And having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and
dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
God has many ways to deter us from sin. One is to provide reminders for us so that we never take disobedience to Him lightly. Before his conversion, Paul assumed that he was righteous before God. In reality, Paul was so disoriented to God that he arrested and executed Christians in order to please Him! Paul was so blinded to God's will that when he watched Stephen being brutally murdered for his faith, Paul's heart was hardened, and he became even more determined to imprison other Christians.
It is significant that there are two occurrences of stoning mentioned in the New Testament—Stephen's and Paul's. Was it coincidence that God allowed Paul to be stoned in the same manner as Stephen had been? God had certainly forgiven Paul for his involvement in Stephen's death, but God also left him with a reminder of what his arrogance had led him to do. If pride could blind Paul to God once, pride could do it again. Perhaps Paul's “thorn in the flesh” was a direct result of this stoning. It may have served as a visible reminder to Paul, and to others, of the terrible consequences of sin.
God is absolutely just. He loves, and He forgives, but He does not compromise His righteousness. God deals with us uniquely. He draws upon our experiences to teach us about Himself. God will forgive us of our sin, but He may provide stark reminders of the ugliness of sin. Let us thank God that He loves us enough to remind us of the destructive consequences of sin in our lives.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
We have seen one or two generations being taught that rather than offending those who lose, that everyone gets a participation trophy.
Sin and its consequences doesn't work that way.
Sin is what you and I are born with. Only by coming to Christ, being washed, cleansed by Jesus's finished work on the cross, by being born again, can we become victorious over it.
We can't discover, create nor be enlightened to a direction or path that leads to a resolution to sin other than through Jesus Christ. We can't self-justify to make our trophy worth anything before a Holy God.
Sin and consequences. Even if you somehow miraculously lived a whole, completely perfect life, without Christ, you would still be condemned to Hell.
Jesus said He is the only way to Salvation. There is no other means or methods possible to achieve entry to Heaven. None.
In this life consequences are part of living.
Every action has reaction. However you think it, it matters not, God is the Creator, God's judgement is final. What the Creator decides is what is truth. Not my interpretation of it, not yours.
You may stand in defiance before God, shaking your fists at God. You may be brazen enough to flip Him off, it will not change the outcome. Note that it is clearly shown that there is no recourse to those whom Jesus separates from the true wheat vs the false wheat. Once He decides that's it, no more discussion. Oh they tried pleading their case, the false wheat did, but Jesus's word was final. Depart from Me.
The sting of being told you messed up in this life is one thing. In time you either move past it or you wallow in in the failure. But duration happens and opportunities are there to get beyond it.
In the final judgment there is no such thing. In the final judgment time is no more. Welcome to Eternity. All encompassing and without end.
You have choices before you today to accept that you are in need of a Savior, who is only Jesus, or you stand in defiance to that need. Hate to break it to you, but indecision is in an of itself a decision. Not deciding is still deciding. When faced with an axe a tree can only go one of two directions. The Word of God is precise enough to the division of our soul and spirit.
You who are still trying to argue your case before God, know this: Scripture says of itself Let God be found true and every man a liar. God's truth is beyond set in stone. It was set on the cross. It was written down before Adam and Eve sinned. Before anything was, God knew what was going to happen.
You have a limited time left my friend.
Time is running out. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you can see the theme revolves around how close we are to the return of Christ.
I am not the writer of these posts, I am simply not that good, I write as directed until I need to go to work. If the message hits a chord with you then, my friend, God is speaking to you.
Stubbornly refusing Christ only sends people to Hell. There is nobody there who doesn't now know that the judgment of God is real. Everyone there is not having a party. They are all in torment and pain. From fallen Angels to mankind, those there all wish they weren't. Some still rage at God in their torment. Others cry out for mercy from the very same God they rejected.
My most horrific memory on that is a former coworker whose last words that I ever heard her say were "Oh GOD". As flippantly as one would utter a swear word. If she hadn't maybe found Christ before dying from cancer, all she will do is scream out "Oh God!!!!!" Begging for relief in Hell. Same goes to all who are there. Before He ascended to Heaven, taking the believing in Christ with Him, there used to be two parts of the underworld. Sheol and Hades. Sheol was the side where mankind who had longed for the Savior waited. They had lived in faith looking toward the day He would arrive. There was a chasm between that side and Hades, the side where the unbeliever went. For centuries one side could see and try to cry out to the other. To no avail. After Christ descended He took the believers with Him. Now those down there are all alone in their own company of others in torment.
It's a torment that even Satan does not want. He isn't on some throne down there awaiting new people. Even he knows what Hell is about and has no desire to be there. So he attacks the people, people are most important to God the Father. Blinds them from the truth of the Gospel. Blinds them from believing that there is such a thing as sin that there is consequences to sin. That people don't go to Hell when they die apart from Christ.
Jesus says what the truth is. He is the Truth. The Way and The Life. There is no glorious afterlife apart from Salvation in Christ Jesus.
Is your stubbornness really worth the rest of eternity? People caught up in a fire or flood aren't concerned about fashion statements, public appearances or public approval. They don't care about stock portfolios or cars houses or money. They don't even care about their I-Phone.
They just want to be saved. What about you?
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