Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Wherever pride is found, it is always hateful to God.

September 21, 2017

Perhaps some readers here have heard of the latest “prophecy” claim being made regarding the Second Coming of Christ.  Some are  predicting it to happen on September 23, 2017.  Geoffrey Grider over at “Now The End Begins” blog explains quite well (via Scripture) why such a prediction is false and cannot possibly happen.

See: Now The End Begins: False Prophecy Alert Called ‘Great Sign’ That’s Happening on September 23rd is 100% Not True.

Excerpt:

In order for September 23rd to “usher in the Second Coming,” you would have to cram into the next five (now, two days) days the Rapture of the Church, the rise of Antichrist, the Mark of the Beast and all other events of the 3.5 years of the time of Jacob’s trouble, otherwise known as The Great Tribulation. Chances of all of that happening in the next 5 days (now, 2 days)? Absolutely zero.

I read on another website that a “Christian numerologist” joined the bandwagon making a similar “prediction.”

I can see why people are panicked due to all of the hurricanes happening in a row over the past few weeks which are causing much devastation.  We also have seen the earthquake that happened in Mexico.  However, Jesus told us that such events would only be the “birth pangs.”

Rom 8:22

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Reading the entire chapter of Romans 8 can help soothe our fears, especially the last two verses:

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It really helps to read, study, and know what the Bible teaches in order to not get caught up in false assumptions, false rhetoric, false pride, or false prophecy given by those who may just be in it for attention or to sell their books.

Habbakuk 2 speaks about the proud being rebuked and informs us:

Hab 2:3

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Hab 2:4

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.

David Guzik’s commentary of this portion of Scripture is really good!

Here are a few excerpts that spoke of the time of Habbukuk, but also see if you agree with me that this speaks towards our world today!

b. For the vision is yet for an appointed time: Habakkuk spoke to an age beyond his own. The Babylonian conquest would not be evident in his own day, but in the future.

2. (Hab 2:4-8) God knows how to deal with the proud.

a. Behold the proud: Habakkuk wondered why Babylon – a nation even more sinful than Judah – would be used to bring judgment to Judah. In answering the prophet, God first assures him that He sees the proud, and knows that his soul is not upright in him.

i. Pride is everywhere and takes all manner of shapes.

– Here is the rich man, proud of what he has

– There is the poor man, proud of his “honor” in having less

– Here is the talented man, proud of what he can do

– There is the man of few talents, proud of his hard work

– Here is the religious man, proud of his religion

– There is the unbeliever, proud of his unbelief

– Here is the establishment man, proud of his place in society

– There is the counter-cultural man, proud of his “outcast” status

– Here is the learned man, proud of his intelligence and learning

– Here is the simple man, proud of his simplicity

Now, think about those who are involved in identity/racial/grievance crowd politics.  Can you see that pride is one of the main culprits that is being used to divide our nation, our people, and our government?

ii. “If there is a sin that is universal, it is this. Where is it not to be found? Hunt among the highest and loftiest in the world, and you shall find it there; and then go and search amongst the poorest and the most miserable, and you shall find it there. There may be as much pride inside a beggar’s rags as in a prince’s robe; and a harlot may be as proud as a model of chastity. Pride is a strange creature; it never objects to its lodgings. It will live comfortably enough in a palace, and it will live equally at its ease in a hovel. Is there any man in whose heart pride does not lurk?” (Spurgeon)

Guzik goes even further:

iv. “Wherever pride is found, it is always hateful to God.

The list of those utilizing “pride” (above) demonstrates how and why so many of the evils of our time are being perpetrated by those who adhere to such tactics;  and how it negatively affects us all!  Not only is pride “always hateful to God,” it is also hateful to man.

Why! pride is even hateful to men. Men cannot bear a proud man; and hence it is that a proud man, who has any sense left, often sees that it is so, and he therefore tries to affect manners of modesty. He will seem to be humble, when he really is not, if he has the suspicion that all about him will dislike him if they know him to be proud. But God cannot bear pride; it is a part of his daily business to put down the proud.” (Spurgeon)

So…what is the antidote to pride which is hateful to God and man?

b. But the just shall live by his faith: In contrast to the proud, there are the just. The principle of their life is faith, instead of pride that looks to self. True faith looks outside of self unto the LORD God, while pride always looks to self.

That last sentence deserves to be repeated:

True faith looks outside of self unto the LORD God, while pride always looks to self.

i. This brief statement from the prophet Habakkuk is one of the most important, and most quoted Old Testament statements in the New Testament. Paul used it to show that the just live by faith, not by law. Being under the law isn’t the way to be found just before God, only living by faith is.

ii. If you are declared just -that is, approved – before God, you have done it by a relationship of faith. If your life is all about living under the law, then God does not find you approved.

iii. In Hebrew, the important part of the verse has only three words: “the justified man,” “by his faith,” and “will live.” Every word in Habakkuk 2:4 is important, and the Lord quotes it three times in the New Testament just to bring out the fullness of the meaning

Romans 1:17 is the commentary on the justified man – “The just shall live by faith”

Hebrews 10:38 is the commentary on faith – “The just shall live by faith

Galatians 3:11 is the commentary on the Christian life – “The just shall live by faith”

The just shall live by faith!

Whenever someone makes a dated prediction about the end of the world, it will do readers good to recall what Jesus Christ said to his disciples (and, to all of us!):

Mat 24:3

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Mat 24:4

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

Mat 24:5

“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Mat 24:6

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[fn] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[fn] and earthquakes in various places

Mat 24:8

“All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Mat 24:10

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another

Mat 24:11

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Mat 24:12

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Mat 24:13

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Mat 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

I suggest reading Matthew 24 in its entirety! The words of Jesus Christ are faithful and true and can be trusted!

Blue Letter Bible: Matthew 24

Hat tip: Blue Letter Bible and David Guzik Study Guide on Habbukuk 2

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Faith Is Needed For What We Can’t See And Can’t Touch

August 26, 2017

People can choose to have faith in many things.  Most, of which, is faith in things that they can see and touch.   And, that’s OK!   I like to have faith that my family members love me and I like to do things and help with things going on in their lives that demonstrate to them that I love them as well!   We could all write many lists of people and things that we can choose to have faith in.

What about what it means to have faith in God and Jesus Christ?

The faith that is spoken of in Scripture is precisely defined and described by the prophets in the Old Testament, as well as the disciples, apostles, and writers of the New Testament.  Each were guided along by the Holy Spirit of God, because we are told that Scripture is God-breathed. This is why we can trust the Scriptures!

2Ti 3:16

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

2Ti 3:17
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So, now that we have established why we can trust the Scriptures, what does the Bible reveal to us regarding having faith in Him?

Heb 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Jesus spoke to doubting Thomas and proclaimed:

Jhn 20:29

Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[fn] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were waiting for the coming Messiah. They did not live to see Him, however their hope for Him and belief that He would deliver them from their sin was enough at that time in history to save them.

