Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

Jesus Christ DID Denounce Homosexuality!

Posted by Job on January 3, 2011

From brother W.B. Moore.

Christ DID speak out against homosexuality

What I have to say is to people who claim to be Christians.

Jesus spoke out against sexual immorality.
Matthew 15:18-20

18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man unclean; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean.

Mark 7:20-23

20 He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. 21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.

We have to realize that sexual immorality is a category of sin that includes all sexual sin.

1 Corinthians 5:1

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife.

Paul had to deal with one specific instance of sexual immorality: a man having sex with the wife of his father. This is identified as a sin in the Old Testament, specifically Leviticus 18:8, Leviticus 20:11, Deuteronomy 22:30, and Deuteronomy 27:20. Paul did not further address specific examples of sexual immorality in this passage. However, it is clear that it was a category of sin that dealt with sex that God had prohibited.

Christ said the entire category of sin known as sexual immorality was evil.

Now, sexual immorality would refer to what God had defined as wrong already by the time of when Christ said this; this would come from the Old Testament. As Christians today, we use both the Old and New Testaments to see Who God is, what God has done, how God feels about issues in life, and what He expects of and for us.

The word translated as sexual immorality is Porneia. This word means
1. illicit sexual intercourse

A. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
B. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
C. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11

Romans 1 says even the desire of a man for a man or a woman for a woman is sin. The act of sex between two people of the same gender is also sin.

The term translated in Romans 1 as ‘lust’ is epiqumia in Greek. It means desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust.

It is even the mere desire for same gender sex that is wrong in God’s eyes.

Paul said we must turn away from wickedness if we confess Christ as Lord:

2 Timothy 2:19

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.

Paul also said God will punish men for sin.

1 Thes 4:3-8

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

It does not matter how you feel about it. It does not matter how you justify it. God said if you do not change and turn to God, then you are not saved. If you claim you have repented and turned to God, then you need to live like it.

Advertisements

Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

When You Put God To The Test You Get More Than You Bargained For!

Posted by Job on January 27, 2010

Sometimes, we try to put conditions on God. Or sometimes, we try to get God to prove Himself to us. We try to establish parameters or ground rules concerning our relationship with God. Or, we simply try to bargain with Him. We say to ourselves (or others) things like “God, give me a sign.” “God, if this happens then I know that it means that you want me to do that.” “God, if you do this for me, I will follow you.” Attempts to bribe God, manipulate God, make God our debtor or servant, even attempts to figure God out are common for many Christians. This behavior is very understandable. Often it is the result of confusion, frustration, fear or uncertainty, for instance. But in many cases, it is simply an attempt to deal with God in the same less than ideal way – i.e. manipulative, controlling, fearful – way that we deal with people, including ourselves. We are accustomed to using people. We are accustomed to being used by people. We do things this way to get what we want and to protect ourselves, and we may even tell ourselves that having interactions of this sort is a check on our own behavior, a way to keep US from exploiting others! Conducting relationships as business transactions is common to human behavior, and it is to the detriment of many husband-wife, child-parent, employer-employee, friendship and even church relationships.

Now not only are we generally not supposed to treat people that way, but we absolutely should not attempt this behavior with God. God is not human like us. Instead, God is sovereign. Attempting to either lower God or elevate ourselves to the point where we can deal with Him as if we and He are equals is sin. It ignores the fact that God is all-powerful, unique and Creator. It denies the fact that, as the Psalms say, we are the mere sheep of His pasture. It rejects the truth that God owns us, has complete and unchallenged control over our destinies, and pretends as if we are God’s business partners.

By treating God as a business partner, we give ourselves the delusion that we have a fallback option, or a safe way out. This way, we do not have to come to complete trusting faith and total reliance on God to meet our every need, or for God to be the One to determine what our needs are, the One who defines the difference between a need and a want for instance. We think that so long as we can ask for signs or set conditions, that if the sign does not come or the condition is not met, then we have the ability to walk away from the whole deal. In this way, instead of completely surrendering to God through faith and submission, we retain some control. We retain some influence. We retain some PRIDE. Or at least wo we think.

