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Tuesday
Jan162018

The Lies About God and Ourselves

Francis Chan author, pastor and speaker has produced a short video about the two lies that people believe about God. I think it is worth your time to watch it. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlNx7m1KW7Y

 When it comes to God, people make up all kinds of doctrines and teachings about Him that are just not true.  Sometimes these doctrines become personal agendas that get mixed into how we present God to our communities. Again if you go back to Francis Chan’s video, people do think they are good people and so naturally good people go to heaven. No one punishes good people, but heaven is not based upon being a good person. The same is true when we think that because God is love, He will never punish anyone. The pendulum in our doctrine has swung towards God being only love, which doesn’t tell the whole truth. If a person lives their lives under the veil of these two lies, they will be stand before God someday and say, “I was a good person, and the God of my personal belief is all about love so I can’t be punished”.  

Revelation 20:12-15 “12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

The judgment God brings to each person comes down to if your name is written in the Book of Life. Your name doesn’t get there by being good. In fact, your name doesn’t get there by just believing in a good God. Your name gets in the Book of Life by surrendering your life and heart to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is the criterion that gets you into God’s kingdom, and not because you think you are good, or that God is all about love. 

Oswald Chambers (My Utmost For His Highest) focused most of his writings on the idea of the old man, the old nature is to be buried, and the new man in Christ being our constant goal as Christians. Oswald Chambers taught that whatever you yield to has the power over your life. This is one of the reasons we see such a powerless church - our constituents are yielding to the culture, self, and ideologies that do not support His kingdom. Going to church means nothing, being a part of a small group means nothing if it doesn’t yield in you a more surrendered life to Christ. That is the bottom line. We have churches today that have the philosophy of a corporation where everything is about the bottom line.  Our mantra today in the Church is: More people, more money, more budget. I would like to see the verse of scripture that supports this idea. I understand we want success in what we do because our goal is to bring people to Christ. Yet, when you look at one of the most spiritual people in the Bible (the Apostle Paul) he had a different attitude. 

Acts 20:24 “24 But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course ] and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.”

Phil 3:8 “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”

So I am convinced people do believe lies about God, and about themselves. Both of these get carried over to the Church, and people come into church and they leave believing these lies. So at the end of the day, why do we think this is okay? Why do we think we are good, or why do we think success is more budget and more recognition? We made some serious errors in how we see our importance in comparison to the Savior who gave His life to save us. 

Think about it. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

Sunday
Jan142018

As The Leaders Go, So Goes the Church

So a woman confessed to Pastor Greg Boyd after one of his sermons. She was in her mid-sixties confiding a spiritual struggle of decades. Tearfully she told him “Today you helped me see that I don’t need to believe God ever ordered babies to be massacred. I can finally let myself believe God really is as beautiful as the cross reveals him to be! I can finally trust God with my entire heart.”

What is so disheartening about this is that a leader is leading people to believe there is a different God in the Old Testament than there is in the New Testament.

If that is the case, then what do we do with these two verses?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:4

I am the Lord, and I do not change.   Malachi 3:6

The problem as I see it with Dr. Boyd’s theology is the following:

Luke 12:5 “But I'll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he's the one to fear.

This is why I write this blog several times a week, because I see churches failing God and their constituents in presenting the truth of the gospel. You can say I am negative, but I refuse to ignore what I read in scripture and what I hear coming from most pulpits. Pastors need a revival and a change of heart. Would you go to a surgeon who practices unorthodox medicine? Why would you go to a surgeon who uses practices that have not been tried or proven effective and safe?  So why do we put up with theology that is not sound and not Biblical? We have a great problem in our churches today because leaders who are ignoring the truth are deceiving us. They are preaching a message people want to hear, a positive message of love and acceptance at all costs. The problem comes when we are not doing it God’s way or with God’s truth. If a preacher fails to preach the whole truth, he is cherry picking only the passages that support his beliefs.

Preachers do not want to tell their congregations that God did order the killing of women and child and it will happen again at the end of time as the Book of Revelation explains.

God is a holy God and He loves us and grants mercy and grace, but He is also a judge who will condemn people to an eternal punishment for the denying of His Son Jesus. That is what the Bible teaches. When leaders deny this truth to be known they are more ambassadors of evil than they are of good. Harsh words, yes, but if you read the books of 1 and 2 Kings you see how leaders lead Israel into sin and into the judgment of God. If leaders aren’t leading according to the scriptures, they are deceiving. It may not be what you want to hear, but it is the truth.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

Tuesday
Jan092018

Oprah’s Speech

Oprah hit a home run with the Hollywood crowd at the Golden Globe awards on Sunday night. Some immediately went to social media to encourage her to run for President in 2020.  Some even suggested that Michelle Obama be her running mate.

That may be the political dream team for the liberal left, and the media could turn on the love fest again for a person they approve of running for office.

Could Oprah win the Presidency? Good question! Once again we have the ruling class of the 1% using their status as a celebrity to run for office. I am not one who thinks that a person has to be a career politician to become President, but I do think that there would be a stronger reason other than hatred for the current President to run for the highest office in the land. This Hollywood crowd is so hypocritical; they all participated in slime-balling society with sex, foul language, and violence, all to condemn the abuse to women in society. This just sickens me. How about cleaning up your act in your own industry and stop representing women in the worst light imaginable, and then turn around in a self righteous manner with your concerns about sexual abuse in the workplace? The world is always looking for new causes to promote, and the more they can make their cause a cause for justice, the more people will flock to it.

Here is the problem.  You can put a lawn sign out describing your cause, you can cheer the Oprahs on for a righteous cause, and you can march to get attention for your concerns, but at the end of the day, nothing will change. Nothing ever does.

The Bible is clear, unless the heart is changed, nothing will ever change.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

I have been so disgusted with what I see on Facebook from Christians who want justice, but in their quest to right the wrongs in our society end up being crass, cruel, and hateful of the very people they oppose. What do the scriptures say about loving your enemies? How about those who post their hatred of Donald Trump? Our political views do not override the teaching of scripture.

Matthew 5: 43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

I don’t care if you are liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican, as Christians our goal is to present our Savior and His redemptive plan; yet we spend more time defending our politics and hating those who oppose us.

This is what is wrong with America, and as His Church our job is not to spend our time trying to convince others of how evil our opposition is, our job is to get them the heart change they need through Jesus Christ.

You may have your reasons to dislike the opposite political party, but that does not give any of us reason to contribute to the hateful side of our humanity.

The heart is wicked on both sides - that is what the Bible teaches. Your heart is wicked, yes you who are reading this - you aren’t exempt. Our only hope is when the Savior has control of our hearts and we are willing to let His message be the priority in all you do.  

There needs to be a great shaking in our churches and in our spiritual lives if we are to be of any influence in the world in which we are called to serve.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K 

Sunday
Jan072018

When the Foundations are Destroyed

Psalm 11:3

The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?"

 Watching the results of two mayoral campaigns in our area resulting in young leftist mayors winning in the two largest cities in Minnesota is both disheartening and worrisome. Left-leaning people usually do not have solid Judeo-Christian foundations, leaving their ideas to be influenced by culture and progressive politics, (which is another way of saying leftist politics).

Most large cities in America are lead by this kind of influence, which is why we have sanctuary cities and a growing distrust for law enforcement officers. Our new St. Paul mayor is already talking about changing the direction of how police use deadly force. I worry that police officers may be under such pressure not to use any deadly force that they will be endangering their own lives as they do their jobs to protect the public. We are a nation of division and America will never become great again because the divide between us is too deep and we are not equipped to bridge the gap. We do not have the moral or spiritual foundations in our nation at this time to help people understand the root of their division. I watched the New Year’s celebrations on TV from various places around the world and across our nation last week. The entertainment and the fireworks were all fine, but never once was God mentioned as a reason we could celebrate a new year. Our secular minds have moved on past Him just as in government and other places of commerce in our nation.

This is another sign that our foundations as a country have eroded into the division we see everywhere today.

Hebrews 12:26-27 At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth, but heaven as well.” 27 The words, once more signify the removal of what can be shaken — created things — so that the unshakable may remain.

That division is a part of what God is shaking. He is allowing the human race to implode which is shaking everything in society. I would even propose that Trump is a part of that shaking too. Nothing is conventional as it once was, and we are able to see the underbelly of politics, sexual scandals, and even the threat of nuclear war. The progressive ideas of our two newly elected mayors will surface soon, and we will find ourselves shaking our heads again as to the insanity of left thinking.

When the foundations of society erode and everything is up for grabs, what do we do? We strengthen ourselves with the resolve of knowing the truth and not being bullied into compromising our values and beliefs. As Romans says, as darkness abounds, grace abounds more. We don’t run and hide, we stand and shout. There are forces today that want to silence the Christian voice, remove our presence from the public debate, and ridicule anyone who takes a stand for the morality of the Bible.

