Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Should This Christian Care?

We'll answer for the Christian to the left in a moment. But first, you ought to know this post is a follow-up to an incendiary charge I made last week. Namely, if someone calls themselves a Christian, and yet holds such an indifferent disposition about the direction our present world is headed in they have not even begun to understand what those in Antioch meant who coined the term "Christian." This disposition of indifference is often hinted at when someone says, "The world's going to Hell, thank God I'm not going to be around to see it." Or for the more sanctimonious, "I'm outa' here, Jesus could come back at any moment" I don't take issue with the biblical fact that Jesus is coming back. What I do take issue with is for any Christian to resign themselves to such a cold, callus & compassionless response to the lost condition of our world. Hear me clearly, I am not saying that a Christian should't be cold, I am saying that someone this cold is not a Christian, and. Rather, they are the reason our world is so cold at the very mention of the word "Christian." Ouch! I'm obnoxious enough to have my own talk radio show.

All of us as Americans are lurching dangerously close to falling into this category. So I must state that what I am saying is not so much a rebuke as it is a confession. We hear news items everyday that speak of tragedy: the cyclone in Myanmar, the recent earthquake in China, the flooding of the Midwest, etc. We hear these items ad nauseum. Pretty soon, we hear "25,000 killed" one second and are ordering our spouse "pass the bowl of peanuts" the very next second. we are conditioned like pavlovian dogs to be indifferent when most of what we hear has no affect on our day to day lives.

This may sound innocuous to you. But I'm going to share some biblical texts that will hopefully rouse us to the realization that to view the world as an armchair spectator is not an option for the child of God.

I'm currently teaching verse by verse through the book of Romans and have learned a lot from this book. I used to think that the hardest passages to teach would be the ones dealing with election in chapters 9. But now I've found that ironically, the hardest text of all is in Romans 8; the chapter that many point to as the most encouraging chapter in all the Bible.

This week, I examined Romans 8:16-18, whih says: "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

Notice how difficult v.17 is. Paul does not say that suffering is a sad misfortune that most Christians should never have to experience. He doesn't present God as the pansy parent who sues the school because his kid got a scrape on the playground. He gives us this black & white, conditional statement, "we are fellow heirs with Christ" . . . "If we suffer with him" (KJV). Stating it conversely we could also say, "If we do not suffer with Christ, we have no assurance that we are joint-heirs with Christ." That is a bold assertion. It is important to note that Paul does not present suffering as a precondition for salvation. Instead, we should see it as the inevitable fruit of salvation. It is the same as saying, "We do not perform good works to be saved; we perform good works because we are saved."

Paul is taking it for granted that if you are a Christian, you will suffer persecution. It's as simple as that. He corroborates this idea in many places. In particular, II Timothy 3:12, which says, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

The disheartening thing about Romans 8:17 is that it doesn't even register with most of us. We don't even know what suffering is. We may be led to think that if we got cut off in traffic today, or if we had to pay $4.35 a gallon for gas, wer'e somehow suffering with Christ. But most of us who are the sad victims of pseudo suburban suffering don't even know what Paul is talking about.

Let me give you a brief timeline of events that have already taken place in 2008 to show that many Christians alive today are all too aware of what Paul means by suffering "with Him":

-February 17, a pastor named Neil Edirisinghe, of the House Church Foundation, was gunned down and killed by two assailants outside his home in Ampara, Sri Lanka.vPastor Edirisinghe was engaged in the Lord’s ministry in Ampara for many years. The attackers also shot his wife in the stomach. At last report, she was in the hospital in critical condition. Their 2-year-old son who received a minor injury in the attack is also suffering from trauma.

-February 28
, Christians in Iraq have called for prayer after gunmen kidnapped Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, on February 28. Three Christians were shot and killed during the kidnapping.

-March 18, Laotian officials arrested 15 Hmong Christian families in
Bokeo district, Laos. According to Compass Direct News, the arrests occurred a day
before a court sentenced nine Hmong church leaders to 15 years in prison
for ‘conducting Christian ministry and meetings that had grown beyond acceptable
levels for Communist officials.’

