Saturday, September 11, 2021

Why the Fall of Afghanistan Matters. You Will Be Judged. “While He May Be Found”. 6 Best Secrets To Reverse Insulin Resistance Naturally & Change Your Life.

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Why the Fall of Afghanistan Matters

“The fall of Afghanistan and the defeat of the U.S. has left the world in shock. What lessons can we learn from Afghanistan and the war on terror?

Why the Fall of Afghanistan Matters

U.S. Marines oversee evacuations from Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 21, 2021 (Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps via AP).

Desperate Afghans overflowed the Kabul airport, trying to catch a ride on the last flights evacuating people out of their country. The world watched in horror as frantic Afghans clung to an airplane as it was taking off, some falling to their deaths.

In the past few weeks, the world has witnessed images of “battle-hardened soldiers” brought to tears and distressed mothers handing their babies and children over razor wire in an attempt to save them from life under the brutal Taliban.

Many predicted the inevitable collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban. But the speed of its fall took the world off guard. Consider the following reactions from Western leaders, as well as the enemies of the U.S.:

  • United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called the news of atrocities “chilling reports.”
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the situation “extremely difficult.”
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel also described the situation as “bitter, dramatic and terrifying.” Armin Laschet, Mrs. Merkel’s heir as leader of the Christian Democrats, called it the “greatest debacle that NATO has seen since its foundation.”
  • Tom Tugendhat, the conservative chair of the U.K. Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said: “Afghanistan is the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez.”
  • Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the German parliament’s foreign relations committee, said this has resulted in “fundamental damage to the political and moral credibility of the West” and described the withdrawal as a “serious and far-reaching miscalculation.”
  • U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell called it “the embarrassment of a superpower laid low.”
  • Somalia’s al-Shabab insurgents responded with these words: Allahu Akbar [God is greatest], congratulations. The U.S. and other hundreds of thousands of foreign forces fled the country. The 20-year jihad has become reality.”

The world’s most powerful superpower has been effectively defeated by a group of zealots operating out of caves. The Aug. 28, 2021, edition of The Economist described it this way: “Through willpower, patience and cunning, a low-budget band of holy warriors has vanquished America and taken charge of a medium-size country” (“Where Next for Global Jihad?” p. 7).

What lessons can we learn from the United States’ 20-year effort in Afghanistan?

The war on terror

As we reach the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, and the event that triggered the war in Afghanistan.

Shortly after the attack, then President George W. Bush declared “war on terror.” Addressing the U.S. Congress, he announced, “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

Far from its original mission to crush the Taliban, the U.S. now finds itself retreating from them. Less than a month after the attacks, the U.S. and Great Britain launched airstrikes in Afghanistan against the Taliban, who were protecting al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. With the world’s most powerful army coming against ill-equipped tribal forces, everyone expected a swift defeat for the Taliban and eventually al-Qaeda. But the fight proved to be a lot more difficult than many expected, and the war dragged on for many years. It wasn’t until 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, in 2011, that Osama bin Laden was finally found and killed.

Now, 10 years after Bin Laden’s death, the U.S. has withdrawn. But has the U.S. achieved its goals? Did the United States win the “war on terror”? Did this 20-year war fulfill President Bush’s initial objective—defeating “every terrorist group of global reach”?

Far from defeating the Taliban, the U.S. has legitimized the terror group by negotiating with them. The irony is stark. Far from its original mission to crush the Taliban, the U.S. now finds itself retreating from them.

While the U.S. and Great Britain try to paint a rosier picture of today’s Taliban, many Afghans have started to feel the brutality of the Taliban as they instigate revenge killings for those who collaborated with foreign powers.

A women’s rights activist in Afghanistan said, “The U.S. should have defeated this ominous phenomenon on the ground, or forced them to make peace. But they introduced the Taliban as a power to the world [through direct negotiations], and did not realize the Taliban are the savage Taliban, who know nothing but terror.”

Taliban Fighters

Taliban fighters in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 17, 2021 (VOA/Wikimedia Commons). 

The war in Afghanistan has cost the U.S. a staggering $2.26 trillion, and the withdrawal has left the Taliban with a cache of weapons and military vehicles worth billions. The Taliban is now in a stronger position than ever, declaring that Allah granted them victory and boasting of their defeat of a global superpower.

This will likely embolden jihadist terror groups in other parts of the world—specifically in the Middle East and Africa. The Economist article quoted above put it: “Many are asking: if our Afghan brothers can beat a superpower, surely we can beat our own wretched rulers?”

With vast resources and the most sophisticated arsenal of weaponry in history at their disposal, why couldn’t the world’s most powerful military defeat men who the U.K.’s chief of defense called a group of “country boys”?

Has the pride of America’s power been broken?

The war in Afghanistan showed that one needs more than overwhelming military power to win a war. The Bible tells us that God determines the outcome of battles. When David confronted Goliath, the giant mocked David for his youth (1 Samuel 17:42). But David told him an essential truth—that though Goliath had multiple weapons (a sword, spear and javelin), David had God on his side. It was God who determined the outcome of the battle, “for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (verses 45, 47).

The Bible warns that another factor that can hinder victory in battle is sin. Sin within Israel caused the Israelites to lose a key battle to the people of Ai (Joshua 7:3-4). The embarrassing loss caused Joshua and Israel to become greatly discouraged (verse 5). God informed them their defeat was due to hidden sin (verses 6-12). It wasn’t until the sin was discovered and addressed that they could overpower their enemies (verses 13-26; 8:1).

As nations, the U.S. and Great Britain have continued to embrace many sins, such as the rejection of God’s very existence, modifying the biblical definition of marriage and family, the celebration of immoral sexual lifestyles, the killing of children in the womb, the embrace of filthy and aggressive speech, and many more. These nations have compromised their own values by supporting corrupt and unethical regimes for their own self-interest. Instead of trusting in God, these nations have placed their faith in their own strength and power (Jeremiah 2:13).

God warned that disobedience to His commandments would result in curses. Two of those curses were that God would “break the pride of your power” and that “your strength shall be spent in vain” (Leviticus 26:1-3, 18-20)."  Continued at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/why-the-fall-of-afghanistan-matters/?

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Matthew 7:2 : You Will Be Judged.

(2) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.    New King James Version

Jesus warns us that we will receive the same kind of judgment that we make of others. Do we really want that? That warning ought to sober any thinking person! Do we really believe God when He gives us such a stern warning?

