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CLARITY – 3-31-20 Determining Right and Wrong

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-31-20

Determining Right and Wrong

What’s Happening: “In an article written yesterday by the BBC, Singapore has become one of the leading edges of the LGBT fight for normalization  A court with jurisdiction in these matters dismissed a case against a 1938 law that legislated up to two years of incarceration for those who practice consensual same-sex relations. This was seen as a huge setback for the local LGBT community. There are currently 70 nations that outlaw same-sex activity (https://www.yahoo.com/news/singapore-gay-sex-ban-court-155418247.html). Quoting from the  article: ‘The court concluded the law was constitutional because it did not violate articles regarding equality and freedom of speech.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “That’s barbaric! They need to get with the 21st Century!”

Biblical Response:  “That sentiment is expressed by much of western world today…but just because the majority says it’s okay, doesn’t make it okay! Law that is written against God’s law about sexuality (Rom. 1:18-27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10 – and that’s just in the New Testament – the O.T. is rife with examples) is illegitimate law. If anyone is qualified to rule on any creature’s practices, it’s the Creator.”

“I know, it’s the trend, but an erosion from biblical standards, is just that: an erosion. Sure, there are some who say that our Constitution is a ‘living document’…that it should be interpreted by current mores.But our Founders are many originalist jurists who have since passed away since,must be doing cartwheels in their graves!”

“Christians? The passage of scripture that’s at the end of the one referred to in Romans 1 (above) pretty much sums up our position:

‘For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 

and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.’ (Rom 1:27-28 NASU)

“Determining right and wrong is God’s job. Ours is just to make laws that agree with Him.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to hate the sin, but love the sinner (Prov. 29:27 LB); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-30-20 Destruction Destroyed …And Fear

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-30-20

Destruction Destroyed…And Fear

What’s Happening: “It was hard to sleep Saturday night for some in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. A missile, likely fired by Houthi rebels over 600 miles away in Yemen, was destroyed by an American-made Patriot missile battery, deployed in 2014 to a desert area near the city. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have been at war with Houthi rebels since they took over Yemen’s capital five years ago. They have taken much of northern Yemen (https://www.yahoo.com/news/saudi-forces-destroy-missile-fired-222327136.html) Quoting from the Associated Press article: ‘While some Western governments have suspended arms deals with Saudi Arabia over the war, the Trump administration has beefed up America’s military presence in the kingdom in response to threats from Iran.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Let’s score one for the anti-terrorists!”

Biblical Response:  “Yay! (Although I have to say, that crisis averted gets little coverage when there’s no carnage, no blood and guts.) Is it a good thing that a defensive missile destroyed an offensive missile? You bet…and all short-term symptomatic efforts are to be encouraged. Still, it’s only a treatment, not a cure. The Houthi rebels (and ISIS, al Qaeda, the Chechen rebels, the Iranian Republican Guard Army, Hezbollah, etc.) should be opposed. It’s not right for a fierce tiny force to impose their will on the vast peace-loving majority through fear, threat of violence, and intimidation. But terrorists will never be defeated by short-term defensive efforts alone. We need to commission long-term offensive efforts, too. What am I talking about? Missionary efforts! You defeat an ideology with an ideology. Who says Christianity is superior? God. (Heb. 8:6 NLT):

‘But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for He is the one Who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.’

“Yeah, but isn’t that just talking about the superiority of Christianity over Judaism? I think it’s talking about any system of human efforts to achieve peace between a Holy God, and an unholy Man.”

“Of course, I might be just a little prejudiced. Still, if Christians in the Crusades had practiced more evangelism and less forceful conversion (at the point of a sword!), we might not have any of the Islamic terrorism we see today.”

“Peace – real peace – is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God.”

“Christians? We believe that destroying destruction can be good (1 John 3:8), and that the only fear that is good is the fear of God (Matt. 10:28; Prov. 1:7).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us pursue both short-term AND long-term solutions to terrorism; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-28-20 The Source of Truth

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-28-20

The Source of Truth

What’s Happening: “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the source of a repeated lie that a U.S, Army athlete brought the COVID-19 virus originally to Wuhan The Global Times reported Wednesday. There have been calls for an international investigation, but the CCP says it was famed conspiracy theorist George Webb that is promulgating the notion, Supposedly, the virus was manufactured in a U.S. military lab and then brought by a U.S. military cyclist competing in the World Military Games in October in Wuhan (https://www.yahoo.com/news/chinese-state-media-falsely-claim-144337211.html). ‘Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,’ Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So, who do we believe?”