Isa 30:18

Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Jesus told us that ‘if we love Him, keep His commandments.” Belief in His sacrificial death on the cross saves us from the penalty for our sin. However, the sanctification process continues throughout a believer’s lifetime. That is why keeping His commandments shows our love for Jesus and what He did for us on the cross and the resurrection to life that is promised for all who believe in His Name.

Rev 22:14

Blessed are those who do His commandments,[fn] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

All of Hebrews 11 is a description of faith and gives examples through history of those who held onto the faith.

I especially like David Guzik’s commentary on Hebrews 11. He shows examples of faith to help the discouraged.

Here is just a portion:

A. Faith defined.

1. (Hbr 11:1) A definition of faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

a. Now faith is the substance: Just as our physical eyesight is the sense that gives us evidence of the material world, faith is the “sense” that gives us evidence of the invisible, spiritual world.

i. Faith has its reasons. The Bible doesn’t recommend a “blind leap” of faith. But the reasons can’t be measured in a laboratory; they have to be understood spiritually. “Faith extends beyond what we learn from our senses, and the author is saying that it has its reasons. Its tests are not those of the senses, which yield uncertainty.” (Morris)

ii. “Physical eyesight produces a conviction or evidence of visible things; faith is the organ which enables people to see the invisible order.” (Bruce)

b. Of things hoped for… of things not seen: If you have the substance before you or if you can see it, there is no use for faith. Faith is needed for what we can’t see and can’t touch.

i. Faith does not contradict reason, though it may go beyond reason. One may objectively prove the Bible is the most unique book ever published and has impacted society more than any other book. But only faith can prove that the Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, this is a belief beyond reason but not in contradiction to reason or against reason.

c. Faith is the substance… the evidence: Faith is not a bare belief or intellectual understanding. It is a willingness to trust in, to rely on, and to cling to.

People can refuse to have faith in Jesus Christ. That is their free will choice. However, there is a caveat regarding faith! It is revealed very well in Mr. Guzik’s paragraph below (that faith is of things hoped for…of things not seen).

b. Of things hoped for… of things not seen: If you have the substance before you or if you can see it, there is no use for faith.

Faith is needed for what we can’t see and can’t touch.

The Love of Many Will Wax Cold

August 6, 2017

Hello my blogging friends, it’s been a while since I’ve had the desire to post here.  Visiting family and the busyness of life can be a convenient excuse, but in my case it’s often true.

A situation occurred back east that left my daughter and I clearly disappointed.  Without going into much detail, let’s just say that no effort was made by certain family members to see us while we were there, primarily for the purpose of visiting my mom.  My daughter was really sad that they couldn’t even take an hour of their time to at least see her 20 month year old daughter.  At least we had a great visit with great-grandma (Grammy) who is 93 years young!

I tried to come up with reasons why this happened.  But being there for four days before that family’s vacation left no good excuse.

My dear cousin drove her 97-year-old mom from N.J. to VA and stayed in the same hotel with us for two days.  Each time these sisters (my mom and my cousin’s mom) get together, the hugs are long and the tears flow.  At their ages, they do not know whether or not they will both be here on this earth for their next reunion.  We all couldn’t help but tear up at the site of them hugging each other!  But in the next moment, they start their comments of slight ridicule…”I hate those black rimmed glasses,” or, “I don’t like your shoes!”  Too funny!

During the plane ride home I recall telling my daughter that, “we can’t make people want to spend time with us.”  It’s sad, but true.

During an email exchange with my best friend, she wrote that the same thing has happened to her when she goes back to N.Y. to visit her mom.  The rest of the family cannot be bothered to visit with her.  She wrote to me, “don’t take it personally, Chris.  People are just wrapped up in their own lives.”  I replied, “you’re right!”  It’s so true.  I mentioned that in our world today, texting, Facebook, Instagram and other social media often takes the place of physical get-togethers.  Sad, but true.

Since I’ve been back home for 11 days, the Bible verse, “the love of many will wax cold” has often come to mind.  Ever since the very contentious election of 2016, the hatred towards those who are even perceived as voting for President Trump is nothing like I’ve ever seen before in my life!

Today, I read an article from WorldNetDaily about Pastor Mark Blitz’s new book and documentary.


Signs in sky reveal America as ‘Covenant’ nation, says ‘Blood Moons’ discoverer
Mark Biltz: Coming solar eclipse may be warning, and ‘I would not mock’

Biltz also discussed the recent appearing of a double rainbow over the White House.

Never thought I’d quote Newsweek here, but the stark contrasts of opinions in the article does point out how “the love of many will wax cold.”

Excerpt:

Both the right and left interpreted the double rainbow as more than just a weather phenomenon but had vastly different takes. Trump fans suggested on Twitter that God sent the rainbow and was protecting the White House in the President’s absence, while Trump critics wrote that the weather was celebrating the fact that he was gone.

You can read the rest HERE.

The fact that the left wants to equate rainbow appearances in the sky with LGBT pride is in stark contrast with the original meaning in the Bible – which is God’s covenant with His people.

The fact is, the LGBT rainbow is missing a color from God’s rainbow.  The color that is missing from the homosexual rainbow flag is the color blue. It only has the indigo color – dark blue.

Here is the identity of the seven colors of God’s rainbow:

Always remember the name ROY G. BIV
Red, Orange, Yellow. Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet

Was the light color blue left out purposely by the LGBT activists?  From a website no longer available:

The light color blue indicates that there has to be that there are laws for people’s lives just as there are laws for the natural world: “Things are made to fall down, not up, and I’m doing as I was made to do.”

This law corresponds to the blue color in the rainbow. Blue is the purest color and the closest to white, which represents original knowledge and truth. Blue is the color of the sky, a cool, soothing color, and it signifies the fulfillment of kindness and love, their peaceful nature which brings us near to heaven.

 

It was in those paragraphs where I read him mention the same Bible verse that came to my mind after my trip back east:

 

Biltz agreed they were signs, but suggested the rainbows aren’t about a particular president, policies or a party. Instead, they are a symbol of God’s relationship with the larger nation.

“The rainbow speaks of God’s covenant that He won’t break His word,” Biltz told WND. “I believe God is telling us we are a covenant nation, which is why we will be held accountable if we break covenant. There is hope if we pray. And we should always be praying for the president whoever it may be.”

Ultimately, Biltz argued, America is entering a troubling time because of the collapse of the Christian faith in the United States and rising political and social divisions as the culture breaks down. Biltz suggests God is giving America a chance to turn back to Him. But this requires taking the signs of the times seriously.

“Americans have become too divisive and polarized,” mourned the pastor. “The atmosphere is corrosive and as the Bible says, ‘the love of many will wax cold.’ Interestingly, the Bible says when Lot spoke to his son-in-laws he was as one who mocked. We have become a nation of mockers.”

More from WND:

Path of solar eclipseThe discoverer of the “Blood Moons” phenomenon says God is sending a message to the church – and all people need to do to see it is look skyward.

