Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;" 1Peter 4:1

Today, Monday, May 30th, is a national holiday called Memorial Day. It began after the Civil War when the wives of the soldiers who fell in the war decorated their graves to honor their sacrifice. The practice is still kept today and in many cemeteries throughout our country there were or will be ceremonies honoring our soldiers who gave their all so that we could enjoy freedom. As a Christian, this should make us want to guard this even more because as we see America in its declining stages, we must conclude that the root cause of this nation's decline is due to sin. America was built on Christian principles and the Constitution was written for a people with character and who feared God. It was also written for a society who had the fibers of Biblical morality in its culture so that even the heathen were ashamed to practice blatant sins out in the open. Now, that has all changed. I read recently that a poll was taken regarding immorality and the culture of our nation and the finding was that more people feel that the culture of our nation is about right today than just a few years ago, this by about eight percent. The church is supposed to be the salt of the earth. "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Matthew 5:13 Salt does three things: it flavors, it can help preserve as they used to pack meat in salt in order to preserve it before we had freezers, and it is also used for judgment as God sowed Sodom and Gomorrah with salt. "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." Genesis 19:26

In the future, when we think of spending some time in prayer and it seems uncomfortable or inconvenient to us, we may want to remember those soldiers who gave al for our freedom so we can pray without hiding. When we think we are going through a little discomfort due to fasting, we may want to remember all the brides and/or mothers who lost their sons or husbands so we could have the freedom we now have. We need revival in the church! Yes, I know eventually America will be facing judgment because that is no doubt in the prophetic scene however we can be salt to preserve our time of tranquility for us and our children if we would get on our knees now before the night comes when it may be to late. Have a great Memorial Day time with family and friends and remember why this is possible!

Monday, May 23, 2011

No One Knows When

"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Mark 13:32

According to Harold Camping and many others, the rapture of the church was to take place this past Saturday at 6:00, May 21, 2011 (but I never knew which time zone he was talking about but assume it was the west coast). No doubt, many of these people were very sincere in their belief that it was to occur on that date at that time. I'm not questioning anybody's motives or purpose. We're still here! It didn't happen! Even before May 21st, I read another headline that some group is now saying that Christ will return in October of this year, and of course there is that prediction that everything is going to come to a halt on December 21, 2012. So what does this tell us? The first and most obvious answer is that we can't set dates on Christ's return. The scripture above plainly states that only God the Father knows that. Funny how man thinks he is smarter than God, even when running his own program. But there is another underlying thing that we can observe and that is that these things are coming ever increasingly. I personally believe that man is aware that we are on the edge of history so he is groping for answers. He may not know when, he may not know how: he may not know exactly why, but he is searching.

Jesus was very plain in the following verse as to what the Christian should do in times like these. "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." Mark 13:33 If there is any time to pray, it is now. If there is any time to watch the world events, it is now. If there is any time to win souls and pray for revival, it is now! I read a newspaper article a couple days prior to Saturday the 21st and the reporter asked about 30 people in our conservative East Texas area what they would do if they know things were going to end in a couple days. Most said they would spend the time with their families, one man said he would get right with God, and a few said they would pray. NOT ONE, no not one said they would try to win their friends and family to Christ in the remaining time. This shows the pattern of the Laodicean church of today. It was all focused on self and maybe a few around them. What is our focus, is it just on self and those few family members around us or are we concerned about others we cone in contact with or those we know even on a limited basis. It is time to examine our hearts as we live in the last of the last days. I firmly believe that God wants to bring revival to America but in order to do it, we must all look inside ourselves and take inventory according to God's Word. Remember what Jesus said in Mark 10:15, "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." We must humble ourselves before the Lord that he may exalt us in due time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Christ Will Keep Those Who Want to be Kept

"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." 2 Timothy 1:12

One of the biggest arguments raised to defend the Unconditional Eternal Security doctrine is that Christ is able to keep the soul from perishing. The last part of this verse is quoted to support this. As this is the Word of God, it is no doubt true. The fact that "he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day, " is right in that there is no danger in losing one's soul as far as Christ is concerned. The problem lies when we chose to leave him. John 10:27-28 state, "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." It is correct that no can pluck you out of the hand of Christ but there is a condition and it lies in verse 27 which says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." The sheep have to follow the shepherd in order to keep their souls. The shepherd will not leave them provided they follow them. Also, see what Christ said to the Church of Philadelphia: "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Revelation 3:11 Can a man just walk up and take your eternal crown? No! But he can persuade you to follow heresy or influence your soul to the point where Christ is no longer your redeemer in heart, but only in word. "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." Matthew 15:8

Another argument states that if one lost his soul after being saved, it would make the Christ's sacrifice void. Yes, for that person it would, but at his own choosing however Christ still suffered on the cross and rose from the dead. This is a fact that cannot be reputed nor will his shed blood be void unless it is made void by a sinner refusing to come to him or a Christian backsliding and trampling under it. "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Hebrews 6:4-6

Jesus said to the Jews that believed on him, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;" John 8:31b These Jews actually believed on him but when they were told that they needed to continue following him, then things changed. We read further down in verse 59 that they got so mad at him that they were getting ready to stone him. It's one thing to say a sinner's prayer, shake the preacher's hand, get baptized and receive the certificate, but it's another thing to actually follow him. Because of this erroneous teaching, millions have went to hell thinking they were saved just because someone told them that they were on their way to heaven since they said the prayer and got baptized. They were told that Christ is well able to keep their soul so not to worry about anything, even the way they live. While we don't worry about staying saved, we are to follow him which is not a grind but a pleasure and delight. I have even witnessed preachers of this persuasion tell demon possessed people that all they need to do is take advantage of their Christian rights that they received when they prayed several years ago and everything will be alright! Why do you think that God told the church of the Laodiceans that he was going to spue them out of his mouth. These were church folks like today. They went to church because they were partly hot but that's about all they did because they didn't think they needed anything yet they were unaware of where they really stood with Christ as they were blind to their own condition. Today is the same as we are in that age right now.

This doctrine is troubling to me because there are good men who teach this doctrine. There are men who are worthy of some respect in their knowledge of the Word who embrace this, but no matter what or whom, it is a grave error. Many hold this doctrine because it was taught them in their schools and seminaries and it is a convenient doctrine for these last days of lukewarm church goers. Don't be fooled by it. Get into the Bible. Live a separated life looking unto the Author and Finisher of the Word. "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12 Christ is well able to keep us, if we chose to be kept.