Compass reported, “The day before the sentencing, Laotian authorities arrived in
Bai Sai Janrern village in Bokeo district with six trucks in which they hauled away
eight Christian families. Authorities also arrested at least seven families from
Fai village three miles away.” The arrested families make up a total of 58 Hmong

-April 13, China Aid Association reports that the Chinese Communist government recently launched a strategic campaign against house churches in Xinjiang
Autonomous Region. 46 Christians were arrested by Public Security Bureau (PSB)
officials on April 13, during a Bible class and worship service in Kashi city,
Xinjiang province.

-April 15, Pastor Vic Vicera, his wife, Beth; and another Pastor were shot at when an unknown assailant stormed Pastor Vicera’s home in Mindanao, Philippines. Pastor Vic had four bullet wounds to the body and was killed. Pastor Vic got four gunshots, two at the upper part of the knees that went through his navel and two shots to the lower part of his knees, the bullets remained in his stomach. Beth, his wife, got two gunshots, one in her palm and one in her leg. Pastor Saturnino got one shot in his leg; the bullet went through his leg.” Pastor Vic was killed, and Beth and Saturnino are being treated by doctors.

-June 17, You have probably wondered who this man is that's pictured above. His name is Rachid Muhammad Essaghir, who has already been convicted of blasphemy and evangelism in two separate cases this year. Essaghir is an Algerian Christian who recently went on trial in west Algeria for a third time tomorrow, again for evangelism. An evangelist and church elder for a small community of Muslim converts to Christianity in Tiaret, Essaghir believes that local police have targeted him for his religious work. Police stopped Essaghir and another Christian in the vicinity of Tissemsilt in June 2007 and discovered a box of Christian books in their car. The two men said they were transporting the literature from one church to another. Under Ordinance 06-03 passed in February 2006, Algerians can be fined up to 1 million dinars (US$16,405) and sentenced to five years in prison for printing, storing or distributing materials intended to convert Muslims away from Islam.

(I encourage you to learn more about how Christians all over the world are living up to the words of Paul. Some good sources are: www.persecution.com which is the official website for The Voice of the Martyrs. You can also go to: www.compassdirect.org)

If you continue to read stories just like these, which are popping up every day dealing with persecution in most parts of the world, at least you can begin to realize that not everybody has this idea that we should just keep our mouths shut and let the world die in their sins so we can be at least be peace with the world. The Christians we have just read about are often drug away from their homes for so much as possessing a Bible; or as a recent incident in Iran indicates, possessing a Christian music cd. The question is: why are they suffering? In short, these Christians were guilty of having their mouths open when the Word of God was a death sentence. We are guilty of having our mouths shut when speaking the Word of God might make you the joke in one of Bill Maher's endless rants. The two are hardly comparable and still the sad thing is that many Christians are bold in the face of death when many others cower in the face of laughs. We have to ask, "Who is our God?" Who are we out to please; man or God. Paul says that if our aim is to please men, we should not call ourselves the servant of God (Galatians 1:10).

Think about this; If the Christians mentioned above were concerned more about their own creaturely comforts than they were the fate of a lost world, do you think for a second that they would be so stupid as to identify with Christ?

It is obvious that when they read Romans 8:18, they see a vision of something far greater than any comfort this world could ever offer. It is the vision that Paul had when he wrote, "I reckon (reason) that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us" (v.18). These suffering Christians are able to care for a lost world because they have the leverage to reach down to pick up one who is drowning. They have he leverage to reach down and lift someone else up because something far greater is holding them up. It is the hope of glory they will one day lay hold of when they see Christ face-to-face (Colossians 3:1-4, I John 3:1-4).

I have to come back and develop this amazing text in Romans 8 some more tomorrow. But it is of great importance to begin to think about Paul's words. How can Paul assume as he does in Romans 8:17 that one of the most sure evidences of being a child of God is suffering? Do not be so deluded as to think that this idea of suffering for Christ is a relic from the ancient past. There are many Christians today that care about the direction our world is headed in; Christians that prove they are children of God because they care enough to say with Paul, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (II Corinthians 5:11); Christians that can't help but speak of an awesome God even when talk of such a God is illegal, even when it is in the face of death.

Friday, June 20, 2008

If Dad is Dead, Who Will Take His Place?

If dad is out of the family portrait, it won't be long before the entire family disappears too. At least that is what studies are showing. More than half of all male and female scientists surveyed are childless, and I'm sure they're hopeful that someone out there is mature enough to raise the next generation. But we must ask, who will take their place while they're busy at the lab?

