Have you ever heard someone say, “I might as well live it up, I’m going to hell anyway?” Or maybe that’s you. No matter what you’ve done, God is willing and able to forgive you, but you must come to Him. Don’t let another day pass. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.
Jeremiah 17 & 18
1 Thessalonians 3.1-13
I’m Going to Hell Anyway!
Jeremiah 17 & 18:
God’s Faithfulness to Those Who Remain
Even in the midst of God’s judgment, verses 7 & 8 say:
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
It’s important to remember that there were faithful believers among those who would soon be conquered and exiled, including Daniel and the other young men we read about in the book of Daniel. Even though their nation and their way of life suffered, God blessed and watched over His faithful remnant. Daniel would find favor in spite of plots against him and political and military upsets. He would, eventually, serve under eight pagan kings.
Our Deceitful Hearts
Verses 9 & 10 are two verses which we often share in counseling:
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
10 I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.
It’s so easy for us to believe that we know what’s going on in another person’s heart—what they’re thinking, what their motives are, what they’re going to do in a given situation. But the truth is we can’t even fully know our own hearts and we certainly cannot know someone else’s. Our own hearts can deceive us, causing us to believe we’re somehow “OK”—justified in our actions, even when we’re focused on ourselves and not the glory of our God.
We must constantly stay connected to God, asking Him to search our hearts and show us the sin and deceit that resides there.
“I’m Going to Hell Anyway!”
11 “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD. “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”’”
12 And they said, “That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.”
We’ve all met people like that. They know what God’s Word says about the way they’re living, but they aren’t willing to do what God requires, so they just say, “I might as well live anyway I want, because I’m going to hell anyway!”
“God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” (2 Tim. 2.25-26).
And if that’s you and you think what you have done is too big for God to forgive, no matter what it is, God is willing and able to forgive you. But … you must turn to Him in humility, confess your sins, and seek His help to live His way. If you would like more information, leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and I’ll email you.
Today’s Other Readings:
He Is Good!
Verse 29, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
We must get a firm grasp on the fact that even when God brings judgment, it doesn’t change who He is. And until the final judgment at the end of this age, even His judgment and its consequences are designed to bring an individual, or even a nation, to repentance.
Verse 12, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.”
I wonder how often we get ourselves in trouble because we fail to heed God’s warnings to us.
1 Thessalonians 3.1-13:
Be an Encourager
Paul underwent extreme difficulties throughout his ministry, but knowing that his labors were not in vain was a great encouragement to him. Verses 5-8:
5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain. 6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you— 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
Even the great Apostle needed encouragement. If someone has been a blessing to you in your walk with God, take time to thank them and let them know what their ministry or their testimony has meant in your life. It may be just the encouragement they need at that moment!
How has God spoken to you today? Did you see a passage in a new light? Did you see an area where you need to grow and change? Did you find a promise to hold on to? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the next few days, we’ll talk about the rapture and ways to live like we’re expecting Jesus to come back soon, among other things.
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Putting Your Past in Its Place: Moving Forward in Freedom and Forgiveness
Lives grind to a halt when people don’t know how to relate to their past. Some believe “the past is nothing” and attempt to suppress the brokenness again and again. Others miss out on renewal and change by making the past more important than their present and future. Neither approach moves people toward healing or hope.
Pastor and biblical counselor Stephen Viars introduces a third way to view one’s personal history–by exploring the role of the past as God intended. Using Scripture to lead readers forward, Viars provides practical measures to
•understand the important place “the past” is given in Scripture
•replace guilt and despair with forgiveness and hope
•turn failures into stepping stones for growth
This motivating, compassionate resource is for anyone ready to review and release the past so that God can transform their behaviors, relationships, and their ability to hope in a future.
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