Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
We Are to Be Salt and Light - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."(Matthew 5:13-16)
In recent polls, it is reported that the modern church comprised over 75% of the population who call themselves Christians. Of those 75% the poll shows that 43% of those people attend a church somewhere, every weekend. But if you look at the societal conditions of the current century that we are in, they are the most impotent, insignificant, and irrelevant group of people to influence the direction of this society in all our history.
Think about it. We are talking of upwards of 159 million people who attend church in this country. That is a significant bloc of people that would make the ACLU or the AFL-CIO unions envious of their numbers and would give them untold power to control the social structure of this country. Each of these aforementioned groups are a minority of individual members that comprise only about 11% for all unions and about 1/2 million members of the ACLU. Then why is the American society and our country going to the proverbial "hell in a hand basket" when we have a lop-sided majority?
Our Founding Father's Vision Thrown Away
There is no mistaking that prior, during and after the American revolution that the church of God fearing men and women had a vast amount of influence over the direction of this country. But in the last half of the 20th Century, since WW2, that influence grew silent. How can we see it any other way when God was kicked out of our schools, and we stood silent? What did we do when abortion laws of Roe V. Wade was enacted and passed into law during the 1970s? Did men and women, pastors and clergymen stand up and voice their opposition? Do we stand unified in our opposition to homosexual unions of marriage and gay lobby agenda that God calls an abomination or have we stood silent?
24 "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;"(Romans 1:24-28)
Do we stand for the back bone of our country, the family of one man, one woman united to produce Godly children? You know the answer to those question as we would not be in the societal mess we are in today if they were not true in the negative.
22 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 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.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself." (Ephesians 5:22-28)
As it was in the beginning, woman was made for man and was taken out of his side, to walk beside him, not behind, or underfoot...and she was called "woman" as she was taken out of the man.
THE CHURCH OF LAODECIA DUMBED DOWN
The modern churches have been whipped into submission and have become irrelevant. Now the church continues to stand silent, deaf and mute when the police state threatens to turn this country into a godless Socialist state. When compared to our beginnings of a republic founded on the Ten Commandments and Godly principles, what influence does the church have today? Again zip, nada, zilch, nothing is all that can be stated with any truth to it found in the majority of "so called Modern Churches". That's not a blanket coverage, but the members on my site complain that cannot find a bible believing church, ANYWHERE...there are still a minority of churches that do preach the complete Word of God, but they are far and few in between.
We had a resurgence in the 1980s for a short period of time, where the Religious right, the Moral Majority stood up, or whatever you want to call it, were in the political arena, but where are they today?. I would tell you they are comatose, beyond comatose, as they are clinically dead. Further our churches today are spiritually dead/comatose. Our Christian universities are comatose/dead. Our Sunday schools to teach our children are also dead or comatose. Denominations of every Laodecian stripe are also dead. They have become entertainment centers, social clubs, and employ pastors that wish not to offend. They build bigger and better churches, larger gymnasiums, coffee shops and shopping malls so in their minds they can draw the masses for a "feel good time" while giving messages of self improvement, purpose driven lives, entertainment and ignore hell fire and brimstone messages of judgment, repentance and salvation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Oh, no, that would offend.
3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (II Timothy 4:3-4)
America's pastors, most of these are wolves in sheep's clothing, have fleeced the flock, and they have become irrelevant to address the societal concerns of our days. In America, we are talking about a nation in which citizens (including Christians) are able to lobby, redress government, protest, rally, organize opposition, speak, vote, form PACs, march, petition, etc. Christians are as free to influence their societies and governments as are any other group of people in the United States. It is not like we have no voice, but it's like we have become complacent, deaf, dumb and mute.
And who is to blame? I tell you, it's the pastors of these churches who teach a feel good gospel that Paul warned that if they preach anything once delivered to the saints of the church of Galatia
8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. let them be accursed."(Galatians 1:8-9)
Do they speak the truth? Do they stand for righteousness? Do they stand in the gap when government enacts laws contrary to the Word of God? I tell you they do not.
They have been whipped into silence by the government that gives them tax breaks or they wish to not offend their congregation, so they speak soft words that does not offend anyone about their sinful condition, or their need to stand for righteousness in a nation that is going to the dogs. I have warned of teachers of the "Word of Faith", "name and claim it" crowd who preach a Prosperity Gospel who look for a kingdom on earth, that will get better and better, and they grow richer and richer, but they are only a subset of the cancer that grows in our modern church pulpits that must bear the brunt of the blame for the failure to influence society in Jesus Name. The symptoms are wide and they are perverse.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."(1st John 4:1-6)
ARE IN FOR A RUDE AWAKENING?
