Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘judgment’

While meditating on John 3:36 I thought about what “believe” really means, especially when in the first part of the verse it speaks of believing in Jesus and the second part speaks of obeying Him.     

“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life.  Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” (John 3:36 NLT)

All who “believe in” (trust in, rely upon, swear by) Jesus have eternal life.  However, those who do not obey (comply, submit, follow orders, heed) Jesus will never have eternal life, but remain under God’s judgment.  Today, we have such a lenient view of what “believe” means.  I believe the sky is blue, grass is green, Obama is President, I need to lose weight.  These beliefs do not necessarily cause me to jump into action.  When we speak of believing in Jesus, this is a much deeper commitment.  By believing in Him, I am saying I agree with His teachings AND will endeavor to the best of my abilities to follow them.

Christians who have said “the sinner’s prayer”, but continue to lie, cheat, engage in adultery and promiscuity, slander, gossip, and worry about everything need to really look at their heart and think about whether they really do believe in Jesus or are just trying to use Him as a “fire escape” from hell.  I, at one time, believed the “say the prayer and you’re good forever” mentality.  I came to know Jesus in a personal way in a church that taught that.  But as I’ve grown as a Christian, read my Bible, and listened to other teachers, I realize there is a lot more to it than just “the prayer”. 

Following Jesus is a whole way of thinking, a lifestyle of trusting God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth.  One sin God says he hates most is sowing discord among a family (Proverbs 6:16-19) which is usually done by gossip.  But in Christendom, this is a “small” sin compared to things like murder and stealing.  How many messages do we hear on gossiping?  Not many.  How about gluttony?  Whoa boy, even less here.  I’m not saying we have to be perfect, but we Christians have a real knack for deciding which sins are really bad (usually the ones we don’t commit or at least don’t commit often). 

As I have studied more of God’s Word including the Old Testament, I have found that almost all of what Jesus taught was from the Old Testament.  When Jesus talked about reading something in the Scriptures or the Prophets, He wasn’t referring to the New Testament.  It was what the Church calls the Old Testament!  None of the New Testament was written at this point.  Even when Paul speaks of the Scriptures, he is referring to the Old Testament.  We as the body of Christ, need to take a whole new look at what we have discounted as out-of-date and begin studying the bible that Jesus had – the Old Testament.

How about getting back to “believing” in Jesus by accepting His teachings, living by them, and stop justifying ourselves or our church as not as sinful as someone else.  When we stand before God, He’s not going to let us off the hook if we say, “Well, that’s what my preacher said.”  We are to study God’s word ourselves and know what it says.  If you can’t understand the version of the Bible you have now, get one you can.  If your church is a “KJV only” church and you can’t understand this version, how’s it going to help you?  Let’s get real, people.  God wants us to understand His word.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.  That’s one of His jobs (John 16:12-15).

I have certainly not “arrived” and never will until I die, but I do keep working toward the goal of fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.  I welcome you as a traveling companion along this journey with me.  God bless.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

This morning at 3:00 AM, I woke up and felt that the Lord wanted me to write.  This is the message I received.

“There is a time coming when a spirit of darkness will cover your land.  Many will be deceived and follow after false prophets leading them away from Me.  You know you are seeing this start now.  You can see it with your own eyes.  Homosexual priests and preachers, gay rights flaunted in My face and accepted by the church.  Many are more concerned about being in favor with man than with Me.  So I will turn them over to the darkness.  They kill My children by the multitudes for pleasure and convenience and think nothing of it.  But they will think about it when they are poor and destitute.”

“My man has come to bring punishment to America.  I put up kings and take them down (Daniel 2:21).  Obama is My man for this time.  Just as I punished Israel with invaders, America is being invaded from within by My destroyers.  She thought herself invulnerable.  That she could not be hurt.  But I have begun My plan.”

“Be faithful to Me.  Do not be resentful of the discipline.  It only teaches you to obey.  Your parents taught you to obey through discipline and so do I.  I made America strong.  She was My safe place for millions.  She was My missionary to millions.  She has become fat and lazy through her wealth and power.  Like an overindulged princess, she has played the prostitute with other lovers – pride, greed, corruption, murder, pleasure, saying, “I am my own god, who can stop me?”  I have become tired of her insolence, so the punishment begins.  My word says those who had little, even that was taken away and given to those who had much (Matthew 25:28-29).  So it will be.  I will take the knowledge of Me away from those who know little about Me and increase the knowledge of those who are searching for Me and My truth.”

“A shift is coming.  A greater chasm between those who really know Me and those who don’t.  A greater distance and point of view.  My word says when sin increases, My grace increases all the more (Romans 5:20).  My light shines brightest in the dark.  Those who know Me will shine like the stars in the darkness that is coming.  Men are fascinated by stars in the sky, but you only see the stars when it is night and there are no competing lights.  There are competing lights now.  Those who would take My glory and set up their teaching as the truth.  They detract from My truth.  But the time is coming, the blackness is coming, where their truth, their lights, will be overcome and My truth, My people who know Me and the truth will shine forth brilliantly as in the blackest sky.”

