Thursday, October 29, 2009
But wait, it gets worse. Craig Fishel a Home Depot spokesman said, "This associate chose to wear a button that expressed his religious beliefs.". WHAT!?! The button is a line from our Pledge of Allegiance to our flag.
I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.
Fishel said Trevor was offered a company-approved pin that said, "United We Stand," but he declined. Now that pin is just as patriotic as the pin Trevor chose to wear, so what is the big deal. Its all about the word God being offensive. Since when did quotes from our own American heritage become offensive? Would Trevor also not be allowed to have any cash in plain sight because it says "In God we Trust"?
Michael Masinter, a civil rights and employment law professor at NOVA Southeastern University said, "Because it's a private business, not one that's owned and operated by the government, it doesn't have to operate under the free speech provisions of the First Amendment,". So now we don't have free speech at work?
Our country is running away from God at break neck speed. No other views seem to be under attack today except those that are based on following Jesus Christ as the absolute Truth. Just 200 years ago we were a country founded on religious freedom, by religious God fearing men, that wrote a constitution acknowledging God.
John Adams said "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Noah Webster said "The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."
Benjamin Franklin said "[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
"Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof." Continental Congress, 1778"
George Washington said " Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."
I don't recognize this country anymore. Our founders knew what they were doing when they relied on God and His wisdom in how they set up our country. It pains me to see those in power over the past few years undoing all that is good about our country. I for one will not be quiet, I will not sit down, I will not stop proclaiming the name of Jesus to this lost world. There will be a day when everyone will acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord. Philippians 2:9-11
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Stay the course friends, and do not take your eyes off of Christ. We need to be faithful until the end, no matter the cost. There is nothing more important than eternity, and all people need to hear about it to make their decision. I applaud Trevor Keezer, because he refused to take the non-God pin. He stood his ground even though he was fired. Let us not just say we have faith, LIVE IT!
Monday, October 26, 2009
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
If I were to ask myself, "Do i really seek to draw close to God?" My answer would not always be yes. I have to humble myself daily asking for forgiveness of the sins in my life, so I can draw close to Him.
To submit to God, as James writes here, is like following your commander in a military sense. To be willing to receive instructions from God. This is coupled with resist the devil, which I can't help but notice that it follows submitting to God. How can we resist the devil if we skip submitting to God?
The next part we see is the act of us and God drawing nearer to each other. What a beautiful picture of a relationship with the God of the universe. God desires that we draw near to Him and He will do likewise to us. God will not turn his back on those that seek Him out. We see this in the next statement when James refers to sinners cleansing their hands and purifying their hearts. The term sinners is generally used when referring to unbelievers and I believe that it is the same here. The unbeliever needs to repent on the outside and in the heart. True repentance is turning away from the sinful life we have along with a change in attitude. Repentance is a shown through our heart and our actions. The believer also needs to confess daily the sins in their lives and turn away from that sin. To keep sin in our life is putting up a wall between you and God. Its hard to have a relationship with a barrier in the way.
Verse 9 is speaking about how we should react to sin in our lives. We should be mournful of our sin. We cannot continue to laugh off our sin as though its nothing. We cannot continue in sin and give no thought to how God looks at sin and the consequences. We need to be broken over the sin in our lives and humble ourselves before God, asking forgiveness, so we can be lifted up. There is nothing quite like being in Gods will and in a drawn in close relationship with Him.
Lord, help me see the sin in my life, and to repent of it. Give me the strength to resist the devil, that I may draw close to you. May your light shine through me for the world to see, so that they to, may draw close to you. Amen.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
In Matthew 16:27, we read that when the Lord comes back, at that time he will give to each and every one of us what we have earned according to what we have done with our life.
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds.
What am I doing today that is storing up treasures in heaven? When I meet Jesus will he say well done my good and faithful servant? I am daily trying to take up my cross and follow him. I am trying every time that I am asked to do something for the Church to never say no.
2 Corinthians 5:10
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
I have done so much bad in my life, just in my thoughts, to be eternally ashamed of myself. Praise the Lord that Christ has forgiven me and washed those sins away and forgotten. Praise God, that he sent his only son to die for me that I might be found blameless on the Day of Judgment. I wonder how people would look if we could see each other’s thoughts like a sign above our heads. What if every time we had a thought of Hate towards someone or Lust in our hearts a big neon sign would appear above our heads that said Murderer or Adulterer? That is exactly what Christ sees. We can hide nothing from God. Do we really believe that God is Omnipresent, that is to say, God is everywhere and we cannot hide from Him? If we really believed that God is always with us, would pornography be a problem anymore? If we really believed that God was all knowing, would we hide evil thoughts in our heart, and proclaim lies out of our mouth? Let us all get on our knees and truly repent of the sin that is corrupting our lives and turn to God. Let us make a change in our lives that others can see. Let us stop filling our hearts with things of this world, like lustful images, hateful thoughts, selfish desires, desire for things of the world instead of heaven. Things and stuff in this world are empty. True peace and happiness can only come from Christ. To follow Christ and His promptings is not a boring life or something we do not have the power to do. Do not be afraid to follow Christ, but instead have faith that he will give us strength to accomplish His will for our life.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
In Revelation it says that the Lord is coming back and everyone will see him. But notice that it also says that all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. The world, in that day, will realize that they are sinners and will be ashamed of their deeds, knowing that it is too late. I say to you do not be one of those that mourns at his appearing but instead one that rejoices. Do not wait another second, the time is now to repent and come to Christ. It is simple and life changing to follow Jesus.
Romans 10:9 says:
9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
If anyone is out there reading this and is making a change in their life to accept Christ, please leave me a comment at the end of this blog, proclaiming Jesus as your Lord, so that I may pray for you.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Ezekiel 38:1-6 (NKJV)
1 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh,[a] Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia,[b] and Libya[c] are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.
In verse 2 we see the first names mentioned, and they are Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Some will be easier to identify than others.
Gog – This is an extremely difficult one to figure out but with a little research maybe I can get an idea. Gog seems to be a person rather than a place simply by seeing the the passage say “Gog, of the land of Magog”. If Magog is the Land or Country mentioned then it seems to reason that Gog is something else. Gog is used in 1 Chr. 5:4 as a proper name, the son of Joel. Gog is also used in the Septuagint for names such as Agag in Num. 24:7(likely meaning Prince or Supreme one) and Og in Deut.3:1. This leads some to speculate that though it was used as a proper name, it became to be used as a title. I believe it means Prince, Ruler, Leader, or something like that.
Magog – In Gen. 10:1-2 Magog is a descendant of Noah through Japheth. Josephus said "Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians of the far north,” So who are the Scythians?
According to this map I found the Scythians were a people that occupy Southern Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and northern Iran. I do not think this map is completely accurate since Josephus says far north, but it does give us a general idea of where these people were. I think it is safe to say Ezekiel is talking about modern day Russia.
Prince of Rosh – This again is not a place but rather a title. Rosh in the Hebrew Old Testament is an adjective chief, often used to reference Chief Preist. So a proper reading would be Chief Prince of Meshech, and Tubal. It is saying that Gog or the ruler of Magog is also the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
Meshech – The son of Japheth, who is the son of Noah. (Gen. 10:2), the founder of a tribe (1 Chr. 1:5; Ezek. 27:13; 38:2,3) Mushki (MŠK) of central and western Asia Minor, known today as Turkey, seems to be the logical choice since these people were well known to Ezekiel.
Tubal - This nation was probably the Tiberini of the Greek historian Herodotus, a people of the Asiatic highland west of the Upper Euphrates, the southern range of the Caucasus, on the east of the Black Sea. Like Meshech, Tubal is also in the Asia Minor area, known today as Turkey and southern Russia.
Persia – This is modern day Iran and an easy one to figure out.
Ethiopia – This is also one of the easy ones to identify, however it should be noted that Ethiopia during Ezekiel’s time was an area that also included part of Sudan.
Libya – This is the same country that we know today as modern Libya.
Gomer - The oldest son of Japheth. This area is also thought to be in the regions of western Turkey and Armenia.
Togarmah - Son of Gomer, grandson of Japheth, and great grandson of Noah. Most likely eastern Turkey and Northern Syria.
So in a nutshell we are talking about an alliance forming between: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Ethiopia, and possibly Syria and Sudan. Just in the past 10 days Turkey has broken long standing friendship with Israel and formed new alliances with Russia and Syria. Russia for the first time in history is aligned with Iran and is supplying them with atomic technology. Russia has threatened Israel if they attack Iran and their nuclear threat. Russia in the past year has signed arms deals with Libya and Ethiopia. Here are some recent headlines.
