Are we on the right path?

We have come to a generation filled with “high and advance technology” yet morally, our generation is filled with confusion. We do not know whom to believe as the devil is also working hard to lead people astray. Imagine, the coming of different Philosophies, concepts and values made our world so filled up with so many different ways and even Religions and gods. It has deviated our minds into different ways and many say “one way is as good as another.”  In marriage, it used to be sacred and the “living together” of two persons is based on vows and blessings from God. These vows were made with commitments in the presence of witnesses and of God.

Today, the sacredness of marriage is tarnished by many people who ignore God’s will. We often see men and women living together, changing partners often as they change their clothes. Children were raised without complete parents, and if with parents, they are not even legally married. If married, they change partners easily and children are often times not given consideration to have and see a life where family is at peace happy and intact. Oftentimes, I read articles about divorce and the pains of the family and children. Since divorce is easy to acquire, people have the convenience of cutting off the relationship to escape from “little problems” and hope to find peace with another person of his/her choice.  Worst than these, we see man and man – woman and another woman living together. WHAT A GENERATION!

Then we hear, WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE US? It seems like there is no more right and wrong in all aspect. It means “their happiness” is the most important and as long as it is not hurting anyone “Physically,” they can go on in their way. Is the world in the right path? Let’s start with the “Church in the Bible” as we seek for the truth.

Our Lord Jesus established a church. He died and bought it with a price. He said; “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it ” (KJV) Matthew 16:18. There is only ONE TRUE CHURCH and that is what Jesus built! Satan introduced many churches for man to follow. These are not the church in the Bible. If the Bible is “God breathe,” this same Bible should be the bases for man to build a church. Stephane Maillet of Moncton NB posted in the Facebook his comment regarding religious division- creating so many churches saying “With love and respect I humbly ask all who care to seek and understand eternal truth (Jn. 8:32). Within the pages of God breathed New Testament law (from Matthew to Revelation), do we read of Jesus Christ our risen King (Lk. 24:2-3), … building a Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Wesleyan, Gospel Hall, Presbyterian, Mennonite, 7th day adventist, Salvation army, Community Church, House of Nazareth, and or any other of the thousands of denominations out there, is Christ divided? If so, please provide BCV to prove your case. If not, then why remain loyal to something God never built?”

Religious conflicts, division, disagreement or confusions were made by Satan to deceive man. 1 Peter 5;8 says; “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (ASV). Division is NOT caused by God himself. It is caused by people who ignored God’s word and are not afraid to mislead people. Tweeting with God article says; “It is therefore very painful to see that Christians are so divided. The main causes of this division in various churches and communities are the stubbornness, prejudices and sinfulness of the people themselves.”

Check the Bible if your church is found in the scriptures?
Check its teachings if its basically Biblical.

Open your eyes and see! Matthew 15:14 says; they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

If you have difficulty in checking and you wanted to be guided, please give us a call or contact our website so we can help you and respond to your needs.  We are also open for Bible studies anytime at your home or at Convoy Church of Christ building at Convoy Avenue, Halifax NS, telephone number 904-443-9628 or call us at (902) 410-8496. We at Convoy Avenue Church of Christ would be so willing to assist you in your search for the truth.

Brother David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue Church of Christ in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

wooden signpost near a path

Are you on the right path?

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Our Mother

Mother is our number one fan. She often works hard only to know it was for her children’s cause. She not only worked hard to ensure that we had a good upbringing, but was also very strict and sometimes she punished us whenever we went wrong. Even though I did not like the punishment then, I now realize and look back that it was meant to lovingly correct me and help me to follow the right path when growing up. I can vividly remember my mother who used to take care of me when I was so ill. She spends the time to attend to me and brought me to a hospital. At one time, I was so ill in the hospital and was about to die and I can only hear her say “David, pray to God! He is our only refuge.”

Our mother was a good cook and even knew how to bake and prepare for family’s gathering.  Just the memory of the foods excites and salivate me until now. She talked to me about what will happen when I grow up. She gave great bits of advice. I can proudly say to all that she grew up in a Christian family who also wants us to fear God.

Sometimes I hear children speak badly to their mother. I hear a teenager calling her mom “you Crazy!” and tell her mom to shut up because it is none of her business. A lady in her late 30s told her mom to just shut up and behave because she doesn’t know anything better anymore because she is already old. It pained me to see her mother hearing that. What a sad scenario. I saw and heard a young boy kicking the door of their house so furious when asked why he came home too late or was not given money to enjoy with her/his friends.

