In many churches across our land people will pray the “Lord’s Prayer” and most of us will pray it by memory. We have recited this prayer for years in our churches, and it has become empty rote rather than a heartfelt prayer to our God. This prayer was Jesus’ answer to the disciples request to teach them to pray.
Mat 6:9-13 NRSV “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (10) Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (13) And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
6:9 Our Father in heaven. Prayer should be addressed to God the Father in acknowledgment of His sovereignty over the universe. It is also to recognize that we are family, that God is our spiritual Father and therefore, notice that it is our rather than my Father. It is to be understood that God is first and foremost our sovereign, ruler of the Universe, but also a Father who is partial to the needs of His children. Next we recognize that God is in heaven, but also that he is Omnipresent, God is present everywhere and everywhen. He is always present for each of us and will hear our prayers and supplications, we acknowledge that He is in heaven and yet also with us for the Holy Spirit inhabits each of us. So God is always with us in everything we say and do. As it tells us in Psa 33:13-15 ESV The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; (14) from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, (15) he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
God knows us better than we know ourselves, he is with us through all the trials and joys of life, knowing what we need before we do. He is also ready to act as our Father to fill the needs of His children.
Next – Hallowed be Your name. We should begin our prayers with worship, ascribing praise and honor to Him who is so worthy of it. In other words, one who is above and separate from the earth, yet rules over it. One who is to be exalted and recognized as Holy. His name is to be revered, understanding His divinity and giving voice to His holiness. Not only in our speech but also in our thoughts and actions, doing all things to God’s honor and glory.
6:10 Your kingdom come. After worship, we should pray for the advancement of God’s cause, putting His interests first. Specifically, we should pray for the day when our Savior-God, the Lord Jesus Christ, will set up His kingdom on earth and reign in righteousness. Looking forward to the day when the Kingdom of Heaven shall be made manifest on the earth, the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Your will be done. In this petition we acknowledge that God knows what is best and that we surrender our will to His. It also expresses a longing to see His will acknowledged throughout the world. Why would we not want the will of God to be made manifest in the world, since we profess that God’s will is just and that it is His will that brings infinite wisdom, holiness and goodness into our lives.
On earth as it is in heaven. This phrase modifies all three preceding petitions. The worship of God, the sovereign rule by God, and the performance of His will are all a reality of heaven. The prayer is that these conditions might exist on earth as they do in heaven. As we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven, it means that we want the Kingdom to become a reality on earth, and that his will, which is our sanctification will happen so that our lives will reflect that which already happens in the heavenly realm. Truth be told our soul can never be truly pure until we are truly at one with God acting in concert with His will in our lives to evidence the kingdom.
6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. After putting God’s interests first, we are permitted to present our own needs. This petition acknowledges our dependence on God for daily food, both spiritual and physical. This hearkens back to the Manna in the desert, when the Israelites were dependent upon God for their daily sustenance. Our God knows our needs and more than once I have known that God was taking care of our needs. We had a dinner once at a church that I served, and our folks were surprised at how many showed up for worship and the meal afterward. They were concerned that we did not have enough food, yet when the meal was over, there was still food left for folks to take home for the evening meal.
6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. This does not refer to judicial forgiveness from the penalty of sin (that forgiveness is obtained by faith in the Son of God). Rather this refers to the parental forgiveness that is necessary if fellowship with our Father is to be maintained. If believers are unwilling to forgive those who wrong them, how can they expect to be in fellowship with their Father who has freely forgiven them for their wrongdoings? We speak of the truth that we are under grace not under the law, but, the law is still there to remind us of what sin is and what God has never changed. When we look at sin we must acknowledge that our God has set the line across which we dare not go.
Even as forgiven and reconciled persons, we are still subject to sin and must repeatedly go before the throne of grace, asking for forgiveness because of having hurt God by our sin, and therefore having a broken heart ourselves. We have sinned against he who gave his human life for our sins, and that sin hurts our father in heaven and needs to be repented of. The other side of that coin is that we are to forgive one another because if I hurt you, and then realize that I have done so, I must repent and ask for your forgiveness. Peter asked how many times must he forgive a brother, thinking 7 times was enough, Jesus said 70 times 7.
