This can be found at www.futurepreacher.blogspot.com “I’ll give you one chance. Just one, so use it wisely.” This is the way our world is today, isn’t it? Just one chance to do something. People are rude, snobby, untrustworthy, and violent nowadays, aren’t they? It isn’t entirely far from the truth, and maybe you even know some people like that, but we have no right to judge, do we? Who do you know that gives you more than one chance? Actually, whom do you know that gives you as many chances as you want until you die? God! When you are baptized, the Holy Spirit gives you the gift of faith, the only true way into God’s heart. You cannot earn this faith, this salvation; all we can do is use it! This is a God given gift, our token to Heaven. Section 1: Belief For non-believers, it may be hard to believe that God is really real. But what I know is that God is around them at all times. Someone I know told me this story: A very selfless Christian man passed away at the age of 87. When he reached Heaven, he saw a chart in front of him. On the chart were two sets of footprints. He asked God, “Whose foot prints are those?” God said, “These are your foot prints”. The man looked and God, and then asked, “Who’s foot prints are these?” God answered him saying, “Mine”. The man, already believing that God was always with him, said “I knew it!”. Then he looked up the chart and saw one set of footprints and the word “fear”. He asked God why it said fear. “Because it was at a time in your life when you were scared or worried”. He then asked, “Why are there only one set of foot prints during these times?” “Why are you not there?” God answered, smiling: “Because I was carrying you.” This is an excellent story, and I think that whoever wrote it has a great Christian mind. These are not the exact words of the story, so I did not quote the entire paragraph. Faith is the way most people believe in their ideas and religions. Scientists, so sure of the big bang, have no proof that it happened. As for the big bang, I believe that it could have happened, but it was God’s way of creating everything, and there would have been more than one big bang, one for each day that God created our world. But, scientists believe in their ideas of how the world came to be through faith also, because they have no physical proof. They tell Christians that we have no way of proving our ideas, because we have no physical proof. If you ever see that happening, ask them, where is the proof for the big bang? They have none. They believe through faith. As for proof, Christians have plenty of it. The bible! What a great example. God’s word merely was not made up, God told those who he trusted the most to write it. How can the big bang create all that we have today? One little bit of matter exploding to create everything we have today? That sounds like something only God could do, which makes it possible that God, by his very hands, created the big bang. Anything is possible with God, so you must just trust in him, as he knows the best for us. Maybe we are digging to deep. Maybe this is like the Tower of Babylon. Maybe God doesn’t want us to know how the earth came to be in our earthly life. We know he did it with his bare hands, and that is all we need to know. We must have faith in him! We will find out in Heaven, and that is the best place to find out. By asking God in person. Mini-Section: Rewards in Heaven First off, you cannot earn your way into Heaven. Heaven is a place you can only get to b believing in Jesus Christ, God’s son. As for earning rewards in Heaven, you may find verses in the bible about doing good deeds and getting rewards in Heaven. What this means is that your good deeds are something God will treasure, but the reward is not something in Heaven, it is making God smiles upon us! You all know that in Heaven you will not need food nor drink, nor toys or games. None of the things you treasured in your earthly life. If this is true, as God said, then what use would a reward be to us? A reward has several meanings. One is a prize you win. By doing good deeds we do not win God’s heart over, we just make God smile down on us! Getting to Heaven is no contest. Everyone is welcome to go to Heaven, although those who do not love Jesus Christ and have no faith in him are not welcome. Another meaning of reward is to get a gift from someone for doing something good for him or her. By doing good deeds for God, you just show that your faith is strong. Those with faith the size of a mustard seed can walk on water, so it doesn’t take much faith to go to Heaven, but it makes God smiles down upon us when we show we have faith the size of an ocean. The reward we get is feeling good that we did something for God! This is why we should do good deeds, not to get to Heaven, but to feel like we are doing our best to worship God. Going to church every Sunday that you can is an excellent way to show God your strong faith! But it doesn’t mean you get a straight ticket to Heaven for the good deeds you do, it just makes your faith grow stronger. People must realize this. Section 2: False Gods Have you ever worshipped another god? I know you are probably shaking your head no, but some readers will shake there head yes, but actually, everyone should shake their head yes. For the teens, you see a beautiful girl in your class whom you just absolutely like. Infatuation, yes, but that isn’t the point. If you thought of nothing but this girl, then you are worshipping her. You are not thinking about God enough. I know that many people these days do not think about God until Sunday, or when they pray. Possibly only when they see a cross or an angel. We do not think of God enough. I myself do not think of God