Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Most Critical Issues Not Yet Faced by All 2016 Candidates!

For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are delivered to do all these abominations?” Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord. -- Jeremiah 7:5-11 (KJV)

Lots of excitement and lots of activity taking place as a number of persons are now seeking to be nominated as candidate for president of the United States. A few debates have already taken place and the end is by no means over. It will be settled finally on election day in November of 2016.

Different issues have been discussed by the candidates and their comments are on record as to what they would do about these concerns if they should be elected to the nation’s highest office.

However, in all the discussing and debating that has taken place, the most critical issues which have a direct impact on the future destiny of our republic have not been faced nor discussed!

The most critical issues facing our republic are moral and spiritual in nature. That is likely the reason those competing for public office do not want to mention them and the mainstream media certainly do not want to give attention to them.

Consider these accepted practices that absolutely guarantee the pouring out of God’s wrath in judgment upon us at some point in the future:

ONE: Our ongoing destruction of unborn children which has been taking place since the infamous Supreme Court decision in January of 1973. We have intentionally murdered and mutilated over 59 million unborn children since that insane decision was handed down! Even worse, it is now known that some who are in the abortion “business” have harvested certain parts of those murdered victims and sold those parts for big bucks! There is no real solid united front in opposing such abominations as this. There are even church groups and leadership within such groups that give the “green light” to these atrocities. I am an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, which officially gives its sanction to abortion on demand. All a United Methodist woman has to do to get an abortion is to claim that having the baby will bring undue psychological or financial stress or circumstantial pressure to her and she has her “ticket” to get rid of the child God is forming within her! (see Jeremiah 1 on this).

TWO: God has clearly defined the boundaries of human sexuality in His special revelation to us. Sexual intimacy is acceptable ONLY within the covenant of marriage and involves one man and one woman. Anything beyond that in terms of sexual activity is forbidden! However, over time in our history there are purported “experts” who have led us to the point where now sexual experience and expression are best summed up in the words, “Sex is fun with anyone (or more than one at same time) anywhere and at any time!” As a nation, we took the final plunge into the moral cesspool when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that says sodomites can marry each other and lesbians can marry each other anywhere within the boundaries of the United States. Even some church “leaders” have been involved in the performing of such marriages. A retired United Methodist bishop did such a “marriage” as did a female district superintendent in marrying two lesbian “pastors!” And there has been a lot of whining and crying over the fact of declining membership in the United Methodist Church – a recent report stating a loss of over 116,000 members in one year!

Related to this whole issue on human sexuality and the destructive path we have chosen to travel in defiance of God’s standards is the rise of STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases) within our culture. Some of these are incurable. Worse yet there are large numbers of very young teen agers getting infected and tests have shown that some have more than one STD at the same time!

But after all, have we adults not taught the little tykes how to do it in various ways by example, the internet, our entertainment industry, and our “education” programs in the public school systems?

THREE: Idiotic court decisions which have been directed toward any acknowledgement of God in the public arena such as nativity scenes at Christmas time, a display of the Ten Commandments, or other quotes from the holy Scriptures. The most notorious was in 1963 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Lord’s Prayer (or any prayer) and reading of the Scriptures could no longer be held in public schools. There is not one person living who can say that our public schools have greatly improved, the quality of education is far superior, and human relationships are the best they have ever been because of that decision! Recently a part of a paper was shown on social media – an elementary student was asked to write about the person who most influenced her life. She chose Jesus Christ and wrote about this. She received an F grade with the note by the teacher saying, “Please remove Jesus.”

FOUR: Our widespread and deeply entrenched idolatry. No, we do not have stone or metallic images on every street corner to which we bow down and utter words of praise and adoration. Our idols take different forms with the prominent one being money. The pursuit of pleasure in its many forms and the idolizing that is connected to the realm of entertainment has captured the hearts of millions. Sports is another realm that has become an idol to far too many. Someone observed years ago that you could get tens of thousands into a stadium at sub-freezing temperatures shouting their lungs out at an NFL game on a Sunday afternoon but you can’t get them into church on Sunday morning if a few snowflakes are falling!

It has been documented in surveys that only about 46 or 47 percent of our population can find its way in to a worship service in a church on Sunday morning.

FIVE: The church scene is a very disturbing one. Over the decades past a deadly infiltration has taken place. In the latter years of the 19th Century a devastating thing took place with much of it occurring in Germany. Simply stated, a fellow got the idea that the Bible cannot be fully trusted and things reported in it did not really happen – miracles for instance! This kind of garbage caught on and eventually was imported to the United States. In early years of the 20th Century controversy erupted within the churches and it came to be known as the “Modernist – Fundamentalist” controversy – conflict between those who did not really believe the Bible and those who did. Later on terms such as “liberal” and “conservative” came to be employed as a distinction. In more recent times there has been a growing tendency to accept all religious expressions in the world as being legitimate and that all are on a level playing field with none superior to any other – Christianity is just one of many – pick and choose what suits you best as you move through the religious buffet!

And so today, when you walk into a church, you have to listen carefully with a sense of discernment and a familiar knowledge of Scripture – does that person standing in the pulpit and preaching a message believe the revelation God has given us via holy Scripture or does he/she NOT believe? This problem can be best compared to a fast spreading melanoma cancer. Check again the purpose of Scripture and how it came to be as shown in 2 Timothy 3:16.

God has been speaking, calling and doing some chastising things in these days. But at this point, very few are listening. The basic call is to search our hearts, confess our sins, resolve to be faithful in representing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and that He is the only way of salvation and hope! God holds us as individuals accountable, but He also holds entire nations accountable as well – and this includes religious leaders and government leaders.

Again, the REAL issue is not economic, terrorism, illegal immigrants, or national security – the critical issues are those matters mentioned above and no candidate has mentioned a single one.

Unless there is nationwide repentance and a genuine return to God, judgment is the only thing we can expect and quite possibly in the not too distant future!

From the prayer of Daniel, these words:

”To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.” -- Daniel 9:9-14 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Those Radicalized Christians!

According to federal government sources, the San Bernardino couple which went on a shooting rampage resulting in 14 killed and many wounded had been “radicalized” some time ago. [Various news reports.]

If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. [Acts 4:9-12 (KJV)]

A new term has been added to the political correct dictionary of proper words and terms for use in the United States. That new term is “radicalized” and is applied to those highly dedicated Muslims who select a target involving a number of people and then in a surprise move, start shooting them. As of this writing, the most recent incident took place in San Bernardino CA with 14 persons dead and many wounded in the attack. Federal government sources declare that the couple responsible for these killings and injuries was “radicalized.” In reality what took place was that a couple of persons took their Quaran very seriously and became involved in the mission to purge the world of infidels, prepare the way for Islam to dominate and control the world and insure that all residents are Muslim in faith and practice!

But there is another group of persons who have become radicalized also. These are Christians who take their Bible seriously and believe it to be the absolute authority on matters pertaining to the Christian faith and the practice of that faith in everyday life! “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” [2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)].

These Christians are radical in their convictions that Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, is the only source of forgiveness, peace with God, and the hope of entering Heaven when their earthly life comes to an end. One of many statements as to why they believe this is found in John 3 of the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:16-18 (KJV)].

These Christians are radical in their identification of exactly Who Jesus Christ is. He is Almighty God revealed in human form. His birth was nothing short of a miracle in that no human father was involved in His conception. He was born of the virgin Mary and lived the perfect life here on the earth that He originally created a long time ago! “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. [John 1:10-14 (KJV)].

These Christians are radical because they fully believe all the claims Jesus made concerning Himself. A few of these are: “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst…… I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life….. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep..... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9-11; 14:6 (KJV)].

These Christians are radical because they fully accept the demands that Jesus Christ has placed upon all who would come to Him and accept Him as Savior and Lord of their lives. There are four demands issued by Jesus which apply to all members of the human race. It is the choice of each person to either accept or reject the demands. Evidence is overwhelming that the majority of the human race has chosen to reject Jesus’ demands. The first one is this: “Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” [John 3:3 (KJV)]. The other three are found in Matthew 18:3, Luke 13:3 and John 6:53. The price is obviously very high for those who choose to reject the demands!

These Christians are radical because of what motivates them to act and relate to others in this world. That which motivates them is love – love for God and their fellow humans. This doesn’t mean they have reached absolute perfection in performance, but it does mean that their desire is to please their Lord and to attempt to do His will in each day’s activities. Jesus set the standard by His own example and then told those who would follow Him: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34-35 (KJV)].

As Christians who have been radicalized practice the love of Jesus Christ it means there will never be any threats made, no knife to the throat, and no gun to the head or any act of violence. The invitation is to repent of sin and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord – if the person to whom this offer is made rejects it, then so be it. There will be no act of retaliation ever taken.

Radical Christians attempt to be sensitive to various needs of others and to help them as opportunity presents itself in a variety of ways. This at times will involve financial assistance, the donating of food items as in the case of a food pantry ministry, etc. It matters not who the person is nor what their religious identity may be – that will not be the issue – if they are in need and the Christian has the means to give help, then the help will be given, no matter what!

However, radicalized Christians come under fire at times from other “professing” Christians. There are those who claim to be Christian who do not accept the Bible as God’s inspired Word. It is regarded as a human produced series of writings only. The reported miracles did not literally happen. Jesus’ miracles, His sacrificial atonement for the sins of the human race, His literal resurrection after crucifixion, and His promised return to this world to take control and rule it are either questioned or denied altogether! Consequently, those who do believe come under fire and are often labeled as fanatic, narrow, bigoted, prejudiced, etc!

There are those “Christians” who in past decades have compromised the faith through what is called dialog – the willingness to sit down with those of other religions in the world and discuss what they have in common, how they can work together, and always showing respect for each other’s faith! Implied in such gatherings is the attitude that each religion is fully legitimate and addressing the issues of life, responsibility, relationships, and eternal destiny. All are on an equal “playing field” with none superior to any other. Radicalized Christians, however, take the position that all religions beyond Christianity are false and that Christianity is the true faith. This position is based upon the revelation God has given us via the Scriptures and the claims and demands made by His Son, Jesus, as mentioned earlier in these comments.

One of the more recent conflicts involves human sexuality and the growing acceptance of same-gender sex activity and marriage between same sex couples! Radicalized Christians go with God’s revelation on this matter and again, are labeled in the most negative terms found in the English language!

Jesus in His predictive statements such as those found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17 and Luke 21 indicated that those who are resolved to be faithful in following Him will be the targets of attack and persecution as His return draws closer. In fact He said there will be a time when those who kill His followers will think they are doing service to God Himself!

Fortunately rewards await those Christians who have been radicalized and they will have a place in a trouble-free environment forever!

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. [Matt 25:21 (KJV)]

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. [John 14:1-3 (KJV)]