Consent Thou Not

“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” – Proverbs 1:10

John was a Christian, and a married man. He had been for almost five years now. Still somewhat of a baby Christian yet rapidly learning and gaining knowledge of the Bible, he was familiar with many of the scriptural commands especially those regarding adultery. He had spent considerable time memorizing many of these passages of scripture, as well as others. This was under the thought that he might quote them under moments of temptation as Jesus did.

While at work, she began to pressure him. Her name was Elizabeth. John was a married man. He had been married for almost twenty years now. He was loyal to his wife. This had been one of his reasons for memorizing many of the adultery texts. He had purposed in his heart to do whatever it took to live up to the seventh commandment and remain faithful to his wife.

Elizabeth was attracted to John. The devil purposed to use Elizabeth as his tool to tempt him, cunningly devising a snare by which he would attempt to entice John into violating the Seventh-Commandment. Elizabeth had been frequently attempting to seduce John, but these attempts had thus far not been successful.

“No” John told her, firmly placing his foot in the ground. Knowing that he was facing the latest assault, he darted a prayer to heaven. A series of scriptures flashed into his mind. These passages were from Proverbs and read, “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” – Proverbs 5:3-5.

“Come on” she said “who will know about it?” He gave her a powerful comeback, “God will know, and so will I.” By this time she began to notice that she couldn’t convince him to sleep with her, and she began to back off.

Brethren, how is it that you handle temptation from your peers? Do you cave or do you resist? A Christian should manifest nothing less than straight defiance when confronted with peer pressure. That defiance is to be directed at the temptation to do wrong. Regardless of the pressure brought to bear upon our souls, we ought to obey God and plant our feet in the ground.

The scenario presented above was given for the purpose of illustrating how a Christian should respond to like circumstances. Of course, this type of response is to be applied to any scenario the Christian may face and not just the temptation to commit adultery. Where ever peer pressure manifests itself, it should be greeted by firm resistance. We as Christians cannot afford to compromise with evil in the slightest.

In the final days of this earth’s history, we can bet that the most intense peer pressure will be leveled upon us. But during that time we must take our spiritual weapons of warfare and fight the battle. God has never failed anyone during their hour of combat. As it is said in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

When pressured to do wrong by those around you, “consent thou not.”

He heals my broken heart

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3

Nothing is capable of conveying the craving of my soul more than this passage of scripture.

Stygian darkness surrounds me, as though I am in an obsidian expanse. I roam without the knowledge of where I am going, my bare feet sinking into sand. I cannot see anything in front of me. I am acutely aware of the sensation of the vicious assault of heat beating down upon me. My brow is utterly saturated with sweat. My throat has been seized by the cruel clutches of dehydration, leaving it barren.

A voice like rushing water reverberates in the expanse. I can make out the words of this voice, which are like sweet music to my soul. They have said, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Radiant light abruptly floods the void, as though pouring through a fracture in some barrier that previously prevented its entry. My thirst is quenched.

It is as though this passage has been written for me. I can only see it as the words of infinite love, like some one who cares a great deal for me and knew of all my hurt wrote this down specifically with all of my pain in mind. The writer of these words is some one whom I know as a friend. One to whom I may cast all of my hurt and pain on. I know that I cannot burden or weary him. He always shows me sympathy when others will not.

Tears have been my daily bread. This has lead to a swift descent into a pit of despair. Misery has waged a ruthless conquest upon me. It seemed as though there was no hope of deliverance from the brutal grip of heartache. Sorrow overpowers me like a force much stronger than I. I have tried to fight alone, but the battle is comparable to lifting that which is too heavy for me.

I am seated alone. With my head bowed down, I stare at concrete. I hear the thump of footsteps all around as the masses pass me by. I am surrounded by the noise of hundreds of voices. Tears have blinded my eyes, so that I may not see either them or my surroundings. I weep aloud, but not one of them stops to so much as ask what is wrong. Multitudes move past me as though unconscious of my presence. Truly they are aware but they do not care. The noise of my weeping is incapable of arousing the slightest compassion in them. Their actions can only be described as a callous indifference to my pain.

I am then cognizant of some one next to me. They put their arm around me. Their hand wraps around mine in an effort to comfort me. I can hear their voice whispered into my ears. This person says to me, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” These words soothe the sorrow by which I have been overwhelmed. It is like they are the treatment of a deep wound. I know the one who whispers them into my ears. His name is Jesus, and he is my Lord.

It has been said that at the last day God will wipe away all tears. I am here to say that he will also wipe away my tears today. God is my healer. He is my best friend.

Todds’ Personal Testimony

I was baptized young into the Mormon church. Over time, I started to lose desire towards religion. Whenever friends would ask me if I was religious, and what denomination I was attached to, I would always lie. I was never fond of being a Mormon, because it did not FEEL right (On a side note, my friend had told me flaws about the Mormon church). I always had a feeling that there was something up with the Book of Mormon. I did not think of it as bad, but I always wanted to learn how to read the King James Version of the bible instead.

As I drifted away, I started to lean more towards violent video games, Rap, Dubstep, and other worldly things. Keep in mind, I played video games my whole life, but I started to feel more attached to them as I got older. As I was about to graduate high school, I became very good at video games. Good enough to go pro, and be one of the top players in some first person shooter games for the Xbox.

Shortly after graduation, I started going to college. This is when my life started to take a turn. At this point, I was in a strong, committed relationship for two years. My friend from church came knocking at my door. My first reaction was, “Ugh, another person that walks with the lord.” I was tired of people coming to my door and asking me to go to their church. I did not want anything to do with any of it. I was satisfied with my life. I had an amazing girlfriend, almost a 4.0 GPA, and I was thinking about making a career out of playing games.

The night my friend came over, he showed me a video on how media and video games can alter your mind. For some reason, this hit me hard, but later my friend told me he had got on his knees and begged for the Holy Spirit. I thought God existed, but after watching those videos he presented to me, I was basically in shock. God was REAL. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that he existed.

Over the next three years, I had tried going to prayer meetings, and going to church on the weekends. But for some odd reason, I still did not feel convinced to try and change my life over. I was still playing games, and becoming more attached. Towards the end of this period, I got the brand new game, “Halo 5.” I loved it. I enjoyed it so much, that I wanted to go pro in this game. I got a team together, and went head first into that goal. I played nearly 8 hours a day, minimum, while working close to 40 hours a week. I don’t remember how I found time for my girlfriend. While playing that game, I was able to get into the top 200 rankings in a few different playlists, my highest being 49th best player in the world in Free For All.

After a few months of play, and enjoying the time of my life, I started to feel like I was drifting away. Games started to sound less fun. I wanted to just sleep. I found that I was forcing myself to play for 2-4 hours. I was not sure why I was feeling the way I was. I decided to start playing other video games. These were fun, for a very short time. Again, they started to become tedious to play.

After about a few weeks of feeling this way, I was talking to my friend and he asked if I wanted to go to church. I chose to go, and as the week drew near, I started to get a craving to go. After attending church, my desire shot through the roof! I tried playing video games, but they felt disgusting to me. I started to get a strange feeling towards many of the worldly ways. Only days after going to church, I decided to give my life to the lord, and here I am, a month later and I am loving life so much more!

 

A Storm Is Coming

Multitudes are spellbound by the overpowering sensation of impending catastrophe. Looming over the horizon is a storm comparable to a severe hurricane. This fierce disturbance is due to collide with our world, slamming against our planet with intense destructive power. Total devastation is the end result.

Numerous individuals are cognizant of the approaching cataclysm. An acute sensation of apprehension fastens its irresistible grip on many within the masses with the sudden jolt of an electric shock. The grumbling roar of the distant storm has left them mesmerized by sheer terror. Totally helpless before the onslaught, all who hold an awareness are sensitive of impending annihilation. These individuals scrutinize data connected to world affairs, watching worldwide events unfolding with a firm vigilance.

Ferocious conflicts erupt across the globe in the blink of an eye. Furious nations assemble their forces for nothing less than global warfare. Contagions swiftly spread through the nations, running rampant across the planet. Earthquakes occur more frequently and with greater intensity. Storms and tempests rage across the land, devastation following close in their wake. Famines materialize here and there, carrying an escalating death toll.

