I need to tell him this!

I recently overheard someone say to another, “He’s gone religious on me,” as if they had done a bad thing. I suppose this happens to many of us when we come to faith in Jesus Christ. We lose a few beer drinking friends and are talked about behind our backs. But getting the title “Religious” for me is like getting awarded a purple heart. We get this award when we are wounded by direct or indirect enemy action. Just open your mouth and say, “Jesus is my Lord and Savior ” and you will for sure take on enemy fire. It’s an honored experience among true believers.

I have a friend that I’ve not seen in many years. He hasn’t been nice to his wife, drinks too much, and regularity fries his brain on weed. An opportunity to talk with him is imminent. So what do I say to him? Some will say I should just love on him. We all know that’s code for not telling him that his actions require repentance. They will say, “don’t judge him” for surely he’ll think you are a Jesus Freek and not listen to you anyway. In many cases they’re probably right. But that’s not how I think and I don’t think that’s biblical. Is it shameful to tell someone the most direct way to restore one’s marriage and clean up their life is through faith in Christ? The risk of being called “religious” behind my back is not so great a price here, is it? I can think of all the other ways to approach someone like my friend, but they are not foundational solutions, they’re more like a non stick bandaid. Get it wet and it falls off. My friend needs a change of heart. A change of heart is like the proverbial saying “If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” I think telling him the best way to reconcile and love his wife is to love Jesus. To love Jesus is to believe in Him and follow his teachings.

So what course will I take with my friend? In his case and given the opportunity, I will carefully begin by telling him that being a Christian is not a wimpy endeavor. In fact being a Christian takes courage. It means once you are fully trained and open your mouth you will surely take on incoming fire. Like Jesus and the Martyrs you could even be crucified, or burned at the stake. But the most likely outcome is that you get that loving feeling back, make some necessary adjustments with your wife, and others will say, he’s gone all “religious” on us. I think that’s a good trade off in itself. But wait, there’s more!” I’ll tell him Jesus will do a number on him by completely changing him for the better, and He will give him that little thing called eternal life.

So to my friends who say “just love on him.” Just loving on him means to me opening my mouth and telling him about Jesus. I will tell him about repentance and baptism, and obedience. I’ll tell him about warfare and spirtual armor. I’ll let him know that being a believer will be both a dangerous and courageous endeavor, if he goes all in. If he doesn’t go all in he may think he will have to give up being a man and doing “manly things.” I’ll tell him that won’t happen if reads his bible and prays. I will tell him he won’t have to self identify as a wimpy, weak hymn singing church pew if he comes to Christ. He won’t even be required to be a “nice guy.” Better yet, he will love this, he likely won’t have to go to a twelve step program to get clean and get his family back; the love of his life back. He will only need to take one step to receive the irresistible grace of God. To radically change his life forever he will only need to have faith that Jesus came, died for his sins, and rose again. I need to tell him this.

Someday, you kn…

Someday, you know who you are, I pray the mountains will move and you will humbly receive His salvation. Then righteousness will be your way, and grace your footstool. Upon His word you will thrive, and you will give even more than you receive. For you will know Him as I know Him; the love in our faith, and the power in our prayers. – Bob Graham 2013

Are Guns Going To Hell?

Are Guns going to Hell? Oh Lord, act for thy name’s sake. Truly, have our creations sinned against Thee? Surely you will call their sins to account. Those rebellious Guns, with smoke in their barrels, deceived by the evil one, they have disobeyed you! And now they are following their own thoughts, their own ways. And those wicked assault weapons and their leader the AK-47, deceived by the devil, should they not be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and should not they be tormented day and night forever and ever?

Or is it not man who murders and repays evil for good? Every day I come across somebody who believes his view is the right one. Of course your view is right to you, or else it would not be yours at all. Therefore, in the immortal words of G.K. Chesterton, “Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic?”

I trust that you will see the good logic here. The deeds of evil men are what we should fear, not guns. Immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, jealousy, outbursts of anger, envy, disputes, drunkenness, and strife, dissentions, factions, things like these, they separate us from good; things like these cause innocent children to be killed. There are not laws against love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, but we cannot teach such things in the classroom. And we are failing to teach such things in our culture, in this generation, because we are legislating God’s laws out of our nation. “What we sow, that we shall also reap.” Those who try make a good showing in progressive politics also try to compel you to believe that can they change evil hearts, but only the cross of Christ can do that. We have become arrogant because of our trust in our own achievements and treasures.

But like a lion we should come from the thickets against evil and like Christ we should love our neighbor. If you lived next to that “creepy looking loner kid” Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, would you have befriended him? Would you have invited him to dinner? Helped him meet your friends? Maybe you have the next Adam Lanza living right next door, do you know someone like him? For God’s sake let him know you care about him. These are things we can all do that can be far more helpful than banning inanimate objects to hell.

How do you love?

Do you love your neighbor? What does it look like to love? Do you love like Jesus loved?
Look at me, look carefully. Listen to me, listen carefully. Watch me, observe my ways. Is there something worth loving in me? What if I’m not a “good” person? I lie, I steel, and I lust. Maybe I smoke, cuss, wear gangster clothes, and listen to rap music. Or maybe I smoke some pot, drink, and live a rebellious life; I use women, look at porn, don’t work, and always look angry. I know I’m not very cool in your eyes. I don’t care what you think. I’ll believe what I want to believe; your God is not real. Do you still love me, really love me?
What does your love look like? Do you talk to me? Am I a stranger to you or do you know who I am? Did I attend your church at one time, did I go to school with you, or maybe you just see me on the streets. Do you go out of your way to see me, to talk with me, or help me? Do you leave me encouraging notes on my Facebook Wall? Will you smile at me, and introduce me to your friends? Do you call me and ask me to do things with you? Will you include me when you’re getting together with friends? Will you help me move or fix things for me? Do you invite me to church?
Or do you just pray for me; is that love?