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.

A successful life


Can you live a Christian life today and be a success? Yes, if you live according to the Word of God. We are to renounce our “old ways” of living and turn our eyes and our hearts toward Jesus and living His way. What does that mean exactly? Here is what God told Moses during the Exodus from Egypt beginning in Deuteronomy 10:12-13

12And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Some of you might say to me “But that’s in the Old Testament, we don’t have to follow those rules now!” Why not? God hasn’t changed. It is only our perception of Him which has changed. We try to make Him into a “politically correct” god but He is God and He doesn’t change…not for you or for me or anyone else in the world!

In order for us to be forgiven and live a Christian life we are supposed to live according to His Word and follow Him every day of our lives until our death or until He calls us to Himself. It is not negotiable and He doesn’t conform to our ideas of Who He is! Until we realize that there will be many standing in that day saying “Lord, did we not prophesy in your Name?

Make sure of your relationship with Jesus now while there is a chance because if you are one who is saying those words in His Presence and He says, “depart from Me, for I never knew you.”; it will be too late to change anything about your salvation or lack of it at that time.

Make sure of what you believe and in Whom you believe.

God in man…


When our Savior came to Earth as a baby, He was the Seed of the woman but He was also the Word made flesh. The Old Testament tells of this in many scriptures and many verses yet there are some who will only teach and preach from the New Testament from the gospels on to the book of Revelation. The Bible reveals Jesus in many different ways and places in Scripture if we will only read and study it in order to find Him. In Genesis, He was the promised Seed of the woman. In Exodus, He was shown in the pillar of Cloud by day and the Fire by night, His sustaining Presence was also with them where the water came from the Rock and the manna which sustained them.

JesuspaiditallThe Person of Jesus showed up in many different places. Later He was seen as the Angel of the Lord and as a Son of the gods. His most enduring ministry has been in the past two millennia as the Holy Spirit sent to teach us to be more like Him and to be our Comforter. Jesus is our Savior, our Shepherd, and our Redeemer as well as our Advocate and our Protector.

God has given Him the seat at His right hand and one day He will sit on His throne in Jerusalem as King, ruling for one thousand years. How do I have confidence that these things will happen? Because of the prophecies in the Bible and their fulfillment. The only ones which have not come to pass are those foretold for the Tribulation. Be ready when He comes for His Bride, the believers who are on the Earth at that time and those who have died. There won’t be a second call. If you are left here then you will be part of the time of Trouble.

JesusCan you become a Christian during this time? Yes, but it will be dangerous and deadly because if you refuse to take the mark of the ruler of the world at this time you will be killed by beheading. If you do take His mark then you will lose your eternity. There is no gray area to hide behind…you either belong to Jesus or you follow Satan’s false leader who is the opposite of Jesus, the AntiChrist.

Ministering to…


Do you have a specific ministry? Do you pastor a church or are you a lay speaker or maybe a deacon at your church? What is your calling?

Over the past few years, I have wondered these things concerning my place in God’s Kingdom. I have also wondered how other people have answered these questions. Not being nosy but just curious.

You may wonder exactly why I am asking these questions and the reason is simple: I need to know if my calling is actually doing anyone any good at all?

God called me into this ministry in late 2008 so blogging and writing these thoughts and small sermons are my real calling rather than just being a pastor. God calls us in ways which we can’t really understand especially at the time of our calling. So…what are we to do with the specific talents and other gifts which He has given each of us?

For one thing, don’t ignore God’s calling on your life! Get up and use your gifts for His Kingdom. The reward of your writing and telling others about Jesus is being kept for you in Heaven so you can’t lose it ever! In today’s world, most of us are too timid to get out in public or in front of an audience with His message but we should. He called His disciples to do so and if you have given your heart to Jesus then it is your calling as well.

Don’t listen to those voices in your head which tell you to turn this into a business and make as much money as possible with it. Money and possessions are temporary because when you die that money and those possessions are given to someone else. You will stand before God’s judgment seat in the same condition that you were when you were born.

If you have truly and sincerely given your heart to Jesus then you will be clothed in His righteousness and your sins will not be held against you as evidence. God loves each of us, saint or saved or sinner alike, but those who haven’t taken Jesus as their Savior will be sent to a very different place other than heaven and that is hell.

Even if your self-righteousness equals that of the Pharisees who put Jesus to death, it won’t be enough unless you have given your heart to Jesus and have lived by His teachings and not by the sins which abound in this world today. You have been given a gift which is God’s grace through Jesus our Lord. It is a gift which will take you into eternity with Him but if you don’t give your life and your heart totally to Him then your eternity will be much different in hell.

Why do I say that you will be in hell? Because a sinful life is a life of rebellion and it is in that rebellion which you are in the same “camp” which is occupied by Satan and his demons. They rebelled and you refused to live your life by following Jesus every day, so you are the same in the eyes of God.

Make your goal one which looks for Jesus and for salvation through Him because by following Him is the only way to gain entry into heaven and a life with your Lord and Savior.

The unknown is scary


You know, everyone that I know is looking forward to going to Heaven to be with our Lord but nobody wants to die to get there. We don’t know what death is other than the end of this life. We don’t want to know how it feels or even if we feel anything at that point in time. We hear about some people who see Jesus just prior to closing their eyes for the last time, but we aren’t sure that we are ready for that, at least not yet.

Jesus said that He would take us to a place where we would be with Him, so why aren’t we willing and ready to go? We don’t know and really don’t want to know how death or dying feels like. Some say it’s like going to sleep. Of course, none of us really knows how we are going to die. I mean dying in your sleep would be perfect, to me. Go to sleep in your bed and wake up in Heaven. That doesn’t sound so hard or scary or even painful.

But…we don’t really know how or when God will call us home and that is another unknown. The only advice that I have about dying is that you need to be ready and make sure that when that time comes…dying is all you have to do.

Lord or Judge

Artificial life


In our world today we have AI or artificial intelligence inside many things. Phones, cars, computers, and in some cases people too. What do I mean by that? Well, if you can use your “pocket computer” to find out all sorts of information on almost any subject imaginable then I would say you are artificially intelligent. You can spout all sorts of statistics on games and cars and science and history and the news of the day and you get it from those little computers we call smartphones.

We do live in a time where there are so many things which fall into the artificial category after all. We have sweeteners which are not sugar, we have whiskey which isn’t alcoholic, we have beers which have such a small amount of alcohol in them until they might as well be classified as carbonated drinks. The list of artificial stuff could go on and on, but you get my point.

My problem lies with those who consider themselves to be Christians who really aren’t. They are artificial Christians. They do many of the same things which other Christians do like come to church and to Bible study, some of them are deacons and even pastors but if you could see what they have in their hearts like God can, it is empty.  They know what they should say and do, they have studied the Bible and been to church enough that they can quote Scripture and they have all of the outward signs of being a “Christian” but they are artificial.

Can we know for sure of the state of their hearts and bring them to repentance and the saving knowledge of Jesus? Truthfully, we cannot. Why? Because only God knows the human heart and we can’t. All that we can do is keep telling others about Jesus and giving our testimony and all of the things which our Lord told us to do so as to win over those who haven’t given their hearts and their lives to Him.

If they are finally convicted of their need for Jesus, then they may ask Him into their lives although it is likely that many of them will be like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They will be so self-righteous until they will see no need to change, even if they feel the Holy Spirit calling to them. Which will be a sad thing because they will be found in the group which is telling Jesus about all of the good things which they did in His Name and He will tell them, “Depart from Me, for I never knew you.”

Do you know anyone like this? Can you tell that they are not what they say they are? Unless God gives your spirit the discernment to be able to tell if their spirit belongs to Him, most likely you can’t. Even if you had a feeling about them, I wouldn’t confront them about it because you will be accused of being a judge and we are not to do that. God alone is the Judge of our hearts, so leave that up to Him. Make sure of your salvation so that you won’t hear those words from our Lord! Amen

How do we know?


How can we know that we have been saved? Can we know for certain? The Bible says that “our spirit communes with God“, even when we can’t pray our Spirit is constantly speaking to the Father in utterances which we can’t say. God knows about all of your needs and pains and trials and is there with you in all of them. When you read and study God’s Word and ask Him to show you His grace through the reading of it, He will.

God desires fellowship with us, just as He had with Adam and Eve in the garden. The only way that He can have that fellowship is when we have repented of our sins and asked Jesus to cleanse us of our old ways and make us into a new creation in Christ! God wants this relationship with His creation, particularly those of us made in His image. But, it seems that many of us have turned away from Him and His Word.

We have gone after strange gods and strange religions which are not of any real god at all. Many of them are religions which are “man-made” which is to say they are the imaginings of mankind. God is patient and loving enough that He hasn’t punished us for this, but He is keeping His anger in check until the time of Tribulation, which is yet to come. The world will know that there is a God, the Creator, Who is in control and Who is going to show the whole world Who He is!

How can you escape the punishment coming during that time? By giving your heart to Jesus and living as a disciple of His until He calls us up to Heaven one day soon. The church is the bride of Christ and will be taken up from Earth before the trials which will come on the whole world.

Although, at that time most of those who are here during those trials will not know that it is God Who is bringing the punishment on the world because they have refused to accept Jesus as their Savior. The few who realize why they are left behind may be turning their lives over to Jesus, but life will be very dangerous for them at that time. The world will be against most, if not all, religions in the world but especially Judaism and Christianity.

The best defense against Satan and the world that will be against your faith is to give your heart to Jesus now and serve Him until He does return for His bride. He is coming back soon, just as He said before He returned to take His seat next to the Father. Don’t discount the length of time that has elapsed since the day of Pentecost, we have been living in the age of grace, the church age, and when He calls His faithful followers home the rest of the world will know it.

If you truly are sincere about getting to know Jesus and to make sure of your salvation, follow this link and begin reading your Bible and serving Him today.

How can you be sure of your salvation?

Depart from Me!


That is a terrifying pronouncement that I pray that no one will hear, but there will be many of them because Jesus said that there would be.

“21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’  Matt. 7:21-23

Have you done anything in Jesus’ name or for His Kingdom? Have you given your life and heart to Him for your salvation? Today is the very day of salvation, do not wait because you do not know whether you will have tomorrow or the next day in which to do this. God loves each of us yet He knows which of us will give our hearts to Him and which of us will not. Make sure when you feel the calling of the Holy Spirit, don’t turn away and ignore it because you may not get another chance to repent and learn to walk with Him.

My life has been given to me to preach the gospel and if I don’t, then I will be responsible for those who could’ve heard it and did not. Jesus is enough for each of us because He is our Savior and King. We have all that we need in Him because of His riches in glory, no matter our position in life on this Earth. God knows our needs and He will provide those for us as we need them. Luxuries and “wants” do not fall into the need category.

Does it take a highly religious person to serve God? What about a person who doesn’t know Jesus, can they serve Him? Both of them can serve a purpose in His plans and His dealings with others but unless they are saved by their knowledge and their acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior, they will not actually benefit from their service in eternity. Even the king of Egypt was useful to God while He was liberating the Israelites from slavery because He used him to turn down Moses’ requests so that He could bring down the gods of Egypt in the process.

Yes, God can use many people and even animals in His purposes, such as the donkey in the story of Balim and for Jonah to be swallowed by a great fish. The donkey carried our Lord’s mother to Bethlehem and carried Him into Jerusalem on the day of His triumphant entry prior to His crucifixion. Anyone can be used by God for His purposes but it is our job to accept His call and follow His lead in life so others will see Him through us.

Monday

Cliche’


Life is not supposed to be lived while spouting cliche’s almost all of the time. When someone asks you how you feel, don’t tell them “I’m fine” because you know it isn’t true. At least not the way you mean it. I have been in doctor’s offices and heard friends meeting in the waiting room. They ask each other how they are doing and those words are the first that I hear from either of them, “I’m fine”.

NO, they are NOT fine! If they were they wouldn’t be in the waiting room to see the doctor! You know as well as I do that people do this all of the time. We are lying to our friends and we are lying to God as well! Why do I put it that way? Because, if your life is fine then you don’t have any problems, none. Your family is doing great, all of your bills are paid and your credit score is 800!

NOBODY is that perfect!!

Life doesn’t work that way! You know it and I do as well.

God loves you and the only place where life will truly be perfect is when you and I get to Heaven. There won’t be any cell phones or clocks, no disease, and no lottery or sweepstakes to try to win money from. But…until that time and place is a reality, we are all a good deal less than “doing fine”. Do you believe this? I do.

Perfect peace and harmony aren’t possible on this side of Heaven. Even though some fictional shows declare that we can achieve this through technology and by realizing that God is not real. I hate to break it to you but He is real! The Bible and all of those prophecies couldn’t be some fictional book made up by some old men because mankind cannot know the future, especially what will happen hundreds of years in the future.

Cliche’ or twisted words are what the serpent used to get Eve to try the fruit from the tree which God had commanded them NOT to eat of. Truly, cliche’s are words or phrases which are used so much that their meaning is lost. When you twist someone else’s words then you are creating a cliche and that is exactly what the Serpent did in the garden.

There are people who do this all the time, they are called lawyers and politicians. If you don’t believe me, listen to a recording of their arguments in court or the way that their laws are worded in the legislature.

God loves us but telling people that you are doing well or fine is usually a lie in the first place and that is a sin in God’s court. Anything which is beyond the truth is a lie and it doesn’t matter what you call it. A “fib” is a lie, a little white lie is still a lie, any untruth is a lie but Satan tries to tell you and me that they don’t mean anything unless they are really BIG lies! WRONG!! Make sure that your relationship is with God and His Son, Jesus because Satan can disguise himself as an angel since he was one a long time ago. He is very skilled at making people believe things which aren’t true as if they are.

So, make sure of the spirit that you are hearing is actually from God. As the scripture says, “Test the spirits with God’s Word”, then you will be safe when you hear it and listen to it. If it isn’t from God and it doesn’t line up with Scripture, then don’t listen to it and get away from it.

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.