Monday, December 31, 2007

Peace in 2008?

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."………The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace. --- Isaiah 57:20, 21; 59:8

As 2007 closed out with eruptions of violence in many places and crowned with the assassination of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, the quest for peace continues unabated.

Just how successful will be the efforts in establishing peace in 2008? At the risk of being labeled a gloom and doom pessimist of the first magnitude I have to respond and say, “There will be no peace of any significant note!”

An Authority far greater than any existing government in the world or that monstrosity of confusion and chaos known as the United Nations has revealed that peace will never be a reality as the world presently stands.

Jesus said that prior to His return to earth conflicts will be the order of the day:

"And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.” --- Matthew 24:6-9

He also indicated that mass rejection and division over Him will result in conflicts on a major scale:

"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved……..Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.' And 'a man's foes will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” --- Matthew 10:16-22, 32-40

Since the vast majority of the world population is unregenerate in mind and heart, including leaders of existing governments, it can be said that 2 Timothy 3:1-5 is literally being fulfilled before our very eyes:

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! --- 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Actions and policies advocated by politicians at both the federal and state levels of government in the United States provide daily displays of the truth of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 as well!

Will there ever be peace? Yes, but only due to the direct personal intervention of Jesus Christ when He comes back to this world in His glorious majesty as King of kings and Lord of lords! Until then the message and witness of every Christian is basically,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life……..Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. --- John 3:16; Romans 5:1, 2

Only through Jesus Christ can there be personal peace as well as corporate peace!

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid......These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." --- John 14:27; 16:33

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Response to Little Devil -- This Time It's About the Bible!

Little Devil (referred to in yesterday's posting) replied to me with an email containing a link which took me to a site comprised of a lot of writings which attempted to shred the Bible. As noted in my reply, this kind of stuff has been going on for centuries. Please note especially the quote from John 3 at the end of my response which clearly explains such shenanigans as these taking place!

December 28, 2007

Dear little devil:

I checked the link you sent me in regard to what certain reputed “scholars” have to say about the Bible.

As I moved about in those statements I was reminded of an observation made in the book of Ecclesiastes by King Solomon that there is nothing new under the sun!

Down through the centuries a two-pronged assault has been focused on the Person of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures which bear witness to Who He is, why He was born into this world, what He accomplished, and what He is scheduled to do in the future.

At times there is clearly a fiendish delight coming forth from that crowd which has totally rejected the claims and demands of Jesus as they indulge in their feeble efforts to shred the inspired Record that provides all the information necessary for a person to become personally acquainted with God.

The one thing they cannot explain is the miracle of transformed lives which have been touched by this Jesus of Whom the Bible speaks in the most explicit terms!

We can make reference to one such as Paul the apostle – a religious zealot who was determined to destroy Christianity and all who were identified as Christians in faith. But then after a personal encounter with Jesus this same Paul was just as zealous in declaring Jesus to be God in human form and the only way of salvation and hope.

Centuries later there was John Wesley, an Anglican clergyman, who testified to a “heart warming” experience in trusting Jesus alone for his salvation from sin and eternal hell. He and others began preaching Christ-centered messages that resulted in what came to be known as the “Great Awakening” which impacted England in the 18th Century. At least some historians agree that the revival may well have saved England from a bloody revolution similar to that which took place in France in those days when human blood ran by the gallons due to an apparatus called the guillotine!

And we need to consider a man by the name of John Newton. He was the vulgar captain of a slave ship and it was reported that when he got mad and the profanities spewed forth from his mouth that his sailors trembled, fearing that Almighty God would strike them all dead. But a mighty miracle took place as John Newton’s life was turned around 180 degrees when He repented of his wicked way of living and received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of his life. His testimony in part is revealed in a song which he wrote. The title is, “Amazing Grace,” and has been a great favorite among Christians for decades.

Time and space do not permit reference to so many others from all walks of life who have been miraculously transformed by Jesus Christ and who live with daily assurance of His presence with them as based on promises given through His Word.

I close with a quote from an unknown African pastor as he faced the year 2006:

December 31, 2005

I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me - my banner will be clear!

