Sunday, April 30, 2006

As It Was In The Days Of…Jehoiakim?

(This is from an internet friend of mine here in NC, D. Ray Purdue, Jr., who publishes an email newsletter from time to time called "OpenDoor Newsletter." If you like what you read below, you may want to subscribe to his newsletter by sending an email to him at requesting to be added to his mailing list.)

It doesn’t take much for one to realize that we are living in the last days, the end times. The Bible has many references as to what those last days will be, for mankind. Our Saviour said that, "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:37) Those were obviously wicked days, man at his absolute worst. These latter times are very evil as well, and it is hard to imagine how things could possibly get worse. Should the Lord tarry in His coming then we know that things will become worse. And if that is not bad enough, just think of how evil it will be during the Great Tribulation in the reign of Satan and his anti-Christ.

What about the last days of a nation? Does God have anything to say in His Word about the end of a nation or a people? I believe the Bible does. Not necessarily a specific nation, but any nation that turns their back on Christ. We live in a nation that has turned her back on Christ, the very One that she was built upon. A curse is pronounced against a nation that does such a thing. Psalm 9:17 lays it out quite plainly, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." Any nation that knew God, but chose to forget Him has but three things to look forward to: judgment, destruction, and death. Not very pleasant, is it?

But we have nothing to worry about, do we? America is after all, a Christian nation. Right? We have Christian leaders in our state and federal governments. We have a good, Bible-believing president, who talks about his salvation experience. We pledge allegiance to the flag, have freedom of religion, and send missionaries to foreign countries. So we are ok, aren’t we? One thing I do not use to describe America is Christian. We are anything but a Christian nation. A Christian nation would not throw God out of its educational system and teach, rather program, children the values of evolution and humanism. A Christian nation would not sacrifice millions of her unborn children to the gods of convenience and pleasure. A 9,000-page tome could never cover all the reasons why America is not a Christian nation. Suffice it to say, we are not.

To understand how close I believe our nation is to its end, one can read the passages of Scripture that lead up to the captivity of Israel and Judah. Reading those chapters, you can clearly see similarities between the children of Israel and our own country. For sake of time and space I will only focus on one chapter, but take the time to read the last few chapters of II Kings, II Chronicles, and all of Jeremiah and Lamentations, what you see may surprise you, and possibly scare you.

"In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth." Jeremiah 26:1-6

Jeremiah stood out like a sore thumb among the majority of the inhabitants of Judah in those days. He was a priest whom God had called as a prophet. Unlike the other priests and "prophets" of his day, he preached the truth, and said exactly what God wanted him to say. And since God was about to judge Judah, Jeremiah didn’t have anything good to say about their "religion", their country or their capitol city. Very few liked him. The king hated him, had him arrested, and wanted to kill him. The priest hated him even more. And the prophets accused him of lying, hypocrisy and of being a traitor. Instead of repenting and getting right with God after hearing one of Jeremiah’s messages, Judah chose to persecute him, and to try to have him murdered.

God had no desire to judge Judah. He would much rather to have forgiven their sins, and restored their glory. But when given that opportunity, Judah only had deaf ears toward God’s pleadings.

Today in America, any preacher that is worth his salt, and preaches the truth, can testify of the same as Jeremiah. No one wants to hear or know the truth anymore. People would rather be told lies. If you continue to read chapter 26 in Jeremiah, then you will see that the people and the priests would rather have Jeremiah to prophesy lies to them, rather than the truth. This is why it is so offensive to many if you are a fundamental, Bible-believing Christian. People are angry with the Bible whenever it is preached or taught.

You are never very popular when you start pointing out sin. You really become the most unpopular person in town when you start saying anything bad about the good ole US of A. And when you have a "conservative" in the White House, folks really become unglued if you say anything about him. But the truth is the truth. America had better change her ways, fast, if she wishes to escape the wrath of the Almighty God. We can talk about how America is so much better than the other nations of the world. That really does not matter much. Those nations never had what America once had. To whom much is given, much shall be required. Much is about to be required of our nation and us.

As you read the following chapters, and the closing chapters of II Kings and II Chronicles it is obvious that very few, if any heeded the words of Jeremiah. Will that be the fate of America? Will history repeat herself once more? It doesn’t have to.

