Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Salvation Club

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10:27-28

The thing that seems to be so troublesome today is that there are thousands and perhaps millions being told that they are saved when in fact, they are as lost as the devil himself. Much of this is happening by pastors and evangelists making an alter call, people come forward, they quote the sinners prayer, go forward to baptism, sign the required document for baptism, and go on their way being told they are now saved. Yes, they are now in the salvation club. They are told that all they have to do is say Jesus Christ is their Lord and savior, shake the preachers hand as an acknowledgment of that, and that's it. There in!! That does wonders for the numbers game but most go out the same way they came in, lost! Yes, the went forward and even quoted the sinners prayer after being led through the Romans' Road. They felt that was the cultural or intellectual thing to do, and even felt a little religious and perhaps a little repentant for a few minutes. But like the seed that was sown on the stony ground, they soon are scorched by the world, their besetting sins, and life's trials and they lose out. Many never had it in the first place but went forward just because it was the thing to do. I know, I did that myself when I was a teen. Yet, all of these are told they are saved and on their way to heaven even though they are still laden down with their sins and lust without any way to try to overcome them. Their life is a defeated life in that, while they know they shouldn't do some of the things they are doing, they still do them and bemoan the fact that they just can't overcome them. Yet, again, they are told they are saved because after all, no man shall pluck you out of his hand as says John 10:28. What a sad lot.

Those who tell them forget to read the previous verse that says "My sheep hear my voice and follow me." Yet, they are unable to really follow him because they are not his. Why? There was never true repentance or a hunger to please God, and if there was, it was snuffed out by someone who told them that that's all there is, no further, you're in the club - sort of speak.

Our God is not like that but will give us what we need to overcome sin in our bodies and minds. If we will truly follow him and listen to his voice through his Word and spirit, we can have victory over sin. Yes, we fight this flesh and will will continue to fight it but we can have victory through Jesus Christ. If you are one of those who bemoan your sin because you can't seem to get out of it and really don't seem to have any power in your life, make a fresh start and do the first works over again and come back to Christ, confessing your sins and asking him to come into your heart and life and give him your all. Yes, there are those who are in Christ who are struggling with some things yet, I'm sure as we are not changed in a day on this earth, but if you are one of those, as for new strength and a new desire to come clean of whatever sin that is besetting you. "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

I can't help but to be reminded of the passage in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." Even the rugged Apostle Paul was fighting the flesh but fought it by keeping it under with the help of the Holy Ghost. Don't be just a statistic on someone's church role or attendance board for a few weeks but become a warrior for Christ against Satan and seek God and his righteousness. Let's pray for revival in our own hearts, our families, churches, and our nation. Be a powerhouse for God through the power of the Holy Ghost!! 24 ¶ Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Preaching for Hire

"The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us." Micah 3:11

Doesn't this sound familiar? It was then in Israel as it is today. The priests, or ministers preached as the people desired instead of from the Word of God and with the unction of the Holy Ghost. The people said then as the masses say today, "See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:" Isaiah 30:10. Large TV and radio ministries need lots of cash to keep running so preachers today must appeal to the crowds in an entertaining way and yet give them a bit of challenge so folks will think they've "been to church." Unfortunately, they are not getting to the root cause of America's downfall and looming judgment and the coming massive falling away of many in the church into a false, yet somewhat Christ-like church. Notice I said "Christ-like." "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;" 1 Timothy 4:3 This has been happening and will continue to happen more and more as many in the church wil harden their hearts toward the true gospel and believe a lie because they have pleasure in unrighteousness. "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12. So because of this massive reach for the half-truth, men are providing for them and not addressing the root causes of their troubles and woe, which is sin.

Notice that Micah was speaking about a religious people, who thought that God would do nothing to them as we read, " yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us." They actually did not feel that God would intervene in any activity or that he had any more control over the events of the world and their local environment. They had the same attitude as the citizens of Jerusalem had a few years prior to its fall to Babylon. " Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not." Ezekiel 9:9 Doesn't this sound like modern humanism that has invaded the church as well? People with an attitude such as this have no fear of God. They feel that God really doesn't play a part in today's events or that he has control of the future. Unfortunately, they also don't understand his love toward them and how he would like to see them saved and delivered for their sins.

But there are also those who are clinging to his Word and walking in the light of his Word. There is still a remnant in the true church that fear God and know that his Word is real. There is a people who are seeking after God and the fullness of his Spirit and there are still preachers who are fasting and praying that they will preach with an unction of the Holy Ghost and preaching from his Wird. There are still those who are praying for a great outpouring in these very last days and that a revival can come to America before the coming of the Lord. If you are one of those, may the Lord bless you! May God help you and encourage you by his Spirit. Let us pray for one another as we see the day approaching when we will meet him in the air. " But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." 1 Thessalonians 5:4

Friday, May 07, 2010

How Do We Know We're In the Last Days?

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." Mat. 24:


Are we at what Christ described is being at the beginning of sorrows? If the "beginning of sorrows" mean the beginning of the final judgment of this earth by God commonly known as the tribulation period, then I would say it is at the door. Likewise, if the church goes before this happens, the rapture of the church is even closer! So, are we in the final days before the tribulation period? I believe so. Now let me be very clear in that I'm not setting dates nor when I say "final" does that mean tomorrow for several years, such as ten or even fifteen, are few compared to the whole time of the dispensation of grace which has lasted over 2,000 years so far. So let's look at some basic reasons why I feel we are getting very near the end. This is by no means exhaustive but hopefully it will get you and I both set to thinking and praying, getting ready for Christ's return so we won't be left behind.


1948 is significant:

The year 1948 is a significant year for at least two reasons.

  • The first reason, and the one that really starts the clock ticking is that Israel became a nation. This happened officially on May 14, 1948 when the Knesset officially proclaimed Israel as a nation.
  • The World Council of Churches officially came into existence in August 14, 1948 in Amsterdam. While it had been in various forms prior to that, it became an official world movement then, which began the world ecumenical movement that will one day be the super church of the false prophet.


When we look at the following scripture in Luke, we see that the fig tree has blossomed and all the other trees are in bloom as well. Israel is considered the fig tree. Read Luke 21:29-32.


And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."


Notice it said in the last verse that this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. It didn't mean that it would just be a generation period which is usually defined as a twenty year period, but that "it would not pass away." So how long should that generation last? We can look into the Word of God and get a pretty good idea. See what Moses says in Psalm 90:10. "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." This is just a thought: Eighty years from 1948 would bring us to 2028.


How do we know we are living in the last days?

Let me give you a few basic things that may help. Again, there is much more that can be written about each but I try to keep these short so I'll list these and keept them as concise as I can.

1.    Israel is our clock. (see above)

    A.    The tremendous burden that nations have for Israel and it's destruction. The powerful nations of the world, including the United States, are in a constant state of concern as to what to do with the little nation of Israel. Zechariah 12:3 "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."

    B.    The constant attention that little nation gets on the world stage. This nation, that is about the size of New Jersey, is constantly ont he world stage and one can hardly read the news for a day without its being mentioned, many times on the front page. I remember back in 1976 that I was at a meeting and someone prophesied that the day would come when God would be in direct control of the headlines. The meaning of course was that his direct concerns regarding his plan would be in focus. That is happening now as we see the drama unfold in the Middle East.

    C.     The aligning of nations in preparation for the war outlined in Ezekiel 38-39. Whether you were for the Iraq war or not, one thing happened that needed to happen in order to make the war of Ezekiel 38-39 possible, and that was to neutralize Iraq. Iran, which is referred as Persia, as well as Gog and Magog, referring to Russia and other nations in the north are now in diplomacy. They are exchanging weapons and Russian is helping Iran.

    D.    The drilling for oil in Israel. While there has never been much oil drilling in Israel in the past, there has become a renewed interest in drilling for oil as it seems to be pointed out in the scripture.

Deut. 33:24 "And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil."

Gen. 49:
25 "Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:" (Joseph) If oil is stuck in Israel by a greater quantity, it would change the whole playing field from an ecconomic standpoint on the world stage.

    E.    The nations of the world, including the U. S. turning against Israel which will eventually usher in war and an eventual false peace and covenant with the Antichrist. Unfortunately, the United States is turning its back on Israel which can only mean problems for America. See the scripture below.

Gen. 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."


2.    From the technological sense we are close:

    A.    Man has the ability to communicate around the world in a split second which will eventually be used by the one world ruler for communicating to the world. For almost twenty years it has been possible to literally watch what was happening across the world while it was happening. We really witnessed this first during the war in Kuwait in 1991.

    B.     The ability to provide a mark with a chip implanted. Again, companies have been able to produce this for several years.

Revelation 13:17 "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

    C.    Science has advanced to the point of man is trying to become his own god and change his own destiny as well as control life and genes. How much longer will God allow man to play with elements that he has no business playing with?

    D.     It is said that knowledge doubles every 72 hours. That is amazing but it is also the sign of the last days.

Daniel 12:4 "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

    E.    Man has the ability to destroy himself and no doubt will unless God intervenes.

Mark 13:20 "And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days."


3.    From the economic standpoint:

    A.    There is now a world banking system, a world economy, and soon a world banking tax.

    B.    There is an ever increasing talk of switching to a one world monetary system. This, we are told, could be done in just a few weeks period of time.

    C.     The ability to transfer money from one country to another within seconds will allow funds to easily be transferred within the world market. Again, this has been the case for several years now.

    D.    The world financial base is gradually shifting from the Unites States to the revived Roman empire or the European Union (EU). While other nations may come into play, they are said to be in financial trouble themselves.


4.    The attitude of this culture and generally the who world is that there is a feeling of an impending crisis is coming.

    A.    If you are a movie goer (which I'm not), you will no doubt recall many of the movies that Hollywood has produced lately that seem to point to disaster or man's cruelty. Consider movies such as Avatar or 2012.

    B.    The global warming "crisis" as well as HINI which never materialized was bought by the public until it was discovered that the global warming crisis was really a scam. But, the public bought it hook, line, and sinker. Why? Again, there is a sense that something is coming.

    C.    Man's general outlook as calling evel good and good evil, even in the name of political correctness is characteristic of the last days. Theese are " perilous" or dangerous times as described below in 2 Timothy 3:1-5

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." incontinent incidentally means "without self control." See also Isaiah 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"


5.    Look at the condition of the modern church.

    A.    Most of the true church believes that Christ's return is near. While many will disagree on particulars and points of doctrine, there seems to be a fundamental belief and sense that Christ's coming is near. In words of prophesy we have been reminded several times that he is "even at the door."

    B.    There is an acquiring of wisdom and opening of understanding of the end time prophesies. This is due to the fact that many events have actually unfolded where were noted by the Old Testament prophets as well as God giving us a greater sense of the times by his spirit.

    C.    Growing of the apostate church and that of lukewarmness is surely a sign of the end being near. We are at the final period of the dispensation of grace which is the Laodicean period where most are just lukewarm. This means they are not ready to give it up, but yet not willing to be on fire for God.

Here is what Christ said to the Laodicean Church and to this age as well.

Revelation 3:15-17 "
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:" This is the basic condition of the modern church. He advises them to do the following in verse 18. " I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Then, in the next verse, he gives a warning. "
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." Does this mean that he will chasten the lukewarm believers by taking them through the tribulation? I'll let you decide that but I don't believe that, when Christ comes back to take his church, he'll be taking up someone who is half hearted and has no faith. "
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Genesis 5:24 If we want to go in the rapture, we are going to have to be like Enoch and walk with God. Truly this is a time of temptation and oppression with testing but we are going to have to be determined to get back up when we're knocked down by Satan. There is a remnant who are looking for his return and who will be ready. I want to be with that remant. I hope you do too.