Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’
Yet another individual has declared a date in history to be Judgement Day. Doesn’t that make you sick on the inside when you hear about it? Thousands of people are hearing this and associating it with Christianity.
His name is Harold Camping, and he has an entire organization helping him with his endeavor. Family Radio is the organization. Family LIFE Radio is pretty upset about the whole ordeal, as there is bound to be some misunderstandings.
I have searched their website thoroughly for the biblical evidence that they claim to exist. The “gospel truth” as they put it. I was very surprised when they offered none. They don’t even have a single verse that points to a specific date. What evidence do they offer then? I quote:
“Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 is the culmination of five decades of intensive biblical study by Mr. Camping and other bible teachers who have discovered the same biblical data.”
Translation: “Mr. Camping is a smart dude.”
Apparently he has spent enough time in the scriptures that he doesn’t have to tell us what he knows. Because all they are willing to say is “there’s overwhelming evidence” or “Camping couldn’t be wrong” or “He’s right for sure this time“.
In 1994 he predicted the world was going to end and, in case you haven’t noticed, he was wrong that time too.
Enough of human reasoning. I don’t wish to argue about this any more when I could simply drop the bomb. Here is the Doomsday sayers nightmare:
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
Camping claims to know both the day and the hour. Jesus Christ did not even know the time which He was going to be sent back. ONLY the Father. So here we have 3 options:
- Jesus Christ was wrong
- Mr. Camping is wrong
- Mr Camping is god
Options 1 and 3 aren’t really options, I just put them there to make a point.
Will I be ready on May 21, at 6:00pm? Yes I will. And I will be ready at 7:00pm also, and 8:00pm. In fact, I will be ready the 22nd, the 23rd, and the 24th. I will be ready in 2011, 2012, and 2013. My Lord is coming when we least expect it, and no man will know the hour.
Have you considered that the thing which we pray to be delivered from is, in some cases, sent by God?
“When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”
There are several reasons that sickness, grief, pain, and tragedy in general befall our lives. First and foremost: we are cursed. There’s no away around the fact that we are a dying people because we broke a simple and straightforward command. We get sick. Be break. We die. Nothing can change that.
But today I am writing about one reason in particular that we experience tragedy: growth.
My Grandmother has spent several days in the hospital recently due to a broken hip. While she was there she told me an analogy (on accident) about apple trees.
Apparently if you had an apple tree that had stopped producing fruit, you took an axe to it. Not to chop it down, just to take a hunk out of the side. This forced the tree into a state of emergency to repair itself, while at the same time producing fruit again.
Tragedy can pull us out of contentment and place us into a state of emergency and reliance upon God. Then we produce fruit.
Examine yourself before the next time you pray for deliverance. God may be trying to tell you something.
It’s odd that, despite all the technical things of Christianity that I am comfortable writing about, I find it difficult to write about grace. It’s the most fundamental and foundational aspect of my belief system, yet I don’t know very much about it at all. Perhaps it is because grace is so unnatural; so contradictory with human nature.
I have been convicted lately due to the amount of emphasis I have placed upon my own works. Somehow I transitioned to a place where I was a Christian based upon what I did and didn’t do, and how often I failed or succeeded. I know, based upon scripture, that this is not true Christianity.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
It’s hard for me to grasp the fact that God doesn’t need me to do good things to grant forgiveness. This is totally incompatible with our social structure. Imagine what would happen if nobody had to show up for work to receive their pay checks?
Grace works though. It doesn’t result in thousands of sinning and apathetic “saints”. Why? Because anyone who is truly saved and redeemed will become a new creation, and live to please God. It’s like getting a check in the mail, then going to work to see what the Boss wants you to do that day; because He deserves it, without demanding it.
I see many people abusing this precious gift, though. Claiming redemption when their lover is the World, and feeling justified because they prayed a little prayer and cried a little tear. That’s getting a check in the mail and, without showing up to work, seeking employment elsewhere to get a bonus.
This is where works comes in.
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Repentance leads to salvation. Salvation leads to a new creation. The new creation, by it’s new found nature, will do good works. Not because we have to, or to fill a quota, but because the desire of our heart has been changed.
This isn’t to say that you will be without sin. No, the war is far from over. The Devil is still upset about losing you.