For a society to maintain its existing population, it has to have a birthrate of 2.1 children per couple. The extra fraction (0.1) is to compensate for infant mortality. With the near complete elision of family values, particularly the traditional traditional role of an involved father, the birthrates in every Western European nation have plunged drastically. The Italian birthrate fell below 1.5 as early as 1984. By now, it has probably fell below the 1.28, which was the last figure given. Germany is at 1.3, and in communities where there are no immigrants it is often below 1.0, less than half replacement rate. Spain is also at 1.2 (figures taken from Phillip Jenkins, God's Continent, Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis). To the East, in Russia, it is 1.14. One would think that Vladimir Putin would have made headlines like a corduroy pillow several years back when he offered women more than a year's salary in Ruples for having a second child. Surprisingly, this hasn't had any affect at all. In Latvia, the number of people under the age of 18 has been cut by 29% in just fourteen years, shrinking the overall population by more than 500,000 during the same time.

Inese Slesere, member of the Latvian Parliament, gives us a well-thought diagnosis of what has caused Europe's empty cradle crisis. She has said that the precipitous drop in birthrates stems from a "radically individualistic philosophy" that diminishes "virtue, character, and respect for others" within society. The result is what she calls a "culture of rejection and death" where "divorce, abortions, cohabitation, single-parent households, and out-of-wedlock births", often unwelcome births are commonplace.

So what will be the result of the birth-dearth, or what Charles Colson calls the "Demographic Winter?" If you're an Environmentalist, you're probably thrilled by such figures. Less people to suck up all the world's precious resources; expendible people vs. precious resources.

But Europe, along with no civilization ever recorded in history has had the luxury of dying peacefully without the threat of greedy neighbors. There is such a culture, newly arrived in Europe, which is already licking its chops, greedily anticipating the inheritance that is theirs just as soon as the current inhabitants keel over & kick the bucket.

I'm sure you know where this discussion is going after seeing the crescent superimposed atop the Eifel Towel. That culture is Islam. Let's compare their growth stats side-by-side with their European neighbors; neighbors by the way, who are literally next door neighbors. The average birthrate in all of Europe hovers just above 1.3, but when the Muslim immigrant population is singled out and taken alone, they are reproducing at a rate of more than 5.0 in some regions.

National Review is already advertising a "Farewell Europe" cruise as early as 2010 to enjoy European culture before Europe is veiled to be refurbished as Eurabia. The researcher, Phillip Jenkins notes, "It is almost too easy to find convenient images of the decay of Christianity,and the growth of Islam. Any traveler in modern European cities has noticed the new mosquess, the abondoned and secularized churches, some transformed into museums. In the words of former film star Brigitte Bardot . . . 'From year to year, we see mosques sprout up pretty much everywhere in France, while church bells are becoming silent because of the lack of priests."

Men who are not Christian at all may not bemoan the death of Christianity in Europe, and increasingly in the United States, which as Francis Schaeffer once pointed out, is thirty-five years behind the trends of Europe as a general rule. But listen to what Bruce Bawer, by no means a Christian, says about this crisis, "When Christian faith had departed" from Europe "it had taken with it a sense of ultimate meaning and purpose and left the continent vulnerable to conquest by people with deeper faith and stronger convictions."

You can take away an unforgettable principle from Bawer's statement: That is that history has never been ruled by majorities (A good indication of this is that the latest polls in California show that the majority of the population is against gay marriage). History, as J. Rousas Rushdoony once quipped, "has never been ruled by majorities, but always by minorities who stand unconditionally on their faith."

This is so true in that Islam is still a minority in Europe and yet almost every social change that has been made in recent years has not been made in the direction of greater freedom, but in the direction of curtailing freedom to placate Islam. Muslim men are now able to receive multiple welfare payments for bringing multiple wives to Britain. 66,000 documented cases of clitorectomies were performed on Muslim girls last year alone. It is evident that Britian is making baby steps toward Sharia holy law, and it is only a matter of time before these babies born to multiple wives take to the helm of a once Christian nation.

When Jyllands-Posten Magazine in Denmark printed its cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, the Islamic world was not chastized for the 139 Danes who were innocently killed in the aftermath by angry mobs of Muslims. It was Europe that was chastized for being so intollerant and insensitive. A satirical cartoon, intollerant? Even after Andres Serano displayed his "Piss Christ", depicting a crucifix of Jesus submerged in a fish-bowl of his own urine, or after Chris Ofili displayed his portrait of the Virgin Mary, using the medium of cow dung (paid for by the American tax payers through the National Endowment for the Arts by the way), we never had to tally up the death-toll of those were killed as a result.