Righteousness is regarded by the masses with revulsion, while the basest perversions are celebrated and accepted. Morality rapidly evaporates to be replaced by the most horrific wickedness imaginable. Men exalt in their deeds of violence as though their actions are worthy of praise. Yet all of this is but the tip of the iceberg. These are the harbingers of a cataclysm of mammoth proportions. It is unlike anything ever experienced by the inhabitants of this planet since the foundation of the world. The most horrific cataclysm that the human imagination can conjure is incapable of providing an accurate depiction of events soon to transpire on this planet.

In spite of the roar of the approaching storm, a class of people sleep. Their slumber blinds them to the truth. Clear warning signs are regarded as commonplace occurrences. A bias of normalcy slips over their eyes. For them it is as though the approaching disturbance is totally camouflaged from view, the rumbling of the storm completely muffled. Yet they have chosen to be under the spell of this bias. Their own fears have prevented them from accepting what a keen observer spots with ease, that the single greatest crisis humanity has ever faced is about to arrive upon the global scene.

The vigilant and those who slumber share one thing in common, they’re both heading straight for impending annihilation. Without an apparent solution in sight, the vast majority of the masses are doomed to perish in the fury of the storm. The world’s most brilliant minds could not conjure a solution to the problem. All of the resources of this world are incapable of producing a means of escape. Yet despite all of this there is hope. That which is to come is comparable to the birth of a child.

Unknown to the masses, the monarch of the galaxies is soon to extricate his people from this world. With all of the armies of heaven behind him, he will soon arrive. The survival of his people through the fury of the storm is secured. While others are incapable of escaping the horrors soon to transpire on this world, they have a shelter under the hand of the almighty. Their bread and water is sure. They have long awaited this event, longing for nothing more than their Lord to return and take them home. While they’re rescued, the wicked world is annihilated.

A means of escape is offered to all who so desire it. It is within the grasp of everyone. Yet it would seem that few desire to take hold of it, for it involves a turning away from their evil ways. Their regard for righteousness with revulsion is their downfall, for it prevents them from finding refuge from the storm. Even in spite of all this, because there is a means of escape for all a message of warning must resound across the globe. A dying world must be warned of impending catastrophe, and directed towards their only way out.

Even among those who profess to follow the Lord, there are those who will not survive the coming cataclysm. Their downfall is their neglect of something that is of great importance. Preparation for this event is required of all who profess to know the monarch of the galaxies. We must be ready and live as though the storm were to collide with our world tomorrow. Our lives must be right with the Lord before the storm is upon us. Physical preparations will not save anyone from impending annihilation. We cannot afford to put off this needed preparation and expect to survive the coming crisis.

My dear friends, we must watch and pray and live as though each day were our last. A storm is coming, and we know not when it will collide with our world.

Your Best Friend

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

One of the more beautiful things about our relationship with Christ is that we are to bring to him everything that troubles the mind. Whatever arises to disturb your peace is to be brought to Christ. Our Lord invites us to make him our confidant, to cast all of our pain on him. Our Father longs to bring to us healing and to lift the burdens from our backs. Even beyond this, our loving heavenly Father has promised to always be there for us in times of deep suffering. Than logically God is our best friend.

Never has a thought brought me closer to Christ. The mere suggestion that God is our friend holds a subduing power over the soul, and fills the heart with love for the creator. You will not find an incentive more powerful than the friendship our Lord offers to us and the healing which he provides for our wounds. This is sufficient motivation for the searching soul to forsake all and follow Christ, and an even stronger incentive for the Christian to follow the Bible and live by its teachings.

Everything that I have ever desired was given to me when I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Therefore the world has nothing to offer me. Than dare I ask how it could have anything to offer you? In comparison to the friendship which our father desires to have with us, how could there be anything worth clinging to in the world? Not one sinful pleasure that we may cling to is capable of bringing healing to our wounds, nor can such things within reason be found always by our side to provide comfort in suffering. None of these things even remotely come close to conveying to the burdened heart his or her true value. Might I therefore suggest that you have nothing to loose by following Christ and everything to gain?

Who will strip from you your pain? Who in the world can heal your scars? Associates betray your confidence. Either they do not care or they do not understand. Yet even worse than that, it would seem when they do care they do not know. Always busy and never able to speak over the matter, you may never find access to them. Many are burdened and wearied by the heart sorrows of others, and rather than seeking for the restoration of the suffering heart they turn their backs on those in need. As if these facts alone were not enough, there is many a human being who would scoff at the pain of others. Yet even if these facts were not so how could any bring rest and peace to the soul? How is it that a man could remove from you the scars that you carry? In reality no one can help you but Jesus Christ.

