Questions About Satan

questions

I love it when the Youth Center teens ask me random questions. 🙂 Here’s one I got the other day:

“Why does Satan punish sinners? Wouldn’t he be happy you “turned your back on god” and like went to the dark side? Alternatively if Satan punishes sinners why isn’t he considered good?”

Such a fantastic question, right?!

It all boils down to the nature of who Satan is. Is he anti-God, or anti-people? It he a just punisher or an embodiment of total evil?

I was falling asleep last night thinking of this question, and this analogy came to mind:

Imagine I take you on a vacation to the most amazing resort in the world. I pay for the plane ticket, book the rooms, and spend the whole 10 days trying to get to know you and spend time with you and love ya well with a vacation. It’s not perfect-you get sunburn, some bug-bites, etc. but even so, it’s an amazing, incredible trip. 

When the vaca is over, I say to you, “Alright (insert your name). It’s time to go home. Pack your bags and lets go!” I grab my duffle, knowing how much time, money, and energy I’ve spent on this resort-I was HAPPY to do it, because I FREAKING LOVE YOU, but I’m ready for us to go home. I’m at the door with my keys out, and I look behind me and see you lying on the bed playing with your phone. “______, ” I say, “it’s time to go. What are you doing?” 

What you tell me next, is a shot through the heart. You tell me that you don’t want to go home with me. That you’re thankful for the nice room, and the delicious food, and the scuba-diving lessons, but you are pissed about the bugbites, and don’t really enjoy my company. You tell me that you find me boring-or really just not all that important and that you’d much rather just be by yourself than with me. Beside, while I’m there you can’t do the things you REALLY wanna do here in Florida. You tell me I’m a killjoy. Me, the one who took you parasailing and snorkeling and to the best Indian Restaurant you’ve ever experienced -think I’m a killjoy?

I implore you-please come. Don’t stay here-it’s not safe here without me. This is an amazing resort, but the owner is absolutely insane. Without me here to keep you safe–

but you cut me off. “No, Betty. I don’t want to be with you. I don’t want to get to know you. I don’t care if you did all these “amazing things” for me. I don’t care. I just want to be here. Without you. Doing whatever the heck I want. So back off and just go home. And I don’t even believe that @#$% about the owner being a sociopath. He’s probably not all that bad. He’ll probably understand why I didn’t want to go with you.”

We argue for hours. You’re being ridiculous and hurtful. But, you’re an adult. You can make your own decisions. You clearly don’t really know me. You rejected me. So I leave. 

What you won’t believe is that the owner of the resort not only hates me-but he also hates you. He hates everyone. He is a sociopath. If you would’ve loved me-he would have been furious. You hating me makes him a little less mad-but he still hates you. When you choose to stay at the resort-he doesn’t pat you on the back and welcome you to the family of “Betty Haters”–he, evil to the core–begins tormenting you because that is who he is and what he loves to do. 

Do you understand this whole little story? God has given us time here on earth (the vacation)-HE made the earth perfectly habitable, HE gave you gifts and passions and joys, and relationships (snorkeling, etc.) and yes-there is such awful stuff here too, but Satan (the owner of the resort) is the ruler of this present world (2 Cor. 4:4) and brought evil into it. When it’s time for you to die (go home from the vacation) and you choose to NOT go with God, the only alternative is to stay with him. And he is awful. Absolutely awful.

So, Satan doesn’t “punish sinners”-he hates EVERY human. Attacks the righteous ones on earth especially, and then in the afterlife, continues hating all people, whether they were really good or really bad, as long as they rejected Christ-they are with him, and he will do what he loves to do. You “going to the dark side” only brings him joy because that’s one more person to torment, one less person worshipping God is complete fullness of joy in heaven.

Satan is a little bit of a joke in our current culture. And I think he prefers it that way. Laugh about him. Don’t take him seriously. Think he’s harmless. But that is not true my friends. He is real. He is awful. He is heartless.

Has God Mellowed Out in His Old Age?

I’m currently reading through the book of Numbers, and this morning I read through the spies checking out the land God promised to them, their lies, and their complaints, yada yada yada. I read about God’s anger against the wicked, grumbling Israelites and the punishment that follows. Then in Chapter 15, there is this small portion-5 verses-that tells about the time someone was publically breaking the Sabbath by gathering sticks, and the Lord said “stone him to death”. Geez. That seems a bit overdramatic. And frankly, I was frustrated and literally, out loud, said:

“See, LORD. This is why people don’t like you!”

He just commanded someone to be STONED to DEATH for PICKING UP STICKS on the Sabbath! In fact, there are many times we read about similar stories in the OT. And it’s easy while reading through the Old Testament to see God as short-tempered and ungracious. Though I KNOW there are also countless examples of him being gracious and as Moses declares, “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression”, the times where he is not, definitely stand out in my mind.  This is why people love New Testament Jesus and avoid like the plague Old Testament Yahweh.

And then, (because I am a quote junkie) I remembered this quote by Pastor R.C. Sproul:

“When there’s something in the Word of God that I don’t like, the problem is not with the Word of God, it’s with me.”

Dang, R.C.! Okay, so there is something wrong with me (that I already knew!) but what is it?

According to Scripture, God is immutable-never changing. He is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8, Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, Ps. 102:24-27).  So why does it sometimes seem to me that God was a cranky dictator, but now he’s more lenient and gracious, and less sensitive and severe? Why do I like the responses of God less in the OT although I KNOW that He hasn’t changed in the NT?

The Holy Spirit graciously showed me the answer. The answer is (as it often is) the Cross.

Here’s the thing, God’s CHARACTER, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and PERFECTION have NOT changed. But, whereas his wrath once was rightfully poured out on individuals, through Jesus Christ, his wrath CHANGED to be poured out ONCE for ALL WHO BELIEVE on Jesus Christ. So God is still as deeply offended by blatant sin as he was in the time of Moses. But FORTUNATLEY for us, instead of sentencing us to death-he sentenced Christ to death.God still is INCREDIBLY serious about sin-but FORTUNATELY for us, Jesus Christ took all our deserved punishments so we don’t have to fear God’s punitive reactions to our crimes. In the Old Testament, God had the ground swallow people (Numbers 16:32), and if I view my sin correctly, I realize there are PLENTLY of times I rightfully deserved that to happen to me! But ON THE CROSS, CHRIST mercifully absorbed all of God’s reactions to our sins.

So when you and I read Old Testament stories of God’s wrath, instead of thinking “Ugh. I hate that God was so dramatic against sin!” focus on these 2 things–

  1. God STILL FEELS THAT way about sin! Don’t minimize your offenses against God-they are severe, He HATES them, and they do deserve punishment!
  2. PRAISE God ALL THE MORE for His kindness is sending Christ so that His children no longer need to be punished for their sins!

God is infinitely more holy and righteous than we ever realize. That truth plus the incredible grace displayed in sending God the Son to die for us, should motivate us towards joyful obedience and humble adoration!

Sproul

Keller

English Camp Message Transcript/Outline: Day 6

11655983_1002168929794139_1411297633_o

Friday: ONE CHURCH                  

Thanks for making my birthday awesome! I felt so loved! I think this is the best birthday I’ve ever had! I’m serious! The only other one that might compare was when I turned nine and I got a “teddy bear hamster” for my birthday…but then I remembered it escaped a few months later and when we moved I found it’s skeleton in the basement…and that was traumatic…so…I’d say this is DEFINITELY the best birthday ever!! But seriously, you guys have been so loving and encouraging this week-I’m really thankful for you!

  • The whole Bible agrees, our God is the ONLY GOD and our God is an AWESOME GOD.
  • Our ONE PASSION should be the same as GOD’S and that is for his GLORY.
  • Out of his great LOVE for us, God mercifully sent JESUS CHRIST to be our ONE SAVIOR.
  • The ONE DECISION to be part of God’s FAMILY changes our entire IDENTITY.
  • To glorify God with our ONE LIFE, we must DISCIPLINE ourselves for GODLINESS.
  • To serve the ONE CHURCH-both universal and local-introduce people to Jesus and help them follow Him.

Tonight I am going to talk to you a little bit about ONE CHURCH, and then I am going to give you my final words of advice.

  1. Introduction- In scripture the word “church” used to describe 2 different things. There are times where it is talking about the “Universal Church” meaning all believers in Jesus Christ ever–or the “local church” meaning an organized group of believers at a specific time and place who meet together regularly.
  2. First let’s talk about the “local church”-you need to both attend and serving a local church
    1. If you saw an eye on the sidewalk out here…AHH! That’s gross! It belongs on a body!
    2. What if I wore an eye patch all the time? Look like I should be in the Pirates of the Caribbean! And said, I just don’t feel like using my right eye.
      1. That’s stupid!
      2. Even if it’s not the prettiest, or perfect vision…it still works-use it!
    3. God’s word says the same things about being part of a local church.
      1. If you are a believer you are part of the “body of believers” and you NOT being in a church is GROSS!
      2. AND you not serving the body with the gifts and abilities God has given you because “you’re not the best” or “you don’t feel like it” are super lame and dumb reasons!
  • 1 Corinthians 12: 14-20 “14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body.”
  1. God chose to create local churches for us here on earth. He wants you to be a part of one. To serve and to build relationships with them and to learn about Jesus.
    1. You should be serving in a local church-
      1. Take leadership and start a new ministry within your church!
        1. Use the gifts God gave you!
        2. Be creative!
      2. and if you’re church for some reason will not allow you—you should be serving the universal Church
    2. Both the universal church and the local church: The point of Church is Jesus
      1. The church is not a building that we retreat from the world…it is where we suit up with armor to go into a broken world to bring people to Jesus!
      2. 1 Colossians 1:15-18 “He is the image ofthe invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”
        1. Jesus is the head of the church-He is to be #1 things church is about!
        2. You need to be in a church that helps you follow Jesus. You have to put forth the work!
          1. Ask your pastor if he can help you find a mentor- to help you love Jesus more
          2. Serve ANYWHERE YOU can! To be a servant LIKE Jesus was!
  • Doesn’t have to have the best music or coolest youth group-they just have to genuinely love Jesus
  1. If you find a church, but it does not preach Jesus…that is not a church. Leave and find one that does love him.
  2. The church is people introducing people to Jesus and helping them follow him
  1. We are all part of God’s universal church: and it WILL NOT fail.
    1. I know many of you get discouraged explain or convince your unbelieving friends or family of God.
    2. Don’t be! Keep praying! Keep sharing truth! Don’t give up!
  • Because we have a great and powerful God!
  1. Matthew 16:18
    1. Simon says Jesus is the son of God. Jesus responds, “And Jesus answered him,“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock2 I will build my church, and the gates of lhell3 shall not prevail against it.”
  2. You don’t have to be afraid. God’s word says the Father in Heaven opens peoples eyes to who Jesus is-and people WILL become believers!
    1. Just be faithful
      1. Share the gospel!
      2. Evangelism! Invite to church
      3. YOU are the one with the power of the Holy Spirit in you! NOT THEM! What do they have? Nothing!
    2. So in review…
      1. Use your gifts in a local church that loves Jesus. Remember that the universal church is created and sustained by our good heavenly father, and do not be discouraged in sharing your faith.
        1. To serve the ONE CHURCH-both universal and local-introduce people to Jesus and help them follow Him.
      2. Challenge: FIND A JESUS LOVING CHURCH: SERVE IN THE JESUS LOVING CHURCH, and don’t be afraid to STORM the gates of hell for the growth of the universal church (meaning all believers).

So then I was thinking about how this is my last chance to talk to you! I with this last opportunity to speak what else do I say?

