Trouble Begins

Trouble and problems are everywhere. Sickness, unhappiness, and many evils are a part of life. Where did it all begin? Has it always been this way? The Bible, God’s Word, has the answers to these questions.

The first two chapters of the Bible tell about a beautiful garden called Eden. God created it for Adam and Eve to live in. God made them perfect and without sin. 

Eden was a place of peace and happiness. There were no problems or sickness. It was a very happy and beautiful place to live. He gave them every good thing from the garden to eat. In the midst of the garden, he planted the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told them that they would surely die if they ate the fruit of this tree.

Complete text of: Trouble Begins

Sadly, the tranquility in the garden did not last. One day the devil, God’s enemy, came to Eve in the form of a serpent. He asked Eve if God had said they should not eat of the forbidden tree. “Yes,” said Eve, “God said we would die if we ate of it.” The serpent replied, “You will not die when you eat of the tree; you will become like gods knowing good and evil.” When Eve looked at the fruit of the tree, she reached out her hand and took some.

It was good to eat, and she shared some with Adam. As soon as they had eaten, they knew that something was wrong. They became afraid of God. When God came to talk to them, they hid themselves because they were ashamed of their sin. God asked them if they had disobeyed his command and spoke to them about the problems they would always have. Trouble had entered the world because of their disobedience. Toil, sickness, and death would now be part of every life on earth.

When God told them they would die if they disobeyed, He meant both physical and spiritual death. Before their disobedience, they were pure in heart and sinless. After they disobeyed, they became defiled in heart and were sinners in God’s eyes. Since that time, this spiritual death has come upon every person who has been born. Man’s nature, the very being of mankind, has changed from pure and sinless to selfish and sinful.

The Bible tells us in Psalms 14:3 that there is nobody who does good. In the New Testament we read that there is nothing good in our sinful nature. At times we want to do good, but we do evil instead. Other times we know we should not do evil, but we lack the power to do good, all because of our sinful nature (Romans 7:18-20).

Today, many people are unhappy because of their sin nature. People selfishly want their own way. Many lie, cheat, and steal. Some hold grudges and live in bitterness and hatred, because they will not forgive. Many homes have been broken as a result of selfishness and sin. Does this sound familiar to you? Can you identify with these issues? Do you have any of these problems?

This is not a hopeless situation. God has a wonderful plan for us! Because of God’s love for us, He sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross and take the punishment for our sins (John 3:16).

Through the power of God, Jesus overcame death and arose from the grave. Because He arose from the dead, we can have victory over our sinful nature if we accept his sacrifice for our sins.

We need to surrender our entire life to God including our wants and desires and ask Him in faith to forgive our sins. Then He forgives us and we become a new person! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The new condition of our heart will reflect in our outward walk and choices. Before God’s forgiveness, we were separated from Him. Now, we are his child. The Bible has a beautiful way of saying this. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). When Jesus forgives our sins, he gives us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). The divine nature includes love, joy, and peace which God places in our heart.

How different our outlook on life becomes! We now choose to live for Christ, and sin does not dominate our life. God helps us love those who have mistreated us, forgive those who have hurt us, and have the power to be kind, loving, and patient. Homes that were unhappy can be filled with joy and fulfillment.

This change does not mean we will never make mistakes, but we can take them to God for forgiveness. God gives us the power to resist temptation and overcome sin. We will put others’ wants and desires before our own.

God’s plan for sending Jesus into this world to die and rise again was first to save us, then to give us power to live joyful and thankful lives, and to be of service to others!

Read the Bible today!

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A Savior For You

The prodigal son asking his father for his inheritance

Are you a happy person? Fear and the guilt of sin can take away your happiness. You may wonder, “How can I be happy?”

I have good news for you! There is someone who can help you. He can forgive your sins and give you lasting happiness. His name is Jesus. Let me tell you about Him.

His Father, God, is the One Who made the world. He made everything in the world. He made you and me.

