Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Enemy of Jesus

The answer to  “Who is my neighbor?”  was answered and expanded by Jesus Christ in the  parable of the “Good Samaritan” in  Luke 10:25-37. We were taught as Christians to love and have concern for every tribe and ethnic group.  Now with our country's races and ethnic groups are at odds with and terrorist are threatening us at home and abroad; Christians can rightfully ask “Who is our enemy?”  Jesus has answered that through his Word also. 

Jesus came to seek and save the lost.  His mission was to destroy the power of the enemy and the curse of sin and death the enemy tainted is with.   Talking to His own tribe, the Jews, he spoke plainly to His people when they fallowed unknowingly the evil one and not the Heavenly Father. “John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (NIV)

So we understand we are following a murderer when we do not follow the Lord.  This evil father even has a language – lies.
And today you hear religion starts most all wars. (This has been statistically proven as false.)  Jesus Christ refuted assigning evil to God in his time on earth. Mark 3:23-24New International Version (NIV)23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

How come we have no power over evil today?  Believers in Christ used to have power or demons.      “Luke 10:17-20New International Version  17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Does God have a plan still to deal with evil even if the church has lost its way? Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

The old hymn “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild” though describes how he is forever though, right? Wrong “Luke 22:14-16New International Version  14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus the warrior destroyed sin, death and the power of hell forever.

So is Jesus saying specific groups are our enemy?  They can side with the enemy but the answer is no. His Word tells us who the enemy is.  “Ephesians 6:12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Only one side wins as written in the final chapter of The Book.  Why are we not evangelizing?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Revival Needed: liberals don’t trust it it, conservatives have misused it, and rarely have I seen

A church word for sure, word especially in the South, is REVIVAL.  I do not know if we really know by experience what it really is. Great Awakening turned the church members repent, the Wesleyan revival changed Great Britain, the 2nd Great Awakening gave many evangelistic fervor to spread Christianity, the Welsh revival changed daily life and spread to other countries.

Using hyperbole - America evangelicals view a successful revival through this type of event.  A meeting was planned for Sunday night through Thursday (the weekends are too precious to waste time hearing a gospel message), 1,000 people attend, 500 cards were filled out about decisions for life change, next everyone went home.  What if anything changed in their life?  Welcome to powerless Christianity in America.  This is why liberal Christians disdain revivals and conservatives wear themselves out with no change in a souls destination and society’s behavior.  The Wesleyan Revival had pub owners closing shop.  The Welsh Revival unemployed hookers and reunited families.  Today we do not even know if people that make decisions at a rally or revival service will attend church the following week.

Is there a biblical model for revival?  Repentance and being called from death to life addressed to God’s people – the church.

Baptist evangelist John R. Rice wrote (1895-1980) a book “We Can Have Revival Now”.  In chapter 5 he listed unbelievable revivals from the Bible.
#1. God Could Have a Revival in Decadent, Idolatrous Israel at Mount Carmel
#2. God Could Have a Revival Even in Violent, Heathen, Fish-Worshipping Nineveh
#3. Christ Could Have a Revival in Half-Breed, Prejudiced Samaria
#4. God Could Give a Revival in the Hardest City in the World, Jerusalem, Fifty Days After the Crucifixion!  #RedClayPreacher

So does God want us to lead souls to Christ? Yes.
Again where do we start? The Church!
1 Peter 4:17 (NKJV) For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Then what? I thought the church was supposed to be God’s instrument, part of the Kingdom, be The Family, to be The Bride of Christ.
He died for his bride. She is to be in worship, disciple the church for ministry to her people and missions to the lost, and she is to participate in the evangelism of the world.

Once I helped with a evangelical Christian sports camp.  The evangelist the last evening was fiery and motivating.  A whole wrestling team from a large high school from South Georgia raised their hands and later walked to the stage and were tallied as converts.  Someone gushed, “Have you ever seen such a move of The Spirit?”  Someone else said no but we will see one if all these testosterone driven men follow Christ. I never will believe that if 20 plus viral young men were really saved – their school would be changed. We never heard any good words coming back from that school with a change for good due to “decisions”. These young men did not know what they were deciding for.  Belief in Christ, repentance, confession that Jesus is Lord, and a committal to Baptism were not there.

Is revival real? Yes.
Has it been faked? Yes.
Does God want to save the people, all the people, He created? Yes.

Acts 3:19-21New Living Translation (NLT)

19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. 21 For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.

Our darkest hour in memory could be gloriously changed.  Or, it can get worse.

Friday, July 8, 2016

#TheBloodOfJesusMatters – we need to drink

This has to be one of the most horrible times ever for our nation’s unity.   Citizens are murdered, police are murdered. Perhaps never has there been so much trashing of others political leanings before our near presidential party conventions.  Problems of my youth concerning race, and civil rights seem to all be unresolved as if unity has never and can never happen.   The mantra of the nation seems to be “I am not heard, no one knows how I feel or my people’s pain”.  Any expression of any view is shouted down.  In the sixties there was an uprising in new voices being heard.  Now shouting down and violence is the answer when “They” – meaning any other group express themselves. Others demand "they" be silenced.

We can doom ourselves in being more of the victim than the other group.  I heard of a high school football team that was fragmented.  They snuck out and partied together.  That supposedly fixed the problem. But of course that was temporary as it’s just a game.  Defeat will affect every team.  But this is no game.  Our future generations depend on how men will act today.  As antiquated as this seems men lead families.  Yes, our families are decimated due to lack of men leading their family.  No alcohol, drug or political party or philosophy will make a forever change.                                                           Is it hopeless?     Yes it is. 

Where is the hope then? Red eyes are in every group.  Nobody understands us and our situation?  Yes there is one – Jesus Christ.  Give him your pain, grief and sin. He does know your pain.  “2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus was nailed to the cross to pay everyone’s sin debt. The answer is at the communion table found in every part of the country.  The problem is we are lacking men leading their people to  life.   There is a drink there that all need.  “Matthew 26:28 (NKJV) For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Assurance Crisis: help my re-dedicater broke off and don’t work right now!

QUESTION:  I asked Jesus into my heart but recently have been living wrong. I have fallen back into my old sins.  I have rededicated my life several times at the altar call at the end of services.  How can I have ASSURANCE of salvation? (This is a composite question heard by fellow ministers and myself on a regular basis.)
Specifically, what does it really mean to have ASSURANCE of salvation through Jesus Christ?

As a homeless shelter pastor I am concerned about the word rededication. This is heard in almost all church environments I have been around.  As I heard a pastor say in frustration  once "You can re-dedicate until your re-dedicater falls off.”  Rededication often happens when we look to the wrong place for ASSURANCE – our hearts- not Jesus and His finished work.  Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
The person wanting to be “re-dedicated” often doubts their salvation despite

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fathers Day - Celebrate Champion Fathers 2016

G.H. "Dick" Law, George Law, J.B. Johnson -Champions provide for their families

Father Fletcher Law, son Graham Law, Grandfather George Law got to celebrate a state championship together

We are approaching Father’s Day.
Mother’s Day is almost a sacred day in the church calendar.   People wax poetic for Mother’s Day.
People are quick to point out the sorry Fathers on Father’s Day.

This blog is about GOOD FATHERS.
George Law my champion
Other blogs will talk about the dreadful state of father’s.  I am sympathetic to that.  Today only about 30% of school kid’s live with both parents.  Many children we find are by necessity being raised by grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts uncles or friends.  These children might not have the  ideal family situation but they have people pulling and supporting them, thank the Lord, anyway. Many times kids children with poor home lives today do not even have a good model family with a father in the neighborhood to observe.

Once at a conference about youth I heard speaker say deridingly that a neighborhood of traditional intact families was a myth “There is no such thing as a ‘Leave It To Beaver’ family-never was. That is a myth. Nobody had that!”
My friend (Cason Farr) from childhood, church, school and high school football team whispered out loud “We did”.  And my friend was right.

We had great families and it was not by accident, luck, societal standing or ethnic group.
We had “Champions”.
What is a champion?  Isn't this a sports metaphor? No it’s biblical.
champions have a heart to compete
And as I said when I preached my Father’s funeral my family had one - a great champion - our father George Law.
What is a champion in biblical talk?
A champion represents, protects, provides and leads a people in the way they should go.  Yes there are good and bad champions.  
My adult son’s favorite childhood bed-time story was David and Goliath.
Goliath the giant Philistine was the champion for evil.
David the very young man (probably in his early teens)
was the champion for God’s people of Israel.
Worlds collided.  You know the story.
The giant Goliath was slain by a slingshot and beheaded by the small youth who had no chance.
No, the youth David was not helped by The Almighty because of the misguided notion that “God helps those who help themselves”.
The greater champion was David’s champion who delivered the victory for young David.
The champion David was a man “a man after the Lord’s own heart” as we read about the David and the Lord's relationship                   in Acts 13:22.
This boy man David was a champion because  he knew to serve the God of Israel.  Was David flawed? Sure he was.  But as the old time Methodist evangelist Sam P. Jones said “David was a great sinner, but he was a first-class repenter.”
David knew there there was a God in Israel and trusted and followed Him.
If you will read Psalm 51 David knew he had a Redeemer-Savior.
David’s champion was the Lord and a trust in a coming Messiah.

At a Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s meeting I once heard the University of Georgia football strength coach Dave Van Halanger talk about his young son’s anxiety in hearing the often repeated command "to follow Jesus".  The boy asked his father with a worried face and tears how could he follow a Jesus he could not see as that was taught in Sunday School. 
Dave told him from the Good Book in 1 Corinthians 11:1(NIV)
"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
Dave then put it in other words to be understood by his troubled young son.
 “Son, you follow me, I’ll follow Jesus.”        

You have a champion no matter your gender, race, income or status.  We all have a champion who defeated death, hell and the grave for you.
His Name is Jesus Christ.
Lord send a revival now we plead.

Lift Jesus Up!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Death: The Last Enemy of Jesus Christ

Death must be the subject least talked about in American society.  Death is conversely the most thought about unspoken subject on our minds.  The Orlando mass murders made the nation’s soul gasp. Days before a young female celebrity was shot and killed while in a receiving line to meet fans. On our streets a mother and her children were killed as they merely turned into traffic. Loved ones with a cancer die in agony in the hospital. Over 800,000 babies per year have died as the result of abortion. War fatalities now and in the recent past affect our American society. How do we really think about death? This June there is a movie “Me Before You” that ends with encouraged suicide.   “Death was a blessing” is said at thousands of funerals where we really have tremendous doubt and uncertainty about the person’s eternal destiny.

What does The Lord through Scripture say about                                    the value of human life?
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

What does Jesus Christ think and will do about death? His Word calls Death His  LAST ENEMY & HE WILL DESTROY DEATH
1 Corinthians 15: 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

Why did death come into the world? Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

What did Christ do about death? He paid your penalty of sin with his death that atoned your sin on the cross.
John 3:16 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.

There is no redemption and eternal life in heaven with the human death of a person. There is salvation and heaven in the sin payment death of the God/man Jesus Christ.  

Why are we not sharing the Good News now! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Idols of our Minds

To see many Christians crawfish (backup) on certain biblical beliefs ask them if they believe in an actual and historical Adam, Noah, Moses, or Jonah.  You often can then step back and watch a mental banana split happen close up.  “Well it does not matter…, it’s the meaning…, it’s a faith story…, science …, in those times…, maybe sorta.”  I think another banana split is happening in their mind as the defense of biblical and gospel integrity is pulling against the defense of their most cherished idol. Their great idol has a little nymph  – their point of view which proceeds from their mega idol - their mind.   Many once great churches and seminaries have put in the museum the terms INERRANCY and INFALLIBILITY. And in their duty spot where these terms were once seated were left inadequate and misleading definitions of old pillars of the faith.  So we have people of the church who give up belief in Scripture over not being perceived as having a modern mind.
INERRANCY means simply in the original autographs that the message