Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Daniel 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Few events in history have done more to inspire God’s people than the one that is recorded in Daniel 3. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, made an image of gold and commanded that all would fall down and worship the image. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the golden image. In his fury, the king commanded that these three men be thrown into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Rather than deny their God, they stood their ground and faced the consequences. After these men were cast into the furnace, the king looked into the furnace and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25). As a result of this unprecedented miracle, the king made the decree we see in Daniel 3:29. He said, “there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” He recognized and declared that the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego was greater than any other god. Their God was the true God, the great God, and the living God. What caused King Nebuchadnezzar to come to this conclusion? Very simply, it was the way that God had moved to deliver His children. Then we must ask another question. What provided such a perfect opportunity for God to move in such an undeniable way for His servants? It was the courage and witness of God’s servants that created such an occasion for God to show His might. We all want the world to know that our God is the true and living God, and that none of the gods of the heathen can be compared to the greatness of Jehovah God, our Savior. It could be that if we want the world to see how great God is, we may have to be willing to take the stand for right that these three men took. In our generation, we need to stand up for the truth, stand up for the Savior, and stand up for the Gospel. If our God is not so great that we would be willing to be persecuted or even die for Him, then why should anyone be convinced that He is worth living for?

A devotional thought by Pastor Smith of Mt. Zion Baptist Church

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Monday, January 28, 2008


If you plan to work for Jesus
At some more convenient day,
Just remember, fellow traveler,
You'll not pass again this way.
For this pathway that we follow
We cannot again retrace,
And the record we are leaving
We can nevermore erase.
Do the thing that's most important,
Do it with a willing hand,
Give your time, your strength, your money,
As you're passing through the land.
Do not wait until tomorrow,
For perchance it might be true
That this day that now is given
May end life's long trail for you.
Time is hasting; night is falling,
Soon will come earth's setting sun;
Take the time NOW to accomplish
Everything you'll wish you'd done.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Riddle of Religion, and The Truth of Salvation

Question: What is worldwide in scope, something that almost everbody has in some form or another, and is used by billions as a substitute for the real thing???


Christianity is by no means the oldest religion in the world, but the difference between Christianity and all other religions is Jesus Christ, and this difference is as wide as eternity. Jesus Christ makes Christianity a way of life with eternal dimensions. All other religions say in essnce, "Do and Live." Christianity says "Die to Live and Do." Under consideration is one of the most serious problems in all the world - the problem of religion. Man is incredibly religious. However, although many say firmly that all religious paths lead one directly to God, this is not the case. Who would be so foolish in thought to believe that God has many various religions, which teach many differing beliefs and actions among its members, yet they all simply end up at His feet???

Religion does not save, does not satisfy, does not secure. Religion is only a passing fancy of the mind. Most anybody in some for or another can be religious. Religion only temporarily pacifies the insatiable appetite that man has to identify himself with some mystic power beyond his own means. Man must know God before he can be saved. Man must know God by experience, not by explanation.

God has always had only one way of approach to His throne, and that is through Jesus Christ. No man can ever reach God the Father unless he goes through His Son. Therefore, religion is not the answer.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Our God is the God of salvation. When Jesus Christ, God's Son came to earth to be born as a man, the angel of God instructed Mary, his mother, and Joseph to name him Jesus, because "he shall save his people from their sins." Jesus is derived from Jehovah-hoshea; the God of salvation.

Psalms 3:8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
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.
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

What is the difference between religion and salvation???

1. Religion is an experience with a mystical idea, while salvation is an experience with a mighty Person.
2. Religion is an experience which requires only a new thought. Salvation is an experience which requires a new birth. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
3. Religion is an experience which takes place in the head. Salvation is an experience that takes place in the heart. Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
4. Religion is an experience that is brought about by good works. Salvation is an experience brought about by God's grace. Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
5. Religion is an experience that involves receiving a creed. Salvation is an experience that involves receiving Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
6. Religion is external. Salvation is internal.
7. Religion is temporary. Salvation is permanent. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
8. Religion is earthly. Salvation is heavenly. Rev. 21:2-4 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
9. Religion is cheap and is a counterfeit. Salvation is the real thing.
10. Religion is endured. Salvation is enjoyed!!! 1 Peter 1:7-9 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Go For The Men: Bringing Back Godly Order

One of the greatest missing elements in American Christianity today is the leadership of a godly husband and father who knows how to biblically lead his home. There is no question that the home is in serious trouble in America today, and perhaps no other generation in our short history as a nation has been targeted by the devil for destruction as much as the generation in which we live. While we have busied ourselves with all sorts of ministries and programs within the local church, we have failed to focus on the home and the marriage relationship. While we have busied ourselves with so much outreach, we have failed to engage in an in-reach that develops in our men good leadership principles, and in our homes a strong biblical foundation. While our homes are sick and spiritually anemic, we have focused on many things that may well be good in-and-of themselves, but have placed the proverbial cart before the horse. We have become so busy building our churches, that we have forgotten to build our men. Though it is important to win souls to Christ, it is also of great importance for husbands and fathers to disciple their wives, win the hearts of their children, and lead their homes. The local church is only as strong and foundational as the homes that make it up, and we had better look to our homes if we are to present an effective witness in the community where God has placed us.

It has been said, “If you preach to women, you’ll reach women. If you preach to children, you’ll reach children. If you preach to men, you’ll reach men, women, and children.” The typical program-based church has an endless array of “ministries.” Normally, they will have children’s programs galore, a ladies’ ministry, youth group, pre-school/daycare, sports teams, Sunday School for all ages, and maybe a Christian school. Does it strike you a bit odd that the only group left out of the line-up is the men?

Thomas Manton said, “Religion was first hatched in families, and there the devil seeks to crush it; the families of the Patriarchs were all the Churches God had in the world for the time . . . if he can subvert families, other societies and communities will not long flourish and subsist with any power and vigour.” The local church can never be any stronger than the families that belong to it.

