Martyrs and Isolated Churches

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Support Christians under persecution: https://www.persecution.com/

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2 Timothy 3:12 ESV / 153 helpful votes

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Most dangerous places for Christians: North Korea, Afganistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Erithria, Yemen, Iran, India . . .Read:https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/10-dangerous-places-christian-world-watch-list/

Acts 7:59 ESV (the first martyr)

And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

– images from pixabay.com

Yes there are Christians being martyred even today and Isolated Churches can have difficulties

“China Closes Megachurches Before Christmas “

Christian Martyr – A: see cite below *

“Sri Lanka: Attacks on minority faiths keep increasing in the majority-Buddhist island nation.”

“Church leaders and toddlers arrested after singing in public: Communist country proves it is serious about newest religious restrictions.”

These and more stories can be found in “Chistianity Today” https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/a/asia/

*Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. “Christian martyr, in Madagascar in chains – receiving consolation.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-c940-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


SONG: Christian Martyrs Be prepared to CRY! YouTube by Lerryson Christyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDSMDt4oq6k


Christian Martyr Burned at the Stake – B: See Cite Below**

**Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “And last of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake. Thus came Faithful to his end.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/72adcec2-57de-558a-e040-e00a18062a3e

Mark 16:15 ESV

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

List of Some Isolated Churches

Note: please visit the links for photos and a narrative; i do not wish to violate copyright law by re-posting without clearance.

Grytviken Churchhttp://www.sght.org/grytviken-church/

Katskhi Pillar in Georgia https://georgianvoyage.com/katskhi-pillar/

Two Churches, Tristan da Cunha https://www.tristandc.com/churches.php\

Solovetsky Monastery, Russiahttps://orthodoxwiki.org/Solovetsky_Monastery

Svalbard Church, Norwayhttps://www.visitnorway.com/listings/svalbard-church/199335/

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland. https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g797798-d2435680-i77090546-Kap_Hope-Ittoqqortoormiit_Sermersooq_Municipality.html

Chapel of the Snows, McMurdo Station, Antarcticahttp://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/history/chapel.html

Source for some of these churches: https://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2014/04/10-most-remote-churches-places-christian-worship/

Hidden Christian sites in Nagasaki and Amakusa region:https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2253.html

ALSO SEE “Open Doors” :https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/7-reasons-why-hotbeds-of-persecution-are-growing-in-central-asia/

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The Appeal of Modern Prophecy

Short Video of what Revelation may be like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyFEJ-Cptr4

Yes it may be a frightening time to be alive
Great Torment – images from pixabay.com

However we are curious: it is in our nature. We also have a tendency to gravitate toward drama. We may seek relief from our fears by knowing somethings others do not know. Or, it could just be entertainment for some people. Rest assure however our eternity is hinged on what we believe about GOD and Jesus. No doubt GOD has a plan; people may disagree on the details but what does scripture say? This blog cannot cover it all so I suggest a long term Bible study with good references and bona-fide teaching.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Lovers of Self – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 24:7 ESV

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Nation against Nation – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 24:14 ESV

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Gospel Reached the Whole World– images from pixabay.com


Hillsong-This Kingdom (with lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUwNY7uEEc8


Kigdom of GOD on Earth – images from pixabay.com

What do I believe? I believe in the per-tribulation rapture: I with other Christians living and dead will be called up to meet Jesus when He returns I believe I will experience the 1000 year reign of GOD before the final judgement.

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Prophecy IV: Last Days

End Times – images from pixabay.com

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New Testament Prophecy: Last Days

Many people consider how the Earth will end, even Christians. Christians have a lot of clues and if prophecy is studied it is not such a mystery; the warnings are there in the Bible. Still “end of days”, “last days”, “The end of the World” are mixed in with pre-, mid- and post- Tribulation Raptures, the return of Jesus and the 1000 year reign. What are these ideas? Where to begin?

One thing should be clear: do not let all the different interpretations and opinions concerning “The Last” days and “The Return of Jesus” keep you from becoming more Christ-like every day.