We, children, should honor our mothers with obedience. Doing some work for our parents like fixing and cleaning is a small but important sign of respect. “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord” (Colossians 3:20). Children can show honor to their mother by returning home on time and can take her advice about having the right friends. As adults, we can show honor by keeping in touch with her, if you do not live close to her, call her and share some good news about your achievements or your children’s achievement. She will appreciate these small remembrances and expressions of gratitude. Don Wilton in his article “Honor your Father and Mother” says; “Provide for your parents’ basic needs. Make certain you are not feasting at the king’s table while your precious parents are living on cans of baked beans! And, by the way, make sure they are eating right.” (https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/june-2013/honor-your-mother-and-your-father/).

Lastly, when our mothers grow old, we have an opportunity to return the care they gave us, by making sure their needs are being met and the proper care is being received. “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22). This may even include financial support: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).

CROWD PLEASERS John12:35-43

All of us face all different pressures. It sometimes felt like we are living in a “pressure cooker.” We are all subject to social pressures. And it takes patience and strong faith to hurdle these pressures. If we are true to ourselves and to God, these pressures will not hinder us and we will be able to continue to withstand the strong pull of the crowd. On the other hand, many crave for acceptance by others. Many pursue popularity as a means of happiness and seek support from other’s opinions. These are the “crowd pleasers.”

The Bible spoke about the Pharisees to be known as “crowd pleasers.” They loved the crowd and loved the feeling of being applauded. Zac Poonen in his article “Marks of the Pharisees” says; “they glorified in their obedience to the Laws of God on the outside. The righteousness of the Pharisees was only external. They love positions and titles of honor. They imagine that they are better than others. They trust in their own righteousness and look down on others. They value their traditions more than God’s word and they justify themselves.(www.cfcindia.com/books/fifty-marks-of-pharisees). When someone seeks men’s honor Jesus said in Matthew 23:5,15 “But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments… woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!…”Jesus continued saying “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” John 12:43.

We have to remember that whatever we do- in word or indeed, we do it for the Lord. In another way of saying it is with everything we do, we have the motive to please God. Our faith and trust in God are tested on a daily basis. As we walk with God, constantly acknowledging and seeking Him, we are made more aware of His presence. This means He is the one we focus on at all times in tough or good times. We do not need the crowd to please God. We do not need the crowd to feel good. Apostle Paul said Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” Galatians 1:10 (NIV).

Christians Need to Grow

Many Christians are afraid to Grow Spiritually because they are afraid to fail. Growing entails a lot of effort and responsibility. Many are unwilling to run the risk and afraid to leave the comforts of life for the “rugged life of faith.” However, God’s highest purpose for us is to grow to maturity. It is anything that we have to aspire and is worth having it. People who desire and work for maturity are willing to pay its price.

Wayne Jackson says; “the level of vileness on the part of some youths who profess a connection with Christianity is so dreadful, that my investigation of this matter has been one of the most heart-breaking experiences I have known in many years. Many of our churchgoing teens are marginal believers who profess religious ideas that represent an astonishing departure from historic Christianity”(www.christiancourier.com/articles/1126shocking-new-christian-generation-the). They started to be stunted with their growth until they carry it with them when they are old. They carry with them the baggage supposedly left behind long time ago. The worst is they depart from the truth.

Apostle Paul constantly warned the danger of Christians not growing. In fact he feared that some Christians have no aims or direction. He compared Christianity to athletes in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (NASB).

Paul sounds so serious that Christians ought to take growth seriously. The sad reality is that many Christians do not want full growth and would never leave the “Kindergarten of spirituality.” They would rather remain in diapers and milk rather than geared toward to become mountain climbers in order to scale the heights of searching the scriptures daily. Apostle Paul added in Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (NASB). Children cannot reach forward to what lies ahead. They easily pout and fall away. They are more fascinated with that which is new, playful, amusing, of no real purpose, loud and showy. Mature Christians understand life to have quality, purpose and value. Let me encourage you brethren, to grow and mature in our Lord with a goal and direction, willing to cooperate to the Christian demands and be optimistic of God’s promise.

God hates Idolatry

We people practice some concepts adopted from the apostate church of Rome not knowing it is an abomination to God. Looking at the Bible, there is no excuse that our ignorance is used as justification. However, even with our ignorance, when told about it by God’s word, our attitude must be willing to change and follow what is right and do what is acceptable to God. Justifying their acts and practices even make God mad.

