Friday, December 28, 2007
Let me just state for the record that I think the ‘sinners prayer’ is not biblical. It’s not un-biblical either; it’s just not found in the Bible. The sinners prayer is nothing more than “leading” a sinner through a series of words that mean absolutely nothing if the person repeating those words is merely mimicking what he/she is hearing. Sometimes when I’m out street witnessing I will hear people say, “I prayed the prayer when I was younger”. When you press them about it, they really can’t remember what they prayed only that they “asked Jesus into their heart” when they were seven or eight years old. After you talk with them awhile you learn that they are un-churched, they do not pray regularly, they do not read the Bible daily, etc. Does that sound like a conversion to you?
The ‘sinners prayer’ can only be effective if the person understands what he/she heard from a Gospel presentation before the prayer was cited and if the person is truly repenting and trusting Christ to save them. What I mean to say is this:
Before the prayer was there…
· A clear presentation about sin: Sin defined; who has sinned, why and how we sin, the consequence and penalty of sin.
· What did God do for us to deliver us from the penalty of sin.
· What should we do in response to what God has done for us.
In other words; A clear and precise understanding of sin and the Gospel before any prayer is offered.
Back to the sinners prayer I heard at the Christmas Eve service. Before the prayer was prayed there was a very minor mention of the word ‘sin’. There was no definition to what sin was. There was no definition to how or why we sin. The only mention of the penalty of sin was the proverbial “separation from God” blurb that fails miserably in conveying the severity of spending eternity in the Lake of Fire if one dies in their sins. The Pastor did talk about what God did for us so that we would not have to be ‘separated from God’ but failed horribly as to what our response should be. In fact, the Pastor said at least twice that if one were to pray the following prayer, that the sinner would have eternal life. Actually, Pastor, everyone ever born has eternal life in once place or another; Heaven or Hell. That’s it.
Here was basically the prayer:
With every head bowed and every eye closed, repeat after me; “Dear Lord Jesus, I admit that I’m a sinner. You died on the cross for my sins. I know that you are standing at the door of my heart and knocking and all I have to do is open the door for you to come in. I accept you as Lord and Savior. Come into my heart and give me eternal life. If you prayed that prayer, please slip your hand up so I can see. No one is going to come to you or make you feel uneasy. We don’t want to embarrass you. Good. Thank you. You may put your hands down now.” The Pastor goes onto say that if you prayed that prayer, congratulations, you are now in the family of God.
Let me say one thing first; can God use a botched sinners prayer to save a sinner? Yes. If the person praying the prayer was repenting of their sins and trusting Christ to save them from their sins on the day of wrath. God knows the heart. God knows if a person is merely parroting a prayer versus truly repenting and trusting. But, on the other hand, if a person is merely feeling a little guilty about some of the things he/she has done and prays this type of prayer thinking it’s all good now, signs the card, gets baptized, joins the church and then attends for a few months and slowly fades away from the fellowship….did that person get saved? Are they just backsliding a bit? Or, could it be, that they were never born-again like Jesus said we must be? The ever so popular sinners prayer has claimed another victim.
Let’s break down some of the above ‘sinner prayer’.
“With every head bowed and every eye closed” – Why? Why must every head be bowed and every eye closed? If a person has heard a clear and concise biblical message about sin, repentance, God’s Grace and trusting Christ to save them, they should be running to the alter! I certainly did. No one could hold me back when I heard what God had done for me in spite of my sins.
“I admit I’m a sinner” – Yes, that’s a good start. But admitting you’re a sinner and repenting of your sins are two different things. The Bible says that you must repent for remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Jesus said in Luke 24:46-47, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” In fact the first words recorded in Mark at the start of Jesus ministry was “Repent and believe the Gospel.” The word ‘believe’ is better translated ‘trust’. Like one would trust a parachute to save you from the law of gravity. You must repent and trust Jesus to save you from God’s Law. God will enforce His Law on the Day of Judgment and the only thing that can save you is the atoning blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
“I stand at the door and knock” - Some Pastors use incorrectly Revelation 3:20 that say’s “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Jesus is not ‘knocking’ at the door of a sinners heart in this context of Scripture, He is knocking at the door of the church. Jesus is speaking to the church (believers, not un-believers) in Laodicea. This church had grown ‘lukewarm’ because of their works. Look at what Jesus says to this church in response to their ‘lukewarm-ness’ in verse 19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” Because Jesus loves the church (the believers) He rebukes and chastens them. Jesus tells these believers to get zealous for Him and repent for being lukewarm. To use Revelation 3:20 as an evangelism verse is to clearly take out of context what Jesus is saying to the church. At best using this verse for a sinners prayer is pure ignorance of the Scriptures and at worst performing eisegsesis (taking from Scripture and applying ones own idea).
“Accept Jesus as you Lord and Savior” – Wrong. We need Jesus to accept us. And He will, if we repent and trust Him.
“Come into my heart and give me eternal life” – We already have eternal life. What needs to be asked of God here is that, after repenting of your sins, you trust Him to forgive you. He will do so and give you eternal life in Heaven.
There are many other things a Pastor may say and even might have some soft heart tugging music being played while all this goes on. But here is all that needs to happen:
Jesus said in John 3:3, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus said we must be 'born again.' Why? Why must we be born again?
Simple - You have broken God's Law's. You know, the Ten Commandments. If you are honest, you will say that you have lied (9th Commandment), you have stolen something sometime in your life (8th Commandment), you probably have coveted (10th Commandment), looked with lust at someone (7th Commandment), probably have taken the Lord's Name in vain (3rd Commandment).
These are just Five of the Ten Commandments. If you have broken just one of them, you are guilty of breaking them all.
Because you have broken God's Law's, you will have to answer for that one day when you die. And you will die won't you? Hebrews 9:27 says, And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."
You are going to have to stand before a Holy and Righteous Judge on judgment day; God. And it's not just you either. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
When your standing there before God on judgment day, your are going to have to pay for your sins (breaking the Law). The Bible says in Romans 6:23. "The wages of sin is death...." This 'death', is not just only an eternal separation from God, but eternity in hell where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in the lake of fire.
But there is hope my friend. 2000 years ago, God did something truly amazing. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, born of a virgin to be a sacrifice on your behalf. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
There it is!
We need to be made righteous before God. How do you do that?
Repent of your sins. Acts 17:30, "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent" Repent and turn from your sins. and call on the name of Jesus. Acts 16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Pray to the God who gave you your first life to give a second life. This is the only way to have everlasting life with God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."God's Word is true.
Repent of your sins and call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved. Do it from you heart and not from some man-made prayer.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
At about 6 PM tonight the bridge of Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed. I am writing this about three hours after the bridge fell. The bridge is located within sight of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Most of us who minister at the church cross this bridge several times a week. At this point I don’t know if any staff was on the bridge. Desiring God offices are about a mile from the bridge.
There are no firm facts at this point about the total number of injuries and fatalities. When we crossed the bridge Tuesday on our way out of town, there was extensive repair work happening on the surface of the bridge with single lane traffic. One speculates about the unusual stresses on the bridge with jackhammers and other surface replacement equipment. This was the fortieth anniversary of the bridge.
Tonight for our family devotions our appointed reading was Luke 13:1-9. It was not my choice. This is surely no coincidence. O that all of the Twin Cities, in shock at this major calamity, would hear what Jesus has to say about it from Luke 13:1-5. People came to Jesus with heart-wrenching news about the slaughter of worshipers by Pilate.
Here is what he said.
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
Jesus implies that those who brought him this news thought he would say that those who died, deserved to die, and that those who didn’t die did not deserve to die. That is not what he said. He said, everyone deserves to die. And if you and I don’t repent, we too will perish. This is a stunning response. It only makes sense from a view of reality that is radically oriented on God.
All of us have sinned against God, not just against man. This is an outrage ten thousand times worse than the collapse of the 35W bridge. That any human is breathing at this minute on this planet is sheer mercy from God. God makes the sun rise and the rain fall on those who do not treasure him above all else. He causes the heart to beat and the lungs to work for millions of people who deserve his wrath. This is a view of reality that desperately needs to be taught in our churches, so that we are prepared for the calamities of the world.
The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is his most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live. If we could see the eternal calamity from which he is offering escape we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.
We prayed during our family devotions. Talitha (11 years old) and Noel and I prayed earnestly for the families affected by the calamity and for the others in our city. Talitha prayed “Please don’t let anyone blame God for this but give thanks that they were saved.” When I sat on her bed and tucked her in and blessed her and sang over her a few minutes ago, I said, “You know, Talitha, that was a good prayer, because when people ‘blame’ God for something, they are angry with him, and they are saying that he has done something wrong. That’s what “blame” means: accuse somebody of wrongdoing. But you and I know that God did not do anything wrong. God always does what is wise. And you and I know that God could have held up that bridge with one hand.” Talitha said, “With his pinky.” “Yes,” I said, “with his pinky. Which means that God had a purpose for not holding up that bridge, knowing all that would happen, and he is infinitely wise in all that he wills.”
Talitha said, “Maybe he let it fall because he wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.” “Yes, Talitha,” I said, “I am sure that is one of the reasons God let the bridge fall.”
I sang to her the song I always sing,
Come rest your head and nestle gentlyAnd do not fear the dark of night.Almighty God keeps watch intently,And guards your life with all his might.Doubt not his love, nor power to keep,He never fails, nor does he sleep.
I said, “You know, Talitha, that is true whether you die in a bridge collapse, or in a car accident, or from cancer, or terrorism, or old age. God always keeps you, even when you die. So you don’t need to be afraid, do you.” “No,” she shook her head. I leaned down and kissed her. “Good night. I love you.”
Tonight across the Twin Cities families are wondering if they will ever kiss a loved one good night again. Some will not. I am praying that they will find Jesus Christ to be their Rock and Refuge in these agonizing hours of uncertainty and even loss.
The word “bridge” does not occur in the Bible. There may be two reasons. One is that God doesn’t build bridges, he divides seas. The other is that usually his people must pass through the deadly currents of suffering and death, not simply ride over them. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isaiah 43:2).
They may drown you. But I will be with you in life and death.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life . . .
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-38)
Killed all day long. But not separated from Christ. We go through the river. Not over it. He went before us, crucified. He came out on the other side. He knows the way through. With him we will make it. That is the message we have for the precious sinners in the Twin Cities. He died for your sins. He rose again. He saves all who trust him. We die, but because of him, we do not die.
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)
Talitha is sleeping now. But one day she will die.
I teach her this. I will not always be there to bless her. But Jesus is alive and is the same yesterday today and forever. He will be with her because she trusts him. And she will make it through the river.
Weeping with those who weep, and those who should,
Psalm 71:20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Recently, Kirk Cameron and I finished a shoot for the third season of our television program. It was called, "Where Has the Passion Gone?" and looked at why we have lost passion in our preaching. The teaching is based on a portion of Scripture where King Saul threatened to cut a yoke of oxen in pieces. As we spoke, we stood behind a small bull that had a big hump on its back, and long horns on its head.
When the filming was over, for some reason, I asked the cowboy who was holding the animal if it could be ridden. Moments later, I quietly slipped onto its back. Suddenly the bull took off, and I instinctively grabbed the horns. The "ride" only lasted for a few seconds, but it was caught on camera. Both Kirk and I were still wired up for sound, and the amusing thing about the clip isn't me on a bull, but that Kirk was incredulous at what he had just seen. He kept saying, "He grabbed the horns! He grabbed the horns!" He said it four times.
My justification for taking the bull by the horns was that I had no choice. There was no rope around the beast's belly for me to grab, and the only other choice was its ears, and I'm not that stupid. Sure.
If you do an Internet search on the ten top fears of humanity, the odds are you won't find that bull-riding is up there. You will instead find fears of scientists regarding the changing climate, the top ten fears of salespeople, fears of job seekers, fears people have of the future, the fear of snakes, of spiders, heights, etc.
But there is one fear of which little is said. It is the "fear of man." There is one terrifying beast that is synonymous with that particular trepidation. It's called "evangelophobia." Just the thought of seeking the lost terrifies most of us. It makes our palms sweat, and our heart palpitate. If you have those symptoms, you are not alone.
Why did I (an intelligent clear-thinking human being) get onto the back of a bull? It was because I had been standing with it for about 30 minutes and I knew that I had some sort of authority over it. Strong though it was, when it got spooked a couple of times during filming, I was able to pull it back into position. So when I got onto the animal, I had that knowledge tucked into my mind. Of course, I could have been gored by its horns, but I didn't think too deeply about it, because if I wanted to ride the bull, I had to take the risk.
Okay, let's study the beast of evangelism. Let's see if you can master it. What are your fears? Are you afraid of being gored by an atheist, or being thrown by some question, and ending up bruised and humiliated? Here then is some knowledge for you to tuck into your mind. You can get on top of the animal. If you learn to do what Jesus did, and address the sinner's conscience, you will be in charge and steer the beast any way you want. To learn how to do this, you can either listen to free CD's on wwwlivingwaters.com or you can get the book, The Way of the Master.
While overcoming evangelophobia will give you a deep satisfaction, there is a far higher motive for doing so. People are going to Hell, and they must be warned. If there was no Hell, I wouldn't bother pouring my heart out to strangers I meet, and each Saturday afternoon passionately preaching open air at the base of the Huntington Beach pier. If there was no Hell, like the rest of this world, I would get on with my own life and the pursuit of happiness.
In our program script Kirk and I talk about the fact that the world speaks more about Hell than the Church. They casually use phrases like all Hell broke loose, like a bat out of Hell, there will be Hell to pay, just for the Hell of it, and someone being as mad as a Hell. When something is hopeless, they say, he doesn't have a hope in Hell. Then there's the road to Hell, which is paved with good intentions, come Hell or high water, until Hell freezes over. They casually speak of how sure Hell is, with as sure as Hell, and of course, when they are angry, they tell each other to go to Hell.
In contrast, most of the contemporary Church (which is commanded to "warn" every man) is afraid to even mention the word, for fear of offending the world.
Think about the rich man of whom Jesus spoke. Much to his horror, he died and found himself in Hell, and being in torments and anguish of soul he pleaded with Abraham to send Lazarus to speak to his loved ones--"that he may testify to them, lest they come to this place of torment," (Luke 16:28). Imagine if Lazarus did actually go to the rich man's loved ones in answer to the rich man's prayer, but instead of warning them about the reality of a terrifying Hell, he avoided the subject and spoke of the purpose of the coming Savior as being one, not to save from wrath, but to give purpose, peace, love and fulfillment. What a terrible betrayal! Yet that's the message of most within the Church, and the result is that its hearers don't therefore repent to flee from wrath. That means that they will be false converts and end up going to Hell themselves.
Of late, in an effort to help awaken casual sinners, I have resorted to asking if they like it when their dentist's drill hits a raw nerve. No one does. I tell them that God is so angry at sin, He says that He will give them "tribulation and anguish," (Romans 2:9) forever. "Anguish" is a word we rarely use. The dentist's drill hitting a raw nerve is called "acute pain." It's not up there with "anguish." Forgive the dreadful analogy, but "anguish" is perhaps the word that would be used to describe the emotion of a loving parent who finds his beloved little daughter lying dead at the bottom of a swimming pool.
We live in an insane world. God offers them everlasting life through the Gospel, and they argue about it. They resist Heaven as though it was Hell itself. He offers them "pleasure forevermore," and they choose "anguish" for eternity. There is no analogy to describe such insanity. But if we love them, we must overcome our fears and plead with a sin-loving world to repent and turn to the Savior. If you call yourself a Christian... if the love of God dwells within you, you have no choice. Please, while there is still time--take a risk, and grab the bull by the horns.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Killing babies in the womb or dog fighting?
It seems all the attention these days is on Michael Vick and his dog fighting indictments. Protesters by the hundreds are lined up outside the courthouse to voice their outrage over Vick on his monstrous evil inhumane sport of fighting dogs.
Is fighting dogs monstrous, evil and inhumane? Yup, you bet it is. If Vick is found guilty he should serve the max the law will permit.
But I'm almost willing to bet the mortgage (if I was a betting man) that the majority of the folks who are beside themselves over this practice of fighting dogs are the same ones who say its a 'womans right to choose' to murder her baby.
Where are our priorities folks??
God help us.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
“ Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life;that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. ” 2 Timothy 2:3,4
Soldiers of the Cross, Be Bold
As I write this, there was just an ambush in Iraq where numerous soldiers were killed and three soldiers were kidnapped. They have now sent out over 4000 soldiers to try and locate these three soldiers. The soldiers know that time is of the essence. They know what happens when you get kidnapped by the enemy. Being used for propaganda is possible. Torture is possible. Death is possible. Death by beheading is possible.Soldiers know that training is one thing, but being on the front lines is a whole other ballgame. That is when it gets the most serious and where all your training comes into play. I have met soldiers and pilots who wanted to be on the front lines and not back home, because they wanted to put all their training to use. They wanted to protect our country, and they wanted to be there with their friends protecting each other.
Now let’s ask ourselves a question. Do we as Christians want to be on the front lines, or do we want to be back “home” so to speak? Would we rather spend our time in the bar sections of our towns reaching the lost, or back at our churches hearing a sermon? Would we rather be on a college campus discussing eternal truth with students and professors, or would we rather be hanging out with another Christian at their house having “fellowship”?As a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ, we should want to be on the front lines. We should want to be out there reaching the lost. But there is danger on the front line. That is where you can be laughed at. That is where you can be mocked. That is where a co-worker might see you. That is where you can be spit at. That is where you can be arrested. But truthfully, that is where the excitement is. Soldiers will say the same thing. Training is one thing, but the adrenalin picks up a ton when you are right there with the enemy. And, by the way, you can’t be afraid of the enemy. You have to attack the enemy in order to win.Below are the lyrics to the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Enjoy, and be challenged.
Onward Christian soldiers! Marching as to war,With the cross of Jesus, Going on before,Christ the royal Master, Leads against the foe;Forward into battle, See His banners go!Like a mighty army, Moves the Church of God;Brothers, we are treading, Where the saints have trod;We are not divided, All one body we,One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.Crowns and thrones may perish, Kingdoms rise and wane,But the Church of Jesus, constant will remain;Gates of hell can never, 'gainst that Church prevail;We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.Onward, then, ye people, Join our happy throng.Blend with ours your voices In the triumph song;Glory, laud, and honor, Unto Christ the King;This through countless ages, Men and angels sing.
I wonder if many of us can even utter a song like that. We are so comfortable in our current state of Christianity even as the world dies and goes to hell. How will I ever be able to look the bold saints of God in the eye when I won’t even get on the front lines where I live?
Isaiah 51:12 says,
“ I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; ”
We do not need to fear man as we serve the Lord. All the men that we are afraid of will die. They will go to the grave. They will have a one-on-one meeting with God. We do not need to fear men, but have a righteous fear of God. Make sure this is the boldest summer you have had yet in reaching the lost. We hopefully have our training from our churches, and now it is time to get on the front lines in your town wherever lost people are. Pray for our soldiers that are on the front lines. And if they can be on the front lines this summer in a war, so can we be on the front lines as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!
Until the nets are full,
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Churches divide over carpet color, building additions and budgets. In the meantime, our fellow church members are going to hell by the boat load.
A.W. Tozer said, “It is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ, and they have not been saved.”
D. James Kennedy said, “The vast majority of people who are members of churches in America today are not Christians. I say that without the slightest contradiction. I base it on empirical evidence of twenty-four years of examining thousands of people.”
Friend, we argue over so many petty things. May I suggest we have lost sight of the most important debate of all, “What is salvation?” My theology teaches that salvation happens when a man repents and places his trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).
I would like to present thirteen ways that we have re-defined how a person becomes a true convert. Have we done this intentionally? Certainly not. We have simply created lingo that has a grain of truth in Scripture, but it is so open to interpretation that the un-converted understand it in ways that lead to false conversions.
1. Make Jesus your Lord and Savior. We cannot make Jesus our Lord and Savior, He is our Lord and Savior. We are living in rebellion to Him and He commands us to repent and trust Him.
2. Ask Jesus into your heart. Does Jesus come into our hearts? Yes He does. The question is, “How does He get in there?” It is not by simply asking Him in; it is by repentance and faith.
3. Just believe in Jesus. The demons believe and they tremble. We must repent and trust.
4. You have a God-shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it. We have far more than a hole that needs to be filled so we can feel complete; we have a wretched, deceitful, sinful heart that needs cleansing. Repentance and faith applies the blood of the lamb for that cleansing.
5. Accept Jesus. Whoa. We need to accept Jesus? This is entirely backward. We need Jesus to accept us–and He will, if we repent and trust.
6. Make a decision for Jesus. Decisional regeneration puts man in the driver’s seat of salvation. When we repent and trust, Jesus decides to save us. That puts Him in the driver’s seat…where He demands.
7. It is easy to believe. While the formula of repentance and faith sounds simple, a complete surrendering of self in repentance is anything but easy. It’s hard.
8. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. The only promises for the convert are trials, temptation and persecution. If that is how you define a wonderful life, fine. Otherwise we must command all men everywhere to repent and trust.
9. Come to Jesus just as you are. We should come to Jesus just as the sinners we are, but He also expects a broken heart and contrite spirit demonstrated in repentance and faith.
10. Come to Jesus and you will receive forgiveness of sins and ________________ (fill in the blank with money, health, a healed marriage). Jesus didn’t promise healed marriages; in fact He promised broken homes because we would divide when one member repents and trusts.
11. Come to Jesus and experience love, joy, peace. Do we get the fruit of the Spirit upon conversion? Yes. But if we come seeking the gifts and not the giver, we will receive neither. Instead, we must repent and trust.
12. Jesus is the missing piece. Um, no, the God of the universe is not the missing piece, He demands that He is the center of our lives when we repent and trust.
13. Jesus is better than fame and fortune. That is an understatement, and frankly, it is insulting. Saying Jesus is better than money is like saying that a steak dinner is better than eating a dung hill. He defies comparison and we trivialize the Son of God. Instead, we should be pleading with all men everywhere to repent and trust.
If I showed up at your door with a can of grapefruit juice and a roll of paper towels and offered to change your oil, you would say, “No thanks.” If we wouldn’t let someone mess with our car using the wrong method, why do we allow the Gospel to be presented so ambiguously?
Would you let a doctor operate on your child who was “sort of” accurate? The salvation of men is far more important than an appendix.
I beg you to consider how you share the Gospel. You and I know what we are talking about when we use these phrases, but do the unregenerate? Is it possible that we have so many backsliders today because they never slid forward in the first place?
Is it because they were never told that they must repent and trust?
If we are willing to debate shag verse plush in the fellowship hall, shouldn’t we be more concerned about an issue that has eternal consequences?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Only One Issue
What is the Unborn?
Pro-life advocates contend that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being. This simplifies the abortion controversy by focusing on just one question: Is the unborn a member of the human family? If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong. It treats the distinct human being, with his or her own intrinsic worth, as nothing more than a disposable instrument. Conversely, if the unborn are not human, elective abortion requires no more justification than having a tooth pulled. As Gregory Koukl points out, "If the unborn are not human, no justification for elective abortion in necessary. But if the unborn are human, no justification for elective abortion is adequate."
Some argue that abortion is a complex moral issue. However, there is only one question to resolve, not many: What is the unborn? Everything comes back to that one question. This is not to say that abortion is easy for most women. To the contrary, a decision to have one may be psychologically complex and perhaps even agonizing for some. But the topic today is not psychology, but morality. Everyone in the abortion debate agrees that abortion kills somthing. But whether it's right to take the life of any living being depends entirely on the question, What is it?
Common justifications for abortion are only valid if it is already assumed that the unborn are not human beings. Ask yourself if a justification for abortion also works as a justification for killing toddlers or other humans. If not, the argument assumes the unborn are not fully human, like toddlers.
" Women have a right to make their own private decisions."
Imagine that a woman has a two-year-old in front of her. May she kill him or her as long as the killing is done in the privacy of the bedroom? Of course not. Why not? Because the child is a human being. If the unborn is also human, they should not be killed in the name of privacy any more than a toddler.
Abortion advocates respond that killing a toddler and killing a fetus are two different things, like comparing apples with oranges. But that's the issue isn't it? Toddlers are human beings. Are the unborn also human beings? That's the one issue that matters.
"But many poor women cannot afford to raise another child."
When human beings get expensive, may we kill them? Bring out a toddler. Suppose a large family collectively decides to quietly dispose of its three youngest children to help ease the family budget. Would this be okay?
The answer from abortion advocates is the same. They agree that it would not be right to kill the children, but come back saying that aborting a fetus is not the same as killing children. So, once again, the issue is the same. What is the unborn?
"A woman should not be forced to bring an unwanted child into the world."
Abortion advocates argue that it's not fair to the child to be brought into a family where he is not wanted. He's better off not being born. So the fetus is aborted for the sake of the child.
Bring out the toddler again. Suppose that he is unwanted. In fact, by the time he's five-years-old, let's say that he's also abused and neglected. Should we kill him now to spare him future trouble?
The answer is obvious, but it brings us back to the one issue that matters. What is the unborn?
"No woman should be forced to raise a child with physical disabilities."
Suppose that you have in front of you a small boy with mental problems. He's not very bright, cannot speak or understand much of what is said, and has a strange look from head to toe. Would it be morally permissible to kill him because of his condition.
Abortion advocates would agree that we cannot destroy him. He should be treated with care as we do for all human beings that have injuries or cannot speak for themselves. Again, this brings us back to the toddler. If the disabled unborn are human, like the disabled toddler, we shouldn't kill them for not meeting our standard of perfection. This brings us back to the one issue. What is the unborn?
"Every woman has a right to decide what is right and wrong for herself."
Would you force your morality on an abusive mother who was physically mistreating her two-year-old? You better. No human being should be abused.You see the issue is not about forcing morality; it's not about privacy; it's not about economic hardship; it's not about physical disabilities; it's not about unwantedness.
The issue is reduced to one question: What is the unborn?
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I have heard many quotes over the years concerning passion for reaching and preaching/witnessing to the lost. Here are a few……
"So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does." Oswald Chambers.
"A believer is ready to serve everybody wherever he can. He cannot but profess the gospel before men, even though he foresees that he can reap nothing but ridicule and scorn for it; yes, he is ready also to give his life for the gospel." C.F.W. Walthers
I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,..The Apostle Paul, Romans 9:1-3
"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that." C.H. Spurgeon
Last night, as I sat in front of my computer, I came across a rather sober reminder of how quick the rapture of the church will occur. Take a moment and check out this link. Go about halfway down the page and watch a 45 second clip titled, ‘Are You Ready’.
Go ahead and watch it now and then come back for the rest of this post.
Pretty amazing huh?
I showed the clip to my wife and seven year old son. My seven year old was recently saved a couple months ago. I had the privilege of personally leading him to the Lord. After viewing the clip, my son looked straight at me and asked what was happening. After taking the time to explain to him the rapture doctrine (as I understand it biblically), he asked me if the rapture would hurt. I told him no, I was pretty sure that the rapture, if we are on Earth to experience it, would be an awesome occurrence that would take us immediately to the presence of the Lord.
He was satisfied with that answer and then stated that he was glad everyone in our family was a Christian. I told him, well, everybody in our family living here in this house was a Christian, but not everyone in our family was a Christian. He asked who that was and I told him that my brother, his uncle, was not a Christian.
My son's eyes were instantly filled with tears.
‘We have got to get him saved’, he said with tears running down his face. I told him that ‘we’ can’t save him, only God can do that. I explained to him that I had been witnessing to my brother for years now with no result, but I keep trying every time we talk or see each other. My son, with a stare of disbelief at me said, ‘I’ll be right back’, and ran off into the other room. A few seconds later he was back in the office, with tears still streaming down his face, holding the phone in his hand and said, ‘Let’s call him now and tell him again.’
Tears welled up in my eyes this time.
I had talked with my brother a few days earlier and shared the law, repentance and the saving grace of Jesus Christ for the umpteenth time with him. I told my son it was too late in the evening to call him tonight but I promised him that the next time I talked with my brother; I would let him join in. We prayed together for my brother’s salvation and thanked God for ours.
I can’t remember who said this, ‘If they can’t see the tears in your eyes when you’re sharing your faith, at least let them hear the tears in your voice’.
Praise God for the salvation of my son and his real concern for the lost. May we all have that same concern when we share our faith.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.'If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
How's the world treating you, Christian?
Take a walk with me back in time a couple thousand years ago. Christians were routinely put in an arena with blood thirsty lions that were waiting to tear their limbs apart while spectators went crazy with delight. Why did these Christians allow this to happen? They could have simply renounced their faith and would have been set free. Backsliding wasn’t as common then as it is now so what was the motive to let a lion rip you apart?
How about trying to translate a Bible into the modern English language of the day as William Tyndale did in the 16th century? Tyndale’s final words as he was about to be burned at the stake? “Oh Lord, open the King of England’s eyes”.
Fast forward to July, 2005 - When 34-year old Jiang Zongxiu went to her neighboring market last June in Guizhou Province, China. Along with her mother-in-law, Jiang went through the marketplace, taking opportunities to hand out Bibles and Christian literature and telling people about Jesus. Only this day they had an encounter with the Chinese police.
The two Christian women were handcuffed together and brought to the police station. They were interrogated throughout the evening of the 17th. The next morning they were sentenced by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) to 15 days incarceration for "suspected spreading of rumor and disturbing the social order."
Jiang and her mother-in-law knew the risk of spreading Christian literature in communist China. Both had been active in their church for more than 10 years and dared to go forth. Even when they were arrested, interrogated and sentenced to serve 15 days, they were willing to accept the consequences of their actions - all from a government that claims to have "freedom of religion."
But it was not enough for the PSB to arrest and beat these two Christian women for the crime of passing our Christian literature. In the afternoon of June 18th, Mrs. Jiang Zongziu was pronounced dead by the PSB office of Tongzi County. They claimed she died of "natural causes." The fact is she was beaten to death.
Christian, when was the last time you shared your faith? No, I'm not talking about that fish on the back of your car. I'm talking about walking up to that friend, co-worker, brother, grandmother that you know is not saved and sharing the Gospel.
Have you resided yourself to just showing up to church on Sunday and keeping to your own little world? Has your witness become non-existent because at the mere mention of the name of Jesus a sinful world would stop smiling at you? Are you reluctant to mention the word ‘sin’ to a sinner because he might be offended? Are you afraid to mention the bloodstained cross because the world might laugh and spit in your face?
150,000 people will die worldwide today and a vast majority of those people are going to hell.
Who do you know in your own little world that needs a Saviour?
How's the world treating you, Christian?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
1. You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of Federal funding.
2. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat, than US nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese communists or Arab terrorists.
4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.
5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth's climate, and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs.
6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.
7. You have to be against capital punishment but support abortion on demand.
8. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.
9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists who've never been outside of Seattle do.
10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.
11. You have to believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.
12. You have to believe the NRA is bad, because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.
14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison.
15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren't.
16. You have to believe Hillary Clinton is really a lady.
17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried, is because the right people haven't been in charge.
18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belongs in the White House.
19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites and bestiality should be constitutionally protected and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.
20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese is somehow in the best interest of the United States.
21. And finally, you have to believe that this letter is part of a vast right wing conspiracy and not just observations of specific facts.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Funeral for 6-Year-Old Christopher Barrios Held; Suspects Took Turns Assaulting Boy
BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Six-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios was laid to rest Thursday, a day after a convicted child molester and his family were indicted for sexually abusing and killing the Georgia boy.
According to an indictment issued Wednesday, convicted child molester George Edenfield and his father took turns sexually assaulting Christopher while the molester's mother watched, then they choked the boy to death.
The indictment charges all three family members with murder and child molestation in the slaying of Christopher, whose body was found March 15 inside a trash bag dumped by a roadside.
District Attorney Stephen D. Kelley said he will seek the death penalty against 32-year-old George David Edenfield, who has a prior child molestation conviction from 1997, and his parents, David and Peggy Edenfield.
"This is one of the most horrific crimes that I have seen in 21 years of prosecutions," Kelley said.
A very horrific crime indeed.
I am truly at a loss of words after reading the full story about how these monsters, George Edenfield and his father, took turns sexually assaulting this precious little boy. Just as horrific, the mother of Edenfield watched as the duo did every sort of evil on this little boy that no person should ever have to go through, let alone a six year old.
This is evil personified.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Please take a moment and read the lyrics………
What if you're right?
And he was just another nice guy
What if you're right?
What if it's true?
They say the cross will only make a fool of you
And what if it's true?
What if he takes his place in history
With all the prophets and the kings
Who taught us love and came in peace
But then the story ends
But what if you're wrong?
What if there's more?
What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He's more than enough?
What if it's love?
What if you dig
Way down deeper than your simple-minded friends
What if you dig?
What if you find a thousand more unanswered questions down inside?
That's all you find?
What if you pick apart the logic
And begin to poke the holes
What if the crown of thorns is no more
Than folklore that must be told and retold?
You've been running as fast as you can
You've been looking for a place you can land for so long
But what if you're wrong?
I interpret this song like this: Someone is trying to witness Christ to another person. Instead of presenting the Gospel, this person decides to try ‘What if’s” instead.
“What if you’re right?”
“What if he was just another guy?”
“But what if you’re wrong?”
“What if there’s more?”
Those lyrics don’t say much about the relationship that the author has with the King of the universe. Instead of writing songs that express the deity of Christ and the majesty of God Almighty, the author chooses to write a debate disguised as a witnessing encounter.
In fact, this song is nothing more than Pascal’s wager wrapped up in nice catchy hooks to fill space on a particular FM station.
In a nut shell, Pascal argued that it would be better to bet that God exists rather than betting He does not. For instance; to believe in God is better than not believing in Him. If God exists and you believe in Him, as the argument goes, then your gain is immeasurable. If He does exist and you do not believe in Him, then your loss is immeasurable.
Pascal used this argument in hoping that it would covert people to Christianity that were not convinced of God’s existence.
Instead of using the power of the Gospel to convert a sinner, Pascal and the author of this song rely on human wisdom to achieve what only the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ can do.
Contemporary Christian writing like this is just as dangerous as the emerging church movement; full of nice sounding music filled with words that have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Have you ever asked yourself, "Why should I witness?"
Several reasons should come to mind.
First, because Jesus commands you to: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," (Matt. 28:19).
Also, Ezek. 3:11 says, "and go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not..."
Second, you must witness because you love the unsaved (if you don't, you should). The most loving thing you can do is present the gospel in hopes of bringing others to salvation. Galatians 5:22 lists love as one of the fruit of the Spirit. It is love's nature to give. Take for example John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." Love gives, and if you have only a small portion of His love, you will want to give to others.
Third, witness because it is a wise thing to do. Prov. 11:30 says, "...he who is wise wins souls." Now, I know I am not a very wise person. But, since God says I'll be wise to win souls, or try to, then great, let me at it. I want to be wise in God's sight.
Fourth, witness to keep people out of hell. Hell is a terrifying place of utter anguish and eternal separation from God. Those who are not saved go there. Witnessing is an attempt to keep them out of hell.
Fifth, witness because it pleases God and brings glory to His name.
And finally, witness so they may find the love and fellowship of God (1 John 1:3), the greatest of all treasures.
I can think of no greater gift than salvation. It frees the sinner from sin, it delivers the lost from damnation, and it reveals the true and living God to those who don't know Him.
The angels of heaven rejoice greatly when anyone passes from judgment into salvation (Luke 15:10). Shouldn't we as Christians rejoice too? Shouldn't we weep over the lost? Shouldn't we ask the Lord of the field to send laborers into His harvest (Luke 10:2)? Certainly! The salvation of others is the goal of your efforts.
The love of God is your motive. Is there anything greater? So, give.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Isn’t that interesting?
Evidently, the polar ice caps on Mars have been diminishing for the past few years due to…hold your taters……solar irradiance. Solar what? Irradiance, that is.
Irradiance as defined by the Dictionary.com - incident flux of radiant energy per unit area.
Just wait a minute; where does that radiant energy come from? Why yes, it comes from our nearest star (the Sun).
So, why is that important? Well, it seems that Mars and Earth share the same Sun and thus the same solar irradiance is affecting both planets. I wonder if the Mars equivalent of Al Gore is aware of this info?
Is it not possible, Mr. Gore, that the Sun is our enemy right now during this current cycle of climate changes and not we, the people?
Monday, February 26, 2007
From Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry , here is an apologetic on the Deity of Christ.
Who Is Jesus?
Jesus is the central figure of Christianity. He said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me," (John 14:6). Also, Jesus claimed to be God in flesh. If you compare what God said to Moses in Exodus 3:14 ("And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”) with what Jesus said in John 8:58 (Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am,"), then you quickly see that Jesus was claiming to be God. In fact, others testified that He was divine as well:
John 20:28, "Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'"
Col. 2:9, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."
Heb. 1:8, "But of the Son He says, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever..."
Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. He is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God...And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth," (John 1:1-2,14). Because the word was with God and was God and became flesh, we then state that Jesus has two natures: divine and human. Therefore, Christianity teaches that Jesus is both God and man at the same time. The reason that he is God in flesh is because only God can atone for our sins; we can't do it on our own because we are finite, sinful beings and we cannot please an infinitely holy God. Jesus had to be a man to be able to die for humanity. This means that Jesus took our place on the cross; that is, He took our place and suffered the wrath of God the Father. If you trust in what Christ has done, then you will be saved from the righteous judgment of God. More on that next.
God is infinitely holy, sinless, and just. When we sin, when we do something contrary to God's will, then we have offended God. Since He is infinite, our offense against Him takes on an infinite quality -- because of who we have offended: an infinite God. Since no person can please an infinite God (because we are finite and sinners) then the only one left to remove our sins is God Himself. Therefore, Jesus is God in flesh, the one who died on the cross, bore our sin in his body (1 Pet. 2:24), and physically rose from the dead.
Right now, in heaven, Jesus is still in the form of a man: "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," (1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus rose from the dead in the same body he died in: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' 20 The Jews therefore said, 'It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?' 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had spoken," (John 2:19-21). Also, He retained the wounds of His crucifixion after He rose from the dead: "Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing,” (Acts 1:9). He will return again from the heavens, and will judge the world and all people: "This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven," (Acts 1:11). Yet, at the same time, He is still divine, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form," (Col. 2:9).
Jesus never did anything wrong. He performed many miracles such as healing, casting out demons, walking on water, calming a storm with the command, raising people from the dead, and rising from the dead himself. Though there have been many great teachers throughout history, none of them have performed such miracles and claimed to be divine as Jesus claimed. This is why we can believe Him when He says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me," (John 14:6).
We trust what Jesus said. Therefore...
Jesus is prayed to - Acts 7:55-60; 1 Cor. 1:2 with John 14:14)
Jesus is worshipped - Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6
Jesus cleanses from sin - 1 John 1:9
Jesus forgives sins - Matt. 9:1-7; Luke 5:20; 7:48
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
My wife was standing in the doorway and spoke these words, “I need to tell you something and I was debating on when and how to tell you.” I immediately fixated my mind on the fact that we were going to have a new addition to the family. “You’re pregnant?” I cautiously asked? “No, I’m not. Someone was and isn’t anymore” she said. Of course after that statement my mind was going in many directions trying to figure out the riddle of the hour. The 7am hour.
My wife finally gave me the answer and my first suspicion was correct. We WERE going to have an addition to the family, but it was going to be in the form of litter, a gaggle, a pack, whatever they call them, of six, yes six brand new baby gerbils.
Last week my six year old wanted a pet. We all agreed that a gerbil would be the best pet for the household. My wife picked up a couple of female gerbils, a cool hut with a tube that led to an above condo, a couple balls for them to run in and all the necessary gerbil accessories to make life pleasant in my sons room. When my wife picked up the gerbils she inquired of Mr. Gerbil supplier why the tan one was so much bigger than the black one. He told her that it was because the tan one (Sugar) was a little bit older and had a stocky frame. Or, he quickly added, she may be pregnant. Of course this tiny bit of information was withheld from me until this morning when the “I need to tell you something……” declaration was issued. My wife told me that Mr. Gerbil supplier went on to add that if Sugar was indeed pregnant, then he would work something out with her.
Mr. Gerbil supplier is about to be the owner of six baby gerbils. That’s how something is going to be worked out. I know... I know…..all you animal lovers out there; don’t worry. The babes can stay with mommy until they are weaned before I make Mr. Gerbil supplier take back what we didn’t pay for.
When my 6 year old found out from his mother that we now had six baby gerbils, he immediately answered with, “I told you this was going to happen if we got two of them.”
Friday, February 16, 2007
"I have come to the conclusion that whether or not a person is a religious believer does not matter. Far more important is that they be a good human being."
There is no such thing as a good human being.
The Bible states this very clearly in Mark 10:18...Jesus said, "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."
Paul affirms this in Romans 3:12, "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
One can only compare good to God. God is good. We can compare all day long ones goodness to another's goodness, but that doesn't make either one good without having a standard to first judge 'good'.
The quote itself is nice, but good is relative based on social standards and perceptions of a particular morality view.
That's why we must always view good as starting with God and realizing that anything less than His standards is wrong and inadequate.
I mean how else can two perfectly intelligent people view, in polar opposites, the subject of abortion for example? One would say that it is 'good' for a woman to have a choice and another would say that it is 'good' for the baby not to be killed?
Good is relative when all we have to compare it to is each others opinion.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
As the predictable media continued to make race an issue Monday morning by focusing on the first black coach, Tony Dungy, to win a Super Bowl, I thought we should give equal time to the losing coach as well.
For the last two weeks, we, the fans of professional football, have had our intelligence insulted day after day as the drooling media made race the focus of the coach’s path to the Super bowl. Instead of qualifying the success of these two coaches, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith, by showering us with their accolades of achievement, we were bombarded with the same race issue that, we, the general public, are never supposed to talk about (or more specifically, we, the non-black people).
When will the non-race/race factor stop?
Will we have to hear a few years from now about how so-and-so is ONLY the 12th black coach to ever lead a team to the Super Bowl? I mean, how far is this going to keep going? The football 'analysts' during the game last night pondered why there were no black owners in the NFL yet. The media continues to make race an issue when it should never be brought up and if someone (a white person) challenges this issue, well then your a racist.
I’m not a racist person by any means. I pretty much like everybody I meet and I try to never put a label on someone. We are all God’s creation and as far as I’m concerned there is only one race to begin with; the human race.
If race is not an issue, can we please stop talking about it and focus on the individual without looking at the skin color? Didn't someone once say, 'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.'
How many years has it been since those words were spoke? Dr. King's children are not little any more and they sill don't live in that nation yet; as the media has proved over the last two weeks.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. (born January 31, 1947) is a former pitcher in Major League Baseball who played in a record-tying 27 seasons. Ryan still holds many major-league pitching records, some by such wide margins over previous marks that they will likely stand for many years.
Ryan, a hard throwing right handed pitcher, threw pitches which were regularly recorded in the 100-mph range, even past the age of 40. The media tagged him "The Ryan Express" (a reference to the 1965 film Von Ryan's Express).
Ryan was an eight-time MLB All-Star, and his 5,714 career strikeouts rank first in baseball history. He leads the runner-up, Roger Clemens, by approximately 1,200 strikeouts. Similarly, Ryan's 2,795 bases on balls lead second-place Steve Carlton by 962—walking over 50% more men than any other pitcher in Major League history.
Ryan is also the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher. He is tied with Bob Feller for the most one-hitters with 12.
Why the photo above?
Well it goes with the joke, "Who is the only batter to ever get six consecutive hits off Nolan Ryan?" Robin Ventura of course!
Friday, January 26, 2007
The regular season records include most goals in a season (92), most assists in a season (163), and most points in a season (215). He also holds the record for the fastest 50 goals, accomplishing that feat in only 39 games and the record for most goals in a 50 game period (61, which he accomplished twice). In 1983-84, he had a 51-game point-scoring streak that has been compared to "Joltin' Joe" DiMaggio's streak in baseball, during which he scored 61 goals and received credit for 92 assists (153 points).
Gretzky set impressive records in both regular season and post-season play, holding the record for most career regular season goals (894), assists (1,963), points (2,857), and hat tricks (50). The next closest player in total points for the regular season is Mark Messier at 1,887. Gretzky's point total including regular season and playoffs stands at an imposing 3,239. Gretzky also had more career assists than any other player has ever gained total points.
His 47 playoff points in 1985 and 31 assists in 1988 are still records for a single post-season round, and he holds the record for career playoff goals (122), assists (260), points (382), hat tricks (10), and game winning goals (24).
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
You wouldn't know it from reading mainstream magazines, but the abortion rate in the United States has been falling for a dozen years, thanks in part to “incremental” restrictions—parental notification and consent, a woman's right to know, waiting periods, abortion clinic regulations, fetal pain measures and numerous other laws in dozens of states
And those laws may be hastening the day when Roe v. Wade —the infamous 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively legalizing abortion on demand—vanishes like a bad dream.
“It's nice to think about going for the home run, but it's much more effective to get the base hit,” said Peter Samuelson, president and general counsel of Americans United for Life (AUL). “We're convinced that it's the fastest way to get to the place of overturning Roe and eliminating abortion altogether.”
Mississippi has passed 15 pro-life laws in the past 13 years and has enjoyed a nearly 60 percent decrease in abortions, according to AUL.
“Some of us in Mississippi decided several years ago that if we could move the ball down the field and first get it into the red zone, we have made a significant accomplishment,” State Sen. Patrick Alan Nunnelee, a frequent sponsor of such initiatives, told Citizen . “In Mississippi I think we have put the ball inside the 10-yard line, and the goal line is in sight.”
If you don't believe the abortion lobby is on the run, just listen to the wails according to figures from the Alan Guttmatcher Institute (an authoritative source of abortion data):
• Abortions as a whole across America declining more than 28 percent since their peak in 1980.
• A “huge decrease”—about a third—in the number of clinics, hospitals and private physicians who perform abortions.
• The vanishing abortionist: A growing majority of doctors who provide abortion are 50 and older.
• Mississippi and South Dakota are down to one abortion clinic each. Providers like Planned Parenthood in some cases have resorted to flying doctors in from other states, as fewer and fewer doctors are willing to perform the brutal procedure.
Pro-lifers say over the 33 years since Roe , two growing realizations—evidence for the personhood of the unborn baby and the long-term harm to the post-abortive mother—have been changing minds, as evidenced by trends in public opinion polls toward the pro-life position. And the growing body of pro-life legislation has been changing behavior.
Thank God that the tide is starting to turn more dramatically; even if it's not widely reported. It's up to the individual states to tighten the noose on this so called 'freedom of chioce'.
It is estimated that over 46 million babies have been murdered since Roe. Is this a number that one can really comprehend? That's a whole generation of humans who never had a chance to live their lives. And they are humans aren't they?
The biggest contributor to this culture of death is Planned Parenthood. According to the National Right to Life's fact sheet, Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading abortion performer and promoter. An actual Planned Parenthood advertisement from the same fact sheet says, "Babies are loud, smelly and expensive. Unless you want one." Rush Limbaugh has always said something like this; "If you want to find out the true motives of anyone, follow the money trail." According to the fact sheet, in 2002, Planned Parenthood took in more than $79 million dollars from abortion procedures. That represents about 1/3 of their total revenue from 2002. Abortion is big business. If the average cost of an abortion is $400, and there are approximately 1.3 million performed each year, then revenues from abortion are toppling over a half a billion dollars.
Still, sadly, few are genuinely outraged.
More folks get upset when a snail darter is threatened in a small creek. The list of endangered species in this country is ever increasing. You can be punished severely for harming any creature on that list. The same liberals who protect these species are the same ones who want ensure that humans can kill their own.
I remember the outrage and emotion that followed the space shuttle Columbia re-entry accident. Yes, the accident was a tragedy. Seven astronauts lost their lives doing what they loved to do. Imagine a shuttle accident happening over 3800 times a day. Would the public get so used to these accidents that no one even paid attention to them anymore? Well that’s exactly what’s happened in this country regarding abortion. The public has become so accustomed to abortion as normal, that they turn a blind eye away from the fact that over 3800 babies are sacrificed on the alter of ‘pro-choice’ each day.
It does not have to continue. Roe must be overturned.
Join the National Right to Life and support them financially if you can. The republicans can no longer be trusted to end this travesty. Join a real Conservative party and vote. And I specifically mean the Constitution Party. The Constitution Party is the only political party out there that still cares for life in the womb.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
At this time, all your family - especially your brother - are very much in our thoughts and prayers.
May I share something with you? I have had TWO powerful epiphanies/revelations I experienced, many years ago. The Lord Himself assured me in both, that life is everlasting, and that ALL of humanity would eventually be saved. This was a 'white light' - out of body experience - information was TRANSFERRED to me totally convincingly, without words. I understood clearly, that our belief in Christ is of paramount importance - but that we must NOT
be judgemental of non-believers. That He will safely deliver them, that He can move freely in time, that no creature of His will ever be permanently lost. That our doubting His power to do this is limiting Him, as well as our faith - both at the same time!
These experiences have helped me cope far better with the loss of my agnostic father, as well as several dear friends over the years. No matter how we read the Gospels, we should be aware of Christ's mercy and flexibility to people OUTSIDE the Jewish faith, as well as to all sinners.
The conditions for 'being saved' have been subsequently misunderstood by us. I would venture to say, that your brother and all other doubters and unbelievers will be saved eventually, through His Mercy and Compassion - although their lives on this earth would be a lot more fulfilling, if they would accept Him prior to the end of their earthly lives, and live them out
This e-mail caught me by surprise but it supports a growing trend I have noticed over the past year or so; Universalism.
From Dictionary.com -
3.(initial capital letter) the doctrine that emphasizes the universal fatherhood of God and the final salvation of all souls.
The doctrine of Universal salvation for all sinners is not taught by the Word of God. I am no theologian by any respect, but I can break down this e-mail simply by using the Word of God Himself.
*The Lord Himself assured me in both, that life is everlasting...* I can agree to that; life is everlasting. Jesus said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And again in John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
There is eternal life in Heaven, but there is also eternal life in a real place called hell. (All bolding mine)
Paul say's in 1Thess 1:7-9, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;"
We can read in Jude 7:4-7, "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
And in Matthew 8:18, "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
Yes - There is everlasting life. The real issue is where one will spend it.
*.....and that ALL of humanity would eventually be saved. This is a lie straight from Satan himself. We can read in Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. And again in Matthew 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen," And again in Luke 13:22-27, "And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. Not all people will be saved.
*The conditions for 'being saved' have been subsequently misunderstood by us. I would venture to say, that your brother and all other doubters and unbelievers will be saved eventually, through His Mercy and Compassion - This is the most disturbing part of the e-mail. Not only is this not Biblical, it's not even reasonable. First of all, the author of the e-mail is guilty of breaking the first Commandment; 'Thou shall not have any other god's before Me.' When you start making up an idea about how your god will save everyone even if people are doubters and unbelievers, you have created your very own god. Secondly, the Bible is very clear through many of the Scriptures that I have already shown, that not everyone will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. The Scriptures say in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." This is very plain to me and it is very easy to understand. As a matter of fact, this is everyone who not repented of their sins and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from the wrath to come.
So if you stumbled upon this blog and made it this far, you might be wondering, if not everyone is saved from God's wrath for their sins, how does one get saved?
Jesus said in John 3:3, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus said we must be 'born again.' Why? Why must we be born again?
Simple - You have broken God's Law's. You know, the Ten Commandments. If you are honest, you will say that you have lied (9th Commandment), you have stolen something sometime in your life (8th Commandment), you probably have coveted (10th Commandment), looked with lust at someone (7th Commandment), probably have taken the Lord's Name in vain (3rd Commandment). These are just Five of the Ten Commandments. If you have broken just one of them, you are guilty of breaking them all.
Because you have broken God's Law's, you will have to answer for that one day when you die. And you will die won't you? Hebrews 9:27 says, And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." You are going to have to stand before a Holy and Righteous Judge on judgment day; God. And it's not just you either. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
When your standing there before God on judgment day, your are going to have to pay for your sins (breaking the Law). The Bible says in Romans 6:23. "The wages of sin is death...." This 'death', is not just only an eternal separation from God, but eternity in hell where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in the lake of fire.
But there is hope my friend. 2000 years ago, God did something truly amazing. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, born of a virgin to be a sacrifice on your behalf. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. There it is! We need to be made righteous before God.
How do you do that? Repent of your sins. Acts 17:30, "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent" Repent and turn from your sins. and call on the name of Jesus. Acts 16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Pray to the God who gave you your first life to give a second life. This is the only way to have everlasting life with God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
God's Word is true. Repent of your sins and call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved.