texasjq2


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.

Comments Off on Heaven or Hell?


Walk in the Light
September 7, 2016, 10:31 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

This is a sermon I preached a short while back. The reading for this sermon is found in Ephesians 5:8-14.

I remember waking up in a new place and getting out of bed walking to the bedroom door, at least I thought it was the door, then tripping over a chair, actually, stubbing my toe. Man did that hurt! Finally I found the light switch and turned on the light so I could see where I was going. I imagine we all have had this type of experience at one time or another. It sure isn’t much fun when it happens either. Even in a room we know, it can be very unpleasant trying to find our way across to the light switch in the dark.

Paul says to us, “For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it!” in Ephesians 5:8 (NLT). What Paul is speaking about is a form of blindness, an inability to see, or understand the things of God. The Ephesian people were religious, they had one of the great temples to Diana. That temple was considered one of the wonders of the age. Of course merchants made a fortune from this temple, they sold religious icons and statues of Diana in bronze as well as other metals and sculpted statues.

What Paul is pointing out is the reality of the Ephesian believers having come from darkness to light. When they came to see Jesus as Lord and Savior, they received the light of Christ in their lives. In reality we receive a new identity, we are, in Christ, the light of the world. What a wondrous potential for spreading the gospel, our lives become the light of the world, a light that helps others see where before they were unable to do so. It is a wondrous thought, that by introducing the light, darkness can be abolished, for darkness cannot extinguish light.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” If we let our light shine, that will be proof for others that the light is in the world, and that the light has caused us to be changed, to be illuminated. Paul then says in verse 9, of Ephesians 5: “For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” The fruit of the light or of the Spirit is that which is good and so we are to live as children of the light that all might see the changes that God has wrought in us.

Verse 10 says we are to find out those things that are pleasing to the Lord. What is it that will bring glory to God? Is it not that which builds up those around us? Is it not that which reaches out to those who are in need of the love of Christ in their lives?

Remember that Jesus Himself said that He had come to preach good news to the poor, recovering of sight to the blind and release to the prisoner. Good news to the poor, is that which releases them from the servitude of poverty to gain the reality of work that rewards their labor, puts food on the table for their families and gives them dignity.

Recovering of sight, is that which Christ for more than one blind man, but more than that allowed them to be open to seeing eternity. Can we be the light that allows others to see eternity and realize that it is theirs for the receiving? Can we help those caught in the prison of their own making, their sins, those decisions that they have made that have sent them into the spiral of sin and death, to also see?

To see that God is waiting for them to come to Him, that he would put the shoes on their feet, new clothing on their backs, so that when He looks at them they are clothed, as are we, in the blood of Christ, instead of in sin and degradation. Our God would have us walk in such a way as to show our light before men that they might see. This is a way of life, it is not something we do only on Sunday for one hour or two, living in a way that is pleasing to God is a worship of God in all that we do. We offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving, we offer our labors to Him as a joy before the throne of grace. We offer our families before God as gratefulness to Him for the bounty of our spouse, our children and our grandchildren. That is that which is good and right and acceptable.

It is also walking connected to the source of our power, remember that Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” He was talking about being connected to Him so that we could accomplish that which we set out to do. That He would be the source of our power, and as long as we stay connected to Him we will be fed all that we need so that we may see and do that which He would have us do. Paul says that walking in the light will produce goodness: He means that we will be selfless in giving and in right doing. In 1st Thessalonians 5:15 he says: “See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else.” We are to practice goodness always.

  1. Be courteous behind the wheel, even when others make obscene gestures and are discourteous.
  2. Volunteer your time to some good and worthy cause within your community, or a church group. Volunteers in Mission is one way to do this.
  1. Do something unexpected and good for those in your own household, just because.

Walking in the light should also produce righteousness. As Paul tells Timothy in the first letter 6:11, “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” Another way to put this is that we are to walk the talk. So that others can see that we do what we say.

Next is that walking in the light produces truth: We should not dissemble, their should not be lies and deception as a part of our lives. I remember that my Dad once went to Pennsylvania to buy a car, his uncle had told him that the dealer was an honest man so my Dad went there to buy his next vehicle. When they finished haggling over the price they shook hands, there was no contract or anything like that. My Dad went back at the appointed time to pick up his new car, and all was ready. He received exactly what he had bargained for and he paid the man cash for the vehicle. Truth is the way we are to talk to all persons, that our word will be counted as our bond.

Walking in the light also means being obedient to the Lord, reading His word, praying, and doing those things that please Him.

Now comes one of the tough things that Paul says we must do as children of the light. In verse 11 he says, “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them.” We are not to participate, nor may we ignore that which is evil and wrong, that which is of the dark. We are instead to expose sin, to rebuke sin, wherever we might encounter it.

Brethren, we cannot be the epitome of goodness, righteousness and truth if we are going to ignore evil. That is not acceptable. A Christian cannot be neutral when it comes to the issue of sin. It is time for us to wake from our nap, that the light of Christ might shine out through us and on us. It has been said, “The world is lost in the darkness while the church is asleep in the light.”

Let us understand that sin is not only to be found outside our doors, we must look at ourselves as well, exposing our own sin that it might come under the light of Christ and be cleansed and expunged from our body. As long as we are not willing to shine the light on our own sin, we are not walking in the light ourselves.

Nina G. Gunter of the Nazarene World Mission Society tells this story: “A young Christian girl had just started her first job after graduating from high school. Her first day of work she was completely unprepared for the things she heard and saw. The language shocked her and the lifestyles sickened her. In great despair she went home and told her Christian parents that she was not going back. She just could not put up with that kind of sin. In the middle of her complaining her dad asked, “where do you place lights?” She shrugged the question off. What could that have to do with her problem? She carried on telling them all about the horror stories, and again her dad interrupted. “Honey, where do you place lights?” “Dad, what do you mean? You know that you place lights where it is dark. Exactly,” said her dad, “As a Christian you are a light, and lights are placed in dark places. You go on to work tomorrow and be careful to let your light shine before those godless men and women so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

That is what Paul is talking about when he says: “And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”” Jesus knows the power of His light, it is His light that dispels the darkness of sin and degradation. He therefore commands you and I to place our lamp on a stand and let it give light to all in the house (Matthew 5:15).

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. It is not darkness that extinguishes light, it is the snuffer of sin that puts the light out and hides the love of God from those who have need of His grace in their lives. So indeed let the light of Christ shine through you, that His grace and glory might be known.

Deal with the areas in your own life that need to be exposed to that cleansing light of Christ. You don’t have to stumble around in darkness beloved. You too can walk securely if only you will reach out to the source of your power and turn on your light.

Comments Off on Walk in the Light


How should we pray? Jesus taught them.
February 2, 2016, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Church Stuff, Culture, God | Tags: ,

In many churches across our land people will pray the “Lord’s Prayer” and most of us will pray it by memory. We have recited this prayer for years in our churches, and it has become empty rote rather than a heartfelt prayer to our God. This prayer was Jesus’ answer to the disciples request to teach them to pray.
Mat 6:9-13 NRSV “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (10) Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (13) And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
6:9 Our Father in heaven. Prayer should be addressed to God the Father in acknowledgment of His sovereignty over the universe. It is also to recognize that we are family, that God is our spiritual Father and therefore, notice that it is our rather than my Father. It is to be understood that God is first and foremost our sovereign, ruler of the Universe, but also a Father who is partial to the needs of His children. Next we recognize that God is in heaven, but also that he is Omnipresent, God is present everywhere and everywhen. He is always present for each of us and will hear our prayers and supplications, we acknowledge that He is in heaven and yet also with us for the Holy Spirit inhabits each of us. So God is always with us in everything we say and do. As it tells us in Psa 33:13-15 ESV The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; (14) from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, (15) he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
God knows us better than we know ourselves, he is with us through all the trials and joys of life, knowing what we need before we do. He is also ready to act as our Father to fill the needs of His children.
Next – Hallowed be Your name. We should begin our prayers with worship, ascribing praise and honor to Him who is so worthy of it. In other words, one who is above and separate from the earth, yet rules over it. One who is to be exalted and recognized as Holy. His name is to be revered, understanding His divinity and giving voice to His holiness. Not only in our speech but also in our thoughts and actions, doing all things to God’s honor and glory.
6:10 Your kingdom come. After worship, we should pray for the advancement of God’s cause, putting His interests first. Specifically, we should pray for the day when our Savior-God, the Lord Jesus Christ, will set up His kingdom on earth and reign in righteousness. Looking forward to the day when the Kingdom of Heaven shall be made manifest on the earth, the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Your will be done. In this petition we acknowledge that God knows what is best and that we surrender our will to His. It also expresses a longing to see His will acknowledged throughout the world. Why would we not want the will of God to be made manifest in the world, since we profess that God’s will is just and that it is His will that brings infinite wisdom, holiness and goodness into our lives.
On earth as it is in heaven. This phrase modifies all three preceding petitions. The worship of God, the sovereign rule by God, and the performance of His will are all a reality of heaven. The prayer is that these conditions might exist on earth as they do in heaven. As we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven, it means that we want the Kingdom to become a reality on earth, and that his will, which is our sanctification will happen so that our lives will reflect that which already happens in the heavenly realm. Truth be told our soul can never be truly pure until we are truly at one with God acting in concert with His will in our lives to evidence the kingdom.

