The Day I Died

What's Your Story?

What's Your Story? The Day I Died

I don’t remember the exact date or time when I died but I remember it as if it was yesterday.

When I was ten or so, I became the 1000th member of St. Mark’s United Methodist church. At least that’s how I remember it. But who is to say how accurate a 10-year-old’s memory is when they are decades removed from the event. Not long after my parents grew disillusioned with Malloy Owens and stopped attending St. Mark’s. For reasons I still can’t explain, sometimes I would ride my single-speed Spider bike up Six Forks road to sit in the balcony during Sunday services a Bayleaf Baptist.

During my years at Millbrook High, at the urging of my friend Greg Martin, I attended MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship). Later, during my first year at N.C. State, another friend, Greg Rogers, encouraged me to join Campus Life.

Then I died.

I’m not one hundred percent sure which came first: the incident at the pond or the encounter on the second floor of D. H. Hill library. I only know at some point I was alive and then I was not.

No one was with me that night in the theatre on the second floor of the library when I confessed to God that I could never kick my sin-habit: that given the choice, I would always steal, lie, cheat, cuss, and demand to be in charge of my life. My mind tended to wander towards lewd thoughts and violent fantasies. So that day at the pond on the property of New Life Camp I waded out, took a breath, and fell in.

After my baptism in New Life’s pond and receiving the Holy Spirit in D. H. Hill’s library, I died and came back to life a new man. To be honest, few things changed after my second birth. Most of my habits and inclinations remained. But one thing had changed: my desire to become more like Christ and less like the old Eddie. I’m convinced that when I became baptized with water and the Holy Spirit of Christ my spiritual DNA began to change. Slowly, so very slowly, but changed I am. I have an inner peace, a confidence, that when I die I will see Christ, His Father, and all my relatives and friends who also died and were born anew with the Spirit of Christ.

I come from a family of individuals who went to church on a regular basis but that couldn’t save me. My great grandfather was a primitive Baptist preacher but that couldn’t save me. I went to church most of my youth and became a member of a church at the age of ten but that couldn’t save me. I lived under a death sentence due to my sins. The only thing that could save me was exchanging my life for the life of Christ.

That’s my story. What’s your death-to-life story? If you do not have one ask yourself this:

* If Jesus Christ is a real historical figure … and
* If He claimed to be the Son of God … and
* If Christ was executed for claiming to be the King of the Jews and One who takes away our sins … and
* He was none of these things … then

Why would those closest to Him agree to be beaten with rods, stoned with rocks, whipped until their flesh peeled, and beheaded and crucified for a lie? What was their motive? What did they gain by spreading such a scam? Is it possible that a group of first century Jews despised the religious authority so much that they welcomed the destruction of the Temple — that they invited the mass slaughter of their friends and family?

Would you be willing to die for such a lie?

If not, if it makes more sense to agree that Jesus must have appeared to his disciples and at least 500 followers (as Biblical accounts claim), then at the very least consider that everything he said about himself is true. And if it is, then why not invite Christ to have a conversation with you. Ask. Start with a simple, audible request for the two of you to have a chat. Invite Him to join you.

If you have questions or wish to talk about any of this, contact me: eddie@eddiejones.org.

I love to tell His story.

Did God Really Say Climate Change Is Real?

Yes ... yes he did

Did God Really Say Climate Change Is Real?Did God really say climate change is real?

Yes … yes he did.

And at some point in the future climate change will get much worse.

Climate reacts to forces in the atmosphere and on earth. Some scientists argue humans are now the dominant force. But are they? Had we lived during the days of Noah, “When men began to increase in number on the earth …” would scientists have claimed humans were the reason for the Great Flood? Would population growth and the increase in livestock and raw sewage entering streams have been blamed for a month of rain?

Drought was the most common cause of famines mentioned in the Bible. Drought caused famines in the time of Abraham (Genesis 12:10 ), Isaac (Genesis 26:1 ), Joseph (Genesis 41:27 ), and the judges (Ruth 1:1 ). Drought also impacted the Israelites during the days of David (2 Samuel 21:1 ), Elijah (1 Kings 18:2 ), Elisha (2 Kings 4:38 ), Haggai (Haggai 1:11 ), and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 5:3 ). Did human behavior cause these droughts or did God ordain it?

In the Book of Revelation we read, “hail and fire mixed with blood was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.” Revelation 8:7

Trees affect our climate, and therefore our weather, in three ways: they lower temperatures, reduce energy usage and reduce or remove air pollutants. When we lose a third of the trees and all the grass, we can expect a substantial increase global warming, a strain on our power grids, and an increase in air pollution.  While mankind might play some role in global warming our affect is nothing compared to what is to come.

And what of our water supply? “Something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. And a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. A third of the waters turned bitter. Many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” Revelation 8: 8-10

Scientists warn of rising sea levels but nothing will compare to the sea-coast flooding we’ll experience when tsunamis larger than we can imagine hit our shores. Whole navel fleets will be wiped out. Imagine the devastation that will occur in Norfolk, Virginia, San Diego, California and Mayport, Florida. With a third of our streams and rivers toxic those living further inland will scramble to find clean drinking water.