Jesus is thw Way – images from pixabay.com

Some information on the Tribulation: https://thecomingtribulation.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/comparison-of-pre-trib-mid-trib-pre-wrath-and-post-trib-views/

So a close look at The New Testament reveals how to be saved, how we should live and what we may expect. Keep your eyes on Christ and do not let the common human fear of the unknown distort your daily life. Keep away from sin and consider Jesus could return at any moment.

Matthew 24:21 ESV

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

Song: Jesus Is Coming Soon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1RHpkF8eLI

Warnings

1 Thessalonians 5:2 ESV

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

Night Thief – images from pixabay.com

Remember GOD’S offer: Salvation through Jesus

1 Thessalonians 5:9 ESV

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Jesus Christ Will Return – images from pixabay.com

Next Week: The Appeal of Prophecy in a Modern World

Revelation 1:1-20 ESV

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood …

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Prophecy III

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Jesus Returns – images from pixabay.com

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Prophecy: Jesus is Coming

All that pertains to the last days and end times is hinged on the return of Jesus and the events associated with that event. Christians have several variations of this event and even some may be misguided. First let us highlight the foretelling of Jesus’ first incarnation.

I will touch upon important scripture

GOD and Love – images from pixabay.com

These are a number of points made in widely separated times and made by different prophets, Apostles or Jesus. To get a better understanding a more complete Bible study considering context is important.

Malachi 3:1 ESV

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.

Isaiah 7:14 ESV

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Micah 5:2ESV

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

John 4:25 ESV

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”


SONG: Jesus is Coming Soon Song | Even So Come

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFlPdNJAdOY


What you can count on?

Jesus and Apostles – images from pixabay.com

Jesus died for all sin belief in Him enables you an eternity with GOD. Getting into Bible studies and instruction from competent Christian teachers will help you understand what it means when we speak of The Second Coming of Jesus.

Next Week: Prophecy IV: Last Days

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Prophecy II

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Title Page Depicting Prophets [Alle Propheten Teutsch] – See attached Cites

SONG From Last Week: Adam Zarn:The Prophets of the Bible Song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BxxPqV2jjA


Four Important Old Testament Prophets to Highlight their Function


Isaiah

No 1 Prophet Isaiah – See attached Cites

https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/prophets/prophets-of-the-bible/isaiah-the-prophet/

Isaiah 40:31 ESV

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.


Jeremiah

No 2 Jeremiah on the ruins of Jerusalem – See attached Cites

http://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-major-prophets/jeremiah

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”


Ezekiel

No 3 The Prophet Ezekiel – See attached Cites

http://biblescripture.net/Ezekiel.html

Ezekiel 37:12-14 ESV

Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”


Daniel

No 4 Belshazzar’s feast–Daniel interpreting the handwriting on the wall – See attached Cites

https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/prophets/prophets-of-the-bible/daniel-the-prophet/

Daniel 5:29 ESV

Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

NOTE:

Next Week Prophecy: Jesus Is Coming

God’s Story: The Prophets Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sumaXbjP2Kg

* * * * * *

The Bible must be studied as a whole and these and other prophets involve studies into themselves therefore, today’s blog is only a hint concerning the impotance of prophets.

Cites for Prophet Images

No 1 The Lower Pool of Siloam. The old mulberry-tree, supported by stones, is said to mark the spot where the Prophet Isaiah was sawn asunder, in the presence of King Manasseh

Dorot Jewish Division, The New York Public Library. “The Lower Pool of Siloam. The old mulberry-tree, supported by stones, is said to mark the spot where the Prophet Isaiah was sawn asunder, in the presence of King Manasseh” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 13, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5dc7-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

No 2 Jeremiah on the ruins of Jerusalem

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Jeremiah on the ruins of Jerusalem” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 13, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-5d96-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

No 3 The Prophet Ezekiel

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Prophet Ezekiel” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 13, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/cd843910-e6d6-0132-8e4f-58d385a7bbd0

No 4 Belshazzar’s feast–Daniel interpreting the handwriting on the wall.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Belshazzar’s feast–Daniel interpreting the handwriting on the wall” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 13, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-133a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Title Page Depicting Prophets [Alle Propheten Teutsch]

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Title Page Depicting Prophets [Alle Propheten Teutsch]” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 13, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5bd3f690-63d5-0133-b389-00505686d14e


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Prophecy I

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Baptism of Christ – images from pixabay.com

Ancient People Sought GOD or gods

The seeking was prompted by the so many unknowns humans were confronted by in their daily lives. Some among each population (clan, tribe, nation) were aroused to fill the void: discover ways to commune with GOD or gods and act as a representative of the people – a priest. This approach led to many forms of human invention meant to fill the void but, sadly at the expense of the general population for the aggrandizement of a few. With their power over others these intermediary few compelled the people to comply and obey or they would offend the gods. What is unique about the way our true Biblical GOD accomplished this? GOD approached, taught and guided people (not the other way around).

Adam and Eve walked with GOD.

Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature of Adam and Eve questioned by God.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e6b0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Genesis 3:8 ESV

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Genesis 6:9 ESV

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

Genesis 5:22 ESV

Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.

What we Believe as Christians is that GOD provided people with guidance knowledge and standards through Prophets

Bible The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Title page” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-618c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“Prophet (general definition):In religion, a prophet is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divine being and is said to speak on that entity’s behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source to other people.[1][2] The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy. “

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophet


Music for You – images from pixabay.com

Adam Zarn:The Prophets of the Bible Song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BxxPqV2jjA

The test for a true prophet?

False Prophet – images from pixabay.com

Deuteronomy 18:20-22 ESV

But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

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Turning away from substance abuse

Support Each Other – images from pixabay.com

Proverbs 20:1 ESV

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.


Mercy Me- Hold Fast- Recovery Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY_BTvsBeug


Not a Solution – images from pixabay.com

Before I became a Christian I lead a decadent life with few constraints; ultimately this lead to several negative challenges in my life – I failed to correct my faults. Finally admitting I was a sinner unable to control my sin nature without help. I turned my life over to GOD through Jesus Christ. Sure life became better but consequences still arouse and occasionally I needed to remind myself what my weaknesses were and that it was GOD not me that made the recovery possible.

Not the Answer – images from pixabay.com

Finally after more than thirty-five years my most difficult battles seem to be in the past.

Pills – images from pixabay.com

Lisa Scinta – Addiction Lyrics Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2DLZOAth78


I must not drop my guard: In a culture that seems to be challenged more and more by substance abuse, depression and declining morals my only hope for a better life, the resistance to temptation is my trust in Jesus and the Word of GOD as my guide.

Like minded Christians can be of enormous help

Support Each Other – images from pixabay.com

Hebrews 10:25 ESV

Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Help one another, study The Bible together and encourage each other. If one stumbles prop him or her up.

Renewed Life – images from pixabay.com

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Excerpt from a secular blog of mine: Odd Thoughts (with Christian influence)

What is a Realistic Education (Biblical Stewadship; resonsibility)
Somewhere along the way Americans seem to have lost their understanding of what a useful education really is: A realistic education prepares a student for becoming a productive citizen with realistic expectations, skills for industry and in home life and, an understanding of right and wrong. Knowledge of our political system with its checks and balances with accurate expectations as a citizen. What do I believe about this topic?
First there is no one route to success, second few people will achieve recognition for some esoteric or exotic invention. The overwhelming majority of our citizens will work for a living and mange their affairs in a responsible way which yields satisfaction (contentment and happiness). What kind of knowledge and training do people need?
There is more than one (or just a few) paths
A. Basics: Language – reading and writing and, math skills.
B. Advanced Basics:

Education – images from pixabay.com
  1. Health: Nutrition, dangers, medical routines, exercise . . . etc.
  2. Personal Economics: Money management, retirement planning, running a household.
  3. Thorough knowledge of American History and our relationship to World History.
  4. Detailed knowledge of our political system with checks and balances and relationship of majorities to minorities; our economic system.
  5. Morality: right from wrong; civility and common courtesies. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS Respect for spiritual matters.
    C. Advanced Studies: in compact programs, vocational schools, military service and then Colleges or Universities.
  6. Job skills
  7. Leadership skills (if applicable)
  8. Advanced Mental Health: accurate knowledge of self and the relationship with others.

New Woman – images from pixabay.com

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LINK: https://www.twr.org/

New Man – images from pixabay.com

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Sudden Calamity

No Warning – images from pixabay.com

How fast does change happen?

Unexpected Failure – images from pixabay.com

One minute you are riding happily in your car with your family when suddenly a vehicle from oncoming traffic slams into your car head on. In an instant flames erupt and everyone dies. Nothing humans can do can completely eliminate unexpected danger from destroying us, our family or our homes – the best we can do is to have a plan for a catastrophe and pray.


Lightning Strikes – images from pixabay.com

Unbelievable accident, happened within seconds


Firery Crash – images from pixabay.com

Christians have much more than an Earthly plan: we can look forward to an eternity in heaven with GOD because of the accomplishment of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23 ESV

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus paid the penalty for sin we just have to accept that and accept Him. We then become Christians with and eternal future with GOD. That is our major insurance policy for sudden calamity leading to death. Lesser events and challenges can be handled with prayer and use of our brain (intelligence) given by GOD.


Newsboys – Disaster (Lyric Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai9QSPjeZJQ


Sudden Bombing – images from pixabay.com

Starting soon series on the end times and prophecy.

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When the Excitement Fades

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The call is exhilarating; the field exotic

Fisherman – images from pixabay.com
Sea of Galilee – images from pixabay.com

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV

Holy Spirit as a Dove – images from pixabay.com

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, …

When we become a Christian we seek advice from GOD concerning our gift(s); are eager to learn from The Bible; eager to witness; eager to serve ; maybe eager to go out as a missionary. We can clamor so much we miss the quiet whispers from GOD and grow restless – we are still human: we may think we were mistaken; newness may fade; routines may eventually become uninspired and dull. What shall we do? Pray, pray, pray. Seek help from the Holy Spirit and counsel from mentors to renew our energies and correct our course.

Seek GOD – images from pixabay.com

I was taught Christians are needed in every walk of life so that GOD’S Love and standards can be seen in many places.

Women at Work – images from pixabay.com
Older Worker – images from pixabay.com

Steven Curtis Chapman – For The Sake Of The Call [Official Music]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDkmbB8LWE8


Pray for a renewed spirit and renewed or new inspiration:


Psalm 51:10 ESV

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Donnie McClurkin: Create In Me A Clean Heart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bacXQPujfKI


Whatever works to help you rekindle your fire; loosing faith is a test more common then many Christians Realize

Daniel Comboni – images from pixabay.com

SEE: 1 Kings 19:4-20 ESV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+19%3A4-20&version=ESV

Even Prophets of old fell victim to doubt and disappointments. Christians I have known have sought counsel, fasted, prayed . . . whatever necessary in order to rekindle their spiritual fire. You will not loose your salvation but you can loose heavenly rewards when doubts discourage and weaken your effectiveness as a Christian.

John 10:28 ESV

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

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Live Your Faith

Music for You – images from pixabay.com
Have a servants heart – images from pixabay.com

Become a better Christian

James was (and is) addressing Christians when he wrote:

James 2:14-17 ESV

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Mother Teresa – images from pixabay.com

Works will not save you only accepting Jesus Christ can do that but, we express our gratitude for GOD’s Grace by showing GOD’s Love in the way we live and act. Works do add to our heavenly rewards however: Matthew 16:27; James 1:12; 

The saddest thing for me is seeing a Christian displaying a “fish” or Christian slogan on their bumper but then drive angrily and discourteously.

Fish – images from pixabay.com

As Christians people will judge our faith, our character and perhaps even Jesus by the way we behave and function in our society. It is our responsibility to live up to GOD’s standard and adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ as much as it is humanly possible. I say humanly possible, because we are all sinners saved by grace: when we stumble we must confess our sins and strive to defeat whatever the sin was – we can with the help of the Holy Spirit.

1 John 1:8 ESV

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Jesus did not fall for a trick when asked about stoning a sinner:

Stoning – images from pixabay.com

Who is without sin?

John 8:7 ESV

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

ESV- English Standard Version: Crossway

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