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I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel
October 23, 2018, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: ,

In the summer of 386, a young man wept in the backyard of a friend. He knew that his life of sin and rebellion against God was killing him, leaving him empty; but he just couldn’t find the strength to make a final, real decision for Jesus Christ. As he sat, he heard some children playing a game and they called out to each other these words: “Take up and read! Take up and read!” Thinking God had a message to him through the words of the children, he picked up a scroll laying nearby opened it and began to read: not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Rom_13:13-14). He didn’t read any further; he didn’t have to. Through the power of God’s word, Augustine had the faith to entrust his whole life to Jesus Christ at that moment.
Rom 1:1 NKJV  Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.

In this letter of Paul to the Church at Rome, there is a tremendous concentration on God, unlike other letters that Paul wrote, this one is all about God and what God wants for the Church. The word God appears 153 times in this letter, Christ appears only 65 times, this letter has much to do with what God wants from you and I today, as much as it did for the Church of Paul’s day.
Paul was concerned about being able to get to Rome when he wrote this letter. He was in Corinth and getting ready to go to Jerusalem and had been warned of the trials he would suffer there.

Paul now introduces his gospel message to the Church at Rome.
Rom 1:2-6 NKJV  which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,  (3)  concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,  (4)  and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.  (5)  Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,  (6)  among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

Paul was not bringing something new, this gospel was from the very beginning God’s message to the world, they just got tied up with the law, and forgot the rest of the word that God had given them through the prophets. Sounds like today, people always looking for the next new thing. Right now people are looking to the new I Pad, and I Phone and I Watch, or the newest version of Android or Windows, on and on. Here is just one prophets word that spoke of how God wanted his people to be in the world. Hab 2:4 NKJV  “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.” These are things that had been forgotten in the world that Paul lived in.

He was a Pharisee which translated means one set apart. He had been set apart to the law, now he was set apart for the gospel, the good news of God’s salvation for all people everywhere.

Paul points out that His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is God in that he uses a term in the Greek which is translated Yahweh, which is the name of God. Next in verse 5 we see that Paul in speaking of his own ministry says: “we have received grace and apostleship”. First and foremost, this gave Paul and those who followed him obedience to the faith, and therefore ability to deliver to all the world the word of the Lord God which brings eternal life.

In verse 6 we come to the crux of the matter, you and I are the called of Christ, we are the Church today, just as those in Rome were the Church of Paul’s day. Now what does that mean for you and I today? First and foremost it means salvation, it means we are now children of God through the grace of God in the death and resurrection of Christ.
Now, what do we do with our salvation? Rom 1:16-17 NKJV  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  (17)  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH’.” This verse Romans 1:17 struck a Monk right in his heart: “In August of 1513, a monk lectured on the book of Psalms in a seminary, but his inner life was nothing but turmoil. In his studies, he came across Psa_31:1 : In Thy righteousness deliver me. The passage confused him; how could God’s righteousness do anything but condemn him to Hell as a righteous punishment for his sins? Luther kept thinking about Rom_1:17, which says that in the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live” (Hab_2:4). The monk went on to say: “Night and day I pondered until . . . I grasped the truth that the righteousness of God is that righteousness whereby, through grace and sheer mercy, he justifies us by faith. Therefore I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise . . . This passage of Paul became to me a gateway into heaven.” Martin Luther was born again, and the reformation began in his heart.”

Luther believed in the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes through believing in him, and his righteousness is in us through the person of the Holy Spirit which is given when we confess our sin and ask Jesus to cleanse us and make us new. That message is still true today, it is the good news that we have received in our lives today. Yet our friends and neighbors around us, may not believe and they cannot be saved if they do not believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we who have been called, we who have answered the call and become sons and daughters of almighty God through his Mercy and grace, are called to deliver the gospel to those who need to hear it. Not that we can save anybody, but that the gospel will bring folks into the presence of God and he will open their hearts and minds to be saved. The person who has come into that place where they can do 1 of 2 things. Accept Jesus Christ as Lord, or say no and continue on to hell.

In May of 1738, a failed minister and missionary went unwillingly to a small Bible study where someone read aloud from Martin Luther’s commentary on Romans. As the failed missionary said later: “while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for my salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken my sins away, even mine.” John Wesley was saved that night in London. Wesley went on to become an evangelist who preached the gospel outside and inside, sometimes from a rock in a quarry, and sometimes from the pulpit in a church.

