Faith in Today’s Church, is it real?

 

The church that our Lord began two thousand years ago seems to be lost. Not from the lack of members or converts, but from a lack of conviction and purpose. We, as the Church that our Lord gave His life for, have become stale, bland and unappealing to those who need Hope the most. Like salt which has lost its saltiness and is good for nothing, and the message has lost its fire.

The message from the church only causes more strife and bitterness in the world at large rather than giving men hope. Why is that? Jesus taught us a message of hope and yet Christians today seem to be unable to give that hope or His message the fire and the flavor that they once did. The enemy seems to be able to quench the fire of our faith too easily, why is that?

It is because our lives have become too involved with “stuff”, not just our everyday existence but other insignificant issues which get in the way like so many thorns and weeds. The only way to overcome our adversary is to study God’s Word and get our hunger for it back. If we don’t do that, he will overcome us and our message, and the Church cannot, must not allow that to happen! The Spirit will guide us and protect us but we have to be willing to follow Him daily.

Our coming to God is not of our own volition because we are drawn by the Spirit. Once we claim our place in His service as Christians, God never lets go. We may walk away but He is always there waiting for us like a patient Father. The time which we have here on earth is to be of service to Him but so is our eternal service after this life. This will not be a chore, as some would think, but a glad and cheerful service as unto someone dearly loved.

The message which was given by Jesus to be spread to the “uttermost parts of the earth” was and is the good news of the Kingdom of God. This also includes the forgiveness of sins through our Lord’s suffering for all on the cross with His death and resurrection putting the final blow to the control over us by our sinful nature. Once we come to Him, believing in Him and the forgiveness extended to us through His sacrifice for us, we can never lose that which we cannot gain through any act of our own.

The sacrifice that our Lord made on our behalf is something that no mere man can accomplish, only the Son of the Most High God! Only the Lion of Judah could accomplish the forgiveness which was needed for the whole world. No law or man-made “thing” can accomplish this. Our so-called righteousness is as formless as a vapor and has no substance to it at all, especially from the point of view which God has. A perfect and Holy God cannot view imperfect man and his imperfect righteousness.

YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO A GOD WHO TRULY WANTS TO SAVE YOU (Ezekiel18:30.32)

The Jews in exile were saying that God was going to condemn them so He could watch them suffer, that God would take pleasure in destroying them (vv. 30.32).

Ezekiel‘s reply to this idea was that God does not want you to die! (See v. 23.) These statements from God cannot be any more plain, forceful, or beautiful than this: I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies. (v. 32). God wanted His people to live. He did not want Judah to be destroyed; He wanted His people to live, not to die!

If they died, it would not be because God wanted it to happen; it would be instead because they refused to listen to God’s prophet and turn from their sins that they might be saved, so they might live! Even so today: If you die, if you are lost now and are lost eternally, it is not  because that is what God wants. God does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9); rather, He wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus died for all (Hebrews 2:9); the grace of God that brings salvation is available to all (Titus 2:11). If you ultimately are lost, then, why will it happen? The answer is sin.

Sin condemns (Romans 6:23), regardless of the type of sin that it may be.

Even that answer is incomplete. We are lost because of our sins, certainly; but if that were the complete answer, everyone would be lost eternally, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Why will you be lost? The answer is unrepented-of sins! That was Judah’s problem: It was not merely that Judah had sinned, but that Judah had, in spite of the warnings of the prophets, refused to repent. Ezekiel came with a final appeal: Repent and live.! (18:32b). In the end, Judah was destroyed as a result of the people’s failure to heed Ezekiel’s appeal.

Likewise, if anyone should perish, the reason will not be that God wanted it to happen. Rather, destruction will come because you have failed to heed the warnings found repeatedly in His Word. Our Creator loves all of humanity, regardless of where you live or who you are. He wants us all to come to repentance if we will only give our lives to Him and follow Him and do what is right in His sight daily. Repent, accept Jesus and live!

Standing accused before a Judge

Standing before the Judge and about to be sentenced for a serious crime, how would you feel? What could you say in your defense that would make a difference? Anything?

“I have given ten percent to my church all of my adult life”; “I have always helped out during Christmas at the homeless shelter”; “I gave over a million dollars to the relief of hunger in Israel”:  Would any of these wonderful humanitarian acts mean anything in relation to the crimes you are convicted of? Have you forgotten anything?

