The church in our time


We are closer to the end times than you think. If you have ever read the book of Revelation you will know which church is reflected by the church today. The Laodicean church.

In Rev. 3:15-18: 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Many churches today have a service which resembles a performance more than a sermon. Some of the smaller, less liberal churches have regular sermons but the time is spent more with praise music than with preaching from God’s Word. There are other things which are going on in the church today which I don’t have statistics to show you but if you look up the status of the Christian church you can find the same statistics which I did.

Why am I bringing this up today? Because our world is walking and sometimes running away from Biblical preaching as fast as they can go and it is leaving those congregations with a very light dusting of God’s Word rather than a full meal from the Word. Paul wrote to some of the churches that they were still babes in Christ and they hadn’t matured enough to savor the “meat of God’s Word“. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul tells his listeners this: 1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—as infants in Christ. 2, I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, 3for you are still worldly.

God loves us but we cannot remain as “babes in Christ” for our whole lives! At some point, we need to study to show ourselves approved to be His disciples and His workers in Jesus Christ. The church today is lacking in its study of God’s Word and in the building up of the body of Christ, the believers who actually make up the church. Regardless of your denomination, each of us who claims to be a Christian who knows the Lord of Glory, all of us should be able to answer a simple Bible quiz and yet many cannot!

We have fallen behind in our studies of the Word of God because we are not passionate about our love for Jesus and our Life in Him! What happened? Has your heart grown cold against your Savior? He gave His life for each of us so why can’t we live our lives as a true living sacrifice to Him for the rest of our lives until we are called home? It is the least that we could do considering what He did for each of us.

I would rather hear Him say to me, “Welcome home” rather than “What happened after you accepted Me?” If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, do you read and study God’s Word at least once or twice every week or do you just pick it up when you attend church services? What would you do if you had to give the reason for your hope in Christ? Would you be able to quote Scripture for it or do you know enough verses that you could?

Are you or your church only lukewarm in your service to Him? If you are then you need to dedicate your life to becoming more passionate about Jesus and what He has done for you.

Is there something missing…


Many times when I was much younger, I felt as if something was missing in my life. Since my parents were divorced I always thought it had to do with my Dad not being in my life much. Which was likely since I didn’t see him much except during summer visits and two weeks doesn’t help much when your Dad is working and out of the house even when you are there. Still…I felt that my relationship with him wasn’t really what was missing but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

After high school, I found that the missing part of my life didn’t mean much, at least not yet. So I partied and played around with weed and sex and I still felt empty and confused because nothing that I tried was fulfilling at all and mostly left me feeling empty inside. Even though I thought I had found and accepted Jesus, and I may have invited Him into my heart, I don’t think that I had fully committed my life and my heart to Him at this point.

I didn’t have anyone to teach me how to become closer to God and to come to know Him in a deeper way, so I still felt like I was stuck in a rut and I didn’t know how to get on the right pathway. I don’t know if I am expressing this the best way but that is how I felt at the time.

Why am I opening my story up to you? Because our testimony is the story about how each of us came to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior and it is a story that each of us can express in our own words because it is personal. Each of us knows our own short-comings and our failures which brought us to the point of knowing that we need Jesus, because until we came to that point…we didn’t want to know Him.

My actual walk with Jesus began after my son was born. I had been given this gift from God to love and cherish and to be an example to, and I knew that if I wasn’t following Jesus from that point on then he wouldn’t learn about Him either. So, I began by reading the Bible at night while I was working in the lab at the hospital. I would read in between running samples or on my lunch (early breakfast) break.

Little by little, God’s Word began to make sense to me. I still didn’t understand it and even today after reading through the Bible many times I don’t claim to understand it yet, but I am walking with Him on a daily path. Do I stumble? Yes! Do I wander off the path or fall? Yes! But…He is there to help me get back up, ask for His forgiveness when I have failed Him in one way or another and then we carry on toward the goal.

What is the goal? The prize of being in His Presence! That is the ultimate goal of life. The life which each of us lives through and complains about here is just temporary but the Life in Him and in eternity is…well eternal! There won’t be anything missing when we are in His Kingdom and His Presence! The only “missing” things will be the problems which we have here, the time which we never seem to have enough of, our aches and pains and our glasses (if you wear them) or contacts. All of these man-made bits of help and diseases will be left on Earth when we leave this place, praise God!

If you need prayer for any reason or just an unspoken request, please leave it in the comments. I will pray for you in my prayers because I pray that this site and these messages have an impact in the world every day. Thank you for reading.

Amen.

What are your convictions?


Most of us really don’t think about this word or what it means, at least not on a daily basis. Your convictions come into play when you vote or in how you handle adversity. Sometimes, your convictions have an effect on the way you live your life from the beginning of adulthood throughout your life. One definition of a conviction has to do with being convicted of a crime in a court of law. The definition that I am writing about here is expressed best by part of a sermon which Dr. Charles Stanley taught recently so here is that definition:

A conviction is a solid, immovable belief based on confidence in God’s Word, being so thoroughly convinced of its absolute truth that we are willing to take a stand regardless of the consequences. Convictions shape not only what we believe but also how we live and even how we die. They define who we are and provide direction with solid straight lines that don’t veer off track to accommodate circumstances or temptations.

Many of the disciples and early church members were martyred for their convictions about their faith in Jesus Christ, so that should prove to many people that those beliefs and their faith and their conviction about Him were so strong that they were willing to die for them. You wouldn’t die for some made up fairy tale or a lie. Jesus is coming back as He said He would and I urge you if you don’t believe in Him as your Savior, to give your life to Him today.

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so as the Bible says, “Today is the day of salvation“. If you truly want an eternity which is not eternal punishment, and honestly who would want that for eternity, then give your heart to Jesus. Seek Him out in any way that you can because He is coming soon and you don’t want to be left behind to live through the seven years which will follow His removal of the church from the Earth. There will be a lot of destruction and death on that day because of the people who were taken to heaven with Him, but the aftermath of that will be easy compared to what comes later.

God does love and care for all of us but He doesn’t like our sins and the lives which we live apart from Him. Lifestyles which go against His laws and His precepts in His Word are not the lifestyles which He approves of. Living outside of His law just because you don’t like what the Bible says is not the Christian way of life. Consider the places that you go on a Friday night or over the weekend. Would you feel comfortable taking Jesus to those places, really? If you attend church but haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, would you feel comfortable telling your pastor about where you went the night before church on Sunday morning?

If you can’t answer those questions truthfully and without hesitation then your life needs Jesus in it now.

God is in control


31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and to death. 34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. Luke 22:31-34

Job 1:8-12 

8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for naught? 10 Hast, not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Job 2:1-6

1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand, but save his life.

I have placed these scriptures here because many people, it seems, do not believe that God is in control of our world today. It seems that there are quite a number of people who believe that if God created the Earth, He has left us alone in it and He has nothing to do with our lives today. The passages above prove that is NOT true. Satan wants to hurt and even destroy anyone who is a follower of God or a servant of Him, but God is in control of him even though Satan rebelled against God.

In these instances in the above paragraphs, Satan had to ask permission to afflict any sort of hurt or trouble on Peter and on Job. Jesus prayed for Peter to be able to withstand the temptation but He added; “when you are converted (restored, changed) strengthen thy brethren”. Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him and that it would break his heart. But, He also knew that after His resurrection Peter would be stronger in his faith than ever before!

Christians are watched over by God and Jesus even closer than any other people on Earth because of the temptations which Satan and his demons and principalities can inflict on us, especially young (new) Christians. Their faith in their conversion and in their Lord is not very strong because they haven’t studied His Word enough and learned how to stand in their faith on a daily basis!

Why do I mention that we have to stand in our faith on a daily basis? Because your faith grows and you become stronger in it as you learn more about God and His love for you. I will continue this post in a separate entry under the same name but continued.

Child-like faith


Jesus said to “suffer the little children to come unto Me for of such as these are those who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven“. I know that I didn’t write His words verbatim, but you get the idea. We are to have the same trusting faith in Him that children have in their parents who love them. Child-like faith is the type of faith which hasn’t been dulled by the cares of life and even though adults usually do have many “cares” to handle we should still trust in our Lord and Savior like a child.

God loves us more deeply than we can ever imagine although there are many who will not give their lives to Him out of stubborn pride or anger for some wrong which they lay at God’s hands. It is not God Who brings challenges into our lives, whatever they may be. It is usually our own stubborn pride or Satan’s demons who are allowed to bring suffering into our lives. Many times this suffering is brought to our doorstep not because God is angry with us but because it may be the only way to get our attention!

We are the ones who turn away from Him. God is always near and available to us in prayer and in our troubles yet many people will not bow their head or bend their knees to ask Him for healing or help in situations where it is sorely needed. A child trusts their parents and grandparents because they know that no harm will come to them as long as they are loved. There are exceptions to this because some children live in a home where they are not wanted or they are seen as a burden more than a blessing from God.

Jesus_Loves_UThese exceptions should not exist but they do in our fallen world. The entirety of Creation groans in anticipation of the return of Jesus and the restoration of order to its fallen state just as we do. He will return and restore our world and its order when His Kingdom reigns on this Earth one day, so keep your faith in Him until that event comes to fruition!

It is our faith in Him which Jesus was speaking of when He said that we must come in child-like faith to Him. Trusting in Him completely and knowing that He has always got our life in His hands and we are under His protection. Never doubt that He is completely in charge and in control of every good thing which happens in our lives. Seek Him like a child and in that complete faith, give your heart to Him because He gave His life for yours.

Jesus loves us because He gave His life for ours. All that we owe Him is that we should give our lives to Him in return and serve Him in all areas of our life until we go to Him one day.

Consider the mustard seed


Consider the mustard seed. It is the smallest seed of the garden vegetables and yet it will grow into a small tree if left to grow.

Jesus (Yeshua) said this to his listeners: 30 And he said, “What shall resemble the Kingdom of God and with what shall a parable compare it?” 31″It is like a grain of mustard seed, which when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the herb seeds on the earth.” 32″And when it is sown it comes up and becomes greater than all the small herbs and produces great branches so that the birds will be able to perch in its shade.” Mark 4: 30-32

Small towns and communities and even small churches are not considered failures but to some people they are. Especially in small churches. In truth, it doesn’t matter about the size of the church or the number in the congregation as long as they are attending and worshiping God. Yes, it would be nice if the church would grow in size but sometimes growth doesn’t continue on a monthly or weekly basis. Sometimes it is just a fluke for a little while and then the numbers go back to where they were.

In the world that we live in this is a sad thing because people need to learn more about God and their place in His Kingdom. Today, many people don’t even recognize His Kingdom or the people who attend church services as being any different from the rest of the world. This is a very sad thing indeed considering that we are living at the end of the church age, the age of God’s grace toward mankind.

That doesn’t mean that Jesus is coming back tomorrow, although He could, it does mean that we should be watching for Him and studying His Word prayerfully. Seeking His wisdom from the Bible so that we are prepared for His return and ready to meet Him in the air. God will not abandon His church nor will He abandon His people, the Hebrews of Israel. Even though the world doesn’t recognize Him as sovereign over the universe and all of its processes, that doesn’t mean that He isn’t.

The Earth is His creation along with all of its creatures including us. The universe is also His creation and the entirety of creation is waiting for Him to restore everything to the state that existed before mankind fell in the garden. We should be telling as many people about Jesus as possible, if they will listen, because it is our calling and our duty as Christians and disciples.

God is not slack in His judgment of sin and the world around us is full of sin and its consequences. The people who have not learned to follow Jesus will be judged one day and it will happen during the Tribulation which is coming to the Earth. I plead with you to seek Him while there is yet time to do so safely because during the Tribulation it will be very dangerous to be a follower of Jesus. You will be hunted and killed because of your faith in Him, but take heart even if you are killed, you will live with Him in Heaven.

 

Dear America,


Have you considered that we have never looked at our condition religiously? Our country and its people have never actually thought of Christianity as our religion. Specifically, since our government doesn’t endorse or choose any particular religion for our nation. Our people have many denominations and religions in our country and today we also have many who don’t claim any belief in God or religion.

So have you thought about any of this? Is it possible that we truly need religion? There are so many who commit suicide on a daily basis and we have so many who are struggling with drugs and alcohol on a daily basis too. So…what is the fix or the cure for this emptiness which we seem to be dealing with?

themissingpieceWhether our country as a whole wants to believe it or not, the answer actually is a relationship with Jesus. The empty place in all of our lives which we try to fill with all sorts of things from sex or money or careers and even family is only filled by one Person. Jesus Christ. That is the missing piece of the puzzle which we have been searching for all of our lives!

It isn’t a hard thing to do but in a society which prides itself on its independence, individually and collectively, we don’t want to depend upon any one person whether it is a Savior or even a spouse or a friend. Except when you look at the feeling of hope which He brings into our collective conscience. So why don’t we look to Him for our hope? Why can’t we do this so our country can have more hope?

Hope hasn’t died but to look at the news, you would think it has. Hope is in the Person of Jesus, Love is Jesus and He is Love for all of us because He did love us enough to give His life on the cross to pay the debt which we owed because of our sins. Even those of us where weren’t born when He did this still owe the debt if we haven’t given our hearts to Him.

I pray that those of you reading this will give Jesus a chance in your life. If for no other reason than to fill that empty place and give you hope for eternity and a heart full of gratitude for a Creator Who loves you more than you can imagine. Please, seek Jesus out for your soul and for your eternal hope because it is needed in our country today.

So little time


Why the title of “So little time”? Because we are so close to the end of the age that’s why! I am not going to try to predict anything here, but if you pay attention to the events happening around the world, we are getting very close. When will the church be taken up to Heaven? I have no idea. It could be tonight or three months from now or even three years from now. But, in God’s time, it will happen and it will likely happen sooner than most people think it will.

The timing of the “rapture” of the church and its believers and the beginning of the Tribulation are entirely up to God. There are no clues which give the date for these things found in the Bible. There are some prophecies which foretell the things which will happen before that day and many of those are happening right now. But to think that you can come up with a date and time is foolish. God’s Word is not that specific for clues to the Tribulation or the time of the rapture as some seem to think it is.

God cares for the whole human race and He is working to bring as many to a saving grace through Jesus as possible before that day comes. He is the only Person who knows the end from the beginning and He knows the names written in the Book of Life. When those are fulfilled and no more are joining the ranks of the Bride of Christ, which is the church redeemed, then the trumpet will sound and there will be a shout for all of the dead in Christ to rise! Then those of us who are alive will be caught up with them to be with Him forever.

This prophecy is the only one left to be fulfilled before the Tribulation begins. It will begin with the peace treaty between Israel and its enemies all around it, but until then everything will continue on as it has before. Your eternity, whether you believe in God or Jesus or not, will be determined by your decision toward Him. You will enter into eternity by being judged by the actions of your life OR you will be welcomed into eternity by being a redeemed sinner covered by the blood of Jesus.

I know there are some who think that Christianity is a “bloody religion” just because of the death of Jesus on the cross. It could be called that because it is the blood of Jesus which paid the debt for all of our sins, but we are talking about His blood, the Lamb of God, which took away the sins of the world! Whether everyone accepts this or not, and most don’t, it is still part of what God put in place for our redemption. You can choose to believe in it and the Person who died and rose again for you or not, but the fact is that your belief in Him and what He did is the only way to gain access to Heaven.

God provided this and it was put in motion long before the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. As the Bible says, “the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world“, Jesus was prepared to die for all of mankind even before Adam was created! Make sure of your eternity and place your faith in Him. Amen

Bridge2Salvation

Coming or going?


Our church is having a homecoming service this weekend, today actually, and I was wondering this morning about whether we are coming or going? Are you going to church or coming home from church? Will you be coming to the homecoming or going to a home-going one day?

What do I mean by a home-going? I am speaking of one of two totally different events actually. Either you will die and awaken in Heaven or the Trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise and those of us who remain will be caught up in the air to meet Him! That is the home-going of which I speak. We are only visiting the Earth for a while and during the times in which we are living, we are very close to that day of which Paul speaks.

When our home-going takes place, the world will be changed dramatically. All of the Christians in the world will vanish, graves will open and the bodies of those who believed in Jesus prior to their deaths will rejoin their Spirits in the air to meet Jesus! The world will be perplexed and wondering what is going on. Many won’t understand,  but some will know because they have been to church many times, they may have gotten baptized at some point in their lives but they never gave Jesus another thought after that.

Those people who have been in church at some point in their lives will know what happened even if they were left behind. Life on Earth will get progressively worse because the Tribulation will begin soon after these things.

Why am I writing this on a day when we are having a homecoming? Because there are many people who don’t know Jesus even if they come to church, that’s why. God loves every person on the Earth, which is why He sent Jesus to pay for their sins, but He knows that all of them won’t give their lives to Jesus and ask forgiveness for their sins. I pray that most of you who read this will consider that God loves you and Jesus died for you, so please ask Him to forgive you and grant you salvation through Him.

IamtheWay

I will rejoice in the Lord


Habakkuk 3: 18-19: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”

When you get a bad diagnosis at the doctor’s office, rejoice in the Lord. When your day doesn’t go very well for you at work…rejoice in the Lord. When you wake in the morning, rejoice in the Lord!

Why do we need to rejoice in the Lord during times of good and in times of bad things? Because we are to give thanks in everything and rejoice in the Lord Who is your Strength and your shield in times of distress and in good times as well. God is always near to His children and even to those who don’t believe in Him and His goodness. He will be there when you call because He is always near you regardless of your circumstances.

There are some friends of mine and some family members too who are going through treatments for cancer or joint problems or recovery from surgeries or from the loss of loved ones and yet God is present in all of their daily problems or in their rejoicing over a good outcome. He is near to all of us when things are good, even though we may not seek Him in those times. He is also near when things aren’t going so well and in those times we usually do seek His favor and His help.

Regardless of your idea about how you get salvation or even prove your salvation, God is near your heart and He loves you. Jesus died for you and paid that debt, all that each of us need to do is to turn to Him when we feel His touch in our hearts convicting us of our sinfulness. If you haven’t done so, please seek Him out while there is yet time in this life.

You don’t get a second chance after this life is over, regardless of what Satan may tell you, he is a liar and always has been. Jesus has never forsaken anyone but there are many who have turned away from Him because of something that they heard from someone else and they believed them rather than Jesus.

I pray that all who read this will seek Him out in your time of need or in your time of good fortune because it is God Who gives you the strength to live through both.