Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Fullness of Redemption

I Cor.1: 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Eph.1: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Heb.9: 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

We sometimes treat the word “redemption” as a cousin to “redeeming” grocery store coupons. The depth, the scope, the power, the quality, the eternity, the cost, the suffering, the mystery, and the grace inherent within the redemption of Christ is past knowing. Only on the day we enter into His dwelling place and are overwhelmed by the sheer weight of His glory and holiness will we understand how significantly we shortchanged what the Savior accomplished for us.

But let us do what the overwhelming body of the visible church rarely if ever does. The church believes that watching an Easter Pageant and feeling warm and appreciative and then going out for some ice cream is worshiping and glorifying the Eternal Redeemer. How we have taken the sufferings of our Great Savior and trampled them under our cultural feet which are swift to accommodate our own lusts. It is confounding just how the church has taken the Redeemer and His cross and made then into a western talisman rather than a life changing power which results in self denial and sacrifice that ministers to our Great God. All across the evangelical landscape God has become a self help force and redemption is little more than a reserved seat in heaven while we go about our earthly pleasures.

The simple definition of the word “redeemed” is to buy back and that is the foundational construct of spiritual redemption through Jesus Christ. However we cannot, we must not, just let it go at that without a searching of the cost and meaning in that eternal transaction. To make it some impersonal doctrine is to offend the Spirit through which we cannot know anything of Christ. This redemption is an unfathomable treasure filled with pain and suffering, a miracle birth, a love which surpasses knowledge, and a horrific scene of blood, and a never ending stream of profound glory. This is no flannel graph presentation. This is the glorious mystery that will redound forever to the glory of the Creator God who revealed Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ.

We as humans are so bound to the visual. Our eyes have become to discerners of truth, and therefore anything we cannot see we either doubt or ignore. Things of the Spirit are relegated to subordinate status because we cannot see them. Even the beauty and majesty of creation does not drive us to seek the Creator. In fact only the Spirit can reveal to us the things of the Spirit. And even in the church that which is material and temporal are the things which are sought. The things of this earth consume the church while the gospel of redemption and all the priceless treasure therein have long since required way too much time and effort to seek. Our earthly lives demand earthly answers and the church supplies those answers packed in some thin veneer of Bible language. Redemption has become a children’s story. We know all about Bethlehem and Calvary and the empty tomb. What else can there be?

But all that is obviously ignorant of the utter darkness with which we were once imprisoned. We willfully see sin as some kind of mistake which has scant consequences unless it is illegal and we get caught. But to understand redemption we must see sin for what is really is. It is a monstrous betrayal to the Creator God. Just one act of disobedience sent the entire world into spiritual darkness and brought death upon men’s souls. Can you imagine such a thing? One insignificant sin and death, both physical and eternal, enters the world. Billions of souls are born with the eternal sentence of sin inherent in their souls. It is in this situation where redemption cries out in a stable in Bethlehem.

The entire world lies in the wicked one until Bethlehem. But men had taken God’s futuristic metaphors contained in the sacrificial system of the law and made them a redemption of works. They failed to understand the spiritual nature of that spilled blood. It was never about bulls and goats. It was always about the Son of God and His blood which was to come. Yes, the revelation first felt by Mary and first announced by Gabriel and first seen in a manger was the personification of the redemption illustrated by the blood of animals. But human sacrifice was pagan and forbidden to God’s people.

But this was no ordinary human, and God’s plan was a mystery. That is why so many Jews missed it, and that is why church people by the literal millions are missing it as well. Let’s face it. A suffering Jew on a Roman cross is not exactly what excites the intellect of man. And after 2000 years the story has not only become stale, but it has now acquired an almost mythical quality. People will embrace “Jesus” but have little stomach for searching the cross of redemption. It is quite unsophisticated and even barbaric in these enlightened times. The entire emergent movement sets out to eviscerate the cross and present redemption as a sort of spiritual humanitarianism.

But nothing can change God’s truth. This glorious redemption purchased at such a high cost is completely free to whosoever believes upon the Redeemer Jesus. And just what does God require of a sinner before that sinner can be redeemed? He must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ because on some level that sinner recognizes his need for forgiveness from the Almighty. No, he cannot understand the depth of his own depravity nor the gravity of his rebellion toward God. But as he hears the Spirit’s illumination of Christ he acts upon his need and believes on Jesus as his only Savior.

Now which sins must be completely forsaken before God will grant him the grace of redemption? None. In fact, he cannot know God’s moral commands and he does not have the power to leave his sins. So in reality the miracle we call redemption is all of God and none of us. All we do is believe. That is the complete definition as well as the manifestation of grace. We wake up one morning as an enemy of God walking in the kingdom of darkness, and in a moment of faith we have been translated into the kingdom of light and we are now a child of God. There can be no greater miracle.

But somehow along the way the evangelical community got caught up in political games and moral crusades and in so doing it changed how we see and understand the gospel. We adopted the moral rules of the unsaved conservatives and made them litmus tests for a lost sinner. We attacked certain sinners and embraced others. So when the conservative sinner who lies and cheats and verbally eviscerates his or her opponent we applaud them because they are pro-life and anti-gay. But if a sinner is gay he is an abomination to God and to us and we demand he change way before he can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

And if per chance a gay person does believe in Jesus we may grant him a short amount of time to completely understand his sin and completely abandon his behavior. We may allow him a certain amount of struggle, but if that struggle creates some wiggle room for his sinful behavior he is dismissed as unsaved. And that creates an interesting dilemma. I continue to see open greed, prayerlessness, hedonism, idolatry, spiritual lethargy, debt, and divorce and remarriage rampant in the evangelical church. And yet those sins are considered part of the sanctification process and in fact many are not even considered sins. All kinds of money sins which are part and parcel of a capitalist culture are now part and parcel of an evangelical lifestyle. They are even considered God’s blessings.

And so the question becomes can these kind of evangelicals really be saved? After all they live lives out of Biblical order, and they are completely blind about some of their sins, and they even embrace some sins as coming from God, and yet they claim to be followers of Jesus. Millions love a fallen nation, and hate liberals with a passion, and millions listen to the caustic vitriol of self righteous talk show hosts almost every day while neglecting God’s Word. How can they be saved especially if we are going to pronounce a person as “unsaved” if he or she is blind to the sin of same sex relationships?

