God gave them up

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, ‘The righteous by faith will live (Romans 1:16-17 NET).

God’s power for salvation is found in the gospel (literally “good news”) of Jesus and it is for everyone who will believe. That is, indeed, good news! God’s righteousness has been made known in this good news as people obey and are cleansed, made righteous, by being united with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (see Romans 6 for a detailed discussion of this). Continue reading “God gave them up”

And after that …

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

There was a film star who supposedly declared, on being told of her imminent death: “I always thought an exception would be made in my case.” Of course there are no exceptions; to be human is to be mortal.

Samuel Johnston once declared that the prospect of one’s own imminent death “wonderfully concentrates the mind.” Continue reading “And after that …”


For if we would judge ourselves we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31 NKJV).

Is there any traveler who does not get impatient with airport security lines and procedures? Those add extra hours to every trip as well as additional stress and fatigue. I always tell myself (and mean it) that I don’t care what I have to go through as long as it is making me and others safer, but I still get tired and sometimes a little impatient. After all, those lines can be very long and there are often multiple procedures to endure. It adds up quickly.

In a perfect world, such travails would be unnecessary. There would be no terrorists to commit atrocities upon the innocent. Every traveler would be innocent of evil intent and willing to comply with standards of safe and honest conduct. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Of course we know that the world we live in is just not like that. Sin and evil exist. Bad things happen. And we must take precautions and endure some limits to our comfort and freedom because of them. We don’t like it, but it simply is what it is. Continue reading “Self-discipline”

Can we know truth?

Following a romantic break up, you might listen to what the young woman says to her friends … and what the young man says. You would be forgiven for wondering if they were talking about the same incident! When listening to varying political commentators in this presidential election season, you might be forgiven for wondering if they were talking about the same debate.

The fact is that truth is a very rare commodity indeed. Why is it so hard to know the truth? Continue reading “Can we know truth?”

Is there life before and after death?

Job’s question, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14, NKJV) still resonates today. People throughout history have been convinced that the afterlife exists. It’s only a matter of what form it would take.

God says that when we die, we’ll enter the afterlife (Matthew 25:46) either to paradise or torment in the Hadean realm (Luke 16:19-31; 23:43). This will be followed by judgment day based on how we have chosen to live (Revelation 20:11-15). Continue reading “Is there life before and after death?”

Sheep or goat?

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left” (Matthew 25:31-33 NKJV).

It is quite common when driving in the mountains of Nepal to round a curve and find the road filled with a flock of sheep or goats, or to a mixed group of both. Though usually the difference is apparent, sometimes it requires a second look or more to decide exactly what kind of animals one is seeing. Continue reading “Sheep or goat?”

Written in the Book

The United States is entering another election cycle, and next year a popular vote will be taken to decide which candidate will be president.

From now until November of next year, the public will get a steady diet of political polls designed to tell which candidate is most popular. Personal attractiveness does not seem an acceptable criteria for selecting the most important ruler in the free world, but that is often what the process does.

Jesus was not concerned with his approval rating or his popularity. Instead, the Lord concentrated on his mission to tell people of the coming kingdom. Continue reading “Written in the Book”

The cutting edge

“Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:20-22, NASB).

The new tree has been planted. The limbs of the peach tree have been pruned, and as it becomes even less productive, the new tree will grow three feet away and fill in the void.

I am acquainted with a wonderful person who is generous to a fault, and seems to genuinely love people and love God.

I almost added, “someone who fears God” in describing her, but after thinking a few moments I realized that I do not know this for sure. Continue reading “The cutting edge”

One life, three possibilities

Because the very idea of life, our life, captivates us, it possesses marketing value and appears in aphorisms. Thus the soap opera title, “One Life to Live” or the maxim, “You only have one life.”

We do get only one shot it. How long can we keep hold of it? None of us knows for certain.

Life, however, does have one certainty. Our life will fall into one of three possibilities. While two of the three possibilities are horrific, the good news is we can choose! Neither fate nor random chance will determine which possibility will be ours.  Continue reading “One life, three possibilities”