How to Overcome Fear According to the Bible

9/28/2019 10 Comments

How to overcome fear according to the Scriptures

Distressful events that happen in a person’s life, especially if they happen during childhood, normally leave a negative impact on his outlook in life, on his impression of other people, on his attitude, and in some other aspects of his personality. More specifically, he usually develops fear and anxiety, and distrust towards other people.

Examples of these distressful or traumatic events are death of a loved one, domestic abuse – be it verbal, physical, or emotional, separation of parents, natural calamities, and rape, among others. And indeed, it takes time before one is able to recover from these experiences.

A young girl, for instance, who had been sexually abused by her own father, or by her step-father, would find it difficult to forget and get over that hateful experience. It’s not only fear and distrust in every man that is developed in the victim but also the feeling that all men are bad. What is worse, there is the possibility that she might think that God has allowed such loathsome thing to happen to an innocent child like her.

And these negative thoughts and feelings will not be readily erased unless she gets a strong support system and unless she learns the ways on how to overcome such fear from biblical pronouncements.

First of all, the Bible tells us that there are six or seven things that are abomination to God.

PROVERBS 6:16-17 (KJV) says,

16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Let us pay special attention to that portion, “that shed innocent blood.” The term “innocent blood” does not only refer to somebody who is not sinful, or somebody who is not guilty of something. In the Bible, “innocent blood” was first applied to children.

PSALMS 106:38 (KJV) says,

And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.

This verse proves that the Bible used the word “innocent blood” to refer first to the children, to the babies that some Israelites offered to their idols in the land of Canaan. To sacrifice children or to let them pass unto fire to be sacrificial offerings to false gods is an abomination to the Lord.

JEREMIAH 19:5 (KJV) says,

They have built also the places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

The Lord confessed that such an abominable act did not even enter His mind; and He did not even think that the Israelites, His own people, would do such thing because He had shown them too much compassion, especially to the children. Hence, during the time of Solomon, relative to what happened in Canaan, the six or seven things that are hateful to God were written.

PROVERBS 6:16-19 (KJV)

16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

There are seven things that are unforgivable for God; they are abominations in His sight. And one of them is the shedding of innocent blood, or abusing children. So, definitely, abusing children is against the will of God.

But how can a victim of an abuse be able to overcome the fear, or the trauma it created? The answer is simple: Trust in God. Trust God because God protects them that trust in Him.

If you are that person who had been abused, sexually or otherwise, during your childhood, try to look at it from a different perspective. Maybe that thing happened to make you more God-fearing and more trusting in God.

The Bible tells us that if we are children of God and if we will trust in Him, He will never leave us.

HEBREWS 13:5 (KJV) says,

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

God promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” However, it doesn’t mean that when a young girl was raped, or something bad was done to her, God has forsaken her. No, no! Let us not look at it that way. Do not forget, GOD CARES!

1 PETER 5:7 (RSV) says,

Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.

Maybe we cannot see God caring for us personally because He is a Spirit but He works in a silent manner. Actually, the reason why we are still alive is because God cares for us. And the clearer manifestation that He cares for us is, He calls and makes members of the Church of God even those who became victims of abuses during their childhood.

ISAIAH 41:4 (KJV) says,

Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginnings? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he.

It is God who calls from the beginning to the last generation. And when God calls a person, he is called into the Church.

As written in 1 CORINTHIANS 1:9, 2 (KJV),

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his son Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Unto the church of God which is in Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, . . .

The word “church” or “ekklēsía” in Greek means the calling out. Wherever you may have come from, if it is God that calls you, He calls you unto the fellowship of His Son in the Church of God, like what happened to the brethren in Corinth. They were called in the Church to be saints.

Why am I mentioning this? If a woman who happened to have experienced a traumatic incident in her childhood becomes a member of the Church of God, it means that God called her unto the fellowship of His Son. So, if she believes that she was called by God and God cares for her, and if she loves God, all the deep-seated fear in her caused by an unpleasant experience will all vanish.