Imagine if Peter had asked our Saviour, "Lord, will America be judged?" Jesus probably would have replied, "As it was in the days of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, so shall it be in the day that God judges America."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Soul Winning Statements

(Here is another post from our church's soul winning visitation newsletter "Go Ye")

TESTS a Christian's faithfulness to the Saviour.

HELPS warm our heart for the condition of the lost.

EDUCATES the lost about the price that must be paid for sin.

MAKES us obedient to Christ's last command before His ascension.

ALLOWS us to illustrate the love of God to others.

IDENTIFIES us as Christians.

NEGATES all false doctrine and teachings.

TRANSFORMS every aspect of the church ministry.

HINDERS the devil's work.

INCREASES our potential for blessing.

NEAREST thing to the heart of God.

GIVES us a reason to keep on keepin' on.

Prov. 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Things a Christian Can and Should Firmly KNOW Inside and Out

1. That God keeps His promises - Rom. 4:17-21

Rom 4:17-21 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

2. Your eternal destiny - Job 19:25, John 5:24

Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

3. That you are different because of Jesus Christ - II Cor. 5:17

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

4. The will of God for your life, your purpose and calling - Rom. 12:1-2

Rom. 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

5. That you reap what you sow - Gal. 6:7

Gal. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

6. What is clearly right and clearly wrong, convictions - Amos 5:15a

Amos 5:15a Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate:

7. That people are wicked and are in need of God and His word - Dt. 31:29, Rom. 7:18

Dt. 31:29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Rom. 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

8. That troubles are ultimately God's business - Pslm. 119:75

Pslm. 119:75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

9. The joy of the Lord - don't just act like you believe it is there - KNOW it, experience it, LIVE in it, and SHOW it - Neh. 8:10b

Neh. 8:10 .... for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

10. The fear of the Lord - don't ignore - Prov. 1:7

Prov. 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

11. Some things will be hard to understand - II Pet. 3:15-16

2 Pet. 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

(an excerpt of a sermon by Missionary Craig Ledbetter in Ireland)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday or Bad Wednesday???

While checking the news today online, I see top coverage of the Good Friday events taking place in Rome by the many "followers" of Christ. Good Friday; is this simply man's tradition, or does it show man's ignorance of the word of God???

Please read the linked article above (click on the title) and study it out for yourself. Do we accept the teachings of man, or do we study God's word and see what God says about it???

You Can Win One if You Want One!!!

(Here is another outline from our church's soul-winning newsletter "Go Ye")
  1. You can win one if you start by asking the Holy Spirit to guide you to someone under conviction.
  2. You can win one if you stop the first person you see.
  3. You can win one if you stop everyone you see.
  4. You can win one if you stay focused on finding someone who is lost.
  5. You can win one if you keep praying while you're out soul-winning.
  6. You can win one if you control the conversation while you're looking for someone who is lost.
  7. You can win one if you get out of the car and talk to people.
  8. You can win one if you tell your partner you aren't coming back until you win one.
  9. You can win one if you forget your fears and trust God.
  10. You can win one if you are willing to spend a couple of dollars to feed someone who might be hungry.
  11. You can win one if you lend a helping hand to someone who might get saved.
  12. You can win one if you keep from getting discouraged because you have to talk to a lot of people before you find the one God has for you.
  13. You can win one if you stay out until you win one.
  14. You can win one if you want one!

Prov. 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It's All in Your Attitude

(Here is another devotional outline emphasizing soul-winning helps which is published in our church's "Go Ye" newsletter which is passed out during each weekly church-wide visitation meeting)

Matt. 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Matt. 17:19-20a Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief:

Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

1. A Believing Attitude
  • Believe that there are unsaved people out there.
  • Believe that the Holy Spirit knows where they are.
  • Believe that He wants the unsaved to get saved.
  • Believe that He will lead you to them.
  • Believe that He will bring conviction and convince them of their need for Christ.
  • Believe that someone will get saved.

2. A Determined Attitude

  • Determine that you will go until you find a lost person.
  • Determine that you will keep finding lost people until you find one who wants to get saved.

3. A Positive Attitude

  • Do not dwell on your problems.
  • Do not dwell on someone else's problems.
  • You cannot do anything about them right now.
  • If you win someone, you might get God's attention to help you with your problems.

4. An Excited Attitude

  • Excitement by itself will not win anyone to Christ.
  • Excitement is an indication that you believe something.
  • Excitement is an indication that you love something.
  • Excitement is an indication that something is real.
  • Excitement is an indication that something is important.

Prov. 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.