Archive for Christianity

How will you sleep?

Posted in Eschatology, Salvation with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

You have probably been asked, “How did you sleep?” But what about, “How will you sleep?” when it comes to death.

We have two choices:

  • One, we can sleep peacefully in Jesus – “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14)
  • Or two, we can sleep miserably in our own bed of spiritual failures outside of Christ only to wake up unprepared on the wrong side of eternity – “[The return of Jesus] is like a manRIP going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:34-37)

The living must be prepared to choose which bed we’re going to sleep in because not all sleep is equal, once the bed is made we’re going to lie in it (Ecclesiastes 11:3), and the alarm clock that will awaken us all will ensure that quality will out-measure quantity. EA

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:28-29)

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Piece of Mind or Peace of Mind?

Posted in Christian Living, Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

Similar in only the way they sound, giving someone a piece of our mind and allowing Jesus to give us peace of mind are two completely different things. One comes from being fed up and the other comes from being filled up. And both are determined by our appetite (Galatians 6:7-8).

Focusing on one will keep us from focusing on the other regardless of which one we’re talking about. So…

Someone does us wrong – are we going to be fed up or filled up? (Matthew 5:43-46)

Our spouse says the wrong thing at the wrong moment – are we going to be fed up or filled up? (Ephesians 5:33)

Our boss talks down to us – are we going to be fed up or filled up? (Colossians 3:22-25)

Our brother or sister in Christ lets us down – are we going to be fed up or filled up? (Ephesians 4:29-32)

Our child does something that completely destroys our trust – are we going to be fed up or filled up? (Colossians 3:21)

Our parent does something that completely destroys or trust – are we going to be fed up or filled up? (Colossians 3:20)

Our finances, our health and our sense of belonging are getting the better of us – are we going to be fed up or filled up? (Job 13:15)

While it may not always be wrong to get fed up (Matthew 23:13-35), being fed up and acting out with the wrong motivation can keep us from being filled up with the peace that comes from having the mind of Jesus (James 1:19-22, Philippians 2:3-5).

So are we more interested in giving others a piece of our mind, or sharing our peace of mind in Christ with them? EA

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Good Mourning?

Posted in Christian Living, Eschatology with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2)

Did we hear that right? There’s such a thing as good mourning? Most would say good ridden to an idea like that, but Solomon says nothing reminds us of our destination likeGraveyard the visible departure of others. The sight of mortality often demands an examination of our own morality, and its effects can be downright sobering to a heart drunk with carnal fun and frivolity! So yes, there is such a thing as good mourning, because the mourning helps prepare us for the night to come, for the way we end our day determines how we will begin the next. EA

I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)

The Jesus Factor

Posted in Doctrine, Jesus, Salvation, Sin, The church with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

Often times when people make decisions concerning their attitude toward the church, their sin, their lifestyle, their prayer life and their eternal destiny they do so without considering the “Jesus factor” into the equation.

Many try to seek God without considering the church – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (Matthew 16:18).

Many try to seek God without considering the necessary atonement for their sins – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (Matthew 26:26-28).

Many try to seek an avenue to God without considering any constraint in their life choices – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (Matthew 7:13-14).

Many try to seek God through various mediators without considering the medium – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (1 Timothy 2:5).

Many try to seek an eternity with God without considering his eternal word – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (John 1:1; 14:6).

If we fail to add the “Jesus factor” into any equation of spiritual problems we will fail regardless of the problem we’re trying to solve. EA

Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:4-5)

Making Melody In Our Hearts To The Lord

Posted in Christian Living with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

Sing, sang, sung or singing – when it comes to worshipping God through it, it’s a verb no matter how you say it.

When it comes to worshipping God in song there’s one thing that the religious world has either forgotten or it never knew and that’s that singing to God in worship is not meant to be entertainment any more than prayer, preaching or partaking of communion with the Lord. It’s meant to have a purpose, a direction and a result…from us to God. And looking for a beat that soothes His soul is the last thing that God is looking for from us as we sing to Him.

But before our worship in song can reach its goal it has to have a starting place – namely our heart!

It is true that there is also an aspect of singing in worship that is meant to capture, curtail and correct the wandering hearts of our brothers and sisters much like preaching, but even that aspect must begin and end with the Lord in our heart. According to the scriptures we are to: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16) The heart-strings of our brethren cannot be pulled in any direction unless we are already using our own (Ephesians 5:19). And twiddling our thumbs during the time that we should be singing does not constitute either.

Lastly, when it comes to singing in worship, our “talent” or the lack thereof to the ears of our neighbor does not do away with the admonishment or the desire of the Lord to hear us sing to Him. We don’t have to be “front and center” when the Lord is there. I mean think about it, have you ever thought about how the one who could solely listen to the voices of angels finds great delight in us singing to him? Just a thought.

Making melody in our hearts to the Lord will happen when He’s the Lord of our heart in life and in worship, for we cannot have one without the other. EA

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

Renovated by God

Posted in Christian Living, The Holy Spirit with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

Renovations done the right way are hard work! Planning, moving out the furniture, tearing out the old, putting up the new and bringing the furniture back in can be exhausting – but when it’s needed it’s worth it! This is important to remember because it’s easy to get disillusioned in mid-renovation, but the motivation to continue can from remembering the goal, looking at how far you’ve come and by finding a little help along the way. Come to think of it, a renovation is a lot like Christianity.

When someone believes in the gospel of Christ and they are baptized into Jesus, the Spirit of God begins renovating our soul. Paul said this much when he told Titus that our salvation came, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). We are washed, justified and sanctified from our old life by the work of Jesus upon the cross and work of the Spirit in our soul (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Once God begins this renovation we have to remember to make room for the improvements that he has in mind. A refusal to let go of the old can halt a renovation fast! God is patient with us, and he will even help us with the heavy lifting, but God will not provide new doors by kicking down the old ones! Just remember what Revelation 3:20 says. We have to keep our heart and mind open as God completes his renewal or the old will become ugly in a whole new way (Matthew 12:43-45). When we keep the goal in sight we can find the energy, finances and encouragement we need to get spiritually renovated. EA

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavensTherefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

(2 Corinthians 5:1, 17)

Will God Bring Peace To My Family?

Posted in Christian Living, Family, Stress with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

Few problems burden our sanity like family problems. When issues divide us from the people we’re closest to it hurts, and it can hurt really bad. And when we hurt like that we look for answers where we can find them, and more often than not the average person is more interested in drawing close to God when troublesome times draw near than at any other time – and this is especially true when family ties feel like they’re going to be cut. And a civil-war brewing under our roof can make a person want to know if God will bring peace to their family.

While I can completely and personally understand the want, most people ask the wrong question when it comes to God and family and peace. It’s not a matter of God’s will; it’s a matter of our own. The question that we should ask is, “Can God bring peace to my family?” Because the answer to that question is, yes! God wants families to live in peace with one another. But will God bring peace to every family? Sadly, the answer to that is, no. And he won’t because every family member won’t want the peace that he offers.

When family problems arise I encourage everyone to remember that just because you draw near to God doesn’t mean that others will follow with you, and Jesus said this much himself (Luke 12:51-53). So if we want the peace of God in our family we need to start by having it within our self – because we might be the only ones who know anything about it. EA

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Knot a Care

Posted in Family with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

If a husband and wife wants to be one flesh in the way that God intends for us to be then we have to care about each other in a way that ties the marriage knot so tight that all the changes of life that come our way can’t loosen it. So if we learn to care for our spouse better than we care for our self then we won’t be able to keep from being one flesh (Ephesians 5:31).

Unless we care about each other we will get stuck on everything but each other and change in ways that aren’t good. One of the most common things that people will say when their marriage relationship sours is that the other person changed, and more often than not there’s something to that. People changing as we go through life is normal and not necessarily a bad thing – more than likely there’s not a single person who’s reading this living life as the same person that they were five years ago. But when we start to change in a way that causes us to care less about our spouse and family then we’re not changing for the better, and the change won’t be worth it. This type of change doesn’t start with our body, our job, our hobbies or our habits all by themselves. It starts in our heart and mind, and then it moves from our feelings to our words and actions.

But when we care about each other there will be a commitment that keeps us together no matter the change. Being committed means that we’re in it for better or worse, for sickness or health, for richer or poorer and whatever opposite end of the spectrums you can think of. My wife is not the same person that she was when we got married – and I’m not either. But however I feel about the changes in her life I’ve got to remember that whatever they are I’m going to be committed to her through them.

Now I’m not saying that we ignore sinful behavior or that my relationship with God takes a back seat for the sake of my relationship with my wife. But what I am saying is that if we care about each other in a godly way then there will be a commitment that the world won’t be able to ignore, and a commitment that God will bless.

When one person cares about the other the other person won’t be able to deny it. And that’s because our time, our heart and our life will belong to them and they’ll know it. Yes, that also means that our flaws are going to belong to them too. But when we care we’ll learn to put our flaws and their flaws in their right perspective and that perspective is the one that says, “I know I care for them and I know they care for me.” And when we know that then we’ll have a knot that ties us together for good. EA

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:28-33)

Looking for what can’t be seen…yet

Posted in Christian Living with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

A common theme with God’s people, and by that I mean people who were living in and going after a right relationship with God, all throughout the Bible was their yearning to see something that they couldn’t see at the time that they wanted to see it. They had a hope that looked forward to something that they wanted, or even possessed, but they just didn’t have it, or they weren’t able to see it…yet.

Hebrews 11:8 and-16, 24-27 reminds us that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and even Moses heard the calling of God and went after what God had promised them, exchanging the visible world for the unseen promises of God. They did this knowing that to the world, the promises of God made no sense – but they held on because they knew they would see the land of God, their heavenly home, and the One who called them through His word.

As Christians our faith causes us to walk toward something that we cannot see right now, but at the same time we know we’re going to see it eventually. We possess it by hope and we see it by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 6:13-19). It’s as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18-5:1:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

The same theme that pushed Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and Moses forward was the theme that led Paul as an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it’s the same theme that’s meant to describe us – people who are looking for and holding on to what can’t be seen…yet. And why do we do this? It’s because of the One who makes the promise in His word.

We sing a song that reminds us that “There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar, for the Savior waits over the way, to prepare us a dwelling place there.” One of the sweetest things about this land when we get there is that we’ll be able to see it; there will be no more “yet” to hide it from our eyes! But until then, the question must be asked - can you see it, or have you yet to look for it? EA

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:10-13)

Out of the Woodwork

Posted in Ethics and Morality, Sin with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2014 by Eugene Adkins

 “The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” (Psalm 12:8)

King David, who understood well the effects of a leadership’s morality on their nation, was saying that wickedness and rebellion toward righteousness has a way of coming out of the woodwork when acceptance of sin finds a seat among the honored and the authorities; and in case you haven’t noticed – America’s “woodwork” has been emptying out lately!

Since 2008 approximately 24 States have passed laws recognizing homosexual “marriages” and unions; these include states who have had the will of the people overturned in the courts. People in at least another dozen states are challenging state laws that limit marriage to one man and one woman. Since 2008 the same-sex spouses of the federal executive branch employees have received tax payer funded benefits. Since 2008 the nation’s military has done away with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and “D.O.M.A.” is a thing of the past.

So what happened in 2008 to make the woodwork let loose? Vileness was exalted. EA

But they paid no attention, and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols), therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle.” (2 Kings 21:9-12)

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