Biblical Response:  “Whoever is telling the truth. Since both the CCP and a U. S. Senator are both claiming veracity, I guess you’ll have to consider the source. Of course, you could just let time be the judge (Prov. 12:19):

Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed.’ (LB)”

“The source of a statement often gives clues to its truthfulness (veracity). Hmmm. Let’s see. A U.S. Senator or the Chinese Communist Party (who has a history of telling a version of events that benefit them)? That we have come to a historical situation where a Senator’s word is of questionable integrity is sad indeed. However, even the common peasant who reads The Global Times (in Mandarin) believes the Senator over the Chinese version.”

“Christians? We believe the truth is not determined by the number of times it is repeated…in fact, we believe that the Truth is a person (John 14:6) and that it can set us free (John 8:32). Obviously, anything sourced in God is true, as He cannot lie (Ps. 89:5; Titus 1:2).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us discern between the truth and a lie; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-27-20 Our Time to Shine

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-27-20

Our Time to Shine

What’s Happening: “India announced it had approved a 1.7 Trillion (presumably rupees – $22 Billion) emergency food program yesterday to combat rampant starvation amidst the COVID-19 crisis in their country. This stimulus package will deliver grains and lentils to 800,000,000 people, 60% of the largest democratic nation on earth. There are people losing their jobs, which, in India, does not mean difficulties paying rent, but actual survival. India’s 1.43 Billion people are 85% service folks. A Stay-at-Home order is actually devastating to them (https://www.yahoo.com/news/jobless-virus-lockdown-indias-poor-083919000.html).  Quoting from the above article: ‘Our first concern is food, not the virus,’ said Suresh Kumar, 60, a bicycle rickshaw driver in New Delhi. He said he has a family of six who rely on his normal daily earnings of 300 rupees ($4). ‘I don’t know how I will manage,’ he said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess I don’t have it that bad!”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not! We may worry about our rent or our 401-K’s, but not survival! (There, but for the grace of God, go we.) There is a story told about a mother answering her son’s questioning gaze as she gave their last bit of rice to a particularly emaciated beggar who knocked on her door: She said, ‘We may die tomorrow, but, without our food,  he will die today.’ Few people remember the Great Depression. Not since then have Americans really wondered from where the next meal was coming. We can point to the benefits of the Industrial Revolution or the Information Age…about none of which the starving man cares. As the old missionary saying goes, ‘They can’t hear you over the growling of their stomach.’ Maybe it is time to really help people, not just saying, ‘be warmed…be filled’ (James 2:16-17).”

“The coronavirus is not too unfortunate. What a great time to be alive! What an opportunity for the ‘breadbasket of the world’ (America) to show just how we feel toward those less blessed. Think of the platform that would give us if we offered food, medical break-thoughs, etc. to people the world over who are in desperate need. Of course, we couldn’t then tell them the secret to our excess – er – success. That might be politically incorrect.”

“Christians? Oh, we have much to do and say. But not as Americans. We once had a Christian Consensus…,but not anymore. As Christians, we definitely have much to offer…and hopefully, we will (1 Pet. 3:15).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, Help us to remain that ‘shining light on a hill’; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-26-20 When It Rains, It Pours

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-26-20

When It Rains, It Pours

What’s Happening: “As if struggling with a worldwide pandemic (the COVID-19 panic), a storm, and a 7.5 earthquake were not enough, residents of Russia’s Severo-Kurilsk community also  had a tsunami warning which came on the heels of the earthquake at 5:30pm Wednesday. Thankfully, the tsunami fear was short-lived. Warnings for British Columbia and Hawaii were contemplated but cancelled. Japan never issued a warning, though the earthquake was close (https://www.yahoo.com/news/magnitude-7-8-quake-strikes-031749739.html). ‘At 1757 local time (0657 GMT), the threat was removed,’ said the Sakhalin Tsunami Centre. ‘Since the tsunami was small, but was observed against the backdrop of the tide and a storm, we maintained the warning for several hours.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Should I buy earthquake or tsunami insurance?”

Biblical Response:  “Unless you live on an island lowland in the South Pacific, probably not…which brings up the whole concept of trying to insure against disaster…so-called ‘acts of God’ (in the ‘Prosperity Gospel.’ there is no room for ‘bad news’ – of course, it’s really a matter of perspective…before the Red Sea was parted, it was a curse, an impasse that blocked the children of Israel’s escape from Pharaoh’s army – for the whole biblical story, read Exodus 14 -. Then God parted the Red Sea, and it was a blessing that made it possible for them to cross on dry land. Then as they saw Pharaoh’s army follow them, it was a curse again. Then, as the walls of water came crashing down on the army and drowning their pursuers it was a blessing again. How God endures such a wishy-washy obstinate people as us is as wonder! …Oh, wait a minute, the ground did open up and consume some of the nay-sayers – Num.16:1-32 – but that wasn’t a loving God was it?!)”

