Archive for the ‘discernment’ Category

Stretch Out Your Hand

December 13, 2017

 

When a person refuses to discuss his or her grievances in person and/or refuses to hear the other side of an argument that has developed during a conflict that has arisen,  what can be done?

I don’t think that anything can be done until the person refusing to talk it out is willing to sit down and discuss the grievances that exist.  Silence is not a solution.  Staying angry, playing games of trite types of communication (e.g. emailing someone, getting a reply from that person, then not replying back for several days or weeks) isn’t helpful; it’s harmful.  Continuing to ignore the requests for conversation with the hope for conflict resolution with the people involved is not a solution.

Someone I know tried to re-establish communications with her son through her daughter-in-law.  Apparently, both of them have been ignoring her plea (as well as the pleas from her husband and their daughter, the son’s sister) for dialogue for five weeks now.  The mom thought that if she could touch the heart of her daughter-in-law, maybe her son would consider speaking with his mom again.  Here is what she wrote (with name changes as requested):

Dear Aurora,

Since Carey has blocked me (on text, email, phone calls and Facebook) I am appealing to you to encourage him to talk with us.  His request to avoid “unhealthy communication” and to not cross certain “boundaries” can easily be discussed and resolved, but not when communication of any kind is completely cut off.  In the spirit of the celebration of our dear Savior’s birth, it is my prayer and hope that you and Carey can forgive us and be willing to start healing.

I pray you will join me in claiming 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18.  When people intentionally or unintentionally hurt us, as Christians we are not to repay by hurting them back, but rather to “always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”  Verse 5:18 says, “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

God bless and hope to see you and Carey soon.

In Jesus,

Mom 

Unfortunately, the mom thinks that maybe her daughter-in-law also blocked her on email, phone, text, and Facebook; so that message didn’t make it through.

What can be done when there is no modicum for respect left for this mom, dad, and the rest of the family?

The term “anger” appears in the NKJV of the Bible 233 times in 228 verses.  In the New Testament we are told:

I think that one of the most interesting accounts regarding “anger” and one that can be a lesson for the “hardness of hearts” that can happen within family disputes, is in Mark 3:1-6. This portion of Scripture is about Jesus healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. Take special note of what the Pharisees did as a result of the healing.

Mar 3:1


And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand.

Mar 3:2
So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.

Mar 3:3
And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.”

Mar 3:4
Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent.

Mar 3:5
And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.[fn]

Mar 3:6
Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

The Pharisees hated Jesus, and despite the miracle that they had just witnessed, their anger towards God’s Son made their hearts so hardened that all they wanted to do was to plot how they might destroy Him!  See how easily anger can be turned into sin?

David Guzik’s commentary on this portion of Scripture gives us more insight.

Here is a relevant part of the commentary:

Quote:

a. A man was there who had a withered hand: “The man’s hand was withered, but God’s mercy had still preserved to him the use of his feet: he uses them to bring him to the public worship of God, and Jesus meets and heals him there. How true is the proverb – It is never so all with us, but it might be much worse!” (Clarke)

b. They watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath: The critics of Jesus expected Him to heal this man with the withered hand. By their expectation, they admitted that Jesus had the power of God to work miracles. Knowing this, they watched Him closely… so that they might accuse Him. They knew what Jesus could do, yet their knowledge didn’t draw them to Jesus. It was as if a man could fly, but the authorities wanted to know if he had a pilot’s license.

i. The religious leaders watched Jesus closely but with no heart of love for Him. They knew about Jesus, but they did not know Him.

ii. They also knew Jesus would do something when He saw this man in need. In this sense, these critics had more faith than many of us, because we sometimes doubt that Jesus wants to meet the needs of others.

c. Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill? In His question to the religious leaders, Jesus emphasized the truth about the Sabbath: there is never a wrong day to do something truly good.

i. According to their Sabbath traditions, if you cut your finger, you could stop the bleeding – but you could not put ointment on the cut. You could stop it from getting worse, but you weren’t allowed to make it better.

