Author: Michael Heilman

What About The Unbelieving?

What About The Unbelieving?

God has promised His people a new heaven and a new earth. The old creation must make way for the new creation, if God is to be glorified. Jesus said this event will occur when “the world is made new” (Isaiah 65:17). By then, God’s eternal purpose in Jesus would have been accomplished and so as Ephesians 1:10.

The overcomers shall inherit the Kingdom of God: the new heaven and the new earth and will enjoy a special relationship with God. What about the rest of the unbelieving world? What will happen to them? They shall not inherit God’s Kingdom!

Bible Verse: Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Reflection and Challenge

Is cowardice enough to send a person to hell? L. Morris says John here isn’t speaking of natural timidity, but of that cowardice which makes a person to ultimately choose himself and his safety over Christ.

Many Christians today say that they believe the Bible, but don’t live the way they should. If we truly understand the seriousness of our sin and the cost for Jesus to pay for our salvation, you would understand the consequence of being an unrepentant sinner. That is true for yourself and everyone else. Do you truly believe it?

Ephesians 1:10

The book of Revelation tells us what will happen in the end: God wins! And those who thirst for Him will be given freely from the fountain of life. This will all happen when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven (Revelation 21:2). That should be very encouraging for all Christians, but also very humbling. The most important fact about the city is that God lives there with His people.

On the other hand, those who reject Jesus and become apostates are specifically prohibited from entering the New Jerusalem. All of those unrepentant family members, friends, coworkers, and everyone else that did not accept Jesus as their Savior will have to face God and pay for their sin in the Lake of Fire for eternity. Once in, you can’t get out.

The Lake of Fire

Hell or “the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:15) is a witness to the righteous character of God. He must judge sin. Hell is also a witness to human responsibility, the fact that people are not robots or helpless victims but creatures able to make choices.

God does not send people to hell; they send themselves by rejecting the Savior (Matthew 25:41; John 3:16-21). Hell is also witness to the awfulness of sin. If we once saw sin as God sees it, we would understand why a place such as hell exists. So to think that people I know could spend eternity there is heart-breaking.

Just seeing how the entire world is falling apart makes me wonder if the end of the world is drawing near. Nobody knows when they will die. Are you prepared to meet God?

If we truly believe that people you know could spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, won’t it affect how you relate to all the people around you?

Have you given them the Gospel? Do you pray for them? It is worth thinking about since every person will spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. How does that affect how you live?

Letting Go And Letting God

Letting Go And Letting God

Romans 1:17 says, “the just shall live by faith.” It does not say the just will only get saved by faith. Genesis 24 is a great example of Old Testament saints living by faith even though they did not have the Holy Spirit. That should convict us, just for the fact that we have the Holy Spirit. Do we live by faith? Are we letting go and letting God take control?

Bible Verse: Genesis 24:14 (NKJV)

Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, “Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,” and she says, “Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink” – let her be the one You have appointed for thy servant Isaac. And by this, I will know that You have shown kindness unto my master.”

Reflection and Challenge

It is amazing how many individuals in this narrative had radical faith in spite of being only people. Isaac had to trust God, Abraham, and the servant to find him a suitable wife. Abraham had to trust God and the servant to do the same. The servant had to trust God to direct him to the right woman and that Rebekah would be willing to move. Rebekah had to trust God that Isaac would love her. Not to mention, the parents letting her go.

I think it is funny that whenever you must trust God, you end up needing to trust another person (s) as well. How well do we trust others?

I am not saying that I have this type of faith but these people in Genesis 24 are definitely inspiring and we can learn a valuable lesson from them. Technically, the passage deals with the marriage relationship, but radical faith can be applied to every other type of decision in our lives.

Faith is the opposite of fear. In spite of this decision being one of the most important in their life, they let go of control and let God. That is a good definition of radical faith, “Letting go and letting God.”

Faith - Opposite of Fear

As Christians, we say that we get saved by faith, but never live by faith as Romans 1:17 says. WHY? Is it possible we don’t trust God enough to take care of us in our everyday life? He saved our soul. Is He not able to take care of our body as well? That is called fear.

