The next view is universalism, which is the belief that all persons will in the end receive salvation. This, I feel, is another very popular belief, but again, I don’t agree. God sent us to earth and gave us a right to chose between Him and the world. We need to choose Him here in order to receive that salvation.
Another belief is reincarnation of souls. They believe that the passing of the human soul at death into a new body, either human or animal. Once again, I disagree, because the Bible says when we die, we either go to heaven or hell, it says nothing about passing into another body.
Soul sleeping is another belief, in which the soul is in a stat of unconsciousness after physical death until the time it is awakened at a resurrection. It is based on the sleeping imagery Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15:6,18,20, 51 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15, 5:10. But if you look up those passages, in each case the meaning is not literal.
One of the largest beliefs is that at death humans pass into purgatory, or a state of suffering until they are purged of past sin. The prayers of intercession by living friends and family, or by priests who pray on behalf of the church, contribute to the release of such souls. I think this is an interesting view, and I know many who believe it, but I, again, do not.I believe that you have to take responsibility for your own actions. If you live your whole life denying God, and they pass, I don’t believe that they prayers of others are going to help you. You had your choice. There are still many other views to look at, but I believe we need to base what we believe from what God has told us in the Bible.]]>
His father, David, made plans for a grand temple for the Lord that Solomon was able to build. The building of the temple happened in the first ten years of his reign. He made the desires of this father a reality. David longed for a permanent place people could worship the Lord, and Solomon fulfilled that when the temple was completed in about 950 BC. It stood for over 400 years until Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it in 586 BC. But none the less, Solomon built the temple.
Despite all the good things that Solomon had done, his life ended in defeat. Like many kings of that time, he confirmed treaties and sealed alliances by marrying kings’ daughters. The king had 700 wives and 300 concubines. In 1 Kings 11:2 God had warned the Israelites not to marry foreign women, because they will turn their hearts after their gods. Solomon let his love for women over power his wisdom. He let his wives worship their gods, and even built temples for many of them. Solomon ended up worshiping other gods himself, and because of that, his heart was not fully God’s.
For Solomon’s disobedience God said He was going to divide the kingdom. However, for David’s sake, not until Solomon died. But even before he died, Solomon saw enemies rising up. I think the life of Solomon is a great example for life. As Christians, we feel we need to live perfect lives, but the fact is we can’t. Or people think we are perfect, but we are not. We still make mistakes and fall short, but God can use us still. We need to follow God, however, and be obedient when He tells us to do or not do something. God knows what is best for us, and He knows all, we don’t. We get our wisdom from the Lord, we need to not let our sinful nature to cloud that.]]>
Who was Jesus? Simply put Jesus was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent human. What? I know that the math does not really add up but this is who Jesus was. He was more than some do-gooder. He was God in human flesh walking among us here on earth. Jesus did not just do and teach good things but he healed the sick and the disabled, he lived a sinless life, and he forgave people of their sins. These help show the divinity of Jesus. In my text book Introduction to Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective by Johnny Ford, Mr. Ford says, “Because of Jesus’ divinity, He represents God to us. Many of us have seen a child who looks exactly like his or her father. Similarly, when we look at Jesus as God’s Son, we see many characteristics of His Father….In Jesus, we see God.” Jesus was not just a good person who lived a long time ago, He was God.
Not only was He all God but He was also all human. Jesus walked on this earth and lived among us. He knew what we go through and what it is like to be human. He was just like we were, He was tempted just like we are, and He knew what it was like to be tired. Mr. Ford put it this way, “Jesus had flesh. He understands our feelings and our limitations because He experienced them….Jesus’ humanity is important in that it means He understands us.” He knows what it is like to be us. He knows what it is like to go through our pain and suffering. Jesus went through it, too.
Those people who believe that Jesus was just a good teacher miss the whole point of why Jesus came to earth. Jesus did not just come to here to teach people some good ways to live. As Mr. Ford put it, “However, the main reason Jesus came to earth was not to preach. Rather, Jesus came to die….The reason Jesus came to die was sin.” Yes, Jesus was a great teacher and He did a lot of great things but that was not why He came. He came as God in the flesh so that He could live like us and go through the things we go through so that He could die for us. He came to save us. Who is Jesus? He is God who came as a man so that He could be Savior. That is who Jesus is, our Savior.]]>
There are a few things that have me thinking, comparing my life to theirs. Every one of the main characters claimed to be a Christian but didn’t really live completely for God. They went to church and were involved in some other activities, but when they were not in a church setting, they didn’t necessarily deny Christ, but they didn’t proclaim him either. I know that in my life, I have done that too. I have been going to church and been in ministry for pretty much all my life. But outside of that I wasn’t proclaiming him with my mouth or with the way I lived. I don’t need to be caught in a natural disaster to start living for God, but am I using the gifts that God has given me? Yes, to a point… I have done some, but I am definitely not doing all I can. I know that I let my life get in the way a lot of the time. I am busy, I have to do this, I need to go here, I am already in the process of doing something else. And this way of thinking needs to stop! John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Philippians 4:13, ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can do it all, because Christ strengthens. And Christ is truth, and He has set me free. Who am I that I should let my “busy” life get in the way of others knowing the truth and being set free? Jesus has saved my life, and my life is not my own, it is his.]]>
I really love working here so far and sometimes I wish that I could almost live in the store; however, a little thought has been entering my head lately. You see, I am only in this little store for about four hours a day for five days a week but while I am in there, surrounded by and learning about Poland, I almost forget about something very important. I almost forget about the other estimated nineteen or so nationalities who reside in this two mile by two mile little city. Hamtramck is quite the little city with about 22,198 people with about twenty-six different languages that are spoken here. With all this diversity in such a small area, I sometimes just walk by most of it because I have ear buds in or my mind is focused on the other things I need to do for the day. This all got me thinking, am I the only one who gets so focused on one little world because it is more my style or in my comfort zone that I forget about all the other worlds around me?
I think it is pretty safe to assume that I am not the only one like this. We all walk past people who are without Jesus everywhere we go but we focus so much on our own agendas, deadlines, events, and to-do lists that we walk right past them without a second thought. I don’t know about you, but I am really tired of focusing on my own little world when there are so many other worlds that do not have Jesus in them. So, what are we going to do about it? Well as a start, for the past few days I have been walking to work with my head up and my eyes and ears open, willing, and ready to act for God. It has only been about three days or so but it is a start and I am learning a bit more about this city and it is only the beginning. This world is full of people who are without Jesus; God has called all of us to step out of our busy schedules to follow his plan which is to seek and save the lost. We have to be willing to step out of our worlds and into others, even if it is out of our style and comfort.]]>
My outlook has been totally transformed. I am not the type of person that handles stress well, I usually tend to shut down and go into autopilot when I feel like I cant deal with what is going on around me. This is a trait that took me years to develop and I am now realizing the repercussions of it. I will tune out in the middle of a conversation with someone and I won’t even realize that I am doing it. Even though I already knew that this was a problem I had, I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I started working at the Projects. I would be talking to one of the kids at my table, so then because I would get so stressed out by whatever else was going on, so I would tune out and not pay attention to the child that was talking to me. At no point is this ok.
There has never been any point in my relationship with God that He has has stopped paying attention to me when I speak to him. I am a very insignificance person in the grand scale of things, But with God I am his treasured jewel and so are these kids. In remembering this I found that I had this remarkable peace in the midst of the chaos. I have made it my goal for the rest of this year to really get to know these kids and what their interests are, not because I feel like I have to but because that is what God does for us. All I know is that I want to love these kids.