After Hours Ministries Apologetics
Victory in Voting
by Sharon Melvin
As a Christian, the bible commands us to be a good citizen (Romans 13:1-2, Titus 3:1). Part of being a good citizen is to vote during election time. How we vote should be based on biblical principles and not on a political party. A true Christian’s allegiance is to God and His kingdom and not to a democratic, republican, or libertarian party. Therefore, we should pray before we vote, and in good conscience before God cast our vote how we are led.
Even though we are selecting a person’s name on the ballot, we are not really voting for a person. We are voting for policies and laws that the candidate stands for and will implement once in office. These will determine how this country will be run, how our lives will be affected, and what freedoms we will have, or what freedoms we will no longer have.
So, we need to know where each candidate stands on issues and then see what the bible says in relation to these stances. There are many issues being voted on this election and I will mention a few of them: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, abortion on demand and federal funding, the “equality act” and sexual orientation gender identity laws (SOGI), and social justice issues. There are many others that you can research. I recommend going to the website myfaithvotes.org. It is simple to use and an excellent site.
There are vast differences in the stance that the presidential candidates have on these issues. We need to know what they are and what the bible says about them.
The bible says that if we are a nation under God, we will be blessed (Psalm 33:12). To be a nation under God means we must live by His principles and His rule. One such principle is to regard the sanctity of life (Genesis 9:6). According to Matthew 1:20, life begins at conception and grows because it is alive and brings forth a child, in this case a Son. Some other scripture references you can look at pertaining to life are found in Psalm 22:9-10; 139:13-14, Isaiah 49:1, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Galatians 1:15-16.
The “equality act” and SOGI laws is blatant rebellion and mockery towards God. God created us in His image. Male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27). That cannot be changed. No doctor, no surgery, no medicine, no feeling, wish, or desire can change the sex of a person that God created. This is Satan’s plan to undermine and destroy individuals and the family. If the family is destroyed, as God ordained the family, then society will also be gone and nothing, but confusion and chaos will ensue.
In Job 31:15 it says the same God who created you and me, created every other human being, as well. Prejudice and discrimination against others have no place in the life of a Christian. (Psalm 89:14).
So, prayerfully consider the issues at hand before you vote. I understand that some are not planning to vote maybe because you don’t like either person, but remember you’re not really voting for a person. You are voting for policies and laws that will determine if America will be a nation under God and be blessed or a nation that rejects God and suffers the consequences. So, go to the voting polls and if you have to, hold your nose, but make sure you do cast your vote.
Remember the story of Esther? Esther didn’t want to approach the king because she feared for her life. If she didn’t approach the king, though, God would still establish his plan and she and her father’s house would perish. It is God who appoints kings (Romans 13:1, Daniel 2:21), but we are still to do our part, participate, vote, and see who God appoints.
But Seek First The Kingdom Of God
by Sharon Melvin
The word of God is true and these verses in Malachi 3:10-11 seem simple enough to understand: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field. Says the Lord of hosts.” NKJV
Why is it then that so many Christians that tithe do not have the windows of heaven opened and a blessing poured out that they don’t have room enough to receive it and that the devourer isn’t being rebuked in their lives? In fact, the devourer is having some success in devouring them!
Jesus died on the cross and took with Him the sin of every person that has ever lived or ever will live. He gave us right standing with God because He became our righteousness by His sacrifice on the cross. When God looks at us, He sees Jesus because He is our righteousness. He also conquered death by rising from the dead with mighty power (dunamis). He won the victory over sin, death, and the works of the enemy all for us, and He restored our right standing with God by becoming our righteousness. He did it all. There is nothing else to be done. There is nothing anyone can do to add to this. Jesus said it is finished when he breathed His last. He has won the victory in every area for us. Victory has already been provided; all we need to do is walk in it. How?
The reason God made a way for us to have right standing before Him through the blood of Jesus is because He loves us, and desires to have a relationship with each one of us. Since He loves us, He would like each one of us to love Him, also. Just like if you love somebody, you would really like it if they loved you in return. If we have this love for God, obedience to Him will result. John 14:15 says: If you love Me, keep My commandments. In other words, if you love Me, you will obey Me.
In regard to tithing, (which scripture clearly instructs us to do) it isn’t the actual tithe that God is looking for. (He actually doesn’t need it.) He is looking for our obedience that comes from our love for Him. We want to give because we love Him and are so grateful. We can’t wait to do it. We just really love God and want to be obedient to Him. We are not giving in order to get. Although, there are promises of blessing, our attitude needs to reflect 2 Corinthians 9:7 which says: So, let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. We’re not even thinking of the blessings promised to us. We’re just happy, excited, and cheerful to be obedient to God because we love Him.
