IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Store Up Treasures in Heaven - by Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2021/10/lay-up-treasures-in-heaven-at-bema.html
8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We have been having a discussion on a forum, and some get very belligerent over the issue of OSAS. It's a doctrine that causes some very strong opinions when you address the question, “Are we saved for all eternity and is “eternal security” a license to sin?”
I say “strong opinions” as men are mortal and the human nature of mankind is to want to be right. To challenge a long embraced doctrinal belief, even with scripture, is to threaten the intellectual part of a person and many people who resort to being antagonistic just can't handle being told they are wrong.
I had one lady on the forum make the following statement :
“So my line of thought is....
If you're Catholic and don't believe in eternal security (because you think it's a license to sin), yet you believe that you must go to purgatory for the purification of sin...
Why is it that those who believe in eternal security are looked down on because we know that we sin (as the Catholics do), but we believe that since salvation is given and not earned, we can't lose it ? “
And then you have the alternate belief of a religion who bases their salvation on a work based platform and denounce those who follow what scripture says and hold onto a legalistic viewpoint that they must obey their church. Thus they speak that their church is the final authority and not the Bible. We must raise the question proposed:
“"What about someone who professes to be a Christian and accepts they are a sinner, and admits Jesus died for their sins -- yet they continue to live an unrepentant sinful life?" That's a good question. So what's the answer? Let us first define what the belief of “eternal security” actually is.
As the apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews, defines what will happen to the Christian who does not follow the ways of God:
12 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God......(going further down)
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:1-2, 5-8)
Don't ever think that God will not get your attention. I call it out behind the “Divine Woodshed”....God will start with rebuke, possibly at church from another believer, but if not heeded, the chastening grows exponentially and the person may suffer financial loss, family problems, disease or loss of function, or to the extreme...death of a disobedient son.
Taking the definition from a purely secular definition found on Wikipedia, the definition is pretty straight forward:
“Perseverance of the saints (also referred to as eternal security as well as the similar but distinct doctrine known as "Once Saved, Always Saved") is a teaching that asserts that once persons are truly "born of God" or "regenerated" by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, nothing in heaven or earth "shall be able to separate (them) from the love of God" (Romans 8:39) resulting in a reversal of the converted condition.”
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
So since those of the “mother church” Roman Catholicism, and Evangelical Christianity both can't be right, we must turn to the final authority and what is found in your Bible...Now RCC will argue traditions and the writings of the “apostolic fathers”, but when tradition contradicts the Bible, then the Bible takes precedence. But you must interpret the clear meaning of scripture through the Holy Spirit, as the doctrines of salvation are spiritually discerned.
18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1st Corinthians 1:18-21)
12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Corinthians 2:12-14)
We all know someone that went to church, accepted Jesus, then fell away and right back into the life they were living before they got saved. They still talk about Jesus and use Christian buzzwords when around other Christians, but that is about the only visible extent of their conversion. That's question is on both sides of this doctrine of eternal security, Catholic as well as Evangelical.
Those who profess Jesus Christ, but still continue in sins of the flesh..some more, some less. They don't continue to gather at your local church, they may continue to smoke, they may have loose lips and say profanity either out of anger, or just habit, but claim to believe, or other various sins that are of this world...Are they really saved? Taking the arguments of those on the afore-mentioned forums, the transformation of an angry, worldly person over a long, painful period didn't just happen...it didn't change them from their old habits into the glorious image of our Lord and Savior at the point of conversion. It takes a long period of willing sacrifice and the question of salvation is not of works, but the question is, if there are no works after salvation, was the salvation real or imagined?
28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:28-31)
Can someone believe themselves to be saved and heaven-bound without demonstrating any kind of relationship with Christ? Quoting the forum post directly, can a person "just claim knowledge of the saving grace of God, but never put it into practice?" I have to sympathize with the person who posed the question, as living a Christian life in this world, is not easy because the transition and the transformation process from one extreme (a lost sinner) to the other (a changed life) is a painful process that some Christians prefer not to take the trip.
