God's mercies and compassions are new every morning.
Life is hard. To those without a saving faith in Jesus Christ, there is one saying that sums up the total of their purpose on this earth, "Life sucks and then you die". But the belief of the true Christian should be completely opposite of a hopeless life and then hopeless death. Jesus did not come to earth so that His followers could continue to live as if they have no hope. Jesus came and died to give all His people life and not just a hum-drum, pessimistic, 'oh woo is me' kind of life; no Jesus came to give us an abundant, joyful, peaceful, secure, and blessed kind of life. Now His idea of joy and a worldly view of joy is drastically different. The world's joy is "eat, meet, and be merry", they get their joy from material things, from artificial and temporary things. The problem with worldly things is they don't last. You eat that delicious meal with all the fixings, but as it goes down into the digestive track it turns into dirty nasty refuse; that double meat cheese burger with all the extra fixings with a side of extra large chili fries and a large chocolate milk shake, it all goes down well, but the going out of all that food is a different story. That is how sin is. It's good going down, but what comes out is broken down feces. Sorry to use such an illustration, but I want to bring home the sharp contrast of holiness versus worldliness. The temporary things are just that, temporary, they don't last, you eat one meal but you will have eat another, even if it was the best tasting most expensive meal, it still goes and comes out the same, regardless if you spent $5 dollars or $1000 a plate. That points to the absolute silliness of depending on worldly things knowing that at the end of day, they don't matter; when you die, it won't matter that you lived in a 50 bed room mansion and had 10 cars in the garage, or had millions of fans or that you were homeless with the sky for your ceiling and the dirt and a rock for your bed and pillow. If your name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, it does not matter whether you were rich or poor, the life you spend on 'dining' and 'living' in the world's system will come out in the end to total destruction, your soul will be 'flushed' down the eternal 'toilet' of hell.
Here is what survey takers say that a majority of people think about 'Christians' today: "Christians are bigots" "Christians are hypocrites" "Christians are self righteous" "Christians are racists" "Christians are out of touch with reality" "Christians are stupid" "Why should I follow Christians, they can't even get along within themselves"
Numerous studies are done on human behavior, one study that really stood out to me was a study I heard about from a sermon on Bible School Radio, the pastor talked about this survey and it was pretty disheartening. The study was on customer service in restaurants from the worker's point of view. One of the questions asked of the waiters, 'what was the worst part of their job?', the common answer was the waiters hated Sundays, that the 'church' people were the worst customers, the most rude, and were the cheapest tippers. What kind of sermon did these 'church' people listen to? Where in the Bible does it say that God's people are to act this way? Well the Bible does talk about 'unsaved' people who act like this:
ALL WHO DESIRE TO LIVE GODLY, IN CHRIST JESUS WILL SUFFER PERSECUTION.
Why I am talking about being a real Christian? Because it needs it needs to be crystal clear, the promises of God are for His people and His people alone. God says that if we will diligently obey His voice, to observe carefully all His commandments, He promises to bestow all of His blessings on those who will believe and obey. Now there are some differences between the old testament blessings under the Mosaic covenant and the New Covenant established in Jesus's blood, but the issue of receiving God's blessings are way greater than anything the world has to offer no matter if it's the old or new. Some things did not change in the New Covenant, like, God will never leave us or forsake us; that with God ANYTHING is possible; that with God we have NOTHING to fear. "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear, What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6; that we are not to trust in ourselves but completely in the Lord- "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and trust not in your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5 and Matthew 6:33. Christians can have 'the peace that passes all understanding' NOW, not in some future state. The blessings of God are not for those who reject Him and His laws, period. The wages of sin is death, that means if you are an unrepentant sinner, the work you do in the flesh-sin- what you get paid back with is death/curses, not life and blessings. "The ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous...but the way of the ungodly shall perish." Psalm 1: 4-6. That is why it is so ridiculous to think that God will bless us when we are living contrary to His word. Now, we can't 'earn' our blessings from God, they are His gift to us, we have to have faith to take what He is giving us. We are to obey God's commands because we want to, not because we have to, and God's gives us the ability to obey as we should because it is impossible to live the holy and totally opposite way of the world without the help of the Holy Spirit. It is God who makes us complete "in every good work to do His will, working in us what is well pleasing in His sight, though Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever, Amen." Hebrews 13:21;
So, if you have the Holy Spirit of God, we don't despair like the lost thinking, "life sucks and then we die". "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God"-Psalm 41:1, It is foolish to disbelieve. Christians have a better promise that we can depend and live on and base our very life on. Jesus tells us, instructs us, "we do not live on bread alone, but every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4. "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance."Psalm 42:5. Jesus promises His people that, "...I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" and "Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb" and "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain...HE WHO OVERCOMES SHALL INHERIT ALL THINGS AND I WILL BE HIS GOD AND HE SHALL BE MY SON." Revelation 19:6-9 & Revelation 21:4-7.
I will end with God's call to all those who will pick up their cross and follow His Son, Jesus Christ:
There is going to be a Day of Judgment, and God will judge everyone who has ever lived, His wrath is going to poured out on all the wicked and ungodly. The eyes of the unrepentant wicked need to be opened and the ears unplugged so they can see and hear the truth. The Good News is Salvation is a free gift from God, you can't work for it or buy because the price has already been paid with the Blood of Jesus Christ. and Believing in Jesus saves us from the righteous wrath of God. But that is not all, He gives us a new heart and mind NOW, and we receive some of His blessing from heaven NOW and are equipped to be able to live a life that is holy and acceptable to Him NOW.
1. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is real, He lived and died and rose from the grave.
2. Believe that you are a sinner, repent-turn from your sins and realize and accept you need Jesus.
3. Confess that Jesus is your Lord and God
4. Find a local Bible preaching church that does obey the commandment for water baptism for the remission of your sins and to identify yourself with Christ.
This is just the first step to a lifelong journey of growing in truth and love with the God who created this earth and everything in it, including every human being that has ever lived.
Bible verses related to this post: 1 Corinthians Chapter 6, Revelation 12:11, Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy Chapter 28; Psalm 42:5; 2 Timothy 3:2-4; Romans 1:29; Psalm 14:1; Matthew 19:26; Psalm 34:18; Psalm 30:5; Philippians 4:12-13; 1 Corinthians 4:8-12; 2 Corinthians 4:8-12; 2 Corinthians 6:5-6; Job 13:15; Romans 8:38-39; Matthew 5:10; Psalm 118:8-9; Hebrews 13:5-6; Romans 6:23; Matthew 6:33 & Proverb 3:5; Psalm 1: 4-6;Hebrews 13:21; John 15:18; 2 Timothy 3:12; John 14:3; Revelation 19:6-9 & Revelation 21:4-7; Philippians 4:7
references: unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks of Christianity by David Kinnaman.;
Erica Harris is a God Gifted Christian Coach, Counselor, providing insights and truths from the Word of God, The Bible.