Gaining Eternal Life

Revelation 21.7 promises the one who conquers will inherit these things.images

The final book of the Bible begins and ends nearly the same: with a warning that those who live forever with God on the new earth He will create after judging all people from all time concerning their obedience to His commands, are people who conquered their self by submitting their will to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

While no person can live a perfect life of obedience to God, every person is to submit to God and allow the Spirit of God to rule through them causing them to live a life of perfect surrender to God.

The Bible is clear that forgiveness from God is not gained by doing more good than bad but by asking God for mercy and forgiveness.

The Bible is equally clear that all people will be judged by the deeds they did or failed to do while they took their turn living on this earth.

The Bible makes clear people are accountable to God for their words and deeds yet the deed that gives a person eternal life with God on the new earth is the work of Jesus the Christ when He sacrificed Himself as Savior of the world upon the cross.

God expects those who acknowledge Jesus as Savior to live in obedience to Jesus.

Talkers who claim to be believers in God yet fail to do the works of God are called hypocrites in the last book of God and are not welcome into the Kingdom of God.

Those who conquer, those who consistently live in obedience to God overcoming their own flesh, the ways of the world and the temptations of the devil in order to please God, will live with God forever.

Please follow and like us:

What is True?

John 17.17 records God will set them apart in the truth; Your Word is truth.images

The past fifty years has seen a consistent message proclaimed in the culture that truth is relative and therefore subject to each individual person: in essence eliminating any basis for absolute truth.

Today many people including those who attend Church believe this cultural myth. Logically we know relative truth makes no sense for we could engineer nothing without absolute true equations. Science is dependent too upon truth and consistencies in nature in order for natural processes to be understood and described.

Yet when it comes to God and morality we want to believe there are many options and people are free to make their own choice. This is a wish but not true for the One True God has made Himself clearly known through the Scriptures and plans to judge each person in accordance to that truth, the passing or failing of that judgment determining the eternal destiny of all people whether it be good or bad.

True lovers of God search the Scriptures to know God and to apply His truth to their lives.

Those who make God’s truth their truth will indeed set themselves apart from the culture which is becoming increasingly less tolerant of God and His absolute requirements.

This conflict between God’s truth and the culture is seen in issues like marriage where God is adamant that it exists only between one man and one woman; in abortion where God’s truth clearly communicates life begins at conception; and religion where Jesus alone is made the Way, the Truth and the Life for eternally dwelling with God.

All people must decide which truth they will follow: God’s or their own.

Please follow and like us:

The problem of Kwanza

Kwanza begins today and it represents the failing of the black church in America.images

What is Kwanza? From Wikipedia, it was “Maulana Karenga who created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African-American holiday. Karenga said his goal was to “give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.”

What was the practice of the dominant society, especially among African Americans? The celebration of the coming of God to earth in the Savior Jesus Christ. Christmas is the celebration of God not men whether black or white.

Traditionally the Church has held a profound influence upon African Americans but its influence is ebbing like the Church in whole. Kwanza’s increasing popularity, now taught in the public schools where Jesus is denied, gives evidence of this decreasing influence. Likewise the dismal living situation in most of our urban centers further reflects the lack of impact by the black church.

Why is this happening? I suggest two reasons.

First, too many black pastors have made themselves demi-gods in the community; instead of serving the people he has elevated himself to be served by the people. While certainly not true of all African American urban church pastors it is true of many as so many of these men form their ‘posse’s’, drive the best cars among their people to their designated parking spots and proclaim a message of prosperity to their people only reflected by their opulent lifestyle. These pastors are a mockery of the One Who came not to be served but to serve and gave His life that all may be saved.

Second, much of the African Church has promoted government assistance rather than internal sacrifice and hard work. The Church recorded in the Scriptures did not look to Rome to supply its needs but to one another sacrificing for one another. Those who could work but wouldn’t work were to be shunned, rebuked and instructed to work with their own hands then to give generously to anyone who had needs. The Church and not the government are to take care of its own for the government seeks to make people dependent while the Church seeks to make a man independent from want.

Urban America desperately needs the black Church to arise in purity and holiness.

Urban America’s governments are corrupt beyond measure, its schools are failing nearly all of their constituents and their people are murdering one another daily.

The black Church, the godly African pastor, is so desperately needed in this hour who will speak Biblical truth in love then serve sacrificially his  people calling all those in his congregation to live and worship as Jesus did even as he models the way in humility.

