Friday, December 9, 2016

The World's Standards or God's?

The Christian life is held to a higher standard than the standards of the world. Whereas the world changes its standards to meet the flow of the moment, the Christian standard is set firm in the directives that govern his or her walk through life. In other words, the two standards are diametrically opposed. That same standard holds true for the different characteristics of Jesus and Satan. Where at one point, Jesus referred to Satan as "the god of this world", another Scripture reveals that Satan was the actual one responsible for the death of Jesus. However, the world's response to those claims would be to rebuke any similarities that Satan is this world's god or that he was  the one responsible for killing Jesus. Those who have set themselves apart from the world and have become separated from that lifestyle, understand this contrast, because they have lived by the world's standards before becoming a Christian. This is not so with those still in the world. They only know the ways of the world and have never committed themselves to a covenant relationship with Christ. The Bible tells us that they are actually blinded of the things of God due to the great influence inflicted upon them by the god of this world.

Individuals of this world, who  conform to the ways of the world, do not understand that the things of God do not change. Jesus made the statement that "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away." When the Bible stated, "Thou shalt not" way back then -- it still means "Thou shalt not" even today." The Bible declares, "God is the same yesterday, today and forever -- He never changes." However, by creating laws in the world to fit a certain lifestyle, will not change God's laws. Simply put, we have a free-will to choose. We can believe God, or we can believe this world. The Bible was not written with a bunch of  do's and don't's so God could beat us over the head if we do something wrong. God gave us those directives to govern our lives by. These standards are for our good, so we can live a full, rich and satisfying life. The world seeks after something to fill the emptiness of their soul. Many times religion is the way it chooses, but the Bible says:, "There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Jesus came to give us life, and that more abundantly. Christianity is not just for a chosen few, but for the whole world (John 3:16). It is not automatic, but you must make the choice to invite Jesus into your life and make Him your Lord and Savior. The standards of the world will keep you under bondage to the god of this world. The standards of God will set you free from the bondage of this world. Jesus said, "Whom the Son sets free, he shall be free indeed." He will set you free, if you so choose to be free.

"The Unveiling of the Trinity" (2003)

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Religious Fanatic

Identity labels help us determine some one's particular interest. Individuals involved in various interests and causes are generally branded with labels such as: devotees, supporters, fans, followers, visionaries, etc. For those dedicated to promoting God and His Word, the term religious fanatic is generally used. Of course, there are many variations of religious fanatics today, but Jesus said we could recognize them by their fruits. A good tree will not produce evil fruit, nor shall a corrupt tree produce good fruit.

A Christian religious fanatic is someone who has come out of the world by recognizing his or her inability to live a righteous life through self determination. Therefore this passionate devotee attempts to warn those still under bondage to the evil forces of the world, about the freedom available for them. Many times these warnings are met with hostility. Those under bondage cannot understand the freedom of the fanatic, and thinks he or she is sending him into a trap. Contrarily, the fanatic is merely attempting to set that individual free from the trap he is already entangled in.

Saint Peter refers to these fanatics in his epistle as peculiar people. That is, they have been set free and no longer look or act like the rest of society. Certainly, not everyone will become a fanatic, but that is not to say they cannot if they so choose. Many times it takes the deathbed to open the blinded eyes, then again sometimes even then is too late. The Bible tells us, "Now is the acceptable day; today is the day of salvation. Today if you hear His voice, harden not your heart."

It all boils down to this: Everyone can become a religious fanatic, but not everyone will. Many look for some type of life from within themselves. However, because of sin, the only life available to them within their own body, comes from the flesh. Because they do not realize there is another life available to them, they rely upon their flesh as the source of happiness, enjoyment and supply. In essence, the flesh becomes their god, which makes themselves their god, instead of the Creator God.

When a religious fanatic is able to infiltrate their flesh and reveal to them another life source available to them, the news is sometimes met with hostility and sometimes joy. The one requirement to attain this new life is that  they must give up being the lord over their life and allow Jesus to become their Lord and Savior. The contrasting consequences is this -- unless they undergo a pledge to strike a covenant relationship with God, they shall forever remain under bondage to the evil forces of this world. But, when they make the pledge with a covenant relationship, they will find another life -- a new life brought about by the Spirit of God touching their spirit and radiating life into their soul. Whereas before, the soul sought after temporary life from the flesh, now it seeks after everlasting life from the spirit.

Remember the Proverb, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Also remember the words of Jesus, "Whom the Son sets free, he is free indeed." The fields are ripe for harvest, but we need more laborers in the field --consider becoming a Christian religious fanatic today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Is America Going To Pot?

In the late '50's, '60's & early '70's, a dictator by the name of Nikita Khrushchev ruled over the Soviet Union. Watching television one day, several years before I became a Christian, I remember vividly watching that man make a startling statement and wondering what he meant by it or how such a thing could happen in America. As he pounded his shoe on the podium, he said in so many words, "We will bury you." "We will not fire a shot." "America will die from within."

That was 5 decades ago, and within the past few years we see his prophecy coming to pass. Communists have encroached the executive branch and without doubt, the other two branches of government. Laws are being made today to promote lifestyles and other issues that in the '50's and '60's would be unthinkable and shocking.

It was one of Khrushchev's predecessors, Vladimir Lenin, who realized the possibility of changing the values of a culture and set it on a course to the desired direction, by teaching its values early on to the children. He said, "Give me four years to teach the children and that seed will never be uprooted." The first step in that endeavor for America occurred soon after Khrushchev's remarks, when in 1962 the Supreme Court sided with one atheistic woman against the will of millions of Americans by removing prayer from the schools. To see the results of that ruling, view one of my earlier blogs by clicking here.