The real question deals with the essence of redemption. Is it completely by faith or is it by faith at the beginning with an agreement for works in the future? And if redemption is by faith and works then it is a works salvation. And many people believe that, but most of the evangelical world believes that salvation is by faith alone, except when it comes to gay people. And here is a penetrating question. Can an abortion doctor be redeemed and have his life changed where he reads his Bible and prays and is active in an evangelical church and even supports overseas missions but he still performs abortions? Can he be saved but still believes life begins at birth?

Now if you say that doctor cannot possibly be saved then you have a works salvation. Let me ask you this: Can a person have all the right moral positions and be an evangelical church member and still be unsaved? The answer of course is yes.

II Tim.2: 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

There it is. Only the Lord knows for sure who are His, and yes, those who are following Jesus should forsake sin. That is a constant theme in the New Testament. But look at the following verses.

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

And there is God’s grace revealed in all its glory! There will be saints who have not lived in surrender but who were genuinely born again and will lose rewards but who will spend eternity with Christ for no other reason but that by faith they truly trusted His finished work. Does that not exclude all works? Yes there will be those whose conversion was illegitimate and who will be revealed as religious but not born again. But there will also be those whose lives were unfortunately not fully committed but whose souls were saved by fire. This should never give false assurance to those who are living in sin, but it also should keep us from passing authoritative judgment on any who profess Christ but have succumbed to sinful struggles. Only God knows those that are truly His.

We have self righteously limited God’s redemption while others have unwisely expanded it to include almost all sinners. There exists a fine line which must be navigated with humility as well as Biblical direction. And if all the hedonistic American believers can be children of God by faith, well then so can others whose sin is of a different variety. We must hold high the cross of Christ and His gospel, but we cannot exclude certain sinners just because their sin is outside our own struggles. Rebuke in love. Correct in humility. Teach with Biblical authority. Intercede in prayer. Reach out in loving truth. And above all count yourself as nothing and Christ as everything. Resist the temptation to join hands with the fallen morality of those whose self righteousness is self evident. Be clothed in humility and die to yourself every day. The gospel is for the immoral.

Ti.3: To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

Yes, we did not pull ourselves up by our own boot straps. We were rescued by grace and by grace we still stand and it is that same grace which must define our lives. It is grace which permeates God redemption and without grace it is nothing more than a moral high jump which can never clear the bar. God did not come to call the righteous to salvation. Why? Because there are no righteous outside of Christ.


Anonymous said...

Yes. And Amen.

I think the church has never really sat down and thought really hard how sinful we really are, even when we don't show evidence of sin. We compare ourselves to how polite we are as a society, or how courteously we treat our neighbors or how our nations relatively go without much crime and murder, compared to societies who believe in exacting revenge without laws and who exact an eye for an eye.

I've been told many times that the reason we prosper is because we've dedicated our nations to Jesus Christ. Even if some of our founders did so, by planting a cross on the soil, or by forging a declaration that they believed in the divine protection of a God, these documents or acts couldn't take the place of Jesus'sacrifice. No men can ever dedicate another man or citizens to God. Each man is responsible for himself. No group of explorers can dedicate a piece of land to the Lord and believe that every living soul thereafter who lives on that land will be righteous.

With this attitude, (that we have arrived as christians based on our explorers or founding fathers' works), we practice some other form of "redemption" and that is not biblical.

I was just taking a walk, and a few blocks from my home, I heard this loud engine whishing sound, and sure enough, it's my over-zealous neighbor with a garage full of gas-guzzling toys. He's washing ALL his vehicles and anything with wheels with his super-loud pressure-washer. The street is getting ready to pull in the carpets for the night and families have to work tomorrow. And then, I ask myself how the first church in Acts all got along and had all things in common. Did some decide to have all-night merriment and singing and beating drums til three in the morning? I kind of doubt it. I do not think that we in North America (Canada and US) have evolved better than before. In fact, we have become so obnoxious and self-centered and non-accommodating that we, as a Church, could never get along like in the Book of Acts because we are so spoiled and demanding and our "right" to listen to the surround-sound at max volume all night is ensured in our constitutions.

First, as a true church, we'd have to give our "things" up. Second, we'd have to share everything but most importantly, we'd have to learn 'loving others as we would have them love us'. That means THINKING of others, when one parks in another's hotel parking space. Or when able-bodied people park in disabled parking, or when people push and shove ahead of each other in the grocery line, or when we neglect or ignore our neighbors.

And churched christians do this. Yet they think they've arrived. There is no way we can even understand God's "redemption" if we can't die to self. Here in the West, there's so much more dying to self than going to church 3 times a week. The amount of flesh we'd have to give up would send some into a nervous breakdown. This is what is on my mind these days.

I really don't know how much I'm willing to give up, but I must ask the Lord to forgive me for being so weak-willed, and allowed to be pulled down by the spoiled brat culture we live in.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot to post as J. I think it was 8:51 or something.

I just wonder sometimes if we have exhausted and grieved the Holy Spirit in these times that we live in. When I read the bible, I do not recognize what a true church is supposed to be anymore. Depending on myself and the Word is sometimes not enough. If I were ever to receive the gift of discernment, would it still be enough?

I look around and do not see any more love anywhere. If love has almost disappeared, how can we as believers keep up under such pressure?

It's not even comparable to persecution; we are living under some spiritual battle, one that is trying to steal our soul. And not losing our soul by denying the Lord Jesus under pressure, but by embracing our greed and pleasure and comfort in prosperous times; which makes our battle ever more of a danger zone than if we were living in a non-christian part of the world.

Please Lord, show us the way!!


Cherie c. said...

My behavior these last two days prove that I am a sinner of great proportion. I am weak and fleshly. I still think that I have a right to be loved, understood, and treated fairly. And when I defend myself against the contrary, I disobey. I'm seriously in doubt of my salvation. But I have faith, but that is not enough. There must be some fruit in the life of a believer. I am about to be on my own, I am scared and feel like I have fallen ftom Grace. If I was saved I would have the Holy Spirit and not disobey.

This is very difficult to write but I cannot lie. How can someone just profess a belief yet not be changed or manifest some kind of fruit? How can you just pass over James and what he said about faith and works? This is to much to get right! How can we possibly do all this? Im in a panic because I don't really know, and it terrifies me! It just sounds like an easy way out.
I can't do this anymore, I can't get it right! Now it is more convoluted then ever before. If all it takes is a belief then why the Epistles? No sir, there has to be more to it, right? If it were then why do I mess up so much? Why is my life falling apart right before my eyes? It must be because of my disobedience and I am under judgment already. How can it be any other way?

