Daily Devotional for Friday March 8, 2013
The Death of Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, with the legitimate worry that one day America may suffer a financial collapse, what stand should believers be prepared to take against those who might choose to exploit them if a break down in law and order occurs? Should believers adopt the typical armed and ready "prepper" mentality that many are encouraging? Should believers be prepared to use force of arms to repel those who would plunder them?
ANSWER: The Bible clearly teaches us to be prepared. It also clearly teaches moderation. Those who are so consumed with "prepping," are not living their life, but preparing for a life that may never come. The key is to live today, don't fear tomorrow, but do your best to prepare for changes that may come. If Beck and the other doom and gloomers who are making tens of millions off of scaring people are right, and there is a total collapse of the financial system, there is very little you will be able to do. Whatever food you store, no matter how many guns and bullets you buy, they will be gone sooner than later. I refuse to live in fear or with an apocalyptic mindset. I have chosen to prepare to some extent, but focus instead on living each day to its fullest, since the fact is tomorrow is promised to NONE of us. At some point, our faith in the Lord has to become our strenght and hope regardless what things may look like.
Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, a socialist and Marxist sympathizer, died the other day after a long bout with cancer. While a staunch enemy of the United States, Chavez who grew up in the Catholic Church as an altar boy, publicly spoke about God and Jesus over the last few years in his fight with cancer. Even some of the world's most vile people, when confronted with their own mortality, turn to God!
Chávez describes himself as Catholic, but his religious beliefs are eclectic. He has at times also expressed faith in folk deities such as María Lionza, an indigenous goddess venerated by some Venezuelans who pay homage through candlelit rituals.
The question of course, when Hugo Chavez took his last breath and stood before God, is he now in heaven or hell for all eternity? Of course, only ONE thing determines the fate of our eternal souls, and that is what we CHOSE to do with Jesus. Only God knows the heart of men, including Chavez, but in the end, if he had asked forgiveness of his sins and accepted Christ by faith, the Bible says he will be forever in Heaven. If he did not do that, the Bible says he is forever in hell.
My friend, death is the great equalizer. I have no doubt that the second Hugo Chavez passed from this life into eternity, there was a man in some part of this world that was also dying. He was a man who had clearly accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. However, this man was NOT the ruler of a nation. This man had NO wealth in his lifetime. This man was UNKNOWN to the world. Yet, the moment this man died, he too, was standing before God his Creator just like Hugo Chavez.
At that moment when this life is over and we are before God, there is only ONE question, DO YOU KNOW JESUS???
You see my friend, it was God's plan to send Jesus to die for your sins, since it is your sins that separate you from a holy God. THAT is why, ONLY faith in Jesus Christ will save you and allow you to spend eternity with the God who created you. It was JESUS that God sent to this earth in an immaculate way to be without the sin we inherited from Adam. It was Jesus who lived a sinless life so that He could go to a cross 2,000 years ago and give His life as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. On the third day, Jesus was resurrected by God and is ALIVE TODAY!!!
What is most important to us is a challenge that we face each day during this life. No matter how old we may get, the FACT IS, one day we will all die. Even if we lived to be 200, that is but a blip in relation to eternity. Are we simply living for these few years we have in this life, or are we living this life for the eternity that we will all face?
I love you and care about you so much. While you may not ever rule a nation, and may not have the great wealth Hugo Chavez had, the fact is that you can get caught up in living for the temporal pleasures of this life and miss eternity. You can get caught up with having "things" and not having Jesus.
I pray today that you will take a moment and ask yourself this one question. If I die in the next minute, will I spend my eternity with God, my creator? If you can not emphatically and with 100% certainty say YES, if you have ANY DOUBTS AT ALL, then take a moment and pray, then go to this link: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm
YOU DO NOT EVER HAVE TO DOUBT AGAIN WHERE YOUR ETERNITY WILL BE SPENT IF YOU TAKE A MOMENT TO PRAY, WATCH THE SHORT VIDEO, AND ACCEPT JESUS INTO YOUR HEART BY FAITH TODAY!!!
DO YOU KNOW JESUS???? Today, YOU can settle that issue and never doubt where YOUR eternity will be spent!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,