Faith and Hollywood

Is faith, real faith present in Hollywood today? Yes, there are many actors who believe in Jesus in the industry but what about the products that they “sell” to us? The movies that come from Hollywood seem to have references to the Bible at times, but nothing much follows these references. Why? Mainly because the people in Hollywood are in the business of making movies to make money! That is the driving force behind their scripts and the content of the movies that they sell to us through theatres and other channels.

But, what about the message contained in those movies? Does the producer or director care what is portrayed in the movies that they claim to base upon events in the Bible? The current offering from them seems to tell me that, no they don’t care about the message just the money to be made from it. Some claim that the movie in theatres now is “just a representation” and that it will get people discussing the story in the Bible and maybe even reading the story. I do agree that it is a representation of the story of Noah but it is not accurate to the story contained in the Bible.

I understand that they, the producers, had to take creative license with the story because of the brevity of it in the Bible. It doesn’t contain many clear details of how the world was or many details about Noah’s family but it does tell us that he was a righteous man in the sight of God and that is not how he is portrayed in this movie. Granted, I have not seen it and will not pay money to go see it, but if you are going to create a movie based on a story in the Bible then you should at least try to research as much as possible the history behind the story that Jewish scholars have.

Try to at least get the main character right, especially that he is a righteous man and not a murderer and a drunkard. God’s message in the Bible covers much more ground than could ever be put together into a movie, though it has been tried before. The story of the flood is just one story but it teaches so much about the righteousness of one man and his family and the world that they lived in. It is true that the narrative in the Bible doesn’t really cover much about Noah and his family or the world that they lived in except where it says: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) We don’t really get a picture of what that involved, but it must have been pretty bad for God to regret that He had ever made mankind!

Our world is approaching that level even now, although most of the world doesn’t think that it is so bad. One day, the whole world will know and some will repent of their ways but others will not. They will curse God for what is coming on them because of their actions and blame Him for everything, when it is actually their own fault that their lives are spinning out of control.

Please consider reading the Bible and learning of how good God is, give your life to Him and eternity will be yours. An eternity that you will enjoy with others, not one which humanity was created for in the first place. Think about it and one day we might get to know one another in Heaven!

Belief, what does the Bible say?

How many times does the word “believe” or one derived from it show up in the Bible? The word or one with believe inside it, appears 249 times in the Bible. You would be astonished at how few times that it shows up in the Old Testament though. I did the research for this using the search function inside the King James Bible on my Kindle Fire, so the results are what came up in that search. Some other searches may show more, some may show less so don’t tear up my results because they are different from yours. Just telling you where I got my information because it may not be what you might find elsewhere.

In Exodus, it shows up six times. That is all of the times that the word believe or believeth is present in the book of Exodus, the chronicle of Israel’s journey out of Egypt and on the way to becoming a nation..

In the book of Numbers, it only shows up one time and that is in chapter 14. Why does belief or believe not show up any more than this? God is the only One who knows that answer.

In the book of Deuteronomy, the word only shows up one time in chapter one. Strange isn’t it? A fundamental word that goes along with and that the Christian faith hinges on seems to be absent from the very books that were written at a time when belief should have been easy because of the miracles being done by God for the people of Israel.

In the Christian Bible, the next time that it shows up is in the book of 2 Kings in chapter seventeen and it is only present that one time.

The next time is in 2 Chronicles in and it shows up twice in chapter twenty. Then once more in chapter thirty-two.

After that, is shows up three times in the book of Job, once in chapter nine and twice in chapter thirty-nine.

It also shows up in Proverbs in chapter 26 once, and it isn’t referring to belief in God even then.

Then it makes an appearance twice in Isaiah in chapter seven and in chapter forty-three.

In the Old Testament, the word only shows up twice more after this. Once each in Jeremiah chapter 12 and once in Habakkuk chapter 1.

