Friday, August 29, 2014

It ain't just come hear. The Gospel is both "Come" and "Go." Go tell it on the mountain, and go respectfully tell it to people everywhere!

First, come and hear the truth that you so need to hear most. And then (because God doesn't really need any unregenerate religious dead person to tell, you the believer actually need to..) go and tell It in a winsome kinda way. Yes, tell em about the Cross and Christ and what He's done for you. Tell em about the Resurrection cuz that's the part that makes the whole tomb story really Good News. Jesus Christ is alive.   

"The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let the one who hears say, 'Come!'" Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." "Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast." 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

One out of every twenty-five verses in the New Testament refers either to the rapture of the church or to Christ’s coming again to reign over this world.

Woke up this morning feelin' excited as.. That Day draws near. There's no place like home and we have an exciting wedding right around the corner there. How 'bout youyou excited 'bout it, or filled with dread? It's really not the time to be outside of a vital relationship with Jesus Christ.. like "Hey, life'll go on as it has. I'm my own man, I can do it myself—just don't like or need to obey any leader..anywhere. I have a accomplished a whole lot and I deserve to be respected." 

Look around you.. today Russian troups invade the Ukraine as assaults intensify (and the world passively stands by to watch), we have Al Qaeda hinting of an attack date - a plot against Vegas, New York City and military targets. We have another US rush to judgement, riots, and now the suing of Furgason. You've seen Isis (which is probably Stateside among us with our open boarders). Things among the nations have changed quickly and radically, but God has set a time to wrap things up (hey no worries, I won't foolishly set a date as many people have done, but it's a good time to start studyin' some eschatology). It's time to pray and act in that order. 

It's really not the time for self-justification, for pride, for your own way, for pretense so that others might think you're great, or for any denial of the facts of the Bible which says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). In this day when people just aren't ready cuz they're inverted, perverted, or self-absorbed.. it's high time for us to get ready, to stay ready, and then to help others get ready! Wouldn't you now say there should be a sense of urgency about our thinkin', prayin' and doin'. Sure!

“We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.” ~ Oswald J. Smith

Christ said, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.’” (Matthew 24:36-27)

So do you long to see His face or have you become all distracted with what you want down here? Ain't trying to guilt anyone, I just want to motivate and inspire you. We are living during some very interesting days and I want what's best for you and yours. Did you know that in the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to Christ's second advent—yup, 1 out of every 25 verses (says Dr John Walvoord the formost authority on this - was a professor from Dallas Theological Seminary). Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. I'm so looking forward to it, but even more to the Rapture where the Church is caught away. We've all got to be ready! would be good.. and help others get ready as well. There are no other prophecies of the Bible that need to take place before the Rapture happens..and then the Second Advent. Bam! For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second! Christian, do you have any friends, fellow students, family members.. or perhaps coworkers who don't know that God loves them.. who have not yet turned and been born again spiritually?

"The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed." ~ Hudson Taylor

If you have a few moments, prayerfully meditate upon these verses...
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." (Matthew 16:27)

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:37-39)

"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed." (Luke 17:28-30)

"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:34-36)

“Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:40-44)

Jesus said, "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' ‘But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'" (Matthew 25:1-12)

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)

“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Luke 12:40)

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:30-31)

“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.” (Luke 12:37-38)

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matthew 25:31-46)

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3)

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 25:13)

“If anyone is ashamed of me (Jesus) and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thank You Lord for another day to pray and obey, but like every day... kinda need Your help with all that.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. —Psalm 118:1

God came through for us yesterday - we can trust Him again today. You remember how the children of Israel in the wilderness somehow caught memory loss issues ...regarding the mighty grace of God. He hadn't let em down once. They had Egyptian spicy cuisine on their minds (Ex. 16:2-3) and got all grumpy n gripey about their water supply (17:2). 

Man, I think I've done that when the city gave me certain times when I could turn the sprinklers on and off. My bad!.. but there's really no time for spiritual amnesia today. There is indeed time to recall, to thank, and to give praise to the One who gave His all for you - the Person who is the Bread of life and freely gives living water. Feeling so grateful for how He's guided and provided and never even chided. Somethin' oughta be said! Somethin' oughta be thought about and done

Wait on the Lord from day to day, strength He provides in His own way; there's no need for worry, no need to fear, He is our God who is always near. —Fortna 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

You might have attended a church for many years, but that doesn't make you right with God any more than if you were a police officer and went to Dunkin' Donuts weekly.

Slip slidin' away, gone steep downhill fast—the USA has. We are weaker. So many inside and outside of our Land can sadly see that there's been a quick breakdown morally and spiritually in our nation. Yes, a breakdown on so many levels. And while our nation slides south if ya will, and desperately needs another authentic biblical revival, a fifth great awakening (yeah, according to some historians the Jesus Movement of the 60s and 70s was really the last great revival and awakening in America), there are some things that we can do. 

We can earnestly pray for a revival with accompanying spiritual awakening. God delights to use on-fire believers to win people. Dare ya to say it.. upwards to God. "Please pour out Your Spirit. Do it again Lord. Do it again and let me be smack-dab-in-the-middle a part of it." And what's also rad-important is that you personally get right and walk tight with Jesus. Remember, not one of His promises has failed anyone of any era yet. Here's a good one for us Westerners...   

"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

"It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you." ― Timothy Keller
The God who made you wants a relationship with you today! To know you'll for sure go to Heaven:
1.) Admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior  

2.) Recognize that Jesus is your Savior and died on the Cross for your sin

3.) Repent of your sin (admit it and quit it, turn from, change)

4.) Receive Christ into your life by simple faith

Did you pray and take that 4th step? Way cool! Now I encourage you build simple friendship with God. Sure, pray (talk to Him), read your Bible (hear from Him and learn), fellowship with growing believers, and go tell your friends about what Christ has done in your life. This stuff is so edifying! And.. go beyond being a believer and become Christ's disciple. Yes, allow Jesus to lead you step by step forwards and be your Lord daily. Sure, every disciple is a born again believer ..spiritually.. but not every believer is necessarily a true disciple ..even if they often attend church and claim to be.

"Either you will have harmony with God and friction with people, or you will have harmony with people and friction with God." ~ Greg Laurie

Too many people spend a lifetime striving as they try to fix and maintain all their relationships on the horizontal plane, but when a person simply pauses to biblically get right on the vertical plane with their most important Relationship ..then everything else on the horizontal plane just falls into place. 

You can enjoy peace, joy, and order..yes harmony with God..instead of chaos, emptiness and frusteration apart from Him. Why miss out on peace with God and the peace of God? Why strive in the strength of your flesh (with people and circumstances beyond your control..) when you can abide in and walk in His Spirit? Listen, anything short of biblical discipleship, is settling for much less than what God really desires for each of us. He has more He wants to give you and your friends. Being an obedient disciple who embraces the Lord and Christian Essentials..this involves loving the Lord more than anyone or anything else.  This is the very foundation of being a disciple. If you want to live your Christian life to its fullest ..want to have life in the Spirit more abundantly..  then love the Jesus of the Bible more than anyone or anything else. Trials will come and go, but He won't. He's here to stay. He is with you. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

God loves us. Some men hate, and they really hate. Personally, I'm wishin' those haters in Isis ..Wasis.. but even more that they'd stop to repent like persecutor Saul turned Paul did. God has never hated sinners as a man hates..cuz He loves and saves me.

I was just chattin' with Joe (not his real name) a person who claims to be a believer (and I think he is..) that actually told me: God hates all sinners because they're an abomination.

His words to me: "God is not politically correct. Read: Romans 8:25 and forward. 'And he gave them over to depraved minds. Women with women, men lusting for men.]  God considers the sin of homosexuality an abomination. Yes, God hates the sinner.'"

I responded with: False. If God were flying a B-52 plane over a whole nation of individuals who each sadly opted to become a homosexual and then lived like that, then God (who hates all sins) might indeed feel like bombing that nation ..abomination (personal definition)..but God would weep if they chose to go there. He does love them more than words can describe and would love each of those so called gay individuals all the way to hell. He already expressed and demonstrated this love. Why? Cuz God is just but merciful. and HE really loves all of us sinners (+++ at Calvary tell us so). 

Q: What else has great clout and clearly tell us so? Answer: "Jesus loves me—this I know, for the Bible tells me so."  Yup. 

But Joe then responded with: "I offer Sodom and Gomorrah as a good example. Bombs away! Just a thought. God never equivocates! He is straightforward with His thoughts on sin and the consequences. Kurt, you are right...He loves his children all the way to pulling the lever to release the bombs."

My words to Joe: "God..straightforward - yes! Not PC - correct. Never equivocates - true. He doesn't lie. Really hates all sins - yes. But God never destroyed those towns due to Him hating the perverts there. He did cuz he hates sinful perversion that ill-effects several others.. and our loving God acted to protect other people. Love always protects. Sure, it was indeed a judgment on the sinners there who rebelled against Him and His proper order (because they actually were not his children)."    

Me—Hey, I've never had their prob, I don't fully understand it, and won't disrespect or look down on them for their wrong choices. But me—one  ginormously-big mess without Jesus. I'm a saved-sinner who is now better off, not better than.. anyone. And I feel so grateful that God loves sinners before they even turn and become His children ..via true repentance (involving fruit meet for repentance—a change) and simple faith. Not just words. He loved enough to act (to send Jesus for us all). And this is the same God as in the Old Testament...that so wanted Israel to be a witness to all the nations so that they wouldn't ever come under His judgement. 

arms nailed down . blood stained the ground . you can be found . what a lovely sound

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." John 3:16-17 

Remember well ..that hell was not made for people, it was originally made for the devil ..a real person.. and all fallen angels. This is true and very basic stuff. That's where they and all unrepentant sinners will go...the ones who rejected God's only provision for our sinsJesus Christ. 

If you are a sinner, then know that God loves you right now! No one does or has more. 

"For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans5:7-8

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.." Ephesians 2:4-5

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:9-11

Want to avoid future judgement for sin? You can today

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7  

Check out how well my friend Dan addresses this topic of sinners being loved by God. 

FYI: The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked towns. They were guilty of several different sins and it's very interesting to do a study on em all.. from the context of what these people actually did that hurt the Lord. Go for it. If you like, you can start by looking at Genesis 18:16-19:29, and Leviticus 18. They all were loved by God, but they chose to blow it before God in many areas, but foremost among them all was the serious sin of homosexuality. In that part of Leviticus, God gives clear directives not just for ritual purity, but commands to be observed by every Jew, and even every visitor. Living gay (in Homosexuality) according to God was wrong for the Jews, wrong for the gentiles who visited the Jews ("aliens") and it was even an abomination that defiled the land when practiced by pagans who inhabited Canaan long before the Jews came on in. It's a defiling sin - homosexuality is, regardless of which human practices it. That is from God. It has no place before God among any people, in any age, then or even now. If you are a Calvinist or are into hyper Calvinism and don't feel like evagelizing, please see my comments below.