Saturday, June 30, 2007

If I Be Lifted Up...

A man starts to share to his friend about his fiancé. He tells him about all the different restaurants they go to and all the different foods they eat. He goes on to inform him about the movies they’ve seen together and the similar tastes they have. This man describes her car and the part of the city in which she lives.

Now at this point his friend interrupts him and asks him to describe the fiancé herself because up to this point he has only spoken of the things they do. So his friend begins again, and he tells his friend about all the rules they’ve established about their relationship. He says they have agreed to watch what they say to each other and to put parameters on their physical relationship. They’ve agreed not to drink alcohol and to avoid drugs.

Again his friend interrupts and asks the friend to describe his fiancé, not all the rules they’ve established. Now this man starts to tell his friend all about many other couples with which they disagree. He tells him that so many couples drink and stay out to all hours of the night. He tells his friend that he and his fiancé would never do that, and in fact they doubt whether these couple were even engaged. This man goes on to tell his friend that many of these couples don’t even believe in the accepted definition of what a couple is, and in that in and of itself means they are not even a couple.

By now the listening friend becomes frustrated and once again asks his engaged friend,

“Man, what does your fiancé look like? What does she sound like? What qualities does she have? Can you describe your love together? I mean, how do you personally feel about her?”

The friend answered,

“What are talking about? I just told you all that.”

How many people talk about their rules and stands on issues, and in that they let that become their description of the Savior? How many speak of the ones with which they disagree and again that suffices to describe their Savior? How many speak of compassionate deeds done in His name, and those will describe the glorious Lord? How many speak of their particular church or shade of theology, and never really speak of the Living Christ? How many are consumed with letting everyone know with whom they disagree and yet never breathlessly sharing their intimate relationship with the their Friend and Master?

How many speak predominately about Jesus couched in a antiseptic, doctrinal dissertation without ever revealing a walk that resembles a little child with his Creator?

Jesus is more than a date and much more than part of a well rounded earthly experience. Jesus is more than rules, more than what he isn’t, more than a doctrinal test, Jesus is our everything. Start there and work your way out. You have all eternity to communicate Who Jesus is through words, lives, and emotions. People will listen to someone who has had a genuine encounter and relationship.

A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.

Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Behold...the End Approaches

I see a dark sail, on the horizon
Set under a black cloud that hides the sun…

Time continues to unravel, unwilling to pause. The message of truth distills into a modern pottage that is contained in no certain bowl, and all semblance of gospel authority cascades through the kaleidoscope of human thought and not as the revealed Word of the Author. How much more thread remains on the time spool is for the Sovereign to exclusively know, but His warning of evil days goes unheeded.

The young men rejoice and the old men weep, both seeing the same metamorphosis and yet both being impacted differently. Deception runs to and fro, masquerading sometimes as truth and sometimes as error and most times as both, but all times as sincere. Carnality has been renamed relevant, Scripture as story, truth as perception, witness as food, and these names themselves continue to change seats in the expanse of the ever present dialogue. The alluring cruise ship of hedonism continues to board, ready to set sail for places already known, and promises of enlightenment upon its decks of earthly pleasures. And the intellect of man is applauded as a talisman that will lead to the spiritual mother load.

Ever learning, ever learning, ever learning, and never able to come to the truth. The training camp for hell itself, if there ever was such a place. Imagine the existence of an eternal place of punishment. Imagine souls there right now and as the rich man begging someone to warn their earthly loved ones. Lennon writes “Imagine there’s no heaven or hell” and a Christian group writes “I can only imagine” about heaven, but where are the cries that call for the Spirit to attach Himself to the imagination of people and by divine revelation bring the reality of the coming judgment to their imagination. The flesh says "hyperbole" and the Spirit cries "Watch". The fire burns in the distance ready to bring its destruction to this planet, and so unsophisticated is that truth that any who teach such a thought can only be mentally unhinged.

The end sails into this harbor as the beginning for all those who wait to leave, but for all those still in love with this world this vessel will provide an eternal nightmare. Observe how far this world has come and with the spiritual body of its Creator in tow. The assembly that should be at the end of the dock, clean and separate from the degradation they have left, are now fully engaged and reflecting the former journey they claim to have forsaken. It is impossible for someone like me to fully express how troubling and even depressing it is to see what passes for the Christian life in today’s ecclesiastical genre.

Crass speaking and even cursing coming from preacher’s mouths, and all the lemmings defend and accept it as if the Lord approves. Provocative and sexual references publicly used to describe Christian wives including the preacher’s are applauded as revealing true love. Not “my wife is Godly woman who loves Jesus”, no, she is “hot”. Yea, that is how Jesus describes His bride too. It is most disgusting but screams out to all of us that the end is upon us. Anyone who has known the Lord for over thirty years would never have ever thought we would have heard some preacher describe his wife as hot. Aren’t we all so cool and relevant? I believe the Bible says worldly.

The visible church is a worldly mess and full of its own flesh. No more sacredness, no more fear of God, and no more sacrificial seeking of God’s face. We are in the slough of carnality and like Samson we don’t even know that our power is gone. Talk, talk, talk. The only escape is through unusual prayer and a hunger for the Word that eclipses anything we’ve known thus far. And I for one have no faith for that.

And so the whirlwind that is God’s wrath steams toward mankind. Some say God cannot be that angry over mankind and their sin. Oh, you and I have no idea. The Father sacrificed His own Son and offered Him up for us all, and all those who refuse Him will suffer at the hands of an angry Father. Do not discount and minimize the wrath of Almighty God, that would be a colossal mistake. Look around, everyone here is happy and the church spends the majority of her time to make us even more happy. Tears? Forget about it. Fear? Not on your life. Elongated and beseeching prayer? God is not amused.

Flee the wrath to come and be very prescient concerning the wild donkey called the church. She dances and prances in the meadow of her own making, shunning the lush pastures of God’s Word. Playing the harlot she embraces the world and soothes her conscience saying she is showing love. She rises early to put her hands to mischief, her warm breath clouding in the new morning’s mist. Overhead the storm clouds are gathering unnoticed, and the games continue.

Go ahead and ignore the clouds of God’s warning and lay down to sleep. Oh are we not meant to enjoy every last lustful moment of our life, then have angels escort us into heaven? Sure, everything is for our pleasure and the Father delights in our enjoyment. Close your ears to any negative protestations to the contrary, the fury of the end is a fairy tale which will be swallowed up in God’s relinquishing of His justice universally.

Maybe you have placed your own soul on that hope. If you have, you will perish in an unimaginable place of everlasting judgment. Please, repent and believe the gospel, there you will find the only refuge from what is to come.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Golgotha's Portal

There is only one portal to eternal life. The whole world seeks to extend their life. Only those who have arrived at such hopelessness and despair that they take their own life do not wish to live longer. And all men wish to live after death. Over the centuries men have made various talismans as their surety to the other side.

There is only one portal to eternal life. It cannot be found in the conspicuous darkness of man’s intellect. It is absent in the conjured up morality of the fallen human conscious. The eastern mystics, the philosophers, and all the religious stoics have not found this unique place of everlasting transport into the presence of the Creator. Ever searching and ever failing, ever sure but ever mislead. Oh how man has thirsted for some of the glory, some of the praise in not only finding this entrance, but in creating it also. And in his fleshly desire he has doomed himself forever.

There is only one portal to eternal life. It cannot be found in the general acquiescence of the existence of a god, or like Einstein who thought because he acknowledged a design he could tip his intellectual hat to an obscure designer and in that find this portal. The new and exciting age that is now upon us beckons a sophisticated view of a god that it intertwined with man himself, and strives to find that this god is a super “man”, not an august Sovereign.

There is only one portal to eternal life. Even the visible church has crafted attractive gateways that entice the flesh and treat the cross with revulsion and an act of history, tragic but irrelevant for today. No brokenness, no humility, no sacrifice, no, these new and lust laden doorways lead back to their own lives and garner self aggrandizing accoutrements meant to exalt their own existence and not the life of the Everlasting One.

There is only one portal to eternal life. This portal continues to be scorned and rejected of men, despised and with no esteem. This portal finds little attention even among the religious lemmings of today, chirping with each other as they shuffle through these mortal coils. Oh how it seems that the cross of our Majestic Sin-Bearer bears disdain and disgust as reflected by the church as she ignores its life giving flow and exchanges it for our own best lives now.

There is only one portal to eternal life. This glorious gateway remains still open today, but as God closed the door of Noah’s ark so shall the grace of this entrance soon close. Oh what an incredible tragedy, should not we who have been risen from the death of sin trumpet the cross across the globe and to the far flung corners of this sin cursed world? Why should we not shout it from the housetops, “The cross of Jesus is the only gate to eternal life!!”.

Go ahead all you ministers of the flesh, tell the people what they desire to hear, not what God is speaking. Go ahead and scramble the words of men and pretend they are the Words of God. Go ahead and encourage your listeners to go after the things of this world while you only give a tip of the hat to the cross. God is reviled by your prideful disdain and He will soon appear at His appointment to meet with all those who ignored His cross.

This is no game, this is no light thing. To lose your soul is to lose everything. There is a coming visitation upon this earth that is beyond our imagination, and it is being ignored. There is more talk of potential comets than the surety of God’s coming wrath. Oh it sounds so superstitious and medieval, surely not for those who have been educated enough to chuckle at such nonsense. God is angry? Most certainly not, God is a god of love who will reward us all for our sincerity and striving. The whole world lies in the Wicked One, and the Day rapidly approaches. Over the futuristic horizon rides the divine storm, gathering intensity and pace, and fulfilling the ancient Words of the prophets.
The escape is also the entrance.
It is not of this world and it lacks the glitter of this world. Oh yes, there is only one portal to eternal life…
The portal found just outside Jerusalem, the portal upon a hill called Golgotha, the portal lifted high upon a tree of death. If you believe that this is the only portal to eternal life, you must drop what is in your hands and bend low to get through.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Need an Answer

I am asking anyone who reads this to present me with Scriptural evidence that shows either in principle or open commandment where the New Testament speaks of God's endorsement of violently overthrowing the government over taxes. Over freedom? Over religious freedom?

Why am I asking this? Because we as Christians who live in America have somehow become convinced that God directed the birth of America and that we were born as a Christian nation. God nurtured the part of His body which dwelt in this nation, but it has never been a Christian nation. There is no such thing and it actually mixes the sacred (church) with the profane (government). God birthed the notion of earthly government, and everything exists beneath His august sovereignty, but the glorious body of Christ should never be joined to any government or nation. And even in Christian schools they display paintings of men like Jefferson who was a blasphemer because they combine Americanism with Christianity.

And the next time you go to church, if your church displays the American flag outside (most do inside), ask your pastor why the American flag must be displayed over top of the Christian flag. And if you see that display, ask God how He feels about it. And since your church displays the American flag inside God's meeting place, write your represenatative and ask him or her if Congress or the White House displays the Christian flag. Are you beginning to see what has happened? The church whose citizenship is in heaven displays the American flag, but the so called "Christian" nation won't even display the Christian flag. Don't worry, God isn't impressed with flags one way or the other, He desires our hearts.

The idol of democracy has overtaken our hearts, and when the Palestinians vote in Hamas we then reject that democratic act. Democracy was birthed by the humanistic Greeks, and it turns the ruling over to the pluralistic citizens to rule themselves with their hedonistic needs as their major pursuit. We are not the government, and we are not a democracy. We are a monarchy and our King is Jesus the Christ. Separate and different, a peculiar people whose allegiance is all to our Sovereign, not to be divided among the things of this world.