Jesus adds another warning: Our judgment may be distorted because we may have a flaw of far greater magnitude in us than the flaw we observe so critically in our brother. The unspoken intimation is that because the flaw is ours, and we love ourselves, we are willing to be lenient in our self-judgment.

By focusing our criticism on another, it enables us to avoid scrutinizing ourselves carefully and critically. Some enjoy correcting others because it makes them feel virtuous, compensating for failures in themselves that they have no desire to face. But the judgment we make about others is in reality the judgment we will receive from God.”

From: https://www.theberean.org/index.cfm/main/default/id/600/ver/NKJV/matthew-7-2.htm

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“While He May Be Found”

“Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

When God calls us, we need to answer. He is very patient, but the Bible shows there will be a time when it is too late, when the doors are shut.

Consider the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Those who foolishly came unprepared were shut out. They were the ones who forgot to keep their vessels full of oil (symbolic of neglecting the gift of the Holy Spirit—not staying connected to God through prayer and Bible study and not making use of the Spirit to transform their lives). (See more about this parable in our article “Lessons From the Parable of the 10 Virgins.”)

Forsaking sins and unrighteous thoughts and returning to God provides an action plan for repentance. Upon our making the U-turn that repentance implies, God promises abundant pardon, provided at the cost of our Savior’s life. See more about repentance in the article “How to Repent.””        From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/while-he-may-be-found-1/?

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6 Best Secrets To Reverse Insulin Resistance Naturally & Change Your Life

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If you don't control insulin resistance it can lead to prediabetes then diabetes type 2 also called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is a serious health issue, so please reverse your insulin resistance now. By watching this video you can learn how to reverses your insulin resistance naturally with diet, intermittent fasting, exercise and more.”

YouTube: https://youtu.be/xcQUghF2SKY

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Saturday, September 4, 2021

Pray With a Psalm in Your Heart. Private Prayers. Avoiding Vain Repetitions in Prayer. New Study Links Keto Diet to Severe Long-Term Health Risks.


Point of Wisdom, Pray With a Psalm in Your Heart 

"It can sometimes be hard to know what to talk about with God in prayer. Some Scripture-based counsel to a struggling individual can help you too.

He described himself to the pastor and me as a former hippie who had been off the drugs for several years. But he and his wife explained that the hallucinogens' effects were still badly slowing his mental processes. We could see that from our conversation. My part was as a ministerial trainee participating in this pastoral visit with a young couple who had lived hard and wild during the hippie movement years of the 1960s.

The man now loaded freight on ships in the Thames River near London. He had muscles for the work but wished that he still had the muscle in his mind. She had many questions about the Bible and God's way, but one main question plagued his thoughts: "How do I pray? I can't think of much to say." There were tears in his eyes. He really, truly wanted to know how to talk to God.

As the novice on the job, I mentally scrambled for the scriptures that might provide him understanding. The so-called "Lord's Prayer" (in Matthew 6:9-13) came to mind. Jesus' outline for prayer.  It came to the pastor's mind too. He explained that it was actually a prayer outline—not a script for brief recitation. It included an introduction and conclusion of praise for God, requests for God's intervention in world affairs, requests for our daily needs, asking God in repentance for forgiveness of sins as we forgive others, help against temptation and evil—and at least two requests for God's Kingdom to come (which it will at Christ's return).

The pastor continued that when you break Jesus' prayer outline down like that and go into detail concerning each part, you could easily be on your knees for 30 minutes or more. "Half an hour? I can't think of anything to pray about for more than five minutes!" Overwhelmed, the fellow leaned forward shaking his head in his hands. It was a genuine heartstrings-pulling moment—and I was thankful that I wasn't leading the counseling. Amazingly, the pastor proceeded to unfold a point of wisdom involving two steps that has stuck with me ever since.

Go with a list and a psalm

Step 1: Make a list of things you know you want to pray about—however long or short. Take that list and your Bible to where you pray. Talk to God about every item on the list. When you're all prayed out, then go to step 2.

Step 2: Open your Bible to the book of Psalms, a very large part of which was written by King David of ancient Israel. Under God's inspiration David wrote his psalms first as prayers, then as songs. Pick a psalm and tell God in your prayer that you've personally run out of things to say to Him, but that now you want to read to Him this psalm that David wrote as your prayer too—thinking about how it applies to your own life. You can be sure that God will accept your borrowed prayer, because David was a man after God's own heart (see Acts 13:22).

The pastor provided a list of some of David's psalms that applied to circumstances any of us might face.

Need encouragement? Read Psalm 37.

Need comfort? Read Psalm 23.

Need to repent? Read Psalm 51.

In trouble and desperately need God's help? Read Psalms 3 to 7 (plus many more).

Want to thank God for His blessings? Read Psalm 30.

Feel lost, lonely and forgotten? Read Psalm 13.

Need spiritual strength? Read Psalm 11.

The tears in the young man's eyes disappeared. He had hope—he could learn to pray by praying David's prayers. He could draw close to God. So can you."  From: https://www.ucg.org/vertical-thought/point-of-wisdom-pray-with-a-psalm-in-your-heart

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Private Prayers

Matthew 6:5-6

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

"In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ laid out the foundations of Christianity; and in this section He addresses the wrong and right ways to pray. Prayer is not for show or to impress other people. It is designed to help us build a personal relationship with our Creator. The core of our prayer life is one-on-one, alone with God. When we pray in private, we can express our deepest emotions and be open with God in a way we could not be in public.

The example of the New Testament Church shows that this does not mean that there is no place for public prayer, as there are many examples of the Church of God praying together (Acts 1:14; 4:24-31; etc.). But we must always be on guard against the attitude of hypocrisy that Jesus warned about.

For more about what the Bible teaches about prayer, see our article “How to Talk to God.”"

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/private-prayers/?

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Avoiding Vain Repetitions in Prayer

Matthew 6:7

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

"God does not give us prayers to memorize and repeat mindlessly as a ritual. He is not interested in babble and hearing certain syllables intoned repetitiously, as it seems the pagans believed their “gods” did. He wants His followers to “avoid meaningless, repetitive prayers offered under the misconception that mere length will make prayers efficacious” (Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:7-8).

God is interested in us having an actual conversation with Him, listening to what He says in the Bible and sharing our thoughts, requests, cares and praise with Him in a focused and meaningful way. Repeating someone else’s words over and over again can’t help but become rote and ritual rather than building the relationship God desires.

