Love…what is it?

In our societies and the cultures all over the world today, love is expressed in many different ways. Some of it is expressed in the way that we understand and sometimes it is expressed  far differently. Have you been exposed to real, honest, true love? The kind which would do anything for you without expecting anything in return?

We are not wired that way. Most of us want something in return for our affection, our love, especially when it is given to someone else. Is it possible for us to really know what unselfish love is? For the most part, the love of a parent for their children is that. We love our children, regardless of what they do just because they are our children. We usually love our spouses the same way because that is the way we are commanded to love them by God. We are to love our spouse as Jesus loves the church.

Do you feel this way toward your family…your wife or husband and your children? I pray that you do. I am not trying to bring judgement on you or anyone that you know, I am just stating that Jesus commanded us to love each other as He loved the church and us. Because there is nothing that we could ever give to God in return for His love except by giving our love to Him. Isn’t that what we all desire? To be loved as much or more than we love.

It is impossible for us to understand the depth of God’s love for each one of us because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. He is the Creator and we are the created. God is love and He expresses His love in ways that we can see and feel by giving us our lives to live, and the warmth of the sun on our faces. Every breath that you take is given to you by Him…allowed by Him, so that you can bring glory to His name by honoring Him in your life.

Do we do this at all today? Many people don’t. Because God has been taken out of every school, prayer has been taken out of school, even reading the Bible seems to be forbidden in school during free time. This cannot be kept up in the long run! Why? Because, when you forget God and take His Word and wisdom away from people as they are learning, then you have people who don’t have a moral center to guide them in life! They don’t know what or Who they are supposed to base their decisions on or around, so they use their own “wisdom” or some philosophy that they learned in school or college. They might be listening to someone who considers themselves to be more than they are, someone leading people down a dangerous path!

“Many false teachers and so-called “prophets” will come during the times before the end of the age”; this is a paraphrase of something that Jesus said to His disciples when He was telling them of this time that we are living in. Look it up in the Bible! Read it with an open mind and a prayer so that God can show you what is truth and what isn’t. No one knows the day or the hour that the end will come, but God Himself, but it will come. Be vigilant and search for God while you can!

What can you say….?

The times and the days that we are living in are changing rapidly, yet nothing seems to be noticed by the world outside of the church that we attend. Weeks go by, sermons are preached, plates are passed, commitments are made sometimes, life goes on in between church services. It seems that not much changes. Sometimes the faces in the crowd change, some grow up and move away, some die and go home to be with our Lord. As the Preacher said in Ecclesiastes, nothing changes under the sun. All is as it was in the past and will be in the future.

So, what makes today any different from yesterday or one hundred years ago or even one thousand years ago? The only thing that has actually changed in that amount of time is our technology. We have more ways of communicating with each other, faster over longer distances than we did even fifty years ago. We see and hear the news from around the world in the same way. It is not slow and tedious as it was during the middle of the 1800′s when it would take weeks or months to find out what was  happening on the other side of the world. Even when the attack on Pearl Harbor came in 1941, it took at least thirty minutes to an hour or more to get news back and forth to Washington, DC. Now, it only takes seconds.

Is our world better off with all of the instant communication that we have? Is your day more productive because of technology? Yes, in some ways technology has made our lives better, but the Internet has also made it easier to commit an anonymous crime and get away with it too. It also puts images and videos within easy reach of our children and us. Images and videos which at one time were regulated by being only available to persons over a certain age. We have allowed pornography, murder and the ways to commit murder to come into our homes by way of games and the Internet. So, what can be said about the decline of morality in our culture today?

Religion is not the answer because you can create your own “religion”, and it will be accepted and taken up by anyone who might be disappointed with their own, if they have one at all. No, the answer to our dilemma is the Bible and the wisdom contained in it. Also, the Saviour mentioned in the New Testament has paid the price of atonement for all who will confess their sins and ask Him to come into their lives by believing that He did what He said and what He will do in the future. He is the only way…the only path to Heaven and if we lose sight of that, we have lost everything. Seek Him while He can be found.

Arguing about God’s existence

I was challenged the other day in a way that I, as a pastor, did not understand. It was that I was using “circular reasoning” in my writing. The thing about this is that with circular reasoning you are simply stating a fact twice, once at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph and once at the end and they could both be swapped with no one being able to discern the difference. OK, I concede that writing about God and Jesus and their love for us it circular reasoning. You can interchange God and Jesus in any part of a sermon and you would be saying the same thing. There is nothing wrong with it, regardless of the grammar police and their position on it.

