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2024-06-30 SURRENDER

Title: Total Surrender: What It Really Means to Follow Jesus

Have you ever wondered what it truly means to follow Jesus? You might think it’s about attending church on Sundays or being a good person. But what if I told you it’s about something much deeper—something that requires your whole heart and life? This past week, our youth experienced a powerful message about total surrender to Christ, and it’s a message that resonates with all of us.

Witnessing Transformation

One of the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed is seeing teenagers fall more in love with Jesus. At our recent youth camp, we saw decisions made that will have eternal implications. It wasn’t just about having fun or getting away; it was about lives being changed by God. I shared with our students that God used a youth camp to get ahold of me when I was 13, even though I had heard the gospel countless times before. This experience reaffirmed my belief in the power of youth ministry and the importance of total surrender to Christ.

What Is Total Surrender?

You might be asking, "What does total surrender look like?" Our camp pastor, Jason Cook, laid it out clearly: an idol is anything that haunts you when it’s absent from you. It’s anything that draws your attention away from Christ. We were challenged to lay down these idols and surrender everything to God. This isn’t just about giving up Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights; it’s about giving up 100% of who we are.

The Gospel: Not an Underdog Story

We often think of the gospel as an underdog story, but it’s not. Imagine you’re a cashier who steals from your store every day. Instead of being fired, the owner makes you president of the company. This is a weak yet clear illustration of the gospel. We are all sinners, yet God offers us grace and makes us new creations through Christ. This requires a heart change, a total surrender, not just a partial one.

Living Out Total Surrender

Paul’s words in Galatians 2:15-21 remind us that we are justified by faith in Christ, not by works of the law. He says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." This means that our lives should reflect Christ in everything we do. It’s not about being a better person; it’s about being a new creation.

Practical Steps to Total Surrender

  1. Identify Your Idols: What are the things that take your focus away from Christ? Is it your job, your relationships, or your hobbies? Identify these idols and commit to laying them down.
  2. Daily Surrender: Take up your cross daily and follow Jesus. This means making conscious decisions every day to live for Him.
  3. Seek Accountability: Share your journey with someone you trust. Accountability can help you stay committed to your path of total surrender.
  4. Engage in Community: Surround yourself with fellow believers who can encourage and support you in your walk with Christ.


The gospel requires a response. It’s not enough to be neutral. You have to decide whether you will fully surrender to Christ or not. Paul’s words challenge us to live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. So, what will you do this week to give your whole heart to Jesus? Will you identify your idols and lay them down? Will you commit to daily surrender and seek accountability?


Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to understand what it means to totally surrender our lives to You. Reveal the idols in our hearts and give us the strength to lay them down. May we live each day by faith, allowing Christ to live in us and through us. Guide us in our journey of total surrender, and let our lives be a testament to Your love and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Posted by Clint Jackson with
in Faith

2024-06-23 The Permanent State: Hell


Title: The Permanent State of Hell: What It Means for You

Have you ever wondered what happens after you die? It's a question that has puzzled humanity for centuries. Today, we're diving into a topic that many avoid but is crucial for understanding our eternal destiny: the permanent state of hell. This isn't just a theological concept; it's a reality that affects every one of us. So, let's explore what the Bible says about hell and why it matters to you.

The Reality of Hell

Hell is not a joke or a myth. It's a real place of eternal separation from God, as described in Revelation 20:7-15. The Bible paints a vivid picture of hell as a lake of fire and sulfur, where those who reject Christ will be tormented forever. This isn't a temporary state; it's a permanent residence for those who choose to live apart from God.

Why Should You Care?

You might be thinking, "Why should I care about hell?" The answer is simple: your eternal destiny is at stake. The Bible makes it clear that there are only two destinations after death—heaven or hell. Understanding the reality of hell should compel us to examine our lives and our relationship with God.

Common Misconceptions About Hell

Many people struggle with the concept of hell for two main reasons:

  1. If God is loving, how can He send people to hell?
  2. Hell seems like an overkill for the sins we commit.

These are valid questions, but they stem from a misunderstanding of God's nature and the seriousness of sin. God is both loving and just. His justice demands that sin be punished, but His love provides a way out through Jesus Christ.

The Purpose of Hell

Hell serves a crucial purpose: it is where God's justice is carried out. Sin is not just a minor mistake; it's a rebellion against a holy and righteous God. Hell is the ultimate consequence of that rebellion. It's a place where God's justice is fully realized, and His glory is displayed over sin.

What Can You Do?

Understanding the reality and permanence of hell should lead us to action. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Examine Your Life: Are you living in a way that honors God? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior?
  2. Share the Gospel: If you know the truth about hell, don't keep it to yourself. Share it with your family, friends, and neighbors.
  3. Live with Urgency: We are not promised tomorrow. Make the most of every opportunity to live for Christ and share His love with others.


The reality of hell is sobering, but it also highlights the incredible love and grace of God. He doesn't want anyone to perish but desires that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). So, what will you do with this truth? Will you ignore it, or will you let it transform your life and the lives of those around you?


Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing the truth about eternity. Help us to understand the seriousness of sin and the reality of hell. Give us the courage to examine our lives and share Your love with others. May we live with urgency, knowing that our time on earth is short. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Posted by David Hopkins with 1 Comments