Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Terrified Yet?

   They call him "Jihad Joe", the ominous, Darth Vader-like spokesman seen in ISIS beheading videos....the new face- or voice- of terror. Are you afraid someone one day will sever your head from your neck like the poor victim in the video? Don't be! Not saying it won't or can't happen, but Jesus commanded us:
"...Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you Whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell: yea, I say unto you,  Fear Him."  Luke 12:4-5

   They want us to be afraid of them. All across the country people are kowtowing to ISIS already, embracing Islam & the Quran! Forget that! Paul instructed his disciples at Philippi,
"Only be sure as citizens so to conduct yourselves [that] your manner of life [will be] worthy of the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, so that whether  I [do] come and see you or are absent, I may hear this of you: that you are standing firm in united spirit and purpose, striving side by side and contending with a single mind for the faith of the glad tidings (the Gospel).
And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness]  will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending]  destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God."  Philippians 1:27-28, AMP
It bears repeating, "...that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel: And in nothing terrified by your adversaries..."
   The Roman Catholic Church is seeking to capitalize on believers' fears of ISIS, calling Christians to "unity" under their shadow. We must not give in to that either! We are to strive for THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL, that faith the Apostles and Prophets gave their lives for! What faith? That if I donate to some TV preacher, I'll become rich? No! But that, "the very hairs of your head are all numbered" and Jesus can and will preserve and protect those who put their trust in Him!
   Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego told the king like, "Go ahead, make my day! Our God is able to deliver us, but if He chooses not  to, no big; we'll be in His presence in a minute anyway!" The Fourth Man who was in the fire with them will be in the fire with us too! He doesn't change: stand up for Jesus, & He'll stand up for you!
   There were cases when God teleported  Elijah out of trouble, and other times sent fire from heaven to burn up the bad guys; another time he blinded them all and took them prisoner! If the Father did that for them, will He not do it for you, O ye of little faith?

* * * * * * *

   FYI, Jihad Joe: you kill me, I ain't stayin' dead! When Jesus comes back, I'm comin' with Him, and the FIRST sucker I'm looking for is YOU! Whacha gonna do then? ; )
   'Til next time...
Fight the good fight. God save the Faithful.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Divine warning: Leaders will be held accountable!

    That funny amber icon on your dashboard you've been ignoring is a warning: "Check Engine Soon". You don't smell anything strange; you don't hear anything, you don't feel anything. So you keep driving.You drive right past that DEER CROSSING sign you've passed a million times without ever seeing any deer. You don't even bother to scan the woods for movement.We tend to block out warnings when we see no danger.
   In the Scriptures, Jesus gives  His folllowers a number of warnings of things to come, and we would do well to heed them. When Christ appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos, He directed him to send messages to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. As He reviews each church's character and performance, Jesus commends their  successes and exposes their faults.
   The congregations are reproved for their apathy and self-conceit, but really it's the leadership Jesus takes to task. Christ judges them, not just for what they do pro-actively, but also for what they allow to go on!
To wit:
"But I have a few things against thee because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam..."
"So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate..."
"Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants..."
   He speaks of the deeds of the Nicolaitans (Re 2:6) the doctrine of Balaam, and the prophesy of Jezebel. I see three hotzones in the church which pastors and elders must watch over. The deeds, or what people are actually doing, physically. Doctrine is what is being taught, whether officially or casually: what the church believes or thinks. Prophesy refers to the spirituality of the church; not necessarily someone standing up & declaring, "Thus saith the Lord", but the spirit by which anyone ministering in the church speaks, or sings, or prays. That is, pastors, what are your people doing in their bodies, understanding in their minds, and following in their hearts?
   Note that Jesus even threatens to remove leaders who allow ungodliness to continue! What bothers this blogger is that church leaders fall all over themselves, bending over backwards to make the changes the world calls us to make, yet treat Jesus like a pesky little check engine light! When have you ever heard denominational leaders standing up & declaring a new policy forbidding the deeds of the Nicolaitans, the doctrine of Balaam, or the seduction of Jezebel? I wish!!!!!
   Paul warned the leaders of the church of Ephesus, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers..." (Acts 20:28) John the Baptist prophesied, "And  now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire..."  (Matthew 3:10)
   Pastors & elders can't control everything that people do, but they need to set the standards in the church and hold them up, correcting those who drift outside the lines. If you won't, and instead allow the world to shape your church, you will be removed!  Hebrews 13:17 tells us church leaders must give an account for what goes on in their churches. Remember, it's not just what you do, but what you allow.

Fight the good fight. God save the faithful.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

What's Next?

   Once upon a time, someone decided this would be a good time to begin the new year (I don't really think so): so here we are! 2015 Anno Domini. What do I expect in the new year? Lies, lies, and more lies. I don't claim to be a prophet folks, just one who keeps his eyes on trends, and looks out to where they're heading.
   Who lies to us? The goverment? The press? The education system? The Church? The internet? The Devil? A true Prophet, Jeremiah, wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" That's right, friends: we deceive ourselves. People believe what they wanna believe! Facts and stats have nothing to do with it; even what is written in the Scriptures is set at naught when it conflicts with what we want to believe.
   I hear skeptics say, "There's not a shred of evidence" when there's a whole mountain of it right in front of them! The credulous believe rumors, "documentaries", myths, folklore, anecdotes,  and outright hoaxes with no evidence at all. How do we determine what is true, what is false?  I tell you, it is easier to get someone to believe a lie than it is to get them to believe the truth! Pretty much all you have to do is state it as if you yourself believe it, and your apparent conviction will be enough to sway some people's opinions.
   What have we got to work with? "Facts"? Who determines what is fact? The majority? The authorities? The "experts"? Statistics? Who collected them, and how reliable are their techniques? Who is reporting them, and are thet leaving some things out? Studies? Who funded them? How about Reason & Logic? They're pretty useful.....as long as you begin with a correct premise! We all know the guilty have been acquitted, and the innocent convicted through logical & legal manipulations. Gut feeling? Intuition? Good luck wit dat!
   We are told in Scripture, "... be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15) I heard a preacher on TV state, "I know it in my knower". That was his testimnony! I kid you not!  Guys & gals, we need something better than that!
   There are talkers out there known as "Truthers". But what if they're telling us just enough truth to earn our trust, only to turn around and tell us an even bigger lie? HOW DO YA KNOW? The Bible tells us "Prove all things." Don't jump on every bandwagon, folks. People are saying alot of goofy stuff, and the more it gets repeated, the more it gets believed----but it's still just as goofy! There was a story going around the web that NASA scientists predicted the sun would go dark for three days in December 2014. Duh!
   I think some people put stupid stuff out there just to see who'll bite it. If I could tell you one thing for 2015, friends, it's
   My Dad used to say there are three sides to every story: my side, your side, and the truth's side. Be careful who  you listen to. Peace.