1 JOHN 4:18 (KJV) says,

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

If you will develop the love for God foremost of all, and also love for your fellowmen, even for your enemies, the word of God which says, There is no fear in love, will not fail. The moment you acquire the virtue of loving God above all and your fellowmen, you become under God’s protection.

If you love you have nothing to fear because that very love that you are feeling is God.

1 JOHN 4:8,16 (KJV) says,

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath for us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Have the love that the Bible teaches and you will not fear anymore. Be steadfast in faith, learn how to forgive, and trust in God’s power that will take care of you.

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 (KJV) says,

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Instead of fear, you will experience peace. Not just an ordinary peace but the peace of God which passeth all understanding. The peace of God transcends all understanding on earth; it shall keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

You have nothing to fear if you love God. God is all-powerful that He will protect you from all harms and abuses.

Speaking of God’s protection and deliverance, I, myself, have experienced lots of it in many occasions. One instance was when leaders of one religious organization tasked a member of their liquidation squad to assassinate me. The assassin went in one of our congregational gatherings and he was just waiting for the right moment to carry out his mission. As it was my practice to walk closer to my audience while preaching, unknowingly, I came quite near to where my supposed assassin was. He was all set to assault me. But when he was already standing at my side, he couldn’t execute his plan because, all of a sudden, he couldn’t see me. I got lost from his sight but I was actually there being seen by everybody, yet he couldn’t see me. So the assassination plot did not materialize. He, himself, confessed it to us later on because he eventually got converted and became a member of the Church.

Another instance was when a group of NBI agents went to our central office to apprehend me for a libel case that was filed by our enemy in faith. What I considered a miracle was, when I was alighting from my car, an NBI agent approached me and asked me, “Where is Soriano? Where is Soriano?” How can that be, I asked myself. Isn’t it that most of the time arresting officers have photos of the person that they are going to arrest? How come was he asking me “Where is Soriano?” So I told him I do not know, and I calmly got off my car and went straight to my office. In other words, they were not able to arrest me because they couldn’t find the Soriano that they were looking for, who in truth was the very man whom they asked, “Where is Soriano?”

There was also a time when the officers who were supposed to arrest me called me up to tell me that they were coming for my arrest. Somehow they were indirectly giving me a signal to leave right away because they were coming. They did not hesitate to forewarn me because they know that I am not an evil person.

All of those are wonderful works of God. They are His acts of deliverance.

What might have really happened? Maybe just like what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah when some men were trying to get the two angels in the house of Lot. They were blinded so as not to see the men, who were actually angels, that they wanted to get and rape.

Those maybe are simple miracles but they mean a lot.

The Bible tells us not to fear because we have a keeper, and our keeper is the peace of God. And all our fears, whether they were caused by some distressful experiences in the past or by some other factors, will be dispelled if we trust in God and if we love God above all else.

May God bless us all!

10 comments:

Everybody Is Welcome in the Church of God

9/20/2019 12 Comments

The true Church of God is open for all

At certain points in a person’s life, he surely must have experienced being discriminated, or being treated unfairly and differently by others for different reasons.

Sometimes a person is discriminated because of his race, religion, lowly standing in society, educational attainment, gender identity, and physical appearance. Others, on the other hand, get discriminated if they are found to have a contagious disease, or if they happened to have an unsavory past, like having done foolish things before, or having a child out of wedlock.

But whatever the case may be, it is wrong to discriminate people. Unfortunately though, discrimination is practiced not only among individuals who regard themselves better and more superior than the rest but also in institutions that are supposed to promote equity and fairness, like religion, for instance.

Indeed there are really religions that practice discrimination. They do not treat all people fairly. They give special treatment to the rich and famous while they give a cold shoulder treatment to the poor and to people whom they perceive to have a “not-so-good” reputation in society.

As we are guided by the word of God, we, in the Church of God, do not practice discrimination. We treat people with fairness and kindness, and we give them the best accommodation we can regardless of whether they are rich and educated, or poor, illiterate, shabbily dressed, physically challenged, etc. They are all welcome in the Church of God.

For one, the Bible tells us that God does not discriminate people.

ROMANS 2:11 (KJV) says,

For there is no respect of persons with God.

Meaning, God does not play favorites; He does not practice favoritism. Not only God the Father but also the Son. Like the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ also treats all people with fairness. JAMES 2:1 (KJV) says,

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

We must treat people fairly because all people were created by God. All of us are His creations and in His eyes we are all important. That is why 1 TIMOTHY 2:4 says, “it is God’s will that all men be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

The fact that God wants all men to be saved is a proof of how much He loves every man – irrespective of his condition in life. And He is giving all men an equal chance to salvation.

2 PETER 3:9 (KJV) says,

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but his longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God does not want even one man to perish; what He wants is for all men to come to repentance and be saved.

In the true church, the Church of God, we treat each other equally. This way, we are able to achieve unity in the organization, at the same time, avoid divisiveness.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:25-27 (KJV) says,

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

We have to maintain that sense of love and care for each other among members. We do not get affected by their positions in society nor by the kind of life that they had before they became members of the Church.

Actually, in the first century church, there was a particular member who used to be an evil-doer. She was Mary Magdalene. When she was baptized, seven demons went out of her. But despite her past, she was accepted as a member of the church. And when she became a member, she played an important role in the propagation of the Gospel. In fact, she was one of those women who helped the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In LUKE 8:2-3 (KJV), it says,

2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

These women, including Mary Magdalene, supported the Lord Jesus Christ when He was preaching the Gospel in different places. They helped the ministry in every way they could.

So, regardless of your past life, regardless of whether you are a single mother, or you used to be a prostitute before or whatever, you could become a member of the Church of God. In the Church of God, we do not discriminate people. Everybody is welcome here because God wants all men to be saved.

On our part, we are always ready to welcome you with open arms. And we are more than willing to help you discover the true teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

12 comments:

Legalizing Marijuana: Promises, Risks and Biblical Basis

9/14/2019 33 Comments


At present, there are already several places in the world where the use of cannabis or marijuana for medical purposes has been legalized. And an increasing number of people from different countries are also clamoring for its legalization.

Apparently, the intent of its legalization is good — that is, to give relief to people suffering from terminal illnesses — as it is believed that marijuana can help relieve chronic pains.

Actually, the idea of giving natural remedies to alleviate the sufferings of a person is in the Bible.

PROVERBS 31:6 (KJV) says,

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

The instruction is, “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish.” That is if he is about to die. For example, a soldier who incurred a fatal wound during combat. Since his chances of surviving are next to impossible a strong drink or wine could be given to him to relieve him of the pain he is experiencing.

Therefore, in cases where a person is already dying, and there is no longer any possibility of saving his life, a strong drink, or wine, could be given to him in order to spare him of further agony.

While the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ prohibits strong drinks and wine, yet in extreme cases like when a person is on the brink of death and is experiencing great pain, the Bible permits the giving of strong drink to that person. In the same manner that natural herbs are also given to people suffering from severe pain. Indeed, there are herbs that are manufactured to alleviate pain.

Now, when it comes to the use of marijuana for medical purposes, personally, I have nothing against it, especially if its use is limited to people suffering from terminal cases and also to alleviate the seizures of anybody suffering from epilepsy, and if its use is going to be under strict supervision of a medical practitioner.

“Stories of cannabis’s abilities to alleviate seizures have been around for about 150 years but interest in medical marijuana has increased sharply in the last decade with the help of legalization campaigns. In particular, both patients and scientists have started to focus on the potential benefits of CBD, one of the main compounds in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for its euphoric effects, CBD does not cause a “high” or pose the same type of risks that researchers have identified for THC, such as addiction and cognitive impairment. Rather, studies have shown that it can act as an anticonvulsant and may even have antipsychotic effects.”

Source:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-cannabis-treat-epileptic-seizures/

“Epilepsy drugs don’t work well, or at all, for about one-third of people with the condition. Unfortunately, these hard-to-treat epilepsies are associated with an increased risk of premature death.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis oil may help some of these people control their seizures and potentially save their lives. A small number of studies have shown that adding cannabis oil to existing medication may be effective in devastating, hard-to-treat epilepsy in children and adolescents.”

Source:
https://theconversation.com/amp/cannabis-oil-for-epilepsy-what-you-need-to-know-98499

My only apprehension is, if it becomes legal, its use might be abused even by people who do not suffer from any serious pain.

As we all know, one of the risks posed by using cannabis or marijuana, habitually, is addiction. The moment a person gets addicted to it, it is somewhat inevitable that he would later crave for stronger and more addictive substances like opioids and fentanyl, which are very strong pain relievers.

Basically, it is not bad to give pain relievers to people who really need them. But if the use of pain relievers will be abused, it could lead to death like what happened to some prominent American celebrities.

My other fear is that, if more people will be addicted to marijuana, we also might come across more people who always smile, like fools, because marijuana causes them to experience mood elation or the feeling of being “high”. Aside from that, there is also a possibility that more people would develop fondness for eating because marijuana, they say, boosts a person’s appetite.

Again, I am not against the legalization of medical marijuana. If it would be legalized, it must be used strictly in accordance to the very intent of the law.

33 comments:

God's Gift of Salvation Is Not For Sale, It's Free

9/07/2019 12 Comments

Salvation has no price

Because of man’s insatiable greed for money, he has devised all kinds of scams to further enrich himself even if it would mean victimizing the poor, the innocent, and the unsuspecting. Those who do this, of course, conceal their real motive. We see them in the guise of holiness, using the word of God as their bait to entice people. Yes, indeed, this practice is very evident in religion.

Religions and religious leaders today have become so enterprising that they never run out of gimmicks and schemes that aim to deceive people so that they could amass more and more riches.

Anywhere you go, you can find religious organizations selling different items such as anointing oils, miracle oils, prayer booklets, scapulars, medallions, blessed water, etc. – all of which promise healing, protection and deliverance from evil. This, now, gives people the impression that if they pay a certain amount for these items, they would receive special benefits. That is why an ordinary person could not help but think if there is also a corresponding amount of money to be paid to merit salvation. Is salvation for sale? Can it be bought?

Definitely, salvation is not for sale! It is a gift from our benevolent Lord and Creator. Being a gift, you do not pay for it. Salvation is free. And there is no amount of money that could equal its importance.

It must be remembered that when the Lord Jesus Christ instructed the apostles to preach the Gospel, He also instructed them to preach it for free.

​MATTHEW 10:7-8 (KJV) says,

7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

The preaching of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ should be done freely. That was Christ’s instruction. And the apostles did as they were told by Christ. Thus, in preaching the Gospel freely, they, in effect, had offered to the people the salvation which Christ had taught.

​2 CORINTHIANS 11:7 (KJV) says,

Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?

Nothing is for sale when it comes to the salvation of the soul. Selling anything that is relative to salvation is prohibited by God.

​PROVERBS 23:23 (KJV) says,

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding are not for sale because these are sacred things that come from God — for free.

​ROMANS 6:23 (KJV) says,

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Salvation can be attained through the Lord Jesus Christ.

The statement “the gift of God is eternal life” is synonymous with salvation. Very clearly, salvation is a gift; it is not for sale. A gift is given out of the kindness of the giver.

Holy oil, miracle oil, blessed water, and the like, are just inventions of many religions to make money. These cannot deliver you from perdition; these cannot save your soul. If it is true that those things can give people salvation, it would imply that the rich have a very great chance of being saved since they have the money to buy tons of these so-called miracle oils and holy water. On the other hand, it would also imply that the poor would only have a very slim chance to salvation since they do not have the money to buy those. But such is not the case. This is just one of the many scams and deceits in religion, and the Bible calls it bait, or a trap.

​JEREMIAH 5:26-27 (KJV) says,

26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.

To accumulate more and more money, what do these pastors do? According to Jeremiah, “ . . . they set a trap, they catch men.”

They think of so many strategies so that they could ensnare and victimize people without making them suspect that it is all a hoax. Their victims are compared to birds trapped in a cage. Normally, birds would not voluntarily place themselves inside a cage because they love flying freely in vast spaces. But since a trap was set for them, they were captured.

The same principle applies to humans. No person in his right mind would make himself a victim of deception and scam. But because of the bait employed unto him, he has become prey to his greedy pastor who has practically made him his milking cow. And we are a hundred percent sure that those pastors are not of God.

By simply checking on their lifestyles, we can readily determine if a pastor or a religious leader is of God or not. If a religious leader lives in comfort and luxury while his members suffer from extreme poverty and he is unmindful of them, that pastor is not of God.

The real pastors, or ministers, of God look after the welfare of their members; they care about their plight. They would not even eat yet until they are sure that all of their members have eaten. So, it is shameful for a pastor to be living in luxury while his members are living in misery.

Let us take the case of the richest pastor in Africa. This is what an article says about him:

​David Oyedepo – Nigeria – $50 Million Dollars

David Oyedepo is a Nigerian preacher and a founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide aka Winners Chapel. He’s currently rated as the richest pastor in Africa. He is estimated to be worth $150 million.

He is also the owner of some of the best universities in Nigeria namely: Landmark University, Covenant University, and Crown University.

Apart from being the richest pastor in Africa, he is also the richest pastor in the world. His church has the largest church auditorium in the world which is a 50,000-seater auditorium which was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.

His other investments includes secondary schools, bakeries, bottled water processing factories, petrol stations, residential apartments, shopping malls, restaurants, etc. He also has four private jets.

“Papa” as he is fondly called, also owns buildings in the U.K and U.S. He is the Chairman of the Dominion House Publishing (DPH).”​​

Source: https://indapaper.com/richest-pastors-in-africa/

He has so much in life; he lives in abundance while many people in Africa are starving. He does not even share a little of his riches with his poor fellowmen in the African continent. Instead of sharing, he even makes business out of them.​

If the rich pastors in Africa are truly of God, then, no person in Africa will die of hunger.

It is very saddening that many pastors have made religion a means of enriching themselves. They think of nothing but personal gain.

The Bible has rightfully likened them to greedy dogs.

​ISAIAH 56:11 (KJV) says,

Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

They are without satisfaction, like greedy dogs which can never have enough. But in MATTHEW 7:15, these pastors were not simply called dogs but ravening wolves, the fiercest among the family of dogs.

These pastors have made religion a kind of merchandise, as written in 2 PETER 2:1-3 (KJV),

1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

The religion that they established is their merchandise. They make business out of the word of God.

​2 CORINTHIANS 2:17 (RSV) says,

For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

You can just imagine the gravity of that declaration by the Apostle Paul. If during his time, there were already so many peddlers of the word of God, expect that these “peddlers” have multiplied in number in our dispensation. Today, there are more pastors who sell the word of God not only the word of God but also things, which they claim to be sacred. What is worse, they also sell their members to politicians.

In the Philippines, for instance, there are religious groups that sell the votes of their members to politicians. They promise the politicians of their bloc vote, and in exchange for their votes, the politicians have to pay them a certain amount of money. But of course only corrupt politicians approach these religions; the decent and highly-principled ones would not succumb to this kind of compromise.

But the sad reality is, these are the kind of religions that we have in our times – profit-oriented, earthly, and deceitful. They make religion a lucrative business. So you must be very vigilant. If they sell you something – which according to them guarantees your salvation – do not believe them. Salvation is something which cannot be bought even by a huge amount of money.

Do not forget — salvation is a gift which the Almighty God offers to people who zealously search for the truth and truly desire to be saved. And it can be attained through the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

12 comments: