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Is There a Line Anymore?

Judges 21:25 says “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

Historians will tell you that we must never forget the past, for when we do, we will surely repeat the mistakes of old. Have you ever personally done this? I know we can look through history and see example after example of people and countries trying to do the same thing that had already failed them once before. Maybe you know of some specific examples?

Today I’m challenged considering how over history, when people abandon God’s plan, they always end up coming back to God and begging for forgiveness. It does not fail. Over and over the Israelites went through this crazy cycle. Many people also personally go through this cycle of fighting God’s plan in their lives only to come to the foot of the cross in repentance when they realize the folly of their “own plan”.

So, how does this statement, “everyone did as he saw fit” from Judges, which is the very last verse of the entire book, become relevant today? In the USA I see this mentality becoming the norm. Don’t you? Nobody is allowed to tell anyone they are wrong. There are riots over the simplest things. The Satanic Temple is suing over a Nativity Scene, really! (1) Where is the line to be drawn? It must be drawn! We know this from history and we delude ourselves if we think it will not keep moving.Crossing-the-Line-300x191

The government in the USA is by the people, for the people and of the people. Too many of us do not care, and we are seeing the results. Believe it or not LAW is not TRUTH. Law is made my man; Truth comes from God. Laws change, truth does not. Argue about this fact all you want, but it’s true.

Everyone does as they see fit, and if they cannot, they throw a tantrum. So many of us are like whiny, undisciplined kids! Think about it! No one acts as a parent anymore, we all just run around with not an ounce of self-control and look where we are today. If you are thinking that things are great and so much better, you are one of those undisciplined kids who has truly missed the big picture. I’m so sorry.

When Israel got done whining about not having a King like all the rest of the countries around them (envy), God relented so they could learn a lesson. Israel ended up being split into 2 kingdoms, Judah and Israel, wars were aplenty, then came Persian and Babylonian enslavements, and the list goes on and on. All they had to do was trust in the Truth God presented. It IS that simple.

Is there a line anymore? Absolutely, so many of us just can’t see it, or chose to ignore it. It’s not okay to think everything should be okay; lines must be drawn or else everyone will continue walking off the cliff of ignorance.

(1) http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/04/07/satanic-temple-sues-indiana-county-over-courthouse-nativity-scene/

Your Family & the Living God

A couple phrases from I Timothy 3 that caught my attention.  The first,

“If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?”

is a pretty tough, yet relevant observation that Paul writes!  Paul is writing about church leaders, elders, deacon, etc.  Is your church leadership “above reproach”?  In layman’s terms, are they honorable? Trustworthy?  I think this observation should also be considered by every Christian.  Are you taking care of your own family?  Are you placing yourself first, where you maybe shouldn’t be?  If you can’t manage your own family, how then can you take care of your relationship with God?  Hmm.

Also, at the end of this chapter I read,

“the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

I’m not sure why, but I had to keep reading this part.  “living God”.  We are the Church.  We are the Church of the Living God.  Do you grasp that?  Every Christian needs to reflect on this.  The pillar and foundation of truth.  Truth is held on high on a pillar.  The Church of the Living God is its foundation and the means by which the Truth is raised up upon a pillar.  Think about how important that is.  Reflect on these thoughts today.  Please do.

If the Church is not lead by honorable leaders, then it’s foundation falters and the Truth is lost.  If your family is not lead in an honorable fashion, could it too be lost?

Division, no not Mathematics!

church split

I watched a very interesting hour long online video the other day portraying the life of a couple Amish families in Pennsylvania.  I believe the show was produced by the BBC and it was very well done.  The biggest surprise that I learned about the Amish was that they have some interesting rules in place that if not followed, you are taught that will go to Hell.  You know, the typical, if you wear your suspenders incorrectly or if your horse drawn carriage is the wrong color, etc.  You can have a phone “outside” your home, but not “in” your home.  Kind of like an outhouse for a phone.  Yes, seems odd that these are laws based on a Christian Bible based religion and way of life.  The best was the one that if you have a Bible study in your home you will go to Hell.  That one made the most sense, uh, maybe not.  The basic problem was that they were disobeying the Amish church leadership for their area.  The idea of Bible study was not bad, it was just that they weren’t supposed to do it.  You see the politics, I’m sure.

Well, upon further inspection these Amish families began to question these rules.  They had only started reading the Bible in English recently, thus they could now understand what was actually in the Bible.  It made no sense that they would go to Hell for suspenders and paint color, or having a phone in their home.  It was obvious to them that it was about control, at least in this instance.  Before they started reading the Bible, they had little hope.  Now, they are on fire for God.

I see many parallels in other church denominations today.  Take your pick.  From versions of the Bible to how often to worship, from reading and studying the Bible to having it read and interpreted for you, from dancing to proper dress, from faith to baptism, from praise and worship to traditional rote mass, we have split and created cliques based on often mundane differences.  Ever heard of Church division?  It seems to happen all the time!  Is it about control?  Sometimes.  Maybe a lot of the time.

So, is it all about control?  Of course not.  Much of the time it’s honest interpretation differences based on the Bible.  I’m sure God gets a kick out of some of it.  However, when a rule change would potentially cause someone to lose power, then it’s surely a prideful control problem, especially if the change would be to something obviously more biblically accurate.

My point….we need to be aware that we are all going to view things differently in some manner.  We also tend to seek out those having similar opinions.  What we need to be on our toes about is discerning what is biblical and God honoring.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  (2 Timothy 4:3 NIV)

Do you have an itch?  Be careful to not look for the right paint color or the perfect suspenders.  Do read the Bible and seek out accurate interpretations.  Sometimes it may be difficult to learn the truth or to even be sure you reading things right.  Persevere, question and most of all never stop seeking the truth.

A few pointers on seeking the truth that seem common to me:

1. If your church doesn’t encourage you to read the Bible and seek to learn on your own, then that doesn’t make any sense.

2. If you are never encouraged to seek God’s presence and guidance through prayer on your own, then that doesn’t make any sense.

3.  If you just go to church and it doesn’t affect any part of your life outside of Sunday morning, then that doesn’t make any sense.

The Flashlight

 “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine”  “Be a light unto the world”  “Don’t hide your light under a basket”

These are common SIMPLE phrases that the Christian person is to live by.  BUT, what does it mean?  You may think you know, but I bet this blog will add to your thoughts.

What does a light do?  It penetrates darkness.  It reveals things that would be unseen.  It points the way.  It brings to light truth.  YEP, a flashlight eliminates lies!   Think about it.  It does, since in darkness you cannot see anything, so you would be guessing and in essence lying.

Your faith, your walk with God, the Gospel is a light that can reveal the truth of heaven and hell.  Do you believe Jesus came to save everyone from hell, or did He come to help make life easier for believers?

What kind of a lawyer would you be if you never went to court, and just went around saying you were a lawyer, went to the office, and read some law books?  What kind of firefighter would you be if you had no desire to hold a water hose or wear an oxygen mask in a burning home.  You only trained to do the job and talked about the importance of fire safety?  In your gut, what would you think these people are?  Lazy?  Unmotivated?  In the wrong line of work?  Fake?

What kind of a Christian are we if we don’t share the reality of heaven and hell with the lost, weep for those that die everyday and fall into the pit of hell, burning and tortured forever?….And instead feel that heading out to church every so often, reading a bit in the Good Book and thanking God for our “blessings” is all that’s needed to make us a Christian?

Don’t stop reading now, if I hit a nerve, then it’s God talking, not me, since I too fall into this category of the lazy Going back to the light.  We have missed it.  It’s not going around and talking about how God has made your own life so “bright”.  That’s puffing yourself up, and most people will not see it as you reaching out to them, but how you think you are better than them.  You may not feel that way at all, but honestly, if someone came up to you and said, “My life is so rich, I have gone through hell and back, and now God has made everything so great!  I think you need God.  My life is sooo good with Him in it!”  would that reach you if you weren’t already a Christian?  When I wasn’t I would have laughed at this statement.  What a self righteous sounding statement, AND on top of it insinuating I NEED something, and am NOT happy…  See how that type of “sharing of the light” can fail?

I go back to the real light, the light that shows truth.  Show someone that if there is a Holy God, who is perfect, that we have all messed up in someway to have earned a free ticket to hell.  Look at the Ten Commandments; I’ve broken them all based on lust being adultery and hate being murder.  The light shines bright and shows the truth of the heart.  Help show others what is written on their hearts using the light of God’s law, then God can rewrite the story for them too.

FIND THAT OTHER LIGHT AND SHARE THAT ONE!

Blessings,

Jeff

A Christian truth

 Was Adam an amoeba?  Did the Garden of Eden exist sometime after the world began “millions” of years ago?  How did the dinosaurs die?

These are some common questions I’ve heard.  Heck, these are questions I had at one time too.  I chose to not really “try” to find the answers.  I just accepted what I heard others tell me like some scientists, “smarter” people than me or even National Geographic.  Did you know that the answers I had thought were “pretty good” go totally against what the bible proclaims?  I’m not just talking about Genesis, I’m talking about much of the New Testament as well.

One example to let you in on the misinformation:

In Paul’s discourse to the Romans he notes in Chapter 5:

12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned- 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

Paul notes that death entered the world after sin.  This corresponds to creation, as described in Genesis.  The bible says there was no death before sin.  Adam and Eve committed the first sin.  Here is the dilemma: Secular science teaches that the world is millions of years old, that there were millions of years of death before there was even a human in the form as we know it today.  If there was death before Adam, then the bible is wrong.  If Adam was some amoeba and we were made in the image of God, then the form of God has no ears or mouth and God is a liar when he says he hears, sees and speaks to us.  Let alone knowing us before we were born, since on the early evolutionary tree, there was no birth, just division (ha!).  So how can this be resolved…?  Well, it can be resolved.

There are tons of questions out there that DO have STRONG biblical answers.  Answers that come from scientists, people smarter than me, and articles and magazines.  Check out the following link, and search the topics or type in a question you’ve had for many years and see what answers you find.  You just might find you are strengthened in your faith.  You just might find the answer you’ve been looking for, but didn’t know it existed.

GET ANSWERS HERE

Blessings!