This is not to say that if we don’t like the conditions or if we think that the conditions change, we turn aside from Christianity. Oh no! Instead, if we don’t receive the sign or if the condition is not met, then we tell ourselves “it wasn’t God’s will.” If God does not respond in the way that we want Him to, we then take it upon ourselves to decide for ourselves what God’s will is. By this, we stop practicing Christianity, which is a faith of revelation  (God’s gracious self disclosure of His existence, will and nature to us) and start practicing divination. Now with revelation, we get a picture of God that is accurate, the one that He wants us to have. But with divination, a false religious practice, we get a picture that is false, the picture that WE want to have or see, and not surrisingly it looks a lot like us! By setting a bunch of conditions and believing in and serving God, the result is serving ourselves.

Now a lot of us may use some Bible examples to justify the practices of setting conditions or asking for signs, such as Gideon and the fleece, Jepthath’s vow to make a sacrifice if he received victory in battle, or Jacob’s promise to serve God after he had his “Jacob’s ladder” dream. Well, just because a Bible character, even a Godly one, does something doesn’t make it OK. Witness Peter denying Jesus Christ or David’s incident with Uriah and Bathsheba. First, note that Gideon, Jacob and Jepthath acted before the giving of the law of Moses. More on that later. Next, note that all three had a tenuous, uncertain knowledge of or relationship with God at that  point in their lives. Gideon and Jepthath were acting in the dark period of Israel during the time of the Judges, and Jacob was still a wheeling dealing conniver who was out only for himself. So, their actions reflected a lack of a knowledge of God’s requirements and character on their part, not the appropriate way for dealing with God, and God in His mercy and grace forgave them. However, the negative consequences of this type of behavior and of not knowing God’s nature or having a relationship with Him were still in view in the lives of these men, with the primary example being Jepthath’s offering his daughter as a human sacrifice.

The thing to remember is that when we try to set our own little rules or conditions for how we deal with God, we violate a direct commandment of scripture, which is Deuteronomy 6:16’s “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.” Massah was a reference to how the children of Israel made continual demands of God in the wilderness to prove His power, faithfulness and goodness to them. By continually demanding through Moses that God provide them with food, meat, water and other things when they wanted them, it was not so much that they were challenging God’s power, God’s ability to lead and deliver them, even though they certainly were doing so. Instead, they were challenging God’s sovereignty. They were putting their own collective self-will up against the will of God, and insisting that God had no right to behave towards them as they pleased. Instead of submitting to the reality that they were God’s people and that they were to serve Him, Israel insisted that God serve them instead. This is a classic mindset of the false pagan and animistic religions of the time and place that Israel was living in. God was calling Israel out of that false religious mindset, out of the world (the term “ekklesia” which implies a group that is called out or set apart from the rest and was in the New Testament translated to be “church” was also applied to Israel), and commanding them to respond to the true and living God, but Israel’s uncircumcised, unredeemed and faithless hearts refused to do so. It got to the point where the Israelites actually complained about the lack of variety in their diet, as if the wilderness was some all you can eat buffet and God was their busboy and short order cook! As a result of their refusal to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and their status before God, that entire generation save Joshua and Caleb perished, sometimes in the most horrible of manners, without ever setting foot in the Promised Land.

We probably know Deuteronomy 6:16 better from the lips of Jesus Christ, as He quoted it to rebuke Satan in response to Satan’s temptations of Christ in the wilderness. Another way of rendering this passage can be (and I am borrowing this from the movie “The Miracle Maker”) is “you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Yet that is precisely what was done to Jesus Christ over and over again by the Pharisees, Saduccees, scribes, those who saw Jesus Christ, saw or heard of His mighty deeds but refused to acknowledge who He was. They kept trying to trick Him with questions, such as when the Sadducees’ questions about the resurrection. They tried to entrap Him with devices, such as the woman caught in adultery and whether to pay taxes to Caesar (attempts to place Him in no-win situations). And they asked Him to perform signs and miracles. It was not because they doubted His righteousness, because no one had observed or heard of His sinning. It was not because they doubted His wisdom and knowledge, for they had heard His teachings. And it was not because they doubted His ability to perform signs and miracles, because they had seen Him do so.

