Judgement, where does it start?


Many times in God’s Word, the judgement began at the door of the Temple and went from there. Today, I believe that the church, all churches, needs to examine its doctrine and its practices to make sure that they line up with God’s Word. If any part of our service, our doctrine or our lives inside or outside of the church doesn’t line up with His Word, then revival and repentance is sorely needed!

Sometimes you hear people in the media saying that the church is too this or that or they are judging us, by what right can they do that? If we use God’s Word as our True example and don’t add any of our human frailties and feelings into it, then our witness is true. If we are using rules and regulations that “the church founders wrote”, then we are way out of line!

We cannot be salt and light for the world if we, as a church, have lost the flavor imparted to us and our lives by the Holy Spirit. Our lives have to reflect the message and the life of Jesus, as much as possible, otherwise we don’t look any different from any other “religion”. Jesus gave His disciples and the church a mandate of going and making disciples of all nations. It wasn’t a suggestion or a talking point, it was and is a command from our Lord and it shouldn’t be ignored regardless of the opinion of those outside the church.

Why do I say this so forcefully? Because, we are supposed to be telling people about Jesus and His love for them. We are not supposed to be “like everyone else”, we are representing the Body of Christ here on Earth. Taking His message to those who may not hear it, taking God’s Word to those who can’t afford or get a copy, bringing food and clothes to those in need, teaching them about Jesus by being like Him so that they want to know Him. That is what His church is supposed to be doing. Not meeting in huge auditoriums and cheering to a sermon which says nothing about any of this!

God loves all of humanity but there will come a point when He draws back and lets us go our own way, to the ruin of whichever country that may be. I pray that is not happening to America, but from the news and the stories that have been told in the past decade, it just may be. Please pray with me that we are not at this point. We are at the point of truly needing God’s strength and His mercy but if we don’t repent of our sins and our weak religious ways then we may experience His judgement instead.

10 seconds


In our country, ten seconds pause before pulling a trigger would help in some ways. I know that ten seconds is a long, long time when someone is shooting at you, but could we possibly step back and take a deep breath before shooting someone. A deep breath, a few seconds even if it is only two or three or maybe five, but our country is in dire need of some respite from violence with guns.

I am a gun owner and a legal one. I only have my guns for protection of my family and I have a couple for hunting occasionally. Our country seems to be trying to tear itself apart because of a few people who have used guns in the wrong way, whether they were cops or ex-servicemen or members of gangs. There are many gun owners, like me, who have owned guns for many years and have never used them on another person at all. I learned a long time ago that unless you are going to shoot something or someone, you never should point a gun at anyone’s person. If you are hunting, then make sure of what you are aiming at and what is beyond that point so you don’t accidentally kill someone on the next hill over from you.

This is just how I learned to handle a gun and it is how I have taught my son. He knows not to point a gun, even a BB gun or air rifle, at anyone because it is dangerous.

If we could just somehow step back and seek God’s forgiveness for our mistakes, then try to learn what is going on in the neighborhood or in our towns and cities, coming together as just people, not cops, not whites or crackers, not Blacks or African-Americans, but as people of the United States!

I know that it is hard to do because there is mistrust and anger on both sides of the street and in our cities and government, but if we can seek the Lord in all ways and try to learn from Him how we should act toward one another, I do believe that He can heal the broken towns and villages and the hurts and the pain. Because it is going to take God being involved before any real progress is going to be made in this! We can’t do it because we are part of the problem!

It is our problem because of our prejudice toward each other. Something which should’ve been getting better with time, not getting worse as it has done in the past six years or so. I had hoped that by the time my son got to the age of going to college, maybe the problems between dark skin and lighter skin would’ve gotten to the point of not being something to worry about. It seems that political correctness has brought forward more issues to deal with rather than helping to blur the lines between the races.

Seek His answer for your life and for our problems in this world because God is the only One Who has the answers that will work!

Have you come to Jesus in repentance?


You know, there are many people who attend church and some who don’t attend any church who know about Jesus but they haven’t repented of their sinful life or their sins in any way. Many of them think that by being in the church or on a church roll that God will dismiss the things that they have done and forgive them anyway. That is NOT what the Bible says or what any of the gospel writers taught at all! Believing in Jesus is the way to salvation but refusing to repent of your sinful ways is just a slap in His face which will not be tolerated nor forgiven!

Coming to Jesus with a broken heart knowing that what you have been doing is against His laws and commandments and asking for His forgiveness is the way to and the beginning of salvation. Once you have taken that first step by asking Him to forgive you, then you are ready for the Holy Spirit to come into your life and your heart and change you into the person that He needs you to be. As the Scripture says, “you are a new creation, behold all things have become new” and it is true!

Your old life and ways won’t have a hold on your heart anymore. You will want to be more like Jesus and to follow Him every day. Oh, this desire to be like Him and follow Him won’t happen immediately but it will happen when you study the Bible and pray with Him and to Him daily, bringing your problems and fears to Him. Because, Satan will try to derail your walk with Jesus by bringing your old life up and your friends will come around asking for you to go with them to places that you know you shouldn’t be going now. Temptations like these will happen sometimes on a daily basis at first, but once they realize that you belong to Jesus, your friends might just ask you about Him.

That is when some of them will leave and you might never see them again, but some of them will want to know more. Why are you so happy? What has changed about you? Things which bothered you one time, don’t anymore. What is going on in your life that is different? They will want to know and you can tell them. Show them the verses that you have been reading, tell them about the saving grace that God has granted to us all if we will just ask for it with a repentant heart and turn away from our old life.

Repentance is the only way to change your life along with coming to Jesus. Continuing to do the things that you did before, even after asking Him for His forgiveness, shows that you are not sorry that you did those things and that you never intended to stop doing them in the first place. In other words, you lied to Jesus and to God! That is a dangerous thing to do because not only can God just give you over to the thoughts of your mind, but He can also harden your heart so that you cannot lie to Him again. You will never feel the tug of the Holy Spirit on your heart regardless of how good the speaker might be.

Being let go by God is a sad thing because you will never have the chance to repent again…to come to Him and ask His forgiveness. I know, some of you will say that God is supposed to love us and He wants to save us. Yes, He does but we are given free will to be and do whatever we want to do. Many of us do this to the extreme and some of us push the limits of everything that we do. What do I mean by this? Well, for instance we push against God and His laws, just as we do against our parents when we were growing up. We rush right up to the limit of the sin, whatever it might be. Some of us pull back and repent. Some of us, keep right on going because we enjoy whatever it is that we are doing, even when we know it is wrong.

 

Pentecost


Repentance is not a single event but rather a point of crisis along with a continuing relationship choice. Repentance is part of a Christian’s regular spiritual life and routine. When you repent of something, regardless of what it may be, you turn away from it and choose another, better path.

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?
11 b, we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Our lives in Christ are important to God, which is why He sent His Son to take the punishment for our sins and die on the cross so that we might be able to receive forgiveness through Jesus. The only requirement on our part..that we have to do is to repent and ask for the forgiveness that has been provided. Now, some might say that they don’t feel compelled to repent of anything in their life so why should they? In that instance, either you are not ready or it isn’t the time yet for your spirit to be called. Which doesn’t mean that you are not wanted by God, He is just waiting until the time, His time, is right. He alone knows when that may be, although you can still pray and ask Him into your life. You will not be refused.

God never will turn away a sinner who asks from their heart and truly repents of things that they know that they have done. It is not a one-time event in your life, just as changing the oil filter on your car isn’t a onetime maintenance item either. We are all sinners and we do it on a daily basis. Nobody is exempt from this fact, even Jesus was tempted but He didn’t sin. What can we do about those temptations? Are we able to control them and ourselves? In many instances, no we are not able to do this with our own strength. But God provided us with the same Spirit that was given to Peter and the disciples that day, which will enable us to resist temptation.

Many people think that He didn’t sin because He was God in the flesh, but it was because He yielded His will to God each and every day..every minute. This is what we are supposed to do, but many think that once they have given their life to Christ, they don’t have to do anything else. If you don’t do anything else, your life won’t really change at all from what it was before you accepted Christ.

Then you will be counted among the hypocrites because you didn’t allow the Holy Spirit which you received to really change your life. This is why there are so many who are not in church, they know the Truth, they may have accepted Christ but they have not followed through with Bible study, daily prayer asking for strength to get through the day, etc. The spiritual fire that some have and many do not and the reasons for the difference is found in that, follow through. The gospel could be preached simply by saying “Believe in Jesus who was sent to die for your sins and ask Him to come into your heart and cleanse you from your unrighteousness”. One sentence, but without prayer and study of scripture allowing you to get to know God, what will change in your life?

William Blake wrote a poem about Pentecost and a few lines from that poem read:

Unless the eye catch fire, God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire, God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire, God will not be named.
Unless the Heart catch fire, God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire, God will not be known.

We are to be on fire for our Lord because He came down to us. We are to be on fire for God because a part of Him resides within each person who has accepted Jesus as Savior. If we are not on fire for God, why not? Do you not realize that the Creator of the universe came to earth specifically for each person here? Not only here in this church building, but all people are the ones that He came for, whether they know Him or not at this moment or even whether they care that He loves them, he still came.

I have seen a book called “gods at war” and it is written by a pastor who teaches a study based on it. The problem is that there are no gods at war, there is only one God, all these others are inventions of men. These man-made gods cannot fight with the One True God. They have no power because they are man’s imaginings of the “god” that he wishes to be the true god.

Even many people who are in church do this. You may hear people say that “My god would never condemn someone to hell”; in fact, it is not God that condemns people to that place but we ourselves.

Getting back to the day of Pentecost, those who heard the sermon in their own language wondered what they must do when confronted with the truth of Jesus. During the Festival of Weeks, many Jews would come to Jerusalem because they were required to by their religion. All of those that Peter spoke to were from Rome, Crete, Turkey, what is modern day Iran and many other places. Peter answered them and said that they must repent of their ways and be baptized. We can do no less than this.

Are you content in your life? Are you satisfied that you are in a right relationship with our Father in heaven? Many people are and the truth of it will condemn them. They are like the Pharisees, they see no need to repent because their religion and their practice of it feels just fine. As time and our lives will show that one day every person will bow before the King of Kings and we will all be shown the truth of our life. What kind of truth will your life show you?