Moreover, for the EU to glibly nod in agreement with the Islamic world after 139 people were killed is mind boggling. In Europe we are realizing how docile and obedient we can become to anyone who would exact blood for payment; anyone who'se convictions are stronger, and who'se beliefs are more tightly held than our own.

What happens to our men when there is no meaning but self-meaning and self-gratification? What happens when men view women not as their God-given partners to raise a family with, but as nothing more than an object of lust? What happens when there is no part of your culture or beliefs worth preserving for future genterations? The unavoidable truth is that the future will be an empty void for those who do have beliefs worth preserving. When it comes to the question of who controls our future, it is as simple as "knock knock, who'se there?" With the most popular boy's name in almost every European metropolis being . . . you guessed it, "Muhammad", the only refuge the secular European mind has is the present. The future on the other hand, won't be so promising.

I know by now I am probably being shouted down by many as a dystopian naysaer. But I want to conclude on a happier note by asking how a Christian respond to what is taking place. The simple answer for the Christian is that God is in control of history. What we are seeing take place today with the disappearing of those who believe in freedom and the rapid increase of those who believe in intolerance is to be expected. After all, God promised us that this would happen.

You might be expecting me to wrench some biblical verse out of context to address current events as so many sensational preachers have done. Sorry, I'm not a prophet nor the son of a prophet! Instead, I want to give a principle that we are given in Scripture. Because the following verse is a principle it does not directly address current demographic dilemma I'm up in arms about. However, it is intended to give a general rule for what happens to any nation or civilization that rejects God. It is in Deuteronomy 28:43-51:

“The foreigners living among you will become stronger and stronger, while you become weaker and weaker. They will lend money to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, and you will be the tail!If you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and to obey the commands and decrees he has given you, all these curses will pursue and overtake you until you are destroyed. These horrors will serve as a sign and warning among you and your descendants forever. If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The Lord will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until he has destroyed you. The Lord will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. Its armies will devour your livestock and crops, and you will be destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine, olive oil, calves, or lambs, and you will starve to death."

This principle was given as a curse to the Nation of Israel should they ever forget God and begin to bow down to idols. In spite of the warning, Israel did just that and on several occasions, this curse rang true. Notice that the way God chose to punish Israel would be causing the "foreigners" among them to increase while causing the indigenous peoples to decrease. Many other passages, such as Psalm 9:17, tell us that any nation that forgets God shall be turned into hell. So we cannot apply this to Israel alone. These warnings should serve as a principle for our own culture which has increasingly become more and more secularized and more and more embarrassed if ever described as "Christian."

These warnings, however, can offer hope to believers, that if we are true worshippers of Jesus Christ, and are unmoved and stedfast in our convictions, God may very well bless our seed and heal our land (II Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 72:4-8).

I know I have only stated the problem so far. But if you aren't roused to see the problem, it is unlikely you'll ever be motivated to find a solution. I want to show that a Christian, and more particularly, Christian fathers, have a responsibility to care about where our world is headed.

Have you ever heard som self-absorbed Christians say something to the effect of, "The world is going to Hell, but thank God I won't be around when it gets there?" The more sanctimonious ones will say something like, "Jesus is coming soon; I'm gettin' outa' here," as if saying that the world can be left to wallow in its own sin and degradation without me.

This apathetic attitude is totally foreign to the biblical worldview and it is a reproach to a people that were commanded by Christ to be a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. I will even go so far as to say that if you don't care where the world will be headed once your corpse becomes worm-food, you are not a Christian in the biblical sense of the word. In fact, your heart-felt concern, which doesn't extend very far beyond your immediate family, is the very antithesis of what those in Antioch had in mind when they coined the term "Christian." But you'll have to give me till next week
to prove my point.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Belated Father's Day:

I know that Father's Day is over. But I was drawn to think of the importance of our fathers after reading an insightful blog by Dr. R. Albert Mohler this week (www.almohler.com). If you know who I'm speaking of, you know that they're all insightful. So I really haven't said much.

Have you ever noticed that when you walk into Target to buy your card for mom on Mother's Day, the pickings are pretty slim? At least in my case, by the time I whisk in at the last minute to get my Mother's Day card, this is sad scenario. Yet, when Father's Day rolls around, there's always plenty to choose from. No doubt, this is a reflection of the fact that the ratio of involved dads over against involved moms leaves a huge gap to be filled. It is certainly a disparity in the favor of moms. We all know this. However, I want to take a moment to offer striking evidence that shows the very survivial of our civilization in the upcoming decades will depend on something as trivial in most people's minds as an involved dad.

For years the role of the father has been eroded by our culture of self gratification where men have been sold the idea that if your wife no longer lights your fire, you can always trade her in for a new one. This idea has been fostered a great deal through the "trophy wife" culture of some of the most influencial stars and politicians. Once you've exchanged your first four or five wives in for new ones, it isn't the same as saying you once drove a Ford Pinto, and now you've worked your way up to an Expedition. Where do your children fit into the picture when their mom is two or three wives/girlfriends back? You know you're adept at the game when you introduce your wife only to hear the exclamation, "What a beautiful granddaughter you have." As aghast as some of us are to this picture, what would repulse us seeing a eighty year old man do should be just as repulsive when seen done by a thirty year old. The infidelity that has become so accepted on the part of men has certainly given mom a greater edge when the holidays roll around, and shows why we have largely become a Matriarchal society.

A recent article Al Mohler's cites has indicated that there will soon be a return to patriarchy. Phillip Longman in the March/April 2006 issue of Foreign Policy (not at all known as a Conservative, much less Christian publication), raised the ire of many in the politically correct crowd by making this prediction. However, Longman is a renowned researcher who has much evidence to back it up, not the least of which is the evidence that shows society cannot last long without responsible fathers at the helm. To start off with you must know that the results of indolent, absentee fathers has not only led to the downfall of the people unfortunate enough to be part of their families, it has lead to the downfall of people . . . period.

Pretty soon, mom wises up to the fact that dad isn't going to be in the picture long. So what does she do? The abortion rights movement was largely based on answering this dilemma. If dad can cast his responsibility to the wind and be free, mom has the same right. Hence, almost 50,000,000 of our own unborn have been shamelessly killed through government sanctioned infanticide since 1973. So mom has it figured out. No dad in the picture will pretty soon equal no child in the picture either.

The birthrates in every developed country have fallen so low that they are below replacement rate. Japan has fewer children today because of men (and women) who place career before family than they have had since 1908. Only 11% of Tokyo's population are 14 or younger. Yet 25% are 65 or older. The elderly already outnumber chldren, 2 to 1. By 2020 they will outnumber them 3 to 1, and by 2040 they will outnumber them 4 to 1. You might be thinking, "so what, fewer people means fewer headaches." This is not the case. The aging demographics of Japan show that by 2050 their workforce will be 70% smaller than it is today, and will leave their country more vulnerable than it was when after WWII.

Of course, the population implosion is not Japan's problem alone. Europe has a birthrate of just above 1.3 children per couple, which is just above half replacement rate. In Brussels, Belgium, 55% of all infants born in 2004 were born to immigrant families, predominately Muslim immigrant families. Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark has shown that at the current rate of population decline, the Muslim immigrant population will overtake that of ethnic Danes in their own backyard of Denmark by 2060.

This situation is not secluded to Belgium or Denmark, it is epidemic all over continental Europe. Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar, told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. "Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children." As he summed it up: "Our way of thinking will prove more powerful than yours."

Canadian-American writer Mark Steyn, goes into more detail when predicting the coming population displacement of Europeans: "What's happening in the developed world is one of the fastest demographic evolutions in history: most of us have seen a gazillion heartwarming ethnic comedies -- My Big Fat Greek Wedding and its ilk -- in which some uptight WASPy type starts dating a gal from a vast loving fecund Mediterranean family, so abundantly endowed with sisters and cousins and uncles that you can barely get in the room. It is, in fact, the inversion of the truth. Greece has a fertility rate hovering just below 1.3 births per couple, which is what demographers call the point of "lowest-low" fertility from which no human society has ever recovered. And Greece's fertility is the healthiest in Mediterranean Europe: Italy has a fertility rate of 1.2, Spain 1.1. Insofar as any citizens of the developed world have "big" families these days, it's the anglo democracies: America's fertility rate is 2.1, New Zealand a little below. Hollywood should be making My Big Fat Uptight Protestant Wedding in which some sad Greek only child marries into a big heartwarming New Zealand family where the spouse actually has a sibling." (America Alone: The End of the World as we know it).

