Healing at the Gate Called Beautiful

Like the lame man
At the gate called Beautiful
I too, have been raised up by Christ Jesus the Nazarene

Unlike the lame man
My healing was not physical
Instead it was far greater, a healing of my soul

I went from being spiritually dead, dead to God
Dead in my trespasses and sins
Unable to even look upon or respond to Him of my own accord

He raised me up and forgave my sins
Now I am alive to God
May I praise and glorify God for His marvelous work

With feet and ankles made strong by the LORD
May I walk just as I was raised
By the power of Christ

May those who recognize me
As the woman dead in her sins at the gate called Beautiful
Be amazement at what Christ can do

By Susan Wachtel
September 28, 2017

For those of us who have family and friends who don’t yet know the LORD, persevere in prayer for their salvation.

 

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Is Hell a Laughing Matter

One of the emails I receive on a regular basis is from One Million Moms, a group that notifies mothers and families when there is immorality, profanity, vulgarity, and violence promoted in the media.  They pass along links so people can contact companies to let them know their concerns.

Today, I received a notification that TGI Friday’s has a new ad campaign in which use profanity in their advertisement to promote appetizers customers can get during their happy hour.

I wasn’t able to send an email communication to Friday’s via their website.  So instead, I left a message on TGI Friday’s Facebook page.  I let Friday’s know that I didn’t appreciate their use of profanity in their commercial.  I asked them to please pull the ad and said that if didn’t we would no longer be customers.

A short time later, a man left a rude response and called me a hypocrite.  He had gone to my blog and found instances in which I had used the word hell.  My first inclination was to leave a comment back with a disparaging remark.  Am I a sinner and a hypocrite…yes I am.  But I’m not a hypocrite about this.

Obviously, the person who left the comment calling me a hypocrite didn’t’ seem to be exercising discernment.  He didn’t acknowledge the difference between a company using profanity to promote their company and someone writing about hell to warn people about the realities of hell.

Am I just being uptight?  Should I just loosen up and not worry when companies use profanity and make a joke out or the word hell?

Well I could do that.  I’m sure there’s been times when I’ve buried my head in the sand and ignored something that wasn’t right.

But on this one…on a company casually using the word hell to promote happy hour…I’m glad I spoke up because I know about the realities of hell.

Hell is a real place.  It’s a place of eternal punishment, suffering and torment for those who refuse to acknowledge and repent of the sins.  Hell is for those who reject Christ Jesus.  Or for those who think they can get into heaven based on their good deeds.  They know they are not perfect…but they are better than the next guy.  Hell will have people who didn’t believe in God.  Those who didn’t realize that they will have to give an account for their lives.

So what does the Bible say about hell?

  • But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
  • They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might. 2 Thessalonians 1:9
  • Hell is a place where the fire never goes out. Mark 9:43
  • They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:42
  • ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ Mark 9:8

Hell is a real place.  A place unimaginable suffering that does not end.  I have loved ones who were sinners just like me.  But they died rejecting Christ or didn’t believe in God and recognize they will give an account for their lives.

When you know the realities of hell…it’s not a joke.  It’s not something to take casually.  It’s not a laughing matter.

I’m a sinner…there is nothing good in me that deserves to go heaven.  I don’t deserve forgiveness.  I can’t be good enough to earn my way to heaven.  But through grace of God alone, I have been forgiven of my sin because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross.

That promise of forgiveness is available for all who put their faith and trust in Christ Jesus the Lord.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. – John 3:16-18

If you would like to know what the Bible says about hell and about how you can be forgiven of your sin…click on this link and read these Scriptures:

What the Bible says about hell.

 

Ray Comfort – Hell’s Best Kept Secret

 

Are You Kidding Me – Bad Theology Does Not Bring Comfort

Recently I read a quote by Henry Scott Holland that was shared and meant to bring comfort to the family and friends following the death of their loved one.

As I read it, I was shocked at the incredibly bad theology written by a Regius Professor of Divinity from the University of Oxford.  It’s filled with lies that come from the pit of hell.

Death is nothing at all.  It does not count.  I have only slipped away into the next room.  Nothing has happened.  Everything remains exactly as it was.  I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.  Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.  Call me by the old familiar name.  Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.  Put no difference into your tone.  Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.  Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.  Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.  There is absolute and unbroken continuity.  What is this death but a negligible accident?  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.  All is well.  Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.  One brief moment and all will be as it was before.  How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

First and foremost, only those people who have repented of their sin and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have the assurance of heaven.  Only those family and friends who have done the same will have the hope of heaven and the promise that they will one day see their loved one again in heaven.

