Wednesday, July 30, 2008

anger and hurtful words!

There once was a little boy who had a bad
temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails
and told him that every time he lost his
temper, he must hammer a nail into the back
of the fence. The first day the boy had
driven 37 nails into the fence Over the next
next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger,
the number of nails hammered daily
gradually dwindled down. He discovered
it was easier to hold his temper than to
drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn't
lose his temper at all. He told his father
about it and the father suggested that the
boy now pull out one nail for each day that
he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally
able to tell his father that all the nails
were gone. The father took his son by the
hand and led him to the fence He said, "You
have done well, my son, but look at the
holes in the fence. The fence will never be
the same. When you say things in anger,
they leave a scar just like this one. You
can put a knife in a man and draw it out.
It won't matter how many times you say I'm
sorry, the wound is still there. " A verbal
wound is as bad as a physical one.
Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They
make you smile and encourage you to succeed.
They lend an ear, they share words of praise
and they always want to open their hearts to us."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Calling all fathers!!

Plesae go to Jason and Jessie's blog and send your congrats to them!!

Joel Osteen

After listening to this pastor talk about Osteen, now watch the actual interview for yourself. It is sad to think that this person can mislead so many people.

Monday, July 21, 2008

John 14:1-3 I go to prepare a place for you!

Chapter 14

This chapter is a continuation of Christ’s discourse with his disciples after supper. When he had convicted and discarded Judas, he set himself to comfort the rest, who were full of sorrow upon what he had said of leaving them, and a great many good words and comfortable words he here speaks to them. The discourse in interlocutory; as Peter in the foregoing chapter, so Thomas, and Philip, and Jude, in this interposed their thoughts upon what he said, according to the liberty he was pleased to allow them. Free conferences are as instructive as solemn speeches, and more so. The general scope of this chapter is in the first verse; it is designed to keep trouble from their hearts; now in order to this they must believe: and let them consider, I. Heaven as their everlasting rest (v. 2, 3). II. Christ himself as their way (v. 4–11). III. The great power they shall be clothed with by the prevalency of their prayers (v. 12–14). IV. The coming of another comforter (v. 15–17). V. The fellowship and communion that should be between him and them after his departure (v. 18–24). VI. The instructions which the Holy Ghost should give them (v. 25, 26). VII. The peace Christ bequeathed to them (v. 27). VII. Christ’s own cheerfulness in his departure (v. 28–31). And this which he said to them is designed for the comfort of all his faithful followers.

Jhn 14:1-3

In these verses we have,

I. A general caution which Christ gives to his disciples against trouble of heart (v. 1): Let not your heart be troubled. They now began to be troubled, were entering into this temptation. Now here see,

1. How Christ took notice of it. Perhaps it was apparent in their looks; it was said (ch. 13:22), They looked one upon another with anxiety and concern, and Christ looked upon them all, and observed it; at least, it was intelligible to the Lord Jesus, who is acquainted with all our secret undiscovered sorrows, with the wound that bleeds inwardly; he knows not only how we are afflicted, but how we stand affected under our afflictions, and how near they lie to our hearts; he takes cognizance of all the trouble which his people are at any time in danger of being overwhelmed with; he knows our souls in adversity. Many things concurred to trouble the disciples now.

(1.) Christ had just told them of the unkindness he should receive from some of them, and this troubled them all. Peter, no doubt, looked very sorrowful upon what Christ said to him, and all the rest were sorry for him and for themselves too, not knowing whose turn it should be to be told next of some ill thing or other they should do. As to this, Christ comforts them; though a godly jealousy over ourselves is of great use to keep us humble and watchful, yet it must not prevail to the disquieting of our spirits and the damping of our holy joy.

(2.) He had just told them of his own departure from them, that he should not only go away, but go away in a cloud of sufferings. They must shortly hear him loaded with reproaches, and these will be as a sword in their bones; they must see him barbarously abused and put to death, and this also will be a sword piercing through their own souls, for they had loved him, and chosen him, and left all to follow him. When we now look upon Christ pierced, we cannot but mourn and be in bitterness, though we see the glorious issue and fruit of it; much more grievous must the sight be to them, who could then look no further. If Christ depart from them [1.] They will think themselves shamefully disappointed; for they looked that this had been he that should have delivered Israel, and should have set upon his kingdom in secular power and glory, and, in expectation of this, had lost all to follow him. Now, if he leave the world in the same circumstances of meanness and poverty in which he had lived, and worse, they are quite defeated. [2.] They will think themselves sadly deserted and exposed. They knew by experience what little presence of mind they had in difficult emergencies, that they could count upon nothing but being ruined and run down if they part with their Master. Now, in reference to all these, Let not your heart be troubled. Here are three words, upon any of which the emphasis may significantly be laid. First, Upon the word troubled, meµ tarassesthoµ. Be not so troubled as to be put into a hurry and confusion, like the troubled sea when it cannot rest. He does not say, "Let not your hearts be sensible of the griefs, or sad because of them’’ but, "Be not ruffled and discomposed, be not cast down and disquieted,’’ Ps. 42:5. Secondly, Upon the word heart: "Though the nation and city be troubled, though your little family and flock be troubled, yet let not your heart be troubled. Keep possession of your own souls when you can keep possession of nothing else.’’ The heart is the main fort; whatever you do, keep trouble from this, keep this with all diligence. The spirit must sustain the infirmity, therefore, see that this be not wounded. Thirdly, Upon the word your: "You that are my disciples and followers, my redeemed, chosen, sanctified ones, however others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so, for you know better; let the sinners in Zion tremble, but let the sons of Zion be joyful in their king.’’ Herein Christ’s disciples should do more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when every thing else is unquiet.

2. The remedy he prescribes against this trouble of mind, which he saw ready to prevail over them; in general, believe—pisteuete. (1.) Some read it in both parts imperatively, "Believe in God, and his perfections and providence, believe also in me, and my mediation. Build with confidence upon the great acknowledged principles of natural religion: that there is a God, that he is most holy, wise, powerful, and good; that he is the governor of the world, and has the sovereign disposal of all events; and comfort yourselves likewise with the peculiar doctrines of that holy religion which I have taught you.’’ But, (2.) We read the former as an acknowledgment that they did believe in God, for which he commends them: "But, if you would effectually provide against a stormy day, believe also in me.’’ Through Christ we are brought into covenant with God, and become interested in his favour and promise, which otherwise as sinners we must despair of, and the remembrance of God would have been our trouble; but, by believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, our belief in God becomes comfortable; and this is the will of God, that all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father, by believing in the Son as they believe in the Father. Those that rightly believe in God will believe in Jesus Christ, whom he has made known to them; and believing in God through Jesus Christ is an excellent means of keeping trouble from the heart. The joy of faith is the best remedy against the griefs of sense; it is a remedy with a promise annexed to it; the just shall live by faith; a remedy with a probatum est annexed to it. I had fainted unless I had believed.