Our Lord and savior is the best friend that we could ever possibly have. He will always be by our side in midst of this world of sin and suffering until the end. My Christian brothers and sisters, do not let anyone take this truth away from you. Let no man rob you of the peace and rest you may find in Jesus, and of the lifelong relationship you may have with our Lord. Cease your reliance on men and place your dependance on God alone. He alone can heal the scars you carry. Only God can bind up your wounds and bring rest to your soul.

My Personal Testimony

[What follows is my personal testimony. This post will be accessible as a permanent page at the top as well.]

When I was a child, my parents took me to church on a regular basis. Very little of the religious instruction which I received stuck with me, however a general belief in the existence of God was fixed in the back of my mind. This thought stuck with me from my childhood on up through my young adult years, and provided me with an advantage which later allowed me to seek the Lord in a time of need and distress. Eventually my parents divorced and in response my father pulled me out of Church.

The events surrounding the divorce of my parents devastated me as a child. Having never been much of a social creature to begin with, much of my free time was spent in my room playing video games. I had always been an avid gamer as a child, and from that time period forward until I gave my life over to the Lord this had been a well established addiction. Sinking deeper into the world with each passing day, religious instruction and the very thought of God faded out of my mind. Eventually the Lord drifted out of my life completely.

Some time later during the end of my teenage years, I once again crossed paths with tragedy. Tears had become my daily bread as I continued my descent into despair. Conquered by my own miseries and unable to escape the clutches of heartache I sunk ever deeper into darkness. Yet I limped forward and fought, managing survival on a day-to-day basis. With no craving in my heart for attention, I sought to camouflage my pain that I not take the notice of others. I became exceedingly efficient with each passing effort to cloak my sorrow in secrecy, rarely if ever catching the notice of any. Overwhelmed with utter anguish, my mind then conjured the deepest of philosophical questions to which many I associated with could provide no satisfactory answer.

As this time period reached its close, I turned to the Lord. Inquiry about him sprang up in my mind, and slowly but surely I plied my father with question. The family’s religious background made him the logical candidate with which to share my sudden craving to investigate spiritual things. Consulting my father over the subject every weekend, I searched for answers until finally lead to the Lord. Prayer gradually became routine and I began to peruse the Bible. Yet a conflict always existed between my addiction to video games and my curiosity about our heavenly father.

My addiction engaged in continual warfare with my investigations. Every effort to investigate the Bible was confronted with the sudden overpowering temptation to obtain my latest fix. Unaware of the warfare taking place, the battle raged on. Eventually I found myself confronted with a conflict between a plain duty laid out in the Bible and my desire for video games. Although questioning the morality of my actions a desire to avoid submission to plain conviction drove me to excuses. Using fallacious reasoning as a shield I sought to escape the possibility of having to surrender my iniquitous practices. Overcome by the power of my addiction my curiosity in regards to our Lord became restrained and suppressed, yet not destroyed.

Although I ceased to peruse the Bible, prayer became habitual. With the thought of God stuck in the back of my mind I could not help but seek to commune with him as a friend. As of result there appeared to be a stalemate between the things of this world and my desire to seek out our Lord. This continued for a year, until curiosity transformed into an overpowering hunger and I finally called out to the Lord in prayer. Within a twenty-four to forty-eight hour period, a family friend whom I had originally attended Church with made an appearance on my front doorstep. This individual requested that I help out with a program conducted by my Church, which would be taking place all week.

Seizing the opportunity as an open doorway to return to the truth, I jumped upon the invitation. I attended the program every night until eventually working up the courage to ask some one for a ride to Church. The individual I asked agreed. My first day at Church I was confronted with nothing but love from my brothers and sisters to such an extent that I felt as though I had stepped into heaven. As the day reached its close a group of believers gathered for fellowship at one of their homes and I was invited to attend. While conversing with each other, the subject of violent video games eventually came up.

