.

For example; here is a skeptic who is sick and needs to go to the doctor. He looks in the telephone book and finds the name of a doctor who is a specialist in the field he needs help with. Instead of deliberating, he lets skepticism take control. He asks himself, “How do I know this doctor will be able to help me? What if he cheated on his exams in med school? As the days go by his condition worsens so he goes to the doctor. The doctor gives him a prescription. With the prescription in his hand, skepticism takes control again. He asks, “How do I know the doctor gave me the right prescription? Is he up date on the latest and best medicine for my condition? He tries to read what the doctor wrote on the prescription. He can’t make any sense of it. He asks himself, “How can I be sure the pharmacist will be able to read this? How can I be sure the pharmacist won’t give me some cheaper medicine and charge me for the one the doctor prescribed? You can’t be sure about anything you know.”

If you are a true skeptic you will be living with doubt every day of your life. That’s an awful way to live. It carries over into the spiritual realm. The skeptic asks, “How can you know that God exists? Can you prove it?”

To be honest, we can’t prove that God exists. We accept it by faith based on reason. We live in a material world. How did it all begin? We need an answer for that question. What explanations are there for it? The explanation most children are given in public schools is based on secularism. Secularism says it all began in one of two ways. One way is that it evolved. That leaves us with some unanswered questions. How did it begin? How did life begin? There are no logical answers to those questions. Children are just expected to accept the explanation without asking questions.

The other explanation given by humanism is that it all began by a big bang. If one stops to think about it, that’s the most ridiculous explanation any one could imagine.

The Christian’s answer is that it all began by God as we read in Genesis chapter one in the Bible. Everywhere we look in the universe we find design. Where there is design there has to be a designer. That gives us abundant reason for believing that God exists.

If you are a skeptic, the solution to your dilemma is first of all to accept the fact that you are in a dilemma. To deny it leaves you in a sea of uncertainty. That results in mental and emotional problems.

The second thing you need to do is accept the fact that there is a God and that the Bible is his divinely inspired message for men on earth. The Bible tells us what God’s will is for us and it gives us a history of what he has done for those who have trusted in him.

Genuine Christians live in contentment, even though at times they suffer afflictions. I Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” They have put their trust in God and have found him to be trustworthy. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6) . They don’t live in fear because they have been forgiven by God for all the bad things they have done. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:17-18). They have come to know God and have a personal relationship with him and his son Jesus Christ. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). They live in hope of a glorious future because they have eternal life and a home in heaven waiting for them. Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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” (John 14:1-2). All this can be yours also if you will put your faith in Christ.

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The Good Life

July 14, 2017

The Good Life

Every one wants to live a good life, but due to ignorance of what constitutes a good life, and what is required of us, many don’t get to enjoy it. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” God, our Creator, wants us to enjoy the good life. He has made it possible. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The problem for many people is that they have an erroneous concept of what constitutes a good life. Their expectations are too high. We can’t expect to have a good life if we aren’t willing to make any investments in it.

We must face reality. No one has a right to expect that they will pass through life with no anxieties. Jesus said in John 16:33 “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” It seems that some have more tribulations than others. There are things we can and should do to protect ourselves, but even then we will have some hardships.

God has promised great things to those who are his. Psalm 1:3 says that the blessed man; “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The same Psalm tells us the things the blessed man does and doesn’t do. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

If we aren’t willing to obey God we have no right to claim his promises. The concept some have of the good life is that it would leave them free to live their life as they please with no restrictions. The Christian life has no attraction for those who think that way. It would put too many restrictions on them. A life that makes no demands of you would make slaves of those around you. Romans 14:7 says “For none of us liveth to himself.” You are living in a fantasy world if you think everyone is obligated to serve you and that they have no right to demand anything of you. We need one another. We give and get. If we aren’t willing to give, we have no right to expect to get anything. Jesus said in Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” He also said “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Those who have a realistic concept of the good life will agree with Jesus who said “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). We should find satisfaction in giving. If we do, The good life will be one that enables us to give.

The hope of living a life without pain and grief is getting farther out of reach for us because of the deterioration of the moral standards in our culture. When people depart from God they leave behind the high moral values they once had. The founding fathers of our country were convinced of that.

On June 20, 1785 James Madison declared “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institution upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” Sited from the book “One nation Under God” compiled and written by the staff of the Christian Defense Fund pp. 41-42 On June 17, 1843 Daniel Webster declared, “The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man.” op site pp. 76-77

Young people who have surrendered their lives to the Lord don’t bring anguish and shame upon their parents by giving in to the lusts of the flesh. Every day there are parents who are forced to pour out tears of grief beside the casket of a son or daughter that ended their life prematurely by substance abuse. Those who surrender their lives to God and live for him don’t waste their lives in riotous living. They are a blessing and not a burden to society.

It is alarming to take note of the way our moral standards have fallen and continue to fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “The drug overdose death rate increased significantly in the last few years from 12.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 2010 to 16.3 in 2015.” Think what a dramatic change it would make in our society if everyone stopped taking drugs!

Drugs, of course, aren’t the only moral problem facing us. Many other anti-social behavior patterns are a menace to the good life for most all of us. Like it or not, the truth is that we live better if we live the way God says we should.

Take my word for it. I have lived a little over 80 years. From my own experience, and from my observation of thousands of people I have known, I have come to this conclusion. The good life is one that is lived in a happy, harmonious relationship with God, family, and with others. If you want to have it any other way you will be disappointing.

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Christendom

January 31, 2017

Christendom

Christendom is a word that includes almost everything that falls under the name of Christianity. Christianity has made a tremendous impact on the world in the 2000 years that it has existed. It all began because Jesus Christ proved that he was a supernatural being by raising from the dead. I Corinthians 15:6 tells us that he was seen after his resurrection by over 500 people at once. “After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” The evidence was so overwhelming that the unbelieving world couldn’t deny it.

Jesus disciples went out and spread the word, not just that he rose from the dead as he said he would. Their message was that Christ died a sacrificial death for the sins of the world. The Apostle Paul, in I Timothy 1:15, said “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” That message was propagated far and wide because Jesus disciples obeyed the command of the Apostle Paul given in II Timothy 2:2. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” They established churches. The churches trained the believers and sent them out to spread the good news of the gospel.

Over the centuries the teaching of Christianity has been altered again and again. Sometimes it has been abbreviated to make it more appealing to those who don’t want to submit to all the demands God places on his followers. Sometimes things have been added that aren’t found in the Bible. They are things like infant baptism and the mechanical repetition of prayers. Some Christians objected to these alterations, but those who practiced them were still called Christians.

As the face of Christianity changed, even the fringe groups still were included in what came to be called Christendom. As long as ones religion gave some recognition to Christ it was included in Christendom.

In great measure Christianity has lost its impact and influence over the world because it has been spread so thin. If your brand of Christianity demands little of you it will make little impact on your life. Those who know you won’t see anything in you that sets you apart from the rest of the world.

If neighbors and friends drop in right when it is time for the evening meal, the house wife can always add more water to the soup and make it serve everyone. The soup has lost its flavor and nutrition, but it’s still soup. That is what Christendom is. It is a Christianity that is spread so thin that there is little of the real thing in it. That is why genuine Christians have to speak of genuine biblical Christianity.

Is your Christianity the real thing, or does it just have a few elements of Christianity in it? Don’t be content with a boiled down or imitation of genuine Christianity. It won’t get you anywhere or do anything for you.

There is room for some disagreement among Christians, but there is one thing that all should agree on. That is that the only way to become a child of God, and qualify for a home in heaven, is by trusting fully and only in the finished work of Christ on the cross for our forgiveness and acceptance by God. There is no need for disagreement about that because the message of the Bible is sufficiently clear. We read in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Again, in Titus 3:5 it says “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Just being included in Christendom isn’t enough. You need to be included in the family of God. John 1:12 tells us that we need to believe in Christ to be included in the family of God. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Have you become part of God’s family by trusting in Christ as your Savior?

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Let’s Make America Great Again

It is in vain to think of making America great again without giving serious consideration to what made America great the first time. It is our duty to vote with discernment, but even the best politicians are powerless to make America great again. The power to make America great doesn’t start at the top. It demands a grass roots change in the thinking and attitudes of the American people.

America was great because a majority of the American people were good, hard working, law abiding citizens. The American people were good because they were godly. America will never be great again without the help of God.

America was great because a majority of the people loved, respected, and obeyed God. The churches were full, not just on Sunday mornings, but again Sunday evening and in a mid-week service. New church buildings were under construction all over the country. In the churches, children and young people were persuaded that they needed to repent of their sins, ask God to forgive them, and make them his children. Then they and their parents were constantly reminded in church of their duty to respect and obey God’s moral laws. They lived a consistent Christian life and sacrificed to help the poor and needy. If some were poor because they were lazy, they were made to understand that they shouldn’t expect to be the recipients of charity until they had done all in their power to provide for themselves.

Even when America was great there were still some atheists and agnostics, but they were in the minority. There was still crime, but nothing like we see it now. Proverbs 14:34 says “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Common people need to adopt a righteous life style before we can ever hope to make America great again. Righteousness increases when people are taught to live right. America was great when children began their school day by saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. The words “under God” weren’t left out of the pledge. Then they sang patriotic sons like “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.” Bible reading was freely permitted.

We can’t expect young people to live right if they are constantly exposed to sinful life styles. The righteous need to be exonerated and the wicked denounced. Christian parents need to take control of their homes and teach their children to love and respect them. A Christian home needs to be a place where children find entertainment without being exposed to sinful thoughts. Children had fun before we had television and electronic games.

If you are one of those who long to see America great again, then no doubt you are asking yourself, “What can I do to make it happen?” First of all, ask yourself if perhaps you are part of the problem. If you aren’t a child of God and surrendered to him then, yes, you are part of the problem. Making America great again will only be done by a noble army of godly people who fight the enemy, not with weapons, but with the message of salvation and godly living. The path to victory is found in the equation “A godly people = a great nation.” America will never be great again if we leave God out of the equation.

You can join this noble army by coming to God as a guilty sinner and by asking for his forgiveness. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God says he will forgive your sins. In John 1:12 it says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Then, in gratitude to him, you will want to surrender your will to his will and do that which is pleasing to him. If you aren’t sure you have done that, why not do it now?

There are many who are the children of God but they aren’t surrendered to him. They aren’t doing their part to make America great again. God wants his children to live in obedience to him. Ephesians 6:6-7 says, “Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.”

If we yield ourselves to God he will make us shine as his servants because he will allow us to produce the fruits of the Spirit that are listed for us in Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

God wants us to be his witnesses. Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We do our part in making America great again by our example and by our witness. We need to be bold in sharing this message with those around us. Let others know that they can have life at its best by being yielded to God and sharing the message with others. If we all do our part we will have the joy of seeing America restored to greatness.

There is much that needs to be fixed in America, but our beloved country will never be what it once was until a great multitude of people are in the right relationship with God. We need to fix what’s broken. What most needs to be fixed is the broken relationship many have with God. Make sure your relationship with God is what it should be, and then help others fix their relationship with God. By doing that, we can all have a part in making America great again.

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The Better Way

August 11, 2016

The Better Way

Jimmy woke up one morning with a hang over. His mind was groggy. He wondered why he was on the bed fully dressed, including his shoes. Little by little the puzzle pieces began to fall in place regarding what had happened the day before.

It was pay day. He went by the bank and cashed his check. Then he went to the mall to go on a shopping spree. As he walked through the mall a teen age girl came up to him and handed him a gospel tract. He saw that the title was “The Better Way.” When he realized what it was he crumpled it up in his hand and threw it on the floor. As he did so he cursed the religious nuts who have nothing better to do than propagate religion.

When he came to the bar he decided to stop in and have a few drinks. A few led to a few more and then a few more. When he looked at his watch he saw that it was nearly bed time. He paid the bar tender and made his way home.

When Jimmy walked in the door of his house he saw that his wife was waiting for him. She took one look at him, collapsed in a chair, and broke into uncontrollable sobs. Instead of making an effort to console her, Jimmy staggered into the bedroom. He threw himself on the bed and went asleep.

As Jimmy lay there the next morning he couldn’t help but feel guilty and ashamed of himself. He remembered that his wife had warned him that the next time he came home drunk she was going to pack up and leave him. Jimmy certainly didn’t want that. He was asking himself, “What do I need to do to get control of myself?”

As he lay there thinking, his mind went back to a time some years ago when his uncle Fred talked to him. He had tried to get him to see that he needed to become a Christian and surrender his life to God. Jimmy turned him off by saying, “No, I prefer to live my life the way I want to.” His uncle Fred closed the conversation by saying “Well if you ever see your need of a change in your life let me know. I would sure be glad to help you.” Jimmy knew that uncle Fred and aunt Sharon had been church goers even before they said their wedding vows.

Jimmy’s wife still lay asleep at his side. He knew that he needed to ask her to forgive him. He wondered if she would forgive him. He lay there searching for words to say what he needed to say.

When he heard his wife move a little bit in bed he turned over, put his arm on her shoulder, and woke her up. He said, “Honey, I’m awful ashamed of what I did last night. I know you are ashamed of me too. Please forgive me. I remember you threatened to leave me if I got drunk again. You have reason for leaving me, but please don’t do that. I need you. I have decided I need to get my life turned around and I need your help in doing it.”

Then he told her about uncle Fred and aunt Sharon. He said, “We need to go and have a talk with them. You also need what they have to offer, but you don’t need it nearly as bad as I do.” She agreed that that was what they should do.

Now we are going to leave Jimmy and his wife and make some applications. Maybe you aren’t in a situation as desperate as Jimmy’s, but if you have left God out of your life you haven’t found the better way.

To be in the better way doesn’t mean there will be no more trials in life. Matthew 5:45 says that God sends rain on the just and the unjust. Our observation is that the same could be said regarding afflictions. The difference is that the just don’t suffer all the grief that is suffered by those who live their life the way they want to, without giving any consideration to what God says is right. The Bible says, in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

The entrance to the better way is the same for everyone. It begins with repentance toward God. Acts 3:19 says “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Everyone must come before God just like Jimmy had to come before his wife and confess that he had sinned against her, and ask for forgiveness. Jimmy had to come before God in that way. Then we have to ask God to forgive us on the merits of the sacrifice Christ made when he died on the cross for us. Acts 16:31 says, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

Why don’t you join the millions who are in the better way? They have put their trust in God as it says in Psalm 37:3. “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”

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Loving Obedience

July 11, 2016

Loving Obedience

God wants his children to obey him, but even more than that, he wants them to love him. In John 14:15-16 we read that Jesus spoke the following words. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” Obedience without love is grievous. We do it because we feel it is our obligation. That isn’t the way the Christian life was meant to be lived.

We need to put first things first. Salvation needs to come first. Some try to live the Christian life without being saved. They may have good reasons for doing so. It may be because they see the benefits that come to those who abide by godly moral standards. It may be because they enjoy being in the company of Christians and want to be accepted by them. Whatever the case may be, if the time comes that they see that there are some personal advantages to be gained by violating Christian moral standards, it will be hard to resist the temptation.

When we are saved we enter into a personal relationship with God. We become a child of his. We have made reconciliation with God by accepting the sacrifice Christ made for us when he died on the cross. Romans 5:8-10 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” If we are saved we will love God because of all he has done for us. I John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.”

I John 5:2-3 tells us that it isn’t hard to keep God’s commandments when we love him. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” Love transforms grievous obedience into loving obedience. Love is also what makes a marriage relationship what it ought to be. What is done for your spouse isn’t a burden if there is love. It needs to be mutual, love for one another.

Perhaps someone says, “I don’t love God. Therefore I have no obligation to keep his commandments.” He had best stop and think. We reap what we sow. Moral laws are for our good and the good of society. If we hurt others by the liberties we take, they will take revenge. The golden rule in Matthew 7:12, asks us to do for others what we want them to do for us. Since, in the final analysis, it is our duty to obey, it is much better that it be loving obedience. That means we do it because we want to; not because we have to.

