Will you be ready?


On that day when the Trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ rise from their graves, will you be ready or will you watch it on the news later? The parable of the ten virgins tells the story:

Matthew 25

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

1At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take along any extra oil. 4But the wise ones took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9‘No,’ said the wise ones, ‘or there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10But while they were on their way to buy it, the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.

11Later, the other virgins arrived and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’

12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’

13 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Will you be ready and watching for Him to come?

Are you righteous?


There are pious people and there are pretenders and even some who are “self-righteous”, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Are you righteous? If you are not born-again into the body of Christ you are not. No person on Earth has a sinless righteousness because only one Person ever achieved that and He sits at the right of God the Father. Our righteousness is as “filthy rags” and only fit to be burned in the heap of garbage outside the city. There is not one truly righteous person on Earth, not even the Pope because our righteousness is worthless unless we have salvation through Jesus and are in His righteousness.

Without the imputed righteousness of Jesus, which we have if we are saved through faith in Him, anything that we accomplish in the flesh is nothing. No matter how much good we do or how much we accomplish in this life, if it is without Jesus and done by His direction and for His Kingdom then it means nothing.

Being a part of the Christian Life takes faith in Jesus and your repentance from your sins. Not just talk or emotional feelings during a revival service. People can act like a Christian and go through the motions sometimes all the way to seminary and being the pastor of a large church and still not be a Christian. How is this possible? By doing all of the things that they have seen others do and say but not really giving their heart to Jesus and really changing their lives! If there hasn’t been a change in your soul, your heart then there really hasn’t been a change from being the person that you were.

That is what the conviction of the Holy Spirit brings to the table, so to speak. He convicts you of your need for salvation and then God places the faith in your heart to accept Jesus as your Savior so you can have a change in your heart which brings true salvation to you. There is no amount of money or education which can bring salvation into your life by learning about Jesus.

You could have a doctorate in Theology and be able to quote the Bible from the beginning to the end and if you have never accepted Jesus into your heart and repented of your sinful life, then you have the knowledge of salvation but not the fruit of it. Knowing about something or Someone doesn’t mean that you know them or even that they know you. If you aren’t known by Jesus then eternity will be a very different experience for you. Make sure of your salvation in Jesus Christ so that you can say with Paul: “Give your life as a living sacrifice to God“.

Who is God?


That is a crazy question isn’t it? He is our Creator and our Savior. So why do we tend to move away from Him? Probably for the save reason that Israel did when they were in the wilderness, they were sinners just like we are. We have our own ideas of how to serve God or not and sometimes our ideas just don’t follow Him the way that we should. Even when the disciples followed Jesus there were some who were more dedicated to what He taught, more in tune with His message than others. Some of us just don’t get it and some do but they want to follow Him their way.

There is a problem with trying to follow Jesus or God on your own path though. For one thing, it won’t work. Making your own path but following God doesn’t work because God’s path is not your path. He leads you not the other way around. How far would a herd of sheep get if the shepherd walked behind them? They wouldn’t go anywhere. That is why God spoke of us as His sheep. Our ideas and our ways are not His ways but in order to follow Him and learn from Him we have to follow Him every day!

God is our Savior and our Shepherd in this life so that we can get to our eternal Life. The pathway goes where God leads us, not in the direction which feels comfortable all of the time. There could be some rocks and some thorns and the path may be a bit steep and narrow but as long as we are following the Shepherd that knows the path from one end to the other then we will get to our destination.

God is the Creator of everything and even if you don’t believe that, even science is beginning to show that life would not be possible if it weren’t for the finely tuned physical processes in the universe. I can’t go into the many different things which are part of that fine-tuning but there are a few that many of you know about. Like the distance which Earth orbits our Sun and the rotation of the Earth. Both are exactly the amounts which life on Earth needs. Any deviation in distance or rotation speed and life might be possible but it wouldn’t be the way it is now. These did not happen by “a lucky strike of another planet” or by chance.

God had a hand in Creation!

I know there are many people who don’t believe the Bible is true, but I do believe that God gave the details of Creation to Moses while he was with Him on the mountain. How else would Moses have known? Read it, learn about Him and how HE brought everything into being, then seek Him out as your Savior. He provided a way for your salvation so all you have to do is seek Him out for it. I pray that you will.

Which way will you go?


Have you made arrangements for this yet? Many people seem to be on the most popular wide road but where exactly does it lead? According to any newspaper every person goes “to be with the Lord”. Are you sure of that destination?

Most of our lives, we seem to be heading somewhere but where? Some seem to be bent toward living their lives on fast forward and not really caring about their end of life or where it may lead. Then, of course, there are some who listen to their parents and their teachers and at least try to stay on course during their lifetime. Occasionally they may listen in Sunday school or Vacation Bible school and learn about a Creator and a Savior called Jesus! According to some polls taken in the past few years, there are many young people who are rejecting any affiliation with religion whether it has anything to do with their parents or not.

God loves humanity enough that He came to Earth to live as one of us. Then He tried to teach people how to know Him and show them that He cared. The “priests” were the ones who sought to get rid of Him and they thought that they had, until they found the empty tomb after His crucifixion. The teaching which He brought to us through His disciples and His teachings to them for us is still available, the salvation offered by your belief in Him and the atonement which He gained for you is still available for you…if you will believe in Him. Jesus did this for you and for me knowing that we would need salvation and forgiveness.

He did this for each of us because of His love for us, not because of anything that we do. His provision of forgiveness and grace is not dependent upon anything that we do, it is all a gift from Him to us IF we will believe in Him and receive it! God has loved us from the beginning of time and He knows each of us because He knit us together in the womb. We are His creation, His workmanship, so He knows what we can do and what we are capable of doing. When you feel His call on your life, don’t turn away from Him.

We are loved…


As God’s creation, we are loved and we have been loved by Him since before the Earth was formed or even before light came into the universe. Isn’t that amazing? God loves you and me! The depth of His love toward all of humanity was not known until Jesus came into the world about two thousand years ago and He embodied God’s love toward humanity. He went around the sea of Galilee with His message of love, forgiveness, healing and the promise of an eternity with Him. What more could we need or ask for?

Here on Earth, many people search for more money or fame or stuff but what good does all of that do? All that it does for us is cause more worries and headaches and stress and at the end of your life…someone else gets it and most likely they will sell it or auction it off. The eternity which God offers us is worth far more than anything we can have here. We will have a home and a life with most of our loved ones. I say most because there are going to be some who either didn’t accept Jesus in this life or they walked away from Him and His offer of salvation. I know, that sounds like the same thing but it isn’t.

Some people won’t accept His offer of grace and salvation but they may finally accept it right before their death (if they have the time). Many will hear the message at some point but they will determine that it just isn’t for them and they will walk away and likely never darken the door of a church again. The thing is that only God knows your heart and their hearts so whatever choice you may make in this life, make sure that it is a sure one by walking with Him during your life and leaving your old sinful life behind. Why do I say this? Because other people need to know that your life has changed and you have changed! Your life should be a witness to others for Jesus whether you say anything to them about salvation or not.

That is what Jesus meant when He said for us to “take up your cross and follow Me“. In the passage which is linked here, He says to “deny yourself” which is exactly what you think it is. Deny or turn away from your old ways of living and follow Him by prayer and study of the Bible. People usually look at me funny when I say that they need to study the Bible, but I am not saying that you have to write it out word for word. I only mean that you should pray over what you read daily, just a chapter or two a day and you will read all of it in about a year. If you make it a habit like I have, going a day without it will feel strange.

Reading God’s Word daily is like walking with Him every day because you learn more about Him as you read His Word. Granted there are two books which are very difficult to understand or even know what they offer for our life today but they are necessary. Those books are Leviticus and Numbers. They deal with the Priesthood of Israel and the number of people in each tribe and how much is to be sacrificed to pay for certain sins, etc. What are they good for today? These two books show us how impossible it is to live a holy life, blameless before God without the Holy Spirit guiding us every day.

Make sure of your relationship with Jesus while there is time and opportunity to do so, because after your last breath the chance is gone.

Consider the sparrows…


They don’t work for their food or for their shelter yet God provides for them. He even knows when one of them falls to the ground. God has more love for us than for them, so don’t worry about what you will eat or what to wear. God has even numbered the hairs on our heads so if He cares enough for other parts of His Creation to take care of them, won’t He take care of us as well?

God has also named every star in the heavens and He knows where each one is because He hung it there. All of the atoms and elements in the universe are tuned by God so that life can exist here. So why do so many people think that He doesn’t care about them or each one of us? He has always cared for us and He knew each of us from the beginning of time yet there are many who won’t believe it today. Eternity is going to be very lonely and painful if you don’t know Him and believe in Jesus for your salvation.

Confessing Christ

(Luke 12:8-12)

32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

The Sword of the Gospel

(Luke 12:49-53)

34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

Take up Your Cross

(Matthew 16:24-28Mark 8:34-38Luke 9:23-27)

37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

The Reward of Service

(2 Kings 4:8-17)

40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

If you have given your heart to Jesus and have been following Him in your daily life, you will not fear death nor anything which may happen in the future. Your future, your eternity is sure and you will spend it with Him. If you have not followed Jesus in your life and have decided that salvation is not something you want then your eternity is sure too, but it will be in hell with the rest of those who have rebelled against God. Make sure of what you believe and Who you believe in.

Do you believe in God?


According to a poll which was taken recently, over half of the people who believe in God do not believe in God as described in the Bible, God’s Word! Huh? Yes, the poll was taken about a year ago but how can you believe in God and not believe in the God of the Bible? God is the Creator and our Savior as well and He is described in His Word as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. So how can you decide to “not believe” in God as described in the Bible?

Is it because you don’t like Him or what He asks people to do? I looked at the picture which they had on the link above and it shows clearly how America’s belief breaks down. Here it is:

So how can this be in a country which claims to be Christian in it’s belief system? What happened in our churches or the sermons which people have heard? Have they heard a sermon preached from the Bible or was it just a pep talk about how they feel with a few scriptures thrown in for good measure?

I know that prayer and the Bible were taken out of our education system over fifty years ago but that can’t be the only reason which is making this kind of impact on our culture! College professors are teaching their own agendas in class and much of that is against any sort of Christian ideas. Then there are the other parts of our culture like movies and TV shows which push their agenda of unbiblical ideas and ideas which go against the Ten Commandments. All of this is piling up in our daily lives with our children watching these shows, unless we turn the TV off or just don’t have one in the house.

How can we fight this? By teaching our children from God’s Word and by preaching from God’s Word too. If we don’t teach our children from God’s Word, how will they know what God says about our sinful ways of living? People will never know what sin is unless they are taught from God’s Word and His laws which are what our laws are based upon.

If nobody goes into the world to tell others about God and His will for their lives, how will they know? Until preachers and teachers tell others about Jesus and God and His laws which have been a part of our world for over two thousand years the percentage of true believers will keep going down.

Jesus is coming back soon and until people know it and know why He is returning nobody will be expecting His return. Which means when it does happen, it will terrify the entire world even those who have heard it at least once in church. I pray that those who don’t believe in Him or have never heard this will seek Him while there is still time.

Jesus is Coming

6And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

8And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

10And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Nothing May Be Added

18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Are you looking for your Savior?


The Lord will seek you out as well, but if you know that you need Jesus, don’t wait! Seek Him! Our world is rapidly moving toward the time which is described in the book of Revelation known as the Tribulation. Will people come to know Jesus during this time? Yes, they will, even though it will be dangerous for those who choose to worship Jesus. Because, during this time most will choose to worship the leader of the world, the Anti-Christ. They will choose because of his charismatic nature but also because if they do not take his mark and worship him they will be killed by beheading.

 

Why is this happening? 

This is happening because it was foretold in God’s Word. It is happening because we have pushed God and prayer and the Bible out of our children’s education and out of many homes. It is happening because even though we, as Americans, call ourselves “Christians” we don’t live as Christians. We claim to know God and we do know about Him but many in our country don’t attend church except once or twice a month or even twice a year or so. And then there is the fact that many people don’t read the Bible. Some have read a little of it at church or when getting ready for a Bible study, but I am speaking of daily reading and studying it. You can never find God’s will for your life if you don’t read the Bible because His will for every Christian is contained in His Word.

Are you seeking your Savior?

Have you felt God’s Spirit touch your soul and convict you of the fact that you need Jesus? Do you want Him in your life or will you just ask Him to leave you alone and decide that you can live your life just fine without Him? Our world is doing exactly that today. Many people try to read it and they can’t make sense of it but without faith, without Jesus in their heart, God’s Word is nonsense. It can be clear to you but unless you are looking for Jesus and seeking Him, you still may not understand it. There are times when we “act” like a Christian and go to church and read our Bible but playing a part, acting like a Christian doesn’t bring you salvation. Nothing that we do on our own can bring salvation into our lives.

