Friday, April 22, 2011

Seeking God

"Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:12-13

When was the last time you took time to really seek God? How long ago has it been since you've set aside two, three, maybe a whole day to do nothing but just seek Christ as well as study and meditate in his word? Do you think that there is a need? I tell you there is, not only for your own soul, but the souls of others, and for the salvation of our nation if it can still be salvaged. Do you think you will escape the very soon coming storm that will hit our nation? Will you have the faith to see it through or will you be carried about with the whims of the world and fear their fear and dread their dread.

The church needs revival, a real sin-killing, sanctification giving, soul saving revival! The church in America on the most part has lost its zeal, power, and even separation. I know what it's like to try to pray. Just when you start, that's when the phone rings, the neighbor decides to mow his lawn, someone starts yaking real loud out in the street, or your mind begins to wander. The devil will hinder you and try to stop you. You must be determined and consistent. Many who believe they belong to Christ's church do not even know how to pray nor do they even understand when one talks about spending several hours with the Master. It is foreign to them and their lives show it. Don't fool yourselves, God is not coming after an anemic church or a believer with an anemic faith. Remember the ten virgins. Read it for yourself in Matthew 25:1-13. They were ALL virgins, they ALL had lamps that started out burning, they ALL had the same objective but five forgot to have extra oil and it cost them a place with the bridegroom. Many start out but not all will have the extra oil or the Holy Ghost and faith to make it. Please don't kid yourself. You can be lost and go to hell after you were once saved if you lose your fellowship with him and live in sin. That does not make Christ's sacrifice void, only for those who turned their back on him.

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." 2 Peter 2:20-21

You may also want to consider the following: "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John 15:2 (underline mine) Jesus said that the branches were "in me," that is, in Him. They were a part of him but he cut them off because they didn't bear any fruit. By the way, this was not just to the Jews but to the church, even for us today.

I know this is very pointed and straightforward and I usually don't blog this way but I feel the urgency and believe that there is a storm coming very soon to our nation. If there is any time we need genuine revival it is now! If there is any time the confessing Christian needs to get serious about the things of God it is now! If there is any time we need to trim our lamps, it is definitely now. Some will be offended because of the bluntness of this blog. Others will laugh it off, many will be stirred a little but nothing else will happen, but some will take it seriously and begin to call upon God. I pray that will be you! May god help you and bless you as you seek him.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Calling Evil Good and Good Evil

"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!" Isaiah 5:20

If a Bible reading Christian (I really don't know how there can be any other kind unless perhaps they are in a place where the Bible is not available where God gives them extra grace) can read the news today and be complacent and ho hum, than there's something terribly wrong. When I see the headlines and occasionally delve into the stories, I have mixed emotions. I guess the best way to express it is to say I feel anger, sadness, and yet excitement. I feel the anger because I see how evil continually triumphs in most every case and how our government officials are getting bolder and bolder in their efforts to knock over the constitution. But not only the constitution of our once great nation which was written with responsible God-fearing people in mind, the continual trampling on basic Biblical principles and institutions such as the Biblical family, morality, protection of Israel, and even the Holy Word of God itself. It is even more frustrating to see, not only the government, but many in the so-called church trampling down the precepts of Christ and bringing in Islam, and whatever else seems to be convenient into the mix. This is even more disturbing because those who should be holding up the banner of sanctification and purity are doing everything they can to bring it down, along with diluting God's Word.

Sadness comes when I see so many fall for the lies that are being perpetrated through our media and even from many of our pulpits. It almost seems as the masses are just sitting and loving to be stroked to sleep, believing anything that sounds good to the flesh. This is happening even in the church. Proverbs 14:15 says, "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going." Many believe 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

