When You Live Your Life Apart From God

apart from God

When you live your life apart from God…

You may seem like you have things under control. You feel like you don’t need Him, because you can’t see Him, and if you can’t see Him, then you don’t need Him. You trust in yourself and what you can do. Your heart feels like an empty pit of darkness and purposeless because you walk around this earth not even knowing why you have breath in your lungs. You spend your life trying to fill that emptiness you have with things like sexual immorality, pornography, gambling, drinking, money, or even good things such as family, security, job, and staying busy. Family is one of the most beautiful things given to us by the Lord in this life, but if you have a family without God? Meaningless. It’s all meaningless without God. But with God, everything is meaningful.

Yet apart from God, no matter what you turn to, whether it be something dark and sinful like pornography, or something “clean” and seemingly fulfilling such as family, your strivings to fill that void within your soul are in vain because you realize at the end of the day, you’re still empty. You yourself can never fill that void, nor the things you try to fill it with.

You thought climbing up the ladder socially, financially, educationally, and occupationally would give you the “perfect” life and the ultimate happiness. The American dream, right?

Wrong. Because in this quest for total life fulfillment you failed to turn to the only One who can give your heart and soul purpose, the only One who can give you fulfillment and satisfaction, the only One who can save your soul. You spend your life denying God and His existence, yet you seek lesser and temporal joys that always leave you more and more empty. You realize you have it all on the outside but are still empty in your heart.

When you live your life apart from God…

You fall into to addictions such as drugs, prescriptions, pornography, and alcohol because that desire to fill that void inside of your heart and soul became out of control and the need to fill it was unquenched, so thus began the seed of addiction. Your need to be filled has spiraled into complete uncontrollable urges to keep up with that dopamine hit and that rush. But it always leaves you feeling empty and in despair, once it is over. And, it will always end. It is temporal and leaves you more shattered every single time you indulge in these things, because even though these things may give you a pleasurable hit, it is devastating to the well-being of your soul.

When you live your life apart from God…

You are walking on this earth and your eternal destiny is hell. You work and work and work to get ahead in this life and stock up the riches and the big family and the big house with a pool, only to die and live in eternal judgement where none of the things you acquired on this earth will even matter to you in the slightest, because it’s all over. You spent your life seeking everything but God, and now it’s too late and there are consequences. You will live your life apart from God, and then die and see His glorious face in judgement. There, you will realize that your entire life was spent in vain and you will weep and gnash your teeth and cry for a second chance…but there will no longer be any chances.

for God

When you live your life for God…

You recognize that you are a sinner and you have sinned against a holy, righteous, perfect God. You recognize that God is just and good, and that you will be judged because you have broken His law. You recognize that you are completely useless to try and save yourself or win God’s favor by anything you do. You recognize that all of your “good works” are filthy rags because everything you do is tainted by sin, and God sees all things – even a grain of impurity. You recognize that because of this, you are destined for eternal punishment in hell because just like a just judge in a courtroom will not let broken laws go unpunished, a holy God even more so will not let those who broke His perfect law go unpunished. You realize, with fear and trembling, that Hell awaits you once you die. And you turn to Him.

When you live your life for God…

You become helpless to do anything to go to heaven yourself. You recognize that you are desperate for a Saviour, and it is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ, the One true God. You recognize that He is absolutely perfect, lived the perfect life you cannot live and kept God’s law perfectly the way you would never be able to. You recognize that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, shedding His perfect blood for you, and rose again three days later.

And you put your faith and trust in Him, letting go of everything and falling into His eternal arms, trusting in His forgiveness and love and mercy and grace. When this happens, your soul is saved for all eternity.

When you live your life for God…

You realize that your time on earth is short, but you are on your way to Heaven. Death no longer scares you, and you know that you are loved immensely by the God who made you. You now have a desire for Him, to talk about Him, read His word, preach the gospel – you live, breath, and live more for God! He captures your every thought, and He fills your mind. You fall in love with Him as you see His creation as a display of His own beauty. You live your life with the burdens of sins on your shoulders lifted. You live your life with your soul satisfied knowing you have a personal relationship with Christ that will never, ever, ever end. You know that whatever happens, God is in control. You have peace that any hardships that occur, God will work it out for your good. You know that the things of this world are only temporal, so you don’t put your heart or trust in them. You are free from the bondages of this world to live for Christ and Christ alone, and you have the love of God in your heart for the first time – a love that is so immense that it takes your breath away.