But the issue was that Jesus Christ did all those things on his own volition. He did it in His own Name for the Will of God the Father. In doing so, Jesus Christ was giving a revelation of Himself and of God the Father. However, these people were not interested in a revelation of Jesus Christ. They were not interested in a revelation of Jesus Christ. Instead, they wanted Jesus Christ to do THEIR bidding, NOT God’s Will. They wanted Jesus Christ to perform FOR THEM, and if He met THEIR CONDITIONS, then they would believe. If Jesus Christ met THEIR expectations, satisfied THEIR demands, fulfilled THEIR curiosities, catered to THEIR PRIDE AND EGO, THEN they would believe. Why? Because they were interested in serving themselves and their own ideas and lusts and not God. They did not want a revelation of God. They wanted Jesus Christ to reveal THEMSELVES, or a false god that believed like themselves and had their same desires, aspirations, prides, unclean thoughts and sins. In other words, they wanted an idol, an image of themselves to worship in the place of God. Why? Because the true God gives you want God wants you to have according to His sovereign will. A false god, an idol, gives you what you want.

So the people tempting Jesus Christ in this fashion were literally an example of Paul was describing in Romans 1:21-25. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

These people literally knew God. They saw Jesus Christ, the Word of God in the Trinity, face to face. Further, to see Jesus Christ was to see God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ (and of the Father)! So those who heard, saw and touched Jesus Christ KNEW GOD! But they did not believe. They did not trust. They did not obey. They KNEW GOD but like the children of Israel in the desert, they did not have saving faith in Him. So they rejected Him because He would not bow to them, worship them, and give them the desires of their idolatrous hearts. Please recall that Satan asked Jesus Christ to bow and worship Him in the wilderness. Realize that the tempters of Jesus Christ were asking the very same thing. Give US a sign. Show US a miracle. Get down off the cross. Do what WE want you to do, THEN we will believe you and follow you. In doing so, they reject the truth, which is that we are but the sheep of God’s pasture (Psalm 100:3), and concoct this insane delusion that to serve God is to do God a FAVOR! These people felt that they would be doing Jesus Christ A FAVOR by believing in Him and following them! The One holy sovereign God, creator, ruler, master and sustainer of the universe! They believed that it would have been a privilege FOR JESUS CHRIST for them to believe and follow HIM!

Why? Well, because they were so special. They were the sons of Abraham, the people of the kings and prophets to whom the oracles of God were given. Well, when we act the same way as they did by believing that merely because we are Christians, God is obligated to lead us, guide us, or treat us in a certain way and if He doesn’t, well then we will just take our toys and go home, or go wherever we think that some “sign” is telling us to go! But do not be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever we sow, we will reap (Galatians 6:7). If we keep playing with God as if He is a toy or some other thing of amusement to be trifled with, we will get more than what we bargained for.

Consider Matthew 22:41-45. “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, [The Son] of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” They were asking Jesus Christ to tell them, to prove to them who He was. Well Jesus Christ did it. “If David called the Christ Lord, then how is Christ David’s son!” That was all the information that they needed to be saved right there. But because they received this information by way of mocking, tempting and testing Jesus Christ, they weren’t ready for it! Instead of falling down and worshiping Jesus Christ and becoming His disciples, what was their response? “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any [man] from that day forth ask him any more [questions].” Silence. God is not mocked. By provoking Jesus Christ, they received more than what they bargained for, and because they were faithless and not ready to receive the response, they only wound up reaping still more condemnation on their heads.

