Born Twice, Die Once!

Death and taxes!

Death and TaxesTwo things are certain in life: death and taxes!  Except for Adam and Eve and those who die in the womb, all human beings experience physical birth. That is a given. And, except for Enoch, Elijah, and those alive at the time of the Rapture, all human being die physically as well. The notion of physical life and physical death are universally accepted.  Today (September 23) is my physical birthday but now that I’ve accepted Jesus Christ into my life I have a “new” birthday.  My new or as I call it, “reborn birthday” is October 30th.   Scripture knows of two births, two deaths.  Everyone is physically born once and that each person will experience one or the other, but not both.. Those who do not undergo the second birth, the spiritual birth, also undergo the second death which is the permanent separation from God with eternal torment.  When a person is born again he will only undergo the first death, but the second death has no power over him: “though he may die [the first death], he shall live [be resurrected never to face the second death]”.

Jesus answered him,  “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born againhe cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You[ must be born again.”  (John  3:3-7 ESV)

Two Births or Two Deaths?

When Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” Nicodemus thought that Jesus was talking about a second physical birth.  But the Lord went out to make it plain that he was speaking of a second birth that was spiritual. This spiritual birth, while clearly a second birth, is never specifically called the second birth in Scripture.  It is variously called being born of God (John 1:13),  being born again  (John 3:3)( 1 Peter 1:23),  and being brought forth by the word of truth  (James 1:18).  In the passage on the Great White Throne Judgment, where unbelievers will be judged and condemned, John says, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life  was cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death” (NKJV).  Both the Majority Text and the Critical Text actually end verse 14 with “This is the second death, the lake of fire.” In other words, the experience of the lake of fire is the experience of the second death.  Unlike John 3:3-4, here we have no one asking the obvious question, “Will a person’s heart and brain stop a second time?”  No, that is not what is in view.  The resurrected unbeliever will have a heart and brain and they will continue to function properly forever.  The second death is not a second cessation of physical life.  It is an eternal lack of spiritual life, or, conversely, the eternal experience of separation from God in the place where those who have died twice will live, the lake of fire.

Sin Entered the World!

God had told Adam that the day he ate of the forbidden fruit he would surely die (Gen 2:17).  Adam sinning, his nature became guilty and corrupted, and so came to his children.  Thus in him all have sinned.  And death is by sin; for death is the wages of sin.  Then entered all that misery which is the due desert of sin; temporal, spiritual, eternal death.  If Adam had not sinned, he had not died; but a sentence of death was passed, as upon a criminal; it passed through all men, as an infectious disease that none escape.  In proof of our union with Adam, and our part in his first transgression, observe, that sin prevailed in the world, for many ages before the giving of the law by Moses.  Adam’s sin means that when Adam first sinned, that sin (and its blame) was rightly regarded by God to be our sin as well.

Eternal life in the Bible is for sinners who are the beneficiaries of the death of Jesus Christ on their behalf.  Had there been no sin, Jesus would not have died and no one would have received (or needed) everlasting life.  But once sin entered the world, two options were possible for all of the descendants of Adam: the second birth or the second death.  Everyone who experienced the second birth could not and would not experience the second death  “He who lives and believes in Me shall never die”.  Everyone who did not experience the second birth would surely experience the second death (Rev 20:14).  There is no third alternative!

So which is it for you?  Two births or two deaths?  If you have experienced the second birth, then thank God daily that there will never be a second death for you.

Lookin’ for love

Tennessee Williams wrote in the Glass Menagerie, “Time is the longest distance between two places” but looking back at where I was just a few years ago seems like yesterday.   Some times I think it’s just a dream, how can someone who I can’t see, can’t touch or hear put love into my life and change me!  Being a single man wasn’t easy and even when I was married I was still “looking for love in all the wrong places” but everything I did for love just got me into trouble.

5696_105460397006_93874507006_2675602_5503512_n“I’ve spent a lifetime looking for you, Single bars and good time lovers, never true. Playing a fools game, hoping to win, Telling those sweet lies and losing again”.

