Am I Going To Heaven?

Orroroo,_Magnetic_Hill-Wikimedia Commons.JPG

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me…” (John 6:44-45)

No one can come unless they’re drawn.

Jesus said to the crowd, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”

Youngs Literal Translation says it this way, “no one is able to come unto me, if the Father who sent me may not draw him…” (John 6:44-45 YLT)

For centuries now, Christians have debated the meaning of verses like this one. God’s sovereignty vs. our free will. Calvinism vs. Arminianism. John Calvin’s theology vs. Jacobus Arminius’s theology. And then there’s a huge number of Christians who hold views that are mixtures of the two. I’m not going to attempt to resolve a debate that began almost five hundred years ago and continues today.

But I will speak to anyone who reads this verse and worries that they may be a person who hasn’t been drawn to Jesus by God the Father.

Am I Drawn? Am I Saved? Continue reading

The Surest Way To Work Up A Crusade

“The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’–this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”

–Aldous Huxley

“for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

You might also like: The Article About Anger That Might Make You Angry

The Line Dividing Good And Evil

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Consequences Of Ignoring Jesus: God’s Way, Your Way, And Your Crushed Spirit

depression Christian

(From the archives, an article that’s been trending lately: The Consequences of Ignoring God)

Guilt, Fear, And A Crushed Spirit

Continuing our series on suffering, today we’ll look at how ignoring God can crush your spirit.

Proverbs 28:1 says,

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Why is that do you think? Why do the wicked flee when no one is pursuing?

The proverb is a reference to Continue reading

This Is Where You Want To Be In Life

Tolentino_Basilica_di_San_Nicola_Cappellone_14 via Wiki-labeled for reuse on Google Images

This is where you want to be in life: The place where you love Jesus so much, you live to do his will, to bless him, to please him.

Image via Wikipedia-labeled for reuse on Google Images, Italian, early 14th century

What God Wants (And what He doesn’t want)

Gathering_of_the_Manna c 1460-1470 via Wiki-Public Domain

The Gathering of the Manna c. 1460

Read John 6:28-43.

Last post from the book of John we saw how Jesus called out the crowd. He told them the reason they went to the trouble to find him was because he fed them, when he multiplied the loaves and the fish. Then he instructed them to work “for food that endures to eternal life,.which the Son of Man will give you.”

This prompted the people to ask, “What is it we should do, to do the works of God?”

Jesus responded, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he sent.” (If you’re interested you can read the last post here: Is Believing In Jesus All That’s Required? (Because after all, Jesus gave us commands)–John 6:22-40

The Cynical Seeking A Sign

After Jesus says the work of God is to “believe in him whom he sent,” the crowd is cynical toward Jesus. And they say: Continue reading

Does God Want Me To Be A Patriot? Thoughts On Independence Day

sunset-flag-america-fields-large via pexels - labeled for reuse on google images

Independence Day

It’s 3:30 in the afternoon, at the time of this writing, on the 4th of July, Independence Day. And I’m thinking about patriotism. I wonder about it sometimes, patriotism, because sometimes it can lead to decisions that hurt another human being simply because someone isn’t from our own particular country. So I get that there are problems with patriotism. Those problems make me wonder what God wants from us. They make me wonder if he wants me, and you, to be patriotic.

What Does The Bible Say? Continue reading

Is Believing In Jesus All That’s Required? (Because after all, Jesus gave us commands)–John 6:22-40

Marriage via pixabay - Public Domain

We left off in our study of the book of John with Jesus allowing his disciples to be battered about by a storm. There may have been a good reason for that. If you’re interested you can read the last post from the Gospel of John here: What It Takes To Be Glad About Jesus: John 6:16-21.

The Work Of God

The morning after the storm, what the crowd saw was that Jesus sent his disciples over to the other side of the sea of Galilee in a boat, and then he himself hiked up a mountain to pray. What they didn’t see was Continue reading

Things I Heard In Church: “I had picked my wheelchair. It was bright, like my shoes.”

Wheelchair and stairs“For nine months I was in bed without moving, at all, just my head. And every single doctor told me, I would never walk again, ever. I had picked my wheelchair. It was bright, like my shoes. I had decided I was going to go to Special Olympics… with that wheelchair because it had the [kind of] wheels for that. I was literally rooted to my bed, and I could not move, and everybody told me that I would never move again. And then one day, while reading the scriptures for only the first or second time… I came across this passage: Luke 17:5-6

From Gaby Viesca’s excellent teaching on 06/26/2016, Growing Together, Luke 17:1-6

Image via Christos Doulkeridis – Creative Commons

The Article About Anger That Might Make You Angry

Josep_Vergara,_Caïm_i_Abel (1)

Cain and Abel by Josep Vergara, 18th Century

The Article About Anger That Might Make You Angry

I have to confess, I was reluctant to write and publish this article about anger, because I’m concerned it will make people angry. But maybe in spite of my better judgment…

Jesus Nerd

If you follow my Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ accounts you know I put up scripture on these almost every day. More than one person has criticized me for it, but what can I say–I’m a Jesus nerd. I’m completely fascinated by this ancient Jewish Rabii, so much so that I just can’t help myself. I want to learn as much as I can about him and I want to share him with others. Anyway, recently, on Facebook, I posted the words from Jesus, “…I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…” (Matthew 5:22) And a friend of mine, Danny, asked in the comment section, “What do you think is meant by ‘brother’?” Continue reading