So please, do not build your Christian life on tests, conditions, vows, oaths, pledges, “earning points”, works or signs with God. That is treating God as if He is a merchant, a business partner that you can conduct mutually beneficial transactions with. If the transaction is mutually beneficial, then what is the role of unearned loving grace? More to the point, when Jesus Christ went to the cross to pay the debt for sins that He never committed, was that a transaction that conferrred mutual benefits on Jesus Christ and the sinner? God forbid! Instead the cross was entirely of grace done entirely and only for the sinner’s benefit. If the relationship with Jesus Christ began with grace on the cross, it cannot go to being a religious or business transaction, whether of works or of conditions. Instead, it begins with grace and remains of grace forevermore!

For we are not God’s equals. God is not lucky or fortunate to have our belief and service. Further, basing things on conditions is not faith. Instead of following God by faith, it is taking one step, testing it out AND IF YOU FIND IT AGREEABLE TO YOU taking another. That is like Peter when he attempted to walk on water. He took a few steps, got a little scared, got a little wet, and began to sink. Peter’s ability to walk on water was not based on his total belief, trust and obedience to Jesus Christ, but instead based on doing so under conditions where he felt safe and secure, that he wouldn’t be hurt. Jesus Christ said walk to me, and were Peter walking by actual faith, which is belief and trust that leads to obedience, he would have just kept walking no matter what happened. But since he was only willing to walk so long as he felt good about it, what happened? Simple: HE SANK. He was in the presence of God Himself and still sank!

Our relationship with God is to be one of trust, submission and obedience. Anything less is not truly a relationship with God, but rather an idolatrous affair with our own wicked hearts.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

Posted in Bible, Christianity, devotional, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Has America Lost Its Soul?

Posted by Job on April 5, 2009

MSNBC.com asks Has America become numb to tragedy?. (And this article actually only focuses on gun crimes, so it leaves out things like a brother stabbing his two sisters to death.) Well, I say turn to Matthew 24, the prophecy of the last days of Jesus Christ, and pay attention to verse 12: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. That means that as the time of the return of Jesus Christ draws nearer, the sinful conditions of the world is going to become so pronounced that people will simply not care about even heinous crimes committed against large numbers of innocent people on a routine basis.

I suppose now would be a good time to run through the usual laundry list of social and cultural ills: economic problems, political and corporate corruption, capricious wars, disrespect of parents and authority, rampant fornication and homosexuality, violence in the media, and abortion. And yes, I am certain that dark powers, evil spirits, are afoot. But the root cause of this is a church in America that no longer stands for the Jesus Christ of the Bible.  

This is not a problem of a lack of values. It is a lack of the gospel being preached, and the gospel being lived by so many of the professed Christians in this country. Refer to the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:13: 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.

Now is not the time to point the finger at the other guy. No talking about the problems with this pastor over here or the doctrinal problems of this movement over there. No, this starts with the man in the mirror. Point the finger at yourself. How does YOUR life measure up against the standards of holy living set forth in the Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 15, the book of Ephesians, and elsewhere in scripture? I am not talking about religious standards or cultural/moral standards, but the actual requirements of scripture.

It measures up pretty well? OK, if you say so, fine. That is between you and God, and He will be the judge of that. But that’s you. What about everyone else? When was the last time you told someone else about Jesus Christ? I have to say that if I look at you as a number and judge you based on statistics, chances are it has been quite awhile, because studies show that over 95% of “evangelical Christians” never actually evangelize anybody. Based on Barna, Pew, and the other folks who put out these studies on religious behaviors and attitudes, 9 out of 10 Christians don’t even tell their friends, neighbors, and coworkers about Jesus Christ, let alone go door to door or stand out on street corners handing out tracts.

This is no surprise.  97% of Christians, including evangelicals, don’t even regularly serve in their local congregations. In virtually every church in America, no matter how large or small, the work is done by 3% to 10% of the congregation. The teaching, preaching, worship, administration, edification etc. is done by those few. The rest just show up as if they are going to a movie, baseball game, or super market or something. Now much attention is given to the crisis that the vast majority of children raised in evangelical Christian homes leave those churches never to return once they reach adulthood and leave these homes, but since 90% to 97% of the people in these homes never brings the gospel of Jesus Christ to sinners and never even serves their fellow believers in their local fellowship halls, were the homes that these children are leaving ever Christian to begin with? How can you lose something that you never had? How you leave something behind that you were never actually in to begin with?

Oh, you might take your kids to church every Sunday, buy them the merchandise from the Christian bookstores, send them to the camps and trips, get them the purity rings and have them sign the pledges, but if you aren’t spreading the gospel or serving in your local congregation, what evidence is there that you are really in the faith, and therefore have a Christian home for your child to leave? This isn’t about your culture and values, this is about your standing before a holy righteous God that demands obedience to the plan of salvation and the plan for worship and living that He left recorded in the Bible! When James wrote not once but three times (James 2:17James 2:20James 2:26) who do you think that he was talking to? Atheists? Mormons? Muslims? Hindus? Jehovah’s Witnesses? Jews? No … James wasn’t talking to THEM. He was talking to ME.

That’s right. I didn’t say YOU. I said ME. Why? Because as I said earlier, this isn’t about talking about the speck in the other guy’s eye. It is about the log in the eye of the guy looking at YOU in the MIRROR. If 90%, 95%, 97% or what have you depending on the survey do not share the gospel and do not serve in their local churches, why do we expect anything else but a nation filled with perversion, hate and violence? Who do you expect the blame to fall on? Sinners? Come on! How else do you expect them to act? They’re sinners and they are going to sin! The sinners are not the salt of the earth, the ones who have the light of Jesus Christ that is supposed to shine and overcome the darkness. That is the job of Christians! That is the job of ME!

The blame is on Christians. It is the Christians that are supposed to be out there turning the other cheek, helping the poor, taking care of the orphans, showing mercy to prostitutes and adulterous women (well if we care so much about abortion, who do you think is getting them?), befriending tax collectors, visiting the prisoners and all the things that Jesus Christ did and commanded. Those are the sick people that need a doctor, remember? It is Christians that are supposed to go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is Christians who are supposed to know better because of Jesus Christ and are supposed to be empowered to do better because of the Holy Spirit and supposed to want to do better because of a burning zeal to glorify God the Father. It is Christians that are supposed to be rising early, staying up late, and getting up in the middle of the night praying, fasting, interceding so that this cloud of evil, violence, and wickedness passes from this land. 

Christians need to get reacquainted with the Apocalypse of John, better known as the Book of Revelation. That book is all about judgment, the wrath of God that falls upon the hard hearted, the stiff – necked, the proud, and the disobedient. And guess what? This judgment doesn’t start with the world, the sinners. No, this judgment starts in the church. So many of us like to read Revelation 1 about the glorious awesome Jesus Christ, skip on over to Revelation 4 and thereafter where it begins to talk about how the wicked rulers, nations, and people of the world are going to be judged, and in the process completely ignore Revelation 2 and 3, as if that isn’t talking about US.

It is US, people in the church, that Jesus Christ tells “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” It is US that Jesus Christ warns “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” It is US that Jesus Christ warns “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” It is US that Jesus Christ warns “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” It is US that Jesus Christ warns “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: 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

All those warnings of judgment. All of those calls to repent. Not a single one was directed towards the world. ALL were directed towards the church. You know what else is traditionally regarded as being aimed at the world that is actually towards the church? The famous Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” That is taken to be a classic evangelism verse. Why? Because it is out of context. Jesus Christ wasn’t addressing sinners ignorant of His gospel at any point in Revelation 2 and 3. That entire section is directed towards those who know the gospel and are in the church. The reference to Jesus Christ standing at the door and knocking wanting to enter someone’s heart is not a reference to His wanting to save a sinner. No, it is His commanding a member of the church to meet His requirements of obedience. Jesus Christ references the heart, which indicates love. Jesus Christ wants the Christian church to love Him. And how does one love Jesus Christ? The answer: John 14:15. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” 