What is “Abomination?” The dictionary defines it as anything abominable; anything greatly disliked or abhorred. It also means an intense aversion or loathing; detestation; vile, shameful or detestable action (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/abomination). One that God does not like since the beginning is for a man to have any other gods before Him. Idolatrous attitudes and practices need not be explicitly religious in the sense of being directed toward a defined god. Anything that we love more than God Himself should be considered an idol. It does not necessarily mean a graven image made by hands. If we love our jobs more than God, our friends, family, culture, concept and other material things we possess is an idolatry.

We have to understand that in the New Testament the term idolatry is used to designate covetousness which says in Luke 16:13;  “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” The point of our discussion is the love we should have to our God cannot be equally compared to anyone or anything. Idolatry can be more subtle according to Douglas Wilson. “It can be without images. The apostle Paul tells us in an aside that covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). This means that the objects of a man’s covetous desire have come to occupy the place of devotion in his heart that only God should occupy. And given the nature of covetousness, we can see that idolatry can extend to anything — if your neighbor can have it instead of you, you can covet it (Ex. 20:17). And when you do, that’s idolatry.” (ttps://dougwils.com/s16-theology/four-kinds-of-idolatry.html)

In another instance, Jesus makes that point implicitly in Luke 14:26, when He rejects any who love their family members more than Him. Look at the Old Testament where God got mad as he said in 1Samuel 2:29; Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?” Adam Clarke’s Commentary says; “they disdained to take the part allowed by law; and would take for themselves what part they are pleased, and as much as they are pleased, thus they kicked at the sacrifices (Vol 2. p.214). This could mean, “they kicked it without value” or “disregarded it without importance” that God got mad at them.

Apostle Paul identified some individuals whose god was “their belly” (Phil. 3:19). Their appetites were so consuming that the Apostle viewed them as worshipping their stomachs. He described the origin of idolatry in Romans 1:21-25: men forsook God and sank into ignorance and moral corruption. In Chapter 1:28, it says; Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”

How can we Value “TRUTH?”

Many times if not sometimes Christians are afraid of being ostracized for being different from the crowd. Truth has been kept and will never be revealed but rather we see Christians join the world and compromise the truth for fear of criticism or left alone. Others say, “we have already been this way and there is no way to undo it.” What is the truth? In John 18:37-38, when Jesus was put to trial, Pilate asked: “What is Truth?” Jesus answered, “For this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.” King James translation says “everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Pilate did not realize that the answer to his question stood before him: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers say; “I am the way.–the pronoun is emphatic. “I, and none besides Me.” “The way” is again made prominent, reversing the order which Thomas had used. He and He only is the means through which men can approach to the Father.”( http://biblehub.com/john/14-6.htm)

Truth divides! Peace and serenity are oftentimes bothered when the truth prevails as it divides the followers of Jesus from the disobedient. It divides when the rejection of truth is made while it also unites when TRUTH is accepted. It divides the “truth-seekers” from the “blinds” who often times are the majority. It frees mankind from the darkness after knowing and following the truth. Matthew Henry Commentary says; “Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations” (http://biblehub.com/matthew/10-34.htm)

Why will truth hurt? Is it not for Christians’ advantage to know the truth and be free from blindly following a wrong concept? Hebrews 4:12 says; “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”(NIV). One thing for sure that I can say; “Whenever the word of God is preached purely for a man to be guided well and avoid sin, it will always create division because there are those who believe and would not believe.” But one thing for sure, there is NO LIE in TRUTH!

 

By their Fruits, You will know Them

Sometimes we have the problem dealing with people and we often fall into the trap if we do not know how to discern well. Remember, our Lord Jesus said; “They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” Matthew 7:15. To know them by their fruits means that you can recognize person’s real identity by looking at the evidence shown by that person’s life. You can tell what they are by what they do or in another way of saying it, one can detect them by the way they act. Other passage in Matthew clearly expresses the same concept in verse 12:33 which Jesus says; “”Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”

Brian A. Yeager of “Words of Truth Weekly” said; “sometimes, we don’t want to see the wrong in people. Sometimes, we close our eyes to things we should be seeing. Sometimes it is our family members we cannot really see for who they are (cf. Matthew 12:46-50). Jacob certainly struggled with seeing what his children did with their brother Joseph though there had been jealousy for some time in the family (Genesis 37). Sometimes, we get caught in emotions and do not think clearly. For example, though Delilah had betrayed Samson, he did not heed the clear warning signs before him (Judges 16:6-20). Sometimes, it is someone who convinces us that they are on God’s side and because of this we cannot see the warning signs. The Old Prophet was able to deceive the younger prophet for this reason (I Kings 13:11ff).” (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol9/wotbulletin09062009.html). Christians should be aware that our enemy is deceptive. Satan plays like that and has been a liar from the beginning. He comes in disguise as a serpent that was proven in Genesis 3 as it says in verse 1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” This malevolent creature is so cunning and knows how to deceive God’s people if they are not strong.