Just before the Judge sentences you, a Man steps forward and tells the Judge, “I know he is guilty but I will pay for his crimes. I will take the punishment for him. Let him go free!”  What kind of person would do such a thing? Why?

The answer lies in a simple but profound word, love.  We are not wrongly accused at all. All of humanity has fallen short in that we cannot be good enough on our own. I know the One who would take and has taken the punishment for all of our sins, do you? The Man who stepped forward is Jesus and the one accused could be any of us. Our own humanitarian acts and good deeds in this life are not good enough to get us into heaven. We can’t be good enough because without Jesus, we are just as guilty of rejecting God’s gift of salvation as Lucifer and the other angels are of rebellion.

Our lives and the good works which we may do are gifts from God and yet the only way to heaven is through the blood of Jesus that was shed for our sins long before we were born. God cares for all of us, Jew and Gentile, but if we choose to live our lives our way instead of giving our life to Him through Jesus then it is our decision that condemns us not Him. It is a hard concept to accept from our limited point of view and it seems too easy, but that is why God gives us the choice and the ability to choose.

Give serious consideration to the message here and those found in the Bible because it is important! Your life here and in the hereafter will be greatly affected by your decision, so choose carefully. Regardless of the rhetoric out there regarding life or the lack of it after you die, wouldn’t you rather choose Jesus and His gift and find out that the Bible is true, than to choose not to believe and still find out that the Bible is true? One choice leads to life forever and the other leads to  eternal punishment for the simple act of refusing to believe.

Our world, a beautiful blue jewel

In the beginning God created this world to be perfect and it was for a time. Then sin entered the world and everything started dying, not just mankind. We were created to be sinless beings to have communion with God anytime He wished it or anytime we wished to contact Him. This condition will be restored to us when the New Earth comes down after the reign of Christ on the Earth during the millennium after the Tribulation and the binding of Satan. Our lives will not be as “angels” strumming harps and singing praises to God for eternity, although we will do that at times. We will never be made as angels, we will be restored to fellowship with God as it was meant to be from the beginning.

 

I have heard many people say that they would rather be in hell than in Heaven. They don’t know what they are saying or what awaits them. The eternity that will be spent in hell will be torture and painful. It will not be, as some believe, an eternal party. You will not know joy or peace though you will remember them. It will be unbearably hot but with an immortal body you will not die, although you will wish for death. This will come upon all of those who have rejected Christ and His grace. A very simple act of accepting Jesus as your savior is all that you have to do escape an eternity of punishment.

We were not created to be punished in hell, it was created to punish Satan and those who followed him. The only reason any human will be there will be because of their rejection of Jesus and His gift of Grace. That is it! No other sin will send you there although you will pay for the ones you committed since they won’t be covered by His blood and His sacrifice. Please, ask Jesus to come into your life and heart today and start living a life of service to Him. It is such a small price to pay for an eternity since He paid the ultimate price to redeem you.

God Most High, Ruler of All

El Elyon: God Most High (Key Scripture Passages)

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14:18-20)

The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. (2 Sam. 22:14; Psalm 18:13)

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. (Psalm 21:7)

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. (Psalm 46:4)

How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! (Psalm 47:2)

Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High. (Psalm 50:14)

I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me. (Psalm 57:2)

I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked . . . Pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence; From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds knows no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threatened oppression. . . They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?” . . . When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. (Psalm 73:3, 6-11, 16)

They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. (Psalm 78:35)

But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes. (Psalm 78:56)

Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD, that you alone are the Most High over all the earth. (Psalm 83:18)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

If you make the Most High your dwelling, even the LORD, who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:9-12)

It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High. (Psalm 92:1)

You, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. (Psalm 97:9)

They rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. (Ps. 107:11)

“I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? (Lam. 3:38)

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire. (Daniel 3:26)

“You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.” (Daniel 4:32)

“O king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. (Daniel 5:18)

“But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever; yes, for ever and ever.” (Daniel 7:18)

Until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. (Daniel 7:22)

He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25)

Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. (Daniel 7:27)

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, (Luke 1:32)

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him. (Luke 1:76)

He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God you won’t torture me!” (Mark 5:7)

These scriptures are living proof of God Most High, our Creator and Redeemer! The Word of God is the Living Word and proves all things. It is true and it cannot be disputed or denied. Though, the devil and his demons twist it and use it to confuse people, even they know the power of it and that it is the Truth!

Our life would be forfeit if it were not and our existence would be for nothing if God had not decreed it. The cures of many diseases may have been found by now if the people who were supposed to have been born were allowed to be born, but we have caused many to return to Him without ever fulfilling their purposes.

Give God a chance in your life, you won’t regret it!

Can you know the Father and the Son?

Is it possible to know both the Creator and His Son? Yes it is, in fact it is part of being a Christian to know them both. They know us more deeply than we can ever imagine, down to the DNA which makes us who we are. Doesn’t it make sense that the creation would want to know the Creator intimately too? This is a relationship which the ruler of this world does not want to happen and will do anything to keep it from becoming the relationship we were meant to have with God and His Son, Jesus.

Satan loves to entice people into doing things which he knows that they want to do. He knows your weaknesses and how to tempt anyone into doing that which they know to be wrong. He even can entice us into doubting God’s love for us. He has been doing this for a very long time so he is very good at it. Jesus called him the “Father of lies”, and he knows how to make them sound so convincing, even using scripture in a twisted way to make it sound good.

The only way that we can withstand his assault on us on a daily basis is to submit to the Lord daily. Ask for Jesus to come into your heart and to give you the strength and faith to be able to say to Satan, “Get behind me,Satan, I have the Lord on my side”. Although I wouldn’t want him behind me and by quoting scripture he will leave you alone, for a time. But, you have to have Jesus in your heart otherwise he will come back stronger and possibly meaner than before.

When you are making a difference for God you are fighting him and he doesn’t like it, especially when, by the power of Jesus’ name and our faith in Him, we are winning the fight. I fully expect him to come after me in the days to come, but I know that in the end he has already lost regardless of what may happen to me.

Give Jesus a chance in your life and then go out and let others know what He has done for you. He will work through you and bring others to Him and the result will be even greater than you can imagine. Think about it this way, you comfort someone and pray for them in their time of need. When they come to Jesus, then they speak to someone else about Him and what He did for them. Then that person tells a couple of their friends about Jesus. Later, they tell someone else what Christ has done for them. In a few months or years, one act of kindness from you has spread out to hundreds or maybe thousands. I pray for all who read these pages in His Holy name so that He will call you to Him.

Father….Dad…Daddy, which one are you?

Those of us who grew up without a dad in our lives knew what we wanted from him. Even when we didn’t get it, the “it” was usually his love or approval of us in one way or another. The lives of those who had a father who was present in their lives were very different from ours. Sometimes for better and sometimes for worse depending on the type of father you had.

Jesus had a Daddy who was always with Him no matter where He was or what He was doing. That is why He called Him, “Abba, father”, which literally means Daddy.

Being a Daddy is one of the most rewarding and satisfying “jobs” you will ever have. Though it can be frustrating at times. In our relationship to our dads as well as the relationship between us and God, our Heavenly Father, we are rebellious. We are not truly able to be cooperative, no matter which father we are trying to please, at least not on our own. It just isn’t our nature to be that way.

Our job, as fathers, is to raise our children to know God and His Son. If you aren’t doing that, then you are not fulfilling your purpose. We are put here and gifted with children so that we can raise up the next generation to know God and His Son, Jesus. Though there are those who are teaching their children contrary to this. Christianity is the only way to get to Heaven and belief in and acceptance of Jesus is what makes us Christians.

You cannot buy your way or work your way into Heaven. You cannot do anything by yourself that will get you admitted into Heaven. You can easily go to hell, not by killing someone or by cheating on your spouse or on your taxes, just by ignoring God and leaving Jesus out of your life and the life of your family.  By doing this you have condemned yourself and possibly your family as well to an eternity in hell. This is scary stuff folks. Hell is not going to be a fun place and there will never be a time when you won’t be able to feel the heat. Once you are there, it is for eternity! There is no reprieve and no “Get out of jail” cards!

Be a true, strong, loving Dad or Daddy. Get on your knees and ask Jesus into your heart and then lead your children to Him as well. Our strength comes from the one we trust and who could possibly be stronger than God!!

How will anyone know?

How could someone who doesn’t know you, figure out that you are a Christian? Could they hear it when you talk to them? Could they see it by what you do every day at school or at work? Do you take Christ with you everywhere you go or do you leave Him and your faith at church when you go home?

