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GLMX #134: So Jay-Z, You Want to be “Forever Young” and Live Forever and Ever? Here’s How.

 

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Jay-Z

Jay-Z

Rapper and hip-hop artist Jay-Z sings a song titled “Forever Young”. In this song he talks about his desire to be forever young. Then he asks the question, do you really want to live forever and ever? His song, even though it may not be talking about living forever in Heaven, according to the Bible necessarily, (and yes, the original cut has some unsavory language), but Jay-Z’s song touches on a longing that is in the soul of every man. Listen to a few of the lyrics that I can share with you:

Forever young,
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever

Forever young
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever

Jay-Z’s lyrics testify also to our culture’s obsession with youth. Television ads about anti-aging creams and techniques populate the airwaves. People fret over dieting and health issues all in an effort to look and feel younger. This past week, a new project was launched to study how humans can extend their life span. The project is being funded with millions of dollars from the founders of big companies such as Google and Facebook. Make no mistake about it, people have a longing and desire to live forever.

This obsession with youth is a reflection of our desire for immortality, permanence, and living forever. This is a desire that humans have experienced since the beginning of time. You might recall learning about the fabled Fountain of Youth, the waters of which were said to restore the youth of anyone who drank from them. This fountain was spoken of and sought for from the fourth century BC in Ancient Greece to the 16th century in what is today Florida.

The Holy Bible tells us about a place where people’s bodies will no longer age and decay, where people will never get sick or diseased, where no one will ever die — in other words, where everyone will be forever young. The best thing about this place, however, is that everyone who goes there will be in the presence of the loving Creator who is the source of all life, energy, and vitality. This place is called Heaven or Paradise, and right now, I want to share with you how you can get there so you can indeed be forever young.

+ Plus, listen to Newsboys singing “I Am Free”

GLMX #133: The Meteorite that Shook the World

 

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Asteroid

Asteroid

In 1977 Steven Spielberg released a science-fiction movie titled “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” The movie was extremely popular and made over $337 million worldwide. It tells the story of Roy Neary, an Indiana electrician, and others who have “close encounters” with objects or beings from outer space. Astronomer J. Allen Hynek popularized the term “close encounter.” A close encounter is the sighting of or contact with such an object or being. In the film, some of the characters were kidnapped by aliens, which caused tremendous grief to their families. Because of their experiences, these characters became convinced that there is more to the universe than we know, and that sometimes, whatever else is out there can be quite dangerous.

This past week, we, too, were also reminded that the universe is a dangerous place. In Russia, many people experienced a “close encounter” with an object from outer space when an unpredicted and unexpected meteorite weighing ten tons and traveling faster than the speed of light crashed through earth’s atmosphere creating a sonic boom that damaged some structures and shattered glass windows across a vast area. Over 1,000 people were injured from the event.

Additionally, astronomers also tracked an asteroid which zipped past our planet a mere 17,000 miles away — that’s closer than many satellites which men have put in orbit. Scientists say that the chances of a meteor hitting earth and an asteroid nearly hitting earth on the same day are one in 100 million. Yet, they both happened this past Friday.

These “close encounters” serve to remind us of just how vulnerable we are in the universe. Many scientists believe that a huge meteor that struck near what is today the Gulf of Mexico is the reason why the dinosaurs became extinct. And many others say that it is just a matter of time before such an event happens again — causing major loss of life and major environmental changes for the earth. In fact, the Bible speaks of stars falling from the sky and striking earth during the end times.

No matter what happens to the earth, we do not have to fear such an event if we know what will happen to us when we die. We do not have to worry if we are depending on the one who owns the earth and the entire universe.

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” This verse tells us that not only does the earth and everything in it belong to God, but you belong to God as well. God loves you and cares about you. He wants you to go to Heaven to be with him after you die. Because of this great love, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for your sins. Your sins are the bad, wrong things that you do, and those things are what will cause you to be eternally separated from God in a place called hell after you die. However, John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you trust in Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross, you will not perish in Hell, but you will have everlasting life in Heaven with God.

