Monday, September 19, 2011

Satanic Lie #2 - Victim

It's a dusty idea that I'm responsible for myself and no other person or group of people can make you do the things you do.

Satanic lie # 2 - You are and will always be a victim. To be pitied and accommodated by everyone you come in contact with. You're the wounded one and everyone needs to cater to you. Your every whim needs to be accommodated, and if its not everybody is going to know it. 

In John 5, the man at the pool of Bethesda, was asked if he wanted to be made well. I've often wondered about that question. Some people might consider that a silly or rhetorical question. Of course I want to be healed! Is that what the man would say? He didn't just say "yes", he started with reason or excuses why he hasn't been healed yet. Some people don't want to be healed, that would stop the pity party, so Jesus asked him if he wanted to stop the pity party, stop getting the attention and follow him and serve others. Some people are in need of being healed by Jesus in a spiritual way. And a lot of us have been healed from sin and are still laying at the gate. As long as we can lay at the gate and be a victim of whatever it is we've been healed of spiritually, we don't have to get up and walk and take our share of the load. If we stop being a victim what would we be? Some of us don't understand what we'd be, because its never occurred to us that we might not be a victim any more.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Satanic Lie #1 - Repentance

It's a dusty idea that that little voice in the back of your head that you call common sense sometimes is really just the devil talking to you.

Satanic lie #1: You can't change. There's no use in you repenting of the things you want to stop doing. You're just going to do them again and you've said over and over again, "This is the last time I'm ever going to do this." You just wound up doing it again. Don't go up there and try to say you can stop, then you'll just be lying to God.

This is a lie, you can change and God can change you. Even while you are doing the things you do and think you have your closest friends and dearest relative tricked. They know you need a change in your life.

II Corinthians 7:10 - For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (ESV)

True repentance has to be motivated by how you offended God. Not by how you were found out or who found you out. If you repent based on who found you out and how you offended other people, you will more than likely just find a more clever way of doing it so as not to be found out the next time. If you repent because you have offended God, then you'll understand that God is everywhere and sees everything. There's no where to hide or no way to cleverly stop God from noticing what you're doing.

What works repentance is "I have offended God and I need to change of my own free will and stop doing what offends God, because I want to." It can't be because my wife, my children or my parents want me to stop and I don't really want to. That isn't repentance, that is trying to stop doing something that I really want to do and I don't want to get caught by my family again.

Luke 13:3 - Unless you repent you will all likewise perish......

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Coming In, To and After Christ

Last Sunday I was sitting in a men's  leadership class and the question was asked, "Why have so many people  missed church recently?" Why don't people get involved? Why do the 20% do 80% of the work? I think I know at least part of the answer as to why.

Luke 14: 16-27, - 16But he said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.' 19And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.' 20And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' 21So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.' 22And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' 23And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'" 
                   25Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.(ESV)

Three levels of invitation in the reading above. Come in, not just an invitation to church, Christ invites you to come in to hear about him. He invites all to come in. This means if they don't look like you, they're still invited. If they are tattered up we invite them to come in. This means if they're men and they got earrings in there ears, eyebrow, lip or tongue they're still invited. This means that if she's the fastest thing on the block and wearing her shirt so tight that all the men are looking strange, she's still invited. We seem to have decided that the church is suppose to attract good people. The church is suppose to attract ALL kinds of people as well as vulgar, despicable and downtrodden. We exert a lot of time and energy making sure the right kinds of people are at church. It is not your or my job to screen people coming to church. It's not your job to screen who comes to Jesus. Jesus invites everybody to come in. This is not our church. This is the first kind of invite that the Lord presents to people. Everybody is excepted to come in to Jesus. In the reading above (v.23, 25) we can see people had "come in" to Jesus and were following him. All kinds of people some looking for a miracle, some just to see what he would do next, and some to hear his message. Some I am sure were just thrill seekers and with this many people you know some were just there to socialize.

Jesus had all these people come in to him, but Jesus is not in the business of leaving people like they are. Starting in v. 25 thru 26 Jesus turns to the people that have come in and lets them know if they are going to come to him they're going to have to change. All these people that were thinking Jesus was accepting of them, and he is, now see that discipleship is going to cost them something. If you are going to "Come to" Christ there has to be a change in your primary relationship on this earth. Your primary relationship on this earth has to be Jesus Christ, not children, or parents, or spouse, or baseball, or football. I had to kind of add that in because sometimes these things are above families as well. If your primary relationship is Christ all the family relationships will be taken care of. Jesus has raised the standard of being his disciple to all this crowd to see who would still follow. He's going to thin this crowd, because when Jesus seeks to change you a lot of people resist, want to compromise, and just plain refuse.

I have said all this to try to make the point that our churches are filled with people that have come in, but have refused to come to Jesus.

The disciples that have "come after" Jesus have taken this a little deeper. They'll have to check to see what's going on in the Kingdom before they decide what they're doing on a Friday night. They're the kind of people that will have to check to see what the kingdom is like and if it exists in that town where the new and better job is. The kind of people that will move closer to their church than their job. They can't accept a better job somewhere that wants them to work three Sundays out of a month if they can't get to church sometime on the Lord's Day. When you come after Jesus you'll lose friends, and possibly some family as well. That is unacceptable to a lot of people. You'll thin the crowd around you just as Jesus did. Jesus doesn't intend for you to take up your cross and come after him unless you're willing to be hung on it. Thats what a cross is, something you carry until it carries you.

Why do 20% do 80% of the work? About 80% of the people have just come in and are content to stay there. We have to find a way to get people to come to, so their primary relationship can be Jesus and then begin the process of coming after.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Book of Life

Dusty idea is the Book of Life doesn't have permanent entries in it. We don't have any trouble understanding what the Bible says, we just need to stay within the confines of the scripture.

 I know there's a segment of Christendom that comes at salvation from the standpoint that's its permanent. Can't do anything to lose it. If you are truly saved you won't ever sin to the point of being able to lose it again, because God knows what you're going to do and predestines you to eternal salvation. Even before you are born God knows what you are going to do.

God is omnipresent, he can and does know what you will do. He doesn't make the choice for you though. It's still YOUR choice. You still have to obey the gospel of Christ.

I have asked about scriptures that support the doctrine of once saved always saved. I haven't had a lot of luck finding where this doctrine comes from except on the Internet. Scriptures to substantiate it.

     1. John 3:15-18 ... so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (NASB)

 There is no doubt that you must believe that Jesus is the Christ. John 8:24 says that if you don't believe that Jesus is the Christ you will die in your sins. When you rightly divide the word of God you have to consider the whole new Testament. When the statement is put forth that you have to believe to go to heaven it is completely accurate. This is what this verse is telling us and nothing else. To say this is the only defining activity in the New Testament is to say there was a lot of time and paper wasted on the rest.

     2. John 10:26-30 ... But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

This is another verse put forth in support of the doctrine of once saved always saved. Jesus has healed a blind mind in the temple. In verse 22 of this chapter the Bible says that "At that time...", so what is about to take place is very soon after the parable of the good Shepherd. He explains that the ones that are of his flock hear his voice and they "follow" me. Follow is a word that requires continual action. You must keep following Jesus' words to be a follower of him. Then no man will be able to prevent you from being saved. You will be the only one that can prevent yourself from being saved.

     3. Romans 8:38-39 ... For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Another verse in support of the once saved always saved doctrine. Pretty straight forward verse here. Nothing created and not even death can separate someone that is "following" Christ from the love of God found in Jesus. Again only one that can separate us from God is us. You may want to know how I know we're the only one that can separate us even after we've obeyed Christ. 

     Revelation 3:1-6 1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

As I've stated before in this article, combining the Bible together to get the complete message we see that all the verses above if taken as OSAS doctrine, then the message to a Church that Christ built in Revelation 3 isn't true. Read it closely, pick any translation you care to. In verse 2-3 if they don't wake up and remember what they have received and heard and strengthen what remains, they will die. In verse 5 if the Christians don't overcome this they will have their names ERASED from the Book of Life. They will have run the race in vain and lost their eternal salvation. In verse 4, there are a few people that have not "SOILED" their garment of white. They had garments of white and now they don't. Think people....these are Christians that John is writing to. If these Christians didn't wake up they were going to lose their salvation.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eternity has begun

Dusty idea is that our bodies are finite and then the body dies. We have a soul right now within us that will live on forever. Since it will never die, eternity has began for us all, we will just transition at death.

Part of the problem in this world is that the devil has somehow convinced people that this is it. This is as good as it gets. Quite frankly its not that hard to convince people that this is it, because our mortal bodies die. We watch them die and go in the ground, or have an urn that someone's cremated remains are in. We drive by graveyards, they're in every community. It looks like a very final thing. In fact to people still living on the earth it never changes, once you die, you're just dead, from a worldly point of view. To the person thats not spiritual, or the natural man, same as a carnal man, the idea that the spirit lives on is foolishness.

 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

We are not a temporary body that has a soul and then the body dies. We are an eternal soul that is in control of a very temporary body and then we live on. With this truth in place, what do you think people should be concerned with? Things of the body or things of the spirit? Body is temporary, spirit is eternal. This is the definition of a no-brainer. If all you are concerned with is this world and pleasures, and how much fun I can have before I die. How much money I can make. How many rules can I break and how much shock value my actions can have. That's not being spiritual.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:11-13  NASB
If you have taken no real, serious thought about your eternal situation, you need to stop analyze your actions, are they spiritual? Snap your fingers,...... even if you live for 100 years, your life is that snap of the fingers compared to eternity. Only that snap was too long and too loud.