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.

Whom do you serve?


2 Chronicles 7:14, 19 says this:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land; verse 19-20 also says this: 19But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it be a proverb and a byword among all nations.

These words from God tell about blessings and curses which will be laid upon the nation which humbles themselves before God and serves Him or the nation which turns away and follows their own ways. Which of these is happening in America today? Few people in our country give God any thought. We want and do those things which we want to do regardless of the consequences. We want it now and there is no humbleness of heart toward God. We don’t think that we are sinners and we don’t need any salvation.

So which of these would you think that we are living in today? I think that we are reaping God’s curses. Not yet has God plucked up our nation and destroyed it but if we keep following this pathway we will reap those punishments from Him. It is not a hard thing to follow God and His laws but we don’t want to hear anything from the Word of God because it is the Truth. There is no defense against the truth but those who cannot stand the absolute Truth will not hear it. Because there is no argument which will be successful against the Truth.

God loves us and has blessed our nation for many years but we are coming to a time in which there will be much trouble and despair. Will we, as a nation and a people, humble ourselves and draw near unto God so that the blessings might continue? Only time will tell. If you look at the news and listen to our representatives in Washington, DC, I don’t think that anyone is ready to humble themselves before God. It seems that most want to mock the Bible and everything which it stands for. They seem to want to close the mouths of those who do believe in God and have faith in Him. We are living in a very sad state of being these days.

The pathway to Heaven doesn’t have many lanes and intersections, there is only one path and it is not very wide. It is only through your belief in and by giving your heart to Jesus and following Him every day that you may gain entry into that wonderful place. Many people and religions tell you that there are many paths which lead to eternity with God but there is only one and that is through Jesus. The other paths and roads lead in a direction which may seem to be moving toward heaven but the end of that road crumbles and you fall into hell.

Seek Jesus as your Savior and put your faith in Him because that is the only way to live in eternity with your friends and family who have gone on before you.

Who is Jesus the Christ?


Why did I write it that way? Because Christ is not His last name, it is a title! Christ, Christos, and Messiah all point to Him because He is the Messiah. He didn’t stay dead in that tomb. He was a prophet and a King and our Creator. He was a dark-skinned man but He was the Son of God, yet He came to save the entire world from their sins IF they, you and me, will believe in His work of atonement for your sins.

So why is there so much hatred in the world today? Is it because of their rejection of Jesus? Some of that hatred is because of Him and the Truth which He represents. The other instances of hatred in the world are due to the work of Satan and whether you believe it or not he is real and at work in the world. God sent Jesus into the world because of His love for us. God values even one person’s soul beyond all of the wealth of the whole world! That is why Jesus said, “you could gain the world but lose your soul“, by the “world” He meant the wealth of the world.

Could you even imagine the wealth of the world? I can’t. I have tried to research it and it is in the trillions of dollars, but what good will that do you in eternity? You can’t take one cent with you when you die and no amount of money will stop death from taking your life. God values just one of our souls being worth more than the wealth of the whole world. Imagine what value He places on all of the children that have been killed in abortions over the years?

Seek out Jesus as your Savior while there is still time. You don’t know when your life will end, none of us do, so make sure of your eternal destination before that day comes! Jesus came to open a door into eternity for you but only if you will believe in Him and repent of your sins and follow Him for the rest of your days.

How much longer, Lord?


It has been nearly 2,000 years since the crucifixion of Jesus, yet God is still giving the world more time. Time to turn to Jesus and be saved, time to realize Who He was and Who He is and time for more to come to know Him as their Savior. When you look at all of the prophecies in the Bible you will notice that there are no more which are necessary to be fulfilled before the Trumpet calls those who have died in Christ and those who are living for Him now. We are living at the edge of history and its ending and yet more are still to come to know Him, so we wait for God’s timing.

the-great-tribulation-beginsWe don’t know what else needs doing nor do we know how many more haven’t been written down in the Book of Life but are destined to. But God knows who and when and it is very likely that it will be soon. We won’t know it until it happens and when that happens the rest of the world will know it too. For many, it will be too late, if they cared about it at all.  So what are we supposed to do in the meantime?

