July 26, 2016
Three members of my sister’s family (see photos 2, 4, and 7 at link below), along with several others from their church, went to Tanzania, Africa to watch a water well installed for the Hadza people. My sister’s children were instigators in raising the money, often through bake sales, for this project, and they raised over $22,000. My sister and her family, having a loving concern for the Hadza after having lived with them for a few years in the 90s, have periodically gone back to visit them, help them, and promote Jesus. Click this link to view photos of this latest trip a few weeks ago:
July 19, 2016
“I’m going to Heaven… I possess eternal life… I will live forever.” Such are the statements of many who call Jesus “Savior” and of many who even call Him their “Lord”. Are you one of these who claimed this privilege? If so, ask yourself if you do the will of God. Consistently? If not, how often? Is it actually only a few times a week that you obey what God asks of you? –What His Spirit and Word command? Let’s personalize these questions and be honest. For Jesus has told us very clearly that in order to inherit the Kingdom of God we must be doing the Father’s will. (Mt. 7:21-23) Nothing else we do or claim, no matter how righteous or powerful it appears, will save us. (Same verses)
Let’s not be deceived. Once we step into Christ, we are to leave the old self and lifestyle behind (2 Cor. 5:17 // Gal. 2:20), living not for ourselves, but for the will of God. (2 Cor. 5:15 // 1 Pe. 4:2) This is what it means to die and be buried with Christ in baptism (Rom. 6:1-7) –the baptism into water, spiritual fire, and the Spirit (Luke 3:16 // John 3:5 // Gal. 3:27)– so that in becoming one with the Lord in spirit (1 Cor. 6:17), we receive God’s divine nature (1 John 3:9) and power (2 Pe. 1:3,4) and are enabled to submit to the control of the Spirit (Rom. 8:9) and conduct ourselves, at all times, with Christ-likeness. (1 John 2:6) Don’t let anyone tell you that we are not commanded to earnestly work toward this goal, for we certainly are to do so! (Rom. 8:13,14,29 // 2 Pe. 3:14) We are to be holy and perfect and sinless in ALL we do and desire! (Mt. 5:48 // 1 Pe. 1:13-16 // 1 John 3:5-10,24) This is what keeps us as permanent children within God’s family. (Mt. 12:50 // John 8:31-36) This is what keeps us in the will of God and justified before Him. (Heb. 10:26-39 // Ja. 2:14-26 & 4:17)
Should those who preach and teach be concerned about these things? Absolutely! 2 John 1:9 says, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God.” Verses 10 and 11 command us not to welcome such people and that if we do, we are sharing in their wicked work. Do we grasp what this is saying? False teaching is serious stuff! It is wickedness, and if not repented of, it is a cause for damnation both for teacher and hearer! (1 Cor. 15:1,2 // Gal. 1:8,9 // 1 Tim. 4:1,2,16 // 2 Pe. 2:1-3) Let us be, therefore, extremely careful that we not come under the delusion of a lie (Eph. 4:14 // 2 Thes. 2:10-12 // 2 Tim. 3:5-4:4), but instead rebuke those who turn to philosophies of the world and to doctrines taught by demons. (Titus 2:1,15 & 3:9-11 // 1 John 4:1-6)
In light of these truths, here are three excellent prayers from God’s Word:
Ps. 143:10: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me in the land of uprightness.”
Ps. 86:11: “Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.”
Ps. 119:33: “Teach me, O LORD, to follow Your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.”
We must be praying, as well as studying God’s Word diligently. And we must be obeying. This is how we walk in / consistently do the will of God. This is how we attain Life Forever.
“The world and its desires are passing away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)
July 12, 2016
I too mourn the loss of the lives of the five policemen gunned down by a sniper in Dallas five days ago. The place that it happened –next to El Centro College– is directly across the street from the block I usually evangelize at. I walk past the college almost every time I’m down there, standing at different corners, for a few minutes each, with my signs and talking to those near the bus and train stops who approach me to comment or discuss God’s Word. It’s an easy mission field as most people I encounter do believe in Jesus (even if they aren’t following Him) and they seem curious enough or convicted enough to stop and talk, or at least take a tract.
So, of course when I heard about the shootings, I immediately wondered if anyone I knew had gotten hurt. (I’ve walked those streets evangelizing for over 20 years so I often encounter people who I’ve exhorted numerous times, some who have turned from sin, some who haven’t, but most who I have grown to really love.) Realizing, though, that it happened during a protest, and that it was aimed at white law-enforcement officers, I was pretty sure I didn’t know any of them, as I rarely see white officers down there. (After viewing their photos, I didn’t recognize any.) Still, it is extremely sad, and I grieve deeply for the families. It is tragic that these men, in bravely coming to the aid of their fellowman, had to have their lives cut short by someone on the side of evil.
I also grieve for those others who, though they did not die, were injured in this shooting. (I’m again reminded of grieving alongside a close friend of mine who is the mother of a former officer who remains paralyzed from the waist down because of being shot during a drug bust in Dallas in 2007.)
I was glad to hear that Obama, Bush, and other officials came to honor the fallen officers at a memorial service today in Dallas, and through their speeches, to encourage and exhort our nation. I’m sure that those leading our country are truly trying to make it a safer, better place, and we appreciate their efforts to do so. However, there is only one Person who can solve the crises we, the U.S., as well as the whole world, have and face today. His name is Jesus. Yes, only Christ Jesus will bring in true and lasting justice and peace.
No other will. No other can.
Let us, therefore, put our trust in Him.
July 9, 2016
I watched parts of some of your videos on Youtube and after praying about it, I still feel the Lord wants me to again, as I did a few years ago, caution you about the genre of rap, and now even more strongly warn you concerning your apparent increased involvement in it. Rap and hip hop are, as we all know, deeply associated with the ungodliness of the world, characterized by aggressive and/or sensual arm and body movements, profanity, rebellion, arrogance, self-promotion, immorality, the drug culture, violence, murder, the degradation of women, and the idolization of wealth, along with the glorification and legitimization of feelings of discontent, of being deprived or victimized, and of anger and rage and lust.
Such things, of course, are not in line with living out Christ Jesus and His holiness, so how is it okay to associate ourselves with such an art form? Is such an art form redeemable? Even if we put clean words into the form, how is this different than mixing the profane with the sacred? How is proclaiming God’s righteousness through this avenue different than if a group would hand out beer cans or cigarette packages with the Gospel message written on the cans or boxes? The Gospel would have minimal effect, at best, by the mixture, by the creation of confusion, and by the promotion of worldliness. How is “Christian rap” different than someone participating with his friends in questionable or sinful activities for the purpose, supposedly, of being a “Christian influence”? God forbids us to mix Him in with that which is worldly or related to unwholesomeness, for mixtures defile the clean and teach that there is no difference between the unholy and the holy. The Lord says this is to profane Him. (Ezek. 22:26) Therefore, even a hint of us mixing with uncleanliness is improper for God’s holy people. (Eph. 5:3) Instead, we are to train ourselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb. 5:14)
Is “Christian rap” patterned after the world? We cannot deny that it is. Rom. 12:2 tells us not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world. Patterning ourselves after the world is contrasted with being transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Same verse) Then, and only then, will we be able to discern God’s will, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect. (Same verse)
The Lord tells us that only if we separate, and remain separated, from that which is unclean will He accept us. (1 Cor. 3:16,17 // 2 Cor. 6:17,18) If we do not, we will, along with the sinful, receive God’s wrath (1 Cor. 3:17 // Rev. 18:4-8), for “friendship with the world is hatred toward God” (Ja. 4:4) and by such spiritual adultery we make ourselves an enemy of God. (Same verse) “God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.” (Eph. 5:6,7) Is there any harmony between that which is of the world and that which is of the Holy Spirit? 2 Cor. 6:14-16 tells us there is not. Thus we are most definitely required to cleanse ourselves of defilements (2 Tim. 2:21), to continue to “purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit” (2 Cor. 7:1), and to make every effort to be found spotless and reverent toward God and His holiness so that we won’t fall but instead inherit eternal life. (Same verse // 2 Pe. 1:5-11 & 3:14-18)
I exhort you to reconsider if rap is truly “a platform to witness for the Lord” as you say. Does it turn many from sin and teach people to stand in reverent awe of God’s name and holiness? (Mal. 2:5,6) If our teaching and/or our behavior is a cause for others to think, speak, or behave sinfully or to be careless about reverence toward God and His name, requirements, and holiness, then we invite God’s curse (v. 1-9), even Hell. (Mt. 13:41,42) God is adamant that His people must discern and teach the difference between the impure and the pure (Ezek. 44:23) for anyone impure will not be allowed fellowship with Him or be saved. (Heb. 10:26-31 & 12:14 // 1 John 1:6 // Rev. 21:27)
Who are those people united with Christ? They are those who obey His commands (1 John 3:24) and Word (2:3-5) and conduct themselves just as Jesus did (v. 6) by being led and controlled by His Spirit (Rom. 8:9,13,14) so that they consistently walk in the will of the Father. (Mt. 7:21-23) They are those who behave “in a manner worthy of the calling” (Eph. 4:1), “in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27), and “in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:10), pleasing Him in every way while producing the fruit of holiness. (Same verse // 1 Pe. 1:14-17)
Such are the people who have died to Self, and sin, and the world (Rom. 6:1-7 // Gal. 2:20 & 6:14), are conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29), and are inheritors of the Kingdom of God. (6:22 // Rev. 3:4,5)
July 5, 2016
Thank you for inquiring about where you can find all my articles against Calvinism. I never created a category for it but instead, in numerous posts, I have often discussed that false doctrine. However, I have often wished I had made a category for it, so this morning I went searching through my blog for where I wrote about it. Below are the links of many that I found. Hopefully these will assist your study.
Here is my new link under the “Sermons” section:
Holding to the Lord and His Truth is our freedom and salvation. (John 8:31-36) May the Lord bless you and all of us who seek Him diligently and who try to please Him continuously.
While evangelizing downtown for a couple of hours yesterday, another believer who I met and spoke with, said that he likes to remind people that if we claim to house the Holy Spirit then we need to have His personality. I liked what he said. He brought up Gal. 5:22,23 and that having the Spirit’s fruit means to have the Holy Spirit’s personality. He lamented that so many “Christians” do not seem to believe this is necessary in the life of a born-again Christ-follower. How right-on this guy’s assessment is. For we are commanded to “obey God” (Rom. 15:18), hold to the teaching of Jesus (John 8:31), and be teaching everyone to obey everything the Lord has commanded. (Mt. 28:20) Yes, only those who obey the Holy Spirit of God and Christ are inheritors of Eternal Life. (Mt. 7:21-23 // John 15:10 // Rom. 8:9,13,14 // Gal. 5:19-21 // 1 John 2:6 & 3:24)
Consequently, if we claim to belong to Christ, then we must be in submission to His Spirit. (Rom. 8:9,14) If we are in submission to Christ’s Spirit, then His righteousness will bloom and grow in us, being revealed through our conduct, our thoughts, our attitudes, our words, where we go, what we do, and what we refuse. It is Christ’s life permeating our life and consistently shining out for all to see, ever increasingly brighter.
Are we loving, patient, gentle, and self-controlled? This is the personality of the Holy Spirit written about in Gal. 5:22,23. Are we full of joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness (to God and others), and full of all goodness? All of these are there in those two verses. Contrary to popular opinion (including the majority of “Christian” opinion), we must be participating in the divine nature and no longer be sinful. (2 Pe. 1:3,4 // 1 John 3:6-10) Indeed, only the person who DOES what is RIGHT is righteous! (1 John 3:7) “Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God.” (v. 10) Instead that person is of Satan (same verse), for, “He who does what is sinful is of the devil.” (v. 8 )
Let us understand what God’s Word is telling us: We can have God’s personality or the devil’s personality. What we choose to DO determines it, which then determines our permanent destination and which God/god we will dwell with eternally. (Mt. 25:41-46 // 2 Thes. 1:8,9)
As Jesus warns, “Do not be amazed… –those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:29)