So in the actual meaning, the true context of Revelation 3:20, Jesus Christ IS NOT knocking at the door of the heart of some lost sinner asking to be let in so that He can save Him. No, Jesus Christ is standing at the door of the 90+% of Christians who never share the gospel, the 90+% of Christians who never serve in their local churches, the percentage of Christians who do not heed His instructions in the gospels and Revelation, who do not heed the instructions of Paul, Peter, James, John, the unknown writer of Hebrews etc. in the epistles by obeying His Word. Jesus Christ is talking to the foolish Christians who do not build their houses on the rock because they hear Jesus Christ’s words and do not obey them, Matthew 7:23-27! It is the Christians that obey the commandments of Jesus Christ that Jesus Christ will enter in and have dinner with. It is those Christians who will endure to the end and attend the marriage supper of the Lamb, counted among those considered the bride of Jesus Christ and the body of Jesus Christ, adopted into God’s sonship through Jesus Christ. And it is only obedient Christians that are capable of effectively standing against the wickedness that has gripped America and the world at this present evil hour. 

So, professing Christian, I ask of you right now, take a look at yourself in the mirror. Are you an obedient Christian? Has your salt lost its savor? Is your light hid under a bushel? Is Jesus Christ standing at your door knocking? You are known by the fruit that you bear (Matthew 7:16Matthew 7:20Matthew 12:33Luke 6:44). Christian, now it is judgment time, time for you to test and try yourself as the Bible commands you (2 Corinthians 13:5). Here’s the test: look at yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself: “Where is my fruit, and what kind of fruit is it?”

Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Christians Must Walk In Obedience In Order To Serve God

Posted by Job on June 8, 2008

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can Women Serve As Pastors?

Posted by Job on March 15, 2008

Why Women Cannot Be Preachers

Juanita Bynum, Paula White, Medina Pullings, etc. fans take note.

Posted in Bible, Christianity, feminism, women preachers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 76 Comments »

Do We Wait On God? Or Does God Wait On Us?

Posted by Job on November 8, 2007

While driving around, I heard this female prosperity preacher on the radio talking about people that had been tithing and giving their offerings but had not received their blessing yet. She attributed the reason for people not having received their blessing was the congregation suffering sinners and unbelievers among its midst, and that congregations needed to purify themselves of the contamination. She, as is typical of such preachers, referred to Old Testament examples, most specifically Ezra’s command for Israel to cease intermarrying with the pagan people. Thus, she allegorized the Israelites defiling their elected and set apart nation by intermarrying with pagans to the church defiling itself by refusing enforce church discipline. Thus, just as God withheld blessings from Old Testament Israel for their rejection of purity, God is withholding blessings from the church for the same reason.

It is a terrible shame that this woman’s obvious talent for preaching and the forum that had been afforded to her by the privilege and blessing to be able to reach people on the radio was wasted on this grotesquely perverted prosperity doctrine which teaches that God rewards the obedience of the Christian church with health and wealth. However, listening to her was more preferable to listening to national right wing radio talk show host Michael Gallagher (Gallagher the comedian is much more entertaining and less dangerous to your having a healthy state of mind) rant on about how some University of Maine professor who offered extra credit to any of his students that would burn an American flag or copy of the United States Constitution should be fired.

What is worse? What is more dangerous? The coercive idolatry of the conservative movement or the false doctrine of the prosperity teachers? Whatever the answer, it just so happened that my mood at that particular time was more conducive to suffering the latter than the former. And as it happens, the false teacher DID raise a sort of a theological dilemma for me. Does a sovereign omniscient timeless (meaning transcending and existing outside of time) God wait on man? And does man wait on God?

I say that the answer to the former is unknowable. Therefore, contemplating such would be precisely the sort of fruitless speculation that distracts us from more productive pursuits that the Bible warns us against. So we have to deal with the latter: does man wait on God? My answer at this time is yes and no, though not an equivocation. To deal with the yes first: we are awaiting the imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, right? That part, at least, is obvious in terms of scripture, doctrine, and practical Christian living.

And that actually leads into the “no” portion. Acts 1:10 -11And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Instead of going after doctrines that tell you that you should do this thing or that thing expecting something from the Lord, we are to heed to exhortation given by the church to those angels: to go!

