Wednesday, October 20, 2004

In the mornings I like to go through the internet and visit news sites to keep current of world events. I read an article the other day and the more I think about it the more aggravated I become. The article concerned a church which was allowing openly gay people to be clergy. Now I don't plan on saying the name of the church or which denomination, but it was a proclaimed Christian church.

Before I get further into this post I need to say one thing. I do not have a problem whatsoever with homosexuals. If this is the life you choose to live that is fine, its your decision and I am okay with that. Its not my lifestyle but this is what our country is; a mix of individuals. With this said I will move on.

I have studied the Bible and I truly believe and others with me that homosexuality is not acceptable. If you are a Christian and truly filled with the Holy Spirit then you will keep yourself from sexual immorality and not continue living the way you lived before accepting Christ.
"But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will jusdge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you."
(I Cor 5:11-13)

I have heard the arguments presented by the homosexual community considering homosexuality in the church.
"Jesus took away the old laws."
"Sodom was destroyed not because of homosexuality but because the men wanted to rape the angels."
"The sexual immorality that Paul talks of is prostitution not homosexuality."

These are all arguments that I have heard and I have investigated on my own. I am not attacking the homosexual community. As I stated above, I have no problem with homosexuals in general. What I do have a problem with is the church flexing to become more politically correct.

This is my point. Because we have become a politically correct nation, the church is expected to conform to society. WRONG!!!! The church does not conform to society or accept individuals simply because this is what is acceptable to everyone else. I do not apologize for my faith and I most certainly do not apologize for God. It is time the world stops trying to be politically correct and become more biblically correct.
We are given a clearer understanding of what God thinks of homosexuality in the book of Romans.
"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (Rom 1:24-27)

I am not trying to take this out of context, the chapter is talking about God's wrath against the world of unbelievers but these paragraphs point out something. Paul is clearly saying that homosexuality is unnatural, indecent and a perversion. If this is true then a person who is homosexual and becomes a believer should abandon this lifestyle. Homosexuality is not acceptable to God so why should it be acceptable to us as Believers? As believers we are so eager to be loving of everyone and this is a good thing but we should'nt jeapordize our own beliefs in the process. Its like the old saying goes,"Hate the sin, love the sinner." We need to dispel the sin from our church, not just homosexuality but all sin. Sin is going to happen, none of us are perfect but we should'nt make it a point to keep sinning, hiding behind the blood of Christ. In everything we do we should try to dispel sin from our lives and become more like Christ. He set the example, we just need to follow.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

When the Lord called me to be a Believer, I felt such a joy that I wanted to share it with everyone. Over the years I have found that wanting to share my happiness and the good word of Jesus is a hard thing to do. The Spirit guides us and gives us direction when we are talking to others and are not sure what words to say, but if the heart of the one you are talking to is closed, nothing you say will get through to them. Paul tells us in (I Cor 1:18)

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

It pains me that everyone cannot feel the hope and promise of the Lord Jesus Christ and it frustrates me when they turn a deaf ear to the message. I understand though, I was once in the same position as many are today; lost in the wilderness.
God calls us to Him, not Him to us. He has given us free will and allows us to make our own decisions.

"Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (I Cor 1:22-24)

Although Paul wrote this some 2000 years ago it still stands true today. There are those who rely upon their own wisdom to save them. They think through the study of science they can solve anything. I believe this is true, but I also believe that the greatest scientific mind in the world has the knowledge of an infant when compared to the infinite wisdom of God. We cannot hope to attain through our own understanding the innermost workings of the universe, much less the mind of God. It is through faith in Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross that we are saved, not by our own understanding.

With all these things in mind it is not to say that we should not preach the Gospel to others, on the contrary we should tell everyone the good news, but if we dont convert everyone we should not feel badly. The Spirit moves in us to tell others and even if they are not converted on the spot you never know what may happen down the road. God make take the seed you planted and with tender care and watering the seed may start to grow. A seed was planted within me years before I was saved and I look back at the ones who helped to plant it and I am forever grateful to them. They have given me a gift that I cannot repay.

To quote a popular saying,"Give the gift that keeps on giving."
The world needs a blood transfusion, so give the gift of life through the sharing of the Gospel and the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

When the world seems to be dragging me down I take great comfort in the writings of Paul. Paul was the author of many of the books of the New Testament and his letters to the churches offer much insight into the type of man he was. He was a "Man on Fire" for God and was unwavering in his pursuit of become Christlike and turning others into strong Believers.

Paul had struggles and pains to overcome, writing many times from prison, but the whole time giving praise to God that he was able to suffer for Christ. He was beaten both physically and mentally for his faith and yet he still went on, only to be martyred in his later life for his beliefs.

The degree of his faith makes me ashamed that I even dare call myself a Believer. Often times when faced with adversity I crumble under the pressure, but the important thing is that I pick myself up again and keep on going. In our lives we will continue to face trials and tribulations, and it is important how we react to them, but what is more important is that we do not concede defeat. The world may win some battles, but we need to win the war.

In my reading last night I came across a passage written by Paul to the the church in Corinth and I wanted to share it with you. It shows the love that Paul has through Christ, but it also shows the toughness and character of Paul. In the following verses Paul is describing to the believers in Corinth the hard life the Apostles must face in order to show them how good they have it. We should do well to heed these verses ourselves and be thankful for all we have. On the same note to do what we can to grow stronger and model our lives after the lives of the Apostles.

"Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings - and that without us! (The riches and kingdom Paul is refering to is riches and kings through the saving grace of Christ, not literal riches and kingdoms.) How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men! We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hand. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have, For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?" (I Cor 4:8-21)

It's amazing how strong Paul is in reprimanding the church. He knew that there was wrong-doing going on within the church at Corinth and he handled it with a iron fist. Just because we are Believers and trying to do God's good work doesnt mean we have to be weak when we do it. Just as Paul said,"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power."
We need to be loving and kind to all but not afraid to be powerful as well. It is the Spirit of God that lives in us and through his Spirit we are made powerful for His name sake, for the strengthening of ourselves and others.

God Bless

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A couple of days ago I received a visit by two young men. As elders in the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS), they were on their missions work and canvasing the neighborhoods in my area. At the time I knew little to nothing of the beliefs and teachings of the LDS so I offered to read the Book of Mormon and talk with them again in a week.

During my week of reading I did some investigating into the LDS and what I found completely disturbed me. Their teachings and beliefs are akin to Christianity mixed with Freemasonry. Joseph Smith their founder taught in some of his other writings that God was merely a man on another realm who acieved Godhood and furthermore teaches that we likewise can become Gods. He goes even further to state that there are more Gods than he could even begin to count.

Well, the Bible and my faith tells me that there is only ONE God and there will only BE ONE God. To say that we can become Gods is blasphemous and an insult to our creator.

The most disturbing thing about the LDS is the conviction and the faith of its members. They truly believe that their religion is absolutely correct and if you do not adopt their beliefs and masonic based rituals you will be damned to Hell for eternity.

At the age of 19 these young men are sent out into all the world as part of the LDS missions. As a result of these missions their church is rapidly growing with over a million believers world-wide. The alarming rate at which this false doctrine is growing is staggering. As christians we should be doing our part to counteract this religion. Although they claim to be the true faith and Jesus is their Lord and Saviour, they are poisioning the truth. I encourage everyone to study up on the LDS and to prepare yourselves, and if a Mormon comes to your house be prepared to do what you can to educate them on the truth and help them to escape the false religion in which they have poured out their faith. Many Mormons have been raised into the LDS by their parents, grandparents and other elders in their families. Just as many of us were raised into the beliefs of our parents. Since many of them have not heard the truth I believe that we as Christians need to help to educate them. If you turn them away you never know if you could have saved them or not. We should be educating all those around us on a daily basis about the truth and Mormons are no different, if anything they need our help more.

I see the ever growing numbers of Mormons as a sign of the End. I do not want to discuss my beliefs concerning the End Times as many others do, because I do not want to sound like Chicken Little running around yelling "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!", but I do want to write what the Bible tells us concerning false prophets and false teachers and let you decide for yourselves.

"But there were false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the soverign Lord, who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Thier condemnation has long been hanging over them, their destruction has not been sleeping." (II Peter 2:1-3)

"Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish." (II Peter 2:10-12)

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Through the years and even recently I have found that anger is a tough thing to control. Of all the human emotions love and anger are probably the toughest emotions to control. Anger seems to well up at inopportune moments and it takes a great deal of self control to keep from blowing up. Someone cuts you off in traffic, a teller at the supermarket was rude to you, or any number of things we encounter in our daily lives. Not only is it important how we handle these things for our own spiritual growth but also how we handle them in front of others. As Christians the world constantly has us under a microscope and it is important that we walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

The question is; how can we get our anger under control?
Jesus told us that he would send us a comforter (The Holy Spirit) to guide us in our ways. The Holy Spirit helps us in our daily lives to overcome the obstacles of the world which Satan places in our path. When we let go and let the Spirit lead us we find that the obstacles that used to look like mountains placed before us, are no more than mere pebbles which we can step over. It takes time, prayer and patience. Even Paul struggled with sin in his life, and declared himself at one point a "wretched man".

"When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:21-25)

Praise God for giving us the strength to overcome the ways of the world and giving his only son Jesus to take away our sins.

So we see that we are not alone. When we come face to face in our daily lives with evil and the anger begins to well up we have the grace of God to get us through.

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." (James 1:19-21)

His word is our armor and our defense in an age of ungodliness and a world that has given itself over to evil. Hold strong to the word of God and He will bring you through the snares of the world.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Our life is unmanageable without God in it. We cannot possibly begin to understand or to live the way that He has planned for us. Only when we turn our lives completely over to Him can we begin to see the wonderful things that He is doing in our lives.

Sin has separated us from God and our soul longs to be reunited with Him. This is often misunderstood and many live out there entire lives without ever finding the truth. They jump from one thing to another trying to find justification and meaning in a life that has none without Him. There is nothing in the world that can ever replace God and when we try to do so we fail. We subsequently move on to the next thing hoping we will find our meaning in life.

Worldly things will never fill the emptiness we feel inside. We cannot replace the sadness with money, entertainment, objects or lusts of the flesh. These simply give us brief moments of happiness and when they have lost their appeal we eagerly seek our next fix.

God wants nothing more than to love us, and for us to love Him. He wants us to place all of our trust and hope in Him and He will give us that which we most need and desire, a life of happiness and meaning. The world can never fill the void that we feel in our lives. God is the source of our love and happiness. He will provide for us in all of our needs, spiritually and physically.

The biggest pitfall of Christians is not seeing the work of God in their lives immediately. God works according to His own calendar and we cannot hold him to ours. Everything is according to His time. This is something that is very difficult to understand, but if we endure to the end and allow things to be done in His time then we find not only are our prayers answered but they are often greater than what we expected. He gives us what we need and this often doesn’t coincide with what we want. Father knows best.

“For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.” (Romans 3:25)

Through faith in Jesus Christ we are given the promise of everlasting life. Through his blood we are forgiven of our sins. Washed away are our transgressions and we are born into a new life, a life of happiness with God. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice that we may know God and not be separated from him by our sin.

What a wonderful life we have when we trust in Jesus and know the Father, but He tells us that this will not be an easy life all the time. We will be persecuted for our faith in Him and we will constantly be under attack from Satan and the lusts of our flesh.

“But those who endure to the end will be saved.”

(Matthew 24:13)

To experience the wonderful glory and everlasting life that God offers we simply have to trust in Jesus.

“Each of you must turn form your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

The very moment we turn our lives over to God and trust in His son Jesus Christ our lives will never be the same. Once Jesus comes into our heart we are a new creation, the lives that we used to live are now gone, our sins have been washed away and we are forgiven. The Holy Spirit has become our guide, our new super-conscience.

The Spirit convicts us and leads us in the ways of the Lord. When we do something that is not in accordance with God, the Spirit places a heavy burden on our heart so that we may know what we are doing is wrong. We have a new heightened awareness of what right and wrong is. We have a comforter who lives in our heart and keeps us in tune with our Heavenly Father.