This phenomenon is described by Al Mohler as unprecedented. Usually for a population to go into decline there must be an inexorable force such as war, famine, infant mortality, or the plague. But when a nation such as Japan, the second largest economy in the world, chooses to quit reproducing, it is like unto a perfectly healthy man choosing to starve himself of his own will.

I am absolutely convinced that the population implosion the developed world is beginning to see, and the Islamic explosion that the West is so willfully blinded to, is a direct consequent of having lauded unfaithful men for so long, and for allowing marital infedility to become completely acceptable and even expected. Psalm 10:3 speaks well of the dilemma of praising men who the Lord abhores. Isaiah 5:19 also condemns those who call evil, good, and good, evil. That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.

I don't have time to corroborate all of this today. But let me start with this thought: The idea that every man is an island, stranded alone to find sustenance and satisfaction only for himself must lead to the starving of our future. Men everywhere must ask, "Do I really want to have a stake in the future, or is my legacy so unimportant that I can af ford to live only for today?" (To be continued! Seriously this time!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How to be Saved according to the Bible

If you aren't a church-going person, you might be asking, "saved from what?" You may have even heard a street preacher shouting "Jesus Saves" and thought to yourself, "Is Jesus a soccer goalie now?"

Thankfully, the Bible doesn't give us a solution without first giving us the problem. It answers these questions by not only telling us to get saved. It describes in detail why we need to be saved and what it is we need to be saved from. Reading the following verses will show that "saved" isn't just a churchy word, it is a thoroughly biblical word (Mark 13:13, John 3:3, 5:28-29, II Corinthians 5:10-11, I Thessalonians 1:10, II Thessalonians 1:5-10, Colossians 3:5-6, II Peter 3:10-13). These verses seem to spell out in bold terms that we are in grave need of being saved from God's wrath. So before we can begin talking about how to be saved, you need to realize that you cannot pick up the Bible and read it long without being told why you need to be saved. Contrary to what a lot of preachers may tell you not wanting to offend anyone in our politically correct climate, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).

I like to call the following explanation of how to be saved: The Radical Romans Road to Salvation because most of the verses come from the book of Romans. Even when they do not you will notice that every point is derived from the Bible. For this reason you ought to read it with a Bible in hand so that you can look up these verses and read them in their original context. This way you won't have to take my word for it (If you are too lazy to go find a Bible, just go to http://www.gnpcb.org/, and read the Bible online. Then go to "browse" and type in any verse you want to look up).

Let's say your neighbor started yelling outside your front door claiming that a hurricane was coming. You wouldn't just jump in the car and evacuate would you? Sadly to say, some of us are that gullible. But not you! You would check it out first to see if he had his facts straight via the news, the internet, reliable friends etc. In the same way, I am telling you that you need to be saved from the hurricane of God's righteous wrath. That is a serious claim. Don't just accept it, and more importantly, don't just reject it as the claim of some fanatical preacher. Take the time to read the verses I am giving you and corroborate it with Scripture.
Remember the simple acrostic: S.A.V.E.D.

"S" is for SIN
The Bible says that "All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory" (Romans 3:23). We see evil all around us and yet most philosophies blindly assume that we are all good in our hearts. However, this verse wakes us up to reality by telling us plainly that we have all messed up. We have all fallen short of the standard God has set for us. So you might ask, "What is God's standard? What does God expect from someone like me?" Jesus answers this question by saying that to break just one of God's commandments is to fall short of God's glory. God demands nothing short of perfection (Matthew 5:19-20, 48, James 2:10).
This puts all of us in a pretty tight spot because all of us have broken God's commandments at some point in our lives. However, our situation is much worse than simply breaking one of God's commands because the Bible tells us that we have a sinful human nature that impulsively breaks God's commands (Jeremiah 13:23, Matthew 15:19-21).

To prove this, let's line your life up to the Ten Commandments and see how well you do:

"Honor thy father and thy mother"
(Exodus 20:12). Sure, you can say that you have always honored your father and mother, just list their phone number as a reference first. I have lived long enough to know that if you say you've always honored everything your father and mother ever said, you're also guilty of breaking the ninth commandment: "Thou shalt not lie" (Exodus 20:16). In short, if you have ever dishonored what your father or mother have said at any point in your life you are guilty of breaking the fifth commandment. We might call someone who dishonors their parents "rebellious."

