Archive for April, 2008

I read, hear or see things on a daily basis that makes me wonder how we got so stupid, confused, out-of-touch, hopeless, faithless and spiritually void of Christ.  Ever wonder if we’re living in the End Times?  You decide.

1.  Wesley Snipes gets THREE years in prison for conviction on three misdemeanor tax evasion charges while a 73-year old male gets ONLY seven years for molesting numerous children.  There were ELEVEN counts of child molestation that he was convicted on.  He only got seven years because of his age (This is from one of the victims mothers I recently spoke with)  Okay, what if he gets a second wind or third wind and lives to be 85 or 90 years old?!?  What message is being sent here…hey, fail to give the government “their” money and you’ll get put under the jail, but molest several children and get sympathy and the proverbial “slap-on-the-wrist.”

2.  Some guy (not worth mentioning his name) is writing a book stating that Jesus was the illegitimate child of Mary and a Roman soldier that RAPED her.  Uhhh, I think he missed something there. Personally, I think Christ himself should come down to earth at his first book signing and personally escort him to hell.  Granted he can still receive Christ’s forgiveness if he truly seeks it but I’m not optimistic that’s gonna happen.

3.  The Episcopal Church has a homosexual rabbi, priest or whatever the title is (old news I know but still relevant.)  Kinda like having an actively using crack head leading the NA meetings while lighting up. 

4.  A guy (again not worth mentioning the name) writes a book, “The God Delusion” about the non-existence of God and it is a New York Times bestselling book that has sold million+ copies.  The author even has a page on his website called “The Converts Corner” where people can give “testimonies” of their conversion to being hell-bound non-believers again.  Ever heard of “Evangelical Atheisism”?  Think we aren’t on the frontlines of a spiritual war?! 

5.  A 14-year old boy that was well-liked, active and did well in school kills himself this week because of a girl.  Apparently, from talking with a relative, this was a shock that they didn’t see coming. Cops have refused to give parents the suicide note but the mortician told the parents that’s the reason.  Apparently, he saw the note. Tell me, are we failing our children or what?

6.  Annual Budget items from a local church:

-Financial Support for Short-Term missions carried out by its members:  $0

Intramural Sports (uniforms, refs, etc.):  $10,000

Want to reach lost souls in another country?  Fine, here’s….well….hey we’d really like to pray for you though.  Want to play softball with the church, great….here’s a fifty.  No…make that a hundred.

I could go on and on but I’ll save more for later.  I think I’ll do this occasionally to remind us how ineffective we, as Christians, have been at reaching lost souls and truly impacting our society.  Think this is the worst it’s going to get?  Well, this is only the beginning. 

 

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Disclaimer:  This post is not Anti-Catholic or Anti-Pope but Pro-Jesus

While eating minced pork (I know, I’m going to hell for eating that blasted dirty pig) and fried chicken at the church yesterday (yep, Southern Baptist), I got to talking with a fellow church member that I’m close with.  I had heard A LOT of Pope talk over the past week, and I wanted to see if I was missing some pertinent biblical and/or spiritual information regarding the real identity of the Pope or if I was just confused and didn’t realize that we were all in the presence of the second incarnation of Jesus Christ.  I must have missed all those scriptural references to the deity of the Pope.

Now, I have to admit that I have much to learn about Jesus, His teachings and His commands but before this week I was fairly confident I understood that Christ was the one and only God, our one true Savior, and that there was only one Holiness, and He was the only one that could forgive us or bless us. 

That was until I was force-fed all the Pope media hype.  They were referring to him as “His Holiness” and talking about all the blessings the Pope was bestowing on everyone.  Heck, he even went to Yankee stadium to bless all those Yankee fans (they need it. LOL.)  I guess Boston is in deep dooky this year.  Anyway, it got me to thinking…all these Catholics must know something I don’t about this person.  I guess I missed that memo explaining his deity, not being catholic and all.

So we talked and it seems I wasn’t confused.  Everyone else is!!!  Now, I respect the Pope for his tremendous knowledge of Christ and God, and the many years of dedicated servanthood to God but news flash…the Pope is just a priest that is no less human or no more Christ or God than I am.  He is not worthy to ever be referred to as “Holy or His Holiness”, he cannot bless me nor forgive me for shooting my dog in the eye when I was five any more or less than my pastor can.  He is not to be worshipped (quite frankly this obsession over him is bordering on Idolatry) or looked at as an intermidiary between God and man (that would be Christ Jesus). In the end, he is just an imperfect guy that was called into priesthood by God to serve Him, and was voted on to wear this overkill costume by a “secret” council, and to wave his arms over people while praying.  Oh, and it seems, to issue new sins or commandments.  Wait, maybe this guy is the second coming of Jesus himself.  No, No…sorry, just heard another media report proclaiming the Holiness of the Pope, and it almost convinced me again.

