Heritage Baptist Church

Stephen Brown, Marketplace Ministries, Inc.  www.mmiga.org



Brothers David & Jason Benham are successful real estate agents. HGTV decided to air their reality show. The brothers were not prepared for the media's wrath when they voiced their bibical conviction on homosexuality. Their show was cancelled and they were treated as bigots. Later the brothers were invited to speak at the Family Research Council. David warned listeners of growing moral decay; and anyone upholding godliness would become prey. In recent years we have witnessed attacks on wedding vendors, sports commentators, and government officials. In 2016, the Atlanta Police Chief was fired for handing out gospel books. The U. S. Supreme Court is forcing Christians to participate in evil. Isaiah 59:14-15, Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen, and equity cannot enter; he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.


Roadway safety guardrails protect drivers from hazards, such as a steep mountain edge. I've seen severely damaged guardrails and wondered if the driver fell asleep at the wheel, was forced off the road, or lost control on a rain slick surface. Guardrails remind me of the safety of our Savior. As we travel life's highway, spiritual guardrails (God's Word) serve to keep us safe. You may recall I wrote in a prior Weekly Word: Sin will keep you from the Bible; the Bible will keep you from sin. 1 Corinthians 16:13, "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith . . ." Psalm 119:11, "Your Word I will place in my heart, so that I will not sin against You."


In 2016, a television crew for Animal Planet was filming a scene on a deserted island in the South Pacific. Suddenly one of the crew members spotted a man yelling and waving his arms. He was a stranded fisherman, suffering sunburn and dehydration. When interviewed, the man said he had prayed to be rescued, but was prepared to die and go to heaven. The filming crew made a program about his adventure. While reading this story, I thought of Tom Hanks in the movie CASTAWAY. Near death and floating on a raft, Hanks was rescued by a merchant ship. While these stories have a feel-good ending, thousands die daily without rescue. Jesus referred to the unbeliever in Matthew 8:12, " . . . they shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."


Ephesians 4:32 "And be you kind one to another . . ." A Randum Act of Kindness: My wife and I were at a checkout counter of a department store. Mary Ann observed that the clerk had a glow about her face. The girl smiled and said she was expecting her first baby. While walking toward the door, we spotted stuffed animals. Mary Ann picked-up Curious George, the monkey. We had given George to our youngest granddaughter when she was a baby; she is now eight years old and still sleeps with him. Mary Ann purchased George, then presented him to the clerk as a baby gift. With tears in her eyes, the girl said, "Since childhood, Curious George has been my favorite." Share the gift of life with others.



On the downside (hell) some near death patients report demons poking and pushing them into an isolated dark place. Isaiah 14:9 "Hell from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming . . ." Dr. Michael Rawlings, cardiologist, described a resuscitated patient who opened his eyes in terror, begging the doctor not to allow him to slip away again. In 1977, Dr. Rawlings witnessed his first NDE. In the doctor's own words, "He had a grimace expression of sheer horror! His pupils were dilated, and he was perspiring, trembling, and he looked as if his hair was standing on end. 'Don't let me go back to hell!' he pleaded desperately." On the New York Times Best Seller list is a book by Bill Wiese, 23 MINUTES IN HELL. Bill's story about what he saw, heard, and felt in that place of torment, was worse than a horror movie. He wrote, "My sincere hope is that this book is the closest will ever come to experiencing hell for yourself."