Seek Lord Jesus first!

Always seek Lord Jesus first! If you are lost in your life, reach out to Him not for temporary solutions but for a new life of holiness, blessings and salvation! If you had worshiped idols – be it statues or statuettes, images, relics or people – for so long, you can change for the better by rejecting them all and reach out to Jesus who is in Heaven and His Spirit is in the hearts of Christians.

Be aware that we are living in the flesh in the middle of in a truly divided and chaotic world. Religion, unbelief, socio-political uprisings and other worldly elements are hindering the lost and unsaved souls from realizing faith in the Lord. It is only Lord Jesus, not those worldly leaders and elements, who can truly save the lost and the unsaved. Our Lord is holy and what is worldly is not holy.

If you want to be saved, you have to be born again because Lord Jesus said so. Read the holy scripture below…

Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (NASB)

John 3:3 alone is a compelling reason for you to seek Lord Jesus, submit to Him and gain salvation through Him. Getting born again means starting a completely new life as a believer of Jesus and as a true child of God. After submitting yourself to Him, confessing your sins to Him directly and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your sins will be forgiven and you can finally free yourself from all of the sinful elements (influences of Satan) that dominated you in your old life. Live on as the new creation in Christ. Take note of what is written in the holy scripture below…

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (TPT)

The above scripture is closely related to John 3:3. It makes an even stronger case for you to seek and reach out to Jesus, and you have the authority (the decision) to become a new creation as well as a new member of the spiritual family – God’s family!

The truth is that it is not God’s nature to force you to submit to Him. He really wants you to make the great decision to be His child willingly through His Son Jesus. Learn from the holy scripture below…

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (TPT)

As recorded in the Holy Bible, Lord Jesus made miracles happen, helped the sufferers, uplifted many people, preached the truth to others, established His ministry, died for everyone’s sins, conquered death to make His presence clear to everyone, and ascended to Heaven with the promise that He will return. This is another reason why you must seek Lord Jesus!

After becoming a new creation, your new life under God truly begins. This is no accident because God brought the new creation to a new life for purposes such as serving Him. How to serve the Lord? Follow His Word (the Holy Bible) and implement the biblical lessons into your life. Have fellowship with the Lord and whatever His command for you is, do it without hesitation. While having fellowship with Him, ask Him about what He has planned for you since before you were even created. Getting yourself planted in a local church that the Lord wants you be part of so that you can be guided by a truly spiritual pastor and connect yourself with other Christians who got born again. Preach God’s Word to others around you and help the Lord save all the lost and unsaved souls of this world.

As a child of God, you get to serve Him and worship only Him. Never aim to be as great nor greater than our Lord because such a desire futile. To be very clear, desiring greatness is not a sin but motivations to be equal or greater than Him, or defying His plans are simply wrong.  

Instead of aiming to be equal or great than the Lord, it is proper to have ambitions that center on the glory of God and on the welfare of the church (not a building, not a fleshly hierarchy but the community of people who believe and follow Lord Jesus) which is a mighty and holy force for good. Within the members of the church and God’s family, the true spiritual leader will not campaign for promotion and instead he or she will always prioritize the Lord and lead his or her siblings-in-Christ to Him! That being said, it is always essential to seek Lord Jesus first! Also, never forget to always respect the authority of our Lord.

In the Holy Bible, servant leadership is emphasized in Mark 10:35-45. Below are some verses about two men who approached Lord Jesus with thoughts about promoting themselves. Read the details closely…

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”

And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

They said to Him, “We are able.”

So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”

And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.

Mark 10:35-42 (NKJV)

As seen in the above verse, James and John were misguided with their perception of Jesus and with their approach to Him. They wanted to be lifted by Him to be as great as Him, and they did not realize that their desires were wrong. They did not really know what they desired and as a result they asked Him rather carelessly. At that precise point of time within the Holy Bible, James and John did not know their rightful place under the Lord.

All of us, you, me and others, were created by God to worship Him, honor Him, serve Him, glorify Him, prioritize Him and do His will. That being said, we should be aware already about our rightful places under His authority. Again, it is not a sin to desire greatness but there are limits to such desires. If you are to desire for greatness at all, how about aiming high to serve our Lord and respect His authority, fully learning and implementing the Bible’s lessons into your life, preaching the Word of God and relentlessly help lead people to Lord Jesus? You can desire to be a great believer and servant of the Lord! To be clear, seek out Lord Jesus, ask Him how to serve Him and ask what He wants to command you to do. Do not forget that the Lord has plans for you which were made before the beginning of time!

Never forget to respect His authority and never desire to be as great as nor greater than Him. Never let pride dominate you and never desire to be superior over God’s children. Learn from the following scripture below…

Don’t boast in the presence of a king or promote yourself by taking a seat at the head table and pretend that you’re someone important.

Proverbs 25:6 (TPT)

Moving on, another great reason to seek out Lord Jesus is that peace, relief and rest await those who truly believe in Him. Truly Lord Jesus has no intention to lead us to more pain and frustrations. In fact, helping His believers is part of His nature and it is also part of God’s plan for us all. Read the following scripture below…

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”

Mark 6:31 (NKJV)

Mark 6:31 pointed back to the time when Lord Jesus withdrew His disciples from the crowds in order to rest and to avoid the hostility of the Jewish religious leaders and the jealousy of Herod. In addition, He also made possible to teach the disciples in solitude. To put it simply, you seek Jesus and join fellow faithful followers of His following Him, He will lead you all to places or opportunities where you can have peace and stability with Him. With the Lord, you do not need to be worried anymore! If you have been born again, there is no good reason to slide back to your old life. After all, Lord Jesus’ way is always the right way!

Moving on, another good reason to seek Lord Jesus is to rely on His authority. While living in the flesh in the middle of this very divided world, varied bodies of authority are plentiful (from the local community to the city, the province or state, the national authority and the global authorities) but each of them is flawed. As such, there will always be dissenters as well as rebels that challenge those bodies of authority.

With the authority of our Lord, we the faithful will always be protected and He is invulnerable to anyone who challenges His authority. Learn from the scripture below…

Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”

But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men’ ”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.”

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Mark 11:27-33 (NKJV)

The above scripture shows the limitations of people who have been so oriented with worldly developments and teachings, they failed to realize the holiness, wisdom and the heavenly authority of Lord Jesus. After His authority was challenged by their curiosity, Lord Jesus challenged them (a group of scribes and wise men no less) and ultimately, they failed. Think about that! A group of wise men, local leaders and scribes failed to understand our Lord and saw their questioning of His authority fail. It shows that humanity that focused on and lived by everything worldly (including worldly authority) is severely limited. The same can be said about the people working with worldly authorities as well as the people who question and rebel against the same authorities. Again, this is reason why people who seek salvation and become holy should seek our Lord and rely on His invulnerable authority. In relation to this, read the following scripture below…

I have set the LORD always before me;

Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Psalm 16:8 (NKJV)

Moving on, another reason to seek Lord Jesus is to seek God’s Kingdom, become a child of God and become citizen of His Kingdom. As already mentioned earlier, getting born again is essential as Lord Jesus stated in John 3:3. After getting born again, you start your new life as a child of God led by faith in Him and living by His Word. It is expected that as a Christian, you must grow and mature spiritually just as your serve the Lord. To be a child of God as well as a citizen of His Kingdom make you exceptional! With your new life and new spiritual status, you must always be ready to perform good works under His commands. Ask God for His plans for your life and also ask Him to command you so you can serve Him rightfully. Do not be reckless. Be led by faith and follow the Lord’s instructions without hesitation! The Lord will bless you, provide for you, protect you and love you as you maintain your personal relationship with Him! Learn from the following scripture below…

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

As a child of God and a citizen of His Kingdom, do good works in serving Him and whatever happens, always maintain unwavering faith in Him and always look up to Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The truth is Lord Jesus is the mediator between us and God our Heavenly Father. That being said, we must only worship God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We must never worship people, statues/statuettes, images and relics. Speaking of the human idols (both the dead and the walking), never worship them and never let religious leaders deceive you to prioritize them as much as our Lord. The walking, white-wearing religious idol in Rome who leads a corrupt religion-led and idolatrous hierarchy is not the mediator between humans and God. Only Lord Jesus is the mediator and our true high priest. Reject all idols and seek Lord Jesus first! Realize the truth in the final two holy scriptures below…

Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

John 6:28-29 (NKJV)

For God is one, and there is one Mediator between God and the sons of men—the true man, Jesus, the Anointed One.

1 Timothy 2:5 (TPT)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists and secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious fanatic? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you fed up with being promiscuous? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Are you an anarchist, a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists who has had enough with darkness? Are you addicted to something for so long? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt? All of that darkness can end! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters and idol makers fool you into making you unholy.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #15 (1988)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and Wonder Woman fans! Last time around, the Challenge of the Gods storyline concluded and it really had a lot of twists and profound surprises that really shook the foundation of the post-Crisis Wonder Woman monthly series that was spearheaded by George Perez and Len Win. The Challenge of the Gods started strongly in issue #10 and as each issue was released, the narrative got more intriguing and ultimately served its purpose on defining Wonder Woman as the ever-willing and pure Queen of Superheroes. Along the way, there was significant development of Queen Hippolyte who has been struggling between ruling her fellow Amazons and being a mother to Diana/Wonder Woman.

As the Challenge of the Gods was full of elements of fantasy and Greek mythology, it can be quite challenging for any comic book creator to start the next chapter of the Wonder Woman monthly series’ narrative without reusing the mentioned elements.

