If You Were To Die Today, Where Would You Spend Eternity? The Bible says it is either heaven or hell.

How to know for sure you are going to heaven when you die

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22

The Bible says that we are eternal beings and that we will spend eternity in either Heaven or Hell and the decision is ours to make. What will your decision be? I hope it will be: “Yes I want to go to heaven.” If you want to find out how, just click here.

One believer says, “I have lived a long time at this point in my life and I can truly say that there has never been a time in all those years since I said, “Yes I want to go to heaven”, at the young age of 13, that I have regretted that decision. No quiet to the contrary, it has been the greatest decision of my life. I would not exchange it for all the money in the world. It has brought me peace in troubled times; it has given me reassurance in times when everything seemed hopeless. It gave me strength to go on when I lost the love of my life, my wife. It is the assurance that when I die, I will go to heaven to be with God the Father and my friends and family who have gone on before.”

If you have a desire in your heart to go to heaven, that is God’s invitation.

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How to Deal with Criticism

“If you want to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.” Aristotle

Our pastor was sharing with us last Sunday how difficult it is to be a pastor these days. He said that it did not really matter what he did there were always those who had something negative to say about it. He was right. Just as the quote above states, when you take action, which can be just opening your mouth, be prepared for criticism.

No one likes criticism, nevertheless, it is a fact to be dealt with. If you are creative, you will be criticized. Keep in mind that not all criticism is bad. In fact, you may find some good in all criticism. Even hateful, malicious criticism may contain something worth considering. Before you discard any criticism, even from those whose intent is to hurt you, be sure to skim off any nugget of truth that might be helpful to you. Sometimes we cannot see the trees for the forest as the saying goes. In other words, we are sometimes too much a prisoner to subjectivity, or even ego, to see the objective truth.

Be truthful to yourself, and try to see yourself as you are, and improve in the areas that need improvement when suggestions are made. This does not take away from the confidence that you have but only adds to it. There is however a caution: Be Careful not to be subdued by others, made to feel inadequate, brought down, or allow them to spoil your contentment.

Critical people have different motives. Some actually want to help you by pointing out things that you might have overlooked. Others may be jealous and want to bring you down to their own level. Some may be cruel and just want to hurt others when the opportunity presents itself. Being able to discern the valued or unvalued of criticism will enable you either to disregard it or carefully consider it to your own good.

It is important to give constructive criticism as well as to receive it. It is the positive approach to solving problems. It can apply to work or to personal behavior. When it is given, timing as well as delivery is crucial if it is to be well received. For example, if what someone says or does makes you angry, that is not the time to hand out criticism; it most certainly is not likely to be well received. If criticism makes you angry, wait before you address it or until you are calm. If criticism is given in a caring way, it will be more likely heeded.

A constructive approach to criticism builds the other person up by pointing out something positive and then includes suggestions for improvement. This is the attempt to help others, not hurt them or bring them down.

The receiver of criticism should also be noble and receive criticism with detachment. Constructive criticism’s intent is to help. If we ignore it without careful consideration, we may bring harm, hurt or even unnecessary suffering to ourselves.

Not everyone is adept in giving criticism, even constructive criticism. Therefore, it behooves each of us to be adept in receiving it. For example, a person my have valuable critical suggestions but their tone and style of giving it may be atrocious. It is therefore important to separate a person’s emotion from what they have to say and consider instead the value of their suggestion.

If we value only praise, which can or cannot be sincere, we miss the opportunity to grow through helpful criticism. The key is learning not to take everything people say personal. I am more than my work, my appearance or even my words. When others criticize, they are not touching the total person that I am but only a small aspect of who I am, or it could be entirely outside of me. For example, if I build a birdhouse that does not look so good, it only means that my carpentry skills need improving but has nothing to do with the person that I am. It is totally outside of who I am.

The big question is how do we deal with the false criticism that comes our way? If we are discerning, it is easier to deal with the false criticism than with that which is true. False criticism does not deserve any response in which to give it credibility or energy. Just like some people need to be deleted, if subscribers, or ignored or distanced. Jesus said of the critical Pharisees of His day, “Leave them alone.” Life is too precious to allow uncouth, negative and hateful people to disturb it. Better not to allow your dignity be ruffled by these kinds of people. Others will respect you more for it.

When you are criticized, be sure to keep your composure. Do not let it upset you or cause you to act or say things that are negative. Smile if you can, and let the person know, in a kindly way, that you will consider their suggestion. Kindness is always the best defense. It will bring the other person’s guards down faster than anything you can say or do.

© 2014 Jimmie Burroughs. All rights reserved

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Your Lifestyle Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack by 86%

Drugs like statins, which are known to have dangerous side effects, are generally prescribed for heart problems. However, there is a much safer and better way. Lifestyle choices when they are bad are the cause of many of the heart problems people face, and when they are good, they can reduce the risk of heart attack by 86% and prevent heart problems before they develop.

A Swedish research involving 20,000 healthy men age 45 to 79 years old without a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes, determined after 12 years that lifestyle factors weighed heavily on heart attack incidence.  It was concluded that controlled alcohol consumption, not smoking, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, keeping waist size below 37 inches, and exercise reduced the risk of heart attack by 86%.

Only 220 of the men studied, or about 1%, followed these five lifestyle choices. It demonstrates that the vast majority of men are not making good lifestyle choices. The research indicates that good life style choices could help prevent 4 out of 5 heart attacks among men in the U.S.

The research also concluded that by only drinking two or less alcohol beverages and eating fruit, vegetables, fish, and nuts reduced the risk of heart attack by 35%. However, with a little added effort the results could be far better.

Adding more fiber to your diet from foods other than grains can lower the risk of heart attack by as much as 40%. While grains do add fiber, they also cause insulin spikes and inflammation, which increase the risks of harming your heart.

