In this video, I challenge you to really think about your reasons for serving God.
How do we draw other people closer to God? We don’t. He does. This is one of those simple truths that has a profound impact on how we will attempt to relate to both God and humans.
Now at first, it’s easy to shrug and say, “Well, of course God is the One actually drawing people closer to Him—that’s obvious.” Christians are quick to agree with statements that sound God honoring, but they rarely stop to really absorb those statements into their theologies. Take the idea of putting God first in life. We all know that He’s supposed to be our First Love—the One who we’re living to please. “Put God first” is a common Sunday School mantra, but saying the words and understanding what they mean are two very different things. Continue reading
Why do people end up in Hell? According to God, Hell is a just punishment for humans who willfully refuse to submit to Him as the Supreme Authority that He is. Given the fact that you can’t even exist without God constantly sustaining you, it’s hardly unreasonable for Him to demand that you embrace your place as the powerless fleck who depends on Him for all things. When God demands that you acknowledge His supremacy over you, it’s rather like you being told to agree with the fact that you need oxygen to survive. He’s really just demanding that you accept a reality that you can’t change. God outranks you: this is a fact that you have no control over. God controls your quality of life, therefore it’s more than a little stupid for you to scoff at His Authority.
Now when you’re born, your body needs oxygen to survive, but you don’t understand this fact until someone teaches it to you, and that doesn’t happen until years into your life. The fact that you don’t understand something doesn’t make that something cease to be true, but it does change how accountable you are. Before God introduces Himself to you and explains about the vast difference in rank between the two of you, He doesn’t expect you to know who He is. Before God teaches you that He wants you to submit to Him, He doesn’t blame you for not doing so. The possibility of you being eternally damned only comes up after God has personally given you all of the information you need to meet His salvation requirements. No one ends up in Hell by accident. We only get there by willfully defying God and intentionally spurning His Authority.
Here’s a common stream of logic that is used by Christian leaders when they are discussing the subject of evangelism.
- There are many people in the world who have never submitted to God, either out of ignorance or because they’re choosing to embrace an attitude of spiritual rebellion.
- As an individual Christian, it’s your spiritual duty to try and persuade unbelievers to convert to your religion so that God’s Kingdom will grow. Witnessing—the verbal sharing of your faith with others—is a critical way that you do this.
- There are many ways to approach witnessing. One of the most effective ways is to share your personal testimony. In other words, you should tell others about why you became a Christian, and what God has done for you. Since well-stated testimonies are the most convincing, take some time to work out what your testimony is. Practice saying it until you’ve got a nice, polished story. Then get out there and start pitching God to unbelievers and see how many new converts you can herd into His Kingdom.
You’re a Christian who claims to be serving God. But is that what you’re actually doing? Or is it just what you think you’re doing? Do you understand what it means to serve God? Most Christians don’t. We certainly aren’t taught how to serve God in church. At church we’re only taught how to serve people—people who tell us that we should trust them to interpret God’s will for us. But should we? Continue reading
We all start off serving God on a “give to get” basis. When we obey Him at great costs to ourselves, we naturally expect Him to reward us within the same context. If obeying Him causes us to look really stupid in the eyes of others, then we would really appreciate God rewarding us in that same context–by doing something that shuts everyone’s faces and proves that we were right. Noah looked like a lunatic when he was building the ark–but then the flood did actually happen, thus he got his “Ha, I told you so,” moment. When Daniel was chucked into the lion’s den, he got his “told you so” moment the next morning when he was still alive. When Shadrach and his friends were thrown into the fiery furnace, they got the satisfaction of God publicly exalting them by keeping them alive. Plenty of us would be willing to put it all on the line for God if we knew our earthly humiliation would end in earthly glory.
But what if it doesn’t? Continue reading
God could end your life at any time. This is true for all of us, but for the most part, we don’t really give much thought to God’s absolute control over life and death. But when God arranges for us to have some close brush with death, suddenly our perspective changes. Maybe He healed you from some fatal disease. Maybe He saved you from dying in some horrible collision. Maybe He botched your attempt to commit suicide. Maybe you were impaled by a bullet or a knife that barely missed puncturing some critical organ. Maybe you almost died on an operating table. Maybe you’ve lived past the expiration date that medical experts put on you. Maybe you survived someone’s attempt to have you killed in the womb. Maybe you were saved from execution at the last second. Whatever the circumstances, when God does this sort of thing, He’s forcing you to see how easily He could have taken your life. He’s also making His decision to prolong your life on this planet feel like the very personal, purposeful decision that it is. The big question now becomes: why? Why is God keeping you here? Why didn’t He have you die when it seemed you should have? Why is He making an exception in your case? If you’re currently pondering these questions, then you’re definitely on the right track, and helping you stay on the right track is the purpose of this post. Continue reading