Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
End of Days Apostasy - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:18-20)
Most of us would agree that we are living in the last days of mankind's rule on this earth. But are we living like we believe it? We see the evil around this nation manifested in grotesque shootings of the innocent in our schools, on our streets, Islam rising up to commit terrible acts in the name of their false god, and the multitude of sins that are growing exponentially as each day passes and we scream, "WHEN IS THIS ALL GOING TO END?" Of course, we know that the last days will become more and more evil as time passes no matter what any religion will tell you, because the Bible prophesied it would be so.
2 "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers,incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5, Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2nd Timothy 3:2-5)
There is evil rampant all around us, but is there nothing we can do about it? Are we powerless to stop the flow of evil that is overtaking our nation, our families, and our culture? (Maybe, maybe not). True, the scripture above says that the times would be evil, but is that all we can expect? Is mankind in its evil nature the only fault of the nation going into the dark times we see? The evil of man is a given according to scripture. But I say that there is a symptom that is growing in this country and has been festering for a long time, probably for the last 50 years. What is that symptom that has coming to a fulfillment? Give up? Let's look at what scripture says about where we are and why.
THE LAODECIAN CHURCH ERA
14, "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16, So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17, Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Revelation 3:14-17)
If you be a church going believer, and there are many who are not, what was the atmosphere of the service you attended? Sadly, I would wager that most of you have not heard a good 'ole hell fire and brimstone sermon in years, or for that matter, a sermon that calls out sin and its forgiveness. Scripture says that we all have sinned and deserve death:
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God"(Romans 3:23)
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12)
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."(Romans 6:23)
(sin is death, and death is hell fire or the Lake of Fire, remember those? It's high time the church tells the truth about sin).
The Gospel according to Jesus Christ has been watered down to the point of the average church service has become a social club gathering, that is intent on providing the masses the comfort they desire. Sin is no longer a subject discussed or preached on. Your local pastor may be into the social gospel of a feel good "Christianity". We don't want to feel bad about ourselves, and we sure don't want to upset that unbeliever that sits in your pews every Sunday. NOOO...that would be impolite, or politically incorrect and we need the support (ie. The money) to build that bigger and better sanctuary or expand our Sunday School classrooms, or the latest buzz project that has the member's attention. If you upset them, they may take their money elsewhere. Sad, but it's true.
And what of that member who leaves your churches and goes out into the world to work and play? Do they live their faith, or do they assimilate into the masses of the unbelieving world? Do you see where I'm going with this? The fault of what our generation is experiencing right now, falls into the lap of the one place where morality is taught and implemented into each of our lives. That blame is at the threshold of the Laodecian "church" and the men who pastor these churches. (if you can call them that). I talk of faith, and so does James in the opening scripture, but what of this faith?
THE CHURCH IS TO TEACH TRUTH
You've heard the old saying, "actions speak louder than words"? In speaking of being a Christian, who has taken on the spirit of redemption, who has believed in their mind, the sinner's prayer, and believes in his heart that Jesus died for his sins, does our faith stop there? James addresses this in this chapter and following chapters...let's take a look at some of his admonitions.
14 "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15, If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16, 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?
17, Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (James 2:14-17)
(I believe James is speaking of faith misplaced in the wrong place or person)
If you neglect the nurturing of others through the application of your faith toward your brother, your fellow human being, then what has this faith accomplished? Faith is the beginning, not the end of our Christian walk. Out of sheer obedience, we are commanded to show fruit worthy of repentance. Let me elaborate, as I can just imagine the questions in your mind concerning this teaching. Let's take an agricultural product, say a plum tree. When the time to harvest the plums from a producing plum tree arrives, what do we expect to find on the branches? Of course, plums is what we would expect. What if we found rotten apples, or thorns, or some other illegitimate product that is in direct conflict to what this tree was suppose to be? Well, we would have say that we have been cheated by the seller of these trees we planted, or the seed that grew. So it is with the born again Christian. We are to produce good fruit. Let's not get the cart before the horse now, as many produce good works because, morally, they are good people, but they have not faith in Jesus Christ. Those of us who have faith in Jesus Christ are commanded to walk as He walked. If we truly belong to Jesus Christ, we will produce fruit just as sure as the sun comes up in the east and sets in the west or a plum tree produces that plum. We are commanded to produce fruit worthy of that calling of the Holy Spirit. Collectively, we are to be taught the right teachings according to the Bible, not some feel good gospel, and that's where the church is failing today. Jesus warned of this in the last days:
16 "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (Revelation 3:16-17)
The churches of today, including this abomination called the "Emerging Church" relies on everything but the pure, unadulterated Word of God. They are into meditation, self awareness, motivational speaking, and anything and everything that is grounded in this world. They have lost touch with God and His requirements for being a true Christian built upon the Rock, which is Jesus Christ. The majority of the churches today Jesus said that they make Him sick.
I went to a church a few years ago, because my grandsons were being baptized and I was appalled by their service. I saw steel guitars, rock music, smoke rising through smoke machines, video cameras focusing in on the musicians on the overhead screen, and music so loud that I couldn't think. I thought I was at a Led-Zeppelin concert, not a church service devoted to the worship of the Living God. Is this an example of worship services in America's churches today? Sadly, it is more prevalent than you would care to admit. These churches are ripe pickings for the delusions that will come upon the earth in the near future of the rise of the One World Religion headed by none other the the False Prophet, ie. The grand Poopah in Rome
WHAT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN?
This gets down to the brass tacks of this message. Our children are our future. Are we teaching our children according to God's Word? I would say in the majority, the church is failing miserably. See all the crimes of insanity of young people who have lost hope, or desire suicide to end their sufferings. Of course, they want to take as many people with them as possible, hence the awful shootings of Columbine, The Batman Rising shooter in Colorado, and the Newtown, Connecticutt school killer just to name a few in the recent past at our nation's schools. Do you know what the #1 single killer of our young people today is? It used to be accidents, as in trauma from motor vehicle accidents, or accidents of dare-devils who think they are immortal, but that has been surpassed in recent years by SUICIDE. Yes, suicide of a lost generation that has no hope, no anchor or faith in something bigger than themselves. Morality begins in the home, nurtured by the church, and guaranteed by our laws of this land called the USA. But the last 50 years have seen morality take a deep six nose dive. We have raised a 2nd generation of unschooled, unbelieving, and godless people who now have kids of their own with no compass in their lives, and pray tell do they get it in the truth in our churches of today? The answer would be a hearty "NO"! Most of these stay away from church, as they have figured out that the churches provide nothing they need in their lives. Deuteronomy explains that concept:
6, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart
7, And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8, And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9, And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."(Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments". (John 14:15)
3"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4, He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5, But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him."(1st John 2:3-5)
This is not about works, but where your faith lies. Is in Jesus Christ or in a religion of men? Who do you love? If you love this world, Jesus and the Father are not in you.
THE POLITICS OF EVIL
And what is the answer of our elected leaders on the left in Congress? Gun control is their answer. The POTUS past (I'll not use his name, as it makes me sick) had a plan. I would call it a sinister plan in the same regards as Hitler had plans for Germany. And no Dorothy, we are not in Kansas!! The world we know has changed...is that the past POTUS idea of "hope and change"? It's not my idea, and probably was not yours either. And you can bet your bottom dollar, nothing is going to change for the better, until the heart of America changes and I don't see that coming in this life, unless this nation falls on her knees and cries out for redemption, and not to our government. That is the LAST place any sane American would look to today. I do have to give credit to our present POTUS, as the man is trying to turn this country around and rebuild the foundations that made this country great..But how long will this reprieve from our downhill slide into complete lawless last? One man cannot change the hearts of all the men and women in this country, only God can. Many of our leaders are as clueless about the root cause as the rest of the unbelieving world. The only answer was to teach our children the way they should go from the Word of God and as a nation, but we have failed miserably as parents, as a church, and as a nation...just look around you.
A clear command comes from God to give our children a Christian education. Are we prepared to say that, because not to do so is sin? After all, God orders it. How are we doing it? What have we provided for our kid's Christian education? How much time are we spending doing it? If we have children, we can be sure these questions will be asked.
Obviously, the church is not doing it's job. The parents are not doing their job, as they were not taught either. So the nation is falling apart. So the problem grows, and grows until we have a lawless society bent on destruction of other human beings because of their own pain and inability to cope. Men look to the government to fulfill their needs. Ask any bleeding heart liberal that is on food stamps and welfare. Pity the fool that looks to men and not looking to God for their salvation or provide for their needs in this life.
YOUR FAITH ON TRIAL
Let's take that evidence of faith and put it into a courtroom setting of this age. At the Great White Throne judgment at the end of time, the Judge has brought you before the high court and the prosecutor reads the charges. If we are asked about our faith, the Judge will ask to show us our faith by our actions as evidence for our defense. True enough that works cannot save anyone and we could get into the argument of works based salvation as the Pharisees of Jesus Christ day thought salvation was achieved by. They were wrong, as faith is all that is required, but what of the above verses? Is there anything required or let's say, expected for the truly converted believer to show this High Court if their faith was in God, or was it misplaced in something else? Maybe that faith was in their church, their denomination, or their parish priest or pastor. We see people everyday that we see in our churches, and you know, you can't tell them apart from the sinner down at your local bar drinking himself into a stupor. Listen to their speech. James mentions this as well in chapter 3:
3 "Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4, Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5, Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6, And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell,
7, For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind
8, But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9, Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God." (James 3:3-9)
Understanding we live in a sinful world and evil talk and crude language is all around us. Do we take on the actions of this world, this Laodicean Age of apostasy? If we are guilty of this sin, what does it say to the unbeliever? Are they impressed with your aura of righteousness? Do you honor God in spirit and your actions? Do you esteem your neighbor above yourself? Are you kind, considerate, careful of your language, and project an aura of a bought and paid for saint for God's Kingdom? If no, then are they impressed? I think you know that answer to that one. They are not and they see no need for your luke-warm religion as it doesn't speak to them of their lost condition. Many on judgment day will think they are alright. They went to church, they paid their tithes, and they even believed in their heads about this person "Jesus Christ". Remember the portion of the opening verse. "thou doest well. Even the demons believe and tremble" But they are not saints. Let's examine what Jesus said about these pseudo-christians, in name only.
31 "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left."(Matthew 25:31-32)
If you are familiar with the parable, Jesus separates the true Christians apart from the fake, in name only Christians. This is after the Tribulation that Jesus will judge the nations. Both thought they were doing God's will. The goats on His left, they did what they thought right in their own eyes. Pseudo-Christians, or the ones in name only, missed one vital point, they were playing the game, but didn't have the power within their lives. They relied either on themselves being a good person, or their church, or their pastor/priest, or something else in a religious nature, but missed taking on the likeness of Jesus Christ and into their heart, and their very being. They put their trust in a false religions, a false god or even no god at all. They only had the label, not the power of God or the seed planted by Jesus Christ had been over run with thorns and weeds and they were not really a new creature in Jesus Christ, but play acting. They spoke it, they read about it in their bible (rarely), they counted on their priest to get them to heaven, or they just thought being religious was good enough. You know what, it was not. That scenario can both happen before and after the beginning of the Tribulation, so applies even more so today before the true Church is removed. I speak of misplaced trust and faith in the wrong place and the wrong Person.
As in the final court case at the end of the age, noted above, the Judge is our Father in Heaven, the prosecutor is God's Holy Word found in the books opened. If you are not found to be written in the book of life, but who were just going through the motions and had not really taken Jesus Christ into your heart, then God have no choice but to repeat what was said at the Bema Judgment seat of Christ by saying:
41" Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" .
You will have no defense, and Jesus Christ cannot/will not defend you, as you have not taken on His likeness and have not been clothed with His righteousness. God the Father will see you in all your sinful nature without being clothed in the righteousness of His Son, as the only pardon for your awful condition. The sentence will be passed and you will be condemned for all eternity to separation from God and destruction in the Lake of Fire...the second death burning with fire and brimstone mixed with sulfur.
TIME RUNNING OUT
Understand one thing my reader, the nation of the United States is sadly going down in flames. How long it will take, I haven't a clue, as the time table is in God's hands, but going down she is. This past POTUS put its demise on warp speed. I only see a short stall of that complete fall in this present administration. The evil nature of men will continue to grow worse and worse long after he is gone. Morality and the love of anyone but yourself will vanish, if it hasn't already done so. Men will tear each other apart just to get what they think they want or need. If a crisis develops, men will take guns and kill anyone and everyone in their way. This government will be elected (you will do it, I won't) will come down with both feet and declare martial law. The United States of Socialist America will be upon you and despair will be the order of the day.
There is coming a day, and I pray it is soon, where the righteous saints clothed with the blood of Jesus Christ will make a sudden exit from this earth. Men will be astounded. Men will be confused and looking for a reason for the calamity that has come upon this earth. Only the faithful will be removed. When I say faithful, I mean those who have taken on the likeness of Jesus Christ in all our imperfect attempt at following in His footsteps. Jesus knows each of our hearts and where our faith and our treasure lies. Does yours lie in this world, or does it lie in the next life to come through Jesus Christ our Lord?
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)
So where does your faith lie? Are you acting on that faith? Are you putting Jesus Christ first in your life? Paul said in Galatians chapter 3:
v.26 "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
v.27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ".(Galatians 3:26-27)
What does it mean to put on Jesus Christ? Paul speaks of it in Romans:
11, "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12, The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13, Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14, But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."(Romans 13:11-14)
We are commanded as believers, true believers to put on Jesus Christ. Emulate what he said, what He taught, and what He lived everyday of His short life and ministry on earth. To do so, is to "Show true faith". Nothing else is but playing around and hoping we are not a goat...Don't take that chance. Your final eternal home depends on it...
There is coming a day, where those who have played the game of the Laodecian Church age and think they are OK who will sadly find out that they were not OK...at least not in God's eyes. They have rejected the one thing, the One Person who could have changed their destiny and gave them the right to be called the "sons of God", but alas, they have succumbed to the spirit of the Anti-Christ and been lulled to sleep in a Laodecian mindset and having a form of Godliness, but denying the power there-of.
II Timothy chapter 3:
5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6, For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."(2nd Timonty 3:5-7)
This age is fast closing and the Tribulation spoken of in Daniel's prophesy could be right around the corner, just out of sight. When that time period begins, then to be a Christian will come with a higher price than even it does today. Let us not rely on man, or the apostasy that grows in luke-warm churches of this Laodecian Age, but let us turn to the only source of our salvation and victory over this world.
"For God so love the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life". (John 3:16)
Who does the Apostle John speak of? The only source of our salvation, Jesus Christ, the Lord
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying your salvation through the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Should you have a need for prayer, counseling, or just a friendly ear to listen, then drop me a line at email@example.com , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , for more biblical teachings from the Word of God. God bless you all:
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Hezbollah's Indefinite Presence in Syria - by Sirwan Kajjo -
After weeks of shuttle diplomacy allegedly carried out by Russia and Israel, Iranian forces and allied militias -- including the so-called "military wing" of the Lebanon-based organization Hezbollah, all of which has been designated as a terrorist group by the US -- reportedly began to withdraw from parts of southern Syria, near Israel's border. According to other reports, however, many Hezbollah fighters, disguised as members of the Syrian army, have simply remained on their bases to escape being targeted by the Israel Air Force. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel's air force has carried out sporadic strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah bases and convoys across its neighbor on the north. After more than seven years of fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria, the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah is highly unlikely to make an easy exit from the war-torn territory, no matter what supposed agreements are reached or promises made.
In a televised speech on "Quds Day" -- which Iran has marked every year since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 -- Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah addressed his supporters as follows:
"We are in Syria because we should be there. The Syrian leadership has asked us to be present there based on developments in the ground.... Gulf states and Israel must know that we will be happy when we return our men to Lebanon... we will be happy and we will feel victorious to complete our mission. So what keeps us in Syria is our duty and the Syrian leadership, but at the same time I would like to tell you even if the entire world decided to remove us from Syria, we will not leave."
Nor does it seem that the Syrian regime is in a rush to tell Hezbollah to leave the country. In a recent interview with an Iranian state-run news channel, Syrian President Bashar Assad said, "Hezbollah is an essential element in this war -- the battle is long and the need for these military forces will continue for a long time."
Having helped defeat anti-regime rebel forces in the suburbs of Homs, Aleppo and Damascus, Hezbollah fighters are now in control of much of Syria's border with Lebanon. In fact, the Shi'ite terrorist group is in charge of controlling the Lebanese side of the border, despite the presence of the Lebanese military, which is weak. The areas in which Hezbollah operates are of great importance to the group, which uses the mountainous terrain as a route to transport military equipment between Syria and Lebanon. So entrenched is Hezbollah in that region that it has managed to build multiple military bases within a small radius.
With those fronts of Lebanon and southern Syria already secured, Hezbollah fighters increasingly have moved to the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria to aid the Syrian military in its battle against Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists. Meanwhile, Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militias - such as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) -- are largely in control of strategic areas along Syria's border with Iraq.
Not far from those frontiers, the U.S.-led coalition has been aiding Kurdish-led forces to push out ISIS from other parts of Deir Ezzor. The months-long campaign has liberated large strategic areas from ISIS. More than once, however, these two anti-ISIS campaigns have come head to head in Deir Ezzor, leaving the U.S. with no choice but to defend its local partners.
Once ISIS is completely defeated in these areas, Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed groups could be better positioned to wage attacks on U.S. interests there and elsewhere in Syria.
With no end in sight to Syria's seven-year war, Hezbollah will undoubtedly continue its military expansion, causing more instability in an already volatile region.
Nearing Midnight: God's Case for Eternal Security - (Part I) - Terry James - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Jesus Christ, Creator of all that is, once asked and asks the question still:
"Who do you say that I am?"
Nothing any person does in life is more important, more crucial, than answering this question. One's response determines an individual's ultimate destiny, where that person will spend eternity after this short life on Earth is over. And it is indeed a short life lived in our physical bodies. God's Word, the Bible, speaks truth about the matter:
"The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" (Psa. 90:10).
Again, God's Word says:
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).
Jesus asked that most profound question to ever confront mankind. He asked His disciples directly: "...whom say ye that I am?" (Matt. 16:15). When Peter answered,
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16), the Lord said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17).
Jesus went on to declare that He would build His church upon that very foundation. All who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God will become children of the heavenly Father. This truth is confirmed by the inspired words of Paul the apostle following Christ's death, burial, and resurrection:
"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" (Rom. 10:9).
The question posed by Jesus when He asked, "Whom say ye that I am?" is the one every individual has to answer. It is not an option. One must either accept that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, or reject Jesus Christ, thus declaring that Jesus was not and is not who He claimed to be. Believing upon Jesus Christ and His redemptive sacrifice on the cross at Calvary for the sins of mankind (Jn. 3:16) means a person will be saved from sin, which separates the souls of men and women, boys and girls, from God, Christ's Father. Not believing upon Christ means eternal separation from God in a place of torment called the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
To accept Christ's sacrifice is to recognize and admit you are a sinner who needs salvation. You must totally believe Christ died for you. You must ask that Jesus come into your soul and become Lord of your life. By inviting Him to come into your life, you agree that you desire to turn from your sinful life and depend upon the Lord to direct your life as He deems best. Jesus instantly comes to dwell within your soul through God the Holy Spirit. This is called being "born again" (Jn. 3:3). You are then a child of God, saved once and for all - for all of eternity. The Holy Spirit dwelling within you begins helping you grow under new management - King Jesus, the Lord of Lords!
Future Secure Forever
Your future is secure because God holds onto you forever, not because you are holding onto Him! This is most important to recognize and remember. Christ does the saving of your soul. Your part is to simply and genuinely accept the grace gift, the sacrifice for redemption God offers through His beloved Son, the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Jn. 1:29; Rev. 13:8).
We know with absolute certainty you are once and forever in God's family because of the words of the One who created all that exists. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand" (Jn. 10:29). Jesus was speaking about all people who have lived on Planet Earth who have or will in the future accept Him as God's once-and-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world.
He was telling us, through the Mighty Word of the God of Heaven, that it is impossible for the heavenly Father to ever let a single born-again child of His slip from His omnipotent grip.
The Apostle Paul, under direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, nailed down eternal security of the born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote:
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 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" (Rom. 8:38-39).
Paul said further, "...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Tim. 1:12).
Insecurity of Believers
Many who are true Christians today hold that the Bible teaches that people saved by the matchless, unfathomable grace of God can lose salvation if they backslide to the point that sin rules their lives. They reject the Bible truth "once saved always saved." Many of these who believe, preach, and teach insecurity of the believer (that one can lose salvation) declare at the same time that a Christian called "carnal" can be re-redeemed, restored to the family of God upon repentance. They accept part of the truth found in Hebrews 6:4-6 but deny the truth of the other part. That Scripture says:
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
We will examine this terribly flawed interpretation of this Truth next week.
Family - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
The little congregation where I attend worship services just celebrated 150 years of being established as a group of Christians who meet to worship Jesus. Pictures taken in the past of various activities were displayed. Two things struck me as I looked through these photos. First was the fact that the congregation had dwindled. Why is that? That question is answered by the second thing that struck me. There are fewer children in the Sunday school and fewer young families who come to worship. "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. Christians are a part of the family of God and need the love and support of fellow Christians. The end of time is nearing and the days grow evil, which is why we need to draw nearer to the Lord, Jesus Christ. Now isn't the time to forsake fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters.
We live in a day and age when God isn't honored. Even many Christians live by the rules of the world rather than rules of God. Today's children are taught "me first" rather than God first, a trend that's been going on for decades. The 1950's gave us Beatniks, whose lifestyle was far from honoring God. Then came the Hippies of the 1960's who proclaimed "If it feels good, do it" and cared nothing about the results of living a sin-filled life. Then came self-centered materialism and it's been continuing downhill to where we are today. What does God's word teach us? "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:15-17. When the love for material things is put above our love of God, life will become miserable. Many Christian parents fail to teach their children to be humble before the Lord and to put Him first. Television stars, rock stars, and movie stars are the poor examples that kids imitate. Have you listened to the words of rap songs or almost any song today? Is this what should be written on the hearts of our children, or should it be God's word that's written there. Christian families need to honor our Lord, and that requires parents who lead by example.
Christians should stand out in a crowd, not because of tight clothing, purple hair, tattoos, and multiple body piercings, but because of modest behavior as described in Scripture. Instead of loving the world and the things of the world our love and loyalty should be for Jesus. Those moral standards must begin at home. Many families today are made up of people who inhabit a house, but the family isn't a unit. God isn't the head of the family and divorce is common. One result of the breakdown of the family is selfishness. Children learn to get what they want by playing Dad and Mom against each other, especially if Dad and Mom aren't married. Parental responsibility needs to come long before the child is created. Choose a spouse based who loves the Lord. Then, after marriage, have children and be Godly parents. "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Hebrews 13:4. Make Godly choices for your life and keep Him first. If you put everything ahead of God your children will learn to do the same. Do you allow school activities and sports teams to come ahead of attending youth groups and worship services? Football will not bring eternal life nor will it teach a child to be morally true to God. It does teach a child that Jesus is subordinate to the activities of the world.
How does God feel about family? Adam and Eve were the first people. Adam was created and Eve was taken out of him. "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:23-24. This was prophetic. Adam knew that he and Eve would be man and wife for life. He also knew they would have children who would also marry and start their own families. Marriage is to be a lifetime commitment. Sadly, the divorce rate in the Christian community is comparable to that among secular people. That's not a statistic to be proud of. When choosing a spouse, God needs to be in on the decision before marriage, but too many choices are made through lust of the flesh with no thought as to the spouse being a Godly choice. Satan attacks marriage because it's ordained by God. Once the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by getting Him to say that divorce is acceptable for any and all reasons. "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?" Matthew 19:4-5. Marriage isn't to be taken lightly. The self-centeredness of today has caused this God-ordained way to be mocked. Children can't wait to "come of age", leave home, and jump into the sin of the world. "Living together" is sin, so are one night stands, but these are considered normal by the Satan-honoring world. When God isn't honored, the lust of the flesh takes over and we see the results in our society today. God's will is that there is a father and mother in the household. The father gives an example of a Godly man and husband, and the mother is the example of a Godly woman and wife.
The Apostle Paul taught that marriage is symbolic of the way Christ loves His ekklēsia (that is the called out body of Christ). "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." Ephesians 5:31-32. Paul talks of the foundation of marriage. That foundation is Christ. God's order of authority was shown in the Garden of Eden and continued through time. The husband is the head of the family, but is to submit to Christ; the wife needs to submit to his authority. This isn't a green light for men to be self-centered tyrants or abusive, but if a man honors Christ then he's a man who can be respected. With Christ as his example, the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves His ekklēsia (translated church). Jesus laid down His life for us. That's true love. When a man takes on the role of husband and father he needs to put aside immature, childish ways and take responsibility by respecting God, his wife, and his children. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." Ephesians 5:22-23. God's ways are always the best ways.
Children also have responsibility. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth." Ephesians 6:1-3. If you were raised in a family where God is honored, then thank Him for that blessing. Quite often when a child leaves home they reject God and family and begin following the lust of the flesh. It isn't "cool" to live for God in a world that lives for Satan. Sad to say that most young people who leave home for college fall deeply into sin. Why is sin such an attraction? The results of moral degeneracy are well known. Unwanted pregnancies lead to the murder of the baby, sexually transmitted disease is an epidemic, young alcoholics and drug addicts are a problem everywhere. Are these the examples they learned at home? Before you reject the moral foundation of your father and mother, think about how God sees it. "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death." Matthew 15:4. Parents, you need to put God first and teach by setting a Godly example. Take your children to worship services and help them build their life on a Godly foundation.
Peter also saw the importance of younger people submitting to older people. "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1 Peter 5:5-7. Young people need to look to older people for guidance, but if a parent is not an example of Godly ways then what are the children learning to respect? We all make mistakes. Mistakes help us to learn and the older we get the more mistakes we've had the opportunity to learn from. The question is, have we learned? Has our Christian walk become a closer walk with Jesus or is the world still ruling? Do the video games you play, the movies you watch, and the music you listen to reflect the evil of the world or draw you and your family closer to Jesus? If you're a single parent are you looking for a Godly spouse to be the Christian influence to strengthen you and lead the children to God? Or are you making the same mistakes which led to single parenthood? Put God first and let Him lead you.
Society today has been greatly influenced by Satan and the breakdown of the family unit has played a big part in moral decay. In times past a family would sit around the dinner table and discuss their day. Parents would listen to the children talk about friends and school. Any problems could be dealt with and parental advice was easy to give. Then television got in the way. Instead of talking we ate in front of the TV and we could only talk during commercials. Then in order to get the second car, a TV for every bedroom, and a bigger house, both parents held jobs. This meant that instead of parents raising their children, the children went to a babysitter and pre-school. School is a very bad influence on children teaching the lie of evolution, acceptance of deviant lifestyles, and withholding secrets from parents. No Christian child should be subjected to public education. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6. Use the Bible as your guide instead of child psychologists or public school teachers. It's your responsibility as a parent to teach your children to honor God. Maybe if the older generation had been a stronger influence for Christian values the little congregation where I worship would be thriving instead of dwindling.
Christians are a part of a larger family. When we accept Christ's sacrifice for our salvation we are adopted into the family of God. We then need to honor our Father in Heaven by serving Him on Earth. God's family is eternal.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Patriot or Christian-either/or, or both/and?
- Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Each year around July 4 there is much debate within the Christian community about whether the Founding Fathers were Christian or if their legacy has been a carefully crafted lie. Some now say that America was not formed up by Christians and did not reflect a nation founded in the name of Christ. In 2011 for example, Filmmaker Chris Pinto appeared on radio and television shows lambasting David Barton of Wallbuilders for misleading Christian Americans about the foundation of Christ as the cornerstone of this nation. While I am not a historian, it is of interest to me. It is a fact that this United States of America, had predominantly Christian roots at its founding and its laws are based on the laws of the Bible.
The land was claimed in covenant with God to advance the Christian faith over 150 years BEFORE the Declaration of Independence. In 1565, the Protestant French Huguenots came to what is now Florida to escape persecution, but were martyred by Catholic Spanish troops. The 1606 Jamestown Charter from King James stated "...in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those Parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government..." The Mayflower Compact 16 years later proclaimed: "Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia..."
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America may not all have been Christians. They knew, however, that the Holy Scriptures contained in the Bible were the basis for all law. They unabashedly based the formation of the nation upon the laws of the God of the Bible. One can find Biblical principles throughout the Declaration and the Constitution. On January 10, 1963, Florida Congressman A.S. Herlong, Jr. read into the Congressional Record the 45 stated goals of communism from "The Naked Communist" by Cleon Skousen. Numbers 27-30 stated: "27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a "religious crutch."
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state." 29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis. 30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."" Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Those trying to say that because the Founders were not necessarily Christian, our nation is inherently evil are liars and deceivers. Rest assured that God was in control of forming this nation for His good purpose. You can be both a patriot and a Christian-the freedom of one confirms the other.
Daily Devotion: The Helmet of Salvation - By Greg Laurie -
We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. -2 Corinthians 10:3-4
Have you ever noticed that you can't think two thoughts simultaneously? If you're thinking a pure thought, you cannot simultaneously be thinking an impure thought. If you're thinking a loving thought, you cannot be thinking an unloving thought at the same time. One replaces the other.
The Bible tells us, "Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. . . . Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:13, 17 NLT).
The helmet of salvation protects our minds. It protects our thoughts. That is where the devil will attack. If you were to trace the beginnings of a sin you committed, I think you would discover that it started in the realm of your mind.
Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he" (NKJV). Our minds, our thoughts, and our imaginations must be guarded, because it is there where temptation generally starts.
The devil is sly. Like the car salesman who says, "Why don't you take it for a test drive?" or the bakery employee who offers you a free sample, he'll say something like, "I know you would never do this because you're so spiritual . . . but just for fun, take it out for a test drive. Go ahead and run this temptation through your mind . . . just to see what it's like."
This is why we have to guard our minds. And this is why we want to fill our minds with truth. It starts in the mind. It is not enough to simply not do something. You shouldn't think about it, either. The enemy will hit us in this area, so we must keep our guard up at all times.
FROM THE HEART
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