II. Here is a particular direction to act faith upon the promise of eternal life, v. 2, 3. He had directed them to trust to God, and to trust in him; but what must they trust God and Christ for? Trust them for a happiness to come when this body and this world shall be no more, and for a happiness to last as long as the immortal soul and the eternal world shall last. Now this is proposed as a sovereign cordial under all the troubles of this present time, to which there is that in the happiness of heaven which is admirably adapted and accommodated. The saints have encouraged themselves with this in their greatest extremities, That heaven would make amends for all. Let us see how this is suggested here.

1. Believe and consider that really there is such a happiness: In my Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you, v. 2.

(1.) See under what notion the happiness of heaven is here represented: as mansions, many mansions in Christ’s Father’s house. [1.] Heaven is a house, not a tent or tabernacle; it is a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. [2.] It is a Father’s house: my Father’s house; and his Father is our Father, to whom he was now ascending; so that in right of their elder brother all true believers shall be welcome to that happiness as to their home. It is his house who is King of kings and Lord of lords, dwells in light, and inhabits eternity. [3.] There are mansions there; that is, First, Distinct dwellings, an apartment for each. Perhaps there is an allusion to the priests’ chambers that were about the temple. In heaven there are accommodations for particular saints; though all shall be swallowed up in God, yet our individuality shall not be lost there; every Israelite had his lot in Canaan, and every elder a seat, Rev. 4:4. Secondly, Durable dwellings. Monai, from mneioµ, maneo, abiding places. The house itself is lasting; our estate in it is not for a term of years, but a perpetuity. Here we are as in an inn; in heaven we shall gain a settlement. The disciples had quitted their houses to attend Christ, who had not where to lay his head, but the mansions in heaven will make them amends. [4.] There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory, and Christ exactly knows their number, nor will be straitened for room by the coming of more company than he expects. He had told Peter that he should follow him (ch. 13:36), but let not the rest be discouraged, in heaven there are mansions for them all. Rehoboth, Gen. 26:22.

(2.) See what assurance we have of the reality of the happiness itself, and the sincerity of the proposal of it to us: "If it were not so, I would have told you. If you had deceived yourselves, when you quitted your livelihoods, and ventured your lives for me, in prospect of a happiness future and unseen, I would soon have undeceived you.’’ The assurance is built, [1.] Upon the veracity of his word. It is implied, "If there were not such a happiness, valuable and attainable, I would not have told you that there was.’’ [2.] Upon the sincerity of his affection to them. As he is true, and would not impose upon them himself, so he is kind, and would not suffer them to be imposed upon. If either there were no such mansions, or none designed for them, who had left all to follow him, he would have given them timely notice of the mistake, that they might have made an honourable retreat to the world again, and have made the best they could of it. Note, Christ’s good-will to us is a great encouragement to our hope in him. He loves us too well, and means us too well, to disappoint the expectations of his own raising, or to leave those to be of all men most miserable who have been of him most observant.

2. Believe and consider that the design of Christ’s going away was to prepare a place in heaven for his disciples. "You are grieved to think of my going away, whereas I go on your errand, as the forerunner; I am to enter for you.’’ He went to prepare a place for us; that is, (1.) To take possession for us, as our advocate or attorney, and so to secure our title as indefeasible. Livery of seisin was given to Christ, for the use and behoof of all that should believe on him. (2.) To make provision for us as our friend and father. The happiness of heaven, though prepared before the foundation of the world, yet must be further fitted up for man in his fallen state. It consisting much in the presence of Christ there, it was therefore necessary that he should go before, to enter into that glory which his disciples were to share in. Heaven would be an unready place for a Christian if Christ were not there. He went to prepare a table for them, to prepare thrones for them, Lu. 22:30. Thus Christ declares the fitness of heaven’s happiness for the saints, for whom it is prepared.

3. Believe and consider that therefore he would certainly come again in due time, to fetch them to that blessed place which he was now going to possess for himself and prepare for them (v. 3): "If I go and prepare a place for you, if this be the errand of my journey, you may be sure, when every thing is ready, I will come again, and receive you to myself, so that you shall follow me hereafter, that where I am there you may be also.’’ Now these are comfortable words indeed. (1.) That Jesus Christ will come again; erchomai—I do come, intimating the certainty of it, that he will come and that he is daily coming. We say, We are coming, when we are busy in preparing for our coming, and so he is; all he does has a reference and tendency to his second coming. Note, The belief of Christ’s second coming, of which he has given us the assurance, is an excellent preservative against trouble of heart, Phil. 4:5; James 5:8. (2.) That he will come again to receive all his faithful followers to himself. He sends for them privately at death, and gathers them one by one; but they are to make their public entry in solemn state all together at the last day, and then Christ himself will come to receive them, to conduct them in the abundance of his grace, and to welcome them in the abundance of his love. He will hereby testify the utmost respect and endearment imaginable. The coming of Christ is in order to our gathering together unto him, 2 Th. 2:1. (3.) That where he is there they shall be also. This intimates, what many other scriptures declare, that the quintessence of heaven’s happiness is being with Christ there, ch. 17:24; Phil. 1:23; 1 Th. 4:17. Christ speaks of his being there as now present, that where I am; where I am to be shortly, where I am to be eternally; there you shall be shortly, there you shall be eternally: not only there, in the same place; but here, in the same state: not only spectators of his glory, as the three disciples on the mount, but sharers in it. (4.) That this may be inferred from his going to prepare a place for us, for his preparations shall not be in vain. He will not build and furnish lodgings, and let them stand empty. He will be the finisher of that of which he is the author. If he has prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it, and in due time put us in possession of it. As the resurrection of Christ is the assurance of our resurrection, so his ascension, victory, and glory, are an assurance of ours.

Friday, July 18, 2008

open air preaching!

It really isn't hard to do people! The hardest thing about open air preaching is taking that first step and actually doing it. Once you do it, it becomes easier each time and you will gain the confidence you will need. God will see you through it. Just be faithful to Him!

I found this video over at The Centurion Papers

What motivates you to follow Christ?

Many of us have seen this video before. It is funny and sad at the same time. Lately, I have been getting on the prosperity preachers sites to see what kind of preaching they are doing. It seems that most of their messages have to do with the "ME" that is within you.

JFK once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what can you do for your country."