And what of the sky? “A third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.” Revelation 8:12

The first thing we’ll notice is an increase in darkness — then the extreme cold. The planet’s temperature will drop several degrees Fahrenheit over the course of weeks and months. With less sunlight, the amount of photosynthesis will decrease. Plants will begin to wither and die. Animals that rely on vegetation to survive will be left with a shrinking food supply.

We might imagine that people would rush to spend time in the sun during the reduced daylight hours, but “the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.” Revelation 16:8. We will long to stand in sunlight, but the sun’s intense rays will prevent us from enjoying its warmth.

Sea levels will rise dramatically. “Every island fled away.” Revelation 16:20

Tectonic plates will shift, leveling whole mountain ranges. “The mountains could not be found.” Revelation 16:20

Rivers will shift or disappear. “The great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up.” Revelation 16:12

Yes, God warns that climate change is real — and what’s to come will be worse than anything the alarmists have predicted.

In Genesis God commands us to be good stewards of our planet. It is our duty to protect and preserve what God created. But a day is coming when the Son of God will return to rule over “a new heaven and a new earth.” Revelation 21:1.

When that day comes will you be ready to meet him?

Did God Really Say Darkness Can Be Felt?

Yes ... yes he did.

Did God Really Say Darkness Can Be Felt?Did God really say darkness can be felt?

Yes … yes he did.

We tend to think that darkness and light are for the visual sense of sight, but there is a darkness so black, a despair so deep that it can be felt.

Before light, darkness covered the earth. ” ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

Light is a creative force. Plants need light to grow. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, causing us feel upbeat and hopeful.

Darkness is a destructive force. Plants die in darkness. Darkness triggers depression and despair.

We live in an age of intense light, both in the physical realm, but also at a social level. It seems every comment and act is exposed to public scrutiny. Even the dead are at risk for ridicule. Every Internet search is recorded and catalogued, revealing our heart and character. As we seek to hide our deeds this intense light drives us deeper into darkness.

When Moses commanded Pharaoh to release God’s people, the Egyptian ruler refused. So “the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.’ Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.”

The word for felt in Hebrew is more than simply a darkness that affects the inward man and hope. This kind of felt is the Hebrew word that signifies touch.

“When a person deviates from the eternal rules of God and morality, there is darkness.” – Billy Graham

The darkness of which Mr. Graham spoke is not simply shades of shadows, but a complete loss of inward light. It is a soul-deep darkness. This is one reason so many individuals grope around as though blind. They cling to all manner of perverted beliefs in hopes of finding footing and safety in numbers. While they blindly comfort and cling to one another, claiming to be enlightened, they stand at the edge of a chasm so deep and dark that no light reaches down into it.

When Pharaoh finally relented and released God’s people the angel of God went before them, leading the way. “Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side.” Many Biblical scholars believe this angel of God was the pre-incarnate Christ: the One who actually created the heavens and earth at God’s command. “Through Christ all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:3

With the light of Christ, moral decisions become black and white. With the light of Christ, God’s words, commands and laws bring liberty and life. But the one who rules the realm of darkness — the one who steals, kills, and destroys — would have you believe that the words of Christ are hurtful, out-dated, and of no value to the wise, educated, and enlightened.

This is a lie.

Some have rejected the truth of God and become victims of a great delusion. They have changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped the creature more than the Creator. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.” Romans 1: 25-26. “For this reason God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” II Thessalonians 2:10-12.

Without the light of Christ we make our way along in darkness. Even if it seems as though we are progressing towards a greater age of enlightenment, we are actually rushing headlong into the fires of Hell where there is a darkness so intense it will be felt for eternity.

During his final moments on earth Christ hung on a cross between two convicts. One taunted him, saying, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” The other begged for forgiveness. “Don’t you fear God. We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

One convict died in his sins and went to hell.

The other admitted he was a sinner and acknowledged that Christ had done nothing to deserve death. “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to the second man, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

Confess your sins. Admit that Christ accepted punishment for your sins.  Then come into the light and begin to live a life without sin: a life of love, joy, peace, self-control, kindness, moral integrity, devotion to God, self-control and gentleness.

 

Did God Really Say Believers Should Not Marry Non-Believers

Yes ... yes he did

Did God Really Say Believers Should Not Marry Non-BelieversDid God really say believers should not marry non-believers?

Yes … yes he did.

As Moses prepared the Jewish people to enter the Promised Land, God warned, “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going. If you do, those in the land will be a snare among you.” Exodus 34:12 “When you choose some of their daughters among those who live in the land, and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.”  Exodus 34:16

God was not warning Moses that the daughters of those who worshipped pagan gods were sexually immoral. Rather, God warned that the women in the land were willing to sacrifice their talents and self-respect for personal or financial gain. In doing so, the men of God would follow the practices of the women.

God knows men struggle with lust of the flesh. Man has since Adam.

Paul wrote to Timothy, “Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”

With full awareness and intent, Adam looked upon Eve in all her beauty and traded his relationship with God for that of the help-mate made for him. The last image Adam beheld before he turned from God towards sin was the radiant beauty of God’s final creation. He chose the creature over the Creator.

It is no wonder God warned Moses to keep his people separate. God demands that we make no accommodation for sin, not one. Even the smallest compromise leads to larger and greater sins. This is why Paul cautioned believers in Corinth, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Though it may seem intolerant to refuse to sign agreements, covenants, and treaties with non-believers, God knows our hearts must seek him before others. And if both hearts serve him first, then God, not the couple, is the head of the relationship. When we submit to God first, we surrender our right to be right, to be in control, to be honored. When we submit to God first, we become a servant of others, “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21.

At its core, sin is my claim to rights as a person. We demand respect and to be recognized for our accomplishments, all the things to which God alone is worthy. The nature of sin is fulfillment of one’s own desire and will. It is our pride which leads us to say, “I am my own god and I demand to be …”

Only with Christ as our Lord can we love as he loves us.

Paul gave us an example of an equally-yoked relationship. “Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:22 & 25 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. As the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” Ephesians 5:22 & 24

May we strive to follow God’s instructions for Godly relationships.

Lord, help me to love my wife with the same love you have for her. And may she love me with the same love you have for me. And may we both love you above all else. Amen.”

Did God Really Say that Gaining Freedom from Sin Comes at a Price?

Yes ... yes he did.

Did God Really Say that Gaining Freedom from Sin Comes at a Price?Did God really say that gaining freedom from sin comes at a price?

Yes … yes he did.

What God said was this: “When you return to Egypt … I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will not let the people go.” Exodus 5:21.

God’s intent was clear: his people would be set free. But the struggle would last days, weeks, months … possibly over a year. Too often we think accepting Christ as our savior means we are instantly changed into super-God-children who act and think like Christ. But the process of sanctification, of becoming holy and pure, takes days, weeks, months, years … a lifetime. And the effort may kill us.

In fact it must.

In a spiritual sense, if we are to truly be free of sin, we must die to self (Luke 9:23). Not be wounded, hurt, inconvenienced, but die. The Apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20.

Satan will not surrender a single soul without a fight. He will make your circumstances more difficult and cause you to question your decision, your faith, your commitment to doing the thing God has called you to. Satan will lie to keep you addicted to your sins. And keep on lying. It is his native language.

Make the work harder for the men,”  Pharaoh said, “so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.” Exodus 5:9  Did you catch that? Pharaoh called God’s truth a lie. Satan will, too.

Often the circumstances of life do not get easier with Christ, but harder. Pharaoh ordered the Jewish slaves to gather their own straw rather than have it supplied, and when straw ran out, their brick quota remained the same. “The Israelites foremen realized they were in trouble.”

Aren’t we all.

Maybe you have said, as Moses said, “Lord, why have you brought trouble upon us? Is this why you sent me?” Exodus 5:22.

In one sense, yes. This is why we are called to face trouble and hardships — to be set free of sin. Christ paid the price for our freedom, but we must do the hard work of becoming transformed into his image — of working out our faith. Often that means working with straw stubble, rather than straw, and working day and night to meet the demands of life with the standard of God.

Freedom from sin comes at a price. It always does. In fact it costs you your very soul.

Lord, thank you that you have provided a way to live free of sin in this life. May you give me the strength and discernment to make the hard choices and do what is right in your eyes. My your hope of freedom burn in my heart.

As a prison inmate with no family or money …

Buncombe_Co_DF

 

As a prison inmate with no family or money, I am an inmate requesting your book “Regener8: Straight Talk for Street Smart Teens” by Robert Cook without cost or obligation. I feel like this book was written to help me grow in my relationship with Jesus. Please send this booklet directly to me. So I pray, and now I am submit my request letter to your business or organization. I am so sorry I do not have anything to donate at this time. I read some of this life changing book, the Prisoner was released and took it with him. With this book I connect with god in a whole new way. I thank you in advance for your help / response to this request and I look forward to receiving your book and letter in the future.

Your for Christ because of his love.

Did God Really Say You Have One Last Thing to Do Before You Die?

Yes ... yes he did.

Did God really say you have one last thing to do before you die?

Yes … yes he did.

Sort of.

This is what he said to Moses: “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.’” As so often happened with God’s people (then and now), they did not fully do what God asked. “They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals, and brought the captives, spoils and plunder to Moses,” (11-12). Moses then said, “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” (17-18). (There is backstory to this event that explains why God wanted all of the Midianites killed.)

Our time here on earth is limited. “A person’s days are numbered; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” Job 14:5-7 “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16.

Do you believe God has at least one last thing left for you to do? Do you know what it is? If so, why are you not discerning and doing God’s business today?