It wasn’t until I lost it all that I found a friend who I could turn too.  I still remember the night I asked Jesus to come into my life, and He did.  I have never been happier, my heart is overflowing with joy and yet there are still mountains to cross but I know I am not alone any more.

“You came a’knocking at my heart’s door, You’re everything I’ve been looking for”

I know most of you don’t like “religion” and until a few years ago I was one of you!  Wikipedia describes Religion this way…

Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values”.

Jesus might be the symbol of being a Christian but religion has nothing to do with what happens when thing change in your life.  Religion didn’t save me, Jesus did and it’s not religion that changed my life, it’s a Relationship!

When I was alone then, no love in sight and I did everything I could to get me through the night. Don’t know where it started or where it might end I turn to a stranger, just like a friend.

You don’t have to be alone, their is a love that’s so real that nothing you can do will change your life no matter how wrong or bad it might be.  It can start today and is forever and little by little you’ll find like I did you are loved!  Jesus is no strange, He’s been waiting for you and He’s the love you’ve been dreaming of.

After the laughter is gone, taking a stand against suicide!

2012-02-12 23.22.40Today we lost a great Actor-comedian, Robin Williams died this morning at 63. While his publicist wouldn’t confirm that his death was a suicide, a rep did issue this statement. “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss”.  Suicide touches all of us in some ways, maybe it’s well known Actor like Robin, or maybe a friends we know lost someone close to them.  It might be even closer than that, it might have touched someone in your family, a brother, sister, ant or uncle or other loved one.  I know because it’s touched my life, hearing from my step-brother about his brother taking his own life. Then I meet my girlfriend Angela and learned about how she lost her brother.

Suicide has touched my life too as I have lived with it most of my life.  YES, I have wanted to take my own life more than just once.  We have to talk about suicide and not pretend it will go away if we just look the other way.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report over 36,000 suicides annually. This translates to roughly four suicides per hour in this country, greater than the number of homicide or motor vehicle related fatalities. Suicide occurs in all parts of our society and in all regions, affecting people of all ages. No group is immune but there are some groups at greater risk. For instance, men are four times more likely than women to die of suicide and older men have been an often overlooked group with a particularly high suicide rate.

We need to talk about the warning signs and how suicide has touched our lives. We have to let our loved ones know it’s OK to openly talk about wanted to harm them and there is hope.  They don’t have to go this alone, all it takes is someone taking the time to listen to them.  That’s what I want when I get so depressed that I don’t see any hope.  Just a hand to help us past a moment in time when all we think all is lost.  Someone has to talk a stand and start showing people that feel depressed they are loved no matter what.

March 2011 a young lady take her own life by jumping off a bridge in Iowa City onto Interstate 80 early one morning, where she was hit by a semitrailer and killed. I know what it’s like to feel so overwhelmed that you just can’t see any hope for living. Yes, I have been to that point in my life where I wanted to end it all. I felt so alone, no hope for tomorrow but that was before I found the love of Jesus Christ and my local church. I didn’t know this young beautiful lady at all but her death touched me in a way that I can’t express! That night, I just keep saying, “she didn’t have to do this” and how sad I was for her family, friends, the driver of the semi and the first responder and Law enforcement officers.

As I was on my way to church the next Sunday morning, I felt God calling me to step up and talk to our congregation about what I was feeling. When we are feeling depressed, sad or what ever, we can’t go it alone and covering it up doesn’t help. I you think the person you care for knows how much you care for them, don’t just think they know! Tell them, show them everyday how much you love them no matter how bad they feel. If you’re dealing with depression and can talk about it, DO IT! Let’s not hide it any more, show others who are facing the same thing that they too are not alone and can come to you if they want too. Life is so wonderful, and Jesus died on the cross to give us new life and no matter what you have done or what your going through, his family of believers love you and you can trust them.  You’re not alone and if you think that ending your life is all you have left, please don’t! Let me know, I will do everything I can for you. You are loved more than you know and better days are ahead.

I know this is my calling to help others dealing with depression and showing them the love that Jesus Christ offers us. I am so thankful that the good Lord gave me new life and new hope so I can try to touch lives that are hurting. It’s OK to let people see who we really are, and we must talk about depression and suicide in our churches, youth groups, small groups, etc every chance we get.  I will takes a stand and talk to any group about my struggles with depression, greed and how it slowly started to control my life.  I am here today because Jesus saved my life, He came into my heart and changed who I was and while my life hasn’t been the easiest living now as a new Christian.  I know He loves me and when I feel like ending it all, I know it’s just a feeling that will pass and I can openly share my feelings because I’m not alone any more.

Blessing and love,

Kent.

Life

Man, it’s been a long times since if posted any thing about me!  Life is still going on! lol  Yeah, it’s not been easy and I’ve been “burning the candle at both ends” a lot the last month.  I have been blessed with a new church, didn’t plan on changing churches, it just happened.  I been working real hard on starting up my I am second small group and maybe that’s why God lead me to St. Mark’s in Marion.  I’ve been “single” (I hate that word) now for about 2 years and I am OK with it.  I think God wants me to be single, that way I can do more for Him. lol. But I know He doesn’t want us to be alone and I keep praying for to Him that he’ll bring someone into my life.  All that I ask for is that she be a Christian and loves music, any thing else I can deal with.

Last year for my birthday, I got myself a guitar and hope to take lessons.  I wish I would have never gave it up back in JR high!  I’m just not sure that I can learn to play again!  I watch youtube videos and try but my fingers are so big, it’s not easy to finger the frets.  A week after a got my guitar, I was blessed with the opportunity to start working with one of the best country band around this area.  I am so happy to be helping Black Diamond and have the chance to learn from some of the best musicians around.  I also want to try to learn to play keyboards too but what’s been in my heart all of my life is singing!  I never thought I was good enough and until I started to sing with the choir at my old church that  I started to learn that I was wrong.  I have always dreamed of singing on stage (who hasn’t right?) but why?  It’s not about me, it’s my way of expressing what life has taught me and giving hope to others who need it.

Well, stay tuned. I’ll try to post more “Broken Road Reflection” about God, life, love.

Kent

You are loved!

This past week we had a young lady take her own life by jumping off a bridge in Iowa City onto Interstate 80 on Tuesday morning, where she was hit by a semitrailer and killed. I know what it’s like to feel so overwhelmed that you just can’t see any hope for living. Yes, I have been to that point in my life where I wanted to end it all. I felt so alone, no hope for tomorrow but that was before I found the love of Jesus Christ and my local church. I didn’t know this young beautiful lady at all but her death touched me in a way that I can’t express! That night, I just keep saying, “she didn’t have to do this” and how sad I was for her family, friends, the driver of the semi and the first responder and Law enforcement officers.

As I was on my way to church this morning, I felt God calling me to step up and talk to our congregation about what I was feeling. When we are feeling depressed, sad or what ever, we can’t go it alone and covering it up doesn’t help. I you think the person you care for knows how much you care for them, don’t just think they know! Tell them, show them ever day how much you love them no matter how bad they feel. If your dealing with depression and can talk about it, DO IT! Let’s not hide it any more, show others who are facing the same thing that they too are not alone and can come to you if they want too. Life is so wonderful, and Jesus died on the cross to give us new life and no matter what you have done or what your going through, his family of believers love you and you can trust them.

I know this is my calling to help others dealing with depression and showing them the love that Jesus Christ offers us. I am so thankful that the good Lord gave me new life and new hope so I can try to touch life’s that are hurting. Just hearing people thanks me for sharing my thoughts and experiences is nice, I hope they can take from it that it’s OK to let people see who they really are, and that’s a child of God who loves us so much that He sent his only son to die for us.

Your not alone and if you think that ending your life is all you have left, please don’t! Let me know, I will do every thing I can for you. You are loved more than you know and better days are ahead.

God bless.