As a passive observer, I listened intently. In total disagreement with every point brought forward, I walked away from the conversation unconvinced of the truthfulness of that which was said. Yet I could not shake from my mind the thought that I must expel my addiction from my life. I arrived upon the decision to cease playing the games. From that moment forward it was as if my desire for the games had been completely annihilated. Yet a final push was made to imprison me in the clutches of addiction forever. One evening a friend asked me, “why don’t you play one last game with me?” Although in reluctant agreement this never saw the light of day, and I have not played violent video games since.

On the 8th of December, 2012 I gave my heart to Jesus Christ through baptism. This was the best thing that ever happened to me. I can scarcely find words to describe the light that poured into my life. Our father in heaven has completely destroyed any pain which I had previously suffered from, and I have finally begun to understand my value as an individual. It has been said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16. These words make plain to us the value of human life, for every soul on the face of the planet has been bought with a price.

Why Serve The Lord?

My Dear friends…

Reverberating across the planet, there come to us reports containing nothing short of raw fabrication. Disguised and packaged so as to bypass alarm, the unsuspecting masses have received their distribution without resistance. Little or no protest is offered, as though reason and common sense have been silenced. Often repeated by those who have scarcely conducted thorough investigation on the matter, horrific distortions are pushed as the truth.

It is with deep sadness that I address one such report. The announcement has circulated the globe that we are to tremble in fear at our maker, as though he threatens us into obedience. Many believe the fallacious conclusion of apparently terrifying consequences driving us to our knees in sheer horror to weep and beg for mercy from the monarch of the galaxies, as if our life were in the hands of a common criminal. This very thought is used to pressure those who have not yet come to know the Lord into service, as though there were nothing attractive about that which he offers to us.

The term “strong-arm” filters onto the scene as analytical minds begin their initial examination of such reports. I am reminded of those on this world who rule their nations with a fist of iron, whisking their subjects off to clandestine encampments to face extermination and slavery. The question comes to mind, do we lower the sovereign ruler of the universe to the level of the earthly tyrannical potentate on a mad power trip? Is he who made the heavens and the earth one who demands slavish obedience through coercion?

Dear friends, what are the effects of fear on the human mind? Self-exalted power hungry rulers have in the past taken advantage of how fear affects us. They are well aware that raw fear is capable of an effective short cut around reason and common sense. With intellect and conscience then short-circuited and effectively silenced, the shrewd politician is then able to ascend to the heights of absolute power. Pride and self-exaltation skyrocketing beyond the stars, every so-called earthly potentate guilty of such crimes have exhibited character traits comparable to malignant narcissism and the devil himself. Their very actions echo the words, “I will ascend into the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high.” – Isaiah 14:14.

Their cruelty and malice know no bounds, and the horrors perpetrated by such men upon those whom they consider themselves above are beyond words. Indescribable evil surrounds every act by he who exalts himself to the heights of absolute power. Dumbstruck by the sheer horror of it all, the people stand idly by in silence. Reason, intellect, common sense, and conscience have all been switched off; short-circuited to the point of deactivation as though the moral centers of the brain have been totally bypassed.

My friends, we must consider this matter carefully. What are the origins of cruelty and malice? For the answer to that question, I need only direct your attention to the above passage of scripture. It is the enemy of all mankind, the adversary of souls who is the author of such concepts. Yet, we know that closely allied with them is tyranny, oppression, and persecution. All of these seem to go hand-in-hand with one another, and therefore proceed from the same author.

We must therefore inquire, does the monarch of the galaxies make use of tactics commonly attributed to the enemy of all righteousness? Is our Father in Heaven nothing more than a tyrant arbitrarily demanding obedience? Are those who have entered into the service of the Lord nothing more than slaves? Under the weight of such conclusions the temptation to distrust rears its hideous head. How can one trust a God who is nothing more than a tyrant? It is therefore evident that such teachings lead away from the sovereign ruler of the universe. Dare I therefore suggest that his hand is not in them?

We are told plainly by the testimony of scripture, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” – Matthew 22:37. Is it possible to love some one whom you are afraid of? Suppose a man burst into your home, and with firearm held to your head demanded that you love him. Any cooperative response at that point would not be motivated by any real love, but rather by an attempt to avoid being shot. In like manner, there can be no real love to God in a service based upon fear.

We are later told, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18. Piecing these two passages together, we may therefore conclude that when you truly love the Lord a literal fear is cast out of the equation. It is destroyed, or rather swallowed up in your love for God. Jesus later shed much further light on the matter when he said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15.

Close analysis of this statement reveals to us one simple fact. If you love Jesus, you will obey his commands. Yet this passage in of itself is a strong rebuke to a service based strictly upon fear of punishment, for it does not convey the message “Keep my commandments, or else.” Might I therefore suggest that those who serve the Lord do so because they actually desire to? Is it something of a leap to put forth the idea that a true Christian will be found obedient to the gospel for the simple fact that he or she actually wants to be?

The Psalmist describes this experience when he says, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” – Psalm 40:8. A true Christian delights in doing the will of the Father. To thus conduct oneself is not a grievous yoke of bondage, it is not heart-saddening or distressing. Though the Christian may suffer, intense pain does not characterize the service of God. To follow the Lord is not some horrific burden from which men are overjoyed to escape. In all reality a true Christian will find pleasure in obedience to God’s will.

It is perhaps a positive fact than that the service of God is rather attractive in of itself, not to mention that which our Heavenly Father offers to us all. Yet, we are to believe that others must be brought to the Lord through fear and coercion? This is a thought that should bring shame to every follower of the monarch of the galaxies, for our Lord is a being of benevolence and the usage of fear and coercion to pressure others into service is a tactic inconsistent with his character. Taking the matter a step further, it is not an erroneous statement to make the claim that cults often use such tactics to maintain dominance over their membership, and produce followers.

Jesus once said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” – John 12:32. It is the cross of Calvary which attracts all to the monarch of the galaxies, not fear of punishment. The sacrifice made for all men holds a magnetic power over the mind, attracting he who discerns and receives the call of the Lord. As the realization of his or her cost settles over he who would seek to follow the overlord of the universe, the heart fills with gratitude and love; and with these very motives in mind he cheerfully chooses to forsake all and follow the ruler of all creation.

Yet, even more attractive than this is that which leads us to forsake that which is wrong. You might recall the oft repeated assertion that fear of punishment will lead us to weep and beg for mercy from the monarch of the galaxies? It is an indisputable fact that the testimony of scripture strikes down such fictitious claims, delivering nothing less than the complete destruction of the fallacy. We are told, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” – Romans 2:4.

Let us therefore analyze this thought, what is repentance? Repentance is best defined as a sorrow for that which is wrong, followed by a forsaking of evil. The above passage conveys to us the truth that it is the goodness of God which leads us to do this. Yet, you might often hear the cry “be afraid! Repent, or you will burn!” Throughout the scriptures we have many examples of individuals who have ‘repented’ for similar reasons. In the book of Exodus, the Pharaoh of Egypt ‘repented’ but returned to his rebellion as soon as the plagues were stayed. The plagues of Egypt did not produce a change of heart. How is it that fear of punishment would change anyone?

Dear friends, we now hold clear evidence that our father in heaven is not a tyrant who controls his subjects through coercion. Yet this thought is brought down to an utter impossibility by the very sacrifice provided in our behalf, and the full implications of that which was done for us by our Lord and savior. Such accusations crumble into the dust by a death blow struck from the following words, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in the fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” – Philippians 2:5-8

There are few who, once they ascend to the heights of absolute power, would then humble themselves and step down; obeying laws which they themselves crafted. Yet, our Lord took the form of a servant irregardless of the fact that he was the creator of the universe, and began rendering obedience to his own laws. These facts are the final nail in the coffin for the idea that God is some how a tyrant. With this in mind, fear-mongering is inconsistent with the character of our redeemer and creator who once said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34.

It is said of our Lord, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” – 1 John 4:16 and, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:5. Two characteristics of our God’s character are light and love. With this in mind, how is it that he would sanction fear-mongering to draw others to his cause? My dear friends, ultimately love is the great motive. This is what will cause us to change, and will purify our souls. Anything less is a facade, for you cannot truly love a God whom you are afraid of and it is impossible to truly love your neighbor if you are only afraid of the consequences of not doing so.

Friends, we must give our lives over to the overlord of the universe for the simple fact that he is our best friend, not because we fear punishment. There is nothing greater than the relationship which we may have with our creator and redeemer, which in of itself is an attraction stronger than any magnet. I implore you all to depart from that which is wrong, forsake all that you have, and come and follow our Lord; for this will be the best thing that ever happened to you.