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Disclaimer – I’m by no means a biblical scholar, but I am a God-fearing, God-loving man, and this is what I’ve got to say.

Have you ever had a realization so serious it has literally made you wide awake? Made your palms get clammy? Brought you to tears? Well I had one of those right as I laid down to go to sleep, and this is what overflowed from me after.

Every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, someone has died and gone to hell. Some of these people thought they were safe from those fires that they’ve ended up in. These may be people we know! Our neighbors! Our friends! Our loved ones! The shocking reality is that it could be any one person you know. Besides the person, who is to blame? I am. You are. Any single follower of Christ that had a chance to intervene in that person’s life but chose not to. Earlier today I wrote a blog about what the word saved means as a Christian, and now I’m going to go one step further and say what it should look and feel like.

There should be a fervent (of extreme passion) fire in your soul and in your heart for God, the church, and the lost. We should actually want to spend time with Him, but what do we do instead? Watch T.V? Gossip? Go to the movies? Why is it so hard to just turn the T.V. off for just 30 min and pray? Why is it that we can overlook our brothers and sisters sins and say nothing? Why is it that we can watch movies with nudity that drop 400 F-bombs, 300 G-D’s and a million other vile things and just be ok with it because it is “entertainment”. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO HATE SIN. HATE IT. As a matter of fact, it is one of the ONLY things we are ALLOWED to hate!!! Where has that fervent fire that drove Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul, John, and countless others gone to? Where’d it go?

It hasn’t gone anywhere! We have lost it! Not the other way around! How can we ignore and deny this fire that is supposed to be burning inside?!?! It is the fire that brings us to die daily and pick up our crosses. It is the fire that says, “You’ve been made new, so act like it!” How have we been so quick to forget that this burning passion is what built nations? How have we let it slide through our fingers? Where has that fire gone?

I know at one point in my own life I had lost that flame…. Have you? Do you have it now? If not, when did you notice? Was it before now? It took me reflecting back on the fruit that my life was bearing to realize I had let that flame slip away from my life.

Do you find yourself in this place?….
What are you going to do about it?….

God is faithful friend, and if you ask, He will provide.

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*Disclaimer – I’m no bible scholar by any mean, please keep that in mind*

So, there is a word that Christians throw around a lot, and I’m not sure if people really understand what the word even means.  You can hear people ask all the time, “Are you saved?” or hear them say, “Yeah I got saved on *insert date or age here*.” To someone who grew up in church, this term is nothing new, but if you are like me, and did not grow up in church, this word may hold a somewhat unknown meaning.

So this word saved, whats that all about? Well here is my definition of it:

Saved: V – To be removed from the binds of life and death.

So… Still lost? Its ok, because I am too. Lets break this down even further.
Prior to receiving this salvation through Jesus we are void of God; we have no relationship with him. If that isn’t bad enough, we are also essentially serving a death sentence*. (See Romans 6:23 below)
“Wait, prior to being saved we are serving a death sentence?”Yes!

Thanks to Eve (and yes Adam, but Eve first) sin came into the world, and because of this sin, we gained the knowledge of good and evil. This dastardly knowledge brought along with it another unforeseen thing; death. God told Adam and Eve that they could eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden except one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that if they did, they would surely die!** God didn’t mean they would literally fall over and die, He meant that a separation would form between them that would last forever. “Wow. Harsh…” No not harsh. God is perfect in every way, and He can not defile himself with sin.

“Ok, so Adam and Eve doomed us?” Precisely! Thanks to Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dumb we now were cut of from the Master of the universe. (No, not He-man.) “So what now?” Jesus, that’s what! God came down in flesh form, lived a life just like us, faced temptation just like us, but lived a perfect life. By doing this, he created essentially a “bridge” to cover the gap the Adam and Eve created.

“So we aren’t doomed after all!!!” NO!!! By believing in Jesus you are SAVED. Now, there is that word again… Now that I’ve painted the backdrop to WHY we need salvation, hopefully that word is a little more clear.
Sin = death, Jesus = life, Us + Jesus = Saved from death.
Jesus removes us from the consequences of sin, allowing us to have a relationship with God again, just like Adam had in the garden. Instead of essentially serving a purposeless life, which is a death sentence in my mind, we are made new and given purpose, and a relationship with God.

Here is a real world example from John Siebeling, pastor of The Life Church:

The word “saved” is a Bible word…… It simply means “to be pulled out.” I always tell people to picture themselves in a war zone, in the middle of a firefight, buildings on fire, nothing but chaos. You’re standing there, defenseless, not sure what to do. Then, all of a sudden, you hear a helicopter overhead, and out of nowhere a rope ladder comes down and rescues you. Picture that from a spiritual perspective, that’s what it means to be saved.***

*Romans 6:23
New Living Translation (NLT)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

**Genesis 2:17
New Living Translation (NLT)
17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”

***Fresh Start with God – by John Siebeling

So for the last 8 months of my life I’ve been in college, and I’m not going to lie, it can suck. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, I met some great people, but at the end of the day you can just be worn down! Never before this did I have to actually remind myself to have fun!

Life can be tiresome as it is, but add hours of studying, reading, writing, and all other kinds of stress school adds in there, and you end up with a one way ticket to the bottom of a canyon. You can’t just be serious all the time; you can’t just be like the energizer bunny and keep going and going and going. You HAVE to stop sometimes. You need to have fun and laugh every now and again!

So this is something that’s been on my mind since earlier today. The way that relationships are going amongst teens and young adults isn’t right. I have to preface everything I’m about to say with: This doesn’t cover everyone. I know it isn’t like this for everyone. That being said, lets dive in a little deeper.

So relationships. What is a relationship? According to Webster: The way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected. Ok so a relationship is a connection. Wait, so it isn’t making out? Or having sex? No, it isn’t! You can have countless relationships; your mom, your dad, your cat fluffy, the list goes on and on. So what starts a relationship?

Knowledge. Even when you are simply aquatinted with someone, you gain a super basic knowledge of that person. As a baby, you build a relationship with your parents based on knowledge! I’m sure if babies could talk, this is what they’d say, “Oh these are the weird funny looking people that feed me, change me, and make me happy! I think I’ll call them mom and dad!” (Ok so maybe not.) It is by knowledge that you build a relationship.

So lets discuss how many, not all, teens and young adults view “relationships”. It goes something like, “AH! HORMONES ARE RAGING! MUST GET GIRLFRIEND/BOYFRIEND!” Now, if a relationship is a connection, how is that right? That is pretty much just a superficial connection. So hormones have created a fake connection, and you start dating. Now what?

“SEX! I’ve gotta get laid!” Wrong again little Bobby! (Sorry if you’re reading this and your name is Bobby…) That’s your hormones talking again! So not only now have you created a fake connection, you’ve created a very real, very emotional connection, and all for what? The sake of allowing your hormones to take over?

Let us rewind now…….
Little Bobby likes Susie. Bobby and Susie have know each other for a long time, and they decide to date. There are two scenarios that can happen:

Scenario A:
Bobby and Susie have been great friend forever, but they are at an age where their hormone levels are raging and the urges and temptations they are feeling are just to strong… They give in and start “dating.” In reality, they have a purely physical relationship; the connections are all physical. Susie realizes this, and ends things with Bobby. Bobby and Susie never talk again.
Susie realizes where she went wrong, corrects her mistakes, and her next boyfriend she actually got to know on a personal, non physical level before dating. They end up engaged and married. Little Bobby never learns from his mistakes and has 6 children from 3 mothers.

Scenario B:
Bobby and Susie have been great friends forever. They both start feeling an attraction to one another, but rather than just jumping at each other, they start spending more time together, but just as friends. A few years passes by, and because he treated her with dignity, honor, and respect, Bobby and Susie have genuinely fallen in love, and they finally go on their first real date. Things go so well, that they decide to go on more dates, and eventually end up married.

By actually getting to know one another on more than just a physical level, Bobby as Susie are able to form a real, healthy relationship. As cliché as it is, they became best friends before they even started dating. Is that such a bad thing? By actually investing ,real, honest time into another person, you can learn so much about them. Maybe if this were true, 50% of all marriages would’t end in a divorce. Maybe, just maybe people could avoid so much heartache and heartbreak.

I know this is such a foreign concept to this culture and generation, but give it a try. What do you have to lose? Is it really that hard to just be sincere and genuine?

Just a note: This is just a general rant at the moment. I’m working on a more organized version that will deal specifically with various things