Thursday, October 18, 2012


“ is appointed for man once to die and then the judgment” Hebrews 9:27
-Pastor Bill

Mortality. We live with it, it will not go away. We all are living with a clock ticking away the moments of our life. Some live well; others live poorly due to choices of their own or circumstances beyond their control. Every time you pass a cemetery, it is a reminder that life on this earth has an expiration date. 
Death comes marching, bringing with it all kinds of exits to life. We all dread the idea of disease and particularly, cancer. The “C” word strikes fear in the hearts of all. It is equated with pain and suffering and usually a long, drawn out wasting away. To those who have been told they have cancer, they respond that they have been handed a death sentence. There are sudden deaths through accidents and disasters and then there is the protracted death of some maladies.
Immortality. This is the often forgotten part of life. For every soul, there is an eternity. Immortality is also living with us daily. While the body will experience that moment of separation from the soul through whatever the cause, old age, wearing out, disease, accident, disaster, the soul lives on even after being separated or ejected from the body. The consciousness of the mind is not the same as the consciousness of the soul. The body and mind can be comatose on a table in a surgical unit and the soul can be observing or gone.
Those who say death is final and that ceasing to exist is the termination are greatly misinformed and deceived. The evidence of scripture, the teachings of Jesus, and the many testimonies of people who have died is weighty evidences to the eternal state of the human soul.
Mortality is prepared for by most people. There are the arrangements made for the funeral beforehand. The burial plots are purchased, wills have been made, financial planning has been reviewed. People are prepared to die unless an accident surprises them. It is inevitable.
Immortality is just as inevitable. Once the human soul leaves the body, it is ushered into the eternal state. The Bible says that for Christians, “to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord.” So, Christians are escorted immediately to the presence of God, heaven, re-union time with the saints and believing family. For the lost, there is an escorting of the soul to Hell to await the final judgment. The sad thing is the moment of death reveals the irreversible state that eternity will be spent in.
However, so few truly prepare for immortality. If we could only see that the days on this earth are purely ephemeral compared to the longevity of eternity, mankind would surely pay more attention to it. Surprisingly, those who have near death experiences and see Hell, tend to forget the experience in a matter of days. This is according to a doctor who has studied these experiences for years. He also stated that people who experienced heaven, always remembered the detail and never forgot.
The deception of the enemy to capture the souls of men and women for eternity in a state of lostness is profound.
Mortality is supposed to be swallowed up by immortality. Death surrenders to life. Disease is forever defeated. Eternity is a splendor of God’s glory, daily life in a pleasant, harmonious way. There will be no temptations, sin, rebellion, revolt, ugliness. Who would not want to live in this place of immortality.
Mortal means “death doomed.” Immortality means there is “no death doom.” There is nothing more hanging over our heads. There is no sword of Damocles. There is nothing lurking in the background of joy threatening an end.  Eternity is that place where death shall be no more. You cannot get sick and die. There will be no accident to take your life. There will be no curse to hinder your joy, ruin the day, hunt you down, dog your path.
Yet, for the lost, there will be no end to the suffering, the despair, the regret. It is actually hard to write of this. It is literally unfathomable to consider the lost state. The mind and soul start to grieve even thinking about it for me.
There are businesses that prosper in retirement planning, financial planning, and career directions. But, start to talk of life after the passing of the body and people quickly change the subject, walk away, or say, “I do not want to talk about that.” The most important decision of eternity is ignored, avoided, and angrily denied.
For many, they would be thrilled to live and then there is nothing more. But the Bible says that he has put eternity in their heart. Oh, the rude awakening for some and for others, the sad realization of truth that once was heard, and oh the agony of those who heard, who were taught, and refused the plan of salvation laid before them with passion from someone that loved them.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Judgment: Children

Throughout history there has been a discussion about children. God said to Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Adam said that his wife, Eve, was the mother of all living. God planned that man and woman would have a family, populate the earth, rear children for His eternity.
However, children have either been the boon or the bane of societies. Socrates complained of children in his day and Elisha had children follow him making fun of him. It did not end well for the children. Cultures have either blessed the children or ignored them or hated them.
Judgment: Children
“...I will make mere lads their princes and capricious children will rule over them.” Isaiah 3:4
-Pastor Bill

The Egyptians killed the Hebrew children. The Chinese today are limiting child birth. The Europeans are down to the place that children are an inconvenience and their birth rate is less than replacement, under one child per marriage. In China, child abduction is a growing concern since the government limits families to one child. Also, the preference is to have a boy; so the population is unbalanced with an excess of boys to girls. The ancient Spartans got to the place that the society died because there were no children.
The Bible has some clear direction regarding children. It speaks of training them, disciplining them (corporeally) as well as instructively. The Bible has strong admonitions to fathers and mothers as to their duties.
There was a saying years ago that went like this, “children are to be seen and not heard.” In some societies, children are segregated from the parents. As austere as that saying and approach is; it does bear some reflection.
Personally, I believe the word of God is the prescription for child rearing. I also know that one size does not fit all with kids. Each child provides its challenges to the parents. When a couple has a child that is quiet and calm, sleeps through the night as a baby and responds quickly to discipline, they can think that child rearing is a snap. Then comes number 2 and the child is colicky and screams and cries through the night. I have heard some parents say if they had that child first, they would have had no more.
Parenting is not easy. It takes time and loads of energy. It takes wisdom and constant attention to detail. 
But those are the very things that are lacking in so much of parenting today. So few parents are putting the energy into rearing their children and the lack of wisdom is obvious. Observing our culture, I see children running their parents. The kids have turned the parents into slaves and ATM machines. If the parent does not cough up the money, the kids are irate, yelling, complaining. The sad thing is that the parents take it. Instead of disciplining, they cajole and promise. 
We were in the restaurant the other evening. We were planning a nice evening of conversation with friends when there is this roaring sound from a table not far from us. It was not once but incessant. It was agitating, disconcerting, rude, and very loud. We looked and it was a little boy with six adult women at the table. Not one of them is stopping him, correcting him, disciplining him, telling him to be quiet. The waitress passed by and I asked her if she could do something about it? She looked at me with fear and moved on.
After this continued for a while, I got up and walked to their table and asked them if the child needed a doctor that it sounded like he was in great pain. They answered no, that he was just playing. I told them that it was very disturbing. They quieted him and left shortly thereafter. A little later a lady came to our table and shook my hand and said thank you to us. She said she was glad I did it, because she is Irish and she wanted to hurt them.
So often I watch children misbehave while their parents watch and do nothing. They are disturbing the peace, hitting someone, running around, and the parent watches as if nothing is going on. I have said many times that the parents are the ones who need disciplined.
So we have this culture that hates having kids, aborts them, but if they do have them, no one wants to raise them. The parents who want kids and want to raise them have bought into the psycho babble trash of modern child rearing that allows the kid to do anything because you might damage their ego or psyche. So we have ended up with a nation full of spoiled, indulged, rude, self-centered brats who are thankless, entitled, and out of control.
It is time for parenting to return to the Bible guidelines and bring order to the house. Children are not the rulers or the head of the house or family. The parents are to be large and in charge. Return to the norms of discipline even if means warming their backsides. This whole “time out” game is not working. I have always preferred God over Dr. Spock.