“Sometimes, in our pursuit of avoiding the economic repercussions of ‘disasters,’ to level out the playing field, so to speak, we become subject to the very poverty we were trying to avoid. Kind of a different perspective on being ‘insurance poor,’ huh?” 

“Christians? We believe in so-called ‘acts of God.’ While we agree that God favors His children, we also believe He uses our predicaments to discipline us 

‘… and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,  ‘MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;

FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,  AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.’ (Heb. 12:5-6 NASU)”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let us embrace Your discipline as proof of Your love…You’ve gotten our attention now; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-25-20 It’s Kind of Like Restoration

CLARITY

It’s Kind of Like Restoration

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-25-20

What’s Happening: “Just after midnight Tuesday (or early today), it was announced by top White House aide, Eric Euland: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal,’ $1.8 Trillion later, either the U.S. economy will have the money for restarting the economy or be so much in debt that it can never recover…or both. The Democrats fear it isn’t enough (and they didn’t get all the progressive initiatives they wanted), the Republicans ask the age-old question, ‘who’s going to pay for this?’…and the National Debt continues to climb (https://www.yahoo.com/news/congress-closing-nearly-2-trillion-122126952.html). ‘After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” said  Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.) ‘It will rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation’s health care fight. And it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help Americans workers, families, small businesses and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side ready to soar.’

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So, is this good news or bad news?”

Biblical Response:  “I’m afraid time alone will tell. On the one hand, there are folks definitely hurting economically and they will definitely be helped…in the short term. On the other hand, this short term help might come at the expense of a long term economic downturn (a soaring National Debt, the negative motivation of a handout, etc.). However, sometimes what is necessary is painful, but also beneficial (read the story of Ruth – just 4 short chapters – it had to be painful for her to leave her home and people…but ultimately beneficial).”

“Restoration is unpleasant at first. I mean, here you were, blythely and unknowingly headed down a pleasant path to destruction. Then, Somebody opens your eyes to the path you’re on…and its ultimate end…and offers you a different path …and a different destination (Prov. 14:12; 16:25).

“Christians? We believe in restoration. Of course, it’s unpleasant at first. Change usually is, But to be restored to a place of favor (Joel 2:25-27) when we’ve had to distract ourselves from the realities of our struggles…well, that’s when we learn how it used to be..what we were made for…that’s when we get surprised by joy!” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the patience we need to wait for restoration (not settle for distraction); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-24-20 Intent is Sufficient

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-24-20

Intent is Sufficient

What’s Happening: “A man from Sayre, Oklahoma, Jerry Drake Varnell, 26, was sentenced to 25 years in prison (after which he shall be monitored for life) for trying to blow up BankFirst in downtown Oklahoma City with a car bomb. The FBI found out about the plot and sent an agent undercover as a bomb-maker and his ingredients were inert. This all happened back in August of 2017, but he was just sentenced yesterday (https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-sentenced-25-years-trying-184305943.html). ‘We are thankful he did not get a sentence of life,” in prison, said Vicky Behenna, his defense attorney.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Yeah, but the bomb didn’t go off. That was a little harsh, huh?”

Biblical Response:  “Yeah? Try telling that to the bank employees who WEREN’T killed or DIDN’T have to look for a new place of employment. If you don’t believe that intent is as bad as actual performance, you haven’t read Matt. 5:21-22 or Matt. 5:27-28. In His ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ Jesus equates intent of the heart with the actual act. And doesn’t every act begin with a thought? It was Scottish author, Samuel Smiles (born in Haddington, U.K. in 1812) who said:

Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.’”

“If we are not just held responsible for our acts , but our thoughts, too, who then is guiltless? Exactly. I guess Isaiah 53:6 is true (‘All we like sheep have gone astray…’). The condition of the fallenness of man is universal. Which is why we need a universal Savior (Rom. 6:23).”

“Christians? We believe in the universality of sin. I mean, who is free from their thought life? Only the person who lets the mind of Christ reign in their brain (Phil. 2:5). ‘And whom the Lord sets free is free indeed’ (John 8:36).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to break free of the thoughts and acts we should never have; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-23-20 Conflict is Inevitable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-23-20

Conflict is Inevitable

What’s Happening: “Talks on prisoner exchange were finally held between the Taliban and the Afghan government Sunday…finally, fruit of a fragile peace accord signed between Afghanistan, the U.S, and the Taliban back on Feb. 29. The prisoner exchanges – eventually 5,000 Taliban and 1,000 Afghans – are the first efforts to end America’s longest war, begun after the bombing on September 11, 2001. There has been a hold-up to the exchanges because Afghan’s President, Ashraf Ghani, wanted to be more involved.  The accord is tenuous, at best (https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-envoy-says-kabul-taliban-first-prisoner-exchange-203242279.html). ‘Today, the US and Qatar facilitated the first Afghan government to Taliban technical talks on prisoner releases, via Skype video conferencing,’ a spokesman said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s hard to blame Ghani. He is the President of Afghanistan!”

