Tuesday, June 12, 2018

God's Law & Promises Expose Our Sin Nature AND Offer Us Salvation

No matter how good or bad we think that we or someone else are, we have foolishly compared ourselves to one another, instead of comparing ourselves to God's perfection and His Law. ALL of God's Law and all human law that agrees with God's Law are good for testing ourselves, our deeds, and our motivations. There are way too many times that we either denigrate ourselves or someone else, or we elevate or worship ourselves or others, as  we fail to test all things by God and His Word. For instance, sin is promoted as a popular and cheap commodity, and even believers flock to the temple of sinful pleasure and self-indulgence, yet our willingness to forgive others who have sinned against us is at a premium. Coming in at last place, in the spiritual war, is our infrequent or grudging obedience to God's Word. 

Even, we, who call ourselves Bible believers, are swift to justify ourselves, and slow to condemn our own sin. We may also excuse or ignore the sin of others that our own sin might be overlooked, hoping that we can continue to practice that which displeases God. Sometimes, we think that we can 'clean up our act' without repenting, so that, maybe, we can snuggle up to God or our fellow Man, but, in our lack of repentance, we abuse God's love toward us and despise the blood of Christ that bought us back from sin. So we condemn ours actions. 

Even those who claim to be atheistic or polytheistic condemn their own sinful denial of God and His Christ, when they do righteous things that are mandated by The One True God and His Christ. I'm not picking on those whom most people would agree are sinners, for some of the most egregious sins are committed by those who profess a saving knowledge and faith in The One True God, saying that they believe His Word, yet we still willfully choose to sin against our Savior by "presumptuous" (deliberate, "I know better but I'm going to do what I want") actions. The Bible's Book of Romans is loaded with precious information about who we are, what we do, and how we need to and can 'get right' with God. How about making today a day of practicing repentance in all things? Let's call things what God calls them. Let's examine ourselves in His Light. Let's turn away from sin and toward God's Christ and God's ways, by faith and deliberate action. He does not call us by accident, so let us not wait to accidentally happen upon Him and His plan for our lives, since He is already holding us all together and giving us life.

Romans 3:3-31
 3  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
4  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
5  But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
6  God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
7  For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
8  And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
9  What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15  Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16  Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17  And the way of peace have they not known:
18  There is no fear of God before their eyes.    
19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
29  Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
30  Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
31  Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. 

ALL of God's Law and all righteous human laws show us human sin. Sin is exposed and condemned by God and His Law. But, God's Law and human law do not stop sin. Law does not change human desire, motivation, or action. Righteous Law exposes sin and pronounces righteous judgment and penalties upon sin. 

In contrast to Law and its condemnation of sin, God has mercifully provided one and only one Way for the salvation and real peace for humanity, that we might escape the penalty for sin. That One Way is "repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ". God will accept nothing less than 100% observance of 100% of ALL of His Laws, OR, IF we accept His Gift to us, placing our faith and trust in Jesus, God's only Christ and Savior. The choice of your eternal destiny is yours.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

God Wants Me To Suffer, As He Did, By Fighting Against Sin? But, THAT is Not Popular Worldly Preaching!

Let's start by listening to Jesus Christ speaking with a man who was well acquainted with God's Word (including the prophetic promises of the coming of God's Savior).

John 3:1-21
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit
9  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God

The process by which "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son", Jesus was tortured and bled to death, as is recorded in the Bible. He did that to buy me (and all humans) back from sin and worldly living. From cover to cover, throughout the Bible, God makes it clear that MY own sin is responsible for Jesus' suffering and death!! IF I acknowledge and accept that, the gift of His perfect sinless blood redeems me from the penalty of my sin, ...but, ...ONLY IF I believe on and trust in Him and HIS PLAN of salvation, instead of trusting my works or the world. I hold the decision card whether to accept or reject God's redemptive gift to me.

If I do choose to trust Him in repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ (as God desires), what comes after repentance, faith, and baptism by immersion (as He has ordained)? Guess what! He wants us engaged in sharing His Good News and in His holy war against the sin nature of our flesh and the world. As every maturing Christian soon learns, our biggest battle is against the sin nature of our own flesh, as it yearns for 'the old ways' in which we lived before we were saved from our sin. 

Welcome to God's war, Christian! May you battle sin earnestly and without fear, as you allow God's Holy Spirit and His Word to fill you and live through you. All glory to His Savior.

