Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What's Scary As Hell? - No Reformation


What's Scary As Hell? - No Reformation

Today October 31st is Reformation Day.
For kids its costumes, pumpkins and candy that dominate the day as most will just think of Halloween.
Adults will have parties with excessive drinking, skanky costumes and lots of jokes about evil because it’s only kid stuff.
American marketing has taken it to the top this year as Jim Beam is advertising its new Devil’s Cut bourbon, “It’s not for choir boys” says the commercial.
Lots of “evil” references are in the ads.
Hey, nobody ever suffered from too much fun have they?
Psychologists always have some articles about how mocking death and evil helps us get past horror.

But what about real hellish horror?
How about thinking you must depend depend on a Pope, clergy or a rich friend to to forgive your sins.
Your hope lies on a relative or friend who can pay your way out of hell or purgatory.
Real horror is having our access blocked to God by an intermediate party.
You are dead in your sins and another sinful person plays the controlling part in your salvation?
Here is the Good News-we have an excellent High Priest.
No one or can keep us or between us  and the only High Priest that can absolve our sins – Jesus Christ.
The Reformation did not start this idea – it made us remember Scripture.
John 14:6 “ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Many people think from high school that the Reformation was just about making allowance for Henry the XIII so he could get a divorce to marry someone else.
Martin Luther started the formal counter-attack on biblical salvation by nailing the 95 theses on the Wittenberg door in 1517 on All Hallows Eve.
Scores of other Reformer heroes made sure the world that no one can keep us from the love of God.
Going to a real hell with unpardonable sins is the real horror.
Thank you Lord for sending the Reformers.

Celebrate this-
We can know God and receive His forgiveness by
Sola Scriptura - Scripture Alone
Solus Christus - Christ Alone
Sola Gratia - Grace Alone
Sola Fide - Faith Alone
Soli Deo Gloria - The Glory of God Alone

To God be the Glory-
HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!

In Christ Alone!

Fletcher Law

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Discerning God's Will - Make Sure Your Translation Is Not From Late Night Pizza or Taco Bell


Discerning God's Will - Make Sure Your Translation Is Not From Late Night Pizza or Taco Bell



Question:
I heard a Christian say that he wasn't sure about the will of God to do something so he was going to take a “Walk of Faith”.

In my life there have been times that I wasn't sure about the “Will of God” in my life and I'd start the way I thought the Lord wanted me to go and as I started this travel, things would change for me and eventually I would know His will.
How do I know how to respond an go do God’s will?


                      MY ANSWER:
Abraham went out on faith do do God’s will
Hebrews 11:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
“8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Abraham also heard from the Lord on this and was following a command that had no spelled out 1-2-3 results to be accomplished.

In my own I have waited and God gave direction.
I have dashed ahead of the Lord and gotten into difficulties of time, accountability and money.
Sometimes the Lord says NO!
Acts 16:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
“6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.
You need to listen and discern.”

Discern through prayer, Scripture and the guidance of trusted Christian mentors.
Do not make decisions by emotion or someone else’s flippant philosophy.






Saturday, October 27, 2012

HOW TO HAVE YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED - OR NOT


SUNDAY NIGHT 10/28/12 “HOW TO HAVE YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED - OR NOT”

 Luke 18:9-14 (New King James Version)
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’
13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Q#1 Can you describe the “self-esteem” differences of the Pharisee and the tax collector? (Verses 11-13)
Q#2 When you come before your King how should you act ?
Q#3 Which man’s prayer was dishonored and which man’s prayer was dishonored?  Why?

 Mark 10:23-27 (New King James Version) AFTER THE RICH MAN SPURNS JESUS
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Q#4 Why is it hard for a rich man to be in God’s kingdom?
        The poor always seem to respond  “easier”.    

                     Q#5 In salvation what part does man play in relationship to the Lord and salvation?

        This is critical in understanding our role and the King’s.
        If you do not need saving or do not want to be saved you do not feel a need a Savior.

