Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Desensitization SINdrome

In my high school, for the drama club, there was a desensitization class. This class's aim was to desensitize an individual to certain things that he or she may have to do during a play. For example, in a scene that involved a kiss, this course would desensitize the emotions of those kids. Sin has the same effect towards righteousness and holiness, but no one needs to take a class. It is in human nature to sin. The Bible warns believers over and over again of the perils of sin and one danger in practicing sin, is that it causes desensitization towards righteousness and to be more Christ like and Satan loves when a believer engages in sin because that believer is one more step to practicing sin more and more. The reality is that the Christian life is a mindset, and so also sin is a mindset. Of course, the believer acts out a physical sin, but that is only in direct reaction to the premeditated sin of his or her heart. Psalm 119:11 tells us clearly that the Psalmist hid God's Word in his heart so that he might not sin. To be desensitized to righteousness and holiness is an indication of spiritual apathy towards God. Spiritual apathy and being desensitized of righteousness go hand in hand and to prove that is not hard at all.

Let's quickly think of a Bible example. Jonah was not happy to do the Lord's will. In fact, he fled to Tarshish, the furthest point in the opposite direction that he could think of. Jonah had made a conscience decision to dis obey God. Herein is the premeditated sin of Jonah found. That mindset is what desensitized Jonah and Jonah rested in that decison, so much so in fact, that he fell asleep on the ship. Although falling asleep was an outward show of his inward spiritual apathy and complacency towards God.

So often, believers rest in there premeditated sin. The outward action is simply the fruit of that mindset. There are fruits of the Spirit that are described for believers in Gal. 5:22 and 23. Those 9 fruits (and there are more in other scriptures)

are only shown in the believer's life first through a conscience mindset of yieldedness and humility to God, in everything.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Biblical reasons to read God's Word

Reasons to read God’s Word…daily

Reading God’s Word is How believers come to know Him in a deeper way (Col. 3:16; Phil. 3:10)

The Scriptures Testify of Christ (John 5:39; Acts 10:43)

Believers are commanded to read His Word (Col. 4:16; Heb. 2:1-3; Eph. 3:4;)

It is Profitable (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

It saves us from false teachings (1 Tim. 4:15-16)

It feeds and Nourishes our Soul (Job 23:12)

It gives us Wisdom and Discernment (Heb. 4:12; Psalm 19:7)

It renews our minds (Rom. 12:2)

It enables us to manifest the mind of Christ

It teaches truth we have not known and reinforces “old”(already known) truths

It is able to save our souls from (the power of) sin (James 1:21)

It prevents us from sinning (Psalm 119:11)

We are cleansed by the Word

It is able to build us up Spiritually (Acts 20:32)

Romans 10:17

The Scriptures bring Comfort and Hope (Romans 15:4)

The Word contains examples and admonishments for our learning (1 Cor. 10:11)

The Word effectually works in those who Believe (1 Thess. 2:13)

There is a blessing to those who read and obey (Rev. 1:3; James 1:25)

It is what God uses for our Spiritual growth and maturity (1 Peter 2:2)

It is all we need for life and godliness (1 Peter 1:3)

It delights those who meditate in it (1 John 1:4; Psalm 1:2)

The Word brings assurance of Salvation

The Word of God guides our steps through life (Proverbs 3:5)


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lesson 7.7 of Bible Interpretation. 

This lesson is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.    

Rule 7.7:  Distinguish Between Truths which Differ...        

         There is a common tendency among ALL people, not just believers, to confuse different truth, (disregard in their rules we has studied thus far) to connect or mix together, certain doctrines which stand by themselves. For example, many people fail to realize there is a vast difference between...      

A) SALVATION and REWARDS...      

SALVATION cannot be earned! We don't deserve it! And the Bible is very certain and clear...

ROMANS 6:23 ...the Gift of God is ternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.        

          But the Bible is equally clear that the Lord gives every believer an opportunity to share in His workas his personal"ambassador for Christ" in the ministry of reconciliation! This labor does not merit salvation-- instead    

1 CORINTHIANS 3:14 If any man's work abide which she has built thereupon, he shall receive a REWARD.        


        Salvation is a Gift--and the Bible always speaks of it in terms of a gift when dealing with the matters of one's eternal welfare! On the other hand, a reward is given for faithful service rendered to the Lord! If it is remembered that the unsaved one is "dead in trespass is and sins" he obviously needs the Gift of eternal life!  Being "dead"  he has no capacity to earn any reward! But, when given a new life in Christ Jesus, he will joyfully work to show his appreciation to the Lord, and for this he will be rewarded! While no person can earn his salvation,every believer should labor for his Savior, and strive to merit His "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make the ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!"              