And so now the idol called the Republican party has put forth adulterers and murderers as leaders of their party. Are you now convinced that America and her politicians care nothing for our Master? How is it that so many are still blind even when infidels rub shoulders with those who we exalt as conservatives, whatever that is. Let us nor care about conservatives, let us care about Bible believers whose platform are their knees, their constitution the Bible, their election from on High, and their voting booth the prayer closet.

Revival is what we need, a million elections will not solve one eternal problem. So again, someone provide me with Scriptural exhortation that allows us to kill those in governmental authority when we disagree with anything, much less taxes. And if you find such teaching, let us send guns to our Chinese brothers and sisters, their own "Boston Tea Party" is way overdue!

I'm waiting...

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Paradoxical Paradigm
He who loses his life shall find it. Jesus, circa 35 A.D.
You are important, expand your life. Church, circa 2007 A. D.
Who will you believe?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Roman Catholic Church

Before we begin our little discussion let me present some things that should accompany our study. We must have a love for the people caught in the strong religious deception we will call the RCC in this post. Humility must be our garment and in and of ourselves we know nothing. Unless the Spirit reveals things through the inspired Word of God everything is just sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. This is an important subject since there seems to be such an opening to any and every wind of doctrine in order to project unity. Who would have believed that the day would come where evangelicals would embrace the RCC as a sister church in Christ?

Are you willing to investigate some of the things I will share about Catholic teachings, or will you just minimize doctrinal differences because you feel like being kind and loving? We should pray for and reach out in love to the Catholic people, but we need also to be “wise as serpents” while being “harmless as doves”. May the Holy Spirit of God not only teach us His truth, but may He give us the wisdom to lovingly communicate the absolute truth of the gospel.


It would be impossible to completely deal with all the twisted and mercurial theological teachings of the RCC especially as it pertains to history. The RCC once taught that salvation could only be gained through their church. They once taught no lay person should read the Scriptures. They once taught that giving money would allow you to exercise some sins without judgment. I do not think they believe those things anymore, so I will deal with a few they still hold to today.

1. The RCC teaches that salvation come through baptism including infant baptism.

2. The RCC teaches that the Lord’s Supper is actually the blood and flesh of Jesus and that participating in the mass is a means of grace whereby one can get less and less time in purgatory.

3. The RCC teaches that priests can forgive sins because Christ has anointed them with that authority.

4. The RCC teaches that the pope is infallible in teachings of doctrine.

5. The RCC teaches that Mary was born without original sin.

6. The RCC teaches that Mary’s body was brought to heaven by God right after her death.

7. The RCC teaches that Mary is a perpetual virgin.

8. The RCC teaches that Mary is co-redemptrix with her Son.

9. The RCC teaches that good works can help you gain an entrance into heaven.

10. The RCC teaches that people can pray to dead saints.

11. The RCC teaches that Mary answers prayer.

12. The RCC teaches that most Christians must go to purgatory after death to pay for some of their sins that were not totally forgiven.

13. The RCC teaches that after death and while in purgatory living Christians can give money to help get them into heaven.

14. The RCC teaches that pious Moslems can be saved without Christ.

15. The RCC teaches that if you are excommunicated from their church you will not enter heaven.

16. The RCC teaches that truth can be known through a mixture of the Bible, the church, and traditions.

OK, I’ll stop. Now ask yourself this question, are any of these beliefs consistent with Scripture. Do these teachings seem more like cult than a true church? Let me ask you this: If there never was a Roman Catholic Church, and next year a group of people decided to start it with the teachings I just mentioned, would you still endorse that church as true? The Roman Catholic Church has led more people into a Christless eternity than any other “Christian” denomination in history. Let us stand firm for truth while reaching out to the Catholic people. And if you do not see anything wrong with any of the above points, you may want to include Scripture in your comment. By the way, when you witness to a Catholic person, do not attack their church.

Lift up Christ and His gospel!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Will Glory in the Cross
Gal.6:14 - But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...

Christianity. In secular dictionaries it is described as one of the world’s great religions started by a man name Jesus about two thousand years ago. The world sees it as a religion of love and one whose followers try and emulate Jesus. They see many different denominations with many different beliefs and practices. Throughout the centuries movements and denominations and even cults redefined and altered the essence of Christianity. Some like the Jehovah’s Witnesses denied the divinity of Christ and teach a salvation of works. The Mormon church again changed Jesus and have a host of bizarre teachings. The Seven Day Adventists attempted to combine the Old and New Testament as a modern day practice including Sabbath worship and food laws. The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the true church built upon the Apostle Peter and they also teach a salvation through works. And there are many, many more offshoots of the true faith with every day seeing the birth of new ones.

But sometimes under the radar during even the most apostate times was the true and invisible church of Jesus Christ. These believed that the church of Jesus Christ was built upon the Rock which is Christ Himself, and that entrance into this body was by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without being born again no one would see the kingdom of God and to believe on the Lord Jesus was to surrender your life and pick up His cross and follow in His steps.

Becoming a believer was to also become a follower, the two substantiated each other and a life of sacrifice was taught from the Word itself.

But today we see a rushing mighty wind of change without the power of the Spirit or the tongues of holy fire, this is the wind of man. Religious men write books of intricate and thought provoking spiritual nonsense that has much of the immature church spellbound by its post modern newness. The modern “theologians” can no longer abide a cross centered Christianity with the atonement at the center, today’s writers take a more liberal and humanistic view of Christianity that has at its forefront deeds of man rather than the deed of God. Christianity has now been dismantled and the many different streams of doctrine are carving out a course which runs downstream and eventually fully emptying into the ocean of a man made religion that uses not follows the Lord Jesus.

Peruse the bookstores, the sermons, or the blog nation and search for writings that center and speak of the cross. Do you find many? The center of Christianity, in fact, the center of all history is the cross. Repulsive and unsophisticated to today’s menu of intellectualism, the cross is more jewelry than reality. But any Christianity that downplays the cross is not Christianity at all, it is a collection of teachings that are missing the single mooring that must authenticate them all. The Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world has His most sacrificial and redemptive act of love relegated to a doctrinal nod and not the center of our very lives. Without the cross you have the sounding brass and tinkling of carnal man.

If you had to define Christianity in two words they would be Jesus, and the cross. And those two words, one the Author the other His act, are being maligned, twisted, and contoured to fit conveniently into this new age of post modern Christianity. And the sing-song musings that sound so nice and present themselves as exciting explorations of refreshing perceptions of those two words are actually dismantling them both. I cannot imagine the Lord God Almighty anything but angry at what men are doing to the immutable essence of His Son and His cross.

Since the first creative Word, God’s eyes were fixed upon Golgotha. Now I believe in the orthodox view of the Trinity, but I have often wondered if God always existed in separate Personhoods. I wonder if God separated Himself for us, so He, God, could come to this earth without leaving His heavenly dwelling place. It doesn’t matter but this I know, God embraced the cross before He even came as the Lord Jesus.

So instead of dwelling and loving and bowing and meditating and weeping before the cross we find it struggling to find a place in our preaching, much less our conversation. When was the last time you saw a brother or sister in the grocery store and as you fellowshipped you made a remark about the cross? People would think you were unbalanced. Have you ever picked up the phone and called a friend to share how much the cross means to you? We speak of that blessed tree in the abstract as a point of doctrinal order, but can we speak with quivering lips and broken hearts over the glory of God’s suffering gift to us? Nothing can cast a shadow over the cross, it has cast an eternal shadow over all of creative history, and the glory of His wounds remind all of heaven that the cross has provided the redemptive triumph that gained us the entrance into His resurrected presence.

Can you fathom it, we will be afforded an entrance into the very presence of the Risen Christ, for ever and ever. The very words seem so superficial because we are still bound by this body of sin, but I cannot imagine trying to find words with which to worship the Lamb that was Slain. The cross. God on the cross. God on the cross for me. God on the cross suffering for me. God on the cross suffering for me and enduring my sinful shame. Who can really know it, and if we ever actually caught a definitive glimpse of the cross would our knees buckle no matter where we were? As I pumped gas and the Spirit afforded me an unusual picture of the Crimson Tree would I fall to my knees immobilized, or would I retain my precious composure?

