Sunday, May 31, 2009

seeking Godliness vBLOG

When your growth in knowledge no longer has an effect on your growth in practice, then you haven't really grown in knowledge! Believers never reach a stage where we become 'authorities' and can spend our time as critics, no the MARK of maturity in Christ is brokenness and we must never be satisfied with mere head knowledge!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

in and out of SEASON preach

Thursday, May 28, 2009

what is grace vBLOG

what is sin Vblog

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

hypocrites in the church Vblog

"The church is full of hypocrites!" So says all those who would think that such a comment might bring them a way of escape, yet it only condemns them more! Roms 2

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

With every Command, is a promise Vblog

What He must be, by Voddie Baucham

You have to absolutely get this book, no matter what! This is one of those rare books that will last a long time and one of those that you could buy in bulk and hand out to hundreds of people. Whether you are a parent, child, single, or even married you will find much benefit from this book, not to mention a list of people you'll be thinking 'they need to read this'.
While reading it you MUST ask NOT is this the 'norm' but is this BIBLICAL?!

I made this Vblog to recommend this, and I read several excerpts.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

gay and lesbian message, VBLOG

Homeschooling, some random and unorganized thoughts

I am thoroughly convinced that homeschooling is the best option for children. I was convinced of this early in my Christian pilgrimage as was my wife, this before I ever met any homeschoolers, this long long before I ever heard there was such a thing as 'homeschool' movement.
Initially without much concentrated study I came to such conclusions because of the Bible's emphasis on training children, my own grasp that children are moldable, and that parents could do a better job.
HOWEVER, I do think parents need to be qualified.
They are qualified when they are RESOLVED to play close attention to their children
They are qualified when they are resolved to consistently discipline their children
They are qualified when they are resolved to trust (to seek) God for success
They are qualified when they are resolved to be living examples before their children
They are qualified when they are resolved to model submission to biblical authority
They are qualified when they are resolved to teach for the glory of God, NOT morality
What's amusing is how some teachers get the credit for what the parents spend countless nights teaching their children (what's called homework often turns into an introduction to that subject or topic).

'Children can be salt' this is by far the worst argument, children are impressionable (would you let them join a gang to be salt?, what if you learned the Sunday school teacher was homosexual would you let your child be salt?). MORE then we guard ourselves, we are to guard our children: Do not even MATURE believers have to GUARD themselves from certain company? Doesn't the 'bad' company of MATURE believers tempt us? Then how MUCH MORE is a child influenced by a godless (an ANTI-GOD, an aggressively anti-biblical) environment. So they tell you something their science teacher said about evolution, well what about the things they didn't catch (historical things, moral and ethical things, 'tolerance' propaganda, etc..)?
Above that many children are engaged in constant after-school activities (sports, clubs) that hinder the small possibility that the parent will have much influence or for that matter knowledge of what their children are being confronted with.

If you could seriously hold that public school is a 'good' thing, then your child must have MUCH of your time, in order for them to NOT be conformed to this godless culture, in order for them to be prepared for the violent onslaught they MUST have DOCTRINE; I speak of more than just bible quizzing stuff, more than adventures in Odyssey fluff, but HARDCORE catechisms and exposure to searching applications of scripture (preaching)!

Are Christian schools any better? Depends! What are their standards? Not their statements, not their oaths or what the founders of the school had to say, but WHO do they let in the classrooms?? Who do they let in the administration? If I am confusing you, then take a peek into the history of many schools today that many call 'liberal', I call then heretical apostate factories, and you will see the fall of many initially great schools. With that said, a school that has been infiltrated by heresy or hypocrisy will do MORE harm then a public school.

The lack of accountability in the public school system is appalling, the union for teachers work like the MAFIA (once you're in you are safe, even IF the media is against you).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fight through grace

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Biblical Salvation a tract

Click here for a great tract from Bro Kevin @ puritanfellowship

Biblical Salvation!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God…John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…
All things must originate here; God in His rightful place is first. God existed from eternity past and was present before anything created. God does not become more or less due to what He makes, for God is truly the only independent entity that exists. God told Moses that His name was “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14); which can be summed up God who was, is, and will always be. In Malachi 3:6 God makes this saying clear “For I am the Lord, I do not change…” God is always the same. In our world, from our perspective we see a lot of change and man accepts change; as time progresses standards, morals, and norms change. Now does this mean that God adapts as well? Consider God’s reply to man in
Psalm 50:21 “You thought I was altogether like you”.