d. He had looked around them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts: This is one of the few places where Jesus is described as having anger, and He was angry at the hardness of men’s hearts.

i. Jesus was angry because this was a perfect opportunity for these critics of His to change their minds about Him and their traditions. But they refused to change their minds, and rejected Jesus instead. In this we can see that Jesus deliberately used this occasion to provoke a response. Jesus could have done this the next day. Jesus could have done it privately. But He chose to do it at this time and place.

e. Stretch out your hand: In this, Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to do something impossible – to move his paralyzed hand. But as the man put forth effort, God did the rest. God never commands us without enabling us.

i. “This man might have reasoned thus: ‘Lord, my hand is withered; how then can I stretch it out? Make it whole first, and afterwards I will do as thou commandest.’ This may appear reasonable, but in his case it would have been foolishness. At the command of the Lord he made the effort, and in making it the cure was effected!” (Clarke)

f. The Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him: Jesus did nothing but a wonderful miracle. In response, two parties of former enemies (the Pharisees and the Herodians) agreed together in one cause: to destroy Jesus.

i. “The Herodians were not a religious party; they were a group of Jews who were sympathetic to King Herod and supported his rule.” (Wiersbe) /unquote

*******

So, how does this relate to the anger of the son towards his family for “unhealthy communications” and crossing “boundaries?”

In this way.  The son, just like the man with the withered hand, must make the first move to reap the rewards of healing.

Note, again:

e. Stretch out your hand: In this, Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to do something impossible – to move his paralyzed hand. But as the man put forth effort, God did the rest. God never commands us without enabling us.

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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

The Mental Battlefield

June 24, 2017

I have been watching a series on Nat Geo entitled, “Genius.” It’s about Albert Einstein’s life and times. It was fascinating to see how he developed his theories; particularly the theory of relativity. Other scholars (especially his professors) seemed to enjoy continually trying to crush his intellectual endeavors.

Could be lots of reasons for this, but mostly, I think it was because he challenged the status quo in the scientific world and they didn’t want to change what they have believed for most of their lives. Even the Nobel prize people shunned Einstein’s work and theories at first, giving the award year after year to other scientists (some of whom created awful ways to kill people).

For me, however, it was more disappointing to find out that he was a philanderer, very nasty towards his first wife, and an absent father. In all of his “success,” he failed at two of the most important… being a faithful husband and good dad.

It was interesting to hear him state in a synagogue where he made a speech that it had been years since he set foot in one. When challenged about his spiritual beliefs, he did say that God must have created everything. However, it appeared to me that he “put all of his faith in his own arguments” and though he may have believed in God, he didn’t make Him Lord over his life.

Several weeks ago, I watched the movie, “The Theory of Everything.” It was sad to see such a brilliant “mind” as Stephen Hawkings’ treat his wife and family with such bitterness and disdain. What is it with these “intellectuals”?

I found it deeply sad that these “geniuses” who are ‘worshipped’ by so many in the scientific arena, appear to have failed in what matters most in life. God first, family second!

This month’s Turning Points magazine and devotional discusses the topic of “all thoughts captive.”

Most people are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

That phrase comes from 2 Timothy 3

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

Our minds are made for truth.

Biblical meditation involves filling your mind with God’s Word.

We are encouraged to study His truth and assimilate it to every part of our spirit.

We are all born with a certain level of gifts.  In the scientific world, Einstein was gifted with a brilliant mind for scientific theory discovery.  His last name is often used as a substitute for the word, “genius.”  What a great honor that is!  Yet, I can’t help but wonder whether or not he also grew in the wisdom of God’s Word?

Dr. Jeremiah:

Jesus said all the parts of one’s life–heart, soul, mind, and strength–must manifest love for God.

We must give Him all our heart and acknowledge Him as Lord in all our ways.

Acknowledging God is like acknowledging a very close friend.