1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

James 1:21-22
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

1 Peter 1:13-25
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Romans 8:10-18
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Jesus tells us to be born again His way and then He tells us to be sure to dress in ALL the battle gear that He provides for us: Ephesians 6:10-18. Jesus does NOT send His family out to play, because salvation and Jesus sufferings are not a game. The Book of Ecclesiastes, especially tells us that life is too short and precious to waste on worldly things that distract us from what God wants for our lives. Throughout the Bible, God rarely uses the word "play" in a constructive manner. More frequently, He associates it with whoredom, fornication, and harlotry. By contrast, IF we want to have joy and peace with God Almighty, here and in the life to come, the LORD tells us to learn to rejoice in Him and in His ways. We shall not come to the end of our lives able to blame Him for where we end up, for, He tells us that WE are the ones who determine our eternal individual destinies of heaven, or hell. He's very specific that, when our present body is dead and gone, there is NEVER another chance for a 'do-over', nor for anyone to bail us out. May you allow God to help you to choose Him and His ways.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

EVERYONE Starts Life Knowing THE ONE True God

There are billions of people chasing millions of variations of philosophies and religions in our world, today, including some who claim to not believe in God. The potential combination of belief system conflicts among all those people's thoughts and beliefs are overwhelming, if not terrifying, to most people. Yet, instead of most people looking for God's singular standard by which to test and discern between what is True and what is false, most folks ignorantly or blindly cling to and follow the popular, worldly cover story that coexistence and pantheism are acceptable to God Almighty. They adhere to the ungodly self-justification that everyone everywhere is allowed by God to simply believe whatever they want, "follow their own heart", and "do their own thing". But, what does God Almighty say in His Word about all those religious and irreligious people who work so hard at their own brand of religion or non-religion? Does The One True God say that those people are seeking or denying the God of Creation?

Romans 1:16-3216  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;    
19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

That clarion passage, above, clearly shows that the world and people, in general, do not accept, want, or encourage godly repentance, but that they accept religions and beliefs of all sort, and 'by the truckload', so to speak. The world system foments and accepts a multiplicity of 'isms', and then pits them against each other, to keep people in conflict and to distract as many folks as possible from remembering the REAL God. Our own flesh, the world, and the devil all want to keep us from repenting and making our eternal peace with the One True God through His Christ and His only plan of salvation

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Stop Memorial Day Lip Service: Repent & Live

Throughout human history, each generation has established memorials to remember things that they deemed important lessons, hoping to remember persons or events that shaped their generation, or something earlier. Sometimes the memorial was for something good and constructive, but more often it has been to mark things that have had deadly impacts on people. There are always lessons to be learned, IF we will ourselves to search history. But, sadly, too often, we cater to our flesh above all other things, with few souls caring to look at the reasons for what we call Memorial Day, here in these United States of America. 

Ironically, many may angrily retort that they have performed their obligatory or voluntary moment of silence, or gone to a parade, or gorged themselves almost sick with food since they want to prove that they have the means and freedom to do so, or they may have drunk an inebriating amount of alcohol to salute fallen soldiers in whatever war they may or may not remember and ascribe to its correct century. Memorials call us to do more than simply drink, or eat, or get together, or say a prayer. 

Memorials call us to actively engage with life, that we emulate the good that was done, AND that we put down the evil that repeatedly finds new ways to raise its head, in our own lives, and in general. Memorials call us to engage daily with our fellow citizens to make sure that good continues to be done and that evil is not allowed among us... including all the things that God hates. Yes, in His great love, God hates sin and sinful behaviors, because sin hurts us, His creation, and our sin hurts our relationship with Him. A prayerful, thoughtful reading of God's Word can quickly show that there is a huge difference between how God views and experiences love and hate versus how the world and our flesh measure those. For God, love and hate are always pure and righteous decisions to act for good. For us, love and hate are mostly rollercoasters of emotional reaction, and seldom come close to what God wants us to understand. Even when memorials seem to have little to do with God, they can help us take stock of who and what we are. They can help us judge ourselves in truth to press on toward what we can become, if we abide in God's Word.

The Bible is a record of what God considers to be the most important facts of human history, including how He has repeatedly reached out to us to get our attention and how He has continually desired our repentance. All of that is a memorial that points us to our urgent need for a right relationship with Him. Without reading and understanding God's point of view of humanity (the Bible), it is impossible to correctly understand ourselves or human history. God closed the canon of Scripture with the Book of Revelation, where God curses anyone who adds to or takes away from what He has said. He didn't stop human history, but expects everyone to heed His Word and turn back to Him in repentance and faith in His only Savior; His only plan to save us from our sin. God says repeatedly throughout His Bible that there is no other way to get into a right relationship with Him than to acknowledge, accept, and cling to His Memorial of God's Salvation, which is Jesus Christ. Many have argued against what God says, but, let's explore the following embedded link and see what God's Word literally says about memorials (a word that is only used 32 times in 31 Bible verses, even though there are numerous passages throughout Scripture that demonstrate the memorialization of various events or people). 

According to most biblical examples, memorials should inspire us to want to get closer to the objectives that God sets before humanity, closer to Him, closer to a desire to look beyond our own fleshly desires and failures. Biblically, memorials should make us want to shun people, behaviors, and things that would draw us away from God. 

Let us all examine our memorializations of things and people, whether birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, monuments, awards, medals, naming things or towns or streets after people. Let us ask ourselves, "Who gets the glory?" Let us ask ourselves, "Does this bring me, or us, closer to or farther away from a sound biblical relationship with God and His Christ?" Let us ask ourselves whether our behaviors are simply indulging our flesh, or are we honoring the One True God, Jesus Christ, who created us and made us in His image and for His pleasure, that we should learn to be like Him, born again of His Holy Spirit and Word, hungering and thirsting after Him, not chasing our fleshly desires or worldly lusts. In this moment, right now, we need to care about eternal things, so that we gain eternal life and not assign ourselves to eternal death.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Male & Female Homosexuality, Earth Worship, Self-worship, Human Conflict: All Reject God

Romans 1:16-32 
16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;    
19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Am I Living The Life That God Wants For Me?

We had challenging and encouraging preaching at church, today, as usual. I was still hungry for more when I got home, so, I carefully selected the following sermons on YouTube. These were a tremendous encouragement to me. I hope you find them a blessing, also. (The captions on my tv kept misquoting what he was saying so I ignored the captions.)

Romans 7:14-25 - "The Battle Rages" - Pastor Matthew Johnson on YouTube: https://youtu.be/9a3m9Fbhjb8

Romans 7:14-25 - "The Victory is Ours" - Pastor Matthew Johnson on YouTube: https://youtu.be/CmmSq0EQtEw

How does one become a true believer in God, according to the Bible? (look here)

Why did God only pick Jesus Christ, as His one and only Savior? (look here)

How does God's Word use the word "repent"?

What does God say about "faith"?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Who Doesn't Want to Believe God and His Word?

The following passage was directed at unbelieving folks in the Old Testament, but is just as applicable today.

Acts 13:41
41  Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

Jesus rehearsed a similar warning to those around Him before He was sacrificially crucified, once, for our all of our sin, for all time. He did that for you and me, and every person, so that we can know 100% for sure that we are saved from the consequences of our sin, if we will but choose to repent of our sin, and accept Him and His sacrifice on our behalf.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Keep Wiggling Philosophy: From Slime to Eternity - NOT God's Way

Let us choose our thoughts, words, and actions carefully.

Let us be even more careful of what we accept or repeat from other people or institutions.

Decades ago, I wrote, "Be careful what is on the spoon, when someone else feeds you." That's especially true of spiritual matters. There is only one absolute standard by which to test all things: God's Word, the Bible. God says so.

By contrast, the popular "song and dance routine" seems to be, for most people in most cultures, to parrot that no one should trust what the Bible says, because they think God cannot keep His Word pure. The mantra continues that, human beings are supposedly capable of escaping or outgrowing our sin nature by natural means, eventually. The subscribers might call that anti-Christ, anti-God, philosophy something like, "Keep Wiggling: Religious Evolution From Slime to Eternity". BUT, their denials and escapist philosophies are NOT what God has said, NOT what God's Christ did, AND definitely NOT what the Almighty wants, or what He has commanded.

We cannot escape our sin nature on our own, but rather, as the centuries and millennia roll by, human cultures are sinking deeper into the abyss of our sin nature than Sodom, Gomorrah, or the ancient cultures ever buried themselves. Human cultures, today, have about as many false gods as there are individuals, because too many of us worship ourselves more than we seek God and His truth. Be aware of the "love not" of which God speaks. Be aware of what God says about things that are false.

Few people, today, want to read, study, and adhere to the Word of God, the Bible. By our very sin nature, we lead ourselves astray. In our own sin nature and flesh, we, too willingly, lead ourselves astray from God. We, also, all too gladly, allow the world and the devil to lead us toward destruction. Satan's first lie to humanity was his question, "Yea, hath God said...?", which was a very clever ploy to distract from the truth that God sets before us.

That same "Yea hath God said...?" lie is popularly and glibly chanted, today, as a mantra for all who refuse to believe or trust all of God's Word, even though He inspired it and oversaw it as it was written down. In their distrust of the Bible, they seek to establish their own truth and their own righteousness, trying to justify themselves before God, or in their denial of God, without repentance and faith that is mandated in God's plan of salvation. Beware of such, for their end is not with the redeemed people of God. Do not allow family, friends, religions, the world, nor your own heart, to deceive you about this matter, for God is adamant that He shall, and must, give a fitting reward to all those who reject His Promises.

Isaiah 29:13-15 
13  Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
14  Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
15  Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

Acts 13:37-41
37  But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
40  Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
41  Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

May God help you choose God's ONLY Savior, and His Ways.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Trust History, NOT Hysteria

With all due respect to the Offices of our Elected, Appointed, and Hired Officials in all levels of Local, State and Federal Government, within these United States of America, I present these facts for your honest consideration:

1.     Despite more than 100 years of adding anti-gun laws (ref: NY State Sullivan Act), hundreds and thousands of anti-gun laws, on the books of our Nation, have not stopped the sin-nature of people from attacking and killing each other with anything at hand, including bare hands.

2.     FBI data has shown that, for every act of gun related violence there are three times as many violent crimes (against persons) that are committed without any firearm.

3.     IF one studies violence around the world and the USA, our nation does NOT have the highest per capita gun violence rate, and is far from it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pELwCqz2JfE.

4.     IF one reads the thorough research done for Lott’s book, “More Guns, Less Crime”, one discovers that, in locales where there is a higher proportion of unrestricted ownership of firearms, by law-abiding citizens, including weapons of the owners’ choice, there are correspondingly lower violent crime rates against persons.

5.     Over 100 years of accumulated anti-gun laws do NOT call for the passage of more anti-gun laws: guns are NOT the problem; our sin nature is the problem. Law exposes guilt and wrong motivations, but, as the Bible has proven for eons, while Law exposes and condemns sin, Law doesn’t stop sin, nor does Law change people's sin nature. Only repentance toward God can do the latter.

6.     Ignorance of God's Word, ignorance of human nature, ignorance of history, and ignorance of responsible research, coupled with fear, moral corruption, and political convenience, are the biggest drivers of the anti-gun fever in the USA, and abroad. When looking at the history of the rise and fall of dictators, history clearly shows that power-hungry people seldom want their subjects to keep and bear arms for responsible self-defense based on one's spiritual and personal conscience.

7.     The historical rise and fall of cultures and persons of power show that there is no police force or army, in this world, big enough to stop people’s sin and violence against each other. Just take an honest look at all the butchery that takes place around the world, with and without guns, no matter how many despotic anti-firearm regulations are dictated or enacted.

8.    Honest historical research shows that laws do not stop people from sinning violently against each other, whether with or without firearms. High density, U.S. locales with THE MOST stringent anti-gun laws (e.g. Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., including other U.S. locales with highly restrictive anti-gun laws) alternatingly bear the title of highest per capita anti-personnel gun violence (despite all the stringent anti-gun laws in those communities). Similar violence, and worse, is true in other anti-gun countries, because law-abiding citizens are NOT ‘allowed’ to own guns, much less defend themselves with firearms. Yet, gun murders proliferate widely in those restrictive environments. Why? Because, when law abiding citizens are not allowed to own the means to attempt to defend themselves, only the outlaws have weapons. That means that everyone in that environment is a potential target and victim, EXCEPT for the criminals who illegally own weapons.

9.     Only a strong internalized personal spiritual or moral "compass" can stop people from attacking and killing each other. Without that internal "compass" our sin nature will usually choose what is pleasing, satisfying, or fulfilling our sinful fantasies, and there are not enough police or prison cells to lock up and guard everyone who is a sinner by nature... because we are all sinners. Therefore, in recognition of the inability of Law to stop people from killing each other, as our Constitution recognizes, I most strenuously urge you to carefully weigh all existing and upcoming legislation, including weapons related proposals, and that you throw out everything that goes against God's Word and against our U.S. Constitution.

10.  In spite of public, political, personal, or media hype, fear, ignorance, or paranoia, ONLY a person's motives and usage of any given weapon are the REAL issue. There is no firearms problem, because we cannot rationally blame inanimate objects. It is NOT a problem of who has made a weapon or what kind of weapon was made. There is no rational reason to infringe on invention or legitimate commerce among law-abiding citizens or businesses so long as our Constitution and Bill of Rights have not been violated. Responsible invention, labor, and commerce are appropriate human conduct, whether the product be ice cream, automobiles, printing presses, the internet, or firearms (just as Colt, Winchester, Ruger, Ford, Baskin-Robbins, and many other inventors started their businesses). It is neither responsible nor sane to blame inanimate objects instead of holding end users and their motives accountable and responsible for their sinful and criminal actions. People need to stop blaming objects for sin, instead of holding abusers responsible for their personal choices and actions. Sadly, those who blame objects for human sin wallow in their hypocrisy because they do not demonstrate an equally hostile attitude or behavior toward all inanimate things that people use to inflict suffering and death upon each other. IF those who blame inanimate objects for human sin were to turn from their hypocrisy and make themselves credible, then the rest of us should see them level equally zealous blame and a horrific cry for bans and the cutting off the use of all the hands, automobiles, and computers that have been used in millions of injuries and deaths (and ID thefts) that have occurred as the result of people abusing their hands, automobiles, and computers. Why do such hypocrites insist on holding firearms responsible, but never cry for computers or phones to be held responsible? It is the sinner and her/his choice of action that must be held accountable, not the object in her/his hand.

11.  We cannot rationally blame the style of any weapon, any more than we can blame the weapon itself for the actions of the person wielding it. So-called "bump stocks" are the hot topic with anti-gunners these days, but all a user need do is adjust one's hand hold to effect the same kind of result. Just because shooters do not need any special gizmo on their gun to get a "bump stock" effect, shall we mandate to cut off every citizens’ thumbs in fear of what they might do with those thumbs? That way we could easily tell who wasn't going to be a "bump stock" threat to us and we could all go back to our sinful pleasures and blindness, covering our own comfortable sins and excusing the sins of those we didn't want to offend. The lies and false hopes of the anti-gun crowd deny our need for a deeper moral and spiritual self-examination and definitely a HUGE amount of repentance before God and His Christ.

12.  Our State and Federal Constitutions guarantee the rights of law-abiding citizens to possess and carry arms, as we responsibly choose (as the U.S. Supreme Court's Dred Scott Decision cited, even though that SCOTUS decision violated that man’s other human rights).

Thank you for your time and consideration.

"Ever Learning, and Never Able to Come to the Knowledge of the Truth"

2 Timothy 3:1-7

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Dear friend,
No one can religiously satisfy God for us, nor can we satisfy Him ourselves. But, God has already made "the way of escape": each and every one of us must personally acknowledge and repent of our sin, personally receive God's Christ, and personally be born again of the Spirit of Christ by faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ, lest we force ourselves to neglect the only salvation that God offers to humanity, lest we personally neglect God's Way and thereby, by default, personally choose to perish eternally. Please choose God's way in His Christ. Don't choose damnation. He gives us no other options, now, and for eternity.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Amazing Acts of God's Holy Spirit

According to the Bible, most of the world has no clue about who God really is and how God really works (especially note verse 14 in that link). In that assessment, God includes some very religious people and folks from all walks of life.

By contrast, if you want to see, scripturally, how amazingly God works in and through the lives of those who have accepted God's Christ (or shall yet choose Him), may I suggest reading Acts 7:1 through Acts 9:31, where you'll see the trial, confession, and stoning of Stephen, and the persecution of biblical Christians by the zealous Saul, who witnessed Stephen's testimony and death. Later, Saul would be called by the risen Christ to repent and serve Jesus in truth, in repentance and faith becoming Paul, an apostle, instead of continuing to live in religious error and missing God's goal for Saul/Paul's life.

The above passages lead to two huge questions that the world, the devil, and our own flesh want us to avoid facing:
2) How can I be assured of God's only plan of salvation?

IF we really want and seek God's truth, God's Holy Spirit can and will guide us to accept God's truth in God's biblical answers, for those always lead us to the eternal choice of whether we are willing to accept and receive the living Christ of God and His salvation.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Passover-Easter Plea: God's Love Overcomes Sin, BUT, Only By Blood

I wish each of you the best that God has to offer. This is a beautiful world that God has given us to temporarily enjoy, yet, as almost any news broadcast shows from around the world, our lives are troubled greatly by human sin. But, despite all the awful things that people do to one another, we have much for which to be thankful, so, may all praise and glory be unto God for all His provision to us, through His Messiah, His Christ.

This is the Passover-Easter season (over 3,500 years old), steeped in rich history, prophecy, and great fulfillments. A thorough reading of history and the Bible shows us that, above all, from the first sin of Adam and Eve to the sufferings, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has provided a trail of blood dealing with human sin. That bloody trail cannot be discounted unless one deliberately or ignorantly fights against the evidence that God has provided, and one turns one's back on that evidence. The trail of blood initially covered the sins of those who believed God's promises. But, in the blood of Jesus Christ, the sins of everyone in the world is washed away IF and only IF we personally and deliberately repent of our sin and then receive God's Christ/Messiah as our Savior by faith. John the baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

By and since the shedding of the blood of God's Christ (God's perfect sacrifice for sin), there is no more payment or blood that can be offered to pay for anyone's sin, for to sacrifice anything else for sin, or to try to sacrifice Christ again, insults the one pure and holy offering that Jesus already made in His own sinless blood.

We live our temporal lives, like the changing seasons, but, this earthly life isn’t forever. For what, then, are we really preparing? What are we doing with our fleeting time, since this earthly life must end one day? Are we pleasing God or just ourselves? The answer lies within the riches of God's Holy Bible, if we will but humble ourselves before God, asking His Holy Spirit to teach us, from His Bible, what we need to know to get saved and live in Him, with Him, and for Him, now and forever.

I offer this as a spiritual exploration, for I am but a sinner saved (March 15, 1984) by faith alone in God’s mercy in Christ, as you already may be, or surely can be, according to His exclusive promises in His Word (the Bible). IF you profess to know Him as Savior, please accept this as an invitation to godly self-examination and restoration unto God, and that we might have peace with all who choose Christ according to His Word. May this truly be a time of holy remembrance, repentance, and joyous salvation, as God desires.

I, also, urgently, write this to those who reject Christ or His Bible, for they have declared their intent before God, effectively pretending themselves to be their own god or judge. Also, I, pleadingly, write this to those who cling to religion or religiosity, whose formalisms (in their departure from the Bible) have led them into error, as they think that they have already attained some optional formula to placate God’s requirements for dealing with their sin. These latter have said, “I’m all set.”, effectively blindly transforming their religion into their god and themselves to be their own eternal judge.

Many souls among us, in this world, also name the name of Jesus Christ and God with zeal or distant yearning. Therefore, I write this for the encouragement and edification of all who would read this, with the intent that each one might trust, believe, learn, and grow in faith, believing on and trusting in the only living Christ of God, as God proclaims in the Bible. I offer this to those who wonder about and seek God’s salvation. I offer this to those who have yet to choose Jesus, alone, as well as to those who claim Him according to the Bible and freely confess Him as Savior, without apology or fear before mankind, seeking to live in Him daily, in all fullness of His Holy Spirit and in accord with His Word.

Those who already accept and trust God’s Word, also know that the lost souls of this world have no part in Christ Jesus nor in His salvation, until they deliberately and personally turn to Him in repentance and faith, as Jesus said…, even as God requires of us.

I bless God Almighty and His Creator, Christ Jesus, that this Spring season is slowly coming upon us: a time that most of us rejoice in the passing of winter’s clutch (goodbye, snow removal); a time of anticipation of new life springing up (whether we enjoy getting our fingers in the dirt as farmers or gardeners, or not).

At this season, some, among us, celebrate by communing in the remembrance of the pure life, atoning blood, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate that He chose to endure our punishment for sin, instead forcing us to bear it in the lake of fire forever for ourselves, as we deserve. In His eternal love, Christ Jesus did that to set us free from the bonds of sin, to enable us to serve Him in truth. May God help us to not forget that He came to set us free, and that He did NOT come to preach, establish, or teach the practice of religion, or religiosity, but rather that believers should walk by faith with Him, testing all things by the Bible.

God wants us to flee away from sin and to choose Him, flee to Him for salvation and a new life; to be born again in repentance (from sin) and faith in Jesus, in order to love, serve, and abide in Him. Fundamental to repentance is the idea that God wants us to agree with Him about what sin is. And, He says that those who fail to agree with God and His Word about the nature of sin, deny themselves the gift of His salvation because theyhave sought to deny or hide their own sin. God wants us to turn away from sin and the world (repentance) to live His way in Christ, not according to our own definition of righteousness.

If we are Christians (by biblical definition), and not just calling ourselves that for religious reasons, we need to celebrate the living Christ of Passover and Easter, by open and unashamed discussion of who He is and what He has accomplished for us, with mutual appreciation of His perfect selflessness, and holy joy in His resurrection. It is time for us to make Jesus known as THE focus of this season, and for our conversations to be fruitful before God. So make these days, and every day, days of holy remembrance and godly action. Otherwise, how can God truly be honored or smile on us if we treat the name and sacrifice of His only begotten son as a by-word instead of as "the main event", especially on a day when we say we gather in His name to celebrate His power and victory over death? God alone knows each of our hearts and our motives. Therefore, may God help us to put aside our flesh and to think on Christ fully and tenderly, even as these days of remembrance demand of us. IF we find the exploration of God’s Word and our dependence on Him to be burdensome, let us be wary of our natural inclinations.

The world offers all sorts of distractions that cater to our flesh, as it tries to keep our eyes, hearts, and minds off of what God wants for our lives. I, too, am guilty of chasing earthly appetites and distractions. Each of those, I must freely confess to Christ, my Creator, the Almighty, seeking His Spirit's help that I may be less worldly and more focused on my Savior, Christ Jesus. We can boldly plead with God for mercy about such things (IF we really repent), because, Jesus came to set us all free from sin and the world; free to choose God and God’s ways.

In His holy love for us, Christ paid a terrible price during the beatings and crucifixion of Him, to accomplish God’s only plan of salvation for us. He did that, because, as sinners by nature, we are incapable of saving ourselves, AND because only Jesus' sinless blood could satisfy God's wrath against sin, forever. Because of that salvation that Christ offers us, we do not have to live like the world lives, in sin. IF we have truly believed on Christ and scripturally received His gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, then we are eternally secure, in Him alone. Yet, when we drop our guard and force ourselves to succumb to earthly temptations, we still need to repent of our new sins, but, His salvation sustains us.

In God’s call to each of us, He wants us to learn what the self-sacrificing (agape) love of Christ really is, according to His Word, not by worldly standards or definitions, and surely not by feelings, for God tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?”). God loves us in Truth, as unconditionally offered in His plan of salvation, because He made us in His image. But, though that agape love gained for us God's salvation, let us not be ignorant or forget that He hates our sin, for it was our very sin that provoked Jesus to volunteer to die to save us from our own sin nature.

All the cruelty and murder that was heaped on Jesus was to all the shedding of His holy blood because of and to specifically pay for my sin and yours, and He bore every one of our sins on the Cross. Even though we had not yet been born, He knew all of our sin that was to come, and yet shall be, in our lives. He knew that we could not save ourselves from our own sin. His sacrifice for us is not something of which any Christian should be ashamed. Nor should we be ashamed of our desperate need to depend on Christ for His perfect, and only, salvation.

What, but earthly, fleshly sin, motivates us to haul out the ‘easter bunny’ false god, so that we don’t insist on teaching our children that the only reason for this Holy Day is that the Messiah, the Christ of God, Jesus, died for our own sin? Surely, God's love and our godly love, both, demand (Ezekiel 33) that we warn others (including our children) of His truth about sin and idolatry. In this Holy Day of remembering the sufferings and death of our Savior, we should rejoice in His resurrection AND be soberly, lovingly fearful of insulting the sacrifice of our risen Savior, because He, alone, gave His own life on our behalf. Our children need to know the whole living truth that God sets before us, lest they die in their sins, thinking that Passover-Easter is 'just some religious thing', or for their entertainment or personal gain. God has set all real Christians, adult or child, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings, as watchmen to proclaim God's Word, faith, and His biblical ordinances. If we fail to do as He says in Ezekiel 33, the blood of those in the lake of fire is on our hands.

God did not send us, Christians, into the world in pajamas to pursue our own appetites at our own leisure, but He sends us out in full battle gear, even as He promises to be our rear guard to watch our backs. Therefore, we need to challenge ourselves to remember that God says that He doesn’t accept anyone or anything else interceding for our sin, and that He demands that we address our sin, personally, with Him.

Furthermore, God defines idols and false gods as anything that we allow to lead us away from worshipping and obeying Him. Though I openly reject the idolatrous pagan mockeries of Christ, that are called Easter bunnies and Santa Claus, yet, that doesn’t necessarily make me a ‘good Christian’. For, whenever I fail my Savior by lusting after or indulging in anything that causes me to neglect my Christian duty to God (according to His Word and Holy Spirit), then I make myself into an idolater, worshipping that which I have allowed to distract me from God’s Word and His ways. My idolatry breaks my fellowship with God and is not good for me, nor for those around me. Therefore, in this Christian war within ourselves, between our flesh and spirit, whatever idols or false gods I make or entertain, I need to repent, to be at peace with my Savior, the one true God.

