What is wrong with this world?

Here’s a bit of a conversation that I read earlier, let me know what you think about it: I used to think that the communist totalitarian regimes were much worse. I’m having second thoughts, not because those got better, but because the US has gotten so much worse.

Be careful of your words and how you speak, remember Jesus said this in Matthew:  “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36–37)
Why is our world, especially the United States, become so much worse in conduct and corruption as well as in having no respect for each other or even for life itself?

whats-wrong-with-the-world-3-638Truly, it is because of the place where we are in history. It is not because of the number of countries with nuclear capability nor is it because of Communism or Democracy or some other political system, no it is because of how close we are to the second coming of Jesus!

I know there are many who don’t subscribe to this belief because they either don’t believe in God or they don’t believe in Jesus and His second coming. But, God doesn’t lie and the Scriptures have held true for all of the past four thousand years or so because scientists have proven the existence of the people in the Bible and because it was predicted that Israel would get its land back. How many other nations have done that after two thousand years? None!

The world and the people in it have gone astray from their Creator and the religion or philosophy which they are following now is not one which will bring them into His Kingdom. So what can we do to help them? Well, other than telling them about Jesus and His grace brought to them by way of His death on the cross and His resurrection three days later. But their salvation depends upon their belief in Him and their acceptance of His grace through the Holy Spirit. If they are convicted of their sins and repent of them to follow Him, then they will be saved! It doesn’t take a baptism nor does it take any amount of work or money given to any church..belief in Him and repentance and moving to follow Him every day will bring salvation to them.

The big problem today is that much of the world doesn’t want to know Jesus! They are very tied to their religions deeply. So deeply in fact that they persecute any Christians in their countries and in some places they imprison them or kill them. God honors these martyrs for His Kingdom truly but none of us really want to be a martyr but for our Lord and Savior it may be necessary one day.

All of the problems in our world today can be traced back to the Garden when one incidence of disobedience caused our separation from God and it has progressively gotten worse since then. I pray that many who may read this might use it for inspiration to lead someone to Jesus or maybe they will decide to follow Him. In either situation, you or the person who comes to know Jesus, it is a winning situation.

What is true love?

We search for a feeling similar to the feeling which we felt from our parents and grandparents when we were growing up. But how do you identify the real thing? How do you know when you have found it?

What is true love?

The love which is expressed by God is True Love. He gave His Son as a sacrifice to pay for all of the sins in the world from the beginning. God doesn’t ask for anything from us, except for our belief in Him and our faith in His faithfulness toward us. Jesus paid for all of the words that have been said in anger and rage. He paid for all of the murders and the rape and all of the worst sins which people have committed since the beginning of humanity until now.

True commitment to Jesus takes concentration on Him and His message, regardless of the people in the church or what may be going on around you in the church. Here is a bit that I found on Facebook which brings this point home a bit more clearly:

A man went to the Pastor of his church and said, “I won’t be attending Church anymore.”
The pastor said, “May I ask why?”
He said, “I see people on their cell phones texting and typing during the service, some are gossiping, some just aren’t living right, some are sleeping, some are staring at me, they are all just hypocrites.”
The Pastor was silent. Then he said, “Can I ask you to do something for me before you make your final decision?”
He said, “Sure, what’s that?”
He said, “Take a glass of water and walk around the church two times and don’t let any of the water out of the glass.”
He said, “Yes I can do that!” He went and got the glass of water and walked around the church two times. He came back and said proudly, “It’s done.”
The pastor asked him these questions; “Did you see anybody on their phone?; Did you see anybody gossiping?; Was anybody living wrong?; Did you see anyone sleeping?”
He said, “I didn’t see anything because I was so focused on this glass so the water wouldn’t spill out”
He told him, “When you come to church, you should be just that focused on God so that you don’t fall. That’s why Jesus said, ‘Follow Me’, He did not say follow them.”

Don’t let your relationship with God be determined by how others relate with God. Let it be determined by how focused you are with God.

The reason that I bring up commitment is that love and commitment go hand in hand in a relationship, which is what we are supposed to have with God and His Son. Give your heart to Him so you can find out what true Love really is because He will never leave you!

Cold as ice

I think that this winter we can all identify with the cold outside whether we would like it or not. It has been cold this winter and it isn’t over yet. So, how does this phrase “cold as ice” have anything to do with following Jesus? Well, if you have a few minutes to read and ponder this I will try to tell you.