So, altogether in the Old Testament believe or a word derived from it shows up a total of 20 times. Even during the time of their liberation from Egypt when God was doing so many miracles and wonders, belief or believe never came up much and out of the thirty-eight or thirty-nine books in the Old Testament, depending upon which Bible you have, the word “believe” only shows up twenty times, why?

The New Testament seems to have most of the occurrences of this word. Why? Because belief was and is necessary along with faith in the One that we believe in, Jesus.

In Matthew alone believe shows up nine times!

In Mark it shows up 18 times, almost as many as in the entire Old Testament!

In Luke, believe shows up nine times, but in the book of John alone it shows up 94 times! Now, this sounds like a lot and in some results that I have searched through it showed up only forty-three times.
That is because some searches on the Internet Bible boards only show exactly the word “believe”, while the search that I did shows it and the word of believeth as well because I was searching through the King James Bible.

The point that I am making is that John’s gospel and the books written by him all focus on our belief in Jesus and in Who He was and Who He is. Yes, the demons of Satan and Satan himself believe in Jesus but they don’t have the same belief as we do. They will not bow to Him nor will they serve Him because they have chosen to be against Him and against God. So, how many times have we charted the word “believe” so far? At this point, only 150 times between the Old and New Testaments up to the book of John. So, there are about ninety-nine more occurrences of the word believe or believeth in the New Testament.

Why so much emphasis on belief? Believing in Jesus doesn’t save your soul from hell does it? It is a start, but belief alone doesn’t do it. The demons who serve Satan believe in God and Jesus because they knew them before they chose to rebel against them. Yet, their belief is just knowledge of God and Jesus and Who they are. It is knowledge like you get from school and from the books in school…it is only head knowledge, nothing more. Their belief never went into their hearts to change them, that can only happen to us as Christians, but the transformation is not instant nor is it complete on the day that you accept Jesus as Savior.

Being a Christian is a process that begins with belief in Jesus and in His message for our lives and taking that message into your heart, striving to become more like Jesus daily. What does that mean? Asking forgiveness for your sins by confessing what you have done and accepting the fact that God forgives you because of your decision to accept Jesus as your Savior is just the beginning of your walk with Him. Searching through the scriptures for references to Jesus is a wonderful exercise that will increase your faith in the truthfulness of God’s Word, but it will also humble you because you will find that God has loved us, not just Israel, for an eternity. He has known each person and how they will choose to live their lives since before the world began.

That is why belief in Who the Trinity of the Godhead is important to your salvation, because all three Persons of the Trinity are involved in your salvation every day. Belief in Jesus is the first step, accepting Him as your Savior is the second step, confession of your sins is another step along the road of becoming a Christian. God sent Jesus to do the work of reconciling mankind to Himself by being the perfect sacrifice for all of our sins, which He did. Then, the Holy Spirit, which is another part of the Trinity, comes into your life when you are saved and teaches you while you search for the Truth. So, the entire Person of the Trinity is involved in your becoming a fruitful Christian, not just Jesus.

Please forward this to anyone that you know that needs to come to Jesus. It is important because God thinks that they are important and that you are important. We all have a part to play in God’s plan, some may have a small part and some may have a bigger part. Just as the different parts of our body do their jobs, we as Christians need to do our job regardless of the role that we play in God’s plan and His Kingdom.

Give God the Glory that He deserves, because I cannot continue doing this alone. I am not alone of course, I have Him and His Spirit to guide me and you do too. The words that I have put here don’t come from my mind alone, but from His. I am just the messenger, but don’t disregard the message.

Culturally Christian

Do you fit the mold and profile of a follower of Jesus? If you were to stand before a judge and be tried as a Christian, is there enough evidence in your life and your actions to convict you of being a Christian?

What do I mean when I am talking of “culturally Christian”? I am speaking of having your life so invested and intertwined with Christ until you are more like Him than your “self”. Few people are this committed to being like Christ and I am not saying that you would be perfect in your life because we can’t be perfectly in God’s will as Jesus was. What I am referring to is your character and whether it is identifiable as being like Christ and not like the world around you.