Anonymous African pastor –- statement was nailed to his wall.

I rest my case!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." --- John 3:16-21

Friday, December 28, 2007

Response to "Little Devil" About Jesus on Christmas Day!

I received an email from one whose name in the address included "little devil." It was sent to me just a few minutes before midnight on December 24th. I quote the entire email message as given below:

You must have read "The Da Vinci Code"

History says that Jesus Christ was a mortal man and not the son of God.

Any comment?

My response, which was sent out on Christmas Day, 2007, is quoted below:

Dear little devil:

Thanks for getting in touch. Your message centers on the identity of Jesus and those who insist that He is merely a mortal human being and nothing more. You asked if I had any comment, and so I respond as follows……

First, I have not read “The Da Vinci Code” in its entirety. I have read bits and pieces, reviews, excerpts, comments by others on the book, etc. Having spent time in the past researching select theologians who were much more expert and sophisticated in expressing their unbelief than does the author of “The Da Vinci Code,” I have chosen not to waste my time by reading the whole book.

Second, when you mention about “history” declaring that Jesus is just a mortal man, you need to remember that there are numerous historical records which testify that He is indeed God revealed in human form – the mysterious blending of the divine and the human into one very unique individual.

The primary and authoritative record is the holy Scriptures (Bible) which contain predictions of His birth hundreds of years before it took place, the facts of His miraculous birth, His sinless life as lived for a few years on earth (the earth which He created), His sacrificial death for sinners such as you and I, His resurrection following crucifixion, and His promised return to earth as some future point in time to take control and rule it as King of kings and Lord of lords!

There are many other written sources down through history which speak of Jesus in the same manner as He is revealed in the Scriptures.

My view of Jesus is not limited to what the Bible says about Him, but also through what I have personally experienced in my life. You see, many years ago I received Him into my life as Savior and Lord. I had been living a very self-centered life and indulging in a sinful way of life which I will not detail here.

Jesus changed my life and did a lot of amazing things then and continues to do them now – and the best is yet to be!

This is a faith experience by choice with His love going out to every human being. Each of us must choose what we will do with Jesus Christ. He’ll never twist anyone’s arm to force that person to accept Him and the plan He has for that person’s life. In the strictest sense, He is indeed a gentleman Who respects our power to choose for ourselves what we want or do not want.

The world and the majority of its population wallows in unbelief at the present time – atheism, agnosticism, and other various “isms” are very popular and widely accepted. The common thread that all share is the denial of Who Jesus Christ really is, what He has done, and what He plans to do in the future!

But once you make your personal acquaintance with Him, you will know He is God “dressed up” in human clothes! So I say to you that Jesus loves you as He loves me and all others – He died for your sins just as He did for mine – and you can be forgiven and live forever in His Kingdom just as He has forgiven me and assured me of a future place in His eternal Kingdom. Check out “God Dressed Up in Bones, Flesh and Blood!”

In a sense He has served the ball into your side of the court – you have to make the choice as to what you will do with it! It puts one in an awkward position similar to a man 2,000 years ago who said, “What then shall I do with Jesus Who is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22). The overwhelming response to that question was, “Let Him be crucified!” And so it goes pretty much the same way in today's world, does it not?

Thanks again for writing. I am responding on Christmas Day and it is my prayer that Christmas will have the same meaning to you as it has had to me for 50 years – and it gets better as each year passes because of the best Friend I ever had – His name is Jesus Christ!

Still contending at, blogging at and warning at


Monday, December 17, 2007

I Am a Bible Literalist? No, Not Always!

It's a bit of a risk to go on public record that you actually believe the Bible! Through the years there has been a well organized response directed to those who say they do believe the Bible. It varies a bit in the way the reactions are worded -- for instance:

  • the Bible believer may be accused of worshipping the Bible -- that it is an object which consitutes idolatry simply because he or she has expressed a positive acceptance of all that the Bible reveals!

  • the Bible believer is considered quite "low-brow" if he or she claims to believe all that is contained in the record from the first chapter of the book of Genesis to the last chapter of the book of The Revelation. That is, one is lacking in intellectual accomplishment if one believes the Bible "as is!"

  • the Bible believer is considered to be a "literalist" if a statement is made, "I believe the entire Bible." Somehow the critic of the Bible believer wants to convey the idea that such a person takes everything in the Bible "literally" without question, and this constitutes a lot of ignorance on the part of the Bible believer.

Over the years I have had to deal with this issue from time to time. I have gone on record numerous times that I believe the Bible to be divinely inspired (by God the Holy Spirit) and the absolute authority on all matters pertaining to the Christian faith and how that faith is to be expressed in a fallen world.

One incident early on involved my appearance before the Board of Ordained Ministry of the W. PA Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. I made reference to Adam and Eve in responding to a question. Immediately one of the board members asked me if Adam and Eve were real people. I responded, "Yes." He then said, "You mean they lived in an actual historical time period?" I said, "Yes." He then said, "Don't you have a problem with that?" I replied, "Not me!" I tried to put a tone to it that said, "If you have a problem with it, that's your problem, not mine!"

To be accused of being a Bible believer is usually the same as being accused of taking the Bible literally in all that is recorded within its pages. I don't take everything in the Bible literally. For instance,

  • in Psalm 91 it mentions about abiding under the shadow of the Almighty and a bit later it says, "He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler." If I took this literally, then God at this point is a Canada goose or a great horned owl or maybe a Rhode Island Red chicken, but I must confess I don't view God that way in this portion of Scripture!

  • in Zechariah 2:5 it is recorded, "For I," says the LORD, "will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst." Now I don't take this to mean that God is in reality a wall of flames leaping hundreds of feet in the air such as we saw on news reports of the fires burning thousands of acres in southern California during fall of 2007!

  • in John 8:12 Jesus says He is the light of the world. I don't literally believe that means that Jesus is a flashlight powered by Energizer batteries!

  • in John 10:9 Jesus said that He is the door. Really, folks, I don't picture Him as a piece of paneled wood swinging on a couple of hinges with a brass door knob attached about 3 1/2 feet off the floor! No, I really don't -- if I were a strict 100 per cent "literalist" as implied by critics because I say I believe the Bible, then that is indeed how I would picture Jesus!

HOWEVER, there are many portions of Scripture which I do take literally and for which I do not apologize.

Some of these have been denied by those who pride themselves on being "liberal" and at times disagreement has become quite heated over whether such events and/or persons are historical fact or myth, legend, etc.

I've already mentioned Adam and Eve. Other recorded information which has been denied or highly questioned involves the world wide flood judgment at the time of Noah, the opening of the Red Sea when the Israelites left Egypt, the opening of the Jordan River at flood stage, and the great fish swallowing Jonah in the Old Testament. In the New Testament areas of dispute involve the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, His sinless life, the many miracles which He performed, His atonement for the sins of every member of the human race, His bodily resurrection from the dead following the crucifixion, His command to confront the entire world with His claims and call as Savior and Lord, and His promised return to this earth to rule it from Jerusalem at some point in the future!

While reading and in some cases, having done research papers on "theologians" who denied or seriously questioned many of those things mentioned above, I personally have never had a problem with what has been recorded in the Bible. I struggle at times to try to understand and grasp things at points, but I have never doubted that God did the things which are attributed to Him. In the Jonah incident -- the God I have known and been in fellowship with for 50 years could have kept Jonah alive in the belly of that fish for a year or longer if He had wanted to!

My God can do anything He wants to and when He wants to with no obligation to explain in detail to me how He did it or why He did it. The main expectation He has from me is that I approach Him in the spirit of a child and BELIEVE! In fact Jesus made it a demand that we become as children in our faith and relationship to Him -- part of that invovles our willingness to accept as a small child the truth of what God has done in the past, is doing now, and plans to do in the future!

"Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." --- Matthew 18:3

By the way, how great is the God in Whom you claim to believe? Can He do things such as bring world wide judgment, open up a great body of water and dry the ground on which that water rested for centuries, keep a man alive in the belly of a great fish which He has prepared, make it possible for a young virgin to have a baby without a human male being in any way involved, raise the dead to life, etc? And can He touch the heart of a sinner in such a way that the sinner is brought to totally forsake his sins, seek forgiveness, and live a transformed life in obedience to the Savior Who was crucified for those sins?

As mentioned earlier there is one apology I have never made in the past and never will in the future -- that I believe the Bible, God's holy Word! Much of it I do take literally, but there are some exceptions as previously noted -- remember, God is not a Rhode Island Red chicken, though He covers me with His feathers and I take refuge under His wings! (Psalm 91).

I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies. It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way. Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. --- Psalm 119:125-130

Friday, December 14, 2007

Call Me Anything You Want, But Don't Call Me An "Evangelical!"

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. --- 1 John 2:19

There is a group of individuals within the ranks of professing Christianity known as “evangelicals.” They have been around for quite some time and have undergone a bit of evolution over the past few decades.

At one stage in their earlier identification “evangelicals” were considered to be quite radical in their faith and were at times the target of scorn and intense criticism by those of a more “liberal” persuasion in the profession of the Christian faith.

The group was made up of theologians, professors, pastors, and laity who occupied pews in churches of all sizes. They held to core doctrines of the Christian faith such as the divine inspiration and full authority of the Scriptures, miracles in the Scriptures taking place as reported, Jesus Christ being exclusively the way of salvation from sin, His literal bodily resurrection from the dead, His personal return to this world at some point in the future, etc.

As time passed these individuals became more popular and also recognized as a powerful voting block when it came to politics.

There was likewise an intense desire to shed the negative image of being radical and “narrow minded” on a number of issues. It became practically a goal that "evangelicals" be viewed as being “positive” and willing to sit down and discuss the issues where there were disagreements, and avoiding at all costs the appearance of being "judgmental."

Enter the process of “dialog!” And so, where we disagree with others on anything – just sit down at a table and talk about it with the understanding that all viewpoints must be respected – all have legitimate positions and a peaceful atmosphere is reached by adopting a loving “agree to disagree” approach to the issue at hand. Through this process we consent to work together for the common good of all in spite of differences that may exist. In so doing a spirit of harmony and good will are experienced and we all become “brothers and sisters in the faith” whatever that may mean! Compromise is a fundamental requirement when you travel this route! Perhaps “evangelicals” have learned from Washington DC politicians how to master this art!

After all George W. Bush, who is a high profile United Methodist and professed “evangelical” Christian, has expressed the spirit of the dialog principle on more than one occasion. He has gone on public record as saying that he believes Muslims and Christians worship the same God! George is the “poster boy” – the adorable delight of “evangelicals” who have had the privilege of meeting with him from time to time and this has resulted in glowing reports coming forth from those who have been in his presence.

And so it goes with “evangelicals” now willing to “dialog” on about anything, including the issue of sexual immorality!

The latest debacle has involved a few dozen very influential “evangelicals” signing a statement urging the formation of a separate Palestinian state in order to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict over territorial rights.

These people obviously deny the reality that Muslims who take their faith seriously and the teachings of the Quran seriously do not want Israel to coexist – they want Israel obliterated from the face of this planet!

Also denied is the Abrahamic covenant which God said would be established through Isaac and his descendants, not through Ismael and his descendants. And this involves quite a piece of real estate stretching from what is identified as "the river of Egypt" on the west to the Euphrates River on the east! (Genesis 15 in which it is recorded, "And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there was a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: 'To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates...'") Check the final chapters of the prophet Isaiah to see how this is going to play out. Other prophets have addressed this matter as well. Now if God is not going to keep this covenant, as some suggest, then will He keep any covenant, including the one made through His Son, Jesus Christ? And is the Scripture in error when we are told that God declares Himself to be One Who changes not? (Malachi 3:6). I know there is a lot of foot shuffling going on by way of so-called "interpretation" on these things, but for once could we just take God at His Word, and that He really means what He says by way of His promises?