In contrast to God’s view, our flesh and the world love the pursuit of sinful things. Who can't see or understand that? Our own flesh and the world love sin so much that they hate it when someone exposes our sin, or theirs, or our, respective, philosophical or religious hypocrisies. Because we are sinners by nature, and in our daily actions, we prove ourselves to be hypocrites, to one degree or other, but we still need to accept God’s challenge that we need an attitude and behavior turnaround, especially IF we call ourselves “Christian”. God says that there is an eternal gap between what God loves and what the world loves. (This Bible link may shock some, but this is truly a holy beacon to us all. May we test ourselves by it.)

From the beginning of humanity, God has challenged people to prove whether the kind of love we choose is bringing us closer to God or closer to the world, for God’s love will lead us to cherish, honor, and obey Christ more, leading us away from sin and the world’s influences. However, even the most earnest worldly love will lead us to follow, protect, and engage in more worldly and fleshly things. Jesus said, “…where you treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If my spirit, heart, and mind are not filled with the things that God says that He wants in my life, then I shall be filled with the things of the flesh and the world.

No matter how seemingly innocent the person, activity, or trinket, if that thing, person, or event leads me away from God’s Christ, away from honoring God, away from God’s Word and His ways, then I shall have sinned by my actions, feelings, or attitudes, having allowed myself, even forced myself, to be distracted away from the goal that God set for me in Jesus Christ. Let us not forget that we have been warned about putting stumblingblocks in the paths of others, especially misleading or abusing children. God wants children to be taught about Him, His Word, and His Christ, not about things that would become excuses for children to push God away.

I speak boldly about these things because God is adamant about them. I’ve been called names by some, reviled by others, and even threatened, because I insist on clinging to God’s Word and His ways. I rejoice in such anger and mockery, etc., knowing that Jesus bore far worse, and that He took it all to His cross, including all my own selfish, spiteful sins. As our world deteriorates morally and spiritually, there may be far more severe tests for Christians until Christ catches away His church body. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Real (biblical) Christianity is not a religion, nor a sect, nor a denomination, but life itself, in Jesus Christ. 

Christ and God’s Word assure us that, for all who will choose to live godly (and I know that I fall way short), there are many times that we shall be attacked for our insistent adherence to our scriptural faith, as we strive to obey Jesus and warn others of the judgment to come. Therefore, I caution all Christians to take heed, as the apostle, Peter, warns Christians: there are worldly people who say it is strange when Christians try to live as Jesus commanded us to do. Peter cautions that the world will even speak evil of Christians who don’t follow the world’s acts and teachings. Even Jesus said that He sends His followers out into the world as “lambs among wolves”.

God has made one eternal peace offering for all of us. There is no other way. IF we choose to accept and abide in it, then we have eternal life. It is secure in God’s hands, but let us not abuse God’s good will toward us. Our redemption is not a call to pick and choose our favorite sin of the week or the year. God’s redemption is not about religion, not about learning to be religious, not about arguments, not about feelings or “being nice”, not about ‘getting along’ while ignoring sin, and surely, not about secular or humanistic philosophies or preferences. Jesus Himself said those things are an abomination to God.

Please bear with my impertinence, as I ask that you read and carefully weigh God’s call to all of us, even as the angel announced at the birth of God’s Christ:

Luke 2:8-20
8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

God’s salvation is available to everyone, but, only on His terms. God’s salvation cannot be bought, sold, earned, or lost. Any willing soul can accept God’s terms and receive God’s gift in Christ. If there are any who would doubt or reject God’s assertions, I encourage and even challenge them to humble themselves to read the Bible from cover to cover asking God to reveal His truth to them. What would that cost, but relinquishing a little pride?

I had to learn salvation's precious lesson the hard way, through many 'hard knocks', until I, finally, humbled myself to read the Bible for myself. Only then was I able to see my sin nature exposed, as I read Exodus, and saw my own rebellious selfishness exposed for the sin that it is. Thank God that I repented and received God’s Christ.

For those who reject that challenge, I urge you to, at least, read the Bible’s books of John and Romans, that the essence and vitality of God’s eternal peace offering might catch your attention and pique your spiritual thirst and hunger, that you might allow Jesus Christ to put away your sin forever, as He has promised in response to your repentance. Digest this Passover-Easter message and challenge and you will have truly partaken of the eternal meal and message in which God wants us to share and live with Him and one another. For, the Word of God, His salvation, and His working through believers, are truly godly meat, drink, and nourishment indeed.

In Jesus’ love,