Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Shock of Dying Without Accepting Christ as Savior

The Old and New Testaments of the Bible repeatedly tell us that we need to repent of our sin and to accept and receive God's Savior, His Messiah, the Holy One of God, of which there is only one, as He says in Isaiah 45.

In Isaiah 51 and Isaiah 55, God says that His salvation comes only through one source, to which He sometimes refers as His "arm" or "arms", referring to the, then, forthcoming physical embodiment of His Messiah on Earth who would live and work among humanity. In the Old and New Testament times, before there were ever any "Christians" there were many people among the Jews, and among other people and nations around the world, who looked for the coming of God's Redeemer, as we see in Matthew Chapters 1 through 3 and in Luke 1 through 4.

In Matthew 7, Luke 13, and John 14:6, Jesus very pointedly addresses all those who would try to find another way to pay for, avoid admitting, or excuse their sin, or who might seek to work their way, around Christ, to God (which cannot be done unless one obeys and performs absolutely 100% of every single rule and function of God's Law everywhere and always). Why did Jesus state all that so exclusively? Because, as God in the flesh (also see Isaiah 7 and 8), He already set the perfect plan of redemption in place before the world was ever made; because He always knew that we human beings would need to be saved from our sin and our sinful choices.

Finally, all the scriptural promises were fulfilled that ushered in Jesus Christ (God's Messiah for which the world had been watching for thousands of years). As THE Messiah, in Luke 16:19-31, Jesus very pointedly warns both rich and poor alike of the coming shock that some will experience (after they die) about the exclusivity of God's salvation, that it is a one lifetime offer, never to be repeated to each human being. We get one opportunity right here and right now, to choose to repent of our sin before God, and then in faith to accept and receive the only Christ that God already foretold, and has already sent, to redeem us. IF we reject or neglect His offer then we have no one to blame but ourselves for the eternal suffering that we shall bring upon ourselves.

On the other hand, IF we elect and choose to repent of our sin and believe on and receive Jesus Christ by faith, then we have only Him to thank for making the way of salvation possible for us. Because we are not good (see Psalms and Romans), what every single one of us deserves is to spend eternity in torment, first in Hell until the Last Judgment, and then be cast into the Lake of Fire in eternal damnation. What God offers us in Jesus Christ is life eternal, under the blood of Christ, free in Him to learn and grow in our obedience to God in Christ Jesus. Because of our "repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ", we are gifted by God, welcomed into His family, sealed with His Holy Spirit for eternity, and given a home of peace and joy with Him forever.

Reading the first three chapters of Genesis, from the very beginning of humanity, we can clearly see that God has offered His guidance and exclusive redemption to human beings. Thusly, God has manifested Himself throughout all Creation for every observant and concerned soul to see. The choice is up to you and me where we spend our eternal lives, in Heaven with Jesus, rejoicing in His fellowship and presence, or without Christ, by ourselves, in torment in the Lake of Fire. Religion or religiosity are NOT the solution. Besides the holy purchase price of our souls, which was the sinless blood and life of Jesus, God's Christ, no one else can buy our way into God's family or kingdom. Please choose God's only Savior and His only plan of salvation before it's too late.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Don't Choose Greed & Lust As Your God

The religious and political leaders attacked Jesus during His earthly ministry because He kept exposing their lies and hypocrisy.

Luke 16:13-15
13  No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. [ed. Mammon is when we make greed into our false god, allowing that to rule our lives.]
14  And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
15  And he said unto them,
Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Wouldn't it be nice to choose to be at peace with the one real God, and rely on His salvation, instead of being filled with lust and discontent?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

God Illustrates Repentance

In the Bible, the Book of Luke contains a priceless example of what God considers repentance, that is forsaking our sin and returning to Him. Here is the example that Jesus gave to the people.

Luke 15:11-3211  And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25  Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26  And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27  And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28  And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29  And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30  But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31  And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Wouldn't you, right now, love to repent of your sin and have that burden lifted and forgiven? Wouldn't you love to return with your whole heart and mind to accept and be restored to Jesus Christ, our God and Creator, so that you can enjoy sweet fellowship and work with Him for the rest of your life and for all eternity?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Party Planning & Etiquette, God's Way

Are you planning to sponsor or hold a supper, banquet, dinner, or party? Or are you planning to go to one? Here is some holy guidance and etiquette from Jesus Christ Himself.

Luke 14:7-14 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
8  When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
9  And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
10  But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
11  For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
12  Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
13  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

God says these things because His plan of salvation and living are NOT the same as what we humans think we need to do to be saved from our sin or how to live godly lives.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Don't Want To Trust Jesus Christ? Are You Looking For Loopholes?

Luke 13:23-35
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

God offers only one plan of salvation to humanity, and God's plan of salvation is only through God's Christ, Jesus.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Don't Blame Our Hormones

We are human beings. Being so, we all have natural hormonal appetites, to one degree or another, whether to eat or to mate. Lots of folks like to glibly toss around the phrase about things being normal or not normal. However, what is normal at one end of the appetite spectrum is not normal at the other end. Irrespective of whether we are toward the ends of the normal curve or in the middle, each of us is similar to many people and also very different from many others, in our appetites. What we must learn to admit and to properly judge in ourselves is that, if we allow our hearts and hormones to have their own way ruling our lives, then we are going to have to live with the consequences of our appetites. Though our appetites, our lusts, may have their short term payoff in what we perceive as our favor, in the long run, living our lives in subjection to our urges, lusts, or appetites keeps us from maturing and overcoming the feelings of being driven by our lusts and our lack of personal governance and self-control also shall cost us many missed opportunities to rise to higher aspirations and higher accomplishments.

