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Friday
Apr292011

The Main Point Is?

In many Christian circles today, we find lots of chatter about the conditions in our world. This of course has been normal for almost all generations, even the early disciples believed their world was ripe for Jesus to return.  However our world does present more of the signs the Bible describes would take place before His return. We know about the obvious ones found in nature, we read or see all the disasters that are happenng everyday around the world.  But I think there is another sign, one that is not too obvious found in 2 Thes. 2:

 5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  6And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.  7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

There is a lot to read in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 on this theme, but the verse, "Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way," captured my attention following the death of David Wilkerson.  Now, David was not the Holy Spirit, but his voice and ministry was a voice of one crying in the wilderness, "repent, live rightly before God and men, because the day of the Lord is coming."  That voice is the voice we rarely hear today, and it's troubling to me.  As I said in a previous blog post, 'are the people of God spending time with God to hear His voice and then speak it, or are we spending more time in promoting our latest trend of good works? I realize that both are need in our world, but it's too lopsided. There is too much "I am being lead of the Lord today" and not enough "Thus saith the Lord."  The reason we don't use the latter language is because we don't know the "thus saith the Lord" anymore.  There are few who speak from the authority of the Word of God, they simply dapple in it. They take from it enough information to support their current cause, either to bring conviction about a pet doctrine, or if they want to raise money for a just cause.  

Where are the "thus saith the Lord" people?  Who has the Spirit of God upon them to say such a thing?

Busy schedules, demanding work loads, over extended needs in the family, and on and on it goes. More of this life takes over and holds us captive. What I see is a weakening of the voice of the Lord among us, and I believe this is the beginning of the end.  When the famine in the land is one where  the Word of God can not be found, and where the voice of God can not heard, then I think the end is within sight.  And I believe the Bible says it just that way, so I am willing to stand my ground and say, "thus saith the Lord!" 

In honor of the late David Wilkerson, I would like to link you to his message he delivered in 1973. It is a reminder that a prophet was among us to warn us to get ourselves ready for day of the Lord is coming!

Until next week, keep it honest and truthful...K

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnbpGCrc1zg&feature=related

Thursday
Apr282011

We Lost A Prophet On a US Highway

The news was devastating to me. Here is the story.

Times Square Church founder dies in Texas crash

DALLAS, Texas (AP) — Rev. David Wilkerson, founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City and author of the best-selling book, "The Cross and the Switchblade," has died. He was 79.

Wilkerson died Wednesday afternoon in a car accident in East Texas, Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange said. Wilkerson's car smashed head-on into a tractor-trailer rig after veering into oncoming traffic on U.S. 175 west of Cuney, about 95 miles southeast of Dallas, Mange said.

Wilkerson founded the non-denominational Protestant Times Square Church in 1987 in an area of Manhattan that was then riddled with X-rated movie houses, strip clubs, prostitution and drugs. He also founded Teen Challenge, which uses a biblically based recovery program for drug addicts.

In "The Cross and the Switchblade" Wilkerson wrote about his early years in New York City administering to drug addicts and gang members. The 1963 book became a best-seller and was made into a movie starring Pat Boone.

Wilkerson was not wearing a seat-belt at the time of the crash, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. His wife, Gwendolyn, was also in the car and was wearing a seat-belt, Mange said. She was taken to a hospital, where she was in stable condition with cuts and bruises, Mange said.

David Wilkerson was one of those preachers who told it honestly and truthfully.  He didn't bend to the whims of money, power, or fame.  When you heard the message he would deliver, you knew that David had spent time with God and was prepared to say what needed to be said.  If you have been a reader of this blog, you know I have used many of David Wilkerson's sermon clips to illustrate the point of the theme of the day. You also know that I am not a fan of most pulpits today, because I believe preachers have sold out.  At one time people who wanted to be preachers had a calling on their lives to be prophets. Today the requirement is to be a statesman, a politically correct person who markets a product.  I still think the number one criteria for being a preacher is the calling of speaking as a prophet and a true prophet of God speaks for God, not about Him. David Wilkerson for me was that kind of prophet.  He didn't tell us what we all have heard a thousand times before about God, He spoke to us about the things that were on God's heart, much of which was about repentance. 