"Thou shalt not murder"
(Exodus 20:13). Jesus interpreted this by saying that to be angry with your brother was to murder him in your heart. He also follows this up by telling us that to verbally insult someone was to murder them with our words (Matthew 5:21-22). We even talk of character assassination today. So if you can admit that you have ever been angry with someone without immediately going to him to be reconciled; or if you will admit that you have ever chewed somebody out, you are admittedly guilty of breaking the sixth commandment. What do we call someone who commits murder; even just one murder? A murderer, right? So far we have proven you to be a rebellious, murderer.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery"
(Exodus 20:14). Jesus interpreted this by saying that to look upon a woman in lust was to commit adultery with her already in your heart (Matthew 5:27-28). I may not be able to speak for my female members of the human race. But I am pretty confident that if you are a man you have at some point fallen flat on your face when it comes to this one. What do we call someone who commits adultery? You guessed it; an adulterer. So now we have proven you to be a rebellious, murdering, adulterer.

That is just three out of the Ten Commandments and already, every one of us has been shamefully exposed as guilty. But just in case you have any doubt as to whether anyone alive today can escape the verdict of "guilty", Romans 3:19 clearly affirms that God's law was given so that the whole world would be proven to be "guilty."
What is even more tough is that God not only demands perfection, but the consequences of not measuring up to perfection is death (Romans 6:23). Ironically, most people think God will somehow overlook the fact that they are worthy of death and slip them a Get Out of Jail Free card. But God's law isn't a Monopoly game; He takes it serious. Only when you humble yourself to understand that you are deserving of death will you ever appreciate God's gift of life.

You might use the excuse that "God made me this way. God created me with this desire to sin, therefore he cannot hold me accountable for sin." The Bible, however, removes this excuse by teaching that when God created Adam and placed him in the Garden, his nature was beautiful and upright in the sight of God: "God looked upon the man he had made and said, Behold, it is very good" (Genesis 1:31). However, when tempted to eat of the forbidden fruit, man willfully chose to reject God's law in order to set up his own law. Solomon explained this saddening event well, "Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices" (Ecclesiastes 7:29). This verse tells us that God's creation of man was not flawed. God's design for man was perfect and beautiful. Yet, it was man that turned that beauty into ugliness the moment he sinned in the Garden of Eden.

Because Adam was the first man and the father of the human race, his sin was accounted as the sin of all humanity. So inevitably All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, also 5:12). No one can exclude themselves from this group; we all bear the curse of sin.

The surest evidence of how widespread the epidemic of sin has become is death. Statistics tell us that 100 out of every 100 people die. Romans 5:12 tells us why this is the case, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because (in Adam) all sinned."
However, as bad as physical death is, our physical death is only an foretaste of a greater spiritual death to come. You might ask, "How can someone die when he has already died once?" Revelation 21:8 answers this question well: "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." The second death according to the Bible is none other than Hell.

"A" is for ASLEEP
Sin has lulled us all into a comatose sleep leaving us unable to respond to God's voice according to Romans 8:7-8. The Bible not only speaks of this condition as a sleep (Ephesians 5:14), but it also describes it as "death" because of the fact that we are out of touch with the reality of our sinful condition and prevented from being able to respond obediently to God's law (Ephesians 2:1-3). Romans 3:11 tells us just how out of touch we are when it says: "There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God" (Romans 3:11).
Contrary to this, you may have heard people claim that they are seeking to find God. But this verse tells us we are completely oblivious to God until He intervenes by waking us out of sleep and raising us from the dead. For this reason the Bible says says, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you" (Ephesians 5:14). Notice that this verse speaks of sleep as synonymous with death. To be spiritually dead means that we have no ability to please God, much less the ability to save ourselves.

Romans 8:7-8 tells us that we are in such a comatose state that none of us have the ability to rouse ourselves to understanding the reality of God; we are hopelessly unable to respond to God in the same way that a dead man is hopelessly unable to respond to you no matter how loudly you may shout.

So before we come to know Christ, we must humbly admit our inability to save ourselves and confess that the only way for us to be saved is for God to resurrect us from the dead (Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13, Romans 6:4). What I am saying may go against every bone of pride in your body because you have always thought that somehow you can be good enough for God. But in light of all we have mentioned, your only hope of salvation is to know that God does not accept the proud;"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the lowly" (Psalm 138:6).

