Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Exalted Christ

Heb.1:1-6 - God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
emove the shoes from your hearts for you are on holy ground. It is quite beyond us to fully understand what took place at the Incarnation. Oh we can construct some convenient theology with shallow words that describe a “God made as a man” kind of flannel board presentation. But we cannot speak words of resplendent glory which radiate that which that truth demands. Jesus, the Word, was always God from all eternity past.
Even the Trinity is a mystery which is why so many mangle it. But the non-negotiable essence of the Trinitarian revelation is that Jesus was always God. He was not a result of sexual relations in the spirit world as the Mormons teach. They teach that Jesus and Satan were the two eldest brothers of God and had to earn their deity. That is not only a convoluted mess, but it is damnable heresy.
Jn.1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
ut somehow a few humans caught a shaded glimpse of His glory. And this God dwelt among man for several decades while He revealed Himself and journeyed toward His ultimate mission, the cross. I have been to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan and I’ve watch people stand back and admire a Rembrandt painting. And those who can actually understand just what they are seeing and the depth of the artistic talent and expression are the ones who are most affected.
The ones who know Christ and His eternal beauty and redemptive glory are those whose lives are forever affected, not just as stand back admirers, but as the clay that has been affected by the Potter’s hands. But in an incredible truth Jesus is not a work of art by the Universal Artist, He IS that Artist!! Who can know the depth of that glorious mystery? The writer of Hebrews says He is the “express image of his person” which is to say that Jesus is God in human, visible form.
That is the colossal truth for all eternity. It comes with all the hows and whys that are hidden in the Godhead. Time had been on a journey which ultimately led to Bethlehem, and on that night God sent an angelic choir to announce the event and serenade His only begotten Son. Many religions suggest that man is or can be God, but Christianity reveals that God has become a man. It is the fathomless condescension that was required to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness and the sentence of eternal death. Why would God who could do anything seek out our love at such a high cost?
The human mind reasons, “Well Jesus was God so He knew after He died He could be brought back to life.” Yes, and Jesus even prophesied that very fact. But God the Son still experienced the suffering of human death, excruciating death. But it is impossible to understand how Christ suffered for sin in that one human frame. And when suffering is on a universal scale it has to be beyond our poor ability to comprehend. In effect, Jesus endured the punishment of eternal hell for every sinner in the space of about six hours. Bow your pitiful head and meditate upon that.
But God the Son hid His glory inside of human flesh so that He might provide a ransom for our souls which were prisoners of sin. I realize that sin is no longer a relevant topic today. The whole world lies in the wicked one. They are oblivious to their impending doom. But Jesus, the Christ of God, is holding out redemption to whosoever will believe in Him. To say He is beautiful is to diminish His glory.

Brilliant as the Sun and with the incandescence of a billions stars, the Risen Christ rules and reigns from His throne.

To know Him is to love Him and to love Him is to serve Him.
Evil is Relentless

It never rests. It never takes a break or a sabbatical. It never sleeps. It never is exhausted. Evil fills the earth and continues to widen its territory. It reigns in the hearts of billions, but it still desires more and more. It is all around us, and if we succumb, it will arise in our own hearts. It comes with many disguises including religion. It comes as portraying itself as Christianity, and it even comes portraying itself as Christ Himself. Evil knows no boundaries and is never embarrassed.
It loves to play dress up as patriotism, and its favorite - war. Violence is a delicacy and the blood and guts feeds its perverted sense of self. It is often fueled by human pride. Evil has no problem expanding its territory through human ingenuity, greed, and avarice. The love of money is seemingly in its lineage. And although it is poisonous to the human soul, human beings embrace evil as if it were their life’s blood. Quite fascinating indeed.
When defeated on one battle ground it never sulks, but it has another plan already in progress. It is sophisticated and with millions of diabolical tentacles that extend to the ends of the earth. It is most eager to enter a hospitable heart and life. And once it finds refuge it resists eviction with cunning and powerful suggestions. Deception is its currency. It is most beyond the comprehension of the human mind.
Born into it, it doesn’t take too long before we exhibit it and later embrace it. While we live in a fallen state we are its ambassadors in the form of pawns. We think we know who we are but in reality evil is using and abusing us at its will. Although evil is orchestrated by an entity named Satan, it still is a major league force throughout the world. Its ramifications are massive and eternal.
Lately I have been accused of creating fear. I would feel badly if there wasn’t something about which to fear! We have lived so long under the canopy of cotton candy Christianity that when anyone brings forth the foreboding teachings that are inherent with the New Testament Scriptures it becomes very uncomfortable. And especially in a hedonistic culture that feeds upon self esteem and positive everything there is always an underlying desire for everything to fit into the human scheme called the pursuit of happiness and pleasure. The western populace has little time for that which disturbs the party.
And if it makes you uncomfortable then ignore it all. Let these words just roll off your back and go back to watching television. Read your Daily Bread for five minutes today and tell your conscience you have fulfilled your religious oblation and let us all worry about approaching comets and asteroids rather than the return of the King spewing divine fire. Yes, over the top rhetoric that just might meet you again on the other side.
I set no date, but be assured there is a date certain.
Eph.5:15-17 - See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
ut for those of us who have entered the Ark by faith, we are safe. We can hear the thunder and the rain pounding outside. We have not been given the spirit of fear, but with each bolt of prophetic lightning it only reminds us that He is coming quickly. And that is our hope and for what we all eagerly await. The Son will come in glory and with the company of angelic beings.
But until that day the evil multiplies with great velocity. Men are inventors of evil things and like those who once danced around a golden calf the world dances around the golden calf of self pleasure. The newest form of entertainment is celebrated like it’s a cure for cancer. How many are satisfied with the same mobile phone for ten years? What home has only one television? Who owns a car for ten years? The things of this world are no longer trappings, they have become honored companions.
It is impossible to venture three blocks from your own home without being assaulted by lustful pictures of some kind. Television is a continuing source of fallen refuse. Evil stalks the entire human race. In North Korea it comes as starvation, while in America food is a god. In Iran it comes as totalitarianism, while in America it comes as freedom used to feed our voracious appetite for pleasure and material possessions. Evil camouflages itself as a Satanic cult while it lives and breathes in the very ecclesiastical structure that claims it comes from God.
Evil flourishes just as well in the hospital nursery as it does in the cemetery. From the President to the street sweeper, evil is no respecter of persons. From Dahmer to the judge who sentences him, evil operates with cunning and precision. Evil allows itself to be identified through the serial murderer, but it works tirelessly to conceal its greatest project, the damning of the entire human race. In fact, evil will do good deeds as long as the deeds change the nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And therein lies the only hope for those who wish to escape the eternal consequences of evil. The shed blood of Jesus Christ is that hope and evil attempts to make that sacrifice seem like religious folklore and a mere example of human cruelty. Evil is well aware that when faith touches that bloody sacrifice it looses all claims to that sinner’s soul. And evil will do almost anything to retain ownership on any given soul.
So go ahead and call me a fear monger. But there is coming a day when my words will seem tepid and most understated. And on that day many will wish they had heeded passing voices like mine. This is no trifle; this is no game. In fact, to say this is serious is to dilute it substantially. This is so much more than mere serious. This is life and death on a greater basis than can be fully realized in the constrictions of this three dimensional existence.
This is eternal death. A sinner dies and after his death he is fitted with a spiritual body. He is then put to death again, however he cannot die. He is continually in the very throws of death with all the agonies that entails, and yet he still cannot die. A thousand years pass and still he dies; a million years and again he is dying; and in this inconceivable state he himself has a consciousness that continually informs him that this will never end. He is imprisoned in the torture of a death state without any hope of even a subtle abatement, to say nothing of complete escape.
These words are too melodramatic and sensational, you suggest, as your being recoils at such a thing. This cannot be and God will never be a accomplice to such a ghastly picture. Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps my words do not really describe what awaits a sinner who dies as an enemy of the Holy One. Yes, perhaps you are absolutely correct.
Perhaps any human words are immeasurably inadequate to fully reveal the monstrous consequences of God’s justice for unredeemed sin. Perhaps. But while you take a fleeting and ambivalent moment to consider it, just remember evil relentlessly pursues this entire planet. And things in your rear view mirror are larger than they appear. Much larger...

But the end of all things is at hand:

be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

I want to once again make it clear who Rob Bell is and what he teaches. Many still view him as just a modern communicator who attempts to convey the gospel through clever communicative bridges. But that is far from the truth.

I refer you to this previous post.
The Confusing Evangelical Ether

Out in the atmosphere, metaphorically and literally speaking, of evangelicalism there is an incredible confusion. The simplicity of the gospel has been rejected for a complicated and convoluted array of representations that are hardly recognizable as the gospel itself. What once was a glorious narrative of redemption through faith in the death and resurrection of the Incarnate Christ has been dismantled at the molecular level of Biblical truth. The cleverness of man’s intellect and communicative prowess has replace the power of the Holy Spirit.
No longer do men need a sanctified life. The sheer weight of their communication and Madison Avenue advertisement techniques are enough to elicit the popularity they seek. Men like Rob Bell, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, and others have become the Pied Pipers of evangelicalism and now command a sizeable following based upon books, Cds, conferences, television, and careful strategies to advertise their “ministries” and create a human thirst that can be quenched without the Spirit.
Confusion on this scale has come in on the wings of the expansive technology of communicative media. Mass communication has sorely wounded the spiritual integrity of the visible church. I believe I am generous when I say professing believers and lost sinners are confused. Confusion is deception, and God is not the Author of such things. And a new phenomenon has emerged in this spiritual climate.
Doctrine has become almost irrelevant to the average evangelical. Now I have spoken loudly and often about the doctrinal Bourgeoisie who have made doctrine itself an idol and a god of sorts. But doctrine, or Biblical truth, must remain very important especially as it pertains to Christ and salvation. And a perfunctory statement of faith is never adequate to establish the authenticity of one’s discipleship. Cold and dead are such words if they are not exhibited by living and vibrant epistles that radiate the very Person of Jesus Christ. Some challenge, eh?
And it is very easy to either ignore humanitarian deeds or to see them as spiritually redemptive. Both of those views are Biblically wrong. And the confusion about those things have been rather central to the spiritual slide in the church. While one church points to their orthodox statement of faith as the evidence of their discipleship, the other church points to their ministry to the poor and needy as their proof. We as believers should have both things observable in our spiritual walk.
But how often have I run across a believer who is considered mature in his fellowship, and he remarks how wonderful Rob Bell's Nooma series is. Or he may say that he admires Rick Warren. Or, God forbid, he may say he and his wife watch Joel Osteen. And this is from someone who has been save quite a while and should be able to discern much better than that, but because of the immense confusion he has been captured in deception. Now he may stay in the Baptist church he now attends, or like many thousands he may go join a church like Mars Hill in Michigan. The point being he is now vulnerable to great compromise.
I cannot tell you how my heart breaks over such things. I must confess that about twenty years ago I became interested in Kenneth Copeland’s ministry for about one year. Praise God my eyes were opened before it was too late. But that is why I have a heart for the deceived, and also why I speak out from time to time to warn believers that there are wolves out there. The deception grows while the sand continues to run quickly to the bottom of the hour glass.
Are you confused? I do not mean about the fringe issues about which we all discuss and sometimes disagree. This is not about free will or no free will. The issues about which I speak are central to the gospel. They are non-negotiable. If you are confused I suggest you take one week and read the New Testament through from Matthew to Revelation. Ask the Spirit to speak to your heart and reinforce the bedrock truths upon which our faith is built. And do not just look for doctrine, but also open your heart to seek His face and lengthen the cords and deepen the stakes of your own spiritual walk.
Again, there is much confusion of which none of it is of God.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Receive the Wilderness as a Sacrament

Every Christian goes through periods that can be aptly described as wilderness experiences. Regardless of who admits it or not it is a reality of all who journey the path of the cross. These are times where either God’s presence seems to virtually disappear, or where God’s direction does not seem available regardless of how earnestly we seek it. John the Baptist ministered in the wilderness. God brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness. And Jesus Himself battled the devil in the wilderness.
The wilderness can be a place of despair, but it can also be a sacred place of seeking a deeper and more committed relationship with the Father through the Lord Jesus and the power of the Spirit. In the wilderness the water is not so readily available. Spiritual food must be sought with diligence. And we cannot lean on the expected presence of God. And our emotions cannot be used inadvertently to augment the power that should define our spiritual walk. The wilderness is an opportunity for all who will see it as such.
It is in the wilderness where God reveals Himself as the I AM. It is in the wilderness where we see water come from a Rock, which is later revealed as Christ. It is in the wilderness that God gives the designs for the Tabernacle which is replete with shadows and images of the coming Messiah. It is in the wilderness that God’s people learn of blood sacrifice. It is in the wilderness that God grants a glorious peek into the Land of Canaan. And it is from this wilderness that the very first step into the Jordan River is taken. God uses the wilderness for His glory!
It is in the wilderness that the Lord Jesus quotes God’s Word to the enemy of our souls. It is in this wilderness that Jesus is tested and remains sinless and unmoved from His redemptive mission. It is in the wilderness that Christ repels Satan and orders Him to depart!
And those who wish to follow in the footsteps of Jesus should not be surprised when they lead through some kind of wilderness experience. And when we find ourselves in such a wilderness we cannot lose heart nor leave our passion to follow Him. Many false teachers suggest that every wilderness is of the devil and God desires to rescue you immediately. Of course they suggest money will motivate God to do this.
But they are liars and must be rejected out of hand. God can and does use the wilderness to mold His followers into the image of His Son. It is not a place of destruction but a place of instruction. Because of the compromise and even apostasy of the western church many believers have found themselves in a wilderness and looking for a divine direction. Have patience, and quoting from the Princess Bride, “You rush a Miracle Man and you get rotten miracles!” We need to learn patience and absorb the glory of the fellowship of His sufferings.
Deut.8:2-3 - And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
he Lord our God will never leave us nor forsake us, but His ways are not our ways. But we must always remember that during times of testing, and even suffering, the Potter is molding His precious human clay into a vessel that shines forth His glory. Those who desire only times of earthly pleasure and prosperity are being molded into vessels that shine forth the fallen glory of this temporal existence. But those vessels who have gone through the fire with their eyes upon Him have the image of the Redeemer burned into their souls.
II Cor.4:6-7 - For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
Jam.1:2-4 - My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
I pet.1:6-9 - Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Receive the wilderness as a sacrament before the Lord your God.
Lucifer's Legacy as the End Approaches

Although the entire episode is wrapped in mystery, God still gave us a glimpse. We do know that a created angel named Lucifer somehow rebelled against God in God’s own dwelling place. It seems quite inconceivable, but such is the colossal power of deception. We would do well to remember that.
But then this creature, along with a third of the other angels, were thrown out of God’s presence and cast down to this planet. Does that seem like so much legend, myth, and fairy tale to you? Again, that is the power of deception. And armed with the deception which spelled his doom, Lucifer, now call Satan, begins to create his own legacy and forms an evil heritage that will last forever.
Yes, I said forever. Does that not bring fear into anyone’s heart these days, or do the pleasures of today drown out the warnings of tomorrow? Satan is busy securing souls for his eternal heritage which will be “enjoyed” apart from the divine presence he once knew. This is no Dungeons and Dragons game, and neither is it Lord of the Rings. This is the eternal war that continues to be waged in the world of spirits while the effects ravage the planet. This is no sport or some tournament between good and evil. The gravity of this conflict cannot be expressed in words, and no one can be fully aware of all its ramifications until the battle is over.
Satan has appealed to all sorts of human reasonings in order to stake his claim. He has orchestrated the invention of all kinds of religions with all kinds of gods. And by appealing to the intellect of man he has attempted to make the true faith appear too simplistic to be believed. Lust and greed have been essential in his plan, and hatred and violence have been well worn tools as well. The entire earth is enveloped in a cloud of deception and mankind loves to have it so.
Nowhere is that deception more pronounced than in the west where sin has been refined into a science that is studied and practiced with great creativity and relish. And beneath the carnival-like atmosphere of the western culture lives a sinister power that has ensnared the entire populace, save a few that have bowed their hearts to the Lord of Life. It is most ingenious of fallen man to create clever little levels of sin in order to soothe his fallen conscience. Open hedonists like Donald Trump are almost worshiped while the little goth girl in the mall who has been molested by her father is looked upon with disdain. The gay man is vilified while the serial adulterer runs for president.
Yes, man is no innocent bystander in this eternal conflict. He has been a willing partner in this diabolic scheme. And if God should chose this day to end it all, billions would be lost. Again, does that stretch your reality? Does is seem much too drastic and does your grounded intellect keep you from laying hold of that sobering truth? It seems more like a horror flick than actual, tangible truth. And that is just one more method of spiritual deception employed by him who hates God with an unmeasured hatred and expends all his energy attempting to dilute God’s glory.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, and time keeps passing with the predictable integrity of the rising of the Sun. Wristwatches by the billions display its measurement with inanimate precision, but without a syllable of foreboding or omen. And like a fisherman steadily reeling in his catch, so is the spirit of antichrist reeling in unsuspecting and uncaring souls. And in the midst of this horror, evil men preach nonsense and falsehoods to soothe the hearts and scratch the ears of sinners who stand in desperate need of the truth.
And it isn't just the Osteens and the Bells and the Warrens that have propped up spiritual deception within the church. No, it's the entire western ecclesiastical structure which has transformed the church from a culture invading spiritual force into a religious business. Preachers by the tens of thousands ascend the pulpit and with dry eyes they are ignorant of the approaching storm and refuse to warn people who sit in its very path except with an occasional nod to some abstract statement of faith or an innocuous gospel appendage that is nothing more than a preface to the awaiting lunch table. The redundant mess has been essentially abandonded by God's Spirit save the power to mercifully save some souls.
And the end of all hope walks steadily up the path without confrontation by God's own people. If we all realized what was at stake we might sell everything and go from house to house with tears and a passion that might very well frighten the average person, but just might awaken many dead hearts to the very seriousness of their situation. But sadly, the church continues with a disgusting ambivalence and a demonic self centered approach to Christ which openly attacks His sovereign glory! It is a reproach to the gospel and has morphed into an open religious sore that oozes death rather than life.
Oh, does that now offend you? Will it offend you when you stand in His glorious presence and watch as billions upon billions of souls are cast into the Lake of Fire? Will you be offended then? Will it offend you and me that we might have done so much more but we were content to let things slide into a spiritual malaise? Are we offended that Satan has attacked the glory of our Great God, and does that offense drive us into a holy passion to spread His gospel through lips and lives?

And what will you do when the end comes?

I Pet.4:7 - But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Rev.16:13-15 - And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
here is an end to all of this. It may come tomorrow, or it may come next year, or it may even come one hundred years from today, but make no mistake, the end is coming. It is this very thing, the end, that terrifies people. No one wants the music to stop; no one wants the party to end; no one wants to face the eternal unknown. But the end looms large for mankind collectively, and for each one of us individually.
And that is the question that hangs over all of us like the mythical Sword of Damocles, however this is no myth. There is an appointment with the Creator that has each and every sinner’s name etched in the indelible ink of God’s decree. And while we play and party and fulfill our religious obligations, that future appointment continues to step with determination toward the present. And when your name is called, and when my name is called, what will we do then?
The answer is that at that fearful moment there is nothing more that can be done. And think about that. There will be no second chances, and no excuses, and no reasoning. And everything that we have hidden which we alone know will be summoned forth before the King of the Universe. All our supposed good deeds will have no place when redemption is at stake. If you stand before the Holy One clothed in your unrighteousness and without the covering of God’s bloody sacrifice, you will quake and tremble as you suddenly realize you have lost eternity.
Words can only paint a poor picture of that day, to say nothing of communicating the extreme regret and the tears and pleading and horrific screeching emanating from hell bound souls. This is no horror flick. The reality of this scene will be the ultimate nightmare, monstrous in its subsistence, and eternal in its adjudication. And will God allow billions to watch as others are cast into the lake of fire before their turn comes? I am not naïve, I realize that this subject has long since passed off the evangelical landscape and made room for men like Rob Bell who speak words of lying comfort to all who will listen and line his pockets with filthy lucre.
Go ahead, place all your eggs in one basket. Ignore the many, many warnings of Scripture and incline your ears to the false sirens of today’s sophisticated communicators. Take that chance if you will, but remember, if you are wrong you have lost everything. But I am saved, you say. Are you? Then why are you dancing with those who are outside the ark? Why then do you not believe and heed the Words of Almighty God? Why do you have no fear of God in your soul?
How can you profess a cross bearing discipleship and live as if there is no God? How can those who claim His name go day after day with such a paltry exhibition of the Christ that they so easily blend in with those who deny Him? What kind of Christianity have we created in this western, hedonist culture? Why has the church bowed to its surroundings, while the culture flourishes and is only too glad to allow this milquetoast brand of faith to join its party? Why is the pinnacle of our so called discipleship displayed within the parameters of 45 minutes on Sunday morning?
I am not an evangelist that keeps records so I can print them in my newsletter and raise more funds. I am a literal nobody who speaks by God’s grace the unpleasant truth to many who desire nothing more than sweet stories and religious fables. And I have no righteousness of my own, and I fall very short of God’s glory, and my imperfection is well documented. But I also have met the Redeemer and He has changed my life forever. And that, my friends, is the very question. Have you met the Redeemer, and has He changed your life, and if so, where is the evidence of that glorious transformation?
Prophetic stories have become familiar and doctrinal traditions, but reality stalks the earth. Do not wait. Do not turn a deaf ear. And if you are reading this by some providential mistake, listen to what the Spirit speaks to your heart. There may not be much time, but one thing is for sure. Tomorrow we all will be one day closer to that great and terrible day. Today is the day of salvation. Run to the Savior and find eternal life. Today.
The Spirit is calling the church to an elongated season of deep repentance. We all need the cleansing of the Spirit that not only washes us from our iniquities, but sets our lives on a new and vibrant course which simultaneously walks in resurrection power and the humility of Golgotha. We need more and more and more and more of Jesus, and much more indeed. Lucifer continues to build upon his damnable portfolio of souls while the church dances to the melodies of this fallen world. “Arise, and shine“, speaks the Spirit. There is little time and there is much to do. Millions upon millions upon millions of souls lurch on the precipice of eternal damnation.
God has provided the way of eternal life. Today is the day of salvation for those outside of Christ, and today is the day of the Great Commission for those who have been redeemed.

Satan gathered his minions and asked for suggestions as to how better deceive the masses. One demon stepped forward and said, “Let’s tell them there is no heaven!”
Very good”, said Satan.
Another demon said, “Let’s tell them there is no hell!”
Even better,” said Satan.
A third demon stepped forward and said, “Let’s tell them there is no hurry!”
Yes,” said Satan, “That is the best!”

Satan is a liar.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

War - The New Voyeurism

The church has made such wonderful strides since the unenlightened days of former centuries. I remember watching as the priests blessed the warriors in the movie Braveheart. Wasn’t that so ignorant and unsophisticated? I mean come on, men speaking for God and claiming He is blessing either side or war in general?
Of course then I remembered hearing many a Sunday morning prayer from the pulpit asking the same thing for the American troops. Yes, we sure have changed. But there is one beneficial aspect of today’s wars.

We can watch the war on television while we eat dinner. Amazing!
Hatred or Love

Ti.3:1-7 - Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

What is hate? Far too often we define hate as what white supremacy groups practice, or the protests by the Westboro Baptist Church. We like to view hatred as those who dislike Blacks or Jews or even gays. And with that kind of constricted definition we can insulate ourselves from being hateful. I mean we would never use a racial slur or an anti-Semitic term.
But there is a visceral hatred being practiced and openly displayed in thousands of evangelical churches. And this kind of hatred hides behind pillars of morality and the suggestion that the culture is decaying. This type of hatred identifies its objects with man made terms such as liberal, socialist, and an array of other labels. Hatred of this nature is not only tolerated among millions of professing believers, it is embraced.
This hatred is at the heart of American politics, and its Siamese twin is self righteousness. Many who pledge allegiance to the flag and proudly tout the founding fathers and passionately embrace the Declaration of Independence, also dislike the way this democracy now operates. They like the freedom they enjoy but they dislike the freedom others employ. They desire their own pursuit of happiness but desire to restrict the pursuit of happiness by others.
The work of Christ and the Kingdom of God must never be intertwined with the fallen methods of improving the culture. In fact, most people vote and support those who they deem more likely to improve their own earthly situation. But politics, and democracy in general, is filled with self interest and a serious brand of competition that leads to aggression toward those who are opposed to your views. And as we have seen lately, this kind of hatred and verbal assaults are even practiced among those who are supposed to be on the same side.
The entire specter of politics brings out the very worst in people and compromises the very teachings that believers say they espouse. Believers will watch television and allow certain fallen feelings to be aroused in their hearts when they hear liberal or conservative politicians. And many believers will talk among themselves about this one or that one. They will even use derogatory language and in some cases out and out lies. That, my friends, is a clandestine form of hatred.
Hatred is so antithetical to the gospel and to the redemptive plan of God. And we as believing followers of the Lord Jesus are not just commanded not to hate, but we are called to love our enemies. And as challenging as that is, it is impossible if we do not even consider it a command. Our natural hearts are not programmed to love, much less love our enemies. And most of these so called “enemies” are creations of a fallen system which has captured the hearts and minds of those who claim to live in another kingdom. Hatred feels good to the flesh and strengthens and reinforces ties between those who hate the same targets. There is no such thing as soft hatred; it is all hatred.
The two greatest commandments cannot be separated. Loving God without loving sinners is a fraud. Yes, there is such a thing as loving people without loving God. That is humanism. But if we love God, and if we are aware of what took place on the cross, then we must love sinners. And when the Calvinists claim God hates the non-elect they are liars. God is love, and the mystery of that love is profound. We do not have the luxury to hate others while still claiming to represent Christ. And if God does hate the non-elect, then the Westboro Baptist Church is a bold witness for Christ.
I exhort all of us to seek out the love of God in our hearts.
Jude 21 - Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Christian" Television

You walk into a store and look at the cake section. The clerk informs you that this cake is 90% inedible, but if you cull out that 90% there is 10% that is very tasty. Would you buy it?

Christian television is that cake.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Moon Colony - the Future is Now!

From the news desk.

Newt Gingrich, a republican candidate for the Presidency, said that at the end of his second term he wants a colony on the Moon. Yea, that’s what we need, a trillion dollars spent on a Moon colony.

By the way, many of us think that Moon colony is already being inhabited by American politicians.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The State of the Kingdom

Last night President Obama delivered the State of the Union address. I try and watch because it reveals several things that should be teaching tools to us believers.
First, there was no mention of God or Christ. Of course that was being honest rather than paste God’s name on this mess. Also, it openly reveals the visceral hatred the two parties have for each other, and it is almost comical to watch Speaker Boehner try and hide his utter disgust for the President. And when only half of the elected officials stand and clap and smile at the others who remain seated, well it is such a display of adolescence.
And after the President speaks the party opposite gives its response which is little more than saying that everything the President said was a lie. One year one congressman couldn’t even hide his contempt and blurted out “liar” at President Obama during his speech. There is nothing redemptive about the entire spectacle. It should not take much for a believer in Christ to see the hollow vanity and the fallen structure of this or any earthly government.
But there is something more sad and pitiful. I have heard professing believers express tangible hatred for President Obama and liberals in general. They have succumbed to the fallen sirens of politics and rejected the Sermon on the Mount teachings of our Savior. I could never vote for someone who is pro-choice like President Obama, but he seems to be a nice family man, although I cannot say that I sense a kinship in the Spirit. He seems to espouse a salvation of works.
There is no such thing as liberal or conservative if you are living in the Kingdom of God. There is only lost and saved or believers and unbelievers. To separate the goats into man made categories is in conflict with the gospel of redemption and reveals an attitude of the heart that suggests some lost men are better than others. And there is nothing Christlike in politics.
But how has them church bowed her knee to the fallen structures of this world. Preachers refer to people as liberals even from behind the pulpit, and millions of professing believers listen to carnal men spew their self serving hatred on television and radio. It is amazing to see men become millionaires through the rhetoric of hate and self righteousness. At least the wing nuts of the Westboro Baptist Church have the boldness to admit they are hate mongers.
But watch as millions of evangelicals bow their heads during the token prayer on Sunday morning even though all week their mouths have spoken gossip, hatred, and a saltless complaining about the economy and all things Obama. It is most unseemly and only brings reproach to the name of Christ and His church. We were never meant to be of this world, only in it to shine forth the Word of Life to a dead and lost generation.
Oh, you say, you support President Obama? No, I pray for him but I only support the Lord Jesus. Well, you say, that is a radical view of isolationism. You’re getting close! There is much work to be done in the whited fields and we cannot compromise our time and energy with things of this world that do not profit. Our so called earthly freedom has lulled us to sleep, and millions of believers suggest we should protect this freedom even with a violence that kills many thousands. That, my friends, is the job of the fallen world and all its governments. We must be busy about Our Father’s business.
Arise and shine and off to our prayer closets! Let the dead bury the dead in the cold ground of political nonsense, but let us incline our ears to the voice of the Spirit which calls us to speak, preach, and live the Lord Jesus Christ. And the lofty words of political rhetoric only serve to distract us, and in many ways deceive us. We must not listen to fallen voices that speak outside the spirit of God’s kingdom. And when fallen man complains about taxes and the economy, we must rejoice in Christ!
If we measure God’s blessings by material things then we have been blessed beyond belief. Millions are starving, and millions have no medicine, and millions cannot feed their own children. But we do not rejoice in Christ because of material benefits. We rejoice in the redemption in which we live, and if our eyes are looking unto Jesus, then our hearts are full to overflowing!
I am somewhat optimistic about more and more believers coming out of this political quagmire and finding a freedom in Jesus Christ that has been available all along. By the way, what is the state of the Kingdom of God? The same as it has always been.

Our God Reigns!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Get Your Hopes Up

Last night at the Republican debate the crowd was asked not to applaud as the crowd had done in South Carolina. Many analysts say that the lack of applause hurt Newt Gingrich’s performance since he depended upon his one liners and subsequent applause.

That is the depth of the American political system. The applause track alters the perception about who won. Also, if you listen to the talk shows they concentrate on strategy, one liners, and personal attacks. The issues? Who cares since they all are blatant liars.

Christianity aside, to be involved with the American political system you must check your intelligence and integrity at the door. Other than that, depending on who is elected in November, everything will change and get much better. You can place your hope on that, but get used to disappointment. (Sarcasm alert!)

Resume general swim. UPDATE.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Which Nation is Christian?

pproximately 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis. Approximately 12 million slaves were transported to America, and approximately 40% died en route. That means that approximately 4 million blacks died, which does not inlcude those that died at the hands of their masters. Also, many millions of American Indians died through European expansion.

In Germany it is illegal to even make the Nazi salute. In America the Confederate flag flies above at least one state capital and it is displayed on millions of license plates.

Tell me again, which nation is the Christian one?

Come Out From Among Them

II Cor.6:14-18 - Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
here has the doctrine of separation gone? When did we ditch that doctrine for a more laissez-faire kind of attitude that clears a path that is much more accommodating to the culture and all its fallen machinations? I mean, does separation only mean not to enter into a business deal with Charles Manson? And when the Spirit commands us not to be in agreement with idols, does that only mean statues of Buddha?
For so long we have defined separation as avoiding smoking and drinking and cursing, while we play footsies with the fallen world of political sewage. And what does God mean when He says the “unclean thing”? Is He referring to something that needs a washing, or is He revealing His will about things much more sinister than some dirty automobile?
And God calls those things about which we should avoid “Belial”, or the actual personification of evil. This is no game of doctrinal hopscotch; this is as serious as it gets. And when the church ignores these commands she rejects God’s Word, brings disgrace upon the person of Christ, and literally shreds the gospel of Jesus Christ and reduces it to nothing more than manipulated wind pressured through a human larynx. And clothed in the fallen mess of the world, the church still has the audacity to claim she is doing God’s work.
And in the year of our Lord 2012 we are seeing a contemptible display of open disobedience to the very Word of God in the verses I shared. If politics isn’t idolatry and evil, then just what are we supposed to come out from? The Elk Lodge? The community swimming pool? Little League? I mean let us be honest, if we are not supposed to separate ourselves from the most self serving and vile system like politics, then from what are we supposed to separate? And not only do millions of believers spend more energy in politics than they do in prayer, but millions of dollars of God’s money is donated to the elevation of fallen man.
Of course we should not even have to use this current political year to make the point. But if there ever was a year in which believers with just a mere hint of discernment could see, it is this year. In fact, this year has filleted the entire system open and exposed the putrid underbelly that has always been the driving force behind the political system. Do you think I am too harsh? How then would a Holy God describe such a system that boasts in man while using the name of Jesus as political capital and to leverage religious votes? And if Jesus Himself scourged the Temple, what would He think of how the fallen world joins forces to create a humanistic utopia which is more hollow promise than spiritual substance?
The entire scene is most unseemly, and the participation of the church is a colossal compromise. The church of Jesus Christ is reduced to votes in order to affect change in the culture? Where is the power that in the early church swept the known world and turned entire cities upside down for Christ? And when Herod was praised as the voice of god, the Lord did not vote him out. He struck him dead. Where is that kind of power which not only brought the fear of God, but led many to Christ? We have traded the power of God for a mess of democratic pottage.
The issue is not the character of the men running for president, that is well documented. The issue is the character of the God we serve. We are commanded to separate ourselves from all that is fallen and antichrist except to bear witness of the Crucified and Risen Christ. I implore you, surrender the grave clothes of politics and burn them upon the altar of sacrificial discipleship. Listen to the still small voice within your heart that beckons us to come out from among them and seek the very face of Christ. He alone is the answer, and Christ does not need the systems of this world to bring forth His kingdom.
The serpent has once again offered the fruit of Cain’s hands and the church is faring sumptuously at the table of fallen scraps. But just like Cain, the Lord has refused this carnal sacrifice. God will not share His glory with another, regardless how moral the outcome or how beneficial it may be to the economy. God does not bow to the economy, and in the worst economic famine God does not worry. In fact, many times God is using economic hardships to draw men’s hearts to Himself.
Away with all this political revelry that excites the flesh and dishonors our Redeemer. And if you cannot see that there is something tragically wrong with the church of Jesus Christ, then you are deceived as well. There is more to the faith of Jesus Christ than just buildings and meetings and activities and membership and political involvement. Where is the Lord God of Elijah!? Where is the power that filled the upper room and drove the frightened believers boldly into the street to proclaim the wonderful works of God? Was that power only for them, or is it available for us today if we sanctify ourselves in God’s sight?
It is my prayer that anyone who reads this insignificant blog will not be able to ignore his spiritual conscience as he or she attempts to be involved with a system that is diametrically opposed to the kingdom of God, the everlasting gospel, and the person of Jesus Christ. It is very difficult for me to share the liberty that is to be found when we obey the command to come out from among them and be separate. Tradition and the advice of men make it all the more difficult to see things as they really are, but the Spirit is well able to perform His ministry upon those who will hear.
Perhaps this is the year when God does a miraculous work in His church, and while we return to seeking His face we are broken and spilled out for His glory. Perhaps this is the year that this darkened world will see the light of God's redemption through the called out ones who bear His name!
Let is be so Lord Jesus…
Roman Catholic Heresy

The Roman Catholic Church has not changed. Although they have made some outward accommodations in this modern era, they still teach a salvation by works, and they still practice a disturbing display of idol worship. You don’t believe that?


Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Rock

I Pet.2:7-8 - Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Rom.9:32-33 - Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
I Cor.10:3-5 - And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
any times in the Scriptures Jesus is referred to as the Rock. Of course this implies the unmovable and dependable nature of the Son of God, as well as the foundation for everything connected to eternal redemption. As God foreordained His ultimate plan for the redemption of man, He laid the chief cornerstone of that spiritual building. And that cornerstone was Christ Jesus. There can be no other foundation, and in fact, that foundation must never be shared by anything or anyone else.
Jesus the Christ stands alone, high and lifted up, and His sacrifice and subsequent resurrection is the only thoroughfare leading to eternal life. No one can add to or subtract from that path of redemption since Jesus alone purchased it for whosoever will believe. He is the eternal Rock upon which God planned, built, and carried out the sole plan for mankind to be ransomed. “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” exclaimed Peter. And Jesus replied that Peter’s revelation of who Jesus is was the Rock upon which God will build His church.
No one who has been born again and adopted into the invisible family of the Living God has come in by any other means. All who claim otherwise are liars and thieves. The invisible church stands and lives upon the Rock, Christ Jesus. But as we read the three portions of Scripture I shared at the beginning we see something that they all have in common. Not only do they reveal Jesus as the Rock, but all three make mention of those who are offended at this Rock.
And if God ordained someone to write another book of the Bible today (which He would not) it would have to reaffirm that Jesus is the Rock, but it would also have to mention that many in these last days are also offended by this Rock. Religion and all its accoutrements is very alluring to the carnal man. And in the midst of all kinds of ecclesiastical structures that claim to be Christian, and that use Biblical phraseology, and label themselves as a church, in the midst of it all the name of Jesus is sprinkled in like salt on a main course meal.
But Jesus IS the main course meal and all the rest should be sprinkled in. Jesus has become an offense in this age of superior intellect and technological knowledge. So instead of remaining faithful to this Rock, many have made the Rock conform to the customs and culture and intellect of this modern age. And when that process begins, it always leads to spiritual collapse, even though ecclesiastical activity continues with great enthusiasm and energy. And this is what we have in large part today.
In today’s western ecclesiastical structure, Jesus is not the Rock, the preachers, pastors, and prophets are. Millions follow some man or women, and when the well oiled dog and pony show comes to town they flock to hear, watch, and give. Oblivious to the error and the opulent lifestyles of these snake oil salesmen, the crowd is dazzled by theatrics, sensationalism, and the overall aura created by technology and the power of suggestion. The sheep and the goats are spiritually raped.
When you see a picture of the area in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula called Gibraltar you will see the Mediterranean Sea, some islands, many houses, but the overwhelming feature to which all eyes are drawn is called the Rock of Gibraltar. This mammoth rock rises almost 1400 feet from the ground and can be seen from many, many miles. It dwarfs all the other landscape features.
And that is how our theology should appear as well. Even though we teach many things that pertain to Biblical theology, the Person of Christ should rise above all else and draw our attention. The Suffering Savior and the Risen Christ should dominate the theology and practice of those who claim to be His followers. Personally and collectively He should be our fortress and the cleft in which we escape the trappings of the surrounding culture. He must increase and we must decrease.
But that does not seem to be the case in this self centered culture which prides itself on individualism and personal success. National conferences are held to talk about church growth, reformed theology, emerging theology, church leadership, methods of worship, outreach techniques, church finances, and a myriad of other things that have something to do with church. But where are the conferences about Jesus? Where are the national conferences that are designed to bring men and women to a place of brokenness before Him? Where are the conferences that call believers from every state and every nation to prostrate themselves in prayer and seek the very face of the Living and Reigning Christ?
Jesus has become an insignificant pebble while the things of this world and of our own lives are the rocks about which we study and are concerned. But that is not Christianity at all. If He does not have all the preeminence then He is not there. We are not given a choice concerning the Lord Jesus and His place of honor among His people. If Jesus is not the centerpiece and the focal point, and if He is not exalted as the object of our obedience and worship, then all we have is a human religious construct. Concerning this there can be no compromise. None.
But as we can see, the Rock is an offense to the modern church. And His gospel has become stale and uninteresting. "We’ve heard that story before, let’s move on to something that fascinates and titillates us", says the congregation. But the reason Jesus no longer captures our hearts is because the real Jesus is no longer preached and lifted up. If Jesus is nothing more than a “life coach” and a guide to earthly success, then he is nothing at all. You may as well preach Trump and Gates and Oprah and all the others who have had undeniable earthly success. You may wish to follow them because if you follow the Lord Jesus Christ you may well have diminished earthly success as well as the scorn of the surrounding culture. If it is earthly success you desire then the teachings of Jesus Christ will be counterproductive to your journey.
If Jesus is to be the Rock in your life, then your eyes must be lifted up to gaze at Him. His teachings must be in your heart, upon your lips, and the light of your path. This Rock will either place you upon Him or He will crush those who refuse Him. Go ahead and limit His power to a meek and accommodating shepherd if you must, but in so doing you will seal your own fate. Jesus will not, He cannot, succumb to any earthly definitions that are in stark contrast to His very Being. This Rock is eternal in the heavens, and this Rock is God.
So I challenge you. Look around and see if Christ is the unmistakable core of the western expressions called the “church”. And if you are a pastor I challenge you as I have challenge myself. Reinvigorate your preaching with Jesus and His gospel. I know we sometimes get a little off track, but the Spirit will have us take inventory of our own ministry as we discern the ministry of others. Remember this: There can never be too much Jesus, but there is always the danger we have presented too little of Him.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Adultery or Marijuana?

In the 1990s Newt Gingrich proposed a bill that would impose the death penalty on anyone who was caught more than once selling more than 2 ounces of marijuana.

His remedy for more than one adultery?

OK class, what do we call that?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bowing Before A Consuming Fire

Receiving the grace of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is very simple and requires faith alone. However, the grace of God and the gospel of grace is the easiest thing in the universe to dilute, compromise, and change into nothing more than religious candy. All over this world the name of Jesus is being used to promote false gospels that provides false comfort to millions of church goers who only desire a false sense of eternal security, but in reality want nothing to do with the genuine and authentic Jesus.
Heb.12:25-29 - See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
ere we have the Spirit revealing an aspect of God that draws little attention today and is very unpleasant to the natural man. This is not the facet of Almighty God that draws crowds or builds large churches. In fact, this revelation of Almighty God is no longer believed because lying tongues preach a false Jesus and a false Jesus. And as the end approaches, the caricatures become more and more detached from the revelations of God and Christ in the written Word.
And those of us who see these things and write and speak that which we have seen, are often unsettled about what we believe we see. “How can these things be, Lord,” we ask. "Perhaps I am being too harsh; perhaps I am letting my emotions get the best of me; perhaps I should tone it down a little". These thoughts and demonic taunts are ever with us, and we would surely give in to them were it not for the power of God’s Spirit as well as the deep humility we feel since we ourselves are deeply convicted while we speak and write. God forbid we ever give the impression that we speak from some lofty mountain top and that we speak from the well of self righteousness.
No, a thousand times no! How may times have we wept over our own sin even while we speak? Oh that I might be more like Jesus, but regardless of my own journey, I cannot remain silent about what the Spirit reveals. We who speak such things have received them by God’s grace and not our own intellect and superior insight. In His grace we not only stand, but in His grace we live. And in the midst of the onslaught of apostasy, we speak with trembling lips and broken hearts, and many, many times we feel so inadequate. Why would God use such an one as I? Surely He could find others much more gifted that I.
But we cannot refuse His call even if we do not understand His choice. Millions upon millions upon millions of professing believers are headed to a lost eternity even while wrapped inside the garments of the religion called Christianity. The pulpits have become as wind and the preachers as the Pied Pipers from hell. You would not think that too harsh if God would allow you one second in hell and one second before the Risen Christ! And if God granted us all those two seconds, would we not return to earth as mad men and lunatics in the eyes of the world?
This is no lighthearted game. Consider for one unguarded moment that the church has so violently veered off course that she no longer knows or preaches the True and Living Christ. Most of the baptisms, most of the church memberships, most of the communion services, most of the worship experiences, all of them are creations of the fallen religious mind. And if that is so, then we are undone and the situation is extremely dire. But still the outward religious construct goes on with vigor, activity, and a monstrous nexus of self centeredness. In short, the entire structure is hollow and nothing more than religious window dressing along the corridor to hell.
Can it be that bad? It is worse. Do you think that God will not avenge those who put His Son to an open shame? Should a Holy God look the other way when the church doesn’t just live a life that satisfies their own flesh, but also preaches that kind of life is what God desires? We cannot imagine the weight of God’s wrath when that day arrives. To be uncovered when Jesus comes in flaming fire is unthinkable. And on that day millions upon millions upon millions will suddenly realize they have lost everything. And once it begins there is no stopping it and no second chances. The day has come and woe to those who stand before Him while still in their sin.
Well, you ask, what makes you so perfect. What do you have that will impress God? Nothing! And that is the very point. We who speak these awful things offer nothing unto God except the blood of His Son. Like Paul, there is no good thing within us except the Spirit of God. We have faith but still we tremble. We love God but still we tremble. We have the Spirit but still we tremble. We have been saved but still we tremble. We have confidence in Christ but still we tremble. Do you still not see it?
If you do not tremble then you have not known Him. Yes, we love and adore Him; yes we enjoy the intimacy He gives us by His grace; yes, He walks with us and gives us assurance; yes, He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. But STILL WE TREMBLE!! No flesh can stand upright in His presence. And to all you false preachers and followers of the diabolical falsehoods, you will one day stand before Him and tremble. And on that day you will wish you had just five more minutes to repent, but it will be too late.
Call it hyperbole and spiritual hysteria if you must, but many are being called out today. There are a people who are hearing the voice of the Spirit and who either feel led to humbly speak truth within their church, or who feel led to come out completely from the institutional church. Regardless, God’s Spirit has come alive in these last days and He is speaking with boldness and clarity to those who will hear. And again and again and again we would not claim perfection since we are still on a journey that has more ahead of us than has already been trod. We are more nothing than you could ever imagine, but we have caught a glimpse of the Risen Christ and we tremble!!!!
I watched a video about how the fear of God is lost in the church and my heart was broken. And I was undone personally and I publicly admit I have much ground before me, but I still cannot close me ears and remain silent. And sometimes we may be harsh, and sometimes we may speak without salt, and sometimes our own flesh may find an entrance. But make no mistake. Jesus will return soon and the eternal day of reckoning will be upon us all.
But in today’s ecclesiastical climate, the grace that is preached is nothing more than a hollow support for any and every lifestyle sinners wish to live. God’s grace is free to all, but millions are receiving a grace that comes from man’s devious and self serving hearts.
Jude: 3-5 - Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
h how have wicked and deceived men have turned the grace of God into uncleanness and logs for the fire of the flesh! Do not be deceived. Grievous wolves have entered into the flock and are presently scattering and slaughtering the flock. Gullible people who are content with religion sit week after week and hear fleshy and carnal messages that excite and satisfy the flesh.
Jer.5:21-31 - Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.
24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
31The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
o one can be saved but through the grace of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Put on your finest church clothes, avoid all bad habits, and help one thousand old ladies across the street every day and you will find yourself no closer to salvation than is Charles Manson. But God will not allow His matchless grace to be used and abused so that man can revel in his own sin and still claim to be living in grace. Legalism is poisonous, but hollow religion is equally as deadly. The grace that was purchased for us at an immeasurably high cost must never be treated as an invitation to sin with impunity. When a sinner truly receives Christ, he will not be perfect, but he can never sin knowingly without any pangs of conscience. If he can, and if he can live a life of selfishness and debauchery without the chastening of God, that sinner is in an extremely dangerous predicament.
I urge you to reevaluate what you are being told about God and His Christ. When the Spirit describes God as a “consuming fire” he isn’t just waxing metaphorical. In fact, human words fall embarrassingly short when they attempt to paint an image of God. And when a redeemed sinner dies and spends his first moment in the presence of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah he will not squeal and lightly clap his heavenly hands. That sinner, now clothed in eternal skin, will fall before the King of All Heaven and worship with a wonder not available upon this earth.
That experience will not be some “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disneyworld. To behold the figure of the Lamb that was Slain and the Risen Christ without a shred of doubt or the buffer of earthly flesh will be the colossal crown of our eternal redemption. Just to be in His presence physically, spiritually, visibly, and in ways unknown to our finite minds, well, that will reverberate throughout our immortal bodies. And like the Levites, He alone will be our reward. And if we are granted any rewards by His grace, we will quickly place them at His feet for indeed they all belong solely unto Him.
We have no idea, none. The glory that radiates from His very Being lights the expanse of heaven, and the incandescence of that glory showers the endless throngs of white robed saints. And throughout eternity we will reach deeper and deeper for more inward resources with which to worship Him. The imagery is staggering, but much greater will be the reality. And as Spurgeon once observed,
“Upon the very first glimpse of the Risen Savior, we will all think ourselves a thousand fools to have ever been attracted to anything upon the earth!”
Amen, amen, and selah.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Choice is Yours
The Ballot Box Insanity
The Redundant Compromise
Serving Two Masters
Who Cares About the Gospel
Redefining Family Values
Jesus Who?
Pie Chart Allegiances
Wasting November 6th
Following a Fairy Tale
Every Man a Liar
Drinking From the Political Cesspool


The High Place Called America

It seems as if there will be a choice between a serial philanderer, a Mormon multi-millionaire, and a president who is a rabid pro-abortionist.

OK all you believers in Christ:
Ready, Set, VOTE!

(Hint: As usual millions will vote for whomever they deem more likely to help the economy. Does the word “compromise” mean anything anymore?)

WARNING: You will give an account one day before the Lord of Lords concerning your support of this entire fallen system.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Repent, While There is Still Time

I can no longer believe that many so called “evangelical” churches are even Christian. Churches by the tens of thousands, led by their pastors, have strayed so far from the New Testament directive that they are no longer Christian. That does not mean no one is saved because that cannot be discerned by man. A person’s salvation can only be known by God. The Lord knows those that are His.
But if we take a step back, and if we examine the teachings of Christ and the New Testament without cultural dilution, we must see how tragic the situation is. And it comes from many different avenues and theological streams. From the health and wealth movement, to the emergent church movement, to the purpose driven template, to the positive thinking teaching, to the ecumenical debacle, and many other movements, we now have a mess that cannot truthfully be called Christian.
What we have are religious constructs which are built and operate in the power of the culture and the mindset of the western populace. There is no hint of salt or light, and no hint of "come out from among them and be separate". Some churches claim Jesus was a he-man and demonstrated a virile sense of masculinity. Others claim He was extremely pragmatic and sought earthly solutions. Some teach that Jesus sought to dramatically elevate everyone’s personal wealth. Other churches portray Jesus as a someone who sought to unite all faiths. Many teach that Jesus was a “you can make it” kind of guy.
The entire evangelical landscape is now poisoned by all kinds of misrepresentations of Christ and His teachings, and upon those misrepresentations are built many falsehoods and grievous errors. The culture has assimilated most of the western church so that over the last several decades Christianity as it was known and practiced in the early church no longer exists in the west. Most of the western ecclesiastical construct is nothing more than practical advice about things which benefit our earthly lives. That is not Christianity.
The gospel has become nothing more than an appendage to practical advice, and God is portrayed as existing as a servant for man. Sacrifice and self denial are curse words. Preachers live as kings and spend more time golfing than they do in the prayer chamber. You have the always smiling Joel Osteen on one end, and the aggressive and self absorbed Mark Driscoll on the other. And a brand new phenomenon is the millionaire preacher. Private jets, five star restaurants, designer clothes, Rolls Royce cars, and extravagant expense accounts now define thousands of so called preachers.
No longer is Jesus the demonstrative core of their theology, to say nothing of being a living template. In many ways, Jesus has become nothing more than a doctrinal talisman that justifies any and all prostitutions of the revelations in God’s Word. As long as Jesus is mentioned preachers feel licensed to teach all sorts of heresy and cultural twisting. A man like Mark Driscoll can be rude and aggressive as long as he mentions Jesus in his statement of faith, while a man like Joel Osteen can be spineless and compromising as long as Jesus makes a cameo in his statement of faith.
And the outward signs and manifestations of a religion that says it is Christian but reveals everything to the contrary, are all around us. In fact, if you cannot see the open disfigurement of the faith once delivered to the saints you are deceived as well. And these are not minor disagreements that are more fringe than core. These modern displays tear at the very fabric of what Jesus came to do and what the church is ordained to do and be. Again I say that the situation is so horrifying and treacherous, that in good conscience most of the evangelical religious expressions can no longer be called Christian.
Oh for a humble and sincere return to the simple but bold faith that requires sacrifice, commitment, and a quiet but remarkable lifestyle of faith. The Spirit must yearn for the church to come together once more to worship Christ with all their hearts and minds without having to be manipulated by all sorts of technological accoutrements. I embrace a demonstrative worship atmosphere, and its volume is irrelevant. But when it is obvious that people are manipulated by the music or the lights or the visuals, then it becomes nothing more than a sports atmosphere that attaches a religious moniker upon it.
It is impossible to worship God on Sundays when all week long you have worshiped the world. When you go almost prayer less, and when you barely touch God’s Word, and when you have spent countless hours in front of the television, do not expect to worship God on Sunday mornings without a season of deep repentance. And when hundreds of people who have spent little or no time with Jesus during the week; and when some have lusted all week long; and when some are encumbered by the material things of this world; and when some are contemplating adultery or promiscuity; or when some have obvious unforgiveness in their hearts; when that mixed multitude can come together and outwardly seem to worship God then you can know that the music and the praise leader and his team are the driving force behind the worship service.
What kind of worship are we offering the Risen Christ? Is He impressed by the way we worship when we are supposed to and when the music vibrates our being, but when no one sees us we are as dead as toast before Him? Is that a sweet smelling savor that wafts up before His throne and gives Him glory? Or is that kind of perfunctory worship nothing more than a mirror of the Muslims when they bow before Mecca at the appointed time? Let us be painfully honest so we can do authentic business with our Master!
Finally, in an attempt to awaken that which may be dead inside of us, let us revisit the Savior, the Redeemer, and the Living and Risen Christ. Let us recall who He is and what He has done. That, my friends, is the issue. And when we describe Him there can be no hyperbole. In the revelation of Him, the most colossal hyperbole is just truth which only touches the hem of His garment! He is life itself, and in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead.
The story escapes the cords of prophetic parlance and arrives in full glory in the insignificant, little town named Bethlehem, or the house of bread. The Bread has come down from heaven and clothed Himself with a human form and is called Emmanuel, God with us. The event is historically monumental, but far greater in its spiritual consequence and redemptive power. Here is He who would save His people from their sins. How quaint the phrase but how powerful the meaning.
The perfect Son of God, incarnate in the likeness of sinful flesh, but pristine in His Person and determined in His mission. He walked the earth for more than thirty years, and He traveled with common men and common women. Conspicuous by His miracles and teachings and inconspicuous by His appearance, He lived without sin. But even the Holy One gained enemies, since the sinners He came to save did not know who He was nor did they care. But still His eyes were fixed upon Golgotha.
It is impossible to fully grasp the enormity of our sin and the enormity of the consequences of that sin. We were doomed, separated from God, and completely dead. Our lives were mere shells, and we took every opportunity to rebel against our Loving Creator, who for thirty years stood before mankind. Not only were we not looking for Him, in reality we did not desire Him. We were content and satisfied in the pigpen of our own iniquity.
But God’s Son walked right into the trap laid before Him, all the while knowing full well His fate. But the Christ did not just know what was before Him, He embraced it. In fact, He orchestrated it. What kind of love is this? There was no reasoning with us, and nothing short of death could ransom the captives. And God Himself stepped into the diabolical plan that would end His life and provide life for the unrighteous dead. This is love about which we are unfamiliar.
And there He hangs, beaten and bloodied, and nailed to two Roman planks. He who existed in the glory of heaven, the emerald aura of God’s throne room, was now the object of scorn and ridicule. Wearing the spittle of wicked men, He looks down from His unjust place of death and asks forgiveness for those who carried out this colossal injustice. Like a slaughtered animal, a Lamb to be sure, writhing in His last throws of death, He bleeds out the power to redeem all human kind.
And lifting up His mangled body, He breathes in His last breath, and with His last ounce of energy, He expels the last breath to ever enter His lungs, and He says, “It is finished”. God the Son has died. To say it is a mystery is a feeble attempt to explain it. Stand there and gaze at the unthinkable. Squint your eyes as you behold the most glorious sight a sinner could see, and yet a gory mess, limp and lifeless and covered in the crimson flow that only a few hours ago gave Him life but now is shed for ours. The Creator has given His life after suffering the unfathomable torture that was meant for every man. It should have been us, but He died in our place.
Do you think this story is much too archaic and void of the modern sophisticated thought about God and religion? Does this narrative have a hollow ring to your sensibilities and your intellectual reason? Or is this story only for children and not for the clear thinking adults? Oh my friend, if you feel that way you haven’t just missed something wonderful; you have missed life itself. We believers are not perfect, but we have touched and been touched by a redemptive power that cannot be fully communicated by words.
Jesus is our Savior, Jesus is our Lord, Jesus is our God, and Jesus is our very life! Yes, our sin sometimes distracts us and the cares of this world rob us of the experience of His presence, but do not let that fool you. It is not us you should be seeking, it is Him. And Jesus, in all His august glory, majesty, and power, will incline His redemptive ear to any sinner who cries out for salvation. Halleluiah, what a Savior!
And so you should now see why we reject the Christless expressions that are passed off as God’s church in these last days. We do not wish to pick a fight or to find fault, but we cannot, we must not, remain silent when Christ is crucified afresh on the altar of filthy lucre, pragmatism, human sexuality, earthly success, and the entire ecclesiastical industry which only uses the name of Jesus to project its own selfish agendas. No one who has been redeemed by the Master, and who has been given life and life everlasting through faith in that magnificent sacrifice, can stand silent as the Savior is misrepresented and put to an open shame.
You desire to use someone for your own self interests? Then use us, not Him. You, Warren and Osteen and Bell and all the rest, if you desire to crucify Him again through your religious and humanistic machinations we implore you, crucify us. You wish to ignore Him, then ignore us. You wish to drag His wonderful name through the wringer of earthly success and personal prosperity, then drag us. Our hearts are broken over what you are doing to the Savior of all mankind. We are torn between righteous indignation and tears of grief.
But this word of warning: One day you will wish you only had to face us, because on that day you will stand before Him from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And everything you did to shred His Person, His blood, His cross, and His glorious resurrection will come up against you. And what, pray tell, will you do when you face the Consuming Fire?
Please, repent now, while there is still time.