God’s design for the home is diametrically opposed to our culture’s concept of the family. The Jews, God’s chosen people, placed great importance on husbands and fathers. They could not even have a synagogue service unless a minion (a minimum of ten men) were present. Worship services were predicated upon a strong masculine presence. The priests taught the men and the men were to teach their families.

The headship of the husband and father is also clearly taught in the New Testament. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man . . For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man . . . Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” (1 Cor. 11:3,8,9). God has an order and His plan is that men lead their homes.

It has always been God’s plan that the fathers be the primary communicators of truth to their families. In Deuteronomy the Lord charged the men, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 6:6-7).

Now I am not suggesting for a moment we abandon evangelism, stop reaching out to children and young people, ministering to single Moms, etc. God’s command to evangelize and disciple others is clear. The church should be a hospital where the spiritually sick find healing. We are involved in an ongoing salvage endeavor, reaching out to those whose lives have been devastated by sin. A church should be so loving that sinners feel welcome, and so hot that sinners come under conviction and get saved.

What I am suggesting is that we get our own houses in order. I fear we will continue to multiply generation after generation of statistics if we neglect to train the men in the church to train their children. Training includes instruction, confrontation, inspiration, accountability, godly example, and personal involvement. If men are to shepherd their families, then the under-shepherd (pastor) must shepherd them. There is simply no excuse for the appalling lack of accountability and strategy. God will give us wisdom if we will courageously, boldly, and desperately ask for it (James 1:5).

It’s high time to make church membership mean something. We have the worst of sins in the best of churches. Men are addicted to enslaving habits, defiling and destructive music, hobbies, sports, pornography, materialism, NASCAR, and a host of things that hinder them and their families. Will we continue to facilitate spiritual mediocrity, or chart a new course by calling men to step up to the plate? Is it a church or a club, a Bride or a harlot? Congregations that have good doctrinal statements without Biblical practice are the delight of the Devil. Husbands and fathers must be challenged to grow up, put away childish things, and assume their God-ordained function.

To have effect, truth must be believed, preached, and practiced. Intellectual theories and lip-service will not get the job done. We must take action.

Integrity demands our practice conform to the truth of Scripture. God expects much of men, and so should we. The patterns of non-expectancy, non-equipping, and non-accountability must be replaced with vision, training, and intentional involvement.

It takes a strong man to lead strong men. The key to strong churches is strong families, and the key to strong families are strong fathers. Job sacrificed for his family to be right with God. Abraham taught his family to obey God. Joshua led his family to serve God. Men must be taught to pay the price for righteousness, challenged to obedience, and directed to lead their households for God.

May God enable us to be like “The children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chron. 12:32). Zion is in desperate need of a resurgence of strong male leadership. Brethren, let’s go for the men!

Excerpts from an article by Evangelist Harold Vaughn, "Go For The Men: Bringing Back Godly Order"

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don't Open Your Mouth

1 - In The Heat of Anger - Prov. 14:17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
2 - When You Don't Have All The Facts - Prov. 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
3 - When You Haven't Verified The Story - Deut. 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
4 - If Your Words Will Offend A Weaker Person - 1 Cor. 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
5 - When It Is Time To Listen - Prov. 13:1 A wise son heareth his father´s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke. The Same Words, from the same father, will be interpreted as Instruction or as Rebuke depending upon whether you are Wise or whether you are a Scorner
6 - When You Are Tempted To Make Light of Holy Things - Eccl. 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
7 - When You Are Tempted To Joke About Sin - Prov. 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
8 - If You Would Be Ashamed of Your Words Later - Prov. 8:8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9 - If Your Words Would Convey The Wrong Impression - Prov. 17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
10 - If The Issue Is None of Your Business - Prov. 14:10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
11 - When You Are Tempted To Tell An Outright Lie - Prov. 4:24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
12 - If Your Words Will Damage Someone Else's Reputation - Prov. 16:27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
13 - If Your Words Will Damage A Friendship - Prov. 16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
14 - When You Are Feeling Critical - Eph. 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. Titus 3:1-5, Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities Jude 8-9 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. James 3:9, Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
15 - If You Can't Say It Without Screaming It - Prov. 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
16 - If Your Words Will Be A Poor Reflection of The Lord or Your Friends And Family - 1 Peter 2:21-23 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
17 - If You May Have To Eat Your Words Later - Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
18 - If You Have Already Said It More Than One Time - Prov. 19:13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
19 - When You Are Tempted To Flatter A Wicked Person - Prov. 24:24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:
20 - When You Are Suppose To Be Working Instead - Prov. 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

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Monday, January 21, 2008


(This devotional post by Pastor Smith of Mt. Zion Baptist Church describes the portion of scripture where God is looking for that man who will "Stand in the Gap" - none could be found at that time, but my spiritual lifetime goal for many, many years has been to be that man that will "Stand in the Gap," thus providing the name of my blogsite. I hope you enjoy this portion of God's Word and you too will also make it one of your goals as a Christian to "Stand in the Gap" for Him!!!)

Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

Few verses of Scripture have more powerfully influenced my personal life than this one. This was the word of the Lord that came to Ezekiel. There was a great need for integrity and holiness in every level of leadership. The prophets, the priests, the princes, and the people were all guilty of corruption. God was left with no option. His holiness demanded that He bring judgment on the land. God was looking for a man that would “make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land.” In some of the saddest words in the Bible, we find this expression, “but I found none.” God could not find the man He sought for. Surely we are not mistaken if we assume that God is still searching for such men. We know that it is true. There has always been a shortage of laborers in God’s work. It was true in Ezekiel’s day, in the days when Jesus was on this earth; and it remains the same today. God is searching for those He can use. I remember when these words first gripped my heart. I was arrested by the thought that God was still looking for men. It does not seem right that our gracious and giving God would have to be in need of something He cannot find, but it is so. He is looking for those who will be available to Him, to use as He pleases. Not only was I arrested by the idea that God was looking for men, but also even more stunned to think that I might be considered as a candidate. Could God use me? Could God use you? For what kind of person is God seeking? God is not looking for people with a particular level of education or intelligence. Nor is His search limited to certain personality types or physical appearance. He is looking for men and women who are sincere and available. He is looking for those who are humble and dependent on Him. God is seeking people of earnest and believing prayer. One of the most important things we can do to “make up the hedge” is intercede. He is looking for those who love the Lord more than they love the world and seek His approval more than the applause of men. It would seem that there would be an abundance of such men and women, but obviously, that is not so. May we heartily respond to this need by giving ourselves completely to God and His will.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Judging Error

Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

In order to mark and avoid those professing Christian teachers and leaders who are promoting doctrinal heresy (thus causing divisions among Christian believers), it is obvious that we must exercise sound Biblical discernment and judgment. This judgment must be based on "the doctrine which ye have learned" from God's word.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Such decisions are not to be based on supposed scholarship, tolerance, or eloquence, for such teachers "by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Instead, we must know and apply God's word, the Holy Scriptures. We must be like the Bereans, who, when they heard new teachings, "searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).

It is sadly true today that many who call themselves Christians have compromised with the pseudo-scientific worldview of evolutionary humanism that controls all secular schools and colleges, hoping thereby to avoid the "offense of the cross" (Galatians 5:11), and to remain on good terms with "the princes of this world" and "the wisdom of this world" (I Corinthians 2:6).

They do this for their own personal gain or prestige, however, not serving Christ, "but their own belly" (Romans 16:18). Those who are "simple," Bible-believing Christians are, therefore, not to be "deceived" by their "good words," but to "mark" and "avoid" them.

A devotional thought by Dr. Henry Morris

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Where Are All the Men of God Today???

2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Where Are All the Men of God Today?

* Where are the men of God that are willing to contend for the once for all delivered to the saints faith?
* Where are the men of God who are willing to instruct in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict?
* Where are the men of God who won't tolerate a scatological mouth in the pulpit and will guard the integrity of the sacred desk?
* Where are the men of God who will preach not themselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord?
*Where are the men of God who are biblically discerning, armed with the sword of the Spirit, and in the power of the Spirit will abandon themselves to nothing save Christ and Him crucified?
* Where are the men of God who will say no to the world and yes to Christ - leaving behind career, fame, and the promise of fortune for the sake of the gospel?
* Where are the men of God today who consider it more a joy to bear the reproaches and insults of men for the glory of Christ, then seek after the praise of men for the glory of themselves?
* Where are the men of God who love God more than they fear man?

"I would rather preach the truth with too great a severity, than to ever once act the hypocrite and conceal the truth!" Martin Luther

Excerpts from an article by Steve Camp (Feminization of the Evangelical Man: Men More Interested in Nice Than Truth )

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


We hear some pastors justify their lack of evangelism by boasting that they are more concerned with quality than quantity. This may sound pious and accurate, but in the real world, no one believes it; not even those who say it.

I have five children. Let's suppose they all get lost in the nearby mountains. We gather a search party, spread out and begin our search. About four hours into the hunt, someone yells, "I found one over here!" My wife and I run to see who it was found. We discover it is our "quality" child. I spread the word that we can now call off the search. We found the best of the five.

Of course, some will scoff at this illustration, but the argument is the same. God does care about numbers, and He cares about those who are weak and inferior. The parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son make that abundantly clear.

Let us first worry about the quantity of lost people we can win to Christ and then labor to make them quality Christians. There is no conflict between the two. It does not have to be one or the other.

A devotional thought by Pastor Ken Blue

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Consider His Word

John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

God’s Word must be given place in our hearts. It is not enough to hear the Word; we must heed it. Because these Hebrews rejected Christ’s Word, they disqualified themselves from the blessings God had intended for them to receive.

First, they missed out on the confidence of hope. Many times while on foreign soil, Americans are leery of drinking the local water. In a third-world country, there is often a lot of pollution in the water supply. There is no confidence because it has all been contaminated. Praise the Lord that His Word has never been contaminated! First Peter 1:23–25 says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Second, they missed out on a change in their hearts. In the next verse, Jesus said, “I speak that which I have seen with my father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.” Because they had rejected the Word of God, they were stuck in their sinful ways. Many people feel trapped by sin. They may have had high ambitions of not falling into the same sin as other people, but in rejecting the help of God’s Word, they cut the only rope that could rescue them from this world’s storm of sin.

Third, they missed out on the course to Heaven. Romans 10:17 plainly tells us that the Word of God is vital to salvation, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” How many mansions in Heaven will never be prepared because someone simply would not give place in their hearts to God’s Word?

Consider the promises God’s Word offers you today. Only as you are faithfully reading His Word and diligently obeying His commands will you be able to see revival in your life.

A devotional thought by Pastor Paul Chappell of Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster, CA

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Almighty God vs. Generic God

(From time to time I post several authors who submit articles to News With Views, and although I do not 100% agree with their individual overall theological and political views, I still find some of their writings very appropriate in today's world in which we are living in day after day. Although this post is rather lengthy, I am posting it completely to show the error of today's thinking of mankind who invent the God which they would like to serve based on their own desires and pleasures upon that which they want to live and act upon in their own daily life. The author of this article is Marsha West.)

For a number of years a woman I know, I'll call her Amy, has wrestled with giving her life to Christ. She admits she really wants to, but how can she when she'd have to serve a God who allows murderers into Heaven and sends "good people" to Hell? It would be awkward to have to explain to her husband, family and friends that they're bound for hell if they reject Christ. In other words, Amy won't play by God's rules because His rules make her uncomfortable. In her way of thinking the God of the Bible is too punitive for her sensibilities. And besides, what kind of God would allow a serial murderer into heaven who professed a belief in Christ only minutes before going to the gas chamber while at the same time condemn "good people" to hell for their unbelief?

Liberals like Amy require a more palatable religion, one that's all-inclusive and, of course, fair. They desire a warm fuzzy God. The liberal's ideal God is a sort of jolly ol' St. Nick figure. The liberal's jolly ol' god has a Naughty and Nice list but his heart is so big that he often overlooks naughty children's indiscretions (even the ones who are unrepentant) and delivers the goods to them anyway. He'd be unloving if he didn't bend a little.

Amy has yet to accept Christ and the main reason is it's unthinkable that God would send "good people" to hell. Amy's major stumbling block is that she's acquainted with a number of "good people" who are not Christians -- and they're a lot nicer than some Christians she knows. She contends that a just God wouldn't send nice folks to hell for all eternity simply because they reject Jesus Christ.

But the Bible says otherwise. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

People like Amy sincerely believe they could do a far better job of running the universe than the One who created it. Talk about chutzpah!

No human being has the wisdom to determine if a person is fundamentally good or evil for the simple reason that no one knows for certain what's in a person's heart! No one can ever truly know a person's motives.

For those who hold to a relativistic worldview, good and evil, ethics and morality are simply cultural inventions and cannot be objectively defined. Liberals perceive the Bible as a book of myths and fables, thus it mustn't be taken seriously. Those who do take the Bible seriously are considered "unenlighted" -- nothing more than addlepated dunderheads. Unbelievers carp that the Bible should not be the standard by which we judge good and bad. But if not the Bible, then what standard should we use to determine ethics and morality? Consensus opinion? Selwyn Duke makes this astute observation:

"If man is the author of what we call right and wrong, if morality is all a matter of opinion, then there is no evil in any real sense. In other words, if we are judging some things to be good and others evil, we have to ask what standard we're using as a yardstick. If the standard is simply consensus opinion, then what we call morality falls in the realm of taste. "So, for 'good' and 'evil' to truly be reckoned as such, the standard we use cannot merely be taste masquerading as 'values.' And since man is being judged (we are, after all, talking about our actions), he cannot be the standard, for a standard cannot judge itself any more than a board can be used to measure itself for a carpentry project. For a standard to judge what is good and evil, it must be both outside and above them, in which case that standard starts to sound an awful lot like God."

Another one of Amy's grievances against Christianity is that many so-called Christians don't behave any differently than unbelievers do. In other words, the lives of Christians she comes in contact with are inconsistent with what they profess to believe in. They claim Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, but they don't serve Him well. Amy has a point.

Indeed, many people want a Savior because they know they need one but they're unwilling to humble themselves before the throne of Almighty God and be obedient to what He desires. They may accept Jesus Christ as their Savior but pride gets in the way of Christ taking his rightful place at the helm of the ship. As poet William Earnest Henley wrote, "It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll: I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

Following are a couple of composite examples of the contemporary Christian.

Michelle professes faith in Christ. She attends church every Sunday, sings in the praise band, mans the coffer bar, and attends an occasional Bible study. She rarely shares Christ with anyone, unless she's forced into it, whereby she quickly spouts the condensed version of the gospel to avoid making the person feel uncomfortable. Her excuse is that evangelism is not her spiritual gift. Michelle believes God has gifted her with the ability to sing. Her voice rivals Judy Garland's so she really belts out a song in church. But when it comes to sharing her faith she's as timid as a mouse. She feels that as long as she's in a committed relationship, having sexual relations is not sinful. Nor is aborting a child. Michelle became pregnant and had an abortion so as not to bring an unwanted child into the world. She also swears like a sailor and dresses like a Hollywood pop-tart.

Jeff accepted Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade when he was a teen. Ever since then he has tried to be a good person and lead a moral life. Unless his kids have a sports event, the family is in church most Sundays. He and his wife participate in a small group that meets in their home for Bible study and prayer. Jeff is generous with his time, talent and treasure. He tithes 10 percent of his income and is always there to lend a hand. One thing Jeff enjoys is getting together with the guys for Monday night football at a local sports bar. He limits his beer intake to 2 schooners because any more than that could impair his driving. Jeff believes he has the spiritual gift of evangelism and often brags about sharing his faith with dudes he meets at sports events or bars. When Jeff does his income tax he uses "creative accounting practices." On occasion he views pornography on the Internet and thinks it's no big deal. Unbeknownst to his wife he regularly emails a woman he met in a chat room.

Michelle and Jeff say they're Christians. They both consider themselves good people and for the most part they try to live good lives – but are quick to admit they're not perfect! They reject the "fundamentalist fringe" of Christianity and the "fundies" constant harping on God's holiness. God knows we all have our faults, so why does a pastor need to belabor the point? Michelle and Jeff do the best they can, and besides, God knows their hearts are in the right place. In the long run going to heaven is what really counts anyway, and since they sincerely accepted Christ as their Savior, they're there! They may get through those pearly gates by the skin of their teeth, but at least they're in! Bang the cymbals, praise God, halleluiah, Amen!

Michelle and Jeff typify a lot of church-goers. All they need is enough of God to feel comfortable. Neither one of them want the fire and brimstone God the "fundies" preach about. That God is too harsh, too judgmental – way too scary!

Which brings me to the words penned by Wilber Reese, who sums up the attitude of a large number of contemporary Christians: "I would like to buy 3 dollars worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb not a new birth. I want about a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I'd like to buy 3 dollars worth of God, please."

Far too many Christians are looking for an ecstatic experience – they're not looking to be transformed. Why? Because transformation involves change and change is often painful.

Reader alert! The serious Christian has no choice but to change.

For transformation to occur believers must immerse themselves in the Bible because it's the instrument God uses to conform His people to the image of Christ. And by the way, there is no such thing as a solitary Christian. No one should try to do Christianity on their own. Christians are a part of a body -- the Body of Christ -- with Christ as the head. Members of the church body are designed to function together as a whole. Moreover, they are meant to lean on each other when the going gets tough. Every believer should have a friend they can call at a moments notice. This friend can assist with good advice and hold them accountable.

It's not uncommon for a Christian to "crawl off the alter" and slink back into the world every once in a while. That's because many believers are comfortable with their former self (what Paul calls the "flesh"). For some it's like slipping their feet into a favorite pair of shoes. But an authentic Christian won't remain in the world. With God's help the prodigal will be victorious over sin. And the victory is in Christ! Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Now listen to what Paul has to say about transformation:

Romans 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.

Authentic Christians must present themselves "holy, acceptable unto God!"

In his article, "Making Life Decisions," Geoff Pound explains why God's people should offer themselves as a "living sacrifice": "Picking up on the familiar worship practice of sacrificing the life of a bird or animal, the Roman believers are called to offer themselves as a 'living sacrifice'. This is an ongoing presentation rather than a one-off gift. The offering of our lives is not only an appropriate response to the mercies of the God who has given us all but it is a prerequisite for discernment—'so that you may discern what is the will of God.' Discernment cannot be divorced from discipleship. Discernment is not an artificial leg that can be strapped on and taken off when convenient. Discernment is integrally connected to the offering of all that we are to God."

Offering your life to Christ, holy and pleasing, is a prerequisite for discernment! Today discernment is sorely lacking in the Church. So-called Christians are dependent on the government for education, health care, retirement, handouts, and so on. Plus they involve themselves in mysticism and participate in all sorts of unbiblical practices. Why? Because they're deficient in spiritual wisdom and discernment! I've already covered this topic in "Got Meat?" so I won't belabor the point. Instead I'll return to Amy's perception of Christianity.

The way Amy sees it, most Christians she knows pay no heed to God's commands as set forth in the Bible. Are they not aware of the rules (new converts)? Or are they fully aware of the rules and feel no obligation to follow them? In any case, their behavior is no different than the unsaved person. (I personally know Christians that think God overlooks their blatant sin.) But here's the thing. If followers of Jesus Christ fail to exhibit a life lived in deference to Him, how are they any different from the unsaved?

In Amy's view, they're hypocrites (she's right) and a religion that breeds hypocrites makes her uncomfortable. As a result, she has fashioned a user-friendly religion with hardly any rules and an open-minded god who accepts everyone. (Hereafter Amy's counterfeit god shall be dubbed Generic God.)

Generic God does not require an atoning sacrifice for our sins. I mean, please. The atonement thing is so yesterday! "Self" has replaced the Savior of mankind. In other words, "I" will go to heaven, but "I" will make it on "my" own, without anyone's help, thank you very much, because "I" deserve it. Move over Jesus, here "I" come!

Generic God is very cool. In fact, he/she is so cool that there is no penalty for sin! Man is judged solely on his good deeds….or whatever. I suspect that Amy assumes her performance on Earth will pass muster and that Generic God will welcome her into his/her kingdom when she dies. But what if Amy's performance isn't quite up to snuff?

Because Generic God is a wishy-washy god I suspect he/she can be persuaded to change his/her mind, unlike the God of the Bible who will say this to those who reject His Son:

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

What did Jesus mean by, "the will of my Father?" What he "plainly" meant is that it's God's will that, first and foremost, we repent of our sins and accept God's free gift of eternal life. Performing miraculous signs and wonders, doing good deeds, and being a "good person" does not cut it with God. And here's the reason:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

One last comment about Michelle. If you recall, Michelle believes she doesn't have the gift of evangelism. Thus she's convinced herself that she's off the hook when it comes to sharing her faith. But Michelle's wrong! She's obligated to preach the gospel. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says:

Romans 1:14-17 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

All Christians have an obligation to evangelize the lost! Why? Because it's good news! Christians are offering eternal life, even though no one deserves it. Why would any true believer be ashamed to share the good news with those they come in contact with? People could use some good news!

Sadly, not everyone will go to heaven. Only those who are saved from their sins will reside with the King of kings and Lord of lords for all eternity.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Questions and Answers

(The following post is an excerpt from The Comfort Food blog which I thought I would share with my faithful blog readers. It contains some food for thought.....)

Question: "What really shocks me here are the number of Christians who are afraid of atheists...What is scary about someone not believing the same thing as you...? Perhaps I am asking the wrong question... Perhaps I should be asking, are you that afraid that your belief system is that easily deconstructed...?"

Answer: Good question. We are not scared of atheists, although if we weren’t Christians, we should be. A very wise man once said, “Most I fear God. Next, I fear him who fears Him not.” Atheists are probably about as dangerous as “religious” people (as apposed to those who truly love God).. Religious people have killed millions throughout history in religious wars (the Crusades of the Catholic church, Islamic terrorism, etc.), the Spanish Inquisition (the murder of Christians by the Catholic church), the killing of the prophets of God (by religious Jews), the murder of Jesus, the persecution of the Church (see the Book of Acts for details, or read Foxes Book of Martyrs for greater and horrific detail). Religious hypocrites come in a close second to atheistic communism, which is responsible for 100 million deaths throughout history. If someone doesn’t fear God, they will lie to you (if they think that they can get away with it), they will steal from you (if they think they can get away with it), and they may even kill you (if they . . . you know why by now). The atheist thinks that he’s getting away with his sin. He denies that there is a God, and therefore he believes that there is no judgment for his actions. He may evade civil law, but there is no way he can ever evade God’s Law. God considers lust to be adultery, and hatred, murder. He sees the thought-life, and Jesus warned that even every idle word he speaks, he will have to give an account for on the Day of Judgment.

1 Peter 3:15-17 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Ezekiel 3:18-19 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Wisdom of This World

1 Cor. 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

The scholars and scientists and intellectuals of this world may be held in great esteem by men, but to God, their humanistic reasonings are foolishness. In fact, the evolutionary philosophy which dominates the "wisdom of this world" has led to our modern amoral culture, to racism, to imperialism, to communism, Nazism, to New Age pantheism, humanism, atheism, abortionism, and to all manner of evil and foolish beliefs and practices.

Yet many modern evangelicals feel they must accommodate the wisdom of this world in their own schools and churches, forgetting that "the world by wisdom knew not God" (I Corinthians 1:21). God has warned us not to follow "the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought" (I Corinthians 2:6). Why should we waste precious time in teaching our students or our congregations the wisdom of this world that not only is false and harmful, but is soon coming to nought? The only valid reason at all for doing so is to teach them what’s wrong with it, so that they can "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh" (I Peter 3:15).

Above all, they must not accommodate the wisdom of this world in their own worldview. God has gravely warned against the evolutionary philosophy of the world (II Peter 3:3-6) in these sobering words: "Seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness" (II Peter 3:17).

Therefore, "If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (I Corinthians 3:18,19).

A devotional thought by HMM in Days of Praise

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bible Inspiration

The Bible is amazing in that it can easily be shown to be inspired by God (to any reasonable person). It was written over a period of around 1,600 years, by between 40 and 50 authors from all walks of life, and yet there is a wonderful continuity of thought running throughout its pages. Take for instance the subject of “righteousness,” a word that is used 291 times in the King James Bible. The cross happened because God demanded perfect justice to satisfy His perfect righteousness. Look now at the amazing continuity of Scripture: Psalm 9:8 (written around 800 BC), warned that God will judge the world in righteousness: “And he shall judge the world in righteousness . . . .” The Book of Proverbs 11:4 warns again: “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.” So, how can guilty sinners become righteous in the sight of a holy God? Hosea 10:12 tells us: “. . . for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” It was then on the Day of Pentecost that righteousness rained down from Heaven. Now God commands all men everywhere to repent. Why? “Because he has appointed a Day in which He will judge the world in righteousness.” As the Apostle Paul was about to die he said, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Tim 4:8). In the meanwhile, you and I wait for a new heavens and new earth "within dwells righteousness." So, what should we be doing as Christians while we wait? Daniel 12:3 tells us: “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."

A devotional thought from "Comfort Food"

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008


2 Chronicles 1:10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?

After David died, Solomon became the king of Israel. The Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him, “Ask what I shall give thee” (II Chronicles 1:7). The words of our text record Solomon’s answer. He asked for wisdom. He knew his responsibility was great, his people were numerous, and his experience was minimal. He needed wisdom. God promised to give him wisdom, and Solomon became known as the wisest man of this world. Because Solomon asked for wisdom rather than riches, wealth, honor, or a long life, God was pleased. As a result of this, God not only gave him wisdom, but also He gave him riches, and wealth, and honor above all that came before him. We all would agree that we also need God’s wisdom. The Bible says that, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). In an increasingly secular society, the wisdom of the world is influencing the Christian community. We do not need the world’s wisdom, but God’s wisdom. Solomon was motivated by the awareness of his own inadequacies to pray for wisdom. Our needs are equally great. We need wisdom for our lives. We need wisdom for relating to people. We need wisdom to be the kind of parent or spouse God wants us to be. We need wisdom to be the kind of employee or employer we are supposed to be. We need wisdom for our personal finances and decisions. We need wisdom to appropriately respond to our difficulties. We desperately need God’s wisdom. We need to make the pursuit of wisdom a matter of personal priority. Because the Bible calls it the “principal thing” (Proverbs 4:7), it must become a serious priority to us. Of course, the greatest resource for wisdom is the Word of God. The Bible reveals wisdom for every area of our lives, either by direct teaching or by Biblical principles. It behooves us then to read and study the Scriptures, for therein wisdom is making itself known. Additionally, we are told in the New Testament to ask God for wisdom, knowing that He has promised to give it to those who request it. May the responsibilities of our lives motivate us to seek after wisdom.

A devotional thought by Pastor Smith, Mt. Zion Baptist Church

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Monday, January 07, 2008

America Has Lost Their Mind

(Here is an article by Coach Dave Daubenmire from an article posted in News With Views which I thought some people may want to meditate upon......)

As the old United Negro College Fund commercial used to tell us, “the mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Losing one’s mind is even worse.

America has lost her mind.

What is the mind? It is "the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc." In most Americans this part of the brain no longer functions. For many the loss of our mind is a result of the “mind blowing” experience of the sixties, or from sitting at the feet of the radical Humanists who permeate our nation’s universities, or perhaps from a life filled with Oprah, Dr. Phil, Jerry Springer and the Cable News outlets.

The average American no longer thinks. Years in the public-fool system has sucked all ability to use logic and reason out of our populace. Americans have been systematically dumbed-down. “No Tax Dollar Left Behind” had as its goal a slick transformation in educational method. Measure, measure, measure…test, test, test. This is the only way, we were told, to determine whether or not our children are learning.

Logic is the ability to frame an argument based on knowledge. Knowledge is “acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation" and reason requires the application of logic in order to determine the validity of a particular theory.

Ultimately, wisdom is the goal. Wisdom is “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.”

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

“What is true, right, or lasting……” sort of puts you in mind of the knowledge we are pumping into America’s young “skulls full of mush,” doesn’t it?

Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. What is a fool? Why, a fool is “a person who lacks judgment or sense.” Americans and American schools are producing trained-fools. Not just fools, “a stupid person,” but trained fools, fools who have been “coached in or accustomed to a mode of behavior or performance.” All wrong thinking leads to wrong action. The thief thought he would get away with it. The rapist never thought he would get caught. The teenager never thought she would get pregnant.

Just because you believe something, anything, does not make it true.

We no longer teach our children HOW to think. Instead, we “coach” them on WHAT to think and then test to measure if the indoctrination has worked. Ooops, “indoctrination,” that is probably another word many are not familiar with. Indoctrination is “teaching someone to accept doctrines without proof.” Everywhere you look we are being indoctrinated. Our news is indoctrination. “They decide, we report.” “We have to stop Hillary.” “Who are you to judge?" “Global warming is destroying the planet.” “Top-tier candidates.”

American-adults have lost their minds. Look at the garbage we are teaching our kids:
* A child doesn’t need a mother and a father. Two moms or two dads are fine, because men and women are really no different.
* Sodomy between men is normal, but those who speak out against it are not.
* Killing a wanted unborn child is homicide; an unwanted unborn child is choice.
* Global warming kills more people than abortion.
* “Choice” is good for unborn children, but bad for born school children.
* A young woman can have an abortion and yet never have regrets about it.

We have lost our minds!
* A child must say no to cigarettes, but it is ok to say yes to sex.
* Abortion is good and the death penalty is bad.
* Divorce is best for the children if it makes the parents happier.
* Spanking your children will cause them to be violent.
* Famous people are better than “regular” people.
* Love is sex and sex is love.
* Condoms will prevent disease.

We have lost our minds!
* Creating more laws will lower crime.
* Gun control makes law-abiding citizens safer.
* Being sick is an excuse for breaking the law.
* Government needs to spy on us to keep us safe from terrorism.
* “Experts” know what is best for the rest of us.
* Our rights are granted by government.
* We need more money for education.

We have lost our minds!
* Paying people not to work will make them more productive.
* We have no right to judge the actions of another person.
* The government is the answer to everyone’s problems. .
* There is a big difference between Democrats and Republicans.
* President Bush is a Christian-conservative.
* The National Education Association cares about kids more than teachers.

We have lost our minds!
* Jesus has forgiven our sins so stop talking about sin.
* An hour of Sunday school will undue 7 hours a day in public schools.
* God is not to be included in public ceremonies, government, or education.
* Remove the teachings of Christianity and people will naturally be good.
* The US Supreme Court over-rides the law of God.
* Jesus is most concerned with making us happy.
* Those who believe the Bible are not very well educated.

We have lost our minds!

I could go on. Let me leave you with a few Scriptures to chew on. Perhaps they can help explain the mess we are in.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

America has become a “ship of fools” captained by fools. The ship has lost her moral rudder. The blind are leading the blind.

Psalms 2:1-4 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

God is probably laughing to keep from crying.

America has lost her mind.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Evidence of Evolution Found in Church???

Maybe people did descend from lower animals because some church members seem to be stubborn as MULES about church work, sly as a FOX in business deals, busy as BEES in spreading the latest gossip. But they have eyes like a HAWK to see the mote in a brother’s eye. They are eager as BEAVERS about church suppers, but lazy as DOGS about prayer meetings and mean as SNAKES when things don’t go their way. They are noisy as CROWS in calling for the church to advance but as SNAILS in visiting. Many are night OWLS on Saturday night and BEDBUGS on Sunday mornings as scarce as a HEN’S tooth on Sunday night.

From an article printed in The Torch

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Why Do Many Christians Accept Evolution?

Unfortunately, many Christians—in fact, many pastors—accept some form of evolution and try to add it to the Bible. They say that God could have used evolutionary processes over millions of years to bring about plants, animals, and finally man. Many accept molecule-to-man evolution because they believe that science has “proven” that the earth is millions of years old, so they simply attach God to the process.

But this view, called “theistic evolution,” is actually destructive to the gospel message. Of course, this does not mean that people who believe in theistic evolution aren’t Christians, since the Bible teaches that believing in and confessing Christ’s death and resurrection is the key to salvation. However, they are being very inconsistent in their faith.

The Bible clearly teaches that when God created Adam and Eve, the world was perfect (i.e., “very good”). There was no death and bloodshed. But because of the sin of Adam, God brought death as a judgment into the world. Of course, He also provided a means by which man could be reconciled to his Creator.

But a Christian who believes in evolution over eons as told by evolutionists must also believe that God used death and bloodshed over millions of years as a way to bring man into existence. For them, the fossil record is not a sign of God’s judgment in the Flood, but of the cruel nature of the world they believe God created. However, if death is not a result of the Fall, then why would God need to send His Son to save us from death? In this view, cancer, pain, and death would simply be part of the original plan.

But thank God this is not the true history of the world. Death came into the world because of sin, but Christ came to the earth and died to save us from sin and death. There is no room for death before sin, and no room for the evolutionary myth in the Bible.

Article from AnswersWeekly, published by Answers in Genesis ministry

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Sin That No One Wants To Admit

Ex. 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

We look at the other nine commandments this summer. WE are going to look at the Tenth one today. What were the other commandments?

Commandment # 1... "No God's Before Me..."
Commandment # 2... "Thou Shalt Make No Graven Image.."
Commandment # 3... "Thou Shalt Not Take The Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain..."
Commandment # 4... "Remember the Sabbath Day...."
Commandment # 5... "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother:... "
Commandment # 6... "Thou Shalt Not Kill." ...
Commandment # 7... "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery..."
Commandment # 8... "Thou Shalt Not Steal..."
Commandment # 9... "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness..."

The first four related to the Lord. If this relationship is not right, then the next six will never be right. The problem is that we are rarely always right with the Lord so no wonder we are messed up when it come to the other commandments.

