“[B]e Not Many Masters…” or “The Greater Condemnation” or “Serious Words”

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”  (James 3:1)

“A bishop then must be blameless…”  (1 Timothy 3:2)

 

There are many, many warning in Scripture. This warning and the warnings similar are often ignored. These warnings speak to the men that desire to be teachers of the Word. These warnings are very serious and should be taken thus. We find of Lord leveling these charges against religious hypocrites such as the Pharisees and the Scribes.  No sinner has ever received stronger rebukes as these religious hypocrites.

Our Lord would sit at meat with sinners and call them friends. Our Lord would not sit at meat with religious hypocrites before rebuking them with in minutes of entering their homes. He would ball them children of the devil and call their converts, “Two times the children of Hell!”

However, these warning were also extended to men who longed to be teachers of the Word withour being bidden.  James 3:1 are solemn words.  James warns those desiring to be teachers as these men will receive the greater comdemnation. In other words, men who take this great responsibility without being bidden by God shall be judged harshly for these men are not qualified to be teachers!!! These men will lead men into error.  They shall be blind leaders of the blind and will lead men into ditches.

I have sat and listened to many men that were not called of God. These men were well meaning but it takes more than meaning well to lead God’s people through the Scriptures. Many of these men would use other men’s sermons but they were still dead. Many men believe that if they preach Spurgeon’s sermons God will bless them as He did Spurgeons.  This is utter folly! I remember a good man having the first six months worth of sermons prepared before ever having a church. These sermons were preached by a preacher g-father many years prior. Sermons are like manna, they must be fresh!

I remember another preacher. This preacher had been in the ministry for over (40) forty years at this time. He sat down a burned (40) years worth of sermons in the middle of his garage !!! This man had pastored and serves as an Evangelist for many years. I can’t even imagine the number of sermons that were burned.  The reason for this was his sermons were being used too much and his ministry was beginning to go stale.

This writer does not save his notes, in fact, for the most part he doesn’t use any notes. Nor does he use a sermon mor than once. That is not to say he doesn’t preach the same topics but he doesn’t use the same “material.”  We are not bragging but only sharing a personal conviction.

We have known other ministers that have preached sermons from whatever book they are recently reading. Some preachers will preach sermons based off of sermons they have heard from radio and or T.V. preachers. Let me be clear, no preachers preach sermons that are 100% original with them for there is nothing new under the sun but that is different from plagiarizing.  When a preacher copies another he ceases to depend upon God!!! Whenever a preacher uses another preachers ideas or qoutes, the borrowing preacher must give credit to the sources. If he cannot remember his source he must at the very least admit that the material is not new with him.

The preacher that misleads or misguides his hearers is worthy of great judgement. One could reference Jeremiah 23 and Matthew 23 for a taste of this condemnation. This warning should cause teachers to be true in his teachings and that they be pure.  Theses warnings should drive the teachers to be students of God’s Word and cause them to be sound in their doctrines and not to be lazy in their studies.  The Word of God is not for the lazy or slothful.  The minister must be about his studies and prayer. All other responsibilities should be left to elders and deacons.  This is rarely the case, however, as these sarning are not taken seriously when one can re-preach and old sermon, or preach someone elses or preach out of a book, etc.

The above is not the only type of preacher out there, God Forbid! There are many good and faithful ministers abounding, and God’s blessings upon preacher and congregation prove it. I know a number of preachers that are ever true to God, God’s Word, and their congregation.

 

 

“Groan Ups Part (3) Three” or “Playing Before The Lord” or “And They… Rose Up To Play.”

“David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD…therefore will I play before the LORD. And I will yet be more vile than thus…”  (2 Samuel 6:21-22a.)

“And [they] rose up to play. And the LORD said unto Moses, …thy people…have corrupted themselves…”  (Exodus 32)

Let me set up the context of the above passages.
King David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. As he was over joyed he danced in little clothing.  He did not care about this as he was, in his mind, alone with God. This is always a good place to be.  The Lord Jesus went to this place, “Jesus being alone, prayed, his disciples being with Him.”

Michal,  David’s “groooan up” wife was watching this and as soon as David arrived home she began to belittle him for acting so among all the people. David responded with 2 Samuel 6:21-22. David was not being vile but he was being sarcastic as he knew how his “groan up” wife viewed him. David played before the LORD.

Our second passage from Exodus 32 shows us that the people of Moses corrupted themselves by their style of play.  As Moses was a long time away and with God, the people sought Aaron to make a golden calf out of their golden jewelry.  Aaron gave in and did as the people asked. Their worship of the golden calf was called “play” by God. They were only playing by worshipping a golden calf god. This is similar to young children playing house or doctor…the pure way. They were playing as this god was an imaginary god.  This is the wrong kind of play.