Struggling with what I think is faith,
Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

Another two part post, Sorry:

I needed to add one other thought. We are now living in the age of Grace. Even though I do not agree that one sin is worse than another, I do agree that all people regardless of the sin in which they engage in should be directed to the Bible for proof text of the penalties of sin.

I am currently struggling with my faith at the moment, and two Scriptures stand out to me as I struggle and I can see myself in the passage as well as others, but according to this Scripture, weakness(fearfulness) is considered something to be punished:

Revelation 21:

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Revelation 22:

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

As I have said before, I am a simpleton when it comes to God's Word. I take the text as given and try not to take away more than what is given. I am fearful of many things. I can interchange fearful for doubtful, but I am not doubtful, I know that I know Jesus is coming back. But if we go to the Gospel written by Matthew we will see Jesus expand upon these very categories.

Take the text with the following words:
fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars;

Matthew 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Jesus equates anger with murder. I hope you get my point. What I broke this weekend was:

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

I fought (argued) back instead of heeding the Lord's command. I did not bless, do good, nor pray. I defended myself which created more unrest. Sin is sin.

Pastor Rick,
I know you have a reason for your awareness campaign of the attacks on the Gay community by the so called conservative right who claim to be Christians. However, we still need to remember that God destroyed two cities that engaged in that kind of behavior. It is, as far as I can see with Scripture proving Scripture, an abomination. It is labeled as such in the OT. Does that mean they deserve any less of our prayers? Certainly not. But we need to make it perfectly clear that we are not to condone it either. So many people take what they want from where ever they want giving rise to false impressions on a particular topic or issue. Since we humans use what we can to prove our point, we need to be especially careful of what we say and how we say it. But we still need to speak the truth. I can tell you from first hand knowledge. My problem is speaking the truth with love. Either I am under an urgency to get my message across, or I am already upset and I say it with less than a loving tone.

I respect your pursuit to expose the hypocrisy of the conservative right, but it is losing steam because the lifestyle in which they single out is now being embraced by many in the christian community. Some popular church leaders are opening churches which cater to those who profess to be homosexual and christian. One such person is the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker.

Your writings on this is eventually going to lead to some thinking you agree with this lifestyle, and I know you do not. No more than you agree with Ecumenicism, Word Faith, Prosperity, or other false teachings and doctrine.

Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

Part two:

It is now your time to equip the saints Pastor Rick. I have been bugging you for some time now, and your patience with me is remarkable and appreciated, but none the less it is time. God spoke to me; through His Word, there is no other way; the other day when I came across this Scripture and I thought of you.

1 Peter 5:2

2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

I guess what I am trying to say in total is; we are so close to the return of our Lord, we need a Pastor. Revival, no, commissioned saints, yes. I realized after my very dramatic last post is that I am better when doing the Lord's work. Like praying for people and rallying others to do the same. It is such a blessing.

The Bible says there are crowns we are going to receive from Jesus. Five in total. But there is one that can only be given to a shepherd of the flock of Jesus. We see it in 1 Peter 5:

3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.

4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

That dear Pastor Rick is not for the sheep, but the commissioned shepherd.

Your background in the church seems to be something you're not proud of, but maybe, just maybe it was all to bring you to this point in your life where God can use you the most.

You can read the comments here from your blog and a lot of us have so much to learn, and we need proper teaching. I know I sound like a broken record, but what I say is true and needed.

Put down your soap box and get behind your pulpit once again. Only this time it is from truth, and from many hours of seeking the Lord with fear, trembling and with humility.

Isaiah 6:8
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Will you say this to the Lord this day as Isaiah did? It all starts with a godly Pastor (Church Elder).

there was discord among the Apostles in the early church. Read Acts 15:30-41. (Acts 15, what I like to call The Jerusalem Conference) But not in the context in which I think you are saying. Paul and Peter also disagreed for a time. The part of your post about the noisy neighbor does not sound like a disagreement between two believers but a inconsiderate neighbor. In my neighborhood there is a noise ordinance. No noise before 8am and after 9pm. I think you are correlating consideration with Christianity. The world is going to behave like the world, as well as some Christians. Is this neighbor a believer?

Regarding giving up things; "Jesus said seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things will be added unto you" Matthew 6:33

It's the adding of too much that can be our problem. =/

your sister in Christ Jesus (I hope),
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

The new creation is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Cherie, a Christian doesn't have to keep hoping that they are a new creation, for if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

I really love Rick's grouping of these verses together.Without Christ Jesus there would be no redemption, sanctification righteousness or wisdom.

Truly Christ Jesus is our Redeemer! Let's praise Him now and forever more for so greatly loving us. What a Lord is Lord Jesus!!!

I Cor.1: 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Eph.1: 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Heb.9: 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Well, if this is a meeting to nominate Pastor Rick to preach as a minister to the flock, I raise my hand and say Yea.

One thing I know though, each one of us have a calling(even though I never felt I had one). And we know there are some apostles, missionaries, evangelists, teachers (study scripture), ministers of the gospel, and administrators, etc.

God calls each one according to His will and gifts. All I know is that most christians know where they stand in what capacity. Maybe there are a few that struggle and can't accept what commission they've been given, maybe because of fear of failure, or feeling inadequate. But, usually, all that are called, if they are close to the Lord and pray, know their calling, and do it.

I wouldn't presume to know what God has for each one of us here. I believe that whatever is happening here, on this blog, is God's will, and of course, the author of this blog, must certainly know what God's will is for him as well.

Maybe a blog is the perfect avenue for unbelievers to hear the Word preached and see that there is a remnant in the Church that don't condemn and judge people according to looks, color, culture, and habits and lifestyle. I never believed that Pastor Rick condones any sin. But what he warns us of, is self-righteousness. Unbelievers may be looking for solace from the persecution they are enduring from the christian far-right world.

And, this blog serves a second purpose. It draws believers to it, who are searching to fellowship with like-minded christians who do not ENJOY persecuting those, especially in this political climate. There's an aspect of the Church that has so gone over the rails that it's affecting and influencing small churches in rural towns. I've heard people claim that a certain President is the Anti-Christ from (once I believed) were apostolic well-adjusted Spirit-filled christians.

