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GLMX #257: There’s a Train Coming

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Soul singer, Curtis Mayfield, wrote a popular song titled “People Get Ready.” It was first recorded by the Impressions in 1965 and has since been named by Rolling Stone magazine as the 24th greatest song of all time, by Britain’s Mojo magazine as one of the ten best songs of all time, and it was included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. It has influenced a wide range of singers such as Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Michelle Wright, Bruce Springsteen, and John Mayer.

The song carries an important message which Mayfield said was influenced by the message of the church. The lyrics of the song are as follows: Continue Reading…

GLMX #256: You Will Live Forever Somewhere

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No one ever really dies. That statement may sound strange to you considering that we hear about death every day. Television news reports are almost a constant stream of death-related stories. You can’t look at the internet without hearing about death. Even much of our entertainment — movies, TV dramas, and books — center around death in some way.

Each week, we hear about scores of people being killed in suicide bombings in Iraq or Nigeria. We hear about people dying from floods and famine. We are shocked by random shootings that strip life from people who are going about their business with no thought that they would die that day. We are stunned by the news that someone who appeared to have it all decides to end their life by committing suicide. And then there are the deaths that hit close to home — when a friend, family member, or a uniformed military officer calls or comes by to tell us that someone we know and love has died.

When we really think about it, though, death seems strange and out of place in this world. It unnerves us that someone can be here today — full of life, vitality, and energy — and gone tomorrow. Saint Nicolai of the Serbian Orthodox Church expressed this feeling when he wrote the following: “Death is not natural; rather it is unnatural. Death is not from nature; rather it is against nature. All of nature cries out, ‘I do not know death! I do not wish death! I am afraid of death! I strive against death!’ Death is an uninvited stranger.”

As awful as death is to us, the truth is that those who die are not forever extinguished from existence. They simply pass from this life to another realm of life — a place where they still exist and are just as real, but a place where people in this world cannot see them. The Bible sheds light on this invisible — or spirit — realm. Continue Reading…

GLMX #255: So, What Are You Searching for On the Internet Late at Night?

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Recently, the internet search giant Google released data on what Americans are up searching for late at night. Perhaps surprising to some and shocking to others, the most popular search terms for late night internet users revolve around pornography, suicide, and loneliness. Another interesting search trend is that people who are up very early — between the hours of 2 and 4 am — are searching for answers to big questions such as: What is the meaning of life? Is there a God? What is the meaning of consciousness? Does free will exist? And is there life on other planets?

This interesting data sheds light on the psyche of our nation. It also sheds light on a common human activity: at some point in life, everybody finds himself or herself searching for something and/or asking the big questions of life. When we are young, we search for meaning and purpose. We search for the perfect job or the right occupation that will make us feel fulfilled. We search for a husband or wife to spend our lives with. We search for the best college or university to attend. We search for advice that will help us live a healthy and long life.

Ultimately, we are all searching for something that we can rely on, something that’s constant, and something that will guide us through life. I can honestly tell you that all of those things can be found in Jesus Christ. Continue Reading…

GLMX #254: If You Can Get Killed in a Prayer Meeting, You Can Get Killed Anywhere

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Most of us don’t give thought to death on a daily basis. I would venture to say that there are some days when we do not even think about it at all. But we should. Because in the least-expected place, it can come for us.

Nine people found that out two weeks ago in Charleston, South Carolina. They were simply attending a midweek prayer meeting and Bible study at a church that had been in existence for nearly 200 years. A young man walked in, sat with them for about an hour, and then opened fire, killing the pastor who was also a state senator, a library manager, a church choir member, the church’s maintenance man, another pastor, an administrator at Southern Wesleyan University, a high school track coach, a Bible study teacher, and a young man who died because he jumped in front of the gun in order to protect a family member. In the most unlikely of places, they all met the one thing they probably never dreamed of meeting there — death.

The entire nation was shocked by the tragedy. Continue Reading…

GLMX #253: A Prison You Can’t Escape From

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Last week, two convicted murderers escaped from a maximum security prison in New York. The escape, of course, baffled many until it was discovered that the two inmates had help from a prison employee. Their escape caused great concern for residents in the surrounding area, and a massive manhunt was launched to recapture the dangerous men.

Admittedly, the justice systems of earth are flawed. Sometimes, innocent people are convicted of crimes they did not commit. Sometimes, criminals are never brought to justice at all. Sometimes, those convicted of crimes do not get the punishment they deserve or get more punishment than they deserve. And, as we have seen this past week, sometimes, criminals escape the prison where they are serving time.

However, there is one Judge who never makes a mistake. A Judge who never meets out more or less punishment than is deserved. A Judge whom no criminal can buy off. A Judge who has the authority to lock any one of us up in a prison that is impossible to escape from.

I am talking about God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, whom we will all have to face at the end of our lives. James 4:12 tells us, “There is one lawgiver and judge, who is able to save and to destroy.” That Judge and Lawgiver is God. As sinners — people who have done things that are wrong — we are automatically condemned to die and spend eternity in a place called Hell. Matthew 10:28 tells us, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Continue Reading…

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