GodcantakecareofyouThe global climate changed, past tense, after the Flood and it was very cold in some places and warmer in others than it had been previously. For the record, I don’t believe in the so-called global warming that you hear about in reference to almost any climatic change these days. Earth has always had its cold spells and warmer spells in the past and will likely keep on doing that for many years to come.

The reference which I am making today to “cold as ice” is the way which many people turn away from the love and peace offered to them through Jesus. It is a gift which you can’t afford and there is no price which you can pay to buy it, it is actually free to each person IF…they will only believe that Jesus did this for them and accept it. But, many people in our world want to find their own pathway to Heaven, one which they can travel when they want to and take a detour off of the path when they feel like it.

Living a Christian life with Jesus as your Savior is not an on again/off again affair. It is not a take it or leave it idea or decision, it is a life choice. Not a lifestyle, but a choice just as most other things in life are which have a true and lasting effect on your everyday life. The problem is that people in our world today are cold toward God’s Word and His Son. They don’t want to believe that He is the Savior that they have been searching for during their lifetime.

Most want their salvation to be a 50/50 partnership where they do so much and God picks up the rest of the tab for their salvation. But, just as in marriage, this is not a partnership where it is split down the middle. God and Jesus paid the WHOLE price for you and for every person ever created and the only thing that you can bring to the table is a heart and soul which knows that it NEEDS Jesus! Whenever you get to that point, the Holy Spirit usually lets you know, you only have to ask for Him to come in and save you from yourself, your sins and the consequences of them.

There are no amount of “good works” that you can perform which will make your salvation more real or lasting because Jesus did everything needed on the cross. We can’t add anything to His work any more than you could add fuel to the Sun and make it hotter. There are enough which has been done to pay each of our sin debts because the blood that Jesus shed paid for each person’s debts from the beginning of the world until the end.

It is the coldness of our hearts which cause us to ignore the gift which is offered for our salvation. It is also our own selfishness which puts us in that shape as well because we want to keep doing things our way and we don’t want to change. Nor do we want Jesus to change our hearts so that we are comfortable with Him being in our lives to make us more like Him.

So, how much of the world is selfish enough to be described as “cold as ice”? If you search for the answer on the Internet it will be somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of the world’s population who really don’t want much to do with Jesus. Many of them will actually say that they attend church weekly or pray to God daily, which is nice but where does their heart belong? Does Jesus know them well enough to have them written in the Book of Life?

Those questions can only be answered by God and they will be answered when they stand in front of Him, but at that point…it will be too late to change your mind or ask Him to come in and fix your sinful heart. Make sure that you know without a doubt where you are in that relationship because when you truly find out it may be too late to change.

Is your life in balance?

If you asked that question to a room full of people, whether you were at a church or a school, I would be right in saying that few, if any, would say “Yes”. We do try to keep our lives in balance but most of us don’t even know what we are balancing on or the actual part of our life that we are trying to balance.

Can we do this balancing act ourselves, without God’s help or presence in our lives? The answer is, absolutely NOT! Yes, I could balance my checkbook or maybe stand on one leg for a little while, but balance my life, that is something that only God could accomplish in my life and yours. Although it wouldn’t be instantaneous. Allowing God into your life and into your heart does begin the change, but it is a continuous change. It is something that people call a “work in progress” which doesn’t really become complete and finished in this life.

God’s finished work in each of us who accepts Jesus as our Lord comes when we enter into Heaven. The learning and the work for God’s Kingdom don’t end at that point, but we are more able to do the right and correct things in His will from that point on. Balancing your life is a goal which many people reach for, trying to attain it in this life under their own ability. But, until they come to the realization that it cannot be done without God in their life, that goal will be out of reach regardless of the amount of time or money spent to attain it.

Balance in life is about as unattainable as the fictional balancing of the Force in Star Wars. Because…without God in your life and without Jesus in your heart, it truly is something which you cannot achieve your own power and wisdom. Learning from God’s Word and learning how to apply it to your life is a process, much like learning history and philosophy in college. You don’t get it all at once, but you study and read and learn. Sometimes you may have to go over the material again in order to “get it” better.

The best part of learning from the Bible is that you are learning from God’s Word and wisdom and not from man. His wisdom is far beyond ours regardless of the number of degrees that you may have. Please, consider giving your heart and life to Him and learning from His Word. There is no better education than His and the Teacher is very good at what He does too. The Holy Spirit will teach you and guide you in all things through the Word, bringing to mind different lessons each time you read a passage.

Simple salvation

Have you ever been to an evangelical service anywhere and heard that it was simple to become a child of God? In many churches, you will never hear such a thing, but that is exactly what Jesus came to bring to everyone! The Jewish leaders of His day had over six hundred laws which they encouraged the people to keep (even though they couldn’t or wouldn’t keep them).

They asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment and He told them this: “Love the Lord with all of your mind, soul, body and strength and the second is like it; love your neighbor as yourself.” The law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. Much simpler don’t you think?

Salvation comes only through faith and belief in Jesus and the atonement which He bought for us with His blood and His resurrection from the tomb. Faith comes from hearing the Word preached and your soul responding to it, then belief comes when the Holy Spirit touches your heart and breaks it, showing you where you have failed to be like Jesus in your life. Why does it happen this way?

Because until it is broken just a little, there is no opening in your heart for the Holy Spirit to gain entrance. Being broken doesn’t mean that you are beyond repair because with God all things are possible! I mean, He made the first man from the mud and breathed the breath of Life into him. God called up the cattle and other animals from the ground and caused the waters to teem with all kinds of living creatures, certainly, He can take a small crack in your heart and mend it to make you into a new creature in Christ!

Learning about Jesus and His love for you is not the end of your life but the beginning! How can I say this? Because this pitiful seventy or eighty years of life is nothing compared to eternity! Which is where you will spend the rest of Life with Him and with all of those who have given their lives and their hearts to Him! Don’t throw eternity away because of a small thing or some amount of money here on Earth! The streets of Heaven are paved with gold and the doors leading into the Temple in Heaven are made out of 12 ft. tall pearls! What can wealth here give you that you can’t have in eternity? Absolutely nothing!

Make sure of your salvation simply because, after your last breath in this life, you won’t have a chance to change your mind or destination in eternity.

Which gift do you have?

When we become Christians and allow the Holy Spirit into our hearts to change us from the inside out, God grants us each at least one gift and possibly more. So, which gift do you have? In the Bible they are called the fruit of the Spirit but we all exhibit at least one of these nine gifts: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Paul said that “against these there is no law”, so which fruit do you have?

In truth, we should all exhibit each of these to a certain extent. If you have truly given your heart to Jesus and allowed the Spirit to come into your heart and change you into the child of God that you are supposed to be, then at some point in your life, whether it is daily or weekly, you should express at least one or two of these. Yes, the world around us does not like Christians today and many of them don’t want to hear about Jesus or see any expression of these gifts, but that shouldn’t keep you from using them.

These gifts are, many times, the evidence which separates believers from non believers. I don’t mean to imply that people of other faiths can’t be loving or joyful or kind because anyone can exhibit those traits in their life, they are not unique to Christians. The difference is that we can do so even in trials and heartache because we have hope in Jesus! He went through many heartaches in the time that He lived on Earth so our Savior knows what it feels like and He cares for you and me!

The spiritual gifts which Christians have is part of our salvation through Jesus, what we use them for and how we express them is part of our service to Him. Pray about your life in Jesus and ask Him what you are to do with your gifts.

Seeking your Savior

Have you thought about your need for a Savior? Has it ever come up in discussions around the house or with other family members? In much of the world’s cultures, individuality is expressed and encouraged more than a need for a savior so many people never search for one.

themissingpieceUntil that day comes when you feel that there is something missing and you can’t put a finger on what it might be. Sometimes this feeling hits us when we are teens or young adults and we try to fill that space with many things. Sometimes we try to fill it with sex or drugs, other times we try drinking, but eventually (if we survive all of the experimenting) we begin to look for something or someone meaningful to fill that void.

The problem rises up again when we find that people can’t fill that area of our lives. The only Person Who can is Jesus. “I’ve been down this road before, I don’t want to go again.” or something like it is what many of you are thinking right now.

The problem with that kind of thought pattern is that it doesn’t come from you, it is coming from a demon or another spirit which is trying to lead you away from Jesus. Following those thoughts can lead you to a life with many rewards, as far as the world can see. Like money, fame, a good marriage maybe, prestige but all of these are also patches or things which make you feel good about yourself and your place in the world but they have no lasting benefit.

What do you mean “lasting benefit”? If I had a million dollars in the bank, what else would I need?

See…that is the focus which Satan and his demons try to get you to focus on! Money is just a tool and it is mostly a tool of Satan because he can dangle all sorts of bills in your face and they look really good for a while, but just like the prodigal son, when the money runs out so do many of your friends. In spite of what you think about your friends, if you are wealthy to any degree, many of them are only there because of the money and the good times afforded to them by your money.

So, what can you do? Money can’t give your life meaning on its own and people can’t or won’t do enough for you, particularly in a time of trouble. Even your spouse can’t help you when you truly need his or her compassion and support, even though they will give you both of those if they love you truly. Who can help in these desperate times then?

Jesus can!

Jesus came to take God’s punishment on Himself for ALL of mankind, past, present and future. He did this on the cross and then was raised again on the third day, finalizing the victory for us! When the Holy Spirit convicts you of your need for Jesus, listen to Him and seek out a Bible teaching church and read your Bible! If you don’t have one, there are quite a few online but you can buy one easily enough, if you don’t live in a country where religion is restricted. Find out about His sacrifice for you and believe in Him for your salvation. All you have to do is ask Him to save you and He will!

God loves you more than you can realize and He doesn’t leave you in the cold when you need Him! He is always there, even if you can’t feel Him, pray to Him that He will be near you in a stressful situation and ask for His help in every situation and He will always be near you. He said that “I will never leave you or forsake you”; He is always near those who believe in Him and will give them strength to get through whatever is in your path, amen?

What will happen?

Today, I am writing because frankly I have nothing else to do at the moment. There has been a prediction that this weekend the rapture of the church will happen and all people who have given their hearts to Jesus will be taken to Heaven.

If God chooses to make this “prediction” come true it will happen, otherwise this is just a joke. Nobody knows when He is coming for the saved of this world and there is no way to predict it. As I stated in another post, God knows exactly the day and the hour when this will occur, not the angels in Heaven, not the demons on Earth, not Satan or even Jesus knows the timing of this event. God will tell them when it is happening and at that precise moment it will happen.

There won’t be a warning or a notice given, but it will happen. Anything else that God wants us to know is in His Word and we shouldn’t be changing words around or picking what we like or don’t like from it. The Spirit of God gave the words to those who wrote each book of the Bible. It wasn’t made up by men and it wasn’t written by old men having dreams, although some did.

God predicted many things which have come to pass long ago. Most of those prophecies have come true and the few which have not are the ones which directly affect Israel’s future. So, when will we be taken up? I haven’t the foggiest notion of that date or hour, nobody does except God and He will signal the angels to take care of it when it is time and not before.

Make sure you and your loved ones are ready because as the Bible says, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever“.

God doesn’t want any to perish but if you haven’t given your heart to Jesus, then you will be left here and will go through the Tribulation with the rest of the world. Be sure of your salvation because today is the day of salvation. Seek Him for salvation because it can be found in no other religion.

Are you full?

Are your bills paid? Is your house paid for possibly? Don’t be so proud of what you have that you miss what you need to hear from God! 

What do you mean, “what I need to hear?” I am rich, I don’t need anything!

These are the words and the thoughts which enter the minds of those who don’t have any worldly worries. The problem with this thinking is that they haven’t heard what God has been saying to them. That is what they need to hear. It is what many of us need to hear, regardless of which church we may go to or how much study we attempt to do in the Bible, if any at all!

YES, God is still speaking from His Word, through His preachers and teachers in the different churches and online too. God speaks in the sunrise each day and in all of the daily miracles which happen but we don’t notice them. The clouds, the wind, the air that we breathe are all gifts from Him. God expresses His love for us in all of these ways.

So, why do we ignore them? Because most of them, if not all of them, happen every day and they are commonplace to us. We don’t notice because there is no urgency to it and no uniqueness to each of these things, yet God gives them to us and to the whole Earth each day.

themissingpieceIs it so hard to believe that the Bible is true? Is it beyond our understanding that God is the Creator that the Bible says HE is? I don’t think that it is any harder to believe that God is our Creator than it is to believe that all of life on Earth, from bacteria to blue whales, came from a puddle of protein! Truly, I don’t believe anything about evolution because building from nothing to the most complex of life is so far-fetched that it is impossible!

God designed our world and each life…each person in this world for the purpose of fellowship with Himself. Then He provided the way of blotting out the sins of those who would believe in Jesus by His death on the cross. God loves the drug addict and the pusher and the hooker and the pimp and He loves them just as much as He loves you or me or anyone else on Earth!