6:13 And do not lead us into temptation. God does allow His people to be tested and tried. This petition expresses a healthy distrust of one’s own ability to resist temptations or to stand up under trial. It acknowledges complete dependence on the Lord for preservation. We will from time to time be tempted, yet God always makes a way for escape. One of the most important things is that we spend time in His word, it gives us wisdom to work for God and to tell the devil to; as Jesus said to Peter, get thee behind me Satan. We must always remember that if what we think is right but it does not agree with what scripture teaches us about right and wrong, then we know not to allow ourselves to be trapped by that temptation.
But deliver us from the evil one. This is the prayer of all who desperately desire to be kept from sin by the power of God. It is the heart’s cry for daily salvation from the power of sin and Satan in one’s life.
This world will continually tempt us into sin, just look at the commercials on TV, always trying to get you buy this or that item so you will be seen to be the best guy on the block. I saw over and over again during the gift buying season, we call it Christmas, one person bought a set of reindeer to set in his yard. Of course it included Rudolph and his nose lit up. He also says he saved a couple of hundred dollars on the purchase. The neighbor says, yeah I bought something that lights up too, turns and hits the smart button and starts up his truck which of course lit the lights, and says I saved thousands.
We see other things too, that approach filth of another kind as well, all so that you will want to buy whatever they are selling. Then there is the lure of the lottery ticket, you can win millions, just buy a ticket. They neglect to tell you that your odds of winning are a few million to one. Remember folks, if you go to a casino to gamble, the odds always favor the house.
God has promised us life and that abundant, he did not promise that it would be without problems, just that he would never abandon nor forsake you. God goes with you in good and bad times, that is something that is guaranteed by his word. This prayer that we have just gone through is really not to be something you do by rote, it is an example of how to pray.
We in the church have made this prayer something that everyone learns by repeating every week, and it becomes rote, we know it by heart and we no longer know the meaning behind the words, we just repeat them each week. This however, is a teaching of Jesus, it shows us how to pray, and that is something we need to do on a regular basis. Prayer is a conversation with our Father in Heaven, we praise him and thank him for what he does and who he is and then present our needs to him, and admit that we understand that if we do not get along with our brothers and sisters in the family, we will of course seek reconciliation with them so that our sins against God can also be forgiven when we come to him for that forgiveness. Jesus taught that if we come to present our offering and yet have something wrong with a brother or sister in the faith, we are to go and make that right and then come to give our offering it means we are to be right with our brethren, before we can be right with our father.
We shall always recognize what sin is as we study the word of God. It is in the word that we learn what it is that is wrong (sinful) in His sight, lying, cheating, stealing, and murder, but also jealousy, hatred, perversions, shirking our duty to one another, to our job, and even lewd thought. So let us remember that this prayer shows us how to pray, how to speak with our God, learn from it as you go through your daily life, and spend time with God each and every day.
A good starting point for learning about prayer is to pray the psalms, these were used in worship, and sung or recited in worship at the temple in Jerusalem. Much of these are actually prayers of David and the sons of Korah and others.
There is also a wonderful book called all the prayers of the Bible.Take a look at how they prayed and what they prayed about. Here is a prayer of intercession that I think is indicative of the prayers that we ourselves should be involved in. This prayer is found in Gen 18:23-33.
Gen 18:23-33 ESV Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? (24) Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? (25) Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (26) And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” (27) Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. (28) Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” (29) Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” (30) Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” (31) He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” (32) Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” (33) And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
This is intercession, coming before God to intercede for others, Jesus taught that we are to intercede for those who are in need. Prayer for the sick, for the destitute, prayers for those who do not yet know the Lord.
Prayer for those we consider enemies to have their hearts and minds changed and renewed, prayers for revival or awakening. All are intercessory in nature. Spend time with God in prayer every day. You may want to watch a movie that is out right now called War Room. It is a powerful picture of what happens when you pray, first to get your own life in order, then for the stuff around you that also needs to be made right.
Filed under: Culture, God, Politics | Tags: Hate, immorality, Jesus, Prayer
As a young man I joined the Army at 17 years of age, in 1963 I went through Basic training and then advanced training. I was sent to a place called Dreux in the Normandy area of France. I was there when JFK was assassinated, we thought it was WW 3, we spent a week guarding the perimeter of the base, scared to death that the Soviet army would be coming. Of course that did not happen, but we were really scared. I can imagine that the Jews who had come with Ezra to rebuild the temple felt like that too. They had begun to rebuild the walls as well, and the people in the area around them began to make trouble for them.