Why do I ask this question now? Because there are many on the Earth who are asking it as well. God is not short in His time and He knows when the Tribulation will take place. It is our job as Christians to live in obedience to His command and tell others about the gift that we have been given by grace through faith in Him. This cannot be worked for or bought and it cannot be bargained for because it is the gift of God to each of us who will accept it and believe.

Many wonder about this today if or when Jesus is coming back. You can be assured that He is because God doesn’t lie and it is told and foretold in the Bible that there will come a time of retribution and trials and that Jesus will come back to the Earth and reign for a thousand years from the throne of David. I pray that all who read this or who have heard a sermon about the return of Jesus the Christ will seek Him out and give your life and your heart to Him now before these things begin.

Some teachers are saying that the antichrist will come before we are taken up to be in Heaven. I don’t believe this. It seems that the book of Revelation is set up in order for us to discern His coming and the timing of His coming. The end of the age is near and we shouldn’t discount any prophecy in God’s Word. There is no exact date but with all of the upheaval going on in the world and all of the distress which is happening because of wars and drought and fires and natural disasters like hurricanes and volcanic eruptions…I don’t believe that the time is very far off at all.

Tell others about Jesus and His love for them. Seek Him out if you haven’t done so already because when the church leaves, the Holy Spirit will likely be gone from the Earth as well. Then the end will begin and that time is supposed to be so horrendous that all of life would end if this time is not cut short by the return of Jesus. Tell others and make sure that you are teaching from God’s Word during this time because that is the purpose of the church until God calls us home.

Our new Life


Each of us sees life in a different way. Some see it as a burden and a hard toil to get through each day. To others, it is a joy to be grateful for and one which is given to each of us by God, regardless of the burden that they bear during their journey through it. Still, others see life as a challenge or even a time for play or even as work for some goal which they have in their life. Goals are great because they give us something to strive for, to work toward in our daily walk through life but it is the type of goals and our own character which is reflected in our walk which others see.

Jesus said that there would always be poor people with us but He meant those who are poor in spirit, not necessarily those without money enough to get by. The apostle Paul said that his goal was to attain the high calling of Jesus Christ. In truth, all Christians should be striving toward that goal like Paul and yet many see their salvation as just a ticket to escape hell and enter Heaven…nothing more.

We are to use our salvation as a platform to go and tell the world about our Savior. We are not to be sitting in a pew in church just for the attention or for the food but for the instruction of the Word and for growth in grace so that we can go and tell others about what Jesus has done for us! Attending church on holidays or for special occasions is great but if that is the only time that you attend church then your life with Jesus is lacking a true relationship. Even Satan attends church more than that!

God gave a part of Himself, His only Son, to redeem the sin in humanity. It is offered to all and it is available to all but many will not accept it. His Life was given for all and yet so many refuse to either believe in Him at all or they don’t want the salvation which comes with a price. That price is not for things which we have to do to attain salvation but it is the price of living as a follower of Jesus Christ. If your salvation is real and you have truly accepted Him as your Savior, being changed in your heart to become a new creation, then you should learn to walk with Him daily. This is what many don’t want because they don’t want to give up their so-called “normal” lives.

Jesus said that we would have to “take up your cross and follow me”, He didn’t mean that we were going to be crucified but we would have to crucify our old way of life so that we could successfully follow Him daily. This action on our part is not our work toward salvation it is our duty because of what He has given to us freely! We can’t earn our salvation because the price was paid by Him, all we need to do is accept the gift of salvation and walk in the newness of the Life we have been given!FB_IMG_1521382243378

 

What would you gain?


This is a question which was asked by Jesus to some who were listening, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26

God places that much value on you and your soul, but it is hard for us to imagine that kind of wealth. What this passage is saying is this: if you had all of the wealth in the whole world, the entirety of wealth and land and all of it, and you haven’t given your heart to Jesus and had been changed by the Holy Spirit…what would you truly have gained? A huge headache and the ulcers to go with it I would imagine. Because, whenever your life ends, all of that wealth will be fought over by those who are desperate to have it. None of it will go with you to the grave!

When you stand before God after having all the wealth in the world, you will be penniless. God doesn’t look at your bank account because He is the Creator of it all and all of it belongs to Him anyway. Your wealth, regardless of how grand it may have been on Earth, doesn’t mean anything in Heaven where the streets are paved with gold. God places that much value on your soul and your salvation through Jesus the Christ.

Money doesn’t buy you a brick in Heaven because man’s wealth doesn’t follow him to eternity. You are no better or worse than the homeless man who knows Jesus as his Savior, in fact, the homeless man is richer than you are because he had nothing but he gained a place in Heaven through believing in Jesus.

The riches which are given to those who believe in Jesus are the kind which never can be taken away. Eternity awaits you when you accept Jesus as your Savior and that is a far richer and more glorious reward than all of the trillions of dollars of wealth that is here on Earth. When you feel the call of God’s Spirit in your life, don’t turn away from Him. Eternity is the reward for obeying His call and following Jesus daily. Reading the Bible, telling other about your Savior, showing them that God’s Word is True and the reward is eternal life with God!

That is worth more than all of the gold and silver that you could get your hands on here in this life. Why are God’s love and grace worth more? Because those rewards never fade and can never be taken from you! Once you have the Holy Spirit residing in your heart and you follow Him daily learning more about Him in His Word, this reward will make you feel unworthy and humble because of the price paid for you!

God’s love for you is available through belief in Jesus and repenting from your sinful ways. No matter what you have done in your life, God can forgive you and He will, all you have to do is believe in His forgiveness and repent, learning more about Him as time moves on.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18

The path of least resistance


heaven-or-hell-eternal-destinyChristianity has never actually followed this path because there has always been resistance to God’s Word and the Truth which is contained within it. In some form or another, that resistance has spurred the message of salvation and following Jesus to expand into the world. Just as people went across the world after the languages were confused at the tower of Babel, Christianity has gone to places where it was the only religion of real hope. In today’s world those places and the people in them violently oppose the Christian view of the world and this has been happening since the first century.

Stoicism was a philosophy and still is today which many people enjoy mainly because it doesn’t require anything of you exactly. One of its practical sayings was essentially this: Change what you can control, let go of that which you cannot. Wisdom doesn’t know doctrine nor creed, it just is. It doesn’t matter what language or country the wisdom comes from or is written in, a wise phrase is what it is regardless.

The only problem with living your days according to wise principles is when you come to the end of your days, if you are fortunate enough to live a long life and die with family around you, you really don’t have much to look forward to into eternity. Wisdom cannot carry you over the threshold of Heaven’s gates and it doesn’t atone for the life which you have lived, even if you lived wisely.

Following Jesus and learning of God’s wisdom in His Word is the best end of life that you can have. Having Him as your Savior and living your life with His Presence by your side is a very wise course because your life doesn’t end when your physical life does. We all have eternal souls but we have to choose the path which we walk on in this life. Will it be the one which everyone else is travelling on? One which is easy and without rocks or bumps or briars and hills to climb or will it be a wide path that all of your friends are on?

The number of years that you travel on this road doesn’t matter except that you never know when your road will come to its end. There are exits along the way and sometimes they lead to the Christian life if we will choose to follow them, but sometimes they don’t. Seeking out the Creator of everything can give you insight enough to know which is the right exit and which is not. The one which carries you on toward life with Jesus narrows quite a bit compared to the wide and easy road which many of us walk on for many years before finding the exit to get on His path.

Yes, the Christian life is a bit harder than not knowing Him because each of us has to deal with the temptation of going back to the easy path rather than continuing on with Jesus. Can you do that? Yes, if your heart has never accepted Jesus and His Spirit which changes you completely you can turn back to your old life. But…you may never find that exit, that pathway leading to eternity with Him again.

Today, it seems that every news story on TV talks about someone or some group which is offended by a truth or some part of a church or a scripture on a statue, something which is pointing the way to Jesus. Many times it doesn’t take but one complaint in a town, one person bringing it to the attention of the media and then there is an outcry for this offensive statue or monument to be taken down.

How many years has that monument been there with that inscription? How many eyes have seen it and read it and never said a word about it, good or bad? We give too much power to that small percentage of people who get offended because someone else is offended today. Being a nation which was founded by Christians fleeing persecution was good for us until the past fifty-eight years or so, then the children of those who came back from the Second World War became the voice of America protesting against injustice.

Many of those injustices included being taught Biblical principles in school, praying in school, having the Ten Commandments posted on the hallways in schools and of course the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movements too. While it is true that the Vietnam War was a tragic one, it was also one which was run by suits in Washington and not by those in uniform. The Civil Rights movement would’ve been much better if segregation had not been the norm in the South, but that was a different generation than mine.

My point in this is this: society always follows those who stir up the most and accomplish the least.

Jesus stirred up people because of His message of love and forgiveness, not because of promises He couldn’t deliver on. He will return one day and those who are against Him today will bow to Him whether they want to or not because He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and He will reign on Earth with a rod of iron. Make sure that you know which side you will be on in that day.

At the end of your life….


ourlovingsaviorWhat will you do? If you have time to decide or make a decision about your life, what will you do? Many who look at this will wonder, “What else could I do at the end?”. Consider your religious decisions in your life. Have you given your heart to Jesus? Do you know Him? Does Jesus know you?

I don’t mean “know about Him”, I mean know Him and be known by Him!

I know that Christians today are hated because I see it on the news from time to time. I have also had some nasty remarks and comments here because of what I write. But, I am a preacher and my call is to tell others about my Savior! If I don’t do what I am called to do, then I am guilty of not being true to my calling and I will pay for it in some way.

My salvation is sure, but any reward that God might have given me because of my witness will be tainted. I have to write what I feel in my heart should be said.

God loves you and me and every person on Earth, whether they know Him or believe in Him or not. But what will you do on the day or maybe the week before you die, if you get that chance, and you haven’t made your decision about Him yet? Many people, some of them wealthy but most of them were not, have come to the end of their lives and found that they feel that they wasted it.

They look back at their life and if they are wealthy, they see so much good which they could’ve done but didn’t. Now they don’t have the time to do those things. The big problem is also that they feel empty and afraid, particularly if they haven’t given their heart to Jesus. Many of them feel the weight of eternity coming toward them, especially if they are dealing with cancer which is going to take their life.

When this happens, they wonder what else they should’ve done with their life. They can see that their life doesn’t have many days ahead and they feel anxious about what else they need to do, yet some of them are so rigid in their beliefs or lack of belief, that they have no idea what to do. Which frightens them even more.

Christians are not the monsters that some people make us out to be and God is not angry with you over your life’s choices whether they were good or bad or just uncaring toward His offer of salvation. God knows if and when you will make that decision but He doesn’t push you toward it and He is not going to take your choice or your ability to choose away. It is your responsibility to choose to seek Him, read His Word and ask Him to show you what you need to do.

His love toward you is unconditional because He loves you even when you don’t love Him. Just as your spouse can’t be forced to love you, each of us can’t be forced to love God or forced to follow Jesus. Just as sheep will not be forced to follow someone who doesn’t care for them, we won’t either.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33

Too many distractions


.In the past, almost two decades (just shy by ~2 years), we have seen and are still seeing that distractions like texting, game play (virtual and connected through cell towers), console games and computer games are taking our millennial generation. They are not paying much attention to real life! It is true that some of them are paying attention, but it seems that the majority that get our attention on the news as spoiled brats are exactly that!

They are distracted from real life and don’t care to study real history and actual English as a language. Too much emphasis on abbreviations and shortcuts from texting is to blame as well as our education system which allows this. What has happened to discipline and character in education and in our children? In my opinion, it began to erode away when prayer and study of the Bible was taken out of the classroom. When prayer was taken out in 1963, the morals and the character of our teachers and their students began a very long slide downhill and it hasn’t stopped yet.

God has not stopped caring for us even though we have pushed Him as far away as we can. Truly, it is time that we got back to learning why the Pilgrims came to America in the first place. It is also time that we studied the Bible, not just as a historical document but as a standard by which our lives should be patterned. Before anyone shouts out that women were not allowed a voice and slavery was deemed as acceptable, I am not saying that any of that should be brought into view. I am speaking of the moral teachings from God’s Word and the lessons learned from the New Testament and Jesus’ disciples. Those are the more important and useful areas that our education system needs today!

For many years, the Bible was the main textbook used in schools until it was pushed aside in the late 1800’s. Although, it did survive as a classroom text into the mid twentieth century, it was finally taken out of the classroom and largely out of family life except for those who attend church occasionally. We need to get back to learning about and knowing God as our Savior and as our Teacher as well!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our God is forgiving and loving and willing to come to our aid if we will acknowledge that we have sinned by pushing Him away and repent of that terrible sin, then seek Him out as our God and our Savior, learning to follow Him in all that we do. But, today our world on the Internet and social media and in the news despises Him and His Son, Jesus. Any mention of Jesus will almost get you arrested today and I never thought I would live to see that day come.

Our world, not just everywhere else, but here in America is becoming a dangerous place for people who believe in Jesus. Have you noticed that? You can claim to worship a tree or a fish or a little fat man or even just claim that you are your own god, and everyone seems to be fine with that! But…if you claim to pray to the God of the Bible or believe in Jesus the Christ, our Messiah, then you have crossed the line into dangerous territory. Nobody wants to hear that nonsense! How dare you bring up the name of God or Jesus in public!

It is a shame that it hasn’t been brought up many, many times before! For over fifty years we have been pushing God away and out of our schools and out of public life and display and quite frankly if it doesn’t come to an end then the world itself will. God is a patient Creator, this much is very true. He has allowed us to go farther than the world did in Adam’s day and by Noah’s time, which wasn’t very far apart, God had enough. We have been fortunate that He hasn’t had enough far sooner than now. The only real reason which has kept Him from acting on our stupidity and arrogance was His promise to the Jewish people.

He had promised to bring them back into their land and after nearly two millennia He did exactly that! Then they regained control over Jerusalem in 1967, fifty years ago this year. His promises to them are the reason His patience has lasted so long, so yes we are fortunate indeed.

I pray that anyone reading this will seek Him out, not as a learning experience, but humbly and with a contrite heart. Leave your distractions behind, whatever they may be, and follow Jesus because He is the only Savior of mankind. Anything or anyone else is a fake and a liar.

Why so much division?


Beliefs, creeds, denominations…it seems that our world is cracked into thousands of pieces when it comes to deciding about Who we believe in and serve. Why?

DivisionMostly it is because of the work of Satan. He has been at work in the world creating other “gods” for people to worship and also creating division in the church itself. Sometimes these are small cracks but over time and with a little help from willing people they get bigger until the church splits in two or crumbles into the dust.

In the first century, just after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples taught His Truth as The Way. Some called it The Truth. For many years it stayed that way until Catholicism and the Catholic church became the dominant form of worship in the crumbling Roman empire.

Until the Reformation, there were no Scriptures that a worshiper could have in his possession and read for himself or herself. Then, when the Bible was printed in English and German, many people were put to death when they were found to have one of these Bibles. The persecution of Christians by the church and by pagans, is found in the Book of Martyrs if you would like to read it. It is difficult to read, but it will show you what it took to be a true believer in Jesus, all the way up to recent history such as in the communist countries since WWII.

The fracturing of the church into so many denominations has caused many problems between believers. Some believe only parts of Scripture, some follow only a few verses in one book or another, when we are supposed to be people who believe in the entire Word of God! Not bits and pieces of it but ALL of it, the Old Testament and the New Testament should be taught in its entirety. Yet, many churches today seem to pick and choose what they will teach or believe and the parts that they will not.

This is not the way that Jesus wanted His church to be! We are not supposed to be bickering and fighting over parts and phrases, choosing which to teach and which to tell others that it is not God’s Word! If it is included in the Bible, whether it be a Jewish Bible or Orthodox Bible or a Protestant Bible, then it should be taught to everyone in the congregation, young and old!

I ask that anyone who is interested in God or Jesus and the Word in the Bible, please seek out a Bible teaching church and search out the Truth. God’s Word is true and has never been found to be wrong in any manner. Many try to bring parts of it to trial saying that it contradicts itself, but if you would seek the Truth it can be found that all of it is more true and accurate than many historical works. Praying that all of you who read this will seek Him out in the Bible and as your Savior. Amen.