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? ...(James 2:14-16)
James is not speaking of loss of salvation, but loss of rewards that come from the Bema Judgment seat of Christ....We must be laying treasures up in heaven.
But is the process of transformation, evident by works, a requirement of salvation? For that is the question in the final analysis.
JESUS EXPLAINS THE DIFFERENCE
I want to explore a parable that Jesus told to those who condemned Him for eating with tax collectors who were the most hated of the Jewish society, as they were viewed as traitors by working for the Roman authorities.
We all know the story of the Prodigal Son, but to quickly summarize, Jesus spoke of a man with two sons. One demanded his inheritance and went off and lived a riotous, sinful life. The other son stayed home and worked for his father on the family farm. Ultimately, the younger son found himself in the pig pen competing with the pigs for the corn husk (the most foul unclean destiny for any observant Jew could imagine). Meanwhile, the elder son, (the more serious one) put his love for his father into action by working in the fields, obeying his father's commands, and served him faithfully.
The comparison is stark and deliberate and Jesus used the parable to make a point to those who questioned Him, and it sounds like some of the questions proposed on this forum by certain members. I don't believe the similarity is accidental. On one hand, we have an unrepentant, lustful, disobedient son squandering his inheritance on sinful living, shaming his father everywhere he goes. He cares about nothing but himself and wastes all that his father gave him.
On the other, we find the obedient, hardworking and honorable son, working at his father's business, because he loves his father. He isn't working at his father's business to earn his inheritance. He already has that by virtue of his sonship. He is working that hard out of love.
So when the disobedient, lustful son shows up and is received as an equal to the obedient son, the obedient son says, "How can this be?" The father in the parable, is liken to God the Father who will receive the son, but he looses rewards for not being obedient.
"And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf." (Luke 15:29-30)
So how is it that the one son who had left his father and the elder son who honored his father, and this sinful son who has just now returned and given a joyful welcome, are by any means equal?
ON first glance, the elder son has a legitimate point, but still the lesson is even though the elder son was obedient, he didn't do it for his inheritance, since it was his by being his father's son, but the younger son didn't loose his being his father's son by squandering away his inheritance either.
So from this parable that Jesus spoke in answer to those who made a difference between classes of people in the Jewish society, can we make the same comparison of those who claim to be Christian and have accepted Jesus as Personal Savior and ask the question “"Can a person be a son of God without putting their faith into practice?" would appear to be, YES. I am reminded of what Paul wrote at the end of Romans chapter 8 and it begs a closer examination of this doctrine:
32“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:33-39)
Nothing can separate us from the love of God...NOTHING...not even ourselves. Jesus said that He will loose none who He has chosen:
37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” (John 6:37-39)
There are no shades of gray when it comes to salvation. Either one is a child of God, or one is not. It is an issue of “relationship” not behavior. One does not work his way into a family relationship. It is not earned, it is given as a gift Nothing we can do will earn us salvation. Our works will not impart righteousness to our account. For Isaiah wrote :
6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.” (Isaiah 64:6-7)
That is why our Lord Jesus came and took the penalty that we deserved, which is death. We are clothed with HIS righteousness, and not of our own. When God the Father looks upon us, He sees the righteousness of His Son clothing us with His own righteousness, AS A GIFT, nothing we earned gives us the right to be called sons/daughters of God
One need not be in fellowship to still be part of that family. I know of many father and sons, or even daughters who have no fellowship to speak of, but that does NOT make them unrelated. They are still father and son/daughter. That does not change.
Which brings us to the next, and most obvious question. How does one enter into a family relationship with God?
THINK BACK TO AN EARLIER TIME
Remember the time when you were first saved? I do very clearly. For each of us, there is the period of time before we were saved, and then the moments when we made that confession and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior, followed by all the time we have left on this earth. We are to repent of our sins at this moment of conversion, as that is the beginning of our conversion from what we were, into what we have now become...a child of God.
