The deep inner workings of a beggar's mind

Pt. VI – A Bit of Clarity

If you have been reading all the blogs in this series, you’ll notice that I keep mentioning a few things in passing. Well, here they are in full detail.

+(=-=) 1st = Heaven and Hell (=-=)+

Both are real places. They were created by the Lord, just like all the other things in the universe. Both places are mentioned and described in detail all throughout the Bible, and now I’m gonna tell ya a little more about each of them.

(-> Heaven <-)

Heaven is the dwelling place of the Lord and His angels and is also the future home of all who accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. Here’s a few of the aspects of this place straight from the source:

-> We’ll have a new name (Is. 65:15)
-> No more pain (Is. 65:25)
-> No more death (Is. 65:25)
-> Nothing gets stolen again (Matt. 6:20)
-> Jesus is making mansions for us up there (John. 14:2)
-> We’ll get a new body (Phil. 3:21)
-> God will dwell among us (Rev. 7:15)
-> No more starving (Rev. 7:16)
-> No more dehydration (Rev. 7:16)
-> No more crying [AKA sorrow] (Rev. 7:17)
-> It’s a cube shaped place (Rev. 21:16)
-> It’s all made of gold (Rev. 21:18)
-> No more night (Rev. 22:5)
-> Jesus will be the source of light, instead of the sun and moon and stars (Rev. 22:5)

Sounds pretty good, right? It’s a billion times better than the alternative. Speaking of which, here we go:

(-> Hell <-)

Hell is a place of eternal torment and pain and darkness and separation from God. It was created for Satan and his fallen angels for their rebellion against God and unfortunately, everyone who hasn’t accepted Christ’s gift yet is bound for hell as well. Like heaven, hell is a permanent dwelling, and, while I couldn’t find half as many references to what it’s like in the Bible, here’s all the ones I could find in the short space of time I looked:

-> It’s far away from heaven (Luke 16:23)
-> It’s a place of torment (Luke 16:23, 24)
-> There’s a great chasm that separates it from heaven (Luke 16:26)
-> There’s no going between it and heaven because of the chasm (Luke 16:26)
-> Christ holds the keys to it (Rev. 1:18)
-> It’s a lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:10)
-> No rest from the pain (Rev. 20:10)

Like I said, heaven sounds much better, don’t you agree?

+(=-=) 2nd = Satan (=-=)+

He’s known by many names. He’s the sworn enemy of all Christians and the prince of this earth. He rules the world and all the sinful pleasures and temptations in it. He is the incarnation of evil in the war for our souls. He started out as God’s most beautiful angel, Lucifer. He was the crown jewel of God’s creation (before we came, that is). Everything was going great, until one day, he got a little greedy. Satan looked at God’s throne and said to himself, “I bet I could do that. I will become the ruler of all and I’ll make God gonna bow to me. Who’s with me?” So he rounded up a third of the angels in heaven and they all converged on the throne of God with such force that it would send any normal troop’s head spinning. God looks down at them, shakes His head and strikes them all down with a wave of the hand, sending them out of heaven. The earth later became their dwelling place and Satan took on the form of a serpent to tempt Adam and Eve when they were created, because I have a feeling he was jealous of the treatment they were getting from God. They became God’s crown jewel of all creation and Satan became utterly jealous and was determined to make them miserable, and he did. He’s still roaming the earth today, trying to crush the witness of the Christians throughout the world by sending them spinning into torrents of temptations and persecutions of all shapes and sizes and degrees. Deception is one of his strongest weapons, and if we’re not truly watching and wearing our spiritual armor, we will fall for it. He disguises himself as an angel of light. In other words, he makes sin attractive. But, he’s been defeated already. He’s just trying to take as many with him as possible to hell in the end. Moving on…

+(=-=) 3rd= Sin (=-=)+

In short, sin is going against God’s commands. Now, we previously spoke of sin in part 4…remember? Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating of the tree He told them not to, and it cost them their lives (literally). “The wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23). Also, because of that choice that they made back at the beginning of time, we all are born into sin (born sinners). We all mess up, we all make mistakes, we all sin, and that sin separates us from God. But, God didn’t just leave us here to fend for ourselves and then die and stay separated from Him forever. He bridged that gap through Christ’s death and resurrection on the cross.

+(=-=) 4th= Salvation (=-=)+

Since we’ve talked about Satan, sin, and the final destination of all mankind, let’s move on to the salvation part. It’s as simple as A, B, C.

(=> A= Admit you’re a sinner (I John 1:9) <=)

This step’s pretty self-explanatory. You just have to admit you’re not perfect. That’s it. I mean, come on, we’ve all told lies, most of us have “borrowed” without returning (AKA STEALING), we’ve all messed up. That’s a fact. All we have to do is admit we’ve messed up and need God to help us work out our problems. Step 2 is next.

(=> B= Believe that Jesus is Lord (John 5:24) <=)

Now, understand, this doesn’t just mean acknowledge that He’s God. Even Satan does that, and he’s still bound for hell. There’s more to it than just believing a man named Jesus died and rose again for everyone’s sins. The heart of this step is giving your life over to Christ. Being “sold out” as Christians call it. Once we accept His gift of salvation, we need to give Him control of our lives. We need to let Him be the our decision maker. In other words, we need to follow where He leads, when He leads, and that’s truly what this step is about. We’re still gonna fall after we give our lives to Christ, but He is right there to help us up again and forgive us. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make you perfect, just forgiven. On to step 3…

(=> C= Confess to the world your relationship to Jesus (Rom. 10:9) <=)

This is as important as the other two, and also the final one. If we truly believe Jesus is the reason we’re living (truly following step 2), then there’s nothing we should be ashamed of. God sent Jesus and if we accept Him, He’s saved us. He’s reversed the death sentence on our heads and given us a full life. He has healed us. He has made us whole. He completes us. There’s a God-shaped hole in our hearts we were born with, and ONLY God can fill that hole, and He will if we ask Him to. He’s knocking at the door, wanting to come into our lives. All we have to do is open the door to Him and let Him in. Once we do that, we’re bound for heaven when we die. Once you’ve been saved, you’ll get such a great feeling inside that you’ll wanna tell everyone you meet. I know that from experience. He’s truly a great God and He wants everyone to join Him in heaven, but sadly, no matter what happens, some just won’t believe. Salvation is so important in the grand scheme of things. The whole reason I started this series was to reach as many people as possible and to dispel some of the doubts people have about the Christian faith.

I’ve explained all the steps necessary, the decision is yours now. You must choose between God and Satan, and if you say “I won’t do it,” you’ve chosen to side with Satan. There’s only two sides, people. If we aren’t for God, we’re against Him. No gray area. No exceptions. Quick recap of the steps for salvation:

<B>A= Admit you’re a sinner and ask God to forgive that sin.</B>
<B>B= Believe Jesus is Lord and give Him control of your life.</B>
<B>C= Confess to the world that He has saved you.</B>

That’s all there is to it. You may think it’s too simple, but it’s just as simple as those 3 steps. Period. Like I said before, it’s your choice. Will you choose God today? It’s more than a religion, it’s a relationship with the One who created everything. It’s pretty amazing. Also, once we accept Christ’s gift of salvation, we get an added bonus…

+(=-=) 5th = The Holy Spirit (=-=)+

The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the third person of the Trinity, comes and lives in us. He’s been around as long as God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. Gen. 1:2 says that He hovered over the surface of the earth before it was fully formed. He helps us through our life and prays for us even when we don’t know what to pray about. Pretty cool, huh? He truly is the Comforter also. I can’t tell ya how many times He’s helped me get through rough times in my life. Okay, getting close to the end here…

+(=-=) 6th = Christian growth (=-=)+

Once we accept Jesus’ gift of salvation, there are several steps to help you grow spiritually so you can resist the temptations the devil throws at you easier:

(1) Get yourself a Bible (if you don’t have one already) that’s easy for you to understand and start reading it. The book of John’s a good place to start. That’s how God speaks to us. It’s truly amazing that no matter how many times I read any given passage, I learn something new. It also strengthens my faith tremendously.
(2) Pray to God on a regular basis. It really helps. Trust me, I been at it for a while now.
(3) Get plugged into a church that you actually learn stuff about God in.
(4) Meet with other Christians to build each other up. It’s fun and it’s amazing what God will do in a group.

I think that wraps it up for this blog and possibly this series. I’m not sure yet. I guess we’ll all see, huh? God bless you all and I pray you’ll make the right choice.

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One response

  1. You know what else is amazing? You are. It’s not everyday you find college students who know so thoroughly what they believe, and who are willing to put it out there for everyone to see. Reading all this was very encouraging to me. :)

    October 7, 2008 at 12:28

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