Tag Archives: evil

DEMONS AND MARTYRS

DEMONS AND MARTYRS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come… and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

2 Timothy 3:1, 12-13 NKJV

In the span of five weeks, we have witnessed horrific tragedies. Pure evil exploded with the Las Vegas massacre, the NYC terrorist in a rental truck, and now, a church massacre in a tiny Texas town. If a church is no longer sacred, what is?

I could not wrap my head around the first report which said the congregation was shot while praying. I know what the Bible says, but how does God allow His children to be slayed during prayer?

I consulted my pastor, and he explained how these slaughtered Christians were special. Like Stephen, they became martyrs. I know, this type of thinking is difficult. We think of multiple funerals and lives taken from children, but they were transported directly into the throne room of God.

Our humanness cannot comprehend the beauty of a Christian’s martyrdom. We see the grief and a life cut short. We need to get our minds focused on Jesus. Joining Jesus in heaven is the most beautiful moment we will experience. If loved ones could speak to us that may be what they would say.

Later, reports explained the shooting began outside, not necessarily during prayer.

Evil has been present since the Garden of Eden. Cain killed Abel. In Noah’s day, wickedness resulted in a worldwide flood. Moses was born when all Hebrew male children were slaughtered. That heinous act repeated itself when Jesus Christ was born. God allowed Jesus to suffer greatly. His own sinless Son tortured and crucified to save sinful man.

I recall a time when morals were high and crime rates low. From 1900 to 1959 there were a total of 24 mass shootings.

In the early 1960’s The Supreme Court ruled in favor of killing innocent babies, and they decided school prayer was unconstitutional. In 1980, the Ten Commandments were removed from schools. In 1985, all nativity displays in government buildings were deemed unconstitutional.

Since God has been kicked out of schools, the number of mass shootings have climbed to 148 (from 1960-2017). These statistics are from http://www.heraldnet.com/news/the-history-of-mass-shootings-in-the-u-s/

Despite 24/7 news, I really believe there was a time when America was good. The facts speak for themselves. Everyone asks where is God? The USA asked God to leave.

Jesus warned us about the beginning of sorrows (Matt. 24:6-14). There is an eerie resemblance to today’s events in these Scriptures.

Satan, the evil one, has been at work since the beginning. We live among demon possessed people. Many do not want to believe there are demonically controlled people living in 2017 in our nation. Demons are not a thing of the past, nor are they confined to third world countries. What makes a person terrifyingly evil? Demons.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 1 Tim. 4:1NKJV

What do we do? We proceed cautiously, trusting God. We make plans for safety everywhere we go. We protect others like the heroes outside the Texas First Baptist Church. God used the two men not in church. Amazing!

Senseless makes sense to God. Trust Him.

Lord, we cannot understand the violence we see. We know we don’t need to understand it all. We just need to trust you. Help us do that. Shelter us from the demonic acts of our enemy. Deliver us from the evil one. In Jesus’ name, Amen

DIG DEEPER

Read Matthew 24:6-14.

HIKING THE TRAIL

We must realize we will never understand why evil happens. Pray for the protection of your family and church, daily. Study spiritual warfare. Continue to share the love of Jesus.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.

When Loving Seems Impossible

WHEN LOVING SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

 Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.

1 Peter 3:9-10 NKJV

When someone has spoken unkindly to us or their actions toward us have been evil, we want to strike back. However, we are commanded to bless them instead. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Rom. 12:14). Jesus said, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” (Matt. 5:44).

From these verses, we learn to pray for our enemies. That does not mean we pray for God’s vengeance on them, as some do, but we should pray for their salvation. We also learn we should do good to them. That goes one step beyond praying because it brings us in contact with them.

The command to bless these Hard-to-love people is repetitive, but how do you really bless someone? We are called to inherit a blessing – an undeserved blessing. How can we not extend the blessing of forgiveness and unconditional love to others when God has done that for us? We should follow the example of Christ who did not revile when He was reviled (1 Pet. 2:23).

Many times, I have heard testimonies from families who want to tell the murderer of their son or daughter they forgive them. They want to share the gospel with this lost soul who has hurt them deeply. That is a perfect example of this command. Such forgiveness can only be accomplished through the love, power, and grace of the Holy Spirit. What a witness this is, not only to unbelievers, but also to Christians seeking to”love life and see good days”.

Precious Father,

This is hard, and it is only going to come from You because it is not within us. Put a love in our hearts for those who are hard to love. Show us ways to do good to them. Help us bless and forgive them because You have forgiven us so much. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read 1 Peter 3:8-12.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Who is the unkind person or the persecutor in your life? Pray for them. What act of kindness can you show them this week?

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.