There is coming a day when Christians will be forced to stand with the spirit of Patrick Henry, who said, “give me liberty or give me death.” I am afraid we might not be too far away from that day.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

 

Sunday
Dec312017

As We Look To 2018

I found the following article insightful. (I abbreviated much of it)

1. Pastors are increasingly hired for their management skills or rhetorical ability over and above their biblical wisdom or their meeting of the biblical qualifications for eldership.

Our shepherds are increasingly hired for their dynamic speaking or catalytic leadership rather than their commitment to and exposition of the Scriptures, and for their laboring in the increase in attendance rather than the increase of gospel proclamation.

2. The equating of “worship” with just one creative portion of the weekly worship service.

The dilution of the understanding of worship is a direct result of the dilution of theology in the church. The applicational, topical approach to Bible understanding has the consequence of making us think (and live) in segmented ways. The music leader takes the stage to say, “We’re gonna start with a time of worship.” Is the whole service not a time of worship? Isn’t the sermon an act of worship?

Isn’t all of life meant to be an act of worship?

3. The prevalent eisegesis in Bible study classes and small groups.

“Eisegesis” basically means “reading into the Bible.” It is the opposite of “exegesis,” the process of examining the text and “drawing out” its true meaning. Many leaders today either don’t have the spiritual gift of teaching or haven’t received adequate training, and the unfortunate result is that most of our Bible studies are rife with phrases like, “What does this text mean to you?” as opposed to, “What does this text mean?”

4. The vast gulf between the work of theology and the life of the church.

We have this notion that theology is something that takes place somewhere “out there” in the seminaries or libraries while we here at home are doing the real work of the Christian faith with our church programs. In many churches, theology is seen as purely academic, the lifeless intellectual work for the nerds in the church or, worse, the Pharisees.

5. Biblical illiteracy.

Our people don’t know their Bible very well, and this is in large part the fault of a generation of wispy preaching and teaching (in the church and in the home). Connected to this factor is the church’s accommodation and assimilation of the culture’s rapid shifting from text-based knowledge to image-based knowledge.

6. A theologically lazy and methodologically consumeristic/sensationalistic approach to the sacraments.

The rise of the “scoreboard” approach to attendance reporting, some of the extreme examples of spontaneous baptism services, the neglect of the Lord’s Supper or the abuse of it through fancifulness with the elements or lack of clear directives in presenting it—these are all the result of evangelicalism’s theological bankruptcy. We don’t think biblically about these matters, because we’re thinking largely along the lines of “what works?” and consequently we might make a big splash with our productions but not produce much faith.

I would say amen to Jared C. Wilson’s thoughts taken from a book he has written called, “The prodigal Church: A Gentle Manifesto Against The Status Quo. “

 

I believe the problems we face in the church today is a part of a curse placed upon anyone or any group who replaces God’s commandments with their own ideas. Denominational groups who have acquiesced to accepting homosexuality and abortion, have all been in decline for years. Churches who practice and preach replacement theology, where they say God is done with the Jews, are also less likely to be blessed by God. Churches that ignore the prophetic scriptures and ignore the teaching of the return of Jesus Christ, will also suffer from the lack of anointing to communicate the whole counsel of God. Most Christians in the Western Hemisphere suffer from the Rich Young Ruler Syndrome. They know a lot about scripture and are blessed with resources of time and money, but they still lack in fulfilling their obedience to a Holy God. We say we give God His portion, whatever we feel that portion is, and then we live our lives as if He doesn’t exist. You cannot replace your personal theology for the truth of the scriptures. In the event you just don’t know enough about a mystery of God, you blindly trust Him, without question and without doubt. No one knows the hour or the day of His return, we just know He will return. The questions should never be when, but the question always is about are you ready? Are the churches where we attend getting us ready for His return?  If not, why not?

The two greatest signs that God is preparing the land for his return was the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the recent emphasis of the United States  acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Have you heard messages from your pulpit about these two monster signs of our times?

In 2018 we will continue to see signs that our world is being prepared by God to receive the Savior of the world coming back as ruling King. This is what is missing in our thinking and in our emphasis as Christians. If we deny God’s Word free access to people, we will suffer as a society and as a church.

Here is the curse we will suffer if we don’t repent from our religious ways and come back to the living God of the Bible.

Amos 8:11 "The time is surely coming," says the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine on the land--not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD.”

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

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