This word: FIGHT.

Our enemy, the devil, would love to defeat you with these temptations and bring you down, but FIGHT my FRIENDS! Fight because you have the power of the Holy Spirit in you, and in 1 Corinthians 10:13 God’s word says that “God is faithful, he will not tempt you beyond what you can bear, but…he will provide a way out”

Life is hard. Temptations are strong, and the devil is cunning. BUT PLEASE, DO NOT GIVE UP OR GIVE IN. Find a local church to help you, be disciplined in your time with God and as Paul tells us in 1st and 2nd Timothy, FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT of the faith.

When you are tempted to give in to sin of pornography or sex: FIGHT FOR PURITY.

When you are tempted to wallow in self-loathing, depression, or anxiety: FIGHT FOR JOY.

When you are discouraged by unbelief, and don’t know if you can trust the Bible: FIGHT FOR FAITH.

When you are tempted to be lazy, ignore God, and turn to this world for comfort…FIGHT FOR LOVE.

I think we all have things in our life that we have to fight. Each person’s is different, but everyone has something. I have to FIGHT hard against some things. I have failed and continue to fail so much. But I FIGHT. I will never give in. I will never let the devil have the last punch. I will ALWAYS FIGHT. Because I know my relationship to God is worth fighting for.

Think about what your struggle, your sin, or your temptation will be when you go back home. Know that CHRIST has already paid for that sin. There is NO condemnation for it for those who are part of God’s family. You don’t have to drown in shame or guilt-he loves you, he’s forgiven you-but he deeply doesn’t want you to hold onto that painful sin. Christ brings freedom from those emotions. And the Holy Spirit brings STRENGTH. The Holy Spirit is who is convicting you of this struggle right now. He is the one telling you to fight, and who will continue to tell you to fight.

We have a cross here in the center of the hall. A cross that reminds us that Christ is ENOUGH for us. That his blood on the cross means we are FORGIVEN and LOVED by God. The cross tells us that our sin is paid for-not just some of it-ALL OF IT. And for that we PRAISE THE LORD. And with that praise-filled, thankful heart-we know that we don’t want to hold on to the sin that keeps us from loving God well. We want to fight it. We want to kill it. So we are going to sing worship songs and I invite each of you to go to the cross, and write down on the paper provided the sin or temptation or struggle that you are holding onto-that you want to fight and kill. And then we have hammers and nails and we want you to take that paper and, just like I savior was, nail it to the cross. Nail it to the cross to remind yourself that HE BORE the punishment for that sin, and that God has COMPLETELY forgiven you for it. And nail it to the cross to remind you that THAT is where your sin can stay-not in your life. You don’t have to carry it, the Holy Spirit can give you strength to fight it. And when it comes into your life, trying to temp you to take it back again, remember the pounding of the nail, and know that CHRIST died for that sin so that you will live in RIGHTEOUSNESS (verse).

[campers go]

Christ is enough for us.

Campers, I am so thankful to have been here this week with you. Thank you for listening so well to me, and for all of your encouragement. I will be praying for you this year! On your way out tonight you are going to receive a sticker to remind you of the truths you learned this week about ONE God, one passion, one savior, one decision, one life, and one church. And I will be praying that is a constant reminder of what you left behind here, on the cross, and the truths that you are taking with you.

I Love Puritan Prayers

This morning, before my 5:30 run, I was able to spend a little time in the Word and in one of my favorite little books-“The Valley of Vision”. The poetic prayers printed and bound in leather speak truth to me each time I open it. I was especially blessed by today’s reading and it made me want to share with you the blessing! Enjoy!

Confession and Petition

“Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Your mind in Your Word, of neglect to seek You in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless You that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank You that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Your patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Your rule. I thank You for Your wisdom and Your love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If You should give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Your grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in You. Then I shall bless You, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.”

Sin-It Isn’t What You Do, It is Who You Are

These are some excerpts from my message in Germany

“We are going to read in 1st john tonight, the entire first chapter. John wrote this letter to a group of Christians who were struggling with some pretty tough questions. And you know what’s something really awesome about god? He can handle all of your toughest questions. Questions like: Does God care if you are a good person or not? Is sin even a big deal to God? Once you become a Christian, should you not sin ever again? What do we have to do to be cleansed from sin? Was Jesus really god? Does God ever sin? were addressed.

Let’s read 1 john chapter one together. This is the most perfect thing I can ever say, it is precious, beautiful and true. ) Let’s all stand to show respect and reverence to God’s word:

1 John 1

Two quick things: Every time you read the bible ask yourself, what does this tell me about God? And secondly, if you don’t know what to be reading in your Bible, Johns writings are a great place to start. 🙂 Anyway, the first few verses give an eyewitness account. Jesus really walked and talked and bled and died and rose again. Those CLOSEST TO HIM SAW HIM EVERYDAY FOR YEARS SAY, YEP…Jesus Christ really is God.

Then, you can see how the text goes on to talk about how you know for sure that people are really believers in Jesus Christ? The answer is not if you’re a good person, but 2 parts, 1 if you have realized/confessed that you are a sinner and 2, God has opened your eyes to trusting in the payment that Jesus Christ has made for your sins! Atonement! And once you TRULY BELIEVE ONE AND TWO, then you r truly a believer in Christ and you will less and less want to sin and more and more want to honor and serve God with your life.

As for me, even at a really young age, i KNEW I was a sinner. Though I didn’t do drugs or kill anyone, I KNEW that I WAS a thief a liar and a manipulator, and that God was as good as everyone around me seemed to think he was, I bet he didn’t really like it when I did bad things. So I confessed to God that I knew I did wrong things, sins, and told him that I believed In Jesus and wanted god in my life to help me not to do wrong things anymore. And probably that is what many of you have done and thought. I did the first part, of confessing, but I didn’t do the seconds trusting. I didn’t trust in the payment that Jesus Christ made for my sins. Because I was afraid that god didn’t love me after I would do bad things, or that he would punish me, like hit me with a lightning bolt or something! If you struggle with those thoughts, you are not realizing the beauty of the truth if what Jesus’s PURPOSE was when he died on the cross FOR YOUR SINS.

So let’s go back to the first part: confessing you are a sinner.

So confess or admit  that you are a sinner? What does that mean? What is a sinner? Is it JUST the bad things that you do??? I think helpful way to answer that question is to watch the beginning of a cartoon that I remember watching as a child about a frog and a man who wants be rich, let’s watch that now!

Love that song! It’ll be stuck in my head for daaaays now! 🙂 anyway, here is my question…when the little green creature was sitting a croaking, what animal was he? Everyone say A frog! That’s right! Good job! Now, when that animal was dancing and singing, what animal was he? Right! Even if he acted differently, that didn’t change what he was. Still a frog.

In that same way, Sin Isn’t just what we do so much as it is who we are. We are sinners. We have a sin nature. So we are each born this way.

It is like we are that frog in the video! There are things we would naturally do as a frog, live eat flies, jump and hop along and croak like this ribbitt. And if we stop and start singing and dancing it does to make us a human, just a dancing frog.

NATURALLY WE ARE SINNERS. NO ONE TAUGHT US HOW TO LIE, OR CHEAT,  OR HIT OUR BROTHERS OR SISTERS WHEN WE WANT THEIR STUFF- we just do! And if you just try to stop sinning, without having the faith that Jesus Christ died for your sins, you are not a Christian, just a well behaved sinner, who still is separated from a perfect, holy, loving, and just God.  Just a dancing frog!

God is amazing and wonderful and perfect. He is the ruler, judge, and flawless king over all things. Sin is everything opposite of that…rebellion against God, and  in compete opposition to God. Sin says, “I am the ruler, only I matter, I should be worshiped.” God says he should be worshiped and the ruler!  So clearly these two things cannot coexisted. You must choose which one will be the ultimate ruler and authority in your life!

So let’s recap, shall we?

Sin is not JUST the bad things you do. But who YOU ARE NATURALLY. And God is so incredibly and so perfect and so wonderful, he is not just a little annoyed by your sin, he is not okay with your sin, he does not simply see it as an inconvenience, but God HATES IT WITH A HOLY PASSION! It is against him, it hates him, and therefore he wants nooooo part of us. The bible tells us in that we are Gods ENEMIES! It shows us that he is beautiful and good and perfect! And we, though initially created to be those things too, chose to rebel against god and are now all sinner, naturally you are opposed to God.

Do you feel uncomfortable? Kind of like you suck? Me too! Sin is not good news!

But here is he crazy awesome, beautiful, wonderful thing. There is really, really, REALLY GOOD NEWS.

Another way to look at it is like this, God is a king, and his kingdom is a beautiful and perfect and it’s walls are high and it’s gates are impenetrable! Sinners are His enemies, from a nearby city. All They do is attack him and everything he stands for! They want to rule his people! God, the king is not worried, nothing can get past fortress, but instead of just getting rid of us, or waging war against us like he should since we’ve rebelled against him, he has made a way for us to no longer be his enemy, no longer be “frogs”…he can give us a NEW nature be on his side, in fact be his heir! Isn’t that awesome? Because without God giving us a new nature, we could never be part of his kingdom because we would just attack it!  So he is loving and just and thought of the perfect way to do that. He allowed Christ to take on all of our punishment for all of our sin natures .

The Bible tells us that because of his great love for us, that while we were still sinners, even though we are his enemy, Christ died for us!!!! It says in 1 Tim, 1:15 Jesus was sent into the world to save sinners. He took alllllll of gods wrath and anger and judgment that SHOULD RIGHTFULLY BE ON YOU, on himself on the cross, so that you can be united with God and no longer his enemy but now, his child.

If you do not believe that Christ is the only way to salvation. If you do not want to read Gods word to know God better. If you do not want to obey the commands he makes in scripture, even if it is really hard. If you do not want to submit to the authority of the local church…then you want to stay a frog…you want to submit to your ruler, sin.

But…if you see that it is a privilege and a joy to be ruled by the wise, kind, just, perfect, gracious creator of the universe, and you believe that Jesus is who he said that he was, and he did what the bible said that he did, and you want to live a life dedicated to pleasing him as your lord and ruler…then you have rid yourself of your sin nature and now have Christs nature.

Get this, I sin every day and I hate it! Just like Paul does in Romans! But God does not see me as a sinner, but as RIGHTEOUS, LIKE HIS SON, because HE BECAME MY SIN SO THAT I COULD BECOME HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. And knowing that motivates me to WORK HARD TO TRY TO NEVER SIN!! Knowing that I deserve to be banished from his kingdom, because of my sin nature and that instead of banishing me, he has made his son take my punishment and I get his righteousness motivates me, causes me to PRAISE HIM AND LOVE HIM AND DEDICATE MY LIFE TO KNOWING HIM AND HELPING OTHER PEOPLE KNOW THIS INCREDIBLY GRACIOUS AND LOVING GOD OF THE UNIVERSE.

We are justified, seen as righteous in Gods eyes by our faith in Jesus Christ. And not just that he existed, but that he took on himself, all of my sins.

Listen carefully, you are NEVER, NEVER good enough to not need God. And you are never, never, never “bad enough” for his death on the cross not to cover alllllll your sins, and for you to be a NEW CREATION in him.

So I close with this, 1 if you haven’t yet, realized you are a sinner, and enemy to perfect, loving, and just God, realize that today! but please, don’t stay there go to part two and believe that God made a way through Jesus Christ for you to be his child and seen as righteous in his eyes and to be part of his kingdom here one earth and in the afterlife. Then let’s embrace being no longer sinners, but now children of God.