I have said this several times but it needs to be repeated again. The Ten Commandments are not to save you but show you how far you are from God in your life.

With commandments number six through nine, you will find laws that cover them. But you will not find any laws covering number ten that is simply “Thou shalt not covet”.

"I want...I want...I want..." has been the theme song for millions today. Few are satisfied with what they have. They always want more. Selfish people have simply imbibed the spirit of a materialistic age. That is why covetousness plays such a large part in their drives and deeds. We will be looking at right wants and wrong wants. It is our desire that we will take a serious checkup on our inner longings for things in the light of the Bible's teaching on this subject.

The basis of covetousness seems to lie at the root of many sins such as stealing, adultery, self-centeredness, even murder just to name a few.

I want to give you a few thoughts on this sin that people rarely admit to having in their life. What will they not admit to having it? Number six through nine is sins that some one can see but this one is kept inside and the only person that really sees it is the Lord.

The Tenth Commandment reaches into three areas of our lives, property, persons and possessions.

You would not steal your neighbor's house, but you wish it were yours.
You would not run off with your neighbor's wife, but you wish she were yours.
You would not rob your neighbor of his money, or car, but you wish those things were yours.

Covetousness is the excessive inward desire for the material things of this world. It has been called, "an itch for more…" A covetous person has a severe craving for the possessions or life circumstances of others. It's not just a casual "wouldn't it be nice if..." It is a strong; "I want what you have, because I feel that is what will satisfy me and make me happy."

Once you start coveting something that some one else has, you will not stop. It will get into the fiber on your mind. One of the riches men in the world was asked how much money makes a man happy. His answer shows a coveting heart. He said “just one dollar more.” This is shows why this is a sin that people rarely admit to having.

Here are some thoughts regarding the misery of coveting;

First, God knows that what we covet will not last. Clothes wear out. Cars wear out. X Box game systems wear out. But we usually will be bored with it before it wears out. 2 Cor. 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Secondly, God knows that what we covet will be a burden to us somewhere down the line. David coveted his neighbor’s wife and after this, he had nothing but pain and agony in his life. The sin of coveting added a host of other sins to his life. David would never dreamed that night he would covet his neighbor’s wife or that he would commit adultery with her or have husband killed. One of the saddest psalms that he wrote was Psalm 51. He admits his before God but he had to live with the consequences of his actions of that night for the rest of his life.

Thirdly, God knows that coveting is deceptive. Let’s think on the words of our Lord Jesus on this subject. Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

Having all the toys will not make you happy. Having the best toys will make you happy. It is simply because they will not last. There will be a faster toys or a brighter one come along in a little while.

The mastery over coveting is simple. Be content with what you have and where you are.

Php. 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Heb. 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

1 Tim. 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

I have been preaching a long time. One of the things that I have learned is this: I have never seen a U-Haul trailer behind a hearse yet.

Conclusion: When all you live for is the toys and how much you can get, you will be a miserable person. But the opposite of coveting is contentment. The opposite of getting is giving. Are you a getter or a giver? The choice is yours.

A message preached by Pastor Mike Walls, Freedom Baptist Church, Smithfield, NC

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve

Joshua 24:14-15 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Israel’s leader used interesting terms in describing many of the people’s desire not to serve God. He used: “… if it seem evil”. This wording indicated that some of the people thought that serving their creator and protector was physically, socially, or morally bad for them. This thinking is not unlike the thoughts today by many. Too many think serving God and obeying his commands as recorded in the Bible are unprofitable to them because:
  • They will miss all the “fun”, if they follow God’s commands. Sin is only “fun” for a short time: “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” Hebrews 11:25. Sin never gives true joy, only temporary satisfaction.
  • They do not know that there is a price tag for sin. No one gets away with sin. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverb 28:13 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • His way is not the world’s way. By following His way they will appear strange and different from others. They will not fit in. Yes, God’s way is different. Yes, you will not fit in if you are obedient to God; but why do you want to be like the losing side anyway? God’s way is always better. He has raised trillions upon trillions of children and His ways are the best. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
  • They only see the now, and forget the eternal. There is life after death. There is an eternity in either heaven or hell. What sense is there in missing an eternity in heaven for temporal satisfaction for a relatively short time here on earth. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36

The world’s excuses for not serving God are not much different than those of today. The excuses come from the same rebellious and disobedient heart. No matter the time, the answer to God can be the same as Joshua’s: “… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15. No matter what others think or do, we can always be different and do right!

Excerpt from article by Bill Brinkworth from "The Bible View"

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Starting Off Right

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

As we enter a new year, many people are making resolutions. Some will promise to lose weight, others will determine to spend more time with their family, and some will resolve to read more books. But as we enter this new year, let’s look at the resolutions of one of the Great Awakening’s leading preachers, Jonathan Edwards.

These resolutions were written in his personal diary:
“Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence.
Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
Resolved, never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
Resolved, always to do that which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak.”

What great resolutions! We would all do well to apply these in our own lives. Notice our verses for today, “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” The Lord’s mercies are new every day! Even if we fail God in some way today, if we ask for forgiveness, He gives it to us! He wipes the slate clean, and we can start over again!

What a great promise! We are all sinners, but God promises His mercy to us every day! Take time today to sit down and evaluate your spiritual life. How have you grown closer to God in the last year? What good habits have you formed that help you become more like Christ?

Then see what you could do to improve your Christian life. In what areas have you failed God? What areas do you need to work on so that you can draw closer to God this coming year? Make a list of things you would like to accomplish in your spiritual life this year. Then take time alone with God and commit this list to Him. Ask Him to help you in the areas you need to work on, and commit to drawing closer to Him this year.

A devotional thought from Pastor Paul Chappell, Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster, CA

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