 

I have been employed by various and differing employers. These men were all different and had their own ways. However they all shared one trait.  This shared trait is the temper tantrum. I have seen groan men, owners of companies, use there thumb and pointer finger to shoot an employee that they were greatly angered by. No Kidding.  I have seen groan up men, throw things and kick things out of anger. I have heard groan men call other groan men bad names. I have seen a wolf in sheeps clothing kip up out of a chair as I made them see their error in spiritual matters and stomp on the ground and drive off. Readers, I have seen groan ups stick their tongue out at me and other groan ups give me the middle finger. I’ve seen a groan up man, who owns a large company simply walk away from a meeting with a client because he didn’t like what he was hearing.

Murder and sexual escapades, are these not the games of youth that destroy marriages and families today? Murder, is this not the ultimate acting out of a childish person? If I can’t get what i want I will kill. This is a temper tantrum.  Adultery or fornication, is this not what lost teenagers do? Pornography, was this not what lost teenagers looked at? Adult bookstores…what is adult about them?

Again, Augustine said, Business is the adults playground.  An adult carnal philosophy is – he that dies with the most toys wins, isn’t it? Look at the lost world today, For many “groan ups” everything is me, my, mine. These are the thoughts of little children.

There are those who have never grown up, these are they that are given to their passions.  These are they that want it their way. These are they that still kick, hit, and snort in temper tandrums. These are they that still judge others by using themselves as the standard. These are they that are trying to keep their youthful appearance at all costs. These are they that cannot settle down with a wife and family but go out and look for love elsewhere. Domestic violence, spouse abuse, child abuse, is this not what bullies do when they are young? This is the bad kind of staying young.

There is, however, Those who have grown up and have found opportunities to become little kids again without becoming irresponsible. Then there are the Christ-ians, Who have been hand-picked by God, who have all their steps ordered by the LORD, Who call out to Daddy in prayer. Who still wonders at all of God’s creation…Who have been born again and will play forever before the LORD and will believe that there is a Great and Perfect Being “in the sky” that loves them and keeps them and will someday return for them.

Godspeed

 

 

 

“Are You A ‘Groan Up’ Part (2) Two” or “A Confession That Threatens My Ministry” or “I am Judged Of No Man”

“Ye that are spiritual judge all things, yet ye are judged of no man”
(1 Corinthians 2:13-15)

I am going to make a confession (DV).  I am fully aware that this confession could cost me my ministries and the respect of my Christ-ian piers.  I have thought long and hard on this confession but I must be open and transparent…even if it is to mine own hurt (the Psalmist).  Prior to making this confession, however, I ponder what my readers are expecting?  Do they expect a confession about opiode abuse? Alcohol abuse? An addiction to online pornography? What do you expect from me?

I confess….that….I …own over (60) sixty Batman action figures….(60) sixty and counting. I further confess to enjoying super hero comics and DVDs. I confess to enjoying Myomoto Usagi Yojimbo (A Samurai Rabbit) comic.  I enjoy “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” stuff.  My readers, you will not find me in the porn section of a video store (where I have found a believer entering once) or at a liquor store buying alcohol but you may encounter me at a comic book store or in a toy section of a store. You might even find me at a Toys R Us because I am a toys r us kid.

This writer still plans on being a wrestling or MMA champion or a Super Hero.  If you find all of this offensive you are a bore even C.S. Lewis says so. Worse than a bore, you are a “groan up.”  We will now continue our argument for remaining a child-like adult (DV).

God is a collector of action figures.  Does God not order the steps of a good man? Did Paul not warn Timothy against “grown ups” looking down upon his youth? Paul told Timothy not to allow this. He did not tell Timothy to act older than he was. Did God not choose you as a person might choose an action figure? Are not your actions God ordained? Does He not provide you with clothing as a little girl might dress a Barbie doll? Does He not feed you as a little toddler might pretend to feed a baby doll?

Let me use two (2) disciples for an example of “childlike” groan up and a “groan up” adult. Peter believed he could walk on water…how child-ish is that?  Thomas, on the other hand, refused to believe in the risen Christ except he saw Him with his own eyes. What a “Manure” way of seeing things. Christ told Thomas that he believed after seeing but the one who believes without seeing is blessed more. Yes, the childlike believer is blessed greater than the “groan up” believer.

After-all, let us look at what we, as Christ-ians, believe:

  1. We believe that A Jewish Man called Jesus Christ lived a life without doing a single thing wrong. We believe His actions were pure as were His thoughts!!!  To the “grown up” human this is impossible to conceive of much less believe.
  2. We believe this Jew died over (2000) two thousand years ago as He was crucified on a cross in Jerusalem and that (3) three day later He rose from the dead.  For the “Grown up” this is impossible.
  3. We believe that this Jew ascended up into Heaven, IE. Floated up into the clouds.
  4. We believe this Man has been sitting on a literal throne in a literal place called Heaven.
  5. We believe that this God-Man hears our prayers and answers them.
  6. We believe that soon this Man Who died and rose again over (2000) two thousand years ago will arise and return to this earth and set up His kingdom where we will reign with Him.
  7. We also believe This Jesus Christ is part of a Godhead and shares sovereign power and control with His Father Who is God and with the Holy Spirit Who is also God. Yet we claim to believe in only One God.
  8. We believe that the Holy Spirit dwells within everyone who repents of their sins and believes in this (3) three Person God that is only One God.
  9. We believe this God to be Everywhere at once, knowing all things, and being all powerful with zero exceptions.
  10. And we believe that this great Godhead dwells fully in the God-Man Named Jesus Christ, that lived and died and lived again over (2000) two thousand years ago.

    No “grown up” with all his or her mental faculties in tact could honestly believe these things.  Even Jesus Christ taught this!!!  “Except a man be born again he can not see the kingdom of God.”  (John 3).  In other words, unless you become a little baby again you cannot believe in Me. This Word stunned the “groan up” Nicodemus.  Paul said the same, “The natural man (The “groan up”) receiveth not the things of the Spirit…. for they are spiritually discerned” or received as a little child.

Often times when wishing someone a happy birthday, I encourage them to escape adulthood whenever possible. I certainly do. One of the reasons my kids and I get along so well is I can still be one myself. However, one must know when to be “a kid” and when to be a “grown up” or when to be serious.

When I sit down to the Scriptures I am gravely serious, yet still owning a childlike faith. I do not play around with the Word of God.  When I take my place in the pulpit to where God hath called me, all childish things are put away. I become a man much like, “the Man Christ Jesus.”  There are no jokes and we do not play around. For though our faith is childlike our calling to ministry is a call to soberness and gravity. When I am in the pulpit or acting out of the office of minister there is no thought of Batman, super heroes, the Samurai Rabbit, cartoons, comics, or MMA championships, etc. NO, I am a man of God, teaching the Word of God to the people of God and there be no place for childish things, except childlike faith.

How about you?  Are you a boring “groan up” adult all the time?  or are you a “childlike” adult who is ever growing up but never becoming a “groan up” adult?

Let me correct one thing from above. I did enter an adult bookstore several years ago. I entered it’s doorway and asked rather LOUDLY if i might tell the persons present about the death, resurrection, and forgiveness of The Lord Jesus Christ. The store clerk, with respect, disallowed me from doing so, though I have already done so. I learned a valuable lesson the next day. I recounted my experience to Pastor Ruben of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Romeoville/Plainfield. He asked me if I had ever done the same thing in a “Jewel” Grocery store.  His point being, a lost person at “Jewel” is just as lost and in need of Christ as a person in any adult bookstore. A very important lesson was learned that day from a good pastor, who hasn’t groan up yet either.

Before we conclude let’s take a quiz to see if you are all “groan up” yet or if you are still a kid at heart.

  1. Do you play video GAMES?
  2. Do you still get excited about Cars (Bob Price, Uncle Jerry), Trains (Chet Evans) or airplanes or boats (Bill Neehouse) Do you view them as more tham a mode of transportation?
  3. Are you a Trekkie or do you still avoid “the Darkside?”
  4. Do you enjoy the GAMES of football or baseball or soccer, etc?
  5. Batman or Superman, choose one. Did you choose one?
  6. Do you enjoy Super Hero movies, animated or live action?  Do you still enjoy action adventure movies?  Psychologists will tell you that most persons, especially men, live vicariously through these films and through watching sports.
  7. Do you have a toy somewhere in your office? on your desk? or a baseball bat or football on a shelf? Or Swords on your wall (Allen Muxlow)?
  8.  THe “Lone Ranger” or The “Shadow” Choose one, did you choose?
  9. Do you have in your closet a character t-shirt?
  10. Did you know that the action figure industry shows it’s demographics to be adult males?
  11. Why do you think Super hero films do so well?  Why are many of the action figures priced so high?  It is because adults are funding it all.
  12. Do you collect Sports cards or collectibles?  Some sports collectables can sell in the millions of dollars.

 

As I conclude, I must point out that my confessions above should not cause me to lose anything, I was using hyperbole. However, if my confessions cost me your respect that is fine because you would bore me anyway…..Groan ups, UGH!

Godspeed

“Are You A Grown Up” or “Putting Away Childish Things” or “You Watch Cartoons?!!!”

“New creatures in Christ”  (1 Corinthians 5:17)

Transformed by the renewing of your minds.”   (Romans 12)

 

I remember years ago when I was very young I found my brother watching cartoons and I exclaimed with great wonder, “YOU watch cartoons?!!!” and this person, who is decades older than I am replied, “Well, Yeah.” I was in shock and couldn’t fathom my oldest brother was watching cartoons. I thought cartoons were for kids. I also thought adults were grown up. I was wrong on both accounts!

I explained to my kids years ago that I, like them are still growing up.  This “confession” was made while my kids were discussing how much I have changed as a father over the passing years. We were discussing how I have allowed them things as the years have gone on. We were discussing specifically how I allowed my oldest daughter to get double ear peircing in her ears. She approached me with the plans to have a long discussion on this extra peircing. She approached me and asked me for my permission and I said, without flinching, “Sure, why not?”

She was confounded as years prior I absolutely forbidden it as it was “worldly.” She asked why I had changed my mind. I confessed to her that I, like her, am still growing up. She was granted insight that day that most do not have, including many adults. I feel sorry for adults who believe aging is equivelent to growing up.  Augustine understood this when he said, “Business is the adults play.”  C.S. Lewis understood this as he said, Paul told Timothy to put childish things away [paraphrase].  He explained that when he was a child, like most children, pretended to be adults, therefore, as he is a grown up now he has put away adulhood. He would forever look down upon adulthood. As smart a man as he was he never really became an adult.

When I give bithday wishes to some persons I counsel them to, “Escape adulthood as often as possible.”  My children often say to me, “Babies and children love you.”  or You are so good with kids.”  This is because I am one.  There is nothing so boring to me as a grown up.  An adult that has lost it’s wonder of God’s universe is a sad creature. Scripture…Christ, Himself, who was beloved by chidren warns the grown ups that we must have childlike faith.  This tells me to stay young.  Children can recornize one of their own and this is why children are drawn to child-like adults and shy away from “grown ups.”  I said earlier that “grown up” adults are sad and boring.  There is one thing more sad that that and that is “grown up” children.

Paul told Timothy, Don’t let any man despise thy youth.”  Ofcourse he was encouraging Timothy a young man not to let older Christians set him aside as a young man and therefore inadequate to be a minister of Christ.  Let me take this abit out of context… I say to those of you who are, Young at heart, “Don’t let “grown up” adults despise thy, “youth at heart.”

By God’s grace, I shall be a “child-like” adult forever and ever.  To the adult “grown ups”, Don’t bore me with your adulhood.

Godspeed.

“The Words Of Faith And Belief” or “Without Works Faith Is Dead” or “What Doth Salvation Require Of Me…Faith Or Works? ….Both!”

“But if not…”  (Daniel 3:18a.)

“If I Perish I perish…”  (Esther 4)

“Let us go and die with [H]im…”  (Thomas in the Gospels.)

“[The Lord Jesus saith unto Peter,] the cup which [M]y Father hath given [M]e, shall not I drink it?”  (John 18:11)

 

Many have said, “Lord, I believe” but haven been proven unfaithful. Peter, when asked by the Lord will you also go away from me? Peter answered, in the negative and said, to whom else shall I go?  Peter, here is speaking for the (12) twelve disciple but we know that (1) one of the (12) twelve would depart and betray the Lord. Note this also, The Lord asked this of Peter and the others after many other “disciples” and many other “believers” departed and followed Christ no more (John 6).

Paul in his writings to Timothy states with a broken but strengthen heart, “all have forsaken me.” All, includes Demas and Titus, of whom we read much and Paul’s letter to Titus is a book in the Canon! We know that John Mark, the author of The Gospel of Mark and Baranabas’ nephew was a deserter once. But we also know that the bonds of Christ’s great love constrained him to return as this has been the testimony of so many, this writer included.

My point is this, many have forsaken God after saying, “I believe.”  How can we forget Peter, who denied His Lord just hours after promising not to?!!! Not only did Peter deny and forake his Lord once but (3) three times!!!  This is not to belittle Peter, God forbid. It is to re-enforce Paul’s warning, “Take heed, lest ye fall.” Peter with broken heart was restored to his greatness and place of faithfulness by the (3) three times Christ asked him, “Peter, do you love me?” Peter was used of God to give us all hope. To give hope to all that fail the Master.

All of the men that fail God or betray Him or deny Him and those who apostatize themselves from Him all began with, “I believe.”  “I believe” is a long way from, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Many have said these words, only to fall away. We see them in Scripture, we see them in history, we see them in our lifetime.  How many began their race but were beset from that race? How many have started with much promise and ended with failure?

My friends, the Words of Scripture are all pure and are all true, including these, “he that endureth [continues, perseveres, walks with God] until the end shall be saved.” These are sober and grave Words spoken by Christ, Himself.  Hear the words of Paul, “And you that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath [H]e reconciled in the [B]ody of [H]is [F]lesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in [H]is [S]ight: IF YE CONTINUE IN THE FAITH GROUNDED AND SETTLED, AND BE NOT MOVED AWAY FROM THE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL…” (Colossians 1:21-23a.)  What hard words are these, beloved?  Have you never heard these words before?  Many have not for many read not the Word(s) of God and many preachers refuse to teach and preach the whole counsel of God as they should. Reader, do not say, “This does not line up with what I have been taught.”  Do not fall victim to, “This is just one man’s interpretation.”  Beloved, I lie not…these are the Word(s) and teachings of Holy Writ.

Scripture and the doctrine of perseverance teaches this truth. This doctrine warns of the possibility of NOT Continuing and of NOT enduring.  The winner of the race is not the one who starts the fastest but ends first. He that was first shall be last and he that was last shall be first.

Some preachers will tell you that examining your faith and your salvation is a great offense to God and His love.  These preachers are not speaking God’s truth. Paul said, “examine thyself to see if you are in the faith.”  Peter said, “Make your calling and election sure…” he did not mean be sure you have said the sinner’s prayer. God forbid!  Peter is telling you that your life and your works will make certain of you election and calling. The proof is in the works.  James said, “Without works, faith is dead.”  Christ said, “By their fruits you shall know them.”

My readers, it is your works, your life style, your choices, your words, and what you do with your time that shows faith, for faith can be seen. When you look into the mirror of God’s Word, what do you see? Do you see a person who is sinning less? Do you see a person that loves God more? Do you see a person that loves people more? Do you see a person who is growing in grace and the knowledge of God? Do you see a person that gives any thought to being Christ like? Do you see a person who has attended Church but has not changed for the better? Do you see a person that desires God’s will over your own? Do you see a person that has been decreasing so that Christ might increase? Do you see a person who can say, “I am crucified with Christ?” Do you see a person who lies when singing hymns? Do you see a person who is happy in their state of sin? Do you see a person who is going through the motions?

From our quoted texts above, The (3) three Hebrew men were ordered to bow to a graven image and they refused. They said, we will not bow for our God is able to deliver us, but if not, we still will not bow to your image.  Reader, this is living faith. This is God’s grace manifested before believers and unbelievers alike. Most of you know of the events of which I speak but for review, these (3) three faith-filled lovers of God were, in fact, thrown into a fire to be burned alive, however, when the outraged king looked into the fire he saw a (4th) forth Man, like unto the Son of God. Yes, their faith was tried and tested and proven and God, as God will do, honoured that faith.

What about Esther? Did her words and life back up her faith? The words of Esther are, “If I perish, I perish.” She was putting her life and the lives of the Jews into the Hands of God. Persons in that culture did not approach the king per their whims. No, lest the king calls for you and extends his sceptre to you- you are not to approach unto the king. If this policy is broken the person who approached un-called for would be put to death. Because of this protocal Esther said, “If I perish, I perish.”  These are words and works of a living faith.

The next (2) two passages are from the New Testament. Christ says to His disciples that it is time to enter Jerusalem.  His disciples knowing that to enter Jerusalem is a death wish tried to warn Him off from His actions. Then Thomas said, “Let us go and die with [H]im.” Some might think these are words of doubt and dread. But nay, o’ man, these be the words of loyalty anf faithfulness.

Then, we have the Words of Christ, ” the cup which my Father giveth unto [M]e, shall I not drink it?” or in other words, All that Christ has taught them, all that Christ has shown them comes down to this moment and this cup. And He drank from that cup because Adam ate from that fruit. Yea, The Works, the Words, the Ways of Christ all supported His Faith, never did He at any time falter, fall, or fail.

My Reader, What doth thy faith say and do?

“What About Sin?” or ” “Even Sin?” or “Over Sin, Too?”

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [H]is purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

While it is true that God works things together for our good, the passage found in Romans 8:28 speaks to the verses prior to it. Romans 8:26 and 27 tell us that we do not know what we should pray for as we ought. The Spirit, however, will intercede on our behalf and will form our requests and petitions in acceptable prayers. The Spirit, we are told uses groanings which cannot be uttered. These groanings seem to be a language that is spoken between the Godhead. We learn further that God will search the hearts of the pray-er and the [M]ind of the Spirit thusly the spirit is making intercession on our behalf and our prayers. It seems that these are the things that work together for our good and the good of our prayers.

Having said all of that, it is still true that God will work all things together for our good. it is kind of like when an athlete makes a sports drink. The athlete will mix eggs, protein, celery, creatine, and others nutrients together, he will shake them up and will pour it down his throat and this drink will work for his good. I doubt the sports drink tastes very good and I doubt that the athlete enjoys the drink or the drinking thereof but he knows it benefits him.

This is true of life’s events, even the ones that taste bad.  Many a Christ-ian can look back at difficulties, hardships, tough times, trials, tribulations and say, “It was worth it because…”  This is why the passage says, “And we know…” This “we know” does not mean we will know all things concerning difficulties but for the believer it is good enough knowing  that God has promised.

What about sin though? Is sin one of the things that work together for our good? This, I confess may be hard for some to swallow but, yes, sin will work for our good. God is a Sovereign and All Wise and All Good God and because of this He can, will, and does work sin together for our good. While God hates sin He is still Sovereign over it. If God were not sins Sovereign God would not be sovereign, for when we say God is sovereign we are speaking in terms of absolutes. The nations upon this earth are said to be sovereign entities. However, this is not the same as God is Sovereign over all nations and all nations are less than nothing to God (Isaiah 40). God is absolutely Sovereign over all things. Nations are sovereign within their borders and no other nation can cross those borders legally without invite or allowance. But God is Sovereign in Heaven and upon earth, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  “God sits in the heavens and doeth as He pleases.” “None can say, “What doeth [T]hou.”  “Who is His counsellor?”

Therefore, God can subdue sin and use it as He pleases. God did not introduce sin but now that it is introduced it is subservient to His will. This can be seen in a court of law. A judge may forbid a piece of evidence from being used by the prosecutor but if the defense brings it in by mistake, the presecutor may use it against the defendant. God did not bring sin in to the picture, (s)atan did. Now that it is in play God will use it to bring glory to Himself and he will use it to benefite His people.

Let me ask you a question. What if you overcame all the sin in your life? Even those pet sins or those sins that refuse to die? If you could do that you would feel great and you would maybe feel a bit too proud?  God uses sin to keep us humble. God uses sin to keep us vigilant against that sin and other sins.

God uses the sinners sin against the sinner. Look at Haman in Esther. Haman hated Mordecai and all the Jews. Haman came up with a way to have Mordecai and the Jews killed. Haman had everything…riches, the king’s favour, and family, and high position in the palace but instead of dwelling upon all that he was obsessed with the fact that Mordecai the Jew would not bow to him. Haman was overcome with hate and vengeance. He had gallows put up for Mordecai to hang and he had the king sign a declaration allowing all Jews to be killed on a certain day.

However, God turned this around. Esther brought all of this to the king’s attention and it was Haman and Haman’s sons that would hang on the gallows and it was the Jews that were afforded the right to destroy those that would have destroyed them. They were given an extra day as well!!!  God used the hatred and murderous heart, and great pride of Haman to bring an end to the enemy of His people. As for the Jews, God took the sin of murder and genocide and changed it into self defense on the part of the Jews and God was greatly glorified in the Jews’ victory.

Does God not use our sin in order to bring us to Him?  Isn’t it through repentance of sin and belief in Christ that God saves us?

Isn’t sin the thing God will use against (s)atan and all sinners to send them away to eternal torment?  (s)atan introduced sin to mankind and it is sin that will bring about his doom.

Isn’t Christ’s victory over sin the cause of great delight and the cause for hope?

God uses all things to bring Himself Glory and to bring good to His beloved people, even sin.  An analogy: A robber breaks into a home. The home owner is awakened and investigates. The owner finds the robber and they wrestle for the robber’s gun. The home owner wrests the gun away from the robber. The home owner, who dislikes guns, will use the robber’s gun against him. He will use the gun to keep the robber subdued so the police can take him away and lock him in a cell to await judgement.

Think about this… employment is due to sin (Man kept the garden prior to sin but this is not the employment we speak of). Government is due to sin. Labour pains are due to sin. The breakdown of all things is due to sin. Sickness and death is due to sin. The weeds in your lawn are due to sin. the hatred that is in the world is due to sin. Sorrow and sadness is due to sin. Mental and emotional troubles are due to sin. The break-up of families is due to sin. Selfishness, self-centeredness, and pride are due to sin.

Even though God is Sovereign over sin and He uses it or our benefit, we should in no way, shape or form tolerate sin in our lives. There should never be any warm affection for sin except a burning hatred thereof. We must continue to mortify the flesh through the Spirit. We must mortify the flesh as it cries out for and lusts after all manner of sin. We cannot mortify sin but we can mortify and subdue the flesh that sin appeals to. We must reckon ourselves dead to sin and all it’s temptations. For we are, in fact, dead to sin as we died with Christ at Calvary. One who is dead does not suffer temptation. [We] are crucified with Christ. We are risen unto new life with Christ. We must now serve righteousness as we served unrighteousness in the past.

Reader, You and I will not be sinless in this world but we will sin less in this world as we walk with God and as God continues to work all things together for our good. All the pain, all the suffering, all the persecution, all the afflictions are part of our predestinated end…Christ-likeness. All the negative mentioned in the last sentence is the backdrop for all the good we enjoy in this life and praise God!!!….there is so much good in this life in spite of sin and isn’t the goodness part and proof of Christ’s victory over sin and God’s reign over defeated sin?

 

O’God, My God, Thank you for all the good and all the bad that you are using to make me more like my Elder Brother, the Lord Jesus. O’God, my God, Thank you for allowing me to see you work things together for my good. My faith has grown and has become stronger and has developed into hope. O’God, my God, Thank you for being my Center, my Anchor, my Refuge and my High Tower. Thank you for being my Strength and my Hope. Thank you for being my Whole Armour of God. Thank you for being my God, O’God. Thank you for being my LORD and my Lord, Thank you for being my Saviour, my Redeemer, and my Surety. Thank you for being my All in All and for being that which defines me and my life.

“The Appeal To Guilt ‘Don’t You Care?'” or “Is It Ever Right To Appeal To Guilt” or “It Sure Can Be Tempting”

“Blessed are the persecuted.”  (Matthew 5)

Though our false prophets, err, rather the western main-stream media does not often report it, our brothers and sisters in Christ are being persecuted around the world. Part of this persecution includes the choice or converting to (i)slam or death. Other types of persecution is torture and the loss of home and family.  Church family, This is the worse case scenario!!! Many of our family members have had their heads sawed off with a (12-13″) twelve to thirteen inch knife.  It takes (5) five muslims to hold a Christ-ian down in order to saw of the head. This sawing can take up to (15-20) fifteen to twenty seconds and the Christ-ian is aware for many of these seconds and the Christ-ians sounds like a pid squeling as air escapes the opend throat.

Others are put into cages and lowered into acid vats and the muslims watch and cheer as the Christ-ian cries out to God and dissolves.  Many of our sisters are beaten and raped and sodomized repeatedly by these things called muslims.

It is at this point that I want to say, “Don’t you care?”  However, I know that one should not appeal to guilt but to Christ-ian love.  One must appeal to, “What would Christ have you do?” or “What does your conscience tell you to do?” or “What would you have others do for you if you were the persecuted?”

Scripture tells us in Hebrews 13  that we should put ourselves into the shoes of the persecuted and act from there.  In other words try and put yourself in their place, in their mind.  What are they feeling, what are they thinking?

Paul, as he endured great persecution, would inform the Church through his epistles of his suffering as he desired them to understand the cost of following Christ and to warn them of what was to come. He would also covet the prayers of those that were still safe from persecution. He would also want them to know that Christ and others believers were the reason for his continual endurance.

It is the same today. Our family in Christ are suffering because Christ and the Church is worth it. They are suffering as an example to us as persecution will come our way. They covet our prayers as they continue to endure all things for Christ’s sake and ours. I have seen Christ-ians lose their heads as blood thirsty muslims saw them off. In addition to the horrible sight I also see courage, defience, love for Christ, honour, trust, hope and Scripture’s truth. I see all of that on the part of my Christ-ian family.  What I see on the part of the blood soaked and blood thirsty muslim is cowardice as they wear masks, dishonour, a love for death and devil, and hopelessness.

