I was an ungrateful brat.

Have you ever had the experience of showing someone “road courtesy” and they don’t bother to acknowledge it? I have to admit, those who don’t show appreciation make me mad. I immediately wish I hadn’t bothered to be nice. However, if I slow down to let someone merge in front of me, and they give a small wave or a nod of appreciation, it makes me feel good. I don’t think many of us like ingratitude. We feel upset if we give a child a piece of candy, and he snatches it, stuffs it into his mouth, and runs off without so much as a “Thank you.”

But that was me for 22 years. I was an ungrateful brat, who never once thanked God for His incredible kindness. I never showed an ounce of gratitude for having eyes to see this incredible creation. I never thanked Him for ears to enjoy good music, or taste buds to enjoy good food. Not once did I ever humbly bow my head before a meal and thank God for my food. Ingratitude is a horrible sin.

Then again, gratitude without obedience to God is nothing but empty hypocrisy. True appreciation for His goodness will also bow to His will. Those who don’t do God’s will lose their most precious possession. If death seizes them while they are still in their sins, they will never again see God’s gift of light, of color, beauty, love, and laughter. They will never again hear a kind word, or feel the warmth of human comfort. They weren’t thankful, so they will be damned from all of God’s goodness. Forever. Imagine that—never seeing beauty ever again. Never hearing laughter ever again. Never satisfying the craving of unspeakable thirst. Ever. All because of sin.

2 Samuel 22:50Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.

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“How to know the Lord?”

To know the Lord, simply humble yourself, and with a tender conscience look at the Ten Commandments. Have you ever lied, stolen, blasphemed, looked with lust (adultery of the heart), etc. Then judge yourself—are you guilty or innocent? Would you go to heaven or hell? Then look to the cross—God in the person of Jesus Christ took your punishment upon Himself, paying your fine so that you could leave the courtroom. Through His death and resurrection, you can have everlasting life, if you will repent (something the hypocrite fails to do) and trust the Savior. The minute you do so, you will come to know the Lord (see John 14:21 for details).

1 Samuel 2:12Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.

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Never stop pleading.

Never stop pleading with those who are not receptive to the gospel. That seemingly hardhearted person may be thinking about every word you speak. We tend to overlook the fact that Jesus rebuked the hardhearted Pharisees and other religious leaders, because He cared enough about them to speak the truth. We do not know how many of them were in that great crowd on the Day of Pentecost and ended up being part of the Church, because of His love.

2 Chronicles 33:10 And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken. 11Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.

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Proclaim the gospel.

As soldiers of Christ we must always be “fit” to go to war and to do battle. We should always be prepared to share our faith (1 Pet. 3:15). So, practice what you preach. Practice how to answer everyone—atheist, agnostic, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, etc.—with the reason for the hope that is within you.

“We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel. Man’s fall, his need of a new birth, forgiveness through atonement, and salvation as the result of faith, these are our battle-ax and weapons of war.” Charles Spurgeon

1 Chronicles 7:11All these the sons of Jediael, by the heads of their fathers, mighty men of valour, were seventeen thousand and two hundred soldiers, fit to go out for war and battle.

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The soul continues forever.

Some don’t believe that we have a soul that continues on after death. This verse clearly shows that physical death occurs when the soul separates from the body (in the same way that spiritual death is separation from God).

1 Kings 17:21 And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.” 22Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.

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Memory is God’s officer.

“We won’t need any one to condemn us at the bar of God; it will be our own conscience that will come up as a witness against us. God won’t condemn us at his bar; we shall condemn ourselves. Memory is God’s officer, and when He shall touch these secret springs and say, ‘Son, daughter, remember’—then tramp, tramp, tramp will come before us, in a long procession, all the sins we have ever committed.” D. L. Moody

2 Samuel 24:10And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

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The awful consequences of breaking the Law.

One effect of the Law: it brings 34:19–21 the knowledge of sin, convicts the conscience, and makes the wrath of God understandable as the just consequence of sin. Use the Law to reach the lost as Jesus did. (See Mark 10:17 for an example of Jesus using the Law.)

“When the sinner sees the awful consequences of breaking the Law of God—that he cannot escape the certainty of judgment—he will see his need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When we preach future punishment by the Law, the sinner comes to Christ solely to flee from ‘the wrath to come.’” Charles Spurgeon 

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