Christ has purchased me. He knew I was a sinner. He knew I deserved the deepest, darkest, flames of Hell. Yet He came, and payed a price I could never dream of paying myself.
Humbled by Jesus,
Sex. Alcohol. Nudity. More sex and alcohol.
The super bowl ads were full of all that garbage. Thankfully the host of the party had DVR so we could pause and fast forward all the crap.
What makes things worse is that the following ad was denied because it was too religious and offensive:
It leaves me speechless. They allowed the ad to be viewed in 2-3 states, but the content wasn’t appropriate for a national audience. I would go on about how this angers me, why this is wrong, and how it’s inconsistent, but I’m sure the gears in your head are turning too.
I’m thinking about what I want to do next year. I’m offended by the secular ads, so maybe I wont watch the game. Maybe I’ll write a few letters about how I cannot watch ads that worship sex.
Imagine a day when the ads were clean again. It’s possible. We just need to pray about it.
P.S. If even the mention of John 3:16 offends the world, then why am I, a Christian representing the Messiah, not offending the world?
I don’t know a whole lot about Gov. Robert Bentley. In fact, I just heard about him today. I don’t know what his political and spiritual views are, but this is less about him than it is about how people have responded to his faith.
Almost immediately after his inauguration he made this statement: “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,”
Is it a little harsh? Yeah, I guess. But people are missing the point when they accuse him of being biased towards Christians. When two Christians meet they have an immediate friendship and ‘brotherhood’ because their Lord and Savior are the same person.
It’s not that non-Christians have less value or are unimportant. It’s about the family of the church. We may disagree about doctrinal beliefs, but what family can you name that doesn’t have it’s own quarrels?
This statement by Bentley wasn’t a political one. He was reaching out with his faith. If he truly hated the non-Christians, he wouldn’t have said anything about Jesus at all.
Over the past couple days I have been evaluating the immorality of both the Nation and individual lives. Pondering where it comes from, and why it is so rampant in our country today in comparison with previous decades. I’m no theologian but I came up with an answer that has satisfied me.
Our country does not have a lust problem. Our country doesn’t have a racism problem. Our problem isn’t hate, anger, greed, politicians, divorce, adultery, hypocrisy, or false prophets. Our evil outward appearance is only the result of an inward problem: Jesus Christ deficiency.
Anytime that Jesus Christ ceases to be the cornerstone of society our natural tendencies to sin will corrupt what the devil doesn’t.
Put that into a personal perspective: you do not lack self control so much as you lack Jesus Christ. You are not angry so much as you are ignorant to the ways of God. Do not waste your time chasing the vices of your life when you can simply and efficiently cut them down at the source. You are a prayer away from complete and total submission. No fancy tricks, no super Christian powers required, no televangelist needed to direct you.
How are we kept from our knees? If God has provided a way out, and made it so simple to escape, then why have we not tapped this resource? I’m not sure. I imagine that it’s a mix of both the devil’s wise manipulation and our own lack of desire for holiness.
The point is summed up perfectly in my favorite verse:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
No submission, no resistance.
During on of our youth groups bible studies, a question regarding the Trinity came up. This led to a short discussion about how God can inhabit three Persons and still be one. I realize I have never written about this before, so I thought now is as good a time as ever. I have a simple understanding of the trinity which has been enough for me over the years.
This is not an explanation to non-Christians about the Trinity. There is no comprehensible way to explain it without delving into spiritual matters that they do not believe in. So, in order for a non-Christian to understand he must also choose to believe.
Exhibit A: The Common Mousetrap
It has many pieces, which all serve totally different purposes, but for a common goal: to catch a mouse. You cannot have the base without the latch, or the latch without the spring and bar.
Exhibit B: The Egg
I was talking with Mike W at church this morning and he brought up this example that fits perfectly. What is an egg without a shell? Or a shell without egg white? What is egg white without the yolk?
Jesus Christ, Jehovah, and the Holy Spirit are all one. Just as the mousetrap is a mousetrap, and an egg is an egg. They exist in perfect unity, with different purposes, but towards a common goal.
Let me explain them a little bit further individually.
#1 – Jehovah
Jehovah is the foundational member of the trinity. He is the omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient one. Where the Holy Spirit cannot go or what Jesus cannot do, the Father can.
He is called the Father for a reason. He has authority over the other two, thus producing unity. Where there is no authority, there is no unity. This is one of the reasons I had a problem with “The Shack.” It blatantly stated that there is no authority of one over the other in the trinity, when all this would produce is chaos. To say such a thing is in complete disregard to the scriptures and God’s creation. Observe marriage, nature, and civilization and you will recognize the creation called “authority.”
#2 – Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is no less important than Jehovah. However, He is fully man and is dependent upon the Father. He did not heal the sick, or multiply the loaves, or raise Himself from the dead. His Father did that. But there is something He did that the Father could not do. He fulfilled the law.
Jehovah requires sacrifice for the atonement (pardon) of sins. And although He accepted for thousands of years the sacrifice of lambs and other burnt offerings, these were imperfect sacrifices. They could not enable human beings to have complete and unhindered communion with The Father, as we were created for.
So, The Father sent Jesus, The Christ, to take our place on the cross so that His spirit could dwell with us.
#3 – The Holy Spirit
Also known as The Holy Ghost. Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit is no less important. God’s primary method of communication and leadership in our lives is through His Spirit. However our sin blemished and separated us from Him. This is why The Holy Spirit is not heard of much in the Old Testament, before Jesus.
Notice how in the Old Testament it was not only acceptable to cast lots, but it was also encouraged by God. He often altered History by changing the outcome of the cast.
Why? Because He could not communicate with us directly. He had to use barbaric forms of communication until He could break the barrier between Him and us.
Also, take note that there is only one time that the church uses lots in the new testament, after Jesus.
“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
Many believe it was a mistake for them to cast lots instead of consulting the Holy Spirit, as we never hear of Matthias again. Perhaps they would have chosen Paul?
I hope you have learned a little something from my writing. I can only hope I helped clear things up a little bit in a subject that is notoriously confusing.
Thank you for reading.
Anyone else tired of watching the world go down hill?
I wish I knew what to do about it. I can post all day long about why it’s wrong, but God’s already done that. It’s called a conscience. So if man is able to ignore God, surely they are able to ignore me.
I know that in the end days evil will abound. But where is the Holy Spirit? Isn’t that supposed to be overflowing as well?
Perhaps I know why it hasn’t been overflowing in my life. Or this country. In my video, The Passion Promise, Paris Reidhead is quoted saying “…are you using God as an end or a means?” I, for one, have been using Him as a means to my own end. I’ve been so distant from Him, because He hasn’t been anything more to me than a way to fix my life or this country. Maybe a little more. But not enough.
Even writing this out, I noticed that I called the Holy Spirit an it. I don’t think He likes that.
I’ve even started to write sermons based upon what I think the people need, and not what God wants.
There are so many people in this world, myself included, who are capable of declaring war on sin, evil, and the flesh. But instead of using the immense power given to us by God we raise our white flags almost proudly declaring peace with a world that hates Christ. Not for God’s sake, obviously, but for our own selfish desires and ambition.
Who are we that we should even consider our own fate when there are thousands of souls, within and without the church, over whom the Lord weeps? They will spend an eternity in Hell because I wont spend a minute in surrender sharing the gospel. Shame on me. I deserve a fate worse than theirs.
Who are we that we think we have the right to a comfortable life? We rub the name of Jesus Christ in the mud. He denied comfort and chose instead the most gruesome way to die after living a most humble lifestyle. There are 159,000 Christian slain every year, and I distance myself from them.
Who are we to call ourselves Christians? We use the word so flippantly. I don’t have the right to the word any more than I could call myself a U.S. Marine.
Perhaps nobody does. At least I see that now.
Soldier in Training
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings.
As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read “Brian Moore.” I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.
And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named “Friends” was next to one marked “Friends I have betrayed.” The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Have Read,” “Lies I Have Told,” “Comfort I have Given,” “Jokes I Have Laughed at.” Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve yelled at my brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Have Done in My Anger,” “Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents.”
I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I have listened to,” I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked “Lustful Thoughts,” I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: “No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!”
In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.
And then I saw it. The title bore “People I Have Shared the Gospel With.” The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand. And then the tears came. I began to weep.
Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again.
He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. “No!” I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was “No, no, ” as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.
He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.” I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.
-Written by Joshua Harris, 1995