Still preaching

“Many of us might die in this crash,” he called out, “so there’s something you need to know.” Andy then began explaining the Gospel simply and urgently, moving to each part of the cabin so that everyone would hear. He invited people to place their trust in Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. A flight attendant heard Andy’s words, bowed her head, and asked Jesus to forgive her sins and come into her heart. She watched many more respond and, along with another survivor, later told the story. Of the 175 people on board, 125 died, including Andy, who was still on his feet preaching the Gospel as the plane hit the water.

Read more: http://www.crossmap.com/news/franklin-graham-still-preaching-the-gospel-as-the-plane-went-down-17644#ixzz3Ws1qfeu2

Would many of us done this in this situation? Knowing that in a few minutes we would be dead along with most of the people in the plane with us, could you have preached to them and tried to save their souls?

It is a testimony to this man and it shows us the kind of Christian that he was and the kind that we are supposed to be, especially in times of need.

“Lord, please give us the courage and the words in good times and in troubled times so that we can be bold enough to proclaim You and Your grace and mercy to others in their times of grief and pain and fear. Give us the grace to be the kind of disciples that we need to be in the situations that we find ourselves in in the future. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

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The truth of the Bible!

Emperors like Diocletian have decreed its extermination, atheists like Voltaire have railed against it, agnostics through the years have cynically sneered at it, and liberals strive to remove the miracles from the Bible. Materialists have simply ignored it. How is it that the Bible still stands after centuries of attempts to destroy it? Because the Bible is eternal, settled in heaven.

It is, very simply, God’s Word to mankind! Breathed by the Holy Spirit into the minds of men who wrote the words down so that we can benefit from its wisdom. There is no way of getting rid of its timeless wisdom or ignoring it in any way. You may do so, if you wish, but it will gain you nothing except a life of missed chances to be of any worth to the Kingdom of God. You can ignore it, but when you face your judgement in the presence of God, it will convict you of your ignorance and your reluctance toward the message that it carries.

It is a book of knowledge and power, and one which contains historical words of wisdom and the history of the Jewish people. It contains the story of creation, betrayal, murder and redemption, adultery, incest, and savage cruelty and slavery. But…it also carries a line of hope and love beyond measure and a promise that your life and mine can be made whole again regardless of the way we may have been before coming to Jesus!

God’s Word contained in the Bible has all of these elements in it as well as the hope that we can come back into the perfect relationship that was intended at the beginning. For that, we shouldn’t give up on its wisdom or dismiss it as an old book which is outdated for our time. We should use it, every day to bring new meaning and purpose into our lives and to learn the wisdom contained in its pages as well. If for no other reason than to teach it to our children and our grandchildren, that is why it exists.

God gave all of the books of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, to us for instruction and learning, for wisdom and for the Truth that it contains. We cannot ignore it or deny its existence and we can’t just throw it away. It is a Holy Book and truly should be treated as such. In reality, we should treat the Bible at least as necessary as our cell phones which people can’t live without these days. We should carry it with us every day and miss it if we find out we have left it behind. Its wisdom is necessary for our existence and we should use it and treat it as being important to us, especially if we are born-again Christians!

Although today people who don’t believe the words contained in it are very vocal with their opinions, some are even belligerent to the point of being rude and obnoxious. Just because the Word of God tells the absolute Truth and has been the model for much of our nations laws is no reason to be this way. It does step on people’s toes a bit because it brings to light their sins and their nature that is opposite of the Word of God and many people can’t handle their faults being brought into the light this way. The Bible is still and will always be the Word of God!

It has been established in Heaven and the words in it were given to the writers by the Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity. The Word of God, contained in the Bible, has been around for over three thousand years and it is NOT going away, EVER!! You can get rid of them, burn them, destroy them, but the Word is still around in the hearts and minds of Christians and Jewish people! These two faiths contain the entirety of the Bible and the Word of God cannot be destroyed and never will be, regardless of the feelings of many who don’t go along with its words and beliefs.

The Dark side….

In my last post I spoke about being self-righteous and many people seem to feel this way, although if you told them this they would be offended.

Self-righteousness was and has been a problem in religious circles for many generations but that is not what I have seen in the news or on talk shows lately. What is cropping up is apathy and a lack of respect between parents and children, teachers and their students and those who claim to be Christians and those who don’t.

(Darth Vader breathing)

This is the shadow of the dark side, not so much from a science fiction point of view, but the dark side of Creation. There was always a dividing line between light and dark and there really is not grey area in that spot. It is either one or the other, dark and light don’t blend in nature nor in the spiritual realm.

It seems that many people don’t exactly believe that the Bible nor anything referred to in it are real today. As if a few thousand years has obliterated Satan and his demons as well as God and His angels. That is fine if you want to believe that, I have no problem with your beliefs or lack of belief.

But…just hypothetically speaking, what if all of the things prophesied in the Bible really come true one day in the not too distant future? Would you change your thinking or your beliefs? Or would you cling to blissfully being an unbeliever and just disregard anything that your eyes see as nonsense? When your life is over on this plane of existence, what do you think will happen to you?

Many people seem to think that they just stop existing and that is that. Some say they go to a place of happiness and bliss. I don’t claim to have gone over the threshold to see what is there, but according to what is in the Bible you stand before God to be judged for your life. What you did while you lived, if you came to believe in Jesus or not and the sins that you committed during your life will all be judged either for you or against you.

How do you think your life will look to God, if you chose to go through it without Jesus or believing in Him either? The Bible says this about our life and our righteousness, “Our righteousness is as filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6. The expression there is like unwashed clothes that have been worn for weeks and are so filthy that they are coming apart.

The dark side of the spiritual realm, where Satan and his fallen angels are, is at war with God and all of His angels and those of us who tell of His love and compassion for you. Satan has no love for man, he hates us because we are made in the image of God and that is only one of his reasons. He hates us because God loves us and because we were placed above him in responsibilities in God’s kingdom.

Please, don’t go over to the dark side. Give your heart to Jesus and live for Him. Make Satan uncomfortable and angry because when you work for and with Jesus, that is what you will do.

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!

True love, what can it do?

It seems that many people think that the word “love” has been used up and no longer means much, if anything, anymore. But, what can actual genuine love do? Many, many things actually.

Love can heal and it will protect, love is kind and patient, love bear burdens that lust cannot; Love doesn’t mean that you don’t apologize for a wrong, but that you can bear up and endure through the trials and heartache that come from it. Love is caring and compassionate, even when the one being cared for may be one that tried to kill you. Love is an emotion, a feeling, but it is also hope for tomorrow and faith in the future as well. Love is all of these things and more.

Love, the kind that you feel from your mother or grandmother, can fix hurts, mend problems between siblings, and it just feels like home as no other place or feeling can. You can’t duplicate it and you can’t fake it, you either love someone truly or you don’t.

Just as being on one side of a fence or the other, you can’t be on both, and with love there is no real middle ground. True, there are different kinds of love, such as the love felt between friends or for family, then there is the erotic type of love/lust that is so rampant today. So what can real love do for you?

It heals and it prolongs your life. It also lowers your blood pressure and eases stress. All of these positive outcomes from one simple emotion. Is it really so simple? I don’t think so. Love is expressed between people of all ages but it is most effective when it is inside a family, between a man and a woman and their children, which is how and why God ordained the family unit to be the model for all of us.

Love, real love, expressed in this way can last through generations not just a few years or decades. God’s love has been available to all of us since we were able to understand it, yet He has loved and cared for us since the beginning. His love is perfect in that it requires nothing from us, it just flows from Him to us. Yes, He desires our love and for our love to flow back to Him, but it is our choice and cannot be forced.

That is the one requirement that cannot change, ever: Love is not forced and cannot be. You can’t make someone love you, even if you love them. They either will or they won’t, anything beyond that is tolerance or hatred. Which is where Satan stands, on the side of hatred. He despises God and His children, and he will do anything to hurt and rip into the church and its members, as well as those that they love. That is what we are here to do, to love those outside the church with the love that God gives to us so that they might want it too.

What did Jesus do?

You have seen the bracelets with WWJD on them but have you ever really considered exactly what that would be? What would Jesus do in your situation or mine? What did Jesus do when He was here? Those would be the very same!

He would be consistent with Who He is and the mission that He had been given to do! It wouldn’t matter if the year was 33 AD or 2015 AD, Jesus would still be Jesus and He would still be doing what the Father had sent Him to do. Consistent work and behavior which follows your character that is how people can tell what and Who you follow. It doesn’t matter how much you attend church or how much you give to the poor or to the soup kitchen, what matters is that you follow-up and do what your heart tells you is right!

If you are a follower of Jesus, then that part of your heart, your character will show itself time and time again regardless of what you are doing or where. Right now, the world NEEDS to see the actions of people who are doing exactly that..being the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus in this world. If you claim to be a Christian, then act like it! Be one all the time, not just on certain days of the week or at a church function!

Being a Christian and showing people Who it is that you follow and claim as your Savior means much more than how you are around other Christians. The church needs to be seen as He was seen. Doing the things which God would do or what Jesus would do if He was here. Healing, praying for the comfort of the sick, feeding those who don’t have enough, providing clothes and shelter for those who can’t afford it (not for those who won’t work).

These are the actions that faith in Jesus brings to mind, all that we have to do is act on them. Don’t sit at home thinking that someone else will do it. Get out and get it done to the best of your ability or inspire others to do it as well. We are to be about the Father’s work just as Jesus was until He comes again, not sitting at home or in a church waiting for Him! You will be treated like the servant who buried his master’s money and gave it back to him without interest if you do.

Faith is an action word not a static one and as Christians we have to be or should be about His work until we are called home regardless of when that might be.

Work your plan…what does that mean?

When you hear this from a financial consultant or a business coach, it means one thing: plan your day or your week and work it that way or something like that anyway. Can we work our plan in the Christian life? No, we can’t unless our plan is to follow Jesus every day. Working your plan means that you are doing it your way every day. How can you serve God and work your plan?

Unless your plan is an image of and a reflection of God’s plan for your life, working your plan, your way, doesn’t show that you are following God in your daily walk. You are walking and hoping that God is “in the details”, accompanying you as you walk toward a goal that you have. In a manner of speaking, God is doing that, but that doesn’t mean that He agrees with your plan if it wasn’t His plan first.

Many people in the business world or at least the world outside the church, think that God is not interested in their life, especially their business life and that is a false assumption. God is interested in all areas of your life because you will be able to interact with many people and your character, which reflects what or who you are inside, will be a much more positive witness in your daily life than anything that you say.

So, yes, in more ways than you can imagine, God is very interested in your life and in your work. Whatever that work might be that you do, it can be used to bring more people to know Jesus and God the Father too. Why would you want to know them? Because they are the Team, if you will, that made all of life possible and especially you! We are all special in our own ways, because there is no other person on Earth exactly like you, not even an identical twin is exactly like his brother or sister. Yes, they look similar and some are very close to being true twins in facial make up, but inside their character can be quite different.

That is what makes humanity so unique. We are created in His image but we are all different, even those of us that look very much alike. God knows our differences and He knows our similarities too, because He is the Creator. He is responsible for how many hairs are on your head, the color of your eyes and skin, and your voice. You are special in God’s eyes and there is always something which each of us can do that nobody else in the world can do. I may be able to write here on these blogs, but I can’t put a novel together. Someone else can be a journalist, but they can’t imagine being an actor or a politician.

Those people who are saying that God is not the One that the Bible says He is are wrong. The get angry because they don’t want to believe in a God Who can tell what they are doing at any time and will hold them accountable for it later. The fact is that their un-belief in God doesn’t do away with Him and one day they will meet Him, and bow down before Him. They will not be so arrogant as to accuse Him of being responsible for their pain or suffering, but they will meet the one who is, and that is Satan.

Then they will find the true meaning of suffering and pain.

We are unique

It sounds presumptuous and prideful to say this, but as far as we know we are unique in all of Creation. Of all of the planets that astronomers have found, none are like Earth. They may be similar in composition but too close or too far away from their star for life to be there. Many of them are called “super Earth’s” meaning they would have twice the gravity of our world or more so that we could not walk on them unless we were born there. Our solar system seems to be unique because of the arrangement of the planets too. Many of the other systems which have been discovered have gas planets near their stars and rocky planets out where our gas planets are, just the opposite of our system.

The differences are striking if you have paid attention to the discoveries over the years, yet many scientists still cling to the idea that there are many out there which could and likely do hold some form of life on them. Although it is truly prideful to think that the only form of life is like us! The life that is there could be fish or birds or reptiles or even insects. God can create life in all forms and He could give intelligence to any of them that He chooses, but we are the ones which He chooses to have fellowship with. All forms of life on Earth have some form of intelligence although much of the life that is here has instinctual intelligence. God only gave mankind the form of intelligence to choose and to ask “Why?”, all of the other forms of life that He put here accept life as it is and live it accordingly.

God, not chance, created this universe and the life that is in it. Many scientists, myself included, have wondered about all of those stars and the planets that must be out there. Surely God wouldn’t just waste all of His time and wisdom on just this one little ball of dust. But, that is a question which will have to wait until eternity comes around. Like it or not, we will not find out if there is life elsewhere simply because the universe is so large and the laws of physics being what they are.

