A person can find a church on what seems to be every corner within our region in the Bible Belt. At first thought, this is an amazing testimony to have such access to places established to worship God. On the other hand, how many different doctrines are going forth from so many places of worship? How many churches have substituted the power of God for pleasing people (2 Timothy 4:3-4)? Being a Christian for years and now a pastor in this region, I’ve learned that the best source to do anything from is the Word of God, also known as the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 15:4). When some people read the Bible there are verses they choose to omit or not use because those verses bring conviction or a sense of being uncomfortable for either themselves or the people around them. The Bible even warns readers to not change what it says (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; 2 Timothy 2:15). With this type of mindset the Word of God is diluted to not have the power of God needed to change people’s hearts and lives (2 Timothy 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:13). Christians should be God’s people according to what He describes in the Bible. If Christians add modern culture, modern definitions, or other ideas to the practice of Christianity, this mingles the unholy with the holy (Leviticus 10:10; Leviticus 20:23-26; Mark 7:14-19: 1 John 2:15-17). The new product of this mingling is a form of religion that no longer has the same definition as biblical Christianity (Isaiah 40:8; John 17:17; Matthew 24:35). How many parts of the Word of God does a person have to pull out before that person is no longer a Christian? Much like a game of stacking small wooden blocks into a tower and slowly pulling out one piece at a time from the middle or bottom. How long will this tower last before the right piece is taken out creating its destruction (Proverbs 16:18)? If people are going to declare themselves to be people of God they must conduct their lives according to His Word or they void the credentials of their declaration (Romans 1:28). Christians cannot change the Bible to suit their lifestyle or how they desire to believe, but they must adapt themselves to the whole Word of God and its instructions for living a holy, clean, and repentant life unto God. This is by no means the easiest life to live with such a holy standard but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) especially with His mercy and grace covering those who repent (Hebrews 4:16) making them spotless before Him (2 Peter 3:14). God does not change (Malachi 3:6), and Jesus does not change (Hebrews 13:8), so why do so many people change the Word of God or the image of God to fit what they desire (Romans 1:25)? The answer will vary depending on the sin that person does not desire to give up to be completely submitted to God, but the overall answer is pride. Pride in thinking they are the exception to the rule (Proverbs 16:5; Psalm 10:4). Pride in living how they desire for God and not allow God to lead them by His Word or His Spirit (Galatians 6:3; Obadiah 1:3). Sadly, this seems to be what most people label as Christianity but true Christianity is being a living sacrifice unto God and being the temple of God (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 3:19-20). May Christians everywhere be God’s people according to the Bible. For more information about Abundant Grace Church visit agcsparta.org.
Recently, a few shepherds within this region have stirred up issues in the public eye being unprofessional and borderline non-Christian. While it is good for pastors to stand against unbiblical issues and address such activities taking place within the community from in and out of their pulpit, these issues should be handled as biblically as possible. When there are problems Jesus said to go to that person and address the issue (Matthew 18:15-18). Issues that are handled with a desire for public recognition, stirring up strife, or helping the community with hidden motives do not benefit the people. Shepherds, also known as local pastors, are called by God to feed and lead God’s sheep (Jeremiah 3:15; Jeremiah 23:4; 1 Peter 5:2). Pastors who have been established by God have the authority of the Spirit of God to address issues within the region while false shepherds do not have the authority or the anointing creating a stirring of issues rather than a solution. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep while a hireling only comes to have the look but runs when danger arises or when the attention leaves (John 10:11-13). A true shepherd leads sheep beside still waters, helps them find rest in green pastures, restores their soul by leading them in paths of righteousness, protects them from evil, and brings comfort (Psalm 23:1-4). This passage reflects the Lord Jesus Christ as the Shepherd but sets the precedent for His under-shepherds, the local pastors (Ephesians 4:11). Those who attempt to be shepherds who do not feed and lead or obtain their role of a pastor unbiblically enter into this position not by the door God has established and are thieves and robbers (John 10:1). Those who have been sent out from another pastor or biblically as the book of Acts enters into this role as a true shepherd of the sheep (John 10:2). Not everyone that is called a shepherd has been established by God and have His heart (Jeremiah 3:15). Pastors have been anointed to address issues and make sure wolves do not come in to attack the sheep of God (2 Timothy 4:1-4; Acts 20:28-31). Another aspect of the local pastor is to make his ministry free from the appearance of evil or misconduct (2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:22). When a Christian, especially a pastor, displays a lack of self-control and other means of aggression toward members of the community this does not paint an accurate picture of a biblical pastor who is called to love, feed, and lead God’s sheep. Do pastors have emotions and things they deal with? Yes, because they are still human but lacking the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in the majority of situations addressing a community is not the proper use of a pastoral title. May the pastors of this region begin to join together to address the issues that need to be handled but conducted with a biblical resolution and behavior. I can only speak for myself as a pastor, but one person waving a religious title within the community does not represent every pastor who is doing their job of feeding and leading God’s people biblically. May conviction and repentance come for those who hold this title but are out of line biblically or who have made a public spectacle of the office of pastor. May God lead each person to the biblical pastor they are called to be under as their shepherd to be fed and led in the things of God. For more information about Abundant Grace Church visit agcsparta.org.
In America, there are roughly 300,000 churches. That should be a great thing for any Christian to hear. If there are so many churches within our nation why is America in such turmoil and having such moral issues? The answer is not all churches are biblical churches. With so many people gathering in buildings or streaming online to places that have the name of a church, as well as some that do not apply the name church, the biblical definition of what a church really is has not been discussed in a long time throughout America. Some people may say, “If it has a lot of people there it must be God”. Adolf Hitler had a massive gathering under him, was he led by God? No! He was actually led by an anti-Christ spirit (1 John 4:3; 1 John 2:18). Knowing a place has a title or name does not indicate that is what the place really is. More than a person’s opinion, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about church descriptions. The first description of a church is more than a building. The church is the consecrated, holy people who assemble together to worship God but do so in a holy place to honor God in His house (Hebrews 10:25; John 17:14-16). The second description of a biblical church is found within the missions of the church. The missions for every church should be preaching and teaching, discipleship, fellowship, worship, maturing the believer, and missions and evangelism. A biblical pastor is ordained to lead God’s people in the missions God establishes for the church (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11-12). Part of the pastor’s job is to feed, encourage, and rebuke the people with the Word of God through preaching and teaching (2 Timothy 4:2-4). Another part of the pastor’s job in a biblical church is discipleship (Matthew 28:20; 2 Timothy 2:2). Part of discipleship is the hands-on application of what is learned personally from the pastor. Not having access to the pastor is the opposite of discipleship. Listening to sermons from the pulpit is not discipleship. Jesus spoke to the multitude but only had a few true disciples (Matthew 13:10, Matthew 24:3, Mark 4:34, Mark 7:17, Mark 10:10). Fellowship as a mission of the church is not eating on multiple occasions, but creating and reconfirming relationships as a church family by sharing testimonies (Acts 4:33; Acts 14:27-28), having meals together (Acts 2:42,46), and by spending time with one another (Acts 2:47; Hebrews 10:24-25). The worship mission of a biblical church is not having a good band that plays music but worship abounds in everything that is conducted within the church. If God is not worshipped in His own house what is the point of the church? God must be worshipped in spirit and in truth with a heart close to God (John 4:23-24; Matthew 15:7-9; Psalm 138:1-2; Psalm 95:6-7; Psalm 89:7). The next mission of the church is maturing the believer. This may be one area that is creating such a divide among the churches other than preaching and discipleship. Pastors are called to mature the believers (Ephesians 4:11-12) but some do not attempt this for fear of people leaving and taking their money with them. Even when a person gets born again (John 3:3) they still need maturing to leave the sinful nature behind them (Galatians 3:1-3; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Revelation 3:2-3). May there be an increase in biblical churches within our nation and fewer churches compromising to carnality or fleshly desires. For more information about Abundant Grace Church visit agcsparta.org.
In modern times there is a focus on self. From how fast and easy things can be to make one’s life better to taking a pill to hide sexually transmitted diseases keeping the pleasure in one’s life while ruining someone else’s life. This same mindset has bled into how the modern church operates. Churches accommodate to make things easier for the attendee, receiving gifts for coming to church, and making things focused on each parishioner. With this standard of church operations does it line up with the biblical precedent of what Jesus says makes His disciples? The answer is no. Sure, it may get people in the door to give them a sermon, but by using these methods people are not coming to hear the truth of being a disciple of Jesus they are coming for the social factor or the opportunity to be served while feeling religious. Let’s look at what Jesus says makes His disciples. In the Gospels, Jesus says that His disciples must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23). The word deny in each of these verses means to abstain or disown. Being a true disciple of Jesus means getting rid of the selfish motives and desires to take up the cross or the plan God has for each person’s life and following Jesus. The cross was God’s plan for Jesus (Psalm 22:16-18; Isaiah 53:3-7) to redeem anyone who would choose to accept this free gift (Romans 6:23). Each believer has a plan and purpose that God designed for them (Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 29:11; Proverbs 3:5-6). These plans may at times seem like a hard load to carry especially when one’s flesh desires easier or to be selfish. Jesus did make note of His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Both of these aspects reflect being associated with Jesus and working with Him to accomplish what God wants completed, not leading one’s own life and fulfilling aspirations. When one’s heart is aligned with God and the Word of God their desires are more focused on pleasing God rather than selfish ambitions. A true disciple also keeps the commandments of God because of their love for Jesus (John 14:15; John 15:10). To practice sinning is lawlessness which is the opposite of being submitted to Jesus Christ’s commandments or the Word of God (1 John 3:4). The sinful nature within each person desires to be selfish. Christians are to be selfless (1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:4), obedient (1 Peter 1:14; 1 John 5:3; Luke 11:28), and faithful (Luke 16:10; Proverbs 28:20; 1 Corinthians 4:2). Jesus led by example of His selfless lifestyle by putting God’s will above His own desires (Luke 22:42; John 5:30). The definition of being a Christian is not only one who professes Jesus with their mouth but bases their life on His teachings by conforming to the Word of God. The word conform is powerful meaning to have the shape of or to bring into harmony with through obedience. A person must allow God to have power in their life not just a form of a Christian (2 Timothy 3:5). May Christians everywhere not be selfish people who have a religious air to them but be true disciples of Jesus. Christians who truly deny their sinful desires daily, who live out God’s plans and purposes for their lives, and who follow Jesus by working with Him to give glory and honor to God by obeying the Word of God. For more information about discipleship and Abundant Grace Church visit agcsparta.org.
The Bible refers to many types of hearts but there are three that really stand out, goats, wolves, and sheep. Out of these types of hearts, the goat can be one of the more interesting when studied from the Bible. The sheep type of heart is the one that follows God, is submitted, and remains in the flock under the shepherd. Naaman was a captain of the army of Syria (2 Kings 5) who became a leper. Leprosy is an infectious disease that affects the skin and nerves creating paralysis and deformities. This disease creates a segregation between the leper and the healthy public. Naaman takes a large amount of treasures with him for the man of God. When he goes to the prophet Elisha the prophet sends out his servant to give Naaman instructions to wash in the Jordan River 7 times to be clean. After some frustration and a change of heart Naaman obeys and becomes clean from his leprosy (2 Kings 5:8-14). Naaman attempts to give Elisha some of the treasures, but the prophet chooses to not receive them. After Naaman leaves, Gehazi sees the opportunity to obtain some of the riches Naaman offered Elisha (2 Kings 5:15-24). The importance of this passage is Naaman receives the message of the man of God and is made free from the object plaguing his life while Gehazi allows his mind to change his heart to fall into rebellion and lawlessness separating him from the man of God had called Gehazi to. In Gehazi chasing Naaman’s treasures, he receives the curse that Naaman was made free from (2 Kings 5:27). Rebels are like goats who believe in God to some extent, but are not satisfied with the things of God or the Word of God. Natural goats like to have free range and not be limited to what they cannot do. They like to feed on everything around them due to curiosity even if it is dangerous to their health. Goats are vocal from loud calls to screams. Goats display playful behavior in leaping, head-butting, and chasing games. So one may ask, “What is the big deal about this?” According to the Bible, goats are not a good allegory, especially when discussed by Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He would separate like a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:32-33). The sheep on the right hand of God will enter into Heaven (Matthew 25:33-34) while the goats on the left hand of God will enter into Hell (Matthew 25:33,41). Until this separation takes place the sheep and goats are together but there is a stark difference in their behavior due to obedience to the Word of God. Spiritual goats like to have free range because they do not want to be told what to do or how to live even how to live for God. These goats like to feed on everything in the world and not the things of God even though what they feed on from the world can bring their own destruction. They are vocal about their rebellion and voice their disagreements with church leaders and the Word of God as opposed to seeking the truth in Jesus Christ. The playful behavior of spiritual goats reflects leaping from one sin to another, butting heads with Christians, and chasing sin. Jesus Christ is not satisfied with goats due to their lack of obedience to Him and their unwillingness to live for God (John 14:15). Everyone should strive to be a sheep to be in the right standing with God.
In modern times the truth, especially the truth of God, has been hidden or modified to not offend others. When this takes place the truth is no longer truth but a lie due to being a modification to the truth (Deuteronomy 4:2). What happens when the people of God change the truth and do not allow the prick of truth within a person’s heart to lead them to salvation? Let’s see this broken down by definition. A prick is defined as a pointed instrument or weapon, to affect with remorse (a sense of guilt), or to be discomforted. The truth is not only Jesus Christ (John 14:6) but the Word of God (John 1:14; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Timothy 2:15). With these definitions in mind, the prick of truth is the Word of God doing its job to bring remorse for sins or creating discomfort of the sinful life being lived by that person. The Word of God is not only a sword (Ephesians 6:17) but it is also sharper than any two-edged sword that pierces the soul and spirit discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The Word of God is designed to prick the hearts of people from all walks of life, including Christians. When the Apostle Peter preached to the crowd curious to see what was happening on the day of Pentecost, the Gospel of Jesus Christ pricked their hearts and they asked how to be born again (Acts 2:37). Every one of them gave their hearts and lives to Jesus and became believers! Even when a church can gather a multitude of people it does not mean the truth is being preached to that gathering allowing the prick of truth to change the lives and eternities of the people present (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Why are some pastors and Christians more concerned about being and making other people comfortable while the Word of God specifically says that is not what the truth will do? What happens in the absence of truth? Lies and fables begin to be the discussion with no resistance. The truth of God must be heard, obeyed, and given at any time or any place. The truth of God should bring conviction and healing to all those who hear it (2 Corinthians 7:9-10; John 16:8; 2 Timothy 3:16). Conviction is the act or process of finding a person guilty when admitting truth. Condemnation is having a sentence pronounced upon a person for being wrong. There is a difference in these words and the truth behind them. Religious people will describe conviction as condemnation to excuse the prick of truth. Conviction should help to not continue in wrong doing while condemnation only pushes a person further into depression without hope. Conviction should make a criminal feel remorse for the crime committed while condemnation is the sentence that must be carried out. In the spiritual, conviction should motivate people to seek forgiveness from God to not commit sinful acts against Him while condemnation is used by the devil to separate a person from being made free with the truth of God’s Word (John 8:32). Knowing Jesus as Savior is the only way to be made free from sin and the sentence of hell for eternity (John 14:6-7; 3:3). The truth will heal lives if it is obeyed. Have you felt that prick of truth in your heart and life? Don’t brush off that conviction but yield to it by having a relationship with God today. For more information about salvation and our church visit agcsparta.org.
It is no secret that this spirit has been around since the fall of mankind (Genesis 4). This spirit has taken root within the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life and is successful on many occasions. Big cities and their crime issues are one thing that may come to mind but what about those in this region that carry this same spirit creating the same issues but on a slightly different level? Watching headlines and seeing the physical murders of people in this region is still troubling. What about the same spirit of murder but instead of using a weapon for physical death they use their mouth to kill a person’s reputation, their confidence, and their influence with others? This happens more times than people would like to admit. Many Christians know it is wrong to murder (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Leviticus 24:17) but they will still use their mouth to run down a church, a pastor or preacher, other Christians, or just people within the community. This is the same spirit of murder (1 John 3:15; Matthew 5:21-22; 1 John 3:12; John 8:44). When the devil can penetrate a church, a church leader, or Christians in general to have this spirit about them he wins a major victory against God’s army. Because those being used by this spirit do not commit the physical act of murder they see it as innocent or not a sin in God’s eyes. God views those who conduct such actions as having a lying tongue, haughty eyes of pride, shedding innocent blood who are serving God, a heart that is devising evil, feet that are running to make evil, a false witness, and sowing discord among Christians which are all abominations in God’s eyes (Proverbs 6:16-19). These actions are lies of the devil and have plagued this region for far too long. Christians must join together as one army of God fighting for His truth, His Word, and His glory. Most of these lies begin with someone getting offended while not being part of the situation, whether within a specific church, congregation, or even situation regarding people outside the church. Instead of handling these issues biblically and getting to the root of the problem if it involves them, ignoring gossip involving others, or talking to someone who is involved in the truth of the matter the lies get bigger and juicier to draw positive attention to the one speaking and reflecting negative attention on the same speaker’s life to hide their own sin and shortcomings. This can even happen among a whole group of people believing this is proper by adding the phrase, “bless their heart” while condemning themselves in the eyes of the God they declare they serve because of this spirit of murder. God does not desire for anyone to perish or be separated from Him so those who participate with this spirit should turn and live for God (Ezekiel 18:32). God holds those who choose to participate in this sin as guilty unless they repent (Exodus 23:7). The spirit of murder begins in the heart and proceeds out of the mouth (Matthew 15:18-19). Anyone committing this sin must repent to be in right standing with God (1 Timothy 6:3-5; Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 10:26). May Christians everywhere begin to see this spirit of murder for its true motive to break apart the kingdom of God and use the common ground of serving God as the bond to hold His army together for victory. You cannot love God if you cannot love your brother (1 John 4:20).
Writing articles for the paper for over a year now, the question arose has it been established who this author is and what this church is about? Abundant Grace Church is a Bible-believing (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 4:12), tongue-talking (1 Corinthians 14:39; 1 Corinthians 14:2; Acts 10:46), non-denominational, book of Acts church that is a training facility and forward operating base for the army of God to impact the world. Our church is located at 740 Crosslin Street in Sparta, TN. For those unfamiliar with Crosslin Street, it is off Highway 111, connecting to Walker Cove Road (near Huddle House). Our church mission statement is to lead people to experience and enjoy life now, not just for the life to come through the victory given to the soldiers of the cross. Abundant Grace Church is committed to ministering the life of God to those who are bound to addictions, oppressed with sickness, winning the lost to Jesus Christ, and equipping the saints of God through preaching and teaching the reality of the redemptive work and purpose of Jesus Christ. To also develop and present the life of God in character and conduct through trained disciples and leaders who reflect the love of God. As previously stated, our church is a Word church. Studying and applying the Word of God is the key to discipleship, salvation, and victory through Christ Jesus. Not only does Abundant Grace Church read the Word of God, but study the Word into the deeper context and definitions of what is being stated throughout all of the Word. For those that may have heard in years past, there are no snakes anywhere on the premises unless they are outside hiding. Hopefully, each reader can detect the humor in the previous statement. Our church endeavors to live holy and clean but display the joy and fun that Christians should have while living on the earth as examples of the transformation that can take place when allowing God to be the center of one’s life. We are not a social club but a church family that worships and serves God together while taking the Word of God to our community. That has been the driving factor for the articles from this church and ministry is to see the Word of God go forth in every avenue across this region and do our part to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15). The pastor of Abundant Grace Church is Caleb Andrews. I was born again at the age of 6 and grew up serving in denominational churches (one of the many reasons I enjoy fellowshipping with various denominations and Christians no matter their background) and answered the call to preach in 2006. A veteran having served in Afghanistan and having been stationed in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Polk, Louisiana, created a major training ground for understanding the spiritual warfare aspects of the Bible. Being led by God my family and I moved back to Tennessee to serve under our pastor, Pastor Chris McMichael in Cookeville and were sent out to pastor at Abundant Grace Church in Sparta in 2021. For more information about Abundant Grace Church or Pastor Caleb visit agcsparta.org. The church and I would enjoy you coming to worship God and learn more about His Word with us. Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m., Sunday service at 10:30 a.m., Sunday PM service at 6:00 p.m., and Thursday PM service at 6:30 p.m. We hope to see you there.
There are foundational doctrines of Christianity that some Christians choose to either show little regard to or reject completely (Hebrews 6:1-2). One of these foundational doctrines is eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:2). Although some people, whether Christian or not, desire to ignore this doctrine to live as they please with no judgment they are biblically incorrect (Acts 24:25). God’s judgment is without partiality, righteous, and just but is based on every person’s work of their lives as a Christian serving the kingdom of God or an unbeliever working for the kingdom of Satan (Acts 17:31). While even some Christians think there is no accountability for their wrongs since they believe in Jesus Christ they are not sound in their biblical views but must appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). Every Christian's goal should be to please God as their Father, Jesus as their Savior and Lord, and be led by the Holy Spirit. For Christians who hold onto no judgment for those who believe (John 3:18) the picture of Jesus’ topic is judgment regarding salvation. The Greek in this verse paints the picture of receiving no rejection or condemnation for desiring salvation through Jesus while those who refuse Him are already judged because of their separation from God unless they repent. Every Christian will stand before Jesus Christ to be judged for how they lived their life as a Christian (Romans 14:10,12). With this judgment, there are rewards for those who are true Christians in the kingdom of God to rule with Christ because they were judged as faithful (Revelation 2:26-27). One may ask, “What do you mean by true Christian”? Some declare with their mouth they love and serve God but with their life they choose to serve themselves, their natural life, their job, their hobbies, or their favorite sins (Matthew 15:8, Isaiah 29:13). Only those who are found faithful and true to the kingdom of God will be established as a ruler after the judgment (Matthew 25:23, Matthew 13:43). Just as God will judge the Christians He will also judge sinners who have rejected Jesus Christ and His Word (John 12:48). Those that are not born again by salvation through Jesus Christ will face the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). This judgment includes the word dead meaning the spiritually dead but also includes the physically dead as well. Due to not knowing Jesus Christ as their savior these dead have books that are opened to judge them according to their deeds or works of their lives (Revelation 20:12-13). Even Jesus discusses this situation when describing the wicked being gathered and burned in judgment (Matthew 13:40-42). This describes those rejecting the truth of God going to Hell because they have rejected the salvation God has to offer to everyone. When Jesus first came to the earth He dealt with sin as a burden that had dominion over people and He was not the judge but a Savior (John 3:16-17, Hebrews 9:28). Jesus’ next appearing, which is different from His second coming (Zechariah 14:3-4, Revelation 19:11-16), will bring salvation to those waiting for Him (Hebrews 9:28, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54). All of these verses discussed display the importance of the coming judgment and for people everywhere to be born again through Jesus Christ, serve God with all that is within them, and have a true relationship with God all the days of their lives.
Walking with God should create reverence and respect within every Christian. One sign of spiritual maturity is not needing the assistance of substances to live life. Substances are defined as something deemed harmful and usually subject to a legal restriction (Merriam-Webster dictionary). Examples of such substances can be but are not limited to alcohol, drugs, etc. These substances create a dependency within the mind and chemical makeup of each user. Some Christians like to use Jesus’ first miracle to excuse their sinful habit (John 2:9) but a lack of knowledge of the customs of those days and the modern technology of today destroy the ability to see the full picture without studying. Lacking methods of refrigeration led juice to become fermented. With this fermentation, the custom of adding water prevented the full effects of alcohol as known today. People focus on the wine rather than the display of Jesus’ deity. Alcohol is a mocker, causes issues, and those that use such substances are deceived (Proverbs 20:1). The spiritual enemies of God and Christians like to mock anyone deceived turning to such substances. Anyone who uses these substances becomes the subject of mockery, issues, and deception. Alcohol is like the venom of serpents and the deadly poison of cobras (Deuteronomy 32:33). Once this poison bites its victims life begins to leave that person as the wages of sin begin to take over (Romans 6:23). Some may say, “I’ve been drinking for years and I’m fine” while they have wasted money, time, and life on such an activity that robs them of family and memories. These memories could be lost due to a loss of memory, being drunk, or missing time with family that will never be regained. Sadly, some people, especially some Christians, have become the victims of substances because they lack knowledge regarding what God’s Word says about this subject while other Christians choose to ignore God’s Word regarding this subject (Hosea 4:6). While some Christians may argue the Bible says to drink a little wine for your stomach’s sake (1 Timothy 5:23), Paul was helping Timothy to use this as medicine for stomach issues. One minister has even pointed out the word little, not excess. In this modern time science has given people medicine for many ailments so alcohol is not needed as in Bible times. Another Christian may quote Philippians 4:5 let your moderation be known unto all men. This person would reflect to not have studied this verse but only taking it out of context to use it for their sinful pleasure. The Greek of this verse would say, “Let your gentle spirit, graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience (moderation) be known to all people” (Philippians 4:5). A dependency on alcohol can start with even one drink (Isaiah 5:11). Those that participate with such a substance will also not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:10). The Apostle Paul even writes for Christians to not fellowship with drunkards (1 Corinthians 5:11). Does this mean Christians cannot witness or evangelize those who participate in these activities? No, all people need Jesus and the salvation that is found through Him (2 Peter 3:9). No matter what sins a person commits everyone needs Jesus to get to Heaven. Every person must humble themselves before God (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6), repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; 1 John 1:9), walk with God (James 4:8; Galatians 5:16), and perfect holiness (Matthew 3:8; 2 Corinthians 7:1) while walking through life to get to Heaven. May Christians find substance in God and not make substances their god.