Self-righteous

Is this America’s problem or just the church’s problem? Is this a Christian problem or an Islamic problem?

It was the problem that Jesus faced, not in His life but from the priests who were the “spiritual leaders and teachers” of Israel and the Jews. They were self-righteous, thinking that their righteousness was good enough without the Messiah. Self-righteousness, thinking better of yourself than you should, will send more people to hell than any amount of sin. Thinking that your life and heart belong to Jesus because of something that you said or did decades ago and yet you don’t live it is a form of self-righteousness. Not because you don’t have Jesus or that you aren’t saved because you may be, but you are being selfish with your gifts from God!

When you are self-righteous you also believe that you don’t need Jesus or fellowship with others. I know there are many who say that they are saved, but they have become satisfied with their lives and they don’t want to give their faith away to anyone. They don’t want to share in fellowship with a group of believers, they want to sit at home and sulk, not praising God and being thankful for His mercy and His graciousness toward them. Yes, you may be saved and you will have access to Heaven and eternal life one day but no one else will have been blessed by your faith and your witness because you didn’t take it with you everywhere!

Why? Because, you have the key to Heaven and you aren’t giving it away to anyone else. You are going to live your life the way you want to and do whatever you want to do, but for a time you knew that your salvation was secure so you don’t feel the need anymore to be a “light unto the world” around you or anywhere else. Oh, you are nice to everyone and courteous to all until they hurt your feelings or someone says something about you and you hear of it, then you hold a grudge for the rest of your days and you don’t have anything to do with them ever.

WHY ARE YOU BEING THIS WAY!!!

The Love of Jesus is not coming out of your heart because you have bricked it up so tight that nothing can come out! You will let some love or lust or other feelings in through the cracks, but you won’t allow anything to go out, at least not any REAL and honest Love that comes from God. Your life is like the rest of the world, just as Satan wants it to be. You don’t belong to him, but nobody can really tell for sure that you don’t.

In many ways this has happened to lots of so-called Christians and the church itself. I say so-called because from the outside, nobody could tell that you are a Christian. The same is happening to many churches, they look more like country clubs or social clubs than they do a place of worship for God Almighty! This description sounds a lot like the church that Jesus said, “I will vomit you out of my mouth” to in the beginning of the book of Revelation, doesn’t it?

When you, as a church or a Christian, get to a point where you don’t look or act any different from those who don’t believe…something has gone terribly wrong. Turn back to Jesus, ask forgiveness for your failures, study the Word again, forget the doctrines and the rules which “churches” are founded upon and get back to God. Those rules in your by-laws and charters are made by men, our life and our churches are supposed to be founded upon the Rock of Jesus Christ and His Word, and none other! As Jesus said, “Come back to your first love!”. Stop chasing after feelings and “prosperity gospels”, and get back to the True Gospel of Salvation, Jesus Christ. He is the Only Way to Heaven, all other roads eventually turn toward hell!

Advertisements

Love life, not stuff!

There is too much stuff in our lives today. Phones, tablets, laptops, smart televisions, web enabled refrigerators of all things, how much electronic stuff do we really need? I don’t think we actually need any of this stuff. Many of us went through school and most of our lives without this stuff, but the generation growing up today doesn’t seem to be able to take a step without tweeting about it or talking on the phone or texting many times every day.

How can we live like this? I have seen commercials with families who are texting each other at the table instead of talking. Why? Is it possible that we have become so dependent upon technology that we can’t communicate with each other anymore? I would hope not, but it does seem that way at times.

In reference to life itself and the enjoyment of it, I wrote a post on my other website about Veterans which a few people read but it seems that nobody liked it much. I realize that I compared the service jobs like police, fire and ambulance workers and their unique problems to those of Veterans, but they all face armed personnel at times and life threatening challenges every day, so even though it is true that local service people like these don’t face the exact same dangers as our armed forces veterans, they still face PTSD and other mental and physical problems, especially when they are injured by gunfire or a job related injury. We can’t leave them completely out of the support loop, even if they have never served in a war scenario, they should still be considered “brothers in arms”, at least in my opinion.

I served as an EMT/Firefighter for about ten years and it took many years of prayer and seeking help from my pastor and from God’s Word in order for me to come to a point where I didn’t wake up at night hearing sirens which weren’t there or feeling the heat from a fire which was just in my mind. I can still recall the images and feelings of those days, but my mind has, sort of created a box in which they stay in and when I choose to remember them I can put them back and shut the door and they don’t bother me anymore. I don’t want anyone to think that I am trivializing our servicemen and women and their service to our country, I am not doing that at all! The all made sacrifices, some made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their life so that others might make it home. I am just trying to point out that there are local people serving us every day who place themselves in harm’s way too and they deserve to be recognized as well, maybe not like our Vets, but at least given some form of recognition that many times they don’t get.

In reference to the stuff in our lives, we see it all of the time. On TV, in schools, on the streets, in stores. Technology and all sorts of stuff is all around us every day! God loves us, but not our stuff nor our sins. We can’t take our stuff with us, regardless of how much we have. None of it will be needed nor necessary in God’s Kingdom. The recognition of our people, who have served in any capacity, is necessary but the salvation of all people who will come to Christ is something to be desired. God is still in the business of miracles, whether it is by granting healing or health or through the change in your heart when you become a born-again Christian! Please, give your heart and life to Jesus. The time that we have is coming to a close, the second coming of Christ is on the horizon, look up for your redemption draws near! Amen!

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 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.

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!

What is in the news today?

2 Timothy 3:1-5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.
3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.
4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.
5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

I use the Amplified version because it has a deeper, more meaningful impact to us and our language today. There is nothing wrong with the older translations, but this version helps more people to truly understand what God’s Word is saying regarding the times that the early Church had to deal with. It also sounds a lot like today’s headlines doesn’t it?

We are acting and doing all of these things and more today, and yet they were happening to the early church as well before the coming of all of today’s conveniences and all the “knowledge” that we have being thrown in our faces today as if it is “new-age thinking”. Nothing is happening today that hasn’t happened before.

Just as The Preacher said in Ecclesiastes, “There is nothing new under the sun”, and there isn’t. Oh, it is true that Solomon didn’t have the Internet and neither did Jesus and His disciples, but other than the “electronic age” that we are having to endure, there is nothing new, there is nothing that hasn’t happened in the past in some way or another.

I have written about the news being or at least seeming to be mentioned in the Bible before, but when you read 2 Timothy as in the beginning of this post, it does truly sound like today’s headlines. God knew then and He knows what is happening now and what will happen in the future. He knows when the end of the age is…the exact day and hour, but no person can claim such knowledge. It is not found in the Bible nor in any other arcane book found in book stores.

But, the time is foretold, so we have to be prepared. Whether you are or not won’t matter regarding the outcome, the only part of this that we have control over is whether we have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior or not. That is the part which will have a direct impact on your personal future.

Think about it.