Archives For reward

The One Sin

randomlychad  —  May 10, 2012 — 14 Comments

Those of us who identify as “born again”–as Christians–know that when Jesus comes into our lives all of our sins go away, because we’re new creations.

Right?

No, that isn’t true at all. Not in the slightest.

20120509-223121.jpgUnlike angels, we are not pure spirit. But being spirits, we have souls, and live in bodies. As long as we are earthbound, we are tethered to the flesh, and the lines blur. In the words of C.S. Lewis, we are “hybrid creatures”–neither this, nor that, nor the other–yet somehow all three simultaneously.

And therein lies the root of our struggle:

20120509-223422.jpg“the spirit lusteth against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit.” The two are contrary to one another. It is in this tension that every Christian walking the planet lives. It is a sort of “schizophrenic” existence, having these two natures. There is a constant push and pull–an internal tug of war–raging inside of us.

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We are people of two worlds.

Some days, our baser nature wins; others, it seems we’ve never been closer to God. Yet still others, we go from victory to defeat in the span of a heartbeat… “O, wretched man am I! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”

Knowing the price Jesus paid, we resolve to struggle on–to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.”

20120509-224936.jpgAnd still we fall back–in a thousand ways, both large and small.

But God gives more grace.

The fact remains: sin-free we will never be in our sojourn here, in this vale of tears. His blood, however, covers us.

How God will separate spirit from soul from body when we each shuffle off this mortal coil, I do not know.

What I do know is: there is only one sin that can keep us from Him:

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Refusing the free gift of His Son.

Yesterday, October 5th, 2011, Steve Jobs passed into eternity. Though I did not know the man, I’ve lost family members to cancer. As many of you have as well. It is a horrible, insidious disease–killing painfully by degrees.

As such, I grieve along with his family and colleagues. There is grief along the way, watching your loved one slowly die. And there is grief when the end comes, because although expected, it is always too soon.

At least that’s the way it seems to me.

Continue Reading…

Today marks a RandomlyChad first: my first-ever guest-poster. Tyler Tarver is a funny bloke, loves Harry Potter, and just came out with his first book. Take it away, Tyler! Oh, and be gentle!

10 Reasons You’ll Hate Words & Sentences

I know from reading Randomly Hacd’s (I believe in my heart of hearts that any word following “random” should be placed in random order) site for a while that he likes to throw the hate, and you know, my hate smells like a sweaty leprechaun hat.

Now, I know Chad’s hate can be inferred as “love”. Not me, I can’t even spell that word correctly. Luove. See, can’t do it. I’m really going to lay down the hate on my new book, Words & Sentences, in hopes that you’ll buy it, like it, and we can fall in lerve.

10 Reasons You’ll Hate Words & Sentences:

'Unicorn meat' photo (c) 2011, Bill Sodeman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
1. There’s a Unicorn on the front. C’mon, guy, a unicorn? They taste awful, like a rainbow. [Voldemort seemed to like them. Just sayin’.]

2. There is absolutely no mention of the debt crisis sweeping the America. I mean, I hear about it in every media outlet on the planet, and I want it in my literature. [But not in your book? What’s up with that?]

Continue Reading…

Listen. Come a little closer. That’s right–here around the corner. I need to tell you something.

Please keep this in confidence, okay?

'Douche' photo (c) 2008, Mike Schmid - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Continue Reading…

>Hell Is For Real

randomlychad  —  March 16, 2011 — 3 Comments

>Standing at the Gates of Hellphoto © 2008 Shane Gorski | more info (via: Wylio)

Let me begin at the outset with a series of disclaimers: I am no Hebraist, don’t know any Greek (except what I learned from My Big Fat Greek Wedding–which I’ll not here repeat–and have no formal training in biblical scholarship. What follows is merely my understanding of scripture. Allow me to lay my cards on the table now, and say this: I believe Hell is a real place because Jesus seemed to treat it as such in the text.

If we’ve read the New Testament, then we are familiar with the parables of Jesus. Parables are stories that He told to instruct His hearers, and us, about kingdom realities. Some were plainly obvious in their meaning, and others required further probing, or a bald-faced explanation. All of them contain multiple levels of truth; one such is found in Luke 16. It is the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, and goes like this:

“19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,
23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house-
28 for I have five brothers-so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”

Contextually, this passage is sandwiched in between a teaching on divorce and remarriage, and one on the temptation to sin. What’s unique about it is that it features a historical personage–Abraham, who is consoling Lazarus in a place that’s not hell. We know this because the rich man was said to be in “anguish” in “Hades.” Interestingly, they all can see one another, but there is “a great chasm” that prevents travel between the two places.

Even more interesting to me is the fact that the rich man’s suffering is tied directly to his prosperity. It’s implied that the “good things” he was blessed with in his earthly life he didn’t share with Lazarus. Thus he was “tormented,” and Lazarus “comforted.” If there’s a lesson in this for us, it’s that we need to have a care for the poor, or we may find ourselves in a place of torment.

Jesus then goes on to speak, metaphorically, of His impending resurrection. His point being that God, in Moses and the prophets, had given folks enough information to act on regarding kingdom matters. Not even someone coming back from the dead is a convincing enough proof for one who doesn’t want to believe.

From the biblical text, two things are clear to me, namely:

1) God is near to the poor; and
2) our eternal reward, or punishments seems to hinge on the quality of our compassion (or lack thereof).

Picking up the text in Matthew 25:41, the famous parable of the sheep and goats seems to rather stunningly bear this out:

“41 “Then he will say to those on his left [the goats], ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Earlier in the passage (the part I didn’t quote), the righteous are identified as the ones visiting, feeding, clothing, ministering. Doing that for “the least of these” is the same as doing it to Jesus Himself.

And again, eternal reward, or punishment, are tied inextricably to what are undeniably social justice causes.

The lesson, to me, seems clear: we must have a heart for what–for who–Jesus gives His heart to. Else we may find ourselves in a place of “eternal punishment.” A real place called “Hell.”

All of this may seem incredibly obvious to you, but I’m a little slow sometimes. Thanks for bearing with me, and reading a layman’s ramblings.

Make a great day!