                 B)  The believer's TWO NATURES...

          The fact that the believer has two natures (where he had but one prior to his salvation) can cause a lot of problems, as witness...  


Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.      


            Satan is reluctant to let the believer go, so he makes full use of the old nature to defeat the new nature imparted by Christ. When this is known as a fact, and is dealt with accordingly to Biblical practice, the believer can--and should--have true spiritual victory in his life!




CONCLUSION:  

This is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.



             From a careful study of these seven basic rules for Bible interpretation, and by diligent application in each passage handled, the born again believer, because he has the Holy Spirit to guide him, will not be led astray by any of the multitude of cults, isms, denominations and doctrines of the day.
        
           The Bible is a clear revelation; it contains no real contradictions; it has ONE INTERPRETATION which is carefully balanced to make it the most unique volume in the world. Read it-------- study it-------- meditate on it-----believe it------ trust it-----it is for you!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lesson 7.6 of Bible Interpretation.

Lesson 7.6 of Bible Interpretation.   This lesson is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.      

                        Distinguish Between The Judgments…

          There are a multitude of judgements of various kinds in the Bible., pronounced on a wide variety of people for one basic reason--SIN!  Out of these many different occasions when God has called man into account, seven distinct judgments stand out.  No two of them are alike, except that the cause is always sin, the basis is always disobedience, and the remedy is always by the mercy of God!  (Even in the case of the final judgment, where without remedy, the unbelieving are consigned to eternal Hell, that action is also bt the mercy of God!)  Perhaps the two which we are most prone to try to amalgate need our consideration right here.  A verse from each should clearly deduce the differences once for all:        

THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST IS FOR BELIEVERS        ONLY!  

Romans 14:10 "...for we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. "  

          The question here is NOT judgment for sin (in the judicial sense) ; rather, it will determine the basis of rewards earned for faithful service after the believer has experienced New Birth.  A previous judgment--Christ on the cross-- has already settled the sin question!  Having been saved, the Lord will now reward His children for faithful service at this, THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST!                    

          THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT is solely for the unrepentant, the unbelievers who refuse the salvation provided by the death, burial and ressurrection of Christ.:    

          Revelation 20:11  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.  12 And I saw  the dead [the unsaved], small and great, stand before God...and the dead were judged...according to their works.  
      

          At this judgment, all who have not repented of their sins, and have refused to receive the forgiveness provided by the Lord Jesus in His redemptive death and resurrection, having lived and died in their own self will, shall stand! They shall have a fair trial, for God is just...they will receive full justice, for judgment will be on this basis: "according to their works".... there will be equal justice for all: " small and great"...BUT this judgment will take place before a special court:  "THE GREAT WHITE THRONE!"  Briefly note the significance of the absence of color:  it will be white because red is the color of redemption, and there will be no redemption offered there; it will be white because green is the color of grace and mercy, and the day of grace, offered with mercy, will be past forever! While we have no basis to assume that the thought of white is "transparency", it is indeed true that nothing will be covered up--no clever lawyer will be able to confuse the issue, or make a lie sound like the truth, or the truth a lie!  But we can be assured of this: there will not be one person who will be able to say that God was not just and fair in his judgment! No believer will ever be brought before this terrible throne of righteousness, because his sons were settled at the judgment ons in at Calvary!    

          Keep the time...the place...the persons being judged...the Judge...and the reasons for being judged--and you will never talk about a great and general judgement! The Bible expresses these truths clearly and distinctly!

          Take note that THE JUDGEMENT OF THE NATIONS described in Matthew 25 is not related even remotely to either of these judgments!  The time is at The Great Tribulation!  the Judge is Christ!  the basis is solely concern in the treatment of "My Brethren", the Jewish people during that terrible "time of Jacob's trouble".  and the judgment rendered by the Lord determines which nations shall enter the Kingdom  Age to inhabit the earth for 1000 years! It has nothing to do with salvation, nor does it determines the rewards of the saints!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Moving in God's direction