Those whose fruits are not in accordance with God’s will or choose not to remain with Christ are to be “thrown away”. They are trash; unfit for further use. Christians have nothing to do with them. Wayne Jackson says; “six times in John 15:1-7 the Lord used the expression “in me.” The term is employed of those who are in “union” with Christ. It initially referred to those “disciples” to whom he was giving instruction on that occasion; later, though, the application would be to those who have become “disciples” in a more technical sense (Matthew 28:19), and thus have entered into the “in Christ” relationship by means of obedience to the gospel (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27). These became known formally as “Christians” (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).” (https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1074-allegory-of-the-vine-and-the-branches-the).Their fruits show they are true followers of Christ yet those who do not show any fruit and are dead branches will cut down and be thrown to the fire.

A Man of God is a Man of Prayer

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7New King James Version (NKJV).

The times we are living in are difficult. We are often trapped by our unbelief and fear. Prayers should be with full trust. Many times if not sometimes, people give little thought to God’s ability to take care of us. The more we trust God, the less we trust our own understanding. The enemy would have us think that to place our trust wholeheartedly in God is a sign of weakness. This is the world’s thinking, but what the Bible says:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Debbie Przybylski said in her article “A Prayer for Trust to step out in faith” that “we all want God to answer our prayers. We believe in the power of prayer, but when it comes down to our own individual lives and problems, we often don’t have the faith to believe that God will answer. Our lack of faith and our fear of stepping out in dependence on Him are what get in the way. The truth is that the things we do for God should be outside of our own abilities; they should be evidence that we are trusting in His supernatural ability.” (http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/a-prayer-for-trusting-god-in-hard-times.html )

In times of happiness and in times when we are desperate, we must have an attitude of thanking God or leaning on toward God for help. Psalm 27:1 shows a perfect pattern of trust when it says: “A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” In times where things are desperate, we should turn to God for help.

Prayers must not only be trustful but also thankful. “Thankfulness is one of the graces by which the believer reveals the state of his spiritual health. Thankfulness adds a new dimension to all our blessings. Our food tastes better when we have given thanks; our common blessings loom larger; our eternal destiny shines ever more brightly, and life becomes correspondingly more serene.” (Charles W. Koller – Expository Preaching without Notes plus). God appreciates a thanking spirit. It pleases Him. It is one of the ways we show Him we truly love Him. When we give to God our thanks, we also benefit by being close to Him. The things we give to Him is our praise and worship, our sacrifice of time, energy and money. Basically, we give our lives to Him with thanksgiving. This brings us closer to Him, to grow spiritually and can transform our attitude, mind, and spirit. We can only claim to be Man of God when in everything, we are prayerful.

Salvation is For All!

It has been the way of thinking of the “old” that only Jews can be saved and that the salvation was intended only for their race. If you notice the early times of Christ, the Jews had no social or religious dealings with the Samaritans because they regarded them as having departed from Judaism. “The hatred between the Jews and Samaritans was fierce and long-standing. In some ways, it dated all the way back to the days of the patriarchs” (https://bible.org/illustration/hatred-between-jews-and-samaritans).

The God we are worshipping will not save a man simply because he is a Jew, or because he is famous, or because he is prosperous; nor will he reject a man because of his education or race or characteristics. All people, of whatever condition in life, will stand before God as equal; and is entitled to the same privileges. God regards men today, not on the basis of their skin or nationality but on whether they are faithful and obedient to His will.

Romans 10:12 says; “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him.” Barnes’ Note on the Bible says; For there is no difference – In the previous verse, Paul had quoted a passage from Isaiah 28:16, which says that “everyone” (Greek, πᾶς pas) that believeth shall not be ashamed; that is, everyone of every nation and kindred. This implies that it was not to be confined to the Jews”(http://biblehub.com/commentaries/romans/10-12.htm). Here the word “Greek” is made to stand for all not Jews. And in verse 13; “for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Dr. Taylor says; “Believing in Christ, or God, Romans 10:11, and calling upon God, Romans 10:12-14, are in effect the same thing; as calling upon God necessarily connects and supposes faith in him: and he who duly believes in Christ has such a sense of his dependence upon Divine grace, that he looks unto God and trusts in his power and goodness alone for happiness: which is the true religion of the Gospel” (Clarke’s Commentary on Romans 10:13/http://www.godvine.com/bible/romans/10-13). All may be “one” in Christ, and fellow-heirs in the same body, through obedience to the same gospel. (Romans 1:16-17).

We have to know that God desires everyone to have the hope of Salvation. However, it is a sad truth that not all people are or will have it. Our Maker has put conditions upon that salvation. We too must first imitate Him as – “He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:8-9). The simple truth is that there are just people that do not want to obey God’s will. God wants them to be saved–and they can be saved, but they have to turn from sin and keep God’s commandments. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14).

Jesus is our ONLY WAY!

The world has so many good offers and it makes you feel good. At the end of it, the Lord’s offer will prevail. Think of it, it is the best that man can have. He gave His Life for us to achieve the offer to be in Heaven. Oftentimes, men brush aside our Lord’s offer. It has been that way since the time He came to this world. Our Lord Jesus came into this world to be born and live like us. He shared the Gospel’s message that His Father wants us to hear and embrace. He was bringing His Father’s will so that souls will have the hope of eternal life. Yet many people plotted against Him. They ignored and rejected Him. They mocked Him and would even want to kill Him. They knew He is the way as many pieces of evidence were shown to prove His deity. He claims to be the Son of God and proved it with His miracles and teachings. Yet, men were still so stubborn and continue to be hard in their ways.

Many Roads? Yet, there is ONLY ONE ROAD! Jesus said, “I am the WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). There is only one way to go to God. It is ONLY through Christ. Ellicot Commentary for English Readers say; “The pronoun is emphatic. ‘I, and none besides Me.’ ‘The way’ is again made prominent, reversing the order which Thomas had used. He and He only is the means through which men can approach to the Father” (http://biblehub.com/john/14-6.htm).

Many times people go to “detours” in following Christ. Ron Bennet in his article “Discovering God in the Detour” says; When confronted with a detour in life, several emotions seem to emerge: anxiety, impatience, frustration, disappointment, and even confusion. Unable to make progress toward our goals, we may feel that we are wasting time, no longer in control, and very unsure of the future” (http://www.navigatorchurchministries.org/Blog/August-2014/Discovering-God-in-the-Detour). This is so fatal for people to resort to anything outside of God. If we follow the Lord’s pattern, His word and direction, we will not become tired and discouraged. We have to keep an eye on “The Way” for us not to be lost and can endure all obstacles. We have to know that the world offers many detours to avoid potholes. If we are patient, we can endure and in the end, we will be victorious. Let us always remember Jesus when He said; “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23).

Is Heaven Your Destination?

There was an argument about “Man’s Destination” that one says “man has no capacity to determine where he is heading. It is only God who makes that decision.” It seems like the man cannot decide where he should be with that kind of reasoning. Predestination is even foreign in the Biblical terms which seem to be their argument. What did the Bible say?

Heaven or Hell? C.S. Lewis says “The safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” Hell is the place prepared for the devil and his angels. The Devil’s nature is to tempt and often times we believe that by engaging with that temptation, it will give us something. It might make us feel good, meet a perceived need or be pleasurable. Eve thought God was holding out on her when she wanted to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She didn’t believe God’s warning when He set a boundary and placed the garden as off-limits. Satan wants you to impugn the nature of God. He wants to cause war in heaven and bring all humans to revolt against God the Father (https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-growth/18644-how-satan-entices-people-into-sin).

God has revealed our enemy and wanted us to be aware of his scheme. He gave directions for us to follow and never fall into Satan’s trap. Most of all, He warned us and should be affected by the fearfulness of hell. Jude 22-23 says; “And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Wouldn’t it be shameful for us just to save ourselves and not include others by telling them of God’s plan? Aren’t we given a choice to choose for our salvation or not? Should we be not affected also by the terror of the Lord in the coming judgment? 2 Corinthians 5:11 says; “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”

If Heaven is our destination and we obey the Lord’s guidance by entering the “strait or narrow gate” (Matthew 7:13), we should not only fear the “appearance and punishment of Hell” but we should be “more” motivated to work for our salvation (Philippians 2:12) because the life in heaven and eternal happiness to be with our Lord will help us overcome sufferings and trials. Jesus promised us a place in His Father’s house where we can enjoy the absence of sorrow (Jn. 14:2-3). This offer is not for a week or month but for eternity! To think of that, we would barter what we have now just to be in Heaven – right?

Going back to our question, where is your destiny? The ANSWER is HEAVEN! We can do it and work for our destination. Peter said, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” 2 Peter 1:10. Apostle Paul did the same encouragement by saying; “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. If Hell does not scare you, remember, hell is a place which even the demons themselves, who know their destiny and wish to avoid as long as possible (Mt. 8:29).