It is good to know that a healthy diet does not necessarily need to be tasteless food. You can find healthy food that suits your taste. Some common healthy foods include tomatoes; beans; greens such as turnip, collard, mustard, and kale; eggs, fish (Salmon is excellent even the canned variety); and apples. If you are like me and don’t always get enough fruit and vegetables in your regular meals, try vegetable juice and apple cider or apple juice to supplement.

Add Exercise to your lifestyle. It does take a lot of determination and discipline, but its benefits are numerous. Contrary to what you may think, it doesn’t require you to spend hours in the gym. In fact, too much exercise has proven to be harmful to your heart. High-intensity exercise for as little as 30 minutes a few days per week is effective for reducing your risk for heart disease. A healthy diet and exercise can enable you to keep your waistline under 37 inches. It is believed that waistline is a crucial issue for men in maintaining a healthy heart.

Instead of depending on pharmaceutical drugs and aspirins, even when prescribed by your doctor, try lifestyle changes, which can improve your chances of avoiding heart attack by a whopping 86%, according to the research presented above.

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What is Success?

A billionaire’s definition for success: “Do what you do the best you can when nobody is looking.” In other words, plan to do something and then do it the best you can until it’s finished without thinking about success or what others think.

Why do you suppose that is success? It reveals character, which is an essence for true success. Jim Rohn said, “You attract success by the person you become.” If you want to be successful, first work on becoming the best person possible, a person who finishes what they start, who value integrity and principles more than money, that do what they say they will do. Doing what you say you will do is not something achieved by most people; doing so marks you as an achiever.

It’s easy to promise things and then not do them. It’s also easy to plan to do something and then quit. Carrying through with what you say and start is success and not carrying  through is failure regardless of what it may be. Few do what they say they will and only 15% of people finish what they start. Any wonder there are so many failures.

Success requires discipline. “Success is just a few disciplines practiced daily,” Jim Rohn. Success is rarely a goal of successful people. To the contrary, success is what happens when people get busy doing what they love to do the best they can.

Success means adding value, value that helps others have a better life. Albert Einstein, in his wisdom said, “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.” The measuring stick for success goes beyond making money or being famous, it is more about personal development that leads to being valuable to others. The side effect is often in terms of making a lot of money.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said that success was “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.”

Contrary to a lot of thinking today, success isn’t restricted to the young. If you are over seventy and have a dream, don’t let age steal your dream. Older people have accomplished much. The list include such achievers as Americans award-winning author Harriet Doerr, whose first publication was when she was 74; Colonel Sanders took his first social security check at age 65 and opened the first Colonel Sanders fried chicken restaurant; famous artist, Grandma Moses began painting when in her 70s; Swedish Olympic medalist, Oscar Swahn won his final medal in marksmanship at age 72; Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira didn’t become a full-time filmmaker until he was 73.  Don’t let life wear you down to the point that you give up on your dream. It is sad that some retired, older people resign themselves to sitting home day after day watching TV, becoming spectators in life rather than living life. This is only understandable for those whose health disallows them from doing more.

Without action, there is no success. Failure to act guarantees failure. Success comes as the results of a lot of effort as Olympic gold medal winner Peter Vidmar explains: “There’s only two things I had to do to win the Olympic gold: Train when I wanted to, and train when I didn’t.”

Also, being able to recognize opportunities when they pass your way and not hesitating to take advantage of them before the window of opportunity closes is an avenue to success. Fear often keeps us from grabbing opportunities when they are right before our eyes. When people on their deathbed were asked what their greatest regrets were, the most common answer was that they wished that they had not been afraid to take more risks and do more things.

Life at best is short. Don’t waste it. Prepare to be successful by recognizing your potential and developing your gifts. Take advantage of the opportunities to make a difference in your life and the lives of others. Don’t be afraid to take action while you can. Don’t be shy of taking educated risks.

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What is Love?

romantic coupleWhat is love? Apparently, many would like to know; it was the number one search question for Google in 2012. That means that millions upon millions of people around the world typed that question into the Google search box. That is understandable since love is an illusive, abstract term with many shades and facets. Today when I Googled the title of this article, there were about 6,440,000,000 results, nearly the population of the world. Love is difficult to define and hard to understand, but it is extremely interesting and desired by all and applied to almost everything from the love of money to making love or having sex. That love is misunderstood and misapplied is an understatement. So, what is love? Let us try to get to the bottom of it, or at least shed some light on the age-old problem of trying to understand it.

First, love is not just one thing. Biologically, it is a strong neurological condition, part of what makes us human. It is innately programmed into our nature as is hunger, thirst, and sexual desire, along with many other drives. Physically, love is chemistry, involving the release of an array of chemicals: dopamine, pheromones, serotonin, norepinephrine, oxytocin and vasopressin. Philosophically, love is for survival; it promotes long-term relationships; parental support and protection of children, and secures and promotes feelings of safety and security for the family, and provides the logic for personal defense.

Ironically, even though the English language has the largest vocabulary in the world, it has only one word for love. Other languages, unlike the English language, have various terms to express the different variations of love. For example:

  • Agape is a vertical, supernatural love. The kind of love God has for His human creation and the kind of love He expects of us toward Him.
  • Philia is a horizontal love between friends and family members.
  • Storge is a child-to-parent love.
  • Pragma is love that matures over time between long-term couples and includes those things that makes it a lasting love such as faithfulness, commitment, goodwill, understanding and willingness to compromise.
  • Ludus describes flirting and a more causal, playful affection that could include infatuation. Infatuation is affection without commitment.
  • Philautia is self-love, which isn’t always selfish. Jesus said, “Love others as you love yourself.” Before you can care for others, you must first care for yourself. Narcissism, on the other hand, is self-love carried to the extreme.
  • Finally, but not necessarily least, even though it can be the source of a lot of trouble, eros concerns sexual passion and desire. Unless it is under the blanket of marriage and is established in a strong love such as agape, it will fall short of true fulfillment and often fade and vanish away.

We clearly see from the above that love certainly has many shades and facets that include love for God, others, neighbors, parents, children, country, and on and on. Each facet of love has qualities of its own. Each is unique with varying attributes such as steadfast, reciprocated, unconditional, one-sided, fickle, blind, tragic . . . misguided, etc.

It is said that love is what makes the world go around. Just imagine, if you can, a world without love. We see many violent situations across the world that is fueled by hate, while love stands in defense of right and battles evil. What if there was no love and no desire to battle evil? What if evil were free to do as it pleased? What would happen to freedom? What would life be like in a world without love? Would it be bearable? I think not! Love is what gives purpose to life. It is the basis of all life’s stories, whether romantic or otherwise. It is foundational of all that is good and worthwhile.

It is easier to experience love than to define it. We easily recognize its presence or its absence. Love is best experienced when we love God and share His love in our lives. This is the first kind of love mentioned above, agape. Jesus condensed the meaning of love and commissioned love in one short sentence. He said, Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself, Mark 12:28–34. According to our Lord, these are the two most important things in life, loving God and loving others. Do you think that the world in general accepts this? What do you suppose would happen to the quality of life if they did? Loving God above all things enables us to love others even with all their imperfections. God’s love in us is life’s greatest blessing. It is a powerful force that brings with it purpose, hope, joy and peace.

The Apostle Paul described love as the most important virtue of all. In First Corinthians, he wrote, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres,” I Corinthians 13:4–7, NIV.

Paul continues in Galatians 5:22 with a similar but expanded description of love: “For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, meekness and temperance.” Actually, in this verse, love is the subject and the other eight words are the results of love.

According to Galatians 5:22, God, is the source of love, which is mirrored in those who are walking in the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit. The more we give ourselves to God the more we are able to give ourselves to others through His indwelling love.

St. Thomas Aquinas accurately defined love as “to will the good of another,” or to desire the best in life for another. This is why Jesus commanded His followers to love others, even their enemies, because it is the same attitude God has for His human creation, to will good and the best life possible for them.

In John 3:16, 17 we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him,” NIV. John further states, “Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,” I John 4:7–8, NIV.

While it may be impossible fully to understand “What is Love?” or God’s love or the way He enables us to love others, it is certain that the only way we can fully experience the depth of love is when God lives within us via His Holy Spirit. That happens when we trust Him and invite Him into our lives. If you would like to know how to experience the fullness of God’s love in your life, read the article “How to have a relationship with God.”

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Truth, the Foundation For Success

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” Exodus 20:16.

Sometimes we try to imagine that being untruthful is someone else’s problem, not our own. Actually, we all face the problem of being truthful each day of our lives. If you have never lied and you’re absolutely 100% honest 24 hours a day in every word, you say, then this may not be for you. If that is the case, you’re probably perfect in every other way also and don’t need any of the ten commandments. However, we know that none of us is perfect, although, we should strive to be, especially perfectly truthful.

Truth is a vital part of personal integrity and integrity is one layer of the foundation of personal development, and personal development is God’s plan for each of us. Here’s the thing, without integrity, there is no hope of personal development or living successfully.

According to the dictionary, integrity is a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code [in accordance to the Bible;] moral is a firm [Biblical] determination of what is right or wrong concerning human action and character; ethical is being in accordance with the [Biblical] principles of right and wrong that govern conduct. Words in brackets are mine.

Is there ever and exception when lying is acceptable. Is there such a thing as virtuous lies? In other words, is it ever right to lie?”

What does the Bible say? Not one time does the Bible give an example where lying is considered to be the right thing to do. The ninth commandment, printed above, is very clear. It prohibits bearing false witness. It does not include exceptions.

We find in Proverbs 6:16-19 that two of the seven abominations to the Lord are “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who pours out lies.” On the other hand, the Bible teaches “love rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).

The examples of liars in Scripture are not what you might expect.  In Genesis 20:1, 2, for example, Abraham, the father of the Jews, lied about Sarah being his wife. Jacob had a staring role in God’s plan for the nation Israel, but we find that he was deceitful in Genesis 27. In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit and paid with their lives. The Apostle Peter denied the Lord and lied that he ever knew Him, Matthew 26:69-74.

We must admit that lying sometimes produces a favorable result, otherwise why would anyone ever want to lie. We find at least two instances in Scripture where that is true. In Exodus 1:15-21, for example,  the lie that the Hebrew midwives told Pharaoh saved the lives of many Hebrew babies and strangely seems to result in the Lord’s blessing on them. Remember the lie that Rahab told, in Joshua 2:5, to protect the Israelite spies. She was rewarded by becoming part of the linage of Christ. Do you think it was because she lied? Of course not, it was because of her courage and faith in the Lord.

It is important to note that God never condones lies even when there is a “positive” outcome. Nowhere does the Bible ever praise lies. Neither does the Bible ever state that there are occasions when lying is the right thing to do, but neither does it plainly forbid lying to forestall a greater evil, but here’s the thing, you can’t form Biblical doctrines on what the Bible doesn’t say.

Having said all that, the question still remains, is there ever a time when lying is the right thing to do.

This presents a real dilemma. What if by lying, lives are saved? For example, what would you do if you had to make the decision that Corrie ten Boom had to make in Nazi-occupied Holland? Carrie ten Boom was hiding Jews in her home to protect them from the Nazis. Nazi soldiers came to her home and asked her this question: “Do you know where any Jews are hiding?” If she tells the truth, the Nazis will capture the Jews she was trying to protect and carry them away to concentration camps where they will suffer tremendously and probably killed. If she lies and denies that she knows anything about them, they will be spared. What would you do?

It makes you wonder in an instance such as this, when lying seems to be the only possible way to prevent a horrible evil, that perhaps lying would be an exception to the rule and therefore acceptable, like for instance in the case of the lies of the Hebrew midwives and Rahab. Considering we live in trying times and widespread evil across the world, could it be possible that lying would be the preferred lesser sin in order to prevent a much greater evil? While this may sound feasible, we must point out that such occurrences are rare and that most of us will never encounter them in a lifetime. Most of us will never experience a situation where lying is the right thing to do even if there is an acceptable exception to the rule. Our problem is the subtle lies that we feel compelled to tell for personal gain or in order to protect our ego.

Just for the sake of reference, are there obvious exceptions to some of the other nine commandments? For the most part the answer is no. However, there is one exception to the fifth commandment “Honor thy father and thy mother . . .” Children are not expected to obey parents who instruct them to defy God’s laws. In addition, the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” has exceptions in the case of self-defense, protection of the family, and war.

Are you truthful? The important question we must ask ourselves, and be perfectly honest when we do, is “Do I ever lie?” Ask yourself how important is being truthful to you? How much do you hate lying?

The opportunities to lie and the advantages are always present. Are you tempted to lie for personal gain at whatever the cost? The Bible teaches that “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight,” Proverbs 12:22. The choice is ever before us to obey God’s commandment and honor Him or yield to Satan, the originator of lies. Jesus said that Satan is “a liar and the father of lies,” John 8:44 NIV. According to Scripture, Satan is presently “deceiving the whole world.” Revelation 12:9. Will we also fall for his deception? If we continue to lie, we are.

There are two kinds of lies: Open lying, in your face sort of lies, and lies that are concealed with a covering of truth, subtle lies. Subtle lying can be so disguised that it is near impossible to discern the truth.

There are three avenues of lying:

Lying to others: We need carefully to consider what we are saying to others. It will reveal how truthful we are. We need to be careful not to elaborate our accomplishments or leave out important details that might make us look bad. Even the smallest lies in business or personal relationships can have a negative effect. A truthful communicator is careful as to the words they use and strive for complete transparency. Along that same line, do not make promises and commitments hastily, and when you make mistakes, readily admit to them and claim responsibility. Never pass the blame to someone else even when you know for certain they are to blame. They will be found out.

Lying to yourself: Have you known someone who has an inflated opinion of themselves. That is a form of lying to one’s self. Never let yourself pretend to be what you are not until you begin to believe the lie yourself. We need to be able to trust ourselves if we ever are to trust anyone else. Strive always to be the person you know you are and continue to improve.

Lying to the Holy Spirit/God: Lying to the Holy Spirit, or God, is the most dangerous form of lying. The Holy Spirit is God’s love and His glory residing within us. He wants to give us the desires of our heart. When we lie to Holy Spirit, it prevents us from experiencing the love, joy, and peace that He wants us to have. When we do not hold to our commitment, surrender to the work at hand and depend on the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we are lying to Spirit about our relationship to Him.  For example, if we come to church on Sunday and sing “O how I love Jesus,” and “I surrender all,” and then live a life very indifferent to that during the week, we are lying to God.

The reason some feel a disconnection from God is that their life is a lie. The Holy Spirit doesn’t leave us, we leave Him because of our lies. It is easy to refuse the Holy Spirit’s help and disregard His presence.

How do we ever overcome deceit?

It takes more than self-discipline, self-help, courage, and determination to overcome lying and deceit.

Someone said that we must live from the heart not the head, but it still takes more than that. Here’s what the Bible says about the heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

The Apostle Paul was sincere in serving God from the heart but found himself in a struggle trying to do the right thing but falling desperately short: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I,” Romans 7:14-15. Paul continues:For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:22-24. Paul discovered that it took more than human effort to live the Christian life.

Notice in the next verse Paul gives the solution to his struggle: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin,” Romans 7:25. Serving the Lord is only possible “through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Here’s the thing: God completely understands our human nature and He stands ready to reveal how to overcome the weakness of the flesh. Jesus clearly explains the dilemma we face. He said that even though we may be willing to obey, our flesh is weak, Mark 14:38. We lack the resolve and strength within ourselves to please God, whether it’s obeying the ninth commandment or in fact the other nine. How then can we overcome the weakness of the flesh? It is by surrendering ourselves to God to do His work through us. It is called walking in the Spirit Galatians 5.

The apostle Peter Didn’t understand this in his early discipleship. On the night of the arrest of Jesus, he denied Him, lying about even being acquainted with Him, Matthew 26:69-74. Peter was no different from most people today who discover the impossibility of forsaking lying until they completely surrender their lives to Jesus Christ and depend on His indwelling power, via the Holy Spirit. We must seek God’s help if we are going to live the way He intends us to live. That help is available when we are ready to seek it: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” Philippians 2:13. When we ask for that help, God delivers according to His promises in His word. The Bible tells us, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:14-16

The only way we will ever solve the pervasive and insidious human weakness of lying and deceit is by relying on God’s help. Paul urged the church at Ephesus to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another,” Ephesians 4:24-25.

There is only one way to overcome lying and deceit. God in us and working through is our only hope of glory. The only way we get there is by total surrender to Him. Our hope in this life and the life to come is in the Lord. I want to leave you with this verse: Isaiah 40:31, New International Version.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

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Why Am I Here?

Website DIVISIONS (Over 600 articles to help you to grow in every facet of your life)

Written by Jimmie Burroughs – Email this article to a friend

Understanding your purpose on earth

The fundamental question of life is “Why am I here,” but it is not the first question that needs an answer. We must first answer the question “Is there a God?” The way we answer that question will determine if the first question is really needed.

There are only two worldviews: The atheistic and the Theistic. The atheistic worldview denies that there is a God, therefore, has only one alternative and that is to believe in evolution as the answer to why we are here. Evolution makes no sense at all, and no one would give a second’s notice to it if there were any other alternative other than believing in God. According to evolution, everything is an accident…nothing + nothing = everything; there is no purpose, no reason, and no absolutes. There are no morals, just choices. Nothing really matters, and life is utterly meaningless. If there is no creator, then there is nothingness and absolutely no hope. That being the case; the first question matters little; “Why am I here”. There is no reason why you are here. You are just an accident that came from nothing; you are nothing, and you are going nowhere but into the ground, like a shooting star that is visible briefly before it dies and is gone forever.

The Theistic Worldview has a different take as to the question “Why am I here?” God does exist, and he created you for a particular purpose. We are to be governed by his laws. What he says is absolute and can never be wrong. He has given us free will to decide for ourselves what we accept and what we believe, but we will be held accountable before him one day to give an answer as to our beliefs and actions. We may reject even His existence while we are here on earth, but one day, according to Scripture, every knee will bow and ever tongue will confess him as God.

Terms like morality, justice and purpose have no absolute meaning for the evolutionist and are just abstract notions, but God instituted purpose and morality and when all is finished, he will see that justice is carried out. He made you and placed you on this earth to fulfill his purpose. When you know him in the fullness of his truth, you will be able to answer the question “Why am I here?”

Sometimes believers are referred to as being people of faith, but I tell you it takes far more faith to believe in evolution, which is a theory unfounded and unscientific. The only way to understand why someone would believe the lie of evolution is that it is the only other thing to place faith in, if God is rejected. How sad is that?

I know why I am here and you can also by placing your faith in God. He is the only one that makes sense of this world and this life. He is the only way we will every have peace on this earth, and he is the only way we can be assured of eternal life in heaven after we die. Learn how you can have a connection with God.

I would like to hear from you; please leave a comment.

Jimmie-on-HOG-240x300About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who have been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. He is a dedicated believer in Jesus Christ and considers helping others his calling in life. His website contains over 600 articles on preparing yourself for success through personal development and the things that accompany personal development.

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Is Heaven a Real Place?

Written by Jimmie Burroughs – e-Mail to a friend

The film “Heaven is for real” opened Easter weekend (2014) beating out Johnny Depp’s new film “Transcendence” at the box office. Is heaven a real place is a question on the minds of many this time of the year as the church across the world celebrates the resurrection of Christ?

How can a person ever really know for sure if heaven actually exists? That is a good question, but no different from many other questions concerning our existence on earth. Much that surrounds life on earth is not completely understood and can only be accepted by faith, including many things outside the religious realm. Heaven’s existence is also ultimately accepted by faith if at all.

Faith is not what some consider it to be. It is not blindly accepting a dogma because it is a popular belief. True faith has substance as well as substantial evidence. For example, when a credit card company accepts you, it is because the credit card company places its faith in you to pay on time. However, credit card companies do not operate on blind faith. They are careful to investigate your credit history. If you paid in the past, they believe that you will also pay in the future. Neither should we accept heaven’s existence on blind faith. Just as the credit card company takes care in investigating each applicant, so should we carefully investigate all the claims concerning heaven’s existence, beginning with the Bible. The Bible teaches that there is a heaven. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you [heaven] if it were not so I would have told you,” (John 14:6). You may be thinking, well that just brings up another question: How are we to know that the Bible is true? Once again, it is accepted by faith, not blind faith but faith that is well supported by evidence, by history, science, and fulfilled prophecy. (For more information on the inspiration of Scripture read “How we know the Bible is the word of God.”)

The easiest thing to do is just to say, without any serious investigation, well I just do not believe there is a heaven. Seriously, does that make it so, that there is no heaven, just because you decided to believe that there is not? It does not matter much what any of us believes. We can choose to believe most anything we please, even that which is proven untrue. What is true and what is false, is what really matters. The greatest proof that there is a heaven is based on whether Jesus was truly who He said He was. There are many false beliefs concerning Jesus. Here are some of the popular ones:

  • He is just a legend
  • He was just a man who believed that he was more.
  • He lied about who he was.
  • He was a deranged lunatic.

He was a legend: There are a number of problems, which come to mind about the conception that Jesus, as we know Him, is just a legend:

The reputable first century historians, Josephus, Tacitus, et al, the first century contemporaries of Christ, the disciples of Jesus, the family members of Jesus, and The Roman officials never disputed the miracles or supernatural feats of Jesus. Most certainly many would have spoken up if there had been any evidence that Jesus did not do the things the Bible ascribed to Him, such as the feeding of the five thousand from a few pieces of food to walking on water and raising the dead. The Pharisees tried relentlessly to prove Jesus a fake but never were able to do so. Had Jesus been a fake, there would have been a great uproar but there was nothing of the sort. Jesus has none of the characteristics of a legend.

Legends typically develop over a long period. The reputation of Jesus was formed primarily during His three-year public ministry and was solid within twenty years after His death. All the authors of the New Testament wrote shortly after the death and resurrection of Christ ascribing the miracles and the supernatural works to Him. The disciples unequivocally hailed Jesus as Master and Lord.

Ironically, at the crucifixion of Jesus most of His disciples scattered and hid in fear of also being slain. After they had witnessed the resurrected Lord, their attitude changed, and they became fearless witnesses of Jesus, risking their lives each day as they traveled and preached the gospel. In fact, most of the disciples finally were put to death for their stand for Christ. The disciples were ordinary men. They were intelligent, logical and had the same fears as we do. It would have been insane for them to be willing to lay their life down for a fake who presented a phony way of life supported by lies. They were convinced because they witnessed the miracles of Jesus; they saw Him alive after He was crucified and was buried. They saw him as He ascended into heaven and knew He was truly the Lord. The question is what kind of person would be willing to lay down their life for a fake. The answer is no one. The disciples were willing to lay down their life because their faith was well founded and proved. Here are some examples of the sacrifices they made:

The two people who were the less likely to have supported their belief in Christ by laying down their life was Paul and Jesus’ (half) brother James.

Paul: Paul, formerly Saul, was anti-Jesus before he met the Lord on the road to Damascus. He was a Jew but also a Roman citizen by birth. Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee, a sect in Jerusalem, who strongly opposed Jesus. Saul swore to wipe out the newly formed Christian church called “the way.” He received letters from the high priest giving him the authority to arrest the followers of Jesus and bring them to prison. He was on his way to Damascus to carry out his intentions when he was struck down by a blinding light from heaven, brighter than the noonday sun. Only he, not his companions, saw the light and the vision of the resurrected Christ. Paul heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”(Acts 9:4, NIV). Paul asked whom it was that was speaking to him. Jesus said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do,” (Acts 9:5-6, NIV).

Paul was blinded. His companions, who heard the sound but not the voice or vision of Christ, led Paul to Damascus to a street called straight, to the house of Judas. For a period of three days, Paul was blind and did not eat or drink anything. During this time, Jesus appeared in a vision to Ananias and told him to go to Saul. Ananias was fearful because he knew the reputation of Saul how he had persecuted believers. Jesus assured Ananias that Saul was a chosen vessel to deliver the gospel to the Gentiles. Ananias obeyed and went to find Saul in the house of Judas and informed Saul that Jesus had sent him to restore his sight and that he might be filled with the Holy Spirit. He laid hands on Saul; the scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight, and his strength was returned. Saul remained with the disciples at Damascus for three days before returning to Jerusalem.

After this, Saul changed his name to Paul and commenced one of the greatest ministries of the New Testament. His faith in Jesus ultimately resulted in his martyrdom, in Rome, where he was decapitated. What a turn around for a person who hated Christians to a person who lay down his life for his faith in Jesus.

James: According to Scripture, James did not believe in Jesus: “For His brothers did not believe in Him,” (John 7:5). The Jewish Historian Josephus wrote that James was martyred in Jerusalem:

“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned….” Antiquities, Book 20, Chapter 9.

Let it be noted that Josephus did not claim to be a Christian. His work was to write Jewish history. His writings are extant history of the existence of Jesus as a historical person.

The reason James changed his mind about Jesus is that he saw Him after the resurrection: Afterward He was seen by James….” (1Co 15:7). Seeing someone alive after seeing him crucified and buried can change a person’s view. It did James and he became a witness for Jesus, and that finally cost him his life.

Thomas: Perhaps you remember Thomas by his nickname “Doubting Thomas.” After the resurrection, Thomas doubted that Jesus was alive and said that he would not believe until he felt the nail scars in His hands. Jesus appeared unto the disciples when Thomas was present and let Thomas feel His nail scared hands. Thomas addressed Him as Lord and went forth a dedicated witness. Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians. He suffered a cruel a painful death as a result of his faith in Christ. He was speared through in the four places in his body with pine spears; a red-hot iron plate was laid on his chest and he was burned alive at Calamene, a city in India, and was buried there.

Andrew: According to Hippolytus the historian, Andrew was crucified suspended on an olive tree at Patrae, Greece, a town of Achaia, and it was there he was buried.

Bartholomew: According to Hippolytus, Bartholomew was crucified upside down in Allanum, a town in what is the modern day Georgia, and there he was buried.

James, Son of Alphaeus: Hippolytus recorded that James was stoned to death and buried beside the temple in Jerusalem.

James, Son of Zebedee: According to Acts 12:2, James was killed by Herod with the sword. James was the brother of John, who wrote the gospel of John, the three epistles that bear his name and the book of Revelation. John is referred to as the disciple that Jesus loved.

John, brother of James and son of Zebedee: John apparently went through some persecution but escaped the cruel death that befell most of the disciples. According to Hippolytus, he died of old age in Ephesus after he had spent most of his latter life alone, exiled on the island of Domitian (Patmos).

Simon/Peter: Hippolytus wrote that Peter was crucified by order of Nero, Emperor of Rome. He was crucified upside down. It is said traditionally that Peter felt unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus.

Philip: Was also crucified upside down, according to Hippolytus, in Hierapolis and was buried there.

Many of Jesus disciples died cruel deaths for preaching the gospel. According to Pliny’s letters to Trajan, all Christians needed to do to escape a cruel torture and execution was to denounce their faith in Jesus, something they refused to do.

“Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.”

(A letter from Pliny to Trajan)

Why did the disciples of Jesus refuse to deny Him even if it meant their death? Was it just because they were brave or just plain stupid? Brave . . .? These same disciples ran and hid before the crucifixion for fear they also would be crucified. People are not willing to die for a lie or a phony. It is not in human nature that any sane person would give up his own life to uphold a belief known to be untrue. They saw something that convinced them so thoroughly that they were willing to die rather than denouncing their faith in Jesus. Contrarily, what they were willing to die for was telling about Jesus’ resurrection and the gospel of salvation through the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. They were willing to put their life on the line to tell others about the saving power of Jesus. It was they, not Jesus, which spread Christianity. It is because of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus and the willingness of His disciples to risk their life to preserve and spread that truth, that you and I can freely receive the good news of salvation and heaven.

No legend has had the impact that Jesus has had on the lives of millions who have experienced changed lives including some of the worlds wisest, most respected, and intelligent men and women.

He was just a man who believed that he was more: Did Jesus actually just think Himself to be God, not being aware that He was only a man, or did He know He was just a man but lied when he claimed to be God? It is ludicrous to think that Jesus would claim to be God knowing all the time He was merely a man. Not only did He claim to be God but He proved that He was God by His supernatural feats. No one had ever raised the dead until Jesus. No one in history had ever performed the miracles that Jesus performed. Nothing about the life of Jesus indicates that He was deceived about who He was or that He made up the whole thing. Quite to the contrary, His teachings to His disciples do not lend themselves to the babbling of liar or the teachings of an unsound person. They were filled with meaning and the evidence of a highly intelligent teacher. 

He lied about who he was: Was Jesus a liar. How could He have possibly fooled His disciples into thinking He was the Son of God if He had no more power than they did. They believed because they witnessed His power each day. The old adage that you can fool part of the people part of the time but not all of the people all the time is true in the case of Jesus. He would have never been able to be with His disciples every day for a period of three years and fool them into thinking He was something He was not. The disciples saw when Jesus fed the multitude and raised the dead and healed the lepers. They knew he was genuine.

He was a deranged lunatic: Was Jesus a lunatic. There was nothing about the profile of Jesus that indicated that he was a lunatic. In fact, the life of Christ is opposite of that of a lunatic. The traits of a lunatic are egotism, dullness, Inability to understand and to love, inflexible, predictable, unstable, paranoia, schizophrenia, impulsive, unwise, and unbalanced. None of those characteristics fits Jesus. No lunatic could show the concern for others, teach the morals, or live with the purest character ever witnessed by man.

Jesus was whom He claimed to be by all indications from the Bible, from extant history, and under girded by the sacrificial life and death of His disciples. Therefore, we can conclude from that, that the heaven Jesus spoke of and promised is all He claimed it to be. Yes, heaven is a real place.

Are you sure that you are going to heaven when you die? If not, and you would like to know how to be sure, read “How to have a relationship with God.”

About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who has been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. There are hundreds of articles to help you on this website (Website Contents) in your personal growth.

To subscribe to JimmieBurroughs,com,  simply click on the RSS button on the left, and copy and paste the URL of our RSS feed into your RSS reader. ARTICLE INDEX _________________________________________________________________________________________  © 2011 Jimmie Burroughs. All rights reserved

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Has Science Proved that the Bible is Untrue?

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Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email this article to a friend

Part-2-The Scientific accuracy of the Bible

Written by Jimmie Burroughs

I was at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts last summer sitting on a bench on the boardwalk, which ran along the Atlantic Ocean. Plymouth Harbor was before me. A full size replica of the Pinta Maria was docked to my right. I could imagine those early pilgrims as they sailed into the harbor and stepped onto the shore in the new world for the first time. They had risked their lives to come here so they could have the freedom to worship God of the Holy Bible.

As I sat there deep in my thoughts, a young man approached me and asked me a question concerning my little white West Highland Terrier, who accompanies me everywhere. After we talked for a while, I asked him if he had a relationship with God. He said, “OH, I don’t believe that anymore because science has proven beyond a shadow of doubt that the Bible is untrue.”

I knew it would be a waste of my time to argue the point with this man, so instead I gave him one of my business cards with a gospel presentation on it and said goodbye.

To use science as an excuse not to believe the word of God would require a person to know both science and the Bible, and the fact is that most of those who use that excuse probably do not know either. Once there was an atheist, who knew science, who sat out to prove that the Bible was untrue. He began to read and study the Bible and instead of proving the Bible untrue, his attitude changed with his newfound knowledge and he became a believer, a true story.

The primary difference in the books of science and the books of the Bible is that science is ever changing, and the Bible is always the same, the same yesterday, today and forever. There’s a half mile of science books in the Luve, that a great museum in Paris, France, but all of them are of no use today because they are outdated. They were the science of yesterday, knowledge that has been replaced with the new knowledge of the age. To depend on them would be kind of like your doctor telling you that you needed surgery and that they would be using an old outdated type of surgery. You would get out of there as fast as you could and find a doctor who used the latest medical science.

In 1981, the French Academy of Science published a list of 51 incontrovertible reasons why the Bible was not the word of God, and it looked bad for the Bible for a while, but the truth is that the today not one reputable scientist believes any of their 51 reasons.

Over the years, science has made some amazing claims that were supposed to be the accepted science of their day. For example, the ancient Egyptians believed that the earth was supported by five great pillars because it was not scientific in those days to believe that anything could remain suspended without some sort of support. The idea apparently came from the central support for the great architectural buildings that they built using huge pillars. Therefore, they assumed that pillars were needed to support the earth. They did not mention what the pillars sat on.

The wise ancient Greeks believed that the earth was sitting on the back of a giant named Atlas, and we still see that image from time of the earth sitting up there on the shoulders of Atlas.

The Hindus also had their scientific theory: they believed that the earth was sitting on the back of a huge elephant. Someone said, “What is the elephant standing on?” Oh, he is on the back of a huge coiled serpent and on and on they went. Of course, we know today that none of that is true. From the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job, we read, “He hangeth the earth upon nothing…” Job 26:7. How did Job know that? The Holy Spirit of God told him long before science knew it for a fact.

We take it for granted today that the earth is round. Men did not always believe the world was round; in fact, in the 1400s, in the day of Christopher Columbus, the Science of that day was that the world was flat. There is a story that Columbus watched the ships come into the harbor, and he noticed that he could only see the top of their mast at first, then as the ship grew closer it seemed just to raise up out of the water as if it were coming over the hill. From that, Columbus assumed the world must be round. I have a feeling that he may also have known what the Bible says about the earth. Isaiah writing hundreds of years before Jesus was born wrote by the inspiration of God ( Isaiah 40:22), “He sitteth on the circle of the earth” and the word circle in Hebrew is not a flat geometrical circle like you have in plain Geometry but a sphere or globe. Isaiah said the earth was round. How did job and Isaiah know these things? Only God could have known and told them.

You and I know today that no one can count the stars, but men did not always know that. Hipparchus 150 BC counted the stars and then announced that there were 2022 stars. This stood as science for 250 years until another man whose name was Ptolemy, who counted the stars and said, “You mean old Hipparchus said there are 2022 stars” and he laughed and said, “There are 2026.” Now science was updated, and it lasted until a young man by the name of Galileo came along and invented a crude telescope. When he aimed it at the heavens, he gasped, for there were stars beyond what the naked eye could see, and then more stars. Now with the Hubble telescope, astronomers can see no end to the stars; they seem to stretch out to infinity.

We know today that there are more than 12 octillion stars. Just how many is that? There are more stars than there are grains of sand on all the seashores in the all the world, and if you think you can count the stars, just go down to Daytona Beach where I was recently and start counting the grains of sand.

I do not know where Hipparchus or Ptolemy lived, but it was not Cedar Key, Florida. I was there not too long ago. Cedar Key is considered the darkest place in the United States because it is so isolated from any other city. I stepped outside on a clear night, looked up, and could not believe my eyes because, in all of my life, I had never seen so many stars. The whole sky was white with them. God said in the book of Jeremiah 33.22, “The host of heaven cannot be numbered.”

Today we know that it is of the essence that you have blood in you veins if you are going to live, but men did not always know that.  It was not until the 17 century that a man by the name of William Harvey, around 1650, discovered that blood circulates through the Veins. Men believed for a long time that air was in their veins and arteries.

No one understood the purpose of the blood, and when someone got sick, they would say, “well bad blood” and they would bleed them. That is where the barber pole came from that you used to see in front of barbershops and still do in places; it represents the bandage. They would go to the barber, and he would cut them, let out some of their blood, and then bandage the cut.

George Washington got sick one day, and they bled him, and again the second time and a third, and actually bled old George to death, the father of our country. He probably needed a transfusion. We know today that the blood is a red river of life carrying food to the cells and carrying waste away from the cells and it maintains a constant body temperature. It also carries oxygen to burn food, it fights disease and mends the body and builds skin and bones. God said in the very dawn of history in the book of Lev. 17:14, “The life of all flesh is in the blood”. There is not one true scientific fact that controverts the Bible.

Don’t pay any attention when people say that the Bible doesn’t measure up to Science because they apparently don’t know science or the Bible. This is only one part of five parts on “How we know the Bible is the word of God; if you would like to read the other parts Click here for parts I, II, III, IV, V,

About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who has been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. There are hundreds of articles to help you on this website (Website Contents) in your personal growth.

To subscribe to JimmieBurroughs,com,  simply click on the RSS button on the left, and copy and paste the URL of our RSS feed into your RSS reader. ARTICLE INDEX _________________________________________________________________________________________  © 2011 Jimmie Burroughs. All rights reserved

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Whitney Houston’s last song, “Jesus Loves Me”

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Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email this article to a friend

When a star falls like Whitney Houston, it gets our attention to the reality of death. It does not matter whom; death comes to all and often at the most unexpected time. Preparing for our death is the most significant thing we do in life. I want to tell you how to prepare for that time when death will also come to you.

Just one night before her death at 48 years of age, Whitney Houston, took to the stage for the very last time to sing, “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” at the Kelly Price & Friends party. These were also her final words of one of her last interviews. I believe that Whitney knew that Jesus loved her regardless of what she had been through, and somehow I really believe she did love the Lord. She struggled for nearly 20 years with the demons of alcohol and drugs. According to the most recent report, a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol took her life. She was never able to break free of their hold on her, regardless of how much she wanted to and tried. I hope I’m right, and I hope that today she is in heaven with God the Father, who will wipe away all the sorrow and tears that were in her life on this earth.

What a sad thing it is for a person to come to the end of life unprepared to meet the Lord. Nothing matters more in life than preparing for that final day when life on earth ends. It matters little what else that may have been accomplished if someone is unprepared to meet God.

Jesus does love us, and he wants us to come to where he is when we die. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. In addition, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:1-6)

I must confess that it is difficult for me to comprehend what all it entails to die unprepared to meet the Lord. I do know according to Jesus, who could not lie, the only way anyone will ever see God is through him. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life and no man cometh to the father but by me.” What exactly did Jesus mean? It is best summed up in one of the most known verses in Scripture, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

What does it mean to believe in Jesus? It means to believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins, then was buried and rose again on the third day. By believing in him, we are forgiven and freed from the terrible consequences of our sins, which is eternal separation from God and his love.

Whatever else there may be after death for the unbeliever, separation is certainly the worst. It means to be separated from all love ones, all things and more importantly from God and his love, joy and peace; not just for a period of time but forever, age without end in utter darkness alone with nothing but one’s own thoughts.

The decision to believe in Jesus is yours to make; no one else can ever do it for you. I cannot begin to tell you how urgent it is. It is the most important decision I ever made and one I have never regretted. It is my prayer right now that you will make that decision also while there is life. I want to show you the simple three steps necessary to believe in Jesus. You can do it simply and easily right now. Please click here.

About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who has been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. There are hundreds of articles to help you on this website (Website Contents) in your personal growth.

To subscribe to JimmieBurroughs,com,  simply click on the RSS button on the left, and copy and paste the URL of our RSS feed into your RSS reader. ARTICLE INDEX _________________________________________________________________________________________  © 2011 Jimmie Burroughs. All rights reserved

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