All we need to do is listen to His Word and see Him in our world and in our life. Believe in Him and the Son which He sent to take the punishment for your sins, regardless of how long your list might be. To God Who is Perfect and Holy, stealing a paper clip is just as bad as killing thousands of people, even if it was in the name of some “religion”! The love of God transcends time and space and fills our souls with joy that we can’t contain when we finally realize His Truth. From that point on, we are slaves of His majesty and we should tell as many people as we possibly can about our Savior Who gave His life for me and you and every other person, good or bad or fat or mean.

Will all of us be saved? No. Because, not everyone will listen and hear with their Spiritual ears and accept His Son as the sacrifice which paid it all for them. Some will hear this message or one like it and say that it can’t be as simple as believing in Jesus and just walk away from the offer of eternity.

So…are you full of….joy? Happiness? joySorrow? Fear? Anger? Loneliness? Is it something else which controls your days and nights? Alcohol or drugs or maybe sex? The problem is that most of these are what we try to fill up on when we find that there is an empty place inside, but we don’t know what to put there. It isn’t a what….its Jesus. This picture shows the very essence of the joy that we can feel because our Savior gave Himself for us so that we can know Him from this moment into eternity…if we will accept Him.

Superficial belief

In today’s world it seems to be hard to actually have a belief in Jesus that is deeper than “skin deep”. Why is that? Mainly, it is because of fear I think. Because laws have been passed which condemn the mention of His name in some circles. Because it is not politically correct to be an openly Christian person in any public area or arena.

Today, it seems that our Christian beliefs are not correct enough to be proclaimed in any public arena outside of our churches. We are supposed to keep them to ourselves, according to the law but according the command of our Lord we are NOT supposed to keep this good news to ourselves.

The truth of the CrossWe have not been saved through Jesus’ sacrifice to keep that salvation to ourselves! While it is true that our view on salvation, sin, and eternity are views which aren’t held by much of the world today, God loves them regardless and He wants them to come to know Jesus for their salvation. It is true that, in the view of the world, we are narrow-minded and hypocritical in our lives it must be realized that only one Person was ever able to live a perfect, sinless life!

Yes, we falter and fail in many ways on a daily basis but so does everyone else in this world full of religions! There is no person on Earth which can keep all of the laws and demands of their religion perfectly every hour of every day! Christians included!

In order to be a practicing and faithful Christian our faith and our knowledge of Jesus is not supposed to be superficial! It is supposed to be the core of our being and at the heart of everything that we do in life whether it is in business or our daily living. I know that there are questions about this, so I will try to address them to the best of my ability.

How can I take Jesus with me in my business or professional life?

This one isn’t as hard as it seems. When you get up in the morning, thank God for your life and the ability to live it one more day. Ask Him to walk with you during the day and live your day in the knowledge that He is there. Be in a thankful mood for all of the things which happen during your day, good or bad. Don’t push Him away or attend a meeting or a hearing or whatever you do without Him. I don’t mean to bring Scripture into every meeting or encounter, but keep your mind as focused on God throughout the day as you can. With a bit of practice, it can be done.

What should I do when I say or do something that I know is sinful in His eyes?

Just ask forgiveness and move on with your day. Don’t beat yourself over the head about it. If your heart belongs to Him already, then your sins are forgiven, so act like it. But…don’t act as if you can walk on water because you can’t! Realize that your life is your witness for Jesus whether you say anything about Him to anyone or not.

Is it possible to lead someone to Jesus without preaching to them?

Of course. Let them see you praying over your food at lunchtime. If they ask about your faith, tell them what Jesus did for you and how He strengthens you each day. Show them in a Bible, if one is available, where He says that “all are welcome”. Here is a quote from the Bible to remember:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Living a life with Jesus present in it is not a hard thing, but like most disciplines in life it has to be practiced, daily. It is not a once-a-week refill of His Spirit but a daily practice of knowing that He is with you and thanking Him for His grace and His forgiveness too. At first living like He is walking with you every step of the way isn’t easy, but with practice it gets easier. Seek Him in the morning, walk through your day in a prayerful and thankful mind and then thank Him for sustaining you throughout the day. This is planting Him deep within your soul and not living a superficial and unfulfilling Christian life!

Live your walk on purpose for Him!