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Propitiation – Predistination
April 21, 2020, 3:11 pm
Filed under: God | Tags: ,

One of the things that I had to come to understand was that Jesus Christ, was born to pay a price so that God could offer grace, forgiveness and and place you as a son or daughter of Himself, because, of the death and resurrection of Jesus over 2000 years ago. Of course there have been literally millions who have become sons and daughters of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but, it is still offered today and once accepted, you will be given eternal life in the family of God.

So what about that word above that is the title of this missive? Glad you asked, it is what happened when Jesus died on the cross. The Greek word for this is Hilaskomai and it is a word that was used by the Greeks of that time for the person to do something to make the gods pleased and so willing to take care of the cares of the person, meaning that the god in question was to propitiate the one who did the something. However Paul and the others did not use this word in that way.

You and I and all other human beings who live or lived since that crucifixion of Jesus on the cross had only to accept that death as our own and be “born again” to become new persons moving toward the love of God through the death of Jesus and of course his resurrection. Let’s look at the other word in the title of this missive, predestination. That is something that is actually also in our scriptures. It too has a different meaning from that which is used in many denominations. You see, we must realize that since God created all that we see and live and breath in, as we travel in our lives between birth and death. God is eternal, he was there before there was a there.

I always wondered why when they were preaching our pastors, before I became one myself, would say, God is there before you got there. What? How could that be? Simple of course, God is everywhere and everywhen, there is no time for God as he is outside of time and space. You and I are stuck in this linear life line that is our time frame, that is why we cannot take back our sinful actions nor can we know what tomorrow brings our way. God however is there in our past and in our future, so you see that the word in our scriptures, does not mean that God chose Mary and Joe and Harry to be saved, but you he did not choose. If you notice in the writings of the scripture you are invited to accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So if you are invited, that means you have free will, you may accept or reject that invitation.

The reason this is so is simple, we must go back to the first word of the invitation, Jesus Christ voluntarily went to the cross and allowed himself to suffer the beating, the crown of thorns and finally the nails to hold him on the cross. He did so because his death paid the price for my sin and your sin, He was the “hilaskomai” for you and for me, he was the propitiation for you and I and every other person on this planet. That is the meaning of the word for you and I today and everyday, Jesus paid the price. That is why God turned away from him, and why he cried out, “Why have you forsaken me” it was because God cannot abide sin.

Jesus was on that cross meeting you and I that day as the sins of millions of people buffeted him, my sin and your sin were all a part of him as he died on that day at Calvary, so you and I can become sons and daughters of God. The cost was a life, the life was the the Son of God on the cross at Calvary, he was the propitiation, the price was paid on that day for each of us. If you do not accept the invitation then your eternity is death over and over again, in the Lake of Fire with Satan and all his minions.

Now today if you do not know Jesus Christ, please and I mean this with all my heart, PLEASE, ask him to become Lord of you life, forgive your sins and fill your soul with the Holy Spirit. If you have done so, I would appreciate it if you would let me know. God bless you and keep you.

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Is This End Time?
March 27, 2020, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

A lot of folks are wondering about all the things they see happening, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Wars, and of course the Coronavirus. I have to admit that it is a scary time in which we live. I know a few Christian people who are wondering about all these things, and thinking that it is prophecy coming true.

We see this in the Gospel of Matthew, “Mat 24:3-7 ESV  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?”  (4)  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.  (5)  For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.  (6)  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.  (7)  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.”

I know that there may very well be a terrible famine in North Africa after the Locusts millions of them, ate everything in site, stripped trees as well as crops. There are earthquakes daily, most are harmless, but there have been some 7.5 quakes this past year that did a lot of damage, and deaths as well. Wars, we definitely have our share of wars, we have been in Afghanistan almost 20 years. Of course these wars, we do see Turkey fighting against the Kurdish people, we hear Iran boasting they will destroy Israel.

Yet it is not any reason to believe that these are signs of the End of it all. They are indications that our world is getting closer to a time when China or Russia or both will begin wars against their neighbors and other nations will join in against them. Of course also, Russia is putting together a coalition in the middle east which may presage a bigger conflict there.

I do believe that things are going to get a whole lot worse, and one thing I know for certain, there is a coming conflagration, that will destroy the earth and millions of people will die before it is all over. I also do KNOW that there is a way to salvation, and it comes through Jesus Christ, he who died and was risen, in that death we can be saved from hell and live eternally in the presence of the God of creation. How do I know this you may ask. Here is the answer: “Joh 3:16-18 ESV  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  (17)  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  (18)  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

So what do you think? Is it time for a reassessment of how you are living your life. The apostle Paul  wrote these words in his letter to the church in Rome.  “Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” The death he is talking about is an eternity in the Lake of Fire along with Satan and his followers. The choice is yours, eternal life in heaven, or eternal death in hellfire. God will not sentence you there, you will sentence yourself. “Whoever believes in Him, Christ is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already.” If you refuse the offer freely given by God as Paul said, it is a free gift, but you must confess your sins, repent of those sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord of your life.

In life we make many choices, I ask you to make the choice that will guarantee you eternal life, saving you from the torment of eternal death in the Lake of Fire.

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Sermon 10-13-2019
November 3, 2019, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: ,

This is a sermon delivered by our Pastor, Brother Ned Sitzes. The sermon deals with the problem that has become a reality in our society. It asks the question, “Why are God’s people not standing for Jesus?” What we are talking about of course is the Christian church in all its various types. It seems that Pastors don’t like to talk about Hell, they talk about Heaven, but the other side of the coin is Hell. People, however, don’t like to hear about the trust of eternal life in hell, they only like to hear about eternal life in heaven.

Brother Ned based his words in Hebrews chapter 10, Romans 3:23 and 6:23, and then Deuteronomy 4:9.

 

 

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God of the Living
August 10, 2019, 5:44 pm
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Jesus never did a Funeral he is God of the Living because he has given all who come to know him as Lord and Savior eternal life in the precincts of Heaven. We live in a world steeped in sin, a people who want only to fill a void in their heart. Drugs, alcohol, sexual pleasures, none of these will fill that void. Money, you can’t take it with you into eternity. Jesus offers what Satan cannot give, his fate is sealed, you as long as you are still alive, can choose eternal life in heaven, or, eternal darkness in the lake of fire. Please listen to what I say in the video. I implore any who hear to act if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord. If you think this world is hard, it is going to be much worse! Choose Christ or choose Hell!



Man and Wife – God’s plan
May 8, 2019, 10:15 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

Gen 2:22-24 NKJV  “Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.  (23)  And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”  (24)  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Man, a created being, and woman also a created being, become man and wife and it then says that this is God’s plan for men and women. God in his infinite wisdom created all that there is, including people. He set things in motion, and, made it clear that men and women were sexual beings, that were meant to join together in the marital bond and through the sexual act, procreate. They were to be God’s proxies in that they would create more human beings through the act of coitus.

Since God set this in motion, we are not to change the set that God has ordained. The Bible talks a lot about sexual immorality, mostly about sex outside of the marriage bond, and more about men with women other than their wife. It is also important that we understand, that concubines, or, other relationships which are sexual in nature are not in God’s plan. In other words, marriage between a man and a woman, is the plan, and as it says the man shall set up housekeeping with his wife, and it is supposed to be a forever bond.

In our society today, we find all sorts of relationships, we also see trio’s as well as homosexual matchups, and of course polygamy. None of these are acceptable in God’s eyes. The sad part of this world in which we live today, is, that the Church is also supportive of many of these relationships. One that I am aware of is a Lesbian married to her wife, and, is a bishop of the church. Male with male and woman with woman, these are not acceptable in or out of the Church. If we profess to follow Jesus Christ as Lord, then it behooves us to act as He would act in these situations. We must point out that God is not pleased with those who are living in sin, Heterosexual or, homosexual. The scriptures just talk about heterosexual sin more than homosexual sin, but, it is clear in the scripture that neither sin is acceptable to God.

Jesus talks about the wide gate and the narrow gate: Mat 7:13-14 NKJV  “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  (14)  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” What is meant here is that walking down that road that is easy will lead you into Hell and you will spend eternity with Satan and his angels in the lake of fire. The narrow gate is the difficult path that leads to heaven, and, eternal life in heaven with Jesus. It is difficult, because, the world in which we live hates those who will follow Christ, and work out their salvation by walking in his footsteps. Those who do so will stumble and even fall, but, Jesus is there with you and will help you get back on that narrow path.

Your friends and relatives who do not know, do not have a relationship with Jesus, will work hard to discourage you. They will do all in their power to get you back on that wide highway that leads to destruction. How many people on that wide road are still searching for the million dollars, the mansion, the big car, and all the other things that are supposed to bring happiness? How many are actually happy with all the things in life? Most keep on wanting more, because, what they have is never enough to fill that void in their lives. The void can only be filled by the presence of God, never by material things.

If you are reading this and you do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, please contact me, and let us have a conversation. Your eternity depends upon your acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If you do not know him, or if you have rejected him, then your eternity will be spent in hell. If you do have a relationship with Him, then heaven is your destination.

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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.

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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.

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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.



All That I have Commanded You 3
September 5, 2015, 11:12 am
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Lost and Found

In the gospel of Luke the 15th Chapter we read stories about Lost and Found and how there is a rejoicing over that which was lost and is now found.

The first three verses in this chapter of Luke’s gospel we are told that Tax Collectors and the sinners drew close to Jesus so as to hear him speak. The religious leaders, Pharisees and Saducees were very displeased by Jesus allowing these people to come near to hear: Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus tells them some stories to make things clear to those who did not understand the truth of God’s word.
Luk 15:4-6 NKJV “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? (5) And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

It makes good sense if you are a shepherd and one of the sheep gets lost, you would go and find that sheep to bring it back to the fold. The next story also makes sense, since even today silver is a commodity which is worth holding onto.
Luk 15:8-9 NKJV “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? (9) And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’

I hear all kinds of advertisements for people to run out and buy silver right now, it will gain in value soon.

This next story is one of my favorite stories because it reminds me of myself in many ways. Perhaps you can see yourself in this story which we know as the story of the Prodigal Son.

Luk 15:11-24 NKJV Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. (12) And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. (13) And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. (14) But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. (15) Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. (17) “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (18) I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, (19) and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘ (20) “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (21) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (22) “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. (23) And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (24) for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

After each of these parables Jesus adds the fact of a celebration that what was lost is now found, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” So the religious leaders hear this lesson but, like the older son in the parable of the son who returns to the home of his father, they too cannot bring themselves to realize that they are in the presence of God, and need to repent of their own sin and join in the celebration.

Here is the rest of the story of the prodigal returns: Luk 15:25-32 NKJV “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. (26) So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. (27) And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ (28) “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. (29) So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. (30) But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ (31) “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. (32) It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ” I always wonder, how did the older brother know about the harlots? Christians seem to know about these things too, yet like the older son, seem to forget that all sins are able to be forgiven by the Lord God.

As Christians, we believe that God created all that is, including man. The story is that man and woman were placed in the garden of Eden to care for it and to live in it and enjoy the fruits and vegetables that the garden produced as they cared for it. There was only one thing that they were not allowed to eat, that was the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they did eat of that fruit, they disobeyed God, in other words they sinned. Up until that time they were perfect creatures, once they sinned God could no longer allow them to stay in the garden for their sin would pollute the garden, just as sin has polluted our world. I hear so many people talking about the greatest problem in our world being global climate change, and that it is caused by man. This is not the greatest threat to our existence, the greatest threat is sin, immorality and its attendant ills. That is the greatest threat, because it means we are living in opposition to God.

Since we were made in God’s image, God has been calling us to return to Him, that we might be cleansed of our sin and become again part of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that has been and will be forever. It was torn by Adam and Eve and Jesus was the only one who could return it to reality. He came to find and return to the fold, all the lost sheep who are living in sin.
One other truth, we see a lot of people who push one or another sin as being what is wrong with the world. The truth is, all that we do that is against the word of God, is sin. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Note please that he does not say, this or that sin but rather sin by itself. That means that anything that is against the word of God, from coveting (wanting what is your neighbors), we call it keeping up with the Jones’, to worshiping idols such as money, fame, people, (you shall have no other gods before me). That is why there are 10 Commandments, actually Jesus added one more, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

These three parables or stories above talk about bringing back those who are lost in sin, and that when one is returned to his or her status as a child of God, there is great rejoicing in heaven. A soul has been saved from eternity in the fire of hell. Note that it is not that anyone is forced to come to saving knowledge, but that a person voluntarily comes to that place where they realize that Jesus Christ is really God and they need that saving grace that only He can supply.

So, know that theft of a paper clip from your place of employment, causes the same punishment as adultery or murder. The choice is always yours, the prodigal son did not have to return, he could have learned and grown into a better worker getting better pay and taking care of his physical needs, but he still would have been divorced from his father. We too can pursue the things of this world, but we are still divorced from our Father in heaven and the riches that can be ours when we are part of the family of God once again.

How about you? Do you know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life, or are you still convinced that you are able to take care of yourself and will have everything you want in this life. Satan will be more than willing to let you believe that this is all there is and when it is over there is nothing else, but what if that is the lie, and an eternity awaits all of us. We can spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven, or in the outer darkness, the fire of hell divorced from God. Are you willing to take that chance?

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