Have you considered…eternity?

Your life here is not all that there is, we were created to have an eternity to go into after this life, but many people don’t consider that to be truth. Why? Because, they can’t see any of it or any of the rewards and work to be done for God’s Kingdom in it now! There are many teachers today on the Internet, in pulpits, on television who are teaching their “version of the gospel”, which Satan does as well. He has had many years to perfect his delivery of his gospel and just as he did when he tempted Jesus, he takes scripture from the Bible and either leaves a portion out or takes it out of context. Some preachers today do that too.

Their teaching is full of partial scriptures, bits and pieces, which don’t really make much Biblical sense unless they are taught in context with the scripture or passage or paragraph that they began in. A partial truth, leaving out a word or taking Scripture out of context, is a lie! A lie that sounds like it came from God’s Word, and it did but without the text around that verse, it can be made to say almost anything. This is how Satan used scripture, by picking a verse and using it to make his point…not God’s point.

Today, not just in America but all over the world, people are being killed or put in to prison for their belief in Jesus. The problem with this is that Jesus is the only solution to our problems, here and now and into eternity! Put down your “self”, bury him or her and take up the cross of Jesus! What does that mean? It means to put others ahead of you, to be kind to one another, to love one another with an unselfish love. The kind that doesn’t say, “what’s in it for me?”!!

Living this way is following the teachings found all through the Bible, not just what Jesus taught. God has always had the answer for our lives, we are just too stubborn to listen or even look for it in His Word! Then, sometimes, when we do find the answer that we were looking for we claim it as our answer not that it came from God. We don’t give Him the credit or the glory for what we find. This is exactly what most “self-help” books do, maybe not word for word because that is plagiarism, but the advice you see in them is exactly the advice you can find in the Bible.

Eternity is going to be there after this life, but it is the experience in eternity that people should be working now to ensure. If you follow your own ways or the ways of the world, and reject any or all of the teachings found in the Bible, then your eternity is going to be very different from a Christian’s eternity.

I know, many of you will say that I am being self-righteous about Christianity but I am not. My righteousness alone is not enough and yours isn’t either, as a Christian I claim the atonement and the righteousness of Jesus that He paid for on the cross! It was the “self-righteous” priests who had Him executed because they felt that they were going to lose their “position” with the people.

Before too long it is going to be more persecution, not just in America but all over the world and it will be against Christians just as it is in Muslim countries now. For many people the prospect of persecution will be enough to keep them from becoming a Christian. For the immediate future, I understand that, but think of your eternity. Once this life is over, however the end comes, you will be faced with that. Eternal unity with God and many friends in Heaven or separation from God in a place of torment and misery forever. Which would you rather endure since while you still live, you do have a choice?

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Pickin’ and choosin’

Religion is an easy thing in America. We have the freedom to pursue and
worship whoever or whatever we wish to or even to not worship
anything at all. Being religious is very easy and there are many
people who are very religious about their chosen religion, some even
to the point of being fanatical about it. So what is it about this
trend in America? Mainly it is because for the past fifty or sixty
years, we have been searchers and seekers. Not so much as seeking out
God and His ways, but seeking that which suits us the best in a
church or religion.
That is not such a bad thing because many times in this searching, people
will be called to faith in God and give their hearts to Jesus.
Although, some may not listen intently to the messages that are
presented to them and they want to pick and choose whatever they want
to believe. This is a dangerous way of doing things and for an
illustration of this I propose this:
A man was building a platform from pipes and boards so that he could have some
people singing and just presenting music for those who wanted to hear
it. He went through the hardware store and picked out the most shiny
pipes and bolts and nuts that he could find because they would look
good in the lights. He didn't pay any attention to the sizes that he
chose, just that they looked nice and shiny. When he got home to put
it together he found that he couldn't get anything to work very well
together because even though they were pretty and shiny, their sizes
didn't match well. A few were the same size and would go together,
but the next one in line would not. What went wrong?
Well, he had some that were quarter inch and some that were a half inch in
size, these were mixed and matched and he even had some bolts and
nuts that were in the same shape, being different sizes so that few
would work together. It doesn't work in construction and it works
even less efficiently with religious beliefs. 