See more about the communication God desires in our article “How to Pray.”

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/avoiding-vain-repetitions-in-prayer/?

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New Study Links Keto Diet to Severe Long-Term Health Risks

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  • “The negative long-term consequences of ketogenic diets may far outweigh any potential short-term benefits, according to a comprehensive new review published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

Keto diets have skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade due to their ability to promote quick weight loss. Typically very low in carbohydrates, modest in protein, and high in fats, the aim of keto diets is to push the body into ketosis—the state in which the body uses fat for fuel. Foods like red meat, fish, nuts, cream, eggs, cheese, oil, and non-starchy vegetables are given the green light while starchy vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, and lentils are avoided as much as possible. 

For this latest meta-analysis, a group of physicians, researchers, and registered dietitians analyzed more than 100 peer-reviewed studies on keto diets to identify long-term effects. They found that people who follow such diets have a significantly increased risk of developing heart disease, LDL cholesterol buildup, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer. They also discovered that keto diets are particularly dangerous for people who are currently pregnant or may become pregnant. Low-carbohydrate diets are linked to birth defects, particularly neural tube defects, and gestational diabetes even if the pregnant person is taking folic acid supplements. Additionally, for those living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the high amounts of protein consumed on the keto diet can place excess stress on the kidneys and worsen the long-term internal damage of CKD. 

So why does this diet have such negative side effects? The study’s authors suggest that it has to do with the nutrient quality of the food being eaten.

“The foods that are emphasized on a keto diet are the very products that cause colon cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease,” says study co-author Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and an adjunct professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine. “New research also shows that these same foods raise the risk for severe COVID-19.”

This sentiment is echoed by lead review author Lee Crosby, RD. “The typical keto diet is a disease-promoting disaster,” says Crosby. “Loading up on red meat, processed meat, and saturated fat and restricting carbohydrate-rich vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains is a recipe for bad health.”

Originally developed in the 1920s as a treatment for patients with severe drug-resistant epilepsy, the keto diet has been shown to be effective for reducing seizures in extreme cases. Scientists believe the diet decreases seizures by making less glucose available to fuel neurons. And although the study authors concluded that eating keto could be beneficial for seizure management, they say the risks far outweigh the rewards for most  people.

Instead of going keto, Barnard suggests a whole food, plant-based diet: “On a low-calorie diet, people might lose weight, but they have to go hungry to do it. On a keto diet, they might lose weight but they feel guilty if they have an apple, banana, slice of bread, or a cookie. On a plant-based diet, you get the best of all worlds: weight loss, delicious food, better overall health, and you’re never hungry.”

To learn more about a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit our Plant-Based Primer. For meal-planning support, check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path." 

From: https://www.forksoverknives.com/wellness/new-study-links-keto-diet-to-severe-long-term-health-risks/

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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Bible Study Topics. Sugar Aches & Inflammation.

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Bible Study Topics

Bible Study Topics“The Bible addresses so many topics that can answer our questions and help us now and in the future. What are some of the most important Bible study topics?

The Bible is a tremendous resource and a wonderful gift from God! It’s been called an instruction manual for life, showing how our Creator designed us and how we should live for the best, eternal results.

Although the Bible is a great reference book, it is not like other books you may be familiar with. The Bible isn’t written like an encyclopedia, a dictionary or a textbook. It is composed of 66 shorter books written by dozens of people over about 1,500 years—yet they all have a unified message.

Reading the Bible book by book is an excellent way to get the big picture and overview of God’s entire message. There are many read-the-Bible-in-a-year programs and other programs that you can use for this. And, of course, you can create your own plan to read the Bible through.

But it is also very helpful at times to pick a Bible study topic and try to find sections of the Bible that address that subject or answer that question.

Picking a Bible study topic and beginning your study

Many times daily life gives us questions and topics that we want answers to, and these make excellent Bible study topics. But sometimes we aren’t exactly sure what would be helpful to study, and we would like to pick from a list of Bible study topics. If that is what you are looking for, we hope the 150 topics below will be a helpful starting place for you.

Once you have a topic, you still need a method for finding the relevant passages about that topic in your Bible. Concordances and topical Bibles can help. A concordance allows you to look up every time a word related to your topic is used in the Bible. Online and electronic concordances also let you search for combinations of words or a phrase.

Topical Bibles are put together to group relevant passages together. These can be helpful, but keep in mind that they generally won’t include every possible Bible passage and will reflect the background and doctrinal beliefs of the people who compiled them.

See our article about “Bible Study Tools” for more information about how to use a concordance and other tools. You might also find it helpful to search our site about the topic you are interested in.

150 Bible study topics

Here are 150 Bible study topics and questions to get you started, grouped around the six topic areas we felt were so important we needed to highlight them on this website.

Each topic listed below is also covered in one of the biblical articles on this Life, Hope & Truth website. Just type the topic into the search bar at the top left of the web page (https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/bible-study-topics/?) and you’ll find helpful material with many related Bible references.

Bible study topics about God

  • Is there a God?
  • Are God and science compatible?
  • Can Christians believe in evolution?
  • Is God really concerned for me?
  • What are the names of God?
  • What does the fear of the Lord mean?
  • How can I please God?
  • What’s God’s will for me?
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Was Jesus created?
  • Why did the wise men bring gifts to Jesus?
  • What do we know about Jesus’ childhood?
  • What were the seven last sayings of Jesus?
  • What was the transfiguration of Jesus?
  • What is the Holy Spirit?
  • What is spirit?
  • How can I grow in the fruit of the Spirit?
  • How should we pray?
  • Does God answer prayers today?
  • What is intercessory prayer?
  • Why pray “Thy kingdom come”?
  • What does it mean to pray without ceasing?
  • What is fasting?
  • What is meditation?
Bible study topics about the Bible
  • Is the Bible true?
  • Is the Bible full of contradictions?
  • What is truth?
  • Who wrote the Bible?
  • What is the background and outline of the individual books of the Bible?
  • Is the Old Testament relevant?
  • What can we learn from the imprecatory Psalms?
  • How can we learn to be wise?
  • What was the chronology of Paul’s journeys and epistles?
  • What are the 10 Commandments?
  • Were the 10 Commandments around before Moses?
  • Are the 10 Commandments upheld in the New Testament?
  • Should a Christian avoid euphemisms for God?
  • What does it mean that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath?
  • Did Paul change the Sabbath command?
  • Is watching porn a sin?
  • What do we need to know about the great commandment?
  • Is the Bible relevant today?
  • What are some encouraging Bible verses?
  • What is the purpose behind the Bible stories?
  • Where should you start reading the Bible?
  • What is doctrine?
  • How can we understand the Bible?
  • What did Paul mean by the curse of the law?
  • What are good works?
  • What is the Old Covenant?
  • What is new about the New Covenant?
Bible study topics about Life
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • Are we children of God now?
  • What is predestination?
  • Are we alone in the universe?
  • Does God want us to celebrate the biblical festivals? Why?
  • What is Passover?
  • What is the sign of Jonah? Did Jesus die on Good Friday and rise on Easter?
  • What does Pentecost mean?
  • What happens to those who died without hope?
  • Is God fair?
  • Why does God allow suffering?
  • How can we deal with grief?
  • Why did God’s people go to war?
  • Is there life after death?
  • Do humans have an immortal soul?
  • What is heaven?
  • What is hell?
  • What are the resurrections?
  • What is the way of peace?
  • How can we cast out fear?
  • Could your love grow cold?
  • What does the Bible say about crying?
  • Is being a Christian easy or hard?
  • How do we judge with righteous judgment?
  • How can we bring every thought into captivity?
  • What does the Bible say about being successful?
  • What is the key to happiness?
  • How can we be ambassadors of Christ?
Bible study topics about Prophecy
  • What is the Kingdom of God?
  • How will world peace come?
  • What does the world need most right now?
  • What do the parables of Jesus mean?
  • What is the Great Tribulation?
  • What is the Day of the Lord?
  • Who is the beast?
  • How do we avoid the mark of the beast?
  • What is the abomination of desolation?
  • What does the Bible say about the interpretation of dreams?
  • How can we recognize the Antichrist?
  • What is Armageddon?
  • When will Jesus return?
  • Why is our modern world under ancient curses?
  • Where are we now in Bible prophecy?
  • What is the purpose of prophecy?
  • What are the promises to Abraham?
  • Why did God choose Israel?
  • What is the role of Jerusalem in prophecy?
Bible study topics about Change
  • What is sin?
  • What does the Bible say about anger?
  • What is the unpardonable sin?
  • What is justification?
  • What is repentance?
  • What is forgiveness?
  • What should we do when forgiveness isn’t easy?
  • What is baptism?
  • What is conversion?
  • What is faith?
  • How can we grow in faith?
  • What can we learn from the women of faith in the Bible?
  • What are God’s promises?
  • How can we deal with doubt?
  • What is living faith?
  • What is grace?
  • What does it mean to be saved?
  • What is the Church?
  • Why are there so many world religions?
  • What did Jesus mean by “narrow is the gate”?
  • What did Jesus mean by “judge not”?
  • How does temptation occur?
  • What is the biblical name of the true Church?
  • What is the mission of the Church?
  • What kind of worship does God want?
  • Who is the Bride of Christ?
Bible study topics about Relationships
  • How do we speak the truth in love?
  • What does the Bible say about gossip?
  • When should you answer a fool?
  • How should we fellowship?
  • What does God expect of the unmarried?
  • What does it mean to be equally or unequally yoked?
  • What questions should you ask before getting married?
  • How do great marriages work?
  • What does the Bible say about marriage problems?
  • How can we help our children build a relationship with God?
  • How do we teach our children to honor the elderly?
  • How do we teach our kids about money?
  • How can we raise contented kids?
  • How can we raise resilient kids?
  • How can we build a strong family?
  • How can we honor our parents as an adult?
  • What is the biblical role of men?
  • What is the biblical role of women?
  • What does the Bible say about dealing with debt?
  • What are biblical personal finance principles?
  • What does the Bible say about gambling?
  • What is tithing?
  • What is divine healing?
  • What does the Bible say about coping with anxiety?
  • How can we be a good neighbor?
  • How can we deal with difficult people?
  • How can we deal with aging?
Other resources for Bible study topic ideas

Your daily life will likely give you many topics to study in your Bible, and these can be the most helpful Bible study topics!

But if you have run out of ideas and want more inspiration, here are some more resources:

All-Topics Page: This page lists all of the articles on our website, and new articles are being added regularly. As you look through the list, you are sure to find something that is relevant to you, something that you’ve wondered about or that would help you in your personal walk with God. The articles also will give you a starting place for your study. You can look up the passages mentioned and read more of the context in your Bible.

Weekly Newsletter: This link takes you to the subscription form for our weekly email newsletter. The newsletter features the new content on our website, including video commentaries, blogs and articles. We hope you’ll find at least one Bible study topic that grabs your interest in the newsletter each week.

Discern magazine: Our bimonthly magazine regularly covers a variety of biblical topics. We’d be happy to give you a free subscription to Discern. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide; print subscriptions are currently available in the United States, Canada and much of Europe.

Topical Bibles and Concordances: These Bible study tools can help you find the relevant passages once you have chosen your Bible study topics. However, scanning through them can also give you dozens of topics for your future study.

Bible study topics for youth

We also have resources geared toward young people and their parents. See the “Encourage, Equip & Inspire” section for dozens for useful Bible study topics for youth and parents.

See also the 47 Bible stories and coloring pages in our “Bible Stories” section.

Start now!

Finding Bible study topics might be challenging, but having too many to choose from can be daunting as well. Don’t let “analysis paralysis” keep you from starting. Hopefully several of the ideas in this article looked interesting and helpful to you. Pick one now and get started!

You may also want to start with this helpful overview article: “How to Study the Bible.”

Please let us know if you have questions or if we can help in any way.”

RELATED ARTICLES

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/bible-study/bible-study-topics/?

7 Keys to Better Bible Study. Download Free Booklet

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bodyache.jpg

Sugar Aches & Inflammation,  By Darlene Kvist, MS, CNS, LN

“Yes, you read that right. Sugar-aches. I don’t mean the sugar lust that comes from the aroma of fresh brownies or the Blizzard-of-the-month sign at the Dairy Queen®. I mean what happens after you consume high-sugar foods that in turn create inflammation, aches and pain throughout your body; in other words, sugar-aches.

Do You Have Sugar-Aches?

This achy feeling may appear as stiff joints, achy muscles, migraines, added asthma or PMS symptoms. Chronic sugar-aches can lead to giving up your favorite pastimes such as golf, gardening, or other activities because you're in too much pain.

Let's back up. Where do your sugar-aches originate? They can come from a mocha and muffin at the coffee shop or maybe from a generous serving of pasta, or sub sandwich, at lunch. On the other hand, they may be from the hard to resist candy stash at your co-worker’s desk.

You're probably getting the picture ... sugar is hiding, in high amounts in many beverages and foods.

While you wouldn’t consume spoon after spoon of plain sugar, you may drink soda or eat popular foods that result in sugar-overload in your body without realizing it.

Here's a simple equation to see how much sugar you are actually consuming, beyond what's listed on the label. 4 grams of carbohydrates = 1 teaspoon of sugar in your body. When you check product labels, look for serving size so you can complete the equation for the amount of food or beverage you want to consume. 

Sugar-Loaded Snacks to be Cautious of:

  • PotatoChips.jpgPotato chips: A nine-ounce bag of chips breaks down into 32 teaspoons of sugar (most people can’t stop after four or five chips). If you wash down the chips with a soda, that’s another 16 or more teaspoons of sugar.
  • Dots: One box of movie-theater sized Dots contains 5.5 servings. If you consume the whole box, you have eaten the equivalent of 48 teaspoons of sugar! (Maybe that’s the reason you are so stiff when you leave your seat at the end of the movie.)
  • Blizzard: One small Dairy Queen Blizzard has 530 calories and 83 grams of carbohydrates, which equals 21 teaspoons of sugar. And that's a small size!
  • One soda contains more than a day's healthy ration of sweetness.

This list is just a start to be cautious of. Read about even more with this Healthy Snacks Debunked post.

A Natural Solution to Sugar-Aches

Instead of relying on an endless supply of pain relievers to manage aches and pains, I have a better suggestion – start eating real foods and see how much better you feel. In 2002 the American Journal of Cancer Nutrition found that foods high in sugar resulted in inflammation. So the research, and 20+ years of clinical experience, have shown that food choices directly affect levels of pain and inflammation in the body.

As a nutritionist, I see clients’ lives change dramatically when they eliminate processed, high-sugar foods and switch to real foods. Clients that could barely climb the stairs to our office on their first visit returned to their favorite activities after following an anti-inflammatory eating plan for a few months.

Remember that highly processed foods (pizza, cereal, granola bars, popcorn and the list can go on forever), mostly all contain sugar and trans-fats (damaged fats and oils that are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, such as margarine and refined vegetable oils) which are known to increase inflammation and pain.

Eat This, Not That

The key to avoiding sugar-aches lies in eating real foods instead of processed foods. What do we mean by real foods?

  • Carbohydrates – Vegetable carbs are best, three additional servings of vegetables per day have been shown to reduce your risk of stroke by 22%.
  • Unprocessed food, nothing in a package or box.

Real foods can ease the inflammation you feel, as well as hidden low-grade chronic inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer, fibromyalgia, heart disease and strokes.

Do your own experiment. Stop eating processed carbohydrates for three full weeks. Avoid soda, candy, chips, cereal and bagels, and I am willing to bet that you will experience less pain and inflammation. Then come back and let us know how you feel!

That said, each body is extremely unique with your own health history and goals. For a more targeted approach and help reading your body’s cues, consider a nutrition consultation, available by phone or in-person with one of our nutritionists.

Nutrition is your best line of defense against sugar-aches!

From: https://www.weightandwellness.com/resources/articles-and-videos/sugar-aches/

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Saturday, August 21, 2021

Praying for Our Daily Bread. The Lord’s Model Prayer. Salt: The Scapegoat for the Western Diet.

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Praying for Our Daily Bread

We're told to pray for our daily bread.

“We're told to pray for our daily bread.

God tells us to pray for our daily bread. The Bible gives examples that help us more deeply understand what He means by this and how to apply it today.

It’s hard to pack for a two-year journey across a barren wilderness. It’s even harder when you’re hurrying out of the country that oppressed you and your people for many years as slaves. So it’s little surprise that, a month or so into their grand exit from Egypt, the Israelites started to notice something of a rumbling in their stomachs.

Their response, however, was ridiculous. Rather than trust in the God who had just brought one of the world’s mightiest nations to its knees through supernatural plagues and then led His people through a sea without even getting them wet, they instead complained bitterly. They accused Moses, their leader, of dragging them into the wilderness to “kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3).

Bread from heaven!

God responded with a miracle that would last for 40 years—every day, except the Sabbath, He sent bread from heaven. The Israelites were to “gather it according to each one’s need” (Exodus 16:16) but not “leave any of it till morning” (verse 19). Anyone who tried to be clever and stockpile for future days (excepting the Sabbath) found a nasty surprise—by the next morning, the manna “bred worms and stank” (verse 20).

For 40 years, six days a week, the Israelites would get up in the morning and gather their bread for the day, gathering a double portion only the day before the Sabbath.

And so for 40 years, the continued survival of the entire congregation of Israel depended on whether or not God provided them with bread in the morning.

A few millennia later …

Fast-forward to the present. There’s a significantly good chance you’re not reading this from your tent in the wilderness; and in all likelihood, your bread doesn’t rain from heaven so much as it gets plucked from the aisles of your local supermarket. It’s been a long, long time since the now-scattered Israelites have had to depend on manna from above. In fact, if you live in America, you live in a country where an average of 247 pounds of food is wasted per person per year.

That’s the equivalent of every American taking a pile of food the weight of Dr. Phil and throwing it in the garbage. Every year.

How does this relate to the Lord’s prayer?

When Jesus Christ gave His disciples a template for praying to God (Matthew 6:9-13), He provided a list of categories to include in our daily prayers. Important categories, like “Your kingdom come” and “forgive us our debts” and “do not lead us into temptation” and “give us this day our daily bread” and—wait, hold on.

Give us this day our daily bread? In a world that throws away mountains of unwanted food, isn’t praying for daily bread a little … outdated?

A parable

Jesus Christ also told the story of a man who found himself with more food than he knew what to do with. After a bountiful harvest—so bountiful that there wasn’t enough room to store it all—the man resolved to tear down his old barns, build bigger ones and live a life of ease for years.

His plan hit a snag, however, when “God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” (Luke 12:20).

Overnight, the man’s possessions, however plentiful, lost all value to him.

Stockpiles are not security

As human beings, we seem to be hardwired with the inclination to stockpile stuff. We want to hoard; we want to keep; we want to possess. And so we save—we pile up goods and money and food, saving it all for a rainy day. Of course, saving is a wise principle.

However, if we’re not careful, it’s easy to start believing our stockpiles will carry us through any rainy days—that our stuff will sustain us through all of life’s difficulties. We tell ourselves that if we can just hold on to enough things to keep our heads above water, we won’t have to worry about anything.

Except for the fact that depending on stuff only breeds more worries. Because, as it turns out, food can rot. Possessions can be destroyed. Economies and, yes, entire civilizations can collapse. And when our survival hinges on a pile of stuff that can vanish in a moment, we’ll spend our lives concerned about losing our grip on those stockpiles.

The parable of the rich fool reminds us that stockpiles cannot bring security. In fact, stockpiles can actually cause us to forget the source of true security.

Why pray for daily bread?

The Israelites learned in a concrete, physical sense that without God’s continued provisions they would perish. It was literally impossible for them to stockpile manna, because it would spoil by the next morning. They were constantly aware that their food, each and every day, was provided for them directly by God.

We forget. Our breakfast doesn’t come from the heavens; it comes from a grocery store. America alone throws away tons of wasted food, and it’s easy to forget that our pantries full of meals were made possible by our Creator.

So we pray for our daily bread. We pray not just for the possession of it, but for the blessing of partaking of it. Because having it in abundance means nothing if we die or we have it ripped from us. It is a blessing from God, not ourselves.

Tucked away toward the end of Proverbs is a prayer that deepens the meaning of praying for daily bread. It is a prayer to “feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:8-9).

Having the “food allotted” to us helps keep us from trusting in the false god of stockpiles.

Worry not

Trusting stockpiles can breed worries, but God offers us a different way—trusting Him. Christ tells us, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. … For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:25, 32-34, emphasis added).

Pray for your daily bread. Do your part in earning it, but trust God to provide it. Don’t look to your own possessions for deliverance, but to your Father in heaven, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).       From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/blog/praying-for-our-daily-bread/

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The Lord’s Model Prayer

“Matthew 6:9-13

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

This passage is often called the “Lord’s Prayer,” but it really isn’t a prayer, but an outline of the kinds of things to pray about. Christ prayed many prayers, and if you had to pick one to call the Lord’s Prayer, the one recorded in John 17 might be the most likely candidate.

There is a lot packed into this outline about our approach to God; about our need to focus on the good news of His promised Kingdom; about praying for the needs of others and ourselves; and about overcoming Satan, temptation and sin through seeking God’s help and forgiveness.

For more details on this passage, please see “The Lord’s Prayer” and “Do You Pray the Way Jesus Taught?” including the infographic “Jesus Christ’s Model Prayer.”  From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/the-lords-model-prayer/?

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Salt: The Scapegoat for the Western Diet

“Salt isn’t the cause of health problems, the real culprits are the foods people eat that are loaded with salt and fat, such as bacon, cheese and processed foods.

People following vegetarian diets have been consistently found to have lower blood pressure, irrespective of their sodium intake; and indigenous communities in which hypertension is rare typically consume a diet that resembles far more of a vegetarian than a western, urban diet (even when their native diet may be very high in sodium).12 When these people migrate to the city and westernize their diets with more animal products and processed foods they develop hypertension, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It’s the basic foods, not the salt that underlies health and disease.”

Read More at: https://www.drmcdougall.com/articles/common-health-problems/salt-the-scapegoat-for-the-western-diet/

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Sunday, August 15, 2021

How to Pray for Others. Whose Prayers Won’t God Hear? Whose Prayers Does God Answer? How Not to Pray. Doctors’ Nutritional Ignorance.

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Intercessory Prayer: How to Pray for Others

Intercessory Prayer: How to Pray for Others

“God appreciates people who pray fervently for others facing trials. Why does God command intercessory prayer, and how does He want us to pray for others?

What is intercessory prayer?

Intercessory prayer is prayer for the needs of others. Praying for others is an unselfish expression of love.

Why does God want us to pray for others? Because intercessory prayer reflects God’s own character of outgoing love and mercy. God wants us to think like He does, and praying for others helps us to think beyond ourselves and to grow in compassion for others.

God compares prayer with sweet-smelling incense that pleases Him (Revelation 5:8).

Who should we pray for?

Here are a few biblical principles for effective intercessory prayer. We should:

  • Pray for others from the heart, with deep feeling and sincerity. (See our article “Prayer From the Heart” for more about this.)

  • Pray for others regularly. In what is often called the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11; see “The Lord’s Prayer”). We should pray for our needs and the needs of others every day.

  • Pray for others in detail. God knows everything; but He wants us to come to Him with all our specific requests because He likes to hear from us and to know what is important to us. The Bible compares our prayers to incense, and God loves prayers that are like “sweet incense beaten fine” (Leviticus 16:12). Detailed, thoughtful prayers are more pleasing than rushed, summary prayers to “bless everybody.” Making a prayer list or prayer journal can help you remember the details.

  • Pray for others with faith, knowing that God has all power and loves the people we are praying for. Faith reminds us that God knows what is eternally best for each person, and that even if God does not answer in the way we want at the time we want, we can trust He has all of our best interests in mind. (For more about faith, study the scriptures in our article “What Is Faith?” and the other articles in that section.)

  • Pray for others with love. Remember that names on a prayer list represent real people with deep needs, struggles and feelings. Consider that God loves each of them and wants us to have the same outgoing concern. Godly love is totally unselfish and is the essence of God’s character (see “God Is Love”).

  • Pray for others fervently—with intensity, zeal and passion. James 5:16 tells us “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

  • Pray for others with a desire to help where we can. This might include physical help and encouragement. Cards, calls and visits might be helpful. It is not wrong to tell a person you are praying for him or her if it will help encourage the person.”

More at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/prayer-fasting-and-meditation/how-to-pray/intercessory-prayer/

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Whose Prayers Won’t God Hear?

Psalm 66:18

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.

Does God hear the prayers of sinners? Yes and no.

Yes, our merciful God always loves us and works with us, and Jesus Christ even died for us “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). We were all sinners (Romans 3:23), so if God did not hear our cries for forgiveness, there would be no human He would hear. After sinning, David prayed, “Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities” (Psalm 51:9). God heard that prayer.

But without repentance, as Isaiah wrote, “Your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).