PBC is now saying (okay, PBC is pastorbrianc), "Ask not what God can do for you, but ask what can you do for God!"

Too many of the me-generation have dictated to the church what they want. Too many of the pastors have geared their messages towards the me-generation. The me-generation is self righteous and does not know God's Law. The ME pastor does not give them the Law. Why? Because Me does not want to hear it.

Can you see some of the Me Church residing within your own church? Open your eyes this week to the churches in your community. How do they promote themselves, but more importantly, how do they promote God? I am still waiting to find that one church that will be seen out in the streets reaching the lost. I have yet to see a church so on fire for the Lord that the whole congregation is out witnessing to the community. Me can be lazy. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. When we are empowered by God's Word we will give up our "self" and will follow Him.

It is the giving up of self that seems to shut so many christians down. They worry about being embarassed or treated rudely. Does that bother you? I don't worry about what other people think. I worry about getting God's Word into the minds and hearts of the lost souls.

What motivates you to follow Christ?
Me will not do it.
As for me (small "m") and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Acknowledge Him in all your ways!! And lean not unto your own understanding.

You can either be self-centered and self-righteous
You can be humble and can seek after righteousness.
Which do you choose?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time for a feel good video

I know this video is 2 years old now, but the power of it is still special. If any parent out there has a child who is autistic, please watch this video. It will inspire you and motivate you. If you are a woman considering an abortion because you found out your baby is not going to be "normal" then please take time to watch this video. Do you know someone who needs to be encouraged, then do like this coach did...

create an opportunity, then tell them to go at it! You might be surprised to see how well they do!

Biblical Assurance

Biblical Assurance - Part 1 by Paul Washer
Biblical Assurance - Part 2
Biblical Assurance - Part 3
Biblical Assurance - Part 4
Biblical Assurance - Part 5

Hocus Pocus Religion

American Churchianity

In making an attempt to describe the american church to someone it is necessary to set the original groundwork down so the person can understand some major differences between the original ACTS church and the American Church.

ACTS Church

41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added. 42 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and held everything in common, 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. 46 Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, 47 praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.1

American Church

So an advertisement went up at the local Wal-Mart promoting the Elvis impersonator and the gospel according to him. There was no teaching that would take place, it was all about the fellowship and the breaking of the bondage that we are in. Exceeding gladness came over everyone as they listened to the songs (especially Love Me Tender). All who believed that Elvis was truly saved (because of his fruits of debauchery, drunkenness, adultery) came forward at the end of the service. Afterall, he MUST be saved if he sang gospel songs! Once a week the people would gather to look down their noses at the other people, often complaining about what clothes they were wearing and gossipping about what so and so did yesterday. Hot dogs were sold immediately after the service and everyone was praising the hot dog maker. And the Lord did not see fit to add to their numbers. But Satan did. Their numbers continued to grow each week as new programs were added to the service. Motorcycle jumps were added, free gas was given away, talks on sex were sold out immediately. Girls were seen wearing dresses that were a full 10 inches above their knees and the men were seen looking at the girls. This church "must" be blessed because the pastor is a best selling author and since millions of people buy his books, he must be right. As the people came to church, no mention of sin was found. No mention of repentance was found either. The sinners prayer was said and people were magically saved. Hocus Pocus -- You are saved!

in the Acts church, the people that were saved were knowledgeable of the Law. They knew the Law, they did not know about the grace of God. Once they learned that, they gave themselves to Him and were saved. For people who do not know the Law, it is important that we use the Law to convict people of their sins. The law acts as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. We are not saved by the Law, it just acts as a mirror to show us how God sees us. Sinners in need of a Savior. Imagine what it must be like to try to live by the law. There is no human possible way that any person could keep the whole law of God. A person would feel as though he had no chance at all of going to heaven. Then the Savior came! Victory in Jesus! These people who knew they were destined for hell, found out about a Savior that loves them so much that He died on the cross and took their punishment upon Himself. It was the grace of God that saved them!

How many times do we see people get saved only to never set foot in a church again?
Do we see people who are really hungry for God's Word? No. The hunger is gone from the American church. People are more interested in being entertained than they are in hearing God's Word. In fact, you can see people start looking at their watches after about 20 minutes of preaching. Some people will actually leave a service because it is infringing on their lunch date at the local Sirloin Stockade. The American Church is so void of reverance for God, so void of true honor and glory to Him. The American church has been relegated to nothing more than a meeting place for the world to pretend they care about God. It has become filled with lazy, boring, entertainment oriented pastors, who have not got a clue as to how much danger they are in. They have perverted the Word of God. They have shaken hands with the Devil in order to be seen acceptable to the world. They have become money hungry estates where the pastor is the beneficiary.

The pastor, in all his glory, has decided to stop preaching the whole gospel and has taken the easy way out. Instead of training people to get out into the streets and actually start reaching the lost, he is making his church (not God's church, but "his" church) a place where it is filled with unbelievers. The church was never meant to be for unbelievers. It is for believers so they can worship God, praise Him and be edified by His Word. It is a time of like-minded believers to share in fellowship with one another. What we have today is a church filled with the world and there is absolutely no growth taking place. When we make church services to be geared towards the lowest common denominator (the unbeliever), then there will never be any growth. That is why Willow Creek will never have true spiritual growth within their walls. When Church becomes a marketing scheme, it will come across exactly as that, a scheme!

Everyone is being trained to get people to say the sinners prayer.
"If you will just repeat after me, you can know for sure you are going to heaven...
Dear God, I am sorry. Please forgive me of my sins. I want to ask you into my heart and I want to live for you. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me. I accept you. in Jesus Name, Amen."

First off, it is not US that needs to accept Jesus. We need to pray that HE accepts us! We are the lowly sinners who are headed for hell. There is nothing we can do to earn our way into heaven. Jesus is not a beggar hoping someone will accept Him. He is the creator of all things. He is LORD! Just because someone says the sinners prayer does not mean they are saved.

Secondly, the sinners prayer is not biblical. It is not found anywhere in the Bible. There is not even anything close to it. It is a lazy man-made scheme to bring people to Christ. Why not take time to do the real work of a Christian. Learn God's Word, take it to the streets and tell people what they need to know. If you do it the right way, they will fall to their knees on their own and on their own they will cry out to God to save them! That person is much more likely to come to church because they will hunger for God's Word.

We can't keep using the sinners prayer as a Hocus Pocus, you are saved, method of bringing people to Christ. Let's keep it biblical. I have heard pastors say that their way is the best way. Never are we to do it OUR way. We are the sinners who have not got a clue. We should always do it the way Jesus did it! The way He taught His disciples to do it. Why in the world would we want to deviate away from biblical teachings? Why? Because it is offensive to the world and the American Church would never want to offend anyone!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Creflo heretic revisited

It was about loving God with your stuff

if you keep reading down a couple more scriptures it says, "and he received a hundred-fold of everything that he gave, everything that he sold."

