Religon News in Chicago
Religion News in Chicago is nothing new, while Chicago is well-known for its gangster mob history and authentic Italian pizza, one thing that may not be as well known is its long religious heritage.
From its massive Catholic crowd to the smaller - though always potent - Southern Babtist group, Chicagonians are a well diverse lot and really, if you\'re religious, youre pretty much welcomed.
With the constant gang problems riddling the city from the time of Big Al all the way to today, many in this great city are looking for an answer (arent we all?) and many times simply seeking peace, where better to turn to then the Almighty Creator Himself - really, does it get any better than that? No!
There in lies the answer to the problem, but the question is, why dont more people seek Him out? That question may be two-fold (at least), the 1st thing we need to know is this, we are creatures made by the Master Himself and with our very souls breathed into us from Him at the time of conception, and these spirits (our souls) are made to return to the Creator upon leaving this life and the idea/goal is to - quite literally - live happily ever after with Him in eternity.
But there is a problem, you see, serving the Lord (which is what we were made for & is the ultimate peace) is not easy, in fact it is very difficult, why? Because the world keeps telling you the real goal is to serve yourself because you can be your own god, THIS is the ultimate lie and goes back all the way to the beginning, all the way back to when he told the 1st woman in the garden of eden.
Do you remember what the father of lies told Eve? He told her to be dis-obiedient and not to listen to what the Father told her which was that they could eat of any tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of Good and evil, but the devil told her that that was not true and that the Creator was pulling a fast one on her and didnt want her to find out that she could be her own creator too if only she would would dis-obey Him and eat of this fruit.
Enter temptation, enter dis-obiedence, enter the fall of mankind!
Imagine for a moment if you will, our 1st parents literally had it all in the Garden of Eden, Everything was provided for them and they need only to love and serve the Lord (just as the Angels & Saints do Now in Heaven). Understand this is not a "militant love" where the Lord would ask you to do anything at all that would harm you/us but rather follow His Word because there is no greater reward anywhere and it is in fact what we were created for, once they decided no longer to serve the Lord, but rather to serve themselves, they realized immediately what the consequence was and they realized they were not their own creators and could not control life (as the devil had falsely promised)
Talk about the ultimate suckering, I wonder how they felt after that, how betrayed, how dumb they must have felt. Reality hit them smack in the face and immediately they felt the shame and had to quickly run and grab the nearest fig leaves to cover themselves up, where as before they needed not close to "hide" anything because in obedience it was all used for good, but, in dis-obedience it is all used for the wrong reasons by means of selfish, self-serving indulgence.
When once before they could live in ultimate peace and harmony and live among the beasts with no threat of danger and all their meals provided for them, no need to shelter from the storms, all was taken care of and there was no need to fend for one\'s life, but now? Ok man, you thought you were your own creator go ahead and provide for yourself and fend for yourself. Oops, not exactly what you were falsely promised huh? Now, you get to till the land by the sweat of your brow and constantly stave off the beast of the land (including other men)
Chicago Religion - Whats New?
Actually, believe it or not, there really isnt anything new under the sun, I mean again, from the beginning we were made to know, love, and serve Him in this life so that we might have relative peace here and then live with Him forever in eternal Joy, and that really is all it comes down to and everything we do here while on this volatile journey of testing does in fact revolve around that core principle...
so lets make sure we keep our eyes on the "real" prize
We can call it anything we want, put any fancy label on it and all but it really is just that simple.
Now understand, simple does not necessarily mean easy, but rather, not complicated, in other words, the formula is straight forward and one need not be designing rockets for the previous NASA space program, but that lack of complication does not mean lack of difficulty, for the guy down below has got your # (we humans are such ez targets for one of the brightest angels ever), and that now fallen angel does not want you to succeed where he himself has failed, capiche?
If there is only one thing in which you take away from here today let it be this, life is a constant battle of Good over evil and only the Good will get you to Heaven, the bad will lead you to a place which you cannot even imagine, but since we are selves probably do not have any 1st hand experience with this - unless we are one of the very few who have been gifted with at least a glimpse - let us just say that your absolute worst day times 10 to the tenth power "may" give you some slight insight into what hell must be like.
Think of everything imaginable going wrong, and then "people" (?) kicking you when you are down, taking advantage of you at every turn and those who you "thought" you could trust ratting you out, and speaking of rats, theres probably plenty of those (in some form or another) as well as flies, worms, etc, etc.
Think of being completly thirsty and never being quenched, think of a 110 degree day with 90% Humidity and never seeing a cool breeze again, think of being completely exhausted and never being able to sleep or even a have a momentary rest, imagine no one at all caring for you but one person after another seeking to drain you for all your worth, now imagine being consumed with fire but you never fully burn up (as in the relief of ending) but rather just continue to burn.....FOREVER !!!
Do you get it now? Do you have at least an incling of what eternal seperation from the Creator would mean for you? Us doing things "our" way is NOT the answer, us being humble and doing things His way, however, IS the Answer
John 3:16 For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, he that believth in Him shall not perish (hell) but have eternal life
Can you just imagine for one moment, being in Heaven and then freely offering to condesend unto the earth among vipers for the sole purpose of saving His people from eternal destruction and damnation.
Cant you just see Jesus now up in Heaven and seeing His brothers and sisters (yes, that would be us) and knowing True Love means True Justice and pennance, and that reparation needs to be made for offenses comitted by us against the Father, and our Great Loving, Giving, brother Jesus saying, I will pay the price Father, send Me.
Now, if a tear doesn\'t well-up in at least the corner of your eyes right now, you may want to reach down, grab your wrist, and check for a pulse.
The very creator Himself (remember, Jesus is Begotten of the Father) came down and lived among us for likely 33 years and served the Father perfectly and was obedient in everyway possible..... even unto death on a tree.
Freely did our Lord give of Himself fully for our sake and ours alone, He died for every single individual ever born, lived, and walked this earth, whether their name be Susie from Minnesota or Sadam from Babalonia (present day Iraq).
Everyone was/is created equal and everyone has the opportunity to be saved from destruction, the question is, will they be. Many believe once saved always saved, but that is not what the Bible teaches, and Saint Paul Himself (probably the greatest evangelist ever and w/ the most Biblical letters) said one can certainly lose their salvation.
Life is an ongoing Journey and we must run the race till the finish, and that boys and girls means a constant self awareness and self-evaluation on at least a daily basis to ensure that we are staying in the good Graces of the Lord so that when we do pass on from this life into eternity, we may die in the frienship of the Lord and so we may hear those great words from the Saviour Himself.....
"Welcome good and faithful servant, welcome to that place which was created for you from all eternity"
The Lord says in His Fathers House there are many mansions, and one of those was made just for us. At the time of are birth each one of us was assigned a Guardian Angel to watch over (I wonder how many times they have interceded on our behalf to avert possible dangers!) and each day your angel passes by your mansion and prays that you (I, we) see it through and don\'t blow it by falling into the enemys hands and that we may continue to pray, be strong and avoid the temptations of evil, and perserviere to live in eternal Joy and Love and Peace.