Love is the Only Answer!

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By Pastor Jeff,

Am I only one that thinks our world has gone completely crazy? I’m sure everyone who reads this post will give a resounding, NO, It’s definitely gone completely bonkers!

When you read, listen to, or watch the News about politics, watch some of the new television series that keep popping up glorifying evil, and talk to your friends about life, you have to shake your head, look up, and declare “Come quickly, Lord Jesus, Come!” The division that has hit our world, our country, is not only becoming comical but also dangerous as we hear increasing calls for a revolution.

One of the greatest declarations in the Word of God is 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.” Amen!

But is seems that our world has taken a completely different view of what this scripture says, this verse seems to say this to many, “For God so loved the Liberals, that he gave his only begotten Son, that if you vote Democrat you will not perish, but have everlasting life.” or worse, “For God so loved the Conservatives, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever votes Republican will not not perish, but have everlasting life.” (you can insert any political view, color, sex, religious view in there and it would cover most issues dealing with our society today).

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” 

One of the biggest things dividing our country which is pretty much equal with our political atmosphere is the word, “racist”. This has become a a 10lb. hammer in which if anyone disagrees with what you believe even if you can support it with facts and the word of God, they will whack you over the head with it. One of the things love requires us to as Christians to do is to tell others when they are in sin. Just see what happens when you call those in the LGBT that the movement is wrong, how quickly the hammer comes down, mention how abortion is wrong, and wham the hammer comes down. We agree racism is wrong, but if you declare that it is wrong because there is only one race, the Human race, and that many are using it gain an advantage, you better duck.

Jesus came to save sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Why? because He loved us, not because of or our color, sex, religious, political affiliation or whatever we claim to be. He loved us because we are His creation and He has no desire for anyone to go anywhere for eternity other than Heaven, 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

If we want to see revival, the power of Jesus Christ in regards to healing, miracles, people converted for the Kingdom of God, then we must abandon hate for Love, 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 

Love is not just the answer for our world today, its the ONLY ANSWER

picture care of:shop.lovesvg.com

 

Christian’s and Suicide

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By Pastor Jeff,

Will a Christian that commits suicide go to heaven? That is a question that is in much dispute and I must say that I will not come to a definitive answer in this blog, but I will share some thoughts and let you come to your own conclusion. The reason I can’t make that definitive answer is that I’m not God and I do not claim to have answers to every question that man seeks answers to. However like the Apostles Paul did occasionally I will deliver my opinion on the matter.

In our bible we can recall six suicides mentioned, Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4–6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). If we want to add Samson to this equation we find seven! Everyone is tragic in its own right and everyone, even Judas was done under extreme moments of depression, fear, and despair.

I have in the last few years and more heavily this past year have studied Mental Health and especially how it is handled by the Church. I found that my past thoughts on the subject were severely lacking and judgmental. I can easily blame those that have in the past blamed any mental health issue on a lack of faith, seeking attention, or worse declaring those affected as being demon possessed. But this belief is just a cop out that I had to come to terms with as a christian first, a brother in the Lord, and then a pastor.

I have found out that this area is very complicated not only in the world but also in the church, I need to admit that I don’t have all the answers, nor do I know all of the questions but I’m searching with an honest heart. In looking at the word of God with this new perspective I have found that though our God is awesome, He chooses people that are very flawed to do His work. The prophet Elijah is one that jumps out at me, in 1 Kings 18 we find Elijah part of a great conquest on Mt. Carmel against 450 prophets of Baal. When we look at chapter 19 we find this same prophet fleeing under the death threat from Jezebel, verse 4, “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” Sounds to me that Elijah was severely depressed to the point of wishing to die.

The problem we have as Christians that the bible declares in Exodus 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill.” Could we not say that suicide is in violation of this commandment? After all you are taking death which is appointed by God into your own hands. I in recently years have seen extreme suffering by non Christians and Christians alike not only physically but emotionally. I in no way will defend someone that takes his or hers own life but I will not and cannot stand in judgment of them either. Jesus Christ is the one who has the keys, Revelations 1:17-18, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” It is “He” that will open the books, Revelations 20:11-12, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

In most cases of suicide, no one is there at the time of the passing of the person, only God knows what the state of mind that person was in or the conversation they may have had with our Lord at the moment or time prior to them passing. Listen I don’t have the power to put anyone in nor take anyone out of heaven. That’s God business, I preach the gospel, do my best to love everyone, and keep studying the scriptures to have a reason of my hope. I take comfort in these words found in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Let God be God!

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Radically Saved

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By Pastor Jeff

One of the definitions for the word “Radical” is, characterized by independence of or departure from tradition; innovative or unorthodox:“the daring, avant-garde spirit of the music was too radical for the conservative audience”

Tradition is important, 2 Thessalonians 2:14-15, “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” Mans’ tradition is not, Mark 7:9, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” 

Jesus Christ came to not destroy the law but fulfill it according to Matthew 7:17. He did radically change the view that the so called spiritual leaders were teaching and requiring the everyday believer in God to follow. His words were powerful, John 7:45-46, “Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.” His actions showed His ability, John 3:1-2, “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

The words of Jesus had authority, He spoke against the religious bondage that mankind had been chained to, He was unorthodox, He healed on the Sabbath, He spoke of things that no man could know, heavenly things, and His words angered the religious.

The same thing is happening today. We have so many people who will declare that they are Christians but have been chained to the traditions of men. In the face of trials or the possibility of suffering for Christs sake they melt into denial that would make Peter’s denial look petty. They wear t-shirts, jewelry, have bumper stickers, and even tattoo’s declaring their love of God. They however have no root and will show no real signs of repentance, holiness, or LOVE in there lives.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

Radically saved Christians have one purpose and it’s not following a bunch of rules laid out by Creeds, bylaws, television evangelist, authors or government. Matthew 22:36-39, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” 

Lets be unorthodox, independent from man’s traditions, daring to swim against the current, Radically Saved!

picture care of: whatchristianswanttoknow.com

Do You Know of Him or Do You Know Him?

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By Pastor Jeff,

Do you know Him or do you know of Him? That is the biggest question we can ask anyone who claims to be a Christian? We have people that wear t-shirts, crosses, go to church, carry bibles (that seems to becoming less and less of a thing), and even get tattoos expressing their Christianity but the fruit we are supposed to bear is not apparent!

Many years ago I was going through a very dry period in my walk with Jesus Christ. I was pretty much going through the motions, I was teaching Sunday School, going to service pretty much at every opportunity but inside my heart was far from him. I was baptized in His name, filled with the Holy Ghost but I had come to the point of knowing about Him, I could quote scripture, do a Sunday school lesson like no other. Inside I was dead which I unfortunately see in so many of so-called believers today. This reminds me of this parable in Luke 13:6-9, “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” I’m so glad Jesus waited to cut me down for one day I made the decision to not just know about Jesus but to Know Him, the scripture that I fell in love with is found in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

I have fallen so much in love with Jesus Christ that I have run out of words to describe my passion for Him. I will declare to the world that I would surrender my life before I would ever turn my back on or deny His love for me. It deeply troubles me that shallow Christianity has become the norm in our world today. I don’t care if you can talk the talk, I care if you can walk the talk. That old phrase that says “I rather see a sermon than hear one any day” is so applicable in our circles today.

Remember this scripture found in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” If that doesn’t send a shiver up your spine I don’t know what will!

Don’t be satisfied with knowing about our Savior Jesus Christ, please come to know HIM!

picture care of: airocross.com