Remember, there is nothing more that can be done to have favor or victory because Jesus did it all. We can’t sacrifice anything, do a good deed or even plant a seed (as some teachings teach) unless God tells us to do these things because it’s obedience that He wants.
There’s lots of biblical stories where people experienced victory in their situations because they were obedient to God. One story is with Joshua when the walls came down. It wasn’t because he marched around the city seven times and blew the trumpet. It’s because he did what God told him to do. The victory was already won. He just had to walk through it (Joshua chapter 6). Noah and the ark is another example. God provided a way to save Noah and his family. All Noah had to do was be obedient to God. It wasn’t the ark that saved Noah and his family. Noah had favor and blessing from God because of his obedience and therefore, he was saved from the flood (Genesis chapter 6).
It’s the same in seeing victory in our own lives. We just need to be obedient to God. The victory has already been won!
Q & A about Eternity
From time to time questions concerning eternity come up. Such as: How is it possible to be perfectly happy when there are some dear friends and loved ones who are in hell and how can the people in heaven deal with it?
After ones the things of earth fade. You have no concerns like these. Seeing Jesus, smelling heaven, the glory of the presence of God does something amazing.
One comes into a full and complete understanding of all things. All things are made clear so much so that one will not be concerned about such matter the question poses.
I understand that now, that this is a difficult to grasp. There is no way I can, or anyone can adequately explain this due to human bias that somehow God is wrong in such matters and that none in heaven could ever be happy knowing loved ones miss it.
Consider what the import of this sort of reasoning suggest. We do not know each other; nor do we even know a loved one’s true heart or condition. Nor do we know the depths of human sin nature that commands God accept us at all cost or else we do want God so God must do it our way or it is the highway.
What you see and understand is all revealed when God shows you in an instant all the times, He reached for them and they refused, absolutely. With that deep sort understanding there will be no sorrow nor unhappiness. I know this is hard to fathom.
The eternal perspective for mortal beings who have not encountered it is almost impossible to convey. We think such concern exists when it does not. The moment one passes, such thoughts have no concern because all is revealed. There is no sorrow or sadness in the current heaven in the ne new which is to come.
Seeing, smelling, tasting the peaceful presence of God’s Glory in heaven, with full understanding one receives by being Born Again by the Blood of the Cross of Jesus, leaving the body, traversing into Heaven – one has no alarm nor any sorrow about anyone left behind. You are headed home.
Even these words are inadequate because or mortal reasoning at this time cannot see, nor know what all God knows. However, rest assured – those in heaven have no concern or grief or sadness over such matters. They have entered a state of full understanding in a degree that way outshines anything we can think of now.
Next Question that bothers people goes like this: how can God stand knowing all the details of all the millions / billions who have rejected Him and are going to be there forever?
My Response: Only God knows this. He grieved and sent Jesus to us to wake us up. He paid our sin debt in full. One can return to God’s love proven or freely reject it. People can become foolish measuring God’s love by our human standards and definition.
The Lord makes the rain fall on the just and unjust and always reaches out for people. God’s love reaches and does not force, and it woos but does not seduce. His love does not rejoice with iniquity and for those who do not want who he his or accept his gift - He will not allow into heaven because they proved in this life their faithlessness to his great love.
Faith contains in its definition when meaning of commitment, fidelity, loyalty because one has been won over. God’s love gives and makes the rain fall on just and unjust. He freely gives to all, life. He proved his love by sending Jesus Christ to us to redeem us and free us of sin and deaths control but not all will love him in return nor want to be faithful.
Faith works by love. Love for God shows to God one will be faithful to him who is faithful. Whom you love, you have faith in them and ‘they’ towards you.
To have true agape love one has faith-loyalty – commitment toward the one loved but when the one loved has no faith -loyalty – commitment towards the one who loves – such love is hollow and manipulative. Therefore, how could that love really ‘be’ trustworthy forever?
Only option open is to give them what they want – a place without God. I know that this will not make much sense to folks but think on it. Ask the Lord to reveal how he sees this matter. God’s ways are way beyond what our minds can conceive. This world is a test of love – who owns your heart – has your faith (fidelity, commitment, loyalty)?
Why would God want to live with those who proven they do not want him? Allowing them entrance into heaven would be unjust to those like that. If allowed heaven would no longer be heaven.
God wins our heart in this mortal life not by coercion but engaging free moral will he gave us – which proves he is just to all. Human beings love to find fault with God but in reality, no one can find fault, especially after they enter eternity with full understanding.