These men and women, boys, and girls have no hope but unfathomable wrath and fury from the God that Loves those whom the muslim’s have killed.  God promises retribution and vengeance upon the wicked. For the God-condemned muslim murderers it is only a matter of time. Their destruction is beyond question or debate. Their ridiculous beliefs of virgins and peace with Allah will turn out to be eternal toment “virgin-free” with their Allah aka Satan. How ironic it is that we, here in the U.S. are called the “White (s)atan” by the middle east while all the time they serve the real (s)atan. This irony is on par with the irony we see in the life and death of Haman of Esther.

What should we do about this persecution?  We can’t stop it or end it and that is for sure. What should we do?  As mentioned above, in Hebrews 13 we are told to get inside the minds of the persecuted and to pray from that knowledge and understanding.  One could also get books that describe Christ-ian persecution. The most famous is “Fox’s Book of Martyrs.”  There are many other titles available. One might go onlive and investigate this subject. “Voices of the Martyrs” is a good place to start. Youtube has much to offer.  One could give financially to persecution relief funds.

Something else one could do is study the holocaust as this is persecution of God’s Jewish people and it is a type of persecution many are experiencing today and many will experience soon. Watch movies that depicts the holocaust and Christ-ian persecutions.

It breaks my heart to know and to see my Christ-ian family suffering under persecution. It breaks all the more to see other Christ-ians troubled very little by this knowledge of persecution. Paul taught that when one body member suffers the whole body suffers. But it seems that few body members are feeling any pain at all when other members of Christ’s Body are being boiled alive in acid and others are having their heads sawed off.

Body of Christ, Stand up and be heard, tell others of this persecution, pray fervently for those enduring it.  While the (m)uslim may separate a Christ-ian from his or her head, the (m)uslim will never separate the Christ-ian from the Head of the Christ-ian Body or His love.

Why does God allow this persecution?

  1. God is a “BIG Picture” Thinking God. He knows that the suffering in this world can not be compared to the Home that awaits us or the joy and pleasures that are therein.
  2. This persecution draws a distinct line between righteous and unrighteous.
  3. Those that persecute God’s people are filling up their cups of sin and God is filling up His cup of wrath and fury, and our cups runneth over.
  4. This persecution proves the veracity of Holy Scripture that has prophesied concerning this persecution.
  5. This persecution is the beginning of the wheat and tare separation.
  6. Persecution is a refining process and has always been a refining process. Those that suffer and endure persection until the end will come forth as gold and will be saved.
  7. Did Christ not suffer and endure persecution? Are we greater than the Master? He says We are not.
  8. Persecution and death is that which propels us to God and allows us to behold His Glory and to be with our Bless-ed Lord forever and persecution is the final nail in the persecutors end.
  9. If God came to you and said, “With your approval, You are about to suffer and endure great persecution, but through this persecution much good will come and I will be greatly honoured and glorified.” What would you say?  NO? The truth is we have approved, we have concurred. We have approved of this persecution when we became a Christ-ian.
  10. Much grace will be given when the time of Christ-ian persecution arrives. There are records of saints singing while they burn at the stake.  There are records of saints beseeching God not to lay their murder to the charge of their murderers.  There are records of saints clapping their hands and praaising God as their flesh burned away. There is even a record of Christ Himself accompanying (3) three Hebrews in a fiery furnace!!! (Daniel). Stephen said, as he was being stoned, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7). This is the only place we read of Christ standing after His ascesion and prior to His return. Except!!! when He stood with Paul during his persecution…”The Lord stood with me.”  It appears, brethren, that Christ will stand with all that suffer persecution for His great Name’s sake and for the sake of righteousness.  Truly, blessed are they who are persecuted.

While the above is true it speaks to the spiritual. We are a tripartite being as we are spirit, souls, and body.  The spirit is blessed in timesof persecution andGod is made near, and we may grow spiritually and garner treasures in Heaven, we are still suffering in the body. Therefore, while we read, say and believe, “Blessed are they who are persecuted,” We must still pray for the persecuted and find ways to send relief for their bodily needs.

What should one pray?

  1. That grace abounds where pain is present and that faith may be increased where needed.
  2. Thanks should be given for the care He gives.
  3. Ask for ways you can aid.
  4. Ask God to give you a heart for the persecuted.
  5. Pray that you might learn from this persecution.
  6. Pray that God would cut down and destroy those that are persecuting His/our people.
  7. Pray for those in authority where you live so that the times of peace we enjoy may be lengthened and that we may be allowed to worship God in peace.

 

Body of Christ,
Do not put the persecuted out of your mind but think upon them often and pray as though you are the persecuted as you will be soon enough.
Godspeed