And where is it that we should go? Wherever there are hungry people needing to be fed. Wherever there are naked people needing to be clothed. Wherever there are sick people needing to be tended to. Wherever there are broken hearted people needing to be comforted. Wherever there are poor and oppressed people that need advocacy. Wherever there are homeless people that need shelter. Wherever there are orphans that need adoption. Wherever there are those in prison that need forgiveness. Wherever there are desperate, lonely, hurting, troubled people out there – and we know that there are plenty of those – that is where Christians should be with our presence, our efforts, and our gospel of Jesus Christ that is not only preached with our words but evident through our actions.

And realize this: we do not have to wait on God or anything from Him in order to do these things. We do not need the permission or guidance of a pastor, membership or position church, or “a word or revelation from the Lord” through a prophet. Why? Because the commandments to do these things are written in God’s Word. Jesus Christ told us to do these things Himself. As such, we know that it is God’s Will for us to do these things, and we also know that as it is God’s Will for us to do these things, He has provided us with everything that we need to obey Him in these matters. It is not a matter of resources, for doing a great many of these things do not require great means or know how.

It is not a matter of faith, for we were all born with a measure of faith, and those of us that are born again have the Holy Spirit to embolden and empower us to do what God would have us to do. So the only thing lacking, then, is our obedience, which may be the result of a tainted mindset that results in our refusal to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). And that is actually where the prosperity preacher referenced above was actually correct … the importance of refraining from spiritual adultery, defilement, and crossbreeding. The mind is a terrible thing to either waste or trash, people, and if you put garbage into it you will get garbage out of it!

The ultimate point is this: while beliefs are important, works are important as well. Instead of waiting on God to justify our faith with material blessings, signs, and wonders that are the meat of the spiritually weak and immature, we should heed the words of James 2:17-18Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” Even regarding Christians with whom we might disagree with upon occasion concerning doctrines, we can know one another by other by our works and have unity and brotherhood by our shared delighting and giving thanks unto God for such works and His Will being done and His Resurrection and Life being made known to the Body of Christ and to the world through them.

Claiming that such is not a fair test is untrue, because Jesus Christ imposes the same test. Quoting Matthew 25:32-43: “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.”

So if you are not doing the things that Jesus Christ told you to do, you are living in sin, walking in disobedience. How can anyone deny this to be so? And no, despite what certain false teachers mislead you into believing, writing checks to a ministry is not works. You do not feed the hungry, heal the sick, help the poor, and fulfill the great commission by joining some “covenant partner friends seed club.” Do not mistake me, supporting legitimate ministries financially is outstanding and should be done generously, and giving is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is just that underwriting the good works of others is no substitute for doing your own works. Lydia of Acts, a woman of great means, did not merely underwrite the spread of the gospel, but opened her home to the believers. So these misleading ministries that lure and teach Christians into disobedience by thinking that they can avoid the challenging aspects of Christianity by writing checks are not worthy of support. I will give you a couple of names that come to the top of my head that engage in this deceptive tactic: Pat Robertson and Jesse DuPlantis. But there are others.

There are also some doctrines that purport to say that you need to be “spiritually ready” or “spiritually prepared” to do such activities, or that you need some sort of training. Some others claim that we need some special call from the Lord to do these things. Where does that appear in the Bible? I have not seen it. Claiming that you must wait on God to raise you up to do these things implies that the people that are doing them already have been prepared or raised up by God, and as such are somehow more dedicated, righteous, knowledgeable, holy, etc. than the mere Christian rabble. Evil lies such as this only serve to create hierarchical divisions within the Body of Christ, inflate certain personalities, and turn what should be humble service unto God into things that the self – seeking abuse for power, prestige, and other earthly rewards for themselves.

So instead of following some doctrine that teaches you that you have to wait on God or that God has to wait on you for some material wealth, gift of the Holy Spirit, or other thing not yet realized, go about and do that which God has already commanded you to do in His Word and equipped you to do with His Holy Spirit.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

From Apologetics.com: The Will of God – What God Wants

Posted by Job on October 22, 2007

To download: TheWillofGod-WhatGodWants.mp3

Posted in Christianity, devotional | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: