Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Where Do You Stand?

Let me relate a few incidents in the Bible.

Joseph was a God fearing young man; while growing up, he was hated by his brothers. They even sold him into slavery. But, his God was favorable to him and he rose in the ranks and became in favor of his owner, Potiphar. Undoubtedly he was also favored by Potiphar's wife. She tried to get him compromise his faith and have an affair with her. He refused and eventually he was thrown in jail. Joseph did not forsake God, and God did not forsake Joseph! Joseph eventually became the second most powerful man in Egypt. (Genesis 39-41)

There were three Hebrew boys that were faithful to Jehovah God and worshiped Him each day and prayed three times a day on a regular basis. Their Babylonian name were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue of enormous size and ordered all the kingdom, at a certain time and sound of a trumpet, to bow and worship the statue. Those that would not were to be cast into a fiery furnace. These three refused to bow before the idol, and Nebuchadnezzar was furious. He told the boys that if they would just act as if they were praying to the idol he would spare them. They even went as far as to tell the king that they didn't even have to think about their decision, they would not deny their God even in pretense, even if God did not spare them. God did not forsake them. (Daniel 3)

Daniel was a young, good looking man, and in good shape, when he was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel and several others were singled out to serve the king, and although they were in prison, were given good accommodation's, meals from the king's table etc. They were encouraged to forget their religious beliefs. Daniel and others refused and fared better than all others. After Nebuchadnezzar died, Darius became king. Daniel found favor with Darius and became one of the governors of a section of the kingdom.

A decree went out from Darius that no one was to pray to any other god except him. This was to encourage Godly people to forsake their convictions that only God was God. Daniel kept his vigil and prayed three times a day to Jehovah God. For this act, he was cast into the lion's den. God delivered Daniel by closing the mouths of the lions. God did not forsake Daniel. (Daniel 6)

Throughout history, Satan has tried to get God's people to deny God and to worship him. I have read and heard of many in our generation being tortured and encouraged to deny Christ. Just a few examples: Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin.

Just recently I read an article that said President Obama stated that the progressives in society needs to 'help' those with deeply held religious beliefs overcome their convictions. To overcome our convictions, as Christians, would mean to deny Christ and His Word.

Matthew 10:33 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." After the death and resurrection of Christ the disciples went out preaching and teaching the Word, their motto was we ought to obey God rather than man. There is a time coming when we are going to face this very thing.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

There's Good News Ahead!!

Does the picture above offer a hope of living a positive life. There are many ways of being positive, sometime I make statement about how something will not work, my wife will say, "be positive". I reply. "I am positive, I'm positive it won't work". This is of course a sarcastic remark. The way things are going in our world and our country it would be obvious that we can be pretty positive that things are going to get worse.

Christians around the world are being persecuted, I heard a preacher say that every four to five minutes a Christian is put to death. Christians are being put in prison and tortured every day. We don't have to worry about that in America, or do we? It seems that everyday bring another assault on our rights as Christians. We don't have a right to pray in our schools, we don't have the right to bring a Bible into a school room, we can't pray or preach on a streets. Christian business can not refuse to bake a same-sex wedding cake. We are in jeopardy if we refuse to marry a same-sex couple, although we can refuse for others. If we quote the Bible for our beliefs, we are judging. We are being attacked from all sides. 

How can I say "There's Good News Ahead"? We are being attacked from all sides, but, the Bible has good news for those that are followers of God. In Matthew 5, Jesus is speaking to a crowd of people and gives us what we call the Beatitudes. He gives a list of things that we will receive a blessing for possessing, poor in Spirit, those that mourn, the meek, etc., one on the list that we might wonder about is "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which serve before you..". Did you get the words rejoice and be glad? Rejoice and be glad that we are persecuted? Yes, there is a reward that is not temporary, but everlasting!

Read what else He has to say: "If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." He goes on to say that if we were of this world they would love us, but since He called us out of the world they hate us, John 15. The Bible says in John 1, that He came into the world to bring light and the world knew Him not because they love darkness. This is the reason that they world is against the Christian and the Bible is because we shine the light on their sin.

Paul admonishes us to rejoice and again rejoice. We can do this because some day Jesus is coming to bring us unto Himself where we will be with Him for an eternity. He comes with His reward with Him. A few years ago, I had problems with my back, and I was in constant pain. Surgery was the only solution, and this was going to cause more pain. What a blessing when the pain went away. So it is with the pains we suffer for Christ, what a relief when Christ comes and relieves the pain for ever.


Even so Lord, come soon!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thou Shalt Not Judge....

Judge job graphics  To Judge or Not to Judge

     With the ruling of the Supreme Court ruling on the same sex marriages, we have been deluged with all kinds of comments. Some in favor, others against the ruling. Of course each of us are entitled to our opinions on this subject.

On my facebook page, I receive mostly those that are against the ruling, since I am a Bible believing Christian. As I read these posts, I am greatly amazed at the post in the comment section. Some agree whole heartily with the author, then there are those that disagree. I have no problem with a gentle discussion on the subject. I often add my thoughts concerning this ruling, in a non-hateful manner (hopefully). But, I read a lot of remarks that are very agitated and seemingly angry. The most aggravated posts quote the Bible stating that we should not judge, let man marry man or woman marry woman. It is not our place to judge.

What most people don't realize is, that they are actually judging me for judging others. Being a judge is what all of us do. How often have you heard someone say, "I am a good judge of character"? We look, feel, and smell fruit and veggies and judge the quality. We judge each other to determine if they are friendly or not. We judge whether or not it is safe to enter an activity. The list goes on and on, we can't make a decision about anything or anyone with out making a judgement.

The passage they are quoting is Matthew 7:1, which reads; "Judge not , that ye not judged". It never ceases to amaze me how people use the the Bible to reinforce their arguments without considering the context. 2 Timothy 2, Paul the Apostle exhorts Timothy, a young preacher, to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Study to be diligent in showing ourselves to be approved of God, in order to no be ashamed as a worker of the Gospel of The Lord. In order to do this we need to correctly understand and teach the Word of God. In my younger days in the ministry, I was given some great advice. One of these was in studying the Word, there are several things we need to take into consideration; 1. Who is speaking, 2. to whom speaking to, 3. what did they say, and 4. why they said it. In other words know the context and we can correctly understand what is intended by verse or verses.

Matthew 7:1-5, is a part of Jesus' sermon on the mount; it begins with chapter five and ends with chapter 7. In this part of the sermon, Jesus is dealing primarily hypocrites. He is telling them that they are judging others while they are engaged in the same things. Don't be judging unless you are ready to be judged with the same judgement. He is not saying that we are not to judge at all, but to be discerning. We cannot bring a brother or sister to a saving knowledge of Christ unless we first discern or judge that they need it. I think that we are seeing the word "judge", we are thinking "condemnation", and I nor anyone other than God has the right to condemn.

Many refer to the woman brought before Jesus to be stoned for adultery, and when all dropped their rock and left, Jesus said that he did not condemn her but that she should go her way and sin no more. Jesus said that He did not come to condemn but those that refused to obey the commands of God was condemned already. He says in this chapter that not all that say Lord, Lord will enter into God's kingdom. He encourages us to beware of false prophets in sheep's clothing. How can we do this without judging? Paul, in 1 Corinthians reminds the church to judge the members actions. This is not to condemn but that they might be set back on course.

I say these things in because I love you and want God's blessing for your life. He says in several passages, in the New Testament, that He give them up to their reprobate minds and those that give their approval also. I am praying that God's people will quit supporting Satan's lie and seek God's face and turn from their wicked ways and then He will heal our nation, otherwise we will fall!

I would ask that if you agree or disagree with this blog, you would make a comment and share it on facebook, twitter, g+1, or by word of mouth. I really have a concern for America and my family!