Quite a few years ago, I worked in a field where I dealt with handicapped individuals. It was sobering to me when a man that was born blind with Down's syndrome missed one day of work over a 2-1/2 year span of time... (he had strep throat, and they had to force him to stay home.) I later shattered one of the lower vertebrae in my spine in 1998, and when I was encouraged to go on disability, all I could think about was that young man who had all the excuses in the worldâ€¦ And went to work. Permanently disabled, I work. Every day. On top of ministry. Disabilities are no excuse. Oh, and by the wayâ€¦ I do find time to play video games. Not going to lie.
The problem we face is pride. I have counseled with numerous young men with a pornography addiction, and the problem is it's accessibility. Almost everyone carries a smart phone now, and with a couple clicksâ€¦ Since over 57% of websites are pornographicâ€¦ They can have unlimited access to anything their flesh wants. I have an iPhone. I got my phone for one reason, and that is because it has user settable restrictions. When I first got it, I had my wife restrict anything with any access to anything that might containâ€” anythingâ€¦ Which humorously enough, means I can't click through to read the entire articles without her there to allow it... better safe than wrong though
Oh good grief... another opportunity for people ignorant of truth to apologize to other people ignore any of truth, simply because they're a different color. It will not be long now before men are apologizing to women for being men. Or, wait... are we already? I lost track.
In a moment of whiny clarity... I clearly feel frustration when Pastors (for the past 25 years of my Christian life,) constantly refer to Christ dying on the cross 2000 years ago... but that is a lie. The fact is, by nearest historical observance, Christ was born @4bc, and gave His life for me at @29ad. That means that, just now, only 1988 years have passed. Worse yet, 25 years ago, it was only 1963 years!
Well, I would start with the Bibleâ€¦ start with "husbands love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." It starts with being willing to give of yourself for your mate. Help them to understand that your focus is on them, and not on you. Be willing to take the backseat. Marriage is not about control, it's about a mutual exchange... but being willing to give, even when the other person isn'tâ€¦ I'd start there.
Honestly, I do not think it is selective pityâ€¦ I think it is, in reality, fear. There are so many "hotbutton" topics in society... and at the end of the day, there are two main problemsâ€¦ First, there are the semi-honest Christians that have got it in their head that in order to have an impact on the World, they have to be thought well of. They are concerned that controversy will limit what they can do. The second problem is the Christiansâ€¦ And I do use that term loosely, considering they act more like Lot in the days of Sodom than they do Christ; but I digress... The point is, they worried also about fitting in with the world, but mostly because they are comfortable in the world. As a result, when there was no stand against those hot button topics, it paved the way for acceptance of those. Once the enemy took that ground, they continued with their offenseâ€¦ Using the same tacticsâ€¦ And continue to take more ground.
Ladybug My comment was more tongue in cheek, but follows a line of reasoning from the Bible. You are absolutely correct in the Bible does not record the events preceding the dialogue between the rich man and Abraham. However, It is understood that those who have received the pardon from Christ will be with himâ€¦ Christ himself told the thief on the cross "today thou shalt be with me in paradise." In Revelation 20 it talks about those standing before the throne and before God. At that point the dead will stand before God; my assumption is that God will not be descending to hell for this event. At that time, The books will be open, including the lambs book of life. The Bible does record that "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.." and I believe the term cast, literally thrown, would be considered a rapid movement toward said lake of fire. I know there are many arguments as to whether or not this will only happen at the very end, or whether it's something that happens on perpetual basisâ€¦ My point was not to get into a theological debate over the timeline of people burning in Hellâ€¦ I think we would be better served working to point people to Christ. My point was simply to prove that some people crack at that, at some point, he WOUL
Ladybug, I agree, but wanted to add thisâ€¦ The cornerstone of salvation is "repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,..." (Hebrews 6:1) Esau repented to tears. Judas repented to good works. The thief on the cross repented to Christ. I can be no judge of any man's heart. We know that man lookerh upon the outward appearance, but GOD looketh upon the heart. He knows what man is repenting to. I am certain by reading my Bible that Hugh Hefner went straight to heaven when he died. But I am also fairly certain that five minutes later when his name was not found written in the book of life, he found himself descending rapidly. Enough said.
If I may interjectâ€” there's a fine line between a deathbed conversion, and a preplanned conversion, (which is no more than a delusion,) I believe it was Constantineâ€¦ when he founded what is now the Catholic Church, who exemplified a preplanned conversion. He assumed that only the sins you committed before salvation would be forgiven, and wanted to make sure he could continue until death. Of course, that wasn't his only fallacyâ€¦ He also equated baptism with salvationâ€¦ (hoping that would douse the flames?) Anywayâ€¦ The Bible teaches that God can get a hold of anyone's heart at any time he wishesâ€¦ And I'm sure that there are people that he gets a hold of at the last minuteâ€” I wouldn't limit his power. But I would definitely be cautious about assuming that everyone who suddenly wants to "get Jesus" on their deathbed is going to get anything but false hope and delusion. Just saying