God Is Scary.

Some people seem to think you’ve got to read the Old Testament to think God is scary.  I don’t think they’ve ever read the New Testament.

Jesus:

“Enter through the narrow gate. The gate is wide and the road is wide that leads to hell, and many people enter through that gate. But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Only a few people find that road.”

Matthew 7:13-14 (NCV)

1. There is a Hell.

2. There is a wide road to Hell.

3. There is a narrow road to Heaven.

4. Lots of people will walk themselves into Hell.

5. Few people will find Heaven.

How many times have you seen this passage of Scripture used in graduation?  Weddings?  At Christmas?  (Why, for so many Christmases, did I not even read the Words of Christ?  Was I really celebrating His birth, or just gifts and warm feelings?)

In this same message, Jesus also says:

“Not all those who say that I am their Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.  The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants.  On the last day many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we spoke for you, and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles.’  Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil.  I never knew you.”‘ (Matthew 7:21-23, NCV)

I would rather die the worst death on earth than hear those words.

It’s the ultimate horror:

“I never knew you.”

Most of us have probably had the experience of running up to someone we recognize or maybe even love and them looking at us in regust or indifference or not remembering us at all.  I’ve had that experience.  It’s miserable and painful and hard to get past.

But can you imagine standing on the brink of eternity and being told you’re not allowed to go with Christ?  That He doesn’t recognize you?  That everything you did was for you and wasn’t for Him at all?

That is the ultimate “uh oh”.  It does not get worse than that.  Eternal separation.

God is scary.

The lion has roared–so who isn’t frightened? The Sovereign LORD has spoken–so who can refuse to proclaim his message? (Amos 3:8, NLT)

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See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

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Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Before I think about possible answers for this question, I have to ask myself first,

Do this question apply to me?

That is, am I a “good person”?

Have I never told a story with a spin on it so I would look better?  Have I never blamed someone for something that was my fault?  Have I never said or done something that I wish I could take back?  (I might think, But I can still be good, even if I make mistakes “sometimes”, but there is no such middle ground.  The Bible makes says it best.  Romans is a great book to start with for questions of perfection.)

So I am not a good person and the question doesn’t apply to me after all.

Here’s the problem with accusations against God.  He is always good.  And I have just determined that I am not.  Yet somehow, someway, I plan to judge God for letting bad things happen to me.

I find this especially strange.  I have had times where I have caused bad things to happen by a deliberate bad choice.  And yet the second that something bad happens that I didn’t cause—rage!

For example, I have been known in my life to be very . . . unorganized.  I have caused others great inconvenience by my arriving late (or forgetting) events.  Yet I remember one time arriving at a carpool to a theme park about ten minutes late.  I was very apologetic and hoped to get grace.  But then, once we got to the theme park, we had to wait at the entrance for about twenty or thirty minutes for another family, and I was irked and couldn’t believe how rude and incredibly inconsiderate they were.

Can you believe it?  Can I even believe it, and I’m the one who did it!

Time and time again, I have done something really stupid, hoped to be forgiven for it, and then gotten peeved and grudgeful when somebody else does the same thing (usually far less severely than I did).

In Eden, God gave us two choices: live under His protection or strike out for ourselves.  We chose B.  We left God’s shelter.

It can’t say, “Well, that was Adam and Eve, not me.”  I have done bad.  I have actively participated in Adam and Eve’s decision to leave the nest of God.

So the question I was asking needs a one-word change:

“Why do bad things happen to bad people?”

Um.  That sounds a little different, doesn’t it?

(But does that mean everything that happens to us is punishment?  The book of Job tells us otherwise.)

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan. (Romans 8:28 NCV)

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See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Roe vs. Wade and Public Opinion

The argument can be made that the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade to legalize abortion reflected public opinion, and therefore upheld the Constitution’s emphasis on the will of the people.

There were definitely abortions taking place before Roe vs. Wade.  Even though abortion wasn’t legalized in the whole U.S., it was legal in certain states (usually with restrictions)[1,2].  In 1970, there were 193,491 abortions [2].  In 1971, there were 485,816 [2].  In 1972, there were 586,760 [2].  In 1973, there were 615,831 [2].  In 1974, there were 763,476 [2].  And in 1975, there were 854,853 [2].

Roe vs. Wade was argued December of 1971 [3].

It was reargued October of 1972 [3].

The decision was made in January of 1973 [3].

Given the number of abortions already being performed, it is clear: Many people were ready for abortion to be legalized.  We can tell that by the growth in abortion from 1970 to 1971.  Roe vs. Wade did not give people the idea to have abortions.  Roe vs Wade was a result of people wanting to have abortions.

Between 1971 and 1975, 3,500,227 abortions were legally performed.  If each abortion was represented by a dime, the total cost would be $350,022.70.

Why did I pick dimes as a representation?  Because the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform has rescued ‘remains’ from abortions and often uses coins to show the tiny size, yet incredible intricacy, of what is now called ‘the fetus’.

The graphic website Abortion No shows one dime with fetal remains.

Whether or not Roe vs. Wade represented the majority of public opinion is totally irrelevant, like asking whether American slavery represented the majority of public opinion in the south or whether extermination of the Jews represented the majority of public opinion in Germany.  Public opinion changes based on current leadership, the media, education systems, economic status, and popular philosophies/values.

And the thing about ‘public opinion’ is, it has a tendency to exclude the opinion of the people whose lives are being decided upon.

American slavery didn’t represent the opinion of African-Americans.

The Jewish Holocaust didn’t represent the opinion of Jews.

And abortion doesn’t represent the opinion of an unborn people who never get to come into the world to voice their opinion.

Life is far, far too valuable to be taken away from a people not allowed to have an opinion by the opinion of a people not living or dying by the decision made.  We are not formed by human opinion, but rather by the Creator God.

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7, NASB)

The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:22, NASB)

Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. (Psalm 119:23, NASB)


[1] Wikipedia, “Roe v. Wade”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade

[2] Wikipedia, “Abortion in the United States”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States

[3] U.S. Supreme Court Media Oyez Project, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_18

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 10:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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