People who are given a larger platform to speak and be heard (i.e. actors, actresses, politicians, media pundits [MSNBC, CNN] etc.), unfortunately, develop sharp tongues and say the most awful things about people with whom they disagree politically.  I cannot think of a time during my life where the rhetoric has been as disgusting, mean, vicious and downright dangerous!

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

The apostle Paul warned how easily our thoughts become futile, our hearts darkened, and our minds debased (Romans 1:21, 28).  Proverbs 15:26 says, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD.”

Satan can quickly seize control of a mind that isn’t submissive to God.  According to Paul, the god of this age (Satan) blinds the minds of those who do not believe (2 Corinthians 4:4).   He uses skepticism, unbelief, false arguments, empty entertainment, pornographic images, addictive patterns, genetic traits, faulty logic, and erroneous religious notions to make sure people do not glorify God but become darkened in the foolishness of their hearts (Romans 1:21).

That’s why we must inventory our minds and ensure we are cultivating a Spirit-controlled thought life.  The Bible states this in strongest terms in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

What a phrase!  Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Life is made up of thoughts, words, and actions–all of which spring from the heart.

We are told in the book of Jude that resistance to Godly thought will increase the closer we get to the end times.  I have seen such hatred manifest itself in people over the course of my life, and now such darkened hearts and debased minds often ridicule those who hold to Christian faith.  Fortunately, God’s Word warns us that this will, and is happening!  Despite the fact that much of the ugliness that is being spewed on the news these days is evidence of the rejection of God’s will for our lives (see Romans 1:21), as Christians, we have the ability to renew our minds and fill our hearts with God’s truth (Romans 12:2).  Moment to moment, we can find our responses being pleasing to God.

Dr. Jeremiah:

Our brains only come alive when redeemed by the power and knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ.  The Bible says, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).  Ephesians 4:23 tells us to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind.”  Our minds are made for truth.  God created our brains to need the truth of His Word just as He made our bodies to need the food and water He built into the material world around us.

Amen!

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.

How Can We Distinguish Between Deception and Truth?

May 26, 2017

The current onslaught of the “fake news” meme today can often be confusing.  How can one know whether or not an article or news report from the media is true or fake these days?

Well, Kingsjester’s Blog has a great post up today that shares the fact that almost 2/3rds of people polled believe that the media of mass deception is full of fake news.

My comment there:

Thanks for sharing this poll with your readers. I often wondered what percentage of people in our nation were falling for the made-up Trump/Russia meme. Glad to see that at least 2/3 recognize the lies of the media of mass deception!

Loved what you wrote here:

At the rate that these stories are being debunked, most Americans have accurately surmised that the MSM’s “anonymous sources” are the voices inside their own over-sized heads.

Sad…but true! And it made me laugh, too!

Did you see (or hear) President Trump’s commencement speech at Liberty University? It was wonderful! I loved how he included that the naysayers in life should be ignored and that the students should never, ever give up on their goals!

I actually feel sorry for the snowflakes in the liberal universities and colleges that are having their heads filled with progressive propaganda. I pray that someone will share the truth of the written Word of the Bible and the “peace that surpasses all understanding,” the Living Word, Jesus Christ with them.

*******

The following is a portion of a post that was shared back in 2013 at my former blog.  It holds true even more today, as the perpetuation of lies has increased even more since that post was written!  The question isn’t really “what” can help you distinguish between deception and truth.  The question (and ultimately the answer) is Who can help you do this!

 

~ Christine

Deception Can Cause Many to Suffer
The Bible has a lot to say about deception.  This post will not be totally comprehensive about the subject of deception and/or deceiving people.  However, it will give us some insight into the machinations of this type of evil and what it tragically often leads to in this fallen world.

Deceit (a.k.a. dishonesty, lying, tricking) is a tool used by people in order to accomplish certain outcomes in which they desire to reap power, monetary gain, fame, tyranny over others, and a whole host of other reasons.  The ability to “get away with it” in a world of disinformation runs rampant.  People don’t know what to believe anymore.  They are so conditioned to believe what they are told on the news.  But, what if the “news” being reported is not the truth?  What if many are being told to lie to us?  What if they are “programmed” to trick us into believing even the most bizarre event(s) ever seen by mankind; just because the ignorant and uninformed continue to trust them?

