Monday, December 11, 2017

I hate I'll never get to meet Muhammad Ali.

"I hate I'll never get to meet Muhammad Ali." These are the words my eleven year old son used to start off a conversation as we left my parent's house the other day. Now my son is not a boxing fan and other than knowing that Muhammad Ali is the greatest boxer of all time, I don't know that he really knows that much about him. I was impressed that he knew Ali's name was originally Cassius Clay before he converted to Islam. I say all that because it was really odd to hear him just randomly mention never getting to meet Muhammad Ali. Now I'll be honest with you. I was not expecting a spiritual lesson when my kid brought up Muhammad Ali, so to say I was shocked at what he said next is no understatement. Without missing a beat he said he'd never get to meet Ali because Ali was a Muslim before he died and Ali won't be in heaven. In that moment I was both stunned at the theological depth to which this eleven year old had gone, but also proud of the confidence he had in the teachings of the Bible. All I could do was agree with him and then look out the driver's side window mouthing "WOW!" to my self as we drove home.

There will be plenty of people who are not in heaven, not just Muhammad Ali. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, and people who apply any number of labels to themselves. The only label that will be found in heaven is Christian. This is a person who has made peace with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and received eternal life from God. Any other label means that a person does not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. What that means is that their eternity will not be in heaven, regardless of how famous, how rich, how generous, or how kind they were in this life. Revelation 20:11-15 is very clear that those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ before this life ends, they will spend eternity in the lake of fire, spiritually separated from God. Muhammad Ali, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and any other person not personally connected to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ can expect to find themselves "thrown into the lake of fire" as it says in Revelation 20:15.

But all is not lost...yet. If you are reading this blog post, then there is still hope to avoid the same fate as Muhammad Ali and all those that will join him in the lake of fire. To avoid the torturous eternity designed for those who reject Jesus' sacrificial death, all you have to do is put your faith in Christ. It doesn't require adherence to five pillars, making pilgrimages, or any other number of deeds that will make you right with God. All it requires is for you to believe that Jesus is who the Bible says He is and that He did what the Bible says He did. It means believing He is the perfect and sinless Son of God who died on a cross for the sins of mankind and was raised from the dead by the power of God three days later. It means because of your belief in Him that you ask Him to forgive you of your sins (become your Savior) and ask Him to be in charge of your life (become your Lord). When you do, you'll receive the Holy Spirit of God inside of you as a guarantee of the eternal life that will be yours once this life is over. (If you want to read some more about this before making a decision, then check out or for more information.

I'll close with this. My son had every bit of confidence he would not see Muhammad Ali in heaven for two reasons. First, as stated above, Muhammad Ali was not a Christian and therefore will not be in heaven. Secondly, and more importantly, my son knew he would be in heaven because he is a Christian. There was an unshakable confidence in his voice as he spoke. The question is, do you have that same unshakable confidence in your eternal destination? Are you confident you'll be in heaven when this life is over because you've trusted in Christ and received His forgiveness? Or will you be with Muhammad Ali and all the others who have rejected Christ? My encouragement to you today is that if you've not put your faith in Christ, then do so today. If you do, you can be confident about where you're going after this life is over. Plus, you can be like my eleven year old son and be bummed that you'll never get to meet Muhammad Ali.

If you have questions about salvation, Christ, or any other aspect of the Christian faith,t hen feel free to email at I'll be glad to help you get answers to your questions.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Marriage: An Archaic Tradition

Recently I was watching a show with one of my boys and the topic of marriage came up. One of the characters nonchalantly made a comment that would probably go unnoticed by most people watching the show. I happened to hear the comment and thought about how his comment is reflective of the attitude many in our society now take towards marriage. The comment made was "Marriage. An archaic tradition." Unfortunately, the words uttered by a television actor are words that resonate with the culture we now find ourselves living in.

Many people in our culture and society view marriage as nothing more than an ancient tradition that no longer holds the prominence it once did. One goal that many people, if not most people, in society used to reach for was to marry, have children, and build a life together. Today you find that less people seek this goal and many view marriage as simply a "piece of paper." We see this in the fact that more people today live together outside of marriage than they have in the past. We also see it in the fact that people try to rewrite the very definition of marriage to reflect their beliefs. Since marriage is as old as creation itself, one would think that we would not try to rewrite the definition of it to suit our own views. Regardless if people are cohabiting or entering into same-sex marriages, it does not change the fact that God's original design for human relationships was marriage between a man and a woman.

In Genesis 2:24 (NIV) we are told of God's plan for marriage and it is when "a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." God's original and best design for mankind's most intimate relationship did not involve shallow physical relationships, cohabiting, or same-sex unions. God's design (which is always the best design) was for humans to enjoy relationships inside the confines of a marriage union between a man and a woman. All the physical, emotional, and relational aspects of marriage relationships were designed to be enjoyed within a God-designed marriage. Any perversion of God's design only leads to heartbreak, disappointment, and of course, sin. When we try to replace God's design for anything in life, marriage included, what we find ourselves doing is being disobedient to His command and He calls this sin. When we try to put our design in the place of His, we basically set ourselves in the place of God and fall victim to the same sins that caused Satan to try and overthrow God (check out the Bible to see how that worked out for him). The only solution for our sin is repentance, either for the first time or the hundredth, and allowing God to forgive us.

Consider this. One day we will all stand before God and be judged. Christians will be judged by Christ for what they have done in this life with the things He has given them (2 Corinthians 5:10). Non-Christians will be judged by God and find their name not written in the Book of Life only to be thrown into hell (Revelation 20:11-15). When we stand before Christ or God, not a single excuse we give will hold water. We can give any and every reason for why we perverted God's design for marriage and it won't matter one bit. For the Christian, unless repentance occurs, there will be spiritual blessings in heaven that will be withheld. For the non-Christian, unless repentance occurs, there is nothing to look forward to but an eternity of torture and separation from God.

I'll close with this. If you're a Christian currently living in a situation contrary to God's design for marriage, then you need to consider which relationship is more important to you. Your relationship with God should take top priority over any other relationship. Seek His forgiveness, repent, and do what is necessary to correct your romantic relationship. If your not a Christian check out this link to learn more about how to repent and start a relationship with God. Then you'll be able to put your relationship with your significant other in the proper context and make sure it is a relationship that honors God.

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