Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Smoking or Non Smoking?

I remember those days fondly whenever you went into a restaurant and your hostess would ask you if you wanted "smoking or non smoking?" I am so glad that isn't an option any longer when dining in most locations, but it is still very relevant to where we will be spending our eternity!

I know that there are some that believe that nothing happens to us when we die except for turning into a worm buffet. But that is not the reality the Bible teaches. Even for those of you that refuse to believe in the Bible, I hate to break it to you, but the choice in where you will spend eternity will be based on your choice here. When you die, it's simply too late to make your smoking or non smoking choice.

Heaven and Hell are very real places. While God did create both, He never destined for man to spend his eternity there. That is why the choice remains up to you. God will never send anyone to Hell but they themselves will make that decision
Just like in the choice regarding in which section you will sit when dining, the same choice is made when we either accept Jesus Christ or reject Him. Even a non choice is rejecting Him. While you are debating the merits of making your decision at some later point in your life, if you were to die today, you have made your choice.

Contrary to what we used to kid about in high school, that Hell would be for hanging out with all the other sinners of the world, those that didn't want to give up all of life's pleasures and we would be spending an eternity in Hell with our friends, partying, is a sad delusion.

Part of Satan's greatest deception is to get you to believe that Satan and Hell doesn't exist. Simply a made up fairy tale designed to get people to make choices to give up their preferred lifestyle here on earth and attempt to live a righteous life by following Jesus. And you know what it's working out really well.

Today more people are turning from following Jesus in light of living for themselves. Making their own choices, living a life that is pleasing to them. No more rules of what is right and wrong, but times are a changing and in their minds, the rules need to be rewritten to accommodate this new way of life. Now more than ever, people are growing increasingly hostile to those who maintain a moral standard and absolute truth to what is right and wrong. Standards we gleaned from the Bible when this country was formed. God's law is our measure of what is right and what isn't. For most people, they don't like to be told what to do, and what they are doing is wrong. They haven't lived their life enough on their own terms to get what they want out of life.

How sadly mistaken these people are! If money, success, fame, fortune, notoriety, power, whatever you put there, would make people happy, why are so many opting to chose suicide instead. Look at Hollywoods up and coming elite and see how far people are reaching out in despair to a world that offers nothing to fill the hole inside of us for something more, than this world could ever offer.

The only way to fill that need, that emptiness inside is with a relationship, not a religion, with Jesus. People think you have to stay within the lines when it comes to religion, but we opt for a relationship instead. We will NEVER be perfect, no matter how hard we try. Our thoughts will betray us, our words will escape us when we least expect it, and our impulses and feelings will lead us back to a place we had hoped we'd never struggle with. That is simply sin. It exists all around us, and only until the day, the earth is reestablished and renewed will that struggle ever go away. Even as believers in Jesus, we still struggle, we still sin, but we have the ability to ask and seek forgiveness and try again. We don't have to wallow in that pit any longer.

Here's something to consider. Why is it that the only persecution facing the world today when it comes to religious beliefs are only those who believe in Jesus Christ?

You don't see people being put to death for their belief in Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius or even for believing in nothing. Why is that? Have you ever thought to consider that?

Why kill innocent people simply because they believe in Jesus Christ? If Jesus didn't really change lives, why would people be willing to die the most horrible deaths imaginable simply for the sake of not giving up their belief in Jesus?

Because He does change lives!!! There is power in the name of Jesus! And only those who put their faith and trust in Him, will spend their futures in Heaven. Hell is reserved for those who don't. So the choice in where you will spend eternity remains with you today. Do you know where you will be spending eternity? What will you chose today, because you didn't come to this post today by accident. God has a plan and purpose for you and by reading this article, you now have a choice to make. Choose Jesus and Heaven or reject Him. Smoking or Non Smoking?
The choice is YOURS!

John 14:6 ~ "Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

If you want to chose Jesus, it's simple! Simply say this prayer in all sincerity:

Father, I come to You, confessing my sin and asking for Your forgiveness. I thank you, Lord, for You have promised that if I will confess my sins, You will be faithful to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I want to turn from my sins and live in Your will. I ask that You give me the power through Your Holy Spirit to live the right way.

I thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross, paying the price for my sins, and then rose from the dead. I accept Him now as my Savior, my Lord, and my Friend. Thank You for giving me new life in Christ. I surrender myself to You; make me what You want me to be. In Jesus' name. Amen!  

If you have prayed that prayer in all sincerity, I want to welcome you to the family of Christ. You may not "feel" any different, but you will begin to see changes in your life in powerful ways. I would encourage you to do these things.

1. Begin praying. Establish that relationship with God. It is the most powerful thing you can do as a believer in Him and He delights in hearing from you. You never have to wait for Him.

2. Get a Bible and begin reading it. I would suggest starting in the Book of Matthew and read to the end and then begin at Genesis. You will discover just how much you've been missing out on when you see what God will do in your life.

3. Find a church you can get encouragement from other believers and it's a great place to study the Word of God. It helps you get through the days you don't go to church. For me, it's like a spiritual vitamin B12 boost!

4. Tell others about your decision. You will find those who support you, but you will also face those who aren't happy with your decision either. Hold fast and keep praying and reading your Bible. For some people, they are simply waiting to see if you have changed or not. Give them time, and continue to pray for them. It's one of the biggest pleasures to lift the needs of others up in prayer.

Most of all Welcome Home!!

John 16:33 ~ "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (NIV).

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