One of the most noticeable things about living in subjection to short term lusts is that the immediate satisfaction is exactly that. Short. There is never any long term sense of accomplishment when we continually indulge in short term lustful pursuits, AND we begin to addict ourselves to seeking increasingly more stimulating variations of that same lustful theme, whether a bouncier piece of music, a fancier preparation of our favorite food, a different sex partner, another spouse, different shoes, clothing, handbags, cars, and the list goes on as long as human lust itself, for we all lust after many many things. What or whomever was once the object of our lust is now our trash or tag sale item or our divorcee. We treat people and things with the same idolatrous passions, both to attain and posses them, and then to dispose of them, often with disdain or disgust, once our lust is spent upon them. We welcome and allow our fickle lust to delude us and lead us wherever it wants... UNLESS we exercise godly self-control.

In our modern culture in these United States of America, we are almost totally obsessed with sex. Sexual obsession is the holes in the 'swiss cheese' of our culture, for there is only the contrast of appearances and no substance to the lust for sexual gratification, in and of itself. Yet, we see it in the way most people dress, whether at the beach or on the news anchor desk, whether at the movies or in the movies. Today, most men are far more modestly dressed than most women and girls in our society, but even the men often display themselves in unholy ways to pad their egos or show off their 'stuff'. I've been as guilty of these things, too, so I'm not saying that I'm any less of a sinner than anyone else. What provokes me and most men in our day is the 'fashion' trends that women so ignorantly or willfully pursue, thinking or claiming that "it's just fashion".

Let me illustrate. In the 1960s I was stationed with the US Army in Alabama. While there, the miniskirt hit the streets of the USA and crept into the Bible Belt. While some will think the following is amusing, others will understand the gravity of what I'm saying. I was driving my car along the main road on the base and following a string of cars approaching a traffic light. All was well until I noticed an attractive young woman walking in the same direction as the car was travelling. Her dress modestly covered her top, but from the belt down there were only a few inches more of fabric than the belt width. That fringe of fabric barely covering 'you know what'. Riveted by the sight and excited by it, as were my passengers, I bumped the taxi cab in front of me as he stopped for the traffic light. Thank God that my foot was already on the brake and that no one was hurt, but the problem was evident. The shock of seeing a woman bare herself publically, in that manner, caused a me to run my car into another vehicle, something I had never done as a driver. That sort of sexual immodesty is prevalent to a far greater degree today.

Today, we have thong 'bathing suits', in which men and women expose themselves sexually at the beach, pools, and other venues. Many of them would, rightly, be embarrassed to walk out of their houses in those revealing things or in their underwear, but, when water or sunbathing are the focus, those same people excuse their immodesty and nakedness by any means they can.

Innumerable times, I've seen women or girls in short skirts, belly tops, skin tight jeans, open blouses, scant 'bathing suits', breast revealing tops, or genital revealing yoga/sports pants, all too frequently they are desperately adjusting the scant clothing to try to minimize their bodily exposure, or they gasp when 'something' pops out or is uncovered, suddenly being fully exposed. Who are those girls and women kidding? They bought the clothes, knowing how they fit. They put on those clothes, knowing how they fit. They wore the clothes out in public, knowing how they fit. Now either those women and girls are totally ignorant, or they are deceiving themselves, or else they deliberately are trying to provoke a sexual interest or response from someone out in public. Obviously, fashion trends of skimpy or sexually revealing clothing are NOT the friend of a girl's or woman's sense of privacy, security, or modesty, and definitely contrary to godly living. Lust is the way of the world, and so is fashion chasing.

Men are 'wired', by God, to look at women, in order to find a life mate. Whether peekaboo style, skimpy attire, or through clingy fabric, when girls and women expose their intimate parts, they provoke men and boys to look at their intimate parts. Period. That is the truth, whether anyone wants to hear it or not.

The question is NOT why men and boys look. The question is why girls and women get upset when boys and men look or say something about the way the girls and women are dressing, or when the boys or men want to act on the open visual presentation and public invitation that the girls and women are presenting of their intimate parts. Why would any girl or woman want to be known and observed publically for the appearance of her intimate body parts instead of for her modesty and moral character, or her productive and social accomplishments, or her dedication and fidelity, or her love of God and His Word? In this lost and dying world, we are sliding rapidly past the violence and lusts of Sodom and Gomorrah, into the world of utter depravity that pervaded the world before the Great Flood in which God only saved Noah and his family of eight. People may do what they choose behind closed doors, or they can argue all they want about the merits or lack thereof of publically exposing one's intimate parts. But, God says there's a payday for our lustful lack of modesty. Flaunting one's private parts in public is either an open invitation for sexual encounters or an attempt to exert sexual power over others in order to manipulate others. There is only one way out of sin and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. Repent, before it's too late. Repent.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

God's Warning About Blaming Disaster Victims, Instead of Examining Ourselves

Luke 13:1-5
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2  And Jesus answering said unto them,
Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Here is God's biblical way for us to learn how to test ourselves and to find His salvation.