Their fear made them stop working on the walls, they also began to assimilate into the people groupings around them, inter-marriage became something that they thought would lessen the animosity against them. They forgot that God had expressly forbidden that type of exercise, they were not to marry outside of their own people. They were not to worship anything other than Yahweh, God, and yet idol worship was beginning to infiltrate their society. The Levites who were the priests left the city and began to work their own farms because the people were not paying their tithes to the temple.
Nehemiah was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and in the 2nd chapter we see how forceful he is in getting the people to do just that. In the reading today we see that the people were gathering together and they are ready to hear the word of God read. Ezra read from the book of the Law, but he read in Hebrew, the people no longer spoke Hebrew they had taken up Aramaic in its place. This was the language of the people around them and it was the common language of the day, they could not understand what Ezra was reading. So there were a number of Levites who were explaining in Aramaic what it was that was read, and what it was that Ezra was telling them.
Just an aside here, the reading was from morning until noon and the people stood to hear the words of God. They also worshiped with uplifted hands, then with their heads bowed and looking down at the ground.
As the people heard the word of God, they began to weep, realizing that they were doing wrong in the sight of God. Then they were told that this was to be a feast day to the Lord, that they were to celebrate, but note that their celebration was not only for themselves. They were to make sure that any who had need were to receive a portion from those who had plenty. Our reading ends with the words, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
In Psalm 19 we read about God, that the heavens declare His glory, the heavens is that great expanse that we can see at night. Thousands of stars, thousands of galaxies which we can’t see with just our eyes, but with a telescope we can begin to see it all. Some one once said that if it cost a penny to travel 1000 miles, it would cost $2.38 to travel to the moon, $930 to the sun, and $260 million to travel to the nearest star. The light we see from the Andromeda galaxy shows us where that galaxy was 2 million years ago, that is how long it takes the light from that galaxy to reach us. God created all of that expanse, so yes it does declare His glory.
David ends the psalm with words of praise to God and instruction for God’s people. “Psa 19:7-11 NKJV The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; (8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; (9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (10) More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (11) Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.”
Now we come to Luke 4:14-21. All that has gone before in that which we call The Old Testament, leads up to what we find in the Newer Testament. Jesus has been preaching and teaching in Galilee, and he finally arrives in Nazareth, where he grew to manhood and he goes to the Synagogue on the Sabbath Day, that is Saturday, and he stood up to read. Reading from the scroll of Isaiah “Isa 61:1-2 NKJV “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,”
Let us understand what Jesus is saying here, it is important for us to see that this which he has read is known as the Ministry of the Messiah and when Jesus says “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” He was in the clearest possible manner proclaiming that He was the Messiah of Israel. So what exactly was this mission, this ministry? He came to deal with the great problems of mankind throughout all of history.
Poverty: To preach the gospel to the poor.
Sorrow: To heal the brokenhearted.
Bondage: To proclaim liberty to the captives.
Suffering: Recovery of sight to the Blind.
Oppression: To set at liberty those who are oppressed.
He came to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
The dawning of a new era for this world and its hurting multitudes, he presents himself as the answer to all the ills of the world. No matter what you may think of the ills of the world, Jesus is the answer to them all. It is also significant that he stopped reading with the words “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” the rest of that verse is: “and the day of the vengeance of our God.” The purpose of the first coming of Christ was to proclaim the good news the acceptable year of the Lord. We are living in the present age of grace, we are still able to come before the throne of grace and receive salvation because Jesus came the first time. He came to die and to rise from death into newness of life, so that you and I could see that there was and is a newness of life for us.
The second part of that verse is not yet here, and so we have time to become children of God, it is still the acceptable year of the Lord, but the day is coming when that will end, and then comes the day of the vengeance of our God. None of us knows when that Day of Vengeance will come, but, if we truly believe that Jesus is who he said he is, then it will come! What does this mean for you and I in the time of acceptance? It means we have a job to do, it means that we are to stand in the gap against the forces of darkness, and proclaim that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, that sin leads to death, and Christ leads to life.