I have heard that the Bible says, “Fear not!” 365 times. That’s one for everyday of the year. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” God will never lead you using fear.

*Read here: The Importance of Faith

Faith is a choice. God shows up when His people trust Him as He did at the end of the servant’s prayer. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God answers when we trust Him. Why don’t we do it more?

This principle is applicable to every area of life, not just the marriage relationship. God leads us to decisions or crossroads, just to see what we will do. The best decision is to choose to trust Him. He will come through. How well do we trust Him in our lives?

Warning: God Will Humble You!

Warning: God Will Humble You!

It is human nature to claim credit for all the great things that happen in our lives. Like we accomplished them in our own strength. Especially in America, God has blessed us immensely. But as James 1:17 says, “Every good . . . and perfect gift is from above.” So be warned; God can and will humble you. Because God does not allow for pride in the lives of His children. 

Bible Verse: Daniel 4:37 (NLT)

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All His acts are just and true and He is able to humble the proud.”

Reflection and Challenge

The grand lesson God wanted King Nebuchadnezzar to learn – and that we must learn today – is that God alone is sovereign and will not permit mortals to usurp His throne or take credit for His works. We are but creatures, and God is the Creator; we are only subjects, but He is the King of kings.

When men and women, created in God’s image, refuse to submit themselves to Him, they are in grave danger of descending to the level of animals. “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule,” warned King David, who was guilty of acting like both (Psalm 32:9). Like the impulsive horse, David rushed into sin when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then like the stubborn mule, he had delayed confessing his sins and repenting (2 Samuel 11; 12).

This is what happened in the life of Nebuchadnezzar. After years of conquest and growth of the Babylonian empire, he was filled with pride. Even though Daniel was his number 2 man, he was still filled with pride. That is also true in our lives as well. After all the things God has done in our lives in the past, why do we still try to take the credit? Why don’t we give it to God, who truly deserves it?

God Does Not Delay

God is patient with sinners, but when the time comes for Him to act, He does not delay. As we read in Daniel 4:31-33, a solemn voice from heaven interrupted King Nebuchadnezzar’s egotistical meditations and announced that the time of probation had ended and judgment was about to fall.

The words were still on the king’s lips when everything began to change. His mind became like that of an animal (Daniel 4:16) and he was driven from the royal palace to live in fields with the beasts. Since he was beastly at heart, God allowed King Nebuchadnezzar’s brutish nature to be revealed openly.

As Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way, God does not like the credit going to others. God humbled Nebuchadnezzar for his pride. Eventually, he learned the lesson that God wanted him to learn through his difficult experience (Daniel 4:17, 25, 32), and that is, to acknowledge the sovereignty of God.

Warning God Will Humble You

God can and will humble you as well. As Christians become more and more proud, we better turn back to God and realize He deserves all the credit. He will humble us if we don’t. The Bible teaches both divine sovereignty and human responsibility, and when we accept both, we find no contradiction or conflict. No person is freer than the believer who surrenders to the sovereign will of God.

The first thing King Nebuchadnezzar did after his ordeal had passed was to praise the Lord (Daniel 4:34-35). What an exciting expression of worship! When was the last time you praised God for everything He has done in your life?

*Recommended Resource: 

Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith and Human Responsibility
By John C. Lennox

A fresh look at the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human freedom. Challenging widely held assumptions about theological determinism, Lennox explores the different types of predestination and the problems they pose; investigates what the Gospels and Paul’s Letter to the Romans say about responsibility; and tackles the issue of Christian assurance. 

Choose Today Whom To Serve

Choose Today Whom To Serve

Bible Verse: Joshua 24:15 NKJV

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”

Reflection and Challenge

Hollywood knows that they hate God. They do not want to see anyone get saved from their sin by trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Satan even knows that he will eventually lose the war with God, but he wants to take as many people down to the lake of fire with him as possible.

There is no doubt there is one God who created everything and everyone in the world. He is holy and has died and rose again to save you. But Satan is the Father of deception. He can’t allow people to get right with God. So how will he do it? Well, Americans cannot get enough entertainment. Why not movies? Those weak-minded Americans will never know the deception that is manipulating their mind.

How is this possible? It’s kind’a like magic. Make an illusion or a lie that everyone focuses on and then change the context. This is what Hollywood has been doing for the last several years.

Now I could get flack for telling you this but you need to hear what God laid on my heart tonight. Last week Avengers: Infinity War came out. I went to go see it. This movie is going to condition millions of people’s minds to hate the God of the Bible. There are two main elements that were used to deceive the audience. One was an outright mockery of Jesus, even though He died and rose again to save you. The second was a conditioning of hatred of absolute rulers.

Just today I heard a message which included Revelation 6:10a. It says, “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O LORD, holy and true.” I learned something I never saw before.

The Greek word for “LORD” in this verse is despotes. This is the Greek word where we get despot or an absolute ruler. At the end of the world, God will be hated for being the absolute ruler of the world just as He is hated today for being the absolute standard of right and wrong.

In the movie, Thanos is made to look like an absolute ruler but not an absolute standard of right. Whether he got all 6 infinity stones does not matter, Hollywood made him look like an absolute ruler and second to none. Hollywood and Marvel tried to make several parallels between the God of the book of Revelation, which is in the Bible, and Thanos, but they don’t need to be mentioned here.

Some might say that I am reading into the movie too much but I always remember Matthew 7:16a “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” You can know what is in the heart of men by their actions or in this case, their movies.

I pray that you are now aware that not all despots are bad. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Will you serve God or Satan? The choice is yours. Whom do you choose?

Choose today whom to serve …

Man’s Way vs. God’s Way

Man’s Way vs. God’s Way

Bible Verse: Hebrews 11:24-25 (KJV)

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”

Reflection and Challenge

God rewards faith. Throughout the Bible, God has given us promises of blessings if we would just believe them. And yet people are finding it so difficult to believe them since they are only in a book. Like Moses, he was told of all those blessings and he decided he could trust God with his life, status, wealth, everything. He knew God would reward him for his faithfulness in spite of losing so much.

God has promised us so much, including heaven, peace with God, purpose, hope, and many more, if we just trust His word. This is the gospel message in a nutshell. Trust God’s Word is true and that God is sufficient to save anyone from their sin so that we may spend eternity with God.

It cannot get anymore amazing than that. It is so much easier for us to believe the gospel and suffer ridicule on earth than suffer for eternity because of our sin. This is also true in the lives of Christians. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

More often than not the path of faithfulness is the more difficult path because you have to swallow your pride and trust God. The easiest paths are always sinful and enjoyable. That is never the path God wants for His children. He wants us to take leaps of faith so that He can show us what He is capable of rather than giving credit to us.

Usually, it is very difficult to take a bone from a dog. But if you give a dog a juicy steak, it is a whole lot easier to take the bone away. The bone is like a trusting your own understanding of situations and the steak is like the rewards for faithfulness. Which one are you chewing on now? Is it time to switch?

How To Live Like Jesus

How To Live Like Jesus

Bible Verse: John 3:16 (NKJV)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Reflection and Challenge

For years I have wondered why millennials have been flocking away from the church. There could be several reasons but I want to cover one possibility. Purposefully or not many Christians are known for what we are opposed to. In so many words, we don’t love as Jesus loved.

A perfect contrast would be comparing the account of Jesus and the woman in adultery and how many Christians act today. Many Christians act like they would have allowed her to be stoned because she was an adulterer. Jesus did not do that though. He had compassion and loved her, in spite of her sin. Jesus saw her as a soul that needed saving, rather than a soul that needed punishing. 

*Read here: What did Jesus really mean when He said, “Do not judge?”

It is true that God will punish all sinners that refuse to repent but that is God’s department. You were as guilty as they were. Where is your humility?

Jesus did not scare people into getting saved; He just loved them in spite of their sin. I realize that I am preaching to myself. Sometimes I have been known for being judgmental. In personal relationships that is not a good thing. Many Christians have a tendency to focus on other’s sin and forget to mention God’s love and forgiveness. Jesus did not forget. 

In John 8:11, Jesus offered forgiveness while reminding the woman to turn away from sin; a perfect mixture of the need of repentance and loving her unconditionally. Are you known for harping on sin and personal standards, or showing God’s unconditional love? By the way, every Christian is hypocritical because we are not able to do this perfectly.

This mindset of loving unconditionally is also true for your relationships with other believers. Christians segregate from each other based on personal standards and assume the other is not saved. Romans 14 allows all Christians to have different practices. This is why unspoken church rules are so wrong because God has blessed us with liberty to serve God in every area of our life as God leads. 

The personal standards of a larger group are beside the point. You are responsible for yourself. They can get over themselves. That attitude assumes either carnality or being unsaved if the list of rules is not followed. I have run into this problem all of my life.

I know of people that reject fundamentalism and Baptist churches over this very problem. It is a shame. These churches are filled with born again Christians that have never learned how to love other believers unconditionally.

Nobody can be glorified if they are still alive, including you. All Christians are to become more sanctified until we all get to heaven. This implies that you need to grow as well. Stop being offended by other’s choices. Why not worry about your own poor choices? Can you accept other Christian’s right where they are at in their spiritual walk? That is God’s love for us.

*Learn to create your very own website for free and with ease by checking out my number 1 recommended online platform. 

Why is Satan winning?

Why is Satan winning?

Bible Verse: John 8:32 (KJV)

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Reflection and Challenge

There is an old adage that essentially states that if you say a lie loud enough and long enough, eventually it will be believed. The problem is that it results in large populations being controlled by the liar. This is also called bondage of the mind. Satan has been spreading lies since the beginning as John 8:44 says.

This only reminds me of the numerous lies being spread in society today. Lies in public schools like evolution and socialism. Hollywood pushes hate toward Jesus and bad philosophies. The UN is pushing hate for Israel and global warming. The media pushes Amnesty for illegals and Abortion on demand. Even churches promote lies like prosperity gospel and good works will get you to heaven. Satan is spewing lies everywhere. How do we stop these lies from corrupting us and others?

A lie that is said repeatedly will eventually be believed

Jesus answered that question in John 8:32. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” What is the truth? Glad you asked. In John 14:6, Jesus said He is the truth. In John 17:17 Jesus also said the Bible is God’s truth. The Bible is Jesus’ words to humanity. So how will the Bible set us free from lies?

It’s simple. Know the truth. Think about this. Do YOU have biblical reasons why ALL those lies mentioned above are wrong? Don’t just say that you don’t believe them but don’t have a reason why. How do we push back the lies without knowing why? How do we push back relativity that permeates the minds of Americans? “I say so” does not cut it anymore. How well do you know the truth? Can you see now why Satan is winning? 

What is truth?

Never Ever Doubt God’s Power

Never Ever Doubt God’s Power

Bible Verse: Revelation 17:17 (KJV)

“For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”

Reflection and Challenge

God’s will is always done. Many Christians believe that people can thwart God’s will. That’s like saying we can lose our salvation because we sinned one time. We cannot thwart God’s power. He is in control.

It is true that Christians should be the preserving agent in the world today, but due to the fact that all people are sinners, our sinful nature will result in the destruction of humanity on earth. God must punish the world for rejecting Him.

Then the question is: “How will this come about?” Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus never changes. God’s methods are always the same. God’s will always happen even if the world thinks their actions benefit them. It is not possible that 10 godly kings would give their power to the Anti-Christ.

Revelation 17:17 definitely says, “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill HIS will, and to agree.” They won’t even do it hesitantly. They will agree that it’s in their best interest. They think giving their power to the Anti-Christ will only hasten the end of the Great Tribulation and their destruction.

There is no beneficial reason to resist God’s will. It only ever leads to pain and suffering for you. God only promises a good ending for those that love Him and keep His commandments. If He does not have your heart, you can’t keep His word.

We all have a choice because we are responsible to suffer the consequences, but that does not mean God’s hands are tied. God always reserves the right to respond. Shouldn’t we all just follow His revealed will found in the Bible rather than hurting ourselves with sin? The choice is yours. How do you respond to His word?

Condemning Immorality In The Church

Condemning Immorality In The Church

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 5:6 & 11 (NKJV)

“Your glorifying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such person.”

Reflection and Challenge

Ouch! Sin infests everything. Like leaven, sin seeps into everything. The church is supposed to be without sin, but even one sin in one person has the tendency to grow throughout.

The same is true in a church. As one person excuses sin, more and more people will excuse it. It sounds to me like God hates sin in the church and wants us to get rid of that sin.

In those days the individuals whom you ate with was significant. Quite often church members ate together. Thus, if you were removed from fellowship and eating together, it resulted in a major barrier in the relationship.

1 Corinthians 5:11 stated several of the sins that God required a break in fellowship. Some people will not like this list at all but it does not matter what people say. It only matters what God’s word says. I have heard that 65% of people today believe cohabitation is acceptable.

That is scary because that 65% must include many Christians. That is, in spite of verses like this that say sex before marriage and cohabiting is a sin, which should not happen to anyone that claims to be a Christian. God commands they should be removed from fellowship. It is a shame that Christians accept any sin. Do you practice or accept this sin? You shouldn’t according to God.

*Related Article: Church Discipline: Correcting Another Believer

This list also included being covetous. Actually, every person commits this sin sometime in their life. The root word implies lust for or a very strong desire for something anything other than God. If we seriously examine ourselves, we all have those things that we set as a priority over pursuing God. These things take our attention off of God. That is sin in God’s eyes. Have you repented for that sin?

Idolatry is the worship of other things. Those things take the place of God in our lives. And yes, it is true, Christians can worship God at church but worship other things the rest of the time. Is God your highest priority all of the time? Or do you focus on other things as well?

Remember, God said Christians that commit these sins should be removed from the fellowship. Do you have pet gods? This includes revilers, drunkards, and extortioners. God does not want sin at your church. It is true you can hide your sin from other believers, that does not mean you can hide it from God. As we examine ourselves is there anything in your life that has not been confessed?

Here is a clip from Paul Washer’s sermon on why Christians must abstain from sexual immorality. He goes on to say that true love for God and for others will lead to sexual purity.

Night And Day Fellowship

Night And Day Fellowship

Bible Verse: Acts 20:31 (NKJV)

“Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn every one night and day with tears.”

Reflection and Challenge

Over the years I have come to the realization that as Christians, we are part of God’s family. Thus other believers are our brothers and sisters. In one way or another, we have a relationship with every other believer that we come in contact with.

Like any other relationship, it takes work. The Bible is described as spiritual food from God to help us grow into mature Christians. Doesn’t that imply we need a daily personal relationship with God? Do you spend time with God regularly?

But on top of that, since we all have a spiritual relationship with all other believers, how much work do you put into those relationships? God has given us a purpose or a ministry. Pastors are not the only ministers. You are too. Many people think that their ministry should only need to be one, two, or three times a week.

Acts 20:31 says otherwise. Paul was teaching these believers every day for three years. That is a real relationship. Spending time together fellowshipping and encouraging one another.

So many people desire to have a church like it was in the first century but then won’t put the effort required for it. These believers did not go to a church building every day. Paul was going to their homes every day to encourage them. Spending time together.

Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Actually, that is the biblical definition of church. Matthew 18:17 even uses the word church to describe a body of believers. Church can happen anywhere at any time.

It is true that God has given different ministries to different people, but I always wonder how many even know what their ministries are. Do you know what your ministries are?

Paul shed tears over these believers. He put a lot of effort to warn them against false doctrine and to teach them what is right. He was personally invested in the lives of these believers. It is completely shameful that pastors and the congregation put zero effort in their relationships from Monday to Saturday.

Why? Is it possible that we have a very SELF-centered materialistic life that we forget about the relationships that truly matter – our brothers and sisters in the Lord? Why don’t we love each other enough to care about the spiritual health of other Christians? Not just to browbeat them with a Bible over sin, but genuine concern for their spiritual well being.

Do you have a Night and Day relationship with other believers?