The English Bible translates repent from the Greek word metanoeo, which means, "to change one's mind" -- in this case, about one's sin. So an "unrepentant Christian" is an oxymoron. If one is a Christian, one has already changed one's mind about one's sin.
The moments that come afterwards cannot undo the moment that has already occurred. Hang with me here as I prove the point by following what God said, not what man believes is true from following their church's traditions.
There are some important points to understand when we look at the story of the prodigal son.
1) He is still his father's son, no matter what has happened.
The father assures the obedient son that all that the father has belongs to him.
28 “And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” Luke 15:28-32)
2. The prodigal son gets nothing but a warm greeting and a place to call home. The elder son's inheritance is fully intact. The obedient son lived a sheltered life, protected by the father and never suffered the indignities, pain, hunger, shame and guilt that racked the prodigal's life. The obedient son will always be in charge. The prodigal is grateful to have a bed.
3. We get another picture of the difference between the obedient son and the prodigal son in Paul's letter to the Corinthians describing such a scene in heaven before the judgment seat of Christ.
11” For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:11-15)
This is a picture of the obedient son standing in front of his Savior and being confused why another who is there at all, because they didn't live like a Christian. (a prodigal son Christian) The obedient son receives the rewards for those things done in his body for the Father here on earth and those done for the Name of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He is rewarded for his struggles here on earth, for proclaiming the witness of Jesus Christ and being good stewards of the talents given to him and doing his Father's business.
Then comes the prodigal son...you know that Christian we all judged here on earth as not deserving any kind of reward, or even a place in heaven.
Note that he is also standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Not because of his obedience, but because of his status as a son. That status was extended to him, the moment he accepted Jesus as personal Savior. At the moment of salvation, he changed his mind about sin and accepted the free pardon extended to him. He asked Jesus into his heart, he was washed clean of all of his sins, past, present AND future. He was adopted into the family of God and was saved.
Now he stands before Jesus being judged for his rewards, or “inheritance” ...just as the prodigal son was judged as a son, but received nothing but a place to call home and a warm bed. His status as a son, has not changed, but he didn't do much for God in the life he lived. He may have been embarrassed to witness...he may have been a wall flower who didn't have much confidence and didn't rely on the strength God gives to those who ask. But he is still family. Note the last verse of the passage quoted in 1st Corinthians 3.
"If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Corinthians 3:15)
Note that he suffered loss....loss of rewards. But he himself will be saved, as THROUGH the fire. We don't know what heaven will be like, but those who just “get by” will not be given the responsibilities of a son to rule over God's Kingdom here on earth, and into eternity.
23 “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:23)
42 “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.” (Luke 12:42-44)
ETERNAL SECURITY MISUNDERSTOOD
Eternal security is NOT a license to sin, because your sin will find you out. If it be a habitual sin, it will kill your body. It will kill your witness for Jesus Christ and will kill your effectiveness for Christ. It may lead to disease, or it may lead to premature death. It will eliminate rewards handed out during Jesus Christ Bema Seat judgment.
Sin has consequences in this life, and it has consequences in the next life...In the next life, there will be Kings and princes allowed to rule, and there will be subjects and servants. There will be mansions, some greater than others....which suggest that some will end up with just an apartment and a place to call home. But being tried by fire and coming through the fire, as the scripture says “If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” means he is allowed to live. Why? Because he is a son, and has Jesus found in his heart when he received the deposit of His Holy Spirit at conversion and repented of his past sins. We are saved by grace. Grace is defined receiving something you did not earn. Mercy is defined as something you earned but did not receive.
Being saved means literally being saved from “the second death” and not being cast out into outer darkness where Jesus described it several times, “where the worm dieth not, or the fire quenched and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth”. The rest is determined by your obedience and did you follow the commands of our Lord God? Did you conform to the image of His Son, or did you just get by?
THE WAR BETWEEN THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH
But if you follow the scriptures, you realize that no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to be perfect. You will still sin...maybe not to the level that you practiced before salvation, but in God's eyes, sin is sin....and Paul lamented in Romans chapter 7 of this very fact.
14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do............
22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:14-19, 22-24)
But moving on into chapter 8, Paul gives us even more truth of our inability to totally quit sinning in that we strive to follow the Spirit and subject our flesh to God's law though imperfectly.
1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Roman 8:1-2)
Not that we are free from the law of sin and death....its penalty, YES, but not from sin entirely...it's humanly impossible, because we are still mortal.
But those who strive to keep themselves from sin, are like the obedient son..Obedient Christians aren't wasting their time being good when they could be out partying. They are laying up for themselves treasures in heaven, like contributions to a heavenly 401k.
19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
You don't need a 401K to retire here on earth, but if you don't have one, you'll regret it...so it is with eternity. If you don't lay up treasure in heaven and receive nothing but a place to call home at the Bema Judgment seat, and as a Christian, you don't have to have works to get to heaven, but in the future, you will regret it...for all eternity.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”(Matthew 6:19-21)
NOW IS THE TIME TO LAY THOSE TREASURES IN HEAVEN.
It is either black vs. white, or night vs. day. Those who believe on Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will become son/daughters of God, and those who don't will receive damnation. Son/daughters can lay up treasures in heaven, but those found to be in rebellion will only endure pain and suffering for all eternity...don't let that happen to you.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)
JESUS is coming soon in the rapture of the bride of Christ, or the church of the Living God. Each of us should be about our Father's business storing up treasures in heaven that we will received as the Bema Judgment seat of Christ and be included into the family of God...Make that decision for Christ, TODAY.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you find savings Grace and God's mercy..if you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me at email@example.com, or visit me online for more biblical teachings from the Word of God at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com, God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
As The Global Energy Crisis Explodes, They Are Warning That Heating Bills Will Be Extremely Painful This Winter - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/as-the-global-energy-crisis-explodes-they-are-warning-that-heating-bills-will-be-extremely-painful-this-winter/
Whether you like it or not, a major global energy crisis is here, and it is going to hit all of us right in the wallet. Today, markets for energy are truly global, and that means that price spikes in one part of the planet will inevitably filter elsewhere. For example, a lot of natural gas that is produced in the United States is now heading for Europe, and that is pushing up prices here. As energy supplies get tighter and tighter, power bills are going to go higher and higher. In fact, the U.S. government is now warning American citizens to expect heating bills to rise more than 50 percent this winter. Needless to say, a lot of families out there simply cannot afford that.
For a while, the mainstream media was trying to deny what was happening, but now they are openly using the term “energy crisis” to describe what we are facing. Here is one example…
Far from emerging from the COVID shock awash with fuel, as might be expected after an economic slowdown, the world is entering a new energy crisis the like of which hasn’t been seen since the 1970s.
European and Asian gas prices are at an all-time high, the oil price is at a three-year high, and the price of coal is soaring on the back of energy shortages across China, India and Germany.
Global demand for energy is only going to increase in the months ahead. Summer just ended a few weeks ago, and the middle of winter is still months away.
So if you think that things are bad now, just wait until we get into early 2022.
At this point, even CNN is admitting the truth…
Astronomical increases in natural gas prices. Skyrocketing coal costs. Predictions of $100 oil.
A global energy crunch caused by weather and a resurgence in demand is getting worse, stirring alarm ahead of the winter, when more energy is needed to light and heat homes. Governments around the world are trying to limit the impact on consumers, but acknowledge they may not be able to prevent bills spiking.
So exactly what kind of “spiking” are we talking about?
Well, this week the federal government announced that it is now projecting that heating bills for U.S. consumers will be 54 percent higher this winter…
Get ready to pay sharply higher bills for heating this winter, along with seemingly everything else.
With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the U.S. government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter.
Actually, if heating bills only go up by 54 percent this winter I think that we will be extremely fortunate.
Many believe that they will shoot up a lot higher than that, because energy prices here in the U.S. have already been going completely nuts…
Natural gas in the United States, for example, has climbed to its highest price since 2014 and is up roughly 90% over the last year. The wholesale price of heating oil, meanwhile, has more than doubled in the last 12 months.
Another reason for the rise is how global the market for fuels has become. In Europe, strong demand and limited supplies have sent natural gas prices up nearly 350% this year. That’s pushing some of the natural gas produced in the United States to head for ships bound for other countries, adding upward pressure on domestic prices as well.
I know what a lot of you are thinking. Millions of families are not going to be able to afford these price increases, and that is going to cause widespread financial hardship.
Even before this new energy crisis erupted, a large portion of the U.S. population had to “forego expenses for basic necessities” in order to pay their power bills…
To make ends meet, families are cutting deeply. Nearly 22% of Americans had to reduce or forego expenses for basic necessities, such as medicine or food, to pay an energy bill in at least one of the last 12 months, according to a September survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Despite all of the money that the federal government has thrown at people over the past couple of years, much of the nation is still deeply suffering.
According to another recent survey, close to 40 percent of all U.S. households “have faced serious financial problems” within the past several months…
Nearly 40% of US households have faced serious financial problems, including struggling to afford medical care and food, in the last few months, according to a survey published on Tuesday.
The survey by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health also showed that in those last few months, as the US struggled to contain the infectious Delta coronavirus variant, the percentage of households reporting serious financial problems rose to 59% when they had an income under $50,000 a year.
Normally, a number like that would indicate that unemployment is rampant.
But as I discussed the other day, the U.S. is actually in the midst of an epic shortage of workers right now.
If you want a job, you can go out and get one.
Of course the vast majority of the jobs that are available are very low paying jobs, and rampant inflation is devaluing the wages paid to such workers a little bit more with each passing day.
On Wednesday, we learned that on a year-over-year basis inflation is rising at the fastest pace in 30 years…
Consumer prices increased slightly more than expected in September as food and energy price rises offset declines in used cars, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.
The consumer price index for all items rose 0.4% for the month, compared with the 0.3% Dow Jones estimate. On a year-over-year basis, prices increased 5.4% versus the estimate for 5.3% and the highest since January 1991.
Needless to say, the official government numbers greatly understate the real rate of inflation.
According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if inflation was still calculated the way it was in 1980, the official rate of inflation would be well into double digits at this point.
And now this new energy crisis is going to make things even worse. Virtually everything that we buy has to be physically transported, and now shipping stuff around the country is going to become significantly more expensive.
In my last two books I specifically warned that inflation would spin wildly out of control, and now it is happening right in front of our eyes.
The experts are telling us that this is going to be a really cold winter, and a lot of American families are going to be forced to make some very difficult choices.
Many will decide to keep their thermostats uncomfortably low, but as long as the power stays on most of us will make it through the coming months okay.
The real danger would come if we start having blackouts like other parts of the globe are already experiencing. As we witnessed in Texas last winter, the loss of power for an extended period of time during a cold stretch can have absolutely disastrous consequences.
UN Report Suggests Criminalizing Criticism of LGBT Ideology – Jonathon Van Maren - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=5010
A key aspect of totalitarianism is that dissenters from the state orthodoxy are punished. As one summation puts it: "Everything not forbidden is compulsory."
We are seeing that with the LGBT movement. Same-sex weddings aren't just for same-sex couples -- they want to force Christian florists and bakers to help them celebrate. It isn't enough for them to change their pronouns, or even to have the government play along and recognize them either -- they want you, and everybody else, to affirm them, as well.
We're seeing how this has played out in the U.K., where young moms have gotten visits from the police for disagreeing with trans ideology on social media, dads have gotten investigated for tweeting jokes about transgenderism, and a construction worker got fined simply for laughing at a biological male trying to pass himself off as a woman. No matter how ludicrous our new overlords in drag are, we must never, ever laugh.
C-Fam recently reported on another ominous development. The UN Secretary General put forward a new report to the General Assembly calling for "criminal penalties against anyone who criticizes gender theory, sexual orientation, gender identity, and even sex-ed." As C-Fam's report observes:
The September report, produced by Independent Expert Victor Madrigal-Borloz working under the aegis of the Human Rights Council, argues there is a substantial "backlash" against the human rights advances achieved by homosexuals, transgenders, and that this backlash threatens and perpetrates violence against these persons.
Madrigal-Borloz notes that this backlash comes from a "steep rise in ultraconservative political leaders and religious groups using their platforms to promote bigotry, dehumanize persons...and foster stigma and intolerance among their constituencies."
Madrigal-Borloz cites a report that claims "anti-gender" groups from the United States raised $6.2 billion between 2008 and 2013 and that these groups funneled $1 billion around the world to fight the rise of LGBT rights. The report is from the Philanthropy Project, a coalition of leftwing foundations two of which - Ford Foundation and Arcus Foundation - have a combined $14.7 billion under financial management.
The lead "anti-gender" group cited in their report is the International Organization for Marriage which raised only $247,000 in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, Madrigal-Borloz cites the Chrisitan Church as a particularly egregious threat, stating that the Church's doctrines on life and family-- constitute a violation of human rights law.
An example of how these views end up in law, he writes, is American legislation protecting female sports. In response, Madrigal-Borlox called on UN member states to "take decisive and concerted actions to counter exclusionary practices that threaten to undermine the international, regional, and national human rights and gender frameworks."
In short, Madrigal-Borloz writes: "Practices of exclusion not in conformity with international human rights law must be treated accordingly including ... by placing them under the legal framework for hate speech and hate crimes."
The UN General Assembly does not, at this time, accept transgender ideology -- a majority of nations around the world reject same-sex "marriage" and there are more countries with conservative views on these issues than vice versa.
Madrigal-Borloz's calls to criminalize the Christian view of sexuality and family will thus not be heeded in the interim, but he is doing what LGBT activists have proven very effective at for decades: Laying down a paper trail to be used by activists in the years ahead.
Salvation Neglected; Christ Rejected - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you take Christ’s finished work on the cross lightly and neglect salvation? If so, then you really don’t understand what He did for you. The sin in your life condemned you to eternal damnation separated from God. There is no way for any person to be sinless, but by human standards, you were probably a good person. God’s standards are very different than human standards. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9. The Jewish Law was established and many rules of conduct were established. The law was a schoolmaster, and very works oriented. Even the most faithful person who followed the law to the best of their ability, couldn’t obtain the perfection needed to enter heaven. Praise God! He had a better plan. He stepped into His creation as a baby born in Bethlehem, to be one of us…human because His mother was human. Still, He didn’t have the sin nature and His blood was pure and untainted by sin…His father was God, the Holy Spirit. When John the Baptist first saw Jesus, he recognized exactly who He was. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Jesus would fulfill the Jewish feast of Passover where a lamb was sacrificed to cover sin. Jesus would offer Himself as the one-time sacrifice to take sin away when He allowed Himself to be crucified. Old Testament saints looked forward to the coming Messiah and today we can look at history and know that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Works can never bring salvation; only faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross can take our sin away and bring eternal life. Knowing what He did for you, shouldn’t you be thankful? Salvation should not be neglected.
Christians have a tendency to drift away from His word and take our salvation for granted. Other things become more important to us and get in the way. The kids have soccer games or football camp, we work overtime in our jobs because we need the extra money to pay for the frivolous things we desire, we devote time to hobbies, watch television, and much more. The list of what comes between us and studying God’s word is long. None of the things we devote our time and effort to is as important as not neglecting salvation. Have you ever seen a garden with weeds growing taller than the tomatoes? A neglected garden doesn’t produce good fruit, neither does neglected faith. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” Hebrews 2:3. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews holds many lessons for us today. It was written at a time when Christianity was first beginning. Those first believers were Jewish, and they faced losing everything by accepting Christ for salvation. They were no longer welcome in the Temple, which, in addition to worship, was a very important gathering place to make business deals and find support in times of need. Choosing Christ meant you were no longer a part of your family, inheritance was forfeited, and jobs were lost. It was a life changing decision to follow Christ. It should change life today, too. Those brave men and women were tempted to go back to their old ways and be welcomed back by family and friends, rather than face the troubles that came from following Christ. The writer of Hebrews encouraged them to stay strong, not neglect their faith, and form new bonds with fellow Christians. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25. Fellowship with fellow Christians is important. Whether you sit in a pew on Sunday morning, or get together with Christian friends, be sure the fellowship is centered on Christ. Study God’s word and apply it to your life. God’s word is an anchor and it keeps us from drifting away. Neglecting to study His word will most certainly allow us to drift away from our faith. Many Christians have been drifting in the sea of despair, setting themselves onto the currents of the world and of the flesh because of a simple neglect of God’s word. By neglecting their salvation, they embrace the world and the carnal things therein.
In Hebrews 2:3, cited above, the Greek word “ameleo” is translated neglect and it means to be “careless of, to neglect”. It’s the same word used in Matthew’s Gospel to show indifference. “But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise”. Matthew 22:5. The “they” in this verse, which is from a parable Jesus told regarding the Kingdom, refers to those who were invited by a king to the marriage of his son. They were offered a wonderful opportunity but ignored it disregarding what was freely offered to them. They made light of this invitation. Parables always teach a deep truth, and in this one a king (representing God the Father) sent out an invitation (through prophets) for His subjects (Israel) to attend the wedding of His Son (Jesus). The nation rejected the invitation. They “neglected so great salvation”. The invitation was then extended to Gentiles. Paul wrote to Timothy, a young pastor, and reminded him “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14. We all have different gifts, but if we neglect our salvation, the gifts will be neglected also. Stay in God’s word, and put a high priority on honoring what He has done for you.
It’s easy to slip into neglecting our salvation when we spend more time in worldly pursuits and with worldly people. There’s nothing wrong with your son playing football, but when his games consistently fall on Sunday morning, or when football camp becomes more important than Sunday school, there’s a problem. Paul wrote many letters to many congregations that were established in very pagan cities. Sadly, these congregations found it easy to slip back into pagan ways. For example, here were many things wrong in Corinth, and Paul encouraged them to break ties with unbelievers. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:14-17. It’s easy to neglect our salvation when we only fellowship with unbelievers or worldly Christians. Ladies, if the man you “love” isn’t a Christian, why are you dating him? If you yoke yourself with a non-Christian, you will soon neglect your salvation and he will lead you away from God. The same is true with business relationships. If God isn’t your main concern, then how can you honor Him in all you do? If salvation is neglected, then God is second in our life, and we know we aren’t to have any god before Him.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about losing your salvation. If you have made an earnest confession of faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, then you are saved by His grace. You cannot do any works to save yourself. Jesus paid the ransom on the cross. When you confessed that you’re a sinner and accepted His free gift of salvation, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit. The faith you professed should have changed your life and attitude. “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:12-14. The Holy Spirit is sealed within each Christian and our salvation is secure. When we neglect our salvation, and ease back into the old ways of the world, that’s when we feel as if He has moved away from us, when in fact it’s us who moved. He’s still sealed within us; we’ve just put our fingers in our ears. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30. Christ did His part, now we have to respect Him and walk in His way. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be peut away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving on another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.
Neglecting our salvation can and does bring swift reckoning. To be in fellowship with our Father in Heaven means we stay in His word…we read, we study, we do whatever we can to keep in fellowship with God. In this way we keep the joy of the Lord within us and are not overcome by evil fleshly desires. Fellowshipping with God means we aren’t neglecting Him but heeding His words. “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:21-25. God needs to be first in our life. If we neglect our salvation, it’s easy to forget how ugly sin is and slip back into old ways. If we become doers of the word, we form the habit of putting God first. We remember the price that was paid for our salvation. God’s love for us should never be taken for granted but treated as the valuable treasure it is.
There are consequences for every decision we make. Deciding to neglect Gods’ word is a sure way to bring about unpleasant consequences. The Bible is His word and it is given to us to study and learn who He is and why He came and what He expects of each one of us. If we neglect His word, we are telling Him that we take our salvation with a grain of salt…that His sacrifice was a nice thing for Him to do, but other things are more important to us. Jesus Christ paid a price that we cannot possibly comprehend. As Christians our gratitude should show in everything we do and Christ should be first in our life. Never ever should we neglect salvation. Salvation neglected, is Christ rejected.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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Daily Jot: There you go again - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
There was a famous line in the second 1980 presidential debate between President Jimmy Carter and challenger Ronald Reagan. When Carter tried to twist Reagan’s record as governor using hyperbole, Reagan responded in his fatherly and affable way, “There you go again.” The point was made. As Americans facing much dire circumstances than even Carter created in his four years of a disastrous presidency, we need to recognize now the devastating impact of the Biden Administration and stand against further deterioration. History is repeating itself with this presidency and the consequences will be far more far reaching than that of the failed Carter presidency.
The parallels between President Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden are strikingly similar. Remember Carter? He oversaw a doubling of gasoline prices, inflation went from 5% to 14%, interest rates climbed from a little over 7% to 16%, and unemployment in some parts of the country was in double-digits. His foreign policy was as much as a disaster. The Democrat president actually tried to use food as a weapon by embargoing grain sales to the Soviet Union, decimating American farmers, and he promoted Islamic terrorists by trying to normalize relations with the terrorist Palestinian Liberation Organization and helping to foment the Iranian revolution that installed the terrorists Ayatollahs.
Associated Press reports: “With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the US government said Wednesday it expects households to see jumps of up to 54% for their heating bills from last winter…The forecast from the US Energy Information Administration is the latest reminder of the higher inflation ripping across the global economy. Earlier Wednesday, the government released a separate report showing that prices were 5.4% higher for US consumers in September than a year ago. That’s the hottest inflation since 2008, as a reawakening economy and snarled supply chains push up prices for everything from cars to groceries.” There you go again.
The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicated Energy prices were up 24.8% over the past 12 months. Gasoline increased by 42.1%, natural gas was up 20.6%, and electricity rose by 5.2%. Food prices soared to their highest level since December 2011. The food at home index increased by 4.5 percent, seeing increases in all six major grocery store food groups, particularly for meats, eggs, fish, and poultry. Biden’s foreign policy is also a disaster with terrorists flourishing, China threatening, supply chains backing up and a myriad of other issues—all of which make it more difficult on the average citizen. Add in unconstitutional back door COVID 19 mandates. Proverbs 28:3 says, “A destitute leader who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no food.” There you go again.
Daily Devotion: One True God - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Little children, keep yourselves from idols —1 John 5:21
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/one-true-god/ - Listen
I lived in Hawaii when I was a little boy, and there were a lot of frogs in Hawaii. I love reptiles, but I have never been that fond of frogs. And worse than holding a frog is stepping on a frog.
The ancient Egyptians worshiped a frog god, which had the body of a woman and the head of a frog. And when God brought a series of 10 plagues upon Egypt, one of them was an infestation of frogs.
In a way, God was saying, “You worship frogs? I’ll give you frogs. You’ll have frogs in your ovens. You’ll have frogs in your beds and under your feet. Wherever you go, there will be frogs. And I’m going to reveal to you there is no God but me.”
And sure enough, there were frogs everywhere. So Pharaoh said to Moses and Aaron, “Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord” (Exodus 8:8 NLT).
People make gods, or idols, out of a lot of things. An idol can be anyone or anything that takes the place of the true God in your life. For some, it might be a career. For another, it might be their fame. For another, it might be their beauty or their money. But they worship at the altar of that god.
It’s all they think about. It’s what they’re passionate about. When they get up in the morning, it’s the first thing on their minds. They pursue that thing. Yet the Bible tells us, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21 NKJV).
Sometimes the Lord will bring our gods down so that we’ll understand there is no god but Him.
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