God loves us. He loves everyone in the world. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His only Son, to this world. When Jesus was on this earth, He healed the sick and comforted the sad. He opened blinded eyes. He taught the people many things. 

Complete text of: A Savior For You

Jesus wanted us to understand the great love that His Father has for you and me. He told this story that explained the love of His Father. You can read this in the Bible in St. Luke 15:11-24.

A certain man had two sons. He thought all was going well. One day one of the sons rebelled and came to him and said, “I don’t like this home, I want my own way, and I am leaving. Give me my share of the inheritance.” The father was very sad but he gave him the money and let him go. He wondered if he would ever see his son again.

The son went far away and enjoyed himself with his money and his friends. He carelessly wasted his money in selfish living. He thought he was having a very good time until suddenly his money ran out and his friends left him. He was all alone and needy. Now what should he do?

He went to a farmer and the farmer sent him to feed the pigs. He was not given enough to eat. He was so hungry he would have eaten the pigs’ food. He started to think of all the bad things he had done and how he had mistreated his father. He became more and more miserable.

The prodigal son feeding the pigs

One day he remembered how loving his father had been and how well he had been provided for when he was still at home. Even his father’s servants had plenty to eat.

He thought, “Could I go back to my father after all I have done to him? Will he still love me? I am not worthy to be his son. I am willing to be just a servant if only he will take me in.”

Immediately he got to his feet and started for his father’s house. He would see if his father would forgive him.

The father had been longing for his son ever since he left. He often wondered, “Will he ever come back?” Then one day he saw someone coming in the distance. Could that be his son? When he saw that it was, he ran to him with outstretched arms.

“Father,” the son said, “I have sinned against you. I’m not worthy to be your son.”

But his father said, “Bring the best clothes for him and prepare a feast. My son was lost but now he is found.”

The father welcoming the prodigal son home

We are all like this son; we have all strayed from God, our Father. We have wasted the opportunities and many good things He has given us. We have lived selfishly and rebelled against Him. Today our heavenly Father invites us to come to Jesus. He is waiting for us with outstretched arms.

Jesus showed us His love by giving His life as a sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the whole world. He suffered pain and rejection as He allowed wicked men to nail Him to a cross. By the power of God He rose from the dead and lives forever.

Come to Jesus and ask Him to forgive your sin. When He sees you are sorry for the wrongs you have done, He will forgive you and wash away all your sin with His blood that He shed. It will be a wonderful experience! You will become a new person. Life will take on new meaning. Jesus will replace your guilt and fear with joy and happiness. He will be your Savior.

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Hell-What Does The Bible Teach?

There are only two eternal destinies—the blessed abode of the saved and the flaming abyss of the lost. The Bible speaks of Paradise and of the pit of hell, of glorious light and of total darkness.

There are Only Two Destinies

On the Judgment Day, only two groups of people will step forth, “they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).

When the lost shall hear the great Judge declare their sentence of guilt, “I never knew you; depart from me,” (Matthew 7:23) where will those doomed souls go? When the righteous eyes of the King pierce the guilty one and no excuse rings true, what will happen? When the Book of Life is opened and the name is missing, what then?

An Illustration of Hell

A short distance south of Jerusalem, a deep ravine cuts across the landscape. During the reigns of Ahaz and Manasseh, this valley was used as a place of unthinkably evil worship. Here followers of Molech dropped their children into the red-hot arms of an immense brass idol. They sang and danced to drown out the anguished cries as their little ones burned to death. The Hebrews called the place the Valley of Hinnom. In Greek, the name of the area is translated as Gehenna.

At the time of Christ's earthly life, the Jews used the valley as a place to dump their waste and filth. Into it were cast dead carcasses, as well as the corpses of outcasts and criminals. The air was thick and putrid. Fires burned eerily day and night. The stain of smoke never disappeared from the sky, and the fires never went out.

The Valley of Hinnom provides a vivid example of damnation and hell. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Christ’s listeners could easily envision an intolerably horrible place where one would burn forever. Eternal punishment after the Judgment is an established truth in the Bible.

What will Hell be like?

Complete text of: Hell-What Does The Bible Teach?

Its horrors cannot be comprehended. However, Scripture does provide some comparisons—a devouring fire, an unquenchable fire, outer darkness, everlasting punishment, torment, and a lake of fire.

Some may believe that these verses are symbolic of a burning conscience, a burning shame, and a burning memory that gnaws and consumes but never is quenched. Yet, fire and burning are mentioned so frequently and forcefully in the Scriptures that we cannot ignore the fact of literal hell fire. The Bible states that there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.  

On the Judgment Day the unsaved shall arise to “the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29). In the resurrection the lost will be given an immortal body, one that feels and experiences constantly the sting of death but never dies.

Hell will be a place of remembering. In the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), the rich man opened his eyes in hell. In this place the doomed man was told, “Son, remember.” When God says, “Son, remember,” it will be impossible to forget. Like an avalanche, memories of all the opportunities for salvation, the chances for repentance, the gift of grace neglected, and more, will overwhelm the lost. They will remember what they loved in life: wealth, fame, a good time, and themselves, but those very things will haunt them. On and on the memory reels, bringing up all the evil thoughts, the secret sins, and the lies. With the impossibility of forgetting comes the bitterest cry of remorse, “Had I only loved the Lord!”

Hell will be a place of guilt and shame. The prophet Daniel wrote, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). When the eternal sentence of guilt rings from the throne on the Judgment Day, it will descend like an immense weight upon the condemned, dragging them down into a burning sea. 

Hell will be a place offering no rest. “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:11). In our world, those in pain and suffering find moments of rest. Even the tortured have times of sleep or faint into welcome unconsciousness. Finally, death brings its relief, but in hell there will be no relief. The torment will be unleashed in unending torrents. The lost will cry out for relief, but none will be found. The lost will gnash their teeth forever as they toss and turn, searching endlessly for a moment of relief, but finding absolutely none. (Matthew 22:13)

Hell will be a place of utter hopelessness. The desperation that comes from knowing that those who enter there have no ray of hope—no chance of ever leaving—will crush the lost. They will become a forgotten people in a forgotten place. When God turns away and rejects those souls, doom will be complete.

In hell there will be no mercy, no love, no acts of kindness, and no grace. Hate will reign supreme. The intense remorse and sorrow, the begging, and the pleading will be to no avail. No one will listen; no one will care.

Hell will be a place of outer darkness. In the Bible, it is referred to as the very “blackness of darkness” (Jude 13). With darkness comes fear, evil, the devil, demons, and death. Hell is all of these, and hell is forever. 

Forever and forever—in ten million years—hell will have only begun. The torment and the weeping will continue, and yet the dying will live on eternally. Here our minds stop. And maybe they should, for hell was not prepared for God’s children. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. 

Our Choice

The Bible is clear in stating that those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).

Today we are serving one of two masters. One, the heavenly Father, is loving and righteous. The other, Satan, is desperately evil. It is certain that the master we serve in time will be the one with whom we spend eternity. When the final judgment exposes our allegiance, on whose side will we stand?

God cannot save those who refuse to serve Him. However, He will be entirely fair and just. No one will go to hell undeservingly. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and live” (2 Peter 3:9). God is calling us to choose His kingdom, to stand on His side. He is pleading to save us because He loves us.

Those who find themselves in hell will have, by their choices and pursuits in life, decided their fate. Will we hear, “I never knew you; depart from me forever,” or, “Come, ye blessed of my Father” (Matthew 25:34)?

The Way of Escape!

Jesus has made a way that we can escape the horrors of hell. He came to earth and died to pay for our sins. If we believe on Him and repent of our sins, our sins will be forgiven. He invites us to come to Him and He promises, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). COME TO JESUS TODAY!

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