by Ron Teed
Ask yourself this question, "Do I know what will happen to me when I die?"
If you don't know the answer, you'd better start looking into it because your eternal home will be determined by your response. If you keep letting it go and you die before you've been able to get yourself right with God, you will regret it throughout eternity. You see, contrary to what a lot of people like to think, with only their own opinion as their source of knowledge, all people are going to live forever. There will be a significant difference, however, regarding where and how they will live.
If you're reading this today and you're a prostitute, you need to know God loves you very much. If you're reading this today and you're an adulterer, you need to know God loves you very much. If you're reading this today and you've a history of child or spousal abuse, you need to know that God loves you very much. If you're reading this today and you're a homosexual, you need to know that God loves you very much. If you're reading this today and you've had an abortion, you need to know that God loves you very much. If you're reading this today and you're a murderer, thief, rapist, drug addict, alcoholic, child molester, liar, or if you've committed any other repulsive act, you need to know that God loves you very much.
Perhaps your transgressions aren't as serious as those above. Perhaps you know yourself to lie when it suits your purposes, or to cheat on your expense account, or to gossip about people in a manner that is hurtful to them. Well, the extent of the sin is not what matters. Whatever a person does that is in conflict with the commands and will of God separates them from a relationship with God, and that relationship can only be restored in one way.
If you've done any of the above, you must also know that God's heart is breaking because you have or are cheating yourself out of a life of joy and happiness. All of these acts ultimately lead to misery, death and an eternity in hell. However, because God loves you, He offers you a way to be forgiven of your mistakes (sin) so that He will remember them no more. God will actually no longer see you as guilty.
If you're reading this today and you're a woman who is simply sick and tired of men who feel you don't have equal status in the church, this is your opportunity to serve with those who realize that such behavior cannot be supported in the Bible and it is nothing more than an attempt by insecure men to dominate women. It is similar to the attitude of insecure men who intimidate and threaten women physically because as men they're bigger and stronger. If you find yourself in that type of situation in your church, you're in the wrong church. There is simply no room for this kind of thinking because it limits the potential of ministry that can be accomplished through God-given gifts bestowed on both men and women.
If you're a single mom or dad and are weary of going it alone, you're heavenly Father has his arms extended in welcome. Through a relationship with him, you may find peace, fellowship, and caring, and a healthy environment for your children.
If you're just single and have been longing for that perfect someone to come along, get yourself right with the one and only perfect someone, and you will find that you are far better able to have meaningful and healthy relationships with others.
Maybe you have a chemical addiction. God can and has helped many to miraculously walk away from that personal hell, producing amazing individual and family lifestyle changes.
But it may also be that God wants you to learn how to relate with others and He plans your cure and recovery to come through the help of other people. That help may come in the form of a twelve-step program, and the church is here to help you with that.
If you're an atheist, or what would be more accurate, think you're an atheist (as I once did), I challenge you to come and simply open your mind to God's Word. If you don't change your mind, that's simply your business and there's no pressure to conform.
If you've had an abortion and you're carrying around a lot of guilt, God can heal that guilt and make you whole again.
Maybe you're sexually active and have thought that will bring personal happiness and pleasure. The reality is, however, the more sex you have outside of marriage the more miserable and guilt-filled you become. You see, God designed us to enjoy sex within the marriage bond. Two people are drawn closer together and find fulfillment in one another physically and emotionally. When you have sex outside of the marriage bond, you give just a little bit of yourself away with each new person that you have sex with. When you finally get married as the majority of people do, you may only have 60% of yourself to give to the intimacy of marriage, or 40%, or maybe even less. You will, therefore, never be able to experience the same full satisfaction in marriage as someone who has saved themselves for that union.
There is a way back, with God's help, if you've already given some or much of yourself away, but it takes time, faithfulness, and a committed heart. If you are in a sexually active relationship right now or if you are living with someone to whom you are not married, end that situation today. Stop giving yourself away sexually, and if you're living together decide which of you is going to move out. You can then begin putting yourself back together emotionally.
Our current market-driven culture dictates that women and even young girls dress sensually today, much to the delight of men and boys. I have to believe that especially the young girls do so thinking that it makes them look older and that it will also make them attractive to boys and therefore more popular. I also believe they think that it will lead to a lasting long term relationship with Mr. Right. It's time to look the truth straight in the eye. Boys and men love to see a woman scantily clad. It arouses them, not because it makes her desirable for a permanent relationship, but because it arouses their sexual lust. If that girl gets involved with a boy because of that attraction, or even if it's an adult woman with an adult man, the male will often use the female sexually until he gets bored with her or until he's attracted by someone he finds more sexually appealing. The girl or woman is then left broken and bitter and all too frequently not any smarter, and allows herself to get in the same kind of relationship with someone else and the vicious cycle continues.
If you want to find a guy who will love you for who you are, don't show him what you've got physically, and see if he sticks around. If he does, he's worth working on a long term relationship with. If he doesn't, give thanks that he left. This same basic advice applies to the guys as well. There are a lot of girls and women who will try to get you to commit to an emotional relationship by giving themselves to you freely, hoping such commitment on their part will lock you in. If you sense that happening, get away as fast as you can. It may be tempting to get a few moments of sexual satisfaction, but you'll pay dearly in shame and guilt.
Abstinence is an abandoned discipline today and its effect shows up in rising divorce rates. You can take it to the bank that early and frequent sexual activity will result in ultimate misery and perhaps social diseases that you'll be stuck with for a long time, perhaps for life, and perhaps cost you your life. In addition you don't want to marry a person who has slept with 10, 20, or even more partners. The church should be active in such counseling and helping those who are struggling with the problem.
Now let's consider homosexuality. It is not a normal alternative lifestyle. It involves less than two percent of the population. It's frightening that our country is promoting it as such, for no other reason than to be politically correct and demonstrate tolerance for the attitudes and lifestyle preferences of others. Many young people are being influenced to experiment with it because someone tells them its only another way to get sexual satisfaction, when in reality it leads to a life of painful depravity. Anyone with any intelligence whatsoever should be aware that there are good decisions and bad decisions in life, and bad decisions are not good to make.
If you're gay, God will tell you clearly in his Word that he will not accept that lifestyle, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love you. He encourages you to bring your lifestyle to him and allow him to help you break away in time. He will provide for your every need. That is His promise.