Does God resemble man? Does God see things the way we do? Well in
Isaiah 55:8 the Lord says “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways my ways”
So we can easily conclude that God does not think or act like we do. God has a clear and perfect view of things. Man cannot figure out God, no man on earth can come close to how God acts or thinks through human logic. To emphasize this truth let’s look further in that same passage in
Isaiah 55:9 it reads “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts then your thoughts.”
So how close do we come? Heaven vs earth! Seems like God is saying that we are not alike at all. Of course man being the prideful creature it is doesn’t realize this on its own, most men (mankind) have a pretty high view of their opinions. In fact the book of Proverbs in 14:12 and 16:25 states “there is a way that SEEMS right to a man but it’s end is the way of death.”
Well one might ask how can we know the right way? Funny one of Jesus’ disciples asked this question as well, In John 14:6 Jesus replies “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
So in Jesus we find truth, He is the Living Word! It must be made clear that what Jesus has said is exclusive, not a truth but the truth. There are no other ways, truth is not a perspective or an opinion; truth is a person, an attribute of God. The God who doesn’t change has His own truth; the only truth. His standard doesn’t change with time, what He hates, He will always hate, and what He loves, He will always love. In order to have many truths and many different ways to God; then God must be either one of two things; very tolerant with no clear definition or punishment of right and wrong making God impersonal or a God that changes and adapts to us making God our servant. Both of these are clearly wrong and could never be found in scripture. So we must consider something; Since God is Lord and Creator of the universe should God adapt to us or should we adapt to God? I hope that it is clear that it is us the creation, that needs to change. For this change to occur we need instruction we need relevant truth. Jesus said in Jn 17:17 “..Your word is truth.” The truth that we need is found in the word of God. This is eternally crucial because on that final day when we stand before God Almighty to be judged there will only be one constant by which we will be judged; Jesus tells us in
John 12:48 that “He who rejects Me and does not receive My words, has that which judges him, the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”
As a judge uses established laws to judge by, so will God judge each one of us by the law of His word. God will judge you my friend; He will judge your heart! I amazed that people say things like “God knows my heart” as if that means God is satisfied as long as somewhere deep down you TRY to be good, as if God looks at your wrongdoing and erases it because you didn’t really mean it. If you’ve ever said or thought that, please understand that this is a common misinterpretation! That is not what the scripture is saying when it talks of judging the heart,

Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

Here it is clear that regardless of how you rationalize what you do or have done, God will repay you according to your actions. In other words God sees through the fa├žade and sees your wicked heart and judges you by it. Jesus went through an extensive teaching on this in the “sermon on the mount”, in Matthew chapter 5 Jesus listed several issues of the heart and how God looks at them, Jesus equates anger with murder and lust as adultery. So it’s no relief that God judges us by our hearts, that’s to say that what we would do is the same as doing it! Don’t flatter yourself expecting paradise without any evidence that you will go there. God won’t weigh out the good and the bad, God is not judging on a curve. It’s so easy to think, “Well I’m not as bad as that person or I deserve forgiveness but not him!” How incredibly ignorant then are those who think like that of their sins, don’t you understand that God hates one sin. That sin is anti-God; God is just and will not let the unjust be with Him.
Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.2But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
Iniquities and sin are one in the same; the point is that what causes a break in man’s relationship to God is sin. God indeed wants all to fear Him, to fear His standard, His holiness and His power; just as a zoo expects you to respectfully fear a lion that you could get closer to, if you jumped the viewing wall but don’t because you fearfully honor that lion’s power! Jesus said “..narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14). It’s few that get there because few put any thought or effort to the reality of eternity. The bible makes it clear that we are all equally deserving of punishment, that we have all equally violated God’s holy laws, and that we have all chosen our own ways. Allow me to reiterate that we must adapt to God according to His word: in fact this adaptation should be easily categorized, meaning true Christians are going to have an overall similar view on God, salvation, sin, eternity and so on. Why? Because their source of truth has the same origin.
The gospel message is most clearly seen at the cross: when the cross is examined then all things come into perspective. On that cross, God’s justice was appeased; the cross is where the fine was paid. Jesus on that cross was our perfect substitute; God punished Him as if it was Him who sinned. On the cross Jesus bought our freedom, provided our salvation, and offered us hope. Now if it was true that people are generally good and that sincere nice people will go to heaven, then Jesus was wasting His time on that cross. Never forget why Jesus came, “to give my life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). What is a ransom? A payment, right?! God is a just God, that will not put aside justice, when His standards are broken there must be a price to pay. So Christ became that payment, Jesus pardons us. Backtracking to an awesome picture of returning to God let’s look at
Isaiah 55 once again, this time verse 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
When it comes down to it, sin is rebellion against what God says to do or not to do; it has nothing to do with our opinion. The only question that we should ask God is why Jesus would die for a sinner like me and the answer is love. God chose to love you unconditionally, and He proved it at the cross. Not because God needed you, but because He wanted you and choose to, without any influence of our goodness ("there is none good' Rom 3), God gave us a way to be forgiven.
Romans 5:7,8 Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
This however doesn’t take away from the fact that sin must be punished and that God is infinitely holy. Either we will take cover under Jesus allowing Him to take our sins or we will pay for our sins on judgment day. Now the question is how does one take part in this great and awesome forgiveness? Jesus declares the good news first in
Mark 1:14,15 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Repent and believe that’s the key. Some have termed it repentant faith: the word repent means to change one’s thinking and the word believe means to entrust oneself with someone. So what does this really mean? God wants you to accept His truth as exclusive otherwise you are calling God a liar. When you agree with God’s truth then you will have a seriously different view of sin, no longer will you try to justify it, no longer making excuses but now you will see that it is wrong. Let’s make this plainer, probably the most known scripture verse in the New Testament is John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son….. but what is most interesting is what Jesus continues to say in this discussion He is having.
John 3:18,19 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
Jesus clarifies what real belief is and is not, the thing that causes people to be judged is the fact that they choose to stay or walk in darkness instead of responding to the light (Jesus). Those who receive the light do so because they have chosen to walk away from such darkness. This results in confession, not words but an attitude, you will admit guilt. Believing in God or having faith in God has nothing to do with just acknowledging His existence. You believe that God hates sin, believe that Jesus died for your sins and believe that’s the only way you can be free from sin. This trust is simply a surrender of yourself to God almighty, meaning you are now giving up trying to be God and have decided to follow and obey the only true God. So those that are truly saved have a desire to please God, they have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for this amazing grace, that they joyfully serve Him. It’s such an amazing transformation that Jesus called it being “born-again”. Now many have never done this but yet call themselves Christians, maybe because they agree with some things or maybe they grew up that way whatever… The bible says this about them:
I Timothy 3:1-5
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Now this list given, is describing attitudes and actions of people that don’t serve Christ. What is shocking about this passage is after the description: “having a form of godliness but denying it’s power” So these people, like many today have a “form of godliness” perhaps they own religious symbols, go to church, quote some bible verses, and even do good works. Yet they are not Christian, they only wear Christianity as a coat you can put on and off, they are Christian as long as it is convenient. They “deny its power” the word deny means to refuse, and the word power used here is talking of God’s power to do mighty things. These people have nothing more than demonic faith;
James 2:19-20 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

So even though these people have a form they resist God’s power: they resist God changing them and so all that they are, is accredited to only them. The change that God wants to bring cannot be accomplished on our own; God isn’t impressed with you cleaning up your act, because nothing you do can erase the sin problem. God changes man from the inside out, and first He deals with committed sins, through what Jesus did God forgives us and cleanses us; then God works a change within us, one that we must surrender to. For God this is one process, those who won’t obey God have never been forgiven by God. Jesus makes it plain in
John 14:23-24 23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me." There are no buts, no opinions, no “well I think” and no “well I was told”. It’s either we surrender to God and receive this gracious gift or we continue to mold God according to our own sinful finite minds!

Reformed men who don't care about doctrine

Does dotrine matter?
Many say it doesn't
Some say it does
fewer show it does

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We are co-heirs!

A star gazing passage!

Romans 8:16-17
16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
This is without a doubt such a passage that commands pause, let us marinate in this truth, this great expectation of such a reality.
The Spirit of God testifies within us that we are born of God, we find such a 'testifying' by the 'leading' of the Spirit spoken just before this. What kind of leading? The kind that tells me what color socks to put on, what way to walk out of my door? Absolutely NOT! The leading of the Spirit, is the leading unto obedience. We have been given freedom, not freedom to sin (which Paul covers in chapter 6) but now we have freedom to serve (to obey). A freedom which we did NOT have prior to this. Man is utterly UNABLE to please God ('those in the flesh CANNOT please God' Roms 8:8), Man has no good within him ('None are righteous no not one' Roms 3:10), Man doesn't and can't seek God ('there is none that seeketh after God' Roms 3:11) .
So by the sovereign pleasure of God, in the abundance of His mercy, in the great overstocked storehouse of His love, He has redeemed a people for Himself. What must never be forgotten is that man absolutely deserves to suffer hell-fire eternally and God owes no man the 'chance' to be saved (though we as those who have received mercy ARE commanded to GIVE (offer) mercy to ALL (everyone)). To quote my fav (holy hip hop) artist Timothy brindle 'you should be surprised He's saving any!' Yet when we question God about this, when we object to this clear teaching set forth throughout scripture; we do so for one of two reasons, either we don't believe man is dead in sin and that God has to give him life in order to believe OR we are absolutely ignorant of God's definition of JUSTICE and MERCY (hence why many can't stomach the thought that 'many' will perish).
Yet we have received mercy, we have received FREEDOM. We have entered into an inheritance. We can know that we are children of God when as is spoken of so clearly in this chapter as well as Roms 6 and 7, when our lives are marked with a (never experienced before) perpetual BATTLE with sin and temptation. A battle which at it's core motivation is the desire to OBEY God, and at the core of it's strength is the working of the Spirit. SO we fight because we are children of God not to become children of God.
Those who don't fight for holiness are those who don't have the Spirit, and those who don't have the Spirit are those who don't have salvation. To live habitually unrepentant, to live in a perpetual state of rebellion, to live unchanged is to live without Christ; such a life has NEVER received freedom from the penalty of sin, because there's no evidence that they have received freedom from the power of sin. Such a link is promised of God, it is a guaranteed link which Christ taught us to look for. Those whom God justifies He also sanctifies and those who enter through the narrow gate walk the narrow path!
Christ made a way where there was NO way, He cut a door into a cell without a door, Christ is our HOPE! Likewise Christ is the gospel, heaven is what heaven is because of the King. This King, God Almighty has poured upon His people (those who repent and believe) unrestricted grace and favor. God opened the flood gates of heaven and has showered us with a blessing that is far above what we could ask or even desire. That great blessing, that unfathomable favor is full son ship. We have all been given the privilege of the firstborn, we are not just heirs (which would still be unthinkable), but we are co-heirs with CHRIST?!
It would have been great if we could have only escaped hell, if God had freed us and then told us 'because of your filthy deeds, though I have forgiven you, you must stay out of my sight and so i will make a special place where you can live for eternity'. On the contrary God has lavished His love on us, He has snatched us from ourselves and made us anew. Though we are growing in likeness to Christ, we shall one day be like Him, yet His love towards us has not been held back, we can now cry Abba, Father. Unlike an earthly adoption, God doesn't 'try' to love us as His own, God doesn't have to grow into loving us and treating us equally, but God makes us His!
By the death of Christ, by His suffering we now enjoy fellowship with God. Yet many won't, many might want such an inheritance but they refuse to enter God's house, they refuse His conditions for adoption, they run from and against Him, hoping to claim a piece of the will on that last day. Such are like those orphans presented with an offer to become a part of someone's family but don't show up at the proceedings yet at the death of the once potential parents assume that they still deserve to get something. What type of inheritance would heaven be to those who don't enjoy worshipping and serving the King now? Such will NOT want to be there, a person who can't stand the commands of God now will never enjoy them in heaven. The person who is rather annoyed that all praise and credit should go solely to God, will be bored to tears in heaven. If such a soul could (and they can't) enter heaven, they would fall quicker then Satan, for they would enter with the PRIDE that caused his fall!
Yet we have been given such a heart that can appreciate, that can enjoy, that can long for, that can worship the God of heaven, for we have been called into the family of God as co-heirs with Christ!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Spirit is BETTER!!!

This scripture was on my mind today,
John 16:5-7
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Now here's a statement from Jesus to His disciples that they didn't understand and they couldn't believe. They couldn't grasp the difference that would take place when the Spirit is at work in the believer, in otherwords they couldn't grasp the implications of the New Covenant.
Beyond that they could not grasp, they refused to accept that the death of Jesus (the departing of Jesus) was a 'good' thing. The disciples were absolutely perplexed as to how exactly Jesus leaving them after all these years could be not just productive, but 'better'?!
Should we blame them, don't we also or don't many diminish the effective working of the Spirit in the life of the believer? Wouldn't it be better to have Jesus Christ with us, to actually see Him and to actually hear Him, and to have Him actually hold us? Wouldn't that be much better?
Jesus didn't think so, the scriptures beg to differ. The influence of the Spirit, the internal presence or working of the Spirit is better and more effective then having Christ in the flesh with us. Through Immanuel, God was with us but how glorious to realize that God is IN us!
This indeed says something of how we have been created and how we are governed as human beings. As Jesus stated elsewhere and is confirmed throughout scripture, our hearts, our internal self is the root of what we are. We are not as controlled by external influences as some might believe, and though we might focus much on externals, we miss entirely the reality that nothing done to us externally will effect true change within us. Hence the necessity of a work of God within us, this work being accomplished by the ministry of the Spirit. The same power which raised Christ from the dead, is working life within us (Roms 8), and this is why we cannot live in the flesh any longer. We live differently, we see differently, we think differently because we are different, and that due to the regenerating work of the Spirit!
What a glorious covenant we have, that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and He now influences us for the glory of God. To think , to believe, and to walk in the reality that we actually have it BETTER than the disciples when Jesus was with them, what a mystery!

A taste of heaven, experiences of God

The desire to 'experience' God is as scriptural and irrational as asking to be made holy!
What does that mean? Well let's start with the latter, holiness is the aim of the believer. We are to strive after holiness, and when we strive after it we strive for an unhindered holiness. In other words we seek to be perfectly holy, yet we also know that this simply won't take place, that we cannot attain sinless perfection in this life, yet we aim for it because it's what we are called to be.
In the same manner, we seek to behold God in the face of Jesus Christ. That means that we seek after an unhindered, heaven like experience of God. Depending on what brand of doctrine you come from you might call this different things, some might call it a Holy Ghost blessing, others the filling of the Spirit, others realized communion with God, others a 'new level'.

Whatever some might call it, I would like to describe what I mean when I say experiencing God. So before you put me in this or that camp, why not let me explain myself and forget the labels.

However I'm not sold on the one-time experience if the Spirit after conversion, for one thing I know of too many believers and preachers that don't agree with such things and yet they DO have boldness and POWER in their lives, and ministries (unless you'd argue they have something they don't know about).
I'd say there are rare times (and i wouldn't want to set any type of parameters or limits here) when all our senses, when our mind, our desires, and our emotions are unified. I speak of rare times where what we know and what we think and what we feel are linked in our enjoyment, worship, and sense of God. As I said these are like glimpses of heaven and they are the times you should hope for as you seek God.
Likewise in preaching there are rare times of special endowment and a special influence upon the listeners (these as the testimony of revivals throughout history bear witness are temporary).

What must be said is that these times are not to sustain us, they encourage us, they comfort us, they bring us much pleasure, but they are not our daily bread (perhaps daily expectation). Yet all believers testify to times of 'sensed' barrenness, times of weakness, times of doubts, yet in those times we cannot and will not find rest in past experiences, we will find our strength in the promises of God (not what we sense).
Yet it is right and it is good to want and seek such things (not in weird sense, like thinking 'if only i could get C.J. Mahaney to lays his hands on me' or chasing after some ' worship experience' movement), but a persistent crying out to God that He might show you His glory, that He might drown you in His presence, that you might feel Him and see Him. Praying the type of prayer that begs for God to visit you, to manifest Himself to you.
I hope I've made sense? Blessings

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Filthy hell deserving women

This has been on mind for a while, and I only mention that because as I started writing this I thought 'uh oh, it's mother's day tomorrow, I hope no one reads into this'.
Yet wouldn't it be great if some mothers who may be receiving much praise, come across this sober message and perhaps are saved!?

Let me start out with a question: What's missing from these accounts?
The account of Eve and her fall
The daughters of Lot who get him drunk and then sleep with him
Job's wife who's contribution to his suffering was to 'curse God and die'
The wickedness of Queen Jezebel
The filthy adulterous woman of proverbs
The many temple prostitutes
The backstabbing Delilah
The Samaritan Woman at the well
The possessed girl that followed the Apostle Paul around

Answer? Where's the info on their pasts? What about that 'missing' father figure? What about her 'need' for intimacy and self esteem? What about the cultures pressure upon her roles? What about the abusive men in her life? What of her seeking 'love' in all the wrong places?

None of the typical psychological GARBAGE that has been bought by so many within the church today, it's as though we believe in a gospel that tells men they are OFFENDERS and women are VICTIMS. Why oh why do we sugarcoat the gospel when we address women, appealing to their emotions? Even within the reformed camp, the gospel presented to women might as well include 'God shaped hole in your heart' fluff, with the "God is a gentlemen, He won't force His way in" "He just wants to cuddle you". No dear girl, no dear mother, no dear sister, no dear wife, God HATES your sin, and His wrath CLINGS to you, God sees no disconnect between you and your sin. God knows that you do what you do because you LOVE sin, and you LOVE self, and because of this you ultimately HATE God. To even hint at the possibility that your sins are the result of something someone else has done is contrary to scripture. Jesus didn't pay for the sins of victims, because there are none, Jesus died for hell-deserving CRIMINALS.
Jesus Christ died for worship (attention) craving women,
He died for filthy lust producing harlot dressed teases,
He died for wild sex craved party girls,
He died for emotional rollercoaster self-pitiers,
He died for selfish manipulating guilt producing women
He died for serpent tongued backstabbing gossips
He died for power hungry head of household wannabes
He died for mean self-righteous pilgrim dressing plain Janes
He died for mothers who refuse to discipline their children
He died for daughters who refuse to honor their parents, and consistently rebel and deceive
He died for wives who refuse to honor their husbands
Woman, your sins were just as costly as any man's, for you are without a doubt a rebel against God and had you the best of circumstances, the best of looks, the best of male figures, the best of attention and comfort you be no less of a sinner in need of grace then you are today. You need a substitute, you need a Savior. You MUST face your wilful sin against the powerful, holy, just, good and beautiful God, turn from that sin and turn to God. You must repent of your wickedness and put your faith in Christ or else you too will perish (will suffer God's eternal wrath)!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Preach till they get it

Preaching is about communication, communication of truth, God's truth. It's not about communicating ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord. Since this is so, it stands to reason that if we haven't communicated truth, if understanding is not possible (not supernaturally restrained by God) because we have failed to take God's truths and properly explained them, then we have preached in vain. If that is preaching, then we might as well preach in foreign languages. Preacher stop and listen to yourself for a minute, Christian stop and listen to yourself for a minute, would you have understood yourself five years ago? If you're speaking to a lost person, how would you have interpreted what you just said? It might take longer and so what, preach it till they get it!

I say this being reminded once again of how necessary it is to be specific when preaching. I was preaching at the County Jail last Sunday and there were about 20 men who sit around several tables. In the meantime distractions are always around (this Sunday they had a 'shakedown', so everyone was trying to see where these officers were going, on top of that they were doing something with the female prisoners (who are not on that floor) who walked past the windows of our room). I preached about the need for and the guarantee of fruit in true conversion. I spoke largely out of Mt 7 spelling out the terror of people thinking they have Christ but are still headed towards hell. I repeated over and over again regarding the new heart God gives us, the impossibility of us 'doing' something to be saved, that's it's a work that God must do. I explained John 15 and how if we are branches connected then we obviously bear fruit, I explained how the narrow door and narrow way are connected in Christ be our only hope and our example. Well the responses seemed good, the attention of the majority was fixed and throughout many nods and lowering of eyes (seeming conviction). THEN....... I listed things that DO NOT 'make' you a Christian (before that I explained how in Mt 5 we 'do' (effect/works)because we 'are' (cause/grace of faith), not we 'are' (become Christians) because we 'do'(earn)) like church attendance, charity, reading the bible, quoting verses, praying a prayer, preaching, teaching, tithing, communion, baptism...etc. Well that's when it suddenly dawned on a couple of the men, one young guy in particular who (about 45mins into my message) who seemed to be getting it until now, angrily blurted out 'so your saying my pastor who told me that no matter what i do after i get baptised, i'm saved', you're saying he lied?' With all the force within me I said 'if that's what he said then YES!!! Well he kept shaking his head and said 'that's not true, if you get baptised then you're cool, you don't know what you're talking about' and of course a couple more guys made a comment or two. Yet there were also guys telling the kid to listen because he was wrong. Well as quickly as I could I once again confronted head on that objection, and breezed through how baptism is symbolic, and restated some of the things I already said and added some more scriptures proclaiming 'but what does the scripture say?'.
One young guy who remembered me from when he was in juvenile jail (maybe 4+ yrs) quoted back several of my statements saying 'that's exactly what I was doing....that was me..' he also was the one who interrupted the chaos (that i mentioned) with the question 'ok so if those things don't save us, then what does, what do we have to do?' hopefully this leads to salvation (I get the opportunity to preach at that same spot the next two Sundays, so I hope the same people will be there and saved).

I've seen this so many times, where you can speak in general terms and get much love, many amens and then when you start spelling out what you mean; in otherwords once it's brought home then watch expressions change. I would especially be careful about preaching the 'specifics' that you KNOW people will say amen to and not addressing the problems you KNOW are being ignored.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Getting prepared for Marriage?

This one goes out to the eligible, including teens with many years ahead before such a day.
What characteristic chiefly should you then look for in a potential spouse?
Sensitivity to God, which means sensitivity to the word of God, which means visible growth in godliness. Perhaps you were thinking 'someone who really loves me', that should be a given, but it's not the test of a good marriage candidate.
I knew of a pastor's wife who used to say that 'the way I measure how much someone cares about me, is by how much they care about my children'. Any good single mother will first be concerned about whether or not this 'guy' will love her children (unless they're already moving out), in otherwords they will measure his commitment or love by his treatment of what is dear to her heart, namely her child.
In the same way, a Christian should FIRST be concerned about their greatest love, GOD! Likewise they should gauge the commitment level of their potential spouse by his or her commitment to what is closest to they're heart, namely JESUS CHRIST!
Ok, Ok, so what does that have to do with 'getting prepared'? Everything, because it's not so much a matter of finding 'that' person, but more importantly 'being' that person. I believe there is some fruitful truth in the statement 'the best way to find a mate, is to stop looking for one'. Not to discourage men from pursuing a wife, but to bring balance to a obsession that takes the place of daily needs and duties.
There are many single people that have a 'savior' picture of their potential spouse; they put off things and habits that they expect their spouses to do for them once they are married. That's NOT preparing yourself, that's a wrong understanding of biblical marriage and that's an unnecessary and unrealistic burden to place upon your spouse. Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and His Spirit the only sanctifier. Don't wait to 'clean house' until you get married (your 'godly' spouse does it for you). Don't wait to diligently seek the Lord in bible study and prayer until marriage as though the pattern will be 'easier' to start with your spouse.
Marriage is WARFARE, it's a God ordained covenant and a beautiful expression of saving grace. For this reason, resistance will come from within and without: it will come from your own flesh, the devil and the world!
With that said, you must begin training today, don't wait, start preparing now!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Prayer and Evangelism

It is apparently clear that many Christians don't evangelize, and even many leaders don't evangelize. This was touched on at a Desiring God Conference Q&A that I listened to today, though I wish it was moderated differently (breezing through too many questions). Much attention was given to Mark Dever's points on Evangelism, which seemed good, but naturally nothing new (especially for the ministers there).
I do believe the proper motivation must be there and it must be addressed. I believe a proper understanding of the gospel is great motivation. I believe a frequent understanding of the great mercy we have received will produce a desire to show mercy.
Yet something that doesn't receive enough attention is the grace of prayer as concerns evangelism. I'm not just speaking of prayer for salvations and prayer for boldness but much more. We must also diligently pray for divine opportunities, for divine enablement, and especially for divine compassion, without such we might have a correct view of the gospel and a proper view towards the glory of God but be quite void of a heart for souls.
Once again I would like to link how this relates to the local church. I do feel that as the local church and it's ministers are called to equip and lead by example, that the church must make a greater effort in this regard. I'm not suggesting events and witnessing teams, but heart work, that which will not be limited to a church function. Corporate prayer does play a major role in teaching individuals how to pray, think and live. Prayer that doesn't address spiritual concerns over and above natural is not a good model for the church. If the proportion of prayer time is given MOSTLY to health issues, economic concerns, and world crisis (like hunger) then it would seem only natural for the members to be primarily concerned with such things. Yet proper prayer should give greater attention to the REAL problems we face and society faces, the problems of sin and sinners.
Corporate prayer then should consistently seek God for salvations, for increase, for growth, for boldness, for revival, for a strong witness, for God to be exalted, for God to be seen and worshipped etc.. This way the church may be properly reminded of it's kingdom purpose, of the spiritual warfare present, where our focus should be and where our desires should be attached to. Not only does consistent prayer concerning evangelism give you a keener eye for opportunities, but it creates a God-given desire to see the lost saved.

My generation is not so heavenly minded that it is no earthly use, it is so earthly minded that it is of no heavenly use!-Leonard Ravenhill

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lack of testing

The lack of testing today has brought undue strain to the body of Christ, and has indeed caused the name of God to be blasphemed among the wicked!
A lack of understanding as regards true conversion and true calling as well as an incredibly low view of the Holiness of God resulting in a low amount of fear towards God has left many doors open which need closing.
To read non-contemporary books, which usually means the books that have lasted because of the timeless truths they bear, will put you face to face with the necessity to test all things. Doesn't it seem rather odd that such attention is given to true and false conversion, as well as true and false callings? Whether it's Lloyd-Jones, Pink, Ryle, Spurgeon, the Puritans etc, the amount of attention given to the fact that many preaching in pulpits may not only be unqualified but may indeed be unconverted seems quite alien to many. It would seem to many to be something that isn't even possible, yet it is: In fact this would bring much sense to the scriptures frequent warnings about fruit and false teachers.
In otherwords this is NOT something that is applicable to Southern Baptists ONLY, this is a sin problem, a ignorance problem, a timeless problem! The fact remains that there are not only many professors that are lost, but even ministers that are lost as well; this is frightening. Oh how needed is the gospel today, a clear gospel, a confrontational gospel!
Such a reality is especially needed in reformed circles, let it be remembered that the men who were giving attention to these things were reformed men, speaking largely to their reformed audience. With that said it's even more frightening that some think 'doctrinal accuracy' is the mark of conversion and the mark of a true calling to the ministry. There are perhaps a thousands of teen ministries that would reveal young people able to answer theological questions, bible quizzers able to master books of the bible, while living no different then their unconverted schoolmates!
To a degree, seminaries could prove at fault for such a problem, if they aren't confronting students with the reality of testing themselves. Otherwise some may receive a false comfort, sense of call, and assurance of salvation from their academic achievement (including the praises that accompany it).
Yet above all the responsibility must fall upon churches, and though many churches talk of these things, how many are actually applying such realities to their own ministries? How many are closely examining not only their members, but also their elders and prospective pastors?

Monday, May 4, 2009

True Fellowship is worth it

I beg you listen to the sermon below.
True fellowship, that which ONLY believers can enjoy, that which ONLY Christ is exalted in, is worth the trouble! Sacrificing our time and our comfort is well worth the benefit of true fellowship.
Isn't this why some ministers and laymen absolutely love going to conferences because they find 'others' like them that are serious about God, that delight to speak much of Christ?
I for one have grieved about the fact that some people would chose a church because of a group they identify with, specifically I'm thinking of homeschoolers that I know that have left a church to go where they can find other homeschoolers. Yet rethinking such, what does that imply? It must imply that some of them so longed for fellowship that they couldn't find in their local church, and they desired to be among other parents who were struggling and succeeding in such a sacrifice.
The fact of the matter is that what most people call fellowship is NOT fellowship. As is alluded to in the message below, isn't the best times you've ever had with others been transparent, worshipful, communication about the things of the Lord? Isn't this why there is for the most part such an anticipation of hearing or eating with missionaries because you have left such encounters spiritually refreshed?
I among others can speak of the reality of a busy lifestyle, especially as a husband and father (or wife and mother) and realizing that any and everything extra is a sacrifice of time and energy, so I like many families need much motivation to make such an investment. I just can't reconcile doing something for the sake of doing something, for the look. I remember the time when I was obsessed with church and would participate in everything (even above the ministers) yet in those days I was without Christ. Yet is this what Christianity is about? Just showing up? Is that true fellowship? Is that a true commitment to a local church? I think not!
Doesn't it defeat the purpose of meeting with other believers if you never get past pleasantries, if you never get beyond just hanging out; does that sharpen one another, does that create community? I think not!
I hope you like myself desire true fellowship, I hope you cherish the little you may find, and I pray that you would grasp the significance of it.
I've met a couple of inmates that said they had sweeter fellowship in prison. Why? Because they were thinking about the battle before them, they grasped the need to encourage one another not to lose heart, they relished the hope of a better place (ultimately with Christ). Isn't this the testimony of persecution? That the TRUE believers band together and seek his kingdom?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My portion, Shai Linne -Christian rap?

Yet another great song (with lyrics), theme taken from ps73 and the opening quote is by John Piper.
This is from Shai Linne's first album

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Doctrinal living exceeds doctrinal articulation

Very close to the top of the quotes of Paul Washer, that has made many angry has to be this one: I've met many Arminians that lived beyond their theology but bot many Calvinists that live up to theirs!
Hmm, go back and read that one about ten times and then continue reading:

Ok? Ready?
Doctrine? Sound teaching that is set forth by the scriptures, the revealing of God's mind about Himself, what He desires, requires, and hates and what man is, what man needs, and what man must do.
Calvinism means a lot of things to a lot of people, but generally speaking it has little to do with Calvin himself. Most people, solid believers, have historically associated themselves with that name because they hold to a specific set of teachings. The five points of Calvinism, some just use the word 'reformed', others rather use 'doctrines of grace'. It's simply the scriptural reality that salvation is of the Lord, that it's a work of God and man is incapable of producing the change necessary in order to be saved. Man is at the mercy of God, because He is dead in sin. God being Sovereign not only in the personal salvation of each believer, but in every aspect of salvation (from it's planning BEFORE the foundation of the earth, to it's working out, and to it's purpose).
Yet beyond all that the Calvinist may mean much more than that, specifically recognizing that God is the Sovereign Lord over all things and does all things according to the counsel of His will and that no man can hinder His work (once again man is at the mercy of God, God is NOT at the mercy of God).
Such an understanding of God leads to incredible humility on the part of the one being saved and on the part of the one who may have been the instrument used to preach the gospel. Such an understanding leads to an incredible trust in God's word and His appointed means, in otherwords since it's not up to me (not by my creativity, my intellect, my ability to convince) I then only have ONE responsibility, and that responsibility is to be FAITHFUL to what God has said. We are messengers of truth, proclaimers of the gospel, NOT SALESMEN (we have no pitch, no gimmicks,). The affairs of my life then are in the hands of God, and my part is to simply use that which He has given me to use, to employ the means, the tools that He has equipped us with.
Yet there is a DISCONNECT for some, there are many who in 'doctrine' seem void of such truth, YET in practice really grasp it. (which shouldn't surprise us since they are children of God).
It was A.W. Tozer who said that he preached like an Arminian and prayed like a Calvinist. What??? in otherwords with all his might, with all his mind he preached to men as though it ALL depended on him (much could be said about our need to do exactly that, Spurgeon taught that). Prayed like a Calvinist? That means to pray BELIEVING God CAN do something about it (the heart of the king is in His hands), believing that God KNOWS best (Your will be done..)and believing God is in control.

The natural response then to a LIVING revelation of God should be utter denial of self and utter dependence upon God. If it's all of GRACE then shouldn't that cause us to do more 'spiritual' things as opposed to natural? Wouldn't that cause us to search the scriptures and to boldly proclaim it, to find our greatest arguments not in philosophy, but from scripture? Wouldn't that cause us to be more prayerful, to fear our own ingenuity and ability begging God to do a work in us and among us? Wouldn't it cause us to be more holy if we have a deeper, more thorough sight of God? Wouldn't it cause us to be more sacrificial and willing to take LEAPS of faith?

Calvinistic Misnomers
A Calvinist who doesn't pray
A Calvinist that regularly reads through books but not the bible
A pragmatic Calvinist
A proud Calvinist
A ecumenical Calvinist
A apathetic Calvinist
A fearful and stressed Calvinist
A boring academic Calvinist

I'm sorry if you felt like I might have been speaking about you, I certainly don't want to give the impression that i might be speaking to you.
FORGET the 'impression' and 'might have' if this applies then I am absolutely speaking to YOU! Lay hold upon Christ and apply His truth to your LIFE, what good is it to have correctness when it causes NO effect?
I would argue that you really don't have doctrine then, you simply have a good memory and have the ability to recite what you've been told, but it's not YOUR truth yet, it's not burning upon your spirit. Doctrine MATTERS, doctrine is practical, doctrine produces devotion (it's intended purpose is ALWAYS to lead us to a greater intimacy with CHRIST).
Yes the WORD of God is a sword, and it's a defense as well as an offensive weapon, yet you must never forget that it MUST pierce your own heart FIRST! If the doctrines of grace don't produce humility, then you must relearn them until you stop thinking so much of others who have it wrong and more about how this relates to YOU.
God help us if our knowledge only puffs us up, let us fight against that and cling to CHRIST!

New Calvinism and Resurgence Concerns Videoblog

Bondage of Being a good church kid, Vblog

Friday, May 1, 2009

Don't be deceived, VIDEOblog

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