+ Plus, listen to Newsboys singing “In the Hands of God”

GLMX #132: Billy Joel, the River of Dreams, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

 

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Just a few days ago, I was listening to a song from the 1990s titled “The River of Dreams”. It was written and sung by American composer Billy Joel. Billy Joel’s song is a reflection of the heart cry of every human being. Listen to these lyrics:

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep

I must be lookin’ for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross

I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I’d never lose
Something somebody stole

I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is I’ve been looking for

Billy Joel’s song expresses a desire that many people have testified to. Many people go through life feeling as though something in their life is missing — that something that should be there is gone. Like Joel, these people go through life searching for what is missing in their life. Have you ever felt this way — as though there is something missing in your life? Have you ever felt as though there were a hole in your soul? The French philosopher Blaise Pascal said that “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

The thing that Billy Joel said he was missing in his life, and the thing that many people feel as though they are missing in their lives is a relationship with God. Long ago, in the Garden of Eden, this relationship with God was broken because of the sin of Adam and Eve, the first humans. Adam and Eve had the privilege and blessing of a direct, wonderful, peaceful relationship with God. Everything they ever needed or wanted was supplied, and they lived a life of perfect bliss. However, when they were tempted by Satan, they decided to disobey God, and because of their disobedience, their relationship with God was severed.

Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, all of us, their descendants, are born into this world with a figurative hole in our hearts. That hole is representative of the relationship that we should have with God. However, because all of us are born sinners, we are born in a state of enmity with God. There is a dividing wall between us and God because God is holy and we are sinful. Thus, we go throughout our lives searching for the unity with God that we so desire.

Billy Joel writes in his song, “I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore. I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life until I find what it is I’ve been looking for.” My friend, you don’t have to keep on searching for what you have lost. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life searching for a real relationship with God. You can have one today.

GLMX #131: A Simple Matter

 

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In the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie, “On Stranger Tides”, a young missionary by the name of Philip Swift is taken captive aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge. The Queen Anne’s Revenge was the ship of the legendary and fearsome pirate Edward Teach, more commonly known as Blackbeard. Even though he was tortured and harassed by Blackbeard, Philip maintained his belief that every soul could be saved — even Blackbeard’s.

Once, when Blackbeard is about to kill a sailor on his ship, Philip intervenes and tells him that his problem is that he “dare not walk the path of righteousness, the way of the light.” However, Blackbeard turns and says, “No, sir, the truth of it be much simpler than all that. I am a bad man.”

Blackbeard’s simple admission is not only true for him, but for all of us. We are all bad men and bad women because we do bad things. The bad things that we do are what the Bible calls sin. And the Bible says that “all have sinned.” Yet, just as Philip believed, it is also true that every soul can be saved from eternal punishment. No matter how many bad things you have done, you can be saved. The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:4 that God would “have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” No sin is too great for God to forgive, and no soul is too wicked for God to save.

+ Plus, listen to Casting Crowns singing “Glorious Day”

GLMX #130: Are You Ready for the Coming King and His Kingdom?

 

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This past week, the 57th inaugural ceremony was held for the president of the United States. As usual, it was a grand affair with much pomp and ceremony. There was a long parade with representatives from all 50 states. Festivities continued into the night with parties, balls, and concerts around Washington D.C. Many people looked forward to the event and it is said that nearly one million people attended the inauguration and 20 million watched it on TV.

Some people got so excited that they became blasphemous in their speech. One man called the president “lord and saviour” and a magazine referred to his second term as “the second coming.” Of course, he is not the Lord and Saviour and the second term of a presidency is nothing compared to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

One day, there is coming a grand ceremony for Someone who is not just the leader of a country, but who is the king of the world. In fact, He rules the entire universe. He is called the King of kings and Lord of lords. At this ceremony, the Bible tells us that every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This grand day is described in Revelation 11 when an angel cries out, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

There will be no term limits on Jesus’ rule. When he returns to earth, he will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem and He will rule the nations with a rod of iron for one thousand years. Unlike earthly rulers, who are unable to bring peace and prosperity, when Jesus Christ rules this earth, there will be complete peace and prosperity.

Did you know that you can be a part of this future kingdom? Just as you can gain citizenship in the different countries of the world, you can right now become a citizen of the coming kingdom and a willing subject of the coming King.

Jesus Christ said in John 3:3: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Being born again is how you become a part of the kingdom of God.

So, now, the question is: how can you be born again?

+ Plus, listen to Newsboys singing “The King is Coming”

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