Freedom from disobedience and its consequences demands “families” of all sorts, choosing goodness and forgiveness. Stability from floodwaters of life necessitates surrendering to the Holy Spirit, so bricks (people) can harmoniously coexist with bricks (people). To escape spiritual slavery, to build stable homes, to receive and give goodness and forgiveness, this unstable world desperately needs to see the “city on the hill”, to find the Light of the Trinity.
On the Internet, I long ago came across with a quote, by Confucius. It said:
“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family, in order, we must cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right”. . .
On this planet today, stated by Charles Stanley, “nations fight against nations, in marriages people fight against each other. We are in warfare, in national warfare, and in warfare with each other and with ourselves.” Bad trees are today producing bad fruit – all because man is sowing hatred and retaliations, rather than love and forgiveness.
Billy Graham once said, “Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle”. Hate crimes, same-sex marriages, abortions, no religion in schools, child abuse, neglectful parents, TV violence, condoms, false religions, and illegal drugs, etc., today infiltrate human minds. How would our founding fathers, including those soldiers who bled and died for the cause of religion, feel to see how far immorally we let America slip? “WHEN THERE IS NO VISION, THE PEOPLE PERISH; BUT HAPPY IS HE, THAT KEEPETH THE LAW” (Proverbs 29:18).
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“For each of our actions, there are only consequences” (James Lovelock).
Key verses: “So why do you keep call me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show what it’s like when someone comes to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house. It stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hearts and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” (Jesus, Luke 6:46-49)
Imagine a brick house comprised of many bricks (people). Each person, because of disobedience, is born with a “spiritual mental illness” (imperfect in choosing not to sin) in conjunction with a spiritual addiction (cannot control urges to do wrong). “Civil wars among men” result, as fruits of the flesh, enslaves humans into “spiritual slavery”. Joylessness, insecurities, discontentment, bloodshed, fear, shame, real addictions, real mental illness, hell, separation from God, and depression are examples of man’s spiritual tyranny. Consequently, each person is like a brittle brick that is breakable when other bricks and pressure beat against it.
Just as weak bricks need mortar to keep bricks unified and bind together, as you will later see, people need Christ’s love and goodness to maintain unity and stability amongst themselves. “Brick houses” like families, societies, churches, business, government, nations, world, desperately need God’s stability through obedience, or it will always remain vulnerable to the floodwaters of life (adversity, often negatively-stimulated by sin).
Unsound decisions lead to negative consequences which, depending upon the repercussion’s force) can collapse lives and “brick houses”. Unfortunately, according to Charles Stanley, people don’t like to acknowledge this truth: “People don’t like the idea of consequences. They want to be able to live their life freely and do what they want to do without any consequences.”
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” (Margaret J. Wheatley). For example, in a world where TV violence both desensitizes, and fuels the creativity of wicked minds, to do evil, we are creating a society of fear, distrust, and hatred, which when uncontrolled, progressively leads toward total human annihilation. Ponder these two quotes:
“In time we hate that we often fear”. – Williams Shakespeare
“Hate is a cancer that spreads one cell at a time.” – Dave Pelzer
Pope John Paul II once stated, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought”. “One of Satan’s most deceptive and powerful ways of defeating us is to get us believe a lie. And the biggest lie is that there are no consequences to your own doing. Satan will give you whatever you ask if it will lead you where he ultimately wants you” (Charles Stanley). Being able to distinguish truth versus lies, is the first step toward overcoming this growing immoral epidemic we live in.
“Only God who made us can touch us and change us and save us from ourselves”. (Billy Graham)
II. Love is the only sane and satisfactory solution to the problem of human existence (Erich Fromm)
“Man has two spiritual needs. One is forgiveness. The other is for goodness.” (Billy Graham). Human freedom occurs when these two attributes are both experienced and expressed by man.
Problems occur when sinner yield to their sin nature. “Sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, and wild parties”, are all examples of what results, when the flesh is in control (Galatians 5:19-21). Especially, In a lawless society where the unsaved person is capable of expressing unconditional love, societal chaos can occur. (Because Holy Spirit doesn’t live in soul of unbeliever, person is unable to unconditionally love like Christ.)
For the sake of freedom, man must choose goodness and not evil. Thus, the Holy Spirit must reside in person, so He can release fruit of the spirits love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in individual (Galatians 5:22-23). Because these Holy Spirit-produced attributes cause no harm to anyone, “there is no law against these things (Galatians 5:23).” Fruit of the spirits are produced when Christians surrender to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
Forgiveness prevents man from doing “eye for eye” when someone hurts him. It frees society as man works to do goodness. To sufficiently love, forgive, and be good, we need the Holy Spirit. The cross, the door that leads to the Holy Spirit and renewed intimacy with the Father, was the sacrifice and pardon for all believers’ sins, freeing man from hell. Through the Trinity, those in spiritual chains can feel whole again; and the Christian is no longer obligated to evil, as Christ’s crucifixion not only crucified our sins, but also nailed man’s passions and desires of the flesh. Thus, the cross is the bridge that leads man to the God and the Holy Spirit (in which abiding in them leads us to spiritual freedom).
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend” (Martin Luther King, Jr.) Jesus is Love. When Christians we continually surrender to Holy Spirit, fruit of the spirit Love (etc.) becomes a part of our daily lives, in a society that desperately needs it. If everyone person becomes a Christian, and every Christian continually surrender to Holy Spirit, not only would everyone gets saved, but every human would be in fellowship with God, and every man would be in fellowship with man. God would then guide all the human interactions of man, and man would not stumble into one another, because of God’s light. (Note: God’s light also removes the darkness of our sins.)
In short forgiveness is what reunites and restores the relationship between sinner and hurt party. Forgiveness is what makes enemies friends; Holy Spirit’s goodness is what leads people not to injure another. Just as God forgave us for our transgressions, we must do the same (through Christ) to those who hurt us. Christ is the not only the pure example of forgiveness, but Jesus is the way to the Holy Spirit, who enables surrendering people to forgive and be good like Christ. To forgive and be good reciprocally, that’s how sinful people become able to harmoniously co-exist.
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(Go to the Plan of Salvation page on this website for more information on how to become a Christian.)
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Part 2: Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own” (Robert Heinlein).
Freedom occurs when man turns to Christ, which demands Christians to surrender to their God-given purpose, so Christianity, to those in darkness, can become the “city on the hill, that is not hidden”. (Matthew 5:14-16)
“Your task is to build a better world, God said. I answered, How? . . . This world is such a large, vast place, and there’s nothing I can do’. But God said, in all His wisdom, just build a better you”. (Author Unknown) . . .
Christians are to the lighthouses that reflect the love/light of the True Light (Christ) to those sinking ships (non-Christians) lost at sea. Just like John the Baptist in John 1:6-7, “we are to be a witness that tells others about Jesus (the light) so that everyone might believe because of our testimony.” Daily surrendering our lives to Christ is essential to being a witness.
Like a branch which cannot produce fruit without being connected the Vine (see John 15), man is unable to produce spiritual fruit, without the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8, it says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Note that it says, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”; to me, that means that it is fruitless to witness until the Spirit is ready to empower you, to do it.
I believe John 15:4-5 reinforces this.
God has created everyone with a unique way (unique life purpose, unique set of abilities and spiritual gifts, unique location) to witness. Being a witness doesn’t only mean “confronting someone and sharing the Gospel”. It also involves “loving people with goodness and forgiveness, “living a Holy Spirit-inspired life of morality”; “being an overcomer through the power of Christ”, and “letting God make uses of your talents for His glory”, and etc.
Most of the time, we are an effective witness outside of our awareness. Our job is to only surrender everything to Him and let God do the work. Unfortunately, our self-centeredness too many times gets in the way of us doing what we are meant to do through Him. Thus, we are like “diamonds in the rough” that God constantly has to work on, to remove the imperfections which interfere us into being a “hope diamond” that reflects Christ’s
hope to those who need Him.
In order for us to be the “city on the hill”, we cannot let our lighthouses become so dirty of sin that people cannot see Jesus in us. We “diamonds in the rough” must also be “moldable” so God can use us for His glory.
“A man ought to live so that everyone knows he is a Christian . . . and most of all, his family ought to know” (Dwight L., Moody).
Abdul Kalam once said, “If a country is to be corruption free and a nation – of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother, and the teacher.”
“The family is the nucleus of civilization” (William J. Durant). For humanity to begin being free, parents must daily by example selflessly lead their children to Christ, and then teach their children about “goodness and forgiveness.”
Charles Stanley once said, “In giving us children, God places us in a position of both leadership and service. He calls us to give up our lives for someone else sake – to abandon our desires and put your child’s interests first. Yet, according to His perfect design, it is through this selflessness that we can become truly fulfilled.”
Proverbs 22:6.says: “Direct your children on the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” It every parent did that, man would presumably be free.
“When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of laws engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society” (Pope John Paul II). . .
“The Bible is clear that those who fail to heed the Lord’s discipline – whether nations, cities, or individuals – suffer devastating consequences. (Charles Stanley)
“A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.” Charles R. Swindoll
Whether it be a normal family, a neighborhood, a society, a state, a country, or the world – to function, a “family” must learn to both “be good” and “forgive” on another. Only through a proper understanding, of the cross, can we ever really grasp what this means.
Christ commanded us in John 15:9-11: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. In saying this, Jesus also told us: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. . .”and that if we do, we will be filled with Jesus’s overflowing joy!” . . No wonder much of society is miserable today.
Elie Wiesel once said: “The opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference”.
For the sake of freedom, societies cannot let indifference prevent themselves from daily being obedient to God’s teachings. Christians must overcome indifference, or it will sabotage us from being the city on the hill, that is not hidden. Spiritual hearts need to be set right, so “brick house builders” can build / rebuild families, societies, nations, and world (etc.) right.
And the first place we start is the children.
Jesus said: “With man, this is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26