The Boston Globe recently reported the path of the upcoming total solar eclipse which will cross the United States on August 21 will overwhelmingly move over counties won by Donald Trump in the recent presidential election.

The paper was mocked on social media for suggesting heavenly events have some connection to earthly politics.

But Pastor Mark Biltz, the man who discovered the “Blood Moons” phenomenon, argues people should be cautious before resorting to snark.

He points out Genesis 1:14, which says astronomical phenomena were partially intended “for signs.” And as Biltz believes the solar eclipse itself is a sign and a warning to the United States, he suggests there may also be meaning in the solar eclipse’s path.

“I would not mock those who do or do not believe there is significance in this eclipse’s path,” the pastor told WND. “The path of totality is showing where it is the darkest and the path of judgment unless there is repentance. At the same time, though, judgment always begins with God’s people first. This is a call for the church to repent and become more like Abraham rather than Lot and to intercede. The church needs to wake up and repent if we are to save this nation and not be mocking the unrighteous. We need a different tone in America.”

Biltz urges believers to look to their own conduct and seek to renew their own communities. He previously stated a total solar eclipse represents a specific warning to a specific nation or nations depending on its path. Therefore, the path of the eclipse could be a sign not just to the United States in general, but for mostly conservative residents of these areas in particular to spearhead a movement of repentance.

President Donald Trump, Biltz suggested, also has a role to play in this movement. And the pastor identified possible precursors in Scripture for Trump’s position.

“As the king of Nineveh led that nation to repentance, may our president do the same,” prayed Biltz. “Many are unaware that there was a total solar eclipse over Nineveh a month before Jonah showed up on the first of the month of Elul, known as the month of repentance before the fall High Holy days. Here we have a total solar eclipse at the first of Elul, the same time frame beginning the month of repentance. It is also the same day Moses ascended the mountain trying to make atonement for his nation.”

The timing of such events, suggested Biltz, is of deep significance, especially when viewed from the Jewish, or biblical, calendar. In his new book “God’s Day Timer,” Biltz suggests adopting the biblical calendar would provide deep insight for Christians seeking to understand the signs of the times.

“If the church would get on God’s calendar and understand ‘God’s Day-Timer’ they would see the prophetic significance of this time,” he claimed.

 

00:0001:5501:55

01:55

The Bible story is more miraculous and astounding than you could have imagined. See the incredible proof of the unchanging nature of God – and the exciting clues to what awaits at the end of days in “God’s Day Timer” by Mark Biltz, available as a book or documentary now in the WND Superstore.

Of course, the upcoming solar eclipse isn’t the only heavenly marvel garnering attention. A double rainbow appeared above the White House on Thursday night, leading to leftists and conservatives arguing about what it all means. Sebastian Gorka, a member of the national security advisory staff, called the rainbows “beautiful signs.”

Biltz agreed they were signs, but suggested the rainbows aren’t about a particular president, policies or a party. Instead, they are a symbol of God’s relationship with the larger nation.

“The rainbow speaks of God’s covenant that He won’t break His word,” Biltz told WND. “I believe God is telling us we are a covenant nation, which is why we will be held accountable if we break covenant. There is hope if we pray. And we should always be praying for the president whoever it may be.”

Ultimately, Biltz argued, America is entering a troubling time because of the collapse of the Christian faith in the United States and rising political and social divisions as the culture breaks down. Biltz suggests God is giving America a chance to turn back to Him. But this requires taking the signs of the times seriously.

“Americans have become too divisive and polarized,” mourned the pastor. “The atmosphere is corrosive and as the Bible says, ‘the love of many will wax cold.’ Interestingly, the Bible says when Lot spoke to his son-in-laws he was as one who mocked. We have become a nation of mockers

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/08/signs-in-sky-reveal-america-as-covenant-nation-says-blood-moons-discover/#2Frk0yqtsY70X2TV.99

What Photos Can’t Show

July 6, 2017

 

One of the first photographs ever taken (1839) was of an American photographer taking a picture of himself–perhaps history’s first “selfie.”  Fast forward to today, there are tens of millions of selfies posted on social media sites around the world every year.  Many of the pictures record events and relationships.  But far too many are of individuals taking images of themselves alone–the “Look at me!” variety of selfie.

The problem with any picture, selfie or otherwise, is that it only records what is on the outside.  The camera has yet to be invented (and never will be) that can photograph the spiritual status of the heart, soul, or mind.  And that is the part of us God is most concerned about.  When Samuel was sent to anoint Israel’s new king, God told him not to anoint a man who looked like a king.  Instead, he was to anoint a man who had the heart of a king, a heart after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Those viewing your photos can’t see your heart, but God can.  Make sure He finds in you a heart that is pursuing Him.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Dr. David Jeremiah, Turning Points Devotional, July 5, 2017

Quote:

A man’s heart is what he is.

~ R.B. Kuiper

This particular devotional really stood out to me when I first read it, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

As a Christian, I have instinctively known that much of the ills, sins, hatred, rebellion, and crimes of humans stem from a “heart” issue.  I’m talking about the spiritual state of humans as they go about their everyday lives.  Why are some humans prone to do such evil?  Why are others prone to sexually abuse?  Why are others prone to spew hatred?  Why are others prone to commit murder?

All of these terrible situations are ultimately derived from heart/spiritual problems.

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

Readers might be thinking, “no…not MY heart!  I’m good!  Well, most of the time.”  No one wants to admit the obvious!  Jeremiah 17:9 is truth, and we all must face that fact.

Fortunately, Jeremiah doesn’t end with verse 9.  In verse 10, the prophet explains:

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

When a person is “after God’s own heart,” he/she is much less likely to do evil.  I’m not saying such people are perfect (for, no one is – “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”) however, when Jesus enters into a man or woman and indwells his or her heart through the power of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual strength that we had lacked here-to-fore becomes stronger with Christ “at the wheel” of our journey.  Such a process is called “sanctification” and it is a life-long journey.  We can never completely arrive as “sanctified” until we are at home in Heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Knowing that Jesus Christ took the punishment that every human being who has ever lived deserved; and that confessing and repenting of such sins and asking Jesus to indwell our hearts through the Holy Spirit saves us from spiritual death, why would anyone want to reject the Gospel message?

Jer 17:14

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.

Hat tips:
Turning Points Devotional, July 5, 2017
Blue Letter Bible
Graphics links

The Lies and Viciousness of Leftists

June 13, 2017

A day ago, Ivanka Trump appeared on Fox and Friends and lamented the viciousness and ferocity being spewed against her father and family. She is absolutely correct! There is no doubt about it that the lies and viciousness of the attacks by the leftist Democrats is truly disgusting! Readers who have been paying attention know about all of the more recent attacks.