Q#6  How do we show a need for the Savior?

Q#7  Is the church successful in showing our need for the Savior?  Why or Why not?   
                   
                     Psalm 51:16-17New King James Version (NKJV)
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.  17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Question Answered: Church Hanky Panky, Victims and Loving Church Discipline


QUESTION RECEIVED (From outside the USA): 
Can a pastor of the (Church name and denomination withheld) dedicate an illegitimate child with
the parents married to others in the church? 
The father is a church leader, and the mother of the child is my cousin's wife.
What will be the stand of the church here?
Do I have the right to tell my cousin who is in another country?
The father of the child is our friend too. 
Please help me, the leaders told me that the girl will reveal the truth to her husband in the right time, and I made a vow since I am also a leader in my church in another country. 
I live in (another country) and my cousin in another.  
I am concerned about the pastor and leadership of this church and their response. 


MY ANSWER:
Question #1 "Can a pastor of the (Church name and denomination withheld) dedicate an illegitimate child with parents married to others in the church?" 

YES!  About the baby – love the baby and smother the babe with mercy and grace.  
The baby is as worthy as the child of any in church to receive the ministry and good traditions of the church.
New King James Version (NKJV)
“13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Q#2   “What will be the stand of the church here?”
CHURCH DISCIPLINE for the sake of God, the church, the mother, the father, the baby and the congregation. 
Matthew 18:15-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’
17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

Get the burden of sin off the sinners –in love-church discipline works.   Through church discipline you have as it says in verse 5 “gained your brother” (and or sister) If you do this out of love in God’s grace.  If not you leave sin and Satan in charge of the family. 


Question #3 “Do I have the right to tell my cousin who is in the (Another Country)?”
Only if you are a Christian and love them and apply discipline out of love for the sinner, victims and God.

Sexual sin outside of marriage leads to physical, mental and emotional disaster.
This is such a jumbled mess I cannot sort it out.
This is why we should use Biblical church discipline.
Hold the leaders of the church accountable.
In 2 Samuel 12 the prophet Nathan approached King David lovingly but firmly when David impregnated another man’s wife.   David was brought to repentance. 

Go and do likewise.
God will be glorified.
Sinners will repent, return and be unburdened of killing sin.
The church family only then can be put in order.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

PART 3- KING JESUS ANSWERS IMPOSSIBLE PRAYERS – DESPITE US! John 11:38-44


PART 3- KING JESUS ANSWERS IMPOSSIBLE PRAYERS – DESPITE US!

John 11:38-44  (NKJV)     Lazarus Raised from the Dead
38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.
                   
Q#1- In verse 38 Jesus is described as “again groaning in Himself”.
                            Why is He groaning again?

Q#2- A cave and a stone (verse 38) are mentioned. 
        What does that you remind you of? 

Q#3- In verse 39 Jesus gives a command to open the grave?
         Jesus deals with some nasty stuff in ministry.  Can you?
         Martha, the sister of   the dead man Lazarus, gives an
         objection and reason why Jesus should not do what He commands.
        Do you ever try to stop a work of the Savior in your life?
         
Q#4- In verse 40 Jesus says you can see what if you believe?

Q#5- In verses 41 and 42 Jesus prays for patience for people who doubt His work.
         Should we be discouraged if Jesus was slowed in ministry by His folks?

Q#5- In verse 43 Jesus commands the dead Lazarus by name to come to life from death.
          How does this compare to a conversion experiences?
          Have you been called forth to New Life?

Q#6- In verse #43, why did Jesus say Lazarus’ name?
          Augustine said King Jesus had to be specific or the whole world would have been resurrected.
          Do you believe Jesus has this power over sin, death and the grave? 

Q#7- In verse #44 Jesus tells the witnessing people “Loose him, and let him go.”
         The NIV translation reads "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."
         Have you been loosed?  Why or why not?  

Q#8- Are you saved and forgiven for your past sins and circumstances by Jesus Christ? 

Q#9- Why should you be racked with guilt if Jesus Christ, The Son of God, called you,
          paid to God the price  for your sins by His atoning death on the cross
            and released you and pardoned your sins by His death on the cross?

Q#10  Have you taken off your grave clothes and know you have put on the new life and
           are trusting in Jesus Christ to complete you? 
           If not why stops you besides you?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Question on Matthew 12:43-45 - Those Unclean Spirits Like To Party At Your House And Bring Friends


QUESTION RECEIVED:
What is the meaning behind Matthew, chapter 12, verses 43- 45?


MY ANSWER:

This is definitely a passage that makes you take notice for its unparalleled statement of unclean and wicked  spirits  by Jesus Christ.

Matthew 12:43-45 New King James Version (NKJV)
“43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

These verses(43-45)  are in isolation and stand alone and is not connected to the following or preceding verses.
After rereading this text and reading several respected teachers and commentaries here goes-
This is about Israel and Israel trying to live righteously without the Spirit of God.
When this is done all a man or nation has is a stiff rigidity that is lifeless.
Evil spirits will fill the void that the Holy Spirit should be filling.
When we have not the Holy Spirit sin multiplies in our heart.
The man is Israel.
This would also apply to men who try to be right with god by works.

Jesus Christ died for our sins as He paid our price for breaking God’s law.  
Christ received the wrath of God intended for those who break His law and repent of our sins and turn to Him. 
We receive when we repent of our sins and turn to Christ -
1. Salvation.
2. Peace with God
3. Citizenship in Heaven.
4.  We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of God.

We need to receive and do receive, the Holy Spirit after we sinners turn to God for salvation to retain true and not false righteousness imputed to us from the Father.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nitschke Over Nietzsche - Faith Is A Gift Not A Philosophy



                                                NITSCHKE OVER NIETZSCHE
                                                Faith Is A Gift Not A Philosophy


QUESTION RECEIVED:
" A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche. What's wrong with what he says?

MY ANSWER:
What’s wrong with Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote?
Everything.
He had no faith and hated the idea of it.
If your looking for answers-specifically how to find peace through God in Jesus Christ-Why would you look to a philosopher who promoted the idea of “the death of God”.
Why would you promote a man whose “uberman” or superman theory was derived from social Darwinism,  was adored by Adolf Hitler and used to  support “the ultimate solution” in systematically murdering  millions of Jews, people with physical or mental abnormalities, homosexuals and outspoken Christians who stood against this evil ethic.
He can be called the philosopher of the Third Reich.
Fredrick’s faith was in his wit.
He arrogantly refused to submit to that his mind  was inferior to the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

The date is unsure when Nietzsche said the quote in your question.
Perhaps his quote was said in the last years of his life when Nietzsche himself was committed to a “lunatic” asylum?
In the asylum he often made reference to himself as the crucified and risen Christ.
Of course many historians believe he contracted syphilis from a homosexual brothel so his mind was not right at the end.
My question is when was his mind right?
Why would anyone saddle up to follow his theories.
Why would anyone look to an enemy of Christ to find Christ?

No man’s wit, works or riches can pardon his sins,get him to Heaven or make peace with God.
Faith in Jesus saves us!
Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man, lived a perfect life-then he became the sinless sacrifice on the cross-He paid for the sins of all who would repent and believe-believers receive forgiveness, eternal life and peace with God.
In John 3 it says salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit who does as he pleases.
God had a plan in his Kingdom to save us.


John 3 also says-
John 3:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
“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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

The Word tells us how Jesus Christ saves us and keeps us.

Ephesians 1:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
"13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory."

The only good thing about Nietzsche is that he rocked a good mustache.
Green Bay Packer linebacker legend Ray Nitschke did more for humanity and will get you closer to Heaven then Fredrick Nietzsche.
Read the Word for the only way to Heaven is through the faith that some historic philosopher’s spurn.
Have faith in Jesus Christ a Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and coming King.
Faith is a gift from god-not a philosophy.

