Tag Archives: Lake of Fire

Right or Wrong Behavior

In society today, many meaningful Christians say things like: “That person will never go to heaven because…” or “That person must not be a Christian because…” First of all, our behavior does not determine where we will spend eternity. Our behavior is determined by who is in control of our lives.

In the Old Testament, people were to obey the Law. Their salvation was by faith based on keeping the Law. People were always sinning. And because they were always sinning they were also offering sin offerings to get things right with God again. I believe God did this so we would understand that it is impossible to achieve salvation through our own efforts.

When Jesus came to live on the earth, his primary purpose was to become a perfect sacrifice for our sin. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Through his resurrection, Jesus overcame death. He was able to become victorious over the death of sin brought on by the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Because of Jesus death and resurrection, every person will have eternal life! The ones who accept this gift of salvation will live eternally with God in the New Heaven. Those who do not accept the gift of salvation will live in eternally in the “Lake of Fire”.

When we accept the gift of salvation, we also receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit communicates with God on our behalf. He is the intercessor between God and man.

What do most people mean when they say ‘right’ or ‘wrong’? What they really mean is that if it is ‘right’ it will bring glory to God the Father through the Holy Spirit. Likewise, if it is ‘wrong’ it will bring dishonor to God and not glory. In fact, it will usually bring glory to the flesh or in other words the ‘natural man’.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21(NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26(NIV)

In Galatians 5:19-21, we have a list of behaviors or actions one will take if they are following the flesh. These are the actions that will dishonor God. These are the actions that will ‘make us happy’ for a short period of time. Frequently these are the actions that also make us feel ashamed after we have committed the action.

In Galatians 5:22-26, we have a list of behavior that take place when we are following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These are the actions that glorifying God. These are also the actions that people like to see in others.

Here are four questions that you can use to test to see if an action will be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. For example let us look at the action of homosexuality. This is a problem that has been in the church before Paul set out to establish the churches. Homosexuality is not a new problem.

Here are four questions that you can use to help you determine what is right or wrong. I will use the act of homosexuality to illustrate how it works,

Question #1: Does homosexuality appear in the list of fruit of the Spirit?

If the answer is ‘no’, then it does not bring God glory. If ‘yes’ then it brings God glory.

Question #2: Does homosexuality appear in the acts of the flesh?

If the answer is ‘yes’, then it does not bring God glory. If the answer is ‘no’, then it may or may not glorify God. It needs to be tested further.

Question #3: Does the Bible mention homosexual behavior anywhere else?

Leviticus 20:13 speaks about homosexuality.

“‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Leviticus 20:13(NIV)

Question #4: If you find a place in the Bible where it mentions homosexual activity, “What was the outcome”? Did it bring God glory or did it bring about judgement?

In this case of homosexuality referenced in Leviticus 20:13, did it bring God glory or did it bring judgement to man?

If one reference is not sufficient, than look for another reference in the Bible that mentions homosexual behavior. The church in Rome had problems with all kinds of sexual behaviors within the church, perhaps Romans 1 would be a good place to look.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-27(NIV)

Here again the actions of homosexuality mentioned in this passage brought judgement to the person who exercised those actions. Based on the Biblical information, there is evidence that shows homosexual behavior is wrong.

Perhaps you try justifying the actions by saying ‘you could not control yourself’. If that is the case begin back with question #1. Does the behavior of ‘self-control’ appear as a fruit of the Spirit? The fruit of the Spirit indicates that self-control is one of the spiritual fruit. If you are unable to control your sexual desire, then you are not controlled by the Spirit.

You can test self-control with question #2. Is the ‘lack of self-control’ mentioned in the acts of the flesh? If you are following your selfish ambition’, then you are obviously following the flesh and not the Holy Spirit. If you are still not satisfied, go to questions 3 and 4.

The primary purpose of Christians is to glorify God. Throughout the life of Jesus, there was evidence that Jesus was seeking to be glorify the Father and not himself. So if we are going to follow Christ’s example, we should glorify God in all that you do and say.

 

NOTE: scripture in this article was downloaded from http://biblegateway.com

Christmas Thoughts

As a person gets up in years, Christmas seems to take on a different meaning as I set back to reminisce my dreams and aspirations of my youth. Some of my dreams are fading because of my physical ability to do them. I tend to look back at my past dreams and how they have been affected by various trials and difficulties that have happened along the way. The dreams of a large family with lots of children and grandchildren gives way to the fact that the  children have grown and become parts of other families with their own dreams.

As I ponder the dreams of my past and my family’s present, I wonder if I have given them the right instructions for reaching their dreams. Have I laid the foundation that they build on? Will they trust God as their Savior? Do they know that God as given them the gift of Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ? Do they know there is a place in Heaven for all of God’s children? Will they teach these values to their children and grandchildren?

In the Book of Genesis, God lays out the foundation of His dreams and aspirations. In six days, God created all the essential parts of His dream. He even made mankind in God’s own image, and it was good. He also made a special place where mankind could enjoy the beauty of his creation. God was able to go to Adam and Eve and have a great evening of fellowship. God wanted that relationship and he still wants a relationship with all his children, not just at Christmas, but every day of the year.

God had given Adam and Eve one important instruction: Do not eat of the tree in the middle of the garden, or you will die. It was not long before that was changed. Eve was tempted and ate of the forbidden tree. In the cool of the day God was looking for Adam and eve, but they were hiding. God had to banish them from the Garden because they disobeyed Him.

It wasn’t long until Cain killed his brother Abel and people continue to disobey God. God sent a flood to wipe out the sinfulness of mankind; He confused their language; He made them walk in the wilderness for years, He made them become slaves to foreigners, He gave them a Kings because they wanted one. And so it goes throughout the Bible. But God still wanted that relationship with man.

In fact, God wanted that relationship so badly that He sent his only Son to die for the sins of man, God wanted to restore eternal life to those who love him. It is a Christmas time that we celebrate the beginning of this dream; the birth of His Son, Jesus. God’s primary reason for sending his only son was to forgive sins and restore eternal life to mankind.

However, the religious leaders were so upset with God that they did everything they could do to get Jesus out of the picture. Finally on Good Friday they made good on their threats. They nail Jesus to a cross. What they did not understand was that Jesus had become the perfect sacrifice. It was the only sacrifice that would take the past, present, and future sins of man to their eternal destination. Man could now be perfect in God’s eyes.

The second purpose for Jesus death took place Easter morning. God reached down and raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus became victorious over death.

Things are different this time around. This time God is letting man choose who he will follow. God wants everyone to accept the gift of salvation, but he is not going to force it on mankind. In fact, for those people who accept the gift of salvation and are willing to follow Christ will be given a home in heaven. Revelation 21 tells about this heaven:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:1-5(NIV)

The new heaven and the new earth are better than the current heaven and earth. There is no separation between the new heaven and the new earth. God dwelling place will be with the people. We will be able to have eternal, uninterrupted fellowship with God. God’ ultimate dream will become reality. Sin and sinful behavior will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, never to be released on earth again. There will be unity at last. We will be restored to the perfect condition in which God made us originally and sin will never separate use from God again.

 

NOTE: All scripture in this blog have been downloaded from www.biblegateway.com