A friend of mine was visiting a Somali Christian who went to jail for some crimes that they had committed: let’s not be too hard on the Somali Christian; we all sin and have fallen short of the glory of God, and just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean that you will never sin or get in trouble with the law. It might happen.

My friend was visiting this Somali Christian in jail and said to them: “Why do you keep running from the Lord? Why don’t you just stop running and give yourself over completely to the Lord?”

Excellent questions!

Why do Somalis keep running away from the Lord? And in case you think it is a joke, listen to what Stephen says in the Bible:

“You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.” – Acts chapter 7

“It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:31

Maybe the fear of hell isn’t strong or real enough for some of you. But you need to know what God says about the afterlife.

“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” – Matthew chapter 18

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell….

“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” – Matthew chapter 5

There is a hell

What are you running from can also be interpreted as “why are you running to hell?” If you are not running towards God then you very well may be running towards hell. Either you are with God, or you are without Him. Either you are for Christ or against. Either you stand for the truth or you sit down for the lies. Either you follow God’s laws or you obey the devil and all his lies.

So which is it? Choose today who you are going to follow. But don’t think you can outsmart God like some fancy lawyer; don’t think you will be able to catch God in a technicality so that He allows you into heaven. You will get into heaven if you have believed in God and accepted His Son as the sacrifice for your sins.

Jesus said:

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” – Revelation chapter 20

I am telling you this not to try and scare you but to encourage you and show you the seriousness of being lukewarm. I am telling you that you cannot be a politician with God. You can’t pretend to be a Christian – either you are with the Lord or you are not. You cannot say to God that you are a Christian and then to your brother here on earth that you are a Muslim. If you deny Jesus Christ in front of your brother then Jesus will deny you before His Father. That means that if you tell people here on earth that you are not a Christian, but you tell other Christians that you are a Christian – do you really think that God will allow you into heaven? Do you think you can fool God?

You can fool people

You can fool people. You can fool people a lot. You can tell people one thing and they can believe you, but you couldn’t be telling them a joke or maybe lying to them. But you cannot fool God.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

You cannot fool God, you cannot trick Him, you cannot deceive Him, you cannot lie to Him without Him knowing, you cannot lie your way into heaven, you cannot commit fraud and end up in heaven.

Jesus said:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” – John chapter 8

Don’t run from God

So don’t think you can run away from God and get away from Him. One day you will stand before God and answer for all the things that you have done. You cannot escape Him.

And why would you want to? If you’re doctor has the cure and the medicine for your sickness, would you run away from your doctor? Of course not, you would go to him because you know he has the cure for your illness.

God has the cure for all your illnesses; God has the cure for all your fears and failures; God has the cure for all the hurts, and pain, depression and discouragement. God has all that you need and God want to give you all that yo need. HE wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit and bless you abundantly. He is waiting for you to call upon Him. He is waiting for you to stop running.

So take my advice: stop running and call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved.

© Somali Christian Ministries, 2014
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