"V" is for VITALITY
Anyone can receive vitality by turning to Christ. We have all been given the death sentence because of our sin according to Romans 6:23. But the same verse goes on to tell us that the gift of God is vitality. That is: "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Before Jesus astonished many by raising a man from the dead, he said: "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). When we believe in Jesus this promise stands true. He resurrects us from the dead and gives us new life so that we can live that life for Him. The Bible says: "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

"E" is for EXCHANGE
Salvation is really a barter or exchange. You must exchange your sin for the righteousness of Christ (Romans 5:17): The fact that Christ died on a cross is the supreme example of the fact that God could not overlook sin. The sin that all of us have committed must be punished according to Scripture (Hebrews 9:22).

Sin is such a big deal to God that He cannot simply act as if it never happened and wipe it under the rug. He doesn't let bygones be bygones. When God's law is broken the glory of His name is at stake. The bible says that His name must be vindicated (Hebrews 10:29-30).

Somebody has to suffer the punishment that for our disregard for His law That is why Jesus died on the Cross. He literally paid the penalty for sin that we all deserved. Think about how amazing this is: Instead of us dying on a Cross, or in Hell, Christ died in our place. This is exactly what the Bible tells us: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5, also Hebrews 9:22).
The burden of sin is a weight that none of us can bear; we will inevitably be crushed and spend eternity in Hell if we insist on keeping it in our possession (Luke 20:18). But thank God Christ bore that weight of sin for us when He died upon the Cross.

When you believe on His name, your sins do not just disappear; they are not swept under the rug. They nailed Christ to the Cross.

Christ taking your sin on the Cross is only the first part of the exchange in salvation. The exchange isn't complete until He gives you His own righteousness. Jesus lived on the earth for thirty three years and never sinned because He made it His joy to glorify the father (John 17:5). Such righteousness is a gift we could never earn; it is a gift only Christ can give because only Christ lived a perfect life (Hebrews 4:15, 7:25).

Once Christ completes the exchange by giving you his own righteousness, God no longer sees the shame of your sin and nakedness. He no longer sees the ugliness of your law-breaking heart; He sees only the perfect righteousness of His son Jesus Christ. There is one person in the universe that God accepts; His son, Jesus. And when you trust Christ, God accepts you just as He accepts the Son.

Romans 5:17 explains well this gift of righteousness: "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." Sin once reigned in all of our hearts, but sin is dethroned and righteousness reigns when we receive His gift of life.

"D" is for DECIDE
All must decide (Romans 8:6). You must decide who you will serve. Jesus once said, "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other . . ." (Matthew 6:24). You cannot continue to cherish your sin and embrace Christ.

Are you going to trust Christ and reject your sin. Or are you going to reject Christ to embrace your sin?

You might be thinking to yourself, "I love my sin. I don't know how I'll ever stop doing it." Certainly, when we come to Christ there is a cost, and that cost is everything. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24). To deny yourself means that you are willing to give up everything to have a relationship with Him. It means we will view Christ and His kingdom as a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field (Matthew 13:44). All must decide; and the decision is not only between Christ and sin, it is between life and death: "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). This verse is simply telling us that if we continue to live a life of sin our end will be death.

You can pray now and ask God to save you:
1. Admit to God that you are a sinner.
2. Confess to God that you have been asleep, better yet, dead, unable to save yourself.
3. Ask God to give you new life and vitality just as He gave Christ new vitality when He raised
Him from the dead.
4. Ask God to take away your sin in exchange for Christ's perfect righteousness.
5. Explain to God that you have decided to turn from your sin and to live for Him. (You cannot
turn from your sin by your own power. But the Holy Spirit will empower you the moment
you believe. Read Acts 1:8).

If you just prayed and asked God to forgive you of your sins, send me an email so that I can thank God for your decision. I would like to contact you and encourage you in the faith.

However, you should know that while it is important that you pray to God asking Him to save you (Romans 10:9-10), no prayer is going to be the proof that you are saved. Rather, the proof will be found in a radically changed life (II Corinthians 5:17), because if God has really entered your life you can never be the same. The sin you once loved will be the thing that you hate, and the God you once indifferently weighed as inconsequential will be the thing most essential. The Christ who died for you now gives you the Divine love not only to live for Him, but also to die for Him (Matthew 16:24).