The Devil Lies

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

The devil is a liar. The devil is the father of lies.

Before we sin, the devil lies by doing everything to convince us that sin is of no consequence, that sin is no big deal, that as long as no one is hurt and others don’t find out, it’s no big deal.

After we sin, the devil lies by doing everything to convince us that our sins are so grievous that they are unforgivable.

The devil is a liar. The devil is the father of lies.

Sin is a big deal because sin separates us from the love of God.

But sin does not have to get the last word because God made a pathway for sinners to be forgiven through his Son Jesus Christ.

The devil wants us to focus on our sins.

The Holy Spirit beckons us to focus on our Savior.

Keep your eyes on Christ.

One Way Missionaries

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:38-39).

I confess. When I read passages like this I immediately consider them as a parable or an allegory.

Jesus could not have meant this literally…right? Right?

But, what if, because we have been treating texts like this as a parable or an allegory, what if, modern day Christians have taken passages like this way too lightly? What if there is more truth to passages like this than we would like to think?

The Christian missionary movement would not have ever happened if everyone took these passages allegorically.

A century ago, a band of brave souls became known as one-way missionaries. They purchased single tickets to the mission field without the return half. And instead of suitcases, they packed their few earthly belongings into coffins. As they sailed out of port, they waved good-bye to everyone they loved, everything they knew. They knew they’d never return home.

A. W. Milne was one of those missionaries. He set sail for the New Hebrides in the South Pacific, knowing full well that the headhunters who lived there had martyred every missionary before him. Milne did not fear for his life, because he had already died to himself. His coffin was packed. For thirty-five years, he lived among that tribe and loved them. When he died, tribe members buried him in the middle of their village and inscribed this epitaph on his tombstone:

When he came there was no light;

When he left there was no darkness.

Wealth, Health, Prosperity? Part 2

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

In AD 44, King Herod ordered that James the Greater be thrust through with a sword. He was the first of the apostles to be martyred.

And so the bloodbath began.

  • Luke was hung by the neck from an olive tree in Greece.
  • Doubting Thomas was pierced with a pine spear, tortured with red-hot plates, and burned alive in India.
  • In AD 54, the proconsul of Hierapolis had Philip tortured and crucified because his wife converted to Christianity while listening to Philip preach. Philip continued to preach while on the cross.
  • Matthew was stabbed in the back in Ethiopia.
  • Bartholomew was flogged to death in Armenia.
  • James the Just was thrown off the southeast pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem. After surviving the one-hundred-foot fall, he was clubbed to death by a mob.
  • Simon the Zealot was crucified by a governor of Syrian in AD 74.
  • Judas Thaddeus was beaten to death with sticks in Mesopotamia.
  • Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot, was stoned to death and then beheaded.
  • And Peter was crucified upside down at his own request. J
  • John the Beloved is the only disciple to die of natural causes, but that’s only because he survived his own execution. When a cauldron of boiling oil could not kill John, Emperor Diocletian exiled him to the island of Patmos, where he lived until his death in AD 95.

This shouldn’t be surprising nor shocking when we consider that our Savior and Lord was crucified on the cross.

There is nothing wrong with having nice things or being healthy. It’s just that wealth and health was not the reason why we were created. When we become too comfortable with the things of earth, we lose sight of heaven and eternity.

Our treasure isn’t here. Our home isn’t here. We are merely passing through. We weren’t created for these few decades. We were created for eternity.

Eternity is where our treasure is. Eternity is our home. We are merely passing through.