In other lands, the "true church" is growing underground. They have restrictions over influencing society or politics by a government that is persecuting them in Communist China, or Russia and they prevent any uprising or revolution by eliminating their ability to mount a revolt by removing the ability to bear arms. They have removed all individual right to ownership of guns. Does this sound familiar with our Democrat party who are nothing but gun grabbers? Christians in persecuted lands are not enamored with entertainment, recreation, and irrelevant Bible exposition. You don't have to bring in some big-name rock band to entice them to fellowship. You don't have to give their teenagers the afore-mentioned big gymnasiums. You don't have to give those young adults coffee shops and espresso machines. You don't have to shy away from criticisms of tyrannical government. And you certainly are not going to score any points with your fallacious "obey-the-government-no-matter-what" interpretation of Romans 13. Your obey he government given by God, as long as they do not go against the clear laws found in your Bible . Unfortunately, sometimes the church must be oppressed to return to the teachings of the bible, much like these citizens of Communist countries have been oppressed and persecuted, so I pray for the USA and it's citizens to wake up, as the Nazi like atmosphere could come to these lands, as it did in Germany.
LET US RETURN BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE
We must return to the mind set of the 19th Century when Charles Finney said these words,
"Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics. God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians (and citizens) must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation are becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they think God does not see what they do in politics."
Finney also said, "If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it."
THE BIBLE TELLS US HOW WE SHOULD RESPOND
Let me ask you something. If you preach and teach the stories of the Bible concerning Daniel and the lions den, or the three Hebrew children and the fiery furnace, or say, the life and example of Jesus Christ and not apply it to your everyday life around you, what good is it? They just become stories that have no effect on your life, or your society at large.
What good does it do to preach expository messages on the Bible if one does not make those messages relevant to the times and circumstances in which we live? Yet, ear-tickling, entertainment, and irrelevant exposition seem to be what the modern church in America excels in. The result: ineffective, impotent, weak, unprepared, and sheepish Christians. That's what we have become....irrelevant. If you look around at your church members, you see businessman who would steal from their grandmother. There is no difference in them from the secular world who do the same. Deacons and church officers caught in lies and cowardly deeds that are the same in the unbelieving world. So called Christians chasing the neighbor's wife or lusting after the latest luxury. How can you expect the world to change when the so called "church" does the same?
What good has it done with all the youth groups, prophecy forums, and expositions on Eschatology that argue it's nuances to ad-nauseam while we play, party, prance, dance, philosophy and pontificate and a fire has been burning down the foundations of this country and we lift not a finger to fetch a bail of water to put the fire out?
ARE WE IN THE RUN UP TO THE TRIBULATION?
There is coming a time, and it may have already started, when "the rain will fall on the just and the unjust". (Matt. 5:45). When the ship of state crashes on the rocks of tyranny, Christian and non-Christian will be affected equally. When our economy crashes and goes down in flames because of society that has grown evil and the church stays silent, then Christian and non-Christian will be equally affected.
Truly did the Lord Jesus say, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." (Matthew 5:13).
In ancient times and even during the beginnings of this country, salt was used to preserve, to prevent spoilage, and to retard rot and ruin. But when Christians loose their saltiness they open themselves to oppression and tyranny. They are good for nothing, accept to "be trodden under the foot of men" Can you say, Seig Heil" of Hitler's Germany? Unfortunately, pastors of this nation have become "good for nothing" by a large majority as the pastors are suppose to protect the saltiness of the saints to preserve the nation. We have all but become rotten in our core beliefs of this nation and I tell you, judgment is coming. Look around our modern landscape of depravity and lawlessness that have invaded our larger cities....Sadly, they are run by Democrats that support their lawlessness. We have been warned for many years now, as the prophets of old to the likes of Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel warned Israel, we have BEEN WARNED.
OUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH
There is an event that all of us long for and I believe it is coming soon. An event when the true believing church will be removed from this earth. Then those who have filled the walls of big modern churches will look around and see people missing. They will hear news flashing from all over the world that a cataclysmic event has happened. What I pray for is a army of God before that day happens, will arise and speak God's truth. Much like Gideon who God whittled down his army of 30 thousand down to 300 of God fearing men who took the fight to the enemy and defeated them. That's what I pray for that God will use whatever means to bring Godly men to the forefront to speak to the truth of our times, to boldly go where others fear to tread. An army of black robed regiment of pastors who fear no one but God. Only problem may be, is they will be part of the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel who will finally speak the truth without fear. Too late for America is what I expect, but I can pray God's mercy to reach even some of those asleep at the present in this country.