Prophets of old always brought a message of repentance. The people have strayed away, and they need to be brought back, how true that is for today's Church? I will miss the ministry of David Wilkerson, and I pray with his passing we won't forget his message.  David Wilkerson always kept it honest and truthful...K

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69Io08K7aGk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

Wednesday
Apr272011

The Big Wedding is Coming!!!

I didn't get invited to the big wedding on Friday, and I'm English, for crying out loud.  My wife, who is normally all over weddings and such, doesn't have the slightest interest. (that one still puzzles me) I am happy for Kate and Prince William and of course we wish them the best.  Historically it isn't easy belonging to the royal court.  King Henry the VIII had six wives, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Kathryn Howard, and Katherine Parr. Most of these wives were executed, just one of them survived death by the hand of the King. It was also reported that King Henry also had several mistresses during his marriages. in more modern times, Prince Williams mother Diana divorced his father Prince Charles, so it's not easy even staying married as a royal. 

But the big wedding got me thinking about weddings in general and I found this wedding story in Matthew 22: 

‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  9Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’  10And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

 
11“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.  12And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.  13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

You're probably like me, and you didn't get an invitation to Kate and Williams wedding.  But you are invited to even a bigger wedding sometime in the near future, many people will be invited, but few will choose to attend. Attendance will require a certain garment of belonging, and without it you won't stay long at this event. When I read this story, it seems unfair that someone who got inside this wedding wasn't given an opportunity to stay and enjoy the festivities. However the garment this parable speaks about is one that is given to those who have married their lives to the story of faith and were faithful to the groom of faith, Jesus Christ. You see, this wedding is where Jesus will forever be wed to His Bride the Church, and being unfaithful to Him in this earthly life doesn't get you in. 

I was thinking of that poor man without a garment and his embarrassment.  Where did he ever come from and why did he think he was invited?  Perhaps he came from a church whose website I recently read that described itself this way:

We care more about the love of God than judging one another.  That’s why we have members who are young, old and in-between, gay and straight and people of all political persuasions.  

An Open and Affirming church, (church name) welcomes all who seek a spiritual home, based on Christ's message of unconditional love.  We celebrate all loving and committed relationships and encourage questions and faith exploration. 

We don’t want you to conform into someone else’s image of who you should be.  Instead, we celebrate the person God has created you to be.  If you’re looking for a church home where you’ll be accepted just as you are, then Lynnhurst might just be the place for you!

I bet that if I went to this church, they would not affirm me, nor accept me for who I am, or for what I believe. My worldview would not be honored, and somehow, I would find myself on the outside of this church looking in...so much for caring more about the love of God than judging people.  (makes me gag)

The white garment of faith comes with a price in this world, but it pays off in the world to come. Keep your eyes on the wedding feast for eternity, and don't compromise your faith for the foolish thinking of this world.

Keeping it honest and truthful...as always....K

Tuesday
Apr262011

Lets Make Fun of the Christians!

Here is an interesting story in the news from the past Easter weekend:

Mocking of Christ part of 'tolerance'?

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 4/25/2011 10:00:00 AM

San Francisco homosexuals have again mocked the holiest day of the year for Christians by staging the "Hunky Jesus Contest."

The annual fundraiser for homosexual activists took place in a large park in San Francisco and featured the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence -- a group of homosexual drag queens dressed as nuns. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality explains the motivation behind the observance.
 
"...The Hunky Jesus Contest is a bunch of shirtless, homosexual men in costumes who are making fun of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ," he says, "and there's a large crowd that goes to this and they treat this as if it's a big, funny event."
 
The event typically is held on Easter Sunday. "It's just another indication of the one-way street, which is 'tolerance' for homosexuals -- tolerance for me but not for you," states LaBarbera. "They demand respect for homosexuals even as they heap contempt upon Christians on the holiest day in the Christian calendar."
 
The Christian activist says it is striking that homosexual activists never have a "Hunky Mohammed Contest," likely because he believes they are afraid of the potential response.
 
Columnist Cal Thomas, discussing the "Hunky Jesus Contest" in his Good Friday op-ed, wrote: "Today's mockers would never dare to speak ill of Mohammed. They might have their throats slit, or their homes blown-up."

 Okay, we know Jesus told us we would be the target of people like that, and so we should expect it. In fact, we would see more of it if the Church were really preaching the scriptures.  Churches don't want this kind of press, they want everyone to be nice to each other, and be kind to animals. Jesus on the other hand was truthful with His audience, and those leaders who didn't like what He had to say, plotted to kill him.  Jesus told us if they did it to the master, they would do it to His servants.  

John 15:20

 20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

Jesus said, he didn't come to bring peace but a sword.  He came to let truth divide the kingdoms of this earth, and that division is along the lines of who He is and who rules this world. 

Matthew 10:34

Not Peace, but a Sword

 34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Knowing what you believe based upon God's Word is critical in a day of diversity.  Once you compare what Christ offers you compared to all the works oriented religions of the world, there is no comparison. So if you place all the religions of the world side by side with a study chart of what they believe, and you compare it to what Faith in Christ provides for you, there is no contest...none whatsoever.  Study to know God's Word, keep it close to your heart, and know how to defend it and proclaim it.

The weakness for most of us comes from not knowing enough about the other religions of the world, so we don't know how to defend the truth of Christianity against them.  CBS news covered a story about diversity, and it's a good reminder for all of us to be respectful of others beliefs, but at the same time, know what you believe and why. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAikSIQ8DuE&feature=fvwrel

Just trying to keep it honest and truthful....K

Monday
Apr252011

Images that Stain 

My wife will tell you I am the sloppiest eater alive.  For some reason, I eat like every meal will be my last, so I'm into it.  However, in the process I dump food on myself, and I know it will stain. Grease, butter, oils, are all bad, and for the most part my eating experience always leaves a stain.  (any suggestions? besides, don't eat) 

Stains always remind us of previous meals, but there is a stain of the heart or in the brain that is much worse.  I remember a preacher years ago talking about images that stain the brain. Sexual explicit images will stay with you for years, and sometimes they never leave your brain.  Sexual images are everywhere today, and you can't seem to escape them even if your extremely careful in where you go or in what you watch. According to one report, pornography has edged out featured films in the percentage of internet downloads.  Pornography downloads from the internet rule the charts for downloads at 42%, other statistics show that featured films are at  41%, 15% TV shows, and animated films are at 2%.  Now think about how much brain staining is going on, and how much of this pornography will influence weak men to go and try to live out their fantasy's with an unsuspecting woman.  (I have advocated for years all woman should be trained in firearms, and carry a gun, just in case a pornography user tries to get cute)

Every week you see some young girl whose been abducted by someone around the country, and they usually end up dead.  Do you think there is some correlation? I do! I think we are poisoning ourselves and we don't care.  Human trafficking has replaced drugs as the number one income for drug cartels. Why?  Because the audience is broader, and it's easier to market women in most communities than it is to sell drugs. Woman are shipped like cattle to all parts of the United States with the promise of a better life, and all they ever get is enslavement to the sex trade. We have 400,000 Churches in America, just think if we used the resources in those churches to battle the human traffickers, what a difference it would make. Most church goers don't even know what's going on in their own communities, let alone the preachers telling them how to get involved and make a difference.  Take a moment and watch this link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlNdl_xi-hg

In fact this brief paragraph from Crosswalk.com sums up the problem.

Could half of Christian men have a problem with porn, as so many of the statistics say? Porn is reported to be a 12 billion dollar industry in the U.S… 50 percent of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a Promise Keepers stadium event… 54 percent of pastors said they viewed porn within the past year in a Pastors.com survey… in a 2003 Focus on the Family poll 47 percent of respondents said porn is a problem in their home.

So why all the silence in the Christian community?  Good question.  Why not ask your church leadership. If the Church is going to make a difference in our world, it has to start talking about it, and start some action to get clean. This problem with staining the brain with sexually explicit images is affecting everyone. Several ministries have been established in your community to help people get clean and stay clean, do you know who they are? I have a link to one of those ministries in my community.   

It all starts with a few stains we allow in our lives, and it keeps us from being honest and truthful...K 

 http://www.puritycoalition.org/home.html

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