I was walking in utter darkness seeking my own pleasure filled existence, a rebellious enemy of God with my fleshly eyes set on my own. And one day, in March of 1975, I saw the cross, and Him who suffered upon it. The Spirit quickened my understanding and suddenly I saw all the crosses on churches, and around the necks of men and women, and painted on buildings, I saw them all as poor representations of the glory that was the cross. A good Jew on a Roman cross suddenly exploded into my understanding as Savior and Lord. I was drawn to Jesus and His cross, and then one glorious day I realized it was for me, He suffered for me. Oh wonderful day, the day I saw the cross and the Lamb it carried for what it was, my redemption. I was nothing, I had nothing, and suddenly I felt like I was His which was all I have ever wanted or needed.

So let all the new movements relish their intellectual gyrations, their innovative doctrines, their dismantling etymologies, and their mercurial banter, I will glory in the cross.
Simple, but forever glorious.
So I desire this little post to do one thing, raise high the cross of Jesus for all to bow before and again, afresh and anew, say “Precious Lord, You and You alone are worthy to receive all the glory. We see Your cross and are amazed at our sin and Your blameless suffering…for us".

Monday, June 04, 2007

Passing Passion

There are those tortured souls who cut themselves and in that find some temporary solace. There are those who find an attraction they never wanted or sought, but are in bondage to the perversion that captures them wholly. There are those children who dread bedtime, and instead of serenity and safety, they listen for the footsteps that will add to the nightmare others call a childhood. There are those who suffer such daily pain that they long for death but find none. There are those whose depression so strangles them that they are drawn to escape through death’s door. There are those who feel so unloved, so unwanted, that they withdraw into a lonely dungeon deep within their own minds. There are those who receive a death sentence at age four because of their mother’s careless behavior. There are those who will be murdered as a child, carefully disposed of, and no one will ever miss them.

There are a million others that suffer unimaginably here on this cursed earth, those who endure the evil that escaped through Adam and thrives throughout the human race. And with that knowledge, where is our passion? We have these antiseptic discussions about should a Christian curse, while millions writhe under the weight of the curse itself. We have become a people of the round table, certainly not the prayer closet that begs with tears for the power to rescue the perishing. With the one life we have to passionately reflect the Master, we live in bondage to the hedonistic and mundane dictates of our own livelihoods. There are those who even Christ’s followers shed no tears for, and the compassion that was His has left with Him.

Have we not tired of the endless theological merry-go-rounds that accomplish nothing but titillate our fallen pride, and should we not break up the fallow ground that has grown cold and fruitless. Where is the power that broke prison doors and blinded the eyes of God’s enemies? Where are the tears that once fell for Jerusalem, when will we feel the warm, salty tears for the whole world? And after the initial changes that come with conversion, where is the sacrificial pursuit that thirsts for Christ like a deer thirsts for water. Is that just a nice song that shames us?

There are those who give their very lives for the glory of serving Christ. There are those who refuse the dainties of this attractive world, but are filled with the very Words that come from His very mouth. There are those who are consumed with Him, speaking of Him to them who will and will not listen alike. There are those who spend endless hours before His throne, inclining their ears to hear what He would say. There are those who are never content with the present condition of their intimacy with Him, but press on and on to be in His presence that will change them into His image. There are those who have died for His name, with His praise on their transporting lips.

The time for this passion is passing before us, ever so slowly, yet ever so quickly.

A farmer went into his fields to take inventory of his crops. He noticed that his crops were almost at harvest, but they did not seem to be what the seed had promised. So he thought if he plowed the field under and started again it would be costly and inconvenient. But if he did start anew it just might yield much more than what he would harvest from this crop. In the end he settled for what he had.

The time for this passion is passing before us, ever so slowly, yet ever so quickly.