Thursday, April 19, 2012


Religions are designed to tell people they are inferior to their god/gods; what the rules are for appeasing him/her/them; that their god/gods will judge their lives; and depending on how successful they are in abiding by the rules, what will happen to them upon death. Genuine Christianity is unique in that it teaches man is incapable of appeasing God due to man's sin nature, and that God, out of love for man, has shown mercy, and graciously provided a Substitute for the punishment due us. We can't work our way to heaven, because the only way to heaven is a gift, the Son of God, Jesus (Jn. 14:6; Eph. 2:8-9; etc.).

Today I attended the funeral of a thirty-one year old man who spent most of his life in a battle with drugs. His struggle ended last Sunday morning when he apparently succumbed to temptation and lost his life. My pastor confided in those present when we heard the news, that he was not certain as to whether or not the young man was a born again believer. Within four days, his remains were shipped home, funeral arrangements were made, and our church held his funeral service. What my pastor learned about him in those four days gave him, and quite frankly, the grieving family and those of us who loved him, total peace as to where he is now. He is with Jesus!

He had decided several months ago to enter a Christ-centered drug-treatment program in Alabama, and after much counseling, prayer, and determination, he committed himself to Christ. He began a journal of his thoughts, his successes, and his failures, and it was only after reading his journal entries that my pastor was convinced he had become a born again Christian. He shared some of what the young, new believer had written about how much he wanted to overcome his addiction to drug, and those entries he had written after relapses. They were filled with grief, repentance, and the assurance God forgave his weakness. In essence, he began again on the road to recovery every day.

He had also purchased a new Bible for his stay in the program, and had highlighted many passages that were meaningful to him. One was 1 Peter 5:8, which says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." He saw Satan as being behind every temptation, and the words "be sober" held special meaning for him. it meant the only way to defeat the devil was to get sober and stay sober. I am not sure, but I believe he probably took the two preceding verses seriously as well. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (1 Pet. 5:6-7).

He had highlighted 2 Corinthians 1:10, which says, "Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us." He knew Jesus had freed him from the guilt of sin the very moment in the past when he first trusted in Him. He knew Jesus was working in his life every day to free him from the power of sin. And he knew that whether or not he ever was successful in his battle with the devil, that Jesus would one day free him from the very presence of sin. Four days ago, Jesus took him home to be with Him, where he will never again be tempted. He had lost several battles, but in the end, it is Jesus who won his war! God's promise to every believer is found in 1 John 3:2 - we will be perfect!

Perfection is promised us in Christ, but not until we see Him in all His glory!

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