Category Archives: 2 Corinthians

R.P.G.

Some of my favorite video games I’ve ever played were RPG’s, or “role playing games.” The reason I liked them so much is because you could play any type of character you wanted. You could be a dashing hero always there to save the day, a villainous raider taking whatever you want by force, or somewhere in between. Another great aspect of RPG’s is that if you didn’t like your character or a decision you had made, all you have to do is erase it and start over or load a previous save where your actions had not yet taken place. This works only in the realm of video games. When we try to apply this same logic in our real lives, we can find ourselves in a loop of regret, disappointment, frustration, guilt, and may even fall into depression. We don’t have the option of loading a previous save in the real world, or simply erasing our past mistakes. We don’t have that kind of power, but God does.

“What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT.

God has the power to change our characters. He can take us from villainous raider to dashing hero. He can hit the reset button. But how? The bible says, “…those who become Christians become new persons.” So how do we do this? How does someone become a Christian? Much like an epic main quest from one of my favorite RPG’s, a person can travel down “Romans Road.”

Romans Road is a journey through the book of Romans in the bible that lays out a path to salvation through Jesus Christ. As you travel along Romans Road you will discover who needs salvation (Romans 3:23), why we need salvation (Romans 6:23), how God provides us with salvation (Romans 5:8), how we can receive salvation (Romans 10:9), and the results of our salvation (Romans 5:1).

The amazing thing about this is the fact that once you walk Romans Road, it isn’t the end of the story but the beginning. This is when your epic tale of salvation, your trust in Christ truly starts. You are free then to explore the side quests of Christianity.

If you have never walked down Romans Road, if you are still living in your past mistakes, still living with the shackles of sin in your life, I urge you to trust in Jesus. Let God remove the guilt, the shame, and the regret. We can’t do this on our own, only God, through faith in Jesus Christ can. Let Him hit the “reset” button on your life, and start anew!

 

Guilty As Charged

Telling God you don’t believe in hell, is like telling a judge you don’t believe in jail. I can’t remember where I heard or read that at, but it’s one of the best analogies I’ve ever heard for faith. God and a judge, hell and prison, they are almost the same thing, one is just on a more eternal level. You get convicted of a crime and no matter how much you tell yourself, or the judge, that you don’t believe in jail, you’re still going to go. It’s the same thing with God. I hear people say they don’t believe in God all the time, but no matter how much you don’t believe, one day EVERYONE will stand before Him. 2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” One day we will stand before God, in all His glory, and have to answer for everything we have ever done on this earth. For some of us out there, this is a little scary. The good news is that we don’t have to let our past define our future. We don’t have to keep living a certain way just because that’s the way we always have. Once you truly give your life to God, you are born again. You are a new creation in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 is one of my favorite verses in the bible, it says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Every bad thing, no matter how terrible, is washed away in the eyes of God. I know the guilt of certain things may still weigh on your heart, but take comfort knowing that once you start walking the straight and narrow path to salvation, whatever roads you previously walked down no longer matter. I know some people out there are the type that need hard evidence, they need proof of His existence. I don’t have any hidden answers. For me, my faith came from a feeling like God Himself were talking to me. I felt Him move in my heart. It was a feeling too big to ignore. I felt God calling me and instead of brushing that feeling off like I had done so many times before, I answered. I know some people will read that and say, “What? He “moved” you?” Think about the love you have for your mother, you can’t “prove” that you love your mother, can you? You may say that you can see your mother, but in 2000 plus years will anybody “believe” she existed? Verse 7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” That one short verse says a lot. Faith in God, faith in Jesus Christ, faith that there is a heaven and also a hell. We must walk in faith. Whether you believe it or not, the truth is that Jesus Christ died for you. He died for your sins. He died in the most brutal way so that you may have ever lasting life. 2 Corinthians 15 NKJV, “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” Before I was truly saved, I lived entirely for myself. I smoked, I drank, I cussed, I chased women, I did drugs, I did just about everything the bible says not to do. But once I truly gave my life to God, I was washed clean. I was born again. I am a new creation in Christ. I truly am a changed man. I hear people say that the Christian “lifestyle” is boring. The truth is that being a Christian isn’t boring, you just see the world through new eyes. You no longer have the desire to live for yourself. I’m not saying I look down on anyone that isn’t saved, no true Christian should. It’s our duty, our purpose as Christians to spread the word of God. 2 Corinthians 20 NKJV, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” It’s not too late to give your life to God. Jesus loves you no matter what you’ve done. He would gladly welcome you with open arms, all you have to do is ask.

This Light of Mine

I love the song, “This Little Light of Mine”. I honestly believe that singing that song every Sunday on Parris Island is what helped me get through boot camp. Since I’ve gotten truly saved, that song has new meaning to me. As Christians, we are God’s light on this dark world. It’s up to us to shine bright in a sea of despair, to be a beacon for all that are lost. 2 Corinthians 4:6 in the NKJV says, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” God put that light in our hearts so we could share the love and grace of Jesus Christ to others. Every Christian has a purpose of sharing the good news, in whatever way possible. Some may sing it, some write it, preach it, sign it, draw it, some may just have to live a Christian lifestyle to be an inspiration to others of the change that God can do in your life. It’s not always going to be easy to live this way. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against us, and for the most part, it is. Paul says in verses 8 and 9, “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-” To me these last two verses are very inspirational. They say that although the world is trying its best to condemn us, it never will. Not matter what this world tries to throw at us, God will always prevail. 2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” Each day we stay true to God, we grow stronger. Each day we turn to God instead of drugs or alcohol, we grow stronger. Each day we look at God’s word instead of pornography, we grow stronger. Each day we walk the straight and narrow, our light gets brighter.

Hell, Fire, and Brimstone

I heard someone over the weekend say something along the lines of, “There’s too much lovie-dovie preaching going on nowadays. They need to get back to the hell, fire, and brimstone, damnation, condemnation style of preaching.” I thought about this statement for a little while and then it seemed to slip my mind, until I started doing my bible study today. I’ve been reading through 2 Corinthians and today in chapter 3 I came across a verse that suddenly reminded me of that statement. 2 Corinthians 3:9 NKJV, “For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.” Now, to me this isn’t saying that the preaching style of follow Jesus Christ or you burn in Hell is wrong, to me it’s saying that we can reach far more people with compassion, love, and kindness. It bothers me that so many Christians try to use the “rules” and tell people what they can’t do instead of telling them about the love of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save ALL sinners, not just the ones whose sins are socially acceptable. I see a lot of the stuff that my friends and family put on Facebook, and I’m not going to lie, my first response in my head is usually like Bobby Boucher’s mom in the Waterboy, It’s the devil!!! But in my heart I know that that kind of reaction is going to push a lot of people away. So far I haven’t found a single time in the New Testament where Jesus Christ has condemned anyone for their sin. Isn’t He supposed to be our all time role model? I know a lot of people will view this approach as “too easy” on sinners, I’m sure there were a lot of people that thought the same thing about Jesus 2000 plus years ago. Personally, I’m beyond grateful that Jesus was “too easy” on sinners, otherwise there’s no way I would ever make it to heaven. Truth be told, I don’t think many would have except for the love, compassion, and unending grace that is Jesus Christ.