27 May 2016

Why Memorize? - By Jack Lewis

For many of us, we find that when we get to those teenage years, it's hard to still be excited by God so much, especially as we don't want to look "uncool." We sometimes think that we can't do certain things because the methods seem outdated or we don't feel we have time, and one of the things that often suffers is memorizing parts of the Bible. We can sometimes feel that memorization is something that the last generation did, but we've since "moved on." While I'm not suggesting we have to be like the old Jewish teens that memorized the whole of the Old Testament, I still think that remembering one or two key verses is a great thing to do; just a few that we can apply to different situations. For example, whenever I get scared of something, (which isn't often!) I just think of the verse: Your rod and your staff comfort me." (Although for some reason it's always been "comfort and protect" to me, so I just end up imagining God bashing anything bad round the head with a stick!) Another example for my life, is that I'm currently working out my baptism. I'm not gonna lie here, I'm terrified of giving a testimony in front of 400 people, but at the moment 2 Timothy 1:7 is really helping me. Also you could try memorizing the verses I wrote about last week, so if you ever find yourself in a situation where you're talking to a non - Christian about God, then those verses might be a great help. So if you're not exactly the next Einstein and you haven't got the point of all I've just said: try memorizing some useful Bible verses! And if you still don't get it... go get an appointment with a psychiatrist! (Or Einstein)      

19 May 2016

Key verses in Romans - By Jack Lewis

A couple of weeks ago in a previous post, I mentioned that I was planning to do a post about salvation as written in Romans. Basically what I will do is take some key verses from the book, and put them together to form the framework for salvation. The aforementioned verses are below:

Romans 3:10 - As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;

Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Heaven) 

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:13 - "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:9 - If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

So lets put them all together like this: "No one is perfect, so we all deserve to die, but anyone who believes in his heart that Jesus is Lord will live with him in paradise forever!" 

Also remember that "to die" is just another way of saying "living in hell," but "being saved" means going to heaven instead. And if you want to trust God but don't know how, check out the post below.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment and share!  

18 May 2016

Saved? Repost - By Jack Lewis

What happens when we die is a big question we ask. As the Bible states there are only two possible outcomes, Heaven or Hell. The latter is such a horrible place that is actually mentioned more times in the Bible than Heaven. Many people try to avoid the subject of Hell for a fear of seeming to judgmental; however, if one person hears about it, and is saved from it, then it is surely worth having a few people being just slightly offended with you.
If you have read about the torment in Hell, then the chances are you would do anything to avoid it, but how do you know you are saved from it. The way of salvation is simple, just ask God through prayer to forgive you of all the sins that have messed up your life, and he will write your name in his book of all of us who will one day live with him forever in a place better than the best place we could ever imagine. There is no specific words that have to be prayed, no precise passwords, no fancy words that need be used, just as long as you have wholeheartedly asked him to save you, then you have found the only way to Heaven!

If you have prayed this sort of prayer before, but feel you have gone away from God, then why not pray this prayer again, you can never pray this to many times.
Like I said, there is no specific prayer that has to be prayed, but if you are totally stuck and don’t know what to say, here is a suggested prayer:

Dear Lord
I confess I have not been following you, and have not been the person you created me to be. I ask that you will take away the barrier of sin that has barred me from you, and I thank you for dying on that cross so I could live with you forever.

God won’t mind at all if you read the prayer on here or anywhere else, as long as you meant it.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace that came through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)   

17 May 2016

God Vs Satan

Have you even though about what God and Satan ofter. God offers everlasting life, light, salvation, Heaven, and Joy

Satan offers everlasting pain, darkness, sin, and Hell, and many more things. Satan will try to make everything thing look good and right, but really he just what's to take you to hell. God gave his only son Jesus to take away our sin. God wants to save as many people as he can to Heaven with him. God and Satan both want's you, but one only offers a good life. A good reward for the hard work you put in. One will trick you into believing that your good person, that you will make it to Heaven but really offers darkness and Hell. Satan only wants you because he doesn’t want to be the only one to end up in hell. His mission is to take as many people with him as he can, because he does not want anyone to go to Heaven. He hates God so much that he wants to deceive you into going to hell.

So why not take up God offer today  because he gave the thing that cost him the most, his son Jesus. If you haven’t already trust in Jesus to take away your sin, why not do it today. You have no Guarantee that will be here tomorrow. If you die tomorrow where will you go, Heaven or Hell?