6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. After putting God’s interests first, we are permitted to present our own needs. This petition acknowledges our dependence on God for daily food, both spiritual and physical. This hearkens back to the Manna in the desert, when the Israelites were dependent upon God for their daily sustenance. Our God knows our needs and more than once I have known that God was taking care of our needs. We had a dinner once at a church that I served, and our folks were surprised at how many showed up for worship and the meal afterward. They were concerned that we did not have enough food, yet when the meal was over, there was still food left for folks to take home for the evening meal.
6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. This does not refer to judicial forgiveness from the penalty of sin (that forgiveness is obtained by faith in the Son of God). Rather this refers to the parental forgiveness that is necessary if fellowship with our Father is to be maintained. If believers are unwilling to forgive those who wrong them, how can they expect to be in fellowship with their Father who has freely forgiven them for their wrongdoings? We speak of the truth that we are under grace not under the law, but, the law is still there to remind us of what sin is and what God has never changed. When we look at sin we must acknowledge that our God has set the line across which we dare not go.
Even as forgiven and reconciled persons, we are still subject to sin and must repeatedly go before the throne of grace, asking for forgiveness because of having hurt God by our sin, and therefore having a broken heart ourselves. We have sinned against he who gave his human life for our sins, and that sin hurts our father in heaven and needs to be repented of. The other side of that coin is that we are to forgive one another because if I hurt you, and then realize that I have done so, I must repent and ask for your forgiveness. Peter asked how many times must he forgive a brother, thinking 7 times was enough, Jesus said 70 times 7.
6:13 And do not lead us into temptation. God does allow His people to be tested and tried. This petition expresses a healthy distrust of one’s own ability to resist temptations or to stand up under trial. It acknowledges complete dependence on the Lord for preservation. We will from time to time be tempted, yet God always makes a way for escape. One of the most important things is that we spend time in His word, it gives us wisdom to work for God and to tell the devil to; as Jesus said to Peter, get thee behind me Satan. We must always remember that if what we think is right but it does not agree with what scripture teaches us about right and wrong, then we know not to allow ourselves to be trapped by that temptation.
But deliver us from the evil one. This is the prayer of all who desperately desire to be kept from sin by the power of God. It is the heart’s cry for daily salvation from the power of sin and Satan in one’s life.
This world will continually tempt us into sin, just look at the commercials on TV, always trying to get you buy this or that item so you will be seen to be the best guy on the block. I saw over and over again during the gift buying season, we call it Christmas, one person bought a set of reindeer to set in his yard. Of course it included Rudolph and his nose lit up. He also says he saved a couple of hundred dollars on the purchase. The neighbor says, yeah I bought something that lights up too, turns and hits the smart button and starts up his truck which of course lit the lights, and says I saved thousands.
We see other things too, that approach filth of another kind as well, all so that you will want to buy whatever they are selling. Then there is the lure of the lottery ticket, you can win millions, just buy a ticket. They neglect to tell you that your odds of winning are a few million to one. Remember folks, if you go to a casino to gamble, the odds always favor the house.

God has promised us life and that abundant, he did not promise that it would be without problems, just that he would never abandon nor forsake you. God goes with you in good and bad times, that is something that is guaranteed by his word. This prayer that we have just gone through is really not to be something you do by rote, it is an example of how to pray.
We in the church have made this prayer something that everyone learns by repeating every week, and it becomes rote, we know it by heart and we no longer know the meaning behind the words, we just repeat them each week. This however, is a teaching of Jesus, it shows us how to pray, and that is something we need to do on a regular basis. Prayer is a conversation with our Father in Heaven, we praise him and thank him for what he does and who he is and then present our needs to him, and admit that we understand that if we do not get along with our brothers and sisters in the family, we will of course seek reconciliation with them so that our sins against God can also be forgiven when we come to him for that forgiveness. Jesus taught that if we come to present our offering and yet have something wrong with a brother or sister in the faith, we are to go and make that right and then come to give our offering it means we are to be right with our brethren, before we can be right with our father.
We shall always recognize what sin is as we study the word of God. It is in the word that we learn what it is that is wrong (sinful) in His sight, lying, cheating, stealing, and murder, but also jealousy, hatred, perversions, shirking our duty to one another, to our job, and even lewd thought. So let us remember that this prayer shows us how to pray, how to speak with our God, learn from it as you go through your daily life, and spend time with God each and every day.
A good starting point for learning about prayer is to pray the psalms, these were used in worship, and sung or recited in worship at the temple in Jerusalem. Much of these are actually prayers of David and the sons of Korah and others.
There is also a wonderful book called all the prayers of the Bible.Take a look at how they prayed and what they prayed about. Here is a prayer of intercession that I think is indicative of the prayers that we ourselves should be involved in. This prayer is found in Gen 18:23-33.
Gen 18:23-33 ESV Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? (24) Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? (25) Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (26) And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” (27) Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. (28) Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” (29) Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” (30) Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” (31) He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” (32) Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” (33) And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
This is intercession, coming before God to intercede for others, Jesus taught that we are to intercede for those who are in need. Prayer for the sick, for the destitute, prayers for those who do not yet know the Lord.
Prayer for those we consider enemies to have their hearts and minds changed and renewed, prayers for revival or awakening. All are intercessory in nature. Spend time with God in prayer every day. You may want to watch a movie that is out right now called War Room. It is a powerful picture of what happens when you pray, first to get your own life in order, then for the stuff around you that also needs to be made right.