Turkey Tightens Syrian-Iranian Axis after Snubbing Israel
Italy, Russia, Turkey sign pipeline deal
Russia set to boost military-technical ties with Iran
Russia has 5 arms deals with Libya – Rosoboronexport
Moscow to host international conference on Sudan October 6-7
Just about every headline I come across I see Russia or “Gog in the land of Magog” at the head of everything. I cannot stress this enough. Time is short my friends and the hour to repent and turn to God is now. We are not guaranteed another minute before Christ returns. Do not wait until its too late. Give your life to Christ while there is still time.
More to come on this, so stay tuned……
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The Parable of the Tares Explained
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Jesus is going to separate His wheat, from the Devil's Tares, at the end of the age. Notice that the Tares are then burned. That is to say, all those that are not part of Christ's wheat, will burn in the fiery pit of hell. He says that they will be gathered together and put into a furnace of fire. There will be wailing, that is screaming from the eternal burn, and gnashing of teeth or gritting your teeth from the unbearable pain and torture. What are you, Wheat or Tare? If your soul were to be asked of you on this day, would you be wheat or would you be weed? This is the single most important decision we make in our lives, to accept Christ's salvation or to accept an eternity of pain, burning, torture, and darkness in hell. Repent, Repent, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Becausea]">[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
At first glance the words "few who find it" haunt me. The implied thought here is that many will not find it and all are searching. How horrible to come to life's end, and never find the most important thing available to us; a loving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the gift of eternal life. But I have to ask, why do so many never find the narrow gate, and what makes it so difficult? I believe its difficult for the lost to find the narrow gate because it means removing whatever we value in life and replacing it with Jesus. Jesus repeatedly commanded us to put him first in our life, above family, above riches, above everything. I think about the rich young ruler(Matthew 19:16-30), that asked Jesus how can he have eternal life and Jesus went down the law with him. The ruler said he had kept those since childhood. Then Jesus told him to go sell all that he had and follow him. Jesus exposed what the ruler had placed as the lord of his life and it was his wealth. The ruler could not replace his wealth with Christ as the priority in his life so he left sorrowful.
Life is a journey of two paths. One path is popular and easy to find but leads to death. The other is difficult to travel and hard to find but leads to eternal life. I ask all who claim to have found the narrow path: Why do we not help others find the narrow path to eternal life if its difficult to find? Why would we continue to keep the narrow path a secret? Follow the great commission, tell others about Jesus, help them find the path to eternal life. Many may walk away sorrowful, refusing to follow but how much worse would it be if they never knew. This is the day, Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. We are NOT guaranteed another day, therefore don't let another moment pass without letting those around you know about the narrow path you have found.
Friday, October 9, 2009
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceansa]">[a] write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,b]">[b] I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
I am drawn to the plea in verse 19 where God asks us to be Zealous and Repent. To be Zealous is to be a fan or on fire for God, and to Repent is to turn away from our selfish sinful ways. How many of professing Christians today show up at church on Sunday morning as their duty to God and do nothing the rest of the week? How many of us read our Bible faithfully every day? How many of us seek God? How many of us want our relationship with the Lord to be real? How many of us believe what the word of God says? The Barna group at www.barna.org has done survey's over the past decade to see how many adults nationwide and christian adults have a biblical world view. The results are startling.
A biblical world view is defined by the acceptance of all the statements listed below for the Barna groups survey purposes.
1. Absolute moral truth exists.
2. Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
3. Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic.
4. A person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works.
5. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth.
6. God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.
The Survey revealed that 9% of American Adults have a biblical world view. This was shocking to me. I accept the 6 statements above as true though I feel they fall a little short in their content. For example, in statement 6 I would not only believe that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, but also, ever-present as well. I also would have said in statement 2 that the bible accurate in all of the principles it teaches and it is a prefect divinely inspired text from cover to cover. All that being said, it is possible that if the statements were more defined as I have given examples of the results would have been worse.
The survey reveals even more startling results among Christians. Barna defined Christian as "...those who said they have made a personal to commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today and that they are certain that they will go to Heaven after they die only because they confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their savior...". The Barna survey revealed that only 19% of Christians had a biblical world view. Seeing this has made me realize how far our country has fallen from its foundation.
The last point I have to make on this is the worst of all. We are failing to teach our younger generation a biblical world view. "The current study found that less than one-half of one percent of adults in the Mosaic generation – i.e., those aged 18 to 23 – have a biblical worldview, compared to about one out of every nine older adults". That is less than 5 out of every 1000 youth ages 18-23 have a biblical world view. We as a nation must repent and turn to God before its too late. I pray we do not follow in the footsteps of Israel as they were in the book of judges. God punished Israel when they turned away from him and went to their idols. May God have mercy on us all for we have been lukewarm. Its time to wake up and repent. Its time to turn back to God and live our faith like we believe it.
The above statistics were obtained from the Barna group at http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/21-transformation/252-barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years feel free to visit the site to get an even bigger picture of what troubles our country today.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
14A)">(A)Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, B)">(B)preaching the gospel of God,
I have said this now more than a few times but its a burden that is staying on my heart that I think the world needs to hear, and hear it often. REPENT! The time is now and it is short. I feel it with all my heart. In a recent blog by Joel Rosenberg he wrote..."President Obama is making global nuclear disarmament his top foreign policy priority. He just chaired a U.N. Security Council meeting to push this agenda. It is increasingly conceivable that he will try to force Israel to "play by the same rules" as everyone else and disarm unilaterally, even though Israel has never threatened to "annihilate" a neighbor. As I imagine in "The Ezekiel Option," such a resolution against Israel could be introduced into the U.N. by Russia. The coalition against Israel could be led by Russia and Iran. Should this happen, we could begin to see the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39 come to pass in fairly short order. While it is too early to conclude that is what is happening now, it is not too early to intensify our prayers for the peace of Jerusalem, according to Psalm 122:6"
If this doesn't give you a chill down your spine, I don't know what will. The world is aligning to a point where Israel will be isolated and when they are attacked and saved by God only God will be able to get the glory for the miracle that takes place.
According to Wikipedia Repentance is defined as:
Repentance is a change of thought and action to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law. It typically includes an admission of guilt, a promise or resolve not to repeat the offense; an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible.
We need to do a 180 degree turn from our evil ways and our sinful hearts. Its a change of thought and action. Repentance is not simply an empty sorry that is said as some magical word to be back in the OK with God. Now, I'm not saying we won't stumble and revert to our sin nature. The apostle Paul carried his cross daily as we should. Its a constant struggle to live the Holy life God wants us to live. If we stay in God's will and live the life he has planned for us there is no greater joy and peace that we can find on this side of heaven.
Lord, I pray you keep me on the path you have prepared for me and not my selfish desires to go the way of my sin nature. Help me live the life of true repentance and within your will. May we all be faithful and prepared for your return. Amen.
Friday, October 2, 2009
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’a]">[a] 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
This passage goes the opposite direction of my nature. It seems that, if I'm reading it right, we should go to the point of being taken advantage of willingly, to show the love of Christ. This is such an opposite reaction to what our modern American society would do. If we truly believed that this is how Christ wanted us to be, would we even need lawyers? Would we sue someone for calling us a bad name or if we accidentally poured coffee on our pants? The way I see it, this statement by Jesus is the epitome of loving your neighbor. If we saw a family member of ours being sued for their car and that family member not only gave their car but also paid them for gas in that car for the next year, we would call them crazy. That is, however, exactly what Christ said, is it not? I point to love being the motivation of for him saying this because of what he says in the next few verses.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbora]">[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,b]">[b] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethrenc]">[c] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectorsd]">[d] do so?
Oh how easy it is to love those we get along with. Oh how easy it is to love our friends and family. But Christ calls us to love those we claim to have personality conflicts with. We are called to love even those that HATE us. That is my challenge, for my life. How can I love and pray for the terrorist that wants Jews and Christians dead? Lord, grant me strength to love all men as you do.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Isaiah 5:20-23 20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away justice from the righteous man!
It seems to me that lately I read about people in our world and can't figure them out. Lets put a man in jail for two years because he killed a dog but it acceptable to kill a child for the sake of convenience. Its great to sing praises of worship to our president Obama but utter the name of Jesus at school and people get offended or you get labeled an intolerant hatemonger. We shall not dare to read the bible in school but its perfectly acceptable to have a islamic club or special Muslim prayer time. Its ok to teach my kids at school about alternate lifestyles but to preach from the pulpit against Homosexuality is hate speech. I do not understand this world anymore. It seems to me that everywhere I turn common sense has left and been replaced with tolerance.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.Jesus is not Tolerant of sin or other ways to eternal life. Then why do we as Christians let the world continue to say there are other ways, there are many truths, and life is relative. Christ died for us can we not take a stand for Him?
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.