The above quotes are from Creflo Dollar as said in this video in response to Matt 19:16-30.

Matthew 19:16-30
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 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. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard [it], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last [shall be] first.

As you read this scripture for yourself, you can see that the rich man went away sorrowful. HE DID NOT SELL HIS STUFF! there is no mention in scripture that he sold or gave away his stuff. It just says he went away sorrowful, or sad because he had great wealth, lots of possessions that he did not want to give up. When you listen to Creflo, you can tell he does not know his Bible. He has twisted scripture to mean what he wants it to mean. He wants to make it about prosperity and how you can get rich by God. This Scripture in no way means what he is making it to mean. He is deceiving people left and right!

click on this link to see an article written by John Piper in regards to prosperity preachers.

Be very careful who you follow. There are many people out there who are deceivers and are getting rich off of gullible people. They will take you down the serpents path with them. Read your Bible and check to see if what people are saying is true!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Church Cancels Teen Gun Giveaway

Church Cancels Teen Gun Giveaway
POSTED: 10:38 pm CDT July 11, 2008
UPDATED: 8:56 am CDT July 12, 2008
(Thanks Jeff G for contributing this!)

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma church canceled a controversial gun giveaway for teenagers at a weekend youth conference.
Windsor Hills Baptist had planned to give away a semiautomatic assault rifle until one of the event's organizers was unable to attend.
The church’s youth pastor, Bob Ross, said it’s a way of trying to encourage young people to attend the event. The church expected hundreds of teenagers from as far away as Canada.

“We have 21 hours of preaching and teaching throughout the week,” Ross said.
A video on the church Web site shows the shooting competition from last year’s conference. A gun giveaway was part of the event last year. This year, organizers included it in their marketing.
“I don’t want people thinking ‘My goodness, we’re putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn’t respect it who are then going to go out and kill,'” said Ross. “That’s not at all what we’re trying to do.”
Ross said the conference isn’t all about guns, but rather about teens finding faith.
“You make a lot of new friends down here,” said Vikki Goncharenko, who attended the conference. “You get to meet new people. There's a bunch of things that are going on. It's just, you have a wonderful time.”
Friday evening, Ross said the gun giveaway had been canceled. Pastor emeritus Jim Vineyard, who ran the event, injured his foot and wouldn’t be able to attend. The gun giveaway was also removed from the church Web site.
Ross said the church would give the gun away next year instead. He said the church spent $800 buying the gun for the promotion.
Who in their right mind could possibly think this is a good idea? They actually did this last year! Video games from the late 70's started out rather tame in comparison to today's games. The games seemed to continue to show more flesh (sex), gore (killings) and over all violence (rape, murder, robbery, etc). The world is only content for a little while until they want something more and more shocking.

Now the churches seemed to have fallen for the trap set by the Devil himself. Let's entice these children to come into our churches and we will give them a gun. When they stop coming, then it will be time to do something even more radical. Where will it end?

Jesus over turned the tables of the money changers in the Temple because they were abusing the system. Makes you wonder what Jesus will do to a church that does not have the guts to preach God's Word without stupidity being added to it!

Losing faith in your pastor

I have been noticing lately an unusually large increase in some of my visitors lately. I am able to track what brings people to my site and it is amazing how many people show up by doing a google search. Here are some of the searches that have brought people here...

how to know you need to change churches

i think god is telling me to change churches, how do i know?

what to do when you lose faith in your paster

i have been hurt by my church, what should i do?

Below is a copy of a post I did back in early May...

When is it time to change churches?

Here are 16 questions that you have maybe asked yourself or others...

Is it okay to lie, cheat or steal?

When is it time to change churches?

Why should I change churches?

Is it biblical to change churches?

What about my church family?

Will I be setting a poor example to them if I leave?

What do I do about my volunteer work I do for them?

Would it be better for me to NOT change churches so that I could be around my loving friends?

Does it matter what Bible translation I use?

Is it better to listen to expository preaching or story based preaching?

Is it better to have a sermon series (7 weeks or longer) or a different sermon subject each week?

Do I need to have communion each week or once a month?

I was baptized in a Mormon church, do I need to be baptized again in a Christian church?

What should I do if I have been hurt by church?

Are jokes acceptable from behind the pulpit?

Is it acceptable for a pastor to wear Hawaiian shirts while preaching?
*************************************************************************************Is it okay to lie, cheat or steal?
Sure, and while you are at it, go ahead and commit adultery, murder someone (hate), covet, dishonor your parents, blaspheme God's Holy Name, break the Sabbath, forget completely about God and bow down to a man-made god. Go ahead, do it! But realize this...

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matt 12:36Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor 6:9-10

You see, we have the freedom to do whatever we want to do. But as Christians, we understand that what we do comes with a price. Unless we repent of our sins, we will not inherit the kingdom of God (heaven). Instead, for the unbeliever and the unrighteous person, hell awaits those who have not put their faith and trust in Jesus alone to save them. Without repentance and faith in Jesus, there is no salvation. (side note -- repentance here is not a "works" that is necessary for salvation. This is something that the Holy Spirit allows us to do when we put our faith and trust in Jesus completely! If a person has NOT repented of their sins,then they are not saved)

When is it time to change churches?
When the Holy Spirit convicts you to.

Why should I change churches?
Because the Holy Spirit has led you out of your current church. The "why" might have to do with several factors. Maybe you are being called to serve in a special ministry at another church. Maybe there is someone there that God has called you to at that very moment so that you can witness to them. The main reason from our human understanding is that the church you are currently attending is not preaching the whole Gospel message. If the Bible is not the authoritative Word of God in your church, then it is time to leave and find another church. If God's Word is changed to reflect the modern world and to make sin acceptable, then run, don't walk from that church! If you are not growing spiritually and are not being "fed" then you need to leave.

Is it Biblical to change churches?
We are to expose false teachings, false prophets and false leaders. If you are in a church that is spewing out false teachings, then you are to expose them for the sake of the other believers.Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. Eph 5:11

What about my church family?
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Heb 10:25
The assembling or gathering of ourselves for Christian communion in private and public, is an earnest of our being gathered together to Him at His appearing. Union is strength; continual assemblings together beget and foster love, and give good opportunities for "provoking to good works," by "exhorting one another." Now when the church does not provoke you to good works and does not exhort you, when the people in the church are bringing in sinful and sinfilled idea's and they are not being corrected by the pastor and the elders, then it is time to leave.