People who are propped up as being “dignified” and “above the fray” are often the very same individuals who deceive the most.  Getting away with dishonesty is easy when so many others are either mesmerized by a popular (but deceptive) individual and thus miss the fact that such a popular person is actually complicit in the lies being perpetrated.

The Bible informs us just who is called the deceiver.

Read Revelation 12:1-9.

However, the key Bible verse is:

This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.  (Revelation 12:9)

We can see that the Bible describes Satan as the deceiver.  The devil is not some cartoon character or made up entity.  He was originally an angel of God whose pride made him corrupt.  The name Satan means “adversary” or “accuser” (12:10).

As 1 Peter 5:8-9 informs us, Satan actively looks for people to attack.  He especially likes to seek out believers who may be young in the faith, vulnerable in some way, or not involved in fellowship with other believers.

Despite the fact that God allows (due to Adam and Eve’s choice to do evil in the Garden of Eden) the devil to do his work in the world, God is still in control.

Unbelievers often try to mock Christians for their beliefs.  They hate Christ and try to diminish the fact that Jesus has complete power over Satan.  This was demonstrated during Christ’s three-year ministry on the earth.  Scripture tells us that when Jesus was tempted by Satan, Christ used Scripture to send him away.  Only the Word of God was needed to make Satan flee!!   That is an important fact to remember!

You may or may not know (or believe) that when Jesus died for the sins of mankind and rose from the dead, it was at that moment that Satan’s future was doomed and Jesus has the keys to heaven where he goes to create mansions in eternity for believers.  Revelation 20:10 tells us that one day Satan will be bound forever, never again to do his evil work. (1)

Next, read John 8:42-47.

The key Bible verse:

You are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does.  He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth.  There is no truth in him.  When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.  (John 8:44)

[Notice that] Jesus called Satan the father of lies.  The attitudes and actions of these leaders clearly identified them as follower of Satan.  They may not have been conscious of this, but their hatred of truth, their lies, and their murderous intentions indicated how much control the devil had over them.  They were his tools in carrying out his plans; they spoke the very same language of lies.  Satan still uses people to obstruct God’s work (Genesis 4:8; Romans 5:12; 1 John 3:12). (2)

From the John 8:44 verse, we learn that lying “is consistent with his (the Devil’s) character.”  Satan was “a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth.”  There is “no truth in him.”  What’s even more disturbing is the realization that the “children of your father, the Devil, love to do the evil things he does.”

The Devil can have much control over the un-saved.  They can become “his tools in carrying out his plans.”  They speak “the very same language of lies.”  Also, see the Bible verses that describe how Satan uses people to obstruct God’s work.

No wonder Jesus told us that He is the truth! Christ informs us that God’s Word is Truth!   And the “truth will set you (us) free!”

People will lie, deceive, hurt and murder others because they hate the truth (Jesus Christ).  There is no truth in them, and they LOVE to do the evil things that Satan does.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but when I see what is going on in this world of lies, deceit, sin, evil and death, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief that others don’t recognize that they are being lied to and so heavily deceived!!  However, when I delve back into God’s Word, I realize that we have been warned of this.  Deception is exponentially getting worse because we are heading closer and closer towards the end times.

So, we might ask what happens when we deceive others?

Bible reading:  Luke 8:16-18

Key Bible verse:

Everything that is hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light and made plain to all. (Luke 8:17)

We cannot hide our sins from God.  In God’s eyes, people’s hearts–their thoughts and motives–are as visible as a lamp mounted in the open.  No matter how hard we try to cover up bad attitudes, deeds, or words, we cannot deceive God.  Instead of hiding our faults, we should ask God to change our life so we no longer have to be ashamed.  If you are trying to hide anything from God, it won’t work.  Only when you confess your hidden sins and seek God’s forgiveness will you have the help you need to do right. (3)

The only way to avoid falling prey to deceit is to ask God to help you distinguish between deception and truth.

Keep on praying, America!

Keep on reading and studying the Bible on a daily basis!

Psa 119:160 The entirety of Your word [is] truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments [endures] forever.

 

Jhn 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

 – Jesus Christ

References:

1 The Handbook of Bible Application, Second Edition, 2000, Neil S. Wilson Editor, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois. p. 135 (paraphrased).

2 Ibid. (quote)

3 Ibid. (quote)

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.

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.

Hat tips:

Blue Letter Bible
All Graphics links

Who Is Your Source of Hope?

October 1, 2016

Take it from me…it pays to pre-order books because sometimes you will get the book even before the national release date!  Yesterday, I received Dr. David Jeremiah’s latest book:

People Are Asking: Is This The End?

I read the introduction and the first few pages of Chapter 1 – “The Age of Anything Goes.” For an excerpt of the first chapter, scroll down the page at the following link and read Overview of Chapter 1: The Age of Anything Goes.

That excerpt is sobering, but now that I have delved into the entire chapter, the evil and depravity that is going on in the world today is so very discouraging, damaging and frightening!

I truly am saddened that the country that I grew up in from the mid-nineteen fifties through graduating college in 1977 has disappeared and been replaced with the “normalization” of the most egregious sinful secular-leftist and atheistic (even devil-worshipping!) kinds of immorality and death-cult beliefs that it is absolutely astonishing!

There was a time when Christian parents could shield their children from all of this, but no more.  The so-called “smartphones” that adults and children hold in their hands today are just a click away from pornography websites.

Excerpt from Chapter One:

Depravity in Our Minds

In January 2016, the Internet’s largest online pornography site released its annual statistics.  On just this one website in just one year – 2015 – consumers watched 4,392,486,580 hours of pornography.  Convert those hours into years, and it means those people collectively spent more than 500,000 years watching porn.

On this particular site in 2015 alone, people watched 87,849,731, 608 X-rated videos.  Over 87 billion!  That’s twelve videos for every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet.

The rate at which sexual depravity is being “normalized” is causing havoc upon many freedoms that Christians have enjoyed in the past.  Now, deeply held religious beliefs, freedom of speech, freedom to practice our faith in the public domain, freedom of association to reject the immoral cesspool around us, and most of all, the freedom to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ is actively being punished by “the powers that be” in government! This scenario is especially egregious in the liberal courts dominated by anti-Christian “judges” who decide to allow sexual immoralities described in God’s Word to trump the First Amendment rights of Christian believers.

I could go on and on…but most readers get the picture.

The saving grace in all of this is the fact that Christians know Who wins and triumphs at the end of days.  There will come a time when God’s mercy and grace will run out and the judgments will fall upon those who rejected God’s provision for salvation – the Cross of Jesus Christ!

This is probably the biggest reason why this blog exists.  To warn people about the schemes of Satan that are there to grab our minds, entice our flesh, and spiral us down into the cesspool of depravity through active sin;  in order to keep our minds, hearts, bodies, souls and spirits away from God.

God the Father,  who loves us so deeply that He sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place and free us once and for all from the penalty that we all deserve for our rebellion and sin; gives us the kind of hope that can never be achieved on our own.

What will YOU do (and decide about God’s provision through Jesus Christ) on this side of eternity?

Dr. Jeremiah masterfully shares the truth that for many people, their source of hope is sadly misplaced.  He states that “the question you must address is not whether America and the world will regain their footing, but how you will respond whether they do or not.”

“That is what this book is all about!”

Dr. Jeremiah explains the four common responses to the growing fears about the future.  Three are wrong, and one is right.

Wrong:

    1.  Denial – Living in the illusion that nothing will change, refusing to heed the clouds gathering on the horizon.
    2.  Despair – Collapse is inevitable, all is hopeless, nothing can be done and we are doomed.
    3. “Eat, drink, and be merry.”  As Solomon (see Ecclesiastes 8:15) warned us, all the pleasure we can get because there is “nothing new under the sun” is not productive.  It doesn’t give us hope.  In fact, it is “all vanity and grasping after the wind.”  (see Ecclesiastes 1:14).

Ecc 1:14

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Right:

The one right response is to look beyond the gathering storm to the one solid and certain source of hope–to God Himself.  Hope in the future of America and the stability of the world is little more than wishful thinking.  It is not reliable.  The hope God offers is the only realistic, absolute hope that carries the promise of a certain outcome.

The next three paragraphs in the Introduction are very powerful!

We do not know whether America will soon fall.  We do not know when the Lord will return.  But we do know that whatever our circumstances, God’s desire for us is to live without anxiety and with hope.  He offers you “thoughts of peace and not of evil.” and He wants “to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

In this book I will show you how to find that hope.  It is a hope that is not dependent on whether America falls or recovers or whether world order stabilizes or disintegrates.  It is a hope that rises above trouble and chaos, enabling you to keep your focus on your future reward and endure whatever comes, whether good or evil, with grace and equanimity.

Had to look that last word up in the dictionary!

equanimity:

1.

mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.
Dr. Jeremiah continues:

The added benefit of this hope is that those who exercise it before others set an example that may just make a difference in the outcome.  Enough Christians exhibiting faith in God just might be the salt that saves America.

— Dr. David Jeremiah

San Diego, California

June 2016

Hat tip: David Jeremiah.org – “People Are Asking: Is This The End?”

Hat tips to all links.

The Increase of Intolerance

September 5, 2016

The Increase of Intolerance

America was once a place where Christians were free to worship and live according to their consciences.

OVERVIEW of CHAPTER 3*

In fact, our country was built upon the principles of religious tolerance, individual liberty, and the right to dissent. In our founding documents, the source of these rights and freedoms is clearly acknowledged as God, not the government. Yet, the moral sea change we have experienced in the past century has so turned our culture on its head that to exercise those rights and freedoms means that a Christian risks marginalization, repression, and even outright persecution.

In the media, those who adhere to Christian values are portrayed as bigoted and backward, anti-woman and anti-gay, willfully ignorant and woefully out of touch. Government mandates seek to force Christians to act against their consciences and support practices the Bible calls sin. People are dragged to court for praying in schools or posting about their personal religious beliefs on their own private social media accounts. Jobs are lost, businesses are bankrupted, relationships are severed.

How are American Christians responding? Often with anger, bitterness, and withdrawal from the public square.

But how did the first Christians respond to persecution? When believers were being flogged, stoned, burned alive, and thrown to wild beasts in the arena, were they surprised? Incensed? Litigious? What about the millions of believers all across the globe today who suffer daily humiliation and violence as a result of their faith? What do they know about oppression that American Christians have yet to learn?

The Increase of Intolerance gives us biblical insight about what Jesus meant when He advised His would-be followers to count the cost before taking up their crosses. We’ll discover what suffering has to teach us about ourselves and our God. And we will be confronted with the unsettling question: Will I have the courage to stand against the persecution that is coming?

This message was also intended to encourage God’s chosen people while they were captives in Babylon. God wanted to show them that there was much more to their future than they could see.

It was God, not Nebuchadnezzar, who held the key to their future and the future of all humankind.

* Excerpt from: People Are Asking…Is This the End?

Jesus told us what to expect when we confess our sins,  repent at the foot of the Cross, and invite Him to dwell in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit.

He told us that when we are born again in Him, we are “not of this world” any longer. He warned us that we would be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” He told us that we would be reviled and persecuted. He told us that they will “say all kind of evil against” us…FALSELY…for His sake. He told us that we will be blessed, because our REAL home is in the kingdom of heaven!

Mat 5:10

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

 

Mat 5:12

“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Mat 5:13

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Mat 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Mat 5:15

“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

Mat 5:16

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Hat tips: DavidJeremiah.org, Blue Letter Bible, and graphics links.

People Are Asking…

September 3, 2016

Is This The End? 

Never have the headlines been this jarring, the cultural changes this rapid, the moral decay this pronounced.  What on earth is happening?  After each new occurrence the most oft-heard questions are , “Will the world ever be the same again?” and “Where is God in all of this?”

People Are Asking...Is This the End?, by Dr. David Jeremiah

Many Christian believers ask that first question.  In fact, I often think about that very question every day!  With over 25 years of Bible study, I instinctively know the answer to that question.  But what about that second question?  I used to ask that question 25 years ago.  However, believers who are diligently reading, studying, and applying the Word of God in our lives,  can understand the more difficult second question. “Where is God in all of this?”  As believers, we have the answer:

Mar 16:15

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Studying prophecy helps tremendously in recognizing that the closer we get to the end times, the more likely it will be that the world will not ever be the same again…until Christ returns.

Then, the world at the time of the Millennium will be MUCH BETTER!  [Note:  A broader discussion of this will be forthcoming as in the coming weeks and months, I share the content of the book at this blog.]

Those who have not studied the Bible are very likely to ask, “Where is God in all of this?” 

This new book could be a great resource to help people understand what is coming and what is absolutely needed for eternal salvation.

Those of us who are Christians are to help people understand.  It is extremely important to know God’s Word in order to be able to “rightly divide the word of truth.”

2Ti 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Yesterday, I pre-ordered the new book written by Dr. David Jeremiah entitled:  “People Are Asking…Is This The End?  Sign’s of God’s Providence in a Disturbing New World.”

The book is set for release on October 4, 2016.  I’m looking forward to reading it and using it as a resource when sharing the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

There are previews of each chapter at DavidJeremiah.org.  Here is the title of the first chapter and a copy of the preview provided there:

Overview of Chapter 1
The Age of Anything Goes

Ours is an age of decadence, self-delusion, and depravity of every variety—and each time we think things can’t possibly get worse, they do. The shameful acts of yesterday are the celebrated triumphs of today. Perversions are normalized, purity is labeled puritanical, and the only act that cannot be tolerated is dissent from this brave new world where pleasure is king.

Scripture tells us that the road that leads to life is narrow, while the path that leads to destruction is wide. A glance around our culture today and one would be forgiven for thinking that the words found in Matthew’s Gospel are an understatement.

Scripture tells us that the road that leads to life is narrow, while the path that leads to destruction is wide. A glance around our culture today and one would be forgiven for thinking that the words found in Matthew’s Gospel are an understatement. Not only are many people walking down that wide path, they are holding a parade for themselves as they do, celebrating their sins as they march blissfully toward a judgment they don’t believe is coming. In the other direction, the narrow way seems overgrown with weeds from disuse.

As Christians, we should not be surprised at the depths to which humanity seems content to sink. Scripture speaks clearly of humankind’s propensity to sin and God’s holy intolerance of it.

From the days of Noah to the days of the Roman Empire and beyond, people have been lovers of pleasure, inventors of evil, and happy to believe anything our itching ears want to hear. Beneath the constant barrage of the media telling us that anything goes, even Christians are tempted by the wide path. We’re being worn down and written off, and it seems easier to go along in order to get along.

How did things get so bad? Is there anything we can do to stem the tide? And what is God’s next move?

The Age of Anything Goes explores just how our culture made the leap from one founded on Judeo-Christian principles to one that persecutes those who hold to those values. What you read here may shock you. But without a clear picture of where we’ve been and where we are, we cannot truly grasp God’s marvelous grace, nor His plan for our future.

2 Timothy also informs us that certain individuals will not listen to what we share.  Therefore, stay away from ignorant disputes.  However, we should at least try first to, “be gentle to all, able to teach, patient in humility correcting those who are in opposition.”

2Ti 2:23

But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

2Ti 2:24

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient

2Ti 2:25

in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

2Ti 2:26

and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.


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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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