“I cross the word ‘God’ off every [dollar] bill I touch.”

Penn Jillette, the taller, louder half of the magic/comedy act “Penn and Teller,” is a well-known atheist. He is so committed to atheism that he claims, “I cross the word ‘God’ off every [dollar] bill I touch.”

However, late in 2008, Penn said that after one of his shows, a businessman approached him and gave him a Gideon New Testament. Penn noted, “It was really wonderful. I believe he knew that I was an atheist, but he was not defensive, and he looked me right in the eyes…and then gave me this Bible. I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, or not getting eternal life, or whatever, and you think that, Well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean if I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you—and this is more important than that…He cared enough about me to proselytize and give me a Bible.”

Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

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We must bring God’s Law to the people.

We must bring God’s Law to the people. They will not come to it. Men love darkness rather than light, and they will not come to the light lest their deeds be exposed (see John 3:19–21). It is the light of this Law that exposes sin (see Rom. 7:7). The Law faces the Water Gate; it causes those who hear with understanding to thirst for the righteousness that can be found only in Jesus Christ.

Nehemiah 8:3 Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

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Sin is lawlessness.

All sin is against God. Most of this world doesn’t understand that fact. When we sin we violate God’s Law, for “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). Notice to whom David directed his repentance after Nathan rebuked him for violating the Commandments. He said, “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight…” (Psa. 51:4).

Leviticus 6:2 If a person sins and commits a trespass against the Lord by lying to his neighbor about what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or about a pledge, or about a robbery, or if he has extorted from his neighbour…

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If it’s not biblical, reject it!

Search the Scriptures to make sure that everything you hear lines up with the Word of God. If it’s not biblical, reject it as you would a drop of deadly poison.

Jeremiah 29:8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord.

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Our past sins…

Everything we have done is “in the past.” Even reading this sentence is something you’ve done in the past. We somehow think that because something sinful was done some time ago, God is no longer angry about the sin. But that defense doesn’t work even in our criminal courts: “Judge, I raped and murdered that woman in the past. I haven’t raped or murdered anyone since then; therefore you should let me go.” Such thoughts are ludicrous. Some years ago the United States extradited a Nazi war criminal after 35 years had passed. In most cases, time doesn’t forgive serious crime, and this is especially true with God, because He is not subject to the dimension of time. He sees the sins of our youth as if they were committed yesterday.

“We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. I have heard others, and I have heard myself, recounting cruelties and falsehoods committed in boyhood as if they were no concern of the present speaker’s, and even with laughter. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin. The guilt is washed out not by time but by repentance and the blood of Christ.” C. S. Lewis 

Ecclesiastes 3:15 That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been; And God requires an account of what is past.

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A man after God’s own heart.

There is much speculation about why God called David “a man after My own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22). This seems strange given his sin with Bathsheba and the fact that God said he was a “man of war” who has shed much blood (1 Chron. 22:8). Perhaps it was because David was a king who executed judgment and justice over all his people (see Isa. 56:1; Prov. 21:3), and yet he knew how to show mercy, as he did with King Saul when it seems he could have justifiably killed him.

1 Chronicles 18:14 So David reigned over all Israel, and administered judgment and justice to all his people.

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Be a servant, fear the Lord.

The key to being heard by God is to be a servant who delights in the fear of the Lord. Jesus was heard in that He feared: “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear” (Heb. 5:7).

Nehemiah 1:11 O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the kings cupbearer.

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