Sacrifice


Does anyone think about this word or what it entails at all these days? What is a sacrifice for you today? Do you even consider a sacrifice in your daily living?

To be truthful about it most of us don’t consider it at all. Sacrifice is something which is just not considered in any part of our society, not just in America but in many parts of the world. Although in some countries sacrifice is a daily part of life because that is just how life is in those countries. It is something which many young people have no concept of at all, particularly today.

Our Lord sacrificed His deity and His Life to ransom our souls and our sins to rescue us from an eternity in hell. It is only fitting that we should sacrifice some things in this life in order to serve Him as well. The Christians from the beginning of the church at Jerusalem sacrificed their lives many times during the past two thousand years. Many were burned at the stake or crucified or fed to lions and other beasts because of their faith in Jesus.

While it is true that we are not being persecuted in that way today, at least in America, in some countries Christians are being killed for their beliefs. As many as 1,000 every day. This will only get worse in the coming years, particularly after the church is taken up to Heaven. During the Tribulation there will be millions killed for not worshiping the one who is in power at the time, the antichrist. Life will be harder than it is now and there won’t be a church to turn to for prayer or help in those days, at least not like we have now.

I pray that anyone who reads this will seek out Jesus and give your life and your heart to Him. Pray for your salvation now while there is yet time to do so.

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If the church was a hospital…


The United States now ranks third (3rd) following China and India in the number of people who are not professing Christians; in other words, the U.S. is becoming an ever-increasing “un-reached people group.”

If the church in America was a hospital the government would investigate it for the number of “deaths” (people leaving) and shut it down entirely! Why is this happening? America was begun by people who were looking for a place to worship without persecution concerning their faith or religious practices, so what has happened in the 240+ years that America has been a nation?

In a way, the church is a “care facility” for Christians or rather that is what it is meant to be. We are or at least should be studying the Bible there at least once every week, listening to a sermon about Jesus or God’s plans for our lives and learning from these sermons exactly how to live our Christian lives!

The survey, which is at the link above, tells us that people are leaving the church as hurting people because they have not been getting what they need from the sermons there. They feel empty instead of being filled with hope for the week ahead. Jesus is the Author of LIfe and if you leave a church service feeling more dead than alive, something is wrong!

God didn’t send Jesus here to bring people from life to feeling dead! The hope that we find in Jesus should be life-giving and life-sustaining because we will be with Him into eternity if we have given our hearts to Him and live accordingly.

So…what is going on in the church today? People seem to be disillusioned with the message or the messenger but it is difficult to tell which one is actually the problem. Is it possible to fix this? The only way that I know of is with lots of prayer with the entire church body involved in the prayer. If those in the congregation don’t want to participate or even feel the need to participate, then it is likely that the church will soon close its doors.

I was called into a pastorship a little more than seven years ago but the number in attendence on a regular basis has been dwindling for a few years now. Mostly due to jobs being elsewhere and people moving and the fact that our congregation was small to begin with (less than 30 people). Churches are closing at an alarming rate, not just in the so-called “Bible Belt” of the South but all over America.

Only if we will come back to our core beliefs in God and humble ourselves with prayer about this situation will things get better. Although, we are very close to the time of Jesus’ return for His Bride, at least that part of her that is left. It is during this time when the faith of many will grow cold and after the church is taken up things will only get worse. I pray that we will come back to our faith and trust in the Lord and maybe things will turn around before it is too late.

Humble

Life and the Author of it


Many times during our lives we see something which doesn’t quite add up or we experience something that seems to put a wet blanket on a holiday or a celebration. At times, it doesn’t have to be much in order to do this. It could be that your paycheck wasn’t quite what you hoped for or maybe the timing of a visit just didn’t click and the visit turned into hurt feelings. At times our relationships with family and friends can go sideways and then people will not speak to each other for a long time, maybe the rest of their lives.

Life turns out that way sometimes. When it does, we need to slow down and find a place to seek out the Author of Life, Jesus Christ. Why do I say this? Because He is the Savior of our world and He came for everyone in it who will believe in Him. Granted, there are many who refuse to do so, but God is still in control and His purposes will be accomplished in the end.

There are many in our world today who are against Christianity in general, which is sad. Sad because for most of the past 2,000 years, Christians have done more for people than any other religion. I don’t mean that the dark ages are even part of that because they are not. The Crusades were an abhorrent part of our past and although they were done under the direction of the Pope at the time, Christianity shouldn’t have had any part of them, but our religion has been damaged by this part of history.

Our real problem today is that our society has become so used to hearing lies until the real, honest Truth of Scripture bothers people. They don’t want to believe it and most don’t want to hear it either. Yet, they would rather listen to and believe something which a man wrote down a little over one century ago or even seventy years ago and base their spiritual lives on those writings. The wisdom of mankind, whether it was written in the seventh century AD or BC, is foolishness compared to the wisdom of God.

The Bible has never been disproven and it has been on the bestseller list for many, many years. All of the prophecies in the Bible have come true with the exception of the last book in it, the book of Revelation. There will be no denying it when they come true because the world will experience all of the plagues and the wars and pestilence which are foretold to come on this Earth.

What can we do about what is happening in our world today? Truthfully…not a lot. One person has had more influence on the world than any other in history and yet most of the world wants very little to do with Him. Jesus wasn’t a general of an army or a great world leader but His influence is still seen and is felt all over the world today! He died on a cross about 2000 years ago, but after three days He came out of that tomb and met with His disciples for about forty days before returning to Heaven at the right hand of God.

Many people today deny that He had any effect in the world and they don’t believe in Him or the Bible but one day soon that will change. When He comes back for the saved of the world who have put their trust in Him and those who believe in Him today, many people will wonder what happened. They will try to explain it away with all kinds of fantastic stories and theories but the truth is in the Bible.

1Thessalonians

 

Superficial Christianity


Have you ever been accused of being a superficial Christian? Why do I ask? Because it seems that today that is exactly what most of professing “Christians” really are. They listen to sermons and maybe read a verse or two of Scripture and maybe even get baptized at some point but then they pull out their cell phones and forget what the sermon was about. Do they read the Bible after church and pray for God’s guidance in their lives on a daily basis? Only God knows the answer to that question. Are they real Christians in their hearts or just pretending? Still, only God knows for sure.

themissingpieceMany people play at church and many of them think that they are saved because until you can see a real change in their lives and hear it in their speech or in their actions, you truly cannot tell. Some of them can pretend so well that those around them may not be able to tell if there is a change happening in their lives or one which has already happened. Now, don’t read something into my writing which isn’t here! I am not saying that a certain percentage of people who claim Christ as their Savior are really not saved.

What I am saying is that there are a number of people who are very shallow in their Christianity. Like children, they are in the wading pool or maybe in ankle deep in the surf but they feel comfortable being there. Many, if not most, will never venture any further in their walk with Jesus. Which is a shame because being a Christian is more than having your own salvation, it is about telling or showing others what a life with Christ in it can be!

We have been given the most valuable gift in the history of the world…forgiveness and eternal life to go with it! Why in the world would you hold that like a spoiled child and not tell others how they can have it too? It didn’t cost us anything, yet it is the most precious gift that anyone could receive and because it is worth more than all the wealth in the world…why not give it away?

God has plenty of room in His Kingdom and all we should do is tell others what Jesus has done for us and how they can have this too! I know that the Truth in the Bible is not the truth that everyone wants to hear. Nor do they want to know about our Savior because they don’t believe that He is the Savior!

But consider this…if you did have access to one trillion dollars would you keep it all to yourself? No, the government would get a huge chunk of it in taxes, but even then you would have hundreds of billions of dollars left. There is only so much stuff that you can get before it is just…well stuff! Of course if you had all of that wealth, you would have more friends and kinfolk than you ever knew you had, so for me I would find a place back in the mountains somewhere and hide…but then what? You can’t hide forever!

Jesus told His disciples to go and tell others about the salvation which comes through belief in Him. We aren’t to beat them with a Bible or have a temper tantrum because they won’t listen, just tell them what He has done for you. If they want it great! If they decide that they have time to wait, maybe they will hear it another time or place. The problem we face today is that we are coming to the end of the age of Grace. I have no idea when He will come back and I have no idea when He will call the believers in the world up to Heaven as the Scriptures tell us.

So…what are you waiting for? Have you been guaranteed time on this Earth? Do you know for sure that you have another week or a month or maybe a year to live? I may die in a car wreck tomorrow, my wife may get killed at the place where she works, my son might get killed in a car accident next week. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Think about it and then seek Him.13239362_10154180220593879_708192815796487421_n

How does God feel about me?


My title here seems to be a silly one actually. I mean come on! God loves each and every person on this Earth! His Son came and died for ALL of our sins, not for just a few! What sort of God would do such a thing? Give part of Himself over to live as a human being on a ball of earth and water just to die on a cross for our sins? He is our Creator and our Redeemer and our Savior, that is the God that we serve!

1533781_811048015579131_2056361741_nBut…what if you don’t believe this? What can you say about God and His love for you if you haven’t trusted Jesus as your Savior? If you are in that position, then I suggest that you seek Him out for your salvation soon. Because the time of grace which the world has enjoyed for the past two thousand years or so is coming to an end. I won’t be presumptuous or vain enough to even try to give you an idea of a date or year in which He will return, but He is coming soon.

I can give you an example of His promise for Israel, which also applies to us today. This was given to the prophet Jeremiah around the time of Judah’s captivity in Babylon:

10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. (Jeremiah 29: 10-14)

The “expected end” which God is talking about here is for the children of Israel to come out of Babylon and to have learned to trust God and serve Him instead of other gods as they had been doing since coming into the promised land.

God also has our life and our outcome in His hands as well. Believing in His grace for your life is required and if you have faith to believe in Him for your salvation, then you are already there. God can and does use us in His Kingdom iF we will listen to Him and follow His lead in doing His will.

Is it possible for us to be this obedient? Yes, if you will follow God’s will for your life. Many people come to church to get their “fire insurance” in order to stay out of hell, but the real problem comes along when those same people claim that they are saved and then their life doesn’t show a change from before they accepted Jesus.

I don’t mean that you are judging their salvation but whether it was genuine. Why do I say this? Because IF there is a true change in their heart through the Holy Spirit, there is no way that they can turn back to their old way of life or their sinful ways which held them in bondage before their salvation! Because when the Holy Spirit makes a change in your heart, you can’t undo it…it is permanent.

Have faith in God alone!


Isaiah 43:1-2, this is what the Lord says,” do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned and the flames will not set you ablaze.”

onebreathawayOur Lord and Savior is on His throne and all of these promises are given to those who believe in Him. Seek to do good for those who cannot do for themselves because that is what Jesus would do in this world.

Life, especially life on Earth, is precious to God and He doesn’t look kindly on those who take it lightly. We, the whole of humanity, are His creation and in spite of what some religions teach, God loves each person as His own. Why else would He send Jesus to die and pay the penalty for our transgressions, even before most of us today were born?

Yes, God will protect those who believe in Him and His Son and He will give them life even after this body has died. Will all of us see this come to pass in our lifetime? I don’t know nor could I tell you because only God knows when that time will be. He knows the day and the hour and when the time comes, it will happen and not before. It will also happen when God has determined it will and not because of what we are doing or not doing on Earth.

There are some who think that if they cause more death and destruction on Earth it will force the Tribulation/End Times/Whatever you want to call it to begin, but that is not how God works. Yes, He did bring about the flood because of the evil intent of mankind and Jesus said that the condition of the world would be “like the days of Noah”, but our wickedness is not going to trigger the Tribulation.

God’s timing of events will proceed at the pace which He decides on, not on anything that we are doing or not doing at the time.

Make sure that you are ready and looking for His coming when it does happen, because the world which will be here after the church is taken up will be much worse than the one we have now.

 

Why do you believe?


There are many reasons why people have their different beliefs about…religion, sexuality, occupation, money or a host of other things in life. I am not going into all of them here. Your belief in religion could get you into an eternal hell. Why? Because it isn’t the religion which brings you to salvation! Jesus does.

IamtheWayIt isn’t a hard thing to believe in Jesus because He did come to Earth and die for all of man’s sins, past, present and future. Whether we accept it and believe it as the Truth of the Bible is another matter. Many don’t believe it, mostly because they see Jesus as He was…a man or a prophet. They don’t see nor do they recognize Him as the Son of God. Why? The Bible tells the story of His birth, most of His life after He began His ministry, and His death on the cross and His resurrection. The Bible is God’s Word, so why not believe it?

It’s words are inspired by the Spirit of God and since He cannot lie, all of it is true, so why not believe it? Because most people really don’t want to believe it nor do they expect it to be true. The facts are these: since it is God’s Word, inspired by Him and attested to be true by proofs of His majesty and power, there is no reason NOT to believe the prophecies or the history within its pages. You can choose to ignore parts of it or to decide that you will not believe in the things which it says, but that doesn’t change the fact that God’s Word always accomplishes that which He wants it to do.

Your belief in Him or His Word has no effect on whether it will be true and will come true or not because God will cause all of the promises and prophecies to come true in His time and at the appointed time for them. Our belief or lack of belief has no effect on His purposes. They will come to fruition…because God loves us.

It is because of His great love for us that He sent Jesus to pay our debts on the cross. We need to understand that our responsibility is to love Him and serve Him with all of our mind, soul, body and strength in this life, regardless of our vocation or our financial ability. God will make you into a real messenger for His Kingdom, if you will give your heart, mind and soul to Him.

Our world would be so much better than it is IF we would commit to doing this every day of our lives. If you have not given your life to Jesus, please consider doing so. Nobody knows when your last breath will be and the end of the age is approaching faster than most realize. Don’t wait…seek Him out for your eternity today!

God is here every day


Some people know this for sure and many more doubt that He even cares, but He does. He loves us and gives us grace and strength for each day and the problems which come to us on a daily basis. How do I know this? Because there are stories in the Bible about Him being there in the fire with the three men in Babylon when they were thrown into an oven because they would only worship God! He is with us during our trials too!

It doesn’t matter what kind of trial we are going through or whatever problem we are having, He is there. Even when there is more going on around us than we can see or imagine, He is there. Why am I reminding you of this? Because of the times which we live in today. There are some tough times coming and some which are already here, but by leaning on Him every day, each of us can get through those troubles.

In today’s world, many people from their teens on up to their thirties are addicted to a game called Pokemon GO. I am sure that you have heard about it, if you haven’t bumped into some of them playing it. Anyway, I was wondering why we can’t get our church members involved in chasing after Jesus in the same way?

behold i am with you alwaysWhy? Because, Jesus told us to take the gospel into all of the world…so what better way to do it than to tell others about Him as you go about your day? Why do we, as Christians, decide not to tell others about our Lord and Savior? Is it because we are afraid of what they may say about us being so pushy with our faith? Probably. In today’s society we are so caught up in being tolerant and politically correct until we barely talk to each other at all! We message each other on Facebook and Twitter, occasionally we will have a sit-down talk with someone over lunch or dinner, if we can put our phones down long enough.

We don’t talk to each other anymore and that is one of the drawbacks of our cellphone crazed culture today! Me message each other even when we are sitting at the same table! Relationships are being torn apart because of this and it seems that nobody is even noticing. It isn’t news because it isn’t bloody or it doesn’t involve a gun, but it is causing our society to fracture and come apart. If the same thing were happening to the ice in the Antarctic people would be rushing to find a fix for it!

I am not going to place blame here, but it does fall squarely on our media-intensive phones, regardless of the make or model! If we were stuck with “old phones”, such as a flip-phone, things would be a little better because they weren’t media phones. But, those don’t sell to a younger crowd, they sell to older people like myself (even though I do have an Android phone).

God is present in your life every day, whether you acknowledge Him or not. You are breathing because of Him, you are alive because of the function of your heart and your lungs and because of His Grace. So why can’t we give Him praise every day? In our life and in our walk through this life, at work, at home, at play, on vacation, we should be seeking Him in all of the things which we see around us and in what we are doing. Why? Because He is there and in your heart, if you belong to Him!

Don’t leave Him at the church or in the Bible after your study time, take Him with you so everyone around you can see Him too.

Anguish and sorrowful times


There are many people in our world today who feel desperately sorrowful and depressed. Some for unknown reasons and some because of things which they have been unable to control in their lives. Sometimes these problems are because of the job which they have to do, like a policeman or woman. Some of them may feel this way because of being in a branch of the military and they are also doing things which bother them. I know that it doesn’t bother them during their fighting and battles so much, but whenever they get back home it is labeled PTSD.

Either way that you look at this, it is something which most of us have to deal with at some point in our lives. Whether it is from battle in a war zone or from an abusive spouse, PTSD is real and it doesn’t go away easily. Sometimes it takes long sessions with a therapist  or drugs to tone it down manageably and sometimes it takes faith and prayer. Whichever way you get treated for it, I pray that it doesn’t cause more problems in your life.

So many are having to live with anguish and sorrow in countries where Christian persecution is happening and where children are being taught to be “warriors” or suicide bombers who are told that this is the only way to bring about the coming messiah. It is NOT the way at all! The Mahdi is NOT the messiah, it is Jesus the Christ! In the Bible the end times are a time of turmoil and war and suffering like the world has not seen in thousands of years.

john317The three years at the beginning of the Tribulation is what is referred to as Satan’s wrath, the last three years are where the wrath of God is poured out on the Earth and those who follow the antiChrist. Those alive during those first years of the Tribulation, it will seem to be a time of plenty and peace at least for those who decide to follow the one who is in charge. Any Christians who were not taken in the rapture of the church will know who he is really but few others will believe it.

Their lives, your life will be in danger because soon everyone will have to take the mark of allegiance to him, likely a chip or some other mark in the hand or on the forehead. Christians will be in danger of being killed if they do not take the mark because if they don’t they can’t buy food or gas. If they do take it, then they are forfeiting their soul because they are aligning themselves with Satan’s pawn, his false Christ and if they do this then they “love their life more than Christ”.

Why do I bring this up in this writing? Because we are the generation which will be here when all of this comes to pass. What year or day this will take place I don’t know. God knows which day and hour it will happen but all of the prophecies which were to take place beforehand have already taken place or they are taking place now. Read the book of Revelation carefully and pray about what you are reading, then look at the news and all of the things that are happening in the world. Much of what you have read is happening in some way and in some place in the world. Make sure of your salvation before that day comes.

 

 

What would get your attention?


I see many blogs which are much more related to photos or jokes or even paintings which get much more traffic than the messages which I place here. Now, don’t take this the wrong way, I am not complaining about my audience at all! It does seem that interest is more for media and other things included on a website rather than messages of the Christ, our Savior!

I kinda understand it simply because of the time in which we live. We are very close to the time of Tribulation, so there is a waning of interest in things which refer to Jesus and salvation. This is also why churches are empty on many Sundays and why few people go to church at all unless it is for a holiday or a birthday or some other special occasion.

So much that is happening now was foretold thousands of years ago, yet the prophecies were so hard to understand until few people realize that they were speaking of today. The prophets, including John who wrote the book of Revelation, didn’t know what they were seeing. Planes could’ve been the demons of dragonflies, horses with fire coming from their mouths could’ve been tanks with guns firing. Our time reflects the descriptions of the time of the end, with much of the disregard for God and His laws being what we see today on the news.

Yes, we are just as much sinners and full of ourselves as they were thousands of years ago. Nothing has really changed except technology and transportation, the sins are the same, but worse today. Many of our sins today are more akin to things which would’ve been unthinkable in Jesus’ day or before. Slave trafficking was happening at the time, but not sex slaves made out of children, as far as we know.

Pedophiles and so many other sins which seem to be tolerated today by people who are supposed to be “religious” or even Christians. Why are we not saying anything or doing anything about this today? It seems that we have become so used to seeing it or hearing about it, until we just don’t think its important anymore, as if it doesn’t matter! What if it were your child kidnapped and sent to Thailand or some other place to be a slave in the sex trade? Would it matter then?

These things are happening, not because God allows it to happen but because the world is under the control and influence of Satan and his followers. I don’t mean that there is a huge cult or Satan worship group doing all of this, but those who perpetrate evil are under his influence. God is going to bring this to an end…soon. I suggest that if you don’t know Jesus, you need to come to Him and ask for Him to come into your life and change you into the person that He knows you can be!

Without Him, your life will end with your death here and then your eternity will be very different from what you might think it will be. Seek Him while there is still time to do so.