Jesus is the only pathway to Heaven. Belief in Him and giving your life to Him along with repentance from our sinful ways is the only way to be forgiven and gain His righteousness to get into Heaven. Being a born-again Christian is not hard to do IF you allow Jesus to enter your life completely and change you from the sinner that you were into the child of God that you can be. It is only with His Spirit in your heart that you can be a Christian in the truest sense. You can’t do it on your own. There is no amount of money or work which will accomplish the change for you. Only by surrendering your heart and your life to Him to allow a total change in your being can you really live as a Christian.

Seek Him as your Savior and trust Him to save you from your sinful ways because only then will your life change because you have changed from the inside out. He paid the price for your sinful life so all you need to do in order to receive your new life is to believe in Him and grow in your faith after receiving Him.

Amen

Is your culture Christian?


In some areas of our country and in some other countries, there are cultures which have had access to a church or a Bible for most of their lives. But, just because you have heard sermons and had access to a Bible, either at home or at church, for most of your life does that really translate into you being a Christian? In America those of us who live in the “Bible belt” of the South seem to be culturally “Christian” just because we have grown up in the church, regardless of the denomination. We have heard sermons and watched crusades on TV and may even watch Christian television occasionally. But are we more like Christ or do we have more in common with the priests and Pharisees of Jesus’ day?

Are we truly Christians or do we just know about Christianity and its trappings?

Reading the Bible at church and singing the worship songs is great but does it mean that you or I are Christians? Have we accepted Jesus as our Savior because we know that we can’t get into Heaven without faith in Him? Or are we just going through the motions because that’s what we’ve always done? Jesus condemned people who think they are Christians and yet they really aren’t. Read it here:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name,drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’” (Matt. 7:21–23)

Performing good works and going to church and praying “in Jesus’ name” doesn’t mean that you are saved! Giving your life and your heart to Him and repenting of your sinful ways and then growing in that faith is the only real proof of being saved and born again into the family of God. By your faith and your growth in your faith after you accept Jesus as your Savior is the only proof of salvation. Just praying to God every day or so or reading the Bible occasionally is proof of nothing except that you know Who He is and that you have read the Bible.

Satan knows every word written in the Bible and he knows Who God and Jesus are, but he won’t give his life to them or serve them. He can be the best religious attendee at your church or mine but he will cause a rift in the church eventually. He can appear as an angel in light and speak the words of the Bible in your ears but he is not serving God. He is trying to get you away from God and your salvation.

Beware the “feeling” of the experience in a church service because it is deceptive. It can make you feel as if you felt something, but what did you feel? Emotions don’t produce salvation or true repentance from your sinful life. If the Holy Spirit has convicted you of your need for Jesus, please seek Him out at a Bible teaching church or a friend who can lead you to your Savior. Don’t turn away from Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s calling in your life. Just because you have been in church all of your life doesn’t mean that you are saved, it just means that you know about God and Jesus and Who they are. I pray that anyone seeking Jesus will look for Him in God’s Word diligently and make sure of your salvation while there is still time to do so.

Salvation


What is it and how do I get it?

For one thing, salvation is not something that you just go out and get. The only time that we even realize that we need salvation is when the Holy Spirit convicts your Spirit that it is necessary. Most of us tend to go through our teen years without a care in the world. Sometimes we even get through college without feeling the need for salvation. We live our days with sins which we may not recognize as such until we feel the need for Jesus in our lives

That conviction of our spirit usually comes from a sermon or a friend who witnesses to us about their salvation and how they have gained their freedom from sin.

So, where do you go from the point of learning that you need Jesus? To the Bible and to church. Learn more about your Savior. Seek Him and learn as much as you can about Him. Here are a few verses about salvation:

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

+ 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

+ Acts 16:30-31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Life in eternity is what these verses are speaking of and telling you that you are welcome in God’s house. He would rather have you in Heaven than to condemn you to an eternity of punishment in hell. But unless you believe in Jesus for your salvation and turn from your sinful lifestyle, whatever it may have been.