Will I be setting a poor example to them if I leave?
Actually, quite the opposite! If a true Christian is not willing to stand up for God's Word then what kind of faith is found in that church? It is a good example that we show others the importance of Holy Scripture and stand by God's Word as opposed to standing by Man.

What do I do about my volunteer work I do for them?
It is commendable that someone wants to serve God. We should all be in service to Him within the church. At what point do we hang on to our positions for the sake of hanging on as opposed to leaving and being fed God's Word so we can be edified to go out into the world reaching the lost for Christ? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Just be sure that you are serving God and not serving your own self-interest.

Would it be better for me to NOT change churches so that I could be around my loving friends?
As mentioned earlier it is important to be "fed" God's Word. It is important to be edified along with the body of believers. It is important to be fed by a pastor/minister that exposits God's Word. You can leave and still maintain your old friends. Don't let loyalty to friends interfere with your desire to learn God's Word. Not everyone is at the same maturity level in the Word, and that is okay. Just don't let an unbeliever keep you down to their level.

Does it matter what Bible translation I use?
If you are a Mormon, you will want to find one that backs up the claims of Joseph Smith. If you are a Catholic, you will want to find one that includes the Maccabee writings. If you are a Christian, you will want to find one that does not distort the Word of God into less than the perfect Word of God!

Is it better to listen to expository preaching or story based teaching?
For me, I like expository preaching because I feel that learning the Whole Word of God, taken in context, is important for being edified. At the same time, there are some people who learn best by hearing stories. So long as the story is said in a way that is biblically accurate, the same effect will take place. The person will learn and grow. Unfortunately there are many story telling/joke telling pastors who have perverted the Word of God into something that it is not ~~ a soft gospel message. We must remember that the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword!For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12

Is it better to have a sermon series (7 weeks or longer) or a different sermon subject each week?
Which ever one the pastor feels led to preach ~~ so long as the Holy Spirit has led him to preach it. The problem comes when the pastor takes the lazy way out and just copies someone else's sermon online. For the pastor that tends to cheat by not doing an actual Bible study on his own, that man is not being led by the Holy Spirit and he should be removed from the pulpit!! No if's, and's or but's about it. He should be removed if he has been found to have copied a sermon prepared by someone else.

Do I need to have communion each week or once a month?
It’s not the frequency that matters, but the heart attitude of those who participate. We should partake with reverence, love, and a deep sense of gratitude for the Lord Jesus, who was willing to die on the cross to take upon Himself our sins.

I was baptized in a Mormon church, do I need to be baptized again in a Christian church?
As for me, yes, I was baptized again. I felt dirty coming out of the Mormon religion. My baptism was not in Jesus of the Bible but in the Jesus created by Joseph Smith and who was the brother of Lucifer! The Mormon Jesus can not save a person from ALL sins. The Mormon Jesus was once just a man and only a man who became a god. I wanted to make sure my baptism was a representation of the Jesus of the Bible!

What should I do if I have been hurt by church?
First off, realize that there is no perfect church that is led by men. Also, realize that when the church hurts you, it was not God that was hurting you, it was man. Do not lose your faith and walk away from God because of what man has done to you. When you have been hurt by church, be sure to keep your eye on Jesus and on the cross.

Are jokes acceptable from behind the pulpit?
Be ready to meet one of my "pet peeve's." I am personally a joke teller and spent five years being a joke teller behind the pulpit. I have sat in the sanctuary listening to pastor's tell their best jokes in an effort to make people laugh. Humor can be used if that is your personality. But when it becomes a chance to present yourself as a stand-up comedian, then it is inappropriate. When people remember the joke more than the Scripture, then it is time to leave the ministry. It amazes me how many LAZY pastor's are preaching from the behind the pulpit. Leave the joke telling for after the service. Let's use the sermon time to edify the body of believers so they can learn how to reach the lost out in the streets!

Is it acceptable for a pastor to wear a Hawaiian shirt while preaching?
I guess I would have to ask, "why is it necessary to wear that kind of shirt?" It seems to have a lot to do with being found acceptable to the world. When church becomes a place better suited for unbelievers than for believers, then church has failed to be effective. Church was never meant to be used for the unbelievers. NEVER! That is not to say that unbelievers cannot come to church. Of course they can, they are welcome there. But when the sermon is prepared in a way so as not to offend an unbeliever, then the Word of God has been softened and a Soft Gospel has been developed. Church is for believers for the purpose of edification, worship, fellowship and to lift each other up for the sake of the gospel so we can all go into the world ready to preach the gospel to every creature!

When you have a question about church and don't know where to turn...
When you want to know what to do...
When you are frustrated at church...
Call on God!

There should be no confusion in the answer He gives you, it will be consistent with Scripture without compromise!

Have you had the above questions?
then the answer seems obvious...
it must be...

Friday, July 11, 2008

It was bound to happen!

Gay Man Files $70M Suit Against Bible Publishers Over 'Homosexual' Verses

A homosexual man has filed a $70 million lawsuit against Bible publishers Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, alleging that their version of the Bible that refers to homosexuality as a sin violates his constitutional rights and has caused him emotional distress.

Bradley LaShawn Fowler, an ex-con turned author, filed the federal suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Monday, the same day a judge refused to appoint him a lawyer for his suit against Thomas Nelson, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

"The Court has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of these claims," the judge wrote.

Fowler, who is representing himself in both cases, claims that Zondervan manipulated Scripture by using the term "homosexuals" in 1 Corinthians 6:9 of their 1982 and 1987 revised edition Bibles. He also contends that the reference to homosexuality were deleted by the publisher in later versions without informing the public.

He alleges that since the older Kings James Version containing the term "homosexuals" is used by his family pastor, he has been outcast by his family.

The 39-year-old is suing the Grand Rapids publisher for compensation of 20 years of "emotional duress and mental instability," he told WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.

In a hand-written suit, Fowler lists all sorts of charges against Zondervan including malicious negligence, strict liability, malice, libel, and violating his civil rights. He filed a suit in June against Tennessee-based publisher Thomas Nelson on similar grounds. He's seeking $60 million from Zondervan and $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Zondervan issued a statement to The Christian Post that said they do not discuss ongoing litigation. The company's spokesperson Tara Powers, however, pointed out that they only publish Bibles, not translate them.

"Since Zondervan does not translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations we publish, we are not in a position to comment on the merits of how a word should or should not be translated," said Powers.

"We rely on the scholarly judgment of the highly respected and credible translation committees behind each translation and never alter the text of the translations we are licensed to publish. We only publish credible translations produced by credible biblical scholars," she noted.

According to Fowler, Zondervan has 20 days to respond to the claims listed.
This is no different than supposed "christians" who choose to ignore Scripture. God's Word is sharp! It cuts! It digs deep within us! It shows us just how wretched we truly are. Instead of fighting against God's Word, we need to embrace it as a means of deliverance from our sins.

Do you believe the Bible to be God's Holy Word? If you do, then live by it and be obedient to His Word.

Do you believe the Bible is not fully God's Word? Then don't call yourself a christian. It's as simple as that!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Evolution!? The Great Myth!

This says it all. Some people will think this is childish and nothing at all what evolution teaches. But it actually is what they teach. If I just "think" to myself that I want to fly, I have absolutely no ability to grow my own set of wings.

Evolution is the greatest myth that has ever been told as truth. Those people who have fallen for the lie, have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. He is the creator of all things!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ambassador's Academy

I wish I could attend this academy. But even though I am not able to attend, I pray that someone out there is able to go to this. If you want more information, you can either go to or to and they can give you the details.

I have been sick this past week so I am keeping this short today. I pray you are all doing well. God bless!

Perry Mason and Mr. Hamilton Burger

There will come a day when you will have to face the Judge of all humanity! Unless you repent of your sins, unless you put away your old foolish, selfish, obnoxious, cantacerous, insidious, deceiving, adulteress, coniving ways, you will have to face God some day and it will not be pretty. You will stumble for the words to say, but the truth is...
There is no justifying yourself before God. Do you still insist on using cuss words? Do you in fact, flaunt it before a High and Mighty, a Sovereign and Holy Lord? You will not have Jesus as your defense attorney at that time. He will say to you, Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you!
Are you prepared for That Day?
Repent of your sins now. Don't wait. We are not guaranteed our next breath!
Put your faith and trust in Jesus. Believe in Him and call on Him to save you.
Hell awaits all who have failed to repent of their sins.
Do you still want to mock Him?
I pray that you don't mock Him anymore. His patience is running out. Time is short and is at hand.
May our God of mercy and of grace, grant you the wisdom to see the errors of your ways. Repent of your sins and be obedient to the One who Saves!
Otherwise, the Judge will see you later!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dear Eliot...

I found this over at

May you thank God for every single blessing that you have received. What one person counts as a burden, another person counts it as pure joy! What have you been stressed out over lately? Not enough money in the bank account? Not a large enough house? Don't have a brand new car? Are you displaying the signs of anger towards God because you don't feel blessed? God's blessings can be found right in front of your nose. Have you opened your eyes lately to see what blessings are there?

Dear Eliot...
let me say, Dear Friend...
I appreciate each and every day that I have to spend with you. You are truly a blessing to me and I count it as pure joy to have known you, even if for only a little while.

Creflo Dollar heretic

Why do people blindly follow after this man as well as many of the other Word of Faith preachers. To them it is more about getting rich than it is about following God! I found this video over at

We need to study the scriptures to see whether these men and women are properly teaching the Word of God. Too many times, they are not!!!

Homosexuality and the Bible by John MacArthur

Copy and paste the above address into your web browser to listen to John MacArthur preach on Homosexuality and the Bible.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

study, study, study

Bible Misquotes

The lion shall lay down with the lamb.
False. Isaiah 11:6 says,
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together, and a little child shall lead them.”

Isaiah 65:25 also says,
“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the Lord.”

God helps those who help themselves.
False. The saying, "God helps those who help themselves," came to us by way of Benjamin Franklin (1736). Franklin himself was a deist and so he believed that God did not play an active role in men's lives. In his point of view if man was not able to help himself, then man was hopeless. The Bible teaches something entirely different than the above saying, because God makes special provision to help the helpless.

Romans 5:6,8 says,
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly....But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Proverbs 28:26 says,
“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.”

Jeremiah 17:5 says,
“Thus says the LORD, "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD.”

Money is the root of all evil.
False. This expression stems from the biblical phrase that says, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils" (1 Timothy 6:10). There is a big difference between the two statements. Money is neutral and can be used either for the good or for the bad. Money of itself is not evil, yet the love of it is the root of all kinds evil.

Spare the rod, spoil the child.
False. Proverbs 13:24 says, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”

To thine own self be true.
False. This is actually a saying that comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

God works in mysterious ways.
False. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, The secret things belong to the Lord our God.

Romans 8:28 says, And we know that all thing work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Pride comes before the fall.
False. Proverbs 16:18 says, Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Why do I mention these sayings? Some of them are close enough to what the Bible says, what harm does it do?

2 Timothy 2:15 says,
“Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman who is not ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” KJV

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” NKJV

To study, to be diligent, is from the Greek word, spü-dä'-zō, which means to make haste, to hurry! To exert one’s self.

To show, to present, is from the Greek word, pä-rē'-stā-mē, which means to prove, or to present to another person for them to see and question.

Is not ashamed, is from the Greek word, ä-ne-pī's-khün-tos, which literally means, having no cause to be ashamed.

Rightly dividing is from the Greek word, or-tho-to-me'-ō, which means to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course, to teach the truth directly and correctly.

The Word of Truth is from the Greek words, lo'-gos and ä-lā'-thā-ä, which covers The Word, the sayings of God, doctrine, teaching, John tells us that Jesus is the Word. The truth means that we should be telling people, accurately, who Jesus is, the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians.

Importance of standing up for the Word of God!

Let’s look at Jesus’ final week in the Temple.
Mark 11:11 Jesus entered Jerusalem, and went to the temple: He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Jesus had been traveling and arrived in Jerusalem in the evening. He came to the Temple and looked around and then they all left to spend the night in Bethany)
Mark 11:12-14 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then He said to the tree, May no one ever eat fruit from you again, And his disciples heard him say it.
A little later on Monday
Mark 11:15-19 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the Temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “is it not written, -- My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of robbers.” The chief priests and teachers of the Law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. In the evening, they went out of the city.

Mark 11:27-33 Verses 20-26 talk about their return trip to the Temple from Bethany. They pass by the fig tree that Jesus had cursed and Jesus talks about the power of faith. Once they get to the Temple, the leaders were waiting for Him. Verse 27 starts it off by saying, Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave you this authority to do these things? But Jesus answered and said to them, I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John – was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.” And they reasoned among themselves saying, “If we say From heaven, He will say, Why then did you not believe him? But if we say from men, -- they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. So they answered and said to Jesus, We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Still on Tuesday
Mark 12:1-44 Here Jesus begins speaking in parables.
12:13 is about paying taxes to Caesar or not. (Pharisees)
12:18 is about the marriage at the resurrection (Sadducees)
12:28 is about the Greatest Commandment (Teachers of the Law)
12:35 is about whose Son is the Christ (Jesus speaking)
Jesus has been speaking to each group according to their questions.
Now follow me here and watch what is happening.
Mark 12:38-39 As He taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the Law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. Did you catch it? He said “Watch out for them!!”
Mark 12:40 They devour widows houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely. Please remember this – They Devour Widows Houses!
1 Peter 5:8 “…your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Galatians 5:15 “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
Jeremiah 30:16 “But all who devour you will be devoured; all your enemies will go into exile.”
Mark 12:40 “they devour widow’s houses…”
The Greek word for devour is kä-tes-thē'-ō, which means to forcibly take widow’s property, to strip one of his goods, to consume and to destroy!

1 Timothy 5:3, 16 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those who are really in need.

Exodus 22:22-24 Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

Now that I have set the stage, let’s take a look at what Scripture says.
It is still Tuesday
Mark 12:41-44 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.

Here is where some of my own struggles come in. I used to preach on Mark 12:41-44 and I would preach about how it teaches us to give sacrificially. That Jesus praises this widow for giving all she had. But the more I search and study the Scriptures, the more convinced I am that that is not what was happening here. There is no evidence that Jesus is commending her for giving all she had – He does not say, The kingdom of heaven awaits one such as her. No, He is just stating a fact. She gave all she had. She will lose her house and she will most likely die. WHY? The preceding verses tell us. Watch out for teachers of the Law. They devour widows houses!

Pull out a chair and sit down with head down. Luke 21 says He looked up!
What did He see? He saw a widow giving her very life savings into the treasury when in fact, the people in the Temple were responsible to see to it she was taken care of. But they were not doing that. In fact, they were getting rich off of the Temple. Remember what happened on Monday? Jesus overturned the tables because of all of the money changing that was taking place. Leaders were getting rich off of the people.

I believe it is safe to say that Jesus was actually mad about what He was seeing. Not celebrating her giving, but mad because He knew that they would not be taking care of her, in fact, they would be devouring her home and her livelihood (her very life!)

Notice what the disciples say immediately after seeing this poor woman give all she has.
Do they say…
Master, she does a great thing and this is true, a hearty giver is blessed?

As Jesus and the Disciples were leaving the Temple, look at what one of the disciples says…
Look Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!

Jesus puts absolutely no honor in that Temple. In fact, let’s see what Jesus said about the Temple.
Mark 13:2 Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down. (the Temple was destroyed in 70AD)

So, is Jesus commending this poor widow for giving sacrificially? I don’t think so. It doesn’t make sense. This whole week has been about the temple and the abuse that is taking place in it. His time on earth is drawing to a close – He is about to be betrayed by Judas. I think it makes sense that He is just stating a fact that the rich people put in a lot of money and she gave her all. For what? Those people were not going to help her, in fact, they will devour her house!

I used to teach as a cross reference 2 Corinthians 8:12 to support my claims about giving out of our abundance. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

But it is important to read the rest of the Scripture to see how it lines up. If we continue on with verses 13 and 14 we will see the purpose for the giving. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,

This widow was in no position to help others. She was supposed to have been the one RECEIVING help! It is nice that she gave but the heart of the matter is that these leaders were being abusive and were not going to use the collection of money to help her. How can they? They would be devouring her home!

Can you see how it does make a difference to do a deep study of God’s Word. See, we can leave it at: we need to give sacrificially, but we will be missing a huge picture of what Jesus was teaching. Can you see how it is important for a church to understand what is being taught within their church walls. If Pastor Paul, Pastor Don, Nona, Billy, Dave and I were not here, would you know your Bible well enough to discern biblical truths? Many Christians will sit in the pews and shake their heads in affirmation to the sermon without examining the Word for themselves. We must study God’s Word diligently.

Think of the Laodicean Church found in Revelation 3.
Rev 3:14 starts off saying…
These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot, I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me, gold refined in the fire that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent!

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

There are some key truths in these verses.
Laodicea was the wealthiest, most important commercial center in the region, it was known for 3 industries; banking, wool, and medicine (eye salve). An inadequate local water supply forced the city to build an underground aquaduct. All 3 industries, as well as the inadequate water supply played a major part in this letter.

So, is Jesus speaking to a true believer in Christ? A person who is obedient to His Word?
NO! He is talking to hypocrites within the church.
Verse 19 says,
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. Does He need to discipline the obedient or the disobedient? The disobedient!
How do we know it is the disobedient?
Look at the next line…
So be earnest and repent. It is the disobedient person who needs to repent of his sins.
Everything leading up to verse 20 is Jesus speaking to church members who are still dead in their sins. They have not repented of their sins.

Matthew 24:33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
James 5:9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the Door!
Revelation 3:16 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock

So how many times have we heard this taken out of context? I stand at the door and knock. Is this talking about a person’s heart? No. There is no mention of the heart here. To put that in here is to add to Scripture something that is not there. We need to let Scripture stand on its own merit. Many times it is taught that Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart but that is far from the truth here. Many times it is said, Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart and all you have to do is let him in and you will be saved. That is very dangerous to say that. Because what could happen is, false converts can be created. There is no mention of the need to repent of sins. There is no mention of the need to be obedient to His Word. There is no mention of becoming a new creature in Christ. If all a person does, is say, I let Jesus in my heart. They will most likely continue to live in their sins. They will most likely continue to live for the world.

Here is what Jesus said…
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot…

He would rather a person be hot on fire for the Lord, full of passion and living for Him
He would rather a person be cold and indifferent, rejecting the gospel. Because then, people can see where you stand! To be lukewarm makes Him sick. This is a person who professes to be a Christian. In fact, this is a person in church, who has an attitude of “I am rich and in need of nothing.” Jesus says they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

This is a church that has Jesus on the outside. They do not even realize that He is not inside with them. The term for knock is the literal term meaning to knock on a door with knuckles.

I think we can all agree that there are many churches out there who have forgotten Jesus within their church walls. They are so worried about entertaining people that they have forgotten to preach God’s Word. They have failed to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

My prayer is that each person here will study diligently to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who is not ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Commentary Bibles can be a great resource. They give you a starting point. But should we put all of our trust and faith in the people who prepare the commentaries? NO.
Why? I did some research on some of the people who wrote comments in a study bible last year. I found some interesting facts.