In the case of the next Wonder Woman comic book for review here, I can say that the creators literally brought Wonder Woman into the realm of realism and intrigue. With those details laid down, here is a look back at Wonder Woman #15, published by DC Comics in 1988 with a story written by George Perez and Len Wein. Perez illustrated the comic book.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Wonder Woman having a very vivid dream about a certain great hero. After waking up from it, she feels that trying to keep up with all the events of the world must be taking its toll on her. She expressed that she is ill-prepared to deal with new sensations.

“In this world, man and woman long for these feelings. They cherish them. I’ve read how they have even died for them,” Diana said. “And that truly frightens me.”

While Diana is staying at the Kapatelis residence, it turns out Julia (mother of Vanessa) is overseas. She wishes that Julia is with her to discuss what she has been feeling.

Meanwhile at the Ogawa headquarters in Boston, an armed man is using one of the company’s computers to acquire classified information about a subject referred to as Valerie Beaudry. A security guard arrives and decides to investigate as he realizes that his fellow guard was missing (knocked unconscious already). The infiltrator makes short work of him and leaves the building with the acquired information…

Quality

Wonder Woman appears at a major public event.

I can start with the sudden change of tone for the storytelling. Gone are the fantasy and mythology elements of the Challenges of the Gods storyline and fully implemented in this comic book are the elements of intrigue, suspense, assassination and even sci-fi. The story itself is more grounded with reality as far as the post-Crisis DC Comics universe goes and because it is well written, the sudden change of tone and style never felt jarring to me.

While the 9th issue of this monthly series introduced a modern Cheetah, this comic book introduced the modern Silver Swan in the form of Valerie Beaudry (who appears on the cover). The good news here is that the creators took their time in gradually building-up details about Valerie and how she became Silver Swan. By the time Silver Swan appears in the presence of Wonder Woman, her personal details and traits have been developed in a satisfying way. Unlike Wonder Woman #9, Silver Swan’s appearance in this comic book stretches on into the next issue.

Along the way, more new characters were introduced and the most notable ones are connected with Valerie Beaudry. Maxine Sterenbuch, who eerily resembles Wonder Woman’s teenage pal Vanessa but in adult form, has a close connection with Valerie over a period of many years. There was also Henry Cobb Armbruster, a tycoon who wield tremendous power and has been hiring assassins to do his bidding.

Going back to Wonder Woman herself, this issue explores more of her struggle with not only learning more about man’s world and its many divisions, but also the feelings she starts having as she connects more with other people – most notably with one of DC’s biggest icons. To have Julie Kapatelis absent left the creators room to have Diana not only bond more with daughter Vanessa but also strive more on analyzing what she learns in man’s world. The scene in which Wonder Woman notices a huge printed image of her is a vivid reminder about how negative and foolish idolatry is on people.

Conclusion

Intriguing action scene.

Even though it has no fantasy and mythology elements, Wonder Woman #15 (1988) is still a great comic book to read and it succeeds in progressing Diana’s discovery and learning of man’s world. Its introduction of the post-Crisis Silver Swan is memorable and her build-up (specifically her background story) is pretty engaging.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #15 (1988), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $35 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $70.

Overall, Wonder Woman #15 (1988) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Idolatry is Foolishness

There is no doubt that idolatry makes a person (a creation of the Lord) unholy and unworthy of becoming part of God’s kingdom. Pay close attention to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in different translations below (key words in bold for greater emphasis)…

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (TPT)

Knowing the truth in the above scriptures, you definitely would not want to become an idolater. Idolatry is truly unholy and anyone who practices it becomes unrighteous. Idolatry has no place whatsoever in Christianity, no matter what the idolaters, the unsaved souls and lost souls around us say. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is a holy scripture that many idolaters (along with the homosexuals, the greedy, the perverts and others deemed unholy) are very afraid of because the truth goes against them.

Idolatry is not limited to the worshiping of statues, statuettes, paintings, relics and people. It also includes prioritizing human acts of addiction (examples: addiction to illegal substances or the Internet), prioritizing materialism and prioritizing other worldly matters over the Lord! Many people don’t know it but they should know the truth that idolatry must be rejected and they should always worship God our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit! Learn from the following scriptures below…

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 20:3-6 (NKJV)

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:3-8 (NKJV)

Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:4 (NKJV)

As it is already clear that idolatry is unholy, there is also the truth that idolatry is also foolishness! The truth is recorded in a very specific holy scripture from the 44th chapter of the Book of Isaiah. Pay close attention to the details…

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,

And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

‘I am the First and I am the Last;

Besides Me there is no God.

And who can proclaim as I do?

Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,

Since I appointed the ancient people.

And the things that are coming and shall come,

Let them show these to them.

Do not fear, nor be afraid;

Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?

You are My witnesses.

Is there a God besides Me?

Indeed there is no other Rock;

I know not one.’ ”

Those who make an image, all of them are useless,

And their precious things shall not profit;

They are their own witnesses;

They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.

Who would form a god or mold an image

That profits him nothing?

Surely all his companions would be ashamed;

And the workmen, they are mere men.

Let them all be gathered together,

Let them stand up;

Yet they shall fear,

They shall be ashamed together.

The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,

Fashions it with hammers,

And works it with the strength of his arms.

Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;

He drinks no water and is faint.

The craftsman stretches out his rule,

He marks one out with chalk;

He fashions it with a plane,

He marks it out with the compass,

And makes it like the figure of a man,

According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.

He cuts down cedars for himself,

And takes the cypress and the oak;

He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.

He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.

Then it shall be for a man to burn,

For he will take some of it and warm himself;

Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;

Indeed he makes a god and worships it;

He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.

He burns half of it in the fire;

With this half he eats meat;

He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.

He even warms himself and says,

“Ah! I am warm,

I have seen the fire.”

And the rest of it he makes into a god,

His carved image.

He falls down before it and worships it,

Prays to it and says,

“Deliver me, for you are my god!”

They do not know nor understand;

For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see,

And their hearts, so that they cannot understand.

And no one considers in his heart,

Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say,

“I have burned half of it in the fire,

Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals;

I have roasted meat and eaten it;

And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?

Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”

He feeds on ashes;

A deceived heart has turned him aside;

And he cannot deliver his soul,

Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Isaiah 44:6-20 (NKJV)

As seen above, the prophet Isaiah issued a warning against idolatry. Emphasized were the absurdity of idolatry when compared with the worship of the Lord who is the true God of us all. Simply put, idols are not only unholy, they are worthless and do not respond to the idolaters (who in turn are too blinded to realize the truth in the Holy Bible).

Pay close attention to what our Heavenly Father said: You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. (Exodus 20:4-5 NKJV)

Idolatry is absolutely foolish and it is a violation of God’s Word. The problem with humanity is that when people are unfaithful or got blinded by religion or got consumed by unbelief or other worldly influences, they violate the Lord by making idols in the form of statues, statuettes, art pieces, relics and substances that they dedicate themselves to. They don’t realize it but those idols became their top priority, while God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not. They are too blinded to realize that man-made idols are abominations that actually please Satan because those idols keep them away from the Lord. Learn from the holy scripture below…

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Nor is there any breath in their mouths.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.

Psalm 135:15-18 (NKJV)

The making of idols is a centuries-old problem in this world. Here in the Philippines, idolatry is part of the status quo of the people and their culture. Way back in the year 1521, the Spaniards arrived here in the Philippines and brought with them a distorted form of Christianity in the shape of religion along with idolatry, traditions and rituals. Think about it. For the following centuries of Spanish influence, countless generations of Filipinos were trapped by religion, lived in bondage and were really held back from realizing the truth in the Holy Bible and also held back from accepting Jesus as the definitive Lord and Savior.

Along the way, countless statues, statuettes, images and relics of religion were made and a lot of families wasted their money to buy them and place those idols in their homes, not realizing that those are an abomination to the Lord. Imagine for example someone praying to a statue or a statuette of Lord Jesus. This is unfortunate because the idolater does not realize the truth that Lord Jesus NOT in the statue/statuette but is in Heaven and His Spirit is in the hearts of Christians who got born again.

Think about a religion-led church (living with distorted Christianity) organizing a procession or parade with idols displayed from start to the finish in full view of the people around. Such unholy events continue to happen here in the Philippines and it shows that there are still a lot of lost and unsaved souls among the Filipinos still trapped by idolatry and religion.

Think about the other people who rejected our Lord because they believed in the secularists, atheists, Leftists, humanists and other non-believing people, and looked up to them as walking idols not realizing they are unholy and doing exactly what Satan wants them to do. As I am writing this, there are lots of youth here in the Philippines who did not truly believe in the Lord because they decided to believe in the Leftists whose loudmouths became idols to them. Instead of Christianity, the unfortunate youth believed in socialism, homosexuality, Communism, humanism, Marxism, unbelief and other unholy influences. Clearly, they have been fooled by these forces of evil which involve idolatry.

Also think about the other people who have this very casual way of idolizing people in rather worldly ways. People who idolize public figures involved in the world of politics, entertainment, sports, social media, dishonest news media, Internet influence and the like. What these kinds of idolaters do not realize is that there is no such thing as an innocent way of doing idolatry, and the Holy Bible itself – with lots of references about idolatry – is very clear about that.

Thanks to our Lord, true faith-led Christianity was realized worldwide in the 20th century and today, here in the Philippines, there are lots of Christian churches that are dedicated to the Word of God, the direct worship of the Lord, and prioritize faith and the personal relationship with Him. The truth is religion is not essential, faith in the Lord is essential. Religion is not essential, the personal relationship with God is essential. Unbelief will lead to eternal suffering and damnation, being faithful to the Lord will lead to salvation. Idols and idolatry are unholy, the Lord is holy. Reject idolatry for it is clearly written in the holy scripture below…

My cherished friends, keep on running far away from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:14 (TPT)

As it is clear the idolatry is foolishness and idols are unholy, we Christians can help our Lord save the lost and unsaved souls around us by praying for them and by preaching the Word of God (verbally and through digital methods) so that people will realize the truth, analyze and make their decisions. We can help the idolaters and all other sinners get saved before it is too late for them. Pay close attention to the words of Lord Jesus below…

“Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like a fisherman who casts his large net into the lake, catching an assortment of different kinds of fish. When the net was filled, the fishermen hauled it up on the shore, and they all sat down to sort out their catch. They collected the good fish in baskets and threw the bad away. And so it will be at the close of the age. The messengers will come and separate the evil from among the godly and throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish.”

Matthew 13:47-50 (TPT)

The idolaters and other sinners still have time to stop sinning, and come to the Lord who only requires submission from them to become His children. To the idolaters and sinners reading this…you can still save yourselves. You can reject all those idols (both the man-made and the walking) and free yourselves from both foolishness and sin to come to Him, repent to Him and allow Him to reform you fully. It is not too late to get born again. Learn from God’s words in the following holy scriptures below…

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.”

Ezekiel 14:6 (NKJV)

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and bring it about that you walk in My statutes, and are careful and [a]follow My ordinances. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:25-28 (NASB)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists and secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious fanatic? Have you been living as a homosexual? Are you fed up with being promiscuous? You spent an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, paintings and relics? Are you an anarchist, a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists who has had enough with darkness? Are you addicted to something for so long? All of that darkness can end! How? You can save yourselves bysubmitting to the Lord willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the Word. Declare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Christian Music Appreciation: Great Outpouring

Welcome back, my fellow Christians, music enthusiasts and those who seek the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit! In this newest edition of my ongoing Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, we are about to examine the holiness and relevance of another worship song by the great musicians of Planetshakers Church (Australia) titled Great Outpouring.

Great Outpouring is one of the songs included in Planetshakers’ most recent album Over It All. Its title alone is a great reminder of the truth recorded in the Holy Bible…there truly is a significant outpouring of the Holy Spirit which is something that Christians, each and every member of the Body of Christ, can always keep living with while being faithful to the Lord.

Here are the lyrics for your viewing and musical learning. The analysis of key parts of the lyrics will follow afterwards.

[Verse 1]

Come upon me

Overwhelm me

Overshadow

In Your glory

I am ready

I am willing

Heart surrendered

To Your leading

[Pre-Chorus]

You said to wait

For power to clothe me

You’d send a flame again

[Chorus]

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

Pour out Your Spirit again

[Verse 2]

There’s a stirring

Things are moving

There’s a hunger

You’re restoring

We are counting

On Your Spirit

Send Your rushing

Wind again

[Pre-Chorus]

Oh You said to wait

For power to clothe me

You’d send a flame again

[Chorus]

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

Pour out Your Spirit again

[Bridge 1]

I can hear it

The sound of a rushing wind

I can feel it

The flame of Your fire again

I receive it

The power that raised the dead

This is the great outpouring

[Bridge 2]

Can you see it?

Revival is in the air

There is freedom

Let churches be filled again

In this season

Heaven is rushing in

This is the great outpouring

[Refrain]

Woah

This is the great outpouring

Woah

[Chorus]

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

Pour out Your Spirit

[Bridge 1]

I can hear it

The sound of a rushing wind

I can feel it

The flame of Your fire again

I receive it

The power that raised the dead

This is the great outpouring

[Bridge 2]

Can you see it?

Revival is in the air

There is freedom

Let churches be filled again

In this season

Heaven is rushing in

This is the great outpouring

[Refrain]

Woah

This is the great outpouring

Woah

[Outro]

For analysis, let’s start with Verse 1’s lyrics – Come upon me, Overwhelm me, Overshadow, In Your glory, I am ready, I am willing, Heart surrendered, To Your leading. Verse 1 is about making the decision to submit to the Lord, repenting to Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to come not only to you but also into your heart – receiving the Holy Spirit! From that point on, being led by the Holy Spirit and being faithful to the Lord become the new ways of living. This also means living as the new creation under Christ which is the result of getting born again (that Lord Jesus Himself made clear)! All of these happen when the seeker willingly decides to be Christian and get baptized spiritually (note: water baptism does not save anybody). Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Matthew 3:11 (NKJV)

Peter replied, “Repent and return to God, and each one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One, to have your sins removed. Then you may take hold of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 (TPT)

We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God freely gives to all who believe in him.

Acts 5:32 (TPT)

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (NKJV)

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (TPT)

Moving on, the following lyrics from the longer version of the Chorus, I believe, is the very heart of the song as it deals with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which goes as follows – So come now, Lord resurrect us, In Your power, Fill us afresh, And here now, Pour out Your Spirit again, So come now, Lord resurrect us, In Your power, Fill us afresh, And here now, Pour out Your Spirit again, Pour out Your Spirit.

Let’s get straight to the point here…the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is real and here are the holy scriptures that confirm it is indeed true…

And it shall come to pass afterward

That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

Your old men shall dream dreams,

Your young men shall see visions.

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants

I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Joel 2: 28-29 (NKJV)

And it shall come to pass

That whoever calls on the name of the Lord

Shall be saved.

For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,

As the Lord has said,

Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

Joel 2:32 (NKJV)

For I will pour water on the thirsty land

And streams on the dry ground;

I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring,

And My blessing on your descendants;

Isaiah 44:3 (NASB)

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV)

But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,

That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

Your young men shall see visions,

Your old men shall dream dreams.

And on My menservants and on My maidservants

I will pour out My Spirit in those days;

And they shall prophesy.

I will show wonders in heaven above

And signs in the earth beneath:

Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

The sun shall be turned into darkness,

And the moon into blood,

Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

And it shall come to pass

That whoever calls on the name of the Lord

Shall be saved.’

Acts 2:16-21 (NKJV)

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

John 14:15-17 (NKJV)

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 1:13 (NKJV)

As seen in the above verses, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in the Old Testament by the prophets Joel and Isaiah. The Old Testament prophecies got fulfilled within the New Testament on the Day of Pentecost and the apostle Paul, in front of many people, confirmed that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled. By believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we get saved and allow the Holy Spirit to occupy our hearts. Jesus Himself referred to the Holy Spirit as the Helper from the Heavenly Father, and the Spirit of Truth. Getting saved (born again) makes us children of God and as such we must allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, let Him guide us, reform us, restore us, prosper us and ensure we each have a personal relationship with the Lord. Along the way, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for us manifests and becomes clearly true.

Going back to the lyrics in the longer chorus, I believe that the line Pour out Your Spirit again is about urging the Holy Spirit to make its presence felt not only for faithful Christians who continue to pursue the Lord but also to those who are still lost and unsaved which our screwed-up world is so full of. It should be noted that there are also Christians who, unfortunately, backslid and lost faith due to circumstances (example: the current pandemic that brought down societies and economies worldwide) at a time when their faith was not strong enough nor refined enough.

That being said, I believe the song Great Outpouring can help deepen the faith of the faithful ones while also working as an invitation to the lost and unsaved souls who have not realized that they can stop suffering by becoming born again and submitting themselves to the Lord for true reform. I assure all of you reading this that there are still lots of people who did not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior because of religion, unbelief, idolatry (which is truly unholy), traditions, rituals, homosexuality, anarchy, terrorism, socialism, Communism, racism, Leftism, feminism, corruption, immorality, critical race theory, rebellion, political correctness, anti-Semitism, dishonesty and other negative elements used by Satan all over the world. There are lots of people who remain lost and unsaved because of their failure to have true fellowship with the Lord, because they did not believe nor prioritized the Word of God (the Holy Bible), because they allowed themselves to be consumed by evil forces in this world, and because they embraced religion or unbelief instead of getting into a relationship with the Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Obviously, the lost and unsaved souls have not realized the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and they can have it by simply deciding to submit themselves to the Lord. That being said, we Christians should keep on persevering with praying for the lost and unsaved souls, and help them realize God’s Word is always true. Again, the song Great Outpouring can be used to reach out to the lost and unsaved souls around us.

Musically, Great Outpouring is indeed beautiful to listen to and, more importantly, its lyrics are truly holy. I believe that Planetshakers’ music team were led by the Holy Spirit in composing the song and formulating its music before officially recording it. Take note of the following lines from different parts of the lyrics – Let churches be filled again (Bridge 2), The flame of Your fire again I receive it (Bridge 1), There’s a stirring, Things are moving (Verse 2) – and you should see that they are all based on the Holy Bible.

When it comes to playing Great Outpouring at church during Sunday worship service, I would suggest to church music teams/bands to consider playing the song as the conclusion if they want to set solemnity with the church attendees after playing the more energetic songs during the early part of the musical performance. Planetshakers’ Great Outpouring is highly recommended!

In conclusion, posted below is the official music video of Great Outpouring performed by Planetshakers. While listening to it, remember to be faithful and thankful to the Lord. Always remember to realize the good life from the Lord, practice Christian habits , get yourself planted in a local church (be led by Him) and remember the truth that He rewards the faithful abundantly. Continue to be people of the Word and keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Why You Must Stay Planted in a Local Church

Welcome back, fellow Christians and the seekers of Lord Jesus! Previously, I wrote about why one must be planted in a local church and why church hopping does not help. For one thing, the Lord always has a plan for each and every one of us who are His children, and that includes getting planted in a local church. It is the Lord we must prioritize when it comes to being planted in a local church and surely He knows best! Let’s start with a few scriptures from the Holy Bible below…

For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92:13 (NLT)

Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (TPT)

For this article, I will emphasize more as to why you must stay planted in a local church led by the direction of the Holy Spirit. For those who just got planted by the Lord in a local church in recent times, let me discuss more about being planted.

The terms plant, planting, and planted relate to God’s garden in the Book of Genesis. Physically, a garden is composed of many natural things, most notably plants of varied species from the grass to flowers, to the trees. Of course, in order to establish those, planting must be done (in the case of God, His vast power goes beyond what mortal people could do). It should be noted that God placed Adam in His garden with a true purpose and with His trust. Read the holy scripture below…

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

Genesis 2:8 (NKJV)

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

Genesis 2:15 (NKJV)

In relation to what the Heavenly Father did with Adam and the garden, following His direction on getting yourself planted in a local church always comes with good intentions and benefits for your dedication and worship of Him. The church is not merely a building for worship and certainly not a corrupted religious hierarchy, rather it is a community of God’s faithful children who follow His Word, live by His Word and worship Him in multiple ways. If you are already a child of God (note: read Lord Jesus’ words about getting born again in John 3:3), then you have been anointed and are righteous. That being said, you should have been planted already in a local church (you should have lots of spiritual brothers and sisters by now) and you certainly keep staying planted. Learn from the following scripture below (with a specific line in bold)…

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92:12-15 (NKJV)

So why stay planted in a local church that God told you to join before? As seen in the above scripture, those who are planted in a place of worship as well as in a community of His other children (your spiritual siblings) shall flourish. You certainly would not want to miss out on that! You certainly do not want to live a troubled life, live with uncertainty and find yourself falling into poverty.

In addition, staying planted is essential because God knows where you are planted in. As I mentioned in my previous article, doing church hopping (moving from one church to another like a nomad) is a waste and your worship gets reduced into a ritual or a tradition. When God tells you to join a local church and stay there until He announces something new for you, you simply follow Him. There are indeed benefits with staying planted and enduring worship of our Lord with other church members that you will get to know.

While staying planted, you will want to align yourself in something strong as Lord Jesus builds up His church. The church is undoubtedly the safest place in the last days. That being said, it is destiny for you to commit yourself when God calls you to be planted. Learn from the scripture below…

But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

1 Corinthians 12:18 (NKJV)

When you stay planted, you need not worry at all. This is because God knows the best and suitable environment for you. You must allow yourself to accept His planting of you, similar to how certain plants acclimatize in a new location. Anyone who studied plant species, soil, the environment, harvesting and gardening can point out for you what containers, what type of soil and how much water are needed for specific types of plants. Our Heavenly Father knows everything and when He prepares something for you, you only need to have faith in His plan for you. You can easily trust Him and accept His plan or instruction for you without hesitation! Learn from the next scripture below…

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Knowing that you can always trust the Lord and follow whatever He plans for you, you can always move forward with pure certainty that you will flourish when you stay planted in the local church He wanted you to be part of. To make things clear, flourishing does not happen instantly but you can always believe that God’s timing is always reasonable and His plan or promise for you manifests, the outcome is always positive and worth the wait! Flourishing takes time similar to how plants sprout and grow before producing crops or beautiful leaves or produce pollen, and the like.

That being said, you also have the luxury of time to get to know more of the pastor of your local church, keep tithing at least 10% of what you make, interact and pray more with other members of the church, take part in the local bible study activities or the local prayer groups, etc. As you keep pursuing the Lord while staying planted in the local church, you should have no trouble with being patient. You should not worry at all, nor be distracted by the enemy and his pawns. The local church has God’s presence after all. Learn from the following scripture…

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NASB)

With the Heavenly Father’s love, care, protection and blessing for you established when you stay planted in the local church He chose for you, you will bear fruit! You will mature more spiritually as you keep pursuing Him and live with His Word! As you grow, you will also learn from Him what unnecessary elements you need to let go of in order to keep progressing more and keep moving forward on the path with Him. Learn from what Lord Jesus said in the scripture below…

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

John 15:1-7 (NKJV)

The very powerful words of our Lord and Savior Jesus in the above scripture clearly emphasize that cutting by God needs to be done which will lead to new growth. Once again, the parallels between Lord Jesus being the true vine and plants of the physical world are clear. Look at plants near your place. By looking closely, you should find plants that have some parts that bore fruit and other parts that did not. With regards to faith, we need to maintain ourselves in accordance to what the Lord requires so we can keep on growing spiritually, become stronger as Christians and become more edified (as we live by His Word). Whatever weak parts or weaknesses you have as a Christian right now, you must tell it to the Lord immediately and let Him help you so you can keep on growing in faith and eventually getting edified! Learn from the scripture below…

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

Ephesians 4:11-12 (NKJV)

The above scripture is in reference to the spiritual gifts from the Lord given to His children whose individual purposes He knows best. Some members of your local church will be chosen by God to become a pastor, or an evangelist or teachers of Christianity in the years to come. As for me, I got born again in 2018 and as I kept pursuing the Lord by absorbing His Word and living by it, I am now a preacher. What further plans God has for me, I will soon find out. Going back to the above scripture, verse 12 had the word “equipping” which, in its Greek form, implies a recovered wholeness as when a broken limb is set and mends, and also a discovered function as when a physical member is properly operating.

Furthermore, take note that the work of ministry is the enterprise of each member of the body of Christ and not the exclusive charge of select leaders. That being said, verses 11 and 12 reveal the task of the gifted leader is to cultivate the individual and corporate ministries of those he or she leads. When it comes to staying planted in the local church the Lord wanted for you, Ephesians 4:11-12 makes clear sense!  

By staying planted in the local church, you will realize your purpose under the Lord through the community that you and many others are part of. This should remind you, once again, that church hopping is not only wasteful, it will also prevent you from realizing your role in the local church. You certainly do not want to miss out on what God has planned for you which can only be realized after you get planted and keep on staying planted in the local church. Ultimately, the Christian is not to be alone and he/she carries the spiritual family role and has responsibilities to live up to under the Lord. Remember, being part of the local church also means you are part of the church of Lord Jesus, God the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. Stay planted and progress with the Lord!

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the non-believers fool you and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious fanatic? You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. The Holy Bible is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #12 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, Ultraverse fans and superhero comic book geeks and collectors! Today I will be reviewing another one of the Ultraverse anniversary celebration comic books. Apart from the usual superhero stuff, there is a touch of historical fiction in the UV anniversary comic book I reviewed and I can say that, if ever more people out there will discover it, it can spark more discussions and even debates about a certain figure of world history as well as the relevance of indigenous people.

Now we can proceed with this look back at The Strangers #12, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Rick Hoberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the middle of the thick jungle of a floating island. Yrial, who has spent significant time with The Strangers representing her tribe, is held captive by her own people inside a crystal. She is being accused of betrayal of her tribe as a consequence of her involvement with her teammates from the civilized world. Yrial denies the charges and insisted that the rise of The Strangers signifies that their solitude is over.

Eventually Grenade, Zip-Zap, Lady Killer, Electrocute, Spectral and Atom Bob arrive to fight in an attempt help their trapped teammate. The action halts as soon as Lady Killer tells Chief Aula that they know the great secret as they have been to the other side (refer to the previous past issues leading to this)…

Quality

The fictional tribe is definitely cursed for they lived with sorcery, idolatry and rituals sourced from ancient evil.

I will start first with the storytelling. Steve Englehart’s writing is excellent and he clearly did his research about a key part of world history and made an intriguing and compelling fictional story out of it. This is, in fact, one of the most intriguing superhero stories of the 1990s that I have ever read and it is a very lively reminder that storytelling alone can impact readers deeply when it is greatly made.

With regards to the historical fiction aspect of this comic book, I should state that doing a fantasized version of the European explorer Christopher Columbus and connecting him and his crew with the history of the in-comic tribe was a stroke of genius. This was indeed the main selling point of this comic book!

Rick Hoberg, who worked a lot with Englehart and set the definitive look of The Strangers, made great visuals and the images are also much more diverse given the historical fiction aspect of this comic book. Hoberg really brought Englehart’s script to life and his visuals look finely paced with the narrative.  

With regards to the emphasis on magic, it should be noted that it is an abomination and in the context of the story, it is a cursed thing and not really a strength of the in-comic tribe. As for the other world (and the demons it is filled with) that the tribe is aware of, it symbolizes the realm of evil. By the end of the story, you will realize that the tribe living on the floating island are indeed a cursed people and not merely isolated using magic. They are also idolaters and practice rituals sourced from evil long ago. For meaning, learn from the holy scriptures below and you will realize that you would NOT want to be like the story’s tribe. You are better off following Lord Jesus and believe in His salvation.

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)

Wonderfully blessed are those who wash their robes white so they can access the Tree of Life and enter the city of bliss by its open gates. Those not permitted to enter are outside: the malicious hypocrites, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, murderers, idolaters, and every lover of lies.

Revelation 22:14-15 (TPT)

Conclusion

The team nicely drawn by Rick Hoberg.

Among the anniversary issues of the Ultraverse I have reviewed as of this writing, I should state that The Strangers #12 (1994) is the best one yet! Entertainment value aside, the focus on Christopher Columbus and indigenous people should interest people who have varying views about them. Christopher Columbus remains a divisive historical figure as some people admired his achievements on world exploration while others condemned him as an evil, bloodthirsty man who negatively impacted indigenous people he encountered. Whatever your views of Columbus and indigenous people are right now, I recommend you read this comic book. For those who love superhero stuff, you will find a lot to enjoy here.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #12 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $8.

Overall, The Strangers #12 (1994) is highly recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Why You Must Be Planted in a Local Church

Have you heard of the term church hopping? To put things in perspective, church hopping is the act of going from one church to another church to worship the Lord. Church hopping also indicates a believer’s inability to find a definitive local church to belong to.

As children of God, we are supposed to listen to Him and let Him direct us which church to be planted in. This means surrendering ourselves to Him, letting go of the hassles of our lives, and leaving up to the Lord to decide which church to join for the years to come.

As we live in this world filled with problems, challenges and confusion, it is natural for us to think of convenience about being part of the local church. Some people go to the church nearest to their homes. Some go to the church located in a community filled with lots of commercial joints to enjoy after attending services and activities. And some go to the church that has the least amount of problems with regards to traffic and parking spaces.

When it comes to joining a local church for the medium to long term, we must keep in mind the Lord who laid out plans for each of us. It is the Lord, not the conveniences and certainly not the other worldly factors that affect many, whom we must prioritize when it comes to being planted in a local church. Also remember always that the church is not just a building and certainly it is not an overgrown, corrupted worldly religion-led hierarchy…it is the community of people who believe in the Lord and live by the teachings of the Holy Bible (God’s Word) always pursuing Him and His holiness.

If God sends you a message (directly to you personally or by having one of His believers invite you to join the church) to join a local church, be assured that the said church is not only the right place for you but also has pastors who are very spirited in teaching His Word (the Holy Bible) and its members are sure to be welcoming, loving, caring and devoted as well. That being said, you should follow God’s instruction without question and do it without hesitation.  Learn from the holy scripture below.

Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92: 13 (NKJV)

As you can see in the above scripture, God already laid out plans for you when it comes to joining a church whose community members will be your brothers and sisters in Christ! God always has good plans and He always keeps His promises for you. Once you get planted in God’s designated church for you, you will flourish! I know, because I myself experienced the love, direction and blessings of the Lord after getting planted by Him in a local church He chose for me. Church hopping has, literally, been buried in my past.

As mentioned earlier, whatever local church God chose for you is sure to be a really good one. Its pastor is sure to be anointed and in constant communication with the Lord, and this means he or she will teach you deep lessons from the Holy Bible as they are written. Their church members will welcome you with open arms, take care of you, help you in deepening your faith in the Lord, teach you how to pray in tongues, learn and perform the lessons of the bible and pray a lot with you. As the newly planted member, you will realize faith in the Lord is essential, having a personal relationship with Him is also essential. You will also learn that religion, unbelief, idols, traditions and rituals are unnecessary when it comes to having faith and the personal relationship with the Lord. Together with the pastor and church members, you will flourish and prosper with them. These I personally experienced.

That being said, it is notable that a good local church will teach you prosperity with ways to manage your finances in accordance to biblical principles. Not only that, you will get opportunities to tithe (give back 10% of your income to the Lord through the local church) and wait for God’s supernatural set-up for your prosperity to follow. Tithe, be patient and believe the promised blessings from Him will arrive. In other words, you sow (seeds) and you will reap under God. Learn from the scripture below.

Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Galatians 6: 7 (NKJV)

To put things in perspective, Galatians 6: 7 emphasizes seed faith. God has a timetable for every seed we plant. His holy timetable is not the same as our respective timetables. With seed sowing in the local church, think of the way seasons move. You will want to wait for God and not lose patience because His timing is perfect and the promised blessings will come…they will be worth the wait! While you keep on pursuing the Lord in your local church, keep on tithing/giving, keep on sowing and NEVER lose faith and patience in Him. The holy harvest of the God will come! Trust in Him! Learn from the words of Lord Jesus in the holy scripture below in the New King James Version (NKJV) and the Passion Translation (TPT).

“Give, and it will given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6: 38 (NKJV)

“Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return.”

Luke 6: 38 (TPT)

Luke 6: 38 clearly emphasizes that God truly gives in return after you give. It is the law of divine reciprocity and this also means the Lord’s abundance. Think about this example: you put money in the bank and in due time the bank returns interest. You give 10% of your income back to God through the local church, and you will receive His abundant blessing in due time. When it comes to tithing, never look at it as an additional expense on your part. Instead, tithing is truly essential as it is part of your responsibility as a child of God. The Lord expects you to receive a harvest from your giving. That being said, do NOT follow the examples of others who do not even give back to God and still expect Him to give them something. Again, tithing is key in receiving blessings from Him and your local church will explain to you why it is part of prosperity. Kingdom wealth is real and so is heavenly income.

Now for the next point about getting planted in a local church: The local church will help you on your relationships. Read the holy scripture below…

Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92: 13-15 (NKJV)

The above scripture is another confirmation about God’s plans for each and every one of us. He made those plans before we were even created. In return for our unwavering faith and service to Him, God will bless us with prosperity, good health, happiness, love and a whole lot more. Going back to the plans He made, the restoration of our relationships with our biological family and other people in this world will manifest and the local church is part of the restoration process! In the local church, the pastor and other members can help you if you are willing to seek the Lord’s help through them. Do you have a strained relationship with your parents or your siblings? Did you break up with someone you once loved? Were you a victim of harassment or bullying? Do your classmates hate you in school? Whatever strained or trouble relationships you have, pray to the God in private, share the details and ask Him for help. In due time, the Lord will choose someone in the local church to help you. Trust Him on that and be ready to receive His help through a chosen instrument (someone faithful) of His.

Be aware that God does not want His children to live with strained relationships. For one thing, when one gets born again, he or she becomes a child of God and established a personal relationship with Him. Life for the child of God would not be complete without the restoration of relationships here on Earth. By simply being faithful and trusting in Him, restoration of relationships will transpire. Do not doubt, nor hesitate, let the Lord work on the restoration. With restoration, forgiveness, renewal of love, renewal of trust and peace between you and others will be realized.

God also does not want His children to be divided nor isolated. He is our Heavenly Father and the definitive creator. God also has His family and we the children who got born again, restored and blessed are the one who fill it. This is the spiritual family you will learn about. The spiritual family is God’s family, and the local church you plant yourself in is the spiritual family (on the local level, a branch of God’s family here on Earth). Being isolated, being self-centered, being filled with superiority over others and being filled with pride definitely will prevent you from earning your place in the spiritual family. Learn from the following scriptures below…

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good words, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10: 23-25 (NKJV)

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.

Proverbs 18: 1 (NKJV)

The confession of our hope written in verse 23 of Hebrews chapter 10 relates to hope of the future consummation of our salvation will never waver as long as it is grounded on the faithfulness of the Lord who promised (and always fulfilled His promises). Verses 24 and 25 emphasize the love for one another in Christ must manifest itself in works of love and gathering together in His name, especially in light of His Coming.

Hebrews 10: 23-25 reflects the truth that God uses His believers to reach you with the intention to help you, bless you, and invest in your life to become what God wants you to be. In the local church, your presence is need so the Lord Himself will guide you, command you and bless you. Be aware that – as a planted believer – when you attend Sunday worship services at the local church in the presence of the pastor and other members (note: your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ), you are not a mere spectator but are member of the spiritual family in attendance! This truth makes clear that church hopping will limit you to being a spectator than a true church member. You want your membership in the local church to validated with holiness? Be planted, be faithful, open your heart to God and be in harmony with your brothers and sisters in Christ! It is the local church that the Lord blessed before you get planted. As such, be committed to God in the local church and live up to your responsibilities as His child.

Going back to what I mentioned earlier about isolation and the related factors, Proverbs 18: 1 makes clear that being isolated will only lead you the wrong way and will lead you far away from God. If you are an isolationist, you certainly cannot commit yourself to the Lord in any church. Being an isolationist also makes you vulnerable to temptations by Satan and you will not even notice that. Don’t be an isolationist because being one will keep you out of the family of God.

As children of God, we go to church to please Him, not people. We follow His Word through learning and application. We humble ourselves to Him and open our hearts to Him. That being said, it is clear that we open ourselves to fellow faithful Christians in the local church who can offer spiritual assistance when needed. Learn from the scripture below…

As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27: 17 (NKJV)

Proverbs 27: 17 clearly emphasizes that it is beneficial and helpful for children of the Lord to be support each other as God is always watching us. If a certain member in the local church is backsliding (losing faith), another member can offer to provide support needed to strengthen the faith. If a member is doing Christianity the wrong way, another member can offer correction. If you are already a member of the local church and got problems with regards to faith and practices, do not hesitate to reach out the pastor or other members already strong and edified. That being said, the truth about these is made clear in the holy scripture below…

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6: 2 (NKJV)

In the local church, the pastor is you mentor. He or she is to be followed in accordance to the Word of God. The pastor is NOT to be worshipped for that constitutes idolatry which is unholy. Follow the pastor and all the biblical teachings, but always focus your worship exclusively to the Lord. We were created to serve and worship God, His Son Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Going back to the pastor, he or she will not only constantly study the Holy Bible, communicate with God and teach bible lessons to you. The pastor, along with the other members of the spiritual family in the local church, will pray for you.

Moving on, there is the truth that the local church will help you spiritually.

To put things in perspective, church attendance itself is great but it is not the definitive purpose because church is where we are planted to grow spiritually under the Lord. Each faith-led Christian and member of the local church has his or her own responsibilities to live up to, and spiritual growth is one of the requirements. You yourself want to be involved in the local church because your purpose is to grow spiritually, deepen your faith and establish your personal relationship with the Lord.

As members of the body of Christ (the church) and God’s family, we the children must come together to worship Him, learn His Word, do His will, and always maintain an unwavering faith in Him no matter what happens. The more you understand all the teachings of the Holy Bible entirely, the more you will understand the nature of the Lord and what He wants you to do in serving Him and helping Him save the many lost and unsaved souls around the world.

Understand that being planted is also about being obedient to the Lord. Keep on pursuing the Lord no matter what happens. Keep on tithing. Keep on being active in the local church with the goal of growing spiritually. Never limit yourself in honoring the Lord because in due time, He will allow something supernatural to happen to you. Great change will happen in your life. Learn from the final set of scriptures below…

If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.

Job 36: 11 (NKJV)

Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.

Proverbs 16: 9 (TPT)

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Matthew 6: 33 (NKJV)

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)

I hope you have learned why you must be planted in a local church through this article of mine. Always seek God’s kingdom, His righteousness and you will be blessed, protected, guided and go on to live holy under Him. Remember that church hopping is detrimental and won’t help you on establishing your relationship with God.

At this point, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Never be obsessed with anti-materialism

There is no denying the truth that God rewards His faithful children abundantly. That being said, it is understood that faithful Christians who enjoy prosperity under Him have disciplined themselves and avoided committing sin, specifically covetousness which itself leads to greed, the corruption of the soul and wickedness.

Covetousness is specifically mentioned in the Holy Bible. Refer to the scripture below. These are words of Lord Jesus.

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Luke 12: 15 (NKJV)

What Luke 12: 15 makes clear is that we Christians must always prioritize the Lord for He is the source. The economy is not our source, God is our source! The money you received did not provide itself, God provided it and He is still our source! The nice property and supply of essential goods you have now came from the Lord who worked His way through the existing economic systems to bless you. Prosperity in Christianity is real! Learn from the scripture below.

The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and all the blessings of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

Genesis 39: 2-6 (NKJV)

As emphasized in the above scripture about Joseph (who was sold to slavery by his brothers), it is clear that prosperity in Christianity is real. As long as we remain faithful to the Lord while keeping ourselves free from covetousness, greed and wickedness, we can always enjoy riches, comfort, favor and luxuries that He blesses us with. It is okay to be rich for as long as you are faithful to Him eternally. With God’s blessings, you are not only rich but also protected, favored and taken cared of. This is one specific truth of Christianity that a lot of people out there cannot understand. 

In this ravaged and divided world we live in, there are countless lost and unsaved souls everywhere. Among them are some people who are obsessed with anti-materialism. To make things clear, the anti-materialism mindset is the extremism some people have with economic materialism, specifically their extreme opposition towards the attitude of getting too attached with the importance of money as well as the uncontrolled desire of possessing a lot of material things. As it is already written in the Holy Bible that Lord Jesus told us to beware of covetousness and that it is truly impossible to worship both the Lord and mammon. The Lord made clear that it is He, NOT material wealth and certainly NOT sin, that we should always put first. As such, the anti-materialism mindset itself is unnecessary and defeated, even though its purpose was to fight materialism. For any faithful, careful and bible-following Christian, being materialistic definitely does NOT go together with being blessed by the Lord.

To make my point, here are my observations about the anti-materialism believers: they believe money itself is always evil; they believe that people are not supposed to prosper; and they believe that the only people to support (by means of donation) in the entire world are the impoverished (the poor).

Clearly things need to be explained here. Firstly, money itself is NOT evil at all. Money is actually neutral and it is a tool that we can use to pay our bills, to acquire things, make investments, to tithe to the church, pay for the education of children and help others via donation to name some. What is evil is the love of money which leads to covetousness, greed and wickedness. The truth below…

Loving money is the first step toward all kinds of trouble. Some people run after it so much that they have given up their faith. Craving more money pushes them away from the faith into error, compounding misery in their lives!

1 Timothy 6: 10 (TPT)

As such, when we prosper under the Lord, we should never prioritize money over the Lord. We certainly do not want to step into all kinds of trouble! Being receivers of His provision, we definitely should never abuse the blessings He gave us. The anti-materialism believers simply failed to understand the truth.

Secondly, it is wrong to believe that people are not supposed to prosper. As already mentioned above, prosperity under the Lord is real and those who continue to be blessed a lot by Him are those who proved to be faithful and have avoided covetousness and wickedness. It seems to me that the anti-materialism believers are obsessed with the endless debates about income inequality highlighted by their political idols and they seem to want to literally merge the impoverished class, the middle class and the upper class into one social class of forced equality. I also noticed that the anti-materialism believers are leaning towards socialism, Communism and Marxism, and they don’t seem to realize it. Unsurprisingly, those believers showed signs of opposition towards capitalism.

More importantly, the anti-materialism believers’ views that people are not supposed to prosper is very wrong, and it shows they don’t realize that God is the source, God is the provider and He blesses the faithful abundantly. It should also be noted that the Lord’s reward for the faithful is much greater than any other reward from others! The following holy scriptures below explain why…

Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.

2 Corinthians 9: 8 (TPT)

The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.

Proverbs 10: 22 (NKJV)

What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it. And nothing can be taking from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; And God required an account of what is past.

Ecclesiastes 3: 9-15 (NKJV)

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6: 10-12 (NKJV)

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 (TPT)

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others. For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!

Colossians 3: 23-24 (TPT)

Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, You should be happy, and it shall be well with you.

Psalm 128: 1-2 (NKJV)

For when we were with you we instructed you with these words: “Anyone who does not want to work for a living should go hungry.” Now, we hear rumors that some of you are being lazy and neglecting to work—that these people are not busy but busybodies! So with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we order them to go back to work in an orderly fashion and exhort them to earn their own living.

2 Thessalonians 3: 10-12 (TPT)

Jesus said: And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.

Revelations 22: 12 (NKJV)

See? The Lord’s promise of prosperity is real and His reward for the faithful who labored, we avoided sin, who practiced discipline, who proved to be responsible and performed under His command has always been real! Truly nobody has authority to dictate life and prevent people from prospering!

When it comes to material wealth and capital gains accumulated here on Earth, the Lord rewards the faithful through the existing financial and economic systems because He is a just God. If God wants to bless you with profit and provision, He will do it the legal way and through the financial systems we have. More notably, there is also Kingdom Wealth…wealth in the Kingdom of God so much greater and unlimited compared to the wealth in this divided world we live in.

On the aspect of laboring and serving the Lord, faithful Christians are meant to be rewarded abundantly and accordingly by Him. This means that if your work for Him is great as you run your business, He will reward you in due time with a large amount of profit that you can use to grow your business, pay your obligations, pay your employees’ salaries, etc. Very clearly, the anti-materialism believers cannot justify imposing limits on the amount of blessings from the Lord.

Thirdly, it is wrong for the anti-materialism believers to declare that only those living in poverty deserve donations or handouts. For one thing, God’s provision is NOT limited only to those living in poverty. Poverty, by the way, is never part of God’s plan for His children. Poverty is wrong and it is something Satan wants to trap people with so they will remain lost and unsaved as souls. Poverty itself became essential for those who got trapped by religion and unbelief, and this makes them live life with a distorted view about who should receive financial or material assistance or blessings.

In order to receive provision from the Lord, one must have faith (not religion, not idolatry, not tradition and not rituals) in Him. Also it is part of Christianity to be a blessing to others (giving to others cheerfully) regardless of their background, their social class, their occupation, etc. Any faithful and blessed Christian has freedom to decide to share his or her blessing to others in some way or another, and the giving should be done not by obligation but from the heart and with decision. Remember the God is always seeing us on what we do with the blessings He gave us. You want to contribute money to charity, or help a friend dealing with a financial problem, or give money to a Christian ministry so it can continue to preach God’s Word to others? You are free to choose and decide what to give, how much to give, when to give and who to give. The Lord Himself will never forget to bless you in return for blessing others. The Lord loves cheerful givers! Learn from the following scriptures below…

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Hebrews 13: 16 (NKJV)

Those who live to bless others will have blessings heaped upon them, and the one who pours out his life to pour out blessings will be saturated with favor. People will curse the businessman with no ethics, but the one with a social conscience receives praise from all.

Proverbs 11: 25-26 (TPT)

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 (NKJV)

God loves a cheerful giver! God loves it when His blessed faithful children give to others cheerfully. Just a day after I turned forty-three, I cheerfully gave extra funds (sourced from the earnings of a successful freelance project I completed for a client which was God’s blessing) to our church not on a Sunday but on a Friday. In recent times, I gave to help a brand-new Christian ministry grow as well as to a local motorcycle federation that continually gives back to the less fortunate. I also gave to help church friends who have been trying to raise money for a long trip home. Being a blessing to others is essential, and sharing should definitely not be limited to just one specific group or social class. In fact, being a blessing to others is a practice of generosity and this helps us Christians prevent ourselves from falling into covetousness, greed and wickedness. By being good and obedient to Him, Christians who get blessed can continue to receive His prosperity without ever becoming materialistic! Why the anti-materialism believers and the self-declared pro-poor believers don’t realize this is mind-boggling.

So why is it that there are believers of the anti-materialism extremism around us? Quite obviously, there are sinister forces that continue to poison people’s minds such as Communism, Marxism, socialism, unbelief, secularism and religion (with its idols, traditions and rituals). There are also those who think they are Christian but they do not study the Holy Bible and don’t apply its countless lessons into their lives, instead they end up following man-made rules (written by people who did not write the Holy Bible) which they perceive to be holy sacraments or holy doctrines (that contain derivative and/or distorted interpretations of the Holy Bible’s lessons). There are also those who have been indoctrinated into believing that money is the root of all evil (it is not!) and that capitalism destroys humanity. They don’t seem to realize that God is always watching us and there simply is no hiding from Him.

So what can we the faithful Christians do? We can start by praying for the anti-materialism believers and ask our Lord to enlighten them so they will realize what they believed or have done is wrong, and that they will have opportunities to change themselves for the better – by making the decision to stop moving and turn to the Lord, repent to Him and submit themselves to Him and accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. The anti-materialism believers still have time to decide to save themselves spiritually and we can help them in peaceful ways.

At this point, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God. You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family).  Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible – the Word of God – is the ultimate authority to follow. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. You need an encounter with God!

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Idolatry is Unholy

We all live in a screwed-up world. To say the least, our world is chaotic filled with fake news, war, crime, dysfunctional governments, fascism, dictatorship, abortion, Communism, corruption, socialism, homosexuality, SJWs (social justice warriors) terrorism, atheism, religion, idolatry, secularism and the list goes on.

This is because Satan is the god of the world we live in and there are billions of unsaved and lost souls who do not realize the truth of the Word of God (the Holy Bible). They also don’t realize that they need to be saved (get born again), ask God for forgiveness, submit to Him and then accept Jesus as Lord and Savior so that they can be saved and live on as true Christians driven by faith (not religion).

As I mentioned before, being religious is NOT the same as being faithful. In fact, religion is one of the more effective tools (in tandem with atheism) used by Satan to prevent people from becoming children of God. Religion itself is a hindrance to truly becoming Christian. Religion also has a bunch of man-made unholy rules like so-called blessed sacraments which prevent people from realizing the truth in the Holy Bible. Religion also comes with traditions and rituals, which are not even holy.

Another notable thing of religion is idol worship – idolatry – which continues to mislead people and prevent them from worshipping God directly. Idolatry comes with worshipping man-made objects (statues, statuettes, carved objects), images and people. Idolatry also includes allowing ourselves to be dominated by elements that prevent us from being dedicated to the Lord such as items we are too involved with (example: the smartphone), obsessing with people, being addicted to sex, being addicted to illegal substances, being addicted to liquor and even our local culture. Instead of trusting the Lord and being dedicated to Him, idolaters are trapped and actually separated from Him. Even the most prayerful, idol-worshiping, religion-oriented person is fooled into believing he is Christian when, in fact, he is not.

Having previously lived a life of following religion, its traditions, its rituals and wrongful teachings before getting saved (I got born again in 2018), I can clearly say that idolatry is unholy and is also more evil than it appears. I fully reject idolatry and I will never let it influence me now that I’m a child of God.

To put things in perspective, let’s take a look at key holy scripture in the New King James Version (NKJV) and The Passion Translation (TPT) of the Holy Bible.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, not covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (TPT)

As seen above, idolatry makes one not only an idolater but also a practitioner and follower of evil which Satan loves. Idolatry involved with religion deceives idolaters into believing they are Christian when in fact they are unknowingly serving Satan. It does not matter that an idolater prays to a statue of Jesus because that is still unholy. Worship of Lord Jesus should be done to Him directly. Praying to a painting of Jesus (or any religion icon) or to an item deemed holy by a religion-driven church or hierarchy is also unholy. Take note of the following holy scripture below as well as the words bolded for clarity.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 20: 4-6 (NKJV)

As seen above, verse 4 of Exodus chapter 20 makes it clear that objects (which obviously include images or painting) are not to be made at all and, at the same time, our worship must always be directed to God Himself without any hindrance. God is jealous and that alone is reason for us to reject idolatry and be respectful and obedient to Him eternally. We worship the Lord directly and definitely no object, no image and no person in between! We Christians have worship leaders and pastors to guide us to worship the Lord directly, while always remembering we each have a personal relationship with God. A church that claims to be Christian but practices idolatry and has its members worship objects and the church leader is not truly Christian.

Exodus 20: 4 also looks back to the time when Israel was surrounded by people who worshiped images that were also referred to as gods. As it is true that no human effort could represent God, God Himself forbade the making of images or objects about Him. This same truth is also applied to Lord Jesus.

Meanwhile, idolatry that does not involve religion but other things like entertainment (examples: movie stars, celebrities, superheroes, video gaming), government figures (example: politicians), sports (example: basketball superstars), culture and the like is also an abomination to the Lord.

Superhero movies have been wildly popular worldwide for the past twenty years, and those films used comic books as basis for storytelling and visual concepts. How many times have people seen Spider-Man swing above people, Superman fly high, Batman fighting criminals and Wonder Woman saving people? While I enjoy superheroes in varied forms of entertainment media, I know fully well that they are all just pieces of fiction and I NEVER worshiped any of them. I will never worship them, ever. I am a geek but I prioritized my faith in the Lord and I always will maintain my personal relationship with Him. Definitely I reject idols and idolatry.

To my fellow geeks reading this, I urge you to never engage in idolatry no matter how passionate you are with your geek interest. Don’t worship movie stars, superheroes, images and don’t let highly interactive, deeply engaging video games from enslaving you. Always look up to Lord Jesus and follow God’s Word.

Idols are truly distracting and have been used by Satan to keep the unsaved and lost souls away from God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It’s bad enough that our world is dominated by powerful, sinister forces whose acts are further magnified by the news networks that reached billions of viewers (notably news junkies) every day.

When it comes to true Christianity, we the Christians who got born again are the Church and our true leader is Lord Jesus who has been in Heaven so long ago, and He promised to return to us here on Earth. We Christians living in the flesh here on Earth are to reject idolatry (plus religion, traditions and rituals) and focus on engaging in the enduring race of faith remaining faithful to the Lord, praying in tongues, studying the Holy Bible and applying its lessons into our lives.

Idolatry really has no place in Christianity and we Christians must never let it dominate us.

Remember God is always good, always faithful, always loving and caring, always our protector and always our source. All those idols around us are NOTHING like Him. This brings me to my next point – being an idolater means getting involved with demons and paganism. Take a close look at the holy scriptures below.

They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God, To gods they did not know, To new gods, new arrivals That your fathers did not fear.

Deuteronomy 32: 16-17 (NKJV)  

“They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.”

Leviticus 17: 7 (NKJV)

To put things in perspective, idolatry is the gravest sin in ancient Israel (refer to verse 17 of Deuteronomy chapter 32). The laws pertaining to the sanctity of blood prohibit involvement in the pagan practices of foreign worship. This is connected to verse 4 of Deuteronomy chapter 6 which states: “Hear O, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

For its part, the early church encountered similar concerns when they tackled the question of Gentiles who came from pagan backgrounds coming to faith in Jesus as the Lord and Savior. Refer to verses 20 and 29 of Acts chapter 15, as well as verse 25 of Acts chapter 21.

More on idolatry making idolaters involved with demons, pay very close attention to the holy scripture below in the New King James Version and the Passion translation. Key parts bolded for you.

Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

1 Corinthians 10: 20 (NKJV)

Absolutely not! However, I am implying that when an unbeliever offers a sacrifice to an idol, it is not offered to the true God but to a demon. I don’t want you to be participants with demons!

1 Corinthians 10: 20 (TPT)

Very clearly in the two translations of 1 Corinthians 10: 20, idolatry is absolutely wrong and it is NEVER EVER a proper form of worship to the Lord. Quite simply, you make an offer or a sacrifice to an idol, it is not for the Lord. You pray to an idol, you are not connected with the Lord. Instead, involving yourself with an idol means involving yourself with false gods or demons.

As for having statues, statuettes and images of the Lord (or those so-called icons – both the dead and the living persons – of people trapped by religion), those things are never necessary for Christians. We the faithful Children of God should always reject idols, focus on the Lord and live by His Word. Get rid of those carved idols there in your household! Get rid of those paintings or other forms of images there in your household! Stay away from those unholy parades/processions that highlight statues for worship! Avoid worshiping people no matter how charismatic they look! Reject Satan, the demons and other forms of evil! Simply worship the Lord directly and always remember Jesus is always alive and is watching us from Heaven!

Going back to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, read it once more and you will realize that being an idolater will make you spiritually unholy and unworthy of God’s kingdom. It is undeniably true! 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 clearly shows that idolaters belong with other unholy and unrighteous elements such as sexual immorality, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse and extortion. Really, no faith-driven Christian would want to be deemed unworthy by God by embracing idolatry and all those unrighteous elements. The people trapped by the darkness of religion or unbelief, however, are among the idolaters, the adulterers, the covetous, the extortionists and the like. As such, those unsaved and lost souls need to be prayed over so that they will realize the Truth of God’s Word and someday make the decision to get born again and become a child of God.

As Christians driven by faith and living by God’s Word, we certainly do not want to fail in our pursuit and in our personal relationship with Him. Idolatry is a sin and this leads to the final holy scripture for this piece.

We know that we are God’s children and that the whole world lies under the misery and influence of the Evil One. And we know that the Son of God has made our understanding come alive so that we can know by experience the One who is true. And we are in him who is true, God’s Son, Jesus Christ—the true God and eternal life! So, little children, guard yourselves from worshiping anything but him.

1 John 5: 19-21 (TPT)

Now that my newest teaching about idolatry is done, I would like to reach out to all and any unsaved or lost souls among you readers. This is your opportunity to get born again and become Christian. The decision is yours, not mine.

If you seek salvation and are ready to submit yourselves to the Lord, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion. Your new life under Christ has truly begun!

From this point on, acquire for yourself a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its many lessons in your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. Get used to Christian rock music. Your personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your family.

The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! Remember that God loves you and He is definitely happy over your conversion.

In ending this article, I embedded these Christian worship music videos for your enjoyment and the strengthening of your faith in the Lord. No more idols and other forms of sin in your life. Move forward with Lord Jesus eternally!

Now is the time for you and your spiritual family to keep on being the fearless and aggressive Church of Lord Jesus! Now is the time for you to realize that God made a plan for each and everyone of us before we were even created (refer to Jeremiah 29: 11)! Now is the time to realize that God created us and rewards the faithful abundantly (refer to John 10: 10).

Now is the time for harvest under Lord Jesus! Spread the Word of God, help save the unsaved and lost souls worldwide.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

By accepting Lord Jesus, the youth will be protected from suicide

Suicide is defined as the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally (source – Merriam Webster Dictionary). For so long has suicide affected societies worldwide and left a lot of families very hurt.

If the World Health Organization (WHO) is to be believed, roughly eight hundred thousand people die worldwide due to suicide every year.

What is disturbing in the survey of the WHO on the said topic is that the age-group of 15-29 years saw suicide as the 2nd leading cause of deaths in 2016. To break down the 2016 statistics, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 among both genders and the females. Among the males, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death.

While varied organizations and researchers have their own definition of the age group for youth, the Jesus Global Youth Day organizers defined it verbally as below the age of thirty, which I personally witnessed during the 2019 Jesus Global Youth Day held here in the Philippines. As such, the 15-29 age group would be counted as youth at least in this article.

Back to the topic at hand, the menace of suicide affecting youth right down to the local level of Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City made its presence felt when I interviewed Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairwoman Mariel Tumang twice in 2019.

During the first interview (published here), she told me that suicide among the youth in the local community was present not just in the form of committed suicide (confirmed death) but also in the form of thoughts (suicidal thoughts or suicidal thinking) inside the minds of young people.

Then, months later, in another interview Tumang confirmed to me that a tragedy happened when a 21-year-old man living in the depressed community of Masville hanged himself to death because he broke up with his girlfriend (click here). The victim was a loss not only to his family, his friends and the neighborhood, but also for the economy (note: he was already working in the private sector). Tumang stated that their definition of youth is 15 to 30-years-old.

Along the way, Tumang and her SK kagawads (Youth Councilors) attended seminars on dealing with suicide through the aspect of psychology and behavior. Whatever topics and skills they learned, they made ways to make their community youth aware of it by holding seminars locally.

The sad trail of youth suicide also goes a long way back in the form of archived news reports. In January 2014, a 16-year-old boy killed himself inside his house in Cebu City because of his failure in school (click here) and his school adviser confirmed to his mother that he would not be going to fourth year high school.

On April 2016, a 15-year-old girl was found dead hanging from a mango tree (click here) in Talisay City, Cebu. According to the archived news report, a suicide note was left behind by the victim (a stay-in student of a school) and she reportedly told one of her superiors she wanted to kill herself and no reason was given. Before the tragedy happened, her superiors at school found it disturbing that she (the victim) was very silent. Included in the news report was a police officer who revealed that the victim lost her father to insurgents while her mother (who was then linked to another man) was later killed in a vehicular accident with her live-in partner.

What cause young people to commit suicide? There are several factors related to society, economics and psychology. Here are the factors I narrowed down.

Failure to deal with fear early in life

Depression

Physical abuse

Loss of purpose

Peer pressure

Gender confusion

Lack of parental guidance or counseling 

Being misled by pop culture or online trends

Internet addiction

Being misled by fake news or distorted news

Getting bullied

Being misled by rumors

Living with negative vibes in his/her local environment (note: in the Philippines, most barangay youth councils have presence in economically depressed communities dubbed as developing communities)

Shame or embarrassment

Being misled by those living with unbelief 

Temptations

Obsession with people, images and things they idolized

Becoming addicted to something dangerous

Being trapped by religious traditions, rituals and other restrictions

Having selfish desires or very high expectations

Lack of focus on the Lord

While taxpayers’ money is being spent by government bodies of different levels to develop the youth and help prevent suicide, I honestly believe that the menace of suicide can be solved more effectively by having the youth realize their true purpose as creations of God. It is by having faith in the Lord that young people can truly become strong, stable and more knowledgeable with their lives. It is by having a personal relationship with the Lord that the youth can truly move forward with. If the youth can be educated to reject all forms of hindrances that prevent them from truly establishing faith in the Lord, they would be better off and youth suicide would be reduced dramatically.

Sadly, government programs for youth development remain insufficient to bring the youth to God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

What I noticed is that the Christian faith and spiritual approach to solving and preventing youth suicide is missing among the key development programs of barangay youth councils.

Ironically in 2019, in the city of Parañaque specifically, there were barangay youth councils that organized their own beauty pageants featuring local homosexuals as candidates which most likely added to the suicide factor of gender confusion. This is sad because not only was taxpayers’ money most likely used to fund such events, it gave the youth the false message that homosexuality is legitimate. In truth, homosexuality is an abomination and certainly Satan loves it when people are fooled into believing that homosexuality is good and accepted as normal in society. Let’s read a holy scripture confirming that homosexuality is wrong and evil.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

As a whole, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 made clear that people trapped by sin will never make it in God’s kingdom. As such, the youth today still have time and opportunities to turn away from sinful behavior, submit themselves to Lord Jesus for forgiveness, accept Him as their Lord and Savior to start a new life with dedication to live under His holiness. This is the good news that the youth, whether they are still trapped by the darkness of unbelief (read: atheism and secularism) or religion (read: idolatry, wrong theology, traditions and rituals) should know.

To help the youth understand their true purpose in life as God’s creations, they should be taught with the following holy scriptures (apart from teaching them they need to be born again as written in John 3: 3):

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, will all your mind, and with all your strength.

Mark 12: 30 (NKJV)

If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3: 1-2 (NKJV)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 (NKJV)

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

Colossians 3: 5-7 (NKJV)

By becoming Christian, the young one can start a new life free from the sins and youthful lusts of the past. As part of getting reformed by Lord Jesus, the new life youth should learn to strongly reject the many form of lust like gratifying sensual cravings (example: losing his or her virginity in exchange for sexual pleasure), desiring the forbidden (example: taking illegal substances), longing for evil (example: bringing down other youth to bring yourself up just to feel good and proud), and engaging in experiences that are contrary to God’s will. These are emphasized in the holy scripture below.

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2: 22 (NKJV)

The Christian youth living the new life should learn to conduct himself or herself in an exemplary manner. This is expected because once someone gets born again, he/she is under the Lord and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit. Because really, under the watch and care of God, age does not matter and this also means being youthful as a Christian is NOT a disadvantage. It also does not matter if people will find Christians a peculiar people because this is expected. Learn from the next holy scriptures.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4: 12 (NKJV)

The LORD has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

Psalm 118: 18 (NKJV)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special peope, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2: 9-10 (NKJV)

Conclusion

I believe that involving Lord Jesus in the lives of the youth will spare them from suicide and all other factors that lead to self-destruction. I honestly believe that no amount of taxpayers’ money spent and no sophisticated government program can be more effective on preventing youth suicide (and suicide in general) than emphasizing faith in the Lord, believing in His Word (with the Holy Bible as the main reference) and applying biblical lessons in life.

Please take note that the dreaded presence of secularism is still in the minds of many government officials (note: there is a so-called separation of church and state in the 1987 Constitution).

If the youth realize their true purpose as creations of God, then it would be great not only for the local community but also the whole world. An enlightened youth, as children of God, definitely would not even think about suicide nor give the devil any room into their lives. The youth should realize how essential it is for them to study the Word of God (the Holy Bible) and prioritize it as their ultimate authority among all reading materials. With the Lord on the youth’s side, the menace of suicide and Satan can be defeated and the youth can grow in holiness as they grow into adulthood. Christianity, not feelings or earthly matters, should be embedded into the minds and hearts of the youth. Because really, everybody needs Lord Jesus and the youth need Him. With more youth believing and trusting in Jesus, cases of youth suicide will be much smaller!

As such, I highly recommend that Christian teaching (complete with studying the Holy Bible) should be included more in youth development programs and suicide prevention programs of youth councils. The youth who are spiritually unsaved must be taught the truth that they need Lord Jesus and have faith (not religion) in Him.

At this point, I’d like to reach out to the unsaved youth reading this…if you seek salvation and are ready to submit yourselves to the Lord, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion (and the idolatry, traditions and rituals that come with it). Your new life under the Lord has truly begun!

From this point on, acquire for yourself a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its many lessons in your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. That personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your family.

The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! You are a youthful Christian right now, and you can keep growing spiritually for the rest of your life. Remember that God loves you and He is definitely happy over your conversion.

As a new and young Christian with the Holy Spirit in your heart, never allow yourself to get involved in youth movements that involve unbelief, religion, idolatry, traditions and rituals because those are not holy. The only youth you need to get involved with are your fellow Christians (those who got born again like you), and the only reference of authority you need is the Holy Bible. Once you get involved in a new Christian church, you can always ask the pastor if they have a youth ministry you can join in.

Remember to overcome fear, never let your feelings (and the feelings of others) weaken your faith in the Lord and now that you have been born again, your sins have been forgiven and your past is way behind you. As a Christian, you must always be fearless and aggressive for you are now part of the Body of Christ (the church). We Christians are the church of Lord Jesus!

In ending this piece, feel free to enjoy these Christian praise-and-worship YouTube videos plus a few ones featuring the model Christian youth herself, Sadie Robertson! Hallelujah!!!


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