Gospel Literature

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A Friend For You

Jesus Your Friend

I have a friend. He is the best friend I have ever had. He is so kind and true that I would like you to know Him, too. His name is Jesus. The wonderful thing is that He would like to be your friend.

Let me tell you about Him. We read this story in the Bible. The Bible is true. It is God’s Word.

God is the one Who created the world and everything in it. He is Lord of Heaven and earth. He gives life and breath to all things.

Jesus is the Son of God. God sent Him from heaven to this earth to be our very own Savior. God loved the world so much (that means He loved you and me) that He sent His only Son, Jesus, (to die for our sins) that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus came to earth as a tiny baby. His father and mother on earth were Joseph and Mary. He was born in a stable and laid in a manger.

Jesus grew up with Joseph and Mary and He obeyed them. He had brothers and sisters to play with. He helped Joseph in his carpenter shop.

When Jesus grew to be a man, He taught the people about His Father in heaven. He showed them that God loved them. He healed the sick and comforted those in trouble. He was a Friend of the children. He wanted to have the children close to Him. He had time for them. The children loved Jesus and loved to be with Him.

Some people did not love Jesus. They envied Him, and even hated Him. They hated Him so much that they wanted to kill Him. One dreadful day they killed Jesus by nailing Him to a cross. Jesus had done nothing wrong. He had to die in our place because you and I have done wrong.

The story of Jesus does not end with His death. God raised Him from the dead! His followers saw Him. Then one day He went back to heaven.

Today He is able to see and hear you. He knows all about you and cares for you. Just come to Him in prayer. Tell Him all about your troubles. He is ready to help you. You can bow your head and talk to Him, anytime, anywhere.

Someday He is coming again! He will take all those who believe on Him home to heaven.

A Happy Home

The Bible gives us the blueprint for a home that is beautiful in design, solid in structure, and pleasant in atmosphere. Home can be a place of harmony and contentment, or one of tension and strife. Is your home happy, strong, and able to survive the storms of life?

Home is an important social unit. It is divinely ordained for our spiritual development, emotional happiness, and physical fulfillment. God's plan has always been that members of the home should bring happiness one to another and that families should live in harmony.

Why Some Homes Are Unhappy

Why, then, are many homes unhappy? Why are they being broken by discord, separation, and divorce? It is because God's pattern has been disregarded. Within His Word is found the needed building material for a happy home. Homes built according to His Word are places of love, trust, mutual interest, and unselfish service one to another. Such homes will bring happiness into our lives and preserve our communities and nations. Are you following the plan of God, the Master Architect? "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it" (Psalm 127:1).

In youth the foundation is laid for our future homes. A life pure before God is an important ingredient in our preparation for marriage. Premarital sinfulness undermines moral stability and places the future home in jeopardy. Self-centeredness and self-gratification in our youth set a pattern of living that wreaks havoc in marriage. The high rate of divorce is sufficient proof of these facts. These sins must be thoroughly repented of before there can be a new life in Christ. The past can then be laid to rest and God will enter with His blessings.

A home begins when a man and a woman are joined together in marriage. The Bible says we are to marry "only in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 7:39). This means that both man and woman have surrendered their lives and wills to the Lord. God must have first place. When man, woman, or both are selfish, where is the basis of mutual happiness?

Marrying in the Lord

Marrying "in the Lord" not only means that the man and woman are Christians, but also that the Lord will lead them to one another. Passions, physical attractions, and infatuations are a poor beginning for a marriage. When these are the basis for our attraction to each other, there may be frustration and conflict after marriage. As we trust the Lord to guide our choice, His divine wisdom foresees the helpmate we will need, not only for today but for the years ahead. The Lord may choose different tastes and temperaments, which will complement each other, resulting in a more balanced unit. "And they twain shall be one flesh" (Mark 10:8).

Marriage is meant to be a life-long bond, not a mere legal contract. Jesus gave this clear-cut command, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder"(Matthew 19:6).

A Godly Order

The home is a little community within itself, and, like every social unit, delegated areas of responsibility are necessary. God has given us an outline of this order in the Bible. It is a framework of authority, which, if followed, will bring order and happiness to the home. The greatest responsibility is required of the husband, then the wife, and then the child, in that order. (Read also 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-24). When God establishes and sanctions a principle, it becomes sacred. Any disobedience to that order will bring its measure of sorrow. On the other hand, He blesses those who are obedient with godliness, happiness and grace.

At marriage the husband and wife begin a union in which each has a responsibility and obligation. Both are needed with their different functions and natural abilities to make the home complete. Someone must take the lead; and God has delegated this position to the man. "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church, and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:23). Such love is immersed in a spirit of self-giving. It is a caring love that causes the husband to treat his wife "as his own body" (Ephesians 5:28). A loving husband will not consider his wife to be his inferior. He will rather confide in her and seek her counsel, making her a true partner through his love for her.

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands" (1 Peter 3:1). When a wife follows her husband's leadership in the home, as He obediently follows Christ, that home will be a haven of peace and contentment. Ephesians 5:33 says, "and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Rebellion against this principle has brought much unhappiness into the homes of today. Sidestepping this principle not only brings conflict into the life of the family, but also brings spiritual conflict into the heart of the wife.

The Children's Place

We like to think of children as pure and innocent. However, all are born with sinful natures. As a child grows, his selfish nature will become increasingly evident. He will bring much unhappiness upon himself and others unless the parents discipline these tendencies.

A child's duty is to obey his parents. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1). A perfect example of this obedience is noted in the life of Jesus as a child. "And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them" (Luke 2:51). When the principle of submission is practiced and is the routine of the home, parents and children will be happier, and the home will be more pleasant.

When God's order is maintained, the parents will live for their children, the children for their parents, and all will live for God. Such homes will bless our communities and give quality to our nations.

Many youth are involved in drugs, fads, fashions, and the world of entertainment. They are captivated by a fast society that is throwing away values and morals. At one time these gave a degree of integrity and stability to our communities. Is the absence of secure and happy homes an underlying cause of our restless and discontented youth? What can you do about it? Has it ever occurred to you that the making of your home depends upon you and your heart's loyalty to God?

Christ the Foundation

If we want to build a strong and happy home, Jesus Christ must be the foundation. Rains may come and storms beat against it, but with Christ it will stand(Matthew 7:24-27). He will give us the direction, strength, and courage that will make our homes successful and happy in this cruel, unsympathetic world. Jesus was a home lover, and He is ready to move into our homes. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock" (Revelation 3:20). First He knocks at the door of our hearts and then at the door of our homes. Will we let Him in?

A happy home begins in our hearts. We cannot have genuine peace in our homes without peace in our hearts. Personal daily victory over the irritations and frustrations of the day can be ours when we place our trust in God. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26:3).

A godly family will pray together for their own hearts, their home, and the needs of the community. Prayer binds a family together. A faithful saying is, "The family that prays together stays together."

Believe and accept God's plan for your life and home. Open the door of your heart to Christ. "Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Hebrews 3:7-8). The Lord is waiting to bless your heart and home. Turn to Him with all your heart and remain faithful. Some day He will open the door of that heavenly home for you, where happiness and perfect peace will welcome you forever.

Classification: 

A Saviour For You

Are you a happy person? Or does guilt and fear overcome all your happiness? You wish you could get rid of your guilt, but how? You may wonder, Am I ever going to be happy again?

I have good news for you! There is Someone who can help you, forgive your sins, and give you lasting happiness. His name is Jesus. Let me tell you about him.

God is the One Who made the world. He made everything in the world. He made you and me.

God loves us. He loves everyone in the world. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His only Son, to this world. While Jesus was on this earth, He healed the sick; He comforted the sad. He opened blinded eyes. He taught the people many things. We read about this in the Bible.

Jesus wanted us to understand the great love that His Father had for you and me. He told this story that explained that Love of His Father.

A Man was happily living in a town with his two sons. He thought all was going well. One day one of the sons rebelled and came to him and said, I don’t like this home, I want my own way and I am leaving. Give me my share of the inheritance. The Father was very sad but he gave him the money and let him go. He wondered if he would ever see the son again. Why was the son so rebellious?

The son went far away and enjoyed himself with his money and his friends. He wasted his money and did many bad things. He thought he was having a very good time until suddenly his money ran out and his friends left him. Then he was left all alone and he felt very guilty. What should he do?

He went to a farmer and the farmer sent him to feed the pigs. He was not given enough to eat. He was so hungry he would have eaten the pig’s food. He started to think of all the bad things he had done and how he had mistreated his Father. He got more and more miserable.

One day he remembered how loving his Father was and how well he had it when he was still at home.

He thought, Could I go back to my Father after all I have done to Him? Would He still love me? I am not worthy to be his son. I would be just a servant in his house if only he would take me in.

Suddenly he got to his feet and started for his Father’s house. He would see if His father would still love him.

The Father had been longing for his son ever since he left. He wondered, Will my son ever come back? Then one day he saw someone coming in the distance. Could it be my son? He ran to him with outstretched arms and welcomed him back. He said, This my son was lost but now is found.

We have all been like this son; we have all strayed from our Heavenly Father. We have wasted the opportunities and all the good things He has given us. We have done bad things and rebelled against Him. Today our heavenly Father wants us to come to Him. He is waiting for us with outstretched arms.