How can we stand, how can we come against the forces of darkness? We stand in the power of God, we have been promised the Holy Spirit and the gifts of ability to do the work that God has called each of us into. In 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul speaks of the gifts of the Spirit. 1Co 12:27-30 NKJV Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (28) And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. (29) Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? (30) Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
In the time of Nehemiah and Ezra, individuals would receive the Holy Spirit to help them do the tasks they needed to do, so we see these men and many prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah, working to bring the the people of God to understand that they were moving in wrong directions and needed to work for God not against God. We see the miraculous building of the walls under Nehemiah, and the preaching of the prophets as they struggled with the sins of the people. In today’s reading in the book of Nehemiah, we see that the people are grief stricken by the reading and teaching of the scriptures by Ezra and the Levites.
In the time of Jesus the Spirit still only came upon men as needed and left after the job was done. Today, and since the first Pentecost after the resurrection, the Spirit inhabits each of us as we become believers, children of God. The Spirit helps us and guides us into all righteousness, and away from that which is sinful. Helping to mold and shape us into all that God has for us to be, and giving us the power to work against the forces of evil in the world.
Many people think that we need to kill the people who are the army of ISIS, and I suppose that some of them will have to die in battle, but Jesus himself teaches that we are to pray for our enemies. Pray that they may come to see their wrong and change their ways, and come to Jesus as Savior and Lord. We are also to pray for those who lead our nation, whatever they may be doing and no matter whether we agree or disagree with them, we are to pray for them and ask the Lord to guide and help them to see the right.
I hear a lot of folks talking about how we have to elect the right people to congress and to the state government, yet we have been doing that for many years. Has anything gotten better? The truth is, if we are not involved in the Father’s business, by being in prayer, by standing against immorality of all kinds, by using the resources that God has provided to help the poor, to bring healing to the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. If we are not working to bring people into the kingdom, then we are against God, that is not a good place to be.
We live in a nation that is rushing headlong into hell, can we stand and work to stop that train? If we will not then our nation is doomed to continue on a path that leads to destruction, Jesus said we are to make disciples, have you talked to anyone lately about Jesus? Our purpose is to be the light of the world because we serve the risen Savior of mankind and our lives are to be a reflection of that light. Just as Luke, Paul, Nehemiah, Ezra, Isaiah, Jeremiah and a host of others through all of time have shown the light of God in their own lives and have had an affect on those around them, we too are to shine.
We too are to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, until the time comes when there is no more acceptance, only the day of vengeance of the Lord comes upon this world. We who have come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling us, need to be standing for right, shining the light of Christ into the darkness of this world.
If there is anything in our own lives that goes against the word of God, we need to rid ourselves of that sin, asking God to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, and help us to be warriors for the kingdom. We who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, should want to share the joy of our salvation with others, so that they too might become as we are, sinners saved by the grace of God. As we look at the stealing, rape, murder and just plain hatred toward one another, we need to first pray, and then act in accordance with the will of God, as it is plainly written in the scriptures.
Filed under: Church Stuff, God | Tags: immorality, Islam, murder, Persecution
John 15:18-23 NKJV “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (20) Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. (22) If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. (23) He who hates Me hates My Father also.
This series would not be complete without a truth that Jesus taught his disciples. That truth is that just because you have become a Christian person does not mean that all things will come to you and you will live a good life, with all that you need to be fulfilled in your person. I know that the scriptures say that all things work to good for those who love the Lord and that is true, but, this teaching in the gospel of John is also truth. You only have to look to the middle east to see that Christians are being persecuted for their faith by the radical Muslim group ISIS. However they are not the only ones who persecute Christians.
Looking at the United States, we find that there is much trouble for Christians here at home, we are told that we must support homosexual marriage, that we must agree with abortion on demand, and allow for other sexual sins as being just another type of life style. This includes man with boys as well as adultery, and the change in morality that says that a person in power can have sex with an employee and it is acceptable. Teachers with students or a President with an intern.
Of course none of this can hold a candle to the darkness that is engulfing the rest of the world. In Europe, we see Christians and Jews being told that they cannot say anything wrong about Muslims, we see the Muslim attacks in Paris, and London, Brussels and Germany on New Years Eve, as hundreds of women were assaulted by Muslim men. Some were raped, some were groped, and the governments in the towns where these things happened hid the truth from the public.
