Today I feel very sad for all of the families who have lost loved ones in the recent school shootings in Texas.
My prayers go out to all of them and to our nation as well, for such horrible violence affects each of us at the core of our souls, though we may try to desensitize ourselves and pretend it doesn’t affect us because no bullets directly hit our flesh or wounded someone in our family.
But evil and violence affects every soul in our society whether we admit it or not.
And it begins with anger.
Consider Jesus’s words:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:22 KJV
Anger breeds hatred.
John the apostle wrote: “But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 2:11,3:15 -KJV
Had the eighteen year old murderer in the recent shootings been taught to respect and love his grandmother, to love, glorify, trust, and believe in the God who had created him, and in whose image he and all other humans were formed, he most likely would not have dreamed of committing such an evil crime.
What is hell like?
I imagine it as an abyss where God’s name is blasphemed, reviled and ever taken in vain; a dark maze of interminable suffering, unrelenting pain, hunger, self delusion, fighting, dissatisfaction, greed, anger, hatred, covetousness, envy, vanity, idolatry, narcissism, lust, hypocrisy, addiction, sickness that never ends, cold hearted souls who abuse and condemn and manipulate others, poverty, bigotry, war, egotism, arrogance,shame, riches with no satisfaction, ingratitude, and relationships without love, constant bickering and dissembling and every kind of deceit; souls forever stealing caring nothing for the value of other’s property, hopelessness, despair, frustration because no one is ever happy and they can’t figure out why, and everything and anything that is against God’s will is committed all the time and championed because it is an endless night dominated by malevolent spiritual forces.
Since hell is a territory governed by sin, and God’s Word reveals that the wages of sin is death, then I reckon that it’s a place whirling on a blind path towards its own self destruction.
The Apostle Peter wrote that the earth is just going to erupt into a ball of flames someday.
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:7,10,12 – KJV
Sin is a corruption of something that will never go the right way and achieve its goal. It is an arrow that constantly misses the mark. And that mark is God’s will.
God’s will is revealed in His Word. When people stop fearing and respecting God; when they stop believing in Him, they stop loving Him.
If I stop fearing the Lord, I will also stop loving and believing in Him. If I lose any one of those three necessary components of love for God, then I lose all three of them.
In other words, I will have no faith, love, nor fear of God.
Faith is more than just believing that God exists.
James 2:19 asserts “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19 – KJV
While they might be afraid of God, those devils blaspheme, disobey, and dishonor the Lord through people all the time. They neither love, respect, nor glorify Him.
John the Apostle wrote: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 – KJV
The soul who desires to live for God and do His will, and who walks in love obeying Christ, no matter what their outward circumstances might be, has heaven in their heart.
Paul wrote in Colossians 1:13 that the soul who trusts Jesus Christ for salvation and who loves and obeys Christ is delivered by the Heavenly Father from the power of darkness, and “translated into the kingdom of His dear Son.”
Faith not only believes in God’s existence, but it means trusting Him to keep His word, to be faithful, to live up to everything He promises to be and more, no matter what they might have to endure.
I can attest to God’s faithfulness on this score as I live with chronic daily migraines. I know what hell is like and heaven too. Jesus Christ is a RISEN, LIVING Lord and Savior. He does not forsake us in our suffering.
Faith is not ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is not embarrassed to be called a Christian. It does not substitute a cause for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then delude itself into thinking that God is pleased, because causes do not save souls. Christ’s blood is the only thing that ever saved a soul.
Causes come and go.
If we want to glorify our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross to save us from the power of sin and hell, triumphing over our souls and our own ultimate self destruction, then we have to believe He exists and that He is watching everything we do, and hears every word we say and write, that He cherishes us more than we can ever comprehend and that He really and truly will speak to us if we will listen.
He will guide us and teach us His will and enable us to do it.
He absolutely will forgive all our sins because His blood paid the price for every wrong thing we ever did against Him. If we are sorry for it and turn away from it He forgives us.
We might be ashamed of it but He won’t ever hold it against us. He washes our sins away as far as the east is from the west. The only one who ever brings our sins back up in our face is the devil and his allies.
The Bible refers to the devil as “the accuser of the brethren…” (see Revelations 12:10)
When we accuse, slander, libel, scorn, condemn, etc, we are throwing the ball in the wrong court.
Rather than “sit in the seat of the scornful…” (See Psalm 1:1-2) Christians are to look for the true, good, just, excellent, pure, noble, and praiseworthy things in ourselves and others (see Philippians 4:8)
Christ tells us to abide in Him in our prayer closets and allow His Holy Spirit to guide us as He promises in His Word.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26 – KJV
May we not allow anger to guide us. Anger does not accomplish Christ’s will. “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:20 – KJV
“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Psalm 37:8 – KJV
Evil is defined as everything that opposes God’s will no matter how righteous it may appear on the surface.
May we ever give our anger to our Lord Jesus Christ. For He is the righteous Judge.
May we be guided by His love. For to love is Christ’s command —His will. May we ever remember that Love is how we are defined as Christ’s disciples.
Heavenly Father, we mourn and pray for the families who lost loved ones in the Texas school shooting and ask that You comfort every precious family, every heart that has been shattered by this evil.
We pray You will hold them in Thy everlasting arms and fill them with rivers of Thy infinite love, mercy, and grace.
Comfort every fearful heart.
Lord, may we not grow insensitive and cold toward our fellow human as so much evil and iniquity abound in our world.
Help us to conquer evil by doing Thy good will on this hell bound earth that the reality of Thy heaven might live and be displayed in our hearts so all can see Thy light in us and You be glorified in our lives when we do Thy will to love and serve each other.
Help us always to say with Jesus who prayed while being tortured on the cross for our sins, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing,”
In Jesus’s name, amen.
Jesus Christ said, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
23 Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” ~ Matthew 5:21-24 -NASB
“…do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice.
Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:26-27,31-32 – NASB
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21 -KJV
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20 – KJV
Peaceangel Song, Illustration, Poem, and Blog (apart from the Scripture verses) *…created through the Indwelling Risen Lord Jesus Christ, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, to the Glory of God the Father, in Jesus’ Name, amen. (*See John 14:20, 21, 23) Copyright © 2022 by Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved.
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