Sunday, September 20, 2015

Thinking about this Christianity

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Doing the Job?

      Authority figures come in all shapes and sizes and at different places in life: Moms and dads, school teachers, bosses, etc. Buckle up and read.
      “You can’t talk about the church and government,” screams the liberal. “It’s unconstitutional!” Um, no, it isn’t. Separation of church and state does not appear in The Constitution, but it does occur in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. What you will find are the words like government shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion OR prohibiting the free exercise thereof. However:
      “She should do her job,” decry the civil liberty supporters. #Love Wins advocate cheer the arrest of the married, divorced, remarried government employee that refuses to do the job, uphold the oath she took all the while, the aforementioned opponents point out how, she, a Christian hypocrite refuses to do the job based on “God’s Authority.” It is an open and shut case, right?

Romans 13:1
Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.

     Right away, the ever educated skeptic, secularist will use the verse to insinuate that “God according to the book allowed communist regimes to reign, and allowed Nazis to take control in the 1940s.”  They may even wanna throw the conversation between Jesus and Pilate where Christ reminds the ruler he only had power because God allowed it. In the case of Pilate, the big picture shows he was necessary to be a part of God’s redemptive plan. With other bad governments that come to be, it is easy, ironically enough for Christians and non-Christians a like to say, “It must be God’s will,” or “It’s karma,” when bad things happen or bad rulers reign.  

    In Paul’s time, Christians were almost public enemy number one, were rounded up, beaten and killed. Nero tried to destroy all copies of scripture and erase it from the world. And here Paul is saying that the established powers, i.e. those in charge are so because their power is established by the very God that in most cases is mocked by said ruling bodies. Therein lies the rub so to say. If a Democrat is the president, the Republicans will complain and vice versa. Think about like this by remembering what Jesus said to the man, Pilate as previously mentioined that “allowed” the crucifixion to occur. Jesus told him, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.”

      I am not going to be so boastful as to question why God let Nero reign, why Hitler was allowed to kill the chosen Israelites, why Islamic jihadist losers flew planes into the towers, but I will say in my honest opinion, perhaps out of these horrible atrocities, we as people, and as a nation will in sincerity turn to Him and not continually run away until we need to feel secure again.
 2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
            The word damnation in this regard means judgment. Christian people sealed by the blood of Christ cannot lose their salvation, but don’t think for a moment that we cannot and will not be disciplined by the Father upon the Day of Judgment.
 3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
 4For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
            Sorry to disrespect Thoreau, but civil disobedience isn’t always the best course. Now there are those that will say America would never have been made if we did not break away from England thus doing what is contrary to what is said here. That is not exactly true. Look back at American History. Speaking of which, let’s have a look just for those who hold to the belief that American is not now or ever was a Christian nation with the words of Republicans and Democrats past on the issue of God’s sovereignty in government:
    In 1776, 11 of the 13 colonies required that one had to be a Christian to be eligible to run for political office.
    In 1777, the Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase Bibles for distribution in the nation.
The GETTYSBURG ADDRESS states "...this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom..."
On that First "Thanksgiving", who do you think the people were giving thanks to? To God!
The famous "Liberty Bell" has part of Leviticus 25:10 inscribed on it: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
Part of the Scripture Proverbs 14:34 is inscribed above the L.A. city hall door: "RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH A NATION: BUT SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE."
An image of Moses carrying the tablets of God’s Law faces the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The entering President takes his courtroom OATH OF OFFICE with his right hand on the Holy Bible, and concludes his vow "So help me God."
The Supreme Court itself begins each of its sessions with the phrase ’God save the United States and this honorable court,’
First Vice President and Second President, John Adams wrote in 1798:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
 President Thomas Jefferson:
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." - 1781
Our sixth President, John Quincy Adams said:
"No book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied, and so profoundly meditated upon as the Bible." -
At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin said,
"God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"
The Christian writings and pronouncements of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln would fill an entire book. He said this when he assumed leadership over a nation on the brink of civil war:
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness." - 1863
*Theodore Roosevelt, America’s 26th President, wrote:
      "In this actual world, a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at, or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid down-grade." - 1917
*Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President and Governor of New Jersey, said this:
"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of the Holy Scripture." - 1911
*Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, said this about our founding fathers:
       "They were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance with the principle of self- government. They were an inspired body of men. It has been said that God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into the wilderness... Who can fail to see it in the hand of destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence?" - 1923
*Franklin Roosevelt prayed this prayer on a national radio hookup on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as our troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France:
"Almighty God... with Thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogance. Lead us to the saving of our country. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen."

*Harry Truman, our 33rd President, not known to be a committed believer, understood the spiritual heritage of this nation:
"If men and nations would but live by the precepts of the ancient prophets and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, problems which now seem so difficult would soon disappear”

*Gerald Ford, our 38th President, quoted a 1955 speech by Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 5, 1974:
"Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first - the most basic - expression of Americanism. Thus the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God’s help, it will continue to be."
*President Ronald Reagan:
"If we ever forget that we are ’One nation, under God’, then we will be one nation gone under."
So allow me to close with one final verse. You can argue that while employed the clerk should do her job. Most certainly you can question her sincerity if she stamped or issued licenses to other sinners, such well, all of us if not redeemed by Christ’s blood at Calvary, and not same sex partners. The First Amendment says we all can speak and question. But here’s the last verse. Peter and the Apostles were told not to preach the name of Jesus and spread His Word. They were beaten, jailed, and all but one killed for refusal to walk away from the Christ. Here it is in Acts of the Apostles chapter 5 verse 29:  But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Does your spiritual elevator go up? JOHN 6:60-67

Before we get to the issue of tonight’s study, here is the deal: Jesus as recorded in John 6:41-59 is explaining that He is the bread WHICH CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, VERSE 41. He explains in verse 54 that WHOEVER EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. THIS CONFUSED A LOT OF FOLKS. NOW WE GET TO THE MAIN PART-our message tonight. Let’s look at verse 60 and following:

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?
62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!
63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

They chose not to follow Jesus because they did not understand that they and we must rely on Him for our spiritual life sustaining nourishment. If we think about the elevator concept, it applies here. Many people today in their Christian walk are still on the ground floor. They for whatever reason cannot grow or keeping with the elevator theme go further in their spiritual walk or get to a higher floor. Sometimes, people push the emergency button if the elevator stops or starts moving too slow. Some Christians reserve the option in their mind to overrule God, and the Bible in any matter or course of action by pushing that emergency button and running from God much like so many of the disciples did. By doing that they can choose only what pleases them, or whatever is less of a requirement. I will not claim to know the will of God in every instance, but I don’t see God blessing that kind of behavior.
Our own desires keep us from moving closer to Christ, a lot of times, friends and even our own family members keep us from the cross.
Here’s a few quick examples:
Too many allow family to keep them from going to church and S/S. When the baby is sick why does the whole family including both grandparents and two sets of aunts and uncles have to stay home to administer medication? It’s not like that on Monday. I HAVE A SONG THAT PROVES THIS AT THE END.
Not here, but I have heard people say that they couldn’t come if there wasn’t a nursery for the children. I realize the comfort and the convenience that is there in having the nursery, but that should not be an issue. The nursery should not be the deciding factor of your faithfulness to church. The children do not hinder from planning your vacation. They don’t keep you from going to Wal-Mart. They don’t keep you from going to the lake on the week-ends. They don’t keep very many from going to little league baseball or football. Don’t allow your family to prevent you from being a disciple.
There will be a whole lot of hell filled with people who let their family hinder them from getting saved.
 We focus too much on the natural world and we do forget that we serve or are supposed to serve a very supernatural God.
65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

If we think back to how we each one met Jesus and more to the point, realized our need for Him, it’ll come to us that someone told us about the cross, sin, and our need for God.  A.W. Tozer said, “The impulse to pursue God originates with God.” We search and look for God because He is always drawing us closer using others to share and tell about His love and Grace. He wants us back. A LOT of people say only a certain number of people can be saved or a certain denomination, but the Bible clarifies and repeats time after time that God does not want anyone to perish.

As with close, Jesus asked and I do believe is still asking today in verse 67, “Will you also go away?”

Each day we carry the cross as He told us to. This world, the very creation has turned its back on the Creator. What will we do? We must remember we have others watching our footsteps daily. Will we follow Christ or stay on the ground floor of the spiritual elevator?