Picking and choosing one or two verses from the Bible to believe and then
discarding much of the rest of it doesn't work, just as choosing
parts because they look good rather than because they fit together
doesn't work. Except, that is what many people seem to be doing
today. Why are people trying to “make their own god” as some
claim? Mainly because they don't like the message that they have
heard from the Bible or they don't want to be told that their
lifestyle is wrong or sinful.
God Himself is Holy and He won't allow an unclean sinner into Heaven
unless they have repented (turned away from) of their sins and the
lifestyle that went with them AND they have asked Jesus into their
life and their heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to change them
spiritually so that they can be a true Christian. Christianity is not
based on going to church at certain times or participating in rituals
once every month or every six months. You can go to church for a
century, every time the church has services, and if you haven't
accepted the call of Jesus in your heart and life then you haven't
changed much. You may know the Scriptures and have read the Bible
through and taught a class or two in that time, but if you haven't
given your life to Jesus then you aren't saved!

Courage for today

We see the effects of courage and bravery almost every day, although some may not recognize it. You hear about it from the foreign battlefields and in cities and towns all over this great land. Firefighters and policemen and policewomen all exhibit courage even though they don’t think of themselves as heroes or courageous, they are just doing their jobs. It is the same with our service men and women who are out in the field doing their jobs, courageously, selflessly but do they get the credit for what they do? Do any of them get the recognition that they deserve?

In this time and with this administration, they don’t. Mainly because it has no regard or respect for any selfless act of bravery or courage and that is truly sad. We should have a President and a Representative government that is asking the people what they want, not telling us what to do! They should be paying more attention to those who have fought for this country and its freedoms, rather than acting like a dictatorship that has been elected.

We have to show courage and dignity during times of trouble and if someone doesn’t think that we are in trouble today, then they need to check and see if they have a pulse! Our country is on the edge of an abyss that we cannot dig our way out with a bigger shovel, nor can we build a bridge over it, because we don’t have enough people who are willing to work to get it done.

What would’ve happened to the human race if Adam and Eve had just decided to sit down and do nothing after being forced out of Eden? What would’ve become of North America if Columbus had not discovered it? I know that many would say that America would be far different if it had been a couple of hundred years later before it was discovered. The history would be quite different from what happened up until the seventeenth century until today.

Our whole culture would be different, but the point that I am making is that it took courage to explore and to do the things needed in the past to bring about the present. It will also take courage to, somehow, fix the problems which we have today so that there will be a future for our children. It will take hard work and sacrifice and lots of time, because trillions of dollars in debt cannot be wiped away in a decade!

The debt didn’t accumulate in just one decade and it will certainly not go away that easily either. It will take more than America has been investing in itself in a very long time. It will take the same determination and will that the Greatest generation had during WWII, and right now the people in America don’t have it. There are a few people who do, but compared to the majority of Americans, they are few in number.

When the Revolutionary War was fought and independence was declared, our ancestors reached for something that we seem to have lost: courage and Providence. Courage in the people who wanted freedom from England‘s rule and Providence Who provided them with hope. God was that Providence and He had a profound effect on early America because it was due to religious persecution that America became a colony of England. God had His hand in molding our country into the beacon of freedom, religious or otherwise, that it became so that people would want what we had.

I say “had” because that beacon is becoming dim. We have lost the fire and the power to rekindle it because we have pushed God out of, not only our government, but our schools and from some of our homes too. Our military has taken Him out of the oaths that our soldiers take. How much longer can you push God until He pushes back? Do we really want Him to push back? Are we so arrogant that we believe that we could withstand a push from God?

Glenn Beck has it right. We need to get up from our couches, put on some work boots and get back to work! America can be what God intended for it to be if we will do the work needed to get the job done! Nothing worth doing is easy, it is usually hard, but the reward afterward is worth it! I pray that God will bless this nation and its people with the backbone and the will to get up and get the job done, because if they don’t…we’re history.

We are going to be judged

Whether in this life or the next we will be judged for our conduct and our beliefs and actions. Many people don’t like to be told this but it is true and regardless of your belief in God or an afterlife, that day will come.

Our country is being judged now and it will be judged by God in the future according to our actions as a nation and as individuals. Is it possible for us to do anything about this? Not on our own, but if we turn to God and repent of the things that we have done we may soften the judgement somewhat.

I know that people don’t like to be told when they are doing something wrong but according to God and the Bible there are many things wrong with our nation spiritually and fiscally. If there is no remorse for the things that we have done wrong there will be no repentance and if there is no repentance, there will be no one asking for forgiveness. Our nation was founded by people who were here to further the Kingdom of their Lord Jesus Christ and we have forgotten that.

We have forgotten because it is no longer taught in schools or in many homes today. Even people who call themselves “Christians” and go to church pick and choose what they will or won’t believe from the Bible.

The Word of God is not a gourmet line menu that can be chosen from, you have to take it all and live by it or you will be judged by it! Just as our own laws can’t be picked through and decided about which ones we will follow and which ones we choose to break or not follow.

God’s Word is not a rule book but a guide-book and as such it gives us boundaries to stay within. Our country and its people have been pushing the Bible out of schools and other public places for a long time and like a relative that is told to leave, God will leave too.

When the blessings of God, that have been on this country since its beginning, are gone we will notice and I believe we are seeing the effects of that right now. Our country and the people need to get back to God and be the people that we are supposed to be!

God, in your absence there has been a bit of a problem…

In 1962 our government started pushing any reference to God and the Bible out of public school. Ever since then, our nation has been going down the wrong path in many ways. Morality has slipped away, the smartest minds have been done away with (through abortion), teen-age pregnancy increased and divorce did too.

Prior to this decision, by our supreme court justices, achievement test scores were consistently around the 900 mark (SAT), the violent crime rate was very low as was the divorce rate and teen pregnancy. What happened? We legislated God and the Bible out of the education process!

When God’s word is taken from the government hallways and from the educational halls, the entire society suffers. Our nation was begun because of religious persecution and those who wanted the freedom to practice their religion and their beliefs without it. That doesn’t mean that America was to be a repository for all the world’s religions or even man’s manufactured “religion”. America was allowed to become a nation to be a light to the world because of our belief in God, the only God and Creator of the Universe!

In becoming that light, we also provided a persecution free place for others to come. Although, we have allowed that freedom to be used in ways that were not intended when this country was founded. By allowing God’s Word to be taken out of the educational process, our nation has dimmed the light of it to a point that it is barely seen at this time. Minorities in our nation now have a louder voice than the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I am not being racist when I say minorities, I am speaking of those who only represent about one or two percent of the population.

Our Lord is punishing our nation due to the decisions that have been made in the past fifty years and those that are still being made daily in our capital. We have been very lax in the way we have exercised our voices in government, especially those of us who are Christians. I have seen some who claimed to be Christians and  claimed that they would uphold His Word and principles when they got into office, yet once they were sworn in something happened. Their memory became so short that they couldn’t remember those promises which were made in order to be in that office.

We must either take back our country and elect officials who will put God back where He belongs or resign ourselves to a future that would have been unthinkable just sixty years ago! My mother’s generation and most of the so called “Baby-boomers” would not have stood by while their freedoms were turned upside-down like our children’s future will be. This had to be said. I am not sure how many of you who read this will act on it but I am sure if this were happening in a Muslim or Islamic controlled country, there would be armed uprisings going on! Praise God! Ask Him for His guidance for it is He who holds our future in His hand not Allah or Buddha or any of the other “gods” that are being worshiped.

A prayer for America

Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.  Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.’

This was the prayer of George Washington for our country since it was with God’s blessing and with prayer that our nation was founded and its independence acquired. I ask that it will never be out of His hands as I know it will not, regardless of what a few people say or do to get rid of any reference to God in our country!

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is always with us regardless of the path we may take or any decision we make regarding Him. He may not be happy about the decisions that we make if they don’t include Him, but He is still there.

 

Here in my home state of Mississippi, we have had a fairly powerful tornado to rip through the lives of many people this past weekend. I have no idea about the nation’s response to this because I don’t have electricity or any other ways of finding out about the news. Where I work, we have electricity but no cable television or internet. Which is fine but we have to rely on outside sources for our news right now. I pray that my message will find your families safe and in good health. We are all in God’s hands whether we like it or not. Have a blessed day!

Summer is a hot time for……

First and formost on any Christian’s mind should be serving the Lord and witnessing for Him but there are many opportunities for family time as well.  Your family is a precious gift given to you by God so take the time to be with them and show them that you are grateful for them. Our service to Him is more important than anything we can do on earth for ourselves. I know that sounds counterproductive especially these days but you can serve God in your chosen profession or job.

There are many temptations during the summer as well. People will be tempted regardless of their faith or belief in Christ and some will give in to it, but Christians have the strength that comes from their faith in God and they can resist if they will listen and heed the warnings from the spirit. I know that many do not believe that you can hear a “small voice” with all of these cell phones and text messages and other distractions but you can if you are tuned in to His call in your life.

The life of people who follow Him is not an easy one and never has been but with faith and trust you can do it! You just have to confess any sin, no matter what it may be or how insignificant you think it is, every day. That is what He meant when He said “Take up your cross dailly and follow me”. (Luke 9: 23)

If there were more believers who would do this, our world would be an entirely different place than it is now. We are getting closer to the end of the Church age, that is why things are getting harder for everyone, not just Christians. Please pick up a Bible and read. Ask God to help you understand before it is too late. Today is the day to become a child of God not tomorrow or next week because we aren’t guaranteed the next breath let alone tomorrow or next week!