Then, after backing off and surveying all of this, I realize that Christ's coming is very near. No matter if he comes before, in the middle, or at the end of the tribulation period, it is definitely at the door and very soon. This is not the time to back down but it is high time to strengthen our faith and stay in the Book, the Word of Life. It is time to keep our eyes on the eastern sky waiting for his return, but also to occupy while we are waiting and keep reading, witnessing, leaving gospel tracts wherever we can, and work for Christ. In closing, remember the words that Jesus said: "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." John 9:4 Anger, sadness with a burden, and even frustration is not uncommon when listening to the happenings of today, but keep the bigger picture in mind, soon all of this will be past. The true saint of God is like Abraham "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Hebrews 11:10



Saturday, April 02, 2011

Four Reactions to the Gospel

"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." Mark 10:15


We react to the gospel in four basic ways. When we speak of reacting to the gospel, we also mean our reaction to some truth we have learned in God's Word, something the Holy Ghost is impressing upon us to do or obey, a doctrine that we have been made aware of and know of its truth, or some area of sanctification in our lives that the Holy Ghost has put his finger on for our attention. Whatever it is, we react in one of four ways. We find them in the parable of the sower.


"And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Matthew 13:3-8


The first reaction could be that like that of Festus, the Roman governor in Acts chapters 25-26. The word "Festu" meant "festival." He also was called Porcius meaning "swine." From this, we believe that this guy liked to eat, drink, and just have a good time. He really wasn't a bad guy, not as bad as some of the Herod's but the Bible gives no reference to his even being moved by Paul's preaching. In one place, he called it "superstition" and in another, after Paul gives most of his testimony, he blurts out, "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad." Acts 26:24b He just didn't get it. It went in one ear and out the other. He didn't try to suppress it, nor did he try to embrace it but his reaction was that of so many today, "Whatever!"


The second way is when one reacts like King Agrippa II. This is the group Christ referred to where the seed feel on stony earth but when things got too hot, they withered away. Agrippa II was that way. The Bible says about his reaction, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Acts 26:28b Agrippa II knew the scriptures and had heard of Christ. He had never had anyone really explain about Christianity but when Paul did, he knew the truth and was almost persuaded to embrace it. But, as is in the parable, the sun came out and he realized what he would have to do to live it. He would have to break off the incestuous relationship with his sister Bernice plus no doubt deal with many other issues. He just couldn't, even though he saw the judgment of God at work in his father Agrippa I in Acts 12 who was eaten of worms. So we receive the wooing of the Holy Ghost on various matters and yet, do we reject them knowing full well they are correct? The Bible never records an instant where God deals with Agrippa II again.


The third way of reaction is that characteristic of the seed sown among the thorns. They receive the truth and even go forth, but are choked with the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life and bring no fruit to perfection. (Luke 8:14) When the Roman ruler, Felix, heard the gospel, the Bible says that he trembled at the preaching of Paul. But it stopped there. It is not enough just to get moved by the Holy Ghost and feel conviction, one has to act. "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." Acts 24:25 There is never a better day to obey God's Word than today. "…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" 2 Corinthians 6:2b Felix, whose name means "happy," kept calling for Paul but for different reasons. In Acts 24:26 we read, "He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him." He was looking for a way to profit from the gospel. Much could be said here but there isn't time or space. It doesn't stop there. He used Paul as a political ploy to try to keep him out of hot water with the Romans. "But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound." Acts 24:27 Because of some of his ruthless dealings with the Jews, he was fearful they would accuse him before the emperor so he hoped to appease them by keeping Paul bound. Many hear the truth, knowing it is right but fail to react and after while even become antagonistic towards it. How many times I've seen God deal with someone regarding an area of sanctification, only for them to finally reject it and later buffet those who hold that stand they rejected!


But the last group is like that of Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector and became rich from his profession. No doubt, like most tax collectors then, it wasn't always by being honest, in fact tax collectors or publicans, were known to be cheaters. But when he saw the Lord, it all changed. "And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." Luke 19:8 He was ready to obey right away! Oh that we could have a heart of obedience like that so God could use us! He didn't ask a lot of questions, didn't try to use his intellectual reasoning, but just believed and obeyed because he know the Holy Ghost had shown him the truth. May we react the same way as he, like a child. As quoted at the beginning, "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." Mark 10:15 That's means, we walk humbly before Him!