Truly, we are each unique and special in God’s way of looking at us, just because we are His creation.

What have we done?!

In this quote from Michelle Malkin she says, “Cheating, bullying, cyber-sexting, hazing, molestation, suicide, drug abuse, murder…just scanning the headlines of the latest scandals in America’s schools, it’s quite clear that the problem in not that there is too much God in student’s lives. The problem is that there isn’t nearly enough of Him.”

As a society and a nation, we did this to ourselves through legislation and so-called “preference laws” which limit what can be said or taught to children and young adults in educational institutions, specifically these target Christianity. Why is this? Because of a non-existent clause that has been claimed to be in the Constitution, but is not, called the separation of church and state. Yes, there is an establishment clause which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The removal of God and His principles from American culture and education has brought us to this point, which is a very unstable and dangerous point in our history. America, like Israel in the distant past, is close to being a Godless society, one that has allowed all of the spiritual fire to leave the country and be replaced with our own personal beliefs, and our own gods no matter who or what they may be. Even if you don’t believe that there is being called Satan, he exists and one day he will laugh in your face because of it.

I have said it before, just because you don’t believe in something or someone doesn’t get rid of them it just blinds your heart and your mind to the effect that they have on this world until it is too late. Satan has enjoyed being a “non-entity” for many years, yet his influence is seen and felt everywhere there is disease and war and corruption. All of the things which we would like to get rid of, yet we won’t allow the One into our world and our every day lives that could make Satan’s influence be far less than it is. When the end of the age gets here and I don’t believe that it will be much longer, everyone will see and understand one way or another.

A new purpose for a new year!

Have you considered, as one of your resolutions, giving your life to Jesus? The year and your life would go so much smoother than it has before, but for people who may have objections to this decision, it may take a bit of explanation and a bit of preaching too. If you don’t mind a bit of both, here goes.

I am not going to go through the entire Bible, which I am sure that most of you are glad about, but I am going to concentrate on one particular book in it and that is one by Paul called Romans. The very first few verses in this book are very good at showing and telling us exactly the reason that we need Jesus, so I am including them here:

Romans 1: 1-7

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

In this opening, Paul is introducing Jesus as the descendent of David and the Son of God. All of these Jesus was and is because He was raised from the dead after His crucifixion to be our Priest and Advocate in Heaven. Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies about Himself during His lifetime and ministry on Earth and now He is our Lord and Master at the right hand of God the Father. In spite of the unbelief that seems to be getting more attention these days in the media and online, God does exist and He loves us…each of us in a way that we cannot understand. God’s Word is also disparaged these days as being “an old, dusty history book, written by imaginative old men”.

Those “old men” were inspired and guided by the Spirit of God and there is proof of this. This requires a question to be asked, “Could you get five or ten friends who know you well to write out a report detailing how you met and your life and influence on each of them? How well do you think their stories would match up?”

The Bible was written by approximately forty authors, beginning with Moses nearly six thousand years ago, with four thousand years of that prior to the birth of Jesus. Yet, every book of the Old Testament has some portion of it which points toward Jesus. The prophets of the Old Testament even point out the type of death that He would suffer, where He would be born and that He would be born of a virgin and these prophecies were over five hundred years prior to His birth! Forty people can’t even agree on the color of car that passed them all on the highway just a few minutes afterward, so these forty men who wrote the inspired Word of God had to be doing it with His help and prompting to get it all right.

Now that we have established that the Word is True, the man Jesus was man but He had the nature and Spirit of God in Him, because no man could live a totally surrendered life and also be totally sinless as well. He was God and man. Jesus died on the cross because the love of God compelled Him to. He could’ve refused, but He didn’t and because of His death and resurrection we have the hope of being resurrected when He returns. The only requirement for us is that we believe in Him and in what He did and ask Him for forgiveness for our life before He came into it.

I understand the way that many people think about Jesus and that He wasn’t Who the Bible says that He is because I used to feel the same way. But, when you give your heart and life to Him and begin reading the Bible and praying for God to give you the wisdom to understand what you are reading about Him and His plan for your life, you will come to understand that we are part of His plan and His Kingdom. Your life and everyone around you, from your spouse to your children and your extended family is important to God. Why? Because He is the Creator and He is God, He doesn’t have to give us a reason for what He does or who He cares about. Give God and Jesus a chance in your life this new year, the change in your life and in your heart will be glorious and you will have an eternity that nobody on Earth can even imagine! Have a blessed and happy new year!!