A Little Faith

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A man was once rock climbing without a rope or aids by himself in a highly elevated area. The rocks were smooth and the cliff was straight up and down. The man liked risks and, when the area became covered in thick fog, he still took the chance and began to descend.

As the man descended, the fog got thicker until, eventually, the man couldn’t even see the rock in front of him. For minutes the man tried to think of a way to get back up. He had descended well over 1,000 feet and there was no way he could make it all the way up without seeing decent footholds.

Finally, after a few minutes, the man became so terrified that he decided that clinging onto the rock face until morning came was his only hope.

The night grew colder but the man didn’t move. The fog grew thicker and had no intention of letting go. All through the night the man kept talking himself out of letting go or trying to maneuver down and hoping the bottom was near. Many times he was sure that he heard a voice tell him to let go. He didn’t listen; instead he clung harder to the rocks.

When the morning sun rose and burned off the fog, the man was exposed to the warmth of the sun. Within an hour the man’s frozen, but thawing body, slipped from the rock and landed on the ground . . . three feet below where he had spent the night. The dead body of the man who had waited all night was discovered shortly later that day.

If that man had a little faith he would have been able to stretch out his legs and touch the ground . . . instead he perished.

Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The Convenience of Heaven

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Heaven used to be something you either believe in, or scoff at. But, I have seen a growing number of people who sit on the fence between the two. They show no belief or interest in heaven until someone they know dies, or a friend has a loved one pass away. Then they start throwing out all kinds of statements:

“He is smiling down on us.”

“He’ll always be with you, watching you from heaven.”

“You’ll see him again in heaven.”

And the list goes on and on. But the truth is, heaven is not a convenient condolence topic to be abused. It is a real place, and the majority of people are not going there when they die. Sound terrible? Well, sadly, it is terrible but it is also true.

I know people who claim to be Christians and every time a loved one dies, they simply think they will see them in heaven, no matter what they believed or did in their lifetimes. This is not true.

Christians! We need to wake up and tell the truth! If an unbeliever dies, stop telling the loved ones they will see them again in heaven. When someone dies who openly opposes and blasphemes God until they day they die, don’t be saying that they are going to heaven.

I get it, we may not know what happened in the last moments, and they may have repented, but unless you know that, stop telling people everyone is going to heaven. This undermines the Gospel truth. If everyone is going to heaven, what was the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice? Why should we not sin if everyone goes to heaven anyway?

If a loved one dies, or a friends’ loved ones dies, use it as an opportunity to grow closer with God, and to share the Gospel, not to present false information about the nature of the life we live.

A New Emperor

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Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash

There once lived an emperor who knew his time was coming to an end. He had no heirs and decided that he would break tradition and try something new.

He called all the children in his kingdom to his palace. He told the children, “I am going to give each and every one of you a pot with a seed and dirt in it. I will give you one year to grow the plant that is in that pot. After that year, you will come back here and I will choose the best plant of the group and the owner shall become emperor!”

All the children were elated. A chance to become emperor! Every child returned home with their pot, dirt and seed to grow their plants. One boy, Ling, was particularly excited and immediately told his parents and family all about it.

For the first couple days he watered the pot and gave it his unending attention. Nothing came up. After a week he started hearing the other kids brag about how their plants had come up. He was discouraged, but he kept watering it and giving it all the right time, sunlight, and attention. After a month nothing had sprouted and all the other kids were speaking of their thriving plants.

Still Ling took care of the pot. Every day he checked it and made sure he wasn’t making any mistakes. He never told any of the other kids.

Finally, the year had come to an end. All the kids grabbed their pots and marched to the palace. Glorious, green bushes, trees, flowers and every kind of plant was sported by the children of the kingdom. When the children saw Ling’s, some laughed and others said, “sorry, but good try.” Ling felt terrible and hid at the back of the crowd.

The emperor came into the room and gasped in delight at all the beautiful plants. He looked at them as he walked by, making comments on how beautiful, or healthy they looked. Finally, he came to Ling. Ling looked down at his shoes and shrunk as the emperor looked at his pot. He motioned for Ling to follow him to the front of the room. Ling followed, with his pot in his hand.

The emperor turned to the children and announced, “children, I present to you your new emperor!” Ling was flabbergasted! The emperor smiled, “one year ago I gave you all a pot full of dirt and a boiled seed. The seed couldn’t grow, but all of you,” he gestured to all the children, “replaced the seed with your own so you could impress me.”

The emperor looked at Ling, “but this boy had the integrity, honor and courage to present the truth! What’s your name?”

“Ling.”

The emperor turned back, “your new Emperor Ling!”

1,000%

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In an article written for the Quarterly Journal of Economics, John J. Donohue III and Steven D. Levitt claimed that, since abortion had been legalized, crime rates had dropped considerably. Donohue suggested that 50% of crimes that had been eliminated were gone because abortion was legalized. (Donohue 379)

However, a different study, run by The National Center of Child Abuse and Neglect, recorded that child abuse had risen over 1,000% since abortion was legalized. A study done by Bowling Green University found that a woman who had an abortion was 144% more likely to abuse their children then one who had not had an abortion.

Data from the US Statistical Abstract confirmed that deaths occurring from child abuse had raised 400% over the first 18 years of legalized abortion. (“Did abortion benefit society by reducing child abuse and crime?”)

Legalizing abortion did not reduce crime; instead, it did the exact opposite in raising crime up an unbelievable number.

Sources:

Donohue, John. “The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 66.2 (2001): 379-420. Web. 11/25/13.

“Did abortion benefit society by reducing child abuse and crime?” News Today.  National Right to Life. 03/06/13. Web. 11/25/13.