Romans 10:17 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Question about The Church of God, Cleveland Tennessee


QUESTION RECEIVED:
 I recently came in contact with Church of God. To my understanding they have their main office in Cleveland TN and that also claim to be the oldest Pentecostal church, predating Azusa revival .. Is this true and are they a biblical sound church?

MY ANSWER:

The Church of God is a well-respected Pentecostal denomination.
There is also a Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) that is a separate denomination in the Wesleyan-Holiness  tradition and it is non-Pentecostal. There is also a Church of God of Prophecy which is a splinter group from the Church of God - Cleveland, Tennessee over the issue of using modern medicine and in doing so negating faith in divine healing.  Now both agree on the use of modern medicine while still depending on God to heal.

Studying Church history I think they are the oldest Pentecostal denomination.
I am sure others also make that claim but they were entrenched in the Pentecostal revival of the early 1900’s.  They have a heritage in Wesleyan and Holiness background.  Also, a few Baptist pastors of the early 1900’s also had influence in their founding.

They trust strongly in the Word.
Only you through prayer and biblical discernment can decide if this is where you belong.

*** (Since you asked me.)
Two things I would not be comfortable with are —
1.)    They do not believe in the Eternal Security of the believer or “Once Saved Always Saved.”
2.)    To my best understanding and checking their beliefs again on their official website
They believe that when you are baptized with the Holy Spirit it is a second work after salvation and that speaking with tongues is an absolute sign in proving this.

Myself and many Christians believe you are sealed with the Spirit when you are saved.
It seems from their Declaration of Faith and Doctrinal Commitments, copied below from their official website that their use term of “cleansing” makes it confusing when they talk about salvation and justification.  Clearly they do not believe you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you if you do not speak in tongues.  You best understand and study their beliefs before you pledge membership.  

Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Eternal Security and views of tongues and the charismatic gifts are subjects I did not go into detail about since you asked about the church.
Christians in and outside if the church of God would and could support their views by Scripture.

My advice to you again is to pray,study and listen.

2 Timothy 2:15
King James Version (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.



                      FROM THE  CHURCH OF GOD WEBSITE
Church of God
Declaration of Faith
http://www.churchofgod.org/index.php/pages/declairation-of-faith
In the baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to a clean heart.
In speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.


The Church of God
Doctrinal Commitments Church of God

http://www.churchofgod.org/index.php/pages/doctrinal-commitments

Baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to cleansing; the enduement of power for service. Matthew 3:11; Luke 24:49, 53; Acts 1:4-8.
The speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance as the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost. John 15:26; Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:1-7.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Did God Bless Ishmael To create Islam?

QUESTION RECEIVED:

When God said He would bless and make a nation from Ishmael, does that mean that He could have given the angel Gabriel the instruction to visit Muhammad and create Islam?

MY ANSWER:

No, God did not create the false religion of Muhammad called Islam.
As you know God was to bless His people through the patriarch Abraham through his wife Sarah in having a son named Isaac.
This baby Isaac was to be born through the old couple who were way past the time of conception.
Sarah was 90 and Abraham was 100.
This was God’s plan to show His glory.
But no…, Sarah took matters into her hands over Almighty God.
She gave her maidservant to her husband to bear a son, to conceive the heir God had promised to Abraham and Sarah.
God is Sovereign.
God did not need Sarah’s help.
Sarah’s disobedience has caused many problems in humanity’s history.
Later when rebuked by the Lord, Abraham and Sarah did finally have Isaac.
God tolerated the lack of their faith in His permissive will and gave Ishmael a blessing.
Do not be confused between what God decreed and what He tolerates.
God decreed for them to have a son Isaac by the 90 year old wife and 100 year old father to show his provision.