As you can tell, I haven't posted a blog in months. I recently moved in obedient response to be a help to a church planting ministry.  This move went very well and all throughout, I was thanking the Lord for His provision.  When I came out to Butler a few weeks ago to job hunt, I had ample opportunities for jobs.  I went to some temp agencies and also some permanent job opportunities.  That was my main focus at that time and I knew that the Lord would provide all my needs.  On last Saturday, there were 6 people to help load the truck.  It only took about 2.5 hours and there were no hang-ups that held us up.  I had a hard time sleeping that night, simply because of the excitement of moving to Butler.  I actually got up at 5am on Sunday to start getting ready.  I ended up leaving Manchester around 6:20am and was off.  My first stop was in CT to see Peter and everybody at his church.  Unfortunately, I did not arrive before SS so I updated the gentlemen in the sound booth and went on my way.  I was not planning for such a long trip but the drive ended up being about 15 hours due to construction, detours, and simply staying between 50 and 55 mph.  I arrived in Butler and Steve met me at the church building.  We unloaded my car and I spent the first night at his house.  I got well rested Sunday night.I had scheduled about 3 apartment viewings over the next 2 days, but I also wanted to unload the truck as soon as I could.  Steve advised about the areas the apartments were in, which of course influenced my decision.  For those of you who have facebook, there was an apartment from craigslist that was posted and that was actually my first choice.  (But of course I only saw the pictures)  Steve knew the area it was in and said it was a pretty bad area.  Steve met me at my first apartment viewing on Monday around 12pm.  It is in a very safe and, in general, better area.  Again, for those on facebook, the pictures are up.  It is about 1000 square feet, 2 bedroom, with open kitchen dining and living rooms.  It also has plenty of storage and one of the storage sections even has washer/dryer hookups, but I don’t have a washer and dryer….yet.Not only has the Lord provided with job opportunities and a nice apartment, but the Landlord and lady are a VERY nice retired couple, who live in the same house, 2 stories below me.  They are also Christians.  Praise the Lord!  While sitting down initially and going over the lease and different things, Steve and I were listening to Ken and Judy share their salvation testimony and were able to enjoy fellowship with other believers.  They have both been saved for quite sometime (40+ years).  Just today (Tuesday) I had 2 job interviews.  The first one was about 30-40 minutes away and is probably the one I will pursue.  It is the same thing that I have been doing at Life Is Good for 9 years.  The other interview was right in Butler, but just didn’t seem like the right fit.I have not posted a blog in months due to this move, but I will be starting up again.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A stand AGAINST worship?

Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to worship the king’s statue:

i) The Decree to Worship the image: (Dan. 3:3-6)

(1)   We read about this life-threatening decree in verse 5 and 6.  

5“That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:”  6“And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

(2) This decree was, in a way, purposed for Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego.  The King and other officials knew that these 3 men were Godly men so this decree was devised as a way to back them into a corner.

(3) Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego heard of this decree and still they were bold to stand up to what they knew was wrong.  In spite of the deathly consequences for not bowing down to this image, (verse 6)  Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego were not going to compromise their relationship to the Lord for even a couple of seconds, just to simply bow a knee before this great image. To these 3 men, to compromise their relationship to the Lord, would have been sin.

ii) God IS able…

(1) Verse 17 tells us the response of these 3 men and that they KNEW that God IS able to deliver them from whatever trial they face.

(2) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were YIELDED and accepted God's way of deliverance....and to them meant a fiery death.

iii) The 3 men are cast into the fire. (Dan. 3:20-23)

(1) These 3 men would NOT compromise their relationship to the Lord and the only other option they had was death.  Death by fire.  Can you imagine being thrown into fire and having to suffer, for who knows how long?  What a price these men chose because they did NOT want to disregard the Almighty God.  There is one option, however, of deliverance that these 3 men did not consider.

iv) Deliverance THROUGH the fire (Dan. 3:23-27)

(1) These 3 men were cast down into the midst of the fire.
            (a) These 3 men should not have even hit the floor.  According to verse 22, they should have been already dead.

(2) Verse 25 tells us of their magnificent deliverance!!  The king noticed 4 men loose and walking in the midst of the fire...and the form of the fourth like THE SON OF GOD!

God wants to meet us in the midst of our trials....after we choose to stand for righteousness.   What a blessing!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lesson 7.5 of Bible Interpretation.



Rule 7.5:  Distinguish Between the Two-Fold Nature of Christ’s Return…


This lesson is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.



      There have always been those who have thought that the Lord was not able to keep His own redeemed children “from the hour of temptation” (Revelation 3:10).  This, spoken to the church of Philadelphia, is clearly a promise that the church will be taken out of the world—“Come up hither!”  (Revelation 4:1)—at the very moment the Tribulation breaks forth upon the earth.  This is what is termed “the Rapture” and it is clearly detailed in: 

1Thess. 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

But when the seven years of Great Tribulation draw to a close, the Lord shall return in might and glory to bring judgment which had been withheld by His longsuffering:

2Thess. 1:7-8 “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

The distinction is increasingly important as this present age draws to its close, and “the mystery of iniquity doth already work” (II Thess. 2:7) trying to persuade even Bible-taught believer to look for the Anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation rather than for “that blessed hope” of the return of our Lord in Person!  The Lord has clearly revealed His “time-table” and the distinct order of events.  Let each believer fix his attention on the coming Lord Jesus Christ—NOT Anti-Christ!