A Challenge to Choose Rightly-Dare to Be a Daniel

Life brings man to the point of decision many times. In fact, choices are made every day. Some choices are made with very little thought. At other times the choice demands much thought and consideration. The ones considered important are made with greater care. The question might be, what do you consider important?

God, when He created man, bestowed upon him the privilege of choice. We cannot sidestep this responsibility nor the results of our choices, for many will have eternal consequences.

Let us look at choices a few Bible characters made. Some were good, and others were not so good. Moses, the man of God, chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25). He looked to the reward which would come after this life. Choosing the company of Christian believers is a wise choice indeed.

Before the flood the "sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and took them wives of all which they chose" (Genesis 6:2). They made carnal choices which ended in their destruction.

Complete text of: A Challenge to Choose Rightly-Dare to Be a Daniel

Which Road Shall I Take?

The Crossroads

The journey of life has two roads and two destinations. The choice and decision of which road to take is yours.

As a child, you walk for a while on the road of innocence, and then you come to a crossroads. The road of childhood and innocence ends, and you discover two distinct roads. As you come to this crossroads, you must make a decision. Which road shall I take? This decision is very important. It is the most important decision in life because one road leads to heaven, and the other road leads to hell. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15).

How will you know when you come to this crossroads? There is no set rule or age. Some children reach the crossroads earlier in life than others. Perhaps the crossroads is not reached until the person is exposed to the gospel or made aware of a better way. It may be a new awareness of right and wrong or a gentle tug to follow the Lord. These are indications of the crossroads. God is a loving God, and He makes known the two ways regardless of country or culture.

As you stand at the crossroads, what do you see? Take a good look at the two roads. You will see that one road is wide and apparently smooth and easy to travel. The other road is narrow. It requires saying “no” to sin. The wide road has many people walking on it, while the narrow road has only a few. Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

The Wide Road

Are you confused or not sure about which road to take? If you step closer to the wide, well-traveled road, you will hear Satan, the master of this road, asking you to walk with him. Satan’s story sounds very enticing. Along his road he offers many friends, and everyone seems to be quite happy. The entertainments along this road are many. There are drinking, dancing, parties, and many other types of amusement.

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The Battle of Your Soul

A shield and sword

Some of the greatest battles in life are fought within the heart.

Many leaders throughout history have been intent on conquering other nations. Some selfish rulers and leaders have even entertained thoughts of ruling the entire world. Those leaders have forced thousands of soldiers into battle because of their personal desire for power, wealth, and fame.

The physical battles that are fought between armies have caused much anguish and loss of life. Many soldiers have been severely injured, and many lives have needlessly been cut short because of the selfish goals of certain leaders. This has caused severe anguish of heart for the loved ones of those that have perished. Defeat has also caused much heartache and sadness for those unsuccessful leaders.

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How Honest Are You?

Honesty is the virtue of truthfulness in relating to all the issues of life. Honesty is really a heart matter. It is a fundamental part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. He regards truth as a most important principle because He is a God of truth (Deuteronomy 32:4). He will surely bless the complete honesty of our heart.

Some questions for your consideration:

Do you tell the truth when you might be found out, but are less than honest when no one will know?

Do you knowingly leave someone with a false impression?

Do you make purchases on credit when you know you do not have the ability to pay?

Do you tell God how it really is when you pray?

Do you honestly do everything that you know God wants you to do?

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The Best Story To Know

Bible and Candle

Once there was nothing in this world.

No fish.

No stars in the sky.

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Profanity—What is It?

The Bible says: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45).

Swearing is a very prevalent, evil practice in society. It adversely affects our relationship with God and our fellowman. The use of profanity is associated with speech that is not sacred or holy, irreverent toward God and man, showing contempt for holy things, and blasphemy. In Exodus 20:7 we read, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

Often there is ignorance involved in the use of profanity, especially in children. This habit that is formed in youth can last a lifetime and is very difficult to break. In James 3:6 we read: “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”

The meaning of some curse words is that God should curse instead of forgive, put in prison instead of set free, cast away instead of deliver. They also infer that God should use His power to punish instead of bless or have mercy. Should someone be deprived of all happiness of both body and soul in this world, and in eternity shut out of heaven and cast into hell? The horrible condemnation man can pronounce upon himself is indescribable when one is sold to and under the control of Satan. When God opens our eyes to what has overtaken us, it becomes abhorrent. Jesus said that “Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22).

The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:4 to the professing Christian: “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” The tongue, unless the heart of man is cleansed by the Holy Spirit, remains an unruly evil in one way or another. Even though man may possibly cease and refrain from sins such as profanity and kindred evils, the mouth speaks what is in the heart.  “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12: 36-37).

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God’s Gift: The Christmas Story

Jesus in a manger

Before time began there was God. He created the world and everything in it. In his love, God created man in his own image and placed him in a beautiful garden. Man disobeyed God’s instructions. This disobedience was sin and separated man from God. He told them that they should sacrifice perfect young animals for their sins. These sacrifices did not pay for their sin but only pointed forward to the ultimate sacrifice that God would provide. Someday God would send his Son Jesus to this earth to be that ultimate sacrifice for the sins of all people.

Mary and the Angel

The angel speaks to Mary

Four thousand years later, in the town of Nazareth, there lived a young woman named Mary. She was engaged to be married to Joseph. One day an angel appeared to Mary and told her she would have a special baby. She should name Him Jesus. This baby would not have an earthly father. He would be God’s Son.

The Birth of Jesus

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Jesus Is Returning Soon

Approximately 2,000 years after creation, God destroyed mankind with a great flood because they had become so wicked that the imaginations of their heart were evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Just as the people of Noah’s day were not expecting a flood to come, many people today are not expecting Jesus to come again. His return will be unexpected—as a thief in the night. (2 Peter 3:10). Why do we believe it will be soon? Look around you; what do you see?

The Bible tells us how it will be in the last days. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Look at the conditions in the world today. Many people have forgotten God. There are destructive and hateful uprisings in many cities. Bloodshed and murder are daily occurrences. Youth are uneasy, restless, and rebellious. Parents are leaving children to themselves at the very time they need them most. Atheism, substance abuse, gun violence, and gang activity are prevalent in today’s society. Biblical teachings about marriage and immorality are disregarded and often scorned. Will it get better? Do you see any chance for improvement? What do you think? How long can this go on? God is longsuffering and continues to call all people to salvation, but one day He will call all this to an end. There is a day of judgment coming when every person will give an account before God.

Jesus is coming again as the Bible plainly teaches. Jesus said, “Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20). This is one event we will not miss. Everyone will see Him coming, and when He comes He will judge all people (Matthew 25:32, Revelation 20:12). Some will go with Him to heaven; some will be doomed to hell. What about you—where will you go? You must choose.

We Are All Sinners

We are all born with a sinful nature—prone to sin. No one can say he is free of sin because we are all born with a proud and selfish nature that is sinful. It is man’s very nature to lie, cheat, and steal. As children, we did many things we knew were wrong. When we came to adulthood, we found we still tended to do those very same things. Sin includes dishonesty, greed, pride, immorality, and substance abuse. Sin will not go unpunished. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). We cannot rid ourselves of sin, and sin will never enter heaven.

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Let's Talk about Suicide

You are special!

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). There is something comforting about the realization that God brought each one of us into existence. God is the giver of life; not only to Adam (whom this scripture is referring to), but to every child born into this world. You are special because God created you!

If you are going through a time of suffering or sickness, you may have despaired of life. You may also wonder why you were brought into existence. Being born into difficult circumstances does not mean that God loves you less than anyone else. The heart of our loving Father is touched with your pain and suffering. He longs to bring quietness and peace to your troubled heart and life. Does the mental anguish caused by depression or difficult circumstances make you wonder if life is worth living anymore? If this is something you are experiencing, this message of hope and warning is surely for you. If you have been tempted to end it all and be done with it, stop!

There is hope for you. Jesus Christ came to save you and give you peace. Please consider the love God has for you and the care He longs to give you. Just as only God is the giver of life, He alone has the right to end human life. The violent or non-violent taking of any human life is forbidden by God (Exodus 20:13, Matthew 5:21). This means that murder and suicide are both sin in God’s eyes, having eternal consequences.

Life and Death

There is a big difference between life and death. Life is our opportunity to choose God and truth, to pray, and to be forgiven. No matter how dark or difficult life becomes, with God there is hope for change. Life is so short and death is so final. Our eternal existence after death is so long—longer than a million lifetimes.

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Listen! Who is That Calling You?-Is it an Enemy or a Friend?

The listening lamb

Gospel of John 10:1-18

Have you ever heard someone calling your name and you did not know where the voice was coming from? Or maybe you could hardly hear the voice, because there was too much noise all around.

Listen, a voice is calling you. You!

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Your Life - Recorded

The Bible tells us that God knows everything, and that He is keeping a record of our lives. On the Judgment Day, we will be required to give an account of what He has recorded (Romans 14:11-12). “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). When we stand before God in judgment, it will be too late to change our eternal destiny.

God sees both the good and the evil that we do. He knows our very thoughts and attitudes-good or bad. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). We will be judged by the record of our deeds. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

The Choice is Ours

In this life we can choose to follow Christ and His teachings or to follow the desires of our sinful flesh. In Galatians 5, the Bible lists the sins of the flesh. These are, “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like” (Galatians 5:19-21). If we are guilty of these, this scripture tells us we cannot inherit the kingdom of God. By the grace of a loving heavenly Father, we receive forgiveness when we repent and believe in Christ. The blood of Christ then covers our sins and they will be erased from the record.

The Bible also lists the fruit that is produced in our lives when we surrender to God. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23). It is a miracle of grace that we can have this fruit associated with our names in the records in heaven.

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Gambling: Gain or Loss?

It is natural for man to desire a full, exciting, and rewarding life. Some people find fulfillment in achievement and education. Others spend their time and energy trying to get rich. Still others find a certain thrill in risk-taking. Some are willing to go to extreme ends for excitement. Betting and other forms of gambling are especially alluring to some. The lure of hitting the jackpot or winning large sums of money can be very addictive. Many homes have been brought to ruin by a father or mother who chose to gamble. Hearts have been broken and neglected because someone could not stay away from the bright lights of a casino.

The Cost

For many people, gambling starts in small ways. It is offered as a harmless form of entertainment, an escape from the humdrum of life. Casinos offer an alluring mix of lighting, food, drink, and music. In this party atmosphere, senses are dulled. It becomes hard to control impulses and urges. Casino workers are trained to help maintain and enhance this mood.

The first wager placed may be small and the risk low. Winning small amounts feels good and is addictive. It makes it easy to place another wager. As the wager amount gets larger and the stakes get higher, the pulse quickens. Some have found it almost impossible to control the urge to place just one more bet. Gamblers have lost fortunes, hoping for a lucky turn. In reality, a lucky turn hardly ever happens. Most often, gambling becomes a pattern of behavior that leads to a downward spiral. Borrowing money to cover losses seems like a solution, but soon comes to an end. There may even be a temptation to steal. One vows to stop gambling but feels he cannot. Feeling guilty, frustrated, and desperate, many have turned to drinking to drown their woes. Some have lost homes and riches. In their despair, they have considered taking their own lives. Gambling has ruined their lives and perhaps the lives of their loved ones.

A well-respected man and his wife had worked hard. When he died, she was left wealthy. She enjoyed gambling at bingo. This led to riskier forms of gambling and began to include drinking. In a few years she had lost almost everything and had become an alcoholic. Occasionally she was found lying on the street in a drunken stupor. Satan had led her deeper and deeper into his trap until almost all hope was gone.

Do you realize how selfish it is to gamble? Children go hungry, bills go unpaid, friendships are betrayed, and homes are broken all because someone chooses to satisfy a selfish desire. Something that looked so innocent has destroyed the quality of life. A person with plenty becomes a pauper. The price to pay is high, too high! Why would anyone choose to pay it?

Why Gamble?

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Are You Safe?

In the heart of every person there is a desire to be safe and secure. Little children are often afraid of being left alone. They also may fear the dark, or the unknown. Children crave the security of being held in the loving embrace of their parents. There they feel confident and protected. As we mature, the desire to be safe and secure never leaves us. This inborn desire was given to us by our Creator. While some men act fearless, in their hearts they may fear the unknown, suffering, accident, or sickness. They may also have an uneasy feeling about what might happen to them after death.

God is the creator of heaven and earth. Making man was the crowning act of His creation. He placed Adam and his wife Eve in a paradise home called the Garden of Eden. They were secure, happy, and free. Then Satan appeared in the form of a serpent and deceived them. Because of their disobedience to God, they fell out of fellowship with Him and were driven from Eden. (Genesis 3)

What a drastic change! Before, Adam and Eve had been safe and without fear. They were at peace with their Creator, enjoying His presence. Now, instead of inner peace, there was unrest, guilt, and fear. They were even afraid of God and hid from Him! They had experienced spiritual death, which is separation from God. When fellowship with Him was broken through disobedience, there was deep distress in their hearts. Only fellowship with the living God can satisfy the soul.

Man’s inner conflict has also caused all manner of outward conflict, often resulting in murder or war. There has always been much strife on earth; one tribe quarrels with another, one nation strives to bring another nation under its rule. In these conflicts, one nation has always emerged victorious, only to weaken later and become subject to another nation. The prophet Daniel says, “that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Dan. 4:17), and “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Dan. 2:21).

The numerous, brazen acts of terrorism around the world have shaken the security of many people. These events have brought fear into many hearts and an uncertainty about the future.

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A Happy Home-A Little Community Within Itself

Home Sweet Home

The Bible gives us the blueprint for a home that is beautiful in design, solid in structure, and pleasant in atmosphere. Home can be a place of harmony and contentment, or one of tension and strife. Is your home happy, strong, and able to survive the storms of life?

Home is an important social unit. It is divinely ordained for our spiritual development, emotional happiness, and physical fulfillment. God’s plan has always been that members of the home should bring happiness one to another and that families should live in harmony.

Why Some Homes Are Unhappy

Why, then, are many homes unhappy? Why are they being broken by discord, separation, and divorce? It is because God’s pattern has been disregarded. Within His Word is found the needed building material for a happy home. Homes built according to His Word are places of love, trust, mutual interest, and unselfish service one to another. Such homes will bring happiness into our lives and preserve our communities and nations. Are you following the plan of God, the Master Architect? “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).

In youth, the foundation is laid for our future homes. A life pure before God is an important ingredient in our preparation for marriage. Premarital sinfulness undermines moral stability and places the future home in jeopardy. Self-centeredness and self-gratification in our youth set a pattern of living that wreaks havoc in marriage. The high rate of divorce is sufficient proof of these facts. These sins must be thoroughly repented of before there can be a new life in Christ. The past can then be laid to rest and God will enter with His blessings.

A home begins when a man and a woman are joined together in marriage. The Bible says we are to marry “only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39). This means that both the man and woman have surrendered their lives and wills to the Lord. God must have first place. When the man and woman are both unselfish, they can enjoy mutual happiness.

Marrying in the Lord

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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?