We are supposed to be ambassadors for Christ in our daily lives. Do you know anyone who does this? If you do, how do they show it? By their words and deeds on a daily basis or just by going to church on Sunday?

Anyone can be religious about anything. They can religiously go fishing on Saturdays, they can be religious about watching TV every night or about how they comb their hair. Being religious about something is just making it a habit it doesn’t show your faith in anything. People who didn’t hear Jesus preach could watch Him and see what He did. They could tell that He had a faith and a purpose beyond this life and the day to day things that everyone else did. That is exactly what we are supposed to show the world. That our life is not based on our work schedule or when soccer practice is or when the big game is or who is winning the World Series this year, if you are a child of God through Christ!

The everyday stuff that we have to put up with while we are here is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. What will it matter in a thousand years how big your house is? In ten thousand years will anyone care what kind of car you drove while you were alive or even how much money and investments you had? NO!!! There won’t be any evidence that any of that ever existed by that time. Our life is only a few moments compared to that amount of time and if you stretch it out to a million or a billion years……? God loves all of us and he gave us a reason to be where we are. If you truly want to follow Him or are just curious, read the Bible! Especially the book of Romans. The way to salvation is in it from start to finish.

God doesn’t leave us alone, ever! No matter how far you think you have gone or what bad things you have done, He still loves you. It is simple to accept Him and His way if you will just trust in Jesus. He doesn’t require you to jump through hoops or anything like that. What He does require is faith in Jesus and the willingness to follow His way of life on a daily basis, giving up your sinful ways and so-called “friends”.

Our Service to Him….

Should be out of love for someone who created us just the way we should be. Your life is not just yours but it belongs to God, whether you have given your life to Jesus or not. Everything on the earth no matter what it is, including everyone who is or is not a follower of Christ, belongs to God because He created everything and everyone. There are no animals, no bacteria, no insects, or fish or birds or anything on the earth that He did not want to be here.

I have never quite understood how some non-believers could come to the conclusion that man can make himself into a god. There is no possible way, because even the angels can’t do that. They are heavenly beings created by God and they are very powerful, but they are still His servants.

Our lives are intended to be extensions of His will, even though we are not forced into this. We are to give ourselves freely because that is what Christ did. He subjected Himself to His Father’s will, not His own. He went to the cross to die for us, all of us, so that when we believe in Him and His sacrifice for us we will have eternal life with Him. It is that simple!!

Simplicity makes some people scared because they think if it is too simple it must not be worth much. YOU ARE WRONG!! Our salvation is worth the price of God’s son and His death and resurrection. I don’t know of anything that could be named that would be worth even the price of my own son’s death and being human we can’t comprehend God’s ways or His thoughts about His son’s death. Of course, He knew that He was going to be resurrected and ascend to Heaven. But that is beside the point.

Would you sacrifice something so precious for beings that reject you and your ways! Even when you have given them every chance over and over and over, that is exactly what YAHWEH, Jehovah, God did for all of us. We should get down on our knees every day and thank Him that He allowed us to even get up from our bed. These facts are hard to accept, yet they are in the Bible which is the written word of God and He does NOT lie.

Please forgive me if this post is too forceful but time is running short and if you expect to be allowed into heaven, you have to get your heart and soul right with God. Once the door is shut by God, no one else can open it.

Good Morning, World!

Our lives are blessed, regardless of the religion you cling to or believe in. God loves you all and wants you to come to the knowledge of Him and His Son, Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Your life and vocation, whatever that may be, should be done as in service to Him.

In living the life that He wants us to live, through His Son, we serve in His Kingdom and we are able to do His will for our lives. The sooner more people come to realize that we are not puppets, and that God uses people for His purposes regardless of their belief in Christ or not, there is only one reaction that means anything…..coming to faith in Jesus! You know that God used the pharaoh in Egypt in order to display His power to the whole world, even though he didn’t know the God of the Israelites.

He even uses other religions of the world to prove that He is the only God who loves and cares for all. He knows how many hairs are on each person’s head because He put them there! He formed you in the womb from your mother and father’s DNA into an individual with all of the attributes that He wanted you to have. Please consider reading His word and learning about Him and His Son, Jesus.

God loves you because you are His creation, no matter where you are or what religion you claim.