12 May 2016

Guide to the Bible (10) Revelation - By Jack Lewis

Hello again! A shorter post today seeing as there's only one book that I haven't yet covered, Revelation. It's an incredibly strange book, and it's far detached from the rest of the New Testament. While the other books deal more with the here and now, Revelation is written about the future: the time that Jesus will return and set up his new kingdom here on earth. It's also strange in the way that it was written; it was actually a dream that John had. In this dream, or "revelation," John first heard from God what he thought about the churches in Asia minor. There is a personal assessment from God on each individual churches' conduct, and there's a mix of praise and criticism. Much of the criticism could also be leveled at some of our churches today. After this more practical part, John moves into the future. He tells of the terrible destruction that will come to those who turn their backs on God, and of the glory that will surround the new Heaven and Earth. While we don't know anything specific, we know that it will be "a perfect world," so if ever you are thinking "in a perfect world," realize that the only thing you need is to turn to God, and then one day you are guaranteed to live in an actual perfect world, for eternity! How cool is that! (Search for the "Saved?" post if you don't understand what it means to turn to God) So whilst some of the stuff in there might be a bit weird, we can just try and understand as much as we can, but most importantly remember the main point of the book: Turn to God and you will live with him for ever on an earth where nothing ever goes wrong!  

5 May 2016

Guide to the Bible (9) Other letters - By Jack Lewis

Hello everyone, it's Thursday, which means that it must be time for another Guide to the Bible post. Hopefully you have enjoyed them, as this is the penultimate one. I'm today covering the letters from Collosians all the way to Jude, if that's possible! The letters are 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1,2&3 John, 1&2 Peter, and Jude.

Anyway, straight to the point, and Thessalonians. These are two pastoral letters written by Paul to the church in Thessalonica. In the first of the two, Paul joyfully expresses his love and joy for the church and the way it is thriving, while also touching upon the main subject of the second letter, Jesus' second coming. Some forged letters under Paul's name had been sent to the people saying that since Jesus had already come, they didn't need to continue their works, so Paul uses this letter to correct them. 

The next double act, is 1&2 Timothy. These were pastoral letters written to the person after whom they are named. Paul basically gives Timothy all the advice a young pastor could want from an experienced elder. The second letter was written by Paul while under arrest for the final time. He was being kept in a dungeon, chained up like a criminal, and his second letter to Timothy was his last before his execution in Rome. However Paul reminds him that he is still joyful, and looking forward to receiving his full reward upon death. 

Titus is a also a pastoral letter very similar to Timothy. Practically all I said about 1 Timothy also applies to Titus. Enough said!

If you thought Titus was a short book, then flip the page to Philemon. (Any more and you'd miss it!) The 25 verse book is simply a personal letter from Paul to Philemon asking him not to punish the since saved runaway slave Onesimus. (Great rhyme, that!!!) 

Now, back onto the longer books, and Hebrews. No one knows who wrote this book, but it was written to some Jews who had converted to Christianity, but were tempted to go back to their old law system. The author reminds them that Jesus is all they need for salvation, and that laws can't save them. In chapter 11 the "Honour roll of Old Testament heroes" is also found. 

After Hebrews, is James. This is a very practical teaching letter written to no one specific, but it's a really interesting book that's surely one of the first letters to read. James places particular emphasis on the link between words and actions, reminding us the simple fact that "actions speak louder than words".

During his life, Jesus had what he called his three "Chosen disciples." Peter, John, and James, and the next five letters were written by two of those, Peter and John. Firstly are the two letters by Peter. Both deal with the issue of persecution and trials, but in different formats. In the first letter, Peter deals mainly with the physical persecution the people were receiving, reminding them that if they stay strong and trust God, he will protect and reward them. The other type of attack, mentioned in Peter 2, is spiritual. False preachers were coming in, bent on doing evil and turning the church away from the Lord. Peter again reminds them that God will be with them and one day he will punish those doing evil.

The Penultimate letter writer, is John. He wrote three short letters; the first being a bit of a circular teaching letter, while the other two are more personal. In the first book, it seems the people had been influenced by false teaching, so John tried to persuade them to turn back to the true God. The main theme of the book is love, so he writes extensively about how loving God is. Letters 2&3 are both 13 verses long, and concisely address a particular subject. In book 2, John writes to remind the people to be discerning about who is, and isn't Godly. The people were accustomed to giving accommodation to visiting missionaries, but false prophets were asking for the same treatment. In letter 3, he address a man named Gaius, and reminds him to stay away from the evil actions of someone he calls Diotrephes, but instead to remain holy. (The charges against Diotrephes are detailed in v. 10)

Finally for now, is Jude. He was a brother of Jesus, and wrote to urgently remind people to stay away from the false teaching that was infecting the church. Some were claiming that the grace of God could be used as an excuse for ungodly behaviour, but Jude reminds them of the punishment that befell Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin.