Categories
Goodnews For Google Gen

Giving the Gospel to those with Suicidal Tendencies and Those With Gaming Addiction

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

On September 10, the World Suicide Prevention Day is observed. We live in a world where we meet a lot of people who show suicidal tendencies. And we also meet a lot of people who are into gaming addiction. What I present below is one way we can bring the good news to those who show suicidal tendencies or those who are gaming addicted:

Blue Whale. We are not talking about the big fish in the sea. The “Blue Whale,” referred to in this piece, is an online game that ultimately dares its players to act out a death-wish – their own! This smartphone game pushes the users of this game to carve an outline of a Blue Whale on their skin and eventually drives them into suicide. That’s one reason this game got the name “whale” – a fish with suicidal tendencies that is known at times to deliberately swim towards beaches only to die. If a player refuses to obey the “dare” for a dangerous task, threats such as, “We will have your parents killed…” rapidly follows. Yes people – including children and teens –  World-over are either talking about the Blue Whale challenge or playing it.

The Blue Whale is ultimately indicative of a “true tale” – certain truths about Life – life about living with capital L. Only a person deeply disillusioned with life would take the lead from games such as this and eventually decide to end it. But the Bible, God’s Word in human words, presents Satan as the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. It is quite possible that Satan uses online games such as the Blue Whale, get unsuspecting folks to fall-in-line with his plan of destruction. In the Bible, we read of a demon-influenced man ‘cutting himself with stones’ – attempting suicide (Mark 5:5). Satan does not just sow inside of us thoughts of suicide. The Bible teaches that His primary goal is to lead us towards fleeting-pleasure offering sin – something that separates us from God and robs us of all lasting joy. “Joy” leaving our lives, when “Sin” enters is not just a fact found in the Bible (Lamentations 5:15; Psalm 51:12) but an relatable experience in our day-to-day lives.

“Joy” leaving our lives, when “Sin” enters is not just a fact found in the Bible (Lamentations 5:15; Psalm 51:12) but an relatable experience in our day-to-day lives.

No, we do not read of anyone in the Bible narrative playing the Blue Whale game. But we do read of some folk who ended up committing suicide. The circumstances in which they committed suicide gives us key-perspectives about why people think of taking their own life. Abimelech (See Judges 9:54 in the Bible) did not want to be killed by a woman, and so he asked a young man to kill him instead. We see here PRIDE (the first ever sin of the universe, according to the Bible) cannot give us purpose and meaning in life. But, tragically can be instrumental in the finishing of our life. King Saul feared torture by enemy forces as a prisoner of war and he decided to fall onto his sword while on a battle field to finish his life (See I Samuel 31:4 in the Bible). In his case, PANIC (the result of sin according to the Bible), robbed him of his desire to live and he chose to put a full-stop to his own life. Ahithophel, a professional Counsellor to the king, upon discovering that his advice was not followed, decided to hang till he died. He chose to hang, instead of a life of having to hang his head in shame. However awesome a PROFESSION is, it cannot bring that person’s meaning, purpose, lasting joy in life. The fifth person as per the records of the Bible, who committed suicide was Judas. The hole in his heart became bigger after receiving a PAY for leading an arresting party to the place the only God-in-flesh Jesus often met with his disciples. We have talked about a number of Ps in the above paragraph in connection with suicide. However there is another P who enables us to overcome suicidal tendencies. That is the Prince of Peace.

When he knew for sure the prisoners entrusted by the Government under his care – including the preachers of Jesus, namely, Paul and Silas – has escaped the prison he was incharge of, following a massive earthquake, this jailor we read about in the Bible, drew his sword and was about to end his life (Acts 16:25-27). That’s when Paul shouted, ‘Do not harm yourself’ and introduced Jesus, the Prince of Peace to this Jailor who immediately abandoned his suicide plans (Acts 16:28-31). When Jesus really comes into your life every thought of suicide will fly away! And life will become meaningful! Instead of choosing the suicide rope, choose hope that is only available in Christ Jesus!

This leads me to a well-known statement that Jesus made that is found recorded in the Bible: “I have come to give Life – Life to the full”(in John 10:10). This implies, apart from the “alone and apart from everyone” Jesus (Jesus said he was the ONLY WAY in John 14:6 of the Bible) no one can find that paramount peace, that supreme serenity, that maximum meaning, that Himalayan happiness.  Apostle Paul, a Jesus-follower, wrote about the “purpose in each step” (I Corinthians 9:26, NLT, The Bible) that Jesus gave him, when he followed Jesus through the smooth and stormy phases of his life.