ONE OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS SPEAKS
The great Christian patriot and "Father of the American Revolution," Sam Adams, said, "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in the people's minds."
That is what we need. We need brush fires before this nation is destroyed. Will you who reads this, take that charge? Pastor, will you take the mantle and wear that black robe and become part of the regiment to spread the truth of God's Word? Have you been tickling the ears of your congregation? If you have, if you be found in the faith, take that oath from this day forward, you will speak only God's truth no matter who it may offend. Christian in heart, but not in deeds, make that pledge you will NOT continue in your La-La land of ear itching, feel good messages, but will find a church, a pastor, a bible believing group of like minded Christians in a church or in a living room, "so help you our God". Will you vote in any remaining election for only God fearing men, and throw the other bums out? If not, I speak to you both, may God have mercy on you, and this country. You're going to need it.
' He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance." (Proverbs 29:1-3)
What we need in this world, are those who truly believe in what the Bible teaches and stand firm knowing that God is on their side. I pray each of us will take the next two passages seriously and believe and rely on our God who is able to rescue us from whatever befalls us.
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." (John 3:16-18)
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)
Each of us who believe in the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ stand up for what is right, so long as the church of believers are upon this earth....for the rapture is close at hand, as I can feel it and many express the same.... "Look up, lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh."
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying God builds a fire in your soul. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus feet.
War Drums - Iran & Israel On Brink Of Conflict - By Michael Snyder/End of the American Dream -
Over the past several weeks, a series of "mystery explosions" has happened at very strategically sensitive locations inside Iran, and it has become obvious that what we are witnessing is not just a bunch of random accidents.
For years, the Israeli government has pledged that the Iranians will never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, and several of the sites where the mystery explosions have taken place have direct connections to Iran's nuclear program.
For example, there was a very large explosion at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility on July 2nd, and it is being reported that some officials believe that this explosion was caused by a "powerful bomb".
The following comes from the Jerusalem Post...
Israel was behind an explosion and fire at Iran's Natanz nuclear complex caused by a "powerful bomb," a Middle Eastern intelligence official with knowledge of the incident told The New York Times on Monday.
A member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps confirmed to the Times that an explosive was used in the incident as well. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
Of course there have been several other "mystery explosions" as well, and there is speculation that "computer viruses similar to the Stuxnet virus" may have been involved in at least some of the blasts...
Five recent explosions in Iran may have been caused by computer viruses similar to the Stuxnet virus that disabled Iranian centrifuges in 2010.
Two of the blasts took place at power plants, one at a missile research, development and production site, one at a new uranium enrichment centrifuge center, and the last (if it can be considered part of the attacks) in downtown Tehran at a medical facility that could have been a cover for nuclear operations such as a hidden command center.
It has become clear that the Trump administration does not intend to take military action to stop Iran's nuclear program, so the Israeli government has been forced into a position where it must make a very tough choice. Either Israel must be willing to accept Iran as a nuclear power or Israel must do something to stop it from happening.
At this point, it has been confirmed that the "industrial shed" that was destroyed during the explosion at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility "was in fact a new site for assembling centrifuges", and that would definitely be a logical target for the Israelis to hit.
When asked about the "mystery explosions", the following is what Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz had to say about them...
When Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was asked if Israel had anything to do with "mysterious explosions," he reportedly told Israel Radio: "Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us."
"All those systems are complex, they have very high safety constraints and I'm not sure they always know how to maintain them," he said, according to Reuters.
Obviously that is not a denial.
Meanwhile, it is also being reported that the Mossad has "thwarted a series of planned Iranian attacks on Israeli embassies"...
Israeli spy agency Mossad claims it has recently thwarted a series of planned Iranian attacks on Israeli embassies around the world.
The intelligence bureau has halted 'terrorist' plans in Europe and elsewhere, according to a report by Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 12 which said that Israel's arch-enemy Iran was behind the plots.
The Iranians are becoming increasingly frustrated by the success of Israeli covert operations, and they want to find ways to strike back. Embassies are typically easy targets, but thankfully the Mossad has apparently been one step ahead of all Iranian efforts to target embassies so far.
Needless to say, all of this is happening at a time when tensions in the entire region are rapidly coming to a boil.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps insisting that he is about to move forward with his plan to to annex portions of Judea and Samaria, and if that happens there will inevitably be a violent response by the Palestinians.
In fact, the Times of Israel is reporting that "Fatah and Hamas are in agreement that there should be a popular uprising if the controversial plan goes ahead"...
An adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned Saturday there was a possibility of a third intifada if the Israeli government goes ahead with its plan to annex parts of the West Bank.
The Kan public broadcaster reported that Nabil Shaath told the Arabic-language arm of the France 24 network that Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas are in agreement that there should be a popular uprising if the controversial plan goes ahead.
And the truth is that rocket fire has already started. On Sunday, Israeli planes hit targets in the Gaza Strip after "a barrage of rocket fire into southern Israel"...
Israeli aircraft struck targets in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday following a barrage of rocket fire into southern Israel. No casualties were reported on either side.
In a statement, the Israeli military said attack helicopters and fighter jets struck "underground infrastructure" belonging to Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist group.
Earlier Sunday, the army said three rockets were fired by Gaza terrorists toward Israel, setting off air-raid sirens. It said one of the rockets was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome air defense system; according to Channel 12 TV the other two landed in open areas. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire. A number of armed terrorist groups operate in Gaza.
The bottom line is that the Middle East has been on the precipice of a major war for years, and it certainly isn't going to take much to push things over the edge.
If the Iranians do not stop their nuclear program, the Israelis are going to continue to hit them, and that will eventually spark a war.
And if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes ahead with his plan to annex portions of Judea and Samaria, that is almost certain to spark a war too.
We have reached such a critical moment, and it appears to be just a matter of time before a great conflict erupts.
Lawlessness Spreading Across the Land - By Hal Lindsey -
For several years, we heard that millennials wanted to live in big cities. Sociologists said this trend would change everything. But, as with so many things, 2020 turned that trend on its head. Suddenly, Americans of all ages can't get to the suburbs and rural areas fast enough. The move to the cities was made possible by dramatically lowering the crime rate in those cities. But now, urban crime is rising so fast it makes your head spin.
A recent article in The Hill said, "An estimated quarter of a million New York residents will move upstate for good, while another 2 million could permanently move out of the state. More than 16,000 New York residents have already relocated to suburban Connecticut. The preliminary figures show New York is also losing citizens to rural New England and Florida in significant numbers."
The housing boom in San Francisco seems to have finally gone bust-at least for now. Real estate prices there have dropped by more than 50%. It's still an expensive place to buy a home, but can you imagine how people feel who bought houses in that area only a few months ago?
The crisis in these cities comes in part from the coronavirus. But it is being exacerbated by the rise in violent crime. If you have been a regular viewer of my television programs through the years, you've heard me speak many times about the crucial role of the "thin blue line" of police in our communities. That line stands between us and the law of the jungle.
That's especially true in times of crisis. Yet many cities are defunding, even dismantling their police departments. In New York, they have decided to take a billion dollars out of the police budget. Los Angeles wants to defund police to the tune of 250 million dollars. In Minneapolis, they say they intend to dismantle their police department altogether. That means erasing the thin blue line. You can be sure that the elites in those cities will have all the security they need. But the poor and the middle class will become increasingly vulnerable.
The Bible foretold that the time near the return of Christ would be marked by lawlessness. In Luke 17:26-30, Jesus compared those days to the times of Noah and Lot. Genesis 6:11 tells us that in the time of Noah, "The earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence."
That sounds like today-rampant violence and corruption. Lot lived in a time and place of violent mobs. In both stories, we see that people lacked empathy, and thought mostly of themselves and their pleasures. Several places in the Bible warn us that the end times will be times of "lawlessness." That, along with so many other signs, seems to be describing our day.
Along with lawlessness, we're seeing an assault on the nuclear family. One organization being highly funded by corporate America plainly says on their website, "We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure."
But the family structure is not "Western-prescribed," it is God-prescribed. It is the foundation of civilization.
Notice how all these things are an attack on civilization itself. The judicial system and police are under fire. The concept of family is under fire. The educational system has been largely co-opted by people who hate God and the things of God. I could go on and on about the God-appointed institutions meant to protect us, that are now under siege.
But if your hope is in Jesus Christ, know that He will never let you down. His promises remain true, even in times of trouble. And He has His people still on this earth for a distinct purpose. He's not through with us. He's not through with you!
