God wins!

There are many people who are saying that Christianity is losing ground to new religions and to old ones that are seeing new converts. The “falling away” actually hasn’t happened yet, it may be beginning but there is more to come. Why would I say this on a blog which usually expounds on God’s Word and His way to salvation? Because it is in His Word that we find out about it in the first place.

There are many temptations and other religions which will entice people away from Christianity and it seems that many are “taking the bait” today. The problem with this is eternal and many of them don’t realize this, or they don’t care. Consider for a moment that there is an eternity waiting for you on the other side of death. Where will you spend it?

God cares about all of you, whether you are a Christian believer or not. This is why Jesus was sent to fulfill the purpose of God when He gave Himself as the ransom for our sin debts! The price for ALL of us, no matter who or where you are or what you may have done in your life HAS BEEN PAID! Jesus paid it in full on the cross!

Nothing that you or I can do will aid in our salvation or our entrance into Heaven, yet many seem to think that we should “help” God save us in some way. Do you really think that the Creator of all things NEEDS our help? That would be like asking an ant to help build your house, it would be of no use whatsoever and neither can we. Even if the ant could understand you and attempted to help, what could it do in the building of your house? Not much at all, if anything.

That is how we are in “helping” God…we can’t and He doesn’t need us to do so. Consider standing before a gigantic being, one that doesn’t need you and could crush you easily. If there was a stone about eight feet in diameter and two feet thick which needed to be moved, could you do it on your own? Of course not, but the being which is standing next to you would have no trouble at all moving this stone and he needs no help from you. I am not speaking of a giant such as Goliath from the story of David, I am talking about one who is about twenty or thirty feet tall, that stone would be like a rock to for him.

In other words, your entrance into Heaven is already paid for, the place that you could live forever is already furnished and waiting and all that you have to do is realize that you need Jesus in your life. So, seek Him out and ask Him to come into your heart and save you from an eternity without Him. Think about it from our world’s viewpoint: if you found out that you had an account with ten million dollars in it and a very nice house already furnished with three cars in the garage which were your dream cars and all you had to do was ask for it and accept it…would you? Of course you would!

The only difference between the life that you would have in my last illustration and the one where you accept Jesus as your Savior is that eternal life begins when this life ends. You won’t be able to show your mansion to anyone unless they are saved too. The biggest difference from my point of view is that the money, the house and the cars are all temporary because as soon as you take possession of them, that night you will die.

I’ll get back to you…

How would this attitude feel if you had to put up with it every week or so? It is amazing that God’s patience with us has lasted so long. Especially in light of the fact that the world that He created didn’t last as long before the flood as it has since Jesus’ resurrection! People go to church or to synagogue each week and then go home and act as if they never met the Creator!

While it is true that we don’t meet Him face to face in our religious meetings each week, we are supposed to be seeking Him out to find out Who He really is and get to know Him better. But…do you? We leave our worship services with a vague notion of Who He is or Who Jesus is IF our teacher or preacher is teaching from God’s Word. It seems that many of us go out the door and mostly forget what we have heard or what we have read about in our Bibles!

It is as if the “meeting” that we attend each week is just a meeting of other people who are religious about meeting at this place and time. It seems that our reason for going to church is to be seen by others and not to learn about why we come to worship or even Who it is that we are coming to worship! We pray and sing a few songs and listen to our teacher/preacher telling us stories from his perspective or sometimes from the Bible and then we go home thinking that we have been taught what we need to know.

So let me ask you this: What did you learn about Jesus on Sunday? Do you remember what the sermon was about or the scripture that it was taught from? Did you even tell anyone about what you learned at church and invite them to come and hear about the man, Jesus, who is the Savior of us all?

Some of you did, many more who attended church this past weekend did not. Some even sat with an earphone from your iPod or iPhone stuck in your ear or you just tuned the sermon completely out.

“I’ll get back to you” is a phrase that is used in many areas of life but it shouldn’t be used when you are speaking to or learning from God and His Word! Why? Because you might not get back. The sinner’s prayer is easy to say but it has to come from a sincerely broken heart, one that knows that it is a sinner and that it has sinned and that it needs God, it needs Jesus! You can recite it just as many of us learned to do with the “Pledge of Allegiance” when we were young, although they don’t do that anymore because they don’t want to offend anyone.

