Posted tagged ‘Heaven’

She Was Headed For The ‘Body, Mind and Spirit’ Event

August 18, 2018

When we arrived in town we noticed a sign advertising a ‘Body, Mind and Spirit’ event nearby. alternative spirituality image

A woman saw our healing banner, so stopped and asked: ‘are you with the Body,Mind and Spirit event? I replied: ‘no,it’s better than that!’ That seemed to throw her off balance, so she asked me to explain.

I told her we were Christians from different churches and were offering healing in the name of Jesus. I advised her to reconsider going in to the other event, since there were different spirits at work there – that were NOT of God. Satan (The Devil) offered lots of appealing attractions, but ultimately they just appealed to mankind’s lusts and idolatry and so led people away from the true God and a loving eternity in Heaven.

We talked about how you get to Heaven. She maintained she was basically a good person and therefore God would accept her on that basis. She was rather taken aback when I told her that the Bible says that God regards our best deeds as equating to a woman’s filthy menstrual cloth. She explained she had been brought up a Roman Catholic and believed that gave her an assurance.

I told her from my own experience how we get ‘born again’ – by surrendering our lives to Jesus in repentance and faith. Sadly, she wasn’t interested to talk further and headed off to the ‘Body, Mind and Spirit’ event.

 

Advertisements

What If Christianity is Wrong and Atheism Is Right?

July 28, 2018

what if Christianity is wrong and atheism is rightChristians believe that Christianity is the only spiritual path that leads to God. More accurately, a relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to know God. Of course, we try to provide reasons and honest reflection on why we believe this; yet ultimately, it’s what we believe. But……

What if we’ve got it all wrong? What if we’re horribly deluded and deceived, and in fact, Christianity has as much chance of leading to God as crawling over broken glass for 70 years? What if Christianity is just plain wrong? It’s certainly worth thinking about…

Is it Feasible that Christianity Could be Wrong?

Definitely! Christians have the same evidence in the world around them as do other people. They see the same sun rise and set; they see the same common human traits – good and bad. And they have access to the same human mind to think and reason. The difference is in how Christians interpret the evidence around them. In other words, there is no 100% “scientific” guaranteed method of “proving” that Christianity is right.

We trust that God has revealed truth in the Bible, and we trust that he has given us enough information to take him at his word. We trust him, when he promises things like “If you really search for me, you will find me”. But the bottom line is that it’s still trust. Christians don’t have some secret piece of evidence that conclusively “proves” that Christianity is right.

How Would it Affect the Here and Now?

So, if Christianity was in fact wrong, how would that affect the lives of people right now? From the perspective of Christians themselves, it would mean that their attempts to live a life of trust in God would be utterly pointless. After all, if there was no God, trusting in this non-existent god would be useless and silly. Yet, this would be a fairly harmless delusion. For the most part, we would attempt to live morally upright lives, and to contribute positively to society and culture. In reality, we would be kidding ourselves, since there would be no reason to do this, but it wouldn’t really hurt anyone else.

From the perspective of those who were not Christians, it might be a welcome relief. Sure, Christians would still keep talking about weighty matters, like heaven and hell, sin and judgment, life and death; but these would be delusional beliefs. Those who followed the spiritual path of atheism might well view Christians as a nuisance; or as an annoying but harmless itch. (No doubt, this is how many people do view Christians!) Ultimately, they could rest secure in the knowledge that these beliefs were indeed mistaken beliefs, and had no bearing on anything whatsoever.

How Would it Affect Life After Death?

But what about when we die? What difference would it make if Christianity was wrong? Well, largely, the joke would be on Christians. Instead of finding the heaven we had believed in, we would find…nothing. We would die, and that would be the end. We would simply cease to exist, just like everyone else. No God, no afterlife, no heaven – nothing. Those who were not Christians would be in exactly the same position.

What if Christianity was Right?

However, it’s equally worth considering what it would mean if Christianity was right. If the things spoken of in the Bible, and by Christians, were in fact completely true, where would this leave those who were not Christians?

In terms of life after death, it would leave them separated from God forever. Rather than simply ceasing to exist, they would continue to exist, but would know fully that there were no more opportunities to find God. Theirs would be an eternity filled with regret and remorse.

Furthermore, anything done during their lives would be completely pointless. No matter how great the achievement, it would be meaningless in a neverending existence separated from God and all that is good. The Bible refers to this neverending separation from God as “hell”.

While on earth, Jesus often spoke about hell. To describe it, he used the terms “fiery”, and “unquenchable fire”. He spoke of “weeping and gnashing of teeth”, and said that those who wanted to cross over from hell to heaven would not be able to. The Bible also warns of avoiding hell, since those who go there “pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of God”. It is clear that hell was, and is, a place to be avoided at all costs.

Is it Worth the Risk?

So, the question is: Is it worth the risk of not considering the possibility that Christianity is right? In other words, if Christianity is wrong, then Christians have lived around 70 years of a life, which ultimately, is pointless, but harmless.

