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    A Christian Obligation

    Sunday, March 1, 2015, 1:49 PM [General]

    Do Christians feel they have an obligation to be proactive?  They certainly should.  The stronger have an obligation to help the weaker.  Some may be stronger in some areas (whether spiritual or material) and the weaker (the less spiritual or the poor and needy).  This obligation is to be more important than anything that we may see that would please ourselves.  This is the message beginning in Romans 15 below.

    Romans 15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me."  4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  (ESV)

    We have this obligation because our Savior gave up everything of Himself for us.  Jesus gave His entire being to bring us into God’s kingdom, and we owe Him so much more than we could ever repay.  If He loved us so much, shouldn’t we also love one another so much.  We should give of ourselves freely to meet the obligations of those who are without.

    1st John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  (ESV)

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    Saved Believers

    Saturday, February 28, 2015, 1:48 PM [General]

    Many are looking for prosperity in this world, but this world is fast coming to its conclusion.  All the nice things that are enjoyed in this world will not be worth much when life in this world is finished.  How much time do you consider having prosperity in the next life?  Do you seek to have all you can out of this life, or do you seek to do all you can in this life to please the Lord by living in His law of love so that you will store up your treasures to claim in His Kingdom.

    Romans 13:9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.  11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.  For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  (ESV)

    Here Paul is speaking to saved people.  This is seen near the end of verse 11 above where it says “… when we first believed.”  Hence, the believers are the ones who know Jesus as their Savior, and Paul is already alerting them to the fact that every day we are closer to that coming salvation that at the first.  Now this is misunderstood by some that say, “Are we already saved, or will we be saved in the future?”  This can be confusing, because language can be taken any number of ways according to the context in which it is used.  In the context that ‘being saved by believing in the Lord’ then believers are ‘saved’, meaning that the Lord has accepted our faith in His saving work, and He has promised to seal us with His Holy Spirit and to never leave us.  But in another context, we are still living in this world, and so for those who use the context that we are not ‘saved’ yet because of still being in this world, that context is correct also, but it is simply a matter of context.  We are saved in the sense of being adopted as His children, but we are not home yet.  We will be home (or fully saved, if you use that context) when we leave this world to be with Him in our Heavenly Home for eternity.

    What Paul was teaching the believers was that for now, our highest calling is to live in that law of love that all of God’s law is based (or founded) on.

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    The King Is Coming

    Saturday, February 28, 2015, 12:22 PM [General]

    I’m pasting  a link here for a YouTube video.  I’m not sure how well these links work on posts, but I think this video should cause people to think soberly and seriously about Christ’s coming.  It is a two year old.  She keeps saying things like the King is coming, He is knocking, Open the door, Abba up (Abba is the Hebrew for ‘daddy’- and is often used to refer to our Heavenly Father).  The Scripture says, out of the mouths of babes Thou hast perfected praise.

     

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dZPnwoIKFw 

     

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    Preachers Getting Rich

    Friday, February 27, 2015, 12:05 PM [General]

    Preachers who get rich by preaching should heed God’s warning to those who do so.  People who put money into their funds should consider this as well.  God sees His children as His sheep, and those who tend His sheep as shepherds under the Good Shepherd, Jesus the Messiah.  Shepherds who are seeking their own gain are like ravenous wolves to God’s sheep.  Any shepherd should make a good wage, but getting rich from the fleece and meat of the sheep is the wrong way to go.  God will deal with them at His appointed time.

    Isaiah 56:11 The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough.  But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all.  (ESV)

    Ezekiel 34:2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves!  Should not shepherds feed the sheep?  (ESV)

    Ezekiel 34:10 Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep.  No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves.  I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.  (ESV)

    Consider carefully what the Lord said to Eli through one of His prophets below.

    1st Samuel 2:27 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh?  28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me?  I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.

    29 Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?'  30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,' but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.  31 Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.  (ESV)

    Fattening yourselves above from the Hebrew perspective does not only apply to their eating (Eli became a very obese person), but also applies to fatness of earthly, material treasures as well.  If you really believe in God’s Word concerning living in His Kingdom for eternity, or facing eternal torments, then you better carefully consider whether you are seeking rewards in this life or trading your eternal rewards for these earthly ones.  Jesus said that anyone going on a venture (building a house or taking an army to war) should count the cost.  Anyone who seeks to serve God needs to be aware of the costs.  Jesus asked us to give our total selves to Him and that we could expect this world to treat us as it treated Him.  Remember, Satan is the ruler of this world.  Christ in us is stronger than Satan, but that does not mean that we are incapable of falling to Satan’s deceit.

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    What Is Truth?

    Thursday, February 26, 2015, 8:34 PM [General]

    What is truth- absolute truth?

    John 18:37 Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?"  Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king.  For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."  38 Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"  After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him.

    We all have perceptions, but how often do our perceptions deceive us?  We may often think we know the truth, but how easily could we be deceived?  Who are those spoken of in the Bible that have ears that do not hear and eyes that do not see?  Are we so anxious to hear and see what we want to hear and see that we may be deceived by thinking that what we want to hear and see is truth?  The Bible speaks of living in the truth as living in the light (eyes that see the truth).  Those who do not see the truth are in darkness.

    Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.  (ESV)

    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

    19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.  21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."  (ESV)

    1st John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  (ESV)

    To better understand the meaning of ‘walk in darkness’ one must consider this:  When one can’t see it is called blindness.  When one is in darkness, he can’t see.  Saved people are not perfect.  Falling into sin when saved is not the same as walking in darkness.  Many people do not have the light that sees the reality of sin.  They walk in darkness to their own sins because they do not see the reality of the consequences.  God will deal with His children when they fall into sin; this is what is meant in Hebrews 12: 6 where it says that He chastens (or disciplines) and scourges (or chastises) those He loves.  Those walking in darkness (not seeing the sin) are not seeking a relationship with Him and are not in fellowship with Him.  There are those who claim to know Him, but they do not truly know Him and do not have fellowship with Him because they do not have that true Light that shows them their own sinfulness.

    The bitter truth is that mankind is doomed to eternity without a Heavenly home.  The glorious truth is that those who come to our Creator through the Lord Jesus Christ will find an eternal home with Him.

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