“Do not be afraid.  All this has been written about in My book.  And so it begins.  Get ready for the ride of your life.  I am with you on this one.”

Read Full Post »

As we look to the future of health care in the United States, we need to consider our past history.  We “baby boomers” have worked hard and now want “our due”.  Our parents have or are still benefiting from Social Security and Medicare.  Now it’s our turn.  But how have we “managed” the health care of our families during our lives?

We have managed to eliminate large costs in some families by aborting our children due to inconvenience or “not having enough money” to provide for their well-being.  Approximately 49,000,000 children have been aborted since 1973 according to the National Right to Life organization.  This action saved us untold billions over the past 36 years.  Unfortunately, every action has a reaction.  I do not think the magnitude of the consequences of this action ever crossed our minds.

Now, we face the near future of either Social Security and Medicare going bankrupt in the next few years, millions with no health insurance at all, or going to a universal health care plan for our country.  President Obama is stressing the need for universal health care.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has plans to push through a health care proposal that would require only 20 hours of debate and a simple 50-vote majority to pass.  The catch is (1) it is astronomically expensive and (2) it will limit the access to health care that we presently have.  There is no way around this dilemma.   We cannot continue to receive the health care coverage we have become accustomed to when this cost is transferred to our government.

So, I come back to my post’s title.  We did not have the money to care for the 49 million children when they most needed our love and support.  Now, we who are aging and becoming more dependent find ourselves in a similar position.  Where will the money come from to take care of us? 

God does not overlook our sin just because it was inconvenient to do what was right.  In Psalm 106Proverbs 6, and Jeremiah 7, He says what He thinks about those who shed innocent blood.  Hosea 8:7 states, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind”. Our selfishness in denying our children their lives means they are not here to support our economy, Social Security, Medicare, etc.  We will “reap” a much greater monetary disaster in our future due to this. 

Our country will “pay” for our children who are no longer with us one way or the other, and we “boomers” will receive the care we deserve, whether we like it or not.

Read Full Post »

When you take communion at church or at your home, for that matter, what does it mean to you?  Most of the sermons I’ve heard represent it as a time when you are to review your life, repent of any sins that are still lingering between you and God, and remember the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross for all of us.  All of these things are well and good, but I believe there is so much more involved here that we are overlooking.

In Matthew 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22, Jesus gives His disciples the cup of wine, speaking either of His blood representing a New Covenant or being poured out to forgive our sins.  He also breaks the bread to be eaten and states it is His body being broken for us.  While handing out the bread and wine, He instructs them to remember Him whenever they do this. 

Paul goes into greater detail in I Corinthians 11:17-34 as to the meaning of this remembrance.  In verse 26, he explains that by doing this, we are continually recalling what the Lord has done for us until He comes again.  Verses 27 – 31 hold a wonderful key for believers to be excited about, or fearful, depending upon how you look at it. 

In verses 27 – 28, Paul speaks of sinning against the body and blood of Jesus if we take it unworthily and that we should examine ourselves first.  Most sermons refer to this portion of instruction as seeing if you have any unconfessed sin and repenting of such if found.  However, I believe that this is not the total picture of what’s supposed to be happening here.  Of course, we always have a break in our relationship with Jesus when we have sin in our lives that we have not repented of, so that does need to be taken care of. 

Verses 29 – 31 tells us that if we have the Lord’s Supper without honoring His body, we are eating and drinking judgment upon ourselves.  This is the reason many are weak, sick and have died.  But, if we examine ourselves, we will not be judged by God in this way.

So what does all this mean today, now, in 2009?  How are we not honoring the body of Christ?  Jesus did a whole lot more for us than just pour out His blood for our sins.  Isaiah 53:4-5 explains ALL that He did for us.  “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” 

Jesus has taken our sorrows.  We do not need to carry them any longer ourselves.  We can give Him our broken hearts and He will heal them for us.  He will take our guilt of past mistakes, heal our emotional woundings of the past and give us peace in our minds and lives.  He has taken the punishment for our sins and offers us a new and vibrant life through Him.  He will heal our bodies.  So many of the diseases we face today are because of the emotional conflicts and woundings we carry in our spirits (anger, bitterness, rage, shame, guilt, unworthiness, regret, unforgiveness, etc.).  Jesus came and died to bring us into freedom; into a new way of living and thinking.  Many medical studies have been done reporting that unforgiveness plays a big part in the cause of arthritis and other diseases (Baseline of Health Foundation article), (Washington Adventist Hospital article May 2008)(WebMD article) , (Health Spas Guide – South Africa article), (Health Unlimited Ministries article).

When we do not believe in Jesus for ALL He has done for us, we do not honor Him and we bring God’s judgment upon ourselves.  This judgment is not necessarily punishment for our actions, but inaction because of our unbelief.  If we do not believe Jesus can heal us emotionally and/or physically, we forfeit this wonderful blessing and are left to our own devices to deal with this pain. 