Please follow and like us:

The problem is Love

John 14.23 observes if anyone loves Me, he will obey My Word. images

The problem with the American church is a problem of love. Our love for God, for the Lord Jesus Christ, is little while our love for self and our pleasures are great.

God commanded us to first love Him with a love that surpasses that for self, family and material wealth.

This love for God would be proved and measured by Him based upon our obedience to His commands.

The commands of God are clearly recorded in the Scriptures so upon that day when God judges people they are without excuse for both the knowing and doing of His will.

The Church has allowed the world to define love which has come to man a feeling measured by personal satisfaction.

The Word of God defines love by obedience, by faithfulness and by sacrifice. Jesus, Who is the visible manifestation of God, Who is love, perfectly obeyed the Word of God, stayed faithful to the will of God even though it meant death and demonstrated His love by sacrificing Himself upon the cross so that all people for all time could be reconciled to God.

The Church fails to love as God loved when it fails to obey God, when it fails to remain faithful to God and spouse and when it fails to sacrifice personally and materially for the building of the Kingdom of God and the betterment of humanity.

Loving God will cost us everything because obeying God requires everything within us and at our disposal but the reward is everything God is and has, forever with Him and those who have also loved Him.

Please follow and like us:

Significant Work

John 9.4 commands we must perform the deeds of the One who sent Me as long as it is daytime. images

When God created humanity the first thing God did was place man in the garden to care for it.

The work of God has always been assigned to the hands of men.

When God came and lived among us as Jesus the Lord, He too reminded us and assigned us the work of building His kingdom in partnership with the Holy Spirit. This work is unique to our time for once God recreates the heavens and the earth there will be no more work of this kind to do for His Kingdom will be complete.

This work is not for a special class of Christ follower but for every follower of Christ.

This work cannot be subcontracted but must be fully engaged by every person for each person has been gifted uniquely and specifically for accomplishing their role, a role designed for them since the creation of the world.

No other work will satisfy for we were created by God for God to serve God yet many continue to try and bring satisfaction to the soul through the work of men and the material rewards that work gives them.

God will reward for all eternity the work that has eternal significance; that work is the work of building the Kingdom of God. This work is accomplished as we reconcile people to God and develop people in God until each of us is like God in every way.

The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, plan to make 2014 your most fruitful year ever by engaging seriously and consistently the work of building God’s kingdom.

Please follow and like us:

Planning for a New Year

John 8:37 observes Jesus’ teaching making no progress among you. As we close out another year it is normal to assess the past imagesand to plan for the future.

In business we measure profit and loss, sales growth, market share and other indicators to discover our business progress. We are accountable to the market where failure means the end of our business and success means financial well-being for many.

God measures growth too, our personal growth in deed and character and the growth of His Kingdom both in its breadth and depth.

Should we be weighed, measured and found wanting by God we will be cast from His presence and those who love Him forever. Those who love God most and first demonstrating such commitment through the seeking of Him and the doing of His will can expect to receive His blessing and reward along with life with Him forever.

Jesus made His observation that His teaching was not progressing among a people who supposedly sought God but who were failing miserably at obeying God or acting like God.

Those who claim to be Christian should consider whether they are more like Jesus this year than last year, more engaged in His Word this year than last year, more productive in bringing people to Christ this year than last year. Those who do these things in an ever increasing measure are progressing but those who remain stagnant or regressing should be quite concerned.

The Lord Jesus knew we would struggle to keep His work first priority when He observed the workers are few but He commanded we pray to the Father in heaven to become laborers in His ripe field, a field that should bear ever more fruit.

A new year awaits, the mercies of God are new every morning, let us plan to make 2014 our most productive year ever.

Please follow and like us:

Making Concessions

2 Chronicles 19:2 asks, “Is it right to help the wicked and be an ally of those who oppose the Lord?” images

When God lived with us He promised those who followed Him would have enemies. God had enemies while He lived among us for people disagreed vehemently with both His lifestyle and His message.

Those who follow Jesus can expect, should expect, opposition to living godly lives (everyone is doing the opposite) and to their exclusive message of One God, One Savior and One Lord of all.

In recent years the Church has sought to be more acceptable to the culture, doing what it can to appease the culture that is intolerant of truth, righteousness and holiness.

At minimum we have built buildings hoping their comfort and elegance would be inviting to a people used to stadiums and concert halls, though they have cost us much in our ability to give to the real work of the Church. At worst, we have capitulated on God’s exclusivity of salvation through Jesus alone, on sexual relations confined to one man and one woman for life and on when life begins in order to support those who murder the unborn created in the image of God.

Helping someone in need is not the same as trying to make allies of the ungodly.

Mercy and compassion were shown by God in Jesus but compromise with men was never done. Good deeds are to be the natural result of our belief in our message that one day all people will face the Almighty and give an account for the life they lived.

Those who have not made peace with God through Jesus Christ will be condemned but those who love Him and have obeyed His commands will enjoy eternal life with Him and those who have done the same.

Please follow and like us:

What’s our Temperature

Revelation 3.16 describes the Church as lukewarm and neither hot nor cold. images

The Church in Laodicea was described by their Savior as being lukewarm so He warned them He would spew them from His mouth if they didn’t repent and become earnest in His work (19).

No doubt these people were all believers, all had asked Jesus to be their Savior, all attended Church but apparently not all were going to live with Him forever.

God is not pleased with lukewarm Christianity.

The person cold to God ignores God, they do not read his commands nor pray to Him for guidance nor work to enlighten others about Jesus, nor strive for unity among the children of God. The cold are both indifferent and disobedient to God.

The hot are fully engaged in fellowship with God and in the work of God. The hot seek God through Scripture, prayer and fellowship. The hot lead others toward Christ living as workers responsible for seeing His Kingdom come to earth as it is in heaven. The hot are promised reward by Jesus for their steadfast, consistent diligence in living as His people.

Jesus’ warning to the Church in Laodicea was a measurement of their deeds and not their words or emotion. What the people of the church did was the proof of what they believed and so they were measured by their actions and not their ‘faith.’

As we close down another year how have our actions proved our allegiance to Jesus Christ – would our deeds indicate we have been hot, cold or lukewarm?

Please follow and like us:

Modern Day Nicolaitans

Revelation 2.6 observes the church hating what the Nicolaitans practice which also God Himself hates.images

The Nicolaitans were a group who claimed to be Christian but taught and lived in a way that God said He hated. Their primary teaching and practice was that people were free to do as they pleased with their bodies, particularly sexually, without consequence from Heaven.

The Nicolaitans still reside in the hearts and minds of many who call themselves Christians today.

The first group of Nicolaitans are the fornicators. It is nothing for young people who claim to be Christians to sleep with on another before marriage and then with numerous partners. Even Christian parents encourage and condone dating among their children which is the prelude to such behavior. Fornication is sexual relations between unmarried people, a practice condemned by God but practiced by many who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

The second group of Nicolaitans are the adulterers. Many who call themselves Christians have divorced their spouses after having an affair having convinced themselves that God wanted them happy. These Nicolaitans are deceived, for God demands holiness regardless of happiness. Adultery is always condemned by God in Scripture and those who divorce and remarry He calls adulterers.

The final group of Nicolaitans are those so called Christians who practice and or condone homosexuality. This behavior is called an abomination by God throughout the Bible yet many who think themselves Christ followers want to be tolerant and approving of this behavior that God abhors.

The proper response to all who have become Nicolaitans is to repent and renounce their behavior and belief in these practices and instead live in obedience to God’s commands.

Please follow and like us:

Ministry for All

Revelation 1.6 claims Christians are appointed as priests. images

In most religions there is a class of adherents who are the official religious leaders, the group that knows god best and tells everyone else what that god requires.

The root of the Christian religion, Judaism, also had a designated tribe, the Levites, who alone could administer the official religious functions required by the One True God.

When God lived among us in Jesus He commanded all of His followers to now live as priests to serve both God and men. This means that all of those who have repented before God, confessing their sins to Him, and have begun to follow Jesus as their Savior and Master are now to place the ministry of God above all other priorities and activities.

While Christians have a variety of vocations they have one occupation: the making of disciples among the nations. No matter where a Christian lives or where a Christian works the role of the Christian is to serve as a priest in the world.

What does a priest do?

A priest brings God to people through the proclamation of His Word and he brings people to God through repentance and worship.

The daily activity of Christians regardless of vocation is to focus on making God known in the world to the people they live and work with throughout the day.

What then is the role of the Christian religious class?

They serve all the other Christians as encourages and equippers in their work as priests in the world.

Please follow and like us: