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Tuesday
Mar292011

Characteristics of A World at End

"See that no one leads you astray"  the very first words Jesus tells His disciples as he begins His remarks in Matthew 24 about the last days of this world. Jesus tells us that the world will experience wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution, Christians will be hated, false prophets, lawlessness will prevail, and the love of people will grow cold.  Now that's a list! 

People have been telling me that their pastors won't comment on these kinds of things, because the end times are too controversial, too volatile, too upsetting to the congregation. Hummmmmm, yet Jesus thought it important to place these predictions in His book, helping us to get ready for what is going to happen. 

Here is a glimpse of what Jesus said will happen to our earth from Revelation 8:

7The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

 
8The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.  9A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

 
10The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.  11The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

Frightful, yes if we aren't right with God. 

Hey pastors wake up! You have a job to do, and it's not easy to do what what you have been called to do.  However, you are called to teach, comfort, warn, and preach the truth the way the Bible teaches it.  Stop being Dr Phil in the pulpit and give your congregation what it needs, not more of you, but more of Him.  

The overriding characteristic of the end of this world as we know it is "deception."  That is what Jesus taught. 

Listen Church, deception doesn't come afar, but from within. YOU are the target of the new Christian voices and your young people are the most vulnerable to these new voices. 

Here is one case in point.  Did you know that the cross is a distraction to God....if this wasn't so tragic, it's laughable.  Until next time, keep it honest and truthful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOUfsX2fbk

 


  

 

Monday
Mar282011

How Prepared Are We?

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about ten virgins waiting for their bridegroom to come. Now what are we taking about here? How is it that there are ten women, waiting for one bridegroom?  Doesn't anyone think this is a bit excessive, or even immoral?  However, it's a parable, a story with a lesson tied to it.  This 25th chapter of Matthew is talking about the Kingdom of God, and these ten virgins are waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Of the ten virgins, five were foolish and five were wise, and today you and I are in one of those camps. There are many lamps of religion, the mechanisms by which light or truth is seen, however it's the oil that makes the light work. Since Jesus was addressing His people, the Jews, I often wonder if He was referring to them as the five foolish virgins. Yes, they had the structure of the lamp of religion, but failed to find Him as the oil of the lamp.  

It occurred to me recently, that a person can have all the trappings, the structure of an outward relationship with God, but be like the foolish virgins because they really don't know Him.  Jesus said this in Matthew 7:

 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Many have the structure of the lamp today, they go to church, and say they are Christians, but their hearts have no interest in surrendering to Him as Lord of their lives.  As we watch the world around us shake with earthquakes, and war, we are reminded these are the signs of His soon return.  Are you ready?  David Wilkerson has been preaching a message for 50 years warning it is time to get ready and get right with God. He speaks about a word we rarely hear preached today, "repentance" a turning away from sin, or a lifestyle unbecoming of a follower of Jesus. Being prepared, starts with a heart that repents, because repentance is how we fill our lamps with the oil of His Grace. 

David Wilkerson is not for the faint of heart, but his message is needed in today's church.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eruJ4GmAho&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

Ask yourself, be honest, am I ready?  Have I surrendered my life to God?  Is my lamp full or empty today? 

 

Until next time....keep it honest and truthful......K

Friday
Mar252011

Can Anything Good Come From a F-word?

Now before you think I have gone crazy with the link I am about to share with you, please hear me out. 

Pastors, like so many other commentators in the media, need to come up with unique ways of getting their message across. The Apostle Paul agrees that it we are to take extreme measures at times to make a point.

1 Corinthians 9:19-22

 19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.  20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.  21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  22To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

The point Paul is making is we are to use methods at our disposal that work in communicating our message. Personally, I don't have a problem with people who are creatively communicating, as long as they don't creatively invent a new gospel, like so many are doing in some Christian movements today.

Because today is Friday, I thought I would give you an example of a pastor who I think is trying to communicate a strong message using the context of a swear word to deliver the punch line.  I think it was effective, see what you think. 

 

See you next week......K

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqPOKbTSMpk&feature=player_embedded

Thursday
Mar242011

Does God Shy Away from Judgment? 

Here is a quote from a national New show: MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell said last week on his program: "The Book of Revelation is a work of fiction describing how a truly vicious God would bring about the end of the world. No half-smart religious person actually believes the Book of Revelation. They are certain that their God would never turn into a malicious torturer and mass murderer beyond Hitler's wildest dreams." 

Oh really, it is fascinating that people have this issue with God citing Him for being too cruel, or question His power and decision to punish anyone in an eternal hell.   Many pastors and Christian authors today love to write about the love and mercy of God, but fail to mention He also deals with sin, judgement, and eternal punishment. (they probably don't write about these things, because they just don't attract book sales) 

Yet, is it fair to worship only the God of love?  After all, the God who sacrificed His Son on the Cross is the same God who killed women and children in the great flood in Genesis.  It's the same God who told Israel not to spare any of the people groups as it was conquering the land in the Book of Exodus.  Most Christians who only beat the love of God drum forget about the wrath of the lamb of Revelation 6:16

16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,"

Christians who do read and believe in the prophecies in the Book of Revelation realize that after Revelation chapter five, all the destruction that comes upon the face of the earth is orchestrated by the same Lamb of God we associate with as  the Savior of the world.  So come on, let's be honest, you can't have the love side of God without the judgment side of God. Even Jesus told us that we should fear the one who had the power over eternal punishment. 

Matthew 10:28

 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

(there's that place mentioned again, that some pastor/authors think doesn't exit)

So what we have today is a spirit of denial, a spirit of anti-christ that wants to deconstruct God into our own image of a nice guy, with a big heart.  This kind of deconstruction has been happening for some time, and will continue to happen, because the enemy of our soul knows his time is short.  I recommend for those of you who aren't afraid to hear the truth to listen to some truth telling from a reliable source. 

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

 

Until next time....K

Wednesday
Mar232011

Tradition Does it Speak for God?

Okay, I'm new at this blog stuff, so cut me some slack for a few weeks.  There, I said it, before you can make any comments, keep them on ice for a couple of weeks. 

I have spent 40 years of my life talking to people about truth, and it hasn't been easy.  People have a hard time with truth.  Try being honest about your spouses weight, or habits, and see how honesty really pays off!  But honesty is important, and more of us should practice it. This blog is not for the faint of heart, it will ask some tough questions, and make some outlandish statements, all in the interest of keeping us honest and truthful.

So how about religious traditions?  Good or bad?  Mixed response I suppose, but Jesus didn't like what the traditions of His day taught.  In fact you can read Matthew 23, you will find some interesting things:

 

  • traditions are based upon truth
  • traditions can be hypocritical
  • traditions can be self serving
  • traditions can keep people away from God and the truth
  • traditions can blind you to practicing meaningful acts of service
  • traditions are often just for controlling a measured outcome

 

Jesus concluded with a question to his audience of tradition practicing Pharisees: "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of Hell? -verse 33 (He is not being too Christian here!)

Okay, so tradition for the sake of tradition is really not worth much.  (young people have discovered that and have been staying away from the tradition of the church for decades)   I have been challenging my understanding of Christianity and as a result of my honest inquiry I found I was serving tradition, rather than truth. Jesus Christ was not a Baptist or Pentecostal, He wasn't even baptized as a child by a Catholic priest. Come on, denominations are traditions, and some of them are so diluted with their own self importance that they are convinced that their brand of Christianity has front row seating in heaven.  Jesus was a Jew, so go figure what He would say to denominations who are Anti-semitic by ignoring His people?  One clergy told me that the Palestinians have more of a right to the land than the Jews, based upon a traditional understanding from their denomination. Hummmmm......More on this later, because I am feeling the heat at the back of my neck rising.  In the meantime, here is my very first link to a website with a podcast that will illustrate my point. 

http://gnfi.org/podcast/?p=home

 

One very last point:  I know some of this blog doesn't work yet, but the guy who is working on it flew to Italy with his wife.  I guess I can't blame him for not finishing it.  Be patient with me and my new blog. 

So until next time, keep it honest and truthful....K

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