Tag Archives: Eternal life (Christianity)

2000 Cents Worth

1000

A $20 Value!

Thank you for visiting my 1000th post on The Recovering Legalist! This is such a special occasion for me!

It’s been so much fun sharing my two cents on the world-wide web. When I did the math (I wasn’t bad with elementary numbers), one thousand posts equal 2,000 cents worth of wisdom. If my calculations are correct, the total monetary value of the wisdom and insight contained in this blog is worth a total of $20.

Twenty Dollars!

But you’ve gotten a lot over the last six (6) years, wouldn’t you say? 2 cents here, 2 cents there…it all adds up to a virtual treasure of personal opinion.

A Few Stats

You might not be interested in this, but it might interest my grandkids one day. I just thought it would be interesting to look back over the last seven (7) years to see what was most popular.

First of all, I started blogging in 2009, but that year I only published two posts. It was literally a year later in 2010 that I started blogging on a fairly regular basis. Since then I have received a little over 107,000 recorded views and acquired over 2,600 followers. That may sound like a lot to a newbie, but it’s nothing compared to other blogs – so I don’t have a big head.

stats for all time as of july 2016

2016 is on pace to beat 2015 🙂

Now, I don’t know what it is about Dr. John R. Rice, but my post about him continues to be the most viewed post every year, including this one. Including that one, the following are the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts I’ve published.

All-Time Top 10 Most Viewed Posts

  1. “Was John R. Rice a Heretic?”
  2. “What to Wear to Church?”
  3. “The Brief Departure of a Friend”
  4. “Dinosaur Bones Found On Moon!”
  5. “Just the Sound of BB’s”
  6. “Does Divorce Disqualify”
  7. “Appetite for Comfort” (this one was featured on Freshly Pressed)
  8. “Recovering Legalist Meets Building 429”
  9. “Why Be a Legalist?”
  10. “Work, Work, Work”

Another interesting statistic is the most common search items. Here are the all-time Top 5 Search Terms that have led people to my blog.

All-Time Top 5 Search Terms

  1. What to wear to church
  2. Recovering legalist
  3. Bones on the moon*
  4. John r rice
  5. Prostitots

*It should be noted that people do wonder what to wear to church, and what the heck a Prostitot is. However, the above search terms tell another interesting truth:

I have single-handedly maintained an urban legend! There are dinosaur bones on the moon!

My Favorite Statistic

But of all the posts I’ve ever written, the most important one is what is contained under the above tab, Eternal Life. The statistics for that page say more for this blog than anything else. At least that’s what I think.

Since the Eternal Life page went active back in February of 2012, it has been viewed nearly 800 times (according to WordPress). And since we know that actual views can be more than recorded, who knows how many people have actually gone to that page and read how to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?

Regardless the number or the reason, if nothing else, just because I’ve been blogging and sharing my two cents worth, hundreds of people have taken the time to read a biblical Gospel presentation! That’s an awesome thought!

Your Faves?

Folks, there is no question this blog has resulted in many life-long friendships. Some of you I have met in person, and that makes it even more special. Bloggers are real people, you know. I thank God for all of you!

But now that I’ve come to the 1,000 mark, what posts have been YOUR favorite? Is there one that stands out in your memory? More importantly, was there one in a thousand that made a difference in your life?

That’s what I’d really love to hear!


And then there's this.

P.S. A special thanks should go out to all those who wrote guest posts – you had a part in that 1,000, too.

P.P.S. Monday Monkey videos were an added value, so if you subtract the guest posts from my $20 worth of opinion, then add Mr. Monkey’s, the total value of this blog’s wisdom shoots up past $39.95.

P.P.P.S. (if there is such a thing) I’m looking forward to the next 1,000!

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Preparing My Heart for a Sermon

No Selah

If you expected to see another “Selah” post this morning, I apologize. I really did want to have the next one finished for this morning, but I was unable to do it. However, I did preach on the subject of the next verse, and so I know it is a good one.

So, next week’s study through the “selah’s” of Psalms will be on Psalm 9:16. Look it up and see what you come up with, and then we can compare notes. Hint: there’s a very unique word which will play a big part.

Preparing

Tomorrow morning (Sunday) I am going to be preaching a sermon on a very difficult subject – Hell. I know that some of you may have a different take on the place Jesus mentioned far more than heaven, but it’s something that needs to be preached.

Today I’ve been listening to some old sermons by some great preachers of the past. One was an audio version of Charles Spurgeon preaching a sermon called “Heaven and Hell.” Another was a 1985 recording of a sermon entitled “Hell Has No Exits,” by Leonard Ravenhill. In addition to my own notes, I wanted to hear what others had said, and the way they said it.

And, oh, how my heart was not only stirred, but greatly burdened!

My father used to tell me when I was young, “Son, never get behind the pulpit unless your mad, sad, or glad.” In other words, get up to preach with the appropriate emotion for the subject at hand – don’t be dull, drab, or apathetic. After hearing the above sermons, in addition to my recent study on Hell, my heart is breaking…not just for the lost, but for the rest of us who have forgotten what those without Jesus will one day face.

Just a Glimpse

Folks, if we could only catch a glimpse of Hell – forget Heaven! If we could just see for a second that horrible place! If we could only for a second comprehend the terror of our friends and loved ones that moment before they are “cast” into eternity.

Everything Heaven is, Hell will be the opposite (I’ll save that for a future post). Just ponder that for a moment! Everything you look forward to in Heaven, the opposite will be what the lost will endure.

Leonard Ravenhill said in his sermon that much of us think what’s wrong with America is that so many people don’t believe in hell anymore. He said [quoting loosely], “I’ve got news for you! YOU don’t believe in Hell! If you did, you’d live differently, preach differently, pray differently, and worship differently!”

Pray for Me

So, would you take a moment and pray for me? Pray that God would speak through me in the morning. Pray that His power would fill me. Pray that my heart and my mouth might be prepared in such a way that those who hear the sermon will respond appropriately to the Spirit’s leading.

Most importantly, pray for that soul who might be present in the morning; that soul who is lost. Pray that he/she/they might feel the same convicting power which flooded over those when Jonathan Edwards preached. May they cry out before the sermon is over, “What must I do to be saved??”

God bless. Y’all go to church somewhere on the Lord’s Day, you hear?

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Filed under Church, Life/Death, Preaching

When Heaven Becomes Real

My city has been in the news a lot because of the deaths of five brave servicemen. The last of the funerals was held yesterday.

I have been to a whole lot of funerals as a minister. Even when I was young I had to go to a lot of funerals because my dad was a preacher – and guess who performed all the funerals for family and friends? It seemed like every other week someone would call on my father to preach someone’s funeral, and most were people I did not know.

Unbelievably, however, there are a lot of people in this world (especially America) who have never had to deal with the loss of someone really close, like a parent, sibling, or spouse, not even a grandparent. There are a lot of adults who have never even been to a funeral. For them, as it was for me, heaven is just a place they may believe in, but it’s not really thought of much in terms of an actual destination – like it’s only a metaphor.

All that changes in an instant when a believing loved one dies.

One evening in 1991, shortly before me father died, I went to hear and evangelist speak at my home church. He preached on heaven that night, and one thing he said has stuck with me for the past 24 years. He said, “Heaven will never be as real to you until there’s someone there you want to go see.

Four days later I knew what he meant.

For me, heaven is a real place, a place where I long to go. Over the last few years more and more people have gone on ahead of me and are waiting.

Right now there is a silhouette of golden light tracing the edges of the dark mountain before me. What is on the other side I can barely imagine – I’ve only heard stories. But one day, maybe not long from now, I will receive the call to cross over. There my faith will be made sight.

It’s just a matter of time before I learn what “real” is all about.

 

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Filed under Life/Death

Leaving? Where Will You Go?

Jesus asked Peter, “Are you going to leave, also?”  Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.” – John 6:67-68

In times of great trial many of us are tempted to walk away from our faith, but Peter realized that there was nowhere to go, at least nowhere that offered the “words of eternal life.”

Today is no exception. With so much going on in the news, many who once claimed to follow Christ are turning their backs on Him. But where will they go? To nothing? To self? To mankind that is becoming less trustworthy every day? To other gods?

Back in the early days of Israel, many were tempted to follow after other gods, even after all that had taken place since crossing the Jordan. In response to those were thinking about leaving, Joshua said the following…

“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15 ESV

And that is where I stand. Even when tragedy strikes…even when my dreams are destroyed…even when it seems like God is nowhere to be found…”as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and His ways beyond my knowing. Therefore, I will say as Job of old said, “though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).

Come On Let’s Go!

Check out the stories of people who are saying, “Come on let’s go!” Maybe you can relate to Bernie, the Sony Records executive, or Jose, the cocaine dealer.

comeonletsgo

The God I serve is a good God, and He can change lives. He can make a difference in your life, just like those above. When He does, you will understand what Peter meant when he said, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.”

Already gone? Why not come home?

Leaving? Don’t!

 

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Filed under Faith, God, salvation, Uncategorized