“Unhealthy practice of twisting the truth to mislead others.”

I recall an article from “LA Progressive,” dated July 19, 2010, it stipulated “spinning was sweeping the news.”  During this period, it meant the profoundly unhealthy practice of twisting the truth to mislead others into supporting the spinner’s agenda, e.g., political, or journalistic news.

The term “spinning,” was considered a new label for an age-old strategy of persuasion. Usually, you’d find the usage of this strategy with TV commercials, car salesmen, politicians, etc. Their tactics were to exaggerate, hide, or otherwise distort the truth, in order to coax others to spend money on products or to increase voter turn-out.

Currently, through social media, television, and radio, we don’t know what to believe. The term “fake news,” is intermingled with “spinning.” We expect our politicians to represent their constituents and work with one another, on each side of the aisle. Unfortunately, “partisan” politics often impedes the progress for getting anything done. 

What is the truth? Even those who deliver the news may be delivering “opinions” rather than facts. The division between news and opinion used to be clearly delineated. Most journalists uncover facts versus opinions. However, there are those who chase after ratings and become a source of entertainment. News outlets should seek the truth to uncover lies. Whatever happened to objectivity regarding political or journalistic issues? Obviously, those days have long passed. Whatever happened to public responsibility to seek the truth?

The Bible provides a myriad of scriptures about lying. Depicted below are several:

•    Proverbs 12:22 – “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.”

•    Proverbs 12:19 – “Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment.”

•    Proverbs 17:7 – “Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool-how much worse lying lips to a ruler.”

•    1 Peter 3:10 – “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.”

•    Psalm 34:13 – “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.”

If we want to be a blessed nation and become a greater example to others, we must exhibit our love for God. Therefore, each of us must diligently find the truth through God’s word. 2 Chronicles 7:14 –“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

People should look at the creator and sustainer of life for divine truth and guidance. The world is getting darker every day. Without God, there is no hope. This is not “fake news,” it’s from the word of God.

Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven

Several years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of listening to Brother Richard A. Rose, deliver a memorable sermon. Brother Rose’s sermon was entitled, “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” The sermon focused on the importance of salvation and fully surrendering to Christ’s Lordship.

As I reminisced on the sermon, I thought about the time I came to Christ, during my early twenties. Even though I committed myself to the Lord, I voluntarily responded to the call not actually thinking about total commitment, sacrifice, and surrendering, to His sovereign authority.

During my youthful years, I straddled the fence attempting to live with one foot in the world, and the other one with a half-hearted effort to follow Christ. Through a myriad of failures, fears, and disappointments, I learned to trust Him for wisdom and guidance.

God is the creator and sustainer of everything. One of my favorite verses is, Isaiah 66:1-3: “This is what the Lord says: “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”

Through the years, my faith and prayer life has steadily grown. I remain cognizant and continue to rely on Him. I’m so thankful for his countless grace. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, not from yourselves, but the gift of God — not by works.” I’m so thankful for this marvelous gift that God has bestowed.

If I want to go to heaven, I must deny myself and follow Him. Mark 8:34, “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” What does this mean? He speaks of self-denial, crucifixion, and daily death.

Luke 9:23-25, “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

True salvation produces a heart of obedience. The power of His word through the Holy Spirit enables us to walk in love, with faith and courage. If we’re true believers, we should exhibit godly behavior. How often do you see fellow believers exhibiting questionable behavior? 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” True discipleship aligns with God.

John 12:24-26, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

How can we adequately prepare for the heavenly journey? In accordance with 2 Timothy 2: 15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

Most people want to go to heaven, but no spiritual preparation is undertaken for the eternal journey. 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”

1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

If we want to go to heaven, we must grow to attain spiritual maturity. Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore, let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.”

If we’re spiritual, we must be diligent and present ourselves well in handling the word of truth. How must we present ourselves? 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Understanding and applying God’s word determines our final destiny. Therefore, we need to have an active working knowledge of the word. Most people when asked to locate various scriptures, don’t know whether it’s from the old or new testament. God’s word is our sustenance for spiritual daily living. The Bible isn’t meant to be placed on a bookshelf for collecting dust. It’s meant to be read, meditated, and applied.

We live in a world of disarray. We can’t continue to live in ignorance by taking chances by relying on our own human wisdom. We must develop a greater understanding of our Savior, and maintaining a sustainable relationship.

It’s important to read and apply His word daily. This ensures we put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-17, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Everyone wants to go to heaven; however, what is our spiritual condition? Matthew 7:21 -23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

It’s a fact, we’re all destined to die. How should we live during our remaining years? Are we prepared for the heavenly kingdom? What is our spiritual heart condition? Are we living Christ-like? We’ll never attain perfection; however, every day we must strive to get there. If our lives are filled with anger, sexual sin, jealousy, criticism, and unforgiveness, we’re only fooling ourselves, if we think we’re going to heaven. We must do all we can to prepare while we’re on this side of life. Hebrews 9:27, “Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

1 Peter 4:18, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Everyone wants to go to heaven; however, is everyone ready?

“Everybody wants to go to Heaven”

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.

My pastor preached to the congregation

Who shouted, “Preacher, you ain’t telling no lie.”

Bring your children to Sunday school, and bring your behind too.

How’re we ever going to grow a church, if you won’t follow through?

When they come to Sunday school,

They’ll learn more than just the Golden Rule.

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.

My pastor preached to the congregation

Who shouted, “Preacher, you ain’t telling no lie.”

“We’re not just in the business of feeding and clothing.

That’s not what we do!

We want to evangelize to the masses, so bring back one or two.

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.

My pastor preached to the congregation

Who shouted, “Preacher, you ain’t telling no lie.”

The size of our congregation is two fifty, or more.

However, when evening service comes, folks aren’t breaking down the door.

It’d be nice to have more youngsters in attendance at all times.

Studying to understand God’s Word won’t initiate any crimes.

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.

My pastor preached to the congregation

Who shouted, “Preacher, you ain’t telling no lie.”

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.”

Excerpt From: Edward L. Wright, Ed.D. “Spiritual Reflections of a Poetic Mind.” iBooks.