Psalm 66:18 talks about sin “cherished” in the heart (New International Version). “If I have known it was there and encouraged it,” then God wouldn’t listen (Adam Clarke’s Commentary on Psalm 66:18).

To be assured God will hear and answer us, we must repent and work to root sin out of our heart with God’s help. See more about repentance in “How to Repent.””

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/whose-prayers-wont-god-hear/?

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Whose Prayers Does God Answer?

1 John 3:22

“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Jesus Christ said, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14). That sounds like a blanket promise that could be easily abused. But John clarifies in 1 John 3:22 what Christ meant and why He could say that. His followers would, by definition, be those who strive to obey God’s commandments and to please God. Christians must seek God’s will and so must pray according to God’s will.

It only makes sense. Why would God act like a genie and give us things that wouldn’t be good for us? Why would He reward disobedience to His perfect laws? He wouldn’t.

He wants His followers to learn His will and to ask according to His will. Then He can give “whatever we ask” at the time that He knows is best for us in His eternal plan.

For more about His commandments and pleasing Him, see “The 10 Commandments for Today” and “How to Please God.”            From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/whose-prayers-does-god-answer/?

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How Not to Pray

James 4:3

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

In this chapter James is giving correction about selfish desires and the wrong actions they produce. Selfishly trying to get things for ourselves can lead from lust and coveting to fighting and even murder and war. And still people don’t get what they want, James says, “because you do not ask” (James 4:2).

Of course, James knew that some of his readers would automatically respond, “What do you mean we don’t ask! We ask God for the things we want all the time! So why doesn’t God answer?” Verse 3 is James’ response to this expected objection.

God does not want us to pray with a list of selfish “give mes.” Asking “amiss” is asking for selfish reasons—not seeking God’s will, which truly is in our long-term best interest. Selfishly seeking pleasures now is short-sighted.

Instead our prayers must be based on right motives and right priorities, such as described in Matthew 6:33. Jesus said we should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then the other things we need “shall be added to you.”

For more about priorities and where we should focus, see “Seek First the Kingdom of God.”        From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/how-not-to-pray/?

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Doctors’ Nutritional Ignorance

Medical education continues to under-emphasize clinical nutrition.

Transcript of video at: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/doctors-nutritional-ignorance/

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

“The World Health Organization blames literally millions of deaths every year on inadequate fruit and vegetable intake. Almost as deadly as smoking. So if we care enough about ourselves and our families to not want to die a horrific death from smoking, we should put the same effort into eating more fruits and vegetables. We should eat fruits and vegetables as if our lives depended on it, because in a way they do.

Why haven’t many of us heard of this change from 5 A Day to 9 A Day? Well, the Federal Government spends about $10 million a year to educate people about healthy eating. Candy corporations spend about twice that amount just launching a new candy bar. Okay, but why don’t most doctors pass this information along? Because, odds are, your doctor never learned any of this. Less than a quarter of medical schools have even a single dedicated course on nutrition, and less than six percent of graduating physicians may have received any formal nutrition training.

Out of thousands of hours of pre-clinical instruction, your doctor may have gotten an average of three hours of nutrition training. There was even a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that pitted doctors versus patients in a head-to-head test of basic nutrition knowledge—simple true or false questions. Guess who won? The patients. People off the street knew more about nutrition than their doctors, yet people still ask their doctors for nutrition advice.

What doctors may be telling their patients to eat may be killing them. It wasn’t too long ago that doctors were advising pregnant women to smoke cigarettes to help with morning sickness. Until doctors are taught more about nutrition, their advising us about diet may be physician-assisted suicide.

There is one doctor though, everyone trusts. Perhaps the most famous physician of all time: Dr. Benjamin Spock. Always on the forefront of important social issues. And in the final edition of his book, the bestselling book in American history (second only to the Bible), he recommended that all children be raised on meat- and dairy-free diets to prevent diseases like cancer.”

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Monday, August 9, 2021

What Is the Real Meaning of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus? Test All Things. Why You Should Care About Nutrition.

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What Is the Real Meaning of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus?

The parable of Lazarus and the rich man can seem to tell of men going to heaven and hell after death. But is that the real meaning and lesson of this parable?

What Is the Real Meaning of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus?

The parable of Lazarus and the rich man is one of Jesus’ most misunderstood parables. You can read it in Luke 16:19-31. This parable is often interpreted as being about the immediate fate of the dead. After all, a surface-level reading seems to show the beggar Lazarus dying and going to heaven while the selfish rich man dies and descends to hell.

But a problem with this explanation of the parable is that there are several scriptures—many of them from the mouth of Jesus Himself—that contradict the idea that people go to heaven or hell immediately after death.

How should we understand this parable? Is it really about what happens to people right at the time they die? Or did Jesus intend for us to learn a completely different lesson?

What did Jesus say about death?

Jesus made clear statements throughout His ministry about what does and doesn’t happen after a person dies.

In John 11, Jesus resurrected His friend Lazarus (the brother of Mary and Martha, not the character in the parable). Before doing so, He told His disciples: “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up” (verse 11). When the disciples were confused about what He meant, Jesus clarified that He meant Lazarus was dead (verses 13-14).

Jesus likened death to sleep—a state of unconsciousness. Jesus’ words harmonize with other scriptures that show the dead have no conscious thoughts (Ecclesiastes 9:5). So it would be contradictory for Jesus to teach that the rich man and the beggar Lazarus were very much awake after they died.

What did Jesus teach about going to heaven?

Jesus made a clear statement about going to heaven: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven” (John 3:13). The New English Translation is even clearer: “No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.”

So it would be strange and inconsistent for Jesus to say in one situation that no one has gone to heaven and then later say that Lazarus the beggar went to heaven.

What did Jesus say about hell?

In Matthew 10:28, Jesus said: “But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Jesus associated hell with destruction. When something is destroyed, it ceases to exist. Jesus described hell as a place of complete destruction rather than a place with conscious and tormented dead individuals. This is consistent with how other biblical writers described the fate of the wicked (Malachi 4:3; Romans 6:23). You can learn more about this topic in our online article “Eternal Torment?

So these statements give us a clear understanding of Jesus’ teaching. After death people don’t immediately go to heaven or hell. Instead, they await a future time when they will be resurrected from the dead (Luke 14:14).

What moral lesson was Jesus teaching?

When examining a parable, we have to recognize what a parable is—and is not. A parable is a short, fictitious story designed to teach a moral or spiritual lesson.

Many are surprised by Jesus’ comment that He did not use parables to make it easy for the crowds to understand, but so they wouldn’t understand (Matthew 13:11-15). He often had to explain the meaning of parables to His disciples.

When Jesus wanted to teach something clearly, He didn’t use parables (as we see in His above clear statements about death, heaven and hell).

Jesus designed His parables to be somewhat ambiguous on the surface (Luke 8:10). This, by itself, should show us that we have to be careful about interpreting a parable through a mere superficial reading. Instead, we must dig deeper to identify the core moral lesson Jesus was talking about—and not get lost in the details of the fictional story He used to deliver that lesson.

As an analogy, we can think of a parable as the wrapping paper concealing a gift. Instead of getting caught up in the details of the wrapping paper (what it looks like, how it’s wrapped, etc.), we should really be concerned with the gift inside.

So what was the core lesson Jesus taught with this parable?

We have to begin by looking at the context in which He gave it. Right before He told this parable, Jesus had been in a conflict with the Pharisees.

“Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God’” (Luke 16:14-15).

Jesus was dealing with people who were fixated on the accumulation of wealth and who hypocritically put on a false front of being righteous before people. However, internally their hearts were unrighteous. Simply put, these people pretended to be righteous, but in reality were full of greed and lack of concern for others. Their “righteousness” was just a show. Jesus used the parable of Lazarus and the rich man to warn of the pitfalls and dangers of living a life driven by greed and a lack of love for others.

The context of the parable was not about death or what happens after death. The context was the danger of greed and hypocrisy.

The real meaning of the parable

There are two main characters in this story—the rich man (who lived a posh life and ate well every day) and a poor man named Lazarus (who was covered with sores and it seems was unable to work to feed himself).

Instead of helping Lazarus, the rich man coldheartedly ignored his suffering.

They both eventually died. Jesus then transitioned the story to the afterlife. Here, the roles are completely reversed. Lazarus is healed and in a state of comfort, while the rich man is in a state of mental distress. (Considering the biblical timeline of the resurrections, this seems to refer to the short time discussed in Revelation 20:14-15 when the wicked who have already had their opportunity for salvation are raised and condemned to the second death in the lake of fire.)

The rich man begs Lazarus to comfort him, but it’s too late, and there’s nothing he can do to help. The rich man even begs that someone warn his brothers to repent and change their lives so they can avoid the same fate.

The spiritual lesson is profound: Get your priorities correct now. Instead of being greedy and hypocritical, prioritize loving God and serving other people above all other things—now. Don’t put it off, because you never know when your life will end.

An additional lesson this parable teaches is a principle Paul wrote about later in 1 Corinthians 1:27: “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”

At the beginning of the parable, Lazarus was as weak and powerless as any human being could be, while the rich man was wealthy and mighty. But in the end, those roles were reversed. Lazarus’ humility and righteousness resulted in his standing beside Abraham, and the rich man’s greed and lack of compassion led to his being brought very low.

The meaning and lesson of Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus is relevant to all of us today!

For more insight on this parable, read our article “Lazarus and the Rich Man: Proof of the Existence of Hell?”   From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/life-after-death/what-is-hell/meaning-of-parable-of-rich-man-and-lazarus/

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Test All Things

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Test all things; hold fast what is good.

In the post about John 14:1, we covered how the essential starting point of true Christianity is a genuine belief in God. In 1 Thessalonians 5:21 the apostle Paul shows us the great extent to which that belief in God extends into every aspect of our lives. God’s way of life revealed through the Bible is to be the filter through which we “test,” or examine, all ideas, beliefs and activities.

Here are three keys to fulfilling this scripture:

  • Any individual who claims to represent and teach about God is to be tested against the Bible—the Word of God. The starting point for this testing is whether or not the teacher teaches and observes the law of God (Isaiah 8:20). Jesus Christ also admonished us to watch for false religious teachers (Matthew 7:15-16, see also 1 John 4:1).
  • To “test all things” we must have the approach of the Bereans, testing all things by studying the Word of God (Acts 17:11).
  • Every idea or activity that comes before us in life should be scrutinized through the filter of God’s truth. To mature as a Christian is to become skilled at discerning between “good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14) and between what is and is not acceptable to God (Ephesians 5:10).

Once we determine the truth, we must hold fast to it, meaning we must be “steadfast” and “immovable” (1 Corinthians 15:58) in our belief in God and His truth!

To learn more about what you need to find and hold fast to, read “What Is Truth?

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Why You Should Care About Nutrition | NutritionFacts.org

Transcript of video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/why-you-should-care-about-nutrition/

"Does it really matter what we eat? Well, the good news is, we have tremendous power over our health destiny and longevity. The majority of premature death and disability is preventable, with a healthy enough diet. It’s…the…food.

Most deaths in the United States are preventable, and related to nutrition. According to the most rigorous analysis of risk factors ever published — the Global Burden of Disease Study, the number one cause of death in the United States, and the number one cause of disability, is our diet, which has bumped tobacco smoking to number two. Smoking now only kills a half million Americans every year, whereas our diet kills hundreds of thousands more.

What we eat is the number one determinant of how long we live. What we eat is what determines most whether we’ll die prematurely. What we eat is what determines most whether we become disabled or not.

So, if our diet is the number one cause of death and disability, if most deaths in the United States are preventable, and related to nutrition, then, obviously, nutrition is the number one thing taught in medical school. Right? Obviously, it’s the number one thing your doctor talks to you about at every visit. Right?

Unfortunately, doctors suffer from a severe nutrition deficiency—in education. Most doctors are just never taught about the impact healthy nutrition can have on the course of illness, and so, they graduate without this powerful tool in their medical toolbox.

Now, there are also institutional barriers—such as time constraints, and lack of reimbursement. In general, doctors aren’t paid for counseling people on how to take better care of themselves. Of course, the drug companies also play a role in influencing medical education and practice. Ask your doctor when’s the last time they were taken out to dinner by Big Broccoli—it’s probably been a while.

That’s why I started NutritionFacts.org. It’s the tool I wish I had in medical training. NutritionFacts.org is a free, nonprofit, science-based public service, providing daily updates on the latest in nutrition research via bite-sized videos. There are videos on more than 2,000 health and nutrition topics—all free—with new videos and articles uploaded every day on the latest in evidence-based nutrition.  What a concept."

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