Sunday, 30 March 2014

When You Wake Up In Hell

I fancy myself the equivalent of an apprentice to the cousin of a drop out from the poetry academy. So this here is my thoughts on the first few seconds of hell.
It is a painful picture but for a moment close your eyes and picture with me the moment when you will wake up in hell
Now I hope and pray you won't be one of those but I know some of you in here will
So back to the picture. That first moment when you open your eyes in hell
What will hit you first even as you open your eyes are not the screams all around
Or the help nowhere to be found, not the pain and anguish you feel
But the absence of a presence you once knew to be so... so real
You took it for granted and never noticed it
But because of that absence hell is what it is
That presence that brought you comfort on earth, knowing you were in the hands of the creator
Now gone because all you can feel are the pangs of the tormentor
That presence you now realized was the "X-Factor"
The presence you ignored not knowing that he was the provider
For hell is the only place God is absent, for hells biggest punishment is that God is absent
A place where the torture of the devil for all eternity will not relent
Many think that is the biggest most worrying problem but the truth is the biggest is the absence of the ever present God
So what will you do? What can you do? Nothing!
You chose that life, you chose darkness over light because you wanted to only please you
You thought "that life is boring". As though the joy in your friends’ lives did not correct you
But still you went on chasing sin, doing nothing else but allowing the devil to get more comfortable within
Following the path so wide not knowing that that same path between you and God would be the divide
How foolish you were, how foolish you are. You think the only ones who sell their souls are those who are part of some secret organization
Till failing to gain the whole world and losing your soul becomes your painful realization
But this is me drifting
You in your sinful nature try to be God, He is the one who upholds you without effort or notice
Yet it is you who wants to pretend his presence you do not notice
The heavens declare the glory of the lord do you not see
Will you not just sit back in awe and wonder as his grace sets you free
No! You would rather chase what cannot be caught
How dumb are you to think what men have been searching for in ages past you will be the first to find
This life cannot and will not satisfy!
I have seen poor Christians happier than the celebrities we try to emulate
And yet we do not seem to ask ourselves why the poor Christian is content and the celebrity can't even keep a skin color shade
So today sit back and feel the presence, Ask God why for all your rebelling you are still alive, maybe not well but alive
When you realize that is all for grace don't stand and shout, fall and weep

After that you will experience Joy even in your sleep and maybe even avoid that one dreadful moment when YOU WAKE UP IN HELL!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Imagine Judas

I was reading a book the other night in which a massive betrayal happened between two friends. The thing is the betrayed one knew he was going to be betrayed and yet he still allowed it to happen, not because he knew he would escape, he knew he would die but he also knew his death served a larger purpose. I’m not sure if the writer of the book was meaning to draw comparisons with the Jesus/Judas narrative but the resemblance is there. This led me to think over the life of Judas Iscariot, this is what I came up with

Judas like most Jews had probably heard of how the messiah would come and he looked forward to it, especially because of the rule of the Romans which was less than desirable. I imagine him to be a pretty smart guy who was getting by in life. Then he met Jesus, he was actually called by Jesus and he was enthralled by the wisdom and power of the man. We are astounded by Jesus’ life from the little we have recorded, imagine how he must have been to live around. Judas probably knew at once that this was the messiah. He probably expected any moment that Jesus would make a play for the throne.

Then as time went by his view probably changed. He saw a man who cared more about telling people how to be reconciled to God than any political agenda. There was probably some disappointment involved but I figure it was overtaken by a new agenda. He realized that this man Jesus was a bank with legs. People would donate money to his every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Judas being the smart and shrewd man that he was, was only too keen to be the man to handle the funding, he could even sneak a penny or two out for personal needs, not too much but just enough to get new sandals maybe even that tunic with the stripes.
Could be Judas was saving up for these bad boys

He probably was quite happy that none of the other disciples were looking to get in on his job, they were more interested in sitting and listening to Jesus speak, why couldn’t he do both. And then there was also the power. Jesus gave them power to heal people and even drive out demons. He was not selfish about this and was keen to do some good. He had a sweet deal going on and no one suspected him. Three years in he gets tired of constantly being on the move. His friends from back home had probably settled down with wives and there he was, still on the move. Jesus words were having less and less an effect on him, he had heard it all before. Repent this, the kingdom of God is at hand that. When was it going to end? Then he heard the whispers, the authorities had enough of Jesus and they wanted him dealt with. Put away, possibly even killed.

They were on the way to Jerusalem and Jesus sent him and some other disciple on what he probably looked at as a pointless venture. He had been on a number before and had gotten used to the spectacle, they would find things as Jesus said but it meant less and less to him. Turns out Jesus was organizing a meal for them in Jerusalem but this time it had nothing to do with him collecting money and buying stuff. Judas must have been disappointed. During the meal Jesus goes on and on about stuff that wasn’t making sense, calling the bread his body and the wine his blood, he was always saying enigmatic things like that. Then Jesus said one of them in there would betray him, the thoughts were already spreading in Judas head but it reached its worst when Jesus looked at him and told him to do what he was supposed to do. Judas had no idea what Jesus was talking about but he had had enough
Off he went, to broker the deal
As soon as the meal was over he snuck out and made bee line to the authorities. He was ushered in and explained who he was, then he made his offer. He would give them Jesus, he would take them right to him but he needed to be rewarded for his part. The authorities spoke among themselves then offered him thirty silver pieces, Judas could feel his mouth water at the thought of that much money. This was substantially more than he could pinch from the coffers with Jesus at any one time. The authorities mobilized more men than he thought necessary, considering they said they wouldn’t kill Jesus. He probably tried to tell them that Jesus was just with the eleven others but they told him to lead the way and leave the organizing to them. He shrugged it off and led the way.

As they approached the garden Judas’ heart started beating faster and faster. As they reached the garden he skulked back a little. The authorities took it from there. Jesus told them who he was when they said they were looking for him but they did not move forward, maybe they doubted it was really him, it being dark and all. Then Judas gained the courage and walked up to Jesus for the betraying kiss. As he walked up to Jesus he expected Jesus to be angry or even look sadly betrayed. He kissed Jesus on the cheek and pulled back.

Staring into Jesus face he saw what he was not expecting. Not anger, even sadness at the betrayal or even hatred but love. It’s easier to betray someone when they angry with you but when the person still loves you despite of what you have done and what you are doing, that just hit a different nerve in Judas. What he saw in Jesus eyes, on Jesus face must have shook him to the core. Jesus knew and accepted what Judas had done and still loved him. You can see Judas at this point turning around and running away in shame, the authorities did not care, they got there man. As he ran he could not shake the look on Jesus face. After all he had done, Jesus knew it all and yet he still loved him. Why? Why would Jesus love him? He couldn’t even love himself. Judas probably spent a number of hours being tormented by the love of God and his utter sinfulness till he could take it no more.
All he could see was blood stained money

He probably looked at the money and saw it as blood money, he could not have it and could not use it. So he went back to the authorities to take the money back but the damage was done. Throwing the money at their feet he ran away, tormented by the very same thought. You can see Judas troubled by the thoughts of what he had done. He probably wanted some form of redemption but felt too sinful to be saved. Even if God could and wanted to save him he figured he wasn’t worth saving. Taking matters into his own hands Judas killed himself.

Now I have animated the story in parts, well more than a few parts. But I think the Judas story is one that we can all relate to in one way or another but the one I want to focus on is the part at the end. God’s love towards us elicits one of two responses when it hits us in its magnitude. It is a stumbling block in either situation. Situation one has us broken by it when we realize that for all we have done he still loves us and is willing to redeem us. This situation has us running to him for repentance and salvation because we know that life outside of his grace is hopeless and meaningless. Situation two is the one where we see ourselves as too sinful for us to be saved and Judas was a typical case of this. It must be said that not all commit suicide not even the majority but some do. The rest live their lives always running away from God because they think they are too bad to be saved

This final scenario is ‘pride clothed in false humility’ to borrow a phrase from a poem that I like. It is thinking God is not strong enough to save us. Never equate the power of God to detergent for clothes. Some think that no matter what the stain will just not go because it is too tough or it’s in too deep. Don’t be proud like that, one your stain is not tough for God, nothing is and two God will get you a new shirt, new life, that is better and brighter than the old one. Quit being Judas, quit running. Leave the pride behind and come to God for the forgiveness you need, you’ll never regret it

Thursday, 13 March 2014

I Have a Fundamental Problem With People Being Wrong, Why Don’t You?

I have been called argumentative on many occasions while pursuing this view on life and have kind of reached a point where I now embrace the argument but in a different form. The form being, “I have a fundamental problem with people being wrong”. The first time I said this it rolled off the tongue nicely and so I kept it. A lot of times we hear people say something like, “but it’s his/her life, why can’t you leave them alone, they are old enough bla bla bla”, and a lot of people cave in and back off at this point but I think that is the wrong approach and this is me trying to explain why.
No it's not, it's Gods. So no, I won't
  1. Because there is such a thing as wrong and right. The entire basis of the “let them do what they want” argument is that everyone has their own truth. What’s right for me might not be right for you. This line of thought is not just false but is almost stupid. As much as we would like to live in a world where we are completely different and different set of laws apply to us that is not the world that we live in. One plus one will always be two, one might argue that in some part of the world they might call the number two, three thereby making one plus one three but that’s just a person who is in denial, serious denial. I recommend you don’t give up on that person either. Anyhoo we live in a world that has a set of rules, parameters if you will and one of the most important of these parameters is... right and wrong, not gravity [woops]. And in all we do we are either right or wrong, there is no middle ground, and this leads me to
    There really is no middle ground, no matter how bad you want it
  2. We can’t leave people to live in the wrong. It is possible that you could be wrong but that does not negate your duty to address the issue at hand because if you are wrong then talking about it just might set you straight, it’s a win-win. But here’s the thing, when parents see their children doing wrong and potentially harmful things they stop them. The reason is they know that what is going on will not benefit the person doing it at all. Why can’t this apply in a peer to peer relationship? Picture a situation whereby you are standing facing a cliff and at the bottom of the cliff there is a sea but the sea at that point has rocks in it. You see the rocks because of where you are standing but the person about to jump off does not. Person number one jumps over and you stay silent, after all it’s their truth, according to them it’s safe. Person two jumps off, you still stay silent. Person three, person four. What kind of a sick person are you to keep watching people do what you know to be wrong and potentially damaging? You might as well be kicking them off yourself. Which brings me to
    You might not be female but you sure are kicking them over
  3. Inaction is an action. You not telling the person who’s doing the wrong to stop is you literally allowing them to destroy themselves. A bit harsh? Maybe but let me ethplain, not a typo. You leaving the person to keep doing what they are doing because of some sort of fear or whichever way you might want to paint your inadequacy is a negligence that is costing the person something. Each action has a cost and a consequence, the majority of these are eternal and you sitting by in silence is you watching them destroy themselves. You have consciously made the decision to do nothing. But the thing is you never turn away, you remain watching. Sometimes it gets so bad you even get amused by the destruction and it becomes one of your party stories. You know what I’m talking about, you’ve been there, you know the times when you have gossiped about that person throwing his/her life away. Talking like you are superior or better off when you could have done something to prevent it. You even begin to give speeches about washing your hands clean, Rubbish! How can you delight in the downfall of another? If you think back, it all begun with you being silent one of those times when you should have said something
  4. We owe it to them to help because we are not immune to fault. Don’t for a second imagine that you will forever be on the side of right. It’s more like all of us are standing in line with cliffs in front of us and the only people who can see the bottom are those alongside us. Every decision is us jumping. Sometimes it’s safe and sometimes it isn’t. Now if you were a good enough friend to point out the potentially damaging decisions and or wrong turns that are consistently being chosen won’t the others in turn help you out when you are in the wrong? But if you are always watching and never helping, when the time comes for you to need help, which will be sooner than you think, no one will speak and a number of bad decisions down the road you will realize you are in serious trouble. In the long run speaking out is highly beneficial to you. You keep thinking short term and it will cost you, in some cases it already has.
    That's you and your short term thinking
  5. The last and most important reason why you should have a fundamental problem with people being wrong is the most important. It is the one that you should remind yourself of every morning when you get up and every night before you sleep. It’s because God commands it, especially of his children. A Christian is supposed to be salt and light, I like the salt one best for this because salt is a preservative so if you do not try to speak out for the truth and tell people of the savior you are the salt that has lost its saltiness, it cannot preserve anything. And what is that salt good for, I will give you a hint, it sounds like this “na-thing”. There is virtue in telling people about conserving the planet or speaking against injustice or speaking against cheating and laziness but the penultimate goal should be to tell people the gospel. It’s alarming how few people know the true gospel, its borderline sad and it’s because of our criminal silence.

We need to constantly pray for grace and boldness to speak out rather than be silent. It will cost you a slot or two in the popularity rankings but keep at it because you know the cost of the person continuing along that path. If they don’t listen, keep talking. Talk when you can, talk when you can’t. The alternative is watching people continually destroy their lives, don’t be that person… don’t.

Final words come from an athiest that shook me to the core. I tittle it how evil are you? But watch it and you will see what I mean