The next time you take communion, please think about everything Jesus has done for you.  He is still alive and well, fully powerful and faithful to meet your needs right where you are.  Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).  He is our hope, our peace, our deliverer, our healer.  God bless you.

,

Technorati Tags: ,,

Read Full Post »

One cold, winter night, a farmer heard an irregular thumping sound against the kitchen storm door. He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the warmth inside, beat in vain against the glass. Touched, the farmer bundled up and walked through the fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling birds. He turned on the lights and tossed some hay in a corner. But the sparrows had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house and hid in the darkness, afraid.

The farmer tried various tactics to get them into the barn. He laid down a trail of Saltine cracker crumbs to direct them. He tried circling behind the birds to drive them toward the barn. Nothing worked. The birds couldn’t comprehend that the farmer, a huge alien creature, desired to help them. The farmer withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window. As he stared, a thought hit him like lightning from a clear blue sky: If only I could become a bird, one of them, just for a moment, then I wouldn’t frighten them so. I could show them the way to warmth and safety.

The farmer then recalled the greatest story he had ever read. The book began being edited around 1400 BC, was written by a number of men from different countries who had never seen, nor in any way communicated with one another. Each of these men were given a piece of the story from what the shivering sparrows would relate to as a huge alien creature. Each piece of information related to a future event that would show them the way to warmth and safety. This future event was the arrival of Jesus.

God didn’t want to scare man like the farmer scared the sparrows, so He told us in advance what was going to happen. Some of the hints of His arrival were:

He would be of the Tribe of Judah:  Genesis 49:10.   The exact time of His Coming:  Daniel 9:24-26.  He was to be born of a Virgin: Isaiah 7:14, in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2-5.  He would live in Galilee:  Isaiah 9:1-2.   He would work miracles of healing: Isaiah 29:18 and speak in parables: Psalm 78:2. He would enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey: Zechariah 9:9.   He would be betrayed by a friend: Psalm 41:9, for thirty pieces of silver that would be thrown into the church and be used for the purchase of the Potter’s field: Zechariah 11:12-13.  He would be rejected by his own people: Isaiah 53:3.   He would be led as a lamb to the slaughter:  Isaiah 53:7.  He would be pierced through His hands and feet:  Psalm 22:16.  He would be crucified with criminals: Isaiah 53:12.  They would cast lots for His garments: Psalm 22:18.  His side would be pierced:  Zechariah 12:10.   Darkness would come over the land: Amos 8:9.  He would be buried by a rich man:  Isaiah 53:9.  He would not decay and would rise from the dead on the third day:  Psalm 16:10, Hosea 6:2.                     

There are many other prophecies of the arrival and life of Jesus in this great story. This pre-written story, recorded centuries before Jesus came is so astonishing in detail that it reads like an eye-witness account of His life and Work. But Why?

Why? Remember the farmer and the sparrows. We are the sparrows. We have all seen in past years where warnings were given to the residents along the coastlines of approaching hurricanes. Warnings that the people should evacuate for safer areas or evacuation shelters, only later to hear of the lives that the storm took and pictures of people standing on their roofs in disbelief. If only they had listened.

The Bible carries such a message to escape a coming storm. What storm you ask? One that you will not be able to evacuate from. We will all stand before God’s Judgment Seat and give account of ourselves ( Romans 14:10-12 ). Without Jesus, we will be left without a way into God’s house, Heaven. As you can see, God gave us the clues of the coming Savior long before His arrival. But most important, He gave us the teachings of Jesus, which would show us how to avoid the storm and a way to come in for the warmth and safety. The Bible says that Heaven will be so great that it is beyond our wildest imagination ( I Corinthians 2:9 ). Jesus said He had come so that you may have life more abundantly ( John 10:10 ). How can you become a Christian and know with certainty that you are going to Heaven? This is what the Bible says:

(1) Romans 3:10, 23  = We have all sinned. Adam introduced sin into the world. We do not start life with even the possibility of living it sinlessly (Romans 5:12-14).    (2) Romans 5:8 = God loves us anyway. (3) Romans 6:23  = Sin results in death and hell, but God offers the gift of eternal life through Jesus. (4) John 3:16 = God loves you so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, so that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved. (5)  John 14:6, Acts 4:12 = Jesus said that He is the only Way to Heaven. (6) Hebrews 9:22 = Jesus shed His blood as the only acceptable payment for our sin. (7) Romans 10:9-10 = Confess Jesus as Lord of your life and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. (8) Romans 10:13 = Call upon the name of the Lord. (9) Romans 10:17  = Accept the free gift of faith in Christ that comes by hearing the Word of God. (10) Acts 3:19 = Repent. Change direction. Turn away from sin and turn to Christ.

Will you pray to receive Christ and His forgiveness? “Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that You died for my sins and that God raised You from the dead. I admit that I am a sinner, and the best I know how, I’ll turn away from my sins and turn to You. I ask You to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving and forgiving me. With Your help, I will never be ashamed of You, and I will live for You the rest of my life. All of this I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.” What should you do next? Study and obey God’s Word, the Bible, and attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. May God Bless you and smile upon you all your days.

Read Full Post »