One of Jesus’ names in the Bible is this: “Author of Life” (Acts 3:15). He is also the maker of life – this the Bible teaches (John 1:3). Human Life was made “for” Jesus Christ, the Bible notes (Colossians 1:16-17).  When we wade though “the book of life’s journey” with a living “for” Jesus, life will become meaningful  and purposeful!

The same Jesus who said, “I have come to give you life,” also mentioned that he came to die as a ransom for the sins of the World. This, the Bible records (Mark 10:45). That was how he could offer us a meaningful life – through his cruel death on the Cross. When Jesus shed his precious, sinless blood for us, he opened the door for each one of us to escape from living an “empty” life on this earth, the Bible declares (I Peter 1:18).

Jesus rose from the Dead. Jesus promised to return again to judge the World. Those who firmly and finally reject Jesus, the name of the only person who qualifies to save humankind by the virtue of his absolute sinlessness, will live a life of “living” hell here and now and go to a “literal” hell. This the Bible, a book which has never gone wrong when it comes to predictions, predicts.

What should we do now? Turn from sin (Luke 13:1-5, The Bible). Come to Christ in faith (Matthew 11:28 & John 1:12, The Bible). Come now (2 Corinthians 6:2, The Bible). 

(This article was published in Aim Magazine, Sept 2021 issue. Aim is published by Evangelical Fellowship of India, the umbrella organization for all major churches and Christian organisations in India. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Watch Duke’s messages at http://www.youtube.com/visitduke).

Categories
Bible Truth Around Contemporary Events

LIFE THAT IS FLEETING; DEATH-FEAR WHICH CAN GO FLEEING!

Duke Jeyaraj brings out a Bible Truth starting with Sushant Singh Rajput’s last Instagram post

India TV posted this about Sushant Singh Rajput whose life came to a sudden end on 14 June 2020 at the age of 34:

His last Instagram post, shared on June 3, 2020, was dedicated to his late mother, who passed away in 2002. Sharing a black and white collage of himself and his mother, the Raabta actor wrote, “Blurred past evaporating from teardrops. Unending dreams carving an arc of smile. And a fleeting life, negotiating between the two….”

Just 11 days after he posted this on Instagram Sushant Singh Rajput allegedly ended his life in Mumbai flat by hanging himself to death!

The Bible, God’s Word in human words, agrees with Sushant when he wrote our life is “fleeting”. James 4:14 goes this way: ‘yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes’ (ESV); ‘How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone’ (NLT). This grand truth from the book of James in the Bible is repeated so many times in so many different ways in the rest of the Bible. Job 14:1-2 read this way: “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure” (NIV). I like the way Eugene Peterson rendered this passage: “We’re all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles. We, spring up like wildflowers in the desert and then wilt, transient as the shadow of a cloud” (The Message).

The Bible tells the stories of Absalom (2 Samuel 18) and Ahab (1 Kings 22) who died when they were not thinking of death at all. Absalom was dreaming about being the king when he his long hair got caught in a low-lying branch. He was speeding on a horse when this happened. He hung like that before his father’s friends finished him off. Ahab was talking about punishing a prophet of God after he finished off work in a battle. But an arrow hit him in the small gap in the joint area of his battle armour and he died.

Yes, life is fleeting. Death can come to us when we least expect it to come. We must be ready for death, should it come to us, right now, right away! When we have Jesus in our lives, we can face death boldly. Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “He also became a human being, so that by going through death as a man he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might also set free those who lived their whole lives a prey to the fear of death” (J. B. Philips).

In the New Testament, we read of the sudden death of James (Acts 12) and Antipas (Revelation 2). Both of them were martyred because they were bold followers of Jesus Christ who did not afraid of death. Jim Elliot (and friends), John Allen Chau were other followers of Jesus who suddenly died (in their 20s) as they fearlessly and passionately obeyed the call of Jesus to proclaim his goodnews to even to hostile peoples in their one life!

So, come to Jesus right now! He died on the Cross for you! He is calling you to turn from sin (Luke 13:1-5). And put your faith in Him (John 1:12). When you do that life becomes “full” (John 10:10). You will be so full of life; you will be on a mission to save those thinking of ending their lives!

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. Find out more about this reader-supported Indian ministry here: www.dukev.org. Watch his videos at www.youtube.com/visitduke).

Categories
Holy Week / Lent Devotions

ANSWERING QUESTIONS OF SKEPTICS AND SEEKERS THE JESUS WAY


A Duke Jeyaraj Passion Week Tuesday Meditation

On the Tuesday of the Passion Week, Jesus answered a series of questions (at least five). From the way he tackled these questions we learn rich lessons on handling questions from skeptics and seekers.

1. Use UNFORGETTABLE IMAGERY & STORY while answering the Question.

Jesus talked about the “moving mountains” while answering the question, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” (Matt. 21:20-22). Jesus told parables (stories with a message) when he was asked questions (see Matt. 21:35-41). In Matt. 22:4-14 Jesus narrated another parable in response to a question during Passion Week Tuesday. When someone asks you, “Is there a God?”, respond this way, “Can 1000 monkeys sitting on a typewriter produce a dictionary?”

2. Sometimes you need to ASK A QUESTION in response to a Question.

Jesus retorted with another question when the chief priests and elders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things?” (Matt. 21:23-22:14). This question concerning their disobedience to John’s call for repentance and baptism stumped them! To those who question you about the faith you need to believe in a God, retort, “Do you think that you do not need any faith not to believe in a God?” To those who ask you about, “What happens to those who have never heard of Jesus?” ask this question, “Why, do you want to go as a missionary to them?” before giving a serious answer.

3. Use the question to address IMPORTANT ISSUES which may benefit the questioner.

When answering the question, “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” Jesus took the opportunity of teaching this: Since we are made in God’s image, we must give our whole lives to Him! (Matt. 22:15-22). In other words, go beyond mere answering of the question into evangelism. If someone asks, “Why is Jesus the only way in a world of many faiths?” we should not only be able to answer that question but also issue an evangelistic call as the Spirit leads us to.

4. Encourage hearers to go back to the BIBLE when answering the question.

The Bible is the ultimate answer to every question. Jesus knew this. So when he was asked, “Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be of the seven (dead brothers married to the same women, one after the other), since all of them were married?” (Matt.22:23-33), he shot back, “Have you not read….”(Matt. 22:31). “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures…” Jesus charged (Mk. 12:24).

5. DIRECTLY answer the question, instead of beating about the bush.

To the question, “Which is the greatest commandment in the the Law?” Jesus gave a direct practical answer ((Matt. 22:34-40). When people ask you, “Is Jesus the only way to heaven?” say, “Yes, He is and he has given us considerable proof for that like his sinless life, fulfillment of prophecy and amazing claims to divinity….”

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, a ministry to presentday people supported by those who read his writings and hear his messages. Find out more about this ministry by visiting www.dukev.org or by liking www.facebook.com/googleduke. Duke’s message videos are hosted on http://www.youtube.com/c/visitduke).

Categories
Strong Believers Creating Articles Uncategorized

MARTYRDOM-READY BELIEVERS IN A 5G-INTERNET-SPEED-FOLD-YOUR-PHONE-READY WORLD – Duke Jeyaraj

POLYCARPThis morning (22 July 2019) when I went to get the newspaper in a shop in Diamond Point, Secunderabad, I witnessed a march by school students in memory of the Kargil Martyrs. They walked shouting slogans of respect for the Kargil Martyrs.

The Bible is clear when it calls believers to die for Christ if there is a need to do so. None of us will enjoy dying. But none of us should be scarred of dying for Christ’s sake.

Jesus’ call for martyrdom comes from John 12:24 – Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:23 records that these were the words of Jesus.

Apostle Paul, the person who kept saying we must follow Christ as he followed Christ using various phrases atleast five different times in the New Testament as he was inspired by the Spirit to do so was willing to die for Christ. We read these his brave words in Acts 21:13 – Then Paul answered (a group of five prophets who prophesied that he should not go to Jerusalem and preach about Jesus because that would land him in great danger), “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

The writer to the Hebrews in the Bible was complaining that there weren’t enough brave people in the church he wrote to who chose Martyrdom when he wrote, “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Heb. 12:4).

My favorite Christian Martyr is Polycarp. His martyrdom was the first prominent one after the completion of the New Testament. I recommend that you watch the 2015 Movie Polycarp – you, your family, your church. I watched it with my family and a small group I taught God’s Word to. I stopped at strategic points in his life to draw spiritual lessons during that movie.

Here is the gripping report of the martyrdom of Polycarp by Christianity Today website:

‘Polycarp had been a Christian since he was a child, but the Romans didn’t get around to killing him until he was in his eighties. Whatever the reason for the delay, it is still the first recorded martyrdom in post-New Testament church history. Such traits are especially evident in the account of his martyrdom, which was written within a year of his death. It is not clear exactly why he was suddenly, at age 86, subject to arrest, but when he heard Roman officials were intent on arresting him, he decided to wait for them at home. Panic-stricken friends pleaded with him to flee, so to calm them, he finally agreed to withdraw to a small estate outside of town. But while in prayer there, he received some sort of vision. Whatever he saw or heard, we don’t know. He simply reported to his friends that he now understood, “I must be burned alive.” Roman soldiers eventually discovered Polycarp’s whereabouts and came to his door. When his friends urged him to run, Polycarp replied, “God’s will be done,” and he let the soldiers in.’

‘He was escorted to the local proconsul, Statius Quadratus, who interrogated him in front of a crowd of curious onlookers. Polycarp seemed unfazed by the interrogation; he carried on a witty dialogue with Quadratus until Quadratus lost his temper and threatened Polycarp: he’d be thrown to wild beasts, he’d be burned at the stake, and so on. Polycarp just told Quadratus that while the proconsul’s fire lasts but a little while, the fires of judgment (“reserved for the ungodly,” he slyly added) cannot be quenched. Polycarp concluded, “But why do you delay? Come, do what you will.”’

‘Soldiers then grabbed him to nail him to a stake, but Polycarp stopped them: “Leave me as I am. For he who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails.” He prayed aloud, the fire was lit, and his flesh was consumed. The chronicler of this martyrdom said it was “not as burning flesh but as bread baking or as gold and silver refined in a furnace.”’

‘The account concluded by saying that Polycarp’s death was remembered by “everyone”—”he is even spoken of by the heathen in every place.”’

Should there be a rule in our land that we should not worship Christ or follow him or share his love, what would you do?

Would we respond like Peter and the apostles did in a similar situation: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29) – would we boldly say that to those who persecute us?

“Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus” – that’s what the persecuted apostles did (Acts 5:41-42). And would we make Acts 5:41-42 a reality in our lives in case there is persecution in our world?

One small way we as a ministry show that we are not afraid of persecution is by distributing tracts. We still choose a spot and give tracts in that spot once a month. My joy knows no bounds whenever a new team member would say: “This is the first time I giving a gospel tract!” I tell myself, “Even if I were to die and be with Jesus, this wave of fearless witnessing will continue till the return of Christ!”

Mobile companies are preparing the world to be 5G super-fast internet speed-ready world where your 5G enabled phones can be folded! They are preparing mobile handsets that will be 5G ready. Huawei Mate X –  a phone that can be folded – is one such phone. As believers, I write this article with a passion to see martyrdom-ready believers.

MATE X

(Duke Jeyaraj is a trained Agricultural Engineer [B. Tech from SHIATS, Allahabad], who did not pursue a career in the line of his education but nevertheless enjoys growing cacti in the balcony of his flat, during his spare time! He could have been a cricket commentator but prefers to wrap Bible Truth around cricket magic moments and other interesting-to-Google Genners contemporary events, instead. God’s call upon him made him utterly restless and he obeyed that call  by founding the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission to finally find serenity after having served formerly as a pastor with a large denomination/missionary with a large organisation/employee of HSBC Global Resourcing. G4 Mission is not a church but an inter-denominational ministry to present-day people, a ministry which Duke works fulltime for, as an itinerant presenter/preacher/author since 2008 putting to use the formal theological training he received from a reputed Bible College in Bangalore [M. Div & Doctor of Ministry from CGLD-SABC]. Duke is called ‘dad’ by Dale (15) and Datasha (11) and ‘hubby’ by Evangelin and calls Hyderabad his adopted home – a town from where Duke has travelled by invitation to over 15 Indian States and to a few countries to preach God’s Word. In case your curiosity is triggered by reading all this, you may checkout http://www.dukewords.com [if you are the reading plain text type], http://www.soundcloud.com/shoutaloud [if you are part of the audio-listening tribe] and http://www.youtube.com/visitduke [if you group yourself with the video-steaming generation]. G4 Mission is a listener/reader/viewer supported Indian ministry.)