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.


MiraclesIn everyday life we see them but we may not recognize them for what they are. Some of them are little miracles that don’t seem like God had anything to do with them at the time. Some that we hear about are easy to recognize as a miracle because the healing or the shrinking of a tumor just doesn’t happen on its own. God works like this, in the background doing little things which will accomplish His Work and His purposes even when it seems that things aren’t going very well.

Our lives are like that too. Some days they are very good and some are, well not so much. Do miracles happen in your life? Occasionally you may notice something that couldn’t happen that way otherwise, but I would bet that many of our miracles happen when we don’t know about it. A guardian angel slips between you and someone intent on robbing you or maybe they redirect a car or truck from slamming into you. If you don’t think that God uses angels to do this kind of work, I imagine we will be surprised when we do get to Heaven.

We are His adopted children after all and if you have not given your heart to Jesus and asked Him to forgive you for waiting so long, then you need to get it done! Whether the world believes it or not, this age of grace which we have lived under for almost two thousand years is nearly over. A lot is going to happen in the next decade or two, maybe less, who knows? God does. He knows the day and the hour of your death as well as the time when He will send for all of His Church to be brought to Heaven.

The signs are in the heavens but many people are just saying that this is just astronomical signs and nothing more. The Bible clearly states that God intends to use the heavens to declare seasons and times and we are coming up on one of those times, the end of days or the Tribulation. Whatever you want to call it, it will be a time of war and disease and death as well as the judgement of God, all of it spelled out in prophecy.

Choose today who will be your Savior because your tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

False teachers

Jesus said that there would be false teachers that would come claiming to be Him, especially during this time that we live in. It is happening now. They aren’t getting much coverage yet, but they will. I caution you, beware of people, teachers who claim to be the incarnation of Christ or the “new” Christ. If you hear this from someone, especially someone who is acting as a teacher or preacher, RUN!

The angels told Jesus’ disciples that He will come back in the manner in which you have seen Him go. Jesus said that He would come back one day to set up His Kingdom on this Earth, and all will see Him and know that it is Him when it happens. There won’t be a question about it. Read God’s Word and learn from Him, not some person who wants to take your money and live like a “god” because you think that what he says is true.

False teachers are all over the world, not just in America, but it seems that more of them are coming out of the closet to be seen in the news and by people these days. The thing is, it is only going to get worse as the time draws nearer to the time of Tribulation spoken of in Revelation. More and more will show up, claiming all kinds of miracles and some may even perform some which will deceive many people! These are not the Christ, our Messiah, Jesus the Son of God!

His appearance will be seen by everyone without the aid of television or the Internet and it will be evident to all when He comes. Games and virtual reality will not show Him, but everyone will know that He has come! Some will cry because they weren’t ready for His return and some will be angry because of His return. Life will change everywhere in a moment, in the “twinkling of an eye” those who belong to Him will be taken up to be with Him, and those who have already died will be given their bodies as they are raised immortal!

This is not some fantasy, it is predicted by the Son of God and it will come to pass. If you don’t know Him, I suggest that you seek Him out and find out about Him and what it means to be a believer! When the Tribulation begins, it will be harder to become a Christian because of the persecution and because of the hatred toward Christians. Many planes and cars will crash on that day, so there will be many deaths on that day that are blamed on Christians and their God!

Don’t fall into that trap! Seek Him out while He can be found, today!

Apathy is catching

It seems that many church members and those who previously attended church are becoming apathetic about their faith and what they believe as well as whether they need to go to church or not. Is this happening elsewhere, all over the world or is it just here in the USA?

Specifically the area where I live, in central Mississippi, the apathy is catching on to the point of some churches serving food just to get people to come to church on a Sunday morning or night. This is happening in what is called the Bible Belt! Mississippi even has the distinction of being one of the most religious states in the America.

I painted a painting that I called “Creation” this past Sunday. I had told about this at least four or five days in advance of the sermon on Sunday morning. One family showed up to watch and listen besides my own wife and son. I know, I shouldn’t take it personally but painting is like a performance and the reception was far less than what I had hoped for.

creationpaintingHere is the painting which I did while I was preaching about Creation and the Fall of mankind:

The white at the top is not supposed to be clouds, it represents the Host of angels watching as Creation unfolds. I know that I am not a “performing artist”, I am just a pastor, but it seems that this could’ve been something to come see. The only audience I had were children who really didn’t believe that I was painting it to begin with.

The love of God is so pervasive in our world, yet people ignore it and don’t recognize it when it does show up, even in small doses. As Jesus stated, “a prophet is without honor in his own hometown“, and it is very true.

Many people know me in the area where I live. I went to school with many of them and I have lived here for about fifty years, so they have seen and heard many things about me whether they were all true or not! Even when they were true, that is not the man that I am now but it seems that I am still painted (no pun intended) by the reputation that I have had for years before I became a preacher.

I suppose that may be the problem, to some degree. But, I am not moving. I can’t afford to move away just to be a preacher. So, here are my words and my painting, like it or not, it does represent Creation and the Beginning of all things.


Faith, do I have enough?

We all have a measure of faith, whether it is a small measure or a large one, each person has some faith. Jesus said that faith the size of a mustard seed, which isn’t much bigger than a period at the end of a sentence, can move mountains IF we don’t doubt God! God’s Word is full of all sorts of events which happened because of the faith of the people. So, do you have enough?

Of course you do and I do too! Why do I say it that way? Because, our measure of faith is our portion which is given to each person. Some of us have a large measure of faith, which you can see working in a person’s life. Will God use pain and suffering to teach you to have faith in Him? No! He will not! Some preachers teach this, but God loves you and He is a good and just God, so why would He hurt you in some way to make you grow?

God will allow Satan to have access to you and he will test you in one way or another, just as He did with Job in the Old Testament. He lost everything including his health, but he would not blame God for it! He held onto his faith in God’s goodness and God’s provision even when things were not going very well for him.

Have you taken a step in faith? Even when you can’t see the way ahead of you, whether it is a spiritual journey or one in this life every day, God wants us to prove our faith by stepping out in faith so that He can fulfill that part of your life. I don’t mean that you should test God, that is not the same as stepping out in faith.

If you have prayed about something earnestly and in your spirit you feel that God wants you to do something like be a preacher or an evangelist, then step out there and His blessings will follow. Some people use this the wrong way and buy a new house or a car and they justify it by saying that God said so. Maybe and maybe not. If you can afford it and it doesn’t put a strain on your finances then it may turn out to be a good thing.

God doesn’t have to provide the money if you jump out there and buy something that is way outside your ability to pay for. He will allow you to do this because He wants you to realize that you did that yourself, He wasn’t part of the decision. You can convince yourself that you have heard God’s voice telling you to do this, but it is very likely that it is Satan. He will cause you to do something stupid and convince you that it was God telling you to do this and then laugh at you when you can’t pay for it!

Faith is something that God gives you through the Holy Spirit when you have given your heart to Him. Some of us have a lot of faith, some of us have a little, but a little bit of faith can do a lot when it is faith in God. Make sure that your faith is in Jesus and God and them alone because if your faith is in yourself or in your job or money, then your faith is in temporary things.

Think about it and make sure about your salvation, because tonight may be the last time you get a chance to make that decision.