All human beings will continue to exist after death.  Some in heaven because they have been saved by grace through faith, not of themselves, but it was a gift of God lest we boast.  Tragically far too many will find themselves in hell after living a life of rejecting God or thinking they will enter heaven based on their own good works.

All is not well for the loved one who died without Christ.  They are hurting very much and will continue to do so eternity.

Death is huge…it is a confirmation of Genesis 3 when sin entered the world and the consequences that all humanity will face entered in- death!

Anyone who has lost a loved one to death knows it is something huge.  Death brings to a close any chance of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Men are appointed to death once and then they will face judgment.  For those who are in Christ they are absent from the body, present with the Lord.  For those who did not receive Christ they are awaiting judgment and face eternity in hell.

Following death our relationships change forever, even for those who grieve with hope in Christ.  Ask a mother who lost a child, or a husband who lost his wife.  There is grief and at times our sorrow may be overwhelming.  It’s not wrong to feel sorrow in the face of death.  Our relationships will change after we die.  What our relationships are today is not what they will be or remain once we die.  For those who know Christ and are in heaven, relationships will continue, but they will be different.

Praise God for the wonderful memories you may have of a loved one who has died.  Those memories are a gift from God.  You may weep, grieve and feel sorrow and that’s okay because you have experienced a great loss.  The Lord desires to comfort you in your sorrow.  Lord willing, you will once again you will find joy and happiness, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have an ache in your heart when you remember your loved one who has died.  Life does go on, but you can’t help but think of all the things your loved one will not be there to see.

In his writing Mr. Holland erred when he said, “pray for me.”  I can assure you that you do not need to pray for person who has already died.  If they are a Christian they are in heaven with the Lord – absent from the body, present with the Lord.  If they are an unbeliever, they are awaiting judgment and hell.  Your prayers will not change their eternal destiny one iota once a person dies.  Save your prayers for the living, for the family and friends who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

The thing that troubles me the most about this writing by Henry Scott Holland is that he did not share the Gospel message of salvation through Christ alone.  He gave the illusion that death is nothing, when in fact the knowledge that we will all die ought to grab our attention and cause us to ask where will I go when I die.

Except for the Christian who is alive when the rapture occurs, we will all die…Christians and unbelievers alike.  However, our destinies are different.

For the person who has repented of their sin and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ they will be in heaven forever.  A place of no more sorrow, sickness, death, tears or sin.  For the unbeliever they are facing judgment and an eternity in hell forever.  It’s a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, punishment and eternal torment.

If I really thought that death was nothing I would have no reason to share the Gospel message.  I wouldn’t need to.  But death is indeed something huge…it’s a game changer and people’s eternal destiny is fixed once they die.  Until then, we need to share the Gospel message of salvation in Christ alone

I can’t help but believe that satan is quite pleased with Mr. Holland’s writing.  It’s puts people minds at ease and comforts troubled emotions that people may feel in the wake of someone’s death.  It does nothing to warn about the reality of hell and makes death seem like it’s nothing significant.

Henry Scott Holland is very wrong indeed.  Bad theology brings no lasting comfort in the face of death.

A great resource to better understand about death and our eternal destiny is Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.  Click on the link below to read this book.

Hell’s Best Kept Secret – Ray Comfort

Thoughts and Reflections on the Supreme Court’s Ruling

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Last Friday, June 26th, when the Supreme Court’s ruling was announced approving of homosexual marriage we were away on vacation and I wasn’t able to write anything.  That’s probably a good thing because I would have been reacting from the emotions of the moment rather than thinking things through.

Since that day I’ve had time to reflect and want to share some thoughts.

When I heard the announcement my heart was grieved.  I had been praying that the Lord in His mercy would spare the United States from going down that road of approving sin which God has clearly condemned in His perfect and inerrant Word.  Obviously the Lord’s answer was no and the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5 to 4 in favor of homosexual marriage.

Where was God when this happened?  He was on His throne and continues to sovereignly rule and reign over all creation and sinful man.  His Son, the Lord Christ Jesus, is seated at the Father’s right hand ruling and reigning.  This is all under His sovereign control and perfect plan that He is working out.

