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Bible Made Easy Podcast

Life Changing Lessons From The Bible
Brother George

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You can watch Bible Made Easy Podcast on YouTube. My YouTube channel contains the same audio recording as the regular podcast but enhanced with beautifully presented visual elements such as images, video footage, captions, subtitles and background music as well. Please subscribe and enjoy Bible Made Easy Podcast on YouTube at the link below:

Welcome to the web page of Bible Made Easy Podcast. This podcast is dedicated to sharing life-changing 10-minute talks on a range of topics from the Bible. You can listen to Bible Made Easy Podcast on the following podcast streaming web sites:

Podbean   Apple Podcasts   Google Podcasts   Spotify   Amazon Music   iHeartRadio   Stitcher   Audible

Or download the following podcast streaming apps and listen on your smart phone or tablet. Hit the Follow or Subscribe button to get notified when a new episode is published every Sunday.

Podbean   Apple Podcast   Google Podcasts   Spotify   Amazon Music   iHeart Radio   Stitcher  Audible 

God bless you and happy listening!

The water of life, the living water that Jesus gives us as we spend time with Him can soothe our spiritual thirst, bring our parched souls relief and reinvigorate us in body mind and spirit. Come to Him today to get your fill of His life giving Spirit!

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Scriptures For Powerful Prayers

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See the detailed progression of end time events from the signs of the times leading up to the return of Jesus all the way through the rise and fall of the Anti Christ, the second coming and beyond into eternity. Save the image to your computer or open in a new tab for detailed viewing.

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My story of how faith has helped me overcome debilitating trials. And how faith can help you too.

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Coping with loss victoriously

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Keep on running. You'll win in the end!

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Jesus is with us in the midst of trying world conditions.

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Sometimes bad things can turn out to be good for us.

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You are unique, one of a kind and very special to God and the world. Whatever you are now you can realize your full potential.

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The magnificent beauty that awaits us in Heaven

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In spite of our imperfections God has a very special use for us.

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Episode 1: Introduction

Hi everyone and welcome to the very first episode of the Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host Brother George. Thanks joining me.

Have you ever wondered if there really is a God or whether the Bible is true? Are you having trouble in your life and wondered if Christianity or the Bible can help you? Or are you already a believer but have never really connected to your faith, applied it to your life and enjoyed the benefits? Or maybe you’re an atheist and are simply curious about what the Bible says and why in the world anyone would want to be a Christian.
If you’re any one of the above, or anyone else interested in the Bible, then this podcast is for you.

With the Bible Made Easy Podcast I hope to share with you what I’ve learned during my 40+ years of studying and teaching the Bible as a missionary in 18 different countries as well as applying its teachings to my own personal life and experiencing the many benefits.

You know, I used to think that the Bible was some kind of difficult to understand, boring religious book, until I started to read it for myself. Also one thing that helped me a lot was that I had really great mentors who broke the Bible down for me and explained it in a such a down to earth way that a simple teenager and later young adult like me could understand. What I found was that rather then being boring and hard to understand, the Bible is fascinating. It’s a life changing, exciting, living, breathing document and it completely flipped my life right side up.
Suddenly everything regarding my personal life and the world around me, began to make sense. I had all my personal questions answered and gained a newfound purpose in life. I’m so glad I’ve built the last 40 years of my life around the Bible. And I’d love to share what I’ve learned with you.

I hope to help you discover incredible truths that will show you that God exists, that He loves you more than you could possibly imagine, and that your life can be wonderfully changed through His Word and through knowing His son, Jesus Christ.
You’ll learn who God really is, who Jesus really is, how to be forgiven for your sins and how to obtain eternal life. You’ll also learn how reading and studying the Bible and having a personal relationship with God can enhance your daily life. You’ll learn how to improve your character, how to be successful in your work and your relationships with others, how to cope with sickness, troubles and life’s problems, how to be peaceful and happy no matter what your circumstances, and how to look at society and the world around us.

You’ll also learn the answers to life’s deepest questions such as ‘What is the meaning and purpose of life?’, ‘Why does God allow evil and suffering?’ and more. We’ll also delve into and unpack the mysteries of ancient Bible prophecies that foretell the future of mankind, the end-times and the magnificent happy ending of Jesus Christ’s triumphant return to earth and His eternal reign of love over the whole universe.

You will hear the A and Z of God’s thoughts and everything in between. You’ll experience unconditional love, peace and comfort that will soothe the deepest parts of your soul. At the same time you’ll hear things you didn’t expect, things that might surprise you as well as things that will motivate you and kick start you into action for the good of yourself and others. One thing is for sure, God’s word will never bore you or put to sleep. As Isaiah 55:8-9 says:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
So, get ready for the ride of your life. It’s gonna be an amazing! 

Now to some practical aspects of this podcast and how you can engage with it.
I hope to upload one episode per week every Sunday. Each episode will be about 10 minutes long. So don’t worry I won’t be boring you to death with super long sermons!

You’ll find this podcast on the following podcast streaming apps which you can download onto your smartphone or tablet: Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible and Stitcher. Most of those apps are free and don’t require a paid subscription. You’ll also be able to find me on YouTube.

Of course you don’t need to download an app to listen. You can also listen on your phone, tablet or Personal Computer without an app by using your web browser. Just search for Bible Made Easy Podcast on any of these apps or on your web browser and you’ll find me easily.

Of course you can subscribe to get notified of new episodes by hitting the subscribe or follow button on any of these apps of web sites.

Some apps and streaming sites have like buttons, so if you like what you hear please give it a tap. That will also help push the podcast out to more listeners.
Also some have comment or rating sections so please feel free to leave a positive comment or rating if you can. That would be great.

And of course you can also share the podcast itself or any particular episode with your family and friends by clicking on the share link in either the app or on the web. Subscribing, liking, leaving positive comments and sharing are always welcome. Thanks a lot!

If you swipe up on your app or scroll down on a web streaming page you’ll find what’s called the episode show notes. This is where I’ll post extra written information such as the following:

1. The Bible references to all the verses quoted in that episode. A Bible reference tells you the name of the Bible book and the chapter and verse numbers where that particular verse is located. You’ll be able to click on the references and a link will take you to the online Bible web site biblegateway.com where you can read that particular verse or passage as well as anything else in the Bible  

2. Links to any outside material or sources quoted in that episode 

3. Link to my Facebook page Bible Made Easy Podcast where I’ll post notifications of new episodes as well as regular inspirational quotes and thoughts 

4. Link to my web page thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com where you can read my Bible based inspirational articles 

5. A link to an online audio Bible
Please note though that not all apps and web platforms support links so if you want to use them please use an app or web platform that does support links. One I highly recommend is the Podbean app or Podbean web site.

Ok everyone, well that’s all for the first episode. I’m really looking forward to you joining me on the journey. It’s my heartfelt prayer that this podcast will be a huge blessing to you and that your lives will be changed by the Bible as much as mine has.

So, until the next episode, God bless each one of you. See you next time.

Episode 2: Does God Exist Pt1

Hi everyone. I’m Brother George, and welcome to Episode 2 of Bible Made Easy.

Today, and in the next episode, we’re going to answer the question ‘Does God Exist?’. This is the big question that everyone has to answer and in this episode I’ll try to give some, what I believe are, very strong reasons why belief in God is more logical and reasonable and even scientifically sound that non belief.

Now, throughout the world there are many religions and concepts of a creator God, and while I’ll be speaking in general terms about the existence of such a god, as understood by almost any religion, I will at times also mix in referencing Biblical explanations because I think they shed the most convincing light on the subject.
Also, I think it would be fair to say that the decision about whether to believe in God or not is the most important decision we will ever make. These are things we think about in our inner most being, at times when we’re quiet and alone, when reflecting on life, when thinking about death, when we’re suffering or dealing with life’s problems, when wondering what life is for, when observing nature, when hearing about alternative theories about how the universe came into being, etc. Our decision on this has a profound affect on how we view the world, how we live our lives, how we handle adversity, what our morals are, and, according to most religions, has consequences in the afterlife as well. So it’s not something that we should just brush off. I think we ought to give this decision serious thought and come to the right conclusion.

Now, I think it’s important to realize that whether a person is a believer or an unbeliever, both of those positions are based on faith. That’s because no one can definitely prove the existence or non existence of God. It’s impossible. So, does that mean that we should all just be agnostics, that is believe that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God. So we just avoid the question because there is no way to know for sure? I don’t think so. Why? Because as I said before, our decision has profound consequences in this life and the next. I think it’s a decision we must make. The famous French philosopher Blaise Pascal argued that both belief and non belief are like a gamble with our lives. I would agree with him. Here’s what he proposed.

Let’s say you decide to believe in God. You live life as a believer and in your obedience to Him you make some sacrifices in this life in the hope of obtaining some blessings in the next. You’ve made a gamble and if it turns out that there is a God your gamble paid off eternally. But if it turns out that there is no afterlife, then you haven’t lost much by comparison. But what if you decide not to believe in God or as an agnostic just put the idea off and live as if there isn’t one? If it turns out you were right that there is no God, you’ve lived life as you pleased and not sacrificed anything. All good. But if it turns out that there is a God, you have to pay negative consequences in the afterlife. Your gamble backfired. Of course Pascal’s ‘gamble with your life’ analogy is more nuanced than we can get into here, but the point is clear and I think very well worth considering. So let’s explore the question.

We need to look around us and ask ourselves ‘Where did I and everything around me come from? Was the universe a product of random forces that somehow suddenly came into existence by itself and over time developed into the highly complex thing it is today? Or, was there an intelligent designer behind it?

It probably won’t surprise anyone that the most popular non religious theories proposed for how the universe came into being and how humans came into existence are the Big Bang theory, and the theory of evolution. These are not the only two such theories, but they are by far the most popularly accepted in the scientific community and academia. Notice the word ‘theory’ attached to both of these ideas. More about that later.

Putting it very simply, the Big Bang theory proposes that all matter in the universe came into existence at the same time around 13.8 billion years ago. At the time, all matter was contained in a very small ball called a ‘Singularity’. Suddenly, according to the theory, the singularity began to expand, and the universe began.

Like I said, there are other theories but I don’t think we need to explore them because they basically say the same thing, that the universe came into existence on its own.
And as you probably already know, the theory of evolution proposes that the human race, as well as all other species, evolved from lower life forms over a period of millions of years. This theory doesn’t attempt to explain how the lower life forms, the earth and the universe came into existence in the first place.

I think it’s important to note that none of these theories are universally accepted by scientists. While they all claim to be based on evidence seen in nature, there is still much research, inquiry and debate among scientists about each of these theories. Also, what many people are not aware of, is that among the scientific community there are many, many who don’t believe that the universe came into being by itself, but rather believe in creation by an intelligent, divine creator.
Ok, so let’s just state the obvious. The above are all theories. There were no eye witnesses to the events and accepting them as fact is a decision of faith in the unseen.

So, now let’s go to the idea of divine creation.
Interestingly, nearly every single ancient civilization had some version of creation in their culture and traditions. And what they had in common was that the earth did not come into existence by itself but rather it was created by a supernatural being or beings. This belief was something that just seemed to be inherent within humankind and many of those particular beliefs remain to this day.
Now obviously divine creation also has to be believed. There were no eye witnesses to the event. So belief in this is also an act of faith.

So this all leaves us with two things:
1: All explanations for creation must be believed by faith in the unseen.
2: We can’t just put off our decision on this matter because of the consequences in our lives.
So where that leads us to is that we have to find the explanation that makes most sense, based on the available evidence. So, the non religious theories are asking us to believe that this highly complex and indescribably beautiful universe just came into existence by itself with no intelligent designer. And the religious explanation tells us that a divine being is responsible but cannot give an explanation of where the divine being came from.

I think this is being a bit generous to the non religious side, but let’s just call this contest a draw, and say that both proposed explanations are so fantastic that at this point we can’t be convinced by either of them. So we need to look a bit deeper into the matter. And that is what will we do in Part 2 of this series.

Remember, if you like what you hear and want to be a regular listener please subscribe by hitting the subscribe button on whatever app or platform you’re listening with. Thanks!
And that’s all for today. May God bless each one of you. I’m looking forward you joining me next time.
Episode 3 Does God Exist Pt 2

Hi everyone and welcome back to Bible Made Easy. I’m your host Brother George and this is Part 2 of answering the question Does God Exist?

In Part 1 I explored the various pros and cons of both religious and non religious explanations for creation, and concluded by saying (while being generous to the non religious side) that I felt that both proposed explanations were so fantastic that at that point we couldn’t be convinced by either of them and that we needed to look a bit deeper into the matter. So that’s what we’ll do today in Part 2 of this series.

One of the fundamental laws of physics is that matter cannot come from non matter. Anything that is formed must be formed from materials that were already in existence. In other words, you can’t make something from nothing. This is called the Law of Mass Conservation. So any theory that suggests that the universe created itself doesn’t actually make scientific sense. Even to the non scientist. I mean I just can’t imagine someone claiming that a house built itself using no materials.

Not only that, but we’re also asked to believe that the random forces that gave rise to the universe were also somehow able, with no outside intervention or planning, to develop and order all that matter into precisely the infinitely fine tuned conditions that can sustain human and animal life, the ecosystem, and everything else in the universe. Explosions, always cause chaos and destruction. They never result in more order. So, the theory just doesn’t make sense.

These obvious flaws in the non religious theories should at least leave us open to the equal possibility of a divine creator.

OK, so now let’s explore the arguments for divine creation.

Well, first of all the fact that the universe is so finely tuned as to be in the precise condition that it perpetually sustains its order and the life within it strongly suggests that there must have been a designer behind it. It just makes sense. It seems highly improbable that it all just came together so perfectly by itself.

Of course there are those who say ‘Well we can’t see God, so He can’t exist’. I think that’s a weak argument because no one has seen the Big Bang occur either, and yet we are asked to believe that. Also, just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There are all sorts of things we can’t see which do exist.

Speaking of those, it’s not just the origins of created things which we can see that we should think about. What about the origins of unseen things such as love for instance? Where did love come from? Where do our emotions come from? Where did we get the capacity to think and reason? Where do we get our innate sense of right and wrong? Why do we humans generally tend to think and behave within certain parameters that bring about cooperation rather than us all acting completely randomly resulting in total chaos? Did all this come about purely by accident? I think that’s hard to believe.

Another common objection is that the idea that a god so powerful and intelligent could exist is so unfathomable it’s too difficult to believe. Sure, it is beyond our understanding right now, but I think we need to realize that a lot of things that were unthinkable or considered fantasies in the past, are present day normal realities. For instance, would anyone alive, say 500 years ago, have been able to envision the world as it is today, with the Internet, high speed travel, space exploration, modern medicine and all the rest? I don’t think so. So, why wouldn’t it be reasonable to think, that what we today regard as fantastical, might really be a reality that one day we will actually discover as fact?

There are also those who say that there is no scientific proof of a creator. Well again, we have to call this a draw, between the two ideas because the while atheistic scientists point to clues in nature to support their arguments, divine creation scientists do the same. For example divine creation scientists point to various studies based on DNA evidence that suggest that all humans are descendants of the same man and woman, which confirms the Biblical account. Scientists call these two people...you guessed it ‘Adam and Eve’. You can just search the Internet for ‘genetic Adam and Eve’ and you can find out more about these studies.

By the way speaking of creation scientists, did you know that many of the scientists who made some of the most profound discoveries in history were Christian believers in God. In fact modern historians of science have long known that religious scientists played a significant role in the emergence of modern science in the West. Sir Isaac Newton discovered the law of universal gravitation. Gallileo is considered the father of modern physics. Louis Pasteur the microbiologist is remembered for his breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease, thus helping to greatly lengthen the human lifespan. All were firm believers in God. These and many other believing scientists considered that the inherent order of the universe was proof of divine creation, and that science was an endeavour of discovering the reasons and laws behind the order.

Oh, and speaking of Adam and Eve…I said earlier that there were no eye witnesses to either account of creation. That’s true, but this is where I believe that the Bible’s account is more believable than other accounts. According to the first four chapters of the Book of Genesis the first two humans God created were of course Adam and Eve. These chapters recount specific conversations that God had with the first two humans, where he gave them His commandments, gave them work to do, explained to them the consequences of their choices and eventual disobedience, etc. God also, according to the account spoke with their son Cain, and probably their other children as well. So the Bible tells us that Adam and Eve and their children knew full well who created them and the universe because they had personally interacted with the creator. Adam and Eve’s family passed the knowledge of these conversations down to their descendants and you can read them today in Genesis. Later in the Book of Genesis we’re also given a detailed genealogy of Adam and Eve’s descendants, including their names, all the way through early history to the actual writer of the book, who is most commonly believed to be Moses. This was over a period of about 4000 BC to 1500 BC. Further books of the Bible written from after Moses, up until the time of Christ and later, all confirm the Genesis narrative. There is also innumerable archaeological and historical evidence and writings outside the Bible, that support and confirm what is written in Bible. Such as Biblical accounts of historical events, names, kingdoms, geographical areas and more. So, within the Bible, we have independently verified accounts of history and a handed down through history accounts of creation from a family of eye witnesses who claim to have met the creator. No non Biblical accounts of creation have such strong claims of human verification. I think this is very strong evidence in favour of the existence of God as described in the Bible.

And finally, I would say that another solid proof of the existence of God is seeing and hearing the cases of people who’s lives have been changed for the better through belief in Him. My own experience seeing countless examples of people delivered from lives of selfishness, greed, depression, addiction, violence, and other destructive attitudes and lifestyles who are now living lives of generosity, service, peacefulness and love have helped convince me that God lives and is at work in transforming our lives for the better.

So, I think I’ve given you some pretty strong reasons to believe in God, especially in God as he is described in the Bible. To me, the idea of an intelligent, divine creator is far more logical and reasonable than creation by accident. When I look around at the stunning beauty and perfection of creation, my lovely wife and children, my family and friends, the stars in the night sky, the amazing animals, the beauty of the land and seas, when I feel love and friendship, when I enjoy delicious food and everything else I enjoy, I can’t help but feel that there must be a very powerful, creative and loving someone who has given us these things. The Bible itself tells us that the creation is the ultimate proof of the invisible God’s existence. The book of Romans chapter 1 verse 20 says:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

What an awesome and beautiful reality, that there is a loving God who created each one of us and the beautiful world we live in and enjoy.

Now if after all that you’re still not convinced, but are still curious, you can do what many people have done, you can pray and you can ask God to reveal himself to you in some way. If you’re sincerely seeking, I’m sure He’ll open your eyes and show you His truth somehow. Because He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you.

That’s all for today.

Remember, if you like what you hear and want to be a regular listener please subscribe by hitting the subscribe button on whatever app or platform you’re listening with. Thanks!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast as much as I’ve enjoyed making it. God bless each one of you. See you next time.

Today’s Bible verse:
Romans 1:20
Episode 4: Why Should I Beleive In God Pt1

Hi everyone I’m your host Brother George and welcome back to Bible Made Easy.

In the last two episodes I gave you some logical reasons why you should believe in God, especially as He is described in the Bible. But, I realize that the decision to believe in God is not only a matter of mentally accepting that it makes scientific and factual sense that God exists. With many people the thought process goes a lot deeper than merely an intellectual acceptance of logic and facts. A lot of people have philosophical or emotional road blocks to belief that cloud their thinking and because of these they conclude that there can’t be a God or that if there is He must be bad so they don’t even want to explore the idea or don’t care. So in the next 2 episodes I’m going to explore some of these roadblocks and how to get around them. In part 2 I’ll also be sharing some of the benefits of belief in God, so hopefully these episodes will smooth the way to acceptance for some people.

Let’s start with the philosophical and emotional roadblocks. There are quite a few of them so I’ll give them in numbered order.

1. Probably the most common non scientific objection to belief in God is the existence of evil and suffering.

It’s a big subject and I hope to cover it in depth in a later episode, but here I’ll touch on it as much as I can. It’s also a really tough one to address because if you or one of your loved ones is suffering right now or has been on the receiving end of evil, then this gets really personal for you. And I can understand. My own experiences of being kept alive by a kidney dialysis machine and having kidney failure at a pretty young age, and my own first wife’s sudden death also at a very young age, which left me alone with our five children, put me face to face with the kind of deep personal anguish and devastation that could easily make anyone doubt the existence of God, even a person who until then had very strong faith. So, rather than sitting behind a microphone and giving you philosophical and logical advice I’d much rather sit with you and comfort you and be there for you in whatever way you need me. I know how it feels to need that. But I can’t do that so hopefully what I share here will be a help to you.

The first thing I will say is that it doesn’t actually help us to cut God out of the picture when faced with evil and suffering. Evil is going to exist whether there is a God or not, that won’t change. If there is no God then the existence of evil and suffering are completely natural and just the way things are. We might not like that fact but we would have no real reason to complain or blame anyone because there would be no one to blame. And in that case if you got unlucky in life, like me, and got hit with suffering, in the end the only thing we can conclude is that it’s just tough luck. You’re just going to have to accept that random fate was against you and bear with it. This line of thinking can lead to ongoing heart ache that never ends. If this is you, I beg you to consider what I’m saying.

If the God of the Bible does exist then you’ve got a person you can talk your suffering over with. With Him it’s OK to question Him, just as you would question your earthly father about his actions. If He really is our creator and heavenly Father then he’s your Dad and surely, being all knowing, being able to see the big picture and being wiser than any of us could ever be, He can offer a perspective on your situation or the world’s situation that will be a comfort to you and make things easier for you. Maybe His explanation won’t completely be understandable or satisfying, but at least you can rest in the knowledge that He does love you and He has your best interests at heart whether you understand His reasons for allowing bad things to happen or not.

So, let’s say someone gets cancer at an early age. If they don’t have faith in God or the afterlife, then they have to conclude that they only have one life and tough luck for them because unfortunately it’s filled with hardships or maybe even cut short. But if they do believe in God, then they can hold on to the promise He gives of the next life. He promises that those who accept His love and forgiveness through Jesus will have an eternal life free of all pain and suffering. This is really hopeful and comforting for me in my own situation. My health is pretty bad right now and has been for a long time, but one day I’ll be eternally healed, and one day my children and I will see their mother again. The same goes for the evils in greater society. The Bible promises that God will put an eternal end to it all one day.

Also, if there is no afterlife or god then there is no afterlife judgment for evil doers. A lot of them will just get away with it. But the Bible assures us that there will be a judgment day and that evil doers won’t get away with it. There will be some kind of resolution to evil that brings about eternal justice, closure and restoration. This is also very hopeful.

2. The next question then is ‘Well if God does exist why does He allow evil to happen? Why doesn't He just put a stop to it?’

This is closely related to the first and there are a few comforting ways to look at that.

Firstly, as New York Times best selling author Dr Timothy Keller of Redeemer Church in New York puts it, it’s helpful to realize that just because we can’t think of a good reason why God allows these things t happen doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good reason. I agree with him. It makes sense that He being an all powerful and all knowing God that He might know some good reasons why He allows such things to happen that we can’t think of. In my own experiences, I did come to see some good reasons for my suffering such as making me more compassionate and understanding of others, wiser concerning life and what my priorities should be, making me grateful for the blessings I do have, and many more reasons.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the Book of Genesis tells us that when God created the world there was no evil. That His original design and hope for humankind, was a world without evil. But unfortunately, according to the Biblical account, evil forces entered into the world because of Adam and Eve’s choices and they remain because of ours.

But God didn’t just give up on us because of that. Seeing the awful state that humankind had gotten into He even came down Himself in the human form of Jesus Christ in order to do something about it. He came personally to deliver a message that gives the cure to evil, that is love for God and each other. Also, by leaving the perfection of heaven and living as a human being He experienced life as we live it. He put Himself in our shoes and suffered along with us, even to the point of suffering an excruciating execution by crucifixion. So, again as Dr Keller put it, whatever the reasons God allows suffering and evil, we know that one reason He cannot have is that He doesn’t care. He’s proved that. He’s proved that He cares by coming down to earth to get involved and put himself in our shoes. The Bible, referring to Jesus in Hebrews 4:15 says ‘We do not have a high priest (that is) incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but (rather) one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin.’ He understands when life deals us a cruel blow, when we’re sick, when we feel rejected by loved ones, when we suffer loneliness and a broken heart, because He Himself experienced these things.

3. Religious wars and negative experiences with religious people.

It seems that just as one of the main avenues for people to come to belief is meeting a person of faith who is the real deal and offers a real convincing, living example of God’s existence and love, the reverse is also true, that one of the main avenues for people rejecting or forsaking belief is bad example religious people who drive people away from faith by their bad behaviour or attitudes. This is really sad. So how should we deal with it?

Well, again it doesn’t help to cut God out of the picture because of negative religious experiences. It just makes things worse because we’ve turned away from the One who can best help us navigate safely through those experiences. Besides, every group of people has bad apples in them and Christians and other religious communities are no different. In fact the Bible is very honest about that. It contains a really clear disclaimer that all of God’s people are sinners and that just because they are trying to follow God doesn’t at all mean that they are some kind of holy, sinless saints. They’re still weak and fallible people who fail sometimes just like everyone else. I think we need to be realistic in our expectations here and expect that we’re going to run into these kinds of religious people. But we can be comforted in the fact that Christianity has inbuilt resources that can help us overcome these negative experiences such as the principles of forgiveness, trusting God, etc. Besides, the Bible’s clearly stated highest two commandments, to love God and love others as our selves, make it abundantly clear that any behaviour to the contrary is not condoned by God and actually saddens Him and that He would want to comfort and deliver you from such unloving behaviour.

4. Poor presentation of Biblical teaching.

Well, unfortunately there are a lot of Bible teachers, preachers and priests out there who come across as self righteous and legalistic, and teach things in a way that doesn’t reflect the love and mercy of God. This is a real turn off for a lot of people. I’ve seen and heard plenty of these myself, but I helps me to remember that that kind of teaching is a poor reflection on them rather than God, because in 1John 4:8 the Bible says that God is love and so He would definitely not show Himself to us in those ways.

Well that’s all for today. I hope this episode has cleared the way to belief for some you. I’m looking forward to seeing you for part 2. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Hebrews 4:15
1John 4:8
Episode 5 Why Should I Believe In God? Pt 2

Hi everyone, thanks for joining me today. I’m your host Brother George and welcome back to Bible Made Easy. In this episode I’m going to continue to share ways to get around some of the philosophical or emotional roadblocks to belief in God.

OK, number 5. Another common objection to belief in the God of the Bible goes something like this ‘If there is a loving God, why does the Bible say He sends people to hell?’

That’s a very fair question. And I would say it’s also often the result of the type of poor teaching and representation of the Bible that some Christian teachers propagate. I think we’ve all heard it at one time or another. ‘Unrepentant sinners are going to burn in hell forever!’

There are a few things to be aware of here. The source of our information about God’s actions and character should always be the Bible itself and not necessarily what we hear about it from some teachers or even popular culture So what does the Bible itself say about this important topic?

Here is what 2Pet 3:9 says: ‘The Lord...is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’

And in Matthew 18:12-14 Jesus says:“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

God doesn’t want any of us to be apart from Him in the afterlife. What He does do is allow us to go where we decide to go by our own free will. He doesn’t actually arbitrarily or gleefully send anyone to hell. He actually offers us a free ticket to heaven, which Jesus paid for by His own sacrifice. And if we don’t want that, if we by our own choice don’t really want to spend the afterlife in Heaven with God and Jesus, then with a broken heart God honours our wishes and allows us to spend the afterlife elsewhere.

So, what about those who don’t enter heaven? What happens to them? Do they burn in hell eternally? Well, there is plenty of evidence in the Bible that strongly suggests that it’s not like that at all for most or all of them. While the Bible doesn’t give a lot of specifics about life in hell, it does indicate that while it is clearly a place of suffering, there are probably different levels of suffering and different categories of or locations in hell. The worst of them, while probably not actually literal flames, is a place apart from God that is really terrible and reserved for the most evil unrepentant people. And there are probably other locations there where life is a lot like it is now but that retain the suffering of this world in an intensified way. And also that for the people who do wind up there, there is most probably a second chance to accept salvation and release from hell into heaven. This would be consistent with God’s loving heart and nature and desire that all will spend eternity with Him. The Bible indicates it and I believe it, that like any loving dad, He is never going to give up on anyone even if it takes forever. Hopefully I’ll get into that subject more deeply in another episode.

6. A desire for independence and not wanting God to have any influence over our lives.

The thinking is like this, ‘God and religion are too strict. I’d don’t want Him or any religion guiding me. I’d rather be independent and enjoy my life.’ This can again sometimes be a result of encountering legalistic teachings by Christian teachers that give the false impression that God is a hard taskmaster that wants to strip us of all enjoyment in life and send us to hell if we disobey His commands.

Jesus Himself made it clear that only two commands sum up the whole Bible. In Matthew 22:36-40 when He was asked which was the greatest commandment in the law Jesus replied ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” So as long as our actions fall in line with these two commandments we ought to be able to enjoy our lives free of condemnation. Sure, God doesn’t want us to hang on to our anger, addictions, selfishness, jealousy, bitterness, materialism or any destructive behaviour that brings us and others pain. In that way, yes, His requirements are strict. He does call us to a high standard of behaviour, but only in ways that make us and those around us happy.

7. Not feeling a need for God.

A lot of people think ‘I'm a good person. I don't need God.’ Or ‘I can handle life myself. I don’t need any outside help.’ Or ‘My life is satisfying enough without God.’

Sure, there are many atheists who are wonderful people, who serve others sacrificially and make the world a better place and put many religious people to shame, including myself. But I would ask such people to consider this thought ‘No matter how good you are, doesn’t it make sense that if you connected with your Creator and followed His ways wouldn’t you be even better with His love guiding and empowering you?’ There is not one of us who is capable of completely living up to the standards of love that He wants us to and we all need His divine help to do so.

And to those who think they can handle life without His help. Is that a realistic thought? Do you really think you can handle everything life throws at you and be such a great world beater that you can come out perfect? That might work for a while, but not in the long run. There inevitably comes a time where we’re faced with something that is beyond our ability to handle without some personal damage or damage to others. That’s just life.

So, those were the common roadblocks to accepting belief in God. Now I want to tell you some great reasons why belief in the God of the Bible and having a relationship with Him is good for you.

First of all, as I’ve tried to prove to you, He does exist as your creator, so it just makes sense that connecting with Him will benefit you.

He promises to forgive your wrongdoings and to help make you a better person.

He can cleanse you of negative feelings, depression, guilt, hurt, sorrow or anything else dragging you down and fill your heart and mind with happiness and joy.

He can help you overcome vices and destructive behaviour.

He promises to always be with you and to comfort you during hard times.

He gives your life meaning and purpose.

He gives you a moral code to live by that helps you stay on the right track in life.

His Word, the Bible, is full of great advice that will help you to lead a happy and fulfilling life, strengthen your relationships with others and teach you how to make a positive impact on your surroundings.

He promises you the free gift of eternal life with Him in heaven where there is no pain, sorrow or death.

He promises a final and eternal triumph over all evil and suffering.

And much, much more.

In this series I’ve tried my best to give you all the reasons why believing in the God of the Bible makes sense and how it will benefit you. Now, I could never represent or speak on His behalf in a way that truly does Him justice, but do I hope this has helped you to understand Him a bit better. Most of all remember this, that the Bible says, ‘God is love’ and that He loves you more than you will ever know. It’s my hope and prayer that you’ll connect with Him and begin experiencing all that He wants to give you.

Remember, if you like what you hear and want to be a regular listener please subscribe by hitting the subscribe button on whatever app or platform you’re listening with. Thanks!

I’ll see you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
2Pet 3:9
Matthew 18:12-14
Matthew 22:36-40
Episode 6 Who is God?

Hi everyone and welcome back to the Bible Made Easy podcast. I’m your host
Brother George. It’s my pleasure to have you join me today and I hope you’re all doing well.

Today's’ theme is ‘Who Is God?’ Over the last few episodes I’ve talked a lot about believing in God and why it makes sense to believe in Him, especially the God of the Bible. I also gave you a few reasons why belief in God is good for us.

Now, with all this talk about God and believing in Him, I thought it would be good to describe more in detail exactly who He is. If you’re going to believe in Him and have a relationship with Him then it makes sense you’d want to learn more about Him.

There are a lot of different concepts of God in the world and in different religions. Whatever your preconceived image of Him is, hopefully as I give you the real facts about Him as they’re presented in the Bible you’ll get a clearer picture of who He is and who He is isn’t. That way, from now on whenever we talk about Him you’ll know more clearly who we’re talking about.

You know, after I finished the previous four episodes about believing in God and then decided that the next episode would be about describing more clearly who the God of the Bible is, I thought that this episode would be much easier to do than the others. Boy was I wrong! The more I thought about the content, the more I was overwhelmed with the task of trying to fit a description of the almighty God into a 10 minute podcast. All the books, podcasts, web pages and YouTube videos in the world couldn’t possibly describe Him fully! But I’ll make it easier on myself by letting God speak for Himself by quoting the Bible. I’ll include all the Biblical references in the show notes so that you can look them up if you want.

Now, before I go any further I do want to point out that some of His attributes are beyond our limited human comprehension. We’ll never be able to fully understand God. This is where faith comes in and where it helps to realize that compared to Him, we’re like children in our understanding. Does a little child understand everything about its parents? No. Little children don’t understand where their parents came from, why their parents do certain things, why they think certain ways and many other things. They just know that their parents are there for them and love them, and the kids are happy and content in that knowledge. I think that’s a good way to approach our limited understanding of God and our relationship with Him.

So, here goes.

I think there are two major descriptions of Him that come to mind that to me include all the other descriptions. All His other character traits fall within these two broad traits.

1. As I’ve quoted before, 1John 4:8 says that ‘God is love’. He is the very spirit of love. His very essence is love and everything He does is done in love and this is the core of His character.

2. Throughout the Bible He is often described as our heavenly Father. You’ve probably heard the famous prayer that Jesus taught which starts with the words ‘Our Father who is in Heaven…..’

So there, we have the great and mighty God described in a nutshell, God is our loving Father. He’s not a distant old man with a white beard ready to harshly judge us for our sins. He’s not far off, unknowable, and nebulous. He’s not some mythical creature or a violent warrior deity. He is a loving person that you can know. A loving Father that you can have a relationship with. He knows each of us personally and loves each of us unconditionally as if we were an only child. But He doesn’t force Himself on us. He gives us free will and that includes the choice to reject or hate Him. After all, love isn’t really love if there is no choice to also hate. Right?

The Bible also tells us that God is a spirit, so He doesn’t have a physical body or a gender, but as I said is described as being like a father and so generally acts in a manner that we associate with being male.

He is all powerful, He has infinite power that gave rise to and perpetually sustains the whole universe. He is all knowing. There is not a single thing that is not known to Him. And He is all present, which means he exists throughout the whole universe at the same time. He exists outside time and space, and so is not limited by time or space, therefore He is eternal. He has always existed and has no beginning and no end.

The Bible also tells us that He is one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. He is God the Father. And the other members are Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with whom he works in perfect partnership with. Of course we’ll talk more about Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the future.

He has chosen to largely remain hidden and behind the scenes revealing Himself to us through His creation, through godly believers we come in contact with, through the voice of our conscience, through scripture and through the life of Jesus. And speaking of the scriptures, here is more about how the Bible describes His character. Each of the following descriptors is taken from a specific Bible verse for which, as I said, I’ll include the references to in the show notes.

God is holy: Isaiah 6:3
God is good: Psalms 34:8
God is perfect: Matthew 5:48
God is faithful: 1Corinthians 10:13
God is patient: 2Peter 3:9
God is compassionate, gracious and slow to anger: Psalms 103:8
God is merciful: Luke 6:36
God is truthful: Numbers 23:19
God is wise: Romans 11:33
God is just: Deuteronomy 32:4
God never changes: Malachi 3:6

And here is what the scriptures says He does for us.

He gives us life: Genesis 2:7
He saves us: Acts 2:21
He gives us eternal life: John 3:16
He heals us: Jeremiah 30:17
He provides for us, even for those who don’t love Him: Philippians 4:19, Matthew 5:45
He tells us the truth: John 17:17
He gives us peace: Isaiah 26:3
He gives us hope: Jeremiah 29:11
He gives us joy: Psalm 16:11
He gives is strength: Isaiah 40:31
He gives us freedom: 2Corinthians 3:17
He gives us wisdom: Proverbs 2:6
He blesses us: Ephesians 1:3
He gives us moral laws: Jeremiah 31:33
He protects us: Proverbs 1:33
He comforts us: 2Corinthians 1:3-4
He gives us every good and perfect gift: James 1:17
He hears and answers our prayers: 1John 5:14-15
He lovingly disciplines us: Hebrews 12:6
He guides us: Psalms 48:14
He forgives us: 1John 1:9
He tells us the future: Isaiah 42:9
He helps and strenghtens us: Isaiah 41:10
He rewards those who do good: Hebrews 11:6
He punishes evildoers: Proverbs 11:21
He works miracles: Acts 19:11

And that’s not even all of what the Bible says about God. There’s much, much more. But where we really get a great picture of God, is by looking at the life of His son Jesus.

Matthew 1:23 tells us that the arrival of Jesus on earth was the equivalent of God Himself visiting humankind. The name given to Jesus in this verse is Immanuel, which means, as the verse tells us ‘God with us’. Jesus came to earth to show us a living example of what God is like. So, when we read through the Gospel account of the life of Jesus and we see His mercy and forgiveness, when we read of Him having compassion on the poor and suffering by feeding and healing them, when we hear His beautiful teachings urging us to love one another, when we see Him get angry with the oppressors of the people and when we see Him suffer and sacrifice Himself on the cross in order to take the punishment for our sins on our behalf, what we’re actually reading are true life accounts of God in action. So, if you really want to know who God is, read the Gospels, the Bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and you will see God through the life of His son, Jesus and you’ll find that 1John 4:8 is true. You’ll see that God is love and that whatever Jesus did for those in His day, God wants to do for you today.

Well that’s all for this episode. I hope this has given you a clearer picture of our loving, heavenly Father.

Remember, if you like Bible Made Easy and want to be a regular listener please subscribe by hitting the subscribe button on whatever app or platform you’re listening with. Thanks! See you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
God is love: 1John 4:8
God is holy: Isaiah 6:3
God is good: Psalms 34:8
God is perfect: Matthew 5:48
God is faithful: 1Corinthians 10:13
God is patient: 2Peter 3:9
God is compassionate, gracious and slow to anger: Psalms 103:8
God is merciful: Luke 6:36
God is truthful: Numbers 23:19
God is wise: Romans 11:33
God is just: Deuteronomy 32:4
God never changes: Malachi 3:6

What God does for us.

He gives us life: Genesis 2:7
He saves us: Acts 2:21
He gives us eternal life: John 3:16
He heals us: Jeremiah 30:17
He provides for us: Philippians 4:19, Matthew 5:45
He tells us the truth: John 17:17
He gives us peace: Isaiah 26:3
He gives us hope: Jeremiah 29:11
He gives us joy: Psalm 16:11
He gives is strength: Isaiah 40:31
He gives us freedom: 2Corinthians 3:17
He gives us wisdom: Proverbs 2:6
He blesses us: Ephesians 1:3
He gives us moral laws: Jeremiah 31:33
He protects us: Proverbs 1:33
He comforts us: 2Corinthians 1:3-4
He gives us every good and perfect gift: James 1:17
He hears and answers our prayers: 1John 5:14-15
He lovingly disciplines us: Hebrews 12:6
He guides us: Psalms 48:14
He forgives us: 1John 1:9
He tells us the future: Isaiah 42:9
He helps and strengthens us: Isaiah 41:10
He rewards those who do good: Hebrews 11:6
He punishes evildoers: Proverbs 11:21
He works miracles: Acts 19:11
Matthew 1:23

Episode 7 Who Is Jesus?

Hi everyone and welcome back to the Bible Made Easy podcast. I’m your host brother George and today’s subject is ‘Who Is Jesus?’

In our last episode I explained that God generally stays behind the scenes revealing Himself to humankind indirectly. But Jesus is different. He is the central character of the Bible.

Again I feel totally inadequate to explain the magnificence and beauty of our subject today, Jesus Christ. But I’m gonna give it my best shot.

Did you know that He has easily been the subject of more songs, books, poems and artwork than any other figure in history? Academic studies consistently rate Him as the most popular and influential person ever. And the Bible, which tells His story consistently outsells every other book year by year and is far and away the best selling and most widely read book in history.

As I explained in the previous episode, Matthew 1:23 tells us that the arrival of Jesus on earth was the equivalent of God Himself visiting humankind. The name given to Jesus in this verse is Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’. The first chapter of Gospel of John verses 1-3 referring to Jesus tells us ‘In the beginning was the Word (that’s Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.’

Jesus was there at the very beginning with His father God with whom He partnered in the creation of the universe. The original Greek word that was translated as ‘word’ in this passage is ‘Logos’ which means word, thought, principle, speech or expression. This is where we get the modern English word ‘logo’, something which most companies and organizations have that represents them and makes them easily identifiable. They’re like the face of the organization. That’s who Jesus is. He is God’s logo, the very expression of God. The life of Jesus is God expressing and showing Himself to us in human form.

Throughout the Old Testament there are over 300 prophecies which foretold His coming. All were written hundreds and even thousands of years before He was born. Many of them gave very specific details regarding the location and manner of His birth, His life, ministry, betrayal, death and resurrection, that could only have been fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ and no other person.

The circumstances of His birth were very humble. In spite of being the creator of and supreme ruler of the universe He chose to come to earth as a helpless newborn baby born in a dirty barn among the farm animals and laid to rest in the animal feed bin. His earthly parents were Joseph and Mary, a poor young couple of low social standing who soon after his birth had to flee from Israel to Egypt to escape the fury of the jealous Roman King Herod who wanted to kill their child.

Having taken on human form, he experienced human life just as we do. He was subject to the same difficulties of life as us. He worked as a carpenter he dealt with tiredness, hunger, family troubles, criticism, you name it. So He understands us. In fact He was so normally human that when He began His public ministry his family and the people in His home town were shocked by His words and actions.

His public ministry began when he was 30 years old. He began to heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the hungry, socialize with and offer love, forgiveness and salvation to the outcasts of society, the thieves and criminals, the adulterers, the racially hated, the moral failures, and the prostitutes. He also publicly lambasted the dictatorial religious leaders and exposed their oppression and hypocrisy. He completely overturned the accepted social, religious, cultural and moral viewpoints of the day and preached a message of love, peace, forgiveness and generosity. His acts where so miraculous, His presence so powerful and His teachings so inspired that he provoked extreme reactions both good and bad. Upon first meeting Him some immediately left their families, communities and jobs to follow Him full time. Others’ lives were instantly transformed for the good. Crowds gathered around Him and people followed Him wherever He went.

The common people loved and admired Him and openly praised Him and affirmed their belief in Him saying things such as, and I quote from the Bible:

No man ever spoke like this man! John 7:46

Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Mark 6:2

He has done all things well Mark 7:37

What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! Matthew 8:27

You are the Christ, the son of the living God Matthew 16:16

Lord…...You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God John 6:68-69

And of course He became so popular that the Jewish religious leaders became jealous of His drawing away the allegiance of the people to Himself and so plotted to kill Him, which they eventually did. They had Him arrested on false charges of treason against the Roman Emperor Caesar. Incredibly, He didn’t fight back against those who arrested him, or those who brutally whipped, assaulted, mocked and spat on him or those who nailed Him to the cross. He even told one of His followers to put away his sword when he attempted to violently defend His master. He remained silent when falsely accused and when crucified prayed for His executioners saying ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do’.

But rather than put an end to His ministry and influence, His enemy’s plans completely backfired when after three days He rose from the dead. He was seen by and He preached to His own disciples and over 500 more people over a period of 40 days before He ascended to heaven to be with His Father, His mission on earth finally accomplished. And He remains there with His Father preparing our eternal heavenly home, while His followers, convinced more than ever of His authenticity as the Son of God, have gone to the four corners of the globe giving their lives to follow in His footsteps to minister to the poor and the outcasts and to spread His message of love while they await His promised return to earth.

His words and actions where recorded by His followers and have been preserved, read and followed by billions of people in the 2000 years since. And we can read them today; magnificent and inspiring teachings that have reverberated throughout history such as:

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God
Matthew 5:4-9

Love your neighbour as yourself Matthew 22:39

Judge not, that you be not judged Matthew 7:1

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them Matthew 7:12

If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also Matthew 5:39

Love your enemies Matthew 5:44

If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you Matthew 6:14

It is more blessed to give than to receive Acts 20:35

Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God Luke 18:16,
and much more.

There is such a mountain of historical records and evidence from both religious and secular sources that modern day historians almost universally agree that Jesus was a man who lived 2000 years ago in Palestine, that He claimed to be the son of God and that His followers claimed that he rose from the dead.

The positive effects of His life and teachings on the world are widely recognized. Historians credit Jesus and His teachings with being the foundation upon which Western civilization was built and the inspiration behind ideas such as human rights, democracy, equality and freedom, and with being the spark that inspired modern scientific inquiry, modern nursing, volunteerism, charity work, the ending of slavery and many more noble endeavours. Yale University historian Jaroslav Pelikan summed it up in his book ‘Jesus Through The Centuries’ where he wrote “Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of western culture for almost 20 centuries.”. There’s no doubt about that.

And here are some of the things He said about Himself:

I and the Father are one

I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.

I am the bread of life. He that comes to me shall never hunger and he that believes in me shall never thirst

I am the good shepherd….I lay down my life for the sheep

I am the resurrection and the life. Whosoever believes in me though he were dead yet shall he live

I am the light of the world, whoever lives in me shall not walk in darkness

All that the Father gives me will come to me; and he that comes to me I will never cast out

Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest
I will never leave you or forsake you

Behold I stand at the door if any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him.

My friends, I put this to you, that Jesus was not just a good guy, or a prophet or religious leader pointing the way to God. He is the only religious teacher that claimed to be God and who proved it by leading a perfect life, sacrificing His life and rising from the dead so that we can be forgiven for our sins and obtain eternal life. And He did all that out of love for us.

That’s all for today. You can find all the Bible references for the verses I quoted today in the show notes. And remember, if you like Bible Made Easy and want to be a regular listener please subscribe by hitting the subscribe button on whatever app or platform you’re listening with. Thanks! Looking forward to you all joining me again next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 1:23
John 1:1-3
John 7:46
Mark 6:2
Mark 7:37
Matthew 8:27
Matthew 16:16
John 6:68-69
Matthew 5:4-9
Matthew 22:39
Matthew 7:1
Matthew 7:12
Matthew 5:39
Matthew 5:44
Matthew 6:14
Acts 20:35
Luke 18:16
John 10:30
John 14:6
John 6:35

Episode 8 Does God Really Love Me?

Hi everyone and welcome again to the Bible Made Easy podcast. I’m your host Brother George and I’m so happy you’ve joined me today where the question we’ll discuss and answer is ‘Does God Really Love Me?’

Do you feel like nobody loves you? Are you feeling insecure or lonely? Do you feel inadequate and inferior to others? Are you struggling with guilt and shame over your failings in life or something terrible you’ve done? Are you having a hard time dealing with grief, sickness, financial or other worries? Or maybe you used to know God but you turned your back on Him and wonder if He still loves you and if there is a way home to Him. Or maybe you’ve just ignored Him your whole life and wonder if He will even have you. In the midst of these things or for any other reason you might be wondering ‘Does God really love me?’.

My friends, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘Yes, He does love you!’, No matter how bad you’ve been and how ashamed you are about it, no matter how inadequate you feel, no matter what others think of you or how undeserving of any love you think you are, God does love you. Let me read you some passages from the Bible that will encourage your heart. The first one is a story Jesus told in the 15th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verses 11-24.

11“There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

In order to appreciate the significance of this story we have to understand the enormity of the young man’s offence against his dad and the rest of his family. In those days a family’s survival was tied to their relationship to the land. Land owners, like this father had to work hard to make a success of their property in order to be able to keep it, pass it down to their children and to guarantee the economic survival of future generations of their family. Land was inherited once the father died. If there were two sons, as in this case, the elder son would get 2/3rds and the younger would get 1/3rd of the inheritance. But apparently the younger son didn’t want to wait until his dad died. He wanted his inheritance right away. I can imagine his thought processes…..‘I’m sick of farm life and this country village. I wanna go to the big city and have a good time! I can’t wait until dad dies, then I can get my part of the inheritance and my dreams will come true!’ But dad wasn’t that old and not about to die any time soon so the son has the disrespect to actually ask his dad for it now. Imagine how this must have hurt and humiliated his dad. And I can’t imagine that the son just asked for it once and that his dad immediately agreed to it. It’s my guess that the son must have pestered his dad about it incessantly until the poor father finally caved in. Maybe the son was so lazy that he wasn’t contributing anything to farm anyway and was such a drag on the family that the father thought he might as well just give him what he wants and let him learn the hard way. Whatever the reasons, the dad finally agreed and divided his property and gave his younger son his 1/3rd. And that would probably would not have been just land. That probably included money, animals, barns, tools and any other assets.

The story indicates that the son then liquidates his assets into cash and takes off with the money and goes travelling to a country far away where no relatives or village neighbours can tell him off. And he goes completely off the rails and spends it on riotous living including nights with prostitutes until he completely wastes away the last penny! If he had stayed faithful to his family that portion of the land and other assets would have remained in the family and been a source of food, income and security during the son’s whole lifetime, for his future wife and children, for his parents when they became elderly and for generations to come. But he lost all of it! Imagine of this happened in your family?

After having a riot of a time at his father’s expense he finally runs out of money in the midst of a famine in that distant land and he sinks so low that he has to get a job feeding pigs. Now that’s not to say that that is a dishonourable occupation. But in his time and culture pigs were considered by Jews to be religiously unclean food and being employed feeding them would have been looked down on. The text indicates that he only received lodging for his work but no food from either his employer or anyone else and he got so hungry that the pigs food even looked good to him. He’s finally so desperate and lonely in a strange country that he has no one to turn to except his father. And so he goes back home with the intent to beg his father to let back into the home as a servant. But when his dad sees him, he does what no Middle Eastern patriarch would have done. Totally unconcerned about the huge loss of his money he lifts up his robe and runs to greet his son, forgives him and holds a party to celebrate receiving him back safe and sound.

Here’s another story, this time from the Gospel of John chapter 8 verses 3-11.

3 The scribes and the Pharisees (Jewish religious leaders at the time) brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

2000 years ago when Jesus told these stories, in an age and culture where family and tribal ties were vital to a community’s flourishing and survival, the listeners would have been disgusted and outraged at these people’s actions; the young man who wasted his father’s wealth and the woman who betrayed her husband and possibly children and extended family as well. These were considered to be grave offences not only against their families, but the wider community as well.

But in both cases the message is forgiveness and redemption. The father didn’t care about his lost money, he was just happy that his son had learned his lesson and was safely back in the home. And when Jesus said to the adulterous woman “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”, what He was saying was ‘Yes, you’ve really messed up, but you’re forgiven and God will help you. Go back and whatever it is in your heart and life that has gotten you to this point, sort it out, and everything will be OK.’

My friends, no matter how messed up your life is whether by circumstances or by your own doing, no matter how ashamed or guilty you might feel, no matter how inadequate or inferior you feel, no matter if there is no one in this world who loves you, no matter even if you’ve strayed from Him or ignored Him your whole life, God still loves you and is there for you ready to help you start a new life. And you can do that by having a relationship with Him through receiving His son Jesus. And I’ll talk about that in the next episode.

Thanks for joining me today. I’m really looking forward to you joining me for the next episode. And please remember to subscribe in order to receive regular podcasts from me. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Luke 15:11-24
John 8:3-11

Episode 9 How Can I Be Saved

Hi everyone and welcome back to Bible Made Easy. I’m your host Brother George. Thanks for joining me today.

If you’ve been listening to this podcast since the first episode you’ve heard me speak with you about themes such as the existence of God and why you should believe in Him, the nature and character of God and His son Jesus, and how God loves you no matter how inadequate or unlovable you might feel.

Today I want to talk about how God offers us His free gift of salvation from our sins and eternal life through His son Jesus.

You might be wondering what ‘salvation’ means and what it is that we are saved from. So let’s talk about that first.

As I explained in Episode 4, the book of Genesis tells us that when God created the world there was no evil. God had created a perfect world. He had planned for humankind to live forever, loving Him and each other in that beautiful paradise of the Garden of Eden. But unfortunately, Adam and Eve (and later us too) sinned and disobeyed God. This led to evil forces entering the world that are responsible for distorting nature and corrupting the human race. Death, sickness, and all society’s ills entered in and we’ve been suffering the terrible effects of sin ever since. Now let’s talk about the word sin for a minute. What does that mean?

The original Greek word translated as ‘sin’ in the New Testament is [ἁμαρτάνω] (hamartanō) (my apologies for my poor Greek pronunciation to any Greek friends listening in) And that word literally means ‘to miss the mark, to fail, to be wrong, or to make an error’. The ancient theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine described sin as "a word, deed, or desire in opposition to the eternal law of God" As I’ve explained before God’s two greatest commandments are to love Him and to love others as ourselves. So, simply speaking to sin, that is to miss the mark, fail, be wrong or err, is to do anything that’s unloving or hurtful towards God, others or ourselves. And I think we can all agree that the world is full of sin and the evil effects of it. If we’re honest with ourselves, if we take a good look into our own hearts and lives we can see that we’re all sinners. We’ve all hurt God and others by our unloving thoughts and actions. We’ve been selfish, angry, proud, greedy, unforgiving, and many other bad things. Romans 3:23 tells us that ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God’.

And sin causes us to be separated from our father God. He’s disappointed when we move away from Him and disobey His command to love. As a loving father He’s saddened when He sees how we’re hurting ourselves and others by our actions. He’s sad at the state the world has gotten into. And that separation from God can even be eternal if we don’t repent. If we don’t care about about restoring our relationship with Him, He allows us to carry on in our sins to our own hurt. And if we don’t want to spend eternity with Him in heaven then He sadly lets us have our way and spend eternity apart from Him, again to our own hurt.

So that’s what we’re saved from...we’re saved from our sins, we’re saved from our selves and we’re saved from the penalty of an afterlife separated from God.

How does salvation happen? Please listen to a few verses from the Bible that tell us.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life

Acts 16:31 Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved

Our lives are a free gift from God, but as the scripture we read says, we deserve death for our sins. But Jesus Christ in His mercy came to earth to willingly take the punishment of death in our place. He offers us forgiveness for sin and eternal life if only we will believe in Him, confess our sins and receive His forgiveness.

And thankfully, it’s not dependant on how good or bad we’ve been. We can never be good enough to earn a place in Heaven and we can never be too bad either. Ephesians 2:8-9 says ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.’ Salvation is a free gift of God.

And you can receive this free gift right now by opening your heart to Jesus. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him’

He stands at the door of your heart. Would you like to open your heart to Him and receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life? If you do then please take a minute to repeat this simple prayer after me phrase by phrase.

Dear Jesus

I believe that you are the Son of God

Please come into my heart and life

I know that I have sinned and have been unloving

Please forgive my sins

And give me your gift of eternal life

Please help me to love God and others

In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

If you sincerely prayed that prayer, you are forgiven and saved. Jesus is in your heart and you have eternal life. How do you know that? Because He promised it in the Bible verses we just read. And what’s more is that you can’t lose your salvation either, because Jesus said ’ I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ Hebrews 13:5.

Now that you have Him in your heart you can start an amazing journey as a born again new person loving God and others. There is so much to learn about this new life and I hope you’ll continue to join me in Bible Made Easy where I’ll continue to take you through God’s word which will help you to learn His ways.

Thanks for joining me today. You can find the references to all today’s verses and the salvation prayer in the show notes. And if you want to keep listening in please subscribe.

I’m really looking forward to you joining me for our next episode. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Romans 3:23
Romans 6:23
1John 1:9
John 3:16
Acts 16:31
Ephesians 2:8-9
Revelation 3:20

Episode 10 Living A Christian Life

Hi everyone and welcome back to Bible Made Easy. I’m your host Brother George. It’s great to have you join me again today.

If you listened to the last episode, Episode 9, about how to be saved, hopefully you prayed to receive Jesus into your heart and have received His free gift of salvation. If you haven’t already done that please give that episode a listen and consider praying the salvation prayer. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’ve received Jesus then you’re ready to embark on your new life as a born again Christian. So today, for those of you new to the faith and also for those of you who are already believers but haven’t really lived out your faith I’d like to explain what living as a Christian means. There are a mountain of different Christian groups and churches out there, all with their particular theology, doctrines and traditions and it can be confusing for the new believer to know what to follow and what not to follow.

First of all I’m going to touch on a few popular so called Christian living gold standards you’ve probably heard and see if they match up with what God actually wants us to do.

1: Go to church on Sunday
Now it is really important for us have a group of fellow Christians that we can be a part of in order to learn about the faith together, to support each other in living the Christian life and to join forces together with in service to others. But that doesn’t mean it has to be in a church building and that it has to be on Sunday. It can be, and that’s fine, but it can also be anywhere and anytime. Countless millions of people have fallen into the trap of thinking that by simply showing up to some church on Sundays and spending an hour or so of mostly listening to the preacher or priest, praying and singing some songs, participating in certain ceremonies or whatever else that particular church is doing means that they are living a Christian life and pleasing God. I’m telling you, there is a lot more to the Christian life than that, and it’s much more exciting, much more fulfilling for us personally as well as more useful for society at large.

2: Obey the 10 Commandments
Well. if you’ve been living a destructive life without God then obeying the 10 Commandments would be a great place to start. After all you’ll stop ignoring God and worshipping other gods or pursuits, you’ll stop stealing, lying or having adulterous affairs and everything else the 10 commandments forbid. And stopping those things would be a great change in your life. But the Christian life is much more than just avoiding doing bad things. You can do that by just sitting at home all day every day of your life.