No matter where he went he preached, he was pelted with rotten tomatoes, and rocks, but he would not shut up. Many souls were saved by John Wesley and his preaching, because his soul belonged to God and no longer to a church or a belief system other than the belief that Jesus was God and Lord, and his grace was sufficient for salvation. If your heart has been warmed, if you have received the grace and mercy of God then you too have a calling, just as Wesley, Augustine, and Luther.

All who have become followers of the way of Christ, have also the call upon them to reach out to others. Jesus told his followers that they were to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Samaria and in all the world. We live in that part of the world that he was talking about and we have the calling upon our lives to deliver the gospel to others that they too might be saved.

Spurgeon had this to say:
“I do not suppose that Paul guessed that he would be sent there at the government expense, but he was. The Roman Empire had to find a ship for him, and a fit escort for him, too; and he entered the city as an ambassador in bonds. When our hearts are set on a thing, and we pray for it, God may grant us the blessing; but, it may be, in a way that we never looked for. You shall go to Rome, Paul; but you shall go in chains.”

Our way may be easy, or it may be difficult, but as long as it is what God has called us to, we will have what we need to endure. Paul was called to the task of delivering the word no matter his circumstance. Today we find many who are doing likewise. Many of them have died, many have been imprisoned and tortured, yet, lived to tell the tale.

We in the United States are still able to worship and pray and read our Bibles, yet, there are signs that this is coming upon tough times, that our churches and our freedoms, may be lost as the battles continue in our nation. More and more people have decided that God is not real, that God is just a figment of our imagination and is no longer needed in our nation. One of our political parties even voted to take God out of their party platform. They did put him back, but I wonder for how long.

Satan is alive and well in this nation as well as in the world, right now he is working to destroy Christianity and Judaism. There is a work afoot that wishes to make a one world religion, under the auspices of the U.N. Or some other world government. There are plenty of people who relish this oncoming change in our nation and world. We see our institutions crumbling under the onslaught of Socialism, it has permeated our institutions of higher learning, and now our governmental institutions. Hatred for all things in disagreement with this idea is running rampant in many quarters.

Paul in his letter, tells the people of Rome that God has given the sinners who refuse to repent, over to their sin. It has taken a long time to become obvious but it is now running rampant in our nation. Pornography, same sex marriage, human trafficking, and other things that were unthinkable just 50 years ago. Now we have this caravan of people from central America, stopped for now at the southern Border of Mexico, but there are 4 or 5 thousand of these people, and the country they just passed through, Guatemala reports that they arrested 150 Isis terrorists in the crowds apparently heading for the U. S. A.

This does not bode well for Mexico or ourselves if they break through and get here on our Southern Border will there be other caravans to follow? Satan is working to destroy not to build up. But we serve a risen Lord, God who is creator and sustainer.

We are called to make him known to our time and our place. Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel, let us speak of our love of God and of his love for us, of his grace and mercy. Of his healing power to heal our souls and our lives if we will but allow him to come in to our lives and help us to be all we can be in his grace.

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Awakening?
April 21, 2018, 10:55 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , , ,

In the Bible we find these words: 2Ch 7:14 ESV  if my people who are called by my name 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.

In the last 50 years, our nation has gone from a nation of people who recognized that there was a God, that Jesus Christ had lived and died that people could come before the throne of grace and be forgiven for their sins. Now our land is full of hate for this or that group, hate for authority, hate for – you name it, killing is a pastime for many in our society. Gangs run rampant in many parts of our nation, and of course our political institutions are increasingly impotent.

In the history of our nation, many revivals have come and changed the course of our nation. Some have been called Awakenings, and they have swept across the land. As people were caught up in these revivals, our nation moved in different directions, we were people of Christ – Christians if you will. However, today, we have slid into an abyss of immorality, degradation, and hatred for Christ. We no longer see Churches growing, we see them in decline. We also see many denominations deciding that they will become relevant by becoming worldly. The United Methodist Church, has a married Lesbian Bishop, married of course to another Lesbian. The high court of the Church found that she could not be a bishop, and ordered her removal, the jurisdiction she is serving in said NO. The UMC now has given in to that jurisdiction and they continue their slide into apostasy. Of course this is not new, it is a part of the growing apostasy within the mainline denominations. All of them now celebrate abortion as something to be blessed by many of the pastors and even bishops, as well as homosexuality. The Episcopal has a “gay” Bishop.

So our society will not condemn Muslim Jihadists who kill and maim innocent people, but will claim that Christians need to shut up and do as hollywood directs. Even the Vice President of the United States has been ridiculed for believing in Jesus Christ as Lord of his life, and that he also hears God speaking to him in his prayer time. I too have conversations with my Lord and Savior, and I for one am glad to hear Vice President Pence speak of his prayer time conversations with the Lord.

In Psalm 85 the psalmist says this: Psa 85:6 ESV  Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? This should be the cry of those of us who still believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. An Awakening or Revival is sorely needed in this time of chaos. A time when children can walk out of school and parents and teachers and Lawyers think it is just fine for them to protest against, whatever they want to protest. These kids are being used by those who hate, the NRA, or the Police, or, whatever the group de jour may be.

We also have a political party who is trying to sue the Republicans, the President, Julian Assange and Wikileaks, and of course the Russians, for somehow colluding with each other to defeat Hillary Clinton in the last Presidential election. Of course the evidence to the contrary is ignored. Hatred again has blinded them to their own culpability in the chaos into which our nation is plummeting.

It is time, if you are one who still believes that Jesus Christ is Lord, I pray that you will join me in praying for Awakening/Revival. If the people who are called by the name Christ are not willing to stand up and cry out to the Lord, then our nation is lost. As the Apostle Paul says: Eph 5:15-21 ESV  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,  (16)  making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  (17)  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  (18)  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,  (19)  addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,  (20)  giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,  (21)  submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

And again as I started this missive: 2Ch 7:14 ESV if my people who are called by my name 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. If we do nothing, then Satan wins and this country will become a wasteland, because our God will not be mocked. Gal 6:7-8 ESV  Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.  (8)  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Choose today, will you too follow the ways of the world to your own damnation, or will you fall on your knees in supplication to our Lord and Savior, prayer for revival is sorely needed. Your choice, hell awaits all who will choose Satan over Christ.

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Love your neighbor?
February 19, 2018, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , , ,

As a Christian I try to practice the teaching of Jesus Christ in my daily life. In a conversation with a lawyer (a religious lawyer), one who studied the Law as found in the Jewish Scriptures. The passage is found in the gospel of Luke:
Luk 10:25-27 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (26) He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” (27) And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (English Standard Version)
Jesus then answered him that he had spoken correctly and should do as the law required. The Lawyer asked him, “Who is my neighbor”. Jesus then told a story about a man who had been left for dead on a road side by robbers. A priest walked on the road and saw the man lying there and crossed over to the other side so as not to touch the possibly dead man and become unclean. A Levite then came by also a form of priest, somewhat like the deacons in many churches, he too passed by on the other side.

Then along came a Samaritan, seeing the man he went to him, bandaged him as best he could and cleaned out the wounds. Put the man on his animal and took him to an inn. The next day as he was leaving, he handed the innkeeper a goodly sum of money and asked him to take care of the man, anything more that he had to do above the amount that he was given, the Samaritan said he would pay upon his return.

Now we must understand that Samaritans were hated by Jewish people and would normally have nothing to do with them. Jesus asked the Lawyer who was the one who was neighbor to the injured man. The Lawyer replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” He could not just say the Samaritan, they were lower than any Jewish person. He did however realize that Jesus was teaching him that all people are our neighbors.

Since we have removed God from our normal day, no more prayer in schools, no more Bible reading, God is no longer a part of our daily lives in the greater world in which we live. We now have 60 million dead babies, we have school shootings, we have gang violence, drugs are pervasive in our society, we have sexual promiscuity, with children having children, divorce rates have skyrocketed, and marriage is no longer something that is revered.

Evil is rampant in our society, and yet the government says they can solve this problem by just removing guns from law abiding citizens. Problem, then only criminals will be armed, police are armed but cannot come to your aid before you are killed by those criminals. Police are valiant men and women but they cannot stop a crime from happening, they can only react to the crime that has happened. It is my belief that we need to allow for teachers who are licensed concealed carriers to carry on campus, but it is also necessary that we rid ourselves of the “politically correct” crowd in our midst and wake up to the reality of the need for God to be a part of our every day lives.

If God is allowed back into our public square then the teaching of Jesus, of things like “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Blessed are the peacemakers” will be taught and become a part of our very lives again. We also need to speak up when we see something that seems out of place in our neighborhood, to help avert a suicide, or murder. I know that growing up in New York City, I do not remember teen suicides, or death and destruction on every street. I also don’t remember the hatred I see today in our nation. I grew up in an integrated neighborhood, we played baseball, football, basketball together, there was no thought about black or white, just who was the best pitcher or quarterback. We fought with each other, but it was verbal, very rare was it a fist fight.

We had bullies, but we took care of that too, we stuck together and did what was necessary to take care of one another. We loved our neighbors, even the two German kids on the street, (Joke) we were German, Italian, Irish and African. We did not hyphenate our ethnicity, we did not need to, we were and are Americans. Ethnicity did not make any difference. I blame the government, liberal professors, and lawyers for the mess we are in today. We need more of Christ and less of division in our nation, because we are in the midst of destroying this Republic in which we live. Remember I said Republic, not democracy.

I cannot in good conscience ask God to bless America, for we no longer bless God which we used to do regularly. Our nation is now in the midst of total breakdown, and if we continue on this path we shall end up in groups and perhaps it will be another civil war, and this one will destroy our republic.

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Christmas
December 20, 2017, 8:55 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: ,

As we again come upon the celebration of Christmas in the year 2017, I wanted to remind myself and those who read my words of what this season is really all about. We will read the story in our Church this Sunday night at our Christmas Eve Service. We shall again hear that the child is born in a barn, and placed in a feed trough because there was no room in the inn.

christmas-isaiah9_6

But will we hear that there is more to this story than just that a child is born, a Son is given? You see, the birth of the child, fully human baby boy, fully also GOD, is just one part of the story of Christmas. There is a great deal more to this story. There is the death of `100’s of children in Bethlehem 2 years later as the King Herod tries to find and destroy this baby who is the King of Israel in the line of David.

There is the growing up of Jesus in Egypt and in Nazareth in Galilee, becoming a carpenter, experiencing all the stuff that you and I experience. Hurt when you hit the wrong nail with the hammer, pain when a loved one dies, joy when there is celebration at a wedding. All the stuff you and I have in our own lives, happiness and sorrow, pain and suffering, he experienced.

Then, he experienced the worst pain of all, death as a criminal on a Roman Cross outside Jerusalem. That’s right he died a criminals death, because we, yes we humans were all guilty of the crime of rejecting God and His way of living our lives. Not the onerous laws that the Religious elites had stamped on society, no not that way. Jesus taught the truth of the way to live a proper God fearing life:

Mat 22:36-40 ESV “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” (37) And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (38) This is the great and first commandment. (39) And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (40) On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

We don’t live that way, we see instead hatred, war, and famine, that is not what He came to teach. Since we humans seem to have a propensity to ignore that which we profess to believe, Jesus had to die to save us from our sins. He died for all, but we have to be willing to surrender our lives, our lusts our sins to God in the name of Jesus Christ, and name him as LORD of our lives, in order for us to become new persons in God’s Kingdom.

walk_1john4_10

You see, none of us is perfect, none of us live without sin in our lives, even after we accept the sacrifice for ourselves, we still sin. Jesus lived a sinless life, and therefore he could be our sacrifice. That is what the Christmas story really is all about. Yes it is a wonderful story about the birth of the child in Bethlehem of Judea, and all that goes with that birth. However, without the cross at the end of that life, there is no atonement for sin, we would have no hope.

I wish you all a blessed and Merry Christmas, and I pray that if you do not have a personal relationship with the one who we celebrate at this time, please get right with God. The scripture says: Rom 6:23 ESV For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Heaven or Hell?
April 23, 2017, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Church Stuff, God | Tags: , , ,

Jud 1:3-16 ESV Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (4) For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (5) Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. (6) And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day– (7) just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (8) Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. (9) But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” (10) But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. (11) Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. (12) These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; water-less clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; (13) wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. (14) It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, (15) to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (16) These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

We talk a lot today about false teaching and how the Church has strayed so far from the truth of the gospel. Yet as the letter of Jude shows us this began very early in the Church, we find that there was such a problem that instead of talking about that which was the way, Jude felt the Spirit leading in a different direction. The direction that the Spirit wants him to take is to show the necessity to contend for the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.”
What is the truth he is speaking of? It is that which we find enshrined in our Old and New Testament books. We have all the doctrine that God has for us to know, and to follow, if someone says he or she has received a new revelation from God, they are lying, there is no new revelation from God. Jude will go on to explain what he means, in that the truth was delivered to us through Jesus Christ, and the Apostles who established the church throughout the world of that day. There are many who take what the scriptures say and twist it to fit the way of the world, instead of the Kingdom of God.
The Bible tells us that the Devil is the Liar in Chief, he is the leading deceit deliverer to the world. The devil knows the scriptures and knows how to twist them to his own benefit. Where we see that the gospel delivers us to freedom from sin, false teachers will use it to say that we are free indeed to practice any thing we want. We are free from sin so we can sin all the more. That teaching was prevalent then and it is so today, God’s people need to stand against this deceit.
Jude 1:4 tells us that those who tell these lies will have to pay the price for their lies and sinfulness in lying to people. The gospel makes it clear, Jesus chastised the Scribes and Pharisees for being false teachers, and the scripture tells us that those who are leaders in the church that are also deceivers will pay the price as well. There is only one Lord and God, Jesus the Christ is the one who saves and sets free, free to live as God intended us to live. It is our duty to stand for the truth, no matter who we must stand against. If what a teacher, preacher or other leader in the church tells you something that disagrees with the scriptures, stand against that teaching.
I went to a conference of the United Methodist Church one year, the discipline of the United Methodist Church states clearly that they are to abstain from alcohol because of its negative impact on morality.
As we were enjoying our lunch in a restaurant in Corpus Christi, I noted that at a table near Yvonne and I were a couple of the leaders of the Church, also eating lunch, they had a bottle of wine on the table and were enjoying their lunch and their drinks. Hypocrisy of course since they knew what the teaching was, and it was also taught in the scriptures. As the apostle Paul wrote in Eph 5:18 “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit and not with alcohol.
The point being we are to be like our Lord as much as we can, yes, Jesus drank wine, however, he did so in moderation. He expects us to act accordingly, staying sober, but filled with the Holy Spirit and working to keep ourselves in holiness as much as we can as sinful human beings.

In verse 5 Jude talks about those who rebelled against Moses and God in the wilderness after their escape from Egypt. In the book of Numbers 13 and 14 God acts against those who are rebelling and they are destroyed from the face of the earth. Those who pervert the word of God who rebel against God are slated to spend eternity in hell, those who strive to live in the way of God will instead reach the holy land, Heaven where they will live in the presence of God for eternity. Those who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, are destined to live in Heaven, those who reject Jesus Christ, will also live forever, in hell. Jude goes on to show what happened to all who flouted the way of life that God had set down from the beginning. Sodom and Gomorrah, and many others all who have or will pay the price for their rebellion against God. Beginning in verse 6 and going through verse 16 we see the litany of those who will suffer eternal damnation. It hurts me to see this nation of ours going the way of all of Europe, chasing after the lie that there are alternative ways of life when God has clearly said there is only one right way to live. Again the Apostle Paul wrote that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” He also says that “the wages of sin is death.” All sin earns the same wage, whether it is telling a lie, or, cursing God, adultery or another sexual sin. Disrespecting your parents, or, perjuring yourself. Hell awaits those who blaspheme God, those who refuse to accept their need for a savior, God will not be mocked, he is in control.

Jud 1:17-23 ESV But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. (18) They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” (19) It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. (20) But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (22) And have mercy on those who doubt; (23) save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

Jude now goes on telling us we must remember that there will be those who scoff at the gospel, working to serve the flesh instead of the maker of the flesh we live in. There are people who work hard to divide us, one against another, closing down any faithful group of people by finding and exploiting any weakness in our church. Remember that Satan is the great deceiver, and will work to exploit any weakness in our faith walk. Do not just listen to the Sunday message, read the verses for yourself, is the message true to the gospel or is it false? Study the word of God every day, even if just a short passage, just keep up diligent study to be sure you are able to answer the scoffer with the truth.
The question you must ask yourself is, “Who am I?” Am I truly the child of the King or am I a child of the devil. Do I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, that He died and was raised from the dead to bring me salvation for sin? Or do I believe the scoffers who say there is no God and this is the only life there is. Which one do you believe? If it is the scoffer, then you are destined to an eternity in Hell with Satan and all his minions. If you have believed that you are a child of the King, have confessed with your tongue that Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior and Lord, then Heaven awaits.
Jud 1:24-25 ESV Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, (25) to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude closes with a Doxology, a short piece that tells us exactly who Jesus Christ is and what happens to those who believe.
We find that Jesus is the only one who can keep us from stumbling, the only one who can present us blameless in heaven by the power of his blood spilled on the cross at Calvary by which we are saved for all eternity from sin and death. Then Jude goes on to show us that it is Jesus Christ, who is the only God and our Savior. God himself came and lived as a Jewish lad, lived a sinless life, and then gave his life an atonement for my sin and your sin. We are set free when we recognize that we are sinners and that Jesus died on that cross, to allow us to be reconciled to our Holy God. Also by his resurrection, we too are guaranteed resurrection one day to be with him in heaven.
Lift your voices in praise for the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who saves, and we are the ones in need of salvation.

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What Is This Hatred doing to Political Discourse?
March 16, 2017, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

I find myself in a quandary these days as I see people acting as if the world is coming to an end, and it is all because Donald Trump is now the President and he wants to destroy America. I hear a great deal about our “democracy” and how he is taking away our freedoms, and wants to deport millions of Mexicans who are here as immigrants. They forget the word illegal when they refer to these poor immigrants. Then a professor wants to allow a discussion to be held in his university and instead a horrible riot erupts, people do not want to allow this person to speak. Why? Because he has different views than they do and so his right to speech is offensive and he cannot therefore be allowed to voice his views.

Women wandering around in a big crowd, with signs saying they are against this, that, and the other thing, and wearing hats that are supposed to be a female sexual organ, what kind of people are these, and then one of them decides she will confess that she wants to blow up the white house. Where is the secret service? Why is this woman walking free? She wants to kill the president and any body else who happens to be in the White House at the time. Oh and we cannot forget Snoop Dog, who has a video out showing him shooting a clown made up like President Trump, where is the Secret Service on that one?

The Democrats promised that they would do everything they can to stop President Trump, and they have some lackey judges who are willing to join them in this, so they block a LEGAL  order from the President of the United States to work to protect our nation. A limited time ban on people who do not have legal status to travel to our country while they put in place a better system for vetting those who are coming from these countries. It was OK when President Obama declared these countries as not able to come into our nation because of the same reason that President Trump had for his executive order.

The President stands up and addresses the Legislative branch of Government in a joint session, and the opposition won’t even stand to honor a widow, instead the widow is castigated by democrats and made to look like she was being used. The Democrats are no longer the loyal opposition, they are just the enemy of anything like civil discourse. As for Hollywood, they are the haters of the year, I did not watch any of their self-congratulation shows since I knew it was going to be a bash the President at every opportunity. I was of course correct in my assumption.

Perhaps, I have gotten too old (72), I remember civil discourse in the house of government, even when there was disagreement, it was still civil. Now, it is a war, and it is one that says take no prisoners, destroy everything that the other wants to do and if needed destroy the nation just so we win! Well, if they keep it up, none of us win, we all lose because there will be no government, no country, we will be a third-rate power after the destruction of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, and even our Morality, which is already in tatters.

I don’t like the country that I see, I find it to be a dirty, dismal place, full of hatred and discord, and violence and I see no future for us if this continues. Listening to rhetoric from the fascist democrats I believe it will continue until there is no country left, they will destroy the nation trying to destroy the Presidency, because of their blind hatred of the man who holds the office.

I pray for our nation, but I am afraid that God has begun to withdraw his hand from America, his protection is no longer on us. Don’t sing God bless America, pray rather that God will forgive our iniquity, will forgive our hatred, our immorality, our telling God we don’t want him in our midst. Jesus Christ died to set us free from sin and here we are rejecting his teaching, so we can get drunk, have sex, abort babies, marry our same-sex partners, and all in the name of Secularism/Fascism. Forcing those who disagree with the hell we are making on earth, to pay fines and to close up their businesses because they still believe in the God of the universe.

If this is the world you want, I am glad that I belong to Jesus Christ, and this is not my home!

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How do we treat the stranger?
February 12, 2017, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

I ask that question, because it does matter how we treat those who come to our country. If they come as a legal immigrant, have we checked to see that they really want to become a part of the citizenry? Have we ascertained what they believe about our nation, and what they are coming here for? I do believe we have the right to insure that people who come to live in our nation should be checked out, vetted if you will, because to be truthful there have been quite a few people who came to our country with our death in their minds, and that is not a good thing for us.

I grew up in New York City, Staten Island to be precise,  in a neighborhood that had a lot of kids my age, we played games, from hide and seek, to football, baseball and other games. Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, Soldiers and other things. We did not think about who was what nationality, we did not worry about differences, we worried about who would win the games we played. We shared food and drink, we would go to each others homes when someone was BBQing and enjoyed being together.

In the reality of our time 1950’s and 60’s, we did not worry about anything except what was the next game we would play, and who was on who’s side. Then along came the late 60’s and we found ourselves watching people setting fire to their own neighborhoods, and none of us, black, white or yellow, could honestly understand why? It never has made sense to me why people will burn down homes, stores and whatever else might be handy.

My mother worked at the World Trade Center, she passed away in 1974, so she was not there when 2001 happened. That too made no sense, why did those people hate us so much that they had to kill and destroy? Fast forward to today, why do these people hate us so much they have to destroy and kill, maim and just plain hurt those others?

Let me go to the Holy Bible, since I am a retired Pastor, because I think it is important that we treat others properly. Here is what God says about the stranger living in our land. Granted, in this particular passage he is talking about the Jewish people: Num_15:15 For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the LORD. (ESV) Also here is another passage, Num 15:16 ESV One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.” Notice that there is to be one law and one rule for all who live in the land. In other words, if someone wants to come and live among us, they must be willing to live as we do, not separate, together under the same rule of law as we live under.

So how do we treat the stranger among us today? Mat 25:35-40 ESV For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, (36) I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ (37) Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? (38) And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? (39) And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ (40) And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ If we are to be true, moral people, then we treat those who come among us as we would want to be treated. Jesus told the story of the Samaritan who came upon a Jewish man lying almost dead in the road, he bound up his wounds took him to the nearest inn and paid the innkeeper to care for the man. Others had passed by and left the man for dead, but not the man of Samaria. He did what was right and proper. At the same time what if that man wanted to live under his own law, instead of the law of the land?

Again according to the scriptures, anyone who wants to come and live in your land, must live under the same law as you live. Therefore if the stranger comes and wants to live in your land, he or she must agree to live under the same laws as you do. What we see is that people coming into our country, want to change our country to what they were used to in their old country. This is not how it works, therefore, when the stranger comes to our land, we must ascertain whether or not they will live under our way of life or not. If the person does not want to live as we do, then they will not be welcome in our land.

Going back to living in New York City, when I worked on Wall Street, I could eat lunch every day in a different type of place. Italian, Chinese, Polish, Caribbean or American. The folks who ran those restaurants, were citizens, and lived as all of us live, and they too would go to different places themselves, because we all enjoyed the differences, but still were all Americans.

We speak of being a nation of immigrants, and that is true to an extent, however, we are also a nation of people who have a shared history, and we should be sharing that history with all who come to our country to live so that they can assimilate into society. We have forgotten that our ancestors had to assimilate into the society and they did so. We cannot last as a nation if we do not assimilate these newer folks into our society, instead, we will continue to see the hatred blossom until we find ourselves in the midst of a civil war, which will dwarf the one in the 1860s, too many have already been killed, we need to get ourselves back into the beauty of our history, the beauty of our nation. It is always working to get better, but lately we are reverting to hate and forgetting where our nation was, and now is going. Let us not lose our history to the idea that we must get rid of that which is not what we want to hear or see.

All these cries for safe spaces, and clean talk, are really destroying who we are. We have always cherished the fact that we can have conversation with others who are different and always still get along. However, today it seems that those who want to hear only their own voices will do anything to silence those who have different ideas. Whether it is Global Warming, or politics or whatever it might be. Believe me we are actually hurting ourselves, terribly by not allowing ourselves to hear dissenting opinions, it may just be that we find that those who differ also have some good ideas.

How do we treat the stranger? With respect, and honor, not with automatic hatred.

Tell me what you think, leave a comment, that we might have a conversation.

 

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