Our Fallen World

eternity

Parting from friends for any length of time is painful. But death is the most painful parting. You can look at the body of the person you loved, but you’ll never have them back, not in this lifetime.

I haven’t experienced the death of a close loved one recently, don’t get excited, but a couple of people I know have. One death has been expected for years, months, days, and finally she was taken out of her pain and confusion. The other was frightfully sudden.

Even though both were Christians and we rejoice to know they are with Christ, I can’t help but be reminded of the reason we have death, the reason it is so painful.

Death is a product of the fall. Adam and Eve chose the curse of sin, a curse that corrupted us, our flesh, our desires, our relationship with God, and even nature itself. Our bodies are corrupted and weak, and every one of us will die.

The world has been corrupted and has set itself against God and His principles. The world system is opposed to Christianity and to mortality. It becomes more and more evident every day.
Abortion is legal in nearly every country in the world, and around half of the world legalizes abortion on request, no reason required.
Euthanization is legal in Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Colombia, Japan and in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Montana.
Prostitution is now legal in the US state of Nevada.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 17 US states.
In 2010, suicide was the 10th leading cause for death in the US, someone killing themselves on average every 13.7 minutes.
Atheism, secular humanism, and post modernism are becoming more and more prominent and desirable.

I talk with friends who have nothing but complaints for the world. A boyfriend cheated. A friend lied. A girl dropped out of school. The same girl wants to commit suicide. Another friend is a jerk. Etc. But somehow they still believe that this, what they are striving after, is what will make them happy.

But let’s face it, this world is fallen and wicked. Cursed and headed to destruction. Things aren’t getting any better. And it’s just not worth holding on to.

Death just reminds me that this isn’t an illusion. This world is truly depraved in every way. That is why we can’t live for this world! What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul? Why would we put our hopes in a world that is actively pursuing its own destruction? Why would we choose a world that is ready to chew us up and spit us out? Why would we pursue treasures that can be stolen, and that moth and rust will destroy? Why not put our hopes in treasure that will last into eternity?

This life is but a vapor. You don’t know when it will end. The world and its joys will soon perish.

So if this world will only last a lifetime, at most, shouldn’t we live for eternity? We are just a dot, a pixel, on the line of eternity. What are you living for now? The dot or the line?

The Psalmist in Psalm 73 struggled with the temptation of the world. After he listed the many ways he envied the evil men in the world, he confessed, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

The steadfast love of the LORD is better than life. Psalm 63:3

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:1

In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Delight yourself in the LORD. Psalm 37:4

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared. Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good. Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life! Psalm 119:33-40

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. Matthew 5:11-12

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

“For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8

“How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!… You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure.” Saint Augustine

I suppose my point is that holding on to this world is foolishness, when soon we will be in eternity, which goes on and on.

 

In Christ,
Ellie

If you keep my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:10-11

Sin in the Life of a Christian

Continuing on the topic of God’s love–

Many people, including myself, have described God’s love as “unconditional.”

This is a great description of His love. God’s love isn’t for anything we have done or will do. It can never be earned or merited. It will not change. God’s love is a complete gift, given to the most unworthy people, and until you understand that, don’t go anywhere else.

But there is a misconception or a wrong way to understand this word “unconditional.” That would be an understanding that says, “God loves me no matter what I do, so I can do absolutely anything I want.” This view might be “backed up” by verses like, “He who began a good work in you will surely bring it to completion.” God’s love is unconditional and unchanging – so we can sin as much as we want without fear?

Let me give you a simple, blatant No!

Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

It is easy to take Pauls words in Philippians out of context: And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. But keep in mind that Paul is talking to a specific church and to the congregation as a whole. So is it applicable to us? Yes, God will complete every work He begins, but this isn’t an assurance that you will always be in God’s will—even as your sin runs wild.

The Bible is full of encouragement to “press on” and “run the race set before you.” We need to keep ourselves in the word. We need to keep ourselves in prayer. We must work out our own sanctification with fear and trembling. And we can never shrug or wink at sin, never.

If you can continue in sin without conviction, you ought to be very worried. We as Christians are dedicated to God, called to lay down our life and take up our cross. We have died to the flesh. So we cannot yield to it.

Let me clear just a few things up.

Will Christians ever sin? Of course we will. We have died to the flesh, yet we are not freed from the flesh. We will sin, we will fail, and we will never stop sinning until we reach heaven—but will we continue in sin? Will we lead a sinful life style? No. The Christian life is one of constant turning to God, constant repentance, and constant forgiveness. We cannot continue in one sin for long, God is always faithful to bring us back to Him. How long is long? Not for me to say.

What about Perseverance of the Saints? Remember that the acronym *TULIP was originally formed to counter beliefs of the Arminian church. In all simplicity, Perseverance of the Saints should never be taken as “I was saved before, I’m good.” Yes, saints will persevere, so if you are not, you need to examine your life and take it to the Lord.

What if I don’t know if I’m saved? You (and not just you) feel like you aren’t saved—so how do you know if those feelings are attacks from the flesh, or truths from God? One simple question—are they pointing to you Christ? God will always point you to Christ, so if He is, run to Him with everything that is in you. If those feelings are driving you to despair and sin? Run to Him even harder. You need Christ alone. We always need Christ. Pursue Him until you know that you are saved. This is a matter of eternal life and eternal death.

Should I go out and try harder to avoid sin? Trying harder won’t cut it. Prayer and reliance on God is our only hope. Only God can help us.

I need this reminder just as much as anyone. I have often been guilty of pointing to my salvation “It was a complete change of view! It was amazing! I have to be saved.” But an experience or a prayer is not assurance of salvation. The Fruit of the Spirit is what we are looking for.

Also, as we grow in God, He shows us our sin more and more, which is another reason we are always repenting. But we should also see growth, and God is always faithful, even when we are so faithless.

One thing I want to work on this year is being tough on myself and tender to others. I’m very bad and incredibly lazy at being tough on myself. I’d really appreciate prayer. I’m praying for you all.

In Christ,
Electric Bubbles

*
Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

Ephesians 2

And you were dead, unable to move, unable to hear, unable to respond, rotting and helpless, dead in evil and sin, the sin in which you willingly walked, chasing the course of this fading world, chasing the prince of the power of the air, the devil that is still working in the sons of disobedience.

Among them we all once lived, in the idolatrous passions of our flesh, carrying out and subject to the desires of the body and mind. And we were, when we were born, from the very beginning, by our nature, children of wrath like all the rest of mankind.

BUT the maker, keeper, King of the universe, who sees the sparrows who named every single star in every single galaxy, because he had such rich and overflowing mercy, because of his unfathomable love, he loved us! Not when we had shapened up our lives, but when we were still dead, saturated in sin, helpless to make ourselves better. He took the filthy, rotting creatures we were and make us living, moving, breathing, alive in Christ who is his perfect son.

It is by grace! And only by his amazing grace that we have been rescued. he raised us up with him and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. So that from now on, from age to age, and to all eternity, he might show us the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness toward us, in Christ Jesus.

And know for certain, it is only by grace that you are saved and cleansed and justified, grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And this, it was not, could not, could not ever be because of something you did, an effort you made, or a thought that would make God favor you. Rather, it is completely given freely. If it came from a work or good dead, then we would have cause to boast! But it is a free gift that we received, so we cannot boast in ourselves, for the glory is only God’s.

We, who were dead and made alive, are the workmanship of God, created as new creatures in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared for us, and as a result of our rescue, we can walk in those good works. Only then will our efforts be used, our work be profitable, and our lives bear fruit.

signed

-Electric Bubbles

Hello, my friends

 

The world can feel like a tunnel sometimes. There is an end, I know there is, but where is it and what will it bring? And why am I not there yet?! Why is there so many ditches where I get stuck? Why didn’t someone poke a few air holes in the ceiling? And why is this icky mud that I ran into last week still hanging on me? Why can’t I get rid of my sin? How come I grow so so painfully slow? The spiderwebs of yesterday and the rocks in my boots all tell me very plainly that I am a traveler. Have you felt like this? Have you wondered at your own horrid feelings and wicked thoughts? I’ve been saved for 20 months and five days now, shouldn’t I be farther along? especially as I’ve been raised in a wonderful church for practically my whole life? But the road is long, and tunnels can seem so dark, and maybe you’ve felt like I have.

The devil seems to be attacking, yet not how I thought he would. Funny how that happens so often. It’s not the huge battle I thought would come, the one I thought I was ready for, it’s a small nagging discontent and bitterness. It’s my own thoughts that I wasn’t prepared to fight.

In other words, I haven’t much shared my thoughts on my blog before, but I needed to say how I feel currently and I also could use prayer. I know the way out of the tunnel, but not the way to get there, if that makes sense. It’s like I know I should turn left, but not sure where to turn left, not sure where to place my foot, and how to keep my balance as I turn.

And now after my babbling, I’ll be posting more of Jonny’s story progress later on.

signed

-Electric Bubbles