Wondering About What Really Happens at the End

A little while ago I was thinking about reincarnation. I was thinking what a terrible thing to be true. What if I’ve been here before, and was sent back because I didn’t learn whatever I was supposed to learn? What if I don’t learn it again this time? How many times have I fricking been here?

I don’t believe in reincarnation simply because I don’t like the idea. And what a stupid idea it is. How are you supposed to learn from your mistakes in a previous life if you cannot remember that previous life?

There are so many fricking philosophies and beliefs in this world. It’s ridiculous. Truth is supposed to be easy to hear and recognize, isn’t it? Jesus says that his sheep hear his voice. (John 10:27)  In John 18:37 Jesus tells Pilate, “You say that I’m a King. I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”

I have been a believer in Jesus as the Christ for a long time. I don’t see that changing, ever. If I am wrong, I will die wrong.

I have read a lot in the last several years. I have learned about grace. I have learned about trinitarian life. And quite frankly I believe I was lead to these writings and revelations by the Spirit of God. The idea of God as a family, and wanting to extend that family through humanity seems right to me. But I’m just a man. Other men believe other things, and they think that what they believe is right. How is that possible?

As Christians we tend to believe that we are right about what we believe. And we believe that the Spirit of God leads us into all truth. The scriptures say that very thing in John 16:12-14. But how has humanity come to believe so many different things about God, and who he is?

Someone, or something, is causing confusion. There is the darkness. I’m confident that God can find us in the darkness. But there is confusion, and God is not the author of confusion. So I also have to believe that there is an enemy.

Matthew 13:36 says that an enemy has sown bad seed in God’s kingdom. Instead of removing the bad seed God allows them to grow together so that the good seed won’t be uprooted.

When the harvest comes the Lord will send his angels to gather first, the bad seed; they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness (Matt 13:41)

Jesus says this parable is the way things will go down at the end of the age. So how is it that Christians teach that the church will be be raptured out of the earth before any trouble?

A lot of times the parable of the 10 virgins is used to prove that the some will be taken, and those who are not ready will left behind. What if the parable is teaching that those who have the Holy spirit will be protected from the things that are happening to the rest of the world as the angels take care of “everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness?” The scripture says that these are thrown into a blazing furnace where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt 13:43) Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. (vs 44)

Wow! I don’t know how I got to all that. So if the oil in the parable of the virgins represents the Spirit of God, it would make sense that the virgins that had oil would not be able to share it, because it is belief in Jesus that brings the Spirit to one’s life. You can’t acquire it from someone else. The Spirit is given to those who believe.

Those of us who believe now are prepared. (?).. to go through great tribulation, and to be protected as God’s angels deal with the weeds. (?) Makes sense to me.

What I do know is that I am a believer. I have been for a very long time. I will be forever.

I’m Sorry

You may think I am strong, but I am not.
It is only the Lord’s Spirit that keeps me going.
But I get caught in my own places of darkness more often than not.

My mom passed away in October. I am not okay with that, but there is nothing I can do about it. I feel so lost at times. I still have the thought of picking up the phone to call her.
The remembrance that she is not here hurts every time.

If I have ever given any of you, my friends, the impression that I don’t care enough about you, I am sorry.  It is the last feeling in the world that I would wish upon anyone. I am just having a hard time now. I don’t know how long it will last.

Podcast: Is God Pleased with Us?

What if life with God is supposed to be more simple than we have made it? What if he is more loving than we think? and way less critical than the god we have in our minds? Life in Christ is easy if you stop focusing on yourself and your sins.

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What it is to Serve God

Today I was walking in to church (I won’t say which one) when I saw a homeless man. I watched for a few seconds as every person walked past the guy as if he was invisible. I spoke to the man, who seemed to be a little angry. I don’t know if he was or not. It just seemed that way.

homeless man in Georgia

Not the man I saw Sunday.

He had one of the churches cards in his hands. As I went into the church I was still thinking about the man. It was the second service I was attending. Just as it began I decided to go back out and talk to the man, maybe buy him breakfast or something, but he was already gone.

Even as I was walking out there I wondered about the people coming in and the people who were leaving. Were they even concerned? Did it even cross their minds that someone just outside the church doors was homeless and maybe hungry? It bothered me. Did they all think their duty to God had been fulfilled because they were in church doing whatever they considered “serving God?” How shallow we the Christian west are. I wish I had immediately offered the man my company, and maybe a meal. I feel ashamed. May the Lord forgive us all.

For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you didn’t take Me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe Me,
sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of Me. ’ “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You? ’ “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either. ’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal
life.” (Matt 25:42-46)

How many of us will find ourselves on the left side with the goats? We thought we were doing God’s work by going to church, raising our hands, speaking in tongues, shouting our praise to God, as we pass on the streets people in need; people who are hungry, dirty, homeless? We pretend we don’t see them. Jesus is saying that whatever we do to these, we are doing, or not doing, to Him.

I heard Darin Hufford say once that you can only love God by loving people. In the first part of the parable I shared above, you find Jesus praising those on His right for feeding Him when he was hungry, giving him a drink when he was thirsty, providing him a place to stay when he didn’t have anywhere, clothing him when he was naked, and visiting him when he was in prison and sick. When they wanted to know when they had done all of these things for him, he said that, “when you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.” So we cannot serve God without serving and loving people.

In Romans 5 Paul says that the Holy Spirit has poured out the love of God in our hearts. How many of us ignore the Spirit’s urgings when they come? At the beginning of this article I described what I see as I’m walking into church, and I’m wondering about the people who are coming and going, whether or not they were pretending not to see the homeless man, and what their feelings about him were. Perhaps they were wondering the same thing about others who were passing by, including me.

While I was wondering about others, could there have been the urging of the love of God in me? Of course there was! That’s why the man was on my mind. When I finally decided to obey the urge and go outside, the man was already gone. Perhaps, hopefully, someone else who didn’t ignore the Spirit of God, actually took the man to lunch, bought him some things he might have needed; maybe even took him home with them so he could have a shower; wash his clothes, allowing him to feel human again. I certainly hope so. I would hate to think that among all of the people going in and out of that church, that no one answered the call.

As I said before, I felt ashamed, and I feel ashamed now. However, I will have another chance, as will all of us, to do the right thing. May we all be more sensitive to the urgings of the Holy Spirit within us. Our God is love, so, don’t be surprised when you get the urge to help someone; give to someone; feed someone, or, just be good company to a stranger.