Comments Off on How should we pray? Jesus taught them.


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?

Comments Off on All That I have Commanded You 3


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.

Comments Off on Jenner – Duggar


Gordon College, Don’t Sell Your Soul
October 17, 2014, 10:18 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

Persecution comes in many shapes and sizes, Gordon College a Christian college is now being threatened by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. They have issued a statement about whether or not the college prohibition on “homosexual practice” conflicts with their accreditation standards. The college has appointed a committee to study its current campus policies on same-sex behavior. Seems to me that there is no reason to “study” this issue. Scripture is clear from beginning to end, homosexual behavior is against God’s teaching. There is no change to what the scriptures teach, no word from God that says it is an acceptable life style.

Gordon College, Don't Sell Your Soul For Secular Accreditation.

Why do we need to change? Why is it that Christianity has to change to accommodate society? I don’t hear society hollering for Islam to change, they too recognize that homosexual practice is against their teachings. They of course prescribe death for anyone caught in this practice, while we Christians try to show that this is against God and will cause them to spend eternity in hell, but we do not prescribe stoning.



Abortion – What is the Cost?
May 16, 2014, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , ,

A study has been done by Dr. James Studnicki, professor of Public Health Sciences at Univ. of North Carolina, and his colleagues Sharon J. MacKinnon and John W. Fisher. They used data from 2008 which was a national study of pregnancy outcomes. The cost of abortion is of course the death of innocent life because of decisions made by people. The real story of all this carnage is that over 50 million babies have been killed in the years since Roe v. Wade. Here are some other stats that may make you sit up and take notice.

The study looked at pregnancy outcomes from 1990 – 2008 the highlights of this study are:
64.6% of pregnancies ended in a live birth, 18.4% ended in abortion.
The overall pregnancy rate for non-Hispanic black women (144.3 per 1000) was 65% higher than for non-Hispanic white women (87.5 per 1000). In other words black women have an average of more pregnancies in a lifetime (4.3) than white women (2.7).
While 69% of white pregnancies resulted in a live birth, only 49% of black pregnancies let to live births. The abortion rate for white women was 12.4% and the rate for black women was 35.6% almost three times higher. That says that even though their pregnancy rate is higher the black pregnancy is much less likely to result in a live birth.

So what does that really mean? Let us look at the usual metric which is used to measure premature death, it is called Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL). If we accept the idea one of the reasons for preventable premature death is abortion, the study comes to the conclusion that abortion accumulates more years of preventable premature death than all other causes of death combined. What they found was that for non-Hispanic whites, abortions contributed 59% of total years of potential life lost, while, for non-Hispanic blacks, abortions contributed 76% of total years lost. The conclusion is that induced abortion is the overwhelmingly predominant contributing cause of preventable potential lives lost, and that non-Hispanic blacks are the most affected.

Another report in this vein was from New York City Dept. of Health, they found that more black babies were killed by abortion in the city than were born there in 2012, more than half of all black pregnancies were aborted. It seems to me that a life lost to abortion is therefore less important than a life lost to cancer, yet it does not make sense that we hide the truth about death in our communities from abortion. We get ourselves all tied up in knots over the fact that cancer, heart disease and other disease factors cause death, and ignore that truth about abortion.

It seems that we are willing to continue in this vein, and blame poverty and social status issues for the problems in both the black and latina women who are the predominant abortion clients and ignore the truth, that our moral decline is a big reason for these statistics. We are rapidly becoming a morally bankrupt nation, and as long as we think it is OK to destroy human life rather than grant that human life has sacred worth, we will continue down this self-destructive path. The book of Proverbs 14:34 says this: “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.” In his letter to the Church at Rome the apostle says this: Rom 3:23 ” for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and in 6:23 “for the wages of sin is death,” it seems to me that it is way past time to stop being foolish about what we are doing, it is time for repentance and a turning away from our sinful lives before the God’s judgment comes down of our nation. The Jewish people were exiled for 2000 years, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their sinful ways. We keep saying “God bless America”, but why should God bless a nation steeped in sin and degradation?

Comments Off on Abortion – What is the Cost?