Let's say, hypothetically, that these christians were correct in their accusations. If a man was the AC, would it be prudent and Christ-like for a believer to out-and-out publicly identify the enemy of Christ and the church? Talk about asking for persecution. Should we demand to be persecuted? What kind of christian would provoke any evil man who is in power? Did the apostles provoke Herod or Cesar? That's plain stupidity. And it doesn't help the church, it only enhances us as becoming targets.

The church today does not practice wisdom. It acts like "loose lips that sink ships". It's like a brawling woman, a drunken out-of-control man, who are uncouth and have no restraint. What kind of example does this set?

The wicked one will be revealed in his time, and it's not for the saints to be taking it on themselves to name him, whoever he may be. It is a damning practice that does not show the love of Christ. Every person in this world right now needs our compassion and prayers and attacking them now, calling them to eternal hellfire is not done from a concerned heart, it comes from a wicked sense of gratification/heart that loves to see the sinful burn in hell.

And this little blog is showing us that we cannot fellowship with such as these, who love judgment, yet do not see the beam in their own eyes.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cherie: Boy, I'm on the same page. Lately I don't know what do think. I need the steer of the ship to be steered by Jesus, and I can't look right or left, because as soon as I do, I get a bit confused in some areas.

I get fearful. And I know it's sin, because God's love and my faith in Him should cast out fear. There is "fleshly fear" that we all have, as well as Peter did, and God is so faithful to forgive us. I'd bet we all practice this fleshly fear every day in our lives.

Maybe the "fear" that Rev. 21:8 that you quoted which demands punishment, seems to me, to be another kind of fear. It seems to tie in with the other sins listed in there. I personally think this sin of fearfulness in Rev. means people who are paranoid and fearful to the extent that they would defend themselves and arm themselves and engage in wars just to protect their temporal lives. The "fearful" in this text, to me, (maybe I'm wrong), means those who are so fearful that they'd kill others in order to keep their goods and homes from being stolen. If there ever comes a time where chaos reigns, maybe this kind of fear would be the paralyzing kind that would turn a believer into a Commando gone haywire. I don't know, but I think that fear, if not controlled and repented of, can slowly turn some into renegades who believe every one is a tyrant trying to take away their rights. And they become just as cruel as their masters.

Just surmising here.

I think, Cherie, we all face fear every day, we as christians, it's normal. We have to provoke ourselves to study the Word and fear is part of this world that even affects the saints. It's a chore to try to let go of it, but it's a process too.

Thank the Lord He knows that we can't do it alone and He's so loving that His staff gently pushes us along through those valleys.

Lord Jesus please keep us protected and in assurance of our salvation in You. Thank you Lord!


Ginger C. said...

I started following your blog in August of 2012 and feel much like you do about most of what you share and feel your teaching is sound. But, I have to say your almost constant defense of the homosexual, and especially lately, has me concerned that your sympathy ~ overt sensitivity to their particular sin is giving many the impression that you feel that they can be saved and some may continue in that lifestyle with no eternal consequences. I believe we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus and that it has nothing to do with works, BUT, the outward sign of a TRUE Believer is their putting off the old and putting on the new. I'm not saying there won't be struggles, but there will be an earnest effort to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord and our spirit grieved when we don't.

I have a close friend of 18 years and watched her children grow up. Her son confided in her and his dad, 4 years ago, that he was attracted to men, but that because he knew it was an abomination to God he was making the choice to remain celibate. 2 years ago, after returning from his ATC training in Oklahoma, he let them know that, although he knew it was a sin, he was lonely and was going to begin searching for a partner. This almost killed my friend, who has a very bad heart.
I have watched this evolve into a situation where they all openly confessed that this lifestyle was wrong to people who not only support it and their son living it, but they CELEBRATE it! His facebook page is riddled with obscenities and pictures of men with men and I can tell you truthfully, I have never heard anything inappropriate come from this young man until now. His lifestyle and what it has done to him is appalling. I believe he has been given over to a reprobate mind. He has found a church in Atlanta that is predominately for gays. He is openly practicing the gay lifestyle and flaunts it. BUT, he still names the Name of Jesus all the while changing sexual partners as often as 2 -3 a week. Now, for the past 6 months, he's been in a "committed relationship".

I want you to know that he has people surrounding him who are teaching the same things I've been reading in your blogs lately, and that is, "It's an abomination, (homosexuality), but then isn't all sin? It's okay, you can't help it and you have my sympathies". That may not be what you're saying, but lately, that's what it sounds like.
You say that it's the "singled out sin". I have never had the first person try to convince me that adultery, murder, lying, stealing, idol worship, etc....are acceptable lifestyles and to be tolerated. I can't say the same of homosexuality and neither can you or anyone here. It is being forced on us and our children and we are being threatened with lawsuits and called homo-phobics if we teach what the Bible says about it along with all sin.
We have to address that which is before us and homosexuality is rampant and threatens to destroy the family as it is ordained by God.

I have no problem with anyone teaching that the unbelieving liar will inherit hell just as quickly as the unbelieving homosexual, but make sure you make it clear that just as the liar and the thief must pick up their cross and carry it every day, so must the homosexual. If there is no change after they claim to believe on the Name of Jesus, then what is left to do but judge them with a righteous judgment and all we have to go by are their fruits? That includes the homosexual as well as, the liar and the thief and the adulterer........

Rick Frueh said...

I do not condone gay relationships. I have made that clear. My overarching point was not about accusing or excusing gay sin. It has always been about the rampant hypocrisy within the western church. That subject is impossible to fully see since most western believers are entrenched in it one way or the other. I appreciate your comment, however you misunderstand my teaching on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Ginger C: I know what you are saying and understand completely and agree somewhat with your post. I struggled as a new christian on how to deal with my feelings on the homosexual agenda that seems to be increasing.

I decided to reserve all judgment to God and not get involved in discussions where some christians seemed to relish putting all homosexuals down and cursing them to hell. I felt a spirit of self-righteous indignation, persecution towards those who were struggling with a very real strong feeling that ruined their family relationships. I learned to realize that not ALL homosexuals want to be recognized and their lifestyles tolerated by governmental system. There are those who thrown in the "pervert" box right from the start. Many of those struggling with homosexual feelings are not "perverts; just as not all heterosexuals are pervert-free. A christian's goal is not supposed to stop certain sin from poisoning the well of nationalism; a christian's goal is to preach to the community in love, patience and through prayer and fasting.

The way I saw it, not all homosexuals want to force their lifestyle down anyone's throats. Many do not want to be outed, and many feel ashamed and some can't deal with their feelings and commit suicide. Yet, the church has absolutely no compassion nor mercy on these tragic lives. These are souls that Jesus died for, and they were in their tormented room alone with absolutely no human being that cared about their suffering. Many in the church, instead of reaching out, almost edge them to end it all, by mocking and calling them to hell. Is this what Jesus would have done?

I think I understand what Pastor Rick's motive here is and I so agree with what he's written so far on the subject. His focus is on the hypocrisy of the church. It's less on the sin of homosexuality - it's about followers of Christ enjoying living a Babylonian/hedonistic lifestyle and calling out other sinners.

I look at the example of the woman caught in adultery. Her accusers were ready with the stones. They were so filled with arrogant prideful self-righteousness that they would stone a woman to death. What barbarians!

And Jesus asked them if they had any sin in their lives worthy of being stoned. It was Jesus who asked them if they were worthy enough to cast the first stone. And they were not. And they put down the stones and left. And the sinner, the woman, was told by Jesus (not some Fox news ex-pastor commentator, or some church member picketing with a sign) asked her where her accusers were and she was told to sin no more.

It will be the Holy Spirit who will have the authority and the power to tell a sinner to go and sin no more. If we are true vessels of the Holy Spirit, it will be done His way. A self-righteous picketer won't convict an ant. A self-righteous christian picketer will possibly cause a young teenager to end his life without redemption.

It's this attitude in the church that is so hurtful and causes the sheep to become avengers, finger-pointers, judges, accusers, stone-throwers - and it's a joke to see those who pick up the first stone, live in excessive wealth, excessive salaries, mansions, lifestyles of the rich and famous, not having the torment of sexual deviation that places gays and lesbians on a spiritual target as a first-world problem. If that's all christians today have to complain about, then the church is powerless.

I'm full of matter on this subject and still need the Lord to help me see what the real agenda of homosexual-hating christians really is.


Anonymous said...

diversion di:ver:sion 1: The act or an instance of diverting from a course, activity, or use: DEVIATION 2: something that diverts or amuses: PASTIME 3: an attack or feint that draws the attention and force of an enemy from the point of principal operation. Source: Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary: 1976.

"Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud."
Proverbs 16: 18-19

We sat in church that Sunday morning; something wasn't quite right and we could sense it in our spirits. As the service progressed, the ambience became curious and strange as a visiting woman made her way to the front of the church. Her testimony became colorful soliloquy, speaking of division within the church/pointing out that we should not divide over what took place in the church...a perfect segue into lecturing us about the "sin" of homosexuality and how her and her husband "tell" those homosexuals that are headed for hell. I must admit point blank; this was perhaps the most unusual testimony I have heard in a church; ever....and well, it held the format of a college lecture rather than a testimony.

Our family looked at each other and wondered...."What was she talking
about....division.....homosexuality....was there a hidden meaning to all of this? Yes, there was, and we were about to learn of it due to some mistakes made by immature authoritarian leadership. A sexual sin took place amongst two youth in our youth group in which a young lady was abusively violated, and it was kept secret for a time, until a mistake was made on the part of the pastor and the head deacon in not diciplining the young man properly. The church lost several families due to the sexual sin involved and we did not have a "clue" as to any of the affairs taking place. This woman, instead of addressing the sin of the youth and the mishandling of the situation by church leadership, perhaps another sin in and of itself, created a diversion by condemning the sexual sin of honosexuality. And the pulpit remained silent on "sexual purity."

The teenage boy who violated the teenage girl was supposed to be diciplined, however his parents were on the church board/deacon/deaconess. Enough said there.

Several years later, we were to learn that the pastor was making advances to several women in the church, and leadership would not believe, nor address these women's concerns. They were labeled as liars and troublemakers.....the one woman, recently divorced from her second husband, was diciplined and could not participate in certain church activities as decided by the church board.

The divorced woman was diciplined.....she was not involved in church leadership and was considered "lowly" in that religious system. Enough said there.

The pastor was protected and continued his ways in secret. He received the loudest handclaps when he blasted the liberals; he received hearty amens when he condemned homosexuality with boldness; and we sang his praises when he addressed the sin of abortion.....sermons carefully designed to manipulate the pew sitters into false unity and overflowing coffers....a carefully orchestrated diversion away from the sexual sins filling his heart and mind.....let alone that of his household.

This fallen pastor was accidentally discoverd and asked to leave the church. We witnessed no remorse, no repentance, and no apologies as the authoritarian leadership tried to keep this Pastor's sin a secret....unsuccessfully so.

Those stirring sermons delivered with haughty eyes, a proud heart, and a wicked spirit led us to believe that we were on the cutting edge of "God's truth.


Cherie c. said...

First let me say it is easier to address people when they leave their name. Even a fictitious name is better than none because there are many anonymous here and I want to make sure the one I address knows I am addressing them.

Second, you are both right. Same train different cars.

Pastor, the western church is not so tough on homosexuals much anymore. Their exuberance is slowly changing tune.

With the support of some of the church leaders like Rob Bell, Rick Warren even The Grahams. I agree that God may have passed judgement by giving those church leaders a reprobate mind. Although we struggle with sin, I have been more than forthcoming about my struggles, I do not partake in a lifestyle that is contrary to the Word of God. There is some evidence, even though I do not broadcast it, and we shouldn't it would be bragging, but there is some fruit from my walk with the Lord. There has to be if we have the Holy Spirit. Even though I have doubt at times, I know I am changed from who I was years ago. The reason I haven't left my husband is because of God and His Word. The old Cherie would have been out of here ages ago. She would not have put up with this stuff for a second. She was a tough and mean person who didn't care unless it benefited her. There were glimpses of compassion, but very little. I am struggling to stay true to Jesus and what He taught, not my husband.

A lifestyle steeped in sin is not a godly life and is contrary to the Word and we need to agree on that. How can one live in such great and open sin and profess a relationship with Jesus? The Word does not say that this would be possible. We cannot possibly do away with all our sin, but with a new heart, doesn't that new heart want to live a life that glorifies the Father? Honors Jesus? Not in a bragging sort of way, but in holiness. As much as we allow. I will not even venture to think for God, but He is clear on all sin.

When a professing preacher/teacher of the Word of God and a leader in the Church, the Bride of Christ marries his son to another man, it is quite clear what jesus he servers and it isn't the Jesus the Son of God.

The western church is going through changes and not for the better. Give them a little more time and you will see them embrace everything. Same sex marriage (they have already started, polygamy, a gospel other than the true Gospel.

I do not see you write about those church leaders aligning with this new direction. The right wing conservative is slowly accepting the liberal view, they just won't admit it. I don't see you write about those writing bibles that are erroneous and sending people to hell.

Time to change course and preach the Gospel. God made you a Pastor, a shepherd of His flock. I truly believe that.

What you presented about that young 12 year old was sad, but that is where the parents need to see just what they did or didn't do as instructed by the Word. Or this boy when he grew up just rejected the truth. He has no love for the truth in him. God's Word is true and real.

Your two boys are born again and do a great service to the Lord even in the midst of family issues. Yet the children of the pastor of my old church are into porn, fornication and the occult along with the so called director of ministry. What is the difference? You stayed true to the Word of God no matter what. You are not to be commended for that, but you are to be encouraged to continue in the Lord the way you have that yielded such godly men as your two sons.

That is no easy task. I don't know what you did, but you raised them up in the way they should go and it stayed with them. Obedience is blessed by the Lord and it is evident that you have done as the Lord commanded of you as a parent.

I am not saying they are perfect, but they bare the fruit the Lord spoke of and that is what I am saying.

Please prayerfully consider my view.

continued next post.

Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

Anonymous, Pastor defends that which causes more hurt and hardship then less mainstream issues. All are valid, but he does not condone the behavior. He does not need me to defend him I am sure, I learned a lot about him reading his blog and even though I agree that it does deal a lot with this issue, he does also address other issues.

We need unity here:

Romans 12:16
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

1 Corinthians 1:10
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Philippians 2:2
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

J, dear sister, the list in Rev 21 and 22 are not linked together or the same thing. They are distinct. Please see Matthew 5, Colossians and both books of Thessalonians. You are most correct about needing more study of the Word. I find much strength when I do. Praise God the Word interprets itself so I do not have to rely completely upon others. But I still have much to learn. I hope our Pastor considers our request.

Love to all.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...


The laws of Moses called for stoning for adultery. It was not barbarian it is in Leviticus.

They were doing what their law described. Jesus made them reconsider their view of this woman by calling to their mind their own sin. They may have been self-righteous, but they were also following the law. To us it is barbarian, but to them it was following God's command.

The church today is not the same as those who wanted to stone the woman. The church today are making strides to embrace all ways and means and leave the Gospel. Although true, at one time, the western church is changing and not so resistant to other lifestyles. They are creating churches that deny the Word and allow all kinds of lies and are misleading those who go there. That is why in our conversations I tell you to stop looking for a church that the true church is returning to house fellowships because of the apostasy. There are those who are now speaking out again home fellowships which will give rise to legislation on this in the future. Study your Bible now. We should all commit to intensive study because one day, the true versions of the Word will be outlawed. Biblegateway has so many version it is hard to find the one I use. King James and on occasion New American Standard Bible if I have a hard time understanding a particular text.

No, today the western church is moving away from attacking the Gay community towards embracing. Only a few old politicians are trying to keep the fire going.

We need to have the focus moved away from this issue towards equipping the saints. Pastor is the right one for this job. My prayer is that other pastors like Pastor Rick come along too.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Ginger C. said...

Pastor, please forgive me, I wasn't saying that you condoned the homosexual lifestyle. I have read many of your posts of late, which seem to come across as being very sympathetic to those who struggle with this sin, more so than other sin.
I agree with Cherie that the western church is becoming more and more accepting of the gay lifestyle. I rarely hear pastors speak specifically on the subject. They are called intolerant if they do and many in their congregation have loved ones or know someone who is gay. In this day, (the last days), most church leaders are concerned with numbers and giving the people what the people want ~ fluffy messages that make them feel good about their lifestyles, whatever they may be.

I completely agree with you that Jesus died for them just as He did us all, but we ARE being forced to accept their lifestyle choice as "normal" or be ostracized for our beliefs based on God's Word ~ homosexuality is an abomination.

I love my friend's son, who is gay. My heart grieves for him and for his family, but he is openly, flagrantly living as a gay man, all the while knowing and having confessed at one time that that lifestyle is an abomination to God. His family may welcome him and his lovers into their home, even allowing them to sleep in their guest room and say things which encourage his behavior, but I will only always, in love, tell him that what he's doing is blatant sin and it flies in the face of God. AND, IF he is a Christian, he is placing a stumbling block before others with his choice to live openly as a gay man.

The Truth will still set you free.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous continued.....

It was easy to be united and of one accord as we were all against homosexuality...viciously so. We were conservative, we were Republican, we were listeners of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and we supported the dominionist agenda....taking back America for God.....oh yes....and we followed Pat Robertson/Oral Roberts too.

As time progressed, there was something distinctly missing from the sermon index and as our discernment grew; it became easily identifiable. There were no sermons building up the marriages in our congregation, many of of which were crying out to God for help; no sermons on the value of family; no sermons on how God sees divorce, no sermons on sexual purity for our teenagers as well as adults struggling in this area; no sermons on lusting/what is it or how it is manifested in a person's life; in fact, only sermons on the "sin" of easy diversion tactic.

And the most heart breaking realizations was this....we never prayed for homosexuals or lesbians...ever....that God would intervene and heal and reveal His truth to them for they have souls like you and I. How could we pray when we were being covertly led to hate. May God have mercy on me.

Please permit me to ask you a question Pastor Rick, concerning my theology pertaining to Sodom and Gomorrah. In Ezekiel 16:48-50, God tell us this "As I live, says the Lord God, neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit."

In understanding these Scriptures, is God, our Father, telling us that Sodom had;
1. Pride
2. Fullness of food
3. Abundance of idleness
4. Neglected to strengthen the hand of the poor and needy
5. Haughty
6. Committed abominations before the Lord

This all applies to Sodom, correct?

I was always led to believe that Sodom was destroyed only because of homosexual sin, however these verses apparently speak otherwise. And therefore, it is worth noting that there are nations today that hold to the very same characteristics as those mentioned of ancient Sodom. And they are closer to home than most think.

Perhaps homosexuality is used as a diversion channel here as well.

It this correct theology, Pastor Rick?

I must confess to all who are reading this entry...I never gave it one ounce of consideration to humble myself before our Maker, in praying for the homosexual community until I came across this blog. I can only Praise God, that He has shown me the gross logs in my own eyes and in my own life, that I can now bow before Him and pray for a people who are confused with their sexual identity with a pure heart....and it is liberating.

This day, and at this very hour...Thank-you LORD...for I offer my gratefulness to You.

Anonymous said...

Jesus told a parable which featured a man who buried his talents.

Dear readers, we serve a powerful God who desires to bless our mind! If we bury or fail to use what God has blessed us with we will only carry on hurting ourselves.

Multitudes are not in their right mind pertaining to using their talents.

Before the LORD saved me I was also a man who lacked the perseverance and patience to use my God-given talents wisely.

It is so imperative that we submit our will to the will of God, so that He can teach us to become a generous, cheerful investor of our talents in our own and other peoples' lives.

Precious readers, do you remember the parable of the rich young ruler?

In my opinion he suffered from a very widespread fear of losing what he deemed was indispensable. His fear is a very difficult fear to be cleansed of. May our gracious Lord bless sincere diligent seekers of Him with the insight that He is the source of all riches!

Reine Gnade

Cherie c. said...

Anonymous, Pastor, if I may:

Ezekiel 16:

47 Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.

48 As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.

49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

God is talking to Israel in this text. In verse 47 He is saying to them that even though Israel did not do the abominations done in Sodom, they were not excused from being a harlot. Harlot in the sense that they disobeyed God and married outside the faith bringing in idol worship, sacrificing the children for other gods, even while God provided for them. Speaking one way towards God and living another. They were corrupt.

Israel, the nation, is very hard hearted towards God, see Exodus. Moses at times could not tolerate them. In fact most people do not know that the reason Israel spent 40 years wandering in the desert is because of unbelief, not making a golden calf.

Sodom was destroyed because of the sin of sodomy. One only has to read the account with Lot and the mob outside his door to know that the other sinful attitudes were evident, but was not the main reason for their destruction. They were an ungodly nation to begin with, but what Israel did was worse in the fact they mad unholy alliances when they were told not too.

Besides, Sodom was not God's holy nation.

Jeremiah 3:20
Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.

Ezekiel 16:32
But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!

The people of Sodom of course were prideful in their behavior. Most of us are prideful in our sins until the Lord brings us to our knees.

If you read Isaiah 14:

Isaiah 14:13
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isaiah 14:12-14 (in Context)

Isaiah 14:14
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Pride and sin go hand and hand. It does not mean that Sodom was destroyed due to these other sins only. The Word is clear about why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

Genesis 13:13
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.

Genesis 18:20
And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

God uses words like exceedingly, grievous, and great to describe them as well as use the account with Lot regarding their wanting of the two angels in Lot's house.

But, in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Tyre and Sidon were worse because of unbelief. Tyre and Sidon were, as you know, cities outside of Jerusalem.

But God gave them a chance like He does all of us:

Genesis 18:26
And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

It is also clear how God feels about this from the description of the Anti-Christ in Revelation. But we still need to remember that all sin will be judged, not just the unnatural use of men and women.

Pastor, if I have explained this incorrectly, please let me know. I have not used any personal interpretation, I only went by what the text says.

I hope I was helpful to the Glory of God.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Re-reading this good post.

I agree with those here who say that some churches are compromising, by bending backwards to accommodate gays, by admitting them into ministry and embracing their lifestyle. But, these are few.

The last days compromised church will either go all "right" or all "left". They'll be God's holiness police when they hear of their government giving equal rights to gays and allowing gay marriage. Others in the church will go full-throttle left and embrace them without acknowledging the sin.

We're commanded to be moderate in everything. I think the church could show God's full redemption and love and grace if it practiced moderation.

With the gay issue in mind, a moderate church would neither embrace nor eviscerate the gay. It would act as a parent would towards a child, if that child were gay and teach him/her gently; if the child couldn't stop the sin, the parent would have to execute tough love and stand firm, but in doing so, still pray, hope, show patience, love, show charity for that child when it is in need. This is what the church should do. It does it with smokers, alcoholics, sex addicts. I've heard preachers say, bring them in to church, even in their sin, and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to them; that it plants seeds in their life, and that it will yield fruit at possibly later time in their life.

If that gay child were to be physically attacked because of their lifestyle, what would the church do? Stand aside and watch the child be pummelled to death?

The true church would have to rebuke the stoners. Because we don't live under the OT law, we live under the law of Grace. And if we love, because Jesus first loved us, we will feel love for those who are being beaten up, despite any kind of sin they may have.

If we feel absolutely no compassion, or say absolutely nothing, when a TV evangelist tells his audience that God will vomit the nation out of His mouth because of gays, then we have to do a spiritual re-correction in our hearts.

Jesus didn't first come to throw lightning, wrath, and condemnation. The TV evangelist who uses a "sin" as a scapegoat to target gays (and possibly raise fear and hatred and carnal wrath towards them), and tells his audience that Jesus Christ in His fullness is going to punish a nation now, because of the homosexual agenda, then he'll have to explain why the Lord hasn't yet vomited that same nation out of His mouth because of incest (which was an abomination and warranted stoning). slavery, cruel abuse of African child slaves. Child pornography? Child molestation? Bestiality? Promiscuity? Do we, the church, demand that sexual child predators STOP their sin, or else? Do we even care whether they stop? Do we preach to them day in and day out on the networks and blame them for the natural disasters? Do we demand that they repent NOW? Why crickets from the church on the atrocities of our culture? Gas chambers being restored(like Hitler's regime) - Is a statesman who wants to reinstate gas chambers to kill criminals condemned by the church? No. Only statesmen who support abortion rights and support gay rights are condemned by the church. We know innocent unborn babies have not committed sin and criminals in Missouri have, but, does God care? Aren't they all equal in His eyes when He looks at them through the blood of Christ? Doesn't scripture say that He does not will any to perish to eternal damnation?

Am doing my usual musings today and I need to always remember that I can never point the finger unless I am 100% clean, which I cannot do myself. My soul is cleansed only by the Blood. I thank the Lord Jesus I have progressed these 22 years, and I have much progress to do, especially with my anger with the church. But, I know He first loved me before I knew Him, and I have to love those who still don't yet know Him.


Cherie c. said...


You are all over the place, lol. You need a nap dear sister.

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

The LORD doesn't grant repentance to all and put His spirit in them all so they keep His word!

Dear readers, God can desire one thing and ordain another. For example, it is clear that God does not want people to sin, yet Acts 2:23 states, "this Man [Jesus], delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death."

Truly God planned that Jesus go to the cross. But in order to do that, men had to sin for it to occur. God didn't want them to sin but it was part of God's ordained plan.

In Ezekiel 33:11 we read, "'As I live,' saith the Lord GOD, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.'"

Will they perish? Yes, because God punishes the sinner who is not covered in the blood of Christ: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

I am of the opinion that God's police force are worthy of their position. I applied for a position as a trainee but failed the entrance test!

As a soldier in Christ I'm not too heart broken and I'll be praying for more energy from my generous Maker in order at least to be able to watch our brave police force in action.

Satan's police force, on the hand, deserve only to be resisted in spirit and truth!

Goodbye lovers of a tall story. I must take my restorative nap now!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Our life is hidden in Christ, the Word of God. Luke 17:22-33; 2 Peter 2:4-9; 3:14; Jude 1:5-7, 17-23; 1 Peter 4:18 are His words to believers. They warn sinners to repent and give no indication that those who practice wickedness will be saved simply because the professing church is full of hypocrites. Sodom was not spared because Lot's wife was double-minded.


Annette said...

Greetings Pastor Rick,

Thank-You for this post as it makes one ponder the human condition.

Please correct me if I am making a blind observation, but it seems that when you address the raw hyposcrisy taking place within the constructs of Christianity, the sheer, intense emotion that is invoked drills deeper to the core of our persona than our farm well here in the middle of nowhere.

I do respect these penned words,"He must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ because at some level that sinner recognizes his need for forgiveness from the Almighty. No, he cannot understand the depth of his own depravity nor the gravity of his rebellion towards God. But as he hears the Spirit of illumination of Christ, he acts upon his need and believes on Jesus as his only Savior." Thank-you for that genteel reminder of a life that was painfully broken, crying out to Jesus on a cold, abandoned house floor, because without Him there was no hope for this life here on earth....only Jesus saves that which was once lost. Praise Him in all eternity.

As I read Matthew 23, the question then becomes "What have we become?" Reine Gnade's adjective "God's police force" strikes the limestone in half. Have we become like the Scribes and Pharisees, have we become the hypocrites, have we become the blind guides, have we become the fools and the blind, and have we become the serpents, the brood of vipers as outlined throughout the chapter whole?

Is Jesus speaking to us today? And if we stood there in that line up of accusers with pride, haughtiness, and that one-ups-manship so prevalant in the church today, desiring that adultress, that whore, be stoned to death so that her blood would be shed for own sin; I have to wonder what Jesus would write in the sand about our own lives that would cause religion to turn away, leaving the woman alone in the presence of her Savior.

Nearing the end of my morning, I am refreshed once again by the very words of Christ, "O Jersalem, O Jersalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left desolate; "for I say to you, you shall see me no more till you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!" Matthew 23:37-39

In this day and age, the Glory and Hope to come, still belongs only to Jesus Christ....and not any man.

Rick Frueh said...

Thank you Annette for your encouraging words. You have understood what I have shared.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written, Annette. I believe we should leave the question mark out.

Multitudes in all spheres of life are hypocrites. Blind guides scream out at us and not only from the White House.

Not all politicians and policemen are corrupt- far from it- but almost everywhere a man or woman can peer in the world corruption is rife.

Anyone who says in his heart that there is no God is a fool and the community of fools has never been larger.

I think myself, that the risen Lord might well have to use even more pictoral language than brood of vipers to aptly describe many servants of Satan today.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Dear readers, we can learn a lot from these three verses from Mathew 23. Let's be clear firstly that it's not only in Jerusalem that ambassadors of God have been killed.

What is wrong with people that kill God's messengers? One of my answers would be much more than multitudes of people are currently prepared to accept.

Let this be a reminder to us, for when man becomes unwilling to be shepherded by His Maker he can quickly descend into depravity.

Yet because the LORD is gracious and loving He can even transform someone like Saul of Tarsus who for a period of time violently opposed His messengers and turn him into the apostle Paul, a loving, loyal servant,who lives willingly and loyally submitted to His LORD.

Dear readers, in order to see the risen Jesus we need to know that He gives His blessing to those with a pure heart. In order to faithfully follow King Jesus we will need to esteem speaking and behaving purely very highly!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

1. Pride
2. Fullness of food
3. Abundance of idleness
4. Neglected to strengthen the hand of the poor and needy
5. Haughty
6. Committed abominations before the Lord

Those were the sins of Sodom that led to it's destruction. Was the "last straw" the sin of blatent homosexuality? Surely this nation has embraced the above six sins and is rapidly degressing into the "last straw" that will destroy us. Until we change as a nation and peoples that led up to the "last straw", preaching against homosexuality is in vain as the bad foundation that has preceded it is still in place and unless that changes, blatent homosexuality will not change and only get more so. Our challenge as believers is to keep ourselves pure in the ungodly society that we live in and that is difficult when it is all around us. Especially when given the fact that we seem to walk alone as where do you find local bodies of Christ that you can be a part of? It's a lonely walk...


Reine Gnade said...

Welcome to the discussion Randy.
Preaching against homosexuality isn't in vain. Preaching against what is sinful, in a respectful manner, is God's will.

It is important, in my opinion, above all to teach against pride, for pride was found in the heart of Lucifer.

Lucifer now called Satan is the father of lies. Homosexuality is one of the lies of Satan that we must teach and preach against.
May the LORD bless our efforts to glorify His hallowed name.

Reine Gnade said...

Randy, if you can find one or two Christians locally you will find that it is not a lonely but a joy bringing walk. The LORD longs to share His great joy with you. When we know Him we have companionship. Look for two Christians where you live to be a blessing too. And when you have found one start praising the LORD.

Truly Jesus is joyful and joy bringing.