When you live your life apart from God…

You are dead.

When you live your life for God…

You are truly living.

bible

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13.50)

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2: 1-10)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Christadelphians "Doctrines to be Rejected"

A Little history

The Christadelphians are a non-Trinitarian, millennial non-Christian group which was started by Dr. John Thomas who was born in London England. He immigrated to the United States in 1832. Thomas was a member of the Campbellite group known as the Disciples, after leaving the Campbellites he started Christadelphian movement.

Read up on previous post concerning the Christadelphians: Examining Cults (Christadelphians) | Why The Christadelphians Are A Cult. | Common Traits Among The Cults | Common Traits Among The Cults #2 | Common Traits Among The Cults #3 | Common Traits Among The Cults #4

Marks of a cult

A group that states they believe in the Bible and are Christians but in some way divert from the biblical teaching of Christianity aren’t Christian at all. In-fact all cults will in some way try to include “works” as a means of obtaining salvation.

“Doctrinally, the Christadelphians are unique in Christendom in our understanding of the nature of Christ, and the way in which we are redeemed by his death. We reject as unbiblical the idea that Christ could die as a replacement sacrifice for us, thus covering all our sins forever with that one act. Certainly it is through his sacrifice that we may be forgiven, but only if we walk the path of self-denial that he marked out for us.” — (christadelphia.org)

As the late Dr. Walter Martin put it “the Christadelphians a very small cult, …but very influential”. This quote from Martin given at a talk he gave about the Jehovah Witnesses and the doctrines the Watchtower absorbed from the Christadelphians through Charles Taze Russell. Jehovah Witnesses are one of the worlds largest cult behind Mormonism so we can see how a small cult influenced another. Both cults deny the Trinity or Godhead and this is where our focus will be.

We reject the doctrine that God is three persons.

The Christadelphians are a “restorationist” group, this Movement began in the United States during the “Second Great Awakening” (1790–1840) of the early 19th century. A lot of cults developed during this time due to much confusion of what the Bible teaches and claims of “new revelation” from God, some notable mentions are Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and Christian Science.

Getting to the doctrine of the Trinity this is what one of their online pamphlets One God or a Trinity? has to say.

“So far in this booklet everything that was said was supported by quotes from the Bible, and only the Bible. However when discussing the Trinity that will not be possible, because the Trinity is something that originates from outside the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible do we find the word ‘Trinity’, nor do we find the Trinitarian terms ‘God the son’ or ‘God the Holy Spirit’. Religious historians and commentators, who believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, admit that the doctrine is not a teaching from the Old Testament:” — One God or a Trinity? (christadelphia.org)

Must the words “God the Son” or “God the Holy Spirit” be expressed in this exact same way in order for the Trinity to be true? The word “Bible” is nowhere to be found yet we all agree to the word of God as being the Bible. The doctrine of the Trinity (Godhead) is found all throughout the scriptures.

To start John the apostle says “no man hath seen God at anytime” in the Gospel of John.

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].

John 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

John is very clear no man has seen God, but what does that mean? In the second verse quoted John says “Not that any man hath seen the Father” and we can all agree that the Father is God, I don’t think anyone would disagree on that. If that’s so does the Bible contradict itself? Absolutely not, not by any means therefore let us consider other passages in scripture.

Adam and Eve were the first man and woman created by God yet they walked with God in the garden (Genesis 2:15-3:24). They enjoyed direct fellowship with God before being removed from the garden after they sinned.

Abraham saw God and even had a meal prepared by Sarah for Him Genesis 18:1 “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;” read Genesis chapter 18 for the entire account.

Genesis 18:6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead [it], and make cakes upon the hearth.

Hagar also saw God when she ran away and encountered the LORD in the desert (Genesis 16:9-16) God then told her she would have a son and to call him Ishmael.

Moses saw God and spake with him mouth to mouth (Numbers 12:8). Others who saw God include Jacob, Isaiah, David, Job, Gideon, Manoah and his wife. Plenty of accounts in the Old Testament with people seeing God, yet in John’s Gospel we read “Not that any man hath seen the Father…”. The question must be asked, who then did they see?

Old Testament and New Testament quotations

The Christadelphians affirm that the Father is God, as do all Christians but they are stuck logically when we compare verses such as in the book of Isaiah and the Gospel of John we read:

Isaiah 6:1-4 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Here we have the vision of Isaiah seeing the Lord sitting upon His throne. If you could ask Isaiah who did he see Isaiah would say he saw God Almighty. Keeping this in mind and reading in John’s Gospel the apostle answers the question of who Isaiah saw on the throne.

John 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

John tells us that Isaiah saw Jesus Christ in that vision and Isaiah says he saw the Lord. We must come to the conclusion that if the Bible has no contradictions which we believe does not. Then it’s straight forward to see Jesus Christ is God Almighty just as the Father and the Holy Spirit are also God Almighty.

It is a serious error on the part of the Christadelphians and the position they hold to is one concerning salvation. As they reject the fact Jesus is God then they cannot be saved no this premise alone as well as many other heretical beliefs they hold.

We beseech you if you’re part of this cult be aware you’re being mislead by false doctrine. We will be examining point by point more of the beliefs of the Christadelphians. The Bible tells us to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:11). The Christadelphians teach another gospel which is not another and are accursed because of it.

Galatians 1:6-8 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

You can still come to know the true God of the Bible, Jesus Christ can be your redeemer if you place your trust in Him and in Him alone. We hope you enjoyed this reading, feel free to leave any comments. God bless and praise the Lord Jesus our Lord and our God (John 20:28).

1 Timothy 1:15 This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.


Additional sites to research Christadelphianism

  1. allaboutcults.org
  2. christianlibrary.org
  3. evangelical-times.org

Kobe Bryant dies at 41

NBA legend Kobe Bryant, 41, died Sunday in a helicopter crash. Fatal crash: Bryant was one of nine people who died when the helicopter they were in crashed on a hillside in Calabasas, California. Among the victims was Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

What a tragic event it is when a soul is lost for all eternity. I’m sure Kobe Bryant enjoyed the fame and publicity which came from being a basketball star, but if he could speak right now I’m certain it wouldn’t be about basketball. It would be about knowing his Creator knowing Jesus Christ before passing away.

Here’s a man who had everything going for him yet with all the wealth accumulated, fame and fortune what did it profit him in the end? He couldn’t take any of it with him and if Kobe never got saved by trusting in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins; then as sad as it is to say Kobe is forever separated from God.

I hope that when he was alive he trusted in the Lord Jesus and was saved, as far as I know Kobe Bryant was not a believer in Jesus Christ. And if not then tragically he’s in hell. This reminds me of what the Lord Jesus said about the rich man and Lazarus in the Gospel of Luke. Read it for yourself and determine if being rich is worth more than knowing Christ.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

It is with out sincerest condolences that our hearts go out to the Bryant family. While this is a great tragedy perhaps this will wake up his family that they may see that life is fleeting. One day you’re here and the next moment you’re not. May we all take heed to the words of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 13:1-5 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Please it is our hope that you would trust in Christ Jesus and live by receiving eternal life as the free gift offered to you through Jesus Christ.

Answering Jehovah Witnesses Objections (Heaven)

The following quote from the Watchtower (Jehovah Witnesses) is concerning who will be in heaven. According to Jehovah Witnesses they believe that there are 2 groups, the first group is the “anointed class” of Jehovah Witnesses; the second group is referred to as “the great crowd”.

The Jehovah Witnesses teach that only 144,000 anointed Christians will be in heaven ruling with Jesus Christ as kings and priest. The great crowd will remain to live on paradise earth for all eternity.

WHERE WILL THE GREAT CROWD LIVE?

Here’s what the Watchtower says:

Christendom generally does not teach the Scriptural truth that one day obedient humans will live forever on earth. (2 Cor. 4:3, 4) Today, most religions in Christendom teach that all good people go to heaven when they die. It was different, however, with the small group of Bible Students who were publishing the Watch Tower in the late 1800’s. They understood that God would restore Paradise on earth and that millions of obedient humans would live here on earth​—not in heaven. However, it took time for them to discern clearly who these obedient humans would be.​—Matt. 6:10.

What Jehovah Witnesses do is they will say that “the light is getting brighter” to cover up any false teachings they have and then will change their teachings to another belief. They derive this from the book of proverbs.

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

They misinterpret and take this verse in proverbs to say that understanding of God’s word gets brighter. Thereby they can retract false prophecies and teachings at their own leisure. Is that what this verse means?

If we read scripture in context and read the verse before and after we will see the true meaning of Proverbs 4:18

Proverbs 4:17-19 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked [is] as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Notice the context is a contrast between a wicked person and a just or righteous person. It has nothing to do with understanding God’s word because the light gets brighter but I digress.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT WHO WILL BE IN HEAVEN?

The concept of the great crowd comes from the book of Revelation, the Watchtower takes this verse in Revelation saying only 144,000 (Revelation 7:4-8) will be in heaven.

Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

If we read past Revelation 7:4-8 to the end of the chapter we are actually given the location of the 144,000 and the great crowd.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

In Revelation 7:9 it says both the 144,000 and the great multitude/crowd is standing “before the throne”, this is a vision of heaven. They are also standing before God who’s on the throne and the Lamb. That’s not all we also are told the angels, elders and four beast worshipped before the throne.

Revelation 7:10-12 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

It’s very important that when we witness to cults to read the context of the verses as cult like to remove a text and try to put their own spin on it to support their own theology.

What do you think is the Watchtower right or the Bible? Study the scriptures for yourself and see what’s the truth, here are some verses on the subject.

1. Heaven is reserved for:

RighteousMat 25:34, 37
Changed, saved1Cr 15:51Jhn 3:5, 18, 21
Called, obedient2Pe 1:10, 11Rev 22:14
All members of one Body, not heavenly class and earthly class1Cr 12:12-31
All in one Fold with one ShepherdJhn 10:16

2. Believers In Heaven Are:

Citizens of HeavenPhl 3:20
Partakers of the Heavenly callingHbr 3:1

3. Old Testament Believers Are There:

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in HeavenMat 8:11
All the prophets with themLuk 13:28
Desire a better country, a heavenly oneHbr 11:8-16

4. Christ Dwells Among Them:

Four beasts and twenty-four eldersRev 5:8-10
One-hundred and forty-four thousandRev 14:1-5
Great multitudeRev 7:9-17

5. The 144,000 Will Not Be Chosen Until The 6th Seal Is Broken:

The 6th seal is brokenRev 6:12
Day of wrath comesRev 6:17
After the day of wrathRev 7:1-3
144,000 are sealedRev 7:4-8
The 7th seal is brokenRev 8:1

6. Heaven And Earth Will All Be One:

New Heavens and EarthRev 21:1
The overcoming ones shall inherit all things including Heaven and EarthRev 21:7Eph 1:10

As you can see heaven is not only for the 144,000, it is for everyone who has trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Feel free to leave your comments and thanks for reading. God bless.

The Greek Septuagint

The Greek Septuagint named for the 70 Jewish men who translated the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures into Greek around 300-200 BC was written for Hellenistic Jews living outside of Jerusalem in parts of Greece. This Greek translation was produced because many Jews dispersed throughout the empire were beginning to lose their Hebrew beliefs. These Jews who were living among Gentiles were accustomed to reading in the Greek tongue and it was important for the men who wrote the Septuagint that it would be understandable to those Jews living abroad.

Additionally, the Greek Septuagint gave Gentiles insight into the beliefs of Judaism being that it was written in their own language. The Septuagint was also a source of the Old Testament for early Christians during the first few centuries AD. Many Christians at that time spoke and read Greek, thus they relied on the Septuagint translation for a majority of their understanding of the Old Testament scriptures.

The New Testament writers also relied on the Septuagint, as a majority of Old Testament quotes are cited in the New Testament and are quoted directly from the Septuagint. When it came to referencing God the Septuagint writers took the name κύριος (kyrios) which is only reserved in praise and worship of God Almighty translating it to LORD. 

In the New Testament there are verses which use the phrase “call on the name of the LORD” or “calling on the name of the LORD”. This phrase “called upon the name of the LORD” is found in the Old Testament the references are (Genesis 4:26; Deuteronomy 4:7; 1 Chronicles 16:8; Job 27:10; Psalm 18:3; Psalm 55:16; Psalm 99:6; Psalm 105:1; Psalm 116:13; Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 12:4; Zephaniah 3:9).

The New Testament writers understood the Old Testament scriptures very well, remember in the time when Jesus Christ walked with His disciples they didn’t have any of the New Testament writings yet. For Christ was not yet ascended, after His ascension is when the New Testament was composed by the apostles.

Saul of Tarsus started as a pharisee before he was converted and became the apostle Paul. He would have known the Old Testament scriptures very well yet when Paul wrote his epistles he took the phrase “called upon the name of the LORD” and applied this same phrase to the Lord Jesus.

Romans 10:12-13 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

1 Corinthians 1:1-2 Paul, called [to be] an apostle of Jesus Christ … Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called [to be] saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, …

This is just more strong evidence for the deity of Jesus Christ as being the Almighty God who created all things (John 1:3; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 4:11). If you don’t know Jesus Christ as you’re Lord and Saviour then you’re without life as Jesus is the source of life. Jesus said speaking of Himself.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Sin separates us from God and we’re told in God’s word that if we die in our sins we will be lost for all eternity, all unbelievers will be cast into the Lake of Fire the Bible says; which is the second death. We all sinned against God but not all of us will end up in hell because we’ve trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Will you do the same?

In the book of John it says that if you receive the Lord Jesus then you can become a son or child of God. You’ll be adopted into the family of God and will be given eternal life.

John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

You’ll be born again and God will dwell in you making you a new creature, at this time you’ll begin to love the things of God, and you’ll love people by sharing the truth of what Jesus Christ came to do and that’s to save sinners. As the apostle Peter said you’ll have a “lively hope”.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

God bless.

Depression: What is it? A Spiritual Perspective

All too often I hear of people experiencing depression. Depression is a debilitating affliction and it causes people to feel like there is no purpose to life. I experienced a bit of this at various points in my life before I was saved by Jesus Christ. I did not experience clinical depression, but I felt it at times and saw it first-hand in people around me to understand just how its effects can be heart-wrenching and crippling to the human life. When one suffers from depression, he or she wonders, why am I alive? What is the point? Why even do groceries, garden, or anything at all? There is no joy, no purpose, no fulfillment…only a dark black void with seemingly no escape. A feeling of despair within one’s soul. Everything feels numb and it is difficult to enjoy life or feel appreciation for anything. Some people have such severe depression that they take their own lives, a grave mistake because there is no rest after death for those who do not trust in Christ.

This pondering of what is the purpose to life is part of my testimony, because these questions about my existence led me to the one true God. I needed to know why I was here, breathing and living.

Now that I have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, I have a perspective on depression that I believe doctors are missing and they will never get, because they focus on simply the physical and psychological and nothing more. But they are sorely mistaken, because there is so much more. In fact, doctors only treat the mere surface of something so much deeper that only God can cure. What is more than the physical or the psychological?

The spiritual.

People get depressed because they do not feel there is purpose to life. They feel alone, they feel joyless, they feel like there is no point so why even try. The reason people feel these things is because they do not have a reconciled relationship with their Creator. This is, and will always be, the root cause of deep unending severe depression. They are a living being that has been created by God, yet they are trying to live their life completely set apart from Him. It isn’t going to happen, and there is absolutely no cure for depression except that they surrender their life to Jesus Christ, trusting in Him and being born-again.

Once this happens, your loneliness dissipates. You have a purpose in your existence you never knew before. You experience a love that fills your heart and soul, whereas before you trusted in Him, all you knew is brokenness and rejection. You feel accepted, loved, cared for for the first time in your life. It doesn’t mean you weren’t feeling loved before or were devoid of it, but no love on this earth between humans can compare to the love and closeness of God Himself. Nothing.

Humans can only love with broken love because humans are all broken, imperfect people. When you are made a child of God, you are perfectly loved by a perfect God and He fills every single void you have in your heart and spirit. It is incredible what happens when you become a child of God.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Reading this truth for children of God, one can’t help but be filled with joy as they set their heart on these spiritual truths from above. For those who inherit salvation, depression vanishes as you start a new life as a child of God. You realize that your time on earth is short, and you are destined for Heaven for all eternity. Things on this earth no longer matter, so your depression lifts. When someone is depressed, it’s because the things in this physical realm matter too much and things of this world were never supposed to take precedence over God in our lives. You realize that you have abundant purpose. That this beautiful, glorious God created you, your personality, your eyes, your nose, every detail of your body inside and out. You realize that God has loved you before you were ever conceived in your mother’s womb, that you are not a mistake and you didn’t appear here by random chance, and He has set out to save you in an extravagant way by enduring torture and dying on the cross for you, shedding his blood for you. 

When you realize these very special truths, your heart lights up and depression is gone. Because you are filled. You are filled with the presence of God by His Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t mean that a born-again believer will not walk through rough times: dry times, testing times, disparaging times, or even bouts or seasons of depression. Even the people of God in scripture went through times of depression, including a man after God’s own heart, King David Himself. But that depression is a different kind of depression, and is not lasting and only for a season as God works in your life.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42)

This Psalm written by David speaks multitudes regarding depression and how to handle it for a believer. David was so obviously depressed in this Psalm, as he writes, “my tears have been my meat day and night”. As we can see, David was not immune to times of depression either, but his own resolution is what we are to do with that depression. As we read on in Psalm 42, we can see how this man after God’s own heart deals with his hopelessness and sadness: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

As King David teaches us, there is nothing wrong with crying and feeling depressed or times of despair and hopelessness. They will come. Even for a child of God. And we must walk through it, no matter the difficulty. What God puts in our path or allows in our life is always to grow us, refine us, teach us, sanctify us, and prepare us for glory.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17-18)

However, in the sufferings we experience, we are to take these feelings and bring them to God and even through the despair. We are to hope in Him, recognizing that He is taking care of us even through the storm we may face. King David, though saddened, was hopeful at the end of this Psalm because he set his eyes on the only one who can give our hearts hope: God.

By personal experience, I can notice my own feelings and times I may feel sad or hopeless in a moment or in a season in my walk with God, and they are always times when I am most distant from Him. Of course, if you are born-again, you are never distant from Him but sometimes He may make Himself “seem” distant in order to teach us what David learned, and that is to set our eyes on Him, continue to have faith in Him, and hope in Him during these stormy seasons. As we seek Him and set our hearts on things above, our depression lifts. When we focus on things of the earth, we are bound to get depressed, sad, or feel despair because there is no hope on this earth but only in God alone. David was depressed because he was focused on his earthly trials and the mountains he had to face. The moment he set his eyes on God in heaven, hope and encouragement filled his heart. This is true for all believers.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

God does put His children through the fire of testing, that we may be refined and sanctified. It hurts during the process, but the outcome is so precious in God’s eyes. He burns away things that are not meant to stay, and what’s revealed is true fruit. I’ve experienced this in my walk with God.

Who (believers) are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1: 5-9)

There can be much superficial advice regarding depression that may work for a moment, but if you do not have a reconciled relationship with God, depression will always come back and will never leave, nor will your suffering be used for your ultimate good – truths that believers can hold onto.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:28)

It is imperative to spend your one life on this earth to know the God who created you. Denying Him will not only have detrimental effects in this world, keeping you purposeless, and with no hope, but if one does not trust in Christ, the suffering will also be in the world to come.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28).

Trust in Christ to receive salvation, purpose, love, joy, acceptance, car, protection, security, and everything you could ever possibly need. Without Him, there is no hope for the human soul.

He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

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As Christians, our goal in life is to become less and less and have the fragrance of Christ exude from us more and more. It’s not about us, it’s about Him. We’re to walk in this world viewing it with the mind of Christ; we are not to view Christ from the standpoint of the world. As we grow in our faith and abide in Him, He will become greater in us and we will exude Jesus more. Our time on earth is extremely short, and it’s easy to get caught up in selfishness and comfort. But when we get back to perspective and realize that we really only have a few short years on this earth, and those years are meant to spent living for God, loving and serving and following Him, it makes helps us not think about ourselves so much.

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30).

Before we come to Christ, our lives are centered on ourselves – our needs, our desires, our comforts. And we tend to more often than not put ourselves first. However, when a person trusts in Christ and gives their entire life to Him, that person is made new by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through regeneration, our hearts, our minds, our spirits are transformed. We are not working to be close to God and be different than we used to be, instead we now have God permanently indwelling us and He’s the one who makes us different. Thus begins a life of transformation, from the inside out. Where we were once selfish, we become selfless. Where we once put ourselves first, we put Christ first. And when we put Christ first, we put others first.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)

Slowly but steadily, the dry and wretched things of this world come off of us as we are renewed by the Spirit of God daily. As we have our eyes look on Him, our eyes are looking toward ourselves less. Our hearts focus upward to God, and less inward to ourselves.

This is the purpose of human existence. For, God is the One who created you, and He created you for a reason. And that reason isn’t to make yourself greater, but to glorify God and to make Him greater in this world. You were not created to live for yourself; you were created to know God and be known by God, and live for Him.

How does one live for Him? By trusting in what Jesus Christ did on the cross, (that He shed His blood for your sins), being forgiven of your sins, being justified of your debt that you owed God, and regenerated by His Holy Spirit. Without His Spirit, you will be striving your whole life to please God in vain, because unless you are covered by His blood, there is no forgiveness. All you need to to is put your faith in Him, and you will be made new and clean, from the very depth of your soul.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

Through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43b)

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)

Trust in the Lord of lords and King of kings and fulfill your soul’s purpose. ❤