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                        Peace That We Can’t Understand

There are things that most of us can’t understand or explain, but we enjoy them anyhow.  I can’t understand how radios can pull voices out of the air, even less how televisions can pull pictures out of the air, but I go on using them and enjoying them.  Philippians 4:7 tells us it is the same way with the peace of God. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I wouldn’t want to be without the peace of God.  You need the peace of God.  If you don’t have it, this article will tell you how you can have it.

It is a great blessing to live in peace.  Fortunate are those who have no enemies, or if they do, it’s not because they have done anything to give others reason to be their enemies.  Life is much more enjoyable when there is peace in the home, in the neighborhood, and in the world.  The Bible tells us that one of God’s promises is that in the future there will be a 1000 year reign of Christ.  Ezequiel 37:26 tells us that it will be a reign of peace.  “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.”

This article is dedicated to the glorious promise of inner peace.  It is a state of mind that is calm; without fears.  Philosophers talk about it, but it is only by living the Christian life that we can experience it.

To live in peace doesn’t mean that you are free from anxiety or threats to your well-being.  It comes from a confidence in God that he will not allow anything to happen that, in some way, will be for our good.  It is interesting that we never read that Joseph, in the Bible, complained about what was happening to him.  He had much reason to complain.

Virtue is an important ingredient in our life if we expect to live in peace.  We will never have peace in our life if, by our life style, we bring trouble upon ourselves.  In II Peter 1:5, virtue is listed as one of the things we need to add to our life.  “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;   and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience Godliness.” If we are living virtuously, and trouble comes, we know that it must be that God allowed it.  We don’t have the feeling of guilt.  Our conscience doesn’t bother us.

To have the peace of God we first of all have to make peace with God.  That takes place when we are reconciled to God.  Romans 5:6-10 tells us how that is possible.  “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.    For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.   But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.   Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.   For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:1 says we can be at peace with God.  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” God has done his part.  We need to accept it personally and apply it to our lives.

Another reason why Christians can have the peace of God is because God gives them the ability to have victory over sin.  That doesn’t mean they never sin, but they can have victory over much of it.  I John 5:3-4 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.    For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” If we have the right relationship with God, we won’t have a great struggle in obeying him.  Psalm 119: 165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

If we have victory over sin we don’t do things that trouble us. Here is an example of the way taking vengeance could rob us of peace.  If someone hurts us, we may feel it’s our duty to take vengeance. If so, we won’t be at peace until we do.  However the result will be that we will live in fear that our adversary will take vengeance on us.  The Christian who obeys God is willing to let him settle the score.  Romans 12:19 says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

Christians sometimes have a problem with covetous.  Luke 12:15 says, “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” The covetous person never gets all he wants.  In Philippians 4:11 the Apostle Paul said “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Someone said he could sleep in a Hilton hotel one night and be equally content if he had to sleep in a tent the next night.

Another source of peace for the obedient Christian is his hope for the future.  According to the Bible, there is no hope for the one who hasn’t made peace with God.  Hebrews 10:26-27 tells us what he has to look forward to.  “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,    but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” The Christian, on the other hand, has the promise of heaven.  In my youth I watched the film “A Tale of Two Cities.” In that film there was a scene of a man who was condemned to die.  He was given the privilege of saying a few words before he laid his neck under the guillotine.  He said, “It is to a far better world that I go.” Obviously, he had the assurance of eternal life.  In John 14:1-3 Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” For the Christian, the best is yet ahead.  For the unbeliever, the best is behind him.

We can have the assurance that we are going to heaven because it doesn’t depend on our merits.  We can know that we shall go there because we are trusting in the merits of Christ.  Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” I John 5:11-12 tells us that we can know that we have eternal life. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.    He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

The one who seeks to do God’s will has peace because he trusts in the promises of God.  Psalm 37:3 is just one of those promises.  “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”  Psalm 23 tells us that God takes care of us like a good shepherd.  He is constantly at our side to guide and care for us.  Is he your shepherd?  He can be and will be if you become a child of his.  If you do, he will give you that inner peace that you need.

If you have questions or comments you can send them to us at the following web site:  rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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