Genesis 17:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
“19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes,”

God did right by Ishmael in His grace and mercy.
He provided a large inheritance and future generations through Ishmael.
God did not cause Ishmael and his people to sin and start false religions.
God did not 600 years after the life of Christ on Earth create a false contradictory religion that changed His eternal plan of salvation ordained from the beginning of time.
God did not use the angel Gabriel, who the Bible says who stands in the presence of God, to start a religion that corrupts the way of salvation and the role of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world.

In the Old Testament God also did not create the religion of Bael worshiper or any other false religion in the Old Testament.
God did not create Islam in the post New Testament era either.

God chose His people, the Jews, to bring forth His Son for the salvation of all people.
Jesus, described in the Bible as King of the Jews, lived a perfect life, died on the cross to pay for the unlawfulness (sin of all people) and forgive those who would repent and believe that Jesus is the Messiah (Savior).
So now all people can receive forgiveness of sins, citizenship in Heaven and Peace with God.
Jesus kept all of the law (Ten Commandments).
We cannot keep any of the law.
This made the divine Jesus a worthy sacrifice for our sins.
The prophets of the Old Testament foretold of the coming of Jesus Christ as Savior.
Jesus showed His worthiness by his death burial and resurrection.

The Bible does not allow for any of the corruption of its story by Islam 600 years after the life of Christ.
                  
2 Timothy 3:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
“16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The Bible strongly condemns anyone who corrupts its message.

Revelation 22:18-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
A Warning

“18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

You do not need to go down deep into the road of Islam to see it is false.
1.) Know Islam corrupts God’ reliable Word the Bible.
2.) Islam corrupts the role of Jesus Christ as God in the flesh and the only author of salvation by calling Him
      a mere prophet.


“Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?” by Timothy George is a good primer book on this subject of those trying to see a connection between Christianity and Islam.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bible Study #2-PART 2 - KING JESUS ANSWERS PRAYER-Despite US

PART 2-KING JESUS ANSWERS PRAYER-Despite US
                               John 11:17-37  (NKJV)
17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.  20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house.  21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
                       Jesus and Death, the Last Enemy
28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”
32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”  33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”


Q1- Did the situation Jesus was called to help, the severe illness of Lazarus,
        seem hopeless now?  (Verse 17)

Q2-  How did Martha greet Jesus?  Would you, if you were able answer prayer 
          do so with her attitude or statements? (Verse 21,22)

Q3-   (In Verses 23,24) Jesus told Martha that her brother would rise again.  She responded with religious jargon“I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  Why do we feel the need to “HELP” Jesus when we can’t help ourselves?  How do people add on to the gospel of salvation and sabotage the work of God?  Let’s discuss.  Jargon or the power of King Jesus.

Q4- Jesus clearly tells Martha “ 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Jesus claims to be "I AM" -God in the flesh-He did this 7 times in the book of John.
 MARTHA CAN NOT ANSWER HIS QUESTION BUT CREATES “HER” ANSWER
 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Sounds good but is that what he asked?

Q5- (In verse 28)  Why is Martha “secretly” calling Mary and saying Jesus called her.  Why is she trying to manipulate Jesus to conclude this situation “her” way when “HIS” way will always work better?  Garth Brooks song-“UNANSWERED PRARERS” thanks God for not doing it his way but HIS way.

Q6- (In Verse 32) Mary tag teams with Martha, try’s to guilt Jesus (As If you could do that) and asks “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Q7- (Verse 35) “Jesus wept.” Is this misunderstood? Why do you think He wept?

Q8- Were Jesus’ emotions,(He was and Is fully God and fully man) misunderstood?       
 [36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” 37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”]

Q9- Does Jesus need our help?  NO-if He did he would not be the Savior.


Q10- Can we block or stop a blessing or miracle by presupposing how and why Jesus should answer our prayers?  Is Jesus our KING or not?
Have you really made the decision that it will be His way not our way?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Urgent Prayer request- Little David Charlton


Urgent Prayer request- Little David Charlton, Dustin and Heather’s son was diagnosed with LCH (LANGERHAN'S CELL HISTIOCYTOSIS) on 9/10/2008. This attacks his immune system.  He has received months of chemo and has battled this most of his life. David is around age 7 now.
His mother has requested immediate prayer.
His immune system is dropping and David “Bubby” has been admitted to Egleston’s Children Hospital -probably for 3 or more days.   Heather can fill us in on the details later.  This is very serious. Thanks you for your prayers.

PRAYER of FAITH
James 5
“13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Question - Why Church Steeples?


QUESTION RECEIVED: (From Africa)
We are building a new church.
What is the biblical position regarding a tower (steeple)?
Some people are not pleased with what was built.
What should we do?

Profile:Male 46-60 Africa

MY ANSWER:

What is the biblical position of a tower or steeple for a church building?
There is none.
For a New Testament church there is no tower or steeple on the buildings recorded in Scripture.
In fact there were no church buildings in New Testament days.
I have read where scholars have said there were no buildings designated for church use until after 300 A.D.

In Genesis 11:1-9 people built a tower in Babel for their own greatness and God tore it down.
I do not see how any references of towers in the Old Testament suggest a New Testament church should have one or needs one.

Many middle-ages cities had towers but the reason was for religious, political and military reasons to show dominance, as my old college Sociology professor from Ole Miss taught me.
I knew taking "Cities and The Wealth of Nations" from esteemed  Professor Dr. Vaughn Grisham would pay off someday.

In Proverbs the greatness of God is likened to a strong tower.
Proverbs 18:10
New King James Version (NKJV)
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.


In the New Testament we only hear of towers three times.
Nowhere are we told to build one.
This is not to say you are wrong building a tower/steeple.

#1
 Mark 12:1
New King James Version (NKJV)
12 Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
(The tower and vineyard do suggest the ministry of the Lord on this 
Earth expanding His kingdom.)

#2
Luke 13:4
New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
(This has nothing to do with God's Kingdom or church.)

#3
Luke 14:27-29
New King James Version (NKJV)
27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
(This tower could be viewed as part of the Kingdom.  This is no biblical mandate to build a steeple or tower.) 

So, building a tower or steeple for Christian houses of worship comes from the middle ages where important religious and government buildings towered over cities.

Is it prohibited to have a tower/steeple? No

If the tower is for God’s glory it should be attractive and not ugly.
Yes, In the spirit of Christian unity and family, if possible, take practical steps to beautify the tower if some people in the church are not pleased with the tower's appearance.

My advice is invest in Kingdom work not costly monuments.
The Kingdom lasts.
Our buildings do not.
And yes, I know at some point some churches will spend money for a building.
All spending should be done wisely with a Kingdom purpose. 



Steeples and towers are OK.
We need to support the Lord's work as He builds His Kingdom.
Hebrews 11:9
By faith he (Abraham) dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bible Study: JOHN 11:1-16 King Jesus Answers Prayer - Like A King


John 11:1-16 (NKJV) Jesus Our Friend Responds To US As A Sovereign King

1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

Q1-Did you know Jesus knows us personally and our condition -hopeless-sick-struggling? (Verses 1-3)

Q2- Do you ever wonder why you are in your particular life situation, in trouble sick?  (Verse 4)
       Lazarus was sick for this surprising reason For the G_ _ _ _ of _ _ _. 
              
Q3 – Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus?  How do you think He feels about you? (Verse 5)
         Are you really accepting His love?

Q4- Why did Jesus stay 2 more days when His friend was going to die before 2 more days? (Verse 6)

Q5- Does Jesus risk to help His people? Do we?  (Verse 7,9)

Q6- Jesus is aware of time when to act, are we following Jesus in this way? (Verses 10-11)

Q7- Do we really believe Jesus can do the impossible/miracles?  (Verses 11-15)

Q8- “Doubting Thomas” actually displayed great faith in his life in Scripture.  He followed even  
         when he did not understand the instruction of Jesus.  Do we? Why not? (verse 16)

Q9- What would be missed by the disciples by not following Jesus to Bethany?

Q10- The Bible describes Jesus as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, Returning King and as friend?
          Do you know Jesus in these ways?          


Friday, October 5, 2012

REQUEST - "Help, My Church Is Wasting Money" - Here is Help.


QUESTION RECEIVED:

Help, my church is wasting money.
What do you do when your church is struggling with finances each week, but raises money for a big event that they have every year,but struggles each week to raise money for the church with tithes and offerings?

MY ANSWER:

Yes we need to be careful with how we handle God’s money.
God cares how much give.
He says-
Malachi 3:8 (NKJV)
 8 “Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,
‘In what way have we robbed You?’
In tithes and offerings.”

Jesus knows and cares about what we give.
Luke 21:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
“21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;”

Now what do we do with the money?
We support the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 28:18-19 (NKJV)
“18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

         The church is the Kingdom on Earth expanding.
How does the Church expand?
1.        We worship and believers glory in and give adoration for grace as non-Christians join us and hear the wonders of salvation.
2.       We edify or build up believers in the Word this is called edification or discipleship and we participate in missions to people of the church and missions to those out side the church.
3.       We participate in the evangelism of the lost with our church witness of the God/man Jesus in his perfect life he became the perfect sin sacrifice to God.  We can tell the lost if they repent they can be pardoned for sin, avoid the wrath of hell and have citizenship in the kingdom and Heaven.

It is really simple handling a church budget doing it God’s way.
It gets complicated when we ignore the church’s biblical purpose and spend on non-sanctioned church stuff.  (We are not a social club or entertainment venue.)

So if a request for money is made you simply ask-
1.       Does this help biblical worship?
2.       Does this help develop disciples?
3.       Does this help discipleship?
4.       Three no answers equals no funding.
5.        Can our funds (from members tithes) support this?  Don’t have fund raisers with the public.  Non-believers are confused when asked to pay for things church members do not believe in enough to pay for themselves.

There are plenty of verses to guide church budgets.
There are several fine Christian financial ministries that can help you with budgets.  
Do not spend what you do not have.
Tell members to tithe.
Hold the servant leaders to biblically give account on how God’s money is to be used in Kingdom life.

Your church is not struggling with tithes and offerings.
You tithes and offerings are what they are.
The members are responding rightly or wrongly with how they are responding to God.
Your church leadership is struggling with how to spend god's money. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jacob Wrestled All Night For A Blessing – Why Don’t You Crack the Book And Wrestle For A Blessing?


Jacob Wrestled All Night For A Blessing – Why Don’t You Crack the Book And Wrestle For A Blessing?



The prophet Hosea remembered when the great Jacob (Israel) first encountered the living LORD as Jacob wrestled with the Angel of The LORD all night  until dawn for a blessing at the Jabbok River for deliverance from sure destruction, because of Jacob’s own doing, and a needed blessing.

Hosea 12:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed;
He wept and sought His favor.
He found Him at Bethel
And there He spoke with us,"

People today have BIG problems also.
They get no relief.
Why?
They refuse to wrestle with God.

The very mind of God is revealed in the 66 books we call our Bible.
Yes we can understand when it says do not kill, do not lie, do not steal….
But our lives are complicated.
People want an easy step 1-2-3 from the preacher and then head to Red Lobster for Sunday lunch.
So you think the wisdom and knowledge of God is simple to receive with no struggle?

If you walked into an engineering classroom at Georgia Tech you would find the typical person off the street overwhelmed by the content.
But, the typical person could find a school to start him in the basics of engineering.
We have something more precious to be gained than we would from answering formulas in personal Bible study.
We can discern the very mind and will of God through scripture, diligent study and struggling  with the Word.
Wisdom and power and answers  wait sent from on high prepared for your salvation and sanctification.
God initiated the struggle and gave the blessing to Jacob.
It is worth the struggle.
Wrestle!



2 Timothy 3:16
"16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."