Again, this is not anti-catholic nor anti-Pope but Pro-Jesus.  But this obsession and borderline idolatrous view of the Pope has to end.  He should be showed great respect but our relationship and our minds, hearts, souls and spirits need to be focused exclusively on Christ as the only one Holy, the only one worthy to be worshipped, and the only one that can grant anyone His Mercy and Grace, and issue new sins or commandments. The Pope plays an important role in teaching God’s Word but once we become “Little Christs”, we become children of the Risen Lord and we now have direct access to God and a relationship with Him through His Only Son, Jesus Christ.  I don’t need to go once a week to hide in a curtained closet to seek forgiveness from a worldly priest or to say 14 Hail Marys, while criss-crossing my hands in the air 14 more times.  I need forgiveness?  Simple…seek Christ in repentant prayer.  He will gladly listen and then offer your repentance to His Holy Father.  A major reason for our weak Christianity is because we have taken our eyes off of Christ and His Divinity and have taken His power from him and placed it into an imperfect, flawed human being’s hands or onto someone that deserves no worship (this would be Mary.)  Mary showed great obedience to her Lord in carrying, and caring for, the human Jesus but she played her role to the best of human capability.  She should be remembered for this obedience but that’s where it ends.  The only place she belongs is at the feet of Christ in bowed awe just like everyone else (sorry, another side bar.) 

As for me and my family, we worship only one true God, one true Savior and we seek only Him.  His name is Jesus Christ, not Pope Benedictine, or John, or Paul or a guy named Patrick, Garry, Larry or Curly. 

Christ is my Lord and Savior….period.  I put my faith in only His Divinity.  This is the basis of our salvation.  He is our only way to God.  If we misunderstand this, we are in danger of being doomed to hell just as any atheist or non-believer.

 

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Willing is not enough; we must do.”    -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Fulfilling the Great Commission is Christ’s ultimate command for His Army of “Little Christ’s”.  He wants us to learn His word, His truths, His principles so that we can apply our faith on a daily basis, and be a light unto this dark world.  Our faith has to become an act that is practiced, and our desire to reach lost souls must become our driving force.  We have to become participants in the war that is being waged between good and evil. 

People who have never heard the word “Jesus”, and have never been told the truth about Christ will not miraculously wake up one morning with a strong “urge” to seek out Patrick or Christy, or any other of my fellow christian family members.  We, that know the truth, must take it to them, whether they live on our street or in Brazil.  I have met many, many well-intentioned, and willing christians on Sunday mornings but I don’t often met, or see, many that are on the battlefield on the other days of the week.

Let’s all make a new committment to apply our knowledge of Christ and His Truth.  Let’s stop talking and thinking and wishing and let’s get busy doing.  It is a daily struggle to do the “Christian thing”, and I often fail, and I often get to the end of the day and realize I could have done better…I should be doing better.  But that’s okay.  God knows He’s dealing with emotional, irrational, fickle, tempermental, stubborn, prideful and imperfect human beings.  He designed us this way because He wants us to focus on Him and rely on the power that He has.  We are children of the Risen Lord and we have access to the same power that raised Christ from the dead.  All we have to do is ask, and He’ll equip us. 

Time for me to stop writing and get busy doing because too many souls are dying and going to hell on a daily basis.

” James says God wants walkers, not just talkers.  In I John 3: 16-18, the Bible says, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us now love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”  (emphasis mine [K.P. Yohannan]). 

Caring is sharing.  Loving is sharing.  Missions is sharing.  The whole purpose of the church in this world can be summed up in that one word:  sharing.  That is what the agape love of the New Testament is really all about.  It is what the Great Commission itself is all about.

But millions of Christians are still in spiritual kindergarten because we have been taught only to acquire and receive rather than practice true love by sharing.  K.P. Yohannan, The Road to Reality

As I read this passage in K.P.’s book, I was reminded of a conversation I had recently with a good friend of mine that I go to church with.  I was lamenting my growing frustration at the rampant apathy I’ve witnessed concerning fulfilling the Great Commission, when my friend basically “scolded” me, proceeding to give a short lecture about how we’re not all “called” to go to other nations/places, and we’re not all “called” to do the same things for God’s Kingdom.  They informed me that I didn’t know the “hearts” of other Christians, and shouldn’t come across as if I did (basic translation.)  I agreed that I didn’t know what was in the hearts of other Christians but based on the statements that I had been given by many and based on their actions, I had a good idea.  I may not know the heart of a duck, but I have a good idea that a duck is, in fact, a duck by how it walks, looks and talks.  You know the saying…. 

In essence, I have witnessed a lot of talking lately about reaching lost souls but I’ve seen very little in the way of walking.  Although our spiritual gifts may differ, and our specific areas of ministry may differ, fulfilling the Great Commission is the calling AND responsibility of ALL Christians.  The sole purpose for God equipping us with our Holy Spirit-given gifts, and for us being taught how to become disciples is to fulfill the Great Commission.  While an area of ministry may need to focus on supporting the church, and catering to the humanistic needs of all, the majority of our ministries need to focus on reaching the lost of this world.  That is where the brunt of our time and resources need to be centered. 

God provided us with the ultimate demonstration of sharing many years ago when He sent us His only Son to die on the cross so that we may find redemption through His death and resurrection.  Without His love by sharing we would have no chance of ever being forgiven for our many sins, and one day walking in His awesome presence in His eternal kingdom. 

The time has come for Christians to start walking instead of talking.  While we are talking, satan is walking more and more lost souls straight into hell and eternal damnation.

Ever watched Extreme Home Makeover?  It’s one of the few shows on TV these days that a family can actually sit down together and watch.  Each week a family is chosen to receive the gift of a new house that will be built in seven days.  It’s a simple, straight-forward show with powerful and dramatic results that not only affects the family involved but often, the entire community that surrounds that family. 

While watching this past Sunday, I could sense my spirit filling with the comforting thought that I have already received a gift far, far greater than any of these familes had ever gotten.  No, I have not been gifted with a free house, free car or abundant financial wealth but I have been gifted with the Gift of Salvation that my Lord and Savior Christ gave to all that day he died on Calvary’s cross.  On that cross, he didn’t offer to give us free houses or unlimited blessings in the form of worldly things.  He could have…but he didn’t.  All He gave was all He had:  his life, his blood and his sacrifice.  He became the wrecking ball that forever broke down that wall of sin that had separated us for ions from our God. 

You see, when we come before our Lord in faith, belief and repentant hearts, He takes our hand and says, “Here my child is all the blessings that I have to give.  Here is a home that is reserved just for you in the Kingdom of God for you to live in for all eternity. Here is my forgiveness, my mercy and my grace.  Take it.  You owe me nothing for I did this because I simply love you.” 

What an awesome gift I have been given, and what an “Extreme Life Makeover” my Father has made in me.  I asked Him to change me, and change my life and He did, and He does each and every day.  So, where are you today?  Are you being “made over” by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?  Are you in need of forgiveness and an “Extreme Life Makeover?”  Just ask!!!!  The Gift is in His hands and He stands before you wanting so much to give you this gift. 

Think you are not worthy?  Think that Jesus will not forgive you and that Jesus cannot make you into His image?  Think you cannot be healed of that drug addiction, sexual addiction or from the grip of alcoholism?  Then read just a few examples of Christ’s Extreme Life Makeover’s and then allow Him to work.  Allow Him to use you as a great testimony to His awesome Mercy and Grace.

A man travels down the road to Demascus, hunting for Christians to slaughter.  Suddenly, Christ appears before him and his life is never the same.  Not only did Christ instantly transform him, He used him to change this world.  His name was Paul and he became Christ’s greatest missionary.

A young teenage, evangelical atheist is transformed by God, and he is now living for Christ, traveling the world to reach all the lost, to save them from the eternal hell that he was facing.  Just last summer, he was running Bibles into China for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.   

-A old, 80-something grandmother living in the northeastern desert of Brazil  spent over 50 years as the Mother Saint of the local Macumba (Spiritist) temple in Ubauna leading souls to satan, not Christ.  Christ touched her and forgave her of her sins.  She asked and He answered.  He didn’t hold her past against her.  He simply forgave her.  Now, she is living in Heaven with our Savior. 

-Another evangelical atheist calls his sister and brother-in-law out of the blue one day, and tells them to pick him up from the airport because he has come to visit.  He has no idea why he was led to get on an airplane and visit but he did nonetheless.  They pick him up from the airport and as they are headed to his sister’s house in a car filled with awkward silence, his brother-in-law asks as they pass the church that he is on staff at, “That’s my church, would you like to see the renovations we’ve done? (paraphrase)”  The atheist confusingly says yes.  The brother-in-law opens the door and as the atheist family member enters the door, he is suddenly slammed to the ground and starts screaming out to God, asking for His forgiveness.  The family prayed with him right there and he was instantly redeemed and a child of the Risen Lord.  Later the sister’s husband asks the brother-in-law what happened.  He shakes his head and just states, “I’m not sure.  All I know is before I walked through that door, I believed there was no God and as soon as I put foot in that church, I suddenly met God and knew that I was a terrible sinner and needed forgiveness (paraphrase).” 

-A drug addict for over 20 years, who had lost everyone and everything in his life asks forgiveness of his sins and Christ comes into his life and he is instantly cured of his addictions, never to touch them again.  Now he reaches other addicts for Christ.

Now that you know that Christ loves you and wants desperately to give you an “Extreme Life Makeover”, what are you waiting for?