Do we realize the love that Jesus has for us? After He had been teaching on this earth for three years He allowed wicked men to nail Him to a cross. He suffered pain and rejection as He gave His life and shed His blood as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.

When we come to the Father, we ask him to forgive our sin. When he sees we are sorry for our sins, He forgives us and washes away all our sin with His blood that He shed. What a wonderful experience. Jesus has become our Saviour. We have been born again and become a new person. Life takes on a new meaning. Jesus has replaced our guilt and fear with joy and happiness.

Abiding in God's Grace

In the beginning, after God had created Adam and Eve, He loved to fellowship with them while they walked together in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve did not know about sin and evil because they were innocent and pure. God gave Adam and Eve only one commandment to obey. They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. From the beginning, God has given mankind the power of choice, and He has never revoked it.

Satan, a powerful fallen angel, deceived Eve by tempting her to eat of the fruit from the forbidden tree. He told her she could disobey God without any consequences, and that eating the fruit would give her godlike knowledge. Then Eve chose to eat and offered the fruit to her husband, and he made the same terrible mistake.

What a fatal choice! Their innocence was gone. They were guilty. Shamefully recognizing their nakedness, they tried to cover themselves with aprons of fig leaves. They became afraid of God and hid when they heard His voice. That was only the beginning of trouble. Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden and they became subject to sin and death. Even the earth was cursed because of what they had done.

They now found they were inclined to do evil. Their knowledge of good and evil did not keep them from doing wrong. Spiritual death passed down to their children and, eventually, to all their posterity.

The influence of evil is all around us. We find every evil thing imaginable in our world today. People are proud and lustful, seeking pleasure and power. They make many wrong choices and suffer the sad consequences. One person's choice often makes those around him miserable. How terrible are the results of sin!

Many homes are unhappy because of wrong choices. Children often suffer when families are separated through divorce. People indulge in addictions and evil habits. Innocent children grow up under this influence, accepting it as normal, corrupting their young minds. How will this cycle be broken?

There is hope! God in His mercy came to Adam and Eve and clearly revealed the great sin they had committed, but He promised a Redeemer who would deliver them.
Many years later, Jesus Christ was born. He taught the way of truth. He came so that we could have spiritual life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). To receive this new life, we must become converted. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Like Adam and Eve, our sins bring guilt and shame. Jesus calls us to repent of our sins, which means we are sorry for them and are willing to forsake them. If we turn to Jesus, asking Him to forgive our sins and believing He is able to save us, He cleanses our hearts. He gives us daily grace as we yield to His Spirit and walk in obedience to His Word. We are filled with the Holy Spirit, which gives us power to overcome sin. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

The Christian believer trusts God to provide and care for him. He listens to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who comforts him when he does right and reproves him when he does wrong. He learns more and more to trust God for strength to overcome temptations. Each victory strengthens his faith. He finds that victory is always within reach when he relies on God's enabling grace each day.

A Christian believer becomes aware that sin separates him from God. Therefore, he no longer associates with evil companions and he avoids ungodly activities. God does not force him to do this. He chooses to live separately from the evils of the world.
The child of God is at peace because the guilt of sin has been taken away. Confident in God’s love and forgiveness, he brings his cares and burdens to God in prayer. This makes it possible to live without anxiety and fear. He walks daily with Jesus, thus finding true happiness and fulfillment. As long as he does not sin wilfully, he remains at peace with God.

A true believer in Christ seeks fellowship with those who share his faith and trust in God. Together, they find joy in talking about their Christian lives. They share their blessings and struggles to strengthen each other. Burdens become lighter, and there is new strength for victory

Will you surrender your life to Jesus? God’s grace is available to all who will repent and believe. Commit your past, present, and future to Him. Nothing less than complete, heartfelt repentance and faith in Christ will bring the peace, joy, and enabling grace of God into your life. Give Him your heart today.

Classification: 

Chapters of Pure Gold

Chapters of Pure Gold

 

The Bible is a precious book that fills the need of every soul. The messages found in it provide spiritual nourishment. There are chapters exactly suited for your particular need or inquiry.

 

God's message to man is expressed in different ways in various chapters of the Bible. There is much knowledge of God and the history of His people to be found in Genesis and other Old Testament chapters. The Psalms and many New Testament chapters can be read as a source of real spiritual inspiration. Many teachings of Jesus such as Matthew 5, 6, and 7, as well as writings of the Apostles, give direction for our daily lives. It all combines to provide an understanding of God, His will for us, and His promises.

 

God has warmed the hearts of many readers as they have drawn from these blessed resources. Let us be encouraged to read these chapters. Let us read them not only to make ourselves feel better, but to let the message of God touch the need of our inner self.

 

 

WHAT YOUR BIBLE SAYS ABOUT

God
Birth of Jesus Chapter  Luke 2
Creation Chapter  Genesis 1
Deliverance Psalm  Psalm 18
God's Greatness Chapter  Isaiah 40
God's Holiness Psalm Psalm 99
Good Shepherd Chapter  John 10
Holy Spirit Chapter  John 16
Messianic Psalm  Psalm 110
Nature Psalm Psalm 104
Redemption Chapter  Luke 23
Sad Chapter  Luke 22
Sufferer's Chapter  Isaiah 53
   
Your Spiritual Need
Beatitude Chapter  Matthew 5
Comfort Chapter  2 Corinthians 1
Endurance Chapter  Hebrews 12
Hypocrite Chapter  Matthew 23
Infidel's Psalm  Psalm 14
Prison Chapter  Acts 23
Refuge Psalm  Psalm 46
Safety Psalm  Psalm 91
Shepherd Psalm  Psalm 23
Temptation Chapter  James 1
Wisdom Chapter  Proverbs 3
   
Being Saved
Atonement Chapter  Hebrews 9
Baptism Chapter  Mark 1
Blessing Chapter Deuteronomy 28
Conqueror's Chapter  Luke 4
Cornelius Chapter  Acts 10
Courage Chapter  Joshua 1
Crucifixion Chapter  John 19
Fisherman's Chapter  Luke 5
Guilty Chapter Romans 1
Invitation Chapter Isaiah 55
John the Baptist Chapter  Luke 3
Lost and Found Chapter Luke 15
New Birth Chapter John 3
Pentecost Chapter Acts 2
Prayer Chapter Matthew 6
Saul of Tarsus Chapter Acts 9
Today Chapter Hebrews 3
Whosoever Chapter Revelation 22
   
Happiness in the Lord
Abiding Chapter  John 15
Golden Chapter  Psalm 16
Growth Chapter  2 Peter 1
Joyful Psalm  Psalm 98
Mercy Psalm  Psalm 136
Peace Chapter  John 14
Song Chapter  Luke 1
Thank You Chapter  Luke 17
Traveler's Psalm  Psalm 121
   
Practical Directions for Living
Abraham Chapter  Genesis 15
Asa's Reform Chapter  2 Chronicles 15
Bishop's and Deacon's Chapter 1 Timothy 3
Character Chapter  Job 29
Charity Chapter  1 Corinthians 13
Christian's Psalm Psalm 15
Confidence Chapter  Psalm 27
Consecration Chapter  Romans 12
Divorce Chapter  Matthew 19
Employee's Chapter  Colossians 3
Employer's Chapter  Colossians 4
Faith Chapter  Hebrews 11
Family Chapter  Ephesians 5-6
Golden Rule Chapter  Matthew 7
Greatest Commandment Chapter Luke 10
Humility Chapter  Luke 18
Judgment Chapter  Romans 14
Law of Love Chapter  Romans 13
Life in the Spirit Chapter  Romans 8
Preparation Chapter  Matthew 25
Separation Chapter  2 Corinthians 6
Sermon on the Mount Chapters Matthew 5-7
Soldier's Chapter  Ephesians 6
Stephen's Chapter  Acts 7
Ten Commandments Chapter Exodus 20
Tithing Chapter  Malachi 3
Watchman's Chapter  Ezekiel 33
Wife's Chapter  Proverbs 31
Wise Man's Chapter  Proverbs 15
Works Chapter  James 2
   
Witnessing
Ascension Chapter  Acts 1
Great Commission Chapter  Matthew 28
John and Peter's Chapter  Acts 4
Lame Man's Chapter  Acts 3
Macedonian Chapter  Acts 16
Philip's Chapter  Acts 8
Sower's Chapter  Luke 8
   
When You Have Fallen
Backslider's Chapter  Jeremiah 3
Excuse Chapter  Luke 14
Intemperance Chapter  Proverbs 23
Overcome Chapters Revelation 2-3
Prodigal Psalm Psalm 51
Revival Chapter  2 Kings 23
   
Life after Death
Brevity Psalm Psalm 90
Heaven Chapter  Revelation 21
Last Judgment Chapter  Revelation 20
Lazarus Chapter  John 11
Resurrection Chapter  1 Thessalonians 4
Second Coming Chapter  2 Peter 3
   
BIBLE STORIES……….
   
Early Times
The Garden of Eden  Genesis 2-3
Cain and Abel  Genesis 4
Noah's Ark  Genesis 6-8
Destruction of Sodom  Genesis 18-19
Isaac on the Altar  Genesis 22
Joseph Becomes a Ruler Genesis 37, 39, 47
Moses, Babe in a Basket Exodus 2
Crossing the Red Sea  Exodus 14
   
Israel, a Nation
The Two Spies  Joshua 2
Fall of Jericho  Joshua 6
Thief among the Soldiers  Joshua 7
Gideon and his 300  Judges 6-7
Strong-bodied Samson  Judges 13-16
Ruth, the Gleaner  Ruth
The Boy Samuel  1 Samuel 1-3
Jonathan, Brave Young Prince 1 Samuel 14
David Kills the Giant  1 Samuel 17
Elijah the Prophet 1 Kings 17 to 2 Kings 2
Elisha the Prophet 1 Kings 19: 2 Kings 2-8
The Israelite Maid  2 Kings 5
"Jonah, Go to Nineveh"  Jonah
Queen Esther  Esther
Book of the Law is Found 2 Kings 22
Fiery Furnace  Daniel 3
Daniel in the Lion's Den  Daniel 6
   
Life of Christ
Birth of Jesus  Matthew 2; Luke 2
Jesus Tempted  Matthew 4
Jesus at a Wedding  John 2
Woman at Jacob's Well  John 4
Through the Roof  Mark 2
Girl Raised from the Dead  Mark 5
Five Thousand Fed  John 6
Jesus Walks on the Sea  Matthew 14
A Blind Man Healed  John 9
Good Samaritan  Luke 10
The Runaway Boy  Luke 15
Rich Man and Lazarus   Luke 16
Dead Man Raised to Life John 11
Last Days of Jesus  Matthew 26-27
Resurrection of Jesus  John 20
   
Early Church
Death from a Lie  Acts 5
Saul Sees a Light from Heaven Acts 9
Conversion of Cornelius  Acts 10
How a Prison Gate Open  Acts 12
A Song Opens Prison Doors  Acts 16
Paul is Shipwrecked  Acts 27-28
The City of God  Revelation 21-22

(Adapted from Lessons for Christian Workers, by C.H. Yatman)

 

Read Your Bible……..

 

For it contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, doom of sinners and happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

 

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's charter.

 

Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

 

Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be open at the judgment and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents.

 


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Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

Classification: 

Connaître la plus belle histoire

Une fois, il n’y avait rien dans ce monde.
Aucun poisson.
Aucune étoile dans le ciel.
Aucune mer, aucune fleur.
Tout était vide et sombre.
Mais il y avait Dieu.
Dieu avait un plan merveilleux. Il envisageait un beau monde et pendant qu’il y réfléchissait, il le créa. Dieu créa le monde avec ce qui n’existait pas, et en le créant Dieu déclara simplement : «que ce soit fait» et cela fut ainsi.
Il créa la lumière. Il créa les rivières et les mers, la terre couverte d’herbe, les animaux, les oiseaux et les arbres.
Finalement il créa l’homme, et il créa la femme pour l’homme. Ils s’appelaient Adam et Ève.
Dieu les aimait tendrement. Ils habitaient dans un beau jardin et chaque soir Dieu y allait pour leur rendre visite.
Le jardin leur appartenait pour qu’ils en profitent, à l’exception d’un arbre que Dieu leur avait défendu de toucher.
Adam et Ève étaient heureux, mais un jour Satan, l’ennemi de Dieu, les tenta. Ils se décidèrent de manger du fruit défendu, et ils commirent un péché. Pour la première fois, ils étaient tristes et honteux.
Ils ne pouvaient plus parler à Dieu. Ils éprouvaient de la douleur et de la tristesse. Ils devaient mourir. Ils étaient désolés!
Dieu leur promit de les aider. Il leur dit, «Au temps voulu, j’enverrai mon fils Jésus dans ce monde. Il descendra du ciel. Jésus ôtera vos péchés, mais il souffrira et il mourra pour vous.» Qu’ils étaient contents que Dieu allait leur envoyer un Sauveur!
Adam et Ève avaient des enfants et des petits-enfants. Bientôt ce monde était très peuplé.
Dieu voulait qu’ils soient très heureux. Il leur dit ce qu’ils devraient faire. Voici une liste des règles que Dieu leur donna :
1. Vous n’aurez pas d’autres dieux devant ma face.
2. Vous ne ferez point d’image taillée, ni aucune représentation de Dieu.
3. Vous ne prendrez point le nom de l’Éternel en vain.
4. Souvenez-vous du jour du repos, pour le sanctifier.
5. Honorez votre père et votre mère.
6. Vous ne tuerez point.
7. Vous ne commettrez point d’adultère.
8. Vous ne déroberez point.
9. Vous ne direz point de faux témoignages contre votre voisin.
10. Vous ne convoiterez point la maison de votre prochain; vous ne convoiterez point la femme de votre prochain, ni son serviteur, ni sa servante, ni son boeuf, ni son âne, ni aucune chose qui appartienne à votre prochain. (Exode 20.3-17).
Elles sont écrites dans la Bible, ainsi nous pouvons les lire. Si nous y obéissons, nous serons heureux.
Satan ne veut pas que nous obéissions. Parfois il nous dit de voler quand personne ne nous voit. Mais Dieu le sait. Dieu voit tout.
Parfois Satan nous pousse à dire un mensonge et il nous fait croire que personne ne le saura. Dieu le sait. Il entend tout.
Quand nous désobéissons, nous nous sentons, intérieurement, mal à l’aise. Dieu nous aime et il veut nous aider à être bon. C’est pourquoi il envoya Jésus dans ce monde. Dieu s’est souvenu de sa promesse.
Après de nombreuses années, Jésus vint au monde. Il grandit et devint un homme.
Il faisait des choses merveilleuses. Il guérissait les malades. Il rendait la vue aux aveugles. Il bénissait les enfants.
Jésus ne faisait jamais rien de mal. Il parlait de Dieu et il enseignait aux hommes comment ils devaient lui obéir.
Ensuite les ennemis de Jésus le clouèrent sur une croix. Il mourut.
Il a souffert et il est mort pour les péchés du monde, même pour ceux qui l’avaient crucifié.
Jésus a été enseveli. Puis une chose merveilleuse arriva. Il ne resta pas dans la tombe. Il ressuscita!
Bientôt Dieu l’emmena au ciel, sur une nuée. Pendant que ses amis le regardaient, un ange leur annonça que Jésus reviendrait.
Jésus est mort aussi pour nos péchés. Il veut que nous les regrettions et que nous les confessions. Il est prêt à nous pardonner. 1 Jean 1.9.
N’importe quand, nous pouvons prier Dieu. Il entend chaque parole et il connaît nos pensées. Quand nos péchés sont pardonnés, il nous rend, intérieurement, très heureux. Ensuite nous voulons faire du bien et nous voulons être bon.
Nous pouvons choisir de désobéir à Dieu et de suivre Satan. Mais la Parole de Dieu dit que si nous le rejetons dans cette vie, il nous jettera dans l’enfer. L’enfer est un lieu où le feu brûlera éternellement.
Mais si nous aimons Jésus et si nous lui obéissons, à son retour il nous prendra au ciel. Le ciel est la belle maison de Dieu et de son fils Jésus. C’est une maison d’amour et de lumière. Nous y serons toujours heureux.

God's Wonderful Plan of Salvation

The Light Of The World
The Bible is the word of God, the everlasting Truth. It contains the account of creation, man’s disobedience to God, and the agony which came upon man because of sin. It also tells us of God’s love for man in making a plan to redeem him. It tells of a Savior who was born, who died for man’s sin, and was raised from death for man’s salvation. Whoever believes its message will experience forgiveness of sins, peace of mind, love for all men, power over sin, and a living hope of eternal life.
God’s Wonderful Creation
 God, the creator of the universe, has always been. He is everywhere; He is almighty and all wise. By His great power all things were created. God created this earth covered with water, then He said, “Let the dry land appear,” and it happened. He created the hills and valleys and covered them with grass, beautiful flowers, and trees of every kind. He created the birds which sing so many different songs. God created all the animals, great and small, who roam the fields and forests, as well as the small insects and reptiles that live on the ground. He created the lakes and oceans and all the creatures that inhabit them. He made continents on which people of every race would live. God made the sun to give light and warmth and the moon to give light at night. He decked the sky with thousands of beautiful, twinkling stars. Last of all, God formed man from the dust of the earth. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. God called him Adam.
God saw that Adam needed a helper, so He caused him to fall into a deep sleep. Then God took a rib from Adam and formed a woman. Adam loved Eve and she loved him too. They had sweet fellowship with each other. This was God’s plan for a family unit.
God created everything in six days, and on the seventh day He rested. He looked at everything He had made, and saw that it was very good. So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it as a day of rest for man.
The Bible tells of a fallen angel called Satan, or the devil. He was cast out of Heaven and is the cause of all evil. Because of him, sorrow, suffering, sickness, and death came into the world.
The Tragic Beginning Of Sin
God loved Adam and Eve. He made a beautiful garden for them to live in. It was called the Garden of Eden. Adam was to take care of it. In this garden were many kinds of vegetables and fruit for them to eat. There was one tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam that he should not eat of that tree, for in the day that he would eat from it, he would surely die. One day Satan came to Eve and told her a lie. He said, “Ye shall not surely die…ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).
As she looked upon the fruit of this beautiful tree, she saw that it would be good for food, and that eating it would bring wisdom. She took some fruit, gave some to Adam, and they both ate of it. Immediately they felt very guilty in their hearts. They had never felt this way before. They knew that they had done something very wrong. They were both ashamed of themselves as they thought of their disobedience. Fear came into their hearts as they thought of meeting God. So they hid themselves among the trees of the garden.
In the cool of the day, God called Adam and said, “Where art thou?” They could not hide from God, so they came into His presence and acknowledged their wrongdoing. God caused them to understand what a great sin it was to disobey His command. He told them they must be punished for their disobedience. They would now experience pain and trouble in their lives. They would now have to work for their living. Their bodies would become old and worn out. They would die and return to dust again.
After they were driven from this beautiful garden, God placed cherubims with a flaming sword to prevent them from eating of the tree of life. They began to understand the consequences of sin and what great sorrow it brings.
The Sad Result Of Sinning
Adam and Eve were very sorry for their sin of disobeying God. In spite of their sin He still loved them. He promised to send a Redeemer for the salvation of mankind.
Cain and Abel were the first two sons born to Adam and Eve. One day, they brought an offering to the Lord. Cain brought food that he had produced. Abel brought a choice lamb of his flock and sacrificed it, shedding its blood. Abel’s sacrifice pleased God, but God was not pleased with Cain or his offering.
When Cain noticed that God was pleased with Abel, envy and hatred toward Abel entered his heart. Then one day as they were together in the field, Cain rose up and killed his brother Abel. God asked Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain was unwilling to tell the truth, so he said, “I know not: am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9) Cain had not been obedient in following the Lord’s instructions. God had warned him before he killed Abel that if he would do well he would be accepted. If only he had changed his attitude and loved his brother! Once again, sin caused man to be separated from the presence of God. Cain became a fugitive and a vagabond.
God So Loved The World That He Gave His Son
“For unto you is born this day…a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
After Abel was dead and Cain hadleft home, Adam and Eve had another son. His name was Seth. Seth was a God-fearing man. God blessed Seth’s descendants. They heard and believed God’s wonderful promises of a Savior who would someday deliver them. Abraham, especially, believed God and therefore was called the friend of God. Abraham was told that through his descendants all the families of the earth would be blessed.
Many hundreds of years later God fulfilled His promise of sending a Savior into the world. It happened in a miraculous way, in the little town of Bethlehem of Judea. There in a stable, a baby was born to Mary, who was a virgin. (Luke 2:1-7). An angel told Mary that the baby’s name should be Jesus (meaning Savior). He would become a great teacher who would tell the people many things about God. Jesus grew up much like other children. At the age of twelve He understood the word of God better than many doctors and lawyers of Jerusalem. He seemed to know all about the law and prophets. No one could ask Him a question that He could not answer.
Jesus was greatly interested in the needs of His people. When He was thirty years old, He began to teach in the synagogues. One day He read an Old Testament prophecy about the coming Messiah. When He had finished reading, He said to the people, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). He taught the people with authority. He preached that the Kingdom of God was at hand, and that repentance was necessary for entrance into the Kingdom. He taught people to worship God in humility and sincerity. He rebuked the proud and unbelieving because of their sins, and preached the Gospel of love to the poor and needy.
Jesus Offers Eternal Life
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
Jesus did many miracles, proving to the people that He was the promised Savior sent from God. He healed the sick, brought sight to the blind, caused the deaf to hear, cast out devils and raised the dead to life. He walked on the water and calmed the stormy sea by His words. He spoke to a fig tree, and the next day it was found dried up from the roots. He fed more than five thousand hungry people with five loaves of bread and two fishes. When all had enough to eat, there still remained twelve baskets of food. Fishermen caught large numbers of fish when nets were cast at His command. One day Jesus met ten lepers who had heard of His fame. They cried, “Master, have mercy on us.” By His word they were healed.
Large crowds followed Jesus daily, whether He was in town or traveling on the roads. The people were blessed by his gracious words, kindness, compassion, and by the miracles He performed.
He began to tell the people that He was the Son of God, and that God was His Father. All who believed His words were blessed. He told those who believed that they were children of God.
Jesus said to His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2, 3). This place in Heaven is for all true Christians.
“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
Jesus Died For Our Sins
“When they were come to…Calvary, there they crucified him” (Luke 23:33).
The scribes and Pharisees were greatly annoyed at Jesus and His teaching. He often reproved them for seeking honor and their unlawful moneymaking practices. They were very jealous and envious of Jesus, because so many people believed in Him, followed Him, and praised Him. They feared that the people might make Jesus their king.
They tried to make Jesus say or do things that would cause the people to lose faith in Him, but Jesus was too wise for them. Their hatred and anger grew as Jesus’ popularity continued to increase. It became so great they made plans to put Him to death.
They took Jesus to court and charged Him as an evildoer and blasphemer. They brought many false charges against Him. Then they took Him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Pilate found no fault in Jesus, so He decided to release Him. But the accusers of Jesus turned into an angry mob and cried, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” When Pilate heard their angry cries and threats, he gave in to their demands and turned Jesus over to them. They took Jesus and put a crown of thorns on His head, and in mockery they called Him a king. They spit in His face and cruelly beat Him. Finally, they nailed Him to the cross and left Him to die.
Jesus was innocently put to death, just like the lamb that Abel had offered on an altar hundreds of years before. Abel had offered his lamb as a symbol of the Lamb of God who would die for the sins of the world. Prophets of old had also foretold of Jesus’ suffering and death. John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Jesus Arose From The Dead To Set Us Free
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6).
On the third day after the death and burial of Jesus, which was the first day of the week, several women came to the tomb to anoint the His body. Since it was very early in the morning, they were surprised to find an empty tomb. The body of Jesus was gone! Their hearts were troubled. Suddenly, two angels stood by them in shining garments, saying “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5, 6). Quickly, they went back to tell the disciples what they had seen and heard. The disciples did not believe their story, so Peter and John went to investigate for themselves. They, too, found the tomb empty. They entered and saw the linen clothes, and the neatly folded napkin that had been wrapped about Jesus’ head. When they saw these things they believed the women’s story. In the evening of the same day the disciples were together behind closed doors because they feared the Jews. Suddenly Jesus stood in the midst of them and said, “Peace be unto you.” He showed them His pierced hands and side. When they saw the Lord they were glad and believed He was the same Jesus who had been crucified and had risen from the dead. After this, Jesus showed Himself to many people as full proof of His resurrection.
The morning Jesus arose from the dead is still the most glorious day in history. On this day, God’s wonderful plan of salvation was completed. This plan of salvation effects a change in the hearts and lives of men by God’s grace through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Now all who receive Jesus into their heart and follow Him obediently all their life will resurrect and live forever in Heaven. Jesus said, “Because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19).
Does this message speak to your heart? What is your response? Will you repent and believe the Gospel? “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Do not delay. Come to Jesus today.

 


GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY USA P. O. Box 700 Moundridge, Kansas 67107 U.S.A. Contact Gospel Tract (USA)
GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY CANADA Box 180, RR 1 Ste. Anne, Manitoba R5H 1R1 CANADA Contact Gospel Tract (Canada)

Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

Classification: 

Heaven - Your Future Home?

What About Your Future?

Who can think about the future without considering whether there is another existence after this life? Man cannot escape the thoughts of his state after death, but is inclined to put them out of his mind. He busies himself with the things of this life, placing thoughts of death, heaven, and hell into the distant future (Matthew 24:48, Ecclesiastes 8:11). The reality is, however, that a choice must be made. To do nothing will mean being eternally lost.

There are Only Two Destinies

The glories of heaven and the terrors of hell convince us that we must make heaven our eternal destiny. There is a choice to be made if we are to realize this reward. No sin will enter heaven; this is sure. There will be eternal punishment in hell for those who do not find forgiveness for their sins. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46).

Heaven—The Home for All the Redeemed

To the redeemed, those who have been washed in the blood of Christ, heaven is a special place (Revelation 7:13-14). It is home. Their desire for heaven is like the desire of the psalmist in Psalm 63:1, “my soul thirsteth for thee…in a dry and thirsty land.” To the fleshly, earthly mind, heaven seems a distant, far-off place. To the person born of the Holy Spirit of God, heaven is close and real. He experiences a foretaste of his eternal home.

The virtues exemplified by Christ, truth, humility, purity, and love, are precious to the child of God. As God graces the believer’s life with love from heaven, he is careful to be honest and humble. His heart longs for the fullness and purity of these Christian graces in the heavenly home (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Heaven—A Place of Light

Life on this earth has many shadows. We often encounter things we do not understand. We attempt to look into the future, but are not able to do so. Disappointments are often experienced in our lives. All of this could be described as darkness.

Heaven has only light. It is where God dwells. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). In His light is perfect understanding. Knowledge will be complete. The past and all events will be totally clear. In this light, there will be full fellowship between the Father and all those who reside with Him.

Heaven is described as “the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12). Attributes of light listed in the scriptures are knowledge, holiness, and joy. This light is without interruption—forever! There shall be no night there (Revelation 21:25).

Heaven—A Place without Threat or Sin

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Revelation 21:27). Discouragement, disappointment, temptation, and sin are part of the earthly life. They will never enter that beautiful land.

In Revelation 21:4 we read, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” To the Christian, heaven is the fulfilling rest, the completion of the journey. He knows that even as God has wiped away his tears on earth, so all sorrow will be taken away in the perfection of heaven.

Immortal State of the Saved

Human relations are important to us here on earth. Others’ joys and sorrows touch our emotions. Family ties are meaningful and separation is painful. All of this is a necessary part of our mortal state.

When Jesus returns for judgment, everyone will be transformed. The dead will rise. The mortal body that is corrupt and subject to death will become immortal. “And the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:52, 53).

In this state, family relationships will no longer carry the same meaning for us. Jesus taught that there will be no marriage relationships in heaven (Matthew 22:30). The emotions of this life will pale in comparison to the joy that will be in the presence of the Lord God. Nothing will blemish the relationship between the saved and the Lamb of God.
The saints shall continually look on things which mortal eyes have never seen; they shall hear things which mortal ears have never heard; and they shall know that which the heart has never thought upon.

Jesus and His Own will be Glorified

A day is coming when the Lord Jesus shall appear to all the inhabitants of the earth. Everyone will stand before Him to be judged (Matthew 25:31-34). His true followers, even though they were despised and rejected in their earth life, will be taken into glory (heaven). There they will be able to praise and glorify God without end. Mortality will give way to immortality. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). See also 2 Corinthians 5:1.

In this life the saints have had many trials, temptations, and difficulties. Through grace those that have trusted in the Deliverer and persevered to the end will be taken to heaven. People from all lands and of all tongues and ages who have kept the faith will be there. This great and innumerable throng, pardoned from sin and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ, will inhabit heaven (Revelation 7:9-14).

These souls who have been redeemed in this life will be glorified in heaven. How wonderful it will be to experience the marriage of His Church with the Lamb of God. This will be glory beyond compare (Revelation 19:7-9).

Heaven—Beyond Human Understanding

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

The glory and splendor of heaven cannot be fully understood or described. Our minds understand the things which we can see and feel. While we understand that heaven is the abode of the soul with God, He has chosen not to reveal all the aspects of that eternal home.

Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was given a glimpse of heaven. As he was being stoned for his faith, he “looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).

Even though much about heaven cannot be explained, we know enough that we, like faithful people through the ages, desire to dwell eternally in the city that God has made. Hebrews 11:10 tells us that Abraham by faith “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Read also Hebrews 11:13-16.

Will We Be There?

Where will we go when life is over? Will we go to Heaven? The Spirit of God gently knocks and reminds us to prepare for our eternal future.

We need to recognize our need of God. Through the fall of man in the beginning, man has forfeited (lost) his favor with God. Repenting of our sins and finding forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ can restore this relationship. God then accepts us as just, and pardons us. We thus become a child of God through the power of the Word and Spirit (John 3:5; 1:12). The peace that we experience is a foretaste of the fullness of rest that will be ours in that eternal abode. Every soul can have clear evidence in his heart that a mansion has been prepared for him in heaven (John 14:2-3).

List of available Gospel Tracts

 

The following are available upon request for personal use and distribution.

 

English Tracts

  1. Abiding in God’s Grace

  2. After Death

  3. Alcohol—Have You Counted the Cost?

  4. Answer to Your Problems, The

  5. Are We to Judge?

  6. Are You Forgiven?

  7. Are You Safe?

  8. Are You Saved—Do You Know?

  9. Avoiding Deception

  10. Baptism

  11. Battle of Your Soul, The

  12. Beard, The

  13. Best Story to Know, The

  14. Bible Teaching on Hell

  15. Biblical Guide to Salvation, A

  16. Birth of Christ, The

  17. Challenge to Choose Rightly, A

  18. Chapters of Pure Gold

  19. Characteristics of the Self-Life

  20. Christ’s PeaceableKingdom on Earth

  21. Christian Women’s Devotional Head Covering

  22. Christian’s Manner of Dress, The

  23. Church Built on Truth, The

  24. Church—The Fellowship of True Christian Believers, The

  25. Come See

  26. Coming of the Lord Will Be Soon, The

  27. Communication With God

  28. Cross of Christ Divides Between, The

  29. Day of Rest, The

  30. Deliverance From Tobacco

  31. Doctrines—Do We Need Them?

  32. Entertainment, Amusements, Fun

  33. Eternal Salvation

  34. Eternity

  35. Evidence of Personal Salvation

  36. Forty-Eight Hours in Hell

  37. Free from Fear

  38. Get Me That Book

  39. God’s Plan

  40. God’s Wonderful Plan of Salvation

  41. Happy Home, A

  42. Have A Good Day

  43. Have You Heard—It’s for You!

  44. Heaven—Your Future Home?

  45. Hell—Destiny of the Doomed

  46. Hidden Cry, The

  47. Holy Spirit, The

  48. How Honest Are You?

  49. How To Get Out of Prison

  50. Is There a God?

  51. Jesus Christ Is Coming Again

  52. Just a Little Drink—Why Not?

  53. Justification

  54. Life Worth Living

  55. Listen! Who Is That Calling You?

  56. Look That Healed, The

  57. Lost Soul on Judgment Morning, A

  58. Love

  59. Love of Jesus, The

  60. New TestamentChurch, The

  61. Nonresistance

  62. One and Only True God—Do You Know Him? The

  63. Our Supreme God-Loving, Eternal, Caring

  64. Peace, Freedom, and Happiness

  65. Peace of Mind in a Troubled World

  66. Powers of Darkness, The

  67. Prince of Peace, The

  68. Repentance, a Godly Sorrow for Sin

  69. Repentance—Door of Mercy

  70. Responsibility of Parents, The

  71. Room, The

  72. Search For God—How Can I Find Him?

  73. Security in Christ

  74. Sin of Immorality, The

  75. Sincere But Mistaken

  76. Statement of the Christian Doctrines of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, A

  77. Teach Us To Pray

  78. Television Set, The

  79. Testimony on Peace, A

  80. True Repentance

  81. What about Drugs, Alcohol and Immorality?

  82. What Is It All About?

  83. What Must I Do to Be Saved?

  84. Which Choice Will You Make?

  85. Who Is Your Master?

  86. Why Must I Suffer?

  87. Woman’s Role in the Plan of God, The

  88. Worship Without Musical Instruments

  89. Ye Must Be Born Again

  90. Your Life—Recorded!

 

For Free Distribution - Not To Be Sold


GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY USA
P. O. Box 700
Moundridge, Kansas 67107 U.S.A.
Contact Gospel Tract (USA)

GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY CANADA
Box 180, RR 1
Ste. Anne, Manitoba R5H 1R1 CANADA
Contact Gospel Tract (Canada)

Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

Peace of Mind In a Troubled World

 

 

Peace of Mind In a Troubled World

 

"Peace, where is peace-for our nations, our homes, and most of all our hearts and minds?" The agonizing cry has echoed down through the ages, but it is heard with increasing intensity as the world becomes progressively more tempest-tossed and panic-stricken. Is it also the cry of your heart? Amidst the prevailing discontent and disturbance, do you long for an inward quietness that transcends all else?

 

Endless achievements directed at making the world a safer, better place have only made life more complex and complicated.  In many ways people have it easier than their parents, yet they are more uneasy. People are weary and worried. Beyond question there is a need for direction and counsel, security and confidence. We need and want peace of mind.

 

Peace of mind-what a treasure! Can this treasure actually be found in a world of so much conflict and despair, of so much turmoil and trouble?

 

The great search is on! Multitudes are seeking peace in fame and fortune, in pleasure and power, in education and knowledge, in human relationships and marriage. They desire to fill their heads with knowledge and their purses with wealth, but their souls remain empty. Others are seeking to escape the realities of life with drugs or alcohol, but the peace they seek eludes them. All their seeking only takes them in a vicious circle of frustrations and futility. They are still empty and lonely, still in a troubled world with a troubled mind.

 

Many search among outward and tangible things, but neglect to look within. They are afraid of what they may discover. They would like to blame a troubled world for their troubled minds, but the cure must begin within their own hearts.

 

Man in Turmoil

 

God created man and placed him in a beautiful garden to enjoy perfect peace, joy, and happiness. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed, they were at once stricken with guilt.  Before they had longed for the presence of God, but now they hid themselves with shame. Guilt and fear replaced the peace and happiness they knew. Here was the beginning of a troubled world-and a troubled mind.

 

Like Adam and Eve, when you are out of tune with God, fears and anxieties crowd into your life. When you focus your attention on the uncertainties of life, on a changing, decaying world, your security and confidence are shaken. Your peace is disturbed.

 

Sin has separated man from God. "All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6). "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Guilt, fear, irritation, resentment, selfishness, and other hostile impulses plague man wherever he goes. They bring weariness and mental exhaustion.

 

The love of self was at the root of the first disobedience of man. It continues to be one of the basic evil inclinations that take you down the path of despair and heartache. When you become self-centered in your wants and ambitions, you become anxious and fretful. The longer you travel the path of self-centeredness, the more troubled you become.

 

God-centered Living Brings Peace

 

Instead of seeing yourself as the center of existence, you need to turn to God and make Him your central purpose in life. Without God as your center, you fall easy prey to petty worries, self-pity, fears, and anxiety. With God in the center, every area of your life will reach out from the "hub" like spokes in a wheel and make your life complete and worth living. Only a heart centered in God can be kept steady and peaceful.

 

The psalmist declares, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise" (Psalm 57:7). With his whole trust in God, he could rejoice in quietness of mind. With our hearts fixed on God, we have inward peace in the midst of outward troubles. It is possible to be "troubled on every side, yet not distressed ... perplexed, but not in despair" (2 Corinthians 4:8).

 

Jesus Christ, the Author of Peace

 

Jesus invites all men to the most meaningful, life-changing experience. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Will you accept His invitation, "Come unto me"? He offers light for darkness, trust for doubt, peace for strife, joy for sorrow, rest for weariness, hope for despair, and life for death.

 

God made man with a living soul which longs to be in fellowship with its Maker. "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1,2). Only the living God will satisfy the soul. Of this you may be certain: you will never be at peace until you are at peace with God.

 

The Battleground in Our Hearts

 

Although our soul longs for God, our sinful nature rebels at His ways. Part of us yearns for God and part of us reaches for fleshly desires. Our hearts are a battleground of continual conflict. This inner struggle causes tension and excessive strain. Without God we are "like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt" (Isaiah 57:20).

 

There can be no peace until all of life—mind, body, and spirit—are coordinated by the One who made us and understands us. He is not only master of the world but knows your life and mine from the beginning to the end. He was thinking of us when He came into the world "to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79).

 

As the Prince of Peace, He invites you to come to Him. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). When you come to Him, you will find relief and relaxation in the freedom He gives. Your peace will be as a river (Isaiah 48:18)—an active, sparkling peace that is refreshing and strong, a peace that passeth all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) Will you come to Jesus, casting your burden upon Him? He says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you ... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

 

Faith and trust are the antidotes for fear and anxiety. How restful it is to trust in the only God who is from everlasting to everlasting, to have a Friend who never changes, whose love never dies. This Friend is ever thinking of us, ever caring for us. So why worry and fret? Learn to do as we read in I Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." There is peace when the battle is over, so why not surrender your life to the Lord? Remember, if you trust, you don't worry, and if you worry, you don't trust. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26:3).

 

Resentment is a poison that also robs your peace of mind. It leads to discouragement and hopeless confusion. It is hard to forgive those who have done you an injustice, but you must if you wish to be forgiven. "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:15). As faith is born in your heart, you are able to surrender your will. Instead of resentment and irritation, your heart is filled with love and mercy, and you experience an inner tranquility. When Jesus is reigning in your heart, you will love your enemies. Only through Christ's redeeming blood can this occur.

 

Repentance and Confession of Sin Leads to Peace of Mind

 

Maybe you feel the heavy load of past sins weighing you down, and you feel you have more than you can bear. The Lord offers the remedy in Acts 3:19. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." 1 John 1:9 also says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "As a result, you will have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

 

In the Twenty-third Psalm David expresses his confidence in God. He gives a very descriptive message of the peace he experienced. This peace and fellowship is for all those who have a vital companionship with the Shepherd.

 

The Twenty-third Psalm

 

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

 

Do you know this Shepherd? Do you believe and trust Him? Isaiah tells us that this tender, merciful Shepherd "shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom" (Isaiah 40:11). Are you ready to be lifted out of confusion into the serenity of God's everlasting arms? Are you ready to commit to Him your past sins, your present temptations, your fears of the future, and yield yourself completely to Him? The Lord gives you the choice. It is yours to make.

 

Abiding Peace

 

When you come to Jesus Christ with your whole heart, your search for peace of mind will be over. He will give peace, and a calm that comes only from trusting Him. You will be able to say with the poet:

 

I know a peace, where there is no peace,

A calm, where wild winds blow,

A secret place where face to face

With the Master I may go.

 

-Ralph Spalding Cushman

 

You will have peace of mind in a troubled world! Open the door of your heart to Christ—just now—and someday He'll open the door of heaven for you, where perfect peace will reign and never end.



GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY USA P. O. Box 700 Moundridge, Kansas 67107 U.S.A. Contact Gospel Tract (USA)
GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY CANADA Box 180, RR 1 Ste. Anne, Manitoba R5H 1R1 CANADA Contact Gospel Tract (Canada)

Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

Repentance - Door of Mercy







Repentance: Door of Mercy

Do you know that man has been found guilty of sin by a Holy God, and sentenced to death? If he is to escape this eternal death and be eternally saved, he must receive God’s mercy. Mercy in this respect is God withholding from man the penalty which he deserves. But God does not bestow His mercy on people without condition, even though salvation is free, without price, and cannot be earned. The condition upon which God grants mercy is repentance.

John the Baptist came preaching the Word of God and his message was simple and powerful, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus, the Son of God, began His ministry with the same message: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Repentance is a requisite of salvation, as Peter the apostle said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). Through repentance, the door of mercy is opened and salvation obtained.

 

All Have Sinned

In our world there are multitudes of people, and in many ways we are different one from another. But this message we all share: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And listen further, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). God spoke through His Prophet Isaiah and said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Do you notice the central thought of these scriptures? “All have strayed.” “None righteous.” “All have sinned.” Wouldn’t this also include you? Your soul, your life belongs to God. The man or woman, who does not recognize God as the master of his life lives in disobedience and sin. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).

 

Sin Separates

Your sins have separated you from God. You feel a longing inside that you can’t explain. You may feel forsaken and that God doesn’t hear. The reason is pointed out by God, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities [sins] have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1, 2). Again, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). As you think of your life and your sins, think also about God. God is without sin, therefore He is holy, righteous and just. God says sin must be judged: “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). There is a great gulf between you and God. Unless you find the way which spans that gulf between a holy God and sinful man, you shall die an eternal death! (Luke 16:26) But listen, there is a way – there is hope for you!

 

Jesus Opens the Door

While it is true God has decreed a judgment of death upon sin, He is also a God of love. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). God loves you even if you are living in sin. His love has made a way for you to be saved. (John 3:16) God will carry out His judgment on sin, and if this justice would be meted out to man, he would instantly die. Therefore God, not willing that any should perish, sent His son Jesus to take the penalty of our sins that we may live. The Bible says: “Behold … the goodness and severity of God” (Romans 11:22). The goodness of God desires to save man but His judgment demands sentence.

Jesus came to this world for the express purpose of redeeming our souls. He was holy, without sin, the spotless Lamb of God. God’s love for us was proven when He took our sins and guilt, and put them upon Jesus. Behold His goodness!  Jesus was now made sin in our place, and to satisfy the judgment of God, He was crucified on a cross.  He endured the pain and agony, and then died.  Our sins were paid.  Behold the severity of God!

 

Repentance, Our Part

Can you see that Jesus died for you; He died because of your sins? Who really crucified Jesus? Were only the Jewish rulers, or Pilate, or the Roman soldiers responsible? Peter the apostle preached a sermon to a multitude of people numbering thousands. Peter’s message was right to the point: “Him [Jesus] … ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). Will you look to Jesus, the One who was crucified, and acknowledge your sin?

By the power of the Spirit of God you will realize that you are helplessly lost.  As this realization weighs on your heart, it will bring a burden and regret for sin.  In despair, you will cry out, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). As God hears your honest plea, He will save you.  Your burden will be gone, and you will be born again. As you continue to follow you will turn away from your former ways of sin to heavenly things. This is the work of repentance as it is wrought by God in the heart of all those who will come to Him.  Then your heart will be washed clean, and you will have peace, happiness, and security.

Finally, repentance results in a deep appreciation and loyalty to Christ and God’s will. When we were doomed to die with no way out, Christ said, “Come unto me … and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). 

 


GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY USA
P. O. Box 700
Moundridge, Kansas 67107 U.S.A.
Contact Gospel Tract (USA)

GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY CANADA
Box 180, RR 1
Ste. Anne, Manitoba R5H 1R1 CANADA
Contact Gospel Tract (Canada)

Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

The Answer For You

Do you know that there is Someone Who knows everything about you? Jesus, God’s Son knows everything that you have ever done. He created the world and everything in it. He knows the past, present, and future. He loves you and came to this world to save you from sin. He has a plan for your life to bring you happiness.

One day Jesus was traveling with His friends. He came to a village in Samaria. Jesus sat down by a well to rest while His friends went to buy food.

As Jesus was sitting there, a woman came to get water from the well. Jesus asked her, “Can you give me a drink of water?”

The woman was surprised. “You asked me for a drink?” she asked. “Don’t you know that I am a Samaritan and the Jews don’t have anything to do with us?”

Jesus gently answered, “If you really knew about God and Who you are talking to, you would have asked Me to give you living water. I would gladly have done it.”

The women looked at Him in surprise. “Sir,” she said, “the well is deep. You have nothing to draw with. How will you draw out this living water?

Again Jesus replied, “Those who drink from this well will get thirsty again. But if you drink the water that I can give, you will never thirst again.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “give me this water so I won’t ever be thirsty again nor will I need to come back here to get water.”

“Go, tell your husband and come back here,” Jesus said.

“I don’t have a husband,” she replied.

“That is true,” Jesus said. “You have had five husbands, but the one you have now is not your husband.”

How does this Man know about me, she wondered. “Sir, I can see that You are a prophet. I have a question for You. My people have worshipped God here at this place. You say that Jerusalem is the place to worship.”

Jesus told her, “It is not so important where we worship; today true believers can worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

“I know that the Messiah is coming Who is called Christ,” she said, “and when He comes, He will explain everything.”

Then Jesus simply told her, “I am He.”

She left her waterpot and went back into the city. “Come,” she cried, “come and see a Man Who has told me everything that I have ever done. Is He not the Christ?”

Then the people of the city went out to meet Jesus. Many believed that He was the Christ, the Savior, because He knew everything about them. You can read this account in the Gospel of St. John 4:3-42.

Jesus knows everything about us, the good as well as the bad. We would like to hide the bad things we have done in our lives, but we can’t hide them from Jesus. He has come to save us from the punishment we deserve for doing wrong. He can take away that heavy feeling we feel in our hearts and give us peace. He died to take away our sins and make it possible that we can have a home in Heaven when we die.

Jesus is the answer to all of your needs and all of your questions. He wants to be your friend. He wants to fill the emptiness in your heart. He can replace your fear and unrest with peace and calm.

Jesus says, “Come unto me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Just pray to Him and ask Him to come into your life. As you accept this great God in faith, He will abide in your heart. His presence will give you joy. He will give you strength and purpose in life. He will be the answer for you.

The Answer to Your Problems

Do you have feelings of loneliness, or a sense of guilt and fear deep inside your heart? Do you wonder about the purpose of your life? Many people are trying to find the answer to these feelings. You may find entertainments or other activities that may relieve you of these feelings for a short time, then they return, perhaps stronger than ever before.

In the beginning God’s creation was perfect. Man had no problems until the devil came and enticed him to disobey God. He fell into sin and he was no longer perfect. Ever since that time all humanity has been sinful.

Can you relate to this fall? When you were a child, God was not keeping track of your sins but was forgiving you for Jesus' sake. As you matured these things began to change and you started to have guilty feelings. What happened? God was letting you feel the guilt of your sins. No longer was the blood of Jesus covering your sins. God was saying, "You are now responsible for what you are doing." If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are still carrying a burden of guilt.

What can you do to change these feelings of guilt? You cannot pay for your sins no matter how many good deeds you do. In God's eyes you are still a sinner. God cannot tolerate sin. Sin separates us from God (see Isaiah 59:2).

Now here is the beautiful and simple plan God has to help you. Jesus, God's sinless and perfect Son came to bring this plan. He took our sins upon Himself and died on the cross, paying the price that was demanded for our sins. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we can have salvation today. Jesus invites us to come to him with the burden of sin.

God wants to help you. He will forgive you when you are willing to admit that you are a sinner and call on Him to help. All your efforts and good intentions cannot cleanse you from sin. There is only one way you can be cleansed from your sins and that is by having the blood of Jesus Christ applied to your heart.

When you have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, you will realize that you could not change your life by your own power. You must believe that God has the wisdom and keeping power for your life. If you come to God with all your heart, forsake your sins and follow in obedience, He will do what is best for you. This is faith—trusting God completely with your life. Once you have given all to God, the peace that you receive in your heart will be the evidence that He has forgiven you.

The forgiveness you receive from God will make you FREE; free with the sweet confidence that now you are a child of God, made perfect by the blood of Jesus Christ. A new purpose is born that will enable you to overcome feelings of fear and emptiness.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me.
Matthew 6:25-31 God cares for you.
John 3:16 God loves you.
John 14:15 Obey God.

The Battle of Your Soul

(Saved or Lost)

In the large city of Paris, France, stands a monument erected to the memory of General Napoleon. In the closing years of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century he became a feared man in Europe. His famous victories in battle and impressive conquests reached to such an extent that practically all of Europe, with the exception of England, was under his control. The ambitious general was entertaining the thought of controlling the whole world.

In Paris on the monument of the Arch of Triumph can be read a list of battles Napoleon fought and won. There is, however, one very important battle missing–Ah, yes!–The historic battle of Waterloo. It was lost. The tide had turned. His ambitions were shattered for he had lost this all-important battle. Upon this he was sent into exile, and he died a hated man.

What would it have availed Napoleon to have gained the whole world only to lose at Waterloo? His glory, fame and fortune were suddenly gone. All the victories of the past did not profit him at the time of this crushing defeat. By losing this battle he lost everything.

Every responsible soul encounters great spiritual battles in life. The consequences of these battles are of tremendous weight and importance. The defeat at Waterloo brought disgrace for Napoleon during his life. The loss of the battle of your soul brings anguish for eternity. Have you thought of the inevitable consequences of a self-centered Christless life?

Are you going to lose the battle of life? The battle between life and death? The battle between heaven and hell? The battle between self-denial and self-love, your soul and the devil? Jesus says: “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Whether we have much or little of this natural world in our possession, if we lose our own soul, what a tragedy! Our eternal destiny will be sealed. Many people don’t realize that there is a great spiritual battle to be fought. Their understanding has been blinded by Satan and the world, and they are asleep to the realities of the battle against sin. The Bible says: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14). Shake off the chains of sin and Satan. Make it a fight to the finish! You cannot escape natural death but you can escape eternal death. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14). “Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44). If you lose the battle for your soul’s salvation, it will be an eternal doom in hell and torment.

Did you ever stop to consider there is but one step between you and death? Are you ready to pass over the threshold of time into eternity? To gain the victory that will lead you to your heavenly home, you must come to Jesus who “came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). “God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). NOW! Not tomorrow or some other convenient season. “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). If you are yet without Christ in your heart, if your past condemns you, if you have not experienced the new birth (John 3:3), do not rest at ease. Repent! Come to Jesus just as you are while He stands knocking at the door of your heart. He said: “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). You may ask, “Can a sinner really be saved?” Yes! Come to Christ in faith with your whole heart and accept Him as your personal Savior, repenting of your sins and obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then you will win the battle of your soul. You will not only enjoy peace and joy in this life, but also bliss and glory with your Savior in eternity. Thousands of years ago the prophet Ezekiel said: “If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed…and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live” (Ezekiel 18:21).

If you intend to enjoy the pleasures of a sinful world, you will find yourself losing out in the end as Napoleon did in the battle of Waterloo. You will be as a drowning man without a savior, and will perish. What a fate to spend eternity in hell! Grasp hold of Jesus Christ, the great Life Preserver without delay. He will save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). Eternity in Heaven! Then, concerning the last battle, you will say with the apostle Paul: “Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Dear soul, you have the choice of victory or defeat, Heaven or Hell, the living God or the devil, a joyous, glorious eternity or endless woe and torment. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Choose Jesus Today!

The Best Story to Know

Once there was nothing in this world.

No fish.

No stars in the sky.

No seas and pretty flowers.

All was empty and dark.

But there was God.

God had a wonderful plan. He thought of a lovely world, and while He thought, He made it. He made it all out of nothing. When God made anything, He just said, "Let it be made”, and there it was!

He made light. He made the rivers and seas, the grass-covered earth, the animals, birds, and trees.

Last of all, He made a man, and then He made a wife for the man. Their names were Adam and Eve.

God loved them very dearly. Every evening He visited them in the lovely garden they lived in.

The whole garden was theirs to enjoy, except for one tree, which was God's forbidden tree.

Adam and Eve were happy until one day Satan, the enemy of God, tempted them. They decided to taste the fruit of God's forbidden tree. They sinned. For the first time they were ashamed and sad.

No longer could they talk to God. Now they would have pain and trouble. And they would have to die. How sorry they were!

God promised to help them. When the right time would come, He would send His Son Jesus into the world. Jesus would come down from Heaven and make a way for sin to be forgiven. To do this He would suffer and die for mankind. How glad they were that God would send a Savior!

Adam and Eve had children and grandchildren. By and by there were many people living in the world.

God wanted everyone to be happy. He told them what to do. Here is a list of rules God gave them:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's. (Exodus 20:3-17).

These were written in the Bible so we can read them, too. If we obey them, we will be happy.

Satan does not want us to obey them. Sometimes he tells us to steal something when no one is looking. But God knows it. God sees everything.

Sometimes Satan tempts us to tell a lie and makes us think no one will find it out. God knows it. He hears everything.

When we do these things, we feel bad inside. God loves us and wants to help us to be good. That's why He sent Jesus into the world. God remembered His promise.After many years, Jesus was born as a little baby. He grew up and became a man.

He did many wonderful things. He healed the sick. He made the blind to see. He blessed the children.

Jesus never did anything wrong. He told the people about God and how to obey Him.

After a while the enemies of Jesus nailed Him to a cross. He died.

He suffered and died for the sins of all the people, even those who nailed Him to the cross.

Jesus was buried. But then a wonderful thing happened. He did not stay in the grave. He arose from the dead!

Soon God took Him back to Heaven in a cloud. While His friends were watching Him leave, an angel told them Jesus would come back again.

Jesus died for our sins, too. He wants us to be sorry and confess our sins. He is ready to forgive us.

We can pray to God anytime. He hears every word and knows every thought. He makes us feel happy inside when our sins are forgiven. Then we want to do what is right. Then we want to be kind.

We may choose to disobey God and follow Satan. But God’s word says that if we reject Him in this life, He will cast us down to hell. Hell is a place of fire that burns forever.

But if we love and obey Jesus, He will take us up to Heaven when He returns. Heaven is the beautiful home of God and His Son Jesus. It is a home of love and light. There we will always be happy.

The Room

In the Holy Bible we read, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). This is evidence that God keeps a record.

Joshua Harris, a young man of Maryland, USA, was spending some time in Puerto Rico. One night he had a dream. He felt God had given him this dream as a reproof for a lack of faithfulness. This dream reminded him of the life-transforming power of Jesus Christ and His blood. We would like to share it with you.

*****
(THE ROOM)

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read “Girls I Have Liked.” I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their contents. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named “Friends” was next to one marked “Friends I Have Betrayed.”

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Have Read,” ”Lies I Have Told,” “Comfort I Have Given,” “Jokes I Have Laughed At.” Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Have Muttered under My Breath at My Parents.” I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes there were fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my twenty years to write each of these thousands, possibly millions, of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I Have Listened To,” I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked “Lustful Thoughts” I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed contents. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

Suddenly I felt an almost animal rage. One thought dominated my mind: “No one must ever see these cards! I have to destroy them!” In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took the file at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore “People I Have Shared the Gospel With.” The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.

I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

“No!” I shouted, rushing to Him. All I could find to say was “No, no, as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But here it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and continued to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.”

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

*****

Have you ever wondered how God looks at your life? Jesus tells us, “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit with sorrow and regret that we have failed in our thoughts and actions. We, too, will blush in shame for thoughts harbored and deeds committed in secret. The Bible says in Romans 2:16 that "God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." The Apostle Peter preached “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Has Jesus blotted out your sins, or do they still haunt you today?

Would you like to be set free? Are the thoughts and actions of the past weighing you down? Our sins are a great weight on our hearts and lives. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

Jesus offers forgiveness. He came to earth and shed His blood for all sinners. The salvation plan is now complete. Would you like to be made whole? “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). (Psalm 51) Come to Jesus now! Repent and confess your sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Trust Jesus to lead you to a satisfying life with Him. He will provide direction for your daily walk of life.

The Room – Copyright 1995 – New Attitudes/Joshua Harris.

What Is It All About?

I started out in life so carefree and happy. I was like a little butterfly with beautiful wings and a world of flowers to see. Life seemed wonderful as I looked to the future.
It didn’t take long and my views changed. I realized I had to perform to be accepted. Life seemed like a circus. There were hoops held out far into the future. If I jumped through the rings I received approval. If I didn’t—well—everybody else did.

Life became a performance. Leap through the rings; make the football team, or the cheerleading squad, or the honor roll. Go to the right college and get a degree. I did some things I wished I hadn't, but everybody else did them—so—go on and hope to forget. Get a good job and make lots of money. At the right time get married, have the correct amount of children, buy a house—a nice big house, and a better car. I think I'm getting tired. Join a club—not any old club, but the right club—jump, jump, jump. Retirement, I have to think about retirement—buy stocks, sell stocks—hit some bumps, go, go, go.
And suddenly, I stand before the last hoop. But, it isn't round, it=s rectangular, and it=s in the ground. The grass stops at the ragged edges. Here is where it all ends.
What happened to me anyway? Life wasn't supposed to be this way. Where is the little butterfly with the beautiful wings? What happened to the flowers? Was I truly happy? What about my soul? Is this what it’s all about?

“God, what happened?”

“I’m glad you finally asked,” God said. “I will take you back and show you what went wrong and what your life could have been, if you would have chosen my way.

“When you were a child, I was with you. All children are in my care. (Matthew 19:13-14) Don’t you remember the little butterfly with the beautiful wings?”

My heart ached as I recalled those happy innocent days—gone, forever gone.
God continued, “The time came when you became responsible for your decisions. Do you remember that argument you had with your Mom? It made you feel terrible, but you wouldn't admit that you were wrong. You chose to take your own way.

“I tried to stop you. Do you remember when your closest friend died? The lonesome feeling you had—that was me, talking to you. Deep in your heart you knew things weren't right, but you were afraid to change. You were afraid of what your friends would think, so you ignored me, and drifted farther away from me.”

God’s voice grew sad. “Do you remember your years in college?”

“Oh! God, don't remind me. I’m trying to forget those days,” I begged.
Gently, God said, “Forgetting doesn't take care of the sin. (Ecclesiastes 12:14) I would have been glad to forgive you if you would have asked—but you never asked. (1 John 1:9) All those times you felt lonely and sad, that was me, calling you, but you didn't listen. Do you remember when you landed that good job? The pay was terrific, but did it do for you what you thought it would? (1 Timothy 6:9) I tried to tell you that contentment comes only from me. For a while you did consider taking my way, but it seemed too hard so you followed your own way. Oh, if only you would have come to me, I would have given you what you were searching for—peace in your heart, peace in your home, and confidence about the future.” (Matthew 11:28)

God continued, “You were so busy. I tried talking to you on those cool beautiful evenings, but you didn't hear. I tried to get your attention during the storms. I thought you might be listening, but you weren't. If only you would have listened, I could have helped you solve those problems between you and your spouse. It would have prevented so many heartaches. (1 Peter 3:7)

“If you would have prayed and asked me for wisdom, I would have helped you to deal with your son. It could be so different now. (Proverbs 29:17) But no, you were too busy, too wise, too big a man to turn to me.”

As God turned away, He said, “You wasted your life on your own selfish whims, and now you are lost forever.” And then I felt myself slipping away from God, away—away.

Lost—forever lost! What does it mean? It means being away from God—forever—in a place of torment prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 13:41-42) But, you can change this. If you know things are not right with your life, admit it. Turn to God, repent of your sin, and surrender your will to Him. (Acts 2:37-38) God loves you, and wants to forgive you. (John 3:16) The price has already been paid. (Romans 5:8-11) Jesus died on the cross in your place. He paid the ransom so you could be saved. You can have peace and rest in your heart, and in the end—heaven. (John 14:1-3)

This is what it is all about.

Ye Must Be Born Again







YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN

Jesus tells us that the gates of heaven are closed to us unless we are born again. Therefore we ask: Friend, are you born again? Church member, are you born again? If not, then you are lost. For Jesus says, ". . . Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

 

But you may ask, What is being born again? First we will say what it is not. It is not baptism, for some were baptized and yet not born again. (Acts 8:18-25). It is not joining the church, for some slipped in unawares. (Galatians 2:4). It is not eating of the Lord's table, for some ate unworthily and it brought condemnation. (1 Corinthians 11:29). It is not reform or trying to live better, ". . . for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24). It is not praying, for Jesus says, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me" (Matthew 15:8).

 

Someone may say, "If I try and do all I can; giving to the poor, visiting the sick, and be as good as I can every day, then surely I am born again." No, we cannot be what we are not: "for the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). WE MUST HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART. For God by the prophets says: "A new heart also will I give you" (Ezekiel 36:26).

 

Then, what is the new birth? How and when do we receive it? Jesus says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh . . ." (John 3:6). When a child is born a new life comes forth, a new person in the flesh. So likewise when we are born again, a new life in Christ Jesus after the Spirit comes forth. Therefore it is called a birth-a new life in Christ Jesus which is to live forever.

 

If we come to God as a lost, burdened sinner longing for peace, and in our distress cry, "what must I do to be saved?" then we must, as Paul said, "believe on the Lord Jesus." We must completely surrender to God.

 

God who looks on the heart sees your sincerity. He comes to you through the power of the Holy Ghost and creates within you a right spirit. (Psalm 51:10). Thus you are born again-a new creature in Christ Jesus by faith in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17).

 

But when may I expect to be born again? God says by the Holy Ghost ". . . Today, if ye hear his voice," (Hebrews 3:7). That means at any age, time or place if we hear the call and respond, we can be born again by the Spirit, thus becoming children of God.

 

But how long will it take, must I not grow in to the new birth? No, we are born into the kingdom of God; that makes us children and heirs, and may take place the moment we surrender all and come to Jesus for pardon.

 

Finally: How may I know that I am born again? Paul in Romans 8:1,6,9,10 teaches, "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The Bible teaches the lost are dead in sin, condemned, having an evil conscience, carnally minded, without hope, disobedient, and without God in the world. Contrariwise, a born again Christian is a child of God, alive in Christ, saved, having no condemnation, having a good conscience, spiritually minded, filled with the Holy Ghost, and faith, with a hope of everlasting life. His sins are blotted out by the blood of Jesus. His heart is filled with love and the peace of God which passeth understanding. He loves, desires, and has the power to do the Lord's will. He cherishes a hope beyond the grave, and the promise of a home in heaven. Could anyone go through such a change and not realize it? Hardly, for "the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16).

 

Dear reader, if you have not had this experience with the peace and joy it brings to the soul, do not rest in ease, for you are trifling with God and your own soul. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.

 

 


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Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite