Monday, March 31, 2008

Another reason why we do not follow a Man! We follow Christ Jesus!

John was just a man, nothing more than a mere man who was used by God to do a great thing for His glory! He was sent, commissioned, called by God to point the way to the Light. He was pointing the way to the Savior of the world. What happens when we follow the wrong man?

I have come under attack for not following the lead of other people who do not believe the Bible to be without errors. I have been accused of basically being arrogant for "knowing" what the Bible says about certain things. So, unless I allow people to tell me what they "believe" to be true, I am a hypocrite, I am a person who thinks himself to be equal with God, all in the name of knowing what the Bible says about certain things. A person who has discernment is guilty of being unloving because he does not accept their false teachings.

"I understand, Brian.
People at the RBP (Regular Baptist Press) did the same thing to me once.It won't happen again.I am glad that you are so very correct. Other followers of Jesus seem to be able to accept correction and realize their need for growth.You do not think you need to grow.You think you have arrived and you need to place yourself in the 'Saviour' position.He might want His chair back sometime.When He comes for it, it might be wise to give it back.He will forgive.I will disavow any further things you say I wrote.And will check up on you.Even though you are to love your enemies, you are to be wise as a fox and harmless as a dove.Be careful that you don't get caught in your own snares, my friend.You are not above God's grace.No one is."

The above is an email I received from one of my trolls. Here is where his thinking is wrong. He is a person who does not believe the Bible to be without error. So when I tell him what the Bible says about something, he considers it to be wrong. Of course, when you get to pick and choose which verses are true and which ones are false, then you can make a claim that all people should listen to you. Unfortunately the person who wrote the email to me, does not seem to understand that it is possible to know what the Bible says about Salvation. Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you. Repent of your sins, be obedient to His Word. It is very simple and yet it is so hard for some people to do it. They want to say that all people will be saved. They want to say that the bible is untrustworthy as being inerrant. So just because someone can know what the Bible says, it does not mean they have put themselves in the position of Savior of the World. It just means that God has given them discernement to recognize the truth. Why do you suppose so many Mormons do not know the Truth. They have no discernment. They cannot see the truth that is right in front of them. Until they put away their trust and faith in Joseph Smith, they will not come to see the light.

Does a man who has false teachings deserve to be listened to? Not if you want to remain pure to God's Word. It can be a dangerous thing to take in false teachings and adopt it to your beliefs all for the sake of not offending the person. I am sorry, but I find it very offensive when people come to my site and cannot back up their argument with Scripture, and use it biblically. This man has accused me of putting myself in the position of Savior all because I do not accept his and some others false teachings. They have seen Scripture and are blind to it. They have heard the truth of God's HOLY WORD and are deaf to it. He mentions to be wise as a fox. That is what I am doing when it comes to accepting false teachings. I have heard others say that I think I "know it all" and yet, when I explain that I know enough about the bible to know that God hates sin, it offends them. They want the right to continue living in their sins.

Look at the example of the movie clip of what following a Mormon man did to all those people in Utah? Is a person to be considered equal to God for knowing that mormonism is false teaching? Is a person considered equal to God for knowing that Jehovah Witnesses is also a cult? The argument lacks substance. There must be discernment for all Christians. When attacks come out to literally doing nothing more than name-calling, it shows a lack of judgment and discernment to the Truth.

As you watched the video clip, try to remember the consequences of following after the advice of man as opposed to following after Jesus and His WORD.

Jesus said, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
There will be in that day people who will say, Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesize in your name and cast out demons in your name and didn't we walk in the streets with you. And Jesus will say to them, Depart from me you worker of iniquity. I never knew you.
iniquity = lawlessness

We are to be obedient to God's Holy Word, We are to repent of our sins and we are to put our trust and faith completely in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Word found in the Bible is ALL True! Don't ever ever ever let a man (or woman) tell you differently!

Prosperity Gospel

I originally found this link over at the reformedgadfly. Please take time to watch this video. If you are a supporter of the Prosperity Gospel as found on TBN and other christian stations, I ask you to consider what this man is saying in the video. A key quote is this:

"if what you are preaching cannot be preached to EVERY person in the world, then it is not the true gospel!" (not an exact quote but it is close to it!)

Thanks for the link Tim!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Discern between Biblical Grace and a False Grace!

Biblical Grace -- What Is It?

What Happens When Lost Men and Women Find Salvation Through God's Grace?

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Ephes. 2:8 Throughout the Scriptures there is one fact that can easily be recognized: Man cannot save himself! The human race willfully chooses to continue in sin and rebellion (Rom 3:10), and every person has sinned grievously against God (Rom 3:23)!

Every sinner is destined to spend eternity under the just punishment of a holy God, burning in an eternal abyss where mercy and forgiveness will never again be available (Rev 20:15). Man's only hope is the atonement of Jesus Christ which was procured upon the cross of Calvary! In God's great love and mercy He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer for the sins of the unjust (1 Pet 3:18). In that redemption God's grace was clearly manifest (1 John 4:9). Oh, worthy is the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of the world! We are saved by grace and grace alone. But what does this mean for the man who receives the grace of God by faith? What will the grace of God produce in a man or woman's life? How do I know whether or not I have received the grace of God?

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17
Many people are confused concerning the subjects of law and grace. Some church-goers label any doctrine that requires morality a "gospel of law." We must understand what the Bible says about the differences between law and grace. Some would have us believe that the law of God is completely irrelevant in this age. Is the law of God without value in this dispensation of grace? How does grace transcend the law of God?
The law was given by God in addition to the promises "because of transgressions" (Gal 3:19).
It was designed to regulate conduct, to define sin (Rom 3:20),
to show Israel their inherent tendency to violate God's will and to do evil (Rom 5:20),
and to awaken their sense of need for God's mercy and redemption (Rom 7).
The Son of God came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it (Matt 5:17).
In fact, Jesus said that not one letter of the law would pass away until all things are fulfilled! Why is this so? What and who is the law for today?

The answer to these questions is simple; the law is unchanging and its function is the same today as it has always been: to lead sinful mankind to the blood stained cross of Jesus Christ! Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine... 1 Tim. 1:9-10

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator....Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:19, 24
The purpose of the law is to show men and women their need for the grace that God offers through Jesus Christ.
The law can save no one (Rom 3:20).
Neither can the law make anyone holy (Gal 2:21).
The law is a spiritual mirror whereby the sinner sees his gross need for God's mercy.

Next, look at what the Bible says about the grace of God and its purpose. Remember that the root problem with mankind is SIN. Sinners are estranged from their Creator because He is holy and they are unholy (Isa 59:2).
The mission of Jesus Christ was to eradicate sin. He was manifest to destroy the works of Satan (1 John 3:8),
save His people from their sins (Matt 1:21),
and make man free from the bondage of sin (Luke 4:18; John 8:32, 36).
Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on a Roman cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven to restore our fellowship with God. His death on the cross destroyed the breach between God and man for those who obey the gospel. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross... Col. 2:13-14

The law plays an important role in bringing people to the place of true, godly repentance (Ps 19:7).
When someone repents of their sins (turns away from all that the Bible calls evil), believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, and trusts Him for salvation, then God extends His full grace to that person. It is that manifold grace which touches the sinners heart, brings about the new birth (John 3:3),
forgives him of his sins past (Rom 3:25),
and delivers him from this present evil age (Gal. 1:4)!
The true grace of God radically transforms the hearts of men; there is no doubt when someone has been a partaker of His grace!

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ... Titus 2:11-13

Here in this New Testament passage, the attributes of grace are clearly defined. This definition contradicts what modern teachers proclaim.

The Bible declares that a true believer is being constantly taught to deny ungodliness (wickedness) and worldly lusts (the fashionable trends of this present evil age) and to live soberly (moderately), righteously (just), and godly (holy), in this present world (now, today, before heaven).

Why is it that so many church-goers profess to be partakers of God's grace, yet their lives are unchanged? Many are brazen in defense of their worldly, shameful, and sinful testimonies! Dear friend, don't be deceived. GRACE TEACHES MEN TO SAY NO TO SIN AND YES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS...thus saith the Word! How wonderful is the true grace of God!

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4

How does the grace of Jesus Christ transcend the law? The grace of Jesus Christ frees the believer from sin! Jesus Christ makes His people free from sin (Matt 1:21)!
Under the law, the sinner sees his sin, and struggles against it, but he has no power to overcome; he sinks deeper and deeper into despair. In his desperation he cries out to God in repentance, humbly surrendering to His will.

Then, he is united with Jesus Christ and receives the grace of God. He still recognizes what sin is, but now he has power to overcome (Rom 6:14),
and the devil is put to flight (James 4:7).
Oh, what a marvelous difference it is! "What the law tried to do by a restraining power from without, the Gospel does by an inspiring power from within!" Catherine Booth (Co-Founder of the Salvation Army)

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 1 John 5:4, 18

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 1 John 3:6-7

What a great and marvelous salvation! May we never take for granted the grace of God which is offered through the blood of Christ!

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 4
The Bible warns that there are false teachers who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness (fleshly indulgence). They convince multitudes that the grace of God allows mankind to live in rebellion to God's commandments. They define grace as "unmerited favor;" therefore, there is no need to be concerned with lifestyles..."after all, we're just forgiven sinners!" Oh, what lies are being preached today! It is indeed possible that a Christian may sin (1 John 2:1),
but repentance will soon follow and he will continue in his life of holiness! The normal Christian life is free from sin and rebellion.

Dear friend, don't let the empty words of false teachers deceive you. Search the Scriptures and open your heart to the Holy Ghost! Humbly bow before the cross of Christ and cry out for the true grace of God which will save you from your sins!

(special thanks go out to:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Mii Generation! Audio sermon included!

When I was a kid, the way we used to spend our time was to play pool down in the basement. (right click to open in new window to listen while you read along!) My dad had gotten some wood and laid it on top of the table and we were then able to play ping-pong. We owned some metal skates (the kind you strapped on over your tennis shoes!) and we would skate around the pool table. Outside we would set up the croquet game, or play catch with a baseball or football. I would ride my bike all over town or we would play "chalk the corners" and try to find each other. We owned a black and white TV set that had actual tubes in the back of it that we had to take out once in a while. We would drive down to Walgreen's and put the tube in the tester to see if it was bad or not. We had neighborhood hide-and-seek games each weekend and would have 30 kids playing!

Our black and white tv became current when we purchased a sheet of colored plastic. You would tape it to the top of the TV and it would roll down over the front of the Tv. At the top third of the plastic sheet it was blue, the middle third was yellow, and the bottom third was green. by doing this it gave the impression of having a color tv set with blue skies, yellow faces and green grass! It was awesome! Life was simple back then! (60's!)

Then in the 70's technology finally came into play.

We purchased a game called pong! It was the size of a computer monitor (not the flatscreen kinds) (see the above picture of what the screen looked like!) All it had was two knobs, one on each side. You would turn it and it would cause your "paddle" to move up or down. The ball was just a light on the end of a long stick that went back and forth from one side to the other. We thought this was a great game!

Next came a system called Odyssey. Wow, this was awesome!! It came with a typewriter that you could use in the games!! This was unheard of back then! We are talking about the 70's now!

We would play baseball on TV for hours at a time! You could bat, pitch, and field, and run the bases. The player would move to where the ball was and you would hit a button and all of a sudden the ball was on its way to a given base. No arm motion, just magically was thrown!

After spending hours playing this, we were too tired to go outside and play. in fact, all pool playing, all ping-pong playing, all skating, all hide-and-seek playing, all bike riding had come to an end! the video games had taken over. They were mostly sports games and some skill games. Nothing over the board as far as being gory or sexual.

Now, we have turned into the Wii generation. Or should I say the Mii generation? Children today are so preoccupied with playing video games that they have no idea how to create their own fun outside in the real world. The games are also so realistic that they include murder and even sex acts (supposedly for the mature audience, but it is amazing how many children get their hands on these games, and even more amazingly how many parents buy them for their children!)

What will it take for change to happen? The graphics are so realistic today that kids play the games as if they are actually there playing the game. Unfortunately, not all kids are able to discern between what is real and what isn't. The graphic violence along with the blood is a disturbing scene. The graphic sex that is on display is immoral and no one seems to have a problem with it. The children of today have become spoiled by getting whatever they want and whenever they want it. They cry if they don't have the most recent game (never mind the fact that most games cost the same as one month's house rent in some places!)

The TV has become a baby sitter for the kids. What is sacrificed as a result of this?

Time spent with the family. Kids eye's have become glued to the TV set as they play their games. They have headphones and microphones so they can talk to people all over the world while they play. And the parents have no idea what is going on. The kids are not learning how to do things for others, they are only learning how to desire things for themselves.

It has become a Mii generation. (pronounced "me" as in the video game system "Wii")

The same generation that grew up on nothing but video games is now into adulthood. They are out to make sure they are satisfied at work, at home and even in church. It is all about having a church service that says, "I want church my way or no way at all." It is about providing for the pleasure aspect instead of what is truly needed. A good strong message of what the Word of God says. Kid's today don't want to hear it. Why? Because they have fallen for the trap that they can get whatever they want and there are no consequences.

My grandfather was born in 1899.

Think of the changes he saw in his lifetime.

Cars, trains, planes, Apollo trips to the moon, The Great Depression, the Industrial Revolution, a couple of World Wars, television, radio, electronics, and finally "church!"

Just as my generation has changed drastically so did his. I was involved in the very early parts of the electronics boom. My grandfather was involved in the very early parts of the Soft Gospel era. It used to be that all of the churches would preach about hell, sin, repentance and God's grace. But something happened along about the beginning of the century. Hell, sin and repentance were replaced with a soft gospel which was nothing more than "God loves you." Now back in his day, there were still churches around who were preaching the whole gospel message but they started to die out. Something happened that caused the change. I often wonder what caused it to change.

Think about it. My grandfather was born in 1899. That means his dad was born roughly around 1875, and his grandfather was born in the 1850's. What happened to those people who were born back then? For one thing the Civil War took place from 1861-1865. President Lincoln was assassinated. Can you imagine what the "tone" of the country was like back then? Can you imagine what kind of friction there had to have been between the north and the south? Even after the war was over! Even for people who were born in the 1870's, they still had to have seen and heard quite a lot of harsh feelings between the two sides. By the time the turn of the century came, my grandfather's grandfather and dad would have been about 50 and 25 years of age. That would be the ideal age to incorporate change in America.

I could be completely wrong about this, it is pure speculation on my part, but I wonder...

Could the anger that was present within our country have been a reason for the Gospel message of Love to have replaced the Gospel message of God's Law and Judgment?

Just as my grandfather most likely saw the beginnings of the gospel of Grace only, my parents were entrenched with about 75% grace and about 25% Law. By the time I came around (I would like to say, 1960, but it was actually 1959!), I had seen 100% grace being taught in church. I heard nothing about the Law, sin and the need to repent of sins. Imagine what it is like when my son (who is now 24 yrs of age) is ready to take over a church. There are now people as youth pastor's who preach only grace AND they provide entertainment (because that is what they grew up with, via the atari, sega, playstation era!).

What will it be like when my grandson (3 yr old) reaches adulthood? What kind of entertainment will he demand to see in church?

Are we now seeing the end results of that decision to change? Just as the youngsters now days, are being exposed to sex, lust, murder on a daily basis, how will that affect their children years from now? I have to wonder what the end results will be with preaching only a gospel of love when so many people are in need of knowing that if they continue in their sin-filled ways, they will perish and go to Hell. The churches need to not only return to the early 1800's in the way they preach God's Word, they need to go all the way back to the Acts Churches! Let's get back to being biblical.

Let's take a look at exactly how Jesus dealt with people. Let's take a look at exactly how Paul dealt with people in presenting the gospel message. To find out how they did it, let's look in the Bible.

John 4:7-26

7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” Jesus starts out in the natural realm, something this woman would be familiar with. 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Jesus has now turned to the spiritual realm by starting to explain to the woman who He is. 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. [2] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus is talking about eternal life. 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” The woman did not understand what Jesus was saying.
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” Jesus has used the Law to show this woman that she is an adulterer. 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” He again, has proclaimed himself as the Christ who was to come. He tells her how a true follower is suppose to follow God, in spirit and in truth! (many people worship in spirit, but not in truth)

Mark 10:17-23
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Wouldn't you love to have someone come up to you and ask you this question?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. Did Jesus offer him grace? No, He immediately went into God's Law, the Ten Commandments! And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. (which was obviously a lie, since no one has kept the Ten Commandments!)
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Now He didn't tell the man to repent of his sins, why? Because the man claimed to have no sins. Instead, Jesus went to the heart of the matter. He loved him and at the same time, he told the man what he needed to do, He told the rich man what he lacked! And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! Did you notice that Jesus did not go chasing after the rich man? How many times do we feel we must get the person to make a decision for Christ? No, we give them God's Word and we let His Word do the work. Not all will be saved. You cannot serve two masters!
Now, let's look at the Apostle Paul...

Acts 20:19-21
Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
[And] how I kept back nothing that was profitable [unto you], but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, We are called to fulfill the Great Commission. Look at how Paul did it!
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to preach to ALL people, regardless of standing, repentance toward God because when we sin, we always sin against God, AND he preached faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ!
Acts 26:12-20
Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. Jesus is speaking to Paul on the Road to Damascus. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and [from] the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, This is not a message from Jesus telling him to tell everyone about His wonderful grace. The message of grace does not open their eyes and will not turn them from darkness to light. Their eyes are opened when they repent of their sins, and when they repent of their sins, they are delivered from darkness to light. and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. It still comes down to faith in Jesus. It is that kind of faith that we have that will cause us to repent of our sins. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, Are you seeing a pattern yet of how Paul and Jesus spoke with people? What was the important things for people to do? Put their faith and trust in Jesus for their salvation and turn from their sins (repent) and do works meet for repentance.
one more for you from Peter
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So when people think that preaching God's Law is wrong, take time to read these Scriptures again. See how Jesus, Paul and Peter did it! It should be a balance but we MUST preach repentance because it is necessary for salvation. Without repentance a person will perish in their sins. Or do you want to be one of those people who see Jesus and say...
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22-23 The word for iniquity is "anomia" which means...
1) the condition of without law
a) because ignorant of it
b) because of violating it
2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness
it is lawlessness! Jesus used the Law, Paul used the Law, Peter used the Law in preaching repentance towards God. Why has our churches failed to do this?
Because we have become a Mii generation!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Heb 10:24

God's Plan for the Gay Agenda                            

by John MacArthur

If you've been watching the headlines over the last couple years, you may have noticed the incredible surge of interest in affirming homosexuality. Whether it's at the heart of a religious scandal, political corruption, radical legislation, or the redefinition of marriage, homosexual interests have come to characterize America. That's an indication of the success of the gay agenda. And some Christians, including some national church leaders, have wavered on the issue even recently. But sadly, when people refuse to acknowledge the sinfulness of homosexuality--calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)--they do so at the expense of many souls.

How should you respond to the success of the gay agenda? Should you accept the recent trend toward tolerance? Or should you side with those who exclude homosexuals with hostility and disdain?

In reality, the Bible calls for a balance between what some people think are two opposing reactions--condemnation and compassion. Really, the two together are essential elements of biblical love, and that's something the homosexual sinner desperately needs.

Homosexual advocates have been remarkably effective in selling their warped interpretations of passages in Scripture that address homosexuality. When you ask a homosexual what the Bible says about homosexuality--and many of them know--they have digested an interpretation that is not only warped, but also completely irrational. Pro-homosexual arguments from the Bible are nothing but smokescreens--as you come close, you see right through them.

God's condemnation of homosexuality is abundantly clear--He opposes it in every age.

- In the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28)
- In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13)
- In the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50)
- In the New Testament (Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Jude 7-8)

Why does God condemn homosexuality? Because it overturns God's fundamental design for human relationships--a design that pictures the complementary relationship between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-33).

Why, then, have homosexual interpretations of Scripture been so successful at persuading so many? Simple: people want to be convinced. Since the Bible is so clear about the issue, sinners have had to defy reason and embrace error to quiet their accusing consciences (Romans 2:14-16). As Jesus said, "Men loved the darkness rather than the Light, [because] their deeds were evil" (John 3:19-20).

As a Christian, you must not compromise what the Bible says about homosexuality--ever. No matter how much you desire to be compassionate to the homosexual, your first sympathies belong to the Lord and to the exaltation of His righteousness. Homosexuals stand in defiant rebellion against the will of their Creator who from the beginning "made them male and female" (Matthew 19:4).

Don't allow yourself to be intimidated by homosexual advocates and their futile reasoning--their arguments are without substance. Homosexuals, and those who advocate that sin, are fundamentally committed to overturning the lordship of Christ in this world. But their rebellion is useless, for the Holy Spirit says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; cf. Galatians 5:19-21).

So, what is God's response to the homosexual agenda?

Certain and final judgment. To claim anything else is to compromise the truth of God and deceive those who are perishing.

As you interact with homosexuals and their sympathizers, you must affirm the Bible's condemnation. You are not trying to bring damnation on the head of homosexuals, you are trying to bring conviction so that they can turn from that sin and embrace the only hope of salvation for all of us sinners--and that's through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Homosexuals need salvation. They don't need healing--homosexuality is not a disease. They don't need therapy--homosexuality is not a psychological condition. Homosexuals need forgiveness, because homosexuality is a sin.

I don't know how it happened, but a few decades ago someone branded homosexuals with the worst misnomer--"gay." Gay used to mean happy, but I can assure you, homosexuals are not happy people. They habitually seek happiness by following after destructive pleasures. There is a reason Romans 1:26 calls homosexual desire a "degrading passion." It is a lust that destroys the physical body, ruins relationships, and brings perpetual suffering to the soul--and its ultimate end is death (Romans 7:5). Homosexuals are experiencing the judgment of God (Romans 1:24, 26, 28), and thus they are very, very sad.

First Corinthians 6 is very clear about the eternal consequence for those who practice homosexuality--but there's good news. No matter what the sin is, whether homosexuality or anything else, God has provided forgiveness, salvation, and the hope of eternal life to those who repent and embrace the gospel. Right after identifying homosexuals as those who "will not inherit the kingdom of God," Paul said, "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11).

God's plan for many homosexuals is that they come to salvation. There were former homosexuals in the Corinthian church back in Paul's day, just as there are many former homosexuals today in my church and in faithful churches around the country. With regenerated hearts, they sit in biblical churches throughout the country praising their Savior, along with former fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, coveters, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers. Remember, such were some of you too.

What should be your response to the homosexual agenda? Make it a biblical response--confront it with the truth of Scripture that condemns homosexuality and promises eternal damnation for all who practice it. What should be your response to the homosexual? Make it a gospel response--confront him with the truth of Scripture that condemns him as a sinner, and point him to the hope of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Stay faithful to the Lord as you respond to homosexuality by honoring His Word, and leave the results to Him.

The Law of the Lord is Perfect Converting the Soul

The title of this post says it all...

The Law of the Lord is Perfect Converting the Soul. Psalm 19:7

What does the Bible say is "PERFECT" converting the soul?
It is very clear...
The Bible says the LAW OF THE LORD is perfect converting the soul.

Now let's look at the rest of that verse.
what is the law of the Lord perfect at doing?
It is perfect at CONVERTING the SOUL.

So for all the pastors out there that refuse to preach God's Law because they fear it will be offensive to the people, they are missing out on the greatest tool available to man for converting the soul.

The law of the Lord is perfect. It is perfectly free from all corruption, perfectly filled with all good, and perfectly fitted for the end for which it is designed; and it will make the man of God perfect,

2 Tim. 3:17
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Galatians 3:24 says
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Romans 3:19 says
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.

And that ALL the WORLD may become guilty before God.
So, why do pastor's all over America insist upon not using the Law of God?
When all they do is preach God's grace, they are only giving half of the gospel message. The Law of the Lord is PERFECT converting the soul. It acts as our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith, and we know that the Law will shut the mouth of the self-righteous person so that they might become guilty before God.

Once a person has seen they are guilty before God, it is then and only then that the grace of God should be given. They will appreciate the sacrifice so much more when they see they are guilty before God. Just telling them that God loves them will not convert the soul. It will bring about false converts.

When Jesus spoke with the rich man, He used the Law. When He spoke with the woman at the well, He used the Law. When Paul spoke at the day of Pentecost and 3000 people were saved, he spoke God's grace. Why did he not use the Law. Because these people were very aware of the Law. The lived it, they ate, slept, and drank it in. but they were missing God's grace.

Law to the proud and grace to the humble is the way we preach!
If I come across someone who is not trying to justify himself before God and man, then I will only use God's Grace. But if they are justifying themself, then I will use the Law of God. Why? Because it is PERFECT for CONVERTING the SOUL. It is biblical!!

So the next time you condemn the use of the Law, then realize you are condemning the very Words of God. It is in the Holy, God Inspired Book of the Bible.

The Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.
When man tries to come up with something better than what God has said works, we know that false converts will be created.

Repent of your sins, put your faith and trust in Jesus alone for your salvation. It is His great love for you that He died on the cross. But without repentance, you will miss out on the atoning of your sins and you will die in your sins. Just as Heaven is very real -- Hell is also very real!

And what is the Law of the Lord?
The Ten Commandments
1. Thou Shall Have No Other God's Before Me
2. Thou Shall Not Make For Yourself Any Graven Images
3. Thou Shall Not Take The Name Of The Lord In Vain
4. Remember The Sabbath To Keep It Holy
5. Thou Shall Honor Thy Father And Thy Mother
6. Thou Shall Not Murder (or hate)
7. Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery (or lust)
8. Thou Shall Not Steal
9. Thou Shall Not Lie (bear false witness)
10. Thou Shall Not Covet

The first four Commandments are fulfilled if you love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
The next six Commandments are fulfilled by loving your neighbor.

The Bible tells us that no one is able to keep the Ten Commandments! So to say you are fulfilling God's Commands to love Him and your neighbors as yourself, you are not doing it because the Bible says we are not doing it. We do not put God first in ALL phases of our life! We do lie, we do steal, we do lust, we do covet and so on. What the Law does is it acts as a mirror to show us how sinful we really are in God's eyes. Don't deny it, examine it for the truth that comes from the Bible. Then repent of your sins and put your trust and faith in Jesus to save you. It is His great love that makes it possible for you and for me to enter heaven. Once we are truly saved and have repented of our sins, the Law no longer has dominion over us! But without repentance, the Law will be used to judge us on that Fateful Day of Judgment!

Remember, The Law of the Lord is Perfect Converting the Soul.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why do I not just preach about grace?

The following is in response to a comment, of me not preaching enough about grace. here is why I do not preach "only" grace.

As far as discounting grace. Not at all do I do that. I have such a respect and awe for a God that loved us so much that He would send His Son to die for us. I know that we are unworthy on our own to enter heaven and that the wonderful grace and love and mercy shown by God is all that we have to live by! I agree with grace 100%

Yes, it is grace. That is the message of the cross.

But here is where I think you might be missing the point of what I am trying to say.

In order for someone to truly understand about God's grace, they need to see "why" they need a Savior in the first place.

If a person just tells others that God loves them, that will not change their lives. Sure, you might get some people to say, Wow, God loves even me? Great. And they might give their life to Jesus right then and there. They might be led in the Sinners Prayer and they might start going to church.
But, something is missing!

in the past 10 days I have come across a couple of bad situations within the church walls from churches that preach only grace.

One, is a situation where a worship leader (22 yrs old and the son of the pastor) was "involved" with several girls in the church. He just recently (out of the blue) married a different girl. There were accusations abounding about this young man. He was brought before the elders and was going to be removed from his position. When he started crying, someone said they must forgive him. So, they allowed him to stay in his position.

Does that sound like the right move by the elders?

I would say--NO. And here is why.
We should forgive this young man, most definitely. He cried and made a mistake. The Bible tells us we are to forgive him. But the Bible also tells us to practice church discipline. We are to remove from the church anyone who is living in outward (open rebellion to God) sin. His cries were not from having a repentant heart. It was from getting caught in his sin. There is a difference. You do not want to allow sin to permeate with the church walls. It will act as a cancer. It will spread. The person needs to be removed from the church. The ultimate hope is that he will repent of his sins and then the church should welcome him back with open arms. But if he does not repent, you will have saved the church from heresy creeping into the church.

The second instance happened in a neighboring town here. A pastor just recently left his position because he had been having an affair with one of the members of the congregation. He was married and so was the woman he had an affair with. My understanding is that this had been going on for about 10 years.

Yes God loves us! Yes, we should tell people that God loves them. But if all they hear is "God loves you." They will never come to the realization that there is punishment for those who do not repent of their sins. Hell awaits all who are disobedient to His Word.

What is missing in both instances? A knowledge of the dangers of living in sin. There are consequences in life. Do you (not you in particular, more about the world) believe that the young man is truly a saved Christian? By their fruits they will be known. (a good tree cannog bear bad fruit) This young man was living in open, outward rebellion towards God. All sin is against God and God alone! He showed no desire to change. When a person gives their life to Jesus there should be a change in attitude and in their heart. They should HATE sin because God hates it! If you are only taught that God is love, you will not worry about consequences of sin because you know that God loves you and will forgive you. but, the Bible tells us there is no forgiveness of sin without repentance. That is the important message that is missing from many churches today.

As for the pastor who committed adultery, how can he preach against the sin of adultery when he himself is guilty of it? No, he preached about God's love because when you do that, you do not have to worry about being held accountable even for every idle word you speak.

So for me to preach on God's Law, it is to show people their sinfulness and just how low they are in God's eyes. It is to show them that without repentance they will go to hell. When the spirit is broken and they finally realize they are indeed sinners before God, they will now, not only seek to find God's love and mercy they will be ready to cling to his wonderful grace.

Jesus used the Law when talking to the woman at the well. He used it when talking to the rich man. Paul used the Law when preaching to the proud, arrogant people. The Law is good when used lawfully. The Bible also says that the Law acts as a schoolmaster to bring people to Christ. The Law points the way to the cross. When we use the Law as a mirror to see the sin that is within us, we then realize the need for a Savior.

Just inviting people to church is not evangelism. Inviting people to a church where they will not hear about sin, hell and the need for repentance will not bring about change in their heart. You have all been equipped to preach the whole gospel to people out in the streets. The purpose of preachers is to equip the saints so that they can go out into the streets reaching the lost with confidence in the knowledge of God's Word. The purpose of one who has the gift of evangelism is to teach people, to equip the saints, with the knowledge of "how" to reach the lost for Christ.

We are to be "doers" of the Word and not just "hearers" of the Word.

God loves you!
Do you love Him enough to change your ways?
Repent, put your faith and trust in Jesus alone to save you!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Who will be America's Next Top Pastor?

From Ray Comfort's blog

“I wonder if it would be possible to have an entry from you, Mr. Comfort, on how to deal with these atheist posts. I am almost at the point where I will have to leave. I can't fill my mind with this day after day. I came here to glean encouragement in witnessing and the Word -- as I get in The Way of the Master lessons and at the website. Am I wrong? Do I need to read all this to be ‘battle ready’? I don't want to run from the battle -- but I am sinking, not growing. Do you have advice on how you cope? Blessings -- and prayers, Patti"

Patti...I have to read the bad ones before I reject them--the mockery, anger, blasphemy and the smut. You read the ones I let through. If their rantings are upsetting you, I would advise you not to read them. I skim over a lot of what they say. The only reason I let them through is because I want them to stay. Who knows, perhaps one or two will soften their hearts one day and listen to what we are saying. If you look closely, many of these professing atheists and agnostics are products of the modern gospel. They have had a false conversion, fell away, and they are now very bitter. My heart goes out to them.

And keep in mind, those who post comments are only a fraction of those that read the blog. There are other people out there who are unsaved and are weighing up what is being said. I look on this ministry as I do open air preaching. The louder and dumber the heckler gets, the better. We have common sense on our side, and they make the contrast very evident. Thanks for staying with us. Keep praying for these folks.

Happy Easter to all who read this blog! Jesus has risen and is no longer buried and dead. Give you life to the One who died for your sins. Repent of your sins and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to save you!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good Friday

I want to wish everyone a blessed Good Friday!
It is hard for me to actually say have a happy day, because I am torn in two ways on this...

Yes, I am happy that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Without Him, we would have no chance of making it into heaven.

But at the same time, I realize that it is because of my own sins that Jesus had to die on the cross. For God will not tolerate sin.

One Cross
One Man
Three Nails
And The Sins of the World Atoned For

The possibility is there that all sins can be forgiven. But it can only happen if you repent of your sins and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your Salvation. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Jesus was crucified as a man without sin. He is the Son of God and His love knows no bounds.

As we remember the death of Jesus today, put away your sins once and for all. Repent of them and begin life anew. When you put on the Lord Jesus you will be given a new attitude and a new heart.

Are you still living in your sins?
Don't make a mockery of Jesus dying on the cross.

To God be the glory! Praise His Name above all names and turn from your evil ways.
Reach out to the lost and tell people about the wonderful love of our Savior. But don't forget to tell people why He died. Let them see that it was their sins (as well as our own sins) that He died for us. Use the Law of God to expose sin so that no one will be without excuse and say they did not know they were sinning. Then share the great love of Jesus.

It's easy and very rewarding to reach out to the lost. The people you talk to will not be offended and if they are, it is not you they are mad at, it is God.

So, be faithful in serving Him. Be obedient to His Word and follow Him all the rest of your days!

Sermon for every youth to listen to...

If you have never watched this video, please take time to watch it. Your youth group needs to hear this. Even pastor's need to hear this, whether youth pastor's or Senior Pastor's.

May God bless you in watching this.

Citizen's Arrest

Without even watching the video clip, I am sure there are many people out there who recognized the phrase, Citizen's Arrest and knew it was about Gomer Pyle and Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show (aired back in the 60's)

Here it is...
Gomer see's Barney making an unlawful U-Turn in his police car and begins yelling "Citizen's Arrest, Citizen's Arrest!"

He told Barney that he broke the law by making an illegal u-turn.
He goes on to say that "as a law-abiding citizen it is his duty to call him on it."
He also says, "You're supposed to be setting an example for the rest of us."

Barney goes on to justify why he broke the law.
Gomer then says "you see that folks, there are two sets of laws, one for the police and one for the ordinary citizens."

Andy then comes on the scene and tells Barney that he is supposed to be setting an example.

He also pulls Barney off to the side and tells him that in order to save face, he should write himself a ticket and they would take care of it in the office.

So let's break this down a bit...
Gomer see's Barney making an unlawful U-Turn in his police car and begins yelling "Citizen's Arrest, Citizen's Arrest!"
As a Christian, when we see someone who is a Christian, doing unlawful things we are to "call them on it." Lest the sin should enter the church.

He goes on to say that "as a law-abiding citizen it is his duty to call him on it."
He also says, "You're supposed to be setting an example for the rest of us."

Which is another reason we are call out Christians who are sinning, they are to set an example for others to follow. Many people will say they want others to see Jeaus living within them and yet, when they are openly sinning, you can bet Jesus is not living within them!

Barney goes on to justify why he broke the law.
Gomer then says "you see that folks, there are two sets of laws, one for the police and one for the ordinary citizens."

As a Christian, we know the Bible says there is only one Law and it is for Jews and Gentiles alike! It is God's Law!

He also pulls Barney off to the side and tells him that in order to save face, he should write himself a ticket and they would take care of it in the office.
We are to loving confront the sinner and resolve the issue. Not in front of the non-believers but on a one on one basis.
I have said in the past that I am not a big fan of doing Bible Studies by using tv shows. This is not a Bible Study. I am merely showing a relationship between this particular tv show and a common occurance in every day life. It is not to take place of a Bible Study.

In all things, confront those who are sinning. Not to judge them but to make sure they are not providing the non-christian with ammunition for not coming to Christ. Warn the unrepentant sinner that unless he repents, he will go to hell. Then share with him the wonderful love of God as shown on the cross.

Won't you give your life to Jesus today? Repent of your sins, be obedient to His Word and put your faith and trust in Jesus alone to save you!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where is the action?

Speaking of action...
I remember when Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark first came out. I saw it at the theaters and can remember walking away from there thinking that was one of the most action-packed movies I had ever seen! It was as though one action led to another action leading to another action filled scene.

What if our churches were like that?
One action leading to another action leading to yet another action-filled church.

Here is a prime example of what I am talking about (a prime example of a church that does not have action)

"****** ******* Church is a community of Christians who joyfully worship God and who actively seek out unchurched people to help them become authentic followers of Jesus Christ."

That is the mission statement of a local church. Notice a couple of the words they chose to use.
Both of these adjectives would imply a positive, action-filled behavior. And yet, their idea of actively seeking is to just invite friends and family to church.

Now contrast that with the early church of Acts. Yes, they actively would seek but how did they do it? They went out and spoke to people about God. You will not find a single instance of them saying, "hey, come to our church this sunday, we are having a potluck with some good food and some good music." No, they would present the gospel message to the people they are talking to. They would present God's Law to the people who did not know about God's Law and then they would present the message of the cross to them. If they already knew about God's Law then they would present the wonderful grace of our Lord and Savior. The key is this...
Each person did it themselves. They did not rely on having people come to church first to learn about God. Each person knew the gospel message and would tell people about God.

Do you want your church to become active? Do you want it to become so action-filled that one action leads to another leading to another and another? When you get out of the church and start presenting the gospel message to people yourself, (instead of taking the lazy way out of just inviting them to church) then you will find yourself energized in a way that you have never felt before. Yep, it can be scary and very nerve-racking, but it is also one of the most blessed feelings you will ever have. When you get out of the church and start reaching the lost with the message of the cross, you will be energizing the church one person at a time! If each person within the church would do that, our Lord and Savior would receive all of the glory and all of the honor!

If all you do is invite people to church without telling the people why they need a Savior then you have just wasted all of the preaching that has come from the pastor. Why do I say this? Think of it this way...

The pastor's job is to equip the saints. He preaches God's Word to you so that you can be equipped to go out into the streets reaching the lost the way Jesus did. You are supposed to be equipped by the pastor and God's Word. Okay, so you say you don't have the gift of evangelism. But someone in your church does and it is their job to equip the saints so that they can go out into the streets reaching the lost the way Jesus did. The church is to equip the saints so they can do the Lord's Work. If all we do is invite people to church, then we are taking the lazy way out and are showing that we are not truly equipped ourselves and if your pastor has not equipped you after years of attending that church, then I would not want to invite people to that church because the pastor is not being effective in doing his work. He has not properly equipped the saints.

Are you equipped? Think about this the next time you want to invite someone to church. We are ALL called to preach the word of God, in season and out of season. We are all called to fulfill the Great Commission. Go into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature. It does not say, Go into all the world inviting people to come to church so they church can grow. It says you are to go, preach the gospel to every creature. Preach the Word of God!

Be energized and be action-filled all to the glory of God!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How much has "your" Bible been used?

The above picture was taken at the Transformed event in Florida this past weekend. It is Ray Comfort's Bible. I would venture to say that he has read his Bible more than once. I would also venture to say that his Bible does not sit on a table for very long (at least not long enough to gather dust!).

So, what do we know about God's Word?

Well, we know that...

(01) God's Word is True

(02) God's Word is Holy

(03) God's Word is Valuable

(04) God's Word is Life Changing

(05) God's Word is the Light to a Dark World

(06) God's Word is a Lamp unto my Feet

(07) God's Word is the Word of God

(08) God's Word is inerrant

(09) God's Word Never Changes

(10) God's Word is Not Open to Individual Interpretation

(11) God's Word is Expressed With Love

(12) (God's Word is Powerful

(13) God's Word is Mighty

(14) God's Word is Insightful

(15) God's Word is Piercing

(16) God's Word is Trustworthy

(17) God's Word is To Be Shared

(18) God's Word is To Be Given Away To Others

(19) God's Word is To Be Digested

(20) God's Word is God Honoring

(21) God's Word is Man's Uplifting

(22) God's Word is Either a Saving Knowledge or Foolishness to Those Who Do Not Believe

(23) God's Word is Relevant to Our Society Today

(24) God's Word is Convicting

(25) God's Word is Challenging

(26) God's Word is Bold

(27) God's Word is Wisdom

(28) God's Word is God Breathed

(29) God's Word is To Be Preached By All

(30) God's Word is Edifying

(31) God's Word is Conscience Awakening

(32) God's Word is Sustaining

(33) God's Word is Believable

(34) God's Word is History Revealed

(35) God's Word is Archeology Tested

(36) God's Word is Purposeful (not 40 days of purpose) But A Lifetime of Purpose

(37) God's Word is A Stumbling Block To Some

(38) God's Word is Demanding

(39) God's Word is Eternal

(40) God's Word is Everlasting

(41) God's Word is Dynamic

(42) God's Word is Perfect

(43) God's Word is Sure

(44) God's Word is Pure

(45) God's Word is Knowledge

(46) God's Word is Inspired and Inspirational

(47) God's Word is Final
(48) God's Word is The Living Waters

(49) God's Word is The Way of the Master

(50) God's Word is Alive

(51) God's Word is Active

(52) God's Word is Prophetic

(53) God's Word is Grace Filled

(54) God's Word is Wrath Filled

(55) God's Word is Righteous
(56) God's Word is Believed by Faith
(57) God's Word is Life
(58) God's Word is Taught
(59) God's Word is The Oracles of God
(60) God's Word is The Sword of the Spirit
(61) God's Word Testifies of Christ
(62) God's Word is Full and Sufficient
(63) God's Word is Able to Make Wise to Salvation
(64) God's Word is Profitable Both For Doctrine and Practice
(65) God's Word is Precious
(66) God's Word is Regenerating
(67) God's Word is Illuminating
(68) God's Word is Producing Obedience
(69) God's Word is Admonishing
(70) God's Word is Received With Meekness
(71) God's Word is Used to Answer Spiritual Enemies
(72) God's Word is Delightful
(73) God's Word is Esteemed Above All Things
(74) God's Word is Hidden In Our Hearts
(75) God's Word is Blessed
So, what will you do with God's Word today?
Are you obedient to His Holy Word?
God's Word demands faith and repentance. Without repentance there is no salvation. Without faith there is no salvation. Do you believe God's Word to be True? Then obey it with all you have to give, your heart, your mind, your soul and all your strength!
It all begins when you openthebible

Sunday, March 16, 2008

How to know God exists! by Ray Comfort

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Special Post--from How to Know God Exists

“I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.” —Sir Isaac Newton

As we have seen in the previous chapter, atheists approach the Bible with a “darkened understanding” (see Ephesians 4:18) and try to make sense of it. But just as the Bible says, they cannot understand it (see 1 Corinthians 2:14). The only way the Scriptures can make sense to us is for us to read them with a humble heart that is searching for truth. God promises to resist those who are proud.

Obviously, the best way for anyone to understand God’s Word is to switch on the light—to repent and trust Him who said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).

It is legitimate, though, to ask: How can we know the Bible is divinely inspired? The Bible declares that it is the Word of God, His communication to humanity, so He certainly would give us evidence that it truly is His Word. The fulfilled prophecies, the amazing consistency, and the many scientific statements of the Bible provide evidence that it is supernatural in origin. We will look at some examples, and then we’ll consider what it is that gives even more credibility to the reality of God and the inspiration of the Scriptures.

Knowledge of the Future
Unlike other books, the Bible offers a multitude of specific predictions—some thousands of years in advance—that either have been literally fulfilled or point to a definite future time when they will come true. No other religion has specific, repeated, and unfailing fulfillment of predictions many years in advance of events over which the predictor had no control. The sacred writings of Buddhism, Islam, Confucius, etc., are all missing the element of proven prophecy. These kinds of predictions are unique to the Bible.

Only one who is omniscient can accurately predict details of events thousands of years in the future. Limited human beings know the future only if it is told to them by an omniscient Being. God provided this evidence for us so we would know that the Scriptures have a divine Author: “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done.” (Isaiah 46:9,10)

In addition, the Bible declares that prophets must be 100 percent accurate—no exceptions. If anyone claimed to be speaking for God and the prophesied event didn’t come to pass, he was proven to be a liar. The writings of Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are littered with false prophecies, so we know can whether they are written by men or by God.

The Bible’s sixty-six books, written between 1400 B.C. and A.D. 90, contain approximately 3,856 verses concerned with prophecy. For example, the Scriptures predicted the rise and fall of great empires like Greece and Rome (Daniel 2:39,40), and foretold the destruction of cities like Tyre and Sidon (Isaiah 23). Tyre’s demise is recorded by ancient historians, who tell how Alexander the Great lay siege to the city for seven months. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had failed in a 13-year attempt to capture the seacoast city and completely destroy its inhabitants. During the siege of 573 B.C., much of the population of Tyre moved to its new island home half a mile from the land city. Here it remained surrounded by walls as high as 150 feet until judgment fell in 332 B.C. with the arrival of Alexander the Great. In the seven-month siege, he fulfilled the remainder of the prophecies (Zechariah 9:4; Ezekiel 26:12) concerning the city at sea by completely destroying Tyre, killing 8,000 of its inhabitants and selling 30,000 of its population into slavery. To reach the island, he scraped up the dust and rubble of the old land city of Tyre, just like the Bible predicted, and cast them into the sea, building a 200-foot-wide causeway out to the island.

Alexander’s death and the murder of his two sons were also foretold in the Scripture. Another startling prophecy was Jesus’ detailed prediction of Jerusalem’s destruction, and the further dispersion of Jews throughout the world, which is recorded in Luke 21. In A.D. 70, not only was Jerusalem destroyed by Titus, the future emperor of Rome, but another prediction of Jesus’ in Matthew 24:1,2 came to pass—the complete destruction of the temple of God.

Even more important are the many prophecies of a coming Messiah. God said He would send someone to redeem mankind from sin, and He wanted there to be no mistake about who that Person would be. For example, in the Book of Daniel, the Bible prophesied the coming of the one and only Jewish Messiah prior to the temple’s demise. The Old Testament prophets declared He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) to a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12,13), die by crucifixion (Psalm 22), and be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9). There was only one person who fits all of the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament: Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Mary. In all, there are over three hundred prophecies that tell of the ancestry, birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth. All have been literally fulfilled to the smallest detail.

A fact often overlooked by critics is that, even if most biblical predictions could be explained naturally, the existence of just one real case of fulfilled prophecy is sufficient to establish the Bible’s supernatural origin. Over 25 percent of the entire Bible contains specific predictive prophecies that have been literally fulfilled. This is true of no other book in the world. And it is a sure sign of its divine origin.

Knowledge of Creation
Following are a few examples of incredible scientific facts that were written in the Bible, hundreds, even thousands of years before man discovered them.

At a time when it was commonly believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth’s free float in space: “He hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7). Science didn’t discover that the earth hangs on nothing until 1650.

The Scriptures tell us that the earth is round: “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word translated “circle” here is the Hebrew word chuwg, which is also translated “circuit” or “compass” (depending on the con¬text). That is, it indicates something spherical or rounded—not flat or square. The Book of Isaiah was written between 740 and 680 B.C. This is at least 300 years before Aristotle suggested, in his book On the Heavens, that the earth might be a sphere. It was another 2,000 years later (at a time when science believed that the earth was flat) that the Scriptures inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world.

Matthew Maury (1806–1873) is considered the father of oceanography. He noticed the expression “paths of the seas” in Psalm 8:8 (written 2,800 years ago) and stated, “If God said there are paths in the sea, I am going to find them.” Maury then took God at His word and went looking for these paths, and we are indebted to him for his discovery of the warm and cold continental currents. His book on oceanography remains a basic text on the subject and is still used in universities. Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of things that we cannot see invisible atoms. In Hebrews 11:3, written 2,000 years ago, Scripture tells us that the “things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

Three different places in the Bible (Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:25,26; Hebrews 1:11) indicate that the earth is wearing out. This is what the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Law of Increasing Entropy) states: that in all physical processes, every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered. Everything is running down and wearing out as energy is becoming less and less available for use. That means the universe will eventually “wear out” to the extent that (theoretically speaking) there will be a “heat death” and therefore no more energy available for use. This wasn’t discovered by science until recently, but the Bible states it in concise terms.

The Scriptures inform us, “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again” (Ecclesiastes 1:7). This statement alone may not seem profound. But when considered with other biblical passages, it becomes all the more remarkable. For example, the Mississippi River dumps approximately 518 billion gallons of water every 24 hours into the Gulf of Mexico. Where does all that water go? And that’s just one of thousands of rivers. The answer lies in the hydrologic cycle, so well brought out in the Bible.

Ecclesiastes 11:3 states that “if the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.” Look at the Bible’s words in Amos 9:6: “He...calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the face of the earth.” The idea of a complete water cycle was not fully understood by science until the seventeenth century. However, more than two thousand years prior to the discoveries of Pierre Perrault, Edme Mariotte, Edmund Halley, and others, the Scriptures clearly spoke of a water cycle.

The Scriptures also describe a “cycle” of air currents two thousand years before scientists discovered them: “The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit” (Ecclesiastes 1:6). We now know that air around the earth turns in huge circles, clockwise in one hemisphere and counterclockwise in the other.

The Bible declares, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished” (Genesis 2:1). The original Hebrew uses the past definite tense for the verb “finished,” indicating an action completed in the past, never again to occur. The creation was “finished”—once and for all. That is exactly what the First Law of Thermodynamics says. This law (often referred to as the Law of the Con¬ser¬vation of Energy and/or Mass) states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed. It was because of this Law that Sir Fred Hoyle’s “Steady-State” (or “Continuous Creation”) Theory was discarded. Hoyle stated that at points in the universe called “irtrons,” matter (or energy) was constantly being created. But, the First Law states just the opposite. Indeed, there is no “creation” ongoing today. It is “finished” exactly as the Bible states.

In Genesis 6, God gave Noah the dimensions of the 1.5 million cubic foot ark he was to build. In 1609 at Hoorn in Holland, a ship was built after that same pattern (30:5:3), revolutionizing ship-building. By 1900 every large ship on the high seas was inclined toward the proportions of the ark (verified by “Lloyd’s Register of Shipping” in the World Almanac).

Since God is the Author of creation as well as the Bible, it’s only natural that the two should correspond. While the Bible is not intended to be a scientific book, the scientific statements it makes are accurate.

In his book Proofs of God’s Existence, Richard Wurmbrand explains:
In antiquity and in what is called the Dark Ages, men did not know what they now know about humanity and the cosmos. They did not know the lock but they possessed the key, which is God. Now many have excellent descriptions of the lock but they have lost the key. The proper solution is union between religion and science. We should be owners of the lock and the key. The fact is that as science advances, it discovers what was said thousands of years ago in the Bible.106

There Is Another Way
I know that many who read through the above evidences of the Bible being divinely inspired will disregard them. They maintain that we are reading into Scripture something that was never intended by the writers. So, in an effort to counter this reaction, I am going to present my case from another angle.

What I am going to say flies in the face of many respected Bible teachers. It almost sounds like heresy, but I will say it anyway because it’s important. The Christian’s salvation isn’t dependent on his belief in or understanding of the Scriptures. Why does that fly in the face of many? Because they believe that our salvation depends on the Word of God. They believe that everything we have in Christ stands or falls on the promises of the Bible. The Scriptures are the foundation for our faith. While I absolutely believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, I don’t believe our salvation stands or falls on our believing the Bible.

To illustrate this, let’s look at two men who are in a Russian dungeon. One is a Christian who has been horribly tortured for his faith. As he lies dying in his cell, he shares his faith with his unbelieving cellmate. The other prisoner is a bitter man who so despised Christians that he hadn’t spoken to him since they were forced to share the tiny cell. But this day was different. He listens intently to the dying man’s words, because he is on his deathbed. Through parched lips the Christian once again whispers the Ten Commandments, showing sin to be very serious in the sight of God. The man becomes deeply concerned as his conscience begins to bear witness to what he is hearing.107 The moral Law shows him that he has a serious problem with God’s wrath.108 There is no talk of a God-shaped hole in his heart, a wonderful plan for his life, or the promise of any benefits of faith in Jesus during this life. How could the Christian talk of a “wonderful plan” that so many speak of, while he lies dying because he had been beaten for his faith?

The prisoner listens as he is told that he is a desperately wicked criminal who needs forgiveness from the God he has greatly angered. Then he hears the pure gospel of the love of God in Christ, and of the necessity of repentance and faith. He hears of the One who can wash him clean. It answers his problem of coming wrath of which he is now convinced. The Christian then pleads with him to repent, breaths his last, and passes into eternity.

The prisoner is left alone in the cold cell. He is shaken by what he has just heard. He falls to his knees on the hard floor and trembles before God. He can hardly lift his head because of the weight of his sins. In humble contrition, he openly confesses his many transgressions against God’s Law. He pleads for mercy, repents, and places his entire trust in Jesus Christ for his eternal salvation. He has no Bible. He has no fellowship. He has no one to “follow up” with him. He is entirely alone.

The next day he wakens while still lying on the floor. As he opens his tired eyes, something is different. Something is radically different. There is a new song in his heart. It’s not a “song” that he could sing, but it’s some sort of a joy that he can hardly express. He also has a sense of peace that is beyond his comprehension. He has never felt these emotions before, and what is mystifying is that he has no reason to feel this joy. He is tired, alone, and hungry, in a cold dungeon. He also notices that he is no longer ashamed to lift his head to the heavens. In fact, he wants to speak to God in prayer.

But more than that, he has an overwhelming desire to please Him more than anything else in his life. He even notices that his nagging conscience was silenced and any sense of guilt about any of his past sins is gone. He is amazed at what he has experienced. Again, nothing like this has ever happened before—-not for a fleeting moment in his bitter, godless years. Never. God was the last thing on his mind.

He then looks at the lifeless body of the cellmate he once despised, and longs to speak with him. He wants to ask for his forgiveness. He wants to talk about the God who made Himself known to him, the God who forgave him for his sins...the God who loved him enough to send His Son to die for him.

This was more than some sort of subjective experience. He was a brand new person with a new heart and new desires. Tears filled his eyes as he thought of the cross of Jesus Christ. Oh, that wonderful cross! Jesus of Nazareth had suffered and died for him! Then He defeated death. The man’s heart almost burst with joy.

After five more years of solitary confinement, our prisoner has grown in his faith. He has preached the gospel to hardened guards. He has told them of the standard of perfection with which God would judge them, opening up the Ten Commandments. He has faithfully shared the reality of Judgment Day and the terrors of an eternal Hell. He preaches that Christ was crucified for the sin of the world, and stresses the necessity of repentance and faith. The guards taunt him regularly, and now and then beat him. He, in return, prays earnestly for their salvation. He also prays for the salvation of his family, and for the world. He continually worships God and lives a life of holiness, free from sin, trusting minute by minute in the finished work of Calvary’s cross.

Notice that he is a Christian. He is born again. He knows that he has passed from death to life. He is a believer who is strong in his faith and he has not yet even seen a Bible or spoken to another Christian. His faith rests on the fact that God made him a new creature, wrote His Law on his heart and caused him to walk in His statutes.109 He is a new person, a “new man which was created according to God, in true right¬eousness and holiness.”110 Old things passed away and all things became new.111 This is because He was born of God.112 The New Testament didn’t convert him. It is the gospel that is the power of God to salvation.113 Neither did the New Testament spiritually feed him. He now has the Spirit of God living within him to guide him into all truth.114 His faith wasn’t in the Scriptures, or a church, or a pastor, or another Christian. It wasn’t in his good works or in his religion. It was the fact that he was a new creature that convinced him of the reality of God. The New Testament addresses this thought: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation”115 (emphasis added).

The Explanation BookOne day, a sympathetic guard slips the prisoner a battered and well-used New Testament that once belonged to his deceased cellmate. The prisoner doesn’t even know what “The New Testament” is. He wasn’t aware that there was such a thing. But from what the guard said, all he knows is that it is a book about the Savior he knows and loves.

He carefully opens its sacred pages for the first time in his life, and for the next few days he drinks in its truths about Jesus of Nazareth. Does his faith stand or fall on the New Testament truths? No. His faith was strong before he even opened the Scriptures. However, his faith is now strengthened by the fact that this 2,000-year-old book confirmed his experience. It brought him comfort.116 It explained why he suddenly longed for Christian fellowship.117 It mentioned his peace that passed all understanding,118 and it spoke about why he loved Jesus Christ (whom he had never seen), and why he had an unspeakable joy that bubbled within him.119 It ad¬dressed the fact that he was born again,120 was a new creature in Christ,121 and why he continually thought of Jesus of Nazareth122 and the cross.123

This was the experience of the converted at the birth of Christianity. Early Christians didn’t have a Bible. It wasn’t yet compiled. Most couldn’t read. Besides, there was no such thing as the printing press. They were saved by believing the spoken message that they heard.

How do I know that Christianity is true? Is it dependent on the inspiration of the Bible? No. My faith doesn’t rise or fall on that fact. Remember, I can be a Christian and not even know that the Bible exists. The Scriptures simply confirm my experience and provide spiritual nourishment to help me to grow in my faith.124 Christianity isn’t true because the Bible confirms it. It is true with or without the Scriptures.

I believe in Jesus Christ because I know Him experientially. The moral Law put me at the edge of a plane door, looking in horror at a 10,000-foot drop. The gospel perfectly addressed that problem. I am persuaded of the absolute truth of Christianity because it answered my need for a Savior and made me a new person in Jesus Christ.

Dwight Eisenhower rightly surmised,It takes no brains to be an atheist. Any stupid person can deny the existence of a supernatural power because man’s physical senses cannot detect it. But there cannot be ignored the influence of conscience, the respect we feel for the moral Law, the mystery of first life...or the marvelous order in which the universe moves about us on this earth. All these evidence the handiwork of the beneficent Deity...That Deity is the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ, His Son.

Test It for YourselfFor anyone who is open to the truth, there is indeed 100 percent scientific (knowledge-producing) proof of God:

Creation produces intellectual knowledge of God.For since the creation of the world His invisible at¬tri¬butes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and God¬head, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

Conscience produces subconscious knowledge of God. ...who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them. (Romans 2:15)

Conversion produces experiential knowledge of God. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21)

Creation reveals that there is an omnipotent, divine Creator to whom we owe our existence. It leaves us without excuse for chopping down a tree and carving an idol, and then falling before that idol and believing it is the Creator...or believing that “Mother Nature” is all there is.

It is the human conscience that points to the moral character and the requirements of God. We know that if there is a universal moral Law, then there is a Lawgiver—a God to whom we are accountable. It is the Law of God that awakens the conscience so that we can hear its voice of alarm, and turn in repentance and faith to the only Savior, Jesus Christ.

God has revealed Himself to us in the physical world and in our conscience. There’s one way to prove to yourself that God exists. Flick the switch.

106. Richard Wurmbrand, Proofs of God’s Existence (Bartlesville, OK: Living Sacrifice Books, 2007), p. 72.
107. See Romans 2:15.
108. See Romans 4:15.
109. Ezekiel 11:19,20.
110. Ephesians 4:24.
111. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
112. John 1:12,13.
113. Romans 1:16.
114. John 16:13.
115. Galatians 6:15.
116. Romans 15:4.
117. 1 John 3:14.
118. Philippians 4:7.
119. 1 Peter 1:8.
120. John 3:3–7; 1 Peter 1:23.
121. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
122. John 16:14.
123. Galatians 6:14.
124. 1 Peter 2:2.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

John 1:5 Bible Study with audio sermon

The Bible Study for John 1:5 is now published over on along with two new audio sermons. You will find a link to the sermons on that site as well as on this site on the upper right hand column. If you want to participate in submitting your own study for the bible study, just be sure to email me your study by friday of each week. The next Bible Study we will be doing will cover John 1:6. I hope to hear from you.

God bless
till His nets are full
Brian Culver
Galesburg, IL

Times Have Changed -- and yet, God's Law remains the same!

Exodus 20:15 says
You shall not steal.

Jeremiah 7:9-11 says
Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.

Ephesians 4:28 says
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous [2] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [3] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 13:9 says
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 19:17-22 says
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

1 John 2:4 says
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

1 John 3:4 says
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

Acts 17:31 says
Because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.

Matthew 7:21-23
21 Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?"
23 And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness."

So what have you stolen? Are you a thief? You don't have to steal a car to be a thief in God's eyes. Just taking something that does not belong to you, is stealing. It is covetous and it is breaking the 8th and the 10th Commandments.

When you die, will you face God as your Judge or as your Savior?
When you die, if you have not repented of your sins and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you will face God the Judge. If you face God the Judge, you will go to hell.

If you face God the Savior, you will gain your rewards in heaven!
Which will it be?

If you have not repented of your sins, if you are still living in your sins, if you are still mocking God and others for trying to warn you to flee from sin, then you will face God the Judge. You will not have a jury of your hamburgers (peers), you will not have Ronald McDonald as your prosecuting attorney (it will be Satan bringing up all your sins as he is the accuser) and your judge will not be Mayor McCheese, it will be God Himself! And His Judgment is a righteous judgment. His standards are higher than ours are. Do you realize this?

Why do you still live in your sins?
Why do you still mock the living God?
Why do you still desire to live for the flesh?

As a born-again Christian, you should have put off the old self, the old sin nature. You shall have no desire to sin and no desire to live in your sins. As a repentant follower of Christ, you will have new life. You will become a new creature in Christ. If you have not received the gift of repentance, then there is a good chance you are not saved.

Is it my place to say whether you will go to heaven or hell? NO!
But, wouldn't you rather have someone warn you of impending danger? Or would you rather fall off the cliff with no warning?

God as your Savior...
God as your Judge...
which will it be for you?

Repent and put your faith and trust in Jesus to save you!