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Tuesday
Feb202018

When Government Wastes Your Tax Dollars

There are many places the government wastes your money, but one of the biggest is when a special prosecutor is appointed and they come up with nothing substantial after a year of investigating. It was reported in December 2017 that this investigation cost the American taxpayers almost $7 million, and that was two months ago.

Newsweek reported that in the 1990s, former federal prosecutor Ken Starr took six years and spent more than $70 million looking into former President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton’s real estate holdings in Whitewater and other dealings.

To me anything Washington does in their investigations really amounts to nothing more than keeping legislators busy and spending the American taxpayers’ money.

Think of all the investigations during the Obama administration - from IRS Lois Learner to the Benghazi attack, to the Clinton e-mail scandal – all these investigations have done little to bring justice to the allegations of corruption and collusion.

Now we have indictments against 13 Russians who will never be brought to trial because there is no reciprocity in getting those Russians to a US courtroom.

So what’s the point? Once again the emphasis is placed on the wrong source and they are chasing rabbit trails that lead nowhere, while the real criminals are exonerated by our press and our law enforcement agencies. What this means that powerful people are above the law, and the truth is never known, so justice is never served. There, I said it. Simple diagnoses of our political special investigations and the process of bilking the American public out of millions of dollars of squandered money.

End of story.

Oh, there is more misplaced emphasis again brewing in the news. It’s now high school students who will be marching in a national walkout sometime this spring. I understand and sympathize with their cause, but their emphasis is on guns and not the individuals who are mentally deranged. Let’s just say we ban all guns from being sold in the United States. Will that solve the mass shootings? Well you would have to confiscate all the guns that are now in circulation and that would only mean you will create a lucrative black market for guns. But in a perfect world, let’s just say all guns can no longer be sold, and all guns are confiscated from the public, then would schools be safe? 

The answer is NO. The next school threat will come from bombs or box cutters or chemical warfare; it simply will not stop people who are intent on doing harm to others.

This is how evil works; it finds whatever is accessible to successfully destroy people. Again it will be another wasted time of legislation that will take a lot of time and debate and millions of dollars and nothing will change.

So does that mean we do nothing?  No, we could protect our schools with a presence of military and ex-military personnel or retired police officers that will be in charge of security at each school in America. If that becomes too expensive, then we train teachers in each school to carry weapons and train them to address any immediate threat to that school. The one thing most of these shooters know is that all schools and most public venues are vulnerable to mass attacks because most Americans do not carry guns to protect themselves.  If mass shooters knew that there would be returned fire immediately upon his firing a gun, it would be a deterrent against the attack.

Eccles 8:11 “When a sentence against a crime isn’t carried out quickly, people are encouraged to commit crimes.”

I know there is debate whether gun carrying states are safer than those states with no carry laws, yet I say I would rather be armed and prepared, than have to run for my life and hope I don’t get shot.

Again, the emphasis in the gun debate is going in the wrong direction. We need more help to protect the public against people who are mentally unstable. This kid who did the shooting in Florida revealed he was not well, and that he would be a threat someday to people around him. The authorities chose not to follow up on him, and I would agree that people who show such signs should not be permitted to own a legal firearm. This, of course, means that illegal firearms could still be a course of action at any time.

My point today is not even the issues I raised, but how we are steered to the wrong emphasis and the wrong conclusions. I would suspect that if you have no spiritual emphasis in your life, you naturally gravitate to the wrong conclusions. God knows what is at the core of these shootings, and so do people who study His Word. No one who is Biblically minded is fooled by these wrong conclusions, we are told evil will wax worse and worse.

2 Timothy 3:13 “while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

The emphasis of non-Christians will no doubt continue to legislate some kind of law that will do nothing to stop the killing. The right emphasis would be to pray and ask God to protect our children against such evil. Churches could start new prayer ministries intended to pray over the schools in their communities asking God to protect the schools. It is ironic that God was kicked out of the schools so many years ago, and today He is the one that they need to protect them.

By the way here is the way governement should react to the gun crisis in America. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, has the right solution. 

https://www.facebook.com/GovMattBevin/videos/1810412182592000/

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

 

Sunday
Feb182018

The Nonrepentant Generation

 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.[a] 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” –Ezekiel 18:30-32

What is happening when a generation does not understand repentance?

Does that generation ever hear about how repentance is healthy for your emotional and spiritual life?

I think repentance has to do with sorrow and contriteness of heart and mind. It’s true - repentance does bring humility back into your life, yet from a health perspective, it brings us closer to a healthy mindset; knowing there are no secrets to protect. I talked to a leader in a church the other day, and his confession to me is that he struggles with sexual temptation and has nowhere to turn because he is a leader in his church. There’s that big myth again that leaders are immune to any sin, which forces people to have secrets that are devastating to their emotional and spiritual lives.

I am convinced that when you look at how most revivals have started in the past, they started because the people became honest, confessed their sins publicly, and repented before the church. This usually snowballed and others came forward to rid themselves of secrets and hidden sins that they had carried for years.

I realize that there is no formula for revival, but God is looking for a Church without spot or wrinkle, without hiding behind sinful behavior that goes without confession and without repentance.

Confession is the healthiest antidote to sin; it brings God and others into the problem and invokes both forgiveness and accountability into the arena to combat the problem.

Repentance is a declaration that a person is going to change which starts by turning away from sin and going the other way. If your sin is pornography, you will do everything in your power to block Internet access to sites that promote it.

If it is unfaithfulness, you will do everything in your power to stay away from people and places where it is easy to fall into sin.

If it is drinking or taking drugs, you remind yourself daily how this behavior is killing your life and the lives of your loved ones.

And of course you do not suffer alone in your repentant state - you reach out to people who will walk alongside your decision never to return to the former sinful behavior.

When a generation sees no need to repent because nothing they are doing or have done requires such a drastic declaration, then that generation is lying to themselves. They have rooted their lives in self-indulgence and avoid anything that would make them self-aware. People avoid sermons, churches, and media communications that proclaims that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

When a generation says no to repentance, they are then saying yes to their pride. Pride is an enemy of God because pride sets up it’s own kingdom in competition to God’s kingdom.

God says that he resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.

“But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, "God opposes the proud but favors the humble."  James 4:6


This is why God gives favor to the repentant, because repentance is a state of humility. Humility is not a cherished characteristic in our world. Humble people usually are not noticed, not held in high esteem, and often are not even seen by those who strive for pride in all the wrong places.

Unfortunately, we don’t uphold humility in our Christian circles. We look to the more flamboyant personalities and outward giftedness for positions of leadership. Humility is not a 21st Century value, and I can’t imagine making a movie about humility; it would have no violence, no bad language, and no spectacular hero scenes, because humility is less aggressive and attractive.

Can you imagine a humble James Bond?  No doting girls, he drives a 1990 Saab, and he wears baggy jeans with plaid shirts. 

Yet in the Kingdom of God, humility is of great value, because it places a higher emphasis on others, and on the one who should humble us all...God.

Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sins.

Luke 24:47 states: “It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.'”

To the generation who has no interest in repentance - you will face an eternity without God and without recourse. It’s a big price to pay for a life of pride.

Keeping it honest and truthful. ….K

Thursday
Feb152018

There is No Fear of God in the Land

"Don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  –Matthew 10:28

After some discussion with a couple of pastors recently, I realized that most of our problems both in society and in the Church is a result of a lack of fearing God. In culture we deny God’s existence because most people see the world and its horrible treatment of people as a sign that God doesn’t exist. If He did exist, He would intervene and stop the senseless killings that happen when there is a school shooting, and also prevent the tragedy of hurricanes and deadly storms from wiping out whole communities.

In the Church we have a different problem. We don’t deny the existence of God, we only acknowledge Him as God the redeemer, and not God the judge. As a result, our music and our preaching have a one-sided view of God who is loving, redeeming, protecting, and adores our praises. All of that may be true, but God is still a judge and executes judgment upon those He chooses. 

1. When we fear the Lord it places us in a position of knowing God and His ways.

Proverbs 1:7 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

2. When we fear the Lord we understand the perspective of evil.

Proverbs 8:13 

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

3. When we fear the Lord we will walk in His ways and serve Him.

Deuteronomy 10:12 

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,”

4. When there is no fear of God the people are zealous to do evil.

Romans 3:10-18

There is no one righteous, not even one.
11 There is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away;
all alike have become useless.
There is no one who does what is good,
not even one.

13 Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues.

Vipers’ venom is under their lips.

14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
17 and the path of peace they have not known.
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

If there is no fear of God in the land, there is no opportunity for correction. Correction was the job of the prophet who spoke on behalf of God to change the direction the people were headed. If the people won’t fear God, then the words of the prophet are empty and go unheeded. This is precisely what is happening in our society. At one time the Church had a prophetic voice and the people feared God, therefore they listened to those in the pulpit. Today, people don’t fear God, and they could care less what the pulpit has to say. Many times, most pulpits aren’t saying anything that could be taken seriously. There are few pulpits in the land that thunder the voice of God. Most preachers are too busy trying to be popular and relevant.

Here are two voices that demonstrate the thunder of heaven in the pulpit. This is the missing ingredient in our pulpits today therefore we aren’t taken seriously. I have said many times when you listen to sermons from people like David Wilkerson, and compare the messages of conviction to the messages we hear today that coddle our consciences with lessons on human improvement, you   begin to realize why there is no revival nor desire to see things change. Listen to this 15-minute excerpt from a sermon from David Wilkerson and ask yourself a simple question, does he preach the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

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

Christians have been indoctrinated with weak preaching and celebratory worship. There is little conviction being emphasized today, yet it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction. At the end of the day, preachers don’t say much, there is no conviction, no invitation to change, and our worship has melody, but has no root of conviction.

Conviction is missing and I don’t think most of us know how to get it back. Some of us don’t want it back, because conviction requires change and many of us think we are just fine.

If we want the Holy Spirit to work among us, then we have to invite conviction back into our theology of ministry.

John 16:8-11 “When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

Where there is no conviction, I am convinced there is no Holy Spirit ministry. Why? Because it says he comes to convict. Did you get that? Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear? The Holy Spirit comes to convict - where there is no conviction there is no Holy Spirit. Do you see this and hear this?

It all begins when we start fearing God again and allow Him to convict our hearts of the duplicity in which we live our lives.

Now go tell your pastor and your teaching staff at your church. Maybe there will be a chance the Church will one day again have a voice of conviction in our land.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

Tuesday
Feb062018

When the Prophets are Silent

Isaiah 42:14

"I have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan, I will both gasp and pant.

Isaiah 62:1

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning.

Ecclesiastes 3:7

A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak.

As the scripture teaches, there is a time to be silent and there is a time to speak. As I said in a recent blog posting, today is a day to warn and not to remain silent. The noise of this world is constantly overshadowing the message of the Church because our message has little to do with the success of this world. Our message is about what God is doing in the hearts of people around the world. Some messages we hear coming from the Church today seem to only remind us that God wants the best for us. However, if we are living apart from Him and in violation of His commands, He may allow the negative in this world to open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Here is a message you will not hear too often in your church, but it is Biblical.

God has make Israel a reproach among the nations. He did it to ancient Israel as Ezekiel 5:14-15 states: 

 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations which surround you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15 So it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror to the nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath and raging rebukes. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

 

So it was the Lord who brought the reproach upon His people. Well, that is what the scripture says. Remember, it is also the Lord who in the last days will bring the nations together against Israel.

Zech 14:1-3 “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.  Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.…

Here we are told it is the Lord that brings all the nations against Israel to battle. The reproach of the Jews will fuel the world’s hatred for them and will cause the nations to be drawn into the Middle East to destroy Israel. Notice again, it is the Lord who is drawing them. So we have the Lord causing a reproach toward His people so they are hated by the nations, and then He is drawing the nations into battle with His people. This was all done by God and today it would fly in the face of what we hear that God is only about love. The reason? The prophets in these churches are silent.

So why has the Lord been so harsh to the people He calls His treasure? Is He trying to speak to them about who He is and what He desires?

If the prophets were speaking today this would be an example of the messages that would be spoken. We would hear messages about the fear of the Lord and His ability to pardon or to condemn.

Matthew 10:28 “"Don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

When the prophets are silent we won’t hear that God is in control of prophecy, and He sends His word out, and then watches over it to perform what it says.

When the prophets are silent we won’t hear that God is in control of world events and His control helps to build an environment for His return.

When the prophets are silent we won’t hear that God is allowing the uncertainty of our day to help prepare us for the next phase of His plan over Planet Earth.

When the prophets are silent we lose our edge in knowing this world does not belong to the politicians, Islamic terrorists, or the liberals who want a world without God. When the prophets speak we hear a clear message that God is in control, and that He will return for those who have not sold out to this world or it’s benefits.

We need our preachers to return to their original calling, to be the voice of God again to a people hungry for the truth.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

 

Monday
Feb052018

It is a Day of Warning

A pastor friend of mine posted this yesterday:

A major study released by George Barna a few months ago clearly showed that “success” is the predominant philosophy of America’s churches. And Barna’s research listed the five-fold criteria that determined “success” in the minds of most pastors and churches: 1) Attendance, 2) Offerings, 3) Number of programs, 4) Size of staff, and, 5) Square footage of facilities. In fact, Barna’s research showed that the vast majority of pastors will purposely NOT preach what they know is Biblical truth in order to accommodate the five-fold “success” goals listed. This has led to popularity-preaching; entertainment-oriented programs; soft, non-confrontational teaching; and an overall weak and compromising pulpit."

 

Someone asked me: “why are most of your postings dealing with messages like what is written above” and the answer is quite simple. The day in which we now live is not a day for a “prosperity message” in which we can live like kings and queens in the midst of a twisted world. Today is not a day of “dominion theology” where we as the church will take the culture captive and ready it for the coming of the Lord. Today is not a day of “self help” messages that try to get you to become a better person in your health and wealth, and keep you in step with our cultural norms. You can list another dozen things that the church favors in place of warning the church about our non-Biblical approach to living our faith. Someone has said that many churches take an NFL Super Bowl Sunday approach to their ministry, making everything about the environment and making church entertaining. The warning of the prophets apply to today’s church:

Jeremiah 6:13-14

For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is making profit dishonestly.
From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
14 They have treated My people’s brokenness superficially, claiming, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.

The philosophy we have adapted in the church is not about surrender, emptying ourselves of the old man, and taking on the new man in Christ. It is about building our lives around making ourselves healthy in Christ. That is fine if the definition of being “healthy” is determined by surrender vs. my privileges. Privileges are realized only when the surrender is complete. What privileges are valid if we live in disobedience to His Word?

Disobedience is not a word that we hear much about in most churches. It is too negative of a word. It is a word of chastisement, but it is a condition of the Church that must be addressed.

Jeremiah 6:17-19 “I appointed watchmen over you and said,

‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, you nations; you who are witnesses, observe what will happen to them. 19 Hear, you earth I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law.

We often use Israel as an example of God’s unmerited favor by re-establishing them as a nation after 2000 years of exile. However, we often fail to remember that Israel is a prime example of what happens to a nation that disobeys God.

Today is a day of pruning, a day in which God is trimming His flock by what they believe and practice. They are disqualifying themselves like the prophets proclaimed by using God as a platform for success. I am convinced that this trimming is being done to those who are not willing to be obedient to the Biblical mandate of surrender, but rather pursue a relevance to culture.

Today, above everything else, is a day of warning. It is a day that asks you to focus on the message of the scripture, surrender yourself on God’s altar of self- denial, and pursue the image of Christ in everyday life. The world around us must be persuaded to ask, “why are Christians so different in nature and what makes them stand apart from the rest of us?”  That question can only be asked if we give them reason to ask it.

Today is a day of warning: are we living out the Christ of our imagination based upon a false narrative, or are we living out the Christ of the Bible?  The implications of how you answer that has eternal ramifications.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

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