It is a fact, Biblically speaking, that the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are in effect interchangeable. What one of Them can do, all of them can do, separately or together.

The argument from those who choose not to believe in God is that they “want certified proof, something that can be scientifically proven and tested”. How can you test something that is beyond your comprehension? How can you prove something that you can’t touch or feel or smell or taste? Can you prove that love exists? Can you show me a jar with darkness in it? These are things such that cannot be proven, just as God’s presence in our universe cannot be proven by our natural senses, yet He is there.

My faith says that He is there. I don’t need a paper or a proof to show it. What is lacking in the eyes of those that don’t believe is…faith in God. If you don’t have it and He hasn’t called to your heart, then you can’t just decide to get some. It is not something which is in your control, being a Christian today is just like being a disciple when Jesus was beginning His ministry…you have to be chosen first.

I am not saying this to make it seem that Christians are special, but until you feel the call of the Spirit on your life you won’t know that you truly and desperately need Him.

Just as proving God’s existence is futile, your need for Him is there but until you need Him, you won’t seek Him. But when you do seek Him, you will always find Him.

Despair and depression, where do they come from?

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11

The words above were written for us today. Because they speak to the depression and the solitude which Satan uses to take over our life and make it one which is filled with despair and heartache. Why does he do this? Because he doesn’t want you to tell anyone about Jesus and he knows that if you are “down in the dumps”, you won’t feel like spreading the Good News of Jesus to anyone! If he can stop you from telling one person, he has done his duty. Because, that one that you might miss because of your depression just might be the next great evangelist and he doesn’t want them to be that.

Satan hates us as human beings because God loved us more than He loved the angels, of which Satan was a principle cherub, the guardians of God. Not only does he hate humanity because of God’s love for us but because of the special position that God gave to us, the relationship that we can have with God through His Son. So, you see it isn’t personal, he just hates us with such a deep and abiding hatred that no human could ever understand it. Satan will make people think that he will reward them with power and wealth and he might for a time, but the day will come when your “contract” will be up. No amount of money or power will save you from the eternal punishment that will fall on you because you chose to align yourself with the consummate liar and deceiver that is Satan.

Some religions teach that there is no eternal punishment for us because Jesus paid that price and we are all saved through Him. Well, technically that is true but if you have not repented of your sins and asked Jesus into your heart and your life, you don’t have Him as Lord and Savior to keep you from being thrown into the lake of fire with Satan and his followers. Just as if I told you that I have one hundred dollars that I will give you, if you don’t come to my home and claim it then you still don’t have it. The offer of salvation is there, the price has been paid and once you take hold of it then your salvation cannot be un-done, but if you don’t grasp it and repent of your sinful ways and follow Jesus when you ask Him into your heart, then they were just words and nothing more. You can even get baptised in front of a church or in a stream, but without repentance and a commitment to follow Jesus, you just got wet in front of an audience and nothing more.

The Church which was started on the day of Pentecost was not a specific denomination. It wasn’t called the Church of God or the Church of Christ or the Pentecostal church. At the time, the Jews in Israel called them believers of the Way, a sect that they wanted to crush and destroy. Which is why they sent Saul to imprison and beat the believers in this “Way”. The persecution of believers began then and it has not stopped since. It may be subtle here in America, in other countries it is more pronounced and vigorous. Elsewhere, Christians are imprisoned, beaten, and sometimes killed because of their belief in Jesus.

Satan has used this jealousy and animosity against the Church to destroy and persecute it for centuries simply because he wants to undo the plans of God as much as he can. That is why there is so much suffering in the world and so much pain and death. God allows this because He gives each of us a choice, whether to follow Him or not. Without a choice, there is no real love. Think about this, if someone tried to force you to follow them or love them….would you? I wouldn’t.

One Of The Signs In The Last Days: The Persecution Of The Church

gtemedtk1:

A great preacher and a great message. Prepare for it is coming, God said so.

Originally posted on These Christian Times:

 

LOVE WORTH FINDING.ORG: Listen To Late Adrian Rogers Sermon On How To Prepare For The Persecution Of The Church. Broadcast For Friday June 27, 2014. Please click on link to hear this great sermon.

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/love-worth-finding/player/how-to-prepare-for-persecution-409193.html

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What in the world???

So much is going on in the world today. The wars, the world cup for soccer, the financial crisis in many countries, I mean the list just keeps getting longer and longer seemingly every day! Can we fix any of this? Actually, I would like to see someone fix it, but I don’t believe it is possible.

Yes, we are tired of being in debt. Yes, we are tired of hearing of the bombs going off all over the world and the people being imprisoned for nothing more than their religious beliefs, but can we fix all of this? The answer to that can be found in the Bible and the answer is NO! We are not capable of fixing these problems, regardless of the angst that they cause or the heartache that they cause as well.

Humanity is just not able nor willing to fix these problems, mainly because someone is making money from them and it is usually someone in power. When money is made because of suffering and pain, it is wrong but it is usually very hard to remove this “cancer” because of the amount of money that is flowing in one direction or another. Bribes are being paid under the table, deals are being made in boardrooms or in international offices. It is nothing new. This has been going on for a long, long time and it will continue until our Savior comes to put an end to it.

Many people think that this person will be able to force a so-called fix on the population of the world and they may be right. If this “savior” is the one that is foretold in the book of Revelation, then it will be enforced in a way that cannot and will not be allowed to be gotten around like many “laws” are today. There will be electronic or DNA checks and balances put into place which will enable governments to see what you buy, who you are, where you live and if you are loyal to their cause. If you don’t have this “mark”, whatever it might be, you will not be able to buy anything legally.

The technology is available now, this is not some futuristic dream. With a world-wide push it could be implemented easily, though for some it will be forced or there will be consequences and those will likely include imprisonment or death. It is coming and because it is coming, there is no way to avoid it. You just have to try to plan for it in some way, if you can. Help as many people as possible in this because it will be those who come to you for help when that time comes. Some people will try to steal what you have and attack you if they think that you have food or money or even water.

The end of the age is coming. When, I cannot tell you because I do not know. But, if you have ever read the Bible it speaks of this time very vividly and it is not an enjoyable time for anyone. If you are a believer, great. Take the time to tell others about our Savior, the One that is True. Prepare for the time that is coming. Yes, I have heard that we are supposed to be taken away before this happens but there are scriptures which point to this time and say that we will see part of the Tribulation. Paul says that time will not come until the man of sin is revealed”, but most preachers emphasize that we will be raptured before this time. Why would the Spirit allow Paul to write these words if they weren’t true? That is why I believe that this is the time that many will fall away from the teachings of the church.

We have to stick to our beliefs and listen to Jesus. Read His words, trust Him and have faith in Him, persevere until He appears and takes us to Heaven. Be strong and very courageous and don’t let go of your faith in Him because those who are doing what the Master told them to do when He comes will be rewarded. Those rewards are far above any material thing that this world can offer you.

In His Service.

Are we there yet?

Did you ever hear this from your kids? I know that nearly every parent has heard it a few times. So what about all of us who live in the world today? Do you ever wonder about when or where you might end up when this life is over? Well, the when I can’t help you with and to be truthful I personally can’t help much when where either unless you listen carefully to some of the writings that I have placed here.

First, the when is entirely up to God. He knows specifically when and how you will die and leave this life, so you need to consult Him about that. Although, He won’t give you that information. We never find out when or how we die ahead of time, because that would make things too easy. The Bible says that no one knows the time or the hour of the second coming of Jesus and we also don’t know our own time of departure from this life. I really don’t want to get into the “when I will die” discussion because I don’t want to know for myself. When God decides it is time, I will go..period.

What can I tell you about the part of life concerning “are we there yet?” ? Well, with all of the movies which show aliens or asteroids or some other “end of the world” scenario, I believe that there are many people who are wondering just that very thing, are we there yet? The answer is…..we are getting close. I know, for many people this will be a let-down and a non-answer, but it is the truth and its the only answer that I can truthfully give you. No man knows when these things are going to take place, unless God gives him that information and He won’t likely do that until it is very close to happening. Even then, they won’t be given an exact day or hour if they are given any information at all!

We are to be watching and seeking Him until that day. We are also to be doing His work until that day and it will come because it has been foretold, regardless of the fact that it has been over two thousand years since Jesus’ time. Our life and everything that goes on in this world will go on as it has until the events foretold in the book of Revelation begin to happen. Paul said that we would not see any events until the “man of sin is revealed”, even though many Christians are taught that we will be “taken up” before any of the events in the book of Revelation come about.

I don’t want to get into a debate about interpretations of scripture either so I am going to stop there. The point of my writing is that we are not there yet, but the time is growing shorter by the day. Step up the attack, tell as many people as you can about Jesus, teach as many as you can about Him, because the time is right. Your Salvation and your Savior draws nearer with each passing hour and day that goes by.