Back in late summer of 2007 over a hundred pastors and religious leaders responded to a letter to the Muslems. It is called A Common Word Between Us and You. In it, these Christian leaders pushed Jesus off as being nothing more than Mohammed. A prophet of God. They completely acknowledged that we serve the same God without claiming that Jesus is the Son of God. You would have to read it, but it is very disturbing. There were many very big Christian names in the USA that signed this pact. You would be surprised to see who signed it. You would also be very disappointed to know they signed it.

Many of the signatories were people who wrote comments in the study bible that I used to have. As I look back, I can see how they did not give the true biblical account in many of their comments. They were Christian comments disguising a worldly viewpoint.

Our faith and trust should be in God alone! Use the commentaries but do not let that keep you from diligently searching the Scriptures on your own.

In order for your bible study to help you…
We need to apply what we learn to our own life,
If there is a command to be obeyed, we obey it.
If there is a promise to be embraced, we claim it.
If there is a warning to be followed, we heed it.

We need to submit to Scripture and let it transform our lives.
It is not enough to just study the Bible, we must meditate upon it. In a very real sense, we are giving our brain and our hearts a bath; we are washing it in the purifying solution of God’s Word.

2 Timothy 2:15 says,
“Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman who is not ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” KJV

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What a Wonderful World

The following is one of my favorite songs. This song, sung by the legendary Louis Armstrong, resonates with a passion for our world. With all of the wars, and rumors of war going on; with all of the violence, murder, rape, and robbery going on, I wanted to lift you up with one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it!

God has created a truly wonderful world. We sometimes forget to take notice of the rainbow (God's reminder to us that He will never flood the earth again), the green grass and the red roses. The people exchanging handshakes is a perfect example of love being put on display. (maybe not perfect, but you know what I mean!)

Happy 4th of July to America! If you are living in another country, then...
Happy July 4th to you!! May we not be known for a land of parties, drunkenness, and evil doings, but rather, may we be known for a nation that follows Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior! May God bless each of you today! What a wonderful world we live in. Have you noticed?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Do not hinder the children!

Jesus said, let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them.

I was very fortunate in that my dad spent a lot of time with me playing catch out in the back yard. I use this as a tribute to him! I had always told him that if I could be half the person and half the dad that he was, then I was still going to be a great dad! What an honor it is when my own son (who is closing in on 25!) said basically the same thing to me!

But think about this...
If I am half the man my dad was...
And my son is half the man I am...
Then that would make my son only one fourth of the man that my dad was.
What if my grandson says he wants to be half the man of my son?
That would make him only one eighth the man of my dad.

The Apostle Paul tells us to copy him.
We are told to follow Jesus and be perfect as He is perfect.

We have the perfect One to follow.
Jesus Christ!
Proverbs tells us to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it!

Instead of training children to be like us, we should be training them in God's Word. We should give it to them straight. Don't sugar-coat it, tell it to them straight. God says it is a sin to lie, to steal, to covet. He says it is a sin to gossip, backbite, and to be envious. He says we should not be involved in homosexuality, in idolatry, and in the ways of the world. Let's tell our kids these important truths. Why wait until they are teens and the school system has filled their heads with scientific garbage and has masqueraded it as truth, why wait until they are taught in schools that it is okay to be gay, it is okay to hate another group (so long as that group is Christians!), and that it is wrong to pray.

We have a heavenly Father that wants us to spend time with Him.
Get to your knees now. Pray to the One who gave you life. Ask for His forgiveness and repent of your sins. Be obedient to His Holy Word. Be the fulfillment of the commandment -- Love all people. Love your enemies. Love your neighbors. Love your family. But most importantly, Love God! If you truly love God you will keep His Commands!

The Cats in the Cradle song can bring a tear to your eyes.
True tears come from a sinner who realizes he is headed for hell, and he falls to his knees crying out to God to save him. I tell you, that person will love the way God wants him to love because he realizes that with Jesus, he would have absolutely no chance of going to heaven. Hell would be his eternal resting (no rest!) place (are you listening to this all atheist?)!

I want to be perfect as Jesus is perfect. I will fail, but I do know that the One I want to follow is better than the one people of the world are following! That is the one I want my son and his family to follow!

Do you ever get the feeling that your pastor...

Do you ever get the feeling that your pastor is much like Don Knotts in this clip from 1958 as a weatherman who loses his notes?

While it is funny the way Don Knotts was able to portray the nervous weatherman trying to be funny. How many times have you heard a pastor trying desperately to get the people to laugh at his joke? I have heard sermons that were very similar to this clip. The pastor would start off with a smile and would tell a joke. People would give a polite laugh and then sit there waiting for him to start his sermon, only to be followed by more jokes. As he turns to his notes, they are devoid of any meat. They lack substance. They lack the TRUTH of GOD'S HOLY WORD!

For the pastor who is guilty of doing this, he will lose more than just his sponsor. He will be judged by God for his lack of sincere desire to delve into His Word and to preach the Word of God with reverance. Please do not humor your pastor when he starts telling his jokes from behind the pulpit. One quick joke is fine, but do not let him make a fool of himself, or even worse, create false Christians within your church. If he is unable to preach God's Word then he needs to leave the ministry. If it is more important for him to tell jokes than it is to study God's Word so he can more effectively preach the Word, then he needs to find another calling, because preaching is not it for him. I have said it many many times, please do not allow your pastor to be an entertainer! And do not allow him to take liberty with Scripture and ascribe to it a meaning that it was not meant to have (such as Rev 3 where it says He will knock on the door, and try making it to mean that he is knocking on the door of our hearts. That is NOT what the Scripture is saying and it is so very wrong to say that it does! {if someone wants to debate this with me, I am ready to show you WHY it is wrong, are you ready to defend your position biblically?})

It is easy to read a verse and create a 'story' for people to listen to. It takes work to truly study God's Word to give people the true meaning of Scripture. If the pastor is not prepared to preach God's Word, he will end up looking much like Don Knotts did as the weatherman! I pray that is not the case at your church, if it is...


50 million years???

In our Bible study last night they were watching a video of John Hagee. Personally, I do not agree with everything he says. He took Genesis 1:1 and said that in the original language there were 28 letters in the sentance. the number 28 breaks down to 4 and 7. with 7 being the number for completion and 4 being the number for the earth. He also said that the amount of time between Genesis chapter one and chapter two could be up to 50 million years.

I do not agree with this teaching. I believe in the young earth of about 6000 to 8000 years. It is biblical and archeologically it still fits. I do not believe in evolution as it does not make sense that God can create all things with just His spoken Word, and yet those things need millions of years to improve. We were created perfectly! As were the animals!

By the way, Hagee is also the one who believes that Jews will automatically go to heaven even if they do not claim Jesus as Lord and Savior!

What are your thoughts?