Have You Strayed? - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
You hear it all the time. Someone attended Sunday school and youth groups as a young person. They gave their life to Christ, but as life went on, they strayed. They made choices that drew them farther and farther from that strait and narrow path. Now, their soul is yearning to return to Jesus, but they think their sins are too great; they're certain that there's no forgiveness for them. Let me assure you that you haven't sinned beyond what Jesus will forgive. It seems as if rebellion is a part of human nature. It's not a beneficial part, but many young people do tend to stray as they get older. If the child was blessed with God-fearing parents, he or she was given a solid foundation and will eventually realize they've strayed and come back to their Christian beliefs. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6. It's not only young people who stray, but everyone is prone to sin. Life is better if there's no rebellion, but God is loving and forgiving. He's always willing to hear a prayer of repentance.
In this day and age, we have many distractions and temptations. This isn't a new problem, but it seems as if the availability of temptation is greater today. The internet can lead anyone astray. Some videos found online are pure filth and there's also much false doctrine to be found there. Television and movies graphically depict sin and make it look pleasurable. Popular music today is full of vulgarity. When I was young the Beatles sang "I Want to Hold Your Hand" but soon the Rolling Stones sang "Let's Spend the Night Together". One step at a time, the level of vulgarity was lowered until rappers sing (if you can call it singing) of killing and sexual degeneracy and Katy Perry sang praises of sexual relations with aliens. Even professing Christians listen to this filth and are drawn away from the strait and narrow path. They should be reading their Bible. Public schools and colleges teach everything except right and wrong. Well, they do teach wrong...evolution, choose your own gender, it's ok to have two mommies or daddies etc. Morality is laughed at in today's society and we see the results of filling our thoughts with glorifying sin as rioters and looters demand respect by destroying lives and businesses. That is nothing to respect. Remember, you have a choice in what you look at and listen to. God knows what choices a person will make, but that doesn't mean He's happy with our sinful rebellion. When an adulterous woman was brought before Jesus for Him to condemn her because of her sin, He didn't condemn her. Still, He didn't just let her go on her way without confronting her sin. "...And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." John 8:11b. If you're one of those Christians who has slipped down the slope deeper into sin, you may be questioning if you've sinned too much for salvation, or if you ever were saved. Those are questions that need an answer.
Christians sin. It would make things much easier if, when a person accepts Christ for salvation, all temptation and failures stopped. That's just not how it works. In all actuality, life can get harder. Before accepting Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and actions, sin was just normal. You weren't a threat to Satan because you were on his side. Friday night partying with friends could lead to all kinds of mischief. One sin always leads to another and there's always consequences. Before you know it, a baby is on the way, or you've contracted some deadly disease and wish you had practiced abstinence. This all fits into Satan's plans. If you're not a Christian, well it's just a part of life in the fast lane. If you do profess to be a Christian, you need to put it behind you and get back to pleasing God. If you paid attention to the Bible stories in Sunday school, you might remember a story about the prodigal son.
There was a father who had two sons. The younger son wanted his inheritance so he could go off and live life his own way. "And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want." Luke 15:13-14. This young man had no money, no food, and no friends. He should have made a better choice and stayed in his father's house, but now he had to do something drastic. He found a job feeding swine. That's about as low as a Jewish man can sink. Even the swine's food looked good to him. He was at the end of his rope and realized that he was better off at home. "And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants." Luke 15:17-19. Does that describe you? Did you stray from your Heavenly Father's protection because you wanted to live life on your own terms? It's time to come to your senses and return to the Father. The prodigal learned the hard way that the rules he had been subject to in his loving father's house were rules for his protection. That young man had to admit he sinned then humble himself and return to his father. As it turned out, his father was overjoyed at his return. "And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." Luke 15:20. If you've strayed from God, you can be sure that He's looking for your return. Whether you've hit rock bottom, or just strayed a little, God wants you to repent and come back to fellowship. The father in the story had a great celebration at his son's return. "For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry." Luke 15:24. It's time to return to God.
We all have choices and make decisions. The decisions that are based upon Scripture always turn out right. Decisions based on lust or greed lead to sin and sin always has consequences. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15. If you're paying a physical price for your own choice to sin, don't blame God. For instance, yoking yourself in marriage with a non-believer can bring little happiness. You can't blame God when your spouse decides to have an affair or makes it difficult for you to worship God. You may have to live with the consequences of your bad choices, but like the prodigal son there's always forgiveness waiting if you return to God.
When Christians fail in their walk with Jesus, it becomes a burden on their mind. They begin questioning whether or not they are saved and what will happen if they die. Either you accepted Christ for salvation or you didn't. If you did and you've been living in opposition to God's ways, you need to stop. Right now, you need to turn away from the sin that's dragging you down and destroying your relationship with your loving Saviour. Stop living as the prodigal son, humble yourself, and ask forgiveness. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and has been calling for your return and has been seeking you. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." John 10:27-30. If you've strayed from your faith, then you need to get back into fellowship. Jesus wants you back in fellowship.
If you wonder if you ever were really saved, why spend time wondering? Make that confession of faith now. Then, turn from the sin that's destroying your life. If you've never turned to Jesus for salvation, do it now. All you have to do is recognize you're a sinner and that only Jesus Christ, God Almighty, loved you enough to shed His blood to take your sin away. You cannot change the past, so don't be held back because you think your sin's too great and cannot be forgiven. There's no little sin; they all separate us from God. The only unforgivable sin is to reject Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will guide you away from the sin in your life, but you need to follow His prompting. The first step is to give your life to God. "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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10. Everyone has sinned, even the most pious elder in the strictest of congregations. Jesus knows every sin you will commit, but has forgiven them at the Cross. You need to humbly turn to Him for forgiveness.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." 1 John 1:9-10. Admit that you've strayed and confess your sin to Jesus. He already knows it, but by confessing it you bring it to your own mind. Were you sincere in your confession? If so, He's forgiven you, now you need to forgive yourself. Don't keep straying away, but live your life to honor Him.
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: Never ever give in - Bill Wilson -
On October 29, 1941, a year after one of the darkest hours of World War II for Great Britain, Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed his alma mater Harrow School. Here emerged one of the most famous quotes (which oft has been misquoted): "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." This quote will hopefully embolden you, encourage you, strengthen you as it did to Brits and their allies as they fought one of the gravest evils to darken the steps of mankind. Evil never changes, it just finds more ways.
We are repeatedly instructed by God's word to overcome evil with good. There is so much evil in our society and around the world. Much of what we read, see and hear seems to be surreal in that it is glorifying the evil and calling the good evil. My wife and I were watching a television program the other night and just the advertisements coming on the screen were so dark. They depict crime, murder, horror, death, destruction, sex, homosexuality, infidelity, rebellion, covetousness, and worse. We remarked to each other almost at the same time how dark prime time television has become. Much of these things are glorified through some sort of twisted sense of justice or even humor.
There is a moral war that is being conducted against that which is good. It has its roots in satan. But satan has no power unless people give him legal entry-which much of society has. We need to guard our hearts. We need to protect our families. We need to stand in the gap as examples and not yield to this 21st Century brand of morality. When these examples of evil come before us, we should point them out. Use them to educate others about discernment and right thinking. We need to be proactive with ourselves to ensure that satan's battlefield, our minds, are focused on the good thoughts of God. We need to be leaders for what is right and good in our families and with our friends.
We must be willing to stand. We must not give in. Psalm 94:16-17 says, "Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence." Let us be silent no more. Let us be stronger than those who usurp the will of the people and are drunk on their own power. As Ephesians 6:12-13 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Never give in.
Daily Devotion: What Does It Take to Be Happy? - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. -Psalm 19:8
What is the purpose of our existence?
Some might say, "Well, it's to be happy, of course." In fact, even the Declaration of Independence lists "the pursuit of Happiness" among "certain unalienable Rights."
But if you're chasing after happiness, you might end up as a very unhappy person.
We assume that wealth, fame, and fortune will bring us happiness. Actor and comedian Jim Carrey knows a few things about that. He said, "I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer."
We're all wired differently, of course. I think some people are naturally happier than others. We see it in children. Some exhibit a happier temperament and a more buoyant attitude. Meanwhile, others aren't as optimistic.
So how do we find happiness?
After a lot of research, some experts found that family and friends are the best antidote to unhappiness.
They also identified things that don't make us happy. University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener concluded that materialism is toxic for happiness.
On the other hand, psychologists say that gratitude has a lot to do with life satisfaction. Talking and writing about what you're grateful for amplifies your happiness. And learning to savor even the small pleasures has the same effect.
Then there's forgiveness. "Forgiveness is the trait most strongly linked to happiness," said University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson. "It's the queen of all virtues," he added, "and probably the hardest to come by."
In other words, forgiving people are happy people.
All these are biblical qualities we can apply to our lives. In the pages of Scripture, we find the virtues of gratitude, forgiveness, and a strong family. It turns out that God had it right all along.
FROM THE HEART
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