That event happened over 50 years ago, much longer than the four years to change the minds of our children. Many children from that era have grandchildren and great-grandchildren in this generation. A great percentage of them reared without any teaching of God as noted by the explosion of atheism in today's society.

Is America really going to pot or have its citizens merely lost direction? It seems Khrushchev and Lenin were both right. Oh by the way, Lenin also made another statement that seems to fall right into line with what America is facing in society and government today. He is quoted as saying, "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."

Not to take sides, the Church must also shoulder as much of the blame. When we, as a called out people, will humble ourselves and pray and seek God's face and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land. Although I believe we are beyond the point of no return, this passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14 is still valid, if not more so.

One final Scripture for the Church living in a decaying culture of today, is this one from Titus filled with hope for tomorrow:
  • "Looking for that blessed hope,and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." - (Titus 2:14) To God be the glory.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Yes, We Can Prove There Is A God.

You have probably encountered someone who states that "there is no God," or "If there is a God then prove it." What they fail to understand is that there are several things about God concerning the way He has chosen to prove Himself to us. If God could not be proved then chances are many who have made Jesus their Lord also would no longer believe.

The atheist and non-believer CANNOT prove or disprove God by stating "God is not real," or "I shall never believe the lie that God exists." You might want to look at my earlier blog about "An interview with Satan" to find out where that kind of thinking originates. So, exactly how does God prove Himself to us?

Most individuals understand that God is by faith; however, we must also realize that we have a free-will to choose anything in life. Faith and free-will are primary considerations in proving God. Both faith and free-will go hand-in-hand. Nevertheless, either one is worthless unless acted upon. Before Jesus paid the price for our sins, there was only one choice (Satan). Today we have another choice (Jesus). Jesus was the beginning (Founder) of what is known as the Church (Christianity). We all remain under bondage to Satan and sin until we choose Jesus who will set us free from bondage by making Him Lord.
God will not infringe upon your free-will. If you want to prove that God is real, it is not hard to do. However, you must take the first step. If God took the first step, He would infringe upon your free-will. However, when you exercise your free-will by taking the first step to ask God to make Himself real to you, this is where and how faith becomes involved. Without a desire to know if God is real, you will never find out. If you keep refusing to take the first step, you will stay at square one. But, by acting in faith, God will prove Himself to anyone who is truly sincere with a yearning heart to prove God for themselves. Try it for yourself and see.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What Does This 3-Letter Word Have To Do With 4-Letter Words?

Four-letter words have become an accepted part of our everyday society, but when was the last time you heard the three-letter word called sin mentioned anywhere? Apart from a church setting, probably never. Yet, sin is the biggest obstacle to prosperity in any nation.

So, who is to say what is sin and what is not sin? Do we as a society, or individuals simply make up our own rules to fit our own behavior? Maybe if we act like it doesn't exist, it will go away! But there is a better way - the Word of God. It is the only absolute we can depend upon in this day of seemingly endless communications on the information highway.

The Bible definition of sin is the transgression of the law. The following Bible verse indicates there are no differences in sins. "For He that said, do not commit adultery, said also do not kill. Now if you commit no adultery, yet if you kill, you are become a transgressor of the law." - (James 2:11) Thus, transgression of the law is simply put, sin. Notice that (James 2:11) mentions both adultery and kill as its examples in the same verse. Does this ring a bell?

 (You might want to read my blog about Satan a couple of blogs back to get a better handle how this concept actually works.)

Once this supposedly highly intelligent and so-called civilized society realizes the quagmire sin produces and the apathy of our ways, maybe it will return once again to seek after repentance and after the God who is able to heal our once prosperous land. Till then, we can continue our quibbles about politics, money, animals, healthcare and the promoting of the very issues that hinder whatever prosperity the people hoped for in the first place.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Have You Been Born-Again?

Jesus told us in John 3:3 that except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Jesus went on to explain the difference between being born of the flesh, and becoming born of the Spirit. Except a man is born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus makes the distinction between the fleshly birth of water to the spiritual birth of the Spirit. That concept is supported in John 6:63, whereby Jesus tells us that it is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.

Being a Christian is not simply because your parents were one, or you walk into a church building, or do as other religions (Bud-hind-lums), where if you want to join them they tell you to see their priest or leader and he will write your name on a piece of paper. Christianity is a covenant with God (as Abraham made in the OT), this is a New Covenant with God through Jesus. Thus, when you invite Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Savior, you are in essence, making a covenant with Him.

Many say they have tried Christianity, but found it was not as they supposed. For that reason, they wind up making a covenant to bash Christianity as much as they can. All this came about because they did not keep their end of the covenant and now they place the blame upon God. What was the real reason that Christianity did not turn out as they supposed? It was simply because they made a one-sided covenant. A one-sided covenant never works. Isn't that like what some couples do when they get married - where they secretly say, "if I don't like her (or him) later, I will just divorce."

So how do we know the "Born-again" experience is real? There are no rituals or signing-up involved. Everything is done by faith and a free-will. When an individual makes a covenant relationship with God to make Jesus their Lord and Savior, that individual becomes born-again and the Spirit of God takes up residence in that person's heart. You have heard that the proof is in the puddin; in this case, the proof is in the heart. What better proof could one ask for? Do it now and prove it for yourself and ask Jesus into YOUR heart.