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:

Romans 7:14-25 - "The Victory is Ours" - Pastor Matthew Johnson on YouTube:

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:

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.