Finally, “evangelicals” make much about the example set by Jesus and our need to “walk in His steps” as it were. OK, how about His example of doing “dialog.” For starters, check Matthew 23 as to how He did “dialog” with those who were in sharp disagreement with Him. And the persons to whom He spoke were powerful leaders of the religious establishment. It is understandable that they would not have nominated Him to be Time Magazine's "Man of the Year!"

Also, where do you see Jesus backing off from the absolute demands He placed on all human beings – for instance, that one must absolutely be born again as mentioned in John 3 -- that is, if you expect to be a future resident of His eternal Kingdom! And where do you see Him in "dialog" and expressing a willingness to back off and give space to Allah, Vishnu, Buddha or others when He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”??? Well, come on, I’m waiting – or do we take the modern approach – grab a chair – sit down at the table and say, “Jesus didn’t really mean all those radical statements attributed to Him!”

Added to this, note His statement about bringing peace to the world in Matthew 10.

"Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.' And 'a man's foes will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” --- Matthew 10:32-40

And if we claim He is Savior and Lord and that we are to be His representatives here on earth, where does that put us when it comes to how well we will get along with others who take positions that are in sharp disagreement with the clear teachings of God’s special revelation to us via the holy Scriptures?

Call me anything you want, but don’t call me an “evangelical!”

"These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. --- John 15:17-21

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Most Vicious Battleground Ever!

Volumes have been written about wars taking place down through the centuries of human history. Battles have been singled out time after time with graphic details given and with the invention of photography, the descriptive articles contained pictures which underscored the horror of war all the more. An infamous example of this would be the U. S. Civil War with an almost endless parade of photos revealing huge numbers of bodies of Confederate and Union soldiers killed in combat.

The battleground which receives the least attention and certainly never makes the news on major TV networks or cable news channels such as CNN or Fox News is the human mind! You think not? Maybe you have already become a casualty without even realizing it!

Here is what is going on ----

With the vast majority of this world’s 6 billion inhabitants in an unregenerate state of mind, God is seeking to reach each one with His eternal truth and the message of salvation offered through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Standing in opposition are the deceptive and misleading “teachings” of humans which reject God’s special revelation to us through the holy Scriptures (Bible).

"And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me," says the LORD. --- Jeremiah 9:3

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. --- 2 Thess 2:9-12

This rejection takes place in many settings:

  • The secular education system starting at the kindergarten level and continuing through graduate school at the university level. The great damnable “doctrine” which is repeatedly planted in learning minds is that we have evolved from a lower life form – you know, some stuff that started to wriggle in a mud puddle millions and millions of years ago! There is a strong anti-God sentiment mixed in this and the absolute forbidding of any suggestion that we are a special creation of God – created by Him and He has a special plan for each conceived human life!

  • There are numerous religious groups ranging in size from a few score to millions of devotees. Among the larger groups are Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, etc. The common agreement all have is this – they reject the truth that God took on human form in the Person of Jesus Christ, sacrificed His life for the sins of every human being, rose from the dead three days after crucifixion, ascended back to Heaven, and will one day in the future return to this chaotic world and rule it from Jerusalem! This very clearly indicates that all human governments presently existing will be dismantled – a great change for the better which we cannot begin to comprehend.

  • Within the ranks of professing Christianity has been the importation of deadly heresies denying the basic tenets of Biblical Christian faith. These include denials of the divine inspiration and authority of the holy Scriptures, the Person and works of Jesus Christ, that He is exclusively the way of salvation from sin, and that He will personally return to this world, take full control, and rule it!

The human mind is bombarded daily with information from many sources. Decisions have to be made as to whether to accept or reject those many items of information. Most critical are decisions that are made regarding one’s eternal destiny and standing relationship with God. Upon what information will such decisions be made – what one personally thinks by way of opinion or what others think – what some Ph.D. in a classroom says about something – or some high profile entertainment figure or talk show personality – or some politician or some person of great wealth and influence?

Or will it be based on what God says through His holy Word? The battle continues to rage on and on – your mind and mine are the areas where the battle is most vicious – the victory is assured IF our confidence is centered in the right Person – that Person is none other than Jesus Christ, the Savior and only hope we have in this world and the one yet to be!

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. --- 1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Post Script on That Ongoing Christmas Controversy!

"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake." --- Jesus in Matthew 24:9

A couple of days ago I posted comments under the title, "It's Not Really About Christmas, But About the One At the Center of It!" Also included in those comments was a suggestion to look at "Jesus Meets the Committee!"

Jesus, Who is the absolute Authority on all matters pertaining to humans, their activities, relationships and future destiny, foretold how it would be in the final stages of human history as we are now experiencing it. After all, among other things, He is our Creator -- so why wouldn't He be the absolute Authority on all things that have to do with the members of the human race?

Specifically He said the time would come when those who faithfully identify with Him would be hated among all nations -- note that He did not say "except for..." -- He said "ALL" nations! By the way, do you suppose the United States is a part of the group?

In fact, Jesus said this thing will become so intense that those who kill Christians will believe they are doing service for God Whom they claim to represent! Oh, you can verify that by looking at John 15:18 - 16:3.

Of course there is a way to avoid this hatred and hostility which Jesus so vividly predicted and is now coming to pass just as He said.

All you have to do is to back off from insisting that Jesus is God revealed in human form -- that He sacrificed His life for all the sins of the entire human race to make total forgiveness possible -- that He literally was resurrected from the dead -- that He is the only way to be forgiven, accepted and looked upon favorably by Almighty God -- and that He is coming back to this world at some point in the future and will take complete control and rule it with true righteousness and justice (this means that all world governments will be terminated as we now know them!).

Now, now -- don't get upset with me -- just examine His statements for yourself where He makes reference to His return to earth -- if you want to deny that and try to make Him out to be a liar, that's your stupidity, not mine!

Further you simply say that His absolute demands upon all of us humans don't really mean anything (see Matthew 18:3; Luke 13:3; John 3:3; John 6:53). And you also say that His absolute claims concerning Himself don't really mean anything either (see John 6:35, 48, 51; 8:12, 58; 10:9, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1).

It's really very easy and you won't upset people as you clearly establish your "demotion" of Jesus and reduce Him to the same level as other professed "deities" such as Vishnu, Shiva, Allah, Buddha, and a whole hoard of others -- Jesus becomes just "one of the boys" in a world of a gigantic religious buffet -- just pick and choose a deity (or more than one -- safety in numbers you know!) to your liking with the understanding that they all hold equal ranking -- none is superior to any other!

And don't think you will be blazing a new path by your "demotion" of the Son of God -- others have already beat you to that -- you are just moving through their dust! Among that group professing to be "Christian" are theologians, seminary professors, church leaders, pastors, teachers, and laity in church pews who have been doing this for quite some time -- it has just gained a bit more momentum in recent years!

However bear in mind that such a choice is a deadly one for anyone professing to be a "Christian" -- those demands and claims by Jesus to which previous reference has been made really do not allow for such an option, unless one wants to spend eternity in a devil's Hell!

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. --- 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's Not Really About Christmas, But About the One At the Center of It!

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." --- John 3:18-20

For a few years now we have witnessed more and more controversy surrounding the word, "Christmas," and whether in public settings such as retail stores the word should be displayed. Horror stories abound about employees in some circumstances being instructed not to wish customers a "Merry Christmas."

Court cases have increased over the issue of displaying a Nativity scene on public property such as at a court house or in a city park. Common-sense folk with a high standard of morality and honesty often express frustration about this anti-Christmas trend which goes hand-in-hand with what has been reported as the growth of atheism across the United States.

It's really not about Christmas and use of the word -- that's just the smokescreen -- it's really about the Person Who is at the center of Christmas -- none other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ!

It is becoming more obvious as time passes -- the vast majority, not only in this country but throughout the world with its total population exceeding 6 billion want absolutely nothing to do with this One Who is God revealed in human form and the visit He made to this world which He personally created!

For a more detailed consideration as to this assault against Christmas and what is really the reason behind it, go to "Jesus Meets the Committee!" A link at the bottom of that area will bring you back here.

By the way, just what does Christmas mean to you?

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. --- John 1:10-13