By Jim Carvell
I got a phone call from my brother shortly after I began writing this. An old friend had taken his own life in his home that afternoon, three days before Christmas. I don't know the circumstances that were so troubling in his life, for we had been out of touch for years. But this tragedy got me thinking about the trap that the prince of this world has set.
"... in time past, you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (KJV Ephesians 2:2).
"The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I (Jesus) am come that they (us) might have life and that they (us) might have it more abundantly (KJV-John 10:10).
In (Psalm 91:2-3) we read, "...I will say to the Lord, my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper." -NASB
In one moment, in one decision, right or wrong, our eternal destiny is set. Once the breath of life God gave us is ended, there is no turning back--Heaven-bound or Hell-bound, light or darkness, happiness or sadness. We must think on this. We who are alive as yet must make a decision. Ignoring this does not change the truth. Seek the truth.
As I study the New Testament, I see a few truths the authors were revealing to us:
First, salvation through our faith in Jesus, with God's grace. Once we reach the age of accountability (when we can reason about having sin in our lives), unless God blesses us with His mercy and grace, it's impossible to understand His salvation on our own. It is written in the prophets "And they shall all be taught of God everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me, Jesus (John 6:45).
Second, "Love...this is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I loved you (John 15:12)....since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart (1Peter 1:22).
Third, "removing ourselves from this sin-filled decaying world," into a complete trusting relationship with Jesus. Relying on Him, not this world. "...for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all men, especially of believers (NASB 1 Timothy 4:10). "...Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17).
Fourth, "through Christ Jesus (our high priest) we have direct access to God." "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, ...Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (NASB-Hebrews 4:16).
Friends, we need to understand that for those who reject Jesus, all the verses in the Holy Bible mean nothing. But a true believer's testimony, they can't deny. I tell you the truth, through the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ has radically transformed my thought patterns and life.
"...be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phillipians 4:6-7).