The sinner’s prayer goes something like this:

Jesus, I know that you are Lord of Heaven and Earth. I know that you came here to die for my sins, and you proved yourself as the Son of God by rising from the dead after being crucified. I am a sinner and I need You for my redemption. Jesus, I accept you into my life and ask for your forgiveness for me.  Amen.

That is all it takes. If you know that you need Him don’t “get back to Him”, ask Him to come into your heart and He will be there forever.

Suffering..

God, unlike some of the sermons that are heard and preached, doesn’t allow you to suffer. Yes, He is in control. Yes, He told Satan to test Job and Peter but His Spirit was there with them even through all that they went through. God gave them the strength to go through what they had to suffer but He did NOT cause their suffering. God’s only reason behind the testing was to prove to Satan the faith that His servant, Job, had in Him.

We are not made to suffer by a loving God. Jesus did not make Peter suffer, though He did tell Peter that Satan had asked to “sift him as wheat“. He also told Peter that He had prayed for his strength to stand against his sifting. Peter failed because he denied Jesus three times, though truthfully Jesus had also told Peter ahead of time that he would do this as well. Our God and our Lord know us better than we know ourselves, we may think our faith is strong only to find that is not the case in the time that we face a trial.

The most positive point that I can give you here is that after Jesus was resurrected, He forgave and restored Peter. Afterward, Peter became one of the most faithful of His disciples.

We can too! IF we will learn to give our hearts and our faith to God completely, unashamedly and without reserve! This kind of commitment is not impossible, couples who are committed to each other in marriage do it. So, why can’t we give this kind of service and commitment to our Lord and Savior when He gave His life for us?

True, He knew that He could take His life up again but His human body still had to endure the suffering and the pain of the scourging and the cross! That part of Him that was God, had to endure something worse…the separation from His Father during the time on the cross! Something which He had never had to experience from eternity past! A suffering that we, as Christians, won’t have to endure. Those who refuse to believe in Him and live their lives for Him will endure that separation forever, tormented by the fact that their belief in Jesus could’ve saved them from it.

That is the punishment of hell. Yes, there may be a lake of fire. It is mentioned in Scripture, weeping and gnashing of teeth are also mentioned. The torment most grievous will be the separation from God and everything that is good and light and cool. Consider this, search the Bible for your answers, seek out Jesus while you still draw breath because when you die…there are no do-overs, no second chances, no re-spawn to life! That’s it!

What will you do with your life? What are you expecting in eternity? Not believing in eternity now will not change the fact that God says there is an eternity after this life. Make sure of yours while you can.

Beginning again

Every new year it seems that everyone makes all sorts of “resolutions” to do this or lose that or make more money or spend more time with their family. Why can’t we just resolve to do these things without the change of year? We usually spend time with family and friends during the year anyway, why not make that time into quality time? The kind of time which creates memories that last a lifetime.

Making more money or losing a few inches or pounds is a temporary thing and they really don’t last anyway. Money doesn’t make your life better, only more complicated. Particularly if you make a good deal more than you have in the past. Like the winners of a lottery, a windfall of cash is great for a while but unless you are disciplined about the use of it and the saving of it, the windfall won’t last very long.

The only windfall that we all have access to, that can never be lost or taken away, is salvation through Jesus Christ. All that you have to do to have this is to believe that He died for you and your sins, ask His forgiveness and ask Him to change you into the person that you should be. The rewards may not come in this life while you are here, but you will have a home in eternity and that is a very long time.

The beginning of eternity starts when this life ends, one way or another.

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?

I haven’t been here enough…

This blog was my first blog actually. It started over on blogger.com and I imported its content here a few years ago. I have been concentrating on my other Christian blog, thelivingmessage.com far more than I have here.

God’s love is for everyone, whether you believe in Him or not, it is still available to you. Jesus came so that we might all have eternal life in Heaven, if you aren’t interested in that then your spirit will live eternally in the darkness of hell. Truth is truth and its found in God’s Word. It can’t be undone or ignored just because you don’t want to believe it. We are all going to face a judgement one day, good or bad, whether you believe it here or realize at the judgement that what you have heard is real.

I am a pastor of a small church and I do try to bring the message from God’s Word every Sunday morning. Sometimes I will post those sermons here or on my other blogs, sometimes I don’t, it just depends on whether I wrote them down or not. We are getting very close to a time of great change that is coming, not only to America but the whole world.

The glory of God and His Kingdom will be shown on this world, whether you believe in Him or not.  Seek Him, while you are here because once you have breathed your last breath, there are no second chances. Your life and all of the opportunities for salvation have an expiration date just like I do, but when you die those opportunities are gone.

Miracles

Do you believe in miracles happening today? Some people do because they have seen people healed when there was no chance that medicine could accomplish it. Others look at all of the problems in the world and think “Why bother? God doesn’t care anymore.”

Yes, He does. He has never stopped caring for the world and those in it. His grace for each of us today is for us to have the chance to come to know Him. He waits for us to decide to come into His Presence, and yet many are turning away because of apathy and mistrust and just plain tiredness.

Why do I say this? Because…it is true. Young people especially have turned away from God, even with the fancy churches and the concerts. Small churches which can’t afford those entertaining ways of getting your attention are losing people under forty by the thousands today. Why?

Because of boredom. In today’s world, where technology reigns supreme, people young and old just don’t get the wisdom in the Bible. It’s not flashy enough. It’s not loud enough and it doesn’t keep their attention long enough. Think about this for a moment.

Anyone born since 1980 has had video games, music videos, computers, cell phones (smart or not), and many other techno-gadgets in their lives at all times. None of this generation knows what it is like to be disconnected from family or friends because one way or another they have all had some form of communication available. Look in a crowd at a concert and see if you can count the number of screens lit up, even at a movie. Depending on the size of the crowd there will be hundreds if not thousands, so even in a venue where their attention is supposed to be focused on the stage or screen, they are usually focused on a small screen.

The only reason this doesn’t happen at my church is because it is in an area where there isn’t much cell coverage, so there isn’t any reason to look at the screen…no connection. That is also why the church is losing people in droves…no connection. How can you connect young people to a Savior and their Creator when they can’t touch Him or Google Him?

God cares for you and me. He loves each of us more than we can understand, and yet we latch on to doctrine and dogma made up by men. Just as those in the past did. The Law of Moses was held in high esteem, but it couldn’t save their souls. All that they Law could do was to point out that they couldn’t perform to perfection, that we can’t live or perform to perfection. The doctrine or discipline that some churches and their congregations cling to is no different, even though it is worded differently.

Man-made rules cannot be above God any more than we can be. His Way through Jesus is the only way to salvation, anything other than Jesus leads to death…the kind that never ends. Separation from God for eternity because of your choices, your choice, not because of any act or sin on your part except for the rejection of Jesus as your Savior. This is the unforgivable sin, and usually pride is the culprit which causes you to think that you can do better. That you can get into Heaven without Jesus.

Not possible. The door narrow and small in such a way that only you can get through with Jesus leading you in. Nothing that you have on Earth, whether it is money, power, fame or whatever it may be will help you be sinless and pure in heart enough to get into Heaven. Only through the blood of Jesus and your repentance of your sinful lifestyle whatever that may be will get you there. Some can wait until they are in the electric chair or the table to be killed by an injection in prison because they know the day and hour of their death. Most of us don’t have that luxury. Our death could come any time.

Seek Him in the Bible and pray that you can choose to follow Him for the rest of your days.

Time and pain

Pain brings to mind the time and the strength needed to handle it, no matter how hard it is. Time is something that we all seem to think we have plenty of, especially when we are teens. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it isn’t true. There never is plenty of time or too much time. There never is enough time for people to say ‘I love you’. Yes, it sounds sappy, but if that someone you love, is lost in a drive-by shooting or a wreck…where is your time now? It is gone and you can’t get it back.

Just as words said in anger can’t be taken back or un-said, bullets and wrecks and other sudden ways of dying can’t be undone. So what will you do? Have you considered your time on Earth? Have you lived say twenty years? Forty years? Sixty years? Eighty years? Have you been blessed with good health enough to live for an entire century? Yes, adding twenty years at a time brings time into perspective a bit. Now, what about your life? Has it been enjoyable and fun? Did you really enjoy it and not have much in the way of sadness and sorrow?

Most of us can’t answer that last question with anything except “no, not really”. Why is that? One reason is that we live in a world that is paying the price for the sins of the past. Yes, the sins of our world and the consequences of that sin have been around ever since the Garden. In truth, our world and every person on the Earth is paying that price and the consequences of past disobedience. As the Bible says, “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:22-23

The world groans because of the damage that has been done by Satan and his demons, his fallen ones, who are confined to the Earth and we are subject to them. They hate us because of their position and they know the consequences of their actions both in Heaven and for the destruction and death that they have caused here. All of the religions made by mankind, the evil committed by men in the past and now have been influenced by them in some way.

Mankind tends toward sinful behavior even without demonic influence, because it is our nature and we are born with it. That is not to say that we can’t do good things or be charitable, but for the most part we are doing those things for recognition, for pride’s sake, to make us feel good. Our time is short and we only have the life that we are given today to make a difference. Tomorrow is not given until you wake up in it and God is in charge of your time here, not you or your job or your family. It is up to His grace and His purpose whether you wake in the morning or not. If you have a part to play in tomorrow’s dealings for His purpose then you will live another day, if not then your time may be up tonight.

Pain, whether it is physical or emotional, is just a part of our lives. We have to live with it one way or another, but through God’s power and seeking Him in our lives we can have the strength to get past the painful times and enjoy the happy times. Seek Him, learn about Him through reading His Word and prayer because when you get to know the Creator better, then your life becomes easier and more useful to Him.

Time…

Years ago, before many of you on the Internet were even born, many people who were looking ahead to this time period said that we would be working 20 hour weeks and making more money. That we would have plenty of leisure time because of technology and the advances that came with it.

What happened to all of that TIME that we were supposed to be saving?

A song from when I was growing up in the late ’60’s and early 70’s, had a line in it that went like this: “Ti-i-i-ime is on my side. Oh, yes it is.” Well, when you are in your teens or twenties, you can easily say that because you likely do have more years ahead of you than behind you. But, what happened to all the time savers and the easy work that we were going to have? Computers and electronic mail systems were supposed to simplify things and make our lives easier and less stressful.

Do you feel any less stress these days? I don’t. Is there anything that we can do to get to the point where technology will solve all of our problems and give us that utopia that we were expecting? Absolutely NOT! Technology may make things worse than they are, but it won’t fix any of our human frailties or the human condition.

No amount of technology, new or old, genetic or artificial intelligence will ever fix our REAL problems. Only the second coming of Jesus will do that. He is coming soon, so be ready. If you aren’t ready, then you might consider getting to that point in your walk with Him. If you don’t believe anything that I say or what the Bible says, then I will pray for you that soon your eyes will open to the Truth.

God loves you and all who are on the Earth, but He isn’t going to wait much longer because the signs are coming together that are in all of the prophetic books of the Bible. Like a door which is about to close, time itself is counting down toward the closing of the age. When that comes, there will be no do-overs, no fix for your life’s neglect of learning or hearing the Word of God. That doesn’t mean that people won’t be able to come to Jesus during the last seven years on Earth, but with the persecution of Christians that will be happening, identifying yourself as a Christian could be a death sentence so many will opt for something else.

Eternity is a long time to pay for a decision which was not made because you were too busy or you just didn’t want to believe in Jesus. Hell was not created for us to spend eternity in, it was created for Satan who tried to overthrow God in Heaven! “Why would my lack of belief put me in the same place as Satan?” is a question that gets asked a lot.

The reason is that sin entered the world through Satan’s temptation of Eve and Adam. You are part of their line of descendants and you have sin imprinted upon your DNA. If you don’t believe me, see how many toddlers will own up to eating something or breaking something that they had been told not to. They will lie to your face with icing on their fingers and their faces and tell you that they didn’t eat that doughnut! You didn’t teach them to lie, they knew how to do it all on their own.

When we decide to not believe in Jesus when we have heard the sermon or read the story, then we are in the same camp as the fallen angels and Satan. If you continue in your sins, whether it is telling lies or stealing a pen from work or whatever it may be, you are still going against the commandments of God and are a sinner. You are counted as guilty right along with the rapists and murderers and all of the pedophiles and sex traders in the world. Sin is sin and carries the same weight in God’s court no matter how little it may seem against someone who has killed thousands of people in a genocidal massacre.

Consider that when you look at your life. Try to see yourself as God sees you, filthy and covered in sin and unrighteousness…unless you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Then your life and all of the sin in it is covered by His righteousness! When you are called forward to give account of your life, Jesus will be with you and give His testimony of your life and that all of your sins are covered with His blood and therefore, you belong to Him.

A Satanic view

“In Satan, the individual follows their own destiny and choices. Satan only asks that the individual uses intelligent action based upon reason, but never faith, and thus the individual will prosper in this life and the next.” —-satanicviews

This was a comment that I got on a post which I had put up about Jesus coming to us and for us. It seems that this is a feeling or sentiment which many people have. It is one which we, as Christians, cannot understand or even comprehend. Satan is not a benevolent being as they seem to think. He and his demons and powers and principalities HATE us with a hatred which even goes beyond any Nazi or communist or even Islamic hate!

There is no love for us because, to Satan, we represent the image of God which we were created in. Another assumption that people like this make is that the next life is going to be an eternal party, when the sad fact is that it will be torment and punishment. Satan may help you in some ways to prosper in this life in order to draw you away from and keep you away from any faith or belief in God or Jesus. As long as you are not interested in becoming a Christian, then Satan has no problem with you because you essentially belong to him by default, whether you worship him or not.

In many ways, we are very much like Adam in the book of Genesis. We go about our lives doing this and that, thinking that everything is fine until one day something goes wrong. It may be a disease or a diagnosis or a wreck. Then what do we do? Many people blame God or fate for what has happened to them. If it is bad enough, they may even curse God and yell at Someone they may not believe in thinking that will make them feel better. But, it doesn’t.

Your lot in life, just like mine, is to sit here and take whatever life throws at you right? NO! It really depends upon your beliefs or your un-belief, whichever it may be. Consider the person or power that you believe in. Which one actually cares about you and your condition? Satan HATES all of humanity, because they are created in God’s image. It doesn’t matter if you are the high priest of a satanic coven or not, he will happily watch you float around in the lake of fire just as he will anyone else. Satan will allow you to claim all of the worldly success that you can stand and then some, as long as you are not trying to find God. So, in a sense, he will “provide” you with all that the world cares about including money, cars, a nice home, a four-wheeler and horses, land, all the guns that you want. Then what?

One the other side of the spiritual coin, there is God. He DOES CARE about all of His creation. Plants, animals and especially humanity since we are created for a purpose and in His image. God has given us life to live abundantly for Him and He gave each of us a talent in some area whether it is training horses, being a teacher or preacher, a policeman or woman, a mayor or any other type of politician, a truck driver or a farmer. He gives talents to all of us freely, whether we use them to gather wealth to ourselves or not is our choice. So, what is our purpose within this life that we are freely given?

To choose.

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

We have the right and privilege to choose. Not by flipping a “spiritual coin”, but by making an intelligent choice. One that makes sense spiritually and eternally, not one from a point of reason. Why do I put it like that? Because from a reasoning point of view…a scientific point of view, God and belief in Him doesn’t make sense. You can’t touch or taste Him, you can’t put your finger in the wounds of Jesus like Thomas did. Belief and faith go together like PB&J, and you can’t really have one without the other.

It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes or even the type of hair that you have, if you truly believe the Word of God is True and did come from Him then our ancestors were created in Eden by God Himself. We are all children of Eden, of Adam and Eve. We are all of one race, the human race. Culturally we are different, as different as six thousand years give or take will make us, but God can trace all of us back to Noah who is a grandson of Adam. I say is because his faith in God’s promise and his belief that God would save humanity placed him in God’s hands.

Understand that you and I are God’s children and His creation, but you have to choose whether you will serve Him in this life, in order to have true Life in eternity to come. This is not all that there is, working, living, loving your family, smoking, drinking…these are all enjoyable to us now, some more than others. What will you do if you died tonight, if you knew that you would not see tomorrow morning? Would you ask Jesus into your heart?

Would you decide that you would rather take your chances? On what? Have you fed thousands or healed the sick? Can you walk on water? None of us can do those things! We are not righteous in God’s eyes! The only way that you get into Heaven is by accepting Jesus as your Savior, repent of your life’s sinful ways meaning that you will turn from them! Could you do all of this if you were to have a heart attack right now or even on the way home? The time to decide about your eternity is now, not tomorrow, not next week. Make sure that you truly know where your eternity is because this life doesn’t last very long and it seems that the years go by faster every year. Don’t turn Jesus away when you know that you need Him in your life. Another chance may not present itself. Think about it.