Saturday, December 19, 2009

Are You Really Ready?

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).

My Friends, there will be a day in which all men will be judged. There is no question that there will be such a day, nor is there any doubt that we all will be there, but, the question is, “Are we ready for the judgment day?”

Life is short, my friends, and death is coming (Jam. 4:14). As surely as we have an appointment with death, we have an appointment with judgment (Heb. 9:27). Let us seek to understand the need for readiness for that great judgment day, to the intent that better understanding will spur us on to being ever watchful.

Jesus promised He will come back (John 14:1-4), but we do not know when (Mat. 24:36). He will return, in His second coming (Heb. 9:28), as the apostles saw Him ascend (Acts 1:11). When Christ comes, He will not set foot on earth, but all (both good and bad) in the graves will be resurrected (John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:50-58), and the saved will “meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 The. 4:17).

On that day, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:9), so there will be no earth upon which man could continue to live, nor on which Christ could reign (as premillennialists falsely assert; cf. Dan. 7:13-14; Zec. 6:13; Heb. 8:1-4; 1 Cor. 15:23-24). That day will be the last day, and eternity will begin (John 12:48).

My friends, All nations will be present on that great day (Mat. 25:32). We ALL will be there. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). Christ will judge the whole world on that day (Acts 17:31), and all those who are ready will be there (Rev. 2:10), but all those who are not ready will also be present, and will be judged (2 The. 1:7-9).

Jesus Christ the Lord will judge (Acts 17:31; John 5:22; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8), and He will separate the good from the wicked (Mat. 25:32). The righteous will be told, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mat. 25:34), but the wicked will hear: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mat. 25:41).

My friends, Jesus said, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Mat. 25:46).

My friends, are you listening? There will be no “Second Chance” on (or after) the day of judgment. Christ is not coming back to preach the Gospel, for He has already done that (Mark 1:14-15). He is not coming back to invite men to come to Him (Mat. 11:28-30), for He has already done that. All men will settle up with God on that day, the last day (John 12:48), and there will be no more opportunity to hear the Gospel (Rom. 10:17), to believe in Christ (John 8:24), to repent of sins (Acts 2:38), to confess faith in Him (Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:9-10), to be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Gal. 3:26-27; Acts 2:38), nor to live faithfully as a child of God (1 John 1:7-10; 1 Cor. 15:58).

If one never found a convenient season before, it will be too late then (Acts 24:25). If one were almost, but not altogether, persuaded, it will be too late on that day (Acts 26:28).

If one knew better, but did not do better, it will be too late. If one had “good intentions” of obeying God, but never did, it will be too late. For church members who warmed a pew, were lukewarm, apathetic, and indifferent, it will be too late. Those who failed to watch and obey will wish forever that they had (Mark 13:34ff).

On that last day, my friends, the standard of judgment Will Not be any of the following: man’s opinions, ideas, wishful thinking, or the doctrines of men (Mat. 15:9). Likewise, these will not be taken into account: what the majority believes, likes, or wants; what loved ones believed or practiced; what the world approved; what appealed to the worldly, ungodly, carnal, or hypocritical; what synods, conventions, and forums of men decided; or what felt good, seemed right, or promoted union (not real unity).

It will not be a day of escape by placing blame on others, and there will be no appeal. The judgment will be righteous (Acts 17:31), based on each man’s deeds (2 Cor. 5:10), as compared with the books (Old and New Testaments), and the Book of Life (Rev. 20:12-15).

Jesus said: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

For all living in the Christian age, the basis of judgment will be the Word of Christ. Teachings of Islam, Confucius, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc., will not be the basis of judgment.

Friends, God means what He says, and He will have the last word. There will be a day when Christ will judge the world (Jude 14-15). None will avoid this day when the Lord will decree eternal destinies for all. For the righteous, and those that wisely obey, there will be great reward, but for the foolish who have chosen to either "Add To,or Take Away" From His Word, and follow the foolish ways of Man and there traditions and doctrines over God's and Christ, ... the wicked, there will be eternal punishment. Certainly, it behooves us to be ready.

My Friends, I pray this day, that you will choose to Be Ready!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Most Precious Gift (Our Children) Conclusion

Food For Thought:

My friends, as thee lemented late , Mother would say, "Now Jim, I mean it, you have to make a "List"! So my Friends, I Find myself once again Honoring my Mother, and yes too, "Obeying" Her! Thus, I now present you with "The List"!

So my friends, this list, is not exhaustive. For I'm certain you too, can easily add to it. However some of the major messages with which our children are bombarded with on any given day by the forces of what God hath referred to as "Evil." It is also worth noting that these message that they will be receiving are typically presented in a very, very subtle, attractive, and entertaining ways. And I would like to encourage you, while viewing the following, to examine yourself, and your lives, and your environment, then as my Mother would say "Make Your List"!

: Organic evolution is proven fact, and any reasonable, well educated, intelligent person knows it!

: The earth is billions of years old, and dinosaurs existed millions of years before humans appeared.

: The earth is our "mother," and the other creatures in habiting it are our "relatives."

: Human beings are the worst enemies this earth has, and we must be extremely careful to avoid destroying "her."

: Animals and plants (Yea, the whole of the environment) are to be accorded the same status and protection as are human beings.

: Unborn human beings, however, are not really human beings, and deserve no protection at all.

: Human beings, via science alone, can solve any problem and create a "Perfect" world.

: Nothing is intrinsically good or bad, right or wrong. These matters are determinded by individuals, on the basis of "Situational Ethics" or even "Pragmatism". (Catholics) and others..

: Human beings who possess certain desirable traits (ie.. physical beauty or athletic or intellectual prowess) are more valuable than are those who do not!

: All viewpoints (ie.. concerning God, religion, or our purpose for living) are equally true and valid (unless of course they are dictated by strick faith in the teachings of the Bible).

: Everyone cheats, everyone lies, everyone steals, everyone uses profanity (including euphemisms), everyone dresses immodestly, everyone drinks, ad infinitum.

: If your current marriage partner is not makeing you happy, (No Problem); you can always get a divorce and find another.

: Homosexuality, Cross-dressers, Trans-genders, Transvestites, is moral and normal, and a healthy "Lifestyle," which characterizes a large percentage of our population (most of whom are our "model citizens")

: Homosexuality (much like alcoholism) is genetically pre-determined. Its practitioners have no choice about "the way they are".

: Adolescents "Will" have sex. They cannot help it, and it is foolish to try to stop them. Therefore, it is imperative that we teach them how to "protect" themselves, just give them a condom, and then let them go and have a ball!

: You have to "experience things for yourself (ie. sex alcohol, drugs and, and and) to know if they are really bad.

: The public school system is far better qualified to provide sex education than are parents.

: Any reference to God in the public life of this nation is a violation of its constitution.

: It is improper (at best) to criticize, label or make judgements about anyone or anything. Unless of course you are a lawyer, politican, or thee newly created/developed "State Run Media".that now exists in the United States. "A First in there Nations History"!

: Strict faith and obedience to God, and His Word is a mark of ignorance, superstition, and or insecurity.

: Whatever suffering you may be experiencing is the fault of someone else, and can probably be remedied with a good lawyer and a lawsuit.

: God's pattern for the home (including a submissive role for the wife) constitues an abuse of the rights of women and is tantamount to slavery.

: Spanking is, without exception, a form of child abuse.

: Conservative viewpoints (whether religious or political) are obviously founded upon hard-headedness, narrow-mindedness, cold-heartedness, bigotry, radical xenophobia, and so-forth.

My Friends, our children are not only exposed to these ideas-and others like them-on a daily basis, but in many cases(because of the insidious and subtle nature of the presentation, and mode of communication), they are not even conscious of what they are seeing and hearing.

Many parents may do a poor job of combating these messages simply because they do not realize just how powerful the voices of the world have become. Twenty or even Thirty years ago (when many of the parents of today were growing up) such assults were far less common and far easier to recognize. Times have definitely changed, my friends. However to be honest with all of you, I do Thank God Always, for "Spell Check"!

My friends, one of the most significant factors behind these changes has been the consistent promotion of the "theory of evolution" and the newly debunked "Global Warming" Farce, at all levels within our educational system. These falsehoods, and those philosophy, because it has been accepted as fact, has given rise to a number of other secular ideas. Humanism, moral relativism (particularly with regard to sexuality), materialism, socialism, pluralism, pantheism, and "new age" thinking appear to dominate our world views today. They certainly dominate the message it preaches.

My friends, It's now my prayer for all of you, As I "Pen" this "Food For Thought"; that you will Always Remember!

Times change, season change, styles change, people change, relationships change, thoughts change, attitudes change, fashions changed , hair styles change, shoes change. But God's Word and His Ways for Man, ( Just One of His Many Creations.) "Never Change"!

Yes my friends, our work is definitely cut out for us, requiring nothing less than constant vigilance and a strong, consistent, counter-active influence. Our children need to be taught, from a very early age, as I'm sure you will agree, to recognize the messages of the world and to evaluate them critically in light of God's perfect revealed Will. (His Word)!

My friends, I would like to close out this "Food For Thought" with some "Food For Thought" type of questions for you to ponder.

Do our children know where we stand on these matters and Why? Do we talk (with our children) about them, or do we find ourselves "Talking At" them? Are we finding ourselves discussing these issues with them when we sit in our houses, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up? Do we write them upon the posts of our houses, and on our gates?

So my Friends, perhaps a prerequisite to these questions should be: "Do we know where "We" stand on these vital matters and Why? Have we given them the level of care, thought, and study that they clearly deserve? Are we ready always to give an answer to every man (or child) who asks us a reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15)? Does our hope and faith and thoughts and actions truly rest on the promises of God, and His Word, and His Ways for Us, rather than on the promises of the world, and those men, in it?

In closing this "Food For Thought" my friends, I would like to share something personal with you, for its a question I was taught years ago during my training years by a wise faithful gospel preacher the lemented John Brewer, who once said to me. "Jim, if ever in doubt about anything or something in life, you may want to remember this question" "Is it From God, or Is It From Man?"

Our Most Precious Gift (Our Children)

What Are Our Precious Gifts (Our Children) Being Taught?

My Friends, I've have been blessed by God with two lovely God Fearing Children, and they too, now have been blessed as well with one of there own.

For it concerns me deeply and I'm sure you, as well, of what they are now exposed to, and what they are being taught.

My Friends, I'm sure we can agree that the influcences of this world are powerful, deceptive, and constant, particularly on young, trusting, impressionable minds.

In this "Food For Thought" I've decided to to place my emphasis on our Most Precious Gift; "The Children"! For what are they being taught, exposed too, and learning from the world? And too, what are we doing in response to all that we must now face? For the Children.

My Friends, the Word of God is replete with warnings, both implicit and explicit, about the wisdom, the values, the allure, and the fate of this world; (eg., Mark 4:19; John 15:18-19; Rom: 12:2; 1 Cor: 1:20ff; 2:6:; Col. 2:8; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17.

The principle set forth to the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 6, seems particularly relevant to this topic. Concerning the words and commands of God, we should follow the inspired orders Moses gave to Israel and ..."teach them diligently unto (our) children, and talk of them when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates(v7-9).

My friends, in other words, we must now as then, godly parents must constantly be engaged in an effort to imbed the precepts of our Creator within the minds of our children. Note this passage goes on to warn that many distractions of this world are going to be encountered, and that the temptation to forget God will be great. This fact highlights the need to make the most of every opportunity to teach and to influence our children, to train them in the way that they think. Ours are not the only voices they are hearing, and as they get older, the time we have to interact directly with them decreases.

Though the idea may sound quaint to some of our fast-paced society, the dinner table and bed time, is still probably the single best opportunity for parents to engage their children in regular conversation about the events of the day. Familes that no longer have meals together on any type of regular basis probably need to re-evaluate some priorities. Obviously, there are countless activities which can occupy our lives and the lives of our children, any many of these pursuits are, intrinsically speaking, harmless or even beneficial(,sports,violin practice, cheerleading, school clubs, and church services/function) These activities, however, have the potential to consume far too much of our time and to prevent families from behaving like families (i.e. spending "Quality" time together, and maintaining close relationships, influencing one another, listening to one another, up-lifting one another, encouraging them, talking "To Them", and Not "At Them"!

So my freinds, I'm sure we too can agree that its vital, that we know whats going on, in all aspects of our childrens daily lives. Is it Not? Yes, I realized as you do, that this assertion, of course, assumes that we are "Interested" in what is going on in their lives. It assumes that our childeren "Know" that we are interested, and that they feel comfortable talking with us about such things in some detail. For these assumptions, in turn, are predicated upon the notion that we have a good healthy relationship with our children. It would be "Naive", to say the least, to think that parents could have a "distant, disinterested" relationship with their children for a period of years and then suddenly become intimately involved at the onset of adolescence, or young adulthood. Such behavior would in all likelihood be met with a great deal of suspicion and resentment on the part of the children, and who can blame them. All One can do, is share with them, have those "Heart to Heart" types of talks, be humble, honest, loving, understanding, patience, and then if all that fails. Hugs!

In My Conclusion I will share some "Food For Thought" "The List", One might want to be looking out for, when it comes to our most "Precious Gift" Our Children!

Stay Tuned My Friends.


How To Study The Bible (Conclusion)

Food For Thought
Accept All That
Is Given On Each Subject

My friends, the Bible is not like an encyclopedia with complete information pertaining to a topic given under one heading. Different writers in various books may give pertinent details on the same point. Every passage relating to a matter under consideration must be examined, understood and embraced before one piece of divine testimony is to be omitted.

A Failure to take the total teaching on certain, Bible topics is a frequent source of religious "ERROR". Some read John 3:16, or Acts 16:31 and conclude that Salvation is by "Faith" Only ! Well, if they would read a little bit more, in His Word, they will see in (James 2:24) "That man is not justified by Faith Alone". And too, they fail to even look further in there study. For Other passages give conditions of Pardon. See.. (Mark 16:16; Acts, 2:38; 22:16).

To form an opinion without examining the "Entire" body of evidence is "Foolish" and fallacious as to decide contrary to the evidence. No person has a right to hold any theory which he cannot reconcile to "All" parts of the Bible, or which conflicts with any portion of it.

Accept Only What
Is Given On Each Subject

The bible is a pattern; a rule (Heb 8:5; Phil 3:16). Those under the first covenant or the (Law of Moses) were warned again and again "NOT TO ADD TO OR TAKE AWAY" From What God hath said. (Deut. 4:2; 12:32). The New Testament is just as explicit. We are " NOT to go beyond the things, which are written" (1 Cor. 4:6, 2John: 9; Gal 1:8, Rev: 22:18, 19).

My friends remember that Foolish Man, going back to the first century, thru even today, have chosen to rebell against What God/Christ hath said. Thus over 1500 denominational Man Made Churches have popped up. None, mind you, None, Authorized or Approved by God/Christ in His written Word to Man. Oh Foolish Man.. Good News: Heaven Wont be Crowded, when those that choose to Obey Him, get there! Christ Built One Church: His ! Period"!! In (1 Peter 4:11). We read "Every Man should speak only as the oracles of God!"

A person or Group who presumes to teach and practice that which "Is Not" authorized, simply because it may not be specificly prohibited, is following a dangerous path. Ample examples are recorded in the Bible to show that this is an unsafe course. (cf; Lev: 10:1-ff; 1 Chron. 15:2, 13-15).

King Uzziah sinned when he went into the temple and attempted, to sacrifice upon the altar of incense even though God had not expressly forbidden him ( 2 Chron: 26: 16-21). Moses had spoken nothing concerning priests out of Judah (Heb. 7: 11-14) Where God has not directed, "We Dare Not Go".

Take The Bible For What It Says

The Bible means What It Says, and Says what it Means. This ought to be true of every other book. If any book says not what it means, then how can we know what it does mean? If it does not mean what it says then it means nothing at all.

I am not suggesting that every word and sentence should be taken literally. Figurative speech is often employed in the scriptures. "Judah is a lion's whelp" (Gen. 49:9). "Go and say to that fox" (Luke 13:32). "I am the vine, ye are the branches" (John 15:5). Judah was not literally a lion's cub, Herod was not a fox nor was Jesus a vine or His disciples branches. In such expressions the "Figurative" sense is the True meaning. Yet these same "Literal" characteristics are transferred to the "Figurative". Each was like that which they were called.

All words should be considered "Literal" unless the evident sense of the "Contex" forbids it. If a "Literal" interpretation would involve an impossibility or demand wrong acts, then the word must be taken "Figuratively" (cf: Matt: 8:22, 18: 8-9). Also when an author plainly says that his language is "Figurative" we must accept it as such. (cf John 2:18-22; 7:38-39).

While some words allow for various meanings, only one true sense may be attached to any word in one place. An elder was simply an older person (1 Tim: 5:1) yet at times it referred to any "Overseer" in the church (Titus: 1:5, 1 Tim: 3:1). The "Context" will help determine the author's intended use of a particular word.

Words Do Matter!

Words of definite action can have but one meaning as it relates to action. Walk, run leap, sit, weep, sing, dip, pour, sprinkle, all indicate a definite actions with but one possible meaning. Since the Greek word "Bapitizo" means "to dip.... to immerge, to immerse, submerge" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, p. 94) then the command to "Be Baptized" (Acts 2:38) could Never be Obeyed by pouring or sprinkling short of immersion. (Dont tell the Catholics that)

For there Man Made Church was one of the first, that rebelled against God/Christ and His Word. For they created there own Words, which contradicted that Of the Lord's. There Man Made baptism method, is just another example of that groups rebellion against What Christ had said. In Two ways. First there "Sprinkling" & Pouring" when baptizing, 2. To a Young Child or Infant. Are just two examples where by that foolish group chose to ignore what Christ hath said. A prime example of the "Foolishness" of that Man Made organization.

For young children, and infants, dont need to be Saved, For the Lord tells Man, that they already are, for He does not Hold them accountable for sin, and that If One of those should die, they automatically will be with the Lord, in Heaven. But the Catholics, once again dont believe God, Thus "Making Up" there own Ways, thru Creed Books and so-forth versus, Christ Ways. Thus not saved, or in favor of Christ. So they conduct young children, and infants baptism's.. Ole Foolish Man.

Use Common Sense

The Bible is filled with every-day experiences of ordinary people. It was written in the language which they could easily understand. Good judgement is as important in studying this book, as in any other.

Sound judgment is necessary for one to distinguish, "Truth" from "Error". Little understanding can be gained without the ability to draw reasonable conclusions and make practical applications. Increase common sense and judgment can be ours for the asking. (James 1:5). "Pray without Ceasing" ( 1 Thess. 5:17).

Grow In Understanding

Bible knowledge does not come all at once. Think of a young child. "Baby Steps". As in everything else, one must grow. Newborn babes in Christ are urged to "long for the spiritual milk.. that ye may grow thereby unto salvation" (1 Peter 2:2).

One should not continue on milk diet but increase "In the knowledge of God" (Heb: 5:12-14; Col: 1:10; 2 Peter: 3:18). The more one studies the more he is bound to learn. Those passages that once seemed difficult will soon become clearer. (I Promise You) For remember this comes from a "Slow Learner" ME ! In time any sincere diligent student of the Bible will have a much deeper and richer appreciation of its "Sacred" "Truths".

"And now I commend you to God, and to the Word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified". (Acts: 20:32)

******Stay Tuned****************