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GLMX #VA8: Things That Last Forever

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We live in a world that is temporary. The events of each day remind us that we are living on borrowed time — that at any moment everything we know could come to a screeching halt. Every day, lives are cut short by illness, car accidents, and criminal activity. Each hour serves as a reminder that we ought to be grateful for every breath we take. The Bible says, life is just “a vapor that appeareth for a little while and then passeth away.” Continue Reading…

How You Can Become a Saint Faster than Pope John Paul II (#VA7)

Pope John Paul II / Coptic Christians in Egypt

Pope John Paul II / Coptic Christians in Egypt

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This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.

This weekend, a lot of attention is being paid to the canonization of Pope John Paul II as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. According to the Catholic Church, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints investigates the life of a candidate for sainthood. Their requirements are: (1) that the person be dead; (2) that the person has lived in a “heroically virtuous” manner and pursued holiness in this life, and (3) that at least two verifiable miracles had occurred through intercession to that person. The Vatican conducts an intense investigation of a candidate’s life and any miracles that are said to have occurred by that person’s intercession before declaring him or her a “saint.”

Now, if we are waiting on the Catholic Church, most of us don’t stand a chance at becoming a saint. First, thank God, we are not dead. I’d rather be a living “ain’t” than a dead saint. In the Bible, the saints such as St. John and St. Peter were saints before they died and therefore remained saints after they died. Second, none of us have lived “heroically virtuous” lives and that is for sure. In fact, the Bible tells us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and that “all our righteousness are as filthy rags”. Third, no one has prayed to us to get a miracle and if they did, they could not get a miracle from us whether we are alive or dead. The only One who can give anybody a miracle is God through His Son Jesus Christ. That is why we should be glad the Catholic Church is not in charge of making people saints. God is, and according to God’s Word, anyone can become a saint. Yes, ordinary people like you and me — with all of our sins, faults, and failures — can become saints. Continue Reading…

When Death Speaks (GLMX #VA6)

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Allow me to share with you a brief story told by W. Somerset Maugham. The speaker is Death.

There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd, and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.” The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?” “That was not a threatening gesture,” I said, “it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

This little story brilliantly illustrates the inevitability of death. No matter how we try to run from it, delay it, and avoid it, we will eventually be faced with it. In fact, the day of your death is already set. God knows it, but you do not. When that day comes, you will die whether you like it or not. The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die…” Ecclesiastes 3:2 says there is “a time to be born, and a time to die.” Second Samuel 14:14 says, “For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again…”

Look all around you. People are dying: some from natural causes, some as casualties of war, and some from the effects of sickness and disease. Look at the history of your family and you will see that a long line of people related to you have passed beyond death’s door.

If death is inevitable, the only thing one can do is prepare for it. Continue Reading…

The Cross of 9/11’s Ground Zero (GLMX #VA5)

ground-zero-cross

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This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.

On a fateful day over a decade ago, two commercial airline flights were hijacked by terrorists and flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Two days after the buildings fell on 9/11, as the dust and ash cleared and as torn and mangled bodies were pulled from the rubble, a worker at the site named Frank Silecchia discovered a peculiar object amidst the ruins.

The object was a 17-foot cross formed from two steel beams used in the construction of the World Trade Center. This cross became a symbol of hope in the days and weeks following the devastation of 9/11. It was one of the few parts of the towers that had not crumbled to bits or been incinerated and turned to ash as a result of the fiery explosions that accompanied the attacks. Continue Reading…

Escaping the Death Penalty (GLMX #VA4)

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Several events in recent months in the United States have raised the question of whether or not the death penalty should continue to be allowed as a form of punishment in America. Some states have said that it is becoming more difficult to obtain the drugs used in lethal injection. In Arizona, Oklahoma, and Ohio, there have been ‘botched’ executions — where the person sentenced to die was not killed in short order according to procedure. These cases garnered a lot of media attention and renewed calls for the death penalty to be abolished. There have also been cases where a person on death row has been found innocent of the crime they were put there for. In fact, a recent study determined that at least 4 percent of all people sentenced to death are actually innocent.

Currently, there are over 3,000 people on death row in the United States. Can you imagine what it is like sitting on death row? Waking up every day in a cell knowing that each minute that passes puts you closer to the time when your life will be terminated by a lethal injection or an electric shock? Can you imagine living every day with a countdown ticking in your mind?

You might shudder at the thought of that kind of existence. However, every person born into this world is sentenced to die. We are all under a death penalty. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die.” Whether you want to accept it or not, your life — and the life of every person alive — is slowly winding down to a point of termination. Continue Reading…

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