Christian Crossroads

david roger 2016 dragoonRoger Lanse is providing the material for this column, which will be posted on an irregular basis. Roger Lanse moved to Grant County with his wife, Ellen, in 1979. They now live in Arenas Valley and attend Bible Baptist Church of Silver City.

Archeological discoveries have confirmed Old Testament references to the practice of sacrificing children to pagan gods, whether to Baal, Molech, Chemosh, or some other foul deity. 

The Bible records that God expressly forbade the Israelites to cause “their sons and daughters to pass through the fire.” God promised death, not only to those who did so, but also to those who sanctioned the practice.

Today, almost anyone met on the street would say the thought of sacrificing a child to any god was appalling and horrific, yet for the years 1973-2017, an estimated 60 million unborn children have been sacrificed to the god of self.

In Matthew Chapter 9, Mark Chapter 2, and Luke Chapter 5, we find the account of Jesus healing a man who couldn’t walk. The three authors, each in their own style, describe how four men brought the paralytic on a bed to the house where Jesus was preaching. Because they couldn’t reach Jesus for the crowd, they climbed to the roof, removed tiles, and lowered the paralytic down to Jesus through the hole they had made.

Jesus’ reaction was to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven.”

In the Bible’s Book of Romans, we are told that no one is free from sin. That’s every person who ever lived, is living, or will live. And, because God hates sin, we are excluded from heaven being the sinners we are.

This bad news only gets worse as the Book of Romans warns us that our sin has earned us death. Not only are we excluded from heaven; we are destined for hell. Forever apart from God and His love and goodness.

What happens to me when I die?

By Roger Lanse

You know, I’ve never known anyone to come back from death and tell me what it’s like on the other side. You probably haven’t either. So, how do we know what happens when we step out of here into eternity?

According to the Bible, yes, there is. Even though many people don’t believe in hell, God in His Word confirms its existence.

Hell is described in various places in the Old Testament as a place of sorrows, corruption, affliction, and judgment; distresses, destruction and disaster – a place you don’t want to go.

We receive even more unpleasant portrayals in the New Testament describing hell as a fire that is eternal and unquenchable, a lake of fire and brimstone, a furnace of fire, an outer darkness, and an everlasting punishment.

You may have seen ‘John 3:16’ displayed at various sporting events. My own recollection is seeing the verse often displayed on signs behind NFL end-zones just before an extra point or field goal is kicked. Why?

Because, John 3:16 encapsulates the Bible’s gospel message. The New King James version of the verse goes, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

By Roger Lanse

All we can know for sure about heaven is what the Bible tells us. Other than God’s Word, everything else is speculation.

We know from the Bible that God’s throne is in heaven and that other thrones are there for 24 elders clothed in white robes with golden crowns on their heads. We know a great multitude of angels are there also clothed in white robes and with palm branches in their hands. This multitude serves God continually. Many other features of heaven that defy imagination are described in the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation.

By Roger Lanse

The Bible tells us there are three heavens. The first heaven refers to our atmosphere where birds fly and airplanes travel. The second is further out where the moon, sun, stars and black holes live and a few rockets have entered. The third heaven is where God dwells. Now, that doesn’t mean God is an absentee landlord, because He also lives right next to each one of us, readily available 24/7.

While no exact geographical location for heaven is given us in God’s Word, it seems that heaven is up. The Bible says the Lord looks down from heaven and that heaven is above. The Bible talks about ascending to heaven and descending from heaven. The Bible mentions manna raining from heaven and Satan falling like lightning from heaven.

Although we can’t see heaven with our technology, heaven is a real place, else Jesus would not have said He goes there to prepare a place for us. He said there are many mansions in heaven, and He said He would have told us if that wasn’t true.

One day, heaven will no longer be ‘up there.’ It will be ‘down here.’ The Bible tells us the first earth and the first heaven will pass away, and, in its place, will be a new heaven and a new earth and the holy city, New Jerusalem, will come down out of heaven from God.

Heaven is real, and it awaits those who have placed their trust in God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.