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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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All That I have Commanded You 3
September 5, 2015, 11:12 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

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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Jenner – Duggar
June 5, 2015, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , , ,

I have heard so much this week about these two, Jenner who has decided he is a she even though the body says he is a he. Meanwhile the Duggar family is being castigated for their Christian way of looking at the world, they are called hypocrite by many for their tribulation in dealing with Satan invading their family through Josh their son.
I have to wonder why Jenner is celebrated as a hero and some even say a goddess, while a family who has tried to work through the trials they had to face is vilified.

Let us look at this from the perspective of what God has created and what man has decided to destroy. Now I do understand that there will be those who will not want to hear about God, yet will profess to worship Jenner as a goddess, but that is not who Jenner is. In the beginning, God (by the way, God has no gender). God created the universe, and after all had been set in motion on the last of creation (6th day) God created man. Now whether you believe this or not is not material, I am speaking from my own perspective, I know we cannot have a discussion with each other since you will not start at the same place that I start from. I firmly believe that God did what the scripture said he did. Now, in the process, God said let us (royal us) make man in our image, and so man and woman were created. God ordained that the man would be male and head of the household, while the woman was to be the assistant, not less than the man, she was the helpmate. The scripture says that the man would leave his family and live with the woman and the two would become one flesh, sorry to say this because I know it will upset those who do not want to hear it, but men and women fit together, it is how God made them.

Biology says that men have certain equipment, and women have another type of equipment, that is the way it is. You can cosmetically change the appearance if your mental illness is taken that far, but you cannot change the biological reality. So, even the Jenner wants to be referred to as a female person, his biology says he is a male.

Now the Duggar tragedy, and it is a tragedy. Lawyers can argue all they want about whether or not it was legal to release the information to the public, but, the truth is, it was an immoral act. It re-victimizes the ones who were originally wronged. Of course many will now salivate as they condemn the family for not having done what they consider the right thing in this situation. I guess the first question is, what if was you who found yourself in this situation? This family lives by a set of guidelines that say, God is in charge, and God wants you to act with calmness and deliberation. They did, they worked with their son and their daughters, they assured themselves that the girls would be safe, and then tried to get through to their son just how wrong his actions were. When that did not work as they had hoped it would, they sent him for counseling. They did bring him to the police, he did confess what he had done, the police decided that they would not do anything in regard to this after an investigation. The family later became celebrities because of the TV show, and their son who is now in his twenties, and was forgiven for his transgression, has gone on to his own career with the Family Research Council. Not a terrorist organization, nor a hate group, that we leave to those who would shoot the people working there because some sleazy lawyers declared that they were a hate group. Nothing new of course, but, we hear this kind of drivel all the time from the left who of course do not take an responsibility for the injuries caused.

Anyway, the family is pro-life, and are solidly christian in their belief structure, and they are of course NOT PERFECT! None of us are perfect, we are finite beings, we are not God. The scriptures tell us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But God is perfect, and he expects us to strive to be like Jesus, we struggle with it but we also work at it. Yes I too believe that Jenner is a person with a serious problem, and is in need of God in his life. I will not call him a female, he is a male no matter the cosmetics applied to his outer self. I cannot agree to homosexual marriage, or behavior, nor can anyone who truly follows the teaching of the scriptures which clearly tell us that homosexual activity is sin. Note I said activity, I do not condone the action, but I must pray for the person who is trapped in this lifestyle. I am enjoined by my God to do all in my power to try to help change the idea that this is just another way of living, it is not so. This lifestyle leads to eternal death, God does not condemn the unrepentant sinner to eternal death, that is the choice that the person makes. It is my responsibility to try to show them that sin leads to eternal hell, but that God through Jesus Christ leads to eternal life.

I know that there are those people who claim to be Christians, but who live a sinful life, and they too will answer to God for their actions, as will I when the day comes. I want to be able to come before God and know that although I am not perfect, I have striven for holiness in my own life. That is what the Duggar’s are doing as well, striving to do that which is pleasing in the sight of God, not what man wants, rather we live for what God wants.

The shame of this is, that no matter what I may say or do, there are those who will never, ever, admit to their sinful state, and they will one day find themselves in hell. I will mourn for their souls. The Duggar family is working to be what God has for them to be, you may consider them to be wrong, but at least they are true to their belief. So, it seems that our nation is moving away from the moral imperatives that brought us to the 20th century and moving in a terrible, anti moral stance. The prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 6, So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” (Isa 6:5 NKJV). I too can say that I am a man of unclean lips among a people of unclean lips. For I too am a sinner, sins that I have confessed to God and repented of, but still I stumble every day. All of us do, but, and this is the important thing, repentance before God, gives us eternal life. Repentance and working to live as God would have us live.

I don’t know if any who read this will understand but I do hope that if your heart is touched, if you find that you too are in need of the grace of God in your life, you will pray for forgiveness, repent of your sin and follow Jesus Christ into eternal life.

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