However, if Christianity is right, then those who are not Christians will face a neverending existence of pain, penalty, regret, remorse, and overwhelming sorrow, away from God, and away from anything good.

Is this prospect worth the risk of not looking carefully at Jesus, and the good news He provides?

Author: Rupert Lineage

The Question Is Not “Do You Believe In God?” But “What Kind of God Do You Believe In?”

October 21, 2016

I said to him: “I’m guessing you may be a Christian” He replied: “Well I believe in God, but wouldn’t call myself a Christian”.  I said that many profess a belief in God, but the issue was which God did they believe in, since we can all make Gods in our own heads that don’t truly exist. I may sincerely believe in a four-headed God living on the Moon, but if it’s not true it’s a waste of belief on my part. The Christian believes in God as revealed in Jesus Christ of the Bible. If you make up a belief in a God of your own making, from within your own mind, you’re on dangerous ground.christian cross in gold colour

He pointed out to me how all the different religions claim to be the way to God. I replied that they believe different things, so can’t all be right, which he agreed with. I highlighted to him a fundamental difference between Christianity and all other religions: all other religious leaders said to their followers, in effect: “I am showing you the path to the God/Gods/Nirvana (or whatever)”. Uniquely, Jesus Christ in the Bible said it otherwise: “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life”. He declared He alone was the Way to God, and also, exclusively, that “no-one comes to the Father except by Me”.

I said to the guy: “Suppose you were on a journey, came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to go. There were two men by the roadside; one was dead, the other was alive. Which one would you ask for directions?” Obviously you’d choose the man who was alive. “This”, I explained, “illustrates another difference between Christianity and all other religions. The founders of all other religions are in their graves, as conceded by their followers. No-one disagrees that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius are all dead in their graves. Jesus is the only religious founder who rose from the dead and is alive today, as claimed by his followers”.

He thought he might go to Heaven when he died, but when I asked him what the pass mark was for entry into Heaven he said he had no idea. I said to him that surely God would let us know how to get to Heaven, otherwise he wouldn’t be a very kind God? I explained how Jesus was our substitute, who died on a cross in our place and took the punishment our sins deserve. We receive our pass mark from Jesus who got 100% due to his sinless life. When we become Christians his 100% is conferred on us as “born-again” believers. Theologians call this “imputed righteousness”.

We discussed repentance, which he seemed to understand, but by the end of our conversation I concluded that he was happy to sit on the fence and take his chance on Heaven. He agreed that was pretty accurate.

We shook hands, I wished him well and said I hoped we might meet up again in another environment.

 

Is There Anything Wrong With Tarot Card Reading?

August 19, 2016

tarot card reader illuminated sign    I got an e-mail today from a professional Tarot Card reader who took exception to a personal article from a friend I published on this web page  http://www.newchristian.org.uk/tinastory.html

He said:” I am a  professional Tarot Reader and Life guide , and I do not  recognise any of the problems that you seem to indicate that go with the trade and the art ? – please could you refrain from non-informed talk about other people’s beliefs. That is why there is so much trouble in the world. There is room for all beliefs. Peace”.

As requests go, it was indeed very courteous. I shall reply accordingly. There is indeed room for all beliefs. Having beliefs in your heart harms no-one, except possibly yourself, but that is of your own free will choice. But if, in practicing my beliefs, I influence others it may for good or ill. If the latter, I will have to account for practising deception upon others when I face God at the Judgment.

So, is there anything wrong with Tarot Card reading? According to Wikipedia, “divinatory meanings” have been associated with Tarot cards since 1783″. So what is divination? It is defined on Google as: “the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means”. Supernatural means may arise from kindly or evil forces. How can we know the origin of these forces?

From the Christian perspective, the Bible holds the key to what God approves or disapproves of: “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the holy bibledetestable things of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Bible, Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 18 verses 9 to 11).

Using divination puts one in the realm of deceptive spirits.  The Apostle Paul predicted: “But the (Holy) Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons ” (The Bible, Book of I Timothy 4: 1).

So if God does not approve of divination we must conclude it is harmful to man, since God seeks to encourage purity and righteousness in our lives.

The Bible, Psalm 24 verse 3 says:

“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.”

If the God of the Bible forbids divination by those he has made then we risk the wrath of God if we indulge in such a practice. The ultimate outworking of God’s wrath is exclusion from his presence and a resultant banishment to hell, where Satan and his followers end up in eternal torment and suffering. If you disobey God’s warnings you cannot expect him to welcome you into Heaven, where he lives.

“Why Should I Become a Christian?”

June 17, 2016

After the man had received some practical help from us, I said with a smile:”don’t forget to thank God in your prayers tonight!”

He responded in a positive way so we chatted further about God and Jesus. He actually raised the question of repentance and we discussed what repentance and faith in God meant.

I gave him a booklet called “What Is  a Real Christian?” and he read a couple of pages. He then said:”the question should be “WHY should I become a Christian?”

I gave him God’s view of sin: all sin – even theft of something from a friend – is primarily a sin against God. So God is the one you need to repent towards. Without repentance (a turning away from all known sin in your life) you will have to give an account of your sin on Judgment Day – and Jesus is the Judge. Becoming a Christian wipes the slate clean because your trust in Jesus and his ability to forgive your sin makes you a new person, hence “born again”. He had heard of “born again Christian” so I explained why we need to become born again, using the illustration of the TWO BUSES.

bus going to hell   In this illustration all of life happens on the two buses. Bus #1 is the one we are all born on. Its destination is Hell and Satan or the Devil is the driver. The Bible tells us Hell was made for the Devil and his angels (actually demons). However, if we remain on Bus#1 we are headed for Satan’s destination, whether we realise it or not. We therefore need to get off Bus #1 and on to Bus #2. Bus#2 is driven by Jesus and His destination is Heaven. All mankind is under the power of sin and only Jesus can change our sin nature. This process is known as being “born again”. When we are born again (recognise our need of the Saviour Jesus as the only one who can forgive our sin and set us free from it) we are transferred onto Bus #2 whose destination is Heaven.

He took the booklet away and said he’d read it.

 

 

 

God Knows How Old You Are, Even If You Are Homeless

April 8, 2016

homeless manOn the way into voluntary work I was praying that God would use me and that I would have love and compassion for those I would meet. I also prayed that He might work through me.Ten Minutes before we closed a homeless man came in. I gave him tea and some biscuits and he said he really could feel the energy flowing into him as a result of getting something inside his stomach. We chatted about where he slept at night and I gave him a list of places where he could get food during the day. Some churches and church based organisations do free food, also a local church provides very cheap food for people on the margins. Also, I noticed we had been given some vouchers for a restaurant in town that provided the holder with a full meal at no cost. I gave him one and he really appreciated it.

He said he wasn’t an addict, and I believed him. He was concerned about how sweaty he was and how he smelled of urine. Also his clothes were pretty grubby and he couldn’t afford money for a launderette. We had little clothing available,  but we managed to find a tee shirt in his size which he gladly accepted.

He said to me:”how old do you think I am?” I answered: “61”. he said: “You’ve been looking at my paperwork!” I said: “No, I haven’t seen any of your paperwork” I went on: “but God knows how old you are, and lots of other things about you.” I chatted about how personal God was and he was quite amenable to talk about God things.  He was a little surprised when I told him that the pass mark for Heaven was 100%. I explained why it was 100% and how it was possible for me and him to get the full 100%. He readily accepted that Jesus got the 100% and that when we follow him as disciples we qualify for 100% on the basis of what He did, not on our own goodness. I explained how the Bible calls our  own goodness “filthy rags” and the need to confess all known sin as it holds us back from God and Heaven.

Before he left he thanked me profusely and, amazingly, commented how gentle and acceptable my approach had been as I chatted about God things to him.  He blessed me and thanked me for all he had received from us. I wished him well.

Not Thy Will, But My Will Be Done!

February 13, 2016

Illustrated bible verse    I had a long chat with a guy who came in for food. He had been to church in Wales as a youngster, but had drifted away as he grew up. He had lost some family members in the last few years and had felt their nearness on their passing away. We discussed God and belief, and he thought there was “something there”, but he was not really interested in pursuing the question in his life. I gave him the gospel basics, and tried to encourage him to reach out to God, but didn’t get very far. Later that day I was thinking over of the phrase: “Not THY will, but MY will be done”. It’s really on that basis that we end up either in Heaven or in Hell – our eternal destination is what we ourselves choose in this life.

I also thought how many are happy to say “I believe in God”, but go no further than a mental assent. It reminds me of the evangelist’s use of the parachute as an illustration of what faith involves. I can say I believe in parachutes, but that belief means nothing until the day I’m in an out of control aircraft, reach for a parachute and put it on. It’s only when I put it on, jump and full the ripcord that I really do believe in parachutes!!  It’s the application of faith that determines whether your faith in “x”means anything at all.

A younger woman came in and I recognised her as “J”, a street drinker I used to see regularly when I did mission work on the streets. At that time she was a vulnerable girl, very self-willed, who wouldn’t listen to our requests to go back home to her Mum, whom she lived with. When she walked in I could see she was intoxicated, so nothing had really changed. As we at down to chat, she told me that she’d had “a 5 month old dead baby” and started to cry. I really felt for her, poor woman. Clearly someone had taken advantage of her, and even that had had a tragic outcome. Eventually the supervisor called a local unit where she was staying for transport, as she needed to get across to the other side of town and clearly couldn’t get there under her own steam.

A young guy turned up later. He told me he had mental health issues and suffered from a type of psychosis. I asked if he’d done drugs in the past. He admitted a long use of cannabis, then latterly a serious heroin habit. He was now on a prescription for Subbutex, a heroin substitute designed to wean you off the drug. He’d been given accommodation by a local charity and was hoping to get back on his feet.