3: Be holy and eliminate sin from your life.
OK….um which one of us can really do that? Romans 3:10 says ‘There is none righteous, no not one’. And Romans 3:23 says that ‘All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God’. Is there any one of us that can completely eliminate every evil thought, every ounce of selfishness, pride, jealousy, judgementalism, anger and every other sin from ourselves? Or can we guarantee that we will never yield to temptation or never disobey God in any way shape or form? While it’s very important to try to minimize those sins in our lives we’ll never totally get rid of ‘em, because we’re human. That sort of attempt at holiness and total purity is not the goal of a Christian. In fact people who try to do that are more likely to be stuck up and look down on others that they think aren’t as righteous as they are. And that is the sin of pride right there. So we don’t want to go there.

OK, so then what is Christian living?
Receiving Jesus into our hearts brings us into a personal relationship with God. And we should try to develop and sustain that relationship and show the fruit of it in our lives. Our primary goal should be to get to know God better day by day and to learn to live as He would want us to. How do we do this? Here are a few pointers to guide you.

1. Read the Bible.
The best way to get to know God is by regularly reading or listening to His word, the Bible. That’s where He reveals His heart, thoughts and will towards us and tells us how to live. Studying and becoming familiar with the Bible is our top priority and the number one way to grow in faith. A great place to start would be the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which are found in the New Testament. Read those over and over and you’ll learn a lot. I’ll include links to some online Bibles and Bible apps in the show notes.

2. Read other Christian material.
It’s also really helpful to get input from sincere Christian writers or speakers who can teach you the Bible or feed you with Bible based inspirational or devotional material. You can find plenty of this material on the Internet like on YouTube, podcasts like this and in book stores. I’ll include links to some of my favourites in the show notes. And of course you can continue to listen to this podcast. Be sure to hit the subscribe button.

3. Put into practise what you read.
This is extremely important. The Bible says ‘Be doers of the Word and not hearers only’ and ‘Jesus said ‘If you know these things, happy are you if you do them’. Loving obedience to God and His word strengthens you and brings His blessings and peace on your life.

4. Maintain an active prayer life.
Prayer is not just bombarding God with your requests for this that and the other, or repeating set prayers that you’ve heard in church over and over. How would you like it if someone you love communicated with you that way? Prayer is actually communicating with God just as we would with anyone else we’re in a relationship with. There should be back and forth communication of thoughts and feelings. Doing so brings you into harmony with Him and brings faith, peace, and strength to your life.

5. Spend time with God daily.
To really keep you growing strong and staying inspired in your newfound faith it’s a good idea to set aside some time daily for the reading, listening, studying and praying that we’ve been talking about. Just like your body needs regular feeding in order to keep energized and to maintain good health, your spirit needs a good daily dose of spiritual food in order to grow, stay inspired and to maintain a strong connection with God. Most Christians find that devoting time to this first thing in the morning is best and is a great way to start each day. But of course do whatever works best for you. God is available 24/7, 365 days a year!

6. Connect with fellow believers.
They say that there’s strength in numbers, and that is sure true for Christians. It’s important to have a group of Christian mentors and friends who share your faith and can help you on your journey. My Christian friends have been there for me through my worst of times and have been my comrades in many missionary adventures over the decades. I couldn’t have made it to this day without them.

7. Share your faith with others.
Just as we were once lost and without God, there are still and always will be people around us who are like we were and they need His love and salvation just like us. As you grow and get stronger in your faith ask God to help you to share it with others. You’ll be amazed at how rewarding it is to lead a person to faith and salvation in Jesus. You know what? You can start by sharing this podcast. Hit the share button and let your family and friends know the good news!

So, those are the major components of living a Christian life and hopefully in later episodes I’ll talk more in depth about each one and tell you how to go about carrying them out.

By the way, just a reminder. Living the Christian life doesn’t bring us salvation. Salvation is a free gift that has nothing to do with our works. Living the Christian life is how we show the Lord our thanks for His love and salvation.

Personally, I’m so glad that I committed myself to living as a Christian. I’ve got plenty of room for improvement and I fail at times, but doing my best to put the Bible into practise has made a huge positive difference to my life and helped me to avoid the disaster I would have been otherwise. Thank God! And if you commit yourself to following God in this way I’m sure you’ll be just as happy about it as I am.

Thanks for joining me today. You can find the references to all today’s verses and the salvation prayer in the show notes. And if you want to keep listening in please subscribe.

Looking forward to you joining me for our next episode. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Romans 3:10
Romans 3:23

Episode 11 How To Be Positive In A Negative World

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy. If it’s your first time listening, thanks for joining us. I’m your host Brother George. It’s great to have you.

How do you remain positive in a very negative world? It’s something I have been thinking a lot about lately especially in the midst of the Covid situation which has seemingly put the whole world under a dark cloud.

And it’s not just Covid. No matter who are where you are, we all have to battle against negative feelings on a daily basis. That’s just the way life is. Whether it’s problems in society, our personal circumstances or relations with others, or even irritations like the weather, there always seems to be something that can get us feeling negative and unhappy. It’s a terrible way to live your life if you’re constantly feeling negative. So how do we combat that and stay on the positive side of life? Let’s talk about it.

I know of one person from whom we can learn a few things about being positive. His name is Nick Vujicic. He’s an Australian man who was born without arms and legs...that’s right without arms and legs. Now that’s a shocker right there and you’d wonder how in the world he could manage to do anything or have any purpose or happiness in his life. Well he’s done more with his life than most of us could ever dream of. He’s married with 4 kids and is an inspirational speaker and writer that travels all over the world sharing his message of hope and overcoming with millions. He performs many of the every day tasks able people do like computer use and smartphone use and enjoys fun activities you’d think he would never be able to do like swimming and ball games. He always wears a smile and even makes jokes his disability. Wow! Now of course he has had to struggle immensely, but it seems he doesn’t let the struggle get him down. What’s his secret? You might have guessed it, he’s a Christian and he has strong faith in God and is an amazing example to all of us of positive faith in the midst of adversity. Please look him up on the Internet or YouTube and be inspired by his story. I’ll include his name and some links in the show notes if you want to learn more about him.

Nick credits the Bible and his connection with God for his positive attitude and vibrant and active lifestyle. And no wonder, because the Bible gives us a ton of resources on how to be positive in the face of life’s difficulties. And today I’m going to share some of those with you. I’ll share the ‘how to idea’ followed by the scripture that supports the idea. I’ll also add a little commentary as well. So here goes.

Think positive thoughts
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 3:25

Well that’s probably the most famous Bible verse about positive thinking. There are all sorts of things to get negative about, but this verse encourages us to actively focus our minds on whatever is good.

Practice gratefulness no matter what’s going on
1Thes 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you

So, no matter what’s going on sometimes we need to just stop our negative train of thought and actively look for the good and bright side of a negative situation. It reminds me of an anecdote I read once which went something like this.

There was a minister in a country church who was known for always having something to thank God for, no matter what the circumstances. One stormy and miserable Sunday morning a certain elderly and cynical member of his congregation thought to himself ‘Surely, the minister will have nothing to thank God for on a wretched morning like this!’ But the minister began his opening prayer with ‘Dear Lord, we thank you that it is not always like this’.

Well, that’s a good example of being positive amid every day annoyances like the weather. But the Bible is also full of examples of people having positive outlooks in the midst of far worse circumstances. Here’s just one standout example.

In the Book of Acts we read of the mighty exploits of the early apostles in Jerusalem shortly after Jesus’ death and ascension to heaven. In spite of the possibility of arrest and death like their master they bravely preach the good news of the gospel and convert thousands to the faith right under the noses of the envious religious leaders who had Jesus killed. So the religious leaders promptly have the apostles arrested. After a short interrogation they sternly warn the apostles to stop preaching about Jesus and have them beaten within an inch of their lives in order to get the point across. So how did the apostles react when they were let go? Here’s what the Bible says.

Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the name Jesus.

Wow. They got almost beaten to death and instead of focusing on the agony they must have felt they give thanks to God that they were worthy of suffering for Jesus’s sake. Now that’s looking on the bright side in a very trying situation. You can read the whole story in Acts 5:17-42.

Sing songs, especially spiritual ones
Eph 5:18-20
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Sadly some people turn to alcohol or substance abuse to deal with problems. But here the apostle Paul wisely tells us that that is not a solution. Instead, he tells us that we should practice gratefulness by giving thanks and to lift our spirits by singing, especially to the Lord. Now of course you might not be able or want to do this out loud where you might bother your family, friends or co-workers, but you can always at least hum a tune in your head. Or maybe you should do it out loud because it will cheer up your family, friends or co-workers. Who knows?

Be joyful
Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always

Psalm 118:24
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Sometimes you just have to snap out of the negative cycle by making a firm decision to be joyful no matter what.

Turn negative thoughts into prayers
Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This verse tells us to flip the situation by turning our worries and negative feelings into prayers. An example of this might be, let’s say you’re worried about your financial situation. Rather than fretting and losing sleep over it you could turn your heart to God and share your feelings with Him asking Him to provide for you. Shoot up a prayer and then go to sleep in peace with the positive knowledge that you’ve put the situation in His capable hands. Or maybe you’re upset about something someone did or said to you. You could share your feelings with God and even pray for that person.

Keep your mind on heaven, not on this world
Colossians 3:2
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Remember that God promises a positive outcome to every situation
Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Count your blessings
Psalm 103:2
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

This one is like a magic bullet negative thought killer. Actively going over all the ways you are blessed fills your mind with so much positive that there’s just no room left for the negative.

So those were 8 Biblical strategies to help us stay on the positive side of life.

  1. Think positive thoughts
  2. Practice gratefulness no matter what’s going on
  3. Sing songs, especially spiritual ones
  4. Be joyful
  5. Turn negative thoughts into prayers
  6. Keep your mind on heaven, not on this world
  7. Remember that God promises a positive outcome to every situation
  8. Count your blessings

If you’ve been plagued by negative thinking put these ideas into practice and I’m sure you’ll be amazed at what a positive difference it can make in your life.

Thanks for listening. As usual, I’ll put all the verses I read in the show notes for your reference. If you want to keep listening please hit the subscribe or follow button. You can write a positive comment if you like and also feel free to share with family and friends.

God bless all of you. See you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
Acts 5:17-42
Philippians 4:8
1Thessalonians 5:18
Ephesians 5:18-20
Philippians 4:4
Psalms 118:24
Philippians 4:6
Colossians 3:2
Romans 8:28
Psalm 103:2

Episode 12 What Is The Bible?

Hi everyone and welcome back to Bible Made Easy. I’m your host Brother George. Thanks for joining me today.

Today and in the next two episodes we’re going to demystify the Bible.

As I said in Episode 7, the Bible is by far the best selling, most widely read and most influential book in history. So there must be something about it that attracts such a mass following. But for the first time reader or inquisitive person it can be quite a challenge to get a grasp of it.

You might have picked up a Bible, cracked it open and found yourself perplexed at what was before your eyes and wondering why in the world it’s so popular and respected. If printed in standard text size you probably found about 1200 pages of mostly black text from cover to cover. A huge mass of words written about ancient names, places and events and written in an ancient style that means….exactly what?….hmmm...So let’s take a look at a concise overview of what the Bible is and how it came about.

I’m going to mention some dates and figures, all of which will be approximate because these date back to ancient times and there’s no way to hit the bullseye with any them. Nevertheless pinpoint accuracy has no bearing on the points being made.

Also, I’ll be talking about the accepted Protestant Bible here. Catholic and Orthodox churches use basically the same Bible but have a few extra books included. And Judaism only accepts the Old Testament section, which is the same one included in the Christian Bible, but it does not recognize the New Testament section.

Having a Bible in your hand while going through this with me might be helpful, or you can look at the list of Bible books I’ve provided in the show notes if you want....but you don’t have to to get the point.

So here we go with a breakdown of the Holy Bible.

The Bible is divided into two sections. Firstly, the Old Testament which is a compilation of 39 separate books written by about 30 different authors. It was written between about 1400-400BC and deals with the period of history from creation, that’s 6000 years ago, up until about 400 years before Jesus was born. That’s the period of about 4000 BC up until about 400 BC. That’s 3600 years of human history describing such well known events as the creation of heaven and earth, the story of Adam and Eve and the fall of humankind, Noah and the flood, the tower of Babel, David and Goliath, the history of the Jewish people of faith, etc. Large parts of the Old Testament are devoted to foretelling the future coming of the Messiah, as well as His eventual eternal reign over all the universe.

Then there was a period of Biblical silence from about 400 BC until the birth of Jesus. So, the whole Old Testament deals with the period before the birth of Jesus.

The second section of the Bible is the New Testament which contains 27 books written by about 10 different authors. The books were written during the period of approximately 50-95AD and deal mainly with the birth of Christ 2000 years ago, His earthly ministry, and the ministry of His early apostles and other followers. Besides chronicling the life of Jesus, large sections of the New Testament are devoted to strengthening new believers in the Christian faith as well as foretelling future events such as the last days of human history and the eventual triumphant return of Christ to earth to set up His eternal reign of love. So the New Testament deals with the period of history after the birth of Jesus.

Summing up, the Bible contains two sections with a combined 66 books written by about 40 different authors over a period of about 1500 years containing writings pertaining to the whole of human history from creation, 6000 years ago, through the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago and all the way to His eventual return and beyond into eternity.

The original language of the Old Testament was Hebrew with a small portion written in Aramaic, which was a type of Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek. Thankfully, the Bible has been painstakingly translated either in full or in part into over 3000 different languages. Translators, recognizing the enormity of their responsibility to accurately convey the original meaning of the Word of God, have worked meticulously to get their translations right and they’ve done a magnificent job. Thank God for them!

So, how was the Bible written and compiled? Well, as the various prophets, historians and other writers were inspired by God they either wrote it down themselves or had what were called scribes to do the writing for them. Scribes were people who were highly educated in literacy, which was not common at the time. Scribes were also tasked with the important work of making multiple copies of the manuscripts for distribution among God’s people and for preservation for the future. Writing was done on papyrus (which was a plant-based paper) or parchment (which was dried animal skins).

As the centuries passed, the collection of writings by godly people grew to the present 66 books, plus quite a few others, so it became necessary to decide which ones were to be accepted for recognition as ‘inspired by God’ and fit for inclusion in the final Protestant Biblical compilation. This was an ongoing work undertaken by many scholars throughout the history of God’s people with the Old Testament being finalized around 200 BC and the New Testament finalized between the years 382 to 1647 depending on the church denomination.

The approximately 40 different authors of the Bible were regular humans like you and me. Among them were people of varying social status who had professions such as farmer, shepherd, prince, king, fisherman, tent maker, prophet, military leader, government official, tax collector, doctor, philosopher, poet, musician and more. The 66 books they wrote include sections of historical narrative, moral law, philosophy, wisdom, prophecy, science, romance, poetry, songs, military action, drama, biographies, legal documents and much more.

The Bible documents the lives of well known figures such as Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, King David, Jesus, the Apostle Paul and many more whose exploits took place in the Middle East in the days of the well known historical empires of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and others. Countless modern archaeological discoveries and secular historical writings verify and confirm the accounts of Biblical characters, places and events and there is widespread agreement among the academic community regarding the authenticity of the Bible as a reliable historical document.

Those 40 or so Biblical writers were supernaturally inspired by God to collectively write, over a period of about 1500 years, a volume that tells one overarching unified narrative. In spite of living many hundreds of years apart and in diverse locations each writer was divinely inspired by God to contribute their part in an intricately woven ongoing narrative spanning several millenniums detailing God’s dealings with humankind from creation until the eventual return of Christ and beyond. The perfect symmetry of their writings could only be considered supernaturally inspired by God and proof of the Bible’s authenticity and trustworthiness as the Word of the living God.

What an incredible book! The Apostle Peter explains the divine inspiration behind the 40 some writer’s words. In 2Pet 1:20-21 he tells us ‘Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.’ In other words, the Bible is not a compilation of the personal thoughts of it’s writers. It’s God speaking to us through the writers.

And speaking of the Bible’s trustworthiness as a source of divine wisdom and guidance in 2Tim 3:16-17 the apostle Paul says... ‘All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, (and) equipped for every good work.’

This book, the Bible, that at first glance seems so mysterious and hard to comprehend contains everything we need to know to lead a happy and productive life. Within its pages we can learn how we got here, who God is, how to be saved, how to live, how God deals with humankind, what the future holds and infinitely more. Wow!

If you want to study further about today’s topic I’ll put up some links in the show notes.

And in the next two episodes I’m going to walk you through the Bible section by section to give you the birds eye overview of what each section is about and how it relates to the overall narrative of the whole Bible. So stay tuned my friends.

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe by hitting the subscribe or follow button on whatever platform you’re using to listen with. You can also share the good news with your friends and even leave a positive comment, which would be great.

See you next time!

Today’s Bible verses:
2Peter 1:20-21
2Tim 3:16-17

List of the Books of the Bible

The Old Testament
1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy
6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. Ruth
9. 1 Samuel
10. 2 Samuel
11. 1 Kings
12. 2 Kings
13. 1 Chronicles
14. 2 Chronicles
15. Ezra
16. Nehemiah
17. Esther
18. Job
19. Psalms
20. Proverbs
21. Ecclesiastes
22. Song of Solomon
23. Isaiah
24. Jeremiah
25. Lamentations
26. Ezekiel
27. Daniel
28. Hosea
29. Joel
30. Amos
31. Obadiah
32. Jonah
33. Micah
34. Nahum
35. Habakkuk
36. Zephaniah
37. Haggai
38. Zechariah
39. Malachi
The New Testament
1. Matthew
2. Mark
3. Luke
4. John
5. Acts (of the Apostles)
6. Romans
7. 1 Corinthians
8. 2 Corinthians
9. Galatians
10. Ephesians
11. Philippians
12. Colossians
13. 1 Thessalonians
14. 2 Thessalonians
15. 1 Timothy
16. 2 Timothy
17. Titus
18. Philemon
19. Hebrews
20. James
21. 1 Peter
22. 2 Peter
23. 1 John
24. 2 John
25. 3 John
26. Jude
27. Revelation

Episode 13 What Is The Bible About? The Old Testament

Hi my friends and welcome again to another episode of Bible Made Easy. I’m your host Brother George. Thanks for joining today.

In our last episode I told you that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, though written centuries apart by about 40 different authors, tell us one unified story. Today I’m going tell you what the unified story is and also zoom out and go through the Bible section by section to give you the birds eye view of this continuing narrative. That way, no matter what part of the Bible you happen to be reading you’ll be able to read it within the context of the overall narrative. Having a Bible in your hand while going through this with me might be helpful, or you can look at the list of Bible books I’ve provided in the show notes if you want....but you don’t have to to get the point. So here goes….

Let’s start with the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis. Genesis tells the beginning of the story in about 4000BC, with God creating the heavens and the earth and the beautiful paradise of the Garden of Eden in which there is no evil, sickness, death or anything that hurts or destroys. He puts the first two humans in there, Adam and Eve and they and their descendants can live there forever in perfect harmony with God and each other as long as they obey Him by refraining from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

That was the happy beginning and God’s intended permanent state for His creation. This is also the way the last book of the Bible tells us things will eventually be in heaven for those who choose to accept His salvation. But before that happy ending a whole lot of drama happens in between and that is what the Bible narrative is all about, the story of how our sins have separated us from God, and God’s long term plan to restore the relationship forever.

Back to the Garden of Eden….Enter the villain! God’s jealous adversary, the fallen angel, the devil, otherwise known as Lucifer or Satan, didn’t like this happy relationship between God and humankind and he tries to break it up. So he persuades the first couple to disobey and eat the fruit. The relationship is fractured though not completely broken, and from then on all hell breaks loose on earth. Humankind loses the automatic right to eternal life, and death, sickness, and all manner of evil enters into our world and even wreaks havoc on nature. While this breaks God’s heart, He doesn’t interfere with His children’s choices, but rather as a good father He allows them to go their own way and learn their lessons the hard way, hopefully coming out wiser and more appreciative of Him in the end.

So, God evicts Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and tells them that life is gonna be hard, but for those obedient to Him He gives extra special protection and blessings. And He continues to offer eternal salvation to those who do have faith in Him and the saviour that He promised to send one day.

But things go from bad to worse as we go further into the Book of Genesis. In spite of God’s mercy on them, within 1500 years humankind had gotten so chaotic and depraved that chapter 6 says that the thoughts and acts of the people were continually evil and that the earth had become filled with violence. God was so heartbroken and grieved that in order to ensure that this situation didn’t continue from generation to generation He virtually had no choice but to hit the forced reset button by destroying the whole world through a flood and saving the only obedient family alive, Noah and his family.

God’s hope was that through this reset of humanity Noah’s descendants would have learned the lessons He intended. But unfortunately Genesis tells us that humankind went straight back to its evil ways of ignoring their creator and descended into the worship of false gods, violence and depravity all over again!

In Genesis chapter 12, about 300 years after the flood, that’s about 2200 BC, God initiates the next step in His long term plan for the redemption of humankind and restoration of His relationship with us. He calls a Babylonian man named Abram, later called Abraham, and he commands him to leave behind his former nation and culture and to form a completely new nation based on faith and obedience to God. God promises Him that his descendants would be countless in number, that the whole earth would be blessed through him, and that He would even give his descendants a physical homeland, Israel, then known a Canaan. The purpose of this new society was to create a community of obedient believers in the one true God who could be an example to an evil world of the blessings and joy of following Him, and also to pave the way for the coming of the messiah, Jesus, and the ultimate restoration of our relationship with God.

The community of descendants of Abraham multiplies quickly but suffers some twists and turns and ends up being enslaved in Egypt for about 400 years until about 1400 BC when Moses comes on the scene and we arrive at the second book of the Bible called Exodus. With God’s miraculous help Moses liberates Abraham’s descendants the Israelites (or Hebrews or Jews as they were alternatively referred to). So they escape from Egypt and eventually they move in to claim possession of the land God promised them and firmly establish the new nation of Israel.

In the books of Exodus through to Joshua you will find the story of the escape from Egypt, the conquest of the promised land and the setting up of the new society of God. A very pivotal point in the narrative are the laws and instructions that God gives His people. He draws a very specific day and night contrast between the behaviour He wants and expects from them and the behaviour of the Egyptians and other surrounding nations that failed to obey God after the flood. From the get go God firmly forbade them do engage in evils such as...

1. Worshipping false gods
2. Murder
3. Ritualistic human sacrifice, including child sacrifice
4. Violence
5. Sexual assault and all manner of sexual perversions including sex with animals
6. Adultery
7. Forced slavery and human trafficking
8. Theft
9. Oppression of the poor
10. Disrespect for parents….and more

God so hated these behaviours that he called them abominations to Him and seeing the Hebrews heavily influenced by the culture of the Egyptians and other nations He instituted tough new laws to root out such evils in this new society. It was at this time that God gave the famous 10 Commandments and also about 600 other laws encompassing all aspects of their lives including morality, justice, health, economics, worship, and more. Also included were commandments to love Him and others with all their hearts, to be merciful, to be generous to each other, to care well for the sick, poor, and other disadvantaged, and even to take one day off per week for rest and worship.

God also instituted a system of rituals and ceremonies to be performed in worship of Him, for the seeking of forgiveness for sins and as acknowledgements of the coming Messiah, all which formed the heart of maintaining the people’s relationship with God.

At the time the surrounding nations were mostly ruled by dictatorial kings and had unjust legal systems. But the new legal system God gave the Hebrews, though necessarily tough, was the most advance, fair and well balanced of the time. God promised He would greatly bless this new nation of His people IF they maintained their relationship with Him and obeyed His laws. But He also promised that if they wandered from Him and disobeyed His laws He would remove His blessings and life would be hard. It was a very hopeful step forward in getting humankind to live as He hoped.

So how did Israel do? From its establishment as a nation all the way until the birth of Jesus, Israel goes through a roller coaster ride of highs and mostly lows. You can read all about it in the historical narratives of the books of Joshua through to Esther and the historical and prophetic books from Isaiah until Malachi, which is the last book of the Old Testament. In these books we see that when Israel obeyed God’s commandments He blessed and prospered them as a nation of faith, but when they forgot God, disobeyed and went back to the forbidden behaviours of the surrounding nations, they suffered all sorts of calamities such as civil war, economic disaster, famines, plagues, endless attacks and colonization by foreign powers and even losing their country altogether.

Throughout this whole period God shows enormous mercy to His wayward children by sending prophets to guide and correct them and to implore them to return to Him and by giving them chance after chance after chance. But unfortunately most of the time they reject the messages of the prophets and disaster follows.

However, in spite the overall failure of Israel to live as God intended, great progress was made in God’s overall plan to reconcile all of humanity to Him and teaching us how to live in love. Many of the Israelites were obedient and though they were flawed heroes, they offered the world wonderful examples to follow, people such as Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Daniel, Esther and many others.

The family of obedient and faithful ones started by Abraham continues to this day and is blessed and countless in number as God promised. The Old Testament scriptures also came to be written by the faithful for our future benefit, including the books from Job through to the Song of Solomon which contain beautiful passages of life lessons, wisdom, poetry and praise. And the prophets gave hundreds of prophecies foretelling the coming of the Messiah who would bring salvation, the eventual eternal victory over sin and death and the eternal restoration of our relationship with God for those who want it. Wow!

And that brings us to the end of the Old Testament which ended at about 400 BC. There are no Biblical books stemming from that time until the birth of Jesus. But an abundance of historical documents tell us that Israel continued to suffer because of disobedience to God throughout that period and that the surrounding nations continued their idolatry and depraved behaviours as well. Thus the need for the next step in God’s plan to restore our relationship with Him. And I’ll talk about that in the next episode.

That’s all for today everyone. If you want to study further about today’s topic I’ll include some links in the show notes. Please be sure to subscribe by hitting the subscribe or follow button and also feel free to share this podcast with your family and friends. And not only that, please hit the like button and leave a positive comment. That would be much appreciated! Looking forward to you joining me next time. God bless you all.

List of the Books of the Bible

The Old Testament
1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy
6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. Ruth
9. 1 Samuel
10. 2 Samuel
11. 1 Kings
12. 2 Kings
13. 1 Chronicles
14. 2 Chronicles
15. Ezra
16. Nehemiah
17. Esther
18. Job
19. Psalms
20. Proverbs
21. Ecclesiastes
22. Song of Solomon
23. Isaiah
24. Jeremiah
25. Lamentations
26. Ezekiel
27. Daniel
28. Hosea
29. Joel
30. Amos
31. Obadiah
32. Jonah
33. Micah
34. Nahum
35. Habakkuk
36. Zephaniah
37. Haggai
38. Zechariah
39. Malachi
The New Testament
1. Matthew
2. Mark
3. Luke
4. John
5. Acts (of the Apostles)
6. Romans
7. 1 Corinthians
8. 2 Corinthians
9. Galatians
10. Ephesians
11. Philippians
12. Colossians
13. 1 Thessalonians
14. 2 Thessalonians
15. 1 Timothy
16. 2 Timothy
17. Titus
18. Philemon
19. Hebrews
20. James
21. 1 Peter
22. 2 Peter
23. 1 John
24. 2 John
25. 3 John
26. Jude
27. Revelation

Episode 14 What Is The Bible About? -The New Testament

Hi everyone and welcome again to another episode of Bible Made Easy. I’m Brother George. Thanks for joining me again.

In the last episode I gave you the overview of the Old Testament and how each section fits in with the overall Bible narrative of our broken relationship with God and how throughout history He goes about restoring it.

Today we’ll move on to the next phase of the story by covering the New Testament. Again, having a Bible in your hand while going through this with me might be helpful, or you can look at the list of Bible books I’ve provided in the show notes if you want....but you don’t have to to get the points. So here goes….

The New Testament starts with the all important books of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good news’, and they were and are great news because after 4000 years of humankind’s failures, even those of God’s own people, Israel, these books describe the coming of the Savior, the ultimate restorer of our relationship with God, Jesus Christ. These are the 4 most important books in the whole Bible, and if you’re going to start reading the Bible I recommend you start with these and even read them over and over again because it is the life changing teachings of Christ that at the heart of Christianity.

In the Gospels we find God, seeing humankind mired in misery, is filled with compassion for us and in fulfillment of hundreds of Old Testament prophecies comes down to earth Himself in the form of Jesus, to personally get involved, to teach and show us how to live and to pay the punishment for our sins Himself on the cross. The Gospels chronicle the 3 year ministry of Jesus on earth where Jesus claims to be the Son of God, the long awaited Messiah and proves it by performing many miracles of healing, feeding the hungry, raising the dead and preaching such beautiful sermons that the people were astonished at His doctrine.

Jesus also does away with the outdated sacrifices and rituals of the Old Testament as well as the Old Testament laws and replaces them with only two, that we should love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus is the ultimate superhero of the whole Bible narrative, the Savior who mercifully sacrifices Himself in order to bring us lost children back to God.

In the Gospels we see that so convinced were people of the truth of His claims that upon getting to know Him 12 men immediately left their jobs, families and communities to follow Him full time, and there were many other followers as well. And they witnessed the life and teachings of Jesus for about 3 years. Unfortunately the Jewish leaders who had completely strayed from the heart of the Old Testament teachings failed to recognize the coming of its predicted Messiah and they criticized and persecuted Him the whole 3 years until they had Him crucified by the Roman governor on false charges of treason against Caesar.

The Gospels show that His death was a seeming body blow to the faith of His disciples and many of them forsook their master. But when He rose from the dead their faith skyrocketed and catapulted them into the action we read about in the book immediately after the four Gospels, the Book of Acts.

In Acts we read about how the previously uneducated, ignorant and cowardly apostles of Christ risk their lives to go throughout the known world to preach the gospel to all people. Following in the footsteps of their master they love, they perform miracles of healing, they preach and they also endure beatings, prison and even death.

Christianity exploded, and the church of believers grew exponentially throughout the regions around Israel and Syria, through Turkey and Greece and all the way to Rome, the capital city of the Roman Empire which was the dominant global force at the time.

This new family of believers required leadership, guidance and teaching and this came through leaders like the Apostles Paul, Peter, John and others who like their Old Testament counterparts were flawed heroes but who were faithful and wrote the pastoral and teaching books you find after the Book of Acts, from Romans all the way to the book of Jude. These books touched on a variety of themes that helped grow the new believers in the faith. Here are some of the main themes of these books.

1. Salvation, the restoration of our relationship with God, is not a reward for our works or keeping Old Testament laws, but rather it is a free gift of God through Jesus which we must choose to accept by faith
2. Clarification that being an ethnic Jew was not a requirement for salvation, but that rather salvation is available to all people regardless of ethnicity
3. Clarification that Old Testament laws and rituals were no longer needed and that God’s moral requirements from the time of Jesus were only that we love God and others
4. Outlining of the spiritual and behavioural standards for living as a Christian

The coming to earth of Jesus and His introduction of His new laws of love brought a radical positive change in the hearts of His children. God’s people were no longer to be motivated to obey Him by fear of punishment as they were under the Old Testament laws. Jesus’ call to love and serve others sacrificially expected much more of the Christian community than that of the Israelites of old and there was a significant improvement in the behaviour of God’s community of believers and their example to the world. Christians became known for their brotherly love and this helped Christianity spread like wildfire until it became the most widespread belief in the world.

And now we arrive at the final book of the New Testament and of the whole Bible, the Book of Revelation, written by the Apostle John around 95 AD. In a series of supernatural revelations to John, God shows him what will happen in the last days of human history including the rise of an evil world government led by a dictatorial leader known as the Anti Christ, very soon followed by the triumphant return of Christ Himself to rule and reign in love forever over His people in the newly restored heaven and earth.

This is where God brings a final and eternal happy ending to the whole Bible narrative. The devil and the evil he introduced in the Garden of Eden are defeated forever. The wicked are punished, the saved are rewarded and finally reconciled forever with God. The saved will be living as God originally intended in the Garden of Eden, in love and righteousness in the heavenly city of God where there is no death, sorrow, crying or pain. Thank God for the happy ending.

It’s an incredible narrative from Genesis to Revelation. It’s the ultimate dramatic action movie plot where the hero, Jesus, saves the gullible victims, us, from the clutches of the evil villain, the devil.

My friends, have you see yourself in this movie? Have you also been separated from God and suffered the negative consequences as a result? God is on a mission to rescue you too and to bring you back to Him. If you haven’t yet received Jesus as your saviour then please take a minute to repeat this simple prayer after me phrase by phrase.

Dear Jesus

I believe that you are the Son of God

Please come into my heart and life

I know that I have sinned and have been unloving

Please forgive my sins

And give me your gift of eternal life

Please help me to love God and others

In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

If you sincerely prayed that prayer, you are forgiven, saved and in eternal relationship with God. And now that you have Him in your heart you can start your journey as a born again new person loving God and others. There’s so much to learn about this new life so I hope you’ll continue to join me regularly by listening to Bible Made Easy.

Thanks for joining me today. If you want to study further about today’s subject I’ll put some links in the show notes. And if you want to keep listening in please subscribe by hitting the subscribe or follow button. And also, please hit the like button and leave a positive comment. That would be great!

I’m really looking forward to you joining me for our next episode. Bye.

List of the Books of the Bible

The Old Testament
1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy
6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. Ruth
9. 1 Samuel
10. 2 Samuel
11. 1 Kings
12. 2 Kings
13. 1 Chronicles
14. 2 Chronicles
15. Ezra
16. Nehemiah
17. Esther
18. Job
19. Psalms
20. Proverbs
21. Ecclesiastes
22. Song of Solomon
23. Isaiah
24. Jeremiah
25. Lamentations
26. Ezekiel
27. Daniel
28. Hosea
29. Joel
30. Amos
31. Obadiah
32. Jonah
33. Micah
34. Nahum
35. Habakkuk
36. Zephaniah
37. Haggai
38. Zechariah
39. Malachi
The New Testament
1. Matthew
2. Mark
3. Luke
4. John
5. Acts (of the Apostles)
6. Romans
7. 1 Corinthians
8. 2 Corinthians
9. Galatians
10. Ephesians
11. Philippians
12. Colossians
13. 1 Thessalonians
14. 2 Thessalonians
15. 1 Timothy
16. 2 Timothy
17. Titus
18. Philemon
19. Hebrews
20. James
21. 1 Peter
22. 2 Peter
23. 1 John
24. 2 John
25. 3 John
26. Jude
27. Revelation

Episode 15 Does Saint Peter Hold The Keys To Heaven?

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Bible Made Easy. I’m Brother George. I hope you’re all doing well.

In Episode 9 I talked about how to be saved and said that the Bible says that salvation is a free gift of God that cannot be earned. The ‘cannot be earned’ part might have been a surprise to some people. If you live in a predominantly Christian or Catholic country, you might be familiar with the popular idea that when we die we’ll be judged by our works. Besides being taught by some Christian denominations, this idea has been popularized in pop culture as well. You know, one day you die and you arrive at the pearly gates of Heaven and there’s St Peter holding the keys and he goes over your life with you, sums up your good works and bad works and if the good outweighs the bad then congratulations you’re in! But if not, too bad, it’s hell for you pal!

This idea that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell is so pervasive that in many countries if you were to do a survey on a bunch of average people on the street and asked ‘How does a person get to heaven?’ I’ll bet most of them would answer something like ‘Ahhh, be good’! But is that really what the Bible says?

Thankfully, that’s not what the Bible teaches. Whew! Now that would be welcome news for a lot of people. Like me. But strangely that would be hard to swallow for some other people. For the obvious sinner, of course it’s good news. ‘Wow! God will still accept me in spite of my sins! Yay! God is so merciful!’ But for the person who is quote unquote “good”... ‘What? All those bad people get to get into Heaven along with me and all the other good people!? That’s not fair! We had to work hard to earn our place here!’

Actually whether salvation is obtained totally by God’s grace as a free gift or whether it has to be earned was the most raging controversy of the early church, the disagreement continued for centuries and unfortunately there is still disagreement today between various denominations. Well, the Bible is the final authority on this and any other matter so what does it say?

As I quoted in Episode 9, Ephesians 2:8-9 says ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.’ OK, let’s go through that phrase by phrase.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. God’s grace, His mercy saves you because of your faith.

And this is not your own doing; You didn’t do anything to earn it

it is the gift of God, It’s a gift. You didn’t pay anything for it.

not a result of works, You didn’t work for it by being good and moral

so that no one may boast. You’ve got nothing to boast about. And neither do I

So you can’t get any clearer than that. Here’s another verse to support salvation by grace alone.

Titus 3:5 says ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us….

Clear as a bell right?

Over and over the scriptures link salvation and eternal life only to belief in Jesus. Here are just a few:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life

Acts 16:31 Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved

Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved

OK. So that settles that question.

So where does the confusion come from? Well, there are a lot of scriptures that also talk about the importance of our works and how God will reward or punish us for them. I’m not going to quote them all here. But how do these two seemingly contradictory concepts fit together? Well the answer is, they’re both right. Salvation is a free gift based on our faith in Jesus alone. That separates the saved from the unsaved. But after that separation both the saved and unsaved are judged by their works and accordingly rewarded.

Among the saved there will be different rewards in heaven according to what we did for God in our lives. Those who obeyed and served Him, of course will be blessed and rewarded greatly in Heaven. Other Christians who believed and had faith in this life but did very little or nothing to love others or advance God’s work will of course very blessed to be in heaven but they might be kind of ashamed when they get there and they won’t get so much of a reward. So there’s not a license for the saved to do whatever they want thinking there will be no consequences. There will be after life consequences.

And the same applies to the unsaved who don’t go to heaven. Those who were very evil are going to get strong punishments and those who, though they didn’t accept Jesus as their savior in this life but were otherwise good people, will be rewarded by having less punishment in the afterlife.

Salvation is a black and white matter. Either we accept Jesus and get to heaven or we reject Him and we go elsewhere. There’s no judgment by God or Saint Peter based on our works regarding salvation. But there will be plenty of finely tuned scrutiny and judgment of our works to decide how we are rewarded either in Heaven or outside heaven based on our works. By the way, I’ll be covering the subject of punishments and rewards in the afterlife and what life in Heaven or hell will be like in future episodes.

So, who really holds the keys to Heaven? We do. It’s not God who decides, it’s not Saint Peter who decides. It’s us. We decide if we want to receive salvation through Jesus by our own personal free will choice. And if we don’t want to spend eternity with God and Jesus then we are free to choose the other place.

Here are a few other thoughts on the subject….

Do we really think we can earn an eternal place beside a perfect God in heaven? Is anyone that good that they can honestly say they deserve to forever be by His side? I don’t think so. The decision has got to be based on forgiveness of sins.

If on judgment day we all had to line up and God allowed us in to heaven based on our works, where would He draw the line between those who get in and those who don’t? ‘Oh I’m sorry pal, you told one lie too many, so you can’t come in!’ ‘Sorry lady, you were really close but that one time you dumped your boyfriend for a richer guy, that just tipped you over the edge’. Pity the poor people who barely missed out even though they were so close in the quality of their works compared to those who barely made it in. That type of judgment just doesn’t sound like something a loving God would do.

If we had to work our way into Heaven, why did Jesus have to come and die for our sins?

Imagine if Heaven was filled with a bunch of religious boasters? ‘Oh look how good we are. We deserve to be here. Not like all those sinners!’ Wouldn’t be such a great place to be I think.

Imagine Heaven full of people who are grateful to even be there, who love and appreciate God for His mercy? Much more fun place to be I think.

Just as your works can’t earn your salvation, they can’t cause you to lose it either. You won’t lose your salvation just because you continue to be a sinner. Once you receive Jesus into your heart He stays with you forever. But of course your reward in Heaven will depend on how much you loved and obeyed Him.

Thankfully, the Bible is clear, salvation is available to all the humble sinners who know they need God and are thankful for His love and mercy and the presence of such people in Heaven will help make it a wonderful place to be.

And if you haven’t yet received Jesus as your saviour then please ask Him into your heart today. I’ll leave the salvation prayer in the show notes for you.

So, I hope that clears up that question. Thanks again for joining me today. It’s my prayer that this podcast is a blessing to you. If you want to keep listening please hit the subscribe or follow button. Please leave a positive comment if you like and feel free to share with family and friends.

Looking forward to next time. God bless each one of you.

Salvation Prayer

Dear Jesus

I believe that you are the Son of God

Please come into my heart and life

I know that I have sinned and have been unloving

Please forgive my sins

And give me your gift of eternal life

Please help me to love God and others

In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Today’s Bible verses:
Ephesians 2:8-9
Titus 3:5
John 3:16
John 3:36
Acts 16:31
Romans 10:9

Episode 16: Are There Many Paths To God?

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me today. This is Bible Made Easy Podcast, I’m Brother George and today we’ll be discussing the idea that there are many paths to God. It’s a widespread idea that claims that all religions are basically different paths that lead to the same destination, heaven and God’s presence. That they are different routes up the same mountain that all lead to the same peak.

But is this really true? Well, I think you already know what I’m going to say about it, but hang around because the answer is going to be more nuanced than what you might think.

Firstly let’s take a look at the world’s major religions. What are they and how many followers do they have? Here’s the breakdown according to the Washington DC based Pew Research Center.

As of 2015 among a world population of 7.3 billion people:
Christians 31%
Muslims 24%
Hindus 15%
Buddhists 7%
and about .01% of the world population follows Judaism.
There of course many, many other religions, but today I’m just giving figures for the major ones plus Judaism, which while it’s very small has been very influential.

Most religions do have a lot in common. There is usually belief in a God or multiple Gods, usually belief in the afterlife, and a moral code to live by, among other similarities. And I would say that generally if people followed the moral codes of their religions the world would be a better place.

However, while there are similarities between most religions, there are also many major differences. For instance Christianity, Islam and Judaism all claim to believe in one God who revealed Himself to Abraham, while Hinduism has hundreds, even thousands of Gods. And Buddhism actually doesn’t have a creator god.

Most Hindus believe in reincarnation. Which is the belief that after death the soul begins a new life in a new body that might be human, animal or spiritual depending on the quality of a someone’s works in their previous life. The Indian caste system is based on that concept which results in a society divided into different groups and classes. The other major religions don’t believe in reincarnation.

Islam teaches that Muhammad is a prophet from God. Christianity, Judaism and many other religions don’t recognize this.

Most religions have completely different texts that they follow and consider inspired by God or the gods.

Christianity teaches that salvation is a gift from God that we can’t earn by our good works. Other religions teach that whether we obtain eternal life or enlightenment hinges on our earthly works.

I could give plenty more examples, but it’s not hard to see that there are major differences even in the most fundamental concepts of religion such as who is God, what the afterlife is like, how to get eternal life and what texts are recognized as sacred. So while there are some similarities among religions they cannot all be totally and equally true at the same time.

Now, back to the question. Are there many paths to God?

Well, if all religions where leading to the same kind of eternity with the same God why would He be offering such a mish-mash of differing ideas regarding His essence, how to obtain eternal life and other fundamentals that completely contradict each other? I don’t think that’s what a loving God would do.

So how to we deal with these differences in religions? Well it makes sense that if we’re sincerely seeking actual truth, we ought to take a close look at them and see which of them reflects reality, the way things really are.

Ok what about Christianity? Christianity makes very unique claims that are not found in any other religion.

Let’s go through some of those claims one by one.

  •     That      Jesus is God’s son.    
  •     That      Jesus was involved in the creation of the universe
  •     That      His arrival on earth was an act of God visiting humankind.    
  •     That      Jesus     can forgive sins and that salvation comes through Him.    
  •     That      Jesus rose from the dead three days after being killed
  •     And      the claim found      in John      14:6     where Jesus said that He is the only way to salvation. He said:‘I      am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father      except through me.’         

Those are stunning claims that no other major religious founder or leader has ever made about themselves. If those claims are true then Christianity has to be a superior religion and Jesus has to ultimately be the only way to an eternity with God, because He is part of the Trinity of God and that’s what He said about Himself.

Now, evidently his disciples were absolutely convinced of those claims, because they gave their lives to go throughout the whole known world preaching that message. In Acts 4:12 as they were preaching they declared: ‘And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’

I think there are a lot of good reasons to come to the conclusion that Jesus is who He says He is. That’s what I believe and I hope you do too. If you’re not sure I invite you to look into the Bible’s claims about Jesus and to make up your own mind. I talked about some of these things in Episode 7 which you can listen to if you like.

OK, so let’s say that Christianity is right and Jesus is the only way to heaven as He claimed. Then what of the other religions?

Does that make them completely false? No, I don’t think so. Most of them do have very good teachings and morals that are great to follow. But of course some major parts of their doctrine would have to be incorrect because they’re inconsistent with or opposed to what the Bible says.

Are their followers completely out of touch with God? I don’t thinks so. I would say that most religions do reflect God in some or many ways, especially His call for us to love and treat others kindly. The Bible says that God is love, and the followers of every religion, even atheists, can be loving and they can be an avenue for God to move through. But of course the doctrinal parts of other religions that deny the reality of Jesus’s deity and salvation through Him, or whose doctrines result in inequality or other negative results would definitely be out of touch with God and lead people astray. I do believe that many of them are seeing God and spiritual realities in part with much truth, but that Christianity and the Bible is the only religion that fully explains the true reality of God.

Do other religion's followers all go to hell after they die?
Good question. Well, first of all, as I said in Episode 5, it’s not like God is the one who decides where we go in the afterlife. We choose where we go. So the question really should be, if Jesus really is God’s son, part of the Trinity and heaven is His eternal dwelling place, then do the people presently of other religions want to spend eternity with them in heaven? Romans 10:13 says ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’. So no matter a person’s background, once given an opportunity to receive Jesus as their savior they can choose to accept Him, and they are saved if they do. But if they really don’t want Jesus then ultimately they really don’t want God and probably wouldn’t want to be with them in Heaven anyway so God places them elsewhere in the afterlife. So really, ultimately it’s their choice.

But, it’s a complicated and individual matter that only God Himself can know and judge, because there are probably billions of people throughout history from other religions that are unsaved and not all of them really had an opportunity to hear about Jesus. And for those who never even heard about Jesus in this life, never had an opportunity to accept Him the Bible indicates they’ll be given an opportunity in the next life. That would be consistent with God’s loving nature and desire that none of His precious children should be lost.

So while it might take time for people of other religions to finally accept this reality and to be won over to it, I think a loving God will give them every opportunity in this life and if not, possibly the next life to embrace it and receive it and then they can all make their own decision. The Bible gives every indication of that and I’ll probably dedicate an episode to this topic later.

Now of course some people say that it’s arrogant for one religion to claim to have the ultimate truth and this leads to exclusion and intolerance, which can and has happened. Any belief system whether religious or anything else can fall into that trap. It’s not wrong however to make a claim about ultimate truth, which every belief system does. What is wrong is how we treat those we disagree with. At the heart of Christianity is Jesus giving His life for others and even loving His enemies while they killed Him. I think that people who are truly following His example wouldn’t mistreat or look down on those who believe differently.

So my friends, if Jesus is not just a good man, or religious leader, teacher or prophet showing the way to God, but He is God who came down to earth to reach us personally. If He is the creator of this beautiful world, if He’s your personal creator and responsible for every breath you take and everything you enjoy in life, then it makes sense that He is the only path to God and that you should accept Him as your saviour. And you can do that by praying to accept Him into your heart. You’ll be eternally glad you did. And you can find such a prayer in the today’s show notes or by listening to Episode 9 How Can I Be Saved?

Thanks for listening today. Please subscribe to get notified of new episodes and hit the like button if you like what you hear. You can also check out my web site for more Bible based content at thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com.

See you all next time.

Salvation Prayer:
Dear Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God, Please come into my heart and life. I know that I have sinned and have been unloving. Please forgive my sins and give me your gift of eternal life. Please help me to love God and others. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today’s Bible verses:
John 14:6
Acts 4:12
Romans 10:13
Episode 17: The Meaning Of Christmas

Hi everyone. I hope you’re having a happy Christmas season. Brother George here again. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me.

What a very special time of year it is. I just love Christmas. Historically, Christmas has been a time of celebration of the birth of Christ. A day to remember His coming to earth and salvation through Him. But unfortunately in recent times the true meaning and significance of Christmas has gotten kind of lost in a flood of commercialism and loss of faith, especially I think in the western world. How sad.

Here’s some things I’m sure you’ve noticed. The word Christmas has been largely replaced by X-mas. They’ve taken Christ out and replaced Him with a mere X! Hmm! Does anyone even know what the X stands for? Well lo and behold it actually stands for the first letter of the Greek way of saying Christ. So it’s actually an abbreviated form of Christ. But you know what? I just found that out today. And I’ll bet hardly any one else knows that either. I’ve got no doubt that many people and commercial entities like to use the X because it doesn’t actually remind them of Christ.

And it’s not just the X. Santa and the reindeers have replaced Jesus as the central figures of Christmas. The gifts are given to each other instead of to Jesus as the Wise men did. The once popular nativity scenes have been replaced by Christmas trees and all manner of decorations, and to make matters worse there’s even an emerging trend to avoid the ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting in favour of ‘Happy Holidays’. So what we have in the world is many non Christian nations that know nothing or very little about Christmas, and many formerly largely Christian nations, that have forgotten what Christmas even means.

So what does it mean and what is it’s significance to the world?

In Matthew 1:22-23 while the writer is narrating the story of the saviour's birth he says ‘All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).’

The writer explains that the Hebrew word or name ‘Immanuel’ means ‘God with us’. What an astounding statement! A proclamation that God himself had left the perfection of Heaven to visit His people on earth. Humankind had been drowning in the consequences of sin for four thousand years until the creator Himself came down to earth in human form in order to get personally involved, to show us what His father is like, to show us how to live and to eventually pay the penalty for sin in our place to save us.

There are two other very significant Biblical pronouncements about the arrival of Jesus at Christmas that give deep insight into it’s significance.

Isaiah 9:6 which was a prophecy by the prophet Isaiah about 700 years before Christ’s birth says ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;...and his name shall be called...Prince of Peace

And 700 years later in the evening of the day of His birth, a whole multitude of heavenly angels filled the sky and made the following pronouncement to a group of shepherds about the newly born saviour: Luke 2:14'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.'

These passages call Jesus the ‘Prince of Peace’, and tell us that He would bring us peace. Now we tend to think of peace as meaning an absence of war or friction between nations or people, or a personal inner sense of serenity or tranquility. But the Biblical Hebrew and Greek meanings of the word ‘peace’ point to something far more profound. Here’s how American theologian and author Cornelius Plantinga explains it.

The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.

This is the kind of peace Jesus came at Christmas to bring us. Not just an absence of strife, but the coming together and uniting together of all creation in harmony with God, and the forming of a society where changed hearts all cooperate together to perform His will and fulfill each other's needs in perfect love, harmony, justice and unity.

You know the other day my daughter and I watched a beautiful Christmas themed movie called The Perfect Gift. One of the characters gave a very insightful and touching discourse about Christmas. And I'd like to share it with you.

He said, ‘God never wanted to force His son on anyone.... With His power He could have compelled everyone in the world to bow down and worship His son. But He didn’t. He could have filled the world with thunder and lighting…...to announce the king’s arrival. But He didn’t. He could have assembled the richest, most powerful people on earth to be witnesses for the new king’s coronation. But He didn’t…..God never wanted to force His son on anyone. It’s not the way he does things. And that’s why the first Christmas was the way it was. He chose a poor girl from a village to give birth to the new king…..And He chose a stable instead of a palace for the new king’s birth. And shepherds, common labourers, were chosen as the first witnesses. When God came to earth, He came to the least and the last and the lowest and the lost. And these people witnessed the birth of a king who never owned a home, who never held political office, never made a grab for power. This simple man from a poor mother and a small town is still considered a person of interest over 2000 years later….Not because he forced people to choose Him. It’s because for centuries men and women have been seeking God. And they found Him in this man. And what’s remarkable is, that while they were seeking God they found that He’d been looking for them….. That’s what happened on that first Christmas 2000 years ago. God came to earth looking for you. And He came in the form of a man who showed the whole world what God’s love is like.

That’s right. The true meaning of Christmas is not merely a time to give gifts and party. It’s a time to celebrate and appreciate the greatest moment in history, the moment when God visited us and gave us the precious gift of Himself, so that our sins could be forgiven, and so that we could eternally be saved and have the most perfect gift of peace we could ever imagine.

Thanks again for joining me. If you want to be notified of new episodes please hit the subscribe or follow button and please check out my website at thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com for more Bible based articles.

Have a happy Christmas season everyone!

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 1:22-23
Isaiah 9:6
Luke 2:14

Episode 18 The Holy Night

Hi everyone, Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host Brother George thanks for joining me today.

This morning I was listening to my favourite Christmas carol of all the many, many out there, O Holy Night. Not only is the melody just beautiful, but the lyrics express the meaning of Christmas really well. So today I’m going to go through the lyrics with you along with some relevant thoughts and scriptures.

But first some credit to the creators of this timeless carol. The lyrics were written in 1843 by French poet Placide Cappeau and were put to music by composer Adolphe Adam in 1847 and was translated into English by American Unitarian Church minister John Sullivan Dwight in 1855. God bless them.

So here are the lyrics:

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

Christ is the Lord, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

Let’s go through the lyrics lines by line, talk about their meaning and significance and how the concepts are inspired by the scriptures.

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!

The Bible doesn’t actually tell us the exact time of day of Jesus’s birth. But Luke Chapter 2 does tell us that an angel announced His birth to some nearby shepherds in the evening and that they immediately left their sheep to go visit the child. This is depicted in the famous evening manger scene.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.

Up until that point humankind had been pretty much a disaster for the about 4000 years since creation. The world had become filled with sin and error and people suffered for it. And so the time had come to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah would come to save us. And He did arrive that day so that each soul could truly feel their worth to God. John 3:16 says ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son’. That’s how much we’re worth to God. So much that He sent His own beloved son to leave the perfection of Heaven, to live and suffer for us.

A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Finally after millenniums of pain and sorrow there is a new dawn of hope for the weary world.

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born

What else can we do in response to the coming of the saviour but to fall to our knees in awe and wonder and imagine that we, like the shepherds, are hearing the glorious announcement of the angels found in Luke 2:9-14? ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people…….For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…... Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased’  

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace

In John 13:34 Jesus said ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another’ He called it ‘A new commandment’. The Old Testament moral law which was written before Jesus came to earth was more focused on justice and social order. But with this new law of love, Jesus tells us that He wants us to take our morality to a far deeper level by loving others as He loved us, which He did by putting our welfare above His own and even giving His life for us.

And as I discussed in the last episode, the Bible calls Him the Prince of Peace who hopes to bring the world the kind of peace that unites God with all of His creation in love and harmony.

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease

Ancient cultures didn’t recognize equality and human rights as we do today. Slavery as well as racial, gender and class based inequalities were the norm throughout most of history. Yet the Bible has always called for equality and freedom. It tells us that we’re all made equally in the image of God and are equally loved by Him.

In Galatians 3:28 the apostle Paul wrote the following words which have become a foundational expression of the Christian principle of equality ever since: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’  In other words, Jesus values you Jews, Greeks and every other ethnicity, you males and females, you slaves and you free, equally. Therefore there shouldn’t be any inequality, racism, gender discrimination, oppression or slavery at all.

In fact, the Bible was the inspiration behind Sir William Wilberforce’s efforts to end the slave trade in England, and Martin Luther King’s campaign to end segregation in the USA. And this song and it’s lyrics echoing the Bible’s call for equality became a favourite of the abolitionist movement who opposed and fought to end slavery during the American Civil war.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

Well, no wonder Christians are known for singing and praising God during our gatherings. What other response can we have to the King of the Universe coming down at Christmas but to praise His holy name with all within us and to do everything we possibly can to proclaim his power and greatness to the whole world!

Such a beautiful, timeless song describing the holiest of all nights, Christmas night and the radical change Jesus’s coming brought to the world and to each of us individually. I’ll put a link to Hillsong singing their version of O Holy Night on YouTube in the show notes. Please take a few minutes to listen to it and be inspired.

Well, that’s all from me today. If it’s your first time to join me, thanks for tuning in. If you want to get notified of new episodes please tap the follow or subscribe button on wherever you listen to podcasts.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

O Holy Night Lyrics:

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

Christ is the Lord, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

Today’s Bible verses:
John 3:16
Luke 2:9-14
John 13:34
Galatians 3:28

Episode 19 Who Is The Holy Spirit?

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me again today. Brother George here. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I hope you had a great Christmas.

In episodes 6 and 7 I covered the topics Who Is God and Who Is Jesus. Today we’ll talk about the mysterious 3rd member of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, sometimes called the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Spirit isn’t as well known and understood as much as God and Jesus who are the main characters of the Bible and whose roles are covered very prominently in scripture. The Holy Spirit makes only a few relatively backseat appearances in the Old Testament, at first participating in the creation of the heavens and the earth and after that usually to empower certain of God’s people with strength and wisdom to perform a special task. However the Old Testament prophet Joel in Joel 2:28 prophesied that the Holy Spirit would become available to all people in the future. He said ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh’ And this did occur in the New Testament.

John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from the time he was in his mother’s womb. Just before He started His public ministry Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit by John the Baptist. And famously the early apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit after Jesus departed to heaven with the Apostle Peter publicly declaring in Acts 2:16-17 that this was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy hundreds of years earlier.

Ok, so how do you relate to the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit do in your life? Let’s find out.

Just like with the Biblical characters, one of the main jobs of the Holy Spirit today is to give us power, wisdom and talents to perform the mission God gives us in life.

In John:14:16 Jesus told his followers that He would send the Holy Spirit to help them. He said ‘And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever.’

Not long after, on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit did come upon the disciples and gave those former cowards who fled when Jesus was arrested the power to boldly evangelize right under the noses of Jesus’ persecutors, as well as the miraculous ability to speak in various languages in order to be able to preach the gospel to the people of diverse nations who were at the time visiting Jerusalem from all over the Roman Empire for a religious feast. Acts 2:4 says 'And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.' And verse 41 of the same chapter says that about 3000 people were converted to the faith that very same day! What a power surge the disciples experienced!

Here are some other gifts the Holy Spirit gave the early disciples in order to do God’s work:
1. Healing people of sickness and disability
2. Prophesying. In other words to be able to hear from God and speak the message out loud or write them down for others.
3. And casting out demons that were bothering people

Romans 12:6–8 and 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 give us a list of other more down to earth gifts of the Holy Spirit that we can use in God’s service and in our daily lives: wisdom, teaching, knowledge, faith, discernment, service, public speaking, generosity, leadership, administration and acts of mercy.

Now not every Christian is granted all of the above gifts of the Holy Spirit. But they are available to those who seek them.

The Holy Spirit is active in people’s spiritual lives and has a hand in encouraging them to listen to their consciences and to accept Jesus through the witness of Christians by acting as a sort of mediator or bearer of God’s voice in their hearts.

The Holy Spirit also gives us guidance and direction in our daily lives. In the New Testament you’ll find that people like Jesus, Paul, Barnabas, Philip, Simon and others were all at times given specific guidance regarding where to go and what to do by the Holy Spirit.

Another way the Holy Spirit guides us is by reminding us of what the scriptures say: In John 14:26 Jesus said ‘The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name….will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you’ Sometimes just when you’re confused about something or need some guidance, the Holy Spirit will remind you of a specific scripture or scripture passage that is perfect for the situation.

The Holy Spirit also helps with the inner transformation from our old selves to the new person God wants us to be.

Galatians 5:16-26 says: 'So I tell you, live the way the Spirit leads you. Then you will not do the evil things your sinful self wants'…..and it lists a bunch of things we really should avoid getting into, and then it goes on to say...'But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.'

Believe me, it pays to listen to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit who encourages us to steer clear of destructive attitudes and behaviours. Paying attention to the Spirit produces those nine above mentioned good fruits in our lives and that means a lot more more happiness and satisfaction than we had in our old lives.

And finally, here’s another couple of ways the Holy Spirit, the Helper, supports us in our daily lives. Romans 8:26 says ‘And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.’

So the Holy Spirit is there for us to come to our aid in our times of weakness, comforting us, strengthening us and even helping us in our prayer life. Have you ever been stuck in prayer not knowing what to say or even how to pray at all? Well, the Holy Spirit is there to help you put your heart into words and even to virtually translate your mumbled mess of a prayer and covey to God what you really mean.

The Holy Spirit, the Helper, is someone you should become familiar with. Receiving the Holy Spirit into your life gives you a tremendous power boost of love and other gifts, even the miraculous ones for some people, that help you to do God’s work of loving and serving others.

So how do you get in touch with the Holy Spirit? In Luke 11:13 Jesus says ‘If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him

All you have to do is ask. That can be when you receive Jesus in your heart or any time after that. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is available to any Christian at any time because God loves you and wants your life to be transformed by the power His Holy spirit gives us.

In fact you can repeat this simple prayer to receive the Holy Spirit after me if you like:

Dear Spirit of God

please come into my heart and life.

Fill me with the love, gifts and wisdom I need

for God to use me in His service.

Please transform my heart

so that I can do God’s will

and bear all your good fruit in my life

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

Well, I hope this episode helped you to get more familiar with the Holy Spirit. And it happens be my last episode of 2021, the first year of Bible Made Easy Podcast. It’s been an amazing journey to get this project off the ground and running. To all of you, so far, hundreds of listeners around the world, thanks so much for tuning in. It’s my hope and prayer that this podcast has been a blessing to every one of you. And if you haven’t yet, please tap the subscribe button so that you can get notified of new episodes.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in 2022! Bye!

Prayer to receive the Holy Spirit:

Dear Spirit of God, please come into my heart and life. Fill me with the love, gifts and wisdom I need for God to use me in His service. Please transform my heart so that I can do God’s will and bear all your good fruit in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

Today’s Bible verses:
Joel 2:28
Acts 2:16-17
Acts 2:4
Romans 12:6–8
1 Corinthians 12: 4-11
John 14:26
Galatians 5:16-26
Romans 8:26
Luke 11:13

Episode 20 Goodbye Past Hello Future

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Happy New Year and welcome again to Bible Made Easy Podcast.

The end of the old year and the start of the new is for a lot of us a time of reflection on the past year and setting of goals for the new. This can bring with it a range of emotions depending on our individual circumstances. But I think it would be fair to say that 2021 was a tough year for a lot of people because of the effects of Covid-19. I’m not gonna get into all the details of the all problems it caused except to say that to me it seemed as if a dark cloud just blew over the whole world and that at this point the sun still hasn’t really come out for a lot of people. What do you do after a year like that and now facing a new year?

Well, the Bible gives plenty of advice about how to look back on hard times, and plenty of assurance of hope for the future and brighter days ahead. So let’s take a look at this from a Biblical perspective. I’m going to share scriptures about these two aspects of entering a New year. Dealing with the past and looking forward to the future

First how do we deal with the past?

Whatever our experiences in the past, we should be getting something positive out of them. We should be learning something.

2 Peter 3:18 says ‘But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ Sure, some of our past experiences have been rough but by them we ought to be seeing God’s hand in them and growing in our knowledge and understanding of Him and how He works in our lives.

Of course there are plenty of people who never learn anything from their negative experiences. 2 Timothy 3:7 speaks of them saying they are ‘Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth’ This kind of person can miss the point of what they can learn from their experiences and be pretty miserable and negative, blaming others or circumstances or whatever. We don’t want to go down that road.

We can even look back on tough times and find that no matter how bad things were, every rotten experience can even turn out to be a blessing in disguise!

Romans 8:28 says ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good….’ Huh! How about that? That’s a great promise that God will flip the script of our bad experiences and turn them into a blessing somehow.

Of course, there are plenty of people who got absolutely king hit by the Covid situation in 2021 and the fallout for them was devastating for them. Here’s an encouraging verse for you: Proverbs 24:16 ‘For the righteous falls seven times and rises again.’

No matter how many times you’ve been knocked down in the boxing ring of 2021 you can rise up again to fight another day ‘if you’re righteous’. That means if you’re heart is in the right place, if you’ve got a connection with God and are trying your best to love Him and others and do His will in your life. He’ll be right there to help you get up and fight on and win.

No matter how hard life has been it really helps to focus on the positive and count our blessings. Psalm 103:2 says ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits’ There’s always a lot of positive things we can bring to mind and when we do start counting our blessings sometimes it’s surprising to see that things weren’t as bad as we thought and how good we actually had it!

And here’s another thing we sometimes have to do about the past. Just forget about it and look to the future. Philippians 3:13 says ‘But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead’  There’s a time for that. Once you’ve gained everything positive there is to gain, it’s just time to move on. I’ve had to do that plenty of times in life and I’m glad I did.

So that brings us to the future.

First of all don’t worry about the future! In Jesus’ famous ‘don’t worry’ sermon in Matthew 6:25-34 he talked about a bunch of ways He’s going to take care of us and then he ended it by saying ‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow’  If our trust is in Him we’ve got nothing to worry about.

In fact, there’s a famous saying among Christians that says ‘The future is as bright as the promises of God’. So what are those promises?

Here’s one of the most popular and faith building verses among Christians. In fact Jeremiah 29:11 is so encouraging that it consistently ranks near the top for most searched and read Bible verses on the Internet. Here’s what it says:  ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’

Mind you, that was given to the prophet Jeremiah at a time when Israel had suffered a devastating invasion by it’s enemies the Babylonians, with their city destroyed and many of them kidnapped into exile, yet, God was saying, don’t worry about the past, the future is going to be bright!

We’ve got to always keep that in mind. That God always has our best interests at heart. We can look forward to a new year or a new era in our lives knowing that He’s got our backs and is more He’s more concerned about our welfare than even we are.

And here’s another one from the same prophet, Jeremiah. In Lamentations 3:21-23 He writes ‘But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.’ That’s right, God’s love and mercy towards us is renewed day by day and year by year and so we can have hope for brighter days ahead.

And one more. Proverbs 23:18 says ‘Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.’

God doesn’t just spout off empty promises. When He says He’s there and that there is hope in Him then He means it, because He does love you and have your best interests at heart.

I’ll close by sharing some lyrics to a well known song that has been an encouragement to God’s people for many years. They’re from the song I Know Who Holds Tomorrow written by Ira F. Stanphill

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

We might not know what is in store for us in 2022, but we sure can rest in God’s promises that he does have our best welfare at heart and that His plans are for our good. So let’s put our hands in His and let Him guide us to the better and brighter days ahead.

That’s all for today everyone. I’m looking forward to continuing to share regular Bible Made Easy Podcast episodes throughout 2022 with you and if you want to get notified please tap the subscribe or follow button on wherever you listen to podcasts. And please share with your friends and family so that they can get regular feeding of God’s word as well. You can check out my web page at thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com. And if you wanna drop me a line you can at biblemadeeasypodcast@gmail.com

Thanks a lot for listening. A very Happy New Year to all of you!

See you next time!

Today’s Bible verses:
2 Peter 3:18
2 Timothy 3:7
Romans 8:28
Proverbs 24:16
Psalm 103:2
Philippians 3:13
Matthew 6:25-34
Jeremiah 29:11
Lamentations 3:21-23
Proverbs 23:18

Episode 21 New Year Prayer For You

Hi everyone, it’s Brother George here at Bible Made Easy Podcast again. I hope that you’ve gotten off to a great start in this new year of 2022.

You know I have quite a long list of all the topics I want to cover on this podcast this year and in the future, and the list keeps growing longer by the week as more and more topics come to my mind. There’s just so much in the Bible to talk about and I don’t think I or anyone else would ever be able to cover it all.

Anyway, I always look at that list to decide which topic should be the focus for a new episode. But as I was thinking and praying about what this episode should be about it came to me that I should dedicate it to praying for you listeners. That was a surprise. That wasn’t at all on my list or in my thoughts, but I believe that the Lord broke through my preconceived ideas and plans and has put that in my heart. And I’m glad He did.

You know, it’s a heavy responsibility to pray for people. My feeble words could never fully express God’s love for you or adequately cover your personal needs in a way that does them justice. But I’m going to try. As I explained in Episode 19, Romans 8:26 says ‘And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.’

So, I’m going to trust that the Holy Spirit will take my clumsy words and translate them into what they are supposed to be and mean.

And John 14:14 says ‘If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.’ That’s Jesus’s promise that when we pray He is going to answer. So, I’m trusting Him that He’ll see my heart and answer my prayers for you simply because He loves you and has your best interests at heart. So here goes….

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You for getting past my own thoughts and plans to inspire me to pray for my listeners. I could never know their needs and concerns and put them into words in a way that does them justice, but I’m trusting that the Holy Spirit will carry my inadequate words and my heart to You in a way that does do them justice. And I’m trusting that You will answer. Not because I’m so great at praying but just because You love those who I pray for and because You promised that if we ask anything in Your name, You will do it.

Firstly I want to pray for those who haven’t yet accepted You into their hearts as their saviour. They’ve probably got all sorts of personal reasons why they haven’t received You yet. Maybe they don’t yet know enough or maybe they’re hesitant to take the plunge and invite you into their lives. But if they’re listening to this podcast there must be some interest or curiosity there. You know their hearts and their reasons and I pray that You reveal Yourself to them in a way that takes away any barriers and makes it easy for them to accept. Whatever their situation please open their eyes and soften their hearts to realize and accept that You are the creator of the heavens and the earth, their personal creator, and as You said, the way the truth and the life. You’ve said that You stand at the door of our hearts knocking, and that if we just ask You in, You will come in. Help them to open the door of their hearts to You, to receive your forgiveness of sins and to start on the road to a whole new life of love and blessing.

Now I pray for those listeners who already know You but have never really grown in their faith and relationship with You. It’s great that they have faith and basic knowledge of You, but You have so much more to offer them. Committing ourselves to living as Your followers and following closely brings so much more joy and blessing than following from a distance.

Firstly help them to develop a strong hunger for your Word, the Bible, as well as other spiritual food. The apostle Paul instructed the early new Christians by saying ‘As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby’ It’s the Bible that helps us grow in faith and knowledge of You and Your ways. Help them to be faithful to read it, study it and obey it so that the can receive the fullness and richness of all the blessings You have for them. Your word says ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you’. Help them to do that more each day in reading, in prayer and in carrying out Your command to love others.

Help them to get their priorities straight in life. Give them a desire to be willing set aside unnecessary distractions and to learn to put You first in their lives. As You commanded ‘Seek first the kingdom of God…’ You also said ‘….the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.’ Nothing is worth more than finding and following You. Open their eyes to realize the stupendous value of the treasures that You possess for them if they are willing to let go of some of their old thinking, habits and ways and to commit more of themselves to You.

And now I pray for all the committed believers and followers. Please help them to stay faithful. There’s a whole world that needs to know about You and it’s our job to reach them with Your message. Give us love and compassion for a suffering world, so much so that we’ll be willing to put aside our own pursuits and take the time to reach out to the lost by help to meet their practical and emotional needs in whatever way we can. Help us to give those around us a word of encouragement, a smile, a listening ear, and most of the Gospel. These followers have committed themselves to You, some for decades, now I pray that You show Your commitment to them by blessing them, protecting them and providing everything they need to get the job of preaching the Gospel done.

Dear Lord, please keep all my listeners in your care. Your word says ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ I know that their welfare is Your top priority. Whatever their concerns are, whatever their daily struggles are please help them to overcome. Please provide for them. Fill each one with your peace and joy no matter what their circumstances. Please keep them in good health and most of all please keep them close to You.

I thank You Lord that these friends have taken time to listen to this Podcast and that You’ve given me the vision and strength to make it. May it continue to be a blessing to them and many, many others.

All these things I pray in Your precious name, Amen.

Well, I know you guys are all in good hands. It feels good to have prayed for you like this. I have real confidence that He’s heard my prayers and that He will answer in the way He sees best.

That’s all for today everyone. Please have a great week and a great year. Be sure to tap the follow button to get notified of new episodes. I’m looking forward to being together again next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Romans 8:26
John 14:14
1 Peter 2:2
Revelation 3:20
James 4:8
Matthew 6:33
Matthew 13:45-46
Jeremiah 29:11

Episode 22 Hope For The Future

Hi everyone, Brother George here. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. If it’s your first time to join me, welcome.

Still being fresh into the new year, for this episode I wanted to give you something hopeful for the year ahead. And just as I was thinking about that I received a message from fellow missionary and Bible teacher to the Japanese and very close friend John who shared one of his Bible classes with me, the topic of which is ‘Is There Any Hope?’. In the class John shares something about how the word ‘hope’ is used in the Bible. And he pointed out something I don’t think I ever noticed before. I was so impressed by it that I wanted to share it with you.

Here’s what he says:

Over time words often change in their nuance or meaning. I’m wondering if this has happened with the word ‘hope’. I looked up its etymology, or origin and history. If you check the following link, you’ll see what I found.

And John provides the link to the etymology site etymonline.com. I’ve included the link in the show notes if you want to take a look. And John goes on and says….

The word originally meant confidence in God’s promise of grace and mercy, salvation in Jesus. …..Looking at a more modern understanding of this word, the meaning has changed to something more like ‘wishful thinking’. Here’s an example:

Question: “Do you think it will rain today?”
Reply: “I hope not”.

What did that reply infer? “Yes, I’m confident that it won’t rain!” Or, more probably, “I don’t really know, my wish is that it doesn’t”.

I find it revealing that the old definition was based on an understood connection to a God who exists and who cares tremendously about us.
The modern definition is based on? Chance! An undecided outcome that has no concern or care for me, over which I have no control.

Very good point that John brings out, that the modern understanding of the word ‘hope’ is equivalent to ‘wishful thinking’ on a chance outcome. You hear it all the time. ‘I hope it doesn’t rain today, knock on wood’ ‘I hope my team wins the game’. ‘I hope I pass my exams’ ‘I hope my health improves, fingers crossed’. ‘I hope I’ll get through this stressful situation’. Those are great hopes but they’re not rooted in any reality, fact or solid assurance. But when the word is used in the Bible the understanding is that our hope is attached to God and that we can have rock solid assurance in whatever He promises us, because He loves us.

I was curious about this change in the understanding of the word hope over time so I looked it up in Websters dictionary.

Websters gives a few modern definitions of hope:

  • to  want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true
  •  to cherish a desire with anticipation
  • to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfilment
  • to expect with confidence     
While I do find this dictionary definition a lot more assuring than the way the word is most often used today it still falls well short of the ‘confidence in God’s promise of grace and mercy’ original meaning. And our modern day use of the word is even less assuring.

Any hope we have regarding God in the Bible is 100% sure, certain and guaranteed. It’s a rock solid expectation of His good toward us. In fact when reading the word ‘hope’ in the Bible we could simply substitute in the words ‘rock solid expectation’.

I’m going to read just a few of the many Bible verses that speak of us having hope, that is ‘rock solid expectation’ in God.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 39:7
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.

Psalm 71:5
For you, O Lord, are my hope

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Psalm 119:114
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

I could go on and on quoting verses about hope, our ‘rock solid expectation’ from the Bible but those are just a few.

OK. So what is it that we really hope for? Why are we hoping for good weather, to get that job, to pass that exam, for that relationship to improve, or whatever else we’re hoping for? What is it we’re really doing? These hopes are connected to our very deepest human needs, from the provision of life’s basic necessities, to our wants, and ultimately to our overall happiness, peace of mind, fulfilment and satisfaction. That’s what we really hope for. And God absolutely guarantees many of those things for those who love Him. Now we’re not talking about a guarantee that you’ll win the lottery or get every material or other wish you want. That’s not what God is promising. But here are some of the things He does guarantee.

  •     Salvation  and eternal life in heaven for those who receive Jesus.
  •     Peace      of mind
  •     Strength      and comfort in difficult times
  •     Joy
  •     Forgiveness      of sins
  •     Personal      renewal
  •     Wisdom
  •     Guidance
  •     Reward      for good deeds and serving Him
  •     Provision      of our basic needs

When He makes promises such as ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you, God will supply all your needs, My peace I give you, all things work together for good to those that love God’, etc. These are promises you can count on. As Romans 3:4 says ‘even if everyone else is a liar, God will always do what he says.’

Now how can we get this rock solid hope into our hearts and minds?

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith produces hope. It says ‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’

And where does that faith come from? Romans 10:17 says ‘So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.’ How can you have hope in God’s promises if you don’t even know what they are? The Bible is chock full of promises for His children and reading it regularly will fill you with faith and hope, the rock solid assurances of His love and care for you.

As we move into the new year it’s reassuring that we can look forward to the future with this kind of rock solid hope in our hearts. It puts me at ease and gives me a sense of peace concerning what’s ahead and I’m sure it will for you to.

Thanks for listening everyone. And thanks a lot to you John for that enlightening observation about the word ‘Hope’. By the way, John is in the process of setting up a web site to put up his over 100 very interesting Bible lessons and talks on the Internet. The page address is thejourney.jp. I’ll put the link in the show notes so you can access it.

Remember to tap the follow button if you’d like to get notified of new episodes. Please also hit the like button, and leave a positive comment or review. That would be great.

God bless each one of you. See you next time. Bye.
Episode 23: Where To Start Reading The Bible

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. This is your host Brother George. Thanks for joining me today from wherever you are in the world.

It’s the beginning of the New Year and a time when a lot of people make New Year’s resolutions. If you’re a new Christian, or a Christian who hasn’t read the Bible much or even a non Christian who is interested in the Bible, maybe you should consider adding reading the Bible to your goals for the New Year. Reading the Bible itself is the best way to get to know the mind of God, to learn the Christian faith and to grow spiritually.

One question that comes up a lot with people new to reading the Bible is where to start. Usually when starting a book, you start at the beginning and work your way through to the end, right? But I wouldn’t recommend that with the Bible. Why? Well that’s because of the way it’s compiled. It’s generally not compiled in chronological order of when events happened or when individual books within it were written. Rather it’s a collection of books divided into categories by a mixture of types of literature as well as chronological order.

What happens is a lot of people start at the beginning at Genesis which describes the creation of the heavens and the earth and the very important history of early humanity which is really fascinating and you need to know. But after that it goes into the ancient history of the Israelites and Old Testament laws which were very important at that time but much of which isn’t very relatable or applicable to us today, so the reader ends up getting disinterested or confused and gives up. To really grasp the beauty and valuable lessons of much of the Old Testament you need to understand the context of the situation, when it was written, why it was written, who it was talking about and who it was written for. This can be done later.

So where do you start? I’m going to offer some suggestions of what parts to read and why you should read them. I’ll include this list of books and chapters in the show notes so don’t worry about taking notes or trying to remember them as I speak. You can find the show notes at the bottom of your podcast app or web streaming page.

The central character of the Bible and the Christian faith is Jesus and you should start by getting to know Him and His teachings really well. The four gospels in the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John will tell you everything about His life, what He did, what he said about Himself and what He taught, the teachings that are the most applicable to the way that God wants us to live today.

And the best place to start within the four Gospels is with the fourth one, the Book of John. This is where Jesus reveals the most important things about Himself such as His deity and role as the face of God to humanity, His role in creation, His authority to forgive sins and to give us salvation and eternal life and the highlighting of His commandment to love one another. You really get to know the heart of Jesus by reading John.

The writer of the book of John, generally believed to have been the apostle John, stated the purpose of his book in John 20:31 where he said ‘these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.’

After John, I’d suggest you read the other three Gospel books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These are called the synoptic Gospels. They differ from John in that they focus more on what Jesus did, the miracles he performed and the parables He spoke. There’s a fair bit of overlap in these books because they all cover Jesus’ three year ministry as a sort of historical account of many of the same events. But each writer tells it from his own perspective and each book has treasures and gems that the others don’t. You’ll get a great education in Jesus’ life, mission and teachings by reading these books and your faith will be strengthened. In Luke 1:1-4 the writer, the physician Luke, well summarizes why he wrote the book. He says…..that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

The four Gospels will teach you just about everything you need to know about Jesus and his major teachings and if you try to follow those teachings and model your life after Jesus you’ll be doing just great. And you can never read the Gospels enough. You can read them over and over and still learn new things every time and never get tired of them.

Next, I would suggest the Book of Acts, which immediately follows the four Gospels in the New Testament. The book of Acts is a historical account of the early apostles carrying out Jesus’s final commandment to them in Mark 16:15 where He said ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.’ You’ll see how the early church exploded by the power of the Holy Spirit and the great faith and boldness of the disciples. The early apostles are great examples to us of how to react to finding Jesus. They reacted with great love for God, obedience to Him, faith, and boldness and conviction to spread the message of Jesus everywhere.

Next, the book of Genesis is a good one to read because as I said it describes the creation of the heavens and the earth and the very important history of early humankind.

And here are a few New Testament chapters that I would suggest for the newer reader. These chapters were written as pastoral guidance that focus on how to live a Christian life, with emphasis on love being the most important thing, teachings about expected behaviour and how to manifest God’s Spirit in our lives:

1 Corinthians chapter 13
Ephesians chapters 4-6
Colossians chapter 3
1 Thessalonians chapter 5
Hebrews chapter 11
James chapters 3-4
1 John chapter 4

And for an awe inspiring glimpse into what heaven is like, Revelation chapters 21-22.

Then there’s is the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament. This is a collection of 150 lyrical poems or songs written by King David and other writers. Most of them are written like prayers where the writers share their hearts with God, the good the bad and the ugly. Most of them are beautiful expressions of faith, praise and thankfulness in the midst of trying times and are very inspiring and faith strengthening.

And finally the Book of Proverbs, which follows the Psalms is also a great book to read. It’s a collection of 31 chapters of wisdom sayings written by King Solomon and other writers. Each saying is usually short and they often compare between two types of behaviour, one good and one bad, in order to teach wisdom or a moral lesson to the reader. The proverbs are not meant to be commandments. But instead are there to help us grow in wisdom and godly attitudes and behaviour.

And here are a few tips to get the most out of your Bible reading:
  •     It’s good make a routine out of it and to set aside a certain time of day for reading when you’re not busy and can give it your full attention.       
  •  No matter where you start, the important thing is that you just start and enjoy reading, learning, growing and being inspired.
  • Read in a way that’s comfortable for you. If you prefer printed reading material then buy a printed Bible. There are plenty of them available in book stores, especially Christian ones, as well as on online shops like Amazon.

  •  Or if you prefer digital device reading you can find plenty of free Bible apps to use on your phone or tablet. I especially recommend the YouVersion app which has a ton of different English translations, and many other languages and features.
  •  If you like to read on your PC you can use the site biblegateway.com which also has plenty of different English translations, other languages and many other features.
  •  There are also plenty of apps and sites where you can listen to the Bible if that’s what you like. The YouVersion Bible app has this feature in different English translations and other languages. And I’ll  also include a link in the show notes for one of my favourite King James version sites.     

  • Use a translation you’re comfortable with and that is easy to understand. Some of the best ones for newer readers are the English  Standard Version and the New International Version.

  •  And don’t be discouraged if you don’t understand some things. In fact you won’t and don’t have to understand everything. Starting to read God’s word is like entering school, you start at grade 1 and work your way through to university. But being a newbie doesn’t mean you’re of any less value or useful to God. The most important thing is simply to read and practise what you learn.

Well, this list should keep you going for a long time but if you’ve done that and you want to move on to other parts of the Bible I suggest that you first listen to episodes 12-14 of this podcast. There I talked about what the Bible is and took you on a guided tour of the Old and New Testaments in order to give you a basic understanding of what they’re about and how each part fits within the overall narrative of the Bible. That way you’ll have some context with which to understand what you’re reading.

As I said please take a look at the show notes for a list of all the Bible books and Chapters I recommended.

Reading God’s word will be a heart cleansing and life changing endeavour where you’ll find treasures new and old. Psalm 119:105 says, ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’ It sure is.

And that’s all for today. Please tap the subscribe button to get notified of new episodes.

Looking forward to you joining me next time. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
John 20:31
Luke 1:1-4
Mark 16:15
Psalm 119:105

Suggested Reading Plan:
Book of Acts

1 Corinthians chapter 13
Ephesians chapters 4-6
Colossians chapter 3
1 Thessalonians chapter 5
Hebrews chapter 11
James chapters 3-4
1 John chapter 4
Revelation chapters 21-22
Book of Psalms
Book of Proverbs

List of the Books of the Bible

The Old Testament
1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy
6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. Ruth
9. 1 Samuel
10. 2 Samuel
11. 1 Kings
12. 2 Kings
13. 1 Chronicles
14. 2 Chronicles
15. Ezra
16. Nehemiah
17. Esther
18. Job
19. Psalms
20. Proverbs
21. Ecclesiastes
22. Song of Solomon
23. Isaiah
24. Jeremiah
25. Lamentations
26. Ezekiel
27. Daniel
28. Hosea
29. Joel
30. Amos
31. Obadiah
32. Jonah
33. Micah
34. Nahum
35. Habakkuk
36. Zephaniah
37. Haggai
38. Zechariah
39. Malachi

The New Testament
1. Matthew
2. Mark
3. Luke
4. John
5. Acts (of the Apostles)
6. Romans
7. 1 Corinthians
8. 2 Corinthians
9. Galatians
10. Ephesians
11. Philippians
12. Colossians
13. 1 Thessalonians
14. 2 Thessalonians
15. 1 Timothy
16. 2 Timothy
17. Titus
18. Philemon
19. Hebrews
20. James
21. 1 Peter
22. 2 Peter
23. 1 John
24. 2 John
25. 3 John
26. Jude
27. Revelation

Episode 24: What Is Heaven Like

Hi everyone. This is Brother George at Bible Made Easy Podcast again. Thanks joining me today. If it’s your first time to tune in, welcome! Before we go any further if you like this podcast and want to keep learning about the Bible please hit the follow or subscribe button on your streaming app. That way you won’t miss an episode. You can also check out my web site for more Bible based content at thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com. Thanks!

Today I’m going to talk about Heaven, the amazing eternal dwelling place of God and His saved people. What’s it going to be like? What kind of bodies will we have? What will we be doing there? These mysteries have intrigued people for milleniums. However 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 tells us: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him, but God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. You heard that right, God by His spirit has revealed some clues about heaven to the prophets and we can read them today and get some glimpses of what it’s going to be like.

Unless otherwise stated I’ll be reading selected excerpts from the book of Revelation chapters 21 and 22 written about 95AD by the apostle John who received visions of heaven and described them in some detail. In between readings I’ll add some commentary. So here we go!

1. Heaven’s physical appearance and characteristics.

Revelation 21
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…….Then came one of the…...angels…and showed me the holy city….coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and…..the gates twelve angels…..
The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city….12,000 stadia (That’s 2200km). Its length and width and height are equal…..The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass….adorned with every kind of jewel…..And the twelve gates were twelve pearls…. and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass…...And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb (that’s Jesus). And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Revelation 22:1-5
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. Also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit...the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

In John 14:2 Jesus said 'In My Father’s house are many mansions..... I go to prepare a place for you.

Wow! So heaven is a massive beautiful city, the most magnificent city ever designed and built that eventually will come down to rest on the earth. 2200km high, wide and long, made of pure, incorruptible materials and filled with mansion like homes prepared for us beforehand by Jesus and the departed saints with gates of pearls, a river of life, and the tree of life which has all kinds of delicious fruit to eat and leaves for the healing of the nations of those unsaved people who are outside the city.

2. A description of it’s society and heavenly atmosphere

‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away…..And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new…..nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life….And there shall be no more curse.

Isaiah 2:4 nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat….They shall not hurt or destroy…..for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord

Revelation 11:15
and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.

All the curses that entered into the world due to human sin will be removed. There will be no more death, pain, crying or sorrow. All of creation including all the saved people of the earth from every race, and all of the animal kingdom will finally be in complete harmony and unity with God and each other. And there will no longer be any war, chaos or political upheaval for the Lord Himself will be running everything in perfect order and harmony. It’s going to be paradise.

3. What kind of bodies will we have?

1 John 3:2 referring to the return of Jesus says ‘we know that when he appears we shall be like him’

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation…..clothed in white robes

So we’ll be like Jesus like was when He was resurrected. He looked just like he did when He was in His earthly body. He could eat and drink, talk, fly, appear and disappear with no physical barriers or limitations. And we’ll be able to do the same. We’ll look like we do now, probably in the prime time of our lives when we are at our fittest and healthiest. Our bodies will be indestructible. We’ll never get sick, old or tired. We’ll be wearing magnificent white robes that never wear out, tear or get dirty.

4. What will we be doing there?

Behold, I come soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done
Revelation 19:9
And the angel said to me…..Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Matthew 8:11
I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at (the) table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven

2 Timothy 2:12
We shall also reign with Him.

In heaven we’ll receive our rewards according to how much we’ve loved and served God in this life. We’ll also be celebrating God’s eternal victory over all evil while there in His presence. We’ll be loving and worshipping Him for ever. We’ll enjoy eating, feasting and enjoying life with Him, and with all the old departed saints and our very own friends and loved ones who are saved.

And there will be lots of work to do as well. For those already there it means preparing heaven for His return and it’s descent to the earth. After Jesus returns we’ll be helping Him to rule and reign forever. That means organization, administration and governance of society, both in the heavenly city itself as well as over those outside heaven who will also need teaching, rehabilitation, healing from the leaves of the tree of life and hopefully an opportunity to eventually be saved.

A city of billions of inhabitants is going to need a lot of skilled people power to run and manage it, so everything we’ve learned in this life will be put to good use in the next.

What else? Well, I would imagine life and our activities there are going to be much like life here on earth. All the good and wholesome activities and hobbies you enjoy here you’ll be able to enjoy to the full there.

Wow! What a marvellous place we’re going to! It will be like the Garden of Eden restored. It will have the best of everything, the most advanced science, technology and construction, the most beautiful of every kind of music, art form or any creative human activity, as well as the fairest and most just government ever.

People who have had near death experiences who have temporarily visited there describe heaven as the most beautiful place they’ve ever seen. With the most gorgeous parklands, flowers, scenery, and music, they’ve ever seen or heard. And most of all they felt perfect peace, love and acceptance in the presence of God Himself.

And that’s what we know from just a few clues given us in the Bible. Imagine the wonder and surprise we’ll experience when we actually get there.

How about you? Will you be there? If you’ve received Jesus as your Savior you sure will. If you haven’t yet please pray the salvation prayer in this episode’s show notes, or you can learn more about salvation by listening to episode 9.

Thanks for joining me today. See you next time.

Show notes

Salvation Prayer:

Dear Jesus,
I believe that you are the Son of God, Please come into my heart and life. I know that I have sinned and have been unloving. Please forgive my sins and give me your gift of eternal life. Please help me to love God and others. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today’s Bible verses:
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
Revelation 21
Revelation 22:1-5
John 14:2
Isaiah 2:4
Isaiah 11:6-9
Revelation 11:15
1 John 3:2
Revelation 7:9
Revelation 19:9
Matthew 8:11
2 Timothy 2:12

Episode 25: How To Pray

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Thanks for joining me for Bible Made Easy Podcast. I pray you’re all having a great day or night wherever in the world you are.

Before we get into today’s topic I wanted to announce that the texts for each episode are now available on my website. I know that some of my listeners are not native English speakers and appreciate having the texts to read while they listen. They’re also there for everyone elses reference in case you want to read them or go back over something I said. Just go to my web site thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com, click on the Episode Texts tab and you’ll find them there.

Today, I’m going to cover the topic of how to pray. What exactly prayer is and how to pray properly and effectively are kind of a mystery to many people. So let’s get down to the basics of what prayer is and how to go about it.

So what is the purpose of prayer anyway?

Well here are some common misconceptions about prayer, things that it is not:

  •     A way to get all the things we want. Like rubbing a magic lamp and expecting God to be some kind of genie.
  •     A purely therapeutic, or meditation-type exercise.
  •     A way to control God or get Him to control others
  •     A repetitive ritual where you to all the talking

And here are some things that prayer is:

  •     A major part of having and maintaining a relationship with God
  •     A way of communicating and having conversations with Him and growing closer to Him
  •     A way of listening to His voice in our hearts
  •     A way of worshipping Him and giving Him thanks and praise
  •     A way to ask for His supply of our needs or to meet the needs of others
  •     A way to seek forgiveness for sins
  •     A way to communicate our everyday thoughts and feelings to Him.    
  •     A way to hear from Him and seek His guidance
  •     A way to simply spend time with Him without any set agenda

Ok, so how do we go about prayer?

Jesus’ taught His followers some major do’s and don’ts, when He taught them the famous prayer known as The Lord’s Prayer. You can find this in Matthew 6:5-13. Let’s read parts of this passage.

“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…...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. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 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.

Firstly Jesus addresses our motives for praying by telling us that when we approach God in prayer we need a clean and sincere heart. He gave one example of having impure motives, of people doing it to show off how religious they are. And of course there are all sorts of other impure motives for praying which we should avoid.

Speaking of impurity of heart Psalm 66:18 says ‘The Lord will not hear me if I hold on to sin in my heart’. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t pray if we’ve been bad. Actually, that would be a time when we really should pray, a time when we can ask forgiveness and get our hearts right with Him, like Jesus included in His sample prayer. What it does mean is that if we knowingly harbour any kind of unrepentant sin in our heart, that puts a gap in the relationship between us and God and He won’t be able to bless us or answer our prayers as He’d like.

Then Jesus makes a very interesting command ‘Don’t use vain repetitions’. Have you ever heard Christians or even other religious people praying like that? The same prayer or liturgy over and over again. In fact this very prayer, the Lord’s Prayer is probably the most repeated prayer of them all. That’s not to say that you should never repeat something in prayer like the Lord’s Prayer or other set liturgy or prayers. Set prayers can be helpful for people new to prayer. But if that’s all you do or is a great part of how you pray then something needs to change. How would you like it if someone communicated with you like that? Robotically repeating the same things over and over? I wouldn’t.

Jesus started off His prayer by saying ‘Our Father’. There’s an intimate relationship there, one of deep love and trust. That’s something you need to have, or seek to have, a relationship of love and trust with God.

After addressing His Father he gives Him praise by saying ‘ Hallowed be Your name. (which means ‘Your name is holy or sacred’) Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. That’s showing deep respect for His Father and a desire for the world to be the way God wants it to be.

Psalm 100:4 says ‘Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! ’ This scripture uses the imagery of a subject coming before a monarch offering salutations of respect, praise and gratefulness before submitting their petition. God is our heavenly Father, and He’s also the king of the universe and we should treat Him as such by thanking and praising Him for His goodness before making any petitions.

And Jesus ends the prayer by again giving God praise by saying ‘For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.' By the way ‘Amen’ means ‘So be it’.

And it’s in the middle where He makes petitions for daily bread, forgiveness of sins and protection from the devil.

So that’s a good way to structure prayer. You start and end with thanksgiving and praise and share your heart, make your petitions and listen to His voice in the middle.

Here are some other key factors for a fruitful prayer life:

Have a believing heart regarding prayer based on your relationship with God and the many promises in the Bible. There are a multitude of scripture passages and verses that assure us that God loves us, that He hears our prayers, that He will answer, that He’ll provide, that He’ll guide us, that He’ll protect us, etc. It’s good to base your prayer life on faith in these promises. In fact when making requests to the Lord you can even quote those promises to Him. For example if you’re praying for guidance in your life you can include a verse like Isaiah 30:21 You can say, ‘Lord your word says ‘And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.’ so please guide me and show me what to do.’

You can pray anywhere, anytime, no matter what you’re doing. God is always listening. But it is best to set aside a little time daily for prayer when you’re alone and not busy and can give God your full attention. It’s a good idea to combine time in prayer with the time you spend reading God’s word.

Now who should you pray to? God or Jesus? In John 14:6 Jesus said ‘….No one comes to the Father except through me.’ So you can either pray to Jesus directly or pray to God in Jesus’ name, ending every prayer with the phrase ‘In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen’

So, to recap,
1. Have a believing heart that God wants to communicate with you
2. Come before God with a sincere and clean heart
3. Start and end your prayers with thankfulness and praise
4. Share your heart and put your requests in the middle
5. Remind God of His promises when making requests
6. Take time to just be quiet and listen to His voice in your heart

If you feel awkward about praying or maybe have never even done it, don’t worry about it. Just do the best you can and as I explained in Episode 19, the Holy Spirit is there to help you out. And if you’ve never done it, the best place to start is by praying to receive Jesus into your heart. You can find the salvation prayer in Episode 9 or in the show notes below.

Remember, like a parent loves to spend time with their children and to meet their needs, God loves to have that time with you and to meet yours. And Jesus said He knows your needs before you even ask Him.

That’s all for today everyone. Please be sure to subscribe by tapping the follow button and you’ll receive notifications of new episodes. If you can, please leave a positive review or comment. That would help push out this podcast to more listeners.

I’m looking forward to you joining me next time. Bye.

Show notes

Salvation Prayer:

Dear Jesus
I believe that you are the Son of God
Please come into my heart and life
I know that I have sinned and have been unloving
Please forgive my sins
And give me your gift of eternal life
Please help me to love God and others
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 6:5-13
Psalm 66:18
Psalm 100:4
Isaiah 30:21
John 14:6

Episode 26 Why Does God Allow Evil? Pt1

Hi everyone. Brother George here, welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me today.

Back in Episode 4 I talked about different philosophical and emotional roadblocks many people have to belief in God and how one of the most common ones is the existence of evil and suffering, which can can even derail the faith of believers. At the time I offered some thoughts on how the existence of evil shouldn’t rule out belief in God and that in fact belief in God helps us handle evil better. In this and the next episode I’m going to answer the questions ‘Where does evil come from’ and ‘Why does God allow it?’

I know that this can be a highly emotional topic and goes very deep for some people. The effects of moral evils like war, genocide, poverty, oppression and violence, as well as natural evils such as disasters, disease, and death, especially of loved ones, children and the young, cut deep and are extremely painful experiences. And I don’t blame anyone for wondering where God is in all of that, or why a loving God would allow such things to occur.

The comfort in the midst of the pain, the healing balm that takes away the hurt is that there is an explanation found in the Bible that answers this question and helps us make sense of evil and softens the blow of having to experience it. So let’s explore the question and get the answers we need.

First of all where did evil come from? Is it God’s fault? Did He create it? No it’s not His fault and He didn’t create it. After God created the heavens and the earth, including the first two humans Genesis 1:31 tells us ‘And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.’ There was nothing corrupt or evil about it whatsoever. The Garden of Eden was a paradise and Adam and Eve and their descendants could have lived forever in that perfect state uncorrupted by evil.

However, among all the created beings were also the angels. And one of them was named Lucifer, otherwise now known as Satan or the Devil. Scripture passages Isaiah chapter 14, Ezekiel chapter 28 and Revelation 12:3-4 tell us that Lucifer was a very high ranking, stunningly beautiful and powerful angel, who wasn’t satisfied with his position. Apparently he and the other angels, like humans, had free will. But rather than be content with his blessed position in the heavenly kingdom, Lucifer wanted more, he wanted to be God. But seeing that obviously wasn’t possible, by his own free will he chose to rebel against God and even persuaded 1/3rd of the other angels to join the rebellion. So they were all expelled from heaven. Lucifer and his demons then embarked on a jealousy driven, ruthless, campaign of attempting to corrupt and destroy the beautiful creation of God and to turn humanity against Him in an attempt to gain their allegiance to himself.

One of their major destructive activities is to entice humans to disobey God. Most people know the story of how he tempted Adam and Eve to disobey, which is told in Genesis Chapter 3. You’ll find another example in the book of Job chapters 1 and 2 where the devil actively attempts to turn a wealthy land owner named Job against God. The devil and his demons also began to wreak havoc in the natural realm as evidenced by the introduction of sickness, death and natural disasters.

None of these evils were present in God’s original creation. They originated not from Him but from the devil and his demon followers. And they were able to introduce the effects of evil into this world because Adam and Eve allowed them to. By their own free will they ignored God’s warnings and disobeyed. And unfortunately we continue to allow evil forces to influence us and so evil continues to affect us to this day. So, it’s not God’s fault. That’s not what He intended at all. In fact it breaks His heart to see what has become of His creation.

Now I know that there will be some people who scoff at this explanation of the origins of evil. ‘What, you expect us to believe that fanciful story?!’ To them I say, ‘Why not?’. Power struggles, sedition, treason and rebellion against authorities have been going on in the human realm for milleniums. Why not in the heavenly realm? And if you discount this Biblical explanation as fanciful then what have you got left? That evil and everything else in the universe is just a product of random natural forces that happened to come into existence? I think that’s an even more fanciful story, and worst of all offers no guarantee of an eventual end to evil like the Bible does. Think of it. If you go down the route of rejection of the Biblical explanation you’ll have to resign yourself to perpetual evil, that evil is just the state of nature and that there’s nothing you can do about it. And I covered all that in Episode 4 if you want to listen to that.

OK. so we’ve established that God didn’t create evil. So why did He allow Satan to rebel and Adam and Eve to disobey? The answer must be to allow for free will. Now of course the down side of creating everyone with free will is that we can choose to do evil, and many of us have chosen to do horrendously evil acts. But that is just the way things have to be because the alternative is not acceptable, at least for now. I’ll talk more about free will in Part2 of this series.

But the results of free will have been devastating and painful in many cases. Doesn’t God care about these things? If He’s all powerful, why doesn’t He put a stop to it all? Well He does care tremendously about this and in fact in His mercy He has put in place a variety of measures to limit evil within certain parameters to ensure it doesn’t get too out of hand. And on occasion has intervened to put a stop to it.

The story of Job shows us that God has put certain restrictions on Satan’s influence and activities. He limits evil so that we don’t all become mass murderers and nature doesn’t go completely haywire.

Also, God created us all with a conscience, which is His voice in the heart of every human being whether a believer or not. Because of that we inherently know that people have value and that it’s wrong to kill, hurt or mistreat others. Our consciences tell us that we should help those who are suffering, and by our consciences we inherently know that we should behave in ways that benefit ourselves and our communities.

Yet, in spite of being created with a conscience, within about 1500 years of the creation and the disobedience of Adam and Eve humanity had spiralled into such a depraved state that God felt compelled to wiped the slate clean with the flood. Genesis 6: 5-6, 11 describe the situation at the time: ‘The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart…..the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence.’

God saw that that generation of humans had become a hopeless case and that if He allowed the situation to continue that humanity would be in a perpetual state of depravity and violence. It grieved Him so much, His heart was so heartbroken that He put a full stop to this ongoing evil generational cycle by ending the earthly lives of almost every human being and sending them on to the next life where they could learn their lessons there. Only Noah and his family survived. God gave them and succeeding generations a second chance. But did that eliminate the cancer of evil thoughts and violence? No. Humanity went straight back to all manner of despicable behaviours such as:
  •     Worshipping false gods
  •     Ritualistic human sacrifice, including child sacrifice and even cannibalism in some places.
  •     Genocide
  •     Violence
  •     Sexual assault and all manner of sexual perversions including sex with animals
  •     Forced slavery and human trafficking
  •     Oppression of the poor
  •     And more…

So God went to His next step to combat moral evil. He called out Abraham and instructed him to form a completely new society, which became Israel, a nation that was commanded to be separate from the surrounding nations. Through the prophet Moses He gave them a strict moral code and firm instructions to avoid the evil behaviours of the other nations. He also promised them that if they obeyed they would be more protected against natural evil.

Israel was designed to be a shining example of a people living in obedience to God, in righteousness, equality, peace and security. Israel was a beautiful success at times but an utter failure at others, reverting back to the forbidden practises of the surrounding nations. God sent messenger after messenger to plead with them to get back on track, but largely they refused to listen and even killed some of His messengers.

Meanwhile the surrounding nations kept up their wicked behaviours, so God ended up coming here Himself in the form of Jesus in order to get personally involved, to show us how to live and to give us His ultimate commandment that if obeyed would radically minimise evil behaviour, His law of love.

And on the cross He even joined us in our suffering so that He could sympathise with us. And most of all, He offered salvation and eternal relief from all evil. He promised that one day He would return to the earth to finally defeat the forces of evil forever, to punish the devil and other evil doers and to bring about eternal good.

So, one reason God cannot have for allowing evil to continue is that He doesn’t care. He cares immensely and has gone to extreme lengths to do something about it, without interfering with our free will.

Ok. That’s all for part 1 of this series. I’m looking forward to you joining me for part 2. Please be sure to hit the follow button to receive notification of new episodes. See you next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Genesis 1:31
Isaiah 14:12-17
Ezekiel 28:11-19
Revelation 12:3-4
Genesis 3:1-7
Job 1-2
Genesis 6: 5-6, 11
Episode 27 Why Does God Allow Evil? Pt 2

Hi everyone. Brother George here, welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I hope you’re all well wherever in the world you’re listening from. And that might be from any one of the more than 30 countries my listeners come from so far. Thanks a lot for joining me. It’s great to have you.

In the last episode I talked about how God is not the originator of evil, how He hates it, how throughout history He’s tried to limit it and curb it’s effects and how He will eventually put an end to it. Today I’m going to delve more deeply into the question as to why He allows it for now.

Now I don’t think we’re ever in this life going to completely understand the reasons for evil. We simply can’t see that far or that deep. That’s something we’ll learn more about in the next. But I am going to offer a few more ways to look at this issue that will help put things into perspective.

The first reason which I’ve already touched on in the last episode is His respect for our free will. God does have the power to be the ultimate totalitarian dictator. He could have created us as pre-programmed automatons designed to mechanically obey Him without any conscious decision making power or autonomy of our own. That would be weird and I don’t think anyone wants that. Or He could have chosen to allow free will but continually threaten us with severe punishment for misdeeds and forced us to be good out of fear. But He did neither. Instead, He willingly gave up the authority He could have had over our decision making to allow us the freedom to commit the ultimate injustice, that is to spurn the One to whom we owe our existence. This ensures that our relationships with Him and each other are based on genuine love. In fact love for God or others cannot be real genuine love if there isn’t also a choice to dislike or even to hate.

Here are a few more reasons:

It’s been said that you never appreciate good health until you’ve been sick. Isn’t this true of any blessings we have in life? We don’t really appreciate them until we lose them, at least temporarily. If humanity had always lived in a perfect paradisaical world without evil, would we have been able to truly appreciate it? Without any evil to compare with how would be even know how good we had it or how good God was to us? While evil and suffering are not good experiences to endure, they sure serve a purpose of reminding us of how good we usually have it. And one day, for the believers, when we arrive in Heaven we’ll truly appreciate God and the perfection of the heavenly paradise. Here’s an anecdote I read once that illustrates the point.

[A group of visitors at a summer resort had watched the sunset from the gallery of the hotel. One man lingered until the last glow faded, and had seemed thrilled through & through by the beauty of it all. One guest, more observant than the rest, wondered about this, and so at supper she said to this man, who sat next to her, "You certainly did enjoy that sunset, Mr. B. Are you an artist?" "No, Madam, I'm a plumber," he responded with a slow grin. "But I was blind for five years."]

Experiencing evil and suffering can have a purifying effect on us and teach us valuable lessons which can enrich our lives and bring us great joy. James 1:2-4 says: ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’

Besides perseverance and maturity here are some other lessons we can learn.
  • Suffering can make you either bitter or better. God’s hope is that we’re better.
  • Suffering purges us and shapes our character in ways that make us better persons.    
  • Suffering causes us to empathise and sympathise with others. It draws us together in solidarity and unity of heart.    
  • Suffering makes you grow in wisdom and knowledge.
A person who has suffered and come out better can actually become a greater, more well rounded, happier and contented person. In fact the world famous and beloved Italian singer Enrico Caruso put it this way
[“To be great, it is necessary to suffer.”]

Evil and suffering can cause unbelievers to seek God or strengthen the relationship believers already have with God. Psalm 119:67 says ‘Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.’ We tend to forget about God when the going is good, but when things get tough many of us return to God. It’s just human nature. In fact one Bible teacher wrote that Adam and Eve were closer to God after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden than when they were in it. Why? Because the hardships they began to endure made them appreciate Him more and caused them to turn to Him for help.

The existence of evil and suffering are a way for humanity as a whole to learn valuable lessons. You know you could liken humanity to a bunch of rebellious teenagers. In the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden we were innocent and pure, like sweet little children. But then we grew up to teen-hood, as it were, and started making our own choices, the wrong ones. Our parents, the Holy Trinity, didn't like the choices we began to make but they refused to force us to obey, and we wouldn’t listen anyway, like some teenagers. So they had to let us go our own way for a while in order to learn our lessons the hard way. They trust that eventually we’ll learn and that there’s going to be a happy restoration of the parent child relationship in the end. So one reason God could have for allowing evil is to let humanity learn our lessons by our own mistakes.

I once came across a sports themed motivational quote that said

[Victory isn't just walking across the goal line...it's struggling through opposition to the goal.]

Sure, life can be tough, but if we face our struggles with faith and courage we can come out victoriously. And the feeling of victory will be more euphoric than if we just had an easy ride through life.

Friends, if you’re discouraged at the state of the world, if you're disheartened by some seemingly senseless tragedy, if you’re suffering something that seems to be unbearable yourself, take heart. These things are not just bad luck or the result of random forces working against you or others. There is a God and it’s not that He doesn’t care about it. He cares more than you will ever know. He has a plan and a purpose for it all. And He intends to turn those seeming defeats into victories that will enrich your life and make you better in some way.

And if you just can’t see the good in it or why He allowed those things to happen now, just wait. Just because you can’t see anything good in it now doesn’t mean you never will. Remember, we’re the teenagers and He’s the adult with the higher perspective. Even if that means waiting until the next life. God will surely reveal those things to you at some point because He loves you.

And in the mean time while we’re experiencing suffering we can remember that Jesus, who suffered immensely and understands, promised to be by our side in our suffering. Let that encourage us and motivate us to also share that comfort with others who need it. The Apostle Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 where he says ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’

I hope that these two episodes have given some comfort and peace of mind concerning the existence of evil and suffering. Thank God for the insight and answers He gives us in His word, the Bible, from where we get the faith, strength and courage we need to face whatever life throws at us and to get through it bravely and victoriously.

That’s all for today everyone. If you want to be notified of new episodes please be sure to subscribe by hitting the follow button. God bless everyone of you. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
James 1:2-4
Psalm 119:67
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Episode 28 Russia Invades Ukraine-Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy. I’m you host Brother George. Thanks for joining me.

I’m sure you’ve heard the very sad news that Russia has invaded Ukraine. This is a disturbing turn of events that has sent shock waves around the world. There are grave fears for the toll this will take on Ukraine in terms of death, destruction and loss of freedom and self determination for its citizens. What we’ve seen so far is just horrendous.

I don’t know much about Ukraine and its history but here are a few facts about Ukraine that I’ve gathered. It’s the second largest country in Europe by land mass. It has a population of over 40 million with 88% of them being Christians. Ukraine was part of the communist Soviet Union from 1922 until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the region abandoned communism. Ukraine then became a sovereign nation with a democratic system of government. It’s one of the poorest countries in Europe but has vast fertile farmlands and is one of the largest grain exporters in the world.

Russia has long wanted to reclaim at least certain parts of Ukraine that have large Russian speaking populations and are under separatist control, and all of it if possible, which it looks like it’s trying to do now. And it looks like President Putin is justifying the invasion by citing NATO expansion in the region. Whatever the underlying reasons, Ukraine, like much of eastern Europe, has a long and tragic history of political upheaval, and military conflict and it’s just heartbreaking that they’re going through this again after experiencing relatively peaceful times since independence from the Soviet Union.

While the United Nations, NATO and powerful nations have so far limited their response to economic sanctions and refrained from getting directly involved militarily to defend the Ukrainians, many people are worried that a military response will occur and if so how far things will escalate.

Others fear that if Russia is able to just march in and take Ukraine without suffering much in the way of military or other consequences that China will be emboldened to take similar action and invade Taiwan, something it has wished it could do and threatened to do for decades but so has far held off. That would be a massive disaster for the Taiwanese and might also prompt the US and other nations to militarily intervene. Just the thought of these global nuclear superpowers coming into conflict over Ukraine, Taiwan or anywhere else is frightening.

At times like these many people wonder where God is in all this. What does He think of it? Why does He allow it? It’s also easy to be overcome with fear and worry about what’s going to happen.

So what does He think of it? Well, of course He hates war and violence. He hates seeing His children suffer death, injury, destruction, aggression and oppression. It hurts and saddens Him.

The Bible says that war is the result of human sin. James 4:1-2 says Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

This passage puts the blame for war right in the human heart, pinpointing the reasons as covetousness and lust for, power, territory, control and the like. And God is not in favour of such things. The last part of the passage which reads Yet you do not have because you do not ask tells us that the proper way to obtain what we need or want is to have a trusting relationship with God and to ask Him to for those things rather than warring and fighting to grab them off others.

So, why does God allow such evil? Well I covered that subject in the last two episodes, numbers 26 and 27 and you can listen to those if you like. A few things we can be sure of, as I explained in those episodes, is that He must allow humankind to have free will and suffer it’s own consequences, that He is right with us in our times of fear and suffering, and that somehow He will turn this out for good even if at this stage we can’t see how.

Most of us aren’t geopolitical experts and hardly even understand why things things happen, but as worrying as the situation is, and as frightening the decisions and behaviour of some leaders and nations is, it really helps to have faith in God, to trust that He is in ultimate control of things and that we have no need to fear. I know that this is easy to say, especially for us who aren’t directly involved. But it’s a fact we must believe. Here are some scriptures that are encouraging and comforting to hold on to at these times:

Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Psalm 46:1-2 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.

And, Psalm 27:1-3 The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.

In this time of uncertainty, besides trusting and overcoming fear, we can be proactive and fight for peace with our prayers for the situation. In fact the Bible urges us to pray for political leaders. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 the Apostle Paul instructs us: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

So that is what I’m going to do now. Please join with me in prayer.

Dear Lord, the Bible calls You the Prince of Peace for this is Your desire. You don’t want war and bloodshed, rather it’s your desire that all people live together peaceably. We put this disturbing Russian invasion of Ukraine into Your hands. Whether Christian or not, all people are precious to You and we ask you to intervene in some way and bring a quick and peaceful end to this conflict. Please somehow help President Putin to reverse his decision to invade. Help President Zelenskyy to respond wisely in protecting his people. You said ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’. Please give wisdom to other world leaders as they try to persuade the Russians to withdraw and encourage a peaceful resolution.

Please comfort and heal the injured and the families of the dead. We pray that you will give the Ukrainian people great peace in place of fear.

We thank You that you are in control and that somehow You will bring about good from this evil. You promised that if we ask anything in Your name, you will do it. So we ask You that You answer our prayers, and we thank You for answering. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thank you for joining me today everyone. Let’s keep the people of Ukraine in our prayers.

See you next time.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
James 4:1-2
Isaiah 26:3
2 Timothy 1:7
John 14:27
Psalm 23:4
Psalm 46:1-2
Psalm 27:1-3
1Timothy 2:1-2
Matthew 5:9
John 14:14
Episode 29 Russian Invades Ukraine-Act and Pray

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me today.

Today I’ll talk more about what is going on in Ukraine. I really didn’t want to make another episode about the Russian invasion. But what’s happening there is just so distressing I just couldn’t ignore it.

The Bible commands us to have compassion on the suffering. We can’t just look away, be indifferent, or ignore their plight. This is brought out very clearly in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which you’ll find in Luke 10:30-37. Here’s what it says: Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

Notice how the two people who passed by the poor victim where a priest and a Levite, both members of Jewish religious orders, supposedly committed to God’s service.

Here’s another passage:

1 John 3:17 says: But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

It’s clear, Christianity is not just something we can claim to believe. It’s something we have to act out in real life.

Now, here is what the media reports is happening in Ukraine. Bear in mind that mid conflict statistics can be unreliable and tainted by whoever is reporting. As they say ‘Truth is always the first casualty of war’. And I’m not going to get into all the political side of things. I’ll include a link in the show notes to a YouTube commentary that I think sums that side of things up pretty well. My primary concern is what is happening on the ground to the poor common people.
  • Hundreds, if not thousands of Ukrainian and Russian military personnel reported dead or injured. 150 or more Ukrainian civilians reported dead.

  • According to the UN more than 800,000 have fled Ukraine to neighbouring nations, and an estimated 160,000 Ukrainians are displaced within their own country.
  • Widespread damage and destruction including damage to Ukraine’s largest nuclear power station.

  • The Russians have gained significant ground, captured several important cities and the Ukrainian capital Kyiv is under siege

  • International condemnation of the invasion and economic sanctions are piling up causing considerable damage to the Russian economy including to      those opposed to what their government is doing.
  • The UN general assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn Russia for the invasion and demanded an immediate withdrawal of its forces.     
  • The International Criminal Court has confirmed it’s opening an investigation into possible war crimes in Ukraine and begun collecting evidence.     
Well, like I said, it’s hard to get accurate reports, but whatever the actual numbers are, the human toll of this invasion is just horrific.

How sad the brutal death of the innocent, no matter what side of the conflict. Cruelly decimated by bombs and bullets. The poor Ukrainians, what can they do in the face of such a brutal onslaught by a world superpower? And I don’t necessarily fully blame the young Russian soldiers. Like any boys sent off to war, they’ve probably been fed a bunch of propaganda and lies in order to so called ‘Go and fight for your country!’. How can any leader send their boys out to the cruelty and horrors of war? As usual rather than go out and fight and die themselves, they send out poor young boys to do their dirty work and fight and die for them. It’s just horrible.

And what about the estimated one million refugees. Where will they land? How will they be fed, sheltered from the cold elements, get medical attention. What about the aged, children and infants among them? This is a human catastrophe. There’s just no other way to describe it.

As I said in the last episode God is not indifferent to the plight of these victims of the war mongering powers that be. While He usually doesn’t directly interfere in such matters, He certainly will comfort and provide for the victims and somehow bring about good in the end.

As for the dead, 90% of Ukrainians and 50% of Russians profess Christianity. So they are in God’s hands now, free from the struggles of this life and the horrors of war. Thank God. And even the non Christians are in His hands now as well in some way. We have to bear this in mind, that the dead, as terrible as their deaths were, are OK now, especially the Christian ones. It’s the living who remain in the hellish conditions of the conflict that we need to be concerned about.

And while God will usually not directly interfere with human affairs, He will judge accordingly. He’s not going to turn a blind eye to the wicked. Jesus talked about this in Matthew 18:6-7 when there were some little children in His presence. He said: If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

Drowning by millstone, a giant stone used to crush grain, was a form of the death sentence used in the ancient world. The millstone was so heavy that there was no way to escape. Death was assured. Jesus spoke to those with power and He warned them. That if they caused harm to His children, especially actual children, He is going to punish them so bad that the millstone drowning would look good by comparison. And then He says that because we live in a sinful world wickedness will always happen. He expects that. But woe to the wicked person through whom the wickedness comes. God will not overlook it, eventual judgment will come whether in this life or the next, and it won’t be pretty.

I also find it hypocritical that many of the same national leaders vehemently condemning Russian leadership for their invasion of a sovereign state are just as guilty of doing the same to other nations in recent years. And their excuses, reasons and motives were the same as the Russians are giving. They are not guiltless and God will judge those responsible as well.

And what of us personally? Have we ever egged on our own or another nation to kill and maim in an unjust war? If so, it’s time to repent of that kind of thinking. Thankfully, the Lord is merciful and He will forgive.

So, what now? If possible we can offer financial and practical help to those affected, as many are doing. God bless them. And we must continue to pray for the situation. James 5:16 says The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. We can fight for peace and comfort for the victims with our prayers. We can pray for the Russians to withdraw their forces. We can pray for the many Russian citizens protesting the invasion to be heard. We can pray for the Ukrainians to know how to respond. Maybe it would be better for them to fight to defend their country. Or maybe it would be better for their people if President Zelenskyy refuses to risk further death and destruction of his people and agrees to Russian terms for peace. Jesus even advised this in Luke 14:31-32 He said: Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.

I don’t know what’s best, but God sure does. May the Lord lead and guide the powers that be to seek a peaceful solution. And may He give us peace in our hearts no matter what happens. In the name of Jesus, I ask it. Amen.

Thanks for joining me today. Let’s continue to put this on God’s hands. God bless each one of you. See you next time.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Luke 10:30-37
1 John 3:17
Matthew 18:6-7
James 5:16
Luke 14:31-32

Ukraine: What's Putin Thinking? | The Truth of It
Episode 30 Turning Suffering Into Good-My Story

Hi everyone. Brother George here, welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me today.

In previous episodes I talk about why God allows evil and suffering. I explained that He’s not the originator of these things and I offered a few reasons as to why He allows it.

Now I realize that it’s one thing to look out at the world and all the evil and suffering out there and find comfort in what I shared. But when terrible evil and suffering affects us personally then it becomes a lot harder. I know because it happened to me.

When I was 37, at a time when my life was going great, I suffered kidney failure. Suddenly I needed blood cleaning by a dialysis machine in order to stay alive. A continual cycle of four hours per session three times per week, without which I would be dead within a week. I remember the first dialysis session and how discouraging it was to see that I was the only patient there in their thirties. The other 30 or so patients were all over 60 and most were in their 70’s and 80’s. I had been unfortunate enough to suffer a rare case of kidney failure at such a young age. And my wife and I had five young children at the time as well. Now, you’re doing really well if you last 20 years on dialysis, some people last less than one year. So it was a huge struggle. I didn’t know how long I would be able to live or what would happen to my family if I didn’t make it.

Well I did 2 ½ years on dialysis and then I got a miracle kidney donated to me by my beautiful sister. May God bless her. I wouldn’t be here today without her sacrifice. My health improved and all seemed to be on the upswing until just a few months later when my 34 year old wife suddenly passed away from a brain haemorrhage. Out of the blue with no forewarning. It seemed a senseless thing to happen and my children and I, well we were devastated. To make a long story short, that was a rough period of life for me and it took a few years to recover. That was 20 years ago. The kids grew up. Thankfully they’re doing really well. I remarried and have two young children. But then, more problems. A few years ago my transplanted kidney failed and I’m back doing dialysis again three times a week to stay alive, with a whole bunch of resultant health problems and not knowing how many years I can last.

It’s been a long ordeal dealing with my personal fight with evil and suffering with a lot of twists and turns. If you want to know more of the story I’ll provide links in the show notes to my website where you can read some articles I wrote and listen to a radio interview I did about my journey.

When evil and suffering hit me between the eyes personally I had to learn how to deal with it. I had to learn not only how to cope but to also how turn it to my advantage somehow. Here’s a real jewel of advice from the Bible that helped me a lot. Romans 12:21 ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ It is possible to face evil and to not only bear it, but to actually overcome it and turn it into something positive. So how do we do this?

I would say there are two stages of turning bouts with evil and suffering into good. The first is to initially just cope with the situation and not to allow it to ruin your life. You’ve got to make a determined effort to hang in there until the storm passes and the sun comes out again. It’s natural to just have to struggle through it for a while and that’s about all you can do. In times like these….

1. Don’t blame God or shove Him out of the picture. Rather, put your trust in Him. Realize that God cares, that He’s in control of the situation and that He has a plan and purpose for it all even if you can’t see it for now. You can find comfort in knowing that Jesus suffered immensely, and unjustly, and that He sympathize with you.

2. Put your situation in perspective. Unless you’re an extremely rare case, there are usually plenty of other people in the world that are in just as bad or worse circumstances than you, and they’re handling it. If they can, you can too.

3. Lean on strong, trusted people that you can confide in. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on and sometimes we just have to admit that a situation is just too painful or hard to bear and that we need to vent a little or shed some tears. It’s especially good if someone can pray for you. You’ll feel so much better for it.

But be careful, because it doesn’t help to continually bemoan and complain about your situation, either within yourself or with others. Besides the time when you’re venting your feelings on a trusted loved one or friend try to maintain a positive attitude. Try to keep a smile on your face even if inside you’re hurting.

4. Soldier on. No matter how hard a situation is, sometimes you just gotta slog it out until things improve or it gets easier for you to handle if it’s something that’s ongoing.

If you can pass through that first stage of just getting through the initial blow of your situation then you can move onto the stage of turning the evil into good and even using it as a springboard for great things.

It helps to remember Romans 8:28 which promises ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…’ You’ve got to actively look for the good that can come out of your situation, the positive, the benefits. What have you learned that can make you a better person? How has the situation improved your character? How can you use it to your advantage?

In my case, I learned a lot from my struggles and I’m still learning. I learned to have more compassion and sympathy for others and this has helped me be a more effective witness of the Gospel. My struggles humbled me, rubbed off some of the rough edges of my character and helped improve my relationships with others. They helped draw me closer to God and strengthen my relationship with Him. I’ve learned a lot of deep life lessons and I’ve been able to pass those on to others personally and through this podcast.

In fact, while I was virtually bedridden for a few months last year and feeling discouraged that I couldn’t be active in missionary and volunteer work, things I used to do like Bible studies, organizing and performing at charity concerts, feeding the homeless, and all that, God spoke to me and said ‘Well, you can’t do those things, but you can speak. Why don’t you start a podcast?’ So I did and this podcast and my website were born and are being listened to and viewed by people around the world.

You can also find encouragement and inspiration from many examples of well known people who turned their suffering to their advantage or who didn’t let their suffering get in the way of doing great things.

There’s the Biblical example of Job, the wealthy Old Testament land owner who lost his vast fortune, his flocks, his home, his children and finally his own health through a series of terrible natural and personal disasters, yet he kept his faith in God and in the end of his ordeal was doubly blessed with twice as much as he lost.

There’s also world famous Christian writer, speaker and disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada. At 17 years old she became quadriplegic after a diving accident. After her accident she went through a period of anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and doubts about her faith, as you would expect. But believe it or not, she now sees her tragedy as a blessing. She’s written more than 40 books, is a prolific speaker and traveller, artist and singer. She has a daily radio broadcast and her articles appear in countless magazines. Her charity foundation Joni and Friends brings the Gospel and practical help to multitudes of people affected by disability around the world. I’ll include some links about her in the show notes. Please look her up. She’s an amazing example to us all of turning suffering into good.

People like her didn’t let evil and suffering knock the life out of them, but rather used the evil as a motivator and springboard to do great things.

Getting personally hit with evil and suffering in a big way is one of the biggest challenges in life. But, as the Bible says, these things can work together for our good, if we put our trust in God and actively seek to turn the situation to our advantage.

That’s all for today everyone. If you want to be notified of new episodes please be sure to subscribe by hitting the follow button. God bless everyone of you. See you next time. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Romans 12:21
Romans 8:28

Episode 31 The Right Side Up Kingdom

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Thanks for joining me today for another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast.

Do you ever feel like the world is so messed up that it’s discouraging just to think even about it. I do. Here are just some of the typical headline making situations that we all regularly see or read about on the news.
  •     The ongoing Covid-19 situation
  •     War and conflict in various regions
  •     Terrorism
  •     Human rights abuses and alleged genocide in some nations
  •     Never ending political and cultural tensions
  •     Murders, violence, sexual assaults and other crimes
  •     Poverty and homelessness
  •     Declining mental health
  •     Oppression, inequality and discrimination
  •     Cancel culture and constant media and internet outrage over one thing or another
  •     Divisions in society

  •     Degradation and dumbing down of society through, perversion, shallowness and materialism on TV and in entertainment and the arts.

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

While there is plenty of beauty and beautiful people around and that does cheer me up, it just seems like the whole world is upside down compared to how it should be, the way God wants it to be. It can be so depressing that sometimes I just feel like hitting the TV with a baseball bat or throwing my phone in a river.

But, thankfully there’s hope to be found in the Bible. The Bible draws a strong contrast between the failing kingdoms of this world and the splendour and beauty of the Kingdom of God.

First of all God isn’t oblivious to the state of affairs. The Old Testament is full of expressions of God’s anger and disappointment at the world and it’s various kingdoms and nations. And finally Jesus Himself came to turn this world right side up.

In Luke 4:14-19 we read how at the beginning of His 3 years of active ministry Jesus attended a synagogue where he read to the congregants a passage from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah which foretold the nature of His mission. Here’s what He read:

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour’

Good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, liberty for those who are oppressed. These sound like the mantra of a revolutionary leader attempting to overthrow an oppressive regime. If that’s what it sounds like, that’s because it is. That was His mission, to overthrow the effects of sin and the control and influence the imposter king, the devil, wields in this world that has turned humanity upside down, and to introduce a new government, a new kingdom, the right side up kingdom.

The kingdom of this world is built on the degraded attitudes of man’s heart. Pride, selfishness and dog eat dog. But God’s Kingdom is built on very different attitudes.

Soon after, the synagogue reading, as recorded in Matthew chapters 5-7, Jesus gave His famous Sermon on the Mount where He outlined many of the teachings and principals upon which this new kingdom would be built. And they were like nothing anyone had ever heard. The values and ethics He taught were completely contrary to the prevailing upside down values of society of the day, and the same is still true today. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this famous sermon.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
What? The earth won’t be inherited by the rich, strong, forceful and powerful? No, it will be eventually inherited by the meek, weak and helpless who simply love God and others. Now that’s totally contrary to the way things are now.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy
It’s more blessed to be merciful, forgiving and compassionate, than hard, unforgiving and callous.

Blessed are the peacemakers
Rather than stir up trouble, rather than express outrage and cancel people, rather than go to war and end up with death and destruction it’s more blessed to build bridges, to find commonality and seek peace with those we disagree with.

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Has someone offended or hurt you, insulted you, talked badly about you behind your back? Don’t add fuel to the fires of strife by seeking payback. Take the high road, absorb the hurt and diffuse the situation.

Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
Let’s meet the needs of others. Be generous and help the poor. Strive for economic equality and the sharing of our resources.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Praying for our enemies means to actively petition God for their welfare! Repaying their evil towards us, with good. Well, I admit that’s hard to do and it’s contrary to our natural sense of fairness, justice and desire to strike back. But, loving our enemies breaks the endless cycle of ‘You did that to me, so I’m gonna do this to you!’. Imagine how much the level of conflict, violence and war would decrease if we put this into practise?

Judge not, that you be not judged.
Where is all this cancel culture, outrage, division and strife coming from anyway? From judgmental hearts. Jesus tells us to refrain from judgment because we’re not so perfect either.

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets
This is widely known as the Golden Rule. In other words, let’s treat others as we want to be treated. Now that would turn the world right side up.

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching.
Well no wonder. Because He just exposed the twisted attitudes of the human heart that have caused the world so much pain and offered the heart attitudes that would usher in a radical new kingdom built on love, mercy, generosity and unselfishness. No one had ever spoken like that before.

Here’s a quote about Jesus attributed to the great French conqueror Napoleon.

Alexander, Cæsar, Charlemagne and myself founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon sheer force. Jesus Christ alone founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him. -Napoleon

So, if you’re sick of the this world and it’s upside down problems, values and attitudes, take heart. We can enjoy the right side up Kingdom of God here and now in our daily lives by accepting Jesus Christ as our saviour and living according to His law of love.

And eventually, Jesus will return to this earth to forcibly take what is rightfully His. From then on, as Revelation 11:15 tells us ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ’ That will be the end of the imposter monarch the devil and his upside down world and the beginning of the eternal reign of the right side up Kingdom of God, with peace, justice, equality and happiness for all. I’m really looking forward to that!

Thanks for joining me today everyone. Please be sure to hit the subscribe button and also leave a positive comment or rating if you can. See you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
Luke 4:14-19
Matthew 5-7
Revelation 11:15
Episode 32 Beating The Monday Morning Blues

Hi everyone, Brother George here. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me today.

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Today I’m going to talk about something just about all us have to do, work and earn a living. There are all sorts of jobs, and all sorts of levels of job satisfaction and enjoyment among the workforce, from those who love their work and bounce out of bed in the morning to get there, to those who hate their work and find it a grind. No matter where on this spectrum you fall, the Bible has some great principles to offer about work that will help you to find it more purposeful, enjoyable and rewarding.

First of all here’s a list from research and surveys that cite some of the major reasons for job dissatisfaction.
  •     Underpayment
  •     Lack of appreciation
  •     Unsupportive, uncaring, unethical or even abusive bosses or management
  •     Difficult to handle subordinates or employees
  •     Poor workplace relationships
  •     Work overload
  •     Stress  
  •     Job isn’t interesting, meaningful or challenging     
  •     Lack of work-life balance

Well those are some important ones and I’m sure there are a lot of other reasons for job dissatisfaction but no matter what the cause, if you’re facing struggles at work, or find it a grind, the Bible has a lot to say that can help you.

First, work is a gift from God. Genesis 2:15 tells us that God put Adam into the Garden of Eden to take care of it. This was before Adam and Eve ate the fruit and sin entered into the world. So work is not a curse. It says ‘The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.’ Now God could have easily have created the Garden of Eden to be a perpetually beautiful and self sustaining garden providing food for Adam without any human intervention, but He didn’t. He made it to require some effort from Adam. Life would have been boring, unchallenging and unsatisfying, even in paradise, if all Adam had to do was lounge around all day doing nothing, or just focusing on trying to enjoy himself all the time. In fact people who don’t work are generally not truly happy and there are plenty of people who don’t have to work, but do because they feel happier doing so.

Later Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, in other words, have children, which would add plenty to their work load. They weren’t left in the Garden aimless and wondering why in the world they were created. They were given something to do, a purpose in life. Work was God’s gift to Adam and Eve. An avenue for them to show their appreciation to God, a way to utilize their creativity and God given gifts and talents and a way to build and contribute to the early community of humanity. And it’s the same with us. Work is a gift designed to bring God, us and those around us great joy, fulfillment and satisfaction.

There are plenty of scriptures that tell us that God condemns and cannot bless laziness but honours and rewards the hard working. Here are a few.

2 Thessalonians 3:10: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’

Proverbs 10:4: ‘Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.’

Matthew 25:23: ‘His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’

A great Biblical example of a person who put his heart into his work in order to honour God in the midst of trying circumstances, and who reaped great reward, is that of Joseph found in Genesis chapters 37-50. Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and wound up serving the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. Even as a slave, Joseph’s diligence, integrity and strong work ethic impressed his master so much that he promoted Joseph to chief steward of his whole household with almost owner like decision making power.

Then when falsely accused of sexual assault by his master’s wife, Joseph ended up in prison. But even there he put his whole heart into everything he did and the prison warden put him in charge of all the prisoners and treated him well. Eventually news of the exemplary Joseph came to the attention of Pharaoh himself who ended up putting Joseph in charge of his whole kingdom.
Colossians 3:23-24 says: ‘Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.’ Having an attitude that our ultimate boss is God helps us focus on pleasing Him even if we don’t feel appreciated by others. God sees and rewards accordingly. Matthew 6:4 says ‘your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly

And to really inject some powerful motivation for your work it’s great if you can find purposes for it beyond the needs of yourself or your own family. For instance, some people designate part of their wages or profits to contribute to needy causes. And especially if you’re a Christian, the Bible highly encourages you to use your work in some way to further God’s kingdom. Your work ethic, honesty and diligence can be a testimony of your Christian faith and create opportunities for you to share it with others. You can also contribute some of your income to projects that further God’s work or even towards your own projects for His kingdom.

Work also serves to shape our character. In the workplace you learn what your strengths and talents are and how you can contribute them. You also find out what your weaknesses are and you learn to ask God’s help to improve in those areas as well as to lean on and appreciate your co-workers.

You also learn to call on God to help find direction and solutions to problems. The situations, challenges and problems that come up are opportunities for us to put Biblical principals such as hard work, service to others, prayer, wisdom and good communications skills to good use.

How you do your job makes a big difference. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says ‘So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.’  If you see your work as a calling from God that gives you purpose in life, a way to express your creativity and talents, a gift given to benefit you, or your family and the community, then work can become a joy.

Now, there are of course some jobs or businesses that just aren’t good for you or the community. And if your involved in these then of course you should try to get into something better. But for those with decent jobs and businesses, your work, no matter how insignificant is important to God.

I hope this insight about work from the Bible is an encouragement to you and helps to give you motivation to keep at it, to do your job well and to let it be an avenue for God to bless you, your family and others.

Well, that’s all for today. Thanks a lot for joining me. God bless every one of you. See you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
Genesis 2:15
2 Thessalonians 3:10
Proverbs 10:4
Matthew 25:23
Genesis 37-50
Colossians 3:23-24
Matthew 6:4
1 Corinthians 10:31
Episode 33 Can You Be Good Without God?

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Welcome again to another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. If it’s your first time to listen in, a special welcome to you. Thanks a lot for joining me. And if this podcast speaks to you and you’d like to be notified of new episodes please tap the follow or subscribe button on whatever platform you listen to podcasts.

One of the biggest hindrances to people accepting belief in God or Christianity is the idea that they think don’t need religion or God in order to be a good or moral person. They feel good enough in themselves and don’t feel like they need God or religion. It’s a really common way of thinking. But can a person really be good and moral without God?

And the answer is……..sort of yes….but ultimately, no. Here’s why. Of course anyone can do good including unbelievers. But ultimately, if God is the creator of all things, then there wouldn’t be any good, or even bad people, right? None of us could do any good without having been first created by Him. So ultimately no, we can’t be good without God. And if you’re not sure if you believe in God please check out Episodes 2 through to 5 of this Podcast where I cover that topic.

Now, a great part of the inherent goodness in humankind that people rely on to be good without acknowledging God is our human reasoning and consciences. They’re sort of an inbuilt sense of right and wrong we have from birth. Of course non believers would put the existence of reasoning and conscience down to nature. But obviously I would beg to differ and give God the credit for it.

But even our reasoning and consciences can only take us so far and they can be shaped by the culture we live in, our upbringing and other outside influences. This can cause even sincere people to completely disagree on what is good behavior or on social and moral issues. For instance, most people would agree that it’s wrong to kill. But there are people who according to their conscience think that it’s sometimes Ok to kill. Some people think that it’s OK to wage war in another country or region in order to liberate oppressed people or to eliminate someone they consider to be an evil dictator or terrorist. Others disagree. Some people think that the death penalty for severe crimes is acceptable. Others disagree. And there are plenty of other social and moral issues where sincere people disagree. So I don’t think we can rely solely on our reasoning or consciences to do the right thing in every case.

In order for our reasoning and consciences to more properly steer us in the right direction and in a way that we could more easily agree, I would say that they has to be shaped and in alignment with an objective standard outside of our ourselves, that is God and His will. We have to be led by His Spirit and informed by His word, the Bible, which gives us a clear standard of morality and goodness.

So we can be good without believing in or having a relationship with God. The world is full of non believers who do wonderful things and are the kind or people that we would generally label ‘good’ or even ‘great’. And a lot of them do better in many ways than believers.

But, as I touched on, the definition of ‘good’ is subjective to the person. So what does ‘good’ mean? And who defines it? There’s quite a difference between the standard humans tend to view as ‘good’ and the standard God commands us to live up to in the Bible.

Here’s a quote from the website psychologytoday.com that I think is a good example of the humanistic view of being good.

There are many ways to define what it means to be a good person. One definition of “good” is that you follow the rules — you don’t break the law, commit crimes, lie, or cheat.

Another way to determine who is a good person is to ask others — friends, family members, coworkers — people who know you and can “vouch” for your good qualities and character.

Another, more abstract, way to define goodness is that, at the end of your days, you leave the world a better place — you have done good deeds, saved lives, raised good children, made others happy, and the list goes on.

If everyone lived up to that definition the world would certainly be a much better place. But it is kind of abstract and still leaves a lot of room for personal interpretation and difference of opinion of what is good and moral in various specific situations.

Now let’s read how Jesus defines good and moral behavior. Here He outlines the Bible’s ultimate commandment. The one that sums up the whole Bible and it’s definition of doing good:

Matthew 22:37-40 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Atheism ties goodness to our own subjective conscience and our own opinion of what’s good. Besides that there are no moral obligations in atheism. Nothing that requires specific action from us.

The Bible ties our behavior to God and His loving nature, summing it up by urging us to love Him and love our neighbors as ourselves. What does this require of us?

Here are a few things that the Bible specifically commands us to do:
  •     Put other’s needs above our own
  •     Actively seek to meet the needs of others no matter who they are     
  •     Forgive those who’ve wronged us     
  •     Unconditionally love every other person no matter who they are     
  •     Love our enemies     
  •     Care for the poor     
  •     Share our material possessions  
  •     Speak lovingly to others
  •     And the list goes on

Of course non believers can and do all of the above. The difference is that it’s all optional. In Christianity it’s all required….or at least to try your best.

But it sure is a high standard. I mean how do we love ourselves? Really, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning to the moment we fall asleep our own needs are probably most of what occupies our thoughts and actions. For example someone might wake up thinking….
1. It’s cold. I need to put on some clothes and turn on the heater
2. I need a shower
3. I’m hungry, I need to eat
4. I’m lonely, I need someone in my life
5. I’m depressed, I need to get out of this hole
6. I’m struggling financially, I need money
6. Etc, etc until the end of each day

We put 24/7 into loving ourselves and the Bible commands us to love others in the same way. To make sure our neighbor’s similar needs are met just as much as ours.

This is so hard to do, that the Bible says no human can even come up to this standard. Romans 3:23 says: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. None of us have come up to the standard, we’ve all fallen short. Nevertheless, loving others as ourselves is the standard of behavior God wants us to aspire to. And while it’s humanly impossible to do, God wouldn’t ask us to do it if He wasn’t willing to help us. This is the God Factor in the ‘Can I be good without God?’ question.

Philippians 4:13 says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Our self centered human nature just isn’t enough to truly love people as we should. And history’s proved that. We’ve made a mess of things trying to be good without His help. But thankfully God understands. That’s why He came to earth Himself in the form of Jesus, to give us a living example of how to live in love, to clearly outline His commandment to love, and to offer us salvation and the power of His Holy Spirit that enables us to love sacrificially.

And while we shouldn’t have these as our primary motives, as an extra incentive, the Bible tells us that God gives rewards for those who do love and punishments for those who don’t. Such rewards and accountability do make it a lot easier for us.

So, can you be good without God? Sure you can. But I believe that believing in and being connected to God our creator through His son Jesus, and being full of the Holy Spirit will equip you with supernatural power to sacrificially love your neighbor as yourself in ways far deeper and more profound than your own human capabilities.

And if you haven’t yet received Jesus as your savior you can by praying the salvation prayer I’ve included in the show notes. You can also check out episode 9 for more on how to be saved.

Thanks a lot for joining me everyone. God bless you all. Looking forward to seeing you next time. Bye.

Show notes

Salvation prayer:
Dear Jesus
I believe that you are the Son of God
Please come into my heart and life
I know that I haven't been good. I have sinned and have been unloving
Please forgive my sins
And give me your gift of eternal life
Please help me to love God and others
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 22:37-40
Romans 3:23
Philippians 4:13

Episode 34 Easter-Why Did Jesus Die On The Cross?

Hi everyone. Happy Easter to all of you. Brother George here again with another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks a lot for joining me.

Yes, it’s the Easter season. What a wonderful time of year. But if you live in a Western country Easter celebrations have become so far removed from the original meaning that a lot of people don’t even know what Easter is about. In fact I just searched the word ‘Easter’ in the Google Images search engine, and about 95% if the images shown were of so called Easter bunnies, eggs and chocolates. All very cute and the chocolates look delicious, but while there is some vague Easter meaning behind these things, how would the average person know this? And of course, if you’re a non believer or of a different religion you might not know what Easter is about. So what is it that Christians celebrate at Easter, why is it important and why did Jesus die on the cross? That’s what I’ll talk about today and in the next episode.

Easter is the yearly celebration of the resurrection of Jesus after He was crucified for our sins. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the focal point of Christianity. In fact it’s the pivotal moment in all of human history. His death and resurrection was the fulfillment of hundreds of Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah, the Saviour who would be sacrificed to take away the sins of the world.

But why did Jesus have to die on the cross? Why was this necessary? Let me explain.

Our lives and very existence are a free gift of God. We would have no consciousness or enjoyment of any of His creation without Him giving us a life to be able to do it with. And God is also the sustainer of life, the energy force that keeps our lives going.

But when we sin we automatically start to drift from God, and separate from Him. This voluntary distancing from God means we’re choosing to deny ourselves His life sustaining power and this results in a degradation and corruption of our bodies and spirits and eventual death. It’s like a slow suicide. The Bible describes it in Romans 6:23. It says For the wages of sin is death.

Wages are what you get paid for your work, right? You did the work, your boss or company pays you in return. So it is with death. Death is the natural so called ‘payment’ for sin. Because of our sin we deserve to lose the life God gave us. Not because He wants to vindictively punish us, but because we chose to turn our backs on Him and distance ourselves from the source of life and we suffer the natural consequences. It’s both a punishment as well as a natural consequence of our own decisions.

It’s like a criminal facing a judge. The criminal is found guilty and the judge announces the sentence. Who’s fault is it that the criminal goes to prison? Is it the judge who sent him or her there? No, it was the criminal that sent themselves to prison. The judge merely facilitated what must happen to the criminal if he or she breaks the law of the land.

Now every single one of us is a sinful criminal in God’s eyes. We’ve all broken God’s law of love and distanced ourselves from God and so were headed for death at our own hands.

But that is where Jesus stepped in at Easter and virtually said ‘Our people have sinned and are headed for death, I’ll take the consequences and punishment for them’. It’s like He saw us stupidly walking onto a busy road and about to get hit by a 10 ton truck and He heroically dived across the street, pushed us out of the way and took the hit from the truck Himself.

And so at Easter, Jesus suffered a painful betrayal, mocking, whipping, and a cruel, brutal death on the cross. He allowed Himself to be killed so that we don’t have to suffer the consequences of separation from God and death for our sins.

Why would He, the creator of the Universe do that for us after we gave Him and His Father the ultimate insult and offence, by turning our backs on them? Here’s a true story from the Vietnamese war that I came across that illustrates why.

A young girl, about eight years old was seriously injured by the bombing of an orphanage run by a missionary group in a small Vietnamese village. An American Navy doctor and nurse arrived in a jeep to help. They established that the girl was critically injured. Without quick action, she would die of shock and loss of blood. A blood transfusion was vital to her survival. A quick test showed that neither American had the correct blood type, but several of the uninjured orphans did.

The doctor spoke and communicated her need for blood with the children using a very simple combination of Vietnamese, French and sign language. Then they asked if any of the children would be willing to give blood to help. Their request was met with wide-eyed silence. After several long moments a small hand slowly and waveringly went up, dropped back down, and then went up again. "Oh, thank you," the nurse said in French. "What is your name?" "Heng," came the reply.

Heng was quickly laid on a pallet, his arm swabbed with alcohol, and a needle inserted in his vein. Through this ordeal Heng lay stiff and silent. After a moment, he let out a shuddering sob, quickly covering his face with his free hand. "Is it hurting, Heng?" the doctor asked. Heng shook his head, but after a few moments another sob escaped, and once more he tried to cover up his crying. Again the doctor asked him if the needle hurt, and Heng shook his head. But now his occasional sobs became a steady, silent crying, his eyes screwed tightly shut, his fist in his mouth to stifle his sobs. The medical team was concerned. Something was obviously very wrong with the boy.

At this point, a Vietnamese nurse arrived to help. Seeing the little boy’s distress, she spoke to him rapidly in Vietnamese, listened to his reply and answered him in a soothing voice. After a moment, the boy stopped crying and a look of great relief spread over his face. Glancing up, the nurse said quietly to the Americans, "He thought he was dying. He misunderstood you. He thought you had asked him to give all his blood so the little girl could live."  "But why would he be willing to do that?" asked the Navy nurse. The Vietnamese nurse repeated the question to the little boy, who answered simply, "She's my friend."

That illustrates the meaning of Easter, the reason why Jesus died on the cross. He saw us mortally wounded by our sins, about to eternally die from them. But because each one of us are His precious creation whom He loves with His whole being, He gave His blood even to the death, so that we might live.

1John 1:7 says ...the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

By his death and the shedding of His blood, God no longer sees our sins, the sins that separated us from Him. We’re forgiven. And it’s a free gift to us. Romans 6:23 goes on to say But the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. And all we have to do is acknowledge and accept His sacrifice. That’s it. And if we do, our relationship with God is restored. We can have our hearts right with Him in this life and live forever with Him in the next.

And if you’d like to receive Jesus as your saviour and His forgiveness for your sins please scroll down to the show notes below and pray the salvation prayer shown there. You can also listen to episode 9 for more about how to be saved.

Thanks so much for joining me today. Happy Easter to all of you. See you next week for more on Easter. Bye.

Show notes

Salvation prayer:
Dear Jesus
I believe that you are the Son of God that died for my sins
Please come into my heart and life
I know that I have sinned and have been unloving
Please forgive my sins
And give me your gift of eternal life
Please help me to love God and others
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Today’s Bible verses:
Romans 6:23
1John 1:7

Episode 35 Easter-The Meaning Of The Resurrection

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Happy Easter and welcome to another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. Last week I talked about the first of the two major events of Easter, the one we remember on Easter Friday or Good Friday as it’s sometimes called, that is the crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross and why He did that for us. Today I’ll talk about His triumphant resurrection from the dead.

The whole Christian faith hangs on the belief in His resurrection and ascension into Heaven. If He had not risen from the dead He would have been just like every other religious leader or prophet that had gone before Him and that have come since, a mere human. The apostle Paul acknowledged this when he stated in 1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

Paul and the early apostles staked their lives on the claim that Jesus overcame a brutal execution and death by rising from the dead. To them it wasn’t a just a belief though. It was a fact that they witnessed with their own eyes. The Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote extensive and detailed eye witness accounts of His appearing to His followers at various times and in different locations after His death that matched up remarkably well with each other. The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus appeared to a gathering of over 500 people and he backed up his claim by stating that most of those people were still alive at the time of his writing, effectively challenging his readers to go and talk to them if they had any doubt about it. And he ought to have known because he himself had a personal supernatural encounter with the risen Jesus that flipped his life 180 degrees around from chief persecutor and murderer of Christians to Christianity’s chief apostle and evangelist.

Even, non Christian independent sources such as first century Jewish historian Josephus and Roman historian and senator Tacitus confirm the Biblical account. As the world famous evangelist Billy Graham once said, There’s actually more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three. In fact there’s so much supporting historical and archaeological evidence that the great majority of modern historians don’t dispute that Jesus lived and that His disciples claimed that He rose from the dead and that most of them gave their very lives for that very claim. I’ll include links to some articles about the historicity of Jesus in the show notes.

And if your interested in a deep dive into the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection check out the amazing book The Case For Christ written by Lee Strobel a former atheist and award winning investigative journalist for major US newspapers. When his wife converted to Christianity, Lee set out on a two year mission to put his investigative skills to use to research the historical evidence in order disprove the resurrection, to prove to his wife that it was a lie. Well, his plan completely backfired and instead he found that he couldn’t help but be convinced by the evidence. So, Lee himself became a Christian. He’s written several worldwide major selling books sharing his research and findings and is a very prominent Christian speaker all over the world. The book is called ‘The Case For Christ’. The author-Lee Strobel. I’ll put a link to his web site in the show notes.

So if the resurrection of Jesus is true, what does this mean? It means that everything in the Bible is true, and that everything Jesus said about Himself is true. That He was in fact the Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour, the creator God come in the flesh to save us from our sins and bring us back to our Heavenly Father. That He has the authority to judge the nations and to reward or punish us for our deeds. That He will return to defeat evil forever and to establish His eternal kingdom of love.

The resurrection is the most pivotal moment in history. It’s the moment that transformed twelve men that were defeated and discouraged at the death of their Master, to twelve men that were raised from the virtually spiritually dead themselves to explode into all the known world to preach His resurrection and teachings. They were not only convinced themselves, but through them millions of others were convinced as well.

The new movement that arose based on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection wasn’t just a passing fad. It spread like wildfire. And within 200 years the previously pagan, Roman Empire with its multitude of false religions and gods was officially a Christian empire and from there the Gospel spread throughout the world bringing great positive change to humankind with it. Whole nations and civilizations were founded and were and have been governed on it’s principles of love, mercy, individual freedom, true justice and equality. The resurrection of Jesus brought a complete transformation to the apostles, to the Roman empire and the world. And that is what it can do for us.

When Jesus raised a guy called Lazarus from the dead He said (this is John 11:25) I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. No matter how dead you are, no matter what your sin or what your problem is. Whether it’s an addiction, selfishness, jealousy, fear, anxiety, pride, criminal behaviour, sickness, a broken heart, feeling inadequate or like a failure, whatever. No matter what it is that’s virtually killing you. No matter how defeated you feel, you can be resurrected. There’s forgiveness and new life for you through the blood of Jesus, through His sacrifice on the cross. And because He rose from the dead to defeat sin and death He can cause you too to be risen from the dead as well. To experience a completely new life on this earth and to dwell with Him and His Father in Heaven forever.

That’s the meaning and significance of the resurrection, the Gospel, the good news of Easter.

If you’re already a Christian then Easter is a time to remember the price Jesus paid on our behalf and to celebrate His triumph over sin and death. It’s a time to be grateful that He’s rescued us from the jaws of death from our sins.

If you’re not a Christian, if you haven’t received Jesus into your life yet I hope this helps you to make the decision to do just that, because it means a personal resurrection for you, new life here on earth and forever in Heaven. I’ll include the salvation prayer in the show notes below if you would like to receive Him.

So happy Easter everyone. That’s all for today. I put out a new episode every week, if you want to be notified please hit the follow button on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. And please also help get this podcast and the good news out to other people by tapping the like button, sharing the podcast on social media, leaving a positive comment or giving a five star rating. You can also read more articles by me at my website: thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com.

God bless every one of you. Bye.

Show notes:

Salvation prayer:
Dear Jesus
I believe that you are the Son of God that died for my sins
Please come into my heart and life
I know that I have sinned and have been unloving
Please forgive my sins
And give me your gift of eternal life
Please help me to love God and others
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Episode 36 What Is Faith?

Hi everyone. Brother George here again. Thanks for joining me today for Bible Made Easy Podcast. The aim of this podcast is to share life changing truths from the Word of the living God, the Bible, in a down to earth, easy to understand way, without all the stuffy religious fluff, and theological lingo. I want to bring the Bible down to earth where God intends it to be, to make it relatable to and applicable to your daily life and I hope this podcast does just that. And if this podcast reaches your heart and inspires you and you want to be notified of new episodes please hit the subscribe or follow button on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. Thanks.

One question non believers and even new Christians have is ‘What is faith?’. What does that word actually mean? It’s really important to understand this word and it’s meaning because it’s a vital part of Christianity. So that’s what I’ll cover today.

Common dictionary definitions include the following:

1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on inner conviction rather than solid proof.
3. A system of religious belief.
4. A firmly held belief or theory.

Ok that’s the dictionary understanding of the word faith, but how does the Bible define it?

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.

That doesn’t sound like a vague or shaky belief in God. This verse emphasises being convinced of things we don’t see. That’s faith. Faith in God gives us a sense of absolute certainty regarding God’s good will towards us even if we can’t see tangible proof of it. Even if our circumstances seem to completely contradict this idea. I touched on this in Episode 22 where I said that hope we have regarding God is 100% sure, certain and guaranteed, that it’s a rock solid expectation of His good toward us.

It’s kind of like when you bought something on line from a reputable seller. You browsed through their catalogue, chose the item you wanted and then paid your hard earned money. You had never met the seller in person, you hadn’t seen the item with you own eyes, yet you had no doubts whatsoever that you’d receive what you paid for. And after payment you waited expectantly for the item to arrive. You didn’t have any worries about it. This is faith in the seller. And the same kind of faith can be applied to our relationship with God. You know He’s going to come through for you because He, like the on line seller, has a great reputation, He offers guarantees and promises in His terms and conditions, the Bible, that if you’ll have faith and obey Him, He will do such and such for you.

Now, in modern use the word ‘faith’ can be used interchangeably with ‘belief’ and the same can be said of the Bible. But in Christianity there’s also a distinction between the two. Belief can be often associated with expressing acknowledgement of the existence of God. But there’s a difference in saying ‘I believe in God’ which just acknowledges that you believe that He exists than saying ‘I have faith in God’ which shows that you not only believe He exists, but you also trust Him for something. For instance that He’ll take care of you, provide for you, protect you or work things out for good in your life. This concept is made clear in Hebrews 11:6 which says: And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

So, to please God we must 1: believe that He is, that is that He exists and 2: that he He rewards those who seek Him. We can think of the reward part being the things He does for us because we trust Him. So there are the two elements of faith, belief in His existence and trust that He takes care of us.

And like the verse says God is pleased when we have faith in and trust Him. Why? Because He’s our heavenly Father, our creator and of course He has our best interests at heart just like any good earthly parent. And He loves it when we acknowledge this. It makes Him happy. I’ve got young children myself and I know they trust my wife and I completely. They don’t know the world and can’t face and navigate it as we do. They wouldn’t be able to survive without us so they look to us for provision of their needs, protection and guidance as the grow up. They’re both very innocent and child like in their trust in us. And it brings us so much joy to have these precious young ones who love and trust us so much. And we don’t want to let them down. We do everything in our power to meet their every need. And that’s the way God is with all of us, His children. It brings Him great joy to see how we, like little children, completely trust Him and when we do, He in return won’t let us down.

Ok, so we’ve established that faith is not just belief in God, but it’s a rock solid assurance and conviction of His good will towards us even if we don’t see it. So how do we get faith then?

Romans 10:17 says, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The Bible is God’s equivalent of the on line sellers terms and conditions. By reading the Bible you get to know the mind of God, you find out how much He loves you, what His promises are for you and how much He guarantees His care for you. The more you hear by the word of God the more your faith will grow. And the more you test it, like the more you buy from the on line seller, the more you see God coming through for you.

Here’s an example of faith from the Bible.

Matthew 9:27-30 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened.

The blind men must have heard that the miracle working man claiming to be the Son of God, the promised Messiah from the lineage of King David, was in the area. They believed what they heard about Him. That’s the first element right there, belief in Him as the Savior. And they showed their belief by following Jesus as He travelled to a certain home and going in to the house to request healing. When Jesus asked them if they believed He could heal them, they showed their faith in Him by replying ‘Yes, Lord’. And Jesus did the miracle and these two previously blind men had their eyes opened. Just beautiful.

Growing your faith by reading and studying the Word of God will bring all the benefits of faith to your daily life. And there are many.

Having faith will bring supernatural peace to your heart. Life’s ups and downs, and twists and turns can cause us worry, anxiety and stress because we’re looking at what seems to be the reality of our situation. But faith that God has things under control is the great stress reliever. This benefit alone can make a massive positive difference to your life, mental and physical health and relationships with others. Faith is the opposite of fear. It’s like a wonder drug that miraculously cures your mind and heart of stress, fear and worry.

Faith can also make positive things happen that otherwise wouldn’t because you trust God, pray for Him to work and He does it for you. God can answer prayer for a great variety of things like health and healing, personal situations, the needs of your loved ones and friends, the supply of material needs and a whole lot more.

Faith will even give you the vision and courage to do things you’ve never dreamed of otherwise because God will put the vision in your heart and assure you that He is with you and will empower you to do it.

Faith will even help you to handle adversity better. And I’ve written an article about it which I’ll link to in the show notes below.

There’s so much more I could say about faith and its benefits, but that’s all for today. Thanks for joining me. I’m looking forward to seeing you next time. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Hebrews 11:1
Hebrews 11:6
Romans 10:17
Matthew 9:27-30

Episode 37 What Is Sin?

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Thanks for joining me for Bible Made Easy Podcast. I hope you’re all doing well.

We’ve just passed the Easter season where in Episode 34 I talked about why Jesus died for our sins. But some people wonder ‘Well what is sin?’ ‘Tell me what is and isn’t a sin?’ Ok. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about that.

The original Hebrew and Greek words used in the Old and New Testaments translated into the English word ‘sin’ mean ‘to miss the mark, to fail, to be wrong, or to make an error’. The ancient theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine described sin as "a word, deed, or desire in opposition to the eternal law of God"

And what is the eternal law of God? Well the Apostle Paul summed it up when he expounded on Jesus’s ultimate commandments to love God and our neighbors when he said in Romans 13:8-10 the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law

So, what this means is that to sin, is to disobey God’s law of love by doing anything that’s unloving or hurtful towards God, others or ourselves.

So that’s the broad definition of sin. But how do we boil that down to specific behaviors and actions? How do we know what is and isn’t a sin?

Well, first of all, God has given us a conscience. That’s His voice in the heart of every person whether we know the Bible or not that convicts us of certain behaviors that are pretty much obviously sinful and hurtful to ourselves or others. When we do those things we instinctively know we’ve done wrong because our conscience hurts us. So that’s a start. Actually before the Bible was written that was the primary way humankind knew what was sinful, and even today those who don’t know God are guided by their consciences.

But over time, as the Bible was written, God revealed to us more and more specifics about His will for us and what He considers sinful. So now the Bible is the yardstick by which we measure whether our behavior and attitudes are sinful or not.

There are specific actions and attitudes mentioned in the Bible that God says are harmful and thus sinful and so we should avoid them. And when God says some action or attitude is a sin there’s always a good reason for it. He doesn’t give commandments just for the sake of it. When He discourages or forbids something it’s always because those behaviors don’t lead to human flourishing and happiness. It’s because He has our best interests at heart.

I’ll give you an example. Ephesians 4:29 says Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. This verse is seen as a prohibition against swearing, bad mouthing, complaining, criticizing and other negative talk. Why does God prohibit such speech? Because He’s against free speech? No. It’s because He knows that talking like that just leads to unhappiness for yourself and everyone around you. Imagine how the Internet and social media would improve if everyone obeyed that commandment?!

By the way, speaking of commandments I should mention here that we’re not under the Old Testament commandments and laws any longer. While many of them, like the Ten Commandments are still applicable today, there are hundreds of other Old Testament laws that were given specifically for the time period before Jesus came to earth. But they’ve been done away with now and superseded by the His law of love and other specific commandments found in the four Gospels and letters by the New Testament writers.

In the show notes I’ll include a list of things the New Testament specifies as sinful. Most of them are pretty clear cut and easy to see why they’re bad. They’re listed in alphabetical order and not according to how serious they are. It’s not an exhaustive list of everything that would be a sin though but it’s a pretty good guide.

So, what about the multitude of attitudes and behaviors not specifically mentioned in the Bible? Here are some principles to follow to help you to know:
1. Is it in line with the Bible and it’s commandments and principles?
2. Is it good for you?
3. Is it good for others in your life?
4. Does it hurt you or others in any way?
5. Do you feel the peace of God about it?

Usually if something is bad for us, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to convict our heart about it.

Besides those Biblical specifics applicable to all of us, there are also sins particular to the individual. An example would be eating certain foods. It might be OK for one person to eat it, but for another it might not agree with them or be bad for them in some way and so it would be an abuse of their body to eat and thus a sin for them. Or maybe our own personal connection with God leads us to do or not do certain things particular to our own situations. So it would be a sin for us personally to go against His specific will for our lives, while for another person He might be leading them differently. This is where our own conscience and connection with God, common sense and personal judgment come in to weigh up what is God’s will for us in our own particular circumstances as long as it doesn’t contradict the commandments and principles of the Bible.

Are there degrees of sin? Of course. While every sin is wrong, just like there are degrees of crimes in society, sin comes in various levels of severity depending on the how much it hurts God, others or ourselves. And there’s also a difference between deliberate and defiant sins and those that are done unintentionally out of human weakness or ignorance.

So what are the effects of sin? Well, The worst result of sin, especially deliberate and unrepentant sin, is that it separates us from God. Isaiah the prophet pointed this out to the disobedient people of Israel in Isaiah 59:2 where he said It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.

Sin also causes problems in our relations with others. Sins like selfishness, pride, jealousy, bitterness and anger lead to strained relationships between individuals, social groups and nations. And this is where we get problems like, poverty, oppression, racism and discrimination, and even outright violence, and war.

Sin always has a destructive effect on our lives. When we sin, especially deliberately and defiantly, it always leads to some sort of degrading effect on our minds, bodies and spirits. Sin puts us out of harmony with God, our friends and loved ones and others. It causes us unhappiness, stress, feelings of guilt, distress, shame and hopelessness and a lack of peace. Sin can cause physical and mental health problems and worst of all keep us out of heaven if we don’t accept forgiveness through Jesus. That’s why Romans 6:23 warns us that The wages of sin is death.

So what should we do about sin? Well we can’t become completely pure and sinless and try to avoid sinning all together. That’s impossible and that’s not even the goal. We’ve all kind of like inherited a sin gene from Adam, a natural human disposition to sin. But what we can do is try to minimize sin so that it doesn’t have such a stronghold on us.

The first step is to admit you’re a sinner and ask God for forgiveness and receive cleansing. 1 John 1:7 says The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. Besides guaranteeing your salvation and place in Heaven in the next life, you’ll be amazed at the feeling of relief the lifting of the weight, guilt and shame that receiving His forgiveness and cleansing will give you.

After receiving His forgiveness and cleansing, reading and studying the Bible is what will help you learn His standards, recognize your particular weaknesses and sins and help you avoid them. Psalm 119:11 says I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Reading God’s word and staying close to Him cleanses your mind and spirit, gives you an appetite for the right things and keeps you away from yielding to your sinful nature.

And of course when temptation to sin becomes strong, like it does for all of us sometimes, you can use the following weapons at your disposal to fight it off:
  •     Pray for God to help you    
  •     Ask others to pray for you
  •     Ask a trusted loved one to help you stay on the right track and keep you accountable
  •     Use your will or won’t power and refuse to yield to temptation
  •     Concentrate on doing something positive and constructive

Yielding to sin, especially deliberately, just brings misery and unhappiness to us and everyone around us, but obeying and staying close to Jesus does the opposite. It keeps us happy, peaceful and right with God and others.

Thanks a lot for joining me today everyone. Please subscribe in order to get notified of new episodes. And please also hit the like button and write a positive comment or give a 5 star review. See you next time.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Romans 13:8-10
Ephesians 4:29
Isaiah 59:2
Romans 6:23
1 John 1:7
Psalm 119:11

New Testament List of Sins (no exhaustive)
Coveting others things
Denying Christ
Disobedience to parents
Disobedience to God
Fornication (or ungodly sex)
Laying up treasures on earth (Materialism)
Living for pleasure
Loving others more than God
Murmuring, complaining
Rejecting God
Strife, quarreling
Unbelief, lack of faith
Episode 38 Tribute To Mothers

Welcome everyone. Brother George here. Thanks for joining me for Bible Made Easy Podcast. A big hello to my regular listeners. Thanks for tuning in again today. It’s great to know that you guys value this podcast and find it an inspiration. Thanks a lot for the positive feedback. And if you’re a first time listener, thanks for joining us. Welcome to the show and please subscribe if you want to receive notification of new episodes. You can also access more Bible based content from me on my website thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com.

Today is Mother’s Day in much of the world. So a big hug and lots of appreciation to all the wonderful mothers out there. This episode is dedicated to highlight you all and just how worthy you are of every honor and blessing.

About 100 of the nations of the world celebrate Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday of May and most other countries celebrate it at some point during the year. I find that quite remarkable. Despite the fact that the world’s over 200 nations and territories have such a wide variety of cultures, politics and religions, here’s one thing just about the whole world agrees on, that mothers are valuable and worth honoring and celebrating.

The Bible actually commands us to honor our parents. It’s the fifth of the ten commandments, and it simply says ‘Honor your father and mother’. That’s Exodus 20:12. Jesus quoted this commandment in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and the apostle Paul reiterated it in Ephesians 6:2.

In order to appreciate the significance of this commandment it helps if we know the context in which the ten commandments were given. At the time the world was a mess, with disobedience to God, idolatry and all manner of evil rampant around the globe. God determined to establish the nation of Israel in order to create a people that would live in relationship with Him and to among other things to be an example to the rest of the world of a godly nation. The citizens of this new nation had to have their minds and attitudes completely renewed and rewired from the perverted attitudes and values they had learned while slaves in Egypt and insulated against the values those they would come in contact with from the surrounding nations of the Promised Land to which they would migrate. So right from the get go, God give His commandments.

Of the Ten major commandments the first four all deal with our relationship with God. That’s because this is the most important relationship we have in life, the one with our creator and giver of our life. And next came the fifth which was the first regarding our relations with others, the commandment to honor our parents. Why was this so important? Well, here’s what God was saying to Israel. In order to get your personal lives and your community right, you all need to do the following. First of all get your hearts right with Me and secondly with your parents. You need to give Me, and your parents, respect and honor. That’s a powerful affirmation of the significance of our parents. That’s why the world celebrates Mothers Day and why the Bible commands us to honor our mothers.

Mind you there’s nothing there making it conditional on what kind of mother we have. No matter how great or not so great they are we need to give them honor. Why? Well at the very least just for the simple fact that we wouldn’t even have a life that we are enjoying if they hadn’t carried us for 9 months and given us birth and raised us.

Motherhood is an extremely sacrificial, demanding and time consuming job. A mother gives up her time, her body, her own personal goals and pursuits, her everything to give birth to and raise a child. Our mothers were there for us during the most vulnerable years of our lives. Tenderly nursing and caring for us when we were helpless babies. Changing our nappies, bathing us, feeding us, cooking and ensuring we got sufficient nutrition and sleep, nursing and comforting us when we were sick, wiping away our tears when we were heartbroken over some childish seeming disaster, disciplining us and much, much more. And continuing that sacrificial care all the way through to when we were old enough to stand on our own and even beyond that.

Unfortunately, in the modern age, especially in Western countries, there’s been a devaluation of the glory of motherhood. A diminishing of it’s important contribution to society. But what greater and more noble job is there than raising humans? And God sees that and He recognizes that.

There’s a very beautiful passage in Proverbs 31 that I think is very appropriate for Mother’s Day. The passage describes the characteristics of what it calls a ‘virtuous woman’, the kind of woman a young man should be looking for in a wife. It was written by King Lemuel who wrote it to pass the wisdom of his own mother to his son. While written primarily to describe a good wife, the type of woman described is obviously a mother because verse 28 tells of how ‘her children rise up and call her blessed’.

I’m going to read if for you now. It’s written in ancient poetic style, but I think the message is clear.

10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet
22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

What a beautiful description of a virtuous wife and mother. It says that she is more precious than all the finest treasures of the world. She’s a woman of character and integrity. She’s trustworthy and can be relied on. She brings prosperity to her family. She’s dedicated to providing for her family and industrious from morning ‘till night. She’s got her proprieties straight by valuing strength and dignity over charm and beauty. Her speech is a river of wisdom and kindness. Her children recognise her dedication to their welfare and call her blessed.

What a wonderful reward for a sacrificial and dedicated mother, to be praised and appreciated by her husband and children. And that’s what Mother’s Day is about, giving well deserved love and gratitude to our beautiful mothers. The Bible makes it clear that they deserve it.

So again Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there. And thanks a lot for joining me today everyone. Looking forward to you joining me again next time. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Exodus 20:12
Ephesians 6:2
Proverbs 31

Episode 39 How The West Got Lost

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Thanks for joining me again for Bible Made Easy Podcast where I try to give you simple and straight forward teaching from the Bible.

Here’s something that’s been on a growing number of people’s minds over the last few years. What in the world has happened to Western society? When we talk about the West generally we’re speaking about countries in Europe, North America as well as Australia and New Zealand. It seems like this group of nations has gone completely off the deep end and descended into a social, economic and moral mess that’s gotten so bad that a lot of
previously unconcerned people have suddenly become alarmed at the state of affairs. Of course this has been going on for decades but things have really gone downhill in the last few years.

Here are some major problems, not in any particular order:
Atheism and ungodliness on the rise
Christianity and it influence waning and Christians being marginalised and persecuted in some places.
Biblical and common sense values abandoned
Weird morality and values promoted that don’t even make sense
Ungodly education
Sexual perversion
Sexualisation of children
Demise of the family unit
Abortion legal until birth in a growing number of places
Denial of the reality of gender and the uniqueness of the two genders
Non scientific ideas promoted as fact and acceptance of them forced
Misguided and ungodly leadership
Economic woes and crippling national debts accumulated
Corrupt media and tech companies
Deep divisions within society
Perverted and corrupt entertainment industry
Social media a hotbed of divisive and vile expression
Declining mental health
Widespread drug and alcohol dependence
People’s hearts becoming harder and more callous
Global leaders leading us astray and into tyranny and communism.

I could say more, but I think you get the picture. So what happened? Well, the Bible provides the answers and there is none better than the example of the rise and fall of ancient Israel.

The nation of Israel was established by God in order to, amongst other things, create a nation built on obedience to His commandments, to be a shining light of a people living in prosperity, blessing, justice, equality and happiness in the midst of a host of wicked civilisations that were the opposite.

At the very founding of the nation the prophet Moses read out the laws that became the moral and legal bedrock upon which the nation would be built. After going over the over 600 commandments Moses then outlined what the outcomes of both obedience to and disobedience to God’s laws would be for Israel. You can read about it in Deuteronomy Chapter 28 which starts off with Moses saying And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings...
And Moses lists the blessings. Their cities and rural areas would be blessed, they would be economically blessed with healthy and abundant crops and livestock, they would have strong border security and protection from the surrounding enemy nations. They would flourish and become so prosperous and powerful that it would be clearly apparent to surrounding nations that God was with them and blessing them.

Then Moses warned them But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. And he recited a list of the exact opposite of all the blessings. Economic disaster, attacks from and subjugation by their enemies etc. In other words, forsaking God and disobedience to His commands would mean self destruction.

So what happened? Well at first Israel largely obeyed and received all the blessings God promised. Within about 500 years Israel was the most glorious nation on earth and leaders from other nations would even travel to Israel to wonder and learn how they had achieved such a miraculous status. But unfortunately it was pretty much downhill from there.

Gradually Israel got proud and arrogant. They forgot about and disobeyed God and His word. Rather than remain culturally and spiritually separate from surrounding pagan civilisations they began to embrace those nations’ practises and descended into selfishness, idolatry, human sacrifice and all manner of evil. God sent prophet after prophet to urge them to repent and to warn them of the dangers ahead, but they not only refused to listen, they persecuted and even killed some of those prophets. God could no longer bless and protect them and they were gradually overcome by their enemies. Eventually the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks and others gained rule over them until finally the Romans totally destroyed their country and from 70AD onwards there was no nation of Israel for nearly 2000 years until it’s re-establishment in 1948.

The tragic history of Israel contains a serious warning message for the West today. Like Israel of old, the West arose out of pagan nations and civilisations of the past, particularly the Grecian and Roman empires. Over the centuries Christianity completely overtook those empires and from the ashes of their demise grew a new Europe from which arose the modern West which was based on the Bible and Christian principles, especially the principle that every person is made in the image of God and thus of equal value. Evil practises such as human sacrifice, infanticide, child abandonment, ritual suicide and the brutal gladiatorial games that were common in the ancient world and Greco-Roman culture were phased out. History shaping legal documents such as the British Magna Carta and the US Constitution were introduced and formed the basis for modern Western law and granted previously unheard of rights to women, children, laborers, the common folk and other formerly oppressed groups. Stunning advancements were made in the fields of science, medicine, education, and a host of other fields. The West flourished so greatly that it became the most advanced and prosperous civilisation in history and the envy and role model of other nations.

The rise of the West was a carbon copy of the rise of Israel, and so is it’s present downward trajectory. Like ancient Israel, much of the West has largely forgotten the God that made it great. The Christian community’s leadership grew pompous and arrogant, and it’s followers weaker and weaker until you could barely tell the difference between the church and the world. And now Western political, economic and cultural power lies mostly in the hands of the ungodly or at best weak and compromised Christians.

A nation’s health and prosperity hinges on its relationship with God. There are plenty of Bible verses that warn of the dangers of a nation departing from God. Here are a couple:

Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God

Proverbs 14:34 Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

Like He did to Israel of old, God has sent messenger after messenger but, as a whole, so far the West hasn’t really repented. So is there still hope for the West? Yes, of course. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

So let’s pray for the West and see what happens. And if you live in the West, don’t despair. There’s still a ton of good in the West and many wonderful people. Just because many people around you are falling into ungodliness, doesn’t mean you have to. Thankfully a lot of people have woken up, and best of all a lot of Christians have woken up and are recommitting themselves to God, and becoming more active in getting out His message and standing up for His truth. So that’s good.

No matter what others do you can make the right decisions. If you’re not a Christian, receive Jesus as your Savior and get on board with God today. If you do, you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you’re already a Christian, strengthen your relationship with Him and keep it strong. Your country needs you more than ever to be an example of His love and a bearer of His message.

Thanks a lot for joining me today. Please subscribe if you want to be notified of new episodes. Looking forward to you joining me next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Deuteronomy Chapter 28
Psalm 9:17
Proverbs 14:34
2 Chronicles 7:14

Episode 40 From Tears To Joy

Hi everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me today.

Today I happened to come across a very short but tear-jerking video of an interview with a girl about 12 years old who was suffering from cancer. Throughout the video she sobbed and wept, putting her hands up to her face wiping away her tears continually while barely being able to blurt out her words. It was in a language I didn’t understand, but I didn’t need to understand. I could feel her pain and I was moved to tears for the poor girl. It brought back memories of the times in my life when I cried from deep within.

My dad was a tortured soul who suffered from mental illness and among other harsh restrictions he enforced on our family he forbade us kids to play with the neighbourhood children. One day when I was about 4 or 5 I just couldn’t help myself and I went out down the street in front of our home to play with some boys. When dad arrived home from work and found me playing with them he ordered me home and when we got there he ripped off a branch from a tree in our garden and whipped me with it. I was so struck by pain and fear that I wet my pants and cried uncontrollably. My little heart was completely crushed. What did I know about his mental illness? I was just a little boy and I wanted to play.

When my mum was about 8 months pregnant with my younger brother, for some reason dad got angry with her and punched her forcefully in the stomach aiming for the baby. I was 17 years old at the time. Years of pent up anger at how he mistreated and abused our mum welled up in me and I rose up in anger, confronted my dad and shoved him back and yelled at him. Then I went to my room, threw some clothes into a bag and left home. Thankfully my little brother was OK. But I cried tears of despair at our situation. I was just a boy wanting a loving home. But all throughout our childhood dad really hurt my mum and us kids.

I’m not sharing this to put my dad in a bad light. He had his own demons, having suffered terribly during his own childhood and through World War II. He passed away years ago and is in God’s hands now and I don’t have any bitterness towards him. Instead I’m grateful for him. I’m just sharing my personal experiences with tears.

And then when my wife passed away at 34 years old, that was the worst. She was in a coma for a month and eventually the doctors told me that she wouldn't make it. Telling our five children that their mum was going to pass away was really painful. We all cried together for a long time.

So I was left with the kids while I was in and out of hospital dealing with kidney failure and not sure if I was going to live through that myself. I was so smashed by what seemed to be a senseless loss of my wife and my own life and death health struggle that many times I just sobbed so bad that I couldn’t even speak. This would go on for hours. It took two years for things to settle down and for me to recover.

I know that there are plenty of people who’ve been through much, much worse experiences than me. I understand that. But those where my experiences and for me those were hard times.

But I can say that those tears were good for me. They made me what I am today and shaped my life and attitudes in a good way. Those dark experiences hurt and cut me deep. But they’ve made me more sensitive to other people and their pain and made me resolve to never purposely hurt anyone and to try to quickly apologize if ever I do.

So tears, can actually be good for us. The ancient Greek philosophers like Aristotle recognized this. They thought that tragedy and suffering had a purifying effect on the individual which purged out the bad and improved their character. And the word they used to describe the process of inner purification through tears and tragedy is translated into English as ‘catharsis’. And they brought this concept out in their famous Greek tragedy plays.

The Bible has a lot to say about tears and in it you’ll find many accounts of people who cried tears of despair. People just like you and I who went through deep dark experiences that shook them down to the core of their being.

1Samuel chapter 1 tells the story of a married, but childless woman named Hannah who went to the place of worship to pray desperately for the Lord to give her a son. The passage says that ‘She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.’

2Samuel Chapter 19 tells of Kind David weeping bitterly at the death of his son Absalom. Verse 4 says ‘The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!’

In Lamentations 3:48 we read of the prophet Jeremiah weeping bitterly over the invasion and slaughter of his people the Jews by the Babylonians. It says: My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of….my people.

In 2Kings 20 we read of King Hezekiah being told by the prophet that he will die of his illness. Verse 3 says: And Hezekiah wept bitterly

In the 4th chapter of the Book of Ruth, Mordecai the righteous Jew weeps bitterly when he learns that the Persian rulers plan to commit genocide against his people: Verse 1 says: Mordecai tore his clothes…...and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry.

In Matthew 26:75 we read how the apostle Simon Peter wept when he realized the gravity of his having denied Jesus three times. It says And he went out and wept bitterly.

Each one of these people is today considered a Biblical hero. And yet we read accounts of each one suffering periods of great sorrow. The one thing they had in common was their great faith in God. They didn’t let their tears make them bitter. Instead, they let their tears purify them and they got better. They let their tears draw them closer to God and this resulted in them being of greater use to Him and others.

Even Jesus Himself cried when his dear friend Lazarus died. John 11:35 simply says Jesus wept. So, even Jesus wasn't immune to shedding tears. And so He understands. In fact, it’s when we’re in the depths of our despair when we can feel Him closest to us. Psalm 34:18 tells us The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

And, thankfully crying usually doesn’t last long. There are only so many tears you can cry. Psalm 30:5 says Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Once you’ve cried it out, you can feel the joy of catharsis. The joy of the cleansing of your emotions, your heart and your spirit.

For now, in this world, that’s the way it sometimes has to be. But one day God will see to it that we no longer have tears. Revelation 21:4 speaking of heaven tells us And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

The tears we shed in this life will be a distant memory then. Thank God.

That’s all for today. Please support this podcast by hitting the like button, and if you want to be notified of new episodes please be sure to subscribe. May the Lord bless and keep each one of you. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
1Samuel chapter 1
2Samuel Chapter 19
Lamentations 3:48
2Kings 20
Ruth 4:1
Matthew 26:75
John 11:35
Psalm 34:18
Psalm 30:5
Revelation 21:4

Episode 41 When Your Back’s To The Wall

Hi everyone. Brother George here again. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m finally back on line again after a few weeks of battling a bout of Covid and its after effects, which wasn’t very fun, I must say. My whole family got it one after the another and it took us quite a while to get through it. But thankfully we’re all better now. And a big thanks to those of you who prayed for and encouraged us during that time. God bless you all.

Today I’m going to talk about personal crisis management. We all sometimes in life get to a point when we hit a real crisis and we don’t know how in the world we’re going to get out of it. It might be related to health, finances, family, safety or any of the myriad of problems and challenges we all face in life. What do you do in those moments when the dread and the fear of the crisis hits you right in the guts? When you realise that the situation has gotten so bad that there seems to be no way out? When you’re back’s to the wall.

Thankfully the Bible is loaded with encouraging promises that we can hang on to in times of crisis. No matter what’s happening, we can be comforted to know that God is with us and will somehow see us through whatever’s threatening us. In Isaiah 43:2-3 God promises ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.’

So even if you’re in the midst of some of the worst and most deadly natural disasters like floods and fires, God will be there to protect and deliver you, even unscathed! So that’s one strategy right there. When the storm hits, you can remind yourself of this and many other similar scripture promises of God’s presence, help and protection in times of crisis.

But don’t wait until a crisis hits you to delve into God’s Word and familiarise yourself with these promises. It’s important to strengthen your faith in God and familiarise yourself with promises such as these when things are going well for you. You need to have His Word stocked up in your mind and heart beforehand so that when the storm does hit you’ve already got them at your disposal. The Holy Spirit can bring those promises to your mind when your head is spinning with the gravity of your situation and you barely even have the presence of mind to be able to get a Bible and find something to assure you, or when you’re not even in a situation where you can stop to read and pray.

There’s also a very interesting story in the Bible that’s been a great encouragement to me over the years when I’ve found myself in these situations and I want to share it with you today. It’s the story of King Hezekiah, the godly king who found himself in a serious crisis, and how he got out of it.

Before I read the story from the Bible here’s the background. Hezekiah was the king of Judah which was the southern part of the divided kingdom of Israel. He reigned from about 715 to 685 BC. He was a very godly king, one of the few kings of the Jewish people who was obedient, who followed God with an honest and pure heart and who led his people as God instructed.

The northern part of the divided kingdom had been disobedient to God for hundreds of years and had already been invaded and conquered by the dominant world power of the day, the Assyrians, only about 20 years prior to the story I’m about to read to you. Having already conquered the north, the Assyrian king Sennacherib now had his sights set on King Hezekiah’s southern kingdom of Judah.

By about 700 BC Sennacherib had taken control of great sections of Judean territory, having seized many of the towns and cities near Jerusalem. And it was Jerusalem that was next on his agenda. Sennacherib had a massive army of hundreds of thousands of well armed, battle hardened, ruthless killers. Judah facing the might of the Assyrians was like a modern small developing nation attempting to resist an assault from a modern day military superpower. The downfall of Jerusalem, the last bastion of the nation of Israel’s resistance, seemed only a matter of time.

Here’s how the Old Testament’s 2 Kings chapters 18 and 19 describe the dramatic events. I won’t read every word, just the major sections with a little commentary in between. Here we go.

During Hezekiah’s 14th year as king, King Sennacherib of Assyria went to fight against all the strong cities of Judah. Sennacherib defeated them all. Then King Hezekiah of Judah sent a message to the king of Assyria. Hezekiah said, “…...Leave me alone, and I will pay whatever you want.” Then the king of Assyria told King Hezekiah of Judah to pay over 11 tons of silver and over 1 ton of gold. Hezekiah gave all the silver that was in the Lord’s Temple and in the king’s treasuries…. and cut off the gold…..of the Lord’s Temple and gave it to the king of Assyria.

So Hezekiah hoping to stave off seeming certain defeat offered to pay a huge amount of tribute, and King Sennacherib accepted. But unfortunately Sennacherib had no intention of being pacified with gold. Instead he took the money and went straight back to his march on Jerusalem. Let’s continue...

The king of Assyria sent his three most important officers with a large army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem…..The commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah this is what the great king, the king of Assyria says:

And these messengers then went on a lengthy rant of threats, intimidation and trash talk with the aim of persuading Hezekiah to surrender. They tried to undermine the representative’s trust in Hezekiah and the Lord by telling them not to trust in him nor to trust in their God, and they’ve already conquered all before them and that Judah had no hope and they might as well give up now. Let’s continue...

Then the palace manager, the royal secretary, and the record keeper went to Hezekiah. Their clothes were torn to show they were upset. They told Hezekiah everything the Assyrian commander had said.

In those days tearing your clothes was a way of expressing extreme emotion or distress.

When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes to show he was upset. Then he…..went to the Lord’s Temple.

Hezekiah then sent messengers to seek advice from the prophet Isaiah. And Isaiah sent a message back to the king which said the following: The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid of what you heard from the commanders. Don’t believe what those “boys” from the king of Assyria said to make fun of me…...I will cut him down with a sword in his own country.’”

In the meantime Sennacherib sent a written message to Hezekiah through his representatives containing more threats, intimidation and trash talk. It was obvious that he was dead set determined to carry out his plans to totally crush Judah unless Hezekiah willingly surrendered. Let’s continue reading because here we get to the part where we learn what to do in a backs to the wall crisis.

Hezekiah received the letters from the messengers and read them. Then he went up to the Lord’s Temple and laid the letters out in front of the Lord. Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “Lord, God of Israel, you sit as King above the Cherub angels. You alone are the God who rules all the kingdoms on earth. You made heaven and earth. Lord, please listen to me. Lord, open your eyes and look at this message. Hear the words that Sennacherib sent to insult the living God. It is true, Lord. The kings of Assyria did destroy all those nations. They did throw the gods of those nations into the fire. But they were not real gods. They were only wood and stone—statues that people made. That is why the kings of Assyria could destroy them. But you are the Lord our God, so please save us from the king of Assyria. Then all the other nations will know that you, Lord, are the only God.”

What a powerful prayer of faith in the midst of a seemingly unsolvable crisis! So how did God respond? After more drama in between here’s how God intervened. The scripture says….

That night the angel of the Lord went out and killed 185,000 people in the Assyrian camp. When the others got up in the morning, they saw all the dead bodies. So King Sennacherib of Assyria left and went back to Nineveh where he stayed.

Seeing the slaughter of his army, Sennacherib gave up his march on Jerusalem and retreated to Nineveh, the capital city of his Kingdom. And the passage goes on to say...

One day Sennacherib was in the temple of his god Nisroch, worshipping him. His sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with a sword and ran away to Ararat. So his son Esarhaddon became the new king of Assyria.

This was a fulfillment of the prophecies Isaiah gave.

Now the Bible doesn’t give details of how the angel of the Lord put an end to 185,000 of King Sennacherib’s army. Whether the angel of the Lord killed them directly or used some human or natural agent isn’t revealed. But that’s not important. What is important is the example of how Hezekiah’s faith and his prayer saved him and his kingdom in the face of a deadly enemy.

How about you? Are you facing a personal crisis right now? No matter what it is, no matter even if you’ve got your back to the wall and there seems no way out, remember this story. Remember how Hezekiah threw himself at the mercy of God, laid out the problem before Him and said ‘Lord...You alone are the God who rules all the kingdoms on earth. You made heaven and earth. Lord, please listen to me….please save us from the king of Assyria.

If you’re not a believer yet, receive Jesus as your Savior today and put your trust in Him to come through for you. If you’re already a believer strengthen your faith today by familiarising yourself with the many promises of God’s care for you in the Bible.

Thanks for listening everyone. Please be sure to hit the like button, subscribe to this podcast and leave a positive comment if you can. Looking forward to you joining me next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Isaiah 43:2-3
2 Kings chapters 18 and 19

Episode 42 Who Is The Devil?

Hi everyone. Brother George here with another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me.

Episodes 6, 7 and 19 of this podcast were dedicated to explaining who the major spiritual characters of the Bible are. That is God, His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Today I’m going to talk about the enemy of the Holy Trinity, the devil.

You might be surprised to know that surveys reveal that fewer people claim to believe in the existence of the devil than there are who believe in God. I guess that’s because it’s more comforting, inspiring and hopeful to believe in God, but belief in the devil can for some people be scary. But the reality is that the devil does exist and makes appearances in and is spoken of throughout the Old and New Testaments. So, if we trust what the scriptures tell us about God and Jesus and thus we believe in them, we’ve got to take the whole package and believe what the scriptures say about the devil and his dirty work. In fact it’s extremely important that we recognise his existence and ability to cause us and others tremendous damage and misery if we allow him to. 1 Peter 5:8 says ‘Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.’ In 2 Corinthians 2:11The apostle Paul warns us that we should not be ignorant of the devil’s designs so that he won’t be able to gain an advantage over us.

Now before I go any further I want to make it crystal clear that the Bible emphasises that we have no need to be afraid of the devil. This reminds me of an experience I had in about 1985 when doing evangelistic work in Copenhagen, Denmark. A fellow missionary friend and I were passing out Gospel literature on a busy shopping street and this one young fellow stopped to talk with my partner. Having gotten a Gospel pamphlet and noticing it was about Jesus he thought he’d try to intimidate and scare my partner. So he turned to my friend and said in a menacing manner something like ‘I don’t believe in Jesus. I believe in Satan. I worship him’. I was pretty young at the time and fairly new to missionary work and I was kind of shocked. I’d never heard anything like that before. But my partner was thankfully older and a seasoned street fighting missionary so he looked at the guy and basically laughed in his face as he shot back with something like ‘What? You worship Satan? He was defeated 2000 years ago by Jesus on the cross!’. Well that took the wind out of the poor guys sails and he nothing more to say. And I thought ‘Yeah that’s right’.

OK, so who is the devil?

In the scriptures and popular culture he’s known by various names such as, the devil, Satan, Lucifer, the wicked one, the evil one, the serpent, the god of this world, the Prince of Darkness or the Father of Lies. The Biblical Hebrew word for the name ‘Satan’ means ‘accuser’ or ‘adversary’, terms which accurately describe his activities.

Isaiah chapter 14 and Ezekiel chapter 28 tell us that Satan was originally a stunningly beautiful and powerful angelic being created by God who held an important position in God’s kingdom. Unfortunately sometime in between his creation and the time he tempted Adam and Eve he became lifted up in pride, unsatisfied with his Heavenly position and jealous of God’s authority. He wanted to not only be a powerful angel, he wanted to be God and worshipped as God. So he rebelled against God and the scripture indicates that he persuaded one third of the heavenly angels to join him in the rebellion. At that point he and the other angels either left heaven of their own accord or were cast out by God. Thus the devil began his relentless, treasonous campaign of attempting to usurp God’s authority and to try to persuade us to likewise rebel.

The devil and his demons basically do the opposite of everything God and His angels do.

  •  God is the creator of beauty, order and perfection for His and our pleasure. The devil is the destroyer and the author of confusion.
  •   God gives life. Jesus said the devil was a murderer from the beginning.    
  •   God tells us the truth. Jesus said that the devil is a liar and there is no truth in him.
  •   God calls us to obey Him. The devil tempts us to disobey God.
  •   God wants us to be happy and healthy. The devil wants us miserable, sick and even dead.

Here are some other things the devil tries to do:

  • He tries to get us to disbelieve in or doubt God    
  •  He tempts us to sin and then he turns around and accuses us when we do sin.    
  •  He demands that God punishes us.    
  •  He tries to make us live in worry and fear rather than peace and trust.
  •  He tries to plant all kinds of negative thoughts into our minds.
  •  If we are doing our best to obey God then he tries to get us to take the credit for it.     

There’s a lot more but I think you get the picture. And he does all that in order to keep unbelievers from God and to try to turn believers against God.

So how does the devil operate? Principally through the mind. Just as God usually doesn’t intervene directly in our lives or manifest Himself openly towards us, but rather speaks to us through our mind and heart, the devil does the same. Always trying to get in a word, butting in, even pestering us to try to get us to go the wrong direction. He’s like an annoying fly, always seeming to buzz around trying to find a way through our spiritual defences.

OK. So how do we avoid falling into the devil’s temptations and yielding to his influence?

Well the first thing to realise is that he has no power over us IF we’re in a close relationship with God and obedient to Him. While he does have tremendous power to cause all sorts of misery and destruction, those who have Jesus and have their hearts right with Him have absolutely nothing to worry about. If you haven’t received Jesus into your heart then do so now and let Him free you from the devil’s grip on your life. Please listen to episode 9 of this podcast for more about how to be saved. If you are saved, stay close to Jesus and obedient to Him. And if at times you feel like the devil is attacking you through temptation or negative thoughts then go on the attack and fight back. James 4:7 says ‘Submit yourself therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.’ If you resist him in the name of Jesus, he’s bound by the laws of God to back off. He has to.  

When Jesus was severely tempted by the devil He quoted scriptures in response and that really sent the enemy running with his tail between his legs because he really hates hearing the white hot truth of the Word of God. I John 2:14 says ‘The word of God lives in you and you have overcome the wicked one

When Jesus came across people who were demon possessed he confronted the demons in them and commanded them to leave, and they did.

Let the light into the room of your mind. Fill your mind with positive and faith building thoughts from God and His word and there won’t be any room for the darkness of the enemy and his lies, discouragements and temptations. Just refuse to give the devil a foothold in your life. Keep busy carrying out God’s will for your life and pay the devil no attention.

The devil is a persistent troublemaker, but if you do all these things, he will eventually retreat and leave you alone.

OK. So now you know the devil as the lying faker and impostor that he is. Like I said, it’s really important to be aware of his activities and strategies against us. But we don’t need to fear him or even think too much about him. Just beat him off when he tries to poke his nose into your life, but most of all keep your minds and hearts focused on Jesus, obeying Him and carrying out His will for your life and you’ll be fine.

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks a lot for listening. If you want to receive notification of new episodes please subscribe. Please also hit the like button and post a positive comment if you can. Looking forward to you joining me next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
1 Peter 5:8
2 Corinthians 2:11
Isaiah chapter 14
Ezekiel chapter 28
James 4:7
I John 2:14
Episode 43 The Name Of Jesus

Hi everyone. Welcome to another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks for joining me from wherever you are in the world. And if it’s your first time to listen in, a warm welcome to you. And if you like this podcast please be sure to subscribe.

The other day I was exchanging messages with a friend who had listened to last week’s episode ‘Who Is The Devil?’, where among other things I said that if we resist the devil in the name of Jesus, he’s bound by the laws of God to back off. So my friend and I talked about our own experiences uttering His name in time of need. And it brought to mind the many times when the devil attacked me in my sleep with disturbing dreams, even with physical manifestations. It’s always a very similar experience. I get attacked and there’s a real struggle to fight back because physically I feel I’m being held down or hindered in some way, so the only weapon I have is the name of Jesus and it’s even a struggle to get that out of my mouth. But the moment I blurt it out, the devil backs off, the dream ends, and I wake up relieved.

There’s tremendous power and spiritual energy in the name of Jesus. It’s like a magic password to personal victory and a nuclear warhead dropped on the forces of evil.

The Bible has a lot to say about this. The New Testament is loaded with scriptures that emphasize the power of His name and I’m going to read some of them for you now under a few different categories.

The significance and authority of Jesus’ name:
Philippians 2:9-10 ‘Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth 

Salvation only in Jesus’ name:
Acts 4:12 ‘And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved

Praying in Jesus’ name:
John 16:23 ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

Ephesians 5:20 ‘giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Casting out demons in Jesus’ name
Acts 16:18 ‘Paul....spoke to the demon within her. “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her,” he said. And instantly it left her 

Centering our lives and activities around Jesus’ name:
Matthew 18:20 ‘For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.’

Colossians 3:17 ‘And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus..

And here’s a story from Acts 3-4 that shows just how much the early apostles believed in and harnessed the power of the name of Jesus to change the world. It’s long so I’ll just read the main parts.

‘One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate…...where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate…..and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

The priests and the captain of the temple guard…..came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail.
The next day...They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth….that this man stands before you healed.

So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.’

What a powerful display of faith, healing and courage in the name of Jesus.

It’s Jesus that distinguishes Christianity from every other religion. We can speak of God and pray directly to Him as much as we want, but which god are we talking about and praying to? There are plenty of gods, but when we say the name of Jesus we’re really hitting the bullseye, we’re zeroing in on the creator of heaven and earth, the Savior mediator through whom we must go through to get to the one true God.

1 Timothy 2:5 says ‘For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

John 14:6 says ‘Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’

We can only be saved in His name, we should pray in His name, we can resist and fight off the devil in His name, perform miracles in His name, heal in His name and we should center our lives and activities around His name.

The devil isn’t so afraid of the name ‘God’, but he’s terrified at the name of Jesus and is bound by the laws of God to submit and obey when commanded to in His name. So, when you are attacked by the devil with evil thoughts, temptation, depression, anger, fear, or whatever else he’s throwing at you attack him back in the name of Jesus. Speak the name of Jesus, sing a song with the name of Jesus, pray with authority in the name of Jesus and you can be sure the devil will cower and retreat in obedience.

Thanks for listening everyone. I’m looking forward to you joining me next time. God bless you all. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Philippians 2:9-10
Acts 4:12
John 16:23
Ephesians 5:20
Acts 16:18
Matthew 18:20
Colossians 3:17
Acts 3-4
1 Timothy 2:5
John 14:6

Episode 44 Forgiving Others

Hello everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks for joining me.

One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive those who’ve wronged us. I don’t think there would be anyone listening to this who hasn’t experienced feelings of anger and resentment in response to being unjustly treated. I’m sure you all know how hard it is to forgive and forget. While it can be almost excruciatingly painful and difficult to do, it’s almost universally accepted that forgiveness is a virtue that’s important to cultivate, and not just among religious people. Mental health professionals, psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical experts affirm that forgiveness brings positive health benefits and likewise unforgiveness leads to negative health outcomes.

So what is the act of forgiveness? University of Berkely California based Greater Good Magazine sums it up like this: Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.  

That’s a great definition. Another simple definition is: The cancelling of a debt.

The Bible not only encourages us to forgive, it commands us to. No other religion, philosophy or code of ethics emphasizes forgiveness more than the Bible. Jesus commanded it repeatedly, even tying the level of forgiveness we receive from God to how much we forgive others.

In Matthew 6:14-15 He said, ‘For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’

Now that’s not making our salvation dependent on how much we forgive others. We’re forgiven all our sins and granted eternal life if we receive Jesus and ask for His forgiveness. What it does mean is that if in our day to day lives we don’t forgive other’s sins it damages our relationship with God. He can’t overlook our sin of unforgiveness and thus can’t bless, protect or reward us as much as He would like to.

So how do we do this and do we always have to forgive? Here’s what Jesus had to say about it.

Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (We would assume that Peter was asking this because he was having a hard time forgiving someone) Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Some translations say 70 times 7 or 490 times)
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. (For simplicity’s sake let’s say that that’s the modern equivalent of 10 million dollars. A massive debt.) And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, (For simplicity’s sake let’s say that’s equivalent to just 10 dollars) and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.

The king in this story represents God and the two debtor servants people like you and I. The unforgiving servant’s sin towards God and the debt he owed God was of far greater significance than the comparatively minuscule debt owed by his fellow servant to him personally. Just as our sin towards God is far more profound than anything others could do to us. He’s our creator not them. Recognizing the enormity of our sins towards God compared with the insignificance of anything anyone could do to us helps us to put things into perspective and makes it easier for us to forgive others.

And by replying ‘seventy-seven’ or ‘seventy times seven’ Jesus made it clear that there’s no limit to how much we should forgive.

Well that brings us to the question ‘What if the other person isn’t sorry, doesn’t apologize or their apology isn’t deep enough?’ Good question. It’s hard enough to forgive even when sincerely apologized to, but where there’s no apology or a shallow one then things get tough.

Jesus Himself gave us a beautiful example when He suffered the ultimate offence, the Son of God crucified by His enemies. In the midst of unspeakable agony on the cross he prayed ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do’. (Luke 23:34) The Roman soldiers mocked Him, flogged Him, spat on Him, assaulted Him, put a crown of thorns on His head, gambled for his clothes and carried out the execution. The Jewish religious leaders who urged governor Pilate to crucify Jesus also mocked him as He was on the cross. There's no account of any of them showing any sign of remorse. Yet, Jesus asked His Father to forgive them. This doesn’t mean that God did forgive them, because they weren’t repentant. What it does mean is that Jesus let go of any ill feeling and desire for vengeance towards his tormentors and He put them in His Father’s hands.

That was Jesus being an example of loving His enemies as He Himself commanded in Matthew 5:44 where He said, ‘But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’.

Praying positively for those who mistreat us is like dropping an atom bomb on feelings of resentment and desires for payback. It is hard to do, but if Jesus could do it under those circumstances He can sure help us do the same.

Here are some other verses where the apostle Paul reinforces Jesus’ commandment to forgive.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.’

Romans 12:17-19
‘Repay no one evil for evil.….never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”’
That’s a good concept to keep in mind. If there’s any judgment to be done, that’s God’s job, not ours.

An unforgiving attitude can lead to deep seated bitterness which the Bible warns can lead to all sorts of personal problems and bleed into and corrupt our relations with others. Hebrews 12:15 says ‘See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;’

On the other hand, forgiveness cleanses our minds and hearts of the anger, hurt and pain and fills us with the peace of God. It can also restore and maintain relationships, keep the peace and help build communities.

Of course it doesn’t condone the bad behaviour, and it also doesn’t mean we still trust that person, but it does open the door for them to apologize and do their part to help restore the relationship.

If you’re having a hard time forgiving or have roots of bitterness in your life take Jesus’ commandment to heart. Forgive and forget today. The love of God in your heart will give you the supernatural will power to forgive and you’ll be amazed at the positive, cleansing effect it will have on you.

Finally, here’s a quote attributed to a man called Lewis B Smedes:

‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.’

That’s all for today. As usual you can find all the scripture references in the show notes if you want to look them up. Please be sure to subscribe in order to receive notification of new episodes. May God bless each one of you. Bye.
Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 6:14-15
Matthew 18:21-35
Luke 23:34
Matthew 5:44
Ephesians 4:32
Romans 12:17-19
Hebrews 12:15

Episode 45 Winning The Battle Of The Mind

Hi everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast where I try to give you easy to understand, down to earth insight into the life transforming word of God found in the Bible. I’m Brother George. Thanks for joining me today. And if you like this podcast please be sure to hit pause for a moment and tap the subscribe or follow button so you can receive notification of new episodes.

You know so much of the intense battlefield of life plays out in our minds. The mind is the part of our consciousness where we think, evaluate, form opinions and make decisions. So what happens in there is crucial to our happiness and success or failure in life.

The instant we wake up we can sense the beginnings of the daily battle of our thoughts. There’s this constant, never ending whirlwind of thoughts passing through our minds and it takes quite a bit of effort to put things in order, to prioritize, to block out the distractions and the negative and to ensure that we’re making good decisions. No wonder when someone makes a bad decision they might later think ‘What was I thinking? I must have been out of my mind!’ It’s absolutely vital that we win the war of the mind. Defeat can lead to confusion and unhappiness, wasted time, and at worst going completely astray and even complete mental breakdown.

So how can we ensure that we win the battle of the mind? The Bible has plenty to say about this.

Receiving Jesus and connecting with God through Him enables you to reverse the old thinking patterns of your mind that have caused you so much trouble. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ’ This is the concept of being born again, putting the old you in the past and embracing the new you. The new creature that has set aside the old destructive thought patterns inherited by our sinful human nature and learned from the world around us.

The apostle Paul drew a distinct line between the accepted way of thinking of society and the way a Christian should think when he gave the following advice to the converts in Rome. In Romans 12:2 he advised them ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

Paul is saying that before you received Jesus your mind operated in accordance with the norms of the society in which you live, ‘the world’ he called it. But now that you’ve become a Christian, your life is supposed to get transformed. Where your mind goes, so goes your body and your tongue. So a transformed mind leads to transformed words and actions. How? By the renewing of your mind, he said. So that you’ll know the will of God, so that you’ll make good decisions that lead to good actions.

So where do our thoughts originate from in the first place? Now I know that psychologists and neuroscientists don’t fully understand the psychological and biological details of how thoughts are generated. So I don’t want to dive into the science of it all. But I can think of the following four origins of thought that compete for space and influence in our heads.

1. Our own personal consciousness and thoughts generated from within. The Bible calls this our natural man. The mind of the flesh. It can at times be right, if we listen to our consciences and use God given common sense and reasoning. But it can also be completely off track as well if we don’t partner it with God. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says ‘But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned

2. Other people. This is of course a major influence in our lives. When you think about it, the influence we get from outside sources, from the TV and the news media, social media, books and magazines, entertainment, and those around us is more profound than most of us realize. But unless our sources are godly they can lead us wildly astray. 1 Corinthians 3:19 says ‘For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.’ And many of the so called experts and scientists, politicians, commentators. entertainers and the like are also labelled fools by God. Romans 1:22 speaks of such ungodly elites saying ‘Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools

3. God. Via His Holy Spirit He’s like a radio station constantly broadcasting and always trying break past numbers 1 and 2 to get through to us and influence our thoughts and get us on the right track. God speaks to us primarily through His Word and the Bible says that the Holy Spirit brings to our mind what the Bible says when we need it. John 14:26 ‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name...will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you’ Those are the words of Jesus.

And number 4. The devil. As I explained in episode 42 ‘Who Is The Devil?’, his main avenue of attack is through our minds. And if we let him into our thoughts the results can be devastating. His goal is to totally derail you, get you into all sorts of misbehaviour, bad attitudes, addictions and other problems and if possible drive you completely out of your mind. Unfortunately this has happened to a lot of people. Just look around. That’s why 1 Peter 5:8 warns us ‘Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.’ Don’t let him into your mind.

No matter who you are whether non believer, new believer or long time Christian, you need a renewal of your natural mind and constant renewal on a day to day basis. You need a good rewiring, cleansing and godly brainwashing of the old thoughts of the old person and transformation into the new. How is this done? Primarily through the Word of God, the Bible. The more you read it the more it’s content enters your mind and pushes out the old corrupt content and fills it with the new. First of all the Bible cleanses your dirty mind as Jesus said in John 15:3 ‘Now you are clean through the words that I have spoken to you.’ And a steady and constant diet in God’s word keeps it clean and is also a defence against the mind attacks of the devil when he tries to butt in and tempt you or hit you with evil or negative thoughts.

It’s also vital to evaluate what input you’re getting into your mind from outside sources. Just like you are what you eat, you are also what you watch, read and listen to. Are your outside sources Godly? Are they leading you in the right direction, inspiring you to follow God, to think and behave in loving and godly ways? Or are they full of the foolishness of this world, shallow, materialistic, time wasters, perverted, or worse? I’m not saying that every outside influence is bad. It depends who it’s coming from. If it’s good and helpful then that’s great, you need that. But we should choose the good and avoid the evil.

So how do we know what thoughts, no matter what the origin, are godly and are to be accepted and what should be ignored and blocked out? By looking at everything through the filter of God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 says ‘For the word of God is living and powerful….and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. '

The more you become familiar with the Word of God, the more you take on His mind, the more your own mind will become clean and pure and you can more easily recognize unhelpful or even corrupt thoughts and influences from the devil and others and reject them.

So what about you? Is your mind cluttered up with all manner of confusion or unhealthy thoughts leading you astray? Give yourself a thorough ‘brainwashing’ today with a solid dose of God’s word the Bible and other godly materials. ‘Unfriend’, ‘cancel your subscriptions to’ or ‘block’ outside negative influences and keep them out and you’ll be well on your way to winning the battle of the mind and living a happier and more successful life.

And if you haven’t already done so receive Jesus as your savior by asking Him into your heart today. I’ll include the salvation prayer in the show notes below. You can also listen to episode 9 for more about salvation through Jesus.

That’s all for today everyone. God bless you all. See you next time. Bye.

Bible verses:
2 Corinthians 5:17
Romans 12:2
1 Corinthians 2:14
1 Corinthians 3:19
Romans 1:22
John 14:26
1 Peter 5:8
John 15:3
Hebrews 4:12

Salvation prayer:
Dear Jesus,
I believe that you are the Son of God
Please come into my heart and life
I know that I have sinned and have been unloving
Please forgive my sins
And give me your gift of eternal life
Please help me to love God and others
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Episode 46 The True Voice Of The Prophets

Hi everyone. Welcome again to another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

Today I’m going to give you the first of a short series of episodes that delve into the fascinating world of Bible prophecies regarding historical events of the past as well as the future of human history, the promised second coming of Jesus and what happens after that.

One of the most convincing proofs of the truth and authenticity of the Bible is the extraordinarily accurate fulfilment of many hundreds of prophecies given by God to the ancient prophets. Today I’m going to share just a few examples of such prophecies that were fulfilled down to the minute details hundreds, even thousands of years after they were recorded. Learning of the pinpoint accuracy of the already fulfilled prophecies about the past should give you rock solid confidence that whatever the Bible predicts about the future will also come to pass just as surely.

Let’s first take a look at what the Bible says about God giving prophetic insight to His people.

The prophet Amos said in Amos 3:7 ‘For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets’.

The apostle Paul said in 2 Peter 1:19 ‘We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it……

And Jesus said in John 13:19 ‘I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.

While God generally operates behind the scenes, He does speak through the prophets. He doesn’t leave us completely to ourselves and in the dark. In His love for us He sends His messengers to give us His word and even to give us insight into future events. Sometimes they’re glimpses of the bright future He has in store for humanity so that we can look forward to it. Sometimes it’s forewarning of terrible things to come so that we can be prepared. No matter what it is, the scripture tells us that it is sure and it can be trusted.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most notable fulfilled prophecies of the Bible.

By far the most outstanding of the fulfilled Bible prophecies are those concerning the coming of the Messiah. The Old Testament contains over 300 prophecies dating to from as far back as the days of Adam and Eve 4000 years before His birth that predicted remarkable details about His coming, the manner of His birth, His ministry and the events surrounding his betrayal and crucifixion. Here are just a few.

His coming to earth predicted:
In Isaiah 9:6 the prophet Isaiah looks 700 years into the future and writes: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The timing of His coming and crucifixion predicted:
Based on these and other unquestionable prophecies, for thousands of years God’s people waited expectantly for the Messiah’s arrival. But for the most part they just didn’t know when. Until around 538 BC when the arc angel Gabriel gave the prophet Daniel a very specific timeline detailing a 483 year period starting with a commandment given by Persian king Artaxerxes to allow the Jewish people to rebuild their temple and ending with the death of the Messiah. This prophecy was so specific that in the Gospels there are several references to people who were expecting to see the Messiah in their lifetime because the 483 year period was coming to a close. Sure enough 483 years after this commandment was given, Jesus was crucified. You can find this remarkable prophecy in Daniel chapter 9. I’ll include a link in the show notes of an explanatory video class about it if you’d like to study it in detail.

The place of His birth predicted:
Also around 700 years before Christ’s birth the prophet Micah predicted it’s exact location. Micah 5:2 says “But you, Bethlehem..., Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.
And of course Matthew 2:1 tells us this was fulfilled precisely. It says ‘Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem 

His betrayal for 30 pieces of silver predicted:
Around 500 years before the event, the prophet Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. In Zechariah 11:12 he wrote ‘Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
Matthew 26:15 describes the fulfillment in Judas making the betrayal deal with the Jewish leaders by telling us ‘and [he] said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver 

The Bible also contains a wealth of other prophecies foretelling significant events such as the rise and fall of specific nations and empires, the future and fate of specific individuals, the names of people who appeared in the future and more. Here are a just few of the already fulfilled predictions. I won’t read all the scriptures because it would take too long. I’ll include some of them in the show notes below if you want to look them up.

  • In the Book of Kings an unnamed prophet confronts Jeroboam the disobedient and idol worshipping king of the ten northern tribes of Israel and prophesies that in the future a righteous person from the lineage of Kind David named Josiah would one day rule and institute reforms in the land that would overthrow idol worship and turn the people back to God. This occurred about 300 years later and the ruler’s name was indeed Josiah. 1 Kings 13:1-3, 2 Kings 22-23
  • Old Testament prophets such as Micah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah and Isaiah accurately predicted that disobedient Israel would be invaded by the Babylonians, Jerusalem destroyed, and that the Jews would be taken into captivity for 70 years and then released. Jeremiah 25:11-12
  • Isaiah prophesied that in the future a Persian king called Cyrus would perform God’s will by allowing the displaced Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their city. Isaiah accurately gave his very name and predicted his actions over 100 years beforehand, before Cyrus was even born! Isaiah 44:28, 2 Chronicles 36:22–23
  • The prophet Isaiah predicted the overthrow of the Babylonians by the Medo-Persians. And the prophet Daniel predicted that world domination by the Babylonians would be followed by the Medo-Persians and then by the Grecian empire. Isaiah 13:17-19, Daniel 5:30-31, Daniel 8:20-22
  • Jesus  correctly prophesied that one day the magnificent Jewish temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed and that not one rock would be left standing upon another. This was fulfilled about 40 years later when the Romans led by General Titus crushed a Jewish revolt by invading Jerusalem. They set fire to the temple and literally tore it apart until not one stone was left standing upon another in order to get at all the gold that had melted and run between the stones--just as Jesus had prophesied! Matthew 24:1-2

Depending on how you calculate it between one quarter and one third of the Bible is prophetic. Hundreds and hundreds of those prophecies are already fulfilled exactly as the Bible foretold. And you don’t have to just take the Bible’s word for it. Many of them are thoroughly confirmed by outside sources and secular historians. I could go on and on detailing them all. But I’ll leave some links to resources in the show notes if you want to check some of those out as well.

And there are yet many that remain unfulfilled regarding the exciting events to come leading up to Jesus’ return and beyond that into eternity. And we can be absolutely sure that every single one of those will be fulfilled just as surely as past prophecies. I’ll be going over those with you in upcoming episodes.

That’s all for today. Thanks for joining me. God bless each one of you. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Amos 3:7
2 Peter 1:19
John 13:19
Isaiah 9:6
Daniel chapter 9
Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:1
Zechariah 11:12
Matthew 26:15
1 Kings 13:1-3
2 Kings 22-23
Jeremiah 25:11-12
Isaiah 44:28
2 Chronicles 36:22–23
Isaiah 13:17-19
Daniel 5:30-31
Dan. 8:20-22
Matthew 24:1-2

Video class: 483 years until Messiah is crucified: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lcye3OtZS64

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled In Jesus Christ

Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible

The Old Testament Is Filled with Fulfilled Prophecy

Episode 47 The Return Of The Conquering King

Hi everyone. Brother George here again. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. Before we go any further, if you like this podcast be sure to hit the like button and also please subscribe so you’ll be notified of new episodes.

This is the second of a short series covering Bible prophecy. In my last episode I recounted some of the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies predicting the first coming of Jesus as well as other significant historical events that preceded His coming. As I explained all were fulfilled exactly as foretold hundreds, even thousands of years beforehand.

Today we’re going to take a look into prophecies regarding the future. And we can be just as sure of the fulfillment of these prophecies as we can of those already fulfilled.

But first of all, why is this important? Can’t we just live a simple life in the present moment and not have to think about the future? No, not really. There are ancient Bible prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes today and today’s events are the lead up to the earth shaking events predicted that are to come. These events are having a major effect on the world and our lives today and will increasingly in the future. Knowing this information is vital because it will help you to understand the world situation, help you develop a world view based on these facts, get your priorities straight and get you prepared for what’s ahead. And make no mistake, the ancient prophecies regarding the future will come to pass just as surely as those regarding the past did.

So did Jesus really promise His followers that He would someday return to earth for a second time? He sure did. He talked about it several times and after His death and ascension to Heaven the apostles confirmed it over and over. They expected it to happen just as Jesus said and lived their lives accordingly. Let’s look at a few of the scriptures.

In Matthew 16:27 Jesus told His disciples ‘For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.’

In John 14:2-3 speaking of His soon coming death and ascent to Heaven Jesus said ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (Jesus is talking about Heaven and the fabulous living accommodations He’s preparing for us) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

And here’s a confirmation from two spiritual beings to those who were there witnessing His ascension to Heaven. Acts 1:10-11 ‘They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” 

How exciting is that going to be?! He’s coming back just as the scriptures promised. And those are promises we can count on. Prophecies that will be fulfilled just as accurately as the Old Testament prophecies of His first coming. And just as the Old Testament predicted many specifics regarding His first coming, the New Testament gives us a lot of information about the second, and there are some very distinct differences.

The first time He came was for the express purpose of eventually paying the price of death for our sins in our place. He came as a helpless child. He experienced life as we did so that He could understand our frail human experience. He came to be the face of the unseen God, to represent Him in human form, to us teach His word and show us what He’s like. He meekly offered every human the opportunity to freely accept or reject forgiveness and salvation through Him. And in spite of being the creator and king of the universe, when He was rejected He didn’t fight back to forcefully defend Himself and rightfully claim what was His. He willingly allowed Himself to be humiliated and executed.

Since that time, He’s given humanity, up until now, 2000 years to either receive or accept His salvation. But that window of opportunity will one day, perhaps soon, come to a close when He returns.

His second coming in contrast will be a stunning victorious return of an exiled ruler. The Lamb of God who was rejected by men, whose kingdom was wrongfully taken from Him and who finally returns as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah to forcefully reclaim the kingdom for His own and to rescue His loyal followers from the clutches of His and their enemies.

Here are some scriptures that describe the nature of His second coming.

Jesus Himself described the event like this. Matthew 24:27-31 ‘For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man ….the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

And the apostle Paul elaborated by saying in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ‘For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.’ And in Revelation 11:15 the apostle John revealed ‘Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”

Here are some key points from what we’ve read:   
  • The second coming of Christ will be a literal invasion from the spirit world with the sky lighting up in the greatest light show of all time that will be visible from one end of the earth to the other.
  • There will be supernatural signs and phenomena occurring in both the heavens and the earth.    
  • Angels will be present shouting proclamations and at least one blowing a trumpet to herald the event
  • The followers of Jesus will be overjoyed as His angels gather them to soar up into the heavens to be with Him forever.
  • Those who hate Him will be shocked, devastated and deeply disturbed.
  • It will mark the end of the temporal disastrous kingdoms of man and the beginning of His eternal reign of love.    
  • Both the saved and the unsaved will be judged and rewarded according to their deeds on earth.     
Now there’s a lot more prophetic detail regarding His coming and how it actually plays out and maybe I’ll get into that another time. But those are the highlights.

So, when will this happen? Well, it won’t be today or tomorrow because there are a few more events in human history that have to occur first about which the Bible gives very specific information. And that is what I’ll talk about in the next episode.

Thanks a lot for joining me today. As usual, you can find the Bible references to all the scripture used in this episode in the show notes below. Lots of love to all you guys. Looking forward to you joining me next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 16:27
John 14:2-3
Acts 1:10-11
Matthew 24:27-31
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Revelation 11:15
Episode 48 The Signs Of His Return

Hi everyone. Brother George here again. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast.

This is the third episode in a short series covering Bible prophecy, and particularly what it tells us about the future. Last week I shared the scriptures that promise a second coming of Jesus to this earth. Promises that will be fulfilled just as surely as the hundreds of prophecies that predicted His first coming. The question remains then, ‘When will He return?’

Jesus’ disciples asked Him this exact question in Matthew chapter 24. And in reply He gave them a long list of signs to look out for that will lead up to His coming. And the prophet Daniel as well as apostles Paul and John also shared other inside information that when combined with what Jesus said give us a package of extremely clear sign posts to watch for.

So let’s read what the Bible has to say about when Jesus returns. I’m going start by reading excerpts from the discussion found in Matthew 24.

3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (‘the end of the age’ means the end of the age of human history and the kingdoms of man prior to the second coming and the beginning of the eternal kingdom of God)

Jesus replied... 
  •  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.
  •  For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.    
  •  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
  •  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.      
  •  All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Jesus compared the progression of human history until His second coming to a pregnancy, which is a very taxing, challenging and sometimes dangerous experience. During labour, a woman experiences, painful muscle contractions called birth pangs. But it ends in the most joyful and thrilling experience a woman can have, giving birth to a beautiful new living soul. The signs He spoke of are like the beginning of the extremely intense last stretch of human history immediately before the thrill and exhilaration of His return and the birth of His eternal Kingdom.

Lets go over those signs:

War: Prior to World Wars I and II war had never been truly universal. But these two horror conflicts dragged in virtually every major nation on the globe and resulted in a combined tragic loss of up to 100 million lives. There have been over 150 conflicts all over the globe since then and tens more millions of lives lost. Think Vietnam, the Korean Peninsula, Palestine and Israel, Iraq, Croatia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Yemen, and now Russian and Ukraine, just to name a few. There's certainly been an unprecedented frequency and severity of conflict and what’s worse is that we now possess massive stockpiles of the most terrifying and brutal weapons of mass destruction ever known, that if used, have the capability to bring a complete end to humanity.

Famines: The harsh reality is that over 1 billion of our fellow inhabitants of the earth live on less than 1 US$ per day and suffer from hunger. Famine and hunger on this scale is a modern human tragedy and another sign of the birth pangs.

False Christs: In recent years we’ve seen a marked rise in interest in satanism, witchcraft, the occult and all manner of new age religions and belief systems and a steep rise in people claiming that they are some sort of prophet, messiah or Christ. Expect more of this.  

Earthquakes: Seismologists tell us that the modern emergence of densely populated cities and mega cities has guaranteed that the severity of earthquakes will increase in the modern age. We’ve seen that just in the last 20 or so years with major earthquakes and even resultant tsunamis in places such the Indian Ocean, Haiti, Sichuan in China, Kashmir in Pakistan, Bam in Iran, and Tohoku in Japan. Just these 6 incidents alone combined to result in the perishing of over 600,000 people. No doubt there is more to come of this birth pang.

Ok, those are the beginning signs, now things heat up with more birth pangs:

  • “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.       
  • Many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.    
  • And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.          
  • And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.    
  • And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

False prophets: The modern phenomena of telecommunications, modern media and social media has for the first time in history given those who have something to say a global voice. Among the multitudes of voices out there are countless false prophets who while claiming to be voices of truth and justice are full of the foolish wisdom of man and do nothing but lead people astray, as Jesus predicted.

The Gospel preached to all the world: Thankfully modern media has also facilitated the preaching of the Gospel to the four corners of the earth like never before. That’s another sign of His soon coming, God giving all people a chance to hear the Gospel beforehand.

And while all that is happening lawlessness and social unrest will increase, people will grow more and more unloving and hateful towards one another and there will be an increasing intolerance towards Christians resulting in persecution

Let’s pause Matthew 24 for a moment and look at other scriptures that describe world conditions during the last days, the time of the birth pangs.

Daniel 12:4
But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.

The time of the end will see knowledge and travel like never before in human history. Modern means of rapid transportation have given us the ability to quickly move previously unthinkable amounts of people over large distances. We can even circle the globe and fly to the moon! And of course there’s been a mind boggling increase in knowledge that keeps expanding at a furious pace.

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in (the latter) times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

Well, there sure has been, especially in the Western world, a very significant departure from the Christian faith. Previously solidly Christian nations are now virtually falling all over themselves to embrace atheism and along with it every influence from deceitful spirits and the teachings of the devil, just like this passage says.

2 Timothy 3:1-5
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

How about that for an accurate description of people today in this last age of human history.

Now back to Matthew 24 where Jesus gives one more last event to occur immediately before His return, the end of the age.

  • “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place…….then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

This is referring to the prophet Daniel predicting the rise of a world leader we commonly call the Anti Christ for whom will be set up some kind of abominable altar or statue dedicated to his worship. When we see this altar or image set up for the Anti Christ then there will be a period of great tribulation on earth that, according to Daniel and also John in the book of Revelation, will last 3 ½ years.

Jesus continues.   
  • “Immediately after the tribulation of those days (that’s when the 3 ½ years are ended) the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

What a happy ending! That’s something to really look forward to.

So, it’s obvious that we’re seeing and experiencing these signs of His soon coming. And it’s going to get worse. All of these signs will increase in intensity until the final birth pangs of the rise of the Anti Christ and the great tribulation which will be very short, only 3 ½ years. And I’ll talk more about this wicked dictator, the Anti Christ in the next episode. But, immediately after that Jesus will return as promised and we will see the birth of His eternal kingdom of love where there will be no more hardened and unloving hearts, no more social unrest, war, famines, earthquakes or anything else that hurts or destroys. Thank God!

So when exactly will He return? In Matthew 24 Jesus continues by saying, But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

We might not know the day or time, but we’ve been given enough information to know for sure that it cannot be too much longer. It’s going to be a bumpy ride until the happy ending. But don’t worry, God will certainly care for His own.

So how about you? Will you be ready to face the coming increase in the intensity of evil? Will you be ready to either meet Jesus upon your departure from this life or when He returns, whichever comes first? Don’t be caught unaware. Don’t be like the people in Noah’s day, miles apart from God, totally consumed by the affairs of this life, delusional and in denial until the flood came.

If you’re not a Christian, receive Him and His salvation in your heart today. You’ll find the salvation prayer in the show notes below or you can learn more about it in Episode 9. And if you’re already a Christian please keep your connection with God strong by reading His word and obeying His voice.

That’s all for today everyone. The scripture references are in the show notes. If you want to be notified of new episodes please be sure to subscribe. Please also help get this out to others by sharing, leaving a positive comment or clicking the like button.

God bless every one of you. Bye!

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 24
Daniel 12:4
1 Timothy 4:1
2 Timothy 3:1-5

Salvation Prayer:
Dear Jesus
I believe that you are the Son of God
Please come into my heart and life
I know that I have sinned and have been unloving
Please forgive my sins
And give me your gift of eternal life
Please help me to love God and others
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen
Episode 49 Who Is The Anti Christ?

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. If it’s your first time to join us then a big thanks to you. Please be sure to subscribe if you want to receive notification of new episodes.

This is the fourth episode in a short series covering Bible prophecy, and especially what it tells us about the future. In the last episode I shared prophecies regarding the signs to look for that lead up to the second coming of Jesus.

And the final major sign given occurs immediately before His second coming, that is the rise of an evil world leader called the Anti Christ.

So who exactly is the Anti Christ and how will people be able to recognize him when he arises? Let’s look at what the prophets have to say.

Now, there’s a patchwork of Old and New Testament scripture passages which refer to the Anti Christ. He’s labeled various names such as a horn, a beast, the lawless one or a king. When read on their own some passages are rather mysterious. But each one is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that when pieced together with each other give us such strong clues as to who he is that when he eventually does arise it will be virtually impossible not to recognize him. I’m going to read some of these passages mostly straight through, with comments interjected only for clarification. Some parts are a bit long and cryptic but bear with me because I’ll sum up everything at the end. OK. Here we go.

1 John 2:18 ‘Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.’

The next passage refers to animal horns, which in Bible prophecy is used to symbolize powerful kings, kingdoms and nations.

Daniel 7:24-25
As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High (The saints being God’s people)….and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.’ (that’s 3 ½ years)

Daniel 9:27
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ (The Hebrew word for ‘seven’ here means ‘a time period of seven’ and in the context of this passage means seven years) In the middle of the ‘seven’ (years) he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation…...

Excerpts of Daniel 11:21-45
He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. …..“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper…..He shall honor the god of fortresses…. Those who acknowledge him he shall load with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price…...He shall come into the glorious land. (That means he’ll invade Israel) And tens of thousands shall fall…...He shall stretch out his hand against the countries…...Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him’

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him…….that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God…...whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.'

Revelation 13
...And the beast that I saw….to it the dragon (that’s the devil) gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. (That’s 3 ½ years, the last half of his reign) It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written….in the book of life of the Lamb...'(That’s non Christians)

The next part speaks of some sort of right hand man, promoter of or spokesman for the Anti Christ who is called the False Prophet.

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth…...and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed…..it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all…...to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666

Revelation 14:9-10
'And another angel...said with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger…...'

Revelation 19:19-21
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse (That’s Jesus) and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet….. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.'

OK. Let’s put the pieces of the puzzle together and summarize what we’ve learned.

  •  Anti Christ means ‘against Christ’. He’ll be like an impostor      savior. Full of the devil. Just like Jesus came to represent God in    the flesh. He will come to represent Satan in the flesh.       
  • He’s going to appear suddenly, obtaining his position mainly by peaceful means, clever and deceitful political maneuvering and with perhaps some military action. This will include gaining power over a group of ten of the worlds most powerful G10 like nations, especially through somehow subduing three of the most dominant ones among the  ten.
  •  He’ll broker a 7 year covenant which most Bible scholars expect will be an unprecedented worldwide peace treaty, which attempts to unite a fractured world of nations, ethnic groups and religions under the banner of his leadership. This will include a solution to the previously unsolvable Middle East problem by granting all three major religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism equal rights to have access to and worship at Jerusalem. This will allow the Jews to erect a 3rd temple and for the first time in 2000 years resume temple sacrifices.       
  •  He’ll become the virtual king of the world and demand the allegiance of all people.
  • He’ll be a highly intelligent leader, charismatic personality, a super orator that will inspire widespread admiration and will be regarded as a super man savior of humankind.
  • His power and anointing will come from the devil because he will be possessed by Satan himself.       
  • He’ll suffer some sort of deadly wound or health crisis that seems to temporarily kill him from which he miraculously recovers.
  • His rule will be authoritarian, and his government will be communistic and totalitarian.
  • With the aid of his right hand man, the False Prophet, he’ll implement a digital currency based economic system centered around what the Bible calls his mark, which will be on the receiver’s right hand or forehead without which one cannot participate in the economy. In other words they’ll be treated as social outcasts. Bible scholars speculate that this could be some kind of implanted computer chip containing personal ID with monetary transaction capability. And there is a mysterious connection between the Anti Christ, the mark of the Beast and the number 666, six hundred and sixty six.
  • He’s going to persecute Christians and people of other religions who oppose him.
  • He’ll speak against God and consider himself to be God, even at some point occupying the new Jewish temple in Jerusalem as a god demanding worship. To this end his spokesperson, the false prophet, will set up some sort of ‘image’ in his honor which will be able to speak or communicate and somehow designate the death penalty to those who defy him. Could this be some kind of super computer storing information on all the world’s populace, along with some kind of screen which transmits his image throughout the world for worship and adulation by the masses? We’ll see.     
  • This abominable image will be unveiled in the middle of his 7 year peace pact which is when he will break or tear up the covenant, begin to oppose religious worship, put a stop to Jewish ritual sacrifices in the new 3rd temple and trigger the last 3 ½ years of history until Jesus returns called the Great Tribulation period.       
  • People who knowingly give their wholehearted allegiance to the Anti Christ by doing these two things: That is, worshiping him and his image and receiving his mark will be considered by God to have given their hearts to Satan and will receive harsh judgment. 
  • Immediately after the final 3 ½ years of his reign will come the very happy ending to the whole saga when Jesus will return to earth to take His children to heaven and to wage a victorious war against the Anti Christ and his forces which will result in him and the false prophet receiving divine punishment.     

So, when will the Anti Christ arise to power? Let’s talk about that in the next episode. In the mean time, while the thought of the appearing of such a wicked world ruler might cause us to worry, remember, his time is gonna very short and in the end he’ll be utterly defeated by Jesus’ return. Remember Isaiah 26:3 which says ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.’

And if you want to deep dive into studying about the Anti Christ and other end time prophecies I highly recommend the site countdown.org.

OK, that’s all for today. See you all next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
1 John 2:18
Daniel 7:24-25
Daniel 9:27
Daniel 11:21-45
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Revelation 13
Revelation 14:9-10
Revelation 19:19-21
Isaiah 26:3
Episode 50 When Will The Anti Christ Appear?

Hi everyone. Brother George here again. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. I can’t believe I’m at episode 50! It’s a great milestone and a big thank you to my regular listeners for joining me for the ride. God bless you all.

This is the fifth episode in a short series covering Bible prophecy, and particularly what it tells us about the future. In the previous two episodes I shared prophecies of the signs leading up to the return of Christ with one episode dedicated to the final sign of the end, the rise of the wicked world dictator the Anti Christ, whose seven year peace pact, when broken mid term, will spark the beginning of the 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation period which will immediately precede the second coming of Jesus. The big question then is, when will he appear on the world scene? That’s what we’ll talk about today.

Many of the signs Jesus gave that lead up to His second coming are phenomena that have been present for thousands of years, such as war, earthquakes, famines, false prophets and christs, and increase in travel and knowledge, etc. These ‘birth pangs’ as Jesus called them in Matthew 24 He said were the beginning of sorrows. And we’ve been seeing an increase in intensity and frequency of these signs in recent decades. So we know that His coming is getting nearer.

However the conditions that make the final sign possible, the rise and fall of the Anti Christ, have only become a recent reality, in the last few decades. For the first time ever just about every piece of the puzzle needed to usher in his appearance is in place. So let’s go over the main ones based on what we learned from the scriptures I read in the last two episodes. I won’t read those scriptures again, so if you haven’t heard them yet I recommend you listen to those episodes first.

A falling away of faith: Western nations will be some of the main drivers for the forming of the New World Order of the Anti Christ. And it’s no secret that in recent decades there’s been a steep decline in Christian faith in the West. Many western nations that for centuries claimed populations of 90+% Christian have sunk well to below 50%, and with many of the remaining Christians being weak, compromised, ineffective and suppressed. Christianity is no longer the dominant force in Western affairs, local politics and public discourse. Christian thought is marginalized and secular liberal ideology now dominates, with many of those countries gradually becoming more and more hostile to Christians.

Globalism: The creation of a host of supranational bodies, that is multinational unions or associations in which member countries grant authority and sovereignty on at least some internal matters to the group, whose decisions are binding on its member nations. Particularly since WWII we’ve seen the establishment of bodies like, The United Nations with its various arms including the UN Security Council made up of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Then you’ve got the World Health Organization, the International Court of Justice, the European Union, the G7, G8, G10, G20 and G24 groups made up of the most influential and powerful nations of the world. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, as well as various regional groups of nations. These and other such bodies wield enormous influence over world affairs right down to the grass roots of affecting your and my daily lives, and will do so more and more as time goes by. The Anti Christ would only have to gain power over a handful of the most influential of these nations or bodies to be able to control virtually the whole world. It just makes sense that the ten nations that grant power to the Anti Christ and the three among them that he subdues (as predicted in the books of Daniel and Revelation) will come from among these nations or bodies or a combination of them or future versions of them.

World business and financial institutions: Besides these political organizations we have highly influential institutions (some private) such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Economic Forum which promotes a socialistic style reorganizing of the global order that they call ‘The Great Reset’ with the mantra of ‘You will own nothing and you will be happy’. And then there are countless think tanks, lobby groups and wealthy, powerful and extremely influential individuals, along with supporting media, social media, tech and other multi national companies.

Virtually all of these political and private bodies are on the same page concerning the goal of working towards a Utopian global community with centralized control of every aspect of world society based on atheistic secular humanist principals.

Technological advancement: The institution of a universal digital monetary system involving the mark of the beast which is received on either the right hand of forehead without which no one can participate in the economy requires technology and biotechnology that is already in existence and for which many leading world movers and shakers are calling to be implemented right now. Have you heard of Amazon One? It’s a device that’s promoted as ‘a quick, easy and free, contactless service that lets you use the palm of your hand to pay for goods and services or identify yourself.’ And then there’s a British-Polish firm’s RFID technology based skin implantable rice grain sized chip called Walletmor that allows digital payment simply by waving your hand over a scanner.

The building of the 3rd Jewish Temple in Jerusalem for which the Anti Christ will approve resumption of Jewish worship and sacrifices and which he will eventually occupy as a God along with his image: The problem is that the location of the proposed site is presently occupied by the 3rd holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. This site is considered highly sacred by both religions and the struggle for control over it is one of the most volatile aspects of the conflict between Arabs and Jews. The Jewish people have deeply held aspirations to rebuild a temple right there on that spot. And there are several organizations, such as The Temple Institute and others working to towards making this a reality by lobbying for political and public support, already designing the temple, preparing the building materials and planning worship and sacrifice ceremonies. It’s all ready to go. All that is needed is some sort of political agreement that will persuade or force the Arabs to allow it, which is what the Anti Christ will broker with his seven year peace covenant.

Ok, so the practical conditions for the rise of the Anti Christ are already here. So what’s lacking? Basically the co-operation of the world populace. Most nations are not yet ready and willing to completely give up their independence and sovereignty over to world bodies, much less a single world leader. But it’s inevitable that this will eventually happen. Mostly because the Bible predicts it. But not only that, if you’re an atheist or even a skeptical Christian and you think that all this talk about a future new world order with an evil world dictator is nonsense, I urge you to just look around. Take a very close look at the news and you’ll see that it all makes perfect sense.

Now, in principal it’s not at all a bad thing for the world to unite and be of one heart and mind in order to bring about peace and co-operation for the common good. That’s a great thing and it’s becoming increasingly necessary as the global community becomes more and more socially and economically intertwined.

The questions is though, who will be leading the world and what will their attitudes be? Will the leaders of the future new world order practice servant leadership as Jesus did, basing their decisions on godly, Biblical principles and sacrificing their own personal interests for the good of the people? Or, will they be self serving dictators basing their decisions on ungodly, atheistic principals who sacrifice the welfare of the people for their own benefit? I’ll bet you can see where this is going.

The prophets say that the Anti-Christ will come in peaceably, by flattery and by agreement. Just as the Russian revolutionists, the Bolsheviks, promised ‘peace, bread and land’ in the midst of the turmoil in Russia 100 years ago, the Anti Christ will take advantage of the need for global co-operation and the need to solve social, health and economic crises in order gain power. Many commentators and Bible scholars believe that there are behind the scenes actors right now who are deliberately taking advantage of and even creating world chaos to the point that the world will be desperate for their solutions and willing to give them control, thus paving the way for the Anti Christ. There’s compelling evidence for it and I would not be the least bit surprised if that’s true.

Here’s an insightful quote from Paul-Henri Spaak, a former prime minister of Belgium and former secretary general of NATO. He said, “We do not want another committee; we have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, be he God or the Devil, and we will receive him.”

And here’s the last piece of the puzzle that must fall into place:
2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 tells us that God is the one withholding the rise of the Anti Christ until the right time for him to enter the world stage. Here’s what it says: ‘And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it (that’s God doing the restraining) will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed

So to sum up, the conditions for the rise of the Anti Christ are almost completely in place. All that is necessary is greater compliance and desperation by the global populace for rule by a so called ‘savior’ and for God to remove His restraining hand to allow it. Whether this happens very soon or decades from now is not clear, but we should have our hearts and minds ready for it because the scripture indicates it will happen suddenly or ‘without warning’ according to Daniel.

When the new world order of the Anti Christ appears it will initially look and sound so good and ideal. Supernaturally, he somehow manages to broker a seven year peace deal with all the previously fractured nations, ethnic groups and religions of the world and institute programs and policies that will bring about a seeming utopia of human brotherly co-operation without God, but in fact under the direct influence of Satan. But the Bible tells us that things won’t go well. There will be resistance, conflict and disagreement and in the midst of the seven years the Anti Christ will tear up the covenant, outlaw religion and opposition and declare himself as God and it will all descend into 3 ½ years of chaos.

But don’t forget, the Anti Christ’s time will be very short and at the end of the last 3 ½ years of his reign, the Great Tribulation, Jesus will come to utterly defeat him, rescue His children and usher in His eternal kingdom. That’s a happy ending to really look forward to, and I’ll talk more about that thrilling future in the next episode.

Thanks a lot for joining me. If you haven’t yet done so please subscribe in order to receive notification of new episodes. As usual you’ll find links to all today’s scriptures and resources in the show notes below. May God bless and keep you all. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 24
2 Thessalonians 2:6-8

End time study resources: https://countdown.org/
Amazon One: https://one.amazon.com/
Walletmor: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-61008730
World Economic Forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60MzTlrOCXQ
The Temple Institute: https://templeinstitute.org/

Episode 51 Living Positively In The End Time

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George, thanks for joining me again today.

This is the sixth episode of a series about Bible prophecy and particularly regarding the end times and the return of Jesus to earth to set up His eternal kingdom. So far we’ve established that the ancient prophecies make it clear that we’re living in the end times preceding the return of Christ. The many ‘birth pang’ signs that Jesus gave have been increasing in frequency and intensity and the conditions are just about complete for the last major event before His return to materialize, that is the rise and fall of the Anti Christ.

While I did say at the end of the last episode that this episode would be dedicated to covering the return of Christ, I must admit that I gave that a second thought and now I feel like I should elaborate a bit more on what we’ve already talked about before doing that. So I’ll cover His return next time.

After re listening to my talk on when the Anti Christ will appear I realized that for non believers, some new Christians, and even for some long time believers all this talk about the future we’re heading towards prior to the second coming can prompt different reactions, from unbelief, to being unsettled and even feelings of fear and dread of what the Bible tells us is ahead. Let’s talk about the various reactions and how we should deal with them.

First of all do you believe the prophecies? Some people will scoff and consider Christians who teach about the end time to be crackpot doomsday prophets. This is actually a fulfillment of 2 Peter 3:3-4 which predicts that in the last days there would be such deniers. It says: ‘knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 

Some people, including some Christians might not like the thought of Christ returning because they don’t have their hearts right with God, like the verse says, they’re following their own sinful desires, so they just wanna keep living as they are and the thought of Christ returning brings to mind thoughts of having to face judgment. And a non believer might look at failing humanity through rose tinted glasses and believe that the human race will finally one day get it all together and create utopia on earth, without God. So why would a coming of a saviour be necessary?

There are also a lot of Christians who are are attracted to warm and fuzzy Christianity that emphasizes the love and mercy of God, His peace and comfort, and that’s good. But they balk at and avoid anything in the Bible that tells us that Christians will have hard times or enter times of persecution. Many of them even wrongly believe that Jesus will return before the Great Tribulation days after the Anti Christ breaks his peace covenant, in spite of it being crystal clear in the Bible that He comes ‘immediately after the tribulation of those days’ as Matthew 24:29-30 says.

And then you’ve got people, whether Christian or not who just find facing the end time to be a fearful prospect and would rather just not think about it, study about it or prepare for it. And in some ways that’s understandable.

First of all I want to address the skeptical atheist. Don’t fall into the trap of scoffing at these prophecies. Just as every other Bible prophecy regarding past events has been fulfilled, so will those regarding the future be fulfilled. Besides, humankind has never been able to accomplish the establishment of a completely unified brotherhood of man living in total equality, prosperity and tranquility since the beginning of time. No matter what system of government, ordering of society or moral systems we’ve tried there has never been a perfect civilization in history, although I would argue that modern Christian based ones have come the closest. So, as we abandon Christianity more and more what makes you think that we’re going to reverse the downward trend and come up with a utopia on earth in the future? The more intertwined the global community inevitably becomes, the more co-operation of un-regenerated human hearts is required, and the tension is only going to get greater. There is simply no way that all the different cultures, religions, moral codes and political systems are going to magically meld together into one unified brotherhood of man in spite of the coming world government attempting to force the issue by unilaterally declaring one moral code, one leader to pledge allegiance to and the outlawing of all competing thought. It’s going to backfire spectacularly and end in chaos. I don’t see much hope for your vision for the future. You won’t get what you desperately hope for without God, but according to the Bible you will with Him. It might be a rough transition, but there will such be a happy ending. Thank God.

I think we have to be realistic and accept that humankind is not evolving into a brighter future but rather devolving into more and more chaos. I mean just look around you. In spite of all the modern conveniences and technological advancements are people happier and more united? I don’t think so. There’s more and more disunity, confusion, perversion and unhappiness by the day. And then add to that that at some point, as prophesied, God is going to remove His restraining hand on evil and when that happens it’s easy to imagine all hell breaking loose.

The prophecies regarding the end time are actually God in His love and mercy giving us a heads up to the disaster humankind’s collective sins are leading us to. He gives us the bad news but then tells us that in spite of it all He’s going to send His Son again to put a final stop to it all and rescue His children into His everlasting arms. He’s not just leaving us to our devices blindly stumbling into a ditch. This is the beauty of the end time prophecies of the Bible. By reading and believing them you can be prepared for what’s ahead. And you can look forward to the happy ending.

In Luke 21:25-26 Jesus said this about the days before His second coming ‘And there will be….. on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity…..men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth ’. Those who don’t have faith in God, those who enter this period of troubles blindly are going to be in distress, confused and in dread of what is happening all around them and in fear of the future. But it will be very different for those who do have faith, those who believe the prophecies, those who are obedient to God and have their hearts prepared.

So, how about you? Is your heart ready for the difficult days ahead? We don’t know how quickly things will progress to the appearance of the Anti Christ and the eventual 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation. It might be very soon or it might take decades or more. There might be ebbs and flows of periods of calm and other periods of storms in between. What we do know is that things will get progressively worse and then the end will come.

So, if you’re not a Christian, receive Jesus into your heart today. Get connected to God and know that you can face whatever happens bravely and confident in His care for you. If you’re already a Christian, stay strong in faith and in His word, the Bible. In John 16:33 Jesus said ‘I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

And best of all, we’ve got the exhilarating happy ending of His return to look forward to. And that is definitely what I’ll talk about in the next episode.

Thanks a lot for listening everyone. As usual, the scripture references and links to deeper study resource materials are in the show notes. If you haven’t yet done so, please subscribe so you can get notified of new episodes.

God bless you all. Looking forward to you joining me again next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
2 Peter 3:3-4
Matthew 24:29-30
Luke 21:25-26
John 16:33

End time study resources: https://countdown.org/

Episode 52 The Second Coming And Beyond

Hi everyone. Brother George here again. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast.

This is the seventh episode in a short series covering Bible prophecy, and particularly what it tells us about the future. In the previous two episodes I covered the final major event that must occur before the Second Coming of Jesus, that is rise of the dictatorial, Satan possessed Anti Christ, his global government and Mark of the Beast based digital economic system. We learned that in the middle of his reign he breaks the 7 year global peace covenant, declares himself a god and from there a 3 ½ year period of chaos breaks out over the earth called the Great Tribulation.

Today I’m going to cover a few more details about this Great Tribulation period and then the happy ending of Jesus’ triumphant second coming and the glorious future beyond that. There are going to be a whole series of apocalyptic and triumphant events occurring, each one of which could be covered in great detail. But today I’m just going to summarize the main events. I also won’t be able to read every relevant scripture. But I will put those accompanied by the name of the relevant event, in the show notes along with links to further study and reference material.

And by the way, I realize that because of some mystery surrounding some prophecies there are scholars that interpret differences in minor details of these events. But this is the way many great Bible scholars interpret them and the way I believe things will transpire. But it really doesn’t matter too much in the end because God’s purposes and eventual triumph over evil remain either way.

OK so here we go!

  • Just when it was looking like human kind had finally gotten it together to form the greatest, most unified and Utopian society ever under the leadership of the most powerful super leader of all time the Anti Christ, cracks begin to appear and it all falls apart spectacularly. There will be insurrection and rebellion against the Anti Christ, persecution of Christians and others who oppose him, wars fought and overall chaos. While these will be trying times for God’s people. God will grant them supernatural protection, provision of their needs and power to share the gospel with and help others through the dark times. At the same time God will rain down his first set of judgments on the Anti Christ and his followers described in the first six of the seven tribulation trumpet prophecies. So much so that it will be more hell on earth for them than it will be for Christians and others who oppose him.

And before I go on any further let me point out that when God punishes it is not only to stop the wicked from hurting others any further, and to give them what they deserve. But, like a good father His ultimate aim is to purge, rehabilitate and hopefully restore into loving fellowship with Him and others, even if this takes a very long time. It’s important to bear this in mind as we continue because it’s central to God’s overall plan through these events.

OK, so at the moment of the most chaotic and turbulent point in human history the seventh and final of the tribulation trumpet prophecies will be fulfilled by the second coming of Jesus. Revelation 11:15 ‘Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”’

  • The second coming of Christ will be a spectacular rescue mission from the spirit world with the sky lighting up in the greatest light show of all time that will be visible from one end of the planet to the other and witnessed by every inhabitant of the earth.
  • There will be accompanying supernatural signs and phenomena occurring in both the heavens and the earth.
  • Angels will be present heralding and celebrating the event.
  • And in an event know as The Rapture, God’s angels will gather Christians alive at the time to soar up into the atmosphere to meet Jesus in the air and to forever be with Him and the already departed believers in Heaven.
  • The darkest night of human history will be cut short and put to an end by the brightest dawn of His second coming. At this moment there will be a distinct separation between the followers of God, the followers of the Satan, and the other unsaved people. God’s people will be released from the tyranny and torment of life under the Anti Christ and will be taken to Heaven. The rest who are still alive will remain on the earth.
So is that the end of the story? No yet. You could say it’s the beginning of the end. There are still a few more steps to go in the ongoing war between good and evil.

Here’s what happens next.

  • Immediately after the Rapture into heaven of believers there will be two main events for these saved ones. 1: The Judgment Seat of Christ where Christians will be judged by their works and obedience to God while on earth and rewards given accordingly. And 2: The grandest and most fabulous celebration in all history called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb hosted by the Lord Jesus Himself to celebrate the eternal uniting of Him with His children. The Bible likens this to a marriage between Jesus, the groom and us, His bride and the celebration to a wedding feast. While the Bible is silent about the details of this feast you can imaging what a joyous occasion it’s going to be, being held in the most luxurious venue ever, with the most delicious food and drink, the most inspiring music ever and attended by the kindest, most loving and friendly people you could ever wish to meet. It’s going to be amazing!
  • Those loyal to the Beast who remain on the earth will have it tough. After rebelling against and fighting God and persecuting his people every step of the way and never repenting, they’ll be subject to a second round of hellish punishments from God, this time even more intensified, a short period described as the Wrath of God.
  • But in spite of being subject to God’s displeasure and just rewards for their evil, the Anti Christ and his forces still don’t repent, even to the point that they fight back against God. This culminates in a cataclysmic battle between the two forces known by a name you’ve probably heard of relating to the end of the world- The Battle of Armageddon. Now you know where the word Armageddon gets it’s origin.
  • It’s at this point that Jesus will return again, this time in an invasion where He touches down on the earth in Israel accompanied by a massive army of heavenly warriors with which He’ll completely and utterly demolish the forces of the Anti Christ. It will be a monumental defeat for Satan and his earthly forces.
  • By the end of the Battle of Armageddon, the Anti Christ along with the False Prophet will be captured, and cast alive into a prison like place of extreme torment called the Lake of Fire. And their devoted followers will be killed leaving only the unsaved people who did not worship the Beast and receive his mark left on the earth.
  • And at the same time Satan will finally have his wicked influence halted by being bound in chains and imprisoned in a different location called the Bottomless Pit where he’ll be for a period of 1000 years known as The Millennium.
So with this counterfeit, unholy trinity of Satan, the Anti Christ and the False Prophet imprisoned will that be the end of the story? Not yet. Here’s what happens next.

  • Jesus will finally assume His rightful place as King of the earth. Those unsaved who remain on the earth in their natural bodies will be under the direct rule of Jesus and His people who will be in their supernatural bodies during the 1000 year period of the Millennium.
  • Finally, the world will be governed the way God intended from the beginning, with true love, justice, equality, mercy and forgiveness. This will be the greatest, most just, political, social and economic revolution in history. The overthrow of the perpetually failing six thousand year reign of the devil and humankind and the return of the kingdom to its rightful monarch, Jesus, the King of Kings.
  • Earthly civilization will return to a more peaceful, natural, harmonious and idyllic lifestyle under God’s loving rule; a complete reversal of hellish, unnatural, modern life as we know it today and without the degrading influence of the devil and his people.
  • This 1000 year period will also be an extension of the era of grace where the unsaved will have an opportunity to accept Jesus and be saved by hearing the message via the teaching and ministering of those who are saved. God in His infinite patience and mercy giving them another chance.
But that’s still not the end of the saga.

  • Towards the end of the Millennium Satan will be released from the Bottomless Pit for a short time and allowed to attempt to deceive the nations one final time. And unfortunately, even after having been showed abundant mercy under God’s face to face loving rule for 1000 years there will be some who still reject Him and they’ll join the devil in one final petulant rebellion culminating in an epic show down battle between the forces of God and His people and Satan and his people known as the Battle of Gog and Magog. This time God’s patience with the rebel humans will have run out and the Bible says He will consume them with fire from heaven and cast the devil into the lake of fire where the Anti Christ and the False Prophet are never to deceive the nations again.
  • At the end of the millennium it will be time for God to judge the unsaved from all ages who will appear before Him in the Great White Throne Judgment. This is a separate judgment only for the unsaved, not the saved who have already been judged 1000 years ago. Here the unsaved will also be judged by their works, and the severity of their punishments will be determined.
  • And now with Satan and evil out of the way, the saved and unsaved judged and assigned to their deserved places in either heaven, hell or remaining on the earth, the book of Revelation tells us that God will give the earth a thorough environmental reset by completely restoring it into a pristine state and that He’ll also transfer the location of His great heavenly city from its present location in the spirit world to land on the recreated surface of the earth.
  • The incredible heavenly city will be the eternal dwelling place of the saved. The Bible describes it as the most beautiful city in existence made of the most valuable, incorruptible materials in the universe. It will be filled with the spirit of God and there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain, for the former evil things of our life on earth will have passed away due to the removal of the curses brought on by Satan’s and man’s rebellions.
  • It is there that the saved will eternally live, rule and reign over the universe in love, unity and harmony the way God intended from the beginning of His creation. This will be the place where the deepest desire of every sincere human heart will be realized, where God and man are united in one forever. Thank God! And you can read all about this wonderful place and life there in Revelation chapters 21-22.
But what about the unsaved? Is God going to let them rot in hell for ever and ever while He and the saved are enjoying eternal heavenly bliss? No. The Bible strongly indicates that He’ll never give up on them, that He will still have a broken heart for them and He’ll will continue to pursue His lost children for as long as it takes. And I’ll talk about that in a future episode.

And so, that was a summary of the major future end time events leading up to the final epic triumph of God over evil and the restoration of His loving rule over the universe. There will be many twists and turns along the way, but it is very exciting and comforting to know that God will eventually prevail and that if you’re one of the saved you’ve got a wonderful eternal future to look forward to.

And if you’re not a Christian, please know that the Biblical story and these end time events reveal the depths of His love for you and the lengths to which He’ll go to save you. He’ll never stop loving you. So don’t wait another day. Receive Jesus into your heart today by praying the salvation prayer in the show notes below. If you do, then we’ll see you in heaven as well.

Thanks for listening everyone. See the links below for further reference material. including an end time timeline chart for those who want to go into a deep dive study of these events.

God bless each one of you. Bye.

Show notes

Salvation prayer:
Dear Jesus
I believe that you are the Son of God
Please come into my heart and life
I know that I have sinned and have been unloving
Please forgive my sins
And give me your gift of eternal life
Please help me to love God and others
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Today’s Bible verses:
Revelation 11:15
1. Great Tribulation: Matthew 24:21
2. God’s power and protection during the Great Tribulation: Daniel 11:32-35 Revelation 12:6
3. First six tribulation trumpet judgment prophecies: Revelation 8-9
4. Second coming of Jesus (Seventh tribulation trumpet): Daniel 2:44 Matthew 24:27-31 Revelation 11:15 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 Revelation 1:7
5. Mourning of those who remain on the earth: Revelation 6:12-17
6. The Wrath of God and the Battle of Armageddon: Revelation 14:9-10 Revelation 16 Revelation 19:11-21 Revelation 20:1-3
7. Satan bound for 1000 years: Revelation 20:1-3
8. 1000 year Millennial rule: Revelation 20:4 Daniel 7:27
9. Millennial heaven on earth: Isaiah 11:9 Isaiah 35:6–7 Isaiah 41:17–20
10. Salvation in the Millennium: Isaiah 29:18–19 Isaiah 40:5 Habakkuk 2:14
11. Satan let loosed, the Battle of God and Magog: Revelation 20:7-10
12. The Great White Throne Judgment: Revelation 20:11-15
13. New Heaven and new earth: Revelation 21:1-3
14: The Heavenly City: Revelation 21-22
15: God’s wish for all to be eventually saved: Psalm 103:17
2 Peter 3:9

End time study resources: https://countdown.org/
End Time Timeline Chart: https://www.thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com/articles-by-brother-george/end-time-timeline-chart
Episode 53: What Is Hell Like

Hi everyone. This is Brother George at Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks a lot for joining me again today.

Recently I covered Bible prophecies about the end time, the second coming of Christ and beyond. This of course included the wonderful happy ending for saved believers in Heaven and the unfortunate judgments and eventual separation from God for unbelievers. If you want to know more about what an awesome, fantastic place the Bible describes heaven to be please listen to episode 24 where I cover that topic.

But what about the other place commonly called hell? What will it be like there and what will people be doing there? That’s what I’ll talk about today. And if you’ve never studied what the Bible actually says about ‘hell’ you’re in for some surprises. So stick with me!

The common perception is that the unsaved are suffering the eternal wrath of God in a dark dungeon or cave like environment of never ending flames, torment and suffering. Right off the bat, I’m going to state that that is just not accurate. The realities of so called ‘hell’ and God’s dealing with the unsaved are far more nuanced, purposeful and hopeful than that simplistic and harsh view of eternal life for the unsaved.

But before we dive in let’s first of all make clear a few things to keep in mind:
1. The Bible says that God is love and so whatever He does, He does in love with our best interests at heart, even when judging or disciplining the unsaved.

2. There’s a lot of translation confusion in the Bible regarding the meaning of the word ‘hell’ and other references to the afterlife. I’ll explain that shortly.

3. The Bible often uses symbolic or metaphorical language to describe spiritual realities.

4. The Bible doesn’t go into a lot of details about the afterlife. It just gives us what we need to know now, which should be enough to conclude that Heaven is a great place go to but you would definitely not want to go to the other places.

OK. Let’s talk about ‘hell’.

Depending on which translation you’re reading, the Bible uses several different Greek, Hebrew and English words and terms for what we would call or think of as ‘hell’. The reason for this is that these terms generally refer to three different locations in the spirit world. That’s right, three locations. But unfortunately some confusion comes in because many Bibles often lump them in together and just collectively call them ‘hell’, thus making it difficult for the reader to distinguish which part of the spirit world it’s referring to and even mixing in a place called ‘Paradise’ and confusing that with ‘hell’, of all things.

I’m going to keep things as simple as possible as I explain what the different places are and what they’re like.

1. Hell called Sheol, Hades, the grave, the place or realm of the dead, or the netherworld.
This is a place, possibly located in the heart of the earth, where the saved and unsaved temporarily go after death until their final resurrections or judgments. Within this temporary place there are at least two different locations. One for the unsaved that is described as a place of torment. The other is referred to as a temporary paradisaical and heavenly place of comfort for the saved. Jesus referred to this part of Sheol/Hades when in Luke 23:43 he told the repentant thief on the cross ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise

Now, what’s confusing for the reader, is that this place with both hellish and heavenly sections, is often referred to broadly as ‘hell’. I’ll talk more about this place shortly.

2. Hell called Tartarus, the abyss, the bottomless pit, deep pit, the lowest place of the underworld and a bunch of other similar sounding names.
This place is mentioned as a temporary prison like place reserved not for humans but rather for fallen angels until their final judgment. There are some indications that this is located underneath Sheol or Hades in the heart of the earth.

2 Peter 2:4 refers to this place. It says 'For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell (the original Greek word there is Tartaras) and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment'.

3. Hell called Gehenna, the lake of fire or outer darkness.
This is the place in the afterlife, that is entirely separate from Sheol (or Hades) and Tartarus. As far as what we’re told, this is the final destination after their final judgements for the wicked and is the worst of these three evil places.

Revelation 20:10-15 tells us that the devil, the Anti Christ, the false prophet and the most stubborn, unrepentant of the unsaved people are placed in there after the Great White Throne Judgment. Jesus likened it to a place outside Jerusalem called Gehenna or The Valley of Hinnom which was used by disobedient ancient Jews for child sacrifice by burning, and later used in Jesus day’ as a trash dump for garbage and dead bodies that were burned 24 hours a day. He used that place as a metaphor for the lake of fire. Other scriptures describe it as fiery and burning with sulphur, a place of torment with extreme anguish, weeping and grinding of teeth. An absolutely awful place to be.

Now, the scripture passage that gives us the most details of any of these various places called hell is Luke 16:19-31 where Jesus tells the story of a rich man, and a beggar called Lazarus, who after death are found in opposite sections of the first ‘hell’ we talked about called Sheol, Hades, the grave, etc, the temporary place of the saved and unsaved. This story gives us a lot of insight into what life is like apart from God in the afterlife.

‘There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table (but he got nothing)….The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”’

Here’s what we can learn from this story:

People go to ‘hell’ and stay in ‘hell’ by their own free choice. While on earth the rich man refused to share even a few crumbs with Lazarus and is obviously unsaved, by his own choice. Lazarus was poor and humble and obviously a saved believer, also by his own free choice. The rich man even in the hellish part of Sheol or Hades still has a proud, selfish and unrepentant spirit. That’s why Abraham says he can’t get out and neither can anyone can visit him from the heavenly side, paradise.

In spite of the rich man’s unrepentant, evil, attitude Abraham calls him ‘child’. There’s a sense of compassion there, that even though he’s separated from God, reaping he sowed and being punished for his sins, he is still considered a son. This is very important.

While Lazarus on the paradise side is being comforted, the rich man says he is being tormented in the flames. The Greek word used for torment here is ‘vásanos’. Now pay attention because this unlocks the secrets of what the many biblical references to hellfire mean. ‘vásanos’ means ‘the testing of gold and silver by the proving stone with a connotation of a person, severely tested by torture to reveal truth’. What this means is that the flames mentioned in the Bible regarding hell are metaphorical or symbolic of the torment of an intense purifying process the person in any of the parts of hell goes through; not necessarily literal flames, although there might be some there.

Hell, whether in Sheol/Hades, or Gehenna/the Lake of Fire will be the opposite of paradise or Heaven. The Bible says that in Heaven ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ But in hell the former things, the sins of humankind and evils of this world will not have passed away and will still be present.

You can imagine the difference. Heaven being the ideal society with loving people who have been cleansed from their sins, living in God’s presence, living much like we do like in this life but as God originally intended and with the pleasant sensations and emotions intensified, and with rewards and blessings according to their works on earth. But hell is the exact opposite. A society full of people who have not been cleansed of their sins, living away from God’s presence, living much they do like in this life, but not as God originally intended, with the negative sensations and emotions intensified and punished according to their deeds on earth. Because they rejected His salvation, God let’s them go their own way, and like the rich man, they continue to live with pride, anger, war and strife, fear, sickness, you name it. What a horrible place to be.

By the way, Satan is not in charge of nor is he currently even residing in any of these places. The Bible says he is the god of this world and spends most of his time here doing his dirty work. The three places of hell are all ruled by God and He is in complete control of them for His ultimate good purposes of separating and protecting the saved from the unsaved, and from some of the demons, to punish the wicked and for the ultimate purpose of their rehabilitation and restoration.

So that’s what hell is like. Is it forever and ever? I’ll answer that in the next episode.

Thanks for listening everyone. God bless each one of you. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
1. Hell: Sheol, Hades, the grave, the place or realm of the dead, or the netherworld.
Luke 16:19-31
Luke 23:43
Psalm 16:10

2. Hell: Tartarus, the abyss, the bottomless pit, deep pit, the lowest place of the underworld and a bunch of other similar sounding names.
2 Peter 2:4
Luke 8:30-31
Jude 1:6

3. Hell: Gehenna, the lake of fire or outer darkness.
Revelation 20:10-15
Mark 9:43

Revelation 21:4
Episode 54 Is Hell Forever?-More On Hell

Hi everyone. This is Brother George at Bible Made Easy Podcast again. Thanks joining me today. If it’s your first time to tune in, welcome! And if you like this podcast and want to keep learning about the Bible please hit the follow or subscribe button. That way you’ll be notified of new episodes. You can also check out my web site for more Bible based content at thebiblemadeeasypodcast.com. Thanks!

In my last episode I talked about ‘hell’. Today I’ll share more scriptural insight into hell and also answer the 64,000 dollar question ‘Is hell forever?’.

But first of all let me clarify the term ‘hell’ by recapping what I shared from the Bible in the last episode.

From the time of creation all the way through to the Great White Throne Judgment 1000 years after Jesus returns, all the unsaved people go to a place for the dead located in the heart of the earth called in ancient Biblical languages ‘Sheol’ or ‘Hades’, usually translated as ‘hell’ in most English Bibles. (Of course there also was and maybe still is a separate section there called ‘Paradise’, a temporary residence of comfort and bliss for the saved.) But let’s just set that place aside for today and talk about the dark side which I’ll simply call Hades. This is a temporary residence for the many varied types of unsaved where they all wait for their final judgment. We know for sure that at least some people in Hades will deserve and be subject to torment like in the story Jesus told of the selfish rich man in Luke 16 which I read in the last episode. After the Great White Throne Judgment Hades will be ended and there will be the second stage of hell called the Lake of Fire. This is a place of very intense torment where the most stubborn, unrepentant of the unsaved people are sent. I’ll be talking about these two places today. So that’s Hades, the temporary place of the unsaved dead, and the Lake of Fire, a more permanent and terrible place for the unsaved.

Obviously, the inhabitants of both places are separated from God and so they’re not places you would want to go to by any means. Hades is of course temporary until the Great White Throne Judgment after which the Bible says it will be sort of decommissioned. But can someone, while in Hades, repent of their sins, accept Jesus and be saved and even released from there? Can someone even sent to the Lake of Fire repent and be released from there? Is their fate permanent or is there a way out?

But firstly why is this important? Because people in hell are still important. They are God’s creation whom He still loves. They are someone’s loved ones, family, children, friends, etc. We can’t just have a dismissive or ‘they got what they deserved’ attitude towards them, even though they will be getting what they deserve.

However, the way God deals with those who are in hell reflects His character to us and to the rest of the world. The vast majority of Protestant Christians have been taught that God in His anger and wrath sends every person who doesn’t accept Jesus as their Savior to eternal, never ending literal hellfire, torment and suffering. That includes people who never even heard of Jesus, good people of other religions, atheists of great character, sweet old grandma’s in places like China, precious Islamic young children and people of ancient and remote civilizations that were completely unaware of the Gospel. This makes God look like a vengeful and vindictive monster. For us today it can cause fear and worry about our departed loved ones who are not saved. And perhaps worst of all this misrepresentation of God also causes many people to reject Christianity.

But the scriptural reality is very different.

As I highlighted in the last episode, Abraham called the rich man in Hades ‘child’. He’s in hell and yet he’s still considered a son. We also learned that the Greek word used for the flames of torment in that story is ‘vásanos’ which indicates a spiritually purifying process. So it’s obvious that Hades is a place of purging and rehabilitation that hopefully leads to repentance and salvation. And it seems that people in Hades have opportunity to be saved all the way up until the Great White Throne Judgment. Revelation 20:12 and 15 speaking of the unsaved at the Great White Throne Judgment is very revealing. It says ‘And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works….And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.’ So people in Hades can be found in the Book of Life at that time and spared from the Lake of Fire. Now it doesn’t specify exactly what happens to them, but if they’re in the Book of Life it sure sounds positive and hopeful.

A wonderful, let’s say Hindu person from a remote Indian village who lived a thousand years ago who never heard the Gospel will be dealt with very different to a guy like Hitler. There will be all kinds of people in Hades. You can imagine that unsaved good people and those who never had a chance to hear about Jesus will be treated relatively well there. They’ll be living much as they do now, but still in their sinful state in a community of similar people and thus subject to all the problems that come with that. But hopefully the continuation of and dialed up intensity of the effects of sin in hell (or Hades) will prompt them to change and to a positive outcome and even repentance and acceptance of Jesus and eventual entrance to Heaven. I would imagine that many such good people will repent pretty quickly. But bad people or even wicked people like Hitler, well, I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes. Galatians 6:7 says ‘Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.’ So guys like him are going to suffer terribly even in Hades. And then of course you’ve got all kinds of people in between those extremes.

God’s system of justice and punishment for the unsaved can be likened to the justice systems we have on earth, with different grades of punishment and different lengths of incarceration. On one extreme we’ve got minimum security prisons for low level offenders where the inmates have relatively comfortable living conditions and many privileges, and then on the other extreme we’ve got harsh, maximum security prisons and even solitary confinement for the worst offenders. But it’s understood virtually worldwide that while the very worst criminals get life sentences and even the death penalty, for the very vast majority of offenders the ideal goal of the correctional system is not just separation from society and punishment, it’s rehabilitation and eventual reintegration into society as honest law abiding citizens.

Now, the Bible doesn’t specifically state word for word that people can be saved while in Hades or in the Lake of Fire. But it does very, very strongly suggest it. In fact 1 Peter 3:18–20 tells us about how during the 3 days between His crucifixion and resurrection Jesus even went to Hades to preach or make some sort of proclamation to those imprisoned there. It doesn’t reveal what He said to them but He had just given His life for the redemption of all humankind, so it just makes sense that He would have gone there to preach or make a proclamation that He still loved them and that perhaps the time had come for at least some of them to have a second or even a first chance.

1 John 4:8 tells us that ‘God is love’ and John 3:16 says ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’ ‘Whoever’ means anyone.

Now many Bible readers and scholars will point out that there are several scriptures that say that hell is ‘forever’ ‘or ‘eternal’. But what must be understood, and is actually brushed over common knowledge among theologians, is that the original Greek words translated to ‘forever’ and ‘eternal’ are ‘aiónas’ and ‘aiónon’ which actually mean ‘an age’ or ‘ages’. Not an infinite amount of time, but a finite amount of time. So that’s another very strong indication that hell is not forever.

And 2 Peter 3:9 tells us about God’s desire that every person would be saved. It says ‘The Lord…...is patient toward you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance ’ And there are plenty of other scriptures along this theme of God’s desire to bring all of His creation back to Him eventually.

So, yes, while God is a god of justice and judgment and it will definitely be at the least very unpleasant, and at the worst excruciatingly torturous in hell, God is also loving, God is good and God is merciful. Psalm 100:5 says ‘For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting...’ It might take a very long time for some of the worst, but neither He nor the saved will be able to completely enjoy Heaven while the unsaved are still suffering. God will never stop loving and pursuing them and hopefully, at least this is His desire, there will come a time when all are happily reconciled with Him. After the whole dramatic story of creation, the fall of man, human history, the end time tribulations, God’s judgments on the wicked and the torments of hell, that would be a wonderful way to end.

Thanks for listening everyone one. God bless each one of you and keep you in His loving care. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Luke 16
Revelation 20:12 and 15
Galatians 6:7
1 John 4:8
John 3:16
2 Peter 3:9
Psalm 100:5

Episode 55 How To Have Good Relationships With Others

Hi everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

Probably one of our greatest sources of happiness is the good relationships we enjoy with the people in our lives. Whether they be personal family, friends, co-workers or anyone else. It’s just great to be able to have and maintain close and supportive relationships. Of course on the other hand one of the greatest causes of stress, worry and loneliness is when those relationships aren’t going well.

Poor relationship skills can lead to breakdown of friendships and families, toxic workplaces and even conflict between nations and other miseries. Whereas people who are skilled at developing and maintaining good relationships tend to flourish and be happier.

Thankfully the Bible contains and abundance of helpful advice that if followed will help you do really well in this area of life. Actually, there’s so much that I couldn’t fit into one episode so I’ll just share a few precious jewels among the many in the Bible.

Knowing and having a strong relationship with God, through His son Jesus is the number one requirement for having smooth relationships with others. If you have God’s spirit in you, if you’re full of His love, if you’re in touch with Him, if you’re mind is in sync with His and things are good between you and Him, then this will flow into your relations with others and make them much smoother.

So, if you’re not a Christian yet, if you don’t know Jesus and what the Bible teaches then maybe that’s one reason why you’re having trouble with your relationships. In that case, get connected today. Receive Jesus as your savior and start learning and improving right now. I’ll include the salvation prayer in the show notes below. You can also listen to episode 9 for more about how to be saved.

You can maintain a healthy relationship with God by reading the Bible and other Christian materials regularly, obeying and putting into practice what you read, and communicating with God in prayer often. This keeps you filled up with God’s spirit which then overflows onto the others in your life. This is brought out in John 7:38 where Jesus said, ‘He who believes in Me…..from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’.

Also, if you’re connected with God then you’ll be more able to view others as He does. You’ll see that every person in your life is made in His image and possesses eternal, infinite value regardless of how you see them. I couldn’t begin to tell you how helpful this principle has been to me over the years when I was having a hard time with certain people. And of course I know there are plenty of people who needed a heavy dose of God’s viewpoint to be able to tolerate me as well.

1 Samuel 16:7 says ‘For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ We might view people a certain way, by judging a book by it’s cover. But God looks on the inside, He sees their heart and if you’re viewing people through the lens of God’s eyes your more likely to find and bring out the good in them and get the most out of your relationship with them.

Having a humble spirit, avoiding judging others and esteeming them better than ourselves are mindsets that really help.

In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus admonished us ‘Judge not, that you be not judged. …..Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Sometimes we just need to take a good look in the mirror before we judge others or get irritated or angry with them.

Philippians 2:3 says ‘…….in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.’ People can sense it when we’ve got a high opinion of ourselves and that’s a turn off, but they’re more likely to get along well with those who have a humble spirit.

Our words and tone of voice matter and have profound consequences both good and bad.

Proverbs 15:1 says ‘A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. ’ That’s great advice on how to diffuse tense situations. Just softening your voice and expressing yourself calmly can work wonders.

Actually our tongues are often the cause of the conflict and James chapter 3 cautions us about this.

It says ‘The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire……...Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.'

So watch your tongue, keep it under control so that you avoid saying things that set your relationships on fire.

On the other hand, Proverbs 25:11 says ‘A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Positively investing into our relationships with others with the right words at the right time can work wonders.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ‘Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

But of course actions speak louder than words and actively going out of our way to give a helping hand, or a listening ear when someone needs us speaks volumes.

Galatians 6:2 ‘Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

And here’s a tough but vital one: Learning to give and receive constructive criticism.

Proverbs 15:32 ‘Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence

And if you have give a little criticism or honest feedback, the Bible tells you how to go about it. Privately, gently and humbly.

Matthew 18:15 ‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Galatians 6:1 ‘Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness...

There are always going to be people in our lives who offend us at times, and us them as well. So it’s good to be resilient about those things, not to take things too personally, and to be forgiving and quick to apologize.

Ephesians 4:31-32 ‘Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Matthew 18:21-22 ‘Then Peter came to Jesus and said, “Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him, up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I tell you, not seven times but seventy times seven!

And Matthew 5:23-24 ‘So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Maintaining good and healthy relationships with others sure is tough to do. It’s takes a tremendous amount of humility, wisdom and strength, but it’s well worth the effort because the rewards are priceless. And that’s why God has so much to say about it in the Bible. He loves us and His primary concern is our happiness.

So I hope this is a help to you. As usual all today’s scripture references are in the show notes, along with a few extra ones if you want to look them up.

God bless each one of you with great relationships with others. See you next time. Bye.

Show notes

Salvation prayer:

Dear Jesus
I believe that you are the Son of God
Please come into my heart and life
I know that I have sinned and have been unloving
Please forgive my sins
And give me your gift of eternal life
Please help me to love God and others
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen

Today’s Bible verses:
John 7:38
1 Samuel 16:7
Matthew 7:1-5
Philippians 2:3
Proverbs 15:1
Proverbs 25:11
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Galations 6:2
Proverbs 15:32
Matthew 18:15
Galatians 6:1
Ephesians 4:31-32
Matthew 18:21-22
Matthew 5:23-24

More Bible Verses:
James 1:19-20
Ephesians 4:1-3
1 Peter 4:8-9
Colossians 4:6
Ephesians 4:1-3
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
John 13:34
Luke 17:3
Romans 12:20
Romans 13:10
1 Thessalonians 5:15

Episode 56 What Are The Basic Beliefs Of Christianity?

Hi everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

What are the basic beliefs or teachings of Christianity? It’s something you won’t come to a quick understanding of by a first time casual reading of the scriptures. The Bible just isn’t written that way. Besides very obvious truths like the existence of God, understanding what are the most important and central beliefs and teachings comes from zooming out and looking at the Bible as a whole, especially the New Testament.

It’s important for anyone interested in the Bible and Christianity to get to know. And not only for the uninitiated, even many long time believers could use an articulation of a clear and concise summary of the most important Bible teachings.

So, that’s what I’m going to share with you today, 12 basic beliefs or teachings of the Bible that are central to a proper understanding of Christianity.

I’ll go over them one by one in point form without quoting many scriptures. If you want the relevant scriptures you can find them in the show notes.

OK. Here we go.

1. The Word of God
The Bible is the Word of God and is the foundation of a Christian’s beliefs and practices. The scriptures were written down by men of faith as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The Bible explains God’s plan for humankind, teaches us how to live in harmony with God and others, guides our actions and decisions, and reading and studying it regularly is essential to our spiritual strength, growth and happiness.

2. God
The Bible teaches there is one God, not a multitude of Gods, but one God who is the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, eternal Being that created and sustains the universe and everything in it. God exists as a tri-personal being—three persons, each distinct from the other, the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit—and yet is one being. We don’t believe in three gods. The three members are all members of the same being.

The Bible tells us that “God is a spirit” and that “God is love”. He loves and cares for each person with an eternal, unending love, and wants to bring every human being into a personal relationship with Him.

3. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the son of God, who exists eternally with God and was present at and participated in the creation of the world. God’s love for the world was so great that He sent Jesus to bring salvation to all people, to show us what God is like and to teach us about His love. Jesus suffered the death of crucifixion in order to pay for the sins of humanity, so that we could be reconciled to God.
Jesus was miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He took human form and lived a human life, so that He could become a mediator between God and us. Three days after His death on the cross, Jesus was resurrected, and 40 days later, He ascended into Heaven. One day in the future He will return to the world to establish His eternal kingdom of love on Earth.

4. The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit guides believers into all truth, helps them to understand God’s Word, assists them in prayer, and empowers them to share the Gospel with others. Any believer can receive the Holy Spirit, simply by asking God for it. The Holy Spirit’s presence can be manifested in believers’ lives through different spiritual gifts, which include love, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, and prophecy.

5. Creation
God created the universe as described in the Biblical account of Creation. God formed the first man and woman in His image and breathed into them the breath of life and thus they became living souls by divine creation and not by random events or forces such as the Big Bang theory or evolution. God’s visible creation provides clear evidence of His invisible existence.

6. Salvation
God created Adam and Eve without sin. He granted them free choice, and they fell into sin through their choice to disobey God. Because of this, sin entered into the world and all people became sinners by nature and separated from God. But God, in His love offers forgiveness, salvation, and reconciliation to Him through His son Jesus. Anyone who accepts God’s pardon for sin through Jesus Christ will live forever in God’s presence in the afterlife.
Salvation is a free gift of God and can only be obtained through belief in Jesus. Even though saved, believers continue to be fallible people and in need of God’s forgiveness, but despite their shortcomings and sins, they will never lose their salvation. Thank God for that!

7. Faith
The Bible says that God honours and rewards those who draw near to Him in faith. Faith grows and is strengthened through the study of God’s Word, and a living faith is one that is translated into action. Our faith should be integrated into every aspect of our lives and interactions with others and believers should live by faith.
Faith empowers us to trust God for the challenges of life, even if we don’t always understand His ways or why He allows the difficulties we experience.

8. Prayer
Prayer is the means by which we communicate with God. Through prayer we show our dependence on God; we express our praise and gratitude to Him; we present our petitions for our needs and the needs of others.
Prayer, is not a religious ritual, but should be a vibrant part of our relationship with God. Prayer can release God’s power, in accordance with His will, and bring about answers, supply, healing, comfort, peace of mind, guidance, and miracles.
God wants to communicate with us. He wants to be a close presence in each person’s life, and He speaks to the hearts of all who seek Him.

9. The Church
The Church is a spiritual entity comprised of all who believe in Jesus Christ. The body of Christians is not defined by physical buildings, denominations, or institutions, but rather it is a community of people of faith, joined together in spirit as brothers and sisters in love.
Christians, should work in harmony with others to share God’s love with the world and to improve people’s quality of life.

10. God’s Law of Love
God’s Law of Love is explained in Matthew 22:37–40 where Jesus said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” God’s Law of Love is the ultimate fulfilment of all Biblical law. The Law of Love should govern every aspect of a Christian’s life and interactions with others and a Christian’s actions should be motivated by unselfish, sacrificial love—the love of God for our fellow man.

11. Spiritual Warfare
The Bible teaches that there is an unseen spiritual realm inhabited by God and His angels and spirits, as well as God’s enemy Satan (the Devil). Satan and his evil spirits are in rebellion against God, and are the instigators of much of the evil and suffering afflicting humankind.

There is a relentless warfare being waged in this spiritual realm between between the forces of God and Satan and his forces, with each seeking to influence the souls and minds of humankind and the course of history.

Christians can play a positive role in the spiritual warfare through prayer and godly choices and actions. Some people, however, through their ungodly actions, further the cause of evil.

The Bible foretells that Satan and his forces will ultimately be utterly defeated and God’s plan for humanity will triumph.

12. The Afterlife
Every person has an eternal soul, and when they die, their soul is ushered into the afterlife, either with God or apart from Him, and they will be rewarded or judged according to their conduct in their earth life.

God has prepared a place in Heaven of everlasting beauty, peace, and joy where there will be no more death, sorrow, or crying for all those who believe in and accept Jesus Christ.
The Bible also says that God is “not willing that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance”, and that Jesus preached to the spirits in prison and the dead. While non believers will be apart from Him, God will continue to love those who die without salvation and seek to bring them to the knowledge of the truth.

So, those were 12 basic, foundational and important beliefs and teachings of the Bible. If you want to delve more deeply into these I’ve already covered most of them in detail in previous episodes so you can go back and listen to them. Of course there’s a whole lot more to the Bible than these 12 beliefs and teachings and I’m always talking about those so please keep listening!

Thanks a lot for joining me today. Please be sure to subscribe, hit the like button and leave a positive comment. See you next time. Bye.
Show notes:

Today’s Bible verses:
1. The Word of God
John 1:1; Matthew 24:35; John 8:31–32; Matthew 4:4; Romans 10:17, 15:4; Acts 2:17; Amos 3:7; Proverbs 1:23; 2 Peter 1:21

2. God
Isaiah 43:10–11; John 4:24; John 14:23; 1 John 4:19, 5:7; Matthew: 28:19; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11; John 4:24; 1 John 4:8

3. Jesus Christ
1 Timothy 3:16; John 1:14; Philippians 2:5–11; Hebrews 4:14–15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24–25; 1 Corinthians 15:3–6; Matthew 28:18; Acts 1:9–11; John 3:16; Isaiah 53:4–6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Acts 1:3; Revelation 11:15

4. The Holy Spirit
John 16:7,13; Acts 1:5,8; John 14:15–18,26; Luke 11:13; Romans 8:26–27; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11; Proverbs 8:1,23,30; John 14:16; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11

5. Creation
Genesis 1:1,26–27, 2:15; Psalm 8:4–8, 33:6–9; Jeremiah 32:17; Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 2:7; Romans 1:20

6. Salvation
Genesis 3:17–19; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22; Romans 3:23, 6:23; Ephesians 2:7–9; 1 John 1:8; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:12; Romans 5:8–9, 8:38–39; Romans 5:12–14; Titus 3:5; John 10:28; John 3:16

7. Faith
Romans 10:17; James 2:17; Hebrews 11:1,6; Mark 9:23; Matthew 8:24–26; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Matthew 9:29; Hebrews 10:35; Proverbs 3:5–6; Isaiah 55:8–11; Psalm 27:13–14, 23:1–4, 34:15,17–19, 91:14–16;

8. Prayer
Jeremiah 33:3; John 14:13–14; Matthew 7:7–8; 1 John 5:14–15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Romans 12:6; Acts 2:17–18; Proverbs 3:5,6; Ephesians 5:20; Psalm 34:1; Mark 11:24;

9. The Church
1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:19–22; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; Acts 2:46; 1 John 1:7; Psalm 133:1; 1 Peter 4:8; John 15:13; John 4:24

10. God’s Law of Love
Romans 13:8–10; James 2:8; Galatians 2:16, 3:23–25; John 13:34; Romans 10:4; Matthew 5:38–46

11. Spiritual Warfare
Acts 26:18; Luke 10:18; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:7–9; 1 John 3:8; 1 Corinthians 10:3–5; Ephesians 6:11–12

12. The Afterlife
1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 21:3–4; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 3:18–20, 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:4 John 14:1–3; 1 Peter 1:3–5; 2 Corinthians 5:1–2; 1 Timothy 2:4, 4:10; Revelation 20:11–13; Romans 5:18, 21; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 18–19; Romans 8:18; Revelation 22:12; 1 Corinthians 3:13–15

Ep 57 Love Not The World

Hi everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast where I give you both comforting and easy to receive, as well as hard hitting and tough to swallow or put into practice Bible teachings in an easy to understand format. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

Today I’m going to cover a tough and hard hitting one that should shake the foundations of every person in a good way, the Biblical commandment to ‘love not the world’.

First let’s define the term ‘the world’ that this commandment is talking about? What is it? Simply speaking it’s anything and anyone in this world that we put above God and His will for our lives. We could also define it as society’s corrupt value system, be it regarding material or immaterial things.

Ok, let’s read a passage that contains this commandment. 1 John 2:15-17 ‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh...the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever.

This passage is very instructive and gives us three things to watch out for. I’ll go over them and give just a few examples of what they could mean for us. I’m sure you can think of a lot more.

1. The lust of the flesh. This can mean any of our physical desires such as food, unhealthy sexual desires and excessive creature comforts.

2. The lust of the eyes. Those could be things we see that have visual appeal such as cool material things, visual entertainment or attractive people that we shouldn’t be pursuing or trying to be like.

3. The pride of life. That could be attitudes of pride or arrogance, or criticizing others. It can also include things that make us look good, and an unhealthy preoccupation with our reputation and other’s opinions of ourselves.

Now make no mistake, some of these things are not bad in themselves. This doesn’t mean we should go overboard and live super minimalist, ascetic lives like monks in a secluded monastery. In fact the material world actually ultimately belongs to God and it’s put there for our use. Psalm 24:1 says ‘The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein’ You need the necessities of life like food, clothing and a roof over your head. Furniture for our homes, mobile phones and the like are also necessities that we use and need. Obtaining the necessities of life within reasonable bounds is not only important but vital. You also need to have hobbies and interests outside the basic necessities of life. And being concerned about what people think of us to a certain extent is important and part of having healthy relationships. But the problem comes when we put too much emphasis on these things and they take up an oversized priority in our minds to the extent that our spirits become corrupted and we do damage to ourselves and our relationships with God and others.

Do we really need that brand name item or will a decent quality more inexpensive one do? Do we really need to spend all day watching TV or playing computer games? Or would it have been better to do something more productive like spending quality time with friends or loves ones? Is the entertainment we’re into even good for us? Or is it filling our minds with garbage and vanity? Are we trying to impress people with our stuff, or our knowledge, or our appearance? Or do we carry yourselves modestly and humbly in ways that makes people comfortable around us? These are good questions to ask.

OK back to 1 John 2:15-17 from which there’s a bit more to learn. ‘…..If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (The love of the world displaces the place God should have in our hearts. If you think about it it’s really actually a love for self) For all that is in the world, (that’s those three things we talked about the lust of the flesh, and the lust of eyes, and the pride of life) is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: (Whatever the world has to offer. it’s all just a vapour that will one day vanish because one day we’re all gonna die and pass on to the next life. We’ll leave it all behind and all we’ll have left with is our eternal soul.) but he that does the will of God abides for ever.’ (The will of God is to be saved and enjoy eternal life and to live the present life with an eye on eternity and in a way that will reap eternal rewards.)

The Bible shoots straight about not loving the world. Let’s read more about what the scriptures say about it.

James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Part of the problem is spiritual in that the devil tempts us in order to distract us from God. In fact the Bible tells us that while God is the ultimate owner of the world, He’s given temporary authority over it to the devil and calls him ‘the god of this world’.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel...

So, how do you avoid this temptation? How do you recognise what aspects of the world have too much influence on you or are even bringing you to ruin?

First of all you need to look at the world through the eyes of God’s word, the Bible. A solid connection with God and regular reading of His word will help you to learn what’s important in life, and what your priorities should be. Things that are getting in your way will become apparent. The Holy Spirit will be faithful to speak to your heart about these things. Godly values will become larger in life and importance and the glitter of and the desire for the things of the world will start to fade away. Romans 12:2 says ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’ It’s God’s word and our relationship with Him that renews and transforms our minds, shines a light on what’s important and gives us the strength and conviction to leave the things of the world behind and to pursue what is eternal.

Another way is by your connection with good Christian people you know who can be examples to you of godly priorities. When I was young I had great mentors who were older than me, who I looked up to and whose example I followed.

And, make God’s will for you your ultimate purpose in life. If you’re putting Him first in your life then you’ll use your time and resources in a more godly manner.

When I was a young Christian I began to see the things of the world in my life that were too important to me and I was faced with decisions about what to do about them. I had hobbies and interests that were taking up waaay too much space in my life and others that were just having a very negative effect on me. I realised that I had to throw them overboard. Those were life shaping, tough decisions that took a long time to make. But eventually God gave me the strength to make the right choices and now 40 years later I can say that I am sooo glad that I did. My life would have been a disaster had I not obeyed what God had showed me. And of course I still have to watch out that those things don’t come creeping back in.

The things of the world are a temporary sugar hit that don’t satisfy. The more you indulge the less satisfied you become. Just look at the rich and famous who seem to have everything and yet are plagued with emptiness.

So, if you’re too into the world and it’s fleeting pleasures then I hope this has given your foundations a good shake up and prompts you to re-evaluate your values and priorities. Get them aligned with God today and see how much better and richer your life will be. The trade off will be well worth it!

Thanks a lot for listening everyone. Before you move on to whatever you’re gonna do next please hit the subscribe button, hit the like button and leave a positive comment. That would be great. God bless you all. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
1 John 2:15-17
Psalm 24:1
James 4:4
Mark 8:36
2 Corinthians 4:4
Romans 12:2

Episode 58 Handling Upheaval-Our Escape From A Flood!

How do you react when your life is turned upside down with some sort of danger or sudden upheaval? That’s what I’ll talk about today. I’m Brother George. This is Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me.

Fist of all let me tell you what happened to us recently. The district we live in was hit by major flooding, leading to the evacuation of many thousands of people, floodwater blanketing much of the surrounding region, hundreds of roads blocked, food and supply chains disrupted, medical and other essential services interrupted, utilities down, looting, general chaos and unfortunately a few lives lost.

Our town is now in the middle of a massive clean up that will take weeks or months for some neighborhoods. Many people lost homes, businesses and possessions that they spent a lifetime working for, which is a devastating loss. It’s been a massive hit to the community, especially coming right after life was just returning to normal after 2 years of dealing with Covid, along some of the world’s most restrictive lock-downs and the economic and psychological fallout.

As for my family and I, well we did have some harrowing moments but thankfully we ended up just fine. When we first heard of major flood warnings late on a Friday afternoon, a major concern was being able to access kidney dialysis, which I have to do three times a week to stay alive. We knew that the only two bridges crossing the river leading to the hospital would both be closed off if waters rose high enough. And they did get closed off quickly so we abandoned the option of evacuating to that side of the river.

Thankfully arrangements were quickly made for me to dialyze at another clinic in a dry town about 30 minutes away. Our town had never before been completely cut off from the rest of the world by floods but as news of the river rising to record levels came in we became more and more concerned that we might get locked in and not even able to get to that town. So we prepared to leave.

We prayed several times for God’s guidance, because He knows best, and He showed us that He would make His plan known to us through the circumstances around us. Well sure enough, by late Saturday afternoon my wife drove out to the supermarket to get some supplies and she noticed floodwaters entering our town. That was the sign God promised us, so we got into high gear, stuffed our small car with our valuables and necessities and left town. We made it out just hours before our whole town including our property was inundated with floodwaters cutting the town off from the outside world.

No public accommodations were available near the accessible dialysis clinic so we went to an evacuation shelter in a different nearby town. On the way there we were determined not to let the situation get us down but instead to look at it positively and try our best to be upbeat, cheerful and a comforting influence to other evacuees. By the next day the shelter became overcrowded and chaotic. People were everywhere even camping in tents in the football field behind us. While I searched the internet for accommodations and kept worried friends and family updated, my wife kept ours and a bunch of other kids occupied playing with toys provided by volunteers. And by the way, the emergency services, and everyone else involved in the relief efforts were just amazing. They were real heroes. It was very beautiful to see. God bless them.

The conditions at the shelter were safe but it was growing more and more chaotic as people arrived in droves so we became concerned for how it would impact my health if we had to be there for up to a week or more until floods subsided. And on top of that rains were forecast for the next week, so the future was really uncertain. Then, because of a last minute cancellation we miraculously secured an AirBnb style house only 2 minutes drive from the accessible dialysis clinic. A real answer to prayer. So we moved there and were completely safe and I had uninterrupted access to my treatment.

So we were safe, but we were really concerned for our neighbours who remained. And we didn’t know what would happen to the house. We faced losing all our possessions besides what we could fit into our small car. We were desperately praying for God’s protection the whole time.

Well, in the end our neighbors were locked in for a few days surviving off supplies, but thankfully floodwaters stayed just low enough to not enter into their or our homes. We were able to return after eight days away to only minor damage and some clean up to do. But it would not have taken too much more rain and flooding for us to have suffered major damage to the home. So it wasn’t so bad for us in the end, but for many people it was a really traumatic experience that will take a long time to recover from.

I was especially thankful that we were prepared, in a sense, because we had years of faith and trust in God behind us through many other difficult circumstances including the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Japan in 1995 when 6000 people were killed in our area. So, when the danger hit this time, and along with it fear and worry, we knew that God was in control of the situation and was going to take care of us and somehow make a way to access dialysis.

Upheavals like this, whether it be natural disasters, a health or financial crisis or anything else can happen at any time. Of course there are practical measures you can take but today let’s focus on our spiritual preparation. And the best thing you can do is have a firm foundation of solid faith in God that no matter what happens He’s got your back. Here are a couple of reassuring scripture passages.

Psalm 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

Romans 8:35, 36-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?….No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Think of that, through faith in God you can not only bear the trouble you can positively conquer it.) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And here’s one for us even IF we suffer very significant loss. The Book of Job tells the story of an extremely wealthy Old Testament land owner who lost his vast fortune, his flocks, his home, his children and finally his health through a series of shocking natural and personal disasters. In the immediate aftermath of these calamities this was his reaction:

Job 1:20-22
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshipped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

In Job’s day tearing your clothes and shaving your head was an expression of extreme emotion such as anger, distress or grief. Job was probably feeling all three of these and much more and he understandably expressed it openly. But at the same time he acknowledged that everything he lost belonged to God anyway and that God was in control. While he suffered terrible upheaval and loss, he kept his faith in God and after a season of suffering, life eventually turned back around and God blessed him with twice as much of everything he had lost. Encouraging isn’t it?

So if you’re experiencing any sort of danger or upheaval in your life I hope this has been an encouragement for you. God bless and keep you all. See you next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Psalm 46:1-3
Romans 8:35, 36-39
Job 1:20-22

Episode 59 God’s Greatest Law

Hi everyone. Brother George here with another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks a lot for joining me.

If you’ve been listening to this podcast you’ve probably heard me talk here and there about God’s Law of Love and how it’s now the ultimate Biblical commandment. How did this law come about? Why is it so important and what does this mean for the Old Testament laws? That’s what I’ll talk about today.

Jesus described the Law of Love in Matthew 22:37-40 where He said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

In order to appreciate the significance of the Law of Love it’s important to know its place in the history of God’s ongoing revelation of His will and law to humanity.

In the early era of humankind from creation, around 4000 BC until the time of Moses around 1400 BC the primary way people knew right from wrong was through their consciences. At the time God kind of mostly stayed in the background. The Bible hadn’t yet been written so people were mostly guided by their consciences, which was more than sufficient. But humanity violated their consciences profoundly and descended into such a state of violence and chaos that God sent a flood in about 2400 BC to wipe the slate clean and give humanity a reset. But sadly even after that, human kind went straight back into disobedience and more depraved behavior.

So then about 600 years after the flood God revealed Himself directly to Abraham, made a covenant with him and instructed him to form a new nation that would obey God. God was still displeased at humanity’s flagrant disobedience to their consciences and He made an example out of a couple of particularly evil cities called Sodom and Gomorrah which were infected with selfish, unloving and wicked behavior, and so He destroyed those cities. No doubt the news of the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah traveled far and wide and was a wake up call to humanity.

But anyway, it took a while but, this nation, Israel, finally became fully established by around 1400 BC. And it was at this time that God got more specific in revealing His will and law. Out of necessity He gave Moses a very strict set of about 600+ commandments, including the famous 10, that outlined every aspect of worship, morality, civil law, and some very stiff punishments for the disobedient. Also, included were a host of ceremonial laws and rituals that were required. Besides a heavy emphasis on the thou shalt not’s and severe consequences for lawbreakers, concepts of love, mercy, generosity and human rights were introduced. The Mosaic Law was tough and it was strict and had the desired effect of producing the most righteous, morally advanced nation in the world at the time. When Israel obeyed, it thrived, and at its peak under the great kings David and Solomon became the envy of the surrounding nations. The Mosaic law was serving its purpose of this step of God’s ongoing revelation to humanity. It was a good and necessary step but it wasn’t the final step or what God was really after because obedience to it was largely due to the severe consequences for disobedience. And unfortunately, in the long run, the Israelites largely disobeyed it anyway.

So, by the time Jesus came along the Mosaic Law had outlived it’s usefulness. It’s application had become rigid and legalistic and the religious leaders and lawyers who enforced it had become intolerant hypocrites who used the law as a tool of power harassment, even adding on to it their own laws and traditions that were heavy burdens for the people. Jesus told them so to their faces in Matthew 23:23 when He lambasted them for meticulously observing some parts of the law while neglecting the most important parts such as judgment, mercy and faith. It was time for God to go to the next step and to outline plain and simple what He was really after, love and obedience to Him from the heart, not because of fear of consequences. This was the intent of the Law of Love and this is what Jesus emphasized.

But it wasn’t like He way saying something entirely new. The Law of Love Jesus outlined in Matthew was actually a combination of two laws that were already in the Mosaic Law. Deuteronomy 6:5 which says You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And Leviticus 19:18 which says You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

What was new was the zeroing in on and emphasis on these two laws and Jesus completely doing away with all the rest, the thou shalt nots, the civil and ceremonial laws and rituals.

This shift in focus was a game changer that hit the Jewish community like a bombshell. It enraged the religious leaders who were losing their power harassment tool and many common Jews rejected it as well. Even many early Christians had trouble receiving it because they couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that the old law was dead and buried. But multitudes of Jews and also non Jews who previously felt unjustly like outsiders, did receive it with joy. They were finally free from the burdens of the rigid Mosaic Laws and all its ritualistic ceremonialism and free to just love God and others from the heart. Jesus’ teachings caught on like wildfire and the Christian movement was born. Thank God.

Ok, so does this mean we don’t have to keep the Old Testament laws at all? Well, it doesn’t mean all of them should be ignored or are totally irrelevant. In fact many of them do fall under the umbrella of “loving God” and “loving your neighbor.” But as a whole, as a unit, as a complete package they’re invalid now being superseded by the Law of Love. They served their temporary purpose as a bridge or teacher to get humanity from a place of ignorance of God’s laws and total depravity to a clearer understanding and an ability to love God and others from the heart. As Paul says in Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ….

Jesus said that on these two Law of Love commandments hang all the Old Testament laws and the prophets and that they fulfill and sum up their spirit and intent. Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Romans 13:8-9 ‘for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ’

And Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

What a magnificent treasure we’ve been given in the Law of Love, which has radically changed the world in a good way. And it can radically change your life as well, if you follow it. How is this done? That’s what I’ll talk about in the next episode.

Thanks a lot for joining me. As usual, you can find all the scripture references in the show notes. Please be sure to hit the like button and most of all subscribe. Looking forward to you joining me next time. God bless you all. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 22:37-40
Matthew 23:23
Deuteronomy 6:5
Leviticus 19:18
Galatians 3:24
Matthew 5:17
Romans 13:8-9
Galatians 5:14

Episode 60 How To Live God’s Law Of Love Pt 1

Hi everyone and welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

In my last episode I shared the definition of what God’s Law of Love is and the history of how it was revealed. If you haven’t already listened to that episode please do.

The question now is, if it’s that important, if the Law of Love sums up all the law and all the prophets, how do we live it out in our daily lives? There’s so much to this, I could never cover it all but let’s explore it as much as we can.

Today I’ll talk about the first component of the Law of Love as Jesus described it in Matthew 22:36-40, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

Ok, let’s unpack that. Three parts of our being are mentioned: Heart, soul and mind. Some of these can intertwine with each other and that would be too deep a subject to get into so let’s just simply describe these three elements of our being.

The heart is the inward self where our feelings, emotions, and thinking occur.

The soul, includes the heart, but according to Genesis 2:7 it’s specific definition is your spirit, the part of you that lives eternally plus your body, both put together.

And the mind is the inward part of us where rational thinking occurs. It’s where we use our reason and intellect.

So, what we’re commanded to do is to love God with our whole being, including our body. And by the way, when referring to God here, I’m including Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the whole trinity, because they are one.

I think it’s interesting that this is commanded, not suggested. Why is that? It’s for our benefit. He knows that without a connection to Him we’ll drown in our sins and problems. And besides that we do owe it to Him. We would have no existence, no life, no happiness, no enjoyment or anything without Him, so out of sheer gratefulness we should love Him in return. 1 John 4:19 says We love him, because he first loved us. So, whether we have a natural attraction to God or not, whether it’s easy to love Him or not, we should do it.

But of course while the Bible commands it, God won’t force it. He would much rather we choose to love Him willingly, and so He courts and pursues us like a man does a woman hoping that she’ll freely choose to love him.

Actually, the Bible likens the relationship between Jesus and his believers to a marriage, with Him as the groom and us as His bride. Isaiah 54:5 says For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name. And I think this provides the perfect illustration of how we are to love Him.

In human relationships that end up in marriage the couples meet for the first time and there are varying degrees of attractions at the very beginning. They might experience love at first sight, or it might take time to grow in love for the other person. That’s the way it is for many people when they first hear about Jesus. Some people accept and follow Him quickly, for others it takes quite a while to grow into that kind of commitment.

And commitment in a marriage relationship really reflects how we are to love God with all our being. A true marriage is a lifelong vow to love and serve another person in a way that supersedes love for all others. When people marry they voluntarily enter into a relationship in which they become so devoted to the other person that every other relationship they have takes a back seat in importance. The marriage and making it work comes first. At least it should. That’s the way it is with our relationship with God. It should be the most important relationship we have in life.

The writer of Psalm 73:25 articulated this when he wrote Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.

If someone really loves their marriage partner they try to get to know them, what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes, their feelings, their opinions, and they try their best to please them even if it takes some major adjustments on their part and letting go of their own way, style or habits that annoy or upset their partner. That’s what we should do with God. And the best way to get to know Him, what He thinks, what He wants, what pleases Him etc. is by spending time with Him, like married couples spend time with each other.

You do this by reading His word, the Bible. That’s the place where He reveals His heart, His will, His opinions and desires. You also do this by spending time with Him in prayer. And not just jabbering off to Him with your requests all the time. Nobody likes to be engaged with like that. Why would He? You should have two way street communication with Him, with plenty of time devoted to you listening to Him besides time sharing your feelings, requests and gratitude with Him. And as you get to know Him more you can make those needed adjustments to your thinking and actions so that you're in sync with Him and the relationship is harmonious and beautiful, like a successful marriage.

Of course like, any marriage relationship, there are going to be rocky moments or periods when the feelings and emotions go missing or fade away. Does that mean the marriage is over? No. You gotta keep working at it. Maybe God allowed something to happen that you didn’t like or didn’t understand, or He didn’t answer your prayers in the way you hoped. Well, you can’t let that build a wall between you and Him. You’ve got to trust Him until you eventually understand why, or at least just have a peace about it even if you never understand. Isn’t that the way it is with married couples too? They don’t always fully understand each other. They have to put up with certain things and trust and love their partners anyway. I know my wife sure has to do that with me. Sometimes she just grins and bears it, but she loves me anyway. And on the very, very odd occasion I have to do the same with her. So we get along great.

In earthly marriages couples share their time and resources in a team effort to succeed in their life goals. We should do the same with God. Our lives and goals should be centered around Him and we should be investing our time and resources towards pleasing Him and fulfilling His will for us.

Marriage also means loyalty to a life partner. If one member of the couple is all in, giving the relationship 100% but the other isn’t fully invested, or is distracted by other interests and hobbies, or even worse running off with someone else and committing adultery, then this will really hurt the committed partner. Likewise it hurts God tremendously when we do that to Him because He gives His 100% to us.

And finally, a very important way we show our love for God is by our obedience to Him. Not like some sort of hired employee, or slave, but out of pure love for Him. In John 14:15 Jesus said If you love Me, keep My commandments. And Psalm 40:8 says I delight to do your will, my God, for your law is written upon my heart!

Our relationship with God shouldn’t be distant, formal, rigid and filled with ceremonialism, empty tradition and cold religious observances. What God wants, and what we can have, is a relationship with Him that’s close, warm, intimate and personal. And once you have it you’ll be so glad you committed to Him because He’s just…….well I tried thinking of the best superlative I could, but none of them do Him justice. So I’ll just let your heart fill in the blank.

So that’s how You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

And the reason this is the first and great commandment is because from it flows everything else good in your life including your ability to love your neighbor as yourself, which is the second part of God’s Law of Love. And I’ll talk about how to do that in the next episode.

Thanks for listening everyone. I hope this has been a blessing to you. If you wanna hear more and get notified of new episodes please subscribe right now before you go off and do something else. God bless you all. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 22:36-40
Genesis 2:7
1 John 4:19
Isaiah 54:5
John 14:15
Psalm 40:8

Episode 61 How To Live God’s Law Of Love Pt 2

Hi everyone. This is Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

Last week I talked about how to fulfill the first part of God’s great Law of Love, that is loving the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul. Today, I’ll talk about the second part, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. Remember, Jesus said that on these two laws hang all the law and the prophets. And the Apostle Paul made it clear that loving our neighbor as ourselves sums up all the commandments.

Like I said in Episode 59 this was not an entirely new commandment, it was one of the 600+ Old Testament laws of Moses. But what was new was the heavy emphasis on it by Jesus and the New Testament writers.

The phrase ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ appears as a commandment 7 times in the New Testament. And the phrase ‘love one another’ appears in the New Testament in some form 19 times. The commandment to love others as ourselves isn’t emphasized, nor is it as clearly defined in any other religion, religious text, philosophy or moral code as it is in the Bible. It’s a major aspect of what makes the Bible so unique and distinct from every other religious text.

So how do we carry this out in real life? Well there are so many aspects to this I could never cover it all but let’s look into what the Bible has to say about it.

Here are some principles to keep in mind.

1. We need to see others as God sees them. The Bible tells us that every human being is a distinctly unique individual made in God’s image and loved unconditionally by Him just as much as He loves any of us, no matter their sins and shortcomings. So regardless of whether we have a natural affection for or liking for a certain person, even if we can’t stand them, they’re worthy of us loving them as much as we can.

2. Be willing to sacrifice. Make no mistake, it costs us to love others, especially when they’re at their most unlovable and we’re not getting much or anything in return. In Luke 6:33-35 Jesus said And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.


3. Have the right motive. We shouldn’t perform our acts of love for any kind of self glory, to be seen of others or to enhance our reputation. In Matthew 6:2-4 Jesus said Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men…..But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

OK. On to some practical application.

A big clue as to how loving our neighbors as ourselves plays out in everyday life is given in the text of the commandment itself…..‘as yourself’. First of all, we have to love ourselves. Not in a selfish way. But we have to have a healthy appreciation and respect for the life that God has given us so that we see to it that our own reasonable needs are met. That we’re healthy in body, mind and spirit. You can’t meet the needs of others from your own empty cupboard.

Now, when you think about it, it takes whole lot of thought and work to ‘love yourself’ doesn’t it? Really, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning to the moment we fall asleep that’s a lot of what occupies our thoughts and actions. Here’s a possible sequence of thoughts upon waking up.

  •     It’s cold. I need to put on some clothes and turn on the heater
  •     I need to shower
  •     I’m hungry, I need to eat
  •     I need to go to school or work. I need an education or money.  
  •     I’m feeling down. I need some encouragement or things to go my way.
  •     Etc, etc until the end of each day.

So we put this enormous amount of time into loving ourselves, and Jesus asks us to love others in the same way! Do the people around us also have their needs met? That’s what we need to ask ourselves. Their list of needs is just as long as ours and probably very similar to ours, and we need to do our best to help meet them.

And who are our neighbors anyway? Just our own personal family or friends, the people who live near us or those of the same nationality or ethnic group? Jesus was asked this very question and responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 It tells the story of a Samaritan who went out of his way to assist a Jewish man who had been robbed and beaten. In spite of the Jewish community despising and discriminating against his people, the Samaritan took compassion on the Jewish victim and gave of his time and resources to cleanse his wounds, pick him up, bring him a long way to a place of safety and pay for his care. There’s a lot to learn from this story, one of the main points being that our ‘neighbor’ is anyone, regardless of their race, religion, or any other distinction, even if they are not kind to us.

And here are just a few of the many other aspects of loving others mentioned in the scriptures:

  •    Being forgiving and merciful
  •     Having compassion
  •     Acting and speaking kindly
  •     Sharing and being generous
  •     Serving others
  •     Being honest and truthful
  •     Being patient
  •     Being tenderhearted
  •     Being sacrificial
  •     Seeing the good in people
  •     And there’s so much more I could never list it all.

And finally to really learn how to love others, look no further than the greatest example of all, Jesus Himself, who not only preached this message, He lived it until it cost Him His own life. He said in John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

Throughout Biblical history God has patiently revealed more and more of His law to dense and stubborn humanity in order to get us to this understanding of the Law of Love, which is what He intended from the beginning. The law of love is a call for a revolution of love. It’s a complete breakaway from our corrupt nature and the dead laws of man to the liberty, freedom and ecstasy of love for God and others from the heart. The kind of love that can love the unlovely, that can heal broken hearts, that can pull someone out of the gutter of life, that can dramatically change the world in a good way.

But this is so hard to do, so against our ingrained selfish human nature that it will take a supernatural regeneration of our hearts, a complete rewiring of our minds, a reordering of our priorities and humbling of our spirits. The only way we can carry this out is if we put off our old, corrupt, self centred selves and put on the divine nature of God. And that brings us right back to the first commandment, to love God. We should be so full of love for Him, so full of His spirit, that it naturally overflows on to others.

So, yes, it’s a tough task to carry it out, but with a great big dose of God’s love in our hearts we can. Remember this: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Well that’s all for today everyone. As usual, I’ll put today’s scripture references in the show notes, along with a bunch of others if you want to learn more on the topic. Please be sure to hit the subscribe button before you leave. God bless you all. Bye.

Show notes

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 22:37-40
Luke 6:33-35
Matthew 6:2-4
Luke 10:25-37
John 13:34
Philippians 4:13

More verses:
James 2:15-16
1 John 4:20-21
James 1:27
1 Peter 4:8
1 John 3:18
1 John 4:7-8
1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 16:14
Matthew 7:12
Galatians 5:14
Romans 13:8-9
Galatians 6:2
James 2:8
Episode 62 Scriptures On God’s Law Of Love

Hi everyone. Welcome again to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

My last three episodes were dedicated to exploring God’s Law of Love, His ultimate command, that is to love Him and others. But the Law of Love theme is so pervasive throughout the New Testament in particular, and so central to His will for us, that it demands extra attention and emphasis, which I’ll give it today by doing something new. I’ll quit talking and let the Bible speak for itself by just reading some of the many relevant scriptures and letting God speak to you directly through His word and the voice of the Holy Spirit. So please get comfortable, if you can, relax and let His word flow into your mind and heart and fill you with the desire and power to carry out this command from your heart. Thanks for listening.

Matthew 22:35-40
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

1 John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.

Psalm 73:25
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.

John 14:15
If you love Me, keep My commandments.

John 15:12-13
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 13:8-10
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

1 John 4:7-21
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love…. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…...whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him…..If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…..So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 John 3:18
Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.

Colossians 3:12-14
Put on then...compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Luke 6:27-38
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

James 2:15-16
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

James 1:27
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Galatians 6:2
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Ephesians 4:29-32
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear….Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Luke 10:30-37
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Today’s Bible verses:

Matthew 22:35-40
1 John 4:19
Psalm 73:25
John 14:15
John 15:12-13
Romans 13:8-10
1 John 4:7-21
1 Corinthians 13
1 John 3:18
Colossians 3:12-14
Luke 6:27-38
James 2:15-16
James 1:27
Galatians 6:2
Ephesians 4:29-32
Philippians 2:3-4
Galatians 5:22-23
Luke 10:30-37

Episode 63 When Wrong Is Right

Hi everyone. Welcome to another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host Brother George, thanks a lot for joining me.

Has someone or someones badly wronged you? Have you been the victim of an awful injustice? Maybe someone you trusted hurt or betrayed you. Or maybe the actions of the government or your employer have turned your life upside down. Do you feel that what’s happened to you is just plain wrong and unfair? These things happen to most of us at one time or another. But did you know that there are times when you can discover that what you at first thought was dead wrong, can actually turn out to be perfectly right for you. I know that sounds counter intuitive, but it’s true. How can this possibly be? The life story of Joseph found in the book of Genesis is a perfect example.

If you want, you can read the whole dramatic story in Genesis chapters 37 to 50. The musical animation film Joseph: King of Dreams by Dreamworks Animation is also a good dramatisation of the story, although it misses some of the deeper details that make this true story so lesson filled for us today. It’s still great to watch.

Anyway, here’s the background. Joseph lived in around the 17th century BC and was the 11th of 12 sons of the patriarch Jacob. His great grandfather was Abraham who was the man God called out of a world of wickedness to form a new nation of people of faith, the Israelites. It was through this family and nation that God promised that the whole world would be blessed. This was eventually fulfilled via the giving of God’s word through their descendant Moses and the eventual coming of Jesus the Messiah who was also a descendant of Abraham. So Joseph wasn’t from any ordinary family. The spiritual future of the whole world hung on the fate of his family and their descendants.

So the story starts when Joseph was about 17 years old. Being the son of his dad Jacob’s old age, Joseph was kind of spoilt. You might have heard of how his dad favoured him by giving him a fancy colourful coat that his brothers missed out on, popularly known as ‘the coat of many colours’. The Bible also tells us that Joseph reported his older brother’s misbehaviour to their dad. And to strain the relationship between him and his older siblings even further Joseph bragged to them, and their dad, of two prophetic dreams that he had that showed that one day the whole family will pay him some sort of reverence. These dreams eventually did come true but his brothers weren’t in the least bit convinced of this at the time, and listening to him recount his dreams really angered them.

So, one day while they were all away from home shepherding sheep Joseph, who had been sent by his dad to check on his brothers, showed up. As they saw him approach their anger rose up and some of the brothers suggested killing him, but one brother intervened to save his life and instead of killing him they ended up selling him as a slave to foreign traders who were passing through on their way down to Egypt, which was the world superpower at the time.

The brothers hid their crime from their dad by smearing goats blood on Joseph’s coloured coat, suggesting he’d been killed by a wild animal. And that was the beginning of everything going downhill for poor Joseph. Sure, he was a spoilt and cocky teenager, but selling him into slavery to foreigners was a severe way to treat him, a terrible injustice.

So, he was eventually sold by the traders to an Egyptian master about 500km away from his homeland. But in spite of what his brothers had done to him, Joseph kept his faith in God. He was a hard worker with leadership qualities that caught the attention of his wealthy master Potiphar who happened to be captain of Pharaoh’s guards, which was an elite position, sort of like being head of the secret service to the king of the world. So Potiphar ended up promoting Joseph from a mere slave to overseer of his household and all the other servants. And God blessed Potiphar and his household abundantly due Josephs’ faith, diligence and godly work ethic.

So it all seemed to be going well for him until injustice hit a second time. Potiphar’s wife took a liking to him and tried to seduce him, but he refused her advances. So she was offended at his spurning of her and paid him back by falsely accusing him of sexual assault. Poor Joseph was wrongly convicted and wound up rotting in an Egyptian jail, alone, separated from his family, friends and country and no doubt wondering how his life could have possibly gone so wrong, again. And by the way prisons in that era were brutal. Inmates had nowhere near the comforts and rights they do in modern prisons.

But despite experiencing a second major injustice. Joseph still kept his faith, trusting in God in spite of his circumstances, and eventually God intervened in miraculous ways and used those ‘wrongs’ to bring about some incredible ‘rights’. Here’s what happened.

He spent about 12 years in jail. But while there he conducted himself so nobly that the warden put him completely in charge of all the other prisoners. Eventually his excellent character and his ability to interpret the meaning of dreams was brought to the attention of Pharaoh himself. Joseph was summoned before the ruler to reveal the meanings of two very troubling dreams he had that his own wise men and counsellors failed to interpret. Joseph received wisdom from God and correctly interpreted the dreams to mean that seven prosperous years would be followed by seven years of extreme drought. And he advised Pharaoh to prepare by setting aside in storage a certain percentage of the prosperous seven year’s harvest in order to feed the people during the coming famine.

Well, Pharaoh, saw that the spirit of God was with Joseph, so he took the advice, immediately freed him from prison, appointed him the overseer of the survival project and proclaimed him the most senior official in his kingdom. In the blink of an eye, Joseph went from a convicted criminal in a foreign jail to the second most powerful man on earth!

Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams proved true and his wise management of the harvest saved the whole Egyptian empire from starvation during the seven years of famine. But that wasn’t the only ‘right’ to come out of the wrong done to him.

Joseph’s own family faced starvation back home in Caanaan, which if that happened would have put an end to those through whom God intended to bless the world. As second in command of the mighty Egyptian Empire, Joseph arranged for them to emigrate to Egypt and resettle in the most fertile land in the region. It was a highly emotional reunion as you can imagine, and you should read the story for yourself if you can, and put yourself in his shoes as he comes face to face with the ones who unjustly put him through the misery of slavery and years in prison.

By the supernatural grace of God Joseph was able to see how God had turned those miserable injustices into blessings. He forgave his brothers and spoke these famous words that have reverberated through the generations and have been an inspiration and comfort to countless people ever since. Listen to what he said to them: ‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good’ (Genesis 50:20)

And that’s indeed how it turned out because this minute tribe of God’s chosen family, about 70 people, through whom He would eventually bless the whole world with his law and the coming of the saviour, was saved from starvation, and was able to grow in numbers under the protection of Pharaoh and Joseph until they eventually were able to return to the Promised Land and establish their own nation, Israel. And the rest is history.

So, if you’ve been wronged or treated unjustly, remember the story of Joseph. It might be tough to go through but if you put things in God’s hands like he did, you might just find that somehow God will bring about some amazing ‘rights’ from those seeming wrongs.

Thanks a lot for listening everyone. Please be sure to hit the like button and most of all subscribe if you haven’t already. God bless you all. See you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
Genesis 37-50

Episode 64 Managing Anger

Hello everyone. Brother George here. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast.

Today I’m going to focus on an extremely powerful emotion we all experience: anger. Of the vast range of human emotions there is hardly any one more potent and that can do more damage to us and others. Just look around at the world and social media commentary and you can see the destructive effects of anger out of control.

So what is anger and it’s ill effects? Here’s what I came up with after a little thinking and research.

Anger is an emotion characterized by ill feeling toward someone or someone’s who you feel has done you or someone else wrong.

Here are some biological manifestations of anger:
  • spike in energy levels          
  • rise in blood pressure                    
  • increase in body temperature          
  • increased muscle tension                    
Here are some outward characteristics you might notice when someone’s angry.
  • raised voice          
  • clenched fists          
  • frowning          
  • a clenched jaw          
  • trembling          
  • sweating                              
  • pacing around or fidgeting nervously

 And here are some of the destructive health consequences of anger:         
  •  headache                      
  •  digestion problems       
  •  insomnia                         
  •  anxiety                        
  •  high blood pressure               
  •  skin problems, such as eczema                  
  •  heart attack                   
  •  stroke         
  •  substance abuse          
  •  gastric ulcers                    
  •  bowel disease                    
  •  diabetes 2          
And of course we know that unchecked anger can lead to serious damage to our relationships with others, depression, loneliness, violence and more.

So, is anger evil? Is it wrong to be angry? Yes, it can be, absolutely. But, not necessarily. In fact anger can be a healthy emotion that can bring about solutions to problems and improve our lives and the lives of those around us IF we handle and channel it properly. Actually God, who is pure and holy, gets angry. But what makes His anger good is His motive. His anger is always at evil that hurts us or others and his goal is always to eliminate or solve the problem, to bring about peace and restoration of relationships with Him and others. In other words, He’s like a good father when He sees the kids hurting each other. Because he loves the children so much he hates seeing that happen. And the anger rising up within Him motivates Him to get involved, to do something about it by instructing or disciplining the kids for the purpose of correcting the behaviour and bringing about peace and harmony in the home. Ephesians 4:26 says: Be angry, and do not sin.  Let me repeat that.  Be angry, and do not sin.

So there are times when we’re supposed to be angry. When it’s normal, justified and even healthy to be angry. But at the same time we’re not supposed to sin, we’re not to allow anger to get out of control and bear bad fruit. Anger, if there’s a good reason for it, can be like medicine. Medicine can help cure sickness and disease and bring relief from pain and other ailments. But, if the medicine is improperly administered or someone overdoses on it, it can cause serious health side effects and even death. So we have to make sure our anger is managed and channelled correctly so that it can actually be a force for good in our lives. How about that?

So how can we have anger and act on it without sin? Thankfully the Bible has some fantastic advice about that.

James 1:19-20 says: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.        

The first three points are there to put the brakes on us acting rashly      and letting anger bear bad fruit.     

    1.     Be quick to hear. We need to thoroughly investigate whatever has angered us. Maybe we haven’t heard the whole story or all the details. We need to find out if our anger is even justified. If not then we need to ask God to cleanse us of it. For instance maybe it was just our pride that was hurt, or the other person didn’t mean what we thought they did.

Maybe we should ask the other person what they meant. Or maybe we need to confidentially discuss the issue with a trusted third party to get a better perspective or sound advice. And by the way this doesn’t mean going around telling anyone and everyone about the problem. That just inflames the situation. Keep it ‘in house’ so to speak, only between you and whoever needs to be involved.

Avoid reacting too quickly and take time to actively look into the matter, to ask questions, to look beyond the surface, to find out people’s motives and so on.

    2.     Be slow to speak. After we’ve really looked into the matter and have the right perspective on it we need to judge whether we even need to speak up or say something. Here are some questions to ask ourselves:

Does something really need to be said to rectify the situation? Or should I just let it pass? Am I the best one to say it or should I get the help of someone else? If it’s me, then when should I speak up,? Is the other person ready to communicate or do they need some time to cool down?

How should I speak up? What should I say? What’s the best way to      communicate my feelings in a way that’s most likely to inspire willing engagement and a positive resolution.         

 3. Be slow to anger: This can be seen as a combination of the first two but it can also mean that there is a time to actually display angry emotions. But before doing so we should go through steps one and two first. Open displays of anger should be used only as a last resort and only in serious or severe situations.      

Of course it’s different if, for example, you’re seeing someone being mugged or robbed. In such a case it would be absolutely the right thing to do to quickly get angry at the perpetrator and yell at them or use reasonable force to stop them.       

And the fourth part of the verse is a really good warning ‘for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.'      


We should discern if the issue is even something to be angry about and then act on our anger in a godly way, otherwise our unjustified anger or the poor way we’re acting on justified anger will just backfire and cause more problems. It won’t bring about a godly result.    

Ok. And here’s the second half of Ephesians 4:26 'do not let the sun go down on your anger.'    

This means that we should try to resolve whatever is causing our anger quickly and avoid taking it to bed with us. Letting our anger fester and simmer for extended periods of time can cause us to eventually explode, or lead to bitterness. It’s better to go on the offensive and deal with the situation quickly. Of course there are times when it will take more than a day to resolve something, and it is wise to wait for the right time, but whatever the case, do resolve it as soon as possible.

Finally, we need to watch out when we’re angry for own personal selves or someone close to us, that’s we’re more prone to make mistakes. But when we’re angry for the harm done to someone else, then it can be easier to be more objective and balanced in our response.

So, yes anger can be a very destructive emotion. But it doesn’t have to be. If we manage and channel it wisely ‘and sin not’ as the scripture says, we can turn our anger into a force for good as we use it to motivate us to protect ourselves and others from harm and to positively solve problematic issues for the good of all. This does take a lot of humility, self control and the grace of God but it can be done and our lives will be much happier.

Thanks a lot for listening everyone. I hope this has been a help to you. Please be sure to subscribe and also share with others. God bless you all. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Ephesians 4:26
James 1:19-20
Episode 65 The Christmas Truce of 1914

Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George, thanks so much for joining me.

It’s Christmas season again. What a wonderful time of year, where worldwide more than 2 billion people celebrate the birth of Jesus and billions more are exposed to the wonder and beauty of the Christmas story. And not just a mere story, but the pivotal moment in history when God visited humanity to get involved in our struggle, to show us what He’s like and to offer us forgiveness of sins, salvation and healing for our bodies and our hearts.

It’s not just a time to celebrate with time off from the daily drudgery, with empty merriment and gift giving. It has far deeper significance that is meant to make a profound difference in our lives and the world.

And today I’m going to share with you a very touching, incredible true Christmas story that illustrates just that, the power of the story to have a positive impact even in the midst of the most trying circumstances.

The event is known as the Christmas Truce of 1914. A well documented temporary truce that occurred between the warring parties in the midst of the unspeakable horrors of the trench warfare of Word War 1. I first heard of this event from my late wife’s father because his own grandfather was a participant in the event as he served as a mechanic in the German air force. After the war he emigrated to America and became a pacifist who opposed war.

It was Christmas Eve of 1914. Long simmering hostilities between European powers escalated to full blown war in August of that year. On the one side, the Allied nations of France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy and the United States, among other countries. On the other side the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, and their colonies.

The most prolonged and fiercest fighting of the war occurred in the trenches of what was known as the Western Front, which was a more than 700 km line of countless trenches extending from the Belgian coast all through northeastern France to Switzerland, where millions of men faced off against each other for most of the duration of the war from 1914 to 1918.

Governments and media like to sanitize and glorify war and a casual reading of history books just seems to fill you with information and statistics. But to really grasp the brutal realities of World War I you’ve got to dig around to get an understanding of trench warfare and what it was like. Here’s what I found from various sources.

The trenches were usually dug to a depth of about 2 ½ to 3 meters. They were fortified with sandbags and protected by barbed wire. Makeshift wooden flooring was often installed to keep the soldiers feet out of the mud, but this wasn’t very effective and soldiers on the front lines basically lived on and off in the mud for months and years on end (if they survived that long). Life in the constant wet and damp often led to a condition known as ‘trenchfoot,’ which if it wasn’t treated could necessitate amputation in order to avoid severe infection or even death. It pains me to imagine what an amputation would be like in those days before modern medicine.

Besides life in the mud, the soldiers had to contend with the insects and the rats, as well as battle the elements, the freezing cold in mid winter, the heat of summer, the rain. The trenches also became like garbage dumps for the debris of spent military equipment, used supplies and the dead bodies of fallen comrades. And then of course there was the horror of the reason they were there in the first place, the war.

The trenches were usually within eye distance but sometimes as close as 50 meters apart putting the combatants eyeball to eyeball in nerve wracking face offs. The space in between was called ‘No man’s land’ and was often filled with barbed wire and land mines. Actual fighting was dominated by machine guns and rifles and raids by one side upon another put the soldiers in gruesome hand to hand, face to face combat.

I have to admit, I had never really delved into the details of the realities of war until doing research for this episode. And what I’ve found just fills me with horror and sympathy for what those poor boys who had to endure. Many millions died a cruel death and many millions more were cruelly physically injured on top of the mental and spiritual scars they carried after the war ended.

It was in the midst of these trying conditions that the miracle of the Christmas Truce happened on Christmas Eve 1914.

That night, somewhere along the long line of trenches some German soldiers began to sing a Christmas carol in their language. Soon boys from both sides who were supposed to be there to slaughter and maim each other were singing timeless carols such as Silent Night and O Come, All Ye Faithful in unison!

By the next morning some German soldiers came up from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers nervously came out to greet them. In other places Germans boys held up signs reading “You no shoot, we no shoot.” The spirit of peace and brotherhood spread and it’s reported that up to 100,000 men joined in the unofficial truce.

During Christmas Day, soldiers played football together and exchanged gifts of cigarettes, food and other treats. The truce also gave a chance to both sides to finally bury their dead buddies, whose bodies were still laying in “no man’s land,” between trenches.

The truce was short lived. In some places commanders ordered a resumption of hostilities the same day, in others it lasted until after New Years Day. But it was a surreal interruption to the carnage of a war that should never have been waged in the first place and a beautiful moment of relief for the poor boys who were sent there like lambs to the slaughter.

This is what the birth of Jesus and the message of the Gospel does. In a broken world of pain and sorrows, Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace came to bring humanity together in the spirit of God’s love. Just like in the case of these soldiers, to inspire us to cease our hostilities and to look at one another with the eyes of love and compassion. Rather than treat each other as enemies, to fellowship and share laughter, rather than fight one another to gain possessions, to share them, rather than to hate to love.

Listen to what the multitudes of angels in the heavens pronounced on the night of His birth.
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will

And hear what the scriptures say about His ministry on earth to bring us peace and liberty.

Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.


Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

If you’re a Christian please share the true message of Christmas with those around you. If you’re not a believer, please accept Jesus into your heart so that you too can experience His forgiveness, salvation, liberty and peace.

If you would like to know more about the Christmas Truce of 1914 I’ll include some links in the show notes. Please be sure to subscribe and please enjoy the Christmas season. God bless you all. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Luke 2:14
Luke 4:18-19
Isaiah 9:6

Episode 66 Christmas Stories Pt 1

Merry Christmas everyone. This is Bible Made Easy Podcast and I’m Brother George. Thanks for joining me. Please enjoy these Christmas stories that will warm your heart and inspire you to put love into action this Christmas and every day.

Remembering the Giver
Author unknown

One Christmas a pastor received a telephone call from the school principal, who was a member of his church. His voice was choked with emotion as he asked the pastor for his assistance.

On the last day before school was dismissed for the holidays, a six-year-old boy came into his classroom with a note pinned to his tattered coat. It was from his father. The note read, “Please help my son if you can. His mother recently ran off and left us, and last week I lost my job. I’m swallowing my pride for his sake. I have never had to ask for help before, but could you make it possible for him to have a gift for Christmas?”

As the pastor heard that story, he identified with that father’s pain. He agreed to help, and decided to get his own children involved in sharing the gift of giving. That afternoon they went to a grocery store and purchased food for the man and his son. Next, they went to a toy store and each child bought a present for the boy and then went home and wrapped it. Later that afternoon they drove to the small house which was in need of paint and repairs and knocked on the door. When the man opened the door and saw the pastor and his children bearing groceries and gifts, his moistened eyes betrayed his stolid posture.

The little boy, whose eyes were as big as saucers when he saw the gifts, did not first reach out to accept them but rather reached out to the pastor and gave him a big bear hug. He looked up at his face and said, “Thank you, mister. My teacher said you would come. He said that you would come.” The little boy was just so on target. His attention wasn’t on the gifts but on the giver. I think the little boy in the story got it right. I can learn from him. This Christmas, not only do I remember the gift of life that the babe in a manger has brought, but I remember the babe in the manger. It is in that relationship with him that I am made whole. It’s in the connection with him that I have my hope. It’s in my yielding my life to him that I have the promise.

A Boy Learns A Lesson
by Thomas S. Monson

In about my tenth year, as Christmas approached, I longed for an electric train. The times were those of economic depression, yet Mother and Dad purchased for me a lovely electric train.
Christmas morning bright and early, I thrilled when I noticed my train. The next few hours were devoted to operating the transformer and watching the engine pull its cars forward—then backward around the track.

Mother said that she had purchased a wind-up train for Widow Hansen’s boy, Mark, who lived down the lane at Gale Street. As I looked at his train, I noted a tanker car which I much admired. I put up such a fuss that my mother succumbed to my pleadings and gave me the tanker car. I put it with my train set and felt pleased.
Mother and I took the remaining cars and the engine down to Mark Hansen. The young boy was a year or two older than I. He had never anticipated such a gift. He was thrilled beyond words. He wound the key in his engine, it not being electric nor expensive like mine, and was overjoyed as the engine and three cars, plus a caboose, went around the track.

I felt a horrible sense of guilt as I returned home. The tanker car no longer appealed to me. Suddenly, I took the tanker car in my hand, plus an additional car of my own, and ran all the way down to Gale Street and proudly announced to Mark, “We forgot to bring two cars which belong to your train.”

I don’t know when a deed had made me feel any better than that experience as a ten-year old boy.

Some Relation
Author Unknown

One cold winter day, a ragged little homeless boy stood on a street corner of a large city, selling newspapers. His feet were bare and he had no coat. As he stood there shivering, a woman walked past noticing the child. She approached him and said, “Come with me dear. I want to buy you a coat and some shoes.”

A smile lightened his cold little face as he took her hand. She led him to a large department store, where she had him completely outfitted from head to toe with sturdy winter clothing.

The boy was putting on the last of his new clothing as she paid the bill and slipped quietly out the door. When he finished dressing, he looked for the lady to tell her thank you. He was told by the clerk that she had gone.

He ran from the store, frantically looking up and down the street. There she was, walking down the street! He quickly ran to her, took her hand and said, “Lady, why did you go? I wanted to thank you!”
“You’re most welcome dear,” she smiled. The little boy then looked up into her face and said solemnly, “Lady, who are you? Are you God’s wife?” No,” she softly replied, “I’m just one of His children.” “Oh I knew it!” he smiled with tears in his eyes. “I just knew you were some relation.”

The Empty Box
Author Unknown

Even though it was only September, the air was crisp and the children were already whispering about Christmas plans and Santa Claus. It made the already long months until Christmas seem even longer. With each passing day the children became more anxious, waiting for the final school bell. Upon its ringing everyone would run for coats, gloves and the classroom door, racing to see who would be the first one home: everyone except David.

David was a small boy with messy brown hair and tattered clothes. I had often wondered what kind of home life David had and often asked myself what kind of mother could send her son to school dressed so inappropriately for the cold winter months without coat, boots, or gloves. But something made David special. It wasn’t his intelligence or manners for they were as lacking as his winter clothes, but I can never recall looking at David and not seeing a smile. He was always willing to help and not a day passed that David didn’t stay after school to straighten chairs and clean erasers. We never talked much, he would just simply smile and ask what else he could do, then thank me for letting him stay and slowly head for home.

Weeks passed and the excitement over the coming Christmas grew into restlessness until the last day of school before the holiday break. I can’t recall a more anxious group of children as that final bell rang and they scattered out the door. I smiled in relief as the last of them hurried out. Turning around I saw David quietly standing by me desk. “Aren’t you anxious to get home, David?” I asked. “No,” he quietly replied. Ready to go home myself I said, “Well, I think the chairs and erasers will wait, why don’t you hurry home.” “I have something for you,” he said and pulled from behind his back a small box wrapped in old paper and tied with string. Handing it to me he said anxiously, “Open it!” I took the box from him, thanked him and slowly unwrapped it. I lifted the lid and to my surprise saw nothing. I looked at David’s smiling face and back into the empty box and said, “The box is nice, but David, it’s empty.” “Oh, no it isn’t,” said David, “it’s full of love. My mother told me before she died that love was something you couldn’t see or touch unless you know it’s there….can you see it?” Tears filled my eyes as I looked at the proud dirty face I had rarely given attention to. “Yes, David, I can see it,” I replied. “Thank you.”

David and I became good friends after that Christmas and I can say that with the passing years, I never again let the uncombed hair or dirty faces bother me, and I never forgot the meaning behind the little empty box that still sits on my desk.

Episode 67 Christmas Stories Pt 2

Merry Christmas everyone. Brother George here. This is Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me. Here are some more Christmas stories that will warm your heart and inspire you to put love into action this Christmas and every day. Please enjoy.

There Are No Coincidences
By Warren Miller

For three days a fierce winter storm had traveled 1,500 miles across the North Pacific from Alaska, packing gale-force winds and torrential rains. In the North American Sierra Nevadas, the snow was piling up and would offer great skiing once the storm had passed.

In the foothills of the Sierras in the town of Grass Valley, California, the streets were flooded and in some parts of the town, the power was off where fallen trees had snapped overhead cables. At the small church, the heavy rain and high winds beat against the windows with a violence that Father O'Malley had never before heard.

In his tiny bedroom, out of the darkness the phone rang. As he picked up the phone, a voice quickly asked, "Is this Father O'Malley?"


"I'm calling from the hospital in Auburn," said a concerned female voice. "We have a terminally ill patient who is asking us to get someone to give him his last rites. Can you come quickly?"

"I'll try my best to make it," O'Malley answered. "But the river is over its banks, and trees are blown down all over town. Look for me within two hours."

The trip was only 30 miles, but it would be hard going. His progress was slow and cautious, but he continued on toward the hospital. Not a single vehicle passed him during his long, tense journey. Finally, in the near distance, he could see the lights of the small hospital, and he hoped he had arrived on time.

With his tattered Bible tucked deep inside his overcoat pocket, O'Malley forced the car door open, stepped out and then leaned into the wind. Its power almost bowled him over, and he was nearly blown away from the hospital entrance. Once inside, the wind slammed the hospital door shut behind him. He heard footsteps headed his way. It was the night nurse.

"I'm so glad you could get here," she said. "The man I called you about is slipping fast, but he is still coherent. He's an alcoholic and his liver has finally given out. He lives up in the woods, and no one around here knows much about him. And he doesn't seem to want to talk much."

"What's your patient's name?" O'Malley asked.

"The hospital staff has just been calling him Tom," she replied.

In the soft night-light of the room, Tom's thin, sallow countenance looked ghostlike behind a scraggly beard.

"Hello, Tom. I'm Father O'Malley," he said, and he began to say the prayers of the last rites.

After the "amen," Tom perked up a bit, and he seemed to want to talk.

"Would you like to make your confession?" O'Malley asked him.

"Absolutely not," Tom answered. "But I would like to just talk with you a bit, before I go."

And so Tom and Father O'Malley talked about the Korean War, and the ferocity of the winter storm, and the knee-high grass and summer blossoms that would soon follow.

After a couple of hours, and after about the fourth or fifth time that Father O'Malley asked the same question, Tom replied, "Father, when I was young, I did something that was so bad that I haven't spent a single day since without thinking about it and reliving the horror."

Father O'Malley gently said, "I'm sure that God will forgive you, Tom, whatever it was you did. He is love. He wants us to confess and to receive His forgiveness. He wants you to be free of whatever it is that has plagued you for so long."

"Even now, I still can't talk about what I did," Tom said. "Even to you."

O'Malley silently waited. Finally Tom said sadly, "Okay. It's too late for anyone to do anything to me now, so I guess I might as well tell you.

"I worked as a switchman on the railroad all my life, until I retired a few years ago and moved up here to the woods. Thirty-two years ago, I was working in Bakersfield on a night kind of like tonight. It was Christmastime."

Tom's face became intense as the words began to tumble out. "It happened during a bad winter storm with a lot of rain, 50-mile-an-hour winds and almost no visibility. Two nights before Christmas, the whole yard crew drank all through the swing shift. I volunteered to go out in the rain and wind and push the switch for the northbound 8:30 freight train."

Tom's voice dropped almost to a whisper as he went on. "I guess I was more drunk than I thought I was because I pushed that switch in the wrong direction. At 45 miles an hour that freight train slammed into a passenger car at the next crossing and killed a young man, his wife and their two daughters.

"I have had to live with my being the cause of their deaths every day since then."

There was a long moment of silence as Tom's confession of this tragedy hung in the air. After what seemed like an eternity, Father O'Malley gently put his hand on Tom's shoulder and said very quietly, "I know God can forgive you, son, because I can. In that car were my mother, my father and my two older sisters."

A Perfect Mistake
Author Unknown

Mother's father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to some orphanage in China for Christmas. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what must have happened: The glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand-new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression of the 1930s was at its height in the U.S. and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. "It's not fair," he told God as he drove home in frustration. "I've been very faithful in giving of my time and money to Your work, and now this."

Several months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather's small church in Chicago. The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage.

"But most of all," he said, "I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your Christmas crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top."

The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: "Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom-made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that."

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. However, they thought the missionary surely must have confused their church with another. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas.

But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

Episode 68 The Gate Of The Year

Hi everyone. Brother George here and welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast.

So we come to the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. I think most people would agree that the last year flew by quickly, as time always seems to do. It’s a great time to look back at the year you’ve had and to evaluate how things went and most of all to count your blessings. Even if it was a comparatively rough year for you, if you see life with the proper perspective there will always be plenty of positive things to thank God for. And it’s always great to be able to focus on those things. That’s why Philippians 4:8 says Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

And there are plenty of other scriptures about thankfulness. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

And Ephesians 5:20 exhorts us that we should be Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

These two verses mention ‘In all circumstances’ and ‘For everything’ so that obviously includes the rough times and for bad things that happened. Being thankful for everything in the past is a vital attitude to have because it has a tremendous bearing on how we approach the future as well. If you can take a positive attitude towards past events of your life it gives you great confidence about the future too. And a lot depends on how you look at those events. So, what does this look like? I’ll speak for myself here.

2022 was in many ways a rough year for me personally.

  •     In the early part of the year I battled with muscle inflammations that had been ongoing for several years as well as a foot issue which made it difficult to for me to walk properly. So I had limited      mobility for much of the first few months.
  •     In May my family and I contracted Covid so that knocked us out for a month or so.    
  •     Then right after recovering from that, in June I suffered a case of      Bell’s Palsy, otherwise known as 7th nerve palsy, which caused partial paralysis on the right side of my face for a few weeks. My face became lopsided and I couldn’t chew or drink properly during that time.    
  •     Then real soon after recovering from that, I got 6th nerve palsy on the left side of my face. That caused me to have double vision for a couple of months from August to October which was really disorienting to say the least.
  •      Then just as I was recovering from that we suffered historical flooding in our area and had to evacuate from our home for about 10 days until the waters receded.    
  •     And while all the above was happening I also had some internal bleeding in my bladder which had to be investigated and is still under investigation.    
  •     And while all of that was happening throughout the year I’ve of course been having regular kidney dialysis three times per week, four hours per session at the local hospital.
  •     So I think I made 150+ trips to the hospital for dialysis and on top of      that another 30 or so trips for all the other issues.

And that’s not even all of my 2022 journey. Some parts I forgot and others I can’t explain here. But that’s the gist of it.

Now, there a lot of people who know me who feel really sorry for me and think I have a really bad life and that would have been a real tough year. But I don’t really look at it that way. I have a great life and 2022 was a fantastic year for me. Sure, all of the above was challenging to get through and I can think of a lot more fun things to do than being sick and afflicted so much. But I have so much to be grateful for.

I get to go through these tough challenges and watch God do all the miracles needed to get me through each one and come out the other side happy and pretty healthy considering the circumstances. At the dialysis clinic especially I’ve gotten to know the staff and other patients and I’ve been able to share my faith with and encourage and pray for many needy people there and see the Lord work wonders in their lives as well.

I have an amazing wife who takes great care of me down to the finest details, making sure I have everything I need to keep me as healthy as I can be in my circumstances. We have two beautiful young children with whom I spend a lot of time playing. We’re a really happy family. I also have five great adult kids from my late wife and I’m going to be a grandfather for the first time in a few months. I’ve got a really loving and close extended family as well and a great group of very close and loyal friends who I can count on. AND I get to record and share these weekly podcasts with you and know that many people around the world are being saved, and their faith strengthened by them. So, life is great.

What’s in store for me in 2023? I don’t know. But whatever it is I know it will be good because the Lord is in control of everything. That doesn’t mean my wife and I are just sitting back waiting for things to happen. We’ve set goals, plans and structure to what we want to achieve in every aspect of our and our kid’s lives. But after we’ve done all we can we’re going to trust God for the outcome, and because of the many promises of His faithfulness in the Bible we’re confident that whatever happens. it will be a great year.

Here’s an excerpt of a poem that comes to my mind each New Year. It was written by Minnie Louise Haskins in around 1908 and was famously quoted by King George VI in his 1939 Christmas broadcast to the British Empire in the perilous early days of World War II. The poem is commonly called The Gate Of The Year.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown".
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way".

Taking the hand of our loving God into the unknown future is the best way to face whatever comes confidently and bravely. It’s the best way to ensure that we have peace as we embark on the journey of 2023 knowing that He has our best interests at heart. As He said in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

A great big thanks to all my listeners who’ve tuned in to my podcast during 2022. It’s my sincere prayer that each episode has been a blessing and strength to you. I hope you’ll all join me again throughout the coming year as well. If you haven’t already done so please be sure to hit the subscribe button to get notified of new episodes. And please help share the good news of the Bible by also hitting the like button and leaving a positive comment if you can. This prompts the various podcast streaming app algorithms to recommend Bible Made Easy Podcast to more potential listeners. Thanks a lot.

May the Lord bless and keep each one of you throughout 2023. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Philippians 4:8
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Ephesians 5:20
Episode 69 Thinking Big-Letting God Use You

Hi everyone. Brother George here again at Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me.

If you want to achieve great things, if you want to make a mark in this world, if you want to leave a lasting legacy behind at the end of your life, you can’t just let life pass you by, you can’t just stumble through life with no blueprint for success. Anything great that was ever achieved was done with a vision and a plan to carry it out. And the early days of the year is a great time to think about, pray about and to put such plans into action. It’s a great time to think big for God.

As Jesus said in Matthew 9:38-39 The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

There’s always a shortage of people willing to step into the arena and do their bit to fill the massive needs of His work on earth. You might feel unqualified, inexperienced or incapable but God is in no way constrained by human limitations. In fact He’s an absolute specialist in taking the weakest and most unlikely people and using them to perform tremendous exploits.

Speaking to the early Christians in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 the Apostle Paul made this very clear. He said:
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 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; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen...

This means that God is able to greatly use nobodies like you and me to do big things for Him. And the Bible is littered with examples of God plucking willing unknowns from obscurity, thrusting them into the spotlight and empowering them to perform mighty exploits.

The patriarch Abraham, was a nobody Chaldean (that’s from modern day southern Iraq) to whom God said;

Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you.…...and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

Well Abraham believed and obeyed and became the forefather of the billions of adherents to the Abrahamic faiths, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Moses was raised in the household of Pharaoh the ruler of the mighty Egyptian empire. But having killed an Egyptian slave master in a fit of rage at injustice he had to flee for his life and spent 40 years in exile and obscurity before God called him to return to Egypt for an epic showdown with Pharoah in order to deliver millions of Hebrews from slavery. By the time God called him he was completely devoid of self confidence. He made all kinds of excuses:

‘I’m not a good speaker, the Israelites won’t listen to me, Pharaoh won’t listen to me, You should get someone else.’

And God had to do all kinds of miracles right in front of his eyes to convince him to go. Eventually he did, and God worked through him to pull off the monumental task of delivering His people, organising the nation, receiving and documenting the laws of God and leading his people on an arduous 40 year trek through the wilderness to the brink of the Promised Land.

Rahab was a prostitute who God used to house two Israeli spies sent on a mission to scout out the Promised Land for conquest. She risked her life to provide cover for the spies because she had faith that God was on their side. He was, and with her assistance their surveillance mission was a success in helping the Israelites conquer the land. That’s all she did, but it was a pivotal moment in history and she’s know for it still today.

David was just a teenage shepherd who nobody had ever heard of who slayed the giant Goliath who along with the armies of the Philistines had threatened to put an end to the nation of Israel and thus frustrate God’s plan to send the Messiah through them. David went on to be Israel’s greatest king and the composer of many of the wonderful psalms found in the Old Testament.

And how about the mighty prophet Isaiah who saw far into the distant future and wrote down some of the most accurate and inspirational prophecies regarding the coming Messiah and His future reign found in the entire Old Testament. When the Lord appeared to him to call him to prophesy he felt so unworthy, so wretched that he cried out;

‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips’

But God would not be denied. He immediately sent an angel to cleanse Isaiah from his sins and weaknesses and then challenged him:

‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’  

Isaiah, seeing he had been called, cleansed and outfitted for the task replied

‘Here am I. Send me!'

The first apostles and early disciples were also mostly a band of nobodies who Jesus called to follow Him. The majority of them didn’t come from the elite educational institutions of the day, or from among the upper class political or business circles. Among them were fishermen, hated tax collectors, tent makers, prostitutes and other nobodies. In fact when the elites heard them preach the Bible says:

‘Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognised that they had been with Jesus.’ Acts 4:13

The difference between these Bible heroes remaining anonymous forever or going on to change the course of history was not that they were so gifted or great in themselves. It was that they had a connection with God, a desire to fulfill His will for their lives, and they dedicated themselves wholly to the vision God gave them and allowed Him to empower them to fulfill their destinies.

That’s all that’s required, a willing heart that God can use regardless of a lack of qualifications.

You know billions of people are content to sit on the sidelines and spend hours, days and years of their lives watching TV or browsing social media watching others do interesting or amazing things but never venturing out and getting into the action themselves.

Back in 1931 Nicholas Murray Butler who was the President of Columbia University in New York delivered a speech to a group of students. He said: 'The vast population of this earth….may readily be divided into three groups. There are the few who make things happen, the many more who watch things happen, and the overwhelming majority who have no notion of what happens.'

Don’t be part of the last two groups. God has a job for you and you can carry it out. Here’s how.

1. Get connected with God. If you’re not already a Christian then get connected today. Receive Jesus as your savior and see how He can use you to make a positive difference in the world.
2. Seek His will for your life. Find out what God wants you to do. Look at the needs around you and meet them. It doesn’t have to be earth shaking, it can be just whatever He puts right in front of you.
3. Yield your life to Him. Put Him first before other pursuits.
4. Recognize your strengths and use them.
5. Minimize your weaknesses and distractions.
6. Expand your vision. Think bigger than you used to. Make ambitious, but realistic plans.
7. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Better to try and fail than not to try at all.

And remember Ephesians 3:20 which tells us that God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

I hope this motivates and encourages you to think big for God right now at beginning of the new year. May He bless all that you endeavor to do for Him and keep you all in His care.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to hit the subscribe and like buttons right now before you go off to do something else. Thanks. See you all next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 9:38-39
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
Acts 4:13
Ephesians 3:20

Episode 70 Failure-The Stepping Stone To Success

Hi everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. If it’s your first time to tune in, thanks for joining me.

Last week I talked about thinking big, about letting God do great things through us no matter whether we feel qualified, capable or not. And I was very pleased to have gotten some great reactions from people who said they were really motivated by the talk. So I though that was great. Then I began thinking about what it is that usually puts a damper on a spark of grand plans. That would be failure or the fear of failure. Fear of failure prevents us from stepping out to perform the vision God gives us. And actual failure brings on discouragement and can cause us to either tone down our efforts or quit altogether.

As I mentioned in the last episode most people are sitting in the grandstands of life observing others do outstanding things, but very few are in the actual arena doing those things themselves. I’ll bet that a great number of these people are in the grandstands because of either fear of failure or because of having failed and then given up. This is so unfortunate because God has given each one of us unique gifts that can be of tremendous value to Him and others.

Most of us have to face failure or the fear of it in the face, and whether we win the battle against it or not determines whether we’re successful or not. Thankfully there’s plenty of encouragement about this in the Bible.

Perhaps one of the most obvious Biblical examples of the contrasting outcomes of either overcoming fear of failure or being defeated by it is found in the Parable of the Talents that Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-29. Listen carefully to the story.

For the kingdom of heaven is like a man travelling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

So you’ve got this very wealthy man, kind of like a modern day owner of an investment firm, about to go off on a long journey. And before he departs he leaves differing amounts of talents, which is money, with his servants expecting them to invest the capital and deliver him a profit by the time he returns.

Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

So two of the servants engaged in trading with their money and got 100% returns on the investments. But the other servant buried his money, which in those days was the equivalent of putting it in a safe to secure it against theft. He didn’t invest it.

So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Why didn’t he invest the talent? He said ‘I was afraid’. He was afraid of failing in any investment venture. He played it safe and buried it. But his master chided him and said that the least he could have done was put it in a bank and earned interest, but he didn’t even do that.

So the end the story is that the money entrusted to him was taken away from him and given to the most profitable servant. He got fired and ended up weeping and regretful.

The servants who did trust in the faith their boss had placed in them were willing to risk investment, their ventures paid off handsomely and they were blessed by their master. But the servant who didn’t act on his master’s faith in him because of the fear of failure ended up losing everything. What a telling lesson for us all.

OK, but what if you do step out despite the risks and actually fail. Don’t worry there are plenty of examples of Bible heroes whose paths to greatness were paved with failure.

I’ll gave you just one example. The great apostle Simon Peter, one of the original 12 disciples who followed Jesus for the entire 3 years of his ministry. When His Savior needed Him most, at the time of his agonizing trial, Peter deserted Him and denied knowing Him three times in spite of just the previous evening having adamantly proclaimed to Jesus that he would never fall away even if everyone else did. Peter’s moment of truth had arrived and he completely blew it. The enormity of his failure hit him so hard that the scripture says he wept bitterly. Imagine the feelings of cowardice and sorrow, the gut wrenching shame and despair Peter must have felt. But despite his woeful failure Jesus wasn’t done with him by any means. Jesus still had faith in him and foresaw that this failure would spur Peter on to perform marvellous exploits in His name.

After His resurrection Jesus took Peter under his wings and commissioned him with the enormous responsibility of feeding His left behind sheep in the face of severe opposition and persecution. To the outsider this wouldn’t make sense. It was akin to a military leader putting a former deserter out into the front lines of the battle to lead the army. But Jesus knew Peter’s heart and Peter didn’t fail Him a second time. He learned from his mistake and allowed it to be a springboard for redemption. He recovered his courage and went on to be one of the chief spreaders of the gospel in the face of brutal opposition and in the end sacrificing his own life for it as his master did. What a tremendous example to us all of turning utter failure into glorious victory.

Don’t let fear of failure or failure itself hinder you from fulfilling God’s grand plans for you and receiving the resultant rewards. Here are two scriptures that will give you the faith to take the plunge in the first place and to be able to get back up fighting in the face of failure when it happens.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


Proverbs 24:16
Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.

Thanks for joining me today. Please be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already. God bless you all. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 25:14-29
Philippians 4:13
Proverbs 24:16

Episode 71 Near Death Experiences-Proof Of God And The Afterlife

Hi everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks for joining me.

Many atheists cite the reason for their non belief as being that we can’t see God. They want some visible or tangible proof of His existence. The problem for them is that God has chosen to remain unseen to the naked eye, busily working behind the scenes and only revealing visible or audible proof of Himself to a very select few over the course of history.

The skeptical Jewish leaders in Jesus’ day badgered Him to show them some kind of miraculous sign to prove his Messianic claims, and even the apostle Thomas said he wouldn’t believe his fellow disciple’s claims that Jesus had risen from the dead unless he personally saw and touched the crucifixion wounds on Jesus’ body. In both cases Jesus reacted negatively towards those who would not believe without a sign. He strongly chided the religious leaders for demanding a sign and refused to do miracles at their request.

He did appear to Thomas though and showed him His wounds, but at the same time nudged his attitude in the right direction by saying these famous words in John 20:29

Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

The general rule of thumb with God is that He usually won’t give a sign to the ‘already got my mind made up’ hard-hearted skeptic who demands one in order to believe, but He is known to at times give tangible confirming signs to those who already have faith, as He did to Thomas and many others in the Bible.

God largely wants us to believe in Him and trust in Him by faith, even if we don’t see. And He’s pleased with and rewards those who do. But that doesn’t mean He’s left us totally bereft of any material signs of His existence. He knows our human frailties and propensity to doubt so He’s gone to extreme lengths to clearly reveal Himself, without actually showing Himself visually. Such revelation is mostly found in nature where God has left His fingerprints all over the place so that even the most amateur ‘spiritual detective’ could find out that He is the so called ‘culprit’ behind creation.

In Romans 1:20 the Apostle Paul declared the witness of creation:

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they (unbelievers) are without excuse.

And we who are alive 2000 years later are even more without excuse for non belief because we have the benefit of new understanding of countless wonders of creation being revealed to us by modern science, something the ancients didn’t have.

I want to draw your attention to one very convincing sign of His existence and the afterlife that has gained quite a bit of attention in recent decades, that is the phenomenon of near death experiences.

Near-death experiences (called NDE’s for short) are profound spiritual experiences commonly occurring in life-threatening situations. In other words what happens is that a person has come within a whisker of death due to sickness or an accident or has even clinically died temporarily but was revived, and during that period of close proximity to death, or clinical death, they had these extremely vivid hallucinatory like spiritual experiences that were so real that they had profound and lifetime lasting effects on the person. Countless of them have shared intimate and graphic details of their experiences with researchers. True life accounts of the afterlife from people who came back from the dead or the near dead.

What is really fascinating is that
1. These are well researched and recognized accounts with over 900 scholarly articles published in scientific and medical journals over the past 40 or so years documenting these people’s experiences

2. The striking similarities between the NDE’s among the millions who’ve had them

3. The remarkable confirmation they give to Biblical teachings

Although every NDE is different here is a list of components that are common among them:

Awareness of being dead.

Out of body experience of floating above or feeling detached from the body

Awareness of medical and rescue activities and even pronouncements of their own death.

An overwhelming sense of peace and serenity

Feelings of joy and bliss

Hearing or feeling a loud sound

Sudden insight and understanding

Movement to another sphere or dimension through some sort of tunnel

Visiting an unearthly world with extraordinarily beautiful landscapes

Observation of vivid colours in nature, some never seen before

A feeling of having arrived home

Meeting and communication with a brilliant light

Meeting and communication with spiritual beings, angels, God, Jesus or departed loved ones

Reliving of past memories or having their whole lives shown to them in a flash

Feelings of accountability and remorse over past failings

Being given a choice to stay or return to earthly life, or being told to go back

Presence of a border from which there is no return, like a river, gate or wall

Intense feeling that they had to tell others upon returning

Life profoundly changed for the good upon returning, with a renewed sense of purpose and focus on love and altruism

The causes behind NDE’s are not clearly understood by scientists and medical professionals. Some attempt to explain them away as purely neurological responses by the brain to death, hallucinations, the effects of oxygen deprivation or other psychological or physiological causes.

But the common features of NDE’s are remarkably consistent with what the Bible tells us about the existence of God, the spirit world and the afterlife. Even the highly respected British medical journal The Lancet conceded that none of those purely natural cause explanations could account for the supernatural features of NDE’s.

Here are a just few scriptural principles corroborated by NDE’s.

That there is life after death

That the spirit separates from the body after death

The existence of a world or dimension outside of time and space, that is a spiritual realm

The existence of God, Jesus, angels and other spiritual beings

That heaven is an indescribably beautiful and peaceful place

That our earthly works indeed follow us and we are accountable for them in the next life

That to love is the most important thing in life

Not all who experience NDE’s are Christians. But those who are usually come out with stronger convictions regarding their beliefs. For non Christians I believe that these people have been given a glimpse of the spiritual realities for which there is no better explanation than that which is found in the Bible.

NDE’s are a solid proof of God’s existence and life after death, one of the many ways God lovingly gives sneak peeks of Himself to us without literally jumping out in front of us.

1 Corinthians 2:9 says:
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.

If you’re a Christian you can find confirmation of your faith in NDE’s. If you’re not a Christian please look into this. God is using such experiences of other people to reach out to you personally. He’s literally brought people back from the dead to be His messengers to you.

Thanks so much for joining me today. Please subscribe in order to get notified of new episodes and please help this podcast to grow by liking, commenting and sharing. God bless you all. See you next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
John 20:29
Romans 1:20
1 Corinthians 2:9

Episode 72 Ten False Doctrines

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George, great to have you back. If you haven’t subscribed yet please tap that button now and also help get the word of God out by liking and sharing. Thanks a lot.

One of the major reasons for rejection of Jesus by unbelievers as well as loss of faith for Christians is erroneous teachings and doctrine taught by many denominations, churches and teachers that don’t reflect Biblical truth and God’s loving nature and thus cause people to stumble. So today I’m going to highlight 10 of these false or erroneous doctrines.

Now I’m not doing this in order to denigrate any group or individual, because most of them are based on usually sincere misunderstanding of scripture. But I do want to set the record straight for those who might be wondering about these things, and even to help those caught up in false doctrine to get on track in their theology and therefore become closer to Jesus and more at peace in their walk with Him.

I could make whole episodes on each one of these and actually have on some, which I’ll refer to as we go, but today I’m going to just be brief about each point. So here we go.

1. Jesus was not the divine Son of God, He was just a great moral teacher or prophet.

Well, this is diametrically opposed to what Jesus said about Himself and what His followers believed and were willing to die for.
Matthew 1:23 says he is called Immanuel (which means, God with us).
At his trial when the High Priest questioned him
Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

Jesus answered
I am

And Simon Peter said to Him
We have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

2. All religions have equal value
Many Christians think ‘Well I’ve got my path to God and other people of other religions have got theirs, and they’re all equally true.’ If that thought is true, then what’s so special about Jesus and Christianity? Anyone who really knows religions is aware that while most have basic similarities they also have many fundamental differences and therefore cannot possibly be all true at the same time. And Jesus is the only religious figure who claimed to be the Savior, the Son of God and ultimately the only true path to God and salvation. Please listen to Episode 16 for more on this.

3. Not all parts of the Bible are the inspired Word of God
Many people, including some Christians and even Bible teachers don’t believe all parts of the scriptures, especially parts that describe divine creation or miracles. They claim that these are just allegories, or stories written by humans to inspire us and teach us good morals. Well if this is true then how can you trust anything the Bible says? I don’t believe that.
2 Timothy 3:16 says
All scripture is given by inspiration of God

4. Salvation, eternal life in heaven, is obtained by our works

This belief leads some people to get discouraged because they know they are sinners and others to feel holy and self righteous because they think they’ve earned a place in heaven. The Bible does strongly emphasize the necessity of doing good works, but this is not a condition for salvation.
Titus 3:5 makes this crystal clear
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us

Now, this is not a license to sin as much as we want. God will withhold blessings or even discipline us for sins just as He rewards us for our good deeds. Please listen Episodes 9 and 16 about this.

5. Salvation can be lost or you might not even be a Christian if you sin
If you’ve genuinely received Jesus as your Savior then you are a Christian and Jesus will never abandon you, even if you might not be obeying Him at times or aren’t acting out your faith very well.
John 10:28
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish

And Hebrews 13:5
I will never leave you nor forsake you.

6. Calvinism
In a nutshell Calvinism is the increasingly popular doctrine that humans have no power to choose to be saved, but rather God chooses or predestines a limited number of people to be saved and overlooks the rest, thus also predestining them to eternal hellfire. This is just diabolical and is not at all consistent with the loving nature God who 2 Peter 3:9 says doesn’t wish that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. God gives us free will to choose Him or reject Him. He does not predestine or limit who will be saved, and He certainly does not predestine people to suffer eternally in hell with no ability to choose otherwise.

7. You must be baptized in water to be saved
The only thing the scriptures say you need to do to be saved is accept Jesus as your Savior. That’s it. No need for any other action, deed or work. In the Bible, water baptism was sometimes performed as a symbol of the cleansing of our sins, but never as the agent that does the cleansing. Only Jesus can do that. Plenty of Biblical characters were saved with no mention of water baptism. Besides, what if someone’s in the middle of the desert with no water around and calls on Jesus to save them? Will He say ‘No, you don’t have any water for the baptism’? I don’t think so.

8. We have to keep the Old Testament laws of Moses
We’re not under the over 600+ civil, ceremonial and moral laws of Moses any longer. This was made abundantly clear by Jesus and the New Testament writers. John 1:17 says
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

And Romans 10:4 says
Christ is the end of the (Old Testament) law for righteousness to everyone who believes

We only have one law now, God’s law of love which includes some of the old moral laws of Moses but is much broader in scope and much harder to keep. Please listen to Episodes 59-62 for more about this.

9. The unsaved will burn in hell forever, or there’s is no hell at all
I covered hell in Episodes 53 and 54 where I shared that English translations of the original Hebrew and Greek words for ‘hell’ and ‘forever’ don’t accurately reflect their original meanings. Obviously a terrible place of separation from God in the spirit world exists, because the Bible mentions it often, but the Biblical imagery of fire and torment represent a process of spiritual cleansing which hopefully leads to eventual repentance. God, Jesus and the saved will not be completely enjoying Heaven while other people burn in endless hell because He will never stop loving people and as Psalm 100:5 says
His mercy is everlasting.

10. It’s God’s will for Christians to always be healthy and materially prosperous
Some preachers even claim that if you’re not healthy and materially prosperous it’s because you’re failing God or disobedient in some way. This might be the case sometimes but while God does want us to be healthy and prosperous, He never guarantees this in the scripture. In fact the Bible guarantees we might experience the opposite at times.
Jesus said in John 16:33
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world

Ok, so that was the 10 false doctrines. Again, this is not intended to criticize those who believe them or promote a self righteous attitude towards them. The intention is to share the truth of the word of God and to put you into harmony with Him for your peace of mind and healthy spiritual life.

Thanks a lot for listening. God bless each one of you. See you next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 1:23
2 Timothy 3:16
Titus 3:5
John 10:28
Hebrews 13:5
2 Peter 3:9
John 1:17
Romans 10:4
Psalm 100:5
John 16:33

Episode 73 The Goodness Of God

Hi everyone. Brother George here again. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. Thanks for joining me.

I woke up suddenly at 5:40 am this morning after a very vivid dream about my mother. If there is ever a mother that’s been totally dedicated to her children and sacrificed everything for them, it’s her. She’s nearly 90 years old now and still lives and breathes for her 7 children and more than 20 grandchildren and great grandchildren. There’s nothing she desires more than their happiness and well being and nothing that brings a smile to her face more than spending time with them.

The earliest memory I have of my childhood was of my mum rubbing vitamin E cream onto the scars I suffered as a toddler. I got seriously scalded on my chest, neck, shoulders and arms from a pot of boiling water that was accidentally dropped on me. I don’t remember the accident itself, but I do remember her care for me and her loving hands gently applying the soothing balm of the cream that was meant to help heal me.

Throughout my adult life I don’t think I’ve fully appreciated just how much of her heart and soul she’s put into her family. I should understand better because I’ve had seven kids of my own. But I think the Lord must have given me this dream to help me understand her goodness and love more deeply, and His as well.

Loving parents are a reflection of how God loves us. They give us life itself, they sacrifice everything to raise us and put all their time and energy into looking out for our welfare. But even the most dedicated earthly parental love is only a shadow of the love and goodness of God towards us, His children.

Jesus made this comparison in Matthew 7:11 where He said
If you then, who are evil (in other words sinful by nature), know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

I think it’s human nature to lack appreciation for God’s goodness to us, to take the multitude of ways He blesses us for granted. But it’s worth taking some time to stop and to meditate on His goodness.

James 1:17 says
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, from the Father of lights.

Nothing would exist without His creative power. Without Him we wouldn’t have the life we enjoy. Every breath we take, every beat of our heart, all the joys of life we experience with our five senses, all the emotional highs we enjoy come from His loving hand. And it’s His parental delight to shower us with these blessings.

Psalm 84:11 says
….the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

And while He does give extra blessings to those who walk uprightly, those who love Him, it’s not just them He cares about and pours His love on. He also loves His wayward kids, the ones that disobey Him, ignore Him, say they don’t believe in Him and even hate Him.

Jesus made this clear in Matthew 5:45 when He said that His Father
makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Without sun and rain, you don’t have life itself. God loves the unjust, the unthankful, the wayward child just as much as those who obey Him. And as Jesus said in the Lost Sheep parable found in Matthew 18 He would leave the 99 sheep safely in the fold to go out in a search and rescue mission for even one lost sheep. That’s how much love God has for even those who stray, those outside the fold.

Here are some more scriptures on the goodness of God.

Psalm 107:1
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 145:9
The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

Nahum 1:7
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble

Psalm 34:8
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 100:5
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

It’s a heart cleansing and spiritually energizing exercise to meditate on the goodness of God. To remind ourselves of the infinite depth of His love and kindness towards us.

And there’s a fascinating scripture passage where the Apostle Paul warned of the dangers of being dismissive of God’s goodness, and revealed why God is so good to us and what a healthy appreciation of this leads to. Romans 2:4
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

God is good to us because He loves us. He pours out His goodness to us daily as a demonstration of His love in order that we can appreciate Him and love Him in return. Knowing and meditating on His goodness towards us leads to repentance, a restoration of our relationship with Him.

So, are you burdened with the stresses of life? Are you feeling burnt out or anxious? Have you felt distant from Him lately? Do you even know Him at all? Whatever the case, take a moment to reflect on His abundant goodness towards you. That will bring you back into harmony with Him. And if you don’t even know Him, get to know Him today. Receive Jesus as your savior by asking Him into your heart right now. Please see the salvation prayer in the show notes or description below.

Thanks for listening. God bless each one of you. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 7:11
James 1:17
Psalm 84:11
Matthew 5:45
Matthew 18
Psalm 107:1
Psalm 145:9
Nahum 1:7
Psalm 34:8
Psalm 100:5
Romans 2:4

Episode 74 Ten Tips For Powerful Prayers

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

They other day a friend called me to ask me to pray with him for a number of trying personal situations that all seemed to pile on top of each other at the same time. Each situation in itself was a tough one, and to have several of them occurring at the same time was just overwhelming. He told me that he felt like he needed to go on the offensive and fight hard for himself and his loved ones in prayer. So that’s what we did together. We prayed sincerely and intensely in complete faith that the Lord hears and wants to answer our prayers.

Sometimes situations just get overwhelming and rather than take it lying down we need to fight back. So how do you pray powerful prayers that get results? Here are 10 principles to bear in mind.

1. Enter into prayer with a clean heart
Psalm 66:18 says
The Lord will not hear me if I hold on to sin in my heart.

Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t pray if we’ve been bad. What it does mean is that if we knowingly and stubbornly harbour any kind of unrepentant sin in our heart, that puts a gap in the relationship between us and God and He won’t be able to bless us or answer our prayers as we’d like. But if we enter prayer knowing that in spite of being human and sinful, we’re doing our best for Him, then we can be sure there’s no hindrance there.

2. Have faith
Faith comes by hearing the word of God. And the Bible is loaded with many assurances that God will answer prayer. So it’s essential that you strengthen your faith by becoming familiar with these scriptural promises. I’ll put a list of powerful Bible verses on prayer in the show notes or description below.

3. Familiarize yourself with powerful prayers of Bible heroes that got results.
Here are a few examples.

Moses interceding on behalf of the disobedient Israelites so that God wouldn’t destroy them.

King Hezekiah's prayer for protection against the invasion of the mighty Assyrian army.

King Hezekiah's prayer for restoration of health after being told by a prophet that he would surely die.

The prophet Daniel pleading for God to forgive and have mercy on the disobedient Israelites.

Infertile Hannah’s desperate prayer for a son.

Jesus’ prayer for the welfare of his disciples the evening before His crucifixion.

Jesus pouring out His heavy heart to His father immediately before his arrest, torture and death.

You’ll find links to all these prayers in the show notes or description below.

4. Set aside dedicated time for prayer, and go into a quiet place alone with God.

5. Start with praise and thanksgiving
Psalm 100:4 says
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!

The imagery here is of a subject coming before a monarch offering salutations of respect, praise and gratefulness before submitting their petition. God is the king of the universe and we should treat Him as such by thanking and praising Him for His goodness before making our requests.

6. Pray sincerely and wholeheartedly.
While our inner silent prayers are precious and necessary, sometimes the situation demands that we dial up the intensity and pray with more power and emotion.
Jeremiah 29:13 says
You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.

7. Quote and claim scripture promises.
When making requests to the Lord we can remind Him of His promises to answer prayer. This is like pulling out the heavy artillery that really gets results. Mark 11:24 is a great one. It says:
...whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

8. Pray with someone, even over the phone.
The power of prayer is magnified tremendously when you’ve got a prayer partner. In Matthew 18:19-20 Jesus said
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

9. End with thanksgiving and trust.
Once you’ve poured out your soul in prayer, give God thanks. Show that you trust Him by thanking Him in advance for answering your prayer.

10. Pray in the name of Jesus.
There’s miracle working power in the name of Jesus. The early apostles performed their miracles in His name and Jesus Himself said in John 14:14
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

If you haven't yet tapped into the enormous power of full of faith prayers, now is the time to do so. God is in the business of looking out for our welfare and that of our loved ones. Our loving God who possesses all the power of the universe is at your disposal. So put these 10 principles into practice and then rest assured that once you’ve put your burdens in His more than capable hands He will answer in the way He knows best.

Thanks a lot for listening. God bless each one of you. See you next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Psalm 66:18
Psalm 100:4
Jeremiah 29:13
Mark 11:24
Matthew 18:19-20
John 14:14

Verses on God answering prayer:
Matthew 7:7-8
John 15:7
1 John 3:22
1 John 5:14-15

Powerful prayers of Biblical characters:
Moses interceding on behalf of the disobedient Israelites that God may not destroy them.
Exodus 32:9-14

King Hezekiah's prayer for protection against the invasion of the mighty Assyrian army.
2 Kings 19:14-19

King Hezekiah's prayer for restoration of health after being told by the prophet that he would surely die.
2 Kings 20:1-7

The prophet Daniel pleading for God to forgive and have mercy on the disobedient Israelites.
Daniel 9:1-19

Barren Hannah’s desperate prayer for a son.
1 Samuel 1:9-18

Jesus’ prayer for the welfare of his disciples the evening before His crucifixion.
John 17

Jesus pouring out His heavy heart to His father immediately before his arrest, torture and crucifixtion.
Matthew 26:36-44

Episode 75 When God Doesn't Answer Prayer

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks for joining me.

Last week I talked about how to pray powerful prayers that get results. Hopefully you learned some solid principals that will help make your prayers more effective. Let’s review the 10 principles:

1. Enter into prayer with a clean heart
2. Have faith, based on the Bible
3. Familiarize yourself with powerful prayers of Bible heroes that got results.
4. Set aside dedicated time for prayer, and go into a quiet place alone with God.
5. Start with praise and thanksgiving.
6. Pray sincerely and wholeheartedly.
7. Quote and claim scripture promises.
8. Pray with someone.
9. End with thanksgiving and trust.
10. Pray in the name of Jesus.

But what if you’ve followed the prayer principles closely and the answer you hoped for never arrived?

Unanswered prayer is a major cause of a loss of faith. I’ve known and heard of many people who got discouraged in their faith walk because God didn’t answer a prayer that was very important to them. Some people even get angry with or bitter against God as a result and turn against Him. It’s understandable, because many of our prayers are for some of the deepest and most important areas of our lives or that of our loved ones. It can be extremely painful to put sincere faith in God to answer only to be disappointed in the end.

So how should we deal with this? Does it that mean it was a waste of time to pray? Is God a liar for seemingly guaranteeing He would answer, and then denying us?

Well, whether it’s prayer or any other subject we have to look at the totality of what the Bible reveals about it to get a complete and well balanced view of the matter. Yes, the Bible does specifically state that if we ask in prayer He will hear and we will receive, and I included a list of some of the many such promises in the show notes or description of the last episode. But the scriptures are equally clear that He doesn’t guarantee that what we receive will be exactly what we want, when we want it.

Sometimes He gives us exactly what we hoped for, sometimes He gives us a modified version of what we hope for, sometimes He makes us wait, and sometimes He doesn’t give us what we want at all. But He’s always got very good reasons for any of these outcomes.

Here are 5 possible reasons
1. We asked for something that wasn’t in alignment with God’s will for us or was just not good for us. Let’s say you prayed to land a certain job but the Lord knew that that company was corrupt and mistreated its staff, something you didn’t know.
1 John 5:14-15 says
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

Which leads to number 2
2. God might have something better for us than what we asked for.

3. Wrong timing. Sometimes God’s answer is ‘Wait’. Like the man in John chapter 5 who was disabled for thirty eight years before one day Jesus came along and healed him. No doubt he had hoped and prayed for healing for a long time, but had to wait for God’s timing.
Hebrews 10:36 says
For you have need of patience, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

4. Your prayers depend on the choices others make.
You might for example be praying for a loved one to overcome an addiction. Sure, God will send them extra spiritual help as a result of your prayers, but if the person themselves refuses to change then God is limited by their choices, because He won’t force change.

5. Because He wants us to learn something.
Like a good parent God sometimes withholds some even good things from us because it’s just not healthy for us to have every demand met. Like the plenty of extremely wealthy people in the world who don’t include their children in their wills because if they do the kids never learn to fight for anything. So it is with us. We would learn nothing in life because we wouldn’t experience any hardship or anything that tests us to make us grow and become stronger. Not getting what we want teaches us lessons of faith, perseverance, patience, compassion and love.

If God were like a genie with a magic lamp that everyone could command at will to get whatever we want whenever we want, there would be mayhem. We would all become like spoiled brats always demanding everything from Him even when it conflicts with the needs of others or the greater community or His overall plan for us and those around us, or even for humanity as a whole.

So is it a waste of time to pray? No. James 4:2 says
You do not have, because you do not ask.

Praying always has an effect and we may very well get what we ask for, but we sure won’t if we don’t pray, as the verse says. So pray in faith and then put your hopes and desires in His hands trusting that in the end, He knows best. No matter what happens, we should always trust that God has our best interests in mind, even if at times on the surface it doesn’t look that way.
I Peter 5:7 says
...casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Thanks for listening everyone. May God bless and keep you all in His care. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
1 John 5:14-15
John 5:2-8
Hebrews 10:36
James 4:2
I Peter 5:7

Episode 76 The Asbury Revival

Hi and welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

There’s been a spiritual phenomenon occurring in the United States over the past few weeks popularly referred to as ‘The Asbury Revival.’ The sensation has generated a tidal wave of interest and commentary among Christians around the world, has gone viral on the internet and widely reported in mainstream media outlets.

What is a revival? It’s an unusually intense spike in spiritual hunger or renewal in the life of a church congregation or community, sometimes spreading out throughout a society, nation or even the world.

It started on February 8th at Asbury University, a Christian college in Wilmore, a town of about 6000 people in Kentucky.

After one of it’s regular morning church services a group of students remained in the chapel to hang around and continue prayer, worship and singing. Earlier attendees returned and more students joined in as word spread around campus that something was happening at the chapel auditorium. Students stayed throughout that night and the next day, and for the next two weeks continued in a non-stop ‘round the clock spiritual outpouring of repentance, praise and singing.

News spread on social media and soon tens of thousands poured in from all over the state, the country and around the world to join in. And it’s continuing at this moment on a restricted scale. Similar movements sprung up in other college campuses around the country and the news stirred interest and spiritual awakening in millions around the world. Wow!

This wasn’t a planned event. It was a simple and completely spontaneous outpouring without celebrity Christian speakers, or musical artists involved.

Worldwide, Christians are rejoicing and US Christians especially are praying that the movement will spark widespread repentance and spiritual revival throughout their country.

There are some skeptics though, who question weather this was a genuine spiritual movement. They say that many attendees lack fruits of genuine conversion, going back to their old lifestyles. They also cite minor theological concerns with the movement. I think that’s harsh. When a number of people, even a few, let alone thousands give their lives to Jesus, we should rejoice even if some might not have been genuine or their faith or fell away quickly afterwards. So what? Let God be the judge. Even Jesus had Judas among his disciples, and if the authenticity of anyone’s conversion could have be questioned, it was his. But Jesus’s work carried on regardless.

Revivals have been occurring ever since the first ever Christian revival, on the day of Pentecost, when the early disciples received the power of the Holy Spirit and exploded in an evangelistic movement that resulted in the conversion of thousands within days and the eventual spread of the Gospel around the world. There have been many revivals since including the historic Jesus Revolution among the youth of the late 60’s and early 70’s, which is where I found Jesus.

So, let’s see how far will this movement go and what the lasting fruit will be. With the cancerous growth of evil in the west and impending rise of the Anti Christ kingdom it wouldn’t surprise me to see more of this as people reject the world and embrace Jesus. We’ll see. But it’s up to each individual involved to ensure their own genuine salvation and spiritual growth. The famous Parable of the Sower that Jesus told in Matthew 13 is instructive.

“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil…..but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty….

….When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

A heart of good, spiritually fertile soil that bears abundant and lasting fruit is one that maintains a close relationship with Jesus, studies His word, endures opposition and detaches itself from the cares of this life.

So, are you feeling spiritually weak or dead and in need of revival? Jesus said in John 11:25
I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

If you don’t know Jesus receive Him into your heart today. And if you’re already a Christian keep the connection strong so that you continue to grow and bring revival to those around you.

Thanks for listening everyone. Please be sure to subscribe. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 13
John 11:25
Episode 77 Jesus Revolution-The Movie

Hi everyone. Welcome to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George, thanks a lot for joining me.

In the immediate wake of the Asbury Revival, which I spoke about in last week’s episode, and which continues to spread on college campuses throughout the US, there has arisen another high profile avenue by which the Gospel message is getting out to the world. That is the movie ‘Jesus Revolution’.

The movie tells the story of a young Greg Laurie who is now a high profile Christian author, evangelist and senior pastor of Harvest Ministries, which is a very large church in California and how he came to know Jesus during the spiritual revival in the USA of the late 60’s and early 70’s known as the Jesus Revolution or Jesus Movement.

The movie was released recently in the US and on it’s first weekend in theatres smashed all box office expectations by pulling in amazing $16 million, placing it third on the box office rankings. Like the Asbury Revival, this movie is making waves all over the world and reaching many with the Gospel.

So what was the original Jesus Movement? It was a wildly popular Christian revival that sprang up all around the US in the late 1960’s among the hippies and counter culture kids of the time. It attracted multitudes of truth seeking youth who were disillusioned with materialism, stiff and formal Christianity and America’s church endorsed war in Vietnam.

It started in California sparked by Christian groups like Calvary Chapel, Teens for Christ, later known as the Children of God, the Shiloh Communities and others that looked beyond the rough appearance and saw the inward spiritual hunger among the hippies who had looked for answers in all the wrong places. Sex, drugs and rock ’n roll and eastern religions were integral parts of the hippie culture which didn’t satisfy, until many of them found Jesus through the hippie Jesus Movement.

The movement was characterised by some quite revolutionary traits.

1. It wasn’t organised or led by prominent Christian leadership of the day.

2. Most of the activity was done outside mainstream churches and church groups such as in parks, beaches, streets, college campuses, coffee shops and homes and was carried out by and geared towards youth.

3. The activities, dress and lifestyle of the hippie Christians was very informal and worlds apart from the mostly rigid church life of the day. Rock and folk style music instead of church choirs and organ music, casually dressed teachers in informal settings instead of pulpits, pews and robed preachers, loud and lively worship instead of formal liturgy and ceremonies, and a ‘go out into the streets and spread the message’ evangelistic approach instead of the old ‘come to church to meet Jesus’ model.

4. An awakening to the signs of the times and that we’re living in the end times.

5. A heavy emphasis to a return to the radical lifestyle lived by Jesus and the early apostles as found in the Gospels and the Book of Acts, with many even living communally.

Mainstream church Christians and leadership were often sceptical and even horrified by the hippie Christians. But the movement exploded, made headlines and prospered and has left an enduring legacy whose influence is still heavily felt today. Many modern churches and denominations as well as contemporary Christian music and youth outreach programs are heavily rooted in the Jesus Movement and many highly influential Christian leaders in every field are fruits of the movement.

And a very small part of it’s legacy is in me, because I’m personally a direct product of it. The people who led me to Jesus when I was a teenager in the mid 70’s and who spiritually mentored me for years were part of the Jesus Movement. This led to my own missionary activity for the last 40+ years. Thanks to God and thanks to the hippie Christians of the Jesus Revolution Movement.

Why is there so much interest in the Asbury Revival and the Jesus Revolution movie? I think that like the hippies of the 60’s there’s a spiritual hunger developing in people in response to the increasing wickedness of world around us.

The Jesus Movement radically transformed the lives of millions. That was decades ago, but God’s spirit is just as alive and active today and can do just the same and more for you, if you’ve got the hunger for it as they did.

Here are some scriptures which heavily influenced the Jesus Movement and it’s revolutionary style of Christianity that can put you on the same path if you believe and receive.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 4:17
….Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Mark 16:15
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Luke 14:33
So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Thanks for listening everyone. Please be sure to like and subscribe. May God bless each one of you. See you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
John 3:16
Matthew 4:17
2 Corinthians 5:17
Mark 16:15
Luke 14:33

Episode 78 Get Ready For The New World Order

Hi everyone. This is Bible Made Easy Podcast and I’m Brother George. Thanks for joining me.

As we move closer to the emergence of the Anti Christ and his global government it’s becoming unceasingly important to understand exactly how these Biblically predicted world events are progressing, how they’ll affect our daily lives and how we should respond to them. Ignorance can result in worry and being caught off guard. But knowledge is power, so being up to date and aware of what is going on helps you make sense of world events and empowers to you face them with faith and courage.

Here are a few recent developments that are sure signs that we're rapidly progressing towards the end.

The Covid effect can’t be understated. The global response to Covid has accelerated the move towards genuine global government. The degree to which the response of sovereign nations was uniformly guided by supranational bodies such as the UN, World Health Organization, and the World Economic Forum was unprecedented. Government leaders formed policies accordingly and citizens had to comply whether they agreed with them or not. Civil liberties and movements were curtailed and monitored in ways never seen before with technologies employed that planted us firmly in early days of a global surveillance society. And the passing of the Covid emergency hasn’t resulted in the roll back of the response measures. Many of them are still firmly in place and here to stay, like thermal screening surveillance cameras that have become commonplace in public places everywhere.

Such technologies will be key features of so called ‘15 minute smart cities’ now promoted by the UN and the World Economic Forum as a key solution to future sustainable development and are already being established around the world. This urban planning concept aims to place most daily needs and services, such as shopping, work, healthcare, education, and leisure within the easy reach of a 15-minute walk or bike ride from any location in the city. Benefits touted include convenience, limited car dependency, security and healthy and sustainable living.

Digital ID’s, surveillance cameras, and your own mobile phones will be utilised for real time tracking of all financial transactions and movements in the name of safety, security and monitoring your carbon footprint. Will this be utopia, or prison like?

An advanced example of this type of social monitoring is already in operation in China with their infamous social credit system. The South China Morning Post describes the system like this:
‘a set of databases and initiatives that monitor and assess the trustworthiness of individuals, companies and government entities. Each individual or entity is given a social credit score, with those who have a high rating being rewarded with benefits like priority health care or deposit-free renting of public housing while a negative rating sees individuals punished by restrictions from flights, trains and other public services. Data on each citizen is collected from sources such as financial, criminal and governmental records, as well as via video surveillance.

Princeton University’s Journal Of Public and International Affairs reports that the social credit system is being used to monitor and oppress the Uighur Muslim minority, with the Chinese government collecting a wide array of Uighur citizens’ information including DNA samples, iris scans, voice samples and applications installed on mobile phones.

This is where the rest of the world is heading.

But are all these initiatives inherently bad? Not necessarily. The fact that the world community is growing more and more intertwined demands global co-operation and governance that brings order, safety and security. And that’s a good thing. The question is WHO will be the leaders that administer the program? Will they practise sacrificial servant leadership as Jesus defined it in Matthew 20: 25-28? Don’t bet on it.

Pressing global challenges require leaders who humbly seek God for answers and to which God will surely give workable solutions that lead to human flourishing for all. But, while some are sincere, most world leaders are not Christians and not connected with Jesus. Many of them are actively hostile to Christianity and don’t practise the servant leadership model Jesus taught. Their misguided plans won’t lead humanity to utopia but instead to the worst mess humanity has ever made, culminating in the Anti Christ’s reign of terror and his ultimate surveillance and population control tool, the Mark of the Beast. The good news though is that the worst of it only lasts 3 ½ years and is immediately followed by the second coming of Jesus. Thank God!

Jesus predicted that in the end time people will be overcome with fear at these developments. In Luke 21:26 He said
Men's hearts (will be) failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth

But that doesn’t need to be true of you. He also said in John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

So if you’re not a Christian and this has opened your eyes, get connected with the One who can help you navigate these stressful times hopefully and victoriously. And if you are a Christian let the approaching challenges motivate you to stay strong in faith and realize that the darker the days become the greater opportunities we’ll have to share our faith with an increasingly truth seeking population.

Thanks for listening everyone. Please see some links to helpful resources in the description or show notes. Please be sure to subscribe. God bless you all. See you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
Matthew 20: 25-2
Luke 21:26
John 16:33

Episode 79 Does God Reward The Faithful?

Hi everyone and welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George, thanks for joining me.

Is there any eternal reward for obedience to God and service to Him? Does God see our sacrifices done in love for Him and others? The answer is an emphatic ‘Yes!’ The Bible has a tremendous amount to say about this.

But let’s not confuse rewards with salvation. Salvation is not a reward for our earthly works. Titus 3:5 makes this crystal clear. It says:
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…..

The saved will be judged at the Judgment Seat Of Christ which occurs after He returns. 2 Corinthians 5:10 says:
For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive due recompense for actions done (while) in the body, whether good or evil.

In the original Greek of this verse the word used for ‘judgment seat’ is the word ‘bema’. A ‘bema’ was a raised platform at athletic events in those days where the judges sat to officiate the games. It was on this platform where the victorious contestants were given their awards in front of the spectators.

So here the Apostle Paul is using this illustration as a metaphor for how our Christian life is like a race. We’re expected to be dedicated athletes, to discipline ourselves, to sacrifice, train and run the best we can. And at the Judgment Seat of Christ we’ll be rewarded according to how well we ran. We’ll be recompensed or repaid according to what we have done while in our earthly bodies, in this life. So there’ll be a difference in reward depending on how much we’ve loved and obeyed God during our earthly lives. Those who’ve served God wholeheartedly will get great rewards, others who wasted their lives in earthly pleasures will miss out, and there will be plenty of others in between.

Obtaining rewards requires sacrificing temporary worldly pleasures. In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus urged us:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

So exactly what kind of works reap eternal rewards?

Here are some actions the scriptures specifically say lead to heavenly rewards:

Obedience to God’s word
Giving to the poor
Receiving God’s messengers respectfully
Doing good
Loving our enemies
Lending without hoping for return
Planting and watering the seeds of the gospel in the hearts of others
Standing strong in faith
Enduring temptation
Enduring persecution
Supporting God’s work financially
Providing God’s servants with food, drink and daily necessities
Seeking God diligently
Using our gifts and talents for His service

There are countless others ways that God might lead a person to serve Him and it’s up to each individual to find that out through their own personal connection with God.

So what exactly will the rewards be? Well this isn’t clearly explained in the scriptures but we’re given a few exciting hints.

The Bema seat of Christ analogy indicates some kind of public commendation or recognition. Could this be similar to the medal award ceremonies at the Olympic Games? Maybe also similar to the honours, medals and recognition most nations bestow upon citizens who’ve made notable contributions to their countries.

In the Matthew 18 parable of the servants who were given money to invest, the master commended the industrious servant by saying:
Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.

In another parable in Luke 19 the master commended a faithful servant by saying:
Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.

These indicate that rewards will include greater status and responsibilities in the affairs of the heavenly kingdom and maybe a heightened sense of heavenly joy and satisfaction for the deserving.

The Bible also mentions five different crowns the deserving can receive;
The Crown of Life
The Incorruptible Crown
The Crown of Righteousness
The Crown of Glory
The Crown of Rejoicing

Crowns are given to monarchs. This shouldn’t be a surprise because Revelation 5:10 says that God will make us kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth over the unsaved during the Millennium. And 1Corinthians 6:3 says we will judge angels.

The exact nature of the rewards are mysterious, but maybe that’s because God is being like an earthly parent who encourages their kids to do well by promising ‘If you do such and such, I’ve got a nice surprise waiting for you!’ They want to positively inspire the kids but they don’t want to spoil the surprise. And they also don’t want the children’s only motivation for obedience to be to get the reward.

And this is how it should be with us. It’s great to know that God recognises the sacrifices we make for Him and rewards us accordingly. But that shouldn’t be our main motivation.

So yes, God does give abundant, out of this world rewards to those who are obedient and faithful in this life.

In Revelation 22:12 Jesus said:
behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

So how about you? What kind of reward awaits you? That’s up to you.

Thanks for listening everyone. Please be sure to like and subscribe. See you next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Titus 3:5
2 Corinthians 5:10
Matthew 6:19-21
Matthew 18
Luke 19
Revelation 5:10
1Corinthians 6:3
Revelation 22:12

Episode 80 Verses On God's Everlasting Mercy

Hello everyone. I’m Brother George and welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast.

On the back of the class I gave on Chris Glyn’s YouTube Nighlight Podcast a few days ago on the purpose of hell, which by the way if you haven’t yet listened to I’ll put a link to it in the show notes, today I’ll be sharing scriptures on God’s unchanging and everlasting mercy and compassion on all people. So please relax and be encouraged and inspired as you listen.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

2 Chronicles 5:13
indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,”

2 Chronicles 7:3
When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.”

2 Chronicles 7:6
And the priests attended to their services; the Levites also with instruments of the music of the Lord, which King David had made to praise the Lord, saying, “For His mercy endures forever,”

Ezra 3:11
And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord:
“For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”

Psalm 106:1
Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 117:1-2
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 118:1-4, 29
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let Israel now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the Lord now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 136: 1-9, 23-36
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:
To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever—
The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.
Who remembered us in our lowly state,
For His mercy endures forever;
And rescued us from our enemies,
For His mercy endures forever;
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Isaiah 54:8
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

Jeremiah 3:12
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever.”

Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Micah 7:18
Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.

Episode 81 God’s Anger

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Bible Made Easy Podcast. I’m Brother George. Thanks a lot for joining me.

Does God get angry? And if so, why?

Some people think that God is always angry, constantly monitoring our behavior with some sort of celestial surveillance camera and ever ready to pound us for our sins. Of course that’s not true.

Other people have a warm and fuzzy impression of God, that He’s the ultimate good guy, totally cool with anything, non judgmental and accepting of no matter what we do. Well that’s not true either.

The fact is that God does sometimes get angry. In fact Psalm 7:11 says that
God is angry with the wicked every day.

So let’s take a look at God’s anger, what exactly makes Him angry, and what the purpose of His anger is.

There are references to God’s anger towards individuals, groups or nations throughout the Old and New Testaments.

In Old Testament days because of the extreme violence, wickedness and perversion of humankind God had to resort to harsh measures to deal with the situation. So you had events like the flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the ten plagues of Egypt where God punished the evil doers severely.

Since the coming of Jesus, in what we call the Age of Grace, God does have a more gentle approach but still gets angry when warranted. However the Age of Grace will soon come to an end at the second coming of Christ. His patience is wearing thin as the world continues to reject Him and becomes increasingly evil. This will culminate in some intense judgments during the Great Tribulation just before His return, and then upon His return with the pouring out of the seven vials of wrath on the very wicked.

But thankfully such displays of intense and furious wrath is not the norm, and are usually reserved for historically extreme situations.

Of course God can be angry with us for day to day behaviors. So what makes God angry with either an individual or a nation? Basically any persistent and deliberate attitudes and actions that hurtrr Him and others. Listen carefully to this dirty laundry list of things that provoke God’s wrath outlined in Romans 1:18-31

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, ...they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,…. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…..For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful….And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;

Well that’s quite a list and I don’t think there’s anyone in this world that hasn’t been guilty of one or more of those sins.

But does God immediately angrily punish us upon committing any sins? Thankfully no. Anger is not God’s primary way of dealing with our sin, in fact it’s a last resort. God’s default approach is to shower us with His loving kindness to inspire repentance and obedience.
Romans 2:4 says
the goodness of God leads us to repentance.

Psalm 145:8 says
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.

He first tries to encourage love and obedience to Him by instructing us through His word, the Bible, through our consciences and various other positive means. But if we insist on our disobedience, plowing through every warning sign and road block He puts in our way then He might have to resort to punishing us in some way.

Hebrews 10:26-27 says
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation….

God’s anger is a sign of His love for us. It’s never unwarranted, never personal or vindictive, always proportionate to the offence and always for the purpose of stopping or limiting evil and for our redemption.

Hebrews 12:6 says
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,

And if we repent, He’s quick to forgive.

Isaiah 54:8 says:
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you

Thanks for listening everyone. Please be sure to hit the like button and subscribe if you haven’t already. God bless you and see you next time.

Today’s Bible verses:
Psalm 7:11
Romans 1:18-31
Romans 2:4
Psalm 145:8
Hebrews 10:26-27
Hebrews 12:6
Isaiah 54:8

Episode 82 The Repentant Thief On The Cross

Hi everyone. Brother George here. Thanks for joining me for Bible Made Easy Podcast. And a very happy Easter to all of you as we commemorate Jesus giving His life for us on the cross and celebrate His resurrection.

Probably one of the most overlooked participants in the Easter story is the thief on the cross who Jesus pardoned in a dramatic last minute repentance. Here’s how the Gospel of Luke describes the event.

Luke 23:32-43
There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and cast lots. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

The Gospels of Matthew and Mark recounting the same story tell that both thieves initially mocked and insulted Jesus. It would seem then that this one had a last minute change of heart.

Crucifixion was an unspeakably brutal form of execution and most frequently used to punish and make a public example of political or religious agitators, thieves, pirates, slaves, or those who had no civil rights under Roman law. And yet, while experiencing cosmic physical, mental and spiritual suffering on the cross Jesus still had the welfare of others on His mind, tasking the apostle John to look after His mother Mary, praying to His Father to forgive His executioners, and pardoning this criminal.

According to Luke, Jesus died soon after. How fitting that some of the last words He spoke to anyone were those of mercy and forgiveness to one who would seem to be among the least deserving.

We don’t know the exact nature of his crimes but whatever they were the authorities judged that they warranted the death penalty. And he himself confessed that he deserved death.

What a difference between him and the other thief. The one to the left of Jesus mocking the savior, not repentant of his crime and yet having the audacity to ask Jesus to do a miracle and release him from the consequences of his crimes, which was an up to three day long agonisingly painful slow deterioration until death on the cross. But the one on the right regretful of his crime, not asking for miraculous intervention to save him, but rather only that Jesus would remember him when He comes into His kingdom.

We have the same kinds of people today. There are the self justifying unrepentant sinners who fail to acknowledge God and yet are willing to receive the abundant blessings God bestows on us each day. Such people wind up separated from God in the afterlife. And then there are the humble sinners who admit they deserve nothing, but who place their faith in Jesus and find themselves in heaven in the afterlife.

The repentant thief was guaranteed a place in Paradise by Jesus, in spite of not having lived a righteous life. He wasn’t even attending a religious service at the time, he wasn’t getting ceremonially baptized, he wasn’t doing and maybe never did anything whatsoever to so called ‘earn’ salvation. He was just a nearly naked, wretch of a man hanging on a cross being executed for his crimes in the most humiliating and brutal manner. The only ticket he had to heaven was his last minute confession of sin and his decision to throw himself at the mercy of Jesus.

And that is all it takes. The scripture is clear on this point. Our works don’t save us. It’s according to His mercy He saved us, as Titus 3:5 says.

No doubt there are some people, like the prodigal son’s angry older brother and also the jealous vineyard laborers in Matthew 20, who question why Jesus would save such an undeserving person. But that is the beauty of the infinite love and mercy Jesus displayed at Easter. He said in Luke 19:10:
...for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

How about you? If you’re a miserable lost sinner, an outcast rejected by the world, then take heart, Jesus will receive you if you will receive Him like the repentant thief on the cross.

Thanks for listening. Please subscribe if you haven’t already. See you next time. Bye.

Today’s Bible verses:
Titus 3:5
Matthew 20
Luke 19:10
Luke 23:32-43

About Me image
Hi. I'm Brother George, the host of Bible Made Easy Podcast and author of the articles on this site. Thanks for listening to my podcast and visiting my site.

I've been a believer since I was a child and a committed and active Christian since my teens. In 1980, when I was 19, God called me to "Go in to all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15 So, I left my old life behind to become a full time missionary. Here's a timeline of my missionary life and activities.

1980-1981: Australia
Travelled around with other young missionaries sharing the Gospel with young people wherever they were, downtown, in shopping areas, in parks, etc leading many, many to new life in Jesus.

1981-1984: Indonesia
Jakarta, Surabaya, Malang and all over eastern Indonesia. Bible studies, Christian radio show promotion, gospel literature distribution, guitarist and vocalist for gospel music concerts in schools, hotels, restaurants, etc. Evangelistic visits to neighboring countries, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

1984-1986: Denmark
Copenhagen. Staff member of missionary base for outreach trips to communist Poland. Also, evangelistic trips to Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany and Austria.

1986- : Japan
Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kita Kyushu and all over western Japan from Tokyo to Okinawa. Bible studies, gospel literature distribution, feeding the homeless, gospel musician and worship leader, charity concert organizer and musician, ministering to orphans, teacher at mission schools, leader at Christian youth camps. Evangelizing also in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Occasional writer for Activated Magazine, etc.

I've been studying and teaching the Bible for over 40 years now in many different countries. It has been quite a journey. I've seen God's word change many lives for the better. I'm sure it can do the same for you.

-Brother George

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