Saturday, February 14, 2015

Divorce -- Three Divine Revelations

While many sweethearts are finding romantic ways to show their love for one another on Valentine’s Day, not all couples are doing so at this time of year. A NY Post article pointed out that the number of requests for divorce lawyers spikes dramatically around Valentine’s Day compared to the previous six months. On average, the increase is around 40 percent, according to Mark Britton, founder and CEO of Avvo, a site that offers ratings and profiles for lawyers and medical doctors. This has become a new trend in the past few years.

In fact, even in the church it has become common for people to get divorced, which is so sad. This of course raises the questions about remarriage afterward, so we really need to know what the mind of God is on this matter. For that we turn to the Word of God, because the Scriptures are our source of truth, wisdom and guidance on divorce. One passage of Scripture that addresses divorce is found in Mark’s gospel.

Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. And He answered and said to them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses permitted a man TO WRITE A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY." But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. "But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. "FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again. And He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery." (Mar 10:2-12)

Let’s look at this passage verse-by-verse.

Is it lawful to divorce your wife?
The Pharisees wanted to know if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus answered with a question. He asked them what Moses commanded, and they replied with a quote from Moses. So they felt that they had established a legal right for this practice.

Hardness of heart
Jesus explained that the only reason Moses wrote this was due to the hardness of men’s hearts. It was not the original plan of God. So when a man or woman files for divorce, it reflects unwillingness on the part of one or both parties to reconcile or resolve the conflicts. Jesus referred to this as hardness of heart.

Incidentally, hardness of heart is not compatible with new life in Christ. Rather it is associated with rebellion (Heb 3:7,8,15). We are to be tender hearted, forgiving, and resolve all conflicts with one another (Lk 17:3-4; Mt 6:14-15; 18:15-17; Eph 5:32). Therefore, no disciple of Christ should claim his own hardness of heart as an excuse to divorce.

God’s original intention
Jesus went on to explain that what Moses wrote was not a command but rather permission he granted, if they remained hard hearted. Yet God’s original intention for man was that he would leave his parents and become one flesh with his wife. Paul’s statement to the Corinthians makes clear the meaning of "one flesh." He wrote:

"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, 'THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.' " (1Co 6:15-16).

My friend, Jim Garrett, made an excellent point about this when he commented, "Here Paul states that when one has sex, he becomes one flesh with the one with whom he has sex. Thus, a man who is a fornicator is one flesh with a lot of women – what a mess. In such a situation, a man becomes one flesh with a woman and there is no covenant (at least objective intentional covenant) involved."

This reminds me of a medieval practice in England, known as Drawing and Quartering, which was used as a punishment for treason. The person's four limbs were tied to four horses. Then as the horses moved away from the person, the poor soul was torn apart. That's what it's like when you join yourself to multiple sexual partners and there is no covenant to keep you together. The Lord intended to protect us from such a situation with His plan for one man and one woman to become one flesh together, and remain together for life.

Let no man separate
Once you begin to get this picture of what really happens to the people involved when a one flesh relationship is torn apart, you can better understand the heart of God regarding separation. You can look at the Greek all you want and try to get around it, but the Word of God from the mouth of Jesus was “Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.” In this sentence, He affirmed that it’s God Who joined the married couple together, and He further affirms that no man should separate them. That’s pretty cut and dry, plain and simple. It’s not complicated at all, unless you try to make it that way. His main point was that it’s not God’s will for married couples to separate, in spite of the fact that the Law of Moses permitted it.

The apostle Paul later reiterated this when he wrote to the Corinthians, “But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.” (1Co 7:10-11). Again, this is very plain. The wife should not leave her husband and the husband should not divorce his wife.

Marriage after divorce
The disciples further questioned Jesus about this later in the house. His reply was, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.” In another passage, Jesus taught that if you divorce your spouse and they remarry, you are causing them to commit adultery. He said, “but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Mat 5:32). Notice he said that the one who initiates the divorce makes the other person commit adultery. At the most basic level, it’s clear that there is a problem – a sin committed – when a person divorces his or her spouse and marries someone else. The reason a sin is committed is that man separates what God has put together, and then man joins together with another spouse.

To put it differently, God does not want man separating the married couple, since He has joined them together as one. And when man does this and then marries another, God sees it as adultery. How could it be adultery, if they have a legal certificate of divorce, which proves they are no longer married? It’s adultery because God still sees the original couple as one flesh. How else could it be adultery? Adultery can only occur when a married person enters into a sexual relationship with someone who is not his or her spouse.

There are basically three parties who end up committing adultery following a divorce: the person who initiated the divorce proceeding, the spouse who was subject to the divorce, and the person who marries the one who was divorced. So if God considers remarriage after divorce to be adultery, then it’s not desirable to do it. It should be avoided!

The apostle Paul reiterated this when he wrote to the Corinthians, “A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband." Paul’s teaching agrees with Jesus by instructing us not to get remarried after divorce, but rather be reconciled with our spouse.

There was one instance where Jesus acknowledged the legitimacy of divorce and that is where there has been unfaithfulness, otherwise known as unchastity or sexual sin (Greek, porneia). Many people have analyzed this and tried to determine what constitutes unfaithfulness. Obviously if one spouse commits sexual sin during the marriage, such as adultery, then that is unfaithfulness, which is grounds for a divorce. It does not mean that God requires the couple to divorce, because if there is repentance on the part of the offending spouse, then this can be forgiven and they can be healed and go on together. That is, provided the offender does not continue in this sin of adultery afterward. So when there is unchastity, God allows the two to become divorced.

One situation that Jesus did not address explicitly is desertion.  When one spouse deserts the other, he or she suddenly separates from the other, and this can sometimes happen without any prior notice or explanation.  The sudden and unexpected disappearance of a spouse can be devastating to the one who remains, especially when the remaining spouse was faithful.  And in some cases, the one who departs moves far away to another geographical location.  What is the remaining spouse to do in such a situation?  Obviously, the first step is to pray and seek reconciliation with the offended party.  But what if the offended party refuses all attempts at reconciliation?  These are the types of things that are not explicitly addressed, but we know that the Lord commands us to forgive and to love.  He teaches us how to resolve conflict. So as we read the Word and pray through such situations, the Lord will give direction.

The apostle Paul describes one such scenario where one spouse is a nonbeliever. He says, “But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” (1 Cor 7:15). In this case, if the nonbeliever leaves, the believing person is no longer bound to stay married to the nonbeliever. He or she is free.

There are all kinds of scenarios in life that can happen, and it’s not my intention to analyze each one. It’s best for you to search the Scriptures prayerfully yourself, reading the passages where Jesus and Paul taught on divorce, and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you clearly through the Word. You have got to hear from the Lord on this matter. Afterward, you may sit with a mature believer who is impartial, such as a Bible-believing pastor or elder, and work through your situation with his counsel.

I want to stress one very important thing. While divorce leads to adultery, which is a sin, it is not the unforgivable sin. If you have done everything to seek reconciliation with your spouse, and in the end, you find yourself divorced without intending to be, there is still hope. If you can still reconcile with your former spouse, you should do so. You should seek reconciliation very diligently! It may require a long process to work through issues with the help of a third party. It will require great mercy, forgiveness, love and patience from both spouses.

A great movie that portrays this is Fireproof. In this movie, the wife has decided to divorce her husband. But he decides to love her unconditionally through it all. He asks her to forgive him for the ways he has offended her. Then patiently waits for her heart to heal and turn back. She eventually does turn back, forgiving him and being reconciled to him once again.

But there comes a point where that might not be possible, due to the hardness of the other person’s heart. In this case, you should just forgive, seek the Lord for help, and cast yourself upon His mercy. Seek His forgiveness for any part you played in the divorce. And then receive it.

In some cases, people were divorced before they became a believer in Jesus Christ, and they cannot go back and change that situation. Sometimes their former spouse is already remarried. This is also portrayed in the movie Fireproof, in which a Christian man had been divorced before he came to know Christ. He is happily remarried, but he has remorse over the fact that he helped bring about a divorce between himself and his former wife before he knew the Lord. Once he came to know Christ, he wanted to reconcile with his wife, but it was too late. She had already remarried. This is another example of a situation that happens.

I would challenge anyone in such a situation to search the Scriptures and find the verse that allows them to be remarried, because God will hold you accountable for it.  I cannot think of any verse that would directly allow for remarriage in such a situation, as long as the person's former spouse remains alive (Ro 7:2-3). So let's open a discussion about this in the comments section. You will have to give an account for every action before the judgment seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10; 2Co. 5:10). I suppose some possible Scriptures a person might possibly rely on in such a situation to indirectly give them hope would be those about God's mercy and grace. But they must still reckon with Rom 7:2-3. I will cover this in more detail in the next two sections of this article below, as well as the section on divine revelations.

If you have been divorced and are unable to reconcile with your spouse after all your attempts to do so have failed, the worse thing you can do is go out and try to fill the emptiness by finding a new mate. You need to get healed first. It could take a year, two years or more. You should allow the Lord to do a work inside of you, before you consider ever getting married again. The reason is that your own dysfunctional behavior may have contributed to the divorce. Allow the Lord to search your heart and show you how you may have helped bring about the demise of your own marriage. It’s so important that you identify where you need healing and get it from the Lord before you consider a new relationship.

If you seek the Lord first and seek to be healed, He will fill your being with his love, His joy, and His peace. Find other ways to occupy yourself for the Lord through worship, Bible study, and service in the kingdom. And do this with the attitude that if you must stay single for the rest of your life, then you will do so. If you feel an overwhelming need to be remarried, then cry out to the Lord with that need. Every time it seems to overwhelm you, get on your knees and bring it to the Lord, even with tears if you need to. He will hear and answer.

Restoration and remarriage
I would like to address the matter of restoration and remarriage, but only for those who are in very specific and limited scenarios where that is allowed by God in Scripture. Paul says to those who are unmarried, “Do not look for a wife.” (1 Cor 7:27). That means exactly what it says.  Don't look for a wife. And for women, don't look for a husband. You need to lay that on the altar unless the Lord decides to give you another spouse.

In my humble opinion, if the Lord eventually shows you that it’s His will to grant you a second chance in His great mercy, then accept it. But seek godly counsel throughout the whole matter. Don’t enter into any new relationship according to the flesh. You don’t want to make another mistake! The person must belong to the Lord or else you will be unequally yoked together (2 Co 6:14).

Bathe it in prayer, and keep the relationship holy and chaste. Ask God to confirm everything to you and take it slowly. Make sure you know this is God’s will for your life. If you have both received confirmation from Him that He is putting you together in marriage, and other mature disciples agree, who are in a position of oversight and care in your life, then go forward with the Lord’s blessing. You can know that when God forgives, it is complete.

When the Lord chooses to give you a second chance, receive it with gratitude. But be careful not to take it lightly or abuse his grace and mercy.

Remarrying Your First Spouse
The ideal situation is to be reconciled with your first spouse and get remarried to that person. Simply repenting for committing the sin of divorce and not going back to your spouse is not enough. You must make restitution!

However, if your first spouse has already been remarried, I do not see any Scripture that allows you to remarry that person. Even if their second spouse divorces them or dies, the Bible teaches that it is an abomination for your to remarry your first spouse once they have been married to someone else.

"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man's wife, and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.” (Deu 24:1-4).

Likewise, the Lord declared through the prophet Jeremiah, "If a husband divorces his wife And she goes from him And belongs to another man, Will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted?" (Jer 3:1)

Therefore, the only scenario in which Scripture allows you to remarry your first spouse, in my opinion, is when neither of you have been remarried after divorcing.  In fact, if you have been divorced and neither you nor your spouse have been remarried, you should certainly repent and remarry your spouse if he or she is willing to do so. However, there is no biblical basis for remarriage to one's first spouse after divorce and remarriage has already occurred. Doing so would violate the Word of God, and teaching people to do so would nullify one of God's commandments.

Our Lord said, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mat 5:17-20)

Inevitably there will be someone who will say that my position is invalid, because it is based on Old Testament passage of Scripture, even though the Lord said He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. However, to those who may do so, I kindly refer you to my articles, The Ways of Life, The Law of Christ and Law of Love in the New Testament

Other Scriptures About Divorce
Here are some additional Scriptures about divorce to prayerfully consider.

"For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously." (Mal 2:16)

"It was said, 'Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce'; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Mat 5:31-32)

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." They *said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?" He *said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." (Mat 19:3-9)

"For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man." (Rom 7:2-3)

"Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals..." (1Co 6:9)

"Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (Heb 13:4)

"But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her." (1Co 7:12)

Thus says the LORD, "Where is the certificate of divorce By which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, And for your transgressions your mother was sent away. (Isa 50:1)

"And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. (Jer 3:8)

Also see Deu 22:13-29.

Divine Revelations
I would now like to share some divine revelations on the topic of divorce for you to read and evaluate prayerfully.

Michael Thomas Sambo
As I have written in my article Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, my friend Michael Sambo received a revelation in 2003 from the Lord. He died and experienced heaven and hell. He told me, "In my encounter with Jesus. A man came to the gate of heaven having married and divorced his wife. But was later permitted by his church to remarry. The angel of the Lord told him in heaven he is known as an adulterer." This is a serious warning, since no adulterers inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9), so let us take heed.

Samuel Oghenetega (Ogenetega)
Near the end of June 2013, a fourteen-year-old boy in Nigeria, named Samuel “Tega” had a visitation from The Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy and Righteous One, as I documented in my article, Visitation of Jesus to Samuel Oghenetega. The Lord gave him a revelation with many warnings, one of which was a warning to those who divorce: "People who divorce do not enter my kingdom." (Listen to his video on You Tube for more details).

Emmanuel Samson Jude
A Nigerian teenager named Emmanuel Samson Jude, claims to have had a revelation of hell in August 2014.  He states:

I saw a man in hell fire, being in great agony and pain, in great torment, he stretched forth his hand if he could be delivered, but a demon was climbing on his back, cutting his head with an axe. I asked the man the reason why he ended his life there, he told me "I divorced my wife, I chased her out because I didn't have interest in her anymore. I got married to another woman. That is what brought me here. I blame myself. I am very sorry" (1 Cor 7:10-11).

Putting it all Together
The Scripture is clear that it was never God’s intention for married couples to become divorced. From the beginning, God intended the husband and wife to be one and never separate. So those who are married should not divorce. While it may break the legal union in the civil sense, the couple is still one in God’s eyes. That’s why divorce leads to adultery if the divorced person gets remarried. Those who are committing divorce need to know that it’s an abomination in the sight of God. Jesus hates divorce!

We know that Moses permitted divorce due to the hardness of man’s heart. So there are cases where divorce may be necessary. But if you leave your spouse, you must remain unmarried.

The Lord takes unfaithfulness (unchastity) very seriously. When one spouse is unfaithful and unwilling to reconcile, then the Lord allows for divorce. And when a nonbeliever chooses to leave a believer, then the believer is no longer bound to that person. The believer is free.

But those who are unmarried should not seek a spouse. They should call upon the Lord in their distress and allow Him to meet the need. A great deal of healing is needed after divorce, and this must happen before entering into any new relationship.

I solemnly caution you with reservations, if you have a second chance to marry, because yours is one of the scenarios that God allows and says you are free, and the Lord confirms that He has brought you together with a believing spouse, then treat it like your last chance. And when you get married again, make a commitment before the Lord to be together for the rest of your lives.

If you have never given your life to Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are missing the most important key to a loving marriage. Without Him in the center of your life and your marriage, you cannot experience marriage to the fullest like God intended for you.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article shall be construed as advising anyone to get a divorce or to remarry after divorce. This article was written to the best of my ability based on the Word of God with much thought and prayer, as well as advice from wise and trusted brothers. However, we only know in part, and prophesy in part, so my humble opinions, where stated, could be wrong or incomplete. Therefore, the Holy Scriptures must take precedence over anything I have written, where there appears to be any apparent contradiction.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  

Author's note: Samuel and Emmanuel are not personally connected with this site. Please prayerfully consider their testimonies, and use the Testimony Review Process adopted by this blog, as you decide for yourself whether the Lord has spoken to them.  For issues and concerns, each person must confirm with the Lord, whether something is valid or not. For more information on our position, please see Disclaimers.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Adultery According to Jesus, A Warning for Married Christian Couples, The Forgotten Sin of WorldlinessEzekiel Moses Testimony of Heaven and HellIs Obedience Optional?, Holy Living in a Perverted World, Is Contraception a Sin? -- a Divine Revelation , Avoid Becoming a Corrupted ChristianSins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Restored Truth, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, A Warning to the Nay Sayers, The Ways of Life, and the other posts on the home page. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Is Contraception a Sin?

In this post I'd like to explore the topic of contraception and seek to answer the question whether or not it is a sin. Of course, Scripture is our sole rule of faith, so we will need to examine what the Bible says on this topic in a moment. But let me preface that by giving you five points to consider like the five cute little toes on the healthy, newborn baby's foot pictured to the left.  So snuggle up on the couch with your spouse, perhaps by the fireplace, and read this together prayerfully.

Five Points to Consider
First of all, up until 1930, no Protestant denomination accepted birth control.  It was not until the Anglican Church at that time compromised and endorsed contraceptive use among married couples that this began to slip into the church.  And the Anglicans have also led the charge in numerous other compromises that have led to great sin in the church, such as blessing homosexual couples, and even ordaining homosexual bishops!  So we should beware of following the lead of the Anglican church on any matter, lest we end up way off course like they have become.

There are still perhaps tens of thousands of non-Catholic Christians who firmly believe it is a sin against Almighty Creator God to use contraception. There are even some anti-contraception movements, one of which is called the Quiverfull movement, which derives its name from the words of Ps 127:3-5, where a blessed man's many children are figuratively spoken of as arrows in a full quiver. Therefore, some Quiverfull people prefer to view what they are doing as a return to an old, biblical ideal, rather than a modern movement. Evidence of its ancient Judeo-Christian roots may still be found in modern Orthodox Judaism, in which abstinence is the only permissible birth control method, except for limited circumstances where contraceptive use may be permitted for health reasons (danger to the mother or to the potential child). Even so, the couple must be committed to eventually fulfilling mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply, since they have an obligation to procreate.

Secondly, you can read an excellent, non-biased article about this on Wikipedia, which is a secular-based online encyclopedia in which anyone can write an article and multiple users can contribute to the same article. The article, entitled Protestant Views on Contraception, presents both sides of the matter.  Rather than quote large sections of the article, I strongly recommend reading it. But here are a few brief quotes:

"In general, most liberal Protestants and Anglicans hold relatively settled views that accept [the] use of contraception, while debate is ongoing among conservative Evangelicals, especially as to which types are and are not acceptable...all major early Protestant Reformers, and indeed Protestants in general until the twentieth century, condemned birth control as a contravention of God's procreative purpose for marriage...As scientists advanced birth control methods during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some Protestants continued to reject them...During the 30 years [after the Anglican Church's first statement permitting birth control], Protestant acceptance of birth control steadily increased."

In fact by 1960 the National Council of Churches declared a liberal policy on the use of contraceptives, which they said should be left up to each couple to decide for themselves.  The article further states:

"Highly conservative Protestants such as Mary Pride, Charles D. Provan, Hess and Hess, and Rachel Scott, argue that Protestants should not have moved away from traditional Protestant views of contraception such as given by Martin Luther and John Calvin. Such modern authors contrast the views of early Reformers who rejected contraception with modern Christians who accept it, and point to primarily feminist, secular, or Satanic influences as causative to the change."

Thirdly, there is also an article called Arrows for War by Kathryn Joyce that presents the views of the people who believe contraception is a sin, including some of the unhealthy extremes found within the movement.

Fourthly, there are also books written on this topic. The gold standard seems to be Rick and Jan Hess's 1989 book, A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ, which formed the basis for the establishment of the Quiverfull movement.  According to Kathryn Joyce, the book "argues that God, as the 'Great Physician' and sole 'Birth Controller,' opens and closes the womb on a case-by-case basis. Women's attempts to control their own bodies--the Lord's temple--are a seizure of divine power." (Kathryn Joyce, Arrows for War).

Fifthly, my friend, Yves Nahishakiye in Dublin created a three-and-a-half minute video about this topic, called "God Hates Contraception," which he posted in June 2012, and which is no longer available on the internet since Youtube shut down his account.  The video relies heavily on the passage about Onan, in Genesis 38:9-10, in which he refused to provide offspring for his brother, and instead spilled his seed (semen) on the ground during intercourse with his brother's widow Tamar. He is the only person ever recorded in the Bible to have committed this sin.

Scriptural Basis
The adherents to these viewpoints are seemingly intelligent people who sincerely believe the Bible teaches us that contraception is a sin.  They have based their beliefs on three Scripture passages: Gen 1:28; Gen 38:9-10 (Onan), and Ps 127.

Be Fruitful and Multiply
In the account of Creation, God commanded man to be fruitful and multiply.  The Scripture says, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'"  (Gen 1:27-28). That commandment has never been revoked by God and is still in force today, and it applies to more than just reproduction of babies. It also applies to making disciples, as I have written about it in my article called Multiplication. You can be sure of this: the devil worries when he sees the disciples of Christ multiplying.

The Great Wickedness of Onan
Then there is the controversial account of Er and Onan in Genesis 38.  I realize there are many views about this passage.  And in the past, I have perhaps always viewed the sin of Onan to be that he refused to fulfill his God-given duty to provide offspring for his brother.  At that time, they did not yet have the Law of Moses to teach them this commandment, yet Judah the patriarch knew this was one of the commandments of God since the Creation, and he commanded his son Onan to enable his brother's widow to multiply.

I have always felt that this refusal to procreate for his deceased brother was the great wickedness for which God put him to death, rather than that he simply used a primitive form of contraception.  Tamar had no children at all, and he refused to give her any. To me that seemed to be different from the broader issue of using a method of controlling child birth with one's wife, if other children had been born already or were planned in the future.  So it seemed like a weak Scriptural basis for prohibiting all forms of birth control under any circumstance. But on the other hand, at the most basic level, it is a clear case of man refusing to obey God's command to be fruitful and multiply, which would have been handed down to Judah from Adam with respect to God's original command to be fruitful and multiply. He apparently engaged in sex for purely selfish reasons to satisfy his own physical desire for pleasure.

Children Are Gifts from God
In Psalm 127, it says that children are a gift of the Lord given as a reward to parents.  They are a blessing from the Lord, like arrows in a man's quiver.

"Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate. (Psa 127:1-5)

So children are a gift from God. And it is well known that in any culture it is usually considered rude to refuse a gift from someone.  So it seems the same would apply to refusing a gift from God.  It presents another angle from which to see this from God's viewpoint.  It is not just disobedience to His command (Ge 1:28), but refusal to receive His gifts, precious human beings, which are made in His own image (Ge 1:27).

There are also other Scriptural bases for the position that birth control is sin. Here are some examples.

God Knows, Calls, and Appoints Pre-born Children
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5).

God told Jeremiah that He knew him before He formed him in the womb.  This means that God knows us and calls us to His service before we are even born.  He has had a plan and a purpose for each of our lives from before the foundation of the world, which has the potential to change nations. People are foreordained just as Jeremiah was. As Sharon White wrote about her father in The Man Who Talked with Angels, "God has included you in His great unfolding plan, but He will not violate your will. You can choose to experience the joy and excitement of being in partnership with Him." Therefore, if we abort a fetus, we terminate a human life that God knows and has plans for, and if we prevent the conception of that human being, then we change God's perfect plan.

Let the Little Children Come
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Mt 19:14, NIV). The Lord commanded that we should let little children come to Him without hindering them, and that should include unborn babies, too. The Lord loves little children!  They are the very essence of heaven!

To Welcome a Child is to Welcome Jesus
"Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me." (Mar 9:37)

Your Body is Not Your Own
The apostle Paul also said, "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;" (1 Cor 6:19).  Since your body is not your own, and it belongs to God, then it is up to Him to do with it what He pleases. He should be in control of our bodies and their reproductive process, not us.

Present Your Bodies A Living And Holy Sacrifice
Paul also wrote, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom 12:1). Since we are to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, then we surrender our will to His will and allow Him to do with our bodies whatever He pleases whenever He pleases.

Multiplication is Good Stewardship
In the parable of the talents (Mt 25:14-30), the Master commended as "good and faithful servants" the ones who multiplied the talents they received from Him. However, He condemned as a “wicked, lazy servant” the one who buried his talent in the ground.  While this passage is not specifically about reproduction, it applies to anything God has given us, including money, talents, abilities, gifts, and reproductive seed. The ways of God are the same, regardless of the specific area of life.  Hence, those who multiply their God-given, reproductive seed are considered good and faithful servants, while those who bury their seed are considered wicked and lazy.

The Marriage Bed Must Be Kept Pure
Paul also wrote, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." (Heb 13:4).  We must avoid bringing anything into the marriage bed or doing anything in it that would defile it, which I explained in A Warning for Married Christian Couples.

A Man’s Blessed Fountain Must Be Kept Pure
The Scripture refers to a man’s reproductive organ, and that which flows from it, as a fountain. “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (Prov 5:18). It is God's will to bless a man's fountain, but there are certain conditions that must be met in order for Him to do so. For example, he must keep it pure by avoiding all forms of sexual immorality and other acts that defile it.

Women's Child-Bearing Role 
Paul wrote to Timothy, "But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety." (1Ti 2:15, NIV).  The King James Version has it, "she shall be saved in childbearing." Either way you translate it, you have a clear definition of the woman's role being one of bearing children, while continuing in faith, love, and holiness with propriety.  Since that is her God-given role in marriage, then the modern concept of a woman's role as defined by the liberal, secular feminist movement stands in stark contrast to the biblical one. They view prohibitions on birth control as a means to control female sexuality and independence.

God Opens and Closes the Womb
In the Scriptures, we find that just as children are a blessing from the Lord, barrenness is a curse.  And we learn that it is only God who opens and closes the womb.

“He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!” (Psa 113:9)

“Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb.” (Gen 30:22)

"Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman," says the LORD. Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords And strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations And will resettle the desolate cities. (Isa 54:1-3)

“Sarai was barren; she had no child.” (Gen 11:30)

"Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son." (Gen 18:14)

The Scripture says of Hannah that “The LORD had closed her womb. Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.” (1Sa 1:5b-6,10)

“Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren…Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or else I die.’" (Gen 29:31; 30:1)

“Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived.” (Gen 25:21)

"There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.” (Exo 23:26)

"You shall be blessed above all peoples; there will be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle.” (Deu 7:14)

Also see my articles about the Miraculous Birth of Jesus and The Ways of Life.

Forms of Contraception
There are many forms of birth control today. I will highlight just a few:

Abortion is not actually a form of contraception, or method of preventing conception, but the murder of an unborn baby after it has been conceived in the womb.  This is clearly a sin, since the Lord commands us "You shall not murder." (Ex 20:13). It is estimated that one in four pre-born babies are aborted, and there are approximately 1.21 million abortions in America each year.  The many forms of abortion that are used are horrible and detestable in God's sight. If you have ever committed this sin, then repent and as the Lord to forgive you in the name of Jesus.

Some people also murder babies right after they are born, which is called infanticide and is from the devil.  One type of infanticide is the ancient practice of exposing babies to the elements until they die, which was practiced widely in Greece.  The Israelites also followed the pagan practice of sacrificing their children to Baal, by burning them in the fire on the altar.

The Lord said, "You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire." (Eze 16:21)

"And the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Sepharvaim." (2Ki 17:31)

Another form of infanticide is drowning, as Pharaoh of Egypt once commanded the people to do (Exo 1:22).  Likewise King Herod ordered the slaughter of innocent babies in first-century Palestine around the time of Christ's birth (Mat 2:16).  One thing that both the Lord Jesus and Moses had in common is that God supernaturally rescued them both as babies from attempted infanticide.

God hates the shedding of innocent blood, whether it is in the womb or outside the womb (Proverbs 6:16-19; Deuteronomy 19:10; 2 Kings 24:2-4; Genesis 4:10; Psalm 72:12-14; Ezekiel 35:6)!  If you have ever committed this sin, then repent and as the Lord to forgive you in the name of Jesus.

“Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 18:21)

“The LORD said...‘Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. . . . by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. . . . If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech . . . I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him...” (Leviticus 20:1-5)

Barrier methods are ones which form a barrier that blocks the sperm from reaching the womb, where they would otherwise be able to fertilize the woman's egg.  They include such things as condoms, female condoms (femidoms), intrauterine devices (i.e., IUD, coil), and diaphragms (a cervical cap shaped like a dome that covers the female cervix), which typically also involve a spermicidal gel that inhibits sperm from traveling to the uterus where they could otherwise fertilize an egg. When barriers are used, the semen is captured in the condom or diaphragm and either thrown in the trash can or washed down the drain.  This ultimately has the same net result as spilling a man's seed on the ground as Onan did (Gen 38:9-10).  Incidentally, in Judaism, it is well-established that methods that destroy the seed or block its passage are not permitted, thus condoms are not permitted for birth control.

My wife did some research on the IUD, also known as a coil, which is a device placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. She discovered that this device can cause an abortion, and probably does so more than we realize. While it is not clear how the IUD prevents pregnancy, some articles state that it either prevents ovulation or simply destroys the sperm by means of the copper or hormones contained in it (depending on which type is used). However, what some of these articles do not even mention is that the copper or hormones inside of it cause the thinning in the uterus lining, which prevents an already fertilized egg (which is a living human being) from implanting into the uterus wall so that it can begin to grow and develop.  This is abortion. This device has also been used to abort a fertilized egg after conception, as it is inserted by a physician after intercourse.

Something else to consider about all of these various barriers is that they are artificial, man-made implements that you are putting in your body. In fact, the side effects of using a diaphragm (also called occlusive pessary) include risks of increased vaginal discharge, vaginal irritation, ulceration, bleeding, and dyspareunia (painful intercourse for the male or female).  Likewise, spermicides used with these cervical domes can cause painful irritation during intercourse. You have to pray and ask God whether all these artificial things are the property of satan, in which case you would be defiling the marriage bed by using them. If you have sinned, then repent.

There are also birth control pills, which are hormone-based drugs that prevent a woman from ovulating, or producing an egg. These chemicals keep her from experiencing the normal phases of fertility, so she is unable to conceive a child. But as with all forms of birth control, it is not one hundred percent effective.  It can also result in abortion of a baby within the womb (Ex 20:13), as well as birth defects in the event that a child is born while using the pill or after stopping its use.  It has adverse side-effects on a woman's mind, relationships, and body, and may even lead to breast cancer in women.

Coitus interruptus is also known as the withdrawal or pull-out method, which Onan used to spill his seed on the ground, and for which God struck him dead (Gen 38:9-10). It is understood that this method involves masturbation in order to complete the act. This is also a sin, even if done to you by your spouse, as I wrote about in A Warning for Married Christian Couples.

There are also morning-after pills, which is an emergency form of contraception that causes a spontaneous abortion of the newly conceived child in the womb, when taken the morning after sexual intercourse.  This is also murder, whenever an unborn baby is killed by this chemical.

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure on a woman's fallopian tubes that renders her infertile, so that her eggs can no longer pass from her ovaries each month into her womb. 

Vasectomy is a surgery that renders a man sterile by cutting his vas deferens, so that his semen no longer contains sperm.  In Kathryn Joyce's article, Arrows for War, she tells of a man named Christopher Scott, who was concerned about finances after his wife Rachel gave birth to their fourth child. His pastor was urging him to get a vasectomy.  Christopher saw a warrior angel in his dream. A "large...warrior angel" with a flaming sword that he pointed at Christopher's genitals, telling him, "Do not change God's plan." Afterward I assume he cancelled the surgery, because his wife became a Quiverfull activist.

Natural Family Planning
Natural Family Planning (NFP) involves a woman daily tracking on a chart throughout each month her signs and symptoms, such as basal body temperature, mucous secretions, and number of days since her last menstruation, in order to determine when she is fertile. There is a rhythm of sterility and fertility, and women only ovulate once per menstrual cycle. So the couple can determine to either avoid sexual relations when she is fertile, or else target those fertile days, if they are trying to get pregnant. 

This method is based on abstinence and self-control, against which there is no law. Even the apostle Paul said that there are times where a married couple may agree to abstain from sexual relations for a period of time for the purpose of devotion to prayer (1 Cor 7:5).

I personally don't really see anything wrong with this method, as long as it is not used to completely prevent having any children, and is rather used to wisely plan the timing of when they are conceived, as well as the size of the family. We have used this method ourselves

My Own Journey and Opinion
Len Lacroix as a baby in 1966
I have been married for twenty-one years to my lovely wife Jennifer, and we have five precious children, who are all gifts from God.  We are so thankful for each one of them, and they are truly blessings to us. They glorify the Lord in so many ways both privately and publicly, such as their lovely artwork and poems posted on A Brush with Life and Verses to the King. In fact, I am writing this article on the sixth birthday of our fifth child, and on my twenty-ninth spiritual birthday.

I myself am the youngest of nine children. When I was a teenager, I once wished I had never been born. But when I later came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, The Truth Set Me Free! I was filled with love, joy, and thanks to God for giving me life! Sometimes in our moments of spiritual blindness, we question God's wisdom in creating us or other human beings, but when we enter into His presence we see His perfect wisdom in it all.

I very clearly recall the day in the summer of 2008 when Jennifer informed me that she was pregnant with our fifth child, which was a surprise due to contraceptive failure.  We had sold our home and most of our other property in 2006 in preparation to go overseas as missionaries.  We had moved into a two-bedroom apartment with all four of our children in one room and my own office squeezed into our bedroom.  I had left the lucrative corporate world, and we were living on savings, as well as a meager income from a new self-employed marketing job I was doing from home. In the two years since we began preparing to go to the mission field, we had been unable to raise more than a small percentage of our necessary financial support.

Now we were at the point where we had to make a decision to go or not to go to the mission field of Eastern Europe, which we knew God had called us to.  And I was already worried we wouldn't be able to go due to our terrible financial situation.  So when Jennifer shared the news of her fifth pregnancy with me, I battled with intense spiritual warfare.  The devil tried to bind me with fear, doubt, and unbelief.  I suddenly felt so depressed! The battle lasted about two hours, during which time I was mostly silent. But in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord made me victorious that day!

I overcame those temptations with the Lord's help as I began to do what I knew the Scripture commanded me to do. It says to give thanks in all things and praise the Lord at all times. So I repented for giving place to the enemy and not being joyful when Jennifer told me the good news of her pregnancy.  Then I told her that we needed to just begin to thank God and praise Him with all our hearts for everything we could think of, including this child in her womb.  As we did, the Lord lifted me out of the pit and set my feet on the rock to stay.  Hallelujah! I found strength in the Lord my God! The darkness lifted as the demons departed from me. 

As it was, we later prayed and fasted about whether to go to the mission field, and the Lord clearly told us He would support us, and that we should just go.  So when our board heard that, they unanimously approved us to go, which we did in October 2008 (without having the necessary financial support).  The baby was born in Hungary in 2009, and the Lord provided for the entire childbirth.  We lacked nothing and He has continued to provide for us since then.  We are so thankful for that child and he brings so much joy to our lives.  I hope that testimony encourages someone who may be worried that they cannot afford to have children.  God always provides.

Therefore, I humbly submit to you that even if someone does not share this point of view, they should not say it is of the devil simply because they don't believe it.  They should understand that it is a sincerely held belief of tens of thousands of Christians, just as they hold their own sincere belief that contraception is not a sin.  And we will all have to give an account to God for our actions.

In fact, the belief that contraception is a sin was the original view of the Church, based on the divine revelation of God's inspired Word, and the acceptance of birth control only came within the past hundred years, during the twentieth century. The acceptance of birth control within the Church all began with a compromise by the liberal, Anglican Church. And if the Church had not followed their lead, it would not have ever gone astray from its historical viewpoint on birth control. 

The Bible as a whole speaks of contraception and infertility in negative terms. So if contraception is not good, why do it? If infertility is not good, why induce it artificially? Usually it is because we see some immediate or long-term advantage, or because of fear, doubt, and unbelief. Yet we fail to remember that the Lord is our Helper and the One who sustains us.  He is our Provider. He gently leads those with young.  Contraception and infertility are not gifts from God, but rather children are gifts from Him. He has commanded us to be fruitful and multiply.

So this anti-contraception message should not be viewed as new, eccentric, heretical, demonic, or what have you, but as another point of view that may in fact be the truth. And it may be that the false view from satan is the one that allows contraception and says it is not a sin. He is the sly devil who always tells people that what God says is sin is not a sin.  So it is the ones who are claiming that artificial contraception is not a sin who should be viewed as defending the devil. They are actually the real newcomers on the block.

Since this is a very serious matter that could have eternal consequences for your soul and that of your spouse, you owe it to yourself to take this to the Lord in prayer and be sure you hear from Him on it. Pray that the Holy Spirit will expose anything hidden in your life that must go. Repent and believe, for the kingdom of heaven is near. Jesus Christ is coming right away, but He is only coming for the holy ones, so we need to prepare ourselves. Any changes you make should be out of total love for Jesus, understanding Who He is and who you are in Him. Your attitude should be that because you love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, you will do whatever pleases Him by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Most other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted. "Jesus Loves the Little Children," "Little Precious Ones," and "All God's Children" © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist. The images of the baby's foot in Daddy's hand and the baby on Daddy's rocking chair are property of Leonard Lacroix and may not be used without permission. The image of the baby's hand is from an unknown source found online. If you know the source, or if it is yours, please notify me so I may give proper credit.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like God's Amazing Plan for Your LifeA Warning for Married Christian Couples, Fearfully and Wonderfully MadeMultiplication, The Ways of Life, The Rise of Antichrists, Ibrahim's Experience in Hell, The Judgment Seat of Christ, Miraculous Birth of Jesus, A Trip to Hell, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Ezekiel Moses Testimony of Heaven and Hell, Is Obedience Optional?, Holy Living in a Perverted World, Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian, An Open Mind that Loves the Truth, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Restored Truth, Pleasing the Lord, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, A Warning to the Nay Sayers, and the other posts on the home page. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Life After Death

Brother James Agboola
I wrote in my recent article James Agboola Revelation of Heaven and Hell, of a testimony from a brother who actually died and came back to tell about it. His spirit came out of his body and he went to the place where others have gone and never come back.  From this brother’s testimony there are a number of lessons about three different topics, including the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of darkness, and life after death.  In this article, I will use his own words in summary of the lessons learned about the last of those three topics -- life after death.

James was also shown about life after death. Just because your name is in the Book of Life does not mean it can never be removed if you go back to the world.  If your Bible becomes covered with dust, and you begin to forsake the assembling of yourselves together for worship and preaching of the Word of God, the breaking of bread and prayer, and you begin to make friends with the world, you are going out of the way.  You may not even realize it, but it’s true.  You are qualifying yourself to be an outcast.

For the moment you die, immediately a road will appear and you will enter the road. Immediately as your spirit goes out of the body, you will proceed on the road.  And the only thing that will come to your memory is the Word of God. Every word that is in the Bible, everything we have heard from the Bible is what will come to you as a witness. “Thou shall remember the Lord your God. Thou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your substance. Be ye holy, for I am holy. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not commit fornication.” Every word of God is what will keep coming to you fresh.

There are a lot of people, a crowd of people all marching in one direction, both man and woman, both young and old facing the same direction. As they are going, it’s every man for himself. Nobody can stand for you.  Nobody can speak on your behalf. You are on your own. Everybody keeps moving toward the judgment of separation. There is a junction where the road splits in two. On the right side, the road has a very narrow gate, and the road inside was narrow.  On the left is a very big gate. The road is broad and wide. Narrow is the way that leads to the Kingdom of God. Broad and wide is the way that leads to hell and destruction.

You may be a Christian now before you die, and you know that where you’re supposed to go is the narrow gate, because your Bible has told you that narrow is the way that leads to the Kingdom of God. You know you should enter by the narrow gate, for that is where you belong, but if you don’t live for the Lord and run the race properly, you will not be able to enter that narrow gate when you come to the junction. You will have no control over your own two legs.  Keep in mind that very few people pass on the narrow road, but there are throngs of people on the wide road.  As they approach hell, both young and old, they are wailing, crying in torment, pleading for forgiveness, repenting, in great torment.  As they get closer to the pit of hell, their cries become louder, as they are begging Jesus Christ for a second chance, because now they believe that truly hell exists. Now they believe that truly, all the things God hates are true. Now they have believed. They are ready to make a change. Just for a second, for them to go back and change. But God said it’s too late.

The Lord showed James that many of those people in hell are those who called themselves so-called ‘Christians.’ While on earth they claimed holiness and righteousness. But because of what they considered “little, little, little, little things, small, small, small things,” which they said “it doesn’t matter,” that is why many of them are in hell. Now they believe. They want to change. But it’s too late. It is too late. When the Lord Jesus Christ created man, He created man in His own image. And His glory was upon him. But His enemy, the devil, has now added a lot of packaging, packaging of the glory He gave man, packaging of earrings, necklaces, attachments, all of them. God says, “My eye cannot behold it once anything artificial.” When the Lord created women, He did not put a hole in their ear. But they have put one there by themselves, which God did not put there. Once anything artificial has been added, no matter what it is, His face cannot look at them. His face cannot behold them.  And as for those who end up in hell, they will be set free on the day, on any day that the Lord Jesus Christ will cease to be God. That is the day they will be set free from hell. So, on the day He will cease to be God, that is the day they will be set free from hell.  There is no more hope for them.

The coming of the Lord is not soon anymore. He is coming now. He has waited for so long. He is coming now. Prepare for His coming. Without holiness, no one will enter the Kingdom of God, no matter what they do. Walk before Him and be thou perfect. Even if you have been saved, you have to keep running.

If you are a Christian who has backslidden, don’t let the devil rejoice over you, that you now fall in the hand of the devil. Carry your Bible. Open to Psalm 51. Begin to pray. Read it and begin to pray for mercy. Continue to ask God for mercy. Continue to ask God for mercy.

The Lord is so merciful! Heaven is real. Hell is real. People are dying in their thousands and going to hell.  Anyone who has experienced hell would not even wish their worst enemy on earth to go to that place where they are weeping, crying, waiting for another chance to repent, and it is too late.

The Lord gave brother James a second chance in order to warn us of that horrible place. Tell God now, “I surrender all.” He will care for you. He knows what we need. God loves us. God cares for us. There is no other love like His. So let us hold fast our faith. Let us hold fast that which God has said in the Bible and believe. And God will see us through.

Author's note: James is not personally connected with this site. Please prayerfully listen to this brother's testimony, James Agboola Revelation of Heaven and Hell, and use the Testimony Review Process adopted by this blog, as you decide for yourself whether the Lord has spoken to him.  For issues and concerns, each person must confirm with the Lord, whether something is valid or not. For more information on our position, please see Disclaimers.

You are invited to read or listen to my other related articles called The Marine Kingdom and Queen of the Coast, Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?, Seven Reasons to Believe the Seven Divine Revelations, An Open Mind that Loves the Truth, The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught, Separation from the World, The Rise of Antichrists, and my daughter's lovely poem Beauty Unfading. You may access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

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Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.