Commonly, when we meet someone we have not seen for awhile, we are asked the question, "How have you been?" At times we respond to this question by saying, "God has certainly blessed us." We then proceed to enumerate our "blessings."
Recently, I had the privilege of flying with United Airlines out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In transit and out of curiosity, I began to read the in-flight magazine provided in the seat pocket. An article concerning Mardi Gras caught my eye which I found informative and revealing. Part of it reads as follows:
One feature of First Term Bible School this year has been the many questions that were asked. The desire of young people to know what the Bible says and its association with why we live the way we do is an honorable characteristic of youth growing into maturity.
One of the cardinal doctrines of the Bible is need for submission to God-ordained authority. Christian parents seek to train their children to obey without question. Their children are required to memorize Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." Children are taught that they need to learn obedience, not just because mom or dad want things done their way, but also because there will always be authorities that they need to relate to throughout life.
The Scriptures often use word pictures to help us understand the fullness of Spiritual realities. But since we do not live in the land of the Bible or the times of its writing, we may at times miss the impact of some of these illustrations.
Voluntary service is a relatively new concept in the history of man. In many cultures, it is still more or less unknown. It is an aspect of living known only to cultures operating outside the bounds of survival mode.
First patented in 1884 by Paul Nipkow in Germany, the television has become the most sought out form of medium the world over, challenged only by the recent development of the Internet. With this in mind, I asked myself the question how would Jesus view the television if it had been available in His day? Would He see it as an outlet that could have enhanced His ministry, enabling Him to preach to the masses in a more efficient and large scale way? Would He have used it to send God's message to every Jew and Gentile in all of the civilized world?
Deeply moved by a statement regarding the seriousness of hell made by his great-uncle, Philip King composed this graphic portrayal of the condition of a lost soul in eternity.
In 2004, a car accident critically injured 6-year-old Alex Malarkey. After two months he emerged from a coma, permanently paralyzed but with stories of out-of-body experiences and several trips to heaven. A few years later, in 2010, a major evangelical publisher released his story, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven: A True Story, listing Alex and his father as co-authors. The book rose quickly to the bestseller list and sold over a million copies.
There is an account of a marathon swimmer that swam across part of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Even though she swam inside a cage to ward off large fish, the crew on the accompanying boat were constantly on the lookout for the stingray fish which can give a fatal poisonous sting. This illustration gives a number of parallels to the title taken from 1Corinthians 15:56, which mentions “the sting of death is sin.” It is very true that sin does sting death to each spiritual life it is allowed to penetrate. No one has the immunity to fight off the deadly effects of sin.