God has plainly revealed in His Word that this world will continue in its downward spiral of sin.  This ruling just gives evidence to that.  Reading Romans 1:18-32 is like reading today’s headline news.  Repeatedly the Lord reveals that He will give man over to his sin.  Why?  Because man has suppressed the truth in unrighteousness and denies God who has clearly revealed Himself in creation.  We do not glorify God.  As a result, our thinking has become futile and our foolish hearts are darkened.

On June 26, 2015, the United States of America clearly abandoned its roots that were once based on Judeo Christian values.

The five justices, not only ruled in favor of sin which God has condemned, they stepped over the line and went from interpreting the Constitution to making law.  If that’s what they want to do, they are in the wrong branch of government.  They should leave the court system and run for office.

So why go the route of the court to change the law?  Well…because 37 States have passed laws limiting marriage as being between one man and one woman or supporting the Defense of Marriage Act.  Going the legal route wasn’t working in favor of homosexual marriage advocates.

Where is this going to stop?  Will the courts soon be approving polygamy or family members marrying?  After all that’s marriage between consenting adults.  We are on that slippery slope and have a mind darkened by sin and corruption and it’s going to get a lot worse.

What’s so wrong about homosexuality?

God has declared it sinful in His perfect and inerrant Word, the Bible.  He is our Creator and He is God to whom we all will give an account.  In the Bible He declares what is sinful and right and wrong.  He has also declared adultery and all sex outside of marriage as sinful.

God ordained marriage as being between one man and one woman.  He blessed them and commanded that they go forth, be fruitful and multiply.  Apart from adoption or science homosexual couples cannot carry out that command.  Physically men and women are complimentary and are able to procreate.  Having two mommies or two daddies does not make up for not having a dad or mom.  The Lord designed family to be a father, mother and children.

I was very troubled by President Barack Obama’s action of bathing the White House in the rainbow colors of the gay liberation movement.  That was very divisive and beneath the dignity of the President of the United States of America.  President Obama is the President over all Americans, not just people who share his view on homosexual marriage.  He should be uniting not dividing.  There was a day when the President said that he believed that marriage was between one man and one woman.  I guess over time his beliefs changed or he didn’t really believe what he originally said.

This ruling is edging us ever closer to silencing those who disagree with homosexual marriage; who in keeping with the Bible call it sin.  We are a step away from forcing pastors, ministers, priests and clergy to either approve of and marry homosexual couples or face legal consequences including fines, imprisonment and loss of non-profit organization status.  Soon saying homosexuality is sin will be considered a hate crime.  We will be losing our Constitutional rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

All people, including homosexuals, are human beings created in God’s image and as a result should be treated with kindness, goodness, dignity and respect.  Their sin is no worse than mine is.  Homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin.  God has promised in His Word that if we repent of our sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we will be forgiven of our sin and spend eternity in heaven with Him.  If we fail to do that God has warned that we will be condemned of our sin and go to hell.

At the end of the day, the worst thing about the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of homosexual marriage will be the result of fewer people sharing the lifesaving message of the Gospel, that there is forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ.  A broken and contrite heart God will not despise.

People don’t want to be thought of as a bigot or hater…so they may shut up and not share the Gospel.

Recently I watched a video that my friend Ken Kish shared which showed Penn Jillette, from Penn and Teller fame, talking about someone sharing the Gospel.  In the video Penn, an avowed atheist said that he respects Christians who share the Gospel even though he doesn’t believe it.  I won’t forget something he said, “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?  How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

Is my failure to share the Gospel with fellow sinners hatred?  At the very least it’s caring more about me and my comfort over their eternal salvation.

May Christians be men and women of courage and obedient to the Lord and share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with everyone: family and friends, neighbors and co-workers, heterosexuals and homosexuals.  For we are all sinners in need of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.

I know that there’s a lot of good commentary out there on the Supreme Court’s ruling and I would encourage you to read and stay informed.  I would also like to direct you to the Hillsdale College website where you can sign-up to take their course on the US Constitution for free.  With the upcoming elections and charged political landscape we owe it to ourselves and fellow citizens to be informed and know what rights, responsibilities and liberties we’ve been granted in our Constitution.  Be informed and select candidates who are in keeping with your morals and values.

Solace in the Face of Evil and Questions for Followers of Islam

Yesterday, when I heard the news of the latest atrocity committed by ISIS, aka the Islamic State, I felt a mix of emotions: horror, anger, rage, grief and profound sadness.  How can a rational human being understand the utter depravity of the human heart that would lead them to burn a living human being to death?  A person created in God’s image.

I will not watch these awful, obscene videos that Islamic monsters have put out.  I don’t want the images seared in my mind.  Yet, how can I not ponder and imagine what the Jordanian pilot suffered?

As I tried to sleep the one solace that I found in the face of evil is the promise and assurance from God’s word that He will punish evildoers.  The Jordanian pilot suffered unimaginably in the last moments of his life.  But I am comforted by the thought that the unrepentant evildoers will be punished by God who is sovereign, just and righteous.  Vengeance is God’s and He will repay.  He will do so in His perfect timing.

The unrepentant sinner’s suffering will begin the moment they die.  They will be punished, not for a few years, not for a lifetime, but for eternity.  Forever…it will never stop.  Ever!  He will be in a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  In a place where the fire is not quenched.  In a fiery furnace he will be burned, but not consumed.  It’s a place of everlasting shame and contempt.  A place of torment, gloom and utter darkness.

I thank You God for the day of justice which will one day come…when the wicked and unrepentant sinners will be punished.

What’s equally hard for me to comprehend is that God’s desire is that sinners repent, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (even the people who have committed unimaginable atrocities).  Jesus bore their sin on the cross, He paid the penalty in full for the horrific crimes they have committed and the “little sins” that only the God knows about.  And the Father stands ready to embrace and forgive the genuine repentant sinner who comes to Him through Christ.

God’s forgiven all my sin.  While I may not have lobbed off someone’s head, I have sinned greatly against the Father.  There’s not a day that’s gone by when I haven’t sinned in thought, word or deed.  I’ve hated people and in my heart committed murder.  But in Christ Jesus, God the Father has forgiven me and He will do the same for all who repent, confess with their mouth and believe with their heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and they will be saved.

I’m left with a question that I’ve really not heard answered.  What is it going to take for decent Muslims to stand up and speak out against these awful atrocities that these monsters are doing in the name of Islam?  Why aren’t you crying out loudly against them?  Condemning their actions?  Are you afraid, afraid they are going to do the same to you?

Why aren’t you storming the talk shows and condemning ISIS and radical Islamic followers?  Why aren’t you writing to newspaper editorial pages and decrying what these people have done in the name of your religion?  Where is your voice speaking out against these atrocities that have now become an everyday event in the news?  Why aren’t you telling your friends, neighbors and co-workers that these people don’t represent your religion?  I don’t hear too many Muslim voices condemning radical Islam.  Why is that?  Why in the world don’t you loudly and publically condemn such actions?  Why don’t you rise up against them?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

I hear a lot of silence!

Don’t let evil triumph.  Speak up and speak loudly, unapologetically and bravely condemn the evil done in the name of Islam.  The time is now.

Sin’s Dark Shadow Cast Upon the New Year

Romans 1:16

I awaken to see the sun rise
On the dawning of a new year

Instead of celebrating
My heart is grieved

For sin will be politicized
Celebrated and glorified today

That which God has declared sinful
Will be paraded as something acceptable and good

That which You foretold in Your Word
Will be on display

For today I am living in
A Romans 1 kind of world

That which You have declared evil
Man has declared good

That which is good in Your sight
Has been perverted and called evil

Lord, even some in Your church
May not speak up and stand for the truth

For they fear being branded
As narrow minded, intolerant or bigoted

May I not mistake Your patience
And desire for all to come to repentance

As approval of sin
Or believe that You will not punish un-repented sin

God, You are still upon Your throne
Sovereign, Holy and Righteous

I don’t get to decide for myself what is sin
For You have clearly spoken in Your Word

When I look back and see Christ on the cross
I know what You think of sin

The sinless Son of God was crucified
As He bore my sin and the sin of all mankind

May I remember the punishment and wrath
You poured out upon Your only begotten Son

Because of His sacrifice
I have been forgiven

I have been fitted for heaven
Clothed in the righteousness of Christ

Christ paid my ransom and I have been bought back
From the slave master called sin

Lord give me a heart of compassion
For those still held captive by sin

May I warn the sinner on the broad path
That leads to destruction

Salvation is found in no other name under heaven or earth
By which man can be saved

May I remember that You stand ready to forgive
A repentant sinner who proclaims Christ as Lord

By Susan Wachtel
January 1, 2014

Romans 1:16-32
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.