Can we do this as flawed human beings? Not in our own strength, but with the strength of the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart, you can. Living your life through the Spirit is essential to being a Christian but do you know many people who actually do this? So many go to church and go through the motions of what is required or thought of as identifying them as Christians yet “their heart is far from me” as the Lord says.

The only way to bring your life into the culture and character of being a Christian is to give your heart to Him and learn about Him and His ways. Study the Bible and pray about your life in Christ and His life in your heart, then God will answer your prayers and help you learn His ways so that you can be more like Christ. There are many people who don’t believe in Jesus and some who reject Him and the Bible too. This is okay, but what if the words and the prophecies of the Bible are true?

Living your life in denial of the truth doesn’t change the truth, it just allows you to go on with your life thinking that your “truth” is right and others are wrong. Truly, there are those who say that the Bible is full of false claims and lies but there has never been anyone who can prove it. The Bible does contain history and historical places that have been proven by archaeology to have existed in the past. Since it is truthful in this, then the other words contained within it are true as well since God cannot lie.

All of the words in God’s Word were penned by flawed men, but they were being led and given the words by the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit had not been giving them the words to write, then the prophecies would never have come true and the Bible would be just a collection of words from history. But, the prophecies have come true and some have not, but they will. Belief in Jesus and taking the Word into your heart and your life is a part of being a Christian. If you can’t do that and live your life accordingly then why call yourself a Christian? If you have chosen to be like the world and not allow Jesus into your life, then you need to think about your life, not just the one you have now but the eternal one that you will have later.

The time that you have now is not all that there is, as some seem to think. God designed us to have an eternity and for that eternity to be His children. Living your life as you see fit and in whatever way you wish to live is fine, but what will you do when you wake on the other side of this life in the next one? If you haven’t given your heart and your life to Jesus here, then where will you be then? If you have attended church or heard a sermon anywhere then you know that there are only two destinations, Heaven or hell.

Think about it.

Can you live with yourself?

We do it all of the time and yet living and life itself has consequences that come from the things that we do every day. Is it possible that each of us might impact someone’s life in a way that is harmful? Can we make a change in our life so that the impact on others is good for them and for us?

The answer to that last question is actually “no, we can’t”, but God can! Do you truly know where your soul will go when you die? Are you sure of that destination, whatever it is? Many people think that when they die, that is it and there is no more living to do. In a way they are right about that because in the body that you have now, life will end at some point. But, we have all been created with an immortal soul and it will live on in eternity. The question is…where?

You can choose not to believe this if you wish and I am only trying to bring you to the realization that there is an eternity in which we will all live. The matter at hand is which eternity would you rather have…one which is loving and care free with work that you will enjoy for an eternity being with friends and family and with Jesus and all of the saints from the Bible?

Or would you rather be partying with Satan and his demons and all of the murderers and rapists and other scumbags in hell, where you will not enjoy eternity but will be tormented and in agony? Eternity in hell is not going to be a party, it will be filled with pain and misery not for just a while but for eternity.

Hell was not made or created for us at all, it was created to punish Satan and the angels which rebelled against God. But, if you have decided that you know better than God how to run your life and how to be a “good person”, because you don’t need Jesus in your life…then you are on the side of Satan as well. There is no middle ground, no possible way that your “good works” will save your soul. Jesus did the work that was necessary for your salvation on the cross! All that you have to do in order to receive it is to believe in His atoning death for your sins and ask for His spirit to come into your heart. When that happens, you will be changed into a new person!

You will no longer be the person that you were, but you will be in Christ and you will have Him dwelling in your heart. You will never be alone or away from God and He will always be beside you, near you whenever you call on Him for help or just simply to talk things out. How you choose to live your life is up to you but God has given us an easy way to come to Him and enjoy His strength and guidance in your everyday life…by simply asking Him to and believing that He will do what He says in the Bible. Since God does not lie, He will do what He promises.

Give Him a chance to show you what life can be like and what success in life with Him can be like because once you experience the success that God gives you, then you won’t go back to living without Him. If you have truly asked Him into your life, He will never leave you. You might walk away from Him for a time, but He is always there waiting for you to return.

Think about it….what if the Bible is true and everything that I have said is true? What will your eternity be like without Him?

What is happening?

People are going completely crazy it seems! On the news someone beat up their grandmother, and of course there are other uprisings going on all over the world because of one thing or another. How can this world be so mixed up and messed up? The reason is Satan’s hatred for us and his attempts at keeping as many people from God as he can.

The problems and craziness that is happening now and the terrible horrors of war and violence that has been going on throughout ages past is his doing as well. All of it can be laid at his feet because he wants to mess up this world and the people in it as much as possible while he can. His time is growing short and he knows it so the news is getting more graphic and horrible every week. 

Many people don’t think that he exists and that is fine with him, because if no one believes in him then they won’t realize that it is him and his demon’s influence in this world and over people’s minds that is the cause of all of our woes and heartaches. Satan has been biding his time for thousands of years and he is the prince of lies. He knows exactly what your weakness is and what mine is and how to exploit them.

When the Bible says that “Satan prowls around like a ravenous lion, seeking whom he might devour” (1 Peter 5:8), it is not a figure of speech or a metaphor but it is the truth. To those who might want to pick at what I wrote about the scripture, it is a paraphrase of the verse that I quoted. In either version, it is the truth and whether you believe it or not doesn’t change it.

Belief in the truth doesn’t change it, belief or unbelief in something that is true doesn’t change it either. Satan and his demons are real. The cause death by any means available to them and they are good at it. Cancer, bacteria which can’t be controlled or killed, viruses that were once wiped out have come back, these are examples of their work. Science may not believe it, scientists may not believe it, and I am trained as a laboratory scientist myself. But since Satan is a better theologian than any evangelist, I believe he is also a very good geneticist as well.

The problem is his pride and his ego. He thinks that he can win against God, the Creator of all including him! 

The tricks that he has devised against us have grown exponentially over the millennia as well as his ability to manipulate us and our emotions and the thoughts in our minds. He can appear as an angel of light, which he was before he tried to ascend above the stars of God.

Satan is an adversary and a liar, but with Jesus in our lives he can be defeated. Carrying the Word of Truth in your heart and reading it daily can give you protection from his ways. But, only if you do it!! 

Sitting in church doesn’t do it, reading your Bible once or twice during the week or the month doesn’t do it. He knows the scriptures like the back of his hand, so he can manipulate them so that you could believe a lie from the Word and think it was the truth. Playing at being a Christian is a very dangerous thing and it will cause you to spend eternity with Satan and his demons because that is who God created hell for. We were never intended to go there, but if you are not a child of God then you are in Satan’s camp.

Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Creation, Who did it?

It wasn’t an accident for sure. It did not happen because of random events or because “aliens” seeded our world with life. Regardless of the opinion of those in the scientific community, it is my belief that God Himself did create this universe and everything in it exactly the way it is spelled out in the book of Genesis. I know about the so-called debate that happened between those of opposing viewpoints this week and as scientists try to point to facts that they can hold in their hands, it seems that the evidence points toward their viewpoint.

But, God can create with His Word and He can do so in such a way that the whole universe appears to be older than it is. Remember, if you have read the book of Genesis, that Adam was created from the mud and given the breath of Life from God. It does not say that God spoke him into existence as a baby, he was formed as a full-grown man. When God created the great light to rule the day, it was formed as the sun that we see today.

There can be a debate on these things if you wish, you can dispute them all that you want. I really don’t care if you believe them or not, but God gave the account to Moses to write down and since He doesn’t lie, then it is the truth. Our world was created by God to be the world that He wanted to put us on, to live on, to nurture it and the life that He placed on it. Our responsibility is to seek Him and to do that which we are able to do for Him.

Yes, it is hard or nearly impossible for those who are not Christians to see and understand what God has given us outside the context of the One that has given  us everything  . Think about the gravity that holds the atmosphere here on Earth and the composition of the air that you breathe, all of these were done for life as God created it to be here.

I know that there are those who will dispute this and get all bent out of shape because of the “absolute” beliefs that I have because of my beliefs in God and His Word and that is fine. I have no problem with your opinion of me or my beliefs. The point which I am trying to get across is this: “What if the Bible and all of its claims are true?”; if you discount the possibility of any of it because you don’t want it to be true, then when Jesus comes back to judge the world, where will you be?

It won’t make any difference about the creation of the world if you choose to believe that everything evolved from a cloud of dust and gas into the solar system that we have today. The difference will be in your eternal life if you choose to reject Jesus and His effect on life itself! God loves each sinner in the world and He loved each of us from the beginning enough that He sent Jesus into the world to be the pure sacrifice which paid the price for your life.

Whether you choose to accept it or not is that which determines your eternity! God gives all, even angels, free choice to serve or not. Choose to serve Him and your eternity and the rewards which come with it are certain, choose not to serve Him and the punishment for eternity is also certain, but it is still your choice which determines your place in eternity.

Faith, do you have any?

We are supposed to have faith in God and in His Son, if you are a believer. Those who don’t believe in Him, for whatever reason, don’t have faith in God although they know of Him. Knowing about a person, whether it is a celebrity, a sports figure or an entertainer or God Himself, does not amount to truly knowing that person. Do you know someone in a political office or just know about them? How about those players on the national football or basketball teams, do you know them personally? No, you can quote statistics about their ability to play their respective games but you don’t know them.

Faith_in_God

That is the difference between knowing about someone and really knowing them. That is why God created the relationship of marriage between a man and a woman, so we can have an idea of what our relationship with Him is supposed to be. Faith in God and in His provisions.

Living as a Christian gives you freedom and it really doesn’t hinder your life. The problem that many people have with it is that they see all of the things that they can’t do after becoming a Christian. Jesus never told anyone that you can’t do this or that, He just told them to go and sin no more. Although it is true that we can’t successfully do that in our own strength, we can with His Spirit living in our hearts. It is a lie that some believe that they can be righteous and holy after becoming a Christian, you can be but not twenty-four hours a day! You will have sinful thoughts, you will say things or think things about someone that are sinful, we are not perfect. We can strive to be perfect in our ways and follow His example, as long as we are truly His and follow Him by reading and learning the wisdom of God from the Bible. Apply this wisdom to your life, your family and your business practices and you are a few steps down the road toward Jesus.

This is the only way to truly belong to Him. If your salvation experience did not bring you to the cross to lay your sins down and walk away from them then you may need to check to see if you are His. God loves you more than you can realize, but if you keep pushing Him away and putting the leading of the Holy Spirit on your heart off, then He may give you over to your sins and to Satan. If God has a purpose for you to fulfill, then He will get your attention and you will come to Him. If you are being stubborn about it, the consequences could be like Job in the Bible, but then again they might not be.

We are not guaranteed our next breath, let alone tomorrow or next week, so putting off God’s call on your life is not a good or wise choice. Give your heart to Him, follow His steps and His purpose for your life. It doesn’t mean that you will be a missionary in some foreign land or a preacher but be willing to be whatever God calls you to be. The rewards may not be such that the world will take notice, but your impact on your world locally could be tremendous and the seeds that you plant may take root in someone’s heart on the other side of the world. God may use t hem to make an even larger impact, but the seed that started it all can come from something as simple as this page, this message. All you have to do is be receptive to the call, the pull of the Holy Spirit in your life and your heart. Let God do the rest.