Man ignores requests for address confirmation then complains when he doesn’t receive his prize.

You don’t receive prizes if you don’t answer your phone. The prize of salvation is no different.

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“Is it fair that God forgives the worst criminals as long as they repent at the very end of life but condemns a good and moral person who lives charitably toward others yet dies an unbeliever?”

Look at it like this:

There was a drawing for a giveaway and there are two winners. You just won one of the prizes. All you have to do is confirm your shipping address to receive your prize. By the way, you’re super fantastic, kind and charitable.

Now there’s also a criminal who also entered the giveaway. He also won. He also has to confirm his shipping address to receive his prize. It’s really an easy address – death row at the worst prison in the world.

As soon as the criminal receives the call, he stays on the line to confirm his shipping address, and it ships to him the same day (they’re using Amazon Prime apparently in this scenario.) Eventually he dies, but he still received his prize because he responded to and answered the call. He accepted his prize.

Once you’re informed that you won your prize, you hung up on the caller. They’ve called you back daily and you keep letting it go to voicemail because you’re not sure if the prize suits you and other days you just don’t care. One day, those calls will stop and it will be too late to claim your prize.

When the daily calls stop after years of ignoring the calls, texts and voicemails, you have the audacity to say the one who is trying to contact you is so unfair. Why? Because a criminal got a prize and you didn’t – nevermind he accepted his prize immediately and you ignored the daily calls to accept your gift, so it was left unclaimed when you suddenly died.

The prize of salvation has nothing to do with how good you are and 100% has to do with if you’re willing to answer the call and trust the one who calls you to receive your prize.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20

Originally posted to Quora on April 10, 2018

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Man complains God is too nice to dead babies

“But… but… that’s not fair! God is giving dead babies an unfair advantage over me!”

I can only imagine the eye-rolling going on in Heaven when God hears some of the absurd things that come from mens’ hearts in their ignorance.

I’ve noticed a strange trend – skeptics arguing not that God doesn’t exist, but that God is mean and unfair, one who doles out punishments and blessings on a whim. Interesting how a God who supposedly doesn’t exist is just a monster, supposedly, for letting too many dead babies into Heaven while we’re having to rep Jesus in enemy territory here on Earth. God is apparently the God of raw deals now.

This attitude is nothing new, and in fact, Jesus was dealing with people’s jealous foolery when He walked the earth. So let’s get in to today’s post:

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“Question for Christians: why do babies that die at birth get to enjoy heaven for eternity without having to do anything while the rest of us have to prove our worthiness for almost 100 years? It doesn’t sound to me like God treats everyone equally.”

  1. Nobody is worthy of being in God’s presence. Ever.

“10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:10-12

2. You don’t earn your salvation.

“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

But now onto the heart of your question, which is summed up as such:

“Why do dead babies get to kick back with God while I’m busting my back in the daily grind of life?”

You reason that these dead babies have a God-given unfair advantage over you. Morbid, but the Bible actually addressed this line of human reasoning.

You see, some believed that it was unfair that while they may have had to live that Christian life and deal with all the drama of not being apart of the pagan or secular or Jewish crowd, it was straight NONSENSE that other people could convert and be saved up unto the point of their last breath. Basically, these Christians thought, “How dare those lazy tricks get to go to Heaven too! Can’t God see how much more I’ve toiled for Him? They’re not worthy of God like I am.”

Per usual, rather than being after God’s own heart, man points to his works to justify himself before God, rather than pointing to the work of the cross.

God’s heart:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

Man’s heart:

“21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” – Matthew 7:21-23

So anyway, back to Jesus. Jesus addressed these people, these so-called Christians, who were beside themselves with jealous rage that… other people were getting to spend eternity with God. Yeah. Let that sink in – Christians are mad that other people aren’t going to be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Jesus’ response:

Jesus’ face when Christians are mad that other Christians get to go to Heaven.

Jesus responded to this attitude with a parable. We’ll jump into the middle of this parable for time’s sake:

“6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.” Matthew 20:6-16

We serve a generous God. God absolutely treats you equal in that if you had died a baby, you too would have immediately gone to Heaven. Your accusation against God is akin to this:

Let’s say you were gifted a pair of shoes and another person also receives the exact same style, brand and size shoes that you were given. You wear your shoes and they become worn from years of daily use.

Now the other person returns the shoes to exchange them for a different, better pair within the store’s window of time for returns and exchanges, with the gift receipt.

Years later, when it comes time for new shoes, you can’t return or exchange your worn out shoes. The return and exchange period ended years ago for your shoes. You accuse the store of giving the other customer unfair, preferential treatment because they were able to exchange their shoes and you can’t.

Now that your return and exchange period has passed and you’re at the point where it would cost you to receive new, better shoes, you are angry. Nevermind that if you had exchanged your shoes during that window of time, you would have also received the better pair.

Those shoes are our bodies and the better pair are our glorified bodies. Both are a gift to you. If you haven’t reached the age of accountability at the time of your death, you are within the return and exchange period, so to speak. God applies this equally – it’s not as if babies born of only Christian parents go to heaven – all babies go to Heaven.

God has given you the gift of life and you have received what was promised to you. Don’t falsely accuse God of favortism for His goodness and generosity towards… dead babies.

Originally posted to Quora on April 9, 2018

God’s Majesty in the Everyday

“What’s that?!” “Is that a fire?! It has to be a fire!”

My husband and I were walking home from the grocery store, RedBox DVD in hand. The biggest moon I had ever seen was rising above the treetops and peeking above the shadowy houses of our neighborhood.

“We need to put this food in the freezer” my husband said as he beckoned me to follow him back to our house. I had skipped past our street hoping to get a better view of the biggest, most orange moon I had ever seen in my life. Frantically, I texted my sister, “go outside right now and look at the moon! It’s insane!”

I quickly put away the food. “Can we try to get a better picture of the moon? My camera isn’t very good. Could we try your camera please?” We took off down the street but it was too late – the moon had risen high above the houses, perched in a milky yellow haze.

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The poor shot of this awesome moon, from my phone. March 5, 2018
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Better shot of the moon, with my husband’s phone, but not at all doing any justice to the moon I saw with my naked eye. March 5, 2018.

Fresh off a trip from St. George, I was extra sensitive to noticing the natural beauty of God’s creation. This moon was awesome!

Delivering blood to the hospital in St. George, Utah was my favorite part of my last job. It was so unexpected, and the best part was that no matter the time of day, I felt so excited to spend quite time with God. No longer under the oppression of the humming refrigerators that assaulted my ears, and the sickly fluorescent lights that made me feel nauseous, I was free to take in all the beauty of God’s creation, the best being the most expensive stretch of rural interstate in the US  – the Virgin River Gorge.

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Passenger side view of the Virgin River Gorge while driving home.  Taken from a moving vehicle, with the same phone that poorly shot the moon. March 4, 2018

If an emergency order came in too late at night I was in for a real treat. While I’d have to be extra cautious in the gorge, I knew that the long stretches of I-15 would allow me a quiet show of the most spectacular stars I never get to see under the bright lights of Vegas. I always felt a connection to King David writing his Psalms about God’s beautiful handiwork written in the sky. He saw the same constellations that danced across the night sky surrounding the car I so cautiously drove as I gawked out the windows.

God’s creation is so beautiful, so awe inspiring, but with our artificial light-filled night skies, our air conditioned rooms and our solitary commutes, we overlook the beauty around us – the sound of birds, the changing phases of the moon and God’s provision with every new flower that blooms.

With that said, I’d like to share an old Yelp.com review that I wrote in 2010 for an event I went to for both the Titanic and Bodies exhibits. The same feeling I felt seeing the moon, marveling at the jurassic-like peaks of the gorge, and picking out Orion’s belt – I felt as I viewed the intricacies of the human body on display at the Bodies exhibit. I am also including a video of a smaller Bodies exhibit that I attended with Yelp.com in 2017, in case you’ve never had the chance to see what these exhibits are all about.

I started, like everyone else, I’m sure, at the Titanic exhibit. I love to read everything, from the back of shampoo bottles to merriam-webster.com; naturally, I’m going to be the slowest one in the group, because I wanted to read every placard. Any that I didn’t have time to read, I photographed – many I read and photographed.

Upon entry to the exhibit, everyone was given a boarding pass with a ticket of a real person aboard the ship, detailing the information about where they are going, with whom and what class they were aboard, etc. At the end, I was frantically rooting for Mrs. Stephen Hold (Annie Margaret Hill) and her husband Stephen Hold to make the 2nd class survivor list.

Going throughout the experience, and trying to put things into a human perspective; trying to imagine how scared they must have been made it truly heartbreaking to see that although Mrs. Hold survived, Mr. Hold did not. I can’t imagine how utterly crushing her experience was and I was actually holding back some tears. These are real people, who lived lives just like we all do – they felt sadness and fear, love and happiness.

It’s so difficult to imagine the sadness and loss felt by those who lost friends and family in that tragedy. Thankfully, a tour guide at the end, told me that unlike the movie, the 3rd class passengers were not locked down below deck, they were just down there too long to have any chance to be rescued.  Not to give away any of the stuff learned, but wow, the fact that the Captain had to be convinced after retiring to make this his last voyage just sucks. Life just kicks you in the face some times.

After going through the gift shop and getting my double sided squished penny (they charge a DOLLAR rather than $.50 for a squished penny!) I saw the toothpaste jar! When I saw the cherry toothpaste jar during the exhibit, I noted in my head to look out for one the next time I went to an antiques store, and Voila! They had $10 replicas in the gift shop. I passed on it and Bill and I headed over to the Bodies exhibit.

—DISCLAIMER—
If you dislike references to God in the Judeo-Christian religion or anything pro-life, skip on to the next review.
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Body scandal aside (because nobody agrees that China, killing people off, for no good reason, is a positive thing.)

Absolutely stunning exhibit. Every time I learn more about the world and people through science, the more I fall in love with God. In Psalm 19:1, King David (from the story of David and Goliath) wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Basically, it means that when you look outside, we can see what God has created – it’s all around us. Going through the exhibit, all that was going off in my mind was how amazing God’s handiwork is. The intricacy of the human body is beautiful – He is a top notch engineer. Church groups should definitely come to this exhibit – it’s extremely moving to feel and see God through His design in places such as… well, the middle of a casino exhibit in Las Vegas, of all places. By far, the most breathtaking room was the cardiovascular room – we’re so complex and I can’t even put into words how I feel when I see this. Just, I’m in awe of our design and execution.

I went to see the baby room and it was sad. I wondered about how the parents felt losing their babies – all the excitement and hopes for these little people just… Woosh! Snuffed out before their time.

If anybody has any qualms as to whether a baby is a person in utero, they should come see this exhibit. At 35 days gestation – barely even a month, when most women are just figuring out they’ve missed their period, these little babies, who are recognizably human, are already breathing and their tiny hearts pumping. This isn’t some pro-life rhetoric, this is what I saw and read in this exhibit. Like it is written on the wall in the gift shop, “Seeing is believing;” and seeing this exhibit, you realize that despite all the claims Americans hear of “just being a clump of cells” they’re anything but. I would guess that’s the reason a lot of people have a problem with this room, even if these babies weren’t necessarily birthed, it’s sad to see tiny little people in jars. This exhibit is something I would suggest to anybody who wanted to debate the “when does life begin” argument.

Absolutely fantastic exhibits. Not just a bunch of facts, but history and science come alive. I smiled, I held back tears, I had my breath taken away. Both tragic, yet brimming with information. – Yelp.com  Originally posted 12/19/2010

Does God hate you? (& Quora Bans)

This week I was banned from using Quora for 1 week. Appeals have been rejected, see my Twitter post to see what they deemed “hateful.” (One of few answers that Quora deemed violated their “Be Nice, Be respectful” policy.) If you have sent me messages or questions to answer on the platform, just know that I’m not ignoring you, I literally cannot answer using their site.

This is simply a sign of the times that we live in. Between the YouTube purge, the Twitter purge, and Facebook shadow bans, other platforms are taking notice and following the lead with purging Christians and anyone who does not engage in Right Think. Christians, this is just a crumb of what is to come when the Anti-Christ comes onto the scene.

As I’ve downloaded all of my content from the site, I was looking through my answers and decided I want to begin reposting my old answers here. With that said, I wanted to share my very first post on Quora with you.

Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that God hates them if they’re struggling with sin. God hates sin. God wants people to be freed from sin – which is the entire reason that Jesus came down, took human form and died for humanity. It is up for you to accept God’s gift and leave that old sinful life behind.

It is so important to recognize that Christians can leave behind sin and become a new creation in Christ Jesus. We were born with a sin nature, but we don’t have to die with that sin nature.

Question:

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My Answer:

God doesn’t hate you. God hates sin, because He is Holy and because He loves you. I want to let you know that when it comes to sin, we were all born this way. Sexual immorality, lust, hatred, greed, hatred of God’s laws – these were our default behaviors. (Psalm 51:5-6)

The difference is that when we decide that we are going to reject Satan’s authority and transfer that authority over to Jesus, we become “new creations.” (2 Corinthians 5) This is much like renouncing your citizenship of your birth country when you swear allegiance to a new country in which you’re becoming a citizen.

When we’re Christians and we sin, it grieves us because this attitude, this behavior, is incompatible with our new life as a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) We want to be back into our new default behavior, which is “Holiness.” (Romans 6) God is Holy, so we must be Holy. (Leviticus 20:7)

Because we live in a fallen world and do not yet have a glorified body with Jesus, (1 Corinthians 15) we have to make the decision every day to die to ourselves and the desires of the flesh. It’s hard! It’s uncomfortable! It’s a struggle! (Romans 7) But… we are victorious in Christ and through Him, all things are possible. (Philippians 4:13)

You have to make a decision, do you serve one master – sin nature, desires of the flesh, Satan – or will you choose to die to yourself every day, to serve God? You can not serve 2 opposing masters, so you must decide for yourself. (Revelation 3:15-16)

Christians, even back in Peter’s day, came out of a sinful lifestyle. The people you used to run with will question why you are no longer choosing to do the things that you once did. If it happened to those in Jesus’ day, it will happen to you too.

“Therefore, since the Messiah suffered in a mortal body, you, too, must arm yourselves with the same determination, because the person who has suffered in a mortal body has stopped sinning, 2 so that he can live the rest of his mortal life guided, not by human desires, but by the will of God. For you spent enough time in the past doing what the gentiles like to do, living in sensuality, sinful desires, drunkenness, wild celebrations, drinking parties, and detestable idolatry. 4 They insult you now because they are surprised that you are no longer joining them in the same excesses of wild living.” – 1 Peter 4:3-4

Now onto the second matter. It does not matter if you’re small, thin, have feminine features – (Exodus 4:10-14) there is not a default look that men must have, so put that out of your mind. Likewise God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:9-13) – He is not impressed, nor disappointed by your material goods or social status. He is a champion of the widows and the fatherless. (Psalm 68:5-6) He will be your refuge (Psalm 9:9) – if you’ll make the decision to make Him, rather than the desires of your flesh, the Lord of your life.

 

 

What Quora & Satan don’t want you to know about homosexuality

This past weekend I received a “Be Nice, Be Respectful” violation for “hate speech” on Quora.com. My appeal was rejected and my account may be terminated. I am in the process of backing up all of my work, and I will be reposting many of my writings here on my website in the coming months.

Quora’s notice:

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My appeal:

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Quora’s Response:

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Here is what I wrote, to this prompt, which Quora has marked as “hate speech:”

From a Christian, non-LGBTQ perspective, what’s the best way for Christians to help LGBTQ people come to repentance?

First let’s see what the Bible says, specifically the New Testament:

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” – John 7:24

Okay cool. We’re supposed to judge correctly!

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proudarrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderouswithout self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, recklessswollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”  2 Timothy 3:1-5

That basically describes everyone in this present age. Now that we know what we’re dealing with (unrepentant people) and what we’re supposed to do (judge rightly) let’s move forward.

“9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” – 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

Wow, so we see that the Bible is very clear! Christians aren’t to go around being the morality police to non-Christians. (This does not mean that Christians can’t have a say on what legally affects Christian taxpayers or what they’re forced to subject their own children to.) BUT Christians have an obligation to police so-called Christians who are engaging in behavior that God calls “evil.” If they are unrepentant, the Bible says to remove them from the congregation!

But what if they were born this way?! Well of course! We were all born with a sin nature!

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Now we see that homosexuality is considered a sin that shows that you are not God’s child, one who will inherit God’s kingdom. We see that some Christians formerly practiced such acts, but after becoming Christians, they no longer engaged in such acts.

“29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. – Matthew 5:29-30

Being born any type of way does not excuse sin. Jesus Himself directs people to maim themselves if that’s what it takes to prevent yourself from engaging in sexual sin.

What is the best thing you can do to share the gospel with someone? Simply share the gospel with them! People may have traumatic backgrounds, so lead with God’s love, without condoning their sin. Share the gospel how you would with a heterosexual person.

“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.20 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 are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” – Romans 1:18-32

We see that people already know God and they choose to worship anything but Him. Homosexuality is something that God sees as a sign of people who are wicked and willfully disobedient to His laws. You must make sure that you do not give approval to such acts while sharing the message of God’s love.

Even when Jesus spoke to sexually immoral people, he ended His conversation with a command.

“14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’” John 5:14

“11 She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’” John 8:11

Originally posted February 10, 2018: https://www.quora.com/From-a-Christian-non-LGBTQ-perspective-whats-the-best-way-for-Christians-to-help-LGBTQ-people-come-to-repentance/answer/Rachel-Stephens-10

Pastors duping God’s chosen people (Biggest SCAM revealed!)

I didn’t grow up like many of my non-religious peers. When I was small, my dad would drive me to visit his grandmother, my great-grandmother. Her small apartment was filled with the sounds of TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) As she asked us for the 10th time if we’d like something to drink, due to her dementia, she’d ask my dad when we would be going to Israel. I was too young to remember her before her dementia, but she always made a point to bring it up. Apparently, in spite of her ailments, her trip to Jerusalem had made a lasting impact on her.

I loved to spend time with my grandparents, and my grandma was a fun grandma, the kind who loved to stay up until 2 AM watching TV and playing logic puzzles (she still does.) As the clock ticked later into the night, infomercials would begin to play. Jan Crouch, the founder of TBN, is burned into my mind. Jan, with her giant pink wig, extreme false lashes, would cry on camera, pleading for viewers to donate money to bring some poor Jewish Russian babushka to Israel so that she could be reunited with her husband and die in peace in the Holy Land.

Strangely enough, despite financial plea after financial plea to “Stand with Israel,” whether from Perry Stone, Benny Hinn, John Hagee, Joseph Prince, or any other prominent TV pastor, nobody ever mentioned sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Jewish people of Israel. Growing up, this apparent disconnect never registered in my mind.

When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, my Zionism grew. In high school I’d write about Israeli politics, and how US foreign policy should favor Israel. I was a vocal supporter of Israel over everyone. As I got older, I continued to write, with some of my writings being translated into Hebrew, and calls and emails from Jewish professors and lobbyist groups came my way. Supporting Israel was integral to who I was. Being a Zionist was just a logical part of being a Christian, or so I thought.

In August 2010, my world came crashing down. My dad, who had also been a Zionist, showed me videos of Orthodox Jews assaulting Israeli Christians. Spitting, hitting, pipe bombs – why were these Jewish men trying to kill Christian women and children? Didn’t they know that we love them?! I had been completely ignorant of the Israeli government’s discrimination against Israeli Christians. Yes, the Israeli government loves foreign Christian tourists’ money, but it’s the Christian residents of Israel that were bearing discrimination, harassment and dwindling protection under the law. I had had no idea this sort of treatment would be overlooked by the Israeli government.

Churches never speak about the harassment Israeli Christians face. Not only that, many churches partner with pro-Israel groups that are vocally opposed to Jewish outreach and evangelism by Christians. While our Israeli Christian brothers and sisters bear persecution, not too dissimilar of the same persecutions faced by the apostles and Paul, the US churches stay silent. Unfortunately, big name pastors have traded the truth of the gospel for the chance to make money as a covert lobbyist for a secular government. What better way for a foreign, secular government to raise funds than to prey on religious and charitable people by telling them, in their own churches, that they must send money, or else they’ll face the wrath of their God? It’s a brilliant marketing scheme, but it’s completely unscriptural.

If you’d like to find out how Genesis 12:3 has been used to dupe Christians into supporting the secular government of Israel, please watch this episode of Crack Your Bible:

Christians, first and foremost, need to wake up. God’s promises to Abraham, then Abram, concerning blessing those who blessed him, and cursing those who dishonored him, were for those who belong to Christ only. There has never been two separate covenants, one between the Jewish people and one for Christians. God’s covenant with Abraham has always been between Him and those who put their faith in Him. Do those who reject Jesus have faith in the God of Abraham? No! Prior to Jesus’ ministry on earth, there were those born of Abraham who rejected God, and there were those born of Abraham who put their faith in God’s promises. It’s the second group who God counted as His children. This hasn’t changed.

It’s time Christians read their Bibles and closed their wallets to lobbyist groups and their church partners who are opposed to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of Israel. The best way to support Israel is to stand with our Israeli Christian brothers and sisters and support their ministries, and to share the gospel with your Jewish friends and neighbors. The Jewish people and Israel don’t need your money. They need Jesus.

-Rachel

If you're going to support Israeli evangelism outreach ministries financially, make sure you know where your money is going AND make sure the organization isn't vocally opposed to Jesus. . . As of 2012, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews boasted raising nearly US $600 million, despite their CEO being vocal about his opposition to Christian evangelism of Jewish people! . . https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/standing-with-israel/47005 . . Follow #CrackYourBible for #TuesdayTruths – every Tuesday you'll see a fun fact relating to Christianity, the Bible and apologetics Stay tuned for a new video on Mon/Wed/Fri on YouTube – Link in bio. . . . . . . . . . #apologetics #Bible #BibleQuote #BibleStudy #BibleVerse #blessing #blessed #Christian #Christianity #CompetitiveEdge #encouragement #forgiveness #GodsWord #gospel #inspiring #Jesus #JesusIsLord #JesusSaves #lifehack #praise #prayer #scripture #thankful #thankGod #truth #wisdom #prayforisrael #standwithisrael

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2017 Financial Review for Crack Your Bible

As 2017 comes to a close, I wanted to go over some of the Google Analytics for Crack Your Bible. I am so thankful for all of the support from the Crack Your Bible family – those who watch, share and upvote my videos and social media posts. This is a labor of love and during Crack Your Bible’s first year, we gained a 100+ subs on Instagram, 560+ subs on Quora and nearly 1,000 subs on YouTube without spending any money on marketing.

To see Crack Your Bible’s demographic analytics, feel free to watch the video below.

(I forgot to add in a couple expenses when I filmed this episode, so the final expenses are slightly higher than the total I said in the video, which I break down in this post.)

Finances

Expenditures

Because Christians in ministry are always accused of somehow being in ministry “for the money” I’m including a list of my expenses. To date, I have never asked for donations, Patreon, or any other financial assistance. My husband and I have paid for 100% of the expenses related to Crack Your Bible, as I have not felt led by the Holy Spirit to ask for financial assistance at this time.

Table 1 covers the expenses I undertook specifically for Crack Your Bible during 2017. Table 2 lists items I already owned prior to starting this channel and additional expenses that I chose not to charge to Crack Your Bible.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 12.43.08 PMScreen Shot 2017-12-30 at 12.44.03 PMRevenue

You’re probably wondering how much money I’ve made with Google off of YouTube AdSense or other ad revenue. When I first began my channel in January of 2017, the Adpocalypse had not yet begun, but a month or two in, YouTube changed their policy that only channels with 10,000 views could be monetized. After I hit 10,000 views, almost EVERY. SINGLE. VIDEO. that I’ve ever posted is demonetized for at least the first 48 hours after I post it. This is when videos get the most traction and is deliberate censorship from YouTube, as most of my videos become re-monetized. This is despite the fact that YouTube claims that they only review videos with more than 1,000 views in the first week of posting – which, due to being a small channel, has never happened to me.

The yellow $ shows which videos were demonetized. You can also see the number of views each video received next to the 3 bars. Note that when the videos were remonetized (green circle) none of the videos had 1,000 views.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 1.39.42 PM

Demonetized 2017

As far as revenue from YouTube, YouTube only pays a creator once they have amassed $100.00 in revenue, which I have not, so I have not received any money this year.  Here is the channel’s analytics:

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 4.18.06 PM

A word of advice for anyone who wants to go into ministry – make sure you’re actually called to do ministry. While all Christians are to fulfill the Great Commission, not everyone is called to be a teacher. You don’t decide to become a teacher – the Holy Spirit will decide whether or not you should become a teacher.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.James 3:1

None of this could be possible without the emotional and financial support of my husband. Ministry is not a business that anyone should go into for the money, but to answer God’s call. This is a full time job but it could never financially support us, so please don’t quit your job thinking that you’re going to strike it rich teaching the gospel. Not only is that the wrong reason to preach the gospel, you’re going to end up homeless.

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 

13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15

Thank you for your support and I look forward to sharing Jesus with you in 2018

-Rachel