Thursday, June 1, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
There are two calls that can be described when talking about calls of Christ (God). The first is a general call, one that goes forth from those who preach the Gospel. This call is general because the Gospel is preached to everyone without discrimination. The second call is specific to only certain people that God chose before the foundation of the world to become heirs of His kingdom.
These individuals receive this specific call through the work of the Holy Spirit during the preaching of the Gospel (first type of call). This second type of call cannot be resisted, for when the Holy Spirit calls, those chosen by God answer.
God does not restrict this calling to only those who have lived perfect lives, for there isn't a person who has lived or will live that could live a perfect life except for Jesus Christ. Therefore, this call goes out to those whom God has chosen and not to those who have any merit, for no one has any.
There is no sin too big or offensive that this call cannot conquer. It brings into the kingdom of God sinners from every vein of life. People who used to live in sin; lust, murder, adultery, theives, liars, those living out their sinful desires within the LGBT community, haters of God, and many others. None of these sins is enough to keep you from being able to resist the calling of the Holy Spirit.
However, all of these sins must be repented of and laid at the feet of Christ. We must repent of the things that keep us from Him, even the things that the world has worked so hard to make acceptable. Our lust, both sexual and our desire for more of everything. Our hatred of our fellow man. Our desires to pervert God's design for gender and sex, these too must be repented of, even though the current culture tries to make them "natural".
The Church has been called to preach the Gospel and through doing so, the Holy Spirit works in the hearts and minds of those who hear to bring about salvation and repentance. There isn't a sin too great, not even for those who have answered the call of Satan (see previous post).
Let us love one another as Christ loves us and has called us to be lights in a dark world. May we be bold to stand for truth, knowing that doing so is to be loving. For allowing someone to believe a lie is only going enable them and encourage them to continue living in sin.
Monday, April 3, 2017
I am more and more sadden to turn on the news, look at social media, or talk with friends or colleagues. I continually hear all the many stories about how the LGBTQ community is being discriminated against or how wronged they are for not having certain "rights". It makes me sick to my stomach to hear so many people that claim to be Christians turning their favor and support towards that community.
Scripture is very clear about what God thinks about that community and the things they stand for, so why are so many throwing their support behind it? It comes from years of attacks that Satan has thrown against the church, and instead of standing strong against his attacks, the church has capitulated at most every turn. Allowing Satan to pick away at the foundational issues of what it means to be a Christian.
God created male and female. He created them good, not needing to be changed or distorted into something that is neither good or right. Every person who supports the LBGTQ community falls under the judgment listed out in Romans 1:18-32.
Not only is the church called to preach against what the LBGTQ community is and stands for, it is called to demonstrate to this community what is the right and good manifestation of God's design for sexuality and gender. I Timothy chapter one tells us that we are to use the law of God to rebuke and to guide the unrighteous.
Satan has called and the American church, in large, has answered his call with shouts of joy and excitement. There is nothing with the LBGTQ community that is good or that points to God, but rather there is only evidence of a masterful plan, created by Satan to deceive and mislead those unwilling to stand upon Scripture alone.
Scripture is the foundation upon which all knowledge and understanding of God must be built. If we reject this premise, we open the door for Satan to offer us new solutions and foundations that can at best be built upon the sand, ready to crumble with the first storm that he well throw at us. That storm is the war being raged against God and His church by the LBGTQ community. They do not want peace and equality, but domination and servitude.
They will not rest until they deem that they have sufficiently destroyed God's design for gender and sexuality. In order to resist Satan's deception the church must return and stand upon Scripture alone for the foundation of what we are supposed to believe and how we are to live.
Friday, March 24, 2017
What does an earthly family have to do with a heavenly one? That is a question that I have heard asked many times. Our earthly families are meant to demonstrate certain things about God to us. However, most of the time we pervert and destroy any resemblance that they might have of the Father's love for His children. Instead of demonstrating unconditional love to one another, we hold grudges and bemoan our situations. Instead of directing our homes as Christ directs His bride, we allow chaos and strife to reign supreme.
There are many ways that we destroy the picture that God has designed in order to point to Himself. Yet, there are times that the picture and structure He has designed comes to full light and breaks beautifully upon the eyes of all who see it. The times when a child is running, falls headlong and smashes into the ground, and their parent rushes to lift them up and comfort them. The times that a child disregards what they know they are supposed to do and their parent disciplines them in a way that instructs and guides them to know and understand that their actions have consequences. The times when a spouse is overcome with love and treats their spouse to something special, just because. The times when a sibling offers to share their toys with their little brother or sister, just because they know how much they enjoy playing with it.
The New Testament is laden with images about the family and it's relationship to the church and to God. However, most of the time we either ignore them or just pretend that they don't matter that much. The images that God lays out in Ephesians of how each part of the family is to treat the other is beautiful and yet can only be understood when we look at it in the light of what God has done for His children and His relationship with them. God's love for His elect is deeper than any love between husband and wife, siblings, or child and parent. Yet, without these relationships, we cannot know what Paul means when he writes about Christ's love for His bride/body.
Therefore, the more Christlike men are when they lead their homes, the more Christlike their families and churches will become. The more that a husband and wife realize that their children reflect their own relationships with God, the more they understand how sinful they are and how utterly dependent they are for His grace and mercy to carry them. Just as a child falls and bruises a part of their body, we fall many times as God's children. He doesn't leave us in the dirt to lick our wounds, but raises us up, showing us where we went wrong and lovingly guides us forward.
Without parents, there wouldn't be children. Without children we would never see a majestic part of the picture that family represents. May we rejoice that we have been given families. May we grow to to understand the importance of seeing our families as mirrors for the world to see the reflection of God in.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
As I was walking to work today, about 20 minutes in total, I couldn't help at marveling at the beauty of what surrounded me. The sun had just come up, the sky still lit with brilliant colors that seemed to be commanding the earth to arise from it's slumber, glistening through the trees wet with the nights dewy frost. It warmed not only my skin, but also my soul knowing that the sun represents the light and glory of the Son. Birds were chirping everywhere, as if there was a diet of worms being offered and consumed by all (500th anniversary of the reformation shout out!). And there was actually a warmth to the breeze, unlike the blistering wind that seemed to attack us over the weekend.
God seemed to be calling to me and to everyone who would listen to wake up, to realize that our faith means something. As we approach October, there will be many references made to the Reformation amongst Christian circles. However, how many of us actually still believe in the principles that started it all? Are we willing to rise as they did, standing only upon Scripture no matter the cost? Will we join with Jonathan Edwards in bringing a great awakening to our country? It was because of the Reformers that Jonathan Edwards had a foundation upon which to stand. Can we not follow suit and preach the Scriptures in grace by faith in Jesus for His glory alone?
We must rise to the occasion. We have seen 500 years of decay and rot within our culture and many times sadly within our churches since the Reformation began. There have been great and glorious victories in the church, but there has also been a turning away from truth and the foundation of believing in the Bible as the sole authority on life and godliness. Instead, many have turned to popular opinion and look for applause.
Let us return to our roots as Christians. Let us believe what Jesus and the apostles taught throughout the New Testament. Let us examine the beliefs that we hold and why we hold them. Let us forsake earthy reconciliation for that which satisfies the soul and lasts for eternity. Let us join with creation in singing that our God reigns upon His throne. That He commands the earth to arise each and every day with new beauties. Let us rise with creation in joining their song and let us eat at the table of Martin Luther by standing upon Scripture alone.