Then there is the middle east where the city of Mosul, which had a Christian presence from the very beginning, around 100 CE, and there are now no more Christians in that city. They either escaped, or were murdered by the adherents of Islam under ISIS. They were told to convert to Islam, leave or die, there is no other choice.
On December 14, 2015 Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote an article in National Review titled “See and Name the Genocide” In the article she quotes from Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus who testified before congress in regard to Iraqi and Syrian Christian refugees from ISIS. He said: “Fear of being slaughtered or enslaved for their faith prevents them from returning home.” “Like the Jews in Nazi Germany, these Christians are escaping genocide. They are being specifically targeted because they put their faith in Jesus Christ.”
Returning to our own nation, I have to make note of the fact that the Obama administration has accepted Muslim refugees, but has sent Christian refugees back to their home countries, to face the terror of extermination. In that context you can say that Christians are no longer welcome in the United States either.
In the past year we have witnessed horrific killings in Islamic held territories. Christian men have been burned to death, had their heads cut off, been drowned and of course shot to death. In Egypt, during the time when the Muslim Brotherhood was in charge, we witnessed actual crucifixions of Christians in the middle of Cairo. All of this violence has been practiced against a people of who try to live by loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
We are told that the suicide bombers of Islamic radical groups, are martyrs of their faith, true martyrdom however comes when you are confronted with the threat of death unless you convert to Islam. If you refuse to give up your faith in Christ, your throat is cut. Yet thousands have refused to give up Jesus Christ for Allah or Muhammad.
So, Jesus said that persecution would come to those who followed his way and it is for sure coming to pass in this day and time. Here in America, we are told we may not pray in the name of Jesus if we are going to be chaplains. The prayers in the Chaplains book for the American Legion do not use the name of Jesus, on military bases there are now sacred groves for the use of pagans and witches. There is even a movement afoot now to have atheist chaplains, a bit of an oxymoron in my book, but there it is. There have been children expelled from school, not for using curse words, for acting badly, but for wearing a Christian tee shirt, or refusing to remove a cross.
Prayer of course is strictly banned in many schools across the country, and there are schools where they make the children wear Muslim garb and recite the pillars of Islam, and pray to Allah. If they were forced to pray to Jesus it would bring cries of outrage, but to Allah not so much. We will have to go a bit further to see true persecution, that will come though it is only a matter of time.
Jesus also taught the disciples this:
Mat 5:10-12 NKJV Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Persecution is coming to our nation, whether we realize it or not, we who follow Jesus Christ, are out of step with our society. We believe that there is a moral code to be followed, that sin leads to hell for all eternity, and that following Jesus leads to eternal life in heaven. There are real penalties associated with sinful living, hell being the end result. Will we Christians live abundant lives? Depends on what you know about abundance, for me, it is a resounding YES! Not because I will be rich or famous, but I will come face to face with my savior and Lord one day. I know that my Lord walks with me through all the stuff that life throws at me. I have a wife who loves me, brothers and sisters (in the Lord) who I love and who love me as well, because Jesus loved us all enough to die for us, to pay our price for our sins. He also sealed the deal when he rose from the dead to show us that we too would one day rise with him into eternity.
I have an abundance of love in my life and that gives me all the riches I could possibly want in this life. I know that my redeemer lives, and that my future is secure in Jesus Christ, fully Man and fully God.
Filed under: Politics
Mat 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Men have been wondering when these things will come to pass now for about 2,000 years, and many have begun to think that God has left and won’t be back, others think it was just stories and that God does not exist. Others think that God is really Allah or Budda or Krishna, but not the God of the Bible. Jesus taught the disciples that there would be a time of great apostasy, a time of hatred of Jews and followers of Christ. That many would be persecuted and killed for their faith.
Let us look at what Jesus teaches in this chapter of Matthew. Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Mat 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. I remember when the “Rev.” Moon came on the scene and told people that God had called him and said he was to be the new messiah, that Jesus would teach him and he would then become the Christ.
Many believed this and many have followed his teachings since but he has died and gone on to his just deserts. David Koresh was another of these who took the place of Christ and was believed, and what happened to him and his followers was a tragic happening in Waco TX. There are others out there who claim to have miraculous powers, who claim to speak for God, but really speak only for their own avarice and take the followers on a merry road, that leads to death and destruction.
Mat 24:6-7 NKJV And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Lots of wars and rumors of more wars are all around us today, but this is just the beginning of tribulation. We also have seen the hatred of one group for another group, in Islam it is Sunni vs Shia, but it is also ISIS against everybody who is not like themselves, even their fellow Sunni Muslims are not immune to their hatred, for if you are not following their path, you are the enemy. The Russians are now flexing their muscles, and getting involved in the mess in the middle east. Bombing the enemies of Assad, namely the same people America is helping, and some ISIS sites as well.
India and Pakistan are both looking at the possibility of war between themselves. Then the Chinese are building Islands in the South China Sea and claiming that it is a part of their nation, not international waters, and in our own country we have become balkanized and we have somewhat of a civil war in this country. Of course there is also the wish to wipe out history, which is self defeating at best and leads to repeated violations of civil society.
Mat 24:8-9 NKJV All these are the beginning of sorrows. (9) “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Jesus says that if you are his follower you will be hated and persecuted, even to death because you are a Christian. It is already happening in many parts of the world, we have seen the beheadings of Christians in many places captured by Muslims. In India it is the killing of Christians by Hindu believers. In Saudi Arabia, you better not be seen with a Bible, you are subject to death on the spot. We keep hearing about how Islam is a peaceful religion, but I don’t see it, I see instead a complete hatred of all who are not as they are, including women and children. There have been some very nasty arguments between Muslims and others in trying to practice their own religion. Tensions run high in some of these areas. We also are beginning to see Christianity in this country being marginalized, in favor of Islam, or the State as savior. Reference Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act). Some states are even legalizing Euthanasia as well as supporting Planned Parenthood and abortion on demand.
Mat 24:10-12 NKJV And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. (11) Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (12) And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
There is much hatred in this world of ours today, within the church there is even hatred, those who believe that sexual immorality is now OK and condoned and those who disagree. Let us just look at the homosexual lobby and its activities in trying to make the church adhere to their sin as if it was normality. Then there are those who say that it is OK to kill babies, just because the child is not wanted. Or the ones who say that there are multiple ways to heaven, even though Jesus himself taught that he was and is the only way to heaven. There are many false leaders in the church, saying that the scriptures are not all true, that parts of it were just added to make people do things. Of course there are also those who claim that the early church fathers, like Paul, did not really know what homosexual love was all about, today science has taught us it is just another life style.
The newest one I have heard is that God has become a transsexual and has had a sex change operation. I would like to meet the Doctor that took on that challenge. God doesn’t have a sex, God is God, and the one who is putting that out is in for a VERY rude awakening.
Mat 24:13-14 NKJV But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (14) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Those who hold to their faith shall be saved, those who lie about it, and those who abandon it, will have a tough time when it comes to entering heaven. If you are truly saved, heaven is a guarantee, but if you are not, and just said you were, you will find yourself on a very hot seat, in a very dark place.
The gospel, the good news will be preached and taught throughout the world, as a witness to all that God is and always will be God. That all who claim to be gods will be found out to be liars because God will be supreme in all the universe and will help each and every one who would not accept HIS reality into the place reserved for him or herself. The gospel is quite plain, it says that if you
“confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Please take this to heart, for the time is growing short, you are not guaranteed even one hour more, much less tomorrow, don’t wait, find Jesus for yourself and begin to follow him. The immorality of this world is going to come to a screeching halt, and those who have refused to accept the invitation of Jesus Christ, will find themselves on the express to hell for all eternity. God does not want any to perish but the decision is yours, God will honor your decision to follow Satan into the fires of hell. He made us in His image, giving us free will to decide for ourselves whether to follow heaven or hell. Death or Life, choose life.
Filed under: Politics
John 12:23-26 NKJV But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. (24) Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (25) He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (26) If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Jesus has now entered the last week of his life, and is talking about his death. He also is talking about those who will come after him and that they who claim the name will follow his teaching. Leaving the world behind, dying to the things of this finite world, the kingdom of Satan, and instead living for and in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today, we are a little more than 2000 years after the death and resurrection, we have been taught that Jesus will return, but that has not happened, and many of us have begun to move away from the faith because our friends and neighbors seem to have more fun and better stuff. We who are called by the name of Christian are in many ways no longer living the life of Christ, but rather the life of Satan. How many of you who are reading this missive pray daily? How many of you give God the glory for the things in your life? How many of you actually believe that God hears? How many of you believe that there is a heaven and a hell? How many still believe that Christ died and rose again and will return one day?
2Ch 7:14 NKJV if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
God spoke these words roughly 600 years before Christ, since the book of Chronicles was written about 600 BC. These words are directed not at the nation but at the people who call upon the name of God, that is the people who were called Israel/Judah then, and Christian today. Jesus taught many things, not the least of which was that the word of God was and is the word of God.
In that word we find many things that God calls sin, and then that God hates.
Pro 6:16-19 NKJV These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: (17) A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, (18) A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, (19) A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Notice that lying is mentioned twice, that is why it is 7 things that are an abomination to God. Can you be a false witness and yet not be a liar? Yes, if you talk to 6 people who saw a crime or an accident, you will get 6 versions of that incident. We all see things from different perspectives, but when Jesus was brought up before the Sanhedrin, there were false witnesses. These were paid to bring witness of his crimes before the religious court. That was a deliberate fabrication and therefore a “witness who speaks lies”.
Also notice that sin is what these are, God hates sin, and sin is something that has been set out by God in the law. There are all kinds of sins, but they are all crimes against God, that includes sexual sins, murder, worship of false gods, stealing and even coveting (jealousy or envy).
When God created the universe, he set various laws in place, these laws include gravity, bodily functions, thermodynamics, all of these things were set in motion from the beginning. All things work because of the laws that God set in motion at the beginning, even time and space are governed by the laws of God not of man. Yet we have decided that we can change what God has designed to work into something else. We have cloned animals, we have tinkered with genetics. We now make plants that are resistant to disease. We even change men into women and vice-versa, yet, we cannot change DNA, we can only change the physical appearance. Science can make a man look like a woman, but his DNA cannot be changed, he is not a she in reality. The man is still a man in his basic reality, the same is of course true for a woman who has been made to look like a man.
We have decided that we don’t need God any longer, we are able to change what God has made to suit ourselves. God said that sexual sins were sin, yet we have said that this is not true. We accept adultery as just another victimless thing something that our sexual needs have driven us to. We accept homosexual sex as just another type of sexual love again because it doesn’t hurt anyone else and it is an alternative to other forms of sexual love. We have even accepted sex without benefit of marriage as normal, and of course since it is OK, we also allow for abortion because it is really a womans right to choose.
We forget that God said, you shall not murder (kill) that is in Exodus 20:13. Jesus himself said this: Mat 5:21-22 NKJV “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ (22) But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Of course we also see in the verses from Proverbs: verse 17 hands that shed innocent blood.
We have decided however that it is OK to murder the unborn, yet that too is a crime against God. We have decided that science is to be believed, that God is irrelevant or doesn’t even exist. In other words we move God out of the way and we become our own god, making our own decisions based on our own moral compass.
Our churches have become apostate, they themselves no longer believe that Jesus was God but rather just a poor misguided teacher who got himself in trouble and died for no good reason. He was a good teacher and a moral man, but that is all. There was no resurrection, that was a lie fabricated by the disciples. Of course it becomes a little difficult to explain why these men and women would die for a lie, but our apostate pastors, bishops, and church leaders don’t worry about that little problem, they teach what they want to teach and of course they pick and choose what part of the scripture is truth and which part is not. There is even a church where they teach that God has now become a woman, he had a sex change operation. Of course I wonder where and when that occurred, also, what Doctor did the surgery.
So, today we are headed toward a future devoid of Christ, we are looking into eternity as if it doesn’t exist. We are working at extending our finite lives for as long as we can, yet, we seem to be dying anyway. Our bodies break down and we die and there is nothing science can do to stop that. Science still cannot answer the ultimate questions, Darwin and evolution still have holes in them big enough to drive a very large truck through. Do you believe that the intricate reality of your body came from an accident or slime? That is what Darwin taught and what many believe, I rather prefer God’s version. In the beginning, God.
Intelligent design makes much more sense to me than a lucky roll of the dice. By the way, if there was a big bang, something from nothing, who lit the match? If it really was God and not “the big bang” then what happens when you die? If you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you go to hell. You can be all sorts of nice guy or woman, but if you are not called by the name Christ, you will spend eternity in hell. It is only by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that you will gain entrance into heaven.
John 14:6 NKJV Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Today is the day of salvation, you are not guaranteed tomorrow. Choose which is to be your eternal home. Heaven or hell, there is no alternative.
Filed under: Politics
Just two weeks ago, ISIS was able to destroy a Russian passenger plane, killing more than 220 people with the help of a sympathizer working at the Egyptian airport and now this revelation about our own airport security. A review of screening and security procedures inside the TSA has revealed
This tells a lot about our security, and that the Obama administration wanting to admit thousands of Syrian refugees is more of the same bunk. They claim that they will be able to vet these people but this is more like the truth. They can’t even vet people working in the secure areas of our airports, how are they going to vet thousands of people coming out of Syria? Look no further than Paris and you will have the answer.
Mat 13:24-30 (NKJV) Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ”
After Jesus finishes his teaching to the crowds, he and the disciples go inside the house where Jesus explains the parable to them privately. This is an interesting parable many have thought this to be about the church, and to some extent it is about those who profess Jesus and those who claim to be followers of Jesus but are not. We are however, talking about the world not the church per se.
The good seeds are the ones who are truly of the kingdom, those who believe that Jesus is Lord of all, that he is God, and King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We believe that Jesus will return to bring his people to the kingdom and to redeem those in Israel who are willing to come to him as the truth messiah of prophecy.
We have been sown as seeds in the world to bring the gospel message to people that they too might come to know Jesus as the Christ, God in the flesh, come as savior and redeemer. The tares or weeds in the field are those who are the minions of Satan they are the counterfeit that Satan has sent or, sown in the field to cause disruption and to give a false message of God. Jesus tells the disciples that these are to be in the world alongside those who are truly bringing the message of the gospel. They will be the false prophets, the false witnesses and are intertwined with the truth. In a wheat field, where tares are also sown the roots are actually intertwined and so if you pull the weeds you may also pull the wheat.
Jesus then says that the farmer (God) says to allow the weeds and the wheat to grow together until the time of the harvest, then the reapers will be instructed to harvest the tares (weeds) and throw them into the fire, then bring in the wheat to the barn.
Let us not read into this what is not there. Jesus is not referring to the church, it is not yet formed and will not be for another few years, so to refer to it now would not be productive.
The reapers are those found in Revelation 14:14-20, they will be the ones who harvest the weeds and the wheat at the end of the age. It will be when the Lord returns and the tribulation period begins that people will be raised to heaven and others to hell. Those of us who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, will enter the Kingdom of our Father in Heaven (God). Those who have not become members of the Kingdom, by confessing their sin, recognizing Jesus as Lord, and asking forgiveness and bowing the knee to Jesus as Lord will end in the fires of Hell.
The parable also does not justify having ungodly people as members of the church, remember this parable speaks of the world not the church. If you read Matthew 18 you will see that the church is to discipline those who are members and yet living in sin. Also 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 says the church is to put out of the fellowship all those who are guilty of certain forms of wickedness.
What this parable teaches is that there is genuine and counterfeit in the world, and this will be so until the end of the age. It behooves those who are truly followers of Jesus to teach that which we have learned from our Lord, that some may be saved. Not all will acknowledge the Kingship of Christ, and they will find themselves in the fires of hell, but those who do know Christ as Lord, have a job to do. We are the witnesses who must tell the truth of the gospel. Sin gets you a one way ticket to the lake of fire, where as Jesus says there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Personally, I wish all would be saved, all would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and work toward their day in the kingdom along with the rest of us. Know this, if you know someone who needs to be introduced to Jesus, and you are a believer in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, your job is to introduce them to Jesus. What they do with that introduction is up to them. God says through the prophet Jeremiah, that we are watchmen on the wall.
If we do not warn those who need to be warned, their blood is on us, but if we warn them and they ignore it, it is their own problem. So brothers and sisters speak up. There are going to be difficult times coming but know that Christ has said that he is with us always, in all situations. He knows what it is to be rejected and to suffer for the truth, he gave his all for us can we do less for him? It is difficult, but not impossible, if you know Jesus as your brother, your savior and your Lord, speak up, that others may know him as well.
Remember, Jesus himself was ridiculed and despised, finally crucified and yet he suffered that punishment just for you and me so that we would be saved from sin and death. He has commanded us to go into all the world, preaching and teaching and making disciples and teaching them all that he has commanded us, that all might have the opportunity for salvation.