  1.  Kathy Griffin decapitated head of Trump photo session (sick and evil, to say the least!)
  2.  The fact that she was quoted in an article that she intends to “get  to Trump by “going after 11-year-old Barron” is unconscionable!
  3.   The play where Trump is mimicked in an assassination attempt.
  4.    The 7 month old LIE where the media of mass deception attempted to accuse Trump of collusion with the Russians; and there is much more that I could list.

In another disgusting display of hatred, viciousness, and vitriol, crazy Bernie Sanders went ballistic against Russell Vought in a hearing for his confirmation as President Trump’s pick for deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget.

The following is a copy of a post at FRC.org

June 12, 2017

What does a man’s theology have to do with the U.S. economy? A lot, if you’re Russell Vought. The respected economist, President Trump’s pick for deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget, thought he’d have to answer some tough questions at his Senate hearing last week. But like most of us, he thought they’d be about finances — not faith.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) flipped that script, launching into an aggressive and bizarre attack on Vought’s Christianity (which Sanders called “hateful,” “indefensible,” and “insult[ing]”). Shouting until he was red in the face (see the video below), he accused the president’s nominee of being an Islamaphobe for believing what the Bible says about salvation. In a tantrum that made the James Comey hearing seem tame, Sanders managed to expose one thing: which one of them is truly intolerant. To Sanders’s crazy, Vought was the picture of poise, calmly explaining that he believes every person is made in the image of God, but that Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation and path to heaven.

It was an eye-opening display for most people, who may not have realized the level of contempt many liberals hold toward the majority religion in America. Just think: this is a senator who almost won the Democratic Party’s nomination for president — a man who thinks there’s no room in the public square for people who believe the Bible! I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that the same party who wanted God out of their platform also wants Him out of public service. As far as the Left is concerned, Christians in government have four options: they can hide their faith, deny it, recant it, or work elsewhere. Ironically, that makes most liberals guilty of the same prejudice they’re trying to pin on men and women of faith!

As Emma Green wrote for the Atlantic, “It’s one thing to take issue with bigotry. It’s another to try to exclude people from office based on their theological convictions. Sanders used the term ‘Islamophobia’ to suggest that Vought fears Muslims for who they are. But in his writing, Vought was contesting something different: He disagrees with what Muslims believe, and does not think their faith is satisfactory for salvation. Right or wrong, this is a conviction held by millions of Americans — and many Muslims might say the same thing about Christianity.”

Unfortunately, liberals like Sanders have no problem hauling someone’s personal views into the limelight and judging them on those beliefs — whether they impact a person’s public policies or not! Sanders’s Oklahoma colleague, Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) could hardly believe his ears.

“Bernie Sanders questioned an OMB nominee this week about religion in a way that is dangerously close to crossing a clear constitutional line for how we evaluate qualifications for public service. Article VI of the US Constitution clearly states, ‘no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.’ The First Amendment is crystal clear that the federal government must protect every American’s right to the peaceful and free exercise of religion. We cannot say we have the free exercise of religion and also require people to practice their faith only in a way that government officials prefer… The freedom to be Christian, Yezidi, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or another religion, or practice no religion, is an American right, and the United States Senate must not waver in our protection of that diversity and freedom. If we waver on the First Amendment, all of our constitutional rights, like free speech, freedom of assembly, and many others, become at risk.”

The Framers saw the possibility for the kind of conflict Bernie Sanders ignited and did everything they could to stop it. As James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, observed, “a zeal for different opinions concerning religion” has throughout history “inflamed [men] with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other, than to co-operate for their common good.” To stop those divisions, the Framers made it clear in the U.S. Constitution that there was to be no “religious test” and deferred to the states (many of which had state religions at the time) if they wanted to demand orthodoxy as a condition of public service.

What Bernie Sanders is doing is imposing his own test, a reverse religious test — that people have no religious convictions. But that was never what the Founders intended. It was John Adams, after all, who said “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” If anyone’s on the wrong side of that equation, it’s Bernie Sanders — not the millions of Christians whose faith this nation was founded on. Join the 46,669 other Americans who are demanding an apology from Sanders for his bigotry. Sign our petition here and ask his colleagues to pledge that they won’t oppose nominees on the basis of their religious views. /end of transcript

*******

Even if crazy Bernie manages to “apologize,” it would most likely be out of obligation rather than sincerity of heart.  This man’s atheistic communist ideology is nothing new.  However, it is amazing to me that so many young people followed him during the Dem primary, attended his rallies, and likely voted for him in the Democratic primary.  Perhaps the man didn’t reveal this vicious side of himself?  Maybe the young followers did not know the history of his type of belief system because they weren’t taught about it in either high school or college?  So many were fooled by this awful man!

Sander’s hatred of Christianity and Christian believers who actually read the Bible and follow the true Gospel of Christ was foretold 2,000 years ago by Christ Himself.

Jhn 15:18

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Jhn 15:19

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Sanders is an example of someone who is “of this world.”

Jesus continues:

Jhn 15:20

“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

Jhn 15:21

“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Jhn 15:22

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Mr. Russell Vought was being persecuted for his faith.  Jesus told us to expect this.  However, people like Sanders have “no excuse for their sin.”

Jesus continues:

Jhn 15:23

“He who hates Me hates My Father also.

Jhn 15:24

“If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.

Jhn 15:25

“But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’[fn]

Jesus’ words here were indicative during the time and events when they were spoken.  However, since the Bible is a miraculous book, we know that such truth was also spoken for all the ages to come.

I used to think that Bernie was treated unfairly by the Dems.  The super delegate methods imposed in order to get HiLIARy the nomination was a nefarious political move to push him out of the contest.  After hearing the truth about Bernie’s horrible views of Christianity, I feel that America had dodged a second  political “bullet” of disaster.  He might have been even worse than HiLIARy – if such a notion is even possible!

Be prepared.  The ongoing far-leftist Dem vitriol will most likely continue throughout Trump’s presidency.

I will continue to rely on my Savior, Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is here to guide me unto all truth, and I can rely on Him no matter what comes my way.

Jhn 15:26

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Jhn 15:27

“And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

My recommendation?

Romans 8 is a great portion of Scripture to refer to any day, but especially in this day and age!

The vicious vitriol we face here in America pales in comparison to what Christians are facing in other countries that are battling ISIS.

Rom 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36

As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[fn]

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Even in death, we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ!

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hat tips to all  links.

Quote:

“When someone is vicious like that towards a person, it is often the result of a deep spiritual problem.” – Charlie Watson Jr.

Col 3:15

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Col 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Col 3:17

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

The Supremacy of Christ and Your Map for Life

May 10, 2017

This post is the follow-up to my previous post entitled The Serpent’s Old Lie in an Updated Package. I suggest reading that link first.

In today’s world of “political correctness,” the title of this post would be frowned upon by those who hold to relativism – especially moral relativism. As was stated in my previous post, many people don’t like the thought of absolutes; especially when it comes to moral absolutes. They don’t like to be told what is sin and what is holy and the truth. This is one of the big reasons why Christianity, in general, and those who hold to biblical Christian faith are chastised, mocked, ridiculed, called bad names, targeted by those who don’t agree with them, and told to “just shut up and keep your religion to yourself.”

This is not new. The early churches (such as the church in Colossae) needed encouragement from the Apostle Paul, and to be assured of the preeminence of Christ. Why? Because almost immediately, those who hated and disagreed with believers in the resurrected Christ tried to squelch the spread of their faith. This is even more prevalent today! And, it’s currently a really sad state of affairs here in America.

The important thing to remember, however, is that we were told throughout Scripture that this would happen. The naysayers would attempt to belittle our faith and downplay its significance, not only here in America but around the world.  Their goal is to attack the Gospel message and those who share it.

Whenever the raging voices in the media of mass deception continue to spread lies and propaganda because they don’t like what is happening in our current government, I am reminded that administrations will come and go…but the Word of God stands forever!

In Colossians 1:9-14, Paul requests that the people “may be filled with the knowledge of His will.”

Dr. David Jeremiah’s Bible notes tell us:

The rest of the passage describes its result in the believer’s life (4:12). Knowledge alone is never enough. God’s Word must change one’s life and pattern of thinking (Romans 12:2); James 3:13), literally filling the believer’s life and motivating every area of his or her being (Phil. 1:27). Sometimes Christians fail to live by the will and Word of God because they fall prey to false teaching; others fail through neglect, neither reading the Word nor applying it.

That last paragraph describes why there are so many “Christians” who can support leftist causes (i.e. abortion, homosexual behavior and “marriage”, transgender issues, Islamism, radicalism on any and every issue, etc.) while ignoring God’s Will and His Word. The anti-Christian groups may celebrate them and their misplaced ideology, but the question remains, are they truly reconciled in Christ? To support such issues (and, often the violence that accompanies such “causes”) shows that their Christian walk is off, their work is misplaced, their wisdom  has not come from God, and probably their worship is misplaced as well.

Here’s one example.  When I see how committed and virulent abortion advocates are to their “cause” it’s unbelievable to me!  How can anyone justify killing a baby in a mother’s womb?  Yet, there are women and men who claim to be “Christians” who place the “woman’s right to choose” above the life of that innocent baby in the womb.  It’s unconscionable to me!  How could anyone be so hard-hearted?  What’s more, their attitude towards those who hold to the pro-life position is absolutely poisonous!  They are intensely bitter, violently hostile, and malicious in their verbal attacks against Christians who believe that life begins at the moment of conception.

Why are they like that?

I think that it has to do with fear.  The fear that this so-called “right” will one day be taken away.  It’s also a huge money-making deal for those in the industry, so the fear of losing millions of dollars must have a lot to do with it, too.  To them, it’s a “business” and they must not be in the least mindful of the killing of a human being in the womb.

Dr. Jeremiah writes in his Colossians 1:9,10 Bible notes:

The will of God and the wisdom of God are inseparably linked with saturation in the Word of God (Psalms 1:1, 2).  Godly wisdom is gained by studying His Word, spiritual understanding is how his children discern His will.  Both wisdom and understanding are gifts of the Spirit (spiritual); they do not come from a unspiritual or “fleshly” mind (2:18).  Such spiritual knowledge provides insight into God’s will.  However, no one can anticipate the will of a stranger.  Christians who long to discern the will of God discover it in their growing knowledge of who God is and what He wants (Ephesians 5:17; 2 Peter 3:18).

So, being unspiritual and fleshly in the mind can lead a person to think nothing of killing a baby in the womb; not to mention making money off of the horrible procedure.

The abortion issue is just one example of the unspiritual and fleshly minds of those who have not been truly born again in Jesus Christ.

Just for the record, the sin of abortion can be forgiven just like any other sin, at the foot of the Cross of Christ.

Norma McCorvey (the plaintiff in Roe vs. Wade trial that disastrously legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973) had a tragic life as she got caught up in the culture wars.  But she died in Christ through conversion from her past sins into salvation in the Lord Jesus.  She was an example (extreme one, to say the least!)  of persevering in stress, despite so many haters clamoring around her because of her conversion to pro-life beliefs through her conversion to Jesus Christ.

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

When believers please the Lord constantly, that is their Christian walk (Ephesians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 4:1).  When they produce fruit consistently, that is their Christian work.  When they progress in knowledge continually, that is their Christian wisdom

When they persevere in stress cheerfully, that is their Christian welfare (2 Corinthians 8:2).  When they praise God correctly, that is their Christian worship.  The better a person knows God and His Word, the better he or she knows what is pleasing to Him – a knowledge that becomes second nature, producing confidence by discerning God’s will rather than fear.  This knowledge produces fruitful character, conduct, conversation, and contributions (giving of resources).  It also increases becoming a part of who they are.  They no longer rely solely on experience; they progress in their understanding of God as they progress in their understanding of His Word (2 Peter 3:18).  People who take God’s Word seriously don’t just read it to see what it says; they make it a map for life so they can learn what to do–then they do it.

I like that phrase!  They make it a “map for life.”

The book of Colossians is just one of many of the books of the Bible that answers the age-old questions of “why am I here?” and “what is the meaning of life?”  It also gives us direction regarding “what am I supposed to be doing in this life?”

Colossians 3:1-4 reiterates to “2 Set your (our) mind(s) on things above, not on things on the earth.  3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

Dr. Jeremiah’s notes:

Christ’s death enables Christians to die to their old life and makes their new life secure (John 10:28, 29; Galatians 2:20).  Through Jesus, God has placed a double lock on the security of their lives –nothing can harm them, for His followers are in Christ and Christ is in God.  A Christian’s true identity and purpose in life are hidden with Christ, so people outside of Christ will not understand the believer’s motivations and goals.

Paul has covered every phase of life:  God’s people have been raised with Christ in the past.  They are hidden with Him in the present, and they will appear with Him in the future.  They may be hidden now, but they will not be hidden forever.  Scripture points to the One who can supply everything their hope expects.  This is every Christian’s destiny with Christ.

The Serpent’s Old Lie in an Updated Package

May 9, 2017

Yesterday I was going through the headlines on my blog reading list when suddenly, boom! the electricity in our house shut off.  As I temporarily sat in the darkness that surrounded me at my computer, I thought, “oh no…not again!”

Power outages seems to happen on our block several times a year so my husband bought a gas generator to keep the refrigerator and freezer going until it comes back on.  He contacted the utilities company and was told that it was a “planned power outage” cable  replacement in our area.  We should have received a notice about this.  Well, the notice was sitting in my husband’s mail inbox!  It would have been nice to have known about the outage ahead of time, but we made the best of the situation.

I started reading my Bible by flashlight and was drawn to the book of Colossians.  It sparked some insight into my mind which will be discussed in my next post.  Today, I need to “set the stage” so to speak, in exactly why my study in Colossians had such a profound impact on me.

The contrast of what is in that particular book of the Bible compared to what is going on in our society (often for the purpose of countering biblical Christianity) these days will become quite obvious.

When I compare the truth of Scripture with the lies being spread in the news, through haters in Hollyweird, the Democratic party (which voted God out of their political platform years ago), and the minions of “splinter groups” that are raging today (often paid to do this!)…it is obvious to me that demonic influence abounds!   They are all derived by men and women who have been influenced by the lies of that serpent of old that we read about in Genesis and elsewhere in the Bible.  You will vividly see how the nefarious ideas, deeds, and plans of such individuals have been derived from what Jesus named as the enemy of our souls who comes to lie, steal, kill and destroy.

Jhn 10:10

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

See Romans 1

1Jo 1:6

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

Previously, I had been reading a book entitled, “So What’s The Difference” by Fritz Ridenour.  In the past, I had the habit of skipping over the cults and false religions pages, but this time I wanted to read the details about Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, New Age, and many others that are briefly, but succinctly detailed in the book.  When I got to the New Age section, it can be hard to define because of its far-reaching claims, lack of formal structure and organization and it’s adherents being interested in “hoping to transform society by bringing about reawakening that will emphasize self-discovery, spiritual growth and enlightenment.”  The truth is, New Age thinking isn’t really new because it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden where the serpent asked Eve if God really said that she couldn’t eat from that tree (see Genesis 3:1-5).

It was interesting to read about the “founder” of New Age, Alice Bailey.  New Agers have their own definition of God, find “salvation” in themselves, use “channeling” (the New Age version of contacting spirits), often believe in reincarnation, believe in syncretism (all religions lead to the same place), and many are into the plan for a worldwide government led by one great leader.

Shirley McLaine was a high-powered NAM (New Age Movement) adherent with great media exposure due to her “star” status in Hollyweird.  She lied in her book, claiming that the Fifth Ecumenical Council struck down the idea of reincarnation from the Bible.  Author Fritz Ridenour said it well when he wrote:

Contrary to New Age thinking, the Bible overwhelmingly teaches resurrection, not reincarnation (see Psalms 49:15, John 5:25; 6:40; 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).  New Agers like to think they have all kinds of time to “get it right” as they progress toward some kind of self-induced salvation.  The Bible clearly says you get one chance and after that comes the judgment (see Hebrews 9:27).

Much of today’s “progressive movement and thinking”  is derived from one or many of the errors of the NAM.  They may not call themselves New Agers, but their beliefs certainly line up with the NAM!

Ridenour writes:

Ever since Satan told Eve, “Eat the fruit; become like God Himself,” men and women have been trying to “do it on their own,” or at least with the help of spirits and demons–what Paul calls “the powers of this dark world and … the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12).  It is no coincidence that the Bible firmly forbids contacting spirits or getting in touch with the dead (see Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:10-13).  Other New Age concepts or practices condemned or countered in the Scriptures include:

  •  many gods, goddesses, spirits and demons:  see Gen. 1:1; Exodus 15:11; 20:2-6; Deut. 6:4; Isaiah 45:5,6,21,22.

  •  manipulating or bartering with the spirit world:  see Deut. 13:1-5, 18:9-14; 1 Kings 11:33.

  •  continuing blood sacrifice rituals:  see Hebrews 7:27; 10:10-13; 1 Peter 3:18.

  •  mythological, unhistorical legends:  see 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 12-19; 1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Peter 1:16.

  •  secret knowledge only for elite “knowers”:  see John 1:12; 3:16; Colossians 2:8-10; 1 Timothy 2:4.

  •  magic arts, spells, taboos, astrology:  see 2 Kings 17:16-18; Isaiah 47:12-15; Acts 8:9-24.

  •  confusion of identity between the creator and the created:  see 1 Kings 8:27; Psalms 8:1-9; 24:1-10; 89:5-14; Isaiah 40:12-17; 1 Peter 1:24, 25.

  •  ethics and morals derived from humans or the self; no absolutes, everything is relative:  see 1 Kings 8:46; Psalms 51:1-4; 143:2; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 2:14-16; 1 John 1:5-10.

  •  reincarnation:  see Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:27.

  •  salvation by human effort:  see Romans 4:3; Galatians 2:15,16.

  •  picking and choosing among religions:  see Exodus 20:2-5; 23:13; John 1:7-9.

  •  worshipping other gods, especially fertility religions:  see 2 Kings 17:9-12; Jeremiah 2:20; Ezekiel 6:13.

  •  the idea that Christ is optional, only one of many spiritual masters:  see John 14:6-8; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5, 6.

I realize that’s a lot of reading to do, but if you, dear reader, happen to be caught up into any one of these errors, I urge you to find out the truth that is only contained in the Bible!

Ridenour’s book was originally written back in 1967, updated in 1979 and then updated again in 2001.  It is interesting to me that he wrote:

Because the New Age seems to be everywhere and in practically everything, it would seem logical to see all of the NAM as taboo and dangerous.  But there are some things New Agers talk about that Christians can agree with, to a point. (bold, italics mine)  Saving the environment is one.  Trying to end war, terrorism, bigotry and racial and gender discrimination are others.  The New Age solution to these problems, however, is found only in fallen mankind, and that is doomed to a dead end.

That paragraph is almost prophetic!  Now, in 2017 we see such things ratcheted up into such a frenzy that the so-called “solutions” are being used to demonize people who don’t agree with their “methods” to help “solve” such problems!  This is just another “updated package” being spewed through individuals who don’t know God and are (either knowingly or unknowingly) being influenced by the enemy of our souls!

In fact, many are using either the “ostrich mentality” regarding radical Islamic terrorism; while perpetuating bigotry towards people of faith in Christ and biblical Christianity; as well as exploding racial division and gender identity issues to an extreme!  Don’t even get me started on the “man-made global warming (or, is it now just called ‘climate change?’) hysteria” where celebrities and “scientists” often use pollution producing jets to go and lecture us all about carbon dioxide emissions!

Readers, can you now see why biblical Christianity is so extremely hated by the leftists?  They scheme against Christians on all levels and we are often targeted by them through lawsuits meant to impose huge financial fines with the goal of putting Christian business owners out of business.  Through purposely targeting Christians and utilizing phony “discrimination” claims; as well as perpetuating constant violent demonstrations towards speech suppression at universities and spewing hateful rhetoric through late night “comedians” and in the leftist led alphabet news networks, they demean and  trample upon the First Amendment rights of Christians that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

So, what is their ultimate goal?

Could it be to eradicate our beliefs from public, political, social, freedom of conscience/speech/association of thought…and ultimately from existence in our nation?

Notice, also, the FACT that the NAM proponents idea of “syncretism:  all religions lead to the same place” cannot, and does not,  include biblical Christian faith?

They don’t attack the lukewarm churches that agree with the NAM’s agenda, so what are biblically-based Christians supposed to do?

Ridenour writes:

In response to New Age thinking, Christians must have a thorough understanding of their own faith.  To know what God’s Word teaches is imperative.  Even more important is to know the Living Word –His Son–in a personal, vibrant way.  A favorite response of the New Ager to the Christian who tries to point out the absolute truth of the Bible is, “That’s your reality, but it’s not mine.”  Christians can only respond confidently but humbly that, in the end, only one reality will turn out to be real:  Jesus Christ –the only way, the only absolute truth and the only source of life.

Reference:  “So What’s the Difference?” by Fritz Ridenour, Bethany House, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2001 pp. 147-159

Next up:  The difference between man-made religion and man’s attempt to find God vs. biblical Christianity which affirms that true faith is the result of God’s successful efforts to reach out to man through the Person of Jesus Christ.

Peace In Fearful Times

April 24, 2017

Ever since the very contentious election of 2016, I have found that many people are still so angry because their candidate of choice didn’t win. Also, they tend to be very vicious against those who voted for the candidate that won the election. It has come to the point where I don’t even want to try to discuss politics with anyone! Personally, I thought that the vitriol would have calmed down by now, but it seems to be getting worse every day.  How very sad…

No matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, dear readers, many believe that we are living in fearful times.  What’s more, the enemies of the United States and Her allies (enemies that include worldwide spread of Radical Islamist Terrorists, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and yes…Russia) stand ready to attack at any time.  Some are doing a lot of sabre rattling, others are terrorists who continue to attack in Europe and elsewhere; while others are downright determined to destroy the West from within our borders and are patiently planning and plotting our ultimate demise.

Personally, I thank God that we have a strong military (and, a friend in the White House who allow our military to do its job!) which stands ready to do whatever it may take to keep our enemies in check and/or do what is necessary to protect our beloved United States of America and Her allies.  “Peace through strength” used to be our motto, and I’m hopeful that it is back again.

With that brief synopsis written, the real purpose of this post is to share how we, as Christians, can have peace in fearful times.

Pastor Doug at NewLife Christian Fellowship in San Diego had this to say back in March, 2017:

Today we will be talking about “Peace.”  If we read the New Testament letters looking to find Bible verses about peace, we find a specific greeting used sixteen time:  “Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Yet, there is more to “Grace and Peace” than a simple greeting.  Peace, like creation is not an accident.  it is not a condition invented by psychology.  God designed it, understands it, and gives it to those He calls. True peace comes from a saving knowledge of Jesus.  Peace was designed by God, and comes through the blood of Jesus.

Peace is listed in the top three characteristics of the fruit of the spirit.  Without love, joy, and peace, there is little hope of accomplishing forbearance (longsuffering), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control.  All of those characteristics are predicated on the love, joy, and peace of God.  The peace of God must be evident in us.  Others need to see what we have and desire to have it.  Then we can be peacemakers, able to share the love of God with a troubled world.  All too often we lose our peace in the midst of tragedy and the circumstances of life.  When we do that, we have nothing to offer a watching world.  If a neighbor comes to us distraught over tragedy and finds us just as undone, what testimony have we given about the peace of Christ, which He promised?  It is the Christians in a community who should be able to offer a word of encouragement and comfort during difficult times.  But we can only do that if we possess the peace of Christ – that peace which He purchased for us at the price of His own blood.”

There is nothing more blessed than sewing peace into the lives of those around you.  They need Jesus, the only source of peace, and you have what they need.  Be a peacemaker!

~ Pastor Doug

The Book of Acts 18:1 – 22:29 helps us to discover the answer to peace in fearful times.

How can we have peace in such a time as this?

  1.  Learn to fear (meaning, “be in awe”) of God.  See Hebrews 12:28-29; Ephesians 6:5; Philippians 2:12; Proverbs 3:7; 14:27; Matthew 10:28; Psalms 56:11
  2. Tell God.  Philippians 4:4-7; Matthew 23:37
  3. Trust God.  Acts 22; 2 Corinthians 1:9-10; 2 Timothy 1:12
  4. Obey God.  We need to know what God wants us to be like in order to obey Him!  We find this in His Word, the Bible, and in the Living Word, Jesus Christ!  See Acts 18; 19:11, 20

What is the single most common command in the Bible?

Answer:  “Fear not.”

The terms “fear” and “not” appear 129 times in the NKJV and 11 exact phrases shown first at this link.

In my notes at the end of the sermon, I wrote:

Trust in spite of appearances. Fear makes things worse than they are. When we obey God in spite of our fear – that is when we are equipped by God.

Strife in this World. Where Are You? Where Are You Going?

January 24, 2017

I recently listened to one of the Dave Matthews Band’s greatest hits entitled, “Where Are You Going.”

You can watch the video here:

YouTube: Dave Matthews Band: Where Are You Going? [Lyrics below post]

I have always liked this singer’s voice and many of the band’s songs. Matthew’s singing style is often very calm and soothing. In this particular song, Dave Matthews  asks  the “where are you going?” question.  At certain spots in the song, he (sadly) states that he “has no answers for you.” But he does state, “where you go is where I wanta be.”

So, where does one look for the ultimate answer to “where are you going?” Where do YOU ultimately want to be and with Whom?

Before we get to those important questions, let’s look at a few words that describe what most of us go through at times in this life.

The first word is “strife.”

The meaning of the word “strife:”

noun
1. vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism:
to be at strife.

2. a quarrel, struggle, or clash:
armed strife.

3. competition or rivalry:
the strife of the marketplace.

4. Archaic. strenuous effort.
– Dictionary.com

The Bible utilizes the term “tribulation” [“trouble” in some versions]

noun

1.  grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering.

2.  an instance of this; an affliction, trouble, etc.

tribulation in the Bible:

trouble or affliction of any kind (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 13:21; 2 Cor. 7:4). In Rom. 2:9 “tribulation and anguish” are the penal sufferings that shall overtake the wicked. In Matt. 24:21, 29, the word denotes the calamities that were to attend the destruction of Jerusalem.
Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary
– Dictionary.com

The NKJV at the Blue Letter Bible website informs us that the term “tribulation” occurs 22 times in 22 verses.

The plural version of “tribulations” occurs 8 times in 8 verses.

I encourage readers to click on the individual verses and read the surrounding Scripture. It always helps to clarify the content and keep it in proper context.

When we read this portion of a verse in 2 Thessalonians, one could accidentally take it out of context.

2Th 1:6

since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,

Reading all of 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 reveals what we are to be, do, and endure on this earth. There will come a time when those who wrought trouble upon believers in Jesus Christ will be “repaid with tribulation” by God Himself.

Did anyone reading here today hear about the recent clash between a female anti-Trump passenger and a male passenger sitting next to her on a plane?

You can view the video clip HERE.

In the video clip, Martha McCallum also interviews the man who was verbally attacked, and you might be surprised at what he says near the end of the interview. He didn’t want to press charges against her, saying that “maybe they were just having a bad day, or something.” And he ended the interview by saying, “I just wanted to show them the love of Jesus.”

Perhaps the Christian man heard that the woman and her husband were flying back from the funeral of her mother-in-law? Now THAT would have been a very bad day for anyone! If the woman and her husband were not kicked off of the plane, perhaps he could have shared the Good News of the Gospel with her.

Maybe not…

But this man showed grace towards two individuals – one was silent (the husband) while the other verbally abused and cursed at him (the cursing part isn’t in the video clip, but several witnesses said he was cursed at during this encounter).

Jesus warned us that “in this world, we would have tribulation (or trouble).”

Matthew 24 describes it vividly, and we learn that such trouble and strife will increase the closer we get to the end times.

Mat 24:7

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[fn] and earthquakes in various places.

Mat 24:8

“All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Mat 24:10

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another

Mat 24:11

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Mat 24:12

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

I am seeing a huge increase in “the love of many will grow cold.” Even relatives, friends, and acquaintances are turning on each other over the election results last month! It’s truly sad…

Matthew 24 informs us:

Mat 24:13

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Mat 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The truth contained in the Bible knows no equal! We are told that Christians are going to be persecuted. Notice that “the fruit of the Spirit” contains the term “longsuffering.”

Gal 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Longsuffering is why Christians are told (in Matthew 24:13)  to endure till the end.

What are we seeing since the election (as well as before it)? A huge increase in the following as described in Galatians:

Gal 5:19

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[fn] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

Gal 5:20

idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

Gal 5:21

envy, murders,[fn] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

No matter what is thrown against us, we have the promises of Jesus Christ to sustain us through it all.

Jesus tells us:

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[fn] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Paul reiterates this in Romans:

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our true and ultimate home:

Jhn 14:2

“In My Father’s house are many mansions;[fn] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[fn

 

Jhn 14:3

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

NKJV Footnotes

(14:2)

Literally dwellings

Hat tips to all links and graphics.

*******

Lyrics to “Where Are You Going” by the Dave Matthews Band.

Where are you going
With your long face
Pullin’ down
Don’t hide away,
Like an ocean
That you can’t see
But you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down.
I am no superman
I have no reasons for you.
I am no hero,
Aw that for sure,
But I do know one thing,
That’s where you are is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I wanta be.

Where are you going,
Where do you go.
Are you looking for answers,
To questions, under the stars
Well if along the way,
You are grown weary,
You can rest with me
Until a brighter day
When you ok.

I am no superman,
I have no answers for you.
I am no hero,
And that’s for sure.
But I know one thing,
That’s where you are, is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I want to be.

Where are you going
Where do you go.

Where do you go.
Where are you going,
Where do you go.

I am no Superman
I have no answers,
For you.
I am no hero,
Aw that’s for sure.
But I do know one thing,
That’s where are,
Is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I wanta be.

Where are you going
Where do you go.

And a where are you going.
Where…lets go!

Songwriters
HARRISON, GAVIN RICHARD / BYER, RICARDO A.

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Read more: Dave Matthews Band – Where Are You Going Lyrics | MetroLyrics

What is Stored Up In You?

January 19, 2017

As I witness the continual, never-ending calamity going on within our political system, I decided to find out the truth behind it all.   The reasons for my search include the following:

  1. The horrible rhetoric that comes from certain individuals in Congress.
  2. The pundits on TV who agree with such harmful words (and their motives behind it all).
  3. The hatred spewed daily by the Hollyweird crowd.
  4. The radical and dangerous groups that have chosen to do evil and plot schemes to cause disruption and outright harm to the Americans attending the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as our next President of the United States.What is the underlying cause?

    I decided to go to the Bible to help me figure out and understand why many persons on the far left choose to be so vicious against (and highly disparaging of) their opponents (especially Christians!) on the right.

Those words spoken by Jesus in John 16:33 are a continual comfort to me!  We are to expect trouble and tribulation in this temporal world, but Jesus has overcome the world!  As believers and followers of Him, what could be better than all of His promises to us?

When addressing the Pharisees in Matthew 12:22-37 (who accused Jesus of casting out demons through the power of Satan) in Matthew 12:22-37,  Jesus said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”  Matthew 12:35 NIV

 

Jesus was telling us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts.  What comes out of the mouth is an indication of what your heart is really like.

When Jesus began his ministry on earth, he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17b

We know that well-known people (i.e. athletes, celebrities, politicians, even religious leaders) make public apologies.  However, it begs the question:  Are they truly sorry or sorry they were found out?

Only God knows, of course.  We could phrase it another way and say if people (including us) are sorry for sins, shouldn’t they (we) come forth on their (our) own before they (we) are called out?

In 2 Corinthians 7:9 we are shown the fruit of genuine sorrow.

“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.  For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.”

We recognize that “godly sorrow produces repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10).  That is, when we are truly sorry about something, it will be evidenced by our repentance–which includes confession, asking forgiveness, and restitution where it is needed.

The NIV version of 2 Corinthians 7:10 reads:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

We could contrast the obvious godly sorrow that Peter felt when he denied Jesus three times (which Jesus predicted he would do even before it happened!) vs. the worldly sorrow that Judas felt when he tossed the 30 pieces of silver back to the Pharisees and then ended up hanging himself.

Compare Peter’s remorse and repentance with Judas’s bitterness and act of suicide.  Both disowned Christ.  One repented and was restored to faith and service, the other took his own life.  Worldly sorrow leads to death.  Not only death in this earthly life, but also eternal death.

Another example is the two thieves on either side of Christ as he hung on the cross.

Luk 23:39

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ,[fn] save Yourself and us.

Luk 23:40

But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

Luk 23:41

“And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Luk 23:42

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,[fn] remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

Luk 23:43

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

It is never too late to repent!  Right before the thief’s death, he acknowledged his sin and asked Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom!

Paul told us that there is a false kind of sorrow–the “sorrow of the world.”  And that sorrow leads not to repentance but to “death.”  Yes, sins and errors of judgment are embarrassing and sometimes shameful.  But when their magnitude is truly realized, godly sorrow always leads to repentance–a change of mind and direction.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:

“Christianity starts with repentance.”

Very true!  The term “repent” appears in the Bible 33 times in 32 verses.

John the Baptist, who was prophesied in Isaiah 40:3 urged people to repent:

Mat 3:1

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

Mat 3:2

and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Mat 3:3

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.’ ”[fn – Isaiah 40:3]

More prophecy fulfilled from (4:16)

Isaiah 9:1, 2

 

Mat 4:12

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

Mat 4:13

And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

Mat 4:14

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

Mat 4:15

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:

Mat 4:16

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”[fn]

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

There is a Proverb that reads:

For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.  Proverbs 24:16

There is another Proverb that reads:

Do not envy wicked men, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.   Proverbs 24:1-2

Since there is none who are righteous (see Isaiah 64:6 and Romans 3) God sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins and reside in our hearts (through the Holy Spirit)  as His righteousness within us!

Jesus’ shed blood at the cross was the propitiation for our sins; and believing in Him, confessing and repenting of our sins, is the only way back to God.

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Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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