enough, and I am purely ashamed of it. I have worshipped false gods before. Girls, games, movies, computers, hunting, and friends even. The fact is, we sin. We can try our hardest to minimize our sins, but we still will sin. If you break one commandment, you break them all. All we can do is pray for forgiveness. Section 3: Prayer Pray, pray, pray. All religions have some form of praying, but only in one religion, Christianity, does it do any good. I pray every day, at times I don’t expect to. At school, I may here of something terrible, and in my head I say a prayer for someone who had to go through something terrible. When you pray, you should pray that God’s will be done. You should not pray for good things to happen to you, just pray that God does what he thinks is best for you! As the bible says, “Do not babble on like pagans” when you are praying. If someone asks you if you have been praying, do not deny it. I have many times denied it. I am ashamed of my actions, and I wish I could tell the truth and not lie, but temptation had a firm grasp of me then, but since then I have prayed and God has released me from this grasp. Pray that you too may be released from a certain temptation and that God gives you the courage to speak out about your beliefs. He did for me. I prayed to God asking him to help me find a good way to tell my family and friends about my wanting to become a minister, and it came. One day at school, my mom was subbing, and they had a program where they picked two people and asked them about college and future careers. They asked the other person first. They asked what college they would like to go to. They said LSU. They then had a screen come up that had different types of colleges listed. 1.In state college 2.Community College 3.Out of state college 4.Private college They gave the other student a die, and that student rolled it and got 1. It meant she was going to an in state college. Then it came to me. She asked me, and I said Seminary. She said out loud on her microphone: “He wants to be a preacher!” I wasn’t embarrassed at the least when some people looked at me funny. The woman then said, “So you want a private college, right?” I answered her saying “Yeah, I guess so.” She gave me the die, and I rolled it. It landed on the number four. Luck? No, I don’t believe in luck. I think God had it roll the four for a purpose. A sign for me. That got me thinking. Maybe all those people telling me that I needed some way of God showing me, or a sign before I decided to become a minister were right. I have had many signs in my life, but a lot of them are private. Back to the prayer topic- Do you have something you want to tell God that you can’t tell your family or friends? There are two ways to do this. Prayer, or go to your pastor and ask him if you can do a private confession and absolution. Do not worry, whatever you tell a pastor is never going to leave the room you told him in. He cannot tell anyone what you told him, or he may be removed from his position in the church. Here’s an example: You go in and tell your pastor that you killed someone. He can’t turn you in, he can’t tell anyone. But this may become a problem for the pastor if it is something serious. If you are eventually charged in the case, they may ask the pastor if he knew anything. The pastor can’t even tell them that you talked to him. The pastor may even end up in trouble for not talking, but most juries and judges would understand that you can’t tell them anything. But, like I said, most of them will. Not all of them. Section 4: Atheists and agnostics In this world there are people that do not worship any god. Those are Atheists. They deny any kind of god, including our God, the true god. They make fun of Christians and try to get them to stop believing, but it seldom works, for a true Christian would take it all in and just keep on going, praising the Lord. Also there are people who believe in a higher being, but do not know what to believe. These people are agnostics. I met one on an Christian chat room on the Internet once. They are very intent on finding their own god, most likely worshipping a statue or an idol in the end. They know there is a higher presence, but what it is they do not know. I feel bad for agnostics for they are a sheep that has strayed from God’s flock, the Good Shepherd’s flock. As for Atheists, they are sheep that have strayed to far and have fallen into the ravine, where others will follow and fall into. As for most agnostics and atheists, it would be very hard to change their ways, and I know this from past experience. Section 5: Christianity in politics I usually wouldn’t even want to get into this, because I am very biased against liberal democrats, (which is technically all of them) and because politics is a very risky business. First off, I do not know why many people, including some Christians, would like to have a secular government. Our president, George W. Bush, is a very religious man. He attends church services on Sunday and prays at every meal. That is what we need in a president, because 9 out of 10 times a religious man has a better attitude and personality than a non-religious man. This makes a huge difference in the way anyone rules his or her life, or the country for President Bush. Without a freedom of religion in this country, no would get along, our country would not be nearly as organized, and that would take away other rights, like if the religion you are forced to believe says that you cannot ever drink alcoholic beverages except in church, then you have that right taken away from people 21 and over. That is just one reason that religion is so important to our country. The other thing that can take away our rights other than no freedom of religion is if we have a liberal democratic president, and our congress and house of rep. were all full of liberal democrats. Otherwise, we should just be fine. I do not know if I can think of one democrat who regularly goes to church and believes in God. No, you can’t count Lieberman, he is a Jew, not a Christian, he doesn’t believe in Jesus, and so he doesn’t believe in God. Section 6: War and Religion Everyone knows about war. Most are afraid of war’s effects and losses. In fact, few people aren’t afraid of war’s effects and losses. I know I would be, if I ever had family go to war. But, more or less, most people that go to war are afraid of losing their lives, and not anyone else’s. Though this is not true with all people in war, it probably runs across their mind at a time of life and death. This is when they must think of God, and how no matter what happens to them, they will be perfectly okay, and as long as they realize that, they will have an easier time. Also, I have been asked before if it is okay to kill in war. In my opinion, if it is for a just cause, then manslaughter in war should be fine, but don’t ever get trigger-happy and start killing for fun. You must realize that everyone here is one of God’s creations, whether some of them admit it or not. My answer to that question was an easy to comprehend answer, so hopefully he knew what I meant. “You should not be afraid to kill in war. God knows your duties and he knows you are protecting millions of faithful believers in our homeland. Killing is wrong yes, but when human manslaughter is brought on by religion, such as in the Middle East, then something must be done. God sees you as perfect! Why? Because you are FORGIVEN. No matter what you do, pray for the people you kill! Pray before you go to battle that they will become Christians, and that they will not fight! By doing this you have done all you can do. Prayer is the only answer. Use it to your best knowledge.” Truthfully, David killed Goliath in a war, and he was a very religious man and most likely is now in Heaven. Just as long as you stay with God and do not stray, then you will be with God when you die someday. Did the man on the cross by Jesus not murder someone, and then he asked for forgiveness, and Jesus told him that today he would be in paradise with him. Just believe and pray for you and your army and everyone on the opposite side, and all will be well. Section 7: The Good Shepherd As with all nations, they have a leader. As all believing Christians know, there is a leader of all nations as well. It is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity. The Father is the creator, the Son is the forgiver, and the Holy Spirit gives us our faith to believe in God with. At the moment let’s talk about Jesus, the Good Shepherd. A few Sundays ago our sermon is church focused on the Good Shepherd. Though I don’t remember it word for word, one of the more important parts went like this: In the forest clearing stood a stage, a wooden stage with several limbs dangling from its roof. On the stage stood several characters. The spotlight moves from the roof down to the first character. It is a shepherd. This shepherd represents Jesus Christ, our savior. As with most shepherds, they would not do anything to the stray wolf but shout out at it, trying to scare that it away. Now this shepherd, he is different. He will lay down his life for the sheep, protecting them, carrying the troubled and helpless ones in his arms. The light moves away to the second character. A sheep, with a fresh coat of wool. This sheep represents us people. Most people think of sheep as being dumb, helpless animals. If one sheep runs into a ravine, all the others follow. It's ironic how much we people act like these sheep. We must have a shepherd to carry us through the night and day, watching us so that we do not stray. A perfect example, when a sheep strays from the shepherd, it is a perfect example of when a person strays from God. The light moves away to the third character, the third and final. This is the wolf. A lone wolf, seeking to take all the sheep. This wolf represents Satan. Satan wants to take us away from God through temptation. That is why he is shown as the wolf. When the shepherd (Jesus) lays down his life to save his sheep, the wolf triumphs. The only thing between him and the sheep before was the shepherd. Now he is ready to take the sheep away. But then the spotlight moves again! There on the corner of the stage stands the shepherd. He is risen. "Tear down my temple, and in three days I will rebuild it." Is what Jesus states in the bible. And there stands the shepherd, the good shepherd, who then conquers the wolf by sending him to the forest, deeper and deeper into the forest, where no light shines.(Hell) Now the shepherd disappears from the stage, and a light shines. The shepherd is lifted from the ground and rises to the sky. The sheep look around aimlessly trying to find a new shepherd, but he is already there. Most of the sheep are being carried by the shepherd and do not know it. But, if the sheep fall into the ravine, and their shepherd must go pull them out, (A pastor trying to get someone to believe) what may come of it? A- If the shepherd pulls them out and they are with the shepherd once again, they are saved and forgiven. B-If the sheep stay in the ravine and do not follow the shepherd, just their own ways, they are not forgiven, for they have strayed from God, and until they come back, they are no longer being carried. ---~God Bless all people!~--- This is some writings I wrote, and I am looking to have it published, but I have found no Christian publishers so far. Tell me if you like it.