***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I have a question related to weddings and gifts. One of my cousins had a big lavish wedding after living with the guy for about ten years. Some people said they thought she got married just to get gifts, that the wedding was a farce since she had been living with this guy for years. Others, myself included, said that maybe she was trying to do the right thing by getting married and not living in sin any longer. I know this is a complicated question, but what do you think?
ANSWER: Only God can know the heart of your cousin. Nobody is forced to give anyone a wedding gift. The good thing is, she is now in a relationship God has mandated for a man and woman, and can reap the benefits of that obedience. I will pray for them both and for His blessings as they try to follow the Lord and honor Him in their marriage.
What you believe does matter . . . FOR ETERNITY!!! The other night, I was flipping through the TV channels and came across a 2001 tribute concert to pop superstar Michael Jackson. It was three years ago that Jackson died. The one thing that drove me crazy was hearing over and over, often by high-profile Christians, that Michael is now at peace in Heaven. Really? I hear this same thing whenever a famous person dies, regardless of what they believed during their life, as well as from people when a family member or close friend dies, again, regardless of what they believed during their life.
If this is true, then what is the use of the Gospel? If this is true, why should anyone waste their time and effort telling people about Jesus? If this is true, then the death of Jesus on the cross was a meaningless exercise, His resurrection didn’t need to occur, and people can believe whatever they want during this life and make it to Heaven. THAT MY FRIEND IS THE UNIVERSALISTIC LIE FROM HELL!!!
The fact is God made only ONE plan of salvation. There is only ONE way to everlasting life and that is faith in Jesus Christ, the Jesus Christ of the Bible. There are NOT many roads that lead to God, only one, the Jesus road!!! You can’t believe whatever you want and die and end up in Heaven. That is a lie from satan that is leading millions of souls to the flames of hell for all eternity. WHAT YOU BELIEVE DOES MATTER!!!
It is arguable that Michael Jackson was the most recognized person on the planet. Despite his vast fame and material possessions, Michael was bankrupt in the things that really matter in life, joy, peace, contentment, HOPE! Those things only come through having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and living according to God’s Word.
After his child molestation trial concluded, on June 17, 2005 I wrote these words, “Even though he has been acquitted of the charges brought against him, the moment he dies he will stand before The Judge, God Himself. At that moment, if he dies without Christ he will be standing all alone. There will be no high-priced defense attorney, no family, no fans, only God who will judge him for his sins and cast him into everlasting darkness. At that moment he died, if he had accepted Christ as his Savior by faith, he wasn’t standing alone. Next to him would have been the ultimate defense attorney, JESUS CHRIST, who would tell The Judge that his sins have been paid for and Michael Jackson would have been ushered into God’s presence for all eternity.”
Sadly, Michael grew up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult. This is the cult born out of the depraved mind of Charles Taze Russell and denies the very deity of Christ. You can go to Google and type in “cults Jehovah’s Witnesses” and it will give you many websites to document their false theology. However, Michael has not only followed the false theology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, he made the choice to live his life in rebellion to God and His Word and follow all kinds of false religions and teachings.
During his 2005 trial for child molestation, instead of turning to Christ for strength he turned to a cult I have exposed and talked about, Kaballah which was popularized by singer Madonna, signified by the “red string” bracelet he wore throughout the trial. He had during his life several high-profile spiritual advisors, Orthodox Jew Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and New Age tool charlatan Deepak Chopra, a tool of satan I have warned you about in past Devotionals. Jackson was also heavily influenced by several of his brothers who are deep in the false religion of Islam. Clearly Michael Jackson was a man lost and searching.
I know it makes people feel better when a famous person or someone they know dies, if they think that they are in Heaven. This is why I have literally given my life 24/7/365 these past 20 years for the Gospel, because the FACT is, those who die without Jesus will not be in Heaven but in the flames of hell for all eternity. What you believe matters, and based on what he believed, Michael Jackson is not in Heaven but in eternal torment and punishment for his sins.
I love you and care about you so much. I realize many people will point out all of the great humanitarian deeds Jackson did during his life, the multi millions he has given to charity and those are wonderful acts that should be commended. But we can’t work or buy our way into Heaven. No amount of money or good works saves you, only faith in Christ and God’s Grace (Ephesians 2:8,9).
The fact is, Michael Jackson like all men, is born into this life with sin, in addition to those sins he has committed during his life, and it is that sin that separates him from a Holy God. The moment he died he stood before God and the number of records he sold, the number of people who saw him perform, and all of his good deeds didn’t mean anything. The ONLY thing that mattered was the he rejected the Jesus of the Bible by faith as his Lord and Savior.
That is all that will matter when you take your last breath my friend. If you have never made the commitment to ask Christ into your heart and life by faith, let me tell you that the most important decision you will make in this life is not who you will marry, or where you will live, or what kind of job you will have. The most important decision you will make in this life is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. God’s desire is that none be lost, that all come to repentance. He is speaking to you today. The Bible says that TODAY is the day of salvation.
I would invite you to go to, http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm . Pray to ask God to open your heart, read the words, watch the short video, pray the prayer, and accept God’s free gift to you today. WHAT YOU BELIEVE MATTERS . . . FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!
***PLEASE PRAY ABOUT SOWING A SPECIAL GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER DURING OUR ANNIVERSARY MONTH. MANY HAVE BEEN BLESSED BY GOD’S WORK HERE, BUT HAVE NEVER GIVEN TO HELP US. ACTUALLY, LESS THAN 1/4 OF 1% OF THOSE WE REACH EVERY GIVE A DIME TO SUPPORT GOD’S WORK HERE. ALL WE HAVE DONE OVER THESE 13 YRS, IMPACTING LITERALLY TENS OF MILLIONS OF LIVES WORLDWIDE, HAS ONLY BEEN POSSIBLE BECAUSE FRIENDS LIKE YOU PRAYED AND MADE THE SACRIFICE TO HELP US BE HERE EACH DAY FOR THE HURTING AND LOST.
MOST EVERYONE CAN SEND SOMETHING. LET ME CHALLENGE YOU TO GIVE A GIFT OF $13, $130, $1300, OR FOR SOME, $13,000. THAT IS $1, $10, $100, OR $1,000 FOR EACH YEAR OF SERVICE. GOD WILL MULTIPLY YOUR GIFT EXPONENTIALLY IN THE LIVES AND SOULS OF THOSE WE REACH WITH HIS TRUTH AND THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!
TO GIVE A GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER, you can use your major credit card on our secure server at: http://www.liveprayer.com under the “Donation” link, you can give using your PayPal account using my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,or you can mail your gift to: Liveprayer, 6660 46th Ave. North, St.Petersburg, FL 33709. All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE, YOUR PRAYERS, AND YOUR SACRIFCE. THESE 13 YEARS HAVE ONLY BEEN POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF YOU, AND I THANK GOD FOR YOU EACH DAY. KNOW YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE IN MY PRAYERS. WE PRESS ON TOWARDS THE PRIZE!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
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