Tuesday, July 19, 2016
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
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
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.”