Biblical Response:  “True…but it could just be a pride issue. Many conflicts are caused by one party or another defending his position. Even the Bible warns against it:

‘Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.’ (Prov. 13:10 NLT)”

‘Think back on the conflicts in which you’ve been involved, whether on the playground as a kid growing up, or as an adult at work…say between a boss and a worker. Wasn’t it pride that was really at the root? Somebody was trying to defend something that was said or done?”

“The real problem is what is behind pride. And it’s always the case of a ‘fallen man’ (Gen. 3). In fact, I think that was the serpent’s original temptation (Gen. 3:5-6; 1 John 2:16).”

“Christians? We believe in the destructiveness of pride (Prov. 16:18). And, as long as man stays in a prideful condition, conflict is inevitable. However, peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to lay aside the pride we’re so quick to defend…and make us more like You; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-21-20 Inconvenient Distraction

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-21-20

Inconvenient Distraction

What’s Happening: “Remarks that President Trump made yesterday followed by those made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the missle attack that killed two U.S, service members (and one British) serving in Iraq, might indicate that the two leaders are a little distracted by the pandemic that fills the news. Although there are still sanctions on Iran (and they might increase due to the recent attacks), the U.S. has offered all kinds of medical assistance to the regime as Iran has been one of the hardest hit by the virus and reported 1,433 COVID-19 deaths Friday (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-pompeo-walk-brink-blaming-200348239.html). ‘The Iranian people deserve leaders who listen to, respect, and invest in them, not leaders who target and persecute them while wasting money to advance their nuclear ambitions and test more missiles,’ Trump said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds like ‘love your enemies’ (Matt. 5:44) to me…kill them with kindness, I say!”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe. You might want to check the attitude of your heart. Are you really sympathetic toward their plight, while disagreeing with their political posturing? Are you making a distinction between the leadership of the dictatorial regime and what we presume to be a largely peace-loving people? I don’t know their hearts. The images of those chanting ‘death to America’ might be for media consumption or incited by the regime. But God does know their hearts (Luke 16:15), and He will see to it justice is served.”

“Are Trump and Pompeo distracted by the coronavirus pandemic? Probably…along with much of the world. But we must not lose sight of the objective. What is the objective? It’s different for different folks. For Trump and Pompeo, protection and leadership for America. For those tapped to solve the virus crisis (doctors and leaders in the CDC, W.H.O., N.I.H., etc.), seeking the best treatment-vaccine-etc., they can – and to lower general fear. Are they all being distracted? Probably. That’s why we must pray for cooler heads to prevail (our objective).”

“Christians? We believe in this is just another opportunity to show our love, compassion, and maturity to a world distracted by the fear of what could happen… We need to point to the ‘Rock that doesn’t roll.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be the voices of quiet calm in a cacophony of distracting noise; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-20-20 There’s Justice Here and There’s Justice There

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-20-20

There’s Justice Here

And There’s Justice There

What’s Happening: “In an article released earlier today (it’s was Friday earlier in India), four convicted rapist/murderers were hanged amidst cheers and celebrations in New Delhi for the 2012 gang rape on a New Delhi bus. At the time, there was a public outcry condemning years of poor treatment of women and demanding swift justice (to have any justice in under a decade is remarkable). A fifth suspect hanged himself in prison and a sixth suspect was a minor. He served three years in a juvenile detention facility, Quoting from the Associated Press article: ‘India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday that justice had prevailed…’ (https://www.yahoo.com/news/india-hangs-4-men-convicted-110654411.html). ‘”Together, we have to build a nation where the focus is on women empowerment, where there is emphasis on equality and opportunity,’ Modi said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Didn’t Amnesty International protest the barbaric use of the death penalty?’

Biblical Response:  “Yes, but that doesn’t make them right. And, whether the death penalty is a deterrent or not is not the final arbiter of right and wrong. Who should determine whether or not the death penalty is appropriate? Nope, not even the law, a judge, or a jury…actually, only God…and He’s already had plenty to say on the subject (Ex. 21:23; Deut. 19:21; etc.).”

“But that’s just justice here on earth (physical justice…temporal justice).  More to be feared is ultimate justice (spiritual justice…eternal justice – Luke 12:5:

‘But I will forewarn you Whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him.’ (KJV)

“Christians? Oh, we believe in ultimate, spiritual, and eternal justice. We also believe: ‘Justice makes hell necessary; mercy makes heaven possible.’ Are those four rapists/murderers in heaven or hell? That’s above my paygrade. Only God knows the heart (Acts 15:8, 1 John 3:20-21). Some of them could have repented.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to keep short accounts with You and learn to rejoice at ultimate justice; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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